beauty

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50 Shades of… Red

Published May 17, 2016 by lesleyhope

You know how your friend walks into brunch with some sort of BEAUTIFUL bright red lip and you immediately know two things: 1) you want that color 2) you will never look the same in that same color.

I got to think the other day when this happened to me. Some girls I work with can pull off these beautiful warm toned red shades- the ones that error on the side of red-orange. They’re beautiful!… on them. On me… not so much. And that’s totally ok. One of the most important things I have learned throughout my lifetime is shades and tones of color are important to know. And no, I am not going to get all complex with the color wheel and color theory. I could, because I take an interest in colors. It’s much more simple than that. I just want to break it down with one color. Red!

Red is a color that looks good on everyone. It really does. Everyone should just aim to find the shade of red that suits their skin tone, hair, eyes and most of all CONFIDENCE! Feeling good and loving the color you have on your lips is most of the battle. I personally love greys/taupes and I JUST started wearing them in public.

Let’s take my red lipsticks for example. I went through all of my reds last night and found some patterns. One, I love the cool toned, blue-based reds. Two, I don’t mess with any reds that start going orange. Three, I have reddish pinks but don’t prefer them. There. Those are my red preferences summed up. Maybe if I ever went to Mexico for a tropical vacation and got a beautiful tan (can I do that without actually ruining my skin?) would I try one of those orange reds that my darker skinned coworder can flawlessly pull off. Even then I think I would still feel clownish! Just me though I guess, not my cup of tea.

Below are all of the reds: (some look much pinker in this picture than I thought)

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From the top to the bottom:

-Kat Von D Gold Blooded (Limited edition I believe… my awesome bro got me the set for Xmas 🙂 )

-MAC- All Fired Up

-Anastasia Beverly Hills- American Doll

-MAC- Russian Red

-NYX- Bloody Mary

-Colour Pop- Bossy

-NYX Hollywood

-Marc Jacobs- So Rouge

-NYX- Alabama

-MAC- Chili

So, in conclusion- swatch the shit out of colors and try them on in the store if you don’t know what is best. Also, I have learned that sometimes the sales associates in Sephora and Ulta don’t know what they’re talking about. Trust yourself. That’s it!

Here is my favorite red (mix between Russian Red & Bossy).

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Happy hunting!

Xoxo,

Lesley

Published February 26, 2016 by lesleyhope

As you get older, you start to notice things that you never did before. Especially your body, skin, hair, weight, emotions, patience, etc. You get it. A lot of people say getting older sucks. I am going to take this time right now to dispute that. I’ve got a couple of reasons.

I’m going to be general about this, but the person I was inside and out about a year ago is totally different than the person I am right now. I have taken time to get to know myself physically and emotionally during the past year. I have changed my routines, incorporated different products, taken away products that don’t work and basically cut the fat from my life in all aspects.

Two pieces of fat: people that don’t do me a damn and my Clarisonic. Yes those are at opposite ends of the spectrum but I’ve noticed the most positive changes from subtracting both of them from my life.

I used to use my Clarisonic everyday (sometimes twice a day) and thought that getting all the dirt and oil and really exfoliating was good for my skin. It wasn’t. It isn’t. I got a facial about 6 months ago and the estitician was appalled that I exfoliated so much. My skin was irritated, dry, got random breakouts, uneven, red. It was just bad.

Afterwards I took her words to heart and stopped using it altogether. I bought a gentle cleansing cream, starting using Boscia Break Up Oil to remove my makeup gently, started using my hands to wash my face, incorporated Boscia Beauty Oil with my moisturizer and Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Hydrating masks a few times a week . That’s a lot. I know. But my skin has never felt more smooth and has never looked more healthy than now. I mean, I’m talking like a DRAMATIC difference. I have a side by side picture of myself from last year and one I took last night. It’s astounding.

My skin changing along with a few life decisions (living alone, getting a cat, new job, finding myself) has made me more me.

Shoutout to the following:

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I am sorry this is rusty. It’s been too long.

xox,

Lesley

I’m Back! With ColourPop!!!

