Ole Henriksen’s Balance Oil Control Line

It. Is. Finally. Summer. Time.

The past month has been filled with end of year testing, report cards, and moving out of our temporary school…I’ve been non-stop for quite some time, but I am so happy that I now have my summer to relax and focus on something that makes me truly happy…this blog!

With the weather heating up quickly, I need to make sure my current skincare products reflect the inevitable…oil control.  I tend to have naturally oily skin to begin with, so knowing that humid and hot days lie ahead, switching up my routine is at the forefront of my beauty to do list.

A few months ago Ole Henriksen released a new line, Counter Balance, aimed at solving all of your oil control needs.  When I opened a box from Influenster and saw the new Balance Oil Control Cleanser, Toner, and Hydrator, I just about fell over in excitement.  The hype around this line was real and I couldn’t wait to dive in and get to using these products!!

Let me start by saying I’ve been using these three products in the morning, as a way to prime my skin for the long, oil bound, day ahead.  This line features Ole Henriksen’s trademarked Green Fusion Complex, which includes antiseptic properties to keep oil at bay, as well as many botanical ingredients such as kelp, eucalyptus, green tea, and Irish moss extracts, to keep skin calm and hydrated.  

I use the Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser as soon as I wake up, and in addition to the Green Fusion Complex, the cleanser also has alpha-hydroxy acids that help to unclog pores and control oil.  Despite the AHAs, this cleanser doesn’t leave skin feeling tight or dry, which can so easily happen with a product aimed at oil control.  My skin feels refreshed, matte but not dry, and ready for product after using this cleanser.
Next, I use the Balancing Force Oil Control Toner on a cotton pad.  I try to focus most on my T-zone and chin area as I wipe the toner on my face…those can be my oiliest spots during the day, and I want to make sure I control that as much as possible.  The toner is definitely my favorite part of this line, I love the peppermint and eucalyptus scent, and it makes me feel and look super matte…again, without feeling dried out.  I also tend to use a bit more in an area where I have a breakout since this toner contains glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids.
After the toner I apply one of my many serums, it depends on the day and what I want to focus on, and after I let the serum settle in I follow up with the last product in the line, the Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator which is super lightweight.  It creates a great base for my makeup each morning,  I’ve skipped primer some mornings because I’ve been so pleased with the way this moisturizer mattes my skin.

This entire line has been great for my skin for the past month.  The heat and humidity and wreck havoc for those of us with oily skin types, but this Ole Henriksen line does a great job in setting up skin for success against the weather.  Stop by Sephora and test out the feel of the toner and moisturizer, guaranteed you’ll fall in love!  I recently discovered they have an Balance it All Essentials Kit, which has mini versions of each, perfect for traveling!

[Disclaimer: I received this products in exchange for review through Influenster.  All opinions are my own.]

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Farmacy Perennial Picks Skincare Discovery Kit

Farmacy is a “farm- grown botanical” brand that I’ve been steadily hearing about for a while now.  I knew it was sold at Sephora, and I’ve read great reviews about their masks, so it’s been on my list of brands to try.  When the chance arose to test out their Perennial Skincare Discovery Kit, featuring four of their products that cover aspects of an AM or PM routine, I was so excited to give it a go!  I used this set, only these products, for about 2 weeks & I have loved all of the products and how they’ve treated my skin while the weather has been changing and allergies have been attacking me– which always results in flare ups on my face.

One of the best aspects of this set is that it is made for all skin types.  Yes, you read that correctly, every product can be used for combination, dry, oily, and even sensitive skin.  The whole kit aims to revive dull skin, tackle wrinkles, and combat any dryness- without negatively effecting dry skin.  As I mentioned above, I’ve been battling allergies, so certain parts of my face are very dry and irritated, while the rest is the typical oily-combo. 
The first step in the process is the New Day Gentle Exfoliating Grains which is a dry grain cleanser that foams with water.  I always use a separate cleaning oil to remove makeup, but I made sure to use this as my follow up cleanser.  Since I’ve been outside and since it’s been much warmer, I’ve been sweating a bit more than normal, so it felt good to have a gentle exfoliating cleanser each night.  My skin felt so fresh and clean after using this each night, it wasn’t harsh at all and just gave an overall clean and healthy feeling to my skin. 
The next step in the routine, and my personal favorite, was the Invincible Root Cell Anti-Aging Serum.  I’m a huge serum so this may have had something to do with it, but aside from that this serum is packed with Farmacy’s patented Echinacea GreenEnvy which has a high concentration of cichoric acid which works to stop enzymes from breaking down your oh so precious collagen.  As long as a serum isn’t sticky, or do something crazy to my skin, I usually love it.  The added bonus with this one was the light & fresh scent.
The AM moisturizer was Farmacy’s Rise N’ Shine Daily Moisture Lock, which is a lightweight moisturizer which was perfect for the weather, but I wish it had SPF in it.  The Moisture Lock also has that Echinacea GreenEnvy, just like the serum, so you get a double dose of protecting collagen and normalizing skin pigmentation.  
Lastly, the PM Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm has been a great way to wrap up my routine each night.  I’ve loved the texture of the balm and the product aim is right in the title, firming your skin to fight against fine lines and wrinkles.  Again, this product has the Echinacea GreenEnvy, so you can probably guess that with consistency of using Farmacy products often, results will follow. 
I really enjoyed using the Perennial Skincare Discovery Kit and I def think I will be purchasing the cleanser, and maybe even the serum.  Using this Skincare Discovery Kit has made me want to branch out and purchase a variety products from the Farmacy line!
[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by BrandBacker.  All opinions are my own.] 

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Columbia Skincare Probiotic Concentrate & Complex

It’s always hard when to know to add new products to your beauty routine.  I’m always testing out products, and still have plenty of old favorites, but I get extra excited when I’m able to try out luxury skincare brands, especially when I’m not familiar with them.  I do want to let you all know before you keep reading, these products are pretty expensive, and I probably would not just randomly buy them if given the opportunity.
Columbia Skincare is a brand that is mostly found in high-end spas and derm offices, and the brand aims to heal the skin inflammation and promote hydration.  The brand’s Probiotic Line mixes plant stem cells and amino acids to aid skin in healing and renewing itself.  Probiotics have been popular in the last few years as a way to supplement and promote good bacteria in our bodies- it’s found in a variety of yogurts and comes in a pill form too.  So…why not use skincare products loaded up with probiotics too?!?

The probiotic line of Columbia Skincare touts itself as the first ever of its kind for topical use.  I’ve been using both of the products at night, since I believe this is when our skincare products perform best.  I start with the Probiotic Concentrate which serves as a serum that helps the skin renewal process.  I really enjoy how this serum is packaged, product is dispensed from a dropper, which is my favorite for a serum.  It has a bit of a thicker consistency than some other serums, but I use about two drops and then apply.  It’s not sticky and provides a good base for the last step…hydration. 
I follow up with the Probiotic Complex, which is the moisturizer component to the line.  I use a little bit more than a dime size amount and apply all over my face and neck.  I’ve found it to be super moisturizing and my skin has truly been looking fabulous each morning when I wake up.  I typically wake up with redness, and I must say that I have noticed a difference in the level of redness each morning- it’s gone down by quite a bit, which I’m loving!! 
If you are a lover of luxurious skincare products and need some rejuvenating products for cell renewal, these might be perfect for you! 
[Disclaimer: I was sent these products for review.  All opinions are my own.]

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HydroPeptide’s LUMAPRO-C Brightening Pigment Corrector Serum Review

If you’ve been reading Love. Life. Beauty. for more than a few weeks you would know that I’m serum obsessed.  Way too serum obsessed to be exact.  I feel that it’s the backbone to my skincare routine after I prep with a great cleanser. PS, I just did a post on my Top 5 Cleansers, you can check it out here!

I jump at the chance to try any new serum, so I was super excited when HydroPeptide’s
LUMAPRO-C Brightening Pigment Corrector Serum showed up to my door about a month ago.  I did some research on this product before testing it out and I was shocked to see that it retails for $148.  Needless to say, I had very high hopes for this product and what it would deliver.

