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).

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

theBalm timeBalm Concealer ($17.00) is a combo product that includes anti-wrinkle properties within a concealer. It comes in six shades ranging from fair complexions to tan complexions, which is important when you want to appeal to a broad audience. I found that the product worked decently, but the packaging was not my cup of tea. It is merely a clear plastic screw-top jar that feels very “DIY” rather than a product that is available at major retailers like Sephora.

What is good is that I didn’t find that this concealer settled into any of the subtle lines underneath my eyes and blends seamlessly with my regular foundation. I didn’t really dig the included sponge, just because it was so flimsy and small that it was too much work in order to use. I found a concealer brush worked a lot better, and then I used a buffer brush to blend everything together. The product itself easily dries out if you aren’t careful about your jar top being on tightly, but it concealed my dark circles and light acne scars well, but

Find this at Beauty.com or Sephora.com.

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation ($28.00)

The face is like a fresh canvas — Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation provides the ideal base for transforming the face into a masterpiece of color.  The consistency is lightweight and buildable, allowing women to determine their own preferred coverage level and desired color impact.  With a sweep of the brush, the multitasking powder-based foundation glides on easily, blends seamlessly and hugs the skin for long-lasting coverage.  Mary Kay Mineral Powder Foundation controls shine and instantly conceals minor skin imperfections, helping to create a glamorous finish like those produced by professional makeup artists.

What I liked: First, I found that Beige 2 was a good color-match for my skintone, and I always seem to have trouble finding a suitable shade when it comes to mineral makeup, so that was a pleasant surprise.  You get a nice amount for the price, and I feel like the jar would last me at least six months, if not more.  Since it is a powder, the shelf life is even better than a liquid foundation, since it is harder (almost impossible) for powders to harbor bacteria (which like wet and moist environments, e.g. liquids).  It is incredibly fine milled, making it easier to pick up and buff onto the skin. The biggest secret to mineral makeup is buffing it into the skin, rather than just placing it on it. The more you buff, the more it works into the skin and becomes “one” with it (ha!). It is a soft, buildable mineral foundation, though I would say it tops off at light-medium coverage, so those who want heavy coverage should probably still opt for heavy creams and/or liquids.

What I didn’t like: Nothing stuck out about this that made me go, “Grr!” The packaging could be a bit more sleek/aesthetically pleasing, perhaps, but I think that’s such a minor (and not to mention, superficial!) detail that can easily be overlooked. I think they should promote a buffer brush with this, just because I find that works much better than any other powder brush!  The color range only includes six shades, which makes it fairly limited in my eyes, so I’m not sure how our lightest/darkest ladies will fair in finding an appropriate match.

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

While I was in New York for Fashion Week, Megan over at Clinique made sure I had a sample of Clinique’s Almost Powder, a new foundation, that also comes with build-in SPF 15.  This product utilizes new technology in pressing and processing that ends up making production take twice as long as a normal powder would.  It’s even produced exclusively in Japan!

I’ve been wearing Almost Powder for the past week or so, and I have to say, I do like it.  I don’t think it is going to replace my holy grail Studio Fix Fluid (liquid), mostly because I like liquid foundation and the coverage.  However, there are many days where SFF is just a tad too heavy, or I’m not really needing a foundation of that nature.  I find Almost Powder perfect for everyday, incredibly natural-looking skin.  The powder is incredibly silky, and it feels lightweight.  The compact includes a sponge, but I also tried Clinique’s powder brush ($30.00) with it.  I found the sponge was better at reducing any “powdery” spots, and it was a lot faster.  I’m personally not a fan of sponge technology (just seems like it is a bacterial growth zone!), so I tend to opt for the brush method.  The brush was SO soft, and I liked it for initial application and buffing later with a buffer brush.

The coverage you get is lightweight to light-medium coverage.  It basically gave me natural coverage, so I didn’t look cakey or really like I was wearing any foundation–which is always a plus.  I would definitely need to look into concealers if I wanted to wear this on more acne-prone days, though, since it covers, but not quite enough (though not many lightweight foundations do this, so it’s not really a negative).

What sells this foundation is how soft it is and how nicely it settles into the skin.  If you’re looking for a more polished look, without looking like you’re wearing makeup, this is right up your alley.  This is perfect for those on-the-go, and anyone who wants to keep foundation light, minimal, but something that works and really evens out skin tone.

Availability: March 2008 at counters and www.clinique.com, but currently available for preview at QVC.