March 2018 Boxycharm Unboxing

March 2018 Boxycharm Unboxing

Are you obsessed with monthly subscription services or makeup unboxings? This video is for you, check it out in the article below!

I’m a curator and reviewer of many products but subscriptions are my favorite thing to chat about! I love the value that many makeup, lifestyle and skincare subscriptions offer. Today, we’re chatting about the holy grail of all makeup boxes – Boxycharm. This box is $21 USD a month and includes 4-5 full size products. The contents range from tools, skincare and body products and makeup products. Often, Boxycharm will also collaborate and include a coupon for you to purchase from one of the featured brands at a discount, even more savings! What’s not to love about this subscription?

Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed the video, and what you would like to see next! Looking forward to hearing from you babes, ♥ Mia.






My Morning Skincare Routine

My Morning Skincare Routine

Do you like over-edited photos of beautiful products conveniently displayed alongside chic pillows and in a soft, lovely environment? Yes?! Me too! Here’s one now:

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I’ve been working on my skin problems for a couple years now, and have found an easy routine that works well and has nearly resolved all of my troubles. I love sharing my passions with others and there’s too much hype circling products now that I think it helps to hear why products work and know how they’re working for someone. If I can help one person improve their confidence with a better routine, I’ve accomplished something wonderful.

Now folks, I struggle with a lot of acne issues varying from cystic pimples that take weeks to go away to little tiny blackheads that need to be extracted to disappear. I’m also working on reducing the fine lines and wrinkles in my eye area and on my forehead. And on top of that, I have a very, very nasty oily pit in the center of my forehead that I can barely control. In my previous article, I let you guys know that I have combination skin. That means that parts of my skin are very dry and dehydrated, and others are oily. It’s an ugly mix and there’s a lot of things I’m trying to tackle at once, but these babes have really helped keep my skin demons under control.

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Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser for All Skin Types, (pack of 2, 16oz)

To start my morning off right, I wash off the night before. I’m a restless sleeper and usually wake up a little oily and gross so I can’t just “splash my face with water” like some people. I envy you though, just FYI. Cetaphil cleansers are so gentle on the skin, and the consistency is closer to a thick gel than your traditional cleansers. The best part? This cleanser comes with so much product at such a great price. It’s safe for most skin types and individuals with severe sensitivities because it’s free of harsh chemicals, dyes and sulfates. If you’re looking to start making a change in your own morning routine and aren’t cleansing daily yet – try this!

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Origins – Out Of Trouble 10 Minute Mask

After cleansing (and if I have time in the morning) I usually like to follow with a mask to target any trouble spots that might have popped up from night before. Usually, this guy is my hero which is why he’s the sole character being shown when it comes to a morning mask. If a breakout looks like it might be starting, I’ll spot treat with this and let it sit for 10-20 minutes before rinsing. At most, I use this product 2-3x a week because the salicylic acid in this can really cause my skin to dry out and peel very badly with heavy use.

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Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief, 4.2 Ounce

Following my mask or right after cleansing, I spray this all over my face in a circular motion. I want you to all know that I’m absolutely OBSESSED with this product. The mist is perfect; it’s not too much and it gently sprays the product evenly throughout for an incredible spa-like experience. I use this before moisturizer and throughout the day to keep my skin feeling fresh, moisturized and to keep my makeup in check. Not only does this help moisturize my skin better than any other spray I’ve tried, but it helps keep my makeup from slipping and really helps to set it if I’m in a pinch and notice I’m looking a little bit cake-y. I highly recommend picking up a travel size of this with you if you struggle with oily spots during the day or need an extra bit of moisture. Super convenient in the car and at the office!

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Laneige Water Bank Essence 2.02 Ounce

I believe that this product is now called Water Bank Essence instead of Water Bank Serum. The formula is the same in both products, so please ignore the old packaging of this photo! While the packaging is old, this Korean skin care essence is incredible. The consistency of this essence is exactly what you would expect out of a traditional serum product. It’s silky, moisturizing, and has a wonderful scent too. This essence is great for locking in moisture and keeping skin firm, supple and plump. Combined with my moisturizer, this product packs a powerful punch. It melts into the skin and absorbs so quickly, doesn’t leave a tacky layer and it plays very well with other products. I’ve used this with multiple moisturizers, multiple skin toners and have found my skin reacts to products so much better when I use include this step. In fact, my skin hydration suffers and feels much less supple and easily irritated when if I skip this product.

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The Ordinary – Caffiene Solution 5% + EGCG

This eye solution is so worth it just for the price tag alone. It’s under $10 for an entire oz worth of useable product! The Ordinary delivers some incredible affordable products, but this is one the best. Do not miss your chance to pick this up, even if the shipping does take forever. I saw results within a day of using this, and you only need the smallest amount so it lasts forever. I use a single droplet of this serum on my eye contour and it significantly reduces the puffiness and deep bruising of my under eye. At night, I like to layer another eye cream over the top to bring more moisture into my very dry eye area but in the morning this superhero has me covered for a long day ahead.

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Murad Oil-Control Mattifier with SPF 15 PA++ – (1.7 fl oz)

Originally I actually picked up this moisturizer as a gift to my boyfriend. He struggles with oily skin too, and really wanted something mattifying. Unfortunately for him, this caused his poor skin to react and he didn’t care for how thick this moisturizer is. Thankfully for me though, this actually really helps control the small pool that is my oily t-zone. I apply this in the morning, right underneath my makeup. While this product is very thick, it does apply easier with a brief mist of any moisturizing setting spray. SPF 15 is the minimum amount of SPF I’ll wear in any beauty product, and I have read that just applying in the morning may not give you enough coverage during the day. I definitely re-apply this product on days when I’m not wearing any makeup but other than that I find it hard to get the adequate SPF coverage you’ll need. But if you’re just looking for something with good oil control qualities, this is a great moisturizer to start with.

I recently also got my hands on this new gem:

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This was an impulse purchase. I’ve had my eye on a Clarisonic face brush for a very long time, but wasn’t sure if the hefty price tag was worth the investment. I did some research, and I found this. The Hangsun Electric Face Brush SC200 met my expectations, and then exceeded them. It comes with 3 different brush sets, a gentle long bristled option for sensitive skin, a regular shorter brush head for daily cleansing and exfoliating, and a larger short brush for body cleansing. I haven’t yet used the body cleansing feature, but I’ve been using this for a month daily now and have seen such a great improvement in my skin. My dry, patchy areas have either shrunk in size or vanished. It really pulls off all the rest of the junk off my skin at the end of the day, and really helps prep my skin for makeup application in the morning. It’s also IPX6 rated, which means it’s water resistant and you can use it in the shower! Just be mindful to not leave it in the charger while wet, because that item is NOT water resistant.

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What’s your favorite way to get ready in the morning? Do you like to take your time with a longer routine or do you prefer something a little more simpler to start your day? Let me know in the comments!

Best Basics: Makeup

Welcome all to my exclusive, very first blog post/review on Pacific Northwest Woman. Now, traditionally you’ll see a lot mixed content on this site relating to any of these topics: makeup, skincare, women issues and finding balance in your life. Finding balance  is increasingly difficult in the digital age. There’s so much information in the world, and it’s always calling your name. Life balance is what brought me to create this blog!  I’ve been busy working on balance, happiness and my own self care routines to the point where I’m now ready to share my secrets and helpful tips with you too!

This project was first created as a way of healing. Healing from anxiety, depression, fatigue, and the weight of the world that had been crushing my dreams and keeping me from being myself. Now it’s a way for me to communicate – and hopefully help you too in your own journey with finding yourself, or even just your how to make your perfect skincare routine so that you can feel more like yourself too. ♥

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Now before I go all in on my thoughts and opinions on these products for the review, I want to point out that your skin is your canvas. It’s your best base, so take care of it. It directly affects your makeup and how it wears throughout the day. That being said, certain foundations and other cosmetics will work very well for some people and some will find that it causes breakouts or doesn’t work for them at all. Ultimately, every skin type is a little different because every person is different, so take this review with a grain of salt.

My skin is what I would typically categorize as combination, but my drier areas are getting fewer and fewer between. Honestly friends, I’m a little worried I might just be an oily gal with dehydrated skin and I hate it. I have an oily, pool-ish area in my t-zone (vocabulary check: t-zone is the bridge of your nose extending to the forehead, it’s the most common problem area for many individuals) with a very, VERY dry under eye. I do get occasional dry patches on my nose and forehead too. The reason we’re going into all this is because I noticed I look so much older when my base isn’t properly taken care of. Nobody wants to look dry, cake-y or older than they really are so please keep this in mind before trying any of these products yourself.

The Stars:

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ SPF 50 (Light) I love this CC cream, I really do guys. The finish of this foundation is incredible. It looks like dewy, natural and I find that the more I wear it the better my skin underneath looks. It’s SPF content is also much higher than the amount you’ll find in other SPF foundations, but with that you’ll also face some flashback problems. One thing that does bother me is that this foundation range doesn’t appeal well to darker skin tones. IT Cosmetics did recently come out with a new Bye Bye Foundation with a range that does look to be much more shade inclusive, but we’ll see what POC have to say about the quality of the shades themselves.  Let’s get back to this little gem though, because I’ve re-purchased this product four times already. There’s got to be something really good if I keep coming back, right?

If I wear this foundation when I have drier, more dehydrated skin then I don’t need to set it at all. It’s so easy to wear, and smells incredible.  It actually does appear to make my skin feel a little better, and it doesn’t irritate my dry skin at all.. If I’m my regular oily self though, then my skin will need a mattifying moisturizer or primer on underneath as a base. Right now, I use Murad’s SPF 15++, and she get’s the job done alright. As long as I finish my skin with the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, this stays all day and makes my skin appear so natural. Overall, I never have issues with my skin reacting and can do light and full coverage options since it’s buildable. It’s just awesome.

Best part? No one can tell I wear foundation with this product on. Hallelujah!

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise (Black) O.K. everyone, are you ready to talk about one of the best, most affordable mascaras on the market? I’m not talking about that pink and green Great Lash bullshit here either, I’m talking about the new L’Oreal Lash Paradise. This lash boosting mascara is under $10, and does miracles for short, stumpy and thin lashes. It’s a perfect little dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and even has the cute pink metal packaging to match. There’s a lot of great dupes coming out lately, but this mascara out performs its competitor. Not only does this separate my lashes, but it makes them look much more full and holds them in place and doesn’t flake throughout the day. I usually like a more wet mascara and this formula is definitely drier than I usually prefer but the results speak for themselves. It even comes in a super tough waterproof version for summer days or the individual that works outdoors or in humidity.

Heads up though, I find this product is a little tougher to remove than other mascaras and with my super delicate, dry eye area I generally have to rotate this mascara in between others because the daily removal is tough on my eye area.

Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation (Y245, my shade when I self tan) – I always need to have full coverage and long-wearing foundation on hand in a shade that matches my body when I self-tan. Now, this one in particular I purchased was when I was tanning  to a few shades darker then I normally do now, if at all. That being said, since it’s a little darker I tend to mix this a little bit of Fenty Foundation in shade 100 (my fair skinned favorite full coverage foundation) to create my perfect shade. My favorite thing about this foundation is that even if my face is a few shades lighter, you won’t be able to tell once it’s blended into my skin. It blends in so well that I often get questions from others asking if I’m wearing any foundation. Blending powder over the top is a breeze too, because this is such a great base.

Without sunscreen, this looks excellent in photos with and without flash. (Just be careful, some setting powders may cause flashback)  This is such a solid liquid foundation, which is why even though I barely wear this lovely lady now, she’s on this list.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Highlighter (Exposed Highlight) I’ll be honest, I didn’t like this highlighter at first. I was originally wanting just the mini Hotel Heiress bronzer, but this one came in a deluxe sample with it so I purchased it anyway. At the time I wasn’t even into highlighters. I gave in though, and I’m so glad for it!

This highlighter is a little glittery, but looks so lovely on the skin once its applied in thin layers. I use a fan brush or a long tapered blush brush to apply it to the top of my cheekbones, the peak of my lips and the tip of my nose depending on the texture. It’s a light, coolish toned highlighter that just brings out the extra little sparkle when you turn instead of a sheeny glow. It looks so lovely sprinkled over the top of other more sheer highlighters too, if you want to glow to the gods. This product is more of an honorable mention really, just because I end up reaching for it half as much as my Becca highlighters.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer (Hotel Heiress) First off, I want to say that I think this bronzer is so wonderful but the warm undertones don’t work super well with my cool-toned, fair skin. I reach for this bronzer every single time I have self tanned though, and even use a little to play up my contour a little more when going out in the summer. I can’t wear it year round though, I look too much like Trump.

This is still such a great bronzer though for medium-tan skin tones. It blends so well, smells good and lasts all day. It warms up my look and I’ll even blend it will a large kabuki brush on certain parts of my body in the summer to accentuate my tan. Plus, the name is so bougie, and who doesn’t love to feel a little extra now and then?

Tarte Shape Tape (Fair) There’s a lot of Tarte in this list, and I’m sorry to those of you that can’t stand them after the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Shade Gate of 2018. These products did really well last year though, especially this concealer. It was probably one of the biggest stand out products in 2017 and it’s shade range when it launched was diverse and impressive! This is a very full coverage, matte concealer in a huge container that lasts for ages and has an impressively large applicator. I love it. When my eyes are a little drier all I have to do is mix a little of this concealer with my The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Marula Oil and it blends so well underneath my eyes and doesn’t crease. I highly, highly recommend this product if you have some dark under eye areas or even just a lot of trouble spots that a traditional concealer just can’t cover.

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara (Blonde) I discovered this product while trying to find a cheaper, and lighter way to style my brows. It takes a lot to get them from the skimpy, thin squiggles above my eyes into the coveted powerful, bold brows. This product still builds up the thickness of my brows without turning them into the classic instagram eyebrow look.  What’s even better is that this is another product under $10. I use this alone for a clean look, or with a little brow powder/eye pencil if I need more powerful brows to balance out a full face of makeup.

I’ve seen some people compare the quality of this product to Glossier’s Boy Brow, but I have yet to try that myself for an accurate comparison. If you’ve tried both of these products out, let me know how they compare!

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray It took me a while before setting sprays gained my attention. I adore them now, and use multiple sprays in my makeup routine everyday. Now that I’m obsessed with sprays and mists and shit, I want you to all know that if you haven’t tried this yet (and you have nasty oily skin that breaks up makeup or your makeup slips during the day) you need to. Now. I’m serious on this one. Not only does it finish your makeup well and congeal everything perfectly into one seamless, flawless and freaking gorgeous base. It also keeps your skin looking fresh and matte throughout the day.

Seriously though, this is my holy grail setting spray. Whenever I use this product I always get so many compliments on my makeup. The compliments are all I’m really looking for, but it’s a wonderful bonus though that I get to worry a lot less about it budging during the day.

There’s a lot more products that could have been added to this list, but I wanted to keep it short so I could focus on key things I did and didn’t like about each product. What would you change to make your own beauty basics short list? Do you agree with any of these opinions or have any products that work better for you? Let me know in the comments below!