Lesson Learned: Take Care of Your Skin!

Let’s talk about skincare!  Specifically, let’s talk about skincare for oily skin.

I must admit, taking care of my skin has always ended up a low priority.  It doesn’t start that way.  It just ends up that way.  Its either due to cost or due to availability.  Let’s face it.  In the world of cruelty free skincare for oily skin, it can be a little challenging.  Great products made specifically for oily skin and/or acne usually come from companies that test on animals.  Two major players in this game are Clean & Clear and Neutrogena.  I grew up on Clean & Clear.  It was affordable for a teenager/young adult, and it was coming of age just as I was.

Fast forward a decade (maybe 2), and I find myself an adult buying moisturizer and cleanser from Trader Joe’s.  Why?  Its simple.  I’ve given up.  And let’s face it, I’m cheap when it comes to certain stuff.  But what I failed to realize is that I was not taking good enough care of my skin.  Its like I refuse to get more grown up with my skin care, but my skin was definitely changing with my age.

Enter a particularly humid summer and me, a girl who loves to wear full coverage foundation.  My skin looked terrible.  I needed to make a change.  In a nutshell, I went to Sephora, saying that my foundation was giving me issues.  I said I had oily skin and that I use Trader Joe’s cleanser and moisturizer.  They gave me a look that said it all.  I’m doing the exact opposite of the right thing.  HA!  After some discussion, I landed on the OleHenriksen Balance line.  The main components of this line is the Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser, Balancing Force Oil Control Toner and the Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator.  After a week of using all 3, I’ve noticed such a difference that I almost feel silly for all the wasted time on cookie cutter skin care.  In conjunction with the OleHenriksen products, I’ve started to do weekly detoxifying masks.  My favorite is the Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask.  It smells nice, and it isn’t painful.

All in all, this week has taught me a valuable lesson.  When it comes to taking care of your skin, you have to get what is right for you.  Plus, when your skin looks good, you feel good.  I’m extremely excited to see the results after doing this routine for a few weeks.  I can already tell its working, and its an extremely satisfying feeling.

By the way…nothing against the skin care available at Trader Joe’s.  Its cruelty free and super affordable.  If you have normal skin, it will likely be closer to the right fit!  =)

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mask

OleHenriksen Balance It All Essentials Set


DIY Travel Palette

Travelling.  Its either something you do often, or not enough.  As a self-proclaimed home body, I do not travel often.  And if I do, its usually somewhere close like Las Vegas or San Francisco.  Basically, somewhere that I can drive to within a few hours.  I’m not great at being away from home, and my cat, McClane.  I worry about whether everything is ok back home, and it can totally derail my vacation.  And surprisingly, this fact does not bother me.  I take comfort in the fact that I like to have a home base.

However, this year, something bigger is on the horizon.  I’m taking an actual vacation, for more than 4 days.  I also have to fly there.  I have not gone someplace other then the state of Nevada or California in at least 5 years.  This September, though, I shall be going to New York City.  I have only been once in my entire life, and it was to be a balloon handler in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I was in the city for less than 24 hours, and it was so long ago that I barely remember much of that day.  But alas, I will be there for 5 days and 2 half days.  Since I don’t want to be hassled too much, I will only be taking 1 carry on and a backpack.  Herein lies the challenge.  What am I supposed to do about makeup?!

Normally, while travelling, I’m driving, so there are no restrictions on what I can take.  I can take as much makeup as I want.  But, with this trip, due to TSA regulations and  space limitations, I needed to seriously consolidate the makeup I am bringing.  All toiletries need to fit in my makeup bag and of course, the 1 quart bag for the liquids.  I thought about it.  Well, I could try and buy the trial sizes of everything I have, but at $15-$20 per item, that could be pricier than I would like.

Then, my sister gave me an idea.  She was going to Italy and she bought the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette.  It comes with eye shadows, blush, highlighter and contour.  I realized quickly that the problem with these kinds of palettes (although beautiful) is that the colors are predetermined.  And in my case, its either the eye shadows are not my colors (too light) or the contour/highlight shades are not my colors (too dark).  And so, the quest began; the quest to build the ultimate travel face palette.  And let’s just say that what I came up with is the perfect travel set for ME.  Now, if you were to buy all of this new, it would come up to around $60.  I already had a couple of the items, so it did not break the bank.

Here is what did:

Step 1:  Get some sort of empty magnetic palette.  I used the Morphe one, as it was the best priced one I could find.  I used the 6 in x 4 in size, as I needed space for 6 eye shadows, Blush, Highlighter and Contour/Bronzer.

Step 2:  Get a plan of what colors you want to put in your palette.  For me, I wear black eye shadow often, so I knew that I would want a basic color scheme of White/Gray/Black, along with a few colors to mix it up.  For blush, you want one that matches all potential makeup looks.  The same goes for your highlighter.  Contour is the easiest as your shade is your shade.

Step 3:  Locate all of the chosen colors in pan only.  Ah, pan only.  This is actually a concept that is falling by the wayside.  Some companies sell the component that allows you to pop the pan out, but its easier, in my opinion, to find them in pan only to begin with.  For eye shadow, Morphe, Makeup Geek, Colourpop & Anastasia Beverly Hills are my go-tos for this.  For Blush and Highlight, I chose Makeup Geek’s Heart Throb and Shimma Shimma (an eye shadow shade that works fantastic as a highlighter).  And for contour, I used the Kat Von D in shade Sombre.  Kat Von D Beauty came out with the refillable version in the incomparable Shade + Light Contour Palette.

Step 4:  Fill your empty palette, throw it in your bag and enjoy your vacation!

Now, of course, with an empty magnetic palette, the possibilities are endless.  Especially since you can always buy magnetic strips at the craft store to make anything stick in the palette.  With makeup, it is especially important to remember that if something doesn’t work for you, there will surely be a way to find an alternative.  It may take more effort than just buying something already made, but at least you get EXACTLY what you want.  I included a picture of what my palette looks like below, along with the links to the products.  =)



Eye Shadows:  Top – Porcelain/Pink Silk, Middle – Velveteen/Magic, Bottom – Coal/Emerald


Kat Von D Shad + Light Contour Palette – $49

Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Refill – Shade Sombre – $16

Makeup Geek Blush Pan – Heart Throb – $10

Makeup Geek Eye Shadow – Shimma Shimma – $6

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Singles – Emerald – $12

Morphe Eyeshadow Singles – Magic, Pink Silk, Coal, Velveteen, Porcelain – $2.29 each





Pink Silk

Morphe Empthy Magnetic Palette (6″ by 4″) – $6.99


Cruelty Free: LUSH Cosmetics

In this crazy world of convenience, we often time get caught up on what is in front of us.  We are less likely to seek out what is better and more likely to seek out what is the most convenient.  I, myself, have been a victim of the cult of convenience.  Ok, I’ll stop using that word!  This is especially true for our cosmetics and toiletries.  I know that I got in a rut of buying a popular drugstore brand because I could get it anywhere.  If I forgot it at home while traveling, no worries, because I can get it anywhere.  However, what I managed to push out of my mind is that those products were tested on animals.  And before I knew it; my cabinets and makeup bag were filled with products that were tested on living, breathing beings.  Not my cup of tea, and it shouldn’t be yours either.

As I was having this epiphany, in walks the savior, LUSH Cosmetics.  Their products are 100% Cruelty Free and Vegetarian.  They are also keen on naked and recycled packaging.  They are also ethical buyers and their products are handmade.  Why is this company so important?  They are important because they believe in what every company should believe in.  For most of your cosmetic needs, they have you covered.  They have everything for hair care, skin care, bath bombs, bubble bars, deodorant, the list goes on.  I have to say that I am a proud Lushie, and it just makes me feel good.

Here is a list of some of my favorite items you could add to your first LUSH Haul.

1.  Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar – $10.95 – This lasts forever.  Especially if you don’t have super long hair.

2.  Veganese Conditioner – $19.95 for the 8.4oz container – One of their lighter conditioners.

3.  Charity Pot – $6.95 for the small size.  This is my favorite lotion of theirs.  Plus part of the proceeds goes to charity.

4.  Fresh face mask – $6.95 – The best for my sensitive and acne prone skin is Cosmetic Warrior.  Don’t let the garlic scare you.

5.  Bath Bombs – $5-$12

*Avobath – Has a bit of a citrusy smell

*Big Blue – Just think ocean

*Dragon’s Egg – Citrus smelling goodness with some sparkle

*Tisty Tosty – Floral.  One of my favorites.

*Honey Bee – Toffee smelling goodness.  Combine with Sunnyside.

6.  Bubble Bars (most are good for 2 or more uses) – $6-$12

*Sunnyside – Citrusy. Sparkly. Combine with Big Blue and it creates a “Mermaid Bath”

*Amandopando – Floral and gorgeous.  Combine with Avobath (fresh) or Tisty Tosty (luxurious).

*Brightside – Another citrusy one.  I usually combine this one with Dragon’s Egg for a morning bath.

This is definitely a company one can get behind.  Even if you don’t incorporate LUSH products into your every day, at least think of them when you have to give someone a special gift that you can feel good about.  I’ve included their website below.