Making Faces








It's almost Fall and I cannot be more excited about the temperatures dropping. This outfit isn't exactly cold-weather oriented, but breaking out my booties and opting for a button down is certainly more exciting than a typical summer outfit. You've probably seen this shirt on my insta, where I debuted my new balayaged hair (I needed a change and I love it). I love each of the little faces on this shirt; Madewell made a ton of accessories in this print too. Typically I tuck things into my higher-waisted pants/skirts, but I've been loving the undone look it gives when you just leave shirts out. 

SHOP
Shirt | Skirt | Boots similar | Bag similar | Bracelet | Necklace

The Ordinary Skincare Review


It's no surprise I absolutely love skincare. I'm always on the hunt for the next cult brand, and I recently discovered The Ordinary, which is part of the umbrella company Deciem. I've seen these straight-from-the-lab looking serum bottles all over Instagram and finally looked into the brand. What immediately sold me was their prices... pretty much everything is under $15 and they don't put any additional additives in the products; just pure, great skincare.


I wasn't even planning to buy anything when I first checked out their website, but the prices were just unreal to me. For example, the Glossier's hyaluronic serum is priced at $28, The Ordinary's (which includes 15 ml more product) is $7! So I opted to get four items; Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, the High-Spreadability Fluid Primer, and Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%. I will say that I believe you should do some research before placing an order, seeing as the names are pretty vague and the descriptions on the website are not all that helpful if you're new to this type of skincare. 


NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACTORS + HA ($5.80)


I love my priming moisturizer for the day, but I needed something a little thicker for nighttime. This is described as a surface hydration formula, which I completely understand after my first use. After applying serums/spot treatments and any lighter or thinner consistency products, I put this moisturizer on. To me it sort of feels like a 'seal' to lock everything in and make sure it all soaks into your skin. That being said, you don't need a lot of product for your whole face and it definitely feels like you have it on your skin. I don't mind it since I'm typically just going to bed after I apply it and I think it really insures that your skincare will effectively absorb into your skin.

ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE SOLUTION 12% ($12.90)


I'd say this has the 'scariest' name of all the products I tried, and most expensive, but this one has given me the best results. This is a brightening serum with a vitamin C derivative. I use this every other night and focus it mainly where I need it. I love brightening products and figured this was a good, cheap alternative to what I was previously loving by Drunk Elephant. I had dark acne scars on my cheeks that faded after 2-3 uses from this. I initially started to use it every night, but noticed my skin started to get dry and flaky, resulting in uneven makeup application, so I switched to every other night. I use it at night because I do think it's harsh (but in an effective way) on my skin, but if you don't see any irritation and use it during the day, make sure you apply a high SPF overtop. If you have acne prone skin, uneven tone, this is for you.

HIGH SPREADABILITY FLUID PRIMER ($7.90)


I had such high hopes for this, but I still don't know if I'm in love. I've constantly used the Nivea balm for almost two years so I was trying to branch out. I have combination/oily skin and I thought the 'spreadability' would be nice when I use heavier foundations or I'm having a dry skin day. I've only used this primer with BB cream, so that might be why I look like an oil slick at the end of the day. This also has silicone in it, so it gives that feeling on the skin. I dot my foundation all over my face then add three small drops of this and mix them that way instead of applying it before my foundation. I think it really helps aid in blending and spreading, like the name of it suggests. I plan to keep trying it in different ways (different foundations, and maybe when it's not 90 degrees out) and get the hang of it. This might just be a really great cold-weather, dry skin primer, so I'll have to do an update on it.

HYALURONIC ACID %2 + B5 ($6.80)


Another all-star in this order was the hyaluronic acid serum. I put this next to my Glossier one and it's literally the same ingredients, just not the pretty purple bottle. This is a lot of product too, twice the amount as Glossier's as I mentioned previously. I use this everyday, morning and night, to add a little extra moisture to my skin. As compared to the Glossier serum, this one is much 'thicker' and stickier in consistency, not sure why that is, but it doesn't feel heavy on the skin. No noticeable results for this one really, maybe just a little less oily throughout the day, I just love the price/amount of product you get. I think this is a great serum for anyone to incorporate to their regimen - dry skin or oily.


I will certainly be purchasing from The Ordinary again, I consider the entire line 'dupes' for high-end, expensive skincare lines and I've seen amazing results.

If you try The Ordinary, let me know! I'd love to hear which products you choose.



OTHER SKINCARE POSTS

August Playlist


Time got away from me and I skipped over July's playlist, and nearly missed August's! That being said, this playlist is really just what I've been listening to since June. Honorable mentions this month include LANY + Lana, I'm seeing both in October and the fact they both released albums over the past month has been huge for me.


What are you listening to this month?

xo.

Currently Loving 8.4


It's been a WHILE since I've posted a blog post, and to be entirely honest, I have no valid excuse. I started getting a lot more hours at work while juggling summer classes, trying to spend as much time as possible with Mike, and still enjoy the city. Basically I took an unannounced 'vacation' from blogging and I want to start getting back into it while I can (my classes ended August 1st, aka FREE TIME). My summer in the city is coming to a close, which I'm actually pretty distraught about, seeing as I'll have to say goodbye to Mike for our last year of being long distance and I begin my senior year. All good things must end. 

