Topics
Search Website
Memberships

www.totalbeauty.com


Blogs We Love
About Pages
Tags
Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 27th, 2013

Whoa, is that name long enough? ANYWAY. Olay is trying to get in the game with younger consumers with their Fresh Effects line of products. The Fresh Effects BB Cream Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen seeks to capitalize on the BB cream trend, while also calling itself a tinted moisturizer. Influenster sent me a tube to try out. Here are my thoughts…

First, I haven’t tried a true Asian BB cream. Everyone I know who has says this Olay product ain’t even close. So let’s just get that out of the way. My review is based on my experience with this product only, so let’s just forget about the whole BB cream name. Feel free to go yell at Olay for co-opting the BB cream trend.

In Western makeupland, tinted moisturizer generally refers to a sheer foundation type product, which in my experience, isn’t very moisturizing. This Olay product also isn’t a tinted moisturizer, as those things go. It’s basically a moisturizer with tint. It’s quite moisturizing, and the tint is sheer.

I like this product quite a bit, for what it is. I don’t need a separate moisturizer with this, and I like the sheer tint it provides when I don’t want to wear makeup but want my complexion to look more even. I think it would be perfect for anyone who doesn’t usually wear foundation, but maybe wants to have a little bit of of complexion enhancement. It’s not great for oil control – I do get a bit shiny with this moisturizer, but not any worse than any other moisturizer. Expect to blot if you have oily skin, or maybe use a mattifying powder for extra oil control. It also has a pretty strong floral-y scent to it that I don’t love. It has SPF 15, which is decent if you aren’t planning on spending a lot of time outdoors. It contains niacinamide, which is a great anti-aging ingredient.

Overall, this is a good product, if you want a complexion enhancing moisturizer with sunscreen. I’ll be finishing the tube. I don’t love it enough as a moisturizer to want to use it as my daily moisturizer under makeup, although it looks okay under the powder foundation I usually wear. For that reason, I probably wouldn’t buy this product (I just mix a dab of Lush Colour Supplement in with my usual moisturizer if I want some tint). The market for this product is younger women who aren’t into heavy foundation – and I think it’s probably excellent for them!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Freeman Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 19th, 2013

After trying the Avocado & Oatmeal mask, I decided I needed to branch out and try some more Freeman masks. I picked the Chocolate & Strawberry Facial Clay Mask, because I figured it would probably smell good – and I was right!

The Chocolate & Strawberry mask contains cocoa and strawberry extracts, kaolin clay, shea butter, and cocoa butter. It’s got the oil-absorbing and purifying qualities of the clay, but it’s also not super drying thanks to the butters. It smells chocolate-y, as promised. Don’t leave this in reach of little kids – it smells like food! My face feels soft and smooth after use. The directions say it’s good for normal to dry skin, but if your skin is quite dry, I wouldn’t use it. Oily to normal to slightly dry skin? Perfect. I like clay masks because they seem to reduce how oily my skin feels, without completely stripping my face (which is counter-productive). Clays are deep cleansing and the minerals are good for your skin.

If you are in the market for a nice clay mask that’s ridiculously affordable, this one is worth checking out. Two thumbs up.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
5 Things: Facial Cleansers
5 Things, Complexion, Skin Care - Be the first to comment! - October 15th, 2013

Facial cleansers fall into the category of things which I want to blog about, but things which don’t usually merit an entire dedicated review to each one. I mean, when it comes to cleansers, either they get your face clean or they don’t. Either they’re too drying or they’re not. That’s pretty much my criteria when it comes to cleansers. Bonus if they remove eye makeup. It seemed like facial cleansers were the perfect subject for a new 5 Things post. Without further ado, here are five cleansers that I deemed acceptable.

1. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. This gentle cleanser cleans well, doesn’t strip the skin, and gets most eye makeup off. It rinshes easily, and there isn’t much scent. I especially like to travel with this one. It’s not especially lather-y, so a decent choice for dryer skins.

2. Eclos Anti-Aging Facial Cleanser. Cleans? Check. Doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry? Check. Removes eye makeup? Mostly check. (Mascara is stubborn.) I like the pump for ease of use. This one is more lathery than the Fresh one.

3. L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam. Cleans? Yes. Dryness? No. Removes eye makeup? Not really. I love the foamy texture of this one, and it’s my other travel standby because the travel size bottles are just SO HANDY.

4. Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash. Cleans? Yup. Dryness? Nope. Removes eye makeup? Better than the others. Bonus points: smells like coconut and Pacifica is a local company to me. I like this one a lot.

5. Lush Let The Good Times Roll. Cleans? Pretty good. Dryness? No. Removes eye makeup? Not a chance. Bonus: smells A-MAY-ZING and it’s gently exfoliating. I actually reviewed this last year, but I’m mentioning it again because Lush just made it a permanent part of the line! Woohoo!!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Origins GinZing Moisturizer Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 11th, 2013

After I got totally hooked on Origins’ GinZing Eye Cream, I tried a sample of their (then) new GinZing Moisturizer. I was pretty much sold on it after one try. As moisturizers go, it’s pretty fab.

The GinZing line is Origins’ “radiance” line, which usually translates into skincare for folks in their early 30′s. It’s advertised as being like a shot of espresso for your skin, and contains ginseng and coffee bean. It has a really lightweight texture, what I tend to think of as a cream-gel texture. It’s recommended for all skin types.

What I like about it is that it provides an adequate level of moisture for my oil-rich skin, without being greasy or heavy. I loooove the lightweight texture! That it has a bright and refreshing citrus aroma is a total bonus. At $26.50 for a 1.7 oz. jar, it’s definitely on the low end price-wise for a department store brand.

If you are looking for a lightweight moisturizer (that’s still pretty hydrating), it’s worth checking out Origins’ GinZing. I give it two thumbs up.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Andalou Naturals Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Reviews, Skin Care - Be the first to comment! - May 31st, 2013

I like lemon-scented stuff. I think I’ve mentioned this a time or two before… I’ve been in the market for a new cleanser to use in the mornings, so I picked up Andalou Naturals’ Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser to try because it smelled good. Also, it has nice stuff in it. But mostly, it smells good. (My new status as an actual esthetician compels me to tell you that you shouldn’t pick skincare based on smell. LOL.)

The Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser is a unique hybrid between a milky or lotion-type cleanser and one that lathers. It has the emollient qualities of a milky cleanser but it also contains a mild detergent that provides a light lather. It’s great for normal to combination skin, since it cleans but doesn’t overdry the skin. It contains antioxidants like white tea and vitamin c, as well as citrus extracts and sunflower oil. My face feels soft and clean, but not that uncomfortable squeaky clean feeling you get from products that strip the skin. It’s definitely a very gentle cleanser, in my opinion. It smells very lemon-y. I like the bright and cheerful scent in the morning, which was what sold me on this cleanser.

I use it in the shower in the morning, but I’ve also used it at night just to test it out. It removed my face makeup, although I would use a separate eye makeup remover if you’re wearing a lot of eye makeup. It left some mascara residue behind.

It’s on the high end of what I consider an acceptable price for a cleanser, at $12.95 for 6 oz. However, a little really goes a looooong ways – I find a whole pump is too much product, so I only use about half a pump at a time. At that rate, this bottle is going to last a while. Overall, I definitely recommend this for normal to combination skin types. Two thumbs up!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer Review
Complexion, Reviews - Comments (1) - May 19th, 2013

Was that title long enough for you? LOL. Keywords, yo, it’s all about keywords. Okay, enough snark! Maybelline has REALLY been impressing me with their products, lately, and I’m not easy to impress. After having such a positive experience with the Instant Age Rewind The Perfector Powder, I decided to really go crazy and check out the concealer specifically for dark circles. (They also have one more geared towards concealing hyperpigmentation on the face, but dark circles are my particular bane.) The verdict? SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES!!!

A little back story – I used Benefit’s Erase Paste for a long time, during the phase where I was addicted to wearing tinted moisturizer every day. Then I got hoooked on powder mineral makeup, which didn’t play all that nicely with a concealer as creamy as Erase Paste. I got in the habit of using a concealer brush dipped in mineral foundation to conceal my dark circles and blemishes, which worked quite well (for the most part). As long as I used eye cream, it didn’t make my eye area looked dried out. Now that I’m mostly using a pressed powder foundation (with occasional forays into liquid foundation, as I use up my beloved Chanel Pro Lumiere), I decided it was about time to try a liquid/cream concealer again.

The Eraser comes in a glass tube with a funky twist-up dispenser and a fuzzy puff applicator thing. (That’s a technical term.) You click it a few times (two clicks for both eyes seems to work), it pushes product into the fuzzy puff applicator thing and you swiped it where you need it. On the pro side, the fuzzy puff applicator thing does a pretty nice job of applying the product evenly and with a nice airbrushed-looking appearance. A pat or two with a finger, et voila! Dark circles (and other blemishes) are concealed! I’ve used it both before and after applying my foundation (even though applying after breaks the no liquids after powder rule, thhhpt to rules) and it looks great both ways. The formula FEELS GOOD on my skin. It’s hydrating, but not greasy, doesn’t settle into my fine lines or eye creases, and wears well. It has good coverage. It’s not a full bullet-proof coverage, but for everyday use I prefer to just camoflage my dark circles rather than attempt all-out obliteration. It looks more natural. So, I really, really like the “looks like skin” finish of this concealer. It photographs pretty well too.

On the con side, the fuzzy puff applicator thing isn’t the most hygienic thing in the world. You can’t remove it and wash it. The directions recommend wiping it off with a dry tissue after use to remove excess product. Umm, okay. Supposedly it’s treated with some kind of anti-bacterial magic, and it’s not like I’m licking it or something. Probably, washing it would introduce more bacteria than just leaving it alone (since bacteria really looooove water and wet things, I imagine getting it really wet would just make it a nice germ home). I’m not a huge bacteria-phobe, but it’s worth mentioning in case you are. The applicator also means it’s not friendly for pro makeup artist use – it’s really difficult to get the product off the applicator and onto a concealer brush for a truly hygienic application on a model. Since that’s not a concern for most people, it’s not a big deal. It’s too bad though, the stuff photographs nicely but it’s too much of a pain in the ass for me to want to use it in my kit.

It’s been a long time since a concealer impressed me, and I’m pretty darned impressed with this one. It does what I want it to, at a very budget-friendly price. I give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Reviews - Comments (1) - May 4th, 2013

I used up my Mychelle Dermaceuticals Perfect C Serum and was feeling a little too poor to spring for another one, so I picked up Mad Hippie’s Exfoliating Serum to try instead, as it’s a slightly cheaper. Mad Hippie is a company whose ads I’ve seen popping up here and there, and I liked what I saw on the ingredient list, so I figured it was worth a try. So far, so good!

The Exfoliating Serum is meant to be used at night, every other day or every day if your skin isn’t sensitive. It comes in a brown glass bottle with a dropper – I prefer pump packaging, since you’re exposing the product to air and light every time you open the bottle, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. It’s just important to keep in mind the anti-oxidants will lose potency over time with exposure so it’s best to use it regularly and use it up in a timely fashion.

It contains a veritable SLEW of stuff – vitamin c, glycolic acid, antioxidants like goji berry extract, a skin brightening botanical blend, ceramides, vitamin b, and so on. It doesn’t contain parabens, synthetic color, or synthetic fragrance. It doesn’t have much of a scent at all, really.

I can feel a slight tingle when I put it on, but it’s not uncomfortable at all. The directions indicate applying the product to cleansed skin, and then putting moisturizer over. I have to admit, I’m kind of bad at remembering to put moisturizer on, since I usually wash my face, apply the serum, and fall into bed. My skin still feels happy and not dry in the morning, so I don’t think this is the end of the world.

It’s not the best time for conducting skin care experiments, since I’m still getting facials at school on an almost weekly basis. My skin looks pretty good. I can say that this product hasn’t caused any bad reactions or breakouts for my face. It’ll be interesting to see if my face continues to look great after I’m done with school…

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with Mad Hippie’s Exfoliating Serum. It’s a pretty good price ($34.99) for a product that has a LOT of active ingredients in it. As with all things that contain glycolic or a high percentage of actives, if you’re sensitive, you might want to purchase from a place that allows returns in case of a bad reaction. I’m quite pleased with the product, and would consider trying other products from the line.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Annmarie Gianni Skincare Repair Serum Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Reviews, Skin Care - Be the first to comment! - April 3rd, 2013

Annmarie Gianni Skincare sent me a sample of their newest skincare product to try out – the new Repair Serum! I love that the brand uses natural ingredients to improve your skin – that really work! The new Repair Serum is formulated to build collagen, repair itself and prevent aging, using vegan stem cells derived from oranges.

From the website:

This active blend of stem cells, along with Superoxide dismutase (SOD) — a powerful antioxidant — will make a noticeable difference in aging skin when used continuously over the course of 30-40 days. This serum is high in Vitamin C and has the essential oils of Lavender and Sandalwood, which are skin-lightening and balancing.

So, what’s the scoop? I used the serum under my moisturizer each night, and after 30 days I did notice an improvement in my skin. My skin felt really smooth and seemed brighter after use. The product absorbs nicely, and doesn’t feel oily. I didn’t experience any breakouts from it, either. It does have a strong scent from the sandalwood and lavender, but I found it quite pleasant.

I think the serum would be a great choice for anyone looking for an anti-aging serum with lots of high-quality natural ingredients. I give it two thumbs up!

Disclosure: Editorial Sample Provided For Review

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon