Exfoliating with Trish McEvoy

Hello hello!

I am sitting here, close to but not in, a super sunny window that faces the sea, just dying to be outside in the sun. The sky is an epic shade of blue today and I can see the trees rustles in the ocean breeze, no rhyme intended.
And while I’m dying to be out in the water, I’m reminded of what I’m here to talk to you about! Sometimes exfoliators are a little harsh and sandy, so I tend to be pretty picky. One that I can recommend for sensitive skin is the Trish McEvoy’s Beta Hydroxy Pads Daily Exfoliator.
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These pads gently exfoliate your skin, so this is a perfect solution for people with more sensitive skin that don’t want a harsh exfoliating wash or have trouble with redness after exfoliating. This product is refreshing and easy to use on the daily. I swipe across my face and neck in the morning after cleansing and before makeup.
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However, I would like to include that this product doesn’t replace my cleansing exfoliator that I use once a week. It doesn’t quite have the exfoliating power I feel I need on a weekly basis, but it’s a good supplement for daily use without hurting my skin. I also love these when my skin is acting up. If I’m having an issue with a breakout or some problem spots, these are the perfect addition to my routine to help exfoliate the problem area without damaging the skin.
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So, while I recommend these for problem or sensitive skin, I’m not sure that I would invest in having them for the every day if your skin is generally normal. I keep them on hand for when I’m having skin issues or for convenience when I travel.
What’s your favorite exfoliator?

Welcoming Spring with Kiehl’s

Is everyone else ready for spring? I have blooming orange blossoms in the garden that embrace me with their beautiful scent every time I step out my door. I want to bottle it and wear it as a perfume. But while the blooms are all ready for spring, my skin is still pretty dry from the winter and I am counting on Kiehl’s to help me through it!

Kiehl’s is new to me, but I’ve fallen in love with the simplicity and moisturizing power of their products. My three favorite products for getting rid of winter dullness and moisturizing skin to prep are Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand SalveKiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is thick and rich enough for people who work with their hands and gentle enough to work on anyone’s skin. Plus it makes your hands feel soft as a babe’s bum and is unscented, so it’s great for any perfume you may have on! This is ultra great to keep in your desk if you use purell or wash your hands frequently. I also like to keep it in the kitchen!

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is another new favorite. It literally sucks in moisture, but it’s super light and dewy. This is another unscented product that is super soothing and great for sensitive skin. I don’t typically (read never) ask my fiance to try my beauty products, but after using this for a couple weeks, I suggested he try it. He was hesitant as he has had some serious issues with facial moisturizers in the past irritating his skin. Kiehl’s is legitimately the only product that doesn’t cause him redness and inflamation; aka I’m buying this in bulk for him! I am so happy I found this for both of us! This product doesn’t have SPF, there is an SPF 30 version available here that I have not yet tried.Last, but certainly not least, is the aptly named Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. This eye cream definitely tops my list as one of my favorites. It’s creamy and absorbs into the skin quickly while leaving my under eye skin brightened and velvety to the touch.

All of these products pack a serious punch in the moisture department and they come with Kiehl’s trusted brand name. I highly recommend them! If the price tag looks a little scary for a new product, I would highly recommend starting with one of the amazing kits, like the Kiehl’s Since 1851 Healthy Skin Essentials Starter kit  which includes the Ultra Facial Cream and the Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment as well as a couple of their other best sellers.

What are your spring beauty rituals? I’d love to hear about them!

 

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Learning to Love my Hair with Aveda

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Oh, hair. I do love you. But I want to change you. I want you to look amazing and perfect and I know I’m constantly trying to alter you, but I’m going to try to take better care of you.

How am I going to do this? Here are my commitments to my hair: first, I’m drinking more water. Drinking 8 cups of water a day will help your hair to grow stronger and longer faster. Hydration is key to a healthy body. Next up, biotin supplements. This vitamin is supposed to help your hair, skin and nails grow healthily! Other elements I’m looking into and will let you know about: collagen supplements and lavender. Both are supposed to help hair growth.

And for my outside hair health, I’m washing my hair less frequently with better quality products. Washing your hair less frequently not only saves water, but helps keep the natural healthy oils on your scalp. Also, if you color your hair, it helps your color to last so much longer.

For products, I’m using Aveda. I was turned in to Aveda by my amazing stylist. I’ve been with her for nearly a year now, so she’s gotten to know my hair and how I treat it. The last time I saw her, we talked about how I’m trying to grow my hair long again, but also how I would like to pump up my hair health and volume. She had one recommendation: Aveda Pure Abundance.

Since I’ve added the Aveda Pure Abundance shampoo and conditioner and Aveda Thickening Tonic, my hair not only looks and feels fuller, but when I brush my hair, I’m coming away with far fewer strands on the brush. This means less shedding. Girls, you know what I’m talking about. When you leave long strands of your own hair on your jacket, pillow, fella, etc. The worst.  



How I Use Aveda

I try to only wash my hair every few days, which typically amounts to 3 times a week (yes, I shower in between).  I do brush my hair everyday to make sure it doesn’t tangle and to keep the oils in line.

I apply the Aveda Pure Abundance to my roots only and lather it up. I love massaging this into my hair because FYI everything Aveda makes smells like Heaven in a bottle. Pure Abundance smells like jasmine, ylang ylang and peppermint. I want to live in these scents. And the key ingredients are natural too, acacia gum and kaolin clay.

Rinse and follow with the Aveda Pure Abundance Conditioner. This one I apply opposite the shampoo and only apply to the length of my hair (unless my roots are really tangled, e.g. I’ve used hair spray).

*there is a different feel to Aveda’s Pure Abundance hair system in that you don’t get the detergent type clean some non-natural cleansers will give you. It may take a little time to adjust.

When I get out of the shower, I gently brush my hair tips to roots and then towel dry a bit so that strands are loosened and there no dripping. I spray the Thickening Tonic all over and style however I would normally, usually a blow dry.
Why Aveda?

Aveda is committed to using natural and plant based products. So not only do their products work, but they’re far less harmful to your hair than harsh detergents. They also contain no parabens, phthalates or sodium lauryl sulfate.

Aveda is also committed to green initiatives and does not test their products on animals. The company also has several initiatives to help give back to different communities and causes they believe in, like breast cancer research and community partnerships with their growers.

Give it a try, I highly recommend it. What shampoo or collection is your favorite? Why do you use it?

 

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Flawless Skin with Laura Mercier


There’s nothing better than flawless looking skin. Unfortunately my skin is not perfect. I have dark circles under my eyes when I don’t get enough sleep and a few little scars I want to hide, and of course, I feel like I’m always having to hide an irritating blemish. On top of that, my skin is often a little too oily or shiny looking post make-up.

That’s where Laura Mercier comes in, perfecting the appearance of my skin and creating the perfect palette for my makeup. Or, as is often the case, making my face look perfect as if I’m not even wearing any makeup. Laura Mercier is always the beauty counter that is trying to make you look like the best version of yourself, which is what I love so much about the brand.

My two favorite products that I most want to share are the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder.


The Laura Mercier Secret Concealer is my most trusted side kick. I can use it on my trouble spots and feel like I’m not wearing anything on my face.

I’ve tried many different concealers in my life. In fact, concealer was the first makeup product I ever owned (excluding glitter lip gloss: hello, millennial kid). I always found concealers to be heavier than I wanted or not enough coverage, never in between. I also had trouble with knowing my shade and would often end up with something too yellow. I stopped using concealer all together for a while until a Los Angeles makeup artist used this one on me. She applied the tiniest amount to a trouble spot, it was covered and the color was great. Most importantly, it wasn’t cakey and didn’t get cakey later. And it’s not dry but super moisturizing!

I’m sorry to say “cakey,” but really, there is no other way to describe the feeling of a thick, frosting like makeup sitting on your skin. It looks gross, not to mention the fact that it draws attention to the very spots you want ignored!

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer isn’t like that. It seamlessly blends into your skin. And you don’t need very much! I apply the smallest amount after foundation with a clean lipstick brush or my (just washed) ring finger.

Side note: the ring finger part is really important. Don’t use your index fingers!


Next up: Laura Mercier’s Invisible Loose Setting Powder. I have some shine. So when I put on my makeup, I want to soften the appearance of shine and have a matte finish. Once I finish my face base (foundation, concealer, fill in my brows) I add a light brushing of this and I am good to add color and mascara or walk out the door.

