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5 Things That Don’t Suck
5 Things, Best Of, Eyeshadow, Mascara, Skin Care - Comments (4) - May 28th, 2013

Another day and a half (roughly) and I’ll be finished with school. Five business days after that, I’ll be able to drive down to Salem and take the tests to get my esthetician’s license in the State of Oregon AND Washington (by handing over the appropriate sums of money, as well). Amen. Praise the Lord. Anyone who says beauty school is easy is crazy. All I can say is, thank God I didn’t drink alcohol when I was in college, because I probably NEVER would have finished, based on the volume of booze I’ve needed to imbibe to survive four months of beauty school. (I’m only half kidding. LOL.)

ANYWAY. I don’t have a job lined up (yet), so I intend to blog merrily away once school is finished. But I wanted to mention a few products that have been keeping me sane (and looking good) while I’ve been in school. In no particular order, here are five products that don’t suck. (In fact, they pretty much ROCK and I can’t live without them now.)

1. Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes w/ White Tea Extract. Lo and behold, a facial wipe that I can use night after night, and my skin *doesn’t* get all pissy that I’m not really washing it. Seriously, these wipes are THE BOMB.

2. Origins GinZing Eye Cream. Holy catfish, Batman. One of my classmates gave me a deluxe sample size of this, which has lasted ALMOST the entire four months I’ve been in school. It brightens, it de-puffs, it makes you look like you actually got some sleep last night and you’re not miserably hung-over. No, really, it does! I need a full-size of this, like, yesterday!

3. The holy triumverate that is Shiro Cosmetics’ Homunculus, Chimera, and Fullmetal. These have been my go-to colors almost the entire time I’ve been in school for a quick, easy eye look. I just pick one, use it with a beige or taupe color, and VOILA! INSTANT AWESOME. Don’t over-think this, just buy all three. Trust me.

4. Aveda Nourish-Mint Renewing Lip Treatment. I know, it’s sixteen bucks. I KNOW. But it’s basically crack in a tube. My lips don’t want to live without it. I’ve had one in my pocket since like, week 5 of an eighteen week program, and I’m completely hooked. MUST HAVE THIS CRACK.

5. Speaking of expensive and CRACK. Fresh’s Supernova Mascara is my new Holy Grail of Mascara. I busted out my tube early on in the program, and everyone who’s tried it (on me, I’ve donated my face for science many times now to my classmates earning their makeup credits) LOVES IT. It doesn’t smudge, it’s black, it’s soft, it is AMAY-ZING. It’s the shizz, yo.

There you go. The stuff that has rocked my world for the last 18 weeks. I can’t believe it’s almost over.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Pevonia Phyto-Gel Cleanser Review
Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - December 15th, 2012

I’m such a sucker for cleansers. I always like to try new ones! I had the opportunity to check out this cleanser from Pevonia, and I really like it! It’s the Phyto-Gel Cleanser, a foaming cleanser for all skin types.

The Phyto-Gel Cleanser contains a bunch of botanical extracts, including saponaria, burdock, rosemary, sage and lemon. It’s a foaming cleanser, but it doesn’t leave the skin dry or stripped feeling at all. It has a light fragrance, kind of a spa-herbal type scent, which I really like. A little bit goes a long way, and I like the squeeze tube packaging, since you can squeeze out really small amounts (unlike a pump, which would probably dish out more product than you need to get the job done). It takes off makeup (including most of my eye makeup) no problem. Long wear eyeliner and mascara still need eye makeup remover (which I’ve started using anyway).

It is pricey for a cleanser, at $30 for 5 oz., but since you only need a little dab, it works out pretty good price-wise compared to my usual $15-20 price range for cleanser. If you want to splurge and treat yourself, I really like Pevonia products, including this Phyto-Gel Cleanser!

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Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask Review
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Skin Care - Comments (1) - December 14th, 2012

I keep meaning to review this and keep forgetting! Doh! I bought this Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask from Rite Aid a few months ago because it had nice ingredients and was really inexpensive (like $3.99 for a 6 oz tube). I’ve been using it semi-regularly (I’m notoriously bad at remembering to use masks) and I really like it!

It’s a clay mask (obviously), with kaolin and bentonite clays, which are cleansing to your pores. It also has colloidal oatmeal (super soothing), and avocado oil (moisturizing). My face feels very clean and very soft after I use it, and not dry or parched like some clay masks make my face feel. It has a pretty light scent, sort of clean and vegetable-y. I like it. It’s a total bargain for a nice clay mask.

I was cruising the Freeman website, and discovered that they make several more varieties, which can be ordered at drugstore.com! WHOA! I really want to try this one and this one and this one and this cleanser. Since they’re all just as inexpensive, I’ll totally start checking them out!

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Lush Let The Good Times Roll Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments (1) - November 20th, 2012

Lush always makes the best smelly stuff, especially at Holiday time. This year is no exception, and I was suckered into buying their limited edition face cleanser called Let The Good Times Roll. It’s a delectably-scented corn-based slightly scrubby cleanser, and I’m totally hooked. Too bad it’s limited edition!

Let The Good Times Roll is a bit of a pun, since Lush’s fresh facial cleansers are called “Cleansing Rolls.” Let The Good Times Roll is basically a cornmeal and corn flour scrub with a sweet popcorn scent and a hint of cinnamon. You use a pea-sized amount and mix it with a few drops of water to make a paste, and then massage it on your face. It’s not so great with eye makeup, but fabulous for the rest of your face. It leaves my face soft and clean, and not dry or tight. And the scent! It’s so yummy, I just love it.

It’s not cheap, at $12.95 for 3.5 oz., but it’s good for a splurge – a nice wintertime treat for yourself, if you will. I’ll probably try to get another jar before it goes away because I like it so much. I really wish they’d make this one permanent!

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