July Favorites

Hey Everyone!

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This month went by SO quickly for me! Here is what I ended up using the most :

Revlon Age Defying Foundation : This foundation offers light/medium coverage but feels like nothing is on your skin. It has a serum-like consistency, leaves a slightly dewy finish, and has SPF 20. I use the shade 10 Bare Buff. $12 at drugstores.

Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Deep Wine : Although I am in the lightest shade range, and this shade was in the section for the deepest skin tones, I absolutely love it! It reminds me of MAC’s Frankly Scarlett, but a bit more plum-y. $4.50 at drugstores.

Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara : This mascara caught my eye at the beginning of this month due to it’s rubber wand that reminded me of the Benefit They’re Real Mascara. Unfortunately its no where near dupe-material like I had hoped, but this is still a decent mascara; though I don’t think I will repurchase it. $8.99 at Ulta.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer : I’ve had more problematic skin than usual this month, and have resorted back to this heavy duty, cover everything concealer. It’s seriously a life-saver. I use the shade NW20. $18 at MAC Stores or Macys.

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment : I have been loving this product this month because not only is it ultra moisturizing and luxurious, but it has SPF 15! $22.50 at Sephora.

Revlon Colorstay Nail Polish in Cafe Pink : I love the Revlon Colorstay line in general, but their nail polishes take the cake. They go on smoothly and evenly, and last forever without chipping. Cafe Pink is a gorgeous baby pink that reminds me of animal crackers! In the bottle it has a pink sheen, but it doesn’t transfer to your nails. $5 at drugstores.

Pacifica Perfume in Tahitian Gardenia : I rediscovered this perfume after getting it in an Ipsy Bag a few months ago, and have been loving it for this month. It’s exotic and fresh. $12 at Target.

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel : I said before that my skin was more problematic than usual this past month, so in conjunction with my super concealer, I used this spot treatment to actually fight the blemishes. This product gets a 10/10 from me! $16 at Sephora.

My Current Skincare Routine

Hey Everyone! This post is all about what I’m currently using to keep my skin looking clear and healthy. First I will tell you about the step by step process of my daily routine, and below there will be a detailed review of each product mentioned. Let’s get to it!

Morning Routine:

I start my day by lightly cleansing my skin with only warm water and a washcloth.

Then I use a cotton pad to apply a small amount of the Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion to my face and neck area.

I then apply a quarter size amount of the Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 moisturizer to my face and neck area.

Finally I apply a small amount of the Origins Ginzing Eye Cream to my eye area.

Nighttime Routine:

First I cleanse my skin and remove my makeup by taking a quarter size amount of  the Clinque Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm and work it into the skin on my entire face and neck. Once the balm has been adequately worked into the skin, I take a warm/hot washcloth and remove whats left of the cleanser and makeup.

Next I take a cotton pad and a small amount of the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex, and apply it to my face and neck avoiding my eye area.

Once that has dried, I take the DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel and apply that to only spots and the areas of my skin that are currently problematic. Benzoyl peroxide can cause scarring, so I only want to apply it where it is absolutely necessary; plus we just applied glycolic acid which should help with breakouts anyways.

After the benzoyl peroxide has set, I apply the Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Moisturizer to my entire face and neck.

For the last step,  I apply the Origins A Perfect World For Eyes eye cream to my under eye area. Voila!

If my skin is being particularly problematic, I take these Optional Steps:

If my skin is extra dry – I apply a small amount of the Josie Maran Argan Oil to my skin after cleansing, or add a few drops into my moisturizer.

If I have a stubborn pimple – I apply the Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel to the problem areas.

If my skin is having a meltdown – I use the Origins Out Of Trouble Mask.

I hope this step by step routine was helpful! Now onto the reviews  :

Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion : a liquid toner containing cucumber extract to fight against oil and bacteria. It has an herbal/cucumber scent and feels refreshing on the skin. If not followed by a moisturizer, it can feel a little bit tight or sticky on the skin. I have noticed that this product has helped reduce the size of my pores as well. This product is not tested on animals. $15 for 8 oz at Nordstrom ( I bought mine in Ulta, so I would check there as well ) http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/mario-badescu-special-cucumber-lotion/2920700

Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 : is a “skin tone correcting” moisturizer. It has a pleasant herbal/lemon/ginger scent and leaves the skin looking bright and healthy.  I believe this product in part has helped diminish my acne scars, as well as made my skin overall healthier. It has a lightweight gel/cream formula that leaves a dewy finish; and contains Japanese Basil leaf, Cucumber, Peony, Vitamin C, and Palmaria. I highly recommend this product to everyone. $47.50 for 1.7 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/brighter-by-nature-spf-35-skin-tone-correcting-moisturizer-P297537?skuId=1375906

Origins GinZing : is a lightweight eye cream with a peach undertone to combat darkness, and a slight sheen/glow for added brightness. It has a cream to serum consistency, and little to no scent. It contains caffeine, ginseng, and magnolia extract. $30 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/ginzing-refreshing-eye-cream-P297511

Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm : is a makeup remover and cleaner in one that goes from a thick balm consistency to a oil/liquid consistency once rubbed into the skin. I have used this to remove everything from long wearing foundation, waterproof mascara, semi-permanant eyeliner pens, etc. and it literally removes all traces of makeup without drying out my skin. I switched to this after hearing that makeup wipes are really bad for your skin due to the high alcohol content, and have fallen in love!  $28.50 for 3.8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/take-the-day-off-cleansing-balm-P126301

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex : is a liquid clarifying toner that acts as an exfoliator by removing dead surface skin. It contains lactic acid, citric acid, witch hazel, chamomile, allantoin, aloe vera, sodium pac, vitamin C, and AHAs. It smells very acidic and slightly citric. When applied to the skin it gives a slight burning sensation, so if you have very sensitive skin I would probably not recommend this. If you can get past the burning, this product works wonders. Overtime it fights acne, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, deep cleans and shrinks pores, smooths skin, restores natural pH balances, AND protects and moisturizes the skin. Can you say Holy Grail? $40 for 8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/glycolic-acid-10-toning-complex-clarifying-toner-P375358

DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel : is a thick, creamy gel that contains 5% benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil. It is very effective when used regularly, but it can bleach your clothes/sheets and cause excessive dryness if too much is applied. With this product, less is more. If you use too much it can actually have the opposite effect and make your skin worse. I use a dime size amount or less, only where I absolutely need it. $36 for 2 oz at Ulta. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=prod370030

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath : is a lightweight, oil free, gel-cream moisturizer. It claims to “diffuse energizing oxygen to the skin” to leave a healthy looking glow; which is does. It contains antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental factors, and has a slight powdery/herbal scent. $34 for 2 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/take-a-deep-breath-oil-free-energizing-oxygen-gel-cream-moisturizer-P311182

Origins A Perfect World For Eyes : is a serum that uses white tea to firm and moisturize the eye area. It has a herbal, lemon, ginger scent, and leaves the eye area feeling refreshed. I have notices a huge improvement of the appearance of my under eye creases and dryness after using this product. It has a pump applicator, which is nice, but it dispenses a bit too much with just one pump; you really only need about one half of a pump. $34 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/a-perfect-world-for-eyes-firming-moisture-treatment-with-white-tea-P297532

Josie Maran Argan Oil : is a silky oil that moisturizes, heals, and protects. It can be used on the skin, hair and nails. I also like to apply this to bites, rashes, bruises, etc. to speed up the healing process. $14 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/argan-oil-P218700

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel : is a gel that contains a concentrated 1% salicylic acid to fight stubborn breakouts. If you have an open spot it can give a burning sensation, but it quickly dissipates. This is my holy grail spot treatment! $16 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/acne-solutions-spot-healing-gel-P188312

Origins Out Of Trouble : is a 10 minute mask that contains zinc oxide, sulfur, camphor, and salicylic acid to extract excess oil, dirt, and dead skin; as well as calm the skin. It is a thick toothpaste-like cream and smells very herbal and medicinal. When on the skin it feels very cooling and tingly. $23 for 3.4 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/out-of-trouble-10-minute-mask-to-rescue-problem-skin-P297551

BEST FOUNDATIONS EVER!

Hey guys! This post is all about foundations that I love. You should first know that I have very fair normal skin with acne scaring and occasional breakouts. These are in numerical order with number one being the best. If you like this post and want to see the worst foundations ever, click here : https://beautybysarahmarie.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/worst-foundations-ever/

Here we go!

5. Clinique Even Better: This foundation has a staying power like no other. Its hard to describe without actually trying it, but it is like an illuminating stain. It is super blend-able and smooth, but once it sets it stays and the coverage is medium. I wish the shade range was a bit better (the very fair is still quite tan) but thats my only complaint, and even then I can easily make it work with some bronzer down my neck. This foundation claims that it “evens and corrects”; I haven’t noticed any significant improvement, but it definitely doesn’t make anything worse.SPF 15, ($27)

4. Make Up For Ever HD: I love the shade range available for this product (actually all MUFE products) and the smooth finish it offers which is mainly a matte finish with a hint of satin. This foundation has medium-buildable coverage, photographs beautifully and has great staying power. Your skin looks extremely healthy and flawless when wearing this, yet I find that sometimes concealer is needed for any scars. ($42)

3. NARS Sheer Glow: Let me first say that the application of this foundation is key, I like to apply it with a beauty blender sponge. I’m not sure what NARS was thinking, but I would not call this foundation sheer OR glowy, so if that is what it luring you in know that it is medium coverage with a matte/satin finish. That being said, I was lured in by the shade range for fair skin, and that part is amazing. This foundation one of my all time favorites! ($44)

2. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24hr: This is the best long-wearing foundation I have ever tried. It is perfect for special occasions when you need to look flawless for a long time. I specifically use this for special occasions because it is a little bit heavier than I would like to wear day to day, and the price is on the higher side ($45). But if you work or go to school long hours and want to invest in a high end foundation, this one is it. The shade range is great and the finish is a nice matte/satin and the coverage is medium-buildable. SPF 15.

1. Clinique Acne Solutions: I know this might be a strange choice for the number one best foundation ever, but truthfully I’ve never found one that is better. I have been using this foundation since my sophomore year of high school and it has always been a staple in my collection. It has medium-buildable coverage and offers the most natural and flawless finish ever. I don’t think that it clears my skin like it advertises, but it definitely prevents any new acne. I never have to worry about touching up while wearing this foundation because, like my number five pick, it is sort of like a stain once it sets. The shade range is also good, thankfully they offer one for my very fair skin and the price is reasonable ($27).

Clinique Acne Solutions Review

Hey Everyone! Today I’m reviewing the Clinique Acne Solutions regimen, as well as talking about my current skincare routine. For those of you who don’t already know, I’ve suffered from breakouts for the majority of my life and have since been on numerous different routines and treatments trying to solve the problem. Before I started the Clinique regimen, I was using the Neutrogena Skin ID system, which really helped my skin a lot, but they discontinued that line leaving me to have to find something else. Yes, I have been to dermatologists many times throughout my battle with acne, but I’ve found that when I use the harsh treatments they tend to prescribe I lose the health of my skin and end up having to quit using any kind of treatment and only use gentle cleansers and moisturizers to get it back to “normal”. That is why the majority of the time I prefer using non-prescription treatments. Now back to the review!

This system has three steps:

1. Foaming Cleanser: The cleanser, as mentioned in the video, is not as thick of a foam as I would like but it does the job with 2-3 pumps of cleanser without over-drying the skin. I like to use it with my Clarisonic to really remove all dirt/makeup well.  2% Salicylic Acid

2. Clarifying Lotion: This clarifying lotion is actually a liquid toner, not a “lotion”. I apply it after the cleanser with a cotton pad all over my face, excluding my eye area, and down my neck. It is excellent at removing excess dirt/makeup and tightening pores. I’ve noticed a huge difference in the size of my pores since the very first use of this product. 1.5% Salicylic Acid

3. Clearing Moisturizer: Although this treatment moisturizer absorbs nicely into the skin, be extra careful 10-20 minutes after applying it if you are wearing dark clothing or have dark sheets as it could bleach them. 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide

*4. Spot Healing Gel: You can feel this spot healing gel working on contact. It brings cystic acne to the surface as a whitehead in one to two doses and dries it up within three. Excellent! 1% Salicylic Acid  **optional step**

Overall, I would give this system a 4/5. It was able to significantly clear up my skin extremely quickly without making it look and feel unhealthy. If you have heard bad things about Clinique products and are still weary, I would recommend getting a sample of  the spot treatment first. If you like the spot treatment, you will love the rest of the line!

 

I also use for my Morning Regimen :

1. Cleanse – Aveeno Brightening Daily Scrub

2. Treat – Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Bright

3. Eye Cream – Origins GinZing

4. Moisturize – Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, Origins Brighter By Nature, DiorSnow UV Shield

5. Conceal – Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream