Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Favorite Self Tanners

I am naturally as white as a ghost. To avoid this white girl problem, I apply self tanner year round. I've tried countless self tanners, and have found the best, most of which I've used for the past several years. 

Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse

I use only use this on my face, neck, and arms. It is absolutely amazing! It has a very light, moist whipped texture and doesn't have a foul smell like a lot of self tanners do. Since I prefer to be darker than my natural skin color year round, I use a foundation a few shades darker than my natural skin color.  Your neck is usually lighter than your face, so it's important to have your foundation match and blend to keep your neck and face the same color. To maintain a blended look everyday, I apply the mousse to my neck (and chest/arms) 1-2 times/week. I do use it on my face sometimes as well, but I don't find it as important to be applied to my face because it washes off much quicker than the rest of my body since I do exfoliate and use the clarisonic brush often.

L'oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Gel

I usually only use Sublime Bronze on my legs. I love the smell (it smells nothing like sunless tanner), it has a very light, clean scent. I love that I can see exactly where I'm applying it since the gel is a bronze color.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

St. Tropez Mousse gives an amazing, natural looking tan when applied correctly. I usually use it during the summer, or layered under or over the Clarins Mousse when I want extra color fast. It dries very fast, so it's important to apply it quickly and evenly to avoid splotchy-ness. When I use this mousse, I always use latex gloves during the application process because it will stain your palms otherwise. I love that it doesn't smell, it doesn't stain clothes, and it is paraben free.

Tan Towel Classic Half Body Application

Tan Towels are one of the best beauty inventions in my opinion! When I'm feeling lazy, or don't have time to spend applying the mousse or gel tanners, I use a Tan Towel. The package says "half body application", but I'm able to use one towel everywhere from my face to my feet. It dries super fast, and has a light citrusy scent. These are great for travel and there's no mess involved. LOVE!

What are your favorite self tanning products?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Skincare Routine

I have a complicated relationship with my skin. It's usually VERY dry, and sometimes it's oily AND dry at the same time. Rosacea has been a problem since i was about 10 years old, and was way more of an issue as a child. My skin has always been very, very sensitive, turning bright red when I get my eyebrows waxed or am extremely hot or cold. I struggled with very minor acne as a teen, and now birth control prevents it almost completely. It took me years to nail down a skincare routine that works for me, but I'm finally happy with all of the products I use, and the way my skin looks and feels. Since I love these products so much, I think it's important to share how they've helped my skin. Please take into account that some of the products I use are prescriptions-please see a doctor before trying them!

1. Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil: This is what I use every night to remove my makeup. I don't think I'll be using anything else anytime soon because this product is AMAZE. It does the job at dissolving makeup easily with no pulling or rubbing, and it leaves my skin feeling very clean. 
2. Clarisonic Mia: I honestly don't know what I'd do without my Clarisonic Mia. I've been using it for 2 years, about 4 days/week. It was worked miracles with my rosacea by leaving my skin so smooth, and my pores have never been smaller. Run, don't walk to get the Clarisonic if you don't have it! 
3. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: My dry skin loves this cleanser, which I use with my clarisonic brush and alone, with my hands on the days that I don't use the clarisonic. It cleanses the skin while maintaining the right moisture balance without leaving any residue.
4. Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish: I use this a few times a week to exfoliate my face, sometimes with the Clarisonic and sometimes without. For years I used St. Ives Apricot Scrub until I was told by an Esthetician that the scrub is damaging to the skin. The crushed apricot pits used in the scrub microscopically tear the skin since they have sharp edges. The Boscia exfoliator uses mannan spheres, which properly & gently exfoliate the skin. 
5. Lactic Acid Gel Peel: I was introduced to peels through blogging about a year ago, and can't imagine not using one now! After a lot of reading, I learned that the Lactic acid peel meets my skin's needs. Lactic acid skin peels are ideal for Actinic Keratosis, dark circles under eyes, dry skin, Eczema & Dermatitis, Melasma, Psoriasis, razor bumps, scarring, sensitive Skin, stretch Marks, sun Damage and tone & texture. I use the peel once every few weeks for keratosis pilaris (on my arms), dry skin, and rosacea. There are lots of awesome tutorials on doing gel peels at home, but I would be happy to provide more information and do a tutorial if that's something that would interest any of you.
6. Retin-A: Retin-A and I have a history of about 15 years. It was prescribed to me as a child to use for rosacea. While it didn't produce great results for me as a child, I still use it more for prevention of acne and wrinkles. I apply it twice a week (sometimes more, but for my already very dry skin, it's not ideal for me to use on a daily basis) under my moisturizer at night.
7. Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Gel: I was introduced to this amazing eye gel from a giveaway on Shasta's blog more than two years ago, and I've since purchased it again. I use it every night, under my moisturizer around my entire eye area (lid, temples, under eyes). Here's a description from Obagi: "Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Treatment Gel helps minimize the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. It is formulated to encourage the natural production of collagen and elastin while it hydrates and tones for firmer, younger-looking eyes."
8. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: For years I wasted money used La Mer's moisturizer as my night time moisturizer, but after a visit to my Dermatologist last year, I'm pretty sure I'll be using CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream forever. I cannot sing it's praises enough. While La Mer was a great moisturizer, when I woke up the next morning after applying it before bed, my skin was still dry in the morning. CeraVe's moisturizing cream is a pretty heavy duty moisturizer, so I wouldn't recommend using it during the day, under your makeup. Here's why I love it: "CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream increases the skin's ability to attract, hold, and distribute moisture. It penetrates deep into the layers of the stratum comeum (the skin barrier) to restore the balance of lipids that are essential for an effective skin barrier. It also forms a protective layer over the skin's surface to help prevent moisture loss."
9. iS CLINICAL Youth Complex: Youth Complex is another item I won with the ELASTIderm eye gel from Shasta. Its anti-aging benefits are amazing: clinically proven to stimulate production of collagen and elastin, smoothes and softens skin, provides antioxidant protection, and offers immediate and long-term results. I use it nightly, under or mixed with the CeraVe.
10. Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer: After I raided my sunscreen collection and threw out 99% of it due to harmful chemicals (see my sunscreen post here), I ordered new sunscreen and a new daily moisturizer containing SPF. I found the Devita moisturizer through The EWG, it is listed at #3 as one of the best moisturizers containing SPF.  It is awesome for sensitive skin, provides excellent moisture without being greasy, and doesn't leave that white look to my face like so many natural SPF moisturizers do because it uses a physical barrier sunscreen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wedding Trailer

I am SO excited to share our wedding trailer! I have to say, I was more excited to receive our wedding DVD than our photos. Rain Studios went above and beyond my expectations, and they were so much fun to work with. I highly recommend them to California brides!
Hope you enjoy!