What Should Be In My Closet

Give me all the colors, patterns and prints possible! I want to wear them all at once - that is how excited I am that the weather is finally cooperating. These are some of the items I have had my eye on these past few weeks. Spring is here and it's bringing some awesome wardrobe item possibilities with it. Click on each item to shop:

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The Ingredient Focus: Glycolic Acid

One of my goals this year was to develop a better understanding of skincare ingredients. Yes I love skincare. Yes I love using a ton of different products. But do I truly understand what each ingredient does, how it reacts with other ingredients, and what that all means for my face? Kind sorta, but I am no expert. I did start to make some correlations during my skincare routines when I was using too many exfoliating products or too many acne products at once – my skin would be too dry or too oily - basically out of balance. You can read more about my skincare routine and the thought process behind it here. One of the first ingredients I educated myself on was Retinol (read that post here). I was amazed at the results and once I fully understood it, I knew why it was working so well. The next ingredient to pop up on my radar has been glycolic acid. I have been using it for a while in many different products, but didn’t put two and two together that it was the reason I was seeing such great results.  (epic ditzy moment. Good one, Maree) Here's a quick breakdown of glycolic acid and what it does: it's an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), helps to break down substances that bond dead skin cells together, is a natural exfoliant, helpful in the treatment of acne, and can have long term effects such as reducing wrinkles, acne scars, a loser boyfriend (just kidding – get rid of him yourself!) and dark spots.  Basically it is great skin in a bottle. That is if you can use it – many cannot for whatever reason, so always do a test to make sure you can tolerate. But now that I have rambled on long enough, let’s look at the products I have been loving lately that contain glycolic acid:

1. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads* – Little round pads of heaven if you ask me. I use these after my cleanser, and follow with a quick spritz of a hydrating toner. Gentle enough for daily use, they help to exfoliate and prepare the skin for the rest of my routine. Everyone needs to add these to their regimen. Now. Immediately. Ok finish reading my post first, then GO!

2. Revive Moisturizing Renewal Cream* – Holy luxury. I have been coveting this cream for some time and am excited to finally give it a go. I have only used it a short time, but waking up the next morning is like a dream. Glowing, soft, supple skin – heck, I feel like I am going back in age with this bad boy. A total splurge yes, but it will not disappoint.

3. Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser – When I am having an exceptionally bad breakout (read hormonal with a side of chocolate cupcake cravings), I add this cleanser into my routine. I use it every other day instead of every day which can be too drying for me, but it helps to break up any congestion and clear up my skin quickly.

4. Murad Complete Reform with Glyco Firming Complex* - Hello anti-aging serum. I have only recently began adding in heavy duty anti-aging products into my routine. Typically I focus more on my oily skin/breakouts, but after watching those smile lines or in-between-my-eyes lines not disappear after 20 seconds, I knew I needed to bring in the heavier guns. This Firming Complex has been the perfect addition to my routine - with the first result being less noticeable pores. *throws confetti* My skin does feel more taut as well, and the glycolic acid in this is working overtime to give me extra smooth skin the next morning. 

5. Chantecaille Fruit and Flower Acids Mask* - Dry, dull or lackluster skin need not apply when using this mask. Some retexturizing masks can be way too strong or too weak, yet this falls happily right in the middle for me. It helps to eliminate dead skin cells, refresh my skin without irritation, yet still soothe it at the same time. So much goodness in one jar. For an extra treat, I follow this mask with a spritz of the Chantecaille Pure Rosewater and my skin is in heaven.
* press sample

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Waking Up My Eyes

I wish I was a morning person. I feel that morning people get so much more done and accomplished while the rest of us are hitting the snooze button a million times. But until I finally conquer the 6 am wake up, I will have to rely on makeup products to help me speed up the process. Benefit's Fake Up Concealer and First Aid Beauty's Eye Duty Triple Remedy* are two new additions to my morning routine, but are slowly climbing their way up the "how-did-I-ever-live-without" ladder. Some products take me a few days or even weeks to get into the groove with, however some just wow me instantly. These were an instant hit.
Benefit's Fake Up is a concealer surrounded by a moisturizing stick. The shade range is quite limited (there are only 3 colors) but if you can find a shade that matches, you are in luck. I am the lightest shade (of course) and love the way this applies. The formula is quite opaque and covers well, yet the moisturizing stick ensures it does not crease, pull on any dry patches or settle into fine lines. If this doesn't make my favorites list shortly, I will be shocked. It is that good. But before I apply it, I massage in the First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy. Designed to be an eye treatment (as opposed to an eye cream), it is meant to depuff, brighten and smooth. Oh and be the most delightful thing to use every morning - they forgot that part. If you can see from the above pics, there is a stainless steel applicator that you use to massage in the cream. It's like a spa for your eyes. The applicator is so cooling and truly helps to depuff instantly, while the slightly peachy toned cream helps to brighten and color correct immediately. Over time, it is supposed to help reduce fine lines and dark circles, which is yet to be seen since I've only been using for a few weeks. But what I can tell you is I will not apply my makeup without it anymore. It is simply that vital. And crucial. 6 am be damned. I'll happily get another hour or more with these in my arsenal.
* press sample

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Bits and Pieces: Leopard And Leather

 photo Leopardblouseandleatherleggings1.jpg  photo leopardleahter.jpg
 photo leopard.jpg Just looking at this white blazer gives me anxiety because I stress about getting it dirty, but I love how crisp and clean it looks. I think a white blazer is an essential piece in a wardrobe - and when I stumbled across this one on the Nordstrom site, and saw it was under $100 - I felt even better about adding it to my closet. I don't mind splurging on a great piece of clothing here and there but with light colored items, I always hesitate. I wear way too much makeup to not have an accident, and don't want to feel uncomfortable all day long trying not to get myself dirty. Leopard on the other hand is always a good decision, and with this Equipment blouse it was a no brainer. I love the longer back that works well when untucked, and the draping it gives when tucked in is perfect and feminine. There is a reason these blouses are such a cult classic.

Jacket - Trouve via Nordstrom (under $100!) | Blouse - Equipment | Leggings - Trouve via Nordstrom (similar here) | Heels - J.Crew (similar here and here

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What Should Be On My Vanity

my current beauty wish list
A good mix of both new and existing products are currently trying to make their way onto my vanity. While I do love a new launch, I find myself not wanting to miss out on great staples from each line.  Where is that unlimited trust fund when you need it??  What is currently on your wish list? Click on each item for more information.

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