Murad Skincare Review

Murad Acne Products

I shared my acne story a couple of months ago and had a lot of great feedback on it! I hate hearing that other people are also struggling with acne and skin problems but I love how we are able to have open and honest conversations together. It’s hard to share something so personal with the internet but I would be happy to help just one other person with their acne journey.

Today I thought I’d share a super honest review on Murad. I first heard of Murad from our Danish exchange student when I was in high school. She came to Michigan with a tube of the acne spot treatment and let me borrow it to help with my acne and it worked really well!

A few years later when I was in college I was really struggling with my acne and saw that same spot treatment at Ulta. I noticed that they had the Clear Control 30-Day Acne Kit ($38) and immediately purchased it. Even though it was about 5 years ago I can remember my exact thought after trying the clarifying cleanser for the first time. I remember this moment because I still think the same thing every time I was my face with the Murad Clarifying Cleanser. I think “this feels and smells like a spa treatment”!

I first purchased these Murad products when I was in college with a really tight budget. I honestly feel like all of the Murad products are really reasonably priced for how well they work! I don’t mind investing in my skincare because I know what it’s like to have bad acne and I don’t want to go down that path again. One of the things I love most about Murad is that I know the products work for me so it never feels like a waste of money. I can’t even tell you how many times I have repurchased all of these products at this point!

My Tried and True Favorite Murad Products

  • Clarifying Cleanser ($30): What more can I say about this product? I love it so much and I have tried a ton of other cleansers! I feel like I am a cleanser expert by now. This makes my skin feel refreshed and clean but not dried out. I can feel it working but it’s not painful. I look forward to washing my face because it feels luxurious and spa-like. If you are going to buy just one Murad product I would recommend the Clarifying Cleanser!
  • Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment ($22): This was my first Murad product and what made me want to try more. For the most part, I don’t have a ton of new breakouts that form. But I always have a tube of this spot treatment on hand for any unexpected breakouts that form. This is easy to throw on and walk away because I know that it will get the job done!
  • Skin Perfecting Lotion ($40): I fell in love with this Skin Perfecting Lotion pretty quickly after buying my first Murad starter kit. I’d put it on after washing my face and could feel it start working right away. I contribute a lot of my clear skin to this product right here. One bottle easily lasts me 3-4 months and I use it every single day!
  • Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15++ PA ($40): Moisturizer is the most important part of my skincare routine. I always look for something that has SPF in it to wear during the daytime. This is my go to moisturizer for the summer because it’s a bit heavier than normal moisturizer. It makes my skin feel hydrated but not greasy. Best of all, it protects my skin from the sun while doing my normal day to day activities.

I have tried a few other Murad products and really loved them too but these are just my everyday favorites that I use to keep my skin healthy and clear. I still have breakouts every once in a while but it’s nowhere near my cystic acne that I had a few years ago.

I feel much more confident in my skin now and realize how important it is to invest in my skincare routine. I don’t change up my skincare products a ton because I have a good thing going. I do have a few other favorite skincare products that are not from Murad that I can share at a later date.

If you are struggling with acne, just keep trying products until you find what works best for you! I tried SO many other products before I found Murad. What works for me may not work for you. It’s frustrating and expensive but you are worth it! Skincare is something that I am passionate about because it’s been an uphill battle to get where I’m at now with my skin.

What are your favorite skincare products? Have you found any life changing acne products?

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Winter 2018 Skincare Favorites

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorite for Dry and Sensitive Skin

 

Hey friends!

I have been on a blogging kick lately. I just feel like I have so much that I want to share with the world for some reason. The topic that has been on the top of my mind this winter has been skincare.

Winter is Michigan can be brutal. It’s super cold and snowy and my skin is soooooooo dry. I also have very sensitive skin so I have to be super careful about what products I am using on my skin. I feel like I have tried a bit of everything and only a few products actually work.

