by gillian claire: beauty



Favorite Skincare Products 2018

You all know by now that trying skincare products is one of my favorite things! I am always looking for my holy grail products and really enjoy having the opportunity to try new brands through my blog. My skin issues are having breakout prone and sensitive skin. I am really careful about which products I try and always want to be honest with my followers are which things are winners as well as which products are absolute duds.

I have definitely had my ups and downs with my skin this year and wanted to put together a list of my absolute favorite products of 2018. These are all products that I currently use and love! I hope you find something that might work for you as well!

*This post includes affiliate links. Thanks for supporting me!*
Delving into the Oil Cleansing Method this year has been one of the best decisions I've made for my skin. I grab this Desert Essence Organic Jojoba Oil from Sprouts and have found that it works as well or better than any cleanser I've ever tried. It removes all my makeup and doesn't irritate my eyes at all. It cleanses my skin and keeps it balanced when I use it religiously.

My favorite thing about the Oil Cleansing Method is the peace of mind of using a pure oil with absolutely no chemicals on my face everyday! I also love that the oil itself feels so nourishing and relaxing. To use the Oil Cleansing Method, I rub a dime sized amount of this oil between my hands and then all over my face. Next, I use a warm washcloth on my face to remove all makeup and pull dirt from my pores. I repeat the warm washcloth step several times until my face is oil free. My skin never reacts negatively to jojoba oil. If you haven't tried OCM yet; I highly suggest you try it out!

OLEHENRIKSEN is a brand that literally impresses me every time. This C-Rush Brightening Creme is literally amazing and one of the only products I've ever used where I actually see a visual difference. I started using this as a night creme (before I was introduced to their Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum, explained below) and woke up to really refreshed looking skin. I love that this product is free from parabens, sulfates & phthalates. I notice an actual difference in my skin's hydration and appearance after using this creme; I highly recommend this magic!

I am on the DERMA E PR list and I literally love, love, love this brand! They have a standard of ethical beauty meaning they never test products on animals and also care about the ingredients that they use! This Anti-wrinkle Scrub is what I currently use as an exfoliant and I love how soothing and gentle it feels.

4 / SKINFOOD Bitter Green Cleansing Gel

Jojoba oil is my go to cleanser but sometimes I like to mix something else into my cleansing routine as well. I highly recommend this SKINFOOD Bitter Green Cleansing Gel. I love that the Bitter Green line from SKINFOOD is designed to "juice your skin" with green ingredients such as Kale & Broccoli. This cleansing gel feels very moisturizing and I love having a backup for when I'm out of my precious jojoba oil.

Over the past couple years I have discovered the magic of charcoal masks! The trick to charcoal masks is that you have to find a good product that really works. I worked with Vivo Per Lei last year and ended up falling in LOVE with this Mineral Mud Mask with kaolin and charcoal clay. The mask itself is so smooth, cool and soothing and it really cleans out my pores. 

Another winning OLEHENRIKEN product! This Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum uses a plant-based retinol alternative. This product feels very similar to their C-rush Creme to me and also gives dramatic visual results (in my experience). When I use this at night, I literally wake up glowy and my skin looks more plump and refreshed. This is seriously a miracle product and I don't use that term lightly!

Which products ended up being your 2018 favorites? I'd love to know!

Happy New Year!


How To Go Multiple Days Without Washing Your Hair!

Secrets for going days between washing your hair...

This post is sponsored by Dove Hair Care but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Ok, I want to know: how often do you wash your hair? I used to wash my hair every day. I became so used to the routine that I convinced myself I looked dirty if my hair wasn't freshly washed.

Oh how times have changed, hah! I can proudly say that I now only wash my hair 2-3 times a week and I consider that a win! I have long hair and it is so much easier getting ready in the morning when I don't have to squeeze in washing my hair, letting it dry & styling it each day!

I'm partnering with Dove Hair Care today to share some tips for going days between washing your hair!

Give your Hair Time to Adjust

Did you know that your scalp actually produces more oil the more often you wash your hair? Your scalp gets used to its oils being stripped by hair products and tells your body that you need more. It can take a little while for your scalp to adjust so my first tip is to give it time! Try washing your hair every other day to start out and build up to more days in between.

Style on Day One

I find it easier to style my hair when it is freshly washed and clean. Some people find it easier to curl second day hair but I usually always do it on day one and make that style last for a few days.  (Side note: I do NOT style my hair every time I wash it. I work from home and my hair is honestly usually in a side braid!)


Use Light (not heavy!) Products 

If you coat your hair in product, it will be harder to squeeze more time in-between washes. I'm a minimalist and take a "less is more" mentality even when it comes to my hair!

When I curl my hair, I use a little hairspray after to keep the curls especially since I want them to last a few days. I recently tried out the Dove Compressed Extra Hold Hairspray and I love how light and airy it applies! My hair remains very touchable and soft even after sleeping on it.

I also tried out the Dove Thickening Ritual Shampoo and Conditioner. These products both leave my hair feeling very fresh, clean and bouncy. This shampoo and conditioner really did give me more volume after one wash and I love the flowery scent it left on my hair!

Touch-Up Style on Day Two

My go-to way for styling my hair right now is to put in some loose beach-y curls with a curling wand. I can then easily touch-up a few curls with another pass of the curling wand and it's ready to go for another day or two!

The curls will be a little looser and softer the following days but I like that! I add a little Dove Compressed Extra Hold Hairspray each day after touching up the curls. On day 3, I'll keep the curls but do a pony tail to mix it up as the curls are getting looser.


Do you use any Dove products? All of the products I mentioned in this post + used in all of these hair photos can be found at a Walmart near you. Check out the video below to see how soft + bouncy my hair looked after using these Dove products!


Drugstore Beauty Must-Haves for Winter 2.0!

Last year, you might remember that I shared my favorite winter drugstore skincare products! I feel like winter is the time of year where you have to be a little extra with your beauty routine. It's cold and dry and in my opinion a little bit miserable during wintertime! I wanted to do another round of my favorite winter skincare products that I've added into my routine this year and I threw in a couple beauty products this time as well!
_MG_1856-4This post contains affiliate links: scroll to the bottom of this post to shop my favorites!

Ok, I'm starting off by sharing two beauty products! The black nail trend has been hot this winter and honestly I wasn't sure that I would like it on myself. I always gravitate towards peach or blush nail shades but I tried it and I loved it! Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish is pretty much the only nail polish I buy now because I find it to be the best drugstore polish out there. People have asked if I get  manicures when I wear it and it lasts longer than any I've tried. This is the shade "Blacky O" and I've also been loving this Big Matte Top Coat to add a matte finish and mix it up sometimes!

Que Bella Gel Eye Masks

My under eyes always need help + in the wintertime I just want to add all the extra moisture and pampering there that I can! These are my favorite under eye masks and they are so cheap! I grabbed this 3 pack at Target for $2.99! I splurged for a more expensive brand while I was there last and these are so much better! The back of the package says that these eye masks "visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles and leave your eye area brightened and soft."

Pacifica Lipstick Wipes

I actually received these in a PR package back in the summer and shared them in a blog post already but they have really come in handy this winter! Even though these wipes are meant to remove lipstick, they are exfoliating and perfect for keeping my lips smooth especially before applying lipstick!

_MG_1844-3Blistex Lip Balm

Ok, another lip product! I have big lips and I swear winter is the #1 enemy for me! Blistex is by far my favorite chapstick brand and I've tried a lot. I almost always grab the Blistex Medicated Lip Balm but I tried this Soft and Lush Lip Balm and I'm loving how soft it feels as well as the girly scent! (That's the best way I can think to describe the smell!)

No7 Lift & Luminate Eye Cream

I won a collection of no7 products in a contest this year and I am always grabbing them! I really like this Lift & Luminate Eye Cream. It's just a good basic eye cream that's perfect to give a little extra moisture and life under my eyes before applying makeup!

_MG_1847-2DERMA E Psorzema Cream

I received this Psorzema Cream from DERMA E in a PR package recently and I've loved using it as a body lotion this winter! I don't suffer from Psoriasis or Eczema but if you do, you may want to give this product a try! It's inexpensive and DERMA E is one of my favorites because they are an awesome natural brand that is 100% vegan, gmo-free and cruelty free!

Have you tired and loved any of these products as well? I'd love to hear your beauty must-haves in the comments below!

xoxo, Gillian

5 Ways to Get Better Skin! (That Don't Involve Skincare Products!)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AGummyYouCanTrust #CollectiveBias
5 Habits for Better Skin By Gillian Claire Wrinkles Acne

Most of you know about my obsession to find my best skin and I've been sharing a lot about skincare products this year. Finding skincare products that work is half the battle but there are other important factors to look at that can help your skin tremendouslyThis is a post I've been wanting to write forever and I'm finally partnering up with Nature Made® today to share 5 ways to get better skin that don't involve skincare products! 


Drink More Water

Making sure you're drinking enough water is a huge component to living a healthy lifestyle and it's no surprise that it benefits your skin as well! Water delivers essential nutrients to your skin cells and keeps your skin moisturized, hydrated and supple from the inside out! Keep a cute water bottle on you and make drinking 8 glasses a day a habit; your skin and body will thank you!


Stress does a number on your skin (I know it has in my case) so it's important to find ways to de-stress in your life. Yoga and meditation are good for the soul + subsequently your skin as well. Exercise is one of my key ways to de-stress. Exercising reduces stress as well as releases toxins and improves circulation in your skin.


Take Vitamins

Have you all caught on to the trend of taking vitamins for your skin yet?? I am obsessed with these Nature Made® Hair Skin & Nails Adult Gummies! I've been hooked on the Nature Made® Adult Gummies for a while now- it is so much easier for me to remember to take my vitamins when they taste so good! Can anyone relate?

These Gummies come in delicious Mixed Berry, Cranberry and Blueberry flavors. Nature Made® Hair Skin & Nails Adult Gummies provides 2500 mcg biotin and 100 mg vitamin C per serving and may help support healthy hair, skin and nails in those deficient in biotin.† Vitamin C provides antioxidant support and supports collagen synthesis.† Nature Made® has the 1st Gummies to receive USP verification. The U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) is a third party nonprofit organization that verifies products for purity, potency, and quality. Learn more about Nature Made and USP here.These vitamins are such an easy (and yummy!) way to support skin heath every day!

Analyze Your Diet

In addition to adding nutrients with vitamins, it's important to look at your diet in general and see if anything could be triggering skin problems. Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? Are you consuming too much sugar? Could you possibly have a food intolerance (such as dairy) that might be causing breakouts? Eating right is going to help your health overall and your skin will reflect that as well. 


Get Enough Sleep

They don't say "beauty rest," for no reason and getting enough sleep is imperative to good skin health! Getting proper sleep gives your skin the right amount of time to rejuvenate. Look at your sleeping habits and see if you can make positive adjustments.

Did you know that the type of sheets you use can affect your skin as well? Low thread count sheets and pillowcases pull slightly at your skin when you toss and turn more than a softer of silkier fabric which could contribute to wrinkles over time. I have been wanting to purchase some silk pillowcases for this purpose but haven't bit the bullet yet. Doesn't sleeping on silk pillowcases just sound like the most luxurious thing, ever?? (Putting these on my Christmas list!)

Keep Things Clean

A huge game changer for my skincare has been to make sure I'm changing my pillowcases and sheets more regularly. Dirt and oil can build up on your pillowcases (gross!) and lead to breakouts. Try washing your pillowcases every 2-3 days and see if you notice a difference! Also make sure to regularly disinfect your phone if you notice breakouts near your chin or mouth!


Remember: Appreciate the Skin You're In!

While I love sharing skincare products with you guys and totally encourage exploring solutions, it's important to remember to love the skin that you currently have no matter what! Appreciate the skin that you are in now; don't wait for the skin that you'd like to have. Take care of and love yourself during the journey. At the end of the day, no matter what skin "issues" you are struggling with, look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful and amazing! (Because you are!)

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure prevent any diseases.



Skincare Benefits of Kaolin Clay + Charcoal with Vivo Per Lei!

*Thank you Vivo Per Lei for sponsoring this post on By Gillian Claire!*

What is it about face masks that are so fun? I just did a poll over on Instagram yesterday and it looks like I'm not the only one who loves them so much!

Face masks are one of my favorite ways to relax and feel like I'm really pampering my skin + giving it a deep clean. I'm partnering with Vivo Per Lei on this post to share my experience with one of their luxurious face masks!


I have really been digging charcoal masks lately so I was immediately drawn to this Mineral Mud Mask by Vivo Per Lei. (You can see another charcoal mask I've tried here!) 

The two main active ingredients in this mask are Kaolin Clay + Bamboo Charcoal

I'm already sold on the benefits of Charcoal in skincare. Bamboo Charcoal works to pull impurities and excess oil out of the skin like a magnet. (Kind of amazing, right??)

Kaolin Clay was a new skincare ingredient for me to learn about. I'm so glad I did some research because there are actually so many benefits to using Kaolin Clay in skincare! It is apparently a very gentle clay and suitable for all skin types. Similar to Charcoal, Kaolin Clay works to pull impurities from pores. Other benefits of Kaolin Clay are that it helps with oily skin, is exfoliating and can be used to tone and tighten skin as well!


How beautiful is this mask? It almost felt too pretty to dig my fingers into! It was a lot creamier and softer than I expected which I loved and it went on feeling very smooth, soothing + luxurious. 

I have very sensitive skin. I have definitely broken out in hives a few times after a face mask. The instructions said to leave this mask on for 15-20 minutes. I ended up leaving it on longer because I was working (I work from home, don't worry!) and lost track of time. 

Praise Jesus, my skin did not have any negative reaction to this mask! I loved that even though the mask did dry somewhat, it didn't cake up really hard like some do. 

It was so much more gentle and moisturizing than I expected from a mud mask! My face was a little pink after I washed it off but my skin immediately felt plump and hydrated! Have you ever used a skincare product and you just keep looking at yourself in the mirror that day like, dayyyum my skin looks good? (Haha, or is that just me??) Well, that's what I did after using this mask for the first time! My skin was absolutely glowing and looked so silky + youthful!


The first drugstore charcoal skincare product that I tried a couple years ago didn't wow me so I was kind of left thinking that the whole "charcoal hype" was a little overrated.

I have since found with more experimentation that if you find a good quality charcoal skincare product, it does work and it's actually pretty fascinating to see!

I have somewhat acne prone skin and my pores really get clogged up. (Ew.) After using this face mask for the first time, I had so many blackheads come straight to the surface. It also loosened up a lovely painful pimple I had on my chin... (thanks hormones!)

A little close up look of the Mineral Mud Clay Mask at work! 

These might honestly be the most hilarious set of photos of me to ever grace the blog!

Overall, I'm really impressed with this mask by Vivo Per Lei and I'm looking forward to many more skin detoxes in my future!

Have you tried any Charcoal or Kaolin Clay face masks yet? I'd love to hear your experience with them below!

Be sure to check out the Vivo Per Lei website to learn more about all of their products. You can also find them on Instagram: here!


Follow me on Instagram for my latest beauty updates!

2 New Skincare Products I'm Adding to My Routine!

*Thank you, OMG Botanicals for sponsoring this post on By Gillian Claire!*
I'm so excited to share a new wonderful skincare company with you guys today!  

I am very picky about the beauty products I share with you all on my blog and I was really intrigued by OMG Botanicals, a start-up company dedicated to creating safe and natural products! I am always looking for ways to clean up my skincare routine. All of the skincare and aromatherapy products at OMG Botanicals are paraben, formaldehyde, phthalate and GMO free!

Upon learning more of OMG Botanicals' story and their "integrity, passion and love," for their customers as well as their commitment to safe ingredients, I fell even more in love with this company! Of course, I am really pleased with these products (which is why I'm sharing!) but having the opportunity to promote products that work and also come from a company that cares and is committed to wellbeing gives me all those, "I love blogging!" feelings!

My main skin concerns are dealing with breakout prone skin as well as finding anti-aging products that will keep my skin healthy and youthful! You know I have been on a journey to fighting breakouts for a while. I breakout the most around my mouth and chin as well as getting occasional cystic pimples that seem to be hormonal, as well as very painful!

For the past few months, I have been strictly using the oil cleansing method to wash my face. The oil cleansing method makes so much sense to me and I had hope that it would be a fix all cure for me! I have really loved using all natural oils to clean my face, but it hasn't been a miracle on my skin. In the past month, I've decided that I need to add something else to my cleansing routine._MG_0907-3

I've added this Antioxidant Cleanser from OMG Botanicals to my routine and I'm really happy with my results so far! First of all, I love that this product uses safe, natural and non-toxic ingredients. The smell is very minimal and fresh, which is perfect for me. This cleanser is creamy and very soothing to the skin. I have extremely sensitive skin and haven't had any negative reactions or breakouts as a result of adding this to my skincare routine.

The OMG Botanicals Antioxidant Cleanser uses a blend of Olive Squalane Oil and superfruit extracts! I love that I'm adding another natural oil product to my routine and the superfruit extracts add amazing free-radical fighting benefits! This cleanser is intended for soothing breakouts and minimizing pores. I have noticed that adding this cleanser morning and night to my routine has given my face a deeper clean. Most importantly to me, it has helped to dry out previous breakouts gently without over drying and making my feel face stiff like Salicylic Acid products tend to do.


In conjunction with the Antioxidant Cleaner, I have added this OMG Botanicals Renewing Serum. This serum also contains Olive Squalane Oil as well as Hyaluronic Acid and Rose Hip Extract. I love using this serum after washing and drying my face morning and night. It feels so luxurious and hydrating!

The Renewing Serum is meant to plump, renew, hydrate and nourish your skin. If you aren't already familiar with Hyaluronic Acid, it's a great anti-aging ingredient that naturally occurs in our skin but declines as we age. I definitely see the plumping action of this product the morning after I use it which is my favorite aspect!


Overall I am so pleased with the two new OMG Botanicals products that I have added to my skincare arsenal! These two products are made to work together so it's a perfect duo for me to work on fighting breakouts while also adding back moisture and anti-aging defense to my skin! I will keep using them twice a day and am encouraged that I will continue to see improvements with breakouts and anti-aging. I will, of course, keep you all posted!

Be sure to check out OMG Botanicals and use code: OMG20 for 20% off your purchase!

Sharing a Few Summer PR Packages!


The world of blogging is a weird and wonderful place that I've become part of within the past 6 (eek!) years. Being an Influencer is kind of a misunderstood place to be right now and I'm constantly analyzing and figuring out my feelings about it and the direction I want to go.

Some people think that bloggers will just do anything for free stuff when in reality there is a lot more behind blogging than that for a lot of us. Free stuff can certainly be a perk but simply trying to get a ton of free products isn't really the end goal in blogging. I turn down offers constantly from companies that want to send me things. I've been focusing my efforts more on paid opportunities that allow me to put in my time and creativity with brands that I admire while being able to support my family!

Having said that, sometimes I do get boxes of "free stuff" which gives me a chance to try out new products and share them with you all - and yes, it's fun!

I don't often see bloggers do a post strictly about PR packages but I thought it would be fun to show you a few boxes I've received lately and share my truthful feelings on the products inside! I was not required by any of these brands to do this blog post. :)


Imagine Dermatology

You may remember Imagine Dermatology from this skincare post where I talked about some of their anti-aging products that I tried. They sent along this bubbling charcoal mask recently and you guys, I AM OBSESSED WITH IT. I'm not kidding; this is a staple in my skincare now. It tingles and feels extremely relaxing. Also, it actually works + pulls out blackheads like you wouldn't believe. I will definitely repurchase this, can't live without it!



I was so excited to receive a PR package from Pacifica, because well, Pacifica- duh! The box is the prettiest thing I've ever seen and I feel like I need to keep it forever. They sent along a couple packs of their new cleansing wipes

I am a big believer in removing your makeup at night and I actually like to double or triple cleanse my face to really get everything off. I love to have  wipes on hand though for nights that I'm just too tired for my normal skincare routine. I usually use baby wipes so these seemed extra luxurious + they are really reasonably priced at $6 each!

To be honest, the face wipes stung a little. I have been having some seriously sensitive skin lately though so this may be a personal problem? They smelled fruity and fun and of course the packaging was adorable. 

The Cherry Kisses Hydrating Lipstick Wipes surprised me though. I honestly didn't know lipstick wipes existed and didn't fully understand the point until I read that these also hydrate + exfoliate your lips! My lips felt so soft and smooth after using these and I will definitely use them again! (Both of these products are sulfate + paraben free and Pacifica is a cruelty free brand-yay!)


Derma E

I was also pumped to receive something from Derma E, another totally awesome company that defines themselves as "Ethical Skincare". Derma E sent along two of their cleansing products. 

The Vitamin C Micellar Cleansing Water, again, stung my face! What is the deal with my sensitive skin right now guys? Micellar water is the bomb though and I've used another one happily in the past. 

However, winner winner- I LOVE the Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil that they also sent me. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved using an oil cleanser. Like the name says, this stuff felt extremely nourishing. It has argan + jojoba oils as well as vitamin E; such wonderful natural skincare ingredients. Pick some of this stuff up guys, you won't regret it. (Side note, I have recently switched completely to the oil cleansing method of face cleansing. I'll share more about that soon but this would be a great product to try out first if you are interested in using oils to wash your face!)

So there ya go, a few favorite packages that I've received over the past few months! Did you enjoy seeing what was inside? Also, I'd love to know if you use any of these products or brands! 

xoxo, gillian 


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