Spoil Me Sunday: Feeling Fresh for the First Day Back

Hey, y’all!

We’re back from our honeymoon in Ireland, and tomorrow it’s back to work, the gym, and all those other real world things. (sigh) I’ll be posting about our trip soon, but there are about 850 photos to go through.

We got back on Wednesday and took the rest of the week off from work, so we had time to get over the jet lag, do our grocery shopping, etc. Now it’s feeling like the night before the first day of school all over again. We’ve only been gone for 2 weeks, but it feels like a lot longer.

I don’t know about you, but when I was in middle school and high school, I always liked to do a mini home spa day the day before the first day of school. I’d give myself a facial, do my nails, and all that jazz. I didn’t have the energy to do the full shebang this time, but I tried out one of the items from my October ipsy bag:

Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask

from Aphrodite

Photo of sample size Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask from Aphrodite
$16.99* for 2.53 oz.; Aphrodite

I’ve got to say, Ireland agrees with my skin. My complexion cleared up noticeably (I think not using cleansing conditioner and getting more sleep both helped), and my skin felt healthy and moisturized throughout the trip. The one exception to that feeling was when we were flying. A total of 10 hours on planes each way dried my skin out like crazy. I brought some refreshing spray to mitigate it, but that could only do so much. Needless to say I was very excited to get this mask in my ipsy bag this month!

To start off with, I liked the fact that this mask has a very subtle scent that doesn’t smell artificial. Its thin texture meant that it applied easily, dried quickly, and washed off easily. After washing it off, I splashed cold water on my face to close up my pores. My skin feels so soft and fresh! I followed up with my normal nighttime skincare regimen, but I skipped the toner this time.

Key Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil: fabulous for your skin because it’s chock full of Vitamins A & E plus antioxidants that protect your skin
  • Witch Hazel: reduces inflammation
  • Aloe Vera: soothes skin
  • Spirulina Extract: draws out toxins from your skin
  • Chamomile: soothes skin
  • White Lotus: source of vitamin C, B complex, antioxidants, and several minerals that nourish and brighten your complexion. It can also help control sebum production, hydrate, improve elasticity, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. (Wow, that’s like a superfood for your skin!)

Once I get through the sizable collection of masks I have, I would definitely consider buying this one!

* At the time of writing this post, this mask is currently on sale for $10.99 on the Aphrodite website.


Do you incorporate olive oil into your beauty regimen in any way? How about lotus? Tell me about some of your favorite products in the comments below!

Hope you have a great week. Stay tuned for my monthly ipsy post, as well as posts about Ireland!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Ireland-Bound Pt. 3: Gorgeous & Photo-Ready

Hey, y’all!

Part 3 of this travel-prepping series: skincare and makeup. I work too hard on my skin to slack off on my regimen just because I’m on vacation. We’ll be taking lots of photos, after all! When you have to worry about luggage weight, liquid limits, and just plain efficiency, how do you pack for a trip? Read on to find out my plan!

PS: any items marked with an asterisk (*) were part of my September Ulta Beauty Haul.

In My Carry-on

When I’m planning on checking a bag, I pack my beauty/personal items with the mentality that if my bag is lost when I arrive at my destination, what do I need with me to comfortably get through a night (or two) without it? I also factor in any items that I don’t want to subject to air pressure changes, as well as my pricier products that I want to make sure are handled with care.

The Liquids

DSC01402

I’m able to fit A LOT into this quart-size bag from the Container Store:

I’ll also be adding the hand cream and rollerball perfume that I keep in my purse, plus my travel size hydrating mist from Juice Beauty. I’m choosing to keep my makeup look on the more natural side, so I’m not planning on bringing any liquid lipsticks, just tinted lip balm.

