Monday, November 12, 2018

My Simplest, Most Affordable Skin-Care Routine Yet! Entire Day & Night Routine - Under $65

My skin-care routine...simple? What? If you've been following my skin care for a while, you know that my routine is usually anything but simple.  I like to use ALL of the products.  But recently, my skin revolted. And it was right before a trip out of state...to see family...at a wedding. Really? "I promise, guys, my skin isn't usually this awful, it just randomly decided it hates almost everything I use." I mean there was rough skin texture, there was acne, there was discoloration, there was scarring- it was an absolute mess.

I didn't know what was causing my skin to be so bad. It literally was the worst it's been since I had my son. And even then, I don't know if it was ever that bad. (But thank the beauty industry for makeup in situations like these, right?)

So, at first, I stopped using the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Overnight. If you saw my previous skin-care routine post, you know that I had been using this night cream for months. But, normally night creams are the culprit in these types of situations with my skin. So I stopped using it. And started only using the Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Cream. My skin got better but was still pretty wild. So I did what would be the closest I'll ever come to doing a true skin detox.  I started over when it came to skin care.

I decided to whittle my routine down to three steps, try to use a gentler face cleanser, and limit myself to one glycolic acid product. I was pretty sure I had severely thrown off the PH of my skin with all of the products I was using. Especially since a lot of them contained glycolic acid.

After some thought, these are the products I decided to use. My face is so much better. And instead of dealing with terrible on-going acne, I'm now only dealing with a pimple or two monthly and discoloration from previous acne. My skin texture is also much smoother. And you may be surprised to hear...I'm not spot treating. If I get a pimple, I leave it alone and let my skin balance itself out. And 99% of the time, the pimple goes away on its own in a few days. So... here are my products:



Face Cleanser

Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar - about $1.75/bar

Yep. Something as simple as a bar of Dove soap.  I was skeptical about this FOR YEARS. I have family members who use this Dove bar on their face and swear by it. But the "1/4 moisturizing cream" aspect always made me wary. I thought, without a doubt, this soap would break out my skin. But...surprise! It doesn't. And it's also super affordable. I use it with my Foreo luna mini day and night.

Toner

Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner - $12.95

I kept this in my lineup. I REALLY like this toner. And it's so hard for me to find a toner I even like at all. Basically, I just spray the toner on my face after cleansing morning and night and let it air dry. Nothing crazy!

Day Moisturizer

Garnier Clearly Brighter Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 - about $12

I'll be honest. I wasn't willing to try anything new when it came to moisturizers. So I went with my tried-and-trues. The clearly brighter moisturizer is oil-free, with vitamin c, and SPF 30. And my skin doesn't break out using it. Does it make my skin look brighter? Maybe? I'm not sure. But it's an oil-free, SPF 30 moisturizer that doesn't irritate my skin.

Night Moisturizer

Olay Total Effects Whip Face Moisturizer - about $20 on Amazon as I'm writing this

Ok, I know I said I wasn't trying anything new moisturizer-wise. But wait! I can explain! I can explain how this isn't really completely new for me. Yes, the Olay Whips line is fairly new, however, I have used the Olay Total Effects Night Cream in the past. The only thing that steered me away from it was the fact that it was a little too rich for me to use it long term. So the whips version seemed like the perfect solution. And it has been. I've seen reviews where people complain that the texture isn't technically whipped (as in whipped cream, I guess? I'm not sure exactly how they would be able to achieve that texture in a jarred beauty product.) So I'll give you a heads up that the texture is more of a delightful cream mixed with gel. It does leave a matte finish. So if you are looking for dewy skin from your night cream, this wouldn't be for you (try the original non-whipped version).

This moisturizer has vitamins B, C, and E. It also contains green tea! So many ingredients I love without the one I'm allergic to - Vitamin A as Retinol - Thanks, Olay! I also believe it's oil-free (don't quote me on that). The fragrance doesn't bother me and it is a very clean scent. But I do wish there was a fragrance-free version. (There may be and I just haven't seen it yet?)

**As I was taking photos for this post, I noticed I accidentally bought the SPF version of this moisturizer when I repurchased! Oops! I've been using it at night without any problems (and have used the version without SPF), but if you're looking for a day moisturizer, the SPF version may be a great option!

Eye Cream

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream - $18

Ok...so this is technically a fourth step. But one I only do at night. And, honestly, at times I forget this step. This eye cream is so moisturizing but light at the same time. A little goes a long way. This $18 container usually lasts 2 or 3 months for me. And, yes, I do notice a difference in how my undereye area looks when I forget to use it for a few days.

And that's it!

For now anyway. I do want to add a product to help even my skin tone. Stay tuned!




Monday, November 5, 2018

Unique Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything

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We all have that one person in our lives that is just so hard to buy for.  When it comes to getting them a gift, no one knows what to give them.  Either they have absolutely everything imaginable or they are someone who just isn't interested in typical gift items.  Here are some different ideas on what to give the person in your life who just seems to be too difficult to buy for. There are those traditional, wrap-them-in-wrapping-paper gifts and also intangible gifts that may require a little creativity.

Traditional Gifts

If the person you are buying for is a collector of any kind, you are in luck! This means you know for a fact they are deeply interested something you can purchase. It's also a good jumping off point for gift ideas.  Whether they collect coins (check out Sprott Money), action figures, or baseball cards, this gives you an interest to focus on.  If they collect pricey or hard-to-find items, you can buy them a ticket to an event (like ComicCon) where they will be able to find and purchase those rare pieces themselves.

You can also give products that may go with their current interest.  For example, if you are buying for a coffee lover,  instead of buying just a bag of coffee or a gift card, you can create a custom mug online through websites like Zazzle or Shutterfly. Add in some cute stirrers or spoons, flavored coffee syrups, and cookies or biscuits to accompany a great cup of coffee and then put them in a decorative gift basket and voila! You have a great gift.

Intangible Gifts

Intangible gifts are gifts you can't necessarily wrap.  And these types of gifts can require a little more thought, time, and creativity. Gifted experiences are very popular.  For a travel-lover you could gift a cruise, airfare, or a hotel stay.  Just make sure to check with them before booking anything to make sure they are avaialable. This means you could print out a picture of the destination or cruise ship and include it in their card with a message explaining that you are gifting them the trip.

Tickets to sporting events or concerts are also really great experience gifts than may be a bit easier to plan and surprise someone with. If none of these ideas sound like they are a good fit, maybe a service would be more of what you're looking for.  This could mean paying for a cleaning service to come clean a new mom's house, gifting a food subscription box like Hello Fresh to a busy family, buying a gift certificate for a haircut or spa day for someone in need of a little "me time," or even paying for SEO and advertising services for the giftee's online business or blog.  There are even agencies that specialize in advertising for very specific niche markets (like this one here).

With the holidays coming up, it's about that time to start thinking of gifts for everyone on your list.  Hopefully, these ideas cut your brainstorming session in half and made it a little easier to think of a gift for the person who seems to have everything.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Self-Care is More Than Bubble Baths and Makeup

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How many self-care articles, social media posts, and YouTube videos have you seen? Probably a ton, am I right?  Most self-care articles talk about one facet or another.  Either it's about physical health, mental health, or treating yourself once-in-a-while.  But the truth is, self-care encompasses all of that and more.  And while it's nearly impossible to fully explain self-care in one article, post, or video, we can talk about some self-care options that aren't normally discussed.

Self-Care for the Soul

Sometimes we seem to be doing everything "right."  We are eating healthy, working out, getting plenty of sleep, and indulging every now and then. But we still somehow don't feel our best.  Why is that? It may be because we haven't nourished that intangible part of ourselves.  It's the part of you that feels the need to have goals and accomplishments.  The part that needs to feel some type of fulfillment of purpose. In times like these, volunteering for an organization or project you are passionate about or feel connected to can make all of the difference. There are many organizations that need volunteers (like this one here). It's just a matter of choosing what you are interested in doing.  If you are unable to give your time out in the field volunteering, there are other ways to help make a difference and practice self-care for the soul in this way. For example, you can assist in fundraising for a project or even start a fundraising campaign. And though fundraising sounds intimidating, there are companies that can help, like Global Faces Direct (https://www.globalfacesdirect.com/). Even donating clothes or shopping at a non-profit's thrift store can make a difference.

Individualized Self-Care

The truth is you can read about self-care and get a ton of ideas, but not everything is going to apply to you or be truly effective for you.  Some self-reflection is needed for you to be able to see what is truly missing from your life. Do you simply need to take a timeout to have a nice coffee by yourself every now and then?  Will buying that espresso machine make it more likely that you will take the time? (If the answer is yes - https://www.anthonysespresso.com/).  Or is it that even with time to yourself, you're having trouble relaxing and letting go of the day-to-day stress? If that is the case things we've all heard of like yoga, long walks outdoors, or even essential oils (https://www.botanicuniverse.com/) may help.  One thing you always have to consider is that something bigger or deeper may be going on. Whatever the case may be, it's important for you to take the time to figure out what is going on with you instead of jumping to find trend after trend of "self-care." It's ok to spend time figuring out the problem before you jump into a solution.  That's the only way we can really find the solution, right? Because, unfortunately, there is nothing that works for everyone. And the most important part of self-care IS giving yourself what you need.