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Dermacia Breathable Foundation Review

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Yes, I saw the infomercials. But no, I never even once though to buy this until it was staring me in the face at CVS for $18.99 plus $3 off. I frantically called home, hoping someone could check MakeupAlley for me to see the ratings... no answer. Without an iPhone, I was forced to choose alone! I bought Dermacia's "Breathable Foundation" in Beige and tested it out when I got home.

So, the color match seemed ok for something I couldn't test out. It was only slightly dark and seemed to blend in pretty well. It felt good on my skin, even though it was a little thick. What I didn't understand though was why it felt thick if it was not fully covering my problem areas (redness around my nose, blemishes, etc)! So, even though it felt light, it wasn't full coverage as I had hoped. I dusted some Milani Mineral Makeup over it to set.

I am pretty disappointed that this isn't a miracle product. Although, to Dermacia's credit, it didn't highlight pores, sink into them, or cause any immediate skin problems. It's just a basic light foundation with coverage thats only a little bit greater than a tinted moisturizer. Not worth the price if you really wanted more coverage. Also, I don't know if this foundation is the product that claimed to not rub off... but yeah, I tested it by rubbing my face lightly on a sheet of white paper about 2 hours after putting it on. My skin had remotely oiled up by then, and streaks came off on the paper where I had rubbed. Lies!

If your skin is near perfect already, you might wanna give this a chance, but obviously you wouldn't need to. Back to CVS it went.

I am now trying a sample of Shiseido SPF42 Liquid Foundation PA+++ and it seems to be good stuff! More on that later though ;)

Rest In Peace, Stephanie

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that I might be a little short on posts for the next couple of days. I do have some updates coming up though, including a Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion review.

My friend Steph passed away unexpectedly (at 21 years of age) yesterday, and I've been very distraught about the whole situation. I want to refrain from posting her last name because if people are searching on the internet I don't think there is a need for my site to come up in reference to the topic. I knew her since elementary school, and we still kept in touch even if we weren't that close.

My thoughts and sympathies go out to her family and friends.

I've got my eye on you, Luik!

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So, I've been looking at these "Luik" shoes ($100.) at Aldo for a while now. I'm thinking of getting them for an event I have coming up. I know nude shoes are really in right now and although I usually prefer a slimmer sillhouette, I like the sturdy heel and enclosed shoe because I won't feel like I'm about to topple over if I'm standing for a while. A cute peep toe adds a nice touch, I think, as opposed to a sandal where everything is out there. I really like the fact that they aren't dainty. It just seems like they would be secure and pleasant to wear.

The heel is super high so it will definitely add some height to my 5'4" self... and I think they are really versatile and would look cute with a skirt, jeans, or a dress. They come in black, light pink (shown), and bone patent leather.

Would you wear it? What do you think?

Your very own Personal Shopper!

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Have you always wanted your own personal shopper? Maybe you don't have time to sift through racks of discounted goods to find the designers and brands you're really looking for. If these situations sound familiar to you, you may want to try Shop It To Me, a personalized free service that hunts down bargains in your size from your favorite designers!

How does it work? Just sign up (it's free and quick) and input your preferences at shopittome.com and Shop It To Me will email you every time a brand you like goes on sale in your size at department store retailers, boutiques, and other niche sites!

Sounds pretty cool right? Have you tried this? Let me know what you think!

AG Hair Cosmetics Product Reviews!

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AG Hair Cosmetics is an upscale hair product line based in Canada. Their professional line of products are currently available in over 10,000 salons across North America. Interestingly enough, their products are sold at an upsale salon by me in New Jersey too! Their products have been featured in numerous magazines, like Elle, Hairstyles, and Ok!, and the line also has pretty good reviews on MakeupAlley, so I was eager to see what they were all about. I tested out their "Control" shampoo, "Liquid Varnish" smoothing polish, "Re:coil" curl activator, and "Foam" weightless volumizer.

