Monday, April 29, 2013

My J. Crew 25% Off Order - Playing it Safe

skinny fleece pant, tartine purse, and vintage v-neck

I miss having a J. Crew in Vegas. Having no brick and mortar store obviously decreases how much I spend on J. Crew products. I do not want to deal with the hassle of paying a return shipping fee for items that do not fit. It would be great if J. Crew offered an occasional promotion of free return shipping. I played it safe with these items:

skinny fleece pant   these remind me of the Saturday Pant that I purchased last year, which are so warm and comfy. This style is great to wear on an airplane or a long car trip. Heads up, the size xxs in heather steel does not expect to ship until June 13. Not that I need the sweatpants now. We are breaking heat records for April!

tartine purse   reminds me of the Tillary purse I love so much for its versatility. The navy and gold also brought to mind Jean's Coach bag.

vintage v-neck   Love their vintage tees. See my review of the sizing of xxs here.

Customer Service Experience
A big thanks to Jim for shipping the fleece pants for free. When I placed my order last night, the size and style were no longer available. I finalized my order without the pants. They popped back up today, so I called to see if they could be added to my previous order to avoid paying for shipping. Jim was kind enough to override the shipping charges. That is the second time customer service has done this for me. If you are ever in that situation, give it a try.

25% off entire purchase with code SPRINGBEST thru 5/3. Free shipping on $175+

Photos courtesy of

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Paula's Choice: My New Morning Skin Care Routine

Hi ladies! Weird to think it has been over two months since I have posted. A lot of my time has gone into either lesson planning or sprucing up the house. I am also recovering from bronchitis, which I have never had before. An entire week off from work was needed to rest. As for shopping, I have not been to the mall for quite some time, but clothing reviews will eventually return as I search for a few summer items I would like to add to my closet.

So I am once again bringing up the topic of skin care. In February I stumbled upon Paula's Choice. Not only does Paula have her own skincare line (and you may be familiar with her books), her site features an extensive amount of detailed reviews on skin care products using a rating system of best, good, average, and poor. After finding out that most of the products I was using were not given a "best" rating, I decided it was time to revamp my skincare regimen. I am hoping to save you some time online by creating a suggested step-by-step guide to updating your current routine.

Make a list of the products you are currently using and find out the ranking (best, good, average, poor) of each by searching the brand reviews. Document the ranking given by Paula and her team.

Browse Paula's skin care advice articles. "How to Put Together Your Own Skin-Care Routine" is a great place to start. Here are some other articles that I found helpful:

You Don't Need a Separate Eye Cream
Exfoliate for Bright, Smooth, & Radiant Skin
Is RESIST Anti-Aging Better? Who's It For?
Do I Need a Toner?

After reading some of Paula's advice, you may have found that your routine could use some improvement. Write down a new plan step-by-step you would like to implement. Next to each step, include the products you are currently using that received a "best" or "good" rating. Do not even bother with the "average" or "poor". I am sad to find out that the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence I love so much received an average review.

It is time to fill in those holes with new products. For example, if your old cleanser was ranked "poor", you will want to find a replacement. Start your search by referring to the best cleansers list, and narrow your search with the drop down menus provided. After searching several products from familiar brands, I came to the conclusion that Paula's Choice offered the best anti-aging benefits for my skin at ideal prices.

Once your list has been researched and completed, all that is left to do is buy the products. Do not forget to do a quick Google search for coupon codes! For brands other than Paula's Choice, I highly recommend for their shipping (free over $49, arrives fast) and deals.

My Morning Routine
Below are the products I use every morning. For reference, my skin type is combination and I live in a dry climate. I am most concerned about protecting my skin from premature aging (I turn 30 in June!). Avoiding pimples is always nice (if you have cystic acne, check out my post about my "cure"). The only face makeup I use is a very light application of Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15. As a result of the Paula's Choice products I have been using, my skin is less oily, blackheads and pore size are significantly reduced, and my skin feels perfectly moisturized.

Hydralight One Step Cleanser - My skin never feels stripped after using this. A heads up, this product does not lather. If you have combination skin and prefer more suds, consider the Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser.

Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner - I used to use toners, but then I heard from various sources that toners were unnecessary. After reading Do I Need a Toner?, I decided to add it to my list.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant - Exfoliate for Bright, Smooth, & Radiant Skin convinced me that I needed an exfoliant. I also attribute this product to the significant reduction of blackheads.

RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator - Two pumps covers my face, under my eyes, and the leftovers go to the neck. Although not mentioned in the product details list, I find this product to be non-greasy.

Borghese Fluido Protettivo Advanced Spa Lift for Eyes - I purchased this product after reading the review from Paula and her team, but before finding You Don't Need a Separate Eye Cream. I am not sure if I will buy this product again. If I can find a comparable and much cheaper solution from Paula's Choice, I will probably take that route.

Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50+ - Sunscreen on my face and neck everyday is a must. I love that this product does not make me greasy, no pimples have formed, and it does not irritate my eyes (which has happened with other formulas).

New customers, get $10 off your purchase (minimum purchase of $15 is required). If you make a purchase through that link, I get a $10 credit for Paula's Choice. Thank you if you choose to use the referral link!

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