Hey guys-give away running till May 5th or when MakeupMeBlush reaches 25 followers! Which ever happens 1st-check out my post FF (For Free) Vol. II

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fix & Nix

Everyone should own a concealer.  If you're like me than your probably wearing a concealer because of a pesky little pimple!  But people, you don't have to just cover the problem you can FIX it.  With Tarte's The Eraser Concealer.  It is a medium to full coverage concealer with a brush applicator.  (***When deciding which concealer to purchase always buy one with a brush applicator.  They tend to be more creamy & blend into your skin, where as stick & pot concealers tend to settle in lines & look cakey under the eye area***). The Eraser Concealer has Sephora's Natural seal meaning it is formulated without Phthalates, Petro-chemicals, Sulfates, Synthetic dyes, or Synthetic Fragrances.  In addition to being made without toxic chemicals, The Eraser Concealer has ingredients that treat under eye circles & blemishes!  Tarte has created a Skinvigorating potion of ingredients that are good for your face like cucumber extract, excellent for its skin smoothing properties, vitamin E an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties, & vitamin C another antioxidant that brightens the skin-aiding in premature aging of the skin.  The Eraser Concealer also has safflower seed oil for its moisturizing capabilities.  And my personal favorite arnica flower extract which is known for its power of healing the appearance of under eye circles!  The Eraser Concealer comes in 10 creamy shades so they are bound to have the perfect shade for your complexion!

Friday, February 25, 2011

DEO for the BO

As I've already stated I'm a Product Junkie.  But when I found out I was pregnant I had to reassess the products I was using either due to actual warning labels on the products warning against using while pregnant or actually taking advice from my very knowledgeable mother (only when it comes to natural health of coarse).  She always was on me about using natural deodorants because they are formulated without aluminum.  Of coarse I blew her of because "what does she know, & besides those natural deodorants don't work, & how embarrassing are sweat stains?!"  Well when I became pregnant I wanted to not only put the best foods into my body I wanted to be sure to only use products on my body that wouldn't be harmful to my baby.  The Ban deodorant I was using was not only harmful to my baby but myself, so it had to go.  After listening to my mother & doing a little research on the good ol' world wide web I found that the aluminum in deodorant isn't the only toxic chemical it is formulated with but just 1 of 20...

I've done the research for you and complied all the most important & alarming facts I've found.  Take it as you will-but hope you read the following & make the change:

"Use deodorant instead of antiperspirant, since sweat is normal and blocking the pores is not. Especially avoid aluminum, which is found in high levels in the brain plaques linked to Alzheimer's disease. And with deodorants, avoid phthalates, which are plastics used to help the fragrance stay on our skin and block endocrine function, especially in the male fetus. Parabens, which are used as preservatives in these products, should also be avoided since they could be linked to breast cancer."
You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Mehmet C. Oz., M.D. and Michael F. Roizen, M.D.

Most contain aluminum zirconium, which is toxic to the nervous and reproductive systems, a chemical called BHT, which is believed to be a hormonal disrupter and neurotoxin, and various chemicals that give your deodorant stick that distinctive smell. You'll also get another dose of propylene glycol, which helps the deodorant go on so nicely but is linked to irritation and immune toxicity.
The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps by Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith

“Studies are now showing that continuous exposure to toxic chemicals in personal hygiene products, such as antiperspirants, may be related to allergic reactions, Alzheimer’s, and even breast cancer in women. This may come as no surprise considering the fact that most deodorants are made up of aluminum chlorohydrate, as well as up to 20 other toxic chemicals.
Chemical exposure in antiperspirants is not limited to aluminum. There are many other poisonous chemicals, including anti-freeze, in the conventional stick of antiperspirant. Paraben, also a common ingredient in many deodorants, has been linked to higher risks for breast cancer, due to the estrogen-mimicking effect.
Studies done by the U.S. Toxicology Program in 1997 found that hormone disruptors such as PropTEA and DEA, other normal ingredients found in deodorants, were reported to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in animals.
Other chemicals such as FD&C colors, triclosan and quaternium compounds have been found to lead to cancerous diseases, dermatitis, allergies and asthma-like symptoms in both animals and humans. Over 90% of the chemicals used in fragrance additives to common personal-care products come from petroleum.” Dr. Edward Group

So I already said that natural deodorants dont work-so what do you do? Well I have found one that does and I've been using it for close to 2 years now.  Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Deodorant.  Its 100% Natural & comes in 4 fresh scents. The Healthy Deodorant provides long-lasting odor protection & has soothing essential oils & antioxidants that have even cured my HORRIABLE razor burn! There is NO aluminum, NO parabens, NO: petrochemicals, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, silicone, synthetic dyes, or sulfates.  I've tried the Pure Vanilla & Vanilla Lavender scents. I liked the Pure Vanilla but feel that the Vanilla Lavander works better on odor. The other 2 scents are Vanilla Coconut & Vanilla Grapefruit.  They are available exclusively at Sephora.  If you plan on ordering online at sephora.com & want to try either the vanilla coconut or vanilla grapefruit keep in mind, I remember one of them smelled like kitty litter!  But the pure vanilla & vanilla lavender smell lovely!So stop using those toxins & get HEALTHY!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

All the LUX minus the BUCKS

Being a Stay-at-home-Mom has been my number one priority & something that has been really important to my husband & I.  Since we don't have 2 salaries coming in budgeting & prioritizing is a must.  But I CAN NOT live without all my pricey lotions & potions...and I found a way that I don't have to!  I literally tried using drug store brand body lotions & my skin felt absolutely horrible & snake-like.  I couldn't take it anymore & went and splurged on a $25 body butter...but that didn't really fly well with my husband, understandably.  Then a miracle happened: I was on a holiday return trip to Marshalls when I came across their beauty section!  They have top of the line hair care, skin care, and bath & body products!  I think I always knew this but for some reason never really processed.

Ive discovered an ultra fab body butter by Kings & Queens. $4.99 at Marshalls vs. $15.00 elsewhere!  Mineral Oil & Paraben free this body butter enriches your skin with shea butter & coconut oils.  The scent they had at Marshalls was Nerfertiti Honey but if you check out their website: www.forkingsandqueens.com you can check out the whole line.  I haven't even heard of this company before I came across it at Marshalls but now I'm hooked!  The Nefertiti Honey Body Butter smells amazing & has a royal mix of pomegranate blue lotus, and malachite.  Kings & Queens isn't the only brand at Marshalls that caught my eye.  Every time Ive been there they have had fancy delicious smelling French soaps, The Body Shop body butters & scrubs, they even carry DDF & Peter Thomas Roth skincare items!  Today I even saw they had the StriVectin Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks & Wrinkles for only $49.99 at Sephora & department stores you'll pay $135!!! 

If your looking for a great deal on more then just clothes, which is the first thing I think of when someone says Marshalls, then head to your closest Marshalls or TJMAXX asap before all the good stuff is gone! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Battle of the Brands

Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel ($25) vs. Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads ($45)

I've had a Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel lying around-I was waiting to try it out once I finished my Clinique 7 day Scrub Cream.  I am one week into my pads & I'm ready to let you know how I feel about them.  Winner of the Allure Magazine Best of Beauty Award 2010 for Best Peel, the Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel is a blend of glycolic acid & soothing botanicals which calm the skin.  Swiping the textured side of the pad over your face will peel away dull skin revealing a brighter, smoother complexion. The suggested usage is to use them every other day morning or night.  I would highly advice using this strictly at night because if you have sensitive or dry skin you may experience a tingling sensation or a little redness. I have a more oily skin type & my skin is use to glycolic acid and I still experience a slight tingling sensation.  On the box that the product is packaged in it states "that after 1 week or 4 uses, skin is less lined, more even-toned, & has a clearer appearance. Skin looks younger & feels firmer."  This is a HUGE claim for a product for just 4 uses!  While I do feel it has revealed a more radiant texture & clarity while unclogging my pores, there is no way a product can reduce the appearance of lines in just 4 uses!  I don't have any issues with lack of firmness but again no product after 4 uses will firm your skin.  Especially this product because even if you use all 30 of the pads firm skin will not be a result.  Your skin my feel a little tight after your apply it because of the alcohol but there aren't any ingredients in here that would give you firmer skin...instead of making outlandish claims they should just stick to the facts because it really does other great things!  Its great for all skin types: it will help reduce breakouts & acne scaring, will lighten hyperpigmantation.  Results are an improvement in texture & unclogged pores. 

