kiehl’s skincare routine

Kiehl’s has always been one of my favorite skincare lines and I’ve been a huge fan of their ultra facial cream, which I enjoy using every evening as the last step in my routine. I recently started incorporating more of their products into my routine and have been loving it so much that I’ve started to having all Kiehl’s skincare routine every other night.

Recently walking into the Kiehl’s store was such a pleasant experience and I got lots of great tips and information (and free samples!) from the knowledgable sales associate. I highly recommend going to one of the stores and chatting about your skincare needs with one of their associates. I find their products to soothe my skin, the scents are very relaxing and never irritating in any way. It’s just an overall fuss free line of products and does what it claims to. Most importantly, I enjoy getting “unready” when I use these products, which is nice because sometimes skincare can seem like a chore. I just love Kiehl’s!

Please note I haven’t been paid to write this post and bought all of the products myself. 

Here’s my Kiehl’s skincare routine:

Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil: I’ve tried several cleansing oils as they are my preferred method for removing makeup. There is something so soothing about massaging cleansing oil onto your face as you feel your makeup just melting away. I have not used a makeup removing wipe ever since cleansing oils have come along and don’t think I ever will. This particular oil smells so lovely! It feels like I’m at a spa getting a facial. It also does a wonderful job at removing my makeup and prepping my skin for the next step. I apply 3-4 pumps onto my hands and massage onto my dry face and let the oil work its magic before adding water to emulsify and remove my makeup. 

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Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser: This is a really gentle, gel/lotion cleanser which foams minimally. I stay away from foaming cleansers, since they strip my skin of its natural oils which dehydrates my skin. This cleanser is gentle enough that I don’t feel that squeaky clean feeling (which is terrible for your skin) yet effective enough that my skin feels clean and soft. I enjoy the cucumber scent as well. 

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Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner: This toner has calendula (marigold) petals in it, which makes it incredibly effective at soothing and refreshing the skin. I love the scent so much! 

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Midnight Recovery Concentrate: This is a Kiehl’s bestseller and probably the product that   I am most excited about. It is a facial oil that restores the appearance of skin overnight. For those of you who might be afraid to try a facial oil, don’t worry! Facial oils are helpful for keeping skin’s vital hydration locked in and they have incredible, instantaneous skin-smoothing properties. This one is extremely light weight and immediately sinks into the skin. It is full of botanical oils such as  lavender essential oil and evening primrose oil. The scent is so relaxing it can help put you to bed. I apply two to three drops onto my face and neck. 

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Ultra Facial Cream: To me, this is such a neutral, unoffensive cream. It almost seems like it has no ingredients, which isn’t true, of course.  It has no scent, has such a silky texture that melts right into the skin and never irritates. This is my hero product from Kiehl’s and the reason why I fell in love with the brand to begin with. I don’t think I can ever be without a tub of this in my bathroom vanity. I think I’ve managed to convince my husband to love it too, since I’m pretty sure there’s another tub of this in his bathroom vanity as well:) Kiehl’s also has a separate men’s collection. 

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In the mornings I’ve been using this serum in place of the midnight recovery concentrate and have been loving it. It gives my skin an immediate boost of hydration while leaving it silky smooth and ready for makeup application. I have normal to dry skin right now so I do apply a thin layer of this SPF on top for some added hydration and most importantly sun protection! For my eye cream, I use this one from Estee Lauder and have been enjoying it so far. I’ve heard great things about the avocado eye cream and the midnight recovery eye , both from Kiehl’s so they’re on my “to try” list.

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So do Kiehl’s products work? If I were to ask myself this question, I see that the proof is written all over my face. I am very happy with these products and how my skin is looks and feels. What is your favorite Kiehl’s product? I have yet to try their body products so let me know what you think of those as well!

Sincerely,

Surleen

 

 

 

 

 

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ESTÉE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II and Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix

IMG_4361.jpgIt is no surprise that I love this brand, especially for their skincare. The advanced night repair serum has been a favorite of mine for quite some time now, as I’ve been using it for over two years now. I recently stopped using it and then wasn’t using it consistently. Just a few weeks ago, I started to incorporate it back into my regular skincare routine and have noticed a huge difference in the overall texture and clarity of my skin. It feels and looks more well rested when I apply this serum. I can’t say that I notice a difference when I haven’t used a skincare product, other than this one. This really is my “miracle” serum. See my review here. 

