What I’m Loving Now: Beauty Products

I’ve been trying new products this year — a bit of an experiment to see what works for my skin and what will keep the wrinkles away the longest — but also knowing that since March I’ve been quarantined and if I had a reaction, no one was going to see my face so it was okay to be adventurous. Consider this me doing the research for you on some of the best products out there!

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I am far from being a beauty blogger. Most of the time I don’t even wear make-up. But ever since I turned 30, I did start taking better care of my skin by getting proper regimens and trying to fight aging as much as possible on my face. I also try to pay better attention to the ingredients in what I’m putting on my skin and hair these days. 

Taken by Sarah Photography

I tried Rodan and Fields, Beauty Counter and basically all of Sephora (love the sales!). Before I share products, I do want to say, I’ve always been blessed with pretty easy skin. No real acne/breakouts and no issues of dryness or oiliness. I don’t particularly have sensitive skin, either, though I’m often terrified to introduce a new product into my life.

Chelsa Yoder Photography / CharMarie Salon (Makeup)

Here’s what I have found that I love and think works:

GrandeBrow: I have seen growth (in my brows!) over the past 4 weeks! Here’s a side by side so you can decide for yourself but after some unfortunate waxing and plucking in my younger days, now I’m trying to thicken these guys back up. This stuff is proving to be effective. 

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GrandeLash: I wasn’t completely sold on this until I realized that I could actually tell a difference today in a photo I took. My lashes are growing! Rodan and Fields actually has the best lash serum but it caused my eyes to burn and itch so I had to discontinue. I don’t have any sensitivity to this one so I plan to continue using and see if my lashes keep growing! 

Pixi FortifEYE patches: I use this two or three times a week. Landon says I look like I’m heading into the big game so it always makes for good laughs in the morning but helps my eyes look their best for days full of video calls. Highly recommend. I also like the DetoxifEYE ones. (Keep them in the fridge for extra de-puffing!)

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Tarte Maracuja Tinted Moisturizer: I ordered this earlier this spring and am SO happy with it. It is the perfect amount of coverage for my skin. (I got 13N fair-neutral, as we get into summer, I could probably go one shade darker) 

Tarte Lip Rescue: I rarely do anything other than Burts Bees on my lips, but this color was too good to pass up! I love how it’s not quite lip stick, not quite gloss. Helps me feel put together when I’m constantly at home these days! (Color: Cherry) 

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Versed Body Oil: I love this for spraying on straight out of the shower! 

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Isle of Paradise: This is SO MUCH BETTER than that Neutrogena tanning lotion we all used to use in high school, remember that? It smelled horrible! With this — you just mix a few drops in your lotion and spread it on like normal. It’s streak free and looks great (and NOT orange!). I have the medium color — and use to to balance out my running tan lines from my sports bras in the summer! 

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Drunk Elephant Retinol Cream: This is a small size to start with and see if it agrees with your face. I’m a big fan and think it’s worth the $75 splurge on the larger size! 

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Farmacy Green Clean: I LOVE how smooth this leaves my face. You put it on with no water and it will take off everything and then rinse. It’s clean beauty — no toxins, not tested on animals.

Acure Face Scrub: I LOVE how this gets into my face when I need a little something extra. I only use it a couple times a week because I don’t scrub my face too much but I love how it leaves it feeling. You can grab this at most stores so that’s a bonus.

Peter Thomas Roth Cleanser: this one smells SO GOOD! I use it most days and just love it so much. It says it’s not for sensitive skin (maybe the citrus?) but I’ve had no issues. 10/10 recommend.

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The Ordinary Peeling Solution: I use this only about once a week but it makes my skin SOOO smooth. It’s definitely an interesting feeling while it’s on, but I do like it. If you have sensitive skin, I think they say to leave it on less than the 10 minutes (which is the max time). 

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Tula 24/7 Moisturizer: this is a winner! I expected to like it but I really fell in LOVE with it. It’s just so soft and incredible. I also love the Tula Cooling Eye Stick. It’s great for when your eyes just need a pick-me-up!

Ole Henriksen Brightening Gel Creme: I use this every morning and I feel like I can really tell a difference in the brightening of my skin.

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While we’re talking Ole Henriksen, I also use the Truth Serum at night, Vitamin C Serum in the mornings and Banana Bright Eye Cream in the mornings. LOVE THE WHOLE KIT AND KABOODLE! Perhaps my favorite is the Cold Plunge Pore Mask which made me look a bit like a smurf but made my face feel like heaven. It’s worth every penny!

I also really like the Beauty Counter Charcoal Mask. I use it once or twice a week — usually after I’ve gone for a super sweaty night time run (it’s crazy humid in North Carolina this time of year) so it’s great for clearing my face out.  (It’s on sale for 15% off right now — I’m not a consultant but I’m sure you can find someone who is if you want them to get credit for your sale!) 

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Unseen Suncreen is my best friend and I use it every day, no matter what. Young Ashleigh deeply regrets her sun and tanning days so I’m trying to make up for it now.

My hair is always pretty healthy now that I’m out of the bleaching phase I was in from my late teens to early 20s. But now I also take a few extra steps to protect it and also don’t wash it quite as frequently since I work from home (even not in COVID times).

I haven’t had my hair colored since February. At that time, I chopped 4 inches off and did partial highlights. I think it looks pretty good to have not seen the inside of a salon in 4 months. Here’s what I’ve done:

Once a week, I use Olaplex No. 3 and then wash my hair as normal. This helps repair and strengthen my hair.

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A couple times a week, I apply Olaplex No. 7 to my dry hair to help bond any split ends.

I also use Living Proof’s Whipped Glaze for Blondes a couple times a week to help boost the color of my hair and take out any brassy-ness. It definitely helps (navy shirt is the after).

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I use Living Proof Shampoo and Conditioner always. While I have healthy hair and skin, my scalp is actually super sensitive and breaks out easily but these don’t seem to give me any issues.

For protection and lift, I use Kristen Ess blow dry protection and thickening spray before drying my hair. (I still love my Revlon One Step Volumizer hair dryer!).

I use Acure Dry Shampoo Powder (lets be honest, my hair is half this at all times) and it works great.

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I’ll save the rest of my make-up and bath products for another time but I’ve been working on this list for a while and tried a TON of products to narrow it down to these. These are the ones that work for me and I know they might not work for everyone but I’m super happy with them and love that some of them are budget friendly items — but also trust that the ones that require a bit more of a splurge are worth it for the results. 

What summer products are you loving? 

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