Winter 2017 Beauty Wish List

As fall turns to winter and the air gets colder, it’s time for me to look at my current winter beauty essentials and see if there’s anything I may need to edit or add. My beauty routines are adjusted from season to season because my skin tolerates different products according to changes in temperature and humidity. And, well, I also just love trying new products…

Snowflake

Courtesy of Pixabay

I have always been a big fan of drugstore products, and many of them have made their way into my beauty staples. That said, lately, as was the case this last fall, I have been increasingly tempted to explore some more luxury-type items. My skin has gotten a bit drier and bit redder, given the new lack of humidity in my neighborhood, so I am definitely on the lookout for some help in that area. And while my old stand-by blush has done me well for so many years, my aging skin is beginning to not tolerate matte powders quite as well as it has in the past.

Here is my list of candidates for this season:

Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour

I have played with cream cheek colors in the past, but they have always made my skin appear quite greasy (with the exception of some cream-to-powder formulations). This time around, though, I’m considering the effects of the current drought situation on my face and thinking that perhaps a creamier compound might actually be favorable. This one gets great reviews on Beautypedia and comes in great colors, even if only a few.

Nars Blush in Orgasm

Yeah, I realize I just moaned about how dry my skin is and how powders are starting to accentuate that, but I’m intensely hoping that the sheen of this product will give my skin some life, rather than dull it down. This is a cult classic, peachy-pink, shimmery wonder that has been on my internal wish list for a long time. We’ll see if I actually give it a try now. Two blushes on one list? I know, I know. Blush is my absolute favorite beauty product of all time! It honestly couldn’t be helped . . .

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 21

I haven’t ever been a big foundation addict. For the most part, I try to look natural and not draw too much attention in my daily life. I like to look pretty, professional, and polished, but I am quite fearful of looking too “done.”

I’ve seen many a Youtuber review this product recently, with mixed results (oftentimes disappointing those who are looking for fuller coverage). One thing they have all mentioned though, is how easily it blends. My hope is that it can disguise some redness and perhaps some pores, for a more finished (but still somewhat natural) look.

Sara Happ The Lip Slip® One Luxe Balm

A tempting-sounding combination of jojoba, macadamia, and sweet almond oils, among other things, this lip balm has already made its way into my shopping cart. I first heard MakeupByTiffanyD extol the virtues of this balm in a recent video on YouTube and the finish it gave her lips after application gave me great hopes! I am optimistic that perhaps it can handle my dehydrated aperture.

Jojoba Oil

I haven’t yet decided on the brand, but I know I am looking for a pure, organic formula. I am inspired to try this for cleansing after watching Tasha do a video about her skin care routine on her family’s YouTube channel (in case you’re wondering, yes, I am a bit of a YouTube addict). Although she used olive oil, I am thinking that jojoba may serve dual purposes as both a cleanser and a moisturizer. I love ease and simplicity . . . and fewer bottles on my counter. I am also hoping the fewer ingredients will help calm my dry and finicky visage. As soon as I get my new night-time skin care routine figured out, I will be sure to post about it!

And there you have it: some of the items that I am looking forward to experimenting with this winter. Is it winter or summer where you are? What are you trying this season?

Peace to all. Stay cozy!

*All products listed here are available at Nordstrom.com. This is not a sponsored post and does not contain any affiliate links. I just really happen to like Nordstrom!

Clinique Blended Face Powder Review

I’ll be honest, after the age of thirty-five, I had pretty much sworn off any kind of facial powders. That was about the time that I began to notice how crepey and crinkled my face could appear with powder applied to it. I spent years avoiding powders (with the exception of blush), and learned to accept that, while my face wasn’t exceptionally greasy, I was going to have some shine on my visage most of the time.

Much to my own surprise, and very much on a whim, I recently purchased the Clinique Blended Face Powder, more out of curiosity than anything else. I had seen rave reviews on both the Nordstrom’s website as well as the Beautypedia website. So, with a little trepidation, and full faith in Nordstrom’s excellent return policy, I gave it a try.

clinique powder

I ordered the “invisible blend, ” partly because I am so pale and partly because I enjoy a more casual, natural look on a daily basis. It does seem to blend into my skin pretty well, though I am a bit dubious about how “invisible” it would be on darker complexions. At any rate, I also chose the invisible blend because it contains silica (the other colors are rumored not to) and I was hoping for a bit of pore smoothing in addition to a little shine dampening.

clinique powder

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this powder. It does mattify quite nicely for me, without making my skin shrivel up with dryness. However, my favorite part is definitely the pore smoothing! It doesn’t necessarily make me look like a porcelain doll, but it does make my skin appear so much smoother. I have plenty of pores and a few scars, and while this doesn’t make them disappear, it does make them much less noticeable, even outside in harsh sunlight.

I’ll admit, it has cooled off recently where I live, so I can’t yet comment on how this powder would perform in high heat. I can convey that it seems to handle a bit of humidity quite well, not smearing or wiping off as easily as other products that I have tried.

All in all, it looks as though this may become a consistent addition to my Five Minute Face routine. (I can’t say much, however, for the brush that is included and I prefer using my own Sephora #55 Airbrush.)

What other powders should I try? Thanks for stopping by!

Stay cozy!

Clinique ‘Superbalm’ Moisturizing Gloss Review

This is another product that I have used on and off for about a decade. It is a necessity for me when we are traveling to very arid climates, or during chilly times of year. It is the one gloss or balm that can keep my lips from cracking when we visit the desert to see relatives. I have gone through at least one tube, I have one that I am currently using, and I have already ordered a backup. Always prepared!

Clinique Superbalm in lilac

Clinique Superbalm in lilac

While I would argue that this gloss is not at all sticky, it does cling to the lips tenaciously. Of course, I believe this is how it helps protect the lips from the ravages of polar winds and torrid climates. In very hot or humid weather it can feel a tad cloying or goopy, but those aren’t usually the situations in which I crave an incredibly moisturizing gloss anyway.

If you are looking for a gloss that provides intense moisture, protection, and shine, I heartily suggest this one! If however, you are relying on a gloss for color, this may not fit the bill. It comes in a small range of colors and they are all quite transparent. The palest lips may see slight variations in shade between them, but most of us will not.

Most of the shades have some shimmer in them, which you can see through the tube; yet, one of the aspects I love about this gloss is that it never looks glittery. The texture is absolutely smooth, if not just a tad thick. There is no odd residue left on the lips after it wears off, and wearing off does take a while. This is most definitely not one of those lip products that disappears minutes after application.

Clinique Superbalm, thickly swatched

Clinique Superbalm, thickly swatched

This is a petrolatum based product that also contains, amongst other things, vitamin E, squalene, linoleic acid, and aloe. It has very little, if any, scent, and no taste. It does not currently contain SPF.

This is unequivocally in my top 10 lip products of all time (and I love lip products). I hope this review helpful and I appreciate the read!

Thanks, and stay cozy!

Favorite Concealer/Foundation Brush

I’m not the first person to claim that makeup application is an art form or creative outlet. I consider the act of choosing and applying products in order to create a desired effect both an aesthetic endeavor, as well as a form of self-care. Although my morning ritual generally doesn’t vary much, it still allows me to feed my inner artist. And, like any artist, I have collected my favorite brushes over the years.

I have experimented with many different methods of applying concealers and foundations: brushes, fingers, sponges, etcetera. I have found several of these methods to either not be very effective at blending the product into my skin, or to create streaks in the finish. This Sigma F82 round kabuki brush solves both of these problems.

sigma f82 makeup brush

This brush is a study in both firmness and softness. The bristles are so silky that they are very gentle on the skin, without a hint of scratchiness. Due to the shortness of the bristles and the manner in which they are packed, this brush provides excellent control (a necessity for applying products in crevices or around the eyes). It does not shed, an absolute requirement for me!

As of late, I have not been wearing foundation (I find that the intense light of summer tends to make it look mask-like on my face), but I wear concealer daily. Because I always tend to have a few spots, and my perma-circles are present perennially, I do end up applying concealer to a large part of my visage. Although I have other concealer brushes that I like, this brush not only blends in my concealer flawlessly (no streaks, period), but also quickly. When I am getting ready for work in the morning, dreading my commute, I know that I can accomplish My 5 Minute Face with the help of this brush.

Sigma f82 makeup brush and Maybelline better skin concealer

My morning concealer routine.

When I do wear foundation, this is my preferred apparatus as well. It does not soak up too much product (a virtue praised by the Sigma website), nor is it difficult to clean. It performs as well with foundation as it does for concealer, producing no streaks or unevenness. This brush has been an indispensable part of my morning routine for several years now; if it ever needs replacing, I would do so without hesitation!

What are your favorite makeup brushes?

Stay cozy!

Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick

Clarins lipstick

I generally wear lip balm most days. Occasionally though, for a special event or a day off and out shopping, I will wear lipstick. I find it a little funny how quickly a swath of lipstick can make me look pulled together and (dare I say) pretty.

I haven’t always been a lipstick fan. Painful memories of lipsticks that parched my lips or smelled like old play dough have haunted me for a long time. There was a period in my youth when I preferred red lipstick, exclusively. Unfortunately, the products available to me at the time tended to be quite drying and wore off in strange patterns that looked as though I hadn’t wiped my mouth after a meal. For years after I swore of lipstick completely and maintained a healthy relationship with glosses and balms.

I still gravitate to glosses and balms on most days, but I sometimes miss the way a hit of more opaque color can brighten my face (especially as I get older and paler).

It took me a bit of time to find a lipstick that I really enjoyed using. I stumbled upon this little gem at Macy’s while searching for a pink lipstick (I don’t think I could manage red anymore) to help perk up my complexion at an upcoming event.

It is the Clarins Joli Rouge lipstick in the color Candy Rose. The name describes the color perfectly, and while it not absolutely opaque, it provides so much more color than any of my lip glosses. It has a shimmery (though not frosty) finish, and helps disguise a few of the wrinkles in my lips. The scent and flavor are reminiscent of watermelon; it is not strong or unpleasant, and fades quickly after application.

Best of all, this formula is so pleasant to wear! This lipstick contains mango oil and honestly is so moisturizing that it feels more like a balm when being applied than a traditional lipstick. Likely because of the moisture factor, this product does usually require reapplication after a meal; though this is a small price to pay, in my opinion, for a lipstick that doesn’t fade weirdly or dry out my lips.

At this point, I am hooked and I use this product regularly on my casual days and even very occasionally at work! It is pleasant to wear and cares for my lips the way a balm might, a perfect combination.

Stay cozy!

*For more on my daily makeup look, go here.

Fall Beauty Wish List

As we bid summer farewell, and begin to embrace fall, we may contemplate editing our beauty routines so as to compliment the change of season. This time, I thought I would share some of the items that I am considering.

autumn

I have seemed to gravitate to more economical products for skin care and beauty over the preceding year, although I do have a long history of experimenting with products from all spectrums of the beauty world. Lately however, I am experiencing a “wanderlust” of the more expensive varieties (department store at least, if not luxury). Will I actually collect them all? We shall see, but these are the products that I have been secretly coveting for a while now…

Chantacaille Brilliant Gloss (Lucky)

I have had this lip gloss on my mind for almost 2 years, perhaps? Ever since I serendipitously saw Youtuber Amelia Liana feature this on her channel, I have fantasized about picking this item up. It is a beautiful light pink and is said to be very moisturizing. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to justify the over thirty dollar price tag, though this year I may take the plunge!

Kate Somerville Dry Skin Saver Moisturizer for Face, Lips, and Body

Understanding that the onset of the colder seasons will most likely wreak some kind of crepey, and possible peeling, effects on my skin, I find myself craving anything that portends to help keep me moisturized! This moisturizer contains glycerin, squalene and sunflower seed oil, all of which would seem to be very promising aspects! It also comes in a four-ounce tube, which actually also makes it a bit of a bargain, given its pedigree.

