Beauty

Lovin’ Lately

The following content includes referral links and or PR/Gifted products (*). Read my disclosure policy for more info.

So, last week I finally treated myself to a hydrafacial. If you’ve been reading TT for a while then you might recall that I usually don’t like to indulge in any beauty “treatments.” Getting pedicure is a torture for me- I’d rather do it myself. Cutting my hair is about the only thing I leave to the professional. I mean, that’s not for a lack of trying though, I did use to cut my own hair- I thank God I came to my senses, that’s all I’m going to say.

I don’t really know what it is, but I just don’t like people touching me. Not sure if it’s the germaphobe in me, or if I’m just strange. I don’t care if it takes me 3 hours longer- I’d still rather do my own nails, brows, etc. Okay, so I did get my brows threaded on a regular basis, but then the only person I’d let touch my eyebrows moved out of state and I haven’t trusted anyone else since then.

Back to the hydrafacial. To be quite honest, I haven’t really heard about it until I came across the website of a medical spa in the area. I took a few days off from work and just wanted to have a little staycation and try to forget about everything I’ve been dealing with in terms of my health- even if just for a few hours. Last time I had a facial was many years ago and as a bonus, I received a massive breakout purge that took six months to clear up. It’s safe to say that experienced scarred me a little.

It’s been a week since my hydrafacial and I have to say that I love the results. It’s a three-step process that involves hydradermabrasion machine that cleanses, exfoliates and infuses skin with a custom treatment. Since my main concern was acne and some minor scarring, my treatment was finished with blue light therapy. Unlike traditional facials, hydrafacial is done with the guidance of a high-tech device so the results are not as dependent on the technician. Even now, a week later, my skin is still looking bright and plump and any extractions I had done healed literally overnight. Definitely a very pleasant experience,  there was no discomfort or pain; it actually felt like I was getting a light massage. I’ve already booked another appointment and you know what? I think I’m going to be okay with my face being touched. If you ever get a chance to try it for yourself, I highly recommend trying it out.

Patchology has definitely been one of my favorite skincare brands, especially in the sheet mask and eye/lip gel department. They have these new tea-infused Moodpatch eye gels* that I’ve been using pretty much daily. Perk Up* gels are infused with green tea and help depuff and brighten; Happy Place* gels are infused with hibiscus, coconut extract, lotus flower, and rose; Down Time* ones are all about recharging and unwinding and are made with calendula, lavender and evening primrose to help relax, smooth and de-stress.

I know how powerful aromatherapy can be when it comes to shifting your mood, calming down or simply unwinding. BUT I’d never think to incorporate it into my eye skin care. The area around the eyes is very delicate and sensitive, but despite these having a very delicate scent, they do not irritate that delicate skin- quite the opposite. These are perfect to use as part both morning and evening skin care routine. In the morning they’re great to help get rid of any puffiness and leave my skin feeling more energized, and help me unwind in the evening while also hydrating the skin. These moodpatch eye gels really remind me of using cooled tea bags on my eyes- an old trick many of us were taught by our moms or grandmothers. Love all three of them, but Happy Place are probably my favorite ones. I usually keep these in the fridge and they feel amazing when applied- especially when used as a part of a multi-masking routine.

Sunday Riley’s UFO Acne Treatment Oil has somewhat lived up to its hype. Obviously, since I’m talking about it in this post. I still get hormonal breakouts that only happen on the right side of my face (annoying). My skin seems to have gotten used to both Retin-A and Tazorac and I like to take a break from both now and again. In place of both, I’ve been using the UFO oil and I really, really dig it. It’s formulated with salicylic acid and tea tree oil, both of which my acneic skin loves. It does help keep it bright and clear and any active breakouts heal faster. It feels closer to a dry oil than a true oil, which I love. It doesn’t dry out my skin, I actually think it’s quite balancing, and is very gentle. I wouldn’t call this a “miracle worker” for dealing with severe or moderate acne (although it can be helpful as a part of a good routine) but it’s ideal for those occasional, annoying breakouts.

Estee Lauder’s Double Wear is such a cult classic foundation and I haven’t reached for it in a while. I didn’t dare to reach for a few old ones I had sitting around so I tossed them and picked up a new bottle. Well, what can I say? It’s just as impressive as I remember. Great coverage, good color match (I’m in the shade Dessert Beige) and amazing lasting power throughout the day. I usually find that with my combo skin I don’t even need to set it with powder. Packaging could still use an upgrade, but dang I forgot how much I loved this foundation!

A new one I just added to my collection is Dior’s Backstage Face & Body foundation (in the shade #1 Neutral, good match for Dior’s Airflash in #200). It has surprisingly nice coverage and a gorgeous finish. I was going through one of those regular hormonal breakouts when I picked it up and to be honest, I was feeling pretty shitty about my skin. Whenever I get those breakouts I don’t love playing with makeup. We went out to eat and I really dreaded having to go to the bathroom and seeing my skin in that horrible “restaurant bathroom” lighting (often almost as bad as changing room lighting at clothing stores- one of the many reasons why I hate shopping so much, ugh). So I go to the bathroom, walk up to the sink to wash my hands, look in the mirror and OMG. My skin looked amazing despite the breakouts, sitting out in the sun for an hour and having worn the foundation for over 4 hours at the time. The coverage is very to adjust to your liking- you can go sheer to medium as it blends really nicely.

Other than makeup or skincare, shoes are another thing I’ve always liked to splurge on. For nearly two years now (can’t believe it’s been almost that long since my accident) I only wore flats and my tennis shoe and snicker collection grew significantly. After spending so much time in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and my injury being such a major part of my life, I try to make an effort and get out of the house more often, just do more fun and relaxing things.

We have a few back-to-back special occasions coming up and when I raided my closet and went through my shoe collection, I was close to tears. I don’t know how I used to be able to pull off wearing 5-inch stilettos all night, dancing at weddings. Now, I have all these beautiful shoes and can’t wear any of them. I know it might sound silly, but to me, that’s one more thing that I can’t do anymore and when it all adds up, it can be frustrating. Everything is either too high for me to be able to walk in, or they just don’t fit anymore. My legs tend to swell up now from all the medication I’m on, and I’m convinced that my feet never stopped growing (although no one actually believes me…). I don’t even know how many different pairs of shoes I’ve looked at and tried, but at last, I’ve found a perfect pair: Manolo Blahnik BB Point-Toe Pumps. I picked the black suede because 1) you can never go wrong with black and 2) 80% of the stuff in my closet is black, it’s my favorite color, it goes with everything- you get the point. These are seriously the most comfortable pair of heels I’ve worn. Love how simple, elegant, and classic they look. Most of my shoes definitely have a heel that’s a bit higher than these (105mm), but this is probably as high as I can tolerate at the moment. I definitely don’t try to torture myself, but after spending two years wearing nothing but leggings and sports clothes, it’s nice to dress up once in a while and feel like your old self. Definitely still keeping a pair of flats in my bag though.

Absolutely nothing works with my hair as well as Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray. After running out last month I decided to try a few different products and this is still the only thing that can not only make my hair actually hold a curl, but also makes it easy to create that simple “undone” kind of look. This is one of the reasons why I love having short hair- I can just spray this stuff all over, run my fingers through my hair teasing it a little bit, and I’m good to go.

Can’t get over how much I love Smith & Cult’s Peaceful Paranoia which I just talked about here. It’s such a beautiful color, I could seriously stare at it all day. Love how it changes subtly in the light.

Yes, YSL Les Sahariennes Bronzing Stone in Sunstone is still my favorite product for warming up my complexion. It’s such a perfect shade for fair skin and it blends so nicely and easily, there’s really nothing not to love. It really gives the most natural, sun-kissed glow.

And then, there is this beauty: Nars Summer Lights Face Palette. Four eyeshadows, highlighter, and a bronzer, all in those beautiful warm brown tones. These are definitely the kind of colors I love reaching for during summer. Both the eyeshadows and powders have a very soft, creamy formula and blend nicely.