Burts Bees

My Bedside Essentials

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An overview of what resides by my bedside. Some beauty and some random things: 

Candle – I prefer soy wax candles with essential oils, they usually burn when I’m getting ready or relaxing in bed reading on my iPad or watching tv.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon – the shallow part of me wants to say the scent just allows me to melt and drift away. But in reality, since I do my skincare fairly early in the evening (straight after work, before cooking dinner) by the time I head in bed I feel like slapping on another layer of oil or balm.

SKII Mid Night Essence – whilst this a newer addition to the bedside, I can safely say I will be repurchasing this. It has an incredibly hydrating and refreshing feel (menthol) on skin. Warm, balmy summer nights, my skin would love this. The impact on skin is rather luminous.

Burts Bees Lemon Cuticle Balm – suffer from really bad, dry cuticles and over the years, BBees and I have been steady. It makes an overnight difference.

Body Oil – again dry body skin, that screams for lovely scented relaxing body oil. If I had my way I’d slather blue cocoon all over my body (watch me go broke in a space of 1 week….at this rate).!

P1040068Magnifying Mirror – well because I roll out of bed and analyse my skin. Honestly this is one thing I should probably get rid of, because it pushes me in an obsessive zone with my daily skin health. Also greatly beneficial for extracting blackheads and whiteheads.

Papaw Ointment – staple for many many many years. This one is an effortless all rounder, being a lip balm, cuticle balm, moisturizing nails, heels, knees….basically anything.

Hand Cream (2-3 different creams) – usually with different fragrance base to adjust to my mood. One to always be a permanent resident would be some form of a rose fragrance cream (current rose – Grown Alchemist). Also keep Alpha H Glycolic Acid hand cream, La Roche Posay, and Aesop.

Hair Brush and Tie – few strokes through my hair, fine hair is prone to helluva lotta knots therefore having a paddle brush is crucial. Also in theory I should let my hair free, but I hate/despise the feeling of hair on my neck or shoulder when I’m sleeping, so I tie my hair very loosely (basically contain it).

Phone Charging Dock – well no brainer. All facets of my life are scheduled, organized and prioritized in this device. So scary as I write this….eeeeek

Drawer Miscellaneous – scratching stick (incredibly helpful for scratching my back), socks (need em), sleeping mask (don’t even know why I have this because I never use them).
Water – Always, I couldn’t sleep knowing a bottle of water is missing by my bedside.

What are your must have by your bedside? What am I missing?

HHW.com

xx

Budget Skincare: USA Drugstore

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A mission to curate skincare on a budget, not only in USA but also UK and Australia. I have collaborated with ever so lovely and fabulous Sal aka Ummbaby to find skincare options that don’t burn a hole in our pocket. Below I have a run down on USA drugstore finds, however keep your eyes peeled for UK drugstore/pharmacy/chemist options which Sal will post this week and finally I will post budget skincare options for Australia.

In USA, there are a number of avenues to explore what we call “Drugstore Skincare”. Sold in venues like Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, Duane Reade, Walmart, Target, etc. Now Ulta may not be technically a drugstore, but it stocks inexpensive options of skincare. This post intends on unraveling all skincare options in a typical skincare routine format. Unfortunately I won’t be talking about each product in detail, this post will aim to provide you with some pointers at certain products and brands. Whilst I have not used every single product mentioned in this post, I have reviewed each ingredient listing. Even if you’re not on a budget and love to mix and match high end and drugstore skincare, this post will help you fill in those gaps.

BRAND TALK

Some brands will feature repeatedly in each category and some products in these brands are worth a looksie. The brands include, Yes to, Burts Bees, CeraVe, Olay, ROC, Pacifica, Derma E, Shea Moisture, Simple, Garnier, Michael Todd, Soap & Glory, Hada Labo Tokyo, Indeed Labs, Andalou Naturals, Devita, Alba Botanica, Nip+Fab, Acure Organics, S.W.Basics,  Michel Todd (Ulta), Tony Moly (Ulta), Pixi Beauty (Target). There is also The Body Shop, whilst its not technically drugstore, a lot of their skincare it’s at a fab price point.

First Cleanse

Typically a first cleanse is intended to remove the first layer of war paint and debris from face. You want a product that effectively and efficiently shifts and removes the makeup. Micellar water and oils are fuss free, joyless effective options.

