Midsummer Empties

Hello everyone!

Happy August!

I’ve been waiting until the end of July to post about my empty products so far.

Maybe a kind of weird thing to post about, but I feel that after I’ve used a full product, then I can truly review it and decide whether I want to purchase it again or not.

SO, since the beginning of summer I’ve kept a basket in my linen closet for my empty beauty bottles, and I’ve stocked up a few since then. Let’s take a look and get started!

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Here’s the whole basket. It looks like a lot!! But truth be told I almost never buy anything full price, and a few of those things are birthday gifts from James. Shower products:

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First Botany Cosmeceuticals Pure 24K Gold Scrub

First of all, I don’t know what type of name “cosmeceuticals” is, and it took a while for me to type it down. This was a gift from James for my birthday, and as far as body scrubs go, I liked this one. It was a physical exfoliant and the exfoliants were pretty rough and big, much bigger than sugar. It was a beautiful gold color, but the problem was that rubbing it on my body, my hands became numb because the texture was so rough.

Olay Fresh Outlast Cooling White Strawberry and Mint Body Wash

Once again, don’t know what white strawberry is, but this was a pretty good body wash. I’m not picky about body washes and I think James actually picked it out, but we both agreed the smell was good.

Bliss SuperSized Grapefruit and Aloe Body Butter

This was also a gift from James, but I asked specifically for this one. It’s a very large but very expensive lotion. I think that size (which I cut in half to scrape out the last bits) is 29 or so dollars.

I’m not a fan of body butter but I was introduced to this by my exchange student in high school. It soaks in right away, is SUPER hydrating for my dinosaur skin legs and it smells AMAZING. I LOVE grapefruit smells! A little bit goes a long way. After every shower I would just soak my legs in it, and it just feels amazing. Whenever anyone asks for a lotion, I ALWAYS suggest this one!

Bath and Body Works Sparkling Lemonchello Shower Gel

This. Smells. So. Good. I’m not shy about telling literally everyone that my favorite scent is lemon. So when I went to BBW for their semi-annual sale, I was PRETTY upset to see that they are discontinuing this whole line. Not so upset to see that it was all 75% off. So I bought two of these, a lotion, and a spray. I’m on the second shower gel now and I just don’t know what I will do when I’m done with it.

Bath Products:

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Sweet Pea and Peony Candle

This was from the dollar shelves at target and I think it was actually a dollar. It smelled so good! I’m really sad that the wick was in such bad shape that it puckered out when there was still quite a bit of candle left. Oh well, I didn’t waste much money on it.

Fleur D’Extase Bath Bombs

This was nine bath bombs from James for my birthday as well. They all had different flavors like “lemongrass” and “vanilla” so of course I loved it. They were full of essential oils so they didn’t foam much but they made the bath feel silky smooth.

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Elf Hydrating Eye Cream

Eh, it was 8 dollars, and it was okay. Not too thick, didn’t smell like anything, I didn’t see any difference, felt like I was just putting a regular moisturizer on.

Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Hydrating Cloud Cream

You can just tell from the name that this product sucks. It’s from one of those overpriced “I am a doctor so I know skin” brands that relies solely on the letters “MD” to legitimize their entire brand. The first few times I wore it I broke out. I didn’t like the texture, it felt heavy even though it was cloud cream, and it was hard to layer things on top of it. I actually did stop using it for a while but decided to stick it out because I don’t like wasting product. It was a gratis gift from Ulta, so I didn’t pay the $80. I LITERALLY would never. for any product.

Smack Beauty Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Serum

This was a bust from the beginning and I knew it. I bought it for $4 at TJ Maxx, just to try it and because retinol products have a tendency to be expensive (not because retinol itself it expensive, it is actually very cheap, but they market it to older women with money). It burned the first time I put it on, which is very normal, but after that it LITERALLY had no effect on my skin. It was a clear gel form and I used it up fairly fast, even with only using it once a day.

TonyMoly ChokChok Green Tea Watery Essence

This was a good product, and I really liked it, though at times I felt like it was just a watery moisturizer. It smelled great, felt great, and I would like to think it helped with my acne. HOWEVER this product (which I got 60% off at Ulta) is being discontinued.

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Ah, last but not least, the ultimate ALL TIME winners (beside the Burt’s Bees product sry)

Thayers Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol Free Rose Petal Toner

BANG!!!!! This stuff is amazing! Not astringant at all, helps with pore size and redness, super soothing, $10 at Target, lasts forever, did WONDERS on my skin as far as even-toneness and getting rid of acne. I LOVE it I want to buy it again (but won’t right now because I got the Clarifying Lotion from Clinique for free. More on that later. I like it? but it is 100% different than this toner).

Yes To Coconuts Hydrates and Restores Micellar Cleaning Water

Well, here’s the low down, kids. My body is really doing a number on me and my uterus decided to let the dogs out on my face, and I’ve been broken out for about a week. Doesn’t help that I’m having to try all these new foundations for work almost every day. I am constantly thinking back to the days when the Yes to Coconuts was doing me right and all my issues were about what lip/eye to wear that day. Now I’m using the Formula 10.0.6 one and I don’t like it nearly as much. Yes to Coconuts… take me back!

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil

Fail. I used a cleansing oil in Korea that was in a dark brown bottle, but I don’t remember who it was from or where it was from but I think it was Japanese and GIRL it changed my life. It was smooth, it foamed, it was gentle and oily enough to break down makeup but not too oily to be messy and never come off. That’s what I want. Not this! This was like straight up oil. Is it called Burt’s Bees Oil? No, it’s called Cleansing oil. Where is my cleanse? Where is my light suds? where is my smooth, clean, fresh feeling after using? NOT HERE.

Tony Moly Cream Foam Cleanser

I got two of these with two peeling lotions in a free GWP when I was in Korea and can you believe it?? I somehow just finished the second one. I think I used some other things in between and then rediscovered this. It is creamy, it is foamy, it feels amazing. Don’t leave it in a hot car because then it gets weird. But you can deal with it. It is a great product and it is sadly hard to find things like this here. Not a makeup remover, but a cream foamer. Not an acne product, but a cream foamer. Usually they are makeup removers or acne products, there’s not really much in between here.

Well that’s all folks!

Until next time!

-Michelle

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Complex Problems with Complex Solutions

Hello all, it’s been a while!

I am an accomplished adult these days,

Michelle:

married,

owning house,

has credit card which she just paid off 100% yesterday,

full time job

commission and stuff

up for a promotion at work.

 

Life is so fast, I can’t believe it. Tomorrow is James and I anniversary. I was originally going to stop blogging on that day (my hilarious one where I was going to post every day), but instead I have failed that like a pro and will continue to blog about things that are awesome when I have time.

I will update on my reading list at the end of next month (August), when summer is over. So far, it’s going badly, I’ve added some books and started about three and not finished any of them because I hated them. I decided I would let myself not finish them because they are terrible and make me not like reading.)

So, for today I want to touch on a subject that I have heard about time and time again (not just from family members but from people at work two).

That subject is an issue of skin (as usual).

Skin is the largest organ in the body, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the same all over. Skin can create calluses, thin hairs, thick hairs, big pores, small pores, dryness, oiliness, flakiness, redness, psoriasis, eczema, etc ALL on one human body. There are a million reasons for skin getting this way and that, most commonly pollution, the brightness of the sun, intake of hormones, balance (or lack thereof) in diet, intake of water, extreme weather, and, you guessed it, PRODUCTS.

Even if you are being healthy and only eating good things and not being out in the sun much, your skin still has a genetic predisposition to be on the oily or dry side. On top of that, it is constantly aging. Even if you do everything, it’s still going to age, it’s just going to age slower. It is impossible to stop aging. And it is (sorry) impossible to REVERSE aging (for good).

Anyway kids, all I mean to say is you can google ingredients all day, but you have to be satisfied at some point. Whether it be coconut oil (yikes) or Tom Ford, if you are satisfied with the way your product is working for your skin, don’t change it and keep with it.

If you aren’t satisfied, maybe allow yourself to try something new and search among things that people with similar skin have loved. Sometimes dermatologists who spend millions on research have a kind of good idea about what might be okay for your skin sometimes.

Complex problems with our skin take complex solutions. Things can’t always just be solved by coconut oil.

 

Post on eye creams coming soon.

-Michelle

Clinique Clarifying Lotion Ingredient Breakdown

Hello all!

Back at it again with another Clinique post. Sorry! I can really get behind this brand but not just that, it’s because of this brand and through this brand that I’m learning so much. I spend a lot of my time looking at the ingredient lists of our products and then looking them up later (“grape seed oil? What’s that do?” “seaweed extract? But why?”). It’s great because some of these are common ingredients in a lot of skin care products from other brands, and some are what set Clinique apart.

One interesting question is that recently I was talking to my mom about the three step routine and she expressed somewhat of an interest in buying the products but she said, specifically about the Clarifying Lotion, “what is the second ingredient after water? What are the active ingredients, I don’t want to put anything on my skin that I couldn’t put in my mouth.”

Well, That’s a tall order, but thankfully my mom has great skin with almost no problems so she doesn’t have to worry much about putting things on it that she wouldn’t put in her body.

There are a few reasons why I think it’s okay to put some things on your body that you wouldn’t/couldn’t eat (this might ruffle some feathers, sorry):

  1. Acne. Acne is a skin bacterial problem and bacterial problems can need strong solutions. Acids, astringents, highly concentrated alcohol, all things you should not be putting in your mouth.
  2. Skin holes are small. Simply put, skin holes are just… small. By this I mainly mean that things that are often taken orally are way too big to be applied topically and successfully absorbed into the skin. Ever looked on your cleanser, seen a word you didn’t recognize on the ingredient list, googled it, and it was something simple that you know really well? The most likely reason why it has a different name is because it is a reformulated version that has been made literally more fine so that it can fit into the deeper layers of the skin tissue. Especially products meant for the face are made so fine and the active ingredients are in such a small amount that taking it orally every day would not make a difference to your body at all. It wouldn’t be good, it wouldn’t be bad, it would probably be unnoticeable.
  3. There are a lot of things I would put in my skin that I would NOT put ON my skin. For example: Cinnamon, hot sauce, vinegar, lemon, etc.

 

But, to answer moms question about the ingredients, I’ve actually researched (or had previous knowledge) about all of the ingredients. Don’t worry, it’s a short list.

