Vitamin C – A Miracle Product for My Skin

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Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Line

I reintroduced vitamin c to my skin care regimen recently and I have to say, I don’t know why I ever stopped using it. My skin just loves it.

One of my biggest skin problems is acne and, with acne comes dark after acne spots (so lovely). I have a hard time getting those dark spots to move on their merry way once they have decided to set up shop on my face. Since I am quite fair, they really do stand out and I find I cover up more post-acne spots than actual acne (acne, the gift that never stops giving).

The one ingredient that has really made a big difference in my pigmentation issue is vitamin c. Its really helps to brighten and tone the skin. I use Ole Henriksen products, but many brands have vitamin c rich lines (I just prefer Ole Henriksen). Even if your skin is just uneven in tone or dull, I would suggest a vitamin c product since it will brighten and even out your skin.

I use vitamin c at night since the energy of the suns rays degrades the active molecules in vitamin c, making it useless for your skin. If you are using a good SPF during the day, it will help, but basically vitamin c and sun is a no-no. If you are more interested in the chemistry going on, let me know (I’m such a nerd) I can write something up on it.

Vitamin C also boosts collagen and cell turnover, which is great for preventative anti-aging (you can never start that stuff early enough).

I really just love skin care with vitamin c in it and I wanted to point out the benefits in case any of you are facing the same acne filled issues I am. I find the Ole Henriksen products really help my skin and I would recommend them to someone facing the same acne issues I am. They are not harsh on the skin and I think they will work beautifully on all skin types (but always start with a sample, its skin care not a pair of jeans).

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect is Lovely for Summer

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Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect SPF 30 PA+++

I also had a nice sample of this primer in my stash and, on one of my multiple business trips this month I decided to take it with for a whirl. I really enjoy the Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer, even though its not mattifying. I still really love the water based (not silicone, which can clog pores and feel heavy!) primer since its thin on the skin. It doesn’t feel heavy or cakey on.

The Protect version of Laura Mercier’s primer is equally as light and comfortable on the skin. I really love the idea of getting your SPF and primer in one product. And SPF 30 is nothing to sniff at. I find my skin gets a bit oily by midday with this primer, but my skin does that with just about anything that isn’t mattifying. I think if you have dry or normal skin this will work really well for you. If you have oily skin I would suggest trying it since I found it doesn’t control oil terribly well.

I really enjoy this primer, since the consistency is really what sells me on a primer. I can’t stand the ones that sit on your skin like a layer. Ugh, just thinking about it makes me itchy. Makeup sits beautifully over it and I think this is such a great products to have in the summer (or really anytime). Its just lovely, honestly. I really love Laura Mercier products, I find them classy (if a makeup line can be classy) and that they just work, every time. This primer is no exception.

You can get this primer for $33 at Laura Mercier counters, online and at Sephora.

The rundown: A- (my oily mess of a face, its a problem)

My Favorite Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments

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The Roundup of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments

To this day my posts on the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments get the most views. I know I am not alone in my love for these, so I wanted to round up my favorites into one post. All of these have come up in past posts but, I just wanted to get together my favorite shades, in case you were looking for color suggestions. I wear these all the time since the formula is comfortable on the lips and the pigment level is perfect.

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swatches from the left: Tulip, Passion, Coral, Petal, Rose, Honey

My first favorite is the nude, Honey. I really love this nude but, it is more of a brown nude. I find it very flattering on.

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wearing Fresh Sugar Honey

My second pick is Rose. This is by far my most worn shade. Its just a tint really, less pigmented than the others in this post but, it really amps up my natural lip color.

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wearing Fresh Sugar Rose

Next, Petal. This one is a pinky shade that I find comes off a bit more matte than other Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. Its still very moisturizing, it is just a noticeably different texture.

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wearing Fresh Sugar Petal

Now were getting to the fun colors. I love Coral which is a bright reddy coral. Its just stunning, plus it doesn’t hurt that I love coral colors. I always bust this out in the summer and I find it really complements the yellow and olive in my skin.

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wearing Fresh Sugar Coral

Fresh Sugar Passion is my pick for the fall. Its a beautiful plum/pink shade. I find dark colors can look unflattering on my thinner lips, but this color is still pink enough that I don’t lose lip thickness.

