Best of Beauty 2017

Best of Beauty 2017

In the spirit of *~*beauty blogging*~* I’ve decided to hop on board and do a Best of Beauty for the year 2017! While 2017 was a crazy (some good, some bad) year for most other aspects of our lives, the beauty industry did not disappoint. I’ll be naming my favorites from multiple categories and I hope you find some new things you want to try! As always, these are products that worked for ME and they range from drugstore/inexpensive brands to higher end/expensive products. So without further ado, my picks for 2017!

SKIN (definitely the biggest category of the year):

Tatcha The Water Cream

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I’m obsessed with this moisturizer. Especially in the AM, it gives me a perfect amount of moisture without making me feel like my foundation is slipping off my face. I know tons of people have talked about this product, but it’s only because the hype is real. I also love that it comes with a small gold applicator, it’s so bougie but it’s cleaner not to stick your fingers in the container!

Tatcha The Essence Plumping Skin Softener

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So I originally tried this product because I was interested in the SK-II Essence. I love products that are “out of the ordinary” and not something someone would normally use. It’s not a necessary step to your routine, but I’ve seen such a difference. It makes it so I use less of my other product, because it infuses in the skin with moisture. If you’re willing to splurge on an anti-aging product, this is the one to get!

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

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I am a firm believer that everyone should have a vitamin c serum included in their regimen. Vitamin C helps fight pollution and free radicals (which age us quicker). This particular serum also has enzymes in it which act as pac men to eat away at dead skin. You only use it in the morning so you don’t go through it as quick, and I’ve seen a huge difference in the brightness in my skin!

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%

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Hyaluronic acid is ANOTHER product you need in your routine, and this serum is fantastic! I actually love to cocktail it together with the C-Firma serum in the morning. Hyaluronic acid can hold its 1000x it’s weight in water, so when I’m feeling especially dry or dehydrated this is the perfect fix!

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

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You know those tiny little texture bumps you get on the surface of your skin that are impossible to get rid of? Use this retinoid serum and they’ll vanish. I’ve seen a huge improvement in texture since using this. It can also help with wrinkles and dark spots!

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment

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Okay so if you haven’t heard of this mask, I kindly invite you to come out of the rock you’ve been living under. It’s everywhere and for good reason. Every time I’m feeling congested or having “monthly inflammation” AKA period blemishes…. I reach for this baby. Just one use a week is enough to help keep congestion at bay.

Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

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Alternatively, this is the mask I use when I am in need of a surge of moisture. It smells like a beach vacation and feels soooo good on the skin. You can also sleep in it which I love because sometimes I’m far too lazy to mask and wash it off… #thestruggle. When I wake up my skin is plump and full of hydration! Idaho weather (especially in winter) literally sucks any and all moisture out of the skin, so this mask is a necessity.

Tarte Pack Your Bags 911 Undereye Rescue Patches

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Okay so a bit off topic but I promise it pertains to this product. My boyfriend, since I’m convinced he hates me, requested that we watch that movie “A Dog’s Purpose”. Have you SEEN that movie? I’ve never cried so hard in my entire life. I’m talking heaving, sobbing, tissues surrounding me crying. Anyway, I woke up the next morning and my eyes were basically swollen shut from crying so much. These eye masks saved my life. Cooling to the undereye area and super moisturizing. These would be great after a long night out if you accidentally took thirsty Thursday a little too far, and need to look alive on Friday morning.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Gel Cleanser

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This is my ride or die facial cleanser. Gentle enough to not cause skin sensitivity (I turn tomato red if I even just touch my face) but powerful enough to wash off my makeup thoroughly. Dry, oily, combo, etc. can all use this cleanser. Get it, thank me later.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant

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What I love most (well, one of the things I love most) about the Botanical Kinetics exfoliant is ease of use. Exfoliating, I’ve noticed, is a daunting task for a lot of people. I know this because when I ask clients if they exfoliate, most either try to lie and say they do, or they flat out say “no.” All you have to do with this exfoliant is put it on a cotton pad and wipe it on your face. That’s literally it. Salicylic acid exfoliates and helps to fight against breakouts.

Volition Beauty AM/PM Eye Gel

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So I had never heard of this brand before, but I was on Sephora’s website reading reviews for eye creams. Something I do in my spare time. Anyway, this one had a lot of great reviews so I decided to take a chance on it…. and I am in LOVE. I almost debated putting it in the makeup portion of my Best of Beauty because it doubles as an under eye primer that prevents creasing, which is all something I feel we struggle with. A little goes a long way and the packaging is SO cute (if that matters to you!)

MAKEUP:

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

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Okay so Fenty Beauty seriously lived up to the hype. I am so impressed by a ton of the products she put out, specifically her foundation. The shade range is amazing, obviously, but second to that is how light this foundation feels on the skin. Literally the only con is that it feels so light that I forget I’m wearing it and I touch my face. Which is not the worst problem in the world. I’m a full coverage kind of gal (thanks, hyperpigmentation) and this foundation is lightweight but ACTUALLY covers my dark spots. It’s best for normal to oily skin tones, but if you mix it with a drop of your favorite oil it works great for dryer types too!

Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

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Again, I’m just really impressed with RiRi’s makeup line. This gloss is perfect for any occasion, even for those who hate wearing makeup in general. It’s not sticky, feels moisturizing, and it has a shimmer to it to give it an extra “oomph”. I would describe the color as “your lips but better,” if that makes sense. Obviously it’s going to vary on everyone, but literally every single person could wear this color!

