2/25/09

LUSH Skincare--My new routine

Ok guys... this post is going to serve more as an "accountability" thing for me more than anything. LET ME EXPLAIN... I'm all about immediate results, which where skincare is concerned, really isn't realistic. So by posting what I'm going to start using and promising a video review on my channel in a few weeks to update you all, I'm forced to stick with it. Good idea huh?
So, for 8 years I used Proactiv with great results, but about 6 months ago, I started noticing a change in my skin. I began getting some hormonal breakouts and it seemed that nothing was really working. Where I used to be able to apply all that harsh benzoyl peroxide to my face twice a day, it seems that now my skin doesn't really respond well to having it's top layer burned off you know? Dry, flaky, irritated skin over long periods of time=wrinkles=no fun. So I'm trying to take a more natural approach. Hmmm....I WONDER what brand I looked to for skin care?? :)

These are the products I got and how I plan to use them:

*LUSH products*
Coal Face cleanser
I'm going to use this twice a day. This cleanser has purifying ingredients which is great for acne-prone skin. It also contains exfoliating granules.



Tea Tree Water Toner
Again, I'm going to use this twice a day after cleansing. You can spray it directly on the face, or onto a cotton pad (which is what I'm going to do). Again, this has ingredients that are purifying and great for clogged pores and blemishes.



Vanishing Cream
(Moisturizer)
This moisturizer is great for people with oily and acne-prone skin. It's the lightest moisturizer LUSH has, however, makes skin feel really comfortable (I've tried this in a sample before). It feels really clean on the skin without the layer of "grossness" some moisturizers can leave behind.



Mask of Magnaminty
I'm going to use this 2-3 times a week as a mask. I decided to purchase this one rather than another one of my beloved fresh face masks by LUSH because this one is the most deep cleansing for breakout-prone skin and is great for clearing blackheads when used properly. Also, it lasts 4 months, so I got the smaller 4.4 oz. container.




THEN, because my skin reacts well to retinol treatments...

Philosopy "On a Clear Day" Retinol Clarifying Lotion
I'm going to use this at night (since retinol breaks down and loses effectiveness in sunlight). This particular lotion treats acne, congested pores, acne scarring/discoloration, and fine lines. This particular formula is great because it's gentle enough to even be used twice a day and contains super moisturizing hylauronic acid and soothing cucumber extract.


Alright, so now I have motivation to stick with this! Expect a review/update video in 2-3 weeks :)

To find these products and for more information, visit www.lush.com.



2/19/09

My Hair

I got my hair cut about 3 weeks ago and figured why not post some pics of it... Especially since THE most commonly requested topic I get is for me to describe my haircut, products, or to send pictures of it. So I figured this would be appropriate! Read on to find out what products I use as well :)

My hair cut is basically an "overgrown" inverted bob. The bottom layer is the longest and is the same length all the way around. The back is cut in blended stacked layers mimicking the shortest layer of an a-line bob. I LOVE it because you get the volume of a bob, with the length I love so it's much more versatile.
As for the color, I get foil highlights on the upper layers of my hair only, alternating between blonde and a caramel shade.






Products I use:
Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo
Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Clay Conditioner
Pureology Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner (I alternate the two lines)

Graham Webb Thick Infusion Root Volumizing Spray
Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid (makes your hair feel like silk and adds shine)
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Crystal Clear Hairspray

2/17/09

MAC Hello Kitty Review and Swatches!

Alright guys, here are all my lovely Hello Kitty goods! I was super excited about this collection for a long time because I've always loved Hello Kitty, but when I actually saw the collection and got to test the colors, I really cut down my list. Most of these items were part of my anniversary gift from my husband. The man knows what I like.
Overall, this collection has some great colors, a few stand-out items and the packaging is super cute (but the glitter chunks are kind of annoying).
Read on to see my haul, swatches, and reviews of the products!

Eye Shadow Palettes: ($38.00)
Both of these palettes caught my eye because I love the color groupings for each. However, they both can be VERY easily duplicated by colors in the permanent line. See for yourself...

Too Dolly Palette
Yogurt(matte), Romping(frost), Too Dolly(frost), Stately Black(lustre)
Overall, the payoff of all these colors are pretty decent. With the exception of Stately Black. If you want it to appear dark, you have to work with it a bit and apply a lot.

...and the dupes...
(Yogurt is in the permanent line), Post Haste, Aquadisiac, Black Tied

I COULD NOT believe how easily duped this palette was. While Post Haste is a matte, I actually think it would look better with these colors than Romping, just because the color payoff is so great. The most surprising was the dupe for Too Dolly...Aquadisiac. These colors are almost identical. Also, if you have the Heatherette palette with Mood Ring, that would work awesome as well. It's also VERY close. Aquadisiac is almost prettier! As far as Stately Black, Black Tied was almost identical. So if you can't get your hands on this one, those are colors that would replicate looks you could create with this palette almost exactly...if not better!


Lucky Tom Palette
Creme Royal(veluxe pearl), Paradisco(frost), Stylin'(velvet), Lucky Tom(lustre)

This palette is probably my favorite. However, a few of the colors are a little difficult. Paradisco is a gorgeous color, but it has horrible payoff. To get it to show up, you'll need a good base and a heavy hand. Also, Stylin' is a little on the chalky side (as some velvet colors are) and you'll also need a good base and a heavy hand to get it to show up bright. It's also nice worn more sheer as well though.

...and the dupes...
(ok, with this one I got a little excited)
(Paradisco is in the permanent line)
top row: Nylon, Climate Blue(limited edition), Carbon
middle row: Ricepaper, Parfait Amour, Mont Black (limited edition)
(bottom row is Lucky Tom palette)

Surprisingly, Parfait Amour actually looks closer to Stylin' than Climate Blue does in person. However, because of the frost, it didn't really photograph similar at all in my opinion. Again, while the color grouping is nice in the palette, you can easily create a similar look with these duplicate colors.

Beauty Powder ($22.00)
Tahitian Sand
(warm, pale peach with a light sheen)
Beauty Powders have never been my favorite. They don't really deposit a lot of color, and they're really not supposed to. I use this one as a setting powder with a big fluffy brush to add a bit of brightness to my face since it's similar to my skin tone. I also use it on my cheeks, forehead and chin to add a bit of brightness. I didn't get the pink one because I have a similar pink Beauty Powder and I really don't use these that often. Honestly, the only reason I got this is because I couldn't resist the cute embossed design in the powder itself.
(The swatch isn't worth showing...it doesn't show up on my hand) :)


Beauty Powder Blush ($18.00)
Tippy
I LOVE Beauty Powder Blushes. They have the smoothest formula with soft pearl particles. None have ever disappointed me. This one is no exception. It's a very nice bright pink that would work on so many different skin tones. It can be applied sheer for lighter skin tones, however, is pigmented enough to be easily applied to darker skin as well and look great. I skipped Fun & Games which is a peachy shade, but since I love BPB's so much, I have a feeling I might pick it up soon before it sells out!



Lipstick ($14.00)
Cute-Ster (lustre)

This is really the only color that caught my eye. It's a very wearable peachy pink. It's extremely sheer and doesn't deposit much actual color, but it leaves a really nice shine and sparkle to the lips. Again, the embossed design on the actual product sucked me in! I probably would have skipped the lipsticks all together if they didn't have that little added touch.

Lipglass ($14.00)
She Loves Candy
The lipglass colors in this collection were gorgeous in the containers, but overall, I found them to be disappointing. They were really sheer, which I usually like, but they were too much like other colors I already have or I didn't care for the color. So I decided to get this one because it was pretty and pink and I really wanted at least one!


swatches:
She Loves Candy(top), Cute-Ster(bottom)


Tinted Lip Conditioner ($14.50)
Pink Fish, Popster

These were, in my opinion, the best products in the collection. Super pigmented, very moisturizing, beautiful colors. Perfect. Pink Fish is my favorite. I went back to purchase a back-up of Pink Fish, only to realize I was given Popster by mistake. But it worked out for the best because I LOVE Popster too!

swatches:
Pink Fish(top), Popster(bottom)

Nail Polish ($11.00)
On the Prowl (cream)

This is a really light gray. Nothing fancy. It's a cream formula, which means there's no shimmer or frost to it. I thought it was the most unique out of the three shades. The pink was too much like several other pinks I own and the white was just, well, white.


Makeup Bag and Petite Makeup Bag
($35.00 & $22.00)

I really wanted one of these bags so bad but never got one. When we returned from vacation, my mom surprised me and had picked them up for me! Gotta love mom's and V-day surprises. thanks mom<3

check out the cute pink satin lining...


Hello Kitty Lash ($12.00)
I love these lashes. Mostly because they are more of a half-lash style.
(Just for comparison, you can see the true size of the small makeup bag because the lashes are sitting on top of it. It's very small!)


Expect a tutorial (or 2) featuring some of these products soon!

2/10/09

MAC Lightful Deep Ultramoisture Creme : REVIEW


Lightweight, gel-like cream. Provides a moisture-locking barrier for long-lasting protection. Instantly hydrates the skin for a smoother skin surface, and helps it look more luminous over time. -maccosmetics.com


Since I'm not usually a fan of MAC's skincare products, I was a little skeptical. I've been using this for 5 days, twice a day, and bottom line...this moisturizer is amazing. From the first time I used it, I knew it was something I was going to love and I could not WAIT to share how amazing it was. But since it's a skin care product, I knew I needed to give it at least a week or two. Well, it's been 5 days, and I can't contain my love for this any longer. I'm probably the pickiest person alive when it comes to moisturizers. Espeically ones I wear during the day. I hate having that sticky or oily feeling on my face after applying a moisturizer. To me, that just means my skin didn't use it all and the rest is sitting on top of my face. This moisturizer sinks right in and really makes my skin feel comfortable without the "unused" icky layer atop my face. Although it disappears, it makes my skin feel comfortable and deeply moisturized. It feels like a gel-cream. If you've used Clinique Moisturesurge moisturizer, this is very comparable...but better. I used to use the Clinique Moisturesurge religiously. The MAC Lightful is better because it magically sinks in without the greasy after feel that the Clinique could sometimes have.
Because of the clean, smooth effect it leaves behind, it's perfect under makeup. I haven't noticed my skin looking any more "luminous" as it claims, but it has only been 5 days. It also has a really nice fresh smell.
Bottom line: If you have very dry skin, you may need more of a cream product that is a little more moisturizing. However, I think this is perfect for those with normal, combination, or oily skin types to use morning or night...or both, like I do.

2/3/09

Lush Goodies and Reviews

After a long strike, I was accidentally sucked in to Lush again. Long story short, I had a bad experience at a Lush store about a year ago and really just haven't been "wowed" by any other visits since. So on a recent trip to Macy's (driven by an unused gift card) I was sucked into the little new Lush section. I had a great experience. I found so many good things...and some great deals!

...and of course, the goods:

Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower cream Wash (8.4oz) $14.95 ...also comes in a smaller and larger size

This is the main product that drove my little Lush shopping spree. I had previously tried the Rockstar soap and loved the scent so much. Well this smells very similar to that. Passing by Lush, this little pink bottle caught my eye and I smelled it. SO glad I did. So, I decided to pick it up and I found so many other great things too! This is my favorite scent ever. The scent is hard to describe...maybe like a vanilla, honey, super sugary, strawberry...but fresh?? The product can settle, so it's a good idea to shake it gently every few times you use it. It's a little on the thin side, but leaves my skin baby soft and smelling so good.


















Love Lettuce Mask (2.6oz) $7.95

I had used a sample of this mask a few months back and loved it, but never got around to purchasing some. Since buying this one, I've used it once with great results. Since it contains no preservatives, it must be refrigerated and has the shelf life of about a month. That's why the small container is so nice. It smells a little "vegetable-y", but fresh. It's very exfoliating. When using it, I apply a generous layer to my whole face, avoiding my eye area. After 10 minutes, I rinse with warm water with my hands and lightly work the mask into my skin in circular motions to allow the almond shell bits to exfoliate my skin. However, it's not scratchy. When rinsed off, my skin feels moisturized, smooth, and so soft.




**AMAZING DEAL**
Best Wishes Set: $4.99 (Originally $19.95)

If you plan on visiting Lush soon, definitely ask them if they still have any discounted holiday sets! At 75% off, this is a great find. In the set:
Christmas Kisses Bubble Bar (Full Sized!): It smells so good...like spicy, sweet cinnamon. It's actually supposed to create a warming sensation. Instead of using it all at once, I like to break these into pieces and drop them into the bath under runng water.
Marzibain Bubble Bar (Full Sized!): mmmmm...sweet almond frosting. This smells so good, I want to eat it! Again, break it into smaller pieces to make these last longer and drop into running bath water.
Mr. Butterball Bath Bomb (Full Sized!): This bath bomb is supposed to create a creamy, vanilla scented bath that softens skin. It smells so good...like sweet, musky vanilla.




Soft Coeur Massage Bar: $8.20

Vanilla. Honey. Chocolate chunks. What more can I say? This thing smells delicious. It's exactly what it says. When rubbed on warm skin, it melts on contact (but not in your hand). Super moisturizing. Love it.





Sex in the Shower -Shower bomb (and full-sized "sample" of Double Fast Luck -Shower bomb) $3.95

LOVE THESE. Like a bath bomb for your shower. I've only used the Sex in the Shower one and it smells fantastic...like sweet vanilla and jasmine. To make one bomb last for several showers, break it up in the bag. Just bang it a few times on the bathroom counter or tile and only use a chunk or two.





(with soaps, prices vary based on amount)
A Ring of Roses- Butter Cream, Rock Star Soap, Sultana Soap


A Ring of Roses Butter Cream - a fresh, rosey smelling soap. Butter creams are like super moisturizing, creamy soaps. DON'T LEAVE THEM IN THE SHOWER!! Break or cut off the amount you need and keep it stored in the container.

With soaps, cut off a slice large enough for a few showers or baths and store the rest.
Rock Star Soap - Smells similar to the Yummy Yummy Yummy body wash. My favorite smelling soap by Lush. Makes a super thick lather. Enough lather to even use with a loofah.

Sultana Soap - Sweet smelling also, but a little more like almonds...haha, it's so hard to describe these scents! Lathers really well also.

I also got a generous sample of the Vanishing Cream for the face, however, I haven't used it yet.

Overall, I'm super happy with what I purchased. I can safely say that the strike is officially over.