Micellar Water: Used on a cotton pad and swiped all over the face to remove makeup. Some love and some hate. Personally its my lazy route to a proper skincare routine. Brands that cater to micellar water connoisseurs at drugstore level include: Simple Micellar Water, Garnier Micellar Water, Pacifica Cactus Water Micellar Water, Boots Botanics All Bright Micellar Cleanser.

Cleansing Oil: The ultimate lazy human’s cleansing Bae! One pump, schmeared all over face and BAM! The war paint melts away and face can be wiped clean with a cotton pad (not recommended or preferred) or Hot Cloth (correct way! IMO). Our lazy bae’s are sold by Burts Bees Cleansing Oil, Mineral Fusion Makeup Removing Oil Cleanser, Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Facial Cleansing Oil. There are others like Boots No.07, Neutrogena however they contain Mineral Oil as first ingredient. You can also look into The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil.

Second Cleanse

Once makeup and dirt from face is removed, this step is intended to feed, nourish and cleanse the skin. Look for cleansers with decent ingredients that you’d like to ‘feed and nourish and nurture’ your skin with. Removal method is hot cloth (sold in Costco, Target) again!.

Gel Cleanser – There are various options of gel cleansers, such as gel to oil, foaming gels, creamy gels. Options: Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel, Pacifica Quinoa Sensitive Face wash.

Milk and Cream Cleansers – Great for all skin types. Easy to work with and effective at its job. Burts Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser, Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Creme Cleanser, Yes to Cream (all ranges) cleansers, Andalou Naturals Cleanser (Meyer Lemon, Apricot Milk), Burts Bees Brightening Cleanser and Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser.

Balm Cleanser – The Proper Cleansing Product One Should Invest (notice caps, intending emphasis). Enriched with oils and essential oils to feed the skin with goodness and include a aromatherapy-esque massage. Yes to Coconut Melting Gel (Ulta only – says Gel but texture and consistency wise, it’s denser thus in the balm category), Pixi Cleansing Balm, Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm, The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter.

Mud Cleanser – Wonderful for congested skin or skin looking for an ooomph with a cleanse. Or if you’re lazy like me and want a 2in1 step ‘second cleanse and mask’ look no further than Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser (my review, click here).

Face Mask

Masks are intended to address specific concerns of skin in a ‘crash course’ format and of course with continued use you will see noticeable improvements. Generally, clay or mud masks are great for congested, oily, combination skins. Hydration is for dehydrated skins, but sometimes also adds that boost that makes you look alive. Sheet Masks, are obviously an Asian beauty staple and perfect for my multitasking brain, slap it on and continue moping, cleaning, laundry etc.

Clay or Mud Masks – Shea Moisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Face mask, Nip+Fab Kale Fix Clay Mask, Nip+Fab Glycolic Instant Fix mask, S.W. Basics Hibiscus Mask (Target), Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask, Now Foods Clay Powders (available in Moroccan Red, European Green, Bentonite clay and can be used with ACV, Milk, Water, Honey….dabble in kitchen. My DIY recipes click here).

Hydration – Hada Labo Tokyo Anti Aging Facial Mask, Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Overnight Creme Mask, Derma E Hydrating Mask with Hyaluronic Acid.

Radiance – Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus, Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask, Pacifica Future Youth Enzymatic Resurfacing Mask, Yes to Grapefruit Pore Perfection Brightening Peel, Acure Organics cell stimulating facial mask.

Sheet Masks: Yes to Grapefruit Pore Perfection Paper Mask, My Beauty Diary Sheet masks (now sold in Target for under $15).

TIP 1: Sometimes the whole face doesn’t need a specific type of mask, you can apply clay mask on T-zone, while radiance or hydration mask on forehead and cheeks. Listen to what your skin needs and cater accordingly.

TIP 2: You don’t necessarily need to spend money on this category, there are umpteen number of home made options, all you need to do is explore your kitchen cabinets. I have a post on DIY Masks, click here.

Acids for Exfoliation

Regular readers know my LOVE for acids, if you would like to know about more AHA and BHA please refer to a separate post where I explain it’s basics. If  you’ve used highend acid peel pad you will know the pad’s surface is a lot softer on skin and companies invest a bit more in packaging. In the drugstore space, some pads can feel slightly abrasive, some pads don’t feel as well soaked and in some packaging is just meh (basic plastic jars).

