Brand Crush: Bliss

Brand Crush: Bliss

You may have heard that Bliss – the iconic NYC spa known for its effective products, sassy product names and hefty price tags – recently gave itself a makeover. They kept the quality products, fun names and cute packaging, but ditched the high prices and a whole lot of other stuff; the brand is now paraben, phthalate, SLS, SLES and cruelty-free.

Since it doesn’t get much better than clean, cruelty-free, inexpensive beauty products, I decided I just had to try a few things to see if Bliss was still a beauty contender. I was absolutely delighted by my experience from the start; a buy two, get one free promotion plus a 20% off code (and free shipping!) meant that I got a cleanser, moisturizer and a body butter for $25. And, since Bliss products are now available at Target, I was able to pick up a pack of makeup remover wipes the last time I was there to add to my quickly expanding Bliss collection.

When my package arrived it was adorable. Seriously, receiving a package filled with pink packing hearts is so fun it makes you eager to place another order – we’ll played, Bliss. I’ve been using all of the products regularly and I have to say, I love every single one. Here’s the lowdown on my product picks:

Bliss Fab Foaming 2-in-1 Cleanser. This gentle exfoliating cleanser smells clean, lathers beautifully and doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight. It does improve the tone of my skin and reduce blemishes literally overnight, especially when paired with…

Bliss Ex-glow-sion Super Rich Moisturizer. This product claims to give you dewy, radiant skin. Consider that confirmed. It feels so good when you slather it on. It’s rich enough for those cool, dry months without being greasy or too heavy for summer. I’m in love.

Bliss Makeup Melt Oil-free Makeup Remover Wipes. Since I’m a sucker for polka dots and anything that allows me to skip a full face wash when I’m feeling lazy, it was only a matter of time before I picked these up. These simple wipes easily dissolve makeup without drying or irritating my skin. And at $7 for a 30-pack, I don’t imagine my nightstand will ever be without them again.

Bliss Body Butter. I’ve tried the Lemon & Sage (classic) and the Blood Orange & White Pepper varieties. Both have very light, lovely scents and a rich texture that easily melts into skin. I usually save body butters for the winter months but could not resist the blood orange scent and have continued to use it for months. Luckily it absorbs quickly and has proven itself to be a fine summer staple as well.

If you haven’t already placed a Bliss order, I say do it right now (be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get 20% off your first order). Just be prepared to fall in love with every product you try.

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Summer Must-have: Fresh #SportYourSugar Lip Kit

I have always been a sucker for cute packaging. Three summer-ready lip balms? Neat. Three summer-ready lip balms in a sporty little zipper pouch? Where do I get mine??

The answer is Sephora, and I have to say the Fresh #SportYourSugar Lip Kit is the best beauty purchase I’ve made in a long time. It comes with minis of the brand’s popular Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments in Rose and Honey. I’ve loved the Rose variety for a long time but this is my first experience with Honey and I’m hooked. The flattering warm nude is my new go-to summer lip color. Both of these tinted balms feature SPF 15 as well as the smooth texture and long lasting moisture Fresh is known for.

The real stand out in this kit, however, is the Sugar Sport Treatment. This SPF 30 sunscreen stick provides protection for your eyes, lips and face. My sister and I put this sporty orange tube to the test last week while we vacationed in Disney World. With temperatures in the 90s and hours spent out in the sun, we really got to see what this stick could do. And we’re impressed. We applied it regularly to our lips and were thrilled that it didn’t rub off on our teeth like so many sport balms do. We also swiped the stick around our eyes (no stinging or burning!) and pressed the waxy sunscreen along our parts to avoid the dreaded sunburned scalp. I could not believe how well this stuff held up! After a full day of sweating, Splash Mountain and swimming, the Sugar Sport Treatment was still in place. The best part? Smudging the product into my hair didn’t leave it looking greasy or flat, but it did protect my skin all day. No sun burns for either of us!

My summer beauty routine tends to be fairly minimal but this kit has definitely earned a spot in my beauty bag this season. If you plan on spending any time in the sun this summer, do yourself a favor and buy this!

Beauty Quickie: Lip Rescue

Who: Trader Joe’s

What: Virtuoso Organic Lip Balm

When: Constantly

Where: In my car, at my desk, on the couch…

Why: This unbelievably silky lip balm completely rescued my severely chapped (as in cracked and bleeding) lips in just two days. It is flavorless, has an extremely fresh and pleasant spearmint scent, and broad spectrum SPF 15. Go buy yourself a three pack and share one with your best friend (or your sister, which is how I ended up with one – thanks Linds!).

Better Skin in 60 Seconds 

  Do you ever wish you could take good care of your skin without having to do much of anything? I definitely do, which is why I was intrigued when I heard that Aveeno had created a product that claims to brighten and rejuvenate skin in exactly one minute: Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant 60 Second In-shower Facial. 

According to the package, the facial uses ingredients like soy, lemon peel extract and the steam from your shower to exfoliate your skin. All you have to do is get in your shower, splash a little water on your face, apply a little of the slightly gritty cream all over your face (not your eyes), massage gently for 60 seconds and you’re done. 

Is it really that easy? You bet. It did not irritate my skin at all. It has never left my skin feeling dry or tight, but after just one use my skin was exceptionally soft and smooth and after two uses it was noticeably more even. It even works on the annoying little forehead bumps I sometimes get. It also has a mild, fresh scent that makes the whole 60 seconds very pleasant. 

The only downside? It contains alpha hydroxy acid, which can increase sun sensitivity. I try to use it about once a week, preferably when it’s going to be rainy for a couple of days or when I know I won’t be spending much time in the sun. Other than that, this product is a total life win. Better skin in 60 seconds? I’ll take it!

#DoDeoBetter with Dry Spray

voxbox-blogimageI recently received Degree Motionsense Dry Spray Anti-perspirant from Influenster for testing. I had never used a dry spray and really fancied myself an old fashioned stick deodorant kind of girl. But, a beauty blogger can’t shy away from the new and different, so I decided to give it a try and spritzed away. 

  
First of all, it could not be any quicker or easier to use. Just a quick spray under each arm and you’re done. It goes on dry (hence dry spray) so you don’t have to worry about it getting on your clothes. And then you miraculously stay completely dry and odor-free all day long. I’m seriously impressed but how long lasting it is, even through marathon work days and multiple workouts. I was traveling this past weekend and brought my normal travel deodorant with me, which quickly reminded me that normal deodorants do not keep me all day fresh. 

My only complaint is the scent. I received the Fresh Energy version and while I don’t hate it, I also don’t love it. It’s a little too perfumey for me. I’ll definitely be checking out the other scents to find one I like better – I don’t think I can go back to regular stick deodorant now that I know how good it can be. It will be perfect for summer!

I received this product compliments of Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Save Your Skin with French Girl Beauty

Sometimes your skin needs a little extra love. Like, for example, when the seasons change, or you’ve been ill, or you’ve had an extra busy week (or four) at the office. If all of those things happen to coincide, you may wake up one  morning to find blotchy, dry and angry looking skin staring back at you in the mirror. Which is exactly what happened to me today. 

  
I decided to channel my inner French girl and slathered my unhappy complexion with a generous layer of Avene Soothing Moisture Mask. Friends, this is the ultimate lazy beauty product. All you do is apply the clean, fresh smelling cream to your face and let it soak in. After 15 minutes it is completely absorbed and once-angry skin is left soft and glowy. There’s no greasy shine. No post-mask peeling or scrubbing required. It’s amazing. 

  
To finish off my French-girl facial, I swiped Caudalie Lip Conditioner on my lips. This is my current favorite balm – weightless and silky smooth, it’s long-lasting and makes a great base for lipstick. 

Suddenly my skin looks much better and I’m feeling very breezy and chic. Gotta love French beauty. 

February/March 2016 Empties

It has been far too long since my last post and for that I must apologize. It has been a very hectic couple of months and I simply have not had as much time as I would like for fun stuff (like sampling and writing). However, I have managed to try some new products and even finished a few in the past several weeks. Here’s a look at my empties for February and March:
February & March 2016 Empties
Dove Purely Pampering Sweet Cream Beauty Bar: I picked up a duo of these beauty bars after trying a body wash that left me broken out and very unhappy. I chose the sweet cream version because of it’s light, sweet scent – very feminine but also very mild. Nothing earth shattering here but it gets me clean without the addition of pimples and it smells nice. I’d buy them again.

Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask: This has got to be my favorite new beauty thing; it’s certainly the best sheet mask I’ve ever tried. It’s drenched in a super-moisturizing formula that soothes the skin and left me looking and feeling fresh and glowy for the rest of the day. Bonus: you can freak out your pets by looking like a serial killer when you put it on.

Make Dual-Phase Eye Makeup Remover: This is my all-time favorite eye makeup remover. It’s gentle and effective, lasts for a ridiculously long time, is a pretty pink color and comes in a cool square bottle.

Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry Powder Fresh Antiperspirant/Deodorant: I bought this for 99 cents one day when I was feeling nostalgic for the days when I used to swear by powder fresh deodorant. It’s a solid deodorant (see what I did there?) and kept me fresh and sweat-free.

Covergirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: This is not new to my blog or to my empties. My classic winter BB cream, it’s still moisturizing, easy to use and light enough for my ghost-like winter complexion. Still a winner.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths: Another empties MVP, these wipes are great for those days when you just cannot be bothered to properly wash your face.

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara: This mascara is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s dark and dramatic and lasts all day without flaking or smudging. Plus I love the unique packaging and curled wand. If you haven’t tried this mascara yet, do yourself a favor and buy some right now.