Amara Organics: Vitamin C Serum

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Now that I’ve been happy with how clear my skin has been, I wanted to focus on improving pigmentation and texture. This Vitamin C serum by Amara Organics was highly recommended by one of my best friends. I’ve been using it every night for the last month and a half and this serum has been showing me amazing results! I had some pigmentation on my forehead from breakouts that I’ve picked at (don’t do this!) and it has faded drastically. I’ve also noticed that the texture of my skin is more even and a lot softer.

If you are hesitant about using a retinol, this serum is a great alternative to the Sunday Riley Luna Oil I mentioned in a previous post. The best part about this serum is that it dries fast and is not sticky after it dries. It also has hyaluronic acid and vitamin e which have amazing benefits for your skin. I only use this at night only, although the bottle says you can use this day or night, and then layer a moisturizer on top.

This is the first product I’ve purchased from Amara Organics, but now I’m curious about the rest of their range. I’ll probably purchase their moisturizer next! Have you tried any serums lately?

xx, Aria

 

Peter Thomas Roth: Peeling Gel

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Keeping up with my skin care obsession, this Peter Thomas Roth Peeling Gel is a favorite that I’ve been using for the past year. It has truly changed how I exfoliate my face. I am prone to getting white heads from dead skin build up, especially on my forehead. Exfoliating clears that right up, but physical exfoliants, such as ones that have micro-beads in them, can be too harsh on my sensitive skin. I decided to look into using chemical exfoliants, but was not yet ready to dive in to the AHA/BHA market just yet. At Sephora, one of the reps suggested I try using an exfoliant with fruit enzymes and recommended this PTR one. He placed a small amount on my hand and I began to rub it into my skin; within a couple of seconds, dry skin started to flake off (gross, I know). As soon as I rinsed my hand, it revealed softer, brighter skin. I love seeing instant results, so obviously had to buy it!

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I’m so glad I purchased this product – I have backups for my backup! I use it once to twice a week and my skin feels soft and gently exfoliated every time. I’ve heard the Juice Beauty Apple Peel one is also really good. I might try out their sensitive skin version. What do you use to exfoliate your face?

xx, Aria

 

Sunday Riley: Luna Sleeping Night Oil

I’m pretty big on skin care and also very selective about it. Lately, I have dry to normal skin that can sometimes break out with certain products and climates. I recently ran out of my night time facial moisturizer and was looking for a hydrating one when I decided to change it up and try an oil. After reading so many reviews about the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, I decided to give it a go.

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You only need two to three drops for your entire face and neck. The blue tint doesn’t stain your face, so once you rub it into your skin, you won’t look like a smurf. Just don’t go sleep on your white pillow cases immediately after, give it some time to work into your skin! When I woke up the first day after trying the Luna oil, my face looked so refreshed, hydrated, and radiant. After a few weeks of consistent use, I have noticed better pigmentation on my face and less random break outs.

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The major downside: the price. At $105  for 1 ounce (or $55 for 0.5 ounces), it is one of the most expensive skin care products I own. However, I don’t mind spending the money for something that gives me results.

It does have retinoids, so it should not be used during pregnancy or during the day time.

I’ll definitely be using this oil up and at a few drops per use, it looks like it will last me some time (thankfully). What is your favorite night time facial moisturizer?

xx. Aria

 

 

My Top Three Eye Creams

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Click to purchase (from L to R): Kiel’s Creamy Eye Treatment // Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment // Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

I’ve had an obsession with buying eye creams for the last four years. Mainly because that’s when I started traveling and moved from Miami to NY to California and now Texas. It’s taken a toll on my poor ol’ dry eye bags! Out of all the eye creams I have tried, I always go back to these three: Kiels creamy eye treatment with avocado, Tarte maracuja C-brighter eye treatment, and Origins GinZing refreshing eye cream. I’ve repurchased these multiple times and know that I can count on any of these three when my under eyes need extra attention.

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Kiel’s creamy eye treatment with avocado: This is my number 1 out of the 3. This rich, creamy formula is perfect for when my eyes are so dry, especially after a flight or in the cooler months. I have naturally dry combo skin, but it can get especially dry and patchy under my eyes.

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I used to slather on my thicker face lotion under my eyes when they felt dry, however, I am prone to getting milia (those tiny little white heads). This Kiel’s eye cream never gives me milia and hydrates under my eyes without feeling too heavy. I choose this eye cream for night time use, but can also wear this under concealer and foundation for colder months.

