Archive for category Josie Maran

Beauty Low-Buy Update: Month Two

Well…I’m pretty much sucking at this whole low-buy thing.  You’d think, a gal who could give up buying cosmetics altogether during Lent last year could do a silly low-buy that consequently enables her to ALSO buy up to 5 nail polish a month and 3 LE items per season?  Er, no.  Seems I can’t.  I am simply struggling to finish enough products in order to justify the amount I’ve purchased!!  I tell you, it’s becoming impossible.  There are just too many awesome products out there, it’s *sooo* not my fault!~Boo Hoo~ Enough with the whining I guess…you want to see the damage, I take it?  Check out what I bought/swapped for in the last month (reviews for products will be eventually forthcoming):

1) Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin (bought)

2) Neutrogena Moisture Oil Free Sensitive Skin (bought)

3) Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eyeshadow in Corinthian (bought)

4) Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil in Aqua (bought)

5) Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation in Warm Beige (bought)

6) Laura Mercier Full-Blown Volume Mascara (bought)

6) MAC Refined Golden bronzer (swapped for*)

7) MAC Pigment in Melon (swapped for*)

8) Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick in Nectar (swapped for*)

9) Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee in Shimmering Sands (LE) (bought)

10) Zoya Cho (bought)

11) Nfu-Oh #51 (bought)

12) Nfu-Oh Aqua Base (bought)

*For the swapped items, I exchanged for my MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot, MAC Electra and Strike a Pose eyeshadows, Urban Decay Zero 24/7 eyeliner, the Fyrinnae Shinkirou eyeshadow, and a Marc Jacobs perfume and a handful of perfume samples.  So that totals to 5 makeup items.

OK.  So I am at a surplus with my polish allowance – all good.  I’m already down one for my Summer LE quota (which I can already forsee is going to be a HUGE problem with all the amazing items coming out!!!).  Otherwise I picked up 2 skincare products and 7 makeup items.  Hmmm…let’s see how I did in the *purge* category.Last month I was kickin’ butt at using up my makeup, but this month hasn’t been so successful.  I did get rid of a couple of straggler products overall, but still…I’m disappointed.  Take a look:

Skintimate Signature Scents Moisturizing Shave Gel

Suddenly, this was finished this weekend – I had no idea I was on my last pump, but I am SO happy about it!  Shave gel = useless product.

Live Clean Moisturizing Body Wash

I used this to soak my feet in after realizing I wasn’t a fan of the generic soap-scent.  Worked well in that area, at least!  It foamed up really nicely.

Redken Real Control Crema Care (50mL)

This is a great styling lotion if you’re looking for a travel product – it holds and softens hair at the same time, but it’s a bit sticky feeling.  I wouldn’t buy the full size version.

butter London Nail Foundation ($20CAD)

I enjoyed this for the first couple months, loving how *flawless* it made my bare nails look, and how it helped eliminate VNL, but it didn’t adhere my polish any better than any other base coat, and it got thick fast.  I added thinner to no avail.  For that price tag – bye bye!

Clinique Clarifying Lotion #3 (200mL) ($15CAD)

I know a lot of people have issues with the Clarifying Lotion.  I don’t dislike it, but I’m not necessarily a fan, and if you have sensitive skin it can be a pretty harsh exfoliant.  I’d recommend the mild version for most skins, which I may try some day.  For now, I’m glad this is gone.  I got it for free, so you know I *had* to use it.

Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes ($10CAD)

I have yet to have luck with any wipes which don’t seem to harm my skin in some way.  The first time I used these, I loved how soft they made my face feel (and still with that lovely orange-y scent, yum!).  But then the next day my face seemed to be extra-reactive, and I think these may have been the culprit.  There were only 10 wipes, so I just used them on the nights when I was just TOO lazy to wash my face.  All done now 🙂

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (50mL) ($17.50CAD)

Travel size of this cleanser.  I bought it to check it out, and when I realized it wasn’t much of anything, I used it to travel with.  However, I’ve been slowly running out of cleansers and I am trying to use them all up before buying more, so I started using this in the shower daily.  It’s pretty fragrant so I worry about the effect it has on my skin – seems OK but I’m always suspicious.  I wouldn’t buy this again.

Josie Maran Argan Oil (15mL) ($18CAD)

I sadly can’t get behind the hype of this product; it didn’t do anything amazing for my skin, and I was SO prepared for it to!  I might be great in the warmer months for a nighttime product, but during the Winter days and nights, it was both greasy and yet not quite moisturizing enough some how.  Fail.