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wearing Fresh Sugar Passion

Last is my most recent. I picked up Tulip this summer and I have to say I’m still in love. Its a bright blue based pink. I have been obsessed with this kind of color all summer.

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wearing Fresh Sugar Tulip

What about you guys? What colors do you love? Do you own any of these?

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

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Living Proof PHD 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

I got a sample of this hair product in a Sephora VIB grab bag recently. I tried it out since I’ve always been curious about this product. I apply it to damp hair and then I let it air dry (mostly because I am too lazy to style my hair most days).

I find this product is really amazing. I have never had softer hair, ever. Its amazing. It also controls my frizz (which is my main hair concern). It just gives my hair a bit of polish which adding some nice separation which I love. I like a textured hair look day-to-day which I usually have since my hair is wavy. Usually my hair dries pretty frizzy, which just kind of makes my hair look messy, not tousled.

This is pretty, but tousled hair in a bottle. Its amazing. I know you can use this before you blow dry as well, but I love the results I get when I let my hair air dry with it so why put more effort into it? Gosh I am so lazy with my hair, its terrible.

I can honestly say I am a convert, once this tube of magic is used up I will be purchasing the full size. I don’t think I can be without this in my hair anymore, it just makes my hair feel and look amazing.

You can get the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PHD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment at Sephora and online for $26.

The rundown: A+ (holy grail status achieved).

NARS Copacabanna Illuminator Shines From Within

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NARS Copacabanna Highlighter

I have been raiding my stash in search of highlighters, as I mentioned in a post last week I am in need of some new ones (and I picked one up thanks to a recommendation I got on Instagram). I found a baby sample of NARS Copacabanna Liquid Illuminator among the fray and, decided to give it a go.

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NARS Copacabanna swatched heavily (left) and blended (right)

I have never been a big fan of liquid highlighters, mostly since I forget to apply them before I powder (one of my favorite steps in my makeup routine). I have to say though, the look of a liquid highlighter under your powder and blush just looks amazing! Its exactly the lit from within look.

Copacabanna is just stunning and, I can’t wait for winter to bust it out. Since it sheens silver I really think I will only reach for this in the winter time. I think it would be amazing on really fair skintones too. As you can see there is no glitter, but just a luminous sheen. I found it lasted all day on my skin, I think being able to powder over it really helped the lasting power.

I’m very seriously eyeing another NARS liquid highlighter, I just don’t know which shade to get. Any suggestions? The finish is beyond beautiful and not over the top (which my oily skin insists on).

You can get NARS Copacabanna Illuminator at NARS counters, online and at Sephora for $30.

The rundown: A

A New Addition to the Skincare Lineup: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate

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Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

First I would like to apologize for posting about something this crazy expensive. But I love it so much! If this post is just going to frustrate you, please don’t read it. I know its crazy to spend so much on an exfoliator, but man, its good stuff.

Back to the product. I added ExfoliKate into my skincare regimen a few weeks ago and I am already seeing a big difference in my skin. I use it about twice a week. My preferred way of using it is before a mask actually. My genius friend Nina told me ages ago its a great idea to exfoliate before using a mask so that the mask can really work. Once you’ve exfoliated there is no dead skin on the surface to block the digging power of a great mask, so the mask is more effective. Sadly, her genius didn’t dawn on me till lately, but girl’s got it figured it.

This product is a pretty intense exfoliator, so if you have sensitive skin I would not recommend it. For my oily, acne prone, congested skin its like a miracle. It leaves my skin super smooth and I find its really great with my blackheads (gross man, so gross). It really has made my masks work better, since I started using it in conjunction with my favorite mask (aka the Origins Charcoal Mask) my skin has been clearer and smoother (yes!).

ExfoliKate is a dual action exfoliator. It has beads in it that act as a physical exfoliant and fruit enzymes to passively exfoliate as well. I apply a little bit on wet skin and just rub to get it on, don’t be scrubbing away with this stuff. Then I let it sit on my face for about 1 minute before I wash it off. Lets get this out of the way, this product is green and smells like a spa (all herbal and such, its actually very relaxing). The green thing threw me for a loop the first time I used it, but I’ve gotten used to it.

Regardless, you can really feel this thing working. It tingles and warms on your skin in certain places (I’m assuming where I need some help of the exfoliating manner). If it starts to feel like too much, wash it off. This stuff is very strong and you don’t want to irritate your skin. I really like it, but you do need to be careful. I would suggest trying a sample before taking the serious plunge on a tube.

Have any of you guys tried this? Do you like it? Is there another exfoliator you love?

You can get this scrubby goodness for $85 for 2oz (and $22 for 0.5oz) at Sephora and online.

The rundown: A (an expensive A, but an A nonetheless)

NARSissist Smokey Eye Compact is Rocking my Eyeshadow Crazed World

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NARSissist Smokey Eye Compact Kit

I wasn’t kidding about those eyeshadow posts people. Here we go. This guy started my current eyeshadow obsession. I didn’t think I was going to get it since I have these shadows in other palettes already (and I mean more than one). But the convenience factor and my current deep desire for eyeshadows pushed me over the edge. I’m glad it did.

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NARS Via Veneto Mini Eyeliner, Madrauge I, Bali, Mekong

These shadows are all very buttery, soft, easy to blend, long wearing and, very pigmented. I liked the pigment level in the NARSissist palette (the big one from earlier this year) since you could build the darker shadows more easily. In this kit you have to be careful, almost like with Exhibit A blush, so you don’t end up looking like someone punched you in the eye. Pigment is a good thing, mind you, I just wanted to mention that these are not at the same pigment level as in the big NARSissist palette.

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an eye look using the NARSissist Smokey Eye Compact. Madrauge I all over the lid and under the brow bone. Bali in the crease and under the lower lash line. Mekong on the outer corner. Via Veneto liner in the outer 1/3 of the lower waterline

The kit includes Madrauge I (matte cream), Bali (neutral taupe) and, Mekong (bitter brown with shimmer that doesn’t really show up on the lid)  eyeshadows. Alone these create a great classic smokey eye, as in black-grey smokey eye. These shadows are not warm but also not very cool. They fall very neutral, so they will flatter most all skintones. There is also a mini Via Veneto Larger Than Life Eyeliner which I love. I find these eyeliners last the longest for me on my waterlines. There is also a mini eyeshadow brush from their new line of brushes. Its an angled flat top guy. Honestly, its scratchy. I wouldn’t use it on my eyes if I had a preference, but I am also very picky about soft brushes and my eye area (the skin there is so sensitive!). But I could see it used for other things, like blending concealer or a nose contour, small brushes can be used in so many ways.

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wearing the NARSissist Smokey Eye Compact on my eyes

I really do love this set. I think it creates a seriously stunning smokey eye and, if you don’t mind that the brush is kind of a throw away, it helps. I also love how small and convenient it is. You can add in a pretty single shadow like, one of the Dual Intensity shadows or Cyprus, and then use this kit with it and get a great eye look every time. Actually, thats what I’ve been doing a ton lately. The compact just has every basic shadow I need on the day-to-day, so its easy to just grab the one palette and have glam eyes in a flash. Plus they are such great quality shadows, its just killer. For the eye look I have on in that picture up there, no fallout and all day no-crease wear. Love it!

You can get this eye kit at NARS counters and online for $59.

The rundown: A+

An Eyeshadow Kick – Gold

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the gold shade in NARS Alhambra

Chatty post again (I hope you don’t mind), I have been on a very serious eyeshadow kick. Mostly with gold shadows but, more truly, with just shadow in general. Do you ever get into a phase of buying the same kind of product a lot? Like going to Sephora and walking out with three new eyeshadow palettes (none of which you need, mind you).

I do this all the time. I tend to buy product types in bulk on rotation. Like I’ll get on a blush kick and buy a whole slew of them and then get over it and buy a ton of foundations. Right now its eyeshadows. If a palette or duo or single (heck I don’t care what form it is) has a gold shadow in it, I need it. I don’t know why. Do you guys do this? Or is it just my makeup insanity?

