Let Your Skin Troubles Evaporate

FacialSteam

I’m so happy to be writing again after almost a month. I’m always inspired but lately haven’t been able to find the time or scrounge up the energy with my added school schedule.  Speaking of…the end of Spring term is exactly one week and one day away and I am feeling all of the hard work and long nights that it took to make it through.

Last week, I decided to pay more attention to de-stressing and detoxing my body and my skin so when I had finally found my Summer term textbook on Amazon, I decided to also see if there was something I could get to add to my arsenal of skin tools. Just like magic, I took a few clicks and voila! I had happened onto the Conair Facial Sauna System. And for all of $21.80, I was in business!!

Just an hour ago I embarked on my first facial sauna. It was certainly easy enough to do. Before I used the system, I cleansed my face with Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap Mild for Dry/Combination skin. This is an old standby, tried and true product for me. Definitely in my Holy Grail ranks. Next, I moved on to the steam system.

Gentle, yet effective cleansing

Gentle, yet effective cleansing

The Conair system itself was very easy to use once I had read the clear instructions. I didn’t use any of the attachments that come with the system as I just wanted to keep it extremely simple for my first time.  I read a couple of articles and how-to posts on using the system as part of a broader at home facial process. Some tips I used, others I discarded based on the sensitivity of my skin. For instance, most articles suggest steaming for a minimum of five minutes. My skin reacts and behaves badly with out prodding so I decided to try the lowest timer setting, which was three minutes. The process of steaming itself was so relaxing, I almost fell asleep. I was very surprised at how short of a time it took to bring me into a peaceful lull. So here is my biggest and most important tip: MAKE A CONCENTRATED EFFORT TO STAY AWAKE during your steam (for safety purposes of course).  Conair has designed the system with a few safety nets already (automatic on/off, timer which loudly signals the end of your session) but help the system out a bit and just do your best to stay awake, okay? K.

Steam in, Gunk out

Steam in, Gunk out

After the steaming, I rinsed my face with cold water as instructed and moved on to the next step in my facial: Clinique’s 7 Day Scrub Cream. I love this cream. It does a great job of exfoliating but is gentle as it is a creamier formula than most scrubs and grains. In fact, when it’s dispensing from its bottle, you think it’s a cream cleanser until you begin to rub it into your face and even then it’s hard to detect the actual exfoliating agent(s).

Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse Off Formula

After I rinsed my face of the exfoliating cream, I moved on to highlight of my facial: the brightening mask. The one other time I used a mask of this nature, it was the Garnier Dark Spot Treatment Sheet Mask. I liked it, it was effective and left my skin visibly brighter after only one use. However, since then, I haven’t been able to find it available for single use purchase. When it first launched that was the only option, now it seems to only be sold in a multi pack for around $17.99 at my local Walgreens. I haven’t seen it at Rite Aid. So, in the interest of finding a more affordable alternative, I decided to try the Walgreen’s version: Studio 35 Beauty Brightening Mask. I’m not blown away. It was…decent. I found it to be ill-fitting even though the packaging claims it can be torn for adjustment. I found that since it was so saturated with product (which is a great thing!) it was hard to get a good enough grip to tear it for sizing. And once it dried out enough to tear it, it was time to take it off. I also noticed that upon its removal, my skin was the same dull tone it was prior to use. It’s safe to say, I probably will not be using this again.

*shrugs*

*shrugs*

I finished my facial with the following products (in the order of use):

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 for Combination Oily Skin

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 for Combination Oily Skin

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin

Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage Roll On

Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage Roll On

My skin feels squeaky clean and very soft. With continuous use, I’m sure I’ll be to my goal of even, healthy, glowing skin in no time :)

Product Review: bareMinerals Ready to Go Complexion Perfection Palette

Hey glossies!

I know, I know…it’s been a long time since we chatted. My apologies! But I’m back and I’ve got a big review for you, so let’s get right into the fun, shall we? 

Okay, we all know that bareMinerals is a great brand with many wonderful products that are of good quality and are great for your skin and a flawless look. 

