Review: Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash

You know that feeling when you washed your face with bar soap? (Hopefully you don’t) That tight, almost tacky feeling that leaves your skin not feeling like skin. That is what this product left my face feeling like.

It lathers well, it smells nice, but it really stripped my skin. After I wash my face with this it just has that feeling that there’s no oil or any sign of moisture. I’m reaching for the toner before I even finish washing. I do find that the stripping does cause breakouts for me because it just is too strong. Supposedly there is a cooling sensation this face wash is supposed to give off which I haven’t felt yet, but for me that’s not a huge drawback.

I found this kind of unusual considering the brand is for people that have really overtaxed skin that needs help. I also own the Pure Cloud Cream from Skyn which I can say is terrific.


When you lather this face wash into the lovely lather I mentioned earlier it feels very smooth, a little thick, there’s a sheen to the product resembles a heavy duty hand soap.


I’m already halfway through the tube so I’ll use the product up for the heck of it, but I don’t see my opinion of it changing.



Packing Mistakes You Should Stop Doing

Looking back on the ways I used to pack I shudder. I packed too much, I’d forget things and leave the destination feeling like I only used a fraction of what I brought.

Here are a couple things I wouldn’t go back to and I recommend you do the same.

  1. Not “rolling” clothes. Packing traditionally you’d fold the clothes neatly and push them down hoping to make enough space. What you get is an easy way to make a pile of clothes that all have wrinkles where you so neatly folded them. It’s not fair, but that seemingly “right” way to pack isn’t so efficient. Thankfully you have the option to roll your clothes. It saves so much room and leaves your clothes without any wrinkles! Try it next time you pack and see for yourself.


  1. Packing full-sized products. Not sure where I was going with this one, but I’d always bring the big bottle or the big jar along with me.There’s no way you’ll need a couple months worth of whatever for the length of you trip. I started to think of myself at home and how much I actually go through as compared to imagining myself on vacation wishing I had all of everything. It’s not realistic and it’s just too much.


  1. Speaking of too much…OVERPACKING. Think of it this way, you have to lift that heavy suitcase full of stuff you can’t live without. You’re making it harder for yourself. Look at each item and really think “Do I need this?,” “Will I actually get this on?” Sometimes we get a little out of hand thinking that since you don’t wear something at home it’ll work on vacation. Just to let you in, you won’t wear it on vacation either.
  2. Not taking care of jewelry properly. When packing, or in a rush, or packing in a rush there’s the thought that the necklace will be okay, or the bracelet will be fine with the other jewelry. However, when you unpack you discover a ball of jewelry that you won’t be able to untangle. It’s frustrating and with a little more consideration you can have jewelry that is ready to be worn.
  3. Packing too last minute or packing too early ahead of time.There’s definitely a packing sweet spot. If you pack to early you might start wearing stuff out of the suitcase out of necessity, if you pack to late you’ll forget things. The perfect time to pack depends on where you’re going and for how long. Most trips I’ve found 2 days before is just about right.

Well I’m off to keep packing! I’ll be back in 3 weeks.Let me know if you have any packing tips or ideas!


Happy Holidays!

Why Facials Are Such A Big Deal

You may know the basics of a facial. They wash your face. There’s steam, a lot of scrubbing and a better complexion walking out, but why do people rave about facials? Why are they essential to keeping your skin healthy?

Even if you have your skin routine down pat you should invest in a facial a minimum of twice a year. As an esthetician I should recommend a lot more often (more like every 4-6 weeks) but life is busy, time is precious and facials aren’t cheap. If someone really pressed me for the truth with how little you can get away with I’d say the major changing of seasons, so when it gets cold and when it gets hot. Keep in mind though, that is the bare minimum.

Here’s what you might find from getting facials:


Your products work better. There gets to be a point that no matter how much acne serum you use or how much moisturizer you apply it just doesn’t do what it once did. There’s most likely a dead layer of skin that’s eating your products. They don’t penetrate as they should. When was the last time your skin was cleansed well? Your blackhead wash won’t be as effective if you don’t extract correctly. Like with most things, you have to get to the root of the problem and start there.

You’ll save money. Not by just booking a facial, but by educating yourself and learning what kind of skin you have. You’ll learn not to fall for crazy claims on products that don’t mean anything. You won’t waste money on items that aren’t for your skin type.

You’ll pick up a trick or two. You may never have heard of multi-masking or spot treating before. You might find a short cut in prepping your skin or find a link to what is causing breakouts that you would’ve never considered. Ask questions, but by simply listening you’ll most likely walk away with something you didn’t know going in.

You can monitor your skin better. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Chances are, your esthetician will even have a chart set especially for you. You’ll be able to track how your skin reacts to certain products, as well as any changes your skin goes through. Wouldn’t it be interesting to compare your skin concerns from months and years past?

You’ll age better. Sun spots will be addressed early on and wrinkles will be avoided by stimulating collagen production. Even muscle tone will improve through the massage portion of the facial.

Your face is something you and everyone around you sees everyday. Take care of it and treat it kindly.


Review: clariSEA Deep Pore Lavender Detox Charcoal Cleanser

I first found this brand when using their Deep Pore Detox Exfoliating Charcoal Mask. It’s a powdery exfoliant that you pour out, you have the option to add it to a cleanser or use it on its own and mixing it with water. I liked that I could control the amount of exfoliation I got by being able to mix it myself, but I also just really liked the product. It did a great job of exfoliating my face and had only a few ingredients.

I was looking online and I happened to stumble across a great deal for the Deep Pore Lavender Detox Charcoal Cleanser. It was from the same brand (clariSEA) and had again, very few ingredients, some of theme being the same as the exfoliating mask. It was an easy decision.

When it arrived I opened the package and was ready to use it. The consistency is pretty gooey, kind of sticky. It has a definite lavender smell. When I actually went to wash my face with it it seemed a little difficult to completely remove, it felt like remnants of the wash was still on my face. I didn’t feel like it exfoliated my skin that well or cleansed it that great for that matter.


Over the next few times I used it I tried to find how to use it to get good results, convinced I was doing something wrong. I left it on for 10 minutes, then washed it off, the time after that I cleansed and washed it off right after, I used it a few days in a row, then reduced it to only twice a week. It didn’t matter what I did, it didn’t cleanse my skin well. It didn’t exfoliate it, it just left my skin dry. I can’t say that it made my skin break out further, but it didn’t do it any favors either. I considered the fact that it does contain salicylic acid, but it is a low strength and I usually respond very well to that. I’m not quite sure what went wrong with this product, but I have to say I’m a bit disappointed and don’t see a point in using it anymore if it’s not working. I would definitely try this brand again because I believe they have good products, but I most likely wouldn’t get a cleanser again.

How To Celebrate A Birthday

I spent some time thinking how to properly phrase what I’m trying to say. This post is not exactly how to celebrate a birthday, I trust you know how to do that at this point. It’s more of how to celebrate your birthday and enjoy it. Recently it was my birthday and I was thinking that there are actually expectations of what your birthday should look like. I think we all have similar things come to mind when we think of a birthday. We’re all different people, different ages and live different places, we are unique, so why do we follow these guidelines of what to do on your birthday. After all it’s your day.

If I’ve gone too far already I’m not saying get rid of the birthday cake. I’m trying to get across to customize your birthday. You don’t need to do the typical birthday activities to get something out of it.

Every year I do something new, but certain things I keep on the “schedule.”

I do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. We all have something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Maybe you’ve been craving to go on a road trip, or you’ve really been in the mood for a movie. Today’s the day to do that. In my case, I’ve been working almost everyday and it’s been a beautiful fall. All I wanted to do was spend time outside that day. I did and it was one of the most satisfying things I’ve wanted to do in a long time. I sat outside and went for a walk. By doing what you’ve been feeling like doing for a long time and allowing yourself to experience that is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

I spend time alone and with people I love. You don’t need to be someone who likes alone time to appreciate a few moments with yourself after another year is completed. It can give you time to think back to everything you’ve accomplished as well as things you want to accomplish by the time you are there again next year. Spending time around people you love is really nice on a regular day, but your birthday is an opportunity to reconnect. I like to make it a time other people can enjoy, it’s an excuse to get out, get together and have fun.

