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Monthly Archives: March 2016

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Why And How My Skincare Routine Has Changed Part 1 – Being Introduced to K Beauty and Beauteque

What to decide about my skincare

What to decide about my skincare

I have mentioned in a post or two my involvement with Beauteque, and have hinted at an upcoming post. So this is a little past due. And of course if you started following me on Instagram then you have seen some of the products I have been using. This post is a two parter about how I came to be involved with Beauteque and promoting them, and what my current skincare routine is. It is two parts because 1. there is no way to fully explain either of those two parts without the other, and 2. if I tried to combine them into one, it would be unbearably long to read.

So lets start with how I first come to hear about Beauteque. I, like a lot of other people, watch youtube videos. I watch a lot of makeup tutorials. I also watch some unboxing videos,  especially if I am considering a new subscription box to try. I like to see what is in their past boxes and see if I think its worth the price for me. So as I was watching some unboxing videos it recommended that I might like one by a YouTuber named victoria donelda. And here is the video I watched:

After I watched that I was intrigued because I had heard about Korean skin care and beauty a little bit, but I hadn’t really made any major efforts to find any. And honestly I didn’t know where you could get it in the US at the time other that Sephora, and it seemed so expensive there. I definitely think skin care is worth spending money on if it works, but as I have talked about many times it is really tricky for me due to my Balsam of Peru Allergy. Laying down premium money for something I may not be able to use is not something I like to do. So hearing that there was a Subscription service, I thought hey maybe I should give it a try. I had just given up a couple subscription boxes I didn’t really like that well, and I was looking for something new to try.

For me subscription boxes, especially when it comes to skincare and makeup that are new brands to me, are a good route to go. They are usually set up where you get a good sample of a variety of things and it comes with cards that explain the products. And usually the price is better than if you bought it all individually. So I looked at their website and found they had not one, but two subscription services. They have the first one that was shown in the video called the BB Bag and then they have one where you strictly get different types of masks called Mask Maven. Clicking on the links will take you to see what was in a past months bag.

The BB Bag runs $24 a month and you get 6 to 8 full sized products as well as a cosmetic bag. The Mask Maven is $15 a month and you get 9 to 11 masks of various types. And if anyone was looking for their Head to Toe Box, I am sorry but they fazed those out some time last year. After looking over Beauteque’s website and viewing several other unboxing videos of their subscription services I decided to sign up for both services. Quite honestly what I really thought would happen is I would sign up and get them for a couple of months. I thought I would maybe end up at best with one or two products that I could use, and the rest would be put to the side to use as gifts for various people. Because 90% of the subscription services I have tried, that is what happens. However that was almost a year ago, and now I could not imagine giving up my subscriptions.

I started out with just those subscriptions, and I tentatively tried a few items at a time. It was kind of a relief the first few times I used a sheet mask and didn’t have a bad reaction. I was really worried because the packages do say they have fragrance, and that is usually a big no for me. What I have since learned is that fragrance in Korean beauty is very different from fragrance in the US. The best example I can give you is this. Think of your favorite fruit and what it smells like. Now think of the perfume version or lotion that might be sold here at a store like Bath and Body works. It always has that heavy chemical smell doesn’t it? But Korean products almost smell like the actual item, and most likely its because most of their skincare is actually made from the real item instead of some chemical process.

But obviously, using a product and it not causing a bad reaction is not enough to keep using something. What I did notice was each time I used a sheet mask my skin would look or feel a little better than my normal for a few days. So I started becoming more interested and really put some effort into researching Korean Skincare and Beauty products. It was really decision time, did I want to continue getting products and experimenting with them, or did I want to cancel my subscription?

How Asian Skin Care Layering WorksThee first thing I looked closer at was the actual company I was buying from, Beauteque. I started by digging around on their website. And I have to say, after reading How Beauteque Was Started, I was impressed and felt a bit of a connection to the company.

So I did some more research and one of the the things I can across was the graphic you see to your left on Pinterest (you can click on the picture to see it larger, or follow the links to the articles below to see it explained). I have since seen several graphics that are similar, but I still think this one is the best for a beginner.

The graphic led me to a couple of wonderful blog post from a blog called Darwin Discovered. They had done a two part series about Asian skincare. The first article is 5 Observations on Asia’s Skin Care Culture and the follow up article is The Asian Skin Care Technique: Layering. I continued to read other information, but I really feel those were the integral pieces that made me decide to not only continue on with Korean Skincare, but to start giving it a real try.

