Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Must Haves : YSL. Givenchy and Estee Lauder

In Sephora I bought a few things that I actually really like and want to share with you. The first was the Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #2 Sensual Silk, which is a medium nude lipstick with a a little bit of pink hue. The lipstick itself is quite amazing, it smells like mangoes, moisturizes and the color is a very flattering nude. I raved before about MAC's Myth, and while i still love it, this color is much better for the day time, and looks fine without smokey eyes, which is a must have for Myth. The tube is gorgeous and I feel very cool whipping it out of my make-up bag. The only problem is the price, its 34 dollars, and can run out quickly due to its silky formula. However, it is worth every penny, Lingerie Pink is also a lovely color, but for me it is more for the evening since it is very bright.

Estee Lauder, has a few fall collection and one of the lip glosses I really liked, its name is Honey Flower and the shade is of a light amber color. The gloss smells fantastic, is very moisturizing but does not have that sticky feel that many other glosses have, including MAC lipglass. The color looks quite nice with my favorite MAC Stripdown liner, but can also look great with any nude lipstick. Lastly, if you are looking for a pigmented one Honey Flower will disappoint you, the shade is very sheer and gives just a hint of color and shimmer. The price is 18, which I think is great.

Finally I bought a foundation from Givenchy which I have wanted to get for ages but never got down to it. The name is ridiculously long, "Photo'Perfexion Fluid Foundation SPF 20 PA+++" and my shade is # 4 Perfect Vanilla. The product is medium to full coverage which is build able. Overall I have been using it for a few days so my review wont be very solid. I check all the ingredients and the only one that annoys me is Stearic Acid, however its at the bottom of the list which is acceptable. Otherwise this foundation is quite amazing, its moisturizing but not greasy, feels very refreshing and smells like Bulgari White Tea (I have no idea why). The coverage is good and the color matched my skin tone well. If I experience any kind of breakouts from this I will let you know, for now everything seems fine. Read full article »

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mario Badescu Haul 2

Hey so Im back to blogging about my favorite skin-care brand, Mario Badescu. Like a maniac I ran back after recieving a few samples that I absolutely adored.

1. Enzyme Cleansing Gel - A very simple, non-foaming gel with extracts of papaya in it. I really like this product because it has very few ingredients, its non comedogenic, the smell is wonderful and my skin does not feel flakey and dry. The only problem is that as a morning cleanser its completely fine on its own, however at night when I need to get rid of my make-up I use CeraVe in conjunction with the Enzyme Cleansing Gel, does the trick without over drying.

2. Strawberry Tonic Mask - Also quite simple, but each ingredient is great. This mask contains soothing Balsam Peru (be careful some people are allergic), extract of strawberry which is full of AHA's, and Kaolin which acts as a deep cleansing agent. Overall after using it my face feels clean, refreshed and has a lovely pink hue.

3. Buffering Lotion - hmmm, I dont know, ok this lotion is great for cystic acne but for regular acne it will not work. The smell rivals that of the drying mask, but I don't mind. Overall it shrunk a large cystic pimple I had on my jawline, but to get rid of small bumps I wouldnt recommend it.

4- Glycolic Serum - OH MAN, this one is 100% a keeper. Its a lightweight gel, you use at night for chemical exfoliation. I was very pleasantly surprised, this product is great If you need to get rid of acne scars or those pesky bumps on your cheeks.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Flying and Looking Great

Today we are going to discuss, skin care and traveling, in particular how to treat your skin before, during and after a long plane ride. As you know, and most likely experienced, plane rides are not an enjoyable treat for you face and hair. When a plane is in the air, the humidity level within it is around 4-5%, (as compared to cities where the lowest is 50%) this is needed to battle corrosion (since its made out of metal). Although this is great for the plane, for your skin it means NO MOISTURE!

If people with oily skin comment on how dehydrated and dull their skin feels and looks after a few hours on board, then how do the dry and sensitive survive? Logically reasoning, if you will be flying, you must moisturize thoroughly before the flight, nowadays they wont let any beauty products to go with you, so be prepared beforehand. Secondly you should moisturize your eyes and eyeballs, what I mean is invest in a great eye-cream and put some Visine in since after every flight most people look like red eyed zombies. Thirdly if you use acne fighting products that contain drying agents, such as Isopropyl Alcohol, Benzol Peroxide, etc lay off, your skin will later on produce even more oil to combat the extreme dryness. If you are able to, don't wear make-up, I know some of you will not even consider it, but even the best make-up will end up looking dry and flaky towards the end of the trip. If you can skip the foundation and just use some concealer and blush, eye and lip make-up can be applied as usual. Next is what you should and shouldn't eat/drink in order to save your skin. Most of my friends fear flying so the minute alcohol can be served they attack it and then sleep their way through the voyage. If you are more afraid of looking terrible than flying I suggest to stay away from the alcohol, coffee, tea because all of these drinks dehydrate you even more. Water and drinking lots of it will make the trip more bearable, in addition its much healthier. Before you depart eat your vitamins, Vitamins A, C the B group and Chromium will further protect your skin and hair from dehydration and irritation. Lastly, I suggest to eat a hearty, healthy meal before you set foot on the plane, because airplane food is evil. Not only is the stuff laden with unwanted calories, but the amount of sodium it contains is unbelievable, remember sodium will dehydrate you even further. If you're hungry and cant take it anymore nibble on the bread and salad and just wait till you land, its not that difficult. After you land, use a calming mask (such as the Mario Badescu Azulene Mask) and continue drinking a lot of water for the next 1-2 days.
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Mineral Make-up

Today we’re going to discuss mineral make-up, its pros, cons, and how I personally feel about it. What is mineral make-up? The title is pretty much self explanatory, mineral make-up is composed of a select combination of minerals, such as mica, boron nitride, magnesium stearate, etc. Mica has light reflecting qualities, that gives you a “glow”, Boron Nitride increases adhesion, while Magnesium Stearate is responsible for a matte effect. A few other ingredients are Talc, Corn Starch (read my warnings about it) and most importantly Bismuth Oxychloride.

