Hi Beauty Bunnies – Claudia here! When the winter months hit, my face took a turn for the worse. Well, it went from combo and acne prone to dry and acne prone. I just can’t win! I’d wake up and my skin would feel tight and would be peeling around my nose. My skin was in deep need of moisture – but heavy moisturizers tend to make my skin angry while serums are more my jam. In all my years, I have discovered that my skin LOVES Hyaluronic Acid, and the 100% cruelty free and vegan Derma E Hydrating line was the answer to my winter skin issues. Hallelujah!
In case you didn’t know, hyaluronic acid is used in a lot of skincare products because it benefits all skin types and is an amazing ingredient! It can hold 1000X its weight in water, and helps plump and hydrate the skin to fend off fine lines and wrinkles. Our bodies make hyaluronic acid but as we get older, production slows down and we need a helping hand. HA’s are my skincare BFF and they should be yours too!
Each morning, I choose between using the Derma E Hydrating Cleanser and Hydrating Scrub. Both are sulfate-free, while the cleanser is more of a gel and the scrub has a creamier consistency. Both leave my skin feeling incredibly fresh and clean. I wish I could use the scrub daily, but the walnut shell powder in it does have some buffing power to it so you can’t go overboard! But my skin is SO soft after using it, I only wish it came in a bigger tube!
I work out almost every morning so I don’t put on a lot of skincare products that may irritate or sweat away during class. But I do like to use the Hydrating Mist and pat it into my skin so it has a little something to keep it hydrated before I head out. This antioxidant mist has hyaluronic acid, green tea and Vitamin C and has a great mist to it. This is perfect when you want to feel like you have nothing on your skin but it needs a little extra moisture. I can imagine this would be awesome during the hot summer months when you’re hanging at the beach!
Post-workout, I need to use wipes. I’m a work-from-home mom and my schedule can be absolutely crazy between workouts, swim classes, work and everything else. Sometimes I have to hit up the market before heading home or rush to get my daughter to swim which means I need to freshen up —QUICKLY, while on the go. The Hydrating Wipes are super soft and wipe my face, neck and chest clean of oil, sweat and dirt to help prevent break outs. And I like that my skin feels comfortable and not dry, tight or over scrubbed using these daily!
Last, but certainly not least, the Hydrating Serum is something I use 1-2 times a day. This serum is also on the creamier side instead of liquidy making it easy to control application and not over apply. It has allantoin to help soothe the skin, and Vitamin C for antioxidant power. It works great under every face tint or foundation and pairs perfectly with the rest of the hydrating line.
There are other products in the Derma E Hydrating line that can be layered for extra hydration but my skin is really happy with the products I chose. I’ll definitely purchase the cleanser and scrub when they run out! You can purchase Derma E products directly through their site, as well as Ulta, Amazon and CVS.
IGK Foamo, Car Service and Rich Kid Cruelty Free Hair Products Review
When I first saw IGK cruelty free hair products, I was immediately intrigued by their super cool packaging. They have a huge range of vegan hair styling products. Every product has its own sexy design, but do the products actually work? Do they live up to the hype?
IGK sent me several products to test out, and some were big hits and some were huge misses for me. Let’s start with the good stuff. My must-have favorites are the “NYC” product (Car Service) and the “LA” product (Rich Kid).
Car Service is a blow out balm. I wasn’t sure if this was only going to work when I blow my hair out, because to be honest with you, that doesn’t happen very often. To my pleasant surprise, it works very nicely to tame my waves, even when I don’t blow dry my hair. It doesn’t get hard or crunchy or weigh my hair down. It’s light weight and helps my fine, wavy hair stay smooth – either curly or straight. It’s a major help for avoiding frizz, especially when it’s humid out. I tried it with a blow dryer, with a diffuser and just as a leave-in cream, and it worked well for all three. I love that it’s made with Vitamin E and rice amino acids to hydrate, and it has UV protection to protect my hair and to keep my color lasting longer.
Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel is a really nice lightweight gel for the days when I want curls. I scrunch it in, and I can have non-crunchy curls or beachy waves by either letting it air dry or using a diffuser. I love that the coconut oil, rose hip fruit extract and aloe vera help to rehydrate my hair, plus it’s cruelty free AND vegan! It also has some mica to give it a little shimmer. It doesn’t look glittery or anything like that, but just gives a little extra shine to my hair. The price is a little steep for a gel ($29 for 5 oz), but it does last a long time. I find that I don’t need much – about a quarter sized amount for all of my hair.
I like using both of these products together for buttery soft waves. Both Car Service and Rich Kid are made with dimethicone, which is one of the only ingredients that keeps my hair frizz-free and happy, but I know some people avoid it, so I thought I’d point it out. You can find these products at IGKhair.com or Sephora.
So let’s talk about the product that I had high hopes for, but didn’t work for me: Foamo.
This is an embarrassing pic, but I want to be real with you guys! I tried the IGK Foamo – a holographic glitter hair foam, and if you watch my stories on Instagram and Facebook, you saw that it didn’t work out for me. I tried Moon Rock (pink and teal glitter), and you can get an idea of how it looks in the pic above – although in person it catches the light when you move, and looks a little less…well…dandruff-y.
It’s such a cool idea, but I think it works better on light colored hair (maybe blonde or pink). It was kinda cool, but mostly looked like glitter dandruff in my dark brown hair. It is pretty messy (it stains your hands and sink, and prepare for massive glitter fallout), but I think the glitter fallout on your clothes is totally acceptable for a music festival or a night out at a club, which is where I think most people would want to amp up their glitter game.
The other way it might work is if you do some cute braids, and add the glitter as a streak, or add it only to your part. That’s not really my style, so I’ll let you guys try that and let me know! Also people are saying it’s duochrome, not holographic, but I think that’s kind of irrelevant personally.
Recently I had the pleasure of trying out some cruelty free makeup from Sheree Cosmetics. The line was started by Tiffany Sheree Hudson Herrmann, a cosmetic lover since the age of 6 and a certified makeup artist. The line is an assortment of highly pigmented liquid matte lipsticks, buttery eyeshadows, gorgeous faux lashes and brushes. These are bold cosmetics for the GLAM GIRL – not for shrinking wallflowers!
I swatched fourteen Sheree Cosmetics matte liquid lipsticks for you. They are waterproof, smudge resistant, transfer resistant, cruelty free, paraben free, and majorly pigmented! The formula is very long-lasting. If you want this lipstick to come off, you’ll need to use an oil-based cleanser. The applicator makes them very easy to apply (and I’m usually not that great at applying quick drying, matte liquid lipsticks). They are super bold and perfect for date night or a night on the town.
Swatches in First Row (L-R): Chic Nude, Glamour Pink, Brynlee, Laikyn Rose, Berry Sweet, Sophisticated, Lacy Mauve
Swatches in Second Row (L-R): Imperial, Addalyn, Shannon’s Secret, Fetish Fuchsia, Sunset Kiss, Scarlet Rouge, Lady in Red
The Sheree Cosmetics eyeshadows come in a range of mineral-based earth tones – mattes and shimmers. They are finely milled, super buttery and very easy to blend out.
Shown above (L-R): Goddess (reddish bronze shimmer), Drama (antique gold shimmer), Encourage (medium brown matte), Fierce (dark brown matte)
Pro advice from Sheree Cosmetics: Apply shimmers with a fluffy brush for a small sweep of shimmer, apply with finger with intense shimmer, or wet your brush for an intense foil of color.
Now finally, let’s talk faux lashes. OMG these lashes are AMAZING! If you want major drama, all you need is a red lip and a pair of these bad boys. Instant sexy glam! I did half of my face glam so you can see the difference.Who is that femme fatale on the left? Nope I didn’t have a stroke – the eye with the lashes just looks much bigger! I get lash extensions and it’s time for a refill, but wow the faux lashes make my extensions look wimpy! I’m loving these and plan on wearing them to an event tonight. Instant drama!
