Happy Friday! I snagged some new products at the drugstore today and couldn’t wait to try the K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Eyebrow Tint…so keep reading! 👇🏼
I purchased the shade 02 Natural Brown. It looks somewhat like a lipgloss tube with a brush applicator, and the product is a gel that looks frighteningly black. For someone like me with blonde hair, it felt a little ominous. But, ya know…do it for the ‘Gram. You apply the product to clean eyebrows and let it sit for a minimum of two hours, but preferably overnight. When you’re ready to reveal your new brows, simply peel off the product and voila! This product won a 2017 Cosme award (think Allure beauty picks). I have thin, sparse eyebrows and I would loooove not having to spend time filling them in every morning.
I was surprised at how easy it was to apply. There are two eyebrow stencils tucked into the box, but they were both too thick for my natural brow shape. If you make any mistakes, you can swipe them away easily with a q-tip. When you first apply it, it looks very dark and ridiculous. I felt kind of like Groucho Marx, which then made me really antsy about committing, but the tint only lasts up to a week, so it’s not nearly as much of a commitment as microblading. I figured I could just cover my eyebrows with foundation and salvage them with a pencil if my little experiment went south.
I left the tint on for about three hours (I was impatient and nervous, what can I say!), and I was shocked 1. at how easy and painless it was to peel off, and 2. at how good it looks! My brows definitely look fuller and more defined, and I’m so excited about shaving time off my morning routine. It only took me 5-10 minutes to apply the tint, which should last for 3 to 5 days. A few sweeps of the Kate Tokyo brow powder I picked up today should be more than enough in the mornings now! 🙌🏼
If you’d like to try the 1 Day Tattoo Eyebrow Tint, it’s available on Amazon. Okinawa friends: you can find this at Tokyu Hands, Don Q, and some Matsumoto Kiyoshi drugstores for roughly ¥1200. The product comes in 5 shades: Light Brown, Natural Brown, Mocha Brown, Ash Brown, and Smoky Brown. If you have sparse brows like me or are just looking for an easy, low maintenance brow routine, I highly recommend trying this product out!
Hey y’all and welcome to 2018! I love reflecting on the trials, accomplishments, and lessons learned at the end of each year, and it was fun for me to look back on all of the adventures 2017 brought my way. From Taiwan to Korea to Thailand to the USA and back to Okinawa, I covered a lot of ground and made so many memories. I also like to evaluate the products I have in my collection and decide what I should keep, what I should toss, and what I should repurchase. Every year, I write a favorites blog about the standout products of the year before. So without further ado, here are my 10 beauty favorites (plus a bonus shoe fave!) from 2017, and if you make it to the bottom, you’ll have a chance to win one of them! All I ask is that you follow my blog and leave a comment with one of your resolutions or favorite products 😊
Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her Eau de Toilette / Fragrances are very personal, but I loooove this ultra-feminine perfume! It’s floral without being stuffy, sweet without sending middle school flashbacks, and woodsy while maintaining its femininity. I wear this daily and frequently get compliments. Not gonna lie, I just dabbed some on my wrists just to smell it. Mmmm…< a href=”http://tartecosmetics.com/en_US/makeup/face/concealer/shape-tape-contour-concealer/836.html?dwvar_836_color=tan&cgid=makeup-face-concealer#start=1″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light Sand / Let’s be real. This concealer basically broke the internet in 2017. According to Tarte, one of these beautiful babies is sold every 20 seconds. If you haven’t tried Tarte Shape Tape, get on it, because this stuff is amazing. It’s full coverage without being detectable, and you get a significant amount of product (10 ml)–I purchased this in July and am still using it daily in January. No drugstore concealer (even my favorites!) can top this, and it’s 100% worth the splurge.
Too Faced Sweet Peach Papa Don’t Peach Blush / I think the only blush I’ve consistently recommended on my blog is Benefit’s Dallas. I have a little confession to share about that…I’ve barely used it at all since purchasing this blush 🙈. Papa Don’t Peach is still bronzey and natural-looking, but it brightens up your face in a way Dallas can’t. It smells just like Too Faced’s other peach items, and you get 9g of product, so it’ll last a while even with daily use. Plus, I can’t get past the freakin’ adorable packaging!
Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil with Argan and Coconut Oils / People with oily skin tend to be afraid of facial oils and oil cleansers, but they’re actually beneficial for all skin types! Some oils can even regulate sebum production 😍 This Burt’s Bees oil cleanser is actually my favorite of the several I’ve tried, which is surprising considering it contains coconut oil, which breaks me out on its own. I use this to remove my makeup before cleansing, and I can’t get over how well it removes my makeup or how soft it leaves my skin. I’ve pretty much ditched makeup wipes for this, AND it hasn’t broken me out!
Sexy Hair Vibrant CC Hair Perfector / After getting highlights sometime mid-year, I felt my hair start to ride the struggle bus. It was stringy, lifeless, and a little straw-like. I picked this up on a whim and OMG. After just one night of using it, my hair was radically different. I became an instant believer. This product makes your hair so soft, and it smells delish!
wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation / So, can we talk about how this foundation is less than $6? 👀 It’s medium-full coverage, so smooth, super lightweight, and DAMN. It just plain makes your face look fabulous. I like it best when applied with a damp sponge, and the coverage is buildable at pretty much all levels. So whether you want a flawless full-coverage face, or a sheer wash of even coverage, this foundation can do it for you. I bought it enough to buy a shade for each level of the fake-tanning cycle. That’s commitment.
Tarte Cosmetics Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara / I’m about to make a bold statement. I think this is my holy grail mascara. Yep, I said it. Why is no one talking about this?! I had never even heard of it until I saw it mentioned in one of Tarte’s Instagram stories. I ordered it at random during a points promotion for platinum members on Ulta.com and my lashes have never been the same. This mascara does everything I wish Too Faced’s Better than Sex mascara did. It gives you tons of length, medium volume, and won’t flake or smear throughout the day. I have excessively watery eyes, and this has never run. I even tested it with actual tears once. Still no running. Do your lashes a favor and buy this. Oh, and supposedly it also nourishes your lashes and stuff 🤷🏼
Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum with Willowherb / If you have textured skin and/or large pores, this serum is a must-have. It doesn’t have the consistency of a serum, it’s more like a gel moisturizer, and it absorbs right into your skin. Origins claims this serum will solve your skin’s quarter life crisis, and I think they’re right. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the texture of my skin, and I think my pores are slowly starting to look smaller as well. My skin’s usually pretty dull as well, and this gives me a glow without making me shiny or dewy.
Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette / Hi, my name is Shelbie and I’m a snooze alarm addict. So, basically, a stoplight-styled messy bun, exta-shot latte, and 10-minute face are my workweek staples. I need versatile products I can take on the go, and it’s always a bonus if they’re inexpensive. Thataylaa has raved about this palette for forever, but I only purchased it a few months ago. The palette is made up of 12 shimmery shades, ranging from ivory to pale pink to copper to bronze. I frequently use the four top-left shades swirled together as a higlight on my cheekbones, nose, and browbones, with one of the light pink shades on my lids and the darkest shade in my crease. It’s also stunning all swirled together and topped over your blush. If you like shimmer, I’m confident this can be a short-on-time staple for you, too!
Toms Women’s Majorca Cutout Sandal, Taupe Suede / This is my bonus fave. And you’re probably eye-rolling at the fact that I’m recommending a pair of TOMS heels, but stay with me. These are my daily go-to work shoes. I can dress them up with ankle-length trousers or dress them down with jeans, and they are SO. DAMN. COMFORTABLE. Seriously. I walk about 2 miles a day on my lunch at work, and I can comfortably walk that in these shoes without any pain or blistering. I don’t even think I can do that in my running shoes, tbh. The heel is high enough to enhance your legs, but low enough to prevent you from eating pavement. They are well worth the investment and I’ve already purchased a backup pair. (BTW they’re as low as $45 on Amazon right now and retail for $130!)