Clinique Blush Brush

I love blush, it is my absolute favorite cosmetic product. So I guess it would make sense that my favorite makeup tool might be a blush brush. Given that they can shed, lose their shape, wash badly, etcetera, it can be difficult to unearth a decent one. I love the shape of this one, and I think it would suit my face shape perfectly! I’m not sure what the bristles are made of, but given the shape and the generally quality of the brand, I think I might be willing to take the chance.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief

This probably would have ideally been a summertime purchase, but I’m still considering adding it to my fall beauty routine. This is purported to have a fine, pleasant mist and contains aloe, glycerin, and chamomile to help moisturize and calm the skin. (I have heard this can be used on hair as well, intrigued!) This product also gets high praise from beautypedia.com. (Update: I purchased this! Review here.)

Herbivore Botanicals ‘Phoenix’ Facial Oil Roller

I must admit, I am curious about this entire line! I’m not usually too concerned (regretfully) about preservatives in my skin care, but I am wowed by some of the ingredients in these products. Specifically, the ‘Phoenix’ oil includes rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil, and CoQ10; all components that are quite therapeutic for the skin in my recollection. This roller is a more economical version as compared to the full size, and the price just my tempt me to give it a try. (Their packaging is spot on as well!)

And there you have it, my list of beauty cravings for the fall quarter! What products are you lusting after this fall? What should I try?

Stay cozy!

*All products listed here are available at Nordstrom.com. This is not a sponsored post and does not contain any affiliate links. I just really happen to like Nordstrom!

Medieval Torture Device

I understand that they look like something from a 13th century period piece that could be used to maim, or at least blind, someone. I remember thinking as a young teenager, “you actually put this next to your eye?” “How long does it take to heal?”

eyelash curler

It took me almost a decade after their discovery to actually realize the benefits of an eyelash curler.

For some background, I sometimes love mascara on my lashes; but more often, I feel like it’s a bit over the top on my particular face. I am amazed at how appealing mascara can look on other people, but it doesn’t always look, well, sane, on me. It always seems to me that I appear as though I am trying to mimic some sort of anime character (badly), or that I had a strangely gloppy set of false eyelashes put on. (Can fake eyelashes even be gloppy?)

Anyway, aside from the fact that mascara just usually doesn’t suit me, I also am hard-pressed to justify its use given the extra step(s) required to remove it at night. I can be very lazy with my makeup removal; when my son was born I discovered that a baby wipe was quite efficient at getting most makeup off in between the feeding, burping, spitting, diaper changing, napping-oh, he’s up again routine. But, it doesn’t really work for mascara.

Although my son is way beyond the diaper stage, I find that there are still nights, usually after toiling away at work, that I can’t bring myself to do anything more than scrub my face with a wipe, apply some lotion, and brush my teeth. Applying eye makeup remover feels as though it may be leagues beyond my abilities and energies on evenings like these.

Enter an eyelash curler! My first one, and the one that I have used for almost a decade, is from Revlon. It still works like a charm and gives my lashes enough curl to make my eyes look a bit more feminine. It can be tricky in the beginning to learn how to use and not pinch yourself, though it doesn’t take long to master. I find the curl (on my particular lashes) to last most, if not all of the day. I love best of all not having to worry about smudging, flaking, or anything that would add to my (already prominent) dark circles.

Using an eyelash curler also saves me time in the morning, as it only takes me about 30 seconds to curl my lashes. This is juxtaposed against the 30 minutes it would take for me to apply mascara, fix my mistakes, apply more mascara, get frustrated, take mascara off and reapply…well, you get the idea…

Do you use mascara or an eyelash curler? Both? What are your favorites?

(For more on my quick and easy makeup routine see My Guide to The Five Minute Face.)

Stay cozy!

 

 

 

My Favorite Summer Lip Balms

This is the third installment of my favorite makeup items from my 5 Minute Makeup post. I understand that lip balm is not technically makeup, but it is what I wear on a daily basis and what I feel most comfortable in at work.

