Posts tagged skincare
Sephora Sale: Spring 2019

The Sephora sale is one that I save up for and get so excited about. I keep a list in my phone of things that I want to try when I see so that I can buy them on sale. I also stock up on my repeat tried and true favorites (in multiples) so that I am stocked. I hate paying full price for things and since so many makeup and skincare products rarely go on sale, I use this time to stock up. It hurts my credit card bill at once but is worth it in the long run. You can read about my current skincare routine here.

The Sephora sale has different dates and discounts based on status for Sephora members. If you are not already signed up as a Beauty Insider, do so ASAP! You get rewards and it doesn’t cost anything. You can sign up here. Here are the dates & codes for the sale…

VIB Rouge

April 26-May 6

20% off with code HEYROUGE


May 2-May 6

15% off with code HEYVIB

Beauty Insider

May 2-May 6

10% off with code HEYINSIDER


The one beauty arena that I am most interested in is definitely skincare. It’s probably because it goes along with feeling clean, which is my FAVORITE! If I had to chose between being made up with makeup or being fresh out of the shower and clean with all of my face products on, I’d choose that feeling of being fresh out of the shower. The other reason that I love skincare is because I think that the better you treat your skin, the less makeup you need. Plus, when you do wear makeup, it sits better on skin that is well taken care of. I want to take good care of my skin for the long haul so that it looks as good as possible as I age.

I’d love to go in and get a ton of facials and lasers and such but that is really expensive so I try to do as much at home as I can. I’ve learned that the expensive products last a really long time. I bought most of my go to’s last year during the sale and still am not done with the bottles. Most of the items (besides moisturizer, deodorant and sunscreen) last me a full year. Some face serums I need to replenish 2x/year. Since the products are highly concentrated, they do their job really well with a small amount. Therefore, when I switched to these products, the cost in what I am spending each year overall didn’t really go up (especially once I got on a schedule with the sale). However, the upfront cost isn’t fun.

I have tried my best in recent years to switch over to cleaner face products. Since our skin is our largest organ and chemicals can get through our pores, I’ve tried to be really conscious about what I put on my skin. I follow the 80/20 rule generally with what I eat being ‘clean’ versus not so I try to apply that same rule to my skincare, haircare, makeup, etc.

Like I mentioned, I’m really excited to try some new products that I’ve read a lot about (and will report back on). However, I am also ordering refills of my tried and trues like the toner which has changed my breakouts, my favorite night time face oil, and this epic sunscreen for your face (you won’t ever go back once you use goes on clear). The steps that I use my skincare products in based on my current routine can be found in this blog post.


I really kept my makeup selections to a minimum so these are just my musts. I have been using some of them for yearssss (pretty sure I’ve been using the orgasm color of this blush since college). I have tried so many times to replace the GOAT mascara with a ‘clean’ alternative and I just can’t kick it (and am okay with it). I love mine SO much and have been using it since high school. I don’t curl my eyelashes with an eyelash curler (too scared of it harming my lashes) and this is the only mascara that lifts and curves my lashes. It literally triples the length of my lashes! I just got this new eyebrow pencil recently and am loving it!

Sephora Summer Sale-Clean Beauty

The Sephora sale is currently going on and I used it as an opportunity to further 'clean up' my beauty products! Over the past 4 years, I've been really cleaning up everything in my home to make sure that I am using products with as many safe ingredients as possible. That includes my beauty products, of course. It's a long transition to get all the way there or at least it has been for me. I think that there's a steep learning curve to figure out what works well and what is worth the price versus what isn't. My skin is also pretty reactive to trying new products so I am always wary. I LOVE that Sephora came out with a 'Clean' stamp on products that meet their guidelines. It's making it all so much easier and seamless. However, it was a bit of a disappointment to not see some products like I have and use (like a bunch of Tarte products) getting their stamp of approval for being clean because I intentionally bought them for that reason. Lesson learned though! I was really happy to find out the the perfume that I've been using for 10 years (yes, 10) made the 'clean' cut! I am refilling some products that I currently am running low on for the sale and buying a couple others to stock up on for when I run out of my currents. Here's some notable things that I just ordered and then below are images that you can click on with those items + items that I already have and love. 

I didn't order much makeup because I want to finish what I currently have in my drawers but I did get this lipstick because I'm running really low on lipsticks that I like. I've been dying to try Drunk Elephant products but I haven't wanted to bite the bullet on the price tag. I've heard that it's so worth it and the ingredients are really clean so after a year of dying to try it, I ordered this drunk elephant set of "littles." I figured that by buying the mini versions of things, I can try multiple products of theirs and see what I like. I have been wanting to add a Vitamin C serum to my routine so hopefully I'll love this one. I also ordered a big version of their baby face mask because I heard that it makes your skin softer than anything. I am waiting until summer is over before I try it though because I don't want to put "raw" skin in any sun. Another thing that I got and am OBSESSED WITH is this deodorant. Seriously, it's a game changer. I think I am going to do a whole blog post on my transition to more natural deodorant because I have so much to say but BUY THIS ONE! I got it and just ordered another 3 to stock up while its on sale! 

Everything is on sale at Sephora until September 3rd for everyone. The discount that you’re eligible for depends on your Beauty Insider Status. Rouge members get 20% off, VIB get 15% off & Beauty Insiders get 10% off. They have 3 day free shipping for orders over $50 so everything arrives really fast! 



Post Travel Skincare Routine

Anyone else's skin suffer when they travel? Mine always breaks out a little, gets really dry and is just so blah looking. I went straight from Virtuoso Travel Week conference in Las Vegas to Austin for a bachelorette party last week and my skin tells the tale (if only you could see how my back feels haha). I think that the fact that they are both really dry destinations didn't help my cause. I can't drink alcohol (for medical reasons) so I can't even imagine how much harsher the travel would be with drinking. This skincare routine would be even more helpful if you drink!

I am also trying to be good about drinking enough water and even bought some PH water with electrolytes to rehydrate. The other thing that I try to do after traveling is lay off the makeup. I am not going to put on makeup for like a week after traveling. I also won't put heat to my hair for a week and will just let it air dry. I am also using this hair mask after conditioning my hair for a few days. 

In the morning, I did this face mask the first day back. Then, I've been using this mask as moisturizer basically (as long as I'm not going in the sun at all, in which case I need to wear something with SPF). I use my regular daytime eye cream too. 

In the evening, I'm doing this little "peel" and then using my usual facial oil and night time eye cream. I'm being diligent about using the Jade roller every night after applying the oil to really help it soak in (I truthfully only use it 1-2x per week on a regular basis). The roller is also helping with some puffiness in my eyes. 

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Wrinkle Prevention & Treatment Part 1

So, I'm 28 years old and am already really bothered by the wrinkles and fine lines on my face. Is anyone else with me on this? I have bad crows feet around my eyes that go all the way down my cheeks. I also have forehead wrinkles, which I think all of us do. My husband has pretty deep-set crows feet as well and since they're called "smile lines," he's been jokingly saying that we laugh and smile too much in our house. I've been saying that I should be more like Victoria Beckham, but if you know me then you know that's never going to happen. I mean, I "won" Funniest Laugh in 8th grade and have always been someone who laughs too much and too loudly. I technically was also Posh Spice in my crew as a kid but that’s really just because my best friend and I bullied our little sisters into letting us get the “coolest” Spice Girls.

So, what are the REAL solutions for wrinkle treatment and prevention? I’ve been wondering so I went to Schweiger Dermatology and saw Jessica Kaylor, MMS, PA-C. Make sure to follow Jessica on Instagram for lots of helpful skin tips! I have seen Jessica for years now for all of my dermatological needs and really respect her as a practitioner. I know that she helps her patients with a lot of cosmetic concerns and I wanted to start tackling my wrinkles with her leading the mission. Not only is she a great practitioner, but she is young and relatable and just "gets it." She isn't a 65 year old man who cannot understand why some light wrinkles at a young age would bother me. Instead, she completely understood. 

I went in thinking that I was abnormally young to address these concerns but Jessica told me that 30 is the "hot number" age when women start showing up in her office talking about how to address their wrinkles (men come in in large numbers around age 40). She said that she's seen 19 year olds come into her office who are good candidates for Botox because their wrinkles are deep at a young age (but said that doesn't mean that she wouldn't suggest that a 19 year old get Botox). 


Contributing Factors

So, why do some people start to see wrinkles at young ages? Genetics play a role and I definitely can see that I have prominent wrinkles in some of the places that my mom has prominent wrinkles.

Another big player is anatomy. Jessica describes the muscles that form a circle around my eye as "strong" and therefore says that they are able to pull a lot and cause creases. I said that I like how she used a positive adjective to describe something negative haha. The more that I use those muscles, the stronger that they become. They also continue to crease over and over again. She used the analogy of ironing a skirt. At rest, your skin will be like a freshly ironed skirt and sit flat and smooth. As you sit, move and wear it though (aka smile, talk...), more and more wrinkles will appear. The more you let those wrinkles stay there, the deeper they will become. I've been using my "strong" cheek muscles and muscles around my eyes so much, that now even when they are at rest, some of those creases remain as "fine lines."

The third contributor is just the natural aging process. As we get older, our skin thins and therefore more things (dark spots, under eye circles, wrinkles, veins, bones...) become increasingly more prominent. The elasticity in our skin decreases as we age naturally. Sun exposure also speeds up the thinning of our skin. 



