Hey Everyone! Just wanted to let you know about a new video that's up on my YouTube channel today, and I'm reviewing all the new Hard Candy makeup that just launched at Walmart. There were definitely some big hits and big misses!
NEW Hard Candy 2018 | Get It or Forget It? - YouTube
Last year I took a HomeDNA Skincare test that told me all about my skin and how it functions (see that post here). It was so insightful I was excited to try another test, this time about my weight. I've always been very conscious of my figure but when I hit my mid-30's it became a bit of an uphill battle to lose any extra pounds. I figured I could use all the help I can get to figure out if there are genetic factors working against me and what I can do about them.
The Healthy Weight Kit is $119 on the HomeDNA website but you can use code HW50 to save $50, making it only $69. It comes with sterile swabs to collect a DNA sample from your inside your cheek (quick and completely painless!), and a postage-paid envelope to mail your sample to the lab.
After a few weeks, my results were in and I was able to view them online. I'll give you a summary of their findings, but the entire report is 72 pages long so I won't publish it all here. It includes not only my results but recommendations on how to get the most out of the information, including sample diet and exercise plans.
There are 4 main categories that were tested and they include my ability to lose weight, how my body processes food and nutrients, and how it responds to exercise.
1. Weight Loss Ability
The test found that my ability to lose weight through diet and exercise is Below Average. This doesn't mean that I can't lose weight, it just means that if I follow the same diet and exercise program as people with a more favorable genetic makeup, I won't lose as much as they do. It also puts me at risk for re-gaining everything I've lost. This is definitely not good news but I'm glad I know this information so that I can work harder and be more diligent in my diet and exercise plan.
2. Food- The test looked at my ability to utilize carbs, protein, and fats.
When it comes to protein and carbs, my genetic response to them is normal. This means that I won't see greater weight loss with a high-protein (like Atkins) or high-carb diet like other people who have an enhanced genotype.
More bad news when it comes to fats...my utilization of fat is low meaning that my body is sensitive to too much fat in my diet. I may also have a reduced level of fat oxidation, or fat-burning ability when I eat a high fat diet (such as Atkins).
3. Nutrients- The test looked at factors that might cause my body to be low in certain nutrients that can help with weight loss. Please note that this doesn't test your actual blood levels of nutrients...it just tells you if you have a tendency to be low or high in certain vitamins.
When it comes to Folate and Vitamin A, my body has the tendency to have below average levels. I know this because last time I was at the doctor my levels were on the low side and I was told to supplement.
My vitamin B6 and B12 levels have a tendency to be low and again, this wasn't a surprise since these levels are always low when I have blood work done. This is a good reminder to make sure I'm supplementing or getting enough of these vitamins in my diet.
When it comes to Vitamin C and D, my tendency is to have Normal levels.
4. Response to Exercise
More bad news...my genetic response to getting the recommended cardio (3 days per week at a moderate intensity) is Low. Basically, if I follow this type of program, my fat loss will be minimal. Instead, I need to aim for 5-6 days of cardio exercise working at a high intensity (I'm feeling tired already!). They also recommend trying HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts.
Some good news! My response to resistance training is enhanced. The test says that I will be more likely to see reductions in body fat from weight training. This is good to know because I rarely pick up my weights anymore, but I will definitely start resistance training again.
Another bright spot is that my HDL (good cholesterol) levels have an enhanced response to cardio, so even though my fat loss may not be affected much by doing cardio, I still have a reason to do it. HDL is a blood protein that carries cholesterols to your liver, rather than lingering in your blood stream and creating plaque on your artery walls.
Overall, I found the HomeDNA Healthy Weight test to be extremely insightful! I now know which kinds of exercise my body responds best to, the types of foods and nutrients I should be taking in, and that I have a natural tendency to gain weight so I need to stay diligent and work harder at my weight loss goals.
To take your test, please visit HomeDNA.com and don't forget to use code HW50 through April 30th to save $50!
What are your thoughts? Are you interested in trying this one?