To you Bismuth Oxychloride might sight like any other chemical component, however it plays a very significant role in mineral make-up. After using make-up brands that contain BO, many people report horrendous allergic reactions, break-outs, dermatitis, and a general burning sensation in the cheeks, chin and other areas. Sounds pretty nasty right? The worst part is that it may take months to get rid of the damage, damage that you would never expect from something that screams “healthy”. Well, this very ingredient is found in Bare Escentuals, the company that made Mineral Make-up a craze in the world of cosmetics. What are the pros then? Not everybody has an allergic reaction, and secondly the make-up has a small amount of ingredients, no fragrances and it looks quite good. If you are planning to buy Mineral Make-up make sure it doesn’t have BO, even if you are sure you have no allergic reactions to it, its always better to be safe. Secondly make sure to get a great shade, otherwise you will either look dirty or have a blue/grayish tinge. Lastly, mineral make-up is not white-wash so use it sparingly, because it will usually contain Mica, slathering it on will give you too much “glow”, and the staying power will be weak.

Finally, as a last reminder, if you do decide to buy something from Bare Escentuals feel free NOT to buy ALL of the products they recommend. Some of the products and what they claim are completely ridiculous (for example the powder that you can sleep in, how retarded is that, nighttime is the only time your skin rests, AND its 60 dollars). How do I personally feel about it? Mineral Make-up is not my first choice but if I ever decide to get it I will nit-pick and find a brand that is completely hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic, in addition no matter how much you want to cover your skin its more important to heal it, so I invest more into skin-care than make-up.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cosmetic Corn Starch and Why it Should be Avoided

If you are a user of pressed powder, or powder blush here is some information you should consider, corn starch and rice powder should not be in your products. People who are prone to acne should not use powders that contain both ingredients mainly for the following reasons. Starch is derived from corn and sometimes used as an absorbent in cosmetics instead of talc (which is safe to use). However, when cornstarch becomes moist, it can promote fungal and bacterial growth. Rice powder is also an absorbent substance that is sometimes included in products rather than talc. It can cause allergic reactions and, because it is a food derivative (as opposed to a mineral derivative like talc), it can support bacterial growth in pores. Most importantly, if you are acne-prone avoid starch altogether, your face will sweat during the day and trap the starch within the pores. Although its difficult to find suitable products Neutrogena's pressed powder is safe and L'oreal's Softening Blush, both contain talc instead of cornstrarch. Read full article »

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My MAC Nude Lip Tutorial

OK. Im going to steer away from skin care (sorry) and blog about my quest for the perfect Nude, lipliner, lipstick and gloss. For me, nude lips are elegant and low-key, however, as I have realized the word "nude" does not mean the same for many cosmetics companies. For me nude, is a light pink/beige/peach color, not as light as foundation but light enough to cover and tone down pigmented lips. Before I became a MAC worshipper, I trusted drug-store brands like Revlon, Neutrogena, Maybellene, etc. For a long time I was using Revlon's Taffeta lipstick, which is a "light nude", in reality it was not. Then Revlon came out with a matte line, and with a light nude shade called nude attitude. Many called this lipstick a dupe for MAC's myth, this is also not true. First of all the two have different finishes, which is important. Myth has a Satin finish (slightly more hydrating than matte) and Nude Attitude has a very drying finish which I personally hated. Why I love MAC, is because their color collection is far more superior. Nude Attitude may be called nude, but it is quite more orange and darker than Myth. Some of you might not care, but I personally did not like the way the color looked on me. Myth is a gorgeous nude color, however for many it is, even for a Satin finish too drying. Fortunately, the color Creme d' nude is almost the same as MAC, but has a creme-sheen finish. What about liner? Nude lip liners in drug stores are either too pink, too orange, come off easily or too dark, trust me I know. MAC's lipliners Stripdown and Spice are perfect for nude lips, for me personally Stripdown is perfect. Now for the gloss, obviously since I found both lipstick and liner in MAC, I decided that the gloss should be from there too. My three personal favorites are Underage (light peachy pink), Florabundance (similar to underage more peachy) and Wildly Lush Plush Glass, this one is less sticky and looks nice on its own. Now, to achieve the look is easier than you think, I have always been more of a lip than an eye girl so I use liner, stick and gloss all together because it comes out more finished and neat. In addition, because its so light, nude lipstick is easier to apply when you have some kind of a border. So, with that said line your lips with Stripdown or Spice, if you want a more pouty look line just outside, but very carefully we don't want to look like Joan Crawford. Next, if you are applying Myth please use a lip-brush, its more convenient, if you're applying Creme d' Nude there is no need, the lipstick is more sheer. Once you've applied the lipstick, brush a coat of gloss, not too much though, smooth and you are done! Why not too much gloss? MAC gloss, if used in obnoxious amounts tends to settle into fine lines and settle into the corners of your mouth where it mixes with saliva and forms white residue. Yes it sounds gross, but many women complain about this problem, just don't use so much gloss. Read full article »
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