Things Alyssa Finished

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DRUNK ELEPHANT T.L.C FRAMBOOS GLYCOLIC SERUM

$90 USD

I’ve been vocally diehard for the Drunk Elephant brand before, and it all started with this product. The Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is a 12 percent AHA/BHA serum that I like to incorporate in my routine around three times a week to continually resurface any texture and keep my skin more smooth and refined. Although it carries an expensive price tag, I always make sure to buy a backup when Sephora’s biannual sales come around, since it takes me about six months to run through one in the meantime.


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SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O ULTRA-CLARIFYING FACE OIL

$80 USD

Another holy grail that I already have a backup of is the Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, a 1.5 percent salicylic acid medicated dry oil that is my go-to product for preventing and treating acne and clogged pores. Whenever I use this, I wake up the next morning to a dramatic reduction in any current breakouts and irritation I have at the time. If you’re not willing to commit to the full size yet and want to try out the formula first, the 0.5 oz size ($40 USD) lasted me well over a year—a little goes a long way.


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GLOSSIER SUPER BOUNCE SERUM

$28 USD

Likewise, the Glossier Super Bounce Serum* can do no wrong for my skin. I always layer this under other products—especially paired with their Super Pure Serum—every morning for added hydration and suppleness since it’s chock-full of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. The downside is that their serums currently only come in a 0.5 oz bottle (Glossier, please make a larger size ASAP) so I run through this every couple of months (still worth it).

*Get 20% off + free shipping on your first order of Glossier here.


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CLINIQUE TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM

$29.50 USD

The Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm used to be the only makeup remover I used and had repurchased over and over again—it’s effective at breaking down heavy makeup without irritating my sensitive skin or leaving any residue. However, since I discovered Farmacy’s Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm, I decided to stop repurchasing the Clinique balm since my skin seems to get along more with the clean and nourishing ingredients that the Farmacy one offers.


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GLOW RECIPE BLUEBERRY BOUNCE GENTLE CLEANSER

$34 USD

I’ve been testing a lot of different cleansers recently to pinpoint the perfect one that cleans impurities without stripping my skin. The Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser was in my lineup, and with nourishing and clarifying ingredients like vitamin and antioxidant-rich blueberry extracts, hyaluronic acid, and exfoliating AHAs, I was sure my skin would drink it up. Unfortunately, it did not live up to its claims to deeply hydrate, and instead I found it to do quite the opposite. The stiff—for lack of a better word—jelly texture was difficult to blend out evenly, so I felt like it wasn’t really penetrating my skin and it left my face with that dried-out “squeaky clean” feeling. My recommendation for more effective alternatives would be the Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, Tatcha’s The Deep Cleanse, or the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.


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GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD CLEARING TREATMENT

$59 USD

I recently finished two GlamGlow masks, my favorite of the two being the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment. A lot of hype surrounds the Hollywood-born brand in general, and some of the products that I’ve tested in their line are overhyped for their high price tag, in my opinion. But the Supermud mask has stood the test of time and trial as my all-time favorite intensive treatment for breakouts, blackheads, and pores. Not too long ago, GlamGlow permanently reduced the price of their masks from $69 USD to $59 USD, but they frequently have promotions for 25% off or more on their site which is when I wait to stock up on it.


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GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD EXFOLIATING TREATMENT

$59 USD

My other GlamGlow empty that I won’t be repurchasing is the GlamGlow Youthmud Exfoliating Treatment. I liked this mask at first use, but found that it gave me a similar effect as the Supermud while feeling harsher on my skin. Youthmud had an almost “scratchy” texture to it, and just irritated and dried out my skin the more I used it. I’d say Supermud is your best bet to visibly clear and soften your overall complexion.


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DRYBAR DETOX DRY SHAMPOO

$23 USD

Last but not least, I finished a bottle of the Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo. I’ve always struggled with thick hair that becomes greasy not even a day after washing, but since I also have dark hair, most dry shampoos leave a strong white residue that rarely fades. Enter Drybar—this is the first dry shampoo I’ve tried that instantly absorbs into my hair without the white cast, leaving it looking freshly washed and voluminous.