Skincare & Hair

10 Tips for Clear Skin Part 2

picstitch (5)Hi guys! I’m back with part 2 of my “10 Tips for Clear Skin.” My first 5 tips can be found here, and here is my second installment:

6.  Wash your face every night with no exception: This may seem self-explanatory, but many, many women do not abide by this rule! Think about all the pollutants and bacteria your skin is exposed to throughout the course of your day – do you really want that sinking into your pores over the night?  Hell no. When you’re tired it may seem tedious to take off all your makeup and give the face a thorough washing but believe me, your skin will thank you and reciprocate by being clear and radiant!

7. Invest in quality skincare products: I know sometimes my friends (and my mother) cringe when they discover how expensive my skincare products can be, but it’s important to remember – this is your face! How you treat your face at a young age will significantly affect how you will age and look in 40 years time. You should invest just as much money in skincare as you would with makeup, clothes or accessories. Also, as always, high prices mean high quality

8. Don’t touch your face!: This also seems self-explanatory but is often overlooked. The more you touch your skin, the more breakout-producing bacteria and oils your skin is exposed to. This goes for hair too! Having oily hair touching the perimeter of your face all the time, and especially the forehead for bangs, causes breakouts as well.

9. Be patient: As a member of the Millennial generation, I want results and I want them now. But with skin and skincare products, results take time, especially for serious breakouts. It can take your skin days or even weeks to adjust to a new product or routing and begin clearing up. So if you don’t see clear skin immediately, just wait!

10. Eat healthy!!!! This is one of the most crucial tips of this post! While it is important to treat skin from the outside, it is also essential to treat it from the inside as well! Avoid overly salty or sugary foods that will make you break out and stick to healthy options like fruits and veggies. Lay off the soda and drink lots and lots of water to stay hydrated – remember it’s all about the moisture!

Following these 10 guidelines will help you detox and clarify the skin, with less breakouts and increased radiance. Of course, these tips won’t necessarily help hormonal breakouts or serious acne that requires a dermatologist or medication, but for normal, pesky zits, blackheads and pimples these tips should help – I know they do for me!

What are your best tips for clear skin?

10 Tips for Clear Skin Part 1

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I never realized how much stress and anxiety my skin caused me until it went completely clear. To set the record straight, I am lucky enough to never have suffered from serious acne, but I had some bouts in my teenage years when a gigantic zit would rear its head in the most undesirable place possible, like smack dab in between the brows. Cute, right? Random red bumps also had a habit of appearing randomly along my chin and sometimes cheeks that were incredibly irritating to me. It seemed like no matter what I did, my skin was never perfectly clear. Fast forward a couple years and subtract a hefty wad of cash from my wallet and I finally have achieved clear skin. Now, I know not everyone has the same skin as me, and may have serious skin issues that require medication like Acutane, but here are the first set of tips that I’ve discovered along my skincare journey.

1.       Know what type of skin you have – Knowing if you have oily skin versus dry versus combination etc. is crucial at obtaining results. It will not only determine your tactics for clearing up the skin, but also what skincare and makeup products you should use as well. For example, if you have oily skin you will want to stay away from “dewy” foundation and stick to mattifying powders and foundations. Additionally, you would want to use gel-like textured moisturizers versus heavy creams.

2.       Stay away from mineral oil! – Mineral oil is a substance used in a lot of drugstore brand skincare since it is quite inexpensive. It’s similar to petroleum jelly in that it sits on top of the skin, without penetrating deep down into the pores. As a result, it clogs your pores and cause break outs instead of providing moisture, especially with sensitive skin. Aveeno is a great brand to use if you’re not trying to break the bank because of its drugstore prices and lack of mineral oil.

3.       It’s all about the moisture – At my young age (under 25), there’s really no need for anti-aging products. But, it’s incredibly important to keep the skin moisturized at all times. This will prevent dry patches on the face and with the right products, control your natural oils if you are an oily gal.

4.       Sunscreen! – Sun protection is an aspect of skincare that most people, especially young people, tend to overlook. Why apply yet another product when you won’t be out tanning? What you may not know is that the #1 cause of aging is sun damage! Additionally, harsh sun exposure can cause your skin to go all red and bumpy (I know from personal experience), and wearing an SPF of at least 15 at all times can easily prevent this.

