Sheet Mask Sunday

I’m very drawn to sheet masks. They usually come in fun packaging and I like the idea of perfectly portioned beauty treatments that take very little effort. Most sheet masks consist of a concentrated treatment that sits on top of your skin. When your mask time is up, you simply remove the sheet and massage the remaining treatment into your skin. Easy peasy.

Because I’m so drawn to these treatments, and because they typically have an easy-to-justify price tag, I’ve amassed quite a collection of sheet masks. So in an effort to work my way through them, I have declared this my inaugural sheet mask Sunday.

Since it’s January and the combination of freezing cold winds and dry indoor heat has pretty much turned me into a scaly lizard, I decided to go for hydration. Today I tried not one but three masks. For my flaky face I used a Sephora Aloe Vera Face Mask that claims to hydrate, refresh, and plump the skin while leaving it supple and full of moisture. It was definitely refreshing and did plump up my skin a bit. My face still feels drier than it should but it no longer looks flaky, so that’s a win. With it’s aloe content, I could see this being a lovely post-beach day mask in the summer. If your skin is only moderately dry this would probably do the trick.

The other masks I used today were these fun Aveeno Repairing Cica hand and foot masks. With these, you slip your clean, dry hands and feet into disposable booties and gloves, chill out for 10 minutes, then remove and massage the leftover product into your skin. These masks contain shea butter and prebiotic oat, which is meant to soothe and nourish the skin. I really enjoyed these masks and can feel a definite increase in hydration in my hands and feet. If you have tough calluses this won’t eliminate them, but it will leave your skin feeling really comfortable and soft. As a bonus, these masks are fragrance-free and formulated for sensitive skin. I would recommend them for anyone looking for a quick and easy winter pampering session!

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Smarten Up

The temperature continues to rise, and summer is (hopefully) on its way, so naturally we are being bombarded with ads and articles about sunscreen and the best warm-weather skin care available. After reading approximately 13 different articles about the importance of protecting your skin – and taking notice of a few irritatingly persistent crinkles around my eyes – I decided it was time to step up my skin care routine. After all, I’ve been slapping on the same SPF 15 tinted moisturizer every morning for years, and, as much as I hate to admit it, my skin is beginning to change with age. Plus,  prevention is huge in the battle against aging skin. So, excited to find something new, I did my research and headed out to find my best bet.

I read about Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer in several articles, and was intrigued by a lengthy advertisement that promised Smart Essentials would help a busy girl like me protect her skin while looking fresh-faced and bright. I found a bottle at my local Walgreens (for $6 less than the posted price at Rite Aid, I might add!), and brought it home for a trial.

After one day of using this moisturizer, which features an SPF of 30 and comes in a cheery yellow and orange bottle that for some reason increases my confidence that it will brighten my tired skin, I noticed a nice glow. Not only that, but it kept my face from getting shiny, a problem I’ve been battling lately. This surprised me, because I often find that products containing sunscreen often leave a greasy feel on my skin – not so with the Smart Essentials moisturizer. It has a light scent, absorbs quickly, and, in my opinion, left my skin tone looking more even and less blotchy than my trusty old tinted moisturizer.

I saw one of my best friends a few days after I started using it, and she told me I looked fantastic, and that my skin looked dewy. Dewy – not shiny. I thanked her and told her I was using a new moisturizer that was changing my life. And hopefully it will – sun damage and dull skin is no laughing matter. So for now, I’m officially making the switch to SPF 30.

It’s a smart choice.

Something for Everyone

I know, I know, it’s been weeks since I posted last, and many of you are probably jonesing for your weekly dose of gloss. Have no fear, my lovelies! I have been working on a major upgrade to the blog, which will be launched in the new year. In the mean time, I thought I’d help you finish off your holiday shopping with some gift ideas for everyone on your list.

For your best friend: I love a good holiday gift set, and this year my favorite is the Philosophy Peppermint Bark gift set. It comes in a cute candy cane striped tin, and contains a mint-chocolate bubble bath/body wash, as well as a matching sheer red lip gloss that I LOVE. You might want to get one for yourself as well – I did.

For your brother/boyfriend/husband/dad: There are many more man-friendly products and gifts on the market these days than you might think. Brands like Nivea, Axe, and Old Spice all make gift sets. I particularly like Old Spice, which comes in a variety of new scents that are amazing. Check out the Matterhorn and Denali scents; my boyfriend and I both agree that these smell the best.

For your mom/sister/grandma: Why not give the gift of lovely hands this year? A gift certificate for a manicure is always appreciated, but if you want to give a gift that’s a bit more hands-on (pun intended), there are several great hand products to choose from. Tweezerman makes mini nail-files that come in a matchbox and couldn’t be cuter. Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat is my absolute favorite when it comes to day-to-day nail maintenance – it is a clear gel that strengthens nails and leaves them with a healthy, sheer pink shine. And a nice hand cream rounds out any at-home manicure kit. I like Aveeno Active Naturals Intense Relief Hand Cream, and the full line of Arnica hand creams (available at yvesrocherusa.com).

Stocking Stuffers: If you’re like me, you love walking down the sample-size aisle of any drugstore. Mini bottles of shampoo, shaving cream, and body lotion are not only adorable and affordable, but they make great testers and stocking stuffers. If you want to snazz up your stockings this year, you can also check out the beauty minis section at sephora.com. You can find anything from itty bitty perfumes and moisturizers to travel-sized mascaras and lip balms.

Merry Christmas, and happy shopping to all!