Archive for category Anti-Aging
Despite what my post from last week may indicate, I am trying to shift my focus in cosmetics away from accumulating MORE makeup, and instead opt to purchase better tools and invest in good skincare in 2013. Aside from a few gaps which I’ve identified here, here and here, I’m aiming to cull back my makeup collection and indulge in my consumerism in a way that feels more justifiable. As such, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the best routine to adapt to keep my skin looking youthful and as flawless as possible. As I’ve mentioned before, I really want to incorporate retinol into my regimen, as ensure that I’m using antioxidant-full products to minimize the effects of aging sun damage. I found a great one-page article in the most recent InStyle magazine (March edition) that explains what to use and when for your best skin. Here are the main four points, and my suggestions for products to try (after much research!) *Keep in mind I’m merely making suggestions – I’m no doctor and everyone’s skin is different!:
I. Vitamin-A Derivatives (aka Retinoids) – keeps collagen stimulated; use every second night.
1) Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream with 0.5% Pure Retinol $54US (not sure about CAD prices)
2) Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Serum $78CAD
3) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Original Formula $25CAD
4) Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM $75CAD
II. Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHA’s – glycolic or lactic acid) or Beta-hydroxy Acids (BHA’s – salicylic acid) – prevents wrinkles, combats dulls skin and uneven skin texture through exfoliation; use on opposite nights to retinol. Interesting note: AHA’s are better for normal to dry skin, while BHA’s are better for oilier or acne-prone skin types, as it can penetrate through oily skin better to exfoliate the pore. Salicylic acid is also anti-inflammatory and has mild antibacterial properties.
1) philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment & Moisturizer (BHA’s) $39CAD
2) Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer (AHA’s) $52CAD
3) Neostrata Oil-Free Smoothing Lotion Level 3 (AHA’s) $39CAD
III. Antioxidants (particularly Vitamins C & E) – protect skin from free radicals that cause lines and dullness; use every morning before applying sunscreen (which is also a must!).
1) Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C x 30™ Vitamin C Brightening Serum $105CAD
2) Clinique City Block Sheer Oil Free Daily Face Protector SPF25 $25CAD
3) MD Formulations Moisture Defense Hydrating Gel $46CAD
4) Kate Somerville Protect SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen $45CAD
5) MAC Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum $48CAD
IV. Anti-inflammatory Night Moisturizer – soothes skin from any potential irritation via the retinol or AHA/BHA’s; use at night between uses of treatment products.
1) Jurlique Calendula Cream $45CAD
2) Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer$55CAD
3) Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil $55CAD
Phew! This was a lot of work and research you guys!! I haven’t tried all these (though there are a few I recommend – Kate Somerville’s Quench, Clinique’s City Block, and Tarte’s Maracuja Oil), but I cross-referenced between Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, Makeup Alley reviews, and Sephora reviews so I hope that’s at least somewhat reassuring that these are decent picks! *But of course…please don’t come back angry if you try one and it’s crap!
I hope you guys find this post and the recommendations helpful! Personally I’m thinking of picking up the Neutrogena Healthy Skin lotion, Philosophy Clear Days Ahead moisturizer, and the MAC Prep + Prime serum
Do you have any skincare goals this year?
So I mentioned in my previous skincare post that my skin has been kicking some serious ass lately. I think aside from finally figuring out the tricks to dealing with eczema (also mentioned in that post), the two star products in the line-up are my facial cleanser, Consonant’s Organic Foaming Face Wash, and my nighttime facial oil, Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil.
I was gifted the face wash by my aunt, who often buys big blockbuster skincare and makeup bags with a bunch of various products by various brands, via The Shopping Channel Sometimes there are standout items, and sometimes…not so much. I didn’t end up using the Consonant wash until about 6 months after receiving it, when I ran out of my previous face wash. Initially, I didn’t think too much of it. Its a foaming…soap…for the face. But there is no denying the fact that somehow this product both gently cleanses while absolutely NOT stripping the skin of moisture (due to nourishing botanicals like grapeseed oil), and leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, and blemish-free (it also contains teatree oil!).
It feels really silky once you rub it into your skin, and dissolves within seconds, which initially made me think it wasn’t cleaning properly. However, 1-2 pumps of product really does remove all the dirt, oil, and makeup I
abuse it with wear daily. If your makeup is particularly tenacious, it may require a separate makeup remover (I used Clinique’s Take The Day Off Balm), but in a pinch this will wash away almost everything without the added step. It’s even designed to help eliminate uneven skin tone, which is a problem I suffer with, and it’s pH balanced (so no need for toner). I’m not one to usually stick with one type of product after it’s used up, but I actually will repurchase this – it works and it’s relatively inexpensive at $18CAD.
Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Calophyllum Tacamahaca, Melaleuca Alternifolia, Allantoin, Algae, Camellia Sinensis, Salix Alba, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera, Comfrey, Chamomilla Recutita, Symphytum Officinale, Cucumis Sativa, Vaccinium Myrtillus, Saccharum Officinarum, Acer Saccharum, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis, Citrus Medica Limonum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.
Does not contain: Phthalates, Petroleum Ingredients, Sulphates, Silicone, Synthetic Colour, Synthetic Fragrance or Paraben Preservatives.
The other superstar in my skincare routine has GOT to be, Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil ($55CAD). This was one of the rare impulse buys I make every few months. I was in Sephora, and as the staff know me there, I asked what was one of the standout must-have products I should try. No less than THREE SA’s turned me toward the Maracuja Oil (between the ages of 20-50), insisting it had totally changed their skin. I wasn’t in the market for a moisture product, but what the heck! I had a $20 coupon to burn in which I needed to spend $50 or more. DONE.
I usually steer clear of skincare via brands that are more known for makeup, and especially gimmicky-type products in general. But honestly, I have been shocked at how much this has improved my skin! It’s smoother, more even-toned, less oily, more hydrated, and I swear it’s made my pores less noticeable and all but eliminated the small fine lines around my eyes. Apparently, maracuja oil is chockful of Vitamin C – which aids in brightening and radiance – and essential fatty acids, which are necessary for healthy skin to rebuild and repair itself It’s also anti-inflammatory, which is ideal for someone like myself with eczema (or if you have sun damage!). How I use it, is right after washing my face, a put a dropperful in my hand, rub them together to disperse, and then press it into my skin all over my face and neck (this product replaces my nighttime moisturizer). I don’t know where I got the ‘pressing’ part but I think I heard somewhere that it helps oils penetrate the skin better (and probably a lot more gentle than vigorous rubbing!). It absorbs a bit slowly, about half an hour to fully penetrate, at which time my skin just feels plump and hydrated and not at all greasy, filmy or sticky (which was a big reason why I did not like argan oil – too heavy!). Some people have noted a slight smell to the product, but I detect next to none – at least nothing discernible, even if I stick my nose right up to the bottle opening.
The only ingredient in this product is maracuja oil, which contains none of the baddies like parabens or fragrance.
And now for a very revealing photo (after cleansing and applying the oil, sans makeup, with plenty of freckles/moles for your viewing pleasure):
If you’re in the market for either (or both) a cleanser or hydrator, I highly recommend both of these products, for essentially all skin types except serious problem skin. Both products are gentle and effective, truly have made such a huge improvement in my skin that I didn’t even realize I was lacking.
What is your absolute must-have skincare product?
I’ve got an issue, guys. I really feel like doing a review/showing swatches of a product, but I don’t want to actually have to do the work. That’s kind of a problem, right? And it’s not entirely true…I want to write about the product, but I don’t want to have to take any photos. If I do a skincare product, I have to take boring shots of the bottle (you bloggers know what I’m taking about – product photos in containers are SO dull to snap :S). If I feature a makeup product, I like to show face swatches too. I’m not avoiding showing my face, because my face is looking pretty darn good these days. Seems I’ve found ‘THE‘ regimen for my skin, at long last – even for my body! …Oh, ok, you want to hear about it? Hmm… maybe if I do a few collective shots of what I’m using, it won’t be such a snore for me… …OK! Right-o! We’re on ‘er now
Let’s work from the bottom up (not literally!). Every year, I get a mysterious rash-type thing, that is NOT eczema but some sort of dermatitis that no one can explain. I went for a biopsy last year to get it checked and it came back negative for all of the possible things it could be. My derm is an idiot who can barely open his eyes (for some reason, he squints constantly – so annoying!), and didn’t offer any other solutions to figuring out the problem, so I have been essentially left to deal with it on my own. This summer, I got another mystery rash on my arms, big-time (which made swatching impossible), and it was unlike anything I’ve had before. Of course. Anyway, when I went to NZ I hoped the fresh, clean air would heal me up, but this was not the case. However, while there I bought this crazy Eumovate cream and it cleared it up in about two days. To perfect smoothness. Heck YES I was excited! But then I read the fine print that said ‘Do not use for more than 7 consecutive days’ and I knew it was some heavy shit, so I stopped and of course the rash came back – not to the full strength, but nonetheless it still plagued me.
Speaking of plagued. I wrote a poem once about my skin issues (seriously guys…it freakin’ drives me NUTS), and titled it ‘Plague’. Check out
the height of my lameness my mad skillz:
What lasting plague upon my house,
My body, mind & soul;
What constancy lives in my heart
That soon shall take it’s toll.
What ravages this skin, yet leaves
No evidence, no trace,
Of how to rid oneself of it,
Will it never erase?
A mystery, the cause of such
Destruction, that has made
A mockery of such a thing
That God so proudly laid.
Too long this body’s suffered so,
Too long without a cure;
Too soon it’s life comes to an end
Of this we can be sure.
Dudes. I was way serious back in the day. I wrote poetry all the time, because obviously sad poetry is WAY easier to write than happy stuff. I did write a few cheerily optimistic poems the last time I was in the groove (about 4 years ago)…maybe sometime I’ll share (or not…this is a beauty blog, after all! ).
Anyway, when I got home my GP told me that it was good to stop using the hardcore stuff I got in NZ, as it was pretty intense. He hooked me up with a regular corticosteroid, which I do generally try to avoid but figured I had to do something, and BAM! Problem fixed. See, with eczema you have to treat that shit first…I kept trying all these plain creams to make it heal on it’s own, but that’s just silly. I used the prescription for about five days and haven’t had to use it since. Once I got my skin back to normal, THEN I could manage it with preventative measures. Which are:
- Shower at night: This way you rinse away all the bad crap that comes in contact with your skin throughout the day, and your moisturizer has a better chance of absorbing and keeping your skin hydrated.
- Wash with a soap-free, fragrance-free cleanser: Anything that lathers is generally NOT a friend of those with eczema. I’ve been using a body wash by Hugo Naturals that has vegetable glycerin and a natural surfactant derived from coconut and it’s been lovely and gentle on my skin. You do NOT want to strip any of your precious natural oils! You need those!
- Go for the heaviest creams you can tolerate: Right now I’m using Haus of Gloi’s Pumpkin Butter ($9US for 6oz) in Aether (non-scent), and I am in fucking love. Sorry for the potty mouth but seriously that is how good this stuff is! It has a natural odor that I’m not quite sure I would call ‘pumpkin’y', but its nice and for someone who has renounced almost all use of anything fragranced*, this is very exciting. It also contains shea butter as the second ingredient, which is pretty much the holy grail of hydrators for dry skin. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Another good option (though pricey) is Kiehl’s Creme de Corps ($37.50CAD for 250mL).
*Steering clear of fragrance is also very important. Even take note of your shampoo/conditioner/hair styling products. I’m using a fragrance-free shampoo and low-fragrance conditioner (it’s the last ingredient on the list), and a non-fragranced hair oil – the end. I swear it helps!
- Reapply often: This is why I go through SO many creams and lotions, but it’s worth it if my skin stays hydrated – it keeps your moisture barrier intact and therefore less irritating things from the outside world can penetrate the skin and cause flare-ups and problems. I keep a moisturizer by the bed, at work, in my purses…its a constant job. But totally worth it!
And that’s essentially it, for body! I do nothing else and I don’t need to. Scrubs are abrasive and therefore can exacerbate the problem (though I did just order a Bubbling Scrub sample size from Haus of Gloi…because I just can’t help myself), so I wash, pat dry, hydrate, the end. And my body is loving me right now PRAISE THE SKIN GODS!!
As for the face – which has also been darn near glorious over the past month – here’s what I’ve been using/the routine I’ve been following:
1. Splash face with water, pat dry then swipe Shiseido’s Pureness Balancing Softener all over skin
2. Apply Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer to dry areas of face (for me, its around the mouth)
3. Apply Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment around orbital area
4. Apply Clinique Even Better Lotion SPF20 all over face & neck
When I wear foundation, which I almost don’t have to right now, I wear the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder, which actually doesn’t dry my skin out, even in this cold weather, and almost allows me to skip powder altogether on my slightly oily skin (as it’s mattifying and oil-free). It doesn’t contain fragrance or any other funny business I usual avoid.
I will note that I’m careful with any blushes/bronzers I use – the Chanel, Benefit, and Burberry blush I have all have fragrance, so I try to use them sparingly. NARS powder blush contain lanolin, which I’m allergic to and which is very unfortunate as I have 5 shades. So, they get used semi-infrequently as well. But, I find as long as I’m not wearing them every day, things are alright.
In the evening, here’s how I roll:
1. Remove makeup with Boscia’s Make Up Break Up Cleansing Oil (which I *just* finished tonight and will be replacing with Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm)
2. Wash face with Consonant’s Organic Foaming Face Wash
3. Apply Derma-E’s Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel all over face & neck
4. Apply 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream around orbital area
5. Wait 5 minutes, then pat Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil into face and neck (review forthcoming, because this stuff is GOLD!)
The end. That’s it! It’s not a long process, and the results have been really good. I think the biggest thing is keeping my skin MORE hydrated as opposed to trying to always control the oiliness. Not washing my face in the morning, combined with using two hydrators (spot treating in the AM and all over at night), has actually not made me more oily but has lessened how shiny I get throughout the day, and my eczema is nearly non-existent – all that’s left is slight pigmentation scarring from when it wasn’t under control. I also think that for once, following a regimen and using the same products every day has had a huge hand in keeping my skin happy. Changing it up all the time leaves it in a constant upheaval; I was doing it for the ‘right reasons’ – trying to use up products – but it was causing me grief overall. So YAY to getting my shit together!
There are still a few tweaks I want to make here and there, especially with respect to anti-aging – I still want to try a retinol product (I want to use up the Derma-E Vitamin A gel first before I purchase one), and I plan on replacing the almost-finished Shiseido Softener with one of Bioderma’s miscellar waters – but otherwise I think I’m good! When the time comes to buy replacement products, I’ll be sure to do my homework.
I know that this process will not be helpful for some of you – not everyone has my tempermental skin – but I find that when I’m looking online for solutions to my eczema problems, there’s not much around except the usual treatments. And since it’s wintertime for many of us, some of the same logic applies in terms of keeping the skin hydrated, so hopefully not all is lost! Stay tuned for my post on the Tarte oil though, truly – it’s absolutely wonderful and I think everyone can use it!
How involved in your skincare routine? Do you have finnicky skin? What is the difference maker for you?
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me go on about wanting to incorporate a retinol product into my skincare regime by now…but I just have so many other serums and treatments kicking around I haven’t felt justified in spending the big bucks to pick one up just yet! However, I did swipe a wallet-friendly *lite* version back in July – Derma-E’s Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel. Vitamin A is the basis of retinol, however, this isn’t ‘true’ retinol but sort of the entry-level version (more on that in a minute). I thought with the nature of my finicky skin it would be wise to start small and work up to the hard stuff, and for $14CAD (for 220mL) at Shoppers this seemed like a good bet! But does it work??
First of all, the product claims to be a “refreshing formula that helps diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles” and through the vitamin A it will “enhance skin’s youthful appearance.” On top of that, its supposed to be a “fast-absorbing water-based gel great for oily or blemish-prone skin, and leaves skin feeling soft, supple and smooth.” ALSO, you’ll be pleased to know it’s cruelty-free, paraben-free, and eco-friendly, and is oil-free, which is majorly appealing in the crazy humid weather we had this summer. Sounds all sorts of awesome, eh?
I used this product at night for about a month and it did leave my oilier skin hydrated without feeling greasy at all – though it didn’t seem to do much else. While vitamin A is the second ingredient after water, in this form (retinyl palmitate), it’s not actually retinol – which means that it doesn’t stimulate cell turnover or exfoliate the skin. Because it’s much less aggressive than retinol, however, it can be a great option for those with sensitive skin (me) as in high concentrations like this, it still can plump the skin and increase collagen production. As I only used it for a shorter period of time (as my skin has been freaky everywhere pretty much all of August for no reason, which means – back to super-basics), I may not have given it a fair chance to ‘wow’ me.
All in all, once my skin chills out, I’m definitely give this another shot – if nothing else its a nice moisturizer for sensitive, oily skin and absorbs quickly so you can use it under makeup, too. And the bottle is HUGE for the price, so this will last ages! The only actual concern I have is that the last ingredients note ‘natural and fragrant oils,’ of which I’m wary – but I seemed to have no problems while using it so until I do I will just be aware.
Have you tried any retinol or vitamin A products that you can suggest? What is your ultimate ‘good skin’ potion?
My skincare regime is always a work in progress. Being the type of person I am, I rarely stick with one product – even if it’s working (which is kind of stupid, yes, but – there it is). There’s just always something new to try, and my easily bored ways mean that I’m always drawn in by the latest and greatest. However, there is a central idea to my madness, which is to say, there are certain types of products that I want to be sure to incorporate into my daily routine. The biggest one that I’d like to pull into the fold are retinoids, a form of Vitamin A. I have yet to dabble in the world of this heavy-hitting product (which has many types, including Retinol, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, isotretinoin, and tazarotene – Skinacea has a great chart to explain them here). Retinoids are favored even over many of the more new-fangled (<– awesome old-person word) products of the day, because of their ability to multi-task: as they promote cell and collagen production, they diminish the look of lines and wrinkles and help improve the texture and clarity of the skin, while also helping to treat acne and clear blocked pores. On top of that, retinoids help repair damage through their antioxidant component. Sa-weet! Sign me up I’m not going to get too technical here because I’m not a dermatologist and I don’t know the science behind it all (though my pic above makes me look awfully smart!). But I’ve been doing some research for my own cause, and I thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you! Using retinoids isn’t a totally no-brainer situation. There is a method to the madness that should be followed in order for you to get the maximum benefit from your products, as well as not causing unnecessary irritation to the skin. Because my skin is so sensitive, this was a must for me to decipher.If any of you are like me, you use a multitude of treatment products in order to achieve the best skin you can. I particularly try to ensure that I’m using something with antioxidants in it, as well as a chemical exfoliant of some kind (as I can’t use manual scrubs since they rough up my skin too much). Here’s the lowdown on how to proceed with some of these products while still using retinoids safely and effectively:
- Do not apply retinoid in the morning, as the sun will deactivate the product and cause the skin to be more susceptible to UV rays.
- Do not apply glycolic acid/lactic acid (AHA’s) at the same time as retinoid product as they will cancel each other out (and cause some mega-irritation I would think!).
- Apply retinoids at night to bare skin, waiting 20 minutes after washing face (*If you experience too much sensitivity, you can apply a buffer moisturizer an hour before using the retinoid).
- Begin using retinoids over time; start by applying them once every three days for the first one or two weeks. After your skin adjusts to the product (or if you experience no irritation at all), bump it up to once every two nights for another few weeks. Then, use it every other night for another week and gradually graduate to using it nightly.
- Wait an hour after application, then use an anti-inflammatory moisturizer on top to prevent redness and flaking.
I have yet to incorporate a retinoid into my regime, but plan on picking one up within the next few months (likely one of the ones I’m showcasing here – perhaps right around my 30th birthday???) and slowly introducing it into my system over time . Right now I’m using an AHA cream, which also helps to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps exfoliate the skin – I apply it about every third evening just to keep my skin smooth as I’m not using much else in the way of exfoliation. I probably won’t use both a retinoid and an AHA product at the same time; I’m sure it’s possible for some, but with my tempermental skin I’m not going to chance it!
Just to give you an idea, here’s what my ideal skincare regime will look like:
Moisturizer w/SPF (Winter) / SPF (Summer)
Eye cream with SPF
Oil-based makeup remover (Summer or for heavy makeup days)
Nothing fancy by any means but I think it covers the bases fairly well – I think the simpler the better, to avoid irritating my skin (which can actually cause you to age faster).I hope this post was at least a bit helpful! I’m confident that most of you already know what you’re doing with regards to skincare, but it can get a bit convoluted when you start to introduce more advanced products into the fray. I’m looking forward to getting this down pat and hopefully seeing some results – not that I have a ton of visible aging yet, but I want to keep it that way! And as much as I like trying new things, I want to find a solid regime that helps minimize any surprize rashes or breakouts, and have my skin calm down for a long stretch of time (which seems to have been AGES ago).
Do you use retinoids in your skincare? What’s your current regime? What products do you buy over and over (if any)?
Last chance! Enter my giveaway tonight by 11:59pm AST!!
It’s been a long while since I’ve had to buy a foundation – as a haphazard user, I tend to have a bottle for well over a year (I just finished my NARS Sheer Glow, which I purchased back in January 2011). Buying foundation usually isn’t exciting for me, but once you get down to the dregs of anything, the thought of getting something new is a thrill. When I was in Sephora a couple weeks ago returning the Boscia cream I’d picked up (quick boo-hiss on that – it made my skin burn!!), I saw that the new ‘Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation’ by Hourglass (which I had drooled over after seeing it on several model’s faces from previous runway shows) had been released. First, I have to comment – it’s sort of an oxy-moron, isn’t it – ‘liquid powder’?? Now owning the product, I know what they mean, but I suspect that might be a bit confusing to consumers. Anyway, so I saw this gleaming at the store and I just had to swatch it and check it out. I rarely try anything via swatch and want it instantly, but this was an exception. It smoothed onto my skin leaving the most natural veil of color and a subtle luminosity that was kind of entrancing. Designed for combination/oily skin, with anti-aging properties, and free of pretty much all baddie ingredients (see box below for the exhaustive list), it just seemed too good to be true. I was in the market for a new foundation, but when I looked at the price – $64CAD!! – I balked and gently put it back in it’s place and slunk away. As I tend to do in Sephora, I wandered around some more just admiring the pretty things, when I happened to glance at my hand again. The foundation had settled and had turned into a subtle, velvety finish. I was so surprized at the change, and at how lovely it made my skin look, that I huffed it back to the kiosk and picked up a bottle in Warm Beige – the darkest shade there (unfortunately). Before I could exert any sense, I bought it.I think pictures will show you more than I can describe. Behold:
You can notice two things in the photos: that the foundation is a touch light and beige for my skintone, and that it makes my skin look FLAWLESS. While I’m disappointed about the shade – which will be even more disheartening once I’ve gone down South and have got a major tan going on – I really love the coverage and I love the matte yet luminous look it gives. I can warm it up a bit as you can see with bronzer so the shade blends better, so for now it works. The formulation is lovely – quite thin so it doesn’t feel heavy in the least, but gives great, even coverage quickly. There are so many things to love about the foundation that I still wanted to review it, even though I’m not getting the best out of it due to the shade restrictions. I highly recommend trying it out (or at least getting a sample) if you’re able. The technology is superb and it seems like a perfect foundation to wear going into the warmer months.
Aside from the shade, what are your thoughts on ‘Immaculate’? Do you think you’ll give it a look? What kind of finish do you prefer on a foundation?
Posted by Latoya in 2012 Beauty Challenge, Anti-Aging, Bare Escentuals, Blush, Body Care, Boscia, Brows, Chanel, Cleanser, Clinique, Concealer, Exfoliants, Fresh, Hair, Highlighters, L'Oreal, Lips, MAC, Make Up For Ever, Make-up, Mascara, Maybelline, Moisturizers, Skincare, SPF, Wet n' Wild on February 20, 2012
Well, we’ve successfully finished month one of the low/no-buys to which myself and several other fantabulous beauty bloggers have
chained dedicated ourselves! I have to admit, when it started, I thought it would be a piece of cake – my guidelines felt tough but reasonable, and left me a fair bit of leeway so that I wouldn’t go out of my mind from the challenge. However, once I was well into week two, I found myself becoming maniacal with respect to listing all the products I was *going* to buy as well as figuring out what products I could get rid of so I could make said purchases. I spent hours daily planning what I would do in order to be able to buy a new lippie or blush, in a way that would allow me to stick to the plan but get my ~fix~ Crazy, right? Thankfully, the feeling passed near the end of week three, and now as I move into the second month, I feel stabilized and am spending more time enjoying what I have rather than obsessively plotting my next purchase. Just like any craving, it passes if you don’t give into it I guess!
I’m going to combine my usual ‘downsizing’ post with my new ‘monthly purchases’ posts, since one directly affects the other. No shady business here! I promise to be truthful about what I pick up each month – if I slip, I’ll let you know about that too. Keeps me on the straight and narrow
So, here are the products that I managed to finish/part with since my low-buy began:
Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer
Good hydrator for dry to combination-oily skin, but honestly I wasn’t wowed by this. I find the Turnaround Concentrate, a serum, far out-performs this moisturizer, and I would recommend going for that plus your favorite basic moisturizer, rather than using this alone. Just didn’t exfoliate as well as I wanted it to!
Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer SPF25 (Combination Oily to Oily)
I really loved this moisturizer with SPF, until I started learning about how any beneficial ingredients in products get lost when exposed to open air. Jars have got to be the worst packaging anyway, majorly unhygenic! So, while the idea of this product is AWESOME (helps to repair the moisture barrier so skin stays hydrated; helps treat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles via antioxidants and sun protection), I suspect a lot of the good-for-you ingredients are gone within days. Boo. But, if you’re looking for a nice moisturizer with sunscreen, this is a pretty good choice! It keeps skin feeling supple – though unless your very oily/do not need extra hydration, I’d probably opt for the dry to combination version as I found I could have used it this Winter.Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Facial Cleanser (travel size)
I liked this cleanser – it smelled lovely and rinsed away nicely without stripping the skin – but I always wondered if it was causing a bit of sensitivity in my skin. I think the fragrance, while enjoyable, made me nervous. It certainly didn’t soothe my skin at all. For ladies with less sensitive skin, I think you’ll enjoy this – though it requires a second wash (or a makeup remover) to get rid of all traces of heavier makeup. I’m not a fan of self-foaming cleansers as I find they run out more quickly, so that’s something to consider as the full size of this product is $38CAD.
B.Kamins Bio-Maple Suncar Sunscreen SPF30 (sample)
I used this while I was camping last year in Gros Morne, and didn’t experience any problems, it absorbed easily and a little went a long way – as I still had some left after 10 days! I used it up the past few days just to get rid of it. Nothing special, just seems like a basic physical SPF (it’s tinted pink and opaque and reminds me of Pepto Bismol…hmm), and shielded my skin from the sun. Would be a good product for ladies with oily skin as it imparts no hydration or greasiness whatsover. Complex 15 Face Lotion/Complex 15 Body Lotion
Super basic face and body lotions that would be ideal for someone with sensitive, oily skin, or for really hot, humid days. They both contain humectants such as glycerin to bind water to the skin, without being greasy AT ALL, but for me I need to also have products which act as a barrier so that I can retain that moisture. Neither of these were enough for my eczema-prone skin, but I could see them working in a pinch for those who don’t have those issues.L’Oreal Nutri-Shimmer Shine Detangling Spray
I liked this leave-in spray – it detangled my hair and left it very soft without being weighed down – but I noticed that my scalp itched a whole lot less once I ran out of it. Odd, because perfume was the last ingredient listed, but I have read studies that say that linalool (which is sort of in the middle of the ingredient list) can cause allergic reactions and inflame eczema, so I’m thinking that’s the culprit. Soo…I won’t be buying this again. But it was a good, light-weight leave-in all the same – and did make my hair quite shiny!Chanel Eclat Lumiere Highlighter Face Pen in 04 Beige Moyen
So. Glad. This. Is. Gone. Remember how I said last week that I don’t believe in undereye illluminators? Yeah. I paid upwards of $40CAD to learn that lesson! I tried to use this every which way – under concealer, over concealer, without concealer…the only real use I found for it was a subtle brightening of the inner eye area. Other than that, it was a total bust and just didn’t do it for me at all. If you have hardly any undereye darkness, by all means, give this a shot – I’m sure it’ll brighten the area just enough and its sheer enough that it looks quite natural. But if dark circles are an issue for you, don’t waste your money. Also – shade range is kinda crappy, this is the darkest they had and it’s still a touch light for my skin, and would be entirely useless once I’m getting sunshine on the regular.MUFE Smoky Lash mascara
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this mascara. There were times when I really liked it, and then times when I REALLY didn’t. I think the issue was that it was kind of dry to begin with, which makes avoiding clumps and flakes much more difficult. I think the brush itself was pretty decent, so really it was the formula they need to tinker with. All in all, I was glad to put it in the ‘finished’ pile.
Wet N Wild Color Icon Eye & Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
I got this from Walmart for like, $1.99, and it was a great pencil – just the right shade and was quite a large size to begin with, so it lasted ages. I can’t comment on the lasting power because I never really pay attention to whether my brows are still looking good at the end of the day – I guess because my brows don’t *need* to be filled in, just polished up a bit. I’d buy it again if I came across it, but it wasn’t so good that I’m going to seek it out, either.MAC Lustre Lipstick in Freckletone
Ugh. Worst nude lippie (on my skintone) ever. It was much too peach and looked far from nude on me. I’ve had this for several years now, and I’m sooo happy it’s finished (though I just realized you can’t tell from the photo – oops!). I had to mix this with a ton of other shades in order for it to work. I like the lustre formulation, just not this color.
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain in In the Buff
This product isn’t ‘finished’, because I’ve only used it a handful of times, but it seems like it is bone-dry – to get any color from this (which is supposed to be a muted berry) is damn-near impossible. It barely gives off anything at all. So today I decided I’m done with this. What’s the point of keeping something that doesn’t do anything?
Helena Rubenstein Stellars Gloss in Star Camellia
When I did my ‘Beauty Stash’ list, it was a process for me to find the actual name of this gloss, let me tell you. The name on the end of the product is impossible to read, and I bought this about 8 years ago in Portugal, so I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. I found a picture and a swatch online that seemed to match, but I could be wrong. In any case, I don’t think they even make this anymore so no worries! In the package you can see that there is still product left, but the wand simply won’t get at any of it! The brush on the end of the wand is itty-bitty, first of all, and the way the tube is shaped you just can’t get at what’s left. Oh well, after 8 years I’m totally over this bright sparkly coral shade! It was fun while it lasted
Fresh Sugar Plum Lip Treatment SPF15
I’m embarrassed, yet sort of proud, to say that even though this was essentially done in December (as Liz can attest to – she took photos!), I scraped and scooped out every last bit before officially calling it quits. It wasn’t just that I liked the product – which I very much do, as well as loving the deep berry color this time of year – but for $22.50CAD, I just felt like I should make sure I get every bit of my money out of the product. Which I did I still have the Sugar Honey and the original Sugar Lip Treatments to enjoy – but don’t expect to see them finished any time soon!Clinique Glow Crazy Powder Highlighter in 03 Gold Dust (sample size)
GAH. I don’t know how old this sample is – Glow Crazy powder has been gone for some time now – but finally! I finished it! It’s too bad it was a sample size (of which I kind of have issue with as a general rule), because this was actually a beautiful highlighter (or eyeshadow!), but it had to go.
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (sample size)
I got this in one of my free GWP’s from Clinique. Black Honey is our 2nd most sold product on the counter; the subtle reddish-berry looks good on everyone! ….Everyone except me. On me, this shade is god-awful. That sounds dramatic for a sheer lipstick, I know, but honestly, I can’t get down with this tone on my lips in any way, shape or form. I’ve had this for so long just because there was nothing wrong with it. Then, a couple weeks ago, I pulled it out to try it out again after the resurgence of the Almost Lipsticks, and it broke right at the base. Woohoo, out it goes! Bye BYE!!
So – yay! Managed to get some makeup items in there, woohoo! And I wasn’t just trying to get rid of stuff in order to buy more (I know you were thinking it! ); either they finished or they were products I really didn’t care for in the least and was hanging on to them for no good reason. Out you go!
Now, lets look at the purchases I made in the past month, and see if I stuck to my guns:
1) Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel $74
I bought this the very next day after the low-buy began. See how I started out strong? I’m still very much in love with it, and I’ve never had a moment of doubt about the cost. I am nervous to see if it’ll still show up once I’m tanned, but here’s hoping it’ll make a great highlighter if nothing else! If not, then – till next Winter, my dear
2) Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Exfoliating Facial Wipes (25 wipes) $8.59
Since I tend to run on most of my lunch breaks, I was starting to feel like I really should be removing and reapplying my makeup on those days. Though I leave my run till later in the afternoon, I still feel uncomfortable at the thought of my makeup mingling with sweat and possibly causing clogged pores and irritation, even in the two hours before I get home and can properly cleanse. So, I picked up these wipes on a whim, as they contain aloe, vitamins, and no perfumes or dyes – while also being safe for sensitive eyes, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Bonus! The ingredient list is shorter than most as well, which always gives me comfort. I’ve used them a handful of times to no negative effects – I’m not sure how effective they are at cleansing, but I still feel better at putting in an effort.
3) Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in #12 First Kiss $29
Newly minted blush fiend that I am, I saw a photoshoot in the recent issue of Glow which showcased a delicate redhead with a gorgeous peachy flush. The look I was hoping for with Torrid just doesn’t cut it, as it’s more pink-based than orange. This bright apricot shade seems to do the trick, and I’m often partial to cream/liquid formulas because I find they give a more believable glow.
4) Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm $24
I picked this up in anticipation of our Jamaica trip. It’s supposed to help soothe and hydrate sun exposed skin and help prevent any damage that the UV rays cause. I have wanted to try this product for AGES as I’ve heard so, so many good things about it – but amazingly, I’ve never had the opportunity! I find it difficult to actually *purchase* Clinique when I get so many for free, but the time was right so I finally gave in. I’ll be sure to report back once I’ve given it a go!
5) OPI ‘A Roll in the Hague’, and ‘Dutch’Ya Just Love OPI?‘ $9.99 ea.
I had long planned to grab ‘Hague’ once OPI’s Holland collection came to town, but I was pleasantly surprized to find that I ended up enjoying ‘Dutch’Ya’ as well!
6) Boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF15 $58
This will replace my Superdefense as my daily moisturizer with SPF. I bought it because my skin’s been tempermental with the Winter weather lately, though after the past week or so with unseasonably warm temperatures, I’m hoping this isn’t too heavy. The cool thing I’m excited about is the inclusion of Magnolia Bark extract, which apparently has cortizone-like effects. I’m hoping this will help with any eczema issues I have on my face and help keep any irritation under control. Fingers crossed!
7) Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black $22.50
I’ve been meaning to buy this for ages but just haven’t taken the plunge for one reason or another. It has great reviews on MUA and sounds like the perfect formula for my sensitive eyes. I hope its as volumizing as it claims!
8) MAC Tendertone Lip Balm in Purring $18
I fell for all the hype about these Tendertones returning, and not wanting to miss out, I scooped up this sheer orange one this past weekend. So far, I’m not terribly impressed, but I’m going to give it a fair shake before making my final judgement. It’s not the sheerness I’m disappointed with (though it is very sheer), but the moisturization. We’ll see how it fares in the end.
Not too shabby, eh?? If you recall, my guidelines were use one-buy one for skincare/haircare/essentials like foundation and concealer, and use two-buy one for everything else (ie. makeup). Note that sample sizes are considered a half-one, so two = one in the ‘use one’ category. Also, remember that I’m allowed 5 nail polish purchases a month. Here are my totals for this month:
USED – 4 full-size skincare, 2 travel-size skincare, 1 full-size haircare, 1 concealer, 6 full-size makeup items, and 2 sample-size makeup items.
ALLOWANCE – 4 skincare items, 1 haircare, 1 concealer, 3.5 makeup items; 5 nail polish + 2 brought over from January.
BOUGHT – 3 skincare items, 4 makeup items; 2 nail polish.
So…let’s count the MAC balm as a .5 product, eh?? LOL. I came pretty close! All in all, not too bad. It’s certainly gotten easier as time has passed – most of those purchases were made in the first two weeks LOL. I will admit, there is a lot of things to remember, but thankfully I have lists upon lists just about everywhere I go reminding me, so it’s been doable for the most part. Gotta keep on keepin’ on!
Have you put any restrictions on your own shopping habits? If you have, how are you making out? If you haven’t, what’s your secret to keeping yourself in check??
For Christmas this year, my sneaky boyfriend went on the blog and did some research into what I was lemming in the holiday season. He noticed that I kept raving about the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, so he did one better: he gifted me the Ole Henriksen Truth Revealed Set, which contains a full size Truth Serum, a full size Total Truth Eye Crème SPF 15, an a 1oz size of the Truth Revealed Super Crème SPF15 (regular size is 1.7oz), priced at $94CAD. It came at a good time, because I was just running out of my serum, and I’m on the last couple uses of my current SPF day cream, Clinique Super Defense. I’ve been using the set for the past couple weeks, so here’s the rundown on this ‘truthful’ trio.
The Truth Serum Collagen Booster is the first step, and one I’ve written about in detail before. The Truth Revealed Super Crème SPF15 is described as a ‘rich anti-aging crème [that] leaves the skin with a light sheen and luminous glow. It hydrates and soothes skin while fighting the signs of aging as it firms, boosts cell proliferation, and scavenges free radicals. Truth crème is ideal for all skin types, with SPF 15 protection.’ The crème has a lovely smell, the same as serum but a bit lighter. I find the ‘rich’ consistency almost too thick, and bit hard to spread – it sort of feels gummy, and takes about 10-15 minutes to absorb. The serum felt similarly sticky (but the feeling dissipates quickly) so it must be a common ingredient. Though it says it’s ideal for all skin types (I feel like I read somewhere that it is oil-free), I think it’s better suited for combination to dry skin due to the slight heaviness of the formula – I don’t think it would be suitable for oily+ skin, or very dry. Unfortunately, it contains fragrance in the ingredient list, but its noted last, and thankfully doesn’t seem to be causing any issues for my skin at this point. It does not contain parabens.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cocoglycerides, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Schinus Terebinthifolius Seed Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Algae Extract, Pulullan, Calcium Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Extract, Corylus Avellana (Hazelnut) Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Meal Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Bisabolol, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Ceteareth-20, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Phytate, Citric Acid, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum.
The Total Truth Eye Crème SPF 15 is described as a ‘richly textured eye crème designed to renew and protect your eyes. [It's] formulated with Omega 3 extracts that nourish and hydrate to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and micro algae and tri-peptide 5 strengthen and firm. Broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen protects against sun damage for total age-defying results.’ It’s also supposed to improve microcirculation to help treat dark circles. Also containing no parabens, the eye cream has the same consistency as ‘Super’ crème but even thicker, somehow, though amazingly neither ball up under makeup despite less than ideal formula. It takes a while to absorb as well, and leaves slightly shiny cast until it fully soaks in. I found that it caused slight creasing in my undereye concealer due to how rich it is, and I suspect it has been effecting the wear time as well. Again, I think this product is better for combination to dry skin, as it is heavier. There doesn’t appear to be fragrance in this however (wise, as its to be used around the eye area!), and I notice only the slightest odor which does not resemble the other two Truth products.
Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Octinoxate, Octisalate, Avobenzone. Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycery Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Ceteareth-20, Phenoxyethanol, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Plukenia Volubilis Seed Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Allantoin, Schinus Terebinthifolius Seed Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Alcohol, Lecithin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate.
My thoughts overall are not entirely favorable. While I love the serum, the two creams don’t quite measure up. As often happens, preventative cosmetics are hard to review, as you aren’t really going to see the benefits until much further down the road. Unfortunately for these creams, I can’t say I’ll give them an extended run because the texture leaves much to be desired. While not entirely problematic, I find that it is absolutely necessary to use a primer all over and under the eye in order for my makeup to stay in place – and even then, it tends to slide off my face in a much shorter amount of time. As I noted, these products seem to be best suited for those with a drier skin type – and even then, I wonder if it’s something in the formulations which don’t allow for proper penetration? I’m no cosmetic science geek, so I can’t say. All I know is that the effect of these two additional products on my skin isn’t favorable – I’ll be keeping their use strictly to days in which I’m wearing little to no makeup.
Have you tried these products? What is your verdict?
Posted by Latoya in Alterna, Anti-Aging, Aveda, Aveeno, Base Coats, Benefit, Body Care, Cleanser, Clinique, Cover Girl, Dior, Eucerin, Eye Liner, Eyeshadow, Giorgio Armani, Hair, Hand Care, Joico, Lancome, Lips, Make-up, Mascara, Moisturizers, Neutrogena, Paul Mitchell, Phyto, Revlon, Seche Vite, Serums, Shampoo, Skincare, SPF, Styling Products, Top Coats on December 17, 2011
This post has been a long time coming, as I’ve got quite a few empties to show you that have been piling up over the past weeks. I kept putting it off as I had a handful of makeup items that were nearing completion and I wanted them to be included. Even still, I have about three more that are thisclose to being finished, but I couldn’t wait any longer. This is gonna be a doozy, so let’s get right to it. Note: In an effort to keep my inherent wordiness down, I won’t be giving my usual lengthy descriptions of each – otherwise you’ll be here till Christmas But, if you do want further details on any product mentioned, don’t hesitate to ask!
First up, we have the hair products. From left to right: Joico Moisture Recovery Treatment Balm, Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Relaxing Balm (sample), Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist (sample), and Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother (sample).
Joico Moisture Recovery: I bought this at Chatters for something like $17CAD. It has good reviews on MUA and I wanted something to hydrate my parched hair. I don’t heat style for the most part, or do any coloring or other treatments to my hair, so it’s pretty healthy but bone-dry. I don’t like Joico much but this worked fairly well – though I wouldn’t repurchase.
Phyto Phytolactum+ Intelligent Shampoo: I picked this up from Sephora last March (see how often I shampoo?) and had high hopes it would sooth my dry scalp and not strip my hair. Mistakenly I thought this wouldn’t contain sulfates (it does) – though it was pretty gentle nonetheless. But it did nothing for my dry scalp, so I wouldn’t repurchase.
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm: I was in a buying mood when I picked up this travel size sample at Chatters – I don’t know why I get these ‘smoothing’ products because it’s really meant for people who blow out their hair, which isn’t me. I know you’d like that smoothing might be helpful to tame my curly hair, but I really find it doesn’t do much of anything. This product smelled lovely but that made me nervous (due to my eczema) so I was glad when it was finished.
Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil: I had just read a couple good reviews on this and then they offer this as a 100-point perk at Sephora so I got it to try out. Again, pointless product for my hair type. Also contained fragrance so I was happy to finish it and be done with it. Can’t comment on it’s effectiveness, unfortunately!
Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep: ANOTHER smoother. I know. Anyway, this actually ended up being quite a gem – if I used this after I applied my usual styling creme, it really kept my hair soft and frizz-free. I’m not a huge fan of the herbal Aveda scent, but it’s also not a deterrent either. I probably wouldn’t buy the full size though; I find Aveda products so expensive!Next – Hand and body creams. Left to right: Aveeno Eczema Care Cream, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (frag. free), Eucerin Aquaphor. I’ve discussed all these in length here and here respectively. I’m using a different body lotion right now and I can’t wait till it’s done, it doesn’t measure up to Aveeno’s cream at all. Sometimes you should just stick with what works. I have a new tube of the Norwegian Formula at work – I really like this a lot – but I don’t think I’ll buy the Aquaphor again, it was a bit too thick and contained …. so I’d just rather not.Facial products. Left to right: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus (sample), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF15, Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild (sample).
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus: I extolled the virtues of this product here, and I still stand by my view – it was a great serum that make my skin feel uber soft and look radiant. However, now I’m onto Ole’s Truth Serum (though it’s almost finished, waaaah!) and I think I’d opt for that over this just because 1) I LOVE the scent of the Truth Serum, 2) Ole’s is slightly cheaper (by about $3CAD), and 3) I think Ole’s serum is more targeted for my age, whereas I was really using Clinique’s serum prematurely. I still think it’s great though!
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle: I’ve used this a few times in the past, and while I really like it – it leaves the skin really smooth – I think my sensitized skin can’t handle the retinol any more, which is pretty bad considering this is a very low dosage. But, for some one with hardier skin who’s looking for a great, cost-effective (it’s around $24CAD) moisturizer with SPF and anti-aging benefits, I highly recommend this.
Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild: I got this in a GWP or something I’m sure, and hung on to it because it’s great for travel. But then I realized I had all these samples and they were starting to annoy me so I began the ‘war on samples’ to mega-reduce my stash. This isn’t really the best formula for my skin, as I’m more oily, but it does the trick for an AM wash, especially in the cooler months. It contains emollients so that it doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry, so that’s a nice perk.
Now, get excited…here comes the makeup portion!!!!Mascaras etc. Top to bottom: Benefit They’re Real!, Clinique High Impact, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill, Diorshow Maximizer Base (sample), and Clinique Bottom Lash.
Benefit They’re Real!: See my initial review here. I really enjoyed this mascara and may even repurchase in the future. It was easy to use and gave me nice looking lashes. ‘Nuff said.
Clinique High Impact: Still one of my favorite mascaras – lots of volume and some length, and makes my lashes stand out. Also very easy to use. I wouldn’t recommend to those who want a really natural look however, as I’ve heard complaints of it getting clumpy (though personally I’ve never experienced this). And the $18CAD price point is much more reasonable than any other department store brand!
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill: I have been waiting to re-review this, as I have some sad news – this is the root cause of all my eye sensitivities and irritation! I’m makes me slightly disappointed (since it was great….but tres expensive, hence why I’m only slightly disappointed), but mostly really pissed off, because my eyes have been a trial ever since I used this. I blamed it on the cat (as I’m allergic), and while I am still very careful of Vegas (the cat – yeah baby!), this mascara is the real reason my eyes aren’t like they used to be. I had stopped using it in August because I fell in love with Benefit’s They’re Real, and my eyes improved – then I realized that it was going to dry up and be wasted, so I started using it again, only to find my eyes get totally itchy and messed up! I stopped using it immediately, and while my eyes aren’t as bad, they still get irritated pretty easily ever since. SO not cool. I couldn’t find the ingredients online anywhere so I don’t know the offending irritant, unfortunately. In any case, all I’m saying is that I recommend trying this out somehow first before fully committing!!
Diorshow Maximizer Base: I got this via a coupon code at Sephora.com. Meh. It made my mascara harder to apply and I didn’t see any maximizing whatsoever. I wouldn’t waste the $$.
Clinique Bottom Lash: Awesome. Seemed like the most gimmicky thing in the world, but ended up being really great. For $12CAD, you get this mascara with a mini brush that makes it ridiculously easy to apply mascara to your bottom lashes. It only removes with warm water, so you can cry your heart out with it on (or swim, or sweat) and it won’t budge. It lasted for AGES too (I know you’re not supposed to use mascara for longer than 3-4 months, but this seemed like an exception ).Lips and cheeks! Left to right: Clinique Superbalm in Currant, Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer (sample), Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash, Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy.
Clinique Superbalm in Currant: I love these balms! They’re a bit thick and very glossy, and wear pretty well while keeping my lips mega-hydrated. I’ve had this for like, 4 years now so while I’m a little sad to see it go (the shade is neutral and goes with everything!), I’m mostly glad it’s finally done! Having anything for more than like, two years just seems like too much to me!
Lancome Juicy Tube in Simmer: I read once that Denise Richards liked this lip gloss in this shade…she commented that it ‘looks good on everyone.’ While that may be true, I didn’t particularly like this shade for some reason. I used to love Juicy Tubes but thankfully grew out of that stage – it seems like one of those things to buy when you’re just getting into high end makeup so I guess the memory of being a newbie turns me off a bit lol. Nonetheless, these are nice glosses that wear well, but for me their time has come and gone. And this one in particular has had it’s time – I’m sure I’ve had this for well over 7 years! Yikes!
Cover Girl Wetslicks in Guava Splash: I bought this after seeing a makeup shot in Allure in which they suggested this gloss to re-create the look. It was pretty close, so good call by them – but I really didn’t like the formula of this at all. It was soo thin and slippery, I had to reapply it constantly! Blah. I’ve only had this gloss a year so the fact that it’s already gone is a testament to how quickly it wears off. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy: I got this as a gift from Clinique a couple years ago, and wasn’t enamoured with it as it seemed too light for my skin. However, I reintroduced it in my rotation this Fall and realized I was missing out! It gave me cheeks the best natural flush ever. I am partial to cream formulas because I like the way they leave the skin glowing, and this one was nice because it wasn’t greasy at all. It had OK wear time – nothing terrible but not spectacular either – so I wouldn’t repurchase, but I sure did enjoy it while it lasted. It went with every makeup look I’d try – can’t beat that!Unfinished but still must go. Clockwise from left: Revlon Streetwear Double-Ended Liner (discontinued), Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner in Blackened Sapphire, Lancome Color Focus Eye Shadow Quad (sample), Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss in Equinox (discontinued).
Revlon Streewear Double-Ended Liner: I brought this product up in my eyeliner post, and committed to tossing it, so here goes! I’ve definitely had this for over 10 years, I don’t know what I was waiting for!
Revlon Luxurious Color Eyeliner: Also discussed this in the eyeliner post. My mother has this too, and when she wears it (usually on her bottom lash line), it looks awesome – but since I’m too ~fragile~ to wear liners on my bottom lashes now, I just don’t get a good effect from this liner. On my top lashes its just kinda blah. So, time to go!
Lancome Color Focus Eyeshadow Quad: The shades are Daylight (the pale cream), Contrast (deep purple), Blink (khaki shimmer), and Peep (pale pink). I’ve also had this for way longer than I want to admit, and I never use it, so it’s really gotta go. I’m not really a fan of sample eyeshadow palettes anyway, they annoy me – when I get them from Clinique I always give them away. I want the real thing, darn it!
Rimmel Metallic Eye Gloss: Do you remember when eye gloss was a ‘big thing’ back in the day – around 8-10 years ago? Yeah, this was bought then. Oops! I couldn’t get it to work without creasing like crazy so I may have only tried it a handful of times. Fun idea, but just not easy to translate into real life. Toss!Honorable Mention. Seche Vite’s Dry Fast Top Coat. This bottle isn’t finished, though you can’t really tell from the photo. There’s about 40% left, but you KNOW how goopy and impossible it gets around that time!!! I kept it in my drawer, hoping for a miracle, but it’s time has come. Begone, you most-awesome-of-top-coats-until-that-time-when-you-become-absolutely-NOT-awesome-and-in-fact-a-total-nightmare top coat!!
PHEW!!!!! OMG I’m so sorry to submit all of you to that uber-lengthy post, but it had to be done. 25 items (though 8 were samples, to clarify)! Are you proud of me or what?! I have been chomping at the bit to get this out so you can all revel in my awesome downsizing abilities. What’s that you say? I have in fact replaced many of these products with new ones?! Oh, well, forget that part then, will you? The whole purpose to reduce is to buy more, is it not?? No? Huh. Well, I will keep trying, in any case. Looking at this post alleviates some of my guilt at least. ‘Till next time!!