So Beauty Bunnies – you are in luck today, because Sheree Cosmetics has agreed to give away FIVE liquid lipsticks, one set of lashes and THREE eyeshadows!
Don’t want to wait? I don’t blame you. You can also use BEAUTYBUNNY to get 15% off your order!
To enter the giveaway, wait for the Rafflecopter widget to load below. You must be 18 or older (or have a parent or guardian enter for you) and a US resident to enter. Please see official rules. Giveaway ends 3/20/18 at 12 am PST. Good luck!
Question of the Week: What three products did you reach for most often this past week?
The three cruelty free beauty products I’ve been reaching for the most this month are all new! And I can’t get enough.
I’ve been loving the Too Faced White Peach Palette. I wasn’t sure about it at first, because these are cool-toned peaches, and I have warm undertones. I was pleasantly surprised by the shades, and I’m definitely a fan, although the original will always be holy grail status for me! It’s great for an everyday, more subdued look. Or you could go nuts with the darker shades to create a smokey eye. Have you guys tried it yet? What do you think?
I’m obsessed with the Doll 10 Lip Velvet lipsticks. Any time I hear the word “velvet” with a lipstick, I’m intrigued. I can’t wear drying, matte liquid lipsticks for very long because they dry out my lips like crazy. The Doll 10 Lip Velvet lippies are like a breath of fresh air! They are SUPER creamy (mousse-like), and very pigmented. They are a good dupe for the (no longer cruelty free) NARS Velvet Lip Glide that I used to love so much. The colors are beautiful and very wearable. So Shy is the perfect mauve-y nude for me. Definitely check this brand out!
And last, but certainly not least, is the (vegan) Madame Lemy All Natural Powder Deodorant. I am not a natural deodorant girl , but I am SO into these powders! I use them to touch up throughout the day or right before date night with my guy. The packaging is gorgeous (love that vintage vibe!) and they smell amazing. The non-talc powder absorbs wetness while making you smell like a queen. They come in rose (my favorite), lemon, lime and lavender. They also look beautiful on your night stand. I’m a HUGE fan of these!
The Lipstick League – week of 3.5.18
Please note that not all Lipstick League posts are cruelty free.
My Beauty Bunny – has a new obsession. If you’re into dark, apothecary style bath and body products, you will LOVE this brand called Klarif!
Blushing Noir – If you thought NARS couldn’t make their highlighting products even better you thought wrong! Launching in mid-March the NARS Change of Sheen Highlighting Powder collection features a new innovative formula that will give life to old faves (some of which were Multiples in the past!) and feature brand new ones.
EauMG – Have you ever wanted to smell like you’ve awaken from your slumber in the mausoleum and need to go feed on the living? Or ever wanted to smell like a bat cave? If you answered “yes”, let me suggest you try this perfume.
My Beauty Bunny is Currently Craving: the new Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder. It’s made with 50% water and glycerin for a “mist like effect on skin.” All marketing hype? Maybe or maybe not, but I want to try it!
I was recently introduced to this GORGEOUS apothecary style skincare, body and perfume brand called Klarif. If you take a second to check out their website, I think you can immediately get a sense of their vibe. It’s sexy, dark, and has a vintage feel. It reminds me of Australian brand, Aesop (who hasn’t replied to the cruelty free community, so we still don’t know if they are cruelty free) and a little like Kiehls (which is sold in China and not cruelty free). Luckily, Klarif, is an American brand that is 100% cruelty free, vegan and Leaping Bunny certified! Yay!
Klarif is called “Original Father’s Recipe Cosmetics” which at first led me to believe the line is intended for men. I wanted to try them anyway because I tend to like earthier scents, but it turns out to NOT be the case. The brand was created in 2002 by Mr. Klarif for his son. When his son was a baby, he had terribly itchy, inflamed skin from a condition called atopic dermatitis. Mr. Klarif used his molecular biology background to create healing remedies to soothe his baby’s skin. Since then, Klarif has grown rapidly, received a lot of love from makeup artists and celebrities, and is now in many countries, with stand-alone brick and mortar stores as well as their online shop!
Mr. Klarif used sea kelp, fermented herbs and his proprietary formulation, Maat: Mitochondrial Activator Adenosine Triphosphate, to create lotions and potions that would quickly heal and promote collagen and elastin in the skin. Klarif’s “miracle elixir” is at the heart of all the products. It’s made in small batches – black cumin seed oil infused with organic herbs and spices that has been fermented for months.
When I first saw the Klarif website, I showed my fiancé, Gregg, and he just said, “Oh yeah, that looks like your kind of products!” I was lucky enough to test out several Klarif products, and I want to share my favorites with you today.
First we need to talk about the cruelty free and vegan body cleansers. When I saw that they had blends with my favorite scent, bergamot, I may or may not have squealed out loud. Luckily I work from home, so I only scared my dog for a second! I tried a few of the body washes, but the Bergamot Parsley Body Cleanser was by far my favorite. Scents are so personal and mostly based on past experiences, but this scent smells like a super clean, hipster hotel (think the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, which is one of my favorite places in LA). When I smell it, I instantly think of a sexy spa or indoor pool at a fancy, hip hotel. And no it doesn’t smell like chlorine or anything weird or pool-related. That’s just my association. I don’t even know why because the Ace doesn’t have a spa like the one I’m picturing! Anyway – the Klarif body cleansers are made with the fermented enzymes from the black cumin seed concoction that I mentioned above. They are infused with organic herbs – this one has bergamot, parsley and anise. I also tried Black Magic (activated charcoal, rosemary, cedwarwood and mint – great for acne prone skin) and Cendar Mentha (cedarwood, spearmint and rose). They are all really nice, and I can say that I’m a huge fan. They are a little bit pricey at $19 for 8 oz, but the amazing scent and natural ingredients are worth it to me. I will be buying more of this cruelty free body wash when I run out!
Since you already know I’m obsessed with bergamot, it should come as no surprise that I’m crazy for Klarif’s vegan Purifying Hydrator Orange toner. It’s made with blood orange hydrosol, cedwarwood hydrosol and bergamot hydrosol. When I spritz it on my skin, I’m instantly in heaven. It smells SO good, and it helps to tone my skin and control oil, while restoring pH and moisture. There’s also a rose scent that I need to try next. You can spritz directly on to your face, or on to a cotton round to get a deeper clean. I personally prefer to use it spritzed directly on my face after cleansing.
Everyone is obsessed with activated charcoal these days – it’s in face masks, toothpaste, and other products. Charcoal absorbs oil, dirt and other unwanted particles and then safely escorts them off the premises (so to speak). I first tried activated charcoal as a health supplement in my 20s. If you have tummy troubles, it works like magic. But, it works SO well, that you don’t want to take it with other drugs or supplements, or it can absorb those too. So the idea of using charcoal in skincare is pretty much the same concept – mopping up all the bad stuff and rinsing it off. The Klarif White Charcoal Face Mask is made with kaolin clay, white clay, charcoal powder, zinc, magnesium, copper, black cumin, rosemary, tea tree, mint, and many other natural ingredients, which makes for a great clarifying, vegan face mask. The seaweed ferment that is in a lot of the Klarif products did make me pause, since I’ve been avoiding seaweed in my skincare because it can be an acne trigger. That being said, it really depends on the TYPE of seaweed and the AMOUNT of seaweed. And so far my experience with the Klarif face masks, is that they leave my skin feeling super soft and clean, and I haven’t seen any new breakouts. I use it in the shower with slightly damp skin. It doesn’t get hard and crack like other clay masks do, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry. My skin feels soft and supple after I use them. Oh and contrary to what you might be thinking, the white charcoal face mask is not actually white – it’s a dark grey color.
If you’re into the charcoal craze, don’t miss the Black Magic soap. It’s a square-shaped bar soap that you can use on your face, body and hair. It’s made with white charcoal, black cumin oil, hemp seed oil and other herbs that can help with acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. It has SO many ingredients, that I can’t list them all here. Take a look at the website and you’ll see all kinds of natural extracts in this wonderful vegan soap!
