01
Apr

Review: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25

Posted under BB Cream, Cosmetics, Skincare 4 Comments
Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25

If you have not heard of BB (beauty balm) creams yet, you must be living under a rock (no offense, but seriously, they are everywhere). Here’s a quick rundown: it’s simply the latest version of the all-in-one makeup meets skincare. Brands are coming out with formulas that do everything from minimize pores, deliver anti-aging benefits, mask uneven skin tone, hydrate, mattify – if you have an issue you are trying to solve with your face, there is a BB cream for it. Leave your old-fashioned tinted moisturizer behind and find a BB cream that works best for you.

For this look at BB creams, we are focusing on Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25, a super-hydrating tinted cream that promises even skin tone, all day dewiness, and sun protection. Water Fuse BB Cream comes in just one shade, a neutral beige that is best for light to medium complexions. If your skin tone falls outside that range, you’ll probably be happier finding another brand with more shade options. Water Fuse is also best for someone who has dry skin but no fine lines or wrinkles. It is so hydrating, it actually feels cool like water on the skin, but we found the dewy finish settles into fine lines and makes them more noticeable – not the look we were going for. The coverage is sheer to medium and allows for a bit of building, but more coverage would need to come from a separate concealer.

We really are lucky to have so many options in BB creams, because this one is so narrowly targeted. Women in their 20s or 30s with dry skin, a light to medium complexion, and no wrinkles might just love it! Unfortunately, we don’t.

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24
Sep

L’Occitane Immortelle Creme Divine Review

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After a sun-filled summer where we got a little more tan than we intended, now that fall is here we are in need of some facial TLC. What we love about this new cream from L’Occitane, Immortelle Divine, is that it packs all the anti-aging and moisturizing benefits we need in a lightweight cream with a fresh scent that reminds us fresh brewed ice tea with lemon on a lazy summer day. Creme Divine is emollient and rich with organic essential oils and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, but with a light texture that melts right into the skin, leaving a slightly dewy finish. We do recommend keeping it away from your eyes, though, as it has a tendency to migrate, which can affect the staying power of your eye makeup (use a good eye cream designed for the eye area instead). All in all, this is a lovely cream that we look forward to using all season long.

You can find this and other great L’Occitane products (like our favorite Shea Butter Body Lotion) at L’Occitane boutiques or shop online.

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16
Mar

Brand Review: MyChelle Dermaceuticals

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We have been fans of MyChelle for years. They have a comprehensive line of skin care, body care, and mineral makeup that is both scientifically advanced and has natural ingredients. We love that all the products are fairly concentrated, so you only need a tiny dab. Here are some new things we tried just in time for spring.

MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Cleanser ($9.69 for 2.1 oz, $17.29 for 4.4 oz)
No matter how many times we use this cleansing gel, we still can’t believe how well it works with such a teeny, tiny amount. This is truly a fantastic, refreshing gel cleanser suitable for any skin type. It’s gentle but thorough (however, for makeup removal, we recommend Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil), and has fruit and sugar extracts for a little light exfoliating.

MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub ($17.19 for 2.3 oz)
We readily admit to being bargain hunters for face scrubs, even subjecting our skin to those rough walnut shell varieties (bad!), but we have redeemed ourselves by using this scrub. The scrub particles (jojoba beads and bamboo stem powder) are gentle enough as to not damage the skin, while the fruit enzymes gently but effective work to get rid of dull, lifeless skin. We are also happy to only need a tiny dab for our whole face. We recommend enjoying Fruit Enzyme Scrub every other day in the shower.

MyChelle Fruit Fiesta Peel ($28.39 for 1.2 oz)
Don’t misunderstand – we love facials and their pampering, rejuvenating benefits – but we feel like we are cheating on our favorite esthetician since discovering this simple, at-home peel. It smells amazing, tingles without burning, and works in less than 3 minutes to make our skin look smooth, fresh, and revitalized. To get maximum benefits without taxing the skin, we recommend using the Fruit Fiesta Peel only once a week.

MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream ($28.39 for 0.5 oz)
If you are looking for a great moisturizing eye cream, this is a solid choice. While it doesn’t make the same overblown promises of the more expensive brands, Fabulous Eye Cream is wonderfully moisturizing, packed with antioxidants, and has plant ingredients that protect against collagen loss. One teeny little dab, smaller than a grain of rice, is enough for both eyes.

The MyChelle website is incredibly comprehensive, with every product, ingredients, and usage listed. You can purchase from their site or at drugstore.com.

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08
Feb

Makeup Primers: Don’t Wear Foundation Without One!

Posted under Cosmetics 7 Comments

We are skeptics, we admit it. When the salesperson at the department store tries to sell us the full line of skin care because all the products somehow work “synergistically” together, and only together, we scoff in disbelief. When the anti-aging moisturizer label claims we will look 10 years younger in 4 weeks, we know it’s a bunch of marketing nonsense. So when the makeup artist at our favorite beauty shop tells us we absolutely must wear a primer under our foundation, we are ready with our best eye roll. Can you blame us?

Fast forward to a recent episode with a less than cooperative foundation. No matter how well the shade matched our skin, or how clean the makeup sponge was, or how perfectly moisturized our skin was, our favorite foundation did not want to blend nicely and settled into the fine lines we pretend we don’t have. Grrr. A little voice reminded us about makeup primer. Maybe we should just try it?

