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.