Monday, March 28, 2011

EOTD MAC Femme Fi & Lancome Mochaccino

Here's a pretty simple, neutral look that is actually one of my favorites.

Undereye concealer: Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller Undereye powder: None
Base: None
Lid color: MAC Femme Fi
Crease and under eye: Lancome Mochaccino
Highlight: MAC Blanc Type & a touch of MAC Phloof!
Eyeliner: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast in Blackest Black

Monday, March 21, 2011

LOTD Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick in Good-to-go

Around the same time that I picked up Benefit's Ms. Behavin', I swatched and loved Good-to-go. Unfortunately, just like Ms. Behavin', I think this color has been discontinued. I'm definitely sad to see it go, since it was such a pretty brownish-nudish-rosey color. It went with pretty much anything and felt nice on the lips. The only gripe I really had is that for $18, I expect better lasting power. I blame that on the fact that it's a lipstick/gloss hybrid, though.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Aveeno Smart Essentials Pore Purifying Facial Wash

Normally I try to test drive a skin care product for at least two weeks before I make any kind of comment on how well it works. Unfortunately with this one, I only needed a few days.

Aveeno has this to say about the product:
To get great, healthy looking skin, make a clean start. Diet, free-radicals, lack of sleep and a hectic lifestyle can rob your skin of essential nourishment, resulting in noticeably stressed skin. Formulated with antioxidant Southernwood extract, SMART ESSENTIALS™ Pore Purifying Facial Wash helps keep what's good for your skin in and what's bad out, purifying and renewing your skin with each wash. Smart skincare that knows what your skin needs and what it doesn't because:

It keeps the good in:
•Mild formula supports moisture by cleansing without over-drying skin.

And the bad out:
•Cleanses to remove impurities, dirt and makeup.
•Removes excess oil to create more balanced skin.

For $7 or so bucks a bottle, you can't go wrong, right? Wrong!

In my quest for a simple, effective skincare routine, I've learned some pretty interesting things about my skin. For starters, it doesn't like natural anything. Surprised? Me too!

Over the past couple of weeks I've discovered that anything that claims to be natural or organic just leads to burning, redness, and/or makes my skin flake (which I think is in large thanks to seborrheic dermatitis, but I'll save that for another post).

I thought Aveeno would be a great brand because they tend to cater toward simple/gentle. Not with this puppy. While it may be oil-free and soap-free and all that other jazz, it is heavily, heavily fragranced, which I think is due to the Southernwood extract that they're touting as the miracle worker in this product.

The pros? It took off all of my eye makeup, worked well by itself and with the Olay spinny brush, and didn't leave a film or residue behind. The price isn't bad and it doesn't have any SLS, which some people are looking for these days.

The cons? Ugh, the smell! And the severe burning/redness/flaking I mentioned earlier. All was well the first two days and then on the third my face looked like I'd just rolled around in poison ivy.

For people like me, I do not recommend this cleanser. For people not allergic or sensitive to natural oils and fragrance, it might be something to investigate. Might want to do a patch test or two... just to be on the safe side.

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Coco-Glucoside, Glycerin, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Citric Acid, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Oleate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Artemisia Abrotanum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Hydrolyzed Caeasalpinia Spinosa Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum..

Friday, March 11, 2011

Victoria Beckham Intimately Perfume

I'm not usually into celebrity fragrances, but I feel like there is one that's worth mentioning: Intimately Beckham by Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice. The original perfume came out in 2006 (along with the male version from her husband, David) and the duo launched another set of fragrances the following year known as Intimately Beckham Night. I haven't smelled those, but from the notes listed, they look like they're on the spicier side.

Anywho, a 1.7 fl oz bottle will set you back about $40, depending on the store/sale at the time. I know, I know. It's really cheap for perfume. So cheap must mean that it's crap, yes? No!

If you like light, powdery, feminine perfumes, then you should check it out. I happened upon it one night while wandering through Jewel-Osco. They had a display with a tester, so I sprayed some on and then spent the next several hours inhaling my wrist like a junkie. The hubby approved and by the end of the week, the bottle was mine. It's now one of those scents I wear when I want to just feel pretty and delicate and feminine. Have I mentioned that it's a girlie fragrance, yet? Just thought I'd throw that one out there one more time.

