Category: skincare

Favorite 13 Beauty Products of 2013

Well folks, another year has gone by!  For the year-end survey of favorite beauty products, I decided to force myself to pick my 13 favorite products of 2013.  The question I posed to myself to get the edit was this: if I didn’t use these products this year, would I miss them?  And for all 13 products below, the answer was a resounding YES.

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Cosmetics & Tools

1. Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 in Natural Beige, $38 – I’ve had this for a couple of years now, and for whatever reason, I pulled this out one day earlier this year and have been unable to choose another powder to use.  It imparts a healthy glow and is just BEAUTIFUL. More importantly, it’s easy and fast – I slap this on over a tinted moisturizer or BB/CC Cream with a brush I mention below and I’m good to go.

2. Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer in Shade 1, $95 - Another product I’ve had for a couple of years and finally discovered its full potential – it just DELIVERS.  Under eye concealer?  Check.  Covers redness and discoloration on my face?  YES. It’s emollient yet still stays put on my combo/oily skin.  I like this much better than the cult-fave Cle de Peau Concealer (mine is in the color Beige), but I guess at $20 MORE than the Cle de Peau, it should be better.

3. CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 in 40, $57.50 – Who doesn’t want some of that bonne mine glow that French women have perfected?  Love this for a subtle bronzing effect.  Applied with brush mentioned below.

4. Burberry Eyeshadow in Almond, $29 - The most perfect blending color EVER.  Get this – it will make any of your eye looks better.

5. Laura Mercier Artist Palette #2, $48 - I just discussed this in my Perfect Palette post, so I’ll keep it short.  Great palette; really happy I got it.

6. Giorgio Armani Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in #2 brown, $28 - SO glad I tried this – it’s creamy yet stays put once you set it with an eyeshadow.  The brown is perfect for everyday AND dramatic looks.

7. Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in 100 Androgino, $34 - I think this lipstick has replaced my previous favorite nude, Tom Ford Lip Color in  Blush Nude.  Formula is creamy and comfortable, and unlike Tom Ford Blush Nude, I don’t have to top it off with a gloss – it imparts a shine on its own.

8. Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush, $52 - I just want it to be clearly documented that I know spending $52 on a brush is ridiculous.  That said, this brush is definitely worth getting – just wait for a Sephora VIB sale or on the Bobbi Brown website when there’s a discount code going around. It is PERFECT for easy application of face powders as well as bronzers – I use it with items #1 and 3.  I use this brush almost everyday.

Skincare

9. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, $22.50 - I picked up my 4th tube to take on my expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania earlier this year.  I like that it is moisturizing, the tube has a nice weight to it, and it has SPF.  I like the clear one better than the tinted ones I’ve tried.  Can’t be without it ever.

10. Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer in Dry Combination, $45 – I talked about this in my 3 items to add to your skincare routine post.  Best night-time moisturizer for my combo skin ever.  I like the Dry Combination version even better than the Oily one, despite having very oily skin.  Won’t ever be without this either.

11. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5, $55 – Retinol is a must for anti-aging.  Another product I talked about in the 3 items to add to your skincare routine post.

Hair

12. Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, $6-$8 – I get asked quite frequently how I keep my hair so healthy since it’s pretty long (it was down to my waist before I chopped 6 inches off).  It’s probably because I don’t color treat it or use heat on it very often.  I can ALSO tell you it is NOT due to the shampoo I use.  I’ve used very expensive shampoos (e.g., Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo, $57 and Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Pure Lightness Shampoo, $47), and my hair looks exactly the same as if I had used inexpensive shampoos.  So now I just use whatever inexpensive shampoo I like, as long as it is more natural (no sulfates or parabens) and has peppermint in it.  This Giovanni one is my fave, and I also like the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo.  My husband also likes to use these shampoos, so it’s a win-win.

13. Wet Brush, $8.99 – My hair is prone to getting massive tangles, and this brush is AMAZING at getting the tangles out without tugging on my hair.  I like it even better than the Tangle Teezer (I have 2) for getting knots out.

What were your favorite beauty products of 2013??

Three Items to Add to Your Skincare Routine

I recently spent a weekend with some girlfriends and was asked about my “TOP MUST-HAVE” skincare products, and rather than do a lengthy email to them on this subject, I thought to do a blog post and just send them a link.  I  get asked about skincare quite often, because 1) I buy and try a LOT of products, and 2) despite being in my early 30′s, I regularly get mistaken for being 5-15 years younger than I actually am (I haven’t decided if looking 10-15 years younger is a good or bad thing yet).

So the usuals first – I have combination to oily skin that is prone to hyper-pigmentation, and I’m VERY concerned about aging.  VERY.  Whatever your current skincare routine, these are three products that I recommend that have worked on me.  Oh, and you know you should be wearing a sunscreen (ideally a physical one) everyday, right?

Top 3 Items to Add to Your Existing Skincare Routine

skincare

1. Clarisonic Mia (or Mia2) – It goes without saying that you need to wash your face with a facial cleanser at least once a day.  I do it twice, but I know some people only do it once – whatever floats your boat.  But since adding the Clarisonic to my nightly cleansing, I’ve noticed less congested pores and grime on my cotton pad when I’m following up with a toner.  I use this once a day at night with either CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser or Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser (nice, but won’t repurchase).  My favorite brush head is  Deep Pore, which feels softer than the Sensitive one.

2. Retinol – Retinol is a form of vitamin A and is one of those anti-aging powerhouse ingredients you need to put on your face RIGHT NOW to diminish signs of hyper-pigmentation, fine lines, etc.  I like SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream – retinol can be harsh on your skin, and this one isn’t too bad.  I’ve used prescription retinol before, and I couldn’t endure past the very painful phase.  I’ve seen results with this gentle OTC version, but if I use it too many days in a row, I will get dry, peeling skin for the following week, but that’s how retinol is.

3. Antioxidant serum or moisturizer – Skincare experts will tell you that if you use retinol + some sort of antioxidant, you’re basically set.  I’m on my 2nd tube of the Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer in the Combo Oily to Oily formulation, and I LOVE IT.  It’s a great moisturizer that doesn’t make me feel greasy yet provides enough hydration.  I’m going to switch to the Dry Combo version when my current tube runs out since we’re going into winter soon.  If I use it when my skin is feeling raw from retinol, it’ll definitely sting, so I opt for a more nourishing moisturizer then.

What are your skincare must haves?