Makeup (or Lack thereof): A Form of Self-Care

 
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I've always seen makeup as a form of self-expression, but lately I've also been thinking of how it can serve as a form of self-care. I know, I know, it may not seem like the most obvious connection, but hear me out.

Often times, as women, we are told that we are putting makeup on for someone else, be it to look good for friends, but usually people tease that it's for a guy ( *huge eye roll* ). But honestly, the truth is we wear makeup for ourselves. We are self-conscious creatures in a society that pays a lot of attention to looks and well we want to feel good in this society. It may not mean we don't feel beautiful already, we just want to feel fabulous or bring attention to our favorite features.

And it really is as simple as that. We want to look good for ourselves and this in itself defines self-care. We take care of ourselves by making ourselves feel good on how we look on that day. Especially on days we are feeling blah, we may whip out and swipe on that red lipstick that makes us feel like a powerhouse or that mascara that helps us look awake so we don't feel people are staring at us like we are zombies. So if we really think about it, makeup is a self-care and self-love boost. But it doesn't mean that we don't feel beautiful without all the priming.

Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful
— Sophia Loren

In fact, lack of makeup is also a form of self-care and self-love. The most obvious reason is that it is a form of accepting ourselves as we are, but I think it can go deeper than that. I myself don't usually wear make up to work (I'm a nanny, so better not to leave makeup on the baby lol). But it's not just because I don't necessarily feel I NEED to wear makeup but honestly it's because I'd rather sleep for a bit longer. 

I mean how is that not self-care, sleeping, I mean. It's probably one of the things we get the least of and leave at the bottom of the self-care list. But yes, plain and simple, not wearing makeup allows us to sleep in and that's just the best! But besides that, you are also acting in the mindset of self-care in the fact that you're letting your skin breath, therefore, you are showing it love. 

In the end, whatever you choose, makeup or sans makeup, you do you, boo! You are beautiful no matter what you choose. But no matter what please remember the SPF, you want to love your skin but also protect it ( I sound like my mother lol). I'm curious, which do you choose and do you agree with makeup (or lack thereof) being a form of self-care?

Love + Beauty, Astrid

Spooky Eyes Review: Funky White Contacts

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

*This post is sponsored by

Spooky Eyes

, but all opinions are my own*

Do you guys notice anything different? Well maybe it's because I'm wearing 

Spooky Eyes' Funky White Contacts

. If you haven't heard of

Spooky Eyes

, they are a UK based company that specializes in natural and crazy–– perfect for Halloween––contact lenses. They gave me an array of choices and sent me my first choice, which were their

Funky White Contacts

.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect as the only contacts I'd ever used had been the plain old prescribed kind. When I got them in the mail, the packaging and all actually didn't look much different from the one's I'd gotten from doctor's visits whenever I'd decide I wanted to give up my glasses. 

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

The contacts came in this "Dream Eyes" (not sure why it's not

Spooky Eyes

) box that let me know the expiration date and dimensions. Inside the box, each contact (one for each eye, duh) came in the typical airtight "blister-pack" packaging. The only visible difference from the contacts that I tried before was instead of being clear lenses, there was a white circle on them, 'cause duh, I got the

Funky White ones

. Otherwise, they were like any other soft contacts I'd used before.

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

Ta-Da...got them in

Even though I'd worn contacts before though, it still took me a while to put the

Spooky Eyes' Funky White contacts

in. Part of that is because, I'd been a bit out of practice from wearing contacts. But it was more in part because I decided to apply falsies beforehand, thinking it'd be easier/safer than to try to apply the lashes after the contacts were in. Once they were in though, it was like magic. I had never used color contacts of any kind before, so it was so shocking to look in the mirror and not see my brown eyes looking back at me. 

I instantly became obsessed! Seriously it took me a moment to take in my "new look." I think the shock also came from the fact that while they were surely intense, they also looked a little more natural than I expected. If you can see from the pictures, the contacts made my eyes look a little more on the blue side, especially depending on how the light hit me. Honestly, I had initially expected the contacts to just make most of my eyes look white, kind of like Storm (from X-Men). 

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

Trying a "shocked" look

That's not to say I wasn't happy with them though. I actually loved the whole piercing blue eyes thing. My favorite part of it all is just the intensity the blue hue gives to my overall appearance. Of course, when I was taking the pictures for the blog I also sent some to James, who thought they were cool and, like me, loved the intensity of them. I also love how shocked my mom and sister were when I texted them a picture of me wearing them...Dirtsa said I looked possessed and my mom was just like "OMG!" 

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

My "Evil"/Temptress "look" (or at least my attempt for that look)

What's even funnier to me was that when I shared it on social media, there were friends who commented that I had really changed since high school. I also had random people commenting on my pretty eyes. I really enjoyed the comments, but also thought it was funny that people believed my eyes had just naturally gone from brown to blue. But no, this apparently dramatic change was all thanks to

Spooky Eyes

More importantly however, it got me brainstorming for Halloween since I was having so much fun with them! The first idea that popped into my head was Vampire, even though it has been overdone to death thanks to the obsession with them over the years. I am also thinking of like Temptress or Witch. What do you guys think? Any other ideas come to mind? If so, share them with me in the comments below. And here are some more pictures to help you get more of a feel for them (and 'cause let's be real...this called for having fun with the camera):

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

Trying to go for a evil/mad look

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

Slightly more cunning

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

Slightly more innocent

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

My attempt at the Sexy look

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

Sexy Look Attempt #2

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

So much fun

Hope those helped brew some ideas. If you guys are itching to plan your Halloween costumes already or just want to have fun with some crazy contacts, make sure to check out

Spooky Eyes

and their awesome collection.

Love,

Astrid (and her temporary Blue Eyes)

spooky eyes funky white contact lenses

Smirk ;p

Beauty Review: Hyaluronic Acid Serum

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Beauty Review: InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum

*This Post is sponsored by

Brandbacker

 and

InstaNatural

, but all opinions are 100% my own*

By now we have established that I love trying new skin care and beauty products. I love being able to do these beauty reviews so that I can share my thoughts with you about new(to me) products. Sometimes I fall in love with them, other times not so much or there's those special occasions where I like the product, but I don't think it fulfilled all the promised benefits.

InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum

falls into that last category.

Before elaborating on my experience and giving you my review, let's take a look at the

Hyaluronic Acid Serum

itself. It contains a nice blend of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Green Tea, all antioxidants, all great for the skin. In addition to the antioxidants, the serum's main ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid, which is a natural hydrator for the skin, helping it retain moisture. Another great ingredient is Jojoba Oil, which also helps in hydrating the skin.

It's great to know that the

serum

contains all these great ingredients (and that it's 100% cruelty free), but what does it promise? Well for one, it promises improve the skin's texture and brightness due the moisture it offers. It also promises to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help achieve an overall healthy complexion. All sound great right, but did it deliver? Well sorta.

Before using InstaNatural Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Before Picture

The picture above is my before picture and was taken early in the morning about a month ago. I have no make up on at all. Prior to adding

InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum

to my skin care routine, my skin had been in really bad shape. It was dry and bumpy and just plain gross, which is why I wanted to try the serum in the first place. I know the picture is a bit blurry (only one where I don't look angry lol), but you might be able to tell that I had broken out a bit and that my skin looks a bit tight (read: dry).

Right after this picture, I applied the

serum

to my face. From there I would make sure to use it every morning after washing my face and applying toner, but before any makeup or even sunscreen. I also began applying it every night after washing my makeup off and again applying the toner. It became a synchronous routine. It was actually a very easy addition since I had been using another serum in my routine already (but I had finished it a few weeks prior).

After using InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid

After Picture

So the results? About a week into using the

serum

I began noticing that my skin felt a lot more hydrated than it had been in a while. This in turn meant that my skin's texture was also improving. I was very happy about this. As I used it more and more (I wanted to make sure it was working), I really started noticing how much more moisturized my skin was and how improved my skin looked. You might be able to tell in the After photo above, although I also think the lighting helps (sunnier morning).

It isn't until now looking at the pictures that I see a slight improvement in the dark circles, although again, that can be due to the lighting and more sleep. I'm not so sure about brightening (again lighting could be the culprit) or the fine wrinkles, but I am happy that my skin at least looks less zombie-like and tired, so therefore healthier. What I didn't like about the

serum

is that it feels very sticky as it dries. Also, it dries way to quickly, like you have to apply it as quickly as possible. Other than that, I think the product did it's job. It's not something I'd necessarily rush out to buy again, but I'm still satisfied with the improvements to my skin.

That being said,

InstaNatural's Hyaluronic Acid Serum

is still a great product and may work even better for you. If you want to try it out, you can purchase it

here

. I hope you found my beauty review helpful and please let me know anything else you'd like me to review.

Love,

Astrid

 

InstaNatural's Dead Sea Mud Mask Review

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*This post is sponsored by 

BrandBacker

 &

InstaNatural

, but my opinions are 100% my own*

One of my favorite ways to pamper my skin is by using masks. While I try to pamper my skin everyday with my daily routine and eating well, masks take pampering my skin to a whole different level. There are times however that I forget just how much my skin needs and appreciates a good mask. That's why I was happy when

InstaNatural

sent me their

Dead Sea Mud Mask

to review.

Like I mentioned, I love me some face masks, but my favorite are the mud based ones because they do such a great job of cleansing my skin while giving it some hydration.

InstaNatural's Dead Sea Mud Mask

comes from the sacred Dead Sea (kinda obvious in the name, DUH!) and acts as an all-natural detoxifier and purifier. It does this by working to absorb oil, dirt and toxins from the skin. This in turn helps get rid of acne, pimples and blackheads. It's also meant to even skin tone, giving you a more gorgeous complexion.

This was all I needed to hear. Honestly, this winter my skin has just been awful, it's been dry yet oily and I've been breaking out like crazy. My skin was definitely in need of the extra pampering. I needed to get my complexion back on the road to gorgeousness (always the goal right) and also get rid of my acne and frustrating blackheads. I actually remembered to take a before picture this time, which you can see above. The lighting helps disguise some of my acne, but it's there on my forehead, chin and on my cheeks.

After I washed my face, I applied the

Dead Sea Mud Mask

. Don't I just look gorgeous with the mask on? Seriously I should make it a look (NOT). Anyway, my first thoughts about the mask were, "Wow, this is really watery." I decided not to be quick to judge based on that because other masks I've used have also been on the thinner/waterier side, but build up. Unfortunately, putting on more did not help. It was still very thin and watery and putting more on actually just made it slide around on my face. But alas, the truth was in the results.

After waiting about 10 minutes or so for the mask to dry, I washed it all off. While I was initially less than impressed due to the consistency of the mask, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. My skin felt so soft, a huge difference to how it felt before which was dry and bumpy. Also, I did see less blackheads and my complexion seemed slightly more even. The mask itself felt good on my skin despite the thinness of it and after a few weeks, my skin improved and I see less acne. 

Overall, I was happy with

InstaNatural's Dead Sea Mud Mask

. I still wish it was a bit thicker in texture/consistency since it is a mud mask, but the results speak for themselves. For that reason alone, it will be staying in my rotation and I'm sure my skin won't mind the weekly pampering. If you would like to try the mask out for yourself,

click here

.

If you have tried this mask, let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below. If you haven't let me know if this review was helpful and share with me what are some of your favorite masks. 

Love, 

Astrid