Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter Skin Care Saviors

I think most people will agree with me, when I question "When is this winter going to be over?" Because guess who is soooooo over it? - *Vally girl voice*
They even named it this year, the Polar Vortex can kiss my freezing bum.

Today, and for the last few days we have had non stop rain following previous days of non stop snow.
The weatherman on television stated that the rain was a good thing - it will melt the snow that had completely frozen over.
We have arrived to the point where "that" is the bright side??

With the lack of sun coupled with pretty pathetic weather conditions it has led to women all over the globe to rummage through their beauty cupboards to try to fight this blasted wind and snow.
Cracked lips, flaky skin, dry hair, I know- quite attractive...

Here are the few products I have recently pulled into my winter beauty arsenal to fight mother nature and pray for the return of Mr. Sun.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream: I purchased a small tub of this cream in October. Fast forward to me becoming addicted, slathering my face with this daily, and buying the jumbo large tub of the stuff when I ran out far too quickly. This non fragranced ( thank you!) thick cream is hydrating and absorbs quickly into the skin without feeling heavy nor pore clogging. I have pretty normal skin in the winter and the cream version as opposed to the lotion does not feel too heavy.
I will be repurchasing this every winter to come!

Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask: A hit for me, from a brand I have quite a spotty history with. This is slightly fragranced. It reminds me slightly of lemons? It's quite thick which can be daunting upon first application but I prayed it would not freak my skin out on a day when I couldn't take the flakiness anymore and rubbed it in generously all over my face. The next morning my face looked refreshed and non greasy -whew!
When first applying this you will look quite shiny, but after a few minutes it should all sink it and you don't look as greasy anymore. Sleep with this, skip moisturizer for one night, and wake up skin that looked like it had quite a good drink of water.

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream: The Clarins obsession continues!
This hand cream has a pleasant fragrance of baby powder mixed with lemons. Claiming to reduce the look of age spots and conditioning nails it seems like it would be an all in one product. Though I have no age spots on my hands, the cuticles around my nails do seem a bit healthier and less wretched looking as they usually do in the winter - I never wear gloves ( I know that is so naughty) This does leave a slight residue on the palms of my hands but in the winter I do not mind, I need the help and long lasting formulas are welcome.

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream: Though I usually veer towards cream with anti fine line or anti wrinkle purposes, once the cold wind hit, and my eyes became so dry I ran to this stuff!
A thin but hydrating formula which is very easy to spread and works wonderfully under eye concealer. A great winter find!

L'Oreal Ever Sleek Hair Oil: A drugstore offering of the crazed argan oil we have all became obsessed with since 2011? Not only does this product smell better than any other argan oils I have tried but offering the same results in my hair at a reduced price means this is something I have been slathering and loving into my poor dry ends this season.

Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub: This product has never gotten more attention from me. Through the year I am admittingly lazy about exfoliating my lips but in the winter I have been rubbing this on and thanking myself for the purchase. Quickly removing the dead skin and leaving plumper looking lips to apply my beautiful lip sticks without all those gross cracks in the lips. Followed by Blistex Complete Moisture lip balm.
With an  spf 15 and the slight lemony scent this seems to be a very likely dupe for the Fresh Sugar lip balms so many ladies out there love.
Next time give this Blistex a go, at a fraction of the cost and lovely moisturizing results, it is a cheap and cheerful purchase.

Hoping all my lovely readers are staying warm this winter. Let's all ban together and will spring to come-ASAP!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Currently, Clarins!

Happy Weekend ladies!!

After recently looking into my skin care cabinet I noticed a brand trend, Clarins.
Since I normally review the same skin care in my empties I thought I would share a few new additions and as well as old favorites.
For Christmas I was fortunately enough to receive a Clarins gift set ( which I myself pointed to, and said this one!!) Clarins always has some great mini's to introduce new buyers into the brand. Since some of their products are current staples in my skin care routine, I was excited to give some new items a go.

The Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser and Sunscreen are my HG's for skin care. I am on my third bottle straight of the cleanser and do not wish to veer towards any other brand. The sunscreen is also in my opinion superior to all sunscreens I have tried in the past which includes numerous french brands - The French know their stuff when it comes to food and skin.
Full reviews can be found in the links provided as I have blabbed on about those two for quite some time.


Now on to the newbies!

Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser: I use this about 2x a week in the morning, especially when I wake up and my skin looks either very dull, or quite oily. The beads in this wake up the skin and it is scented with a pleasant orange scent. It does not really foam but can remove the most exterior level of skin debris and leaves the skin feeling fresh without feeling stripped.
In my opinion, this product is just ok. I think the beads could be finer as I think they are quite large in comparison to other gentle exfoliators I have tried, but it's nothing too abrasive. I would not advise daily use unless your skin is very oily.

Clarins Lotion Tonique-Chamomile: I have been trying a string of new toners and I have been feeling quite let down by all of them. This is also just ok. I really don't feel it doing much.  I don't feel as if my skin is more balanced, cleaner, or brighter after using this. To me this is just "another step" product.

Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion: This is actually one of the most hydrating lotions I have tried to date. Normally lotions alone are not enough for my skin and I need to slather myself in body butters or thick creams but even in this terrible winter wind, this lotion seems to be helping my thirsty skin. It is very easy to absorb and the smell is not offensive nor over powering. I do like this product and have only used it for a brief amount of time but the tube is quite small for a  body lotion. I am quite liberal with the stuff and would like to see how long the tube lasts to see if I would repurchase.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm: Now this is a cult classic for the Clarins brand. I've heard raves about this product in the past but never knew how it worked or what it actually does.
Below I have linked the video I followed to know how to use this properly.

I squeeze a pea sized amount on my fingers and warm them, then just press it on my skin and let it absorb for a minute of so. I immediately saw results. My skin looked brighter and healthier, admit tingly there was some shine. It looked like I just moisturized my face with some incredibly high end expensive cream. It worked lovely as a primer and my skin really glowed through my make up. I actually wore less make up because my skin already looked so much better.

I only used this once, but my initial impression was positive. I have heard using this too often is a negative as your skin can become accustomed to the product and lose it's effects, but in the winter where the skin looks duller, this brought forth quite a surge of life!

Clarins Instant Lip Perfector in 05: Another huge product from the Clarins line. These have an incredible following in the beauty world. They are very pretty and quite effortlessly pretty in fact. The shade 05 does have more pigment than the original 01 I had used in the past. If you loved the originals but wanted more of a shade punch, these new shades might be your answer but I must state they did not bring forth that much color, as these still wish to look incredibly natural as an effect.

My futures empties post contains a few more Clarins samples I have already used up but did not review here as they lasted only one application.

Hopefully this mini review was  quick guide to some of the best from Clarins!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

January Favorites

For those wonderful ladies who have been following my blog for some times you would probably know two things about me for sure:
1. I LOVE makeup
2. I don't change my make up much....

Here are the few stand by make up products that I have been carrying in my bag for months and have just been loving.

Many of these products have been mentioned on my blog before ( I think almost all...) but due to my mainstay affection to these beauties, you can see what I have been continually using and have been happily slapping on daily.

Chanel has currently been taking up the bulk of my stash these last few months. These few key pieces I have found to be perfect for a quick everyday look.

Chanel's Bronzer in Terre Ambre 63: During the warmer months I can use this sparingly as a bronzer but with winter this stuff looks pretty darn orange on if I'm not careful. Instead of applying this all over, I use the brush provided - which is pretty ok quality and sweep a few swipes of the product on my cheeks. 
Some people hate them, but I actually love orangey bronzers! 
Applying these kinds of bronzers on your cheeks in the winter look more like a peachy brown blush that I prefer. It gives my face a touch of color and so long as you swipe it sheerly on the cheeks- sometimes I apply the remnants on my lids to pull the look together, you will look far from orange, just slightly colored and will be able to use the product year round.

Chanel Pressed Powder in 30 Natural: I've tried quite a few blot powders in my day but this is by far my favorite. There is something about this powder that when applied:
1. Doesn't make you look too matte - thumbs up from me
2. This powder makes you look in one word- "Polished"

I have no clue how it does it but when applied with the perfect brush - Trish McEvoy's Sheer blush brush on just your T zone lightly, this looks sooo perfect on the skin. Just the right amount of a satin finish. I am in love people. 
By far one of the best Duty Free purchases - by far.

Recently I have been attending so many meetings where I have to look very ... for lack of a better word - plain.

This is not to make this next product sound negative in any way, because behold my go to natural blush; Laura Mercier's Wild Bouquet. For those Tarte Exposed, and NARS Doucer lovers, Laura Mercier also has an offering for those subtle apples.

More of a peachy brown option that is very natural and subdue for the office. 
Think MAC's Tenderling but instead of a pink base, think peach.
This peachy beige barely there shade works perfectly with my currently fairer skin to give myself some color, contour, know, all the good stuff!
I also apply this to my lids or crease when I'm rushing around. 

For my lids Bobbi Brow's Sandy Gold has currently been my #1. The color is not unique but it's easy. I apply it with my fingers to just correct and brighten my lids. The shimmer is also very subtle unlike some of my other champagne cream shades. Again, my daily look has been aimed to look quite plain, but I think the term is called "nude make up" now a days!

For the lips I have been wearing religiously Khiels Lip Balm (another favorite but not pictured) topped with NARS Isola Bella Satin Lip Pencil, and a bit of Chanel's Gloss in Genie to top it all off.

The Satin Lip Pencils from NARS get a huge thumbs up from me. Easy to apply, moisturizing, and great color payoff. I add a touch of a peachy gloss on top to make the lip a bit more youthful then blot once to take away most of the shine - Lips that are too shiny can come across as younger than I wish to present myself.

 Last few favorites are the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser which is AMAZING. It makes washing all my brushes so much easier, not just the Beauty Blender but all brushes! I find myself washing my brushes more regularly which is a good habit resulting from this product alone.
The Clinique Extreme Volume High Impact is still my current favorite mascara. 

Last beauty favorites which are not pictured are my Dior Nude Skin BB Cream, MAC's Fairly Precious Highlighter, L'Oreal Linear Intense Liquid Liner, NYX Butter Glosses, and Revlon Color Stay Pencil Liner.

Swatches can all be found on the links provided.

In terms of random favorites I have a current favorite show!
I am not a huge television person but I have been addicted to a Korean program called "Appa Odiga"
I believe it is currently Korea's #1 program.

It's unfortunately not subtitled...sorry :*( 
But if you are able to understand Korean, you can either watch it on tv each week or catch the episodes on Youtube.

It is about five celebrity fathers and their children going on weekly adventures. The children are all adorable and funny!
Thy are currently shooting Season 2 and some of my favorite characters have left the show, but the new kids look just as charming ;)

Lastly is my current favorite YouTuber- Lo Bosworth!
Yes, from the Hills- remember that show?
She's all grown up and living in NY with style and cooking videos to boot!
She has already made me eager to try the NARS Multiples as bronzers, buy thin gold rings, cook steaks in butter, and better my top knots.

That's all for my current favorites!
Please share some of your newest favorites, as I always like to scope out new products!

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