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WEEKLY FAVORITES: IX

This week I have a few new items and some long time favorites. With spring fast approaching, I’ve been leaning towards a more natural look and as a result, the theme is pretty neutral:

Black Pearl & Gold Eye Patches by Petitfeé – If you follow me on Snapchat (s0njablade), then you see me using these all the time! If you’re visiting and staying with me, I’m making you try them because they are so amazing. I will use them on long flights, when I’m hungover, when I don’t get enough sleep, or just when I need a little extra pick me up. Buy these now, and thank me later.

Double Wear Foundation by Estée Lauder – This foundation has a cult following for a reason. It’s buildable, has great coverage and feels so light on the skin. It has serious lasting power and looks so natural! I’m in the shade ”Ivory Beige and know that I will be reaching for this one time and time again. The only caveat, it needs a pump. Luckily the MAC foundation pump fits this bottle, so it’s a quick fix.

Time Revolution Essence by Missha – This is a great dupe for SKII’s famous essence. It helps to hydrate, improve skin elasticity and brighten. I will use this after toner and pat into my skin with my palms.  I love it and the fact that it doesn’t have a scent.

Sun Fluid by Dr Jart+ – This is a skincare sunscreen, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking you out. With an SPF of 30 you can trust that this can provide you with protection for everyday use. It doesn’t have that sickly piña colada smell that most sunscreens have, doesnt ball up under makeup, and is slightly mattifying. I have a sample size but will purchase the full size once I run out.

Mineral Blush in ‘Wild Honey’ by Becca – Like the rest of the world, I love Becca’s highlighters and this blush has a lot of the same qualities. The powder is finely milled, it blends like a dream, is pigmented and so beautiful. This has become my everyday blush. It’s perfect for a quick wash of color to bring some life back into my face.

Sculpting Lipstick in ‘Intense Nude’ by Estée Lauder – I received this as a gift when I purchased the foundation above and it’s quickly found a permanent place in my bag. My natural lip color is a bit maroonish and this is my perfect nude. It’s really pigmented, hydrating and comfortable.

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Weekly Favorites: VIII (The Mask Edit)

Happy March everyone! This week, I am focusing on my favorite skincare step: MASKS! I love to mask. It’s a great way to treat yourself (and your skin) and turn an average skincare routine into a spa-like experience. As I previously mentioned in my Products to Avoid for Acne Prone Skin, I am constantly on the hunt for products that will keep my skin clear, reduce my pore size and keep the sebum at bay. As a result, I have put so many masks to the test and these babies are my TRIED AND TRUE! If you want to know what other products I use in my skincare rotation click here. . . OK, let’s get to the good stuff:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – No, this is not a mask. It is a beautiful collection of poems. It is split into four different sections and depending on your vibe, you can choose to skip around or read it front to back and let the story unfold.When I’m masking I like to disconnect, and I’ve been dedicating this time to poetry. (For those of you that don’t know, poetry was my first love and it’s a part of me that I have neglected for too long. This book is bringing it back!)

Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask by CLINIQUE – THIS mask. If you purchase any of these products, may it be this mask! This is hands down the best charcoal mask on the market. Yes, better than GlamGlow and better than Boscia. This mask actually does what it’s supposed to. Mattify? Check. Unclog pores? Check. Refine pores? Double check. If you’re oily, acne prone or just in need of a detoxifying mask, look no further. I will typically use this once a week and I am always so happy with how my skin looks and feels afterward.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay – This is a hefty one and has a cult following for good reason. Not only is it insanely affordable, you get 1lb of product for $6 dollars, this mask is intense. Because of the bentonite clay, this is a deep, deep cleansing mask and you don’t want to use it too often. Typically, I will use this about once a month, or when I really need a skin detox like after I’ve been traveling etc. The only annoying part (lazy girls raise your hands) is that it’s a powder, so you have to mix it into a paste yourself. I like to mix mine with apple cider vinegar and let it do it’s magic!

Botanical Mask Pack by Bonvivant – Because I do rotate between clay masks, I like to balance out with a moisturizing/healing/repairing sheet mask once or twice a week. I love Bonvivant’s sheet masks! They are so affordable ($1!) and they have a wide range to suit your skincare needs. The sheet itself is really thin and sturdy, so it adheres to the skin really well! I also appreciate that they don’t have a strong scent. Another sheet mask that I love, but isn’t pictured because I used it last week, is the Donkey Milk Healing Gel Mask. It’s a great mask for when your skin is irritated or if you have an active breakout.

Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask by Milky Piggy – I feel like when Korean skincare became popular in here the states, this was the mask that everyone gravitated towards and wouldn’t stop talking about. This innovative mask will start to bubble and foam (ie carbonation) as it oxidizes with the air, making this one of the most entertaining masks you can purchase. While it might seem gimmicky, it’s actually packed with really great ingredients such as charcoal, pomegranate extracts, green tea, and collagen. Not only do I enjoy the experience of this mask, I also really love the glow this mask gives me. I recommend applying this mask when you’ve had a particularly trying day, as it’s guaranteed to lift your spirits!

Original Skin™ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay by Origins – When I am looking for a luxurious experience, I reach for this product. With ingredients like Canadian willowherb, Persian silk tree, Mediterranean rose clay and exfoliating jojoba beads – how can you go wrong?! Not to mention it has the most pleasant and soothing scent. This mask leaves my skin so soft and radiant! It isn’t as powerful as the aforementioned clay masks, so I will use this about twice a week. I absolutely love this mask. Love. Love. Love

So tell me, what are some of your favorite masks?!

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Weekly Favorites: VII


Happy Saturday! I can’t believe how fast February is flying by, but I have to say, I’m already over the winter so I’m welcoming March with open arms 🤗.

That said, here are a few favorites that I’ve been loving lately. Some are oldies, but goodies and some are new classics:

Tartlette in Bloom Eyeshadow Palette by Tarte – I have been reaching for this more and more recently. This is one of those palettes that I used all of the time and then just sort of forgot about. It is so beautiful and versatile, the shadows blend easily and are so pigmented. I have been loving using the shade “Funny Girl” in the center of my lid over my next favorite below. . .

Multistick in Brioche by Bite Beauty – If you’re not familiar with Bite Beauty, get familiar. Their lipsticks are incredible, they use food grade ingredients, and they cater to a wide variety of skin tones. These sticks have a different finish depending on how you apply them – powdery with a brush, soft if straight from the bullet etc. This is a great product, for those lazy days. I love to apply this on my lid for a quick wash of color and apply “Funny Girl” from the palette above for some dimension. Pat it on your cheeks and lips and you have a great monochromatic look. I love this.

Boy Brow in Brown by Glossier – This is hands down my favorite brow product. Here’s the thing with my brows, they are thick and have the shape I prefer, but I do have some gaps that need to be filled in. This product is so easy, again lazy girl vibes, it adds pigment, fills in any gaps and lays the brows down all in one step! I was using the shade black for a while, but it felt super harsh, so I have switched to brown. I think it adds dimension to my brows, without looking sharp. I highly recommend this product.

Soft Focus Satin Matte Foundation by Sonia Kashuk – Yes, this is from the drugstore, and yes it’s AMAZING. I love this foundation, not only is full coverage but it is so light on the skin. Trust me when I say you cannot feel this on the skin. It blends really nicely, doesn’t oxidize and has a beautiful finish. Downside? They have a terrible shade range. The darkest color is #6 in Camel. For some reference, I use #5 in the shade Bamboo, the second darkest shade, and it’s winter time, meaning I am at my palest . . .! If you can find it in your shade, get it because it’s great.

Rose Petal, Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Toner by Thayers – Can I get a clap for this tried and true toner? I have said it before, and I will say it again. I LOVE rose in my skincare. In my cleaners, in my oils, in my masks and this toner is EVERYTHING. It’s hydrating, cleansing, alcohol and paraben free, and so gentle on the skin. The scent is pleasant and I find it to be both calming and invigorating at the same time. Oxymoron? Test this toner out and tell me that you don’t agree.

Batiste Dry Shampoo – This is my ride or die dry shampoo. It is $6 and works wonders on my hair. I wash my hair every 3 or 4 days and as a result, I need a dry shampoo that can inject some life back into these locks. I use the dark and deep brown version because my hair is a deep and dark brown, hence I can avoid any pesky white cast. Not to mention, I love the way this stuff smells!

Cleansing Oil by Simple – I am a firm believer in double cleansing. Not familiar? Double cleansing is when you use an oil or a balm to remove your makeup, sunscreen etc and then follow up with your regular facial cleanser. I have tried a lot of cleaning oils and had yet to find one that compared to, the now impossible to find, NUDE Clarifying Cleansing Oil. That is, of course, before I found this one. It removes all of my makeup with ease, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind and it’s affordable. It’s formulated for sensitive skin so you know it’s not going to cause any irritation. I was experiencing, what I assumed to be dermatitis on my eyelids, but I couldn’t pinpoint what was irritating my eyes, until i realized that my cleansing oil was my most recent addition into my skincare. Once I switched to this, the irritation subsided and I have yet to experience any discomfort (knock on wood).

 

Weekly Favorites: V

Happy New Year! Hard to believe that it is already 2017! I can’t wait to see what this new year has in store. Because of the holiday, I am posting this a little later than I normally would. Without further ado, here are a few items that I have been loving this past year:

Harry Josh Pro Tools Blow Dryer – This blow dryer is absurdly expensive, but I have to say it was the best investment. It dries my hair in 3(!) minutes flat! I hate blow-drying my hair and I am always running late, so this blow dryer is a life saver. It leaves my hair smooth and never frizzy. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t hurt that it’s also super chic, I love that it’s mint green and it’s compact size. (I found this for 1/2 off in Black Friday last year 🙌🏽 I believe it’s on sale now. . . )

‘Black Opium’ by Yves Saint Laraunt – This has been my go-to scent for the past year. I’m constantly receiving compliments on it from both men and women. It’s the sexiest scent, not overwhelming with just the right amount of intruige. It’s sweet, but not overtly so, it’s warm with notes of coffee, tobacco and vanilla. It lingers on the skin foever and is surprisingly fitting for every season, I love it!

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – This powder is the best for oily skin girls like myself. Say “bye, bye” to creasing, this sets everything perfectly and sinks in immediately 👌🏽. It is a bit pricey, but unless you spill it, it will last forever.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil – Rosehip oil is full of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins. It’s great for scars, dark marks and is deeply hydrating. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that lately, I’ve really been focusing on healing and nourishing my skin. Once I applied it, I noticed a difference in my skin immediately. It was really calming and hydrating. I also apprecaite that there isn’t really a scent with this oil (aka no added perfumes, just the good stuff). This is a new staple in my routine.

‘Havana Nights’ Liquid Lipstick by Ofra – This is my perfect vampy shade. It is a deep browny burgundy. It’s easy to wear and shamelessly sexy. I love Ofra, their products are super affordable and their liqud lipstick formula is one of the best, not too dry, great wear time and doesn’t feather.

‘Impassioned’ Blush by NARS – I love this delicate pink blush. It’s a great pink for my olive skinned guys as gals with yellow undertones. It blends perfectly, gives a bright wash of color and is really wearable.

‘Stepping Out’ Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick by Smashbox – This deep nude/ brown shade is stunning. This formula is very different from other liquid lipsticks in that it’s light, layers easily and doesn’t dry out your lips. It also has some serious staying power. This has been my go-to everyday nude lip.

‘Like’ lipgloss by Kylie Cosmetics– I know. I know. But this is a really great product. Not too sticky, subtle scent and for a gloss, it really stays put. I love pairing this with the smashbox liquid lipstick listed above. It’s the perfect combination.

Satin jumpsuit from ASOS – I’m in love with this jumpsuit. Recently, I’ve been wanting to update and class up my lounge wear, which mostly consists of well worn sweats and sweaters. This is precisly what I had in mind. It is feminine, flirty and so soft. I feel like such a lady when I wear it.

Weekly Favorites: III 


As mentioned in my previous post, my skin is fickle and can be so unforgiving. Here are a few of my holy grail skincare products (old and new) as well as a few beauty items to round it out.

(Left to Right)

Advanced Snail Mucin Power Essence by COSRX: My skin has gone THROUGH it in the past two months.With 96% Snail Secretion Filtrate, it helps with cell regeneration, speeds up the healing and provides moisture.

Good Genes by Sunday Riley: This is an incredible lactic acid treatment. It’s a chemical exfoliant that helps with dullness, dark spots and really plumps the skin (which I love for my acne scars). It claims to be clarifying as well. All I know is if I skip this treatment, I will notice it.

C-Firma Day Serum by Drunk Elephant: This vitamin c serum has pumpkin ferment enzymes. It helps to firm, brighten and diminish the appearance of dark spots. It’s expensive but so worth it.

Tarteist Mascara by Tarte: If you thought Too Faced “Better than sex” mascara was good, you’ll want to try this. It volumizes, separates, lengthens and doesn’t flake! Essentially, it’s all I’ve ever wanted in a mascara.

Gold by Commodity: I bought this for my fall travels and fell in love with it. This perfume is lovely. It’s warm, slightly spicy with a hint of sweetness. It’s sexy and sophisticated. It has quickly become the scent I’ve been reaching for everyday.

“Fraise” Matte Creme Lip Crayon by Bite Beauty: As its name suggests, this is a lovely strawberry red. I might go so far as to say it is THE perfect strawberry red for me. If you’re olive skinned with yellow undertones, this is a great red for you. I love this color, it has lasting power and it’s by Bite, you can’t go wrong.

Luna Oil by Sunday Riley: I love this night oil. The retinal a helps with my pitted scars and it really works to even out the skin tone. Despite what everyone says, I didn’t experience miraculous overnight results, but I have experienced great results over time.

Products to Avoid for Acne Prone Skin

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Alright, I think it’s time we get a little personal here. It’s no secret, I am a beauty/skincare junkie. Yup, I have VIB Rouge status at Sephora, I’ve subscribed to several Korean beauty/ skincare websites. . . I love to try new things all in an attempt to have the ever elusive “perfect skin”. Or, in my case, a clear and even skin tone.

As a result, I have spent hours, that probably equate to days, researching and perusing YouTube channel after YouTube channel, reading blog after blog in the hopes for some holy grail products.

My search for great skin has lead me to try products that contain snail mucin and donkey milk. Masks that bubble and foam and there isn’t a charcoal product that I haven’t tried. Sleeping masks, rubber masks, sheet masks, clay masks, peel masks, you name it – I’ve put it to the test.

I like to think I am pretty smart about these things, I will incorporate a new product once a month, just to see if there are any adverse reactions. I should note, that I have acneic skin. I am prone to cystic acne, I also have oily/combo skin. AKA, I won the skin jackpot!

Knowing that coconut oil is comedogenic, meaning it will clog your pores, aka the WORST thing for my skin type, I would never willingly apply it to my face. I was, however, nieve as to just how loose the rules are when listing ingredients.  I didn’t think twice when the ingredients listed it as “coconut extract” or in some circumstances: Cocos Nucifera Fruit Extract (WTF).

These are the products that I wanted to love, that I wanted to work, but wrecked havoc on my skin instead. Why? One common ingredient: coconut oil.

Here is the frustrating part, these products are AMAZING. They work so well, but just not with my skin. So, if you don’t have acneic skin and aren’t sensitive to coconut oil (or other comedogenic ingredients) – then I highly recommend these two. If you’re like me, then I am afraid you will just have to pass on these two products:

Heimish All Clean Balm – I loved this! Click here to read about my experience with it.

Sum:73 Rose Cleanser – This stick cleanser is gorgeous. It has a low PH, is made with fermented damask rose, creates a satisfying lather and smells amazing! Did I mention that there are actual rose petals in this? Yep, there are. This is a swoon-worthy cleanser that I was sad to say goodbye to.

*** After the number that these two products did on my skin, I looked into cleansing balms and found that most contain coconut oil. (insert facepalm) Hello, captain obvious, can’t believe I didn’t put the two together. That is the ingredient that gives it the “balm to oil” texture . I have since returned to using cleansing oils. . . more on that later ***