Sunday, January 12, 2014

Favorite Flawless Base Combo

This has been one of my absolute favorite foundation combinations as of late. The Revlon Nearly Naked (in 010 Ivory) and the Revlon Colorstay Whipped (in Ivory). I love the finish of the Nearly Naked but it doesn't cover as much as I'd like and I love the coverage of the Colorstay Whipped but I've found that too many passes with my beauty blender causes it to get cakey and a bit drying on my skin. I've found the way both of these products look best is to use both of them. First, I apply a thin layer of the Nearly Naked with my fingers over well moisturized skin all over. Then I take a damp beauty blender and apply the Colorstay Whipped on my problem areas and/or breakouts. I've found that not using it all over and not using too many layers allows it to cover without looking mask like. I then spray generously with a makeup setting spray.

The combo lasts all day* but still looks natural and fresh. In a perfect world, we would want one foundation to do it all, but it's not always possible. At least this duo is fairly inexpensive especially with sales and coupons!

Do you have a magic duo? Share your combos below!

* Most foundations last all day on my dry skin, just for the record

Sunday, January 5, 2014

How To Shave During the Winter and Survive* to Tell the Tale

*over dramatization

If you weren't already aware, I have super dry sensitive skin, especially on my body. In fact, when growing up, my doctor at the time recommended that I not shower everyday and when possible, take colloidal oatmeal baths. As you can imagine, shaving dry sensitive skin does not yield great results. I mean, sure, the hair goes away, but I'm left with irritated skin. Dry, itchy skin that often burns when taking a warm shower.

It got to the point this winter where my husband was making fun of the "forest" I was growing on my legs and I had to take some action.

My regular "moisturizing" shaving cream just wasn't cutting it. In my palm of my hand I added some oil and then mixed in my shaving cream and spread that on my legs. After shaving, I spread on a generous amount of Albolene and then hopped in the shower. Between the moisturizing properties of the Albolene and the steam from the shower, my legs didn't get complete dried out. I showered as normal and exfoliated/cleansed my skin with my exfoliating gloves. After stepping out of the shower, my legs were soft and most importantly, didn't itch or burn.

I know it's normally recommended to moisturize after showering, but using a protective barrier if you are prone to dryness, has saved my legs this winter!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December Empties (2013)

Happy New Year everyone! I have to admit that I've been a bit of a slacker with the blog in 2013, but I hope to turn things around in 2014 though no promises, of course! This month came to end to several products...
Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Shower Gel - This is one of the small travel sizes (I like to change it up). Isn't it interesting how tastes change? A year ago, I wasn't really a fan of shower gels and now I can't get enough!
Philosophy Purity Made Simple - I use Purity to clean my makeup brushes. I know what you're thinking. That's a pricey product, but this enormous 12oz bottle came free with a Sephora order 2 years ago and I recently repurchased another one with my Birchbox points. Plus, I depend on this to keep my Beauty Blender spotless. It pretty much looks brand new and I owe it all to this!
Missha The Style Nail Polish Remover - I bought a ton of these when they were on clearance and I recently discovered a few leftovers in my stash. This is a nice nail polish remover and I'm trying to use up random brands so I can focus on Zoya Remove+ which is my favorite of them.
Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil - I featured this in my nighttime skincare routine and loved it until I ran out. This is a great oil and left my skin looking great. I'm not sure I'd repurchase right away as it's quite pricey. I'd recommend trying it if you haven't (I prefer this over the Josie Maran for face).
Caudalie Lip Conditioner - I've really come to love this lip balm. I even converted one of my friends at work. Even though it's pricey, I've found this balm very effective. I tend to purchase when Caudalie comes out with holiday sets as I can grab the balm and the hand moisturizer for a reduced price. Love.
Physician's Formula Healthy Wear Healthy Wear™ SPF 50 Powder Foundation - I still really like this, though I've since switched to another brand for the moment for a little change. Great, inexpensive powder, although - if you're dry, make sure you moisturize well prior to using!

So there you have my December empties. What did you use up in December?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

NOTD: Cover Girl Blue Hawaiian #535 Stay Brilliant Glosstinis

I went to see the newish Hunger Games with a work friend on Friday and after we got out, we went to Target to look at some of their clearance. I found this adorable Cover Girl Stay Brilliant Glosstini in Blue Hawaiian for all of $1.48 (and a couple others in that line). This is such a weird one as it takes on more of a sea green appearance in some lighting and a sky blue in others. I had the hardest time finding the green in it when I took photographs, but I swear, it morphs!
Please ignore my cuticles as winter has been harsh on my hands. Thankfully, I'm managed to get my nails the same length which has been a trial.

