Budget Beauty: Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser

While I was home in NJ for the holidays I snooped around my Mom’s beauty cabinets and found Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cream Cleanser.  I’d never used this before, so I figured I would use it daily for a week and a half to see if it was a good Budget Beauty buy!

First off, I’m a huge Neutrogena fan, I think they really are the best for budget friendly, high quality, products.  I’ve used a variety of Neutrogena products since middle school (!!) and I have never been disappointed. 

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Lancome Tonique Pur Focus Matifying Purifying Toner

2018 is finally here, good riddance 2017.

I’m trying to not freak out so much about it being a new year, I’m hoping that acting chill and going with the flow will produce the same results, if not more, than going crazy and ranting about doing x, y, & z in 2018.

Yes, I have some goals and bucket list items, but I’m not losing my mind over it.  My one big ticket 2018 to do item, is to stay super organized with my time, and with my life.  I wrote about this last week in 3 Ways to Keep 2018 Organized, so check it out if you haven’t already!

On a beauty note, the Lancome Tonique Pure Focus Toner is my first empty of the year!  I’d used this toner a lot in the AM during my skincare routine, but I mostly used it before doing any type of heavy/ all day or night makeup look.  The Lancome Tonique Pure Focus is a matifying toner, and since I tend to get shiny after a while I wanted to prep my skin well with this toner before doing a big makeup look.

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Thursday’s Fab Five

Happy Thursday!  I’m so happy the winter break is almost here, teaching has been exhausting this year.  I’m also super excited for this upcoming Saturday, Rob & I are hosting a holiday party, Cookies & Wine at 4089 which of course will feature tons of homemade cookies, even tons more wine, and I’m adding in a taco bar for sustenance.

Here are five things I’ve been loving the past few weeks, and all would make great presents too!

Thursday's Fab Five

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Thursday’s Fab Five

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching & I love being at home on the weeknights cooking dinner and catching up on my favorite shows.  Don’t you?!

The weather has been so weird here in D.C., first it was warm and gross, now it’s cold and clammy.  I honestly can’t keep up with it, and neither can my sinuses!!  The beginning of the week was chilly & rainy, it legit felt like January and gave me the worst sinus headache.  So annoying.

I can’t wait to have off from work tomorrow and drive up to NJ for a wedding!  My good friend Mike…we’ve been friends since pre-k 4, can you believe that…is getting married!!!  It’s going to be such an epic celebration, so make sure you’re following along on both Snapchat (@elizabethmayce) and Instagram stories, @elizabethmayce!

Here are some things I’ve been loving recently, some classic favorites and some new goodies too.  Tweet me some favorites of yours @elizabethmayce!

Thursday's Fab Five

 


Bath & Body Works Candle in Sweater Weather, $12.50
Right now all B&BW candles are $12.50, which gives you a perfect excuse to go out and buy tons of fall and winter scents.  My favorite for this time of year is def Sweater Weather- it always sells out, so make sure to buy some quickly!  Sweater Weather is the perfect fall scent with notes of woods, eucalyptus, juniper berry, and sage.  The apartment smells incredible within 5 minutes of lighting this, & as I said, it’s everyone’s favorite, so buy it now!!  PS: Ebates gives 1% cash back on Bath & Body Works purchases, if you aren’t an Ebates member, join here!

The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Skin Boost, $29
I wrote about this product back 2012…yes, 2012. Shocking.
It just recently reentered my life, and o.m.g. why did I ever stop using this?!  This skin boost is an incredible morning serum to use, it instantly brightens up my complexion, which has been much needed with this week’s weather.  You can read my original thoughts here, keep in mind, this post was from 2012- but my thoughts on how great the product is, are still the same!
Right now The Body Shop’s having a buy 3, get 3 free promotion.  & Ebates gives you 3% cash-back on your purchase!

Essie Kimono Over Polish, $9
My polish this week is this gorgeous deep purple from Essie’s fall collection last year.  It goes with everything, is the right degree of vampy, and will coordinate perfectly with my cobalt color dress for a wedding this weekend!  This was def one of my favorite colors from last year’s collection, and I’m so happy to be bringing it back into my life this season!  Shop through the link above, and save 2% cash-back through Ebates on HSN!

Gap’s High Rise Ankle Jeggings in Rich Wine, $30 
YOU. MUST. GET. THESE. Originally $60, these pants are so comfortable and the rich wine color is amazing with any boot you might have.  I love the rips, they’re subtle enough where people don’t give you a side eye, but just enough to be edgy.  Did that make sense?  I bought these about 2 weeks ago (for 40% off, not 50%!!), and I love, love, love, they way they fit and feel.  I bought the tall size, so they are full length and also look great with heels and flats.   I’m thinking about buying the black moss color as well…for this price, it’s a serious steal.  Use code CHEERS to save an additional 20% off, and use Ebates for 2% cash-back on your purchase!

Dog Mother, Wine Lover Muscle Tee, $30
I love the CoffeeInTheShower Instagram page, so when I saw they had a coupon code, I finally purchased this cute, and incredibly truthful, tee in black.  I love these graphic tees, and I’ve ordered from this company a few times.  It’s decent quality, comfortable fits, and I just love how this tee can perfectly describe me as a human being.

 
Have a fabulous weekend!! 
 

 

 

XO.
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Simplicity Skincare’s Reversal Protection Complex Review

I love working with new brands, I’ve truly never had a bad experience, get introduced to new & innovative skincare, and help small businesses spread the word about their products.  Simplicity Skincare is a bit different from any other brand I’ve recently partnered with…they have one product, that claims to cover all the skincare routine bases.  Too good to be true right?  Not so fast…


First off, I love the packaging of the Reversal Protection Complex, it’s half serum, half moisturizer…both products side by side with a dual pump for application.  The serum & moisturizer work together with great ingredients, hyaluronic acid, peptides, & retinol.  These are prime time ingredients for any anti-aging routine, and no matter what your age, it never hurts to start using anti-aging products…trust me.

I’ve been using this product nightly for 3 weeks, and it’s been working great for my skin.  An interesting fact, the moisturizer started out as simply an eye cream, so you know it must be quite gentle.  After my toner, I do one pump of each, and work the product into my skin.  Sometimes I do one pump, plus a little extra, of each product.  It truly depends on how my skin is feeling, but there is plenty of product in one pump and once I work it into my skin I feel fresh and hydrated.  No oily feeling, and I have experienced a breakout since using this either, so it’s passed all of my tests!

If you’re a minimalist with skincare then this product is def for you, and even if you’re like me, and the complete opposite of minimalist in skincare, it’s a nice change of pace to just be reaching for one product in the evening.  Also, when traveling, how easy is it to just pack one bottle to cover 2 steps of skincare?!?!

Simplicity Skincare Reversal Protection Complex | $48

[This post was sponsored by BrandBacker.  All opinions are my own.]

XO.
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VIIcodeT2 Oxygen Eye Cream Review

I’m always raving about my love for serums, I think it’s a major component to any skincare routine.  One part of my routine that I sometime slack on, and need to start focusing more on, is my eye cream game.  I’ve actually never been eye cream lazier that I was in the beginning of the summer, so when VIIcode reached out to me about their T2 Oxygen Eye Cream, I was too excited…now I’d have to stop slacking and start giving some love and care to my under eye area. 

One of the main reasons I slack is because I’m #blessed with very little under eye issues.  I don’t have circles or lines, and I’m never worried about looking dull.  I sometimes forget that this won’t last forever, and I’ll skip an AM or PM eye cream.  I was initially unfamiliar with VIIcode, but by the time my T2 Oxygen Eye Cream showed up at my door I had learned a lot.

The brand was started in Austria at the end of the 18th century, with a focus on luxurious skincare for the eyes.  VIIcode has two products, the Oxygen Eye Cream that I was able to test out, and a variety of Oxygen Eye Masks for a range of under eye concerns.  As you can see, the packaging is sleek and gives that luxury vibe.  My first thought was that it’s a small amount of product, and for a $99 price tag, it’s not the most budget friendly eye cream on the market.  But anyway…
I’ve been using the T2 Oxygen Eye Cream at night, for about a month now, and I’m almost done with the little pot.  I traveled to Europe, and it came with me, because I knew I was going to wreck havoc on my skin from long flights to late nights out.  I needed something hydrating and healing to deliver some love to my under eye area.  I was so pleased with how the T2 Oxygen Eye Cream kept my under eyes hydrated and bright.  
The thick consistency of this product is what I enjoy most, it prevents you from using too much, and is perfect for PM skincare routines.  I mentioned above how pleased I was with the hydration this eye cream delivered, jojoba oil and elderberry work together as the key antioxidant and hydration ingredients.  Aside from being intensely hydrating, this eye cream also battles under eye wrinkles with evening primrose .  Luckily, I don’t have wrinkles yet in life, but I love using products that help to combat any fine lines and wrinkles.  Prevention is key in your 20s.
Overall, the consistency and obvious hydration is what made me fall in love with the T2 Oxygen Eye Cream.  In order to extend the life of the product I only used at night, I know I would not necessarily purchase this right off the bat, the cost is just too much for an eye cream in my opinion.  However, I do think it is a great product, and if you’re going to spend this type of money on an eye cream, make it your nightly eye cream so that you can use it longer.
[Disclaimer: This product was provided to me by VIIcode for review.  All opinions are my own.]

XO.
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Face Mask Monday: The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask

If you missed out on the first Face Mask Monday, be sure to go check out my thoughts on the first two Body Shop Masks I reviewed, the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask and the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask.

Today, I’m focusing on another mask from this collection, the Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask.  This is a great exfoliating mask that doesn’t actually feel like it’s exfoliating, which is perfect for those that have more sensitive skin.  The key aspects of this mask aim to reduce pore size and smooth the skin.  I was beyond impressed with the sight of my pores after using the Charcoal Purifying Glow mask, and since the Chinese Ginseng & Rice mask is more of an exfoliant, I noticed it def did its job of smoothing my skin and minimizing larger pores around my nose.

As far as ingredients go, The Body Shop is known, and praised for, for it’s use of fair trade ingredients.  The ginseng and rice extract comes from China, and the sesame seed oil from Nicaragua.  You get a great sense of the ingredients from the texture, and I apply it to my face after makeup removal, and drying.  I once applied it when my face was a bit damp and it didn’t set as well as it had when my face was dry.

I’ve left it on for about 15 minutes each time, and right before taking it off, I massage the mask into my skin, and focus most on trouble areas where I have slight scarring.  The ingredients don’t scratch your skin, which I’ve experienced before and, obviously, is no good for sensitive skin.  It really does just feel like a deep cleanse thats getting rid of any dead skin cells or leftover makeup/ dirt.

Since the mask is a skin smoother, I think it’s a great option for lightening acne scars or dark spots one might have, a mask in addition to other skincare products can do wonders for getting rid of these annoying little things!!  I might try to use this mask once a week so I can really track how well it lightens, but since my skin looks incredible after each use, I think it does have somewhat of an immediate effect.

My next few Face Mask Monday’s will continue to feature The Body Shop face mask line, so stay tuned for the next edition!

Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask | $28

[Disclaimer: The Body Shop provided me with these products.  All opinions are my own.]

XO.
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Face Mask Monday: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask & British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask

If you’re an avid reader of Love. Life. Beauty., or, if you know me, you’ll know I’ve been obsessed with The Body Shop’s face masks for years.  I’ve owned every one they’ve ever had, and have always repurchased.  Using The Body Shop masks are what started me on my serious face mask routine, I just couldn’t, and still can’t, get enough of them.
I was beyond excited when The Body Shop launched five new face masks, each geared toward a specific skin need, and ideal for multi-masking.  If you’re unfamilar with multi-masking, it’s basically the idea of using more than one face mask at a time depending on your skin needs.  For example, given the masks I mention in this post, if your T-zone/ chin area is oily, but your cheeks are more on the dry side, you may want to use two different masks on these areas, at the same time.  I don’t always multi-mask, I more so use one, and then follow up with another, but I know the multi-mask phenomenon is real.

I was so stoked to try each of The Body Shop’s new vegetarian & cruelty-free “Expert” masks.  I’ve been using them regularly, and since there are five of them, I’ll write about them in installments, don’t want to overwhelm you with too much face mask realness! =)

The Body Shop was kind enough to send me a gorgeous box with all of the Expert Masks.  When I opened the box, I immediately got right to it using the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, which is a mud mask that exfoliates to help clear clogged pores and and remove any yucky toxins or whatever else we don’t want.  Mud masks are my absolute favorite, and this one is excellent. 

It applied perfectly, not too chunky of a texture, but also not thin which always make me think a mask isn’t good enough, or not doing its job to the full potential.  The main ingredient is bamboo charcoal, which is a powerful charcoal when removing toxins from the skin.  The sensation of the mask a perfect mix of the tree tea oil and green tea leaves ingredients.  It tingles, but is refreshing, not annoying.  
I left this mask on for about 20 minutes, when I removed it I used warm water and a towel.  It wasn’t difficult to remove, which is sometimes an issue with charcoal/ mud masks.  My skin looked incredible once I took it off, I seriously examined the pores bridge of my nose, and they looked clear as could be, I was so impressed- it lives up to the Glow in its name for sure.
Another option, for a more hydrating experience, is the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask, which I have to say, looks like you have smeared strawberry jelly all over your face when applied.  It’s a little startling, but so very worth it.  The rose and aloe vera ingredients feel so cool and relaxing while you let it sit.  A much different experience than the Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, but still great nonetheless.

I have found this mask a bit more difficult to apply due to the consistency, but given the ingredients I think that is to be expected.  Since I have rosacea, I’ve been using this mask most often when I’m experiencing a flare up, since it has such calming ingredients.  The rose hip oil and aloe vera give a refreshing light scent, I wish I could just smell the mask all day!  On my Spa Sunday’s sometimes I’ll do two masks back to back, especially if the first one is like the Charcoal Glow Mask or a deep cleansing mask.  The British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask has been the perfect follow up mask to calm and hydrate my skin.
The price point of these Body Shop masks is a bit higher than what you’d find in Target or the drugstore, but these give both luxury and results.  Also, if you want to try the mask out before making the full size purchase, The Body Shop now makes these in single use, which can be perfect for traveling too!

British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask | $28
Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask | $28
Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask Single Use | $2.50


[Disclaimer: The Body Shop provided me with these products.  All opinions are my own.]

XO.
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SkinCeuticals Skin Retexturing Activator

Yes, of course I’m going to talk about yet another serum…serums are life, and when my skin is looking incredible when I’m 60+ years old, I will owe it all to the variety of serums I’m using now.  The new one I want to tell you about today is a bit on the pricey side, but for my summer skin desires, it’s exactly what I need.
SkinCeuticals is a great brand, I discovered them at Blue Mercury a few years ago, and have mostly just used samples of a few of their products.  I was lucky enough to receive a full size Retexturing Activator in a Blue Mercury swag bag…as much as I want to buy an $80 serum, it’s not in my budget right now…unfortunately. 
I’ve been using this serum for about a month, daily, and the results have been awesome.  First, the major difference in this serum compared to your average serum, is that it is an exfoliator.  So, for me, this is ideal in my summer routine when I’m constantly worried about oily skin, or buildup from sunscreen, or even sweat.  It’s oil-free, another obvious plus, and is packed with amino acids that help to promote cell turnover.

Now, I know it’s summertime, which may mean our bodies are getting a ton of vitamin D from the sun, and this could present an issue if you don’t use this product properly.  Since the ingredients are a bit on the strong side, it may irritate sunburn and/or make your skin more sensitive to sunburn.  However, I’ve been fine using this product, I’m just sure to use the proper amount of SPF in the morning, and reapply as needed through the day if I know I’ll be at the beach or pool.
Since using this product I’ve noticed a great difference in texture, my skin feels super smooth and balanced.  I feel hydrated without feeling oily or sticky, and I think it’s helped manage my hormonal acne I sometimes have to deal with, which is huge for me because rarely do I find a product that helps manage this.  Most of the time I need to just wait it out!  I’ve also noticed that my skin looks more radiant and bright, I really noticed this change when I began using the product twice a day instead of just at night.  Using it the recommended twice daily will seriously amp up the results.
Another great aspect of the Retexturing Activator is that it works for all skin types: dry, oily, sensitive, combination, etc.  Yes, despite the ingredients, sensitive skin can still handle it!!  If you’re trying to combat dehydration, acne, aging, or discoloration I highly advise you try this out…if you don’t mind dropping a pretty penny! 
Since it is such a powerful product, the price tag does make sense.  SkinCeuticals is a high end brand that is known to have top of the line products.  The application dropper helps you manage how much you use, which means you won’t be using too much of the product and wasting it…which is super important with an expensive product like this.
Stop into Blue Mercury and test it out, it’s truly an amazing product that will get your skin in tip top shape!!


XO.
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