Cyber Monday Beauty Buys

Monday, November 26, 2018


So many good deals today, friends!

At Macy's, they have some REALLY good bargains today. My favorite long-wearing nail color, CND Vinylux is just $5 and there are incredible deals on Paul Mitchell, Kenra, and more. Makeup-wise, I spotted a Smashbox eye gift set with a full sized mascara for $11. I also picked up a Clinique box of 5 full sized lipsticks all in colors I love for $25 (each lipstick normally sells for $19.50)!

Seed Body Care has 20% off with code HOLIDAYSEED, plus special pricing on the Exotic Bath Blossoms.

Honeybee Gardens has 35% off PLUS free shipping today! Use code CYMON18.

Cyber  Monday Deals from my affiliate partners below:

Cargo Cosmetics - Click my link and save 30% sitewide!

W3LL PEOPLE has 25% off plus free shipping,

philosophy has 40% off sitewide and $12 shower gels.

Clarins has up to 25% off sitewide today.

100% Pure has lots of $10 bargains!

Small Business Saturday is here!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Today is Small Business Saturday and I wanted to share some of my favorite businesses with you today.


  • Based in Princeton, NJ and sold online, Seed Body Care has been in business since 2009 and offers high quality facial, bath & body care products with stellar ingredients like Argan Oil, Sea Kelp, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter, and more. All products are cruelty free, vegan, gluten free, and paraben free. Seed was named a Brand Champion by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Through 11/26 with code HOLIDAYSEED, you will save 20%. 

  • Original Moxie is my FAVORITE hair care brand. Based in Michigan, this woman owned business features superior natural ingredients and their entire line is just exquisite. They have a special this weekend, too! Use code BF2018 at checkout to get some amazing deals.

  • Honeybee Gardens is a Pennsylvania-based company with really beautifully crafted makeup. I love the presses powder and palettes, especially. They also have a Winter Buzz Box that I highly recommend. Free shipping through 11/25 at Honeybee with code TUR18

  • Leaders of the #cleanbeautyrevolutionAu Naturale Cosmetics is a Wisconsin-based biz with luxury green makeup products. PETA certified cruelty free and all-natural, Au Naturale is high end ecobeauty at its best. They have a 70% off sale section right now.  Note: I am an affiliate and do earn a commission if you shop at Au Naturale.

  • The BEST subscription box? Without a doubt, it is Boxwalla! Thoughtfully created, luxe products.

  • Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap has been my favorite for more than a decade. Nan is based in Tucson and her soaps are palm oil free.

  • Tanvi Asher is someone I am proud to call my friend. She is the force behind Shop PeppermintRoc the Mint, and the brand new Salty Boutique on Park Avenue. She is a gem who is a gift to the Rochester community.


  • Ink & Pine Design is a local artist who makes the most fabulous ornaments and prints. Many focus on Rochester landmarks, too.

  • PS Enjoy Your Life, owned by an artist right here in Irondequoit, features calendars, coasters, art blocks, wine stoppers & more. I have her calendar on my wall, ornaments on my tree, coasters on my coffee table & wine stopper in my Shiraz.

  • Little Brick House makes handmade bags. I have a zippered pouch and a custom leather & fabric clutch with exquisite workmanship.

Seed Soft Balm Review

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Okay, my friends. You all know how much I love Seed Face & Body Care. I have mentioned them dozens of times ever since I first tried their products not long after their 2009 launch. I love everything about the company - the products quality and ingredients, the story behind the brand, and then integrity of the company founders.

I cannot believe I haven't yet mentioned their newest release yet  -- Seed Soft Balm -- and after I just massaged it into my dry cuticles, I felt compelled to write up a review.

What is it?

I have long been a lover of skincare balms. 

The dictionary defines a balm as an "ointment or preparation used to heal or soothe skin." Many brands refer to balms and salves and vice versa. The terms are synonymous.

Balms offer intensive moisture for the driest of skin types. They tend to be waxy and offer protective benefits. Over the years, I have been sent many balms to review in every price range and I can honestly say that this Seed Soft Balm is second to none. The ingredients are superior to other balms on the market and, unlike most balms, this is vegan.

This balm comes in two options: a white metal tin or in an eco-friendly paperboard tube. What I love about this product is that it has so many uses!

