Micellar Water- Worth the Hype?

Hello everyone!

With all the skincare products out on the market at the moment, it is definitely easy to get overwhelmed. For me, feeling overwhelmed generally means that I cling tightly to what I know, and stay away from trying anything new. However, I love learning about skin and discovering new skincare products, so clinging to my few, safe choices is definitely a no no.

With that in mind, Micellar Water has been trending recently. It’s in shampoos (check out Redken’s new line), and it’s definitely a favorite for skincare. In the beginning, I dismissed it thinking it was just the latest trendy product for makeup removal and didn’t really believe it could be that great. Besides, I had my “Take the Day Off” Cleansing Milk by Clinique and honestly felt as though nothing could beat it. A few weeks went by and I kept seeing more and more people trying out the product and raving about it. I decided, (on a spur of the moment trip to Walgreens), to try it too. I selected the “Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water” (the pink one) and went up to the register to pay. It was around $6 dollars, so for that price, I couldn’t say no!

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Long story short, I rushed home and ran upstairs to take off my makeup. I soaked a cotton pad with the product, and wiped down my face in one smooth line. All my makeup had disappeared. I was amazed and continued to wipe over the rest of my face. I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see that my makeup had literally been wiped off my face in one easy swipe. Easier than face wipes, easier than soap and water, and EVEN (dare I say it…), easier than my cleansing milk. I soaked another cotton pad with the product and went over my face for a second time. There was a little makeup residue around those stubborn areas, (nose, hairline, etc), but apart from that, it was all gone. I cleansed one time, and my face felt totally clean. It wasn’t tight, it wasn’t irritated- it was unbelievably fresh and clean.

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Well, I’ve tried it and I believe that the Micellar Cleansing Water “trend” is here to stay. I think it is also safe to say that the Garnier Micellar Water is a product that certainly lives up to and exceeds the hype. If you have’t tried it, try it. You won’t be disappointed.

BRB, off to take off my makeup….

How To: Sunday Facial

Well, it’s about that time of the week again. It’s Sunday, and that means “Sunday Facial” time! I’ve been obsessed with my skincare for years now and have always incorporated masks and other products into my routine here and there. However, it was discovering Alessandra Steinherr that changed my skincare routine forever. Alessandra is the beauty director for Glamour UK and I absolutely adore her. Not only does she frequently review products and give important tips, she also has recently been doing Q and A’s on Instagram live. A little while ago I discovered her “Sunday Facial” on Snapchat and continued to watch every week as she transitioned over to Insta stories. The “Sunday Facial” is something that she has done religiously for years and involves taking time out every week to devote to a skincare regime.

I too have been doing the “Sunday Facial” now for quite a while. I definitely feel a difference in taking a little time every week to give myself a homemade facial. However, it’s more than giving your skin a good scrub, it’s also taking time out of your week to just calm down and relax. In a way, there aren’t a lot of things you can do when you have a terrifying mask on your face, so sitting down and taking a break from my devices; maybe reading a book, or simply sitting and thinking, makes me feel refreshed and more centered.

My “Sunday Facial” changes depending on what my skin needs. This week, I want to focus on brightening and refreshing my skin, while also keeping it hydrated. I have been breaking out quite severely the past few weeks, and now that I feel that I’m on the tail end of it, I want to make sure I’m soothing my irritated skin to minimize any scarring.

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1. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Milk:

Firstly, I’m removing my makeup with my Clinique “Take the Day Off” Cleansing Milk. I really love this product as I feel that it removes all of my makeup easily, and I don’t need to tug and pull at my skin to get it clean.

2.  Rhonda Allison Citrus Cel Cleanser

Next, I’m cleansing with the Citrus Gel cleanser from Rhonda Alison. This is a really nice cleanser as it is formulated for dry, sensitive skin and the citrus ingredients freshen my skin. Despite the fact that it is formulated for dry skin, I actually find it drying when I use it too often. However, for a “Sunday Facial,” I want to feel like I’m deeply cleansing and really getting rid of any grime. This cleanser can also be used as a makeup remover in addition.

3. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I’m not a crazy fan of all of the Dermalogica products. I often find them to be too drying and harsh on my skin. However, I really do love the Daily Microfoliant. It comes out almost as a powder and turns into a paste as you add water. I pour a little onto my damp hands and apply to my face in circular motions until it disintegrates into more of a foam. I like this feature because it prevents me from scrubbing and scrubbing at my delicate skin.

4. Hale Cosmetics Marula Enzyme Mask

I’m using an enzyme mask by Hale Cosmetics. It is supposed to help with dead skin cells which I need as I’m certainly overdue for a professional facial. I’ve been feeling that my skin is dull and a little dry. This mask is specifically designed to dissolve the dead skin cells in order to help with skin hydration, and I certainly feel that it made my skin feel fresh and smooth.

5. S&W Basics Toner

This is a new product that I’ve been trying recently. I have to say, I am actually loving it. It only has five ingredients so I feel like it is fairly real. I find it really calming to my skin and the witch hazel definitely helps with any angry break outs. I’ve got to admit, I’m not crazy about the smell. When I first started using it, I was really scared of smelling like apple cider vinegar all day long. However, I feel that the benefits certainly outweigh the smell, so I think I’m going to continue using it.

6. S&W Rose Water

After toning, I love to use this Rose Water. A favorite from my “Summer Survival Kit,” I feel like it is a nice “base of hydration.” The rose water soothes my skin and helps to calm down any inflammation. I then can continue to layer on my products and feel that I’m sealing in the original hydration from my rose water.

7. Rhonda Allison Growth Factor Gel

Now on to the serum! I tend to switch between several different serums, but today I’m using the Rhonda Allison Growth Factor Gel. It repairs and prevents tissue damage, which I feel is a must for my skin at the moment.

8. Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Moisturizer

The final step is my moisturizer. I don’t tend to switch my moisturizer around too much as a lot of different brands irritate my skin. I’ve found one that works, and I have been sticking to it for a while. It has an oil-free formulation which is great for my skin type, but is also the intense version which is a little heavier than the basic gel. It lasts me all day without me feeling like my skin tight and pulling, but also isn’t too heavy, especially in this weather.

And there you have it! My version of the “Sunday Facial” this week. While I don’t feel that my “Sunday Facial” will ever be able to replace the professional facials that I get when I visit my esthetician, I do feel that they help to extend the life of my facials and keep my skin in the best shape it can be.

Summer Survival Kit

With temperatures reaching 118 degrees this week, it is clear that we are well in the midst of summer. It’s hot, it’s sweaty, and it’s stifling. While some opt to go to the beach, we in Arizona, stick to swimming pools… (until we can make it to the beach). However, with work and everyday (adult) lives, we can’t spend every moment by the pool which can make the summer temperatures feel a little less than friendly at times. With that in mind, I’ve put together my “Summer Survival Kit” with everything you need to survive AND enjoy the summer.

Firstly, we have sunnies. Everyone needs a great pair of sunglasses for the summer. You need glasses that you feel fantastic in but are also functional enough for everyday use. It is much too bright out there without eye protection. This year I treated myself to a pair of Ray-Bans that I’ve had my eye on for many, many months. They were quite pricey, but honestly, I was spending so much on gas to try them on in the store everyday… you do the math.

Secondly, we have magazines… or any good reading material to be honest. Whether hanging out by the pool, or relaxing under the ceiling fan; reading material is a must. So much time can be wasted on Netflix, and while I’m as much of a Netflix addict as the next person, I also enjoy taking a moment to read a great book, or catch up on fashion trends. Definitely a MUST to pass the time when the weather is hottt.

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Next, invest in a great swimsuit. Mine is by Azura. This was another pricey item, but definitely worth it. I bought it for the Christmas party when I lived in Sydney. I wanted a one piece because I wanted to be classy and modest, especially in front of my co-workers at the time. I’m so glad that I bought it because it has proved to be a staple for summer. The blue and white stripe is classic, yet the back is cut out which makes it feel youthful and edgy. Definitely worth the investment.

Now, onto the products. I am obsessed with my Amika “Perk Up Dry Shampoo.” I have naturally fine, flat hair which only gets flatter as the weather gets warmer. The dry shampoo is fantastic to fluff my hair back up when it’s looking a little forlorn. I don’t know about you, but I definitely sweat in the hot weather which can make my freshly washed hair feel less than freshly washed. This dry shampoo is great for “freshening up” the less than fresh hair as well!

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Speaking of hair, I DETEST drying my hair every time I wash it in the summer. Sometimes it is simply too hot, or I can’t be bothered to fully blow it out. The Matrix “Wild Boho” air dry cream is amazing for days when I just want to let my hair air dry. I scrunch it in when it is damp, and when it drys it has volume and texture without a sticky residue. A MUST for summer hair.

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I’m also recently in love with my rose water spritz. Rose water is anti-inflammatory so it calms redness and irritation, It is great for acne and is filled with antioxidants. I love to spritz my face with it throughout the day to rehydrate and freshen and is definitely a summer staple for anyone.

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Finally last, but certainly not least is my faithful Clinique sunscreen. Even if you are diligent about staying out the sun, you can’t help but be exposed to it sometimes. For that, you need a great sunscreen. This sunscreen is SPF 50 and has an oil-free formulation so it doesn’t clog my pores. It has a slight tint to it as well which I love because it blends imperfections. I’m able to wear it out and about without looking like I’m completely barefaced. With that in mind, it is a great alternative to a bb cream, especially with its high SPF.

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Well, there you have it… my summer survival kit. I’ve got everything I need to make my summer feel less endless, and more like a vacation. Well, everything except a margarita. Speaking of….

Picking the Perfect Perfume

Wearing a scent is something that has been popular since Ancient Egyptians used perfumes to denote status. Throughout the course of history, people have used to perfumes to either mask bad odors, or to convey certain images about themselves or evoke certain emotions. In my opinion, even today, the perfume that one chooses to wear continues to do just that. While some people prefer to collect and wear different perfumes depending on the day, I would rather choose one scent that I can stick to for a long time, which is why selecting a particular perfume to wear was a daunting task; one that took me almost three years to achieve. When I was a teenager, I would bounce around from sugary scent to fruity scent, and back again. However, once I reached twenty, I decided that I’d had enough of the latest body sprays with the fun scents. I wanted something to match the person that I was trying to become. I wanted something older and more refined.

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The search for this particular scent took ages as I found myself testing out all of the perfumes I’d come across every time I would go shopping. The result was always the same. I would walk away covered in scents that I didn’t like, and a headache from sniffing too much perfume!

Finally, one day the answer came to me: “Tresor” by Lancome. I simply couldn’t believe that I’d overlooked it over the years! My mum always wore Tresor, so there is quite a lot of sentimentality that factors into my love of the perfume. When I smell it, it takes me back to being a child. I remember watching her in her beautiful clothes with her beautiful products and knowing that I desperately wanted to grow up to be elegant and sophisticated as well.

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Ultimately, for me, it came down to finding something that portrayed my personality type and personal sense of style and “Tresor” by Lancome does just that. It is sophisticated and adult, (yet not too old), and the sentimentality bit is simply a bonus.

Visiting Agritopia

Allow me to introduce a gem of Gilbert….. Agritopia!

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One of my favourite places to visit on a day off is Agritopia. While I always opt to grab a cappuccino and some food, there are many cute and quirky elements to Agritopia.

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Firstly, the entire place has a sort of updated farm house vibe, mixing modern with rustic  and creating a space that makes you feel as though you have been transported out of Arizona as soon as you arrive. As I mentioned, I always stop off at The Coffee Shop straight away and order a cappuccino. Usually I pair it with a plain bagel, but today I decided to try a cupcake. This particular coffee shop actually won Cupcake Wars so I was eager to try their talent.

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If you decide to wander around Agritopia, you’ll find several different restaurants and a winery. All have their own unique style and I often find myself wandering into them just because I love the way that they look.

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Agritopia also has a small salon studio located inside and a stationary shop and florist. Essentially, it seems like it’s own little village secluded from the rest of Gilbert and always offers something new to explore and enjoy every time I visit.