I’ve been watching YouTube reviews of the latest bareMinerals offering: the Ready to Go Complexion Perfection Palette and I adored the concept and added it to my “Beauty Hit List”, and it was topped some products that have been on the list for more than six (6) months. Since I’ve started a new course this year, I decided to treat myself at the end of each course week. I skipped a few weeks so I went big last week and purchased this palette in the shade R510-For Deep Golden Skin Tones.  I ordered this from Sephora.com which I always recommend as you can earn points to redeem for lots of other beauty goodies. 

This palette includes smaller portions of the following products (with each bareMinerals supplied description): 

  • bareMinerals READY Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in R510:  a long-wearing invisible coverage foundation that produces a 108% increase in skin hydration. 
  • bareMinerals READY Touch Up Veil in Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Dark: visibly reduces imperfections and shine for a soft-focus finish with skin-nourishing benefits. 
  • bareMinerals READY Bronzer in The High Dive: natural looking, waterproof bronze color lasts up to 8 hours and delivers smoother, firmer looking skin. 
  • bareMinerals READY Luminizer in The Shining Moment: enhances the complexion with a candle lit radiance and soothed, conditioned skin. 
  • bareMinerals Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF20 in Dark 2: creamy formula reduces the appearance of dark spots and discolorations all day long. 
  • Mini Precision Face Brush
  • Mini Tapered Face Brush

and it’s all housed in a “keepsake clutch.” Now, let me be clear. I love this concept of any palette that’s perfect for on-the-go. But I’m not at all in love with this particular palette. In fact, I used it once and promptly boxed it up and sent it right back to Sephora. Wait, let me be fair. I did LOVE the bronzer, but I’ll be purchasing that separately as that was the ONLY thing I loved. The palette comes with an instructional/makeup how-to booklet and I followed all the instructions, piling on the products one at a time and the end result pretty enough but I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin at all. It felt that I had too much product on: no woman likes to feel such a way. 

Also, this whole “keepsake clutch” business annoys me a little. This palette is not refillable. You just have to keep buying a new one (at $49 a pop!) each time you’re depleted. WHY IS THIS NOT REFILLABLE?! And what happens if you run out of the concealer before the foundation??

Ugh, I digress. My bottom line advice: spend the $49 on something else that you’ll be absolutely in LOVE with. 

Have any of you tried this palette before? If so, I’d love to hear if you’ve had the same or different experience. 

Apologies for the long post, but it’s good to be back! :)

xo, Layla

 

Review: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Faces Sunscreen SPF 45+

neutrogena pure and free  baby sunscreen

 

Hey glossies!

Sorry for posting so late, I had to attend to coursework first. You know how it goes. Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do sort of thing.

Can we talk about sunscreen?? It’s crucial in any skincare regimen and is often overlooked as a helpful anti-aging tool. Additionally, for some people like me, it’s a part of keeping healthy and must be applied with great care and mindfulness every day, multiples times.

Make no mistake, everyone should apply sunscreen every day, no matter what the season. Better safe than sorry after all.

I’ve been trying a lot of sunscreens and I thought this product that I’m reviewing would be a hit, but sadly it’s an epic miss. What a shame, Neutrogena usually is a great match for my skin.

I went online to drugstore.com and purchased a few things including a small tube (2.5 fl. oz) of Neutrogena’s Pure & Free Baby Faces Ultra Gentle Cream Sunscreen SPF 45+ (what a mouthful, huh?)

I usually like to try things out for 5 days, especially if it’s a skin product, but I couldn’t even get past applying this before I gave up, washed it off and proceeded to give my face a thorough cleansing. This cream was very hard to rub into my skin and left a severe white cast. I know that the general unspoken rule is that the higher the SPF the harder it is to apply with ease, but COME. ON. This was just too much. After I put it on my face it wouldn’t move. I tried patting it in and still nothing.

Unfortunately, Neutrogena may still have some work to do on this one. I don’t even want to return this, I’d rather just trash this. No bueno.

Well my loves, these things happen but Neutrogena is still a great brand and I look forward to trying more of their SPF options as they product great quality products (usually) at a very affordable price point.

What’s your sunscreen routine? Got any recommendations? I’d love to hear them. Talk to me!

Until next time. Stay glossy.

xo, Layla

Product Reviews: L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Concealers

loreal true match concealer cool 6-7-8-

Happy Saturday my glossies! How are you enjoying the first weekend of 2014? Personally, I’m still inside, not yet ready to face the aftermath of Winter Storm Hercules. Instead I’ve been hiding out and giving myself at home spa treatments, a quick foot exfoliation, and later I’ll be scrubbing my face clean of winter grime and assessing my progress on Operation: Great Skin. Which brings me to the topic of this post…concealers. The almighty cover ups, the holy grails of blemish cover up, etc. The right concealer can be a dream come true and inspire confidence in the most right of times.

First up: L’Oreal’s True Match Super-Blendable Concealer in the shade Cool 6-7-8. Let’s not beat around the bush here. I LOVE this product. I’ve been eyeing it for a long time–at least a year and have asked friends for their opinions and they’ve always said it was great, especially for a drug store offering but every time I would see them in the aisles the colors and consistency never seem quite right. So a couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge and purchased this product along with some other L’Oreal products. I’m really glad I decided to try this product. I was completely wrong about the shade match and consistency. In fact, I feel like L’Oreal is underselling this concealer. To me this shade also has a color correcting quality to it as it contains a hint of peach. I’ve also heard others with fairer and deeper skin say they felt the same way. The consistency is spot on. You can really see the R&D payoff in the way this concealer applies and dries down. The texture from the bottle that includes a doe foot applicator, which is perfect for under eyes) is creamy and thick, but not so thick that it’s hard to spread and blend. It dries down to a sheer powder like consistency. The dry down reminds me of MAC’s Select Cover Up. I’m not sure about others, but this concealer also has a brightening effect on my under eye area. Absolutely love this. Classes start again on Monday and I can already tell that this will be a staple, holy grail product for me as I’m sure it’ll come through for me when I need to cover up long nights of assignments and studying, etc.

Next, let’s talk about another concealer in L’Oreal’s True Match Super-Blendable line–their concealer crayon (see below):

loreal true match concealer crayon medium deep n6-7-8

 

I’ve purchased this product quite a while ago–almost this time last year actually. Bottom line: I like the idea and the consistency (it’s powdery and light) but the shade offerings are not up to par for me. I purchased the neutral offering of the darkest range they had, which was Medium/Deep N6-7-8. This product was too light for me and ending up looking ashy and chalky–not good for under eye (or any other) area. I want to look as naturally flawless as possible and this gives away my complexion secrets right away. I hate to toss this, but I can’t even see any other use for this. I tried to use it as a highlighter–that was a certain NO-GO. If you have fairer skin, however, I would try this product. It’s seems like it’d be a great, easy to tote cover up. Perfect for on-the-go, just throw it in your makeup bag or purse and you’re good to go always.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the days when I only need to use concealer for the one off breakout and not for every day coverage to be presentable, but in the interim, I’m glad I found a product that works.

What about you lovely people? What cover up do you use?

Talk to me!

Until next time…

xo, Layla

Review: Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup

clinique stay matte clove

 

Happy New Year!! 2014 has FINALLY arrived and I’m thrilled.

There’s a ‘but’…isn’t there always?? I hate to start the year off with a not-so-great review, but sometimes these things can’t be controlled.

Trust me. This will hurt me WAY more than it hurts you…so let’s just hurry up and pull off the band-aid.

I tried Clinique’s Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup in the shade Clove on Monday. As always when I’m testing a new foundation, I don’t use anything beyond my skincare, this means no primers, or anything else with mattifying properties. I didn’t even powder it after application. To be fair, I did get the wrong shade. Typically with Clinique my shade is Amber but for whatever reason Clove looked to be spot on, so that particular fail is entirely on me.

Here’s what Clinique says about Stay Matte:

“Tested for streaking and fading at 88°F with a constant 80% humidity, all to prove Stay-Matte stays fresh. At the same time, this patent-pending formula absorbs shine, controls oil, resists sweat. And you stay matte all day.”

First things first: applying the foundation was not easy, not even a little bit. The texture is thick and creamy and did not leave the sample jar easily. Once I got enough product onto the back of my hand it was difficult to get onto my face and spread it evenly, in spite of having the help of a stipple and traditional foundation brush. So, if you do end up trying this, just remember to have sponges on hand before you even start.

I applied the foundation at 7:50 am and checked it at midday, 3 pm and did a final check at 8 pm. I have to say that before I even left the house at 8:10, my nose area was already oily. Okay fine, there are worse things and luckily a blotting paper took care of that right away. (This, by the way, was the only time that I used a blotting paper the whole day) At all the checkpoints my skin was visibly oily and by 8 pm it looked like I had put butter on my face to melt. Wasn’t a pretty sight at all and I was quite embarrassed.

I’m usually a big fan of Clinique foundations but this disappointed big time. I will give it a 2 out of 5 rating and that’s simply because of the range of shades they have available for this particular product.

Sadly, I won’t be purchasing a full size of this particular formula. Instead, I’ll be sticking to my old faithful Superbalanced in my equally faithful shade, Amber.

Have you tried this foundation? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments!

xo, Layla

 

Review: Revlon “Girly” Nail Lacquer and Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

I wish I could love all beauty products that I try, but sadly that’s not always the case. These two products don’t make the “Keep” bin–not even close.

First up, Revlon’s Nail Lacquer in Girly.

revlon girly

Revlon’s nail polish is usually total hit or miserable miss for me so I’m not too surprised that I’m not in love with the formula or the color payoff but I really didn’t think I’d hate it as much as I do. I’m almost annoyed by it’s horrible job and feel that it’s not worth the space it takes up on the shelves. The only I can see loving this would be to time travel back to my pre-teen days when I had nothing but time to play with adding layers upon layers of nail polish and could get away with the clear base, sort of sparkly glitter flecks. Yes, flecks not chunks like they appear in the bottle. In fact, the whole polish appears differently in the bottle. The lavender base colors appears as though it would apply more opaquely–not the case at all. After two coats, it barely shows up, base and glitter equally. If adding a creamier base color and using “Girly” as a topper seems appealing to you, you may have a better experience. Sorry Revlon, but I am not in love.

Now…onto Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara…

Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Mascara

I received this in my Influenster VoxBox a few months ago. Fair warning: this tube is very big. You’ll need lots of room in your makeup bag–so much room that you may have to edit one or two (maybe three?) products out. First strike. I love the concept and intention behind this brush but the execution is poor at best. The brush itself is a great shape, but it’s a tad too big to pump up sparse lashes (like mine.)  I do like how the formula distributes evenly but it’s not enough for me to put up with its other shortcomings. The color payoff is on par with other brands. I’ve heard great things about Rimmel’s line of mascaras so I haven’t completely written them off but this one is NOT a home run. If you have fuller lashes or wear falsies on a daily or even semi-regular basis, then go ahead and give it a whirl, you shouldn’t be disappointed with this product all. For everyone else, keep walking by this one in the aisle and spend the money on a old favorite or something new that’s less likely to make you wrinkle your nose in disappointment and a tad bit of disgust.

I hate to be harsh but when you spend your hard earned money on anything, beauty products especially, you want to know that you’ll have at least a decent chance to getting what you think you’re paying for. Money doesn’t come easily enough to try everything and just toss away whatever doesn’t work out on a regular basis. Save those moments for things you’re really after and are willing to take the (calculated) risk on.

And as always, please remember that these are my personal opinions based on my own experiences. My perspective is only given with the best of intent–to help you navigate smartly :)

Later my loves.

xo, Layla

 

Products That Can Have SEVERAL Seats…

Perspectives make the world go round and generally create a more open environment and well rounded person. Don’t believe me? Well, watch closely because thanks to one of my co-worker friends (Hey Kelly!! :)) I’ve come to realize that I’ve been so busy gushing about my product loves, that I haven’t told you about the products that I hate and have wasted obscene amounts of money on. And boy, there’s plenty to tell. If my makeup brushes could talk, you’d get an ear and eyeful of the disgusted trials.

So, starting next week, I’ll be sprinkling in some products that weren’t worth the money, time or trials. Don’t worry, I’ll still be keeping you up to date on latest and classic trends, etc. but it’s important to make good buys when it comes to beauty because there is SO much out there.

If you have a specific product you’d like to check against my “sit down somewhere far, far away” list, feel free to comment below and I’ll post about it, or on the slim chance that I don’t have it, I will find you a post from another blogger that I think will be helpful.

It’s been a long day, and longer than anticipated night out. Chat later lippies.

xo, Layla