Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thoughts: Perricone MD Chia Serum

It's no secret that my dry skin loves oil.  Any oil.  Oil for all.  So when I received a Perricone Chia Serum from my job last summer I knew I was going to save it for winter for when I get really dry and those pesky flakies make an appearance.

So I've been using the oil since the beginning of December and I have to say that I do like it.  It's hydrating, leaves my skin nice and glowy, and I can definitely say it does improve how my moisturizer performs (I didn't use it faithfully on my work trip to San Francisco last week and it definitely showed by the time I came home).

I use 2-3 drops morning and night and apply it directly to cleansed skin.  If I feel like making a serum cocktail I will apply other serums on top...then my moisturizer of choice (depending on day or night) and finally my eye cream.

It's fast absorbing and doesn't leave me feeling super greasy...which I love (I don't even like greasy hand lotion!)

The great thing about oils is that anyone can use them, even oilier skin types.  Some people like myself can layer them with their moisturizers, and some people can use them AS moisturizer.  Super customizable!  It's just all about finding which one works for you.

Do you use an oil?  Which is your favorite?

this product was provided to me by my job.  this has no bearing on what i say in my blog.  no one is compensating me for my thoughts.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Skin Saver: Dr. Perricone Blue Plasma

Just a quick blog post to let you in on something that has saved my skin.

Many of you may know that I was in a pretty bad car accident in December that left me car-less for a month, but it also left me with a broken nose (thankfully it was a clean break and was re-set on New Year's Eve so it's on the mend!)

However, this meant two things.  A) no makeup until I could safely move my skin after the re-set (which was this past a month of no makeup) and B) no exfoliation.

Being very dry, this KILLED me on the inside.  I can deal with no makeup...heck, if I could go to work every day with the bare minimum I totally would (or at least the mornings I have to be there early haha!)  But no exfoliation?  My skin is going to haaaate me.

I kept most of it in check with gentle exfoliation with a washcloth, but as you can imagine, I couldn't exfoliate OR moisturize my nose and very quickly I had a dry and scaly nose.  Boo.

Blue Plasma came out just after Christmas and thank goodness it did!  It is a super gentle, non-acidic daily facial peel that will not leave your skin sensitive or red...and it is specifically formulated to only go after dead skin cells while protecting the healthy ones AND it micro exfoliates without dryness!  Blue Plasma I love you.

I got a sample from my local Sephora and used said sample for 3 days.  No more flakes.  None.  At all. I have to say that I am won over by this (normally I am adverse to Perricone because of the high price point --this product I believe is $95-- and I am super picky about how my products smell...many of the Perricone products contain DMAE which has a slightly fishy odor to most people...this product however has virtually no scent).  I will say with a little bit of excitement that I can't wait for my tax return because this little bottle of blue is going to be mine.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

YouTube Series: ABC's Once Upon A Time: Snow White #2 (Entertainment Weekly Cover)

A quick and easy look for anyone based on Snow White's flushed cheeks, winged liner, and natural pink lip as seen on the late-October cover of Entertainment Weekly!

Head past the jump to see photos of the finished look and the video!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Foundation Frenzy - Liquid Foundations

Foundations featured in photo (shades noted from memory! haha):
Make Up For Ever High Definition Foundation (#120)
*Annabelle BB Cream
Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation (Light/Medium)
*Gosh BB Cream
Clinique Even Better (#04 - Cream Chamois)
*Smashbox Studio Skin
Marcelle BB Cream
*Marcelle Limited Edition BB Cream
NARS Sheer Glow (Santa Fe)
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream (Light)
Sephora Collection Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer SPF20
Cover Girl NatureLuxe Foundation
FusionBeauty Prime Results Tinted Moisturizer (Sand)
L'Oreal True Match
*NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 (Finland)
NARS Firming Foundation (Punjab)
Benefit You Rebel Tinted Moisturizer
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation
*Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
*Dr. Brandt Flexitone BB Cream
Maybelline Dream Liquid Foundation (not in photo)

Clearly 2012 was the year of the foundation for me.  I will tell you right now that not every foundation has been opened and/or tried as of this blog post (as noted by the *asterisks*) however - some of them I have actually tried before...I just clearly have too many foundations open and I need to clean out some of them first!

What I wanted to do with this post is to give you a mini rundown on what I like about each of these foundations (or conversely, what I don't love quite so much...)  You will find clickable links [surrounded like this] if I have a review posted about these foundations on my blog.  Eventually I hope to have a more in-depth review for each foundation.  Feel free to click through and read :)

  • Make Up For Ever High Definition Foundation - I think this foundation gives a great medium to full buildable coverage, while still looking like skin with a natural finish.  The pigments are wrapped into amino acids and what this will mean for you is that rather than the foundation sinking into skin texture, it closely mimics the skin and flexes with it as it moves - thus preventing that overly cakey foundation face that everyone runs away from.  All skin types can wear this but what I find is that drier skins need a hydrating base or a really good moisturizer underneath and someone who is very oily will want an oil control primer. (also of note: I don't normally say you need to use the matching company's primer with their foundations, but in this case the HD Primer and HD Foundation are a match made in heaven).  I personally don't use this very much as an everyday foundation because I find that (especially in the winter) because of my dry skin, it can cling if I'm not diligent about moisturizer - so I tend to save it for tutorials -- and in point of fact, I just gave my bottle to a coworker who suited the shade I had a bit better than I did...I prefer #125 on my skin.
  • Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation - A lovely, creamy textured foundation spiked with Josie's secret ingredient - Argan Oil - a balancing oil great for all skin types (absorbs excess oils and hydrates dry patches!).  Chameleon pigments make this foundation a bit different than your typical ones.  It comes out of the bottle looking like a mottled white liquid that as you blend bursts and warms to your skintone perfectly.  There are 3 shade variants available (Fair/Light good for people with a pinker undertone, Light/Medium good for people with a more olive undertone, and Medium/Deep good for people with a darker and warmer skintone).  One of my all time favorite foundations with a glowy finish that's not too shiny (oilier skins may still want to set oily zones with a translucent or blotting powder) and looks great on my skin all day.
  • Clinique Even Better SPF 15 Foundation - A great foundation for people who are looking to correct uneven skin tone!  Developed by Clinique's dermatologists, this foundation is said to visibly diminish age spots in 4-6 weeks.  I think that this may be a little far fetched as a serum or a treatment would give a better result...but I do love the finish it gives.  A more complete thought on this foundation can be found [here] but I find it's more of a full coverage foundation that feels like a medium.  Which is perfect for those people out there who want coverage but don't want it to feel too thick and heavy.  Clinique says it works best on dry-combination to oily skin.  I find oilier skin types don't always love it and may have to powder.
  • Marcelle BB Cream - An 8-in-one multi benefit skincare/makeup fusion, this is another product in a long line on the train of both drugstore and high end BB creams.  But make no mistake...this one is my favorite so far.  BB creams should be skincare first and coverage second...this is rarely the case with our Western versions as they are akin more to our tinted moisturizers just souped up with a tiny bit more of a skin benefit (and I'm sorry to say that even Marcelle's falls into this category).  It does keep my skin nicely hydrated with a decent amount of coverage (I call it a light/medium...if I want a true medium I add some powder and it's flawless!).  Interestingly, this is the first BB cream I've met with  no SPF (though if I recall, there is one with an SPF available).  It is a Canadian product though so getting it outside of Canada may be a bit harder, but if you can get your mitts on it, please try it!  I'm smitten!  [Review can be found here]
  • NARS Sheer Glow - If I could write a Sonnet to this foundation, I would.  This is my HG (or holy grail) foundation.  It's a perfect medium coverage, leaves my skin hydrated and glowing, and lasts all day with a primer.  It has antioxidants built into it and contains turmeric extract for improved skin radiance and and tone.  I have a comparison for this foundation [here] with the Sheer Matte finish.  If you have dry to dry-combination skin, please try this foundation.  You won't be disappointed!
  • Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation - A more recent addition to my *ahem, little* collection, the KvD foundation is amazing as far as pigmentation, transfer resistance, and lastability go...but it falls short for my dry skin in that it dries to be way too matte of a finish for myself (it's listed as a soft matte finish, but on me it just looks unnatural).  But this also makes it an amazing foundation for someone who has that oilier skin type.  Interestingly, please note that I've also found that this foundation is fabulous as a concealer and offers quite a bit more coverage than her tattoo concealer!  If you are a drier skin type and you want to get the most out of this because you're looking for the coverage or long wear factor, you can layer with her priming serum (or any hydrating primer - the MUFE HD Elixir is fabulous under this!).
  • Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream - Another fantastic BB cream, and probably my 2nd favorite of the ones I've tried so far...Smashbox offers you a higher SPF (35), oil control and hydration, primer built in, medium coverage that feels like sheer, AND it comes in 5 shades (typically a BB cream comes in one, maaaaybe two shades)!  Again I find that I can go either way with this BB cream and I can leave it without a powder or I can set it with one for more coverage...same goes for my oilier skinned friends...because of the nature of the oil control, you may not need to set it.
  • Sephora Collection Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 - Oil control, antiaging peptides, sheer color and sun protection!  This is a fantastic product for any age...from someone who is just starting out wearing makeup to the seasoned makeup enthusiast who just wants to lighten up a bit (especially in the summer I wished I had this when I lived in Florida those many (read: 5) years ago haha).  The coverage is light enough to not feel like you've got anything more than a moisturizer on, but it does give a light coverage to just even out any light skin discoloration.  Spots, dark circles, and heavier ruddiness will need a little more concealer.
  • CoverGirl NatureLuxe Foundation - I find that most people think that just because I have so many higher end foundations that I am a makeup snob.  This isn't the case, I just have more than enough to last me for a while before I need to buy anything myself (perks of working in cosmetics I guess)...but I am definitely a sucker for a bargain so when I saw the Cover Girl NatureLuxe foundation on sale at my local Hannaford because they weren't going to be carrying it there anymore, I had to get one.  Lightweight, blendable, soothing feeling on the skin...It's almost like the feeling of a tinted moisturizer but just a smidge more coverage.  My issue with drugstore makeup is that a) there are no testers and b) the shades are always orangey...and this stays true with this foundation unfortunately.  I can wear it in the summer, but only when I'm at my tannest as the orangey shade is more noticeable without that slight burn you get from a tan.  It's probably my least favorite looking foundation that I currently have going - but that's ok because I don't have to use it until summer ;)
  • Fusion Beauty PrimeResults Tinted Moisturizer - If you can't tell by the sheer amount of BB creams in that picture, I kind of like things that are multi-taskers.  PrimeResults is an amazing tinted moistuizer that has a sheer coverage that weightlessly veils imperfections and fills in unwanted skin texture with it's built in primer!  This also has ingredients in it that deeply hydrate and re-hydrate your skin - again with my oilier skinned readers, you may find you need a powder to set this.  I find I get the most amazingly flawless coverage when I pair this with my MAC Studio Fix powder.  Probably because of the extra hydration from this it's best on drier skin types.
  • L'Oreal True Match Liquid Foundation - This has to be one of my favorite drugstore foundations and has been for years.  While I tend to err on the side of Maybelline for my drugstore needs, L'Oreal stepped up their game and I am pretty sure this is one of the most extensive color matched foundations I've seen in a while.  Medium coverage, satin finish, and matching powders to boot (of which I will discuss that one in my powder foundation post when I do it!).  I think it's good for all skin types.  Typical to what I find in drugstore will last longer when layered with a primer.
  • NARS Firming Foundation - Sadly I do believe this has been discontinued.  Therefore, I don't feel it fair to talk about it at length.  Sorry!!!
  • Benefit You Rebel Tinted Moisturizer - A great sheer coverage foundation (because really, that's all tinted moisturizers are!) I love the Benefit products because of their quirky packaging (which to be honest sometimes is over-priced...and yes I'm looking at you box powders!) but the products are 9 times out of 10 good!  (Following this one is one that I'm not so hot-to-trot for though...whoops).  This is a great tinted moisturizer, and it does come in a lighter shade as well (aptly named You Rebel lite).
  • Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation - Light in texture, an SPF of 25, and buildable coverage don't save this foundation from my list of "foundations I want to love but for reasons [x,y,z] I just can't."  If I had to pick my top reason though, it would be that on my dry as a bone skin, it makes me look oily after 2 or 3 hours - and it's an oil free foundation! o_0  That aside, it is buildable and it is light in texture and there are plenty of people out there (and many of them are oily) who love this foundation.  I say set it well with powder and maybe it'll be ok.
  • Maybelline Dream Liquid Foundation - This is probably my favorite drugstore foundation ever created.  Big claim, I know...but it comes in a great range of shades and it is this very strange consistency that works well with my skin.  Best for normal to drier skin types (may make oilier skins feel too slick)...It comes out a mousse type consistency but then goes to almost a gel-like consistency.  This leaves my skin with a great dewy finish (on days when I feel more normal than dry, I do find I need powder) and with a primer it stays all day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

One Woman With Many Faces [Face Charts]

One of my favorite things to do is to play around with face charts.  Ever since I worked counter for MAC, I've loved taking products and literally grinding them onto the paper to create something three dimensional and beautiful on something that's a very two dimensional surface.  (By the by...back in the day that I *did* work counter, you really did have to grind the colors onto the charts...haha)

I've done face charts on all different types of pre-made charts (and I kid you not...I've even done them on plain computer paper...HARD!)...and I got some in the mail about a month ago that really take the cake.  I know that he is still working on them and improving them -- but seriously...get thee to Dustin's site and get some of these bad boys for yourself if you're a chart person!


Also, I kept the images kind of big so that when you click on them you can see the texture. you're welcome -- haha!

I think (and maybe it's just my own personal preference) that I'd almost like to not even have the eyebrow guides...When I do charts that don't have brows...or when I want an unnatural brow shape I feel like I can always see the "ghost lines" beneath...again, it could just be me being weird haha!

Lots of room to write your products - and you don't have to have itty bitty handwriting either!

I absolutely adore that he designed this with both eyes open!  The shape lends itself to many different eye shapes and look types.

The only thing that took me a while to get used to was the actual construction of the face -- it actually looks like a human!  Hehe.  The *only* reason I say that is because I'm used to working on charts where the faces look like robots.  Seriously guys...have you LOOKED at a blank MAC chart?  Or a chart from Sephora? Creeeeeeeepy.  The year there was a tin man in MAC's halloween looks, I seriously thought to myself: "Gee...whoever designed that must have forgot about it until the day of..."

The texture is fantastic for blending...I don't have to grind colors into the paper!  I also like the lashline that's drawn in on the top - I feel like it's more realistic looking once the chart is finished...

All in all, these are fantastic and I will be ordering lots (um...but probably not till tax refund time though - mama needs to pay for her car to get fixed from the accident haha) -- but I need hoardes of these STAT!

The face charts are currently $10.50 USD for a pack of 20 (limited time on this price if I recall correctly) and have the option of being pre-drilled for three hole punches.  All the information is linked above to Dusty's post on his blog about it.

I'm serious guys...go get some...these are the bees knees!

*the face charts featured in this blog post were provided to me.  i am not being compensated for this post and this does not have any influence on what i think about them -- if they were crap I'd tell you!  or i wouldn't even waste a post on them haha*