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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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.]

XO.
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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.] 

XO.
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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.]

XO.
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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.]

XO.
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Budget Beauty: Derma E Hydrating Night Crème

Winter is an awful time for most of us…I’m talking skin wise of course.  It’s hard to keep our skin as hydrated as it should be, the harsher elements cause skin to look dry and dull.  The Derma E Hydrating Night Crème with Hyaluronic Acid is perfect for this time of year.  It helps skin look plump and moisturized, and helps to keep fine lines at bay.  Derma e is proud to be one of the natural brands on the market, always staying vegan and cruelty-free, which I very much appreciate.  Furthermore, this perfectly priced PM moisturizer also the winner of a Best of Natural Beauty Award!


Derma E Hydrating Night Creme


I’m a huge fan of hyaluronic acid, when I used up my Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel I switched over to this Derma E Hydrating Night Crème.  I wanted to try something new, and I was so happy to see hyaluronic acid as a main ingredient- it’s incredible at locking in moisture.  This night creme also has a ton of vitamin C and E in it, so skin is replenished with what it needs to recover from whatever winter throws at us.  Another aspect I love about this PM creme is that it is so thick, rich, and luxurious feeling while applying it.  I truly feel like I’m 

   If you’re looking to add a great nighttime moisturizer to your routine, try out the Derma E Hydrating Night Crème next time you’re in your local Walgreen’s.  Also, they have so many other great looking products in their hydrating line, I’m looking forward to trying some more of them out!  To further entice you a bit, take a look at these great coupons for Derma E!

Derma E Hydrating Night Crème with Hyaluronic Acid | $29.50

This post is powered by BrandBacker.

XO.
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Budget Beauty: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

When looking for a PM moisturizer I want something that’ll keep me hydrate, fight free radicals, and generally heal and replenish my skin with whatever it loses due to daily stuff such as pollution, irritants, and makeup.

The hype surrounding Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel* has been real since it came out.  Between all of the commercials and ads in my favorite magazines, I knew I had to test it out.
This product can be worn AM and/or PM, I choose it as a PM moisturizer because I enjoy having an SPF in my AM one.
This water gel is incredible, it feels so cooling and amazing, and seriously hydrates my skin after a long day of work.  My skin has recently been changing from oily to a bit dry, and this was the first product I purchased to accompany my change in skin- and it’s definitely a keeper.
Although it’s a bit different than your typical moisturizer, the application is the same, a little goes a long way.  I love how quickly it absorbs, and it doesn’t leave me feeling greasy or oily, just refreshed.   The main ingredients, hyaluronic acid and olive extract serve as super hydration machines which make this product so great. 
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is the perfect addition to a nightly skincare routine during the winter months.  Even if you don’t have “dry” skin, it’s so important to make sure you are extra hydrated and protected when moving into the cooler months.  
I’m almost out of my first jar of this product, and it’s already on my repurchase list.  I was recently given the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Eye Cream, I’m still using a different eye cream, but I’m looking forward to trying out this one next!!

XO.
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Fresh ‘Life’ Body Lotion

It’s a standard rule, you need to apply moisturizer after the shower…everyone knows this.  In the winter I’m using body butters, most likely from The Body Shop, but in the summer I switch to a lighter formula that doesn’t make me feel slimy and totally ew the second I walk out of the door.
Fresh 'Life' Body Lotion

I was lucky enough to receive the Fresh ‘Life’ Body Lotion in a blogger swag bag from Blue Mercury during the holidays.  I held off on using it because it was using a thicker body butter during those months, but once the weather got warmer I was dying it bring out this lotion. 
The Fresh ‘Life’ Body Lotion literally smells like summer…in every way possible.  The Vitamin C & Vitamin E keep skin sooth, hydrated, and fresh (pardon the pun) looking.  It’s light-weight but doesn’t just sit on the skin like some lighter moisturizers tend to do, it absorbs and hydrates well.

The way the bottle describes the scent is so amazingly accurate I need to share it, “freshness of a clear blue sky, sweet morning air, a sparkling sun, and velvety water”.  Fresh ‘Life’ is the perfect body lotion, delivering a luxurious scent and feel that screams summertime.

XO.
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Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

First of all, SPF 47 seemed a little strange to me…right?  I’ve never seen an SPF 47 before…I don’t think.
Anyway…
The Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 came in the limited edition Winter Dreams holiday pack, and I was super excited to try it out since I’ve never used Josie Maran skincare products before, and this product is an Allure Best of Beauty winner.  I was a little surprised by the consistency of the product the first time I used it.  It felt, and looked, more like a sunscreen than what an “AM moisturizer” typically feels and looks like.  
This product is super lightweight and even thought it looks sunscreen-y it absorbed easily and quickly and left a great base for makeup application.  I was a tad nervous because it seemed a bit thin, and again sunscreen-y, so I wasn’t sure how hydrating it would be, but it worked well for me- I didn’t have a that greasy feeling you can sometimes feel with higher SPF products.
Added bonus: the amount of antioxidants packed into this AM moisturizer, which is a part of Maran’s trademarked SunBoost ATB blend.
All in all I’m not sure I would repurchase this product, I loved the high SPF and antioxidant aspects, and I’m happy I tried it, but I think I’m more in love with some other AM moisturizers.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47, $32. 

XO.

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SachaJuan Shiny Citrus Body Lotion

I love a great smelling body lotion.  Since it’s the summer I try to keep my lotion formula’s light, unless I have a sunburn…eek!
I had never heard of Swedish brand SachaJuan before I received their Shiny Citrus Body Lotion in my June 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have Box.  Being a huge fan of all things citrus I was super excited to start using this product. 
The scent of this body lotion instantly brightened my day, it’s a very natural citrus scent, with a note of jasmine.  The combination is luxurious, and I love it!  
The lotion itself is light, yet hydrating- in my opinion, perfect for summer.  SachaJuan promotes their Earth Silk Technology which is responsible for the hydration, anti-aging, and anti-irritant properties of the product.
In addition to the Shiny Citrus collection, SachaJuan also has a Spicy Citrus collection that can be found on Birchbox.  I would definitely love to try this product out too, it’s a mixture of citrus and coriander, sounds ah-mazing.
Overall, the SachaJuan Shiny Citrus Body Lotion is a great product.  I keep it out in my bathroom for guests to use since the scent works so well for women and men too.  
I can’t find a great website that sells the Shiny Citrus Body Lotion, except for BeautySage, and if you’re interested in the Spicy Citrus Body Lotion, check it out on Birchbox!
XO.
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