Monday, April 25, 2011

Mask of the Month: Dior HydraLife Beauty Awakening Rehydrating Mask

$37.00 for 2.5 oz.
First thing I noticed about this product is a very fresh and refreshing scent, similar to other HydraLife products but more potent for this mask. Second, this feels fresh and hydrating on the skin, and I don't get that thick, goopy, could-be-greasy, heavy mask feeling. (For example, this is a better choice for me in general than the Chanel mask from January because of it's lower cost and this doesn't feel as though it's sucking the life out of my skin. Purity doesn't always mean taking things out!)

Second, if this is rehydrating to skin than it is quite subtle and stealthy in doing so; I don't feel any dryness--that's for sure--but neither am I noticing a distinction between my skin before and my skin after use. Did it help lessen the itchy dryness around my nostril after cold-weather allergies? A little. Did it help heal that dryness? Not so all. Maybe I am taking the name too literally though. Perhaps "Beauty Awakening" is supposed to mean "if there is moisture in your skin then this will bring it forward to be seen in the outer layers." In that case you'd have to do a lot of extra work to deliver the benefits to your skin. As far as I can tell, this mask is a nice experience while it's on, but don't expect much, if any, difference when you take it off.

Who might this work better for than me? Drier skin types. Since my skin is oily/combination, it may have been that the mask was designed to get skin to the level of hydration my skin is already at, hence I saw no results. It's not exactly a cost-effective way to see if it works at all, but keep in mind that products really do work differently (dramatically differently) across skin types.

Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✩✩✩
Available at fine cosmetics retailers,, and Sephora. Ask for a sample where available, too! I got my sample at Macy's.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aveda Nourish-Mint Sheer Mineral Lip Color in 202 Sheer Mandarin

Part Eight for Build*A*Look #1: Backlit Beauty
Aveda Lip Color in Sheer Mandarin; $15.00 for 0.12oz/3.4g
Sometimes, people are really insincere when talking about how the products from a line they work for/with are, but in absolute honesty, I am impressed with Aveda. Because the line (the whole company) revolves around the active and majority plant and flower ingredients, some of the makeup/color line is limited by what those ingredients can do. For example, the wear-time takes a dive on some of the lip colors and eyeshadows. Here's how you fix the eyeshadow problem--wear a primer! It's that simple. Now to the lip colors.
Aveda Lip Color Sheer Mandarin in daylight
Oddly enough, I couldn't care less that Nourish-Mint Lip Color doesn't last over two hours because my lips have not felt this healthy in all the years I was a lip balm addict. That could be because none of the Aveda products contain petroleum or products thereof, so the natural goodness gives everything to my lips and takes nothing away. (So, to emphasize, this Sheer Mandarin is doing the same good stuff as Raspberry Tea Lip Glaze does.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bobbi Brown (Award Winning) Face Touch-Up Stick in Warm Ivory 1

Build-A-Look Part OneBold Lip and Concealer
$22.00 for 0.08oz/2.3g
Fantastic! Now, you'll have already assumed that I'm not talking about how my photos have turned out, but that is what happens when daylight eludes you for for a while. What's fantastic is this thick and creamy concealer (albeit sounding like a hot chocolate drink right now).
Bobbi Brown Face Touch-Up Stick in Warm Ivory 1
The long and short of it, because I already wrote this whole post and then it got deleted, grr, is that this covers blemishes and corrective colored concealers alike, lasts all day with a little powdered maintenance, and will last and look better than its $22 USD price-tag. I wish I knew more about the price conversion and international availability, but alas, maybe when my schedule frees up and I have billions of followers (i.e. never?) I will grow my posts into an international friendly lot!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Corrective Coloring with Physicians Formula Concealers

