Tag Archives: Cosmetics

Wedding Makeup: My Top 3 Go-To Products

I recently had the opportunity to BOTH work and participate in a wedding! This has never happened to me before… Let’s just say it was a LOT of stress for me but very rewarding!

Because the schedule was tight with getting myself done too, I was only able to grab one of the girls for photos right after I made her up, but thought I would share anyway:

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A shout out of a few of my favorite wedding day stand-by’s to use when I’m working are:

The Bride’s lip color:  MAC Russian Red

The Bride’s Lashes: MAC #7

Foundations on all the girls: Temptu Airbrush

Until Next time, stay fabulous, My friends!

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Anti-Aging: A new reason why you need more than just UV protection

Fact: UV isn’t the only cause of skin aging from the sun… You need protection from IR, too.

That’s right: Just when you thought you had it the whole anti-aging thing down, science is showing we have more than UV radiation to worry about: infrared radiation (IR or IRA)

What is infrared?

IR makes up more than half of the solar spectrum. IR penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays. -This is a scary thought, because  well, deeper in the skin means more damage to the skin. img_3319

“Infrared radiation lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared waves have wavelengths longer than (the) visible … the primary source of infrared radiation is heat or thermal radiation… The higher the temperature, the more the atoms and molecules move and the more infrared radiation they produce.”

…According to California Institute of Technology’s CoolCosmos.com Read the whole article here 

IR manifests itself as heat on the skin, so when you’re outside and you’re feeling the heat, IR is doing it’s evil work on your subcutaneous layers.

So, what does this mean for your skin??

Basically, THIS: (see pic)

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IR Radiation: basically baking your skin

 

IR causes free-radical production deep in the skin, essentially cooking the skin, causing free radicals to form, creating damage, hyperpigmentation, and of course: wrinkles. See my post on Free Radicals here.

What can you do?

It takes anti-oxidants to neutralize damage, along with broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect. A couple of my fave go-to “superscreens” combine the two for you:

SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair line features cosmetically-elegant superscreens in both tinted and not-tinted versions. I love this one.


Another newer and fabulous superscreen is Obagi’s Sun Shield TINT SPF 50, providing a matte finish and two shades to choose from: Cool and Light.

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These easy-to use IR-defense products are making it easy to protect from UV and IR on a daily basis.

Check them out, give them a try this summer, and until next time: stay fabulous, my friends!

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Acne: 6 ways to Troubleshoot when you’re breaking out

Trouble-shooting causes of acne and breakouts is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a fun challenge, like trying to solve a mystery. I’ll always start by asking LOTS of questions, and keep it up until we get an ah-ha moment.

Below is a list of some of the things I ask patients about. If you’re having trouble with acne, try troubleshooting your routines and products.


1) Liquid Makeup
It’s a mean cycle: you break out, so you need to cover up. But liquids and creamy formulas can contribute to congestion, causing another breakout. Remember that oil is sticky, and in an acne scenario, dead skin cells and debris are already getting glued down with oil. Frequently, more coating on the surface can cause more congestion and breakouts.

Contrary to popular belief, there are mineral powder foundations that deliver high coverage. My faves for great coverage without contributing to acne:

Tip: Try a liquid foundation brush with these powders to lay down more opacity/ coverage where you need it. 


2) Over-Extraction

Not every blackhead or follicular deposit is going to cause issues. And that little tiny blemish won’t actually ruin your day. If you tend to break out, Hands Off!

See an esthetician for a pro extraction and ask for a conservative session. Hard truth to swallow: If you break out after a facial, (or home extraction) it might be because of over-stimulation… NOT because the skin is “purging” – an idea you’ll hear suggested from time to time. Bring post-facial-breakout feedback to your skin care pro and they can adjust appropriately for your next treatment.IMG_9357

Tip: The use of Tretinoin, retinol, or another treatment product recommended by your doctor or esthetician can act as a pre-treatment and make extractions easier on you… and your facialist.


3) Benzoyl Peroxide and Spot Treating:

Benzoyl Peroxide is a great acne treatment. However, it works as a preventative by killing off pimples in the early stage. (Zits can take up to 90 days to form). Sometimes we feel like it helps as a spot treatment because it can be drying to an acne lesion, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not applying it all over. My favorite BPO is in the Obagi Clenziderm System because it’s a solubilized BPO, not a micro-crystal (like other BPO). It’s 1/10,000th the size of a standard BPO crystal – this means it penetrates most effectively into the follicle. Give it a try!


4) Bar Soap:

I’ve never met a bar of soap that I liked. Picture a bar of soap: waxy and skin-coating, dry-looking, or simply sitting in a little pool of water getting mushy: whatever it is, we just don’t get along- and neither should you.

Two things about bar soap:

1) Just to physically get it into bar-form, the pH here has to be higher than other formulations like creams, gels, or liquids. This means that they can be more drying. Lets not freak out your skin any more than we need to.

2) Bacteria likes to live on bars of soap. Doctors don’t seem too concerned with this from a disease-proliferating perspective (washing your hands with bar soap seems to be fine), but if we’re trouble-shooting, we’re trouble-shooting. I say, use a liquid, non-soap cleanser instead.


5) Use of Topical Vitamin C:

Topical Vitamin C’s are great as a brightening product and anti-aging measure, but you should avoid this one when troubleshooting breakouts. In my experience, vitamin C’s are not always acne-friendly and are not often recommended for those who break out easily.

That being said, Vitamin C’s are great to lighten acne marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH) from old breakouts.  If you currently have active acne, get your breakouts under control first, and then consider choosing a formula meant for all or oily skin types. I prefer Phloretin CF for oily types. 


6) Makeup Sponges

If you’re breaking out, ditch the sponges – they harbor bacteria. If you are currently in the sponge club, really, try brushes! You can get much better coverage and get much more mileage out of your makeup. Just be sure to clean them regularly.

My favorite brush cleaners are:

IMG_9322Tip:  If you HAVE to use a sponge, grab a bag of disposable wedges, snip them in half (so you get double the use) and throw them out EACH TIME you use them.


If you’ve exhausted these possibilities and you’re still having trouble, see your dermatologist. They will troubleshoot further and might look at additional factors like hormones.  They might also prescribe a topical or oral medication as well.

Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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Look Good, Feel Better!

It’s that feeling you get when you’re having an awesome hair day. Or, maybe when you have some fresh Botox cosmetic. You’re feeling good, and maybe there’s a little spring in your step… This is the feeling that can be hard to come by and sometimes fleeting when you are undergoing cancer treatment.

Licensed cosmetologists and aestheticians can apply and become certified to lead American Cancer Society’s Look Good, Feel Better patient workshops. Workshops are free to participants, and provide free cosmetics, skin care products, and wig styling and head-wrap techniques to help women look good and feel better during a tough time.

Here’s me today, just finishing up a workshop for another great bunch of beauties at Elmhurst Hospital.
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Here’s the website for the program:
http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs/programs-for-women
Pass the info along, if you or someone you know is interested in volunteering for or participating in a workshop!

Click here to view another one of my posts on LGFB

And until next time, stay fabulous, my friends!

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Good Buys for the Beauty on a Budget: Coal Liner is Better than Coal

As a Beauty on a Budget myself, I know the value of a good Beauty Buy. When shopping at the Target in North Scottsdale, my mom and I noticed a number of cutie-pie ELF gift sets.

WAIT: Are you kinda wondering why ELF made my blog post, AGAIN? Because there are plenty of Just-Okay-Grocery-Store-Cosmetics out there, but they all cost a heck of a lot more. In fact, if I am buying a lip gloss from a display at Walgreens (without being able to see it outside of the package via a tester, or hear a firsthand description of the product from an attentive sales person) I feel like it needs to cost like, I dunno, $5 or less? Am I the only one who feels this way? I have seen OTC products and grocery store cosmetics exceed $39 (and higher!). Come on, guys. We are buying this item from a shelf-talker in a neon-lit convenience store. Make the price convenient, too! ELF cosmetics offer some pretty-okay cosmetic products at the price-point I feel they SHOULD be offered for. So that’s why ELF, in case you were wondering. Sorry, I digress….

