2013 Beauty Wish List!

Hey Beauties!

I am so excited for this season because there are SO MANY amazing sales and gift sets coming out! This post will be a great Holiday Gift Guide, as well as a list of items you should add to your list. Even if you don’t partake in the holiday season, these are some great products to pick up while all the sales are on.

*These are actual products that I hope to pick up this sale season, so I do not have any actual reviews of these products (yet). Also, this is an extravagant list of beauty products, and I do not want anyone to think that I am “asking for” or “expect to get” all of these things; this is just more of a master wish list of things I like/think are worth the money* ūüôā

Here we go :

Under $25

Soap and Glory Good, Butter, Best –¬†a 1.69oz trial size of their 3 best selling body butters including The Righteous Body Butter, Sugar Crush Body Buttercream, and Butter Yourself Body Cream. It comes in a cute little box packaging, and would be great to give/get in a set or individually. $15 at Sephora

Origins Drink Up Lip Balm Set –¬†a set of 4 gorgeous lip glosses in the shades Nude Nectarine, Pink Guava, Plum Punch, and Cherry Pop. Again, these would be awesome to give/get as a set or individually. $22 at Macys

Bumble and Bumble Tonic Shampoo –¬†a stimulating shampoo with peppermint and tea tree oil to invigorate and balance the scalp. I know shampoo seems like kind of a strange thing to get excited over, but my hair stylist uses this on me, and let me tell you, it feels amazing. 8oz for $25 at Sephora

Fresh Soy Cleanser –¬†a facial cleanser that uses soy proteins to cleanse, tone, firm, and moisturize the skin. It is suitable for all skin types, and feels absolutely fantastic. Again, I know its strange to get excited about something a simple as a cleanser, but trust me. 1.7oz for $15 at Sephora

Beauty Blender Sponge –¬†is the number one cult favorite makeup tool for flawless foundation application. EVERY beauty lover needs one of these in their life. $19.95 (varies) Sephora

Under $50

Origins Ginger Treats Set –¬†is an adorably packaged set of 3 ginger products including the Ginger Float Cream Bubble Bath, the Ginger Souffl√© Whipped Body Cream, and the Incredible Spreadable Smoothing Ginger Body Scrub. 3.4fl.oz each. $39.50 at Macys

Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes –¬†a unique take on the popular “Naked” type palettes that every beauty company has taken a shot at. I like this one best because though it does have the essential neutrals that every palette of this type requires, it adds a small variety of shades that even the most seasoned beauty expert has not seen in a palette of this kind; as well as an unexpected variation of neutrals. $48 at Sephora

Tarte Off The Cuff Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush Palette –¬†is a palette that consists of 5 coveted amazonian clay blushes. The shades include Dollface, Dazzled, Darling, Crave, and Park Ave Princess. This set also includes a black bracelet with a gold bow. $42 at Sephora

Philosophy Gourmet Popcorn Toppings Set –¬†a set of 3 delicious three-in-one(shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath) products in “flavors” that include Caramel Drizzle, English Toffee, and Praline Crunch. I always look forward to Philosophy’s seasonal selection, and am never disappointed. $26 at Sephora

Bumble and Bumble Super Rich Conditioner –¬†is an exceptionally luxurious conditioner that I have only been able thus far to experience in my salon. That will change. Soon. $25 at Sephora

Under $100

Ciate Nail Lab –¬†a kit for the true nail polish lover that contains 46 different nail polishes, top coats, glitters, tools, etc. as well as 14 instructional cards. It also comes in an adorable vanity drawer style container. Enough said. $65 at Sephora

Buxom Shimmer and Shake Lip Collection –¬†Let me just say that I am fully obsessed with the Buxom Lip Glosses, so when I found out their holiday set contained 15 polishes and creams, I about cried tears of joy. The shades include¬†Lauren, Rachel, Olivia, Victoria, Trixie, Dolly, Sandy, Katie, Sugar, Royale, Mudslide, Pink Lady, White Russian, Amanda, and Cherry Flip. $59 at Sephora.

Tocca Meet The Girls –¬†This set discovery was another tears of joy experience for me. Tocca is my all time favorite perfume brand, and this set contains 10 different .14oz sample sprays! It includes¬†Cleopatra, Stella, Florence (my signature scent), Brigitte, Giuletta, Colette, Bianca, Graciella, Violette, Liliana. Feel free to share the love amongst your friends with this set too ūüôā $62 at Sephora

 

 

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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

Mascara Reviews and Pictures!

Hey Ya’ll! This post features the mascaras that I have purchased and gotten samples of from the past year or so. And no I don’t use year old mascara! I simply have kept them for the purpose of reviewing later. ūüôā Here We Go :

Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara Рhas a medium sized tapered bristle brush and is medium wet in the consistency. It is great for lengthening as well as volumizing. It does not smudge and lasts all day on top and bottom lashes. $16.00 at Sephora. One of my favorites. 

Clinique High Impact Mascara Рhas a medium sized bristle brush with a slightly tapered tip. It is a wet formula, has great staying power, and is volumizing as well as lengthening. $16.00 at Sephora.

Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express¬†– has a medium sized oval bristle flexing brush and a very wet gel-mouse formula. $6.99 at Ulta.¬†

Maybelline One By One Volum’ Express¬†– has a medium sized oval rubber flexing brush and a medium wet consistency. It provides average volumization. $7.99 at Ulta.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara – has a small spiraled bristle brush and a semi-wet formula. This mascara clumps easily and I highly dislike it. $5.49 at Ulta.

Loreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara Рhas a medium-large bristle brush and a wet consistency. I prefer using this mascara over a dry mascara to add extra volume, rather than on its own. When used by itself it can clump and smudge. $8.99 at Ulta.

Covergirl Lash Blast Fusion¬†– has a thick medium sized ¬†rubber brush and a flat top. It’s a medium-dry mascara and adds a good amount of length and volume. $9.49 at Ulta.

Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Рhas a thick medium sized rubber brush with a flat top and a medium consistency. It is a holy grail mascara for me and add tons of length and volume when worn lightly or built up. $8.99 at Ulta.

Origins Underwear for Lashes – has a tapered spiraled bristle brush. It is essentially a lash primer that claims to add volume by attaching white fibers to the ends of your lashes. I don’t feel that this product works well at all, and is just a messy unnecessary extra step. ¬† $16.00 at Origins.

Origins Full Story Lush-Lash Mascara Рhas a small-medium bristle brush and a wet consistency. This mascara clumps and smudges horribly; especially when paired with the Origins Underwear for Lashes. $15.00 at Origins.

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara Рhas a thick medium sized bristle brush and a medium-dry formula. This is one of my all time favorite mascaras because it add the most incredible amount of volume and thickness to the lashes and is smudge proof. $18.00 at Sephora and Ulta.

Benefit They’re Real¬†– has a medium extra spikey plastic brush with added spikes to the tip. It is a medium-wet formula and is also one of my favorites. It quickly adds volume and length to your lashes and when applied heavily, it can look like you are wearing natural looking false lashes. $23.00 at Sephora and Ulta.

Pop Beauty Smoky Lash Kapow Рhas a medium sized slightly tapered bristle brush and a medium consistency. This mascara is volumizing but frequently flakes and smudges. $18.50 at Ulta.

The Balm What’s Your Type “The Body Builder” Mascara¬†– has a small bristle brush and a very wet formula. It is volumzing, but clumps and makes your lashes look messy and goopey. $19.00 at thebalm.com .

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes – has a very tapered bristle brush and a wet-medium formula. It adds mega volume and length and last all day and night.

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

 

 

 

Best of Beauty 2012

Hey Everyone! I recently saw a blog post on http://www.temptalia.com asking readers to vote for/nominate their favorite beauty products under certain categories. Of course I filled in the survey, but then I thought that this would be an interesting topic to post on MY blog too. So here you go! These are not all of the categories on Temptalia, but these are the ones I felt were strong winners in my opinion. Let me know what your favorites are of this year!

Best High End Brand: Laura Mercier

Best Budget Brand: Maybelline

Most Overrated Product: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick 

Most Underrated Product: Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

Best New Product: Loreal Color Riche Balm

Best High End Mascara: Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Best Drugstore Mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast Luxe

Best Cream Eyeshadow: Maybelline Color Tattoo

Best Powder Eyeshadow: Urban Decay eyeshadow in Sin

Best Eyeliner: N7 Liquid Eyeliner

Best Lip Balm: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment spf 15

Best Lip Gloss: Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk

Best Lipstick: MAC creamsheen lipstick in Hot Gossip

Best Highlighter: Nars highlighter in Albatross

Best Blush: MAC satin blush in Cubic

Best Bronzer: Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl

Best Concealer: Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation

Best High End Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 hr

Best Drugstore Foundation: Loreal True Match

Best Powder: MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural

Best Brushes: Sigma

Best Skin Care: Origins

Best Hair Care: Organix

Best Limited Edition: MAC eyeshadow in Jaunty from the Hey Sailor Collection

 

OK, now I am just going to talk about a few products in particular from the list! Lets start with the YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick (I have the color #13). I voted this most overrated because although it is very pigmented, smooth, and glossy, i found the staying power was lacking. I’m not sure why Beauty Gurus were loving this because unless you don’t mind reapplying every hour or so, I don’t think it lives up to the hype. On the other hand the most underrated product,¬†Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, was not very well received by most gurus, but I found it to be absolutely fantastic! The coverage is great and it looks extremely natural. I also think it delivers the benefits advertised fairly quickly from the first use. Also, I love the fair color because its very neutral toned and matches my skin perfectly.

I was having a hard time deciding which powder eyeshadow was my favorite this year due to all of the new fun palettes that came out, when I stumbled upon the Urban Decay Sin Eyeshadow and¬†I realized that I’ve worn this shade consistently throughout the year. Its a winner for me not only because of the number of times I’ve used it, but because of its incredible versatility. I’ve used Sin as a lid color, highlighter, crease color, blending color, and probably more ways that I am just not thinking of right now.The¬†Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk has been a Holy Grail lip gloss for me every since I got it as a free gift with purchase at Ulta towards the beginning of the year. It is a perfect plumping glossy nude with slight shimmer that looks good with literally everything!

Next I want to talk about MAC’s blush is Cubic. I got this shade after a similar limited edition one was sold out and the lady helping me recommended it as a dupe. If you are fair skinned like me, this is the most natural looking blush you’ll ever find. Its so subtle and feminine, without being bright or glowy (words you would normally WANT to describe your blush). When you look at it in the pan, it looks kind of “blah” to be honest, but once applied, its absolute magic.

Everyone who watches my videos knows that Sigma Brushes are my complete and total favorite, but the stand out of the bunch for me this year was the F84 Angled Kabuki. Its great for foundation, but does a whole bunch of other tricks too. Speaking of foundation, ¬†Kandee Johnson recommended using the Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation as a concealer, and she couldn’t be more right. I picked it up ( I’m in the shade E10) at IMATS in August and the lady told me it was almost 60% pigment, whereas normal foundations are only about 20% pigment. How fantastic is that! Especially for a concealer! Lastly I have to mention MAC’s eyeshadow in Jaunty¬†from their Hey Sailor collection in the summer. I was not thrilled with the collection, or any of their’s this year frankly, but this eyeshadow is a really great neutral for my skin tone. If your fair skinned try to find this on ebay. It’s worth it!

I know this was a long post today, but all the products I listed and or talked about deserved a mention. Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to tell me your favorite products.