First Impressions: Infrared Sauna, Skincare Benefits



  • Improves collagen and elastin production with regular use
  • Regenerates damaged cells
  • Improves wrinkles and fine lines over time (see image in link below)
  • Heart rate increases, improving cardiovascular health.

Things to consider:

  • The sauna gets quite hot and you will be soaked with sweat (which is the idea)
  • Your heart rate will increase in the sauna, if you have prior conditions ask your doctor before use
  • Consider using the sauna in 10 minute increments, taking a quick break for some cold water in between
  • You will need to sign a waiver because well, it’s a sauna and it gets super hot and makes your heart rate increase


When I first heard about infrared saunas, I was skeptical. That is also something you should know about me, I’m a pretty skeptical person. Okay, so I’m Scully from the X-files. If you can’t back it up with evidence, I don’t believe you. Now, there is logic behind why something like this COULD work; basically, there are many forms of light can destroy cells… I’m going to explain this so, if you can accept the above statement as general fact and don’t really care why, you can skip the next section. If you are a nerd, or just like to questions everything, like me, please read on.

Electromagnetic Waves, Light, and IR Saunas

There are different categories of electromagnetic waves in the world. WTF is that? Well, think about a rainbow. A rainbow basically represents the light, or electromagnetic waves, that we can see. Red light has longer wavelengths than the rest of the rainbow. As the rainbow goes from red to violet, the wavelengths get shorter, as illustrated below:


Now, there are forms of light (electromagnetic waves) that human eyes cannot see without the help of technology. On the Short-wave end of the spectrum, these include UV rays, which go below violet and have even shorter waves, x-rays which go below UV and have even shorter waves that UV, and Gama rays. These electromagnetic waves at shorter wavelengths tend to have greater negative affects on our bodies. Think of scientists and doctors telling you to avoid blue light from screens near bedtime because it can affect your sleep, also UV rays damage our cells as do X-rays and Gama-rays. However, there are benefits to these kinds of light as well. UV light helps our bodies produce vitamin D and can treat skin conditions like scleroderma.

On the long-wave side there are infrared waves, microwaves and radio waves. Studies have shown that these kinds of light have fewer negative effects on our bodies and, like UV light, can sometimes be beneficial. So, how does that work? Well, it’s actually not simple. It depends on many factors including the intensity and length of exposure. Many people have vitamin D deficiencies because we spend so much time indoors. Usually, 30 minutes of sun exposure in the morning can be beneficial. But think about it, you are not spending hours, or even a full hour in the sun and you are out in the morning when UV rays are far less intense. It is when you spend hours outside in the heat of the day that UV rays become dangerous. Keeping this in mind, and reading some studies that I will link at the bottom of this post, I decided to try out an Infrared sauna. But, seriously, check out this image from a study in the Yonsei Medical Journal (I cannot feature the image here due to copyright restrictions, so click the link!)

The IR Sauna Experience

I really was not sure what to expect except that I knew I would sweat…which is another crazy thing about me. I don’t sweat normally. Yes, I’m a mutant that does not wear deodorant on a daily basis because my arms don’t smell on a daily basis. Roxi and Sierra have smelled them and can attest to my superpowers. Anyway, I knew I would sweat in the sauna.

The sauna was actually a small box about 5’4 tall (my head touched the top), and large enough for me to sit in with my legs outstretched if I wanted to. The room was small because it needs to trap the heat, and the heat is what you want. We may not be able to see infrared waves, but we can feel them as heat. Inside the room, one wall was covered with infrared bulbs, and the entire thing was insulated with the kind of reflective fabric you might find on a car windshield sun shade. It was hot in there!


The spa technician recommended that I use the sauna in 10-minute increments because the heat could feel intense quickly. I took my first 10 minutes, got out for about a minute to get some water, and went right back in for another 10 minutes. The first round was very bearable, no problem! I didn’t feel overheated, though I did start sweating (remember, I’m the lady that doesn’t sweat). However, the second round, I was soaked.

I probably could have gone for another 10 minute round, but I figured I’d take it slowly my first time. I didn’t feel overheated or tired, though I was hot. It actually felt really good. One of the cool things that I want to add, because I think the strangest things are cool, was that I could see every vein in my legs and arms as I sat there in the sauna. I don’t know if it was the light or the fact that my heart was pumping blood faster, but it was pretty awesome I have to admit. I looked like a living cardio vascular diagram.

A few days later, I noticed that my skin did look better. The texture looked much smoother. Unfortunately, I caught an illness a few days after (unrelated to the sauna), so I didn’t get to enjoy the effects very long. However, I will look forward to next time. This is one of those things that does more for you the more you use it, so I will definitely go back.

Overall, I would say it is worth it if you plan to keep up visits a few times a month. I would also be interested in the possibility of purchasing couple home bulbs to use on my face between visits, but I would definitely want to research a bit more about bulb frequencies to ensure I’m getting the right product.

If you have an IR sauna experience, please let us know in the comments, it would be great to hear a range of stories, whether people loved it or not, and how many people felt that it did something for their skin.

