Product Review: Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Foundation Stick

Sonia Kashuk is a real makeup artist, most notably having made supermodel Cindy Crawford look amazing for years. She also has a full makeup line at Target (since 1998), and stands by her mantra of affordable and accessible quality makeup. Having known of her talent for years, I decided to stop by her brand in the beauty aisle one day on a Target run to look at some of the newer products. One of the products I saw was the Undetectable Stick Foundation. I had not recently replenished my Clinique Chubby In the Nude Stick Foundation, so I decided to give this a try instead. I picked up the shade Latte 13, and took quick note that the product details indicated sheer, more natural coverage. I normally like more medium coverage foundations, but since I was needing a foundation to easily travel with, I decided to go ahead and purchase.

After using for about a month, I am a bit disappointed to say that I was a little underwhelmed with the performance of the foundation. The shade was right, and the formula blended easily with both my fingers and a foundation brush. But the challenge, for me, was that I just didn’t like the light coverage. I also felt that it didn’t have a lot of staying power, which I was used to with the Clinique stick foundation performance. I did like the size of the product, and the value of the amount of foundation you received for the money. But as someone who has a bit of hyper-pigmentation in my skin (since I’m so sun-sensitive), I didn’t feel that the coverage was buildable enough. Also, I have combination skin, which seemed to feel a little bit oily later in the day with this formula.

I do think that if you are looking for a very natural, easy-to-use foundation, you may really like this. If you have a more dry skin type, this creamy formula may be a bit more comforting for you as well, even though the product states that is has oil-absorbing qualities. (Wha? Yeah, I know!) The convenience of the stick packaging is great –  it was very convenient for travel! I am a fan of Sonia Kashuk makeup, as I think her brand offers a great selection of multi-tasking products, and very wearable shades, at a great price point. But for those who are wanting a higher performance foundation, I’m not sure this is the one that I would recommend.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Buying Skincare in Kits

Many women have wondered if it’s worth buying a skincare “system” or a kit, since there’s often the marketing message “you need to use all products from the same brand at the same time to see results” attached with this concept. Having been a former esthetician, I have a very strong opinion on this. My opinion is “no”, that’s not really necessary. If you sell skincare for an at-home marketing company or for a major beauty brand, you probably will be upset with me. However, I do really like buying smaller trial kits from a brand, such as the one I’m going to chat about below, when I want to try more products within a recommended regimen. The reason my opinion is “no” to having to buy a system is that not all of a brand’s products may be 100% appropriate for the type of skin you have. For example, I really like the Olay Complete SPF 15 Sensitive Moisturizer. But my skin reacts to their facial cleansers based on their blend of sulfate ingredients, and irritates my skin enough to cause mild breakouts. Also, I don’t believe in shelling out a ton of money to try a new brand, as you can often find smaller/cheaper trial size kits that give you enough product to see how your skin will ACTUALLY behave over time when making the switch. I know women often attend home parties or visit a cosmetic counter for skincare, and buy a couple hundred dollars’ worth of a new brand – to me, that’s a bit risky and not all that necessary. Sadly, I’m also well aware that if the women aren’t happy with the results after using for a few weeks, they end up tossing the product rather than getting their money back.

Step 1 in any trial of skin, hair or makeup product is know what’s inside the product, and if you can tell what known allergens are inside (like synthetic fragrance) that may cause you a reaction. If that coast is clear, Step 2 is seeing if the kit has products that you know you’ll actually use daily. Many people rarely use a mask daily, for example. If you are truly seeking a new regimen, find a kit that you can use up daily as you’ll determine your skin’s reaction that much faster – for better, or for worse. This goes for haircare too – I really like trying a new haircare brand’s travel kit first, as I’ll use it for a week or two to see how my hair and hair color reacts to the products’ ingredient blend.

Sephora, ULTA, Target and most department stores often sell larger kits (or usually called “gifts”) around the major retail holidays: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and back-to-school. And many brands offer kits online year-round. What can be great about these kits is that you often get a nice variety product for a better value than buying all full sizes. That way, if you really hate it and make the decision to toss, you’re probably only out about $20-$40, rather than over $100. Also, if you get a gift card for one of these stores, you’ll get more bang for your buck to buy a kit, over individual products.