BUT...is it really less expensive then the competition?  NO!  Peter Thomas Roth's Unwrinkle Peel Pads are $45 for 60 pads that's $0.75 per pad vs. Avon's $0.83 per pad...plus PTR has alpha, beta, & gamma hydroxy acids & amino acids (peptides) in their product.  The ingredient list on PTR's Unwrinkle Peel Pad is way more impressive then the Retexturing Peel.  They both will do the same thing but you'll see better results with the Unwrinkle Peel Pads.  Essentially you get more for your money with PTR's.  According to ratings on other websites Avon's peels got 3.5 out of 5 stars on average where PTR's peel got 4.5 out of 5 stars on average.  Bottom line: yes your paying double for PTR's up front but think of it as buying in bulk like you do at Sam's Club.  In the end not only are the pads less expensive per pad than Avon's but have way more affective ingredients. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

makeup YOU blush!!!

   Let me make YOU blush!  I do it all-makeup for every event! From Glam Night Out to Bridal Beauty I've got you covered.  Ive worked & trained with Sephora & Clinique in addition to being a freelance makeup artist. 

Service Menu:

Makeup Lesson:  Together we will pick out the perfect makeup for you & learn how to easily apply ($50)
Glam Night Out:  Take your makeup look up a volt or two for that special night on the town ($25)
Bridal Beauty:  (Depending on location) The Bride- ($65-$100)
                                                                     Bridal Party- ($35-65)
Print, TV, Video:  Will work to build my portfolio


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just SPRUNG Alreadyyy!!!

Sighhh I received my Spring 2011 Sephora catalog in the mail yesterday...I am in love with the Spring trends this season!  Going to have to ask Josh for a raise-pretty much dying over every page! If you're not on Sephora's mail list, you NEED to sign up-their seasonal catalogs are gorgeous little treats!  If you are on the mailing list & have your catalog whip it out and lets go through it together:

Okay, I know I just got done saying that I was dying over every page-but obviously I didn't love everything.  And well, the cover was rather 80s in a bad way.  Just boring, boring, boring-Francois you can do better!  The look for the cover came from the Limited Edition Nars set: Front Row Set. The eyeshadow colors are dull, everyone in the world already owns Orgasm lipgloss & a black eyeliner, and The Multiple in Palm Springs doesn't look great on everyone.  The look that should have been on the cover was the look created from the Limited Edition Nars set: Fashion Forward!  DYING, love, love love this look.  A bold electric purple high pigmented shadow, a mini Multiple in Orgasm, Hollywoodland Shadow Pencil (pale gold creamy eye pencil), and Easy Lover lipgloss (sheer hot pink) Arghh I NEED this kit.  The look in the catalog would have to be toned down to go out in public-because purple eyeshadow all the way to the brow isn't hot.  But this kit is & hopefully if I can get my hands on one Ill do a makeup tutorial on how to pull this look off in time for Spring!

Tokidoki = genius!  CUTEST freakin' packaging & the product is actually good!  That usually doest happen ( i.e Benefit...they have the cutest packaging but the product falls short).  The new Limited Edition Sodashop Tin is awesome its a $225 value for $49-it comes with a ton of stuff including 12 eyeshadows all of which are beautiful shades, a Perfetto Eyeliner in Carina (eggplant) the perfetto eyeliner is a liquid eyeliner with an innovative brush to help you get the perfect liquid liner look.  With the chisel tip you can create three different liner looks: thin, medium, or a heavy liner look.  Also in the tin is a cute little Tokidoki character magnet and a sheet of Tokidoki character stickers to decorate your life with.

Make Up Forever is one of my favorite brands.  For all those MAC lovers just try Make Up Forever-its comparable but BETTER!  And they have a liner that is perfect for the vivid brights spring trend.  The Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes in Pistachio 17L is AMAZING!!!  Its a vibrant yellow-green and I'm absolutely, deeply, passionately in love with the whole look on the model in the catalog rep-ing the vibrant brights look! The liner is creamy it glides right on the lid-super pigmented and waterproof so its not going to move on you.  The vivid brights is my ultimate favorite look in the spring catalog-the vibrant yellow -green liner paired with the vivid red lip oh my gosh...NEED, NEED, NEED!

Orange lip trend...although I think this lip color is pretty sweet, only a view people can actually pull it off.  I'm not one of them but think Kim Kardashian would look perfect in an orange lip.  So if you look like Kim then go for it!  But if you look like me...then don't. HA!

