Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa Review

Last week I published my updated skincare routine and I talked about my Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa System. I got this about 3 months ago with a huge youtuber discount code and I have to say, at first I was a little skeptical. A few of my friends have a Clarisonic and I just never felt the need to get one. My skin never really has problems, and it's too sensitive to exfoliate everyday, so I didn't think a skincare brush would be for me. HOWEVER, I am now in love with my Ultimate Skin Spa. I use it about 2-3 times a week and I notice a big difference in my skin when I do. It's just smoother and brighter and it feels so deeply clean without being dry, tight, or irritated. 
The brush has 2 speed settings and the set comes with 3 brushes - one for daily use (gray), one to exfoliate (black), and one for sensitive skin (white silicone).  I use the gray most often, but I use the black one when I feel like my skin is dull and needs a boost, and I use the sensitive skin one when my skin is sunburnt, broken out, or just sensitive in general. I LOVE that I can choose a different brush depending on how my skin feels that day. I can't compare to the Clarisonic system because I've never used one, but just by touching them, I think these are softer, not to mention more cost effective! For comparison, the most similar Clarisonic brush is the Mia 2, which comes with just one brush head, is $169. After that, each brush head is $27! The Ultimate Skin Spa System is $125, but they do TONS of coupon codes!
Here's a close up on the brush so you can really see what's going on! There are so many bristles and they're SO soft.

Overall, I'd highly recommend the Ultimate Skin Spa System. I've truly been converted and I love how clean yet soft my skin feels after I use it. The travel case makes it easy to take with me on all my trips and the brushes are easy to clean and cheap to replace. 10/10!
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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Updated Skincare Routine

I did a skincare routine post ages ago, but so much has changed since then, both my skin and the products I use, so I figured I should write an updated one. I promise this post is not sponsored by Clinique, I just use a lot of their products because they work well on my sensitive skin. Now, on to the good stuff...
I recently got an Ultimate Skin Spa system from Vanity Planet and am totally in love. I have to admit, when the Clarisonic came out, I wasn't buying the hype. I really didn't think they made that much of a difference and they were just so dang expensive that I never really cared to try it. Fast forward a few years and add in a stellar discount, and you've got me hook line and sinker. The one I have comes with 3 brush heads, 1 to exfoliate, 1 for sensitive skin, and one for daily use, and I LOVE it. I use it with my Korres Greek Yogurt cleanser, which I raved about here, and that combination on my dry sensitive skin is like magic. It's such a deep clean, and much more sanitary than washing your face with your hands, and I find that it makes my skin so clean without making it feel dry and tight.
I was worried about the exfoliating head, but the bristles are so soft that it doesn't bother my skin to use it. I think if I used it with an exfoliating cleanser then it might be too much, but with my Korres cleanser it works wonders. I use the exfoliating one once or twice a week, the daily cleansing head daily, and the sensitive one when I have breakouts or when I feel like I need to be gentler with my skin, generally when I'm sunburnt. I love that I have choices and I'm not just stuck with one head for everyday. 

In order, my skincare routine goes like this.
1. Wash off makeup with Clinique Take the Day Off. 

2. Cleanse with Korres Greek Yogurt and my Skin spa.

3. Moisturize with my Clinique All About Eyes eye cream and my Dramatically Different moisturizer. 
I LOVE the Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm. If you've read this post, you'll know that I used a chamomile one in England and LOVED it but never repurchased after I got home because I couldn't find it in stores here. However, after trying cleansing oils and other balms, I found this one and I'm never going back.
It's this weird dry but soft texture at first, but then when you rub it in it turns into an oily gel type of texture. THEN, when you add water, it just melts away along with your makeup and feels so soft and not at all drying. It doesn't leave oily residue, it takes off my water proof mascara without pulling on my eyes, and it make traveling with it a breeze, unlike a cleansing oil. I'd recommend 10/10.
This is my first time using the All About Eyes eye cream...well really any eye cream at all. I never saw a need for one, but I always noticed my concealer would dry up around my eyes and flake off. A lady at Sephora recommended this when she did my makeup and I've been hooked ever since. I don't notice a huge difference in dark circles, but mine were never too bad, BUT I notice a huge difference in the way my makeup applies and stays on my under eyes, so it's definitely worth it to me.
When I went to Clinique to repurchase my Dramatically Different moisturizer, the lady at the counter recommended their new version, in a cream formula instead of a lotion, which is made for very dry skin and is in a pot instead of a pump bottle. Of course, I went for it, as my skin is very dry and it was the same price double the price upon further research, but I don't think I'll stick with it. In the winter, yes, love, but in the summer, it's too much I think. I still feel it on my skin when I wake up, and although it IS very moisturizing, I feel like it's too slippy under my makeup, especially in this summer heat. Plus, I went through it way faster than my bottle with a pump, so that's a factor too. Great product, just wrong season for me.
What are your favorite skincare products? Any recommendations?
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Racism & Love

I haven't blogged about a serious, controversial topic in a long time. But today, I have a lot to say. And I think it's something we need to discuss, because shoving it under the rug and pretending it doesn't exist because it's uncomfortable is why we're in the place we are now. Racism exists. Hate exists. And we can't even begin to understand where we are or where we should be until we talk about it. 

Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 
A while back, I read an article about the doll test. It was a study done on children sometime in the late 80s I think. White and black children were asked to point to either a black doll or a white doll when asked questions like "Which doll is the pretty doll? or "Which doll is the good doll?" For all of the questions with good connotations, like which one is smarter, prettier, or "the good doll", the kids chose the white doll. And when asked why, they answered "because she's white." When asked which doll was the bad or ugly doll, they chose the black doll, and that just breaks my heart. It makes me want to hug all the little precious black babies who are made to feel second best for something as insignificant as their skin color or the texture of their hair. Because these kids are just sweet babies who are barely kindergarten age, who are beautiful, and wonderful, and loved, but already they have been taught that they are inferior, and I think that is what breeds hate. Because they already feel like they are being judged on something out of their control, not as an individual, but as part of an inferior group, and there is nothing they can do about it. It's like they've lost the race before they even started running. So I can understand the anger, and frustration, and hate, but we have to be better, all of us.

It is so sad to me, that we judge people, and by judge I mean change how we talk to them, treat them, and empathize with them, based on something so simple as their skin color. It makes me want to cry to think of little black girls and boys feeling that they are lesser than little white girls and boys based on something so basic and so uncontrollable as their skin. Of all the things that matter in the world - intelligence, kindness, humbleness, compassion - we choose something that no one had any control over to be the basis by which we judge, and I just don't understand it. 

If I'm being honest, I think that distrust, preconceived notions, and judgement go both ways. I think there are people who make assumptions about me and treat me differently because I'm white, just like I have done before because someone is black. It's a hard thing to admit, but when we cut the bull, we all do it. And we've go to stop. I don't know how to fix these problems, but I know it's not fair to judge people based on something they had no control over. It's not fair to label a whole race of people "second best" because their skin has more melanin. I think it starts by being patient, and humble, and kind, and getting to know people as individuals, wholly themselves, not as a member of a group we've already defined.

"Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions." - George W. Bush

I have become more aware of racial tensions and the way I treat people since the recent protests in Baton Rouge and many places all over the US. I have noticed though, that I've met some of the sweetest, kindest people in the last few days who happened to be black. I feel like I put more effort into smiling and being kind, holding doors, and telling them to have a good day because I know that I should've been doing that all along. And I've got to say, these interactions only reassure me that's it not a "color of our skin" problem, it's a "personality" problem, because all of the individuals I met were sweet and kind to me because that's who they are, not because they're black. And I was kind back because that's who I am. So the people who spread hatefulness and create division do so because they have hatefulness in their hearts, not because they are one color or religion or ethnicity. 

In closing, I'd just like to say that the main focus here, and in all the tragedies that seem to keep happening every day, is that someone's brother, or father, or mother, or daughter, or sister, or son, is never coming home again. Families are broken. So it doesn't matter who was wrong, or what their criminal histories were, that's not for us to decide. It is our job to love them, and empathize with them, and try to be a part of the solution, not the problem. 

1 Peter 4:8 - Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  

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