Introduction to Willing Beauty

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Recently I was contacted by Willing Beauty to try their HY+5 Regimen, and I jumped at the chance. I loved the story of how the brand started - two mother/daughter duos pairing their strengths to create one great brand. One of the two mother/daughter pairs is also behind the skincare brand willa.

So, what is the HY+5 Regimen? It's a set of five products for simple three-step morning and night routines. The HY+5 name comes from the fact that the products contain hyaluronic acid as well as five "forces of nature" - Vitamin C, Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Antarctic Glycoproteins, Alpine Edelweiss Flower, and Deep Sea Hydrothermal Enzymes. Together, they're supposed to hydrate, protect, and brighten the skin to keep it looking youthful and glowy. The products included in the regimen are the Do Over Nourishing Cleanser, Daydream Illuminating Day Moisturizer, Partner in Time Age-Defying Night Serum, Get Set SPF 30 Tinted Primer, and Sleepover Replenishing Night Cream.

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Do Over Nourishing Cleanser | I always prefer creamy cleansers to foaming gel ones, so this has been an instant hit. I saw Cindy's review of the same regimen and she said this was like a thicker version of Glossier Milky Jelly, and ever since I saw that I can't get the comparison out of my head. It feels super soft and cushion-y, and it leaves the skin feeling cleansed and conditioned. I've only used it as a morning cleanser and as a second cleanse in the evenings (I prefer oil cleansers to remove my makeup/waterproof mascara), but once I try it to remove makeup I'll also report back.

Daydream Illuminating Day Moisturizer | This is a great example of a lightweight moisturizer that still keeps the skin nourished all day. It's quite a thin cream that sinks into the skin quickly, and it really helps to plump the skin up - it's great before makeup. Usually products that sink in this quickly don't give me enough hydration, but this really does. It also gives the skin a beautiful dewy glow without actually being sparkly or greasy.

Partner in Time Age-Defying Night Serum | This feels really similar to the day cream actually - quite thin, lightweight, and sinks in so quickly. My skin loves a good hyaluronic acid serum, and the extra five "forces of nature" really bring this above and beyond. My skin looks so radiant and bright the morning after using this, so I think it's my top pick from the whole set.

Get Set SPF 30 Tinted Primer | This is a velvety, silicone-feeling primer - my skin notoriously does not get along well with those, so this is the one miss in the set for me. I do like that it contains SPF 30 and has that tint to help even out the skin before makeup, and it does feel weightless on the skin. If you usually use silicone primers, then I think you'd love this, especially if you're looking for one that will keep the skin looking hydrated. 

Sleepover Replenishing Night Cream | This is a beautiful cream that feels like a whipped butter when applied to the skin, but doesn't feel heavy or greasy at all once rubbed in. I usually have to load up my face with oils so it won't dry out overnight, but this keeps it moisturized all night long. My skin always feels so unbelievably smooth the next morning, too.

After about a month of using the regimen (I did sub in a few products here and there, like a serum and a dedicated sunscreen in the mornings), I've noticed an improvement in my skin - it feels more supple and smooth. I've noticed my makeup settles less into little lines and crevices and goes on more smoothly in general. You may be able to see from the photos that these products are small in size, but for most of them you don't need much for them to be effective. 

For the rest of the month of August, Willing Beauty is having a deal on the HY+5 Regimen - you can get the set for $98 (regularly $138), and every purchase of a regimen will get you a free Born to Glow Skin Elixir. Willing Beauty also gave me a referral link, which I could eventually earn commission from - money will of course be directed back into improving this space, but don't feel pressured to use it if you're not comfortable.

Would you try the HY+5 Regimen?

*All products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.


Underrated Product | Fresh Sugar Cream Lip Treatments

Lately I just can't shut up about how much I love sheer lip products, and I've got a new favorite to share today. A few weeks ago I was sent the new shades of the Fresh Sugar Cream Lip Treatments,* and I've already added the three original shades to my wishlist. I haven't heard many people talking about these, so I think we've got a bit of an underrated gem on our hands here.

The Fresh Sugar Cream Lip Treatments are meant to combine skincare and makeup, giving the look of a soft, creamy gloss with the nourishment of a lip balm. Everyone talks about their original tinted lip balms, but I think these are even better. They feel so plush and luxurious on the lips, and while the tinted balms can feel a bit slippy at times, these stay firmly in place. Reapplying certain lip balms throughout the day can end up irritating my lips, but these keep them smooth and nourished no matter how many times I apply more. It sticks around for quite a long time for a moisturizing lip product - it actually feels a little like the Glossier Lip Gloss. 

All six shades have a subtle shimmer running through them that gently enhance the lips without ever feeling gritty or goopy. I have the three newest shades, and I've been rotating through them interchangeably over the past few weeks. They're quite sheer, so there's not too much of a difference between shades on the lips. I think this makes them such a good everyday product though, and they make great lip toppers since a lipstick or lip liner color will show through.

The colors I have are Pearl, a subtle pearly pink, Gilt, a warm shimmering gold, and Baby, a sheer baby pink. I think my favorite of the three is Pearl because of the opalescent sheen it gives the lips, but they're all just beautiful. I've been on the hunt for a product that will give me the look of the Desi x Katy Lip Gloss with Dose of Colors that just came out (still trying to limit my spending), and I feel like Gilt gives a very toned-down version of that look. And Baby is perfect for adding a soft flush of color to the lips. It's the least sheer of the three I have.

Like I said, using these three shades has got me itching to get the other three. They all seem like perfect shades for everyday. Have you tried any of the Sugar Cream Lip Treatments?

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.

A Look | Pink Dewy Glow

It's not often that I post makeup looks on the blog, or even on my Instagram, but this past weekend I was so happy with how my makeup came out that I just had to write a post on it. Once we're settled in the new house I really want to start making these kinds of posts a more regular thing, though, as a way to get me to use more of my products. I've been into glowy skin looks for the longest time now, but it's only recently that I've really been embracing pink tones. I know it's almost autumn, but I think this would make a perfect spring look.

I really spent a lot of time perfecting the skin. I started with the Cover FX Calming Primer to plump up my skin and soothe redness. I wanted to let as much of my skin show as possible, so this was helpful in minimizing redness so I wouldn't need as much coverage. For my base I used the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint - it's my all-time favorite base product, because although it doesn't have much coverage at all, it leaves the skin looking so beautiful and healthy. Once the base was down I went in with the Milk Makeup Flex Concealer in areas where I needed more coverage - right on my dark circles and in the corners of my nose. On larger areas that needed a little coverage, like on my nose and chin, I used the Glossier Stretch Concealer with a Beautyblender. And to top off this concealer concoction, I spot concealed with the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer.

I kept brows simple with a few swipes of Glossier Boy Brow and the NYX Micro Brow Pencil, and eyes were given a subtle sheen using the MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch. I've been skipping eyeliner since I'm so terrible at it, but this video by Karima McKimmie inspired me to try a smoked-out wing. I drew a wedge shape on the outer corner of my eye with the Colourpop Eyeliner in Brew-Haha and then dragged out the line into a soft wing with a Real Techniques Detailer Brush. I tightlined with the same eyeliner and then finished the eyes with a couple coats of the Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara - I absolutely loved this the first time I used it, but I had to comb my lashes out a lot this time so they didn't look spidery.

On my cheeks, I really piled on the product for a dewy flush. I started with a bit of the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked on my cheekbones, temples, and across my nose, and then I used a healthy dose of the Glossier Cloud Paint* in Puff on my cheeks. This is still my number one favorite blush, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Before I bathed in highlighter I hit up my oilier spots and set my undereyes with the Glossier Wowder* in Light/Medium, and I went over the areas I applied the Milk bronzer with the Becca Sunlit Bronzer in Bali Sands. I couldn't pick one highlighter to use for this look, so I mixed three that gave the perfect pink glow: the Milk Makeup Holographic Stick* in Mars, Nudestix Nudies All-Over Face Color in Illumi-Naughty, and Glossier Haloscope in Quartz. The effect was really something.

The products I wanted to use on my lips actually inspired this whole look. I put down a layer of the Glossier Generation G in Like and topped it with a bit of the Bite Beauty Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss in Pink Pearl. The effect was so pretty, and now I'm adding all the shimmery glosses to my wishlist.

I'm thinking I might do something like this (maybe with the highlighter a little toned down) when we get our engagement photos taken next month.

What's your favorite tone to go for in a monochrome look?

Since I used almost every makeup product by Glossier, I thought it would be a good time to remind you that you can get 20% off your first order through my rep link! I make a commission on orders through my link, but that money gets funneled back into content for the blog.


Nudestix Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balms | Review & Swatches

You may have noticed over the past few months more and more products from Nudestix have been popping up in my posts. I don't know what took me so long to try the products, but it's quickly become one of my favorite brands. They're very much in line with my usual "effortless chic" aesthetic, and they're perfect products for on-the-go and minimal, fresh makeup looks. They're already up there with Glossier and Milk Makeup for me. I was recently invited to join their #Babeboss Program (meaning I have a discount code for you at the end of this post!), and it was one of the most exciting emails I've ever gotten. I wanted to talk about the Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balms today because they're one of my favorite Nudestix products, and I was also recently sent a few more shades to add to my collection!

The Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balms are, as the name suggests, creamy, balmy pencils with a sheer glowy finish. These are my favorite kinds of products for my lips at the moment - they make everything look more plumped up and alive. They feel super comfortable on the lips and don't wear away quickly like other balmy lip products - in fact, pretty much all of the Nudestix products I've tried have been super longlasting. They're easy to apply, and depending on the shade you have, possible to apply without a mirror. They can be applied quite sheerly for a soft wash of color, or built up for a more pigmented look - super versatile products like this are always my favorite. Despite having a glossy finish, they don't feel sticky on the lips, and they also don't highlight dry patches. I've tried all of the Nudestix lip formulas in the #Babeboss Faves Box (review), and this one is definitely my favorite. They're fantastic on the cheeks as well - they give a beautiful glossy sheen that makes you look model-level dewy. They are available in eight shades, and I have six of them in my collection.

T-B | Haven, Posh, Rebel, Pulse, Siren, Wicked

T-B | Haven, Posh, Rebel, Pulse, Siren, Wicked

Haven* is a lovely peachy nude that looks really natural strays far away from "concealer-lips" terrirtory. This gives my lips a wash of warmth that balances out my face if I'm wearing warmer-toned eyeshadows. It's also beautiful on the cheeks as a subtle blush.

Posh* is another nude, but more pink than Haven and with a bit of a metallic sheen. This is my go-to nude - I love anything with a pink tone. This is a definitely "my lips but better" shade for me, and one I can see myself wearing with pretty much any makeup look. This has been living in my makeup bag lately.

Rebel* is the prettiest petal pink. I usually go for nude-pinks, but this one is just too beautiful to pass up. I love that a little bit of my natural lip color shows through, making it look really natural and fresh. This one is an obvious favorite for the cheeks too - it's like a glossy version of my beloved Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff.

Pulse is the first shade of the formula I tried - it's the one that comes in the Babeboss set. It's a plummy nude that adds a bit of definition and really makes the lips appear more plump and full. I wear this interchangeably with Posh, sometimes mixing the two for a customized cool nude.

Siren* is a slightly cool-toned brilliant red. If you're easing into a red lip, then this is the formula to try - you can sheer it out to look more natural as you get used to it. I've been loving this one for a bitten, flushed lip look where I lightly blend it over my lips and then concentrate more of the color on my inner lips - I'll post a look featuring this on my Instagram soon. I've always been a little afraid of reds, but this one is so easy to wear!

Wicked is a beautiful deep berry red that looks stunning as a soft wash of color on the lips and cheeks - it will be an autumn staple for sure. This can really give that popsicle-stained look that's perfect for summer, too. If I had to choose a favorite of the shades I have, I think it might actually be this one!

Have you tried the Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balms? What is your favorite product by Nudestix?

And as promised, my discount code! Using the code DADMUNK10 at checkout on nudestix.com will get you 10% off any order - I do make a commission on orders using my code, but just like my Glossier link, that money will get invested back into this space! Thank you all for your constant support, I couldn't do this without you!


Five to Try

It's been awhile since I last did a "Five To Try" post, probably because I haven't been trying nearly as many new things lately. I've gone through and rounded up some things I've been using nonstop, and it seems there's a bit of a theme. There's a couple lightweight water-gel products as well as creamy products that are easy to work with.

Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm* | This has quickly become my go-to lip balm throughout the day. It feels super hydrating and comfortable on the lips, while still being quite lightweight and non-sticky. It makes the lips feel quite plumped and cushion-y, so it's a great one to use pre-lipstick. I'm sensitive to many lip balms, but this one doesn't irritate my lips at all - it's definitely going into my usual lip balm rotation of Glossier Balm Dotcom and Bite Agave Lip Mask.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Soothe Eye Gel* | If you find, like me, that sometimes eye creams make your eye area a little too greasy or feel a little too heavy, then this one could be for the one for you. Usually when something calls itself a gel, it's more of a gel-cream, but this truly is a clear gel. It feels super cooling under the eyes and sinks right in. It plumps up the skin to help fill in fine lines, and it helps to depuff quite a bit. It's light enough to wear during the day, but also hydrating enough to use overnight.

Nudestix Sheer Color Eye Pencil, 'Pewter' | This is my go-to "in a rush but still want to wear eyeshadow" pick. Like the name says, it's quite sheer, but it gives a lovely sheen and wash of color. Pewter is a mauve-y bronze shade that's perfect for everyday. Since these are so sheer, I'd definitely recommend picking up one of the "darker" shades - the nude ones would probably read as more of a gloss (and I've just talked myself into buying a nude shade now, whoops).

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask | I've been so into overnight masks lately - I would do masks more often, but I usually am too lazy and don't want to deal with washing them off. So overnight masks are perfect! I've had this beauty by Laneige in my collection for a few months now, and I've only just gotten around to using it consistently. I've never used something that feels so lightweight on the skin that packs such a punch of hydration. I use this as the last step of my skincare routine, over my night cream, and it just works to seal everything in and keep the skin hydrated all night long. This has been so handy for summer nights when we've had to sleep with the air conditioner on - I don't wake up with parched skin anymore! If you're looking to foray into the world of sleeping masks, I'd check this one out first.

Bite Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipsticks | I know I've already done a full review on these, but you definitely need to try one. I was growing sick of the super matte, crusty liquid lipsticks, so these are a breath of fresh air. They're beautifully creamy and don't fully set down to a matte finish, but instead to a satin. They do transfer, as you can imagine, but they still last a long time on the lips. I have the shades Whip and Chutney, which are the perfect neutral shades, and every day I think I add a new shade to my wishlist.

What new things have you been trying lately?

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclaimer for more information.


Glossier 101 | The Skincare

A while back I wrote about all the makeup products Glossier has to offer, and I promised a skincare post was coming soon. For some reason, it has taken me much longer than I planned to get this together, but at long last, here are my thoughts on every Glossier skincare product. If you're interested, you can shop through my rep link to get 20% off your first order. Rep Program aside, Glossier is and always has been one of my favorite brands - I bought everything in the line before I became a rep, and even now I've repurchased every product I've been sent for free through the Rep Program.