Keep in mind that the ingredients vary for all four of the clarifying lotions. 1.0 is formulated with no alcohol at all for extremely sensitive skin, the second has menthol, and the last two have much higher concentrations of alcohol (for more oily skin it isn’t harmful).

Ingredients of #2 Clarifying Lotion (formulated for Dry Combination skin):

  1. Water
  2. Alcohol Denat. – Otherwise known as denatured alcohol, is simply alcohol with a denaturant added to it. A denaturant is an ingredient of extremely bitter taste, rendering the alcohol undrinkable, and therefore untaxable as alcohol. Most cosmetic alcohol is alcohol denat. as it is cheaper. You may hear people saying this and that about alcohol being so bad for your skin, and yes, it does dry out the skin, but that isn’t all bad. Alcohol in high concentrations like the toners from the ’70’s and fragrances are things that shouldn’t be put on the skin. Alcohol in a low concentration, such as in a toning product these days, is there to cleanse the skin, not over-dry it.
  3. Glycerin – a sweet tasting non-toxic viscous, odorless, colorless liquid. This is the gel part of gel pills. It is water soluble, and works wonders as a lubricant and moisturizer for the skin. It is one of the few ingredients that can be completely liquid and still hold moisture in the skin. It is extracted most commonly from soybeans.
  4. Witch Hazel – I love witch hazel! This is from the witch hazel shrub. Sometimes on ingredient lists, this just shows up under the latin name of the shrub – hamamelis virginiana. The is the most awesomest ingredient! Some people use straight up witch hazel as a toner. This ingredient is great for healing scars and microdermabrasions, tightening pores, lifting skin, smoothing fine-lines and evening skin tone. If you have sensitive skin, witch hazel is also a great ingredient to help calm down your skin and get rid of redness. No matter the toner you use, I would alway suggest one with witch hazel!
  5. Menthol – The #2 Clarifying Lotion is the only one with menthol, and it’s one of the reasons I picked this one (I should probably technically be in the #3 category). Menthol is most commonly from MINT. It’s in toothpastes, gums, mints, mouth wash, cough drops, and aftershaves. This is mostly there for the feel. It gives a slight tingle, making the skin feel more refreshed and “cleaned out”. If you have cuts on your face or acne it might burn for a second, but in the long run it will help with the wound, just like it does with aftershaves.
  6. Acetyle Glucosamine – This is the main exfoliant ingredient. It increases the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin and is used in hospitals on areas before and after surgery, as it helps speeding up the healing process. It cleans out the pores and dead skin and almost “preps” it for healthy growth and reproduction.
  7. Trehalose – This helps to speed along the dehydration/rehydration process of skin cells, allowing the cells to go through their normal life cycles without harming new cells, as it has high water retention capabilities. This means it makes production easier, smoother, and therefore quicker. Common anti-aging ingredient.
  8. Sodium Hyaluronate – I’ve learned this even since my post a few days ago, that sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid are different. Sodium hyaluronate is the small, fine, topically absorbable version of hyaluronic acid, something that is usually taken orally. Check out my hyaluronic acid post to find out more about this ingredient. Long story short: it’s great.
  9. Butylene Glycol – makes a thinner, more liquidy product, helps easier deliver other ingredients into the skin. In small amounts in most liquid makeup it is used and explained as a “skin penetrater. It helps the other things work how they need to.
  10. Sodium Biocarbinate – the last ingredient before the coloring. Often used in toothpaste to make teeth whiter, also more understandably used as a mild disinfectant. It is in baking soda and deodorant and is used as in ingredient in neti-potting. It is most likely added for it’s disinfectant properties.

 

And that’s it folks! (beside red 33, red 6, and violet 2). Hope you enjoyed this. This isn’t really to get you to use the product, I myself haven’t even used it that many times, so I can’t really truly recommend it. I just want to increase awareness about skin care products and ingredients. What are those long names, why are they in there, what do they mean? That’s all I’m trying to do (even though I am bad at science and tried to include as little science as possible so this would still be fun for me).

 

Hope that answered your question, mom

 

Until next time!

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Life Update – Full Time Job

Hello Everyone!

Right now I’m sitting in my living room in the dark, its about 9PM. I just ate a pot of ramen and now I’m drinking a huge yeti-full of ice water. I just took a bath and I got out completely overheated. So I’m sitting down in shorts and a T-shirt now, AC on blast, hair wet, still boiling. The ramen didn’t help either but I was hungry.

James has strep so our schedules have been extra off lately.

Today I don’t have much to say about beauty, but this is more of a life update kind of post.

I started my job at Macy’s about three weeks ago, and I’m working almost full time (it’s considered full time there if you work at least 30 hours a week. It isn’t extra fast paced, but I think they do this because being in contact customers and selling 40 hours a week produces more negative results than positive. Managers work 40+ hours a week but of course they don’t spend 100% of their time on the floor).

I’m working at the Clinique counter and so far I really love it. The crowd at Macy’s is different than the other stores I’ve worked at. Almost all women, I rarely see boyfriends, but sometimes husbands. Most of the pairs are mothers and daughters, and the average age of our customers is probably in the 40’s or 50’s. So, overall I’m less abused and more appreciated. I feel that since people know that working at the counter comes with a good amount of education, they are much more likely to trust me. At first, that was scary, but learning that just showing the confidence I already have in Clinique’s products, I can really allow clients to trust me, without thinking I will let them down.

