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

 

What To Wear On Thanksgiving & The Best Black Friday Sales

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Shop The Look

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

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is HERE! Early access started on July 12th for card holders, but starts on July 20th for the public. I have already placed 2 orders on the 2nd day the sale started for card holders. I was hoping to have the items before the sale started for the public tomorrow so I could take photos of each item, but Nordstrom is overwhelmed with orders right now, and my items haven’t shipped yet. So when you do order, make sure you keep in mind that normal shipping times are a bit longer.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of the biggest sales of the year! You can find brand new designer items for fall that are up to 40% off. I went through every page of the sale (yeah, it took awhile haha!) and rounded up my favorite items that I thought were the best deal! I have them in categories for accessories, beauty, clothing, and fitness. Many items have already sold out, so make sure you act fast on items you love!

Accessories

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  1. Brixton Fiddler Corduroy Baker Boy Hat (I purchased this in my 2nd order, and I can’t wait to style it in the fall!)
  2. Nordstrom Genuine Calf Hair Leopard Print Clutch
  3. Sole Society Fluri Faux Leather Backpack (This backpack was in my first order, but I got it in a gray color. The gray is sold out, but the black is still available!)
  4. J.Crew Bead & Raffia Earrings
  5. Madewell Colorblock Blanket Scarf
  6. Halogen Violet Genuine Calf Hair Mule
  7. Steve Madden Trace Studded Mule
  8. Steve Madden Carter Slingback Platform Sandal

Clothing

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  1. Caslon Peplum Top
  2. Billabong Meadow Swing Stripe Shirt
  3. BP. Ruffle Sleeve Print Shirt
  4. Leith Tie Front Skort (Purchased this, and probably my favorite item so far!)
  5. Love, Fire Button Front Skirt (also got this, I have a thing for skirts this year!)
  6. Billabong Love and War Ruffle Trim Minidress
  7. Taylor Shift Dress
  8. Caslon Plaid Shirt
  9. Leith Tie Front Pant
  10. Kensie Faux Fur Jacket
  11. STS Blue Emma Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans
  12. Halogen Lace Detail Jacket
  13. Caslon Asymmetrical Drape Collar Terry Jacket
  14. Dreamers by Debut Nubby Cardigan (I really needed a cozy cardigan, so I purchased this one!)
  15. Zeza B by Hue Ripped Knee Denim Crop Leggings

Fitness

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  1. Adidas Made to Move Tank
  2. Zella Madison Tank
  3. Adidas Originals Trefoil Tank
  4. Zella Loop Back Tank
  5. Adidas 6-Pack Trefoil Superlite No-Show Socks (I purchased these, I couldn’t pass up the $12 price tag, and the colors are super cute!)
  6. Adidas Stadium Hoodie
  7. Hum Nutrition The Essential Collection Dietary Supplement Duo (I ran out of my Hair vitamins and probiotic supplements, so I decided to give these a try! I’ve used Hum Nutrition Supplements before and I love them!)
  8. Zella Sun Salutation High Waist Leggings 
  9. Zella Sheer Drama Crop Leggings
  10. Zella Street Style High Waist Leggings (I LOVE the detail on these!)

Beauty

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  1. Serene House Cool Mist Cosmos Scentilizer Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (perfect to place on your vanity!)
  2. Too Faced Sex, Gold and Chocolate Set (the palette by itself is normally $49, but you get a mascara and primer with it as well!)
  3. Impressions Vanity Co. Touch Trifold XL Dimmable LED Makeup Mirror
  4. Beautyblender Set
  5. NARS Hot Escape Eye & Cheek Palette
  6. Stila Good to Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set (I have one of these at home, and use it all the time!)
  7. Diptyque Candle Set

I also purchased a pair of Platform Converse Sneakers (color: white) that I received in the mail yesterday, and I’m so excited to wear them! Unfortunately they are sold out. I’m hoping they will restock more items once the sale opens to the public tomorrow, because I also have my eye on this BP. White Lace Cami, It’s $22 and a staple item! It sold out in my size on the first day of the sale before I was able to add it to my cart!

Tips to shop the sale:
-Go through the sale and put everything you might want on your wishlist, so when the sale goes live, you can just add the items to your cart.
-Shop the sale as early as you can (I heard someone say that it goes live at 2am CT, but don’t quote me on that!)
-Even if you are unsure about an item, purchase it anyways! If you receive it and don’t love it, you can always send it back! Items sell out super fast, and you don’t want to miss out on an item!

What items are you planning on purchasing during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and happy shopping! ❤

Valerie

How To Prep For A Spray Tan

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To me, Memorial Day officially means the start of summer. I’m SO ready for lake days and pools days. But with summer JUST starting, I don’t have a tan yet. Not. Even. Close. My legs are SO pale. I love getting spray tans before heading to the beach or shooting blog photos. Spray tans are a lot safer than tanning in a tanning bed (no skin cancer for me!). Spray tans obviously don’t last as long as an actual tan, but there are steps you can take to make it last a tad longer. Here are the steps I follow for preparing for a spray tan:

The Night Before:

  1. Before jumping in the shower, I use the EcoTools Body Brush to exfoliate away the dry, dead skin cells. I brush in an upward motion starting with my feet and ending with my arms.
  2. I shower like normal, and make sure to use an exfoliating loofah and moisturizing body wash. I love this body wash by Dove.
  3. I shave my legs. It’s best to shave the night before, and not right before you go. Otherwise, the spray can get in your pores and leave them discolored.
  4. I apply body lotion on my legs, arms, and feet (the parts of my body that get the most dry). I use a body lotion I found at Bath and Body Works, but any brand should work!

Right Before:

  1. I shower like normal using an exfoliating loofah and moisturizing body wash.
  2. I use a sugar scrub on my feet, legs, and arms. I use one from Bath and Body Works, but any brand will do!
  3. I apply body lotion to my hands, feet, ankles, elbows, and knees. These tend to look patchy after my spray tan from dry skin, so I try to moisturize them a lot!
  4. I put on loose clothing like shorts, a baggy t-shirt, and flip flops. I also do not apply makeup the rest of the night. I make sure this is the last thing I do for the day, so the closer I get my spray tan to bed time, the better!

During your spray tan, make sure to follow all the instructions the tanning salon gives you. I usually get the Versa Spa, level 2, clear, and add the moisturizing spray at the end. I apply the blending lotion to my hands, elbows, knees, ankles, and feet.

After Your Spray Tan:

  1. The first thing I do when I get out of the booth is wipe off the bottoms of my feet, hands, and my toenails and fingernails with the towel the salon provides. Otherwise, they tend to turn orange!
  2. I keep on baggy clothes for at least 12 hours.
  3. I also don’t shower for 12 hours.
  4. I apply lotion every morning and night.
  5. I apply Jergens self tanner on my legs after I shower to keep my tan looking fresh. My spray tan tends to fade on the bottom of my legs faster.

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it really does make your tan look better and last longer. If you don’t have dry skin like me, then you might not have to exfoliate the night before, and just do everything right before you go. Do you have any spray tan tips? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

How To Dress Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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Shop The Look

Top: Soft Surroundings // Shorts: Target // Bag: Target // Shoes: Similar //
Necklace: Similar 

With warmer weather starting to arrive, I decided to start posting summer looks. Soft Surroundings just released their summer collection, and I’m in love! SO many bright colors. The mixed prints and beaded detail are what caught my eye on this top, and knew I had to add it to my summer collection. It’s also perfect for transitioning from spring to summer. I styled it here with jean shorts and wedges, but you can style it with any pair of jeans or white pants.

What I love about this shirt, is you can wear it buttoned up, unbuttoned, tucked in (like I did here) or tie it together in the front. The back is a bit longer, so you can also wear it with leggings.

The top is a lot brighter than some of the outfits I usually wear, and the jean shorts are way shorter than what I’m used to, but I’m really trying to dress out of my comfort zone this year. I always tend to dress by what people may think about me (kind of what I’ve done my whole life). This year, one of my goals was to live my life the way I want, be my own person, and be happy in my own skin. Do what makes ME happy. So that’s exactly what I plan to do! WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! JUST BE YOU! The only person that can make you happy is yourself!

Here are a few tips to dress out of your comfort zone:
1. STOP caring what other people think! (obviously, the main one)
2. Wear bright colors! (or dark colors if you always wear bright ones).
3. Afraid to wear that 2 piece swim suit? GET IT! Love your body!
4. Wear tighter fitting clothes! (baggy shirts aren’t always flattering anyways 😉 )
5. Don’t put yourself down!
6. BE YOU.

I hope this helps you buy that tight dress you’ve always wanted, or that cute two piece swimsuit at Target. Have other tips? Leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

This post was in collaboration with Soft Surroundings. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible! ❤ 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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We are officially halfway through the week! A little life update (2 things): First, As some of you may know, I work at the National Personnel Records Center as an Archives Technician. We basically send military records to veterans that request them. I’m currently on the burial team, and Friday is my last day. I’m officially going back up to the preservation department where I first started at the records center! I’m so excited to be working with my old coworkers again, and will somewhat be using the degree I am paying for each month, haha!

Last: This week my Aunt and Uncle from Georgia are visiting! I plan on spending all weekend with them. Saturday we will be spending the day at the lake BBQing and Fishing. The weather is supposed to be SO nice, so it will be perfect. Lake season has officially started, and I could not be more excited for warmer weather!

On to today’s post! Did anyone realize how close Mother’s Day is? Only two and a half weeks away! Usually I wait until the last minute to find something, but this year I’m trying to have a game plan. I did a quick round up of my favorite items that would be perfect for your mom listed above! I’m posting it ahead of time so you have plenty of time for shipping.

You can’t go wrong with Kendra Scott Jewelry, or anything coffee related! You can even throw in there a gift card to her favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or salon/spa! Don’t forget flowers ;). One of my favorite things to get my mom each year is a vase full of her favorite flowers or a plant she can put out in the yard.

I love bright colored scarves for spring and summer. You can add them to your bag, or tie around your neck for a cute statement piece. Of course I had to add a beach bag, since I have summer on the brain!

Do you have Mother’s Day gift ideas for your mom? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie