I Tried a Few More Pricey Skincare Brands So You Don’t Have To!

I Tried a Few More Pricey Skincare Brands So You Don’t Have To!

I have tried it all.  I mean ALL.  I had flawless skin my entire childhood and nearly through my teens.  I started having acne problems around the time I became a sophomore in college.  Great.  I think I would rather I had suffered from acne in my teens than in college.  Nothing I tried worked.  I went from dermatologist to dermatologist and nothing worked.  Some things worked for a bit, most things dried my skin out like crazy, and others made my skin even oilier.  I wouldn’t say I have oily skin and I wouldn’t say it’s dry either.  I tried diet changes, I tried not wearing makeup, I tried wearing more makeup, I took every over the counter cream, every oral antibiotic, and even… Accutane.  Accutane, guys.  You know, the medication that has too many lawsuits against it to count?  Sure, it promises that if you take it for a few months you’ll never experience acne again.  That worked for a hot minute, then bam.  Back to my normal breakouts.

I had given up all hope and just tried random face washes and topical creams suggested by friends to no avail.  I switched makeup brands now and then and just accepted my fate.  After having kids my skin is all over the place, so every now and then I try different products to see if a miracle will happen.  Here are my reviews of the Dermalogica MediBac and Rodan + Fields Unblemish lines.

Dermalogica MediBac

Dermalogica

Expensive?  You bet.  I sprung for the kit and bought it at Ulta without a discount ($40 and usually a free gift is given online).  I shopped around a bit and found that the full trial kit is about the same no matter where it is purchased.

It is typical to wait a period of 4-6 weeks to determine if a product is working on adult (30-something) skin.  I used the products for around 2 1/2 months or so.  Here are some things I liked about this system:

Pros

  • My skin felt extremely clean after cleansing-very smooth, not oily, but it didn’t seem excessively dry as it does with some other systems.
  • This system uses salicylic acid, so it won’t stain clothes or towels (oh, the horror of benzoyl peroxide…).
  • It is targeted toward adult acne.  Unlike most systems, this is formulated for ADULTS.  Adults get… wrinkles.  Other systems don’t really take that into consideration.  This system does.
  • I liked that this had a night clearing lotion as well as a lotion formulated for day.  The night clearing lotion was targeted toward fighting acne while the day seemed more important to keep my skin moisturized.
  • There weren’t a million steps-just wash, put on a lotion.  It did come with a mask that they suggest using every few days, which I did like.  It was the first mask that I felt actually did anything for my skin.  It felt smoother, my pores felt smaller, and my skin didn’t feel completely dried out like it can sometimes.

 Cons

  • Price.  Each tiny bottle of this stuff runs around $50.  I did however manage to purchase from Target online at a discount (thanks, gift cards from diaper purchases!!!) as well as a discounted price from Nordstrom thanks to Nordstrom Note rewards.
  • The moisturizer doesn’t contain an SPF.  I felt this was rather odd since this system targets adult acne problems.  Most adult systems contain an SPF moisturizer to combat and prevent signs of aging.
  • It didn’t eliminate the core problem I was having: acne.  The system began strong, so I purchased full versions of each item in the system (ouch… that was a mistake).  This was so disappointing when my acne started to return after around 8-9 weeks.
  • It didn’t seem to reduce old acne marks or redness, which was a major reason I purchased an adult acne kit.  For some reason I now have more red pigmentation in my cheeks than I used to.  This product seemed to increase this problem.

Overall this system made my skin feel great, but it didn’t fix the problem: acne.  It seemed to for a while, but then kind of went in reverse, which is what always seems to happen.  After purchasing each pricey item, it all quit working.  Talk about disappointing.  Reluctantly, I moved on to Rodan + Fields.

Rodan + Fields Unblemish

RF

Ugggghhhhh… you guys.  Believe me when I say I did NOT want to have to resort to this.  Why?  I want to walk into a store (ok… really I want to just go on Amazon, but you get the point…), grab whatever product I need, and go, WHEN and WHERE I choose.  So, naturally, I went to Amazon.  Alright, Amazon is charging $190-something for this crap.  NEXT!

