Friday, December 12th, 2008

NARS Multiple Bronzericon ($37.00) is the latest in Multiple technology. The Bronzer Multiples feature three colors: Tuomota (light to medium complexions), Malaysia (medium to dark), and Rapa Nui (dark). If you’re unfamiliar with The Multiple, it is a cream-to-power, multi-purpose makeup stick. You can apply with fingers, brushes, or directly from the stick itself (it’s all up to you and your preferences). The bronzer shades of The Multiples are designed to help naturally bronze or sculpt the face/cheeks.

I tried Malaysia for my skin tone (and it is the shade pictured above).  It’s a deep, warm bronzy shade that may actually be a bit too dark for me.  I definitely see myself liking this more during the summer, when my complexion has more warmth and is naturally tanner than at the moment–especially since I just dropped another shade lighter!  This can be used to contour cheeks, though for me it was a little too warm for a contour.

I loved the texture and feel, though.  It’s creamy without being overly so, and the stick itself is stiff enough to not feel like it’s melting all over the place.  The $37 price tag is hefty, and I admit it’s a major reason why I’ve been so hesitant to get into NARS’ Multiples.  At least you can rest assured that you do get plenty of product for your money.  It’s too bad NARS didn’t put out a Multiple Mini Set for the holidays–wouldn’t that have been killer?

See swatches and close-ups! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Benefit The Overnighter Gift Set ($38.00) is the classic Justine Case, plus their “hanky panky thong.” The Overnight Set includes California Kissin’, Eyecon, Benetint, and Some Kind-a Gorgeous. All of these products are designed to help make you look flawless even when you’re not feeling your best. Benetint is a classic lip tint, but it’s also great on cheeks, too. Eyecon helps to reduce the appearance of dark undereye circles–perfect for that late night out. California Kissin’ is a “smile brightening lip shine.” Some Kind-a Gorgeous is a foundation “faker”; it’s a translucent powder that helps to brighten your complexion. All in all, it’s a cute set, but you can grab the Justine Case set for $32 and save $6. It seems like you’re just paying for the thong. Of course, if you need a lacy pair of panties, then maybe the set is up your alley ;) ** Edited:  Looks like a few of you have purchased the panties alone for $18, so then this is a deal if you like thongs!

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Saturday, December 6th, 2008

LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser ($9.95 for 3.5 oz.) has been my go-to morning cleanser lately, because it’s a mild exfoliating cleanser that’s perfect for both sensitive skin and everyday use. If you’re new to Lush, this might be a little more adventurous product type than other products they offer, just because it feels very natural/organic.

It’s sort of a gummy roll of product, which you take a pea or two peas-sized dollops out of. You add a little water, then rub it between your hands until it starts to break down into almost a paste consistency. Then you apply it like your usual cleanser–gentle, circular motions. Rinse, then pat your face dry, and you’re all done. Of course, you can choose to follow up with toner and/or moisturizer if you so desire.

Angels on Bare Skin includes the following ingredients: Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Glycerine, Kaolin, Water (Aqua), Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Lavender Flowers (Lavendula hybrida), *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume. The Rose Absolute is supposed to tone, while the Lavender Oil soothes your skin. I list the ingredient list so you can see what’s in the product, but also so you can have an idea as to why this product has a shelf life of a mere three months. This is not a product to stock up on! That huge chunk of product in the photo will surely last me at least three months!

The scent of Angels on Bare Skin reminds me of going out in the woods or a field–it’s not that compost heap “natural” smell or anything, but more like the invigorating scent of nature. I don’t mind it, though I know a few are put off by the scent of this. I don’t feel this removes makeup 100% (especially not eye makeup–hello, it does have ground almonds in it, aka not going near my eyes), so I prefer to use something else in the PM or else I’ll use something else to remove makeup, then follow-up with this cleanser in the PM.

Overall, I recommend trying this product, because it’s worked well in recuperating from my silicone-based break out. It hasn’t caused any additional acne, and I believe it has helped in reducing inflammation of those stubborn pimples (thus, making them appear less red and making me feel less self-conscious!). I’ll be posting more about my favorite Lush skincare products soon!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

By Terry Bronze-Expert ($48.00) is a creamy, gel-based bronzer that clicks up and onto a brush. It comes in three shades Sun Beach (light), Sun Desert (medium), and Sun Tropic (dark). All three are on the sheerer side, so if you’re not sure about your color, don’t worry so much. Even the darkest shade is sheer enough to work on medium skin tones. What I particularly liked about this formula is how buildable the color is, which is what a bronzer should be. It is often too easy to go overboard with bronzer, which results in a fake-looking color that can be too orange or too dirty. The formula is very much like a gel, which gives it a great weightless feeling when applied and smoothed over skin. Traditionally, you’d use this on the face, but it can also be used to bronze cleavage and decolletage, too.

I was pretty satisfied with this bronzer (and I’m not a big fan of bronzers on myself), but the price leaves much to be desired. It’s hard to tell just how much product you use in each application relative to how much you get since it’s in a pen-brush applicator, so I’m not even sure if you at least get some bang for your buck. On the other hand, By Terry is more of a luxury beauty brand, so the price is in line with the rest of the brand’s products.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Origins’ Modern Frictionicon ($37.00) is a super citrus-scented exfoliant that uses rice starch to help slough off dead skin cells. You might remember I posted about this product a few months ago, as I bought it for my younger sister after she fell in love with the difference it made on her hand (she tried it in-store). Being a beauty addict, I figured she couldn’t have all the fun, so I had to get my own jar to try, too!

The product leaves me a little torn, because sometimes I find it seems too acidic that my eyes tear/sting a little just from the scent (because I definitely don’t use this near my eyes–at least not deliberately!). I think I must be particularly sensitive to an ingredient in there that causes that problem, so it probably isn’t something the average person would experience. Also, I do find it can be too harsh/abrasive when used dry (I find myself having to use water to soften it a bit). Origins says it is “nature’s gentle dermabrasion,” but it doesn’t feel that gentle to me. I love to exfoliate–and I have a whole slew (err, bin) of exfoliants and scrubs for face and body–so I’m no stranger to the feeling!

But on the other hand, my skin feels ridiculously smooth and instantly brightened post-use. The product is designed to be used over dry, clean skin two to three times a week. They do mention to use it over damp skin if you have more sensitive skin. After you’ve rubbed the product in, work it into a lather with a splash of water, then rinse. It really can be an amazing product to help soften, smooth, and brighten skin, so I definitely suggest stopping by your local Origins’ counter/store and getting a sample if you can.

It’s easy to use, but I know a lot of people are going to be put-off by the packaging, which is a large 4 oz. tub of product, which you scoop out product of. It’s just not the most sanitary way of doing things, so be sure to wash your hands before using to minimize contamination. Personally, I wash my hands thoroughly before I start my AM/PM skincare regimen, so it’s not a huge deal, *but* the jar contains so much product you’ll have this on-hand for at least a year. You just don’t need much to get the job done (especially if you use it with water rather than just dry). So while it helps stretch out the product’s cost, it is longer than I’d like for this kind of product. I do think this is a product better off in a tube and sold in smaller sizes (obviously at an equivalent price).

Overall, I still use the product regularly, but I wouldn’t say it’s my holy grail, just because it’s a bit harsher than I’d like on my skin in particular. The results definitely make it worth checking out, and like I said, I still find myself using it periodically, because I love the way it makes my skin feel afterward. If you find it’s too harsh for your face, it does work just as excellently as a body exfoliant, too!

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Monday, November 10th, 2008

pur~lisse is a product line created by Jennifer Yen utilizing science and Chinese beauty secrets to create products good for you. You’ll find most products have either Blue Lotus Flower or White Tea (antioxidant) in them.

pur~moist ($65.00) is a moisturizer that feels like a hybrid of gel and cream. It absorbs quickly, and it keeps skin hydrated throughout the day. What I particularly liked about this moisturizer was it helped calm any redness I had in my face (which, admittedly is not a major concern nor obvious). I couldn’t detect any noticeable scent to it–seemed non-fragrance to me. This particular moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, so you’ll need to use something else to cover you on sun protection (though they have pur-protect, which does include SPF). The only downside to this product is the price; you should easily get two to three months worth of usage out of the tube, though. Also, since it is in a tube rather than a jar, you can worry less about getting bacteria in it and oxygen exposure. Always a good thing!

pur~delicate ($38.00) is a cleanser designed for all skin types, and it is a non-foaming milky cleanser. It uses soy milk (along with soy proteins) as one of its key ingredients. You’ll also find extracts of oatmeal and white tea in it. Because it doesn’t really lather or foam up, it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils, so it shouldn’t dry you out. It does a great job of removing dirt and makeup and leaving your skin feeling clean (but not that squeaky clean feeling of tightness). As far as packaging goes, it uses an airless pump, so you can control how much product you need (one pump should do ya!) and keep it sanitary and out of oxygen’s reach. There’s no real fragrance to it, which further lends credence to its claim of being non-irritating for all skin types.