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Pacifica Solar Palette Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Eyeshadow, Reviews - Be the first to comment! - May 4th, 2014

Pacifica Solar PaletteI love makeup palettes. I’m a total sucker for them. Eyeshadow palettes are great, but I really dig it when they have cheek colors too. I’ve been wanting to try out Pacifica’s new eyeshadows since I first saw them, and finally decided to pick up the limited edition Solar Palette. It’s becoming my go-to palette to take with me when I travel.

The palette contains six eyeshadows, one blush, one bronzer, and three cream highlighters. The eyeshadows include a pale color for under the brow bone, a dark color perfect for lining or use in the crease, and the other shades are great lid colors. They are well chosen to coordinate together, and work for all seasons. I use the coral, light brown, and dark brown colors the most, but they are all nicely pigmented and smooth to work with.

FaceThe blush is a really flattering color, which looks dark but goes on lighter. It’s a soft rose with a bit of golden shimmer to it. It’s not a LOT shimmery, or sparkly. It would suit a variety of skin tones. The bronzer is also quite flattering and pretty. It’s light for a bronzer, so probably wouldn’t show much on deeper skin tones. Anyone fair to medium will like it.

I don’t use the highlighters much because I usually use powder foundation and creams don’t play well on powder. They’re nice on bare skin or if you use liquid/cream foundation or a tinted moisturizer. I haven’t tried them on my lips or eyes, just as highlighters on the cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose.

EyesIn the photos I’m wearing the blush and a bit of the bronzer, as well as the coral-y, lighter brown, and pale pink eyeshadow.

At $32, it’s not the cheapest palette out there. The pricing is in line with other nicer makeup brands like Tarte, and I find the quality to be quite similar as well.

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Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Review
Complexion, Reviews - Be the first to comment! - April 28th, 2014

When I first heard that Maybelline’s Fit Me Shine Free Foundation was coming out, I was really hot and bothered to try it. It’s described as a “gel-stick” formula with an “anti-shine core.” I really had zero idea just what the heck it was going to be like based on the description, and it’s not often I come across something that seems all that new and different. The majority of stick foundations I’ve tried in the past have been very creamy – definitely not suited to an oily skin type. This new Maybelline one sound different, with its claims of being mattifying and having an “anti-shine” core. I bought it in mid-summer, and wore it through hot weather, and into fall. The verdict? Read on!

The product has a really fascinating texture. It’s not exactly gel-like, but it’s not greasy either. Smooth and blendable are the two best words for it. The coverage is light to medium coverage. I found it best for evening out my skin tone and giving a perfect “no makeup” look. The shade Classic Ivory 120 is EXACTLY PERFECT for my skin. I have to give Maybelline some serious props, because this is the third complexion product I’ve tried from them that blends with my skin tone perfectly. My preferred method of application is to put three stripes on each cheek, one stripe across my chin, one down the bridge and on each side of my nose, and two stripes on my forehead. Then I blend with my fingers.

First, the positives. Like I said, it blends out perfectly, giving a nice, even sheer coverage. Cream or gel blushes apply evenly on top (as if it were a liquid foundation). The finish is matte, although less matte than a powder. While my skin will get shiny as the day goes on, this foundation doesn’t make it worse. I personally thought it slowed the shine down better than a liquid foundation does, although not as well as a powder will. I really liked the natural finish. It wore very well through sweaty, humid weather, and didn’t fade or slide right of my face. It was a great option for a summer foundation. (I find powder foundations too heavy in summer.)

There are a few mild negatives. The product has no sunscreen, so a separate sunscreen is necessary if you want sun protection. If my moisturizer wasn’t totally dry, the foundation sometimes wanted to ball up a little bit on top. It’s not got heavy coverage, so a separate concealer is necessary for dark circles and blemishes.

Once summer was over I did go back to the Instant Age Rewind powder for work wear. I’ll use this when I want to wear a cream blush, since they play so nicely together. I also intend to take this with me for travel, since sticks travel better than powder foundation (which can break up in the compact if it gets dropped). Overall, this product got a LOT of wear from me this summer, and I definitely recommend checking it out!

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Alba Botanica Good & Clean Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Be the first to comment! - April 27th, 2014

I love a good, inexpensive facial cleanser. Bonus points if it smells good. Alba Botanica’s Good & Clean Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser fits the bill on both accounts. It’s also mildly exfoliating, and quite gentle.

The Good & Clean Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser is a hybrid type cleanser, with a creamy base and a gentle lather. I didn’t find it drying at all, which is great. It contains a blend of fruit acids to exfoliate, as well as green tea and willow bark extract. It has a strong citrus scent, which could be problematic if you’re sensitive to scent. I love it, especially in the mornings.

It takes off makeup very well, and didn’t irritate my eyes. Overall, I recommend this cleanser if you are looking for a cream cleanser but want some lather. It’s great for oily skin types, as well as normal skin. If you are dry, it might be too much. I would buy this again!

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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!

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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!

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