Monday, October 31, 2011

My Skincare Archive: October 2011

October 31st, 2011:
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist
Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion
Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser
Lumene Pore Tightening Arctic Touch Peet Mask
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion

October 30th, 2011:
Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist
Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion
Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser
Lumene Pore Tightening Arctic Touch Peet Mask
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Moisturizer

Vogue October 2011: Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation SPF 18 and Pressed Powder

$7.99 for 1fl oz/30ml foundation and $7.99 for 0.3oz/9g powder
High-end products are more often than not better for your skin, made with better quality ingredients, developed to have better looking results, and...expensive, which sometimes is no big deal and sometimes the deal. It's hard to find a good cosmetic in general, much less the right foundation for you; does it Fit Me? This is the ultimate question for beauty junkies like us, isn't it?

Maybelline Fit Me! Advertisement in October 2011 Vogue
For a few months now I've flipped past all clothing and celebrities in my magazines to find what cosmetics are advertised where--and which ones I can afford to try out after viewing their advert. This month I've settled on a makeup that I've actually applied to a friend before (and she was actually finishing off a bottle of it way back then in June). At the time, she said it was good enough for her to buy a second bottle--which is a huge compliment to the formula and brand--and now I can see why she was so excited! Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation and Pressed Powder actually does what the name implies, a rare occurrence seeing as Equalizer didn't equalize anything and Stay Matte didn't have that much staying or matte-ing power at all.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sephora Nano Lip and Eye Liners

$5.00 USD each
Lip liners are that delicate cosmetic that must lay somewhere in the middle of creamy color and dry for duration of wear; luckily, Sephora has found a particularly good median of a formula for just such a product. I've not been much of a lip liner girl (more for the eye liner seeing as I prefer such a nude lip), but one trip to my storefront mecca a while back made me step outside my comfort zone and take notice of these very affordable options. I'm starting to believe in conversion.

Both Sephora Nano Lip Liners I currently own a creamy enough to wear alone with a bit of balm under or over it, but not quite dry enough to last over 4-5 hours. I know most will take long-lasting results over fading-but-hydrating color; I just don't seem to be one of those people, so Nano Liners are a great option (and again, affordable).
Sephora Nano Eyeliner in Gri Gri, Nano Lip Liner in Cherry Chestnut and Cute Caramel in daylight

Sephora Nano Eyeliner in Gri Gri, Nano Lip Liner in Cherry Chestnut and Cute Caramel with flash

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Estee Lauder Equalizer Smart Makeup SPF 10

$35.00 USD for 1.0fl. oz/28g
Anyone with skin as pale as mine has had the problem of finding a liquid foundation; there isn't just the paleness of skin but the undertone to consider, which, if wrong, can look exceptionally bad on a pale face. If you have medium or dark skin and the foundation doesn't match your skin tone, usually your skin will look muddier and lack-lustre; with super-light and fair skin, if the depth of color (usually just this side of white for me) is correct but pink (I have yellow undertones), I not only look like I have muddier skin, but look like an utterly crazy person wearing dark face paint because the simple combination of the pink and yellow makes where I applied the product darker (than just this side of white, yes?). Moral is: find the right color--depth and undertone.

Now...the right formula on the other hand...that's a whole other category I loathe to try and combine with the sentiments above, which brings me to Estee Lauder Equalizer Smart Makeup for Combination Skin SPF 10. I've finally found a color light enough in EL's line of foundations (sometimes it looks like the brand has dozens of types) to suit my skin, and in theory this is also the perfect formula--oil-control where and when you need it but hydrating over the course of a long day of wear. Yes, well, unfortunately that's not what I've experienced so far...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blitz Blogging--Products to Hunt Down: Aveda Lip Tint SPF 15 in 450 Peony

I don't know why Aveda would choose to not keep this product on the market; I'm in love with the subtle shine and moisture-rich coating of this protective balm, but from my experience with the brand, they are reformulating Aveda Lip Tint SPF 15 to be better than ever and back soon (hint, hint)! Note: Found out that these are meant to be replaced with Uruku Color Gloss, so will review those soon! Obviously, from the name you can gleam that the pigmentation is sheer, a rosy glow with silvery micro-shimmer that turns to luscious sheen on the lips. Aveda Lip Saver is world famous for being comfortable and hydrating, and Lip Tint is no disappointing second! This is the real deal of super balm that is naturally formulated to keep your lips lovely. I don't know where I would be without it this fall!
Aveda Lip Tint SPF 15 in Peony

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Treament Concealer Dark Circles Eraser

$9.99 for 0.2fl oz/8ml
 This morning was a coffee and tea type of morning; you know, one of those mornings where you got okay sleep, still need a double shot to wake up, and crave the soothing comfort of some warm tea with honey and in the chill of the morning. Yeah, that was my morning.

