Lip Gloss -Bobbi Brown - High Shimmer Lip Gloss (all)
gwennw 11/20/2012 4:54:00 PM
Just got this in Naked Plum, which is the perfect nudish plum I have ever seen. I actually had to go to 3 BB counters to find one that had this color in stock. It is apparently flying off the shelves. I wear it over Smashbox's Light lip liner pencil (all over the lips) and it is stunning. The high shimmer is extremely flattering, as is the color, which I imagine would look good on anyone. Makes my lips look big and juicy.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide on eyeliner in bourbon
gwennw 11/20/2012 4:49:00 PM
Although this pencil looks very sparkly when I sampled it on my hand, once it was on my eye, there was no sparkle, which was good, because I don't see the appeal of a brown sparkle eyeliner. It looks very soft once on, but it defines my eyes beautifully. Once you apply it, you have about 2 minutes to smudge it before it sets. Once it sets, it truly will not budge until you take it off. The pencil is a gel and glides on very smoothly, no pulling or dragging with this pencil. The color is a rich, warm, deep, chocolate brown and looks great with my hazel eyes.
Moisturizers -Physician's Choice - PCA Skin phaze17 rebalance
gwennw 10/19/2012 9:22:00 PM
This was recommended to me by my esthetician. I have combination skin and this has definitely helped to balance out my oil production. My t-zone is much drier, but still soft, and my dehydrated cheeks and moisturized and smooth. It makes putting makeup on so much easier in the AM. I love the PCA product line, but I only use the products that are recommended to me by my long-term facialist. She knows my skin, and is therefore able to steer me to the correct products from the PCA line. In my opinion, it is a confusing skincare line, and I woud never be able to figure out which products to use without professional help.
Treatments -Physician's Choice - PCA Skin Phaze 18 Clearskin
gwennw 9/28/2012 7:11:00 PM
Clearskin is a great moisturizer for my combination skin. My skin is very fickle (oily one day, dry the next) and Clearskin has helped to regulate it. I apply it all over my face, no matter if it is bone dry or superslick, and in a few hours I have soft and even skin. It never feels greasy and absorbs into the skin very quickly. I only use it once a day, at night because there is no SPF.
One of my fav beauty bloggers recommended this blush, so I purchased it solely based on her recommendation. Good rec! I went to Ulta and purchased this for under $10. I have been looking for a red toned, glowy blush for several months, and was having a hard time finding one that matched the natural flush of my cheeks. In the pan, Cinnamon looks like a burnt orange, but it does not show up that way on my C3, medium skin tone. On me, it looks like an airbrushed version of what my natural flush looks like. One warning...this blush is very pigmented. Use much less than you think you need, otherwise you will end up looking like a clown. I barely sweep my brush over the pan, then I blow on it AND tap out the excess. That is enough for both cheeks.
Polishes -Essie - Bobbing for Baubles - Winter 2011
gwennw 11/8/2011 4:14:00 PM
I have never been in to the blue nail craze. I thought the look was too young for me (I am 43) and I felt ridiculous wearing it. Then I saw BFB and fell in love with it. The color is a midnight blue with steel grey undertones..very sophisticated, elegant and fun (but not too fun). I love the way the color looks in the sunlight. It looks very dark in medium and darker light. I almost wish it was a little bit lighter so you could see more of the color. As with all Essie colors, it goes on smooth, with minimal streaking and lasts a good week without chipping.
About a month ago I saw a new dermatologist who switched me from the Obagi system to Atralin and a RX strength hydroquinine. I had commented that I really liked the results of Obagi, but it was expensive and required so many steps. Obagi made my skin look amazing....glowing, bright and clear. He told me that I could switch to Atralin and hydroquinine for less than a third of the price AND the same results. He was right. I've been using the new regime for a month now and the results are just as good. The first week of using the Atralin my face peeled a little so I switched to using it every other night. Once the peeling cleared up, I went back to every night use. My oily t-zone is under control, my pores look smaller and my skin is silky smooth and soft.
