Ah skincare. There are so many products out there, all claiming to make your skin look so youthful you could be mistaken for a baby. With all of the serums, lotions, toners, and washes it’s hard to know what’s right for your skin, or even what order to use them in! For the longest time, all I did was wash my skin and put on some moisturizer. However, as I’ve gotten older my skincare routine has become quite involved (and takes as much time to complete as an episode of Friends). While I’m not an expert, I have come to know what works well for my oily, acne-prone skin, and what to avoid.

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Quick raise of hands, who loves a good face mask? 🙋🏼 Who dislikes spending a crazy amount of money at Sephora for said face mask? 🙋🏼 Seriously, why are the things so expensive? You can find decent ones at Target or the drugstore, but I’m always a little wary of the quality of the ingredients.

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Happy new year and welcome back to my blog! I’m still here, silently mourning the end of December and the holiday season. I’m prolonging taking down the Christmas decorations for as long as possible while still burning holiday candles and eating Christmas candy. How is December really over?! It feels like I just put up my tree and hung the lights. Time really does fly by as you get older.

One of the best ways to conquer the end of holiday blues is by keeping busy, and I’m doing that by sharing everything I loved during the month of December with you guys! I got a brand new Canon Rebel T6 camera for Christmas and I’ve been having so much fun learning how to use it. I’m really excited to start taking better pictures and see my blog grow and improve throughout 2017.

A lot of my favorites during the month of December are items I ordered from e.l.f. during their Black Friday sale. I did a whole post about that haul which you can read right here.

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The first thing is this blush and highlighter duo in St.Lucia. The blush is a beautiful peach color with gold glitter in it, and it’s complimented by the bronzer that also has gold glitter in it! The glitter isn’t too noticeable though, it just provides that perfect amount of glow to make you look beautiful and healthy.

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Another favorite from that haul is the Rose Gold eyeshadow palette. I’ve used this so many times this past month and I’m still not sick of it. The color range is perfect, the shadows last all day, and there’s a good mix of matte and shimmer. It’s a nice change from the typical brown and tan shades you find in most nude palettes.

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The baked highlighter in Blush Gems is another great product from e.l.f. I love the way this highlight looks when it catches the light, it just looks so natural and effortless on my skin. If you’re a pale girl like me you need to try this product!

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My last e.l.f. favorite for the month is their smudge pot in the shade wine not. It’s a gorgeous, deep purple shade that is so easy to throw on, blend out, and be done with. The shadow does not budge or fade and looks great for hours!

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This Colourpop liner in Get Paid blew me away the first time I used it. It’s a gel liner that glides on so easily and is incredibly pigmented. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to use a copper eyeliner, but oh my gosh is the color amazing! This is the first item I’ve tried from Colourpop and it makes me want to place an order for more things.

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The last bit of makeup I was really impressed with is Diamond Powder from Winky Lux. I’ve never heard of this company or product before, but my friend gave it to me along with a bunch of other makeup she no longer wanted or used. The powder feels like silk, and has the smallest flecks micro glitter in it. I use this to set my under eye concealer and it looks flawless. I would really love to buy the full size of this product as it can be built up and used as a powder foundation.

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I had a terrible breakout all over my chin this past month and I had a feeling that it was my cleanser that was causing the issues. After poking around the Internet and reading about people’s favorite cleaners I decided to give this one a try. I’d heard of CeraVe for a while now, but for some reason never thought to give it a try until now. This is honestly the first cleanser I’ve tried that claims to be hydrating and actually is! The product itself looks like a lotion and feels very thick. It melts off dirt and makeup and helped clear up my breakout within days.

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Lastly, I have a tea favorite! I studied abroad in Brighton England in the fall of 2015 and while there I fell in love with the Bluebird Tea Company. They make so many gourmet teas in flavors I have never heard of or thought would taste good in the form of tea. While the shop in Brighton is the only one that exists, they do ship worldwide! I ordered a couple bags as gifts for family and ordered myself this mint chocolate rooibos flavor. It tastes like heaven and is the perfect drink on a cold day. If you’re a tea lover I highly recommend checking out this company!

And that concludes my December Favorites! I’m looking forward to whatever 2017 may have in store and seeing where my blog goes. Happy new year everyone!

Thanks for reading,

Audrey Knizek

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In the past month or two my skin has gone from oily to dry / combination. I had gotten so used to having oily skin that when I started noticing dry patches on my nose and around my eyes I was ill equipped to handle the issue. I immediately ran to Target and searched the skin care aisles for some sort of hydrating mask. I had heard of Nügg before and thought I’d try out their deep hydration face mask.

The mask is infused with camellia seed oil and spirulina extract to hydrate and moisturize the face. Camellia oil is extracted from a tea plant and has numerous health benefits, both internal (if you use it for cooking) and external. As well as moisturizing, camellia oil has anti-inflammatory properties, anti-aging properties, and is an antioxidant. However if you have acne you may want to avoid any product with this oil as it’s uncertain whether camellia oil is comedogenic or not. Not noted on the package, this mask also has aloe juice, another incredibly moisturizing and brightening ingredient.

I initially thought each pod only had enough product for one use (at least that’s how it’s advertised). I bought three of these masks in a packaged deal for $11, and I thought that seemed like a lot of money for three masks. However there is definitely enough product in each pod for two uses. That made me feel a bit better about the $11 price tag. The little pods are great for keeping the mask fresh and are convenient for throwing in your bag when you’re traveling.

The texture of the mask is gel like and feels very cooling when applied to the face. There’s a light scent, but nothing too overwhelming. As it’s a hydrating mask, the mask does not dry up once it’s on your face; it stays the gel like texture the entire time. Once the mask has been on for twenty minutes I wipe it off with a warm wash cloth. My face feels so soft afterwards and it even looks a bit brighter. The next day my makeup goes on smoother and the dry patches on my nose are gone!

I would highly recommend picking up this mask and giving it a go if you struggle with dry, dull skin. 94% of the ingredients are natural and the product is not tested on animals! It’s hard to find something wrong with this mask.

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Thanks for reading!

Audrey Knizek

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One of the things I am most self conscious about is my acne. For about three weeks out of the month my acne is minimal and manageable, however I get really bad hormonal acne.I don’t like people seeing my skin when I have a lot of breakouts and I tend to cover them up with makeup. While I’m still trying to find the perfect products to tackle and prevent breakouts, these are the products I’m currently loving.

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Boots is a U.K brand that has finally made its way to the united states! They have so many wonderful skin care options, ensuring that there’s something for everyone. The Beautiful Skin balancing toner for normal to oily skin really helped balance out the oil on my skin. It’s fragrance free, non drying, and works to cleanse while also tightening pores. I’ve noticed a difference in the tone of my face since using this product as well.

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Another product I love is Pixi’s Glow Tonic. It’s a 5% glycolic acid treatment that exfoliates and tones the skin all while fighting acne. I noticed a huge change in terms of acne the morning after I used this for the first time. I use this only at night right now but am thinking of using it morning and night to see if that makes an even bigger difference. This product has a bit of a strong fragrance but it’s not bad and I’ve gotten used to it.

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I find that applying a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment really helps diminish the appearance of larger spots. However benzoyl peroxide can be very drying so it’s important to use a heavy moisturizer along with it. Benzoyl peroxide also has the tendency to expire fast, so keep track of when your tube goes bad so you can pick up a new one.

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I’ve beat the Sunday Riley Good Genes treatment to death on my blog (check out my post here) so I won’t go on for long. This expensive treatment packs a serious punch works to tone, tighten, exfoliate, plump, and fight acne. I only use this three times a week or so as it’s a 40% lactic acid treatment. It’s important to build up to using this product nightly as it is so strong. I’ll use this serum two nights in a row if I’m having a particularly bad break out.

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The last thing I find really helpful when it comes to controlling and fighting acne is a charcoal mask. I got this one in england, but there are so many brands here in the U.S. who sell a similar (or identical) product. I leave the mask on for about twenty minutes and the next morning I notice my skin is much brighter and healthier looking.

What are your favorite products for treating and managing acne? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading,

XoXo,

Audrey