Nip+Fab Glycolic Acid and Night Pads Extreme, Alpha Hydrox pads, Clearasil Refreshing Superfruit Pads (Walmart), Shea Moisture Superfruit Renewal Peel Pads (Ulta, my review), Michael Todd Organic Lemon AHA & DMAE Toner (Ulta), Pixi Glow Tonic (Target)

Toner

Once you acid exfoliate (where the acids lower skin’s ph 3-5), you need to bring you skin’s ph balance 5.5, still slightly acidic) back to normal/slightly acidic and hydrate skin. If the skin’s ph balance is higher than 5.5 (alkaline) it may result in skin being dry, sensitive and inflamed skin. Chemistry lesson Over!

Personally I wouldn’t spend a lot of mooolah in this category. Basic Rose Water (how to choose right rose water is simplified and explained here).

Yes to Grapefruit and Yes to Cucucmber Toning Mists, Mario Badescu Facial Spray Aloe, Herb and Rosewater, Shea Moisture Black Soap Problem Skin Toner,  Derma E Purifying Toner, Derma E Hydrating Mist with Hyaluronic Acid, Derma E Evenly Radiant Brightening Toner, Firming DMAE Toner, Anti Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Toner, Mario Badescu Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion, Acure Organics Facial Toner Balancing Rose plus Red Tea, Avalon Organics Vitamin C Facial toner.

Eyes

Depending on your age and condition of the skin around your eyes, you want to choose an eye cream with specific ingredients. Younglings can get away with basic hydration boosters and soothers. Slightly more mature individuals or individuals looking to prevent early want to look into an eye cream with ingredients like Peptides, Retinol, Skin Hydrators, Niacinamide, Vitamin C and E.

Yes to Cucumbers Eye love Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel, Boots Botanics Organic Hydrating Eye Cream, Burts Bees Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream, Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum, Indeed labs Eyesilix, Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Eye Patch, Nip+Fab Bee Sting Eye Fix, Shea Moisture SuperFruit Renewal Eye Cream.

Treatment Serum 

This is the only category I would really recommend to reserve a bit more $$$ to splurge on. Whilst drugstore do dish up some decent options, I’d still say identify your particular skin concern and get one serum (moderately priced serum) to really notice a difference in skin. Something to look into – most of Olay products are high in Niacinamide compared to other drugstore brands, and are reasonably priced. If you’re interested I have a separate post on serums based on specific skin concerns and ingredients to look out for each skin concern.

Pixi Overnight Glow Serum, Olay Regenerist, ROC Retinol, Burt’s Bees Renewal Intensive Firming Serum, Alpha Skincare Rejuvenating Serum (super shot of Glycolic Acid), Andalou Naturals Turmeric Enlight Serum, Indeed Labs Hydraluron, Peptabright

Face Oil 

Short cut to thoroughly moisturize your skin. Why I say this? Typical moisturizers have silicones, fillers, emulsifiers etc. However face oils (blend of carrier and essential oils) are 3-4 drops of concentrated moisturizer for skin and fabulous for Every skin type. I have a separate post on why I prefer Oils over Moisturizers, click here. Drugstore do cater to some lovely oils, but make sure its all oils, no other ingredients are added.

Yes to Blueberries Face & Neck Oil, Pixi Rose Oil Blend, Loreal Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, Olay Regenerist Luminous Facial Oil, S.W Basics Oil Serum, Acure Organics, Badger Organics Rose Oil, Mad Hippie (vitacost.com), Boots Botanics Triple Age Renewal Facial Oil

Moisturizer

I have limited experience in finding a good moisturizer in drugstore, and I will not pretend and make recommendations. Based on the inci lists I think some of these could be decent options to look into:

Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Anti Aging Moisturizer, Shea Moisture Superfruit Renewal Facial Moisturizer, Nip+Fab Bee Sting Deluxe Cream, Pixi H2O Skindrink, Burts Bees Intense Hydration Day and Night Creams.

Lips

We all need a good lip balm or stick, I’ve been regular with Nuxe Reve de Miel for years however at $20 a pot, its far from an inexpensive options.

Burts Bees would be an alternative to Nuxe Reve de Miel, Smith’s Salve

Treatment

Generally there would be serums to address your specific skin concerns however sometimes treating your skin to a weekly or bi weekly treatment can make a world of difference. I’ve use Derma E Overnight Peel (click here for my review) and have compared it to Sunday Riley Good Genes too (click here). 

Curated Drugstore Skincare Routine $100 – $120

(depends on your location within USA) 

Skin Type: Normal to Combination, needing a Radiance boost.

First Cleanse – Simple Micellar Water $8 , Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Complex Facial Cleansing Oil $9

Second Cleanse Yes to Coconut Melting Gel $10

Mask Now Foods Moroccan Red Clay $6-$9 (depends on your location, can be mixed with water, ACV, Milk, Yogurt, refer to my DIY Mask recipes)

Acid Nip+Fab Glycolic Acid and Night Pads Extreme $15

Toner Mario Badescu Facial Spray Aloe, Herb and Rosewater $7

Eye Boots Botanics Organic Hydrating Eye Cream $15

Serum Pixi Overnight Glow Serum $24

Face Oil Yes to Blueberries Face & Neck Oil $16, Boots Botanics Triple Age Renewal Facial Oil $15

Lips – Burts Bees $3.30

Treatment Derma E Overnight Peel $19 (optional)

Hope you’ve found this useful and informative. To read and explore drugstore/pharmacy/chemist options in UK please keep an eye out for Sal’s Ummbaby’s post on A guide to UK Drugstore skincare. Thank you for taking the time to read.

HHW.com

xx

Long Haul Flight ESSENTIALS

Travel Essentials 1Over in the Instagram world, I’ve been asked time and again, what do I pack for long haul flights. First lets clarify definition of “Long Haul”, it’s flying time in excess of 6-7 hours for me. For flight time less than 6-7 hours, I’d have similar essentials but far more condensed version.

Generally my travel toiletry bags are not touched aka, not introduced to the main stash. It’s a one way road i.e. decanting from main stash to travel bag. Any samples of trusted products will make its way to the travel bag. NO experiments are encouraged in bacteria infested air of the vessel.

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Passport (uhhhh)

Tea – They keep changing all the time.Ginger is recommended for long haul flights.

Headphones – Not inserting or placing those filthy ones they provide….just No.

HYGIENE & HEALTH

Flight Duration Hygiene – Hand Sanitizer, Tissues, Wipes

Dental Hygiene – Wispy Toothbrush and Mints

Bodily Hygiene – Deodorant, Lavanilla or your preferred, Perfume – any travel size of pumped in Travalo. Not too strong just subtle and pleasant.

Health – Pain killer for headaches (airplane pressure), hangovers. Ear buds (I don’t have any because generally airline provides). Tiger Balm or any Muscle relax balm for soothe any muscle soreness.

Travel Essentials 2

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  • Micellar Water (with cotton pads) – Bioderma Micellar Water
  • Decanted cleansing gel or balm – I’ve decanted The Body Shop Nutriganics Cleansing Gel, or Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and take it off with Micellar water soaked cotton.
  • Acid Peel – Dr Dennis Gross peels always travel with me, Dr DG himself may not know but he accompanies me every travel.
  • Sheet Mask – dont hesitate to walk around plane scarring those lil kids! Seriously, skin will thank you when you land. Just try to avoid eating with mask now, its epic fail.
  • Toner or Essence – Keeps changing, although I do like Kiehls In Flight Anti Bacterial Refresher (has alcohol but not drying since I also follow with moisturizer and balm).
  • Eye Cream – not regular with eye cream but try to include Retinol based eye cream like La Roche Posay Redermic R or an all rounder Indeed Labs Eyesilix.
  • Moisturizer – Clarins HydraQuench. Hands down the best. Also love Origins Drink Up Intensive mask (smells pleasant and skin binges away).
  • Face Oil – Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex, roller ball oil screams convinience with good skin.
  • Face Balm – Generally decanted, love Mahalo Balm, May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon. Basically any face balm your skin will feel protected.
  • Lip Oil & Lip Balm – Usually carry sticks, no finger dipping in my usual Nuxe Reve de Miel pot.
  • Hand and/or Body Cream – with constant hand sanitizing action, hands will be dry. Need decent hand or body cream.
  • Spot Treatment – THE MOST IMPORTANT. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. Inevitably something would be brewing under surface, need to address before I scare the Immigration officer.

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Basic and Minimal.

One solid trust worthy Concealer – Mac Pro Longwear

Multipurpose product – Lip & Cheek kinda deal – Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge. I prefer cream product because they’re hydrating and easily blendable.

Brow Gel – Essence Make me Brow Gel – prefer to have brow gel and stronger brows rather than mascara. Turbulence in plane may result in eye poke….not allowing that to happen. Although I tend to keep a mascara just in case we are expecting clear skies and smooth landing.

Brushes – small and not too fluffy allowing precision and still multipurpose.

RANDOM THROWS:

The Body Shop Facial Massaging (keep that blood flowing), under eye masks (address major panda eye situation).

Entertainment: I dont carry reading material, hate reading in plane. I’m more of movie marathon kinda girl.

Clothing – Light, loose and breathable. Here’s why? Light because you want to feel comfortable, Loose because inevitably you will feel bloated and breathable because you don’t want to wreak.

Sleep – Always, without fail carry those U shaped travel pillows, the BEST. Ensure you wash and disinfect them after each travel. If you can’t sleep, move around, walk around, stretch, squats, lunge….do what you have to keep the body moving and blood flowing.

Uhhhh if you’re flying Qantas, keep away from Tim Tams and Muesli bars….major addiction.

The products/brands of products themselves keep changing, however the categories remain a constant. What do you carry in your bag? I’d love to peek inside your bags? Am I missing anything?

Feel free to use this as a checklist when you travel. Of course I haven’t covered entertainment needs, pillows, clothes, etc.

HHW.com

xx

Night Stand – Beauty Essentials

P1010122My nightly bedtime routine isn’t as elaborate as one would expect. In saying so, I almost never miss these steps. I absolutely despise the feeling of dry hands, feet and lips. These are my “absolute essentials” before crashing:

Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm – this product has featured on this blog multiple times. Nothing protects my lips like this balm. Nothing!

Nuxe Reve De Miel Hand & Nail Cream – Non sticky, instantly absorbing, pleasantly scented not overpowering, hydration for lizard hands. Its said that skin on your hands is a true indicator of your age, therefore I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to use a good hand cream and spf to protect your hard working hands.

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme – Dare I say this product is an overnight miracle for awful cuticles. It’s a complete life saver for dry, peeling cuticles. A lemon scented balm texture to be rubbed in thoroughly and next morning the skin around cuticles appears moisturized and healthy!

L’occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream – Love this product, the concentration of shea butter helps repair dry or cracked heels. Massage this cream, wear socks and your feet next morning are much better. Not an overnight miracle but with consistent application, it does work.

Bath & Body Works Sleep Pillow Mist (Lavender & Chamomile) – I guess this is more of a psychological thing, I use primarily to freshen my pillow and sheets. Lavender and Chamomile are known for their calming and soothing properties.

xx

HHW.com

Lip Balm Trail

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I’m a lip balm junkie to the degree if I don’t feel anything on my lips I get super uncomfortable and fidgety. With that being said, I tend to keep a balm in every possible corner of my life. Such as bed side table (night-stand), hand bag, work desk, work drawer, laptop carrying bag, car (mine and husband’s car)….you get the drift. P1000731

NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm – Love, love, love!! Matte finish, leaving lips super nourished. Usually my night time lip balm! Its coats your lips in such a wary that no harshness would penetrate! Did I say I love this?

Nuxe Reve de Miel – $19

Malin & Goetz Lip Moisturizer – especially amazing when I travel, no amount of dehydrated airplane air would get to my lips. Luscious!

Malin & Goetz Lip Moisturizer – $12

Lucas Paw Paw Ointment – my HG product for everything in my life (Click Here).

Yet to find out where I can purchase outside Australia

Burts Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil – simple basic lip balm, does what it says!

Burts Bees Replenishing Lip Balm – $3.30

Neutrogena Naturals – same as above however leaves a minty menthol feel on lips.

Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm – $3.99P1000734

Lanolips lip ointment with color SPF – unfortunately this one left my lips drier than usual, it sure felt nice whilst on but nothing for me to rave about except it has spf protection.

Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour – £7.99 (yet to find in USA)

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve – this one lives at my work desk, not nourishing or great for chapped lips but good enough to make em look healthy and adds tiny winy bit of color.

C.O.Bigelow Rose Salve – $5.50

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Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm – Received this one as a part of my Birchbox subscription in color Coral Crush! This is amazing, days when I’m lazy and don’t want to wear any lip products this one not only nourishes but also gives cutesy dash of color!

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm – $8

Lanvin stick – I received it as a part of airline toiletries pack, therefore as a part of kit, not bad! However for as a part of my everyday essentials….ermmmm No!

xx

HHW.com