Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Extra Points @ Sephora through 4/10


Don't forget to use Ebates! If you don't belong, click here. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Physical Exfoliation - Sponges and Dry Brushing

I love a good scrub. For the face, I like the original St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. For the body, Tree Hut's Shea Sugar Scrub in Coconut Lime sloughs away dead skin and moisturizes. I wanted a cheap, physical option that would do a good job removing dead skin around my nose.


On an Ulta trip, I picked up an EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge - Deep Cleansing for $5.99. It's a natural sponge made from Konjac vegetable fiber and exfoliating bamboo charcoal. It's hard in the package but once you get it wet, it becomes a sponge. I love the texture of it. Simply apply your cleanser on top and massage it into your skin. Boscia makes a Konjac cleansing sponge for $18 that I might try out. But for $6 it's a great find. I will probably buy another one.
I also picked up an Earth Therapeutics Far-Reaching Body Brush ($8.99), which has natural bristles. Dry brushing is a practice common in European spas. Look at some of the benefits:
- tones muscles
- stimulates circulation
- removes dead skin cells filled with toxins
- cleanses lymphatic system
- removes cellulite
- tightens skin to prevent premature aging
- helps digestion

Use long, sweeping strokes from your feet upwards, hands to shoulders and torso in an upward direction.
Always brush toward your heart and women should avoid brushing their breasts.

The first time I tried it, it made my skin a little raw but I did notice a lot of skin flaking off. Now I really enjoy doing it, it's a pre-bath or shower ritual that makes me feel good. My skin is softer than it has ever been. I use a sugar scrub one day a week and dry brush all the other days. After I bathe, I massage in an oil and a body cream or lotion to seal it all in. I enjoy dry brushing and highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Shades of Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour


Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($28) is now available in 6 new colors:
-Burnished Bronze
-Peacock
-Moonlight
-Tuxedo (matte)
-Copper
-Gilded Gold

I adore these eye sticks.  I own Sand Glow, Khaki, Amethyst and Smoke and they are all beautiful. I use them alone but most of the time, together. They're creamy and easy to blend and they dry to a budge-proof finish. I never even bother using primer with these because they last all day alone. They are the longest wearing and most blendable cream eyeshadows I've ever used.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Must Have Hair Care for Platinum Blondes

A few months ago I went from my natural Asian dark brown hair to platinum. It's the cool thing to do. Evidence here. I read an article in Vogue yesterday about how, "Everyone should do it at least once in their young life." How it brings attention to you, and it really does. I get complimented on it a lot, like every other day by random strangers. I also get hit on a whole lot more.


In order to keep my hair in the best shape possible I use these products:


Platinum Hair Products



Platinum Hair Products by kyle-kingsley featuring nexxus hair ca
I do not shampoo every day. Every time you hair comes into contact with water, the color fades. I shampoo once or twice a week and then use the cleansing conditioner or don't use anything the other days.

-I smooth Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer through my hair before my shower. The lightweight oil repels water to protect color. I found a Nexxus coupon in one of my magazines, I'm pretty sure it was Vogue or In Style, for $6 off any product so I recommend looking for one and then using it at Target for the best price.

-Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Cleansing Conditioner helps fight fade out while gently cleansing and conditioning. I love this stuff, I had no idea it even existed. Great if you don't want to wash your hair every day.

-The J Beverly Hills Blonde Neutralizing Shampoo is a deep purple to reduce brassiness to chemically-lightened blonde hair, neutralize unwanted warm tones and add cool brightness to reduce yellow tones. This is my regular shampoo because my hair stylist gave it to me.

-In addition to using the J Beverly Hills Fragile Color-Safe Conditioner, I like to use Davines Alchemic Silver Conditioner. This bright purple conditioning cream balances the color in chemically treated hair to keep color and shine vibrant. Although it is a conditioner it's also sort of a mask if you leave it on long enough.

When you bleach your hair it obviously gets pretty damaged. I like to use a mask once a week.
My two favorite repairing masks are:
-DermOrganic Intensive Hair Repair Masque which repairs damage, seals the cuticle, neutralizes pH, and restores resilience to salon-treated hair.  Rich in rice amino acids that replicate the keratin structure of human hair.
-Oil of Morocco Deep Hydrating Conditioning Treatment contains Argan Oil, Keratin and Grape Seed Oil to combat damage, breakage, split ends, dryness, dullness and frizz. This therapeutic remedy deeply penetrates leaving hair hydrated, restored, fortified and nourished with added strength and luster.

