My Favorite Beauty Products From 2015

This year has been a super fun year for beauty and make-up products. I feel like I’ve evolved in that department. From not being afraid to try something new a different, my Julep and Ipsy and Jaclyn Hill YouTube videos, its been a red-letter year. These are not necessarily products that came out in 2015, but new to me in 2015; and are all products that I will continually use after this first purchase. I would describe myself as somewhat picky when it comes to what I put on my body and I love to try a lot of things. I’m also a loyalist when it comes to my make-up, and rarely deviate. But the last year I’ve had the opportunity to try things that I probably never would have tried and its led to some great new discoveries. These are some of my favorites!

1. Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil – I know, I know, cleansing OIL!! Crazy right? I would have thought this would have gone terribly. Putting oil all over my face? And having moved to a more humid part of our country I’ve noticed a more oily appearance to my skin, and had to change my whole regiment. So the thought of using oil on my face would be nuts right? Wrong!! As long as this product is used correctly it is amazing! It leaves my face feeling amazing, doesn’t clog up my pores and really does a marvelous job of cleansing. Make sure that your face and hands are completely dry! It will remove make-up, but not eye make-up. I’ve been using this for almost a whole year now and have noticed no negative side-effects of using an oil-based cleanser. It using rose-hip seed, grape and olive and is cruelty free. $28.00

2. Almay Smart Shade Products – These are recent discovery for me, and I’m a die-hard Mary Kay user, and have been for years. I had the amazing pleasure of being able to try these products for free, as they were given to me at an event. I’ve been using the concealer, make-up and loose finishing powder. This has been a great, light, everyday type of make-up. It goes on smoothly, doesn’t feel heavy and has decent coverage. It includes an spf of 15 which is always a welcome addition. What I’ve loved about Almay products is that they are all formulated for sensitive skin and have a commitment to being hypo-allergenic, which is great. And from what I’ve seen Almay products are fairly affordable. Almay products are cruelty free. Products available at several retailers.

3. Almay One Coat Thickening mascara – Another new Almay product! This year I’ve tried about five different mascaras. Its been a crazy mascara year. But this one, the most recent one I’ve tried has been one of my favorites for the year. It doesn’t get everywhere when you put it on. This can be such a problem for me because my eyelashes are fairly long, and when I go to put my lower lid mascara on the tips of my top lashes can smudge all over my eye-lid. This most frequently happens if I have a really wet mascara. Almay’s mascara gives great coverage without being goopy and has done really well with having no clumps as of yet.

4. Julep Pore-minimizing blush – Another pleasant surprise in my maven box one time was this pore minimizing blush. I’ve received in two different colors in my monthly boxes and just absolutely adore it. It smells amazing (which I know is weird), it has the most amazing coverage and color. A little goes a long way. You barely have to tap this stuff and you get enough, which is a mistake that I made when I first used it. Currently this is available in a set with Julep’s bronzer, which I haven’t tried yet. Bronzer/Blush set is on sale right now for $36.00.

5. Fruit Enzyme Mask from Ladyburg – I’m going to tout a local business, because I just love to support that kind of stuff. Ladyburg is a local Virginia bath and body type shop. Products are made in store, vegan, uses amazing oils, natural for your body and they have something for everyone! I use the baby/kid stuff, my husband has tried the shaving stuff, we use their hand soap in the bathroom. Lets just say I’m a fan. For Christmas my hubby helped feed my Ladyburg addiction and purchased me something that has been on my “want” list. An enzyme mask is amazing if you’ve never tried one. It is cooling and soothing to your skin. It mildly exfoliates, taking away  dead skin cells to help renew and revitalize your skin. Its just amazing!! A little goes a really, really long way and this tub will last you forever! $17.95.

6. Tarte LipSurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss – I received this product in my Ipsy bag a couple of months ago. It moisturizes and makes my lips feel amazing. It can be a very thick lip so this is another, little goes a long way, item. It is a clear lipgloss that works with the color of your own lips that creates a look that is uniquely you! It also has a flat applicator, which is something that I’ve never seen before. Tarte lipstick as Vitamin E, jojoba oil and flower extract. It has antioxidants that help smooth fine lines and wrinkles as well. $17.00

7. treStique lip crayon – Another product received in my Ipsy bag was this lip crayon. I’d never used this type of lipstick before and I’ve got to say it is a pretty cool product. It goes on super smooth and is a liner and stick in one. The crayon is meant to be paired with their lip balm, but can be used solo for sure. The product I have isn’t the dual crayon/balm product but the solo crayon alone. The dual stick, with coordinating lip balm is available for $28.00.

8. Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss – The smart shade lipstick line is a pretty cool concept. You choose a lip color based on your skin shade. I picked up this shade when I was given the other products based on sight alone. I really had no idea that it was a smart shade product. I own red-light, which is probably one shade lighter than I need to be in, but its a great color. I will say that this product, at least for me goes on much like a tint or a colored balm rather than a lip stick. But the smoothness of this is out of this world. I feel like I can apply it similarly to a gloss in that I don’t have to be staring at myself while doing it, as I would a normal lipstick. And this is also a wetter lipstick, in that it doesn’t feel cakey or dry on my lips.

9. L’Oreal Paris Iffallible Pro-Last – I love a good lipstick. I think lipstick is such a classic look and people don’t wear it much. I guess in favor of a more natural look. But, I power on with my lipstick people! Lipstick and mascara are my go to when I need a refresher! The hubbs however, doesn’t appreciate the wearing of lipstick on his own face, so in times of need I search out a smudge-proof lipstick. L’Oreal gets the deployment seal of approval here! I picked up this particular shade (Passionate Petal) to go with my most recent homecoming outfit. Now if you’ve never used a smudge-proof type liptick there are usually two parts, a lip color and a balm that goes over the top. You need them both. This is a great full-coverage color and what I particularly liked about this duo is the balm that went with it. I didn’t feel the need to reapply it. That is a common problem in this type of lipstick, at least from my experience. I’ve been a die-hard smudge-proof user since my wedding day! And it was a L’Oreal back then too! I think in the last almost twelve years they’ve upped their game and improved upon their formula for this particular type. If you’re looking for a kissable lipstick for homecoming, look no further! I’m headed back to actually pick me up a more red-shade, since I’ve got my pinks covered. $12.99 and I purchased mine at the Exchange.

10. Beach Head Sea Salt Texturizing Spray from Beyond the Zone – Watching my favorite hair style blogger, Kate from The Small Things Blog, on YouTube you learn a few things. Like, what the heck is texturizing spray and why should I be using it. This is my first product of that kind that I’ve used and I love it. I’m ready to check out more brands and see what else is out there, but I picked this up at my local Sally’s Beauty Supply because I just had to try something! It definitely does what it says it does and it’s very easy to use. If you’re a newbie to texturizing spray and don’t want to fork over a lot of money just to try it out, I would definitely recommend giving this spray a try. $8.49

do you have a favorite product from this past year?! I’d love to hear about it! 

Look for these products in action on Instagram, and follow me! @RheChristine

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The Sunday Social, Week 86

This is a girly one too!!  It’s time for The Sunday Social, and in particular I am loving this week’s questions.  It’s always a fun link-up for sure, but some weeks just have a special oomph to them if you know what I mean.  This just happens to be one of those weeks.

1. How old were you when you started wearing make-up.

I don’t actually remember.  I wanna say I started wearing just a little bit in Junior High.  By the time I hit high school I was buying my own and pretty much taking it from there.  My mom sold Mary Kay for years, so I was in the home of a make-up expert.  My sister and I have gone on and lived up to that legacy…frequently being asked to do friends make-up for weddings and I did several proms.  We love make-up  that’s for sure.

2. What are your top 3 beauty products?

Funny you should ask that.  I’m part of a Blogging Challenge with a ton of bloggers this year, and last week’s topic was in fact skin care.  So why re-invent the wheel.  If you click over to it you will actually find five of my favorite beauty products listed.

3. What is one make-up product you don’t leave home without? 

 Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss 
I love this stuff!  I actually have several shades and they are always in my purse.
You can purchase them here if you don’t have a consultant (from my awesome sister who is a rock star consultant) 
4. What is your daily beauty routine? 
I very rarely leave the house without make-up on, or having done my routine and a minimal amount of make-up.  You think I’m kidding, but you should see my right after I delivered my baby pictures, LOL.  It’s kind of ridiculous…but once I get that epidural baby I am putting that make-up on.  It just makes me feel good.
 eye make-up, blush and all! LOL
Its the same for morning and evening – cleanse with either a face wash (Mary Kay Botanicals) or a cleansing pad (Simple or Ponds).  Then I put on my day or night anti-aging moisturizer serum (almost Mary Kay – TimeWise Collection).  Depending on what is going on sometimes I will use a cover-up, primer, and BB Cream.  Then whatever make-up I am going to use.  At night, its the same, except I also use a separate cleansing pad for eye make-up and mascara (tough little devils aren’t they). 
5. What is your favorite hair/make-up product you’ve discovered in the last year?
It was by total accident and not because I actually bought it, that I discovered my new favorite product.  Sometimes as a blogger you get to try cool things, and Influenster sent me my very first BB Cream.  I had heard all about it and just assumed it was another crazy thing.  Some fad that would come and go.  Well, I’m a convert.  I love the stuff.  It goes on great, smells good, feels good and has all but eliminated my need for primer and traditional foundations on most days.  seriously the stuff is amazing.  I’m kind of excited to see what it will do for my skin in the long term, but it’s always hard to tell that stuff in the beginning anyway.
here’s the link in case you want to check it out for yourself 

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2014 Blogger Challenge – Favorite Skin Care Options

So we are into Topic 2 for my 2014 Blogger Challenge.  Never mind that I’m cutting it close this time, with two days to spare.  The point is that I’m getting it in right?  Are you guys participating in any blogging challenges or goals this year?  If you are, make sure to let me know so I can follow along and support you in your blogging goals and challenges.  I’m a succor for it.

This week’s topic is all about skin care, and I’m really excited about this.  I feel like after all this time I’ve really honed my skin care regimen.  This includes my make-up uses.  While I still experiment and try new things, especially as a lucky duck blogger that gets to sometimes try new things, a point has been reached where its time to get series about my skin care.  Not to dwell on the fact that this year will be the big 31, recognizing that taking care of my skin and looking into anti-aging components of skin care is important.  Here are a few of my favorite things.

This is a new item for me, that I tried thanks to Influenster.  I’m sure you have seen the Cindy Crawford commercials for this particular line of products.  I’ve been wanting to try it ever since I saw them.  Apparently the commercials were doing there jobs right?  This is a preventative so I can’t say anything specific about how it is working for me.  I love the smell and feel.  Being someone with sensitive skin, I love finding products that don’t affect it negatively. 
I am a true Mary Kay fan, a loyalist to the brand that has been in my life since I was a little girl.  In fact I once wrote a letter to THE Mary Kay and she wrote me back.  My mom sold Mary Kay for years, and is still a faithful user.  Now my sister sells it.  If you’re interested in trying any of the products totally visit her page.  She a freaking make-up expert its ridiculous.  Mary Kay has the Good Housekeeping seal of approval; and now is the make-up sponsor for Project Runway AllStars.  
TimeWise® Miracle Set® (combination/oily) 
This is the TimeWise set, available for both oily/combination skin and dry skin.
This stuff is great and I have used both versions, as I’ve changed climates.  Remember this is an important thing to note in skincare.  Sometimes your skin can change, which means you have to change up your skincare plan.
Mary Kay also came out with a Botanicals line, which is made without any synthetic dyes or added frangrances, and is their most “natural” line of products if that is something you are looking for.  You still get the great benefits and history of excellence that you get with other Mary Kay products, but in a Botanical form.
I’m also a fan of the Time Wise Firming Eye Cream (notice changes right away!!), micro-dermabrasion set, and the eye revitalizer.
This is my favorite make-up removing/cleansing pads.  I always, always have problems with my eye make-up coming off.  This is rough thing right ladies?
Simple Skincare Eye Makeup Remover Pads 
Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes 
Thanks for stopping by the blog today.  Do you have a favorite skin care product?  I wanna hear about it please!

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Mia Mariu *Review and Giveaway (US/CAN)*

Mia is a natural health and beauty products company created to provide women with the opportunity to run a home-based business.  Jeanie Price’s (founder and CEO) hope was to create a way for women to not have choose between spending time with their families and running a business.  Products are available exclusively through Independent Advisers and online.   Ms. Price has found a way to harness the powers of social networking and eCommerce to build an extraordinary company that is helping women succeed all over.

I had the opportunity to review some of the Natural Botanicals Collection, including the Refreshing Foaming Gel Cleanser, the Anti-Aging Brightening Serum, Anti-Aging Eye-treatment and a sample of the microdermabrasion set. 

The cleanser is made with sea kelp and aloe and is probably one of the most amazing feeling cleansers I’ve tried.  I’m fairly faithful to my brand but I absolutely loved this. It felt so good and smelled absolutely amazing.  Mia boasts that this cleanser is especially effective for those with extremely sensitive skin including rosacea, as well as for all skin types.  I have a moderately oily skin type, especially since moving to where humidity is my mortal enemy.   Being someone that already has a fairly regimented skin treatment I haven’t noticed a difference in the way my skin feels using it; however, I have fairly sensitive skin and I have had no bad reactions to this product.  No breakouts and dry-outs or anything like that.

The Skin Brightening Serum was something I was super excited about.  I’ve never used a product like this, just products that have all encompassing effects similar to this product.  Dark spots and wrinkles are no match for a product like this.  This serum has anti-aging peptides and skin-brightening botanicals that improve the look of your skin.  It is light feeling and oil free, which is something that I look for in the products I use.  I really wish that I could use this product long-term to provide some real insight to how the anti-aging properties affect my skin.  If you aren’t using a skin-care regimen I highly recommend you do, no matter how old (or young) you are.  Like I mentioned before, I have been using a fairly regimented program since high school and the benefits of caring about your skin BEFORE you start to see problems is priceless.  While I believe I’ve been blessed with good genes (my mom and grandmother have killer skin), we all use the same products and I think that also plays a big role in how my skin looks, and will look in the future. 

Anti-Aging Eye Treatment – Being a mom who doesn’t get a lot of sleep, using eye-creams is something that I try to do on a regular basis.  I noticed an almost immediate response to using this product, which is great because I can pass that information onto you.  It absolutely helped with the overall brightness around my eyes, any puffiness I had, and while not completely eliminating dark circles I noticed that it has helped with that in the short review period.  Happily, Mia knew exactly what they were doing in creating this product. By combining ingredients like Japanese Green Tea, Aloe and Vitamins B5 and E, they have a created something great in this product.

Microdermabrasion isn’t something that I do very often, in fact I think I’ve only done it like two other times.  The benefits to the skin are incredible.  Our skin cells regenerate and we have dead skin on our bodies.  By buffing that away we can immediately see positive results.  Utilizing microdermabrasion in your skin care regimen can reduce the appearance of scars and acne scars.  This kit is incredible!  It’s warming…I know right?  How amazing is that?  It felt incredible and my skin looked and felt wonderful.

My thoughts:

This is a great skin-care line, especially if you are looking a Botanical/Natural type product to use on your skin.  When comparing it to another similar brand it runs equal in price, and slightly more expensive for some products.  But when you compare it to some of the extremely high end products that you can find at places like Nordstroms and Sephora this is an extremely accessible brand.  I really like the whole picture of the company and the goal of the founder.  When looking for brands to support and products to buy I find myself, more and more, looking for brands that support work at home mom’s, and women’s small businesses. 

You can purchase a whole treatment kit, including the microdermabrasion kit and a moisturizer, for $180.  The cleanser is the most affordable, at $19.00, it is a great price and size.  The microdermabrasion set will run you about $55, but its not something that I would use very often and I could see it lasting you awhile.  Both the serum and eye-treatments are smaller containers, but you use smaller amounts of it.  They will run you $38 and $30.  Like I said, it may seem pricey just from looking at the numbers, however proper skin care is worth the price (and this is affordable!). 

However one of my lucky readers will get to win the Rejuvenate Your Skin package – the Gel Cleanser, Brigtening Serum and Eye Treatment.  Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveawayI received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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