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Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch for Concealing Under Eye Circles and Bags

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch ($40.00) is an often celebrated product for concealing and hiding under eye circles. Technically, it is called a luminizing pen that is used to help brighten and highlight the skin. They recommend using it between the eyebrows, along the sides of the nose, and even on the chin and around the lips. It’s available in four shades: 1 Luminous Radiance (fair/light/medium with pink undertones), 2 Luminous Ivory (fair/light/medium with yellow or golden undertones), 3 Light Peach (warm/golden beige), and 4 Luminous Toffee (deep).

I bought shade #2 during Sephora’s Friends & Family sale last November, and at first, I worried it was far too light for me–but it was perfect. These are designed to run lighter than your skin tone, so don’t expect to try and color match it to your foundation! The whole point of the product is that it lightens areas that are normally darker or more pigmented, like your undereye circles, scars, hyperpigmentation, etc. So I expect this is part of the reason only four shades are available, because most people will find one that lightens to their specification.

The product itself is housed in a pen that has a brush at the end. You click the other end to get the product out onto the brush tip. When you first purchase, expect to do a lot of clicking! I had to click so many times, I swore I had a broken one! But alas, eventually, I finally hit pay dirt. I like the way the product is packaged, because you don’t need a separate concealer brush, nor do you have to worry about getting more concealer than you need. One or two clicks is plenty.

The formula of Touche Éclat is creamy, smooth, and designed to go on sheerly. It really does help disguise my undereye circles/bags after a week or two of not having slept well. I don’t use concealer on a regular basis, but when I need it, I really need it. I’ve found great results with Touche Éclat, and one of the best things about it is that it doesn’t sink into fine lines or creases underneath your eyes during or after application. It also doesn’t ball up when I’ve used it on top of an eye cream, which is a definitely plus. It is also nice to use to highlight the inner corner near your eye, too.

For the high price tag, you get a concealer that’s travel-friendly, easy to use, and will last you quite awhile. It’s not as if I have to replace it on a monthly basis. For me, it should last me at least a year. There’s quite a bit of product stored in the pen, so for me it’s worth it since it works quite well.

You can find yours at Sephora.com!

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Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner for Dry Skin

Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner ($7.95 to 17.45) is designed to re-hydrate dry skin while restoring your skin back to the correct pH balance. What I really love about all of Lush’s toners is that they come in handy spray-bottles. You can spritz on the go, on your face, or on a cotton pad–whatever you like–and you know you’re going to get the same amount. I find two spritzes onto a cotton pad to be perfect for half my face, then I repeat on the other side of the cotton pad to finish my face. One bottle seems to last forever–it’s definitely not a product you have to buy more than once or twice a year.

While some cleansers have made toning unnecessary, it’s still an easy step to keep to your beauty routine. I find that they are really helpful to ensure you’ve gotten every last vestige of your makeup off. If you have acne-prone skin like mine (which is terrible right, ugh!), you definitely do what you can to minimize the chance of setting off a breakout by keeping that skin clean before you go to bed! I also like that this toner really does not dry out your skin whatsoever or make it feel tight at all. It is a toner more suitable for those with dry skin, because it helps to soothe it.

The one thing I dislike about the toner is that there is perfume in the ingredients’ list. I really don’t know why it’s necessary, and I’m not sure why there isn’t a more natural way to make it smell acceptable. I just worry when perfume is listed anywhere but in the very last portion of an ingredients’ list!

Ingredients: Spring Water (Aqua), Fresh Sea Water (Aqua), Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis), Perfume, Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus crispus), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin), Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis), Seaweed Absolute (Fucus vesiculosus), *Limonene, *Linalool, Methylparaben.

LUSH Coalface Cleanser for Your Anti-Acne Arsenal

Lush Coalface Cleanser ($10.95 for 3.5 oz.) is a solid bar that has licorice root as its main ingredient (supposed to help the skin “heal naturally”) and powdered charcoal to exfoliate the skin.  The first noticeable characteristic of this product is it has a distinct smell.  I couldn’t quite tell you what it is, but I know some find it unpleasant–it’s kind of like out in the woods, around the campfire kind of scent.  I’m not one of them, but it’s not a scent that I’m going ga-ga over either!  Regardless, the scent doesn’t linger–it rinses off as soon as the product does.

I find Coalface to work really well at reducing acne breakouts.  It’s great for oily skin, especially because it can be a little drying on the skin.  If you find it drying, make sure to follow-up with a good moisturizer or try a toner.  Coalface gives me that “squeaky clean” feeling at the end, which is not really my bag, but often I follow with Sweet Japanese Girl so that “squeaky clean” feeling is minimal.  The product lathers up really well, and the gritty charcoal powder bits are rough enough to really get your scrub on.

Overall, I really like this product, and it’s definitely part of my shower time routine! Have you tried Coalface?

Here’s the ingredient list…

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YSL Spring 2009 Makeup Collection Sneak Peek!

I got a chance to get an early sneak peek at some of YSL’s Spring 2009 treats comin’ at us this February! 🙂 I played with Palette d’Artiste for the Complexion ($62.00), Gloss Pur #4 (Pure Raspberry), Rouge Pur #146 (Romantic Pink), and Nail Touch #5 (Tender Pink Touch).

I’m really lovin’ the Gloss Pur formula–it’s creamy, pigmented, and not sticky at all. I love me a good pigmented gloss! I’m not positive whether all of the Gloss Purs have no shimmer, but it’s nice to see a gloss that’s just gloss and shine without the shimmer. The creaminess of the lipstick is lovely, and the shade is a more wearable shade of bubblegum pink.

The Nail Touch #5 is an interesting product, as it was my first time trying out a nail polish pen. I liked the experience, and it makes for a great on-the-go nail polish. This shade in particular is incredibly sheer, coming out mostly as a sheer pink–nice for the office or for those looking for something super subtle.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the rest of this collection when it launches this spring!

Check out product photos and swatches

LUSH Sweet Japanese Girl Cleanser for a Facial Treat

LUSH Sweet Japanese Girl Cleanser ($10.25 for 1.2 oz.) is quite possibly my favorite LUSH product of all-time. It’s a “facial massage and exfoliation bar.” I don’t really say it’s a massage bar (though you could, since it’s grooved), but I love it for how it hydrates skin with a buttery goodness feel while gently exfoliating. I prefer to use mine at the end of my shower, so my skin is warmed from the hot water; this product just melts into the skin. I rinse with splashes of warm water, then gently dab my face dry at the end. My face feels moisturized and so, so smooth. Just ridiculously silky soft!

Ingredient List: Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Palm Kernel Oil (Hydrogenated palm), Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Ground Aduki Beans (Phaseolus), Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), *Citral, *Limonene, Perfume,.

NARS The Multiple Bronzer in Malaysia for Instant Bronze

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!