L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

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I got this after I heard from literally the entire beauty community that it’s basically a dupe of the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, and they were right. I will spend thousands of dollars on makeup but for whatever reason I find it *extremely* hard to spend $23 on high end mascara. Don’t ask me why I honestly have no idea. Anyway, this mascara is amazing and costs half as much as the Too Faced. Yay for saving money!

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

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A cult classic for a reason. I love this bronzer because it’s not too warm and not too cool (all you need is a light jacket! haha… get it? Miss Congeniality? Anyone? Just me? Okay cool.) Anyway, it’s perfect for contouring or bronzing so it’s great if you’re looking for both! It’s also matte so you don’t have to worry about any shimmer, which is something I hate in my bronzer/contour color.

Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Brushes Eyeshadow Palette

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If I’m being totally honest, I have not touched another eyeshadow palette since this one came out. I’ve hit pan on multiple colors that I use every day, and you can genuinely create a billion different eye looks with this. She did an amazing job at picking out shadows and perfecting the formulas for each color. No matter your opinion on Jaclyn, you can’t deny that this palette is bomb.

Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadow

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These are another one of those products that have been just about everywhere since they came out. If you like dramatic eyes or you’re a glitter person, these should definitely be in your collection. In the past, I’ve always hated wearing glitters because of the fall out and general task of putting them on… but these make it SO easy. Some people use a different applicator but I find the wand they come with works the best. They’re so pigmented and shiny, I get compliments whenever I wear any of the colors. My favorites are probably Kitten and Smoky Storm, but ALL of the colors are worth trying!

Kylie Cosmetics Ultra Glow Loose Highlighters

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If you’re looking for a blinding highlight, please grab these. They’re EXTREMELY pigmented and you only need the tiniest bit for your entire face. They’re a bargain at $14 a pop, and I’ve barely gone through any of mine since you need so little. I attached my favorite color (Santorini) but there are other ones available on her website! You can even use it as a body highlight with a brush or mix it in with your favorite lotion for an all over glow!

HAIR:

Pravana “The Perfect Blonde” Purple Toning Masque

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So if you weren’t aware, my hair is really blonde. I hate super warm tones in my hair and I’ve always had a problem with toner falling out of my hair really quickly after hair appointments. I could never find a good purple shampoo or anything to keep it cool toned, until I came across this baby. You need the TINIEST amount (I actually mix mine with my regular conditioner so it lasts even longer) and, seriously, only leave it on for max 5 minutes. Otherwise you will have purple hair. Unless that’s what you want, then go for it! I am licensed so I buy mine at a local beauty supply store, but you can get it if a salon sells Pravana, or on Amazon. It’s my must have product! (I also featured this in another blog post, Blondes Have More Fun (Except When Buying Product), if you wanna check that out!)

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

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Everyone has their favorite dry shampoo, and this one is mine. I prefer aerosols to powders due to ease of use. I do not recommend this dry shampoo if you are a brunette or you have dark hair, because I find that it lightens even my hair… but I like that about it. Especially if I’m overdue for a highlight (aka right now). The smell doesn’t bother me or stick around which is a big problem for me with dry shampoos in the past. I can still smell my other yummy hair products after using this!

Aveda Thermal Dry Conditioner

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If you haven’t tried dry conditioner you are missing out! Before Aveda released this product every dry conditioner I had used was just “okay,” but I never found anything I was blown away by. Since my hair is blonde (aka inherently damaged/dry) I have to be careful about how much heat I use and how much I wash my hair. This helps refresh my locks and moisturize them until the next time I use a mask or condition in the shower. It also smells like Shampure, and if you don’t use Aveda you’re probably unaware of the magic that is Shampure. It’s basically Aveda’s signature aroma, and I have people creepily smelling me whenever I have this scent on me. If you want people to tell you that you smell like a spa, use this.

Aveda Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser

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I don’t know how I lived without this product before it came out. I use dry shampoo and dry conditioner on a regular basis, obviously, and it can cause build up. Like most hair products. This completely “resets” my scalp back to a healthy state. I always just used shampoo to wash my hair and scalp but since using this I could never go back. Any flakiness on the scalp, gone. Product build up, gone. It’s a miracle worker. It’s also great for those of you who struggle with hair growth, some of the problem might be excess build up!

TOOLS/MISCELLANEOUS:

Kat Von D Sinner Perfume

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You guys, I have been waiting since *2009* for this perfume to come back. Well that’s when it originally debuted anyway. It was back when I couldn’t afford to buy big bottles of perfume (I was only 16) so I got the travel rollerball. When it was discontinued, I literally hoarded the rollerball and I still have some left to this day. When Kat Von D revealed she was releasing this again I legitimately squealed with joy. For anyone who likes warm spicy scents, this one is for you. The “key notes” are patchouli, cinnamon, and wood. I actually hate patchouli by itself but they’ve done an awesome job concocting a perfect mixture with this perfume. The smell is powerful and mysterious. I get compliments all the time when I wear this! The packaging is also so beautiful and fun to display.

Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

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First of all I love that this product is called Bum Bum Cream. I think it’s so cute. I actually don’t use this *just* on my bum bum, but as an all over body lotion. I think it smells so yummy (however if you don’t like a fragrance that will stick around, this is not for you) and it leaves a beautiful shimmer on the skin. Not like, I’m wearing roll on glitter hashtag summer of 1998 status, but shimmer that gives you a glow. It has caffeine in it, to help with firmness, and cupuaçu butter and coconut oil to condition the skin. Plus, a little goes a LONG way.

