Wednesday, December 28, 2011

REVIEW: Urban Decay DeSlick $29.00

Claims: “Made especially for oily skin, the high-tech ingredients in our weightless mist control shine and keep your makeup as you applied it all day long!

When the oil production of your face rivals a small OPEC nation, you need a mighty ally. In an exclusive partnership with SKINDINÄVIA, we developed De-Slick for customers who need their makeup to last. De-Slick absorbs excess sebum and deflects surface shine with state-of-the-art light dispersing particles. The problem-solving, hypoallergenic formula mists on, feels weightless, and sets makeup so it endures ALL DAY. Our patent pending Temperature Control Technology (beware of imitations!) actually lowers the temperature of your makeup to hold foundation, eyeshadow, blush and concealer in place. The sprayer, unlike others on the market, delivers a micro-fine mist that distributes product evenly over the skin.”

What it does for me: So there has been a lot of buzz lately surrounding "setting sprays" and honestly I don't think they are work quite as much hype as they have received.I only own the Urban Decay DeSlick spray so I can only speak to the efficiency of this one.

After using up 1/2 the bottle I found that it does give me a nice semi-matte finish. The site also claims that this gives 16 hours of shine control, but for me this is definitely not the case. I look dewy by the 5th hour, which is fine by me, but I need to blot nearing hour 6 so meh :/.... This is not a miracle worker but a few things that I do like about it are it "sets" my mineral powder and melts my makeup into my skin for a more natural and less painted/powdery look. It also feels really nice and cooling while reducing cakeyness from too much powder.

Final thoughts: I’m going to try the original SKINDINÄVIA sprays when I run out. I don’t think its really anything too special but it does help with cakeyness.

3/5 stars

REVIEW: Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup $24.50

Claims: “Feels so fresh, looks so natural. Non-irritating, oil-free makeup helps blend away blemishes, neutralize redness. Medicated ingredients help treat existing breakouts and keep them from coming back.”

What it does for me: This is a medium coverage liquid foundation. When I had originally purchased this it was at the end of summer 2010 so I had a bit of a tan and picked the shade 03 Fresh Neutral. I had some acne because most SPF and my skin don’t play nice L.

I don’t think this really did much in the way of healing my blemishes but it definitely did not break me out and covered my redness really well with out accentuating problem areas. Many other reviews say that this is hydrating but I found it to be somewhat drying which was good for me.

Since my skin has cleared up a lot I just use it as a spot cover for the occasional pimple J

Final thoughts: This is a nice foundation overall but the bottle is a bit small for the price to me. I have never tried the Neutrogena version, but if you are concerned about price you may want to try matching yourself there first.

4/5 stars 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Drugstore Mini-Haul!

Since I had to go to my local CVS to get some more cold meds ( urgh...) I decided to also get some pick me up treats!

I wanted baby shampoo because I've been trying out different ways of cleaning my brushes and baby shampoo is one of the most popular ways to do it. 

PF was on sale at CVS at buy 1 get 50% off the next one. I actually got one of them for free because I had a $6.50 reward coupon so that worked out nicely hehe.

I also ended up going to Walgreens as well because I needed to get more mouth wash (they only seem to sell Closys at Walgreens) and ended up seeing some cute Essie minis that I got for my sister's as stocking stuffers :) I would have picked up the other duo with a really cute lavender but they already have that color and the neutral one that was paired with it wasn't impressive so.... :P. I also got a new base coat because mine has bubbled? I'm not sure what is wrong with it but I looked up the reviews when it started doing that and apparently it is a common problem with this product (Sally Hansen Diamond Base something or other). I saw a display of Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters and HAD to pick up another one because I was just loving the one that was in my previous haul so I will review these soon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

ELF Studio Blushes

Hey guys,
I recently hauled in some of ELFs studio line and purchased 4 of the blushes. In the swatches below the colors are from left to right: Mellow Mauve, Tickled Pink, Candid Coral, and Peachy Keen. This is a pic of my inner wrist and forearm area and I have a fair to medium skin tone with cool under tones... I think. Please correct me if I'm wrong lol.
Grey day sunlight