The purpose of makeup primer is simple: to create a smooth, even surface as a base for foundation so the makeup doesn’t settle into fine lines and pores. If you have trouble with your makeup wearing off by midday, or if you are sick of foundation settling into the lines around your eyes, a primer is a great tool to help your favorite foundation look even better.

Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer
Oddly enough, we bought this at Target not that long ago and now it’s suddenly hard to find. Thankfully, it’s a standard silicone-based clear gel formula that many other brands make, so if you like this style, finding another similar product will not be difficult. About the size of a small pea is enough for your whole face (more than that will feel like a slippery mask), and it works well with cream or liquid foundations. Here are some similar choices: CoverGirl Simply Ageless Serum Primer, Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup, Vincent Longo Water Canvas Gel Cream Base.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
We got a .5 ounce tube of this from the Beauty Insider program at Sephora, and we really love it. It’s a peach-colored cream gel, and as with all primers, you only need a pea-sized dab (if that) for your whole face. We like how light and smooth Laura Mercier Primer is, more like a moisturizer than a silicone mask. We’ve also found that it’s compatible with all the foundations we have in rotation (CoverGirl Simply Ageless Anti-Aging Foundation, Smashbox High Definition Healthy FX Foundation SPF 15, CoverGirl Natureluxe Foundation). We’ve found it makes foundation glide on more smoothly, last longer, and we even use less.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
We have been very happy with the coverage and blendable texture of Smashbox High Definition Healthy FX Foundation that we got in the Smashbox Complexion Perfection Kit, but the Photo Finish Foundation Primer really only works with this foundation. We tried it with all our other options and oddly the formulas just don’t seem to work together; we end up with a streaky mess. That said, the combination of the Smashbox primer and the High Definition foundation look ah-mazing together. With this primer more than the others we tried, it’s critical to use the smallest amount possible or it just doesn’t work properly. We’ve found success with a dab about the size of a grain of rice. The texture is very satiny and soft, and it should feel light and comfortable if you use the right amount.

It looks like we need to apologize to our friendly neighborhood makeup artist and admit that, yes, a foundation primer really does make all the difference. Since this series of product testing, we have become devotees and can’t imagine going back. We hope you find a primer you love, too!

31
Jan

Our New Favorite Lipstick

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We usually favor lip balm or clear gloss because it’s easy to apply on the go and we don’t have to worry about smudges. We also appreciate the moisturizing benefits of balm in the winter when our lips get so dry. Plain balm is so boring, though! We are always up for trying something new, so when we saw a commercial for Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter, we knew a trip to the store was in order. There are 20 shades to choose from, from pale and demur to bold and shimmery. We tend to favor shades that go with everything and look natural, so we opted for Pink Truffle, a brownish pink. We are happy to say that we are not disappointed: this lip butter is the perfect cross between moisturizing balm and colorful lipstick. It glides on easily, has a smooth and light texture, feels moisturizing, and lasts pretty well (not through eating or drinking, though).

You can find Revlons’ new Lip Butter online or at your local drug/discount store.

25
Jan

Winter Face Creams

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Looking to improve your winter skincare routine to include a better face cream? Here are our current favorites, and they are perfect for all skin types.

L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream ($56): Don’t let the thick texture of this cream deceive you – it’s light and fast-absorbing, with just the right level of hydration. If you like a more natural product with plant extracts and essential oils, this is one to try.

Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone Super Hyper Hydrator with Coconut Water ($40): Either alone or layered with treatment products, we are totally in love with this coconut lotion. It’s super lightweight but incredibly hydrating, and it smells amazing! No trip to Sephora is complete without picking up an extra jar or two.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream ($19.99): We love drugstore finds, and this anytime cream is an easy choice for any skin type. It’s no miracle worker (like any cream really is), but it softens and hydrates as well as the higher priced brands.

11
Jan

Favorite Hand Creams

Posted under Cosmetics 2 Comments

With the hope and promise of a new year comes something we find rather unwelcome, but thankfully avoidable: winter dry hands. We’ve had enough! Here are a few of our favorite hand creams, from budget to more indulgent, to help you get through the dry skin season.

Avon Care Silicone Glove Protective Hand Cream ($5 for a full size 3.4 oz tube, $0.99 for the 1.5 oz size)
Our favorite hand cream comes with a bit of nostalgia: we used to get a holiday-themed tube of Silicone Glove every year in our Christmas stocking. It still evokes that special memory every time we smell it. It has a fresh, baby powder scent, is non-greasy, and makes our hands soft and supple. We also love how it lasts through a few hand washings.

Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme (available in 6.8 oz jar or 2.6 oz tube; $4-6)
If you are the kind of person who routinely slathers on lotion after a bath or shower, Nivea Soft is the cream for you. The soft, delicate scent won’t clash with other scents you might wear, and it’s lightweight and non-greasy.

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream ($19)
Caudalie is decidedly more indulgent than a drugstore hand cream, but it is also more of a skin care treatment. Caudalie uses the antioxidant benefits of grape seed polyphenols in all their products, so this hand cream boasts anti-aging properties. Considering that is does not contain a sunscreen, we are not convinced about the anti-aging claims, but it’s still a nice hand cream. It has a fresh, grapevine scent and is non-greasy and fast absorbing.