Layla Loves: Micellar Water

Layla Loves: Micellar Water

I just arrived home from work. Shoes come off first. Then my wig (yes, I wear a wig, more on that some other time). Then, off comes my makeup. I look forward to all of these things every day, but especially on days when I am tired and want to just come home and lay down, maybe watch some TV and zone out.

As much as I love to wear makeup and rock a bold lip, I also am growing to love being in my bare-faced skin and I care about it’s health as much as I care about it’s natural appearance. So, I want to make sure that I tell you all about one of my favorite beauty products EVER: micellar water.

In case you haven’t heard more than excited buzz around micellar water, let’s start with the basics. The first (and the only thing, in my opinion) that you need to know is that it’s a beauty secret and staple of French women. Say no more, right?

I heard that micellar water was great for sensitive skin (due to its lack of harsh chemicals, soap, fragrance and alcohol), requires no rinsing, is a great makeup remover, AND is a gentle alternative to most facial wipes on the market (some are soft and treat your skin like the baby it should be viewed as).

At first, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. I tried a small bottle of Simple Micellar Water and was converted to a full fledged believer within a week. My skin felt clean, looked better, felt softer and appeared smoother. On top of that, I hadn’t experienced any new breakouts. I stopped washing my face twice a day with harsh tap water ever since.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t stopped washing my face with good old face cleanser and bathroom sink water completely, but cutting down has helped my skin a lot–it’s undeniable.

So, which micellar waters do I use regularly and think you should try? Glad you asked!

Here we go…

The First Love: Simple Micellar Water, 13.5 fl.oz., $8,99, Target

Simple Micellar Water

The Brightening Secret: 

Botanics All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution, 8.4 oz., $5.99, Target

botanics all bright micellar

The Oily/Combination Skin Power Punch: 

Bioderma Sebium H2O Solution Micellaire, 500ml, $14.90, Birchbox

Bioderma Sebium H20 Micelle Solution

And since you’re going all in on micellar waters, make sure you are using the right counterparts: facial rounds or ovals. I prefer ovals because of their size (compared to rounds). They’re larger and can cover more of your face in less swipes, saving product and ovals. These are the ovals that I prefer.

So, will you be trying a micellar water? Do you already use them? Let me know your thoughts, and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments.

Talk soon. -xo, Layla

First Impression: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35

First Impression: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Warm weather is finally here! *shimmy, shimmy*

The Northeast is notorious for less than enviable fall/winter weather, but this year my tolerance must’ve completely forgotten to show up because I was OVER. IT. before winter even really set in, got comfortable and decided to stay a while. Now don’t get me wrong, cold weather is good for a few things when it comes to beauty. For us oily or combination girls: it means we’re matte all day without too much maintenance. Spring and summer means we’ve got to have our blotting game on fleek. Which brings me to the reason we’re all here: my latest rant/review.

If you’re new here then I must tell you: I’m a HUGE fan of Birchbox. Love my monthly box, the Birchbox shop and I’m dying to visit their retail location in Soho. Obviously, this means that I have Birchbox points. Lots of them. (I’m almost ACE status, whoo!) I’ve been hoarding my points for a few months, just waiting for the right product to come along and make me want to cash it all in. Last week, I saw it: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35. 

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Dark, $39 Photo courtesy: Smashbox
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Dark, $39, 1 fl. oz
Photo courtesy: Smashbox

First things first: when you read the box you’ll notice that the product description says this BB cream is a “5-in-1 miracle worker proven to PRIME, PERFECT, PROTECT, HYDRATE and CONTROL OIL.” STOP HERE: this is the point where I audibly squealed with delight. Okay, we can keep going now.

So…how do I feel about this product? I’m….still on the fence :/

I’ve only used it this one day (today), so I will give it more time for sure. I applied this BB Cream (with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, that I LOVE!) at around 7 a.m. and removed it via makeup remover wipe at about 7 p.m. I did have to use blotting powder and films throughout the day, but not for my whole T-zone; just my nose. Otherwise, it did a decent enough job of controlling my oil.

Here’s what I like: it has sun protection (the full coverage, truly safe variety aka broad spectrum), instead of a 9-12 month expiration date, this product could last 24 months (it’d probably be gone by then honestly), and the coverage is sheer/light which is just enough to even your tone and look polished while still allowing your skin to shine through and breathe.

What I’m kind of *meh* about: the sun protection is actually a combination of 4 sunscreens and one of them is oxybenzone which has been known to be a skin irritant for some so tread very carefully if you have sensitive skin or have experienced issues with your skin and sun protection in the past. Lastly, the darkest shade (which is what I purchased) is good enough for my skin tone which is comparable to a MAC NC/NW45 or 47 without needing to do too much blending.

I can’t recommend trying this or not just yet. But if you simply can’t wait to get your hands on this and see what’s what, then I’d say, snap up a travel size (0.25 oz). Unfortunately, the travel size only comes in 2 shades: light and light/medium. (Really, Smashbox? Come. On.)  But if these are the shades you need, you can find this size on Amazon and directly from the Smashbox website.

Product Review: Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

Product Review: Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

eyeko skinny mini 2

Be prepared to marvel at how many chances I’ve taken since I started this blog on August 19, 2013, LOL.  In case you’re wondering, counting the product I used in this post and the other time, it’s a whopping total of 2, ha ha!

Once again, Birchbox delivery time has come and gone (I wish it could last forever) and even though I usually at least like everything in my box, there is always one stand out product that I can’t wait to try.  This month, it was Eyeko’s Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner in Black.  Now I know what you might be thinking…”black eyeliner is NOT that risky, Layla.” But for me, it is.  My eyes are not small (I get it from me mum) so for everyday makeup, I don’t do much in the way of playing them up, I try and keep it low key and save the all out fabulousness for special occasions like nights out with friends, etc.  Usually this means brown eyeliner no matter the formula.  Using black eyeliner definitely makes my eyes stand out, but I’m getting more comfortable with it.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on with my review!

I had heard AMAZING things about this brand, particularly its mascaras but I never really heard much about its eyeliners until very recently.  The beautiful Miss Alexa Chung swears by Eyeko eyeliners and now I can see why. They’re quite nice. Very long wearing. In these pictures below (excuse the complexion issues, I’m in the middle of a skin revolt, and this a completely judgment free zone, right?): I’ve been wearing the liner for a little more than 12 hours, with a very small amount of ELF Eye Primer layered underneath. The staying power, primer included, is a welcome surprise.

eyeko skinny mini selfie 3

The angle is kind of funny but you get the idea.

It was so easy to apply, most likely because of this genius tip. It looks like a normal liquid liner tip but it’s different, I can’t quite put eloquent (or any) words to it really, but if you try it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Peep a peak at the tip:

eyeko skinny mini tip

 

I really love this eyeliner and think it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for something. It retails for $16 in the US and can be purchased at Sephora, Ulta, or Eyeko’s website.

xo, Layla

Healthy Living: Mighty Leaf Organic Teas

Healthy Living: Mighty Leaf Organic Teas

mighty-leaf-tea-african-nectar-tea-organic

Why yes, yes you are. Unfortunately, for me that means I’m part ginger-ale (Schweppes, ALWAYS. Don’t play) mixed with equal parts espresso and Jamaican Kola Champagne. Obviously my liquid diet needs a bit of work, but I wasn’t in any rush to make any drastic adjustments just yet, I mean, COME ON, it’s not quite time for resolutions.

Enter my new reality: a prescription regimen that includes a drug that heightens the effects of even the smallest amount of caffeine. Seriously. Sometimes I’d be up until 4am in the morning, this drug is no joke. My caffeine habit is coming to a screeching halt. I’m a little bitter about it, I won’t lie. I don’t like to drink tea unless it’s in the form of a Tea Latte. Tea isn’t particularly as soothing as taking that first sip of espresso mixed with foam. It doesn’t relax my muscles like a soy caramel macchiato. I digress. My world is changing and it must happen. I must cooperate to be healthy. It’s almost a disguised blessing–ALMOST.

Once again, my Birchbox comes to the rescue! In my November box, among some other nifty treats, I received a sample pack of three (3) Mighty Leaf Organic Teas. While only one of those offerings was caffeine free, it was enough to get me thinking that drinking more tea wouldn’t be so bad after all. I tried the Organic African Nectar blend and was pleasantly surprised at how balanced it was. I expected it to be overwhelmingly fruity, which it certainly was not. It was a mild, unassuming blend that was absolutely delicious. I’m definitely going to purchase a full box of this blend and happily sip my bitter unwillingness to let go of the comfort that is a cup of coffee dissipate.

If you are what you drink, then I need to be water and tea with a healthy sprinkling of a fresh pressed green juice and let the benefits of giving my body adequate and balanced hydration take over. I know the difference it can make. But it’s certainly a commitment. A commitment I have to make and follow through on.

For more information on Mighty Leaf Organic Teas, visit their website at http://www.mightyleaf.com

Wish me luck!

Cheers!!

xo, Layla

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

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Hey glossies!

It’s manicure and facial night here at HQ (my home). Tonight’s version is a little different and feels uber special and luxuriating because I’m using products from my November Birchbox. I’ll review a few other products from the box in a separate post…er, three.

In this month’s box I received a sample of Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation, Color Club’s Nail Lacquer in Baldwin Blues, Ayres Midnight Tango Body Butter, Mighty Leaf Tea Pouches and last but certainly not least…drumroll please!…Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator(!!!!!!)

Needless to say you know what the star of this post will be ;)

Currently, my skin is acting out (but honestly WHEN is it not?!!) and is dry, flaky, itchy and overall just a pain in the arse so this “customer fave” which “mimics the effects of microdermabrasion for a glowing, smooth complexion” was literally calling to me from its prison cell which is my mailbox.

Alright, I’ve just tried it for the first time only moments ago and already I am very pleased. It was easy to use: simply wet your face, and apply the product on your face in circular motions, then rinse. It smells clinical (at least to me) but not in an overwhelming, unpleasant way. The smell is more assuring to me actually, I feel that I am getting dermatology office strength in the comfort of my home.

And the best part? It didn’t leave my dry, super sensitive skin screaming or flaming red. This almost never happens. I’m feeling in awe and like it may be a little too good to be true but I’m holding out hope!

I will be trying this product at least 2 more times to see if my opinion changes but after this first pass, I’m excited for the next usage occasions.

Next up in the routine is Freeman’s Facial Clay Mask with Avocado and Oatmeal. Finally, I’ll seal it all with a soothing and brightening kiss: Murad’s Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum and Origin’s GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream.

Have you tried this or any other Vasanti product? What did you think? Kindly leave a note below, I’d love to hear you thoughts!

Talk soon,
Layla