The Non-Liquids

DSC01401

This cute bag was a nifty bridesmaid gift from a wedding I was in this year. In it I’ll be packing all the non-liquid items that I don’t want to leave my side:

  • A little mesh carrying case for my makeup sponges so they have a chance to dry between uses
  • Body and Face Mineral Sunscreens (in stick form)*
  • My small Z Palette for my eyeshadows (sticking with neutrals that I can mix and match)
  • Lip scrub
  • Silicone face scrubber (I’m leaving my Clearsonic at home)
  • Deodorant
  • Highlighter pencil
  • Brow pencil*
  • Eye Brightening Powder
  • Sample size translucent powder
  • My dome ZPalette that has my blushes, highlighters, pressed powder foundation (if I want to use it instead), and medium-sized Z Palette Travel Jars for my CC Cream so I don’t have to bring the whole tube

The Z Palette Travel Jars will be easy to pop out of the Z Palette and into my liquids bag to go through airport security. I’ll also be packing my epilator and its charger in my non-liquids bag before I leave.

Makeup Brushes

DSC01404

I’m certainly not bringing every brush I own, but it’s a decent collection of everyday essentials:

  • Spoolie
  • Angled brow brush
  • Small powder brush for setting my eyeshadow primer
  • A few different eyeshadow brushes
  • Harley Quinn blending brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Small blending brush for applying eye brightening powder
  • Angled blush brush
  • Buffing brush for blending
  • Highlighting brush
  • Foundation buffing brush for pressed powder foundation
  • Large fan brush
  • Stippling brush
  • Large powder brush

In My Checked Bag

DSC01403

I reserve the folding toiletry bag for the items I’m not super worried about getting lost or damaged. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. are all items you can expect to find in most hotel rooms. Do I prefer my own? Of course, but I can’t fit my entire bathroom into a quart-sized bag. 🙂

  • Travel-size hair primer*
  • Travel-size hairspray
  • Travel-size dry shampoo
  • Hair balm (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Micellar water (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Shampoo (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Conditioner (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Body wash (transferred to a travel bottle)

I’m sure there are things I’ll remember at the last minute and toss in, but I’d say my beauty regimen is all set for a belated honeymoon in Ireland! Any recommendations for things to see and do while we’re there?

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Spoil Me Sunday: Bronze Goddess

Hey, y’all!

Despite the title, this post has nothing to do with tanning. Behold the peel off mask that made me look like a female version of Xerxes from the movie 300 (minus all the bling).

“Take Away the Drama” Youth Boosting Honey & Copper Peel Off Mask

from Hey Honey

Photo of sample size "Take Away the Drama" Youth Boosting Honey & Copper Peel Off Mask from Hey Honey
$49 for 2 fl. oz.; Hey Honey

This peel off mask came in my August ipsy bag, and it’s so pretty! It comes out of the tube totally metallic, almost like a copper paint. The ingredients list says there’s fragrance in it, but I didn’t notice it.

Key ingredients:

  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Camellia Sinensis (Tea) Leaf Extract, & Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: provide moisture to the skin
  • Honey: antibacterial properties, full of antioxidants to combat aging, moisturizes, soothes, and clarifies skin–it’s a skincare powerhouse!
  • Lactic Acid: exfoliates
  • Copper Gluconate: copper peptides reduce signs of aging by increasing collagen and elastin production, helping to nourish skin and increase its elasticity
  • Zinc Gluconate: boosts skin’s healing process and can help fight acne

The mask went on pretty smoothly, but I had some trouble getting it off. I think I applied too thin of a layer, but with it being a fairly small sample, I was afraid to use too much. So many good-for-you ingredients, and my skin looked great afterwards, but I don’t know if I care to splurge on the full-size.


What are some of your favorite honey skincare products? Any DIY recipes you swear by? I’d love to hear about them!

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: Full Strength

Hey, y’all!

I managed to get a sample of this peel that I’ve been wanting, and I’ve been looking forward to trying it. Let’s jump right in!

Green Apple Peel Full Strength Exfoliating Mask

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Green Apple Peel Full Strength sample from Juice Beauty
$48 for 2 oz.; Juice Beauty

I tried the sensitive peel a few weeks ago, and while it worked fine, I wondered if the full strength would do more. When I was first introduced to Juice Beauty, the rep told me about how uncomfortable she found the full strength to be the first time. I was curious to try it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive.

Key Ingredients:

  • Lemon Juice & Apple Juice: source of fruit acids that smooth skin and even skin tone
  • Aloe Juice: moisturizes skin
  • Lactic & Glycolic Acids: alpha hydroxy acids that chemically exfoliate the skin
  • Grape Seed Oil & Grape Seed Extract: source of antioxidants
  • Vitamin A: reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamin C & E: nourish skin
  • Willow Bark Extract: beta hydroxy acid that exfoliates, moisturizes, and works both on the surface and within your pores; it BHAs also have skin calming properties

I didn’t really feel any tingling, but I did experience some flushing after I rinsed it off (it went away after 10 minutes or so.) I followed up with some Nutrient Moisturizer that I got in my Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit, which felt nice. My skin felt smoother and looked noticeably brighter afterwards. I’m curious how much effect this could have on my skin long-term, but I’m on the fence because of the price point. We’ll see!


What are you up to this lazy Sunday? Trying anything new?

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: So A-peel-ing!

Hey, y’all!

As you read from my June Ulta Beauty Haul post, I picked up the Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit from Juice Beauty. One of the items in the kit was this this peel, and I was eager to try it out. Keep reading to see how it went!

Green Apple Peel Sensitive Exfoliating Mask

from Juice Beauty

Photo of sample size Green Apple Peel Sensitive from Juice Beauty
$42 for 2 oz.; Juice Beauty

On one of my trips to Ulta, I got to talking with the Juice Beauty rep, and she was telling me about how she tried the full strength peel first and almost instantly regretted it because it was so intense. She recommended starting with the sensitive first, so I heeded her advice.

Key ingredients include:

  • Organic Apple Juice: the source of malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin
  • Organic Lemon Juice: additional source of fruit AHAs
  • Organic Aloe Juice: soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Glycolic Acid: another AHA
  • Lactic Acid: another AHA, milder than glycolic acid, that’s used to treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, etc.
  • Vitamins A&C: reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamin E: moisturizes and nourishes skin

As soon as you squeeze it out of the tube, you can smell the apple, and it pretty much has the consistency of apple butter–no complaints here. I spread it all over my face, set a timer for 10 minutes, and braced myself for the tingling and flushing (totally normal side effects). …Not much happened. I felt some minor tingling around a couple of blemishes, but other than that, nada. Don’t get me wrong, after I rinsed it off, my skin felt clean, refreshed, and invigorated. I skipped toner afterwards, and just used my regular regimen of essence, serum, eye creams, and moisturizers.

Maybe I didn’t put on a thick enough layer? Maybe my skin isn’t as sensitive as I thought? I kind of want to try the full-strength to see if I get more noticeable results. I’d probably be less hesitant if I could get my hands on a sample size, rather than shelling out the $48 just to find out that my skin can’t handle it. Have you tried it before? How intense was it?


Well, I tried my first at-home facial peel, and I didn’t get any disastrous results. Whew! What’s your favorite at-home peel?

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: Pretty in Pink

Hey, y’all!

Do you ever have those weekends where you don’t feel like doing anything at all? That’s where I’m at this weekend. I’m down to just chill, but it doesn’t seem my skin is on the same page. I’ve been breaking out, which is unusual for me, other than right before my period. I haven’t been able to figure out the cause, but I picked up this new mask a few weeks ago and finally decided to try it out. It’s more than I’ve ever spent on a face mask before, but it was on sale (still is) and I considered it my birthday present for myself. I think I might end up in love. 🙂

Complete Skincare Pack

from Alya Skin

Photo of Complete Skincare Pack from Alya Skin
$69.99; Alya Skin

I had been seeing this Pink Perfect Australian Pink Clay Mask popping up on my Instagram feed over and over, and when I finally decided to check it out, it was 40% off and includes free worldwide shipping. (The site said the deal was ending that day, but weeks later it’s still going…sneaky.) Anyway, I spent the extra $10 to get the Complete Skincare Pack, so the 4.23oz mask came with a pink bamboo face wash towel, too. There were countless reviews about how it brightens skin, tightens pores, reduces redness, helps get rid of breakouts….sign me up!

So what are the active ingredients?

  • Kaolin (pink clay): detoxifies skin, helps remove pigmentation clusters from the surface, and stimulates skin cell regeneration
  • Aloe Vera + Pomegranate: reduce inflammation, assist in removing eczema and acne, tighten pores, smooth skin, and give you a nice little antioxidant boost
  • Witch Hazel: anti-aging, tones the skin, speeds up healing of pimples, and detoxifies skin

I love that this mask is safe for sensitive skin, plus it’s vegan and cruelty-free! It has a floral scent that was a little strong at first, but I got used to it. I just put the mask on for 10 minutes and then gently removed it with the bamboo cloth afterwards. Obviously nothing is going to fix all of my skin’s problems in 10 minutes, but my skin did look brighter, a lot of the redness I had was gone, and it felt so smooth. Because the mask is so gentle, you can use it up to 3 times a week, so I’m excited to see the results after regular use! It’s pricey compared to masks I usually buy, but if it works, it just might be worth it.

If you live in Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, there are tons of places you can buy this mask in person. There’s a store locator on their website; according to it, there’s a place in New Jersey, and that seems to be it for the US. It’s confusing because there are some other US pins on the map, but when you click on them, they show New Zealand addresses. *shrug* Take advantage of the 40% sale online and pick some up for yourself!


Have you tried this pink clay mask? How did you like it?

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: Bubbles!

Hey, y’all!

How are you? It’s been another busy week, and the weather here is getting hotter by the day. I may hail from Central Texas, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the heat. Anyway, I wanted to give my skin a boost, and I was eager to try out a new mask today!

Rapids Soothing Probiotic Bubble Mask

from H20+ Beauty

Photo of Rapids Soothing Probiotic Bubble Mask from H20+ Beauty
$6 for 1 fl. oz.; H20+ Beauty

I had heard about bubble masks but had never tried one. I had also never tried anything from H20+ Beauty before, either. I picked this mask up on a whim during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, and I thought I’d give it a whirl. According to the website, active ingredients and their benefits include:

  • Champagne Extract–promotes an even complexion
  • Oat Derived Active–reduces signs of irritation and leaves skin feeling soft
  • Yuzu Extract–rich in Flavonoids and Vitamin C = radiance
  • Probiotics–promote water and nutrient retention for improved suppleness

Apply to clean skin–the package says a thick layer, the website says a dime-sized amount…who knows how much? You do you. You massage the gel into your skin, and it starts foaming almost instantly. It had a nice fresh, somewhat floral, scent to it. Sit back and relax for 10-12 minutes (website says up to 15) while the bubbles fizz away. It was a fun sensation, even though it tickled my nose. I got my husband to do it with me, and he described it as “Pop Rocks for your face.” hahaha I personally think Pop Rocks are more intense than this; I would describe it as what it would be like to stick your face in a glass of champagne.

By the end, all of the bubbles are gone, and you’re just left with the gel texture. You massage the gel into your skin for 30 seconds before rinsing it off with warm water. My skin felt so soft and healthy afterwards; I absolutely loved it! Recommended use is 2-3 times per week. After 2 weeks of use, you should see reduced occurrences of blackheads. Judging by how much I have left, I think you could easily get 2 or 3 uses out of a single 1 oz. packet, possibly 4. I would definitely recommend this for when your skin needs a calming boost!


Have you tried a bubble mask before? What did you think? Let me know if there’s one you think I should try!

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!