Shiseido Facial Cotton

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Alright this is an especially bougie product and I realize some people will make fun of me for using fancy cotton on my face, but I don’t even care because I absolutely love these and I will never go back. I think it was Jaclyn Hill that originally recommended these, and her and I both have really sensitive skin (like I actually know her? lol). ANYWAY, I use these to apply my Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant, clean my eye makeup off, liquid lipstick, etc. The cotton is so gentle on the skin and really is worth the money. Especially around the eyes which is such a delicate area anyways. Buy these and you’ll never go back to the Walmart brand cotton ever again.

Foreo Luna 2 for Sensitive Skin

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I did an entire blog post on this comparing the specs to a Clarisonic, so if you’re interested in reading in depth about this guy then here is the link: Clarisonic Mia 2 vs. Foreo Luna 2. In that post you’ll find I prefer the Foreo over the Clarisonic (which was a tool I used for years). It’s easy to use, gentle on my sensitive skin, and really gets down and clean like it says it does. It’s a lot more economically friendly as well since you don’t have to replace brush heads, which is a win in my book! Face cleansing tools are seen as a “nice to have” instead of a “need to have” in terms of skincare, but I firmly believe in them… as should you.

Invisibobble Power Hair Rings

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I guess I could have also put this in hair but it’s more of a “tool” to me so I’m keeping it here. I was always intrigued by these “hair ties” especially because word on the street was that they didn’t kink the hair and helped with breakage (again something necessary to me). However my hair is EXTREMELY thick, so I was afraid to try them. Enter: The *Power* Invisibobbles. When I saw these online I was so excited! They’re specifically made to stay in better, which was music to my ears. Plus they come in nude so they blend in with my hair pretty well. They keep my hair wherever I put it until I take it out, and doesn’t lose it’s shape which is wild. I have gone through SO many hair ties in my lifetime, as I’m sure we all have, but I’ve had the same three invisibobbles since July. JULY PEOPLE!!!

Lilumia 2 Makeup Brush Cleaner

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This is such a cool product, I can’t believe I didn’t buy it myself. I saw ads for this long ago and looked at it before but always saw it as unnecessary because I didn’t want to spend the money. Fast forward, my boyfriend actually bought this for me for Christmas! I never uttered a word about it to him, he just thought I would like it (he’s a keeper!) Anyway, if you HATE cleaning your brushes (like I, and most of the beauty world do) consider getting this contraption. All you do is put the solution in, stick your brushes in the compartments, press a button, and sit back while the Lilumia does all the work for you. It’s insane and so so cool. I’m going to be writing a separate full-length review on it, so stay tuned for that, but this truly has changed my life in regards to cleaning my brushes. Now I don’t dread it, but look forward to it!

Welp, that’s all folks! I hope you were able to possibly find some new products to try or saw some products you already have and love! As I said before, these are what worked for me and what I enjoyed. If you find a product on here that you didn’t necessarily love, that’s okay! What’s great about the beauty world is that there is something for everyone.

Have a question about any of these products? Did I mention a product that you LOVE too? Feel free to comment down below! Or let me know what you would like to see me post next! I love hearing from you guys.

Happy 2018, I can’t wait to see what this year will bring us!

xoxo, Shelby

PS: If you’re an online shopper like me, you NEED to be using Ebates! Ebates is a website that gives you cash back for purchases you make online. Literally, that’s all you have to do. Just this year I’ve made $170 for things I’m buying anyways! If you sign up using my referral link, you’ll get $10 after your first purchase!

Start makin money, honey! —> *click here*

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Clarisonic Mia 2 vs. Foreo Luna 2

Clarisonic Mia 2 vs. Foreo Luna 2

Hey all! I’m gonna get straight to the point because I’m sure going on a long tangent about how I haven’t been on in months doesn’t interest you. Because same.

One of the most common questions I get in my inbox is “what’s the difference between a Clarisonic and a Foreo?” or just “what skincare cleansing tool should I buy?” Well, lucky for you, I am a hoarder of skincare products and I tried both so I could let you know what would work best for you, and why.

As with all of my comparisons, I’m going to rate them in different categories. They are as follows: cleansing power, aesthetic (looks in general), ease of cleaning, cost, *~*bells and whistles*~*, and (my) overall opinion.

To give you a background of my experience with these products, I have used a Clarisonic Mia 2 since 2013. I started using the Luna Foreo (for sensitive skin) earlier this year because I wanted to change it up and be able to compare the two. I never review skincare products until I’ve used them for more than 4 weeks due to the turnover rate of the skin. Okay now I’ll start.

Cleansing Power:

***Now, with each of these cleansing systems it’s imperative to know that you need to either wipe off your makeup entirely or do a pre-cleanse beforehand. So many times people have told me they hated their cleansing tool and claimed it “made things worse,” only to find out through questioning that they were just using it on a face full of makeup. No matter how well each of these systems work, if you do that you’re just smearing your makeup around and not actually cleansing. Hence why it’s not working. Anyway, moving on.

Clarisonic-

There is no doubt in the cleansing ability of the Clarisonic. There’s a reason it’s been such a popular product for such a long time. The results obviously lie in if you use it properly, i.e. if you’re washing your face beforehand/you’re using the right brush head for your face. Personally I have pretty sensitive skin, so I found myself sticking to the sensitive brush heads, which is what they come with. I would swap it out for the deep pore cleansing brush heads if I felt I had a lot of congestion or breakouts. I’m going to go into brush heads more in the bells and whistles section, but a large portion of the cleansing power of the clarisonic is due to whatever brush head you choose to use. To cleanse your skin, you wet the brush and your face, and apply cleanser directly to the brush head. 60 seconds later, you’re done!

