Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Best Bronzers for $30 or Less
Prescriptives Mineral Bronzer ($30.00) is available in both Cool and Warm, which is something I can really appreciate from Prescriptives. I can just imagine some of the trials our cool-toned beauty addicts have to go through to find a bronzer that works well. I picked up the Warm Mineral Bronzer, and it’s smooth, silky in texture, and it gives me a subtle, natural glow. There is shimmer in it, which Prescriptives calls Radiance Emitting Crystals Complex (R.E.C.) — a combination of amethyst, rose quartz, and calcite. It’s oil-free and talc-free for those concerned about ingredients and oil.
MAC Bronzing Powder ($21.00) comes in three shades: Golden, Refined Golden, and Bronze. Golden is suitable for paler to medium-toned complexions, and it is not quite as pigmented as the other two shades. Refined Golden is a good color for those who are medium-toned in complexion, though it does seem to run a little peachier/orange-y if you are really cool-toned. Bronze is best suited for deeper complexions, and it does have some shimmer in its finish. MAC’s Bronzing Powder does seem to run a bit more pigmented than the typical bronzer, so take heed and use a light hand when you first give it a try. The shimmer may be too much or too little, depending on your preference, but the wear time is tops for this bronzer.
Smashbox Bronze Lights ($28.00) is available in two shades: Suntanned Matte and Sunkissed Matte. Bronze Lights is a silky, matte bronzer–aka no shimmer or glitter or any frostiness in its finish. Those with larger pores, skin concerns, or signs of aging will appreciate Bronze Lights’ lack of shimmer. It’s also a nice way to get a beautiful, sunkissed glow, which you can always highlight with your favorite highlighter. I often prefer to highlight separately, because then I can actually highlight, rather than just have shimmer everywhere I applied the bronzer. (In my case, I like to highlight the tops of cheekbones.) Sunkissed Matte will best suit paler and peachier/pinker complexions, I think, while Suntanned Matte is better for medium to dark complexions as it’s more on the brown side. I didn’t find either to run orange, though!
We’ve got three more top picks for bronzers! Continue reading →
LUSH Cupcake Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is one of Lush’s quick and easy face masks that you can purchase in-store (because they’re just *that* fresh). Cupcake is designed for oily, more acne-prone skin. According to the label, Rhassoul mud cleanses and soothes skin, while several other ingredientsh elp to soften it. Several essential oils make it a relaxing experience while you wear the mask for five to ten minutes. I wear mine for about ten minutes, and then I turn on the faucet for warm/tepid water. I wet my hands, and then I gently massage the scrub away in small circles. I find this just seems to relax me (because it’s kind of a facial massage), but it also makes me feel like it’s deeper cleansing. Just rinse any remaining residue off by splashing your face.
The only downside to the mask is I do find it tends to leave a little bit of residue behind, so I like to use either a cotton pad and my toner or a light cleanser to make sure everything is off. (I just can’t risk *any* bad things getting into my skin these days, so no chances for me.) Otherwise, this mask makes me feel relaxed, my skin feel fresh and rejuvenated, and since starting to use Lush face masks, I swear my skin has been happier!
Oh, and I did I mention this smells like extra rich hot chocolate? Yummy!
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LUSH BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is an excellent all-types-of-skins kind of mask. It’s friendly for both oily and dry skinned folks, and it works well even on sensitive skin. Lush recommends this mask for when you just feel like a treatment, but you don’t “need” one for any specific reason (e.g., acne, aging, etc.). This is a great one to keep on hand for those stressful days where you want to de-stress. I personally LOVE to de-stress myself by pampering my face and/or body. I just feel better when I’ve really taken good care of myself, you know?
There’s a little bit of graininess to the product, which you can gently scrub for a mild exfoliant when you remove the mask–but I must emphasize how small the grit is, so if you have sensitive skin, not to fear!
Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes ($6.49) make cleaning your face easy as 1-2-3. I do prefer to follow my nightly skincare routine, but sometimes I’m already half asleep and would rather just crash. It’s nights like those that I keep a package of cleansing wipes on hand. Simple Skincare is a popular brand in the UK, and it recently launched its products here in the U.S.
The Cleansing Facial Wipes do a great job of removing stubborn makeup and lip gunk without leaving any oily residue. It’s actually supposed to cleanse and tone your skin simultaneously. Even when I’m not feeling totally and utterly lazy, I often reach for one of these to remove heavier eye or lip makeup — it just makes my cleansing process more effective. I get to wipe off a bunch of makeup and dirt rather than massaging it into my skin like a traditional liquid cleanser, you know?
Simple wants to give Temptalia readers a chance to try these out! 25 lucky Temptalia winners will receive a pack of Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes. Submit your entry by leaving a comment in this post–you can say anything at all, but you gotta say something so we can count your entry.
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Mario Badescu Drying Cream ($12.00)
When it comes to small, flesh-colored acne, this is the king for me. Whenever I spot any that crop up, I’ll smear a little of the Drying Cream on the area before I go to bed. In the morning, they’ve totally vanished, and I mean vanished! I’m pretty skeptical about acne spot treatments, especially how their ability to work quickly, but this one delivers (at least for me).
In fact, I noticed a few small fleshy bumps last night, put this on the area, and voila–no troubles this morning. I find this to be less drying than the Drying Lotion, which means I can use it more often and without fear of getting dry patches in exchange for clearer skin. (The Drying Lotion is fab, but I find I need to use it every other day or two to avoid drying my skin out too much!) This is also my go-to acne spot treatment if I “feel” one coming on.
Mario Badescu offers several acne spot treatments, and so far, I’ve liked all of them and found them to work on different types of acne. I know some of you would rather an all-in-one spot treatment, but in a way, knowing that each one is designed to work with specific types of acne makes me feel like they’re more efficient.
For $12 you got a big tub of Drying Cream–seriously, this will probably lose efficacy before you finish using it. I would prefer tube-packaging over an open jar, but it’s cheap enough where I don’t feel I’m breaking the bank rebuying it after a few months, you know? So any issue with packaging isn’t enough to keep me from loving this product.
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion ($17.00)
The Buffering Lotion is formulated to help you cope with deep, cystic acne. It’s sulfur-based coupled with allantoin (helps with inflammation). Mario Badescu recommends using this before/after their Drying Mask as well. It’s good for combination and oily skin, and being normal-to-dry (and sometimes normal-to-barely-oily), it’s worked just fine for me.
What I like about the Buffering Lotion is it’s essentially clear. You shake it up, and put a drop or two on your finger, then massage over the blemish. You can lay makeup under or over it as you need to, so when you’ve got a painful bugger… you can treat him while you do your day-to-day activities. (Both the Drying Cream and Drying Lotion are less daytime friendly, if you’re actually leaving the house!)
I find I don’t use this very often, compared to the Drying Cream and Drying Lotion, which I use regularly. I think it’s because I prefer to treat mostly at night, and I’m often working at home for most of the day, so if I need to do some daytime treating, I’m not worried about pink patches on my face. (Though, I’m sure the UPS man wonder…)
It’s also harder to judge the efficacy of the Buffering Lotion simply because it’s treating nastier pimples that normally linger for at least a week, if not two (and sometimes take several days just to surface!), you know?
I personally suffer less from deep, painful pimples, too (less chances to try, LOL). However, the last time I had one, I would say that using this product in conjunction with the other acne spot treatments, it seemed like the painful pimple wasn’t painful for long and was gone within a week–which I was happy enough with. So it seems to work, but it’s not as quick as the other two, but it does have more work to do!