I have been using the Control shampoo ($13.50) every other day for a few days now and I really like it. This shampoo is targeted for helping rid the scalp of dandruff, which I (unfortunately) suffer from occasionally in the colder months. This product contains double the amount of active ingredient zinc pyrithione as drugstore anti-dandruff shampoos (aka. Head and Shoulders), making it super effective! Also, it doesn't smell medicinal like some others can, and instead smells like a delicious floral/almost bubblegum scent. It's also pink. The verdict... No complaints at all here! If you have dandruff or an irritated scalp like I do (well not anymore, but like I did before) definitely, definitely, try this product!

The Liquid Varnish smoothing polish ($19.) is a shiny little sealant that helps calm frizz and mend split ends. I don't know if it did all that in the short span I used it, but it did make my hair feel nice and look fairly healthy. It has a fruity candy scent that is very faint and that fades when the product is applied. It is a little pricey for the size of the bottle, but the fact that you only use a teeny-tiny amount probably makes up for that.

AG's Re:coil curl activator ($18.) is a must have for curly girls. Their curl activating balm even encouraged waves in my generally straight hair! I applied some to my damp hair, scrunched, and put it up into a messy bun. When I took the bun down a few hours later I had soft (not crunchy!) wavy hair that actually held it's wave. For those of you with curly or wavy hair, this stuff would be awesome to control your curls instead of a heavy, sticky, crunchy gel.

AG's Foam weightless volumizer ($18.) is a really interesting product. It's not a mousse, because it doesn't come in that aerosol type of can. The foam that comes out of the bottle is a different texture than you would expect, as it is almost like rich, fluffed up gel consistency. This stuff really did work to volumize my thick hair and even hold it in place a little bit without weighing it down at all. It smells faintly like coconut, and apparently contains anti-frizzing ingredients, as well as those which protect against humidity and thermal heat. Out of all the styling products I tried, I think this one is the one I like the most.

If you have an AG Hair Cosmetics retailer near you, give them a try! You will definitely be pleased with the results.

A huge thanks to Jordan from AG Hair Cosmetics who gave me the opportunity to try out this product line and report back to you all!

L'Oreal Skin Genesis Daily Treatment Eye Serum Review!

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Ok, I wanted to give this product a while to work so I've waited 2-3 weeks to review. This is the second eye product I've used... as I'm not really showing any signs where I'd feel I'd need one, but just as a preventative measure. If anything, I was dealing with some dark circles, little bags and occasional puffiness. (That's all, lol!)

So I put L'Oreal's Skin Genesis Eye Serum (also called Derma Genesis if not in the U.S., I believe) to the test... and I think it is a very good product. I am also using Almond Oil in conjunction, as I've previously mentioned, around my eye area so that could be helping to combat my issues as well. I just apply a tiny, tiny, dot of this serum to my ring or pinkie finger after washing and moisturizing my face and gently pat it onto the area under my eye, smoothing it around until it is evenly applied. I do this two times a day.

This product is very gentle and has not caused milia or any dryness. Yesterday, my mom told me that I did not have dark circles and I wouldn't need to find an eye cream (she wasn't aware that I had already been using this product for weeks). Basically, that sums it up for me... this product MUST be working because I definitely did have dark circles before and now they are practically nonexistent!

I can't say much about the firming aspect of this because, as I said, I am somewhat young to be experiencing under-eye wrinkles/crow's feet, etc. The other eye product I've tried in the past was L'Oreal's Dermo-Expertise Eye Defense... which truly did nothing at all. I think Skin Genesis is working so far, and I'm overall pretty happy with it!

This product is available at CVS for just around $20!

If you're in the market for a new eye treatment, give this a shot! :)

Reminder: Spring Feedback Giveaway ends March 31st!

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If you have not done so already, don't forget to participate in the giveaway :)

Details here!

All you have to do is ask me a beauty related question in the comments of the giveaway post, and you could win a sample size Benefit Benetint, sample Biolage Smoothing Conditioner, and a sample Benefit You Rebel Lite!

Make sure you link back to or leave your email address so I can contact you.

Get The Look: Shanna Moakler!

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Get The Look

Here's how to get Shanna Moakler's dramatic Key Club of Hollywood makeup look!

