How cute is the Birchbox this month?! This year they started sending out a differently designed box every month, and while I kind of prefer how they used to do the same brown box, this month's is super cute! Anyways, what was inside the box was just okay. I really am glad I got the It's a 10 leave in conditioner. I really like this stuff and it's kind of pricey. I'm also almost out of my current bottle, so that's pretty cool. The only other thing I like in this box is the red lip stain. I love a red lip, and I'm a huge fan of this liquid lipstick/ stains. So I'm always down for that. At first, I thought that little bottle was a nail polish, which I wouldn't like that color of. Then I read that it's actually a highlighter, which I liked the idea of more. So I tried some on my hand and saw that it was thick and kind of mushy, so not a huge fan of that one. I got another face moisturizer, and it's meant for oily skin. My profile says that I have dry skin, so I'm not sure why I received that. Also, another face oil (which is meant for dry skin, why would they put both in one box?!) At first I thought they were cool and fancy, then I discovered that I really don't like them, no matter how expensive they are, and now have about five samples that I'm never going to use. This month wasn't a huge loss, since the box paid for the leave in conditioner, but wasn't super exciting.
Total cost of this month's box is about $81 for $10.
And now on to Ipsy, which came in a super cute bag, too! This bag wasn't my favorite ever, but I think I still liked it more than Birchbox. I wasn't stoked to be getting another moisturizer (I think that is their filler item!). Although I have a NYX Butter Lipstick and really love it, I don't love the color I got. Some people can pull off this kind of brownish color, but I definitely cannot! I am happy about the eye gels though! I really struggle with puffy, tired-looking eyes, so I'm excited to see how these work. I also like the highlighter pencil. I've been meaning to try one to make my eyes look more awake, but haven't yet, so I'm happy I finally can! And although I'm not a huge eyeshadow person, I really like these pretty pink shades and think they'll look really pretty for spring! So again, not my favorite bag ever, but had some good stuff for sure!
Total cost of this month's bag (without actual bag) is $45.50 for $10.
My dad lives part time in Kauai, Hawaii, and always asks my sisters and I to come visit. So on our Spring Break from school last week, we decided to go for a few days. Emma and I left from Phoenix on Monday morning and arrived in Lihue in the afternoon. The day we arrived, it was sunny and warm, the weather was perfect. That made me so excited to spend the week on Tunnels Beach, where the house is, just getting sun and relaxing. But of course, the very next day it became cloudy and rainy, and that's how it remained the duration of the trip. It was still a really lovely stay, I just always prefer sun to rain.
Anyways, it was a really nice little getaway, even though I missed Joe so much (he had to stay behind and work). The five days went by super fast, but we spent them hiking and kayaking and enjoying fresh fruit smoothies that my dad made us every night, SO good! We even spent a day at the St. Regis spa, which was completely amazing.
Joe and I plan on returning in June, which will be nice because the weather should be much better, I can't wait. Here are a few photos I took over the week. I always try to use my good camera for things like this, but I'm pretty lazy so most are iPhone photos ;)
My best friend of about 16 years is getting married! And guess who has the honor of being one of her bridesmaids! I cannot wait to stand by her side when she ties-the-knot in January. Katie and Connor are so perfect for each other, and I am absolutely thrilled for both of them.
Something I never really worry too much about is my skin. At night, I'll take my makeup off with a cleansing wipe, wash my face if I take a shower, and call it a night. It's really nice to be able to be lazy and still have clear skin, zits are a very rare problem here!
That's how I would've described my skincare routine in high school. Then, it seemed like when the clock hit midnight on my twentieth birthday, out came the zits, dry patches, and uneven skin tone. I seem to be going in reverse; usually high school is the worst time for skin and things get better by your twenties. Not for me. I remember thinking in high school how lucky I felt to never worry about my skin. Going to bed with makeup on happened on more than one occasion, and it was always fine. The occasional lonely pimple would appear, but some toothpaste cleared it right up by school the next day. That's why it was a total shock when the less-than-perfect skin appeared a couple years ago. Rough little zits took over my cheeks and chin, dry patches started to suck up my liquid foundation, and the darkness under my eyes became nearly impossible to cover. It was so frustrating! I'd be lying if I said it didn't really upset my sometimes.
But, like all troubling things, you need to learn to deal with it. I started to realize my skin might actually need the attention I never gave it before. The neglect was finally starting to show through. I did research, read ingredients, tested out quite a few products, and have found a night time skincare routine that's working. My skin still isn't anywhere near perfect, or even where it used to be, but it seems to be under control.
I'm sure it's going to change many times in the future, but here is my current nighttime skincare routine:
When first getting ready for bed, I remove all my makeup with a Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette. These are just simple and effective. They're the only makeup remover wipes I've ever used and ever care to use, I love them. I always like to get all my makeup off with this before cleaning my face. That way the face wash is actually cleaning my face and not just removing makeup.
Next, I'll use one of these face washes: Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash and Aveeno Positively Radiant Brightening Cleanser. I usually alternate these two every day (as recommended by an esthetician). The Neutrogena one is a little tougher, good for clearing breakouts and removing excess oils, but tends to dry my face out a bit. So I use the Aveeno one to give my skin a little break from that and wash it with a more moisturizing face wash. I also use the Jan Marini one I just discovered maybe once a week, since I have sensitive skin and don't want to irritate it.
After I wash and pat dry, I tone. I only use this toner on nights when I wash with the Aveno. Just to make sure it gets nice and clean. It's very gentle and alcohol free, so I'm sure I could also use it with the acne washes, but I just like to be very careful about irritating my skin by using too much product.
Then I moisturize. Probably the most important step for me. My skin get so dry sometimes that parts of it actually start to flake. I hate that so much. This Neutrogena night cream is my favorite. It feels so soft on the skin, without feeling greasy or pilling. The moisture really lasts all night, too. Then I'll dab some eye cream under my eyes. I'm currently using a sample size of this Clarins Total Eye Concentrate that I received, but it's almost empty and I'm not sure it's good enough that I want to spend $85 on the full size. If there's an eye cream you love and recommend, let me know!
Finally, I moisturize my lips. Good ole Chapstick has always been my favorite, and I'm loving this duel ended one. The nighttime side is the perfect end to my routine. It leaves lips feeling soft and moisturized through the night.
And that's it! Definitely a lot of steps compared to what I used to do, but it's worth it! My skin has shown significant improvement since I started taking better care of it, and that feels so good. It might not ever look perfect, but at least I know I'm doing my best to keep it healthy and happy!
What are some of your favorite nighttime beauty products?