Buying Makeup on a Budget

Buying Makeup on a Budget

Looking to expand your makeup collection without breaking the bank? Here’s my favorite tricks to build and buy without destroying my wallet every single month. 

When it comes to my spending habits, I know I have to keep them under control. I still want to enjoy my hobby and find new great things for all of you to try, but I’ve had to find smarter and more affordable ways to do it. Here’s a few ways that I have found work really well for me, or that others have tried and found success with.

♥  ♥  ♥


Store Programs: 

Store programs usually offer discounts, monthly email alerts for sales and coupons and other perks for singing up. The most popular beauty programs are Sephora Beauty Insider and Ultamate Rewards. For some people, monthly email alerts might do more harm then good for sticking to budgets and making sure you don’t splurge regularly. If that’s you, I would opt out of the monthly emails and stick to browsing these websites only when necessary.

Sephora Beauty Insider

Sephora’s reward program is one of the most well known in the beauty industry. Starting as a Beauty Insider for signing up, members automatically start earning points for purchases. To level up and earn more rewards at the VIB level, you’ll need to spend at least $350 that year on makeup or skincare products. Rouge is the most coveted of the status levels likely because they get free shipping on all orders, have access to exclusive brand launches and events and your own private hotline for any questions you may have. It’s a steep climb to get there though. You have to spend at least $1000 per calendar year to maintain this luxury status level.

The most appealing level to me is VIB, which allows you to still recieve birthday gifts and free beauty classes but it also gives you access to some sweet free monthly gifts, too. Sephora has great redeemable rewards too at every level, right now for $100 points you can redeem for a sample of the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream, a STILA Huge Extreme Lash Mascara, a CLINIQUE Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips and some other high-end goodies to try. For most, this is the best part of being a Beauty Insider, VIB or Rouge member. The sample sizes are easy to test before committing to full size splurges and also offer an opportunity to try new things they may not have thought of before.

Ultamate Rewards

My personal favorite beauty brand rewards program is the one offered from Ulta. Instead of earning points to get to higher levels of rewards and more sample options, Ulta has you spend to earn money back on future purchases. Based on the dollar value spent annually, you get a credit of points back to get large purchases significantly discounted. The best part about the Ultamate program is that they also offer regular sales on beauty and skincare products as well frequent promotions where you can earn 2x, 3x, and even 5x points on specific purchases. They also have different levels of rewards you can earn too. First time members are just titled, um.. members. There’s also Platinum, and Diamond levels. Platinum can be achieved after spending $450 in a calendar year and at this status, your points don’t expire and you also get a $10 coupon every birthday, as well as a birthday gift. Diamond status can be achieved after spending $1000 per calendar year, where you also get exclusive free shipping on all orders over $25 and an annual $25 gift card to be used toward one of their beauty services.

Here’s how the points stack to get you your money back:

100 points = $3 off

500 points = $17.50 off

750 points = $30 off

1000 points = $50 off

2000 points = $125 off

Clearly, at 2000 points, the value starts to be very worthwhile. I honestly think it’s easier to spend a higher amount at Ulta rather than Sephora because they carry both high end and drugstore products. Let me tell you, it’s so much easier to rack up spending when you’re already getting your regular beauty product backups or replacements and then decide to let yourself have one nicer, or more expensive product every now and again. I do it a little too often sometimes. 🙂 With this in mind, you can easily lock in your points at the Platinum level, aka $450 spent annually so you can continue to stack your points until you’re ready to use them.


Discount Retail Stores (TJ MAXX, MARSHALLS)

If you haven’t checked your local TJ Maxx or Marshalls for Beauty or Skincare items yet, you need to. Usually only a small aisle or two, those white, dusty shelves are filled with incredible products most would overlook. Often found in the makeup section are brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, BITE Beauty, Kat Von D, Burberry, Too Faced Cosmetics and even more incredible brands can be found throughout. Some of my favorite beauty and skincare products were purchased from TJ Maxx or Marshalls, and at a discount! Recently, I picked up the ABH Cream Contour palette in Light/Medium, La Roche Posay Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 15 Moisturizer and even a neat little oil diffuser that I’m using instead of candles to reduce spending costs. I freaking love these stores. Most of the products are discounted by at least  20 – 30% but some people are lucky enough to find products for up to 50% off. There’s definitely a better time to go though, these stores usually receive shipment on or around Tuesday’s. So check back then to see if your local stores might have something you’ve been looking for!


Monthly Subscriptions 

If you’d like to gradually and affordable build your collection but you don’t know where to start, a beauty box subscription is likely a great option. Shipping monthly or even seasonally, many subscription services offer a variety of sample, deluxe and full size products to see what works and what doesn’t work for you. Most are very affordable, and easy to cancel if you need to. Ipsy and Birchbox are only around $10/mo and claim to even be customizable, where you can build your own beauty and skin profile and choose some spoiler options for your own box/bag. My personal favorite is Boxycharm. Boxycharm sends 4-5 full size beauty and skincare products, and there’s usually at least 1 high end product in every single box. At $21/m it’s a little more expensive han boxes that strictly do samples like Birchbox and Ipsy. The quality is worth it to me though, and most boxes are valued at over $100. If you’d like to take a look at more great subscription boxes, I’d check out http://www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com where they constantly review and post information about all kinds of subscription boxes.


Reddit: aka r/MakeupExchange 

Reddit has been a great tool and resource for me. I use it for everything; research, affordable makeup buying options and incredible advice from a thriving community. One of my favorite subs is r/makeupexchange. This subreddit is dedicated to selling and buying lightly used or new makeup online. Even if you’re just browsing, you’ll be surprised at the quality of the makeup you can purchase through this sub. You’ll see incredible posts selling hundreds of high end products with low to no shipping costs at all, just be careful to watch for spam and always remember to follow the community rules!

No need to buy at all either! If you’re looking to sell some of your collection before adding anything additional back in this is the perfect place to do it!


Gift Sets

Even before blogging, strict budgets and adult responsibilities gift sets have always been my favorite way to try products and save money. For most, you spend 30-50% less on all of the products you’re buying.  Most are usually store themed or brand based so you can really discover more from a brand or other products you might not even try if you hadn’t purchased the set. Gift sets can offer new combinations of products you might really dislike too, try reading reviews and commenting questions on forums before investing in larger sets.

Sephora is one of my favorite places to shop for gift sets. They have a huge variety of different sets, including skincare, hair care and even body care ones. I love giving these as gifts, using them for reviews or even just for everyday makeup fun!


Do you have any specific tricks or habits you’ve implemented to stick to your beauty budget? I’d love to hear what works for you, or even what didn’t. Let’s chat about it in the comments below! 

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The Ordinary: Triple Threat

The Ordinary: Triple Threat

 

They may take forever to ship their products and appear to regularly be out stock of cult-favorite items, but their approach to affordable but effective science based skin care is far from ordinary. Read on to find out more about these three simple yet powerful products.

♥  ♥  ♥

Deciem’s CEO (the parent company of The Ordinary) is under a lot of fire right now for his outrageous social media posts and border-line breakdown demeanor.  After letting go his Co-CEO, hosting a mass firing spree and continuously posting extreme imagery on the companies social media accounts, it seems like most people would want to jump ship. I get where they’re coming from. From the outside, a glimpse into one of the firecracker CEO’s dramatic and lengthy instagram posts might make it appear as if the whole company is on fire. And hey, it might very well be.

I’m here to offer a slightly different perspective. While I personally believe that the CEO of Deciem, Brandon Truaxe is acting out of line, I still firmly believe in the company and it’s products. Here’s the thing, customer service and company culture is important. Especially in today’s day and age where companies are put in the spotlight over poorly planned out marketing decisions or advertisements regularly. Personally, I think this is a cry for help, but we’ve all been there. I’ve had mental breakdowns shake my career, school and life many times before. Things are just a little different when you’re a public figure and brand owner. Regardless, I still believe that the quality of Deciem’s products are incredible, worth the money and the shipping wait time.

And guys, I fucking hate waiting for shipping.

So today in light of all the chaos, we’ll be chatting about some products that have impressed me the most from The Ordinary’s skincare line.


 

THE PRODUCTS:

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG – Of all The Ordinary’s products, this one is my holy grail favorite. I have a very sensitive and delicate under eye area. It’s difficult to find products that both reduce puffiness and redness and don’t start to bother my eyes after using it. This one is different though. I use this solution under my eyes – just a drop each – morning and evening. Immediately, I saw a difference in the puffiness of the bags underneath my eyes. Freaking outstanding if you ask me, it’s what every person wants! This won’t just instantly de-puff your eyes though, this product is also designed to fight eye contour pigmentation issues too. Over time I’ve noticed a huge difference and I rarely wear concealer under my eyes now. BTW, you get a full OZ of product when you purchase this, I’ve had mine for almost 5 months and I’ve made such a small dent. It’s the best!

“Buffet” – Classified on Deciem’s website as a Multi-Technology Peptide Serum, this serum is one of The Ordinary’s few combination products. By that, I mean they combine multiple ingredients or “technologies” to create the product. Most are simply one trick ponies but the whole point is to create and customize your own skincare routine to exactly what you need. I like this approach much more than other traditional skincare companies, which is another reason I will continue to love this brand.

