Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes

I got this triple pack of Simple Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes from Costco a couple of weeks ago and I have to say it's been a real favorite lately.

As a makeup remover, I find that these wipes really do the job. With one wipe, I can remove all my face and eye makeup, even waterproof eyeliner, mascara and some really tough layers of cream and powder shadow. The wipe itself is soft, kind of like the Cetaphil wipes which I like to use in the morning. I really like that because I feel like it's gentler to the skin, even if I decide to go over some areas multiple times or even rub a little. They are really well-moistened (some tend to dry up a little) and leave no greasy residue. I can even use them while I'm doing my makeup, to clean up eyeliner smudges or glitter gone awry. My skin doesn't dry up and it has no discernible odor. Overall, a real stellar performer. Best of all, there's a Costco deal now, where you get the three pack of Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes (25 wipes in each pack) for $7.74. What is that, like 11 cents a wipe? I would stock up but I worry that they might dry up like the Neutrogena Wipes that I stocked up on ages ago (and I still have PLENTY, but sadly, I kind of dislike them now).

If you haven't tried these and you're a Costco member, the deal is on until April 17th.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Eve Lom Cleansers and other things

Let me start by saying that it took me a long time to determine what products really helped my winter skin. I was testing products and product combinations through the entire winter season before I homed in on the ones that I think truly worked. Now that spring is here, I've decided to carry over a couple of items until it gets warm enough to switch out again.

Above is the Eve Lom skincare lot that I had been using through most of the winter. I purchased the Perfect Partners boxed set that included the Morning Time Cleanser (4.2 oz. in the tube), the original Cleanser (1.7 oz. in the tub) and one full-size Muslin cleansing cloth. I also got more cleansing cloths, the one that they sell in the three-pack and the Lip Kiss Mix which is a mint lip balm. This whole lot cost me $154 before tax. A bit pricey, I know. But I was desperate.

3-pack Muslin Cleansing Cloths

The whole premise of Eve Lom skincare, as it appears to me, is to give you the spa experience. The cleansing cloth used with the original cleanser is central to that and there is a procedure that they recommend for use. You apply the cleanser on dry skin and massage it over the face and neck. Wet the Muslin cloth with warm water and apply it to your face, breathe in and out, and then you remove it, getting most of the makeup and dirt off. You would do this same action again and then a third time, with cool water to complete the process and close pores.

The cleanser does its job substantially and I find that it removes most of my makeup with very little scrubbing. I don't really think they want you to scrub but I do it gently and I think it gives a subtle exfoliation that's completely necessary to get rid of flakes. For people like me who have a low tolerance for glycolic acid and other chemical exfoliants, this is the way to go.

Eve Lom Cleanser (Original)

The cleanser is like a semi-coarse petroleum jelly or a sugar scrub. The smell is pleasant, in my opinion, a bit herbal and probably a result of the various aromatic oils in the product. Yes, it's like slathering oil all over your face but then it comes off cleanly in the shower and I don't find that my face feels tight after. I also don't sense any sticky residue. Overall, even if I don't use another cleanser after, I feel clean. I feel like if I bust out the Simple Facial Cleanser now, I just completely negated the whole reason for "switching" to the oil-based cleanser.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer Triangular Brow Pencil

When it comes to brows, I'd like to think I'm pretty low maintenance. There's not a lot of brows to tame, really, and the color isn't particular dark. Brow shaping and waxing aren't services that I tend to get often. I have to admit though that my last appointment at the Benefit Brow Bar went spectacularly. I've never been so happy with the way my brows look and it made me reconsider professional shaping as something more important.

The right brow products, however, I've always thought to be very valuable. Nothing like a pretty pair of brows to frame even the simplest look. What I generally need are a good brow powder, a brow brush and spoolie. The brow gel is optional. Because my brows tend to have that "half-brow" appearance if not filled in, I have turned to Anastasia Beverly Hills products to keep them in check. I'm not a fan of fancy, heavily drawn-in brows or pencil-thin lines and favor a more natural look that more or less just traces what I've already got on my face and darkens the inner part a little to give it the appearance of fullness. I've already accepted the natural symmetry of the brows I've got, that is, that they are not perfectly symmetrical and never will be. And that's ok. Once, I had a makeup artist decide that I would look better if my brows were perfectly symmetrical, even if my eyes aren't. So, he shaved off half my brow on the one side and shaped the other. When filled in, they looked incredibly good, as my high school graduation picture will show. When all the makeup was wiped off, I had worse than the original half-brow appearance. I really did just have half a brow on the one side. Sigh. Never again.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water and Photo Finish Primer Water

I hauled my kids over to Ulta today so I could grab a 3.9 oz bottle of the Photo Finish Primer Water for $16. It's half price today only, as part of their daily beauty steals promotion. While there, I decided to browse some of the Smashbox foundation products and I saw one of the try it kits that had the BB cream, halo powder and a small primer. But as they only had light/medium, and I was afraid that would be too dark, I decided to ask the Smashbox rep if she had a sample of what might be the right shade for me. In the end, I got totally sucked into buying the BB Water, which I was informed, was $25 for the 1 oz bottle (the price is not for this day only but I can't say until when). My shade is Light, by the way.

I have no regrets here, in case you thought I was complaining. It's the nature of the beauty hauler in me, I guess. I can't resist a deal. And a deal it was! For $43 (that's with the tax too), I had a full size primer, foundation and the GWP which included a mini eyeshadow trio that I would totally use, and a sample of their under eye primer and lid primer. I had the rep apply the products on me, to make sure I was getting the correct color and to create a first impression of the Primer Water and BB Water foundation product. So far, I found that I liked both enough and for that price, the only problem there'd be is if I fell in love with them and never again found such a bargain.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bite Beauty New Lip Lab Experience + Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Radish

One of my best friends had come to New York with her husband for a weeklong holiday and I went up there to spend some time with her and to have a little post-birthday celebration. It's a milestone year for her and many of my friends who will be turning 40 this year. I had 5 hours and made the best of the day by taking her out to eat, do a little shopping and to cap the day, an appointment with the Bite Lip Lab to make us some lipstick!

I seriously advice having a plan whenever you go there. Booking an appointment is the first order of business. You'll have to do this over the phone since the web appointments thing they used to have is not available right now. I feel that interest has died down since they opened shop 3 years ago and I was able to snag a Saturday afternoon appointment when I called the night before. Of course, I could have just gotten lucky. I did notice a party of four come in seemingly without an appointment and they were able to get service. So, you know, whatever works for you.

As my friend discovered, it's hard to decide on what you want at the last minute. My fault for springing this on her just the night before and I don't think she quite understood what it was that we were going to do. This doesn't come naturally to some people, I guess. A typical appointment may take no longer than 20 minutes but I reckon we were in there for a good 40, even with two color therapists working side by side with us.

If you haven't read my previous post about the Bite Lip Lab experience (click here), it describes the process that the appointment takes. I won't go into the same details but I'll try to describe how our appointment went and try to explain better some of the options available.

I had brought along a small sample of one of the lipstick colors from my Guerlain Extra Gold Palette as I adore it and wanted to have a tube of the stuff. But this is what I've discovered. When you put something on or swatch it on your hand or arm, the color can look completely different from when the color therapist takes the exact same color and puts it on a blank white canvas. What I had perceived to be a red raspberry was looking rosy pink against the white. This was disappointing to me because it looked quite a lot like the shade I had made back in January. But then again, that probably saves me some time and money because I already have two tubes of that color and wouldn't have to have it made again for a good long time. Except, what would I have made now?

I'm sure we were annoying the heck out of the color therapists because when another one came to help out my friend and she didn't really know what she wanted, there was a lot of time spent just waiting for us to figure things out. We tried on colors from each other's palettes, hers with the nude pinks and one coral, mine with the rosy pinks and reds. I had them make the color that I wanted in the different finishes available. My original sample had shimmer and I was told that they can only put shimmer in the sheer, glossy formula. After I tried that on, I said that I preferred the look of the matte. Mind you, their matte isn't a full-on matte but rather a softer, sort of matte cream, not much different from the new Amuse Bouche line that Sephora now carries.

My friend was really going for the rosy pinks so I had the color therapist pull out the recipe for the shade I had made back in January and in the end, that was the color that my friend wanted. It wasn't explained to me exactly why it wasn't made in the Luminous Crème formula as the original was. She just kept repeating that she made it in the "cuvée" which on the box says Crème Deluxe. I realize now that the Luminous Crème formula may be discontinued in the Lip Lab as well. I was told that the cuvée would be slightly longer lasting and it does feel slightly dryer and more pigmented than the Luminous Crème formula.

my custom lippies!!!