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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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BIRCHBOX + GossipGirl = Disappointment

Okay – so I’ll start off by saying I don’t watch Gossip Girl, it’s just not one of my shows; BUT I am familiar with the style and luxury that goes into the show, so when I heard of the Gossip Girl – Birchbox collaboration, I was genuinely excited.

The theme/partnered boxes usually tend to be better and hold extra deluxe samples/full size products.

I thought the box would be filled to the brim with amazing DELUXE samples and at least one full size product – worthy of Gossip Girl!

Though, disappointment washed over me as I opened the box a few days ago.  There are four quality products, all sample sizes – only two-ish I would classify as “deluxe” samples. Plus, they included a bonus – a note card.

I just expected MORE… I mean HELLO? The theme was “Black Tie Ball”!

So here is what I got:

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo (Single Use Sample Packet)

  • Have not tried this yet, but it is only good for a single use, so even if I love it that first time, unsure if I would bother purchasing it or review it. We’ll see..

Miracle Skin Transformer™ Body SPF 20 in “Glow” (.5 oz deluxe sample tube)

  • Tinted body enhancer, very minimal coverage, smells nice and has some sheer/micro-glitter.

Dior Diorshow Extase Mascara (.13 oz deluxe sample tube)

  • Will add an update on this one – after a few days of using it.
  • UPDATE: I do like this mascara… a lot. The formula works nicely, with the brush giving a more spikey yet voluminous lash look. The brush isn’t my favorite, as it is not designed well for the inner and far-outer lashes.

Dior Miss Dior Perfume (normal sample size vial)

  • Smells amazing, if you love a fruity floral classic scent.

Plus, a single note card (and pink envelope) printed on one side with “XOXO” and blank on the other side. Now you could say I am a die-hard fan of the written word and an actual handwritten note is a rare and genuine thing these days – so I appreciate the note card; and intend to use it. A hand written note always feels like a special gesture in our high-tech world.

So there you have it…


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A few of my favorite things: April

Wow! My second ever favorites of the month post!

A little late… but I will try and stick current obsessions that I haven’t included in previous “favorites” – which well, shouldn’t be too hard, since this is only the second time.

Just like my previous favorites post, I will include prices just in case anyone has been contemplating trying these out.

SKIN:

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($44 to $68 USD)

From Kiehl’s: Purely Potent Over-Night Repair. • Lightweight, overnight treatment. • Regenerates, repairs, and replenishes skin for a smoother, healthier skin. • Works with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors to dramatically restore skin. • 99.8% naturally-derived and paraben-free. 

Why I’m loving it:

  • Literally made a difference overnight!
  • After a month – my skin has improved dramatically
  • I don’t think I can go a day without using this stuff
  • P.S. It smells lovely!

BODY:

Neutrogena Body Oil ($9.99 to $15.99 USD)

From Neutrogena: Delicately light sesame formula that instantly vanishes into the skin, sealing in moisture. Skin feels moisturized, soft, silky and looks radiant. Lightweight, Absorbs quickly, Available in Original and Fragrance-free.

Why I’m loving it:

  • Hydrating – locks in the moister ( I apply it at the end of my shower)
  • You can add it to your bath water
  • Fragrance is subtly amazing and stays on your skin all day
  • Great for lazy days or days I’m so rushed I skip the body moisturizer  

FACE:

So the following products, in addition to being some of my favorites, are my current favorite daily face make-up combination.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free in “Bisque” ($42 USD)

Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in “Nude”  ($7.99 USD)

NARS Bronzer in “Laguna” ($34 USD)

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in “Medium” ($29 USD)

MAC In Extra Dimension Extra Dimension Highlighter in “Whisper of Gilt” ($29 USD)

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in “Dollface” ($25 USD)

FRAGRANCE:

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb ($25 to $105 USD)

BOOKS:

So this one overlapped April and May, but it’s has quickly become an all-time favorite obsession!

E.L. James Fifty Shades Trilogy

Why I’m loving it:

  • CHRISTIAN GREY!
  • Hot, Sexy and Sensual
  • Complicated, Complex and Raw
  • Intriguing and Real

And that’s all for now 😀