5.       Stick to a routine – Skin is fussier than one might imagine, and in general, it doesn’t appreciate being a little experimental hamster. Once you find a skincare routine that works for you, stick to it! Constantly changing products will only fluster your skin, leaving it confused and broken out.

That’s it for part 1 ladies, hope you learned a few things. Part 2 will be up early next week!

Moroccan Oil: A Review

moroccan oilLadies, this is the cure. The cure for soft, shiny, moisturized hair that is. This Moroccan Oil Treatment is hands down, my holy grail hair product. I dabbled in hair masks, especially the Macadamia one, which I admit I still have a secret obsession with, but got frustrated quickly because you can’t use a hair mask everyday, and it adds significant time onto your shower routine. My beloved hairdresser, Heidi, uses Moroccan Oil products in her salon and after eyeing them for weeks, I decided to pick the most basic one up: the original oil.

This oil is fantastic for everyday use – I smooth one full pump throughout the entirety of my  damp hair after every wash before I blow dry it, and let me tell you, the results are insane in the membrane. My locks have become incredibly smooth and soft thanks to this little guy, and give off a healthy, natural shine. Despite the daily heat I apply on my hair via blow dryer/flat iron, I can truly tell that it has become more healthy. The way I like to think about it, Moroccan Oil is an Estee Lauder ANR, but for the hair, repairing the damage done by hot tools or the harsh environment and repairing the hair cuticle and cells with argan oil and proteins.

This product can be a bit tricky to track down if you aren’t near a salon that carries the brand, but usually Amazon carries the line. I bought it for around $30 I believe, but I would say it’s definitely worth every penny. I also believe it will last a long time, as I have used it every day for the past two months and have barely made a dent in the bottle!

Has anyone tried the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment? I heard that was similar and I would love to know how they compare. Hmmm perhaps that will be my next hair-care purchase….

Some Summer Skincare Bits

summer skincareLike I said in my winter skincare must-haves, your skin changes from season to season, therefore your products should too! In the winter my skin is super dry, so I normally need a very thick, creamy moisturizer, but in the summer when it’s hot outside, I like using something a bit lighter. I just recently purchased the Origins Make a Difference + Rejuvenating Moisturizer, and I’m absolutely in love with it. The white product is light and thin, but not runny, almost like a gel texture, yet still gives my skin the moisture it needs. I apply it by taking a very small amount on my finger and dotting it around my face – a little goes a long way with this product, people. Then, I massage it into the skin with the tips of my fingers on both hands. Once that is complete I move onto my eye cream, which is Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado TreatmentThis product is amazing, especially at night because of it’s richness and hydrating ingredients like avocado! To apply I dab the tiniest bit onto my ring fingers, then tap then below my eyes. Like the moisturizer, you only need the smallest bit to be effective. Truth be told, this eye cream doesn’t have any anti-aging or wrinkle-reducing properties but since I’m still young, I find that a bit unnecessary. I would also recommend using this eye cream in the winter as well, but since I didn’t have it for my winter skincare post, I thought I’d sneak it in here.

I would undoubtedly recommend both of these products for both day and night use, especially for you ladies with dry to normal skin types. I know Origins makes a Make a Difference + product that can be used as a moisturizer specifically for gals with oily skin so check that out if you fall into that category! The moisturizer can be found at Origins stores or counters, or Sephora for $40, and the eye cream can be found at Kiehl’s stores or counters for $28.50. If these prices seem rather steep for you, don’t forget that you only need a very small amount of these products, so they will last a long time. Additionally, keeping your skin plump with moisture is one of the most effective ways to maintain youthful, healthy skin so moisturizing skincare products are very important. As I always say, the way you treat your skin now reflects how it will look 40 years down the road and girl, I wanna look good. 

My Top 2 Hand Creams

image (24)Hand cream is something I have really come to depend over the years. I have always suffered from dry skin (especially during the winter) and unattended, it leads to red cracks in my hands. These two amazing hand creams however, have not only prevented my hands from being dry and tight, but have given my skin a healthy look.