1. I use Seed Soft Balm as a cuticle treatment. I apply a bit around each cuticle and massage into the nails.
2. Dry ends? I apply Seed Soft Balm to the ends of my hair. As a bonus, they help tame flyaways!
3. My 13 year old has kind of bushy eyebrows. I apply a tiny bit to keep the brows tame.
4. I use Soft Balm on my own brows to set them.
5. I massage into my heels and they are super soft!
6. I apply Seed Soft Balm into my knees and elbows, too.
7. I apply over Seed Lip Oil at night as a rich lip balm.
8. I apply to crow's feet to help soften fine lines around the eyes.
9. I apply as a neck and decolletage moisturizer.
10. Do you have a nearly empty lipstick tube? I mix a bit of leftover lipstick with the balm to make a tinted lip moisturizer.

Those are just 10 ways I use Seed Soft Balm. I know there are more. In fact, Seed shares that many men use Seed Soft Balm on their beards. That is great for No Shave November, don't you think?

I have the Fragrance Free product, which is lovely because it has the natural aroma of cocoa butter, which is a muted chocolate scent to my nose. Seed NEVER uses artificial fragrances, but they offer essential oil alternatives for those seeking a scent. You can choose from Fragrance Free, Peppermint or Lavender. 


The 2 ounce tin is $19.95 right now (regularly $24.95) and the tube is .3 ounce tube is $9.95 (regularly $12.95). A little goes a long way and these last quite a long time. While this balm is more expensive than Badger, for example, I find that the quality of Seed Soft Balm is superior. 

If you are comparing the types of high quality ingredients used in Seed, comparable products that I have tried for review before would be Shiffa Healing Balm ($106 for 1 ounce), One Love Organics Skin Savior ($49 for 1.8 ounces) and Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm ($65 for 1.7 ounces).

Ingredients In-Depth

  • Shea Butter is rich is skin pampering oleic and stearic acids, deeply hydrates, helps heal cracked skin and leaves skin supple and velvety soft. It also is believed to possess anti-aging benefits and skin strengthening characteristics.
  • Cocoa Butter contains healthy fats that form a protective barrier on the skin. It locks in moisture, holding hydration onto the skin. It can also give skin a firmer, smoother appearance.
  • Apricot Kernel Oil is rich in Vitamin K and Omega 6 fatty acids to deeply nourish the skin. It is non-greasy, fast absorbing, and skin clarifying.
  • Grape Seed Oil is a potent antioxidant, shielding skin from UV damage and defending against free radicals. Known as an anti-aging ingredient, grape seed may also soften fine lines and promote a more youthful glow.
  • Avocado Oil contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to deliver superior hydration to the skin. It moisturizes deeply without feeling greasy and leaves skin feeling velvety soft and pampered. It also contains antioxidant Vitamin E to help protect skin from environmental elements.
  • Abyssinian Seed Oil is rich in both Linoleic and Linolenic Acids, which are anti-inflammatory, skin conditioning, and cell regenerative. While it is highly moisturizing, it is fast absorbing and never sticky on the skin. Rough skin? Abyssinian oil’s unique molecular structure allows it to sink right in, immediately softening dry areas.
  • Olive Oil has a high antioxidant content to protect the skin from environmental contaminants and UV rays. It is naturally antibacterial and provides essential moisture to the skin.
  • Horehound extract is a bitter herb derived from a perennial bush. This member of the mint family has been used for centuries to treat various health ailments. It also boasts remarkable skin care benefits thanks to the presence of tannins and flavonoids. It is known to calm even the most sensitive types of skin, easing redness, inflammation, and irritation. Its antiseptic properties are also believed to help with wound healing. Many with eczema report that it helps to alleviate skin itching and dry patches. 
  • Rice Bran Oil is an ultra gentle skin oil that can help fade age spots and lighten other issues related to hyperpigmentation. It also penetrates deeply to hydrate the skin without greasiness and has a reputation for its positive impact on nourishing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Rice bran is a natural source of squalane to firm and tighten sagging skin, too.
  • Tocopherol -- or Vitamin E is perhaps the original antioxidant used in skin care. Highly protective, Vitamin E helps combat pollution, is a wonderful moisturizer, and provides anti-aging benefits.
  •  Carnauba Wax is also on the ingredients list. This is a vegan-friendly alternative to beeswax.

The 10 Best Lemongrass Health & Beauty Products

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lemongrass is one of my most favorite essential oils. I have been using some really fabulous products with lemongrass lately and wanted to share them with you.

What is lemongrass?

Also known as Cymbopogon Citratus Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil has a really delightful herbal lemon aroma. In skincare, lemongrass has myriad benefits. Lemongrass is beneficial for those with oily skin and congested pores because of its antibacterial properties. It offers some antiperspirant properties and is anti-inflammatory, too.

Karley's favorite lemongrass skincare products


Soapwalla Kitchen Sensitive Skin Citrus Deodorant Cream is an all-natural cream deodorant with moisture and odor absorbing corn starch, kaolin clay, and myriad skin pampering ingredients like shea butter and sunflower seed oil. 

This is my FAVORITE natural deodorant. All of the others I have tried in the contained lavender, which irritates my armpits after shaving. This one does not. It has a subtle aroma from the lemongrass and citrus oils with notes of creamy vanilla. This is one of the few natural deodorants that WORKS in the summer months for me and does not cause skin redness or irritation.

Ingredients:  Zea mays (Corn) starch*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Magnesium hydroxide, Kaolin, Lycopodium clavatum (Club moss) extract, Sunflower lecithin*, Litsea cubeba (May chang) fruit oil*, Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass) herb oil*, Citrus bergamia (Bergaptene-free bergamot) fruit oil*, Citrus sinensis dulcis (Sweet orange) peel oil*, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) peel oil*, Tocopherol, Melaleuca cajeputi (Cajeput) oil*, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) oil*, Activated Charcoal, Vanilla planifolia fruit extract, Limonene**, Citral**, Linalool**, Geraniol**. *Certified Organic, **Naturally occurring in essential oils


Odacite Gt + L Radiance Effect Serum Concentrate is among my favorite serums. This gem features antioxidant-rich Camellia Seed Oil, Vitamin E, and Lemongrass. While it is a simple serum, it is just splendid and feels incredibly luxurious on the skin. My skin is left feeling buttery soft, while looking renewed.

Ingredients: Highest-grade certified virgin organic Camellia (Camellia oleifera) seed oil, Certified GMO-free Vitamin E (Tocopherols) oil, Certified organic Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) essential oil.


Zum Lemongrass Sugar Facial Scrub is a gentle, refreshing face exfoliant. With the ingredients in this, I recommend it for normal and combination/oily skin types. This is a lovely scrub to slough away the dead skin cells that accumulate and clog the pores. Jojoba oil and charcoal are particularly beneficial to those with excess sebum, while plant-based oils nourish and add softness.

Ingredients: sucrose*, water, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, glycerin, charcoal powder, coconut oil*, olive oil*, potassium hydroxide**, fragrance (essential oils), castor oil, sodium borate *Organic Ingredients **None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin


Jane Iredale Lemongrass Love Hydration Spray -- Refreshing, invigorating, cleansing. These are the three words that best describe this mist. It leaves the pores feeling clean as it cools and enlivens the skin. I love ALL of Jane Iredale's various sprays, but this one is my favorite. 

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin**, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemon Grass) Oil*, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil Expressed, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemon Grass) Extract*, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Alcohol*


Seed  Lemongrass Body Cream-- Have you ever wished for a pure lemongrass cream? I am not talking about one with lemongrass fragrance oil, but one with 100% natural lemongrass essential oil. If you love lemongrass, you MUST try their Lemongrass Body Cream. It's a beautiful scent -- layer it by adding lemongrass to your body oil, lip oil or body wash. My legs are tight and itchy lately and need a bit of TLC. Plus, I use an epilator and it is super important to moisture and this is my go-to for fall and winter. 

Ingredients: (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Emulsifying Wax NF, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Stearic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Glycerin, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tapioca Starch, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lemongrass Essential Oil


Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap Lemongrass Handmade Soap -- No one makes handmade soap like Nan's. No one.  have been using her soaps for a decade and they just are second to none. I think that some people are still hesitant to try a good bar soap. Do NOT confuse the likes of Dove, Zest, Ivory, etc. with true handmade soap. A well formulated handcrafted soap will be creamy, nourishing and feel amazing on the skin. If you are looking for lemongrass soap, this is a must-have. Take a look at the ingredients list, too. It is stellar!

Ingredients: Olive oil, coconut oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, lemongrass essential oil, green clay, green oxide


Clover & Bee Lemongrass and Poppyseed Body Polish -- If you have been following along with me here on the blog over the past 11+ years, you will know that I love a good body scrub. I don't like them to be too dry or too oily. It's hard to get it just right. Clover & Bee is one of my new favorite brands. I am currently using the Lemongrass and Poppyseed Body Polish and am swooning over it. At first, I thought it might be a bit too dry, but once I tried it on my skin, I was hooked. This is a really unique scrub. Most body scrubs are sugar, salt or feature nut shells, but the #1 ingredient in this one is actually granulated honey. I am a sucker for products made with honey because of the myriad skincare benefits. This scrub smells like heaven and leaves skin soft and silky without feeling oily.

Ingredients: Granulated Honey, Granulated Sugar, *Babassu Nut Oil, *Macadamia Nut Oil, *Lemongrass Essential Oil, *Poppyseeds. *denotes certified organic ingredient


Rahua Organic Voluminous Shampoo is pure luxury. This exquisite (and expensive) shampoo not only adds shine and bounce to my chemically-treated locks, but it smells AMAZEBALLS. I have naturally dirty blonde hair that is now about 30% gray. For the past almost 4 years, it has been colored a rich brown. Prior to that, it was highlighted, lowlighted, baliaged, bleached, and more. I have not been kind to my hair over the years, drying it and flat ironing it nearly daily. In my teen years, it was spiral permed, hot rollered, and sprayed with Sun In. I am lucky that I still have hair.

I REALLY pamper it with great products, though, so that is why my hair is still in relatively good shape. Like I said earlier, this is a definite splurge, but you will LOVE this one.

Ingredients: Aqua, Herbal Infusion of Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Coco Betaine, Sodium Chloride (Sea Salt), Saccharum Officinarum (Molasses) Extract, Glycerin, Caprylic Acid, Glycine, Oenocapus Bataua (Unguarahua) Oil, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Potassium Sorbate (Plant-derived), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil*, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Chlorophyll. *Organic Ingredient


Earth Friendly ECOS Organic Lemongrass Hand Soap - Bargain alert, my friends. I am going to recommend a product today that you can find at, of all places, The Home Depot. It is a fabulous natural hand soap in a whopping 17 ounce bottle for around 3 bucks. It smells just lovely and has better ingredients than most hand soaps.

IngredientsAqua (water), cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium coco sulfate, cocamidopropylamine oxide, glycerin, citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract, cymbopogon schoenanthus oil (lemongrass oil)*, phenoxyethanol, citral and benzyl benzoate. *N.O.P. Certified Essential Oil


Small batch-blended right here in Rochester, Tealightful offers beautiful and flavorful loose leaf teas. One of my favorites is Tealightful Spa Day, which is a blend of certified organic Lemongrass, Peppermint, Cinnamon Bark, and Licorice Root. It will make you feel amazing!

Review: Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Have you tried a sleeping pack before? If you're skincare obsessed, chances are you have tried one. If not, read on -- because this product is going to be a must-have in your arsenal.

Two years ago, I was introduced to sleeping packs when I was writing a magazine article about the Korean skincare routine. Ever since then, I have been hooked on them. After trying several, I have found my holy grail sleeping mask: Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack.

Just what are sleeping packs?

A sleeping pack is used as the very last step of a night-time skincare routine.  Since nighttime is best for cell regeneration, it is an ideal time for your sleeping mask to work its magic. Let me clear something up, a sleeping mask isn't a mask per se, as it doesn't harden or get peeled off. It is almost like a gel-like cream. They provide deep hydration to your skin while you sleep, sinking right in and working wonders to revitalize your complexion.

Sleeping masks are used as little as once a week or nightly if desired. I use a nickel size amount for my entire face and neck -- in a thin layer over my serum and moisturizer. Some nights, it goes right over my serum. It depends on my skin at the time.

Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack smells like a glass of cabernet. This particular one is full of protective antioxidants, polyphenols, and contains the anti-inflammatory and exfoliating benefits of mandarin peel extract.

Noteworthy ingredients

Squalane - Naturally derived from olives, squalane is hydrating and replenishing and it provides weightless moisture.

Wine extract - Rich is tannins and potent resveratrol, wine extract helps restore collagen and elastin production, while protecting the skin against free radicals.

Camellia - Hydrates and offers antioxidant protection

Satsuma mandarin (citrus unshiu peel) - brightens the skin and helps improve skin texture and tone.

Prickly pear (opuntia coccinellifera fruit) - is abundant in antioxidant Vitamin E. It also helps boost collagen products and renews skin as it moisturizes.

Orchid extract - Bursting with zinc, magnesium, and calcium, orchid extract helps protect the skin, offers anti-aging benefits, and leaves skin feeling comforted and soothed.

Ingredients: Water, butylene glycol, squalene, cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone, PEG-240/HDI copolymer Bis-decyltetradeceth-20 ether, cyclohexasiloxane, wine extract, camellia japonica leaf extract, citrus unshiu peel extract, opuntia coccinellifera fruit extract, orchid extract, cetearyl alcohol, C12-16 alcohols, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone cross polymer, polysorbate 60, cetearyl glucodise, hydrogenated lecithin, palmitic acid, glyceryl caprylate, xanthan gum, disodium EDTA, benzophenone-5, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, fragrance

Ready to try Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack?

Click here to grab yours. Note: I am part of the Amazon Influencer program, so I get a commission when my readers purchase the products that I use and recommend.

The 5 Best Foundations for Women Over 40

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Let's talk about foundation, why don't we?

The right foundation can enhance your complexion, giving it the look of perfection, rather than the dreaded look of a chalky mask. Finding the right shade and formulation can be hard enough, but when you are in your forties and are experiencing skin changes, fine lines, hormonal issues, and hyperpigmentation, finding the perfect foundation can become an even more daunting task. I am here to share my tried and true with you, from one fortysomething to another.

Best Budget-Friendly Foundation

This $12 gem is definitely my favorite foundation for giving you the most for your money. I am sent foundations regularly for review in a wide range of prices. Some I love, while some sit on my vanity. I do not need to buy foundation, but this is one I will buy over and over again because it performs much better than your typical "budget" foundation. My other affordable favorites are L'Oreal True Match, Maybelline Fit Me Matte, and the discontinued Revlon Color Stay Whipped, but this one is best for my skin.

  • The best way I have found to apply this one is with my Real Techniques blending sponge (similar to, but better than the Beautyblender). I dampen the sponge and apply. 
  • This needs primer underneath. I use Honest Beauty Everything Primer Matte.
  • I have also used this with my Real Techniques Stippling  Brush and my Jane Iredale Foundation Brush, but I prefer the sponge.
  • This does NOT settle into fine lines! It blurs away imperfections, keeps oilies at bay, and leaves skin looking healthy.
  • For reference, I wear shade Light 50.
  • I do NOT break out at all from this foundation.
  • This is FRAGRANCE FREE. Thank you, Colour Pop.
  • I consider this more of a semi-matte formula. It is not a flat, true matte.
  • This does not oxidize at all and color stays true ALL DAY LONG.

Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben free formula

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Silica, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Synthetic Sapphire, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Potassium Sorbate, Trisodium Edta, Hexylene Glycol, Tocopherol; MAY CONTAIN: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Best Mineral Powder Foundation

I had heard of the brand Youngblood, yet only recently tried it for the first time. I was on a major copywriting project for a beauty marketplace and Youngblood was one of the brands I was responsible for writing about.

In case you are unaware, before I write about a product, I immerse myself in learning everything I can about the brand -- studying ingredients, the company history, reading reviews, and trying what I can. This helps me describe each product in a way that is more credible. If you are reading one of the product descriptions I have written on a product package or on a website, I want you to know how it will feel, smell, wear, etc. 

Anyway, I knew after reading up on this one that I just HAD to try it. This is the best powder foundation I have used. I apply it with a kabuki brush and buff it in circular motions. Again, primer is a must. This is so luxe, so satiny soft. It is not choppy like many powders can be. It is a dream to apply because you can watch those imperfections get buffed away.
  • Sheer to full coverage
  • Finish is natural and radiant without being glittery
  • Trade secret milling process means a softer, finer powder
  • Buildable coverage camouflages birthmarks, melasma, tattoos, and acne scars
  • This formula is popular among plastic surgeons for use post-procedure to calm redness without harming recovery.
  • Soft Beige is actually my summer color. It is a bit dark now, so I would recommend getting Neutral if you have my coloring.
  • The ultra basic formula is ideal for those with hypersensitive skin or conditions like rosacea.
Ingredients: Mica. MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163)

Best BB or CC Cream

I had a hard time with this one because I LOVE It Cosmetics CC Cream. That said, the smell of lime essential oil is overwhelming and triggers my allergies. This makes me super sad because I love how fresh my skin looks with this on. Unfortunately, essential oils can be just as much of an allergy trigger as artificial fragrance, so I really need to be careful when applying to my face. Because of this, I tested out others, including Thrive Causemetics (unimpressed) and Cargo (I love it, but it does not last all 

My favorite is an old favorite of mine that once seemed "too much" for me, but it now perfect for my 43 year old skin -- Jane Iredale Glow Time Mineral BB Cream.

  • Broad spectrum sun protection
  • This is more of a full coverage.
  • This, in my opinion, goes on best with the Jane Iredale Foundation Brush.
  • Diminishes the look of fine lines and enlarged pores to create an even canvas
  • Brightens the skin, giving a healthy glow
  • Vegan and wheat free
  • For reference, I wear shade BB5.

Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 17.5%Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Coconut Alkanes, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, Polysilicone 11, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Fruit Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pectin, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract, Lecithin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Alumina, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tamarindus Indica (Tamarind) Extract, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemon Grass) Extract, Xanthan Gum
May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77489, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499),Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288)

I love the ingredients in this one. Grapefruit extract is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, may reduce hormonal breakouts, and has skin brightening characteristics. Apple fruit extract is soothing, hydrating, and can help lighten dark spots. It improves clarity by toning the skin and gives skin a refreshed appearance. Featuring naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), tamarind extract helps to eliminate dead skin cells, flakes, and improves overall skin texture. This is a gem of a formula.

