Facing Acne

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Summer is my favorite season, hands down. But my skin breaks out the most during this season. All the time I spent sailing, or hanging outside at the beach can negatively impact my skin. Fortunately, I have a go-to product when it comes to dealing with breakouts – Proactiv.

I partnered up with FacingAcne.com to talk about this product with you today. The three step system helps take care of everything, from cleansing, to toning to moisturizing. They even have an SPF containing moisturizer for those of us concerned with sun damage. I have found out that Proactive works best for me when I use it once a day, or as a week-long treatment. My skin is sensitive, so using it for more than 7 days dries it out.

Having worked in a beauty industry, I’ve learned the importance of a 3-step program. A lot of people skip out on the toner, or substitute it with serum. And that’s not okay. I would recommend using the toner at least once a day before going to sleep, because that’s whats really going to help remove the dead skin cells and help the skin absorb moisturizer better. And that to me is the best anti-aging tip out there! (Coming from a girl who turns 29 next week!)

What are some of your favorite skin care products? How do you fight acne?

Disclosure: Facing Acne provided me with the product, all opinions are my own. FacingAcne.com does not sell any of the products mentioned above.

Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat Review

  
Cleaning makeup brushes is an important and necessary task, but if you are like me, it takes a while. The amount of brushes that I have, plus the amount of brushes that are tucked away, still in their packaging is seriously scary. It used to take me at least 20 minutes to wash the entire collection. Until I got the Sigma Brush Mat. 

Sigma, if you didn’t know, is a Minnesota based company, and a YouTube sensation. Their brushes are known for incredible quality and ease of use, and the constantly changing makeup collection keeps surprising the customers with new colors. Anything to help us be more creative and bold when it comes to our makeup. 

  
The brush mat has suction cups on the bottom, and attaches to your sink. The right side is for face brushes, while the left one is for eyes. There are seven different sections (textures) for cleaning, refining and rinsing the brushes. And it’s incredibly time saving. I was done washing all my brushes in under 10 minutes. My life has never been easier! 

  
The Spa Brush Mat is $32 and is available on Sigmabeauty.com or at their Mall of America location. 

  

One last thing, don’t clean your beauty blender using the mat, it will be destroyed! 

Beauty Brunch: Collagen Factor

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Having been obsessed with serums and anti-aging products for the past year or so, I started researching collagen and it’s benefits. 

Collagen is a type of fibrous protein arranged in a triple helix pattern and found extensively throughout the bodies of people and animals. It supports skin, internal organs, muscles, bone, joints, and cartilage. There are at least 16 types of collagen that occur naturally in the body, with the most abundant form in the human body being known as type 1 collagen. Collagen works in tandem with elastin to give skin its texture, structure, ability to stretch, and appearance. Sun damage (extrinsic aging) and chronologic aging (intrinsic aging) causes collagen in the skin to deteriorate (Sources Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, December 2013, ePublication; PLoS One, August 2013, eCollection; and Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Edition, W.H. Freeman, 2000) – Paulaschoice.com

Meehan Formulations has a small, but effective collagen line, called Collagen Factor, which helps restore skins elasticity, and slow down anti-aging process caused by sun, environment, and chemicals.

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I was lucky to try Collagen Serum and Finishing Moisturizer. And here is what I thought.

Collagen serum 

A lightweight serum formulated to stimulate the growth of collagen and greatly reduce the signs of aging that occurs from diminished elasticity. The tinted version contains pine bark and vitamin C which add a little sun kissed glow to your skin!

The product came in 1 oz amber glass bottle with a dropper. Are you thinking what I am thinking? How very vintage! I love using the dropper. It makes me feel like I work in an apothecary. The serum itself goes on smoothly, but leaves my skin feeling wet, so I let it dry for about a minute before applying the moisturizer. The product doesn’t really have any smell, and that’s definitely a plus. I normally use about 5-10 drops, and measure them off separately for the different parts of my face, mainly forehead and cheeks. Having spent the majority of my summer outdoors, this is the product I want to keep around for as long as I can to prevent/slow down sun damage.

CollagenFactor

Finishing Moisturizer

A light moisturizer, inclusive of the serum, designed to stimulate the growth of collagen and greatly reduce the signs of aging that occurs from diminished elasticity.  Moisturizer base is a non allergenic foundation moisturizer that supports all skin types, including sensitive skin. 

The moisturizer has a pinkish tint to it. I am so used to white colored products, that I was a little surprised by that. As you can see in the picture, the moisturizer comes out from the pump and holds it shape. If it can do it to my skin in the long run, I am in 110%! Once again the product has no obvious smell. It goes on very smoothly, absorbs quickly, but leaves my skin feeling a little sticky, until I apply my regular foundation, or simply touch up with a finishing powder.

What’s with all the anti-aging products, Zhenya?

You may be wondering, why I have been so obsessed with anti-aging products. There are two reasons. No woman wants to look older than she really is. If I can slow down the appearance of wrinkles without Botox, using only the skincare products, I will take full advantage of that. I am going back to college to get another bachelor’s degree, and want to put my best face forward.

Have a great Sunday! How do you take care of your skin?

Disclosure: These products have been provided by Meehan Formulations. All opinions are my own. 

Beauty Brunch: Camille Albane Salon in Maple Grove

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My last hair cut wasn’t the bomb. I had a really hard time with it. It looked good when my hair was curled, but when it was straight you could see it wasn’t blended enough and my top layer stuck over my bottom one a good 2 inches. And you know it’s not a good hair cut when you come to work and your co-teacher tells you that it looks weird. I do appreciate the honesty though.

So when an opportunity came up to visit the new Camille Albane Paris Salon in Maple Grove, I knew I couldn’t miss it.

Last Wednesday after a long and tiring day at work, I drove up 169 all the way to Maple Grove to this brand new salon. The calming white interior, Coldplay through the speakers and incredible staff helped me relax and forget about my troubles almost instantly.
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Black capes are non-existent at Camille Albane Paris. You wear a white robe instead, which creates the atmosphere of a spa, and not a salon.

Tammy, the manager, and my stylist for the night was attentive and addressed all my concerns, answered all questions and was so much fun to talk to. She even saved my pink extension I got at Glamorama 😉

In addition to the haircut I also got a balayage. It was a little different for me, because Tammy didn’t wrap my hair in Saran Wrap, like they usually do at Aveda. The formula that they use doesn’t dry out as fast, so that wasn’t necessary.

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Camille Albane Paris was founded in France, where they have the laboratories and create all of the products. The other salon in the United States is located in Boston.

Camille Albane is a breath of fresh air among the existing salons in the Twin Cities area. It’s new, different, and adds to the edge that we’ve been missing here in the Midwest.

And this Wednesday, August, 13 the salon has it’s official opening. I would love to see you there! So if you are planning on coming make sure to send your RSVP to RSVP@lolaredpr.com. Hope to see you there.
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The salon is located at 7808 Main Street, Maple Grove, MN 55369 between Panera and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Phone # 763-316-6957

Beauty Brunch

 

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Welcome to Beauty Brunch, a new blog series about beauty products, beauty tips, tricks and hacks. In today’s post I am going to share a few new items I’ve been able to get my hands on, some tips on hair care and previews of what’s to come.

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Last week I got my hair done, and just like before it was a balayage. I am so happy I have finally discovered what works for me. No more stripy hair! My colorist also recommended a few things for my hair, like the velcro rollers for volume, which I’ve been loving, and Aveda Sun Care protective hair veil. Since I am outside a lot this summer, I thought it couldn’t hurt. Now this is a more expensive product on the market, it retails for $24.50-$28, and there are cheaper options out there, like L’Oreal Ever Pure Spray $8.

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I have also been experimenting with my hair routine, and after one of the #BeautyChats that I participate in on Twitter, I decided to give cleansing conditioner a try. I’ve been using Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner $6 for a week now, and it pleasantly surprised me and exceeded all my expectations since day 1. I love the smell and texture of the product, and cleans my hair as well as shampoo and conditioner, if not better. Switching to this product has also cut my shower time in half, so it’s a win-win.

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And for the times when I do want to use shampoo and conditioner, I turn to Catwalk by TiGi Elevating Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner. Anything to add volume to my hair and protect it this summer! One of the things I have to mention about this product is the packaging, I love the twist tops! I don’t know why I’ve never had products with twist tops before!

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Skin care has also been at the top of my list, and that’s where California Naturel came in with their products. I am in love with the Lip Balm SPF 8 and All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, which I’ve been using every day religiously. I am one of those people who doesn’t want to be tan, but is, due to the nature of my work. I do my 20 minutes of sun a day though, to make sure I get enough vitamin D and don’t fall into depression. But after that, it’s sunscreen all day every day.

I am still to try the Gentle Cleansing Gel and Balancing Complex. So there will be a separate post on those!

Makeup wise, this Glo-minerals Precision eye pencil in Twilight Blue has been my go to product for the past couple of weeks. When black becomes too dramatic for the natural summer look, this color is perfect! Too bad it’s not very long lasting.

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And finally a sneak peek at the new Sinful Color nail polishes that I will be using this summer and which will definitely appear in a separate post soon.

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I hope you enjoyed this very first Beauty Brunch post, and I’ll see you again next Sunday!

PS. Here is a picture from our Minneapolis Blogger Garage Sale that took place yesterday! It was a blast! Thank you all who came, I loved meeting you. I was also able to get rid of a lot of my clothes, and hopefully I won’t be buying as much this year!

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Aren’t You a Doll Face?

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I have started using a new skincare brand called Doll Face about a week and a half ago, and wanted to share some info, and definitely my opinion with you.

A little history first, Doll Face was born in the shadow of the famed Hollywood sign by a team of visionary beauty “creationists” who have crafted a naturally potent, clean skincare brand with modern ethos inspired by the glamour and style of retro Hollywood.

Doll Face combines the best of science and nature, with super-effective blends of power-packed active ingredients that effectively cleanse, hydrate, perfect, refine and brighten the skin.

Some of the Doll Face clever ingredient are: Buriti Fruit Oil, Super Berry Seed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Berry, Willow Bark Extract, etc.

All of the products are never formulated with paragons, mineral oil, PABA, Phthalates, Propylene Glycol, Paraffin, DEA, Triclosan, Petrolatum, animal-derived ingredients or harmful dyes.

I got to try Intensive Age Defend cream, and a Balancing Tonic. Let’s talk about those.

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The Intensive Age Defense Cream helps visibly reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, is suitable for all skin types, and comes in a beautifully packaged 2 oz packaging. Retails for $58.

This is a gel-cream, and it was a little hard to get used to it at first, since I haven’t used one in a while. I definitely like it though, because I feel like with this product a little goes a long way! And I love that. I have tried using it twice a day, but so far I like it as my night treatment the best, because as you may have guessed it, it doesn’t contain SPF. I also noticed that it doesn’t mix well with other products, and by mixing, I mean layering. Or when worn by itself (on my day off, when I am not wearing makeup), it often gathers up and peels off of my skin. I am going to experiment more with what I use it with, but so far, I am giving it 3 out of 5 stars.

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Balancing tonic purifies pores and brightens dull skin, it’s suitable for normal-to-oily skin and comes in an 8 oz packaging. Retails for $24.

This product, in my opinion is suitable for even combination skin, and that’s what I have. I am definitely noticing my skin brighten after I use it, though sometimes I end up using extra powder to cover up the shine, as it starts looking too oily for my liking. The product smells great, and the packaging is definitely appealing. I really enjoy having it in my bathroom. I am a huge fan of toners and such, so this product fits right in! I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars. 

Overall my experience with Doll Face was nothing but pleasant. There were no breakouts, no allergic reactions. Just a new addition to my skincare routine! (Aren’t those the best?)

Have you ever tried Doll Face? What do you think? What kind of skin care products do you use in your daily routine?

Don’t forget that Milwaukee Blogger Bazaar is tomorrow, Saturday, June 14. I hope to see you there! I’ll be bringing a lot of vintage and hand-made items for you!

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And don’t forget to enter this Giveaway, you could win some paypal cash! And that’s always nice.

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Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster Review

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Knowing me, you probably have already figured out that I can’t live without serums and different types of skin boosters. Anything that helps me improve my skin, is a must-have, must-try or at least a must-see. So when I received Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster from iFabbo, I was more than excited to try it out. Plus I was running out of the serum I’ve been using, and this one became a perfect substitute.

So what is Dermalogica skin hydrating booster? It’s a super hydrating fluid that intensely moisturizes thirsty skin as it smoothes and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. It’s water-based and non-greasy, plus contains Hyaluronic Acid, which holds 1000 times its weight in water for powerful hydration.

Other key ingredients include Panthenol, Glycolipids, and Algae Extract to help skin repair and restore moisture balance. There are no artificial colors and fragrances in Dermalogica products.

To use, I simply squeeze a little bit of product on my hand, and work into my skin. I only use it at night, before bed, and put my favorite night time moisturizer on top. You can mix this Skin Hydrating Booster with your favorite moisturizer to use during the day. But I always feel like my skin rests and restores at night. If I notice it becoming dry throughout the day, I will definitely start using this product in the AM as well.

The product is expensive, $56 for 1 oz. Though almost all high end serums with Hyaluronic Acid are in that price range, and that’s not surprising, because the product really works. After only a couple of times using it, I noticed my skin feeling softer, glowing, and firm. I am in absolute awe with this serum and what Dermalogica did once again – created another wonderful product to help us fight aging.

Pros:

– Perfect for my T-zoned skin and, from the other reviews I read, oily skin.

– Absorbs quickly.

– Hydrates and moisturizes.

– Doesn’t cause breakouts on my type of skin.

– Perfect addition to my night time beauty routine.

– Amazing ingredients.

Cons:

– Expensive! Ouch!

– Value/Money ratio seems too low. I have a feeling I am going to go through this 1 oz container of product in less than a month.

In the end of the day I love this stuff and the wonderful things it does for my skin. Have you tried the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster? What did you think? What serums (if any) do you use?

Happy Tuesday! I am off to another photo shoot today! Can’t wait to share an exciting new project and a local fashion artist with you soon!

And don’t forget to connect with me on:

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Follow #DermalogicaHydrates on social media for more info about this product. And get 15 % off any Booster purchase with the code BOOST until May 31!

 

Hydroxatone AM/PM Anti-Wrinkle Complex Review

Today’s post is about another Hydroxatone product that surprised me in a good way. It’s their AM/PM anti-wrinkle complex (#AntiWrinkleSPF)  suitable for day and night use. It’s supposed to make you look and feel younger. Yes, I am 27 and am planning on staying Forever 21 😉

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Once again the sample came in a nice large size, 1 oz. I love the packaging and the little extra cover between the jar and the lid is a nice classy bonus!

The product contains:

Hyaluronic Acid – incredible ability to retain moisture in the skin which results in increased smoothness, softness and decrease of facial wrinkles.

Matrixyl3000 – Helps skin to promote natural levels of collagen, hyaluronic acid and fibronectin.

Argireline – Anti-aging peptide specifically designed to provide fast results.

SPF 15 – to help protect the skin against the sun’s harmful rays!

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My first concern though was why did they make this 2 in 1 product, instead of making 2 separate ones. They would’ve made more sales this way if you ask me (at least that’s how Clinique worked).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who is afraid to put SPF containing moisturizer on at night, but I do cringe a little.

You will smell the sunscreen when applying the product. Nothing wrong with that.

The moisturizer itself does the job quiet well. My skin is a little picky though and unfortunately this doesn’t layer well with their BB. Or I have to wait and let the moisturizer sit for 10 minutes or so.

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I do like the texture, the fact that it absorbs quickly and of course that the company itself is in New Jersey 😉

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Once again though, it is pricey, but you might be able to catch it on HauteLook.com or other flash sale sites!

So there you have it! A great moisturizer out there for you to try.

Have a great night,
Z

Proskin Blogger Challenge update Week 3

Beach

Here it is you guys! Week 3 updates!

The numbers in parenthesis indicate difference from the previous week!)

Hips 32″ (-1″)
Top of thigh 20.5″ (-0.5″)
Widest part of thigh 21″ (-0.5″)
Above knee 14″ (-1″)
Below knee 13″ (-0)
Widest part of calf 13.5″ (+0.5)

As you can see there is some progress out there 🙂 And I am definitely noticing a difference in my thighs. Yay! Working towards defining that gap between my thighs (yes, I’m one of those girls!)

Another thing that I’ve started is Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis program.

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I did both cardio and a workout in my proskins last week and I’m not going to do it anymore. Sorry for the next piece of TMI but I sweat a lot, so I’ll keep wearing my leggings to bed, because that still gives the result.
I have been cheating for the past few days though and only doing the 30 minute workout skipping the cardio.

Plus everyone at work seems to be on the Paleo diet, so I’ve been cutting down my bread intake as well.
So here you have it! I spilt all my beans! Now you spill yours 😉
Have a great weekend,
X
Zhenya

My Easy Summer Go-To Makeup Routine

Yes, I do realize summer is almost over, but I felt compelled sharing this with you, because I realize that there are maybe some, who don’t even use makeup, and maybe it will inspire you!

As you know, I’ve been using a BB Cream instead of a foundation, and am planning on doing so through the fall (depending on how my skin acts, because that can be unpredictable). More about my new favorite BB here!

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Then I apply brow pencil. I used to be a huge advocate for using eye shadow as a brow filler, but have lately shifted away from it! Why bother finding the right color (it’s hard to do even in the professional lines) in the eye shadow, if they make so many pencils and the choice is definitely easier there!

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I also comb through my brows with a brush afterwards. Now some people choose to do it beforehand, but I really don’t have that much brows going on, so that’s how I do it.

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Remember that eyebrows are a frame for the face, and well… because of this too…

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Next I move on to mascara. I am currently using Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator, and do highly recommend it, if you are going after length as opposed to volume!

 

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Then I top it all with a powder. I just bought a new Covergirl Professional loose powder. We’ll see what it’s about. In the picture I am using pressed powder by Faberlic (which by now has broken into many many pieces and is a pain in my know what to apply! Hence the Covergirl)

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One of my new favorite products is the Dandelion blush by Benefit! I will stand by it no matter what! Try it too, you’ll love this blush. And it is one of the few product exceptions when I am not using my own brush to apply it, but the one that it came with!

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And finally I add a little lipstick. I have a Long Last Lipstick from Clinique in All Heart, and even though it’s a gorgeous color, I think it’s too dark for the summer, so I simply dab it and spread it out with my finger.

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And that’s it! This is how I do my makeup these days! And trust me it takes way less time, than it took me to write this post 😉

Xx,

Zhenya