Published August 14, 2015 by lesleyhope

Yes! After months of a hiatus for no apparent reason other than life… I’m back in action on this blog. First, a little about what has been up. I moved out of my old place (thank God), I now live alone in a cute lil apartment in the best part of the city, I have started a new job, actually 2 new jobs (just started working at the yoga studio last week for some free yoga), I have gone on handfuls of dates with men (and boys), many were not good experiences (more on that later- the woos of single life in the big city!, I played in a volleyball league this summer and have started spinning religiously. That sums up my life!

On another note, I’m fricken obsessed with liquid lipsticks. And I’ve been trying different brands to see if I can get a good bang for my buck. I bought a few of the Anastasia Beverly Hills, 2 Kat Von D and one Stila. My thoughts thus far: ABH has the best formula. Not drying, stays a good amount of time, nice array of colors but expensive for the amount of product you receive. Kat Von D has twice the product for the same price but her colors are a little more cray (which is cool with me), and the formula is a little tacky (don’t like). Stila is, again, on the expensive side, not that many colors to choose from and I don’t like the smell of them. They smell kind of like paint or something.

Enter Colourpop Cosmetics and their Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks. Ok first of all they are $6 which is less than HALF the cost of the other 3 brands. Second, their color selection is by far the best. Ranging from taupe, dark brown, BLUE, lavender to red. Third, they are matte. Like, really, really matte. Matte like they hurt my lips when I tried to get off the color swatching. They are also very drying. They are a very dry film over your lips so if you like moisture I would not recommend. They’re straight up liquid too. One thing I did not like was that one of the colors actually DRIPPED out from the tube when I was applying. Not good for that Louis Vuitton I slaved for. But damn they are some beauties.

Let’s get into it shall we? Below from top to bottom: Trap, Bumble, Sundae, Mars, Seesaw

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I have swatched any colors beside each that can be considered “dupes”. Or, I guess, what these ColourPop colors could be considered dupes for.

IMG_1036Trap- Sephora Lustre Matte in Fig on L & ABH Pure Hollywood on R

Bumble- Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick in Amore

Sundae- Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi

Mars- ABH in Carina

Seesaw- ABH in Lovely

Now I will go into each color as I swatched each on me. This is on 12 hours of makeup and fourth day washed hair PS. Don’t judge the swatching either. Just judge the colors.

TRAP. Purple-taupe. Heard a lot about this color prior to buying and I am IMPRESSED! Very wearableIMG_1026 for everyday makeup, beautiful shade and very unique as I was not able to swatch any dupes that had the same taupey intensity.

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Bumble: UM OK I CAN’T EVEN. This color is…. the most perfect   medium raspberry pink. There were really no colors that even came close to this shade. Incredible unique and I think it would look good on a lot of skintones as well

IMG_1029Sundae: bright fuchsia with purple undertones. Kat Von D is pretty similar but.. this one is $6 sooo…

Mars- this is a bright, red/pink. I would not go so far to call it coral- it’s definitely more pink as you can see

IMG_1030Mars- this is a deep pink coral. Very similar to ABH Carina above. A bit with more of a blue undertone rather than warm.

IMG_1028Seesaw: light to medium pink with lavender undertones. Didn’t have anything in my arsenal that close to it. Very wearable. Again, unique shade.

Ok that is it. I will absolutely recommend these to people. I would be careful of the application as one of my colors did drip out of the tube. But finish, color payoff, (no) smell and price are WONDERFUL! Go Colorpop!!!

XO,

Lesley

After a Long Hiatus… Let’s Do Some Cream Contour!

Published April 2, 2015 by lesleyhope

Cream contour is all the rage right now. Well, contouring at least is. Using creams is a little tricky and daunting but VERY, VERY easy IF you break it down to the basics. So… let’s break it down to the basics!

Here are the products I use:

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Yes I do use my fair share of brushes and that’s NOT needed but I will verify which steps are required and optional.

Step 1: apply moisturizer (not pictured). The key with cream contour is that your skin needs to be SUPPLE!

Step 2: apply primer (OCC Skin Primer) with a foundation brush (first brush pictured). It can be any kind of foundation brush or even your fingers. I apply it this way because the primer is water based (similar to Mac Fix + Spray) so it kind of primes my brush too.

Step 3: apply foundation (Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Mousse) all over the face- shade: Nude. Ok so **sidenote**- I bought this foundation on clearance at Target for 50% off so I am still up in the air to if I like it or not. It’s not my exact color (about one shade darker than what my skin is). I figure that in the summer I can get decent use out of it. The formula is very light weight which I do like, especially for a cream contour routine since I am applying various products to my face.

Step 4: Apply using either your fingers or a small foundation brush the cream contour (ABH Cream Contour Kit) on the hollows of the cheeks, temple and along the sides of the nose. Apply with your fingers the highlight color on the bridge of your nose, middle of your forehead, under your eyes, cupid’s bow and middle of chin (I like to mix a pink from the kit along with the shade vanilla to get a color much lighter than my skin tone). NOTE: For this post, I did half of my face at first to show the difference.

Exhibit A:

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Step 5: Blend it out! I use my beauty blender but you can use any smaller (or larger) synthetic brush.

Step 6: SET! It’s crucial that whenever you apply a cream to the face (no matter if it’s foundation, highlighter, blush, concealer, etc) that you set it with some kind of powder. I used the ABH Contour Kit to set my contour in all the places I applied it with cream. Then I set my highlight with one of the lighter (keep it matte though) to all of the places I applied the cream highlight. I used my Wayne Goss brush for the contour but I would suggest Real Techniques Contour Brush for a cheaper option. I used my Sephora #80 to set most of the powder under my eye, nose and forehead.

Step 7: Buff it all out. I learned this step from Wayne Goss. I used my Smashbox Photo Filter Powder and a large, fluffy powder brush to buff it all over my skin. This will not disrupt the cream, powder or placement of either- it actually just adds a beautiful finish and makes everything blend that much more.

Exhibit B:

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OK I kind of cheated and did one of my eyebrows and eyes so you could see a transformation but I don’t even think it does my skin justice…. so here’s more.

Exhibit C:

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Do you see that? A SERIOUS transformation of my skin. And super subtle too… this wasn’t even a going out look- just a simple, daytime cream contour. It proves that makeup can transform and bring out your best features.

Going to rest now… I am sick but had to get this post up!

xoxo,

Lesley Hope

Pick A Color- Any Color!

Published February 17, 2015 by lesleyhope

I think about lipstick a lot. What color should I buy this season? What color should I wear tomorrow? What color should I wear when I reapply in one hour? I am an avid proponent that you should always try new colors. I always have been like that. But lately, I have been reevaluating my thought process regarding lipstick. While I still am 100% pro “go for it, whatever color it may be, including the blues, greens, oranges”, I am getting into the “find a shade, tone, tint that you really like and that you really look good in, and stick by that”. I’ll explain…

Someone did a color breakdown the other day on Reddit. The two categories were “cool or warm” and “muted or bright”. Then this genius made an actual spreadsheet of at least 30 lipsticks in each shade (pink, purple, red, etc) that were the said category. It was brilliant and as I was looking at the lists, lightbulb after lightbulb kept going off in my mind. I don’t gravitate toward some colors (corals, oranges, bright warms in general) because I just don’t look good in them. Period. That’s not to say I don’t have them in my collection and I haven’t worn them and I never will wear them ever again. I will definitely rock a coral every once in awhile during the summer. But I am going to reach for my muted, cool toned mauves way more often.

So here is where we get to the good stuff! My MAC lipstick swatches! I swatched them all on my arms last night to break down the colors for myself to compare the different tones and shades against my skin.

Reds

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All Fired Up: matte, bright, cool toned red/berry. It is so bright and cool it comes off as pink sometimes.

Russian Red: matte, bright, cool toned true red. Fire engine with the blue based tones underneath.

Chili: Matte, muted, warm toned brick red.

Viva Glam III: matte, muted, warm toned burgundy. This could have gone into my “browns” or “mauves” section but I wanted to show to compare the difference between two very cool toned colors and two very warm. (And I still consider it a red).

Nudes

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Japanese Maple- warm, muted pale nude. It’s a “creamsheen” which is a type of finish that is more sheer than opaque which I don’t prefer when wearing lipsticks.

Fleshpot- warm, muted pale nude with pink undertones. Most skin-like color for a VERY nude-glam lip.

Myth- warm, light nude. One of MAC’s best sellers essentially because it looks good on all skin tones- very neutral on the spectrum.

Blankety- warm, muted pink beige. Has more pink and pigment than the other colors in this category. One of my favorites for a no makeup look.

Viva Glam II- warm, muted pinky mauve. Now we’re starting to get into more of the purplish/beige/brownish undertones which really call my name.

Kinda Sexy- warm, muted peachy nude. The peaches and orange undertones come out in this color- so it’s really not my favorite during the winter. With a tan it’s another story.

Browns/Metallics

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Tanarama- cool, muted beige with pearl shimmer. Probably not an everyday lipstick. I personally like to mix this with other colors to soften. For example, I will put this on top of a very dark brown to nude it down.

Viva Glam Rihanna II- cool, muted mauvey beige. One of the more unique colors of my collection.

Styled in Sepia- cool, muted taupe brown. It’s brown. It’s one of my favorite colors. It almost errors on the grey side and you do have to be careful not to look dead when you wear it but it looks AMAZING with a sharp contour.

“O”- warm, muted reddish brown with flecks of gold. This is one that could have been in the “reds”, “purples” or “browns”.

Verve- warm, muted brownish plum. Again, one of the colors that I am just into. It’s not quite vampy- but definitely a color for risk takers.

Purples (you would think I would have more but I feel that many of the swatches of my collection have mauve undertones which essentially makes them interchangeable between colors. Thus, the following are TRUE purples)

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Viva Glam Nicki II- cool, bright pastel lavender. VERY opaque- one of the only colors that is a true pastel.

Up The Amp- cool, muted violet. An everyday color that is one of my favorites of my collection. Has enough pink tones in it that it looks good on a variety of people.

Cyber- cool, muted blackish purple. This actually was one of my first two lipsticks ever. It’s bold, it’s beautiful and it’s vampy as hell.

Pinks

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Saint Germain- cool, bright pastel pink. Very similar to Viva Glam Nicki II but with brighter pink. I wore this on a date and he complimented and loved it.

Pink Plaid- cool, muted dusty pink. Very matte. It’s an everyday type of pink that you can wear with anything.

Girl About Town- cool, bright blue fuchsia. Nothing else to be said about this color. Making it my goal to wear more of these pink fuchsia shades this spring.

Pink Pigeon- cool, bright pink matte. Similar to Girl About Town but a little clearer pink and not as much blue.

Impassioned- cool, bright fuchsia with pink and coral undertones. This. Is. Bright. Not for the timid. I wear this only in the summer…. when I’ve got a glow. But blondes look awesome in these types of bright colors.

Viva Glam Nicki IV- warm, bright vibrant pink with yellow undertones. Similar to Impassioned than the swatches suggest but this is more of a true pink rather than fuchsia.

Craving- cool, muted pink berry. One of my two first lipsticks ever from MAC. It has purpley tones in it but I would categorize it overall as more of a berry pink rather than on the purple side.

OK, that’s it! I was talking with my friend Margaux earlier today and we’re going to hold each other accountable to wear different color lipsticks this spring. Trying to think of what I should start to wear more of… I’ve been going hard with the browns and vampy lips this winter. Maybe on to some pastels? We’ll see.

I hope you guys enjoyed my swatches and breakdowns of my MAC lipsticks. I had such a fun time doing it. I LOVE color and I LOVE lipstick and these are like my babies. Any questions, please holler!

Xoxo,

Lesley Hope

NYE Essentials

Published December 31, 2014 by lesleyhope

I’m going to be the first to tell you that I’ve done it ALL on NYE before. I’m talking like fake blonde extensions, 5 inch strappy heels, dresses that are too short, dresses with no back, spray tan, lots of bronzer, and of course… too much alcohol. As I’ve grown up a little and matured in the past years, I wanted to write a list of what are REALLY essentials this NYE.

  • Friends. Be with people that you want to be with. People that make you laugh and have fun. I’ve gone around the block too many times and have spent NYE at parties where I honestly don’t LIKE many of the people there and I’m just there… to be there.IMG_20141101_233408

<– Me and two of my best friends

  • Something warm to wear. As I mentioned previously, I’ve done it all and frozen my butt off. Was it worth it? Maybe at the time or so I thought. Is it worth it now? Hell no. Granted I live in one of the coldest cities everrr right now but I am not trying to challenge a -5 degree wind chill- now or ever again! I will probably rock some black skinnies tonight with a top, blazer, high boots and my long North Face jacket. Not to mention my hat and gloves… sorry hair!
  • Glitter. Ok so I’m going to concede on the glitter makeup to makeup for the non-giltter dress of the past. Something very simple is appropriate. I am going to do a glitter winged liner look tonight. I have been perfecting my winged liner for the past 6 months and I finally can do it on average 4 days a week without messing up. That’s a decent average (4 days out of the normal 5) compared to what it was when I started getting serious about the wings (my average back then was about .5 days out of 5 because I could get one wing right one day, then the other wing would just look atrocious).

I am going to use a few of my MAC pigments tonight along with a mixing medium to create this look below:

glitter

  • Color! Since I’m going for the more funeral-esque/MAC counter girl outfit tonight (black on black on black- pants, boots, blazer), I will probably wear a pop of color under for my shirt AND put a really fun color on my lips that I usually would never wear to work for everyday. I’m thinking like a neon pink (Nylon by OCC), a bright lavendar (Hoochie by OCC) OR maybe something just bold like a dark blue (Vain by OCC). The options are endless!

hoochie   Hoochie nylon  Nylon vain Vain

Maybe I’ll add some glitter or MAC pigment on top of those… could be a lip to remember!

  • Last but not least… nails. Gotta go with fun nails. This can be any color, just make sure they’re not naked. I did the dark red for Christmas- Lost on Lombard which was perfect. I’m thinking I’ll do Birthday Babe by OPI which is a fun, metallic silver that I usually also paint for fun events (like my birthday)

birthday babe

Completed! I hope you all have a beautiful New Years. I actually wish that I wasn’t doing ANYTHING. I’m such an introvert that my couch and pajamas sound best to me… but following social norms (and since my cousin is going to be in town), I’ve gotta do what I gotta do. And that is above! Stay safe, don’t spend too much money and don’t drink too much! There’s too much awesome football tomorrow for anyone to be hung over.

With that all being said….

GO GREEN!!!!!!

ncaa-football-rose-bowl-stanford-vs-michigan-state

Xo, Lesley Hope

My Skin Care Routine

Published December 30, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hi friends!

As I was in the middle of my skin care routine tonight, I thought I would shed some light on what I do, what I use, what I love, what I’ve found useful, etc. I am the first to say that I did not take care of my skin as I should have when I was younger. I tanned, I didn’t put on sun screen, I got burned- what in the world was I thinking?! Well, 5-10 years later I am now kicking myself in the butt for it. I think now at 26 years old, I have caught myself early enough that I can at least SLOW the wrinkles and damage. I can’t emphasize enough to younger girls: DO NOT TAN!!!, take your makeup off at night!, put moisturizer on!, start using anti-wrinkle cream earlier than you think, and get a clarisonic.

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Anyway, let’s get into my routine because it’s pretty lengthy (but all so worth it). I’ll break down each step with what I do, what I use and what I think of my current products.

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Step 1: remove make-up. This is crucial to pre-cleansing the face. There is so much dirt, oil, make-up, sweat that builds up on your face throughout the day. I used to make the mistake of using my Clarisonic  TO take off my make-up and it was not efficient. I use a dollop of Dermablend Long Wear Makeup Remover on a cotton pad and rub it all over my face. It almost melts onto your skin and takes all the makeup (or most of it) with it on the cotton pad. Your skin will NOT feel clean afterwards, it almost feels slimy but it definitely doesn’t have as much crud on it. I really like this product- this is my second bottle of it. I tried Sephora’s Waterproof Makeup Remover Gel and that was a bust. It didn’t work nearly as good as this stuff. It’s $22 at Ulta. You can also use Makeup Remover Wipes- Target has a brand called up & up which are $4 there BUT there are only 30 of them in there. I sometimes take my makeup off twice a day or have to go through them more than that and this bottle lasts me about 6 months so it’s more feasible to buy this.

 

20141229_210930Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash

 

Step 2: clean yo face! I’ve gone through a lot of cleansers and I like this one the most. I put a pump on my Clarisonic and turn that baby on. I like the cleanser because it fights acne and oiliness without drying out my skin. I live in the tundra of Chicago so I know all about that dry face. This feels awesome on my skin and isn’t too harsh. If you have very sensitive skin, you might want something that is a little more gentle on your skin but I like this for combination skin. If you want to know my thoughts on Clarisonic- check out this post of mine. P.S. Dermalogica is $36 for 8.4 oz and it has lasted me… for-ev-er. WORTH IT!

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Mary Kay Purifying Freshener

Step 3: Tone! I’ve had this toner forever too. I use it just to get around the edges of my face and clean up any makeup or oil that I couldn’t reach with the Clarisonic like on my hairline and on my neck/ears. It’s pretty simple, it freshens the skin just as it says. I bet you can find other toners out there that are drugstore brand that do just as good of work but until I run out, I’m using this bad boy. It’s $13 the only problem is I don’t have a Mary Kay rep anymore- anyone know one in Chicago that won’t try and get me to sell makeup???

20141229_211051Step 4: remove eye makeup. Ok, this step used to be my arch nemesis. I NEVER could find a good enough eye-makeup remover that didn’t make me squirt like 5 times on the cotton ball to get off all of my makeup. Guess what, Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover does the JOB! It is pricey, yes. I have tried all eye-makeup removers under the sun. From Johnson and Johnson Baby Oil (cheap but makes my eyes too oily and the oil sits there) to Mary Kay (one of the better ones) to Target brand (really poor), I couldn’t find one! I went into Sephora a couple of weeks ago and asked for the best remover and this pointed me to this bad boy. It’s $28 but you need a small amount on a cotton ball then you put the cotton ball to your eye and hold it there for about 10-15 seconds, when you lift it, ABOUT all of your makeup will be gone. It absorbs all of the makeup into it, it’s great! It takes a little longer but there’s no rubbing involved and no product wasted in the process.

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Step 5: MOISTURIZE!! I have been using Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair every night and I swear to goodness it’s been working. The lines around my eyes have gotten filled in a little and my skin is all around smoother. This is $21.99 at Ulta. You could probably use any moisturizer or night cream but again, just telling you what I use. I also rub about a half a pump on my neck as well as my face.

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Step 6: Take care of the finer things! Eyes and lips! So important to your skin care routine. I use a TINY bit of Lucas Papaw Ointment and rub it on my lips. Check out the link right there. I bought this at The Makeup Show Chicago for $10 but I believe you can purchase at Beautylish or Amazon. It’s this incredible, all natural remedy that has all these uses. I have used it on sun burns, my hair, rashes, I sometimes use it under my eyes for added moisture. Really neat stuff. Then last, my beloved Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24. I purchased this from Sephora ONLY because I had a $20 coupon so, it made the $55 cream that much better. I know some of you are sitting there shaking your heads but skin care is SOOOO worth it!!! Also, you need such a small amount of this cream that it will probably take me 2 years to get through it. So, in reality that’s like 55 dollars divided into 730 days… 7 cents per use. Or, even if you wanted to use it in a year that’s 14 cents per use. In my mind, so worth it to keep your skin looking beautiful.

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And there I am with my skin all clean yay! Hey Grandpa! Also, big shout to my mom for always stressing the importance of skin care! I hope I learned early enough and look like her skin when I am her age!

xo, Lesley Hope