The Best Skincare and Hair products of 2016 15

The Best Skincare and Hair Products of 2016 // Being Leanna

It’s time again for a new year and a recap of all the products I’ve been loving this year! Today I’m showcasing all of the hair and skincare products that have wowed me this year. Some are old standbys that I can’t live without and others are new discoveries this year! Don’t forget to let me know your favorites so I can check out some new products in 2017!




StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner

This is the best product to put on top of a moisturizer. It visibly reduces your pores and it locks in hydration. This pore refiner keeps your skin matte and works as an excellent primer with the added anti aging benefits of retinol. It’s expensive but, it’s lasted me a year and become a staple in my skincare routine.

Lush Dark Angels 

Hands down the best face scrub I’ve ever used. It leaves your skin cleansed, smooth and not at all dry! The black carbon coloring is a bit scary to rub into your face but it’s extremely effective and rinses off easily. 

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Overnight Mask

I bought this for the first time over a year ago because I heard it was amazing for your skin while flying. Airplanes are known for drying out your skin so I wanted to find the best moisturizer out there. Ever since I’ve been sleeping in this mask about once a week and I’ve noticed a vast improvement in my skins hydration and plumpness from regular usage. 

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

I’ve heard about this product for years and never bought it. Boy was I missing out. If you have a fresh blemish this is the best thing you can put on it. It dries it right out and it will be way less visible by the morning. Pop this on all of your spots after the rest of your skincare routine and let it do it’s thing. 

Yes To Blueberries Eye Firming Treatment

I can’t vouch for it’s fine line reducing claims but I can vouch for the amazing hydration this has been providing my under eyes for years. You only need to use the tiniest amount and you’re good to go. This is perfect for day or nice use as it absorbs quickly and your makeup won’t settle into it. 

Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum

I will be the first to admit that i’m not always great at getting into a nighttime routine. Luckily this product is both a toner and a serum in one. It smells like roses (yes please!) and it does double duty work. Perfect for the lazy girl in all of us. While toners usually dry out my skin, this one does the opposite and it’s been great for the dry winter months. 

The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisturizer

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this dozens of times on the blog but this is my all time favorite moisturizer. I’ve been buying this for years and it has yet to disappoint. It hydrates my skin so well and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. Unfortunately it no longer has an spf but it’s easy to layer one over the top because it’s so lightweight. 

First Aid Beauty Facial Cleanser

If you have dry skin this is the cleanser for your. The FAB cleanser is extremely gentile and somehow manages to keep your skin hydrated. It’s magic. This creamy cleanser is also great for sensitive skin. 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

I bought this last year with a Christmas gift card and it’s been the best high end purchase ever. Worth every penny. This is a retinol oil that will make your skin glow with hydration, calm redness and reduce some fine lines. Never has my skin looked better than when I was using this regularly. Luckily, a few small drops go a long way. If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck you should check out their Power Couple Duo which I reviewed here

Shangpree Pore Tightening Mask

This is the best clay mask i’ve used on my skin. Pores are my number one concern, I’m sure they’re only visible to me but they are pretty large on my cheeks and they drive me crazy. Upon washing this perfume scented mask off my pores are left visibly reduced and somehow my skin is not dried out. How a mask can get rid of dead skin, tighten pores and hydrate is beyond me. 


Nume Curling Wand

Any curling wand will do actually. This one has just been a favorite for me because it’s the only one I have. I’ve been obsessed with curling my hair lately and I’ve gotten it down so it rarely takes me more time than straightening my hair. Adding a curl really helps to change up your look.

Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream

If you have frizzy hair this stuff is the bomb . com. It really helps to reduce frizz (or static!) while keeping your hair from looking like a big greasy mess. It’s marketed for medium to thick hair but I’ve got fine hair and it still works amazingly. Just use less!

Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Hairspray

As I just mentioned I’ve got fine hair. That means anything with the word volume in it becomes my best friend. This is the best hairspray I’ve found for fine hair because it provides hold without being sticky or clumpy or hard. It’s perfect for anything from fly-aways to up-dos.

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray

I’m sure everyone and their mother has tried this and I’m no exception. It’s a tried and true product that i’ll continue to buy for years because it works. My hair is healthier and shinier because I use this before putting any heat on my hair. 

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

Let me be honest here and say that this only beats out Living Proof’s dry shampoo because of the scent. If you have not smelled an Amika product you haven’t lived. It’s so good they have a room spray. It’s also a pretty great dry shampoo and it does wonders with giving your second or third day hair volume. 

What are your favorite skincare and haircare products of 2016, let me know in the comments below!!

Thanks For Reading // Being Leanna


The Best Skin and Hair Products of 2016 // Being Leanna


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ColourPop First Impressions & Review 7

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Hello Friends!

I’ve been hearing about ColourPop cosmetics for a long time and had never tried anything out, until now! The temptation became too much and I had to dive in. ColourPop prices are incredibly affordable and I had been hearing so many good things from all the bloggers and YouTubers I watch so, I did some research,found some colors I wanted and placed an order. 

I grabbed 7 items in total: 3 lip colors, a highlight, a contour and two eyes hadows. I’ve had these for about a month now and was trying to think of an original idea for a post and came up with basically zilch. So, to try and be a bit unique instead of just reviewing these products i’m letting you know my first impression and my 3 week impression so you can see how some of my opinions changed drastically. You can’t always fall in love with something on the first try. So today i’m letting you know if it’s worth it to spend your hard earned moolah on ColourPop. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Ultra Matte Lip- Tulle

First impression: Love the application and texture. The formula is not too wet where it feels runny and not too thick where it’s hard to apply evenly. Very impressed for the $6 price tag. The color however? Wow, not for me.  The website description was “Not the douchey kind but a dusty mauve burgundy” and that sounded perfect. The teeny tiny swatch picture looked pretty good too so I took the dive. Didn’t work out. Too dark for my comfort but, i’ll keep it in case I decide to go really vampy one day. It’s a beautiful color just not for super fair skinned people. 

After 3 weeks: I can honestly say I’ve given it the ole college try but, I have yet to wear this out of the house. I’m still loving the formula but the color is not at all for me. This was my main reservation about buying from ColourPop. I don’t like buying makeup without trying it out first and so far I was 0-1. 

Worth it? The formula- heck yes, the color? heck no. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Ultra Matte Lip- Solow

First impression: Same great texture and application as Tulle and a 100% better color for me. Love Love Love. I wore this out of the house immediately after applying it and was pleasantly happy with the staying power.

After 3 weeks: Still rocking this all the time. The matte formula doesn’t dry out my lips too much and I only have to reapply once a day which is great. I’m incredibly impressed with this especially because it’s only $6. This redeemed the matte lip products for me so i’ll definitely be purchasing some more. I’ve got my eyes on a few of their holiday sets. 

Worth it? Heck yes. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Lippie Stix- Lumière

First Impression: Holy cannoli do I love this color. And the texture, and the packaging, and the ease of application (no mirror necessary!), and that all of their products are scentless. Love everything. 

After 3 weeks: Still love this and wear it the most often out of the 3 lip products I purchased. The creamy consistency is fantastic but, it doesn’t ever seem to set which would be fine if I never ate or drank anything. It comes off all over on my mugs and cups. For $5 though that doesn’t really bother me. ColourPop has this same color in a lip pencil that I definitely want to grab to test out that formula. Have you guys tried their lip pencils?

Worth it? Heck yes. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Sculpting Stix- Dove & Venice

First impression: These are going to be funnnnnn. Ohhhh, they are fun. Oh wow, this highlighter seems to not do much. This contour though is fantastic. The consistency in these sculpting stix are great, creamy without being too soft. Plus, they blended out incredibly well. Dove is the perfect contour shade for my fair skin. It’s a darker color but it’s not too brown, it’s got more of a grey undertone which helps to create a shadow instead of looking dirty. 

