Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Shedding my winter coat

I did a VI peel! This is a blended medium depth medical grade chemical peel that is safe for all skin types and skin tones. I'm going to be honest, I haven't done a chemical peel since high school! Yes, I promise I am an aesthetician... I worked outside in a pool for years so I could never safely do a peel and be inside for the amount of time necessary, so it just was never a practical option for me. Since I am getting married in August I wanted to see how my skin does with one and get that fresh baby skin ready for the wedding! My skin has actually been looking good lately and I've been happy with it. I started out with a little pigmentation around my jawline from past breakouts and a little bit of scarring and texture in that area. Normally, I am an oily gal but this winter/spring had me all messed up. I was also using my retinol, sal acid to spot treat, and a 10% glycolic treatment 1-2 times a week. All that to say I was a little dry before starting this peel and I was LITTTTT. My coworker said I turned a shade of red she had never seen before so of course I told her GOOD KEEP GOING. Here are my results...

Day 1 immediately post peel:
This lighting hides it, but I was VERY red, but did just fine.

Day 2:
I woke up red and swollen with my skin feeling very tight.

 I washed my face and used a little hydrocortisone cream and slathered in SPF.  

Day 3:
Let the peeling begin!

The peeling started around the mouth and nose and went out from there. You CANNOT pick at the skin so I kept trimming it all day so I wouldn't get skin everywhere (lol gross).

Day 4: More Peeling

The peeling was the worst this day. I had to trim constantly so that I wasn't tempted to pick at my face. I was shedding EVERYWHERE. I could see the parts that had already peeled and they were looking brand new! At one point on my jaw line where I have the most acne scarring, a small part of scarring literally peeled off and it was amazing to see the immediate difference.

Day 5:

Still a lot of peeling going on. I was still really really red and raw, but nothing too crazy. I went to brunch and ran errands all day just pretending like my face wasn't falling off. Oh well. And yes if you get cold sores TAKE VALTREX. I forgot and did not take it in time. You will get a cold sore if you don't prep!

Day 6:

Very few spots left to peel. I was still red and there were about 4 small spots that were pretty raw. I kept some epidermal repair on those spots to promote healing. 

Day 7:

You can still see the spots that are a little raw and still healing. I pretty much peeled twice with this thing. I had a big peeling as you could see and then I had a lot of flaking in the same areas afterwards especially around my chin and mouth area. Besides those few spots you can see my skin looks fresh and glowing.

Day 8:

After this I continued to let those few areas heal and my skin looks really really good. I did have a couple of areas that purged but not bad. Overall I am very impressed with the VI peel. I can tell a difference with the scarring I had on my jaw line. I also noticed a difference with some of the dark spots on my face. The freckle type spots lightened up a good bit and my baby skin is so pretty!

I would definitely recommend this peel for all skin types as long as you don't have anything special going on for a week or so.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Excuses we use to get out of the gym

The most widely used in all forms of excuses is TIME. I don't have enough, I can't fit it in, doesn't work with my family's schedule, there's too much going on... the list goes on and on. The simple truth is that if it's important to you, you can make and find time. Now it may not be the best scenario, you may have to wake up extra early or stay up a little later to fit it in, but I promise you can find 30-60 minutes to give to yourself. This is all about priority... If you make yourself and your health a priority in your life then you CAN find time. I say that because I've done it and continue to do it every day. One stage in my life I was waking up at 5:00 am every morning to get up and workout before school because there was NO other possible time for me. If you know me even a little then you know I am in no way, shape, or form a morning gal. BUT it's important to me, so I found time. Even now after working 8-8 I stay after work at the gym to get my workouts in. No, I don't want to. I'm not the most motivated at this time. I'm exhausted and it's late and WAY past time to eat dinner, but again it's important to me so I do it... I promise you, you can make time.

No motivation can be another thing that keeps us from the gym. A lot of us get bursts of motivation and show up for a while but once that wears off, what keeps us going in? What and who keeps us accountable to our goals? Once we get out of routine and out of the gym it's SO hard to get back in. I see this so often of people getting out of routine and then one week becomes two and two becomes a month and eventually they find another daily excuse of why they couldn't come. Find a fitness family and make fitness fun. If you want to show up to the gym and do your same daily/weekly routine that's fine as long as you're staying active and doing something. But if you need more than that and someone who is there for you and keeping you accountable, find a fitness family. Fitness classes can be a great way of doing this... meet people, make friends, and have a reason to get back in the groove of things when you find your motivation is wearing thin. Working out doesn't have to be a chore, so make friends and make it fun!

It's too expensive. Once again this is a priority thing. If it's important to you, you can pay for it. How about that $5 coffee you pay for every morning? It's important to you, so you pay for it. What we spend our money on is a reflection of what matters to us, and you and your health should be one of those things.  A lot of people's reasoning for leaving a gym is "I'm going to do it on my own at home because a gym membership is too much money." And what happens? They don't. Do you think at home between chores, kids, spouse, and everything else that you will actually focus on working out at home? Now I'm not saying it's not possible, but there's a much higher chance that you're going to get distracted and your focus is going to easily be shifted elsewhere. When you're plugged into a gym whether you're doing your own thing, or working out in a class that is going to be your sole focus. Keeping your focus and not having any distractions at the gym is worth it.

