Neutrogena Body Clear Scrub

This body scrub is a miracle. Not sure why it took me so long to try out this raved about product, but I finally gave it a chance and I am in love with it. Personally, my skin is fairly clear and does not give me very many issues but sometimes I notice a bump or two. The results are noticeable: clear, smooth even skin. I was skeptical at first because I thought this product would be too harsh for my sensitive skin and dry it out, but my skin is glowing. Also, the scent is pleasant and smells of citrus even though the product has salicylic acid.  Definitely recommend!

Skin Saver: Olay Professional Pro X

There is a great deal of talk in the beauty realm about the Clarisonic skin cleansing system in debating whether or not the benefits are just hype or if purchasing the product is actually worth the hefty price tag ($119-$225).

Being a college student, conservationism with money is a priority, so I decided to give Olay’s “drugstore Clarisonic” a chance. For about $30, you get the battery operated (safe for the shower!) device complete with an exfoliating cleanser. The cleanser, in my opinion, is nothing special. However, the device makes a clear difference and is better than manually washing your face with your hands. In fact, to test it, I went about my normal cleansing routine, and afterward, I decided to use the Pro X. The amount of makeup left behind from just using my hands was appalling and apparent on the white brush head. With continued use of the Pro X, I could see visibly clearer pores and less breakouts!

The verdict: Definitely purchase the Olay Pro X. It will make your skin cleansing routine easier and more efficient!

Cleanse Your Skin!

The base to every beauty routine is a healthy skincare routine. When you have happy skin, your makeup applies that much better and looks flawless.  Traveling back and forth between college and home has taken a toll on my skin and I was in the mood for a new cleanser since I left most of my products back at school! After looking through a multitude of product reviews online, I picked up this cleanser from Ulta:

Simple Skincare Refreshing Gel Wash

I tried a sample of this a few months ago and noticed a distinct difference in my complexion with continued use. To be on the safe side, I decided to purchase the full size version to use over winter break just to make sure my skin got back on track. This cleanser is obviously best for those with sensitive skin, but as opposed to cleansers like Cetaphil, Simple does a great job at ridding your pores of makeup and gunk from the day, so I would recommended this to all skin types as a basic facial cleanser!

DIY Brown Sugar Face Scrub

This brown sugar and honey scrub is guaranteed to leave your skin soft and glowing! Even better it is easy to make and can be made using products found in your home.

All you need is:

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 tbsp Honey

optional*

1 tsp Olive Oil

1/2 squeezed lemon

Directions:

Mix well in a small plastic/glass jar and keep refrigerated when not in use. Use fingers to take a dab of the mix and spread evenly onto face, scrubbing gently. Rinse thoroughly, and follow up with a gentle cleanser to remove any residue. Best if used nightly, or during your shower.

 *The olive oil can be added to the mixture as a boost for those with dry/combination skin, and the lemon works as a natural skin lightener to help even out skin tone.

 I usually make some of this every week, and use generally every other day or daily before bed. Say hello to naturally beautiful skin!

Primp and Prep,
Ileana

Top Drugstore Mascaras

My list for hands down the top 10 mascaras I have tried (I tried to keep the list very “drugtore”). And I have tried A LOT of mascaras out there. Keep in mind that my lashes are dark, thick, and have a strong curl so I mostly look for products that are lengthening and defining. With that said, I still judge mascaras based on the usual criteria: staying power/smudging, clumping, ability to layer, feel of the formula, and packaging.

 So without further ado, let’s just jump into it:

 

Rimmel London Lash Accelerator

This is truly a great mascara. If you have already tried it, and did not like it, try it again. The formula is pretty wet, but this helps the product layer easily.When it dries, it is going NOWHERE. I have rubbed my eyes with this on before and it has not moved. The best part is, it’s not waterproof so it can be easily removed at night! The product claims longer lashes in 30 days, which I would say is pretty factual because my lashes always feel their healthiest when I use this product consistently. Also the prettiest looking length without clumps is highly achievable with this product!

 

Maybeline Lash Stiletto

This mascara was love at first sight. It gives your lashes a beautiful tapered end, and as long as you only do 2-3 coats with a light hand, you should not experience any clumps. The only downside I would say to this mascara is that it’s staying power is nothing exceptional. It will not smudge on your eyes, but it will flake off halfway through the day because you will notice more “natural” looking lashes. For an evening out though this mascara is perfect for giving exceptional length and natural volume.

 

 Rimmel Scandaleyes 

Wow. This is an amazing mascara. One coat will get you supreme lashes that can hold a curl. This mascara definitely gives the “doe-eyed doll” look. The brush is quite large which may be a con, but personally I find it to be very efficient if you work the wand properly. Also as Rimmel mascaras usually are, the formula is very wet, which can be used to build beautiful layers.

 

Revlon Photoready 3D Volume

Very understated mascara in the beauty world. The wand has plastic bristles with a ball like tip (very similar to Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara) for catching baby eyelashes. This allows you to get a very full fanned out look and seems to make your lashes multiply. Your lashes will stay beautiful all day long, and the formula is easy to wash off at night.

L’oreal Voluminous (Carbon Black)

This little matte black tube is a life saver. All around a great mascara, not too wet, easily buildable, and no clumps! The length and volume that can be reached with this lovely mascara is quite amazing. I pop this mascara in my purse wherever I go to have great lashes on a whim!

Primp and Prep,
Ileana

Holy Grail Post: E.L.F High Definition Powder

For those of you who have tried Make Up Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder, but don’t quite adore the $30 price tag, ELF has come to the rescue with a beauty dupe for you! This lightweight sheer silica powder perfectly sets your makeup and gives you a “soft focus” look at only $6. The powder comes in a box with a small pouf applicator, and can be used over foundation to set makeup, or just naturally over your daily moisturizer to give a flawless finish.

A little definitely goes a long way here, and too much will leave white spots on your face so use sparingly! Also, when traveling be wary that the powder tends to get everywhere when slightly shifted so make sure the lid is always on tight in your makeup bag.

For application, I use the kabuki brush to dot it over my t-zone and cheeks, then blend softly with my fingers instead of applying all over the face. When used correctly, pressed powder is no longer necessary to set your makeup, and this product will be your new best friend!

Primp and Prep,
Ileana

Summer Survival

It is officially summer! What better way to start off the blog than a summer survival guide:

1) Drink lots of water. Now I know everyone has heard this at least a hundred times before, but how many people actually follow through with the “eight glasses of water” rule? In my opinion it is not about counting the glasses, but about staying hydrated. Invest in a cute refillable water bottle and carry it wherever you go. Throughout the day not only will you feel better, but your skin will look better too. Not to mention water is one of the keys to a slimmer waist since it helps with proper digestion, and most food cravings are actually the body’s cry for hydration!

2) Stay active. This is not prompting you to start doing Crossfit, this is simply stating that you should get out of the house once and a while and live. Most summer blues come from being bored all day on Facebook and watching way too many episodes of Pretty Little Liars. So get up and take a walk around the block or go for a swim.

3) Sunscreen. Practice safe sun. Even those who are blessed with a naturally beautiful tan need to use sunscreen. Vitamin D from the Sun does great things to boost your mood, but if you want to avoid sun spots and prevent wrinkles now or in the future, make sure use a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Do not forget your face, and reapply every hour or so! No excuses!

4) Exfoliate.  The weather permits the wearing of less clothes, so make sure you’re summer ready with smooth, touchable skin! Exfoliating also allows sunless self tanners to work more efficiently, so grab a body wash with exfoliating properties or make your own like this one here.

5) Long Lasting Makeup. If you decide to wear any makeup in the hot summer heat, make sure you take the necessary precautions to make it last. After applying an oil-free sunscreen, spritz a setting spray (try Urban Decay’s setting spray in All Nighter available here) all over your face, and apply a primer of your choice. After applying makeup, make sure to use the setting spray once more to seal your look. In doing this, your face will still look flawless after a long hike or a day by the pool!

6) Last but not least, give your hair a break. Hot tools are completely unnecessary on a humid day when spontaneous trips swimming are inevitable. Save the curling iron for select days and embrace your hair’s natural texture; at least for a month or two. By the time September roles around, your hair will be in a good mood with less split ends and more bounce :)

The summer is just beginning, make it a good one!

Primp and Prep,
Ileana

Welcome!

If you are a lover of beauty like me, then you have come to the right place. Originally the idea for this blog was to serve as a purposeful place to sort out my various beauty items and make informed decisions about purchasing new products. In sharing this, hopefully you can gain another perspective for all your beauty needs!

Prep and Primp,
Ileana