Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Skinesque Three Step Face Masks | Review

Applying a good face mask is one of my favorite weekly routines. I love the idea of taking 20-30 minutes out of my day to relax and treat my skin. When Skinesque asked me to try out some of their face masks I immediately said yes. After doing some quick research I realized that this Korean-inspired brand follows my commitment of taking care of oneself despite a hectic schedule. Skinesque believes in using gentle formulas, innovative skincare technology, and being ready for real life. Each product is made to create a luxurious and spa-like moment in the midst of being on-the-go.

Another value I share with the brand is the idea of using good ingredients in skincare. Their lines are all dermatologist tested, cruelty free, and formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, and synthetic dyes. Bottom line: your skin will thank you.

Each mask packet comes with three steps: a gentle foaming cleanser, hydrating essence, and the nourishing sheet mask.

Step 1: Gentle Foaming Cleanser | deeply cleanses and removes impurities for clear and smooth skin.
Step 2: Hydra+ Essence | provides intense hydration, retains moisture to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and promotes collagen formation.
Step 3: Face Mask | light texture allows for skin to breathe while seamlessly adhering to the face for effective absorption of its key ingredients

This is the first brand I've personally seen go beyond the physical face mask. They have thought through the entire application process and made it super easy to use - especially if you are on the go. I love the idea that you can throw one of these small packets into your overnight bag or on a flight and you have everything you need.  

Skinesque currently makes two different sheet masks for your skin needs. The  Aqua+ Super-Fine Mask focuses on ingredients like aloe vera, Centella Asiatica, and Sodium Hyaluronate to hydrate the skin. The  Brightening+ charcoal mask has Niacinamide, birch tree sap, Ceramide, and Adenosine to repair skin and brighten your complexion. Although I thoroughly enjoyed both masks I found the Brightening+ one to treat my skin needs better. It left my skin feeling smooth and looking fresh. I could see my dark spots minimize after use, likely from the Vitamin C, and my overall texture definitely improved.

I was super impressed with the essence step since I felt like it allowed for an extra boost of moisture before applying the face mask. It reminds me of how I enjoy applying a serum or face spray before applying my moisturizer each day. However, the most impressive thing of the entire package was the face mask itself. I find most sheet masks to be a bit flimsy but this felt like a super high-quality/luxe piece of fabric. It was so comfortable on my skin. I also felt like the mask carried enough product with it that it never felt dry. With that though, sometimes it felt like there was almost TOO much product on the mask. I used both masks at night and let the product soak in while I slept. I feel like if I used them in the morning then I'd need to wash my face before applying makeup.

KEY TIP: Once you remove the mask after 15-20 minutes, pat the extra product into your skin and neck. This is the 'good stuff' so you want to savor the most of it that you can!

This was my first dip into the K-Beauty world and I have to say that I understand the hype. The entire mask process from start-to-finish felt well thought out and innovative. It's no surprise that Refinery29 featured the brand as one of the coolest products being launched this year. I'm actually surprised more US brands don't promote a multi-step complete process for face masks.

I'll likely snag a few more of the Brightening+ masks for all of my travel (and stay-at-home) needs. I think these could be a great gift for friends or even for Mothers Day coming up. You can buy them directly from Skinesque's website individually, but I would recommend purchasing the five pack at $35. I'm a firm believer of having a few masks handy to treat any bad skin days or for a spontaneous spa night. Just add champagne!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Skincare Favorites

The older I get the more I realize the importance of good skin care. Good skin care also doesn't mean that it needs to cost a lot. I think it's all about finding products that work with your particular skin type and lifestyle. For me, that means calming products that help my redness, hydration for my dry skin, and products that are minimal and easy to apply. An added benefit is when the products are animal friendly and include a lot of natural ingredients.

Lately I've been super into testing out new formulas to find what works best for my skin at the moment. I've also found myself narrowing down my products to a few favorites that I use for both day and night.


