#MaskMonday: TONYMOLY [I’m Real] Lemon Face Mask Sheet

Woohoo!  #MaskMonday !!  It’s been a while since I’ve tried a new sheet mask, so I was super excited to experience the [I’m Real] Lemon Face Mask from TONYMOLY’s Collection.  This is a Brightening mask, which is just what I needed after returning from a Bachelorette Weekend in the mountains of Colorado.  Not to mention, Korean skincare is #OnFleek, so I knew I was in for a treat.  Since the mask comes in a 2 pack, I even convinced the Mister to get in on the fun.  I’m sure he figures that if he’s roped into Bachelorette Monday, he might as well go Big.  (He has tried one other mask with me before – remember this one?)

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As with all sheet masks I’ve tried before, I had a little bit of difficulty unfolding the sheet because of the amount of product saturating the material, but it worked.  Since it’s a pretty thick sheet (3 layers), I didn’t feel as prone to tear it as I have with others, which helped.  In the long run, I suppose anyone would rather have too-much serum than not-enough.  I utilized it for the full 30 minutes (it recommends 20-30), and had quite a bit of liquid to pat in at the end.  I could definitely feel the product on my face for another hour afterwards.

As with all lemon products, I was a little worried about too much of a ‘cleaning supply’ smell, but the lemon was actually very pleasant.  I described it to the Mister ‘as if someone squeezed fresh lemon into my sweet tea‘ – which isn’t a bad lemon scent with which to hang out!  Surprisingly, the Mister commented that he wished the mask had MORE of a lemon scent, because he was looking forward to that experience.

Did it brighten?  I would definitely say that the dry patches on my skin have disappeared, and my face overall feels more hydrated.  Some of the ‘problem spots’ on my chin have evened out.  The Mister described his post-mask skin as ‘smooth, firm and supple’ – I think that’s a manly thumbs up!

Would I purchase this again?  At $7.50 (for TWO!) it’s cheaper than any other mask I’ve utilized (even the similar Sephora masks).  I have some more from this line, so I’m interested to try them out and see the results.  And the Mister is willing to give sheet masks a second go-round, as well.  Overall success!

Have you used any of the TONYMOLY masks?  Do you have another mask you’d recommend I try?

YB Green Necklace + Cream Romper

I can’t get enough of my YB Green necklace (did you see my Instagram from earlier this week?)

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Not only is it a staple delicate for summer, the message behind the design is so inspiring.  YB (Yasmin Bowers) makes all of her jewelry from upcycled glass; that is, she makes a conscious effort to recycle in communities that cannot recycle or are finding ways to improve their environment.    She founded the collection in 2009, working in the 9th Ward of New Orleans when the city stopped recycling glass (this was the era of Hurricane Katrina).  I encourage you to check out this collection:  www.ybgreen.net or info@ybgreen.net

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I loved sporting the necklace with my cream romper from Lush (which I picked up a while ago from the local Fedora Boutique) and some simple Merona sandals.  What better way to enjoy the summer weather?

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Have you checked out YB Green before?  Have other upcycled favorites?  Let me know!

 

OZ Naturals Ancient Orient Rice Enzyme Dermafoliant

I’ve always been hesitant about regular exfoliation, because even though I have pretty normal skin, it does become a little sensitive in certain situations.  But since I’ve started utilizing more serums as part of my skincare routine, I’ve recognized that I need to add a good exfoliator in order to truly maximize the benefits of my other products.

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What I particularly love about OZ Naturals Ancient Orient Rice Enzyme Dermafoliant is that it is a powder, to which you add water, turning it into a gentle scrub.  This gave me more peace-of-mind than a pad soaked in acid (a very common exfoliator type), and woo-hoo — it doesn’t hurt my skin, inflame it, or even turn it red.  I certainly hit the jackpot this time around, unlike a woman I recently spent a Bachelorette Weekend with, you related a tale of going for microdermabrasion and having derma-cuts that scabbed.  No thank you!

What’s the secret?  Bamboo (which exfoliates, unclogs pores, etc) and Green Tea (rich in antioxidants, which helps collagen and spurns free-radicals).  I’ve definitely been on an Asian Skincare kick lately, and even though OZ Naturals is made in the US, it definitely adheres to the same beauty philosophy.

Check it out for yourself, and let me know what you think!

 

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Exuviance Intensive Eye Treatment Pads

It’s been a while since I’ve paid attention to my eye area when it comes to skincare.  I did utilize some under-eye pads at the beginning of the year, but they didn’t quite do for me what I had hoped they would.  So I was happy to have the chance to try Exuviance’s Intensive Eye Treatment Pads.  You know me – who doesn’t love a good eye mask?  It’s 20 minutes of solitary ‘me-time’…..

Exuviance

Each ‘set’ of pads come individually packaged.  I simply cleanse per my usual routine, pop a pad under each eye, and smooth it onto the skin for maximum benefit.  Exuviance recommends utilizing the pads for 10-30 minutes; I tend to leave them on the full time, because it is quite relaxing and why not maximize the treatment, right?

These pads are definitely true to their claim that they firm and hydrate.  I moisturize daily, but I have deep set eyes that sometimes take the brunt of my skin issues.  It’s nice to find a product that specifically targets that area with intensity.  The product explains that it stimulates cell renewal – I’m not quite to the ‘fine lines and wrinkle’ stage, but if it can truly fix deep-seated issues, I’m sure it will become a cult favorite.

Check it out for yourself, and let me know your thoughts.  Will you be joining me for Mask Monday?

 

 

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Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C

I recently started using Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C, which is a 100% natural scalene anti-aging moisturizer.  I was originally hesitant to utilize a product with retinol, because it can be quite harsh at times, but I find that this product is surprisingly gentle.  I’m not sure if it’s reduced any signs of aging (not that I have much, since I use moisturizer religiously), but it definitely makes the skin brighter and more luminous throughout the day, which is something I look for in good skincare.

Trilane

One thing that surprised me was the moisturizers ability to minimize pores.  I generally use cream moisturizers, and this is a liquid, so perhaps that consistency had something to do with it.  Not that I have large pores, but I do admit to using Benefit’s primer for the same purpose, and I found that Trilane replaced the need for that.  Which is fantastic, since I tend to prefer a BB Cream to primer + foundation over my moisturizer in the summer months.

Try it out for yourself (only $49.99) and let me know if you like it!  Readers of my blog receive a special 20% discount by utilizing the code: SAVERETC through December 31, 2015!

 

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NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

I never really gravitate toward foaming cleansers for the face, but I’ve recently been utilizing the NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash and it leaves my skin feeling surprisingly soft!

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There’s a few interesting things about this wash.  Firstly, it’s soap free, so you avoid the harshness and sensitivity that you sometimes might experience with other similar products that not only cleanse but unclog pores.  This is fantastic for a high-strength product (18% Glycolic Acid), and really allows for a smoother skin texture.  Secondly, it’s ph-balanced, which really helps to restore optimal cell clarity.  I recently ran out of the moisturizing water I use to hydrate and balance, so this was a nice substitution, especially as a 2-in-1.

NeoStrata does recommend that you utilize twice a day.  I only utilize in the morning, because I’m fairly new to glycolic regimens, and don’t want to overdo it.

To add this to your own skincare regimen, head over to NeoStrata ($40) – and let me know how you like it!

 

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Add Pops of Neon to a Little White Dress

Summer time is all about breezy fabrics and fun in the sun.  It’s a time to pack up all your little black dresses, and bring out the Southern cousin: the LWD.  But with wedding season in full swing, how do you steer clear of matrimonial territory?

I avoid the ‘lace’ pitfall, and try to stick to more casual fabrics.  I love this dress from Malloy, which mixes an upper fitted cotton tee with a flouncy skirt.  I then layer on pops of color.  I love a neon pink, as you can see in this faux pocket detailing with the zipper hardware, and coordinating belt.  Beaded statement necklaces and quirky sandals like these from Sophia Webster finish off the perfect look.

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FUN FACT: I love visiting chapels on country backroads!

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Bright sunny days aren’t quite the same without my Warby Parkers

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V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N !

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I’m in love with this Fanella Statement Necklace

Zakia’s Morocco Review + GIVEAWAY!

I just finished using a new clay mask, which might just be my new favorite.  From Zakia’s Morocco, the Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Powder Face & Body Mask is intended to tone and revitalize your skin.  After use, my skin feels incredibly soft, and the experience was wonderfully pleasant.

MoroccanMask

This mask can be used in a variety of ways, but I’m partial to facial masks, so I’ve journeyed down that path.  It was incredibly easy to mix up – you just take a large tablespoon of the powder, place it in a bowl (I like to use ramekins – I’m weird like that, but I think it helps keep from spilling), and add water.  Now, I will say that the company recommends a 1:5 ratio of powder:water, with an aim for a consistency like thin cookie dough.  I found that this ratio left it too watery, even for a thin application, so I added more powder.  They also recommend using a spatula or finger to apply, but I like to use a paint brush – I feel like it helps me really achieve that even coating.

I let it dry for a full 10 minutes, the maximum recommendation, and then rinsed.  That timing was perfect for me, but I can definitely see how leaving it on longer would make it difficult to remove.  Zakia’s explains that it’s not necessary to leave on for more than a few minutes, and you can remove it before it’s fully dry.  That makes this a perfect addition to a weekly routine, because it doesn’t take up much time for those of us with busy schedules.  Score!  I’m all for speedy relaxation.

This clay powder can also be used as a hair mask, a deep clean shampoo, or a full body mask.  I have actually never applied a hair mask before, so I think this might be next on my agenda.

If you’d like to give Zakia’s a try, you’re in luck!  Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a $50 gift card to use on Zakia’s Morocco beauty products!

All readers will also receive a 20% Discount on all products for the next 30 days.  Simply enter the code “ZMBLOG-213” at check-out.  And let me know your thoughts!

 

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#SampleSaturday: Tarte Maracuja Oil

I’ve had a lot of success with Tarte lately, so for this #SampleSaturday I decided to try out the brand’s Maracuja Oil.  I was late to the oil bandwagon but have slowly been coming around, especially after two realizations:

1) I have ‘normal’ skin, but in the summer it can sometimes become combination.  I’ve always been hesitant to apply oil based products, but then I learned that oil actually HELPS retain the skin’s natural oils.  Which in turn prevents dryness.  So let’s hop to it!

2) My husband told me that ‘Maracuja’ means ‘passionfruit’ – and passionfruit has never steered me wrong.  Ever.

Maracuja

I decided to apply to my face tonight after cleansing and letting my skin dry.  The sample says to use 2-3 drops on your hands, applying to face/neck.  I’m not sure what size drops they’re going for, but the sample is a lot more generous, and I utilized about 2-3 times that recommended amount.  I’m used to hydrating my skin (I use a facial spray, followed by a moisturizer, every morning), so I yearned for that plump feeling.  My face has also been a little dry lately thanks to some weather changes, lack of sleep, hormones, you name it.  This actually has no smell (perhaps if you really focus you can get a whiff of an incredibly faint odor), which is definitely something I consider before applying ‘end of day’ products.  I never want an unpleasant scent to disrupt my sleeping capabilities.  Are you with me?

Now, I realize that serums, etc, are probably best tested over a longer timeframe, but upon first impression, I like it so much that I already have a larger size on order.  Seriously.  Jump this bandwagon.

Do you utilize any oils as part of your skincare routine?

Fiore: Apriel Patterned Tights

A few decades ago, women wouldn’t consider it appropriate to walk outdoors without pantyhose.  I remember dutifully slipping on a pair every time I wore a dress growing up.  But times are changing, and bare legs have broken free.  Why go back to the old days?

That’s what so special about Fiore tights.  These pantyhose aren’t the garments of our mother’s day.  They’re sexy.  They’re provocative.  They’re fashion-forward.  They’re just the thing to slip into before donning a little black dress, a pair of Louboutins, and hitting up cocktails at a swanky bar.  They’re that fashion accessory that adds a bit of personality – a wink wink, an edge, a sideways glance.  They’re unforgettable.

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Grab a pair and show me your Fiore look!