Stuff I Buy: Fighting Discoloration Naturally

When will this damn melasma go away? It’s such an uphill battle fighting skin discoloration in the summer, even with an SPF 50 on every day. I’m outside so much that I know I’ll have to wait a few months before another round of lasers to get deeper than any skincare can, but until then I’m hoping a few things I grabbed this week will help get my skin to get back to a more radiant state.

Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum

I’ve never heard of this line before and I’m not even sure where it’s sold other than online, but it’s an Amazon.com bestseller with 1,400+ glowing reviews. Oh, and it’s only $23. It’s an organic vitamin c, amino acid blend, and hyaluronic acid serum that people swear gives them more a radiant skin texture. Could it be a big marketing campaign from people within the company leaving false feedback? Sure, it happens on amazon all the time. But there are a ton of verified customers who left great feedback, enough to get my money and see for myself.

oz naturals

Skin Obsession 40% Gycolic Peel

Yet another amazon.com best seller for skin peels, a huge sort of underground category on there for skin. They’re basically professional caliber peels available to the public from companies I’ve never heard of before. Totally legit right? Again, the reviews got me- 400+ singing the praises of how well this peel worked. Basically, I’m using it for my melasma, fine lines, and overall texture which is still not back to normal since my pregnancies. There’s just a dullness and blah to my skin that makes me look tired and probably old which really sucks. The great thing about peels is that the acid (whether it be glycolic, lactic, or whatever) dissolves the waxy layer of oil and dead skin that builds up on your face over time (why consistent exfoliation is key!) and gives that dull, dry, wrinkly look. Once that’s removed you’re left with a fresh layer of new skin that looks more radiant and less lined. Do a ton of research (I’ve looked for over a year) and google around. I was going to go with a peel from THIS line, but after reading several times how they plant positive reviews from within their company I decided it was best to skip it. Just follow their directions to a T which includes knowing how to neutralize the peel once it’s on otherwise you could end up with permanent burns and even scarring.

skin obsession

Éminence Eight Greens Whip Moisturizer

My girl Alexa, an aesthetician to Denver’s who’s who over at the swanky Spa Vital in Cherry Creek has been an Éminence fan for as long as I’ve known her. After my facial today she sold me on their Eight Greens moisturizer which has a thick, almost balm-like texture that dissolved into my skin so completely and left it looking really fresh and hydrated and I didn’t even get that typical afternoon shine. It addresses tone and aging using natural ingredients like yucca, stone crop, and flaxseed. It’s a really cool line with a big upscale spa presence that you can check out HERE if you’ve never heard of it before.

eminence

Éminence Lemon Cleanser

Alexa turned me onto this cleanser like 8 years ago. It’s a cream that doesn’t foam up (which is why I think I quit using it) but now that I’m older, I can finally appreciate a cleanser that cleans without stripping and drying. This one does that and also happens to have the best slightly sweet and tangy lemon scent that I just adore.

eminence lemon cleanser

Next up; more laser research on CO2 vs Fraxel. I think I’ll wait until October so I have a little time. Tweet me your thoughts if you’ve tried either before and had a great result.

How to Spend Less Money on Expensive Shampoos

I’m a total Living Proof addict. What started as a curiosity with the company Jennifer Aniston co-owns has turned into a full-blown obsession to where I’ve slowly replaced most of my old cleansing and styling products to something from their line. But it’s expensive. Like $24 for shampoo and after just 6 months I’m on bottle #3. Which is crazy.

Typically I wash my hair every 3rd day and when I do I wash it 2 or 3 times just to make sure all of my product is out which could be  why I burn though so much shampoo. What I started doing is using my Johnson’s Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thick/Curly Hair for my first wash. Of all the shampoos they’ve sent me, this works best for my coarse hair by cleansing and softening at the same time. I can cut through dirt and product on that first wash and then use the Living Proof for the second wash along with whatever conditioner. Now I’m using way less of the Living Proof  shampoo which will definitely save me money.

If you love a pricey shampoo that you’d like to go through less often, try alternating it with a less expensive one. You’ll save money without even noticing a difference.

johnsons shampoo

What SPF Does To Your Skin

I’m back.

This was the longest break I’ve taken from HOB since I started blogging 8 years ago. I had to step away while we packed up our home of 8 years and moved into a temp apartment while our house is finished being built at the end of September. With two little ones, it has been really a struggle. There is no balance. It’s house and kids and that’s it. At the end of the day I’m tired in my bones to where the thought of just taking a single step could trigger tears. It’s nothing like I’ve ever felt and I’m relieved that the hardest part of this (8 month and counting) journey is over. Our apartment is cute and perfect for us and the downsizing and simplicity is exactly what we need right now. It feels good to have so few things to keep track of (and clean!) and being able to keep track of the girls so easily. We’re also near a shopping area where we walk over to for groceries and frozen yogurt- anything just to get out and enjoy these last few weeks of summer. It’s nice.

In the past month or so I’ve been keeping track of all of the things that I can’t wait to share with you. I’m also transitioning into a new look to the blog which I’ll hopefully roll out in the next week. For now though, this video is kinda epic and I’ll never think of sunscreen the same way again.

If you aren’t one of the 11 million plus people who already have, check out this video showing exactly what sunscreen does to your skin by using ultraviolet light. You’ll be an SPF believer if you aren’t already.

Makeup Before and After: A Perfect Example of Why Not to Cover Up Freckles

Another day, another beautiful bride. Here’s a recent trial run with the low down on her look.

before and after

Lips:

I combined a nude liner with tipsy, a LipSurgence light coral gloss from tarte to make her lips look a little fuller. These shiny glosses get a lot of use in my kit especially for girls who aren’t die-hard lipstick wearers but still need some color and shine.

tarte gloss

Highlighter:

Just two days after Hourglass sent their Ambient Lighting Palette to me, I tossed out 4 other highlighters I was carrying in my kit. This one is incredible and all I’ll need. It’s this fine powder that isn’t heavy or shiny looking, almost  like a movie effect, or an Instagram filter, or a dusting of Photoshop for your real life face. Use it on cheekbones or wherever you’d like to highlight, since it’s so light it’s tough it over-do. Here I dusted some along her cheekbones so you can just see a glimpse of it from a forward facing angle. It’s a must-try for those looking for an instant boost to their complexion.

hourglass

Concealer:

Her slight discoloration around the eyes was easily zapped using Miracle Skin Transformer’s Treat & Conceal concealer. I’ve used it off and on in my kit, but I’m personally on my 3rd tube since discovering it years ago on a California trip. I was having some issues with the concealer I’d been using for years attracting powder to it (shadows) thus causing darkness under the eyes about 20 minutes after I’d finished an application. The best thing about Treat & Conceal is its consistency which feels like a whipped primer – not heavy or overly creamy so it settles into skin quickly and completely leaving the surface feeling like there’s nothing there.

miracleskintransformer_treatconceal_new_900x900

Foundation:

I never cover freckles. They’re adorable and such a big part of what makes someone look like ‘them,’ but it also adds some color so if you do try to erase them you’ll just end up looking pale. I use Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Moisture Foundation a ton because it makes skin look better, and not like a mask. This is a perfect example of evening out the skin without over-doing it to death. That’s why this is a great pro foundation and everyday choice too.

koh gen do

Best Clarifying Shampoo I’ve Used In A Long Time: Ouidad Superfruit Renewal

Ouidad is a line of haircare meant especially for wavy, curly, and kinky hair so it’s not totally surprising that their Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo cuts through my coarse waves with no problem. I’m a big believer in using a clarifying shampoo weekly to remove buildup and getting a good quality one is key to not stripping out my high and lowlights and just keeping my color on the up and up. The last one I used was THIS one from Paul Mitchell that felt like it could’ve removed paint from concrete. My hair was ‘squeaky’ clean but at the same time it felt dry and tangly, like when you leave bleach on for too long. This is a gentle, sulfate-free formula that really cleans my hair completely without that ‘squeaky’ or dried out feeling. No sulfates mean no lather so I’m able to really massage my scalp and cleanse all of those shine-enhancing products that I use away so I can give my hair a fresh start. They use fruit acids from açai, blueberry, cranberry, papaya, and pomegranate instead of harsh chemicals to cleanse so my hair smells really fresh and looks bouncy and healthy. It’s definitely the best clarifier I’ve used in a long time, and I will buy another when I’m out.

ouidad

Other Household Uses For Baby Shampoos & Baby Powder

A big perk of being an Ambassador for Johnson’s Baby is that I’m fully stocked at all times with their products. Aside from the obvious uses, I’ve found they come in pretty handy for a few other things too. Check out what I’ve been doing with my stash and let me know if there are other uses I’m missing out on.

Head-To-Toe Wash: Brush Cleaner

I used this after I ran out of my usual brush cleanser and I was really impressed. It literally melts the makeup and dirt off of the brushes like magic. I’ve been using my other brush shampoo for so long I forgot how quickly they could be cleaned with minimal effort. I squirt a little in a cup then fill it with warm water to create some suds. Then I drop in all of the brushes and swirl them around to get all of the bristles saturated with soap. Then I swirl each one in the palm of my hand until they foam up just like you do with your hair, and I rinse them under running water until they feel clean. The lipstick and eyeliner brushes will need extra cleansing so just squirt a little of the wash into your palm and really work the soap in. It has saved me so much time and it’s way less expensive than specialty cleansers anyway.

head to toe wash

Baby Shampoo: Bubble solution

Harper is bubble obsessed. It’s part of our morning routine to go outside and blow bubbles after breakfast. The bottles are expensive though especially when we go through them so quickly, and it’s a hassle remembering to pick more up so I found this recipe on Pinterest that I use. It doesn’t have to be exact, I do roughly 4 parts shampoo to 1 part Karo syrup. You can see how much I used of each after just one refill of a bottle that was about 24oz (It’s a 7oz shampoo bottle and 16oz Karo BTW), which will last us about a month.

image

Baby Powder: Too many uses to list

A quick search of ‘baby powder uses’ on Pinterest (click HERE) will yield all sorts of amazing tricks from dry shampoo to creating longer lashes (I need to try this!), it even removes sand from your skin at the beach. It also works to get rid of ants as well as keep pests out of your garden. It’s really usefull stuff.

baby powder uses