Lessons in Beauty

My Top 5 Natural Beauty Essentials

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This last week I got the wonderful idea from Glossier / Into The Gloss to do a post about the products I consider essential to enhancing natural beauty. I’ve recently been experimenting in both more dramatic and natural beauty and I’ve found that unless I’m doing a deliberate experiment, I really do prefer a lighter hand to my looks.

I’d only recently discovered the Glossier websites, actually about a week before my conversation with them about this post idea, and if you haven’t checked them out, you really should. They have one of the coolest philosophies I’ve heard of (and as an ad major, I’ve heard a LOT):  “Skin first, makeup second, smile always.”

They’ve got an awesome looking beauty and skincare line that’s marketed towards real life functionality and I’m having a hard time resisting clicking buy now on that Glossier Priming Moisturizer… maybe I have a thing for moisturizers? Who knew!? But that sounds like merging two steps and I’m all for the lazygirl skincare routine!

(I’m also for any brand that uses low-to-no photo editing, I appreciate it as a photographer, as a photo editor, and as a ginger that feels represented with those freckles!)

The number one product I’ve found to enhance natural beauty is by far my favorite skincare item I’ve ever tried, and I just got the full size in the mail today:

RE:P Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb

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I first tried this in my January Korean Beauty Birchbox, and I fell in love with it and I haven’t actually finished up the sample size yet despite using it DOZENS of times.

This mask is just glorious, it’s a super gentle clay mask, and in my experience, it sucks out and loosens up all of the nasty gunk in your pores so that when you wash it away… you can see and feel your pores getting clean. It doesn’t make your skin feel dry during or after, and is actually advertised as moisturizing, which I’d attest to. I’ve left it on anywhere from 5 minutes to overnight, with only better skin out of the deal.

It’s so awesome! It’s worked better than any advertised blackhead mask I’ve ever tried and I’m SO glad to have found it. Great skin = less makeup = happy girl.

You can purchase the RE:P mask through the Birchbox store for $41.00. (and use your points as a discount if you’re a subscriber! and remember you can add on a mystery sample duo free to any order totaling $35+ BEFORE discounts… and still use MOBILE20 for 20% off)

Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum

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Ok so you guys might hate me for this, yes, I got this free to write an honest review… but I’m about out and I’m actually going to have to repurchase this, because even forgetting for a few days, my skin notices the difference. This? Works for my breakouts. It’s not even one of the main benefits they list. I never would have found this if they didn’t let me try it, and it’s the only thing that’s made a significant dent in my breakouts. It’s made of natural ingredients and is meant to moisturize and to a point, purify the skin. It works even on the most sensitive of my patches of skin, and even if you do something dumb like get it on a blemish you picked at… *cough* … it still doesn’t sting!

I did a full review on this with the results of how my skin improved a while back, and I can still easily say this is in my favorites long past any commitment I had to them to give my review. You can get this for $35 on Amazon (prime eligible) or on Valentia.com

Murad Hydrating Toner (Spray)

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I got this as a sample/travel size in the Winter BeautyCon box that I didn’t want (I was hoping I ordered so late that I’d just get spring, but actually that box was more worthwhile for me long-term). You guys… I’m literally 2-3 uses from this being gone and… I’m sad! It just makes my skin feel so refreshed in the morning, and between that and the serum, I didn’t need a moisturizer in my routine. I also noticed a reduction in redness on my cheeks and upper chest, which is something that has bothered me for ages. I’d definitely recommend this if you suffer from dry skin or sun damage. It might not be healing it, but it sure feels great. And you spray it on, so you aren’t even touching your skin more than necessary.

Can I hold out on getting this to use up other toners… maybe? I don’t want to 😦

You can pick this up on Amazon for around $20.00 for 6 oz.

Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Primer

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A lovely little freebie sample from Birchbox… I don’t know where this has been all my life. I’ve actually never been a fan of natural looking lashes because enhancing my eyes is definitely my go-to, but this? Soft brown color, defined length and volume… but subtle enough to pair with the most natural makeup or the boldest lip. And if you layer it under a mascara after it dries? Holy hell that’s a lot of volume. I’ve been trying to snag more samples of this baby ever since because I might cry when it’s gone. I’ve never tried anything quite like it. Lashes on FLEEK!

(Yeah, I said it. You know it was necessary. Don’t worry I won’t go full on insta girl often.)

You can grab the full size from BenefitCosmetics.com (when they’re back in stock!), Birchbox, or… basically most beauty stores. Because it’s Benefit.

and finally…

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treStiQue Baby Blush Stick

I got this from Ipsy and I’m going to preface this with the fact that I do not believe I had worn blush since I was around 14 and in that horrible blue eyeshadow + bright red gloss phase… but this? is GORGEOUS. I got it in Bora Bora Coral and the stick blush design is perfect for swiping two little lines across each cheek and blending it out. It’s looks natural, it’s super easy to place, and it just adds a little life into your skin on the days you aren’t quite as awake as you want to be. They advertise their pink shade for paler skin, and coral for deeper, but I feel like my skin lives for coral colors and that the flush looks more real.

This comes in two sizes: the full size has the brands awesome built in (replaceable) contour brush to blend it out on the other side, and the baby blush stick, which is what I got. I’m a big fan of using fingers to blend things out personally because I feel like I get more control, but it’s a lot more sanitary to use a clean brush as it doesn’t introduce new bacteria or oils to your skin. Plus the creator of this brand is just a super sweetheart.

This is most readily available on Trestique.com; you can pick up their full size with the contour brush attached (under that colored bottom) for $34.00, or grab it in a mini as part of their mini essentials 5 – “build-your-own” kits.

That’s it for my current top 5 essentials, although I will give honorable mention to Colgate Optic White toothpaste because it’s super effective and I’ve seen results in just the few days since I’ve been using it. Also the NIVEA In-Shower Body Lotion (skipping steps and reducing time in my routine is a huge plus), and EpicBlend Lip Balm (natural & hemp! with delicious flavors). I can’t live without them these days!

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