Konjac Sponge – French Green Clay

The lovely team over at The Konjac Sponge Company sent me a sponge to review! I am was so excited to try it because I have such problematic skin. The sponge they sent me was the French green clay, which is perfect for my sensitive, rosacea, oily, and acne-prone skin.

If you aren’t exactly sure what this sponge promises, this is the description from the company’s website: “The perfect facial sponge for combination and oily t-zone skin, our Konjac Sponge with French Green Clay tightens pores, tones the complexion and revitalizes damaged skin cells. Blended with the finest French Clay this naturally draws out impurities and toxins, to reveal a smoother, fresher complexion. Approximately 8cm wide, it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand for easy cleansing. Just add water for the ultimate in natural skin care.”

image

After trying out the sponge for a little bit, I haven’t seen much visible change to my skin. However, when I use the sponge to wash my face it feels less irritated than if I was using a clarisonic. It gently, yet deeply cleans your face. Although it starts off as a hard rock, with the addition of water it becomes fluffy and soft! I definitely didn’t notice any difference in my pores. I don’t think any product can truly shrink your pores, though. The only thing that I have noticed is an extremely small(yet noticeable) decrease in blackheads. I believe this is due to the deep cleansing properties of the sponge. I think if you have more sensitive skin a sponge similar to this one will suit you better than a clarisonic. Overall I’m not totally sold on this product, but I’m willing to keep giving it a try.

Let me know if any of you have tried it!

PocketDerm – First Month

I mentioned in my GinZing moisturizer review that I’ve been struggling with my special skin. Rosacea, oil, dehydration, annnnddd acne! I first got some very moderate acne when I was about 14. I was prescribed 2 topical treatments that gave me great results. My skin was clear until this year. Now my acne is much worse and has yet to respond to any treatment. I’ve tried topical and oral treatments. Dermatologists were saying my next step was Accutane, which I really didn’t want to take. I saw a YouTuber talking about PocketDerm and decided to check them out. PocketDerm will send you a custom topical acne treatment based on the pictures you send them.

At first I followed the website’s advice to apply the medicine over my moisturizer because I have such sensitive skin – I saw no results for about 4 weeks. One night I accidentally skipped moisturizer and applied the treatment directly to my face. The next morning I saw an immediate difference. I haven’t noticed anymore drastic changes, but I think I am slowly making progress. The acne medicine can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks to fully take effect. I’m eagerly awaiting those weeks with high hopes I can have my skin back.

If you have tried everything and are losing hope I strongly encourage you to check them out. They give you a 90 – day money back guarantee. That gives you plenty of time to determine if the program actually works for you.

If you sign up here you get your first month free!

Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + Foundation and Super Matte Loose Powder Review

IMG_8962

I was originally drawn to this foundation because of its matte, velvety finish. I was surprised that a foundation actually lived up to its name! When I bought this foundation, I was on the hunt for a very matte finish because of my oily skin. Flash forward 2 years and I no longer solely search for a matte finish. I learned a lot about my skin and also realized that the finish of my foundation didn’t necessarily contribute to longevity. Now I focus on how a foundation wears rather than how fast it sets.

I also tried out MUFE’s Super Matte Loose powder. It costs $29.00 and comes in 3 shades. I picked the shade Translucent Natural # 12. This powder wasn’t anything special, it did instantly mattify but it didn’t help me stay matte. It didn’t help with any staying power or longevity of my foundation. The powder also isn’t very finely milled, which can make you look cakey. There are many better powders on the market than this one.

IMG_8963IMG_89644 hours is usually how long I can keep a matte face, after that I need to blot and powder. For those 4 hours my face was completely matte with MUFE Mat Velvet +. After 4 hours I needed to blot. I continued on for another few hours(usually I don’t wear foundation too long). I never experienced any fading or patchy foundation with this, which is something else I have to look for in a foundation.IMG_8958
IMG_8959

The packaging is nice and because the foundation is thicker it comes in a squeeze bottle. I prefer a pump (although who doesn’t?) because I can measure how much I need to use. I usually apply it with my beauty blender to get a flawless finish. If you do have dry patches it will definitely cling to them! I will have dry patches on some acne spots and they will stick out. The foundation actually doesn’t dry too fast and is easy to work with. There are 21 shades listed on Sephora and there seems to be good options for both light and dark shades. My shade is # 30 (Porcelain) which is described for “medium skin with beige undertones.” I’m as white as paper and am surprised I’m not in the lightest shade available. The coverage is medium-full and it is build-able. I usually wouldn’t need concealer and if something needed concealing I would go back in with more foundation.

Overall, if you’re oily skinned I think you would really enjoy this foundation. If you lean towards more combo dry/oily I think that there are better options out there for you. It retails for $38.00 and will last you a long time. I would recommend getting color matched before buying though because the shade descriptions are a little misleading.

Let me know if any of you have tried it!

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer Review (Oily Skin)

Recently I tried out the Origins GinZing moisturizer. It is a light weight consistency and leans more towards a gel. A little background on my skin: I have extremely oily skin – oils upon oils. I also have dehydrated skin, which is a skin condition not a skin type. This means I need something incredibly moisturizing, but incredibly lightweight. I also have very sensitive skin and rosacea. And the cherry on top is that I’m struggling with moderate, treatment resistant acne. *I have recently made some improvements in the acne department and will post about that soon.* So, now that that’s out-of-the-way, on to the moisturizer…

GinZing-Energy-boosting-moisturizer醒

Here is the description from Origin’s website: “This lightweight, oil-free, energizing moisturizer instantly hydrates and revs up radiance. It’s fortified with legendary skin-boosters like Panax Ginseng and Coffee Bean. Lackluster-looking skin is rapidly refreshed and revitalized to create a healthy, vibrant glow.”

This moisturizer is relatively “average.” It really didn’t wow me, but it didn’t upset/anger my skin. I love that Origin is an all-natural brand. I love their brand and all of my skin care is their products. The smell of this one is yummy and fresh. I didn’t experience any “skin-awakening” benefits when I was using this either(besides the fresh ginger scent). If you have normal skin this would work for you, but any other skin type would need something different. This wasn’t moisutrizing enough for me, but it was very lightweight and absorbed quickly. Most of Origin’s skin care is pricey, but that is no problem to me because I will always invest in my skin. If you’re unsure you can always stop by an Origin’s store and ask for a sample.

Let me know if you’ve tried it and what you think of it!

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara Review

IMG_8732

I have tried butt-loads of mascaras ranging from mostly drugstore to high end. I picked up a trial size of Urban Decay’s Perversion Mascara during my last Sephora visit. For its price it’s nothing fantastic. I will give it major props for staying soft even after multiple coats. I never have that experience. It doesn’t totally live up to its claims. My lashes aren’t necessarily  bigger, badder, or blacker – which is my ultimate maraca goal, by the way. My lashes are straight, but long. Which means I need a curling, volumizing, and thickening mascara that will last all day. I know, it’s a lot to ask, but can’t a girl dream? I give this mascara a “B” because it wasn’t bad, in fact I generally liked it, but it’s price is too high for an averagely performing mascara.

The wand is great, it’s the type that separates and applies evenly.

IMG_8734

Brand: Urban Decay

Price: $22.00

Color: Black

Grade: B

Give it a try yourself and let me know what you think of it! I’m not sure if I’m willing to shell out 22 bucks each time I need a new mascara.

-Amanda

The Balm Cosmetics Nude ‘Tude Palette Review

My taste in eyeshadow is strictly tailored towards neutrals. So, when I see a new neutral palette that catches my eye I just have to buy it. I hadn’t heard much of the Balm cosmetics before I received a sample of their highlighting powder in my Birchbox. I was thoroughly impressed and figured the same would happen with the eyeshadow. The palette is only $36.00 and when you subscribe to their email list you’ll be sent a coupon for 10% off, making the palette only $32.00. I consider that a great deal compared to the Naked palettes that ring in at a whopping $54.00. You can buy the palette here. It comes in two versions, Naughty and Nice, and they are identical except for the inside packaging.

IMG_8728

Here it is in comparison to the Naked 2 palette.

IMG_8736

And some swatches…

IMG_8730

The color payoff is excellent and there is minimal to no fall out. I love each of the shades, but my favorite is selfish. I can get many versatile looks out of this palette. Dare I say I use it even more than my Naked 2 palette? There are many options for day time and night time looks. There is also a great mixture of mattes and shimmers.

IMG_8729

Price: $36.00 ($32.00 with coupon)

Brand: the Balm cosmetics

Colors: Neutrals/Nudes

Grade: A

Let me know what you think of it and if you have any great looks to share!

-Amanda

DIY Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner

IMG_2546.JPG

This is the recipe that I use to quickly clean my brushes. It is important to take proper care of your brushes, especially because of the bacteria that will grow. I know I want my brushes to last me a long time! All I do is pour a small amount onto some paper towel and wipe off my brush heads each day. That way you start over with clean brushes!

Supplies:

70% Isopropyl alcohol – 2 Tbsp.
Water – 1 Tbsp.

It’s that simple! If you want, you can add scented oils so you eliminate the alcohol smell.

Enjoy!

Halloween Wreath

In honor of the start of October and fall, here is a Halloween craft! This super easy to make Halloween wreath is perfect on a budget.  I got everything for the wreath from the dollar store, except the wreath(Michael’s) and the spiders(Walmart).

IMG_8396 copy

You will need:

  • Spiders
  • Gauze (3 rolls from the dollar store)
  • Ribbon
  • Skeletons
  • Crow/Raven (I got 2 but decided to use one)
  • Foam Wreath
  • Hot Glue
  • Scissors

IMG_8380

Start by wrapping the gauze tightly around the wreath.  Use your fingers to pull and fray the gauze to give it a more spooky effect.  Use a dab of hot glue to fasten the ends of the gauze.

IMG_8383

I hot glued the spiders and raven.

IMG_8392

I also hot glued the skeletons.

IMG_8394

And as easy as pie, you have a fun Halloween wreath! Enjoy

Senior Pictures

Who thinks professional photographers charge too much for senior portraits? I know I do. To save some money, I decided to take mine myself. Here are a few simple picture ideas that you can take at your local park. Grab some props you have around the house and have fun with it. I decided to incorporate my bow to represent my love for archery. Obviously I couldn’t include my camera, but there are other ways to represent your hobby. Be creative and you can be the boss of your own photo shoot! Enjoy…

image

image

image

image

image

image