Products I use for a Treat Yo Self Night

I don’t know about you guys but I definitely love having a night to myself where I can just treat myself and focus on relaxing and treating myself. Usually I go for a nice bath, some skin and hair treatments, and a relaxing evening in. So here are a few things that I like to use for a treat yo self night:

(bonus points to anyone who has seen the Parks and Rec episode I am referring to)

I love starting out with a nice bath. This usually means that I like to start with candles and maybe an episode of old trash reality show reruns. My first ingredient is usually a bath bomb.

I always love to buy bath bombs from local places and farmers markets. These places always seem to have amazing products that are really unique. These ones I have gotten from a local shop and from a farmers market type booth on campus. They all smell really unique and I am super excited to use them.

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Local Bath Bombs

As far as commercial places to get great bath bombs I love Lush. I like to use bath bombs that are meant to calm and relax so I usually go for something with lavender or chamomile in it. So far the one I have really liked from Lush that I have repurchased is the Ickle Baby Bot. I know that this is usually meant for kids but I really like it. It really helps me calm down with the lavender and chamomile in it and I also feel like it makes my skin really soft as well. The other one I have really wanted to try is The Big Sleep. Keep your eye out for a future post about this one!

My next ingredient for a treat yo self night is some bath salts. I love ones that tend to have lavender in them because they help me relax so much. The one I have now I bought at Winco and it smells really good and goes with my bath bomb really well so I feel extra relaxed. I have found that I really like natural scents and I really love most things that contain essential oils.

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Petal Fresh Bath Salts

Just before I hop in my bath I like to grab either a book to read or I set up my laptop with an episode of the newest show that I’m watching. (This usually means reruns of ANTM on Hulu.)

Once I am in the bath I like to use a sugar scrub on my legs to make them extra soft. Sugar scrubs are some of my favorite products to use on my skin but I only use them when I do a treat yo self night. I dont know why I don’t do it more often but it makes them last a little longer. I use another local brand right now that I don’t really like as much as some of the commercial brands that I have used but it smells good so I haven’t felt the need to replace it yet.

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Local Sugar Scrubs

My favorite commercial brands for sugar scrubs are Tree Hut and Soap & Glory. For the Tree Hut one I really like the Coconut Lime scent because it isn’t too sweet and sugary. I love that I feel like it really gets the dead skin off my legs and it makes them so ridiculously soft after I shave them. If you can’t tell by the pic this one has been well loved by me.

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Tree Hut Sugar Scrub

 

As far as the Soap & Glory scrub I love the Sugar Crush Body Scrub. The scent of this is so unique and I fell in love with it the first time I used it. I can’t quite describe it so I just recommend going and getting some to fall in love with yourself. I love that this has a lot of moisturizing elements to it. On top of getting the dead skin off, it makes the fresh skin feel so healthy when I’m done.

After I am content with how much time I have spent in the bath I will drain the water and take a quick shower to be able to wash my hair and face. I know that this isn’t the most effective water saving technique but I never really feel like my hair can get clean in a bath.

Next comes the masks.

As far as a hair mask I have been trying a bunch but the one I always seem to go back to is the OGX Argon Oil Intense Moisturizing Treatment. I talk about this to everyone when they ask me how I get my hair so soft. For me it really has the best of all worlds when it comes to hair treatments. It smells amazing and I have never tried anything that makes my hair feel so good and so healthy and soft.

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My favorite hair treatment

The other hair masks that I have been trying are the Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Blooming Strength and Shine mask. Honestly I don’t really see a ton of benefit from this mask but it is one of the best smelling products that I have used. For a treat yo self night I love things that smell good so sometimes I lean toward this one.

I don’t tend to be a big face mask person because I tend to just go straight to my prescriptions after I wash my face and I kind of forget about them. When I do remember that face masks are an option I still love The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Face Mask because it makes my skin feel really good. Before I started the prescriptions that I am on, products that have tea tree oil in them seemed to be the only things that were making my skin show any kind of improvement. It really helps my skin to feel like it is clean and refreshed.

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Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mask

 

I also have enjoyed finding local shops that have face masks just like I do with bath bombs. Right now I have one on that is from a brand called TreeBee and I am really liking it. It kind of has the consistency of yogurt but it is making my skin feel great so if you can find a local shop, try them out!

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I also wanted to mention another mask that I put on but I usually wait until the very end to put it on because it is a sleeping mask. It is the SOO AE Donkey Milk Sleeping Mask. This is the most moisturizing product I have tried so far and every time I use it I don’t wake up with flakey spots around my eyes and mouth.

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Donkey Milk Sleeping Mask

 

After I have rinsed out my hair mask and taken off the face mask I get to my last few steps in treating myself. I usually like to moisturize my whole body. I don’t really like moisturizers that make my skin feel sticky or that feel like they just sit on top of my skin and stick to my PJs.

My go-to lotion has been the Vaseline Intensive Healing Moisturizer. It makes my skin feel so good and I am in love with the really light scent. I used to have really dry patches on my legs that would burn and this was the only product that would help so I have sworn by it ever since. I definitely recommend this if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by scents at this point in your evening.

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Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion

(Chris also uses this and he loves it as well. Just a side note for any guys that happen to follow my blog.)

However if you are still really loving all the creative and new scents then try another locally made product! At the moment I am loving some body butters that I have that I have found at farmers markets and some little boutiques around that are my go-to.

If you are looking for a really commercial deep moisturizer try out the Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil Gel. This stuff gives some of the deepest and longest lasting moisture that I have ever experienced. It also smells great and you really don’t have to use much to get a really great feeling for your skin.

My final step of the evening is tea. I love calming tea to end a really good night. I think that there are a lot of really great brands out there that I have tried. The one that I am currently obsessed with is a German brand that I can’t even really try to spell. I do know that it has lavender in it and that is one of my favorite tea components.

These are some of my favorite items that help me to have a really relaxing night. Weather I have just had a particularly tough day or if I am feeling extra anxious, I love using these to help me have a night to treat myself.

If you want to read more about what I do that also helps me relax when I am feeling anxious them check out my last blog post here.

Let me know what you guys like to use when you feel like treating or pampering yourself for an evening or if you’ve tried any of the products mentioned above!

Instagram: @kateboswelll

Twitter: @5678_kate


Dealing With Period Skin

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Basically periods suck all around. I think the only benefit I ever saw from having one was freshman year gym class when I didn’t have to swim for that week.

On top of the many things that I dislike about my period my skin falls within the top 3.

I used to think that hormones only effected your skin right around your period but I have come to the conclusion that I can tell where I am at in my cycle based on what my skin is doing. Generally around the time of my period is my least favorite stage.

2 weeks before: My skin starts to break out just a little bit. Usually just a couple little pimples in the really sensitive areas of my face like the crease of my nose or my hairline.

2-3 days before: My skin starts to get really dry. It gets to the point where it burns to put on moisturizer and is constantly flaking and getting red. The worst areas for me during this time are right around my mouth and right next to my eyes along my cheekbones.

During: I don’t really have any complaints about my skin during my period. This might be the one time that I feel like its not getting too oily or dry and my breakouts have cleared up for a bit.

As far as tips for dealing with trouble skin during different times of your cycle here is what I do:

For oily days: On the days when my skin is more oily I still use moisturizer but I go for a more water based moisturizer. My go to has been the Simple Hydro-Boost moisturizer. I also am pretty adamant about drinking lots of water.

For makeup on these days I use the Maybelline Fit Me foundation and the Flower setting powder. I also make sure that I carry setting powder around with me so that when my skin gets a bit more oily during the day.

For dry days: On days when my skin is dry and flakey I don’t tend to wear a lot of makeup because it flakes off. I still use the same Soap and Glory face wash during these days. It is a bit more drying but it seems that if I change my face wash it only makes it worse.

