Tag Archives: skincare

Skin Authority

Save with Skin Authority

As you may know from previous posts, I am a huge fan of the Skin Authority 3-in-1 Cleansing System. And while I haven’t tried out their other products just yet, I am confident I’ll love them just as much!

Skin Authority
Celeste Hilling of Skin Authority on The Doctors

This past week, Celeste, CEO Skin Authority, was on a special segment of The Doctors talking about beauty blunders and your beauty workout. To celebrate the segment, they’re offering three view very AMAZING deals that run through the end of the month:

  1. Buy a Vitamin A Cell Renewal and receive $25 off a full size Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF30 (only $17! retails for $42)
  2. Buy a Super C Serum and receive $25 off a full size Resurfacing Accelerator (only $25! retails for $50)
  3. Buy an Acne & Oil Control and receive $25 off a full size Calming Mask (only $27! retails for $52)

With the change of seasons in the works, it’s a perfect time to overhaul your skin care routine with some new products. Hint, hint 😉

Tell me, do you plan to snag any of these goodies?

Photos: Skin Authority; Disclosure



Get Glowing Skin with Skin Authority

I never thought I’d see the day where I found a possible replacement for my beloved Clarisonic. I loved it so much in fact that I wrote about it here and here. And I’m not saying I don’t love my Clarisonic anymore … I’m just saying I haven’t used it in about a month. Now I know what you might be thinking, that I’ve decided I don’t give a darn about my face being exfoliated. You are wrong my friends, very wrong.

I care very strongly about my face being exfoliated, as I talked about recently earlier this week, and I’ve spent the past few weeks exploring a new facial cleansing tool. Meet my new BFF, Skin Authority and their 3-in-1 Skin Cleansing System. I’m going to be completely honest with you guys for a second, because honesty is my jam. When I first recieved this product in the mail, I wasn’t expecting much. I thought to myself, “Kristin, you already have a Clarisonic and you love it. What were you thinking when you agreed to test out this product for review? You can’t possibly love anything the same way you love your Clarisonic.” I know, I didn’t go into this test with the best mindset. But bear with me.

skin authority

So I unwrapped the product, turned on the tap and got ready to give my 3-in-1 its first test drive. It was weird and I stopped halfway through. Everything felt so wrong compared to what I was used to. The brush head was smaller, the speed was a bit slower and their was no built-in timer. How can I be trusted to wash my face if I have to count on my own?! Counting is hard, people! I thought to myself, “You were so smart and right, Kristin. This product is weird and you will never use it again. Clarisonic 4 lyfe!” I was a real Debby Downer, but bear with me for one more paragraph.

skin authority

skin authority

Skin Authority

After my not-so-successful test run I realized I wasn’t giving Skin Authority a fair shot. I needed to go into the test with an open mind, so I placed it in my shower with the goal to use it for a week before making up my mind. I’m not sure what exactly changed after that (other than me deciding to not be such a Negative Nancy), but the second go around was MUCH better. The second time around, the 3-in-1 and I just clicked. From then on out, we were on the same page.

Skin authority

As the name would suggest, this cleansing system has three interchangeable heads: the bristle brush head (for daily cleansing), the honeycomb brush head (for exfoliation) and the conical sponge brush head (for target area cleansing). To be honest, since it’s my jam, I actually haven’t really used any of the heads other than the bristle brush head. I know, I know. I tried the other two heads briefly, but I’ve seen such great results with the bristle brush head so I didn’t feel the need. I’m sure there will come a time (re: another polar vortex) where I need more intense cleansing/exfoliation, and when that time comes, I’ll give the alternative heads a shot.

I love how gentle this cleansing system is. The bristles are much softer than the Clarisonic bristles, which would be especially ideal for people with sensitive skin. The only thing I don’t love about the cleansing system is the lack of built-in timer. Is it really sad that I just want the cleansing system to count out the appropriate amount of cleansing time for me? It just makes it so much easier.

Now the bit that I think will sell a lot of you on purchasing the Skin Authority 3-in-1 Cleansing System over the Clarisonic … the price. The Clarisonic retails for about $180 (depending on the model) while the Skin Authority tool retails for $59. Yes, you read that right. The Clarisonic is THREE times more expensive. Granted, it’s much easier to find the Clarisonic as they are sold loads of places, but if you don’t mind waiting for your Skin Authority to ship, it’s worth the price savings.

So if you can’t tell by now, I’ll sum up the moral of this post for you here. I thought I would hate the Skin Authority. I was wrong – I love it. It’s amazing and well worth the $60. If you’re in the market or know someone who is in the market for a skin cleansing system, definitely consider (or tell them to consider) this 3-in-1.

How do you keep your skin exfoliated and glowing?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

first aid beauty

First Aid Beauty to the Rescue

I first heard of First Aid Beauty while binge watching MissGlamorazzi on YouTube. Guilty as charged! The first time I heard about FAB in a real-life context was while getting #twinsies makeovers with my friend back in January. I fell in love with their Facial Radiance Pads immediately, so I was psyched when they reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying some of their other products. Obviously, I said yes. A million times, yes!

I’ve come to love each of the products I tested out, but the Facial Radiance Pads continue to be my favorite. I will repurchase them until I stop caring about my face being radiant or the end of the world, whichever comes first. Since I’ve already shared with you a full review of the Facial Radiance Pads (you can read it here if you want to get caught up), I’ll jump ahead to the other products I’ve been using lately – Blemish Patrol Pads, Facial Radiance Polish and Purifying Mask with Red Clay.

first aid beauty
A pyramid of FAB!

I’ve been graced with pretty “normal” skin. This means I’m not overly dry, oily or prone to breakouts. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t experience breakouts from time to time … especially during a specific time each month. Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep any determined acne at bay the past month with the Blemish Patrol Pads. I’ve been able to stop acne in it’s track – a swipe across my chin at night and the acne is gone in the morning!

first aid beauty
Gentle enough to use every day

To help supplement the Facial Radiance Pads, I use the polish every night in the shower. I know what you might be thinking – that I’ve gone exfoliant crazy and am going to irritate my skin. Welp, that’s not so, my friends. Both products are highly effective even though they are gentle enough to use each day. I’m not sure how that’s possible – it must be magic! My skin hasn’t been this smooth and free of redness (unred? not sure of the technical term here) in forever.

first aid beauty
Aren’t I beautiful in this mask?

And last but not least, the Purifying Mask with Red Clay.  I don’t use masks as often as some other beauty bloggers, but I do reach for a facial mask about once a month when I decide I deserve a little extra pampering. This mask is great – after just 20 minutes, my skin feels smoother and my pores are more-or-less invisible. That’s a win-win in my book.

I love FAB too much to keep it to myself. I’m excited to announce that FAB will be gifting one of you beautiful people one set of Facial Radiance Pads and a bottle of Facial Radiance Polish. You can enter below!  This giveaway is now closed.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you given Fist Aid Beauty a try? If you haven’t, ask for some samples the next time you’re at a Sephora; you won’t regret it!

Photos: beautyXposéDisclosure

Winter Skin Savers from eraclea

Samples sent for review purposes, but opinions are all Anne’s own.

Right before the holidays, I unceremoniously dumped my old skin care regimen and publicly professed my love for a new-found skin care line called eraclea that simply rocked my world at first sight. And as it is with any relationship that’s meant to be, my love is only growing stronger with time.

What's not to love about these three products?
What’s not to love about these three products?

So what’s so special about my “Mr. Right” of the skincare world? Well first, the products are so incredibly hydrating that it’s like my scaly winter skin stumbled upon hot springs containing the fountain of youth. And yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but isn’t love dramatic? Seriously though, my skin has never felt more nourished than it has over the past couple of months, and that’s saying a lot considering it’s been one of the coldest winters in years here in the DC area.

Here are a few eraclea products that are keeping my frozen parts from scaling and flaking:

Ever-moist Lip Balm

Who doesn’t love a good lip balm that nourishes but doesn’t feel waxy or sticky? This lip balm has all the best qualities packed into one tube retailing for $16, and it’s worth every pretty penny. My lips get particularly chapped during the winter, and this refreshing balm restores moisture and acts as a really good base for your lipstick, because it keeps lips smooth and silky.

Simply Perfect Hand Cream


Don’t you love it when the name says it all? If you suffer from dry, cracked hands that hurt and resort to “unique” solutions like my mother does (can you say “udder cream?”) then you can ditch your bovine remedies and try a more humanly salve like eraclea’s Simply Perfect Hand Cream ($20).  It features eraclea’s signature HylaSponge®System (a combination of hyaluronic acid sponges and hyaluronic acids of various molecular weights) and is infused with lipids and vitamins to keep hands smooth all day.

Firming Lifting Mask


Your face won’t know what hit it (in a good way!) once it gets a hold of this ultimate age-defying face mask ($50). A little goes a long way with this gel mask, which you only need to leave on for a few minutes to see results (immediately smoothing skin like a powerful, wrinkle-reducing, pore-smoothing primer would). Of course, because I like to take things to the extreme, I tried leaving the mask on overnight, and while it definitely helped my skin look firm and supple the next morning, I learned the hard way that the gel doesn’t really dry, so my pillowcase was a bit tacky. Lesson learned. But in the end, I got the results I was looking for!

Now that you’ve heard so much about my new love, I hope you get a chance to go out and meet “him” for yourself. Let me know if you end up trying any of these incredible winter skin savers!


Photos:  Anne Houseman/beautyxpose
Learn how to update your skincare routine for fall with these dermatologist-recommended tips!

How to Update Your Skincare Routine for Fall

Learn how to update your skincare routine for fall with these dermatologist-recommended tips!
Learn how to update your skincare routine for fall with these dermatologist-recommended tips!

Fall is officially here, and as your body gets used to cooler temps, there’s no better time to reevaluate your skincare routine. Dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank, the founder and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery and author of Beautiful Skin – Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, shares his professional tips to keep your skin in tip-top shape during the changing seasons.

Check out Dr. Bank’s recommendations on how to update your skincare routine for fall, and follow the doctor’s orders for fantastic fall skin!

1.  Stay protected.

Just because you’re no longer beach-side doesn’t mean you can forget about sun protection. Dr Banks advises to continue protecting your skin by using sunscreen daily. He suggests using a lightweight sunscreen that won’t clog your pores but will still provide ample protection.


2.  Do a self-check for cancerous spots.

While you’re thinking about your skin, do a self-check for abnormal-looking spots, and visit your dermatologist for a skin cancer screening if you find anything you’re concerned about. Dr Banks says the earlier skin cancer is caught, the higher the success rate is for curing it.


Try this calming body wash for sensitive skin.
Try this calming body wash for sensitive skin.

3.  Exfoliate.

Countless hours outdoors throughout the summer may lead to a buildup of dry, dead skin cells, according to Dr. Banks. He recommends using an exfoliator to slough off dead skin cells and leave skin radiant and smooth.


4.  Keep skin hydrated.

After exfoliating, Dr. Banks advises that it’s important to use a moisturizer to lock in moisture and create a protective barrier. Choose a lightweight daily use formula that will help prevent and protect against dry skin.


5.  Soothe sensitive skin.

The harsh elements of summer can increase skin sensitivity, says Dr. Banks. He recommends using a body wash with calming ingredients like oat to soothe skin and reduce any chances of irritation.

The doctor’s pick:  AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash for everyday use – it’s soap-free, dye-free, hypoallergenic and great for all skin types.


Photos:  Belovodchenko Anton; AVEENO

Giveaway: Win a POND’S Prize Pack!

This giveaway is now closed. Check back soon for more great giveaways!


Giveaway courtesy of POND’S

The other week, I let you all in on my newest skincare secret: POND’S Luminous Finish BB+. I swear, I can’t get enough of this BB cream.

Since my POND’S BB cream review, I’ve used it every single day to cover my skin imperfections and protect against the sun immediately, while fading my dark spots over the long term. I promise you I’ll be buying tons of it to ensure I never run out.

Thanks to the generous folks at POND’S, now you have the chance to get your hands on the new BB cream plus the entire POND’S Luminous line without spending a dime!

PhotoGrid_1378915325966Enter to win the giveaway in the Rafflecopter widget below, and one lucky reader will be selected at random on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET to win this POND’S prize pack, valued at approximately $40:

  • Luminous Finish BB+ in both Light and Medium (keep one and share one with a friend!)
  • Luminous Moisture™ Day Lotion with SPF 15
  • Luminous Clean™ Cream Cleanser
  • Luminous Clean™ Daily Exfoliating Cleanser
  • Luminous Clean™ Wet Cleansing Towelettes (30/pack)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck, beauties!