Klarif has several locations that are semi-close to where I live in Los Angeles (Brea, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Mission Viejo, Santa Ana and Temecula), and they seem to be growing fast! I really want to get out to one of these locations soon so I can try more products. I especially want to sniff their perfumes – they’re made with rose and vetiver – two of my favorite scents!
Have you tried any Klarif bath and body products? If you could try one product from the line, what would be the first thing you’d try?
All Klarif products are now being formulated to be 100% vegan. I’ve been told that the old stock of hair conditioners contain silk, but are being reformulated. Everything else is already vegan!
Wanderlust Wednesday: Traveling with Extra Large Cats?
My big cat, Kenji, is not afraid to show me what he thinks of traveling! The pic above expresses it pretty well! I think most people would agree that traveling with cats is usually the worst! Some cats may not mind it, but I think most cat owners pretty much avoid it at all costs. I have two cats (one giant 20 pounder and one tiny 4 pounder) and one dog, and they ALL HATE LEAVING THE HOUSE. Imagine the times I’ve had to travel with all three of my fur kids – it’s so stressful! They are all meowing or whining, and the dog is practically hyperventilating. It’s not fun!
But sometimes you have to travel with your cats. Pretty much the only time we subject them to travel is when they have to go to the vet. Other than that it has only been when I’ve moved to a new apartment. One of those moves was across the country (about eight years ago – one way via car and the other via airplane), and they still haven’t forgiven me for it!
I recently received an extra large cat carrier from Pet Magasin. It’s an affordable ($21.97), soft-sided, TSA-approved pet carrier that works for most cats and some small dogs, that you can easily order on Amazon. I wanted to try it out because I was hoping my 20+ lb dog would fit in it. Unfortunately no – Riley is a terrier/poodle mix, and he has really long legs, so he wouldn’t fit comfortably in the carrier. Cats can curl up into smaller “cat puddles” easily, so my big 20 pound cat, Kenji, fit in the carrier without problems. Yes, it was a little tight, but not bad, and it seems that cats are usually okay with smaller spaces. For my little 4 lb cat, Miko, it’s as big as a New York apartment!
Here’s what I like about it:
It’s big! (18″x11″x10″)
It’s light weight (the website says 2.2 lbs but it feels so much lighter than that!). My big cat is heavy enough – we don’t need more bulk!
It’s easy to store. It has one big zipper that allows it to be broken down flat for storage.
It has padded sides so I know my kitties will be comfortable.
It has a padded strap so I can lug them around easily.
It’s waterproof. I can’t imagine buying a pet carrier that ISN’T waterproof!
It has a little seat belt inside. You attach it to their collar. This may be useful for my little cat so she’s not sliding around in there.
It’s TSA approved. I don’t intend to go on any cross-country trips with my cats anytime soon, but it’s nice to have that option.
It has a velcro patch to prevent sliding on airplane floors. Again – not planning any air travel with my cats, but that’s a nice little feature to have.
It has a back pocket to store treats or wipes, or whatever you need to bring with you.
So….do you need an extra large cat carrier? This is a great affordable option. You can find it at Amazon and get free one-day shipping if you have Prime! There’s also a 2 year warranty and 100% money back guarantee.
FTC Note: I was not paid for this post. I received a complimentary sample for review. I keep it real! All opinions are my own.
Question of the Week: What’s the one skincare product you use year round?
Since I’ve recently come down with a big ‘ole case of melasma (dark brown spots) on my face, I’m now a die-hard sunscreen user. Because I have acne, I had to experiment with many different sunscreens to figure out which ones won’t cause breakouts. You can read through my recent post on acne-safe sunscreens to see what I recommend. I’ll give you a spoiler though – I can’t live without my Emme Diane Tinted Mineral Sunscreen!
The Lipstick League – week of 2.26.18
Please note that not all Lipstick League posts are cruelty free.
EauMG – This “nude” perfume smells like clean skin and I’m totally down with that. Here’s my review of the newest from French perfume house Les Parfums de Rosine.
EauMG is Currently Craving: I absolutely do not need another warm, neutral eyeshadow palette in my life. I know this. But, have you seen the Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat?! It looks perfect. Maybe I could use another…
I’ve always known I was SUPPOSED to be using sunscreen to avoid skin cancer and premature aging, but for many, many years, I avoided it like the plague because I thought it made me break out. Luckily, I’m not an outdoorsy person, so I wasn’t getting a lot of sun in the first place. And yeah, I live in sunny California, and I know that seems odd, but it’s the truth! When I went to the beach or the park or something, I’d always put it on. But not every day.
UNTIL I got melasma. I got big brown splotches on my cheeks after taking a medication that increased my hormones. I wasn’t even spending much time outside, but the hormones made me ultra sensitive to the sun. I’ve had them now for over a year, and they aren’t budging. I’m looking into laser treatments, but that’s not the point of this article. The point is that now I’m a cruelty free sunscreen convert. I am still concerned with breakouts and my skin is combination/oily, so I avoid anything greasy. I wear sunscreen daily now – even when I’m just inside working (you still get UV rays from the windows)!
I thought it would be helpful to go over my favorite cruelty free sunscreen for your face. There are lots of great options for cruelty free sunblock or SPF, but let’s talk about the ones that won’t make you break out or have a shiny face full of oil. None of these are heavy or have a sunscreen smell. There’s a mix of physical and chemical sunscreens here, several application types (primers, tinted moisturizers, lotions and setting sprays), as well as options for oily, normal and dry skin types.
There is a lot of discussion over which types of sunscreens are best. Broad spectrum is important and basically means it defends against UVA and UVB rays. There is now talk of the need to block IR (infrared rays). I’m quite frankly a little confused about that, because I had always heard infrared rays were good for your skin. The jury is out on whether the products with IR protection are any different from regular sunscreens (it seems like most just have added antioxidants, which can’t hurt). I’m still learning about IR sunscreens, so I’ll post another article when I learn more. There’s always a raging debate over physical vs chemical sunscreens. I’m just learning that chemical sunscreens create heat, which can be bad for rosacea and melasma. There’s a really good article by Renee Rouleau on the pros and cons of physical vs chemical sunscreens here.
How often should you apply cruelty free sunscreen? For everyday sun protection, you should apply every two hours. Water resistant sunscreen can be helpful, but you still need to apply every 30-40 minutes if you’re in the water, sweating, or toweling off. The powdered and spray-on sunscreens make re-applying super easy – especially if you’re wearing makeup.
Emme Diane Mineral Tinted Sunscreen SPF 40 (vegan)
The Emme Diane Tinted Mineral sunscreen is my all-time favorite, ride or die, daily sunscreen. I have been using Emme’s products since November of last year, and I put the cruelty free sunscreen on as the last step in my skincare routine each morning. On most weekdays, I don’t leave the house. I work from home, so I’m just hanging out in my blogger uniform (sweats and no makeup!).
I love that the Emme Diane mineral sunscreen gives me some coverage, blurs out fine lines and acne scars, and is not greasy! But most importantly, I know that Emme uses only non-pore-clogging ingredients in her products. So I feel 100% confident wearing it daily. It’s made with zinc oxide (3.8%), titanium dioxide (8%) and dimethicones (don’t worry – the dimethicone molecules are too big to clog pores). And of course, like all products reviewed on the My Beauty Bunny blog, it’s not tested on animals!
Emme also has an Illuminating Tinted Sunscreen SPF 58 that a lot of my beauty blogger friends are obsessed with. If you prefer a glowy look, or if you have dry skin, you’ll love the Illuminating Tinted Sunscreen. I have worn makeup on top of the Emme Diane sunscreens, but I find that it’s better on its own. All Emme Diane sunscreens are made with physical (mineral) sun blockers, so they are naturally “broad spectrum”. Broad spectrum means it protects against UVA and UVB rays.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer (vegan)
If your skin is normal to dry, and you want a simple, skin-healing formula (or if you just want a dewy look), the new First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer is going to be your new best friend. It’s got SPF 30 and a medium level of coverage. It comes in five shades (fair, light, medium, tan, and rich), and I’m hoping they’ll come out with more shades (light and dark) if these do well. The fair shade is a little too peachy for me, and the light shade works, but it’s a shade too dark. I can totally make it work, but I have to be careful to not miss any spots, and to blend well into my neck (which I would be doing anyway with SPF). And remember, with these kinds of products, you don’t want to apply a sheer coat, or you won’t get the full benefit of the cruelty free sunscreen. I usually apply it and then go back over the areas that have melasma or are more prominent on my face (nose, cheeks, chin).
The ingredients are safe for dry, red or sensitive skin, and it has some of the same healing ingredients as the original Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer: colloidal oatmeal, hyaluronic acid, and Vit E. But the formula is lighter than the moisturizer, and safer for oily and acne-prone types. It has avobenzone (3%), octinoxate (7.5%), octisalate (5%), octocrylene (7.5%), licorice root, white tea, feverfew and mica for a dewy, glowy effect.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer SPF 50+
The It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer is a good one for normal to dry skin. It has SPF 50+ with mineral/physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide 9.0% and zinc oxide 6.3%). It’s being sold as a moisturizer (not a foundation), but I think it’s pretty similar to their CC Cream – only more hydrating. Semantics and marketing really – you can call it whatever you want! BUT, this is so much more than a foundation in the sense that it has a lot of skin-healing and anti-aging ingredients (including a lot of fermented ingredients). I tried the Fair shade (I normally wear “Light” in the CC Cream but Fair seems like a better match for me in this range) and it looked really nice and glowy while making my pores look smaller! It gave me surprisingly REALLY nice full coverage. After five hours, I really didn’t have much oil breaking through, which surprised me since I thought this would be a product specifically for those with dry skin!
Since this is a brand new product, I’m not sure if it will cause breakouts. I haven’t tested it long enough to know, but what troubles me is the SUPER LONG list of ingredients. They may all be fine for acne-prone skin, but there are just too many ingredients and it’s a little past my pay grade if you get my drift. I do know kelp is supposed to be a trigger for acne, but is the fermented kelp in this formula in the right amount to cause trouble? I don’t know. I do know that there are a ton of GOOD ingredients – especially for hydration and anti-aging. I think I’d need a dermatology degree to really pick it apart, so all I can say is – try it – and if you see your skin improve, keep using it! IF you break out, move on. Acne is temporary after all! If you’re dealing with normal, dry or mature skin, I think you’ll be very pleased with the results – not just while wearing it, but over time as your skin health improves.
My goal for this year is to travel more. I need to get out from behind the computer, and go out there and experience the world. I’m sure you guys can relate! I’ve got my wedding in Scotland planned for October (with a honeymoon in London), and I may have one more overseas trip this year, but I also love exploring travel destinations that are local to Los Angeles. Last month, Gregg and I went to the beautiful Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes to celebrate his birthday.
We wanted to get away for the weekend, and we decided to check out Terranea Resort. I had been there once years ago for an event, but never stayed there. Rancho Palos Verdes is a little further south than Redondo Beach (which is another area we love to stay for weekend trips). It takes about an hour and a half to get there from where we live in mid city Los Angeles. It’s just far enough away to feel like another world, but without the stress of air travel or super long car rides.
I’m SUPER picky about hotels – maybe I’m a spoiled brat, but if I’m going to pay hard-earned money for a hotel, I want to stay in a nice one. I need a king sized bed, and preferably a tub to soak in (check and check). If I’m staying near the ocean, a balcony with a view is a must. We booked an ocean view room at Terranea. Normally I would insist on an ocean FRONT room, but the ocean view room was in the neighborhood of $450 a night (off season), and the ocean front room was almost twice as much. Hot property! Terranea is a luxury resort so the prices aren’t out of the ordinary, but we’re saving up for our wedding this year, so we didn’t want to spend too much. Some hotels will call a room “ocean view” if you step all the way to the edge of your balcony, lean over and KINDA see some blue water in the distance. Terranea doesn’t play that game, so as you can see (above), our ocean view was LOVELY!
