Monday, September 15, 2014

Product Review: SOBO Ultra Age Repairing Cream with Resveratrol

I love any and all skin care products, so I was thrilled when SOBO invited me to test out their Ultra Age Repairing Cream with Resveratrol!

In this campaign, you could have received one of four SOBO products: the Ultra HGF Youth Serum, Age Smoothing Eye Serum, Essential Moisturizing Cream, or the Ultra Age Repairing Cream that I got. I'm so happy with the product they sent me, as I've been searching for a great moisturizer with anti-aging benefits.

The moisturizer goes on smoothly and is unscented, which is a plus for me. As much as I love fragrant lotions and oils, I like to save those products for the rest of my body because my face is so sensitive. It has also passed the test of keeping my skin moisturized despite the recent temperature drop!

You can use this moisturizer both morning and night, but I prefer to just use it in the morning. (I have a different product that I like to use in the evening.) I'm going to be so sad once I use up the sample, as I won't be able to order it in France!

That doesn't mean that you lovely readers can't reap its benefits, though! I know that it's a bit pricey at $64 for 1 oz., but SOBO has been so kind to give you all a 25%-off coupon code! Just enter TRYSOBO at checkout and the price will drop to $48.

Interested in this amazing moisturizer? Use code TRYSOBO for a 25% discount off of your entire SOBO purchase!

Full disclosure: I received this product courtesy of BrandBacker, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

France Mood Board

With a mere eight days until my departure to France, I've been wasting away in Michigan, itching to say à bientôt to the United States. But with all of this excitement comes a bit lot of anxiety. Yes, I've spent months at a time without seeing my parents, but the next visit home was always certain. I no longer have this luxury of certainty. I may come home in as little as eight months or in as long as three years, and my family doesn't envision a trip to France in the foreseeable future. Not knowing when I'll see everyone makes me way more anxious than leaving them for a long time. 

However, the exciting things in store for me are just as (if not more) certain as the random bouts of tears that will definitely take place at the airport. Mood boards have been really inspiring me lately, so I thought I'd make one of--you guessed it--France.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Dead Sea

I just had a luxurious mud bath.

Yes, you read that correctly. I caked my body in mud and then rinsed it off with steaming-hot water, leaving my skin soft and beautiful. And it's all thanks to the Dead Sea.

My own photo, taken in Israel. Jordanian mountains in the background.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Giveaway: Beauty Stash

Packing up my things for France, I've realized that I have lots of unused deluxe beauty samples (and even some full-sized products). Rather than ditching them, I thought that maybe my readers would be interested in giving them a home!

The items range from foil packets to full-sized products, drugstore brands to designer and Birchbox brands, and skin-care products to makeup. Some of them even come from Europe (as in, I brought them home from France last summer)! While it may not look like a lot, the total value of these samples is around $100.

My lovely best friend, Lydia, is co-hosting this giveaway with me and I'm so excited about working with her! While I helped her with some of the logistics of starting a blog, she's helped me immensely with blog graphics and the like. Definitely a mutually beneficial relationship. :) She blogs at Down and Out In Sephora, so make sure to check her out!

Unfortunately, because of high shipping costs and the steep expenses associated with my move, I can only ship to the U.S. I'm sorry, my dear international readers! The giveaway will end on September 12, at which point I will announce the winner on social media as well as email the winner. The winner will have 72 hours to respond or else I will choose a new one.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Wish List

Happy September, everyone! This has always been my favorite month--it's my birthday month, the start of the new school year, and now it's the month that I move to France!

My wish list this month is focusing on Nordstrom products. As a Nordstrom Rewards member, I get points for purchases, and when I accumulate enough points I get Nordstrom gift cards (called "Nordstrom Notes")! Right now, I have $40 in Nordstrom Notes, and as they expire within the year, I'd like to use them up before I make my way across the Atlantic. It's up to you to help me decide how to use it!

I've been wanting these Kendra Scott earrings for about a year now, but they cost $52. Do I want to blow my $40, and then some, on one pair of earrings? They are pretty darn gorgeous...

Then, we have the skin-care products. Oh, how I adore my Kiehl's. This Blue Herbal Spot Treatment is, you guessed it, a spot treatment for pesky pimples. It only costs $18, and I've been on the lookout for over-the-counter acne medications as insurance no longer covers my prescriptions. Plus, I know that if it's Kiehl's, it works. Regardless, I'm happily accepting any tips for combating acne that you may have!

While I quite love my Milani Best Red lipstick, I was thinking of visiting a MAC counter and having them help me find the best shade for my skin tone. I love this Viva Glam Rihanna color, and every penny in sales goes toward helping people living with HIV/AIDS.