I live in an area that can be quite warm in the summer and quite cold in the winter. I find that in order to maintain some level of moisture in my skin without too much greasiness, I need to change out my products from season to season. Although I prefer MUCH heavier lip balms in the winter, I find that warmer weather calls for a lighter (yet still moisturizing) lip balm.

I have two lip balms that I rotate between in summer months. One has SPF for days outside and the other is my nightly/for a day in lip balm. They are the Chapstick original with SPF 15 and the Nivea Kiss of Moisture lip balm.

I have been a sort of lip balm junkie my whole life. There is nothing I abhor more (well, maybe a few things, but you get the gist) than a lip balm that just sits on the lips and refuses to absorb and actually soften the lips. Overly waxy lip balms, or balms that disappear within minutes of application are eschewed from my list as well.

These lip balms do the job and are an essential and reliable part of my day. Not only that, they happen to be two of the most economical lip products that I have ever tried!

What are your favorite lip balms? Which ones should I try?

Stay cozy!

My Favorite Blush

Here’s the second in my series of favorite makeup products from my 5 Minute Makeup post. This is a product that I have been faithful to for almost a decade. Every once in a while I try something new, but after a bit, I am usually always pulling this one back out of my makeup drawer.

blush picture

This is the True Match Blush by L’oreal (my favorite color is C1-2, “baby blossom”). Please excuse my very well-loved pan; time for a new one! (Did someone say “shopping”?!!!!)

Blush is definitely my favorite makeup item! I am extremely pale; if I don’t wear blush I can look very, very ill. Even for those who are not pale though, as I have found from doing friends’ makeup, blush can take “healthy” looking to “vital”. Blush can make some people look extra youthful, but it can make almost anyone look more alive and awake, in my opinion.

I have experimented with so many kinds of blush in my lifetime, liquid, balms, creams, and powders. While I think there are positive attributes to all of these formulations, I have found over the years that I tend to gravitate back to powder blushes simply for ease of use (especially on my super busy, crazy mornings). I adore that I just have to lightly dip my brush in the pan, swipe it on each cheek, and run out the door, coffee in hand and ready to go!

So, now that I’m nearing my *cough* 40’s , you might be asking about fine lines and such. An exceptionally good question! I have experimented with other powders that have left my face either looking crepey or chalky, typically when my face was particularly dried out. I find that as long as I use a good moisturizer (or “my favorite spf”, see post), this blusher does quite well. It almost never appears dry on my cheeks, though when it does, I find a quick spritz of facial water seems to do the trick.

Thanks for stopping by! What’s your favorite blush?

Stay cozy.

My Favorite Concealer

I have tried a lot of concealers in my life. I seem to have developed perma-circles after decades of chasing the almighty degree/job/promotion. Having a child probably added to the sunken blue half moons that usually make their home under my eyes as well. And so, over my life I have probably tried and tested about 20 different concealers.

Lately, this is the one I have liked the most. My skin has changed a lot from the skin I had in my teens and twenties, and so my concealer of choice has had to change with it. In the last several years the quality that has become most important to me is to not excessively dry (or make appear dry) my under-eye area. Something that doesn’t gather to badly in the well-deserved crevices on my face is nice too.

concealer 2

The Maybelline Superstay Better Skin concealer in ivory has been my jam of late.

This concealer blends easily with fingers or a brush and doesn’t make my eyes look older or more crepey than they already are. It’s not oily or greasy either, and is probably one of the most natural looking concealers that I have ever used. This is one concealer that would work for any skin type, in my opinion.

I also happen to have mild, but persistent acne (when will I ever grow out of it?). I don’t have a lot of spots, but they can be quite noticeable. This concealer does a fair job of making them look less apparent. It is not a thick concealer though, so I would not categorize it as full coverage. For me, just blending the spots away a bit so people will look at my eyes and not immediately be drawn to the spots on my chin is enough.

I have repurchased this concealer at least three times since it was released and have been loving it.

This is the first in a series of my favorite makeup items from my 5 Minute Makeup post.

Hope this is helpful. Thanks for stopping by, and stay cozy.