How to do this look on a budget:
  • Start off doing the eye makeup, because since you are using a dark color, it might get messy and you don't want to mess up the rest of your face.

  • Use Urban Decay Primer Potion, or a similar primer, to prep your eyes for shadow.

  • Use your favorite dark liner to create a smudgey line on your top and bottom lids. Then, create a smokey eye using blacks and shimmery greys such as NYX "Black" single shadow and NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in "Charcoal".

  • Blend your shadow out with a shimmery silver shadow, like Ulta Mineral Eye Shadow in "Silver".

  • Don't forget to groom your brows and add a touch of white highlighter on the brow bone for extra sparkle!

  • Finish off your eyes by curling your lashes and applying a touch of lengthening mascara, like NYX Doll Eye Mascara or false lashes for an extra glamorous touch.

  • Now, wipe off any excess shadow fall out with some makeup remover, if necessary... then you can move on to the rest of your makeup!

  • Keep it remotely natural with a touch of foundation to even your skin tone, if necessary. Use a powder to lightly set, such as a finishing veil or MAC Blot.

  • Gently apply a peachy/rose blush to the apples of your cheeks, such as Revlon Blush Cream in "Just Peachy".

  • Lastly, apply a deep nude lip color, such as L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Gloss in "Rich Nude" to replicate Shanna's pout.
What do you think of Ms. Moakler's look? Any comments or suggestions? Would you wear it? Let me know!

Fashion Match: Kim Kardashian

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Fashion Match

Just a quick update tonight with Kim Kardashian's Harrah's Resort look!

Kim Kardashian

Here's what I used:
  • A) Fashionista black stretch knit "Sandy" Dress
    $87.99 at Bluefly

  • B) Babee D Desert Hobo
    $476. at eBags

  • C) Sterling Silver Black and White Cubic Zirconia Hoop Earrings
    $50. at Ice

  • D) "Suspense" Silver Watch
    $85. at Guess

  • E) Via Spiga "Valor"
    $261.99 at Piperlime
Personally, I like the little patent leather accent on her boots! I think it would look cute with the patent bag I chose and that they go nicely together :)

What do you think? Would you wear it?

Bargain Finds: Surprisingly cute things at Payless!

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Bargain Finds

As you may or may not know, Payless ShoeSource has launched several "Designer" shoes that have been created for Payless in the way that high-end companies design for Target, etc. The brands featured are Abaete, Lola Rose, and alice + olivia... in addition to their normal lineup of American Eagle, Dexter, American Ballet Theater Spotlights, Airwalk, and Champion.

I am not the biggest Payless fan, but upon browsing their website, some stuff I found was *gasp* actually kinda cute!

Like these, by alice + olivia ($40) in honor of St. Patrick's Day!

Well, actually they are more lime than kelly green obviously, but I thought they were quite daring regardless!

I could see them with a black or white tank and a pair of nice dark jeans, or even a cute black summer dress... something basic to really show the shoes off!

Take a look at my other picks:

Fashion Match: Jenny McCarthy!

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Fashion Match

Check out this look that I've recreated! This time, it's Jenny McCarthy's "Horton Hears A Who" premiere outfit :)

Jenny McCarthy

What I used:
  • Stila Smoky Eye Palette
    $40. at Ulta

  • Tartan Puff Sleeve Stripe Top
    $195. at Nordstrom

  • Tibi Wide Leg "Sailor" Trouser
    $99.99 at Active Endeavors

  • Michael Kors Black Nubuck 'Suri' Platform Espadrilles
    $138. at Bluefly
I personally like how Jenny McCarthy chose not to wear any jewelry and stuck with just the bold pieces of her outfit as accents. Her straight blond bob also added to the minimalism, which was nice too!

What do you think? Would you wear it?

