Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Makeup Collection Edit

TI have been going though my Muji and Alex drawers looking for products to use up by the end of the year.  I have been stumbling upon products that I haven't touched in 1–2 years aside from re-organizing.  Such products are expired, nearing expiration, or need to be given to a better home.  

Perfect timing as we are heading out for a mini-break this weekend with family and I can re-home most of my makeup items!  Yay!  A few things need to be pitched however.  :(

Here are the items that will need to be thrown out:

First up Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Line is Glam Hazel Eyes and Glam Green Eyes.  I never bought the one for my blue eyes.  Lol. These have to be at least four years old.  I know that I didn't buy them in North Carolina.  They are the perfect bullet proof base.  They are amazing.

These L'OREAL stains and the YSL are very similar and all 3 have the same eerie smell and taste.  They have to go unfortunately.  They last forever on the lips too!

LOREAL 190 Endless Red and 183 Pink Resistance.

Next up, L'OREAL HiP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner.  Again, has to be at least 4 years old and is pretty much dried up at this point.  

Last but not least, a well loved favorite, Milani blush in #201 Luminous.  I have a brand new Milani. Baked Blush in Luminoso waiting for me to open up as a replacement.

Next up I will share what I will be giving away this weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Current Skincare Routine

One major thing my skin likes is consistency.  I can mix in a few samples here and there, but I learned that it is not something I can do every single day.  That being said, I cannot use the same products months on end.  My skin doesn't like that either.  Or I just haven't found the right mix of products to use forever.  But what fun would that be if I never tried another product?

Let's start with my morning routine...

I start off with a cotton round soaked in Boots N7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water to remove my skincare from the night before and any residual eye makeup that might have migrated under my eyes.

I then go in with some Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and massage that all over my face, neck and décolletage.  I take a warm Muslim or face cloth and gently wipe off the cleanser and then I do my rinsing.  I hold my head over the sink and splash my face several times until I no longer feel any remaining cleansing. 

To ensure no remaining cleanser remains and to further balance the pH of my skin, I soak a cotton pad with witch hazel and go over my face, neck and décolletage.

After tonor, I follow up with Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free 10% Glycolic AHA Anti-Wrinkle Treatment on my face, neck and décolletage.  If I am having an active breakout, I will use Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid with Salicyclic Acid instead.  I soak and cotton pad, concentrate the product on my face and use the rest of my neck and décolletage.

For eye cream, I use Olay Regenerating eye lifting serum most mornings.  If I'm feeling puffy, I tap on Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift eye gel.

The final step is sunscreen.  Currently I use Doctor T's Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum with SPF 30. I'm running out of this product but (of course) I have 2 backups.  My first backup is Olay Professional ProX even skin tone Anti-Oxidant Sunscreen in SPF 35.  It is heavier than the Supergoop but I still like it.  

I also have Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer in SPF 50.  Super greasy though.  If I am using Cetaphil, after my Witch Hazel step, I go in with a cotton pad with Milk of Magnesia and press it on my t-tone.  I'm not convinced of MoM's oil controlling magic, but I keep trying it out anyway especially with heavy high SPF moisturizers.

Regardless of the sunscreen I use, I apply it in my face, neck and décolletage every day.

My skin is now ready for primer and foundation!

Now on to my evening routine...

I start off with removing my eye makeup with a cotton pad soaked in Nuance by Salma Hayek Cumcumber & Rosewater Dual Phase Makeup Remover.  Dual Phase means that it must be shaken to mix both layers.  Since I have been using L'OREAL lash out butterfly mascara in waterproof, I might have to go in with jojoba oil to break it down further.  It's seriously budge proof which I like because it holds my curl in the pool and at the beach.  :)

Next step I use 2 pumps of Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and I massage into my face, neck and décolletage but really concentrate and message the product into my face and t-zone for about 3-5 minutes.  I either use a Muslim cloth or a face cloth and wipe off the product and then steam my face, neck and décolletage for another 2-3 minutes.

For my second cleanse I am using a Neutrogena facial bar which I lather up, briefly massage on my face and then I go in with my cleansing brush on my face, neck and décolletage.  I have to be super careful not to get the Neutrogena in my eyes.  It burns like crazy!  If my skin is having a freak out as in allergic reaction, I will use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser day and night, followed by Witch Hazel.  

For tonor, my absolute favorite is Korres Pomegranate Tonor (see above) which I initially bought 2 bottles from Marshall's and have been looking for more ever since.  This stuff finds more dirt even after both my cleanses.  
Same step as above, after toning...  Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free 10% Glycolic AHA Anti-Wrinkle Treatment on my face and neck.  If I am having an active breakout (not allergic reaction) I will use Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid with Salicyclic Acid instead.  The only difference here is that I have Studio Beauty 35 Alpha Hydroxy Face Cream 8% AHA of 70% Solution on my décolletage to use it up.  I had this way before the Alpha Hydrox which I just recently found at TJ Maxx. 