Jessica says that the cheapest and easiest thing that we can do is stay out of the yesterday. For the past couple of years I've been religious about wearing sunscreen every single day (winter included) and wearing (+reapplying) 55 SPF whenever I am in the sun (I used to only wear sunscreen if I was out in the sun and wore lower SPFs). I was telling her how I worship the sun and how one of my all time favorite things in life is feeling the sun on my face and how that's such a hard thing to give up. This past summer I wore hats a lot more, but I was not perfect about it and the rest of my skin only had SPF on it. She said that the sun releases chemicals in our brains so it’s basically addictive. She said that she's not 1000 percent perfect at it either but that she tries to at least not let her face, neck and hands see the sun since those are “tell tale” age spots. She said that sometimes she will lay with her head and neck in the shade and the rest of her body in the sun (with high SPF on) in order to compromise. Otherwise she stays totally out of the sun (and still wears SPF because reflections and other things can still let UV rays touch your skin even if you’re in the shade). I feel like I can get on board with the compromising plan. I know that I have to get better at this and I know that since I already have made big progress with it in the past few years, I can continue to improve. I can't go back in time so I am vowing to be better (but I'm not going to be perfect with zero sun exposure...I will be perfect about zero unprotected sun exposure and will be mostly good about hats +shade) moving forward. 

The other thing that we can start doing now is use retinoids. She has the ability to prescribe retinoid ointments that are much stronger than the retinal products that you can buy from beauty stores because the FDA cannot regulate those in the same way. She wrote me a prescription for this and I will start off using it twice a week and then gradually increase the amount of days that I use it. If you increase it too quickly, it can burn and cause irritation, so you have to get your skin used to it slowly. By using this, I will be putting chemicals on my face, which I don't love. I also don't love wrinkles though so I think that just like I pick and choose certain things in life to do natural versus not (like eating organic produce and then eating pizza on the weekends), I will pick and choose with my skincare. I will try to be really good about using other natural products and makeup and then leave "room" for this retinoid. My mom has had really good results with it and she only started using it in her fifties so I'm sure if I start using it at 28 it can make a bigger difference. 

Botox can be preventative of future wrinkles and worse wrinkles. That’s because injecting botox into a muscle will weaken that muscle. Remember how we said that the muscles that are causing my crows feet are "strong?" Well, if we weaken them, they won't keep creasing my skin over and over again. The less that I crease it, the less that the fine lines will stay while I am "at rest." Basically, if they aren't used as much, they won't be doing as much damage in the whole wrinkled skirt analogy. However, Botox wears off so if you don't get it again once it has worn off, then the creasing will just start back up again. Regardless, any period of time where I’m not continuously creasing the wrinkles as deep, is still more time than it would be without Botox. Therefore, it has preventative properties that essentially stall the production of deep wrinkles. 



Obviously, we already discussed retinoid, which is used to treat AND prevent wrinkles. Mine was not expensive because I have some acne (which it also helps) so she was able to order it through insurance. 

Jessica sees great results with Botox as a treatment and said that I am a perfect candidate for it. I got Botox in my crows feet. I also got a tiny bit in my forehead and in between my eyebrows (she thinks that they go hand in hand and should be done together so that it doesn't look odd). She didn’t do a lot of it at all so that I will still be able to be really expressive and so that it looks natural and not frozen. Botox is not a permanent fix and it lasts about 4 months (she reccomends that patients get it done twice a year and in some rare cases 3 times a year). The next post in this series will be about getting the Botox, so stay tuned! We will be diving into Botox and solely discussing it plus my experience with it in the next post. 

Fraxel laser is also a great treatment for wrinkles. It can really get into the deep layers of your skin and correct dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines that have happened throughout your life thus far. She said that it is pretty magical for correcting and reversing damage that has been done. It will not prevent wrinkles from forming and as soon as you go into the sun again (which you shouldn't), you will start to lose some of the efficacy of the treatment. However, if you stay out of the sun, the benefits that you get from the Fraxel can last a lifetime. Obviously, you will still be naturally aging and seeing effects but you will be able to permanently make a change in the wrinkles that you have so far (unlike Botox, which you may need 2-3 times a year). Botox and Fraxel are two peas in a pod though and compliment each other really well! Botox stops your muscles from wrinkling the skirt/holds it smoothed out, Fraxel resurfaces and actually IRONS it out!

I hope that this information was as educational and helpful for you as it was for me! I’m excited to counterbalance these harsh ‘before’ photos with some ‘after photos so that we can see the efficacy of Botox. FYI I intentionally wore no makeup for these photos so that you can see all of the true details easily (even though makeup has been sinking into my wrinkles and hardly helping). I look forward to sharing my experience with getting the Botox injections in my next post of this series!