Okay, here are the two winners (In my opinion) that are especially good values in the ELF Holiday Department:

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Full Disclosure: At the time I am writing this, I haven’t tried the Brightening Eyeliner Pencil OR the Shimmer Eyeliner. But I HAVE tried the waterproof eyeliner pen and it’s actually pretty good! $3 good? Sure! So I figured the other two items are simply a bonus and hey, they could be good!IMG_3002Here’s another good one, $3 for 3 pairs of lashes. I haven’t tried the glue, so I can’t speak for it yet, but I figured this: Ardell (our usual drug-store-Go-To lashes) are getting up there in price these days! For $1 a set, I figured we can’t lose here… so once again, the extra item here is kind of a bonus. And at the VERY least, these cutie little kits make great stocking stuffers. So, if you’re plum out of ideas (especially if you happen to be a Beauty on a Budget) I think ELF gift sets could be a good risk! (Coal eyeliner= better than coal!) =)

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Product Review: Tensage Radiance Eye Cream SCA 10

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a type of snail which has evolved to heal itself with it’s own secreted Glycoproteins and growth factors, is the source for this concentrated anti-aging eye cream. SCA is used both for post-procedure (when you REALLY have to kick up the healing process) and to heal sun-damaged or aged skin in a daily home-care regimen. This particular product is a light/medium consistency slightly-tinted eye cream.

Biopelle’s Website says this product:

  • is tinted for a more even skin tone
  • contains antioxidant and growth factor properties
  • delivers a firming and tightening effect
  • continuously hydrates the area around the eye

Get ready to be IMPRESSED

This product actually smoothes and evens tone… I couldn’t believe my eyes! ;)

Appropriate for who?:

Those who are concerned with anti-aging or preventative maintenance, those who like a lighter consistency, & those who have uneven skin tone under their eyes.

NOT so good for:

Those with very, very crepey, very wrinkled, or SUPER excessively dry eye-areas. I don’t believe that the light consistency would cut-it for these patients, and they may not desire the tint in the formulation.

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

My favorite part has got to be the tint- which I have to admit, I did not feel like I needed. I have very thin skin, but thankfully not much darkness or blue-ish tint from underlying vessels at all. Yet, I love it! The tint makes the whole area look more even and smooth, but isn’t heavy or makeup-like in consistency.

Just OK: n/a! I love it.

Needs work: n/a!

Star Rating:

★★★★4 Stars:  Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:

-This is Biopelle’s most popular ‘fly’s off the shelf’ product in the Tensage line. I can see why after using it!

-Check out my Post on Biopelle’s Tensage SCA technology here

Yes, it's tinted. You are right to be impressed.

Yes, it’s tinted. You are right to be impressed.

Bottom Line:

This product feels like it tightens and smoothes after just using it once, and who doesn’t love a bit of instant gratification? With prolonged use (I’m using it twice a day), I’m seeing some brightening and hydration.

While I still love the technology behind the highly concentrated HUMAN growth factor in TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum, this natural growth factor offers a different approach… with a fun-to-use, cosmetically elegant edge.

Well done AGAIN, little snails! We thank you!

STAR RATING KEY:

★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

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Product Review: Tensage SCA 3 Soothing Cream Moisturizer

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a type of snail which has evolved to heal itself with it’s own secreted Glycoproteins and growth factors, is the source for the anti-aging element of this moisturizer. SCA is used both for post-procedure (when you REALLY have to kick up the healing process) and to heal sun-damaged or aged skin in a daily home-care regimen. This growth factor promotes healing and skin health.

This particular product is a light weight, yet potent moisturizer which contains SCA.

Nicely designed packaging makes you want to dive right in!

Nicely designed packaging makes you want to dive right in!

Appropriate for who?:

Acne patients (or those who break out easily), those who are concerned with anti-aging or preventative maintenance, and/or who may be healing from a procedure. This product is great for dry skin, normal skin, combination, mature, and reactive/sensitive skin types. 

NOT so good for:

Very, Very, Dry skin, those who desire SPF in their moisturizer, or those who want a more decadent consistency. (These particular people would try the Tensage SCA 6)

Here's my attempt to demonstrate the light/medium-light consistency

Here’s my attempt to demonstrate the light/medium-light consistency

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

This moisturizer has a non-greasy finish and seems to pack a serious punch of potent moisture. I have dry skin, but break out easily… so I am always paranoid of products that build up on the skin or cause congestion… this is not one of them. It also made me feel like my old breakouts were healing faster.

It absorbs completely, but if a creamier SPF is applied on top, (I applied PRESCRIBEDsolutions Up the Anti Oil free SPF 30 during the day) you’ll retain a dewey, glowing look and feel, which I liked. Not unlike the Tensage Intensive Serum, it feels like it brightens and smoothes after using it once.