Ebay.  Ebay!  I forgot about Ebay! Found the entire kit brand new, sealed and in its original sealed box for $125-woo hoo! Yeah… I know, that’s a discount… insane, huh?

My Unblemish Routine

I modified the Unblemish routine a bit for various reasons.  First of all, the system says to use it once a day until you know how it will affect your skin.  I have a fairly greasy T-zone, but the rest of my face tends to dry out very, very easily (especially in the winter months).  I figured I might be sticking to the once-a-day instructions for this system since benzoyl peroxide can be very drying for skin.

Using the system once daily seemed to work nicely with some dryness, so that’s what I went with.  Here is the routine I’ve been using for the past few months:

Morning

In the morning I wash my face with Cetaphil daily cleanser.  This is a mild cleanser and I figure since I’m not wearing makeup at night it is sufficient to eliminate any oil my face has produced overnight.

cetaphil

Next I apply the Unblemish system’s Step 4 moisturizer with SPF 20.  This moisturizer is very light and helps to repel harmful UV rays while keeping your face matte.  Overall it is a pretty good moisturizer, but I wish they provided the kit with a larger size, especially since all of the other products in the system are significantly larger.

eye creamI follow the moisturizer with an anti-aging eye cream because, well, aging.  I love this moisturizer I found on Amazon.  It has amazing reviews and seems to be helping keep any signs of aging far away.

Night

micellarI use almost the full Unblemish line nightly.  First, I remove any makeup I’ve been wearing that day with Garnier Micellar water.  This product definitely won’t remove any stubborn waterproof makeup, but I’ve found it useful to help get any daily makeup off before washing my face.

Next, I wash my face with the Unblemish Step 1 sulfur wash for at least one minute.  I’ve read that the longer you leave a sulfur product on your face, the better the results.  A full minute is about as patient as I get, which probably isn’t a good thing.

After the sulfur wash, I apply the Step 2 toner.  This is basically like any other toner and I apply it with a cotton round.

Next, the Unblemish Step 3 is a dual pump with what seems to be a benzoyl peroxide product that you mix with a moisturizer.  Since this step contains a moisturizer and I won’t need an SPF product at night I omit the Unblemish Step 4 from my nightly routine.

Lastly, I finish with the anti-aging eye cream that I also use in my morning routine.

Pros

  • My skin feels much smoother and seems to have a more even skin tone.
  • My acne seemed to decrease around my forehead area.  However, I did seem to start getting breakouts on my upper neck, but it resolved itself within a few days when before any breakouts I had would last for at least a week.
  • Because the products are so expensive I FORCED myself to be extremely consistent.  This has also seemed to help my skin improve.
  • I love the convenience of just having a few different steps to the system that are very consistent.
  • I was able to make the product last much longer than the 60 day claim (score for my wallet!) because I only used the system at night and the moisturizer in the morning.
  • It seemed to diminish any fine lines I was beginning to get, which was a very unexpected benefit.

Cons

  • Consultants.  I repeat, CONSULTANTS.  If you love being a consultant and love your product, awesome-you do you, boo boo, but count me out.  I don’t want to have to go through a consultant EVERY DANG TIME I have to order something.  I’m I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that mean, man? Now I got the song stuck in your head, didn’t I?  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, climb out from under your rock… here you go… you’re welcome.
  • This stuff is EXPENSIVE.  I mean insanely expensive.
  • The sulfur wash smells.  Horribly.  It makes your face smell like a stink bomb kids used to break in class in elementary school.
  • Benzoyl peroxide stains (bleaches) clothing, towels, and pillowcases.  BUT… I actually haven’t noticed it staining anything, which is odd.
  • It does dry my skin out a little, but moisturizers work fine to combat a little dryness.  We’ll see how I hold up through the dry winter months.  My guess is I’ll need a little more help in the moisturizing department.
  • The one component I was looking forward to the most was a TINY trial size.  Yep… the moisturizer with SPF was tiny.  I guess I could always purchase a similar moisturizer, but if I’m going to commit to something I would like to be consistent and use all of the products, since I’m guessing they work together best.  On the bright side I have found that you can purchase Step 4 on eBay and there seem to be fairly good prices whenever I check.

Final Verdict…

As much as I hate to admit it, I think the Rodan + Fields Unblemish system is the ultimate winner.  I started the system in August and it is now November and I’m still not out of product, which is fantastic.  I do only use the products at night, so I know this has contributed to the longevity of the system.  My skin has never felt smoother or more primed for makeup application without being flaky, oily, or uneven.  It hasn’t completely eliminated my acne, but at this point I’m not expecting any product or system to do so.  I think it’s probably a mixture of genetics, a hectic lifestyle, and stress all rolled into one.  I think these products overall control major breakouts and make the best of acne marked and aging skin.  For now I’m sticking with the Unblemish system and will be finding ways of purchasing the kit from eBay or Amazon.  Yes, I know… I’ve heard all of the horror stories about why I shouldn’t purchase beauty products from such places, but I’m taking my chances.  The first kit I purchased from eBay was sealed in the box, not expired or close to expiration, and was the real deal, so I’ll take my chances.  Hope my honest reviews helped you choose what to purchase so you don’t have to waste money to find something that works great for your needs!

New Makeup Favorites… and They’re DRUGSTORE Brands!

New Makeup Favorites… and They’re DRUGSTORE Brands!

I’ve ditched a few makeup favorites for drugstore brands (hey… they’re cheaper… and most ended up being better overall for the most part), had to make some changes due to discontinued products (boo!), and added a few newbies to the makeup routine over the past year or so (because, mom skin, y’all… it’s just totally different).

This post will walk you through my typical full coverage makeup regimen, my daily makeup regimen, what has been working well, what could use some improvement, and what products I’d like to try next.

Full Coverage Makeup Regimen

So, since I have been blessed with adult acne, it makes it much harder to get rid of any acne marks quickly.  Aging skin and acne just don’t mix, guys.  That being said, now add skin that is beginning to wrinkle and the fun begins.  Most days I wear fairly minimal makeup, but when I have time I LOVE to play with new trends and see what’s out there that works.  Lately I’ve been all in on drugstore dupes.  I’ve found that I can usually find drugstore brands that work as well (or better… heck yes!) than pricier brands.  I’ve also found that the pricier brands I grew to love changed their lines CONSTANTLY.  So, once I found something I loved they discontinued it.  Bummer.  Here are the steps I take for a full coverage face, what I use, what works, and what isn’t my favorite, but is currently what I use.

Oval Brushes

oval brushes.jpg

And I thought I loved my beauty blender.  You guys.  Oval brushes are a thing and they are LIFE CHANGING.  Now, I’ll have to say they’re not great for everything, but here is what I find them most effective for:

  • foundation
  • blush
  • powder

I think my favorite has to be the foundation brush.  It makes foundation go on so smoothly without clumping, streaking, or absorbing all of the foundation.  I do love the blush and powder brushes for the same reason-effortless blending.

I still use my beauty blender for concealer, highlighter, and contouring.  I also use my eyeshadow brushes for eye makeup.  I found it extremely hard to use the eye makeup flat brushes as they were hard to get an even application with a flat brush.

African Black Soap for Brush and Beauty Blender Cleaner

african black soap

I have tried so many products and different methods to clean my brushes and beauty blenders over the years and NOTHING has come close to African Black Soap.  It even gets my beauty blender completely clean.  The price also can’t be beat!  The. Best. Hands. Down.

Maybelline Master Prime Primer

primer.jpeg

Maybelline’s Master Prime Primer has something for everyone.  They have options for dry skin, redness, large pores, you name it, they’ve got you.  When I’m using full coverage makeup I typically use the redness control because I tend to have a little more redness in my cheeks as I get older.  All of these that I’ve tried have worked better than all expensive primers I’ve tried.  A great primer can go a long way to make your foundation look smoother, which helps provide such great coverage.

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation

cac2967e-0dc1-41a3-be3e-fd11a4eed1c3_1.cfc5a7389070199c1dc07c6211ed0c39

So, this stuff is magical.  I follow primer up with this foundation.  It’s a great full coverage foundation, is extremely light, goes on smoothly, and stays.  All. Day. Long.  It also doesn’t cause my skin to break out after wearing it like some heavier full coverage makeup I’ve tried.  It also has many different shades, so matching a color is fairly easy.

My only beef with this foundation is that I’m pretty sure it’s being discontinued.  They do however make a non “better skin” version that is still awesome.  I believe the only difference is the normal Superstay version doesn’t contain salicylic acid, which dries your skin anyway.

Maybelline Superstay Concealer

concealer

Might as well keep with the Superstay theme…  I figure if I’m going to use a a Superstay foundation, I might as well follow it up with a Superstay concealer.  This concealer works just as well as the foundation.  I use it on blemishes, redness, and sometimes I even use it as an under eye concealer.  It’s pretty awesome.

This also seems to be discontinuing, however.  I will more than likely replace it with the non-salicylic acid version, which should be just fine.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer

under eye

The Superstay concealer works for under eye circles, but I’ve notice that the older I get the worse my dark circles get (yay!).  This concealer seems to help combat the dark circles, but my only complaint is that my eyeliner and mascara seem magnetically attracted to this concealer.  Like, they’re besties…

I’m still using it for now until I find something that doesn’t stick to my mascara and eyeliner so much.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance (Replaced by Urban Decay Shadow Primer)

I have used Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Champagne for years.  I loved it because it doubled as a shadow.  It has a slightly shimmery nude base color that’s great for everyday wear or as a shadow primer.  Well, in true Too Faced fashion they discontinued it.  Fail, Too Faced, huge fail.  I’m pretty much on a rally against Too Faced since they’ve discontinued every product of theirs I love.

I received Urban Decay Shadow Primer in a gift from Ulta and it’s serving its purpose well, but I’m not about to shell out a fortune for this stuff.  I’m keeping my eye out for a great drugstore dupe and if I find one, you’ll be the first to hear about it!

Maybelline Master Contour Stick

contour

As a contour newbie, I chose this version because 1. it was cheap 2. it had awesome reviews.  I was NOT disappointed.  It has great color, is easy to blend, and did I mention it’s cheap? Oh… I did?  Ok.

If you’ve never contoured you need to try it-it’s not as hard as it sounds, guys and a little goes a long way.  Find a YouTube video and try it once-I promise it’s not hard!

What I love about this product is it has great pigmentation, blends fairly easily, but doesn’t just blend away.  You know what I mean… I know you’ve all had a product at least once that you put it on, it looks great, then you try to blend it and then think “wait… I just wanted to blend it, where did it go?!”.

My only complaint with this one is that it’s rather odd having a two sided product.  It just keeps getting pointier and pointier as I use it.  How do you fix that?  If you figure it out, let me know…

Maybelline Master Strobing Stick

highlighter

Meh.  I can take or leave this one.  It highlights alright, but I always add powder to my finished face anyhow, so it kind of defeats the purpose.  I don’t typically use highlighter, so I just figured I’d give this one a try since I was using other Maybelline products.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Eyeshadow Pallette

eyeshadow

I know, I know… another pricey one.  I can’t help it-I have searched high and low for a drugstore dupe for Urban Decay’s Naked pallets and it just doesn’t exist.

The high pigmentation, last-all-day wear, and awesome shades don’t exist for a drugstore price.  Sorry, guys, I promise I tried!

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

blush

I’ve actually used a cream blush for a few years, but secretly hated it.  Why did I keep using it?  I paid so dang much for it.  It was a Tarte cream blush that I tried to talk myself into liking.  Well, it is now discontinued, so apparently I’m not the only one that couldn’t stand it.

Replacement?  Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.  Thanks to my awesome sister-in-law (you know, the one that got me hooked on Poshmark…) I have found the holy grail of blush.  It’s cheap, it has high pigmentation, and the shades are gorgeous.  Best of all?  It’s cheapest on Amazon.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Maybelline Shine Free Oil Control Loose Powder & Maybelline FIT ME! Matte and Poreless Powder

When I’m doing full coverage makeup I usually reach for a loose setting powder.  Maybelline’s oil control powder is awesome and seems to last nearly all day.  My sister-in-law also suggested the Maybelline FIT ME!  powder in a compact.  It’s. Awesome.  It gives a flawless finish weather you’re wearing full coverage makeup or just an every day look.  I highly recommend both!

COVERGIRL Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Charcoal

eyeliner

I’m not a fan of liquid eyeliner because it tends to look way too harsh around my eyes.  I have used this eyeliner for over 10 years.  Yeah… that’s a long time.  When something works, it works!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

roller lash

I’ve tried sooooooooo many different mascaras.  My favorite?  Chanel.  Well, I have expensive taste on a drugstore budget, so Benefit’s Roller Lash is my compromise.  It has what I like about Chanel’s mascara at more of a wallet friendly price.  No, it definitely isn’t cheap, but I have yet to find a drugstore brand that compares.

What I love about this mascara is that it feels almost waxy when being applied rather than a crunchy spider lash feel.  What I don’t like about it is that it always seems to leave marks under my eye later in the day.  But, overall I reach for this one every time.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-One Mattifying

micellar

Since I rarely wear waterproof mascara I’ve been using Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for makeup remover.  It’s gentle, not oily, and seems to help remove most of my makeup before I was my face at night.  It doesn’t, however, remove stubborn waterproof makeup.  You’ll have to take more drastic measures for that one, ladies.

Daily Makeup Regimen

I don’t have time for a full coverage face every day.  What I do make sure to do is have a moisturizer and at least some eyeliner and mascara so my eyes still look like they exist.

Burt’s Bees BB Cream

BB cream

The first step I take is a moisturizer followed by a BB cream.  I feel like my skin never looks good enough to be naked, so this BB cream always does the trick.  Does it cover everything?  Nope, but that’s not the point.  This moisturizes and has an SPF 15 sunscreen while being slightly tinted to give a little smoother complexion.  To further smooth my complexion I add a thin layer of the Maybelline FIT ME!  powder I previously mentioned.

I follow up with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer.  This gives my lids some color and smoothness without having to apply layers of eyeshadow.  Add the COVERGIRL eyeliner and Benefit Roller Lash mascara and BAM!  A less than five minute effortless day-to-day look.

New Products I’ve Tried

Some products were suggested to me, so I figured why not give them a shot.  My current full coverage foundation is getting low, so I might as well see if something might be a better replacement.

Maybelline FIT ME! Matte and Poreless Foundation and Maybelline FIT ME! Concealer

My sister-in-law/s makeup always looks flawless, so I figured I would try the other FIT ME! products she suggested from Maybelline.  As drugstore products go these were great, but I’m not ready to replace my Superstay with them.  I felt they lacked a little coverage compared to the Superstay line.  It did however feel a little lighter than the Superstay version if that’s what you’re looking for.

Bottom line: I’m still not ready to switch from Superstay.  Yes, it’s still a pretty good foundation, but I still prefer the Superstay from Maybelline.

What I’m Pumped to Try Next

COVERGIRL Clean Matte BB Cream

covergirl bb

My Burt’s Bees BB cream is running low, so I’m tempted to try something different.  While I love the Burt’s Bees BB cream it has a very oily feel to it.  This COVERGIRL version has amazing reviews and is less than half the price of the Burt’s Bees version.  I’ll keep you posted on how it holds up!

CC Cream

I’m also ready to try a real CC cream.  I have funky things going on with my skin and could really use a little more coverage and correction.  I haven’t really found one that is getting great reviews, so I’m open to suggestions!  Anyone have any luck with CC creams?  Let me know!

