Monday, January 20, 2020

My Favorite Tula Products Ranked


Tula is a brand that I've been using for years now. They make tons of different skincare products with the focus on probiotics as the foundation of each product.

To be clear this post is not sponsored (you will always know if a post is sponsored!!!). I have, however, received Tula products in the past through press mailings and receive an affiliate commission from the brand (just like I do with most everything else on the blog- affiliate commission is a way bloggers can earn income). I feel the need to say all of this because If you follow a bunch of bloggers, you see a TON of information about the Tula brand. Whenever so many influencers are talking about a product, you wonder if there is anything behind it. I actually didn't even realize anyone felt this way until I got a DM from someone rolling their eyes telling me that they were annoyed I was promoting Tula. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I personally think the reason so many bloggers/influencers talk about the brand is that it's a lot more affordable than many other skincare brands out there and in my experience, the products work just like they say they will. 

My overall take on the Tula brand is that the products are great products for anyone looking for a quality, basic skincare routine at an affordable price. Across the board, I find Tula products to be very gentle. My fiancé has super sensitive skin and he uses Tula products daily (and he uses my code to buy them, ha!). They're not a luxury skincare line, they are not a company that features fancy product ingredients or crazy high percentages of active ingredients. Therefore, if you are looking for an 'overnight' fix, Tula isn't the right product for you. To give you examples of some of my favorite overnight fixes: products like Dr. Dennis Gross's peel pads or Goop's exfoliating mask or Mario Badescu's drying lotion. These products that I just mentioned are strong with high percentages of active ingredients (or multiple actives). They can be too harsh for a lot of people, too, and are not products I use in my 'every single day' skincare routine. The Tula products are all items I am able to use every single day. 

Anyway, what prompted this post is because I've never done a roundup review of Tula products and I have tried almost all of the products. I have clear favorites and ones that I use day-to-day. Also, I got an e-mail from Tula and they alerted me that they are no longer offering 20% off with my code (and other influencer's codes). They are dropping the discount to 15% which is a bummer. However, they're not dropping it until February 1st. So basically, if you've been thinking about a product, I suggest snagging it now while you can get the biggest discount possible! My code is... 

SYDNEY

You enter that code in at checkout and get 20% off through 1/31. Starting 2/1, it will only give you 15% off!

To start off, I have combination skin. My skin used to be sensitive but now it can handle most products, so I use a lot of heavier duty products like Goop's exfoliating mask. My skin is also acne-prone so I like products focused on keeping acne at bay.

Moisturizers
Hydrating Day and Night Cream// My fiancé and I use this daily. I guess my fiancé is more religious about his use of it because he literally doesn't use any other face moisturizers at all. I will rotate through a few moisturizers in a month, but this is one that's always a constant even when I'm rotating others in and out. I never use this at night, only in the mornings as I like a much thicker cream at night. My fiancé uses this morning and night. This is a medium-thick moisturizer (but feels lightweight on the skin) and you have to give it a few minutes to fully sink in before you apply your makeup. If you have oily skin, I wouldn't use this under makeup, but I have no issues using it under my makeup (I have combo skin). This moisturizer is basic and soothing and just an all-around solid daily moisturizer. This does not contain an SPF so you have to do that separately... wish they made something with SPF. During the summer months, I typically use this less just because it doesn't have SPF. I prefer Olay Regenerist whip with SPF 25 in the summer for under makeup. 

Oil-Free Gel Cream// This is super lightweight so it's perfect for summer months or if you have oily skin. If you have oily skin, this might be perfect for you to wear under makeup if you have trouble wearing moisturizer under your makeup! Sometimes I will mix this in with another moisturizer for even more hydration but this is not a daily/frequent use for me. The gel has a cooling feeling which I like. If they could add SPF to this, this would be such a great item to throw in a beach/pool bag. 

Overnight Repair Treatment// This is one of my very favorite Tula products ever. I use this nightly and would compare it to one of my holy-grail products, the Aveda Wedding Masque. This is a super rich, heavy cream that takes a bit to soak in. It's not something I would ever use during the day time. I use it nightly (or the Aveda one, or whatever I'm trying) but I always use a heavy cream like this at night, especially in the winter months. This one has Vitamin C which does really well with my skin- it evens out my skin tone, shrinks pores, etc. This also has AHA's and is super moisturizing. My skin the next morning is always soft and plump. Highly recommend this as this is one of Tula's more 'active' products, in my opinion.