Indoor lighting
From what I can tell these seem to be the more popular shades. I've seen Candid Coral used in a lot of youtube tutorials, but the color I've been loving on me is Mellow Mauve. I've been using the Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Cupid ($20) and the textures and finish feel rather similar to me. The texture and blending ability also reminds me of my old Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color in Rose Petal ($24), but with a different finish. However the ELF ones are $3 each for about the same amount of product is a great deal if you find a shade you like :) I will def restock on Mellow Mauve when I hit pan but the other ones... Idk yet. I think the two lighter ones I will use in the spring/summer and I might start using Tickled Pink soon. For now its Mellow Mauve though!

The good:
-These have a very silky texture and easy to blend to give a natural flush of color.
-They have a natural semi-matte silky sheen when applied with a brush.
- Good and lasting pigmentation.

The bad:
- One of these is redundant with the one in the blusher/bronzer pallet when seen in person... :( I think it was Candid Coral. I would not have gotten 2 of the same thing that it is the wrong season for haha.

In the End:
I do really love high end makeup, especially blushers, but I think my $20+ colors got a run for the money with these! If they come out with more colors that work well for me I will def be collecting those as well :)


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ELF and Target Haul

I recently made some purchases from ELF and Target that I wanted to share with you guys :)

Studio Blushes: Mellow Mauve, Tickled Pink, Candid Coral and Peachy Keen
Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder
Studio HD Powder
Essential Shine Erasers

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter: Peach Parfait
Sonia Kashuk Remove - Eye Makeup Remover
Blending Sponge

I've heard a lot of hype about the ELF Studio blushes and since there was a 40% off Studio I decided to try them. I got the HD powder to compare to my Makeup For Ever HD powder and the Shine Erasers to stock up on some blotting papers and get over the $25 for free shipping.

More recently there has been tons of hype surrounding the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters so I let my boyfriend help me pick one color. I'm not much of a lip product girl and when I buy them they are usually balms so I figured this would be the best way for me to get a bit of color on my lips :) I've also been wanting to try a blending sponge and since I'm on a budget I decided on the one by Sonia Kashuk. The eye makeup remover was right next to it, so it was kinda an impulse buy (bad!) but I've been needing a new eye makeup remover since I'm almost finished with and really dislike my current Almay one.

Swatches and reviews coming soon :)

xo KP

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Acne Story and Murad Acne Complex Review

Dear Readers if you are out there,

If you watch a ton of youtube makeup vids like I do, then you will have noticed that many of the channel hosts have either struggled with acne or currently have problem skin. Like many of the other beauty bloggers out there on the net, I have struggled with my skin in the past. I don't really get breakouts now a days, but it took a while to rehabilitate my skin back to its current state.

My Acne Story started before I was even born...

Since my parents also had acne, for the most part I attribute it to genetics and hormones. When I get pimples there are generally small, inflamed, and white heads. I never really had a problem with black heads even though my T-zone is very oily. These days I have sort of an inverted T-zone with oil being concentrated on my nose and the part of my cheeks under my eyes.

The first time that I got acne was the summer before freshman year of high school. My family had decided to go to Disney World and then I got the WORST breakouts of my life. Not only were the inflamed but I then got sunburnt on top of it :( My sympathetic mother decided that it was time to step in and do something about my misery so we went to the mall in Florida and got the Murad Acne Complex kit that lasts 60 days. This was the only thing that ever made a dent in the crop of pimples on my forehead! Through continued use, my skin eventually cleared and I only had to deal with the occasional hormone induced breakout every once in a while.

Then came university, the beginning of a toxic lifestyle...

If you look up "acne face map" you will find that different locations on the face correlate to different underlying internal health problems. For me the primary pimple areas were the nose and forehead. This was because I was intaking to many toxins and not letting my liver get enough rest. In addition my eating habits were not good because the food at uni is terrible for the health even with daily exercise. I also made the mistake (repeatedly) of adding stress to my liver... ;)

From all the excess and stress in my life, the awfulness of acne resurfaced and with a vengeance. Murad alone could not stop this force of nature! I eventually broke down and went to the dermatologist this passed June. He prescribed me Differin 0.3 and Duac. This combination therapy with Murad's acne gel wash, moisturizer and mattifier healed my face- in one month the number and severity of pimples was reduced by 90% from when I first started. This is the regime I still use today and I don't plan on changing that any time soon. Even if there are cheaper products out there, I'm hesitant to change just because this works so well for me.

About Murad Acne Complex:
The Clarifying Cleanser is a gel wash that smells kind of like lemon lime gatorade. I massage this gently on my face and then follow up with a massage from my Clarisonic Mia. The was contains 1.5% salicylic acid which may or may not be a tad drying depending on skin sensitivity and level of oiliness. For me I find that this is just the right amount to get my face really clean but those with dry skin would most likely hate this product.

The Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel encourages cell turnover while treating active pimples. I don't use this anymore since I have Duac and Differin, but it did help me with acne in the past. When starting out with this product it stung in the way that acid burns. It kinda felt like a facial peel and for me it really did function that way. When ever I would try to blend out my sunscreen, I would always get balls of dead skin much like what you would see in a review of Cure (a japanese exfoliator). It also makes the face very red :( I would recommend using this at night and rinsing it off with cold water after 10 mins in the morning or only using it at night. Eventually my skin developed a tolerance to this stuff since I refused to give up but this is definitely not a favorite of mine.

The Skin Perfecting Lotion is also another gem in this set! It feels very hydrating and is very light weight without being way to watery. It does look oily for the first 15 mins after application or so, but just allowing it to soak in will solve the problem.

Also in the set is a the Acne Spot Treatment. It contains sulfur so it has a most offensive smell, but it doesn't last too long. However it can get kind of flaky due to the formulation so once again this is not a product for people with dry skin.

I personally do not use any treatment products from Murad since I have the ones my derm prescribed me, but they did work well for me once upon a time.

Hope that helps and sorry that this post sounds so pitchy, but I think that it is a line worth trying! If you get it from Sephora, the return policy is pretty good (save the receipt and box!) so if it doesn't work out then you can just get your money back.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Samples! 10/28/11

Things that I am currently trying out:
Lancome's Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate
Deluxe 100 point sample from Sephora

Sekkisei's Lotion
Sekkisei's White Powder Wash
Sekkisho's Perfect Cleansing Oil

Small samples from a local asian boutique.
The lotion bottle is actually empty.
Since many people are not familiar with the second company: Sekkisei and Sekkisho are owned by a Japanese company called Kose. Kose has many other lines and the prices for those lines varies from affordable to premium. Only two premium lines have made it to the US, one is called Awake and the other is Sekkisei. In the Sekkisei company there are 3 main sub groups: the original Sekkisei, Sekkisho, and Junkisui. The Sekkisei sub group can further be divided into the even pricier premium lines that Kose offers. Sekkisho sub group is concerned with the skin's purity so it features products like cleansing oil and masks while Junkisui is a collection meant for oily skinned people.

This will be the last day of Sekkisei's Lotion sample for me. It works really well to control my oil and skin pH so that my skin feels relaxed and soft. This isn't Kose's line for oily skinned people which is why I find it a bit weird that it controls that for me, but it was a nice surprise for sure.  I really like it, but the one thing holding me back from getting it would be the price.

I've used a powder wash and cleansing oil from DHC before so I will be comparing those from memory since I used up the DHC products a while ago.
*Update!: The Sekkisho cleansing oil definitely felt a lot more luxurious than the DHC one, but for the price and functionality DHC is definitely a better value. If you have the money and want to give the more luxe line a try, then reach for the Sekkisho. Its really nice and slippery and has a wonderful fragrance too. On another note, the powder wash made my neck skin break out in a rash! Unfortunately I have very sensitive skin, but on the bright side it also recovers quickly. It burned pretty badly in the shower all of a sudden, but the inflammation is down and more or less gone in under 24 hours but still.... :(

The Youth Activating Concentrate is supposed to stimulate the genes that are more active in the skin of younger people. My assumption, correct me if I'm wrong, is that this serum is meant to boost things like collagen production by turning on genes that the cells no longer really use because they have aged. As someone who wants to make a profession in skin care I'm rather fascinated with this and I hope that it lives up to my expectations.

I will update when I have finished the samples. The Lancome sample is deluxe sized from Sephora so it will likely take a while to finish. The Kose samples are from a small asian cosmetics boutique near where I live.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Daily Skin Care Routine Suggestions

To start off this blog I'm going to talk about daily skin care routines. Basic skin care should always include a gentle cleanser, a toner for your skin type, spot treatments if needed and a moisturizer for your skin type. Any products recommended were purchased and the product was used to completion so I think my opinion on these items should be sound. The products came from various sources such as drugstores, Sephora and other online shops. None of the images are owned by me and were found using Google search.

When selecting a cleanser, keep in mind that this a product you will be using everyday, so pick something that is mild. I highly suggest a cleanser that you can work into a foam, because foams prevent you from "scrubbing" and irritating your skin while effectively removing impurities such as excess oils and makeup. For most skins a cleanser such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. I have personally tried both a long long time ago and they both worked well before I had "troubled" skin- which is something I will write about at a later time.

As for toner, the only suggestion I can make here is to try samples if you can. Everyone's skin has different needs and a toner is meant to help boost your complexion while addressing you skin's needs. Most toners have been hit or miss for me. Some work great, ok, or just don't do anything at all. There are two popular ways that toners are sold- bottle and spray. The one spray toner that has worked for me is by Murad and is in their Resurgence line. It's meant for anti aging, but I find that it hydrates my oily skin quite nicely without making my skin look gross under my moisturizer during the day. The best bottled toner that is applied with cotton pads was DHC's Balancing Lotion. This is directed at normal to oily skins and balances the pH of the skin to reduce oil.

Moisturizers are also a little tricky to find the perfect fit. Once again try to get samples if you can. Always try to select a noncomedogenic formula in order to not clog your pores. Moisturizers that are too heavy for your skin often cause clogged pores and can make your skin look greasy. Murad's Skin Perfecting Lotion is my go to moisturizer. Before I found that I used a Clean and Clear moisturizer but that was part of the discontinued Soft line*. I'm not sure if they have come out with an updated collection or whatnot since this line was really the only thing that attracted me to the brand.

Those of you with acne prone skin might be temped to use washes and other products with a high doses of medication- DO NOT DO THIS! From personal experience, the over medicated formulas tend to dry out my skin more thereby causing my skin to produce more oil. This only repeats the vicious cycle that leads to acne. If you must, use a cleanser that contains a small amount of salicylic acid rather than benzoyl peroxide.  Also try to avoid alcohol containing toners as these will strip your skin of its needed oils in addition to the excess. Further more avoid medicated moisturizer because this step is supposed to help you skin recover from any treatments (such as clay masks, peels, etc) or spot treatments (benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, salicylic acid, etc).

I plan on doing a separate post about troubled skin and acne in the future. I will going into detail about how I overcame my skin's problems and give suggestions.

*Soft was only discontinued in the US, so you can still purchase this line from vendors in Canada or the internet!

Until next time,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting Started!

To my future readers,

This blog is will talk about lifestyle with a focus on skin care, makeup, and skin care research. I will review products that I own, have owned, or tried. I will also discuss techniques, home remedies, and medical research related to my interests in dermatology.

To keep my posts interesting, please feel free to leave any feed back and/or questions. I will try to the best of my abilities to give full responses.