More recently, the company has come out with a new eye serum.  

IMG_4360Since I was looking for a new eye cream anyway and I love the ANR so much, I thought I would give this one a try. I’m definitely not disappointed! This serum/ cream has a lovely texture to it, which I find glides on like butter when massaged on with the applicator. It sinks in immediately and is perfect for both am and pm. I’m really happy with this purchase and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for extra hydration along with anti- aging benefits in their eye cream.

I think I’m an advanced night repair lover for life! It wakes up my skin even when my body is feeling exhausted and has been a true skin saver. I hope you give this line a try!

Sincerely,

Surleen

best of beauty 2017

As we near the end of the year, I wanted to round up my absolute beauty loves this past year. I have some new favorites that I’m really excited to share with you!

In terms of skincare, my focus has been hydration hydration hydration! I find that my skin has really been loving products that hydrate and plump it up. It has been dehydrated so finding the right products to hydrate and nourish my skin without making it look greasy has been essential. I fell back in love with some old loves, like the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, and wonder why I ever stopped using it! My favorite skincare brands this past year have been Farmacy, Fresh, and Kiehl’s.

Best in Skincare:

best makeup remover–  FARMACYGreen Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea GreenEnvy

 best facial cleanser–  FRESH Soy Face Cleansing Milk

best facial scrub– OLEHENRIKSEN Transforming Walnut Scrub

best facial moisturizer– KIEHL’S SINCE 1851 Ultra Facial Cream

best facial sunscreen– MD solar sciences   

MURAD Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++

I chose two here because the MD Solar sciences works best for summer since it helps to mattify the skin while the Murad is great for the cooler months.

best anti aging product- Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

 best facial mask –KIEHL’S SINCE 1851 Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask 

best eye cream– BELIF Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream

 

Best in Makeup:

best lipstick – MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Le Marc Liquid Lip Crème

best lip gloss – Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss

best lip balmNivea kiss  of milk and honey

best blush- Nars Orgasm 

best eye shadow palette–  Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette 

best eyelinerMac modern twist kajal liner 

best mascara– TARTE Gifted™ Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara

best concealerNARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

best tinted moisturizer: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

best foundation– BOBBI BROWN Skin Foundation SPF 15

best makeup brushes- real techniques

Best in Hair:

best shampoo and conditioner– Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner 

I love how soft this leaves my hair. I haven’t switched to anything else in close to a year and that says a lot.

Here are some of my favorite body products:

Favorite shower gel: Aveeno Skin Relief Nourishing Body Wash, Coconut

Favorite shower oil: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Favorite body cream: Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream and a recent favorite AERIN Beauty Rose Hand & Body Cream

Favorite hand cream: Almond Delicious Hands and Roses et Reines Hand & Nail Cream

Best fragrance: 

CHANEL COCO MADEMOISELLE Eau de Parfum

What are your beauty favorites? What has made a significant difference in your skincare or makeup routine? Please let me know in the comments!

 

Sincerely,

Surleen

winter skincare routine

Now that the weather has started getting cooler, I had to switch up some things in my skincare routine. So far this routine has been working well in keeping my skin hydrated and healthy.

My morning routine:

FRESH Soy Face Cleansing Milk-– This has been my go to cleanser for morning and night and I absolutely love it. I’ve been using only cleansing milks instead of foaming cleansers and have seen a difference in my skin.

thayer’s witch hazel toner– This has been go to toner for over a year now and I prefer it to many high end toners I’ve tried. Not only does it smell amazing, it keeps my skin clear and removes every last trace of makeup.

kiehl’s ultra facial cream– This is hands down my favorite moisturizer. I have been using it for around a year now and it never disappoints. It sits beautifully under makeup and sinks in like a dream into my just washed face when I get out the shower. It is lightweight, hardly has any scent and is a no fuss moisturizer that delivers hydration and softness to my face. I’ve been using this now for about one year.

my evening routine:

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea GreenEnvy™–  

I remove my makeup with this cleansing balm, which I’ve been using for a little less than three weeks now. I’ve really been enjoying it so far and would definitely repurchase it. It has a light scent which is very pleasant.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover- This has been a very effective makeup remover in taking off all of my eye makeup. I don’t usually need to use it unless I’m wearing heavy eye makeup. If not, the cleansing balm is enough to remove all my makeup. 

FRESH Soy Face Cleansing Milk

thayer’s witch hazel toner

BELIF Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream– Ive been using this eye cream for just under a year now and I’ve enjoyed how rich and hydrating it is.

EXTRAS:

Around two to three times a week I like to exfoliate using this walnut scrub. I like that the texture is quiet grainy so I can feel it exfoliating and removing dead skin cells. This leaves my skin baby soft.

ESTÉE LAUDER Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II- I don’t use this every night but on the nights that I do, my skin feels healthier and more youthful the next morning. It just looks like I’m really well rested even if I’m not! 

What is your skincare routine? Are there any products you would recommend?

 

Sincerely,

Surleen

sephora haul

I wait for the Sephora VIB sale which happens twice a year, but this time around the wait seemed to be especially worth it. I had completely run out of so many of my beauty essentials so I eagerly waited for Sephora to announce their sale dates. I took full advantage of the sale this time around by stocking up on my favorites and decided to try out some new products. I figure since it’s almost my birthday, why not treat myself? Here is what I purchased and why I love it:

 

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea GreenEnvy™– 

I have the honey mask by this brand and absolutely love it. The philosophy behind the brand is that of farm fresh ingredients, which I really appreciate. This balm is very light weight and feels so soft and luxurious on the skin, without leaving any greasy residue on the skin. Highly recommend this if you are in the market for a new cleansing balm which will feel like a pamper routine.

 

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream – 

This is hands down my favorite moisturizer. I have been using it for around a year now and it never disappoints. It sits beautifully under makeup and sinks in like a dream into my just washed face when I get out the shower. It is lightweight, hardly has any scent and is a no fuss moisturizer that delivers hydration and softness to my face. I learned my lesson the hard way and now have two back ups of this.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Foot Masks

Since I don’t get pedicures too often during the colder months, I like to have a pamper night where I put on one of these masks and do my own nails. They are a great excuse to put your feet up and relax- you literally can’t walk around in them. They leave my feet super soft and the experience is just so relaxing.  I enjoy the lavender and almond.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 

I need to have a lip balm on me at all times and this one was does the trick. It’s not at all greasy and protects my lips from cold air. I like to use this before going to bed as well.

Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++ 

This is an excellent daytime moisturizer that has a good amount of SPF and also does not leave the skin greasy, sticky or with a white cast. I especially love to use this in the summer months. I love that it smells like oranges:)

SEPHORA COLLECTION Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover 

This product really surprised me. I have used drugstore and high end eye makeup removers and have found this to be comparable if not better than many high end ones I’ve used in the past. I don’t have to tug in order to remove my eye makeup and it doesn’t feel heavy at all. I will definitely be repurchasing this one.

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 Golden Honey 5.75

Bobbi Brown foundation has quickly become my favorite foundation for every day. I started using it during the summer and the formula is great to wear year round. This  feels like I have nothing on my skin, yet provides my skin with the most natural coverage. You have to try this foundation to understand how lightweight yet beautiful the finish is. It is a very thin consistency which immediately sinks into the skin and becomes part of it. This foundation has truly transformed my standards when it comes to face makeup. Since getting it, I have yet to reach for another foundation. Truly remarkable product that is highly underrated in my opinion.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve Rosebud Salve 

I keep this lip salve on my night stand tablet and use it before going to bed. It keeps my lips hydrated throughout the night and the tin lasts forever. Ive been enjoying the rose mint scent.

OLEHENRIKSEN Transforming Walnut Scrub 

This is a new scrub for me and I’ve been using it for about a week now. I love how soft it makes my skin and the small bits of walnut are so satisfying- I know my skin is being exfoliated.

Fresh Soy Face Cleansing Milk

This has been my go to cleanser for morning and night and I absolutely love it. I’ve been using only cleansing milks instead of foaming cleansers and have seen a difference in my skin.

Buxom Full-On™ Lip Polish Dolly

This is a great gloss to wear on top of literally any lip color. I love how it gives just the right amount of shine. It does tingle a little but not enough where it bothers me especially since I wear it over my lipstick.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Annapurna

I had heard so many good things about this foundation and I do enjoy the matte version so I thought I would give this one a try. I really like it! The color matches my skin tone perfectly. It’s a great every day foundation and nice to alternate with my beloved Bobbi Brown.

What goodies did you pick up from the Sephora VIB sale?

Sincerely,

Surleen

 

 

 

my world.

As we say our goodbyes to the Summer and wait for a consistent Fall, here is a round up of what’s been happening and what I’ve been loving. These are some things that have made the transition from lazy summer days into early mornings a little more enjoyable.

blade runner – I wasn’t sure what to expect when we went to see this movie, but it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t feel like a movie. It was so well done that it felt like we were in every scene. The acting is superb and for someone who doesn’t usually enjoy futuristic sci fi movies, this was one of the best I’ve seen. I highly recommend watching this one in the movie theatre.

nest indigo- This is my favorite new scent. I realized how much I love it the other day when I found myself sniffing the clothes I had worn with this lingering scent on them.

spinach and artichoke lasagna- This is my all time favorite lasagna. I’ve been hooked ever since the first time I made it. If you are a lover of all things spinach and artichoke, give this one a try.

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darjeeling tea- A dear friend of mine recently brought back this amazingly delicious tea from India. Nothing can compare to the flavor of this darjeeling tea, no matter how many different kinds I’ve had here in the States. They are just not as good. I often look forward to having a cup of this when I get home from work.

FRESH Soy Face Cleansing Milk- This is my new go to facial cleanser for both the mornings and evenings. The texture is so soothing and milky. It never leaves my skin feeling tight, but incredibly supple and soft. I highly recommend this for anyone who has sensitive skin and enjoys a non foaming facial cleanser.

naked smoky eye pallete– I recently purchased this eye shadow palette, even though I wasnt in the market for one because Sephora was offering it a discounted price and I’ve heard so many good things about the Naked palettes. I’ve been using it every day since this arrived in the mail- and have been loving it so much. No wonder Naked palettes are so popular- the quality speaks for itself!

zara cardigan  There isn’t much that I needed to add to my fall wardrobe, but an oversized chunky cardigan was on my list. As soon as I saw this, I knew I would want to live in it. It is so soft and cozy. I don’t have anything in this shade of green. It feels like walking around with a warm blanket wrapped around me. Fall I am ready for you- I have my cardigan!

Elena Ferrante Neapolitan novels–  This is a series of four novels that is about two friends.  It follows their lives from the time they were little girls playing with their dolls, into adulthood. Their friendship is complicated, as most relationships with those we love tend to be. What struck me the most about these novels, was not so much the story line but the author’s skill in telling the story. I felt like I knew these two characters like they were a part of my life and truly missed them once I finished the series. I cannot wait for the HBO series to come out.

essential oils- I recently started using essential oils and have really been enjoying them. I like to add a few drops of either peppermint or eucalyptus oil to the floor of the shower. When the warm water hits the oil, it creates a wonderfully fragrant experience. The peppermint oil is especially helpful in alleviating my migraines.

laal ishq– I have been struggling to get this song out of my head. It’s no surprise that it’s been sung by Arijit Singh.

What has been going on with you lately? What have you been loving?

Sincerely,

Surleen

 

 

 

 

 

nest indigo

I’ve been on the lookout for a Fall fragrance and I was so excited to get a sample from Sephora when my sister recently recommended this one. We have similar taste in fragrances so I thought I would try this one. I can’t describe how it smells except that it’s amazing! I wore it for a few days to make sure it didn’t trigger any migraines, which perfume sometimes does to me. I loved it so much that I had to order the full size right away. Here are the notes:

Notes:
Moroccan Tea, Kashmir Wood, Cardamom, Wild Fig.
Style:
Warm. Aromatic. Mysterious.

I don’t have anything like this- the scent is just so unique and lingers in the best way possible. I can definitely smell tea and spice. It’s perfect for the cooler months.

I highly recommend this if you’re on the hunt for a new fall fragrance. This is going to give my beloved CHANEL COCO MADEMOISELLE some serious competition!

IMG_2489IMG_2491IMG_2493Can we just talk about how beautiful this packaging is??

 

What are your favorite fall fragrances?

Sincerely, 

Surleen 

my world.

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately, as we wait for Spring to finally arrive…

We recently saw Rangoon in the theaters, and a few of the songs were great. I find them to be pretty addicting though, so listen in moderation:)

 

station eleven- This wasn’t a book I thought I would like but I couldn’t put it down around 100 pages into it. The “end of the world” concept doesn’t appeal to me, but the way this book switches between before and after the collapse, kept me interested. The premise is that a pandemic hits the entire world, and civilization quickly and abruptly comes to an end. There is a group of people called the traveling symphony, who go to the different settlements to entertain the surviving population. The connection between the characters and how all the author connects all the dots at the end is what makes this book special. Also worth mention is when breathe becomes air– really enjoyed this one as well.

Vanilla Pistachio candle- I love my bath and body works candles but there is something so subtle about this one that I just love. I purchased this from Anthropologie, where I always seem to find unique candles.

 drink chobani– This is my new favorite breakfast drink. I’ve been drinking special k for breakfast for a while now but when I saw that chobani came out with a yogurt drink, I thought I would try it. It has 14 grams of protein which keeps me going until lunch. It tastes delish and comes in different flavors- I have only tried the strawberry banana and really enjoy it.

 tocca simone– This perfume by Tocaa is spring in a bottle! I was in the market for new scent for the transition months into summer and this is so perfect.

Here are the notes:

Top: Crisp Apple, Fresh Picked Watermelon, Lemon, Calypsone  

Middle: Frangipani, Ylang- Ylang, Rose Petals, Freesia

Bottom: Creamy Lactones, Blonde Woods, Musk, Amber, Nirvanolide 

this sweatshirt-  I recently got this sweatshirt from Zara and can’t stop wearing it. I love the pink color, the fluffy sleeves and how comfy it is. I like to wear it with leggings on the weekends and with jeans to work (on a Friday). Zara has been killing it lately!

 

Sincerely,

Surleen

my world.

I want to say I can’t believe it’s already February but I honestly feel like the Holidays were so long ago. For once, I don’t feel like time is flying. Here is a roundup of what I’ve been obsessing over lately.

music:

 

 

beauty:

MUFE stick foundation:

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I’ve been using this foundation for the past few weeks now and have been loving it how easily it blends and how flawless the coverage is. I also like that the coverage isn’t too matte- I don’t like a very matte look during the winter months. This was a great find and I’m not sure what took me so long to try it.

too faced semi sweet chocolate bar:

unnamedI’ve had this eye shadow palette for a while, but I recently started using it more consistently. I love how many looks I can achieve with this, and it’s so fun to play with. It makes getting ready in the mornings more fun! See my review here. 

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer:

This is my go to bronzer- I use it every single day to give my face some warmth. I love the finish it gives- it never looks ashy and is pretty fool proof. I like to use a big fluffy brush or the brush it comes with.

fashion:

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Steve Madden studded buckle booties- I get compliments every time I wear these booties. They’re comfortable enough to wear all day and have a bit of edge with the buckles. I got them in the Fall from the Steve Madden store and wasn’t able to find the exact pair I have, but these are similar.

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ZARA check maxi coat: This is my new favorite coat- warm, long and trendy. I can wear this with leggings and a sweatshirt and still look stylish:)

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reading:

the night circusThis book was such a joy to read. It was a treat for the senses. I felt like I could smell the foods of the circus, see the elaborate tents, and feel the magic of the circus. Reading this book is like entering a fantastic world- a true escape. This book makes you wonder what is real and what is magic? What makes something real and what makes it a dream world? Highly recommend this one- a disclaimer though is that the plot is slow moving but worth your patience at the beginning of the story.

food:

I recently started making my own trail mix using just three ingredients in equal parts- almonds, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate chips. It is so delicious and easy to put together. I like to have it in the afternoons at work as a pick me up.

What have you been loving lately?

Sincerely,

Surleen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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