 

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorite for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Lotions

  1. Trader Joe’s – A Midsummer Night’s Cream. Brett laughs every time he sees a bottle of this lotion, which is a lot because I have three bottles throughout our apartment and another bottle on my desk at work. This has been my favorite lotion for years. It never bothers my sensitive skin (I often get red rashes from lotions). This lotion is unscented, ph balanced, and contains a healthy dose of aloe. It’s not sticky or greasy and keeps my hands moisturized for hours. You also get a huge bottle for a very small price tag.
  2. CeraVe – Moisturizing Lotion. Brett bought me a bottle of this a few winters ago when I was still working in a restaurant. My hands were always so dry, cracked, and red. This particular lotion from CeraVe is unscented and great for people with sensitive skin!
  3. Kiehl’s – Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. My mom and sister bought me a bottle of this the week of my wedding as a pre-wedding gift. I used it on my wedding day all over my body and even brought it on the airplane to keep my skin moisturized on the long ride over to London. This lotion has become my favorite and I really need to buy another bottle. It was such a treat to receive this as a gift from my family as they know my insane struggle with my sensitive skin.
  4. Soap & Glory – The Righteous Butter. This has been one of my favorite lotions since I studied abroad in London in 2015. Soap & Glory was huge in the U.K. and just recently made their appearance in the U.S. I put this lotion on my hands ever night before bed and I wake up with silky smooth hands with zero irritation.

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorite for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Moisturizers, Serum, Toner

  1. Mario Badescue – Oil Free Moisturizer. I have been using this moisturizer constantly since 2014 and haven’t been disappointed! It is unscented and has ____ SPF which makes it great to use all year long. Before finding this product I had a really hard time finding a moisturizer that didn’t make my skin break out into a red, itchy mess.
  2. Yes to Coconut – Ultra Hydrating Facial Souffle Moisturizer. This was a recent Tj Maxx find that I decided to buy after reading a few promising online reviews. I wouldn’t say that this is the best moisturizer for people with sensitive skin because it is scented. However, this is great to us once a week as a pamper moisturizer. It is super hydrating and makes my skin feel brand new.
  3. The Body Shop – Vitamin E Night Serum. This is hands down my favorite skincare product. It has changed the texture of my skin and has made me feel so much more moisturized. One of my co-workers actually commented on how good my skin looked after a couple of weeks of using this! I put this on every night after I wash my face and wake up with smooth, hydrated, and happy skin.
  4. Clinque – Clarifying Lotion. I remember back in Middle School my mom bought me my first Clinque Skincare set. Since then I have used the brand on and off but have always loved every product that I have tried. Toner is an important part of my skincare routine and this one from Clinque is the best that I have found for winter. It is gentle, unscented, and great for combination/oily skin. I use this after washing my face twice per day.

 

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorites for Dry and Sensitive Sk

Lip Products

  1. Fizz & Bumble – Lip Scrub. I bought this on a whim at Ulta a couple of weeks before Christmas. My lips were so dry and chapped and I really wanted to find something that would help me get rid of all the pieces of flaking skin. This works wonders to relieve my lips of all the dry, uncomfortable bits and makes my lips feel so soft! Another bonus is that the sugar scrub tastes so good so it doesn’t matter if you get a little in your mouth.
  2. Kiehl’s – Lip Balm #1. Brett and I received samples of this lip balm on our flight over to London for our Honeymoon. This was only the second Kiehl’s product I had ever used and was blown away by the quality. This is a game changer for dry lips! I use it every single day and apply a healthy amount right before bed. A little goes a long way and the small sample bottle is still going strong. This stuff is a bit pricey but I know I need to force myself to buy the full size bottle!
  3. Nivea – A Kiss of Moisture. Another must have product for me. This stuff works great and I always have a few tubes laying around. I especially love Nivea because it reminds me of my Easter break adventures in Germany with my study abroad friends!
  4. Chapstick. My dad works at Pfizer so my family has always used Chapstick. I can pretty much guarantee that there will always be at least one tube in my purse at all times. I am a loyal Chapstick user because it never lets me down. Chapstick is super affordable and works amazing!

Winter 2018 Skincare Favorites for Dry and Sensitive Skin

Makeup

  1. Neutrogena – Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint. I wear very minimal makeup and only wear it during the work week. I like to look like I have put a bit of effort in my appearance but hate the feel of makeup. I honestly feel much better about myself when I’m not wearing makeup which is why I love this stuff so much. It evens out my skin tone and keeps my skin feeling super moisturized.
  2. Garnier – BB Cream. I love this BB Cream for the same reasons as the Neutrogena Hydrating Tint. This keeps my skin moisturized while evening out my skin tone. It is oil free and contains slicylic acid which is great for people struggling with keeping their skin acne free.

