The ONE product I use that saved my skin!

I already have a post raving about the magic skincare powers of Manuka honey, but I wanted to post an updated review of this amazing product!

About a year ago, I started suffering from a random outbreak of hormonal acne all along my cheeks and jawline. It was extremely frustrating and I tried so many different products to try to fix the issue. I finally landed on Manuka honey and I have been using it pretty much every day since! Using Manuka honey regularly as a topical skincare treatment has decreased my texture, acne scarring, and uneven skin tone by about 99%!

Keep reading to find out how I use Manuka honey as a skincare treatment, purchasing tips, and other benefits of adding Manuka honey to your everyday skincare routine.

This picture above was taken in natural lighting with no filters or photo editing. I am also not wearing any makeup whatsoever. I do have a little bit of discoloration under my eyes and around my mouth, but any acne scarring and texture that I used to have has completely gone away!
Manuka Doctor is the brand of honey that I use! There are other great brands out there, but this is the one that is available in-store at my local grocery store. It is also a great price for Manuka honey (about $21 a jar).

 

Manuka Honey vs. Regular Table Honey

One of the main differences between Manuka and regular table honey is their origin. Table honey tends to be very inconsistent when it comes to quality, origin, age, and contents. On the other hand, Manuka honey comes from the Manuka plant, which can only be found in New Zealand. This means that there is no inconsistency in its origin and is better regulated in terms of its contents. Another reason why Manuka honey is far superior to table honey is its higher concentration of antibacterial and ant-inflammatory properties; this is measured in MGOs or methylglyoxal. Some studies show that the MGOs in Manuka honey are found to be nearly 100 times greater than in regular table honey. You will also often times see numbers such as 10+, 15+, or even 25+ on the labels of Manuka honey jars and this is the measurement of how potent the anti-inflammatory properties are in that particular jar of honey. This score is referred to as the UMF or Unique Manuka Factor. The higher the UMF, the more expensive the honey is.

 

Purchasing Tips

  • Make sure it says “Product of New Zealand” on the label. This is extremely important because anything labeled as Manuka honey that is not from New Zealand is not authentic Manuka honey.
  • I recommend purchasing a Manuka honey with a UMF score of 15+ or more. You will still receive benefits of a 10+ honey, but this is closer to just regular table honey.
  • Make sure you are purchasing from a reliable brand. I like the Manuka Doctor brand because it is reputable and their product is 100% genuine raw Manuka honey.
  • There is no such thing as cheap Manuka honey. If you come across a product that is significantly less expensive than most, it probably is not the real thing.

 

How I use Manuka Honey

I like to use Manuka honey as a daily mask or as a spot treatment. Before applying the honey, I always make sure that my skin is clean by using a gentle cleanser or micellar water. I apply a few globs all over my face and spread it around with my fingers. I like to leave this on for as long as I can, but a minimum of 30 minutes. Sometimes I will even leave it on for a couple of hours if I am just hanging around the house! I pretty much use the exact same steps when using the honey as a spot treatment. I dab a little bit onto the blemish with my finger or Q-Tip and let it sit there for as long as possible. When I am ready to take off the honey, I rinse my face gently with warm water and pat dry with a towel. My skin feels extremely soft and hydrated afterwards!

Also, if you tend to pick at your blemishes and the results are red, swollen bumps all over your face, Manuka honey will be your best friend! Since it is so high in anti-inflammatory properties, it soothes the skin and reduces irritation extremely well. This being said, Manuka honey is also great for ant bites, mosquito bites, dry patches, burns, and other skincare issues.

 

Other Benefits

  • Anti-aging benefits with consistent use
  • Can help in reducing dark under eye circles
  • Works as a great spot treatment for acne
  • Extremely nourishing and hydrating for the skin
  • Helps reduce skin texture and dryness- great for people with Eczema
  • Less expensive than many other high-end skincare products- plus this is a natural product with no added chemicals!
  • High nutritional value- add it to your tea or as a substitute for regular honey!
  • Helps boost immune system

And the list goes on and on!

 

 

** Information in this post was based on my personal experiences using this product. The factual information about Manuka honey itself was pulled from a few sites: Livstrong.com, thehealthcloud.co.uk, manukahoney.com

Advertisements

How To: Creating the Perfect Smokey Eye 

Achieving a perfect smokey eye seems simple enough, but if you aren’t using the right technique it can leave your eye makeup lookin patchy and unblended. 

Keep scrolling for the smokey eye tip that will save your look! 

So, here’s my tip: a cream base! For maximum pigmentation and staying power, the best way to make your smokey eye pop is to apply a cream base all over your lids before patting on the shadow. In the picture above, I applied the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in black bean all over my lid and blended it out into the crease. Then, I patted on the matte black shade “punk” from the Tarte Tarteist Pro eyeshadow palette (any matte black will do) to intensify the color and set the cream base. The powder shadow will adhere to the cream base so much better than your bare eyelid or primer. If you try to just go in with a shadow and smoke it out, you will have to keep layering and layering the color because you’ll keep blending out the pigmentation and it might start to get patchy as well. By patting a shadow overtop of a cream, you are getting the most out of the shadow by not buffing it out too much. 

Hopefully this post was helpful and will make your makeup application much easier! 

Miracle Product for Acne Scars! 

It’s no secret that 100% pure and natural raw honey is amazing for your skin. It is very hydrating, helps with scarring, pigmentation, and evens out your complexion. BUT, Manuka Honey definitely takes the cake and is way better than regular honey. 

I have struggled with hormonal acne and the scars left behind for the past 6 months or so and, after trying almost every product and remedy out there, I finally found the product that reduced my scarring by half OVERNIGHT!  

Keep reading to see what exactly makes Manuka Honey different from regular Honey and how I use it on my skin! Also, since this is an expensive product (the jar in the picture is $20 for 8.75 oz), I will also list some purchasing tips and a few different prices from different retailers. 

So what makes Manuka Honey different from regular Raw Honey? 

  • Manuka Honey comes from one specific plant only found in New Zealand- the Manuka Tree. Since the Honey comes from this one plant, you will not be getting a bunch of different blends of Honey in one jar- it is 100% pure Manuka. 
  • Manuka Honey contains about 100 times MORE antibacterial/ anti-microbial/anti-inflammatory  compounds than regular Honey. This is what makes Manuka Honey an excellent healing treatment for acne because it does an excellent job of drawing impurities out of the skin. 

What to look for when purchasing Manuka Honey 

  • You want to make sure that it is “Active” and that this is stated right on the label. 
  • You only want to purchase Manuka Honey that is from New Zealand. The Manuka Plant is unique to New Zealand so if it is coming from somewhere else, it’s not real Manuka Honey! 
  • Make sure that there is a rating on the front label of 15+-16. These ratings relate to the level of antibiotic activity in the product. 16 is ideal, but anything below 10 is pretty much just regular Honey. 

A few different brands of Manuka Honey 

  • Manuka Doctor 15+ Bio Actove Manuka Honey-$20 (pictured above,found it in the Organics section of my grocery store) 
  • Trader Joe’s 10+ 100% NZ Manuka Honey-$12 
  • Wedderspoon 100% Raw Manuka Honey 16-$28 at Walmart 

How I use this miracle product 

  • Since this is a natura product, I feel comfortable using this multiple times a day and my skin doesn’t react in any way to using it this often. I like to use this as an all over face mask and leave it on for at least an hour morning and night if I can. 
  • I make sure that my face is cleansed before applying the Honey, then I dampen my face with some warm water. 
  • I use about two finger scoops of Honey for my entire face and just massage it over my face and neck. 
  • I let this sit in my skin for at least an hour and then massage/ rinse it away with warm water. It comes off pretty easily. 
  • You could apply it over night as a spot treatment and then put a piece of tissue or band aid on top so that it doesn’t mess up your pillow, but I prefer to rinse it off right before I go to sleep. 

It’s a very easy product to use and I have noticed a huge difference in the way my skin looks! I did not expect the Manuka Honey to work so fast, otherwise I would have taken before and after pictures.

If you struggle with acne, acne scarring, or any other skin issue at all, definitely purchase a jar of Manuka Honey and I promise you, you will not be able to live without it!! 

Quick DIY: Spice up an old t-shirt! 

I saw this distressed t-shirt look on Kendall Jenner and figured it would be so easy to recreate! In this DIY, I did not make the “V” of my shirt as deep as Kendall’s, but you can make it however you would like!

The only materials you will need are:

  • A pen or fine point sharpie (I used a brow pencil lol) to mark how deep you are going to make the “V”.
  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • A t-shirt

The steps are really easy, this took me less than 5 minutes! You just want to be sure to cut around the neckline because that is going to act as our “built in choker” and is essential to the look we are going for.


This is probably one of the easiest (and trendiest) ways to spice up an old or cheap t-shirt and give it some sass and style. I’m definitely going to be doing this to some of my other band tees!

I hope y’all enjoyed this quick DIY and are inspired to try it out as well!

Follow me on Instagram @marinaleebeauty!

5 Tips For Better Skin

I have been really into skincare recently and making sure that I am taking good care of it. I believe that taking good care of your skin at a younger age will prove to be extremely beneficial in the future. In this post, I am going to list out some of the skincare tips/hacks that I use on a daily basis to keep my skin as clear and even as possible! Most of these you probably already know of, but these are just the little steps I take everyday to take care of my skin.

I am by no means a dermatologist, but these are the steps I take everyday and they have worked really well for me, so I thought I would share!

Tip #1: Always wear a sunscreen. I use to never wear sunscreen, especially on my face, because I was so focused on getting a nice tan. But now, I never walk out of the house without wearing an SPF, whether it be in my foundation already, applied before I put on makeup, or on no makeup days. My favorite facial sunscreen is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 45. This one is very lightweight and does not feel greasy at all. I am in college, so I am constantly outside during the day walking around campus to my classes. If you take away one tip from today’s post, definitely wear a facial sunscreen everyday if you do not already. It will help maintain the youthful appearance of your skin as well as protect it against skin cancer and discoloration.

Tip #2: Never sleep in your makeup. No matter how tired I am I always always make sure to take off my makeup before I go to sleep. I stopped using makeup wipes on a normal basis, but if I am that tired, I will use one to take off my makeup because it is better than just going to sleep with it on. Sleeping in makeup regularly can clog your pores very easily because it keeps your skin from renewing itself at night. Also, there is just so much bacteria that sticks to your makeup during the day that it is just nasty anyway! The best way to eliminate having an excuse to not take off your makeup at the end of the day is to keep a pack of makeup wipes or even a micellar water by your bed.

Tip #3: Prime your skin for skincare like you do your makeup. My favorite product to use for this is the Mario Badescu Rosewater facial spray, but any primer spray will work (I have a DIY recipe for a primer water on my blog!). After I have cleansed and toned my skin, I press warm water into my skin to open up my pores a little, then spritz my face with the facial spray and just let it air dry for a couple of minutes. The spray will help your moisturizer/ beauty oils soak into your skin better and stay in place, this way you can get the full benefit from your moisturizers.

Tip #4: Douse your face in oils before you go to sleep (any skin type). This might sound gross, but this tip is truly a miracle worker. Instead of using a typical moisturizer before going to sleep, I apply a bunch of oils to my skin. I like to use rose hip oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil. I do not use all of these at the same time, but I do alternate between them. I like these because they soak into the skin really well and will do wonders for your skin. Using oils as moisturizers are not only a more natural way of adding moisture, but all contain anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and brightening properties. This tip also works on all skin types. I know everyone with oily skin has heard that you fight oil with more oil, and yes it does sound ridiculous but it is so true! I have noticed that my skin does not get nearly as oily during the day as it used to. Push aside the expensive moisturizers and use a natural oil instead. My skin looks better every morning just by committing to this one step!

Tip #5: Don’t pick at your skin. I am so guilty of this, but recently I have been really good about staying away from the closeup mirror and leaving my skin alone. Constantly picking at your skin makes it heal much slower and causes acne scars to appear or existing ones to get worse. I tried so many products and hacks to try to reduce my acne scars and while they did help, the best and fastest way for them to fade is to just quit picking at your skin!

10 Minute Back To School/Work Makeup (5 Steps)

Everyone is posting their back-to-school makeup looks, so I decided to post one as well. I am not going to be focusing on the actual products I used, but more on the steps it takes to make your skin look flawlessly natura in 10 minutes or less.


Step 1-Prime: Instead of taking the time to apply a typical primer, use a primer spray (something like the Mario Badescu Rosewater facial spray or the Smashbox Primer Water. I also have a recipe for a DIY primer water on my blog!) It seems to take less time for these to soak into the skin and all you have to do is give your face a few good sprays and you’re all set! 

Step 2-Foundation: If you are going to use a foundation, pick one that has a natural finish- not too dewy and not too matte- so that it makes your skin still look like your skin, just better! My favorite foundation to use to achieve the look is the Too Faced Born This Way. I recommend applying this with a damp beauty sponge for a healthy glow and even application. 

Step 3-Brows: I do not like to completely fill in my brows when I am not going to be wearing a lot of eye makeup because it can make the face appear to be more masculine, especially if you already have darker brows. What I recommend is using a tinted brow mascara, like the Benefit Gimmie Brow or Essence Make Me Brow (they are pretty much the same thing). This takes basically no time and will give your brows a “done, but undone” natural appearance. 

Step 4-Bronzer: To add some color and life back to your skin, apply your favorite bronzer with a STIPPLE BRUSH. This kind of brush will apply the product evenly and will not deposit too much pigment. It will help to give the skin a naturally tanned appearance that is not too concentrated in one area. Basically, you just want to focus on bronzing the skin and not so much on contouring. I also recommend using a bronzer that has a slight sheen or shimmer to it, so it can double as a highlighter and save you some time! 

Step 5-Mascara: the last step to my 10-minute makeup look is applying a couple of coats of mascara. For natural days I like to use the L’Oreal Carbon Black voluminous mascara. I find that it adds volume and length to my lashes without making them clumpy or unnatural. 

And that’s all! I typically only apply a little bit of Chapstick to my lips to keep things simple and easy to reapply throughout the day. Obviously all of these steps are optional and interchangeable but this is just how I typically apply my makeup when I do not want to spend a bunch of time on it. Hopefully this was a helpful post! 

The “Draping” Technique 

The “Draping” makeup technique is basically skipping out on bronzer and your typica contour shades and using a blush to contour with instead. This is a very 80’s inspired look, but I love it because it gives the skin a natural flushed and sun-kissed appearance for any skin type and tone.


The key to achieving this look the RIGHT way without making your skin look too red or sunburned is by using a neutral matte blush shade. My favorite one to use is the Makeup Revolution matte blush in the shade Nude (you can find this at Ulta for $5, the matte blushes are amazing!).

For me personally, draping looks so pretty in the summer and I feel like it would also be a great makeup technique for the winter months as well to add some more warmth and life to the skin.

I hope this post was helpful! Definitely give this technique a try!

The Struggle Is Real: Acne Scars

EVERY TIME I break out it ALWAYS results in a nasty scar (whether I pick at the blemish or not) that seems nearly impossible to get rid of. BUT, after testing out a bunch of skincare products, I have finally found my holy grail skincare solution to fade acne scars. This is not an over-night solution, but in less than a week, I noticed that my acne scarring had significantly faded and my skin tone in general had evened out beautifully.

I wish I had taken some before and after pictures, but since I was experimenting to see what worked the best, I just did not think about it. Anyways, keep reading to see the steps and products I used in my skincare routine for the past week to fade my acne scars!

Night-Time Skincare Routine

  1. I mentioned this product in my last skincare routine but this stuff is AMAZING for fading acne scars! It is the Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser from Origins. It is a little pricey, but you only need a pea-sized amount for your whole face, so it does last a long time. I was using a different cleanser to see if it worked and when I went back to this one my scars started to faded so much in just a couple of days. I highly recommend this stuff for acne scaring and it is also great for controlling acne-prone skin in general to decrease the likeliness of breaking out in the future.
  2. Next, I like to take a cotton pad with some witch hazel and run this over my face gently to pick up any excess dirt. Witch hazel is also great for scarring and for skincare in general.
  3. Every other day, I like to use my Aztec Indian Secret Healing clay mask mixed with equal parts white distilled vinegar. I have a post specifically about this mask and it works wonders for your skin! This mask specifically is key to fading acne scars and it is also a fantastic product for firming and evening out your skin. You do have to be careful because if you use this stuff too often without moisturizing after, it can really dry out your skin. As an added tip, you could mix up a small amount of this and use it as a spot treatment!
  4. Next, apply your favorite daily moisturizer. I just use the Dual Action Clean & Clear moisturizer.
  5. Next, take a pea-sized amount of 100% Aloe Vera gel with NO COLOR ADDED and massage this all over your face, focusing on the areas where you have scarring.
  6. And the last step is to massage a few drops of Rose Hip Seed oil all over your face, also focusing on the areas where you have scarring. This product is probably the most essential part of this whole skincare routine because it will put moisture back into your skin AND rose hip seed oil is known for fading scars and dark spots.

Day-Time Skincare Routine

  1. I cleanse my skin with the same Origins cleanser.
  2. Take a cotton pad with witch hazel and run that all over my face.
  3. Apply my daily moisturizer, the same one from Clean & Clear.
  4. Apply aloe vera gel and I typically apply this a few times throughout the day as well.

 

This might seem like a lot of product and that it will take up a bunch of time, but it only takes about 20 minutes every night (less when you do not have to apply the mask) and about 10 in the morning. Almost all of these products are 100% natural, inexpensive ingredients that will work for any skin type. This skincare routine has saved my skin, so hopefully this was helpful and it works for you as well!

DIY: MAC Fix + Spray

This DIY is going to be very easy and inexpensive! I already did a DIY on the Smashbox Primer Water that is so popular, so I decided to do another DIY for the MAC Fix + since it is more of a finishing spray (and probably one of MAC’s most popular products).

You will only need three things:

  • Distilled water
  • Glycerin
  • An empty spray bottle (I just reused my empty Wet N Wild setting spray bottle because the nozzle is AMAZING).

All you need to do is mix about a cup of distilled water with two tablespoons of glycerin. You can increase or decrease the measurements depending on the size of your spray bottle.

Yes, MAC Fix + does contain more ingredients than just water and glycerin, but water and glycerin are the two main ingredients in the product. This DIY spray will not necessarily make your skin look as dewey as the MAC one does (so this is actually good if you have oily skin and are afraid to look extra shiny) BUT it will take away any “powdery-ness” and help all your products to mesh together beautifully. This is also great to spray on the face before applying powder highlight for extra intensity, or on your brush to enhance your eyeshadow.

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this quick and simple DIY!

Instagram: @marinaleebeauty

 

DUPES DUPES DUPES!!

Here is a list of 13 makeup dupes that will save you a ton of $$$!

  • NYX Liquid Suede lipstick in Soft Spoken ($7) is a dupe for Kat Von D’s liquid lipstick in Lolita ($20)
  • Elf baked highlighter in Blushed Gems ($3) is a dupe for MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle ($32)
  • NYC matte bronzer in Sunny ($4) is a dupe for Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer ($29)
  • Prestige Cosmetics eyeshadow in Hocus Pocus ($7) is a dupe for MAC’s pigment in Blue Brown ($22)
  • NYC loose translucent setting powder ($4) is a dupe for the RCMA No Color powder ($10)- this is just a cheaper, easily accessible option for the RCMA which is already pretty inexpensive.
  • Essence Make Me Brow ($3) is a dupe for Benefit’s Gimme Brow ($24)- I swear this is the same product in different packaging.
  • ColorPop Ultra Satin lipstick in Mess Around ($6) is a dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick in Sepia ($20).
  • Mixing distilled water and vegetable glycerin ($6 on Amazon) is a dupe for MAC Fix + ($22)- the Fix + does have more ingredients than just these two, but water and glycerin are the main two and this basically does the same thing.
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London ($6) is a dupe for Kylie Lip Kit in Exposed ($30)
  • Aztec Secret Healing clay mask ($6-8) is a pretty good dupe for any of the Glam Glow Mud Masks ($70)
  • Wet N Wild Mega Last lipstick in Just Peachy ($2) is a dupe for MAC’s lipstick in Kinda Sexy ($17)
  • Wet N Wild Mega Last lipstick in Mocha-Licious ($2) is a dupe for MAC’s lipstick in Verve ($17).
  • Makeup Revolution matte blush in Nude ($5) is a dupe for MAC’s blush in Melba ($22).

Hopefully this post was helpful and you learned about some new makeup dupes!

Instagram: @marinaleebeauty