Resources and Articles:

Another BIG thank you to Nurture Day Spa for the opportunity to review their wonderful infrared sauna. Not all businesses are supportive of having their services reviewed on blogs, and they have been fantastic! ❤


❤ -Lynn Lynn

Makeup and Skincare · Uncategorized

Skincare Dupe: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum vs. Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule


Roxi told me the other day that she had decided to reevaluate her life choices. Or, maybe just her criteria for evaluating serums. Her epiphany came when she rejected a $60 serum on the basis of it not being expensive enough. Surely cost directly correlates with the effectiveness of the product.

Why is this a thing in our culture? “You get what you pay for.” I say you are paying for a whole lot of marketing, packaging and bureaucracy. Let’s talk about what serums are and are not. Then, maybe I can convince the Roxis of the world to break the cycle of consumerism and save some money

What a Serum Is:


Serums are expensive. There is just no getting around that fact in the western world. They are also not too different from each other. They may do different things, but all have the same blueprint. In general, serums have a base of water, glycerin, glycol, and much of the time, alcohol; next come the active ingredients, including acids and/or plant extracts; and finally, dyes and/or fragrances, thickeners, stabilizers, and other ingredients necessary to formulate and maintain the product.

The thing that makes a serum a serum is that those actives (acids and extracts) are higher up on the ingredients list, meaning their concentrations in the product are higher. Think of a serum like a topical vitamin supplement. The actives give your skin nutrients and can also help to heal any minor skin issues like light acne, redness, fine lines, etc.

What a Serum Is Not:

Serums are not cure-alls. When you have major issues inside your body that nutrients cannot help, you have to go to the doctor. The same is true for your skin. Problems like rosacea, allergic reactions and severe acne are most often beyond the powers of serums and may require a prescription or other treatments.

I get frustrated when people look for miracles where there are none. If you have wrinkles, nothing is going to make them go away short of cosmetic surgery (they will come back as you age, though). However, fine lines cause by dryness can be helped with serums and creams. It is important to know the difference. Knowledge will save you money and aggravation.

What I look for in a serum:


  • I LOVE fermented ingredients! They are phenomenal in skincare as fermentation increases the nutrient vales of the actives.
  • I want meaningful extracts. I am that person who will go through the ingredients list and Google every last one so that I know why it is in the product and what it will do for me.
  • I like antioxidants. I am in my early 30s and need to fight off those early signs of ageing. I don’t produce as much collagen and my skin cells don’t work as well as they did 10 years ago. I’ll take all the help I can get from these tiny skincare powerhouses.
  • I like hydration. I have dry skin, so I tend to skip serums with “alcohol, denatured alcohol and/or SD alcohol” high up in the ingredients list. Just for reference, cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol are not drying alcohols.

Ready to save $65? Good. Let’s do it.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum vs. Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule:


  • Both of these products contain bifida ferment lysate, a probiotic fermented yeast.
  • Estee Lauder smells stronger (a plus for me because I love it!)
  • Estee Lauder has caffeine, chamomile, kola seed extract, squalane, and sodium hyaluronate.
  • Missha has more antioxidants, extracts and fermented ingredients, niacinamide and biotin.
  • Estee Lauder costs $95 for 1.9 oz
  • Missha costs $30  for 1.8 oz
  • Thoughts: GIMMIE THAT MISSHA! 😉

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum:


First off, I am going to abbreviate to avoid having to type out Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum a million times, so we’ll call it ANR for now. Second, and at the risk of sounding like someone who doesn’t know what the hell I’m talking about, my favorite thing about this serum is that is smells like a margarita. There, it’s on the record.

Having said that, the number one active in ANR is bifida ferment lysate, which is a probiotic fermented yeast. Bifida ferment lysate is basically a supercharged antioxidant. ANR also has Kola seed extract, which provides caffeine Other actives include more caffeine; Sodium Hyaluronate (topical Hyaluronic Acid), chamomille, lactobacillus ferment, and algae. ANR also contains some chemical emollients and hydrators, and some fillers including dyes, stabilizers and emulsifiers.

The antioxidant properties alone, make this a fantastic serum, but I like the addition of caffeine, chamomile, and the extra fermented ingredient. I also like that it is alcohol free and paraben free!

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule:

IMG_0134 I’m going to abbreviate “TR” for this one; same reason. TR unfortunately has a much milder smell. You almost can’t smell anything, but the faintest hint of margarita is there, so I’ll take what I can get. Again, the active is bifida ferment lysate, and it is alcohol and paraben free. However, TR also has so many more antioxidant ingredients including the extracts of blueberry, beet, carrot, cabbage, cacao (cocoa), melon and rapeseed. TR really takes the antioxidants to another level!

TR has no squalane, but it does have a bit of caffeine from the cocao and a multitude of other ingredients that ANR doesn’t. These include way more fermented ingredients (I counted ten fermented ingredients to ANR’s two); niacinamide (vitamin B3), which improves the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness, and strengthens the skin’s surface; biotin, which also strengthens skin; and loads of other plant extracts to improve skin condition and function.

I really like the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule. I love all the fermented ingredients and plant extracts and I like that they are higher on the ingredients list. Although I really love the smell of the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, essence of maragrita is not worth $65. These serums do the exact same thing, only TR adds way more antioxidants to your skin. Al in all, I’d say this is a dupe that has outdone the original!

❤ – Lynn

Makeup and Skincare

Review: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara



Price: Very Good
Design: Excellent
Formula: Excellent
Wear Time: Excellent
This product creates beautifully full and long lashes and stays on all day without smudging or flaking. Waterproof is also available. Price: $9-10 available at drugstores, Wal-Mart, Target.

Full Review:

I hate drugstore mascaras. That is a big statement, but that is how I feel. Mascara is one area where, for me, the drugstore just has not caught up with higher-end products. In the concealer department, we have Maybelline Fit Me concealer that dupes Nars Radiant Creamy concealer and Maybelline Age Rewind, which many have heralded as one of the best on the market. We have Milani baked blushes, Wet n’ Wild highlighters, multitudes of drugstore foundations and liners that makeup artists and beauty gurus alike swear by, and most of these, I love…not mascaras.

I buy a drugstore mascara, I think I like it, and then it flakes, or smudges, or turns my eyes in to chunky clumps of tar that even Diana Ross would disapprove of. I am surprised at how many also do not come in waterproof formulations. I have horrendous allergies about half the year and my eyes water pretty profusely. I hate drugstore mascaras.

I actually got excited when I saw L’Oreal lash paradise on Youtube…wait was I excited, or was I cautiously optimistic? Maybe I was excited, remembered my drugstore mascara misfortunes and reverted to cautious optimism. Either way, I went to the store that day to grab it.


When I got to the first store, it wasn’t there…they didn’t even have a display up for it. Odd. I went to another store, and another and another. No one had it out yet. I double checked the release date online. Yep, should be out. I went to Target.com. Aha! I bought it online to pick up in store that day. Beat the system! ;P

I went home and tried it immediately. Holy crap!!! Wait,what? Really? Okay…calm down,


take a breath. This is sure to smudge or flake in an hour. I waited. Nothing. I waited some more, still good. I took a nap. NOTHING. Still on my eyelashes exactly as I had put it on.




What is this witchery?! I was in love. I had found the singular drugstore mascara that gave me mega-lashes and didn’t budge.



I applaud you, L’Oreal. I was your toughest critic (that I know of, anyway) and you impressed me. I hated Carbon Black. That stuff was flakier than Brett Favre on retirement day. Lash Paradise, however is it. It’s my HG Drugstore mascara, and possibly my HG mascara period.

If you are having trouble getting it, you can do as I did and order online for same day pick-up, in-store from Target.com, but I don’t think it should be an issue anymore, as I have seen the display at a couple of places recently.  This masacra is totally worth your $10. Hands down. I’d pay high-end price for it. (but I’m so glad I don’t have to!)

This one gets a ❤️❤️❤️❤️ (and a half!) out of ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ from me!

❤ – Lynn Lynn

Makeup and Skincare · Uncategorized

How to Supercharge Your Skincare Routine With Antioxidants

We know antioxidants are good for us. They are vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need to function, and they may help slow the ageing process as well!


Your body is a system. All parts of that system work together to do whatever it is that you do on a daily basis, from breathing to growing hair to hauling it up at Sephora. The basis for this entire system is cells. 37.2 TRILLION microscopc cells that make up who you are.

Cells in our bodies are produced, reproduce and die all the time, but as we age, cells don’t reproduce and function as well. This contributes to aging. If you want to be super depressed, Google “cells and ageing.” Basically, our bodies start breaking down in phases, and the first cells to stop working? Skin cells. Ugh, I know. It’s a cruel world.

Your skin cells start to degenerate in your mid-twenties and factors like stress, smoking, alcohol, pollution, and radiation (like UV rays from the sun) can speed up the process. So, what can we do to help our cells and ourselves? Antioxidants are a good start.

In short, antioxidants can help prevent cell damage. There are many types of antioxidants including beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. We know that these vitamins and nutrients are good to put on our skin via a vitamin c serum or retinoids, but we don’t often think of how much consuming them can help our skin as well.


You should consume antioxidants every day. Daily values needed for each antioxidant will vary depending on the individual, so you should talk to a doctor and reserch before starting any supplements. Some antioxidants may not do much harm in larger amounts such as vitamin C, but some could have side effects. The general rule is to eat better. Eat foods rich in antioxidants at each meal. Some good foods are berries, green tea, tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, legumes, carrots, watermelon and sweet potatoes.

So, how about topical antioxidants? Start with a good vitamin C serum to use for your morning routine. I love Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop. When using vitamin C or other acids, make sure to apply extra sunscreen!

For vitamin A, try a retinol or a serum containing retinoic acid or retinyl palmitate. I prefer my vitamin A in a moisturizer to combat the strenth of the reinol. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer is a great one to start with.

Vitamin E is a pretty common skincare ingredient in moisturizers, serums and toners. Take your pick! Or, try Mario Badescu Complex Moisturizer With Vitamin E SPF 20.

If you want something that packs all your topical antioxidants into one product, check out Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum.

The antioxidants we consume and the ones we apply to our skin will work together to help slow down cell damage and provide us with logevity. Other things you should do along with using antioxidants are wearing sunscreen every day all day. I don’t care what time of year it is and what your plans are, wear a good sunscreen.

Also, have a good skincare framework. Cleans or apply water to your skin twice a day, use toner twice a day, then follow with your serums and treatments. Finally, moisturize and apply your SPF. Rememeber to exfoliate regularly to get rid of the dead cells as well.

Additionally, if you don’t have a routine like this already, be sure to give the routine about 90 days to start working. USually, people stop using skincare after 15 to 30 days if they don’t see results, but this is not enough time.

One last note, if you have issues with vitamin A, talk to a dermatologist to get on a good routine for use. Vitamin A can be tricky to get the hang of.

❤ – Lynn Lynn

Makeup and Skincare

Five Things You Probably Should Stop Putting on Your Face (and Five You Definitely Should!)

I am going forward with this post cautiously. I have stopped and will probably not ever put any of these things on my face. That said, with your dermatologist’s permission and instruction, feel free to do whatever you like. Just know the risks. I highly encourage you to talk to your doctor before putting new things on your face, or at least do some good research before diving into a new skincare routine.

Do Your Research Before Putting These Things on Your Face:

1. Vinegar


Your skin has a pH of 5.5. This is slightly acidic. (Just for fun, cabbage, turnips and watermelon all have a similar pH) Anything too acidic or too alkaline (basic) and you risk disrupting the skin’s natural barrier functioning. Apple cider vinegar has a pH between 2.85 and 3.5 This pH range also belongs to such substances as acid rain, chili sauce, and hydrochloric acid. Ummmmmm no thanks.

I realize that many skincare recipes call for diluting the vinegar. However, unless you are standing there monitoring your vinegar with pH indicators, taking into account the equity of volumes and keeping track of parts per million, you are probably putting something on your face that is too acidic, or too diluted to properly benefit your skin. Just buy some damn BHA and stop hurting yourself, for the love of all that is sacred!

2. Lemon


But this one, seriously. Stop. This can be dangerous, especially in the daytime. Basically, this is bad for the reasons above (only lemon has a pH of 2, which is worse), with the added danger of phytophotodermatitis, which is a fancy way of saying it can burn the shit out of your skin. Here is an article (from a reputable source) explaining how compounds in certain plants (citrus juice included) can react with sunlight to cause terrible burns on skin. Yeah, we will totally pass. The choice is pretty simple. Buy a Vitamin C serum and call it good. If you are looking for DIY antibacterial compounds, try honey. It is much safer.

3. Baking Soda

baking soda

Once again, your skin’s pH is sensitive, and baking soda is a 9 on the pH scale. So, if 2 and 3 were dangerous numbers for their distance from 5.5 (where your skin should be), imagine what a 9 is going to do. Nothing good, I can tell you that! “balancing” the pH with vinegar produces sodium acetate, which can irritate your skin, and is still alkaline. mixing baking soda and lemon produces sodium citrate, which is also alkaline. So, “balancing the pH” doesn’t work.

4. Coconut Oil/Shea Butter


This means straight, 100% coconut oil/ Shea butter. This does not include products with coconut oil in the ingredients list (or at least not if it is lower on the list). On this one I highly encourage you to do your research. If your pores don’t clog easily, you are probably okay to do this, If your pores are always clogged, putting these things on your face might not be a good idea. It all comes down to the idea of comedogenicity, if you are of the camp that accepts that comedogenicity is a thing that can be measured and accepted as consistent for all people.

Basically the idea is that some things are more likely to clog pores than others thus, some things are better to use on skin than others. Opponents of this idea argue that there are too many personal and environmental factors to say accurately what will and won’t cause an individual’s pores, so the idea of comedogenicity is flawed. Like I said, do you research and make your own decision on this one.

5. Hot Water

hot water

There is no controversy surrounding this one. Hot water can damage your skin’s moisture barrier! Hot water strips oil from the skin, causing it to dry out. It also evaporates faster. This can cause itching, redness, rashes, eczema or dermatitis and inflammation tepid water so your skin starts with less moisture during your skincare routine. Over time.

To avoid damaging your skin, do not wash your face in a hot shower. If you cannot stand your shower or bath water to be on the tepid side, wash your face before or after showering and keep your face out of the hot water.

Now, five things you should be putting on your face regularly!


1. Lukewarm/Tepid Water:


You should put water on your face twice a day. If you have prefer not to wash your face with cleanser twice a day, then cleanse in the evening with a cleanser and use water only in the morning. Exposing your skin to water adds necessary moisture. This is important both morning and night as we lose water both over night and during the day, and it needs to be replenished.

2. Toner:


Toner should be used every time you put water on your face, which means morning and night. If you are not used to toner, or don’t know where to start, you can start with 100% aloe vera juice. Toning helps prepare your skin to better absorb your moisturizers and serums. It is a step you really shouldn’t skip! I love Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion toner and Etude House Moistfull Collagen Toner.

3. Exfoliant:


Whether you use a chemical exfoliant such as an AHA, lactic acid or glycolic acid, or a manual exfoliant like a scrub, you should exfoliate at least once a week. The American Academy of Dermatology states that you can actually work your skin up to exfoliating every day if your skin can take it (please ask your dermatologist before doing this though.)

