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Winterize your skin!

Over the past two years, I have worked very hard to regulate my skin . I’ve had some issues to be sure, including flaky patches, sensative red skin, bumps and you name.  So, finding a skin care routine that actually works for me was crucial.

I recently switched to my winter moisturizer, but wasn’t happy with the way the Miracle Worker from Philosophy was working any more.  It had been great for a while, but just got to be too much.  Mind you, I love that product, but your skin is alive, so your needs changed.

Enter Algenist.  Algenist is a skincare brand that actually was created by happenstane, when a biotech company was researching alternative energy sources here in my hometown of San Francisco.  Mysteriously, the workers who were working iwth the algae that was the source, had hands that looked 20 yeras younger than the rest of them!  What was this amazing thing?

Enter Alguronic Acid.  This miracle ingredient has shown amazing promise in cell regeneration.  The natural process of shedding old damaged cells so that you can grow new, healthy skin cells is no mystery.  However, Alguronic acid showed the ability to stimulate this regrowth by 55%.  This puts them well ahead of both Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid, which are very powerful and until now, the most advanced anti aging ingredient on the market.  The promotion of these new, healthy skin cells is paramount to anti aging.

Enter my new favorite moisturizer!  The Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer promises to restore skin moisture, rebuild firmness, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and regenerate your skin.  The Alguronic acid works in conjunction with Vitamin C, to boost radiance, increase cell regeneration, and give you a more youthful appearance.

Well!  That might be a tall order, but I am here to tell you, I love this product.  First of all, there are no parabens, sulfates, phtalates or any other ickies.  Next, it really does what it says it will do.

My skin in the winter becomes the Sahara desert.  I am contantly combatting dry flaky cheeks and dull tired looking skin.  When I first started using this, I figured, ok I’ll give it a shot.  But within a week, my skin looked brighter, was absolutely moisturized, and the crinklies were less noticeable.  I love the way it makes my face look!  It’s smoother, balanced and just looks better.  At 40, I need all the help I can get!

At $90 for 2oz, it’s pricy, but I am happy to spend more money on something that works.

Have you tried Algenist?  What products do you like?

IT’s new!

Check it out!  IT Cosmetics is at it again.  Not only did they come out with some great holiday sets, that of course, I got myself, they are now coming up with some super creations for 2013.

A little birdy told me that the first of these products will preview on QVC tomorrow, December 30th, so make sure you tune in!
First up, a delicious looking redness reducer, in a cream formula.  Bye Bye Redness promises to completely cancel out redness, as well as cover up rosacea, broken capillaries, sun damage and more.  Full of rich peptides, this is another treatment product that is sure to be amazing.

Also debuting tomorrow, will be a new Brow Power, in a skinny version!  This ultra thin pencil is made in the same formula as the existing brow power, but in a precision pencil to create even more high-definition and fine hairs for your brows.

I can’t wait to check these products out!  Psst there will be more newness very soon!

Are you Ready for READY foundation?

Bare Minerals Ready FoundationAre you Ready?  I know I was.  I love my foundation.  I especially love a solid foundation, that I can tuck in my bag and carry with me for quick touch ups or post office makeup-ing.  So, when Bare Escentuals came out with a pressed version of their mineral foundation, I was ready to check it out and jump on it.

The Bare Minerals READY SPF Foundation promises a natural, long wearing formula that beautifully covers everything but feels like nothing is on.  It also claims to keep skin smooth, fresh, and younger looking.

This solid mineral technology claims to have invisible long wearing coverage.  Interestingly, it runs very light.  In loose, I wear Golden Fair or Fairly Medium.  In Ready, the best match was Medium Beige, which is a tinge too dark so I need to apply it carefully.

One important thing about Ready Foundation is you really need to apply it sparingly.  You cannot buff this foundation on, or sweep heavy layers.  My first experience with the Ready foundation was after a a makeunder event.  While I loved the coverage when I looked in the mirror, I quickly noticed that it both looked cakey and tended to pool in the crinkled of my nose.  This concerned me, as I have an oily t-zone that I need to cover.

I have found the best way to apply this was with an Everyday Minerals mini kabuki brush.  This is a fairly fluffy brush, that is not so densely packed with bristles.  What works best is to tap the brush in the foundation, and sweep it over my face, repeating as necessary.  Using the flat-topped IT Cosmetics foundation brush applied too much product and immediately made it look cakey, accentuating my pores, which was the same result when I used the BE Ready Foundation brush.

This technique gave me light to medium coverage,, but it did not stand the test of time.  I look for foundations that absorb the oil on my t-zone, and last all day.  The Ready, while it was a nice finished look in general, lasted only a few hours, and needed to be reapplied.  Reapplying, even sparingly, resulted in build up.  I also noticed that from a distance it tends to accentuate my wrinkles and fine lines.

I do not recommend wearing a primer with this product.  Although I love the Neutralizing Primer, it doesn’t play well with the Ready.  I also wore the new Ready Creamy Concealer underneath the Ready Foundation, and the combination, provided good coverage, however the foundation tended to pool and crinkle near the areas that I used concealer.

I can see this product being great for someone with dry skin, but for my sensitive combo skin, it didn’t do the trick, and it certainly did not last 12 hours.  That said, I am in love with all the other Ready products so don’t let this dissuade you!

Final grade:  B+ There is a learning curve in applying this product, and the color selection should be broader.  I like the overall feeling of the product, but I think it would use a bit of improvement to switch me over.

Ingredients

IT’s Luxe!


I am beginning to sound like a broken record in here, aren’t I?  It’s true, but I can’t stop gushing about the IT Cosmetics products.  I have amassed a little collection, and this beauty came to me recently.

The Luxe Waterproof High Performance Eyeshadow Palette has Age Reverse & Prevent Complex included, which are packed with the trademark IT hydrating and skin loving ingredients.

This powerful palette has 12 shades of eyeshadow, ranging from light highlighter to dark densely pigmented shades with a dual ended brush.  The eyeshadows are a beautiful and creamy texture, and glide on like butter.  With gorgeous ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, green tea, acai and Vitamins A, C & E, these are anti aging discs of love.  As always, IT Cosmetics eyeshadows are talc, paraben, sulfate, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance, and phthalate free.  This is especially important in eyeshadows, as talc tends to make them powdery and less pigmented.
From the left, bottom to top, swatched at right:

(row 1)  Cashmere (matte creme)

Heavenly (pearl white)
Satin Sunshine (pearl light yellow)
Espresso (matte deep brown)
(row 2)  Earth Angel (matte beige cashmere)
Je Ne Sais Quoi (shimmery nude pink)
Ipanema (golden beige pearl)
Venus Love (pearl coppery rust)
Azure (midnight navy)
(row 3) Plum Passion (rich matte purple)
Romance (satin rich taupe)
Jet Black (matte black)

I especially love that the darker shades can easily be used for liner, which I did with the rich Jet Black.  I tested these without primer, and I’m pleased to say that they have amazing staying power and didn’t stray.  That is a minor miracle on my peepers!

These shadows are not your average eye product.  Developed with anti aging benefits by plastic surgeons and my girl crush Jamie Kern Lima, they smooth your lids, and give you great coverage and a youthful flow.  Without sparkle or glitter, the pearl shades are shimmery, they are glowing and gorgeous.  Several of the shades are matte as well, giving you a great balance.

Pretty in Amber

Pretty in Smoke

I also own 4 of the eyeshadow trios.  The shades at the right are swatched from Pretty in Ambers and Pretty in Smoke, and while they are very similar, there were no exact dupes.

For $38, this is a great price for 12 full sized, packed with color, deliciously creamy shadows.  The pretty black palette is padded on top, and is a great for a weekend bag or to pop in your purse.

Get it today!  You will not be sorry.

This palette was provided by the manufacturer or PR agent for consideration.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

IT Cosmetics celebrates your face!

I’m back!  I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted but what a year!  But I’m back, and I’m here to tell you about one of my favorite foundations.  I love a good creamy liquid foundation for coverage, and especially in winter, when my skin tends to get dry.  However, in the summer, I love a nice easy compact foundation.  It’s a no muss no fuss way of carrying your makeup with you.

Right now, my favorite product is the IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation.  This anti aging foundation doens’t disappoint.  Like all of the IT Cosmetics products, it’s skin treatment as well as skin perfection.

The website says:

Rich in peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, and anti aging technology, Celebration Foundation is a full-coverage, anti aging foundation that gives you the power to achieve flawless, airbrushed complexion perfection!

It delivers highly pigmented perfect coverage that will never crease or crack and is designed not only to cover, but also to make skin appear younger. The anti aging technology gives you a flawless airbrushed finish that looks and feels like silk. It absorbs oil and shine without settling into lines and wrinkles. The Heavenly Luxe Buffing Airbrush Foundation Brush is the most ultra-luxe, ultra-plush tool for perfect airbrushed application.

When I first tired the IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation, I was using way too much and it felt thick, and sticky.  However, now that I have perfected my application technique (more on that in a minute) I simply love it.   This lightweight powder, this powerhouse of collagen, peptides, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid covers fine lines and wrinkles, smooths over pores, and gives you a fresh clean look without feeling cakey.  A very little goes a long way here, and you can layer it for more coverage.

My application technique took some time to perect, because at first I was loading the luxe brush with entirely too much foundation.  A smidge goes a long way gals!  Lightly swirl the brush in the compact, and buff on to your skin using small circular motions.  Similar to BE, I find that the more you buff, the better it looks as it blends with your skin.  I used about 4 swipes of the compact to cover my whole face.

The anti aging ingredients make your skin feel tighter, smoother, and softer, while covering problem areas.  Packed full of yummy ingredients, this is a winner.  I tried wearing it both alone, as as a setting powder over Bye Bye Under Eye.  Each method has it’s benefits; on bad skin days, I wear Bye Bye Under Eye as my all over foundation in a thin layer.  Then, I sweep a touch of Celebration Foundation over it, which creates a flawless look.  For lighter coverage days or on the go days, just a few sweeps of Celebration Foundation give me great coverage on the go.

My favorite primer to wear with this is the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer.  I have tried several other primers, but this works the best for me in combination with the foundation.  Wearing the foundation alone, it tends to fade off my skin.

The Heavenly Luxe Buffing Airbrush Foundation Brush that comes with the foundation is, like all IT brushes, amazing.  A flathead foundation brush, it reminds me of many stippling brushes.  Densely packed with bristle, this fluffy brush is perfect for the foundation.  You can also use it for other foundations as the shape and size is perfect.  As Jamie Kern says on air often, a little brush therapy will make your day complete!

Again, remember, a very little goes a long way.  this is buildable coverage, so start small and build up.

Happy glossing!

Ingredients: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Lauroyl Lysine, Zinc Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Water, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Vitis Vinifera Grape Seed Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Olea Europaea Olive Fruit Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Silk Powder, Niacinamide, Retinyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesteryl Oleyl Carbonate, Cholesteryl Nonanoate, Cholesteryl Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20. May contain: Iron Oxides.Information provided by It Cosmetics.

This product was provided by the manufacturer or PR agent for consideration.  All opinions are my own.

Summer of IT

Bye Bye Under Eye as concealer, Face Disk, Je Ne C'est Quoi, Bye Bye Pores finishing powder

It’s that time of year!  The sun is shining, it’s warm out and we are using self tanners and bronzers to get that glow without the harmful effects of the sun.  I don’t personally self tan, but I’ve been tempted by a few products to see how they look.

But we’re not here to talk about that!  I’m here to give you my review on the IT Cosmetics Vitality Color Collection!  The TSV will be on July 27th, so keep your DVRs tuned in.  As mentioned in my previous post, this collection includes the Vitality Face Disk, Jumbo Luxe Face Brush, Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in a jumbo size that will probably last you all year, dual sided concealer brush, and the Lip Stain in Je Ne C’est Quoi.

After receiving my kit, I was excited to try the face disk.  I have been use the Bye Bye Under Eye for a while now, and it is one of my favorite concealers.  I was particularly excited about this collection because of the dual sided concealer brush, which allows you to get an airbrushed finish.   The larger end of the brush is perfect for the larger areas of your face, or using the Bye Bye Under Eye as an all over foundation as I did in this picture.  With this product, a very  little goes a way.

The brushes in this kit, like all IT Cosmetics brushes are easily worth more than the entire kit.  The Jumbo Luxe Face Brush is enormous!  A QVC exclusive, this brush alone retails for $58.  Now I’m not saying I would pay $60 for a brush, but a brush of this size and quality is by far worth $30-40.  Professional quality makeup brushes are expensive, and they last for years.  Brushes are an excellent investment if you are looking to build a collection.  Measuring 8 inches in length, from brush head to handle, the brush itself is immensely dense and silky soft.  It’s about 2.5 inches wide, with thousands of bristles.  I have a similar Tarte powder brush which is 7″ long and 2″ wide.  It’s a great brush as well, but the IT brush is just that much better.  Please note:  The IT Cosmetics foundation brush ($48) is the same brush as the Tarte Airbrush Foundation Brush ($32).  I have both of these and they are identical – given that there are limited brush manufacturers, keep that in mind when shopping for brushes.  The only thing I don’t like is that these brushes are made in China.  Also in this kit is the dual sided concealer brush, which I love.  This brush allows you to airbrush your concealer on in the small undereye area, as well as other areas of your face.  The small end is the same as the airbrush side of the retractable concealer brush (which I do not own) and it’s soft and plush.  I love a big fluffy brush like this because it really makes the concealer look flawless.  Before I got this brush, I used a BE soft focus eye brush which was also wonderful.

The face disk includes a large matte bronzer, and a smaller blush, in a bright peach pink, as well as a beautiful pink toned highlighter.  This is a great tool for your makeup wardrobe, as you do amazing things with a little creative bronzer and highlighter!  Want to make a double chin disappear?  Put some bronzer under you chin and on your jawline.  Want nicer cheekbones?  Place highlighter just above your cheekbone, and bronzer just below before adding blush to the apples of your cheeks.  blend this well, and you will look like you have a slimmer face.  As someone with a rather full face and too many chins, I use this trick every day and I get the nicest compliments.

All in all I’m very happy with this kit.  I also own the IT Cosmetics My Sculped Face, which is a great contouring kit in a book format, but I prefer the Face Disk which has bigger pans and is easier to use.  I still use My Sculpted Face when I need a lighter highlighter or a darker contour, and the combination works well.  The great thing about the IT products is they play well together, and you can build a look with 2-3 items easily.

I have already reviewed the lip stains, so please check them out here!

Coming soon – The IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Review!  I have been waiting to get this, and hopefully I will get my hot little hands on it soon.  I’ve been hearing rave reviews, and I want to try it for my self and share with you.

 

Happy glossing!

Sizzling summer with Tarte!

Yes, I admit it.  I am a Tarte addict.  I think there are only one or two items I’ve tried that are not my favorites; and frankly, they are the holiday kits that don’t measure up to the normal standards.  This is pretty typical for beauty companies, who often outsource holiday kits to manufacturers that don’t adhere to the same standards.  But that’s another story!

To follow up on Carolyn’s post about the Tarte Maracuja 6 Piece Collection, which will air on QVC on July 13th, here is my review.  I ordered the Light, since I’m currently wearing the Light-Medium Amazonian Clay Foundation.

The Maracuja Miracle Foundation is a light liquid, which I find to be medium in coverage.  It is buildable however, but if you are looking for fuller coverage stick with the Amazonian Clay foundation.  It felt good on the skin, but the brush was simply horrible.  I was sadly disappointed in the brush, since most Tarte  brushes are divine.  It seems like they jobbed this one off to Brushes-r-Us or something.  It was scratchy, and shedded all over my face, sticking to the foundation.  Yuck!  In the trash with that one.  Instead, I used my big fluffy foundation brush from the above mentioned Amazonian Clay foundation.  That works perfectly, as does a Beauty Blender (my other fave).  Once the foundation was applied, I used a touch of Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light (not included in kit) to clear up a few things on my face.  Finally, I finished with Smooth Operator powder (not included in kit).

On my eyes, I started with a layer of Tarte Shadow Stick in Champagne, which was part of the holiday collection.  With shadow sticks, I don’t tend to wear an eye primer.

With an eye primer, these products smudge and crease on me; however, without a primer and with a thin layer, I get much better play.  After the Champagne, I used the dual ended ModernEyes Waterproof Cream Shadow/Liner Duo in Plumberry/Plum Brow.  Then the SmolderEyes end smudged in the crease.  While I like the dual ended design, I am a bit unhappy that the eyeliner end was already coming out of the casing and looked to be a very short product.  At this price point, that should be a larger amount of product in a better housing.  That said, the product itself is great, it glides on and after about 30 second of play time it won’t’ budge.  The color is quite a bit different from the Fig or Violet EmphasEyes and it’s a good brown purple to have in my stash.

I love the way the purples made my blue eyes flash.  I also used the shadow box from the Miracle of Maracuja TSV, with Pink Cloud on the browbone, and Silver Mist in the crease.  I finished off my eyes with teh Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara; since this is a Holy Grail product for me, I’m always happy to get more.  As a girl who wears glasses, I find that I wear more mascara on days I am not wearing contacts and this product makes my peepers really stand out.

I finished this look with Tarte’s 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful, as well as Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illumination Serum.

On my lips, I love the baby pink of the Smitten Lipsurgence but I hate the new packaging.  One of the reasons I really liked the chubby pencils is that you didn’t have to sharpen them.  This new skinny pencil with the sharpener is nice for precision but sharpening a lip crayon is an exercise in frustration.  I suggest putting them in the freezer first so they are firm enough to sharpen.  This is the same design as the Buxom Lip Tarnishes and while I adore the product I absolutely hate the packaging.  Sadly, with limited manufacturing facilities, eventually everything looks the same.  But more on that later.  I topped this with Pure Optic lipgloss in Golden Pink (not included in kit).

All in all, I love this kit and it’s a great value.  If you are looking for a lighter foundation for summer, but will still get medium – full coverage, go for it!

You can order this kit on Auto Delivery or one time only from QVC.  Don’t forget to use ebates!

Pretty in an instant!

Hot of the presses!  Bobbi Brown has a TSV starting tonight at 9pm PT, Midnight ET!  This is the first Bobbi Brown TSV on QVC since the  Pretty Powerful kits, and it promises to be something special.

Bobbi Brown is known in the industry for her clean, neutral looks and her longstanding history as a makeup artist and frankly, teacher.  She insists on beauty at any age, and produces classic, elegant kits and products.

This kit contains:

  • Sheer Pink Color Cheek Tint, in a glowing pink
  • Pretty in Pink Lip Gloss, a sheer pink
  • Pink Lemonade Shimmer Lip Gloss, a soft pink with pearl
  • Pink Bellini Long-Wear Cream Shadow, a shimmery neutral pink
  • Black Mascara
  • Hydrating Eye Cream
  • And an face palette in your choice of Porcelain,Sand,Beige,Natural,Honey or Warm Almond.

I regret not getting the Pretty Powerful kits when they were on, but I have picked up a few of the pieces.  Bobbi’s eyeshadows are eyeliners are amazing!

I’m tempted!  What about you?  This looks like a nice, fresh kit for summer!  It’s $69.98 and Auto Delivery will ship now and in October.  Or you can order a single shipment.  Don’t forget to use ebates!

A Vital new collection from IT Cosmetics!

It’s that time ladies!  Summer beauty has hit QVC like a time bomb.  The July insider has all sorts of kits and bits that you really need to check out!

The first one that nabbed my attention is the IT Cosmetics It Cosmetics 5-pc Vitality Color Collection.  You already know that I have a bit of an obsession with these products, as seen by my mad love here.  But this kit is fantastic!  I actually already have two tubes of concealer but how can you pass this up?

For $60 you get a jumbo size Bye Bye Undereye and the dual sided concealer brush. I don’t have this brush, so I’m really looking forward to this.  Right now, I use a soft focus eye brush from BE, which is very similar to the smaller side.  That alone really could be the best deal.  But, like every good ginsu knife commercial, you get so much more!  I waited and waited and waited for the Vitality Face Disc with the Jumbo Luxe Face Brush, and it finally came off of wiat list.  But, given that the face disc and brush was $48, this is clearly the winning combo.

Nab this kit while you can!  You can order NOW ONE TIME or AUTO DELIVERY, with a new kit shipping in 6 months with a different lippie.  If you prefer to wait until the air date on July 27th, you can order ONE TIME or AUTO DELIVERY.t now, in this kit, you get those items as well.  The Vitality Face Disc is a jumbo compact with a beautiful rosy blush, a peachy luminizer, and a matte bronzer.  If you have the My Sculpted Face kit, this is basically the three best parts of that kit with the amazing brsuh. I am such a fan of the IT brushes that I think I’d probably pay $60 for the ginormous face brush alone!  Yes well.  But — you also get the Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi.  I have reviewed the lippies before, and this color is my all time fave because even though it looks clear in the tube, it actually becomes the best shade of pink for every gal.

I should have this by Monday and I’ll be sure to review the face disc for you then!
Happy glossing!

 

 

 

 

I’m feeling well rested at last!

Have you been sleeping lately?  Well, no, me neither.  Life’s little stressors, insomnia, work, all the things that get to us – or even sometimes just your body’s natural chemistry or genetic luck of the draw, sometimes we need help to hide those dark circles.

There are dozens of brighteners and highlighters out there, but the best of them actually counteracts the blue black color of those shadows.  Bare Minerals makes one of the better products out there, a loose mineral powder called Well Rested.  Well Rested, in the original loose form, is a creamy mineral powder with a pale buttery yellow color.  The yellow counteracts the blue, and brightens up those dark places.

Unfortunately, if you’re like me and you’re getting a touch long int he tooth, or if you have dry skin, the loose minerals can tend to settle in the cracks and creases adn make the under eye area loose crepey and wrinkled.  No thanks!

Thank goodness the team at BE has coem up with a fantastic solution!  Well rested now comes in a creamy liquid form, in the now iconic (from other manufacturers) pen.  This new formula is translucent but still has the yellow tone which is important for counteracting dark areas.

The creamy liquid is a blend of mineral powders, as well as antioxidents like Vitamin E, which brightens, lightens, and treats those areas.  You can use it before your mineral foundation, or after your liquid foundation to illuminate areas you want to highlight.  The benefit of the pen format is that you can reapply at any time during the day for a little boost.

Keep in mind this is not a concealer.  If you have serious darkness, or problem areas, you will need to use a concealer in addition to the brightener.  I also own Touche Veloutee, which is a brightening concealer.  While not as natural as Well Rested, that product is truly a concealer.  Well Rested is intended as a brightener only and not to provide full coverage.  Well Rested has no shimmer so it’s a great way to subtly highlight and is half the cost of any other similar product.

Note:  I did take pictures but you really can’t see it on camera.  It’s a very subtle highlight, illuminating glow without shimmer.  I plan on experimenting with mixing this in iwth my traditional Well Rested for a creamier coverage.  Other similar products that I will try:  Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperlight; Mally Perfect Prep Undereye Brightener

The Well Rested Face & Eye Brightener is available at QVC.  1 fluid ounce is $22.  Since a little goes a long way, this should last you a while.

Happy glossing!