Archive for August, 2010

Dermalogica Tri-Active Cleanse

Posted in Health and Beauty on August 20, 2010 by sbulletforever

I adore Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, but I simply can’t afford the price. $50 for 2.6 ounces is insane, especially since I use it on my face and chest daily, so it doesn’t last long for me. You can get it around $35 off eBay, but I’m still not happy about spending that kind of money for so little product. Anyways, while staring mournfully at the Daily Microfoliant in Ulta, I saw a new face wash that Dermalogica had come out with: Tri-Active Cleanse. It’s part of the ChromaWhite brightening system Dermalogica sells, but it’s always been to expensive for me to even look at.

Anyways, the Tri-Active Cleanse is $38.00 for 5.1 ounces- a much better deal than the Daily Microfoliant. So I bought it and have been using it for the past two weeks. I use it once a day and alternate it with my DDF Pumice Scrub. I’m really glad to say that this is a thick, creamy product and not a powder-form (like the Daily Microfoliant). The pump on the bottle is super easy to use and get exactly as much product as you want. It doesn’t smell very good, but it’s bearable.

So far, I’ve gotten great results with this. The acids and other ingrediants in it have made my skin smoother and brighter, and it’s definitely helped with my acne. I do use this with my Clarisonic Brush, so my results may be different from those who don’t use a Clarisonic Brush. I didn’t think this would do much for me, but I’m pleasantly surprised! Even my chest area (rife with acne scars and a few stubborn blemishes) has improved from using the Tri-Active Cleanse. I’d say definitely worth the money, and you don’t need to buy any of the other expensive ChromaWhite products to make this work. Using it once a day and alternating it with a different cleanser has been working perfectly for me, and I haven’t experienced any sensitivity or dryness to my skin since using it. This is a keeper!

The Easy Cure for Wrinkles, Cellulite, and Scarring

Posted in Health and Beauty on August 15, 2010 by sbulletforever

Nope, I’m not talking about a particular product. There is no cream or scrub that will magically make these things disappear, but I will tell you what does make them go away- breaking up the outer layer of keratin in your skin. Beneath the surface layer of your skin is a layer of keratin that, as we age, starts to crumble and lose its shape. Certain types of stimulation will break up that keratin, which your body then repairs to give you fresh, firm skin.

We’ll start with cellulite. I’ve seen so many creams, scrubs and machines to get rid of it, but all it takes is a rough body brush. The Body Shop sells the best one ever– a wicked Round Body Brush for only $12. Bring this brush in the shower with you and lather some soap into the bristles to make it less harsh on your skin. Aim for your buttocks and move towards the top of your thigh- wherever you have cellulite that bothers you, really. Scrub like your life depends on it! It may hurt or sting at first, and your skin will be pink and raw, but it’s so important that you stimulate that area roughly. The layer of keratin beneath your top layer of skin will break apart, forcing your body to repair it. Within a couple of weeks you’ll see (and feel) a major difference in your skin.

My mother, a busy ER nurse who rarely has time to exercise and is overweight, has less cellulite than I do, and I’m smaller, more fit, and much younger. It’s all about the stimulation and the scrubbing! Think of it as dirt caked onto a pan- you have to scrub at it to finally lift piece by piece away until the pan is clean and fresh again.

Wrinkles and scarring (acne or otherwise) require a more gentle process that is no less effective. There’s a process called ‘micro-needling’ that literally uses needles to press into the skin and disrupt that layer of keratin I keep mentioning. There is no scrub, cream, or spa treatment that can do that for you! Acupuncurists have been doing it for years, but it just never caught on for some reason. But you can do it all by yourself without an Acupuncturist with a tool called a derma roller. It’s a small roller with pins on it that you literally roll over your skin. You aren’t piercing your skin, and there isn’t any pain involved (minor discomfort).

It’s a daily treatment- think of it as a basic, normal part of your routine. Be careful not to press too hard! You don’t need to break the skin, only stimulate it. Use it after cleansing your skin but BEFORE your moisturizer. The results are stunning for all ages. Whether you’re clearing up acne, scars, wrinkles, or you just want fresh, bright skin, you need to get yourself a derma roller. Here’s what you absolutely need to know:

  • Anything less than .5mm needles will NOT restore collagen to your skin. So don’t buy anything smaller than .5mm.
  • Using Vitamin C and Vitamin E on your skin after using the derma roller will greatly increase your results. However, you do NOT need any special products or serums with the derma roller. A lot of companies will try to sell you junk, claiming it’s the only way to make the derma roller work for your skin, and it’s a lie. You’re better off just putting on your regular moisturizer after using the derma roller.
  • There is no pain to this. You’re not pushing needles into your skin- you’re letting them roll over your skin. If you feel pain or bleed, it’s because you’re pushing. Just let it gently roll over your skin.
  • It takes 3 months to see major results with this product used either DAILY or EVERY OTHER DAY. There is no other way to see results if you’ve never used it before. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you only need a handful of sessions with it. After the 3 months you’ll have the collagen build-up you need and then you only need to use it ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK just to maintain your skin.
  • You can buy these for $40 on eBay, so you don’t need to spend a ton of money on it. There is no brand name that works better than the others. Just make sure you use at least the .5mm

That’s it! If I have any more useful info, I’ll add in on here. Hope this helps.

Tarte 24.7 Natural Lip Sheer SPF 15

Posted in Health and Beauty on August 13, 2010 by sbulletforever

I’ve totally avoided the Tarte Natural Lip Sheers because they look cheap. Like, drugstore for a dollar cheap. And I thought, “No way am I spending $16 on something that has such cheap packaging.” But, as it turns out, I was wrong. My mom and I were having a mother/daughter day yesterday at the Summit Sierra mall. She dropped me off at Sephora while she ran to Old Navy to pick up something she’d forgotten, so I tooled around aimlessly. There wasn’t anything I really wanted or needed, so I just started trying on random items I’d never tried before. One of those was the Tarte Natural Lip Sheer in ‘Dawn’.

Though the title says sheer, the color is really semi-sheer. You get more color with this than you’d think, which is lovely. The lip sheers (really more like highly pigmented lip balms) come in 12 different colors, some more neutral and some more shimmery than others. ‘Dawn’ is a very stunning sheer golden beige that gave me a beautiful nude lip. The color goes on smoothly and stays just like your average lip balm does, but the color is gorgeous. For the first time I found a nude lip color that doesn’t wash me out! My pale skin and dark pink lips makes it really, really, really hard to find nude lip colors that flatter me. But this is one of them.

‘Dawn’ does contain shimmer, but I really like that it does. And it looks supernatural! The color stays fairly well, though I did have to touch up after a couple of hours for fresher color. It’s so small and sturdy that you can take it anywhere, even if you have to shove it in the small pockets of your skinny jeans. This looked best paired with the new Urban Decay Lip Junkie Gloss in ‘Midnight Cowboy’. The two nude beige shades with shimmer/sparkle complemented each other flawlessly. I’m happily surprised with this product!

Tarte EmphasEYES For Brows Hi-Def Eyebrow Pencil

Posted in Health and Beauty on August 10, 2010 by sbulletforever

As previously mentioned, I decided not to buy another Anastasia Brow Powder Duo after I ran out of it. It was good, but not my favorite thing to ever happen to eyebrows, and the price was silly. $23 for the powder and $17 for the brow brush? That’s expensive for brows, believe me. So as I was wandering aimlessly around Sephora I noticed the new EmphasEYES collection from Tarte. There are only two shades of the brow pencil: ‘Taupe’ and ‘Medium Brown’. “There’s no way that one of these two color is going to match my brows, and there’s no way I’m going to like this pencil,” I said. But there wasn’t any reason not to try it, so I did.

It’s $19.50 for .001 ounces. Not a good deal, in my opinion, simply because most brow pencils give a MINIMUM of .03 ounces for that kind of price. .001 ounces should only cost $12 or $13, not $19.50. In any case, this is a mechanical eyebrow pencil, so it stays sharpened and you get a nice, tiny point to make precise lines with. The pencil also has a very nice brow brush on the other end, which I like very much. Unfortunately, the plastic lid for the brush comes off pretty easily, so I have to be careful when I travel with it.

This is an amazing brow pencil. Believe you me, I tried EVERY brow pencil, powder, and kit in Sephora and nothing came close to this. The ‘Taupe’ shade exactly matches my brows, so for the first time ever it looks like my brows are 100% natural and not filled in. My Anastasia Brow Powder Duo gave me more dramatic, pin-up brows that I didn’t like for everyday use. This goes on smoothly and blends in perfectly with my brows. I use this every day, even if I’m not going out, just because I love it so much. This won’t last me terribly long if I keep using it every day, but it’s so good, I don’t mind dishing out $19.50 for a new one every few months. It’s waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about touching up your brows! This has lasted me through swimming and showers, so I never worry about my brows losing their perfect definition.

MAC Fluidline in ‘Blacktrack’

Posted in Health and Beauty on August 10, 2010 by sbulletforever

I’m a whore for the 50s pin-up look, so finding a black gel/cream eyeliner is essential. Regular pencil liners won’t give you the kind of look you need- it has to be a liner that requires a brush to apply. The Urban Decay Ink For Eyes in ‘Zero’ was too smudgy and the Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in ‘Midnight Black’ was too dry and smudgy as well. Finally, someone said that the MAC Fluidline gel liner was the holy grail of all gel liners and far outshined any cream liner, so I cracked and bought it.

‘Blacktrack’ is a solid, matte black. It’s $15 for .1 ounces, which is actually a really good deal! You need an angled  brush to apply this- I don’t reccomend any other kind of brush for the job. You won’t get the control you need, the ability to reach your waterline, or the ability to wing it out and create a cat eye. The angled brush is essential. You can pick up one at Sephora or just get the #266 brush from MAC (which is what I use).

It goes on super creamy. NOTE: It took me a few days to figure out how to dip my brush in this. At first, I just dipped it in, which was a mistake. I got too much gel liner on my brush every time, and it made applying it messy and difficult. I even got some on my contact lenses, which stained, so I now have tiny black dots on my current lenses. The trick here is to just gentlypat it on the top. This is so highly pigmented that even a touch of your brush in the liner will give you great color. APPLY this with short, gentle strokes on your eye to avoid getting a solid, heavy black line. The short strokes will make it a bit softer and look more natural.

This is truly the best eyeliner I’ve ever used in my life. Aside from struggling with the brush and application, it stays like a champ, and the color stays true! My black color is as fresh 12 hours after I applied it as it was when I first put it on. This is waterproof and requires a makeup remover to remove. It stays through sweating and crying, and will never crease! I’ve never had a black eyeliner not crease, so this is a big deal. I can’t get over this!!! I put on some ‘Painterly’ Paint Pot (from MAC) as a matte, neutral base on my eye and just used the Fluidline in ‘Blacktrack’ yesterday. My mom freaked out and wanted to know what I was using on my eye because it was so stunning. She didn’t believe that I was pretty much only wearing a base and a liner.

If you don’t have it, you must buy it. Seriously- stop what you’re doing and go out and pick some up.

MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Cream Eyeshadow

Posted in Health and Beauty on August 7, 2010 by sbulletforever

MUFE has some hit-and-miss products, so I wasn’t even planning on getting into the Aqua Cream hype. But, by chance, I stumbled across a pot that had fallen on the floor in Sephora and gave it a try before putting it back on the shelf. Wow! I was totally wrong about this. These are incredibly like MAC Paint Pots!!

I tried on a few different colors, so I’ll review the ones I tried individually. But, in general, these $22 pots give you .21 ounces of product. Not bad! The colors are very vibrant and gorgeous. They go on cream and then dry, and the color stays very well! They look even better over an eyelid primer, though, but can be worn on their own. You DO need a specific cream shadow brush with these- they are a bit thick and don’t apply evenly on a regular brush. A concealer brush works just as well.

The first Aqua Cream Eyeshadow I tried was ‘#16 Pink Beige’. This is EXACTLY the color of MAC’s ‘Fresco Rose’ Paint Pot that has been discontinued. Very pretty!

‘#1 Anthracite’ was a deep, gunmental grey with tons of shimmer in it. In fact, I think the chunks of silvery shimmer in it might be a bit too much, but that’s just me. I prefer matte colors and tend to hate glitter.

‘#18 Purple’ was my absolute favorite! It’s described as a light lilac shimmer, but it was really a bright lilac color. I’m using it as a base right now under a couple of MAC shadows- ‘Beautiful Iris’ and ‘Creme de Violet’ with ‘Satellite Dreams’ in the crease. It’s a super romantic, fantasy look that I’ll only where on nights off. You can really use this with any purple/blue shadows and make it absolutely fantastic!

‘#20 Intense Blue’ was my least favorite. It’s a true blue color that is really intense! I found that I really needed to layer this up to get true color, otherwise it was a little too sheer and the color didn’t go on evenly.

I’ve become a fan of these, though MAC Paint Pots still rule as my favorite creamy shadows.

MAC Technakohl Liner in ‘Graphblack’

Posted in Health and Beauty on August 7, 2010 by sbulletforever

I really haven’t found any decent black eyeliners shopping at Ulta and Sephora. The best I got was using Urban Decay’s Matte Eye Shadow in ‘Perversion’ as a liner, their Deluxe Eye Shadow in ‘Zero’, and their Ink For Eyes in ‘Zero’. Though more decent than anything else I’ve come across, they just didn’t give me what I wanted. The shadows smudged, the creamy Ink For Eyes was messy, and nothing looked really pigmented. Now that I’m finally into MAC products, I decided to look their for a good black liner.

One of the girls working at MAC said the Technakohl liners were the best, so I got it in ‘Graphblack’ ($14.50). The Technakohls work like a mechanical pencil, so they stay sharp and you get a nice, thin tip for application. It goes on very smoothly and highly pigmented, even on my waterlines!

Unfortunately, this is ONLY good on the upper waterline. This color loves to smudge, and it won’t disappear. Getting it off with a makeup remover is a nightmare! It takes me a couple days to get it totally off my eyes, it’s so intense. On the upper waterline, it stays vibrant and makes my eyes look brighter and naturally beautiful. But on the lower waterline, it smudges insanely. And it isn’t any better on my lashlines.

I’m becoming a MAC fanatic, but this is a liner I’d pass on unless you just want a quick, pick-me-up liner for your upper lash line. Too bad, it’s so nice and easy to use!