NARS Sheer Glow in Syracuse ($55CAD)

I finished a foundation!!  I can’t remember the last time I did that 🙂  I’ve spoken of this one before – I really liked it; the color match was superb, the coverage just right (sheer to medium) and it didn’t irritate my skin in the least.  I could use this on the sensitive skin around my mouth and it never caused any problems, and actually hydrated it a bit.  I can’t use this in the Summer because it’s a bit too much for my oily skin, but in the cold Winter month it was just what the doctor ordered.  I’d even potentially buy this again next year!

Clinique All About Eyes Concealer in Medium Honey ($20CAD)

– This used to seem like the perfect shade for me…but lately I found it to be a bit grey, for whatever reason.  So it was a good thing that it was nearing it’s end.  It’s pretty old too, probably 4 years+, and the sides are cracking so that I’d get concealer on my fingers when I squeezed too hard.  How annoying.  Time to go!

Maybelline One by One Volum’ Express Mascara in Blackest Black

– I know some people really enjoy this mascara, and the first time I used it I LOVED how long it made my lashes look – but it quickly got dry and super-clumpy, and I never felt like I had enough product on the brush since it comes in the package with the brush separate from the mascara tube to begin with.  I dunno.  It got old quick, literally 😛

Buxom Mascara in Blackest Black (sample)

– I received this back during the Sephora opening, and only started using it about two months ago.  Could be because it was older, but it just never gave enough *oomph* for me.  It was absolutely AMAZING for getting every lash and for not clumping, ever, but it almost somehow faded throughout the day and my lashes seemed to get more and more puny as the hours wore on.  I’m not into the au naturale look with lashes so this is not for me.  And NOT Buxom by any means!

Clinique Surge of Color Lipstick Palette

– I got this in a gratis or through a school or something…and it’s SO not for me!  Not only am I not a huge lipstick wearer, I don’t wear ANY of these shades, and I get irritated having to use a lip brush every time I want to apply it.  No thanks man!  I had this in a drawer at work just collecting dust – it’s time it kicked the bucket.

Annabelle Lipliner in Spice and Smashbox Sheer Lip Pencil in Smashing Content

– I think I picked up the Annabelle liner looking for a recreation of MAC’s Spice liner, which I heard a lot about.  Whether or not they’re dupes, I dunno…I barely used this because a) I just don’t use liner, and b) it was a muddy color on my lips.  Boo.  I’ve had this for like, 10 years – why am I keeping this kind of crap!  BEGONE.

The Smashbox lip pencil, well…it’s sheer, and its a lip pencil.  Not. For. Me.  TOSS.

MAC Gleam Lipstick ($17.50CAD)

– I went through this kick a few years back where I wanted that pale nude-lavender lip look (see my post with Keri Hilson’s look) and this was the shade I picked up thinking it could help create it.  Uh, no.  This is like a pale silvery-beige-purple sheer lippie that makes me look dead.  I tried mixing it with other shades to make it work, and I could, but good gosh – I don’t want to have to work so darn hard!  It’s going, I can’t deal with it any longer.  And it looks ugly in the tube.  I hate when my makeup gets ugly-looking. GET OUT OF MY LIFE.

MAC Venetian Lustreglass ($17.50CAD)

– A couple years ago I had my makeup done at MAC for a Christmas party, and this was part of the look.  It looks fantastic then, and then…never again.  It’s too much of a blue-based red, and because it’s more on the sheer side, it looked weak as well.  I am the most proud of this getting tossed – I mixed this with every friggin’ lippie I could to get rid of it, and hallelujah – success!!  I could probably get a couple more uses out of it, but NO.  NO, I REFUSE.  I AM DONE WITH YOU.

So….yea.  Getting a bit angry there, sorry!  It’s just that those items that were long overdue to get the boot and it was driving me insane that they were hanging around forever.  I hardly have any of those kinds of items left now though, sa-weet!  …Except that means that I have very few products that are going to get used up any time soon, which means…very little allowable purchases for awhile (supposedly – hopefully I get some willpower this coming month).  DANG.

Anyway, lets do the tally:

Limited Edition (Summer) – 1 of 3

Acquired – 9 (2 skincare, 7 makeup)

Got Rid Of – 22 (7 skincare, 1 hair, 14 makeup)

Skin- and haircare don’t even really warrant discussing – I think I’m always going to have more going out than coming in (although…how is that even possible?  Hmm…eventually it’ll be one to one I guess) – but on the makeup side, I managed to achieve my use 2, buy 1 guideline by the skin of my teeth.  I’m going to be up-front – I pretty much ransacked my stash to see if there were any items I didn’t want or even like and got rid of them just so I could ring in on the level.  I know I need to strap down and really take this more seriously; the whole point of engaging in this challenge was to use and appreciate what I have…and lately I feel like I’m just chasing after the next thing and the next, and barely even registering what I’ve gotten.  Which is a terrible habit to get into, and more than anything else I want to stop that cycle.