I’ve been using this serum for 2 months. To use, I apply 2 – 3 drops in the AM and PM after cleansing and toning my skin. I’ve noticed a significant decrease to fine lines, and my face is looking so much more plump. This product is suspended in 11 amino acid complexes and hyaluronic acid complexes, which are designed to help nourish and keep the skin moisturized. This serum is just as effective when combined with harsh acids or vitamin C formulations to help dilute the product and minimize the irritation on your skin.

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% – A stronger formulation of the Lactic Acid 5% + HA, this acid is for more experienced skin care lovers. If you have sensitive skin, build up your tolerance first with the weaker formula first before trying this one. I use this product in the evening, and dilute it with one of my two favorite serums to reduce irritation. My favorite serum at the moment to cocktail this product with is “Buffet”, which has a very thick consistency. The Lactic Acid 10% + HA is very watery, so it’s the perfect pairing for easy application. Right now, this is my favorite exfoliator. It does contain hyaluronic acid, much like the “Buffet” so not only does it help to strip and reduce congestion and build up in my pores but it also helps to moisturize and heal the skin. Make sure to use a sunscreen when using this product though because it also contains AHA’s. They’re known to cause an increased risk of sun damage with exposure, so keep your pretty skin safe!
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*header image from The Ordinary’s website, http://www.theordinary.com


 

Have you used any of these products? What’s your opinion on the chaos happening at Deciem’s headquarters right now? I’d love to talk more about this with you in the comments below!

Friday Flatlay: Gilded Glow

Friday Flatlay: Gilded Glow

 

Obsessed with makeup, skincare, packaging and carefully constructed product shots? Look no further! Introducing #fridayflatlay, a new series of curated, gorgeous flatlay imagery. With a new theme every single week, enjoy this weeks seasonally inspired #gildedglow flatlay. 

♥ mia


 

Flatlay lovers unite! There’s something magical about them; maybe it’s from the packaging of the carefully selected components or the way the design draws your eyes across the scene. Each photo features an array of luxuriously packaged makeup tools and products that hold new and different promises from one another. Featured in this gilded, rose gold and charcoal makeup flatlay are some of my favorite makeup products that I plan on continuing to use in Spring.

Inspired by the transition of seasons between the harsh, bitter Winter to the welcoming warm and gentle arms of Spring.

Rose Gold & Charcoal
pnwwomanblog.com #fridayflatlay

 

Featured Products:

  • bareMinerals  Ready Eyeshadow in The Happy Place
  • Studio Makeup Luminous Loose Blush
  • Benefit Eyeshadow Pot in Bikini – Mini
  • PÜR Cometics Soiree Diaries Eyeshadow Palette
  • Tarte Tartiest Lash Paint
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe
  • Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in Illuminati
  • Kat Von D  Shade and Light Contour Palette 
  • e.l.f. Studio Setting powder in Sheer
  • Coola Tinted Mineral Lipluxe in Tan Line
  • L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in C4
  • Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer
  • MAC Cosmetics Satin Lipstick in Cyber

 

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pnwwomanblog.com #fridayflatlay

 

pnwwomanblog.com #fridayflatlay

 

What products are you planning on using now that Spring is here? Do you have any favorites from Winter or are you introducing new products? Let me know in the comments below!


 

Affordable Skincare: Tips and Tricks

Affordable Skincare: Tips and Tricks

Looking to add to your skincare routine without breaking the bank? Here are my favorite tips and tricks to staying on track with your goals while still improving your routine. 

Skincare has been my favorite and most expensive hobby. I remember insisting to my father at the age of 12 how important it was for me to introduce a sunscreen moisturizer at my age or else I’d be dealing with wrinkles before my 30’s. Eventually I leveraged that skin cancer has a history of running in our family, and he gave in. Finally, I was able to cultivate my own little routine and kill all of my acne before starting High School! That was the goal at least, I’m sorry to say that I never beat teenage hormonal acne. I suffered through with cystic pimples, blackheads and little comedones that would pop up whenever my period was about to return. I hated it.

Now, I frequently purchase a variety of skincare and beauty products. I’m also subscribed to multiple beauty boxes so I don’t even need to go online or in store to add to my collection anymore. It seems luxurious and awesome, but the truth is that my love and addiction to skincare was hurting my wallet and depleting my shelf space. To fix this, and to give my boyfriend more shelf space on the counter, I decided to slowly implement some new habits to get my obsession under control. I hope some of these tips work for you too! Comment below if you’ve ever tried any of these methods or if you’re working on your own affordable skincare plan.


First, plan out your budget

Think of how much you can realistically let yourself spend within a month, two months, six months or even a year. You can plan to budget for as long or as little as you need to meet your goal. Create a hard number for that allowed time period, and stick to it. This is the hardest part! For example, Audrey might have a budget of $100 every two months, and Kayla might have a budget of $20 every month. Some people prefer to give themselves larger allowances over the course of a couple of months if you tend to purchase luxury skincare or sample and gift sets, while some individuals have to adhere to a more strict monthly schedule because they know they can find products that work for them every single month.

* Super Helpful Tip: Include all your beauty/skincare subscription boxes if you have any, these still count as monthly purchases!

Track your “empties” (aka your used up products)

The best way to find out what products you liked and didn’t like is to keep a list of what you’ve tried. I try to create a small photo journal (aka an album on my phone with the products I’ve recently emptied). This is especially helpful if you have a lot of samples you would like to go through but have a hard time keeping track of what you have and haven’t used. By tracking your empties, you’ll be able to clearly identify what you didn’t like or even products that have always worked well for you. It’s also a great way to let your friends and family know about products you’ve tried and results you’ve seen, even if it was months ago! It’s amazing how this seems like an easy trick, but remembering to log and save notes about a product is a little more tedious than you think.

* Super Helpful Tip: iPhones have an option in Notes where you can post images and then comment on it for yourself, this is the easiest way I know to organize an empties journal on an iPhone. You can always use traditional pen and paper too, I just prefer the photo journal approach because it’s easier when you have an image to associate the product name to.

Introduce Project Pan

I used to see posts on reddit titled Project Pan that would fall into my feed on a regular basis. At first it sounded a little weird, people posting photos of their used products. There were images of worn makeup palettes, concealer tubes with stoppers taken out and product running over. The most interesting photos were tubes of products like primers and foundation cut open in order for the person to use up every last drop of product. Now, it just makes so much sense. You use up all of your products, samples and backups before purchasing new items. No more backups of cleansers that already last for months, and finally finding out if that sample hair mask really works or not.  It’s even better if you subscribe to beauty box subscriptions because you can finally use up all of the samples that fill your drawers and extra the bins underneath your sink.

* Super Helpful Tip: If a product irritated your skin, give it to a friend or donate it to a local shelter. You can try to use it again to make sure it really didn’t work for you, but use the potential problem child by itself before implementing it into your routine again. Better safe than suffering through a breakout!

Re-Gift/Trade Unwanted Products

Friends or family that collect samples, products or even subscriptions are probably in a similar situation as you and want to get rid of things they know they don’t like or won’t use. This is especially helpful if you and your friends or family have different skin types, which means that products are likely to work differently for each of you. Then you’re more likely to see some benefit out of the cleanser that didn’t work for Annie at all, because she has dry skin and you have oily! It’s awesome, and it’s a fun way to share and reach out to others that share similar hobbies. This is especially helpful on lower budgets, because you still get to try more products without having to spend any money

The One Product at a Time Approach

 Using one new product that you already have or just purchased every 30 days. Spacing out your purchases allows you to purchase a little bit better products with your budget allowance. Introducing a single product at a time is much better for your skin too, it allows it to adjust and helps you identify if the product is causing any irritation or acne breakouts. If you have a larger collection of products that you want to use before buying new ones, working on rotating one new item might seem a little slow to eliminate items you’ve gathered. However, that slow pace of decluttering and using up products will help keep you from impulsively purchasing new ones as often.


Top 10 Best Skincare Products you can buy on Amazon

Top 10 Best Skincare Products you can buy on Amazon

Do you want to change your skincare routine but don’t know where to start? Read on to find out about the Top 10 Best Beauty Products you can buy on Amazon to see what you can introduce, affordably! 

COSRXPATCHES

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, 24 Patches

I’ve been using these hydrocolloid patches for the last three months, and I’m so happy that I found them. These are a quick, effective, gentle and affordable tool in fighting acne breakouts. Before using these, make sure your skin is cleansed, exfoliated and free of other products. Once you see a pimple start to form a head, place one of these over the head of the pimple and leave on overnight. In the morning, your zit will be sucked into the gel of one of these patches. It’s sick how satisfying it is to see all the gunk out, and even better that the spot is either gone completely or significantly reduced in size.

hangsung

Hangsun Electric Face Brush SC200

I have spoken about this exfoliating electric face brush before, and I’m still in love with this product. I found this a few months ago online and was intrigued because this face brush is completely water proof! That means if you need to, you can use it in the shower and not worry about cleaning the brush. The kit also came with multiple brush heads including a sensitive facial brush, a regular facial brush and a larger body brush. The brush heads are great quality, affordable to replace and I can always rely on this brush to exfoliate all the dead skin away and remove any leftover makeup before bed. I use this nightly, but if you have sensitive skin introduce this product into your cleansing routine every other day to start!

AZTECHEALINGCLAY

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing

This is one of the most raved about mud masks on the internet. It’s easy to see why too, the mask is affordable, has a fun DIY quality to it and actually works! The product comes in a tub as a powder and to create the mask you need to combine it with apple cider vinegar (the most effective option) or water. After combining, spread this mask across clean skin in your acne/oily problem areas with your fingers or a brush. I find that a brush works best, as it reduces the amount of times you touch your face and add unnecessary oils to it. The bentonite clay in this masks helps to deeply penetrate pores, absorb oil and keep your skin looking great and clear from toxins. Be careful though, this mask is a little tough on sensitive skin! It’s advised to not wear this mask for more than 5-10 minutes on delicate skin types.

BIOREAQUARICHWE

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+/PA++++

The holy grail sunscreen of all holy grail sunscreens. This SPF 50 Watery Essence is so gentle, fast absorbing and doesn’t irritate skin. It’s gentle enough to wear and reapply throughout the day without having to worry about grease and intense flashback in photos. Created by Korean skincare experts, this sunscreen lasts even in tough humidity, so you can count on it all summer long. It’s also incredibly affordable, so you don’t have to worry about adding an expensive product just to get the proper sun protection your skin deserves.

GENTLESKINCLEANSER

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser for All Skin Types

This is another repeat item that I’ve spoken about before in a previous article. I really enjoy how gentle this cleanser is and that almost all skin types can benefit from introducing this simple step if they currently don’t have a skincare routine. It’s affordable, and the amount of product you get is insane! I go through a container of this every 6 – 8 months, and that’s because I share it with my boyfriend. He has very oily skin and noticed that it was getting less oily throughout the day with regular use of this product. I feel even better about my purchase knowing it’s paraben free, sulfate fee, and fragrance free.

Ceravemoisturelotion

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Yet another sulfate, paraben and fragrance free product! Yay! Adding a moisturizing lotion with Hyaluronic Acid in it has made a huge difference in the elasticity and plumpness of my skin. HA’s help your skin retain moisture, but can cause skin sensitivity so it’s still a good idea to use this product either exclusively in the evening or with a sunscreen if you’re going outside. This lotion is my top pick because it’s gentle on skin, and a great starter option if you’re new to moisturizers or have dry or combination skin.

Biodermamicellar

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Cleansing Water

You’ve seen this before on instagram, Pinterest and your other favorite websites. This is the most raved about micellar water on the market because it doesn’t leave behind a residue on the skin, doesn’t irritate sensitive skin and takes off all my makeup before following with my second cleanse. This micellar water from Bioderma even takes away the most finicky of mascara’s, which is why she’s the only one I’m going to repurchase in the future.

differingel

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%

Used for anti-aging and acne, retinoids are making a break through across all ages of individuals in their skin care routines. This retinoid gel is an easy, affordable way of getting a strong dose of treatment to your problem areas. Start slow with this product, and only use it at night. Retinoids should traditionally be used 1 at a time, so be careful with this product if you already use one in your routine. I have used Deciem’s The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene but I prefer this product because of the easy application and price.

madhippievitc

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

While this is one of the most expensive products on this list, it is also one of the most impressive. Vitamin C serums are a great fighter of anti-aging signs like fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. I use this product almost every day and have noticed a significant improvement in my skin texture and dark spots that usually pop up on the apples of my cheeks. Vitamin C is also known to improve collagen production in the skin, and is completely natural! You only need a few drops of this every evening, so it will last you quite awhile.

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TONYMOLY Master Lab Hyaluronic Acid Mask

Tony Moly is a well packaged and very effective affordable Korean skincare brand that recently has been making waves in the United States. Making everything from hand cream to face masks and peels, they have a lot of unique and adorable products that are so tempting to try! I have been trying out a lot of their masks lately, and the Master Lab have seriously been outperforming a lot of my other masks! These are very affordable, and have powerful formulations of ingredients like hyaluronic acid for moisture retention and collagen for restoring elasticity to the skin. They have so many different versions of the Master Lab, and most come in a very thick and sticky serum. There’s enough to save for later or to apply to your neck or chest after use.

Have you used any of these products? Comment down below your skin type and if any of these have or have not worked for you!


 

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!