Friday, May 30th, 2008

CoverFX Natural FX ($37.00) is a water-based foundation that contains SPF 15 that was developed to be long-wearing. It is a light to medium coverage, highly blendable foundation that leaves behind a dewy, soft finish and evens out skintone. CoverFX has made this particular foundation more water resistant than other foundatinos on the market, which makes it great for summer and humid climates.

I found that it wore throughout the day with no smudging or melting, and I didn’t feel like I needed any touch-ups, either.  I liked how blendable the foundation was, because it gave me plenty of time to buff it into my skin for flawless coverage.  It is also great, because it is liquid enough that you can sheer it out for light coverage, but buildable enough that you can make it medium coverage, as well.  The only real downside to this product is its price tag, which is a bit higher than the average foundation.

They have twenty shades to choose from, broken down into four series. The B series is for golden brown to ebony skin tones; the C series is for Caucasian skins with mostly pink undertones; E series is for Caucasian skins with both pink and yellow undertones; and the M series is ideal for those with yellow and olive undertones.

Get yours at www.coverfx.com.

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

What’s my new favorite product to use in the shower? Clean & Clear’s In-Shower Facial ($6.99). When I initially used this product, I was immediately reminded of my Prescriptives Instant Gratification must-have. It gives me very similar results (though I do feel that Px’s is a bit more intense and the effect of soft skin lasts longer, but it is also much, much more expensive).

The In-Shower Facial is a gritty gray scrub that you apply to your face, let it sit for a minute, and then gently scrub for about thirty seconds and rinse off with warm water. It’s designed to be used in the shower, so that the steam and heat help the product to work. Clean & Clear boasts about its usage of glycolic acid, which is an exfoliant to help in cell turnover, matched with clay that helps to remove dirt and oil out of skin and pores. They have also opted for a moisturizing complex that is designed for younger skin, which makes this product great for teenagers (although I love it, and I’m out of my teen years, even if I feel 12 most of the time!).

This product is meant to be used once every other day or so, between one and three times a week. I used it as much as three times per week, and my skin didn’t have any adverse reactions, so it’s definitely worth using that often. At $5.99, I consider it a skincare bargain, but the truth is, you don’t need more than a pea size or so amount to cover your face, so this product lasts. I think mine has been in my shower for about two months now, and I do use it regularly. It has definitely earned its spot in my shower caddy (which is overflowing, so only the best of the best make it in there!).  Because of its bargain price, I have to urge you to at least give it a shot.  Your skin will feel like the smoothest silk!

Have you tried this product?  What did you think?

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.