After 3 weeks: Venice I could do without. I like the consistency but the color is just not a highlight for me. It does look lovely under my eyes as a bit of a brightener but in no way is it a highlight. Dove, the contour shade, is incredible. I’ve used this every day in place of my normal bronzer and i’m obsessed. My contour is far from being on fleek (do the kids still use that term?) but it’s getting exponentially better. For $5 you can’t beat these. Plus, the sculpting stix can be bought in 12 different shades so you’re bound to find one that works for you. 

Worth it? Dove- heck yes. Venice- Heck no. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Eye Shadow- Muse

First impression: Looks like a penny, feels like a cloud. I’ve heard from practically everyone that tries ColourPop that the texture of their shadows is unique and it definitely is. The texture is incredibly lightweight and almost spongy like a mixture between a cream and a regular shadow. I really wanted to test out the longevity of this by itself so I didn’t use any primer and applied this all over my lid. It looks fantastic.

After 3 weeks: I’m liking it but i’m not in love with it. I love a metallic lid in the fall/winter especially this universally flattering copper color but the formula isn’t really my favorite. It looks nice for a couple hours and then disappears completely. I’ve been using Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray primer on my lids and that’s really helped to make this last longer but still not forever. I’ve honestly found that applying this with my fingers works the best but, i’m not convinced this is worth the $5. 

Worth it? Heck no, I want a shadow that lasts all day. 

ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

Eye Shadow- Bill

First Impression: Stupid name, great color. Bill is a sort of purple-y grey and I love it on my eyes. I’ve got green eyes and purple really looks great with them but I’m not a fan of BAM IN YOUR FACE purple eye shadow so this is great. Even if you don’t have green eyes this shade is great. It’s like an amped up neutral. Plus, the texture is so cool.

After 3 weeks: I wear this every day that I don’t wear Muse. I find that the matte shadow lasts way better than the metallic and sometimes I even use this as a base for  Muse. The staying power for the matte shade was so dramatically different from the metallic shade that i’ll be buying some more for sure. Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Worth it? Heck yes. 

Overall Thoughts:

Depending on what you get I think the price points are definitely worth the trade off for not getting to try things out in person first. If you don’t like a color you’re only out about $6 which isn’t the end of the world. Plus, you can always give away the products you’ll never use. I’d say to do your research before buying for sure though. The swatch pictures on the ColourPop website aren’t that great so do some Googling or Pinterest searching for swatches of the colors you’re interested in. They’ll help greatly. 

Question of the day: How do you feel about ColourPop? 



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ColourPop First Impressions & Review // Being Leanna

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Philosophy: Cleanse, Refine & Renew Kit- A Re-discovery

Philosophy: Cleanse, Refine & Renew // Being Leanna

Hello Readers!

I think this may be cheating a bit because i’m updating an old post but my skin has been freaking out lately (yay season changes!) so I went out and grabbed this amazing Philosophy kit again because I had such amazing results the first time. Instead of doing a whole review again I thought i’d just update my old one! 

The kit is definitely an all in one skin regimen. The Cleanse, Refine & Renew kit by Purity promises to do all of that by giving your skin a smoother appearance while also keeping your skin hydrated. Purity is the cleanser that’s included and it basically sells itself, everyone and their mother raves about this product. Renewed Hope In a Jar is the moisturizer and is essentially the pumped up version of their best selling Hope In A Jar. And finally, there’s a two step peel. One jar has crystals and the other has enzymes.

The price of the Philosophy kit is $75 but if you add up the prices of all the items separately it’s well worth it. Purity normally runs at $24, Renewed Hope in a Jar is $47 and the Resurface peel is $72 ($36 if you half that price because the kit only gives you 1 oz of each instead of the 2 oz if you purchase it alone). Let’s take a look at each of them a bit more closely.

Philosophy: Cleanse, Refine & Renew // Being Leanna

Purity Made Simple

This is a cleanser made for any skin type that effectively removes makeup while also hydrating the skin. I personally love this Philosophy cleanser because it doesn’t dry out my skin at all. I find a lot of cleansers leave my skin feeling tight but with Purity i’m left with soft, hydrated skin. Yes, it’s even effective at removing my makeup, even lip stains. Another huge upside to Purity is that it doesn’t have a scent and it’s excellent for sensitive skin. (I was able to use this even when I had sunburn and it didn’t irritate my skin at all) And, this cleanser is relatively cheap for a non-drugstore brand. At only $24, 8 ounces is going to last you forever.

Philosophy: Cleanse, Refine & Renew // Being Leanna

Renewed Hope In A Jar

This moisturizer is basically the updated version of the highly loved, Hope In A Jar. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this moisturizer, but I’m in love. It’s not my favorite moisturizer of all time, but man does it hydrate. The consistency is so lightweight and soft that it really melts into your skin. In better words that I could come up with here’s what Sephora has to say “This groundbreaking formulation features a triple blend of alpha hydroxy acids, three forms of hyaluronate, plus an Asian fruit extract—delivering an even longer-lasting glow and continuous hydration benefits. It refines skin’s texture while visibly improving pores and fine lines for a youthful appearance. Skin is left with soft, dewy smoothness and a re-energized healthy-looking color and glow.” Since repurchasing Renewed Hope In A Jar I can confidently say that this is definitely in my top 5 moisturizers. 

Philosophy: Cleanse, Refine & Renew // Being Leanna

Microdelivery Dual-Phase Peel

I just used this on my skin an hour ago and all I want to do is touch my face… it’s that soft. I’m going to a wedding this weekend and cannot wait for how great my skin is going to look in pictures. I have never had such smooth, plump, and healthy looking skin as I have right after using this peel. The two step process is easy to use and you can feel and see results. Step one is the manual exfoliant that you put all over your face (they suggest 1 tsp) and gently rub it in circles. Trust me, you do not need to super duper rub this into your skin.

Next, take bit of the “activating gel” (lactic/salicylic acid) and gently place that on top of the crystals. You’re going to see a bunch of white foam and feel a bit of heat, but that’s a good thing! You can rub this all in if you want, but I personally go pretty gently. Just rinse it off and look how awesome your skin looks! I use this once a week and I am continuously blown away by how my skin feels afterwards.

Question of the Day: Do you guys use Philosophy products? What do you think of these?

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A Teeth Whitener that Causes No Sensitivity!

A Teeth Whitener that Causes No Sensitivity! // Being Leanna

Yeah, you read that right. I found a teeth whitener, that actually works, that doesn’t cause any sensitivity. I’m in shock too. Which is why I had to share it with you guys. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t want to whiten their teeth, do you? I’ve been on the hunt for a good whitening product for years now. I’ve tried toothpastes, mouth washes, strips, gels, blue light thingies and all with very minimal success. 

You see, I’ve got sensitive teeth and anything that’s too hot or too cold hurts them. I can’t bite into ice cream or slurp too hot of tea without my teeth feeling kinda meh. I’m sure a lot of you have this problem. Or, at least have a problem with teeth whiteners causing your gums and teeth to throb. The reviews on any at home teeth whitener have complaints that are always the same “this made my teeth hurt”. 

Supersmile Teeth Whitener

Anyways, I discovered Supersmile at Ulta and figured for $30 I could be okay if it didn’t work, and ecstatic if it did. Well, it did. I purchased the Ultimate Whitening system that includes 2 toothpastes and 8 activating rods. 

One toothpaste is a regular ole minty toothpaste that’s actually really nice. The other “toothpaste” is a whitening accelerator gel. You use a pea sized amount of each twice a day instead of your normal toothpaste. They say to use this on a dry toothbrush and I can totally see why. A wet toothbrush just causes the paste to not stick as well to your teeth.

As for the activator rod, you use those twice a week, or every once in a while when you need a boost of whitening. Just rub this all over your teeth before brushing and be sure to brush for at least 2 minutes when using the activator rod. It seems like a long time but when you know you’re whitening your teeth it goes by much quicker. A Teeth Whitener that Causes No Sensitivity! // Being LeannaA Teeth Whitener that Causes No Sensitivity! // Being Leanna

Before is up top, after is below. So embarrassed of my bottom teeth, don’t judge!


// Well, it actually works. I apologize if the pictures aren’t proof enough but I had no intentions of writing a post about this. I just took the before picture as reference for myself. Believe it or not, I had braces for two years. Ugh.

// Does not cause any sensitivity. I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true. So incredibly thrilled. 

// I noticed a difference after one use. For realz.

// Not a lot of work to add to your daily brushing routine.

// Extra tooth paste and accelerator to keep using even when you’ve used up the rods.


// I wish it whitened a bit better, but obviously, unless you get whitening professionally done it won’t be dazzlingly white.

// Can’t find this at Ulta anymore so you’ve got to buy it on Amazon (not really a drawback but I like instant gratification).

// Adds an extra step to your brushing twice a week ( I would forget to use the rods every once in a while).

Bottom Line:

// I will buy this teeth whitener again for sure. I’ve used up all 8 of the activating rods but I still have the toothpaste and activating gel that I use twice a day. I’ll wait a few months before using this again but I really enjoy the results I got and the price can’t really be beat. Check out the Supersmile website to get more detailed product information but buy it from Amazon, it’s much cheaper and also on Prime if you’ve got that. 

Let me know if you guys have sensitive teeth! Please reassure me that i’m not alone. 

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How to Keep Track of Makeup Expiration! Plus a FREE Download! 9

How To Keep Track Of Makeup Expiration Dates- Plus FREE Download // Being Leanna

If you’re anything like me, you constantly forget how long you’ve had things for. Is this mascara one week old, or have I had it for two years? I’ll never know. But, I do know that makeup gets gross after a while and that makeup expiration dates are super important. I won’t be putting something on my skin that’s spoiled. Will you?

So, in dealing with this dilemma of mine, I figured I wasn’t the only one letting expired products fall through the cracks so I thought i’d share my best tips for making sure your products are still okay to put on your face!

How To Keep Track of Makeup Expiration:

// Tip 1: Grab a marker and write the date you started using the product right on the label. This is the easiest way to keep track of how long you’ve had your products for. 

// Tip 2: Don’t share your makeup! Now, i’m not saying that your friends are gross, but sharing makeup leads to more germs. If you must share products, at least make sure you’re using different applicators. And please, never share your eye products. Ew. ew. ew. Do you want someone else’s eyeliner near your eye? No thanks. 

// Tip 3: Wash dem brushes (and sponges) weekly. I’ll admit, I used to be terrible about regularly washing my brushes. But, now that I’ve started regularly washing my brushes I’ve noticed a difference in my skin. Really. I have this super inexpensive brush cleanser from e.l.f. and it works just as well as some more expensive brush cleansers I’ve tried. 

// Tip 4: Use a tool of some kind to help you wash your brushes. Swirling a brush around in your hand works, but isn’t thorough enough. I was seriously surprised at how much cleaner my brushes got after getting one this doo-hicky that was less than $2 on Amazon. There’s no real excuse to not buy it. I love it so much I included it in my August Favorites!

// Tip 5: Cream and liquid products expire faster so, if you’re trying to use up some of your stash, it’s best to go through those first. 

// Tip 6: Go though your products now and check for makeup expiration. It always feels good to purge on some old things. Get rid of what’s old and while you’re at it, you may discover some old favorites! Check the expiration though before trying them back out.

// Tip 7: Take a picture of those expired products that you want to repurchase so when you go shopping again you’ll know exactly what the product is. There is so much variety in makeup these days it’s hard to remember the exact same shade/type/brand of lipstick you loved without a picture. 

// Tip 8: Most makeup has an expiration on it if you need some guidance. There’s a little jar looking picture with a number of months to show you just how long that product will last for. Use it!

// Tip 9: Use this handy printable below to keep track of how long you should be keeping your products for! All of the basics are on listed for you to use as a guide. Remember, these are guidelines not harden rules. Print it out and stick it with all of your makeup.

Product Expiration List // Being Leanna 


Do you have any more tips to add? Share them below! 

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