Best of Beauty 2013

Hey Everyone! I cant believe its already time for my annual Best of Beauty list! Picking this years winners was even harder than last year because so many new products and brands launched; but without further ado, heres the list!

If you want to see last years winners, click here: http://wp.me/p2O2wx-1t

Best High End Brand : Hourglass Cosmetics

Best Budget Brand : Loreal

Most Overrated Product : Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner

Most Underrated Product : Neutrogena Crease Proof Eyeshadow

Best New Product : Butter London Wink Mascara

Best High End Mascara : Benefit They’re Real

Best Drugstore Mascara : Maybelline Mega Plush Volum’ Express

Best Cream Eyeshadow : Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour

Best Powder Eyeshadow : Laura Mercier Lustre Eye Colour

Best Eyeliner : Palladio Herbal Eyeliner

Best Lip Balm : Loreal Colour Riche Balm

Best Lip Gloss : Bare Essentuals Buxom Lips

Best Lipstick : Chanel Rouge Allure

Best Highlighter : Benefit Watts Up

Best Blush : Smashbox Blush

Best Bronzer : Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, Medium/Deep

Best Concealer : MAC Select Moisturecover

Best High End Foundation : CK One 3-in-1 Face Makeup

Best Drugstore Foundation : Covergirl Clean Whipped Creme

Best Powder : MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

Best Beauty Tool : Beauty Blender Sponge

Best Skincare Brand : Peter Thomas Roth, Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex

Best Haircare Brand : Big Sexy Hair

Best Bath and Body Brand : Lush

Best Limited Edition Collection : Too Faced Holiday 2013

Best Breakout Star : Hourglass Cosmetics

Like I did last year, I am now going to talk about a few standout products from the list! First of all, I want to talk about Hourglass Cosmetics and why I chose them for both Best High End Brand AND Best Breakout Star. I feel like this year Hourglass came out of nowhere with amazing and innovative products. Their Ambient Lighting Powders are already a guru favorite and are quickly becoming a staple in most beauty lovers collections. I think its fair to say we have never seen something quite like these powders just based on the sheer innovation, versatility, and quality. They also have an amazing range of foundations and other products that I look forward to becoming more familiar with.

Next, the Butter London Wink Mascaras are sadly not as celebrated as I feel they should be; which is why they were almost this years Most Underrated Product ( which ended up being the Neutrogena Crease Proof Eyeshadows because they are literally the easiest and quickest cream eyeshadow to use, and I have never heard anyone talk about them)….back to the Wink Mascara….Not only does this mascara has a great wand and color range, but the colors are insanely gorgeous AND pigmented. With only two coats I can get a fully opaque purple lash.

Finally, I want to discuss the Best Foundations of the year. The Best High End Foundation, CK One 3-in-1 Face Makeup (another breakout star), is the best of the year because it has one of the most natural finishes I’ve ever seen as well as feeling like there is nothing on the skin. It has an SPF of 8, a light pleasant scent, and keeps the skin healthy and clear. As for the Best Drugstore Foundation, I chose the Covergirl Clean Whipped Creme because it is extremely blendable and full coverage, which means it never looks cakey.

I hope you enjoyed this post! And make sure to let me know your favorites for the year !!!!!

 

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

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 “Lazy” Tip For Clean Skin!!!

This is the best tip I can give you guys for how to clean your skin when you’re really really tired! All you do is follow these easy and really quick steps:

1. Use a makeup remover wipe to get all of your face and eye makeup off. I use the Neutrogena makeup remover wipes.

2. Get a hot washcloth moderately to heavily soaked in water and place over your entire face. (kind of like at a spa facial) Do this until your face is steamy and your pores feel open. Then wipe off the excess makeup and residue with the washcloth.

3. Spray your face generously with the Lush Tea Tree Water Toner

This should take way less than five minutes, which is way better than removing your makeup, cleansing, toning, treating, moisturizing, etc. which takes me about ten minutes each night (I’m very thorough). By doing these three steps, you’ll be cleansing your skin and prepping it to look good the next day ; instead of doing nothing and getting breakouts and makeup all over your pillow.

The reason why this works so well is because of two things. One is that after you remove your makeup with a wipe, you prep it to accept treatment better by steaming the skin with a hot washcloth. The second is the actual ingredients in the Tea Tree Water toner. The three main ingredients in the toner are tea tree, grapefruit, and juniper berry.

Tea tree is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal, which basically means its going to heal, protect, and clean any kind of blemish on your skin, as well as your skin as a whole.

Not only is Grapefruit high in vitamin C (which is fantastic for the skin) but it is also an anti-inflammatory, which is skin calming and it increases pH levels to combat acne and balance oil levels.

Juniper Berry is awesome for unclogging pores due to its detoxifying and astringent qualities.

Please try this out the next time you’re too tired to properly take care of your skin and let me know what you think! Check out my video for more info!

 

Tea Tree Water

Im not affiliated with Lush, but you can get this at http://www.lushusa.com/Tea-Tree-Water/00405,en_US,pd.html