Skincare

Clarins Bright Plus HP Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel

By on September 18, 2013
Clarins Bright Plus HP Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel ($38)
Clarins Bright Plus HP Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel ($38)

Am I the only one who thinks that “Bright Plus HP” sounds like something you’d collect in an old role-playing video game? I honestly have no idea what HP means in Clarins land, but to me it means I’m absorbing health points. I wish I could find out what it references on their website, but I don’t see any indication. Anyhow, Bright Plus HP is a line of products by Clarins that helps to bring out radiance and improve skin tone. The Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel is a clear liquid that you apply on your face with a cotton pad after cleansing and leave on overnight once or twice a week. It’s an exfoliating lotion that removes old skin cells and boosts cell turnover for a brighter, younger looking complexion.

Update: Sometime in 2014/2015 Clarins discontinued the Renewing Brightening Peel and introduced the Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, which boasts very similar ingredients (a combination of glycolic, salicylic and tartaric acids as well as tamarind and white nettle) and is similarly intended to be used once or twice a week. I don’t have the ingredients list for the toner and so cannot confirm that they it is the same product, but the two products are certainly close.

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Makeup

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

By on September 16, 2013
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner ($20)
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner ($20)

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is a felt tip liner that boasts a quick-drying and long-wearing formula. I have it in black, but it does come in 7 other colors, as well. It’s a favorite of many, and its applicator is described as versatile and beginner-friendly. I was initially introduced to it through one of Sephora’s displays of recommended eyeliners. I’ve never really been in the habit of wearing liquid eyeliner on a regular basis, so I can be a little clumsy with them in general and I thought that perhaps the stiffer felt tip may be a handy help with drawing an even line more reliably.

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Makeup

Prestige High Intensity Eyeliners in Deepest Black, Daring Green, and Lively Turquoise

By on September 14, 2013
Prestige High Intensity Eyeliners in Deepest Black, Daring Green, and Lively Turquoise
Prestige High Intensity Eyeliners in Deepest Black, Daring Green, and Lively Turquoise ($5.50/ea)

Prestige is a brand that’s relatively new to me. I’ve seen people say good things about them on the internet, but I just don’t see their products in stores much. A couple of months ago, I noticed that my nearby Bed Bath & Beyond had a skinny sliver of a display for Prestige within their cosmetics section, and I decided to grab a few of their pencil eyeliners. I walked away with Deepest Black, the vibrant Lively Turquoise, and the more muted Daring Green. I was particularly excited about Daring Green because just earlier that day I’d seen that Chanel was coming out with an khaki green eyeliner for the fall, and I thought it’d be really helpful for my bank account if I could just nip that temptation in the bud with a cheaper pencil of a similar color.

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Makeup

Maybelline Fall 2013 Color Sensational High Shine Gloss in Purple Royale

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Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Lip Gloss in Purple Royale (LE)
Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Lip Gloss in Purple Royale (LE)

When I saw this deep purple gloss show up in my local drugstore, I knew I had to try it out. I already have a few of the permanent Color Sensational High Shine Lip Gloss shades and I’ve been very happy with them (for a while there at the beginning of summer I was wearing One Shine Day practically every day). Purple Royale is a deep, cool purple gloss, which is something that I do not already have in my collection. I’m looking forward to the weather cooling down a bit so that this kind of shade feels a little more appropriate!

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Bath & Body

Made-up Marketing: Smell the orchids

By on September 12, 2013

It should be clear, by evidence of this blog, that I’m a pretty big fan of the beauty industry. There are few things I love dropping my money on more than the latest and greatest makeup and skincare products. However, I believe it is also no secret that sometimes the marketing teams of these cosmetics and skincare companies try to sell us on some crazy and completely made-up things. Rather than just passing by their ridiculous ads, product names, and buzz words, I thought that maybe documenting these little nuggets could make a fun series. Which brings me to exhibit A:

Philosophy Orchid Blossom shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath
Philosophy Orchid Blossom shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath

I caught this display of Philosophy Orchid Blossom shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath at Nordstrom Rack recently. Philosophy has a huge collection of deliciously scented 3-in-1 products, and I’m sure that this particular variant is delightful. But when I saw this, I thought to myself, “well, huh. What on earth does an orchid smell like?”

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Makeup

MAC Pressed Blot Powder

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MAC Pressed Blot Powder in Light ($25 for 0.42 oz.)
MAC Pressed Blot Powder in Light ($25 for 0.42 oz.)

I don’t carry a lot of makeup in my purse. Just a few lip balms, and this: MAC Pressed Blot Powder. I picked this up this past spring when I could tell that my face was gradually getting a little oilier throughout the day. It’s perfect for taking on the go, because the compact will never accidentally snap open, it has a nice mirror, and although I’ve tried different ways to apply it, the little puff it comes with that fits in the compact is actually the best tool for the job.

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Skincare

LUSH Ayesha Fresh Face Mask

By on September 11, 2013
LUSH Ayesha Fresh Face Mask ($6.95)
LUSH Ayesha Fresh Face Mask ($6.95)

Following my experience with LUSH’s Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask (review here), I returned to LUSH to try a different mask of theirs. I let the sales associate know that I was looking for something a little stronger in the cleansing department than Love Lettuce was. She suggested Ayesha, which includes clay and witch hazel but is still gentle and nourishing. On the packaging and on the website, Ayesha is described as ideal for mature skin, and although I’m not even yet 30, I’m not in the habit of turning down anti-aging benefits.

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Makeup

LORAC Visual Effects Mascara

By on September 10, 2013
LORAC Visual Effects mascara ($20 for .326 oz.)
LORAC Visual Effects mascara ($20 for .326 oz.)

LORAC Visual Effects mascara was a Nordstrom Rack find a few months back, and it was my first mascara I’ve tried from the brand. I hadn’t heard a thing about it when I saw it, but with the price discounted as it was I thought it’d be worth a try. Visual Effects is described as a curling, separating, and lengthening mascara and has a four-sided plastic comb wand. The wand can be a little tricky, but I think it gives lashes a striking look!

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Skincare

Mini-reviews of 5 facial cleansing towelettes, vol. 1

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I’ll go ahead and unofficially dub this the green edition of facial cleansing towelette reviews, not because they’re all environmentally kind (though several of them are!) but because they all happen to have green packaging! Well, green-ish. For much of my life I’ve been a huge fan of cleansing wipes. I’m lazy, what can I say. They’re some of my favorite ways to remove makeup, and are great for sticking in a gym bag or for travelling.

Just a few words on how I use cleansing wipes and what qualities I look for when I’m purchasing them. Over the years, I’ve tried a wide variety of them, and mostly stick to options that are under $8 or so for a pack of 20-30 (all the towelettes in this set of reviews are in the $5-6 range). Something else that’s developed in the last year or so is that I specifically am looking wipes that aren’t completely soaked in harsh alcohols. Lots of the cheaper wipes rely on alcohol and aren’t great for the skin, so more recently I’ve been looking for options that rely on gentler ingredients. One more thing I’d like to note is that I don’t completely rely on wipes for full facial cleansing. I use them mostly for makeup removal, and then follow up with a facial cleanser. I wear makeup and SPF during the day and don’t fully trust a wipe to remove all of that plus offer a full skin cleansing.

That all being said, I basically want a wipe that effectively removes makeup and doesn’t leave any off-putting residue on my skin. Pretty simple, right? So let’s get to it. In this edition, I’ll provide brief, straightforward thoughts on the Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes, Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes, Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissues with Green Tea Extract, Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, and Alba Botanica Hawaiian 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes.

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Skincare

B. Kamins Laboratories Sun Defense SPF 30

By on September 8, 2013
B. Kamins Laboratories Sun Defense SPF 30
B. Kamins Laboratories Sun Defense SPF 30 ($36 for 4 fl. oz.)

Summer’s on its way out, and I just wanted to say a few quick words about a sun protection product I loved using over the past few months. Sun Defense SPF 30 by B. Kamins Laboratories was one of the sun protection products I received over the summer in my Sample Society subscription boxes, and it wins the prize for being my favorite sun protection product that I used throughout the season.

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