I make sure that I use the Loreal Skin Active moisturizer over my whole face and an oil based skin serum around my eyes and mouth where my skin is the flakiest.

For breakout days: I have a lot less breakouts now that I’m on these prescriptions but on the days when I have a few more trouble spots the Tarte Shape Tape is my best friend. I do the normal skincare routine but when I do my makeup I make sure that I use some color correction with the Shape Tape on top of trouble spots.

 

Let me know what you guys do to help your skin for your period and the best tips and tricks you have for different parts of your cycle.

 

Dying My Hair!

So I have wanted to dye my hair for a while and I am finally going to do it in a couple weeks. I know that when my hair is colored it will take a lot more maintenance but right now I want to make sure that my hair is as healthy as it possibly can be as to not cause more damage than normal.

I’ve already talked in a previous post about what I do to care for my hair and now that I am getting ready to color it I want to make sure that its extra healthy.

I still use the same Herbal Essences Rose Hips Shampoo for washing my hair. I stick with my schedule of washing every other day or every two days depending on how much I sweat when I work out. (Also it’s summer so that is a bit more often.)

I also started using a new Coconut Water conditioner. It is the Renpure Professional Coconut Water Hydrating Conditioner. I am in love with the way this smells, first of all. When I first used it I didn’t think that it would be that great because it isn’t as thick as other conditioners I’ve used.

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I was definitely pleasantly surprised by it. My dead ends feel hydrated and healthy and it doesn’t leave any gross residue. Overall 10/10 would recommend for any dry or damaged hair.

The other thing I use more often is hair treatments. These I do pretty often and I love to try some new ones. My go to is the OGX Renewing + Argon Oil of Morocco Intense Moisturizing Treatment. I have been in love with this product for a long time and I SWEAR BY IT. It makes my hair so silky soft and it feels so healthy. I think the best thing is that it smells great and works even better. I will put this on after the shower and put my hair all up in a clip to let it soak in and then rinse it with lukewarm water.

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The other new thing that I have been trying is hair masks. Some of them I have found are really great and some of them are just so-so.

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(Sorry these are all in plastic bags I just never use the whole package all at once.)

Over the past couple weeks I have been trying three different ones: HI-PRO-PAC Coconut Oil & African Shea Butter, Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Blooming Strength and Shine 2 Minute Magic Masque, and the Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Complex, Nourish & Silken Treatment Masque w/ Date Palm & Camelia Extracts.

I like using each of these for different reasons so I use them interchangeably. The HI-PAC-PRO makes my hair really soft and it smells so good. My hair feels thicker and it feels healthy.

The Love Beauty and Planet one is one of the best smelling products I have ever used. I seriously cannot get enough of it. It makes my hair really shiny and it adds some much needed nutrients that make my hair feel better for days after using it.

The Shea Moisture one is probably my least favorite only because it is really heavy. My hair doesn’t feel flowy the next day and it gets really oily really fast after using it.

Once I color my hair, my routine will definitely change so keep your eye out for my post about it!

Let me know what you guys do to help prep your hair for color and what you do to care for it after it’s colored.

Sephora vs. Ulta Beauty

For me the two biggest stores for beauty and makeup have been Ulta and Sephora. I have spent all my life living in California and Idaho and these were always the stores available to me for higher end makeup.

Sephora

Pros:

I have always liked that Sephora is very centered on makeup. They carry a lot of really great brands that I don’t find anywhere else. I love that they cary brands like NARS and Kat Von D and Fenty that aren’t available in many other stores.

I think the sales representatives are also really knowledgable. They know the products really well and can generally suggest something for whatever random suggestion I happen to come in with.

Cons:

Personally, for as many good experiences as I have at Sephora I think I have just as many bad ones. Whether it be a rude sales representative, the products not being in stock, or not having a product I’m looking for. Some of their selection seems to be limited even though they carry many brands.