Just OK: Wishing it was in a pump. (it’s in a nice-looking jar)

Needs work: n/a!

Star Rating:

★★★3 Stars:  Really nice product, I’d buy it

I'm dry! WAIT: I Break out! WAIT: I can be sensitive! This is for you guys, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!

I’m dry! WAIT: I Break out! WAIT: I can be sensitive!
This is for you guys, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!

Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:

-A little goes a long way.

-If you plan to use this when healing from a procedure, ask your practitioner how they’d like to see you use it. Rumor: layering it on ‘like cake frosting’ after a chemical peel (or other procedure), allowing most to absorb, and then smoothing out the excess is a great way to calm and hydrate.

-Check out my Post on Biopelle’s Tensage SCA technology here

Bottom Line:

Thank GOODNESS that those of us with adult acne (or prone to congestion) have an anti-aging moisturizer that won’t cause breakouts! YES!

While I still love the technology behind the highly concentrated HUMAN growth factor in TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum, this natural growth factor offers a different approach… with a fun-to-use, cosmetically elegant edge.

Well done, little snails! Once again, we thank you!

STAR RATING KEY:

★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

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Product Review: 4 stars: Tensage SCA Intensive Serum 40

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a type of snail which has evolved to heal itself with it’s own secreted Glycoproteins and growth factors, is the source for this concentrated anti-aging serum. SCA is used both for post-procedure (when you REALLY have to kick up the healing process) and to heal sun-damaged or aged skin in a daily home-care regimen. This particular product is in ampoule-form, and contains the highest concentration of SCA. Used either daily for 7 days and then one time per week, or once in-office followed by 3 days in a row (then weekly after that), this growth factor promotes healing and skin health. Additional benefits include:

  • Helping to repair skin damage caused by environmental smoke and toxins
  • Helping skin recover from the effects of sun damage
  • Helping skin heal after laser and aesthetic treatments
  • When you just have to look REALLY GOOD: Use this cosmetically elegant treatment Serum 1-2 times a day the week before your upcoming event – this glorious Serum provides a beautiful, brightening and smoothing effect – perfect to prep for a special occasion or event!
The stuff dreams are made of. Thanks little Aspersa!

The stuff dreams are made of. Thanks little Aspersa!

Appropriate for who?:

Those who are concerned with anti-aging or preventative maintenance, those who may be healing from a procedure, dry skin, mature skin

NOT so good for:

Very, very reactive/sensitive skin types may detect tingling when this product is applied. Anyone who experiences irritation should call their skin care provider.

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

This serum feels like an in-office treatment… but you can have it at home whenever you want! I love this after a dermaplaning! Although it’s got an elegant serum-consistency, it absorbs completely and does not make me feel oily or break out. It feels like it brightens and smoothes after using it once.

Just OK: n/a! I love it.

Needs work: n/a!

Star Rating:

★★★★4 Stars:  Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

Here I'm attemting to demonstrate the consistency... a little hard to see, but there were no snails around at the time!

Here I’m attempting to demonstrate the consistency. A little hard to see, but there were no snails around at the time who I could borrow…

Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:

-Depending on how dry I am when I apply it, I can feel a brief tingle or warmth sensation. It only lasts for a moment, and doesn’t bother me. I understand this to be the vehicle, which then evaporates.

-The ampoules can be used in several different ways, ask your skin care professional in what intervals they recommend using it.

-Check out my Post on Biopelle’s Tensage SCA technology here

Bottom Line:

While I still love the technology behind the highly concentrated HUMAN growth factor in TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum, this natural growth factor offers a different approach… with a fun-to-use, cosmetically elegant edge.

As far as it feels, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Others who have tried it agree. And who doesn’t love a little instant gratification, backed with some good anti-aging science??

Well done, little snails! We thank you!

STAR RATING KEY:

★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

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MAC recycles and you get FREE lipstick: Win/Win

Ok, I know for those of you in-the-know, this is super basic info… But I just HAD to put it out there for those who may not know. It’s not fair to keep things like this to yourself (shame on us!!), and I don’t know that I’ve EVER seen it advertised, have you??

Did you know that MAC will take your empty makeup products and recycle them? (They call it the Back to MAC program) A sales associate in the store told me that they make playground equipment with it. Fascinating! And even I, theproductpro, didn’t know about this for a number of years. waaaaaah?