I've been using Studio Careblend PP for a week and it is amazing. I am 42 with combination skin (oily t-zone, dry cheeks). I usually wear tinted moisturizer, but occasionally I wear a medium coverage foundation. I have tried the PP over both and the finish is stunning. It is not matte, it just looks like you have air-brushed skin. It evens out my combination skin so that no one would know I didn't have flawless skin. My MAC salesperson suggested that I use a m/u brush, rather than the sponge thing that comes with it, so that is what I use to apply it. Even when I get in my car, and check out my face in the harsh sunlight, my skin looks gorgeous. With Studio Careblend, it appears as though my pores have completely disappeared (they are huge!!!). I was quite surprised to find out that the MAC mua chose Medium Dark (described as caramel beige on the website) for me. I am a C3, medium complexion, hazel eyes, and brown hair. I would have certainly chosen the Medium (Soft Creamy Beige) or Medium Plus (Tan Beige) for myself had I ordered from the website, sight unseen. Medium Dark looks really good on me and is a perfect match.
I am shocked that anyone has anything negative to say about an Axxium manicure! I think it is a major breakthrough! This gel manicure looks just as shiny and chip-free in day 14 as it does on day 1. The color selection is huge and it is not damaging to your natural nail underneath. I know some people are saying that their natural nails ARE damaged. I think their technician is doing something wrong. My natural nails were a little dry after removal, but a few days of rubbing in cuticle oil and moisturizer, and they were good as new. It is great to be able to go on vacation and not have to worry about chipping a nail, or even breaking a nail. With the Axxium, I never get a chip, and the gel makes my natural nails stronger, so they never break! They are growing like never before. The cons are that it is a bit more expensive than a regular manicure ($28) and takes more time (45 - 50 minutes), but you only have to go every 3 week. Plus, you don't have to even think about your nails for the entire time in between. My favorite thing about the gel manicure is that I leave the salon completely dry. No "seat belt smudges"! I can wash dishes, cook, swim, or do anything, without having to thing about my nails.
I may have finally found the holy grail of skincare products. After 4 weeks of use, I have seen an amazingly dramatic change in my skin. My hormonal brown spots around my forehead have faded by at least 75%, my acne scars have faded by about 75%, my overall skin tone is smooth and even, the ruddiness in my cheeks have faded and I have gone from 5 - 6 breakouts last month (pre-Obagi) to only 1 while using Obagi. A little history on my skin. I suffered from adult hormonal acne for much of my 30's (I am 42) which left me with spotty scars around my mouth and chin. I have combination skin, medium colored (C3) with little sun damage and no wrinkles. I have been getting microdermabrasion treatments and glycolic peels for 10 years to help out with my clogged pores. I have been using RetinA for the past 5-6 years but recently switched to Epiduo. I had an allerdic reaction to the Epiduo so I am know using Differin. It has been a constant battle for clear, bright and glowing skin that is soft and healthy. When my new dermatologist suggested Obagi, I was not immediately sold on the idea. I was hoping she would suggest a medical grade laser or prescription cream, but she likes to start off on the conservative side. She told me that she uses Obagi (well..she gets it for free!) and then pointed out that a laser treatment would be at least twice the price as the $400 Obagi kit. Before shelling out the money, I made sure it came with a money back guarentee and she promised me I could return it for a full refund whenever I wanted, so I jumped in and purchased it. My kit came with 7 pieces...Cleanser, Toner, 2 bottles of Clear, Exfoliator, Blender and Suncreen, and instructions on how to use it twice a day, along with my Differin. I know some people who described their skin in first few weeks as peeling and red, but mine wasn't too bad. I couldn't wear makeup, because that would have made the peeling look worse, but no one other than me noticed the peeling. My face felt tight, sensitive and looked slightly red and irritated. The one night I needed to look really good, I loaded my face with moisturizer, put on my Bobbi Brown foundation and it was fine for a night. I am on my 5th week of treatment and I could not be happier. Even though I have not achieved the final results, if I stopped now, I would be thrilled with my skin. I don't even need makeup, just a little undereye concealer and blush! Although the entire line is wonderful, I will no repurchase the cleanser, toner or sunscreen. They are very expensive ($40 a bottle) and can be replaced by drugstore equivalents. The Clear, Exfoliator and the Blender are the products in the line that contain the hydroquinone, which is the active ingredient that evens out the skintone. I am not sure if there is much difference between the 3 products, or if Clear if the only product that I will need. From what I have read, it seems as though Clear is the powerhouse of the line, but I'll have to test that theory out myself when my products begin to run low. For now, the Obagi system has been worth every penny. My skin looks amazing! UPDATE: I recently switched from Obagi to Atralin, a prescription retinoid. I like it much better because it requires only one step and costs a fraction of the price of Obagi. Plus, the results are just as good. I also use a Rx strength hydroquinine to help even out my skintone. Both creams total under $100.
I have been using BM for many years, but just recently stopped because I was not happy with the finish. I would apply the product after my moisturizer, and I would be left with a shiny t-zone. I would then brush on mineral veil, but it still looked shiny. I began to use Bobbi Brown liquid foundation and her pressed powder. it gave me the coverage and the matte finish I was looking for. A few week later, I was at the BM store, picking up a jar of foundation for my daughter when I saw the Matte Foundation. I decided to give it a try, because even thought I am happy with my current foundation, I miss the ease of BM and mineral makeup is perfect for those days when I am just running errand or going to the gym, and I just want the SPF and a little coverage. I mean, who wears liquid foundation to the gym? I LOVE the new Matte formula. I got it in the same shade I wore before....Medium Beige. It seems to me to be the exact same shade. The coverage is the same (maybe a tiny bit heavier, but still buildable, sheer and natural). The difference is the finish. It is completely matte. Not chalky matte. Your skin still looks dewey and glowing, but not greasy and slick. I set it with a super light dusting of Mineral Veil, and I am set for the day. I have put it to the gym test, and it performed well. An hour after working out, my face was not shiny! Bare Minerals is back to being my new everyday m/u.
Treatments -Neutrogena - Ageless Restoratives 5 Minute Facial
gwennw 4/25/2010 8:49:00 PM
I wish I would remember to use this more often. I use it about once or twice a week, but the jar says you can use it up to three times a week. I use this mask between my professional facial and microdermabrasion treatments. Since using this product, I find that instead of going every 6 weeks between visits to the spa, I can go every 8 weeks. As soon as you scrub this mask off, you will immediately notice a difference in the condition of your skin. It looks glowing, fresh, and rosy, and feels smooth and soft. There is no offensive odor to the product, and it only takes 5 minutes. For $35 a jar, it is a product that does what it says and is available in any drugstore.
Main Squeeze is a sheer lilac from Essie's 2010 Wedding Collection. Main Squeeze initially looks like a pale dove grey in the bottle, but it definitely shows up on your nail as lovely pastel lilac. It has a beautiful sheen that is both subtle and edgy at the same time. The sheen may look almost iridescent in bright light, but it is subtle enough to look sophisticated, not tacky or cheap. After all, it is from Essie's WEDDING collection. I keep my nails short, and I am loving this color on my nails for spring. It is a nice change from my usual sheer pinks and nudes.
I didn't want to fall in love with this because it is a pretty pricey product, but I couldn't help it! It is the most moisturizing cleanser I have ever used. Because of the price, I alternate use every other day or so, between this and Bobbi's regular cleansing oil. In the winter, if my skin is feeling especially dry or tight, I will use it more often. It has a wonderful orange essence smell to it that is so refreshing...I love it! The m/u artist from BB who recommended this to me, suggested I mix some of BB's Buffing Beads in with the Balm for an amazing scrub. OMG....my skin has never looked or felt better. It seriously looked like I just had a spa microdermabrasion peel! Fortunately, a little goes a long way, and although I am only on my first tub, I suspect it will last at least six month, if I continue to use it a few times a week. You only need a drop the size of your pinky nail to cleanse your entire face and neck. If you are looking for something to make your skin smooth, soft and glow, this is the product to go for! BTW...the skin is combination, and while moisturizing my dry cheeks, it does not add shine or grease to my oily t-zone, nor has it caused breakouts. It is almost like it helps to equalize the balance between the oil and the dry spots, making the entire texture of my skin more uniform. The more I use it, the more uniform my skin texture looks and feels.
I am officially a convert from creamy facial cleansers to cleansing oils. Let me begin by saying that I have combination skin and my t-zone can get very shiny, so I was hesitant to try a cleansing oil. The first one I tried was actually by MAC, but when I finished that bottle, I purchased Bobbi's because I really love her skincare products. You apply the oil to you dry skin, massage in it and rinse off with water. Nothing will dissolve every trace of makeup off of your face better, including waterproof makeup. I wear contact lenses and have sensitive eyes, and even when I rub the cleansing oil onto my eye area, it removes everything, and doesn't burn or irritate my eyes. Best of all, it does not leave skin "squeaky" clean. Rather, it leaves skin soft, smooth, glowing and plump. I then continue on with my skin care routine as usual. It has never caused a breakout, or an increase in oil production. If anything, it has helped decrease breakouts, because it removes every trace of dirt and grime from my skin. It has the faintest scent to it, and a bottle lasts for 2 - 3 months. I use it year round and will never go back to a regular facial cleanser again.