Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Special Needs Parent's Review of Willing Beauty's HY+5 Complex Regimen

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Special needs parenting can take it's toll on you in a multitude of ways.  And it comes to no surprise to many that often special needs parents lack in self-care or even time for that self-care.  It's been eight plus years and I'm still not sleeping like the average person does.  It comes with the territory of late nights with Noah.   Excessive worry and stress which is ever present I'm sure is contributing to my fine lines and seeping wrinkles.  Special needs parenting I think actually speeds up the aging process - no joke.   A few years ago it became obvious to me that I was going to need to camouflage those dark circles from lack of sleep, and find ways of making myself glow so that people didn't really see everything that was underneath the surface.  Put on that brave pretty face and keep going - because well that's what the world likes to see. 

I'd say that my beauty regime over the years would be considered 'a little bit of this and that.' I have some really cheap products, moderate and products and some higher end products that I've been gifted with throughout the years.  Some of which I loved and some that I truly hated.  I don't have one line in particular that I adore and seem to mix and match both beauty products and cosmetics.   But I'm always keeping an eye out for something that can assist me with looking a tad better than I often feel in the inside so I can put my best foot forward everyday. 

A fellow special needs parent, Susan Lake, approached me about trying a new skin care line that is currently in pre-launch, called Willing Beauty.  And I thought I had nothing to lose, that if a product doesn't work on an overly tired special needs parent then it likely won't work for anyone!  (I'm kidding - enter humor).
Full Disclosure:
Susan asked if I would be willing to try the Willing Beauty skincare Regime for five days in exchange for a review on my blog.  All opinions are honest and I was not compensated for this review.

I tested the HY+5 Complex Regimen for five days and stopped using the collection of all of my other go to skincare products to see what this line would do all on it's own.  This is a listing of the five products:
Do Over Nourishing Cleanser
Daydream Illuminating Day Moisturizer
Get Set SPF 30 Tinted Primer
Partner In Time Age Defying Night Serum
Sleep Over Replenishing Night Cream
*And the Bonus Lip Oil
DAY 1:  First Impressions:
Typically I gravitate towards facial cleansers that exfoliate or provide a luscious lather.  The Do Over Nourishing Cleaner does neither.  So my first impression was I think this kind of sucks.  It feels much like you are simply putting lotion on your face.  In fact upon first use I was less than confident that it would have the ability to remove make-up at the end of the day.  But, I never mind trying something new and I was willing to give this a chance no matter how odd it felt as a cleanser based on what I am used to using.  My face did feel clean after using it and it was gentle on my extremely sensitive skin.   I moved on to try the moisturizer.  I don't usually wear moisturizers too much, occasionally in the winter when my skin gets drier.  But for the most part I'd say moisturizers are not on my daily field of vision.  Again, I was hesitant with it, but it rubbed in and absorbed nicely.   The bigger shock for me was the tinted primer which goes on over the moisturizer treatment.  When I put it on my hand I was like holy hell - there is no way this dark shade is going to have any chance of matching my fair skin tone.   But, the literature claims it blends with all skin tones - and it does do just that.  I have no idea how but it blended in to match the correct color of my skin.  I did chose to use my regular cosmetics over the daytime regimen.  In the evening I washed my face again with the Do Over Nourishing Cleanser, still again having difficulties with the fact it felt like lotion - and them moved onto the nighttime routine.  I really instantly kind of fell in love with the Partner In Time Age Defying Night Serum.  It was somewhat a cooling feeling on my face and it felt refreshing and nice.  The replenishing night cream goes on over that and it was nice - and a little of that goes a long way.  You'd think for a small container that it won't last.  But it really only takes a few dabs to do your entire face - admittedly I over did it on day one and felt like my face was taking a bath in it - so less is more ladies.   Susan also threw in a Willing Beauty Lip Oil additional to the Beauty Regime.   The lip oil is really unique.  It has stronger hints of coconut than anything else, but the scent and taste is light enough that it's not overwhelming with coconut.  It's a light oil so that your lips don't feel greasy, but slightly more covered than you would perhaps feel with a basic chap-stick or lip ointment.   It was nice and it really was even kind of pretty on how it naturally sat on your lips.
DAY 2:  Good Morning
Twenty-four hours later - the wait and see phase.  My skin did feel tighter in the morning, I had less sleep marks on my face.  Even though I sleep with satin pillowcases I've noticed that because I get less sleep than most, that when I do fall asleep that I stay in only one position for my power sleep so I tend to wake up with lines on my face either from where I've positioned my hand or slept on a pillowcase.   And so it was nice not to see crazy lines all over my face first thing in the morning.  My dark circles were at a minimum - but they tend to come and go too so I'm not sure I could really attribute that lessening to the product. The fine lines from smile and age also seemed to be a tad firmer.  I did notice I had a spot on the right side of my nose and cheek however that felt like an acne spot was trying to raise - one you couldn't see but that you could feel under the surface.  I kept an eye on it wondering if the products were starting to cause skin irritation, but fully knowing that it also could have been likely to diet changes going from clean eating to donuts over the weekend (my occasional weekend guilty pleasure).  My first inclination was to reach for a product with salicylic acid to dab on that spot, but in the spirit of staying true to the product line for five days I didn't.  I repeated all the products that I did the previous day in their order.   I was kind of feeling the same about them as I was the day before - rather neutral on their potential performance.  But, relieved that I looked fairly decent in the morning.
DAY 3:  Do I See Changes?
The morning of day 3, still no sleep marks, and I have crease on my left side of my face that probably I only notice - but trust me it's there, likely from worry, stress, and laugh lines and it was much more diminished.  My under eye lines were still holding well, my skin felt firmer and softer.  I decided to try just using the moisturizer and not the tinted primer over it because I noticed on day 2 that although the primer matched my skin tone rather well that I didn't feel it mixed well with the color of my foundation and concealer over it.  It was fine alone, but when I added stuff on top the texture just didn't feel right.  As a result of me just using the moisturizer alone and then make up over it without the primer, I'd say that was probably a mistake as it made my make-up dewy through the day, almost like if you are spending too much time in heat and your make up is melting - that is kind of how I felt and looked with using just the moisturizer and skipping the tinted primer.  So word to the wise, don't be like me and skip the primer for a day.  You'll probably regret it like I did.  Still finding that I liked both evening serum and night cream rather well.  My lips were much smoother from using the lip oil, and I no longer had that flaky chapped lip skin that you had to wash off with a washcloth prior to lip gloss or lip tint - that was really nice to wake up with lips that were essentially primed and already to go.

Day 4:  Spot Is Gone
So that little acne spot that I thought was going to be a problem totally disappeared.  And that is kind of unheard of unless I use a product that has salicylic acid in it.  And I really think that the beauty regime actually held that spot at bay and made it go away entirely.  So high five and a fist bump for that.  Who has time for a blemish? Not this special needs mom!  My fine lines still look decent, sleep marks are really non-existent and my face feels firm and ready for the day after waking up.  Dark circles still there a little bit, but let's be honest that is going to happen on only 3 hours sleep no matter what you put on your face.  Still trying to love this cleanser... but I wish it would lather and suds up and bubble for me.  But it still is removing make up really well even though it has a unique texture to it.  So I can't complain as it is doing the job.  Starting to feel like my skin kind of radiates or glows a bit during the day almost as if I was wearing a highlighter on my cheeks.  Almost a sun kissed kind of tint to my face that seemed to be naturally occurring - perhaps from the use of the products for four days.  It made my skin I think look a pinch younger than my actual years and hey that is a plus...
Day 5:  Final Thoughts and Verdict
I committed to five days of self-care... that's tough too when you're a special needs parent.  Overall the product line is good.  I obviously developed some favorites out of the line.  I think the Willing Beauty Lip Oil gets my vote for MVP.  It is pretty nice.  I'm also a fan more of the night treatments than the day time treatments.   If someone told me that I had to pick out my top 3 that I could afford to buy I'd pick the lip oil, night serum and night cream.   I'm still on the fence about that cleanser although it did a good job the feel of it remained hard for me to get used to.  I wasn't a super big fan of the moisturizer - it was okay, but I had to use the primer with it for it to be truly effective.   And the primer I really wish wasn't tinted.  Even though it did match my skin tone I would love to see Willing Beauty make two primers.  One that is clear and one that is tinted because I really would like that option and would gravitate towards something clear over tinted. I do think it made a difference in clearing up a blemish from raising to the surface of my skin.  My skin was softer and and my fine lines (although not noticeable to most) to me personally looked improved.  I think the thing I enjoyed the most was not waking up with any kind of sleep marks on my face that had to dissipate over the course of the morning.  I even had one day where I felt comfortable going make up free and leaving the house that way.  So that speaks volumes for a person like me who adores cosmetics and rarely if ever leaves the house without make up.  So I at least had enough confidence in the quality my skin to do that.  I think it might be a worthwhile try for someone that has chronic issues with acne, discoloration or uneven skin tone, dry skin or problem spots.  I'm not sure I noticed a significant difference in permanently erasing laugh lines or fine lines around my eyes - but while using it I noticed that they looked better, but on day six when I quit using the products the following morning my sleep wrinkles returned and my skin wasn't as firm overnight, so this is a product line you'd likely have to be consistent with to achieve desired results.  But the older we get is there such a thing as a quick fix anyway? And I did love that I looked like I had a glow or highlight to my face while using the products.

Willing Beauty is a line worth keeping your eye on and perhaps purchasing a product or two to see if you like what it does for your skin.  Certainly, the price point for the HY+5 Complex Regimen isn't terrible compared to other brands, and even more affordable if you pick and chose products.  Each product will last you about six weeks - some likely longer depending on use.  I've attached a picture of the Willing Beauty Common Allergen list.  Certainly that was of importance for me and a factor of consideration as I tend to gravitate towards products that are organic, or as natural as possible and I have skin that has a tendency to be sensitive to ingredients, so I like to know what is in things.  Overall time wise, the product line is quick and easy to use even for parents like me that don't have a lot of time to devote to our daily self-care routine. Willing Beauty also has a Crush Club Membership where you can gain rewards with your purchases and the program is free to join.
The best part about Willing Beauty is they have a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee so if you don't totally love the products you can return them risk free.  And that's fantastic for people who want to try something but want to know that if for some reason it doesn't work out for them they are out nothing but the time in order to try it.   To learn more check out Willing Beauty at:  https://willingbeauty.com/
To make your purchase click here: 

Love,



Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.