SWAV Loves: Weleda Almond Intensive Facial Cream

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This cream rocks. I have been using it for over a week now (with my normal skincare routine of my sulfur soap, 10% benzoyl peroxide, almond oil, and L'Oreal Skin Genesis Eye Serum -- which I'll be reporting on soon) and I am definitely seeing positive results! No major breakouts or dry areas, and my skin just feels good. I even used this on the rest of my face while I was having that dry/irritated skin issue with no bad reactions or problems. I wanted to wait a little while to review it though, so I could make sure that I wouldn't have to retract any good or bad things I might have to say.

This product is a bit pricey for it's size, but a little goes a long way! The price is most likely due to the good quality of the ingredients, so I can't really blame them. I got mine at Walgreens for around $20/1oz. Weleda's website is very user-friendly as well, as they give you a list of ingredients in each product and will link off to explanations of what each item in the list is. I love the fact that this Almond Cream it is natural and there are only a few ingrediants, instead of a big list of chemicals I can't pronounce.

The ingredients are as follows:
Water, Sweet Almond Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE (a compound of glycerin derived from plants that serves as an emulsifier), Alcohol (gluten-free, to preserve botanicals), Hydrolysed Beeswax, Plum Oil, Glyercin, Xanthan Gum (serves as a stabilizer), Lactic Acid

It smells very faintly of almonds and is very pleasant to apply. Weleda's cream is very rich and smoothes on easily. It is supposed to be for dry or sensitive skin, so my sensitive combo skin just drinks it up! Best of all, it doesn't just sit there greasily like other moisturizers can... it actually soaks in and hydrates! With this and almond oil, no more dry patches and no more oil slick. Weleda offers various other products (and even their own Sweet Almond Oil as well) that should be great to try out as well!

Yes, the tube is small, but there are too many good things about this product for me to be picky. It's just fantastic.

Another natural favorite: Almond Oil!

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Almond Oil (or "Sweet Almond Oil") is very lightweight but intensely moisturizing. This does not feel sticky or tacky at all, only slick to the touch. The oil apparently nourishes your skin without clogging pores. It has no real scent, and it's fantastic around your eyes or on chapped lips. Various sources say that it is an excellent eye makeup remover and general moisturizer. And, it's great for diminishing black circles and crow's feet, so I've read.

Almond Oil is really easy to find too! You can get it at most grocery or natural food stores :) I used to use this as part of the Oil Cleansing Method (along with Castor and Grapeseed Oils)... but now I just put a little Almond oil on a cotton ball, and go over dry areas with it to soften and remove dead skin, like a toner almost. It soaks in fast, so your skin won't feel oily or greasy for more than a second.

Obviously, if you are allergic to nuts, it's probably not a good idea to use Almond Oil. Otherwise, pick up a bottle ASAP and start enjoying the amazing skincare benefits of natural products like this one!

Celebrity Looks for Less - courtesy of AZ Jeans!

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Bargain Finds

Margot from Arizona Jeans contacted me to share a celebrity recreation featuring AZ Jeans products (click to see larger)!

Margot informed me that all spring merchandise is 30% off until March 17th, so you are sure to get a great deal from Arizona Jeans in recreating celebrity style for less.

She was also kind enough to share with me this code to receive $10 off regular and sale priced items on AZJeans.com (Excluding the purchase of gift cards)!

Start Date: March 12
End Date: April 2
Keycode: AZJWM1


Fashion Match: Christine Lakin

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Fashion Match

SWAV recreates Christine Lakin's look for the grand opening of Eva Longoria-Parker's new restaurant, "Beso".

Christine Lakin

Here's what we used:
  • A) Crystal Collection "Briolette Drop" Earrings
    $42. at Nordstrom
  • B) Lucite Trim Halter
    $118. at Marciano

  • C) Snap Cropped Legging
    $38. at Arden B

  • D) Elie Tahari white stretch linen "Chava" blazer
    $189.99 on Bluefly

  • E) Cristobal Metallic Flats
    $145. at J. Crew
What do you think? Would you wear it?

Singing the Praises of Vitamin E Oil!

