Tag Archives: masks

This or That……

13 Aug

I have been studying and reviewing glamour and skin care products for over ten years now. I have tried a LOT of things. All different things too, from head to toe. As the cosmetic industry evolves, so do the products. New ingredients and formulas can make your favorite life savers almost obsolete. Of course, that does not mean you have to go out and buy every new product that has just been released. It can, however, give you other options depending on what you feel you might need or may want to improve. This can be especially important when you have sensitive skin. Something may be okay one day and then cause irritation the next. You need a back up. You need alternatives.

You also must remember, though, that many skincare targeting products can take up to 6-8 weeks to show any improvement in that area. Try to give the products you are choosing time to work the way they are supposed to. If you notice something new is working better than your previous product, hooray for you! Go ahead and switch if you want. But do not forget your previous faves. You may need to fall back if something in your routine goes off the rails.
Here is a list of my skin care “this and that’s” which have worked their way to the top of the list over the years, as well as some that are super new that I am loving right now. Especially with summer causing my skin to become finicky depending on the heat and humidity. It is really important to have products that are lighter and gentler close by. Alternatives are a must, and here are mine:

CLEANSERS

MAC Cleanse Off Oil – A perfect oil cleanser that loosens up everything from foundation to waterproof mascara. I apply it all over my face with a circular motion then remove it with a pre-moistened cleansing cloth. It comes off easy and my face is soft and clean. ($24)

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Banila Co. Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm – This balm is the bomb! Packed with healthy skin ingredients, it feels like a light-weight gel. It melts from the temp of your body, loosening up any daily makeup or dirt. Rinse with water, micellar water or a wet face cleaning cloth to remove thoroughly. ($19)

SERUMS

Skin Inc. My Daily Dose of Glow – Just a small amount on your fingertips is enough to treat your face to what it needs each day. Pink and blue “bubbles” pop open to fortify your face with Vitamin A, Chlorella extract to combat damaging free radicals, and hyaluronic acid. This instantly combats aging and calms the skin while hydrating and brightening your skin. Light weight and gentle for all skin types. ($65)

LUE Balance by Jean Seo – This is a very thin serum that helps to hydrate as well as calms the skin from incidental irritants. If you want to use this with a heavier targeting serum, put LUE’s on first. It is thin and easily absorbed into the face without a heavy greasy feel. It also is a great base to minimize pores while still helping to restore optimal moisture retention. ($15)

TwinMedix Pro:Essentials E5 – I have been using TwinMedix Skin Care for over 5 years and I cannot tell you how amazing my skin has become because of it. Its medical grade vitamins keep your skin looking amazingly young. The E5 is formulated with pure vitamin E to help soothe, protect and heal & protect damaged skin. It’s the perfect last layer before your moisturizer. ($90)

TONERS

Pixi Glow Tonic – I had stopped using toners many years ago. A waste of time, I thought? Not so. Toners have been reformulated over the years and are now an essential part of a skincare routine. This is my daytime toner because I like the way it removes the last traces of dirt and cleanser, getting the skin its cleanest before you apply your serums. Filled with skin brightening natural extracts, this product gives your face a nice, natural glow. ($18)
Ulta Watermelon Facial Mist – I admit it, I am a sucker for anything watermelon scented. I have been since I was a kid! Even on “no makeup days”, a spritz of this will help keep my skin fresh and hydrated. Need a quick cleaning? Spray the mist on a cotton ball and go over your face to give it a quick detox. The watermelon extract balances the skin’s hydration while giving you a scent you will absolutely love! ($10)

MOISTURIZERS

TwinMedix Pro Refine Moisturizer – After YEARS of oily skin, I just thought my skin would never need anything with any type of moisturizer in it. Well, that was wrong! First, maturing skin definitely needs some type of moisturizer no matter what condition my skin is in. Second, there is a BIG difference between moisturizer and hydration. It is good to use products that give and create both. Not only is this moisturizer great for all skin types (especially sensitive skin) but it also gives you a nice, even matte finish to your face. A must have in my vanity. ($18)

Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream – Even with all of the products that I have been able to try and use over the years, I am still reminded that money can be a deciding factor when purchasing makeup and skin care. The Sunday Riley brand is known for how good it hydrates and pampers your skin, but many see the price tag and shy away. I get it. I definitely get it! I was lucky enough to get TWO small sample jars of this moisturizing cream in one of my subscription boxes over the winter, and it came at the perfect time. It is more for dry, mature skin. But when my face is dealing with dry, tight skin from the weather, indoor heat, or cold winds… this is the pampering my face needs. ($65)

*H2O Hydration Oasis (Honorable Mention)* – In the summer (especially this year), it can feel too hot to wear any makeup. That does not mean that your skin should be neglected. This gel moisturizer goes on cool and extremely light to replenish much needed hydration without it feeling heavy on your face. A couple of dots is all my face needs to keep it smooth and dewy. It is also a great base to add a bit of my mineral foundation to so I can blend it together for a slightly tinted skin hydrator without that sweltering makeup feeling.

MASKS

Sand and Sky Australian Pink Clay Pore Refining Face Mask – There is something special about taking the time to give your face a pampering session. Because clay is a great ingredient to help reduce oil on the face and helps to tighten pores, this is a nice mask to use in the summer to keep your skin in check. Apply it to a clean face, let dry, then remove it by splashing it off in the shower or sink. Your skin will feel firmer and give you a wonderful glow.

Hey Honey Sweet Treat Wild Berry & Honey Yogurt Recovery Mask – Packed with tons of antioxidants from dark skinned berries, this creamy mask not only gives you a boost of hydration but it also contains the healing properties from the honey to build your skin’s protective barriers as well as restore its elasticity. Added Vitamin E also helps to heal and restore your skin’s moisture balance from this 15-minute pick-me-up treatment. ($48)

EYE CREAMS

TwinMedix Pro:Refine Eye Corrector – I think many of us are waiting for that love all, save all, spend all eye cream that will bring our eyes back to looking like they did when they were 19. When it comes to keeping your eye area looking young, you need to look for good ingredients. After that, however, it is all on you. Consistency is key. This cream comes in an easy to dispense bottle and the results were noticeable to me in just two weeks. The skin is lighter under my eyes, has helped to reduce the fine lines in the corners as well as plumps the areas were deep lines tend to settle. This quick-absorbing light cream is perfect for anyone and works during any season. ($35)

Soroci Spot Light Eye Cream – Here is another little gem that was found in a monthly subscription bag and now has become a mainstay in my daily routine. A little goes a long way when using this cream that is packed with various peptides to give the area around the eye elasticity to help avoid “tightening” skin that can cause wrinkles. It does not bother my eyes, even wearing contacts, and its skin-toned cream goes on translucent giving the eye area a nice smooth look.

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This may seem like a LOT to process when it comes to finding the right products that work with your skin type, the results you are looking for, and the ingredients you may or may not be able to use. As always if what you are using is working? Feel free to stick with it. You need to remember, however, that products and ingredients are constantly evolving, some giving you even better results you may be getting now. Do your research, do not hesitate to ask for a trial size if you want to see how a product works, and read reviews. Including mine! Hopefully, you will find the latest skin care items that can keep your face looking amazing, becoming the perfect canvas for the look you want to achieve!

Sometimes You Gotta Mix ‘Em Up….

24 Mar

imageIn the glamour world, very few things stand alone. Oh sure, you can have that über gorgeous red carpet dress that turns the heads of every status photographer on the runway, but the fact remains that the hair, makeup, jewels and shoes all play a part in that outfit being a front page headline.

That simple fact can also play a part in everyday looks for anyone. Whether you are a 9-5 office worker, a stay-at-home mom, an ever-scouting fad writer or an out there/have-your-own-style tattoo shop manager, layering fashions, accessories, skin care ingredients and makeup items can move a simple daytime look into the WOW! category with a couple of easy steps.

Here are a few to get you started. Following the bouncing ball:

image**Skin Care**-Washing, treating and moisturizing are, nowadays, the bare necessities. If you AT LEAST do that? You’ll hold your ground. But why not combine a few skin-loving ingredients to treat your face to an experience that will multitask with just a few natural, easy to find things. Because my face tends to be a bit dry in the winter, I tend to make my own cleanser/masks to get moisture and anti-aging properties from natural ingredients for the best results. It’s actually simple…

1. Combine 2 tbsp of a mashed overripe banana, 1 tsp raw honey (local is best), 1 tsp heavy cream, 1/2 tsp instant coffee & 1/4 tsp white sugar. (This may sound like a lot, but think ahead: you can freeze extra overripe bananas in the freezer, buy the instant coffee once to use in other things as well, and substitute powdered milk for heavy cream for longer shelf life.)

2. Mix all your ingredients EXCEPT the sugar till the consistency is a bit thick and the coffee has dissolved. Then add the sugar last.

3. Begin to rub it onto your face in small, circular motions. Go over it a few times, adding a bit more each time.

4. After about 5-10 minutes, wash off with warm water & a gentle cleanser (like Aveeno’s Foaming Face Wash)

5. Pat dry.

Whala! Instant face treatment with a combo of fresh ingredients. Your skin is clean, moist, soft and treated. Easy mixing, right? Now, let’s think about what you just did: *Bananas naturally cleanses while hydrating & adding anti-aging vitamins into your skin; *Raw honey is a natural healer and will help heal fines lines due to small skin cracks and stretching; *Heavy cream is loaded with moisturizers and antibodies to fight infection and environmental skin damage; *Instant coffee has just enough caffeine to constrict blood vessels, even your skin tone and awaken tired skin; *White sugar is a gentle exfoliant that will remove dead skin cells and allow the other ingredients to work on the next active layer.

Kind of all makes sense, huh? It’s not a lot of work and if you refrigerate the leftovers you can use what is left daily for up to a week. There are so many ingredients you can add or substitute if you want other skin problems targeted. Tip: Don’t like the way the bananas turn brown in the fridge? Use Stage 1 baby food bananas. They last longer, don’t turn brown and the little bit of lemon juice that is in them helps even out your skin tone too. Baby peaches are good to soften skin. Oatmeal powder can reduce pore size. Yogurt has natural bacteria to help fight acne and breakouts. (Click here for other ingredients and recipes that can help your skin type.)

image**Mascara**-Any YouTube video will tell you that you should wear between 8-10 coats of mascara for drop dead looking eyes. Ummmm… no offense? I don’t have time for that. And it never looks like the pictures anyways. So what’s my layering trick for great, long lashes? It’s kind of simple and doesn’t need a lot stuff. But you will need 3 different mascaras:

1. Get a good mascara that has a great comb wand. This will enable you to coat each lash for length and keep them separated. Plus you can get the little innie lashes with a pointed brush. My go to brand? Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real!” Mascara. (Sephora, $24)

2. Next, when mascara is completely dry, curl them with a eyelash curler. None specifically, just make sure you are comfortable using it and it doesn’t pinch your eyelid or pull out any lashes.

3. Another coat of mascara. This time use one that lengthens and keeps the separated but begins to add volume. Again, a good wand is important. A comb is good again but can be one whose “bristles” are tighter together. I really like Buxom Lash Mascara. It keeps them fanned with a bit of thickness. (Sephora, $19)

4. Last step? One coat of a thick foofy brushed waterproof mascara. Lock in that look and keep your butterfly eyes looking smudge-proof all day. There are always new ones on the market and I try them before mine dry out and get old, but I’ve always had great success with Lancôme’s Waterproof Hypnose Drama Mascara.

Don’t get scared away by my suggestions of department store brands. I have had great success as well with drugstore brands such as Rimmel’s Scandal’Eyes Show Off Mascara, Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline, and L’Oreal Power Voluminous 24hr Mascara. Each is easy on the wallet but still layer-able to get the look you want.

image**Lips**-Maintaining a good, even lip tone with color, gloss, or both will take a little getting used to. The fact is, I don’t have time all day to constantly reapply an entire color routine on my lips. And between chatting all day and drinking coffee, it stays everywhere but on my lips. It has taken some time to get a good routine down, to maintain a lip look that will only need a touch up now and then. But you’ve got to trust me to play with this till you get the look/color you want. Ready?:

1. Exfoliate your lips with 2-3 drops of olive oil and a pinch of white sugar. Dab it on your lips then roll them back and forth so the oil penetrates and the sugar takes off any dry skin. Wipe off excess sugar with a tissue and blot excess oil.

2. Outline your lips with a neutral lip pencil. A great find is Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lasting Finish Pencil Lip Liner in Nude or Avon’s Glimmersticks Lip Liners in Simply Spice or Pink Cashmere.

3. Next time you are shopping, hunt and find a packet of unsweetened Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid and/or Cherry Kool-Aid (if you find other flavors, grab them. They are pennies and can be combined for great shades.) Using a Q-tip, dot a little bit of the powders on your lips, combining to achieve the color you want. If you have to add a drop of water to the other end of the Q-tip to help blend, that’s fine. Just add evenly so you don’t have one lip one color, one lip another. When done, let sit & dry for about 5 min. (If you prefer to just use one flavor, that’s fine too.)

4. Using a lip brush, apply a small amount of a good balm or gloss to keep lips soft. I prefer a balm, as glosses can get oily and transfer more easily giving your color less stay power. My fave right now? Chapstick’s Cake Batter formula. Yum! If you like a bit of frost to your shade, Nivea has a “Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care” which tops off for a nice, long-lasting sexy frosty shade while keeping lips soft & smooth.

5. Carry a gloss with you that matches today’s Kool-Aid shade in case of early fading or blotchiness or for an extra hint of colored shine.

If a stain isn’t your thing, try to find a ONE STEP lipstick with mega-stay power to keep your lips bright & soft. It won’t last as long but will buy you time in between lip breaks. A good find for me? New York Color Expert Last Lipstick. I find it lasts longer than any tube lipstick I own and the price is a steal.

So there you have it. Layering to get the look you love and the stopping the clock of aging. (Okay, not really but we can sure try to slow it down!) Good luck with these suggestions and please–PLEASE!–share if you have any of your own!

Next time? I think we will tackle eye liners, sweaters and….let me think on it.