IT Cosmetics Favorites!

Hey Everyone!

This post is all about IT Cosmetics and how they are rapidly becoming my Holy Grail BRAND! Yes, I said brand, that means the whole brand is holy grail status…so far! And on top of being amazing quality, they are paraben and cruelty free!

I have only purchased three products from IT Cosmetics thus far, and all three products became Holy Grail after the first use. So much so, that since the purchase of these items, I have not used another product in the same categories. Also, I find that these products to be universally amazing for people of different skin types. Here are the products :

Your Skin But Better CC+ 

This CC cream is literally your skin but better. It is full coverage (like a full coverage foundation) with the most natural finish I have ever seen; and because its a CC cream it offers extras like an anti-aging hydrating serum, and SPF 50+ uva/ubv protection. It feels like there is absolutely nothing on the skin, yet lasts longer than any foundation/primer/setting spray combo I have ever used. Though it is hydrating, it does not make oily skin oilier (or look oilier). It comes in a 1.08 fl oz tube with a pump, which is very convenient, quick, and sanitary. I use the shade Light which is similar to MAC NC20, but is completely neutral, not too pink and not too yellow. Just Perfect. *The ONLY semi-annoying thing about this product is that it only comes in 4 shades. Though the shades are all quite versatile, and kind of morph into your perfect color.*

https://www.itcosmetics.com/your-skin-but-better-cc-cream-with-spf-50 $38

Bye Bye Under Eye

In short, this product is a heavy-duty under eye concealer with extras like collagen and vitamins C and K. It has a thick paste-like consistency (similar to Benefit’s Erase Paste), but easily thins out (or builds up) into a dreamy, blend able, dark circle eraser! It is by far one of the most full-coverage concealers I have ever used, and is quite possibly the best one out there. You only need the tiniest amount as well, whatever amount you think is small enough, cut that in half, seriously. It’s always better to have too little than too much. It also works as a great natural looking skin highlighter/illuminator.

 

https://www.itcosmetics.com/bye-bye-under-eye $24

 

Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi

This is by far the most uniquely wonderful product I’ve come across. When I first saw it at Ulta, I was immediately intrigued because it had a small sign that declared that this lipstick was their bestseller worldwide (or something like that), but at first glance it just looked like a clear balm that slightly tinted pink. And when I swatched it on my hand, it just came up clear; so I quickly discounted its claims. I only made it to the next aisle when I looked down and noticed the most beautiful, glowy flush of pink I have ever seen. Apparently as the lipstick warms to your skin, it morphs into a perfect color customized just for you. So naturally I purchased it and as I learned more about it, the more amazed I became. Not only does it morph into your perfect flush, it also has anti-aging and lip conditioning properties such as plum oil, cherry oil, shea butter, aloe and jojoba. It also has anti-oxidants like Vitamins A, C, E, Acai, Green Tea and White Tea that protect your lips from free-radicals. The best part is that even with all of those wonderful oils and hydrators, this lipgloss/stain/lipstick lasts and lasts!

https://www.itcosmetics.com/vitality-lip-flush $20

 

 

 

March Favorites / Spring GIVEAWAY + the chance to be in a movie!

Hey Everyone!

Today I have a really exciting post for you! I will be giving away EVERYTHING in my favorites this month to one of you! I have been absolutely loving these products this month especially, and I think they are amazing for Spring!

THIS IS WHAT YOU’LL BE GETTING!

photo 2

Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer : At first I was skeptical about such a shimmery bronzer, but this product is incredible! It swatches a bit crazy, but once applied to the skin it creates the most beautiful, natural bronzed glow I have ever experienced. After one use, this bronzer has become a Holy Grail.

Butter London Wink Colour Mascara in Indigo PunkI have been loving this mascara this month because it is so unexpected. It is an orchid purple color that flashes indigo blue, but it is not super opaque, which makes it great for an understated pop of color. It applies well over a black mascara, or on its own for a more fairy-like/ethereal effect.

Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara in Very BlackThis is another Holy Grail product I have recently come across. I have used this mascara almost everyday since I first purchased it, and have gone through about three tubes. It has a plastic bristled wand similar to the Covergirl LashBlast Volume, but is much smaller and slightly curved. Not only does it not clump, as it says in its name; but it separates, lengthens, and volumizes in the same way as the Benefit They’re Real Mascara.

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Nude PeachThis is by far my all time favorite lip gloss for spring. It is a sheer to medium opacity peachy pink with slight coral shimmer. It has a doe foot applicator, and is super smooth and moisturizing to the lips. My favorite part of this product though is the scent, which is a sweet fruit punch!

Violent Lips The Red GlitterattiI first came across this product at IMATS, and have been in love ever since. These are super fun to wear to parties, and are for sure a conversation starter (in a good way). These temporary lip appliqués fit all lips, last about 8 hours, and are generally easy to apply. The one the winner will be getting is The Red Glitteratti, which is a true red with red shimmer. I think these are perfect for prom, parties, or anytime you want to have a bit of fun with your makeup.

Dove Refresh+Care Volume Dry Shampoo : This product has been a life saver for me this month! As you guys know, I have a really oily scalp and super dry ends. This has saved me from having to wash my hair everyday since, unlike every other dry shampoo I’ve tried, it actually cleans your hair and makes it look freshly washed. It initially leaves a white cast, but is easily brushed away which is a huge bonus! It also adds volume and has a fresh, sweet citrus fragrance.

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER

All you have to do to enter is help promote my amazingly talented cousin’s new short film, Dogwood. Dogwood is an undergraduate thesis film for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts by writer/director Andrew J. Hebert.

1. To be eligible, you must be of legal age in your country or ask a parent/guardian for permission to enter. 

2.For ONE entry in my Giveaway, you must share the link below either on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Then comment below on this post once you have done so.

LINK : http://www.igg.me/at/dogwoodgilm/x/681814

3.For THREE entries in my contest, you must donate any amount of money to benefit Dogwood. To donate, click the link below and then click “Donate Now”. Then comment below on this post once you have done so. 

LINK : http://www.igg.me/at/dogwoodgilm/x/681814

**Not only will you be entered in my Giveaway THREE times, but by making a donation you will also be entitled to things such as a “thanks” in the credits of the film, an exclusive digital download of the film, a role as an extra in the film, and much more – depending on the amount of your donation-***The contest ends April 12th 11:59pmPT*

*The winner of this Giveaway will be chosen randomly, and I WILL BE CHECKING  to make sure the winner meets all of the criteria listed above**All products in the giveaway will be brand new, in-box*

GOOD LUCK!

Updated Skin Care Routine *

Hey Everyone!

This post is all about my updated skin care routine, as of February 2014. I have been using this routine for a couple months now, and I absolutely love it. It is a lot different than my previous routines that kept to a strict step by step system. While those are great for some skin concerns, I find that my skin, as well as the majority of peoples skin, is constantly changing and needing different things to keep it healthy.

As of now, my skin type is acne-prone (mainly cystic), susceptible to dryness and irritation at times, and susceptible to concentrated oiliness at times. I have moderate to severe scaring left behind from previous breakouts, and moderately sized pores on my cheeks.

**Disclaimer* I have been doing skincare routine videos/posts for years. Just because I am using something different now does not mean that I dislike the products mentioned in previous posts. Skin changes and acclimates to things (especially mine). This is just what is working for me now. **

Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator – is a thick cream with micro beads to exfoliate. It has 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, as well as glycolic acid. I think this is a great cleanser for both morning and night because it does a great job of cleansing the skin gently without over drying. It has a light medicinal fragrance, and rinses clean without leaving any residue on the skin. When my skin is being particularly good, or when it is extra sensitive and needs a break, I will only use this product for that day. 

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo – is a dual action acne treatment that has 5.5% benzoyl peroxide, 0.4% LHA, and soothing flower extracts. It has a thin cream consistency with no fragrance. I prefer this treatment over the similar Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment because it has a higher percentage of benzoyl peroxide as well as many other better ingredients. I typically apply this in the evening only to the areas of my skin that have active blemishes due to the fact that it is extremely potent and can cause irritation to my skin if over-applied.

Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator – is a soothing gel/mousse moisturizer with 0.5% salicylic acid. I love this product because it is extremely soothing and leaves the skin looking and feeling healthier. It has a slightly medicinal scent with notes of cucumber and citrus. I use this in the evening after cleansing or cleansing and treating.

Mario Badescu Drying Cream – is a thick, clay-like cream that is used as a spot treatment for acne blemishes. It contains ingredients like aloe, beeswax, lemon extract, and colloidal sulfur to quickly dry blemishes, even erupted ones! I like that this product is slightly tinted to conceal problem areas as well. I typically use this product when I have a stubborn blemish that needs to be dried out.

Clinique Spot Healing Gel – is a concentrated 1.0% salicylic acid gel that is used as a spot treatment for acne blemishes. I use this product when I have a deep cystic blemish that needs a little extra help. Unfortunately this product is no longer available, so I will not ramble on about how wonderful it is.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer – is a gentle moisturizer that has a light milk and honey fragrance, and ingredients like sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and avocado oil. Kiehls also has an identical product that contains an SPF, but I opted for this one so I can use it anytime for any occasion. I use this product every morning, and every time I apply makeup.

Dior DiorSnow UV Sheild – is a translucent SPF 50 PA+++ moisturizing cream. It has the most luxurious feeling to the skin, and has a convenient pump applicator. I usually mix this in with my Kiehls moisturizer daily, but I also apply a proper coat to my entire face and neck when I know I will be in the sun all day. This product gives fantastic sun protection.

Burts Bees Radiance Eye Cream – is a thick, hydrating eye cream that has ingredients like royal jelly ( which is “made of nectar, pollen, flower parts, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients. It is a very precious, mysterious substance that honeybees produce for the queen bee”), cucumber, and chamomile. It has a strong smokey campfire fragrance that could be bothersome to people, but it does not bother me much as it dissipates fairly quickly.

Vitamin E Oil – whenever I am not wearing makeup for the day, or have extra dry skin or dry patches, or want to pamper my skin, I apply vitamin e oil. It keeps my skin super soft, smooth, clear, and healthy, and I would recommend this to everyone. I use the Derma E Vitamin E Skin Oil 14,000 I.U..

Where to Buy:

Proactiv+ – http://www.proactiv.com , about $40 dollars for a three step system. My sizes are 6oz for the cleanser and 3oz for the hydrator.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo can be found at drugstores like CVS and Ulta for about $36 dollars for 1.35oz .

Mario Badescu Drying Cream can be found at Ulta for about $14 dollars for 0.5oz .

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer can be found at : http://www.kiehls.com/Ultra-Facial-Moisturizer/351,default,pd.html?start=16&cgid=face-moisturizers , for between $18 and $38 dollars depending on the ounces you choose.

DiorSnow UV Sheild can be found at Sephora for $58 dollars for 1.3oz .

Burts Bees Radiance Eye Cream can be found at drugstores like CVS and Ulta for about $18 dollars for 0.5oz .

Vitamin E Oil can be found anywhere that sells vitamins. I got mine at Sprouts market for less than $15 dollars for 2oz .

Hourglass Immaculate Foundation Review and Swatches!

Hey Everyone!

This post as all about the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. It is a mattifying, oil free foundation that offers a medium to full coverage velvet-matte finish, and is made with anti-aging phytostem edelweiss and lavandox.

If you have normal or dry skin, you better be sure that you moisturized your skin before applying this foundation. While it is amazing, and one of the best foundations I’ve ever used, it can be very drying and cling to dry patches. It’s weakness though, is also its strength. This foundation uses kaolinite clay to absorb about 75% of the oil your skin produces while wearing this foundation, which is a lot! It eliminates the need to powder, blot, touch up, or even check on your makeup throughout the day and night. This foundation will be a holy grail product to those of you with oily skin. And for those us of with normal or dry skin, just moisturize before application, and it can be a holy grail for you too.

This foundation applies best with a dense synthetic brush or a beauty blender sponge, but also applies well with a flat foundation brush or your hands. You can buy this product for $55 dollars at Sephora.

Overall, I give this foundation *5/5 stars*.

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

Holy Grail! Calvin Klein Foundation Review and Swatches

Hey Everyone! I recently picked up the Calvin Klein CK One 3-in-1 Face Makeup at Ulta, and let me say  that it was love at first swatch. I first saw this collection in the checkout area at Ulta a while back and thought that the packaging looked a little gimmicky due to cartoon type drawings; little did I know that this was just packaging from their spring collection. But while I was browsing the aisles last time, I saw the brand again and decided to check it out. I am so glad I did!

The foundation is advertised as a daily serum, primer, and foundation in one. It has an SPF of 8, vitamins A, C, and E, and is non-comedogenic. This foundation feels absolutely weightless on the skin. It has the most natural finish and looks, dare I say it, like exactly like skin!

It offers light to medium coverage, but can be built up to a strong medium without any cakeyness, and keeps it lightweight feel. Normally foundations that offer all of these wonderful things melt off or make your look oily throughout the day, but this one stays on perfectly. It applies great with a synthetic kabuki brush, a beauty blender, and even your hands.

If I was reading this review before trying this product, I would probably not believe a foundation could be this good, but I promise you that it is. After only three uses I can already say that this is my HOLY GRAIL foundation. I can’t wait to try everything else this brand has to offer!

I use shade 100 Porcelain. You can get this foundation at Ulta for $30.00 or here —> http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?skuId=2245885&productId=xlsImpprod4270185&navAction=push&navCount=1&subdoc=2cklookreal&categoryId=cat80022

 

Best Concealer Ever!

Hey Everyone! Today I want to talk about the ongoing battle I had trying to find the “perfect” concealer. Up until finding my holy grail concealer, I had been using the MAC Studio Finish Concealer to cover blemishes and scarring ,and the MAC Select MoistureCover Concealer as my under-eye concealer and also to cover any redness. While these are great concealers, I still found that they weren’t doing their job as well as I would have liked.

The Studio Finish Concealer covered the blemishes well, but if I had to use it on an area that I had enlarged pores, such as my cheeks, it made both the blemish and the pores stand out. I also found that it “slid” off my skin easily even after being set with powder, and needed frequent touch ups. I also had to be careful not to touch up too frequently or use too much because this concealer was easily made to look cakey and dry.

The Select MoistureCover concealed redness very well, but creased and settled into my fine lines terribly. And if I added more to touch up under my eyes, it got patchy and dry; even though the word “moisture” is in its name! Other than that, I really like how light it feels on the skin and how natural it looks.

That being said, I found myself starting to use my current favorite foundation, Revlon ColorStay, as a concealer by using it under and around my eyes, and by doubling up on it on blemishes. By doing this I had no problems with creasing under my eyes, blemishes being uncovered, or prominent enlarged pores. Then one day when I was browsing the drugstore makeup aisle, I came across the matching Revlon ColorStay Concealer ! Needless to say I started using that instead of doubling up on the foundation and from then on it has been my go-to holy grail concealer. Here are the main things I like about it :

* NO Creasing Under Eyes

* NO Settling into Fine Lines or Pores

* All Day and Night Super Staying-Power

* Natural Finish

* True Full Coverage

* Neutral Colors (not overly warm or cool toned)

* Light Feeling Consistency

* Easy to Use Doe-Foot Applicator

**** You can get this for $5.99 at Ulta