Friday, October 17, 2014

My Fall/Winter Skincare Routine: Evening

Every season as the weather cools down, my skin starts to look a bit dry and lackluster. Add a daily dose of Retin-A to the mix and yowza!, my complexion begins to resemble the Sahara. Needless to say, I've had to make a few adjustments to my PM skincare routine. Out are the daily Clarisonic sessions (too drying) and in are the heavy-duty moisturizers. I've retired a few of my regular skincare products for the fall/winter months, instead choosing a selection of more gentle, hydrating formulas. Here's what my new routine looks like:

The Cleanser/Makeup Remover - Yep, I still absolutely love it and nope, I won't stop raving about it; The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter is cemented in my skincare-loving heart. It's going to take one incredible oil-based cleansing dynamo (aka, a small miracle) to sway my loyalty. If you haven't already scooped up a tin, you're missing out. The subtle, pleasant-smelling balm slowly dissolves into an oil as you massage it into your skin. Makeup (even waterproof mascara) literally melts off. A quick rinse with cool water and your face is so fresh, so clean.

The Toner - I was never much of a toner fanthey always left my skin feeling tight and itchy. The Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner does just the opposite. It soothes dry, red skin and is gentle enough to use on eczema, rosacea and around the delicate areas of the eye. The antioxidant-packed formula also helps to diminish wrinkles and repair skin. I've tried a few of the other Paula's Choice toners but this one is my favorite by far. Don't be worried if the texture looks a bit "milky," perfectly normal (or so it says on the website).

The Treatment - Since I'm already using Retin-A in the evenings, I don't use any additional skin-perfecting serums (no need to complicate the process). I do however add a couple drops of the StriVectinLABS High Performance Booster Oil to my moisturizer for a much needed "boost" of vitamins and hydration. It's marketed as a nourishing oil that uses patented skin-strengthening technology. Whelp, that "technology" is effective; my skin looks and feels soft and hydrated. Oh, and the scent is amazing—refreshing and citrus-y.

The Moisturizer - The CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is as basic as it getsfragrance-free, non-irritating, doesn't cause breakouts, and is found at the drugstore. Sounds pretty good, right? My dermatologist recommended it and despite its lack of bells and whistles (cute packaging and clever marketing), this moisturizer works like a charm. Lightweight and easily absorbed, I slather CeraVe on my face every chance I getand at a mere $12 a bottle, I can afford to.

The Lip Balm - ChapStick? Really? Here me out on this one... The ChapStick Hydration Lock may not be the most flashy lip balm around, but it does the trick. Usually by mid-October, my lips are a cracked, peeling mess (sorry - bad visual). Not this year! No sirree. I've been coating my lips with Hydration Lock every night before bed and my pout is in pristine shape. Maybe it's the added CoQ10 or the "hyaluronic filling spheres" (ChapStick is trying so hard), I'm not really sure. Either way my lips and I are happy, and so is my hubby (because we kiss sometimes).

The Water - A mist of Avène Thermal Spring Water before bed may not sound like a necessary step, but let me tell ya... it's a nice, refreshing touch after a long day. But that's not the only time I use it. I'll spritz it on in the mornings after I wash my face, or after I apply my makeup. Sometimes I'll use it in the afternoon if my face is feeling especially dry or even right after applying moisturizer at night (and I might even spray it on the dogs if I'm feeling generous). The fact is, minerals and silica in the formula reduce irritation and help lock in moisture. (And let's be honest, it's fun to use.)

How often do you change your skincare routine?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Perfect Pairings #2

I'm fairly loyal when it comes to mascara; I rotate between my three fav waterproof formulas, Maybelline The Rocket Volum Express, L'Oréal Telescopic Shocking Extensions and L'Oréal Hydrofuge Voluminous Carbon Black. I may stray now and again but I always end up going back. Well, I've now officially added two newbies to my list and ironically, they're from Maybelline and L'Oréal. And, they go together like nail and polish.

The L'Oréal Miss Manga Voluminous Waterproof and Maybelline Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Waterproof are a mascara match made in heaven. Despite the oddly-shaped brush, Miss Manga glides on easily, creating thick, dramatic lashes. If you're looking for a subtle flutter, this ain't the mascara for you. The formula borders on clumpy, hence the "doll eyes" description on the package, but I don't mind a minor bit of clump-age. I do however mind super thick (spider-esk) bottom lashes, and that's where Lash Discovery comes in. The mascara's teeny-tiny bristles work to coat lower lashes without smudging or transferring. The thin wand is also great at getting to those short inner lashes that the Miss Manga brush can't reach. My lashes have never looked betterintense volume, length, curl and zero flaking. In my eyes, these two are the perfect pair (see how I did that?).

Friday, October 10, 2014

Diorskin Star Foundation Review

For a gal on a spending ban (remember Project 10 Pan?), it seems as though I've gone off the rails in a major way. Here me out: I've allowed myself a little bit of flexibility (cheat room) in the foundation purchasing department because a) I didn't have a single foundation to match my lighter fall/winter skin tone, b) I've been in desperate need of a skin-transforming formula for my dry, sensitive (Retin-A wrought) face and c) okay, the truth is, I really, really wanted this foundation. And by this foundation, I mean the Dior Diorskin Star Foundation.

The hype behind Dior's newest foundation launch was incredible and once Star was released back in June, the rave reviews started rolling in. I didn't pay much mind at the time; I was caught up in the summer BB and CC cream fever. What changed my mind? A stroll past (or should I say thorough browse through) the Dior counter a couple weeks ago. While speaking with the sales lady, I mentioned my complexion woes, and before I knew it, I was heading to the car with a smile on my face and a newfangled foundation in my bag. Ugh, you got me again Dior!

Touted as a new gen of illuminating foundations, Star is meant to brighten and even out skin tones with "anti-'light-trap' skincare ingredients" (whatever that means?). It comes in a rather small range of shades, 14 as of now (I'm in 020, Light Beige - the second to lightest shade) and costs a hefty $50.

The creamy, medium consistency formula is super easy to apply; I prefer using the Beauty Blender but a foundation brush works just as well. Once buffed in, it dries quickly leaving a semi-satin finishnot too dewy or too matte. Most days I use just a couple pumps-worth of product for a natural-looking finish, but you can build up the coverage for a completely flawless, definitely-looks-like-your-wearing-makeup result if that's your thang.

Since purchasing, I've worn Star everyday and I can tell you without hesitation that it is the most beautiful foundation I've ever worn. Really. Once applied, my freckles and dark spots are blurred and redness erased. It's like my skin, but better (pardon the cliché). As much as I love the luminous finish I get from this foundation, what impresses me most is that it has a good amount of sunscreen (SPF 30 - AZ ladies rejoice!) and it wears for hours without budging. I'm talking 10 hours, with barely any shifting, fading or transferring. I can talk on my cell without leaving behind a smeary cheek print- miraculous! Granted I do always set my foundation with just a touch of powder, but OMG! it wears like a dream.

Diorskin Star now holds a much-coveted spot on my bathroom counter. It's made its way to top of my list, sadly bumping my trusted fav, Make Up Forever HD, to second place. It's been a while since a foundation has impressed me this muchso, perhaps my detour to the Dior counter was good thing? Yep, definitely a good thing...
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