Topics
Search Website
Memberships

www.totalbeauty.com


Blogs We Love
About Pages
Tags
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 - Comments Off - 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

 
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind The Perfector Powder Review
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Reviews - Comments (8) - February 11th, 2013

So, this was originally an EOTD post, but yeah. The eyeshadows have mostly been discontinued, so while it turned out super fabulous, it was going to be a terrible EOTD post from a blog perspective. Instead, you’re going to get a review on Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind The Perfector Powder. I’ve been meaning to review this for about a month now, but just haven’t gotten to it. So, here it is!

I love pressed powder foundation, but it’s been years since I tried a drugstore version. Way back in the day, like, seven or eight years way back, I wore Prestige’s Wet/Dry Foundation. It was actually pretty good, and I went through two compacts of it before switching to something else – mostly because it got hard to find. I haven’t used a drugstore powder foundation since then. I was doubtful about this new Maybelline one, but I really couldn’t resist.

The powder comes with a “primer” built in – it is, I presume, the white swirl in the powder. Once you open it and swipe it, it becomes apparent that the swirl IS something different from the pigmented part of the powder, as it has a slightly different texture. Swiping the included foam sponge across the surface will pick up an even amount of both, and it applies to the skin without any weirdness from the white part. The overall texture on my skin is lovely. I LOVE THIS POWDER. LOVE IT.

It has a medium coverage when applied with the included foam sponge. It evens out my skin tone, provides ample coverage for my taste (I like the medium coverage, I don’t need it to be bulletproof), and doesn’t settle into fine lines. This is a HUGE deal for me. I have a different (much more expensive) brand of compact powder foundation to review that does settle into lines, which is why this Maybelline one is now my go-to product. (Mr. Expensive Formula has become my carry-along-for-touchups product.) Even when applied with a concealer brush, the Maybelline formula really doesn’t offer as much coverage as I want for concealing, however. I use what’s left of the mineral foundation I was using (now discontinued, boo hiss, and the reason I needed a new foundation) to conceal, and get the coverage I want. Mr. Expensive Formula works nicely as concealer as well.

I kind of want to just summarize this product as “I LOVE IT GO BUY IT” but that doesn’t give you much info. Besides the not settling into lines thing, The Perfector Powder also wears quite well. It really doesn’t fade, and does provide an adequate level of oil control, what you’d expect from a powder. I’m using the second lightest shade, Light 02, which is a great match for my skin. It doesn’t oxidize orange-y. The texture is very silky and lovely. One caveat – the finish is on the sparkly side. It advertises that it “adds a touch of radiance for a younger looking skin instantly,” and that means some sparkles. Some people are not going to like the bit of disco-ball effect it gives the skin. I personally am all about the sparkles, so it’s cool. But it’s something to keep in mind before purchasing.

Like I said, it comes with a foam sponge, which works just fine for applying a medium coverage layer. It also looks nice if you use a chubby brush like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply it – which I like to do around the nose and chin. The compact has a secret compartment for the sponge, as well as a mirror tucked in there.

So, the pluses – relatively inexpensive (under ten bucks), looks great, wears well, love the sparkles, love the sponge applicator, love the texture. The minuses – it sparkles. I’m in love, and giving it two thumbs up.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
New Pacifica Pefume Products: Cosmetics!
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Hot Lips, Makeup Fun - Comments (2) - February 5th, 2013

Whoa! Stop the train! Pacifica, a Portland-based company that makes perfumes I really enjoy, is offering an expansion of their color cosmetics, as well as some skin care products. Neat-o! I’ve heard a rumour that you can find some of these things at Target, so I’ll be checking that out in the coming weeks. Look at the pretties!

This Enlighten eyeshadow quad looks nice. $14 isn’t a bad price, either, if the quality is nice. The colors look really pretty, a nice multi-use palette – I love these for travel.

I’ll have to look at the ingredients before I’d commit to buying, but I’m really interested in the Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream. As long as it’s not too emollient, it sounds like a nice tinted-moisturizer type product for summer wear. I wish it had sunscreen, but can’t have everything…

The Radiant Shimmer Coconut Multiples look awesome for lips and face! This one is really calling my name.

There is a face wash, a face moisturizer, and face wipes that are new too. I love the packaging, it’s well done! Hopefully these products will turn up locally at places where other Pacifica products are sold, and I’ll definitely be scoping out Targets to see if I can find them!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Queen Helene Oatmeal ‘n Honey Natural Facial Scrub Review
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - January 31st, 2013

I love face scrubs. I’m kind of an addict, since I always want to try new ones. Queen Helen Oatmeal ‘n Honey Natural Facial Scrub is inexpensive, smells nice, and works well. I’m pretty pleased!

The Oatmeal ‘n Honey Natural Facial scrub uses walnut shell powder to get the scrubbing done, and also contains oatmeal and honey (shock!). Unlike some scrubs that use walnut shell powder, this one is pretty fine and doesn’t seem too rough. It doesn’t leave my face with that thoroughly scrubbed feeling I get from a silica-based scrub, but it gets the job done. It does have a little bit of foaming action to it, but it’s not overly drying. My face feels soft and clean when I’m finished.

The scent is kind of sweet, and vaguely bread-like. It’s quite pleasant. Overall, I like to use this in the shower once or twice a week. It’s really inexpensive, four or five bucks a tube, depending on where you shop. For a cheap thrill, I give it two thumbs up.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Murad Overnight Soothing Gel Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments (1) - December 18th, 2012

The timing on this couldn’t have been more perfect. This tube of Murad Overnight Soothing Gel arrived just as I was in the midst of the December Plague of 2012, and my face was really unhappy. My nose was all red and irritated (even with the best Kleenex), AND little tiny pimples kept popping up through the irritation. The rest of my face wasn’t very happy either, since my skin kind of freaks out when I’m sick. Overnight Soothing Gel to the rescue!!

Overnight Soothing Gel is a night-time treatment meant to soothe on contact and continue to help improve redness and irritation throughout the night. It’s for acne-prone skin specifically. Murad says:

Murad Overnight Soothing Gel is an acne treatment mask that works overnight to reduce the appearance of breakout-related redness and flushing. In addition to diminishing redness and irritation from acne breakouts, Murad Overnight Soothing Gel also works as a solution for redness caused by sunburn and irritation from skin care products or treatments.

It contains botanical ingredients chosen for their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as some minty extracts that provide a cooling effect. You apply a thin layer over your face after cleansing, and leave it on overnight, washing it off in the morning. It’s used in place of a moisturizer. I was worried that it might sting my irritated skin, but it really didn’t. If your skin is REALLY raw, it might be a little sting-y. The cooling effect felt really good, and overall I did notice an improvement after two treatments. (You can use it 2-3 times a week.) In addition, it really seems to help with healing up blemishes. Those tiny little pimples I get on my nose are crazy painful for how small they are (also ones between my lips and my nose, MAN THOSE HURT), and the pain and redness was both quite diminished the next morning after using this.

I’m totally sold on this stuff. It’s splurge-worthy, in my book. I use a generous pea-sized amount for my whole face, and it seems like the tube will last for probably 3-4 months using it twice a week at that rate. That’s not too shabby, really. It definitely gets two thumbs up!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon

 
Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - December 16th, 2012

I really love splurge-worthy facial scrubs. Pevonia offers a Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, a scrubby cleanser that’s mild and gentle. Me likey!

The Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser contains soapwort, horsechestnut and chamomile, which Pevonia says will thoroughly eliminate dead cells, sebum, toxins and impurities without irritating your skin. It also uses jojoba seed powder and cellulose to get the scrubbing done – which is important because I won’t use products that contain plastic anymore, because they’re bad for the environment. Finding scrubs (both inexpensive AND splurge-y) that DON’T contain plastic (polyethylene) is kind of hard, so I’m pretty happy to promote them when I find them. The Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser has a gentle foaming lather, and the scrubbing is gentle but effective. The chamomile and calendula extracts it contains are also really soothing – I would say this is probably a good scrub for sensitive skin. It has a clean kind of fragrance, sort of spa-herbal. It rinses easily.

It’s pricey, at $33.50 for 5 oz., but a little goes a long way, and it IS a really nice exfoliator. I really like it!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to StumbleUpon