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Just an overcommitted girl trying to keep up with it all. Mom of three, co-owner of Lemonade PR, sports lover and F1 enthusiast always counting down to the Kentucky Derby. 

Five I’ve Tried – About Face

Feb 27, 2017

Let’s talk beauty routines, shall we? I clearly can’t get into a routine with posting over here and I struggle with {positive} routines in a lot areas but not when it comes to washing my face. That may be one of the only areas of my life where I am seriously diligent. Even when I come home late after a night out, I’ll break out the micellar water. Going to bed with makeup on is just one of those things I can’t do and I live for a clean face.

So today’s Five I’ve Tried is all about the face. We’ve got a little bit of everything to go from start to finish and there are definitely some winners in the bunch. In case you’re new to the series, not to be a Jimmy Fallon-style cheerleader or anything but I only hit on products here that I’ve tried for at least two weeks and generally enjoyed. I try out a bunch of stuff and feel like sharing the winners is way better than a Snarky Sally post about things that missed the mark.

Five Face Products to Take Your Daily Beauty Routine Up a Notch (7)1 | 2 | 3a + 3b | 4 |

 1. Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar – I’m a longtime fan of Beautycounter but had yet to try out the cleansing bar. Mostly because, in all honesty, I am longtime devotee of the Erno Laszlo cleansing bar. I use the Erno Laszlo set almost exclusively at home but tried out the Beautycounter option on my last couple trips since it came in this cute Jet-Set (which is an awesome set that you can just throw in your bag when it’s time to pack).

Usually, my skin is a hot mess express when I travel but that wasn’t the case this time around. If you’re not used to using a bar soap, it may be weird at first, but this does the trick just as well, if not better, than a cream cleanser. It lathers up well and easily took off the majority of my makeup (save the mascara which tends to be difficult not matter what the cleanser). It didn’t have any smell, which I prefer when it comes to face wash, nothing worse than getting a big whiff of cleanser in your nose. It left my skin feeling clean but not dry, the true test of a good bar soap cleanser.

I will say it’s harder to travel with and I wish there was a little plastic case (like the ones you use to cover your tooth brush) to use when traveling. Otherwise, I really have no complaints and will probably use this on all future trips and as a stop gap when I am out of my regular cleansing bar.

Grade: B+ 
Will I buy it/try it again? Not sure if I would buy it by itself but I would definitely consider buying the Jet-Set pack again for traveling and would be more than happy to use this again. My only marks against it would be the lack of a travel case to keep it from making a mess or getting sticky in the bag. 

 2. Rodial Stem Cell Super Food Facial Oil – Here’s a product I didn’t expect to love. Similar to the experience with the Beautycounter soap, I am a pretty strong devotee to the Erno Laszlo pre-cleansing oil but have rarely used one post-cleansing that I’ve loved. Finally found an exception.

My issue with oils in the past is the heavy, way-to-greasy feeling they can leave your skin. I have combination skin so while I enjoy a heavy moisturizer I don’t ever want to feel greasy afterwards. Many of the oils I’ve tried have made my face feel like I’m 13 again and have caused my skin to react in the same way.

This one is “a concentrated super-food and anti-oxidant rich face oil that targets dehydration and fine lines to restore a healthy glow.” And on those goals, it hits the mark. It’s light and dries quickly into your skin so you’re left with your face feeling dewy and moisturized. It comes with a eye dropper-style applicator so you can easily get just a few drops instead of worrying about an oil spill in your bathroom. More importantly, I’ve noticed the results. After using it for a week at night before bed, I could tell the difference in the morning. My face still felt hydrated and dare I say, glowy. The area around my nose, that is normally really dry in the am, didn’t feel tight or dry when I woke up and I feel like my skin tone looks more even.

The product rundown also claims to eliminate fine lines and prevent wrinkles and I’m on board with that although I can make no claims to its success in those fronts yet.

Grade: A
Will I buy it/try it again? I’m a notorious cheapskate so the price tag is a little higher than I would normally spend. That being said, I’ve been using this for almost a month and still have a ton left in the bottle (it’s a pretty big bottle). If these results keep up, I’m sure I’ll be splurging on another bottle. 

Five Face Products to Take Your Daily Beauty Routine Up a Notch (2)

3a. + 3b. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact & Foundation Brush – My love for It Cosmetics, while new, runs deep. Their Confidence in a Cream is my life-blood (here’s the full review) and I’ve loved almost every product I’ve tried from the line. This Confidence in a Compact is no exception.

I had previously tried the CC Cream and loved the coverage I got from the Medium Tan shade but wasn’t sure how the same color would translate to a compact. The compact, which they dub a “solid serum,” comes with a pad to use but I would suggest using a foundation brush or a beauty blender since I think you waste less product and get a better finish.

The coverage was great, albeit a little lighter than I normally go. It goes on creamy and light and has a dewy finish. I did end up using a little of another foundation to layer under my eyes but since I do this with just about every foundation I’ve ever tried, it’s not a knock against the product (I just feel like I have a weird skin tone so it’s hard to get an exact match). With a thin layer of powder on top, I was set for a full day at work. By the end of the day, it still looked great, a little dewy and lived in (which I like)  but still with nice coverage. If you like

With a thin layer of powder on top, I was set for a full day at work. By the end of the day, it still looked great, a little dewy and lived in (which I like)  but still with nice coverage. If you like very full coverage it’s great since it’s in a compact so you can easily take it with you for touch-ups. It’s especially clutch for parties or night’s out (I’m sure I’ll be packing it in my bag at Derby).

My biggest tip with this product (and with most products) would be getting the right color since I think the shades tend to be a little on the lighter side. They carry these at Ulta, so you can try out the different shades to see which would work best with your skin tone. I originally tried the Medium and realized I should have stuck with Medium Tan.

Grade: A-
Will I buy it/try it again? I really liked this product but would probably stick with their CC Cream since I am just more comfortable with a cream foundation, mostly because I like to mix and match shades. I do think the compact is super convenient and is one of the best compacts I’ve ever tried. 

Five Face Products to Take Your Daily Beauty Routine Up a Notch (1)Five Face Products to Take Your Daily Beauty Routine Up a Notch (5)


4. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm – This stuff is the deal. I picked it up, not really knowing what it was, at Target as one tends to do on a marathon Target run. It has turned out to be the best beauty product I’ve randomly tried in ages, possibly my best drugstore find since this magnificent product. 

It’s like a moisturizer and a primer had a beautiful baby that grew up to star in movies. The moisturizer is just the right amount of thickness for everyday wear. Hydrating but not heavy. And it sets this amazing base for your makeup to go on smooth and even. It’s like the perfect white t-shirt of moisturizers.

I feel like it plumps up your skin in all the places you need it and gives your skin a bright finish. They call it a “great energy-mask” and that is really the best way to describe it. It’s perfect after a long night when your skin feels dry and tired. Basically, it’s a cup of coffee (or maybe green tea) for your face. I love it. When I was pulling the link, I also noticed that they said it’s one of their best-selling products with one sold every 20 minutes. So clearly I’m not the only devotee.

They carry it just about everywhere – from Walmart to Nordstrom – so the next time you’re in a store or shopping online, just throw it in your cart, you won’t regret it.

Grade: A+
Will I buy it/try it again? Yes, definitely. I’m actually at the end of this tube and about to order more now. 

Five Face Products to Take Your Daily Beauty Routine Up a Notch (3)

5. L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask – This was another drugstore impulse buy but was totally worth it. I was in D.C. for work a few weeks back and could feel the effects of a lot of recent travel on my skin. I had to run to CVS anyways so I decided to grab a mask to throw on before the event we were working that night. I’d seen some fellow bloggers review this product before and figured that for the price, it’s $12.99, it was worth a shot.

The consistency and quality were immediately impressive for a mask under $20. It went on thick, no need to keep reapplying in places, and had that refreshing cold feeling you want from a mask. I left it on for 15 minutes and I won’t lie it did get a little tight around my eyes as it dried out. But the results after washing it off (tip: use a wash cloth, it makes it much easier) were great.

My skin felt squeaky clean and really refreshed. When I put it on my face felt dry, tired and looked super splotchy. This reduced the redness immediately (which is really what I was after) but felt like a quick energy boost for my skin. It definitely felt much more luxurious than its price tag and I’ve broken it out a handful of times since my trip. It’s great for a Saturday or Sunday morning after a long dinner or night out with the girls (aka after you’ve had a lot of wine, cocktails and fun).


Whew – That ended up being a lot longer than I expected! Let me know if you guys have any questions on these or if you’ve been eyeing any products that you’d like me to try out. I’m always game to give something a try! Oh and if you’ve tried any of the Five I’ve Tried products in the past, I’d love to hear your results! Share ’em in the comments or on Facebook. 

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  1. If you like the bar soap and want to keep going with it LUSH has great little metal tins for their shampoo bars that I use for my facial wash bars from there, and they’re the perfect size to travel with!

    • Danielle says:

      Such a good tip! I am going to be by the mall today and may run in there and grab one! Thanks Josh #youdabest

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