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Tarte maracuja C-brighter eye treatment: I love all Tarte products and I’m a fan of maracuja oil for the skin, so I was really excited to see an eye cream with this oil. This product is a little more light weight compared to the Kiel’s eye cream, but it is more brightening for sure.

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I put the tiniest amount on my orbital bone and it soaks right into my skin. It brightens up my under eyes and when you look very closely, it has very finely milled flecks that reflect light, making you look instantly more awake. I don’t really use this one at night, but it is great for during the day and under makeup!

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Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream: This is an Origins best-seller and for good reason. This is the eye cream I use when I really want to brighten my under eyes. It has visible reflective flecks when you put it on, which can sometimes look glittery if put on without any makeup on, but trust me, it looks GREAT under makeup.

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This is my second tub of this stuff and I will continue to repurchase this. I’d say it’s a mix of the Kiel’s and the Tarte eye creams I mentioned above, both hydrating and brightening. Also, it has coffee beans in it to make your eyes feel awake and refreshed!

Although these are my favorite eye creams, they may not work as well for you. I look for eye creams that combat dryness and/or darkness. Some people may want eye creams to combat wrinkles or puffiness. Make sure to test out eye creams before purchasing the full product – you can always ask for samples! 🙂

What are your favorite eye creams for colder weather?

x, Aria

 

5 Minute Makeup

I am not a morning person. I tend to snooze at least 3 times and look like a hot mess as I roll out of bed for work. Since I’m usually in a rush, my make up routine has to be quick and effective. Over the last couple of months, I have fine tuned my makeup routine to take 5 minutes or less (victory dance) and managed to fit it all in my cute DONT DIS MY SIS makeup bag that Anju bought me.

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I always start off the same: attempt to achieve flawless looking skin with minimal effort. If your base looks good, then everything else will look good.

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From left to right (click to purchase): Too Faced Hangover Primer // Beauty Blender // Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation Stick // Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer // Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
I use the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer to prep my skin. It helps to smooth out my skin without the slippery, silicone feeling other primers sometimes have. I didn’t start using primer until recently, but it made a significant enough difference for me to keep it in my 5 minute routine, so that’s saying something.

I then go in with my foundation. I normally stick to liquid foundations- I find that it just looks better on my skin. However, on a time crunch, foundation sticks are the way to go. I use 3 swipes of the Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation stick, blend it with the beauty blender, and it looks super natural.

My all time favorite concealer is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. The Makeup Forever foundation stick is pretty full coverage, so I don’t need to use much of the concealer. I put a small amount under my eyes and use the same beauty blender to blend it out.

To set the concealer, I use my Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Power with my beauty blender. I find that using a beauty blender with this setting powder is the best way to prevent both creasing and the powder from flying all over the place.

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From left to right (click to purchase): Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette // Nyx Matte Liquid Liner // Marc Jacobs O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara
Here’s where I change it up depending on my mood/time. I’ll sometimes wear just eye shadow with mascara, eyeliner with mascara, mascara alone, or all 3 together.

In my eye makeup combos, you probably noticed there isn’t an option of not wearing mascara. That’s because for me, mascara makes a huge difference. It makes my eyes look bright and awake instantly. The one I’m loving at the moment is the Marc Jacobs O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara. I always go for volume boosting mascaras over length.

When I wear eyeliner, I use the Nyx matte liquid liner in black. It has a brush tip, not a felt tip, which makes it easier for me to apply. Pet peeve: I hate when liquid eyeliners dry to a shiny finish. This one dries to a black matte finish. Plus, it’s only $6.99!

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Click to purchase: Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette
I love using the Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Palette because I can both a natural or smokey eye look. The neutral and brown shades look great on my Indian skin tone. They are very pigmented and easy to blend. Its compact size also makes it easy to travel with.

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Click to purchase:  Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer (left) // Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (center) // NARS blush in Orgasm (right)
I’m super fast with the next 3 steps. I use the Hoola bronzer with a Real Techniques contour brush to contour right under my cheek bone, it’s the only place I use it. This bronzer is cool toned and perfect for contouring. I stay away from warm tone bronzers because it can tend to make me look dirty.

I don’t think the whole strobing, super highlighted look is for me, but I do like a glow. I use the Champagne Pop highlighter just on the top of my cheek bones with a Sephora fan brush and swipe a little on my brow bone as well. This stuff is super pigmented, so a little bit goes a long way.

The NARS blush in Orgasm is a cult favorite and for good reason. This blush goes with every makeup look. The reason why it’s perfect for 5 minute makeup looks is because I never feel like I applied too much blush. It always ends up looking like the perfect amount.

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Click to purchase: Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
Finally, the last step! To make everything last, I spray a couple of spritzes of the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. I have the travel size here (doesn’t it look so cute?!) and it has lasted foreverrrrr. I’ve tried so many makeup setting sprays, but always come back to this one. This helps my makeup last throughout the day and prevents me from looking like a grease ball.

I do change up my makeup products quite often, but these are what I use when I know I need to be ready in a flash. What are your go-to makeup products for a 5 minute look?

x, Aria

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My Favorite Matte Lipsticks

The easiest (and quickest) way to change up a makeup look is to change your lipstick color. Although I love a good eye shadow palette, I can easily screw that up in 0.5 seconds when rushing to get ready for an event. Lipstick however, never fails me. I’ve searched through my makeup collection to find my top matte lippies in the last couple of months. My ride or die. The ones I automatically know to take with me on a trip when I have no idea what makeup looks I’m going to do. These six lipsticks can help me transform into any look.

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There’s something for everyone: deep berry, mauvey pink, plum rose, orange red, peachy, and classic nude (I’ve included a lip liner after the nude because I always wear a lip liner with this color).

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Let’s go through each one, from top to bottom.

  1. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Aria $24

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I tend to steer clear of the really vampy colors most people go for in the fall/winter time and instead stick to this deep berry color. I find it more wearable and flattering on my skin tone. The undertone of this lipstick makes my teeth look whiter, which is always a plus! It dries quickly and can last through eating an entire pizza pie (I’ve happily tested this). The doe foot applicator picks up a lot of product, so the key is to not put on too many layers – I swipe one layer and that is more than enough. I’ll be honest, I first reached for this lipstick because of the name (My name is Aria) and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

2. MAC Lipstick in Mehr $17

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Thanks to my friend Rachel, I’d say this is my go-to lipstick. It became popular around the time Kylie Jenner started wearing mauve lip colors and is still sold out quite often. It’s just so flattering on so many skin tones. Like most MAC lipsticks, this matte lipstick goes on smooth and the color pay-off is great. I sometimes like to put on chapstick first and then dab this lipstick on top for a more sheer finish. This color is versatile and that’s why it is always in my make up bag!

3. Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb $24

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Although the Sephora website describes this plum rose shade as matte, do not be fooled. This is far from the matte finish we are used to now a days after the introduction of liquid lipsticks. I’d say this is more a satin matte finish, which makes it very comfortable to wear. This product never dries out my lips and wears off beautifully. I first purchased this smaller sized high pigment pencil in a holiday set years ago with three other Bite Beauty high pigment pencils. I’ll definitely be repurchasing this single color when it’s done.

4. NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Heat Wave $28

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This full-coverage semi matte finish lipstick is everything. It does not go on as smooth as MAC’s Mehr lipstick, but as long my lips are a little moisturized, then it glides right on. Every time I wear this, I feel like I’m on vacation. Probably because I have this lipstick on repeat any time I’m some where tropical. Whenever I wear this bright orange red lipstick, I always get asked about it. It is just so flattering, especially on darker skin tones, and the color is so vibrant and fun. It is a great alternative to wearing a classic red lipstick. I tend to go simple on the eye makeup and let this lipstick be the center of attention.

5. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London $6

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I do have good amount of these soft matte lip creams (ok fine I have them all), but can you blame me, they are only 6 bucks each! This color has a tint of a peachy tone to it and is perfection on my skin tone. The NYX soft matte lip creams are a hit or miss with people. This is not a typical matte lipstick and if you are expecting this to last throughout the night, you will be highly disappointed. Remember, it’s considered a “cream” and its only 6 bucks! What’s important is the application. What works for me is this: put on one layer, let it dry completely, then put on the second layer. At first, it may seem like it’s too sheer and patchy with a mousse-like texture, but just be patient. It just needs to dry and then you are good to go!

6. Tom Ford Lip Color in Sable Smoke $54

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This is my most luxurious lipstick. I honestly didn’t use it for the first few weeks of owning it because all Tom Ford lipsticks have “TF” engraved into the top of the lipstick and I didn’t want it to go away! Well, I got over that and this has now become my go-to nude lipstick. I always wear a lip liner with this color, otherwise it looks too washed out/ghostly on me. The liner I tend to use with this is MAC’s lip liner in Soar (shown in the arm swatch picture above), but any darker/peachy nude or light mauve color will work!

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Those are my top matte lipsticks at the moment. I tend to wear more matte lipsticks than any other type of lipstick. What are your favorite lipsticks? Do you also prefer matte lipsticks?

x, Aria

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