Calming Moisturizing Lotion// This product is just not for me. It's lightweight and great for those with sensitive skin. It's soothing and isn't sticky or oily. I think this is a good, reliable option if you have trouble finding a very gentle product. I do love that this dispenses out of a tube. I wish all moisturizers by all brands would put their products in tubes rather than tubs because it's much more hygienic!
Cleansers 
Purifying Face Cleanser// This is a good, really basic gel cleanser. It's gentle and effective. I keep this in the shower. It doesn't dry out your face. My fiancé uses this one. 

Acne Foam Cleanser// This is my favorite cleanser from Tula. It's a super lightweight foam. It doesn't smell particularly great but it's not horrible either. It's gentle and I truly think this keeps my acne-prone skin clear. I use it in the shower. It never dries out my skin like a lot of other acne cleansers do. 

Cleansing Oil// This is my least favorite cleanser but this is really only because I don't love oil cleansers. If you like an oil cleanser, this is a good basic one! I swear by Olay Daily Facials to remove my makeup, but if you wear a lot of makeup and like an oil cleanser for makeup removal, this would be a good item for you to use to remove your makeup and then use a cleanser like the acne foam cleanser afterward as a double cleanse routine.



Misc. 
Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm// I use this every morning before I go to Orange Theory. It's in a stick form so it takes 2 seconds to put it under your eyes... during the colder months, you could even keep this in your car to use before early morning workouts. I don't even rub it in at first, I just let it sit and there is truly a cooling effect. I'd like to think it helps with puffiness and dark circles, and even if it doesn't, the cooling sensation feels so good and is enough for me to continue using it. There's a blue version, too! I prefer the pink as I think it has a 'warmer' look to it. I think the faint blue color brings out purple/blues in my under eyes which I don't love. I would say this product is nice to have but not a necessity in a skincare routine. 

Blurring and Moisturizing Primer// This is one of my holy grail makeup products. I did a full review post, here

10% Glycolic Resurfacing Toner// Glycolic acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and if you have sensitive skin or super dry skin, this might not be for you as it exfoliates but can leave you with dry skin. I use a lot of AHA's in my skincare routine and personally prefer a product with a high concentration of glycolic acid as my skin has built up a tolerance and can handle higher percentages. Although, the magic percentage of glycolic acid (for daily use) is supposedly 10%, which is exactly what this product is. I personally prefer a higher percentage or a product with a mix of several acids as my skin can handle it. This Tula product is a low enough concentration that you can use it daily and you'll see a slow, but noticeable difference in your skin's texture, pore size, and clarity. Glycolic acid also helps with reducing fine lines. If you find that this is too strong for your skin, you can start off by using it just a few times a day until your skin gets used to it and then you'll be able to use it daily! My fiancé has insanely sensitive skin and he is able to use this daily without any issues. At the end of his first bottle, I couldn't believe how dramatically it shrunk his pores! He can't use the stronger skincare products that I use and that's why he is a big fan of the Tula brand himself. As for a toner, I am obsessed with Biologique Recherche's P50 1970.

Hydrogel Mask// Love, love, love this mask. This is a sheet mask and feels delightful on my skin. It's cooling and very hydrating. I use these before big events. I like to put these in the refrigerator for a bit before I use them for extra cooling benefits. I fully plan on using this the morning of our wedding. I think it reduces puffiness and the hydration is so nice. This is not a necessity in your skincare routine, but this is a nice, gentle added 'luxury'. These also make a really nice gift! 

If you are looking to buy multiple products, check out their gift sets. I find these to be better deals as you are saving even more money. If I had to pick my top 3 products, they would easily be Blurring and Moisturizing PrimerOvernight Repair TreatmentAcne Foam Cleanser

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Saturday Shopping




Woo, it's the weekend! We had a date night last night because it is restaurant week in Pittsburgh and tonight we are headed out to dinner with some friends which will be fun! We are trying to do some organizing today and I might go out to a few antique shops to check out what's 'new'!

If you didn't know, J. McLaughlin is having a HUGE sale. I have never seen prices this low, it's crazy. I ended up ordering a few things for my fiancé (to give to him for Valentine's Day) and spent way less than I would have on one item at full price. I'm trying to hold off on buying clothing for myself because I do that way too often, but there are some realllllly good deals and beautiful things. You can always expect the highest quality from J.McLaughlin! This cashmere scarf is just $60 when you use code EXTRA40 at checkout (shipping is free, too). This faux fur leopard coat ends up just $138- it looks so much like the one I have and wear often! 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Home Interior Update

Love this piece SO much. 



I need a piece like this for under our TV except longer (the longer length is tough to come by, especially in vintage furniture!)

I love this image. Our bathroom is very white and I love the idea of adding in darker wood to warm up the space. 

Source: One// Two// Three// Four// Five

I thought it would be fun to chat interiors today! We have been in our home since April 2019 so we will be hitting a year in no time. I feel like we just moved in and now we have basically lived in it for all 4 seasons! 

I'll be honest, before I moved in, I envisioned myself having every inch of this place 'finished' by the year mark. The reality is that it is nowhere near that. There are so many 'projects' left on my to-do list. I'm not really disappointed, though, as I am more than OK with taking my time to assure I do things correctly and don't 'cheapen' out on something. 

I also find myself decorating in spurts. When we first moved in, I was gung-ho, then I started to travel a bit late spring and summer so I slowed a bit, then kicked it back up this fall and then basically didn't do anything during the holidays. Now I'm more focused on our upcoming wedding so decorating is still taking a back seat.

We did, however, just have our wallpaper installed (finally!!!) in our powder room which makes a huge difference!!

So here are the things we need to do... 

My two biggest priorities are to get two more pieces of furniture. One, we need a console of some sort for under our living room TV. I had a dresser under my TV in my apartment that worked out perfectly. I was tight on space and it was nice to have that extra dresser for my sweaters. Plus, it was perfect for the size of my apartment TV as well as the wall it was on. Said dresser is currently sitting under our living room TV in our home. For one, it's far too small for the wall it is on and our new TV. Second, it's very much a dresser and I'd like something more interesting (preferably an antique). Third, it truly still houses my sweaters!! I seriously have not found ONE single item that works for this space and I have been scouring antique places, online, etc. When I do find something perfect, it's usually not long enough for the space! So we'll s ee because I would really love a piece ASAP for storage purposes AND because we bought a beautiful frame TV and we haven't hung it yet because we are waiting for the piece before we hang it. 

- The second piece of furniture that I would really like to get is a china cabinet of some sort. I say 'of some sort' because I don't love the look of most traditional china cabinets. A lot are too farmhouse and then there are a lot of versions that just truly look cheap. Some traditional ones are in the wrong stain- I have been finding some beautiful antique ones but a lot of them are in the wrong stain. I mostly find them in cherry and that just doesn't work with anything in my home. I then found the Resplendent Crow and she has the look I am going for... she takes vintage, high-quality pieces and lacquers them! Normally, I'm not into painted wood, but I just love her work. I might snag one of her pieces, but I haven't committed to anything yet... the under-the-TV piece is just definitely more of a priority! 

- I need to order 2 upholstered parsons chairs (or something along those lines) as our head chairs at our dining room table. Right now we only have 4 chairs- I found my dream chairs on Facebook Marketplace and will likely never be able to find 2 more (although I keep an eye out!), so I'm mixing. This is just laziness on my part- these kinds of chairs are pretty inexpensive and easy to find. 

- I need to get the 4 dining chairs cushions redone. They are too low and I have fabric that is perfect for them! This is another lazy thing because I have the fabric, I just need to find somewhere to have this done! 

- We need to re-hang our basement TV. This is driving me INSANE. We hung it way too high and it's just been like that since we hung it. If it gets hung properly, our basement will really be shaping up. I haven't done this because I need my dad or fiancé to help with this and I just haven't been able to make it a priority! It's a cozy space but we never go down there because (see below)...

- I need to get rid of the junk that is down there in that room. We have a spacious garage with tons of storage space but instead, I've just been using the finished basement room as a catch-all for random stuff. I need to pack that all up (get rid of some stuff) and move it into the garage onto storage shelves. 

- We need to hide the cords from our bedroom TV. We are almost completely finished with the bedroom (although I'll forever be tweaking, let's be honest) but the cords drive me insane... again I need my dad or fiancé for help with this one so I just haven't gotten around to bugging them about it haha! 

- I need new light fixtures for our powder room and a new dining room chandelier (currently both are boring and unattractive builder-grade fixtures). I have not found anything that I love, and if I have, it's a lot more than what I want to spend. 

- A new lamp for the living room. I'd love a new lamp for our living room! The current one is fine, it's a nice chinoiserie style blue and white lamp. I actually love it but I think I could do better for the space! I haven't found one that I love more. 

- I want to find an indoor plant... I am not a huge greenery person. I love flowers but I do not have a green thumb!! I am honestly considering finding something like a fake fiddle leaf fig tree or something like that because I'm also concerned about a 'real' plant attracting bugs. We'll see- if anyone has any good faux plant recommendations, let me know!

- I want to layer the rug in our living room with a sisal rug and then get a matching rug for the dining area so the space flows. I don't mind the rug in our dining area so I just haven't gotten around to sorting out the rug situation. Also, the thought of moving all of the furniture to put the new rugs down is enough to keep this pushed down towards the bottom of the list, ha!

- I want to change out all of the interior doorknobs. They are boring builder grade. 

- Eventually- I want to grasscloth my office. I say eventually because this is truly the last thing on my list and it will be a bit before it moves up. But eventually!

A lot of you always ask me for decor pieces I am loving so I thought this post would be a great time to round up some items! 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Lately


We are over halfway through the month of January! Wild! Did you all have a good week? I started mine off with a meeting at our wedding reception venue and I am SO excited... not that I wasn't before, but hammering everything down took a lot of stress/anxiety off of me and really there is very little left to do until our actual wedding day!!

Other than that, this week has been pretty 'normal'. Tomorrow at Orange Theory we have a 1-mile benchmark which I'm excited about! Then, tomorrow night we have a date night planned downtown which will be fun! Otherwise, this weekend I fully plan on playing catch up on some work that needs to get done as well as a few house items.

Wearing: I wore the outfit above out to dinner with friends this weekend. This Tweed Top is a favorite of mine and currently on sale. I suggest sizing down as it runs big. 

Eating: I tried the fruit buttons at Trader Joe's in both mango and strawberry mango and they were SO good. A nice sweet treat to have on hand. 

Drinking: I picked up this dirty martini mix at Fresh Market last week. It's literally just olive brine and for some reason, it tastes even better than the actual olive brine with olives. I definitely recommend this! 

Sale-ing: Club Monaco is still having an incredible sale. The prices are the lowest I have seen in a very long time. Love this cashmere v-neck and I truly can't believe the price on this coat (look at those buttons!!!)

Sale-ing II: This bone/white combo is one of my favorite pairs of Jack Rogers and I can't believe the under $60 price. Scoop these up while you can!!

Watching:
 I'm currently watching Cheer on Netflix and I love it. I was a cheerleader in middle school and high school so it's fun to know a lot about what they're talking about. 

Listening: I love my Winter 2020 playlist! It has some great upbeat and chill songs.

Loving: We had our wallpaper installed this weekend and I love how it turned out!!! It completely transformed our boring little powder room! I'll do a full post about it once I take proper photos and get a new light fixture but this is just a little snap that I took once it was all finished on Saturday! I can't believe this little powder room took about 8 hours to complete... I am so glad we didn't try to do it ourselves. Crazy! 

Loving II: I am often asked about the diamond bracelet that I wear every single day and I came across an under $100 cz version that's a great budget option that gives you a very similar look.

Loving II: You guys all loved this delft piece that you spied in one of my instastories this past weekend and I ended up finding the exact same piece on eBay. There's only one so act fast if you want to snag it. I keep mine in our bathroom as a jewelry catchall! 


Wanting:
 I love this nautical swimsuit that is under $100. I also love these beautiful gingham and leather gloves which are on sale! This floral dress is calling my name!! 
Pittsburgh-ing: This weekend we went to Cinderlands in Lawrenceville and we loved it. I'm totally late to the game as this has been opened for a while now but it did not disappoint. My burger was delicious but the fries stole the show. They were salt and vinegar fries which sounds a little weird but they were some of the best fries I have ever had! 

Quoting: 'Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems' // See more of my favorites, here. 
 

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