Photos: POND'S/beautyXposé
m. steves ultra-nourishing boost review

Give Your Skincare Routine a Boost with M. Steves

In her M. Steves Ultra-Nourishing Boost review, Anne explains why pure rose hip seed oil is like steroids for your beauty products. Products were sent for review purposes, but opinions are all Anne’s own.

As someone who topped out at five feet tall when she hit seventh grade, I know better than anyone how important it can be to get a boost when you need it.  And while most of the time that boost means help reaching a glass on the top shelf, I must admit, my skincare routine could also use a helping hand.

M. Steves Ultra-Nourishing Boost oil lets me do just that, offering a unique way to enhance the performance of virtually any beauty cream or skin care product I already use.

m. steves ultra-nourishing boost review
It’s like natural steroids for your beauty products.

To use, simply add a drop or two of it to your favorite product (like foundation, sunscreen, moisturizer), and you get an instant nourishing moisture boost, packed with potent anti-aging properties. It’s like steroids for your beauty products (but it’s not, because it’s made out of natural, good-for-you ingredients).

So many ways to boost your skin care routine!
So many ways to boost your skin care routine!

For my personal M. Steves Ultra-Nourishing Boost review, I applied the product to my daily foundation — Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme.

A couple of drops of M. Steves Ultra-Nourishing Boost on top of my foundation.
A couple of drops of M. Steves Ultra-Nourishing Boost on top of my foundation.

When I mixed it in well, I found that it made my foundation much easier to apply and it transformed into a ultra-hydrating product that really didn’t lose its coverage properties like it would after mixing it with a cream moisturizer.

m. steves ultra nourishing boost review foundation
Mixed in, my foundation was super hydrating, but still had medium coverage.

In more humid weather, I’d advise to keep your “boost” at a minimum because it is super powerful, so one drop will go a long way. But if you have extremely dry skin, or in frigid temps, add a couple of drops to really nourish and protect your skin.

So what’s in this performance-enhancing product? Believe it or not, this vegan-friendly elixir is made of rose hip seed oil, essential fatty acids, anti-aging actives, skin-brightening promoters, antioxidants and a very artificial-sounding ingredient called Gatuline In-tense, which actually appears to be a natural extract from a South African flower that produces amazing collagen fiber-firming results, according to this scientific report.

I have to admit my skin feels hydrated and looks naturally radiant any time I use the M. Steves Ultra-Nourishing Boost, so it’s becoming a strong staple in my skincare routine. If you want to give your own regimen a boost, you can pick up your own 1 oz bottle for $64 at the M. Steves website.

Photos:  Anne Houseman/beautyXposé; graphic by M. Steves

Review: Murad Age Reform Complete Reform

Anne shares her experience with Murad Age Reform Complete Reform skin care. Product was sent for review, but opinions are all Anne’s own.

murad age reform complete reform
Murad Age Reform Complete Reform anti-aging skin care treatment

My skin has decided it’s time to go haywire. One day it’s relatively smooth, and the next day it’s dry and flaky, and my forehead wrinkles are really pronounced. But I’m not surprised, because this phenomenon happens every year around this time when Mother Nature can’t make up her mind about the right temperature.

This time, I have a new weapon up my sleeve though, because the folks at Murad introduced me to its anti-aging complex, Murad Age Reform Complete Reform. It’s my new go-to treatment, and it really seems to keep my skin in check, making my pores appear smaller and my face seem bright, tighter and renewed overall.

Murad Age Reform Complete Reform contains a proprietary anti-aging carotenoid blend with Glycolic Acid (dubbed the “Glyco Firming Complex”), which is designed to recharge and rejuvenate skin, increase firmness and improving skin texture.  Murad says the product can increase firmness 61% after just one application, and while I can’t calculate exactly how much firmer my skin appeared, I’d have to say it definitely is doing something right!

Beta-carotine, Glycolic Acid and a blend of powerful anti-aging ingredients all in one silver bottle!
Beta-Carotene, Glycolic Acid and a blend of powerful anti-aging ingredients all in one silver bottle!