Okay ground hog I hope you were right in that Spring is just around the corner because I'm ready to go bold & start experimenting with these new looks!  But I'm not so sure I can wait...So, if you happen to see a girl grocery shopping with yellow-green eyeliner in an great red lip you'll know who it is :)

Amy's Wish List for Spring 2011
#1 Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes in Pistachio ($17)
#2 Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Baroque ($24)
#3 Nars Fashion Forward Set ($59)
#4 Peter Thomas Roth Laser- Free Resurfacer with Dragons Blood ($75)
#5 Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
#6 Caudalie Premier Cru the Eye Cream ($95)
#7 Tokidoki Sodashop Tin ($49)
#8 Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Mascara ($24)
#9 Nars Blush in Desire ($27)
#10 Boscia Luminizing Black Mask ($34)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You Are What You Eat

Shoveing Taco Bell down your gullet will not result in a radiant & smooth complexion people.  I got a question asking if what you eat effects how your skin looks.  And while I know that eating junk food isnt good for your health or skin I wanted to look into it a little further & find foods for you that ARE good for your face!  So many people make dieting & loosing weight a new years reseloution which is great-eating a healthy diet is an excellent way to live your life.  But here's some extra motavation, not only are you going to loose the extra lb's. but you'll have beautiful skin to match your new 2011 body!

Obviousally Im not a nutrisinast so I had to do some online researching to find the answer to this question.  I found the following "10 Foods For Your Face" at lifescript.com

# 1 AVOCADOS: while your making your DIY at home avocado mask go ahead and eat some too!  Avocados have a ton of essential oils & B-complex vitamins that are good for you inside & out.  "Niacin (vitamin B3) is especially important for healthy skin, and avocados contain lots of it. Niacin, an anti-inflammatory, soothes irritated skin and red, blotchy skin. One avocado has 3.8 mg niacin – 27% of your daily need."

# 2 MANGOS: "Mangoes have more than 80% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, which is why they’re such a great face food. Vitamin A maintains and repairs skin cells; a deficiency will result in a dry, flaky complexion.  As an antioxidant, vitamin A also fights free radical damage that can prematurely age the skin. And with fewer than 70 calories per serving, this succulent fruit is the perfect pick for your figure, not just your face."

# 3 ALMONDS: Almonds contain 150% of your daily intake of vitamain E.  "Vitamin E's rich oils moisturize dry skin, and its antioxidants protect against skin damage and premature aging".

# 4 COTTAGE CHEESE: So far Ive been excited to see that the foods we're something I enjoyed eating anyway.  But Cottage Cheese, none for me thank you!  But if you like it then go for it!  Cottage Cheese contains selenium an important mineral.  "Selenium teams up with vitamin E as a powerful free radical-fighting antioxidant duo. Plus, it’ll protect against skin cancer and fight dandruff."

# 5  ACEROLA CHERRIES: "One of these cherries supplies 100% of your daily allowance for vitamin C, which is great news for your skin. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights skin damage and wrinkles. It also plays a central role in the production of collagen, the structural protein in your skin."

# 6 OYSTERS: Not just for help in the bedroom department! "They fight pimples because they’re rich in zinc. The mineral affects sebum production, a deficiency may contribute to acne. Zinc also helps boost elastin (the skin's elastic protein) production with the help of vitamin C."

# 7 BAKED POTATOES: Im pretty sure they arent refering to a loaded baked potato, you know with all that yummy melted chedder cheese & BUTTER...but oh well if you do load up your potato atleast you can rest knowing part of it was good for your face!  "Eat one baked potato (with the skin) to get 75% of your daily copper need. This essential mineral works with vitamin C and zinc to produce the elastin fibers that support skin structure. Too little copper in your diet can reduce your skin’s ability to heal and cause it to become rigid and lifeless."

#8 MUSHROOMS:  "Rich in riboflavin, a B vitamin that’s vital to your skin. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is involved in tissue maintenance and repair, and improves skin blemishes caused by rosacea. This vitamin is so important for skin repair that the body uses large amounts after sustaining a burn or wound, or undergoing surgery."

#9 FLAXSEED OIL:  ARGHHH it's so annoying when your mother is right!!!  Okay mom, I'll start taking flaxseed oil again..."Just one teaspoon of flaxseed oil per day provides 2.5 grams of omega 3s, which, in turn, hydrate the skin. Essential fatty acids also dilute sebum and unclog pores that otherwise leads to acne."  According to Joan it takes nearly nine capsulas of flaxseed oil  to give you the same benefit of just one tablespoon of the oil.  So even thou its not the most pleasant thing in the world its worth it...so just suck it up and shoot it down!

#10 WHEAT GERM:  Two in a row!!!  Another thing my mother has told me countless times to incorporate into my diet...fine I'll eat it!!!  But let me get something straight, it's not because YOU told me to but because it's good for my skin...so there! "Wheat germ is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that's crucial to skin health. A mild biotin deficiency can cause dermatitis, a condition characterized by itchy, scaly skin."

