Blush -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Blends Sheer Highlighting Blush
urmite 2/6/2008 4:55:00 PM
I really like Healthy Skin Blush in Fresh 20 for everyday use. In HS and college, I was always drawn to the peachier-brownish shades of blush, which seemed to work for me then. But now in my 30s, I find that the sheer pinks give me a fresher appearance and help me avoid looking "like a peasant," as my grandmother told me years ago (her explanation for why I would benefit from some blush -- I'm pretty pale, I must say). I took a lippy off for the price ($12??? for drugstore blush???) and lame brush (I'd rather have no brush and a lower price). However, I love its texture, the absence of sparkle (on my oily skin, sparkles just don't work), and the sweep of sheer, subtle color it provides. Definitely a keeper.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Belli Acne Clearing Facial Wash
urmite 2/6/2008 1:57:00 PM
I've decided to change up my skin care regimen in preparation for plans to begin TTC (just about everything I've been using to control my acne is not recommended during pregnancy). My OB/GYN has not been the most helpful on this topic (liability issues, so basically I get a blanket "you can't use anything" advisory -- not helpful at all), so I've had to resort to doing my own homework and essentially minimize potential risks to future baby. After consulting reputable medical sites and experts like Paula Begoun, I could conclude that: retinoids (i.e. Retin-A, retinols) are big no-nos, old standbys like BP and Salicylic Acid (BHA and other aspirin-based products) are probably not a good idea, and glycolic and lactic acids are pretty much the only OTC products that experts generally agree are safe bets. Needless to say, this significantly narrows the universe of products to treat/prevent acne breakouts, and I have an appt. with a dermatologist later in the month to find out about any prescription options I may have. In the meantime, I stumbled upon Belli products and couldn't help but be impressed with the entire. I love the level of research that has gone into these products and that the products were specifically developed for pregnant women. This cleanser is the first item of theirs that I have tried, and I must say that I am really happy with it so far. It relies on 7% lactic acid as the active ingredient, with gentle cleansing action and a mild lemony-citrus fragrance. I've had a few breakouts since quitting my usual products a couple of months ago, and this has helped to calm my skin and keep it reasonably clear. To make sure I don't waste this product ($$) on removing my makeup, I do take the additional step of washing with Clean & Clear's Sensitive Skin Facial Wash before using this. While I would prefer the results that I had with my Retin-A and sulfur cleanser (I have conflicting info on sulfur, so I'll wait and see what the derm says), this has done a pretty good job of clearing up my skin. I have used it as a mask as well, leaving it on my cleansed face for 5 minutes before washing it off. The mornings after I have done this, any zits that were starting were on the mend and my skin was very smooth and noticeably brightened. With continued use over these last few weeks, I've definitely noticed a difference and my skin keeps getting better and better. Of course, I'll have to wait and see what pregnancy does to my skin (maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones who clear up...won't hold my breath, but I can dream), but in preparation for that day, I'm happy to have Belli's Acne Clearing Wash in my arsenal. It's a little pricey for my taste and more than I like to spend on a facial wash, but for this season of life it's worth it to me. Buying it through drugstore.com helps (cheaper than on the Belli site and you get 20% off if you buy 2 or more Belli products in one order, so I'll be restocking these 2 at a time). Definitely worth checking out.
Cleansers -Olay - Oil of Olay moisture balancing foaming face wash
urmite 11/27/2007 11:17:00 AM
I wanted a gentle morning face wash to alternate with my Healing Garden microdermabrasion scrub, which I love. I took a chance on this and bought it without reading any reviews, and I've been very pleased with it. I haven't experienced any type of film on my skin, but then again, my only goal is to get the overnight acne products and oil from my face, and not any makeup. With my acne treatments, my skin can get very dried out and flaky, so I have to be careful with the washes I pick, and this one fits the bill for my morning needs.
The best oil control product I've ever tried! I have EXTREMELY oily skin, which has frustrated me for years. I found this accidentally online and ended up buying it from a pharmacy in the UK, since it's only sold through dermatologist offices here in the US (strange, since it's non-prescription). BTW, over there it's called "OC Eight Oil Control Genius," and here it's "OC Eight Mattifying Gel" -- same company, same product. Here it sells for about $40 for a 45-gram tube, but ordering it online I paid less than half of that, even with shipping.
I just have to say OC Eight is terrific! After washing my face, I put on my Azelex, then Olay Complete moisturizer, and this goes on top after my face is dry. You do have to let it dry before applying your makeup, but that only takes a couple of minutes and you're left with this incredible matte finish. I still see a little bit of shine peaking toward midafternoon, but NOTHING like before - I just give my face a little blot and move on. OC Eight claims to work 8 hours (hence the name), and it seems to live up to that, if not quite a bit longer for me. It's not perfect, but I have noticed a dramatic difference, and it definitely meets my needs.
My makeup now lasts throughout the whole work day (which begins at 6 and ends when I get home at 7:30) and no longer slip-slides off my face. I love this stuff!
Scrubs -The Healing Garden - Skin Organics reFine microdermabrasion treatment
urmite 3/23/2006 5:37:00 PM
I've used this for the past couple of weeks for intensive twice-a-week exfoliation, and I really like it. It was an impulse buy, but I had been looking at a microdermabrasion product to try out. My skin feels so smooth and soft afterward, and my face has a healthy glow. I have had no problems with irritation or dryness, nor has it aggravated my oily skin. I enjoy the fragrance myself, but those who are more sensitive might find it to be too much.
Cleansers -Olay - Age Defying Daily Renewal Cleanser
urmite 3/23/2006 5:25:00 PM
I really like this cleanser in the winter months, when the cold takes its toll on my medicated skin and it needs a little extra TLC. I only tried it after reading the good reviews here and on drugstore.com, since I avoid cleansers with salycilic acid -- they always to dry me out. Not this one. It gets my makeup off and leaves my skin clean, but not stripped. Best of all, no breakouts. I like the fragrance of it, too. The microbeads are so insignificant, an additional scrub is necessary for exfoliation, but for day-to-day cleansing, this is terrific! My only wish is that Olay would move this to a tube, so you can actually finish all of the product (you only get 6 oz to begin with, and getting to that last ounce at the bottom is an exercise in true determination).
Scrubs -Olay - Daily Facials Intensives Smooth Skin Exfoliating Scrub
urmite 3/23/2006 5:15:00 PM
I gave this a shot because I compared its ingredients with Olay's Age Defying Daily Renewal Cleanser, which I like, but hate the pump that makes it impossible to finish off the bottle. They have the same ingredients with one exception (it was toward the end of the list, so not a major one), and even the same fragrance, but this was very drying. From the order of the ingredients, this has a little more salycilic acid in it, so that might be the culprit. I really like the Daily Renewal, but they definitely did not repackage that formula into this cute tube. I liked the scrubbier texture of this (the microbeads in the Daily Renewal are truly micro -- as in, barely discernable -- and it scrubs better than the Clarity Daily Scrub), but that's about it. NOT repurchasing.
I'm glad I got this as a sample and didn't spend the money on a full tube, because it really dried me out. There is definitely more gel than scrub to this product -- the beads are few and far between. I had to stop using it within three days because my skin started feeling so dry and tight when I used it at night. Definitely will not purchase - there are much better scrubs out there.
Powder -Cover Girl - Tru Blend Powder foundation [DISCONTINUED]
urmite 3/22/2006 5:57:00 PM
I LOVE this stuff. I had never used a powder foundation before and couldn't believe the kind of coverage this offered. The finish is also smooth and natural, and I like how you can fix any problems during the day without making an obvious "here is where I added more foundation" spot on your face. I use a soft brush to apply this rather than the sponge (didn't like getting foundation all over my fingers, plus it would constantly get caked with oil and the makeup - gross!). I think the brush improves the finish on my skin, plus I think I use less product that way. I only wish it came in a larger size - most of the compact's size is for the sponge area. Oh, and if you have dry, flaky skin, this will NOT appeal to you at all, and it does have a tendency to settle into facial lines and wrinkles (I have lifelong creases under my eyes, so I learned this the hard way :) ).
Powder -Physicians Formula - Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Loose Powder
urmite 3/22/2006 5:44:00 PM
I've been using this for two weeks now, and I'm amazed at how great the coverage is, yet still very natural. I took one lippie off because the finish is a little shinier than I prefer, so I usually do a quick buff of Maybelline loose powder to finish things off, and I also don't care for the brush that is included (VERY stiff, so I use a very soft dome brush I acquired a couple of years ago, and that works well). It lasts through the day and even though I get my usual shiny spots, blotting with a tissue takes care of it without disturbing the coverage. I have not found it to be at all irritating and I actually like the packaging - my top is not that hard to pull off to get to the sifted powder and I use the dome to tap off the excess. I think I am now in love with powder foundations (also love CG's TruBlend), and the PF loose mineral will definitely stay in my makeup bag. Of course, the true test will come this July and August - I'll update my review if I find that it cannot weather DC's notorious heat and humidity.
I love this product (and the regular Body Wash). I find this one helpful for the gym, since I can just use my hands and let the beads do the scrubbing without a poof. I personally think it smells better than the original -- kind of citrusy. Yeah, the packaging is not exactly ideal for a product of its consistency (tends to get clogged), so I usually just take off the top to dispense it, and that works just fine. I have found both versions to be very effective and not too drying for me.
Love this product, although the scent is not exactly inviting. But it does the job nicely, keeping breakouts on my chest, neck, and back at bay -- working out does a number on these skin areas for me. I always use it with a poof-scrubby-thingy (whatever it's called), so I only use this at home, and not at the gym. For there, I keep the Scrub version in my bag, since the beads do the manual exfoliating. Couldn't go without either!
I lost my skin cleanser while on travel for work (not realizing it until we got to our next destination), so I borrowed this from a colleague and loved it the first few times I used it -- even went out and bought my own before coming home. But alas, my skin rebelled and began developing dry patches, so I had to stop using it. I now use it occasionally for a good exfoliation -- the texture is just right -- but I cannot use more than a couple of times a week. Once this tube is gone, though, I will probably use something else.
This would be one of my favorite foundations, except I never found a shade that really worked for me. Ivory is too pink and Buff is a little too dark(I'm pale with yellow undertones), so I gave up on it, but the product works great otherwise, just as advertised. Hence, the removal of two lippies, for the limited of color selection. Otherwise, this would be the perfect makeup for my oily skin, because IT STAYS PUT!! I believe it has been reformulated with something they've patented called SoftFlex -- it's supposed to make you feel like you're not wearing makeup. The Stay Natural is now "Active Light" with SPF 25 (nice!), and there are now Combo/Oily and Normal/Dry versions of the original (might be the source of the confusion over it being discontinued, since the stores were trying to clear their shelves of the old formulas).
I used to love these when they first hit the market -- my nose felt so smooth and I could see all the gunk that had been hiding in my pores. BUT, when I mentioned this to my dermatologist, he gave me a disapproving look and said that these are terrible for your skin. It might be temporarily satisfying, but he said you risk long-term damage to the pores or even scarring. Besides, it leaves your pores wide open for bacteria, dirt, and the other stuff you were trying to remove in the first place. If you must be de-plugged, best see a derm or a certified aesthetician who knows how to safely remove them, and use products that will help keep them at bay in the first place. Ever notice during a facial how aestheticians wait until your skin is really softened up through steaming and other methods before attempting to remove them? There's a reason.