This past spring as the weather started to get warmer, I noticed that my skin was starting to get a little oilier and I decided that I needed to make a change in my makeup routine to keep my foundation lasting throughout the day. In addition to experimenting with moisturizers, I tried a small handful of primers to see if one of them might help me out: Neutrogena Shine Control Primer, Bare Minerals Prime Time, and Benefit’s The POREfessional. Unfortunately, they weren’t making a difference for me and I was starting to feel like I was getting ripped off. Closer to the beginning of summer, I decided to try L’Oreal’s Magic Perfecting Base when my local drugstore was offering 25% off L’Oreal cosmetics. This primer stands above the others that I’ve tried, and I’ve continued to use it daily all summer long.
I recently found this cute little LORAC eye shadow palette at Nordstrom Rack, which has become one of my favorite places to snag beauty products. I believe these palettes are exclusive to Nordstrom Rack, and there are two varieties available: the cool-toned Downtown Drama, and the warm-toned Uptown Allure. I think both are lovely options for autumn looks, and at $12, they’re very reasonably priced.
I received a little jar of Murad’s Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for Eyes earlier this summer in my June Sample Society subscription box. The jar itself looked teeny weeny, but I was able to use it twice a day for an entire month! It’s a really lightweight and fast absorbing gel-cream that promises to lock in hydration for 8 hours. I love how straight forward the claim and marketing message is. And you know what? The product is as effective as the message is direct.
I have an issue with muscle aches, and hot baths are one of the most simple and effective ways to deal with the pain so that I can get some sleep. Because I bathe nearly every night before I go to bed (and shower every morning, too), I’m constantly fighting dry skin. Rather than slathering myself in body butter twice a day, I find that the best way to deal with the dryness is to try and make the bathing process itself as hydrating as possible. I decided to try out L’Occitane’s Almond Shower Oil when I saw the big bottle, 16.9 fl oz, on sale at their outlet store for $30.
I was introduced to Red Flower’s Ocean Cleansing Hair Wash through my July Sample Society subscription box, which included a very generous sample bottle. Red Flower is based in New York and is self-described as environmentally and socially responsible as well as cruelty-free. Their product lines range from perfume and aromatherapy to bath and skincare, and feature an impressive list of enticing ingredients and scents.
About a week ago I spotted a display of the new Maybelline Fall 2013 LE lipsticks and spent some time deliberating over which one(s) I should take home with me. It bugs me to buy drugstore products at full price, so I decided to grab one for the time being. They’ve released four LE shades, three purples and a fuchsia, and Violet Intrigue was the most irresistible to me. I find it to be a pretty perfect balance between bold and wearable.
I think toners are one of the most confusing skincare products out there. Not because they themselves are complicated, but because of general widespread disagreement over their purpose as well as vague or misleading marketing. I don’t have a background in chemistry or dermatology but this is a subject I’ve spent a lot of time with, and my research has included reading professionals’ opinions, speaking with sales associates, and trying different products.
Toners are intended to be used after a cleanser but before any serums or moisturizers are applied. There appear to be basically two different schools of thought regarding what a toner is supposed to do:
1. A cleansing step that removes lingering dirt and makeup, dries up oil, and minimizes pores
2. A balancing step that lowers pH, soothes irritation, and prepares skin for absorbing moisture
Let’s talk through these two different notions for a moment.
Sample Society is a monthly subscription service that provides 5 deluxe beauty product samples in a cute little black box for $15/month. The service is put together by BeautyBar.com and Allure, and I’ve generally been very pleased with the products I receive from them. When I was searching for the right subscription service for myself, I found that the overall quality of a service can be difficult to ascertain from the contents of just one monthly box, so I thought that I’d put together a seasonal roundup for the boxes from June, July, and August so that you can get a good feel for whether this service could be a good fit for you.
LUSH is a brand that is relatively new to me. In just the past year or so, I’ve started taking notice of the store locations near me and stopping in to chat with the sales associates and try products. One of their product lines I was most interested in trying were their Fresh Face Masks, which are so fresh that they have to be kept in the fridge and have an expiration date that is only a month to a month and a half out from when they’re purchased.
I’ve seen the new Wet n Wild Pop Art Craze eye shadow trios here and there on the internet, but it always feels like it takes a while for these limited edition products to show up in my local drugstores. A couple of days ago I was just strolling through a Walgreens, about to walk out, when I noticed a mostly empty display sitting lower than knee-level under an unused sales desk in the cosmetics section. It was a Pop Art Craze display that looked like it could have held around 25 of the little trios, and there were just two left. Luckily for me, they were two different shades and I liked the look of both of them.