Other miscellaneous excuses...It's hard or "I'll be too sore" or "I don't know what I'm doing"... Yes it may be hard at the beginning, but hard work pays off. You will feel better, more energetic, and soreness is temporary. I promise it will go away.
Many newcomers of the gym get intimidated by people who have been there for YEARS working towards their goals. Don't let that discourage you and don't think you have to do what they're doing right away... Don't be afraid to just do what you can, start out slow, and work your way up. EVERYONE starts somewhere, you're not alone.

Stop thinking of excuses and just START. Doing SOMETHING is always better than nothing!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Your mistakes don't define you

I can hear the devil lying to me, telling me that these mistakes are part of who I am and that I can't let go of it. When I act in a way that doesn't point to Christ he tells me that I am not good enough, that I'm not pleasing to God, and that I am a disappointment to him. "That's not Christlike."
Now none of this should be an excuse for me to continue making the same mistakes again and again, but I easily fall into the trap of believing that I am less than, that I screwed up and am not forgiven, and that people can't see Jesus in me.This absolutely breaks my heart. I want my life to point to Him, and when it doesn't I quickly realize, but by this point and am beating myself up on the inside.
Theres a difference between conviction and condemnation and I confuse that line too often. Conviction says to repent and turn from your ways... ask forgiveness and DO BETTER! Condemnation says you're not good enough, you're guilty, full of shame, and you're not worthy. I tend to beat myself up when I don't act in a way that shines light, but that's not who I am and that's not where I'll stay.
God reminds me that my identity is found in Him and just because I made a mistake doesn't change the fact that I am His, that I am loved, that I am forgiven, that I am higher than the mistakes I make because of Him.
He doesn't love me any less, He doesn't love me any different, and mistakes don't change WHO I AM.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Romans 8:1

Just some Monday night thoughts!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Eye products in rotation

Before I got into eye creams I have to say sorry I've been MIA! I am SO busy now a days and working A LOT so I don't have as much time to put into my blogging as I would like. I did get a new camera that I've been playing and experimenting with so I will have better quality pictures YAY! Bear with me in the process of figuring it out and the best way to use it!

Anyway here's the eye products in my rotation...Sometimes I wonder if eye products are necessary or if they even work... From my experience so far, eye creams are best for preventative measures and hydration rather than corrective. I have a few products in rotation right now that I use for different reasons.

1. ZO Hydrafirm- This one I use for preventing wrinkles around the eye area and for relief from dark circles. I like the texture of this product, it's not sticky or TOO moisturizing. It's got retinol in it, so it's good for turning over those skin cells and keeping the eye area looking youthful. I've been using this about twice a week and really liking it! There is kojic acid in here which targets that dark pigmentation from dark circles, along with shea butter for moisture, caffeine for puffiness, and antioxidants to fight free radicals.

2. VII Code T2 eye cream- I surprisingly have been liking this eye cream a lot. This is very moisturizing and it has been getting a lot of use this winter! My skin has been drier than normal with our crazy weather lately so something moisturizing has been necessary. I was hesitant to try something new because I find a lot of moisturizing eye creams will irritate my eye area and cause tiny little red bumps. I am happy to report this one has not done that. This has ingredients like chamomile, avocado, jojoba oil, apricot oil, hyaluronic acid, and aloe. It gives me just enough moisture around the eye area to keep my makeup going on smooth and it feels so nice on! I can't comment on the anti-aging benefits of the product because I haven't been using it for long enough. When using this product you are supposed to apply it with the crescent shaped applicator that it comes with, which is fine, but I don't see a huge difference between using the applicator and not using it. I like the texture and I'm so far impressed with it, I've been using this religiously!

3. EltaMD renew eye gel- I love that this one is a gel formula. This is the product I use during the summer when my skin is more normal and not needing a whole lot of moisture, but just a little something to keep some hydration in that area. The texture of this is perfect for spring/summer weather. It's not heavy at all and it doesn't irritate my eyes, which is exactly what I need. This one has ingredients like peptides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and niacinamide. Another tip when using this is to pop it in the fridge and it's SO cooling on the eye area in the morning!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November (17) Empties

I went through so many goodies this month! I'm finally at the point where I know what I love and I'm going through them often and repurchasing what works for me!


ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense- I've talked about this product before and this is a star product in my AM routine. It's a multi tasker and I can't be without this product! This was the travel size bottle that I went through and it lasted me a good while. I loved this so much I purchased the full size of it recently. Not a cheap product, but so SO worth it! If you're not using this, you should be.

ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish- I use this twice a week in the AM. This is a great product for getting rid of dead skin cells and getting a good surface exfoliation. I had two back ups of it at home already and definitely pulled out another. I keep this in my rotation to keep my skin soft and smooth. It doesn't irritate my skin because the crystals are micro crystals so it's not scrubbing my face off. Love this stuff!

Roccoco Decongesting Porefection- I got this travel size a while ago and finally went through it once I really got my routine figured out. This is a great lightweight moisturizer for oily skin gals. This isn't thick or goopy. I feel like I need a little more during the winter months because I tend to get dry patches around my mouth and nose. I haven't repurchased this YET but I am planning on making an order very soon once I get all the Christmas shopping done! If you have acne prone oily skin you need to check out this brand. Their products are SO effective and they will do everything they can to help you!

EltaMD UV Clear 46- This is one of my favorite sunscreens. I use this on my face and neck every day. This is great for anyone with rosacea, or acne prone skin. It's got niacinamide in it so it helps to keep the skin clear and it has clear zinc so it doesn't leave a white cast on the skin. LOVE this and yes I have another!


Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder- I tried to live without this I really tried and I didn't have a good time... I love baking under my eyes with this, it really is brightening and locks in my concealer for all day wear. This lasted me FOREVER I was actually happy when I went through it because I rarely go through something makeup wise because I am always trying new things. This goes to show how much I love this stuff and I definitely repurchased because I can't go without!


GNC Energy & Metabolism Multi- I've gone through plenty of these and I still like them. They give me an extra boost and they come in a double pack so I had a backup!

Carlson Zinc- Okay this is a supplement I CANNOT live without. A while back I did a post on the supplements I use to keep coldsores away and this is one of them. The PA that told me the secret supplements to keep them away warned me that I had to take them EVERY DAY or one would pop up. His exact words "If you skip two days one will come up." So I hadn't had one in almost a YEAR on my supplements and I ran out of my zinc. I figured I was safe because I wasn't stressed. hadn't been in the sun, and I feel like my immune system is much stronger now... I GOT A FREAKING COLD SORE from skipping TWO days without this. Needless to say immediately ordered another bottle...

Asthaxanthin- I won't spend too much time on this one, but I love what this does to my skin and I like the extra antioxidants and joint support so I continue to order and take this daily.


Mitchum Spray in Pure Fresh: I've been using this lately because I found it has the highest active ingredient and I don't know why but I've been a sweaty mess lately. This is the best deo I've found and this scent is nice and fresh. I can't handle the overpowering powder smell so this is nice and subtle. I've already purchased two more!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wear Test: Maybelline Fit Me

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation first of all... SO much bang for your buck! This foundation is about 7.99 at walgreens, so if they have a sale or a buy one get one or you have points, just buy this! You can't beat the price of this drugstore foundation AND it performs. Keep reading to see how it wore on my oily skin!

7:30 am as soon as I got in the car. This foundation went on beautifully and all of my products sat on top of it nicely. So far so good.

I didn't get a lunch time update because we were so busy, but this was 4:30 pm right before leaving work to go to the gym... This foundation has barely budged. Only slightly breaking up around my nose and this is without powdering or touching up throughout the day. 

Here is more of a close up to see how it sat on the pores. 
I'm slightly shiny and it showed a little bit of texture (honestly they all do) but I am very impressed by this drugstore find!

Overall this foundation has really wowed me and I can see why everyone goes crazy for this one. It is SO affordable and really long lasting. It looked great throughout the day and I definitely give it a thumbs up!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Beauty Favorites

Happy Halloween everyone! It is finally starting to feel like fall over here with some cooler and drier air. I'm currently sipping coffee from my halloween mug in my halloween socks that say BOO all over them. It is crazy to think that it is not almost Thanksgiving and holiday season is in full swing!
Anyway, here are some of my October beauty favorites...

ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense- This is hands down my favorite product. This has everything you need in it. It is packed with your daily antioxidants, a whisper of retinol to keep the skin exfoliated and reproducing collagen, and it's also got moisturizing properties. This is a one stop shop for your morning routine and it is my FAVORITE!

ZO Medical Aknebright- This is a 2% salicylic acid spot treatment for active acne as well as pigmentation issues from acne scarring and picking at the skin. I have been using this in my hormonal areas lately and it has worked wonders for me! You squeeze the tube and it has small roller balls that you roll over the area, and the product makes a seal over the skin. This is a fantastic and very potent spot treatment. The only thing I am not sure about is cleaning this afterwards because it goes directly onto the skin.

Loreal Lash Paradise Mascara- I have quickly fallen in love with this mascara! It makes my lashes look long, thick, and fluttery. When I first used this I wasn't sold, but I gave it a good shot and I am SO glad I did because I truly love this mascara! I will do a post soon on my top 3 drugstore mascaras because I love them so much that I will never need to buy high end mascara!

Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation- I have been loving this foundation. It is matte, but somehow still gives my skin a glow without looking oily. It makes my skin look naturally beautiful and flawless. This is long lasting, has great coverage, and is absolutely beautiful on the skin!

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer- This has been a long time favorite, but I use this every single day and am still so in love with it! Full coverage, blends out perfectly, and I know I can't go wrong with it!

Elizabeth and James Nirvana French Grey- This is the most perfect fall perfume. It's got notes of musk, neroli, and lavender all of which I love. Lavender is my absolute favorite, so I knew I would like this. It smells like fall to me and is very fresh.