Monday, May 19th, 2008

EXUVIANCE is a brand I was recently able to check out, and one of my favorite products amongst the three I tried was their CoverBlend, which is a “concealing treatment makeup” that has SPF20 and is designed to really hide any skin imperfections from tone to ine lines. It is a smudge-resistant cream that lasts throughout the day. It is also water-resistant and non-creasing, which makes it great for even oilier skin types.

I can definitely appreciate a waterproof foundation in the summer months, just on the fact that I’m outdoors, and even if I’m not, I’m likely to sweat between the car and my destination anyway. Something that won’t break down immediately is so appreciated! I don’t know if I’d necessarily sport it to the beach and expect to walk out of the ocean with flawless foundation despite it being water-resistant, though. I interpret water-resistant to simply mean that you can splash your face without any noticeable damage, which is all I really need!

It comes in fourteen shades, and I always point out the availability based on range because it allows for more people to find an appropriate shade that matches them. And I bet you think this is pricey (I don’t know about you, but “Exuviance” as a name conjurs up connotations of luxury!), but it isn’t–get CoverBlend for only $22.50!

I also tried their Evening Restorative Complex ($30.50), as well as the Vespera Bionic Serum ($55.00). I really felt like the serum woke up my face, which is probably the result of all of the anti-oxidants found within this serum. Like most serums, it is pricier because it has more “good” ingredients. Serums are more intense than regular creams, they’re usually in a higher conentrate of the active or helpful ingredients.

Their Evening Restorative Complex was gentle enough for me to use on my skin without any problems, and it has a light scent of apple-citrus that is tolerable. It’s harder for me to judge the effectiveness of this product as I don’t have too many noticeable fine lines or wrinkles. I like that they label this as “Evening”, though, because nothing is better than when a brand takes the guess work out of skincare!

Learn more about or purchase Exuviance products at http://exuviance.com/.

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Suki Complexion Brightening Cream ($45.50) is an intensive face cream that brightens, moisturizes, and reduces puffiness. It contains time-released vitamin C as its primary antioxidant that works to stimulate collagen production, increase skin elasticity, and suppress sun damage. It contains pure rose wax to help hydrate along with shea butter, and it also reduces puffiness. This brightening cream is meant to brighten complexion, including dark circles and sun spots. The cream has a light herbal scent that’s pleasing (not one of those organic products that smells like a compost heap!), so you feel like you’re using something fresh and clean on your face.

It comes in a pump-bottle, which I love, because it means no opening the bottle to let light in nor fingers dipping into the product. However, it does come in a glass container, and while the label covers most of it, it does allow for some light to come in. (Light can often destroy certain ingredients and render your product less effective!).  Edit:  I spoke with the brand, and they actually considered packaging and whether or not to use glass or plastic–they determined that glass would not deteriorate their product for 24 months.  So color me informed!  While this on the pricier side, the good news is that you only need one or two pumps, which is less than a dime-size, to cover your entire face, so you can get a lot of usage out of a single bottle.

I noticed my skin reacted well to this product as my complexion looked brighter, a little more of a natural glow, and I didn’t find it burned my sensitive skin (at the time I was testing, my skin was going nutso and most of my staple creams were causing me to bite my lip and scream OW OW OW!) Plus, the product does sink in and absorb pretty quickly, which is always a plus in my book–anything to save time!

Learn more at www.sukipure.com.

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Colored Big Fatty Mascara ($17.00) is Urban Decay’s colored version of their famous Big Fatty mascara. Colored mascara can be a great way to pop open peepers on lazy days or minimalist days (especially blues/purples). Wende Zomnir, Urban Decay’s Creative Director, says “A colored mascara is the perfect summer beauty uniform.” Big Fatty mascara adds decent volume and length to lashes–it’s probably not my favorite mascara formula (Plushlash, love ya!), but I did use it for many months in the past, so obviously it caught my fancy!

  • Electric Blue Add a jolt to brown eyes, or light your blue eyes on fire. And against bronzed skin? Mesmerizing.
  • Indigo This inky blue, a free-spirited alternative to black, brings a mischievous edge to eyes of any
    shade.
  • Purple Haze Lend a violet aura to eyes of every shade, adds richness to brown eyes, or intensifies blues and greens.
  • Black Cherry Sexier than basic black, Black Cherry creates a bit of studied mystery to eyes of any color.

Big Buddha Body Brush ($36.00) is a silky soft brush that’s enormous! It’s one of those brushes that feels so soft to the touch that all you want to do is pet it. While MAC’s 179 is ridiculously soft, it is also ridiculously expensive. At $36, the Big Buddha is both the answer to my body brush needs, and the limits of my wallet. Plus, Good Karma brushes is a cruelty-free line where bristles are synthetic and 100% animal-friendly.

Want to know what I thought of the rest of Urban Decay’s Summer Launch? Continue reading →

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Dermabrasion System ($28.00)

For a long time, Avon was not in my beauty realm, but I have to admit that in the past few years, they’ve really expanded and spiced up their line. You hear about Avon reps, and you just don’t associate it with a product you’d have in your beauty closet [when you become a bit of a beauty snob, like myself]. This product has earned a spot in my shower caddy, which has very limited space (seriously, I have things stacked on top of each other!), because it is not only effective, it’s techy and makes so much sense.

It is truly a system, because there are two sizes of crystals (microfine is the smallest, and the other size is a little larger, grittier). There are four levels of exfoliation, with the first level being purely microfine particles. You stay on each level for two weeks (so eight weeks to complete the system), and then you stay off of it for about two weeks. The amount you use is less than a quarter (they say “quarter size” but I found you can use less than that quite easily!), so you should have no problem getting plenty of use out of the tube.

You only use this 2-3 times per week (every other day, basically), as well, and I use it in the shower because I like to multi-task and save some time in the mornings. Your skin will feel ridiculously smooth and soft after you use it, and I have to tell you that that is one superb feeling. Because it has four different levels of abrasion, it gives you time to cycle through and really renew your skin. It also means that I don’t have to worry about two or three products with different types or strengths in exfoliation!

Learn more at www.avon.com.

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Kanebo Concealer (Brush Type) ($30.00) is the best concealer I have tried to date. It is incredibly easy to use, the formula is velety and creamy, and it does a superior job of hiding dark circles and minimizing fine lines. I also use it on minor blemishes and recent scars and have found it to work beautifully on these types of skin issues, too. It’s in a pen/brush form, which means it is great to keep in your purse or use on the go. I personally prefer to buff my concealer in using a buffer brush, but for a quick fix, the brush applicator still works. You click the end of the concealer to get the product out and simply swipe onto areas you want to conceal.

It is available in only three shades–light, medium, and dark–which may make it a limited option for some. However, concealers do not need to have as wide of a range as foundations (though I think they could probably stand to add another shade or two). Price is a little steeper than I’d like, but the results make me regret all the money I’ve spent on other concealers. To get fancy on you, Kanebo Concealer includes Reflecting Beads to help diffuse light, Silk Extract to reduce moisture loss, and Phyto Squalane to enhance moisture retention. Overall, this product is a defintie keeper in my beauty bag!

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Prescriptives’ AnyWear Multi-Purpose Makeup Stick ($35.00) is the perfect solution for the gal on the go. When you purchase, you get two tubes of this ultra creamy stick foundation. It’s perfect for travel, because the size is compact (kind of like a fatter lipstick tube!) so you can keep an extra in your purse or at work (heck, even the car) for touch-ups or additional coverage through the day. It is a medium-coverage foundation that allows you to build up from light, and it easily blends into the skin because it is so creamy. It also feels like it kind of melts into the skin (especially when I use a buffer brush to apply it).

It contains both UVA and UVB SPF15 protection, which is a plus for anyone who likes a multi-tasking beauty product. With 24 shades, I’m comfortable saying most readers will be able to find a good color for them. I don’t carry many beauty products in my purse, but I think this one may find its way into it soon. For your reference, I am NC30 in MAC foundations, and I found Y/O Gold (07) to be a pretty good shade for me (I probably could have gone one shade lighter).