Budget Beauty: Derma E Essentials Radiance Toner

In December I started to use Derma E’s Essentials line daily as my skincare routine. The Derma E team so graciously sent me products from the Essentials line, and I’ve been spending lots of time reading up on the products and really testing them out. I’ll be featuring a new Derma E product every Monday for Budget Beauty for the next several weeks. I’m excited to share this brand with you, I love their products!

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Milk Makeup’s Matcha Green Tea Toner

Okay Milk…I see you being fancy…

…and I’m loving it!!

During the last Sephora sale I purchased the Milk Matcha Toner, it’s a green stick toner that I was instantly drawn to.  Yes, this is way different than your average toner, but it’s just so cool and works so well!  Here are a few key reasons I’ve recently been reaching for this toner in the AM.

Okay first of all, it’s a solid toner, have you seen such a thing before?  I know I haven’t.  What I do know is that this cuts down on me using a cotton pad every morning to apply my toner, and that’s awesome.  I simply swipe this stick all over my face, paying special attention to my t-zone and chin area.  It feels so cooling and fresh on my skin, which is exactly what I’m looking for at 6:15am.

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Budget Beauty: Thayers Witch Hazel Lavender Toner

Toner. IS. Life.

No, really, toner is life.  It’s my favorite part of both my AM and PM skincare routine.  Why?  Well, it proves to me how clean my face truly is, and also makes my skin feel ready for the next steps of serum and moisturizer.

Since I love to try new products, I always bounce around from toner to toner…but the toner I’ve been using most recently is the perfect budget beauty buy.  Thayers Witch Hazel Toner can easily be found in Whole Foods or Target.  It’s a natural, alcohol free toner, that refreshes and cleanses the skin without stripping it of natural oils.

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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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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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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: Boots Botanics Toners

Toner is my favorite part of my skincare routine.  I use a toner for both AM and PM routines, but I like to switch up the type of toner I use.
Boots Botanics is a great brand, it’s affordable and high quality, using natural and gentle ingredients.  In my continued quest to branch out into more drugstore type products, I figured I would give the brand a try and pick up their Shine Away Mattifying Toner and the Rosewater Toning Spritz.

For my AM routine I always use the Mattifying Toner.  It controls shine and has clarifying willowbark as a featured ingredient, which is a natural salicylic acid.  Throughout the day I never know what is going to be thrown at me, so I need to have that base from my toner controlling any potential oil issues.   After using this toner the rest of my skincare goes on perfectly, and I’m set for applying my makeup.

I’ve been using this toner for a few months now and I’m loving how fresh and clean my skin feels in the morning after I use it.  Seeing and feeling the mattifying powders, without having that dry and tightening feeling, makes me feel like this product is really doing its job.  This is a definite repurchase.

During my PM routine I reach for the Rosewater Toning Spritz– it feels like a little bit of luxury with the light refreshing rosewater scent before bed.  This toner works to tighten pores and purify your face, which is perfect after a long day of wearing makeup.  This toner is much more comparable to a “water” type of fluid as opposed to my AM mattifying toner which has more of a texture to it because of the powders.  This extra moisture from the Rosewater Toning Spritz helps the rest of my PM skincare absorb into my skin more effectively.

Boots Botanics Mattifying Shine Away Toner | $7.59
Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz | $8.39

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Tone that Skin

Toner is, in my opinion, the least understood beauty product.  Those with dry skin think it will further dry out their skin, and those with oily skin only like it because they think it’s drying out their skin (which, PS…isn’t good).  Well, I’ve compiled some reasons as to why toner is necessary, and why you should use it daily!

It allows your other products (serum, eye cream, moisturizer) to penetrate the skin better because it completely removes any leftover makeup or residue from your face after your cleanser.

Helps in skin tone and texture by helping to shrink pores (hence, toning) and remove excess oil…key word excess, not all important oils.

There are many different types of toners, examples hydrating or balancing, made especially for dry or oily skin types.

I began using Artistry’s Balancing Toner a while ago when my dearrrr friendddddd Robert Dawson began selling their products.  While the balancing toner is just one of the four types they offer, this is formulated for normal to oily skin types…which we all know fits me perfectly!

I use this in the AM and PM — during the day it helps to control oil and allow makeup to look matte and flawless.  Even though I cleanse throughly, I find this toner is always getting off some extra makeup on the cotton pad…thank god.  Also, everybody’s top concern…it has never dried out my skin…not once, and that’s how I know it’s a good product.  Since a toner is basically an astringent, it’s easy to have just a little too much of a certain ingredient which causes drying, but not here…this one is balanced perfectly.   

Check out this product and other Artistry skin care products by clicking this link