Happy new year! xo, Shelbie | ♡By the way, I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website, although all opinions stated here are my own. Your purchase helps support my little space on the internet, and I’m grateful for it.
Every time I travel I play the how-much-stuff-can-I-bring-in-my-carryon bag game. Since I’ve been traveling throughout Southeast Asia, I haven’t been checking any luggage. I try to only bring essentials and multi-purpose products to save space for goodies I pick up on my travels. This little bag doesn’t include my skincare or hair items, but I usually only bring a travel size face wash and moisturizer (from this Murad kit), Simple Skin Care cleansing wipes (a lifesaver on the go), a detangling hair brush and travel size shampoo/body wash. I find that more often than not, I end up with my hair in a messy bun or half-pulled back in a hair clip. Depending on where I’m traveling, I may switch out (or add) powder or foundation to match the climate of my destination. For example, when I went to Taiwan, it was extremely humid so I brought Estee Lauder Double Wear because I knew it would hold up. But, the items below are staples that I bring along no matter the destination.
I’ve found that this is the perfect combination of versatile face products to give me a fresh-faced, but not overdone look on the go. The Complexion Rescue makes for a hydrating, healthy looking base, and it’s perfect for balancing your skin on dry flights. I spot conceal and highlight my undereyes with the concealer, and use the bronzer and shimmer palette for both my face and eyes. Depending on the size of the bottle, I’d also recommend tossing a setting spray in your bag just to keep it long-lasting. Lately, I’ve been loving the Smashbox Primer Water and Milani Make It Last Setting Spray.
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of these products are from the drugstore. Not only are these all really great products in terms of performance, they’re also affordable, which is a pro when you’re traveling and don’t want to risk losing your baggage or breaking something expensive. The makeup bag I’m using is from Vera Bradley, part of the Travel Cosmetic Set, which I highly recommend–it’s a 4-piece set that works great together for longer trips and separated for short getaways.
What’s in your travel bag? Anything I need to add to my own? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: this blog contains Amazon affiliate links.
Okay, it’s not really round 10. But I’ve talked about dry shampoo on wisconsinwhimsy what feels like a million times, and I always seem to come back to one particular product—Batiste. If you’ve somehow been living under a rock, or maybe you’re just not lazy like me and wash your hair every day, Batiste is a drugstore dry shampoo that retails anywhere from $6–10. It has a cult following (but not a real cult…) and works amazingly on my hair. I can usually extend a hairstyle out for 3 days (sometimes 4 if I’m feeling reckless) with Batiste, which is impressive considering my oily scalp and limp hair. Since I moved to Okinawa, I’ve only had very limited access to Batiste, so I’ve been on the hunt for a product that’s just as good or better.
I frequently get questions about my hair and how I keep it shiny and long, and the answer is really simple: I’m lazy, so I don’t usually heat style it, and I don’t wash it every day. Daily shampooing is really damaging to your hair. A lot of people think their hair is too oily to not wash every day, but that’s likely not the case. Every time you wash your hair, your shampoo is basically sending your scalp a text that says, “Make more oil!” It can take time to train your scalp to intermittent washing, but it’s worth it.
If you missed my A Year’s Worth of Beauty Trash blog, I tried out Not Your Mother’s, Got2B, Dove, Bumble & Bumble, and TIGI Bed Head. Of that group, the Dove was easily my favorite, but it still can’t hold a candle to my beloved Batiste. Today, we’re talking about the next round of dry shampoos I’m testing, and we’ll see how they compare.
