Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit 2016 Review

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2016 via It's Jou Life blog // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/sephora-favorites-sun-safety-kit-2016It’s that time of year again! The popular Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit hit the shelves-just in time before my summer trip to Hawaii.

I love everything about summer and that means enjoying the great outdoors and cool waters responsibly. I’m an avid believer and user in using a broad spectrum (UVA + UVB) sun protection of at least SPF 30 for my face and SPF 45 for my body.

So naturally as a lover of Sephora + SPF I always buy Sephora’s annual Sun Safety Kit. It’s a curated collection of everything SPF to protect from head to toe. This is a perfect introduction to try various products carried at Sephora, like tinted sunscreen, primer, self-tanner, BB cream and makeup setting sprays. It’s also a wonderful way to try different types of sunblock products–physical (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) and chemical-based (oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate) sunscreens. The sizes are perfect–airplane-friendly and compact enough to place in my purse.

I picked up the Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2016 at Sephora and it is packed with favorite oldies and new products I look forward to trying. This year it’s $32 (retail value $127) for 15 products. Best part? Sephora will donate $20 from the sale of the kit to the Skin Cancer Foundation. For more information about the charity, visit www.skincancer.org.

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Growing trends of the natural and organic products industry // Natural Products Expo West 2016

IMG_6632The US-market of natural and organic products is a $153 billion industry and showing no signs of a slow down. Mainly driven by the consistent growth of consumers demanding natural, healthy and eco-conscious products, it’s no surprise that this mega industry has a plethora of new companies emerging every year.

Last month I had the delightful opportunity to attend the 36th annual Natural Products Expo West, the the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. It was like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. As a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, I grasped all the natural product consumer trends, channeled my inner Augustus Gloop meets Michelle Phan–indulging in food samples while swatching beauty products. It was a weekend filled with tastings, education and meeting wonderful brands. I was among 77,000 attendees perusing more than 3,000 exhibitors at the Anaheim Convention Center. I didn’t have my Fitbit on me, but I’m sure I logged some serious miles that weekend.

NewHope

Photo courtesy of NewHope.com

Below is an overview of some consumer trends surrounding the healthy lifestyle products industry.

Back to Our Roots: Quinoa, chia, acai, Kombucha, raw, sprouted, coconut oil–superfood ingredients and preparation techniques that date back to the days of pre-industrialized foods. Brands are focusing on natural, whole and nutrient-dense ingredients. The skincare industry mirrors this trend with using pure ingredients like argan and coconut oil. I met a brand, Cocokind, an organic skincare line centered around using virgin coconut oil and superfoods. Consumers are conscientious with ingredients they eat and use on their body. They are staying away from genetically modified foods, artificial colors, preservatives, parabens and products tested on animals.

The Busy Individual: The always on-the-go individual lacks time, but craves smart and nutritious fuel in-between meals. Think hand-held snacks and drinks that are convenient, delicious and healthy. I like to kick-off my morning with drinking my greens with a Suja Juice cold-pressed juice. On a side note: I’m thinking of doing a juice cleanse to reset my body. Any advice or recommendations for which juice brand to try? A new product I’ve discovered are meat and veggie bars from Wild Zora and Wilde Snacks. It’s healthier than conventional jerkies because they are free from nitrites, nitrates, MSG, not too salty, contain vegetables, use grass-fed, free-range and hormone-free meats. I’m a big snacker and sometimes crave a meaty snack high in protein and low in sodium. Read my favorite snack discovery last year here.

The Socially Conscious Shopper: The today consumers have conscious living woven into the fabric of their lives and making informed decisions by keeping the environment and mission-backed products in mind. They choose purposeful brands with ethical practices and sustainable packaging over its conventional counterparts. I met a brand, This Bar Saves Lives, that donates a life-saving food packet with every snack bar purchased. It’s the “buy one, give one” philosophy, fair trade practices and donating proceeds to non-profits that allow consumers to make an impact with each purchase.

Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing with you my tried and true favorite products from the expo.

Winter night skincare regimen // organic beauty

WinterSkincare

With the winter season of cold winds and dry weather, my skin has been more patchy and sensitive than normal. I revamped my skincare regimen to include natural and nutrient-densed products and it has made a world of difference. Who knew my skin can be properly moistured, supple and radiant? Basically, back to basics.

Continuing with my organic skincare series, this is my current winter nighttime skincare regimen and the order of products that I typically use.

Josie Maran // Argan Cleansing Oil

An important nighttime step is properly cleansed skin. There is nothing worse than being lazy and sleeping with unwashed skin. I use this gentle, natural cleanser with nourishing argan oil to melt away makeup and deeply hydrate skin. How to use: I use 3-4 pumps on dry hands and massage it onto my dry face in circular motions for about 1 minute. I then wet the face and gently massage it into a rich milk. The oil and water slowly emulsifies, cleansing and moisturizing the skin. Rinse throughly with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel.

Clarisonic

My favorite skincare tool in my bathroom and my ultimate secret for smooth, blemish-free skin. My husband perfectly describes it as an electronic toothbrush for the face. It uses sonic frequency technology to properly cleanse skin, with a massage-like feeling of the soft, gentle brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second, thoroughly clearing pores and skin’s surface. This award-winning tool removes makeup 6x better than traditional methods, clears pores and reduces the appearance of pore size, cleanses so thoroughly that skin care products absorb better and creates noticeably healthier looking skin. How to use: I use this 3x a week after a warm shower. Wet my face. I use my Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Creme directly on the brush and gently move it around my face. The brush will automatically shut off after 1 minute.

Acure Organics // Facial Cleansing Creme

This extra-gentle, creamy facial cleanser features the moisturizing benefits of Fair Trade Certied organic olive oil, Moroccan argan oil and cocoa butter, the antioxidant power of blackberry and rosehips and the mild cleansing of mint. It quickly removes makeup, dirt and impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Great for even the most sensitive skin.

Origins // Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

My face goes through a lot throughout the day. This luxurious nighttime mask restore’s my skin’s moisture after a long day of the frigid and dry temperatures in the office and a good sweat at the gym. It’s rich with avocado and apricot kernel oil to quench dry skin and uses Japanese seaweed to repair skin’s barrier to prevent future dehydration and premature aging. How to use: 2x a week. Gently massage onto skin at bedtime and tissue off excess. When I wake up my skin is so supple and soft after this mask. Important note: If I use this overnight mask, I don’t use the below products. This would be the last product I use in my nighttime regimen.

Serum (A) Andalou Naturals // Fruit Stem Cell Revitalize Serum with Resveratrol Q10

I swear by serums. Think of it as vitamins for your face. It’s concentrated and nutrient dense to deliver straight to target areas. I’ve been on a quest to find a natural, non-chemical, serum that actually works. So far I’ve been liking this product designed with regenerating fruit stem cell science for visible age defying results. It repairs cellular damage and has gotten rid of some discoloration around my face. I’ve also noticed a brighter, even skin tone and smooth texture with fewer fine lines and wrinkles. How to use: I switch off from this and the Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk serum. When I do use the Andalou Naturals serum, I place a few pumps on my palm and smooth on my face and neck.

Serum (B) Josie Maran // Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment

This revolutionary treatment serum is a new product I recently introduced into my winter skincare and I’ve been loving it. I got a deluxe sample to try and may buy the full-size. It’s lightweight, yet intensely hydrating, penetrating deeply and absorbs quickly to fortify and repair skin for instant, long-lasting hydration that provides a fresh, radiant glow. Since I’ve been using this, I’ve noticed less dry patches and wrinkles. It’s as if my skin has been naturally plumped by the moisture. This is safe for sensitive and problem skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or dermatitis reported the product helped ease their skin condition. How to use: Massage three to five drops onto clean face, day and night after cleansing. I usually follow this up with Josie Maran Argan Oil.

Josie Maran // 100% Pure Argan Oil

Moroccan argan oil, extracted from the nut of the argan tree, is loaded with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. This is a holy grail product that has multiple uses in my regimen. It can heal, condition and repair skin, hair, feet and nails. Tip: After drying my cleansed face, I place a few drops on my palm and press onto my skin. I also massage a couple drips into my nail cuticles. For an intensive moisturizing treatment, I place a few drops in my face moisturizer.

Origins // High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Renewal Cream

Put dullness to rest. This night cream is fortified with a system of time-released resurfacers, minerals, moisture-rich replenishers, and vitamins C, E, and H to refresh and support naturally radiant morning skin. Relaxing aromas lull you to sleep and dry, dead layers slough away leaving skin looking bright and feeling refreshed.

 

 

winter day skincare regimen // organic beauty

day_skincare

With the winter season of cold winds and dry weather, my skin has been more patchy and sensitive than normal. I revamped my skincare regimen to include natural and nutrient-densed products and it has made a world of difference. Who knew my skin can be properly moistured, supple and radiant? Basically, back to basics.

With the rise of natural products it can be difficult to navigate what brands and products work best. My favorite brands of the moment are: Acure Organics, Josie Maran and Honest. I’m passionate on using natural and organic products that are free from animal testing, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, harmful preservatives and artificial colors. Most of the products I use are certified organic ingredients that meet my high standards of efficacy and purity.

This is my current winter daytime skincare regimen and the order of products that I typically use.

Acure Organics // Facial Cleansing Creme

This extra-gentle, creamy facial cleanser features the moisturizing benefits of Fair Trade Certied organic olive oil, Moroccan argan oil and cocoa butter, the antioxidant power of blackberry and rosehips and the mild cleansing of mint. It quickly removes makeup, dirt and impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Great for even the most sensitive skin. Tip: During winter I cleanse in the evening before bed. In the morning I just splash my face with water because my face doesn’t get that greasy at night and I don’t want to strip essential moisture in the morning. In the evening, I use this product after a warm shower because my pores are open and I can get a deep cleaning. I still use a separate makeup remover for the eyes. 

Acure Organics // Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Growth Factor Brightening Facial Scrub

This is my secret weapon for smooth and glowing skin. The natural exfoliation of organic sea kelp gently exfoliates while French green clay and organic lemon peel remove impurities from my pores. Organic chlorella growth factor and argan stem cells help stimulate new cell growth while providing a deep cleansing, brightening experience. I think of the deep green color as a green smoothie for my face! Tip: After a warm shower when my pores are open, I squeeze a nickel-size amount in my hand, emulsify the product in my palm and lightly massage onto my skin with my fingertips. Use 2x a week.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

Moroccan argan oil, extracted from the nut of the argan tree, is loaded with Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. This is a holy grail product that has multiple uses in my regimen. It can heal, condition and repair skin, hair, feet and nails. Tip: After drying my cleansed face, I place a few drops on my palm and press onto my skin. I also massage a couple drips into my nail cuticles.

Acure Organics // Day Cream

Deep moisture + fights the signs of aging. I normally have combination skin, but during the winter the cheek area gets dry and patchy. That is why I switch to a day cream during this dry season. I’m picky when it comes to cream, but this day cream is easily absorbed into my skin with no greasy residue. Great powerhouse combo: the gotu kola stem cells firm and help my skin fight environmental damage and free radicals + 1% chlorella growth factor supports collagen and elastic fibers. Bonus: 10 cents for every Day Cream and Night Cream sold supports United For HER’s efforts.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost ATB

I’m a sunscreen fiend and truly believe preventative care is a key to anti-aging and preventing wrinkles. I’m selective when it comes to SPF, especially natural-based products since some can be greasy. I look for lightweight, non-greasy and chemical-free sunscreen that moisturizes and protects the skin. This is it! The pure argan oil, jojoba oil, green tea, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and SunBoost ATB is packed with antioxidants and hydrators to protect my skin from the sun and nourish my skin at the same time. Tip: I warm a nickel-size amount between my fingertips and smooth over my face, gently pressing and working the formula into my skin until it totally disappears. This fast-absorbing sunscreen sinks into the skin while creating a smoother finish. If wearing foundation, this should be worn first as a multi-tasking primer.

Honest Organic Body Oil

This is a soothing blend of certified organic jojoba, tamanu, olive, avocado and sunflower oils that leaves my skin silky and nourished. I love that this non-toxic product is hypoallergnic, vegan, botanically-derived and pH balance. Tip: In the morning I like to provide extra moisture for my elbows, knees and arms. In the evening, I use this immediately after my shower, but is also great for baby massage and mom’s belly. Sometimes I also mix a few drops with my current body lotion for intense moisture.

 

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015

summer + smiles + sunblock

I love everything about the summer. Living in California the weather is always perfect. Summer is the season to enjoy the outdoors with a picturesque hike or hit the cool waters at the beach and pool. However being out in the sun has its responsibilities. I’m an avid believer and user in using a broad spectrum (UVA + UVB) sun protection of at least SPF 30 for my face and SPF 45 for my body.

So naturally as a lover of Sephora + SPF I always buy Sephora’s annual Sun Safety Kit. It’s a curated collection of everything SPF to protect from head to toe. This is a perfect introduction to try various products carried at Sephora, like tinted sunscreen, primer, self-tanner, BB cream and serums. It’s also a wonderful way to try different types of sunblock products–physical (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) and chemical-based (oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate) sunscreens. The sizes are perfect–airplane-friendly and compact enough to place in my purse.

I picked up the Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 at Sephora and it is packed with favorite oldies and new products I look forward to trying. This year it’s $32 (retail value $155) for 16 products.

SSK-2 Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

SSK-5

Full Product List

AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30/PA+++ – http://www.sephora.com/natural-protector-spf-30-pa-P232939?keyword=AMOREPACIFIC%20Natural%20Protector%20SPF%2030%2FPA%2B%2B%2B%20P232939&skuId=1161793&_requestid=70378

Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – http://www.sephora.com/sunscreen-multi-protection-broad-spectrum-spf-50-P393065?skuId=1682202

CLINIQUE Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/moisture-surge-cc-cream-hydrating-colour-corrector-broad-spectrum-spf-30-P378639?keyword=CLINIQUE%20Moisture%20Surge%20CC%20Cream%20Hydrating%20Colour%20Corrector%20Broad%20Spectrum%20SPF%2030%20P378639&skuId=1509512&_requestid=72342

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – http://www.sephora.com/dark-spot-sun-defense-broad-spectrum-spf-50-P394353?skuId=1680818

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 – http://www.sephora.com/premium-beauty-balm-spf-45-P285403?skuId=1327915

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 – http://www.sephora.com/sugar-lip-treatment-spf-15-P57002?keyword=FRESH%20Sugar%20Lip%20Treatment%20SPF%2015%20P57002&skuId=1448372&_requestid=72443

Murad Invisiblur™ Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/invisiblur-perfecting-shield-broad-spectrum-spf-30-P394397?keyword=MURAD%20Invisiblur%E2%84%A2%20Perfecting%20Shield%20Broad%20Spectrum%20SPF%2030%20P394397&skuId=1670181&_requestid=72548

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 – http://www.sephora.com/argan-daily-moisturizer-spf-47-P385679?keyword=JOSIE%20MARAN%20Argan%20Daily%20Moisturizer%20SPF%2047%20%20P385679&skuId=1585256&_requestid=70814

Korres Suncare Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Face Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/suncare-yoghurt-nourishing-fluid-veil-face-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-30-P395116?keyword=KORRES%20Suncare%20Yoghurt%20Nourishing%20Fluid%20Veil%20Face%20Sunscreen%20Broad%20Spectrum%20SPF%2030%20P395116&skuId=1702810&_requestid=69791

Ole Henriksen Total Truth™ Vitamin C Eye Crème SPF 15 – http://www.sephora.com/total-truth-vitamin-c-eye-creme-spf-15-P291520?skuId=1342666

Origins VitaZing™ SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen – http://www.sephora.com/vitazing-spf-15-energy-boosting-moisturizer-with-mangosteen-P297521?keyword=ORIGINS%20VitaZing%E2%84%A2%20SPF%2015%20Energy-Boosting%20Moisturizer%20with%20Mangosteen%20P297521&skuId=1375732&_requestid=70626

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense® Lotion with SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/max-sheer-all-day-moisture-defense-lotion-spf-30-P6563?skuId=373894

Shiseido Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face – http://www.sephora.com/ultimate-sun-protection-cream-broad-spectrum-spf-50-for-face-P393536?skuId=1684737

St.Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion – couldn’t find the Sephora link

Supergoop! SPF 30+ City Sunscreen Serum With Uniprotect PT-3 – http://www.sephora.com/spf-30-city-sunscreen-serum-with-uniprotect-pt-3-P282915?keyword=SUPERGOOP!%20SPF%2030%2B%20City%20Sunscreen%20Serum%20With%20Uniprotect%20PT-3%20P282915&skuId=1328707&_requestid=70180

Vita Liberata Neroli & Argan Milk Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – http://www.sephora.com/neroli-argan-milk-broad-spectrum-spf-50-P395613?skuId=1688985

Tips

Don’t waste your money on buying anything beyond SPF 45 because it doesn’t provide any better protection beyond 45.

Regardless of seasons or a cloudy day, it’s always important to protect your skin by wearing SPF everyday, especially on the face. I always wear at least SPF 30 on my face, neck and chest area.

Reviews to come as I try them all.

Day 7 // Easy DIY Honey Egg White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask

Day 7 is my own home recipe // Honey Egg-White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask. It’s a change from the scheduled Wine-Infused Face Mask, but I didn’t have red wine and wanted to work in a moisturizing and soothing face mask instead. Growing up my mom taught me how to take care and pamper my skin with DIY natural ingredients found in the kitchen pantry. My favorite is the Honey Egg White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask.

This DIY mask recipe has major benefits that will aid parched skin and fight against the environmental harm that inevitably affects the skin.

  • Honey can aid in the relief of irritated skin because of its mild antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
  • Egg whites contains many proteins, high in collagen, maintain the elasticity of skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. (Remember to mix the egg white well enough to obtain a foamy egg white look).
  • Yogurt can help moisturize and contains lactic acid that will smooth and gently exfoliate your skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles by tightening the pores.
  • Cucumbers aid and sooth sunburn, hydrate the eye area and cleanse the skin.

Ingredients

1 egg white

1 tsp honey

1 tsp fresh plain organic yogurt

8  thinly-sliced cucumbers *optional

Directions

  1. Beat the egg white with a fork until it turns a little frothy. Tip: Coolest way to separate the yolk from the egg whites.
  2. In a bowl thoroughly combine the egg white, honey and yogurt.
  3. Apply the mask on your cleansed face and leave it for 15 minutes until you feel it dry.
  4. Gently rinse it off with warm water.

Click here if you prefer to try the Birchbox Challenge Wine-Infused Face Mask instead.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Make sure to also enter for their daily prize giveaways. Let’s do this together!

Falling for this Season – 3 Things to Try this October

It’s hard to imagine it’s already October. The fall season is here! I’ve already seen Instagram posts of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, popular Halloween costumes this year, DIY fall decor and feeling the (slightly) brisk evenings.

Pumpkin – I { heart } pumpkin. If you’re anything like me, I scour the supermarket aisles for anything and everything pumpkin! I can always depend on Trader Joes to roll out an impressive season-appropriate pumpkin collection. The Fearless Flyer of their pumpkin products can be found here. The other night I did a mini-haul of the pumpkin necessities. I’ll have to go back again because I forgot to peruse the frozen section (c’mon, how could I have forgotten to grab Pumpkin Macarons and Pumpkin Croissants?).

3 Things to Try this October via It's Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-fY3 Things to Try this October via It's Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-fY

Dark Lip Color – Dark lips are all the rage this fall. A romantic take on this classic goth/vampy look is to find a formula with a slight sheen and keep the eyes light. Lip items are possibly my favorite beauty product. I have more than I’d like to admit to. Lip products I’ve been into lately are these two full-size limited-edition Marc Jacobs Beauty items I picked up from Sephora a few months back (I got them for free by redeeming my points). I finally took them out of the box this past weekend. { Lovemarc lip gel in Caberet & Lust for Lacquer Lip Vinyl in Shooting Stars } I usually pre-treat my lips with an exfoliant lip scrub or lightly rub a damp, warm towel over my lips after I shower. This will create a smooth lip canvas before applying product.

3 Things to Try this October via It's Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-fY

Gone Girl – I’ve joined the October Birchbloggers Book Club and will be reading all three bone-chilling books from the bestselling author Gillian Flynn. She’s known for Gone Girl, the insanely suspenseful thriller novel-turned-film, featuring Ben Affleck (movie is already out in theaters). Flynn’s other two novels, Dark Places and Sharp Objects also sound like the perfect Halloween-season reads. Thanks Birchbox for sending me the series to read!

3 Things to Try this October via It's Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-fY

heart my birchbox !

There are so many subscriptions services–The MINT family (JewelMint, BeautyMint, IntiMint, StyleMint, ShoeMint), Umba Box, PaleoPax, BarkBox… It’s quite hard to resist the temptation to subscribing to them all, but it’s fun to receive a monthly package of surprise goodies. My favorite subscription service is Birchbox.

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers curated beauty products tailored to my preferences. For just $10 a month, I receive 4-5 hand-picked, deluxe beauty samples from the best brands—popular luxe brands I covet, to the new and niche brands I have yet to discover. I’ve been a loyal subscriber for the past few years and this is hands down the best beauty box and offers the best incentive programs. Recent products that I’ve been trying are from brands like Tarte, Caudalie, Macadamia Professional, Acure Organics, and nail color brands Color Club and  Zoya.

It’s brilliant how Birchbox tailors the products to my beauty profile–skin & hair type, beauty style, high/low maintenance lifestyle. These deluxe samples are perfect for traveling or stashing in my purse. I can’t stop talking about it to the husband, friends, family and coworkers. This is my go-to gift to my loved ones. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Some of my past favorites boxes are the collabs with other media brands like Women’s Health, Teen Vogue and Glamour.

{ August 2014 – Everygirl collaboration }

The new Benefit They’re Real Push-up Liner lives up to the hype! It’s surprisingly easy to use and goes on so smooth. Harvey Prince’s Hello is as fresh as spring gets. I’m a fan of facial scrubs and this Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub unveils smooth, glowing skin.

I heart my Birchbox! via Its Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-7I

{ July 2014 – Women’s Health Collaboration }

First of all, this box design makes me happy. Who knew weights, water bottles and exercise ropes could be so adorable? “Power Up” was the perfect theme of the summer. I enjoyed reading all the clever 12 bite-size challenges Birchbox wrote up in their handy booklet. This was the first time Birchbox gave the opportunity for subscribers to select one of two product offers (Cynthia Rowley Beauty Lip Stain or a Ruffian nail polish). Among subscribers who loves choices, this was so popular  it crashed the Birchbox site!

I heart my Birchbox! via Its Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-7I

{ March 2012 Teen Vogue collaboration }

This is my all-time favorite box. Hello, full-size Essie polish and Tarte Lipsurgence products!? The value of this box surpasses the $10 price I paid and I adore the nail and lip color. I still use the Twistband hair tie too.

I heart my Birchbox! via Its Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-7I

{ July 2012 Glamour collaboration }

This was chock-full of favorites. I loved the Boscia BB Cream so much I ended up buying and using up two full-size bottles since. The mint green Color Club nail polish color was perfect for summer and the full-size Still Lip Glaze brought sexy back to my lips.

I heart my Birchbox! via Its Jou Life blog - http://wp.me/p3cljj-7I

Birchbox is by far the best beauty box out there. For just $10/month, you won’t only receive beauty, skincare and lifestyle products, you’ll re-discover and understand the importance of taking care of your skin and well-being. It’s a lifestyle change and Birchbox guided me through it! Sign up!

{ friday favorites } Deadmau5, Renegade Craft Fair LA, L’Oreal Colour Riche

{ beats } He’s widely known as wearing a giant mouse head during live sets or the recognizable mickey+smiley face hybrid logo, Deadmau5, is one of EDM’s biggest DJs. He recently released his new album { while(1<2) } and I’m loving the track “Pets”. It’s the perfect summer-night-drive-with-your-windows down tune. It’s been a on-repeat fave. Lucky for us it’s KCRW’s Today Top Tune–meaning it’s a free download! (If you reach this post after 7/25, just message me with your email and I’ll send you the song)

deadmau5{ eclectic event } The Renegade Craft Fair Los Angeles (July 26+27) is this weekend in downtown LA’s Grand Park (200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA) and I’m beyond excited. This is the place to find unique gifts, handmade items, and meet talented artists. I love supporting independent crafters and shopping for one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, art prints, leather goods, rustic home decor pieces and much more. I’m looking forward to restock on some funky jewelry and art prints for my home.

Renagade Craft Fair{ beauty } Glamour Magazine recently sent me three L’Oreal Colour Riche Extraordinary Lip Colors to try and it’s been my favorite lip product this season! This revolutionary product has a doe foot applicator providing intense color of a lipstick, smooths on like a lip balm and provides a sheen of a lip gloss. My favorite color to use is Coral Encore. It instantly brightens my face and provides a pop of coral color during the summer. I’ll do a full review of the three colors in another post.

L'Oreal Colour Riche

 

manicure monday: a zoya jelly orange-red

So Wayne and I had our engagement shoot over the weekend and thought it’d be fun to add a pop of color to my nails. I went for a Zoya bright orangey-red color called Kate by The Small Things Blog. From the bottle to the nails, I love this vibrant color and jelly-licious finish.

Zoya color: Kate by The Small Things Blog via It's Jou Life Blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-aWManicure Usual Suspects via It's Jou Life Blog http://wp.me/p3cljj-aWBelow is my usual steps to ensure long-wearing and chip-free nails.

1. Revlon Colorstay Base Coat: Apply one thin coat and let dry. This bad boy is a must before applying any type of nail color. It creates a smooth base before applying polish and acts like a protectant barrier between the nail bed and color. This helps most in more saturated colors like deep reds  or dark colors from staining your nails. I like this Revlon brand because the dual brush covers more nail surface in one sweep. Easy and quick.

2. Color: Apply one thin coat and let dry. Repeat. Depending on the nail color, sometimes I repeat this step a third time with lighter, more translucent colors.

3. Sephora by OPI Top Coat: It’s important to make sure your color has thoroughly dried. Nothing is worse than applying top coat on semi-wet nails. Top coat is another must for me. It creates a seal for your color, shine, and protects it from chipping.

4. Sally Hansen Salong Manicure Quick & Dry Drops: This is a newly added product to my usual steps. I tried it for the first time over the weekend and really like it. This brilliant product dries polish in 60 seconds! These drying drops also help prevent smudges and dings. How it works: with just a couple drops, nails are dry to the touch in 60 seconds and completely dry in 5 minutes. Vitamin E and Jojoba formula helps hydrate and nourish dry cuticles.