Best Stick Foundation

This is the ONLY stick foundation I use, despite trying dozens! In fact, I have used this one on and off since I was first introduced to it in 2009 here on the blog. Way back in the days of yore, I used to use Estee Lauder Minute Makeup. It was my go-to when working at Estee Lauder and I continued to buy it for years. Then, I discovered Narcissist.

  • This stick foundation is great for the weekend when I just want to look fresh and polished. I use to apply where needed, as opposed to a full face application. 
  • For reference, my shade is called Fair Golden.
  • The formula soothes and brightens a dull complexion.
  • I personally believe this is best for dry and combo skin types, as it breaks me out when I am more oily.
Ingredients: Oleic Acid* , Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax,* Beeswax*, Linoleic Acid*, Castor Isostearate Beeswax Succinate, Mica, Palmitic Acid*, Stearic Acid*, Water, Linolenic Acid*, Arginine/Lysine Polypeptide, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf*, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract*, Pearl Powder, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbic Acid, Alaria Esculenta Extract [+/- Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, 77491, 77499)]

*Certified Organic Ingredients

Best Liquid Foundation (Any Price)

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation is my splurge foundation. I first received it as a gift from Influenster, but it is one I have repurchased. This one seems to go quickly, which is a bummer considering the price. That said, this beats Dior, Chanel, Smashbox, Tarte, and any other foundations in a similar price range.

  • For reference, I wear Y245
  • Makeup covers, but looks undetectable
  • This is great for bridal makeup photography.
  • Color wears almost all day
  • I find this ideal for normal to oily skin types.
  • Apply with a damp blender sponge for the best results or use a stippling sponge.
Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Talc, Mica, Phenyl Trimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Lauroyl Lysine, Glyceryl Caprylate, Methylpropanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Chlorphenesin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Propylene Carbonate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Benzoic Acid, [+/- CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)

Who makes the best vanilla body wash?

Monday, October 8, 2018

I don't know about you, but I just love the subtle aroma of vanilla. I find it comforting, especially in the cooler months. We've been testing out vanilla body washes over the past few weeks and have narrowed the list down from 10 to 3 and are here to share the BEST vanilla scented body wash. The winner will surprise you!

Philosophy French Vanilla Bean Shampoo, Shower Gel & Body Wash

Philosophy French Vanilla Bean reminds me of my old favorite from high school - the Body Shop Vanilla Bean. I love how this product smells. It is like the name implies: vanilla bean. However, I find that this product leaves my skin feeling stripped. I don't like stepping out of the shower and feeling like my skin needs to be moisturized immediately, but that is how my skin feels after showering with Philosophy. It is dry, tight, and itchy.

I am also personally not a fan of the fact that there are synthetic dyes in this product, because they are unnecessary. I understand, though, that the colorants make the product more visually pleasing, which translates to more sales. Like it or not, that is just how the beauty industry works.

This product contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate. It also contains Benzyl Alcohol, which is a short chained alcohol which causes skin dryness. It contains Polyquaternium 7 and 10, both of which tend to leave my skin uncomfortable. On the plus side, it contains aloe, squalane, panthenol, green tea, and vanilla. However, the effects of these are insignificant. They are well behind fragrance, so they are likely at a concentration of well under 0.5 to 1%. For reference, most shower gels with fragrance contain 2% fragrance. 

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Lauryl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Glycerin, Glycol Stearate, Fragrance/Parfum, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Phytosterols, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Squalene, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Isostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Buteth-3, Tributyl Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Caramel, Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Yellow 5 (CI 19140) 
Price: $18 for 16 ounces
Price per ounce: $1.12

Thymes Vanilla Blanc Body Wash

Now onto the Thymes Vanilla Blanc Body Wash. I found this body wash to be much less drying than the Philosophy product mentioned above. The cleansers are gentle and my skin feels clean without feeling stripped after using. I can detect an orange aroma, thanks to the bergamot peel. 

This is free of SLS and SLES, which is a plus. It does contain both artificial fragrance and artificial colorants.

This is a decent body wash - not as nice as my top pick - and not worth the price, but rates a B if I were grading it report card-style.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Coco-Sulfate¹, Decyl Glucoside², Parfum/Fragrance, Cocamidopropyl Betaine1, Acrylates Copolymer, Glycol Stearate², Glycerin², Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, Coco-Glucoside², Glyceryl Oleate², Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid², Sodium Chloride, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, Tris (Tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol) Citrate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxycitronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Caramel, Yellow 5 (CI 19140)
Source: ¹Coconut and/or Palm, ²Mixed Plant, ³Silica
Price: $21 for 9.25 ounces
Price per ounce: $2.27

The BEST Vanilla Body Wash is:

Johnson's Skin Nourish Vanilla Oat Wash is our pick for the best vanilla body wash. I know -- shocking! This product, however, is really impressive. Johnson's should be commended for overhauling their ingredients. No, these aren't "natural" ingredients, but we have learned time and again from SCIENCE that just because something is "natural" doesn't make it safer or more effective. Taking emotion out of it, that is just a FACT.

This body wash is sulfate free, paraben free, and phthalate free.

It does contain synthetic fragrance.

I am not a big fan of synthetic fragrance because of the concern over what might be IN the fragrance, especially phthalates. Johnson's transparency on this issue is to be commended, because they fully disclose each and every ingredient -- as well as what is in their fragrance ingredients -- in plain sight on their website. This product is also free of artificial colors, unlike the others.

I am a mom. My younger son loves to smell like cake, cookies, brownies, vanilla, etc. He likes the Philosophy 3-in-1 products, but I am happier now with him using Johnson's. I have been using this one myself for a few weeks and I really can't believe that this mammoth bottle in my shower was six bucks.

The vanilla is not fake smelling or overpowering in any way. It does not give me a headache or trigger my allergies. My skin is left soft without feeling stripped, yet is feels clean.

Ingredients: Water*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine*, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Glycerin*, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide*, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate*, Sodium Benzoate, Glycol Distearate*, Decyl Glucoside*, Fragrance [2-(propan-2-yloxy)ethyl 2-hydroxybenzoate, Anisaldehyde, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethyl Trimethylcyclopentene Butenol, Ethylene Brassylate, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Pentadecalactone, Phenethyl Alcohol], Laureth-4, Citric Acid*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract*

Price: $5.99 for 27.1 ounces (as of 10-8-18 at the Irondequoit Target)
Price per ounce: $0.22

Just age gracefully? I think not.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Many of Hollywood’s most gorgeous leading ladies are over the age of 40. These big screen starlets take good care of their skin and it shows. There’s no reason you can’t have a radiant complexion at any age. Follow our ten expert tips for skin care after 40 and you, too, can have glowing skin worthy of a walk down the red carpet.

I am 43. My skin today is in MUCH better condition than it was 5 or even 10 years ago. It's all about SUNSCREEN, proper ingredients, and following a consistent skincare routine. SUNSCREEN is your best line of defense against aging. I am not including it here in this post, as I have written on the importance of wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen both here on the blog and in numerous print publications. BESIDES sunscreen, what can be done to help promote youthful skin? Read on.

1. Seek out products containing retinoids.

Forget all of the overhyped skin care products and remember this one word: retinoid.  Retinoids are an active form of Vitamin A and they have proven to be an effective anti-aging class of ingredients. Retinoids have a long history of research behind them and they are something that nearly everyone can use. Not only are retinoids proven to reduce the signs of aging such as deep lines and wrinkles, but they are also a highly recommended acne treatment. I recommend using them only at night, as they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

2. Stop smoking.

If you have not broken the nicotine habit yet, make smoking cessation a top priority. Not only will you become healthier, but your skin will look better. Women who smoke develop lines around the mouth and eyes and are more prone to skin congestion which results in blackheads. Skin is generally more sallow and these signs of aging due to smoking really tend to become more obvious after 40.

3. Say goodbye to the turkey neck.

Don’t forget the neck area. While most of you are conscientious about applying skin care products to your face, the neck is often ignored. Even if the skin on your face is radiant and smooth, a wrinkled neck ages you, so add neck care to your to-do list. The skin on your neck is actually quite delicate, so be sure to use a rich firming cream to this area each night.  Look for ingredients such as ceramides to provide wrinkle-fighting benefits to the neck.

An effective choice is Clarins Extra Firming Neck Cream. Full disclosure - I am a Clarins affiliate and am a Coach on their website, assisting customers with skincare questions, so if you purchase this cream using my link, I will earn a small commission. That said, I do not recommend ANYTHING on this blog that I do not like and I have been a Clarins fan since 1997, as working for this line was my first full-time job after college. Why do I love this one? Well, the unique blend of banana fruit extract, seaweed, oat, sunflower, and more make it both preventive and corrective. It smells absolutely divine, feels absolutely luxurious, and is effective. ($90)

4. Peel pads are your new best friend.

One of the best ways to revitalize and brighten the skin is through exfoliation. There are many at-home peel pads with glycolic acid that you simply swipe over your face every few days. When you do this, the acid will help encourage cell turnover to shed dead cells and reveal a youthful glow. Check the labels and look for words like glycolic, salicylic or mandelic acid when choosing a peel system.

Chic & Green recommends: Pixi Glow Peel Pads are among my favorites, for sure!

5. Stay hydrated.

While drinking water and applying moisturizer will not prevent wrinkles, well hydrated skin looks plumper and more youthful. Products with ingredients such as olive squalane, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid will deliver moisture to the skin without leaving it greasy. These are key to keeping skin supple.

Try the budget-friendly, yet effective CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizer. CeraVe is the best drugstore brand out there and the ingredients are really effective. There are multiple ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and a nourishing fatty alcohol called Phytospingosine.

6. Brighten and lighten.

Dullness and brown spots and uneven skin tone are not uncommon after 40, so stop them dead in their tracks with natural brightening ingredients.  Skin care products containing enzymes, vitamins and exfoliants are protective and are ideal for targeting dark spots and adding radiance to the skin.  Simply brightening your complexion can erase years from your face.

I love: I have been singing the praises of Exuviance Vespera Bionic Serum since I was an educator for the brand a few years back. This luxe serum improves skin texture and clarity through its exquisite blend of alpha hydroxy acids to lift away dullness, antioxidants to protect against UV damage, mandelic acid, and multiple skin-pampering vitamins.

7. Take Mom’s advice and eat your veggies.

Vegetables are stellar foods for the skin. Green leafy vegetables fight inflammation and provide Vitamin C and Vitamin A, while carrots have beta carotene to protect skin and repair its delicate tissue. Purple and red veggies are great sources of antioxidant protection and fight free radical damage.

8. Change up your makeup.

Changing formulas of your foundation and blush are two easy ways to have healthier, more youthful looking skin. Switching to a foundation with “brightening” or “firming” in the name can make your skin look younger. Powder formulas tend to look chalky, as do mattes, so processed with caution. I will be doing a post soon on matte makeup and how it really HAS come a long way compared to the matte makeup of 20 years ago, but if you have mature skin, you still need to be careful. Light-diffusing foundations will help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation spots and add a more evenly toned look to the skin.

A good one to try: The Ordinary Serum Foundation from Deciem. This is so affordable (just $6.70) and has some really lovely ingredients. It is paraben free, oil free, cruelty free, vegan, nut free, alcohol free, and soy free.

When it comes to blush, replace your usual chalky powder with a creamy blush. It will glide over the skin, giving just a pinch of color without settling into lines the way traditional powders do.

Try: Au Naturale The Anywhere Creme Multistick is a gem. This multitasker contains healthy ingredients such as Meadowfoam Seed, Castor Seed, Jojoba, Lavender, and more. It is really beautiful and the colors are nicely pigmented. ($35)

9. Consider cutting out alcohol.

I know, I know. What about wine o'clock or nights out at the local brewery? I hear you. I embarked on an alcohol-free challenge earlier this year and had nothing alcoholic from January 28th through the 4th of July to see if I noticed all of the results that science shows us in terms of skin and alcohol. It is true (not that I doubted the research; I just wanted to see it first hand). I started drinking again (in moderation - craft beer of a couple bottles per weekend) and my complexion became sallow. It has made me cut back again even more.

Alcohol dehydrates your body and your skin. It can speed cellular aging and make your complexion sallow. Try cutting back or cutting it out altogether. Your skin will thank you!

10. Make collagen building peptides a priority.

Peptides are molecules that are linked together. Why should this matter? These links of molecules contain at least two amino acids and research indicates that they may help to rebuild collagen. This is essential for reducing the visible signs of aging, as peptides can make your skin look more youthful and plump. Find peptides in anti-aging serums and moisturizers. I also recommend adding collagen peptides to your supplement arsenal. I take Neocell Collagen Peptides daily by adding a scoop to my morning smoothie.

You also can get peptides in your skincare products.

My top picks? For a budget-friendly, yet effective option, I recommend The Ordinary Buffet. This serum features both Argireline and Matrixyl and it WILL have an impact on lines, deeper wrinkles, age spots, sagging, and more.

For the eyes, I cannot say enough about the fanfreakingtastic Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel, which is 100% amazeballs. Trust me on this one.

Glowing and gorgeous at 40 & beyond

Age is nothing more than a number. You can have beautiful skin at any age. Making some simple skin care changes can make a real difference when it comes to improving the appearance of your skin after 40.

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links to products. All products have been tried and tested and I endorse them fully. However, I want to let you know that I am a member of some affiliate programs and do earn a commission on some of the products I recommend.
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