This sunscreen is rated SPF 50 in Canada, but it looks exactly the same. I love it for my kids because it uses the mineral physical ingredients which do not irritate skin and are less irritating to the eyes if they rub their eyes (and they always rub their faces with their hands). At first I was a little disappointed that it didn't contain some antioxidants that help the skin function well, but I found that my son finds creams with antioxidants tingly and it bugs him, even if it's just for a minute. So, in the end, the simple formula really works for us. The white cast from it will be visible, even on the whitest shades of skin.
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF45
LucyLastName 5/25/2013 1:54:00 PM
This sunscreen is not ultra sheer or dry touch. It leaves a shiny, greasy look on the face and its texture is quite thick. The scent bothers me too. It lingers on for a long time. But it performs well, so I use it on my hands and body. I got it on a great sale for $7, so I'm not too disappointed. But I definitely won't repurchase it. I found the SPF 30 to be lighter, though still with a quite visible shine to it.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - RESIST Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment
LucyLastName 5/25/2013 1:50:00 PM
Context: I am on the second tube of this treatment. I apply it once a day, sometimes just on the dark discolorations left over from breakouts. Other products I use are Retin A cream, PC Retinol Serum, BHA9 every 3 days, Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% every other day and Tea Tree Oil solution every other day. Sunscreen goes without saying. I know that both exfoilators, Retin A and serums can contribute to improving these marks, but I have used them all in combination before and this treatment really does speed up the healing of marks for me. They shrink faster and fade sooner, especially at that beginning stage when the mark seems the most intense (or "angry"). I'm not sure if the total time to heal is reduced, but I love having this around. Sometimes when my face is feeling dryer, I'll skip Retin A and apply just this, or dilute my Retin A cream with this treatment. The texture is lotion-like, but light. Definitely not a substitute for a moisturizer for those with dry skin. The two things I don't like about it are price (I think it's a little expensive, but not outrageous) and the shimmer. I have an oily complexion, so I don't need the shimmer at all, but some people might find it nice. Again, not tested on animals, excellent refund/credit policy and no added perfumes. Overall, I think it's a very good product, a bit of a splurge though. Not a necessity.
I don't think toners are necessary in a skin care routine, but since I have combination skin and can't really use moisturizers without lighting up like a Christmas tree, this toner has become a staple in my skin care routine. Just to put my routine in perspective. Morning : cleanser, 2.5%BP and Clindosyl cream with SPF15. Evening: cleanser, toner, BHA 1%, Retin-A 0.05%, Resist Skin Brightening Treatment. Once a week, I use BHA9 and Resist Retinol Serum. PROS: This toner is light weight, non-irritating, fragrance free. It reduces any tightness in my skin. When going out to an important event, I'll often skip all the steps in my routine, just wash my face and tone it. Makeup stays on so much longer. This is basically my super light moisturizer for my oily skin. CONS: It gets used up fast, so I find myself pouring it into my palm, so as to not waste any, but that application takes a lot of practice to not be messy. I think this has some potent ingredients and is definitely not suited for every skin type. If you have very dry skin or are using all kinds of other products with active ingredients, it might not be the product itself that is causing you problems - it just might not sync with your skin care routine. It's all about experimenting. That's why I like that Paula's Choice has samples.
I use the Normal/Dry Skin Foundation with SPF 15 , even though my skin is combination and can get quite oily in the summer. I really like this foundation. It blends beautifully, and keeps looking beautiful for many hours. I do find that the colours are more on the pinkish beige side of neutral though (as opposed to the more yellow-based one I use from MUFE). Still, once it settles into the skin and with some light dusting of powder on top, it really does look skin-like. The SPF is a bonus. I don't mind the packaging (no pump) simply because the price is so affordable, it's really nothing to complain about.
Cleansers -Paula's Choice - Moisture Boost One Step Face Cleanser
LucyLastName 12/12/2012 7:22:00 PM
This is my favourite cleanser. I have a combination skin prone to acne and my skin loves this product. It washes off makeup completely (even without washcloth). It leaves my skin feeling clean, but not tight. I love the texture of it because I do not like foaming. I also love that it's cruelty free and fragrance free. Overall, a good value for the money.
Misc Beauty Tools -Olay - Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System
LucyLastName 10/24/2012 11:33:00 AM
Let me start by saying that I would never, ever buy the Clarisonic brush. In fact, I thought spending about $30 on Olay Pro X was a bit much. Really what this brush does is gently scrub your face. You can do that with a soft washcloth and it'll be dirt cheap. But I was curious and I couldn't keep up the routine with the washcloths because they need to be dried than washed and changed every day. Anyways onto the review. Pros: I like that it's soft and gentle. It removes makeup well. Sometimes I'd use a moisturizer to dislodge my makeup first and then cleanse with a cleanser and just my hands. It's small and light. When I used it on regular basis (once every other day) my skin seemed to have more of a glow to it. Cons: The glow was temporary. The brush is quite soft, but constant fast rubbing of my face put it on a "stand by mode". That meant that as soon as something changed in my routine, like I forgot to put on a moisturizer or I had to apply benzoyl peroxide to some breakouts, my skin would protest. It would get flaky and dry and irritated. I think it was just too much for my skin. This might be in part because I already use quite a few products and the combination of those active ingredients and the constant brush rubbing my face just didn't work. Currently I keep it and use it on occasion when I have to remove Revlon Colorstay makeup. If I had normal skin and used no other products and just needed something to manually remove dead skin cells, this might have worked well. I would not purchase it again, just because I could very well remove my long lasting makeup with a wet washcloth and my cleanser.
Skin type: fair, acne-prone, combination For the most part, I use PC products because they are well formulated, well priced, the company has a good return/refund policy and they're very well researched in their field. Four points : Price, effectiveness, texture and packaging Price: I was surprised that this cost so much. I know for a fact that salicylic acid is dirt cheap. However, I can understand that the development of the product can end up costing a lot, so I don't blame them for trying to make a profit. It's not outrageously priced, but if someone tried to use it all over their face (which is not its intended use) every two or three days, I doubt it would last more than a couple of months. Effectiveness: I found it very effective on my large clogged pores and literally overnight. It also diminished and healed my cystic painful breakouts, that took a couple of days (they never got to their full size, so the red marks after were smaller too). It leaves the skin smooth, but I think using it all over your face on regular basis can be drying and irritating. I have oily face, but I also use many other products (retin a, benzoyl peroxide, sunscreen, etc). So even for an oily face it might be irritating (depending on what else you're using or how you're cleansing your face) Texture: it's definitely a bit sticky and the company says it's to preserve the products' effectiveness. I only use it at night, so this is of no consequence. Packaging: The learning curve on this one was really short for me. For spot treatment I tapped it gently until I felt resistance and a drop at a time came out. For the whole face, I pressed gently half way down, worked every time. Overall, I think it's worth a try.
Hair Color -L'Oreal - HiColor High Lift Hair Color
LucyLastName 10/23/2012 8:06:00 PM
Hair history: had my ash blonde hair high-lighted for years, got tired of it, had it dyed copper brown at a salon. That faded, I colored it myself with Age Beautiful Light Red (6R). Unhappy with the violet hue of it, I purchased L'Oreal HiColor High Lift Color in Copper Red (H10) at Sally's ( I decided I wanted something more coppery). This hair color is great. I used 20v developer because my hair was not really that dark. I really really like the hue of this dye. It's burnished deep red with just a hint of copper. Vibrant and not too dark. It smelled quite strong when I was putting it on, but my hair did not smell overwhelmingly freshly colored after washing it off. The texture is a little more liquidy than I'm used to, so I had to be really careful when applying it. It didn't sting my scalp and didn't make my hair fall out at an increasing rate like the Age Beautiful dye did. I'm new to coloring my own hair and I think I've already found my favorite. Only had it for several days, so not sure how fast it will fade, I will update when it does.