Today I went to the first training I’ve ever been to. Of course my counter manager is training me every day, but once a year Clinique has one Strategy meeting in each major city to go over new products, trends, and to get everyone hyped for gift time and holiday. They talked a lot about foot traffic and how that’s a big problem in department stores today. Beside Sephora and Ulta (which are both doing GREAT), Clinique is selling only in department stores, so they rely on the foot traffic. A lot of the meeting was about connecting with “millennials”. I say that in quotes because it was definitely said in quotes. I’ve never hated the word millennials or understood why everyone hates millennials before now. It’s cause they are good at everything and have beat the system. Ha ha! Just kidding. What they HAVE done though is figured out to conduct 100% of their business without seeing another human being face-to-face because they know what they like/need/want without leaving the comfort of their homes. The whole thing was a bit depressing but the most depressing part was at the end our district trainer told us she was transferring to manage Clinique for Ulta. Well, if department stores were the titanic, she definitely jumped on one of the only life boats and we are all left to straggle on piano boards and bed frames. I’m not complaining through, I mean I did metaphorically jump from the life boat back onto the titanic if we are sticking with this comparison.

The future of companies that would do well apart from department stores (name brands like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Estee Lauder Companies, etc), they will end up making their own stores. Some of these places do have stores in big cities, (Clinique is not one of them), but they will have to create more. SHOPPING isn’t necessarily going down and Clinique’s numbers are not down, Just malls and department stores are down. Not to mention the main reason most of these places don’t have their own stand alone stores is just because baby boomers don’t like shopping at stand alone stores. Well, that time is over.

 

Honestly, I love the job though. I like my co-workers and I like helping people. I like being surrounded by skin care and makeup and I like helping people and being appreciated. I also like making money, of course. Things that aren’t so great is standing for a long time is really hard. The dress code is really strict so I pretty much can’t wear shoes that make standing not the worst thing ever. We can’t sit down or lean on the counters, so it’s definitely something to get used to. It contributes to me feeling more worn out when I get home though, especially after the drive.

This is my first full time job, and so it’s been pretty hard for me to adjust. I’ve worked 8 hour days before, but not multiple in a row. The main thing I don’t like about it is that it really takes away from my time with James. Since it’s a retail store, the hours are 10-8 or 9, so sometimes I don’t get home until 10 or later. Whereas James works essentially the same 7/8-4 times. So, in the morning I’m alone and in the evening he’s alone. James is bad at routine and feeding himself so sometimes I’ll come home and he hasn’t eaten anything, and sometimes I come home and he’s waiting for me to eat, and sometimes he’s just having ramen. I feel bad because even though we are working almost the same hours now, I still feel it’s somewhat of my duty to cook food for him, or that I’m letting him down if I’m not. Especially since he’s so bad at it himself, I feel extra bad. Going to work at 9:45 means I have to start getting ready at 7:15, so I can leave by 8:45. It’s harder for me to get up much earlier than that and prepare food because as I said, a lot of the time I’m not able to even get home until 10. I want to spend time with James so often won’t sleep until midnight or later. That makes waking up really hard!

So, getting into the swing of things is something that will just take time, but hopefully we will be able to do it. On top of that, I usually work at least one day of the weekend, so the one day we do get together, I want to spend with him since we didn’t get time during the week. So who get’s left out then? My friends! It’s a difficult cycle.

Wish I was better at cooking!

If anyone has any easy, quick super delicious meal ideas that I can make once and will last us forever, I would definitely appreciate it.

One more nice aspect though is that now that we are making more money, I don’t feel as bad getting Chipotle at least half the time I’ve craving it (like once a week).

 

LOOOOOOOOVE all of you. How do you deal with not having enough time with your spouse? How do you full time job? What are some tips and tricks for me to win at life?

Thank guys, you all rock.

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Hyaluronic Acid

Hello adoring fans.

Back at it again!

Today I’d like to talk about somewhat of a buzz word: hyaluronic acid. Recently at work I was asked to make a spread for the Trend Table, and I chose to focus on hyaluronic acid. I did a bit of research there and since I have done even more, as I learn more and more about it.

The basics.

Hyaluronic acid, sometimes written as Sodium hyaluronate, is a naturally occurring acid that acts as a lubricant in our joints. When people hear acid they are usually thinking of something strong and astringent, but this isn’t like that at all.

A prescription for hyaluronic acid (in the form of a pill) is not uncommon for people with joint pain. But other than that, HA can be found in lip balms, eye drops, and, of course, skin care.

So, HA is found in the joints, the eye-sockets, and the skin. But why is it in skin care if it’s a lubricant for joints? I mean, that’s weird.

Let me explain,

One of HAs many great qualities is that part of it’s job in lubrication is producing collagen and retaining moisture. Two GREAT things for the skin!

So, researchers started testing it out and seeing what all the benefits would be for skin care.

Turns out that HA can hold 1,000 times it’s weight in water, and it retains the water in the moisture barrier of the skin.