And the sunset was almost Hawaii-level beautiful! I say almost because I mean…Hawaii can’t really be topped when it comes to sunsets. But this was pretty darn close.
Above is our view to the left – and then to the right from the balcony.
The room itself was large and comfortable, with a huge bathroom that included a shower and soaking tub (hopefully some of you saw my videos in my Instagram Story!). We were welcomed by a lovely (and unexpected) note wishing Gregg a happy birthday and some free snacks. It’s the little things that can make or break your stay.
Terranea is huge and there’s plenty to do on-site. We walked around for a bit and then went to Nelson’s restaurant for dinner our first night. We enjoyed some great seafood and a cocktail for the birthday boy. There’s an outdoor area, but it was January (and quite cold), so we sat inside. The next day we went to Catalina Kitchen for their brunch buffet. The offerings were impressive – sort of Vegas buffet style. I was super impressed to learn that they grow a lot of their own vegetables on site! We’re on a restrictive gut-health AIP diet at the moment, so we didn’t get to partake in all of the goodies, but we managed to get some good stuff! We sat outside in the sun by the pool with our iced teas after that and relaxed to some great music. I loved watching the kids go down the water slide! We also went to Sea Beans for some coffee and tea, and I picked up some house-made sea salt with lemon to bring home as a souvenir.
Cheers to a relaxing weekend! I have to say the best thing about Terranea Resort is the gorgeous ocean view and landscaping. That view is just gorgeous. It’s very peaceful and I’ll definitely be back!
File this under “things you didn’t know you needed but you do!” I CANNOT sleep without white noise. Who can relate? In the summer, I keep our window unit fan going on full blast and I can sleep like a baby. We also have an Air Washer and an air purifier (I know – a lot going on in our bedroom!), but the Air Washer is not loud enough and the air purifier is too loud. If I go camping or stay in a hotel, I need a white noise app or a fan, and usually those don’t work very well or they’re too hard to lug around.
And to top it off, the building directly next door (like 10 feet away from our window) is being TORN DOWN and a new apartment building is being built. To say it’s annoying is the understatement of the year. Gregg and I are being woken up at 8 am with heavy machinery and jack hammers. When they were tearing down the building, they were literally using a wrecking ball and huge machines that were sending shockwaves through our apartment. It felt like an earthquake and car alarms were going off down the street. I don’t know how long this will be going on, but I’m guessing at least 6 months – maybe a year. It’s AWFUL.
So I went to Amazon and looked up white noise machines. I’m really not a fan of those alarm clocks that have bird noises, rainforest sounds and white noise, because they are recordings set on loops, and my brain knows they aren’t real. I randomly came across the Snooz white noise machine, and when I saw that it has a REAL FAN INSIDE, I decided to take a chance.
Boy am I glad I bought this little baby! It wasn’t the cheapest option ($79.99 on Amazon), but it’s incredible. You can turn the volume up as loud as you want, and you can even twist the unit to change the tone (everything from the sound of a table fan to an airplane cabin – my fave!). It’s small and super portable. I recently brought it with me on my trip to Terranea Resort for the weekend and it was super easy to stash in my luggage and plug in on the bedside table. Plus, it even looks cool!
If you can’t sleep without white noise, or you have tinnitus, or loud neighbors, definitely check this out. I’m not saying the construction noise isn’t still waking me up (grrrrrr!), but it’s much easier to tolerate, and I can go back to sleep more easily. And it’s SO great when it’s cold out and a fan isn’t an option. I’ve heard some people turn box fans to the wall and sleep with them on. This is a much better solution! If you try the Snooz white noise machine, let me know what you think. I’m seriously a convert and I don’t think I can live without it now.