Some people have complained about it smelling like drier sheets, but I disagree, unless you have powdery/floral scented drier sheets. Then maybe. But on me, it's like a soft, velvet rose that dries into a powdery musk that is subtle. It won't gag you from across the room, which is good... but some people have also complained that it doesn't last longer than an hour. Again, I disagree. Me, personally, can get 8+ hours of wear out of it, stroll up to the hubs and go "Do I still smell good?" and he goes "Yep."

At one point or another I recall reading that Victoria's favorite flower is tuberose, which explains why she featured it in this perfume. I quite like it, too. I think it sets it apart from the other generic wishy-washy pink fragrances out there.

Besides tuberose, Intimately Beckham also features: white flowers, bergamot, rose petals, Casablanca lily, orange blossom, vanilla, sandalwood, and musk.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

EOTD Lancome Click

This is a really quick look that I usually do when I only have five minutes to get ready.

Undereye concealer: Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller
Undereye powder: None
Base: None
Lid color: Lancome Click
Highlight: NARS Tibet
Eyeliner: Random black pencil eyeliner (sorry, I can't remember!), topped with Lancome The New Black; Lancome Click under lower lashes
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast in Blackest Black

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

LOTD L'Oreal Colour Riche in Taffeta

Every so often L'Oreal will showcase a group of colors for each of their spokespeople. (Anyone remember the Aishwarya Beige craze?) Taffeta was Scarlett Johansson's "Nude" color in the Star Secrets collection a couple years ago.

Personally, I think L'Oreal has some of the best drugstore lipsticks. They're generally long lasting without being drying and the shade range is incredible. Yes, they have that typical L'Oreal fragrance, but I don't mind it. :) And since they're usually priced around $5, you can't beat that kind of a deal!

Taffeta is just your basic light, neutral pink. Like I said, it was classified as a "nude," but I think it's more pink than that.

Nekkid lips.

Sorry for the weird angle... didn't realize it until I'd uploaded it and deleted the original. :(

Monday, March 7, 2011

Free Samples?


Free samples!

Target is having a giveaway on their website ( where you can "get free samples and up to $25 worth of savings, all in a designer beauty bag."

Some of the brands dolin' out the goods are: Sally Hansen, Neutrogena, Olay, Suave, Nivea, Revlon, and Herbal Essences.

All you have to do is answer five simple questions and they'll send you a bag of goodies. I'd hurry up, though. Supplies are (sadly) limited and there's no telling when they'll run out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

I just learned about Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash last year, but apparently it's one of those underrated gems that a lot of dermatologists like (it was reportedly designed by dermatologists for all skin types, including sensitive skin).

From the Purpose Skincare website:
Clean, pure, soap-free PURPOSE® Gentle Cleansing Wash removes dirt, oil, and make-up without stripping or drying your skin like soap can. And it won't sting your eyes, so it's ideal for removing eye make-up products available in 6.0 FL. OZ. and 12.0 FL. OZ. PURPOSE® Gentle Cleansing Wash leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Clinically shown as gentle to your skin as water1, the mild formula effectively cleanses without overly drying or irritating skin.

Sounds great, right? I was super excited to try it out, especially since my old cleanser (Olay Gentle Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin) decided to pick a fight with me and quit working. I bought the smallest bottle for around $5 at Wal-Mart some time this past spring/summer and I just now have used it all up.

I used it with my fingers, a washcloth, and the Olay spinny brush and it works well with all of them. The clear gel/liquid foams up nicely and it has a light smell that kind of reminds me of hairspray. I know it probably sounds bad, but I actually like the smell.

What surprised me the most was that it took off 99.5% of my eye makeup, which to me is the truest testament to a cleanser's capabilities. I only say 99.5% because if I tightline or put eyeliner on my waterline, then it's kind of hard to get off with anything except a Q-tip, unless you want to burn the crap out of your eye by rubbing cleanser in there.

Cheap, smells nice, takes off heavy duty makeup - what's the catch? People with drier skin might find it overly drying, despite its claims that it doesn't. Also, it has sodium laureth sulfate in it, which might be bothersome to some people.

I liked it and might purchase it again in the future, but for now I have two other cleansers that I'm trying out. Plus, I tend to get bored easily and there is nothing super special about Purpose that makes me want to rush out and get another bottle.

Ingredients: Water, PEG 80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG 150 Distearate, Sodium Lauroampho PG Acetate Phosphate, Fragrance, Quaternium 15, Tetrasodium EDTA

EOTD Urban Decay Naked Palette

Here's another combination from the Urban Decay Naked Palette. For another, more dramatic bronzey look, here's a previous FOTD: link.

Undereye concealer: Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller
Undereye powder: None
Base: None
Lid color: UD Toasted
Crease: UD Hustle
Highlight: UD Virgin
Inner corner: UD Sin
Eyeliner: MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast in Blackest Black

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Swatch Wars!

Ever since I saw Taylor Swift's flawless porcelain skin in the ads for the Cover Girl NatureLuxe foundation, I had to have it. But then, once I got it, I had to put it to the test against my trusted Clinique Perfectly Real foundation.

Clinique Perfectly Real in Shade 01; Cover Girl NatureLuxe in 305 Alabaster.
Each bottle contains 1 fl oz.

Clinique on top, Cover Girl on the bottom.

Clinique on top, Cover Girl on the bottom.

My initial thoughts are as follows...

Clinique: typical "foundation" smell, neutral undertone, more coverage upon initial application, natural finish, $24.

Cover Girl: light, fresh cucumber smell, pink undertone, much easier to spread, very sheer but buildable, natural finish, $13.

To put them to the ultimate test, I wore Clinique on the left side of my face and Cover Girl on the right. I didn't wear any powder what so ever. I wanted to see each formula and how it reacted with my skin. I feel like powder would have hindered that experiment by controlling oil/shine, etc. I also tried photographing each side, but either my camera or my photography skills are lacking (probably the latter...) and you couldn't see a difference. At all.

Anyway... after 11 hours of wear, here are my final thoughts.

Clinique: Slightly cakey and creasing under my eye (note: this never happens with powder). A bit had rubbed off onto my shirt collar and you could tell the foundation was "sitting" on my skin when you looked really closely (I mean, in a magnified mirror type of close). There was still a good amount of coverage, though.

Cover Girl: Definitely shinier than the Clinique side. It seemed like it "absorbed" into my skin, which seemed to diminish some of the coverage. Not terribly, but the blemishes on the right side were a little more noticeable. Also, I worry that the jojoba oil may have caused me to break out the following day. (Since I'm still tweaking my skincare regimen, I'm not 100% sure I can blame the foundation, but I can say that I didn't get any breakouts from the Clinique side...)

Final verdict? I'm honestly still on the fence. I feel like I can trust the Clinique foundation to hold up through anything (like my wedding). But I think the Cover Girl would be perfect for an everyday "I'm in a hurry and don't want to spend the time blending" kind of look. I'm going to keep playing with the Cover Girl and get back to everyone on break-out thing.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment

Considering I'm on my third jar of this stuff, I figured I should, you know, review it...

I just happened to stumble across this stuff one day in Ulta while I was on the hunt for a great summer moisturizer. The blue immediately drew me in and I was intrigued with the idea of a gel moisturizer (I think I was in a Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel kick back then, too). So, I grabbed a 1.7 oz jar for a mere $34... and 3 jars later, here I am. I honestly think it's some kind of a record, too. Other than Cover Girl Lash Blast and Maybelline Full 'N Soft mascaras, I can't think of any beauty product that I've bought repeatedly. Go me!

H2O claims that it:
•Rapidly plumps and restores depleted skin, helping to distribute vital daily moisture
•Scientifically formulated with marine-sourced nutrients to minimize the look of fine lines and stimulate healthy cell growth
•Sea-derived essential minerals work synergistically with Sea Mineral Complex, a patented, scientifically advanced delivery system to ensure vital nutrients are rapidly absorbed at the cellular level

Pros: super lightweight, doesn't clog pores, no SPF, clean/marine scent, works well as a daily moisturizer and as a moisture mask, can be stored in the fridge for extra coolness. :)

Cons: the algae extract may aggravate some acne-prones. It's not a heavy duty moisturizer and is better suited to oily/combination skin types, or relegated to summer use only for drier skins. It's also kind of "sticky" until it absorbs, so it definitely needs to set before applying makeup over it.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-7, Glycosaminoglycans, Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Phospholipids, Panthenol, Fragrance (Parfum), Trisodium EDTA, Zinc PCA, Benzophenone-4, Linalool, Sea Salt (Maris Sal), Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Ulva Lactuca Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Methylchlorisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Algae Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate