Pixi by Petra Discount Code + What to Buy

pixi glow tonic in skincare routineIf you follow my daily skincare routines on Instagram, you might have noticed that I use Pixi Glow Tonic as my exfoliant on many mornings. It’s a cult favorite among beauty bloggers and those who read them, and I am not immune to falling for products that are already a thing. I started using Glow Tonic in January 2015 and haven’t looked back. It’s a great, mild, beautifully fragrant glycolic exfoliant with ginseng. You can use it twice a day if you want – that’s how gentle it is.

Pixi products feel and smell expensive, and they are effective. But the packaging is pretty basic, so it’s in a mid-range for pricing. My local Target carries Pixi, and the beauty rep there told me last time that they can’t even keep it in stock. That‘s how popular this European brand has become in the US, and it’s largely due to the influence of beauty bloggers.

I hit my local Target today with the hope of picking up the Glow Mud Cleanser and the Glow Mud Mask. Both were sold out, as were the large sizes of Glow Tonic. So huge thanks to my friend Marie Domingo for letting me know about Pixi’s 20% off friends and family event, now on through September. I used the code grateful4you and saved $11 on my order (shipping is free). What did I buy?

  • Best of Bright – a perfect gift set for me, with the Glow Mud Cleanser and Glow Mud Mask, plus a mini Glow Tonic, for only $22.
  • Glow Tonic To Go – 60 pre-soaked pads for only $18; perfect for travel.
  • Hydrating Milky Mist – a hyaluronic acid-packed mist that Marie told me she loves; I cannot pass up a good mist, and it’s only $15, so had to have it

I’ll report back on the products that are new to me. In the meantime, if you’re new to the world of chemical exfoliating or just looking for a fantastic, mild acid to start your day, use the discount code grateful4you to try out Pixi Glow Tonic for yourself before the end of September. (If you’re still using grainy scrubs or ‘microdermabrasion’ cleansers, please do your skin a favor and switch to a chemical exfoliator. You’ll never regret it.)

New Observer Column: How To Wash Your Face

double cleanse cleansing skincare routineI know I am severely neglecting this blog lately, but September has been full of travel, houseguests, and a lot of work. (Believe it or not, my actual career has nothing to do with beauty. And it takes a lot of time.) I have made time to write my column for the Observer, though. This week’s edition is all about the magic of the double cleanse. It might be old news to many of you, but I’ve been surprised how few people I know have any idea about double cleansing. My aim with the column is to simplify the steps to looking your best, including great skin, and the double cleanse is one of the keys to that. At right: My skincare routine on Wednesday night in Arizona, where a post-flight double cleanse made me very happy indeed.

TIME-SENSITIVE New Observer Column!

sephora saleGuys, I don’t use all-caps lightly, okay? But you need to check out my latest Observer column before midnight tonight. That’s when one of the most insanely beneficial beauty bonuses from Sephora expires. Do not miss out on this! (In addition to the products listed in my column, you can also use my recommended beauty products page as a cheat sheet for what to buy.)

Beauty Catch-Up: Instagram-Style

I’ve been neglecting the blog, I know – and thanks to those of you who tell me to my face, “Get back to blogging!” It’s been a nutso week and I have some exciting news soon, but in the meantime, all my activity has been over on Instagram. I post my morning and evening skincare routines, among other things. Here are some highlights from the past week:

I was skeptical about this OGX O2 Weightless Oil + Lifting Tonic. I don’t even put conditioner on my roots, so spraying oil on them was scary. (I use holiday weekends to test risky products like this. Yes, I should be on danger pay.) But this product just gave me great, silky volume. I did have shiny roots the next day, which meant I had to wash my hair again, but your mileage may vary – especially if you have drier roots than mine.

The beauty haul this week was intense and exciting. On Tuesday alone, I got Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer, Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette, Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector, Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment, Perricone MD Pre:Empt Series Oil-Free Range, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel With Sunscreen (SPF 15), Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Crème, Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Cream, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor (in colors Love and Devotion), and Korres Black Pine Active Firming Sleeping Oil. I’ll have something to say about quite a few of these once I’m done testing.

So far, I’m loving the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolors I bought. They colors are fantastic, last reasonably well, and aren’t sticky or gloppy. Above, I’m wearing the only true red in the range, Love.

This is what I look like without my usual red lipstick. I woke up like this, and only documented it because I was testing a hair product combination that I used before going to sleep with wet hair. I was amazed at how good – in a sort of messy-on-purpose way – my hair looked when I rolled out of bed. Details on that product combination soon.

Like I said, I put my skincare routines on Instagram twice a day. It’s kind of a pain, but also fun to document obsessively and a great motivator to mix things up a bit.

After a long summer hiatus, I finally wore a face of makeup again. It took a lot of cosmetics to achieve such a subtle look, but I was just excited to play with product again.

There’s a lot more where those came from. Follow along on Instagram if you’re so inclined!

Sachajuan: Hair Brand To Watch

sachajuan swedish hair products volume powder, root lift conditionerI’ve been totally devoted to Swedish hair brand Sachajuan since I first tried their Volume Powder. It’s a light as air, non-sticky, barely perceptible volumizer that also happens to have the best fragrance of any hair product ever. (How I wish they’d release that scent as a perfume.) I tend to spray it on my roots on days I wash, after my hair is dry, then throw everything into a high ponytail while I put on makeup, get dressed, and do the 93 other tasks I decide need to be completed before I can leave the house. By the time I take the scrunchie out, my hair has great, soft, touchable, fragrant volume. (You have to use scrunchies for this because they won’t dent your hair like most ponytail holders will.) I can also skip a day of shampooing with this – unusual for my oily roots, which lack grease for several days after using Volume Powder.

sachajuan conditioner stockholmI’ve recently branched out into Sachajuan Conditioner (bought for 50% off at Sockerbit, a very cool Scandinavian candy and oddity shop in the West Village) and Sachajuan Root Lift. Still testing those, but the conditioner makes a good go-to between days when I use deep conditioning masks. It’s a promising line, and I’m going to continue to try everything across the brand.

This all fits into my approach of cheaping-out on shampoo with solid, sulfate-free drugstore brands (OGX owns me lately) while investing in the conditioning and styling products that change the health, manageability, and appearance of my hair. Do you have a different strategy? I’m always open to better ways of doing things, and learn so much from my fellow beauty obsessives. Let me know!

Cetaphil vs. Yes To Carrots Cleansers

friends don't let friends use cetaphil

I’m an unabashed Caroline Hirons devotée: Her straightforward reviews and brilliant routines (see cheat sheet here) have made a huge difference in my skin. She’s also quite funny and open, which I always admire in a person. Please follow her if you do not already.

I was thrilled to see Caroline has finally posted reviews of two Cetaphil products, the cleanser and moisturizer. If you can’t be bothered to click through and read, let me tell you the bottom line: Don’t use these, there are many products out there in the same price range that are much better and won’t harm your skin as these can. If you think, “Well, I use Cetaphil and my skin’s fine,” think of the long term and how your face might suffer.

yes to carrots yes to tomatoes yes to cucumbers cleansersI was pleased to see Caroline recommend Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser – as discussed previously on this blog – as an alternative to Cetaphil cleanser. I discovered this a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much I have gifted it to three friends. (Alekza, Devorah, and Robin – let me know how you get on with this!) Cleansers can be a bit joyless when they’re basic, but this one is a real pleasure to use. Get it on Amazon for less than $6 and free Prime shipping.