Hey guys, Happy Monday! I just wanted to link my latest video (it's a quick 5 minutes)...I hauled some new products from Hard Candy yesterday and they look so promising!! There are scented Fox in a Box bronzers, blushes, and highlighters, Cashmere Silk Lip Balms, Highlighting Trios, a new palette that looks like Huda Rose Gold and more!
Milani Cosmetics recently released some brand new products on their website, including two eyeshadow palettes, shiny liquid lipsticks, and plumping lip glosses! There are also some new highlighters which I didn't end up getting just because I have too many powder highlighters at the moment and these days I've been gravitating toward cream formulas for my drier skin.
Let's take a look!
First up are the two new eyeshadow palettes, Most-Loved Mattes, and Bold Obsessions. I was so excited to see these because their 6-pan Everyday Eyes palettes are some of my favorite at the drugstore! These include 12 shades, plus a mirror and the packaging looks very high-end (they remind me of Stila).
They are definitely more on the expensive side for a drugstore palette ($20 on their website) but the good news is, I've gotten reports on Instagram from people who have seen these popping up at Walmart for $14.96, which is a lot more reasonable. For some reason, the prices are always higher on the Milani website...for example, the Everyday Eyes palettes are $13 there, but only $8.99 in drugstores. I have no idea why there's such a difference, but oh well!
Most-Loved Mattes is a beautiful, everyday palette and I love seeing an all-matte palette with 12 shades at the drugstore. The shade range is gorgeous and easy to wear and I love that they arranged the palette so that you can start at the top of each column and go down vertically to create a look. I've been using the rosy/purple shades in that middle column so much lately, and the formula is so easy to use. It feels super soft without a ton of powdery fallout, and blends so nicely on my eyes. It also has great lasting power...over a primer especially my eye look still looked great by the end of the day (although they also work pretty well without primer!).
Bold Obsessions is a little bit deeper and smokier with some shimmery and metallic shades mixed in with mattes. Just like the Most-Loved Mattes palette, the matte shades are very soft and blendable. The shimmers feel creamy and buttery, while the golden metallic shade has a bit of a soft, flaky texture (as many metallic shades do). I've found that the shimmery shades are a bit more dense and don't show up as well as I'd like them to when I use a brush...I actually prefer to dab them on with my finger for the most impact. You can also go in with a wet brush and they work fantastically that way as well.
The new Amore Shine Liquid Lipsticks ($9) are one of the best lipstick formulas I've tried in a while! They're a hybrid of a liquid lipstick and a gloss so they give you full pigment in one swipe, but also that shiny finish of a gloss that makes your lips look smoother and fuller. They go on so smoothly with no streaking and they feel lightweight and not sticky at all. They also don't have any scent which is really nice! They have a curved applicator with a point at the tip which makes it easy to apply them with precision. I found that they last several hours on my lips and don't migrate outside my lip line (although they do transfer onto cups). The shine disappears after about an hour or so but the creamy formula sticks around for quite a while. I got them in four colors, but they come in 12 shades...they're available on the Ulta website already as well! Also, check out my video at the end of this post to see me wearing each shade. :)
Last but not least, Milani released a new line of gloss calledKeep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumper ($9). Unlike traditional lip plumpers that irritate your lips in order to plump them up, these contain peptides to stimulate collagen production in your lips, which plumps them over time. They also contain hyaluronic acid to nourish your lips and keep them feeling hydrated.
They do have a vanilla scent and after a minute of wearing them, a minty cooling sensation starts to come out a bit, but it doesn't sting or burn. The combination kind of reminds me of those vanilla mint Tic-Tacs. :)
The formula on these is more like a gloss and out of the shades that I got, Champagne and Luminoso have a tiny bit of shimmer and go on a bit more sheer. Soft Rose on the other hand, has no shimmer and goes on more opaque.
If you're curious to see these in action, I posted a review video to my YouTube channel here:
NEW Makeup From Milani | Eyeshadow Palettes + Liquid Lipsticks & Plumpers - YouTube
What do you think of all the new products? Milani is definitely one of my favorite drugstore brands these days!
Everything is available now at MilaniCosmetics.com, while the Amore Shine Lipsticks are at Ulta.com. Also, keep your eyes open at drugstores for the eyeshadow palettes since they're likely to be much cheaper than they are online. :)
If you love First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Cream, now is definitely the time to stock up! Starting today and running until February (while supplies last) is a duo of their oversized 14 oz. tubs for $43.86 (a $116 value). The tiny little 6 oz jar retails for $30 at Sephora, so this deal is crazy-good!!
Each duo comes with the original unscented version (great if you use it on your face) plus a second tub in either the original version or one of these scents:
Coconut & Lime
Cucumber & Melon
The Ultra Repair cream is one of my all-time favorites because it has this beautiful lightweight, fluffy texture that sinks right in with no greasy feel...yet it's incredibly hydrating! I also love that you can use it all over your body, even on your face.
For a closer look, check out my vlog from this week (I talk about this around the 8:20 mark)...
Vlog | Sephora, Ulta, Walgreens, Bath & Body Works Haul - YouTube
Tarte just dropped their new Shape Tape Foundation and now there are even more surprises, including the new Maneater Volume II Palette ($30). It has a slightly different layout with the addition of a black shade. I compared the original (left) with the new version (right) and all of the shades have the same names, yet look slightly different. That could just be lighting though...I'm guessing it's the exact same palette with one extra shade.
Also new is the Busy Gal Brows Tinted Brow Gel ($18). It comes in three different shades that claims to be buildable, tinted pigment that's waterproof and lasts 12 hours.
Finally, there's a new Shape Tape Eye Primer Stick ($21) that claims to be a 4-in-1 waterproof, creaseproof formula that doubles as an eye primer, neutral eyeshadow, correcting tint, and soft highlight.
Each formula has 15 available shades and they're $39 each. They'll be launching online at Ulta Beauty on January 21 and won't be in stores until February 4th.
Head on over to TarteCosmetics.com and grab your shade before it disappears! (I picked up both formulas in the shade Fair-Light Neutral since it seemed to look less yellow than the other shades around it).
The Ulta Love Your Skin Event has been in full swing during the month of January, with 50% off deals happening every day. Today's deal really jumped out at me because it's two serums that I've used in the past and would definitely recommend!
The Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum, $59(Reg. $118) is one of my favorite vitamin C serums and when I was using it I felt like my skin looked brighter and less lined. I finished out the entire bottle and would definitely repurchase! It didn't irritate my skin or cause redness like some other Vitamin C serums I've tried either because they use a derivative of C (3-O-Ethyl ascorbic acid). It's more stable and longer-lasting, so you don't have to worry that the potency will decrease halfway through the bottle.
bareMinerals SKINLONGEVITY Vital Power Infusion, $19 (Reg. $38) claims to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and help your skin look vibrant and healthy. I'm not sure about the fine lines and wrinkles part, as I didn't see too much of a difference there (maybe I didn't use it long enough) but I loved using this serum when I wanted my skin to look healthy and glowy. It really gave me a noticeable boost, which is great in the winter when my skin looks dull.
Have you tried either one of these serums? Do you plan to buy either one today?
I've always been into skincare, but the older I get, it's taken over as the most important part of my beauty routine. Now that I'm 40, I'm noticing more fine lines, visible pores, and especially dark spots from past sun exposure coming through. Out of those three things, I think the dark spots bother me more the most because I'm having to use a lot of foundation to cover them up. At this point in my life, I'd like to be able to go without so much foundation...my skin is dry and it tends to look cakey and mask-like. So I've been searching for products that will lighten those spots and even out my skin tone and I recently came across the Sunday Riley Bright Young Things kit ($90) at Sephora.
It's a $117 Value and contains:
.5oz Good Genes Serum
.5 oz. C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum
.5 oz. Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
I've been using it for a month straight and documented the process, taking before and after photos. Check out my video below to see my results...they definitely surprised me!
Sunday Riley Bright Young Things Review | Skin Brightening Before & After! - YouTube