For eye cream at night, I'm using Ole Henriksen visual truth eye creme.  I picked this up on clearance at TJ Maxx and I really like it so far.  Nothing earth shattering, but it provides adequate moisture.

My night moisturizer changes every couple of days depending in what my skin needs.  I have been using Olay Professional ProX Brightening Renewal cream which came in a set with the Even Skin Tone Anti-Oxidant Sunscreen with SPF 35.  I bought this set on clearance at CVS for $11 so I'm assuming it is discontinued.  I really like it and I will start the search for a back up.  If I need a little more moisture or if I do a clay mask, I will use Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial.

I do mix in some oils here and there.  I will do a separate post.  But same cleansing routine and treatment but I will use an oil instead of a moisturizer.

Now that I have all the products lined up in front of me, it's a lot of product!

The following products are nearing the end:

Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum
Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser
Aura Cacia Organics Jojoba Oil
Nuance Dual Phase Makeup Remover
Studio Beauty 35 Alpha Hydroxy Face Cream 
Olay Regenerating eye lifting serum

Items I will always repurchase:

Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum
Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser
Witch Hazel
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Alpha Hydrox Oil-Free 10% Glycolic AHA Anti-Wrinkle Treatment
Korres Pomegranate Cleanser

Items I bought on clearance that I will try to find again: 

Boots N7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water has been repurchased several times at Target and have not seen it since the last one I bought on clearance. 
Olay Professional ProX even skin tone set was bought at CVS on clearance and I believe before that I saw it at Walmart on clearance. 

It's a lot but it is working and my skin looks and feels really nice.  I'm really liking this routine but as I mentioned above, a few items are almost finished so I will need to adjust slightly.

Coming up soon will be posts on the oils that are currently in rotation a couple times a week and also my cleansing masks and cloth masks that I use a couple times a week as well.  So be in the look out for those!

Hope you are well!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Midyear Makeup Wrap Up!

Even though you haven't heard from me in 3 months, doesn't mean I haven't been shopping.  I actually didn't in May and most of June.  End of the school activities and book fairs increased my volunteer hours big time.  It was like I had a full time job!  I did give myself a free pass while on vacation.

So I was thinking that since I waited until the end of 2013 to evaluate my beauty spending habits, I thought I would start a little earlier this year to hopefully steer myself in the right direction if I have been off track.

Let's see how I am doing, shall we?

1.  Concealers:

I still have the 9 that I started out with at the beginning of the year.  I have a quarter left in both Fit Me concealers in Light and Fair.  I would like to finish those by the end of the year as well as the Rimmel and Bobbi Brown Corrector.  Oh and actually open the Revlon DNA.  It's still in the package.  (Face palm.)

2.  Eyeliners:

I have pitched 2 or 3 and bought a new brown liner from AVON.  I also bought a new brow liner.  The thing with these eyeliners that most are 2-3 years old, except for the 4 liquid liners, 3 eyeshadow pencils and the 4 eyeliners I bought last year.  That being said, at the end of this year, most of these have to go unfortunately.  So I will just try to use them up as best as I can.

3.  Lipsticks:

No new purchases! Victory!  Oh wait.  Minor slip up, I wanted to try out a new AVON lip stain.  I really like them.  I purchased in the shade

4.  L'OREAL Infalliables and 5.  Maybelline Color Tattoos:

No new purchases!  In this category, since I have so many, I can't say I would be able to finish any one but Bad to the Bronze looks like a good contender to hit pan on by the end of the year.

6.  Palettes: 

Hmm, slipped a little here...  I picked up the Too Faced Chocolate Bar.  Amazing HSN sale will justify any purchase in the moment.  I grabbed Lorac Pro To go, the new 12 pan Maybelline The Nudes palette, and the limited edition WnW 8 pan in Walking the Red Carpet.  Oops, oops and oops.

7.  Powders:

No new purchases!  I need to finish up 2-3 by the end of the year.  I'm looking at NARS Reflecting Setting Powder, a sample of Makeup Forever Hi-def Powder, Physicians Formula Powder Palette in Creamy Natural and Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Finishing Powder in Nude.  More details on that later though!

8.  Mascara: 

I've used up a few of my samples.  I bought a waterproof L'OREAL Lash Out Butterfly over vacation and I'm loving it!  I also couponed for an Almay that I just found in my eyeliner drawer so I will bust that one out.  So far so good!

9.  Blush:

No new purchases.  Yes!  I still want more Milani...  Just waiting for that super sale.

10.  Bronzers/11.  Highlighters

No new purchases!  And I just hit slight pan on my Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer in Warm Tan.  I will move that to the "Finish by the end of 2014 Pile."

12.  Foundations/ 13. BB creams

I've finished a couple in the category and discarded a few old ones.  My foundation drawer is still bursting.  (Hangs head in shame.) Newly acquired as of July 2014:


Discarded 1 (3 more as well soon for various reasons), finished 1, acquired 6. (if you are doing the math it's only +1!)

1. CoverGirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous in 115 Buff Beige.  Absolutely love it and wore it everyday on vacation.  Super easy slap on and go product.
2. L'OREAL True Match Lumi in W3, Nude Beige.  40% off Rite Aid sale and a coupon, so I caved.  I want to love this foundation for some reason.  This is the 3rd shade I have tried (N1-2, W1-2 were the 2 others).  The color looks off when I initially put it on but when I look at my face an hour later it looks amazing, 2 hours later, shine bomb.  I mix it with Covergirl Outlast and it is a perfect combination.
3.&4. Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation in (of course I need 2 shades) 20 Classic Ivory and 40 Nude.  I haven't tried them yet.  I had to grab these quick during a shopping trip to Wegmans over vacation along with The Nudes palette.  Total vacation/new display purchase.

This is getting ugly... but the next two were, gulp, gifts?

5.&6.  Bourjois Healthy Mix in 52 Vanilla (winter shade) 53 Beige Clair (hopefully my summer shade).  I just received these in the mail from a friend who was visiting the UK.  Since I actually finished up a Healthy Mix earlier this year, I needed a replacement for pretty much my all time favorite foundation

BB/CC Cream:

Discarded 2 due to separate skin reactions, returned 1, finished 1, acquired 1.

1. Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in light/medium.

Eek!  I know, it's a bad, bad foundation hoarding situation.  I will forever be looking for that perfect base but stick a folk in me, I'm done for the year.

Technically speaking I have a mix of winter and summer shades as well as a transition/fall shade.

L'OREAL Lumi in W-3
Bourjois Healthy Mix in 53
Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch in 40

Bourjois Healthy Mix in 52
Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch in 20

CoverGirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous in 115 Buff Beige

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in light/medium since it contains Salicylic Acid.  Totally necessary. 

So it doesn't look that bad now that I broke it down for specific use, right?  :)

14. Primers:

I've finished up a couple samples but still have a few more to go.  Primers are something I use infrequently now that it is summer and all I'm doing is chasing kids around and running.  But I've purchased Rimmel Stay Matte Primer which I absolutely love and NYX Angel Veil which I haven't officially tried yet but feels a lot like Hourglass.  I still have half a bottle or so of L'OREAL Revitalift Miracle Blur which I use around my eyes which I think that they have a specific Miracle Blur for that now and I have a sample of Clarins Instant Smooth that is thick and heavy but good at smoothing over pores. 

 So here is everything, 6 months into 2014.  Not too bad right?  The foundation situation is a little cray cray.   But if you re-read my explanation above, it makes total sense.  Oh and I just remembered that my mom bought me the L'OREAL Lashout Butterfly mascara in waterproof and the NYX Angel Primer when I took her to Ulta for the first time over vacation.  Thank you mom!

Palettes wise, I'm good, forever.

I'm still pulling together a few (it is going to be a lot) products that I want to realistically finish by the end of 2014 to keep my makeup and skincare collection in a healthy rotation so that old products/products on the way to expiration are being used.

I'm glad I did this midyear check in.  Hopefully it will help me stay focused!!!  I have a wish list a mile long but waste not, want not!

What have been your makeup splurges this year?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Current Summer Foundation Routine

I am forever trying out foundations and foundation combinations to battle the hot and humid coastal NC climate.  When I lived in VA I thought that was humidity.  It's at another level just a few hours South!

Here is what I am currently using and have been absolutely loving for the last couple of weeks.  I have them out on my bathroom sink area so they are in easy reach.  (I am currently re-doing my makeup area and painting my vanity/old small kitchen table...more on that project later!)

My current moisturizer is Doctor T's Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum with SPF 30 PA+++ which I smooth over my face, neck, and décolletage.  The Supergoop! Serum provides adequate moisture without oiliness so when I was in MA and NY without the humidity, I really didn't need the extra primer.  But down here, next up is Rimmel Stay Matte Primer for days I truly need extra shine free protection.  This primer does contain talc which irritates many.  I try not to use it everyday, just in case.  I've even used this without foundation over it and it makes my skin look really nice, smoothing over pores.

Now on to my foundation base.  I use 1.5 to 2 pumps of Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-n-1 in 825 Buff Beige which is slightly too light for me right now and 1 pump of L'OREAL True Match Lumi in W3 Nude Beige which is slightly too dark.  This is a magical combination.  Covergirl Outlast is a medium to full coverage foundation with a semi-matte finish.  L'OREAL Lumi is a light to medium coverage foundation with a natural to luminous finish.  Mixing them is perfection for my combo/oily skin.  It instantly covers, looks flawless, but not over the top for day wear despite the heat and humidity.  I initially buff with a foundation brush and then go over my face with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge to blend out everything perfectly.  

After foundation, I smooth on a tiny bit of Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer and let that sink in before I apply concealer.  For concealing I use 2 shades of Maybelline Fit Me.   I use the shade light around my nose, blemishes and initially under my eyes.  I tap with a brush or my fingers and again blend everything with a beauty sponge.  For highlighting, I go in with the shade fair under my eyes, down the nose, a little on the chin and forehead.   Tap it in with my fingers and I then bounce the beauty sponge over that to blend everything in.

For bronzing/contouring, I apply Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer.  This goes in the hollows on my cheeks which I then blend up into my temples and then perimeter of my forehead and a little blended down the neck as well. I apply using either the Real Techniques Contour brush (great choice as I just looked at the brush to figure out the name!) or the elf Small Stipple Brush.  I then go back in with the beauty sponge.

With a large powder brush, I pick up a decent amount of my NARS Translucent Light Reflecting Powder and press that on to my face concentrating in the t-zone.  I then use Young Blood Hi-DEF Translucent powder under my eyes to set my concealer just so I can use it up.  Sometimes I put a little on my forehead, nose and chin as well with a Real Techniques setting brush.  (And I just realized I have two RT setting brushes. Nice.)

Lastly and most importantly, setting spray!  As of this week, I am hooked on AVON's makeup setting spray.  Love it!  It almost has a tightening effect which I can appreciate and it seals everything in nicely.  Before this discovery I was holding on to my last few sprays of Urban Decay de-Slick which I can honestly say does virtually nothing for my oily skin but takes down the powdery look.  I had also been using the Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater which can be just a touch too dewy.  I'm going to put this away until fall/winter.

I'm really liking this combination of products.  The foundation combination provides a great color match which I always struggle with as well as lasting power in the humidity.

What products are you loving for the summer?

Hope you are well!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Where have you been?

That is the question!  And I have a good answer.  I have been running.  Not away from anything in particular, but it started with walking a rambunctious puppy 3-4 times a day and it turned into training for a half marathon.  Let me back up...

I've always been a runner, but I just took the last 8 years off.  I ran for a few months a couple of years ago but it didn't stick.  Now it's back to a full fledged addiction.  I attempted to run a 5k with my son who was riding a bike with training wheels on April 4th.  I had to start at the back of the pack with the strollers.  It was a trail run and I was never able to move to a full run until after the turn around and I felt this explosion.  It didn't last long as my son's training wheel slipped off the trail and he tipped over...  (He was fine.)

I quickly signed up for another "real" (with a time chip) 5k on May 17th with my husband.  I only got 5 training runs in before that first 5k but I felt amazing after crossing the finish line.  Then I joined a running group which has given me access to trainings, information on local runs, advice, and most importantly, motivation to keep... running. 

I completed my first 10k on June 7th, another 5k on the 4th of July and an 8k on the beach this past Saturday.  We also signed up for a half marathon on September 20.  I also want to register for 2 more, one in October and one in November.  It's a pretty ambitious schedule but I'm up for the challenge!

I certainly did not foresee running a half marathon this year!  Running a full marathon has always been on my unofficial bucket list.  We will see how the half marathon(s) go and I will re-evaluate. 

Now that we got that cleared and out of the way...

We also went on a 3 week, 2 state adventure visiting family and friends and celebrating a retirement, a couple of birthdays, a graduation and the 4th of July.  We cut down trees, did some landscaping, hiked on the AT, toured some historical places, moved my sister from Boston to the 'burbs, visited a couple state parks and put about 1,000 miles on our vehicle in the process.  It was an amazing time being able to hang out with our families and friends who we only get to see a couple times a year for a couple of days a pop.  Military life...

I packed up all my samples and finished nearly everything in those 25 days.  I also finished a BB cream and a foundation as well!  Yay!  So this has prompted me to collect a few items that I want to finish up by the end of 2014.  I have 6.5 months.  Woohoo! 

Be on the look out for those items soon!  So far I have a BB cream, a cream bronzer, a foundation, a few primers and mucho skincare items and I'm going to look around for a couple more things and put together a post! 

The hubby just arrived home from work and it's time to go for a run!  7 miles tonight.  Wish me luck.  It's hot out.  :)