10 New Skincare Products I Want to Try in 2017

It's a new year and like a lot of people, I feel like a new year means a fresh start. As a self-proclaimed skincare junkie I always get excited when I see new products being released, and January seems to be the time when all the new stuff launches. Granted, there are certain products in my bathroom right now that I love and have used for years, but I'm always curious to try new products. Science is always advancing and the newer formulas can take your skin to an even better place than the older formulas do.

I've been adding products to my mental shopping cart the past couple of weeks and I wanted to share  the ones I'm most excited to try in 2017. Let's take a look!

Emjoi eRase e60 Epilator Review

Today I'm writing about a topic I rarely speak about here on the blog...hair removal! That's because I've stopped shaving and waxing my legs. Haha, it's not what you think! I'm not going au natural or anything like that. I've actually discovered a new product that's as easy as using an electric razor and as long-lasting as waxing...the Emjoi eRase e60 Epilator ($59.95). 

You may be familiar with Emjoi (I've blogged about their foot smoothing devices here on the blog in the past) and I was so excited to find out that they make epilators too! I don't know why, but I never hear about this method of hair removal...and it's totally underrated. Everyone I know either shaves or waxes, both of which have their own unique drawbacks.

Algenist Genius Serum & Eye Cream 50% Off Today Only!

The Ulta Beauty Love Your Skin Event kicks off today and features Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum and Eye Cream at 50% off!

I haven't tried the eye cream, but I've been using the Genius Serum (reg. $118, now $59) since October and I love it. I have a lot of sun damage under my eyes and on my cheeks from my teenage years sitting out in the sun. I have always needed more coverage in that area when applying foundation and concealer but since using this serum I noticed that I don't need as much...I can get away with much lighter coverage because my skin looks lighter and brighter and the dark spots are much less noticeable.

This serum is also supposed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and I have noticed that my skin has
been looking younger lately. But to be totally honest with you, I can't say whether or not that change is attributed to this product because I'm using several different anti-aging serums right now. However...I do know that this product alone has lightened my dark spots because I stopped using the one I was previously using and have only been using this for that purpose.

Also, I want to add that there are some reviews on Ulta.com claiming that this product has a bad scent...I have no idea what they're talking about because it smells like chocolate to me! :) It also fades within a few seconds of application so if you're wanting to try this product, don't let those reviews scare you (especially if you like sweet, chocolatey scents).

Have you tried any of the Algenist Genius products yet? Will you be picking either of these up today?

Visit the Love Your Skin event at Ulta.com

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Kopari Coconut Body Oil Review

kopari coconut body oil review
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I'm crazy about coconut everything, including coconut oil. I have super dry skin and I love using it to moisturize from head to toe. The one downside is that it can be a little messy to use, so I was super excited to discover Kopari Coconut Body Oil ($34). This is a dry coconut oil spray...how genius is that?

If you're new to Kopari, they are passionate about all things coconut (just like me!) and they create all of their products with the highest-grade, 100% organic coconut oil sourced directly from the Philippines. Every product is made as naturally as possible with no sulfates, silicones, parabens, GMO's, or toxins, so you know that you're not putting anything gross on your body...just the good stuff. 
Let's take a look!

New "Yes To" Skincare at Ulta Beauty

Several new Yes To products just launched at Ulta.com this week and a couple of them have really cool , innovative packaging! Let's take a look...

Advanced Clinicals is Affordable Skincare That Works!

I recently had the opportunity to try some products from a Chicago-based skincare company called Advanced Clinicals and I couldn't wait to share them with you guys! They offer effective formulas that are backed by science, cruelty free, made in the U.S.A. and the best part is...they're affordable. Every product I mention in this post is $20 and under plus I have a 30% off code just for my readers (see below for details).
Let's take a look!

My Favorite Winter Mask (and it's really affordable!)

skinfood black sugar honey mask review

I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record but Skinfood is one of my absolute favorite skincare brands...they're effective and affordable which is an unbeatable combination. Today I wanted to share my favorite Winter mask/scrub with you, the Black Sugar Honey Mask ($11.50). I use the original Black Sugar Mask in the Spring and Summer but when the weather gets cold and my skin gets dry I switch to this one because it adds a boost of moisture to my skin while removing dry patches and refining texture.

I picked mine up on the Skinfood website but I just noticed that Ulta recently started carrying it as well!

Let's take a look!

Give Coal This Holiday Season (Soap that is!)

I'm so excited to share this new product with you guys that finally launched online. I've had it for a while now (I got a PR Sample last month) and I'm obsessed! It's the Coal Chunk Trio ($13) from Perfectly Posh. It's a giftable set of three soaps that look like lumps of coal and they smell amaaaaazing...like creamy campfire marshmallows! I literally want to smell like this all the time, it's so good.

Plus, this set is the cutest stocking stuffer ever.

These soaps contain glycerin and shea butter to soften your skin as well as charcoal and sugar to purify.

These are going to go very quickly so don't wait if you want to grab these to give as gifts (or for yourself...I'm picking up a few more!).

Get your Coal Chunk Trio now at Perfectly Posh

PR Sample/ Affiliate Link

New Skincare Spotted at Walgreens

Today I was at Walgreens and spotted a few new skincare items! They were in the regular skincare area, not in the section with the new products (just a tip in case you're looking for them). First, I spotted a new Micellar Cleansing Water from L'Oreal ($9.99). It comes in three formulas...

  • Waterproof Makeup Remover for all skin types (blue)
  • Purifying and Mattifying for Normal to Oily skin types (green)
  • Hydrating and Soothing for Normal to Dry skin types (pink)
 I own the Garnier Micellar Water with the blue cap (waterproof remover) and this one is very similar...it's also a dual-phase formula and it's completely unscented just like the Garnier version. I'm willing to bet the formulas are nearly identical since L'Oreal owns Garnier, but I bought the blue one to compare with the one I have at home so we'll find out soon enough!

Also in the L'Oreal section there was a placeholder for a new line for dry skin called Hydra Genius. There isn't too much information about it other than it gives your skin 72 hour ultra-light, intense hydration. The bottle says it's for "normal to dry skin", while the jar says "extra dry skin". I'll keep you guys posted as to when I find the actual products in-store but for now, I just wanted to let you know it's coming!

Also, I reposted this photo from @beautylogicblog on Instagram last week and kept meaning to talk about it here on the blog. Garnier is also coming out with a Micellar Water for normal to oily skin types that's supposed to purify pores and mattify the skin (similar to the L'Oreal one above). I saw a placeholder for this at Walgreens as well, so it should be arriving very soon!

Also in this photo, there's a "Gentle Sulfate-Free Cleanser in the background that's also new!

What do you think of these new products, will you be on the lookout for them? I have to say I'm happy to see them because I feel like we haven't had any new drugstore skincare launches in a while! :) 

Fun Face Masks to Try This Fall

If you've been reading here for the past few weeks, you probably know that I've been absolutely loving a brand I recently discovered called Perfectly Posh. I promised some in-depth reviews of their products since many of you had never heard of them and were curious about a lot of the products. 
Today I wanted to review two of the masks I received in my Starter Kit  last month, Smashing Good Pumpkin ($19) and Cackle Spackle ($18). Don't be fooled by the adorable names and packagin...these masks are packed with serious ingredients that actually work. Plus, like all Perfectly Posh products, they are made in the USA, cruelty free, under $25 and are naturally based. 

Let's take a look...

Perfectly Posh Starter Kit Unboxing

You may have seen my post earlier in the week about a new company I recently discovered called Perfectly Posh. I've been using a few of their products for a couple of weeks and I'm totally hooked so for me, the next step was joining the company!

*Quick disclaimer...this is not sponsored and I'm not trying to sell you on joining a business opportunity. This is more of a personal post about something I decided to do in addition to blogging. And, since it's beauty-related, I really wanted to share it with you because the products are awesome and I'm so excited about them.

To join Posh, it costs $99 for a starter kit. It includes over $250+ worth of products (so you can try them for yourself and also be able to give samples), business supplies (samples, sample jars, catalogs, order forms (if you decide to do parties- but you don't have to though!), a t-shirt, and a tote bag. Plus, when you start, you'll have online access to the Posh Academy, which is a series of courses that teach you how to get started and more about the brand. Of course, you can also just order the kit to get the products for less if you don't really want to start a business.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream Review

it cosmetics eye cream review
Being the beauty nerd/junkie that I am, I've been reading up on skincare since I was a teenager and as a result, I started using eye cream in my early 20's, before I really "needed" it.  I had learned that your eyes are usually the first thing to show the signs of aging on your face, in part because the skin is very thin and delicate there, and also because our eyes show a lot of expression. As a result, I guess you could say I've become a bit of an eye cream junkie!

That's why I was psyched when one of my favorite makeup brands, IT Cosmetics, launched their skincare line at Sephora. The first thing I had my eye on (no pun intended, haha) was the new Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream ($48). If my experience with IT Cosmetics' makeup line has taught me anything, it's that their products actually work, so the thought of them putting their expertise into skincare was really exciting to me.

Colleen Rothschild Weekend Sale- Up to 50% Off

Today only, save on one of my favorite skincare brands, Colleen Rothschild.

Right now, there are several products on sale up to 50% off, including the Dual Enzyme Polish which I just recently tried and am totally in love with! It contains the perfect amount of grit combined with an effective cocktail of AHA's and it leaves my skin so smooth and soft! 

Also on sale are the Retinol Treatment Complex and Salicylic Acid complex, hand and body products, plus the Ultimate Lip Balm which I've always wanted to try. It has a cocoa peppermint scent and contains ingredients to hydrate, add volume, and reduce lines. 

If you're not sure what to try, there's a short video in the description of each product, which features Colleen talking about the features, benefits, and how to use it. These have definitely helped me when making decisions on whether a product would be right for my skin type. 

Visit the sale now at ColleenRothschild.com

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Peter Thomas Roth Sale as Low as $2.50!

There's a fantastic sale going on right now on the Peter Thomas Roth website! All travel sizes are at huge discounts right now with most products priced at right around $5 and some as low as $2.50.

Now before you start thinking these are tiny sample sizes, they're not at all! For example, the bottle of Retinol Fusion PM that's on sale for $5 (reg. $35) is almost an entire half an ounce (.4 oz) and since you only need a couple of drops per night, this bottle will last you months. I got the same size in a QVC discovery kit and it lasted me between 3 and 4 months with regular use. It has since become my holy grail retinol serum and I'm on my third bottle. I'm really excited to stock up on it!

I'm also excited to try some products for the first time that I've been hearing great things about such as the Irish Moor Mud Cleanser and the Unwrinkle Night Cream.

You can visit the sale now at PeterThomasRoth.com

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My Morning Skincare Routine

Earlier in the week, I posted my nighttime skincare routine, which is focused on correcting and treating fine lines, texture, and dark spots. Some of the products I use at night (such as retinol) break down and become less effective when exposed to sunlight, so they can only be used at night for best results.

The products I use in my morning skincare routine are all about creating a smooth canvas for makeup and protecting my skin from free radical damage. Free radicals from the sun and environmental pollution are a major cause of aging, so I like to use products that are rich in antioxidants (along with SPF) to prevent more damage to my skin.

Let's take a look!

Since I take my makeup off at night, I don't need to use a heavy-duty makeup removing cleanser in the morning.
Most days, I like to use Purity Made Simple from Philosophy. It's been my go-to cleanser for years and it removes any remaining eye makeup that I may have missed the night before.

Once or twice a week, I like to use a gentle exfoliating cleanser to brighten and refine my skin. I don't use this type of cleanser at night because they contain ingredients that can't be used near your eyes. I love Pixi's Glow Mud Cleanser ($18 at Target), especially during "that time of the month" when I sometimes get breakouts on my chin. It contains 5% glycolic acid and mud that deep cleans your pores, yet it doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped or tight, due to the aloe vera and avocado oil in the formula.
I've also recently discovered Skinfood's Rice Brightening Scrub Foam ($14 at Ulta). It creates a rich, foamy lather that's almost like shaving cream and it has micro-fine rice granules in it that gently exfoliate. It deep cleans my pores and makes my skin look brighter.
Since I can't use either of those cleansers near my eyes, I use Garnier's SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ($8.99 at Ulta) to clean up any mascara residue that I missed the night before. I don't like to waste an entire cleansing wipe just for my eyes, so micellar water is a great solution...just a little bit on a cotton pad takes away everything gently and effortlessly.

There are two different toners that I like to use based on which cleanser I chose that day. If I used Philosophy Purity, I love Pixi's Glow Tonic ($15 at Target), which contains 5% glycolic acid to gently exfoliate. It makes my skin feel so smooth afterwards! 
If I'm using the Pixi Mud Cleanser or Skinfood Scrub Foam, I don't want to overdo it with the exfoliation so instead of using Glow Tonic, I love Skinfood's Miracle Food 10 Toner ($38 at Ulta). This isn't your typical water-like toner...it has a slightly thicker, milky texture and feels so soothing when I pat it on. It adds moisture, balances my skin, and also contains high levels of antioxidants from 10 different superfoods.

I know I have a ton of Skinfood products in this post, but they're one of my favorite brands when it comes to skincare...they're super high-quality and very affordable. I started getting into Korean skincare a few years ago, and used to have these scrubs shipped all the way from Korea (which was expensive). I am so happy that Ulta is now carrying them!
This is my third tub of the Black Sugar Mask ($10 at Ulta) and second of the Rice Mask ($10 at Ulta) I reviewed them in more detail here, but the Black Sugar one is holy grail for me when my skin is looking dull and I want it to be as smooth as porcelain. I use the Rice one when I want a light, fluffy scrub that makes my skin velvety soft.
Judging by the 5 star reviews on Ulta's website, I'd say these are becoming a lot of people's holy grail scrubs!

I like to layer serums because they typically contain the highest number of active ingredients and I've rarely found one that "does it all". In the morning, I use one that prevents and also corrects dark spots and one that contains a high level of antioxidants to protect my skin from free radical damage.

