Clean Skincare Products to Love

Happy Monday Gals!

We are kicking off this week with a majjjjjor overhaul of my skin care routine. My skin was in need of some major TLC and after doing some research, I decided to make the switch to “clean” skin care products.

I was shocked to find out that the cosmetic industry is not regulated in the same ways that other sectors are. In fact, its pretty much not regulated AT ALL. To summarize, cosmetic companies are able to put nearly any chemicals they wish in their products, without the requirement of any safety testings aaaand to make matters even worse, they are not required to disclose all chemicals on the product packaging. Meaning, hundreds and thousands of potentially harmful ingredients that fill the cosmetic shelves have not been properly vetted or researched for their long term health effects. This absolutely disgusted me!

Because the cosmetic industry is highly unregulated, there are no standards cosmetic companies need to meet in order to label their product with misleading text such as “natural” or “organic”. I mean, how much harder can they make it for us?! As always, it’s super important to always read the ingredient lists. Key words to avoid are: parabens, phthalates, PEGs, ethanolamines, chemical sunscreens, synthetic fragrance, BHT, BHA which are linked to causing hormone deficiencies, cancer, and skin irritation.

If your scratching your head RN, you’re not alone. I was legit dumbfounded. and confused. and lost. I stood in the cosmetic aisle for a solid 30 min trying to figure out which products were in fact clean and which labels were actually just lying to me. Luckily, I discovered the “Think Dirty” app. It takes all the thinking out of it for you! You can search thousands of products to find which are clean vs dirty, see full ingredient lists, and they provide you with a detailed explanation on why some ingredients are deemed as harmful. Check it out here.

I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes RN. And I get it. I promise you I’m not one of those kale eating- all organic- never have gluten-types (but even if I was, so be it!) but I do believe if there is a healthier alternative that works great why not try it? Obviously, I am not a dermatologist or skin care expert so I encourage anyone who is struggling with their skin to do lots of research and to experiment with different products to find what works best for you! These products below are what have worked for me! 🙂

The Body Shop- Tea Tree Imperfection Daily Solution

Tea Tree oil is great to combat pesky blemishes. This pre-serum treatment helps improve the overall condition of your skin. A little goes a long way! And unlike many natural serums, this one smells so good and refreshing! Grab it for under $25! All of The Body Shops products are 100% vegetarian and never tested on animals.

Garnier- Micellar Cleansing Water

This stuff is AMAZING! By far the best drug store find when it comes to makeup remover. It literally melts away your makeup without the harsh rubbing of makeup wipes or other cleansers. It ranks a 3 on the “Think Dirty” app (10 is the worst). Best part, its under $10!

ACURE- Sensitive Facial Cleanser

I have used Neutrogena for years and was appalled at the high rating of it on Think Dirty. To think I was putting that many chemicals and toxins known to cause cancer on my face had me running the next day to find a clean alternative. I picked up this one from Target and so far so good! I picked up the sensitive version, but it also comes in a type specific for those with oily skin. Under $10!

Shea Moisture – Body Lotion

If there is one product that we use everywhere and every day, its body lotion. Especially in the winter! Making it even more important to use a clean product! I have extremely dry skin, and had been using Gold Bond Healing Lotion… until I discovered it ranked a 9 for developmental and reproductive toxicity! So in the trash that went and I picked up this one by Shea Moisture. All of their products are cruelty free and 10% of all proceeds go towards women led businesses (how awesome is that?).

Burt’s Bee’s – Lip Shimmer

Burt’s Bee’s is probably not knew to anyone but I recently picked up their tinted chap stick and am hooked! Perfect for those light makeup days where you want some color on your lips without looking too “done up”. I am so excited that they have expanded their cosmetic line to lipsticks, foundation, blush and more! I picked up their mascara and will report back how it works!


Shop my skin care routine here:

Let us know if the comments below what your favorite “clean” products are!


Drugstore Beauty Favorites

Happy Thursday Ladies!

Today we are sharing affordable drugstore beauty products that actually work! Anyone else feel like they walk out of Ulta or Sephoa with three items and at least $100 poorer? We know the feeling (aaaaall too well:)). While they’re are some designer products that are worth the splurge (a good foundation, or special skin care treatments) we like to save where we can and use less costly options for items we use a LOT of/everyday. Let’s be honest, spending $30+ on a mascara that will get me through a few weeks is not realistic. At least not on this working girl’s budget! Lol! Luckily, with all the options out there, there are plenty of low cost designer dupes to help you get your desired look for less! Everything on this list are products that we truly use (and have used for years) and fallen in love with! We know you will too!

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream– Never too early to start fighting off those wrinkles! My mom has used this night cream for years and got me hooked on it as well! I have a lot of sun spots (thanks to years of tanning without using spf.. ugh why did I do that?!?) and have seen a big improvement in the overall look of my skin with this cream. It is also great for anyone who has super dry skin as it will give you enough moisture to last through the day. I personally prefer to use a lighter moisturizer under my makeup (as my foundation is a BB cream) and then supplement with this repair cream at night on a bare face. You may experience some slight tingling/burning sensation – it’s just the accelerated retinol doing it’s job and I found it lessened as I used it 🙂 Priced under $25!

Sally Hansen Gel Nail Polish– Mikki and I both love doing our own nails over going to the nail salon.  I find it super relaxing and I get too restless sitting in a manicure chair for 45 minutes haha. There are so many at home gel treatments but none work as well as the Sally Hansen brand in my opinion! While it isn’t totally chip proof- I normally get about 4 days of wear before needing to touch up the polish which is a win in my book! I also plan to try this top coat to go with it to see if that helps it keep a few more days!

Elf Liquid Eyeliner– I often switch between liquid eyeliner and a pencil but with this stick by Elf you get the best of both worlds! The applicator shape is perfect for achieving a winged look. I was worried that the applicator would dry out or lose it’s shape and begin to fray like some other liquid eye applicators tend to but I was pleasantly surprised! For just $3, this is by far the best deal on the list!

Maybelline Brow Pencil- Now that full brows are in, this brow pencil has been a staple in my makeup bag! Whether you over plucked or just looking to darken your brows, this pencil is a great tool. I make little brush strokes striking in an upward motion. This will help you get the natural look and avoid looking like you painted on your brows:) It comes in various shades, I use “dark brown”. Just $7!

L’Oreal Lash Paradise MascaraThis is the first Mascara that I have actually repurchased! I am always switching it up and love trying new brands but this L’Oeal Lash Paradise Mascara is too good not to stay loyal to! It is a great dupe of the designer version (splurge here). I have used both the designer and the duper and honestly the only difference is in the price ($8.99 for the dupe, $23.00 for designer).

TRESemme HairsprayOut of aaaaall the hairsprays I have tried, this by far is my favorite! I even got Mikki hooked on it! It has the perfect hold for everyday wear and doesn’t leave your hair feeling stiff or “crunchy” like some other firm hold hairsprays tend to do.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Hair Treatment I swear by this leave in treatment. I have been using It’s a 10 since my college days- am I aging myself? Haha. If there is one hair care treatment/leave in product to buy, it’s this one! It acts as a thermal protector, helps control frizz, protects your color, and prevents split ends. I love that it is super lightweight. You won’t even be able to tell you have any product in your hair at all!  I also use the hair mask (shop it here) once to twice a week and use the leave in treatment with every wash. Under $30!


Beauty saving hack: Did you guys know Bed Bath & Beyond now has a beauty department? I may be extremely late to this game but I was so thrilled to find out they have expanded to their beauty department! To save some extra $$, sign up for their email alerts and you will receive a 20% off coupon almost weekly that you can use on their beauty products as well to double up on your savings!

Shop our favorites in this post below! What are your favorite drug store products? Let us know in the comments section!

Friday 5: Favorite Beauty Products

Happy FriYay!

I cannot believe its already Friday! The days seem to be flying by quicker and quicker. But I am nooooot complaining! We are celebrating making it through another work week with a round up of our 5 favorite beauty products. All products listed are under $30 and can be found at your local drug store and/or Sephora.


1- Loreal Volumous Lash Paradise Mascasra / Shop it here

I am constantly switching up my mascara- I actually don’t think I have ever bought the one same one twice- any other product junkies??? This mascara from L’Oreal is by far my most favorite drug store mascara I have tried yet. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t pick this one out originally just because it was pink (ha!) But after using it, I think I finally found a winner! It’s a dupe of the Better-Than-Sex mascara by Too Faced (shop it here) but having used both, I think the dupe works just as well and is less than 1/3 of the designer price ($7 vs $23) #Steal! I prefer to splurge on beauty items like foundation, bronzer, a good moisturizer and cleanser and then experiment with different drug store options for mascara, blush, lipsticks, eye shadows, etc.


2-Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder / Shop it here

My latest hair product obsession is this Bumble & Bumble volumizing powder. I have such thin hair (thanks to years of wearing clip in extensions #whydididothat) and am always seeking out products to help bring some life back into my hair. I have found powder volumizers seem to work better for my hair type than arasol sprays. To use, section of pieces of hair (I typically concentrate more on the crown of my head) and shake a little powder onto the scalp, then rub it in. The heat helps activate the volumizing properties and also helps absorb any oil that you may have (no shame in my third-day-no-wash-hair game:)).


3-Bed Head Rockaholic Dry Shampoo / Shop it here

I love using these two products together- esp for those days when one dry shampoo just isn’t enough! Bedhead Rockaholic is my favorite drugstore option for dry shampoo. It is a bit heavier than the other options and also gives my hair the texture needed for styling. It is also colorless so I can spray away on my dark locks:) I spray it on my roots and then blow out my hair with a round brush to set it in.


4- Milani Lip Stain / Shop it here

This lip stain by Milani brings lasting wear to a whole other level! It seriously does not come off! It drys with a matte-like finish so I typically layer it with either a gloss or even just chap stick! This brand can be found at most drug stores (CVS, Walgreens) and is under $10! The color pictured above is called “Precious” and I also have “adorable” which makes the perfect nude color!


5- Castor Oil Hair Mask / Shop it here

Remember when I said I have theee thinnest hair? Well, black castor oil helps stimulate hair growth, thickness, and shine and also hydrates your scalp (especially important as it starts to cool off outside!). I read about the benefits of castor oil from another blogger we follow and ever since then I have been bathing in it. Okay, not literally but I religiously do this hair mask at least 2X a week.  There are so many different brands of black castor oil out there, just be sure to get 100% pure black castor oil (versus buying a prepackaged treatment). I found this one at Target. To use, combine black castor oil with a little bit of coconut oil (this combo helps make the consistency more runny as the castor oil is very thick). The rub onto your scalp and message your head for about 5 minutes (this is believed to help stimulate hair growth). Do not pull the oil through your hair to the ends; keep it just on the roots and directly on the ends of your hair if your wish (or you will end up being a grease ball for a few days:)) Pull hair back with a rubber band and let it sit anywhere from 1-3 hours then wash as normal. Be careful not to rest your head on any furniture or bedding because it will stain. This is such an easy DIY hair mask and I promise your hair will thank you! 🙂


Hope you guys enjoyed our first Friday Five round up! Do you all want to see more beauty related posts? What are your favorite beauty products? Let us know in the comments below! Have a great weekend!