december birchbox & post-party skin recovery

2013 has been a year of challenges interspersed with moments of bliss with the people I am so fortunate to call my close friends and family.  I would say my biggest accomplishment this year has been this little blog, and the amount of learning that has taken place since we launched 5 months ago.  I’m not usually one for resolutions, but for 2014 I do resolve to start featuring street style and beauty tutorials on here… I had all of one style-related post in 2013, and I’m not super pleased with that.  So peace out, 2013, and cheers to 2014: a year of continued growth!

In the meantime, this will be my final post of 2013 – and how fitting that the topic is my favorite sample subscription box: Birchbox.  This month’s box featured 5 fantastic products that have made me feel fabulous, but most importantly, 3 of these products will be essential to my skin recovery plan for January 1st (well, 2 for skin recovery and one to make me look alive again!).

Once again, I had an incredibly hard time picking a favorite.  I’ll give you the rundown on the box as a whole while I decide which product to feature.

Ahmad Tea: I am a sucker for tea and fruit.  The mango was my favorite; I drizzled a touch of honey for some added sweetness, then pretended to be on a beach in India.  Painful snap back to reality when my mug was empty…

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract: Hardly any scent (my preference for dry shampoo) and no white gunk on my fingertips after working it in.  This one earned a spot on my dry shampoo shelf for sure.

dr. brandt BB matte with signature SHINEARASE: I managed to shine through this, even with a powder finish.  I still liked how little product I needed in order to achieve a flawless face (using a BeautyBlender helps with this).

BeeKind Body Lotion: Absorbs instantly and has the lightest, gentlest scent of lime zest and honey.

Vitivia Vitamin Capsules:  This is it.  This was my favorite product this month, and the one that my skin recovery plan hinges on.

Vitivia Pro:Vitamin A15

Vitivia Pro:Vitamin A15 (Image From Birchbox)

These little capsules are made of biodegradable materials and help keep the pure vitamin jelly inside fresh for facial application.  Good luck trying to buy these right now – they’re sold out, and with good reason.  My sample pack came with a few of the A15 capsules and a few of the C10 capsules.  I saw the biggest results from the A15, but to be fair, my skin does suffer more from dullness than from wrinkles or sun spots, which the C10 specifically targets.  The A15 capsule left my skin brighter, softer, and healthier looking after it sunk in.  I am bulk-buying these little vitamin packs as soon as they are back in stock!

Post-Party Skin Recovery Plan

Whether you lingered at the bar longer than you should have, or just spent the night in an intensely air-conditioned (or heated!) space, your skin is going to be grumpy with you the next morning.  Especially so if you didn’t wash and moisturize your face before you fell into bed.  Here’s my plan for nursing my skin back to health on January 1st!
(I am not a doctor or dermatologist. You should consult with a professional about your own skin and healthcare routines; this is just what works for me personally.)

  1. Go for a nice steam in the shower.  Pat skin dry, and apply your favorite cleansing mask.  I like GlamGlow’s Supermud.
  2. While the mask dries, massage a rich moisturizer all over your body.  Your face will show skin fatigue most obviously, but that’s no reason to neglect the rest of your body.  BeeKind will absorb into your skin before it’s time to remove the mask.
  3. Remove mask according to package directions, and pat skin dry.
  4. Mist face with your favorite toner.  Let dry.
  5. Apply pure vitamin A, like Vitivia A15, and let sink into skin.
  6. Dot eye cream beneath your eyes and follow with your favorite daily moisturizer.
  7. Smooth on your favorite BB cream, like dr. brandt’s bb matte, to add some color back to your complexion if needed.  If not, try to avoid wearing makeup.
  8. Drink tons of water.  A good coconut water has lots of electrolytes and no added sugar (read the label carefully); this will help jump start your rehydration.  Hydrated skin is happy skin, while dry skin is more prone to irritation and breakouts.

I hope you all have a very happy entry into 2014!  Thank you for spending part of your 2013 with me :)

so, what did you think?


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