Sunday, November 28, 2010

Review: The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost

Today's review is The Body Shop's Vitamin C Skin Boost. I want to start out by saying that they've reformulated and repackaged the entire Vitamin C line, so if you try to pick this up, it will look different and the product itself may be different too, I have not tried the new one. Here is a link to the new product. The Skin Boost is meant to "create instant smoothing radiance with a silky smooth finish. it's an ideal skin pick me up to enhance your glow." This product contains Amazonian camu camu berry (new version has this), which is konwn to have one of the highest contens of vitamin C in nature. Vitamin C is meant to brighten, encourage collagen production, improve elasticity, soften skin and protect from environmental aggressors.

I like this product a lot because it smells amazing and gives this perk up to your skin. If you like the smell of oranges you will like this, I know some people may find this too strong. It comes in a heavy container with a pump that can be sealed (I love products with pumps).

The consistency of this is a clear gel. It absorbs into your skin amazingly fast and leaves a matte finish. I just want to keep adding more and more of this because it feels so refreshing on. And it makes my your skin super smooth. I suppose it's marketed as a moisturizer, but I think of it more as a primer which has the added benefits of Vitamin C, which is good for your skin. If I use this alone, it isn't enough moisture for my face (I have dry skin). I have also read that this has broken some people out with small bumps, so beware if you have sensitive skin, although personally I have never had any issues with The Body Shop skincare.

When I run out of it, which won't be for a while, I will definitely try out the new, reformulated one, until then I will keep sniffing and loving this one.

Have you tried anything from The Body Shop's Vitamin C line?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation

Dream Smooth Mousse is Maybelline's newest foundation. This is in the "Dream Mousse" category but totally different than the previous Dream Matte Mousse and Dream Liquid Mousse. This took forever to get to Canada. I really wanted to try it but only got it like a month ago when we finally started carrying it over here. I don't know what took so long. This foundation is described as "unique cream-whipped foundation combines perfectly moisturizing coverage with a lightweight formula. Blends seamlessly and feels fresh all day. Go beyond perfect skin, experience baby smooth perfection."

As everyone else that has seen this product knows, the packaging is really obnoxious and large. The top has a  sponge applicator which comes in it's own compartment and then the top unscrews and reveals the actual product underneath (in glass casing). They could of added a mirror on the inside where the sponge is, that would of been a nice feature. I haven't used the sponge that comes in this.

Here is the inside, it is quite a whipped cream consistency, I like it. You can tell mine has product missing in the centre because I use a flat top brush to apply this. I tap it into the product and then tap it on my face. The application is quite simple. I don't really swirl it at all. I have this in the lightest shade, 110 Porcelain Ivory, which I gotta say looks yellow in some lighting and pink in others, it's not as light as I would like, but it's an alright match. I bought the Dream Liquid Mousse in Classic Ivory and it's a lot darker, too dark for me.

Here is a swatch, I would say this is like a thicker, more emollient version of the Dream Matte Mousse (which I did not like for foundation). Since this is advertised as giving "14 hour visible hydration" it is definitely targeted to dry skin types. I have read many negative reviews of this product, but they are primarily coming from those with oily or combination skin. People say it makes them oily, turns them into an oil slick, wears off easily etc. Having tried many foundation, I think each one is definitely suited to a certain skin type, and you won't get the right performance if it doesn't match.

I think this foundation is lovely for dry skin, which I have. It feels comfortable and smooth on my face, hydrates my face (or so does not dry it out more), and actually gives somewhat of a matte flat finish. Keep in mind, my skin is quite dry, so it will perform differently on me than on others. The coverage is okay, medium I would say. The package says it transforms from a cream to a liquid, when you apply it to your face the warm melts this into your skin nicely. I really like using this, they have a winner here.

Have you tried Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Faves: What Makeup are you thankful for?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, (even though I am Canadian and celebrated it last month) we will look today at what beauty products we are thankful for. The products that make us happy to have them around and brighten up our day, or face in this case! I got this idea after reading Maquilagem Masstige do it on her blog.

What products am I thankful for? Ideally all the products that we buy would work well, they would not disappoint us, break us out, cause us to wonder why we bought them in the first place etc. But that is not the case, that is why you see so many favorite and HG posts all over the internet, people are always looking to find the next best thing, never totally satisfied with what we have already. I have a couple of products which I would deem my everyday favourites, products that I love having in my collection and would re-buy.

Quick dry top-coat. This has got to be one of the best beauty inventions ever. No one wants to wait for their nails to dry. Just pile on some top coat (specifically I love Seche Vite or the OPI Fast Forward or Start To Finish) and helps your nails dry quickly and makes them super shiny! Although I do find the Seche Vite to get gloppy and disgusting once you are halfway through the bottle, I still love it. I feel naked without topcoat, it's like a sweater for your nails.

The eyelash curler, another great invention. Pictured is my Revlon one, I haven't found a huge difference between high-end and drugstore eyelash curlers. For me this is a must-have item since my lashes looks so much better when they are curled, I don't even bother putting mascara on if I don't curl my lashes.

I am thankful for lash growth products. The L'oreal lash serum totally changed the look of my lashes, I still use it regularly. As someone who never had long-enough lashes, always wanting them to be fuller and longer, products like these make me happy. I am not sure if the Revlon grow luscious does anything, but I like to think it does.

Concealer is another item that should be essential in every girl's makeup bag and it's definitely a favourite of mine. I am thankful that there are so many different concealers out there, all types of formulations, textures, different ones for all areas of your face. I love the MAC studio finish for blemishes. The select coverup for pretty much all over, and the others primarily for under eye concealing. Where would we be without concealers? it's fabulous.

Being a light girl, bronzer is heaven-sent for me. I use bronzer pretty much everyday, as an all-over powder more or less. It gives me that extra perk me up, specifically I like the Physicians Formula bronze booster.

Last and probably most important, I am thankful for liquid foundation. The kind that provides good coverage while not caking up and making my dry skin look drier. Some favourites right now are Clinique Redness Solutions, NARS sheer glow and Lancome teint idole ultra.

What products are you thankful for?

I also want to take this moment to wish everyone in the US a Happy Thanksgiving! Don't shop too hard today!

Sigma Makeup: Free Worldwide Shipping Black Friday Special (Nov 26 Only)

Sigma Makeup is offering Free shipping to anywhere in the world with any sized order today! Enter the code "BF2010" to get the discount at checkout. This offer is only valid today, Black Friday, Friday, November 26, 2010. For all of my international readers, this is a great time to order! Sigma ships worldwide, that means anywhere!

Remember with every order of $30 or more, you can get a free gift. I have heard the free gift varies, but every time I've ordered it's been the mini MAC 217 dupe, which is a great brush. I have several of those now. Don't delay to order, I am sure they'll be busy with others today and processing may be slow, you don't want your brushes to go out of stock! Also while you are here, don't forget to enter my Sigma Giveway. If you do order, let me know what you get! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rock and Republic Blushes on Sale

So I've been stalking the Rock and Republic blush page for the past week or so, checking everyday to see if they re-stocked their blushes. If you aren't familiar with Rock and Republic, you probably have heard something about them. They are known for their expensive jeans, but they also make cosmetics. And there has been a lot of talk about their blushes lately. They are supposed to be super pigmented and have lovely packaging, but they retail for $40 a piece.

However, Rock and Republic has a 50% off sale now on their cosmetics (use the code "ROCKCOSMETICS") and if you go through a referral you can get another $25 off on purchases of $75 or more. So that means, you buy two blushes ($80) and then use a referral and get the 50% off, you'll pay next to nothing for these, since shipping to the US is 99 cents.

I just ordered Immoral and Tease blush (I wanted Bedroom but it wasn't in stock), shipping to Canada is $24.95, but my total came to $39.95. So you can work out what it would be for US shoppers! This is an awesome deal. I was skeptical of how this deal works cause it seemed too good to be true. You go through the referral email to sign up, add everything to your cart, at the end put in the code and voila!. If you guys need a referral, just post your email below (I'll just delete emails after) and I will send you over one.

Have you used R&R blushes before? What did you think?

Cherry Culture: 20% Off Everything Thanksgiving Sale (Nov 24-28)

Cherry Culture is offering 20% off everything online during their Thanksgiving Sale. This sale runs November 24-28, 2010. Enter the code "TG20" to get the discount at checkout. All sales are final, no returns or exchanges. Order processing may take up to 14 days. This website is a great source for NYX and Milani items. I have ordered from them several times now, shipping to Canada is expensive because it's by weight, but the prices are really great on some items.

Click here to shop Cherry Culture.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MAC Pink Friday Lipstick by Nicki Minaj

To be honest, I don't even know who Nicki Minaj is. I've only heard her referred to in Drake songs, something about him marrying her. Not really my type of music anyway. But, who doesn't love yet another bright bubblegum pink? I do. Nicki has teamed up with MAC to put out her own shade, "Pink Friday" the same name as her new album. 

Apparently her favourite MAC lipstick ever is Pink Nouveau. With Pink Friday she "puts her trademark barbz glamour twist on a bright, creamy pink satin formula". Nicki's exclusive shade will only be available for purchase for four fridays beginning Friday, November 26, 2010 (dates available November 26th, December 3rd, 10th, and 17th). While supplies last since this is a limited edition colour.

I have already read comparisons of this lipstick to Lady Gaga's MAC lipstick, apparently this is more purpley tone. Also it's close to MAC Saint Germain and Snob. As always, Temptalia has amazing swatches and reviews of the latest MAC stuff, and this lipstick is no exception, check out her swatches and comparison pics here.

Are you getting Pink Friday?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Announcement: Sigma Holiday Sigmax Brush Set Giveaway!

Some awesome news to reveal today! I am having another Sigma Makeup giveaway! Sigma is offering to send one of my readers the Sigmax Synthetic Face Kit. This kit includes the F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush (my favourite brush to apply liquid foundation), F82 Round Top Kabuki (a denser version of the F80) and the F84 Angled Top  Kabuki (great for contouring and blush application). So you get 3 brushes if you are the lucky winner.

To enter this giveaway you must be:
1) A follow/reader of this blog.
2) Enter with a comment below once with your top beauty-related item on your Christmas list this year. Please only enter one comment. 
3) Follow me on Twitter for an added entry
4) Post about this contest on your blog, in a blog entry or sidebar and link me to it for an added entry
5) Tweet about this on Twitter for another added entry
6) If you do any added entry stuff, please let me know below in the same comment (there are 4 total entries available).
7) You can enter your email if you wish, I know there are security issues with doing so, and I have gone through and deleted all the comments from previous contests on here. As long as you have some way on your blog for me to contact the winner, or promise to come back to see who the winner is, that is totally fine. No email is required in the comment below.

The giveaway starts NOW and will run for two weeks, ending December 7, 2010 at 12pm ET. Winner will be chosen randomly and Sigma will send you these items on my behalf.

Good luck everyone! :)

Giveaway is now closed, please do not enter.

Review: Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Foundation

Underwear for skin? That's basically what the name of this foundation translates into English. However, this isn't your granny panties type of underwear, this is sexy, expensive Victoria's Secret panties. Guerlain Lingerie De Peau is the most luxurious and expensive foundation that I have ever purchased. Granted, I did not pay for this, I redeemed for it with my Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points recently. I would be very hesitant to spend $62 CAD on a foundation, and if I did, it would have to work miracles on my skin. I have buyer's remorse buying makeup often and spending this much is totally excessive for me. Ramble over.

Guerlain De Peau is described as "foundation in such perfect osmosis with the skin that it glides on like an extremely fine silk stocking. As invisible to the eye as to the touch, it fuses with the skin like an imperceptible second skin. Impalpable and secret, this shapely, silken veil renders the complexion sublime without artifice. Its texture is so supple, so soft that it melts deliciously into the skin. Uniquely comfortable, its formulation is so light it becomes transparent. Lingerie de Peau acts in absolute, weightless affinity with the skin to infuse it with light and freshness. Sublimely transparent, the complexion becomes as soft and radiant as silk. A range of 9 natural shades, seeming to fuse so perfectly with the skin, it feels as though it were made just for you. The skin is coloured and evened out with total transparency. No colour is visible on the face; the complexion is simply fresh, radiant and disarmingly natural." (Guerlain's website)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mascara Mondays: Rimmel Glam Eyes

Today's mascara review is Rimmel's Glam Eyes mascara. I know it says "new" on the tube, but this one isn't new, just when I purchased this it was. I love the name on this one, Glam Eyes, it sounds classy and fancy. This mascara is supposed to be an "ultra-volume, high definition mascara". On the Rimmel website, this is also described as "Seductive Volume. Turn heads. New VolumFlex Brush styles lashes for sensational volume and instant separation. Ultra supple elasto-bristles groom each lash, lacquering them from root to tip for a spectacular 7 x more lash intensity. Big Lash Seduction. High Definition. Maximum lash impact. Impeccable definition. Smoothing formula glides through lashes, wrapping each one for ultimate volume yet perfect separation. Lashes look dramatically amplified yet sleekly defined - even up close and personal." I like the packaging of this, the tube is black and light pink with what looks like stockings or checkered top. I think Rimmel has really cute girly packaging for most of their mascara, and I am a sucker for them and have bought several throughout the years, despite hearing little or nothing about how good or bad they are.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review: Revlon Colorstay Active Light Makeup

Rexall Pharma Plus in Canada has a 50% off sale on all their face makeup, this includes foundation, concealer, primer, blush and bronzer this week. I picked up a couple of foundations to try out and a blush during this sale, I tried to be good and not go too crazy. I picked up the Revlon Colorstay Active, I did not want to pay the regular $20 for it, so $10 sounded good to me. I heard this is being discontinued, which is too bad because it is one of the better drugstore foundations that I've tried. It rates 3.9/5 on I've only used it for two days, but I really wanted to rave about it.

This foundation comes in a squeezy tube, which is fine by me, I would much rather have a squeezy tube or a compact cream foundation than a crappy glass bottle with a pour top (hello Revlon Colorstay). You get 30ml (foundation standard).  This comes in only 4 colours, I know it really sucks, how can everyone fit into 4 colour choices? I read online that there is an Ivory shade, but I do not see it on their website nor at the store. Well, I picked up the lightest because I am pale and it worked fine for me, in the colour "Buff". It's not exactly like the Colorstay Buff, I would say it's lighter and more cool toned (less yellow). This stuff is supposed to provide "smooth, radiant, light coverage that lasts up to 16 hours even during exercise with SPF 25" (Revlon website). Well I ain't wearing this to exercise, mostly because I don't exercise but if I did I think it would work fine. I did some serious packing today (for my apartment move) and this stuff did not budge. 

(slightly blended in, not totally to show texture, colour etc)

The consistency is thick, but not the thick that you would think of Revlon Colorstay (when I say Colorstay I mean the original foundation). It's also a bit sticky too. It's light-medium coverage, (more on the light end) it evens out your skin and neutralizes redness and leaves a semi matte look. It does feel light on the skin which I appreciate because that is what I hated most about Colorstay, it felt like paint on my face. However, this one does smell too, not as terribly as Colorstay, but I could smell it on my face the entire day, this stuff does not tone down at all. Does Revlon put a lot of preservatives in their foundations? or do they just not mask the scent? I think it does stay for a long time, 16 hours I am not sure. It's nice that it comes with SPF 25, which is higher than the regular Colorstay. 

I apply this with my Sigma F40, it applies very easily and looks natural on. I love that it doesn't dry out or look cakey on my skin, which a lot of foundations tend to. I think this would work for oily skin too since it stays put and does not transfer. What a fabulous drugstore find, and shame on Revlon if they are discontinuing this. Please let me know in the comments if you are still able to find this in your area. I like this leaps and bounds over the original Colorstay foundation. If you liked Colorstay, but found it too thick and nasty, you might like this one better.

Have you tried Revlon's Active Light Makeup?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Faves: What's Your Favorite Red Nail Polish?

I love red nail polish for the fall and winter. I wouldn't touch the stuff throughout the year, but in the colder months, to me reds scream sexy and luxurious. My favourite reds are the deeper, lusher tones, I prefer creme and jelly finishes. I have several red polishes and will go over some of them here (all OPI). My camera sucks and despite these colours being quite different from one to the next, they all look the same and came across quite light in these swatches. I need a better camera, having bad pictures frustrates me, but I wanted to make this post anyway.

OPI All Lacquered Up is a beautiful creme, classic dark red. It's darker in person and I feel like if I do more than two coats on this, it starts looking like dried blood (on the vampy side) and less like a pretty red, but two coats it's perfect.

OPI Malaga Wine is a jelly finish deep red. This one is probably my favourite OPI red because it's a true deep, vibrant red. It looks wet on the nail, very luxurious and sophisticated. If you aren't familiar with jelly finishes, it's like a really watery sheer application, but when you add more coats it has that wet, glossy look which is fantastic.

OPI St.Petersburgundy is also a jelly finish deep red with blue undertones. The way it looks on the nail in this pic is not true to life at all, the colour in the bottle here is however. I don't think it really look burgundy however.

OPI Bastille My Heart is another deep red with subtle magenta shimmers. 

OPI I'm Not Really A Waitress is a dark red with subtle red shimmers, that come across more as a sheen. The picture here is quite true to life, the sheen was captured nicely. This is one of those OPI colours that everyone has.

What is your favourite red nail polish? Do you wear them year-round?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Sigma F45 Buffer Brush

Everyone need a kabuki buffer brush and Sigma has a nice one. Today I will review this brush for you all. It retails for $19 on the Sigma website. I lusted over the MAC 182 for years and years, but couldn't get myself to spend the $56.50CAD on one brush. I am sure it's totally great but honestly, I don't use these brushes enough to justify that price tag. After seeing Temptalia's comparison post of this brush, saying it was very comparable to the MAC one, I bought it and hoped for the best, I was not disappointed.

Firstly, let's take a look at my other kabuki brushes, I have the Coastal Scents Pink Kabuki (which is going in the trash after I write this review), the Sigma and the Posh kabuki. The Coastal Scents is very scratchy and small and has a funky smell after many washes. The Sigma and Posh I say are quite comparable, except for their shape.

The Sigma and Posh brush are very similar, yet very much different. The Sigma is round, but has an almost flat top, if that makes sense. Whereas the Posh is rounded and tapered all the way through. I prefer the Sigma because you can get a lot more surface area with this if you just want to pounce it on your face. I prefer flat top brushes and this Sigma kabuki is like the kabuki's version of a flat top. As you tell from the two images above, the Sigma has changed shape a lot after wash and using it, it used to be a lot smaller and compact, the bristles has spread out considerably.

Sigma's buffer is slightly larger in circumference than the Posh brush. I have also taken a picture here of the Sigma brush in my hand. I know when I see a picture of a brush, it's nice, but, doesn't help me to know how large it actually is, so I hope I have given you a better look here.

In terms of scratchiness, it's not the softest brush that I have, but it's not scratchy per say. It did smell funky when I first got it, but after washing it a few times (dye does run and it does shed) it was fine. It sheds the odd hair here and there (apparently the MAC one sheds more). It feels quite dense, same density as the Posh. I use this brush to apply mineral powder makeup and for dusting on powder sometimes.

Have you tried the Sigma F45 buffer brush? What is your opinion of it?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sigma Makeup: Red Hot Special Deal Free Makeup Bag

Sigma Makeup is offering a great deal on their website. You can get the "Something about Marilyn" retractable kabuki, the matching makeup bag and their Powder Brush for a fraction of the original price. This set is now selling for $29, instead of the original $41. Basically, it's like getting the makeup bag for free, and the Powder Brush has the original SS150 numbering system on it too (they recently changed the numbering this is now the F30). Limited quantities are available of this.

All separately this would cost you $16 for the powder brush, $25 for the retractable kabuki and $22 for the makeup bag (minus the mini bag), a total of $63. The math they did to get the $41 original price is adding up the powder brush and kabuki alone. I haven't used the kabuki (I only have the flat top retractable kabuki), but the powder brush is awesome. The makeup bag looks cute too.

Click here to purchase this set from Sigma Makeup.

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra

Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra is one of the newest foundation that I've purchased recently. I've been curious about this one for some time, as it gets very good reviews (Makeupalley rating 3.9/5). I recently redeemed my Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum points and got this as well as Guerlain Lingerie De Peau for free. This foundation retails for $50 CAD. This foundation claims to be "enduringly divine and comfortable makeup, 14 hour retouch-free and oil free, for all skin types." On the back of the box this came in, it also says "ultra-resistant makeup, new ultra-longwearing makeup lasts for 14 hours, color stays flawlessly true with highly resistant pigments, no fading, no need for retouching". The description of this sounds luxurious and wonderful, something perhaps a working woman can wear all day without having to retouch or worry about it fading.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mascara Monday: Maybelline Great Lash BIG Mascara

Maybelline's Great Lash BIG mascara is a step up from the original Great Lash mascara, the main difference is the brush is much larger. I know this mascara is listed as a favourite in many beauty magazines, but I never understood why because personally I hated the original, it was one of the worst mascara I've ever tried. I purchased the Great Lash BIG recently primarily for review purposes, it was $3.97 CAD at my Walmart, mascara does not much cheaper than that. This one promises "bigger brush, bigger lashes, buildable volume" (compared to the original Great Lash).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Finally Comes To Canada

The Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation has finally arrived in Canada! This was a foundation that I heard about month and month ago on youtube, I wanna say like 6 months ago maybe more? And have been on the lookout for it since then. I wonder WHY it took so long to get to Canada? Anyway, it's finally here. I picked up mine at Walmart for about $10, Shoppers Drug Mart has it for about $15 (don't waste your money, buy it at Walmart). And there are testers available too, of course they are already destroyed and disgusting at Walmart!

I picked it up in the lightest colour, 110 Porcelain Ivory. It's not that light, similar shade selection to Maybelline's other 'dream' foundations, if you had trouble finding a match in those, you will in this one too. I bought the Dream Liquid Mousse in Classic Ivory (which is too dark for me) so I got this in the lightest possible.

Other reviewers were not kidding when they say the packaging on this is very bulky. In the top you get a sponge, it has it's own little compartment. The bottom part unscrews and as you tell in the bottom picture on the right, that is the product there, it doesn't look like much.

I only got this a few days ago, so I will test it out for a bit and then will write a review of what I think of it. So far, I'd like to compare it to MAC Moistureblend foundation, which is a similar hydrating, cream foundation. I will say right off, this is a product for those with normal-dry skin, since it is moisturizing. I hope it works out for my dry skin. I have been using it mostly just with a stippling brush, but will mess around with other options to see what works best. How do you apply this?

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Essie Winter 2010 Collection Swatches and Review

This is the very first Essie mini cube that I have ever purchased. I always thought they were a bit silly to get when you can get full bottles. A mini cube costs about $17 while one full sized bottle costs $10 around me. My ever-expanding nail polish collection is getting out of control and my favourite Amazon nail polish seller has mini sets for $9-10 so it just makes sense to get these. It's a nice way to sample a couple of the colours and if you like them a lot then buy a full bottle or two. I was planning on getting the Fall 2010 collection (especially for Sew Psyched) but I got to this one first.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Faves: What's Your Favorite Way To Apply Liquid Foundation?

Last week I asked you girls what your favorite foundation was, today I am asking you what your favorite way to apply liquid foundation is? Having a good foundation is one thing, knowing how to best apply it to suit your skin is another issue. I know people use all sorts of methods and I will go over them today and tell you what I like best. Some methods include using brushes such as a traditional flat foundation brush, a flat top brush, or stippling brush. Using sponges such as a beauty blender or cosmetic wedge. And lastly, using your hands. Those are the ways that I can think of.

Traditional foundation brush - I don't reach for this brush to apply foundation hardly ever. I feel like I am painting my face. But I know whenever I go to a makeup counter and they apply foundation on me, it is always with this type of brush. I find it can get streaky this way.

Flat top foundation brush - This is my favourite type of brush to use, I love the ELF Powder brush because it's quite wide so you can cover a large area of your face and pack this on quickly. Also for me I don't tend to blend with this type of brush but more just pat it on and I am done. I get great coverage and it applies evenly. The Sigma F80 can function the same way. Another brush is the MAC 109, it's sorta flat but also rounded, I use this method sometimes as well, for the same purpose, tapping or pouncing the foundation on.

Stippling brush - This method can give the most "flawless" application because you are basically stippling foundation on, and then blending if needed. It is time consuming however. I have been using this method more and more lately, but I only stipple no blending anymore, however I prefer the flat top method over this.

Blending sponge - This year especially many companies have put out beauty blender type sponges for applying foundation. The sponge is soaked in water and it expands to twice the size and can give very precise application of liquid foundation. The sponge is washed and used again and again. I have the Sonia Kashuk verison here. I very very rarely use this method because I am not very good at it and prefer using my brushes.

Cosmetic wedge - Some products include their own sponges inside, most of the time these are useless because they can only be used a limited number of times. However it can give a nice looking finish as well. Wedges can also be purchased at dollar stores or drugstores (I have packs of them).

Recently, I watched a youtube video from the fabulous "gossmakeupartist" where he goes over how we need to wet our sponges when applying makeup. How it will sheer out your foundation, and not give you that cakey look that everyone hates. It makes your foundation a lot easier to work with and you can layer it much easier. Wetting your sponge does not allow the foundation to settle into the sponge either, so you aren't wasting product.

What interested me most was how he said that those with dry (me) or combination skin have areas of the face where the skin feels textured and rough, if we use a stippling brush and blend we are basically "micro-exfoliating" our faces! That made total sense to me, after watching that, I no longer blend my foundation in anymore, if I need to I do so with my hands. Similarly, when you powder your face afterwards to set your face, you are "micro-exfoliating" again and disturbing your face, instead we should be using a powder puff and pressing the powder into our skin instead.

I think his advice is genius if you have this type of skin and have issues. I know I definitely do and this has helped me so much. Makeup brushes are fun to collect and make you feel all professional when using them, but sometimes they may not be the best option for you, and a simple thing like a sponge can make a lot more sense. For me, the stippling method works the best, no more blending!

What is your favorite way to apply liquid foundation?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser

Since I have dry skin it can be very difficult to find a cleanser that is good for my skin, one that does not strip away moisture while still cleaning. I have a ton of skincare products and still hasn't found what really "works" for me. I trust Neutrogena as a skincare company and have tried many of their products. Recently I picked up this Extra Gentle Cleanser. I've used up about 3/4 of the bottle and think I can now write a review.

This comes in a white bottle with an awesome pump that locks. I got this for about $11 as a bonus with the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisturizer (review on that later). It says on the bottle that it "adds moisture every time you cleanse". Also it's fragrance-free, hypo-allergenic and dermatologist recommended. On the back it says how it's a non-soap formula which adds moisture back to your skin, so skin retains resiliency and suppleness. It's rich and non-irritating, and does not leave a residue that can clog pores. I think this all sounds super duper! It sounds like something that would be excellent for those with dry skin. But we all know that companies make products sound better than they actually are, or maybe I am just skeptical.

How did it perform for me? I actually really like this. It did not make my skin feel tight, irritated and red like a lot of other cleansers do. Normally I have to apply moisturizer or cream right after I wash my face because it feels so agitated, or else I will be very sorry the next day. I don't think it "adds moisture back to your skin" as a cleanser should not really take moisture away in my opinion. A cleanser that is right for your skin type should cleanse it gently while not irritating and stripping moisture in the first place. But I do appreciate that this cleanser does not leave my skin feeling terrible afterwards, and that is a plus for me.

As you can tell in the picture above, the texture of this cleanser is quite rich, but it has a milky feel to it. It does not lather at all and has no scent. It is a very basic cleanser, it feels like you are cleaning your face with lotion, leaving it soft afterwards. That's a giant glop on my hand but once blended into the skin you can tell it's quite watery and light. It says in the directions to apply this in circular motions on a wet face and then rinse with lukewarm water. Or it may also be used as a "tissue off cleanser". Actually after putting it on my hand I did remove it with a tissue (instead of washing my hand) and it came off easily and left my hand feeling smooth and no residue was present. So perhaps a better way to use this would be to remove it with a damp cloth, that way you don't irritate your skin with water. I think I may try that out from now on.

I would give this cleanser a go if you have dry or sensitive skin, it is very gentle as the name suggests . I use this as a everyday cleanser, but also a few times a week I exfoliate using the Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Power Clear Scrub, which is a favourite of mine. I also want to point out that I do not use this to remove my makeup, I always remove my makeup with Neutrogena's Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover and then wipe all my face makeup off with the Kirkland Brand Cleansing Wipes, then I wash my face with a cleanser to remove any remaining residue. I do not know if this would take all your makeup off on it's own, because I do not use it for that purpose.

Have you used this Neutrogena Cleanser? Did you like it?