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So after my recent run in with dry patches and flaky skin, I simplified my skincare regimen and began using pure Vitamin E Oil on the areas in hopes that they would heal. I have written my results in the form of a letter :)

Dear Vitamin E Oil,

Oh, pure Vitamin E Oil; gentle, moisturizing, nutrient rich and just fantastic. Sure, you may be in a little bottle, be a little sticky, and smell a little funny... but Vitamin E Oil, you're the one for me.

I was so lost without you. My skin was very upset, dry, red and peeling... and you were there for me when other moisturizers let me down. I put you around my flaky eyes and mouth, and you just went right to work. More effective than Glycerin and Aloe, and even Vaseline... I don't know how you did it but you got me back to normal, and I can't thank you enough.

I know you say you are an antioxidant and scar fader, but I just couldn't believe how well you moisturized. Now, I know I can't use you every day... because my pores will clog and you might break me out. But I'm okay with this occasional fling we have.

Unfortunately, It's time for me to be moving on now... but I will never forget you. I'll keep your little bottle around always, just in case.

<3>If you're having a skin emergency like I was... Vitamin E Oil is your friend!

Fashion Match: Catherine Zeta Jones

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Fashion Match

SWAV recreates Catherine Zeta Jones' look for the opening of Elizabeth Arden's store on Fifth Ave!

Catherine Zeta Jones

What I used:
  • A) Lauren by Ralph Lauren "Ponte Cross Sectioned Harriet Sheath Dress"
    $140. at Bloomingdales.

  • B) Italian paper-poplin raincoat in "Sour Lemon"
    $158. at J. Crew. (I know it's shorter, but I thought it was almost more stylish)
  • C) Ladies Wide "High Waist Croco Print Patent Leather" Fashion Belt
    $14.20 on Amazon. (A bargain find compared to the rest, no?)

  • D) Tory Burch "Colin" Pump
    $295. at Bloomingdales.

  • E) Stephen Dweck "Branch & Flower" Link Bracelet
    Available at Bag, Borrow or Steal.
What do you think? Would you wear it?

Get The Look: Eva Longoria-Parker

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Get The Look

SWAV recreates Eva Longoria-Parker's Look! Here's how we did it:

Eva Longoria-Parker

  • Start off with a clean, moisturized face!
  • Apply a light layer of foundation or mineral makeup, if necessary, just to even out your skin tone. Follow up with concealer for under your eyes or any spots you may have as well. CoverBlend by Exuviance is a nicely moisturizing concealer that will work great for this, but any good concealer will do.
  • Since Eva's look is glowy, there is no need to tone down any excess shine, unless you are oil-crazy. If that is the case, just dust a little bit on your T-zone and call it a day. MAC Blot Powder works well for this.
  • To get Eva's signature glowy tanned skin, try Benefit's Hoola bronzing powder, which gives a nice matte, tanned finish.
  • Now, move on to your eyes. Be sure to maintain your eyebrows, as they will frame this look. Tweeze or wax any unwanted hairs and then fill in with brow powder. If necessary, set with brow wax or gel. I like Benefit's BrowZings for this.
  • For the eyeshadow, start off with Urban Decay Primer Potion to hold your shadow in place all day, and then use a coppery shade over the entire lid (such as Stila Eye Shadow in Ray, or NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Penny).
  • Apply a thick layer of black liner to your top lid, being careful not to extend the line past the eye! MAC Fluidline (Blacktrack) gives you excellent wear and flexibility. Also, apply a thick line to the bottom lashes as well, be sure to smudge out for Eva's sultry lash look.
  • Now, apply a coat of Mascara, such as L'Oreal HIP, which will add dramatic volume and length to the top and bottom lashes. To pump up the look, you can add false lashes to your top lid and use mascara to blend.
  • Very lightly dust on a slight blush, such as Benefit's Thrrrob! box powder. You want the blush to be very faint, and only apply to the apples of your cheeks.
  • Now, use a highlighter, such as MAC Vanilla Pigment to accentuate your browbone and cheekbones. Smile pretty so you can see the apples of your cheeks as a guideline of where to apply the shimmer. It should just be faintly above this area, making a "C" shape between your cheek and brow area. This will give you Eva's fantastic golden glow!
  • Finish off the look with a pink liner applied all over your bottom lip, such as NYX's Barbie Pink, and coat with your gloss of choice. I love C.O. Bigelow's Lemon Lip Creme for a natural look.
Enjoy! Any questions or comments, feel free as always :)

Bunch o' BlogThings quizzes :)

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Totally bored, so I took some quizzes on BlogThings! If you're got some free time, see how you match up!

