Collagen Peptides: Worth The Hype?

Happy Monday friends!

My hope for this blog is to be a resource for you.  A place that you can reference for a real perspective and unfiltered, honest advice.  Being a young woman in my 20’s on various social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest- I am interested in investigating the “hyped” products that bloggers and social media influencers are touting and raving about.  I have always had a passion for beauty and fashion, and sometimes fall victim to the social media crazes and hot products- because, of course I have to see for myself if they really are worth the hype! 

_________________________________________

Today’s post is an honest review of collagen peptides.  If you aren’t familiar, collagen peptides are a collagen supplement in powder form that are extracted from animal protein sources.  The product I purchased twice and most people I know use are sourced from grass-fed bovine hide (aka-cows).  One day I woke up and all of the bloggers I follow are posting videos on Instagram stories of this dissolving powder substance in their morning cup of coffee- claiming it can help with hair, skin, nail, and bone/joint health.  Um, sold.  So I bought a $43 20 oz. canister of the Vital Proteins collagen peptides from Amazon to see for myself what benefits this supplement could provide.  I then bought the individual daily packets just for good measure.

Within my first week, I was sold.  I immediately noticed a difference in the strength and health of my nails.  I was excited to see what my hair and skin would do with these almost immediate results. I waited patiently for 2 months, taking 1 scoop or packet of collagen peptides with my morning cup of coffee each day.  Here we are two months later, and to be honest, I’m not sold.  My nails are back to peeling again, and any changes in my skin can likely be attributed to a more routine skincare regimen.  My hair typically grows fast so I haven’t noticed any ground breaking changes in that department.  If I’m being really generous, I have maybe noticed that the baby hairs by my ears (which have been damaged since the day I started using a hair straightener) have grown more than usual- but the jury’s still out on that.

If you haven’t gotten the gist yet, I am sharing my pretty unpopular opinion in recommending that collagen peptides are NOT worth the hype.  For minimally noticeable benefits and their monthly cost, I just don’t see the appeal in adding these to your daily beauty regimen (and budget).  I did some research and I am not the only science-minded person to be skeptical of the benefits that orally-ingested collagen can provide.

First things first, collagen=protein, and the building blocks of protein are called amino acids.  Think of them as legos.  They are the basis of a lot of the connective tissue in our bodies- hair, skin, bones, etc., and the amino acids that make up collagen are highly plentiful in the human body.  As a part of the natural aging process, our bodies produce less collagen the older we get- lovely.

I am all for ANY product that will minimize the look of wrinkles in my skin or conditions like osteoporosis/ arthritis.  However, after searching high and low, there is little to no evidence that the collagen derived from animal hide contributes to healthier skin, hair, and nails.  It is digested with the help of the acidic fluids in our GI tracts and the likelihood of it maintaining its integrity and accessing the blood stream is slim. I did find one study that provides minimal evidence for the ingestion of a different type of collagen in contributing to decreased pain and inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis.

All in all, ingesting collagen peptides in powder form likely will not do your body harm.  However, as someone who has tried it for herself and done some research to investigate further, I will no longer be spending money on collagen peptide products as I did not personally see results from the use of them and would rather spend my money on shoes or makeup 😉  I will be doing my part in maintaining optimal collagen levels by not smoking cigarettes, working out, eating a healthy, protein-based diet, and protecting my skin from the sun!

_________________________________________

I hope you all appreciate and respect my personal, honest opinion of this “hyped” product and return to my blog in the future for more reviews and recommendations.  Cheers to a beautiful week and the first one that truly feels like spring here in NJ!  Cheers! xx

-Leah

Please follow and like:

5 Products To Combat Winter Skin

Good morning H A P P Y  Monday! 

This week’s post is all about skincare, and how to achieve beautiful skin despite the drying affects of Winter.  I have just recently started to invest more time and interest in skincare, which means I have been doing research and trialling different products.  I am thankful to have this platform to share what I learn and the products that are worth spending money on.  A few weeks back, I had a serious case of the “winter uglies.”  Pale, dry skin, dark circles under my eyes, and more frequent breakouts.  

Winter wreaks havoc on our skin for a few reasons:

(1) The colder the air, the less moisture in contains.  Not to mention all of the artificial heat sources we tend to use during the Winter to keep our body temperatures at a comfortable level of warmth.  This all amounts to dry, flaking skin.  Our skin thrives in moisture-rich environments.

(2) Harsh winds strip the skin’s surface-level lipids, which act as a protective barrier from environmental toxins (think bacteria)- making it easier for all of that yuck to seep into our pores and cause breakouts.  

(3) Decreased vitamin D levels (aka “the sunshine vitamin”).  Interestingly enough, vitamin D is unique in that it is actually a hormone called Calcitriol, which is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight.  Because of the decreased sunlight exposure during the Winter months, our hormones become imbalanced which can result in increased oil production.  This leads to- you guessed it- breakouts.

With this knowledge and a few runs to Sephora & Ulta, I have composed a list of my top 5 favorite skincare products to combat the drying affects of Winter.  Here they are:  

________________________________________________

| Gentle exfoliating scrub |

This Vasanti Brighten Up Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator is the bomb.  It has gentle micro crystals that exfoliate away all of that dry, flaky skin without being too abrasive.  “Brighten Up” is in the name for a reason- you literally glow after using this product, which can also be attributed to the papaya and aloe.  I initially got a sample in a Birchbox subscription and I can’t get enough of after using it for almost a year now.  At $34 for over 4 oz., this product won’t break the bank but will give you the results of the higher end facial scrubs.  I typically alternate using this with my facial cleanser, which amounts to about 3-4 times/week.

| Facial spray |

This Mario Badescu Facial Spray is like a drink of water for your skin.  It has aloe, herbs, and rosewater, which have incredibly hydrating properties to leave your skin feeling smooth and moisturized.  Rose has anti-inflammatory properties so this is perfect to treat any redness you have before makeup application (or any time of the day for that matter).  It also has antiseptic and moisturizing properties.  To recap, it will make your skin cleaner, calmer, and more hydrated.  YES please.  The 4 oz. version of this facial spray is only $7, so try it out for the same amount of money you would spend on a Venti starbucks latte.  I use this every morning after I wash my face with cold water, then follow it with a facial oil and moisturizer.

| Facial oil |

This SeneDerm Nangai Oil is the ultimate solution to your dry skin needs.  You can read more about it here, in my February Favorites post.   It hydrates the skin like no product I’ve ever tried, it’s anti-inflammatory, absorbs quickly, and will not clog your pores.  Don’t let the word “oil” scare you.  I use 4-5 drops of this every morning and night after I wash my face and before I apply my moisturizer.  When applying foundation, I typically mix 2-3 drops with it and apply as usual.

 | Overnight mask |

This Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is worth. every. penny.  I have seen it all over Instagram and blogging platforms and was curious enough to try it for myself. Although you can use it as a regular mask, I use it as a sleeping mask.  I put a thick layer on at night then rinse it thoroughly with warm water when I wake up the next day- it leaves me with glowing, even, and SOFT skin.  It smells fantastic and has a transparent, gel-like consistency.  I purchased the smaller size for $22 to try it out, which I would say has enough product for 6-8 uses.  I will be purchasing the larger size when mine runs out.  I am obsessed.

| Rose Face Mask |

I discovered this Fresh Beauty Rose Face Mask as a 100-point reward from my accumulated points at Sephora and I can’t get over how good it is.  I have always thought of face masks as a quick way to treat a breakout, therefore I have always purchased the more drying masks.  I can’t believe how long I’ve missed out in the world of hydrating masks.  As we discussed earlier, rose has amazing properties that contribute to the health of our skin.  I put on a generous layer after washing my face, then wash it off after it dries completely (about 10 minutes).  It has a gentle cooling sensation, and leaves my skin more even and youthful.  This mask is also free of harmful parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.  I will absolutely be purchasing the full size container of this product.

________________________________________________

I hope you guys learned something from this post and have a chance to try out some of these fabulous products- let me know if you do!  I am happy to answer any questions! I would also love to know your tips for beautiful skin.  Cheers to loving and caring for ourselves.  We all deserve to feel beautiful! xx

 

Please follow and like:

Holiday Gift Guide For Her Under $50

Good morning!  

Per popular demand on Instagram story polls, I put together this gift guide for the girls- with gift options all under $50.   These would make perfect gifts for the stylish ladies in your life- girlfriends, wives, aunts, cousins, sisters, friends- you name it!  I included some of the items I own and love, and some that would be on my wish list if I had one 😉  If you want to read a little about each item, I included short descriptions below.  If you’d prefer, you can just click the corresponding numbers under the photo collage to get to each website address.  Happy shopping my loves!

______________________________________

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 1011 |12 | 1314

1 |  J. Crew Striped Cape Scarf

I just ordered this in navy and I can’t wait until it comes in!  It’s versatile, chic, and looks so cozy- any excuse to basically wear a blanket in public right?  Being that it’s one size fits all (aka no guess work on sizing), this would make the perfect gift for the girls in your life- your bestie, your girlfriend or wife, aunts or cousins, even grandma! It’s a classic and timeless piece that transcends age.

2 | Anthropologie Candle

This candle is not only beautiful but it smells amazing.  Candles have such a special way of making any space feel warm and inviting.

3 | J. Crew Ribbed Beanie

I also just ordered this in the color vintage champagne.  It looks like that color sold out online but they still have it in heather graphite and black.  I love the ribbed knitting and cute faux fur pom pom detail!  Who doesn’t love a cute beanie to stay warm in the winter?

4 | Gold Hair Tie Bracelet

This bracelet prevents hair ties from leaving that uncomfortable mark around your wrist and transforms them into a stylish bracelet!  I love the gold color and I would pair it with a black hair tie.  You can also get it custom engraved for an extra $10.  This would make the best stocking stuffer!

5 | 25 oz. Swell Bottle

I absolutely love my swell bottle!  Two of my best friends gifted it to me for my birthday and I use it every day now.  I mostly use it to keep my drinks cold (24 hours of cold!!) but it keeps drinks hot as well.  Bonus- the 25 oz. will hold an entire bottle of wine 😉  Think- happy hour beverages on the beach in the Summer.  Cheers!

6 | J. Crew Tortoise Hoop Earrings

I own and love these earrings.  They are the perfect neutral accessory that pair well with any outfit. If you want try the statement earring trend but are a little nervous if it’s for you, these are a great start.

7 | 2018 Monthly Planner

This is the perfect holiday gift.  The person receiving this will be able to start organizing and planning for the new year ahead in a stylish, minimalist planner.  Great for high school or college students, or your type-A friends and family members!  I could also see this being a great gift for teachers.

8 | Anthropologie Monogram Mug

One of my girlfriends gifted me this mug a few years ago and I probably use it the most out of any I own.  The shape is perfect- my mom and I fight over it.  Not to mention the patterns are so cute, it’s personalized, and it’s on sale for only $5.00!  Such a steal.

9 | Converse Sneakers

These sneakers are the best.  They pair well with any casual outfit and the elastic ankle makes them easy to slip on an off.  I love mine and wear them all the time!

10 | Tarte Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette 

I ordered this palette during Tarte’s Cyber Monday deal and I am so excited for it to come in!  I currently use Urban Decay’s Naked Palette (which I love) but I’m ready for a change.  This has a nice variety of matte and shimmery neutral colors.  You can’t go wrong gifting this to the girls in your life!

11 | Grey Joggers

If you guys aren’t yet convinced that these are the best pants you’ll ever own, here it goes.  They are as soft as butter, available in all sizes in two colors, and are under $17!  I own them in grey and I sized up to a medium because I mostly wear them to lounge and sleep in so I wanted them to be loose and cozy.  I wear them so much that my boyfriend Mark asked if I ever wash them- the answer by the way is yes, but I have considered ordering a second pair to have on backup while the others are in the wash.  Yes, they are that good.

12 | Dogeared Linked Ring Necklace

I love this simple, delicate, necklace.  It’s gold, which I love, and comes on a card with a positive message.  It would make a perfect, thoughtful gift for your girlfriend or bestie!

13 | LipSense Starter Kit

You guys have heard me rave about these products before on the blog.  I just ordered 2 new colors and a gloss to gift to myself- treat yourself ladies.  Check my LipSense blog post for a more detailed review of the product if you’re interested!  Although a starter kit retails for $52, this option is under $50 if you use my code ROSECOLORED15 at time of purchase!

14 | Essie’s Gel Couture Kit

This is another product you’ve heard me talk about before.  I posted the details in my October favorites post if you’re interested in learning more!  I love this option for a gift because you get the color and the topcoat together- it’s cheaper than if you were to buy them separate.  My favorite colors are fairy tailor (pinkish nude) and gala-vanting (wine red).

______________________________________

I hope you guys found this post helpful and feel inspired to treat yourself or the people you love.  I hope you all have a beautiful weekend! xx

Please follow and like:

LipSense Products and Discount Code

Happy Monday my loves!  I have some exciting news!!  I shared with you one of my favorite lip products in my October favorites post- LipSense liquid lipstick.  Well, the LipSense distributor I order my products from, Kate, has been so kind to offer my followers a discount code!  Let me tell you the reasons I love this product.

______________________________________

| LONG-LASTING |

The lip products last all day! I went out with my mom for a day of lunch and shopping recently- I put on my LipSense at 11 a.m. before leaving the house, and when I got home at 8 p.m. I swear my lips still looked perfect.  The secret to this long-lasting wear is the gloss that goes over the lip color.  I reapplied the gloss about 5 times throughout the day- most importantly after eating.  Not only does it last long, but it never smudges, never transfers to your coffee cups or wine glasses, and never to your partner’s lips!  It’s smooch approved 😉

| MOISTURIZING |

These lip products are actually good for your lips.  The gloss is super moisturizing.  Unlike some of the other brands of long-lasting lip products, LipSense does not give your lips that dry, cracked look.  They look plump and moisturized.  This is essential for the upcoming months of cold weather.  Not to mention they are vegan, and free of GMOs, gluten, wax, and lead!

| CUSTOMIZEABLE |

There are a variety of colors to choose from but my favorite part is that these products are designed to be layered.  The colors I own look beautiful alone and layered- I love that you can create a unique look with fewer products.  I will post photos below of the colors I own- I love to layer Bella and Pink Champagne for a more neutral daytime look!  Check out all of the lip colors and gloss options here!

| VALUE |

You get a lot of product for your money.  Each tube of LipSense is the equivalent to 4 tubes of lipstick!  If worn everyday, one tube lasts 4-6 months!  For those of you who have used long lasting liquid lipsticks such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie Cosmetics, etc.- they charge more money for lesser quantities.

______________________________________

I own and love the colors Pink Champagne, Bella, and Goddess.  When you first purchase, get a starter lip kit as it comes with one lip color of your choice, the gloss you need to get that long-wear color, and an oops remover for goof-ups and to help you remove the product at the end of the day.   To get the most out of this product, apply 3 thin layers of color (one or a combo of your choice), allowing lips to dry for at least 5 seconds between each layer application.  After all 3 layers have been applied and lips are dry, apply a coat of the gloss and reapply just the gloss as needed throughout the day!

If you are interested in purchasing, Kate has a Facebook page with photos of all the colors she has in stock, helpful video tutorials, promotions and games with prizes, and photos of all the beautiful ladies who order these products, showing off their custom looks.  You can order whatever you need through this Facebook page by commenting on the photo of the product you want, or private messaging Kate.  She is a wealth of knowledge and can help you pick the right color so don’t hesitate to reach out to her!  She is offering 15% off of any order to my followers.  There are a ton of other products I have yet to try- cream to powder eye shadows, highlighters, color correcting creams, blushes, and more!  Mention the code ROSECOLORED15 to take advantage of the offer!  Hope you all have a beautiful week-stay warm! xx

Please follow and like:

October Favorites

Happy Monday friends!  It’s Halloween eve- where in the world did October go because I feel like I blinked and it was over?  In other news, I want to try a monthly post covering my favorite products for that month- anything from beauty to clothing to household items.  I love your feedback so let me know if this interests you/ thoughts on my first post like this!  In no particular order, here are my October favorites:

________________________________________

 | Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish |

You guys this stuff is good.  One of the things I gave up when I started fieldwork (no income for more than six months) was my twice-a-month gel manicures.  I hate the look of chipped polish so regular nail polish is out of the question- I would have to paint my nails 2x/week- who has time for that?  The Essie Gel Couture polishes give you a durable gel-like shine without a UV light- all you need is the top coat.  It usually lasts me about 10 days, it dries quickly, and there are a ton of pretty shades to choose from. My current favorite color is “Fairy Tailor” which is a beautiful pale pinkish nude (think OPI’s Bubble Bath).  I will keep you posted when I find the right burgundy shade!

| Mercanti Fiorenti Loafers |

Best DSW find ever.  Nubuck suede loafers with a bow tie detail.  They look like TOD’s, but for a fifth of the price.  I have the color red and will likely be purchasing a second pair in brown leather.  They are super comfortable and run true to size.  Not to mention they are a family-run business in Tuscany, Italy- love that!

| Pumpkin Spice RXBAR |

I love RXBARs- very few simple, clean ingredients that you can pronounce with no added sugar and enough protein to get you through to the next meal.  If you haven’t tried them- you must!  Pumpkin Spice is definitely one of my favorite flavors, and it seems fitting to enjoy in the fall.  My other favorites are maple sea salt and coconut chocolate.

| Batiste Dry Shampoo |

I recently picked this up at Marshalls and fell. in. love.  I wash my hair every other day so I like to keep it fresh and clean on the off-days.  I have tried so many dry shampoos- from high end brands like Living Proof to wallet-friendly drugstore options.  This one takes the cake by a long shot and it’s super affordable at $7.99 from Ulta. Word of advice- look out for it at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx when you go. I was able to snag it for just under $5! I have the original scent which doesn’t smell like much but boy does it work!  So excited to share this one with you guys- I promise you will love it!

| Grey Joggers |

Guys- I can’t say enough about these pants.  They are only $16.99 from Target and they are by far the comfiest pants I have ever owned.  They are advertised as pajama pants but can definitely work as joggers and be dressed up with sneakers and a sweater to wear in public.  I literally live in them and would consider purchasing a second pair because I like them so much.

| Lipsense Starter Kit |

Lipsense comes in a variety of beautiful colors and lasts for a long time- I usually get a full work day out of it when I reapply the glossy gloss 2-3 times. A starter kit comes with one lip color of your choice, the glossy gloss (which is necessary to lock in the lip color), and an oops remover (helps you take it off at EOD and erase any goof-ups). I own the colors Pink Champagne and Bella.  They look great layered or alone and are the perfect shades for fall.  Pink champagne is my everyday go-to and I add Bella for a night out look.  I hyperlinked the Facebook group of the Lipsense distributor I use if you guys are interested in purchasing!  Kate is amazing and posts frequent how-to videos, runs promotions, ships purchased products directly to you, and has a customer satisfaction guarantee- if you are not happy with the product or color you choose, she will give you a full refund or replace it with a different color.  This is a must try for those of you who are tired of spending good money on lip products that wear off after your morning cup of coffee or your first cocktail out!

________________________________________

Just so you guys are aware, these recommendations are in no way sponsored- I just like to share good quality products that I have tried and loved.  Cheers to a productive week and a happy and safe Halloween!  xx

Please follow and like:

Designer to Drugstore Makeup Alternatives

Happy Monday friends!  I have the day off for Columbus Day so I am thankful to have slept in and am currently enjoying my morning cup of coffee on the couch as I write this post.  Per your request, I am sharing 5 drugstore brand makeup alternatives for pricier, high-end products.  Being a graduate student with very limited income for the next few months, I have tried to cut spending where I can.  For example, I do my own nails now as opposed to getting them done, I make my coffee at home instead of stopping on the way to work, and I swapped some of the pricier items in my makeup bag for more affordable alternatives that work just as well!  

_________________________________________

Loose powder | Swap this for this

I have a naturally shinier complexion, so I always use a loose mattifying powder over my foundation.  I used to love Make Up Forever’s HD Microfinishing loose powder, but at it’s $36 price point, it had to be swapped for something more affordable.  After trialling a few different products, I discovered and fell in love with NYX Studio Finishing Powder.  It’s a loose mattifying powder, costs $9.99, and can be purchased at Ulta or Target, saving me a drive to the mall.  I have also used NARS loose powder for $37, and I still think the NYX powder is a better product for the price.

Bronzer | Swap this for this

I have been using Bobbi Brown bronzer in the color natural for years.  It has a natural, matte finish, which I always preferred over shimmery.  Another favorite for the summer or a night out is NARS Laguna Bronzer.  It has a touch of golden shimmer that doesn’t feel too sparkly and adds the right amount of color for a sun-kissed look.  I love these bronzers and never expected to switch to a cheaper alternative because I didn’t think it would hold a candle to my go-to’s.  Well, I did.  NYX Matte Bronzer in the color medium is the cheaper clone of Bobbi Brown’s $44 bronzer.  At $8.99, it provides just the right amount of natural looking color for an every day look.

Dark circle concealer | Swap this for this

I have always had dark circles under my eyes so a good concealer is a must.  I have tried too many products to count but I have most recently been using It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer.  It provides good coverage but the shade is a bit off for me-  the color light is too light and medium seems to be a tad too dark.  At $24 and a shade that isn’t quite right, I was on the hunt for a new product.  I now use NYX Dark Circle Concealer in the color light.  It has orange undertones to counteract the purple shade that dark circles tend to have, doesn’t cake or crease throughout the day, and is only $5.99.

Mascara | Swap this for this

If you use any high-end volumizing mascara, please give Covergirl’s LashBlast Volume Mascara a try- you will thank me later.  I have tried SO many mascaras- both designer and drugstore, and I always return to Covergirl’s.  I get the shade very black and I often do a coat of the regular mascara, and a coat of the waterproof variety to seal the look.  The brush is amazing- it separates lashes so you don’t look like you have spider legs extending from your eyeballs (pet peeve of mine), it adds volume, and makes lashes look longer.  What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, it’s only $6.94 at Walmart.  Pro tip- only buy this at Walmart as Ulta sells it for $8.99.

Felt tip eyeliner | Swap this for this

I have tried a few different brands of felt tip eye liners in black.  I like the felt tip liners because they’re easy to use, provide a very thin line that you can build up if desired, and offer a lot of control in application.  Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner always worked well for me but in the interest of my bank account, I searched for a more affordable alternative.  I really like Rimmel London’s Colour Precise Eyeliner as it is long-lasting, easy to use, and affordable at $5.99.

_________________________________________

I wanted to end this post by saying that although I love a bargain for a good product, I also believe in investing in products that are high-quality, good for you, and good for the environment.  I am learning more about healthier alternatives for many of the beauty products I use daily, and I will keep you all posted as I do.  In the mean time, I hope you enjoyed this post and can benefit from these money saving makeup tips.  If you guys swear by any affordable products, please share with me!! Also- any magic tricks to get rid of dark under-eye circles? Send them my way.  Enjoy your Monday and the week ahead! xx

Please follow and like:
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial