Monday, July 2, 2012

Kiss and Makeup


I was fortunate in that I caught on to the idea of washing my face before bed every night by the time I was twenty one. By twenty six I had discovered the wonder that is anti aging cream. And my skin does not greet the sun without SPF. These days, however, I'm a full-fledged beauty addict. I am also fortunate in that, over the last 5 years, I've finally found what works best for me...and it only cost a small fortune. My skin hasn't made it easy, either.

Last time I was at Sephora, they announced my "Beauty Bank" had 1900 points in it. I wanted to simultaneously hang my head in shame while patting my own back. I'm a bonafide Beauty Insider, yo! As much as I hate to admit it, good quality (i.e. expensive) products are worth it in many cases. I'd spent years believing it was propaganda, meant to fleece the women of this country of their husband's hard-earned cash; but alas, there is some truth to it. Except for mascara. Five dollars max...but more on that later. In some ways I've actually saved money because I didn't have to go through twenty foundations to find one that matched; and if it aggravates my skin, it's gladly accepted back. So I thought I'd share a few of my favorite face and lip products.


First, I'm going to blow your mind with my expensive, hard to find makeup remover.  Yep, this is it.  Pampers Sensitive baby wipes.  The same thing you use to clean a baby's bum. Other makeup removing wipes are ridiculously expensive and typically give me a rash.  On my face.  I tested a few different varieties and settled on this one almost 10 years ago.  It removes all traces of makeup and gently exfoliate (you know, the rubbing part).  Also, it is wet enough that it doesn't pull on my skin.  Other brands were just too dry. I buy cases to make sure I never run out.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a sample whore.  Therefore, I have tried a zillion different anti aging face products and when I do buy them, I don't buy the same one twice.  Some people believe that mixing up your products keep your skin "guessing" and are therefore more effective, but I don't buy in to that necessarily.  I just have moisturizer/serum/face cream ADD.  There are about a million products out there and a good portion of them are really nice.  So I tend to go from sample to sample and keep one purchased product on hand for when I run out.  Pfff...like that would ever happen.  Still, I'll give you some of my favorites so far.

Serum:

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
 This is one of those products that I've never had to buy.  I regularly receive packets and mini bottles because I always choose this when it's available as a promo or sample.  Sounds like a lot of work, but it is stupid expensive.  But awesome.  My skin glows like crazy.  A little goes a long way, so I've been able to avoid having to spring for a full size bottle.  I may have to if I ever run out because it's that good.  All of his stuff is, and apparently he knows it.  I apply it before bed every night.  I used to apply it in the morning, but it made my foundation ball up.  How annoying is that?  It's one of my product pet peeves.

Moisturizers/Face Creams:

Vichy Aqualia Thermal or Lift Activ Nuit
I got a special promo containing all of their products via my Birchbox subscription.  They are good size sample jars, so I've been milking them for a while. They are lovely and make my skin feel amazing.  As far as pricing, at just under $30 for the full size, it's pretty reasonable as far as high end moisturizers go.  I would definitely buy this stuff.

Kiehl's Abyssine Cream
Another Birchbox discovery.  I've already started writing about my sample super highway and will share soon.  Anyway, I've been slathering this stuff on for a while and love it like crazy.  My husband has commented on my "glowiness" a few times.  Still milking this sample, too.  Will definitely buy on my next full size rotation.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar

 This was in my full size rotation, so I've used a whole jar.  It's great stuff.  I wish I could eat it.  Maybe it would be good in a smoothie.  My insides would glow like my outsides did.  Too far?  Sorry.  I have been using a deluxe sample of Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector lately because I tend to get freckly.  That's what I tell myself.  They are just freckles.  They are just freckles. Age spots are scary and I don't feel that I've reached that age.  Denial is not just a river in Egypt, folks.

Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer

Sometimes a drugstore buy does prove its worth.  I've been using this for many years now and like it a lot.  I might even go so far as to use the word love.  It goes on great under my makeup, has a nice SPF factor, and never, ever stings my eyes or irritates my skin.  A bottle lasts forever, making it a permanent fixture in my skin routine.

Foundation:

Sephora Collection Oil-Free Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer
Okay, so it is technically a tinted moisturizer, but I use it exclusively as a foundation.  It provides good, sheer coverage that makes my skin look polished but not overdone.  Because I take care of my skin, I don't require anything more heavy duty and I like the fact that it allows my skin to "breathe."  I've used foundations (Clinique makes some great ones), but this stuff is so awesome that I've broken free.  I have accepted the fact, however, that I will need to upgrade to something with more coverage as I get older. For now I'm content.  I apply it with a cosmetic sponge so it goes on smooth and doesn't cover my hands in pigment. It lasts a really long time (my last one expired before I used it up) because just a little covers my whole face; making it worth the twenty bucks.  In the world of good foundations, I've discovered that is pretty cheap.

Blush:

Tarte Cheek Stain
I have been using this gem for years and adore it.  It imparts a natural glow and dewiness that regular blushes just cannot provide.  I just wrote the word "dewiness." Weird. I use the "Flush" color and it blends into my skin perfectly.  It looks really purple in photos, but it gives me a subtle berry glow.  One stick goes forever and ever, so it is definitely worth the price.  The words are all rubbed off on mine and it looks well-loved, but it just won't quit.  Think about the fact that it will last for years if you find yourself cringing at the price.

Hot Mama All-In-One Blush, Shadow and Highlighter
This is the only other cheek product I own.  Sometimes my makeup is more peachy, so a berry-hued blush doesn't quite match, leaving me looking a little prostitutish.  That is totally a word. That's when I turn to this.  I haven't used it as a highlighter or eyeshadow, but it is touted as being an all-over product.  I can attest to what a great blush it is, which is why I insist on keeping it around. 

Lips:

Philosophy Lip Shines
I have a full-fledged addiction to these.  They often come in sets of four, each with a matching body wash, so in past years I have broken them up and given a pair to my son's teachers during the holidays.  I bought a lip shine set this past Christmas to gift to relatives, but ended up trying several of them because I couldn't resist.  Then I had this moment not unlike after I eat too many cookies and sit all bloated going, "What did I just do?" I couldn't decide if I should wipe off the tip and send it anyway.  Yeah, yeah, I'm disgusting.  It was my sister, though.  If I had been selling it on EBay, I could have listed as being in "like new condition."

True story:  My absolute favorite flavor/color is Melting Marshmallow.  Last year I needed a new one.  When it came, it said "Marshmallows for Toasting" and I didn't think anything of it.  However, they drastically changed the flavor.  One night I was applying it as my husband and I were driving to a movie date.  It was dark, so my husband didn't see me doing it. All the sudden he swerved off to the side of the road.

Mario: "Crap!  We have a radiator leak!"
Me: "How can you tell?" 
Mario: "Don't you smell that?  It's radiator fluid.  The sweet smell."
Me: "Oh. It may be my, um, lip gloss?"

It was.  Now I don't apply it in the car.  Another time my son goes, "Who, might I ask, is eating french toast?"  It smells just like maple syrup, not marshmallows, so I get paranoid that people think I was just stuffing my face with breakfast pastries prior to seeing them.  So if you're reading this, Philosophy (I know you aren't), bring back the real marshmallow flavor!  Still, I love, love, love these.  They go on thick but not sticky (no awkward hair removal on a windy day) and moisturize like crazy.  I'll rub my lips and think, when did I put on lip gloss? because it lasts for hours.  Plus, there are a million different flavors and even more around various holidays.  I have probably consumed gallons.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Bramble
This is a new friend. I really am more of a gloss girl, but occasionally I like to feel fancy.  I was at Sephora yesterday and decided to find a bold lip product.  The lady showed me a true red color.  I just wasn't brave enough to attempt an all out red lip, despite its return in popularity.  However, this color gave me the bold lip I was looking for, without making me feel too out there.  I'm wearing it in the above pic.  Bite Beauty's products claim to be "Natural Food Grade," and have the same amount of antioxidants as 5 glasses of red wine.  Hopefully without the red teeth.  I can pronounce all of the ingredients which is cool, and it lasted all afternoon.  I love it so much that I wore it to walk the dog this morning.  I said I like to feel fancy.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
This stuff is a classic for a reason.  It is subtle but beautiful and universally flattering.  Enough said.

Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint
I first encountered this stuff in Sephora.  Shocking, I know.  I am super paranoid about contracting cold sores, so I don't generally sample lip products.  But considering I was thinking about putting down 24 bones for a little stick of lip color, I wanted to know if I'd like it.  I used a pad soaked in alcohol to wipe it off well and applied it with a disposable lip applicator.  I liked the color "Envy" and decided to buy it.  A couple of minutes later, my lips started tingling like crazy and I thought for sure I had contracted something.  I started furiously rubbing it off with another pad soaked in alcohol.  My lips nearly fell off.  Turns out it contains peppermint and I need to go back to therapy. Now I see it as refreshing and not frightening.  And I don't sample lip stuff.  Ever.  I'll just return something if I don't like it...which is one of the benefits of buying from places like Sephora.  I have wasted tons of money over the years on drugstore lipstick buys that I hated and had to toss.  Is there anything they can do to get the swatches to match the actual color?  Geez.

Okay, so my beauty hoarding tendencies are probably becoming apparent at this point. But in all honesty, I use only a handful of products.  Lotion, foundation, blush and lip gloss are about it in terms of my face most days.  That's what an addict would say, isn't it?  Just wait until I get to eyes.

Any favorites?  Share? Pretty please?

1 comment:

  1. i may have to try the pampers wipes sometimes! thanks for sharing that little secret. i also may try that tinted moisturizer this summer. when my skin has color, that's all i need so i'm always looking for new ones to try.

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