Beauty Catch Up | No-Makeup, Makeup, My Favorite Mascara & More!

I meant to share this post last Sunday, and then…life happened. I added a few more things this week, so I hope you enjoy reading anyway!

The past weekend did not feel like a weekend at all. My husband was working and I had a ton to study, so I went to bed late (like morning late), and it definitely shows–especially on my skin. When I don’t sleep enough, I look in the mirror and feel like I need to wear makeup, but I prefer a more understated look. Just something that opens up my eyes and evens out blotchy skin. Thankfully, I have streamlined a routine that is quick and makes me feel more put together and look less tired. Let’s chat about some of the products I have been using.

The perfect “no-makeup, makeup” blush. That would be the Clove + Hallow Hydratint Blush Serum. I know, I know–I was just raving about another blush two weeks ago, but trust me, they do totally different things. The RMS pressed blush I showed you last week gives a fresh pop of color and a flattering glow. It’s for those days when you want to look as lively as you feel on the inside.

This Clove + Hallow blush serum, instead, mimics that healthy flush that you wake up with after a 9 hour night of sleep–which I definitely didn’t get last week. The shade is Nakey and it is described as a mid-tone peachy nude. On the skin, the color looks completely different from what you see in the bottle (a muted pink). As you tap it on the skin it turns warmer and blends into the color of your skin in such a flattering way. It is similar to another nude-ish blush that I like, the ILIA Color Haze Multi-Matte Pigment in Waking Up. I swatched them side to side for color-comparison. The Ilia one contains more oil and more pigment so when it dries it becomes more matte.

The Hydratint is water-based and lightweight. The texture is thin and saturated with color. It feels like it thins out more as you blend it until it becomes one with your skin. This is why it is so perfect for no-makeup, makeup. It is also more affordable than most blushes in the “clean & green” department (retails for $19). I highly recommend it if you are into this type of look and prefer more hydrating, non-oily textures. As we say in Italy, this is going to give you the pelle fresca (fresh skin) look. You can find it here.

ILIA Multi Haze in the shade Waking Up on the left; Clove + Hallow Hydratint in Nakey on the right

I gave this mascara a second chance. When I first tried the ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara, I found it not to last well on my eyes and to flake quite a bit towards the end of the day. However, after seeing so many people raving about it, including people who do not care for clean ingredients at all, I thought I would give it another shot. I am glad that I did, because it has become my go-to mascara, and I even ended up purchasing a couple of backups.

The formula is wet, but unlike many wet formulas that tend to be a bit more watered-down on pigment, this one coats the lashes in a rich, shiny black color that makes them stand out. Getting familiar with its peculiarly-shaped wand did not take me too long and now I can get an impressive amount of lengthening and separation. Most importantly, my newest tubes have not caused any flaking or smudging on me. The only time that I had a few flakes under my eyes was when I spent 30 minutes face down on the chiropractor’s table, which was obviously an exception. Available here.

The September Detox Box. The Detox Market’s newest Detox Box* just launched this past week. It features three skincare products from Naturopathica. I was already familiar with some of the product, (you may recall seeing it last year on my IG page), and I am a huge fan of the brand’s philosophy–a holistic approach to skincare grounded in herbalism. I believe that it is important to understand plants’ medicinal properties in order to use them effectively in skincare formulations, so I appreciate that the founder and formulator of Naturopathica is both an aesthetician and a herbalist.

The three products (valued at $145, but highly discounted to fit the $39.95 price of the box) are a cleanser, a facial cream, and face oil.

The Oat Cleanser Facial Polish is a gentle multi-tasking cleanser with a conservative amount of jojoba beads in it. I don’t typically use anything with beads, but I tried this one and it was not harsh to my skin. In fact, the main ingredients in this cleanser, such as oat, have calming properties. Even the creamy consistency of the product feels soothing when it touches the skin. Due to the moisturizing properties of this cleanser, it can also be used as a soothing face mask. This is actually my favorite way to use it, especially at the end of a long day after removing my makeup. It rinses off easily so there no need to rub the skin harshly. If you are into cream cleansers and have dry skin, you will enjoy this one.

The Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream is deeply hydrating, and something that I see myself reaching for during the upcoming colder days. This moisturizer is the product that made me recall what Naturopathica exactly reminds me of, which is the herbal skincare that my aunt used to buy at the local Erboristeria in my hometown in Italy. Those were my very first encounters with green beauty and herbal remedies, about thirty years ago (and this also reminded me that I should call her–I haven’t spoken to Zia Maria in a while!). Although the cream’s consistency looks rich and luscious, it is surprisingly not heavy and once you massage it well and doesn’t leave any greasiness or film on the skin.

Please note that Naturopathica’s products contain small amounts of essential oils. Although they have agreed with my skin, they could still be problematic if you are allergic or sensitive to them. Always read the labels to make sure that they are okay for you.

Lastly, the box comes with the Carrot Seed Soothing Facial Oil. This blend of oils contains both carrot seed and carrot root oils. Both are beneficial to dry, dehydrated, and sun-damaged skin. They are extremely high in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. While the oil texture is a bit heavier than what I am used to using, this is a great addition for the Fall season. This oil might be particularly soothing to the skin after Summer if you overdid sun exposure, and it also offers protection for the skin from environmental aggressors like sun and wind. This would be ideal to wear underneath your face sunscreen for extra support against UV damage. It also works well under makeup, if you like your base to be a bit more “cushioned”.

Overall, I have been enjoying the products that came in the box, these products will become quite useful to boost my routine for cool, fall weather. You can check out the box here.

I tried a popular makeup wipe alternative. A few weeks ago, I bought a pack of Face Halo cleansing pads. These are reusable pads made with soft fibers that are supposed to remove makeup/cleansing the skin with water only (no product needed). After using them every night for a little while, I have mixed feelings about them, because they don’t work the way that I expected. For me, they can be used in replacement for my thin, soft face towels to remove a cleansing product, but they haven’t replaced the actual product. When I use them with warm water only, I feel like I don’t get all makeup residue off. Perhaps this also has something to do with the type of makeup used (oil-based makeup would obviously be harder to remove with water than a water-based product, and I use mostly oil-based). If you are used to using makeup wipes, this may be a nice, cost-effective alternative. They are even eco-friendly–you can throw them in the washing machine and re-use them hundreds of times. If you have had a different experience or have any tips for me on how to get the best use out of these, please leave a comment below. You can check them out here.

A pimple remedy that WORKS! While experimenting with various herbal tinctures to find a remedy for my occasional zits, I was sent a sample of the new REN Clear Calm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel*. I had the chance to put it to the test a couple of times and I was blown away by how gentle yet effective it was. In my experience, it dries the pimple in about 24 hours or less preventing it from becoming bigger and more inflamed. It also prevented the pimples from leaving scars. I also appreciate the discrete look of it, so I can apply it before going out. It goes on as an amber-colored gel, but as it dries it becomes less noticeable. It takes a little while to dry, so I don’t like to apply makeup on top of it.

The active ingredient is White Willow Bark-derived, Salicylic Acid at a 0.5% concentration. Surprisingly, this produces no tingling or other discomforts. The ingredients in REN products are generally pretty “clean”, with the exception of some controversial preservatives (such as phenoxyethanol, for example), but I have no concerns about the ingredients in this product. I totally recommend it and will purchase it myself once I run out. However, I still encourage you to double-check that the ingredient list fits your personal standards.

The only thing that I want you to keep in mind is that this is not a treatment for cystic acne–it is just a really effective pimple remedy. It works great for occasional breakouts, such as PMS/hormonal related ones that many women experience on chin and forehead. While this treatment may help to soothe acne pimple and perhaps calm them down slightly, it won’t be a solution and won’t prevent reocurrance. You can find it here.

Have a wonderful week! Ciao e buona Domenica.

*gifted/PR sample; NOT a sponsored post