Thursday’s Fab Five

I hope the first 16 days of 2020 have treated y’all well! So far I’ve been super impressed with 2020! I’m excited to share five items I’ve recently incorporated into my daily routine, in today’s Thursday’s Fab Five.

SoftLips Lip Protectant SPF 20 Vanilla, $3

Okay, first of all, this price…$3 for two lip balms? Yes, please! I discovered SoftLips at Target, shoutout to the Target app and all those dang coupons- this was a great discovery! I love that this lip balm has SPF 20, and the price is so perfect I bought a few packs and just have them literally everywhere. My lips feel soft and hydrated when I use it- not sticky, and I don’t need to reapply every 10 minutes to keep that soft feeling, thank gawwwd.

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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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m-61 Favorites: Hydraboost Eye Cream & Power Glow Facial Peel

If you haven’t heard of this brand, let me tell ya something…
m-61 is a top of the line skincare brand designed by BlueMercury founder Marla Beck.  All m-61 products have powerful ingredients, literally their tagline is powerful skincare, and with good reason. 

Eye creams are so important to me, I don’t experience any under eye darkness or circles, and I need to keep this up for as long as I can.  So, I use a variety of eye creams, serving different purposes, to keep me looking hydrated, fresh, and bright.  The m-61 Hydraboost Eye Cream consists of hydrating peptides and vitamin b-5, which aid in firmness and hydration.  The natural ingredients of aloe, centella asiatica, and tamarind help to balance those powerful ingredients by soothing and repairing any under eye issues such as puffiness or fine lines.

I use the Hydraboost Eye Cream as part of my morning routine, that way I know it’s working throughout the day to keep my eyes looking bright and refreshed.  A little goes a long way, and I gently press the cream underneath my eyes with my ring finger.  It’s so lightweight and absorbs wonderfully into the under eye area.  I would highly suggest this product if you’re looking for a powerful fix to any under eye issues.  I’m using it as a preventative product, but I’ve read plenty of reviews that say this product works and it works quickly for reversing signs of aging.
My next favorite m-61 product is their Power Glow Peel, an amazingly powerful one minute exfoliating facial peel.  Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients in this product, and what they do…
+Glycolic & salicylic acids help to improve skin tone & texture, reduce pore size, & reduce fine lines
+Vitamin K fights spider veins and dry patches 
+Chamomile & lavender help to calm and soothe the skin 
I have the occasional breakout, and I seriously worry about looking dull, but using the m-61 Power Glow Peel on a weekly basis helps to keep breakouts at bay, and gives my face a great exfoliation, leaving my worry about dullness behind.  Now, I’ll be honest, this isn’t exactly a comfortable experience, sometimes I feel the acids more than others, but the results are equivalent to spending good money for a facial.  

You can use this peel up to three times a week, I personally use it once a week because I have rosacea and I try to avoid redness at all possible costs.  Like all m-61 products you are paying for top of the line quality and ingredients, so this isn’t the most budget friendly product, but it is beyond worth it.
If you have a BlueMercury near you, stop in and ask an associate for m-61 suggestions, they have a great range of products for a variety of concerns, all of which will deliver results.
Have you used m-61 products before?  I’d love to know some of your favorites!

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Exfoliate & Lather with The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish

I’m strangely obsessed with using body scrubs, I make sure not to over exfoliate, but I’m super intense about having a strict schedule.  I love finding new body scrubs, especially from my favorite brands, one of which is The Body Shop.
Satsuma Body Polish

Photo: The Body Shop

  I came across the Satsuma Body Polish and was instantly drawn to the orange-citrus scent.  Perfect for waking up when taking an AM shower.  The polish is partly made up of ground walnut shells, which I found intriguing.  I love the idea of an orange/ Satsuma scrub because then I know my skin is getting a healthy dose of vitamin C, which will protect it.  This product also contains honey, which will allow skin to remain moisturized.
I love that you can use the Satsuma Body Polish daily, it’s a softer exfoliant, non-irritating, and gives a great lather.  Most polishes and/or scrubs aren’t going to give a lather, but I was surprised when I first used it and this one did!  I typically use a light scrub like this every day on my shoulders, I’m not sure why I do this, but I do- it’s refreshing and makes me feel super clean!
The Body Shop Satsuma Body Polish | $20 

Mario Badescu Almond & Honey Face Scrub

Now that the weather is getting warmer, and more humid, I feel like I want to use a face scrub each night.  Most face scrubs can be a bit too much to use daily, which makes perfect sense.  However, I think I finally found an amazing daily/ every other day product in Mario Badescu’s Almond & Honey Face Scrub.  
First off, the ‘non abrasive’ feature right on the label immediately caught my eye.  My skin can be sensitive on some days, so the fact that this scrub isn’t grainy really made me happy.
Mario Badescu Almond & Honey Face Scrub

The smell is amazing, it’s a soft scent of almond & honey, obviously, but it smells great and isn’t overpowering.  Honestly, the first few times I used this product I wondered if it was even doing its job, the almond and cornmeal particles are so incredibly fine…but after each use my skin felt refreshed and clean, and noticeably smoother.  The best part for me, especially when using this product in the morning, is that I experience absolutely no redness.

Right now I’m using this about every other day with no other exfoliating products.  I’m so pleased with the results so far, and I’m looking forward to adding some more Mario Badescu products to my beauty cabinet in the near future, I’m already a huge fan of his Cucumber Cleansing Lotion.

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Modere Beauty Box: Exfoliant & Anti-Aging Serum

Yesterday I posted about beauty subscription service Modere and their Antioxidant Hair Serum {click link for post!}.

Today I’m focusing on the Modere Exfoliant and Anti-Aging Serum, two products I’ve been using on a regular basis for the past month.

First, the Exfoliant is a great product to eliminate dead skin cells and rejuvenate the skin.  While the formula feels very smooth and not too abrasive I found the beads in this exfoliant to be a little large for my taste, I need to be careful with the exfoliants I choose because of my rosacea.  However, I love the suggestion on the tube of using it as a before shave exfoliant, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

I’ve been using the Anti-Aging Serum nightly after cleansing.  I’m serum obsessed, so I was very excited to get this product in my routine.  I’ve been using anti-aging products for quite some time now, you’re never too young to start, and type of ingredients in them pack such a stronger punch to great skin.  The Modere Anti-Aging Serum has a great consistency and absorbs quickly into my skin.  My complexion is bright after using it and stickiness hasn’t been a concern.  That’s my least favorite part about some serums, luckily it’s not a concern with this one.

Shop the Modere Exfoliant {$12.99} & Anti-Aging Serum {$23.99}, here!

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Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads

Ever since I got my first Clarins facial at the Nordstrom at Pentagon City I’ve been hooked on their products.  I love love love the Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris (review coming soon), and another product I quickly latched on to was the Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream.  I use this in the shower twice a week.  As the title says, it’s gentle, which I need since I have rosacea.

Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream, $31
This product will work well with all skin types, which I love especially since my skin just went through an incredible change from oily to dry, and not just because of the weather.  Overall the exfoliating cream is very light- you don’t need to use much to achieve great results.  I feel like every time I use it between the steam of the shower and the ingredients in the product, the texture of my face feels great and super smooth.

I admit I probably would not purchase this product right off the bat- I received it for free from a Clarins beauty event at Nordstrom.  However, now that I have used almost all of it up I would def consider purchasing.  Exfoliating is so important during this time of year, and if I can find a gentle exfoliate like this one, I’m bound to return to it!

Exuviance Performance Peel AP25

[Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post powered through BrandBacker.  I received this product to review.  All opinions are my own.]
Maintaining a radiant complexion isn’t always easy.  Incorporating an at-home facial peel , it gets rid of any dead skin cells, rejuvenates my complexion, evens out my texture and brightens my skin tone.  
Exuviance’s Performance Peel AP25 is a glycolic acid peel that exfoliates, giving that even and smooth texture, and also promotes cell renewal with boosts the rejuvenation of the complexion.  Glycolic acid works well with my skin and I always have minimal redness after using it.

The Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 is a 2-step process.  The first step is the Activator Pad, which preps the skin for step number two, the Neutralizer Pad.  The directions say to watch your skin after using the Activator Pad, I was a little nervous because I am prone to redness.  Luckily, I was totally okay and moved on to step number two, the Neutralizer Pad.  Once I used the Neutralizer Pad I washed my face off and was done.  I never felt uncomfortable, meaning I had no burning or anything like that.  When I get peels done professionally I usually do have a bit of tingling or burning- so it was a nice relief to not have that happen while using this product.
I only had a few sample packets of this product to use, Exuviance recommends using it up to twice a week for maximum results.  I didn’t have the opportunity to do that, but I wish I had.  I liked how bright and clear my face looked after using this peel, but I would have wanted to use it consistently for about a month to really get a good opinion about it.

The Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 can be purchased from or Ulta for $75.

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Radical Skincare’s Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads

 Yes, I’m using an age-defying product.  Yes, I know I’m 23 and it may seem a bit young but guess what, NO it’s never too early to begin to use anti-aging products.  Seriously.
I was introduced to Radical Skincare a couple of months ago and fell in love with their Instant Revitalizing Mask
Now I’m raving about the Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads.  I love using astringent based pads (i.e. Clearasil) but sometimes with my sensitive skin those exfoliating pads are just too harsh and drying.  
I’ve been using these age-defying, AHA and BHA acid exfoliating pads once a day (most often at night), I use it as my toner step, and follow up with a serum and moisturizer.  So far I haven’t had any drying issues, I think if I used it twice a day I would have some issues, but so far so good with only using it once!
{Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads, $75}
The anti-aging products in the pads help with cell turnover, reduce the appearance of pores, and help to tighten and firm the skin.  My major draw was the reducing appearance of pores– using this product with the rest of my skincare routine as definitely helped in keeping my pores in check and overall keeping my skin fresh and clear looking. 
Another huge bonus of this product for me is the chamomile ingredient, which helps to calm my sensitive & sometimes red complexion.  Overall the pad is gentle, which is so important for me, yet I know it’s doing it’s job of exfoliating.  
PS: Make sure you don’t over exfoliate!  I haven’t used any sort of scrub since entering this product into my lineup and I’ve been just fine with only having the Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads!
[Note: Radical Skincare provided me with the Instant Revitalizing Mask.  All opinions are my own.]