Archive for January, 2011

Flawless, Full-Coverage w/o Breakouts

Posted in Health and Beauty on January 21, 2011 by sbulletforever

Well, I disappeared for a while. I got frustrated going back to the same products I’ve used and reviewed over and over, even though they weren’t exactly what I wanted. I tried every brand at Sephora and Ulta, and MAC, only to be sorely disappointed, as you’ve read. Even the Urban Decay Surreal Skin I was using turned out to be a flop- it sat on my skin instead of blending in, making it easy to smear/melt off/disappear through the day. I gave up.

But I went to Bobbi Brown a little over a month ago, just to show my mom their gel eyeliners that everyone raves about. And the lady behind the counter, Laura, was so nice that we stopped and chatted for a while, and eventually agreed to makeovers. And an hour later I signed up for a Macy’s card and bought Bobbi Brown’s entire line. I could review every item I bought, but that would be tiresome, so I’m going to go over all the steps I now use for flawless skin. And let me begin by saying, for those of you who haven’t read my other reviews, that I’m picky. I believe in flawless skin, not flawless makeup. My skin is very acne-prone, sensitive, and fluctuates between oily, dry, and normal. I know that sounds odd, but I do use lots of acne-fighting skincare products, take birth control and get chemical peels/facials done regularly. My face is a BATTLEGROUND.

  1. I start by washing my face with the BB Extra Balm Rinse. It calms the dry, irritated parts of my face that cringe from my excessive use of acids and other exfoliating products. It restores moisture and a healthy glow to my skin, helping clear up the awful uneven skintone I was experiencing for a long time. My face is as soft as it’s ever been during winter. For summer, however, I’m going to switch to the BB Cleansing Oil since the thick, gel-like formula of the Extra Balm Rinse will be too much. Twice a week I mix in the Buffing Grains for Face into a scoop of the Extra Balm Rinse for an exfoliating treatment that is just like a microdermabrasion. Intense, but not damaging, with wonderful results. $55 for Extra Balm Rinse, $40 for Buffing Grains. Worth it!
  2. Because I’m fighting acne, and my skin isn’t super sensitive or too dry, I use the DDF 10% Glycolic Toner. It does stress my skin and leaves it a little dry (especially on my bad acne spots) but it helps eat away the dead skin and heal my acne/scars while preventing new ones. It also helps treat and prevent wrinkles and age spots because of its exfoliating properties, but skip this step if you don’t need it or if you have very sensitive or dry skin. $35 for DDF Glycolic 10% Toner.
  3. After that dries, I use the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic. It soothes the redness of my skin and imparts some moisture, counteracting the damage I did with my DDF acidic toner. Doing this step means using less concealer to cover imperfections, and my skin always feels even softer after using it. Honestly, my skin is getting as soft as a cloud from only a month and a half of using these products! Also, this bottle lasts a very long time since you only need a little to cover your entire face. $26 for Hydrating Face Toner. Amazing price!
  4. Now, Bobbi Brown sells a lot of face moisturizers (and I do mean a lot!), but due to my young, acne-prone skin, I use the Hydrating Face Cream. If you have very dry skin, very oily skin, or aging skin, ask a Bobbi Brown employee to help find the right product for you. With 16 types of moisturizers to choose from, you’ll find the right one for your skin. My Hydrating Face Cream is light, smells like cucumbers, and soothes without aggrivating my acne. It’s doing me okay this winter, but if you need more than a little moisture, you’ll need something heavier. $50 for Hydrating Face Cream. Not the best price-per-ounce, but still a worthy product.
  5. The next step is the Vitamin Enriched Face Bace. This is a thick cream, much thicker than my Hydrating Face Cream, but is made to pair with it. I can use as much as I want of the lighter moisturizer and the thicker Face Bace and never get greasy. This is a face primer to help makeup last longer, and imparts that extra ‘oomph’ of moisture I need to get me through the winter. You only need a little, like with all of Bobbi’s products, but I wish it came in a bigger jar. My mom is using it every day (like I am) so it disappears so quickly! $50 for Vitamin Enriched Face Bace. Truly worth every penny, absolutely amazing.
  6. Next comes the eye cream. I still use my Origins GinZing Eye Cream ($29.50), but the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream is a much better base for my under eye concealer. I use the samples I got of the BB eye cream, but am hesitant about buying the full-size jar. $46 for a jar of eye cream that I use every day is a lot, considering my mom shares my eye cream with me so it only lasts half as long as it would. Still, a light but creamy base that stays on my eye and makes my concealers work better.
  7. While that dries, I go ahead and apply my concealer. I use MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer, which is a full-coverage concealer with a creamy finish. The only MAC concealer I’ve used that truly delivered full-coverage without making me break out. I prefer this over the Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick concealer because I only get light/medium coverage with BB, and it’s a little drying on my acne. $16.50 for MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer, $22 for BB Face Touch Up Stick.
  8. I have hereditary dark circles under my eyes, so just using a concealer doesn’t cut it. I have to use my Bobbi Brown Corrector, which is a pink-based concealer that blocks out the red/purple shades of darkness. I apply this with my Bobbi Brown Concealer Brush where I want it (make sure to get the inner corner of your eyes), then use my fingers to pat it into my skin. The heat from my fingers helps it blend into my skin a little better, and I can make sure the coverage is even. Use as much Corrector as you want! Bobbi herself uses tons to get that flawless look on her models, just make sure to let each layer dry and pat it smooth with your fingers. $22 for Corrector, $25 for Concealer Brush. Worth every penny.
  9. I wipe my brush off and then apply the BB Concealer on top of the Corrector (after it dries, of course). They layer perfectly no matter how much I use, no worries. Just remember to let those layers dry and pat it smooth. I keep this little guy in my purse in case I need a touch-up during the day; he’s so small, I can put him in my clutch when I go out at night! For under eyes only, okay? Don’t cheat and use this for blemishes and imperfections, it’s too bright and is formulated to last under your eyes only. $22 for Concealer, an absolute must-have.
  10. Next I spray my face well with my MAC Fix+ spray, which hydrates and tones my face pre and post makeup application. While my face is moist, I swipe my BB Foundation Stick down my nose, across my forehead, down my cheeks and across my chin. Then I take my foundation brush (from the I.T. Sephora collection) and blend it out. It blends effortlessly and gives me medium/full coverage, and is buildable to get that total full coverage look. The moisture of the MAC Fix+ gives it a dewy look and helps it blend more easily, also helping it to last longer. This never irritates my skin and has virtually no transfer! It only comes off through washing your face. Water-resistant for days at the beach or water park, if you feel you need it, and perfect for even oily skin. The Foundation Stick is portable (along with my I.T. Foundation Brush) so I never have to be without it. $40.00 for the Foundation Stick, my Holy Grail product I’ll never be without.
  11. I go ahead and brush my eyebrows next, setting them with my MAC Brow Set in ‘Clear’ ($15.00). It’s always good to use a wax as well to set your arch, but I can’t recommend a good one right now. Use a brow powder to fill in any missing hairs and line your arch for definition (if you don’t want to color your whole brow, that is). I still use my MAC Eyeshadow in ‘Brun’ ($14.50) and haven’t found a better product yet.
  12. I usually don’t wear eyeshadow every day, but when I do, I apply the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($18) before anything else. Then I use a MAC Paint Pot ($16.50) on my lids, whether or not I’m going to wear an eyeshadow, and I love all their colors. Right now I’m using the new LE shade ‘Chilled on Ice’ that is nude, but super sparkly. Great as a base for shadows and stunning on its own, you can’t go wrong.
  13. For eyeliners, I use an angled eyeliner brush (not a slanted one!). It looks like someone bent the brush at the top, and the tip is thin and long. It’s a very foolproof liner brush for even the most inexperienced of us. Then I apply Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in ‘Black Mauve Shimmer’ ($21) across 3/4 of my eyes. I don’t line the whole eye because it makes it too dark and small. To me, the Black Mauve Shimmer is a universal shade that is a black substitute; it looks lighter, more natural, and softer without being a brown or purple shade.
  14. Now, I haven’t tried all of BB’s mascara’s yet, but I’m sticking to her Extreme Party Mascara ($24.00). This mascara is the first buildable mascara I’ve ever used! It never clumps, never smudges, and is very water resistant. It takes more than tears to get this mascara off; I have to use eye makeup remover or wash my face with soap to take it off. A magnificent mascara that I can wear as I please. One coat is natural, two is stunning, and three gives unbelievably thick and full lashes. Touches up like a charm, even at parties. Stays in my purse permanently.
  15. Almost done! I take my BB Shimmer Brick in ‘Bronze’ ($38) and my BB Bronzer Brush ($50) and sweep it along my cheeks. The Bronzer Brush allows me to layer light applications so I get the shade of color I want, and the soft, wide bristles make application super easy. I’m super pale (think MAC NC15) so I have to be careful when I apply bronzers, and I really do prefer a bronzer to a blush for a daily look.
  16. Before I start on my lips, I take BB’s Sheer Finish Loose Powder in ‘Pale Yellow’ ($35) and buff it all over my skin. It’s a universal color for setting foundations; it doesn’t add a speck of color to your skin. Make sure to add it under your eyes as well! It sets your under eye concealers, too!
  17. This step is optional for your lips. I take BB’s Lip Balm SPF 15 ($17.00) and apply it with a lip brush. This hydrates my chapped lips, primes it for lip color and helps soften whatever lipstick I’m about to use. If you want rich, true color from your lipstick, skip this.
  18. Using a lip brush, I apply a couple layers of BB Metallic Lip Color in ‘Jewel Red’ ($22). This softens the color to a juicy raspberry sort of color, which is perfect on my pale skin. Then, to top it off, take BB’s Crystal Lip Gloss ($17) and apply a nice, thick layer. It’s a clear gloss that has a very high shine and is super smooth, giving you those juicy lips that models have in magazine ads. It has no taste and minimal stickiness, and lasts a couple hours per application. I like it even better than the MAKE UP FOREVER lipglosses, though I do admit I like the minty flavor of the MUFE glosses. But it lasts a little longer than MUFE, and the gloss has a higher shine.

Well, that’s it. That’s all the steps. Most of the products I used were Bobbi Brown and I’ll never need to stray to another brand for foundation ever again. I think all I’m looking for now is a good brow wax and brow color, which BB didn’t provide. But these steps bring me as close to perfection as my skin has ever gotten. I look like a model going to a photoshoot every day now, and it takes me about half an hour to look that way. And all these good products are keeping my acne in check, so I use less product every day to achieve flawlessness. I hope you enjoyed!