blowpro Essentials Faux Dry / $11 / Let me start by saying I purchased all of these products at a military exchange, so the price I paid may not be the same as at your local drugstore, but unfortunately I couldn’t find the aerosol version online anywhere. This talc-free dry shampoo has a distinct musky smell (almost masculine, almost old ladyish), so if you’re sensitive to scents I would skip this entirely. Smell aside, it actually works pretty well. It’s not super powdery, but powdery enough to absorb the oils on your scalp without leaving white residue behind. I don’t think this is a heavy-duty dry shampoo that you could use for several days, but it works perfectly for next-day hair. It doesn’t create any product buildup and is easy to wash out. I don’t think it’s life-changing, or honestly even hair-changing, but it’s a decent dry shampoo. The non-aerosol version (which is slightly different and unscented) can be purchased for $24 on Amazon. -CRUELTY FREE-
Herbal Essences bio-renew Volume Dry Shampoo / $6, Target / Let me just start (and basically end) this by saying this dry shampoo sucks. It smells great—fruity and slightly minty, which is a nice pick-me-up for dirty hair. Beyond that, there really isn’t anything positive to say about it. It’s not powdery at all; it makes your roots slightly damp, which then turns into a weird crunchy/sticky mess. I give this a 0/5. Try at your own risk and waste of six dollars.
Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo / $11 ON SALE, Ulta / I really, really, wanted this to blow me away. I love Sexy Hair products, and am currently amassing a collection of them, which I honestly will probably never use…hence why we’re here talking about dry shampoo. It’s fine. Anyway, this is another product I found to be just okay. It has your standard salon smell mixed with some sort of fake watermelon??? The smell of this was actually offensive to me…I had to physically leave the bathroom, and it still followed me around. It’s also worth noting that this one is salon-priced. It retails for $17 and you only get 3.4 oz of product. It’s not powdery, but it’s not wet like the Herbal Essences one either. It seems to be more alcohol-ish? It doesn’t appear to do anything immediately to your hair at all. The can says to leave it on for two minutes and brush out the excess. I haven’t been able to locate any visible ‘excess’ while using this product, so I usually apply it and massage my roots after a couple of minutes. It makes your hair look voluminous, but it can really only handle next-day hair. -CRUELTY FREE-
Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo / $8, Ulta / The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Unfortunately, none of the other brands held up to Batiste standards. It’s still my favorite. ♡ This is definitely the most powdery of the bunch, but I think that’s why it works so well. A lot of bad reviews mention the amount of product it leaves in your hair—you only need a few, short sprays of this, and if you have colored hair there are colored options ($9, Ulta). My favorite scents are Wild and Tropical, but only Blush was available at my exchange. My only complaint is that I seem to go through Batiste quickly, but that’s really not an issue when I’m living stateside and have easy access to Ulta or Target. If you’re a lazy hair person like me and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, or you just love a good deal, try this out! -CRUELTY FREE-
If you’re looking for a more in-depth review on several brands, visit this Reviews.com guide for the best dry shampoos. It’s based on 54 contenders, tested over 6 weeks. I hadn’t even heard of their top pick, Klorane, until reading the guide, so I’m going to pick it up when I visit the States in October. 👏🏼 As always, if you have any recommendations for me to try, leave them in the comments below! Bonus points if it’s a non-aerosol so I can have it shipped to me. (Or, if you know of some mysterious Japanese dry shampoo, please let me know!)
An old blog post of mine that gets hits pretty consistently is one I wrote about product empties. So, this is going to be just like that but on steroids. When we first moved to Okinawa, I wasn’t familiar with the strict rules on recycling and waste disposal, so I kept saving my empty cans of dry shampoo because I didn’t know what to do with them. (P.S., it turns out they’re recyclable) Eventually, I had filled up the bottom shelf of my toiletry closet with empty products and thought, “I’ll blog about it!” (Actually, I think I defensively made up that I was blogging about it to deflect my husband’s questions about why I was accumulating a small landfill of cosmetics in our side closet, but…)
This was actually really fun for me to go through and reflect on some of the products I actually made it through. Oftentimes I get so excited about trying new products that I forget about the ones I already have!
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder / I’ve probably gone through 7-10 of these powders over the years, and while I no longer use it (I’m currently in love with Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder), it served me well and kept me matte-r than most powders. I probably won’t repurchase since I’ve found better alternatives, but it’s an affordable and readily available option for oily skin.
it Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Foundation / I used to love this powder foundation (see this post about covering acne), but somewhere along the way my skin decided it no longer wanted to be friends, and thus, I had to break up with it. It’s a great powder for touch ups due to the coverage though, so I still keep a spare in my car.
Benefit Hoola and Dallas / I’ve raved about these powders to y’all in probably 1/3 of all cosmetic blogs I’ve written, but just in case you’ve missed all of those somehow: I love these babies. Hoola is the perfect bronzer for contouring (even for pale princesses!) and Dallas is such a gorgeous bronzey-plum blush. They’re worth the price, imo.
Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer / I HATED THIS. Okay, hate is a strong word. But I really wasn’t impressed for how much hype it gets. First of all, it’s hella expensive. I don’t mind paying a pretty penny for quality high-end products, but $30 for such a teeny wand of concealer is a little over the top for me. The coverage was just meh and it looked cakey under my eyes. I don’t get the hype but I will say the color match was on point!
NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer / I’ve raved about this concealer in the past as well, but lately it hasn’t been working for me either. I’m wondering if my skin is changing? This concealer has a whipped consistency and a tendency to make my undereye area look crepe-y, and the shade selection is pretty poor.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser / If you’ve been watching YouTube makeup tutorials since back when they weren’t trendy, you know the crazy level of hype this concealer got. It’s good, but for some reason I’m not jumping to repurchase.
Alba Botanica AcneDote Deep Pore Wash / This cleanser lasted me almost 8 months, so that alone is impressive, but I don’t think it did much for my acne. It’s pretty drying. Won’t repurchase.
Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self Tan Liquid / I’ve made my love for this product abundantly clear on wisconsinwhimsy. It’s a dark, natural tan that smells delish and doesn’t transfer (just do not get wet for 24 hours or else the color guide will make you look super splotchy). Read more about how I tan at home here, but I’m testing a new tanner (only because my beloved Fake Bake can’t be shipped overseas ) so expect an update soon.
Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion + Cleansing Foam / I bought the entire set, but for some reason didn’t finish the third step, which is a treatment lotion. I didn’t get amazing results using these products, and they were pretty drying. Meh. Next.
Wet n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray / This setting spray sucks. The packaging is super cheap (it’s WnW, I know) and the mist is not fine or even, so it’s basically equivalent to spraying yourself in the face with a Super Soaker. And it won’t even lock your makeup in place. Pass.
NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray / I love this stuff! It’s not super mattifying, but it does keep my makeup in place all day. It’s pretty refreshing, too. And cheap! #bonuspoints
Daiso Japan Puff Sponge Detergent / Step aside, overpriced brush and sponge cleansers, this cost me ¥100 and it works amazingly. I didn’t realize how much old foundation was lurking behind in my beauty blender until I started using this. If you’re not in Japan (or California, which I believe has a Daiso, though I’m not sure this product is sold there) you can find it on Amazon.
Biosilk Silk Therapy Lite / If you’ve ever used the regular Biosilk Silk Therapy, you know that it feels like applying syrup to your hair. You have to use a teeny, tiny amount or risk looking like you just wrestled in a pool of baby oil. The Lite version was definitely lighter and made my hair feel smooth, but it’s still a heavyweight product that doesn’t really offer long-term results.
Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel / The mascara wand makes this product a deal breaker for me. Only one part of it actually has bristles on it, and I poked myself in the eye with the plastic applicator pretty much every time I used it. It didn’t push my lashes up or make them look like falsies, so skip this one unless mascara-induced blindness is on your bucket list.
Maybelline The Magnum Barbie / This mascara has built-in fibers to make lashes look longer and thicker. It’s also only available in certain Asian countries, so if you’re in the States you’ll have to admire the cute Barbie packaging from afar. It made my lashes look super fab, but unfortunately the fibers would flake off into my eyes throughout the day and really irritate them.
Maybelline The Falsies / I just really love Maybelline mascaras, apparently. This is a classic drugstore staple for long and full lashes, and I always keep a spare tube in my gym bag for on-the-go glam.
Too Faced Better Than Sex / I swore I would never repurchase this mascara, and then I did. I got it 40% off during a flash sale on Too Faced’s website, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bought it. I did like it better this time around, but my same complaints of flakiness, smudges and crusty lashes still prevailed. I won’t repurchase (and I swear I really mean it this time!)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz / I used Soft Brown for years, but I’ve realized Caramel is actually a better color match for me. I love, love, LOVE this brow pencil and will always come back to it.
NYX Micro Brow Pencil / I think this is a pretty good dupe for the ABH Brow Wiz, and as you can see, I’ve repurchased it a zillion times. I actually think there are more empty tubes lurking in my car somewhere. My only complaint is that I go through them quickly, but other than that it’s a faithful option for people who need precise brow help.
Milani EasyBrow Automatic Pencil / Skip this. The pencil is way too soft so it gives a really harsh payoff that looks a little “Crayola-to-the-face-ish.”
K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo Eyeliner / This eyeliner really does last all day, but the tip isn’t precise enough for a clean cat eye and eyeshadow transfers onto it really easily. It’s also only available in Southeast Asia, but if you are interested in trying it, you might be able to find it on Amazon???
Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner / This is the closest I’ve found to a drugstore dupe for Stila Stay All Day liquid liner. It’s precise and very black. I’d definitely buy it again, and I’m actually wondering why I haven’t done so already 🤔
BareMinerals Lasting Line Eyeliner / I like this for the most part, but it does smudge and I also don’t really wear black pencil liner…so I probably won’t repurchase.
L’Oreal Lumi Cushion / So, I have mixed feelings on this. I actually liked it because it made my skin look really fresh and healthy, but there’s also not much product and the cushion sponge it comes with sucks. I applied it with my beauty blender instead because of how terrible the cushion was. It also only has light coverage and definitely doesn’t hold up to the intense (aka 100%) humidity and heat in Okinawa, so it’s not on my list of items to repurchase. It does have a nice shade range though!
Estee Lauder Double Wear / Y’all I drank the Kool Aid and was obsessed with this foundation for a long time. I even wore it on my wedding day. I’ve seen the light though…and I will not be repurchasing. It’s heavy, doesn’t control my oil, and is not pale-skin friendly.
Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin / I loooooove the Better Skin concealer, but this foundation doesn’t live up to the same hype. The foundation is hard to color match and oxidizes, so if your skin isn’t naturally orange, I don’t recommend it. It also made me a hot, oily mess. Kind of like a McDonald’s fryer.
Revlon ColorStay / I swore by this foundation in college so I did one of those things where you look back on the past and reminisce on things you thought were great but really weren’t. I thought to myself, “Remember when your face looked super cakey and broken out all the time? Let’s relive that.” And I bought this foundation. And then remembered why I stopped using it.
L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte / I think this foundation is a good, affordable drugstore foundation. It’s not something I reach for often, but I do usually have a tube of it somewhere in my makeup closet. It has medium coverage is surprisingly paraben-free.
So…we need to talk about something. It’s about how lazy I am with my hair. I have never, and I seriously mean never, taken an interest in hairstyling. If I wouldn’t look like a naked mole rat, I’d probably shave it all off my head. (Props to all the people who rock the hairless look, I envy you) As you can imagine, I have a super strict hair routine. It goes something like: brush every 3 days, shampoo, occasionally condition, messy bun, dry shampoo, repeat. 😬 I used Batiste religiously when I lived in the States, but unfortunately it’s not available here (apparently Japanese people aren’t lazy bums like me) and aerosols can’t be shipped overseas. Recently the PX has gotten more dry shampoo options, but over the past year it was super limited.
Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder / This stuff was life changing when my hair was red/brown. It actually might be the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used, but unfortunately it’s $30 and I can’t justify that kind of investment into a product that will only last a couple of weeks.
got 2b Rockin It Dry Shampoo / If you like chunks of whatever dry shampoo is made of floating in your hair like extra-large flakes of dandruff, buy this. If not, avoid it like the plague.
Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak / This dry shampoo is just okay. It smells non-offensive and works decently, but I’d say it’s only good for the day after washing and not anymore after that. It only helps with minor shine, so definitely skip it if you want to extend your style further than that.
Dove Dry Shampoo / As you can see, I repurchased this a lot, lol. It smells good and actually works decently, although I still wouldn’t really give it more than four stars. It just happened to be the best product available to me. One day I’ll return to my precious Batiste.
That’s all, folks! This isn’t a complete list of products, since I know I slipped up and threw stuff away every now and then, but I hope you enjoyed being nosy and reading all about my trash. What products are you trashing?
If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’re familiar with my acne-prone, sensitive, oily skin. I feel like I’ve tried an endless flood of skincare regimens from the drugstore, from high-end brands, from gimmicky infomercials (cough, Proactiv). I’ve tried exercising more often, drinking more water, getting more sleep, hormonal birth control, a cocktail of antibiotics and a handful of prescription topicals. (Haven’t tried that viral charcoal face mask, though, and don’t count on that ever happening) If you’ve dealt with stubborn acne before, you can understand that the struggle is real. I’ve spent a crazy amount of time and money trying to feel less insecure about my skin, an unsuccessful endeavor until recently.
Moving to Okinawa was not kind to my skin – I don’t know if it was the stress of an international move, adjusting to the climate or both, but my skin really did not like moving here! The photo on the left was taken in late November and the photo on the right was taken in March of this year. Crazy, right??? I feel like I may be jinxing myself just by posting this. If you can believe it, I actually reduced my skincare regimen to just THREE steps 😱 I know. You’re probably thinking I’m about to go multi-level marketing on you (I’m not) or that it’s unrealistic given the transformation of my skin, but it’s the real deal. I do occasionally add steps as needed, like masks or a night cream, depending on my skin’s condition, but I try to keep it simple on a daily basis.
Wash // Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash // $22 @ Origins
I use this with my Clarisonic at night and usually skip this step in the morning and go straight to toner.
My skin has never felt dry or tight while using this cleanser. I’m low-key obsessed.
This is an undiluted essential oil blend of geranium bourbon, pink grapefruit, cedarwood deodara, peppermint, rosemary, Roman chamomile. You must dilute it to use it safely!
I emptied the entire tube of aloe gel into a separate container and added 10-15 drops of the essential oil blend. I apply it every morning and evening with a cotton ball and voila! My skin has never been clearer or more balanced. I started to see results within a few days of using the Zit Fighter Synergy and I’m so grateful that I took a chance on it after reading reviews. It has a bit of a strong smell and will make your eyes water if you apply it too close to the eye area, but I don’t mind the odor. And I can handle the occasional accidental eye stinging if my skin looks this fab all the time! I feel much more comfortable wearing BB cream or even going foundation-free than I ever have before. The aloe/oil combo doesn’t make me oily, either. I actually feel like it balances my skin and makes it less oily! I’ve also noticed that my skin redness has been significantly reduced as well. After 12 years of dealing with acne, I’m incredibly thankful for a break.
I should also add that I got a shower head filter, which I also believe helped with the rapid reduction of my acne. I got the Zit Fighter Synergy and the filter on the same mail day, and it was the start of a beautiful friendship 😅 I purchased the CaptainEco 8-Step Advanced Shower Filter from Amazon for $30 and highly recommend it if your household water is treated with chlorine. It’s helped my skin and my hair.
I still have occasional minor blemishes, but the majority of the marks remaining on my face are scars. I recently picked up Boots Vitamin C Smoothing Serum (sadly only available in Thailand, so I’ll try not to get too attached to it!) in hopes it might help fade them. If you have recommendations for scar-fading skin care products, please let me know in the comments!
A brief note | The last few months have been silent on wisconsinwhimsy, and I’d like to apologize and explain why. As many in the blogging community know, it can be overwhelming to constantly generate content, create/shoot/edit images, respond to comments, and keep up with the maintenance of a website. For those of us whose blogs are a passionate hobby rather than a source of income, finding the motivation to tackle all of the intricacies of blogging in addition to our jobs, families, and outside commitments can be incredibly challenging. The past few months have been stressful and at times unhappy for me mentally, but I am pleased to say that I have accepted a new job and am hopeful that this new endeavor will take a heavy burden off of my shoulders, allowing me to dedicate more time to blogging. Thank you for your patience and readership! I adore you!
The ChrismaHannuKwanzaaka season is my favorite time of year. I would keep a Christmas tree and decorations up year round if my husband would let me! There’s something about twinkling lights, rich jewel tones, chunky sweaters, warm food, cozy blankets, and the joyful spirit of friends and family that makes this season feel particularly special. Did I get carried away there?
Unfortunately we won’t get to experience the same kiss of winter air that we’re used to in Okinawa, but I can’t really complain about sunny and 75 in December, can I? This [comparatively] warm weather won’t stop me from rocking a wine-red lip, glittery lids, and a chunky knit sweater though! Here are my 10 picks for this holiday season:
1 | Coty Airspun Powder – Translucent Extra Coverage / $11, Amazon / I recently scooped this up and have been loving it. I have extremely oily skin and this keeps me matte for nearly my entire work day! I also have very textured skin and it somehow works voodoo magic and makes me look flawless. Great stuff. Fair warning, it smells very strongly of ‘old lady smell,’ so if you’re scent-sensitive, you might want to skip this one. Also: you can get it for cheaper if a Walmart is nearby!
2 | Colourpop Lippie Stix Matte in Ellarie / $5, Colourpop / My obsession with Colourpop is basically never-ending, I know, but stay with me: the Lippie Stix are the creamiest, dreamiest, pigmentiest (not a word, roll with it) lippies ever. And you need them. Especially this one – it’s a deep cranberry with a finish somewhere between satin and matte and perfect for embracing your inner sugar plum fairy.
3 | Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights / $6, Ulta / I’ve raved about this highlighter before on wisconsinwhimsy, and it’s still in my regular highlighter rotation. It’s not glittery at all and packs a buildable glow that’s perfect for icing out your extended family at holiday dinners.
4 | L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black / $10, Ulta / My go-to mascara. If you want long, dramatic lashes, this should be in your hand and on your face. It’s pretty cheap and I reach for it more than I do my high-end wands. Stay fierce, my friends.
5 | Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown / $21, Sephora / Need your brow game on point this holiday season? Brow Wiz is your friend. I love the quick, precise application, and it’s easy to find your shade. This is my favorite ABH product!
6 | Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner / $22, Sephora / If this eyeliner can survive my wedding day tears, it can survive your inevitable forced-to-be-in-the-same-house-as-your-relatives holiday meltdown tears.
7 | elf Studio Blush in Berry Merry / $3, elf / I’ve repurchased this blush a handful of times now, and I love it for the holidays. It’s a deep berry with gold shimmer. The ideal blush to go with Ellarie!
8 | China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Ravishing, Dahling / $7.50, Ulta / If Kissin’ Kate Barlow were alive in 2016, this would be her new signature polish. It’s bold, daring, and bad ass, just like her.
9 | Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hairspray / $18, Ulta / I’m going to be honest with y’all for a moment here. I can’t do hair. My hair styles could be considered worse than most Pinterest fails. That said, this hairspray is pretty fabulous and even helps disguise my dry shampoo’d, poorly curled locks as voluminous magazine hair.
10 | Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Body Wash in Christmas Cookie / $12 ON SALE, Ulta / I raved about this last Christmas, and maybe even the Christmas before that. It’s one of my favorite beauty products of the holiday season EVER, and that’s why I’ll forever include it on these lists. This scent is like bath crack. I want it as a body lotion, candle, and pillow spray. Because I’m that in love with it.
Have a merry Christmas, happy New Year, and festive insert-other-holiday-here!