One problem I have with clients using clarisonics is that so many of them (them as in people) are WAY too rough on their skin. The brush head is specifically designed to move on it’s own accord, yet people push it onto their face almost violently because they think it’s going to cleanse better. All you have to do is move it around your face in the sections that require cleansing. Obviously this is a user issue, but it factors into the results you get.

Clarisonic Cleansing Grade: A

Foreo-

This cleansing system is ~relatively~ new on the market, especially compared to the clarisonic, which was why I wanted to try it out. (I obsessively buy new skincare items and since it’s my job I justify it, but it doesn’t take away the fact that if my bank account could talk it would ask “what the HELL are you doing woman?! Stop for the love of god!”) Anyway, It has the same concept as the clarisonic, but it’s entirely different in it’s execution. First of all, there are no brush heads. You choose your Foreo Luna based on the type of skin you have (Dry, Oily, Normal, Sensitive, or Combo.) There’s also one for men, and I’m almost positive it’s the exact same as the oily skin version but it’s in black. Because god forbid if men had to use a blue skincare tool. But honestly whatever floats your boat. If you’re unsure of the one you should use, the foreo website has a handy “consultation” tool here. Each of them have a different pattern of silicone “touch points” that cushion the skin when you cleanse and work for each different skin type.

love the cleansing power of the Foreo. You apply your chosen cleanser to your face instead of the brush, wet the brush, and get jiggy with it. This system is also 60 seconds, so either way you can’t escape at least spending a minute on your skin morning and night. I will say I feel as if the Foreo is much more gentle on the skin when it comes to cleansing, yet it still cleanses just as well as the clarisonic. So if you’re a bit more sensitive, this might be your better option.

Foreo Cleansing Grade: A

Aesthetic:

A lot of people care a great deal about the way their products look for one reason or another. I love the option of being able to choose my color, because I feel like it adds a pop of personality to an otherwise basic tool.

Clarisonic-

The clarisonics have a million color options. Sometimes they even release special edition patterns for random reasons, so it gives users the ability to pick whatever color or pattern their heart desires. The design is simple, easy to hold, and looks like this:

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Clarisonic Mia 2 in Lavender
It fits into the contour of the hand and it’s buttons are easy to decipher and use. The only downfall is that it’s a bit large, and the carrying cases only make it larger to travel with. So if you’re someone who travels a lot or just likes things to be compact, there is a size option that works the exact same but is much smaller. Check out the Mia Fit if you’re a gal (or dude) on the go.

Clarisonic Aesthetic Grade: A

 

Foreo-

Here resides the downfall of the foreo IF you’re big on choosing the color of whatever you’re purchasing. The colors are assigned to each skin type so you don’t have the option of a different color. They are pictured here:

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From left to right: Normal, Combo, Oily, and Sensitive
As I said before I have sensitive skin so I have the lavender color, which I love so it doesn’t bother me. I do wish they would release color options just to give it that personal aspect but at the end of the day if it works it’s not a huge deal.

The foreo is also smaller than the clarisonic. It fits in the palm of the hand and it’s really easy to travel with. It comes with a luxe drawstring holder to carry it in to protect the device. I don’t find issues holding it even though it’s more of a flat design, and the buttons are easy to work. They do have smaller options as well, three to be exact. The mini, the play plus, and the luna go. The mini and play plus are only based on color, the touch points all look the same, and they also come with a smaller price tag which I’ll touch on later. Personally I like having the regular size, but you do you boo.

Foreo Aesthetic Grade: B (for lack of color options)

Ease of Cleaning:

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This, for me, is the clarisonic’s biggest downfall. I’m huge on sanitation, which is necessary in my industry, and keeping a clarisonic clean is hard even when you know what to do. First of all, you need to clean your clarisonic brush heads. Not just with soap and water, with an actual sanitizer. They do not recommend you share brush heads so you should only be using it on your own skin, but even then you run the risk of spreading bacteria especially during times where you have breakouts. Most people don’t do even this, which is the bare minimum. You also need to clean underneath the brush head. Since these tools are waterproof, people don’t worry about drying them off so water stays under the brush head. I don’t even want to imagine the amount of bacteria that starts growing there. I would venture to guess an obscene amount of people could prevent breakouts if they would just clean their tools and belongings (makeup brushes, pillow cases, phones, etc.) While I realize that this is a user issue and depends on the consumer being proactive in cleaning, I wish there was an easier way for people to keep these devices clean so they didn’t even have to think about it.

Clarisonic Ease of Cleaning Grade: C

Foreo-

On the opposite end of the spectrum, this is one of my favorite parts about the luna! Foreo uses nonporous medical grade silicone that is 35x more hygienic than nylon bristles. So you don’t have to worry about setting aside time to clean your device after you use it and the chance of it harboring bacteria is extremely low, if at all. I just rinse mine afterward (with a cleansing soap) and it stands up so any leftover water isn’t able to stay in the device to sit and grow more bacteria. So easy and user friendly!

Foreo Ease of Cleaning Grade: A+

Cost:

*Both units are the “2nd generation” and I also included their travel size companions

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Cost is $169 which includes the device, one brush head, the charger, and a sample size cleanser (1 oz.) The downfall of the cost when it comes to the clarisonic is that the cost doesn’t stop there. They recommend you replace the brush heads every 3 months, to the tune of $27. Adding up to $108 a year. They do offer a box option which allows you to get the 4th brush head for free, so it’s $81 at once. However some people can’t afford to drop the $81 at once, and you are left with spending the extra $214 in a two year span. Ouch. I don’t like the idea of constantly having to replace something, and that was another reason why I wanted to try something that didn’t have the extra cost associated with it.