New Skincare Faves

New Skincare Faves

So, you know how your skincare regimen works for a hot second and you think, “Wow!  I finally have this skincare thing under control…”, then, BOOM: you breakout worse than you ever did in your teens.  Well, here are my new revised suggestions… until they stop working.

African Black Soap

 

african black soapIt’s as simple as its name: a bar of soap that happens to be a lovely shade of… well, black.  It’s simple: wash your face with it twice a day.  Yes.  You heard me-wash your face.  Simple, right?  This stuff is so great at removing dirt and oil that I use it for my makeup brushes and even the dreaded cleansing of the beauty blender.  GUYS-it cleans the beauty blender.  No need to say anything more.  Oh, one more thing-it’s CHEAP!

Shea Moisture also makes a great scrub for acne prone skin.  I use this twice a week (sometimes more in the winter) to remove dead skin and keep my skin feeling soft.

Moisturizer with Collagen

collagen moisturizer

St. Ives makes a great moisturizer containing both Collagen and Elastin.  I’m hesitant to admit that I need it, but… it definitely does the job when it comes to fine lines and *gulp* wrinkles.  It’s very affordable and a little bit goes a long way.

 

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Shopping

 I. Love. Shopping.  I don’t like how much time it takes now that I’m a working mom.  I have become a GREAT online shopper.  Great deals and even greater products in a fraction of the time.

The key to a great online experience is to find what works for you.  Once you nail down what you’re really looking for don’t get distracted by a “great deal”.  I’ve been there… so that funky shirt was only $5.  Doesn’t really matter when you don’t wear it!  $5 down the drain.  Here are some tips to help you avoid the pitfalls of online shopping.

Clothes. Clothes.  More Clothes.

Where to Go

What type of clothes are your favorite?  Chances are you have that go-to store that you absolutely love.  You know how all of their clothes fit and can pretty much pull an item off of the rack and know immediately if it will look good on you.  Well, there are online stores that have the same safe and familiar feel.Two of my favorites happen to be Gap and Old Navy.  I know how their clothes fit, what cuts flatter my body type, and I know the price range I have to work with.

Once you have your go-to sites, keep your cart full at all times-you never know when there may be a pop-up sale… you’ll be ready!  The clothes aren’t going anywhere, so it’s time to have a spending strategy…

Price Tag

I usually have an idea of how much I want to pay for certain items in my mind.  I never pay much for clothes because I tend to favor trendy pieces over traditional lately because I can find great deals.  When I start to feel like I’m starting to be not-so-trendy, I ditch them for some new trends at minimal cost.

Always look for promo codes.  Always.  There are usually great promo codes out there and I rarely settle for anything less than a 30% promo code in addition to items being on sale.  This is when having your cart full comes in handy-once you see a sale and have promo codes, you can decide what items are worth purchasing and which items are still a little too pricey and you can purchase them later.

Shipping

There are very few sites I will pay for shipping.  Most of the time if you purchase $50 or more in merchandise or have their credit card (Gap/Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, Target).  Sometimes being able to have items shipped directly to your door outweighs the cost of taking the time to drive to the store to purchase items.

Cosmetics/Beauty Products

Promo codes. Promo codes. Promo codes.  There are frequently promo codes or free item promotions for cosmetics from Ulta and Sephora.  Target also frequently has gift card promotions for purchasing a dollar amount of beauty products.  I normally don’t purchase beauty products online unless there is a large giveaway in addition to a coupon.

Although some higher priced products such as Too Faced or Benefit at Ulta are excluded in coupons, they frequently have free item promotions for those product lines.

Amazon

Amazon is one of my favorite go-to online shopping options.  However, I have found that sometimes deals aren’t so great for some items.  Always do a quick Google search on the item you’re considering to make sure there isn’t a high markup.  You never know… another site just may beat Amazon’s prices.

Credit Cards

I’m normally not an advocate of store/company credit cards, HOWEVER, they can be extremely beneficial for online shoppers.  Here are some of the perks they provide:

  • Free shipping
  • Cardholder exclusive sales, promotions, and coupons
  • Loyalty rewards

I never carry a balance on any of my credit cards, so these benefits really help me out when finding the best online deals.  Here are some of the cards that have great benefits to online shoppers:

  • Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic
    • Free shipping
    • Bonus promotions/sales
    • Loyalty rewards
  • Amazon
    • Free Shipping (with Amazon Prime)
    • Credit applied after application
    • Rewards points on purchases on Amazon.com and anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Kohl’s
    • Bonus promotions/sales
  • Victoria’s Secret
    • Cardholder promotions/sales
    • Rewards for purchases
A Makeup Routine Even the Busiest Moms Have Time For

A Makeup Routine Even the Busiest Moms Have Time For

 

 Makeup-we have a love/hate relationship.  I love makeup and I hate that I have hardly any time for it in the morning.  With a few amazing products, I have refined a routine in the morning that even the busiest moms will have time for and still look put-together.

First, the basics.  If you’re a new mom (you know who you are… yes, you… the one with spit-up in your hair who hasn’t showered in a week-I’ve been there), you may only have time to hit the basics.  If this is the case, here are a few awesome products for you:

The Beauty Balm is a great foundation that blends well and doubles as a moisturizer.  Moms get the shaft when it comes to catching Z’s-fortunately bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener helps keep the dark under eye circles down to a minimum. Follow up with shadow insurance that is used as an eyeshadow.  It’s easy to apply, very forgiving with no blending needed, and lasts all day.  The Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara and Benefit Roller Lash Mascara both curl lashes-forget those eyelash curlers… these products have you covered!  The Lash Injection mascara acts as a tubing mascara and extends lashes.  The Roller Lash mascara has a similar concept, but doesn’t have quite the tubing effect the Too Faced mascara has.  I’ll also note that sometimes the Benefit mascara leaves a black shadow below my lower lashes, where the Too Faced mascara does not.  Burt’s Bees Lip Crayons add subtle color to lips to finish off the look.

Sometimes getting little sleep creates dark under eye circles and , let’s face it, sometimes you have to choose between actually washing your face or getting a little more sleep.  I’m always in favor of sleep!  These products have helped me save time, but still look a little more well rested by eliminating puffy eyes, dry or oily skin, and remove makeup, dirt, and oil quickly:

If you’re the mom with a little more time, there are a few other products that save time, but provide a little more coverage:

All of these products provide great coverage and enhance features.  The greatest part of most of these products?  Ultra frequently has free gifts with Benefit and Too Faced cosmetics.  They also have gift bags frequently-the best time to purchase these items is when there is a free gift bag and free gift with Benefit or Too Faced cosmetics.

 

Pixi Dust & Bees

Pixi Dust & Bees

  I’ve tried so many skincare routines I should probably become a professional test subject.  After trying everything from ingredients I can’t even pronounce in Proactiv to trying to keep things natural with a Burt’s Bees regimen (don’t get me wrong, I still love all of my Burt’s products), I have finally found a simple routine that actually works.  The best part?  You can find them ALL at Target!  Here are all of the products I use in my skincare routine:

My morning routing consists of the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm, Mud Cleanser, then Glow Tonic.  If my skin is fairly dry (which is usually the case in the winter months) I apply Burt’s Bees Day Lotion.  In the evening, I use the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm, Mud Cleanser, Glow Peel Pads, Glow Tonic, and the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream. If I’m in a pinch or want more sleep (who doesn’t???) I use Burt’s Bees Cucumber and Sage Facial Cleansing Towelettes to remove makeup, dirt, and oil before bed.  This is one of the only products I’ve found that works well without actually washing your face, applying a toner, and moisturizing afterward.  It also doesn’t cause breakouts, which is always a win in my book.

Most of the Pixi products contain Glycolic Acid, which acts as an exfoliant and helps aid the creation of new skin cells.  This has left my skin smooth and appears to have a much more even tone.  I have acne prone skin and some acne scarring and these products are slowly eliminating both of these issues.