Build-A-Look #2 Part Two---Bold Lip and Concealer
Green and Yellow; $5.45 each for 0.15oz/4.2g 
My love-affair with Physicians Formula has been going strong for a couple of years now, and I can say without a doubt that it is all due to the red-reducing green concealer that has been their staple for over a decade. My first tube was a doe-foot applicator in a tube of liquid green, mind you; however, this Powder Finish green probably has better staying power than that ol' creamy one. Since at Aveda these days I really don't have time to do touching up after lunch and at any point before the end of my shift, staying power is extremely important.
Yellow on left, Cover Green on right with flash
Just as important to me is covering red on my skin while my Enbrightenment Serum does it's work over the next few months. Yes, that is exactly what green, the color itself, does, and right in toe, this concealer does, too! As to the yellow Powder Finish Concealer does quite the battle with dark circles under the eyes, but the powdery look just beneath the eyes can flatten the face significantly. I'd always recommend a creamier neutralizing layer over either the Physicians Formulas in order to reduced the appearance of the corrective colors if they're too strong.
Yellow on left, Cover Green on right in stormy daylight
You'll see from the photo below that you can still see a green hue, but the red is covered. I blend with a very light hand, stippling, and then cover with a concealer that is my normal skin color. If this is how you will use color-corrective concealer, be sure not to rub to the point of diminishing the "correction." That's why I stipple, mostly.
Cover Green covering red hyper-pigmentation; Yellow on under-eye dark circles (all unblended) 
Final judgement: Love these whole-heartedly and I recommend Physicians Formula as a brand whose products have never broken me out and have quality within the drug-store circle that I rarely find elsewhere. Easy to use and affordable, plus this will last you a good while.

Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✩
Available at drug stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Target (not technically a drug store whoops), etc.

How's the week been for everyone so far? Tomorrow's Friday, so that is definitely something worth celebrating with a wee splurge at my local CVS! I might just do it, too!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chanel Mat Lumiere Long Lasting Soft Foundation SPF 15

Build-A-Look Part One: Bold Lip and Concealer
$54.00 for 1.0 fl oz. of foundation
Thank goodness I got a sample size of this foundation. I really hate that for a long while I have heard nothing but good things about Chanel....everything and yet have been unable to be truly satisfied with any products. Not to say or suggest that some aren't good, but for their price-tags, I'm not in for the life-long haul of the brand.

In my continued quest to find a few good foundations that serve different purposes throughout the seasons, I had to pick up at least one from Chanel's counter at my local Nordstrom. The SA picked out the right color for me and, in theory, the right formula, but alas, I'm still not sold. Mat Lumiere, as it's name may blatantly yell, is formulated to reduce shine and the appearance of oil on the skin throughout the day.

My first bone to pick is that no matter how thinly or thickly or layered I apply this, my skin never looks matte. It looks natural finish with a bit or glow around the tip of the chin, at the cheekbones, and right between the brow, but the say that this mattifies my skin without or before the use of powder is a bold-faced lie. My second frustration is that after my favorite and wonderful primer from Smashbox and a setting powder, Chanel Mat Lumiere still manages to make my skin turn "natural" finish within maximum of 2 hours and starts pilling around oil after 4-5 hours. I don't know what foundations you've ever used, but for me and my oily skin, that's still unacceptable and frankly BAD.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kirkland Signature by Borghese Age-Defying Restorative Night Cream

$14.99 (may vary) for a .5oz Eye Cream and 1.7oz Night Cream
This is a very rich cream meant for all skin types which usually indicates that it shouldn't stimulate oil-production in combination or oily skin. This has a peculiar scent which dissipates quickly once applied. The Night Cream feels lovely on my skin and turns my skin matte seconds after I put it on. There is NO time that this needs to "sink in" or be "absorbed" before your skin goes back to lovely, hydrated texture, and that is my love-love-LOVE moment with this cream.

At no point did I wake up feeling like an oil-tanker had gone Titanic on my face, so for my oily skin, I approve of this soooooo much! Highly recommended. The thing that worried me the most about this is how much I was using compared to the Eye Cream. (Since I recently switched to Aveda) I can't say exactly how long it takes/took me to finish the 1.7oz jar, but I can say that the eye cream will last far longer for most people even when it's used twice as much as this Night Cream.

All in all, two lovely products worth every cent, scent, and disproportionate packaging amount.

Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
This Night Cream comes in a package with Kirkland Signature Age-Defying Protective Eye Cream and costs $12.99 for both.Sometimes available online at and at Costco Wholesale Warehouses.

Kirkland Signature by Borghese Age-Defying Protective Eye Cream

$14.99 (may vary) for a .5oz Eye Cream and 1.7oz Night Cream
The first use, the dry corner of my eye stung like crazy, but my eye didn't water. The discomfort went away after a minute or two, and my under-eye felt very moisturized. I can't place the smell of this, but it isn't really bad and dissipates after a few minutes.

Now that I have been using it a couple of months, I don't feel any discomfort and I still have over half the jar left. I can't say that the smell even gets my attention anymore, but it's something to be aware of. My under-eyes don't particularly look more youthful because I don't need it for that reason, but they feel far more hydrated; with use twice a day my dark circles have diminished significantly. I love this set, and it's worth a shot for the price, amount, and results.

Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✩✩
This Eye Cream comes in a package with Kirkland Signature Age-Defying Restorative Night Cream and costs $12.99 for both. Sometimes available online at and at Costco Wholesale Warehouses.

Kirkland Signature by Borghese Lash Defining Mascara

Part Six for Build*A*Look #1: Backlit Beauty
$6.99 (may vary) for two tubes of 0.37oz/5g
Costco Wholesale is both a blessing and a curse for me. While I absolutely enjoy buying way more for way less money, buying a dozen huge double chocolate muffins with chocolate chips for less than seven dollars has been less than kind for my waistline. However, Costco has been very kind to my skin and my beauty regimen. I've already told you the relative wonders of getting a quality foundation, concealer and powder set from Kirkland Signature for what amounts to pitlins in my over-done beauty budget and part of the story of the skin care range that gave me the first blemish and oil relief I'd had in over a year. Now it's time to hear more about how this wholesale empire is going to help me out as a makeup artist. Cue lights!

two huge tubes of mascara, yeh!
Part of the goal I had set for myself earlier this month is to organize my makeup collection in a way that would give me more of an idea of how much product (colors, eyeshadows, blushes, lipcolors, etc.) I have available for use on clients. First thing that struck me for hygienic use was that I personally had used all of my tubes of mascara, so I would not be able to use them on clients. Drat, because that's quite a bit of money's worth of stuff I will not finish in six months of use and cannot finish by use professionally. This is why Kirkland Signature by Borghese Lash Defining Mascara is going to save my buttocks soon, product amount for the price.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Worst Polish I've Ever Bought--Essie's 160 Sugar Daddy

Serves me right for trying to find a substitute for a Dior product I wanted...

When I was over at Easton, in Nordstrom I was eyeing Dior's spring pink polish, and I even whipped out a thumb and applied the polish. I passed though, because I thought "hey, I'm going straight over to Target after this; I will just match the color there." Lo and Behold I found what looked like the perfect match in the bottleEssie's Sugar Daddy.

Holy mess, was I totally wrong! Now, I've heard a lot about how fantastic Essie is supposed to be, and yes, this is my first polish from the line, but shouldn't you be able to see some color after FOUR coats of polish? Worse yet, isn't polish supposed to last more than a few hours before parts have literally worn off or whole nails have completely chipped/peeled away? Also, when you put four coats of polish on, it will take over half an hour for anything to begin to dry, and even then you should not go touching it within several hours.
Four coats of Sugar Daddy on thumb (left), bare nail on right with flash

Build A Look #2

Build-A-Look #2---Bold Lip and Concealer
Chanel Mat Lumiere Foundation in .5
Physicians Formula Powder Finish Cover Green and Yellow Concealers
Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick in 1 Warm Ivory
Lotus Bio-Mineral Pressed Foundation in Fair 1
Sonia Kashuk Sweet Nothings 16 Eye Palette
Aveda Uruku Bronzer in 104 Amazonia
Lotus Cream to Powder Blush in Plum
Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 in 6 Sweet Nectar
Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black/Brown

Lotus Cream to Powder Blush in Plum

$20.00 for 5g/0.18 oz
Recently I've been all over blush like a fat kid on cake with buttercream frosting; no lie, I will push small children out of my path to get at a pretty blush, and whoo-boy, this is some pretty blush by Lotus! I'm generally scared of darker because my skin is basically white, so I need to emphasize that THIS IS A GOOD BLUSH FOR EVERYONE. Plum can go on sheer enough for my liking but could absolutely be applied thicker for a BAM of color. Honestly, I like this one in essence better than Apricot simply because it took me by surprise that I could absolutely use it.

Quick Congratulations to...

TRACY from Beauty Reflections for winning my first Giveaway!

Tracy gets four fantastic Lotus Certified Organic Products that I know as a fellow blogger she will love. Thanks to everyone who entered and I know you'll all be very excited for the next giveaway, so stay tuned!