I've been trying to go through my clothes methodically and separate all those that I can wear to work from those that I can't wear at all now (thanks, weight-gain), and it is a pretty slow process that will take a few more loads of washing and more patience than originally anticipated. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to work, but all the clutter around my living space makes me feel mentally unorganized for the task. My goal this weekend has therefore been to unpack, wash, dust, organize, and shove odds-and-ends into closets for later; I'm not quite succeeding, truth be told.

In terms of beauty during these long days staying completely inside, I know I shouldn't be wearing makeup just for myself (love thyself and all), but I can't help but walk by a mirror and think, "you look really tired." That does nothing to boost my moral--enter Maybelline Age Rewind Brightener Treatment Concealer.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

OPI Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Shatter Polish

Regis Pink Shatter; 0.5fl oz/15ml
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, OPI has come out with a special pink shatter polish with part of the proceeds going to Breast Cancer research. Not only is this a fun and stylish way to show your support for the fight against this terrible disease, you can liven up any older colors that don't usually work for the season or on their own anymore.
Regis Pink Shatter by OPI

Serum Saturday: Dior HydraLife Skin Energizer Pro-Youth Hydrating Serum

$73.00 for 1.7 oz.
Pledge One: I may be a brand-junkie, but I know when to admit that something is not worth the price.

Pledge Two: I may love Dior and the DiorDiva Program, but I know when it's not worth my money or the points to get next to no effect.

Dior Hydra Life Skin Energizer Pro-Youth Hydrating Serum has me all in a tizzy of confusion and frustration. Perhaps my oily/combo skin does not need the extra hydration, but personally that already sounds like an excuse. The pure description of this serum is a yellowish-orange thin consistency gel that goes on to skin non-sticky but non-smooth in texture. I saw and felt no improvement in the very top layers of my skin, much less deeper down, and I didn't think my skin felt very nice after use (again not sticky, but perhaps just less soft and harder to keep from oiling over).

Even if my skin had become more hydrated, the nastiness of how my skin felt made me self-conscious and uncomfortable throughout the day. It wouldn't be worth $1 for that kind of result, so I pass entirely on this product. If you've had success with this, please let me know if you have a different skin type or a certain situation in which you use it; I genuinely what to know when this product works and who for!

Beauty Newb Rating:✪✩✩✩✩
Available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy's, and other fine retailers.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!!! I may not be able to tell anyone your age, but I can tell them how much I love you! I would give up every single thing I own and person I know to have you by my side forever, and I hope you know just how much your baby girl loves you on such a special day. XOXO I hope I can visit you soon!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Savings Smash Hit: Sephora Glossy Gloss in Candy Necklace

$10.00 for 0.5fl.oz/15ml
When I walked into Sephora during a recent mall trip with a friend, I thought she was going to be bored by a makeup store, so I quickly ran around a bit and tried on this Laura Mercier plumping gloss (the one in Pink Pearl) that looked and felt amazing immediately. Well, my friend wasn't bored at all, and I helped her find a fresh pink color that was low-hassle and low-maintenance since she rarely wears lip color at all. Throughout the hunt, I was starting to feel really intent on buying that Laura Mercier gloss I was wearing because every time I passed by a mirror I blinked at myself a bit and thought, "this looks good."
Sephora Glossy Gloss in Candy Necklace
After finally walking back over to pick up a box of the product, I saw the $30 price tag and just sighed loudly. I've been unable to get myself to drop $30 on a tube of Burberry Lip Cover that I've wanted to try since the brand announced their beauty line almost a year I couldn't get the plumping gloss...there was just no way. Within five minutes I had run straight over to the Sephora brand cosmetics and was wildly swatching to find the sheer, pale iridescent glow that I longed for, and VOILA! Candy Necklace!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Preemptive Plump Attack--Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Concealer

$19.50 for 0.2oz/5.8g
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lift and Firm Concealer is a medium coverage, hydrating concealer. I expected Ceramide products to give a little extra hydration, which I thought would be a welcome addition to a winter care regimen. Since it is hard to find in-store products from Elizabeth Arden, I had to guess at the color match, and it's too expensive for me to randomly select two or three colors and then return the non-matches. I settled for a color which is almost always mentioned in my foundations and concealers anyway--Ivory (grand shock there...)!
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lift and Firm Concealer in Ivory has a peachy undertone
Ceramide Concealer has a doe foot wand which is nice for semi-precise  or sweeping applications, but since the pigmentation really only gets you to medium coverage, you'll be layering after spreading and setting the product. Ivory is not a perfect match for my skin, and I think it will be the closest I'll get since this comes in four colors: Ivory, Fair, Light, Medium. Anybody darker than me with a fake tan is out of luck!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Elizabeth Arden Exceptional Lipstick in Four Beautiful Shades

$19.50 each for 0.14oz/4g
On Elizabeth Arden's website, these lipsticks are described very simply as "Exceptional in every way. A creamy, long-wearing lipstick with staying power and shine. One coat is just enough," and I concur entirely with this description. Elizabeth Arden Exceptional Lipsticks are buttery smooth with glide-on texture that's not moisturizing but not drying. Most of the colors I own have the ability to stain the lips gently over their wear-time, so I get a good 4-5 hours of color from each. All of the four colors below are more wearable than I thought they would be from the look in the tube, and I attribute this to being medium-to-opaque coverage formulas which helps a tiny bit of your lips and skin tone come through and match your face. I love these because the color is still true to the tube yet looks luminous and naturally fits on the lips, a rare combination for me and my skin!
Elizabeth Arden Coraline Exceptional Lipstick
Coraline, a gorgeous pure pink-coral with golden sheen, is the bolder, slightly lighter sister of Honey Blush, which makes Coraline more frequently wearable to me personally. Since I have lighter skin for Coraline, Honey Blush (below) is something I would choose for medium-to-dark complexions for a similarly brightening effect without such a strong sheen. The same tones are in both, Honey Blush just has a touch more brown in the base.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Aveda Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Cherry Blossom

Aveda Cherry Blossom Rehydrating Lip Glaze
$18.00 for 0.24oz/7g
I had previously tried Aveda Lip Glaze in a more neutral, safe color, but after falling in love with the formula, I thought I would try something a little bolder and brighter than my usual looks. I think the vibrancy of Aveda Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Cherry Blossom reminds me of the BB Rich Lip Color SPF 12 (reviewed here in Sweet Nectar); the colors may not be that close to one another, but the effect of drawing attention to a fashionable bold color statement without bringing focus to lip lines, dry flakes, or uneven pigmentation is still strong between the two products.

From my earlier review of the color Raspberry Tea, "Yes, it rehydrates, and better than any gloss or lipstick I've tried ever. I hadn't even noticed how frequently I was reaching for this until I found a tiny bit of transfer on almost all of cups and mugs I had to wash of this very color. And as little transfer as I ever saw from my glosses too! It's insane how quickly this gloss (or glaze, as it's called) is just my go-to without any effort. Supposedly this will thoroughly recondition your lips in eight weeks...but I'm pretty sure it's done that in less than two for me..."
Aveda Cherry Blossom Rehydrating Lip Glaze in daylight
I'm downright proud to say that my education had me recommending products like this lip glaze to customers everyday because this is a whole lot of bang for your buck: proven results, great pigmentation, and a fresh minty-boost to your breath! I just can't beat that with any other gloss I've tried and/or reviewed. While Cherry Blossom is not an everyday color for me and my makeup wardrobe, I do find myself reaching for the formula frequently to really hydrate my lips when regular balm just won't do the trick. I can't live without this stuff, and I won't because I still want it in Mango Juice and Agave Nectar!!! Woohoo!
Wearing Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation; Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Concealer, Black Brown Eye Pencil, Sparkling Sand Shimmer Cream; e.l.f. Complexion Perfection; Wet'n'Wild MegaLength Mascara; and Aveda Lip Glaze in Cherry Blossom
Beauty Newb Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪
Available at Aveda Salons and Spas internationally and online at
We're all pitching in to clean up the new place since moving, including Sir-Sparks-A-Lot lending a helping paw!

Monday, October 3, 2011

e.l.f. All Over Color Stick in Golden Peach

$1.00 for approx. 0.3oz
I'm not a shimmer queen ...just making sure that is out there, on the table, before this review starts, so let's begin by acknowledging that shimmery products are far less appealing to me than matte and natural/dewy finish products. Now that that is out of the way, I'm a sucker for peaches, apricots, and corals; it was only natural that I would pick up e.l.f. Essentials All Over Color Stick in Golden Peach from the shelves of my neighborhood Target and dance home with high hopes! I had forgotten I basically already had it, whoops.

Golden Peach is one of the colors I have in the Shimmering Facial Whip formula, but compared to the other All Over Color Stick I have (Spotlight), Golden Peach seems a little less useful. The Whip formula is a little easier to work with because the thinner, fluid consistency means I don't have to rub to get pigment to show up. Golden Peach Stick is a sheer, shimmery version comparable to the Bobbi Brown Sheer Cheek Tint but not as moisture rich, hence the 'rubbing' in order to apply. Like Spotlight, I find this stick on the drier side of spreadable, and this characteristic may be partially to blame for its difficulty of use.

Perhaps it is because I have so much yellow (and pink from my natural flush) in my skin that Golden Peach Stick tends to have a hard time showing up (so much so that a face shot is worthless and after about 4 attempts, I've given up). Either way, I can't successfully layer enough on to have it show up and not be one breath away from smearing across my whole face. I'll have to endure just using this as a layer underneath powder blushes, which is fine because I have so many but sucks in terms of having a product that is relatively useless on its own. Tear... :*(

A previous review of a different color of e.l.f.'s All Over Color Stick: click here for Spotlight!
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✩✩✩✩
Available at Target and

20% Pink Z-Palettes For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For the month of October, Z-Palette will be 20% in their Fabulous Pink color in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both the Large and Small sizes are discounted online at $16 (instead of $20) and $11 (instead of $14). This means it's a really great time to go do your own organizational project, and you can save enough to get the pre-cut magnets as well, you know, if you're into that kind of thing.

Click here for the Large!

Click here for the Small!

This prices are valid until October 31st, so treat yourself to something pink this month and really show some support, some taste, and some clean good fun by grabbing these awesome organizers!

Dior '5 Couleurs Iridescent' Eyeshadow Palette in Tropical Lights

$58.00 for 0.21oz/6g
Dior eyeshadows are some of the best I have ever come across in my life, but the point stands that they are pretty darn expensive. As always I am not a shimmer- or glitter-lover on an everyday (or occasional) basis; however, on holidays, such as last X-mas vacation to my mom's house, I felt very inclined to "shine" in holiday spirit--which is easy to do around good company. This is the only eyeshadow I brought with me on my trip down south--Dior "5 Couleurs Iridescent" Eyeshadow Palette in 409 Tropical Lights--because contrary to the name it makes me feel a little more like going to a New Year's party than wearing this to a beach. Personally, I would go more for the sun-kissed, golden glow at the beach rather than shimmery eyelids; that just seems overdone to me.
Counter clockwise then center of Dior Tropical Lights with flash
A lot of the holiday collections from last year and this year have heavier gold tones which is a lovely thought but on someone as light/pale as me is just really fake looking. The frosty taupe and the shimmering brown in Tropical lights makes for a really flattering and gently smoky effect at night and the pale pink and green make nice color accents on their own or with the others, plus the frosty, pure white brightens the inner corner of eyes and the brow bone flawlessly. Do you think this has a winter or a summer holiday feel? I just can't tell whether I have a good or bad gage of this!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Serum Saturday: Aveda Enbrightenment Brightening Correcting Serum

$50.00 for 1.0 fl oz
It's been two weeks of lack-lustre serums for the blog, but hopefully we'll get out of the dumps soon, or at least as soon as I can get some samples to try some more. I'm really interested in trying the DiorSnow brightening products, but they are currently extremely far out of my price range (anywhere from $50-$125, YIKES!). One thing remains the same for Serum Saturday, however, and that is my never-ending quest for a hyper-pigmentation treatment that's worth its salt.

Enter Enbrightenment: a line specifically designed for reducing hyper-pigmentation and renewing that damaged skin to its natural healthy glow. Enbrightenment's key ingredient is naturally derived salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy, if anyone's wondering) which increases the turnover of skin cells in the area of use. In layman's terms, it keeps your skin exfoliating itself so new skin comes to the surface. It's a very nice thought that such a natural product will do more to improve your skin than a synthetic form of the same ingredients, but my biggest problem with this serum is beyond ingredients--to get close to the results I wanted, I had to use the toner along with this serum.

That may not sound like a big deal, I mean, if you are looking for skincare that does something specific. Enbightenment Toner cost another $42 for 5.0 fl oz, which brings us to nearly $100 for results that aren't all that great for me. Yes, these products work, but I cannot afford that long-term of an investment at the moment. Because my skin is so oily and needs to be slowly transitioned to richer product (or richer products used only intermittently) my results will not be truly visible before I have to repurchase. It's just too costly for the time it takes.

One bottle of Aveda Enbrightenment Correcting Serum lasted me about three and a half months when used morning and night. Since my pigmentation comes from healing acne scars and I still break out, new pigment appears before I see significant healing or improvement of old hyper-pigmentation. The cycle makes the whole line necessary to really grab the pigment by the melanin, but the price makes it impractical for me.

Bottom line: worth the money for a more natural product that works, but not in my budget to use practically.
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✩
Available at Aveda and partner salons and spas, and online at