Monday, July 26, 2010

Hot Summer, Cool Shades


I have been slacking, I know :(

Here's the story of what has been keeping me out of tune with my passion for cosmetics, skincare & all things fashion: another passion of mine, to travel!
I am going to England and Spain at the end of August with a couple of friends and I have been working like a mad woman during the day (I have a part-time job in retail while I'm still in school, so you can imagine how many hours I need to spend at that place in order to afford my trip haha).
When I get home, I've been scouting the Internet for tips and tricks, places to stay, places to see, things to do, etc. while I'm going to be traveling.

Any fun tips for things to do in London and Barcelona, please send 'em my way :)

Now excuses aside, I did manage to get out of the house a couple of times last week and I've been obsessed with cool pinks. I'm taking a break from the corals and golds that seem to take over every summer...

Let's begin with the eyes:

I started with my saviour eye product in the summer - Urban Decay Primer Potion.
I despise the packaging... it's ugly and inconvenient, but sadly it's the only thing that works for my oily eyelids.
I have been hearing good things about the NARS eyeshadow primer as well...
have any of you tried that one? How does it compare to the UDPP? I'm dying to make the switch!

Next I used NARS Mykonos Cream Eyeshadow and smudged it close to the lashline,
followed by MAC Style Snob Eyeshadow all over the lid.
In the inner corner I used the white eyeshadow in my Helena Rubinstein "Night Flicker" Eyeshadow Duo (very similar to Vellum by MAC, a white with blue-purple duochrome)
Finished things off with NARS Demon Lover eyeshadow in the outer corner and gently through the crease.

Eyeliner: MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
Mascara: Fresh Supernova

Keeping up with the cool colour theme...

Bronzer: Benefit Hoola
Blush: MAC Well Dressed and a touch of MAC Redhead MSF
Lipstick and Lipgloss: Chanel Rose Comete & MAC Underage

For foundation, I opted for my favourite "going out" combination as of late:
two pumps of YSL Teint Resist in #5 (which is pretty much HG status... I'm in love), and one pump of MUFE HD in #123.
They balance each other quite well, Teint Resist gives it great lasting power and the MUFE gives the colour more depth since when I am tanned, Teint Resist foundation is too light for me. I also used a touch of Laura Mercier Translucent Powder to set.

I am going to close things off with a random question for you all - have any of you tried La Mer Tinted Moisturizer? I have a random desire to try it out.
I've been really into mixing my YSL Teint Resist foundation with my moisturizers (either Cetaphil or my Clinique Moisturizing Gel), and while I always thought I'd never be the tinted moisturizer type, my skin has been in great shape lately and I'm thinking I may pull it off!

So - tinted moisturizers... La Mer... yay or nay? Feel free to give me your recommendations,
and until next time (which hopefully will be sooner rather than later *blushes*)

- Sandra

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Second Chances...

Not sure if you remember, but a couple of months ago in an "In & Out" post, I was complaining about a product.
Here we are, two months later, raving about that very product!

Has that ever happened to you before? You buy something, have high expectations, you start using it and after not seeing results after a few weeks you just give up and move on to the next best thing? I do it all the time, and perhaps I should not, because this product has definitely proven me wrong.

The product I'm talking about is La Roche Posay "Effaclar Duo" Acne Treatment

Now, like I mentioned before, when I first bought this thing, I was putting it on my acne spots and groaned with frustration when days later, nothing changed. It wasn't giving me the fast drying results that I was getting with my sulfur-based Mario Badescu products. I didn't want to waste the tube so I continued using it, applying it hopelessly on the areas where I am prone to acne (my lower cheeks and chin).

Slowly but surely, after about a month and a half I noticed that my cystic acne has completely gone away. Where I used to have 4 or 5 bumps hanging around at a time, I would only get a small whitehead or two, which were easy to eliminate.
It took me a while to realize that this was the only new product I had introduced in my routine, and that it was doing all the work!

Now, what is this thing? It is a white serum that goes on clear on the skin. It contains a low dose of salicylic acid and other calming ingredients meant to penetrate the skin and help clear out acne-causing bacteria. It is very gentle and completely paraben-free.
I bought this at Shopper's Drug Mart (a drug store here in Canada), and it cost $28. You get a significant amount of product for the money... I have been using it daily for the past 4 months and I still have more than half a tube to go through.

I haven't had cystic acne in about 2 months now. Now, don't get me wrong, I still get some spots, but it is a major improvement - I went from 3-5 spots a week to 1-3 a month! From painful cystic bumps to small whiteheads that I dry out with either Mario Badescu Drying Lotion or I extract them myself and heal with tea tree oil and some more of this serum.

If you have specific areas on your face that are acne-prone, like I do; areas that tend to congest easier than others, then give this product a try. I apply it on my problem areas in the evening after I tone and moisturize, and sometimes in the morning as well if I feel a spot about to emerge.

So, the moral of the story? If you're using something that seems useless, don't give up right away... give it a chance until you finish the tube (unless you react to it negatively, of course).
You might be pleasantly surprised, like I was.

What products have you been giving second chances lately?

- Sandra

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