I had essentially decided that I was going to start adding more items in a little at a time, and giving an Asian beauty routine a try. There was really only one problem, I fully admit that while I knew a lot about makeup, I was a bit skincare illiterate. I feel like I had always tried to take care of my skin with the basics. That for me was cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. And of course I knew that there were items available for wrinkles, but I hadn’t really felt I was there yet. Looking back at a year ago, I feel a little clueless.

I did start adding products in right away. I won’t talk about what in this article, that will be covered in part two. But what I added in the immediate were the things I was more familiar with. One of the things I had no clue about was Essences and Serums. I had noticed that some of the sheet masks that I had been using said they contained them, but I hadn’t really given it much thought. So my search to find out what they were lead me to this video:

I immediately became hooked to this ladies videos. If you are interested in Korean skincare and you want some of the science behind it or a just a decent explanation of the hows and whys of the products, the you should subscribe to Gothamista’s Channel on YouTube.

Over the next few months I started adding various products to use. I feel like I have my skincare routine now about 80% to where I want it. I am still learning and trying things. My skin has made such drastic improvements, I didn’t even think were possible for me. I feel like a whole new world has been opened up for me, and I am so thankful for it. And so when Beauteque sent out an email offering the opportunity to become a part of their new Social Beauty program, I jumped at the chance.

As I had mentioned in a post a few months back (and this was just a couple of weeks before this offer happened) I was looking for ways to help add income to our household so I could keep the blog going too. So I kind of felt like that if I do get any kind of earnings from promoting them it was a amazing opportunity since I had already been doing some post on my own personal Facebook page about how wonderful these products were. To maybe earn some money for something I was already doing, and its something that might actually help someone else, I was definitely on board.

So I want to be completely up front with everyone, like always. Yes I am affiliated with the company now. However any of the products you see me posting about are products I bought myself because I actually buy from them and believe in them. They have made a real difference in my life. I had been buying and using their products a full eight months before signing up to be affiliated with the company.

How it works for me is I have a coupon code, which is my name KAREN in full caps. When you use it on Beauteque’s Website you receive 10% your complete order including sale items and subscription services. On their website you can not stack coupons, so you have to figure out which one works best for you obviously. So sometimes you may go to the site and see they have a coupon code that is for 15% off something or for a free item with purchase. So the advantage with my coupon code is being able to use it even on sale items, because many of the other codes do not let you do that. However if you prefer to use one of the other codes, but you would like to still show me support, I still can receive credit for referring you if you type my code into the comment box when you are checking out. And because I also know some people feel funny about using coupon codes for whatever reason, you do not have to give me credit at all. But if you have severe problems with your skin like I have had all my life, I highly recommend giving some products a try. Give it 30 days and just see if it makes a difference.

I don’t think this is necessary to say for most people, but let me just put this out there, everything stated in this article is of my own opinion. I am not a doctor, so please do not take my opinion as anything more than an opinion. I deal with a serious allergy, but I do not have symptoms as bad as a lot of people, so I have more freedom to try new things to see what works for me. Even with these products I still carefully read the ingredients and avoid any of the natural ingredients I would typically be allergic to like lavender essential oil. If you are dealing with a serious allergy, please don’t take my word for it, consult with your doctor before trying anything.

Now that that is said, I want to hear from those of you who have tried Korean skin care, or even Beauteque. What have your experiences been? Have you had improvements in your skin as well? Do you do a typical Asian skin care routine or are you trying to build up to it? Have you tried anything from Beauteque? What were your thoughts?

 

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Taking Lace To The Maxi With Simply Be

Standing pose of the red lace maxi dress

Hanging out with the cats in my red lace dress from simply be and my floral print shoes from aeresoles.

 

If you can’t tell by now, I have been having a lot of fun goofing around with my new camera. It making it so much easier to get great shots that are true to the color at any time of the day or night without any assistance. But that’s probably not what your here to read about. But hey, if I am wrong, feel free to leave me comments and I will make a post about the new camera and where I found it and all the features it has.

Now own to the outfit. As you have probably gathered from title, this awesome red maxi is from Simply Be. It is simply called Lace Maxi Dress in Dark Red. For a frame of reference on sizing, as always I am pretty consistently a size 20 or 2X at both Lane Bryant and Torrid. So by Simply Be’s size chart I should need a US 20, but I had seen before ordering someone elses review saying it ran a bit small. I am really glad I saw that, because I ordered the 22, which is what I am wearing in the picture. I think the fit is perfect for what I want. Now I probably could have went with a 20 if I were 1. wanting a more body con look and 2. didn’t plan on sitting. There is some stretch but not a lot. However, in other items that I have tried from their label, many have ran more true to size or possible a tad big.

Standing pose of the red lace maxi dress

I actually got mine towards the end of last summer, but they do still have limited quantities left in some sizes. But if they don’t have your size, no need to worry, I found a few other options on their website for those of you that love the red lace look.

sz959_red_l

This one, while not a Maxi dress, I think it comes the closest to the look and feel of the dress. And it is, as I write this, still available in all the sizes they carry 6 to 28. It is the Joanna Hope Short-sleeved Lace Dress.

cp833_red_lIf you must have a maxi, then maybe this one would work for you. Its definitely red, and you must be certified sexy to wear this one. There is lace, but its on the lighter side. This is the Lace-trim Jersey Maxi Dress. Though it looks like limited sizes left in this one too, though slightly different sizes.fOR T

lc733_red_l

If the previous two didn’t work for you, then maybe this slightly sweeter summer dress is more your speed. It is the Little White Lies Red Lace Dress. And all sizes 8 to 22 are available.

It is good to keep in mind when shopping Simply Be they carry many brands in addition to their own. It is best to go to that companies website and look at their size chart if you can. Each companies sizing is different.

For anyone wondering about my shoes, they are A2 by Aerosoles. Now this shoe is no longer available since I bought mine over two years ago. But they do have a lot of really cute styles that are actually comfortable. And they offer wide widths.

And honorable mention, my hair flower came from icing. It was purchased quite some time ago, but it always seems like they have those sorts of things. If you don’t have an icing near you or have never heard of it, they are owned by claire’s. But claire’s as most know is mainly targeted at preteen and teen girls. icing is like claire’s all grown up. They are targeted more for ladies in their 20’s and maybe early 30’s. Though I see all ages shopping in there.

Of course two of the cats insisted that they must be included in these photos. If you would like to see more of them or pictures of my third one you should follow me on Instagram. I share lots of their pictures as well as other things there.

As alwys, I am looking to hear from you guys. Have you tried Simply Be? Has it been recently? And if you have what did you think?

 

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Retro”fitted” with Lindy Bop

Lindy Bop Dottie Dress

Lindy Bop Dottie Dress

 

I recently signed up and started selling on a phone app called Poshmark. I will be talking a little more in depth about it and a few other places to sell/shop other than what you might think of as a traditional place to buy in an upcoming post, but for now lets stick to the outfit.

Ever since I listed this dress for sale, I had so many request for pictures of the actual dress on. I usually don’t like to try clothing on and take pictures that I am selling new with tags, especially like in this case where it is a size too small, as there always is a potential for damage to the item. But because of how I came in possession of this particular dress, I knew I could put this one on without harming the fabric. So I decided that I might as well go ahead and put on my makeup and do the most simple retro style hairdo I could manage, and have some fun taking pictures for the blog while I was at it.

Lindy Bop Dottie Dress

The Dress: The “Dottie” dress from Lindy Bop. I am sorry to say this dress is no longer available, but you can purchase a dress I think is very similar in style called the ‘Amie’ Navy Polka Dot Tea Dress. When you visit Lindy Bop’s site, you are able to choose between their US site or their UK site. You can order from either, and while they have essentially the same items, they do occasionally have slightly different stock of sizes available. I personally prefer their UK site as I find the sizing less confusing there. However there are trade offs for both sites. If you purchase from the UK site, the sizing is easier to understand and the pricing is cheaper, however purchasing on the US site we get free shipping and there is less time to wait to get your items.

The Leggings: Mine were purchased at ModCloth a couple of years ago, so again unfortunately I can’t send you directly to that pair. But there is a similar pair available on Full Beauty’s website. You also could achieve the same look with a lace patterned pantyhose.

The Shoes: The shoes were a pair of Cloudwalker Booties I picked up in an Facebook trading group(which will also be in that upcoming article). I don’t think they are available anymore, but they are pretty basic booties. However they are wide width and very comfortable soles. If you aren’t familiar with Cloudwalker, you can get them from The Avenue.

I know these items aren’t available anymore, but I hope everyone still enjoys this in the way that it was intended. One part fashion inspiration, and one part recommendations of places to shop. And always a reminder to keep fashion and beauty fun. If you aren’t having fun with what you put on, then why are you wearing it?

As always I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you want to see more style inspiration pieces? Do you rock vintage looks? Where is your favorite places to get vintage inspired pieces?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Look At Influenster & The L’OREAL Paris Revitalift VoxBox

Contents of the LOREAL Revitalift VoxBox

I recently joined a website community called Influenster. I briefly mentioned this a couple of post ago when I was doing an update on what’s going on with the blog. So let me start by telling you what Influenster is. According to Influenster they are:

A community of over 1.5 million social savvy shoppers that:

  • Stay on top of the latest product news & expert tips.
  • Review products, share honest opinions with brands and the community.
  • Test products for free based on social media influence.

And yes that is what they are, but that doesn’t really tell you everything until you really get there and see how it works.

influenster

My best description would be imagine Tripadvisor, Ipsy, and Instagram joined into one, but completely free and the only way to get products were dependent on you writing reviews and how many followers you have, then you have Influenster.

They do not require that you have a blog or a YouTube channel to sign up or to receive free products, though it certainly won’t hurt you. Anyone is allowed to sign up, and in order to get free products you only have to be active on social media. And you can not use Facebook fan pages to count into your social media usage. And if you do have a blog, all blogs no matter how big or small are treated equally in how much credit you get for them.

I personally do not have a tremendous amount of social media followers on my personal accounts, but I do really enjoy writing reviews. I probably would have participated whether I thought I would be getting a lot of freebies or not. But as it happened within the first couple of weeks of being a member, I got a notice saying I was receiving my first VoxBox. (VoxBoxes are what they call the various promotional boxes they send out to members for review.)

The first box I got was the L’OREAL Revitalift VoxBox. I received the complete volume filler part of the line. So lets take a look at what I got.

LOREAL Revitalift VoxBox

This is how it arrived in the mail. The shipping label being on the bottom side you can not see in the picture.

 

Contents of the LOREAL Revitalift VoxBox

Here are all the products I received in my LOREAL Revitalift VoxBox. In addition there was also a card with product information included in the box.

Here is the rundown on what there was in the box. I got the RevitaLift™ Volume Filler Eye Treatment, the Revitalift® Daily Volumizing Concentrated Serum, the Revitalift® Daily Volumizing Moisturizer, and the RevitaLift™ Volume Filler Night Cream.

Eye Treatment

Volume Filler Eye Treatment

Concentrated Serum

LOREAL Revitalift Concentrated Serum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Cream

LOREAL Revitalift Day Cream

LOREAL Night Cream

LOREAL Revitalift Night Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have followed my blog for any amount of time at all you know I have to be really careful about the products I use due to the semi-rare contact allergy I have. And if you have no idea what I am talking about, and would like to learn more about my allergy or whether you or someone in your life should possibly be checked for it, the you can check out one of my older blog post about it here.

After careful examination of all the ingredients I was saddened that I was not going to be able to use the products. So what to do? Well, that is where one of my best friends Jenna comes in. She and I are close enough that I refer to her kids as my nieces. (we are both only children, so its the closest I will ever have to a sister and nieces and I love my friends like family anyway) She and I are similar in age and skin type outside of my allergy. And we both have maintained our skin over the years in similar ways, so it makes sense that she be the one to test it out for me.

So I gave her the products shortly after getting them, and this is what she had to say about them:

I’ve been using the Loreal Revitalift system for about a month now. The volume filler Eye Treatment, Serum and the Night and Day creams. I really like how the day cream feels on my skin, it doesn’t feel “heavy.” The night cream is ok, it does it’s job, but I like how the day cream feels better.

 

 

I haven’t noticed any significant difference in my skin in regards to the serum, but with the volume filler for the eye area, I have noticed a big change. The small “laugh line” wrinkles around my eyes are much less noticeable now than they were a month ago. That is great, as I will be 42 next week and I got carded for wine the other day. The person did not believe I was my age, they thought I was in my early 30’s. It feels great to be mistaken for a much younger person.

Here are a couple of side by side selfies from last month and this month of Jenna, and I think I can see a little difference, what do you guys think?

BEFOREandAfter

I think the biggest difference I can see from comparing the pictures is, like she mentioned, her under eye area and then maybe the texture of her skin appears to be more dewy or youthful looking.

Has anyone else tried this line? If so what do you think? What about Influenster? Are you a member? If so do you find it helpful?

 

 

 

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