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Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Sunscreen

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, licensed esthetician, skincare expert, etc. This is information I have gathered from reading many different sunscreen-related articles throughout the past few years. I’ve provided links for reference purposes. As always, please consult your doctor and/or dermatologist for the latest and most accurate, up-to-date information.

Why sunscreen?

Wearing sunscreen will help prevent your skin from burning from harsh UVB rays and reduce the effects of UVA rays on the deeper layers of your skin–it may help reduce the signs of aging later on down the road as well as lower your exposure risk to skin cancer.

What are UVA and UVB?

  • UVA rays are the kind that have the greatest effect on you… that you don’t necessarily see right away. This includes aging and wrinkles as well as increase the risks of skin cancer.  Think of UVA as the AGING (and cancer-causing) rays.
  • UVB rays are the kind that you’ll notice right off the bat,  because UVB rays are generally responsible for sunburns.  Think of UVB as the BURNING (sunburn-causing) rays.

This is a very short and sweet summary to get the main points out, but you can check out this article for a more in-depth explanation.

Is higher SPF better?

Not, not necessarily. First, remember that “SPF” is only a rating on effectiveness of UVB rays, not UVA.   SPF 15 blocks roughly 93% of all UVB, while SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%. (See SkinCancer.org.) If you are out and about, many organizations recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours (especially if you’re spending the day in the sun). It is also more important to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen than one merely with a high SPF rating.

The way SPF works is if it takes you 10 minutes to start burning normally, wearing SPF 15 would mean it would take 15 times as long to burn–150 minutes.

How much SPF do I need? Do I need to reapply my sunscreen throughout the day?

Most recommendations seem to indicate a a full shotglass’ amount for your entire body applied thirty minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours. If you’re in the water or sweating, it is even more important to reapply regularly. Even water-resistant sunscreens (designed for 40 minutes of protection in the water) and waterproof sunscreens (designed for 80 minutes of protection in the water) need to be reapplied after a romp in the water. (See AAD.org.)

How do I reapply sunscreen over makeup?

According to WebMD, it is much better to choose a moisturizer or lotion/cream based SPF product rather than a foundation or powder with SPF in it–you may not get enough coverage if it’s within a foundation (particularly a powder) or cosmetic product.   Bauman (an expert in the aforementioned article), recommends reapplying sunscreen once during the day for day-to-day wear. To reapply sunscreen over an already-done face, consider a sunscreen spray (but made for the face, not the body), patting a layer of sunscreen or SPF-based tinted moisturizer onto the face (don’t rub), and/or pressed powder (with a sponge for better adhesion) with SPF.

In general, the ingredients in sunscreen degrade when in direct UV contact, so if you’re sitting in an office building all day, it may not be necessary to reapply.  Always remember to apply sunscreen liberally–don’t hold back–and be thorough about it.  If cost is a worry, look for a more affordable sunscreen rather than a $300/jar sunscreen!

What ingredients should I look for?

Any sunscreen or sunblock should list what ingredient(s) it uses to accomplish sun protection. The rule of thumb is to look for a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. This means that it uses ingredients that cover the majority of the UV spectrum (so both UVA and UVB protection).

  • UVB (290-320nm): Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA), Cinoxate, Dioxybenzone, Ensulizole, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Octisalate (Octyl Salicylate), Oxybenzone, Padimate O, Sulisobenzone, Trolamine Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (320-340nm): Dioxybenzone, Ecamsule (Mexoryl), Helioplex, Meradimate, Oxybenzone, Sulisobenzone, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
  • UVA (340-400nm): Avobenzone, Zinc Oxide

Physical blockers like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide may give some deeper skin tones a white cast (as they are, literally, physically blocking the rays). Some may be allergic or sensitive to chemical sunscreens and may need to opt for physical blockers instead. Physical blockers protect skin by deflecting or blocking harsh UV rays, while chemical blockers/sunscreens usually absorb them. (Most other sunscreen ingredients beyond titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are chemical sunscreens, for reference.) Physical blockers tend to be more stable, while chemical sunscreens may degrade and are often paired with other sunscreen ingredients to increase stability. (See more information at AMF.org.)

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

This Week’s Sales for April 5th, 2010

  • Benefit: Free shipping over purchases of $50+, use code PRETTY50.
  • Bliss: Get 2 free body butter minis with any purchase using code 2BUTTER, valid 4/5-4/9/2010. Get a free problem salved & free shipping with any ingrown eliminating pads purchase, use code POTM410, expires 4/30/2010. Free Bliss gift bag with $50+ purchase with code WANTIT, expires 4/30/2010.
  • Blue Mercury: Free shipping on all orders over $50, plus 3 free beauty samples with every order.
  • Bobbi Brown: Complimentary Mahogany Gel Eyeliner and free shipping orders of $65+, use code GEL. Complimentary Heather Lip Gloss and free shipping on orders of $65+, use code GLOSS7. Both codes expire 4/15/2010.
  • C.O. Bigelow:  10% off any purchase over $50 with code BIG10.  Expires 6/30/2010.
  • The Container Store: Spring Organization Sale begins!
  • E.L.F.:  Buy 1, get 1 free from the Sugar Kiss collection.
  • Juara Skincare: 10% off all orders with code APRIL10.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  Free Zoomlash with code ZOOM410.
  • Noodle & Boo: Buy Opulent Body Butter and get 50% off Bubbling Exfoliating with code exfoliant50, expires 4/30/2010. Buy 1 Play-Day Sunscreen, get 1 Free with code sunbunny, expires 4/30/2010.
  • Nordstrom: Current list of Gifts with Purchase.
  • NYX Cosmetics:  35% off all cream blushes with code LUCKY3.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue: Get two travel-size best sellers (Crystal Lip Gloss and Perfectly Defined Mascara) with any $65+ Bobbi Brown purchase with code BBROWN3.
  • SkinStore:  $10 off $60+ orders with code GREEN10.  Expires 4/9/2010.
  • Smashbox:  Take $25 off any order or $100+ with code SAVE25.

Sephora: Get 10 free skincare samples with any order while supplies last with code 10FREE.

  • Free Korres Primer Sample with any online order with code OAKPRIME.
  • Get samples of all five HerCut styling products with any online order with code HAIRPICK.
  • Get a free Kim Kardashian tote with $45+ on Kim Kardashian’s fragrance with code KARDASHIAN.
  • Free bliss Hot Salt Scrub when you buy the Bliss Bikini Perfect Deluxe trimmer with code HOTSALT.
  • Get Clarins Cleanser for $9 (2.6 oz., regularly $17), no code necessary.
  • Buy AmorePacific’s Best Selling Kit ($50), get a free deluxe-sized Skin Energy sample with code AMORESKIN.
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

This week’s beauty sales at Gilt

The link above is an invite-link, which is a referral link. Gilt requires an invite in order to join. I receive a $25 referral credit to my account IF you purchase, but not just if you sign up.

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

This week’s sales at HauteLook

The links above are a referral link.  It means that I receive a $10 credit if you make your first purchase–I get nothing if you never buy.   HauteLook has opened up membership, so you are free to sign up on your own, if you wish! :)

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

MAC Show Orchid Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Show Orchid Lipstick

MAC Show Orchid Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a vibrant shade of fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia-purple sheen. It’s a bold and bright shade that’s definitely eye-catching. It is a full-color coverage lipstick with a creamy feel and light sheen. It has an amplified creme finish, which means it has a creamy (but not too creamy–there’s no real slip here) and incredibly pigmented. It smells like vanilla, has no taste (at least, not to me), and wears for a good four hours before it needs a reapplication.

Is this the right bright pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Chanel Les Pop Up de Chanel Bronzer

Going Bronze with Style

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel ($50.00) is available in two different shades — Terre d’or and Terre Halee — and new for Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection.  Every Summer, Chanel releases a limited edition bronzer (or two!), and this year is no exception.  It has a soft raised wave pattern across the surface, the illusion of summer sand.  Both shades are a finely-milled bronzing powder that apply naturally to skin.

If you take a swatch with a sponge-tip applicator (or finger), you’ll find it seems too much for a bronzing product, but when used with a brush, you’ll get a much softer, more natural look more appropriate to bronzing powders.  What’s nice about the underlying pigmentation is it can be built up to your preference, plus it works well for a variety of skin tones, too.

  • Terre d’or is a lighter, more golden, peachy bronze.  It has a very soft, silky feel with a subtle shimmer-sheen.  This shade is ideal for light to medium skin tones.
  • Terre Halee is a deeper, dirtier bronze with a subtle golden sheen.  It has the same feel an dfinish of Terre d’ore–a smooth, silken powder with a light shimmer and soft sheen.  This shade is ideal for medium to deep skin tones.

I’m on the lighter side of medium, but I’d definitely classify myself as medium in skin tone.  I find I like Terre d’or just a little more than Terre Halee on me, but I like a softer, lighter application of bronzer.  The sand pattern is cute without being too-beautiful-to-use or just a mist of overspray, too.

With a whopping 0.38 oz. of bronzer, this should last you all summer and then some.  At least Chanel didn’t skimp on product, even if this is a pricier bronzer (but the same price as other permanent shades of Soleil Tan de Chanel).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For a very silky smooth bronzer, Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel range is always a good choice.  Terre d’or is suitable for light to medium skin tones, while Terre Halee is more suitable for those with deeper skin tones.

Availability:  May 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →