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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Product Spotlight: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque

I have finally found my holy grail of face masques!!

About a month ago, my skin was acting up majorly (which is not normal for me) and I was in need of something that would clear up the issue and quickly! I wasn’t interested in using spot treatments, anything harsh or drying, and I did not want to wait to wash away to problem with my normal cleansers – so I opted to look for a super mask!

I found it! Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque 🙂

Being a Kiehl’s lover, I don’t know how I hadn’t discovered this one yet… I have tried A LOT of masks/masques, but none have come close being the type of miracle this one is.

Kiehl’s Claims: 

Our Rare Earth masque helps purify and detoxify skin while minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores. Formulated with Amazonian White Clay to gently draw out oil, dirt and toxins that can clog pores. The addition of Oatmeal and Aloe Vera will help soothe, hydrate and protect sensitive skin.

This thoroughly cleansing masque may be used for normal to oily skin types to help eliminate debris and dead surface skin-cell accumulation that can clog pores and leave skin dull-looking. With ingredients sourced from the Marajo Island at the mouth of the Amazon River, this unique formula is rich in minerals and helps eliminate surface toxins from skin. Our deep cleansing masque helps to purify skin, leaving the appearance of pores minimized and skin refined.

Everything they claim has been true for me!

The best thing I like about this masque is that it combines deep cleansing with gentleness. As with many clay based masks, they can be immediately drying or irritating to skin – but not so with this one.

You should apply a thin layer on cleansed – damp skin and allow to dry fully, about 10 minutes, then remove with a warm wet towel and pat dry. It applies very easily – glides on and a little goes a long way. As with many Kiehl’s products, it has the expected natural-earth-clay scent of the ingredients.

It has a cooling and slightly tingling sensation on the skin, as expected with deep cleansing masques. After you remove the mask, you can see and feel the difference in your skin.

The first night I used this mask, the very next day my skin had cleared up and improved dramatically. I was hooked!

My skin has been doing amazingly well the past month and this has been the only new product I have added to my routine. I use masks once a week and have only chosen to use this one from now on, unless I need to test a mask product.

I would also recommend using this mask as a spot treatment for unexpected or stubborn blemishes. Apply to the spot(s), allow to dry and go to sleep. Wash off in the morning and I can (almost) guarantee that the spot will be gone or at least diminished.

Also, as with all deep cleansing, make sure you properly moisturize after using the masque.

The masque sells for $23.00 (5.0 fl. oz. Jar) and I definitely think it is worth the price tag! Since you apply the masque in a thin layer, I can see the jar easily lasting 4 to 6 months, using it once a week.


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Brands I Love: Yes To

Hello lovelies!

So, I thought, since I haven’t been using many new products… outside of what I receive in my Birchbox & MyGlam subscriptions, therefore not doing so many ‘favorites’ posts lately, I would introduce these types of posts; where I will call out my favorites brands/companies and highlight the products I love from them.

First up: Yes To!

Now, Yes To began with Yes To Carrots and has branched out to includes: Yes To Carrots, Yes To Cucumbers, Yes To Blueberries, and Yes To Tomatoes. Each line caters to a different skin type and/or skin issue. Yes To Carrots and Yes To Cucumbers also have hair products available.

A little about Yes To for any newbies…

So onto my favorite Yes To products! 

Out of all the lines, I regularly use products from the Yes To Cucumbers and Yes To Blueberries lines.

Facial Towelettes Image

Yes To Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes

What they say: Gently remove dirt, sweat and makeup (eye makeup too!) without the need to rinse. Whether you’re out and about, going for a run, or having a late night, these towelettes make it a snap to refresh on-the-go. Packed with green superfoods these all-natural, biodegradable towelettes naturally exfoliate, detoxify, and rejuvenate all-in-one. Stay gorgeous, and go from zero to clean in seconds!

What I say: It is all true! I love these! By far they are the most refreshing and best facial towelettes I have used! I use them on the go, after long days, on too humid-hot days, after any exercise, and nightly as my first step in cleansing my face. They are super cheap too and come in travel size! I would definitely recommend picking up a travel pack to try out.

Soothing Eye Gel Image

Soothing Eye Gel

What they say: Your eyes are beautiful, but, yes, sometimes a little sensitive. Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel gently calms, soothes and smoothes your radiant eyes. Naturally reducing puffiness, brightening dark circles, tightening and cooling your skin, it will leave you bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to take on the world!

What I say: I love this stuff in the mornings or just when my eyes need a real pick me up! I would not agree to the brightening of dark circles, but I do not use this daily – so perhaps over time it could help in that aspect. It is cooling and soothing – just keep it in a cool place 🙂

TIP: A little goes a long way – seriously – one small pump is more than enough for both eyes. Too much and your make-up, if you wear any, will not layer properly.

  Yes To Blueberries Line Reducing Lip Treatment Image

Yes To Blueberries Line Reducing Lip Treatment

What they say: Clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around lips in 7 days, perfect for someone looking for an added dose of moisture and firming. Formulated with Pacaress Flower, which is clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the lip area. Nourishing ingredients like Coconut Oil and Shea Butter will instantly soften and moisturize lips. Smile… pucker up and get ready for some smoochin’!

What I say: I LOVE this lip treatment! I use it every night without exception – and while I do not have any real line issues, this is more of me being proactive – and I have to say I have noticed in the mornings my lips feel soft, smooth and a bit more ‘firm’ – plus the balm is not greasy at all, very lightweight and nourishing.

Intensive Skin Repair Serum Image

Intensive Skin Repair Serum

What they say: The Serum acts as a powerful “vitamin layer” applied directly to clean skin. The Serum can be used under Daily Repairing Moisturizer (during the day) or under Overnight Hydrating Cream (at night). This powerful blend combines organic cotton thistle which is clinically proven to restore and repair age-damaged skin in 7 days, along with anti-oxidant rich blueberries and blackcurrant, which is rich in essential fatty acids to help nourish and soothe skin. Your skin is left feeling oh-so-glowy!

What I say: If I am not using my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate on my face, I am using this and sometimes both (Kiehl’s layered first)! Though, I usually always apply this nightly onto my neck and decolletage. I have been using this since last year and definitely noticed my skin’s brightness and more healthy appearance. Radiance is the key word I would use to describe the effects this product has. FYI – it looks quite disgusting when you pump it into your hand – and you should apply it quickly. Avoid rubbing it into your skin, just glide it over your skin and let it set, it will feel like a layer, locking in everything – something I actually enjoy in a serum/treatment product. I only apply this at night, as it is more beneficial that way, the ingredients are not being broken down by UV rays nor having to compete with SPF products. Also, it does not play well will make-up, in my opinion.

and there you have it… more brands I love coming soon 🙂


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How to Lighten & Brighten Skin Naturally

Most people suffer from some type of unwanted skin darkening at some point and there are many reasons why this can happen: friction, chafing, skin irritations from hair removal, sun exposure/damage (freckles, hyperpigmentation), scarring from injury, acne, skin allergies or rash, contact spots (knees, elbows, back of ankles), or simply genetics, etc…

Skin darkening can be annoying, bothersome, or even embarrassing… luckily, there are ways to reduce or even eliminate those darkened areas.

You can invest in skin lightening or bleaching creams, serums and over-the-counter specialty treatments, or go to your dermatologist for medical remedies.

You can also choose the natural method, using simple and affordable ingredients at home. Natural methods work more gradually than synthetic, chemical, or medical treatments; which can be more beneficial for your skin/health, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Important Note: If you are someone with a naturally deeper skin tone,  due to your ethnicity or race (i.e. African American, Hispanic, Indian, etc.), always consult your doctor and dermatologist before attempting any at-home full body skin lightening or whitening, whether over-the-counter or natural.

Now, onto the easy, natural process of lightening and brightening your skin..

  • If looking to lighten certain areas on your skin, you can choose to do this everyday or 3 times a week, depending on your skin’s sensitivity. Once your desired skin tone is reached, you may wish to maintain it by repeating the process on a routine basis.
  • If looking to brighten your skin, this can be done once a week, bi-monthly, once a month or simply when your skin needs a boost.
  • For face lightening: I recommend that you do not apply this more than 3 times a week, as your facial skin is more sensitive than your body, and you can over exfoliate resulting in dry skin.

This is a three part method, but you can choose to use one, two or all aspects.

Part 1: Exfoliate with Pure Baking Soda

  • Pure Baking Soda is sodium based, pH neutralizing, gentle exfoliant
  • It will help to loosen the  dead skin cells and prep the skin for the next steps
  • Create a paste, usually 2:1 baking soda to water ratio works
  • Gently massage the paste on the darkened skin areas for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your skin’s sensitivity, and rinse off
  • Bonus: Since it is pH neutralizing, this exfoliant can help with acne and should not cause any irritation
  • NOTE: Since Pure Baking Soda is essentially salt, please take caution if you are on a strict low sodium health regimen, and while you will only be applying it for a couple minutes at most, what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body
  • NOTE: Exfoliate only once a day with the Baking Soda paste
  • FOR FACE: Do not apply to face for more than 30 seconds – avoiding the eye area, and at most once a day, 3 times a week

Part 2: Apply Lemon Juice or Papaya on clean, exfoliated skin

  • Apply an antioxidant- vitamin rich – alpha hydroxy acid, like lemon juice or papaya
  • Alpha hydroxy acid rich fruits, like lemon and papaya, naturally exfoliate skin
  • They also fight free radicals and help with new skin cell growth and turnover
  • Lemons, rich in Vitamin C and citric acid, help lighten skin
  • Papayas, which contain an enzyme call papain, help with hyperpigmentation
  • Slice fresh lemon or papaya (removing seeds) and rub slices over skin, coating the areas with the juice
  • 100% Lemon Juice from concentrate on a cotton pad/square/ball can be substituted
  • Allow to sit and dry on skin for 10 minutes, no more than 20 minutes, rinse with luke warm water
  • For very dark problem areas or spots, apply slices directly onto area and leave for no more than 10 minutes and rinse with luke warm water
  • If using papaya, it may help to dice and create a pulp
  • Remember, this is an acid treatment, meaning your skin can dry out if you fail to properly moisturize
  • NOTE: When treating with an alpha hydroxy acid always use an SPF lotion, as your skin is more sensitive
  • NOTE: Apply no more than twice a day, and if you have sensitive skin, opt for using a diluted lemon juice
  • FOR FACE: Avoid eye area, leaving juice or pulp on skin for no more than 15 minutes  then rinse with luke warm water

Part 3: Use oil to lock in moisture, brighten, help with skin renewal and anti-aging 

  • Oil is a great option for locking in moisture, and keeping skin soft and supple
  • It also helps in loosening dead skin cells, as opposed to a regular moisturizer
  • Antioxidant rich oils help against free radicals, sun-damage, and helping with anti-aging and skin tone
  • Massage the oil into all your skin, concentrating on the darker and more drying areas, up to 3 times a day
  • Remember to choose a light, gentle, non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) oils
  • I use Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate on my face nightly and Neutrogena Body Oil
  • I also recommend Grapeseed and Evening Primrose oils, both of which I use/have used in the past and loved
  • NOTE: Using oil does not make your skin more oily, in fact it has the opposite effect and can help resolve oily skin
  • FOR FACE: Oil is usually applied in the evening for your face. Using 2 to 4 drops of oil is enough for the face and you can apply your normal nightly moisturizer after a few minutes.

There you have it… A LOT of info, but I hope it helps. Oh…and remember, fundamentally, 2 of these steps are salt and acid – so take precautions if you have cuts, sores or any type of unhealed wound – it will sting! Pass the info on to those you know who could benefit from this – no one should have to feel insecure about this issue 🙂

Oh and of course, remember good hydration – drinking plenty of water – is the best option for keeping your skin healthy! 


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CleanUp Time: Make-Up Brushes & Sponges

Is your skin looking not-so-hot? Do you use make-up brushes or sponges? Did you know that they may be why your skin is in a funk?

Well, it is true, if you are not cleaning your make-up tools often enough or properly. Brushes and sponges not only accumulate product residue, but also bacteria, which without proper cleaning, means that you are spreading that days old product residue and bacteria onto your face. Eeek!

Based on how much and how often you apply make-up, brushes should be cleaned thoroughly once a week to once a month. I would also recommend using a daily anti-bacterial brush cleaner in between proper cleanings.

The exception to this would be if you have enough brushes to use some for a limited time and move onto using more clean brushes.  The only issue with this – when you run out of clean brushes, you will have A LOT to clean at once! Not fun – I know 😦

So onto how to clean your brushes (according to me and what I have learned)…

Cleaning make-up brushes:

Step 1: Gather your brushes and take them to a flat surface with plenty of space, either on a bathroom/kitchen counter or table.

Step 2: Grab a medium size bowl (or partially fill your bathroom sink) with warm water.  Doing this wastes less water.

  • Depending on how dirty your brushes are and how many, you may have to empty and refill the water once or twice.

Step 3: Wet the bristles of the brush, doing your best to avoid wetting the brush handle.

  • Wetting the brush handles, especially if wood, can damage them – as water makes the wood expand, when it dries, the handle can crack.

Step 4: Add a small amount of brush cleaner/soap to your palm and swirl the brush into your palm, sweeping back and forth.

  • Do not push the bristles down – the forcible spreading of the bristles outward can/will damage the brush density and form.

Step 5: Rinse under clean cool water and repeat Step 4, in the bowl of water, until the brush is clean of make-up.

Step 6: Gently squeeze the bristles, ridding the brush of as much water as possible, and re-form the brush to its smallest density.

  • When squeezing the brush, do so downward – from the brush handle towards the end of the bristles.

Step 7: Dry the brush handle with a clean towel, if necessary, and allow the brush to dry – brush head end down.

  • If the brush is not dense enough to support the weight of the brush, meaning the bristles bend when placing the brush bristle end down, then lay the brush down on a clean towel to dry overnight.

The brush shampoo I currently use:

Sephora Purifying Brush Shampoo 

The daily brush cleaner I currently use:

Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner

(spray after use and allow to dry – no rinsing required)

When I don’t have my Sephora brush shampoo:

I use a 2:1 ratio of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Dial Gold Antibaterial soap. Works just as well.

I have mentioned this in a previous post, but to those new readers or in cased you missed that post, make-up sponges should be cleaned after each use. Since sponges absorb more product and absorb the product deeper than brushes do after one use, proper daily cleaning is important.

Cleaning make-up sponges:

Step 1: Take the sponge(s) to your bathroom/kitchen sink.

Step 2: Do NOT wet the sponge

Step 3: Grab some oil (yeah – I did just said oil, grape seed or olive, or even baby oil)

Step 4: Pour the oil on the more stained areas and work the oil into the sponge well.

  • The oil breaks down the cosmetic ingredients and separates the makeup from the sponge better than regular soap.

Step 5: Squeeze the dirty out! Then squeeze some more.

  • Repeat Step 4 until the stains are gone.

Step 6: Grab some of your brush cleaner, gentle facial cleanser or some baby shampoo/antibacterial hand soap and wash out the oil.

Step 7: Squeeze all the water out using a clean paper towel and check for any oil residue.

  • Check for oil residue by pressing the sponge onto your clean, dry hand – you will be able to feel/see on your hand if there is still oil.
  • Repeat Step 6 until you have rid the sponge of the oil.

Step 8: Allow the sponge to dry or use it right away – if you prefer using your sponge damp.

Side Tip: Wash your pillow cases often too.

  • Why? 1. Sebum (Face “Oil/Grease”) 2. Sweat 3. Product Residue 4. Bacteria

Have fun cleaning your way to good skin!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Chloe + Isabel boutique and spread the word! You’ll love it and I’ll love you for it!