Finally, I need a new BB cream, and desperately. My beloved Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Beauty Balm is nearing its end, and while I 100% recommend it, I'm looking for something with an SPF of at least 30. This MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm has SPF 35 and comes in a multitude of shades, whereas the COOLA tinted mineral sunscreen is a tried and trusted favorite.

Now, it's your turn to help me. How should I spend my $40 credit (I'm willing to pay up to $15-20 out of pocket)? And if you have any favorite acne products, please share!

Shop my wish list:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Influenster VitaVoxBox

Woohoo, another Influenster VoxBox! This time, I got the Vitality VoxBox, also known as the VitaVoxBox. This box was all about promoting health and beauty during the summer months, and I loved it!

I've actually made my first ever YouTube video for this, so you can hear all of my product reviews below. Excuse the fact that I'm barely wearing makeup--I filmed this while sick. So check out everything that I have to say, and let me know if you received this box, too!

Another aspect of this box was gearing up for a #BikiniReadyLifestyle. While I'm more of a one-piece kind of gal, I think my biggest tip would be wearing LOTS and LOTS of sunscreen! I'm very partial to COOLA and Kiehl's, and always wear at least SPF 30. I'll probably move toward La Roche-Posay once I get to France, though!

So, what do you think about the video? As soon as I move to France (23 days! AH!), I'll probably start posting more! Let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see!

Products from this box:

P.S., are you interesting in joining this awesome community? Leave your email address below and I'll send you an invite!

Full disclosure: I received these products compliments of Influenster to review, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Product Review: Exuviance Illumination Duo

Oh, how lucky I am that BrandBacker send me ANOTHER anti-aging product! This time, I received samples of the Exuviance Illumination Duo and Performance Peel AP25.

Photos via NeoStrata Company.

Let's start with the Illumination Duo, which is comprised of the Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster and the Evening Restorative Complex. The Vitamin C+ Antiaging Booster is a serum, and I know I've talked about all of the benefits of using vitamin C on one's face. Brighter skin, fewer blemishes, filled-in wrinkles...the list is endless! The Evening Restorative Complex is the second step, and it's a cream that keeps skin smooth and soft. These products stay true to their word--they smoothed out some fine lines on my face and kept my skin feeling hydrated and soft!

I also really loved the Performance Peel AP25. It's a two-step peel, and I've never seen a more convenient product! Each step comes in its own individual packet and is a soaked cotton round. The first step is soaked in the peel, and the second step is soaked in the "neutralizer" (which you wipe on your face after letting the peel sit for 10 minutes). It literally just takes a few swipes to give yourself a facial peel with this product, and there's zero mess! Plus, my skin didn't burn with it, and I have very sensitive skin. I was incredibly impressed by this product, and my face felt baby soft after washing off the peel.

My own image.

While these products are somewhat pricey, with the Illumination Duo retailing at $77, the prices are competitive with other anti-aging products. And let's not forget that the $77 gets you TWO products!

Have any of you tried the Exuviance Illumination Duo (or the Performance Peel AP25)? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Full disclosure: I received this product courtesy of BrandBacker, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Product Review: Valentia Even Glow Serum

I'm a huge skin care and anti-aging buff, so I was thrilled when BrandBacker invited me to review Valentia's Even Glow Serum!

Image via Valentia

This is a vitamin C serum for face, and it contains 20% vitamin C. For those of you who don't know a lot about skin care, this is GOOD. Vitamin C does wonders in protecting your skin from harmful free radicals and in helping to reverse sun damage, and it's known to boost collagen production (which, in turn, reduces fine lines and wrinkles). Additionally, there's sea buckthorn oil, green tea, and other natural ingredients in this magical potion.

I love serums like this, because you only need one or two drops to cover your entire face. The Valentia Even Glow Serum smells like oranges, so I actually looked forward to applying it!

My own image. I love the dropper--it makes application so easy!

Unfortunately, I can't take all of my skin care products with me to Europe next month, so I plan on passing this on to my mom when I leave. For the time being, though, it makes my skin feel silky smooth and leaves my face glowing!

Right now, Even Glow Serum is retailing for $35, so grab it before the price increases! And with Valentia's 90-day money-back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose.

Full disclosure: I received this product courtesy of BrandBacker, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birchbox Unveiling (August 2014)

August 2014

August was all about lightening up one's beauty routine to accommodate for the hot, sticky weather. For the second month in a row, subscribers were allowed to choose one of five samples, which I thought was really great!

Here are the products I received.

Giveaway: Ulta Gift Card, Psych DVDs, Harry Potter Mug

My friend Emily at Designs By Emily F is turning 23, and she's celebrating with a giveaway that I'm co-sponsoring! Go enter!

Giveaway open to US Residents only, winner will be chosen 2 weeks from today.