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Best Exfoliator for Dull Winter Skin

The cold weather dulls my complexion and enhances fine lines. Which exfoliator do you recommend?

As far as exfoliation goes, trash your facial scrub and start using a product with Glycolic Acid.  I recently discovered and LOVE Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads.


20% Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads
10% Glycolix Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads

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Glycolic Acid facial pads gently exfoliate the skin, revealing fresher, clearer, younger-looking skin.

Reduces the appearance of fine lines and lightens freckles and sun spots by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Vanessa’s Review
Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads do what they claim: they gently exfoliate, moisturize and assist in the removal of oils and residue on the skin.

Having used Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads, which didn’t exactly unwrinkle any thing and cost $45, I’m a huge fan of Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. They are easy-to-use, convenient, the price is right, and the concentration of Glycolic Acid is high enough that I immediately noticed a difference in my skin.

Upon initial application, my face slightly tingled.  I wasn’t sure if I should immediately apply my other products or wash my face first, so I waited around 10 minutes, washed my face with my Clarisonic, then applied my other products.  Interestingly, I felt like my other products penetrated deeper and were therefore more effective. My face immediately felt smoother, my complexion looked more radiant, and my fine lines were less apparent.

Having experimented with them a bit, I now use Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads daily in place of Obagi Toner; I wash, tone with these pads, then apply my other products.

Also, for those of you who are pregnant and struggling to find a safe skincare regimen, glyolic acid, one of the safest Alpha Hydroxy Acids (a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane), is safe to use during pregnancy!

Remember:  use SPF!  Your skin may be more sensitive to sunlight after the use of Glycolic Acid.

Inexpensive ($20-$30, depending on strength), effective, easy-to-use and convenient.

The glycolic acid exfoliates really well, Witch Hazel delivers toning and astringent benefits, and liposomal vitamins A, C, E, Co-Q10 and Green Tea Extract work to protect, sooth and brighten skin.


20% pads may irritate sensitive skin.

Since my skin is no stranger to in-office chemical peels and prescription strength retinoids, I use the 20% Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. If you have sensitive skin or are a Glycolic Acid virgin, start with 10% Glycolix Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. Use weekly or bi-weekly use, working up to daily use.

How To Use
Remove a saturated pad from the jar and wipe the textured pad over your face, before or in lieu of cleansing with face wash and water.

There is no wrong way to use these! Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads peel, tone, prime and clean!

In fact, on Scrubby Sundays, I don’t properly cleanse; I forgo water and face wash for one of these pads and call it a day!

Drugstore Beauty Products Every Woman Needs In Her Arsenal

Drugstore Beauty Products I Can’t – and You Shouldn’t- Live Without 

I’m a brainwashed beauty junkie who believes there is usually a positive correlation between price and quality. However, there are a handful of drugstore products that I actually PREFER to their luxury brand counterparts.  No matter what Benefit, Make Up Forever, Dior, Armani, MAC, Urban Decay or Hourglass throw at me, I keep coming back to these budget-friendly drugstore versions.

For you Amazon Prime subscribers, click the text links to purchase the product on Amazon, while photos link to, where shipping is free on all purchases $35 and over.

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lacquer 24 Hour Eyeliner

This is my absolute favorite eyeliner. It blows away Smashbox, Hourglass, Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever. Highly pigmented, smudge proof and easy to apply, this gel liner is the better than any liquid or pencil liner I’ve tried. As a bonus, it wears well in the waterline!

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Waterproof Mascara in Carbon Black

Mascara has the shortest lifespan of all cosmetics, needing to be replaced about every 3-4 months, so splurging on it is usually a waste. While not all drugstore mascaras are created equal, I’ve found L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Waterproof Mascara in Carbon Black is as good, if not better than its designer counterparts. Although I’ve enjoyed torrid affairs with Benefit They’re Real, Make Up Forever’s Smoky Extravagant Mascara, and Diorshow, I always return home to the non-flaking L’Oreal’s Voluminous in Carbon Black.

Maybelline New York Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil

Eyebrows have the power to transform your face.  This is the perfect brow pencil for soft, subtle, long-wearing definition in an instant. It’s comparable to Anastasia Brow Wiz, Caramel, 1 ea, for 1/4th the price.  A lot of women use eyebrow pencils in entirely the wrong shade — namely too dark. Go with a color that’s a shade or two lighter than the color of your hair.








Maybelline New York ColorSensational Lip Liner in Nude 20

Want bigger lips without the cost and pain of injections?  Line outside your lips, then gently fill in the rest of the lip.  I wore this for my bridal shower and had several people ask me where I had my lips done.  Also, notice Kylie Jenner’s larger lips as of late?  She’s lining the OUTSIDE of her lip line with a nude or slightly darker than nude pencil, creating the illusion of larger lips. This liner won’t smudge, smear, feather or bleed.  Best of all?  Nude goes with any lip color!

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream

The skin around the eyes is ten times thinner than the skin on the face and ages 36% faster.  Burt’s Intense Hydration Eye Cream helps slow the aging process by plumping skin and visibly reducing lines, bags and dark circles.

Whatever your concern- fine lines, dark circles, bags, puffiness- no cream will work magic. Hocus Pocus only comes in the way of lasers, fillers and/or surgery. Retinol products help eliminate fine lines by changing the skin on the cellular level, but can also dry out the area; accordingly, this cream works well in conjunction with retin-a.

I have a mild obsession with vaporizing fine lines that pop up around my eye area (I went as far as to have my under eyes CO2 lasered). I can tell you from personal experience: Burt has your back – errr – eyes.  This is a drugstore MUST HAVE!

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry, Sensitive Skin

Skip overpriced lotions and quench your body and face with Cetaphil. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream contains a superior system of extra-strength emollients and humectants clinically proven to bind water to the skin and prevent moisture loss. The result is long-lasting relief for even severely dry skin. The non-greasy formula is excellent for hands, feet, elbows, knees, and even your FACE! Mix with retina-a to reduce irritation.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Although I splurge on several Obagi products, I always use Cetaphil cleanser.

With or without water, cleanse, soften, and soothe with this fragrance and soap-free facial cleanser. Perfect even for sensitive skin, this non-alkaline, non-comedogenic formula won’t dry your skin, won’t dull your healthy glow.

Cerave Sa Renewing Skin Lotion

Improves the appearance of skin left challenged by the elements, problematic skin flare-ups, embarrassing chicken skin on the back of your arms (like keratosis pilaris), or even shaving bumps. Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe® SA Renewing Lotion helps restore and repair extremely dry, rough skin. Its patented Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE®) provides controlled release over time with ceramides that moisturize and soften skin. Salicylic acid works to loosen and exfoliate dead skin cells, patented MVE® technology allows a controlled release of nourishing ceramides, hyaluronic acid and antioxidant Vitamin D into the skin to help repair and maintain the barrier. Salicylic acid’s exfoliating action allows these moisturizing ingredients to penetrate the skin more easily, leaving it smooth and touchable.

Compare to KP Duty products that retail for over $122 for a complete kit.

Urban Decay Friends & Family 20% off!

Go crazy at Urban Decay’s Friends & Family 20% off sale!

Wins: Eyeshadow Potion Primer, Pore Perfecting Foundation Primer, ANY of the Naked Eyeshadow Palettes, Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush and Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup.

Fails: Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder and NAKED SKIN Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder. Instead, buy: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Silk Micro-Powder

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Friends & Family Sale Alert!

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