Reviews: Alexa of @lifestyle_engineered


Alexa Sandidge is the photographer behind the beauty-focused Instagram account @lifestyle_engineered. At some point, you may have been mesmerized by photos of lipstick smears and facial oil spills in your feed—well, this is one of them. The difference? Alexa is like your best friend who shares detailed, earnest reviews. With her images, she isn’t timid about making a mess in order to achieve the ideal shot and showcase the product's texture or pigment. Squeezing out an entire tube of hand cream, let's say, is something she’s very familiar with. She’s worked with more than a few companies (Oribe, Palermo Body, Monastery Made) to shoot and review products, so let’s just say she may know a thing or two about the beauty industry as well as what works for herself. Just like a pro, her regimen includes layering skincare products, only requiring a barely-there makeup routine to show off healthy skin.

LOCATION: boise, idaho
PREFERS: oils over creams
CAFFEINE OF CHOICE: black coffee, matcha latte, hot tea
SUPPLEMENTS: adds them to smoothies

Balms come in so many varying textures and densities that I was really curious to see how this one felt. I expected that it might have a paste texture, but the balm is pretty solid under room texture. I love getting my nails done about once a month, just to keep my cuticles in check and keep my nails looking in order. This always dries out my hands and it takes a week to recover from it. I would always suffer from hangnails afterwards as well—my manicurist said that it’s because I need an oil on my cuticles. Enter this balm. It’s so easy to throw in my pocket and just swipe it on my nails a few times a day. I usually apply after washing my hands. I’m already a few days into my manicure and I’m still hangnail-free. Going into the winter season I will be applying this more often to keep my hands from drying out.  

First off, I’ll be honest and say that I love this oil for the smell. It smells strongly of citrus and applying a grapefruit and orange scented oil in the morning is just seriously pleasant. Secondly, the tiny caffeine crystals in this oil make it perfect for applying in the morning. I love using it all over my face and specifically focusing on my under eye area for a morning jolt. As a bonus, it contains two of my favorite oils, sea buckthorn and rosehip—both which are great for healing and cell renewal.

Using Vitamin C in your skincare is such a game changer. It is so impressive what it can do for texture as well as hyper-pigmentation. But often Vitamin C serums oxidize and quickly their efficacy depreciates. So when I saw a powder form, that you can just add to whatever else you are already using, it was a no brainer. I use about two taps of the bottle added to my night oil and it seriously helped clear up small breakouts and my summer hyper-pigmentation has lightened up slowly. Bonus: you also don’t have to worry about it taking up space in your liquids bag at the airport.

I am 100% a jeans and t-shirt girl. And this simplicity and laid-back look seeps its way into how I approach makeup. I am always aiming to look like a better version of myself, without being obvious about wearing makeup.First the color Bare says it all—just a natural tint to accentuate your natural lip color. A few swipes leave just a sheer tint. Because it is a balm and not a lipstick you still get great moisture and know you are doing your lips a favor every time you apply.”

— as told to The Stell

photography by Alexa Sandidge

Clary Collection All Purpose Balm
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The Nue Co. Topical - C
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