It’s Time for a Change

Hello lovelies! Today’s post is going to be a bit different. I’ve got a majorly exciting announcement to make, and I hope you’re willing to take a break from daily beauty reviews in order to learn more about what’s been going on behind the scenes here at Authentic Stereotypes.

First things first: I want to take a minute to say a HUGE Thank You to all of my readers. When I first started this blog 6 months ago I had no idea just how wonderful all of you would turn out to be. Things have taken off very quickly around here (I now have over 900 followers – WHAT?!) and it’s taken me some time to really and truly appreciate what that means. Y’all are my number one priority, and it’s become apparent that I need to make a few changes in order to be able to continue to provide you with the very best content I can. That’s why today I’m announcing that Authentic Stereotypes is moving to a new home…

Click Here to View the New and Improved Authentic Stereotypes!

Take a minute to pop over there and see what all is going on, and don’t forget to follow so that you’ll continue to receive your regular updates about new content. If you follow me on bloglovin, make sure to stay up to date by clicking on the link below:

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Now, I know this is a big change and that there is a good amount of risk involved. I know some of you won’t want to check out the new site and that there’s a chance I could lose a lot of my followers, which is why I want to take a few more minutes of your time to explain why I am making this change. Here are a few reasons

  1. WordPress.com does not allow me to post sponsored content or really do anything else that could lead to my making money. While I’m do not run this blog for-profit (I have a full time job as a Designer, thank you) things have gotten tight in my budget since starting Authentic Stereotypes, and it recently became clear that I’d need a bit more flexibility in terms of partnering with brands if I wanted to continue to offer you top-tier content.
  2. Posting product reviews is great, but there’s more out there that we are all interested in. I will continue to review products, same as always, but I’ve wanted to branch out into other areas such as fashion, lifestyle, and fitness/wellness. I was beginning to feel a bit stuck creatively and I think that the transition to a new site will help me feel inspired to branch out into these other areas of interest.
  3. I wanted more control over the aesthetic and brand of Authentic Stereotypes. You already know that I am a graphic designer, so I’m hoping you’ll understand when I say that working with a free WordPress account was very limiting in terms of having control over the design of my site. It was a great starting place, but it’s time to grow and expand.

I could go into more detail, but I’d hate to bore you with the nitty-gritty. What I can promise is that you can continue to expect quality daily content from Authentic Stereotypes, and that I’ll still be the one running the show :). This move to a paid domain and new platform is intended to enhance my content in a way that I truly believe in, and that I hope you will appreciate and enjoy. So take a minute to browse around the new site (all your favorite content has already been moved over) and see what you think. Here’s the link one more time:

 

Authentic Stereotypes

Thank you all!

– Stefani

Zum Bar

When I first heard the name Zum Bar, I wondered if it was a new type of exercise craze. (If it was Zumba mixed with Pure Barre I was so in!) But when I discovered it was actually a type of soap I became intrigued. One of my friends told me about the brand and she raved that it was the best smelling, richest-lathering, overall best bar soap she had ever encountered. So, I bopped over to my local grocery store and picked out a bar to try.

With a price tag that’s under $6, these all-natural goat’s milk soaps are a steal. I selected their Sea Salt variety, which contains Saponified 100% food grade olive, coconut, palm & castor oils, pure essential oils, sea salt, and mineral pigments. The scent was a perfect beachy mix of salts and something sea-like that made me happy to wake up every morning. There is literally nothing more you could want in a soap.

The Mask Set You Need For Radiant Skin

I’m a fan of single serving face masks. They’re great to throw in your bag while traveling, can be selected based on how your skin is behaving at any specific moment, are inexpensive, and make a great addition to any girls night in. Recently I’ve been into sheet masks, which is why I added the Sephora Collection Face Mask in Pearl and their Pearl Eye Mask to my cart when I placed my last online order. The face mask is designed to brighten up your complexion with natural-origin pearl, while the eye mask uses the same key ingredients to minimize irregularities in the eye area and illuminates the skin for eyes that appear more uniform, radiant, and fresh. The smell is a bit funky and the texture was so oily that I got really nervous, but the results were good. Also, the refreshing cooling sensation was a welcome de-stressor after a long day at work.

Shaving Your Face Is A Thing…Seriously.

I think the title pretty much says it all. When I first heard that women were shaving their faces, I freaked out a bit. By a bit I mean completely. WTF?! Why would someone do this? Wouldn’t that make the hair grow thicker? Isn’t this a terrible idea?!

Then I tried it. And it changed everything.

Now, I do NOT shave my entire face by any means. The only areas I shave are between my eyebrows and around my mouth where I had long blonde hairs that really bothered me. This is also not something I do every day, but only every 6 months or so. Finally, I do not use a normal razor, but instead opt for the Tinkle Eyebrow Shapers.

razor

When it comes to HOW to do this I could sit here and attempt to explain it but think the better option is to direct you to the video I found that taught me. Here Carli Bybel will break down exactly what all this is about. You should also check out her channel and blog when you have a chance, she has a lot of great tips and tricks!

Have you ever shaved your face? What was your experience? Click on the comments link at the top of this post or fill in the box below and let me know!

Blackberry & Bay

I have long been in love with Jo Malone. I first fell for their packaging, which I came across while doing research for a design project in college. The elegant balance of masculine and feminine found in their cream base tone with black edging and copperplate typography made the designer in me cry out with joy. When it came time to experience their products a few years later, I fell in love again – this time with their fragrances. Their scents were refined and elegant, but also accompanied by a playful abandonment that was irresistible.

jo malone packaging

However, their prices were far too high for me to casually purchase a bottle of their signature Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne that had me so enamored. So, imagine my excitement when the elegantly wrapped bars of soap sitting on the edge of the sales counter caught my eye. At only $20 a pop they were definitely within my spending budget. I left the store with a cream and black gift bag, the Blackberry & Bay Bath Soap, and a smile. When I next showered, I became even more enchanted with the rich lather of the soap and the fresh and verdant scent that reminded me of the bike rides I’d take in California summers as a child. It was quite an experience, and one I highly recommend at that.

jo malone bath bar

Caudalie

We all know that the French understand natural beauty better than almost any other culture. They value pure ingredients and fresh faces. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the first ones to say that the best makeup is the makeup that you can’t tell you’re wearing. Their beauty culture emphasizes skincare above all else, so it’s no surprise that an iconic French brand, Caudalie, is one of my go-tos when it comes to advanced skin care.

the elixir

Now, I adore my everyday skincare routine and don’t foresee ever changing it, but there are certain times when every women’s skin needs a bit of tlc. That’s when I turn to Caudalie. With powerhouse ingredients, their products never fail to provide major results. My current favorites at the moment include their Premier Cru The Elixir, which smooths, plumps, and brightens has helped erase some of the minuscule lines I’ve noticed forming on my forehead (I realize I’m likely the only one who notices them.) It’s a very rich serum and a drop goes a long way, which is why I only use it once a week as part of my pampering routine. It works exceptionally well when combines with Premier Cru The Cream, which works to amplify the elixir’s effects and brighten your skin. I also like to use it as a hand cream.

premier cru la creme

By far my favorite Caudalie product is their Instant Detox Mask. I use it when I’m feeling down in the dumps because the packaging and fragrance make me smile every time. Plus the mask is super refreshing and leaves my pores tightened, skin detoxed, and imperfections diminished. It’s become my go-to for stressful weeks and is especially decadent when enjoyed in a bubble bath 😉

instant detox mask

Are you ready to play?

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I recently was taken off the waitlist for Sephora’s monthly subscription box. Play! by Sephora consists of 5 sample sized products sent monthly along with a fragrance bonus and a cosmetic bag. Oh, and it’s only $10/month.

2016-05-18 17.45.31

I have to say that other boxes have fallen short for me, but Play absolutely exceeded my expectations. Everything included was something I wanted to use, and they were all from brands I was interested in. The May 2016 box was their The Forces of Nature themed box, and included a gift card for 50 extra Beauty Insider Points, a free beauty consultation, and a booklet describing each of the products. They also emailed me a video that ran through all the products so that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.

So now for the product rundown:

atelier cologne

Up first is Atelier Cologne’s Orange Sanguine perfume. I ended up purchasing this fragrance because it is so damn delicious. With a bursting mix of blood orange and geranium it deserves its own post, so I won’t say too much about it here other than IT’S AMAZING!

tarte

The one dud of a product was Tarte’s Tartiest Lip Crayon in Latergram. I REALLY REALLY wanted to like this lip pencil, as Tarte is one of my favorite brands. Unfortunately, I found that while the color and packaging were beautiful the formula needed some help. It was hard to apply and the crayon kept breaking. Overall this product – with Vitamin E and mineral pigments – was a great idea that unfortunately missed the mark when it came to execution.

bite

There was however a lip product that excelled. Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi blew me away. With coconut and pomegranate oils this lipstick is every bit as moisturizing as it is bright. It’s a zinger of a pink that made me want to pucker up and take more than a few selfies. My favorite thing is that Bite Beauty uses food grade ingredients in all of its lipsticks, so I never have to worry about ingesting icky chemicals.

origins

One product that I had been curious to try was Origins’ Maskimizer. This innovative priming mist helps to prep skin to absorb the intensive ingredients in face masks. Thankfully, Sephora included samples of my favorite Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask and the delicious smelling Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. I used these one after the other with the prep mist and my skin was left clear, soft and radiant.

korres facial

Another mask that was included in the mix is Korres’ Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. I have been wanting to try Korres products for years now, but it’s only been recently that they’ve been back in stock as Sephora. Based in Athens, this brand partners with local farmers to make use of unique natural ingredients native to Greece. This soothing mask is applied after your normal evening skincare routine and then slept in overnight. Rose oil is one of the best ingredients for your skin, and the only oil I allow to touch my face. I definitely noticed happier skin the morning I woke up after using this and its mild scent gave me the sweetest dreams.

briogeo

The final product of the bunch was Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. While this brand is most widely known for their co-washes, this treatment was one of the best conditioning masks I’ve ever used. It smells wonderful, and the combination of argan and avocado oils left my hair smooth, shiny, and bouncy – just the way I like it!

logo

All in all I definitely recommend Play! by Sephora, and will keep you up to date on future boxes. I highly recommend you get on the wait list now if you’re interested in signing up. It took me a few months to be selected, but I’m sure glad I took the plunge.

Have any questions? Know of any other subscription boxes I should check out? Let me know by clicking on the comments link above and writing me a note!