Milky Jelly Cleanser | I hate using the phrase "holy grail" to describe products these days, but this is without a doubt my holy grail cleanser. It has the most beautifully soft, cushion-y formula that smooths over the skin and feels thoroughly cleansing without being stripping. It can be used on dry skin to remove makeup, which I do when I'm wearing just a little bit, or as a morning/second cleanse on wet skin. I use it every morning because I find it washes away the grime and any excess skincare from the night before, while soothing and prepping my skin for the day.

Soothing Face MistI don't know why more people don't talk about this - I love face mists, and I'm all about rosewater, so this is a bit of a no-brainer. It instantly calms down any redness/irritation I'm experiencing and feels so soothing on the skin. The mist-er itself is nice and not aggressive. 

The Supers* | Glossier's powerful little serums have become favorites in my routine as well. There's Super Bounce, which hydrates and plumps the skin with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5, Super Pure, which calms and soothes with Niacinamide and Zinc, and Super Glow, which brightens and energizes with Vitamin C and Magnesium. I use Super Bounce the most, as my skin is always quite dry, but the other two slot into my routine nicely. Super Pure is my favorite when I'm breaking out or having a bout of stressed skin, and Super Glow peps up my skin in the mornings. If you only want one I'd definitely recommend Super Bounce first, but all three are available in a pack that saves you $19.

Priming MoisturizerMy go-to, everyday moisturizer in the spring and summer. It's lightweight and yet still very hydrating (although I need to layer up or use something richer in the winter). It greatly reduces the redness in my skin, so I can't help but use it every day. It smooths out the skin and adds a beautiful dewy glow, so it's always the one I use under makeup. If I had to choose just one favorite from Glossier, this might be it. Or Milky Jelly. I don't know, don't make me choose.

Priming Moisturizer Rich* | Remember when I said I needed something richer in the winter? Well, this guy is it. It has all the same beautiful plumping and priming properties of the original, but with a richer, more buttery formula. I use it as my night cream every night (mixed with a couple other things), and during the day on cold, dry days. It locks in moisture and keeps me hydrated all day long. It does contain a bit of lavender oil, so do be aware if you're sensitive to that. I love the scent it gives, and it's part of the reason I love using it every night.

Invisible Shield SPF 35* | Invisible Shield has made me realize the importance of using sunscreen daily. It's totally clear and weightless on the skin, which is something I had never experienced before with a sunscreen. I use it every day, even if it's cloudy/raining, to make sure my skin is always protected. Since using this every day, I've noticed less freckles and moles appearing, and acne marks fade away faster (mind you, these results are probably just because I was using a sunscreen at all and not exclusive to this one).

Balm DotcomMy favorite lip balm - I have them scattered everywhere, in bags and pockets and throughout my house in multiple scents. Some people say it's just vaseline in a tube, and while it does contain petrolatum, it also has other ingredients to actually moisturize the lips, like Lanolin and Castor Seed Oil, and the petrolatum seals it all in. My favorite scent changes all the time, but I'm currently really feeling the Mint one.

Mega Greens Galaxy PackIf you're looking for a mask that will cleanse and purify the skin without being too harsh or stripping, then look no further. The Mega Greens Galaxy Pack is a creamy clay mask that doesn't fully dry down on the skin, and it contains lots of healthy greens that basically make it a juice cleanse for your face (Glossier's words, not mine). I love using this mask in conjunction with the Moisturizing Moon Mask, and I make it part of my little Sunday afternoon pamper routine.

Moisturizing Moon MaskThis is my favorite of Glossier's two masks. It's great for dehydrated skin, and it gets you back on your way to glowing. It contains obvious hydrators like Hyaluronic Acid, honey, and plant-derived squalene, and it also has licorice root and lemon extract to brighten the skin. This is great after a long day or before applying makeup for an incredibly smooth, plumped canvas. I also like applying a thin layer and leaving it on overnight - it's not sticky and won't get all over your pillows.

Thank you for reading this far if you've made it to the end. As I said above, you can use this link to get 20% off your first order. I do make a commission on orders through my link, but that money gets invested back into this space!