What's been on your tips lately?

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Birchbox (2013)

Has it really been 4 weeks since my last Birchbox? It's crazy how fast the tail end of this year has been going, especially with the lack of time for blogging. Anyways, here's what I received in my (referral link) December Birchbox!

* Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer in Top Shelf .25oz (full size .5oz|$8) worth $4
* Number 4 High Performance Hair Care Non-Aerosol Hair Spray 1oz/30ml (full size 200ml|$30) worth $4.50
* Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Boosting Anti-Aging Serum 10ml/.3oz (full size 30ml|$75) worth $25
* Supersmile Ultimate Lip Treatment .04oz/1.3g (full size .15oz|$24) worth $6.40
* Greenleaf Candle Co Candle Cube Starlight 2oz - sold individually for $1.92

So aside from the candle being stinky, I'm pretty happy with this box! Although, I sincerely hope I don't fall in love with the serum, it is so pricey! What did you get in your December Birchbox? Anything good?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Empties (2013)

Happy December everyone! November was fun, but busy! My birthday (I turned the big 3-0), Hanukkah andThanksgiving. Lots of celebrating and lots of food. Anyway, I managed to finish a few items this month and I have some others on their way out so I think I'll be good for a December post as well. Yay!
Shea Moisture Black Soap Cleansing Shampoo - I am so happy this is done. This was so drying for both my hair and scalp that it didn't really make my scalp feel any better. It might have done some good but it wasn't evident from use and I could only really use it once a week. I will not repurchase!
ULTA Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Pomegranate Lime - Sometimes I go into ULTA with coupons and can't manage to find anything that interests me. One of those times, I bought a few of these hand soaps. At $6 a bottle, they aren't especially cheap, but a nice Buy X, get X free sale makes the price a little more reasonable and of course, there's ULTA coupons. This was mostly lime with a little pomegranate. It was a bit of a sharp smell but my husband liked it. No complaints but I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase more (though I have a few waiting in the wings).
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream - I don't think I've ever reviewed this hand cream before, but I adore it! I've tried to make a point of using more hand cream this winter and so I went through this little purse size tube and have another somewhat larger one almost 1/3 done. If you hate hand cream then you should try this one. It sinks it pretty quickly, it has a nice slightly citrus and grape scent and the packaging allows you to get nearly every drop out. A bit of a splurge but totally worth it in my book!
L'Oreal True Match Crayon Correcteur N123 - I love the idea of this pencil and as you can see, I've used the entire stick. But, the color is wrong and as I've gotten paler with the winter months upon us, it got extra tricky to use it. I won't repurchase but I've repurchased another concealer crayon that actually comes in a fairly pale shade (Urban Decay's). L'Oreal, please please please make a lighter shade in this crayon!!!!
Salma Hayek Nuance Beauty Detoxifying Facial Cleansing and Toning Towelettes - I don't recall how many of these I have used up but it's been quite a few. Decent, textured wipes but this pack didn't seem as moist as some of the others I had in the past so maybe it was an old batch.

So there you have it ladies and gents. What did you use up in November?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review: the lip slip by sara happ one luxe balm

I don't know what I was thinking when I bought this. I'm not partial to potted balms, though I've grown quite enamored with the nuxe one (I've worn it every night for weeks now and made a significant dip in the pot). But surely a company solely known for their lip exfoliation and balm products would be even superior. And then there's this nagging feeling that I should try new things, even if they are $24 potted balms. The balm smells like what you would imagine rose cake to smell like and it's tastes a bit sweet. It's sheer pink and it has fine shimmers in it which aren't obvious on the lips, nor can you feel them in between your lips as with some shimmery glosses.

As far as the ingredients are concerned, it has your standard mineral oil, beeswax and sweet almond and jojoba oil for moisture. While I found this slightly moisturizing, it's not really balmy in texture, it's more of a gloss and a slightly sticky one at that. It's best for throwing on during the day but since it's potted, it hasn't gotten a lot of use from me and it's not really moisturizing for night time. I'm pretty underwhelmed with this but I wanted to mention it so you fabulous people wouldn't bear the same misfortune I have with my poor purchase.

ingredients: Polybutene, Mineral Oil, Beeswax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Tocopherol Acetate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polydecene, Silica Tin Oxide, Flavor, Saccharin

Monday, November 11, 2013

November Birchbox (2013)

I received my November Birchbox (referral link) early and I'm pretty darn pleased with it! Inside, I found 6 products ($6 worth of points back - yay!), mascara and a chocolate covered pretzel (yum). The mascara is just about half of the full sized, making it worth $12 and covering the cost of the box. It's been quite awhile since I've been excited about trying all of the products in a Birchbox - hopefully this one delivers!

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara
Ayres Body Butter
Wei Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask
Wei Pomegranate Buffing Beads
Folle de Joie eau de parfum

Fatty Sundays Chocolate Covered Pretzel

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Empties (2013) (and August and September)

So I'll admit, I've been lacking in the empties department. At the beginning of September I was hospitalized so that accounts for the lack of posting and in the beginning of October I was on vacation. Excuses aside, I haven't finished a lot of stuff, though I am nearing the end of several products. Maybe these will make an appearance in the future November Empties post? Anyway, onward.
Without a fail, I definitely use up face wipes. Here we have the 60-wipe cucumber pack from Epielle, a 30 pack green tea pack from Epielle and various sample sizes (psst the Green Tea smells exactly like Elizabeth Arden's and even though it's fragranced, it doesn't burn my eyes). The La Fresh wipes came in an ipsy bag I think - they were decent enough but I don't think I'd purchase. Yes to Cucumbers is not my favorite but it was a free sample and convenient on our cruise. And the Kaia ones are nice but are super expensive.
The Wen Cleansing Conditioners are great for travel as you can lock the pump after opening. The only fail is the tube doesn't reach the bottom of the bottle so it takes herculean efforts to get the final drops of product out. Philosophy Snow Angel was a decent shower gel and I truly enjoy the Philosophy gels over some other brands. I wouldn't repurchase this particular scent but it reminds me of an old one from Bath & Body Works. The Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe was nice but not nice enough to repurchase given the price and the amount of product it takes for all my hair.
Woo! One lone makeup product. This actually got to the point of empty that I had trouble getting the product onto the wand so it was truly done. Maybelline Define-A-Lash Waterproof is a great mascara. It is very lengthening and holds a curl and the "brush" is thin enough so that it doesn't cause much spotting on my upper lid. Definite repurchase with a sale and when I get through some other mascaras.
The two Caldrea lotion samples came in a Birchbox. They were quite nice and light and perfect for the cruise but I don't think I'd repurchase either scent. Also, I am horrible with remembering to apply body lotion even when I need it. The Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer was really quite nice and I could see using this even though it is a product geared towards men. Light yet moisturizer, not uber scented. Quite nice, actually!

So that was a rather paltry round up of empties given the time frame. What have you used up recently?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser

The weather has gone from pleasant to freezing overnight (a couple mornings ago, the temperature was actually in the low 30s!). This means two things: 1) my skin is even more dry than normal and 2) I get even more tired than normal. I purchased Albolene at my Rite Aid a few months ago right before their store overhaul when it was 50% off. Not that the stuff isn't ridiculously low priced anyways. The big 12oz tub will run you $10-$12 at most drugstores.The ingredients are not what you'd call "good" but there aren't many and the major one, mineral oil, is not something I react badly to.

I know I needed a bit of a skincare overhaul when my skin was feeling dry and tight during the day with no makeup. While my skin is on the drier side, if I don't apply makeup, it can get a little oily (far from you oily skin folks) but it happens. So when my skin was feeling tight and uncomfortable, when makeup wipes were literally hurting, I knew something had to change. Enter Albolene. What's interesting is when I first started trying it, I was using it similar to a balm cleanser (which you can totally do) but the directions actually tell you to apply and wipe off without water.

Well, guess what made a reappearance for this method? The Shiseido Facial Cottons are actually perfect to remove this when my skin is feeling extra parched. Not as though I would purchase the cottons specifically for this product but since I have 2 bags of them (yes still), I figured why not.

This stuff does actually remove everything and it's very gentle. I haven't broken out from using it (even with the no water method). If you're dry skinned and want a no-fuss inexpensive cleanser, this is a great one.

Ingredients: Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum) , Petrolatum , Beeswax (Apis Mellifera) , Ceresin , Beta Carotene (Vitamin A)