Fresh Beauty Buys

I must have been a good girl this year, because Santa treated me very well Christmas. One of the highlights of my stocking was a giftcard to Ulta (plus free babysitting) to do a make-up and skincare upgrade. My beauty routine has been nearly non-existent since college, because spending time with Merle is my number one priority. I get my hair cut once a year and only when my mom forces me ;) My make up routine usually consists of tinted moisturizer with a quick swipe of eyeliner and/or mascara. That being said, as I get older, I've noticed that my skin needs a little more TLC (and coverage) to look good. Hence the Ulta giftcard was a big win! I could spend time and money trying out beauty products guilt free.

As silly as it sounds, looking better provides a big confidence boost, which in turn makes me happier overall. I still go for the no make up look, but with a few key products, my face appears healthier and more luminous. Here are a few of the upgrades I made. 

After making it through my teens nearly blemish free, my skin blew up with hormonal acne around my twenty first birthday and I'm sad to say it only got worse post pregnancy. I've tried just about every remedy, including ProActive Plus, but I wasn't happy with how my skin's texture changed or with using so many chemicals. Besides the blemish clearing abilities were only so-so. I've now switched over to the Mario Badescu skincare line, which although certainly not a 'natural' product, it has a lower percentage of harsh acids and chemicals than other products I've tried, yet manages to be more effective in getting rid of pimples. The skincare company has been making products for celebrities for nearly 50 years with a focus on sensitive, acne-prone skin free of perfumes and dyes. There are no frills (ads, packaging, etc), which helps keep costs relatively low. My favorites from their collection are the Special Cucumber Lotion, Oil Free Moisturizer, and the Drying Lotion

Brows have been taking a bigger role in beauty routines. There's a wide range in styles from sculpted Kardashian brows to full Cara Delevingne brows. While I'm still a believer in natural brows, even I see the power of well constructed brows to frame the face. I pluck stray hairs about once a month and then use this wonderful tool daily to brush the hairs in place and draw in individual hairs to fill in thin spots on my brows. 

I ordered this highlighter online because it's not widely available in stores. I don't have time, or the interest really, to do full on contouring with make up, but highlighting instantly brightens up my face. I like this version because it is all natural and with skin being the biggest organ of the body, I try to use chemical-free products whenever possible. I apply a swipe down the bridge of my nose, the brow bone, under the eyes, near the tear ducts, and the Cupid's bow (the v on the top lip). 

Speaking of nourishing skin, this powerful elixir has my skin looking like I've been on a green juice cleanse for weeks while lying on a beach in the tropics. The morning after applying it, my skin literally glows and the few wrinkles that are starting to form around my eyes and forehead seem to disappear. 

This is the same BB cream I've been using, but it's been reformulated for improved redness coverage aka where I need it most. Yay for me :)

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