Exfoliation takes off the top layer of dead skin, and allows your skincare products to do their jobs more effectively! Exfoliate after cleansing and follow with toner! I like Skinfood Black Sugar Scrub (manual exfoliant) as well as The Ordinary 10% Lactic acid (chemical exfoliant)

PLEASE ALWAYS USE SPF AFTER USING CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS as they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Also, never combine chemical exfoliants or use other acids with chemical exfoliants (this includes anything with Vitamin C) I use my exfoliants at night and my Vitamin C during the day.

4. SPF Sunscreen:


SPF is an absolute must every day! If it is rainy, use SPF, if it is wintertime, use SPF, if you are indoors all day, use SPF, if you are darker-toned use SPF! Solar radiation causes dark spots, ageing and cancer. It is present even on cloudy days and it comes indoors where there are windows. It also happens to be in fluorescent bulbs. Yep, all those spirally CFL bulbs that save us money and energy and are amazing, so don’t stop using them, also emit a bit of UV. So, slather on that SPF and don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours!

Fun Fact (and some skin science): Japan is one of the world-leaders in SPF technology! In the U.S. we rate our SPF as “broad spectrum” but that doesn’t really tell you how much UVA is being blocked. the SPF rating exists for UVB rays (the ones that penetrate the deeper layers of skin), but not for UVA, the rays that darken skin and cause hyperpigmentation. Japan came up with the PA+ system to rate UVA rays. PA+ can prevent darkening of pigment with lighter UVA exposure, like in the early morning or inside. PA++ is stronger, and UV+++ can prevent darkening and hyperpigmentation when UVA rays are very strong, like in the mid-day heat of summertime. I love Japanese sunscreens because there are so many formulas from creams to lightweight gels and they offer products for varying skin-types as well! I like Hada Labo 5 in 1 UV Gel SPF 50 PA+++.

5. Moisturizer: 

egg cream

If you  have ever heard that oily people should skip moisturizer, I want you to put that thought out of your head right now. EVERYONE needs moisturizer. If you are oily, there are a multitude of moisturizers out there formulated just for you. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a great one as is L’Oreal Hydra Genius Normal/Oily.

For normal, combination and dry, I am obsessing over the Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream. This is a Korean brand 5 in 1 moisturizer, eye cream, serum, neck cream and sleep mask all in one (I still use a serum under it). The smell is amazing and I want to bathe in it.

I hope this cleared up some misinformation and will help you think more about what you put on your skin. Any time you read or hear anything on the internet, it is good to give it a Google and see if it is true and what the experts say. Better yet, talk to your dermatologist!

Let us know if you enjoyed this post and what topic you would like us to cover, or what products you would like for us to review in the future.

❤ – Lynn Lynn

Makeup and Skincare · Uncategorized

Drugstore Products That Perform Like High-end Products

Drugstore products are hit or miss, and it can be frustrating to find the ones that really stand out. Below is a list of some drugstore products that rival their high-end competitors.

1. Maybelline Eyestudio Color-Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Eyeshadows


There are now a few different products in the Color Tattoo line including eye crayons and liquid shadows. There really is no substitute for the original with this product. The cream gel shadows can’t be beat for color payoff and wear time. (I found that the eye crayons and liquid shadows were streaky and not as pigmented). The cream gel shadows really do last all day with great color. I have hooded eyes and really like to use them on my lids because they don’t transfer onto the upper eye area.

I actually prefer these to the MAC Paint Pots. For me, the application was better and they lasted longer. Plus, they are less expensive! All three of us use these almost daily and LOVE them. They come in a range of colors and finishes and run about $6-8 USD.

2. Milani Baked Blush


These have gotten a lot of attention since their release for good reason. The 11 shades offered are beautiful, super pigmented, and blend wonderfully! They also contain jojoba seed oil and are paraben free.

These blushes have been compared to Nars Orgasm blush, and both Luminoso and Dolce Pink are crowd favorites. Milani offers a mix of matte and shimmer shades, and have added two new shades to the lineup. Again, all three of us love these. They run $8 USD each at milanicosmetics.com.

3. L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care


The Hydra Genius Skincare line from L’Oreal includes three moisturizers, each for different skin types (Normal/Oily, Normal/Dry, and Extra Dry). The moisturizers are a gel hybrid that provide the appropriate amount of moisture for your skin type.

These moisturizers are similar to the feel of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. Both have dimethicone near the top of the ingredients list for a silky feel, and aloe to sooth the skin. I use the normal/dry flavor and love it! Hydra Genius runs about $14-18 USD depending on where you purchase.

4. NYX Pore Filler Primer


NYX pore filler is a primer that utilizes dimethicone and polymers to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines. This helps provide a smoother makeup application. The product has a very thick consistency that evens out the skin’s surface and keeps makeup from settling into pores and lines.

This product is similar to higher-end pore fillers like Porefessional and Spackle primer. Because this product is dimethicone-based, only use a pea-sized amount to keep it from pilling and balling up as you work it in to your skin. Pore Filler leaves skin soft and smooth and provides a flawless foundation application. It costs $14 USD at Ulta.com

5. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara


This is a brand-spakin’-new mascara in the Voluminous line from L’Oreal Paris. I will tell you now that I pretty much have zero luck with drugstore mascaras. I have watery eyes due to allergies, drugstore mascaras always smudge, flake, or never do anything for my lashes. I have been a hardcore fan of Tarte’s Maneater Mascara since its release. The only drawback is that they don’t make a waterproof version.