The aim of this serum is to safely brighten your complexion- so, if you have any acne scars or hyper-pigmentation issues, this is a great product to use to help combat that.  I really worry about my skin being dull, so a radiance product is just what I feel I need in the morning to help me look bright and fresh.  This Brightening Pigment Corrector has 8 ingredients for brightening, and 3 key actives, work together to improve texture and break down hyper-pigmented cells.

I’ve been using this product since December in my morning skincare routine.  I do have a few small little acne scars from breakouts that I didn’t treat properly.  I’ve noticed that a few of them, which weren’t that bad or noticeable to begin with, are now pretty much gone- which, is, awesome!!

I’ve read quite a few reviews on this product that all say it works great in fixing heavier discoloration, and I had such a great experience with it improving my few dark spots.  Even when I’m doing a no makeup look I always put a dab of concealer on those areas, and I’ve noticed I’m barely doing that now.  Also, the brightening ingredients are incredible and each day I use this serum I notice how radiant my complexion looks.

The price point is the one thing that will hold me back from repurchasing this product.  I think if I had more of an issue with hyper-pigmentation I would highly consider repurchasing.  It’s an impressive serum for sure, and if you’re interested in trying it, use the code BBLUMA20 for 20% off your purchase!!

HydroPeptide’s LUMAPRO-C Brightening Pigment Corrector Serum | $148

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post courtesy of BrandBacker.  All opinions are my own.]

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Top 5 Cleansers for Combination / Oily Skin

A great cleanser is the foundation for #skingoals.  I’m a huge believer in toners and serums, but honestly, they can’t get the job done unless your skin is prepped by a great cleanser.  I’ve used tons of cleansers over the years ranging from drugstore to high end, all targeted toward my skin type, combination to oily. 
Today, I’m sharing my Top 5 Cleansers, in 5 sentences or less, for skin types just like mine…sometimes oily, sometimes more combination.  I take my skincare routine seriously, and as I said above, I know that both in the morning and evening my cleanser is prepping my skin for the rest of my routine.
Top 5 Face Cleansers

This is one of my all time favorite cleansers, although I haven’t purchased it in a long time, since I’m trying to use up the 500 other cleansers I have!  I’ve loved using this with my Clarisonic, although it is just as great without a device if you don’t have one.  This face wash is perfect when experiencing a breakout, the clean feeling it gives is squeaky, which can lead you to think it’s drying, but it isn’t.  I know it combats any unnecessary oiliness I’m experiencing, and therefore sets me up perfectly in the morning before applying makeup.  If you’re acne-prone this is the perfect cleanser for you!
I will always have this somewhere in my home, and always bring a mini when I travel.  This product truly is the best all in one cleanser out there, and I’ve been using it for literally 8+ years.  Aside from the fact that it removes makeup, cleanses, tones, and hydrates, it also is super gentle and deep cleans pores.  I love to travel with Purity Made Simple because it does the job of both makeup removing and cleansing where I know I don’t need to bring extra products.  Also, it’s a great brush cleanser!!
This is a smaller skincare brand, but I cannot begin to tell you how much I miss using this cleanser when I had it.  This face wash has menthol, willow bark extract, and marshmallow extract, and it is the absolutely perfect cleanser if you have oily or acne prone skin.  The menthol and willow bark create a not too intense tingly feeling, you can actually feel the ingredients go to work while you’re cleansing, which is why it is one of my favorites.  The chances of anybody being familiar with this brand is slim, but trust me when I say, this Lytic Gel Cleanser is a great product, and I noticed improved texture in my skin when I used it! 
This is a Fresh cult classic for sure because it is perfect for all, yes all, skin types- & not only is perfect for all skin types, it’s perfect for all skin ages.  I use this cleanser regularly, and so does my Mom, and we both keep repurchasing because it is really just that great.  I like to use this at night, after I remove all my makeup, the gentleness of it is great after wearing makeup all day long.  The soy proteins help with skin elasticity while rosewater and cucumber extract help promote a balanced and calm skin tone.
The ultimate budget friendly cleanser, this Neutrogena product deep cleans by removing dead skin cells and purifying pores with beta hydroxy.  This face wash is more on the moisturizing side, so I have used it mostly in the winter when I do experience the occasional dryness.  Do not use this to remove makeup because it won’t work out too well, I suggest using this after you have throughly remove makeup or in the morning to prep your skin for the day. 
I’m always looking to add new cleansers to my beauty closet, even though I have so many to go through! What are some of your go to cleansers??  Leave me a comment below, and share your favorites.

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Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum

It’s no secret I often work with Valentia, I love their all natural& organic skincare products and I’ve been using them for years now.  I was excited to try out their Night Revive Retinol Serum because the benefits of using retinol on the skin are endless.  
Retinol is a powerful anti-aging form of vitamin A that helps in cell turnover, collagen boost, unclogging pores, & reducing wrinkles and fine lines.  Even though I’m 26, creating a strong skincare routine, that includes anti-aging products, is important to me.  A lot of retinol products, the more powerful ones, are prescription only- so when I realized that Valentia had a serum with retinol, I was so ready for it!!

This particular product hones in on the power of vitamins C & E to prevent breakouts, improve skin tone, and combat wrinkles.  Another main ingredient, squalane, helps to keep skin soft- I was unfamiliar with this ingredient before I started using the product, so I did some research.  It’s an antioxidant that helps to promote cell growth and fight UV damage to skin.  I’m sure I’ve used squalane in products before, but I never realized what it was until now.
The Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum has been an excellent addition to my nighttime routine.  The serum absorbs quickly, and it is not sticky, which is something I take very seriously with my serums.  The applicator is a dropper, which really helps you monitor how much you use- which is great because I sometimes use too much of a product at one time.

This is yet another great product by Valentia, I highlight advise adding retinol to any skincare routine, and this Night Revive Serum is a perfect addition.

For more information on Valentia visit their Facebook & Instagram pages!

Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum | $35

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

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Budget Beauty: Pixi Glow Tonic

I’ve been hearing great things about the Pixi brand for a while, so I was super excited to pick up their Glow Tonic while shopping in Target one day.  I know this is a UK brand, and I think they were just introduced to the U.S. a couple of year ago, or less.  This particular product, the Glow Tonic, is a toner that aims to firm &  tighten skin with its exfoliating properties.  
I’ve recently been using the Pixi Glow Tonic in the morning to prep my skin for a long day of teaching.  It gives my skin an invigorating & super clean feeling, without adding dryness.  The main ingredients are aloe vera, which you can certainly feel when using it, ginseng, and glycolic acid which covers the exfoliating part.

One aspect of this product that I love is the scent…it’s so floral and light.  I’ve seen some reviews where people really do not care for the scent, but I really do!!  The cooling properties of the product leave skin feeling clean without feeling dry, which can be a common issue with toners.

There is no oil or alcohol in this product, the witch hazel and aloe vera do an incredible job working together as a natural astringent and calming agent.  My skin can be sensitive at times, but I’ve experienced no irritation (particularly to my rosacea) since adding the Pixi Glow Tonic to my routine.

I’m really enjoying using this product as the weather gets more cold, I want to make sure my skin is exfoliated to remove dead cells, but I don’t want to over do it.  I’m noticing this toner is prepping my skin beautifully for a strong moisturizer before my daily makeup routine.

I’m looking forward to adding some more Pixi products to my routine this upcoming year, it’s a great brand at the perfect price point!

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Budget Beauty: Simple Skincare Cleansing Micellar Water

I love trying out all the varieties of makeup removers these days from cleansers to balms, removing oils and, today’s feature, micellar water.  I don’t have a particular favorite type of remover, but I do have a favorite brand within each.  For micellar water though, is has to be Simple’s Cleansing Micellar Water, which I find to be so gentle and thorough at removing my makeup.

If you’re wondering what micellar water is let me fill ya in.  Micelles are tiny cleansing oil molecules that draw out dirt, makeup, anything yuck you don’t want at the end of the day, leaving your skin cleansed and pure.  This particular micellar water has Vitamin C and B3, which helps to hydrate and purify skin as you’re removing makeup.

Another part about Simple’s Micellar Water that I love is how fresh and pure my skin feels after using it.  There’s no residue, & you don’t need to rinse after use.  Since the solution using Triple Purified Water, it leaves you with such a clean and great feeling.

Simple’s Micellar Water is perfect for removing your more everyday makeup, versus heavier makeup and eye makeup.  I love using it nightly, and the price point is almost too good to be true.  Def pick it up next time you’re in your local drugstore, Ulta, or Target!

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water | $7.99

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Clarisonic Mia 2 Deep Pore Dextoxifying Solution Kit

I’m a huge Clarisonic fan, I’ve had a Mia for a couple of years, and I switch out the brush heads depending on what my skin needs at the particular time.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Clarisonic brand, it’s a facial sonic cleansing system that cleans skin incredibly well.  Clarisonic says they get 6x more dirt out of pores than just regular face washing by loosening and removing that dirt, makeup, etc.  I must say, the results I get from using it on a consistent basis are incredible.  Sometimes I go for a while without using my Clarisonic, and I can see the difference in my skin.

Unfortunately, my first Mia isn’t working as well as it used to, it’s probably about 3-4 years old now, so it has run its course.  I was so excited to try the new Clarisonic Mia 2 Deep Pore Detoxifying Solution Kit because I has seen it on some websites, and the idea of a deep pore detoxifying solution sounded magnificent to this beauty blogger!

Not only does Clarisonic put out a great facial cleansing system, they also have done a great job with their skincare products, such as cleansers and masks, as well.  You don’t “need” to use a Clarisonic cleanser with your Clarisonic, I didn’t use their brand cleanser until recently, but they actually make a really great product!

The Deep Pore Dextoxifying Solution Kit comes with a bunch of great goodies.  First, you get the Mia 2 device, which now functions with 2 speeds of cleansing, along with the 60 second timer, to help customize what your skin truly needs.  You should not use the device for more than 60 seconds, one minute truly is all you need.  One added bonus in this kit, that I didn’t have with my first Mia, is a case for it, which is really helpful in keeping it clean and in its own “spot”.

The kit also comes with the Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, in a great size too, no tiny sample bottle in this kit, and a Deep Pore Detoxifying Clay Mask.  I’ve been using the Clay Mask twice a week, it’s your average clay mask, I enjoyed using it.  I remove the mask with the Clarisonic when I’m done for a little added clean, it feels great.

If you’re looking for an every day facial type of feel, I highly suggest you invest in a Clarisonic, it is life changing!  & here’s a bonus, score 15% off your Clarisonic order with the code HERCAMPUS until November 20!  Yes, November 20!!  Clarisonic also makes a great gift idea.  If someone you know already owns one, think about getting them a few brush heads for the holidays, using the 15% off code makes it so worth it!

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Clarisonic and Her Campus Media.  All opinions are my own.]

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Budget Beauty: Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer

As many of you know I’ve partnered quite a few times with all natural & organic skincare brand Valentia.  I’ve been able to test out a wide range of their products, you can find all of my reviews below, but this was the first AM moisturizer of theirs I’ve used, and to no surprise, I love it!

I’m including this Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer in Budget Beauty because as I was browsing the aisles of Target & I noticed that the price of a good AM moisturizer isn’t what it used to be!  To be honest I’ve been trying to use up so many samples & products that I haven’t actually purchased a morning moisturizer in quite some time.  So, seeing the $25 price tag for this product is a bargain given the high quality, organic, ingredients.

Since this is a brightening product it will help to correct any dark spots thanks to kojic acid, it also evens skin tone as the antioxidants and vitamins penetrate and treat your skin.  The hyaluronic acid, which is super popular in many products lately, aids with strengthening elasticity and delivering moisture.  Lastly, ginseng boots collagen so skin will look more energized, while Shea butter is a great hydrator, and is perfect for the change of weather we’re experiencing.  No dry skin over here!

The moisturizer is packed to the brim with great ingredients, and I love that I can feel how high quality the ingredients are when I apply the Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer each morning.  After using it for over a month I’ve had no issues with this product.  My skin is bright and hydrated, and it works perfectly under makeup.  No need to worry about this moisturizer making your skin oily while wearing makeup for an entire day, it’s a great base.

The Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer is luxurious, without breaking the bank.  Oh yeah, & it smells spectacular.  I love the scent of all Valentia products, fresh and sort of citrus-y.

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post powered through Brandbacker.  I received this product to review.  All opinions are my own.]

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