4 Face Masks For Oily/Acne Prone Skin

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As I’m sure I’ve talked about before, I’ve struggled with acne and oily skin since I was a kid. I was (and still kind of am) extremely self conscious about it. It has recently gotten worse the past few months, and I’m currently trying to find a skin care routine that works for me. Once I find one, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

I have started using 4 face masks that seem to help out a bit when I have flare ups. I tested out A LOT of masks until I finally found my favorite ones. I use a face mask 2-3 times a week, and which one I use depends on what is happening with my face. Here is a breakdown of them and when I tend to use each one:

1. Pacifica Super Green Detox Kale & Charcoal Facial Mask
I usually use this mask when I have a break out happening, especially large cysts.

This is a natural fiber sheet mask that you leave on your face for about 20 minutes, then remove it and rub the remaining ingredients into your face. No need to rinse, and that is my favorite thing about it!

The main ingredients include kale, charcoal, cilantro, and green tea. These active ingredients help clear up clogged pores and blemish prone skin. This is my favorite face mask out of the other ones. I can notice a HUGE difference in my acne after using it. My face isn’t as red, and my blemishes aren’t as swollen or inflamed.

2. L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Mask – Purify & Mattify
I tend to use this mask when my face it between break outs, or when my face feels extra oily. Sometimes I’ll even just put this on my “T zone” and not my whole face.

This is a clay mask that contains 3 pure clays and eucalyptus. It helps remove impurities, dirt, makeup, and excess oils that are built up on your face that tend to clog pores.

My face always feels a whole lot cleaner after using it, and I can notice a difference in how much oil my face produces the next day.

3. Derma-E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask
I use this mask when I feel a break out coming on, or my face is extremely dry from using acne medication (I’m currently using the original Proactiv system, and I’m about to try out the adapalene gel. I also currently use my own serum I created, which I will talk about in a future post!).

This is a mask and exfoliant in one that contains activated charcoal. It purges pores of deeply rooted toxins, then exfoliates away micro pollutants. I have been using this face mask the longest. As I mentioned before, I use a face mask 2-3 times a week, but I also exfoliate 1-2 times a week. I count this as a face mask AND exfoliant.

After using this mask, my face is soft, smooth, and the dry skin patches are gone. I also notice that my blemishes are smaller, and it prevents new ones from forming.

4. Formula.10.0.06 Be Berry Clear Illuminating Peel Mask
This face mask is the most fun for me. I use it when I feel a break out coming on.

After applying the mask generously on your face, let it set for about 20 minutes, then peel it off your face. It doesn’t get super hard (kinda gel like) and does not hurt while peeling off. It won’t pull out your hair, but can get kinda gummy in it, so make sure to avoid your eyebrows and hair line. I really enjoy the process of peeling it off, especially if I can get it to peel off in large pieces (I know, I’m a weirdo, haha!).

This mask contains raspberry and acai. It minimizes pores, calms flare-ups, and smooths skin.

If I had to pick just one face mask to use, it would definitely be the Pacifica sheet mask. I wish they came in large packs, but for now I just stock up on them when I head to Target. They are around $3.99 a piece, but totally worth it.

What are your favorite face masks? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Valerie

The Best Products From Ulta’s 21 Days Of Beauty Sale

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Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty sale is here! I spent most of my evening planning out which days I’m going to head to my Ulta store or make an online purchase. I even put cute stickers next to the items I plan on purchasing! Don’t judge me, haha!

There are SO many good items in this sale. I’m giving you a list of the items I already have and love, or plan on purchasing during the sale. If you click the name of the product it will send you straight to the item to purchase!

When I order online I usually place my order first thing on the morning before I get ready for work. Otherwise, some of these items sell out fast! Make sure you bookmark this post as your guide for the sale!

March 19th:
Mario Badescu Botanical Scrub ($13). I’m always looking for a good scrub!
Bareminerals Mineral Veil and BareSkin Perfecting Veil ($12-$13.50). Love both of these! I can’t pass up that price

March 20th:
Proactiv Adapalene Gel and Exfoliator ($18-$20). I recently starting using Proactiv again (I’ll have a post on this soon), and I really want to try these newer products!

March 21st:
Clarisonic Brush Heads ($19.50-$29.50). I love my Clarisonic brush and always stock up on my brush heads during this sale!

March 22nd:
Too Faced Chocolate Gold Eyeshadow Palette ($24.50). I’ve been wanting this palette for a long time!
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($12). I use this all the time and love it!

March 23rd:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($10.50). I use this on my brows and will be stocking up since they are 50% off!

March 24th:
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder and Silk Micro Powder ($14.50). I used to use this as my setting powder a few years ago, but didn’t want to pay the $29 price tag. Now I’m going to stock up!
IT Brushes for Ulta #202 and #225 ($18). I absolutely LOVE these brushes! I currently use the foundation brush (#101) and it applies my foundation flawlessly. I can’t wait to try these powder brushes out too!

March 29th:
Tarte Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette ($19.50). I can’t pass up getting an eyeshadow palette for under $20!

March 30th:
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($11). I’m currently using the Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner, and I’m honestly not a fan. To me it seems way too dry. So I’m going to give this one a try!
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($8.50). Can’t wait to try this on my acne!

March 31st:
Urban Decay Eyeshadows and Moondust Eyeshadows ($10-$11). I love how pigmented Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are, so I can’t pass this price up!

April 3rd:
Cover FX Setting Powder ($17.50). I’m currently using this setting powder and love it! It seems to keep my face from getting oily throughout the day.
Tula Hydrating Day and Night Cream ($26, online only). I wasn’t a fan of their face wash, it didn’t do too much for me (I know, pretty sure I’m the only blogger that thinks this), but I have been looking for a good moisturizer, so I might try this one!

April 4th:
Tarte Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint ($10). I feel like these are always on sale during the 21 Days of Beauty, and it makes me so happy! I usually order at least 2.

April 5th:
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum ($22.50). I’ve been wanting to try out the Mario Badescu line, but it was a bit out of my price range. Now I can’t wait to give it a try!

April 6th:
Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow + Volumizing Eyebrow Gel ($12). I’ve never tried a brow gel, but can’t wait to try this one!

Items on sale during all 21 days:
Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion ($55.30)
Lorac Pro Palette ($26)
Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer ($12)
Proactiv Renewing Cleanser ($17.50, online only)
Buy 2 Get 1 Free Minis 

What products do you plan on purchasing during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty sale? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

 

6 Meals To Add To Your Weekly Meal Prep

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Today is Meal Prep Monday! Sometimes I prep on Sunday, it honestly just depends on when I’m able to make it to the store. Here is what I am eating this week. Hopefully this will give you ideas for this week or your future meal prep! I’m also sharing what time of the day I eat everything.

5:45am Breakfast: Protein Coffee.
I usually drink this on the way to work. I’m not super hungry when I wake up in the morning (at 4:30am!), so this will hold me over until my break time where I eat an actual meal. If you are starving when you wake up in the morning, then this probably won’t keep you full for very long!
Here is how I make it:
6oz cold coffee (I make mine the night before and put it in the fridge for the next morning)
6oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use LadyBoss Lean, but you can use any kind)
1 splash of sugar free hazelnut Torani.
Just mix all the ingredients in a shaker cup and enjoy! I have found that if I mix the protein powder with the almond milk first it mixes better!

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8:00am Snack: Overnight Protein Oats.
I usually prep this only 2 days out so the fruit doesn’t go bad. It’s super filling and lasts me for hours!
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
3 sliced strawberries or any fruit (or more to your liking)
First, combine the oats, almond milk and protein powder. Mix well until the protein powder clumps are gone. Add peanut butter and mix well. Top with Strawberries. Let sit overnight in the fridge and enjoy the next day! No need to heat, these are meant to be eaten cold!

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12:00pm Lunch: Spinach Salad and Skinny Pop popcorn.
I have made this for my lunch almost every week! It’s so good and super easy to make. I can also prep it for the whole work week. Here is how to make the salad:
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup diced chicken
6 baby carrots, chopped
1/4 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon feta cheese
1/2 tablespoon sunflower seeds (without the shells)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette (I like the Panera one!)

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4:00pm Snack: Rice Cakes and Peanut Butter
I usually eat this after my workout! If I’m really hungry after work then I will eat it before I workout. I may also have a One Bar or Larabar!

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6:00pm Dinner: Crockpot Taco Chicken Chili.
*Makes enough for 2 people for about 3-4 days.
Perfect for cold days and easy to make!
6 thin sliced chicken breasts (or 3 large ones)
1 package frozen corn
4 cans Rotel with green chilies
1 15oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
1 15oz can black beans
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
Add all ingredients in Crock Pot besides the chicken and mix well. Once all ingredients are mixed, add the chicken and make sure it is completely covered by the mixture. Cook on high for 4 hours (possibly 5 if you have larger chicken breasts). After it is finished, remove the chicken and pull apart with forks. Add the chicken back into the Crock Pot and mix well. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on high.

7:30pm Snack: Halo Top or Dark Chocolate
I don’t usually make anything for my last snack of the day. Sometimes I don’t even need one, just depends on if I am craving something sweet after dinner. But I usually just have 1 serving of Halo Top or 2 squares of dark chocolate. I always make sure my dark chocolate is 70% cacao or more.

I buy all my groceries at Walmart and sometimes Aldi. In the spring and summer I try to get my fruits and veggies from the farmers market on the weekend. My meal prep usually stays the same every week, besides the dinner. I’m always looking for new meal ideas, so feel free to share them with me!

Do you enjoy seeing food posts like this? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

Indoor Cardio Workout (That Doesn’t Involve A Treadmill!)

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Yup, the dreaded cardio session. I guess I’m just a weirdo and actually enjoy cardio days. It gives me a chance to catch up on my podcasts or listen to music and just escape from the world for 30 minutes.

But during the winter, it is REALLY hard to get a cardio session in. Especially if you workout at home and don’t have a treadmill or elliptical to use, like myself. I live in a small duplex, and we just don’t have room for one, but it’s at the top of the list for when we buy a house in the next year or two. Most of my cardio sessions consist of me going for a run or walk around my neighborhood or park, but when the temperature hit -4 today, that obviously wasn’t going to happen! So I decided to create my own cardio workout that you can do in your living room! Just turn on your favorite music or Netflix show, set your timer for 30 minutes (15-20 if you’re a beginner), and follow my guide below!

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The guide is pretty straight forward, just start with the first workout and work your way down, complete each set, then repeat the whole thing again until the 30 minute timer goes off. I usually complete this workout about 2-3 times a week.

I’m sure most of you are thinking “why doesn’t she just get a gym membership?”. I used to have one, in fact I used to work at a gym when I first started college. Once I quit my job at the gym, I kept my membership but found myself never going to the gym. I was always coming up with an excuse to never go, and I was basically wasting $20 a month. We also only have one good gym where I live, and It’s small and always packed. So I decided to buy all the equipment I would need (dumbbells, kettle bell, cables that attach to the door frame, resistance bands, etc. I’ll share this in a blog post soon!) and just workout at home, that way I don’t have an excuse to not workout. I feel like this for sure helped me with my weightloss goals.

What type of cardio is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Valerie

 

How To Style A Chambray Dress Year Round

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Chambray Dress (similar style for $30 HERE!) //  Blanket Scarf (under $10!)  //  OTK Boots

Once I started losing weight, the first shirt that looked way too big on me was my chambray shirt. I wore this shirt ALL. THE. TIME. Chambray can easily be dressed up or down, and that’s why I love it so much! I decided to start shopping online for another one, but came across this dress instead! My favorite part? You can wear this year round. Yup, you heard that right. I have it styled in these photos for winter, with OTK boots and a thick blanket scarf. You can even wear tights or leggings under it instead of OTK boots. For a more fitted look, you can add a black belt around the waist. Here are a few other options:

Spring: wear it with a statement necklace or earrings and ankle booties. If it’s warm outside, you can roll up the sleeves and wear it with a cute pair of mules.

Summer: roll up the sleeves, wear a pair of wedges or sandals, and add a statement clutch with bright colors.

Fall: Ankle booties and a scarf. This is one of my favorite ways to wear it!

Casual: wear a pair of Converse (I have these and love them!) and a baseball cap (THIS ONE is super cute and has pearls on it!).

Do you have an outfit that you wear year round, but style differently for each season? Let me know in the comments!

If you have an outfit you would like styled, just let me know! Leave a comment or send me an email, I’m always looking for new post ideas.

Thanks for reading!

Valerie

The Best Fitness Planner For 2019

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When it comes to my planner, I’m totally old school. I love actually sitting down and writing things in my planner more than just scheduling things into a calendar on my phone or computer. I’m also really picky with planners. I start searching for one in November, because I know it will take awhile to find the perfect one. Last year I had the Fit Planner from Blogilates, but they changed the design and didn’t include space for your everyday activities (something that I need in a planner), so I had to go with a different one this year. I wanted one that would help me reach my fitness goals, while also having room for my appointments.

After a month of searching. I ended up with the Healthy Hero Happy Planner from Michael’s. When I bought it, they were having a sale for 40% off all planners and accessories, on top of 20% off your entire purchase including sale items. It was around Black Friday, so of course I had to jump on it before they were all gone.

When you first open the planner, it has space to put your name, like most do. The cover is kinda hard and laminated. I’m not a fan of the design, but it can easily be changed out with one from Etsy or Michael’s (even though they didn’t have very many in store). That is one thing I love about this planner, you can customize everything from the cover, the middle expander discs, and you can even add pages within the planner.

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My favorite thing about this planner is you can set goals at the beginning of each month, and not just fitness related ones. This section is located before the monthly and weekly calendar views.

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When you open to the weekly view, the first section is for everyday items like appointments or to do lists. The next section is called “Focus” but I changed it to be my Blog planning section. Then it goes into your fitness related sections starting with meal planning then exercises. On the left hand side, it has your goals for the week, an empty section for whatever you want to put (I use it to track my weekly steps, calories and active minutes), and then an area to track your water intake (I love this section!).

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The rest of the planner includes different sections for goal setting and reflecting on each month. I think I’m going to start this 30 day self-care challenge next month, who wants to join!? Just save the photo below!

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Since I decided to go with a Happy Planner this year, I had to get all the stickers to go with it. I bought the Healthy Hero sticker pack from Michael’s, and I also found stickers in the dollar section at Target, and received a few packs from family members around Christmas.

I planned on posting this at the beginning of January, but I ended up getting sick, and then of course I had computer issues and wasn’t able to edit my photos! So sorry this is a bit late. I plan on posting more this year, especially in the next week or two. As some of you know, I have a full time job working for the federal government. Unfortunately, I’m one of the workers that has been furloughed. It really sucks considering I already live paycheck to paycheck as it is, but it’s out of my hands at this point.

But I hope everyone had a great Holiday and New Years! I started to have a fitness challenge with a giveaway during December, but not very many people were participating, so I’m going to move it to February instead! That way everyone will keep going with their New Year’s Resolutions. I’ll have more details towards the end of January.

What type of planner are you using this year? Let me know in the comments!

Valerie

What To Wear On Thanksgiving & The Best Black Friday Sales

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Sweater // Skirt // Cami // Boots // Bag (under $18!) 

Happy Thanksgiving! I am SO ready to enjoy my cheat meal and stuff my face with all the Thanksgiving sides (let’s be real, that’s the best part). Then, I’m off to shop! There’s nothing like a holiday where you can stuff your face all day, then end it with shopping.

Right now, I’m watching all of the Gossip Girl Thanksgiving episodes. Here’s a list of them all if you are interested!:
Season 1, Episode 9: “Blair Waldorf Must Pie”
Season 2, Episode 11: “The Magnificent Archibalds”
Season 3, Episode 11: “The Treasure of Serena Madre”
Season 4, Episode 10: “Gaslit”
Season 6, Episode 8: “It’s Really Complicated”

If you are still trying to decide what to wear, I’m here to help you! This outfit is more dressy, while being comfy at the same time. The oversized sweater is perfect to hide my food baby, haha! I purchased the skirt over the summer during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. It’s currently sold out, so I tagged a similar item. The clutch is a LV dup that I found on Amazon for under $18! I just removed the weird flower charm on it.

If you plan on shopping the Black Friday sales, I’m sharing some of my favorite deals:

Abercrombie
– All jeans 50% off. Valid 11/15-1/2.

Ann Taylor
– 40% off everything with code SHOPEARLY. Valid 11/20- 11/21.
– 40% off everything with code THANKFUL. Valid 11/21-11/22.
– 50% off everything with code BLACKFRIDAY. Valid 11/22-11/25.

Ann Taylor LOFT
– 40% your purchase with code BESTWEEK. Valid 11/20-11/21.

Neiman Marcus Last Call
– Black Friday! Shop 40-80% off everything. Valid 11/22-11/26.
– Designer Sale! 40% off fall apparel, sport shop and dress collections. Valid 11/19-12/2.

Macy’s
– 20% Black Friday preview with code SCORE. Valid 11/15-11/20.
– 20% Off Black Friday Sale with code BLKFRI. Valid 11/21-11/24.

Neiman Marcus
– Receive $50 off your $200+ regular priced purchase with code THANKFUL. Valid 11/21-11/24.

Nordstrom
– Receive up to 60% off. Valid 11/22-11/26.

Nordstrom Rack
– Black Friday Clearance! Receive an extra 30% off. Valid 11/21-11/26.

Sole Society
– Thankful Sale: Up To 60% Off Select Shoes, Bags & Apparel. Valid 11/21-11/22.

Urban Outfitters
– BOGO site wide. Valid 11/21-11/23.

Target
-FitBit Versa $149
-Tees starting at $4
-Select boots $15
-Select Jeans $15
-Select sweaters starting at $10
-BOGO 50% off all cosmetic, beauty, and personal care gift sets

Old Navy
-50% off your entire purchase

Kohl’s
-Get $15 Kohl’s cash for every $50 spent

Ulta
-THE BEST SALE OF THE YEAR
-So many discounts to list, a lot of items 50% off.

Express
-50% off everything

Sephora
-Some items up to 50% off

I’ll update this post with more sales as they are available. But for now, Happy Thanksgiving!

XoXo Valerie