Next month, I PROMISE to do better!  And hold me to it – there’s no point in engaging in another 9 months of this if I’m just going to continue on the same way I always have.  My arse needs a good kick sometimes!

How do you keep your purchases in check?  What are your suggestions on how to truly slow down and appreciate what you already have, and resist the siren call of new products?

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By George, I Think I’ve Done It! My Near-Perfect Skincare Regime

Over the past few months, I’ve been researching products and tweaking my skincare regime, trying to streamline it as well as find effective products that don’t irritate my sensitive, eczema-prone skin.  While there are still a few items I’d like to incorporate, for the most part I think I’ve successfully found a system that works to effectively cleanse my oily skin, keep it  smooth and soft, and which doesn’t cause eczema flare-ups (fragrance free is a must) – all while preventing aging as best as possible.  While I’ve had good success with all of the products I’m about to show you, note that everyone’s skin is different and requires (and tolerates) different ingredients and treatments, so these are just some that work well for MY skin and it’s particular traits.  Nevertheless, I thought it might be handy for others who have similar concerns or for those looking to try a new product 🙂

First of all, a quick description of my skin (if you aren’t already familiar): Oily, but not overly so – gets shiny in the t-zone by mid-day and on cheeks closer to my nose.  Blotting once a day is necessary.  Pores are slightly visible on cheeks and nose, but not a concern.  Break outs are infrequent, though the odd pimple may occur every month or so, and high stress can cause consistent breakouts.  If breakout is severe, scarring may occur (seen as dark spots).  Can have dry patches (particularly on forehead, around mouth, and jawline) due to eczema; sometimes scarring (seen as lack of pigment) results.  Skin around eyes is normal, very few lines, and has recently become somewhat sensitive and can have dry patches at outer corners.  Little, if any signs of aging overall (yet!).

OK!  So now, here’s the rundown of the products that are floating my boat as of late (oh yeah, and by the way – this is gonna be a wordy post, so get comfortable!):

CleansersMAC Cleanse Off Oil, Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser with Botanical Blast

Currently, for my morning wash I’m just using up the last drops of my Purity cleanser from Philosophy to cleanse my skin.  When that runs out, I’m unsure if I want to use the Boscia both day and night, or find something else for the morning.  I also have Philosophy’s The Microdelivery Wash, which I specifically bought to use in the AM – but I suspect its too harsh on my skin and was causing eczema flare-ups, so I’d feel more comfortable finding something else.  Some days I don’t even wash my face in the morning if I feel like its a particularly cold and windy day.  Likely I’ll find a creamy cleanser just to rinse off the night’s product/sebum but that will cushion the skin from the cold.

At night, if I wore a full face of make-up, I’ll use the MAC oil (which I’ve reviewed here) to remove it first, and then go through my normal cleansing routine with the Boscia.  I picked up the Boscia cleanser a few weeks ago, and have only started using it last week.  It’s supposed to ‘purify pores and bolster skin’s natural defenses against irritations and reactions,’ and does not contains parabens, sulfates, or fragrances – hello, this product was designed for me!  I’ve used it enough to determine whether it will or won’t work with my skin, and it’s a definitely winner.  It comes out of the pump sort of with an oil-gel texture, and then foams when applied to a wet face.  The foam is one of the most luxurious I’ve felt, its so creamy and smooth and doesn’t feel like it’s stripping my skin at all – but when I rinse, I feel perfectly clean with absolutely no residue.  I love it!  It’s a pleasure to use each evening.  I just wish it were in a bigger container (only 5oz) – another reason why I want to have a separate day cleanser, because I want this to last!  At $32CDN a pop, it’s not exactly the cheapest cleanser ever.  But well worth the price for the way it feels and works.

Daytime Moisturizers/TreatmentsOle Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster, Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer SPF25 (Combo-Oily to Oily), Clarins Sun Control Eye Contour Care SPF30

After cleansing in the morning (if I do), I apply Ole’s Truth Serum to my entire face and neck (previously reviewed here).  I leave it on for as long as I can to let it penetrate before adding Clinique’s Superdefense SPF25 moisturizer on top.  Though I’m starting to feel like its silly to use a separate SPF product for around the eye, I use Clarins Sun Control eye cream every day.  As it seems like a lot of products cause irritation to my sensitive eye area now, I think it’s better to be safe than sorry, and this doesn’t cause any issues whatsoever – and it lasts for freakin’ ever!!  This is my second tube and I’m sure I’ll have it for another year (or until the expiry runs out).  I got two years out of my last one; for about $30, I’ll take it!  That’s like $0.04 a day (for those who like to do the math like I do :P).

Nighttime Moisturizers/TreatmentsClinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer, The Body Shop Wise Woman Eye Cream

Nighttime is a pretty quick affair!  After cleansing, I just slap on Clinique’s new Turnaround moisturizer, and add a dab of The Body Shop’s Wise Woman eye cream and I’m good to go!  Eye creams have got to be the best ever – people have a hard time shelling out what feels like a lot for such a small jar of product, but they last forever!  I’ve had this one since probably this time last year – phew!  It’s gotta be nearing the end, though I can’t tell.  Once I finish this up, I’m going to move on to the bottle of 100 Percent Pure Coffee Bean eye cream I got from eBeauty last month (reviewed here).  Mainly I’m looking for a product that’ll help alleviate darkness (next to impossible) and which contains antioxidants to prevent aging.  The 100 Percent Pure product is actually better suited to my needs, but I read on MUA that the Wise Woman cream was pretty stellar.  It’s supposed to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, hydrate, and smooth the skin around the eyes by ‘filling in’ lines via cotton fibers. I do like it – it hydrates nicely and I haven’t seen any increase in lines around the eye – but it’s a bit of a premature purchase considering who it’s actually designed for.  Great price though, at $24CAD (15mL).

ExtrasComplex 15 Daily Face Cream, Josie Maran Organic Argan Oil Moisturizer, Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

These are products that I use semi-regularly, but not every day.  The Complex 15 moisturizer is a great drugstore basic that I use if my skin is being reactive, or if I’ve done a treatment and need something no-frills to avoid creating a reaction.  It doesn’t contain lanolin, which I’ve recently discovered can cause allergic reactions to those who are also allergic to wool such as myself (as it is a wool-derivative).  You learn something new every day.

The Josie Maran Argan Oil was going to be my antioxidant ‘serum’ (as it’s rich in Vitamin E) but then two things happened: 1) I received the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and fell in love, and 2) I realized that this Argan Oil is a bit to rich for my skin to use on a regular basis.  So, how I use it now is on the weekends, usually Sunday, I thoroughly cleanse my skin and then apply this all over my face and neck as sort of a treatment, to really hydrate and nourish my skin.  I try to avoid wearing any makeup on top as well – which works as this oil kind of gives you a great, healthy glow so that no makeup is really needed.  This is a travel-size bottle and it cost $18CAD for 0.5oz, which is a bit pricey for the size, but you don’t need to use a whole lot, and for my purposes it should last a while.  Jury’s out on if I’ll repurchase, however.

I picked up the Queen Helene mask well over two years ago, when I was in Vegas.  I had read great things about it on MUA, and I was experiencing a lot of oiliness and a few breakouts, so I thought I’d pick it up.  It was super cheap, like $4.99US, but I’ve never seen it anywhere here in Canada.  In any case, it’s just your standard clay mask I think, nothing terribly special, although it’s fairly gentle so I don’t feel sensitivity after using it and it doesn’t make me feel as dry as the Sahara, so that’s a plus.  For the price I don’t mind either way, though it’s lasted me SOOO long (I use it about once a week just on areas of oiliness/breakout) – I’m just sort of done with it now.  But I don’t want to toss it just yet.  If it’s not finished by next Summer, out it goes.  I’ll be time for a new oil-absorbing mask by that time!

So there you have it, the full low-down on my skincare regime!  There are just two products I’d like to add eventually (aside from a morning cleanser) – one, REN’s Glycolactic Renewal Mask, which I’ve had a few samples of and is absolutely AMAZING – results in baby soft skin, with absolutely no irritation whatsoever; and two, a retinol product to use at night (which will likely replace the Clinique moisturizer as I don’t think the two would get along well).  Retinol is one of those ingredients that seems to have stood the test of time in the skincare world – years later we’re still hearing that it is the be-all end-all in terms of fighting off aging and repairing existing damage.  Sign me up, please!  I just want to find an affordable option that is also effective…so far I’m coming up empty-handed.  I won’t give up the search though!

I’d like to note that what you see in this post is almost my entire skincare ‘wardrobe’ (so to speak) that I have!  I’ve really pared down.  Aside from a small handful of samples which are nearing completion (YES!), I only have a few other unmentioned products, which were excluded as I do not currently use them for various reasons.  I have another serum (Clinique’s Turnaround Concentrate, which I got free and am saving for warmer months), two other masks (Pangea’s Japanese Matcha Tea Facial Mask, and Korres Yoghurt Face Mask, both of which I like in theory but which may or may not irritate my skin – the Korres is up for swap), the Philosophy Microdelivery Wash (which is up for swap), and Kiehl’s Micro Dermabrasion Scrub (which I received in a swap, have used only a handful of times, and may put back up for swap – scrubs are too irritating for me!).

Ok, end ramble…now!  What do you think of my regime?  Any products you’ve tried and loved/hated?  Any suggestions on products to incorporate/check out??

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