 

Extras

  1. WATER. Yes, in all capitals because water is that important. I’m not an expert but I know that our bodies are in a large percent made up of water. It is so important to keep our bodies hydrated which will lead to better skin. Go get yourself a 40 ounce water bottle and drink a couple of those per day. Your body will thank you.
  2. Humidifier. I bought Brett a humidifier for his birthday in November to help with his severe allergies and breathing problems. Not only is it a great fix for these things, it also works amazing for hydrating my skin. I wake up feeling so much mre refreshed.

 

I hope my suggestions help you find some new skincare favorites! Please let me know your favorite skincare products in the comments below.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

 

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P.S. One of my neighbors walked out while I was taking this pictures outside of our apartment and looked at me like I was crazy. To be fair, it was freezing cold outside.

 

July Favorites!

July_end

Wow! July really flew by! I guess it’s time for another Favorites post….

1. Lilac Nail Polish: My go to nail polish this past month was Sally Hansen’s Violet Voltage. The first time I used it I wore it as is but for the second time I added an accent nail using Sally Hansen’s Disco Ball. I absolutely love the color lilac and it is the perfect color for summer! Disco Ball works well to add a bit of sparkle to any color polish and I find myself using it all of the time! Sally Hansen is my favorite nail polish brand because they are super affordable, opaque, and they come in so many different colors!

Disco Ball and Violet Voltage

Disco Ball and Violet Voltage

2. John Frida Leave in Conditioner: At the beginning of July I decided that I had to do something about my crazy dry hair. I considered buying It’s a Ten but the $17 dollar price tag didn’t seem worth it. I stumbled upon John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-in Conditioner one day at Ulta. I have used It’s a Ten Leave-in Conditioner many times so I can safely say that Frizz Ease is a great dupe! I got one bottle for $5.99! Ulta was having a BOGO 50% off sale for I grabbed two and I will never ever go back to It’s a Ten!

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3. Victoria’s Secret Smoothing Body Scrub: For me, summer means shaving. Therefore, I always use a body scrub to achieve a nice, close shave. The one I used all of July was Victoria’s Secret Smoothing Body Scrub in At First Sight. The scent is a little strong but other than that I love this product!

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4.  Maybelline’s The Falsies Volum’ Express: I bought this mascara because I was looking for waterproof mascara that I could wear all day without clumping. I really like this mascara because it has a curved wand that follows the shape of your eye. I love wands like this because it allows you to get closer to the roots of your lashes. I got this in Brownish Black which I really love because it isn’t as harsh as straight black mascara. Overall, this mascara is now my all-time favorite!

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5. Mary Kay’s Cream Eye Color: I previously reviewed this product in my Mary Kay Glam Voxbox post. I received this eye shadow from Influenster to try and review.  This has become my go-to eye color because it is a soft, blend able cream that sits on my eyelids without creasing. The shade that I own is Apricot Twist which is a bronzy color. I wore this almost every day in July because I love it so much!

Mary Kay finished

6. Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Pore Cleanser: I have had problems with my skin for as long as I can remember. I have tried a million different products, medications, and treatments but nothing seems to work. I have had some luck with Formula 10.0.6 mud masks so I decided to try the Clear Skin Starts Here kit. The whole set is only $9.99 at Ulta which is super affordable. I have had pretty good luck with it so far but will continue to test it before giving the full review. I can say that I am in love with the So Totally Clean Deep Pore Cleanser!! It is basically a toner with salicylic acid which helps fight breakouts! I use it after washing my face and it gets rid of anything that was left behind!

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7. Jewelry Organization: I am doing a complete room re-organization before school starts in the fall. The first thing on my list was my vanity/dresser. I knew I needed some sort of organization for my bracelet collection. I was able to find four dishes in similar blue and green patterns for $7 at TJ Maxx! They are so cute!!

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8. My Neurologist: I have mentioned this before but I suffer from severe headaches/migraines. Some doctors use the term chronic migraines. Basically, I have a headache every single day and have at least one migraine day a week. It’s terrible and makes it really hard for me to do normal activities. I have been working with a Neurologist for almost a year trying to figure everything out. Last week, I had a CT scan of my blood vessels and brain tissue so hopefully that will provide some additional answers. I am so lucky that my insurance lets me see a specialist because I don’t know what I would do without it! I just started a new pain treatment with includes an additional preventative medication. I can already feel a difference in my pain levels! I am just really thankful for my doctor and my parents for standing by me and helping me through this.

July was perfect and I am looking forward to what August has in store for me! Thank you all for reading!

Trader Joe’s Haul

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s happens to be my family’s favorite store. We don’t have one near our house so every time we go near one we stock up on all of our favorite products. This time we also tried a couple of new products! Here’s the list of what we bought this weekend while visiting our friends in Ohio.

1. Fuji Apple Slices– These were the perfect snack for our drive back home. They tasted just like Fuji apples! I am so happy with the quality and taste of these apple slices so we will definitely buy them again.

2. Multigrain Bread– My family loves bread so we are always on the lookout for a new kind. I haven’t tried this yet but I can tell that it is really good quality bread!

3. Mocha Cappuccino Mix– My mom is taking this to work so I’m not sure I will get to try it. But it smells really good and comes in a cute little can!

4. Organic Ginger Pear White Tea– Yummy! I had a mug of this stuff last night before bed and it is absolutely delicious! I am so happy that I decided to add this to my tea collection! It’s a light, fruity tea. I was afraid that the pear flavor would be overpowering but it isn’t at all. It’s the perfect combination of ginger, pear, and white tea. If you love trying new flavors of tea then I definitely recommend this! It is so yummy!

5. Coconut Cranberry Granola– We bought two boxes of these because they are simply the best granola ever. And for $2.49 a box you really can’t beat the price! This is great with yogurt (Coconut Greek is my favorite) or just with milk. So yummy and inexpensive!

6. Speculoos Cookie Butter– Once again, we bought two jars of this because it is the best thing in the world. I love cookie butter!!! It is my favorite sweet treat and goes good with apples, celery, or just by itself. The possibilities are endless and you can really put this on anything. I love it.

7. Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl- This goes great on apples. In my opinion, it’s not as good as the original cookie butter but still tastes amazing! This is a repurchase for us and will continue to be on my list of Trader Joe’s must haves.

8. Lavender Salt Scrub– My sister got this last time and I was so jealous so I went ahead and bought myself a jar. And let me tell you, it is heavenly. I am a huge fan of Lavender and this does not disappoint! It is the perfect body scrub and smells so delicious!

9. Coconut Oil Body Butter– This is the first time that we have purchased body butter from Trader Joe’s. I am not at all disappointed with it because it isn’t oily or too heavy. It is just the right amount of moisture and leaves my body feeling soft and lovely.

10. Tea Tree Oil– My sister and I have wanted to try Tea Tree oil for a long time. We finally decided to buy some and I am so happy that we did! It smells terrible but I have only used it a couple of times and can already see results! I am using it on pimples, acne scars, and other issues on my face. It really reduces the redness and the swelling on my face! I am really pleased with it so far and will continue to find new uses for tea tree oil. A little bit goes a long way so I’m sure this bottle will last us a long time. If you have any tips or uses for tea tree oil please let me know!

11. Coffee A Cocoa– I am not a coffee fan but this is my mom and sister’s favorite kind. So I assume it’s really good because they buy it every time we are at TJ’s!

12. Dark Chocolate Peanut Buttercups– These were an impulse buy but are so delicious! We were originally looking for Justin’s Organic Peanut Buttercups but we couldn’t find them. So we got these and they are amazing! We have them in our refrigerator and I have to stop myself from eating the whole container! So yummy!

So that’s all we got this time! Please let me know if you have a favorite Trader Joe’s item that I have to try! I will post more about our mini trip to Ohio soon!

June Favorites

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Hey Guys! Sorry this post is a couple of days late! I’ve been working a lot and generally have been feeling really stressed and tired. However, I have some great news! My class is over so I have until September to relax! Yay!

June was a crazy busy month for me. I had a class, I had to work 40 plus hours a week, I had a certification exam, and I had several family commitments. I feel like the month went by crazy fast but I really enjoyed myself!

Now let’s move on to my favorites from June! Happy Reading!

Sally Hansen's Pacific Blue

Sally Hansen’s Pacific Blue

Sinful Color's Hottie

Sinful Color’s Hottie

1. Royal Blue Nail Polishes: My two favorites are Sinful Colors in Hottie and Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails in Pacific Blue. Hottie is a sparkly royal blue color which I expected to be just a clear glitter polish. However, I was surprised to find that this polish is a beautiful blue color and isn’t clear at all. I got it at Target and I am super happy with it. Pacific Blue is a color that I bought in the fall but I think it looks even better in the summer with a tan. I love the way it stands out on my nails and it’s really durable.

2. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser: This is my all-time favorite concealer. I love the sponge at the end that helps blend the concealer in. It provides really great coverage without making me look blotchy and terrible. This works really great for under the eye without creasing and it covers stubborn pimples in seconds. I really love this thing!

Baby Lips

3. Maybelline Baby Lips in Quenched: I just got my first Baby Lips a couple of weeks ago after hearing so many great reviews about them. My lips are particularly dry in the summer so I was looking for a new chapstick. Target had these on sale for $2 so I went ahead and grabbed one. I am so pleased with the quality! I will definitely be buying more in the future! I can’t wait to try the tinted versions! Anyone else a huge Baby Lips fan?

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4. Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter: If you have not tried this then go out and buy a jar! This stuff is so yummy and wonderful! I got it last time I went to Trader Joe’s and I cannot stop eating it. It is my go to snack to soothe my sweet tooth. I have nothing but good things to say about this cookie butter. It is so delicious. Do yourself a favor and try it!

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5. Peppermint Tea: I drink peppermint tea about once a day. It is tasty and it helps clear my head when I have a migraine or headache. I am currently drinking the Meijer Organics brand but any peppermint tea will do. I love a big, warm mug of tea when I’m feeling blue. I also drink this in the morning instead of coffee. I recommend giving peppermint tea a try if you suffer from headaches or have a hard time waking up in the morning.

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6. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: So many people recommended this book to me so I finally bought it at Target. I’m only a few chapters into it but I can already feel the impact that it is having on my life. I am trying to slow down and work on things instead of rushing through life. I really love how this book makes you stop and think. The only compliant that I have is that the chapters are super long which just frustrates me for some reason. I’m not done with the book yet, but so far it is a really good summer read!

Well, I hope you guys have enjoyed my favorites from last month! What are your favorites from June? What are you looking forward to in July?

 

What I’ve Been Up To

June has flown by for me! Does anyone else feel like that too? I feel like I was just writing my May Favorites blog post and now I’m working on June’s post! Where has the time gone??

Anyway, I have been super busy! My summer class ends of Wednesday so I have been finishing up my group project, paper, and presentation as well as studying for the final exam. I am so excited for this class to be over so I have some free time to enjoy summer! My sister’s birthday is on Saturday so I finally have a real day off to spend with my family.

The day my baby sister was born (almost) 19 years ago!

The day my baby sister was born (almost) 19 years ago!

One of the things that I have done recently is spending some quality time with my God brother (Jordan) and sister (Riley).  Jordan is nine and Riley is six. They live in Ohio so I don’t get to see them much but when I do I spend as much time with them as possible. They came up for father’s day weekend so we had a fun sleepover. We played outside, had a picnic, and played Life and Clue. I love these two so much!

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Picnic Time!

Picnic Time!

 

My Boy!

My Boy!

Fierce! These kids are serious about their arcade games!

Fierce! These kids are serious about their arcade games!

I have also been working a ton. I have a performance review on the 30th and I am hoping for a raise and a promotion! Fingers crossed! Work has been fun and challenging. I love my job but I hate being treated like I’m uneducated just because I work in the food industry! It can be very frustrating.

Well, that’s all for now! But be on the lookout for my June Favorites post and some other fun stuff that will be up soon!

How I Relax

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After a particularly rough day at work (like today) I like to unwind and relax. Tonight I decided to take a bath and listen to Pandora for a while. I usually don’t take baths but I found a couple of Lush bath bombs while cleaning my room. I’m not sure what kind of bath bomb it was but the one I used had pink polka dots on the inside that turned the water different colors. It was really pretty and super bubbly.

While taking a bath I also used my Formula 10.0.6 skin clearing mud mask that I talked about in the last post. My face feels so soft and clean now plus it smells amazing. For some reason work and school has been stressing me out a lot lately which makes me break out really bad. This mud mask helps reduce the redness on my face and clears my clogged pores.

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The Pandora station that I was listening to was the Imagine Dragons station. Imagine Dragons is currently one of my favorite bands. Their songs are so catchy and inspiring. I had a bad headache so I drank some peppermint tea from my favorite Eeyore mug. I really recommend peppermint tea to people with headaches because it helps relieve some of the pressure in my brain. I don’t know all the scientific stuff but that’s what it feels like to me!

How do you relax after a stressful day?