Saturday, October 26, 2013

holiday make up sets you need to buy for yourself (2013)

Before you read any further let me say that you need to buy these NOW.  Don't wait until December because the best sets sell out fast and they are limited edition only.   And while holiday sets make wonderful gifts for others, they are a great value and make perfect investments for yourself.  Another important thing about them is that they often offer a variety of smaller sized products so that you can try a bit of everything.  Fun fun fun!

There are a bazillion choices out there right now but I am going to focus on the most beautiful and most exciting make up kits.  So......

Stila Color Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set is a cornucopia of full sized lip glosses in colors that are flattering for everyone.  Stila lip glazes have been a perpetual favorite for years, and with nine glosses for only $28 the cost is fantastic.  After all, a girl can never have too many lip glosses.

The Tarte of Giving Collectors Set & Travel Bag is an all-inclusive set housed in a gorgeous travel-friendly cosmetic case.  There is a significant assortment of day to night eyeshadows, 8 mini lip glosses, a little skincare, and their famous mascara and Amazonian clay blush.  Tarte is a natural, cruelty free, gluten free makeup line that is beneficial for your skin.  What's not to love?

Korres A Flawless Complexion:  Quercetin & Oak Essentials is another natural brand that is gentle on the skin and contains anti-aging ingredients as well.  The set includes a full sized anti-aging concealer and foundation, and a travel size primer.  Not only is it a fantastic deal but the foundation is one of my favorites out there - totally gorgeous and smooth.  

Formula X For Sephora The Twenty Two has a wide array of colors and special effects in a long-wearing, highly pigmented, paraben free formula.  Just like with lips glosses, a girl can never have too many nail polishes.  I am particularly loving the color "white matter",  an opaque bright white polish.

MAC Stroke of Midnight Smokey Eye Brush Kit has everything you need to achieve that much coveted sultry eye.  There are five high quality, last-forever brushes that come in a mod little pouch to keep them organized.  Bottom line:  who doesn't love MAC?

Smashbox Wonder Vision Eye Set is absolutely stunning!  The six color eye shadow palette comes in a choice of three different color combos, and also includes a mascara, black eye liner pencil, and cards with application instructions.  I can not emphasize how pretty these are.  Enough said.

Isn't everything enticing?  All I can say is get a move on, get out there, and happy shopping.

all products reviewed were either bought or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's website. I am not financially compensated for my reviews

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

hydrating for the winter

It's like a switch is flipped; the moment when perfectly normal air turns arid, sucking every last bit of moisture from your skin.  And we all know when that happens lines and wrinkles appear out of nowhere.  I totally believe the key to anti-aging is hydration. So if you haven't moved on to a heavier moisturizer and a winterized skin care routine, now is the time to do it.  It will involve the following steps:

#1 CHANGE TO A CREAMY CLEANSER:   Doing this will start you off right, and believe it or not will make a difference in how moist your skin stays.  My preferred creamy cleanser is REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk.  It is extremely gentle, and rinses off easily without leaving residue.  Made with botanicals, it is all natural including no sodium laurel sulphate.  A real winner!

#2  EXFOLIATE GENTLY AND REGULARLY:  You'll want to get rid of all the dead dry skin that sits on top and gives you a dull look, as well as prevents your other products from working properly. I'd do it twice a week. The best bang for your buck is Fresh Sugar Face Polish because it is gentle (the sugar is a hydrating ingredient), and if you leave it on an extra few minutes it acts as a mask too.  It is sure to get your glow on!

#3 ADD A FACE OIL:  Nowadays face oils are uber popular and pretty much every brand makes one.  You'll find that most oils actually absorb quite well.  If you have oily or combo skin use it alone or if you are dry, layer it over your moisturizer (let the moisturize absorb first). Do this at least at night and if needed in the morning as well.  I'd try Boots Botanics Facial Oil 100% Organic  because it is super inexpensive but gorgeous and refined.  It is available at Target and sells out all the time.  Clearly I am not the only one who loves it!

#4 STEP UP THE NIGHTTIME HYDRATION:  Sleeping with a humidifier on (cool mist) will make it so that you don't wake up as parched and drawn.  You could also try sleeping with a nighttime mask such as Korres Greek Yogurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial.  Spread this creamy concoction all over your face and leave it on until morning when you wash it off.  Actually most of it will have absorbed by then so your skin will look nice and plump.  Korres is another all natural brand and this new mask of theirs has taken off like wildfire.