Your Fashion Style is Girly

You dress to look beautiful and show off what you've got
Dresses, skirts, heels... whatever it takes to turn heads
You love feeling like a girl in any setting
Even your workout clothes are cute and feminine!

You Are Practically Plastic

You're so beautiful that it's almost unreal
Unfortunately, you're attitude's a little unreal too
Everyone knows you're super hot - no need to remind them
You've got it going on, so stop obsessing!

Your Guy Is Not Pretty!

Your boyfriend is more hetero than John Wayne. End of story.
While it may be hard to get him to go dancing or shopping...
You know that he can always stand up for and take care of you.
Which is waaaay more attractive than a few well placed highlights.

What These Orchids Say About You

You are exotic and intricately beautiful.
You possess a unique grace that's both delicate and strong.
You are thoughtful and refined. You are the definition of class.

You Are Bare Feet

You are a true free spirit, and you can't be tied down.
Even wearing shoes can be a little too constraining for you at times!
You are very comfortable in your own skin.
You are one of the most real people around. You don't have anything to hide.
Open and accepting, you are willing to discuss or entertain almost any topic.
You are a very tolerant person. You are accepting and not judgmental.
You should live: Somewhere warm
You should work: At your own business, where you can set the rules

Product testing has gotten the best of me.

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Aah! So my face is really freaking out now.

For some reason, I think too much Benzoyl Peroxide, not enough moisturizing by way of Complex 15 (which I really thought was working out but may not be for my flaky, "drier than it seems" skin), the absence of my usual vaporizer in my room, and too many hormonal issues has caused my skin to be very upset.

No real allergic reactions per se, but something is definitely wrong. I've got dry, itchy, reddish patches around my eyes and mouth and they are making me very unhappy. I recently bought some new products and I want to try them out but I don't want to do so if my face is already freaking out because then I won't know if they cause a reaction. So I have to wait for this to pass I suppose.

I am trying to go back to basics in the meantime, didn't want to do anything too extreme. I lightly washed/exfoliated with just baking soda and water today instead of using my potentially harsher sulfur soap, and then just slathered on some Vaseline in hopes that my skin would calm down. It worked for a little while.

I also made a probiotic mask (just opened up three probiotic capsules and added a few drops of cold water) and it feels like it's tightening rather nicely as it dries. I have left it on for a few minutes now... we'll see how well it works. Well, probiotics are supposed to be fantastic for your skin... and at this point, anything that will calm mine down will be a Godsend.

Any recommendations?

I should probably take an antihistamine too! Just in case it is an allergic reaction.

No pictures today, but I promise I will post some when my skin has calmed down enough for me to look pleasant!

Just a quick update and reminder!

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Hey there!

My previously posted Elliott Lucca bag arrived yesterday, and it's a bit bigger than I had expected, but beautiful nonetheless! I will be posting pictures of me with said bag later today when I get a chance.

I wanted to also remind everyone to participate in the Spring Feedback Giveaway which will be ending on March 31st!

Some updates that will be coming up -

  • Weleda Almond Intensive Face Cream
  • L'Oreal Skin Genesis Daily Treatment Eye Serum
  • AG Hair Cosmetics

Other stuff:

  • "Renew and Refresh" Giveaway (planned for 4/5/2008 - 4/30/2008)

Plus a lot more! Keep checkin' in and have a great Tuesday!

SWAV Props: Queen of Blending!

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Another SWAV Props winner :) This time, I'm featuring the 'Queen of Blending'!

I'm sure you've heard of her, but if not, she is an amazingly talented young woman who prides herself on extreme color blending skills, using mainly MAC cosmetics. She has an eye for color and unparalleled skills, so I feel she should be mentioned here!

She has some tutorials up on YouTube, and here are some of her eye looks:

I would love to have at least 1/3 of that talent, haha! She is that good.

What do you think? Gorgeous right?!

Complex 15 Theraputic Face Cream Review

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My skin has been acting up again.

It could be PMS coming through, the stress at school/work, or the fact that things are going a little nuts at home... and truthfully, I think all that Lumene messed me up too. But, regardless, due to this frustration I've been getting a few bumps and flaky skin too (mainly from the weather and acne treatments). I have noticed that my moisturizer has not been cutting it for me lately. For months, I've been using Pure Glycerin mixed with Aloe Vera Gel with no bad side effects. My skin is combination but now it seems to be headed more towards "flaky and oily". Great combo, right?

So, after strolling around CVS and reading some reviews on my trusted MakeupAlley and Epinions... I decided to give Complex 15 a try. Complex 15 Theraputic Face Cream has been around for a long time apparently. It comes in an inconspicuous, almost medicinal box, where inside lies a tube similar to a prescription cream.

Complex 15 will run you about $7, and contains phospholipids, such as lecithin, which apparently "restore and maintain natural moisture balance in dry, sensitive skin". Now, that's a bargain find! It is unscented, contains no parabens, lanolin, or mineral oil. It's also hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, and fragrance-free. It doesn't have SPF either though, so if you are concerned about SPF, you may need an additional sunscreen.

It's sort of like a basic, bare minimum, yet effective moisturizer! Kind of like Cetaphil. Well, not really because I used Cetaphil for a long time and found that it did nothing to benefit my skin... it just sort of felt like it was "sitting" on my skin and would never really absorb. Complex 15, however is more like a lightweight moisturizer that applies smoothly and soaks in fast! I've been using it for 2-3 days now and I already am noticing less peeling/flaking. No new breakouts or problems so far... and it doesn't seem to be making the existing ones worse.

Some reviews I've read said that this product broke people out (just a couple, but I figured I'd mention anyway... way more people were satisfied than dissatisfied).

I am using it in conjunction with my sulfur soap (which also makes my skin super soft), 10% Benzoyl Peroxide cream, and also the occasional Salicylic Acid treatment as well... so I'd imagine all those anti-acne goodies could prevent Complex 15's evil "true qualities" from showing. If it even has those evil qualities, I don't know. But I'm just saying.

All I'm seeing though is calm (considering the circumstances), moisturized skin. It feels soft and hydrated, without being greasy at all. This stuff doesn't just sit on your skin! I think this moisturizer could definitely be a keeper! And it's a heck of a lot easier than mixing glycerin and aloe all the time.

If you're looking for a good quality, simple drugstore moisturizer with no excess frills and fragrances and Cetaphil isn't really doing it for you, check this one out!

EDIT 3/11/08: This may have caused my skin to dry out! I don't know if this was definitely the culprit but I don't want to recommend this since I'm no longer sure. If you have oily skin, you might wanna check it out, but if you're dry and flaky to start... it could be too much for you. Once again, I'm not positive that this product is what did dried me out... but something did.

SWAV Props: MonroeMisfitMakeup!

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Just a quick update tonight...
Yup, you guessed it, I decided to add a new category: "SWAV Props!"

This section allows me to give "props" to all the amazing makeup artists and talented stylists out there. Since I am not really able to (lack of time and skills, lol) post my own tutorials consistently, I will be posting YouTube tutorials, videos, pictures, etc. of people who know what they're doing and of course giving credit where credit is due. I hope you enjoy watching these as much as I do!

And the first recipient of SWAV Props goes to: YouTube's MonroeMisfitMakeup

This girl is gorgeous and incredibly talented! She has some awesome tutorials as well! Check out this video of her looks here:

Awesome right?! Let me know what you think!

Lumene Product Reviews

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After much avoidance, "upscale" drugstore brand Lumene finally reeled me in. I picked up their Beauty Base, Vitamin C+ Energy Cocktail, and Double Stay Mineral Foundation at my local CVS.