The moisture barrier is one of the outermost layers of the skin, and it is what protects the skin against the environment. When the moisture barrier is thin and fragile (dry) anything can penetrate the skins surface. This leads to problems like acne, dryness, oiliness, oversized pores, whiteheads/blackheads, discoloration, premature aging, and dullness.

HA comes in (in the form of your serum, moisturizer, what have you) and soaks into the skin and sticks there, plumping the skin up and not allowing any moisture to escape.

A common question that I receive about this is why would you need this unless you have extremely dry skin?

Well, wonderful question, but dry skin and dehydrated skin are two different things. It’s actually LIKELY that someone with oily skin has a damaged, thin, or fragile moisture barrier. The skin is producing more oils as a coping mechanism, to do it’s best to protect the skin. which coping mechanism your skin defaults to (whether it be producing extra oil or just drying out more) is based on genetics. The moisture barriers condition is based on environment. So, if someone says “my face is so oily, I need a light moisturizer or maybe no moisturizer at all.” No! Your skin is screaming out for some love and attention. A light moisturizer with hyaluronic acid will be just the thing for you!

 

With this new found information, I looked up all my moisturizers to see if they have hyaluronic acid.

My night cream from Fomula 10.0.6 (PM Perfecter) does not have it.

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My Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Hydrating Cloud Cream (not my favorite, but very expensive and was a gift), had it, and it was one of the first ingredients. This is an example of a cream that is very light, like a gel, but still packs a punch.

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My Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk also has it (not a surprise, Clinique is ALL about Hyaluronic acid these days). It is listed lower down as Sodium Hyaluronate.

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My Garnier SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream also doesn’t have it. After looking at the ingredient list on this (which I found on their website, as I threw away the box).

My St. Ives Collagen Elastin Cream also does not have it.

My Formula 10.0.6 Picture Perfect Day Moisturizer does not have it, and I couldn’t find the (English) ingredients lists anywhere for my TonyMoly products (my Lemon Brightening Lotion and Green Tea Essence).

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And, I think I’ve talked about this before. My Smash Beauty Retinol Serum. I found this at TJ Maxx and usually wouldn’t have brought this kind of product from a brand I’ve never heard about, but I was impressed by the ingredient list. It does have it! Lower down, listed as Hyaluronic Acid.

In the future I’m going to try to use more products with hyaluronic acid. I think it is really helpful for anti-aging and for just helping my skin. I suggest that everyone add a product with hyaluronic acid to their routine.

 

I hope to do more posts on ingredients. What is good, what is bad, what some words mean. I’m really interested!

 

Also I apologize for not posting for a long time. I know, terrible! My family-in-law came in town for the week of the 4th at the same time I started at the new job. Working full time is very…full time. When I get home I just want to spend time with James when I get home, since our schedules don’t match up. Not to mention he got strep throat and has been out for a few days now.

BUT I’M BACK!!

(no promises)

BUT I HOPE

(I will try)

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Bath Time!

I know, another late post, I’m terrible! Today both James and I were off work so he took me out on a date to the aquarium! It was so much fun, I LOVE fish, I LOVE swimming, I LOVE the ocean, and I LOVE aquariums. It wasn’t my first time at our aquarium but it was his, and it was really great. I was just wearing sandals though so by the time we got home, I was beat.

You know what that means..

bath time!!!

I love taking baths so much. Especially in the winter of course, there’s nothing to get you warm like a bath. I was really sad in Korea since I just had a shower and no bath! In the winter I probably take at least a bath every week or two.

When my feet hurt or when I’ve had a long day, I just run the bath, but I have a few products that I like using.

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First, I use some epsom salts. These are from Target, so they aren’t the great “Dr. Teals” brand. But they are great. I’ve used the lavender one before so today I went with the eucalyptus and spearmint one. It’s just two cups per bath that you sprinkle in before you get in. It’s pretty cheap and it smells great. It’s aroma therapy as well as great for soaking. Then,

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Let me mention once again how crazy I am for lemon scent. Here’s an example! I spray the room spray, then I use the shower gel as bubble bath (it works great and turns the bath blue for some reason). Then of course I use the lotion after I get out.

Then, just today I bought a mask from Burlington. I just picked it up, it was just 2.99 for the whole tube so I thought I would try it out.

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It’s not a brand I’ve ever heard of but I liked the smell and consistency and I’ve wanted a new clay mask for a while.

So, I put that on for the bath too. It said a thin layer but once I put it on it had a pretty thin consistency so I kind of piled it on and then I went ahead and put it on my neck too. If something isn’t too strong and isn’t a peel off, I like to put it on my neck too, since necks are too often neglected.

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if it gives you peace of mind, I was wearing a towel when I took these.

So, time for the bath!

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No candlelight, sorry. Candles are expensive and they give me headaches sometimes. I usually soak for 30-45 minutes, and I actually kept the mask on that whole time too.

Baths are so relaxing, I just laid there and watched YouTube videos. When I got out, I took the mask off and WOOOOOW my skin felt SO soft! Not just that but usually when I wash my face, after I’m done drying it my skin is a little red, just from being touched and  and having products put on and rubbed off. But when I used this, my face was so even-toned and plump. I can’t wait to use it again to see if the results continue!

Hope you guys enjoyed, sorry for the late post!

(Still technically Saturday).

@projectplanetleap on Instagram and Bloglovin’

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My Hair

Hello all! Today I’m going to talk about my hair!

I’ve had hair my whole life,

haha, just kidding (I mean I have).

When I was younger I had super fine almost white hair but as I grew older and I got more sun exposure, my hair has darkened to a dirty-copper-blonde. Right now my hair is 100% my natural hair color.

When I was about 13, I dyed my hair for the first time, and it was to go see one of the Harry Potter movies midnight premier. I don’t remember which movie it was, but all of my friends and I dressed up as characters and I went as Ginny Weasley. It was a temporary wash out red dye that lasted about three weeks. After that, I dyed it red for real, which turned to a copper. Then, I bleached it and continued to bleach it (about seven times in all over the course of about six months) until it was platinum blonde. I went on a small bender where the tips were pink, but since my hair was so damaged, the pink would stay in for a week tops. My hair felt like straw so I dyed it back to a color a bit darker than my natural color (my natural color is pretty much impossible to find in dye). I kept it that way for a while, dyed the underside pink at one point.

Then I continued to dye it every year or so, usually going with a reddish light brown. I liked to be a bit darker than my natural color (which even in the last few years has darkened more. It used to be much more DIRTY blonde, which I wasn’t a huge fan of)

The last time I dyed my hair was a year ago, but since then I cut my hair to a pixie cut which cut off all the dyed parts and have been natural since.

I’ve also cut my hair into a pixie three times in my life, and have had a bob for a while too. I’ve only been to a real salon once (I also went to a barber shop place to get my pixie cut. The lady was amazing and cut it with a straight blade, the whole thing cost 20 dollars).

I don’t cut my hair short because I love short hair. I love change, for sure, but mostly the reason I cut it is because my hair is easily damaged. I get a lot of split ends and dead hair and when my hair gets longer, I have really bad shedding. I also have psoriasis which I had when I was about 10, then it was gone but came back when I was 17 or so and has been getting worse since. Its’ only on my scalp but it causes me a lot of discomfort and makes me feel gross about my hair, so I cut it off a lot.

I think the bob look is best on me. I have a fairly long neck and really broad shoulders, so I’ve always thought longer hair looks kind of out of place on me, but a longer bob is good. Right now my bob is SHORT, since it’s still growing out from the pixie cut.

So, I cut my own hair. I have cut my own hair since I was probably 16. Before that, my sisters or mom cut my hair. Now, all my sisters and my mom all cut our own hair. Just recently one of my sisters (hey-yo Angela) met and we both cut the backs of each others hair. Since we both have shorter bob-like hair, it’s really really hard to cut the back! So that was really helpful and fun.

The first pixie cut I had was cut by Angela, then the next I cut myself, then, as I said, the third was cut by the barbershop lady. The second pixie was a mistake. Come to think of it they all probably were but with the last one I still looked like a girl.

So, today this is what my hair looks like. I just got out of the shower and blowdried it.

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If I want my bangs down, I HAVE to blowdry my hair right after I get out of the shower, which is really annoying! I think I look best when I wear bangs because my forehead is really huge. The top of my forehead to my brow bone is about the same length as my browbone to my lips. So. It is big. I don’t like blowdrying my hair down right after I get out of the shower because then it makes putting on makeup a lot harder. But, I have a really intense cowlick so I have to do it. The cowlick makes bangs really hard. Part of the reason my bangs are so thick is because I need the weight to hold the cowlick down. In case you are wondering, the cowlick is straight out of the ’70’s, it makes my hair go STRAIGHT back and then swoop around an a curl right in the middle. It is super great.

My hair is okay after I blowdry it except that both sides curl in the same direction. Meaning they both curl to the left. One side goes in, the other goes out. Like so:

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Ooh wow, looks great. So effortless and windblown!

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But why you curl out over here. Its mostly that one piece. I should cut that piece off. I always think that! But in reality my hair has done this since I was really young.

So, I straighten it.

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This is the straightener I’ve used for years. I got it from, again, Angela, for I think my 17th or 18th birthday.

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It takes about 5-10 minutes to straighten all of my hair. I curl the bangs a bit and then straighten both sides in and make them even.

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Wow! So much better. Usually I would leave it like this, but my work is super strict about keeping hair out of the face, and since I already have bangs AND I have a hard time keeping all my hair behind my ears so it can fall over my face, I pin it back.

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Ta-da! The final product! Now I’m off to work!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

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Combination Skin; Why & What to Do

Hello all!

Ooh, today was my first day on the floor. It wasn’t a long shift, but whenever I go a week or more of not standing a whole shift, when I get back into it, I get super sore! After a few days of getting into the swing of it, I’ll be fine! It’s just gonna hurt for a bit. Right now I’m laying with my feet up, so I’m okay.

Sorry the post is coming late in the day, I try to post around 3-4PM if I can, or earlier, but my schedule is so up the air lately (or, like, now I’m doing stuff), that it’s harder to post earlier in the day. Tomorrow however I will be posting earlier as I will be working until after my bedtime.

Anyway, to the post!!

Today we’re talking about the next skin type in the series, combination skin!

If you have combination skin, you are in the majority!

If you don’t have combination skin, don’t worry! Hopefully this post will still be informative.

If you don’t know your skin type.. don’t worry! I’ll talk about that too.

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This is a picture of My Bare Face, because I have combination skin! Also I have a cute bow. You’ve seen it a few times by now.

I’m just now noticing that the sides of my chin look VERY asymmetrical. great.

So, the determining factors of combination skin:

  1. no visible overly dry patches
  2. no overly red patches
  3. minimal flakiness
  4. medium/big pores on nose and sometimes cheeks
  5. oil production noticeable on nose and going on to cheeks, sometimes lower forehead as well
  6. jaw, chin, temples, apples of cheeks and upper forehead stay mostly dry and shine free throughout the day.
  7. makeup easily slides, wipes, or falls off only in center of face during the day
  8. face is easily sectioned into skin type zones. (for some it’s t-zone/everything else for some it’s nose and cheeks/everything else. Can be more than two zones.)

I can speak the best to this skin type since it is mine and has been for a few years now.

A way to regulate your skin is to use mild products. Don’t strip it too much or scrub too much. It could cause the oily places to get more oily and the dry places to get damaged. Try a nice oil cleanser first. They can take a bit to get used to since they are oil based, but don’t worry! They will help hydrate your dry skin and keep your more oily spots under control. Then I use micellar water which doesn’t strip my skin but takes off the last of the makeup or oily grossness from the night. Then I go in with a mild foam cleanser to clean out my pores. Then a witch hazel toner for evening my skin tone and tightening my pores/skin, as well as healing old scares. Then a medium to heavy moisturizer. I don’t shy away from heavy moisturizers even though I have an oily nose. Maybe I should? But I think they really help my overall skin texture and elasticity. I use a collagen moisturizer and then a night cream on top at night. Don’t forget eye cream! Keep those sensitive, thin-skinned and over-worked eyes moisturized and rested with a firming, tightening and soothing eye cream.

That’s that! Stay away from peeling masks, but you can use sheet, mud, and clay masks. The masks that have different formulas for different zones of the face are the best!

Don’t forget SPF as sun damage will damage your skin, creating more issues (whether it be dryness, oiliness, spots, sagging, etc… who knows what will show up first? Just your genes!

When I wear makeup, I wear makeup for combination/dry skin. Then I use an eyeshadow primer (weird I know, but it works) on my nose, with a pore perfecting primer on top. This first blocks your pores from excreting oils, then fills them. This is not really good for your skin, so be careful to wash it thoroughly at night (another reason my skincare is so in-depth).

Good luck!

and, on another note,

If you don’t know your skin type:

That doesn’t mean you have combination skin! Combination is the most common skin type, but part of that is because some people don’t know how to read their skin.

If you have neglected skin, some days it’s oily or some days it’s dry depending on the products/lack of products you use, you don’t have combination skin.

If you USED to have oily or dry skin but then you grew up/changed up your skincare routine, you might NOW have combination skin, or vice versa. People change throughout their lifetime, and their skin changes with them. As I’ve said before, environment, diet, bodily condition (weight gain or loss, sickness, exercise) all affect skin type.

I used to have oily acne-prone skin but now after puberty is long behind me I’ve gotten my skincare routine under control, I have combination skin, a bit on the oily side.

To find out your skin type:

Just ask yourself these simple questions

When I get out of the shower, does my skin feel tight and uncomfortable if I don’t moisturize? (if so, you probably have dry skin)

When you wake up in the morning, is your skin shiny all over and your finger slides easily across your cheek, picking up oil as it goes? (If so, you may have oily skin)

When you wear a full face of makeup, does the makeup stay on the edges of the face easily throughout the day, but get shiny and come off easily on the nose? (if so, you may have combination skin)

Do you have no issues at all, a peaceful inner glow, and seven million dollars? (If so, you may have normal skin)

If you still don’t know, ask yourself this question:

Do I never apply any skincare to my face, wash it with bar soap at night, slap on a moisturizer sometimes, have super oily skin in the summer and super dry in the winter? If so, you have neglected skin. This mostly means your skin is tired of taking care of you and wants you to take care of it for once. This is unhealthy skin. It will age fast (losing plumpness, and even-tonedness, gaining under eye bags and darkness, spots, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, looseness, and overall sun damage).

Thank you for reading, hope it helped!

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Full Face for Work

Hello all! Happy Wednesday.

I’ve gotten into the training at my new job and I’m a bit more busy these days. I love it! But sadly it might mean a little less time dedicated to posts everyday. Terrible! I apologize. But I will still try my best to post content every day.

Today for one of my first days of training, I wanted to try out some of my new products and create a full face.

Today I used these products,

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I start with the NYX Pore Filler. I’ve only been using this for about a week but so far I like it. If you have a more oily face, I wouldn’t suggest this. It’s borderline too oily for my combination face. My nose usually gets oily throughout the day, so it almost seems like it causes the products on top of it (foundation) to slide off more easily. Great for close up pictures though!

Next is undereye concealer. I use this one from Sephora. It’s a little yellow-orange tone, but it’s not lighter than my natural skin tone so I’m careful to just put it on my darker bags and not spread it around my whole undereye/cheek area, since it might discolor my cheeks. SOMETIMES I go in with Tarte Shape Tape on top of this to lighten up my undereye in an upside down triangle shape, but it’s so thick and heavy that I don’t do that all time.

Then I go in with the L’oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation in 102. I was using the pro-glow for a while (mainly because I accidentally picked it up instead of the pro-matte), and soon discovered it was TOO glowy for me. I like a thinner layer of product and with the pro-glow, I had to be really careful about setting it with a powder, something I prefer not to do it on my whole face. My nose was positively sparkling just after a few minutes. So, I picked up my right shade in this. I’ve used the pro-matte in 101 but it was just a bit too light, as the summer goes on, this shade will be even more right for me, but for the time being I mix it with a bit of the 101.

Next I bronze up my cheeks! I’ve talked about this already but I LOVE this Butter Bronzer from Physicians Formula. It smells AMAZING and it’s really light so it’s easy to work with. And, its not too warm for my cool undertoned skin.

Then goes the Pur Cosmetics blush. My husband picked this up for me haha! The pot is a little small for me, so it makes using a brush kind of hard. Otherwise, I like it. It’s pigmented so I gotta be careful. It’s also got a glow to it.

THEN, my newest product, the Wet N’ Wild MegaGlow Highlighter in Precious Petals. I’ve really been wanting to try this highlighter since it has such good reviews! The only problem is it’s a little dark for my skin tone. I don’t want it to seem like a spot of glowy dirt on my cheeks! I put it on my cheeks, my nose, and my cupids bow. Cupids bow is the most important part for me! I have a pretty strong cupids bow but small lips, so I think it looks better to glow it up there.

Then, I prime my eyes with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. This is an ESSENTIAL STEP to make sure my eyes last all day.

Next, for the eye look!

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My beautiful Zulu Palette from Juvia’s Place! I love love love this palette. Wish I had more chances to wear it! I just used the red color in the bottom middle today. It LOOKS redy mauvey but in reality it is very PINK.

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I actually start with this palette. It has enough neutrals and transition colors for every eye look! I used the obviously most-used light tan color all over my lid, and then the second brown on the bottom row to darken it up a bit. Then I added the pink all over the crease and lid.

Lastly for the eyes, I put on my E.L.F Cosmetics liquid eyeliner, then use my Tarte mascara!

Then, LIPS! I used two colors from Mac. They are both matte lipsticks. One nude, one pink. In Kinda Sexy and Please Me.

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Finally, of COURSE. Setting spray.

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There’s the final look!

My day at work was great.

I hope all of your’s were too.

Thank you!

-Michelle

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TonyMoly I’m Real Lemon Brightening Sheet Mask Review

Hello all!

It’s Tuesday! I hope you are all having a wonderful day.

Today I completed my fifth and final part to my TonyMoly I’m Real Lemon Brightening Sheet Mask test.

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What I wanted to test was if one type of mask has the effect it says it has. I bought five of the same mask to test it, though of course the more the better. More expensive higher-end masks would also probably test better, but these are our average every day run of the mill masks. How do they hold up?

I know doing one mask in the evening with a glass of wine is refreshing and relaxing. But does it actually do what is promised? Are you better off buying a 20-pack of one type of mask instead of a variety from this place and the other?

Because when it comes to the cost, a 20 pack is almost always going to be cheaper than buying single masks from here and there.
But isn’t there something satisfying at looking at a diverse collection? Is THAT why we try every type we can, regardless of the results?

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I’m a culprit just the same, but I wanted to test it. I always buy one of everything. “Oh, aloe for soothing? I need that. Lemon for brightening? Need. Tomato for detoxifying? Collagen?” We pick up 20 masks for our 20 skin complexes, thinking “well I’m really going to nip that problem in the bud,” with a bit of essence and 20 minutes.

Well, skin doesn’t really work like that. Especially not for two dollars.

So, I picked up five TonyMoly I’m Real Lemon Brightening Sheet Masks and tried one every three or so days.

And now I’m done!

Here’s a before picture,

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And an after,

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Do I look brighter? Certainly redder. That’s because the first picture was before I touched my face and put a bunch of stuff on it, the last picture is just after the last sheet mask.

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Sheet masks always make me feel more hydrated, and these one’s usually smell the same no matter the type. But… as far as delivering on their promise, it’s a little harder to tell.

Sheet masks are for your skin to soak up all at one time. They aren’t superfood or magic, they are just essence. I’m sure each sheet mask has different ingredients and are meant to help with different things, but I would have to use the same mask for a while, probably more than a month every day or two, before I could notice any results, just like with any product.

But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of masks? Aren’t they meant to be a fun, detox, once every few nights ritual that may or may not help with the specific need but definitely WILL moisturize?

I’m not upset that this mask didn’t make my face look brighter, I could have tested it longer or, if I was really looking for brightness, tried a less cumbersome product with better results. Unless I had a really obvious skin issue like dry spots, pigmented spots, or extreme acne, I think it’s hard to tell if a mask is working, even after using the same one for a while.

Unless you are looking for just moisture, don’t expect a mask to be your holy grail product. Sure, there are more expensive masks out there that pack more of a punch, but let a mask be what it is: unique, fun, spa-like, and it doesn’t make your skin worse. 

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