INFLUENSTER | HYALURONIC SERUM | REVIEW

“You’re telling me you can get free stuff sent to you?
Just by rating makeup you’ve already used? Sold.”

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HEY THERE FAM, what’s up?! Who missed my blogging voice? No one? Anyone? Okay cool I didn’t hear any opposition so here I am with an unsolicited review of my INFLUENSTER item I received this month.

I am not sure that there is a “magic number” to receive your first complimentary box from Influenster, but here are my current stats on my profile, if it helps:

IMPACT SCORE: 3613
REVIEWS: 31
BADGES: 2
FOLLOWERS: 5
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1

As you can tell, I’m not “super” popular on the app or that active, for that matter. But I definitely did put in the time to review as many products at a time I could and am familiar with. Think of every product you put on your face daily – maybe you use foundation, or just concealer and some bronzer as eyeshadow? Head over to their website, create a FREE account, and review those products!

It also doesn’t stop at makeup, you can review skincare, shower body washes/hair products, and the list goes on.

For this review, I’ve tested out the Jane Iredale Hyaluronic Serum for several weeks now, and have come up with a conclusion. Before I tell you if I like it, let me tell you the BENEFITS of incorporating a facial serum into your skincare routine.

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To set the stage, here is the order of nighttime skincare layering that I do (with loads of internet research under my belt lol)

  1. Pre-cleanse (I use Clinique take the day off cleansing balm)
  2. Facial Cleanser (my tried and true is the Philosophy purity cleanser)
  3. Toner (Pixi Glow tonic)
  4. SERUM (Jane Iredale hyaluronic serum)
  5. Night cream (recently I’ve been rotating through rosehip seed oil and this aloe & green tea moisturizer)

Serums are great because you can customize it to your skin needs. They tend to have a higher concentration of ingredients to target your concerns.
Acne scarring? Try a vitamin c serum.
Dry skin? Hyaluronic serum to the rescue. And so on.
I like to experiment with serums because my skin has ever-changing needs, as does everyone’s. I think I notice the biggest difference in my skin when I incorporate a serum. Not to mention you lock in that serum-goodness with your nighttime moisturizer and it sinks into your skin all night.

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With all that being said: I like it, but I can’t say I’m in love with it. Here’s why.

PROS:

  • thick consistency, and definitely feels tacky to the touch once you’ve applied (some might not like this if you are immediately laying down for bed, but I prefer it as it coats my face)
  • hydrating – I can feel it on my skin the next morning as I wash my face
  • a little goes a long way – you don’t feel skimped when applying this serum and it spreads far
  • scentless

CONS:

  • price tag – this serum will cost you $52.00

I like this serum, I really do. But for FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS??? Nada. I can’t compete with that. But you know who can? Brands like Mario Badescu, Neutrogena, + others. What happens when I run out of this, do I search my pockets for half a hundred dollars? UNLIKELY.

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If price is not an issue for you, you may fall in love with this serum. It’s hydrating, scentless, has a non-greasy formula, and competes very well for a hyaluronic serum on the market. I simply cannot bring myself to recommend a $50 product when I know you can get something similar for half the price tag (hello, Neutrogena hydro boost serum) *cough cough*

What are your thoughts on serums? Do you have one incorporated into your skincare routine? If so, do you use it morning and/or night?

Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you to Influenster for sending this item complimentary for me to try out! All thoughts are my own and any information I provide has research and/or experience behind it.

Xoxo,
KS Loves red lips isolated in white

I love to meet new people!
YouTube: youtube.com/katrinasm
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KOREAN SKINCARE | DEWYCEL 3 step mask, eye cream, hydrating balm | Katrina S

THIS IS SO EXCITING. Thank you to Dewycel for sending me some products to try as I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. I hope my friends enjoy watching this and lmk what you think about the products! Have you tried Korean skincare? I am now so intrigued – this has opened up a channel of research on my end.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED:
Dewycel 3 step private care mask
Dewycel eye cream plus
Dewycel cica plus balm
Dewycel super cover cushion foundation

ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS:
Philosophy Purity one step face cleanser
Mario Badescu aloe vera toner
The Ordinary skincare rosehip oil
Sherrie Matthews acupuncture jade roller

MY MOST RECENT CONTENT:
MILK MAKEUP SUNSHINE SKIN TINT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9wcEndSumQ&t=220s
FAB FIT FUN WINTER BOX https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzZpO1AUwlU
NARS NATURAL RADIANT FOUNDATION https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8Z77JNj0Zg

Blog: https://ksloves.wordpress.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ksloves
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ksloves_
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ksloves_/

ANIMATION from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1cWDhPIosdtmsvwxevXLLg

*Dewycel sent me these complimentary products; this is not sponsored.

30 Days on the Keto Diet: 5 Changes in my Body

“I’m going Keto, hold the Guido – any Jersey Shore fans present?”

SO I MADE IT A MONTH WITHOUT PASTA oh my lanta I never thought I’d see the day. 30 days. No pasta, no rice, no bread, none of that. It feels pretty damn good, I gotta say.

Why did I begin keto? I have three reasons:

  1. I wanted to begin putting good/fresh ingredients into my body – I am coming up on 26 and ya girl has been bloated for months.
  2. I wanted to see if I felt a difference – in my mind, body, and appearance.
  3. Someone was willing to commit alongside me – thank you to the fiancé and my best work buddy, Abby.

So those are my reasons for starting. Were there a few weeks of adjustment? Yes, definitely. You are cutting out carbs and sugar and eating more fresh *not packaged* food. Your body is gonna be like, “dude, wtf.”

The keto diet works once your body enters ketosis. Your energy is then pulled from body fat as opposed to fast-burning sugar/carbs. That is the extent I know about that – I am not a dietician nor am I a keto expert. But yes, I’ve done the research on how to be healthy with this “diet.”
*The reason I don’t like calling it a diet is because it’s a healthier lifestyle and after a month of eating this way and the improvements I’ve seen, I’d like to incorporate the new way of looking at food into a daily mindset.

MY FIRST WEEK OF KETO:

This week was rough. I keep a “keto food diary” to track how I’m feeling, energy levels, and what I am eating so I can see what my body responds positively to. The first 4 days I hit a wall immediately after lunch. My mind was kind of hazy and it made it difficult to concentrate at work. I kept wanting to get up and walk around. Keeping with the diet, I kept up with my water consumption and felt worlds better by 3:00 pm. In fact, around this time each day I then felt super alert as if it were 9:00 am again.

Towards the second half of the week I was craving SWEETS so badly. To mediate this, my fiancé and I found a great keto lemon poppyseed muffin recipe (in case you’re interested). You can also make fat bombs to curb your sweet tooth, but we have yet to do so.

SECOND WEEK OF KETO:

This week was MUCH easier – like so much. I wasn’t craving as much sweets and found more joy in the fact I could eat bacon for breakfast. Now I am excited for my lunches and dinners because riced cauliflower is a treat to me (hello, such a good rice substitute!)

I’ve expanded my meats a little more and picked up some shrimp and salmon cause ya girl cannot live off of beef and chicken on a regular basis. The variety in the seafood helps to not feel “limited” as far as what you can eat.

The was the first time someone invited me out to eat so I kept it keto and went for a salad, swapped the crispy chicken for grilled and the sugary dressing for balsamic vinaigrette. It’s better than the honey mustard they were going to coat it in! Being at the restaurant did kind of stink as far as options: you essentially can’t have any appetizers and if I eat a sandwich without a bun and swap fries for broccoli I will be hungry in 30 mins.

I do notice a drastic difference in my hormonal breakouts, they are a lot smaller and fewer. I am also feeling much more energized and concentrated, not to mention sleeping like a ROCK.

THIRD WEEK OF KETO:

This week felt incredible – and I actually mean that. I am sleeping so well and that is lending me much more/higher quality energy throughout the day. I’m completely over those mid-afternoon fogs that initially took over my brain. I have felt much lighter and my tummy continues to flatten, as opposed to constantly feeling bloated and heavy.

I’ve noticed it’s been a bit labored during my aerobic workouts, but it’s nothing I can’t push myself through. Any time I go to the gym to lift weights (and by that I mean small dumbbell sets – c’mon, I am no gym rat), I feel great and very strong!

I can’t really comment on my skin this week because I recently started two topical gels and those are making my skin go a little wonky. I will update my overall thoughts on how my skin looks once the month is over.

FOURTH WEEK OF KETO:

I have felt fully healthy and energetic. My stomach is 75% flatter than it was when I started. I eat cheese, butter, heavy cream, soup, keto pizza and do not feel as if I crave carbs/sugar. I mean sure, I’d love a bowl of penne a la vodka – but, I’m not in need of it. I can pass and have some riced cauliflower. ya dig?

As promised, here are 5 changes I’ve noticed after 30 days on keto:
Weight – I lost 7 pounds
Skin – for the first week I noticed a HUGE difference in my skin. I typically deal with hormonal cystic acne under my jaw and I was barely getting any new blemishes – which was awesome. About a week and a half in, however, I started two topical gels. Therefore I feel I can only comment on what I noticed prior to starting those prescriptions
Concentration – INSANELY GOOD. I feel much less distracted at work and can spend hours in the morning/afternoon working productively on a given task
Energy – my energy levels are great and I am doing so much better getting myself to the gym. My workouts are stronger, and I’m seeing a difference in the tone of my body – it’s awesome
Cravings – The cravings get so much easier then further you get into keto. On day 30 it wasn’t difficult to say no to donuts, ice cream, and pizza at work parties (I know, INSANE)
Do I enjoy it and do I plan to continue the keto way of life?
I do really enjoy keto, and plan to maintain it for awhile longer. I think it’s a great way to kickstart a healthy lifestyle while reasonably eating better (I mean cheese, cheese, everything) know what I’m saying? Eventually I will re-introduce whole grain pasta and breads, but I now know I can eat much less of it.

And packaged food! You don’t need it! Skip those unnecessary carbs/sugar and make yourself some bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of a granola bar.

Just because I know people live for it, here is a photo of me day 1 versus day 30 – go easy on me as no one looks flattering at 7 am!
*Left is day 1 and right is day 30*

Have you tried keto? What are your thoughts? Are you interested in giving it a shot? I’m so curious if anyone else has given it a go!

Xoxo,
KS Loves

red lips isolated in white

I love to meet new people!
Instagram: ksloves
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Empties Segment: skincare products

“50% of this roundup is Mario Badescu products & I’m not mad.”

TODAY I am bringing to your pretty little eyes six skincare items I have completely used up and my unfiltered opinion on them. Are they worth your $$? I’ma let you know.

First up, Philosophy Purity made simple facial cleanser – 24 oz. retails for $44

So I just want to start by saying, if you prefer a higher end face wash, this is HANDS DOWN worth the splurge. Here’s why: this 24 oz. bottle lasted me an entire year. Oh, you didn’t read that right? Yes, I said an entire year. In the case of some drugstore face washes, you could spend that money in a year! My thoughts are pretty simple here, this face wash is well-deserved of all the praise it receives. It does a great job at breaking up makeup and does not irritate the skin whatsoever.

Would I repurchase? Yes, definitely.

*However, if you’re in the market for an alternative that (in my opinion) does the same thing, look no further than Cetaphil at the drugstore. Thank me later.

Next, we have our Kirkland brand facial makeup remover wipes – 150 toilettes for $14.99

I’m not even sure it’s legal to sell makeup remover wipes this affordable. Can someone follow up on this? Nonetheless, they are phenomenal. I took awhile to get used to these as I was so used to the Neutrogena brand. However, these are just as good and get the job done. Also, they’re 10 cents a wipe so like idk what more I need to say to sell you on these.

Would I repurchase? Yes, when I make my way through 150 of them.

Third, we have the Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm – $29.50

Okay, I tried the sample size of this before I spent $30 on a “pre-cleanse” and immediately went and purchased the large size. Absolutely, without a doubt worth your coin. It truly melts away your makeup, breaking down your foundation, concealer, and all powders. Be careful around your eyes as to rub gently, you don’t want to pull any lashes out. This melts away your eye makeup and leaves your skin prepped for your facial cleanser.

Would I repurchase? I already have!

Okay onto our Mario Badescu products as I’m sure that’s what you came to the party for.

  1. Mario Badescu flower & tonic mask – 2 oz costs $18
    This mask is meant for the congested parts of your face (nose and chin for me)
    I love love loved this face mask. I think the price is great, the quality is even better, and I will definitely be repurchasing. This mask dries down very quickly and sucks the life out of your pores. I love it. I think of all the masks I’ve tried, this one does the best job at absorbing excess oils.
  2. Mario Badescu super collagen mask – 2 oz costs $18
    This mask is meant to hydrate dull and dry areas of your face (forehead and cheeks for me)
    I enjoyed this mask as well, but I don’t think it’s for me. As far as the “hydrating” aspect of this, I didn’t notice it. In fact, it dried down quickly just as the flower & tonic one did, leaving me feeling like it was sucking out more moisture than it was replenishing. I didn’t notice a difference in the hydration of my skin. I would not buy again.
  3. Mario Badescu cucumber cleansing lotion – 8 oz for $15
    This stuff is freaking awesome. Don’t be dissuaded by the name, it’s highly deceiving if you’re a normal human like me and think “cleansing lotion” screams moisturizer on your face. Wrong. This is a liquid! I would treat this as a toner, using it after face wash and before moisturizers. It is ideally for combination/oily skin and meant to prevent breakouts by removing buildup and bacteria.
    Would I repurchase? Maybe if I hadn’t been introduced to the Pixi Glow Tonic – yes.

So those are my empties for this month! Have you tried any of these? Would you recommend I give something another thought, or did you have the same experience? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thank you so very much for the read – xo

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Xoxo,
KS

red lips isolated in white

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Pixi Glow Tonic: 4 Week Diary

“Follow me throughout four weeks of testing out this drugstore cult-favorite.”

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I decided to keep a sort of diary detailing my experience with the Pixi Glow Tonic. I wanted to see what all the hype was about – and I am also looking for a miracle with my skin. A miracle that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars.

Pixi Glow Tonic does contain AHAs, which are known for speeding up the rate at which your skin cells turnover to reveal new skin underneath. This might sound harsh, but the glow tonic is gentle enough for every-day use and works to bring hydration back into your skin, while balancing your skin to reveal a brighter complexion.

Here is a summary of my skin issues:

  • combination/oily skin- I get a very shiny t-zone after 4-5 hours of wearing makeup
  • currently I am suffering with persistent chin breakouts (which leads to acne scarring)
  • otherwise, the rest of my face is pretty clear

AFTER ONE WEEK OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

I’m not noticing a any difference. In fact, my skin might be “purging,”** as I am noticing an increase of breakouts along my jawline and under my chin. Mainly the deep-rooted, hormonal type of breakout. I am also noticing a few outlying blemishes (outside my chin zone), but nothing too unreasonable that I can’t cover up with foundation/concealer.

As of week one, I definitely don’t see an improvement. My t-zone is still oily by mid-afternoon, and my blemishes are still present + a few new visitors. I’m hoping that I’m purging, but I won’t know for another few weeks.

**I’ve read that purging may occur when using a product that has AHAs in it, if you’ve never used one that contained AHAs previously. I have not. Purging is the surfacing of breakouts that were already there, but now speeding up the turnover process, therefore bringing them to the skin level. This is not to be confused with a reaction to the product, which can also cause breakouts (though more severly to my understanding), and if you do not notice an improvement in skin within 4-6 weeks, you are supposed to discontinue use of that product – bc girl, it’s not helping.

AFTER TWO WEEKS OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

At the end of week two, I’m still feeling hopeful of this product. I’m standing on the sidelines as a cheerleader for my skincare routine.

I don’t really see an improvement, but my skin is not getting worse. To me, this is a good thing. I can’t expect results overnight, and since I’m not noticing an increase of breakouts, that tells me I’m not experiencing a reaction to this product. I do notice a redness to my face after completing my skincare routine, but nothing itchy or painful. Just kind of pink.

My nose is still shiny mid-day, so it hasn’t done anything for balancing my skin (nothing noticeable, at least).

AFTER THREE WEEKS OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

End of three weeks. Here’s the one improvement I’ve seen:

  • a decrease in the size of my blemishes

If I do get a pimple, it’s much smaller and more manageable. I am not getting the large, cystic-like acne that I typically deal with in my problem area. Therefore, my blemishes are less painful/prominent.

I still have a lot of scarring, but those seem to be lessening as well – as in getting smaller. Not fading in pigment, tho. If that makes sense. No improvements on my oil production, that’s still strong and heavy per usual. Lucky me.

AFTER FOUR WEEKS OF DAILY NIGHTTIME USE:

Okay I think I’ve formed an opinion on this product, and I am deciding to keep it around. Here are the main take-a-ways I’d like to give you:

  • it’s not an absolute miracle worker (at least not for me), but it does drastically improve the texture and brightness of my skin
  • I notice a smoothness in my skin I’ve never felt before, and it’s refreshing to apply my nighttime skincare products (serum, moisturizer) on after this
  • while it didn’t help drastically with my chin breakouts, it certainly aids in keeping the rest of my face clear and bright

During the four weeks, I did not notice an improvement in oil-production in my t-zone, so that’s at least worth noting.

So that’s my month-long review of this product! I’m happy with the purchase, and would also consider this worth its price of $15.00. Ten fold. In fact, I think I’ll spend the $30 on the larger size. I can’t see myself not incorporating a toner into my skincare regimen now that I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin.

I hope this review may help someone looking into trying this product! I’d love to chat in the comments below if anyone is interested or has questions on how this product performs.

 

Xoxo,
KS Loves red lips isolated in white

I love to meet new people!
YouTube: youtube.com/katrinasm
Instagram: ksloves
Twitter: ksloves_
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