Beauty Refresh : Arbonne

I've written about Arbonne products before, like their sunless tanner and chocolate protein mix. For those who aren't familiar with the brand, Arbonne skincare products are based on botanical principles and sold through independent consultants, like Stacey Molli, and through their website (linked here). Stacey introduced me to Arbonne products last year, and I'm so exited to share some of the products I have been trying over the last few weeks! 

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Click the links below to jump to a specific product, or scroll through to read about them all!

  1. Lustre Fortifying Shampoo & Fortifying Conditioner

  2. Liquid Sunshine Lip Balm

  3. Ebony Eyeliner

  4. RE9 Advanced Skincare Set

  5. RE9 Advanced Lifting & Contouring Cream

...and be sure to check back next week for my review of some of Arbonne's edible & nutritious products!

01. LUSTRÉ FORTIFYING SHAMPOO & FORTIFYING CONDITIONER

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I haven't colored my hair in almost a year, but before that it was constant, highlighting, lightening, balayage-ing, etc. Basically, every part of my head had been bleached at some point. The Lustré Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Cream Conditioner are designed to take dull or chemically treated hair and return it to all its healthy and luminous glory. Since my hair is no longer colored, I can't comment on how well it preserves color. I can say that the shampoo made my hair feel so clean without drying it out and the conditioner left my hair feeling strong and hydrated, but not greasy or weighed down. Even when I let my hair air dry and didn't use any extra product, my hair had so much shine. Both products also smell amazing. I still can't stop smelling my hair! 

02. LIQUID SUNSHINE LIP BALM

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This lip balm came right when my lips were painfully chapped and my puppy had eaten my normal lip therapy balm.  I doubted weather a lip balm made for sun protection could heal my winter lips, but after carrying it around for five days, my lips were repaired! 

The Liquid Sunshine Lip Balm is a bit more solid than other balms; it doesn't melt and glide on as soon as it touches your lips. Instead, it really feels like it clings to your lips to form a protective layer (from the sun or the wind, whatever your weather situation may be). Because it's a bit more solid, it sticks to your lips and not much else. It doesn't even stick to my hair!! This will definitely be a staple in my beach bag this summer. And hey, even if you aren't on the beach, the coconut flavor will bring a little bit of the beach to you!

03. EBONY EYELINER

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I've been digging black liquid lately lately for its bold, precise lines, but that can be a bit much for a day look. Arbonne's Ebony Eyeliner is soft and easy to apply. It glides so smoothly that it's actually possible to not mess it up on the first try (somewhat of a miracle for me). Plus, the liner smudges easily and then stays put for longer wear.

The ebony color isn't as harsh as typical black liner and it makes your eyes look brighter. I think it's absolutely perfect for adding dimension to a smokey eye, but it's also subtle enough to wear during the day.  

04. RE9 ADVANCED SKINCARE SET

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I had sampled the RE9 Advanced Extra Moisture Restorative Day Crème before (and by sampled, I mean stole it from my mom's bathroom), so I was excited to actually try the entire line. I'm pretty lazy when it comes to my skincare regimen,  but I was determined to give it a real shot & follow each step no matter how tired I was. MORNING & NIGHT. 

Normally, my skincare regimen includes washing my face in the shower or with a facial wipe, and putting on lotion. RE9 Advanced Set has five steps: Smoothing Facial Cleanser, Regenerating Toner, Intensive Renewal Serum, Corrective Eye Crème, and face crème (either Restorative Day Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen, Extra Moisture Restorative Day Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen, or Night Repair Crème).  

I'll be honest, it was a paaiiiinnn the first few day. It took me longer to get ready in the morning and kept me from my beautiful, comfortable bed at night. but, OHMYGOSH. My skin has never felt so firm or looked so smooth. I have never used products that have had such visible results, so it is 100% worth the extra steps. I was worried that all those steps really meant putting more stuff on my face that could clog my pores, but my skin stayed totally clear.

Here is all the clinical and technical information: 

"After 24 hours*

  • 83% reported improvement in skin firmness.

After just 4 weeks*

  • 92% reported reduction in the appearance of wrinkles.

  • 96% reported reduction in the appearance of fine lines.

  • 100% reported refinement in skin texture and smoothness.

  • 100% reported improvement in skin moisturization.

*Based on independent clinical study of 24 women"

05. RE9 ADVANCED LIFTING AND CONTOURING CRÉME

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While the regular RE9 Advanced line supports collagen and protects youthful appearance, the RE9 Advanced Lifting and Contouring Créme focuses on tighter, firmer, and more defined skin with SPF 15. From what I can tell, you should favor the lifting & contouring cream if your focus is improving elasticity over reducing fine lines for overall smoother skin. I felt that the regular RE9 Advanced made my skin plenty firm, and the Lifting & Countouring cream didn't do too much extra, but I'm also not sure how much my skin elasticity could improve. The Lifting & Contouring cream was also tested over 8 weeks, and I dint consistently use the product for that long. It made my skin feel hydrated and I really don't have anything negative to say about it, I just liked the regular RE9 Advanced moisturizer better! If you're looking to improve elasticity without injections or surgery, it's definitely worth purchasing!

As for the clinical stuff, after 8 weeks:

  • 83% showed improved appearance in elasticity.

  • 86% showed improved lift in the midface area.

  • 91% showed improvement in the appearance of facial contours.

 

If you are interested in any of these products or are curious to see what else Arbonne has to offer, head over to their website (linked here) or get in touch with Stacey Molli through her Arbonne Profile

exes & ohs

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Winter Beauty Saviors

I love the sweater-wearing, curled up by the fire, coco-drinking, quiet snow fall part of winter. It's amazing. I'm not so crazy about the frozen fingers, crazy winds, and hours of darkness. When you combine the hard freezing winds outside with the dry, sauna-like conditions inside, it gets even worse. I can feel my skin drying out just thinking about it. Luckily, I've spent the past two crazy winters desperately searching for the best winter beauty products, and I finally found them. 

Here are my essential products that get me through the terrible parts of winter.

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01. L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Skincare Regimen 

This skincare line is named after a flower with magical powers: it never fades even after it has been picked. The eye balm is light and silky while the neck & face cream is wonderfully creamy, but neither are heavy or at all greasy. It's so rare for me to find a luxuriously thick creams that keep my skin clear, but that cream and balm get help from the gentle cleansing foam and alcohol free-toner (the essential water) which always leave my skin feeling soft and firm. During the day I use the BB cream with SPF 30 for light coverage and sun protection. PS. You can save money by buying the cream, eye balm, essential water, and cleansing foam together in this kit. 

02. Patchology Facial Masques

I got Flash Masques Trio in my PopSugar Must Have box, and they were the first things I tried. Even if you take great care of your skin, you still need a little extra help sometimes. The Illuminate FlashMasque reveals fresh-faced radiance by evening skin tone and giving new life to a lackluster-looking complexion with essential ingredients Licorice and Grapefruit Seed Extracts. The hydrate masque delivers a mega-dose of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 designed to quench, refresh and plump the look of thirsty skin. Lastly, the exfoliate masque gently removes dead skin cells using Lactic Acid and Papain to help achieve a smoother, more refined-looking complexion.

03. Vaseline Rosy Lip

You really can't beat Rosy Lip. It's a classic that's been used for generations. For function, it relieves dry and cracked lips while locking in moisture to help them heal. But it isn't too much to use on lips that aren't chapped either. Use it daily to prevent cracking and keep lips soft. For style, Vaseline Rosy Lip has a light rose fragrance and leaves a sheer pink tint that you can wear during the day and is perfect for adding a touch of color to a glam nude look at night.

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01. Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Crème

I actually got a sample of this in my January 2014 Birch Box. I use it every day in the winter and most days the rest of the year. BUT I'm still using my sample from TWO YEARS AGO! Birch Box gave us such a big sample, but I feel like I should buy more just because I love it so much. It's really lightweight, and won't weight your hair down. My ends get the frizziest and can end up looking dull by the end of the day (no matter how recent my last haircut was). But I just apply a pea-sized amount of the glossing crème to the bottom two/three inches of my hair and it stays smooth and glossy all day. Even when it's being whipped around by the winter wind.

02. Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray

I know you're really never supposed to go out with wet hair, but you really shouldn't in the winter. Even if it isn't cold enough for your wet hair to freeze (which is seriously terrible), you'll be extra cold for no reason. So blow drying in the winter is a must... which means more damage. But the Royal Blowout Spray actually repairs damage while speeding up dry-time. Besides repairing split ends, and nourishing, softening and strengthening hair, the mist is unbelievably lightweight and gives your hair great, healthy body and shine. Seriously though, it's so lightweight that I can use it in addition to my other hair products and my hair ends up having more body and looking less greasy/weighed-down than if I didn't use it at all. 

03. Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Three

I put so much extra product in my hair during the winter, I like to use a clarifying shampoo once a week (or anytime I use heavy hairspray) to clear out any build up or residue. Paul Mitchell's clarifying shampoo removes dulling buildup from hair, strengthens strands, and minimizes future buildup using a paraben-free, vegan formula. It leaves my hair feeling so clean and refreshedI and ready for whatever damage I'm going to put it through next. If you color your hair, Shampoo Three will make it fade more than regular shampoo. To preserve color and remove build up, use Shampoo Two. 

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01. La Mer The Body Crème

I first discovered the body crème when I lived with my parents after college. My mom always had the best beauty products, so I would always go into her bathroom and borrow her hair products, pressed powder (which I used as bronzer #palepersonproblems) and lotion. My favorite product to borrow (okay, steal) was her La Mer Body Crème. It may be expensive, but it really is worth it. It's so rich and lush that you don't need to use a ton or even use it every day. It completely saturates your skin and actually cures it of all dryness instead of just temporarily relieving it. Take that winter. 

02. Kiehl's Purifying Hand Treatment

Winter is also cold and flu season, so not only are your hands drying out from the weather,  they get dried out even more from hand sanitizer and extra vigorous hand washing. Besides reminding myself that I don't need to scrub a layer of skin off my hands just because the flu or a nasty cold is making its way through the office, this cream-gel hybrid is the best thing I can do for my hands. The Purifying Hand Treatment leaves my hands feeling hydrated without heavy residue and clean without the sterile doctors office smell. Basically, it's perfect for keeping your hands feeling fresh after you realize how dirty keyboards, phones, and other office equipment gets, but you're still going to reach for the purel if you have to shake hands with somebody who would rather infect everybody they come in contact with than take a sick day. Just take the sick day people.

03. Waxing Kara Organic Sweet Body Balm

During the winter, I always have a few spots that get extra dry and lotion just isn't enough. My elbows and knees can be trouble, but my biggest problem is my hands. We don't have a dishwasher, and hand washing during the winter is especially brutal. My knuckles are always cracking and take forever to heal. The palms of my hands go through hell and are basically raw everytime I have to shovel snow. This balm has saved my hands. I put it on my knuckles as soon as they start getting dry and to heal any cracks that happen. I also put it on my palms and heels where I get blisters to keep the skin soothed. My favorite is the Peace of Mind (citrus/lavender) fragrance, but it also comes in Strength (cinnamon/clove), Blossoms+Bourbon (orange/geranium) and Unscented.

 

Happy winter & stay beautuful!  

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Manicure Monday: Pastel nails

Maybe its because my nail polish collection is a little out of control, but I can never choose one color. I usually end up changing the color after two days or as soon as it begins to chip. Sometimes my inability to pick a single color means I will paint them one color and immediately change my mind and repaint them a different color, and then change my mind again and paint them for the third time in one day. 

If I know I just won't be able to choose I just stop trying and use all the colors I am trying to choose between. This is how my pastel manicure came to be.

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Manicure Monday: Geometric Nails

Geometric Nails- Happiness Homemade

I am so excited for my first Manicure Monday! I spent K-12 at prep schools with strict dress codes, with rules about clothes, hair, and accessories. I loved wearing a uniform, it made getting ready in the morning so easy (yet I still managed to show up late almost every day of my senior year); I could even handle the rules about hair, I'm personally not a fan of unnatural hair colors. What I was not okay with was the rule banning nail polish. I spent many Monday morning carpool rides desperately picking the nail polish off my nails in fear of being sent to sit on the bench, oh how I feared that bench. Now that I am in college, I wear nail polish every day and am borderline obsessive about it. When nail polish chips, most people just touch it up with the same color.. not me. I see chipped nail polish as time to completely repaint my nails and try something new. Sometimes Manicure Monday will be a simple color that I love, but normally I will try cool designs like these Geometric nails. Stay tuned for more manicures to come and read on to learn how to get this fun design on your nails!

Nail lacquer used:

-Licorice by Essie

-Power Clutch by Essie

-A World of Compassion by SpaRitual

-Smoke & Mirrors by SpaRitual

Geometric Nails- Happiness Homemade

If you're really anal about having straight lines, use pieces of tape as a stencil to make them perfect. I don't think its necessary though.

xx, Megan