Updated Face Cleansing Routine

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Monday Everyone!

This post if going to be half face routine, half review of The Body Shop's Tea Tree line of face cleansing products, enjoy! Comment or email if you have any questions :)

About two months ago I was on the hunt for a cleanser to put my skin in check and clear up any unwanted acne that I had recently been experiencing. I asked around and my cousin purchased the Tea Tree set from The Body Shop and told me that it was working amazing for her skin. She wears a great deal of makeup like I do on a regular basis so I figured I would give the products a shot. At the time they were having a sale of buy 3 get 2 free. So I purchased the Foaming Face wash, the Blackhead clearing scrub, Toner, Face Lotion and the Mask. I have been using these products for the entire 2 months and I would say the only things worth purchasing again are the toner and the mask, which is why they are now apart of my routine. The foaming cleanser did not take off my makeup the way I had hoped and the scrub was hardly scrubbing anything off. I like my scrubs to be filled with little tiny beads so they really work their way into my skin. This scrub had very few beads and they were sort of large and seemed to not be able to do the job I wanted them to. Also be warned that this entire line burned/tingled my skin when I applied them, especially the lotion. To me it was extremely drying and when applied on top of blemishes it burned so bad I almost couldn't take it. I would say the lotion was my least favorite purchase of all. However, I did fall in love with the toner and the face mask. The toner leaves your skin feeling amazingly fresh, but also it isn't too drying. Once I wipe my skin with it, there is still plenty of moisture left so that I am not applying my moisturizer onto dry skin. Also the mask is amazing, it tingles the skin in a good way and feels very refreshing. Once removed it leaves your skin feeling clear and super soft.

Since I was really disappointed with the cleansers I started rummaging through the drawers in my bathroom to see what else I could use to wash off my makeup and I came across a travel size bottle of Purity by Philosophy. I used this product years ago and I do not remember why I switched cleansers, I forgot how amazing it is. It takes off makeup with ease, it's gentle and works well with every skin type, and it smells amazing! So I back to claiming this as my go-to cleanser. Once I was my face with this, I tone with the Tea Tree toner, and if need be I apply the Tea Tree Mask (I do this about once every 4 days or so). Finally, I apply a moisturizer. For a while I had been using Lubriderm's moisturizer for dry skin and it was working great because there were no harsh scents and it didn't irritate my skin. But after hearing some great things about MAC's Studio Moisture Cream I gave this is a shot and I'm so happy I did! I really can't say enough about how much I'm in love with this moisturizer. It smells amazing, it's so silky and creamy and it hydrates like nothing I've ever used. I apply it at night and in the morning and my skin is so soft with no signs of dryness. When I use it in the morning I give it a few minutes to dry and set into my skin, then I apply a primer and do my face routine and I'm really happy with how my skin is clearing back up. Though I have a tendency to switch my routines up, I really want to stick with this one because so far it's working out great!

Back to having clear skin! 

My Makeup Collection and Storage

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I recently decided to throw out my old makeup set up which consisted of an Ikea desk with lots of shelving and a closed work space that was just not working for me. I was unable to see my collection because all of my products were hidden in different places, and I was using my train case as my main housing unit and I didn't like that I had to dig through the box to find the things I needed. So I did some googling on DIY makeup storage and I found a very inspirational post by Vichy et Pois. Here is the link to her post DIY Makeup Storage by Vichy et Poit. She purchased a shelf from Ikea that had a glass top so she could see all of her products and I thought that was brilliant! So I set out to purchase that shelf as well as a rolling cart I had seen at Michaels to create my dream makeup station, and so far I'm extremely happy with it.

For the shelf portion I have all of my palettes underneath the glass. On top (left to right) A sephora bag filled with q-tips and cotton balls, some hand sanitizer. A plastic carrier holding my foundation, powder and some moisturizers. A pencil holder filled with my brushes, then a brush holder from Sephora with a brush collection from last winter. 

On the right  I have a moisturizer, Fix +, UD All Nighter Spray and a holder with all my mascaras. 

I was so excited about the rolling shelf because Michael's was having a sale on the brand, I got it for 40% off, which turned out to be about $40. Here I have my perfume on top. My Valentina is in the box because I've been using it too much lately! Gotta calm down because that mess was expensive haha ;). 

For my first drawer I have nothing but blushes and bronzers

Second drawer has a container with nothing but eyeliner, then some random loose eyeshadows, then cream color bases and pencils. In the back are my false lashes.

Next I have my skin primers, shadow bases/ primers, concealers and luminizing bases. 

The bottom 3 drawers are about twice as deep as the first ones. This was perfect for the larger containers I have for my lipsticks and glosses. Then on the side of them I have my makeup wipes. 

Then I have my random drawer. I has a container with my lip pencils, my perfume samples, random eyeshadows, tape, removers, scope haha 

Lastly, I have all my makeup cases/purses. I seriously have no idea why I have so many of these! But when I see a cute one I convince myself that I need it. So this is what happens...

And that's all! I think what I love the most is it's so easy to see exactly what I have and what I need. The only problem is now that it's organized I feel the need to fill it up and shop more! I just bought 2 new palettes (the Smashbox and Lorac Pro ones in the first couple pictures) and I'll be reviewing those soon. 

Review: MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Okay Folks, it's review time!
Studio Sculpt Foundation by MAC now holds a special place in my heart. I've even set aside my beloved Laura Mercier Creme Foundation for it. Ideal for dry skin, Studio Sculpt is a full coverage foundation with a dewy finish. If you have dry skin you probably know that it's difficult to find a full coverage foundation that looks dewy as well, but I love that this product was able to do both. And one of my favorite things about it is you really don't even need a lot of product to get the coverage you need, especially now that it's summer time. What I have been doing with it lately is mixing it with some fix + spray and applying with a foundation brush and it goes on a little more sheer but still has great coverage. I then set it with either some translucent powder or my Mineralized Powder Foundation by Sephora to get a nice sheen while still preventing the foundation from running off my face in the heat. Really the only complaint I have about it is the smell, but most of their foundations smell pretty bunk.

I'm also a really big fan of the way it's packaged. It's in a squeeze tube so you don't contaminate the product by double dipping, but also so none goes to waste because you can squeeze out the last drop, unlike bottles. 

So overall I give a big thumbs up to this foundation. Definitely my new favorite for full coverage and based on how long I've had it and how little I've had to use, I predict it will last me a while as well.

Below: Here I am wearing it with Sephora powder on top and some bronzer. At this point it had been on my skin for about 3 hours. The coverage is full and natural looking. 

Pick a Primer

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm definitely a huge advocate for fully prepping the skin before applying my makeup. I make sure my face is deep cleaned, moisturized, THEN I use a primer. Though at first I wasn't always into adding this extra step, I've definitely found that it makes a difference in the appearance and wearability of my foundation and gives my face a nice flawless finish. But the question is, which primer is best? I have tested out MANY primers and they all come in different formulas, finishes, and textures depending on your skin type. Here are a few of my recommendations and reviews some of the ones I've tried so you can decide which (if any) is best for you.

Pick a Primer

1. Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer- I'm starting off with this one because it is my absolute personal favorite. Though when I discussed it with some friends they differ in opinion because this product has a very distinct texture. It is extremely smooth and soft. Not only does it smooth over blemishes and wrinkles but it leaves your face feeling like a cloud and your foundation really glides right over it. However, I've been told that if you have oily skin this formula can make it feel even more oily. It does come in an oil-free version but I have yet to try it. But this would be my first recommendation if you're looking for a flawless finish and smooth feel.

2. Benefit The PoreFessional- This primer also offers a smooth finish, however I feel as if the formula does not blend well across the face, you have to use a lot of product to get a full face of coverage, whereas with the photofinish a little goes a long way. This does cover your pores and fill in lines. So if you are the type of person who only needs a little help maybe around the nose or under the eye. This product would be ideal.

3. Clinique Pore Refining Solution- I first tried this product when I was in high school and at the time I had no idea it was a face primer. I think some woman at the counter sold me on it because at the time I was really passive and kind of a pushover (things have definitely changed!). Either way, I'm glad I made the purchase because after a while I realized this product really does smooth out my skin. I would say the formula is almost EXACTLY like that of the Benefit Porefessional though and I believe this one is less expensive, so for the same reasons listed above I would try this one, and also for the more reasonable pricing.

4. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer- At first when I used this product I REALLY didn't like it. To me it felt more like a lotion/gel and did not give my skin that smooth finish I was looking for. But after continued use I can see why it's so popular. After all Laura Mercier is the self-proclaimed creator of the
flawless face" so they have to know something about primers. I think what you can really appreciate about it is that the formula is suited for all skin types BECAUSE it does not have the super smooth finish and it still gets the job done with prepping the face for foundation to set and stay for all day wear. And it doesn't add too much texture or heaviness to the skin if that's what you're into.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother- I was sold on this product during the MAC seminar I attended because I wanted to try a new primer and also for the packaging. I liked that it was a bit more portable than my others and because of its claim to fill in wrinkles and smooth skin. But after a few weeks of use its definitely not my favorite. I'd say I like it a bit less than the porefessional and I think that's because it still leaves my skin feeling a little on the dry side. I'm wondering if it might be a little more suitable for someone with more oily skin. It still has a smooth finish, the coverage just isn't what I thought it would be. Also they claim it can be used to "touch up" your face throughout the day, I think it's supposed to mattify the skin if you're makeup is starting to fade and get oily. I've yet to try it for that, but that's another positive factor to the product. If you've ever used Benefit's Dr. Feelgood, it's a bit like that just not as heavy.

6. Sephora Foundation Primer- Finally, the Sephora primer is really one of my favorites because it's an almost exact dupe for the Smashbox Photofinish, just with a smaller price tag. It fills in lines, leaves your skin smooth and helps your foundation last all day. And now it comes in a larger size with an easy to use pump, I love it.

Review: Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello Lovelies!

Lately I have really been on a mission to develop my Matte Eyeshadow collection because for a while I was purchasing nothing but Frosts and Shimmers and didn't have much to work with in the blending department. However, I came across this Moonshadow Baked Palette from Sephora and I just couldn't say no. I loved that it came with a not just some colors that pop like the teal or the orange, but also plenty of neutral shimmer shadows so I can work them in my everyday work looks. I have been playing around with it for a while and even though the color selection is great, I'm not super thrilled with the payoff when the shadows aren't wet, but I have created some awesome looks when I wet them. So if any of you are looking to purchase this palette or any of their baked shadows I would say do so with caution. Sometimes wetting eye shadow requires a more dramatic eye and is more time consuming, so if you're looking for this to be a go-to daily palette, I would say pass on it. But I'm still happy with the purchase because it adds some variety to my shadow collection and the colors are really fun. I just know I have to think out my look and make it a bit more dramatic if I want the true color of the shadows to show.

Above: These are the shadows with one light swatch. The payoff isn't that great when they aren't wet

Above: The shadows swatched after I sprayed my brush with Fix + by MAC (wet look)