B&B Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer 

When it comes to beauty, the thing I neglect the most is definitely my hair. I just feel like it doesn’t cooperate. It will never be stunning or particularly lovely, but there are a few products that I’ve discovered recently that seem to make it look less lifeless. My favorite so far has been Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer.

This hair product can be purchased from Sephora for $28, although I bought a smaller bottle for $12 (2 oz instead of 8.5 oz). The “primer” version, which is the one I bought, is a bit little than the regular oil. I think that this version is the best because it works for more hair types. I have dry ends but my roots get oily easily if I moisturize too much, and I’ve found that this works perfectly for me. I spritz it on after I shower, and it really does seem to help my hair have less breakage and look a bit more lustrous. It also smells like a salon, which is a scent I enjoy experiencing. When I’m using this product, I tend to avoid conditioning beforehand because it can also be used as a leave-in conditioner. I can’t say that I have a ton of frizz generally, but this product does make my hair look shiny and frizz-free as well.

Overall, I think this is a nice product. I feel less confident recommending hair products because I feel like I still have a lot to learn about hair, but this one does seem to be working well for me.

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Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Acne 

Kate Somerville products are really well-regarded, so a while ago, I tried several of her acne products, including her iconic ExfoliKate Acne treatment, when I bought the Blemish Bannisher Kit for $55 at Sephora.

Because my skin is a bit sensitive, I immediately realized that I wouldn’t be able to use most of these products in conjunction with each other. So, instead, I tried to just use the ExfoliKate Acne product twice a week to see if I could notice any change in my acne.

I think that this did help a little bit with my acne, but sadly this just didn’t work with my sensitive skin. I felt like my skin looked overly red and felt just too sensitive. I noticed that the day after using this product, my skin felt distressed and products that normally don’t cause irritation at all made my skin burn a bit. Still, I do think that this helped my existing acne clear up a bit faster, though I couldn’t tell if it helped prevent more acne from emerging.

Overall, I think that Kate Somerville does have a great product line, but unfortunately all of the products I’ve tried just haven’t worked with my sensitive skin. Still, if you do have acne and don’t have sensitive skin, then I think this kit is worth a try.

Clinique Chubby Sticks 

I feel like crayon-esque products are all over the beauty market right now, but it all started with Clinique Chubby Sticks.

This simple-to-use product is truly the easiest thing in the world to apply, and Clinique has expanded it’s chubby stick lines to include tinted lip products, intense lip products, moisturizing lip products, foundations, eye shadows, blushes, and even contour sticks. The lip and eye products start at about $17 and the face products are around $24. This is truly some of the most affordable but still high-end makeup out there. I think Clinique is just an amazing brand, and these are very innovative products that are sure to save you time when you get ready in the morning. I have four of the lip products, one eye shadow, the foundation (which I use as a perfect concealer), a blush, a bronzer, and a highlighter. This is my go-to five-minute face, and I recommend these products to all. Also, Clinique is pretty good for sensitive skin as it contains fewer harsh products than other brands.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence 

Every so often, I am given a sample of a product that I really want to dislike because it’s price tag makes it too expensive to love. Unfortunately, SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is one of those products…and I still loved it.

This product can be purchased from Sephora for an ungodly amount of money: the standard-sized 5.4 oz bottle retails for $179. That’s definitely luxury territory, and it’s just not a price that I can justify (and, believe me, I can typically find a way to justify buying things I like).

This product brightens skin and helps support skin cell renewal which helps with the skin healing itself and preventing signs of aging. I’m only 25, so this product probably isn’t quite intended for my skin anyway, but this was just amazing! My skin looks so clear and bright and happy when I use this product. It makes me feel moisturized but balanced and never oily. I’ve been using tiny amounts from my tiny sample bottle because I know I’m not going to be able to purchase this and feel good about my decision, so I want it to last.

But if you make significantly more money than I do and/or have significantly fewer bills than I do – you should invest in this product! It’s amazing, and I feel like it would really work with every skin type. It’s kind of like magic in a bottle.

Sephora Algae Face Mask 

I do think that the perfect way to wind down after a stressful day is a bubble mask and a face mask. There’s something calming about both of these things. I recently have tried a lot of sheet masks, and one I was excited to try was the Sephora Algae Face Mask.

The goal of this face mask is to purify and detoxify the skin with algae. It can be purchased from Sephora for $6, which is an average price for a one-time-use sheet mask.

I think that if your goal is to just relax and unwind, this is a nice face mask option. It’s inexpensive enough to not make you feel guilty, but the act of putting on the sheet mask and unwinding can still make you feel pampered. However, if your goal is to actually purify and detoxify your skin, this isn’t your best bet. I’ve yet to use a Sephora brand sheet mask that did a whole lot for my skin besides possibly making it feel a teeny bit more moisturized.

So, essentially, I think this product is a fun addition for an at-home spa day, but it’s certainly not going to become a staple in anyone’s skincare routine. If you’re looking for actual skincare results, I would suggest the brands SK-II or Dr. Jart + instead.

Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss – Fancy 

Lipgloss is a deeply personal choice. Some people love the stickiness, and others avoid it completely because they hate sticky lips. Others think the shine is too bold while others want all the shine and glitter imaginable. I happen to love the shine and glitter, but I do often opt for a lipstick instead because I don’t love the stickiness. Still, I’ve found a gloss that does a great job with minimal stickiness: Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss.

This product can be purchased at Sephora for $30, which is a truly gut-wrenching price for a lipgloss. This is definitely a luxury product, but I am glad that I tried it. The one that I have (pictured above) is in the shade Fancy.

I love that this product has a brush instead of a sponge applicator. I feel like this allows for more precision. I’ve also been very impressed by how my lips don’t stick together much when I’m wearing this product. Most glosses, even the very pigmented ones, don’t have much lasting power, but I will say that this product gives a lot of lasting color compared to other glosses.

Overall, this is a great product and the best gloss I’ve tried, but it’s also ridiculously expensive. If you have some extra cash to burn and you want to splurge, then go for it! But if not, don’t feel too bad about skipping this product. It’s still just a lipgloss. I think that most splurging should be reserved for skincare and foundations since those make a more noticeable difference to an overall look. This luxurious gloss isn’t going to make or break a look.

Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant 

I will admit that I have a fear of most products that exfoliate because I’m always afraid that I’m somehow going to get a granule of something lodged in one of my eyes. It’s a weird phobia, but it’s mine and I’m not sure if I’m ever going to get over it. Still, I occasionally find a product I want to try anyway. The latest has been Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant.

This product can be purchased from Sephora for $16. It comes in a purple tin with beautiful gold embellishments, and this product is sure to last for a very long time. A little bit goes a long way.

Overall, this product does a great job. It contains raw sugar to exfoliate the lips and oil to soften and moisturize the lips. My lips did feel noticeably softer each time that I used this product, and I loved the minty scent that made me feel fresh afterwards. Of all the lip exfoliators that I have ever tried, this has been my favorite so far, and $16 is also a great price for such a product.

Still, I’m not over my weird irrational fear of exfoliating products, so I will admit that I have given this away to a friend who loves Tarte. It may not feel as fresh or be as easy, but I do think that it’s okay to exfoliate lips with rubbing a damp washcloth over them and then finishing up with your favorite lip balm. That’s what I’ve gone back to doing.

Marc Jacobs Gel Eyeliner 

I recently received a sample of the Marc Jacobs Fineliner Ultra-Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in black from Sephora.

This product in full-size costs $24 which is pretty high for a pencil eyeliner. These are twistable to get more of the product and are not actual pencils that require sharpening, so that’s a plus. It also is just as fine as it suggests when it comes to the width of the tip. Tightlining is pretty easy with this product because the tip is so narrow and it does glide very easily.

Now, I have to admit that when I first used the product, I thought it smudged too easily. However, I’ve since realized that it just takes longer to dry because it is a gel product. Once it does dry, it’s pretty budge-proof, but I still don’t like how long it takes to dry. It takes longer than most liquid liners. Also, while the tip is very fine, it is not a brush tip, so I still find that it’s not great for a cat-eye or winged look. Still, if you just want to tightline or put this in the water line, it does work pretty well as long as you’re patient and let it dry.

I can see this becoming a favorite for other people. It is a good product. I just don’t think I’ll be purchasing it when I’ve finished this sample because it doesn’t quite meet my particular eyeliner needs.

NYX Butter Gloss 

I feel like lots of beauty blogs love the brand NYX. It’s a very affordable brand that can be found at Ulta. I decided to give their butter glosses a chance since I kept hearing about how wonderful they are when it comes to both pigment and moisturizing abilities.

I picked up two shades from Ulta for $5 a piece, which is very cheap for a lip gloss. I tried them both and just felt incredibly underwhelmed. I kept hearing that they smelled amazing, but I thought they just smelled okay. The pigments were nice but they didn’t last very long. They didn’t seem more moisturizing than other glosses, and my lips weren’t noticeably softer after using this product.

I tried them off and on for about two weeks and just continued feeling overwhelmed. For $5, the product was fine, but they very much felt like they were only worth the $5 I paid. I’ve since tried a few more NYX products since so many beauty bloggers just love them, but I felt the same way about them all. In my opinion, this is a cheap brand that feels cheap. You’re getting what you’re paying for, and I don’t think I’ll be purchasing anything from this brand again. I’ve already given away all of the products I bought and I don’t miss them one bit.

PTR AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel 

Now that I’m in my twenties, my acne is different than when I was a teenager. My acne is now hormonal and responds to different things. A friend of mine suggested that I try something with glycolic acid, so I’ve recently been using the AHA/BHA Acne Cleansing Gel from Peter Thomas Roth.

This gel is available from Sephora for $54, but I think that is a great price for how long the product lasts. I’ve been using my same container for well over 6 months and I don’t think I’m getting very low at all yet. I use a thin layer at night after my evening cleansing routine.

This product has not been miraculous, but I have noticed a difference in my skin since using it. I still get the occasional breakout but not as frequently. I’ve also noticed that my breakouts seem to clear up faster than before.

Another great thing about this product is that it does not make my skin feel overly dry. Since it’s an acne product, it does cause a little bit of dryness, but it’s incredibly manageable with a light moisturizer. It also doesn’t feel too harsh on my skin, but I do only use it once a day.

Overall, I think this is something worth trying if you have acne that responds well to glycolic acid products, especially hormonal acne.