Morning Face Chronicles: Volume 16

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My Favorite Facial Peels

There is little I love more in life than a good facial peel. A little tingling, sometimes a bit of stinging but the result is always the same - glowing, fresh, radiant skin. Peels can help to break up hyper-pigmentation, exfoliate at a deeper level than granular scrubs, reduce the appearance of fine lines and give clearer/brighter skin. Though I can never resist trying a new peel, I do have my all time favorite peels that have made the biggest impression on me. Here are my five favorite facial peels:

1. Revive Glycolic Renewal Peel - This is definitely the strongest peel that I have and is saved for when I want to really bring out the big guns. Serious hyper pigmentation, rough skin texture, remnants from a bad breakout, dull lackluster skin - any of these (or all of them - ugh) make me reach for this peel. Because it combines both peel pads and an exfoliating gel afterwards, the two step system is what really makes the difference for my skin. The gel does tingle so make sure you test it first to make sure your skin can handle it, but if you can your skin is in for a treat. This gives me near perfect skin afterwards - pore appearance is minimized, skin is smoother, and fine lines are almost non-existent. *round of applause* Because my skin can be a bit red after, I do not use this on a night I am going out but rather save it for the evening before. Even using it a full 24 hours before a big event, I still have stellar results. This peel is by far the closest thing I have to an at-home spa treatment. Robe and cucumber water not included. 

2. Perricone MD Blue Plasma - I've been singing this product's praises for years now. Not only can it be used daily both morning and night, but it gives the most gentle exfoliation without any of the side effects that come with peels. I had no redness, no irritation, no tingling and no stinging and my skin always looks better when I use this regularly in my routine. It's easy to add into any regimen and works with almost any product mix I am using at the time. It has now secured a place in 'Maree's Skincare Hall of Fame' (if there was such a thing). 

3. Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel - The first time I used this peel, I did not know what to expect. And then after about 10 minutes, I removed the gel from my face and stared at my skin for what seemed like forever. It was absolutely glowing, and so hydrated which is rare for a peel! In the list of peels that I mention in this post, it is probably my second strongest one so I only use it once or twice a month. But when I do, I am guaranteed gorgeous glowing skin for the next week or two. I rarely get ready for a big night out or special event without doing this mask the same night - because my skin never fails to look its best after. There is a bit of tingling and stinging with this one so be prepared, but for me, I don't mind it. Because the results are soooo worth it. Bring on the sting!

4. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads - As I have said over and over again, there is not one product from the First Aid Beauty range that I don't absolutely love. And these pads are no exception - in fact they were the first product I ever tried from the range that got me hooked. I love them because they are incredibly gentle and suitable for every day use. Using them at the toning step of my routine is how I found them to be most effective since they give a light exfoliation right after cleansing. I then follow up with a hydrating mist, toner or essence, to help replenish the moisture in my skin and keep it balanced. And since these pads are so gentle, I find that they can work for almost any skin type, even sensitive (though you should always test things first to be sure). My skin regularly looks brighter and more even-toned when using these pads. And I have noticed a distinct difference in how my foundation wears on my face when using these pads - it seems to almost glide on with little to no pulling on dry patches, caking up or looking too heavy. It's almost as if these pads were made for gals who love a full face. 

5. m-61 Power Glow Peel - When I feel I want to amp up the results from my First Aid Beauty pads, I switch to these from m-61. They are a bit stronger and I typically use them every other day so as not to irritate my skin. I find that these help me prevent stubborn breakouts, and have had a significant impact on any hyper pigmentation that I may be suffering from at any given moment. These were all I used after the summer was over to help erase any lingering sun damage that managed to get through my SPF. Rude. But regardless of the sun's ruthless ways, these pads worked to help fade the dark spots and make my skin return to it's non-patchy appearance.



Proportion is so important when putting an outfit together. I failed to understand this concept for years, and would often pair items together and end up with an outfit that was too over the top, too uncomfortable or not polished enough for everyday wear. But I suppose that is what your 20's are for, right? That and to wear ridiculously uncomfortable shoes, live in tinier than ever apartments and keep empty refrigerators. Since the weather hasn't dipped yet into the tights zone (once you put them on, you don't take them off until May), I had to think twice about what I was going to pair with this quilted mini and over-the-knee boots combination. Opaque tights can drastically take down the sass factor with short skirts and boots, but it's a fine line to walk when sporting a bare leg. A fine line for my conservative self, that is. So I figured a large over-sized cozy sweater would be the perfect partner. And though I know it goes against the blogger code of ethics (thou shalt always over-accessorize and add one more piece before leaving the house), I struggled with trying to add something to this sweater to give it a bit more excitement. I finally dug deep into my closet and pulled out this scarf that I've had for at least 10 years and felt it was perfect. I wore it almost every day when I first bought it, but over the years I have reached for it less and less. And then I was in the nail salon the other morning and a girl walked in with a blue one draped around the neck of her big chunky sweater. So I copied her. Sorry random stylish nail salon gal for jacking your style. But hey, at least I gave her credit, right?

Sweater - Tinley Road via Piperlime (on sale!) | Skirt - Topshop (similar here and here) | Scarf - Alexander McQueen | Boots - Stuart Weitzman (similar here and here) | Sunglasses - Stella McCartney


New In And Loving: By Terry, S.W. Basics, NARS and Boscia

Many of my posts have a theme, story or group similar products together, however sometimes I just love a whole slew of products and need to write about them. Hence these random posts with a jumbled bunch of products that I am loving and need others to know about. And that is still the number one reason I have a blog - because I just NEED to talk about the beauty products I enjoy. I can only call/text/email my girlfriends so many times about the same things before they are like "WE KNOW, MAREE!" Whoops. I guess I get a bit too over zealous. Anyhoo, back to my gushing....here is a look at a few products I have been enjoying a ton recently.

1. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte - I know it seems strange that I only bought one of the Audacious lipsticks, but there have been so many new lip launches that I knew I had to maintain some sort of self-control. As everyone has been saying, these lipsticks are truly gorgeous. Full coverage, easy to wear and incredibly long lasting. I naturally picked a peachy-nude-coral for my first one and it did not disappoint. The only thing that can be a tad bothersome on occasions is if my lips are too hydrated or exfoliated, it will not adhere to the inner part of my lips. I find this to be the case for many full coverage lipsticks so I often get around it by adding a few applications and then blending it in with my finger. It does the trick every time.

2. Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel and the Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask - This was part of a travel set that came with a mini Konjac sponge as well. I am already a fan of the Makeup-Breakup Cleansing oil and find this Tsubaki cleansing oil-gel to be even more hydrating. The sleeping mask is absolute heaven on the skin and great for those nights my skin needs a bit of extra moisture. This little travel set actually came with a mini konjac sponge as well and since I know I am already a fan of them, I packed it away for my next getaway. It is the perfect travel exfoliator without having to pack my Clinique cleansing brush.
3. S.W. Basics Exfoliant - Though I appreciate all natural or organic products, I don't typically gravitate towards them. However, occasionally one comes along that I actually enjoy. This exfoliator from S.W. Basics is about as natural as you can get - oat flour, almond flour and sea salt. You can basically eat it! But what I enjoyed the most about this was how calm and soothed my skin was after each use. Typically exfoliators can make my skin bright and smooth, but slight redness often accompanies that for a few minutes after. Almost immediately as I rinsed this off, my skin looked so even, calm and relaxed. No redness! This will be a winter staple for me, I can already tell.

4. By Terry Cellularose Hydra-Toner -After having the best experience with the By Terry Cellularose Brightening Aqua-Balm, I had a feeling I was going to love the Cellularose toner. This entire line is one of the most hydrating and moisture filled lines I have ever used. It truly feels like my skin is being infused with water when using this toner, and as I have always said - hydration is one of the biggest keys to great skin. It keeps skin looking firm, plump, radiant and fresh. I have tried quite a few hydrating mists and toners over the years and I can confidently say this is in my top 3.
*pr samples included


Two Body Products I Am Currently Loving

Project No Winter Alligator Skin is now in full effect. The radiator heat is blasting in my apartment as we speak (and it's not even that cold - rude), and I can feel my skin beginning to get drier. I recently have been using these two body products and have been loving the results. I think they are going to be just what I need to carry me into the winter season.

1. Kate Somerville Exfolikate Body - The regular Exfolikate for the face is such an intense exfoliating treatment that I was curious as to how it would translate to a body scrub. Thankfully, it takes all the elements that make Exfolikate so great, adds a bit of a creamy texture for a gorgeous exfoliating experience. The texture is granular but not as dense as Exfolikate for the face, and a little bit can go a long way. I apply this all over my body while in the shower, and then wait a minute or two so the steam can activate the enzymes and then rinse off. For me, it gives the perfect balance of a gentle yet thorough exfoliation. And the added enzyme exfoliation aids in ensuring my skin stays softer for longer than a standard body scrub. And the fact that there is no annoying oily residue left in my tub that I can slip after makes this even more of a "love" product for me.

2. Sunday Riley Juno Body Transformative Body Lipid Serum - I'm quite the fan of beauty oils - cleansing oils, face oils and body oils are all staples in my routine. However, I had heard this Juno Serum was a bit different in the way that it helps with not only hydration, but with the tone and elasticity of the skin. I've been using for a few weeks now and while the results are ever so slight, I have noticed a difference. Typically with many of my body oils, they simply feel great and keep my skin soft and smooth. While the Juno Serum does all of those things, I have noticed my skin seems more toned and taut as well which was a pleasant surprise. Another added bonus is I can get dressed quicker than my other body creams and oils because this Juno Serum soaks in amazingly fast. And in the morning, those few minutes can really make a difference! Firmer skin and a few minutes extra sleep - sold!
*pr samples included


Essie Fall 2014 Collection With Swatches

Essie Fall 2014 Collection with swatches on fair skin
I get excited for a lot of different nail polish launches each season, but Essie is the one brand that always seems to get it right. They consistently make classic colors that become cult favorites that all of us will wear for years and years. And I love the fact that most of the shades they release each season become permanent so you don't have to fall in love with a color and then buy 25 bottles of it because it will disappear after the season is over. This fall collection is everything I would have expected from Essie - rich deep blues and browns, two neutral shades that I can't help but love and a classic red that seems suitable for any time of the year. Below are all the swatches and corresponding names.
My personal favorite is 'Take It Outside', as I'm sure all of you guessed. Though it doesn't sound appealing, I would describe it as the perfect mushroom shade - right? A good mix of gray and beige with no shimmer. I need another neutral nail polish like I need a hole in the head but I refuse to listen to reason when it comes to nail polish.

What shade is your favorite from the collection?

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