As an incentive: for every 6 pieces makeup packaging that you recycle, MAC will let you pick a lipstick (or eyeshadow, depending on whether you do this at a store location vs online) of your choice FOR FREE*!

*The exception is the VIVA GLAM line, (All proceeds from VIVA GLAM sales go toward helping women, men and children living with/affected by HIV and AIDS).

The most helpful thing about this in my opinion: 

If you have OLD products (yes, its time to let them go) or colors that you just aren’t nuts about: recycle those bad boys and breathe some new life into your collection with FREE PRODUCT! Yeah!!

On the website, MAC’s own ‘Primary Packaging’ is accepted, including:

Empty Compacts

Tubes (lipglass, lipstick, liquid liner, paint tubes, etc.)

Empty mascaras

Empty foundation tubes, bottles, and jars

Here's my recycle haul

Here’s my recycle haul… FREE lipstick: here I come!!

HOWEVER, the girls at the location near me say this (and you didn’t hear it from me!): You can bring in anything that involves plastic.

They tell me that this INCLUDES the empty makeup remover wipes package AND empty Lash containers.

My response to this was: “Do you have any idea how many of these I have thrown out over the years??” waaaaaahhh!

…So if you weren’t before, now you too are empowered with this knowledge. Enjoy that. And your free lipstick!

Until next time, Stay Fabulous My friends!

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Tutorial: Let your eye-shadows run free!!!! …in 7 Easy Steps

Why would you want to de-pot your eyeshadows (and blush/bronzer etc) from the packaging, you ask? Why WOULDN’T you?: This way you can put them all in one place, and make your life much easier! …Well, at least where makeup is involved…

Many products are offered in “pro” pans, without the packaging… but many are not. This is especially true in the case of limited edition products, or items from another brand that you’d like to combine with your pro pans in a palette.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial of how I de-potted my MAC products:

You’ll need: Parchment Paper, a flat iron, a pointy knife or screwdriver, an exact-o knife, rubbing alcohol, and craft magnets with an adhesive backing

Step One: I used a cheap IKEA knife to CAREFULLY pop the pan out of the packaging. The seam is hard to see at first. Be careful not to accidentally throw your shadow across the room!

EEEEK: don’t shoot your eye out, kid!

Here’s what the pieces look like separated:

Here are the two pieces separated

Step 2: Place the parchment paper over the flat iron (or other comparable heat source) Mine was set on 145 degrees, which is about MEDIUM. Place the pieces onto the paper so the heat can start to soften the glue (as pictured here)

IMG_1359

Too Hot to Hold: be careful, now!

Step 3: After about a minute or so, remove the lower packaging from the heat. The label’s adhesive will now be soft, so you can easily remove it. Set it aside.

Step 3

Yes, I label EVERYTHING

Don’t throw that label away now, ya hear!?!

Step 4: After about another minute or two, you can carefully remove the shadow pan from the heat. Very CAREFULLY wiggle your x-acto blade between the pan and the plastic. The glue should be soft, and the pan should come out easily. If not, give it another minute or so on the iron.

Step 4

God bless the label-maker.

Step 5: Be careful not to burn yourself, the metal is hot when it first comes out of the packaging. After a brief cool-down, clean the old adhesive off of back of the pan (when it’s still a little warm is the easiest!) with your rubbing alcohol. You are now ready to apply your magnet.

Step 5

Don’t Burn, baby, burn: (let the metal cool for a sec before touching it!)

I found these pre-cut adhesive magnets in the craft section at Hobby Lobby:

It JUST CAN’T get any easier than this!!

Step 6: Almost there! Put that little magnet on the back of your pan. By the way, check to see if your empty palette is just plain metal, or if it’s already magnetized… you could possibly skip this step!

Step 6

WAIT for it…….!!!

Step 7: Seems a little overkill-ish, but you’ll be happy when you run out of that color and want to get more!! Apply your label onto the back of the magnet. There should be enough left-over adhesive on there to stick it right on.

Step 7

Awwwww, Label and Magnet: a match made in heaven.

Woooo-hoooo! Now you can pop those pans into your palette and hit the road! Want to know how to make your palette look like mine? Check out my post on cracking your palette here!

Step 7

Pop those pans into your palette and hit the road!
By the way: I learned this trick via you-tube vids. Petrilude‘s vid is BY FAR my favorite one out there! Click on his name above for the link to his video^ if you’d like to watch this in action!
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