#5 FOR TRULY CHALLENGING SKIN:  My secret weapon for the driest of skin is L'Occitane Certified Organic Shea Butter.   It feels like a balm, almost vaseline-like, but is 100% shea, 100% natural (and most products have less than 18% shea).  It may not seem like it absorbs all the way but is in fact one of the most hydrating things you can do for your skin   Despite the thickness it is noncomedogenic and shouldn't break you out.  I like to use it as a neck cream because it is often recommended for pregnant women to keep their skin supple and prevent stretch marks so I'm counting on it keeping my neck firm!

If you try all these tricks you will have silky smooth skin despite the trying times of Winter, but even one or two steps should help make a difference.  Good luck!

all products reviewed were either bought or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's website. I am not financially compensated for my reviews

Friday, October 11, 2013

marvelous mattifiers

You wouldn't believe how many clients come to me for help with their oil-control problems, especially when it involves helping their makeup last.  Well the good news is that there are a number of solutions out there, it just depends on what your skincare/make up routine is and how you want to fit these products into it.  So I have broken down my suggestions according to what will best suit the type of regimen you are inclined toward, and if you wanted or needed to, you could combine a few of these goodies.

Murad Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15 is an all-in-one moisturizer, sunscreen, and oil-control mattifier.  Wear it alone or under makeup - no muss no fuss.  There are a few similar all-in-ones on the market but I find the light weight consistency of this to be the best.  Ideally it will control oil for up to 8 hours.

Cover FX Mattifying Primer With Ant-Acne Treatment is unbelievably great at keeping your foundation in place and preventing that dreaded shine.  Also it helps fill in fine lines and pores.  I know it says anti-acne but you can disregard that bit. If you just have oily skin it will work fine because the magic ingredient is salicylic acid which addresses both oil and blemishes.  This primer is wildly popular so I can't foresee you not loving it.

FOR TOUCH UPS:  Keep a packets of Shiseido Pureness Oil Control Blotting Paper on hand at all times.  The good thing about blotting papers is that they absorb your greasiness without disturbing your make up.  These guys may be enough for you on their own but are also helpful to assist whatever oil control products you are using.  There are many blotting papers out there but even though these are a bit more expensive I find them to be the best - really, they are worth it.

Anthony Logistics For Men Instant Fix Oil Control is a men's mattifier that people of any sex can use.  Because it is initially designed for men read "extra strength".  This is an additional step to layer over your moisturizer and under makeup, or if you are super duper oily you can even use it in place of your moisturizer.  You may not be crazy about adding an extra step to your routine but this product's sole purpose is to mattify therefore that is what it excels at.

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray is the final step in your makeup application.  It sets the makeup up beautifully and prevents it from getting that greasy shine or sliding off your face as the night wears on.  Urban Decay is one of my most favorite makeup lines because they are top notch quality.  I would trust my face with any of their things so I believe you can really count on De-Slick to do the job.

all products reviewed were either bought or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's website. I am not financially compensated for my reviews

Monday, October 7, 2013

the smoothest shave gels

I am perpetually on the quest for the perfect shaving gel, but over the years I find there are a few I keep coming back to (listed below).  I have also perfected a technique for shaving that gives me a much more satisfactory shave.  And that is to use a men's badger bristle shaving brush to apply the shave gel/cream.  Not only does this create more lather but it lifts the hairs for a closer shave, in turn helping prevent razor burn and ingrowns. It even exfoliates a teeny bit.  Over all this method provides a more luxurious experience.

Body Boudoir Coochy Rash Free Shave Creme (for sexy skin) is wildly popular and perfect for shaving those delicate areas.  Although it doesn't lather at all, it gives a silky shave and truthfully does prevent razor burns and rashes.  It comes in a bigger-than-most bottle that will last and last and last.  The only down side is that, as far as I know, the only place to get it is the internet or pleasure parties.  If you happen to have a boutique near you that carries it please let me know! (available in unscented as well).

At the pharmacy, you can easily get ahold of Bikini Zone Anti-Bumps Shave Gel.  This stuff is only available in small tubes but it is extremely gentle on the skin, keeping razor burn and bumps to a minimum.  When getting ready for a special date ;-) I save it for my bikini area and use other shave gels on the rest of my body.  Also, if your underarms are unusually sensitive I see no reason why you couldn't use it on them.

Although it isn't officially a shave gel my favorite product to shave with is Philosophy Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath.  Not only does in come in a dazzling array of delectable fragrances (ie. Raspberry Sorbet, Senorita Margarita, Vanilla Birthday Cake, and their most famous light floral, Amazing Grace) but it is super foamy and gives a tight shave. It comes in a large bottle that will last you forever, so once for ounce it is quite economical.  Around the holidays Philosophy comes out with some really fun gift sets and sell my most favorite "flavor" of all:  GingerBread Man, a fresh and spicy ginger scent.

all products reviewed were either bought or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's website. I am not financially compensated for my reviews