Case in point, my husband gave me a Valentine’s Day gift card for Sephora, and I decided to treat myself to a First Aid Beauty Kit that features their Pure Skin Face Cleanser, their famous Ultra Repair Cream moisturizer (that I LOVE) and their Facial Radiance Pads. The 2.0 oz tubes contain about 4 weeks worth, which totals 28 days of beauty!!! Get it? 😉 That is the whole point of trying these types of sizes – I knew that within 4 weeks (which is the appropriate amount of time for skin cell turnover) that I would have my results, and be able to form an educated opinion. First Aid Beauty’s skincare concept is designing products specifically for people with very sensitive skins, but who also want results. Since I hadn’t tried their Facial Radiance Pads or Pure Skin Face Cleanser before, I was totally game to test them out.


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After using the set for about three weeks, while also using witch hazel as a toner after cleansing, here’s my thoughts on these products:

  1. Pure Skin Face Cleanser: I am really happy I decided to try this, as I love foaming cleansers that are gentle, but also remove all makeup. Since I love both Clinique and CeraVe cleansers, this one had to at least perform similarly or exceed my expectations. I was first surprised how concentrated it was, as a little bit goes a very long way. Also, it’s pH-balanced formula has natural extracts, is fragrance-free, and zero parabens. It feels comforting and cushy, but rinses cleanly without stripping skin. Based on that, and the fact that my husband keeps stealing this in the shower, I think it’s become a new family favorite.
  2. Facial Radiance Pads: One of my favorite nightly treatments is a mild AHA application to help purify, exfoliate, even out, and brighten skin overnight. These are super convenient in application, and remind me of the Altchek MD Glycolic Pads that I’ve used before and like. What is great with these is that the 28 day supply of pads is a convenient travel-size, and I’ve already used it a few times on weekend trips. My skin felt comfortable after applying after witch hazel, and prior to moisturizing. In the morning, my skin felt soft, brighter, and I’m starting to see some darker spots fade. This formula combines lactic and glycolic AHA’s, plus contains similar skin-loving extracts as the cleanser, without fragrance or parabens. Loving these so far, and the full-size prize is very reasonable at $30 for 60 pads.
  3. Ultra Repair Cream: This moisturizer is appropriate for any skin type, but especially cares for the hyper-sensitive, eczema sufferers, or any skin type that is dry, overstressed and in need of calming hydration. The formula also combines natural extracts, contains zero fragrances or parabens, but is also very concentrated. It’s appropriate for face, body, or hands. I’ve been using this every night with the other products above, as I use the Olay Complete SPF 15 moisturizer during the day. And my skin continues to feel great, as I’ve raved about in previous posts! I love how the antioxidant and ceramide-3 blend is anti-aging, yet also builds the skin’s natural defenses and strengthens the moisture-barrier. This size was incredibly convenient to take with me on weekend trips as an all-purpose moisturizer.

If I were to buy all of these individually, it would have been $90 for the normal full sizes. But for $30, this was a great way to enjoy a product I already love, plus get to try two new options from this brand for a month. Through this little experiment, I have even more respect for the brand, as I can tell the science and research they have put into these products are really innovative. I like the blend of nature and science, as it creates formula combinations for sensitive skin to receive the special care it needs.

I truly hope this review helps, as I think many people (men and women) can be frustrated by the amount of skincare choices out there – but knowing what to look for, and that these value kits can be a great option to try, helps in narrowing down selections while sticking to your budget. Plus, if you purchase from a known retailer, you can often return a kit if it just doesn’t work out for you.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

 

Beauty Topic: Post Earth Day-inspired beauty picks for sensitive skin

In honor of our recently celebrated Earth Day, I wanted to tackle a question that seems to come up every now and then: “if I use all-natural bath and beauty products, then I’ll be healthier, right”? Well, if you are a severe allergy sufferer, then that may not be the case. While there is a significant amount of solid research that shows skin and hair absolutely utilize naturally-based products better, I caution everyone to do their research on what’s INSIDE the product first rather than just buying into the marketing that makes you feel the “need” to get it. For example, if you suffer from allergic reactions to bee stings (like carrying around an Epi-pen just in case), then you should most likely avoid any bee-based products that feature royal jelly, beeswax and honey. It’s not that those products are bad in any way, but it’s more of a personal responsibility to ensure that you don’t end up in the emergency room for a reaction because you had to try the latest bee-sting beauty trend. Same for those with shellfish allergies – it’s best to avoid marine or ocean-based beauty and bath products, as iodine naturally found in algae (a common antioxidant ingredient) could trigger reactions. Similarly for products containing herbal extracts. I feel bad for my family members and friends who feel that the first few days of Spring come with a bit of anxiety – swollen eyes, itchy skin and constant sneezing is not a fun way to spend a bright sunny day outdoors when the pollen count is high. My advice is to research and balance your approach if you want to use more natural beauty products, but don’t want to add additional suffering from allergies and hyper-sensitive skin reactions.

There are plenty of great brands out that offer deeply researched and effective formulas, and have Earth-friendly business practices. But unfortunately many of the “natural” brands are charging a premium for commonly known natural ingredients, which can make it difficult to use regularly. Case in point, some of the very best natural ingredients for beauty (coconut oil, witch hazel, olive oil, Epsom salts) can come right from your pantry or grocery store, without crazy price tags attached to them.

Why are allergies such a concern in beauty products? Because your skin absorbs what is put on top of it. Plain and simple. And your allergies can be dramatically affected based on what products you choose to use, as your skin cells react with and utilize a product’s ingredients. You’ll notice that many products recommended by dermatologists or skincare clinics don’t tout “natural” claims. Estée Lauder, for instance, figured that out decades ago when she founded Clinique as a means to help women with allergies still achieve their beauty goals by being conscious of allergy-tested formulations.

But how do you figure out what to use, and start using more natural-based beauty in your daily regimen? Best thing is to write down what you know you are allergic to or have had reaction to. This will help you weed out the brands, simply by understanding their product claims. (Bees and marine ingredients, for example) The other advice I have is to look at the brands that have trusted formulas, and are sold at retailers that have dedicated categories for natural products. ULTA, Whole Foods, and Amazon all have categories you can search through to find brands and products you want to try. My last piece of advice is NOT to worry about getting natural-based products because they simply smell good. Synthetic fragrances are the first allergen I avoid in a product, and sadly are used in some “natural” brands to make the scent even more noticeable or potent. If you want a naturally-scented product, look for those that have essential oil blends as their fragrance – these oils will provide more benefit to you in addition to smelling great.

I’ll admit I don’t have a bee or a shellfish allergy, but I have a lot of pollen allergies. Plus, I have hyper-sensitive skin that easily reacts to extremely active essential oils, like peppermint. Below are a just a few of my favorite natural-based products (clockwise), based on my known allergies and product-selecting criteria:


1) Witch Hazel – This natural extract is a key ingredient in a ton of beauty products, and often makes up the main ingredient in toners. But the best thing is the real stuff, without any added oils or scents. Used daily after cleansing, this extract is known for soothing and combating everything from irritation, bug bites, acne, inflammation, sores, and blisters. Plus, it removes any remaining traces of cleanser, makeup, dirt and oil. For around $5 and under, it’s one of the best products to use for sensitive skin. 

2) Goddess Garden Organics Baby Sunscreen Stick – It’s very important to replace your sunscreen to ensure it hasn’t expired. And it’s even more important to not use synthetic sunscreens, as those often cause reactions or rashes. What I really like about this is that it’s waterproof, broad-spectrum SPF 30, and is scent-free. Plus, it uses micronized physical sunscreens of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, so it goes on sheer, not chalky white. Use on ears, noses, cheeks, forehead and chests – or also on the lips in a pinch.

3) Eco Lips Zinc Sunscreen SPF 15 Lip Balm – natural zinc is a much safer alternative to chemically-based sunscreens. You are much less likely to develop a reaction by using a physical sunscreen, such as zinc or titanium dioxide. This formula is awesome, since I like and can tolerate the natural mint flavoring, but also love the hydrating blend of cocoa butter and coconut oil. It’s great for men and women, since skin cancer is a concern for all ages and genders. I keep this in my bag year round, and especially in the summer months when my sailing season starts up.

4) Burt’s Bees lip gloss and lip stick – not only are these beauty-award winning (2016 Allure Best of Beauty for the lipstick) and feature a beautiful range of shades, but the formulas are amazing. My favorite shades are Blush Basin (lipstick) and Rosy Dawn (lipgloss), as they are great everyday pinky-peach neutrals. I love how the gloss glides on with a hint of shimmer but is not sticky, and the lipstick gives an opaque, satin finish while still hydrating. Both are 100% natural, feature a blend of beeswax and other oils, plus are long-wearing. If you are looking for high performance yet natural-based ingredient formulas, then make these your go-to.

5) Aveeno Ultra-calming nourishing night cream – for a drugstore brand, Aveeno delivers great formulas that utilize oats, which is a fantastic ingredient for hyper-sensitive skin. This night cream also contains feverfew, which calms redness. I really like this product when my skin feels overstressed and delicate. 

6) Shea Moisture African Black Soap Body Wash and Sacha Inchi Oil Omega 3, 6, 9 Rescue Body Lotion – these two products are my absolute favorite from this brand. Shea Moisture is an impressive company, by providing naturally-based formulas that are high-performing, and yet very reasonably priced. I’ve raved about their African Black Soap formula before, which is fantastic for men and women, especially coming into summer. African Black Soap uses charcoal to naturally deodorize, and oats to soothe and calm irritated skin. Have a sunburn? Then use this body wash to care for skin, while not using irritating detergents and fragrances found in most commercial body washes. The Omega 3,6,9 lotion is also fantastic for soothing raw or dry, cracked skin. The scent is subtle, and comes from natural blends of essential oils. Omega 3, 6, 9 are essential fatty acids that help with skin health, by repairing and protecting the moisture barrier naturally found in skin cells. What I liked about this brand is that they don’t heavily scent their products, and deliver value through powerfully effective products.

7) Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner – with a formula that is 99.9% natural, this is one of the original products in the Burt’s Bees skincare lineup, and is a great option for very dry and sensitive skin types. Rosewater has been used for centuries in skincare and bath products, due to it’s mildly astringent and soothing properties. It’s great for skin that is stressed, showing early signs of aging, or in need of extra-special soothing care. Both men and women can benefit, especially men who suffer from razor-burn. Use daily after cleansing, and prior to moisturizing.

8) Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value fragrance-free hand soap – this is a great alternative to harsh and anti-bacterial hand soaps for use in your home. Contrary to popular belief, anti-bacterial ingredients aren’t the best for your daily use, and can often cause rash and irritation. Also, with the amount of hand-washing that you normally do, it’s best to choose something that truly deep cleans gently, rather than creates potential reactions. This product is free of parabens, lanolin, preservatives and other ingredients that be irritating.

These are just a few of my favorites, and the reasons why behind them due to their benefits and formulas. Biggest tip is to check the ingredients of any product, and also research the brand’s business practices if you are conscious about Earth-friendly practices. I’m in process of testing some other brands, so I’ll check back with my reviews of those soon. Cheers!

© 2017 28daysbeauty

 

 

 

Beauty Topic: Buying Beauty in bulk at Costco

I’ll admit that I don’t really like going to super-mega-crazy-big-warehouse stores. I think they are rather overwhelming, not quick or easy to shop, and too often I lose my patience dodging the people who aren’t paying attention in pushing their shopping carts. Nevertheless, I find Costco is worth a trip every 3 months or so, but I plan my visit strategically. Only get what we need, stick to the list, and try to avoid going on a Saturday. One of the departments that I always visit at Costco is the beauty area, as they have fantastic deals on products that my family and I use everyday. Here’s an example of a typical Costco haul of mine, and why I love it:

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Almost every product you see here is something that I’ve already blogged about in prior posts. But what is awesome about Costco is that each of these products you see comes in multi-packs – so you aren’t just getting one of something. Here’s what I buy:

  1. Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer SPF 15 Sensitive Skin: this is my favorite daytime moisturizer, and I can get a 2-pack of BIG bottles (6 oz) instead of the usual 4 oz bottles at my local Target. Per ounce, the Costco deal is better. Plus, my pale family members and I go through this stuff like crazy, so a 2-pack is perfect for about 3 months’ use.
  2. Simple Micellar Cleansing Water: I just about flipped out when I saw that Costco started carrying kits of my favorite Micellar Water. Inside this box, there’s 3 bottles, one being travel-sized. The larger bottle (13.5 oz) is bigger than what you can get in most big box stores, so you get lot for your money. This stuff is great year round for makeup removal and soothing cleansing of irritated skin. If you’re by the pool this summer, this is a great cleanser to gently remove chlorine and other irritants off of skin quickly. Micellar Water also breaks down SPF, so men and women can use them to help deep clean skin and remove stubborn SPF residue.
  3. Swisspers Cotton Rounds: Costco has big packs of these sleeves, with 100 count of cotton rounds in each. These really are some of the gentlest, cushiest cotton rounds on the market, and they go great with the Simple Micellar Water. For the money, a pack of these is a great value and easy to stockpile in your closet or basement.
  4. Kirkland Daily Facial Towelettes: Kirkland is Costco’s own private brand, and they’ve created a strong contender in the makeup removal game with these towelettes. They do have a little bit of fragrance in them, so if you do have sensitivities to fragrance, then I recommend being cautious about using. But if you don’t have extremely sensitive skin, then these are a great bargain for a box of these packs of towelettes. They also have 2 travel-packs in the box, which are great for gym bags too.
  5. Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap: Oh Dove…how loved you are. I can get a huge pack of these bars for a little bit more of what I would pay for a smaller pack at mass retailers. Having a big pack of these at home comes in handy, as schedules get busy and these bars can do double-duty as body wash, hand soaps and facial cleaners, plus are gentle and effective enough for the whole family.

Many women worried about skincare not being effective enough, or giving them results, if they don’t come with a hefty price tag. These basics are beauty workhorses, and having a good stash of these products that are reliable is a great way to not feel panicked when one starts running low – especially when you get them at a great value. Plus, they are safe for the whole family, which makes your dollar stretch farther. I didn’t even list the 9-packs of EOS lip balms (which are another great item to snag at Costco) or the twin-packs of Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. If you have a Costco near you, I recommend making a trip to see what favorites you may find. My cart typically consists of K-cups, beauty products, paper towels, laundry detergent, and a few bottles of rosé. Hey, bulk shopping may not be glamorous, but it’s convenient when it features brands that deliver and gives you more time in the long run to enjoy things you’d rather be doing!

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: Wantable.com beauty box finds

I am no stranger to beauty box subscription services, but I feel that there are definitely enough variations and choices now that can fit whatever level of comfort you may have to trying new products. My challenge is being able to try or use up the products fast enough before another box arrives – therefore, this blog post is a bit behind schedule as I needed more time to actually use and try the latest box that I’ve decided to test. The beauty box I tested in the month of March is from Wantable.com, a company local to me and one that has been around since 2012. I was excited to try this, as I knew it would contain more indie brands, and not be similar to IPSY, which features mostly big retail brands that I can easily get elsewhere. The box price was just over $40, but that was the total of the products at half their cost. Let’s take a look at what arrived, based on my personalized bio/profile:

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From the Top:

  1. IBY Beauty Mascara – IBY stands for “Inspired by You”, and I’m really liking this formula. The brush is a large bristle brush, not silicone, and the shade is very highly pigmented. Rich with Vitamin E, this formula is based on natural ingredients and is paraben-free. I took this with me on vacation two weeks ago to Hilton Head, SC, and the formula held up to humidity without flaking or smudging.
  2. Elizabeth Mott Queen of the Fill tinted brow gel – this product is basically a tiny mascara for brows, which gives control, fills in sparse areas, and creates a fuller look. This style of brow product has become super popular in recent years, and is a bit different to master than a brow pencil. But kudos to the Wantable stylist for getting me a great shade based on my profile – it’s long wearing, and super buildable.
  3. Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass fabulous lip & cheek stain – I’ll admit that even though this isn’t a new product concept (Benefit and TheBalm have been pros at this for years), I really liked this formula. The sheer, rich cherry color blended in well with my skin tone to create a natural looking blush, and a pretty pink matte lip shade. I layered a light opalescent lip gloss over this, and was able to flex the shade from matte to shimmery in seconds.
  4. Spellbound Nail Lacquer by Liberty Republic – Jordan Liberty is an LA-based makeup artist and educator, and his products have received a lot of buzz and awards. I chose to get a pedicure with this coral shade ‘Snap Dragon’ for our South Carolina vacation, and I’m loving the formula so far. The formula acts like gel, has a true color pay-off, and is long-wearing.

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It was fun to give this service a try, and I’ll consider them again in the future. If you are more into independent beauty brands, I recommend giving them a try as I think you’ll have fun with discovering their picks. Their website had a different functionality than Julep, Birchbox or IPSY, but you can build your custom profile to match your preferences on what you want to receive. They also provide skincare in addition to makeup. Just be prepared to receive full sizes of product, and not samples, which is a bit different from other beauty box subscriptions like Birchbox.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Product Review: Thrive Causemetics Triple Threat Color Stick & Infinity Waterproof Brow Liner

I am so excited to write this review, as I believe this brand is one to truly watch in the beauty industry. It’s not everyday that you come across emerging brands that have a purpose to serve the greater good and challenge the status quo, but they do exist! Think TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker, and FEED, for example.  Also, it’s rather rare in the beauty industry. Through the data algorithm magic of Facebook targeting, an ad came across my newsfeed that directly spoke to me – Thrive Causemetics, which gives a product to a woman in need for every beauty product purchased. The ad was bright in showcasing the eye-catching turquoise packaging, an on-trend highlighter for brows, and most importantly, the message had true heart. I clicked, read more, and ultimately purchased two products (which I knew I’d be able to use everyday) to get a better idea of who this newer brand is.

As I read more about the brand and company, I learned that it was founded by a woman who had real-world beauty and cosmetics industry experience, but who had also had experienced personal loss by losing a close friend to cancer. Through various giving partners, Thrive Causemetics donates product to women fighting cancer. This really spoke to me, as my own circle of friends and family has been affected by cancer, and I wanted to learn how she was making a difference with her brand. Products are named after people, are vegan, and made without the ingredients that have a lot of controversy around them in terms of safety (parabens, sulfates, etc). I’ve put a link at the bottom of this blog post that is their “About Us” page, as I feel like they tell their own story really well, and I’m happy to help spread the word.

I chose the Triple Threat Color Stick in “Maggie” (a rosy, berry pink), and the Infinity Waterproof Brow Liner in “Christina” (a universally light blonde), and gave them a try during the month of February. Read on for the details!

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Triple Treat Color Stick and Infinity Waterproof Brow Liner
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“Maggie” and “Christina” shades

First off, I LOVE the packaging because it’s both useful and easy to use. Each product has an attached brush, and the Color Stick’s brush does not face the product. This is great, because I can easily cap the end of the color/product, and spray clean the brush to let air dry. This is huge for hygiene, because I really dislike products that have a brush constantly in contact with the powder or cream product – that breeds bacteria, which leads to breakouts. So, much applause for the Thrive team to use smart packaging! The tiny kabuki brush blends the “Maggie” cream blush easily – just swipe the product on your cheeks, and use the kabuki to blend in circles. Or swipe the color on your lips, for a very pretty lip color – it applies just like lipstick! The Brow Liner twists up to give just the right amount of color, plus the spoolie brush on the end easily blends color in and controls brow hairs.

Second, the formulas rock. The color payoff is beautiful, and is true to what you see. The “Maggie” shade has just the slightest bit of shimmer, but looks natural and is long-wearing. Don’t let the intense bright pink shade fool you – the brighter the color the more natural the blush looks on cheeks. It’s a moisturizing and non-sticky lip color as well, and it is definitely on-trend right now with achieving the mono-chromatic look. The “Christina” shade went on smoothly, blended in perfectly with my brow hair, and had just enough wax to control brows all day.

I can’t wait to order more from this brand, and have also joined their lab to help answer questions as they develop future products. They have a fun yet sincere approach to their brand, and I appreciate their sense of duty to give back. As promised, click here to read more about them. As a veteran of the beauty industry, I really appreciate what they are doing since it’s a different approach to producing product and is making a difference in women’s lives.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

Beauty topic: Combat dry skin

In the dead of winter, the combination of moving in and out of heated buildings and wind chills outdoors take a toll on everyone’s skin. Static electricity also spikes, which makes your hair and clothing a mess. And to make it worse, if you catch a bad cold or the flu, your nose and lips can get irritated or cracked easily from the amount of medication or tissues you go through. There are a few quick and easy ways to combat dry skin, especially to ensure you are taking proper care of your body’s largest organ.

Daily Care:

Even if you have oilier skin, there are certain ingredients in products that will exacerbate drier conditions and throw skin out of balance. During winter, it’s wise to switch up your daily routine from gel cleansers or topical drying agents (benzoyl peroxide, for example) to creamier formulas if your skin seems flaky or irritated. Unfortunately, no amount of makeup can easily cover up cracked or irritated skin – and in most cases can irritate it further. Maintaining moisture balance within your skin is one of the key ways to not only stay healthy (your skin blocks germs and bacteria from entering your body) but also a means to keep skin looking youthful. Skin that lacks moisture balance has telltale signs; lines and wrinkles, uneven tone and texture, loss of elasticity, flaking or cracking, and redness or irritation. Skin can also experience breakouts if the moisture barrier in the epidermis is out of balance.

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easy to use products to treat dry skin

I recommend switching to a creamier cleanser, such as CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser, as it helps to remove impurities and makeup, but contains ceramides to help maintain skin’s natural moisture barrier. A tip for use: use a makeup remover wipe or micellar water to pre-cleanse, then apply cleanser generously. Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat dry. Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap is also fantastic to use head to toe, as it moisturizes yet thoroughly cleanses. I do recommend using witch hazel as a toner after cleansing, as it helps soothe any irritation.

After cleansing and toning, apply a rich moisturizer that is suitable for any skin type: First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream. This moisturizer absorbs easily, but will not make combination or oilier skin feel greasy. It calms redness and irritation, and can be layered to build hydration for severely dry skin. Plus, you can use it head to toe! It is also safe for several skin issues, including treating eczema.

For cracked skin, one of my favorite treatments is Altchek MD’s Doctor’s Skin Remedy balm. This is amazing for lips, cuticles, hands, tips of nose, or any where skin feels severely dry. It also helps tame flyaways at your hairline, and smooth down unruly brows. I keep a tube in my handbag from September through May, since the Midwest is known for crazy weather conditions and it’s an awesome multi-purpose skincare product.

Special treatments:

One other great treatment to incorporate into your routine is a facial mist. One of my favorites is Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir, which contains brightening, hydrating and anti-aging antioxidant ingredients. The brand is known for incorporating polyphenols from grapes into it’s skincare line, which fight aging. This can be misted onto skin at any time, sets makeup, and is especially great at night – layer it underneath your moisturizer and wake up to glowing skin. Head’s up to guys too – this feels great and soothing to the face after shaving.

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one of my favorite facial mists!

If you are especially dry, I do recommend taking a cue right from your kitchen and applying either organic coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil onto clean skin. Both oils mimic skin’s own natural sebum, and are readily absorbed to heal. I recommend using them at night, since makeup will tend to slide right off skin if applied over the oils.

For acne sufferers, you may want to give benzoyl peroxides a break if skin is extremely red or irritated. Salicylic acid acne treatments are easier on the skin, and do not dry out the skin a much as benzoyl peroxide can. Clean & Clear makes a great spot treatment, with 2% Salicylic acid, which is considered a very effective strength.

Since we have more weeks of winter left, it’s crucial to make sure you take care of your skin. Not only will it help keep you healthier, it will make your transition into spring and warmer weather that much easier. Each of these products are unisex, and so I encourage everyone to take some time to care for themselves a bit more – you’ll feel more comfortable and confident even when the weather outside is frightful.

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