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wearing the gold from NARS Alhambra all over my lid

Anyway, as part of my current gold shadow spree I have fallen in love with NARS Alhambra (the gold side). I just love it, I figured I would mention something useful in this long chatty post. Its a good duo, I’m thinking of doing a review soon, but you know how I feel about NARS shadows. Anyway, if you were curious, thats what it looks like on.

I tend to go back to the basics when I get on a craze like this, so I am buying simple and classic shadow colors. I guess I get bored of my stash every once in a while and just need something new but, I really need to stop. The amount of eyeshadow is just getting silly. Just wait, you will be seeing a barrage of eyeshadow reviews in the near future (I hope you like them!).

Happy hump day guys!

Becca Shadow & Light (I’m cutting the name here) is Perfect for Contouring

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Becca Shadow and Light Bronze Contour Perfector (to be referred to as Becca Shadow and Light because that name is just too long people, too long)

I just love a great contour, I really do. With fall looming I have been on the hunt again for some contour products. I know the NARS Contour Blush is burning a hole in my vanity, but I wanted something a bit deeper in tone (since I’m just a smidge tan at the moment, its kind of a miracle since I’ve been working tons and that means an office all day, but I digress).

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swatches of Becca Shadow & Light

I love this product (I couldn’t wait to tell you). The deeper color is so fabulous for contouring, its not totally flat, but it is more of a satin, which I think can look more natural on the skin (no ones skin is matte naturally, no matter how much I wish mine was). There is also a bronze shade which has some beautiful gold shimmer to use as a bronzer. Now, why is this product genius? Well, you can use that great deep shade to contour and then take the golden bronze and blend that contour while bronzing your face. The result? An amazingly natural contour that is super easy to achieve.

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wearing Becca Shadow and Bronze (only) on my cheeks

I love using bronzers to blend out contour, or even just use the bronzer as contour. But in the first case I have to grab for another compact (which, since I am lazy, rarely happens) or a one dimensional contour. No good either way. This guy is just so convenient! It makes my lazy heart sing. It helps that the powders are amazingly creamy, easy to blend and, last all day over a good foundation on me. The only down side is that these are a bit powdery in the pan, so they do kick up product when you dip your brush in. Which is a bummer but, I can live with it.

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wearing the deep shade in the hollows of my cheeks and the bronze shade all over my cheek (basically as my blush)

I use the deep shade in the pictures above to contour and, if you are interested, I did a blog post about how I contour (check it out here). It is a makeup application technique I am a bit serious about but, you don’t have to be as intense as I am (do your makeup however makes you happy!). You can also mix these shades together and get a nice deep bronze glow, but I’m enjoying them separately for now.

You can get this wonder product (that I am fully in love with) at Sephora and online for $40.

The rundown: A+

A Summer to Fall Transition Lip Combination Love

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Bite Beauty Rose and MAC Cremesheen Glass in Just Superb

I have been sticking to tinted lip balms basically all summer but, lately I have been trying to make an effort to wear lipstick again. I don’t know if its because I am very ready for fall or, because the fall makeup collections have started coming out, but regardless. I have loved my Bite Beauty lipstick in Rose since I got it (I have a review on it here)  but its just such a texture shock after all the light and moisturizing products I’ve been using lately.

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swatches from the top: MAC Cremesheen Glass in Just Superb and Bite Beauty Rose Lipstick

 

To ease my lips back into the texture of lipstick (even a great lipstick texture like this one) I added a gloss over the top. I pulled one of my all-time favorite glosses, the MAC Cremesheen Glass in Just Superb, which I actually wrote one of my fist blog posts on (enjoy my embarrassment here).

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wearing this awesome lip combo here

I like how the milky pink MAC gloss also tones down some of the brightness of the Bite Rose. I have been all about bright pinks this summer (wasn’t I supposed to be using oranges? Whoooops :)).

What lip combinations have you been loving lately? Have you been wearing lots of orange this summer? Pinks? Reds (just let me know what color, cuz I’m nosey)? Are you pumped for fall? Sad to see winter leave?

Sorry for the barrage of questions but I’m feeling chatty today. Happy Monday! I hope you had a good weekend.

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