In addition to that, somehow the travel size is a whopping $50 more? How is something smaller more expensive? Like I’m already shelling out what would require someone making minimum wage 24 hours of work to afford, and that’s before taxes. Not my favorite thing ever.

*Comes with a 2 year warranty

Clarisonic Cost Grade: C

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The price point is set a bit higher at $199, but the huge upside is that you don’t have to buy any brush heads! So while you’re spending $30 more up front, you save $108 a year. Yes please!

The travel size options are also at a lower price point which is how I believe it should be. The technology of the device doesn’t change, with the exception of the speeds on the two smallest models. The mini luna 2 is set at $139, the luna go at $99, and the play plus at $49. The play plus ONLY has the cleansing option, not the anti aging option, which is included in the next section.

*Comes with a 2 year warranty and a 10 year quality guarantee

Foreo Cost Grade: A

*~*Bells and Whistles*~*:

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The clarisonic (Mia 2 and FIT) has 2 speeds to switch between, referred to as “Delicate” and “Universal”. So if your skin is more on the sensitive side you’re obviously going to use the lower speed, and less sensitive skin can use the universal speed. It’s waterproof which is necessary for these types of products due to people using them in the shower, bath, and at the sink. It’s also rechargeable, and using mine the charge would last about a month at a time or less.

However I believe the biggest bells and whistles of the clarisonic are within the brush heads. Obviously you have the option of brush heads for your certain skin type, but there are now also brushes that go even beyond that. One of the brushes is a foundation head that you can use to apply your makeup. Now I haven’t used this brush head personally, but I’m old school when it comes to makeup application and I prefer a dense synthetic brush for foundation application. This brush appears a lot less dense than what I’m used to, and by reading reviews I’ve heard it also tends to shed. But again, I haven’t used this personally and it might work great for other people! It retails for $35.

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Various options for Clarisonic brush heads

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Clarisonic Sonic Foundation Brush Head
Clarisonic also sells pedi brushes as well as body brushes. The downside is that these are not compatible with the original Mia, Mia 2, or the Mia FIT. You have to purchase a separate clarisonic for these to be able to be used. Another costly addition. The last face tool is a “massage head” that is meant to be used as an anti aging device. It claims to help with signs of aging including wrinkles, firmness, and sagging. They have studies with pictures on the clarisonic website if this is something that intrigues you! You can find them here. This brush comes in at a hefty $55 and again is only compatible with the separate device (the Smart Profile) that costs a whopping $349.

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Clarisonic Pedi Brushes

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Clarisonic Firming Massage Head
Clarisonic Bells and Whistles Grade: B (lots of options, but a bit too costly)

Foreo-

The luna also has speed options, however this device has the option of 12 different speeds. I only ever use two, but I like that it gives a ton of options to really cater to your specific skin type and how you feel. Also waterproof and it has a flat bottom so it can stand freely which I love. The luna 2 also only requires one full charge EVERY. SEVEN. MONTHS. What?! That’s insane to me! If only iPhones had that capability!

Another big selling point of the Luna to me was that it already comes with an anti aging aspect. It’s on the back side of the device and looks like this:

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Foreo Luna 2 Anti Aging side
This also claims to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. It helps with the absorption of products into the skin which is a great benefit especially if you spend money on serums since this will maximize their benefits. It’s a 60 second cycle as well, uses a low frequency pulse, and the manual tells you exactly where to use it on the face. The best part is that this is included on the device already and doesn’t require you to spend more money (because let’s be real, skincare is ALREADY expensive AF.)

Foreo Bells and Whistles Grade: A

 

Overall Opinion?

Having used both devices for a substantial period of time, my preferred tool is….

The Foreo Luna 2!

I just love this device and although clarisonic was my first cleansing love, it was time to grow up, move on, and save money. The foreo works so well with my sensitive skin and I truly believe every one of my clients could benefit from using this device. The price point is worth it and saves you money in the long run, and the additional features really add to the value of this product. I can’t say enough great things about it and since using the Luna 2, my skin has never looked better!

 

I hope you found what you were looking for within this post and that I answered any lingering questions you had about these two skincare devices. I challenge you to see your skin as an investment and not as another expense you’re wasting money on! You only have one face and while you can always get the botox and laser treatments and what have you, but an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

If you have any other questions feel free to leave them below and I will do my best to help answer them! Happy cleansing my loves!

 

xoxo Shelby

 

“Why Won’t My Skin Get Better?”: Common Skincare Mistakes You Might Be Making

You buy the expensive products. You read the various articles online. You even might have seen your local esthetician for advice, and still NOTHING has helped. “WTF?!” you scream into the mirror after many days/nights of using your $200 regimen that was sold to you with the promise that your skin would look better; only to find your skin looks the same…. if not worse. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Hello there, your friendly online (and real life) esthetician here to help you with yet another skincare crisis.

If you haven’t figured it out by now (and it’s likely you haven’t, due to the fact you’re reading this), it’s HARD figuring out your perfect skincare routine. Not one person’s skin is the same, and we all have unique needs. That being said, I’ve noticed many trends among people who seem to struggle with skincare issues that can be easily changed or avoided.

It’s an unfortunate matter of either hearing the wrong information about your skin or just not knowing, and neither are your fault. That’s where I come in. Now, I’m not saying that if you change these things about your regimen your skin will magically turn around. Some (and most) skin issues are caused by internal factors (hormones, diet, water intake, stress levels, etc.) in which case you should consult a physician if you’re really unsure. However, these changes in your regimen could make all the difference!

To make this easier to navigate, I’m going to organize it into sections for specific skin types. If you want, just scroll to the section that best fits your skin description! There is also a general section at the bottom that could also apply to you.