Ulta Beauty

Pros:

I like that Ulta is centered around general beauty. I like that they carry everything that you need beauty related. I like that you can really start from the bottom up and build your way up. Like i like that you can start with face wash and work all the way to setting spray. I like that there is such a wide variety of skincare items and beauty tools. For me this makes it a really great store.

Sometimes I do struggle with the fact that they don’t carry a lot of the higher end brands but this also keeps me from spending my entire paycheck all at once so maybe it isn’t really that bad of a thing. They carry almost all of my favorite brands and they also have a lot of other drugstore brands that I love like NYX that I don’t find in a lot of other stores.

I also LOVE the small samples that are next to the checkout stand.

Cons:

Some of my favorite brands like Kat Von D and NARS aren’t carried here. I don’t really have any other complaints here.

Conclusion:

I think that for me I am more willing to go to Ulta but Sephora still hold a very special and very large place in my heart. I see so many great things about both of these stores and I love that they are a little different. With my wedding coming up (92 days!!!) I am looking for some good makeup and trying to get a really good routine down for myself so that I don’t have to pay anyone else to do it.

Let me know what stores you guys shop at and where you but your beauty products!

Some Products are Worth the Splurge

I am 100% for beauty on a budget. There are a lot of drug store brands that just seem to get it when it comes to beauty products.

However, some items there just aren’t replacements for. Most of these products you can find a pretty good replacement for but it still doesn’t perform at quite the same level as higher end products. These are a few of the products that I really love (and can justify splurging on.)

  1. Better Than Sex Mascara – I think that there are definitely some other great mascaras out there, don’t get me wrong. In my experience it takes a lot more coats to get the same effect. With this mascara I spend the least amount of time trying to make sure my lashes aren’t clumped and they still look like I’m wearing fake lashes. I feel like it really stays on all day and it doesn’t flake off. I think the price is worth every cent.
  2. Shape Tape – I don’t know that I have ever tried a concealer that is quite as pigmented as this. If there are days where I am running late, I can dab this on under my eyes and over some problem areas and be ready to head out the door. It also is a great highlight for under my eyes and on the bridge of my nose when I am doing a full face. For me, that definitely constitutes the price.
  3. Primer- For me personally, primer makes all the difference. I don’t really have a specific product in mind because there are such different kinds of skin. I use a Two Faced primer because I feel like it holds my makeup in place really well and it helps the texture of my skin to be closer to the matte that I like. Honestly, finding a good primer that compliments your skin type is really key.

Also, if you don’t like to splurge on things without being sure then try out places like Sephora that will give you samples of what you’re looking for before you commit to the price. (I just learned today that Sephora gives samples so my life is forever changed.)

As far as a few other things that I will occasionally splurge on there aren’t many. Sometimes I will treat myself with a really nice face wash or a great moisturizer but for the most part I enjoy the hunt for beauty on a budget.

My Skincare Routine

 

For how much I talk about my skin and my skincare I realize that I haven’t shared much about my journey this far so here it goes!

This is what my skin looked like 8 months ago:

 

 

In these pictures I had on makeup and I was definitely using some snap filters. If you have skin that looks like this you are still a beautiful human being and are not defined by the condition of your skin. If you are looking to improve your skin, I have been in your position and I am here with all the advice I can give.

Here is what my skin looks like now:

In the picture on the left I’m not wearing any makeup and in the one on the right I have on the same amount of makeup as in the pictures above.

I think for how badly I want better skin, it would surprise people how few skincare products I use on a daily bases. Before I delve into the details of my skincare I do want to say that I have tried a LOT of skincare products and what I do use is very carefully selected.

About 3 months ago I had a really complicated skincare routine. Now I only use three things (plus my prescription) and I have seen significant improvement in my skin in comparison. All I use right now is face wash and moisturizer.

The last thing that I use isn’t technically something that I use. Its time. I went in this week for a dermatologist appointment and he told me that even with prescriptions and the best skincare products I could find it would still take time.

I think for me personally, I think that the more products I use and the more often I change products the more my skin doesn’t like it. Consistency is key. The idea of my skincare routine now is that I clean all the oil, dirt, and makeup out of my skin and then I replace the moisture in my skin and that’s it. The more I try to do my skin’s job for it, the more that it doesn’t get better.

I know that there are a lot of people who can use products and see results immediately but I have never really been one of those people. My skin is a bit too stubborn for this.

(I feel like I should also mention that I have been working out and drinking a TON of water throughout this process as well.)

Every once in a while I’ll use a face mask or a pore strip but overall I keep my skincare routine as simple as possible. My skin can do a really good job of staying clean and I just try to help it along.

Skincare update: What I’m using and what I’m loving

So I realized that I have been neglecting writing about my skincare and how things have changed since I started that using the prescriptions that I have. Right now I am using Adapalene and Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzol Peroxide gels as well as a pill that I take twice a day.C3A2oCyhRhOVK8SkTp9yig These have been helping a lot with the scaring on my skin however…

MY SKIN IS SUCH A WEIRD TEXTURE.

The prescription makes it really dry and my skin tries to overcompensate by producing more oil than it usually does. But my skin still manages to be dry. Please tell me that I am not the only one with this problem.

So what I have been doing to help combat this has been a lot of trial and error. I have used the Noxzema Classic Clean face wash for a long time and I still swear by it.

However, now that my skin is dryer it is a bit too harsh. I have since switched to the Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash and I have seen a lot of improvements. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about it and here is my opinion. It smells amazing and it makes my skin feel so clean. The scarring is also going away slowly. (So so slowly.) L6IzhZhGR8aAoTV6nt8AmQ

I have also been using the Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupacu Daily Defense Moisturizer with Passiflora & Pistachio Oils and I really like it. This stuff smells AMAZING. It smells like sweet and fresh and clean and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t soak in as quickly as other moisturizers but I feel like it leaves my skin moisturized much longer. I tend to use this more at night and in the morning I use the Neutrogina Pink Grapefruit moisturizer.

As far as other skin products I use I tend to keep it pretty limited. Every once in a while I’ll use a face mask and my favorites tend to be the Body Shop Green Tea Skin Clearing Clay mask and the Garnier Charchol Clay mask. I think that when I need a little more moisture in my skin and I want to treat myself I’ll put one on and rinse it off with warm water. I love how natural smelling the Body Shop face mask smells. I think that it is so refreshing and leaves my skin so soft and glowy (if thats a word).

Another product I use is the Biore Charcoal Pore Strips. My nose is very prone to blackheads so when I am having a bad skin day I’ll put one on and its kind of fascinating to see all the blackheads on the dry strip. Maybe that sounds kind of gross (and it is) but its also kind of satisfying.

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As far as skin serums I have only ever used the mon amie Rose and Collagen Face Serum. This serum I only use at night when my skin is in desperate need of some moisture. It definitely smells very rose-like and it leaves my skin so healthy. It is a very heavy moisturizer so I don’t use it very often.

While I am on the topic I also want to share my favorite moisturizers for the rest of my body. As far as body wash I can’t say that I have found one that really amazes me but I absolutely love the Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe lotion. I have never found another lotion that leaves my skin so soft and is so lightweight. I generally don’t like moisturizers that I use daily to be very oily because then I feel like I leave little oil handprints everywhere I go.

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However, two or three times a week I will use the Johnson’s Aloe & Vitamin E Baby Oil Gel. I use this as soon as I get out of the shower on my legs and feet and then I wear sweats and socks to bed so that it doesn’t rub all over my sheets all night. This leaves my skin so so so soft and I love using it.

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These are the products that I am using and loving right now and these definitely change and I will be updating as that happens!