Now let me tell you how I found this powder. I saw it on the bathroom counters of two separate, flawlessly beautiful friends who told me they swore by it. These women don’t even know each other. I was slow to pick it up and how I wish I had gotten it earlier! A little tip: this comes in a loose powder and a pressed powder  I prefer the loose powder because a.) you have better control of how much powder you’re picking up with your brush and b.) you never have to deal with a brocken pressed palette. Am I the only one this happens to? Literally, this happens to all my favorite products.

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Product Love: Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion

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When it comes to foundation, my biggest priority is caring for my skin while hiding any imperfections. Anything that is going to sit on my skin all day needs to have SPF, and that’s what brought me to Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion.

I walked up to the Nordstrom beauty counter one day and told the sales associate that I was looking for a light foundation with SPF and she got all fresh eyed and beaming when she told me about this product. Not only does this foundation blend to my exact skin tone, but it also protects and treats my skin. That means, when I put this foundation on, I’m reducing redness, tightening up my pores and reducing the visibility of dark spots.  Not only that, but this cushion is SPF 50.

Come again? Yes, SPF 50.

Now what does this mean: cushion? When you open this blush pink compact, there’s a round flat sponge. You open a separator and there is the cushion. It opens like a powder foundation, but instead it’s a liquid. Dab the sponge on the cushion and gently pat the product into your skin.

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I always notice an immediate reduction in the appearance of oil on my skin, which is HUGE for me. I love love love it. When using Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion I always dab a tiny bit of concealer on any trouble spot and on any dark circles, since the coverage is so light and sheer. The texture of it is lovely, though. There’s no heavy cakiness, just sheer, moisturizing coverage.

A couple other details you ought to know: Dior is picking up their game when it comes to reducing waste. So when you buy this product, you’re also buying the compact. However, when you buy  the refills (which come with a new sponge, fyi) it’s about half the price of the first time you purchased it. And pro tip: when you’ve finished with one side of the cushion and think you’re out, flip it over! There’s more product on the other side!

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Product love: African Botanics Fleurs d’Afrique

Skincare is phenomenally important. As someone who had relatively low maintenance skin for many years, I learned this later than many people. With the exception of a moisturizer with sunscreen (SPF is SO important on the daily, especially in SoCal), I didn’t do much with my skin for most of my teenage years.

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Things began to change when I went to college and added more and more things to my life that affected my skin, like working out and wearing makeup more frequently. One thing that always stayed the same was that my skin is on the more oily side. So when skin oils began to gain popularity in the last couple years, I avoided them like the plague. It wasn’t until I started hearing about how great skin oils can be from multiple bloggers, magazines and friends that I even began to think about using a skin oil.

Recently though, I read on Alicia Lund’s blog, Cheetah is the New Black, about a product she was using daily during her pregnancy, Marula Stretchmark Botanical Body Oil by African Botanics. She raved about it on multiple posts, so when a friend of mine complained about a similar problem, I went online to the African Botanics website and purchased their Regenerating Body Hydroserum as a gift. When I ordered that, I was also sent a few samples of their Fleurs d’Afrique.

Wow. Just wow.

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Never did I imagine that a face oil could be what this oil is. When I thought of face oils, I thought of cooking oil, like a nice olive oil. No, that is not what this is.This oil is super light and locks in moisture. It also works at the trouble spots, like evening skin tone, fighting redness, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and blemish spots. The fighting of blemish spots is huge for me. Although I never had really bad skin, I’ve had problem spots where I have scars I’m still self conscious about. The smell is also amazing. It’s light and flowered without being sweet. One of the best things about it, is that there’s nothing artificial in it: no parabens, silicons or synthetic fragrances.

And what a job it does. After I wash my face in the morning and at night, I apply a few drops to my fingers and massage it into my skin with upward strokes. When I say massage, I mean a real massage, it’s so relaxing to smooth onto your skin! I let it sink in a minute or two and add eye cream. In the morning I also follow with an AM moisturizer with sunscreen (of course) and makeup.

I’m now a true believer in face oils! While this one is pretty pricey, because a little goes a long way, I anticipate it will last a long time. I’ll keep you up to date!

What are your thoughts on face oils? Any favorites? Alternatives?

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