I only do things that make me feel good that day. Whatever your bad habits are that day try your best to keep away from them that day. If you bite your nails or spend too much time online, take a break that day to make yourself feel especially good.

Make your birthday memorable for one reason or another. You don’t need a big party or your name on a banner to feel special.




Review: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer Concealer

This is the concealer to my current favorite foundation.I had high hopes going in because of how much I love the Rainforest of the Sea Foundation. Did I get lucky enough to find exactly what I had been hoping for?

Well… the truth is half and half. I will say that Tarte did an excellent job of making the formula thick enough to be recognized as a concealer without losing its identity as being from the Rainforest of the Sea collection.

The coverage is amazing and it goes on like a dream. It’s smooth, hydrating (perfect for under the eyes) and looks natural. Sometimes concealers can be a little too strong, we get it, you want to cover up, but you also compromise the look of skin looking like skin. This is a great balance between being able to  conceal and still seeing the texture and look of your own skin.

The applicator is one of my favorite things about this product. It’s thick, kind of chunky and is able to hold a lot of concealer. This is ideal for when you are in a rush; with a lot of other concealers the applicator is quite thin, so you end up making many skinny lines. In one swipe or applying a dot or two I can have the entirety of my under eye area taken care of. It’s nice to have something in your routine that you don’t have to think about and this is one of those things. It doesn’t have to be precise and it goes so quickly it will feel like you skipped a step.


All this is just peachy, but there is one thing I’ll mention about this that I wasn’t that excited about. The smell. It’s not even that it’s strong, which it is, it’s the nature of the smell. It comes off as something derived from chemicals. It reminds me of Wite-Out or something similar. I’m not sure what’s causing that smell and why it is present in the concealer and not the foundation, but it is not exactly pleasant.

I’m not sure if it’s the shape of the bottle or what, but it does seem like you get a better deal than with the skinnier tubes of concealer.

Bottom line:I like the performance, but not the smell. How important is the smell of something for you?


Freelancing VS Makeup Counter

If you’re a die-hard freelancer or a person who wouldn’t leave the makeup counter for anything I’d say don’t be afraid to do both.

Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the experience of working at a makeup counter. For the past three years I’ve just done freelancing and it was a surprise to me how different, yet refreshing it is to do something new. A lot of people flip flop between freelance work and working at a counter and I really believe that’s how the best makeup artists are born. During this time of doing both I really feel I’ve improved my skills.

Here are my findings after having done both:

Imagine having an entire line of cosmetics/skincare at your disposal. Every brush you could ever need, every color of every form of every product-it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a place you can really shine. When you start out freelancing like I did sometimes you can feel held back from not being properly prepared. Starting out getting all your own everything can be very expensive and you still may run into being short on something. You can really learn and explore the line you work with and find what you love. This will also help when it comes to investing when you freelance you can even narrow down formulations of certain items. Did you like using foundation in the form of a powder,stick, liquid or, do you like bb creams?

In freelancing you will find your own style. It’s you and only you. There’s no format or protocol, no one way to tackle a face. This is something I like and I appreciate having found my own way to do makeup before doing it the way that the brand suggests. You have no limitations, with anything, you can work your own hours, drop in as you please and only have yourself to worry about. Freelancing is attractive, there’s no doubt about that. I definitely struggled with getting on my feet in the beginning. If you have a large group of family and friends you won’t feel it as much, but if that isn’t the case for you it can be harder.

When it comes to getting experience fast working at a makeup counter trumps freelancing. You’ll get to do multiple faces every time you come into work. I am now able to match a foundation to someone faster than ever. You learn to have someone walk up to you, ask for makeup and just go with your gut. I think not knowing who’s coming or what they’re looking for until the moment you have to do their makeup is where you really expand.

I didn’t think that working at a makeup counter would make that big of a difference. I thought freelancing was the ultimate. It is, it definitely is something you’ll want to work towards, but I understand now why companies prefer people with counter experience. You’ll gain confidence quickly, you’ll learn to sell and the business end of the counter. Small things like cleaning around the counter and keeping organized will allow you to create standards for your own business. No matter where you are in your makeup career make sure you take time out to work at a counter.