I can tell the cell renewal ingredients are working, because the first time I used Murad Age Reform Complete Reform (or if I haven’t used it for a couple of days by accident), I could actually see some dead skin cells sloughing off about five minutes after application. Underneath, my skin looks much more taut and fresh.

The product is a very light cream, and it applies very smoothly, with a single pea-sized pump’s worth covering your entire face.

Just one pump will do the trick for your entire face.
Just one pump will do the trick for your entire face.

I notice an immediate difference in the way my skin looks every time I apply the treatment. But don’t mistake this for a moisturizer — this anti-aging, repair treatment is a step 2 in Murad terminology, which means you apply it after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizing.

The skin on my hand is smooth and taut after rubbing Murad Age Reform Complete Reform in.
The skin on my hand is bright, smooth and firm after rubbing in Murad Age Reform Complete Reform.

As you might suspect, a product that was named “Best Wrinkle Fighter” by Fitness Magazine comes with a higher price tag, but in my opinion it’s worth it. Murad Age Reform Complete Reform retails for $69 for 1 fl oz, and is available at the Murad Inclusive Health Spa®, Murad.com, Sephora, Ulta, and leading salon and spa locations.

Photos: Anne Houseman/beautyXposé

Get Clear Skin With Clarisonic

I had seen ads for the Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System everywhere, so I decided to head into Sephora to ask some questions. Little did I know, there are a whole variety of Clarisonic options to choose from. I ended up with the Mia 2, which I now consider a necessity.

Clarisonic Mia 2 Cleansing System

If you’re not familiar, the various Clarisonic Skin Cleansing Systems work with your skin’s natural elasticity to remove impurities that traditional methods leave behind. The cleansing systems use a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to remove six times more makeup and two times more dirt and oil that cleansing with your hands alone.

Refreshing Gel Cleanser (comes with the Mia 2)

I saw this firsthand on the first night I used my Mia 2. I first washed my face with my normal cleanser and my hands, thinking that it was clean. But once I used the Mia 2, I saw just how much makeup was left on my face. The head of my Mia 2 became a brown/orange color from the leftover makeup and I instantly became horrified at how much makeup was really being left on my skin for all of these years!

Deep Pore Brush Head

Although the Clarisonic line seems pricey, in the two weeks that I have been using my Mia 2, I’ve seen results. My breakouts have lessened and my skin is much more even. However, there is a purging period, which can take a week or two, so be prepared. During this time, you’re more likely to break out because you’re clogged pores are finally being opened and cleaned. Luckily, mine only lasted a week. That week wasn’t pretty, but my second week definitely makes up for it.

Make sure to wash the head of your brush regularly and change your brush head every three months. This is definitely a product that is worth the price!

Do you have a Clarisonic? I’m dying to hear if you love yours as much as I love mine!

Photos: Clarisonic

DeVita Prime Corrective $27.95

Going Natural With DeVita Skin Care

If you prefer all-natural skin care, it’s time for you to check out DeVita. DeVita skin care products are paraben free, all-natural, vegan and PETA certified. Plus, DeVita has everything you need. With products such as mineral makeup, eye liner, and skin care systems, DeVita has it all.

DeVita’s Prime Corrective is a clear primer that you apply before your make up to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

DeVita Prime Corrective $27.95
DeVita Prime Corrective $27.95

I really like this primer because it feels light and it’s not greasy. It doesn’t feel like I have an extra layer of something on my face and it really helps my makeup last. It also helps to even out skin tone, which is great if you’re like me and have an uneven complexion. This is definitely my go-to primer at the moment.

If you’re in search of a new liquid eye liner, try out DeVita’s definedLines liquid eye liner pen.

DeVita definedLines Liquid Eye Liner Pen $17.95
DeVita definedLines Liquid Eye Liner Pen $17.95

This eye liner glides on easily and is a good choice for those who don’t like the feel of a pencil. It’s available in black, dark brown and cobalt blue.

Lastly, I tried DeVita’s LIP Volumizer.

DeVita Lip Volumizer $22.95
DeVita Lip Volumizer $22.95

My favorite part about it is how well it keeps my lips hydrated. After reading, I found that the shea butter, coconut oil and avocado oil that is found in the product helps enhance hydration. It wear it under my lip color and it keeps my lips feeling smooth throughout the entire day.

For those of you who love all-natural products, DeVita is a great brand to try out!