As for this post, you might notice the title is not my usual 'favorites' title. I think I've outgrown the term 'Friday Faves' and I want to just call these posts 'currently loving'. I'm a big journal keeper, and when I draft these posts I usually title them currently loving anyway, so I've grown to like the term more. I also feel like I limited myself to beauty and fashion for some posts, and I want to expand what these posts include by sharing my favorite everything - food, music, places, etc. Most importantly, I'm not limited to posting them on Fridays.

Alright enough chit chat, here's what I've been loving lately.


So with my new-found freedom from summer classes, I have time to read for pleasure. There's something about the simple joy of reading in a park in New York. You get some sunshine while getting lost in a book, and I can honestly say I was addicted to this one. The Heiresses (written by the same author of PLL) reminds me of a mix of Gossip Girl and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It's a family who owns a diamond company, but they are constantly in the spotlight and have a family curse/tons of secrets. Each chapter ends on a cliffhanger and I couldn't stop reading; I think I finished it in 5 days.


A V E N E   S P F   50 + C - F I R M A  S E R U M



I call this my little orange Summer duo. These two products were life changing this summer. I bought this serum in the mini-size that Sephora has in their checkout line. I wasn't expecting huge results, but I've always wanted to try Drunk Elephant products and I'm still not convinced my Glossier serums do a whole lot for me. Lets just say this serum has noticeably lightened and brightened my skin; I've used so much less foundation and sometimes I don't even wear makeup when I head out. I think this serum is SO worth it despite the price tag, so if you have dark spots and dull skin like I did, I highly recommend.

I have always been so-so about sunscreen, constantly thinking my foundation was enough coverage from the sun. When I'm back home Upstate I'm honestly not outside very much (lol) but in the city walking everywhere, doing outside activities, etc, I started to realize how much sun I was getting. I wanted a sunscreen that was lightweight, had no white cast, and didn't disrupt makeup application. After doing some research I ended up choosing this Avene one and I have not had one complaint. It's SO lightweight, blends easily, and no white residue. Perfect on its own because it does not look greasy, but still layers great under makeup.

M U L T I - M A S K I N G


I noticed amazing results with my skin when I started to do two masks in one night. I don't always do this, and sometimes I just do one, but depending on my skin needs doing two always makes a huge difference. This trio is what I've been rotating around and been really loving. 

Usually I start out with the Aztec clay since it's the most drying and powerful. I mix this clay with apple cider vinegar (or water if my skin is sensitive that day) and mix it into a pastey consistency. I typically leave it on for twenty minutes or however long it takes me to feel like my skin will flake off. It's so powerful - you can literally feel it pulling out the gunk from your pores. When you take it off your face will definitely be red, but it subsides after maybe ten minutes. This mask is great for drying up pesky blemishes and other dirt in your pores.

I have talked about Moon Mask before, but since I just restocked it after being out of it awhile, I'm back to being obsessed with it. It's very cooling on the skin, so it's really refreshing in the summer heat, and especially after doing the Aztec mask. It's moisturizing but also brightening, so initially you can feel it sting a bit. It eventually seeps into your skin, turns clear, and makes your skin really supple. Sometimes I'll just go to sleep with it on, but if I do it before makeup I have to rinse it off because it does leave a filmy residue. 

If I feel like really pampering myself I rinse the Moon Mask and apply this hyaluronic acid gel night mask from Creme. In the jar it looks like jello, but when you warm it up in your hands and apply it to your face it just looks like you put on a lot of moisturizer. It also has a really fresh, florally scent that isn't overpowering while it's sitting on your face. When you wake up in the morning your skin looks dewy and glowy!

I plan to do an updated skincare routine this month, so look out for that.

 W I T T Y   W I C K S


I've gone home twice this summer, and my favorite tradition is going to our local farmer's market. I love getting up early, getting coffee, and walking around gawking at all that it has to offer with my mom and grandparents. My grandpa and I act like little kids, and ask my mom and grandma to buy us unnecessary items that we certainly don't need but must have. Anyway, one stand that we all agree that we have to stop at is the Witty Wicks stand. They're locally made soy candles with the catchiest names and unique yet nostalgic scents. I only brought this one back to the city (it smells like Abercrombie), but at home I have the rose and a firewood one. My mom is obsessed with the coffee bean one, she keeps it in our kitchen and it's magical. I love supporting local businesses, so I love this company. The candles, regardless of their size, last SO long. Shop online or check them out if you're from the Syracuse area :)

C L E A N S I N G   B A R  


My mom is the cutest and sent me a little 'skincare care package' with masks and this soap from Nubian. Now I've never been a big bar soap user, just because of sanitary reasons and the inconvenience of it I guess. I use this one for washing my face in the morning - I don't like to wash my face too many times a day, so typically I do just at night, but this one is so gentle that it doesn't strip my skin of moisture. It lathers really well and my face doesn't feel dry or tight after. It also smells like roses and patchouli, which is amazing.