The first step in my skincare is always to wash with Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser. I've used this product for a few years now and always re-purchase when I see that I'm running low. I find this cleanser to be the only one that cleans my face without leaving it feeling dry and tight. It's super gentle and just feels good when you use it. If I have a face full of makeup then I'll normally use a face wipe (Burts Bees and Yes To! make my favorites) to take majority of it off. I'll then follow with a pump and a half of the Milky Jelly and massage it into my dry skin. This way the product gets a chance to cleanse and treat your skin, not the layer of makeup on top of it. I then wet my hands and work the product into a lather - although it doesn't sud up. Instead it breaks down into fluid and really begins to take off the makeup. To finish it off I splash water on my face and pat dry. It seems simple, but the combo of the washing process with the cleanser really leaves my skin feeling so soft and clean.


After my skin dries off I apply a healthy spritz of the Glossier Soothing Face Mist and pat it into the skin. I find that this re-balances things and is super refreshing. I normally will use this time to brush my teeth and prep for the day or for bed (depending on the hour). After comes moisturizer...

For the day: I apply a light layer of the Glossier Priming Moisturizer. I then follow with a light layer of the Becca Backlight Priming Filter - patting both products into my skin after the application. This combo leaves my skin looking like it has a healthy glow and creates a perfect base for my foundation.

For the night: I tend to go for heavier products. My favorite nighttime moisturizer lately has been the Sunday Riley Tidal cream. It weirdly smells like kelp but is so lightweight yet hydrating. If I really need a good moisture boost then I'll go for the Mario Badescu Caviar Night Cream. This stuff is super thick so I use it almost like a leave-on mask while I sleep.


When it comes to face masks the Mario Badescu Flower & Tonic Mask is my absolute favorite. It smells beautiful and really balances my skin. I tend to use this mask when I'm breaking out or just need a deep treatment. Its texture goes on milky but dries down, leaving your skin feeling lifted and refreshed. I love using this at night but pull it out in the mornings when I want my makeup to look extra perfected. 

Have you tried any of my skincare favorites before? If not, which seems most up your alley?


Sunday, March 19, 2017

March Beauty Favorites

It's been a while since I've done a beauty favorites roundup, but surprisingly, a lot of my favorites have remained the same since Summer. Lately it's been all about efficiency and my love of cream products (which normally go hand-in-hand). I have a feeling that these favorites will continue into the Spring and Summer months as the temps rise. 


I have been wearing the Loreal Infallible Glow foundation nonstop since I tried it back in Summer. It's gone through two re-purchases (albeit in lighter shades) and I haven't swapped it for anything else since. This is major for me, considering 2016 was filled with trying all kinds of foundations. I just love how lightweight the formula is and the natural glow it gives. I did a full post of my thoughts back in September and they still stand strong.

Continuing with the glow factor: the Tanya Burr Cosmetics Cheek Illuminator in Golden Girl is another love of mine. I use it on my cheek bones and forehead to add a warm, yet natural, glow. The formula is so creamy so it blends perfectly into the skin. I also find that the coloring is perfect for my complexion. Unfortunately I'm nearing the end of my stick and it seems to be out of stock online so I'm looking for replacement options. So far my eyes are on the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks or the Wander Beauty On-The-Glow Bronzer stick. Please let me know if you have any other recommendations!

Lastly I've been using a combo of Pearl and Champagne Pop from my Becca x Jaclyn Hill palette. I find that all of my golden highlighters are too intense for my winter skin, so the lighter mix allows for a proper match. I pat the mix with my fingers across my cheek bones, nose, and cupids bow for a healthy illumination.


Surprisingly there is only one eye product this month that I've been really going for and it is the MAC Pigment in Tan. This powder is such a beautiful tan shimmer and is so simple to throw on and go. On weekends I sweep the smallest amount across my lids, add a healthy layer of mascara, and head out the door. This is one of those products that will genuinely last for ages as there's so much in the little tube.


Another Tanya Burr product makes its way up the list. This time it is her lip gloss in Picnic in the Park. It's another great product to throw on and go. I love glosses but hate when I have to layer a color underneath. With this gloss I need a swipe across the lips to get the perfect blend of pigmentation and shine.


Come winter-time my hands go into full panic mode. Blame it on the heaters or the hot showers but they're normally in desperate need for hydration. Enter the L'Occitane hand cream in Cherry Blossom. I got a trio of these hand creams in my stocking and have been using them nonstop. This particular scent is my favorite. I keep the tube bedside and apply it every night before I fall asleep. In the morning my hands feel moisturized and so soft.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What Sarah Loves | March

What Sarah Loves | March


Writing this post seems a bit off track as it's currently 16 degrees outside. March is always tricky like that. One day it's 70 and you're outside sipping rose, the next it's like today where you're bundled up watching Netflix.  Regardless I find that Spring is the ultimate feminine season.

Not only is March 'Women's History Month' but the budding flowers and Easter pastels bring out a softer side in fashion. For me it means that it's time to break out silk floral scarves and all of my flats. My black denim also takes a back seat for classic blue jeans. A pair that's slightly distressed and high-waisted is at the top of my list.

Beauty-wise I'm all about keeping things as fresh as they can be. The Dior highlighter is going to be my next big purchase after seeing it used as a staple during Paris fashion week. Its glow is subtle yet makes your skin look awake - perfect for that pre-Summer tan.

Looking for more? I've been regularly updating the Shop with my top finds.
Check it out by clicking the tab in the top navigation bar!


Monday, March 6, 2017

Kristin Ess Haircare | Product Review

If you were to ask me who I considered #hairgoals, a few names would come to mind: Lauren Conrad, Lucy Hale, Ashley Tisdale. Their effortless and beachy waves, with touchable texture, is right up my hair styling alley. It's likely also the fact that all three of them get their manes tamed by hair stylist Kristin Ess. Kristin has been in the business for 20+ years so she knows a thing or two about what she looks for in a product. So much so that she created her own 15+ line of products, sold exclusively at Target.


The entire line in the  Kristin Ess Collection is made to create 'modern, perfectly-unperfect' hair. The formulas are lightweight and buildable so you can mix-and-match without worrying about the weight. As someone who has thin hair I've been driven away from so many products that you can feel. Nothing is worse than styling your entire head to have it get crunchy and greasy feeling within minutes. 

Her line also contains a new "Zip-Up Technology"; aka a fancy way of saying these products won't dry out your hair. The technology involves strengthening and protecting, so things like split ends and color fading hide away. 

Did I also mention the smell of these products? You guys, it's so good. I find myself throughout the day sniffing my hair in the least creepy way possible (although I don't think this can be proven). Everything just smells fancy and straight from the salon - even though everything in the line is extremely wallet friendly.

My last selling point is one you can't visually miss. The packaging is perfection, in beautiful rose and grey colors. Like the products the labels are simple and instructive. Each product even has recommended tips from Miss Ess herself on the back so you can see exactly how she uses the line. If you find that you're not the best at doing hair, it's hard to mess up with this range on your team. 


Strand Strengthening Reconstructive Moisture Mask
Instant Lift Thickening Spray
Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray
Depth Defining Water-Based Pomade


Overall I have to say that i'm extremely happy this line lived up to its expectations. Everything adds beautiful texture and life to my hair. There isn't a product I bought that I didn't like - but the thickening spray is my personal favorite. I find that it gives my hair a healthy amount of volume without making it crunchy like a normal mousse would. I am also a huge fan of the moisture mask. It's so easy to use in the shower and can be used regularly. 

I have plans to add her Weightless Shine Working Serum, Style Reviving Dry Shampoo, and Dry Finish Working Texture Spray to my collection. And if you're still not sold, go check out her Instagram and then run to your nearest Target.


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