The cheaper of the two is Soap & Glory’s Hand Food. A 50 mL tube is only $5 and is perfect for carrying on-the-go. And, it smells delicious. Because the packaging says it is formulated with shea butter, macadamia oil, and marshmallow you would think the scent would be sickeningly sweet, but it’s not. It is a combination of fruity and sweet and everyone I know who tries this loves it. The second is L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, which comes in a variety of scents. The one pictured above is just the standard normal variety, but my favorite is definitely the lavender one. The travel size (1 oz) of this product is $10 and the normal size (5.2 oz) is $28. The main reason why I love these two handcreams is because they are super moisturizing, yet non-greasy. Many creams claim to be non-greasy, but take forever to sink into your skin so you’re unable to touch anything for an obnoxiously long time after application. These however, delve deep into the skin immediately and leave your hands feeling nourished and soft. Additionally, the moisture lasts for a very long time, usually until the next hand-washing occurs.

While many may consider hand cream an unnecessary expense, it really makes a difference to me if my hands aren’t super dry and painful in the winter. It’s the little things in life, right? I would definitely recommend both of these products. They can both be found at Sephora, and the L’Occitane one can be found in all it’s varieties at L’Occitane stores.

What’s your favorite hand cream?

xox Olivia

The Ultimate Drugstore Lip Balm

image (39)I am a self-proclaimed lip balm junkie. Well, not completely self-proclaimed as all of my close friends have acknowledged this obsession I have and take advantage of it when they forgot their own lip balms because we all know Olivia always have 1…or 5 in her bag. And to be honest, I’m kind of a lip balm snob. No Chapstick brand for me, I’m not even a huge fan of Burt’s Bees. I usually stick to high end, expensive lip balms – my favorites are actually from Spain. But one day in my college’s convenience store I picked up this gem: Nivea’s Kiss of Moisture. While it is white in the tube, the product applies clear and gives your lips a slight sheen, and does an absolutely fantastic job of moisturizing them. Some products, such as Vaseline, help your lips out at first, but then in the long run strip them of their natural oils and leave you hopelessly dependent on the product. Not this puppy. I can slick it on my lips and have it last hours. In addition, it uses shea butter instead of petroleum to give the lips comfort, so it locks your lips’ natural oils in instead of drying them out.

The packaging is also simple and boring enough to be acceptable for boys to own it. My boyfriend is always stealing my lip balms to use them but hates having to look girly when applying it out of a pot. This is the perfect solution – it’s effective, easy to use (no greasy finger action necessary) and is super cheap ($3!!).

Unfortunately I lost mine over spring break but I can’t wait to pick up another. Have you tried Nivea lip products?

xox Olivia

Tip & Trick Tuesday: Zit Zapper for Sensitive Skin

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Rubbing alcohol: cheap, common, and best of all, great for getting rid of zits gently but effectively. Most products in the drugstore contain salicylic acid, which for girls with sensitive skin like me, can produce breakouts instead of stop them. Rubbing alcohol is a great alternative as it is drying and cleans the area from bacteria that can make the spot even worse but won’t make you break out. Whenever I have raised bumps on my skin or a breakout I can tell is around the corner, I dip a Qtip into rubbing alcohol and then dab onto these pesky places. I’ve found it’s most effective after toner but before moisturizer and serums are applied. This won’t completely get rid of your spot if it’s quite bad, but applied overnight it will significantly decrease the size and redness! It works the very best on white heads (gross I know) because of the drying agents. I’m lucky enough to have never had real acne and all I get is a few stress or hormonal spots then and again. Of course serious acne needs more intensive products to heal but for those who have sensitive and minor spots I’d definitely recommend giving this a try!

Olivia

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: A Review

estee lauder advanced night repair serumThis incredible serum has been part of my life for the past month (Valentine’s present to myself) and after giving it a lengthy go, I found it necessary to review for you all since it has become a staple in my nightly skincare routine.

The point of Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex is to reduce visible signs of aging by neutralizing environmental agents that damage the DNA of your skin before they set into your skin overnight. As the majority of aging is due to environmental assault such as harsh weather and pollution in the air, I jumped on this product as soon as I realized how effective it can be in the long run. After about 15 solid minutes of furious googling, I encountered many women (age 60+) that swore by ANR’s miracle anti-aging properties. They claimed their juvenile skin was kept so young solely due to this product. If I wasn’t 100% sold before, I sure was then. So, $55 later a little package arrived in my post box and my trial period began.

estee lauder anrAs you can see, the packaging includes a dropper instead of a usual pump. The product itself is a watery orangey-brown sort of color and to be honest, it stinks. Not a horrible smell, but definitely a pungent odor that you get used to after a while. I like to think that the more smelly the product is, the more natural as it doesn’t include chemical fragrances to mask the natural smell. At night I use three drops of the liquid-gel hybrid and massage all over my face after washing and toning. The small amount covers my whole face nicely and blends in quickly, leaving my face feeling moisturized but not greasy. I found that in Puerto Rico I didn’t need to apply an extra layer of moisturizer over the top but in the dry air of my door room, it was.

The verdict? I love it. This serum leaves my skin feeling nourished and healthy when I wake up, and if I had had any bumps or spotty bits on my face when I went to bed, they were completely gone by morning. My skin also appears much more radiant when I wake up, leaving me looking like even if I’m not completely awake, my skin is. Plus, I love knowing that all the damage the harsh Hamilton winds and dorm heat systems have done to my skin is reversed overnight and the cells of my skin are doctored and healthy. Yes this product is a hefty $55 for just 1 oz. but I’ve seen worse. Besides, serums are one of the most expensive components of skincare lines and since they are the ones who do the bulk of real work on your skin, they are definitely worth it.

What’s your favorite night serum?

xox Olivia

Bumble and bumble Defrizz: A Review

bumble bumble defrizzBumble and bumble has done it again! Their Defrizz is by far my favorite and most used hair product. The packaging claims that it will “smooth and tame, leaving hair shiny and amazingly soft” and boy oh boy does it do just that. All you need of this serum-like product is a teeny dime size amount at the most (more will make your hair seem greasy) and when worked all over the hair, it gets rid of frizz and flyaways and leaves your locks with an incredible shine. I normally use Defrizz when my hair is in its “almost dry” phase after a shower, where it’s not damp or wet, but is in the frizz-stage of dry. I rub it between my fingers and smooth it over the entire outer shell of my hair and voile, no more frizz. I also use it in the mornings after I wake up around my part where my baby hairs have a tendency to get frisky and go every-which-way. This keeps them in check and prevents them from springing loose during the day. Unfortunately, Defrizz has no odor, which I would normally consider a good thing but since I adore how Bumble and bumble products smell, it’s definitely a con in this case.

The larger 4 oz. bottle retails for $27 which is a bit pricey for a hair product, but because you only need a minuscule amount at a time it lasts forever. The only reason why my bottle is half full is because my roommate accidentally knocked it over and some spilled out (it’s ok Sar, I still love ya). But since then I’ve used it every day and the level has barely gone down at all. Definitely worth the price in my opinion. Bumble and bumble products can be found in select stores but can also be bought online on their website.

What’s your go-to hair product?

xox Olivia

The Discovery of Hairspray

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I’ve had a recent discovery that I would like to share with you all: hairspray is actually the bomb.com. I got really turned off from it last year when my rather odd roommate would spray it all over to give her “volume,” but my lovely roomie this year has gotten me back onto it. Not only does a good hairspray keep your hair styled for longer, but it adds shine and a smooth texture to your locks while maintaining a brushable softness. My personal fave has been the Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray because it has an absolutely delicious fragrance. I’d love to describe it for you all, but it’s just one of those scents that can Bumble and bumble product fiends could identify. Unfortunately, a full size bottle of this will set you back $28, so I picked up a cheaper alternative at the local drugstore. TRESemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray has actually done me very well, and although I prefer the smell of the Bumble and bumble one better, both work just great. They keep my hairstyle (usually either straight or wavy) intact until my next wash and don’t give it that hard, crunchy texture hairsprays are infamously known for. I can’t believe I never owned one of these products before now!

What’s your favorite hairspray?

Olivia