I noticed my hair lost a lot of its shine after bleaching. 
-Pureology Anti-Fade Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler for Blondes is specifically made for hair that's been lightened up to four shades. Formulated with coriander oil, chamomile and lemon extract, this daily leave-in treatment fills in gaps in hair's cuticle, leaving high-lifted or highlighted blonde strands soft and shiny again. The exclusive AntiFade Complex helps maximize colour retention. This changed my hair texture making it silky and shiny.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Summer Lovin'

When the temperatures rise, it's important that what you put on your face stays there.


For my face, I've been mixing a dollop of Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Foundation Primer ($33 - Nordstrom is having a 10% off sale right now, until June 10th, so it's $29.70), an equal amount of Garnier's Oil-Free BB Cream, a dot of MUFE HD Foundation ($42)  and a pea sized amount of Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator ($39) in IL01 - Sheer Beige. I have a deluxe sample of the Koh Gen Do and while it is nice, $39 is a bit much so I've ordered the NARS Hot Sand Illuminator ($30 @ Nordstrom $27) to see if it's a good replacement. I set my T-zone with a sheer, loose powder and a fluffy brush.

My bronze glow comes from a combination of NARS Multiple ($39) in Malaysia, but searching for it now on the internet it seems perhaps they have discontinued it - shown above is the Matte Multiple in Cappadoce, and NARS Bronzing Powder ($38) in Laguna.


On eyes, I have only been using Laura Mercier's Caviar Eye Sticks ($26, @ Nordstrom 10% off, $23.40) in Khaki, Amethyst and Sandglow. These glide on like a dream and are super easy to blend. They stay on all day without primer. A new favorite that I can't get enough of.

For cheeks, I'm loving Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle ($27) in Watermelon/Moonstone, which is a coral red infused with pale gold. It provides a pop of color with an illuminating highlighter. LOVE. I can't wait to get my hands on Raspberry/Opal.

My other favorite for cheeks is Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Berry Bliss ($22) - a deep wine.The 50% coconut water blush gives the hydrating color of a gel-stain.

I suggest throwing YSL's Baby Doll Kiss & Blush ($40, @ Nordstrom it's $36) in 02 Rose Frivole in your purse or beach bag for instant, lasting color on the cheeks and lips. I'm really into blush right now, can you tell? I can't help myself! I think my next one will be 05 Rouge Effrontee. Don't tell my husband or my bank account!

I literally just received these Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors ($23) in 02 Apricot Shimmer and 05 Candy Shimmer, so I am not sure how I feel about them. I've heard rave reviews so I'm hopeful. These are sheer and smell like cotton candy. I'd prefer it contained some sun protection also but I guess I can layer something underneath.
I never leave the house without a spritz of Skindinavis'a The Makeup Finishing Spray ($29) to help everything stay put.

So, take advantage of that Nordstrom sale (I know 10% doesn't seem like much but it's rare that this stuff goes on sale) plus you get free shipping and returns. I'd love to hear what your summer favorites are!

Monday, June 02, 2014

Summer Glow Without the Sun


I've been using Clarins Golden Glow Booster ($30) morning and night, mixing 3 drops with my moisturizer. This product is a liquid bronzer designed to be added to moisturizer. You're technically supposed to use a Clarins moisturizer but I mix it with my Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream and it works perfectly. It's 99.8% natural and doesn't have that yucky smell that most self-tanners have. I find being tanner blurs your imperfections a bit more eliminating the need for much foundation.


For my body, I exfoliate and moisturize head to toe, and let the lotion sink in for at least an hour before rubbing in Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning Lotion (around $10 @ Target - the only place I could find it.) I use the deep dark tan for my medium skin tone. Color develops in 3-4 hours. I don't get any rub-off from it and while it does have a slight yucky smell, it's not awful. There was no streaking at all.

If you don't want the color to be too deep you can dilute it with some of your lotion for a gradual tan effect. It's a good idea to use the lotion and tanner combo on your elbows, knees, ankles, and feet since those areas tend to get darker than others. Some people recommend using a glove to apply so your hands don't get stained, but if you work quickly (within 5 minutes) and wash your hands with soap and water afterward your palms will not get stained.

Both of these products are very highly rated in the beauty community. I am thoroughly sold. I actually don't think I've ever used a body tanner before but everyone looks better with a tan, so why not? It's obviously better for your skin to use a fake tan and then slather yourself in sunblock to prevent any damage.

To prolong your tan, keep your skin moisturized and exfoliate every 3 days so that as the tan wears off there are no spots.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How to Style a Pixie Cut - Battle of the Styling Creams

As you can see from the above photo I don't need much "styling," I just need something that will create (and hold) a nice piece-y look for my bangs. I simply towel dry a bit and then let my hair air dry, which only takes a couple minutes.


I spray on some Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray by L'Oreal ($8.99, I think I got mine at CVS and it was around $5), which basically shields color from fade-out. After that I spray in some John Masters Organics Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment and Volumizer for Thinning Hair ($23) because after bleaching my hair I have scalp issues.  The 17 organic herbs and oils help improve scalp health.

My ultimate favorite hair "stuff" was Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Finishing Paste ($4.99), it did everything I wanted it to, wasn't goopy or stiff, had strong hold and it's 99% naturally-derived. I used up a whole container and went to buy a new one and couldn't find it!

I saw the Garnier Fructis Style Deconstructed Pixie Play Craft Cream ($4.99), hoping it would do the same thing. WRONG. It claims to give high definition and control without clumping. There was hardly any definition or control. FAIL.

The next day I bought the Not Your Mother's Short Order Fiber Glaze Cream ($5.99), which smells like fresh oranges. I put it in my hair while it was damp and once my hair was dry it looked the same as it would without anything in it at all. I tried to use it on dry hair but still results were less than good.

I finally found my treasured Pure Clean Finishing Paste and will never use anything else.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sometimes you need a $35 blush

I usually use a highlighter along with my blush for dimension. Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Blush ($35) combines the two. Mood Exposure is described as a soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion. Mood Light is a sheer lavender pink powder that mimics soft light revealing your brightest complexion.

In the pan it looks kind of boring, I'll admit. But once you blend the colors and buff it onto your cheeks it creates a beautiful golden bronze rose. It works well with dark hair and platinum (which I'm sporting now). I love it so much I might need to get another one. Available at Sephora.

face candy grade: A+

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Face Base Trifecta

My skin used to be dry but lately it's been more combination. I can't stand flaky skin so I gave Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream (1.7 oz. jar is $26.50) a try.  This 24-hour cream gives you weightless moisturization without a heavy or greasy feeling. I know that I'm still going to be loving this come spring until I switch it up with a gel moisturizer once it's sweaty outside. If it's good enough for Greenland hikers, it must really work.  The price makes me happy, too.  I'd been eyeing up the Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Cream but at $150 it's going on my wishlist.

After rubbing in the Ultra Facial Cream, I pour a quarter sized amount of Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ (1.7 oz. bottle is $38) into my hand and slather it over my entire face and neck. Since I turned 29 in November, I'm forcing myself to be more responsible about sun protection (SUN SPOTS!) and saving money. Well, at least I've done well on the sun protection front.

You may think that $40 is a lot to spend on a tiny bottle but I feel like it will last you the whole summer and think of how much money you'll save by reducing your skin aging. I've been using it all winter and love the thin, unscented, moisturizing formula. You know how sometimes you get the white cast in photos if you're wearing sunscreen?  This doesn't do it. And in the summer if you wear sunscreen on your forehead it drips down into your eyes and burns? It doesn't do that. And did I mention SPF 50??
For primer I've been using Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30/pa+++ ($33), it's a gel primer with extra sun protection. It creates the perfect canvas by filling in pores and preparing your face for makeup.

Do you have a favorite moisturizer/sunscreen/primer combo?

*photos courtesy of the brands.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

STEAMCREAM for the Holidays

Bows

Distingue
STEAMCREAM ($18) is a multipurpose cream that is made using a steam-infused manufacturing process that produces a loosely-bound emulsion that allows ingredients like oatmeal infusion, orange flower water and lavender oil to fully penetrate the skin. This cream can be used on face, hands and body but because of the strong citrus scent I don't use it on my face. The texture feels like a lotion, more liquidy than Nivea Creme. It absorbs into skin very quickly and give a bit of a cooling effect. 

One of the coolest things about STEAMCREAM is the packaging. There are so many different designs for the little tins. I love the idea of gifting them because the receiver is sure to not only love the cream inside but the tin once the cream is gone. 

Tsubaki

If you don't care about the design, at Beautyhabit.com you can buy 2 and get 1 FREE, original design only. 


face candy grade: B+

Disclosure: Sample provided free of charge from a PR Company or brand for consideration. That did not change my opinion of those products. See disclosure for more info.

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