This past week, L’Oreal released their Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara. I heard about it from Tati on Youtube and reluctantly went to purchase it. HOLY CRAP this stuff is it! I have found my singular drugstore mascara! This stuff amps up my lashes (almost falsies-core) and stays put. I napped in this stuff with no smudging.

The best part is that IT COMES IN WATERPROOF!!!! This product, to me, is better than a lot of higher-end mascaras and it only costs $10
USD at Ulta.com (You can save $1 by purchasing at Wal-Mart or Target superstores). I had to get mine at Target.com because I could not find it in any store anywhere!

6. Batiste Dry Shampoo


Okay, here is a bonus hair product that we cannot live without! Batiste Dry Shampoo is 100%, hands-down THE BEST dry shampoo value out there. This is a big assertion, but we stick by it. This gives second and third day hair new life and volume. It comes in several different flavors, including color-tinted for blonde, brunette and dark hair to avoid the chalky, white residue some dry shampoos can leave behind. We only wish there was a red version for Roxi! Grab this at Wal-mart for around $6 or $7 USD. Otherwise, expect to pay $8-10 elsewhere.

Hopefully, this list will save you some $ on products. As drugstore brands up their game, consumers benefit from an increasing number of dupes and value products that behave like they are higher end. Let us know what you have tried from this list and if you agree or disagree. Also, let us know if you would like more posts like this.

❤ – Lynn Lynn

Makeup and Skincare · Uncategorized

Brow and Lash Tinting: Is It Worth It?

I did it. I decided to get my brows done. I am going to admit something to you and I don’t want you to freak out. Are you sitting down? Good.

I have never gotten my brows done professionally. Never. Never shaped, never waxed or threaded, and never tinted. I have tweezed my eyebrows myself, since I was a teenager. I have fine hair and not a whole lot of it. Same with my eyebrows. They are pretty sparse near the ends. I will never have Cara Delevingne eyebrows. Let’s take a moment to mourn that, then move on.

before lash and brow tinting

I found Nurture Day Spa and made my appointment. My hope was that I would have darker, fuller looking brows, maybe not have to do much to my eyebrows in the mornings, thus shortening my routine. While I was booking I noticed the salon had a package deal: Threading + brow tint + lash tint. Yes, please.

I went in for my appointment with Robyn, a licensed esthetician. Robyn was very personable and did a fantastic job. She was very upfront about the process and the fact that eyelash tinting makes more of a difference on blondes and redheads than brunettes (so I volunteer Roxi next to check out the difference it makes for her).IMG_5920

My eyebrows were super easy. I went a shade darker, and it took about 5 to 7 min for the dye to do its job. The blue-black dye on my eyelashes took a bit longer, between 10 and 15 min. The lash dye can sting a bit if it gets into your eyes, which I had read about before, so I was prepared for that.

I also got my eyebrows threaded, which didn’t hurt as much as I had heard. It is also preferable to me because, as Robyn said, it doesn’t cause the skin to loose elacitcity due to pulling like waxing can, and it is much more precise. S, was it worth it?

After lash and brow tinting

I was very pleasently surprised, especially with my eyebrows. I barely had to fill in anything with eyebrow pencil when I got home, and I had a much better idea of where to fill in. My lashes looked longer and thicker from the tinting, so one coat of mascara was plenty!

I will definitely do this again. My eyebrows look fuller and more defined. I can actually see the hair on the outer ends, which is something I could barely do before. This will make my mornings so much easier!

If you have ever thought about tinting, I would go for it! If you had to choose between brows and lashes and you are brunette, go with brows, but if you can find a package deal, that is probably your best option.

If you are in the OKC Metro area, definitely check out Nurture Day Spa. besides tinting and threading, they offer waxing of all kinds, message therapy, facials, microdermabrasion, sauna, soaks, masks, body treatments and tons of awesome package deals!

Brow tinting gets a ❤️❤️❤️❤️ (and a half) out of ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Lash tinting gets a ❤️❤️❤️ (and a half) out of ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Threading gets a ❤️❤️❤️❤️ out of ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

❤ – Lynn Lynn



Makeup and Skincare · Uncategorized

Review: Milani Contour & Highlight Cream & Liquid Duo


I was never a fan of contouring. Okay, wait. Let me rephrase that. I was never a fan of contouring myself. Not becuase I didn’t like the way it looked, but becuse I wasn’t comfortable with contouring. I mean, I know I’m never going to be Mario Dedivanovic, let’s be real hereBut, whenever I felt brave enough to try, it always looked ashy or too dark on my lighter skin. I was also never confident in my technique. Did I blend too much or too little? Did I take it in to far? Did I swipe that too high? I just about gave up. Then, I met Milani’s Contour & Highlight Cream & Liquid Duo. I bought it.

The duo comes in five flavors: Fair/Light, Light/Natural, Natural/Medium, Medium/Dark, and Deep/Dark. I picked up the Fair/Light as I am usually the second lightest shade in most drugstore foundations.

Top: Contour; Bottom: highlight (I promise, it’s there)

I was mostly in this for the highlight since I love liquid/cream highlight under my foundation and it was a nice, fair, nude shade. But, that contour stick didn’t look too bad either. It was a decent taupey-tan color, cool toned, not too large…maybe I could give it another shot…just to wear around the house since I was obviously going to mess it up anyway. I drew some lines below my cheek bones, near my hair line on my forehead and on my jaw line, making sure to go up over the corners to round off my square jaw. I blended it out with a sponge. Hmmmmm… It actually, kinda, sorta looked good. This thing must be super simple to apply if I didn’t screw it up. I tried it again, and again in the following days, eventually branching out to blending with a contour brush.


I freaking love this contour stick. I had tried the Benefit Hoola stick with no success (love the powder bronzer btw). I had tried other sticks, creams, powders, and managed to look ridiculous every time, but not with this one. The color is perfect for me,  and the ease of application is amazing. It blends into a shadow on my skin without dragging or caking or blotching. I will purchase this again and again, and Milani can never discontinue it. EVER.


Now, the highlighter. Not as much luck with that one. I was already a highlighting pro (If I do say so myself ;P) My favorite technique is to put something blinding under my foundation to give a glowy finish. I put this on and it vanished. Ummmmm…where’d you go? Helloooo? I put some more on…..nope. I could swear this was spposed to be highly pigmented. It just didn’t happen for me. I also didn’t like the consistency. It was like someone just mixed highlighting powder into a facial cream or something.

That said, I will still continue to purchase this if not only for the contour stick. I really hope Milani either improves the highlight or makes a stand alone contour stick becuase it kind of feels like a waste to use one thing and not the other. Not so much so that I will stop buing it though.

Real quick ingredients breakdown: Key points are no parabens or mineral oil and it has some avocado oil too! That is a bonus!

Ingredients: (In order as always!)

Water (Aqua): It’s in everything, seriously.
Glycerin: a humectant and moisturizer
Glyceryl Stearate: protects skin from water loss
Octyldodecanol: an emulsifier and solvent (stabilizes the product and keeps liquids and solids together)
Hydrogenated Polyisobutene: an emollient and helps the pigment distribute evenly
Trilaureth-4 Phosphate: an emulsifier
Propylene Glycol: a skin conditioning agent
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate: a skin conditioning agent
Phenoxyethanol: a preservative
Cetyl Alcohol: a stabilizer and emollient
Carbomer: a thickener
Avocado Oil: a hydrating oil with nutrients
Ceteareth-12: an emulsifier
Ceteareth-20: an emulsifier
Triethanolamine: a buffering agent used to control pH
Tin Oxide: increases the volume of a product
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): an antioxidant, and it’s lipophylic
Mica ( CI 77019): a pigment
Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891): a pigment
Carmine (CI 75470): a pigment
Iron Oxide (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499): a pigment

This one gets a ❤️❤️❤️❤️ out of ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ from me.

❤ – Lynn Lynn

Makeup and Skincare

Review: Banila co. Clean It Zero

416.00 USDIMG_5855

Clean It Zero, from Banila co. ($16 USD) is a Korean skincare product I have heard people rave about. Some have said it is the best makeup remover they have ever used. The claim is that it gently  removes all makeup without stripping the skin of natural oils. The balm traps the makeup so that it washes away cleanly. Before we get to how this balm performed, let’s breakdown the ingredients list…

Ingredients: (in order, as always)

Mineral oil: a petroleum-based oil
Cetyl ethylhexanoate: a skin conditioning agent and emollient
Peg-20 glyceryl triisostearate:
a cleansing agent
Peg-10 isostearate: an emulsifier
a thickener
Butylene Glycol:
a solvent that helps ingredients dissolve in water  and penetrate the skin barrier
a hydrator
Rubus suavissimus (raspberry) leaf extract:
full of antioxidants
Bambusa arundinacea stem extract:
(bamboo extract) this is used as a moisturizer and helps improve elasticity of the skin
Aspalathus linearis leaf extract:
(rooibos, or red bush extract) this contains antioxidants that help fight the signs of ageing and protect skin from environmental stressors
Viscum album (mistletoe) leaf extract:
a soothing agent
Angelica polymorpha sinesis root extract: (ginseng)  this has anti-inflammatory properties and is anti-ageing
Carica papaya (papaya) fruit extract: a mild exfoliant
Malpighia glabra (acerola) fruit extract:
an antioxidant, and hydrator
Epilobium angustifolium leaf extract:
this contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): an antioxidant and lipophylic
a preservative
ci 16255:
a pigment
ci 15985:
a pigment
the stuff that makes things smell (hopefully they don’t smell bad but it happens)

Top: Mayballine Color Tattoo Bottom: Anistasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Gel Eyeliner

Clean It Zero is a balm that transforms into an oil as you work it into the skin. This might be enough to send the oily skin crowd running, but Korean skin products are great at being balanced enough for all skin types, and this one definitely is! There is absolutely no oily residue when the product is rinsed off. This makes my dry skin soft and is a great step before foaming cleansers which can be a bit more drying. I was really amazed at how well this took off my waterproof eyeliner and mascara too!

After Clean It Zero

versions of Clean It Zero, one of which is Clean It Zero Purity. Purity skips the mineral oil and replaces it with botanical oils (like argan and primrose). It also is paraben-free and has some great ingredients for inflamation including licorice root and marigold extract. PLUS it contains antioxidants from green tea, rosemary and willow herb! I think I just found the makeup-removing love of my life!…After I use up the Clean It Zero Classic, that is. Clean It Zero Classic gets a ❤️❤️❤️ (and a half) out of ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ and I am sure Purity will be an instant win!

❤ -Lynn Lynn

Makeup and Skincare

Review: Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion



First blog post! Yay! I have decided to start out by embarking on a Korean skincare trial. Korean skincare has become more popular in the U.S. over the past few years because of its moisturizing and anti-ageing benefits, as well as wonderful (and sometimes very interesting) ingredients. As I develop my 10-step routine and decide on products to incorporate, I will post reviews, routines, and check-ins. So, let’s get right into it with the first product review!

I have heard wonderful things about Hada Labo’s Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion ($15 USD), so I decided to give it a shot. I really love the idea of a thinner consistency lotion. I feel like all the thickeners in many other products can interfere with absorption, and the more additives you have the less room you have for the good stuff. This seemed like a great change of pace for me and my dryer skin.

Upon reading the ingredients list, I was kind of disappointed that all this lotion really has to offer is hyaluronic acid. Although, to it’s credit, there are three forms, but two of them are fairly low on the ingredients list. I will talk about my personal issues with HA in a moment, but first let’s break down the ingredients list.

In order:

Water: Yep, we commonly see this one as a first ingredient. It’s water! It hydrates…it also evaporates unless you have something to hold it in!
Butylene Glycol: this is a solvent that helps ingredients dissolve in water  and penetrate the skin barrier.
Glycerin: a humectant that moisturizes by drawing moisture from the air.
Disodium Succinate: a fragrance ingredient
Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid: a smaller molecule of HA, penetrates the skin barrier better than sodium hyaluronate.
Hydroxyethylcellulose: a thickener added to give the product a gel or syrup-like consistency.
Methylparaben: an antifungal agent and preservative. There is worry that parabens are carcinogenic though the American FDA has stated they are fairly safe.
PPG 10 Methyl Glucose Ether: a skin conditioning agent containing polypropylene glycol.
Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate: another form of hyaluronic acid that is designed to penetrate the skin better as it is lipophylic (“fat-loving”). Think about oils or fats and water. water and oil don’t mix, so in order for the HA to absorb and hold water, it needs to work well with both water and oil/fats.
Sodium Hyaluronate: an HA salt, molecule that is larger than the hydrolyzed HA molecules. Much of this version may sit on top of the skin, but a paper published in 1990 suggests that it can also penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, despite the fact that this is the largest kind of HA molecule.
Succinic Acid: an antioxidant that stimulates collagen and elastin in the skin and works with HA to boost effectiveness.

The beneficial ingredients on the list consist of water, glycerin, three forms of HA, PPG 10 methyl glucose ether, and succinic acid. The standouts here are the HA and succinic acid. Each are great for skin by themselves, but working together they are even better. Aside from separately drawing water into the skin and fighting the signs of ageing, together they fight hyperpigmentation and promote the development of healthy, youthful skin cells.

Now, the not-so-good news. Two of the forms of HA and the succinic acid are fairly low on the ingredient list. You really want key ingredients as high on the list as possible and fillers lower. In addition to this, methylparaben comes before sodium hyaluronate, sodium acetylated hyaluronate and succinic acid in the ingredients list. I really like to limit parabens to the last four ingredients, if I’m going to allow them in my products at all. I would also feel better if they did not come before active ingredients.

In addition, (and this is my reason for having a difficult relationship with HA), I have very dry cheeks. My cheeks are the driest part of my face. I also live in the central U.S. where it can get pretty dry in the winter and we have droughts in the summer. Therefore, I would only want to use HA when there is enough moisture in the air to keep the HA from absorbing the moisture from my skin….Yes, you read that right. If there is not enough moisture in the air for HA to do it’s job, it will draw the moisture directly from your skin. HA is a super power in humid climates, but in arid areas, it can actually do the opposite of what is intended.

Summary: I think the triple HA + succinic acid formula is a brilliant idea. I just think you have to be willing to amp up the effectiveness if you are going to do it at all. Put those active ingredients higher up on the list. I’m not a fan of the parabens, but I would let it slide if they were one of the last ingredients. I looked up this entire line and found that parabens come higher up on the ingredients list with every gokujyun HA product.

I really like the consistency of this lotion and it has inspired a quest for the perfect thin consistency lotion. However, I think I will look for one that has a bit more hydration and some nutrients to offer considering there are so many lotions of this consistency out there in the world. I’ll probably use the rest of this over other  hydrating ingredients this summer while it is humid outside (maybe), but I doubt I will bother repurchasing it. This gets ❤️❤️ out of a possible ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ from me, but like I said before, this is also partially dependent on the drier climate where I live and my skin type. If you live in a humid area and you have more normal skin, you might really enjoy this!

❤ -Lynn  Lynn