Now, not gonna lie, but on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give the beauty base a 4. I don't want to mess around, so I think that is fair and to the point. Its priced at $10, which is not bad at all. The packaging looks very professional and classy, so no complaints there either. There is no real scent to this product either, which is a plus. The label claims that it "fades out fine lines and imperfections optically" and that your makeup will "glide on unbelievably smoothly and stay in place beautifully even for several hours (also on oily skin)".

From my brief experience with this product, I don't think that these claims are accurate. My skin still oiled up after only 3 hours of use, and my pores are still visible. My makeup applied the same way, with or without this product. Superficially, the product was very promising, but in actuality, it did nothing good or bad. Not worth it. Even beauty secret Monistat Soothing Care Gel ($7) performs as a better primer than this!

And... speaking of let downs, I also tried Lumene's Double Stay Mineral Makeup, which is a brand new liquid mineral foundation. It was very expensive for a drugstore brand, at around $16. The color match was great, but I found that the product settled into my deeper acne scars, highlighting them more than I'd like. If you have poreless, lineless, scarless skin, I'd really suggest giving this a try... because otherwise it seems like it might settle and not cover as much as it should. I bought the one for Combo/Oily skin, so of course it seemed to highlight dry patches as well.

They did have a tester on the display, but on my hand it was much less problematically noticeable. It did feel nice on though, and I feel like it would control oil, but I just couldn't handle it. I really wanted to love it, but it just wasn't happening. I tried it again on my whole face this time and the excessive fragrance in there made my face itch!

Also, just FYI: This was my first attempt back with liquid foundation after months and months of Milani Compact Minerals. I will stick to my Milani, thank you very much.

Lastly, after reading good reviews on MakeupAlley for their Vitamin C+ Energy Cocktail (previously called Pampering Drops I believe), I attempted to try this product as well. Well, seconds from taking it out of the package, this bottle is gorgeous by the way, I realized that it had the same excessive fragrance that upset my skin in the Mineral foundation. At this point I'd had enough. No go, and no way for $20. Bye bye, Lumene.

The verdict: Mediocre Primer, Bad Mineral Liquid Foundation, Potentially good Moisturizer but I won't give it a shot. I feel like they are making products that you just plain and simple don't really need either way. A good marketing ploy by CVS but I just am not buying into it, even if I wanted to love them. They are way overpriced, even though the packaging is classy and the products claim to be loaded with quality ingredients like "cloudberry" and such, whatever that is. I should've trusted my instincts! All three are going back to CVS tonight, by the way.

Well, thanks anyway Lumene, for giving me something to blog about!

Method's Naturally-Derived Foaming Hand Soap in "Eucalyptus Mint"

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It seems like everyone is getting sick lately!

I figured now would be a good time to remind you all how important it is to wash your hands. Constantly. It seems obvious, but too often we forget!

If your coworkers are sick, or you are in highly public places like on public transportation, you're putting yourself at risk for colds and maybe even the flu! Just think about all the surfaces we unknowingly touch! Door handles (at various public places), bathroom stalls, money, pens at stores, etc. are covered in bad germs. And then what, we grab a quick pretzel at the mall, WITH OUR HANDS, and scarf it down. Or, we rub our eyes. Or, we pick up our purses and cover them with germs, too.

Blah blah blah. So, where am I going with this rant? Well, I figured that would be a good intro to my favorite hand soap! Method's Naturally-Derived Foaming Hand Soap in "Eucalyptus Mint" ($4) is my absolute "hands down" favorite! It smells so fresh and clean, and the bright blue liquid inside the self-foaming pump bottle is très chic as well!

I usually find the Method line at Target or Harmon. If you don't like mint, Method's super cool foaming hand washes also come in Ginger Yuzu, Sea Minerals, Green Tea, Sweet Water, and Lavender scents.

So, lather up ladies! And remember, if you can't get to a sink, use some waterless hand sanitizer (Purell) or antibacterial hand wipes. Stay healthy! Oh, and if you're already sick, here's another tip: Take some Zinc and Echinecea vitamins to cut down your sick time :)