Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Advanced Kit Review // Luxury Skincare on a Budget

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*This is a sponsored post through Pretty in my Pocket for Paula's Choice. All opinions are my own.

For the past few months I've been seeing a lot of my favorite bloggers wax poetic about Paula's Choice Skincare. It didn't matter what it was or what line they were using, every blogger loved the products. Every. Single. One. I make it a point to only read blogs that are honest and still I'm like... no freaking way is every product amazing.

When the opportunity came up for me to try out the skincare for myself I dove through the computer (obviously not literally) and signed up for my personal skincare consultation (which you can get too by calling 1-800-831-4088 - it's FREE and you don't have to commit to buying anything). I told my girl about all of my woes, both past and currently recurring - particularly whining about the major oil inhabiting my t-zone. Then going on about acne... basically talking this woman's ear off. She recommended the Skin Balancing Advanced Kit along with a few other products she thought I could benefit from.

Paula's Choice Skin Care Routine

The Skin Balancing Advanced Kit comes with seven products and even has stickers to mark the steps (which my absentminded head loves) so you don't get confused about which step comes next.

1. Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser ($25.00). This felt so good to apply and cleansed my skin very well. After rinsing and patting my skin dry I was happy that there was no tight feeling and my skin had a matte appearance (rather than shiny like it usually is after washing... and every other moment of my life). When I was done and did the second step (toner) no leftover makeup came off on the pad, which was impressive because on heavy makeup days I always have leftover makeup on the toner pad.

2. Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner ($20.00). I applied this with a round cotton pad, swiping it all over my skin. The feel was cool and gives a slight tingle. It absorbed in quickly and felt refreshing.

Paula's Choice Oil-Reducing Cleanser Toner review

3. Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($28.00). This isn't the first type of product that will pop into your mind when you hear "exfoliator". Exfoliator to me brings up words like "rough" and "abrasive" regardless of how little/much of the little sand feeling particles are in there. This one by Paula's Choice comes out like a water and is meant to be applied right after cleansing and toning. It's also not to be rinsed off, which really threw me for a loop. I found it to be easy to apply, though a bit runny, and it felt good on my skin during and after. More often than not I find exfoliating products to be too harsh for me, but I'm happy to report that Exfoliator is wonderful and I am able to use it 2-3 times a week (which I can't do with 99% of exfoliators).

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4. Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol ($32.00). This can be used twice a day but because of the retinol I only applied it in the evening (if you want to apply twice a day you can, just be sure to use a day moisturizer with SPF!). The serum has a loose gel consistency and while it feels a little greasy when you first apply it absorbs quickly and didn't leave any type of residue. Shake well before use!

5. Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Moisturizer + SPF ($28.00). This moisturizer is on the runny side, but I was happy there was no fragrance to speak of and I didn't need much product to cover my face. It feels light on and my skin felt moisturized all day. I love that it has SPF 30 because my face tends to get red rather quickly if I don't use an SPF in my lotion along with any SPF that's in my makeup.

5. Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel ($28.00). Do not let "gel" throw you. It definitely worried me before use because using a gel as an evening moisturizer is completely new to me. A little goes a long way with this guy and it applied evenly. I found the absorption a lot quicker than a lotion which is perfect for evening because I usually hop right into bed when I'm done with my skincare routine. My skin felt soft and looked fresh after using it. I'm sure my bed would thank me if it could for looking all pretty when I sleep.

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Moisturizer Review

6. Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask ($19.00). Once or twice a week, after you're all cleansed, apply this mask generously to your face and neck and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. After you rinse get on with the rest of your routine. This mask has a sheer-ish white look to it and you really have to use it to believe it. My skin looks amazing after I use this. It kicks blackheads and pores out of my life, and I'm okay with that.

For the listed daily routine the steps are the same (shown above) but you're switching out moisturizers for day and night, since the SPF is needed for day time. This entire kit of seven products retails for only $149.00 (retail is $172.00). In most cases you'd pay that for ONE product. I know I have =\

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Paula's Choice Coupon Code

I also tried out the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ($55.00). This is good for all skin types and was recommended to me because I'm looking for stave off fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the size of my pores and lighten up two spots of melasma that I have at the top of my cheeks. I expected the treatment to look more like a serum but when it pumps out it's yellow colored and reminds me more of a lotion. This made my skin feel incredibly smooth and I was pleased to find it absorbed quickly and didn't feel sticky. This is only to be used 3x a week at first and then you can increase to every other night.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2 BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant Review

In using this system and products I've noticed a difference in the overall appearance of my face. Even after the first day of use my skin was a lot less oily but still wasn't dry looking or feeling by any means. I've actually been wearing less makeup out of the house because I don't feel the need to cover up as much as I used to. I've only been using this set for a few weeks so I'm excited to see what happens long-term!

There is something for everyone on the Paula's Choice website. Their product line includes something for everyone from acne, rosacea, aging, pores.. you name it - they can recommend a product for it. On their website, you can choose from a menu of skin care concerns you’d like to treat. Paula's Choice offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee (within 60 days) and they do not test on animals. Their products contain no irritating dyes or fragrances. My skin is sensitive to new products, so that is something I can appreciate.

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Skin Care Review Photos

Paula's Choice isn't just all skincare - the brand carries a lot of fabulosity in the makeup department as well! One product I've been loving is The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00) which is a neutral set of 12 eyeshadows in shades of creams, browns, grey and even black. A lot of options and a ton of looks to be had!

Paula's Choice The Nude Mattes

I thought that the performance of this palette was incredible across the board. The shades are all pigmented, buttery smooth and easy to blend.

Paula's Choice The Nude Mattes Eye Shadow Palette Review

The swatches below are done dry on bare skin, no primers:

Paula's Choice The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

Pick up Paula's Choice products on the website and don't forget to click here to save 20% off of your first order!

For more reviews and looks on Paula's Choice and other brands be sure to download and PRIMP app on your iPhone or Android!

*This is a sponsored post through Pretty in my Pocket for Paula's Choice. All opinions are my own.