I'm on my second tube of Garnier's SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector ($16.99). It contains antioxidants like Vitamin C and E to prevent dark spots from forming and it also fades them over time. I love how effective it is and it's really affordable. My dark spots have faded significantly from using this daily and I saw some initial brightening and evening of my skin after only a week of use.
I've also recently started using Skinfood's Miracle Food 10 Solution Serum ($48). Just like the toner, this contains the extracts of ten different superfoods for a high level of antioxidant protection. This serum feels a little thicker than most...almost like a thin primer, making my skin really smooth and soft and and also making fine lines and pores less visible.

In the Korean skincare routine, there's a step in-between applying your serum and moisturizer...the "emulsion". An emulsion is more of a watery "light" moisturizer that can be applied underneath your face cream (if you have dry skin like me) or in place of your moisturizer if you have oily skin or don't need a lot of hydration. I usually skip this step in the summertime but as the weather gets drier, I've found it to be a lifesaver for my skin! Most moisturizers are made with water so they tend to evaporate during the day...an emulsion is one more layer that helps to seal in moisture and keep your skin hydrated.
I've been using Skinfood's Miracle Food 10 Solution Emulsion ($38) because it's so high in antioxidants and also contains niacinamide and peptides for anti-aging benefits. Layering all of the Miracle Food products during the day gives my skin a huge antioxidant boost and I've found that my skin stays so plump and hydrated all day. I would definitely recommend this line if you want to protect your skin from the environment and have normal to dry or mature skin!

Next, I've been using Colleen Rothschild Sheer Renewal Cream ($55- on sale for $41 this weekend with code HYDRATE25). This has been my go-to summer moisturizer because it absorbs quickly and has a matte finish so it creates the perfect canvas for makeup (I know some people who even use it as their primer!). It contains peptides to firm your skin and a multi-fruit complex to gently encourage cell turnover, so it's not just your basic, run of the mill moisturizer. If you have oily skin, you can likely use it year-round, but since it's lightweight I may have to switch to something heavier in October or November when we start running the heat a lot in the house.

Finally, I finish my routine with a dab of Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment ($29). It's made with avocado oil and it's really hydrating but it sinks in quickly so it's not greasy at all. I know people with oily skin that really like this cream as well because it's not heavy.  It also doesn't migrate into my eyes like some eye creams do, so it's great for daytime.

Well that's it...my morning skincare routine! It seems like a lot of steps but only takes about 5 minutes or so.  If you missed my nighttime skincare routine post, you can check that out here.

What are your favorite skincare products to use in the daytime?

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Get Unready With Me | Nighttime Skincare Routine

It's taken me a long time and lots of trial and error but I finally have a skincare routine that works for me and I can honestly say that my skin looks better now than it did ten years ago. I was blessed with blemish-free skin in my teens and smooth, clear skin in my twenties, despite all of the neglect I put it through. I rarely took off my makeup before bed and hardly ever moisturized (I know, terrible!). But then things started to catch up with me around the time I turned 30. I started seeing sun spots from not wearing SPF and fine lines cropping up around my eyes. All of a sudden I had visible pores on my cheeks and a rough, dull texture as my skin got drier.
Foundation started to settle into imperfections and makeup didn't look as good as it used to. With my 30's came the realization that if I don't take care of my skin, no amount of makeup is going to look right. So I started focusing on getting my skin to a healthy state and as a result, I was able to turn back the clock a little bit. I can't say that I'm completely free of fine lines or sun spots, but realistically no skincare product alone can do that.

With the products in my current routine, I've enjoyed brighter, clearer skin, lessened fine lines, and a softer, smoother texture.

To show you the difference, I posted two photos below...the left one is from 3 years ago, and the right one was taken a few months ago. I'm not wearing makeup in either one.
*Please note: I have large bags under my eyes in the photo on the left because I had just given birth to my son a few months before and wasn't sleeping at all. I don't normally have bags under my eyes and that was a temporary thing, so I'm not going to compare that to the newer photo since it had nothing to do with my skincare routine.*
But the real difference is that now my skin is brighter and clearer and the freckling on my cheeks is greatly reduced (although you can still see it if you look closely...especially on my nose). I still have fine lines in my forehead and under my eyes but they're not as deep as they were.

I didn't think I was seeing many changes when I first started my routine, but looking back and comparing the two I can see how much of a difference taking care of my skin has made. I don't need as much makeup now and I never thought I would say that at 38 years old! 
As a result, I've started to shift more of my budget toward skincare and less toward makeup. At this point in my life, I would much rather create a clear, smooth canvas to work with rather than spending all of my money trying to cover it up with makeup. 

So without further ado, here's my nighttime skincare routine from start to finish (I'll do a separate post on the products I use in the morning next). 

The cleanser I use at night depends on one thing...how tired I am!

If I'm absolutely exhausted and don't even feel like turning the water on, I use Simple's Micellar Cleansing Wipes ($7.99). I've tried so many different kinds of wipes from many different brands and these are the best. They remove makeup easily, even mascara and they don't leave a film or sticky feeling behind. My skin just feels soft and clean...and they're unscented as well.

If I'm not too tired but it's late and I don't have a lot of time, I reach for IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm ($38- currently on sale for $34.24). This is the first cleansing balm I've tried that doesn't leave an oily residue on my skin! It rinses totally clean with just water and my skin feels velvety soft, with no double cleanse required. I apply it to dry skin and it melts into an oil on contact dissolving any type of makeup quickly and easily. It's also unscented and great for sensitive skin.

If I want a luxurious cleansing experience and have a little more time to spend, I reach for the Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm ($65- get 20% off using code BeautyBlog20)This balm has a beautiful, soothing, spa-like scent and a soft, melty texture (similar to the IT Cosmetics balm above) that you apply to dry skin. It comes with a muslin cloth that you run under hot water (not so hot that you can't put your hands in it) and then drape the cloth over your face and let the cleanser melt into your skin and the soothing scent relax you...it's like a spa treatment! Then, you use the cloth to remove the cleanser and it gently exfoliates your face at the same time. My skin looks the best after using this one...it just takes a bit more time since you have to remove it with the cloth.

The next step I use is an essence, which is like a thinner version of a serum. I've been following the multi-step Korean skincare routine for a few years now, which involves starting with the lightest, most watery-textured product and adding layers until you get to the thickest product. I found the May Coop Raw Sauce ($14) essence at Sephora a few months ago and I love using it as a "prep step" before my serums. It has a light, silky texture that goes deep into the skin to help your serums (which have the most active ingredients) penetrate further.

I use two different serums at night...one to address fine lines and one to lighten discoloration and smooth the texture of my skin.

First, I use the Colleen Rothschild Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum ($75 use code BeautyBlog20 to get 20% off). This contains both alpha and beta hydroxy acids to help fade sun spots, clean out pores, and exfoliate the dead skin sitting on top. I just started using it last month and I love how gentle (yet super effective) it is! Before that I was using the Pixi Overnight Glow Serum ($24) which is a great, affordable option if you're looking for an exfoliating treatment. The Pixi serum uses glycolic acid which is a very effective exfoliator (because it goes down really deep), but it is also more likely to cause irritation if you're sensitive. It also doesn't contain the beta hydroxy acid, which helps to clear your pores, but I still really liked the smooth results I got with it so I use it once a week in place of the Mandelic Acid serum.

Next, I use the Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM serum ($65). This is the best retinol treatment I've tried because it doesn't cause irritation and you don't need to work up to using it. I previously had tried a retinol from Paula's Choice among others and the sensitive skin underneath my eyes would always develop these really sensitive dry patches that looked red, almost like I burned my skin. This one doesn't do that because it contains micro-encapsulated retinol that's time released. It releases a little bit at a time all through the night so you're not hitting your skin with it all at once. It has a super light, water-like texture that any skin type can use and I have definitely seen the fine lines on my forehead and underneath my eyes decrease after using this product (retinol has been proven to help rebuild collagen).
I was previously using Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105) as my retinol treatment and it's another great choice if you want to avoid irritation. It's just way more expensive than the Peter Thomas Roth version (which honestly works just as well if not better in my opinion).

I have really dry skin, so I like to use heavier products at night that will plump up my skin while I sleep. I actually mix a little cocktail together that includes a dollop of Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream mixed on the back of my hand with two drops of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate oil ($46).

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Cream ($60) has a soft, fluffy whipped texture that's moisturizing but not heavy or greasy at all.  It contains 6 rare African oils, hyaluronic acid, green tea and plantain extract (helps increase firmness and elasticity). It's completely unscented and great for sensitive skin.

I purchased Kiehls' Midnight Recovery Concentrate after seeing multiple rave reviews online. It contains evening primrose oil to boost radiance and squalene which is similar in molecular structure to our own skin's lipids. It makes my skin feel so soft and smooth and it's lightweight so any skin type can use it.

I used to switch off using both of these moisturizers alone but then I read that if you have dry skin, you can mix a few drops of facial oil with your moisturizer...it makes such a difference for me and I would never have thought to do that. My skin actually looks plumped up and the moisture stays with me longer instead of disappearing by morning. It does feel a bit heavy on my face but I don't mind when I'm going to bed...it feels sort of like a mask!

Finally, I finish my routine with the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Eye Cream ($37). I just started using this recently so it's hard to say whether I've been getting results from it. But I purchased it because I like the Midnight Recovery Concentrate Oil so much that I wanted to do the same thing for my eye area. It has a medium-weight texture, absorbs easily, and contains the same ingredients as the concentrate oil plus Butcher's Broom which increases microcirculation and reduces inflammation. I will say, my eyes don't look as puffy when I wake up in the morning, so that's a good sign!

The final step is to apply a coat of Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask to my lips. This is my third tube and I will never stop buying it as long as they make it! It has a delicious vanilla scent and is super thick and rich so it just seals in moisture for hours and hours. When I used to apply other balms at night, they would just sort of sink in and disappear by morning, but when I use this, it's still on my lips when I wake up so I feel like it's protecting them all night long.

That's it! It might seem a bit overwhelming to see all of these different products at once, but if you don't know where to start, I would recommend trying a serum first. You get the most visible results from them and they make the biggest difference over time.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my daytime skincare routine!

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Colleen Rothschild Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum Review

Colleen Rothschild is quickly becoming one of my favorite skincare brands, so I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to try the new Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum ($75). I've been using it since July and it has since become a staple in my skincare routine. I plan to do a separate post about my entire routine, but today I wanted to focus on this one product because it's made such a big difference in the way my skin looks and feels!

Let's take a look ...

Key Ingredients:

You probably know that exfoliation is the key to removing that top layer of dead skin that makes our complexions look dull, but some of them (such as glycolic acid) can be harsh to those with sensitive skin. This new serum contains Mandelic Acid, which is derived from German Bitter Almonds. It has a larger molecule size so it doesn't go as deep into the layers of your skin, thereby reducing redness and irritation. It breaks down the tiny bonds between dead skin cells, revealing the bright clear skin beneath. This is gentle enough for me to use every day and I've never experienced any irritation from it at all. When I first started using glycolic acid, I could only use it a few times a week and had to build up a tolerance...but I was able to use this every day with no problems.

This particular formula also contains Lactic Acid (derived from milk) and Salicylic Acid (from the willow tree).

Lactic Acid is another gentle alpha hydroxy acid that helps to break apart the dead skin cells, while Salicylic Acid (a beta hydroxy acid) breaks up the cells that stick together inside the lining of your pores, de-clogging blackheads and whiteheads.

Those three ingredients combined with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, peptides and fruit extracts are what makes this a powerhouse serum for brightening and decongesting your skin, while also firming and protecting from environmental stress.

When to use: 

I use this serum at night after using Colleen's Radiant Cleansing Balm ...AHA's can make your skin sun-sensitive so it's recommended to use them in the evening. This serum feels very light and watery and it absorbs very quickly. It has a beautiful spa-like scent...one of the many things I love about Colleen Rothschild products. As soon as I breathe in the soothing scents, my mind just sort of calms down and gets right into bedtime mode.

I like using it right before my retinol serum to get rid of those dead skin cells and help the retinol get down a little deeper (as well as my moisturizer).


Over time, this serum claims to:
  • Refine your skin's texture and tone (mine already feels smoother and looks brighter)
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (I use a few different anti-aging products so it's hard to tell which ones are making improvements)
  • Help clogged pores and blackheads (I've noticed that my pores look smaller and the tiny blackheads near my nose are gone since using this)
  • Inhibit dark spots and uneven tone (I haven't gotten as much freckling this summer, and I think that using this plus a good sunscreen has helped tremendously). 
  • Firm and protect with antioxidants and peptides 

Quick Update: 

I just wanted to do a quick update on the other Colleen Rothschild products I posted about back in June. I've been using the Radiant Cleansing Balm and Sheer Renewal Cream all summer and have fallen in love with them even more! The Radiant Cleansing Balm removes makeup so easily but what I love about it even more is that my skin looks so bright and feels so soft after using it...something I don't often find with cleansers. Also, the Sheer Renewal Cream has been my go-to moisturizer all summer. It has such a beautiful light texture with a matte finish that doesn't make me feel greasy. I'm a little sad that I'll have to stop using it when the weather turns cold and my skin gets drier but I plan to try a more moisturizing option from Colleen Rothschild at that point.

If you're interested in trying the new Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum (or any other products from the Colleen Rothschild line), use code BEAUTYBLOG20 at checkout to save 20% off of regular-priced items (expires one week from today).  This code brings the price of the Mandelic Acid serum down to $60 and saves you $15.

Also, I recommend the Discovery Kit if you're new to the brand...it comes with 7 different generously sized travel products (including the Radiant Cleansing Balm and Sheer Renewal Cream) and is $76 when you use my code. 

Have you tried any Colleen Rothschild products yet? If so what are your favorites? If not, which ones are you interested in trying? 

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L'oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads Review

L'oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads ($19.99) are brand new for summer 2016 and I found them at my local Walgreens a few weeks ago. When I first posted a photo of the display on Instagram, I ended up getting a lot of requests for a review, so now that I've been using them for about three weeks, I feel like I can finally go in depth and tell you guys what I think. So let's take a look!

What Does Glycolic Acid Do For Your Skin? 

First, I want to talk about the benefits of using glycolic acid for those of you who aren't familiar with a product like this (if you're already a pro, you can totally skip this section). Glycolic Acid is an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and is derived from sugar cane. Other AHA's include Citric Acid (from citrus fruits), Lactic Acid (from milk), Malic Acid (from apples), and Tartaric Acid (from grapes). AHA's work by eating up and removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, sort of like mini Pac-Men. Glycolic Acid has the smallest molecules of all of the AHA's so it can penetrate deeper into the skin, making it the most effective option.

Glycolic Acid:

  • Reduces fine lines by increasing cell turnover- newer younger skin cells are now visible
  • Helps to clear clogged pores and blackheads, which in turn improves acne.
  • Helps other products to penetrate deeper into the skin by removing a barrier of dead skin cells and grime.
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores by keeping them clear of debris


The Loreal Bright Reveal Peel Pads contain 10% Glycolic Acid as well as Citric Acid, for gentle, yet effective results. A lot of you have been asking me to compare these to the Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads and the Pixi Glow Peel Pads. Right away, I can tell you that both of those contain 20% Glycolic Acid, making them much stronger options. 

I don't have sensitive skin by any means, but 20% Glycolic Acid is too strong for me to use every day and makes my skin flake so I have to build up to it very slowly. That wasn't the case with the L'oreal Peel Pads...they didn't burn, sting, or dry my skin out (but if you have sensitive skin, you may still have to go slowly with these). I actually prefer the 10% glycolic acid because I can use these every day rather than every few days. Glycolic Acid works best when you use it cumulatively, so stronger isn't always better!

I've heard that the Pixi Glow Peel Pads have a strong rose fragrance, but the L'oreal Bright Reveal pads don't smell like much of anything...maybe just an alcohol-type scent? It's very mild and disappears almost instantly. 

How I Use Them: 

I actually use the L'oreal Bright Reveal Pads a few different ways, so they're a really versatile product! 

1. First, I use them on my face at night after cleansing. They're gentle enough that you can use them every night but I skip them on nights when I use a scrub...using both is too much for my skin and can make them sting a little bit. The reason I use them at night is because glycolic acid can make your skin sun-sensitive (make sure to wear SPF during the day!). Right away, my skin feels smoother and looks brighter. The pads are fairly large and they have just the right amount of solution on them...they're not dry and they're not overly saturated to the point where they're dripping (like some others I've tried in the past). This means I can cover my entire face, neck, and then some! Which brings me to my next use for these...

2. Once I've covered my face and neck, the pad still has a little bit of the solution on it. I like to take it and go over rough areas on my body. I have darkness and discoloration on my knees from kneeling all the time playing with my son. The skin has gotten very thick and dry and it looks terrible! I've been using these on them every day and have noticed a huge difference so far. The darkness is fading and they don't have a thick, dry layer over them anymore. I'm going to keep using them and hopefully my knees will go back to being the same color and texture as the rest of the skin on my legs. You can use these pads on any rough areas...elbows, feet, hands, or anywhere you have dry, dead skin that you want to remove. Just be aware that it'll take weeks of daily application in some cases to see results. 

3. The third way I use these is to take a fresh peel pad and go over my body with it to get rid of scaly, dry skin, especially on my legs! This is awesome if you're using self-tanner because they remove that top layer of dead skin that color tends to cling to. Just start using these a few days before to make sure you get rid of all the dead skin and your tanner will go on much smoother! I feel like these are better (and easier) than scrubs for removing dead skin. 

Overall, I'm really happy with the new L'oreal Bright Reveal Peel Pads! I've found so many great uses for them and have noticed that my skin looks brighter, younger, and healthier the past few weeks.
I think that the 10% concentration of Glycolic Acid is perfect because I can use them every day with no irritation, so if you haven't been able to use other peel pads that have a 20% concentration, you may want to give these a try!

You can find L'oreal Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads at drugstores and at Ulta.com

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NEW Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask at QVC

Josie Maran just launched her line of Whipped Mud Masks ($43.63) on QVC this week and they're already so popular, four out of the six scents have sold out (Unscented and Vanilla Apricot are still available at the time of this post).

These look really interesting because they're both hydrating (with argan oil) and detoxifying (with Rhassoul clay from Morocco). I like to use a clay mask every so often to suck all of the gunk out of my pores, but most make my skin feel really dry and tight afterwards (especially since I have dry skin to begin with). These sound like the best of both worlds!
The Whipped Mud Mask is meant to be applied to damp, cleansed skin and left on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off. Here's the ingredient list for the Unscented version but the scented ones are slightly different (you can see them on the QVC website here).

Aqua (Water), 
Propanediol, Moroccan Lava Clay, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Glycerin, Bentonite, Glyceryl Stearate, Bis-
Stearyl Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Dimethyl Sulfone, Jojoba Esters, Butylene Glycol, Acacia 
Decurrens Flower Wax, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Argan Oil 
Isostearyl Esters, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Pentylene Glycol, Linoleic Acid, Olive Oil Decyl Esters, 
Phenoxyethanol, Phytic Acid, 4-T-Butylcyclohexanol, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Linolenic 
Acid, Maris Sal (Sea Salt), Magnesium Aluminum Sylicate, Sodium Hydroxide, Squalene, Polyglycerin-3, 
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Zingiber Officinale 
(Ginger) Root, Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract. ORGANIC 

These are a little pricey but I'm putting them on my wishlist anyway, since the idea of a hydrating mud mask sounds really appealing! There's a great 10 min video presentation of these on QVC.com and you can really see what the texture looks like up close. 

You can find these now at QVC.com

Colleen Rothschild Skincare Review

colleen rothschild review

You guys know I love drugstore makeup, but when it comes to skincare, I don't mind spending a bit more for high quality formulas that really work and give great results. My philosophy is..."if your skin looks good, your makeup will too", and that holds true, whether you buy drugstore makeup or the fancy stuff from Neiman Marcus. It's taken me a long time and tons of trial and error to figure out what products work for me and I finally have a skincare routine that's been giving me great results.

I'll be doing a separate post on my entire skincare routine, but today I wanted to go a bit more in-depth on two products I discovered more recently by Colleen Rothschild...the Radiant Cleansing Balm ($65) and Sheer Renewal Cream ($55).  Plus, don't miss my 20% off code at the end of this post that you can use at ColleenRothschild.com if you're interested in any of the products.

colleen rothschild review

First, who is Colleen Rothschild? 

I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to beauty products and I always like to know a bit about the person behind the brand, especially when it comes to skincare. I'm more likely to buy a product if I feel that the creator is a true expert in their field, versus a person who just wanted to slap their name on an product without being a part of the actual development. Colleen Rothschild is an industry veteran who has been developing high-quality niche skincare brands for over 20 years, including one of my favorites, C. Booth (her maiden name is Booth). Colleen wanted to develop a line that is "effortless, beautiful, and highly effective" using "time-tested proven ingredients and today's cutting edge technologies" and I think she has definitely done that with the Colleen Rothschild line.

Also I want to mention how much I love the packaging! The frosted jars and brown tubes are simple and minimalist, yet really elegant and luxurious-looking.

Radiant Cleansing Balm: 

I was really excited to try the Radiant Cleansing Balm after seeing a lot of people on YouTube and Instagram raving about it. It contains a beautiful aromatic complex of warm cloves and rosemary plus luxurious oils such as Marula, Moringa, Loofah Seed and Black Seed to give your skin a dose of antioxidants, clear congested pores, and renew the outer layer skin cells. It feels really soft and melts into an oil when it comes in contact with your skin to remove all traces of makeup easily.

Here's how to use it:

Scoop out a little bit of the balm and massage it into dry skin. Wet the muslin cloth (which is included) under hot water and wring it damp. Then, place it over your face for a minute and breathe in the aromatic complex. It's so soothing and feels like a spa treatment! Then, use the cloth to remove the balm and all your makeup comes off with it.
After using this balm, my skin feels super soft, smooth and hydrated. Using the soft muslin cloth helps to remove the balm so there's no oily residue and I don't feel like I have to double cleanse.
colleen rothschild radiant cleansing balm

Sheer Renewal Cream: 

After cleansing, I've been using the Sheer Renewal Cream on top of my other face serums. This is the perfect daytime moisturizer! It hydrates my dry skin, yet it sinks in immediately and has a matte, powder-dry finish that any skin type (especially those of you who are oily) will appreciate. It's perfect for wearing under makeup and keeps my skin from feeling greasy even in warm, sticky weather. It's oil free and provides continuous all day hydration...my skin never feels tight or dry despite this being so lightweight and breathable. It also contains multiple fruit acids, as well as lactic acid to pack a serious exfoliating punch, brightening up dull skin and softening fine lines. I noticed brighter skin the very first time I used it and it just keeps getting better. The scent is a soothing blend of lavender and sandalwood...again very spa-like and inviting.
colleen rothschild sheer renewal cream

Last month, I posted a no-makeup selfie on Instagram and I got a lot of comments and questions about my skin and the products that I use. I had been using these two Colleen Rothschild products for about a week at this point and when I looked in the mirror that day, I realized that my skin looked so good, it was the first time I felt confident enough to post a picture with no makeup. It's not perfect, obviously but it looks better now at 38 years old than it did when I was 30 (I never really took good care of it when I was younger).
Before working these two products into my routine, I felt that my skin looked pretty good, but using these made it even better!

Overall, I am loving everything about Colleen Rothschild skincare...from the luxurious packaging and ingredients to the awesome results I've been getting, I couldn't be happier. I can't wait to try more! 

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