 

OILY SKIN (acne prone, large pores, excessive oil production)

“I have oily skin so I don’t moisturize because I don’t need it.”

Um, yes. You do. Strangely enough, you will get the opposite effect if you go by this logic. If you have oily skin and you don’t moisturize, your skin will react and actually create MORE oil. Potentially creating more breakouts and more sadness. If you’re oily and for this reason you dislike moisturizers, opt for something very light and absorbent. Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion is a great lightweight option.

“I use a salicylic acid cleanser every day for my acne.”

This is *generally* a bit excessive. Using too much of an acid can be detrimental to the skin, because it strips you of the natural oils your face NEEDS to be healthy. Not all oil is bad people! Plus, if you have TRUE acne (not just breakouts on your chin when it’s your time of the month, or a breakout when you sleep in your makeup) you should be consulting a dermatologist or medical esthetician for your skin’s needs. Opt for a gentle gel or foam cleanser (my favorite is Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser) and use a spot treatment for breakouts. I like using The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid 2% Solution directly on blemishes before I go to bed!

DRY SKIN (dry, flaky, tight-feeling, and lacking oil)

Not incorporating a hydrating serum into your regimen

I swear by hyaluronic acid to combat dry skin. Moisturizers are obviously fantastic (and necessary) for dry skin, but the molecular structure of a serum (like hyaluronic) is so much smaller than a moisturizer. This allows for the product to penetrate into the skin instead of just sitting on top and just masking the dryness. The Ordinary has a great Hyaluronic Acid, especially if you’re ballin on a budget.

“I don’t exfoliate because my skin is already so dry and I don’t want it to get drier.”

Exfoliating doesn’t mean you’re drying out your skin! Using BHAs and other products that strip the skin can be drying, but those are also typically formulated for more oily skin anyways. If you don’t exfoliate and you have dry skin, your dead skin cells will just pile up on your skin and any moisturizing products you try to use won’t moisturize your skin properly. It’s like trying to put sunscreen over your clothes. If you’re dry, try using a mechanical exfoliant instead to help slough away the dead skin cells. I enjoy Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Radiant Skin Refiner or GlamGlow’s FLASHMUD Brightening Treatment to keep my skin exfoliated and luminous!

“I just use coconut oil.”

No offense- but literally, cringe. Please refer to my Coconut Oil is Ruining Your Skin blog post in regards to this.

COMBO SKIN (a combination of dry and oily qualities, primary oily t-zone and dry cheeks)

Only treating one part of your skin

Multi-masking is a blessing my friends. Instead of always using drying products that combat oil, or vice-versa, and making one condition worse, try treating both! I consider my face combination skin and I’ll make it a point to use detoxifying masks on my t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and hydrating products on my cheeks and neck. For my detoxifying masks I really love the GlamGlow SUPERMUD Clearing Treament or Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Deep Cleansing Clay Mask. For hydrating, Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Mask or GlamGlow’s THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment Mask. Are you seeing a trend here? I definitely have favorite brands. There are definitely other options but these are what I use and love the most!

NORMAL SKIN (not necessarily dry or oily, a good balance of both)

“I don’t have anything wrong with my skin so I don’t do anything to it.”

Although people with normal skin are generally very blessed (also we all hate you), you still need to take care of your skin. Cleansing, exfoliating 2-3 times a week, moisturizer, and SPF during the day are the bare minimum steps you should be doing. Just because you don’t have skin problems now doesn’t mean they can’t arise later, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. AKA take care of your skin now so you’re not a leathery mess later.

GENERAL MISTAKES IN ALL SKIN CARE

  1. Not letting your products dry before you apply the next one: You need to give your skin a chance to absorb each product you’re trying to use. Each serum and moisturizer goes in a specific order to allow for optimum absorption. Rule of thumb: thinnest to thickest. So serum to moisturizers.
  2. Not washing your face in the morning (or in general): It seems genuinely insane to me that I have to remind people to wash their face. Or wash their face with something other than bar soap. Now, if you don’t know… I won’t judge you, but now you know. You have no excuses. Washing your face at night is usually a given to most people…. but during your slumber you sweat, your hair touches your face, hands touch your face, your pillow cases can be dirty, etc. So in the morning it’s essential to wash your face so you’re not applying makeup over the crap you’ve slept in. And if you don’t wash your face at all, please don’t be surprised if your skin isn’t happy.
  3. Not cleaning your makeup brushes/phone: I think I say this in just about every blog post I write but you haaaaave to clean the things that touch your face the most. Phones and makeup brushes are the highest up there besides your hands, which should also be cleaned too, please. You wouldn’t believe how many people I ask if they clean their makeup brushes regularly and they’ve almost NEVER done it. Bacteria loves to live in dense places like brushes! I make it a point to clean mine every Sunday with a gentle detoxifying shampoo. As for your phone, keep a couple of Clorox wipes handy and wipe it down every so often!
  4. Not getting a proper skincare analysis: Before I went to esthetics school, I couldn’t tell you anything about my skin. It kind of felt normal, but I still got breakouts, and my makeup would slide around, but I was still flaky… etc. So I really had no idea what products to use on it either. Just because your favorite beauty blogger uses a mask, doesn’t mean that’s right for your skin.  Get a professional to help you assess your biggest concerns and give you the true 411 about your skin type. They can also usually set you up with products that are catered towards your specific needs instead of just what’s “popular”.
  5. Sleeping with your makeup on: DON’T. EVER. STOP DOING THIS. PLEASE. I can’t even begin to describe the detrimental effects doing this has on your skin.
  6. Not cleansing properly: Cleansing is more than just slapping some soap on your face and wiping it off with a washcloth. If you wear makeup regularly, you should take the time to remove the bulk of your makeup with a makeup wipe, and then cleanse the rest of it off. If after you’ve cleansed your skin you can wipe a wet cotton pad over your face and there is still residue, you need to cleanse again. Make sure to get next to your ears, into your hair line, and your jawline as well. Also make sure if you’re using a washcloth to dry your skin off afterwards that it’s gentle enough to be used on your facial skin. I like bamboo washcloths that you can get relatively cheap off of amazon. (Please also make sure to clean these regularly too!)
  7. Washing your face in the shower: Generally speaking, shower water is too hot for your face. You can cause capillary breakage, plus you can’t see if you’re cleansing everywhere properly. You should be taking the time to wash your face with lukewarm water at your sink.
  8. Using random skincare products just because they’re “natural”: I love using naturally derived beauty products. I think some are really great and a lot of people are leaning towards more natural products these days because we’re a greener generation. However, just because it says “natural” and “organic” on the bottle, does NOT mean it’s natural and organic. It also doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin either. Taken from the FDA Website, “FDA has not defined the term “natural” and has not established a regulatory definition for this term in cosmetic labeling.” So basically a company can slap “natural” on just about anything, because there’s no set definition for it. Just because it’s from Whole Foods or your local Co-Op doesn’t mean it will work, and you are still responsible for the ingredients you choose to put on your skin. I thoroughly research brands before I use them on myself, as should you!

 

All of the above “mistakes” I’ve listed are just what I’ve seen and heard of the most in my time being in this industry. I use the word “mistakes” loosely because in my experience it’s just because people aren’t aware, and that’s okay! I, as well as other people who are trained in this profession, are here to help those of you who maybe aren’t as ~*~*current*~*~ with the do’s and don’ts of skincare. There are obviously other factors that go into your routine as I stated earlier, many internal, but with these changes in your routine I hope you find some of your concerns are taken care of.

Any questions? Still feel clueless? Leave them in the comments section! I love to help you guys out as well as hear feedback from my readers.

 

Peace, love, and moisturization to all

xoxo, Shelby

Facials: The Beauty Ritual You Need In Your Life

Facials: The Beauty Ritual You Need In Your Life

People always ask me what the point of a facial is. They’re a bit spendy (depending on where you go), it’s an hour (or more) of your time, and some people really don’t understand the benefits of an appointment dedicated specifically to your skin. Alas, don’t fret, I’m here to explain! 

Generally people are more focused on spending their money on hair or nails before their skin, because it’s where you see immediate results. You get a highlight and wash/dry, voila! Lighter hair. Get a pedicure, bam it’s socially acceptable to wear your sandals again. Yes, you see an immediate glow after a facial service, but it’s so much more than that! Keep reading to find out why everyone (yes men, you too) can benefit from facials.

Benefit Numero Uno*: Massage

Facial massage boosts circulation throughout the face, neck, and décolleté (aka your chest area if you’re not versed in facial lingo). If you didn’t know already, blood is what supplies nutrients to the skin. Any vitamins you take go to your bloodstream. If you don’t have proper circulation, your skin can’t receive nutrients, resulting in lackluster skin. Estheticians are trained in proper massage techniques that encourage blood flow. Plus, you have no idea how much tension we hold in our faces until someone gives you a facial massage. Trust me on this.

Benefit Numero Dos: Stress Relief

A large part of skin ailments are due to stress. Ever see a huge pimple pop up right before you have a big, important event? Ding ding ding! Stress raises hormones in the body that cause our sebaceous glands to secrete excess oil, which in turn causes breakouts. Especially if you’re not properly cleansing and exfoliating. The aromatherapy and relaxation associated with facials is proven to reduce stress. An hour under the care of an experienced professional can seriously change and improve your stress levels.

Benefit Numero Tres: Exfoliation

Such a large portion of clients that I see fail to exfoliate their skin, or over exfoliate in general. Either of which can be detrimental to your skin. In a typical facial service, your technician will determine the best route of exfoliation for your YOU, whether it be mechanical or chemical. Both of which will reveal a brighter complexion underneath. It encourages cell turnover, which is essential to the health and youthful glow of the skin. It makes fine lines appear less prominent since your products are able to soak into the skin better; and it also helps alleviate congestion, which is what causes uneven texture on the skin as well as breakouts.

Benefit Numero Cuatro: Proper Treatments 

I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when I see “beauty bloggers” using horrific DIY masks, trendy machines or tools that don’t really work (or that actually damage your skin), and just giving bad advice in general. They are not licensed professionals and you should not trust them as if they are. Not to say they’re all necessarily wrong, but people blindly follow what they do and not everything is good for you. I know we all like to save a few bucks and do things ourselves, but some things are best left to professionals who were trained to do them properly. For instance, extractions. Anyone can go to the store and buy an extractor tool and go to town on their face. However, most of you are probably damaging your skin and pores due to incorrect methods. Surprise, estheticians are trained to do this for you! Plus, we’re able to get a perspective on your skin that you just don’t have access to. Since, you know, your eyes are attached to you.

Benefit Numero Cinco: Knowledge

An Esthetician is specifically trained and licensed to analyze the skin and its current state. We spend 600 hours (or more depending on what state you live in) gaining an understanding as to why the skin does what it does, and we use that information to determine what routine is right for each and every client we see. Everyone’s facial needs are so different, it’s impossible to read an article about someone’s favorite skincare and use the same products to get the same results. I can’t give people a proper skin analysis over an Instagram message, even though I try. I have to be able to see your skin to tell you what you need, which requires a visit to yes, you guessed it, the salon! We like to see clients every 4-6 weeks because that’s when the skin has gone through a complete cell turnover cycle, and we can assess and treat the skin all over again for YOUR benefit. 

PSA: You don’t have to use the exact products I recommend, but know that you will not get the results you want with a $4 moisturizer from Walmart. These are facts. We cannot guarantee results if you fail to use proper home care. Just like if you color your hair with nice products, then you turn around and use Suave. HOME CARE IS ESSENTIAL PEOPLE!

I hope this answered any questions you may have had about why you should be receiving regular facial treatments. Spa expenses may seem like a waste of money to some people, but if you’re interested in preserving your youthful appearance for as long as possible they are essential. Even going in at the start of each season can benefit you greatly, but 4-6 weeks is that sweet spot for optimum results.

Any questions? Leave them for me below! Now call your salon and schedule a facial ASAP! You can thank me later.

xoxo Shelby

*I don’t know why I decided to number these in Spanish, because I don’t speak the language. I got a C in 7th grade Spanish. 7th grade Spanish. 

10 Healthy Skincare Habits You Can Start Today

10 Healthy Skincare Habits You Can Start Today

So I think one of the most popular and frequent questions people ask me as an esthetician is “how can I make my skin look better?” I went over the basics you should start with in my post The 7 Deadly Skincare Sins, but I want to share with you some very simple, every day things you can actively do to improve the state of your skin. Whether it be immediate or long-term, there are almost always extra things we can do to create a more healthy, youthful appearance! Interested? Keep reading…

 

FIRST AND FOREMOST:

Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way; SPF and H20. Drink your water, wear your damn sunscreen. Water is important and the sun damages your skin. Pretty easy. Let’s move on.

1.  Wash your face with lukewarm water

Washing your face in a boiling hot shower is detrimental to the health of your skin. Opt to wash your face separately with lukewarm water instead. Hot water can irritate your skin (especially those of you who are sensitive), dry out your face, and even rupture blood vessels (which will make your skin appear more red). Turn the knob to a lower temperature, or even better, wash it at your sink instead!

2. Pat dry, don’t wipe

Dragging a terry cloth towel against your face makes your skin angry. The material is too rough on your delicate facial skin! Pat dry your face instead. Even better, purchase facial towels that are separate than what you use to dry off your body. Bamboo towels are great for this purpose, and they’re inexpensive!

3. Take care of your eyes

One of the first places you see anyone age is the eye area. Someone can be relatively young, but if they don’t take care of their eyes they can appear older very easily. Most people fail to take care of their eye area properly! Rubbing the eyes excessively (and roughly) can damage the delicate skin that surrounds our eyes. Over time, it damages the elastin which keeps the skin from sagging, and you can cause blood vessels to rupture causing darkness and uneven tone. Be gentle when cleaning the skin, and wear an eye cream morning and night!

4. Exfoliate twice a week

Once if you’re more sensitive, three times (max) if you’re more oily. Exfoliating is so important to do! Your skin needs help shedding itself throughout the natural process of cell turnover. If your skin feels rough, looks dull, or you just can’t get it to stop flaking, chances are you’re probably not exfoliating enough. Be aware that over exfoliating is just as bad as not exfoliating at all, so pay attention to how often you do this.

5. Extend products to your neck and chest

Your face doesn’t end at your jawline! The chest and neck require love, care, and good products as well. You might not be able to see signs of aging on your neck and chest now, but you will in the coming years if you don’t include these in your daily skincare routine. Using products with peptides are great to stimulate collagen to keep these areas youthful.

6. Remove your makeup prior to cleansing

Not only will this decrease the time you spend trying to wash your face, this will help clean your face thoroughly. What happens often is people go to wash their face, and it will look clean, but there is a lot of leftover residue from makeup. You then proceed to put product over top of the leftover makeup, causing breakouts to form due to bacteria. Taking the time to use a (gentle) makeup wipe to remove the bulk of your makeup could save you from this mistake!

7. Wear sunglasses

Ever notice how much you’re squinting when you’re not wearing sunglasses? Over time, that squinting causes… yep, you guessed it, wrinkles! Keep your sunnies on (yes, even in overcast) to protect your peepers from premature crows feet and the 11’s you get between the eyes.

8. Stop touching your face

Seriously. Stop. You have no idea how many germs, oils, and debris you have on your hands at any given moment. Make a conscious effort to keep your hands away from your face unless you KNOW they are clean.

9. Wash your pillows

Sweating, drooling, oily hair, etc. All things that pollute our pillows when we sleep! When you press your (hopefully clean) face against your pillow at night, you’re smearing all of those things onto your skin without even realizing it. I suggest washing your pillow cases AT LEAST once or twice a week to keep them free and clean of unwanted debris!

10. Massage your face

Yes you can get regular facials, but massaging your own face is a great way to improve the look of your skin when you can’t get to the spa. When we massage the face, it increases circulation, aka blood flow. Our blood is what supplies nutrients to the skin, so it helps keep us looking young (what up collagen production). It’s also incredibly relaxing (yes, even if you do it yourself) and can help with stress relief, which is also essential to a good complexion! Also always make sure to massage upwards (against gravity, not with!)

 

Of course there are so many other things that you can do that will help your skin; from expensive serums to pricey spa visits. However, I think the simple every day things we do can make the biggest difference! I hope you guys can take these few little bits of advice and use them to keep your skin radiant and glowing for years to come 🙂

 

What are your favorite every day skincare regimen steps? Let me know in the comments below!

 

xoxo Shelby