So there you have it people 10 foods that are healthy for you inside & out!  In addition in adding these foods to your diet its essential to drink your 8 glasses of water a day to keep your skin plump and hydrated!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Come On & Take It Off!!!

Stop sitting there staring at your dull, uneven textured skin & take it off baby!!!  "Take off my skin...Amy you must be crazy! How is that even possible?"  Well, I am crazy...CRAZY about exfoliating that is!  Exfoliating is the act of mechanically or chemically removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface.  I'll be discussing the former today since we've already addressed forms of chemical exfoliation prior to this blog post. (I'm sure I'll be writing more on chemical exfoliation in the future since its my favorite form of exfoliation).  If you missed it then you should probably start following this blog-this is life changing stuff people!!!

Mechanical exfoliation or scrubs have little granular particles that "scratch", for lack of a better word, the skin's surface removing dead cells.  Scrubs contain particles like hydrogenated jojoba oil beads,  ground nuts or shells,  and cornmeal.  There are many different particles that companies may use, those are just a few examples. 

Our cell turnover rate slows down with age.  Which is what causes your skin to have that dull & uneven skin texture.  Daily exfoliation will give a helping hand to your slowed down cell renewal process, stimulating the cells to renew quicker.  Long-term good skincare habits will result in much healthier and much younger looking skin.  Exfoliation isn't just an anti-aging warrior but a hero in the world of clogged pores & excess oil too.

My 2 favorite mechanical exfoliantes are Cliniques 7 Day Scrub Cream ( for all skin types) & Cliniques Exfoliating Scrub ( for oily & very oily skin types).  I have put to the test both of these products and absolutely love them both.  The 7 day Scrub Cream is an Allure Reader's Choice Winner that gentley polishes the skin's surface smoothing away fine lines & prepping the skin for your moisturizer.  The Exfoliating Scrub is a 2009 winner of InStyle magazine's BestBeautyBuys.  If you have oily skin say goodbye to the yucky oil & hello to radiance!  This water-based scrub will unclog your pores leaving you with a refreshed complexion.  The instructions for both of these products suggest that you use them before you wash your face.  Sorry Clinique I love these exfoliantes but don't love the suggested usage.  To me it makes more sense to have my collected dirt & oil be removed before I started scrubbing it into my pores...with both of these products, I 1st removed all makeup (eye & face) then washed my face (with the Clarisonic) then used either scrub.  Makes more sense this way-silly Clinique! 

There are many exfoilaters out there these 2 just happen to be my favorite-they have an excellent price point of $18.50.  One of my followers asked me my opinion on some drugstore brand exfoilaters.  Unless its Shampoo I'm anti-drugstore brand & would never suggest to use those skincare lines.  I guess I'm a luxury brand snob & addict :(  Oh well, there are worse things to be addicted to-like black tar heroin for example now that is an expensive habit not to mention what it must do your complexion.  At least my addiction to exfoliating my skin will leave me with a glowy complexion...hehe!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How Do You Like It???

I like mine to foam...OMG get your minds out of the gutter Im talking about cleansers here people!!!  There are so many cleansers on the market you may find it difficult to choose the best one for you.  The first question I always ask is how do you like it (i.e. foaming, cleansing milk, or gel)???  After you decide how you want your cleanser to feel the next question is besides removing dirt what else would you like your cleanser to do for you-thats where my opinon comes into play.  Having worked at Sephora & Clinique I was given the oppurtuinty to put to the test tons & TONS of different cleaners.  Even before & after working at these companies Ive always had a thing for trying new cleansers to see what they did or didnt do for my face.  

Like I already mentioned I like a foaming cleanser.  Why? Because I feel my face gets the cleanest when a foaming action going on.  Ive tried alot of milk & gel based cleansers and while they have their plus's they just dont do it for me.  Milk cleansers in my opinon are excellet for dry or more mature skin types.  But they do make milk cleansers for acne & oily type skin as well.  Then we have the gel cleansers, some do get a little foamy but some dont foam at all and to me to seem like I'm just rubbing this slippery slidey gel  all over my face and not really cleaning it.  Then again Purity is a gel cleanser and thats a crazy seller at Sephora & on Oprah's Favorite Things List.  Its really about preference so find what type you like and go from there.

So what would you like it to do?  You better not say remove my makeup because then you obvi didnt read yesterday's blog post & now you hurt my feelings :(...okay Ive recovered & hopefully you read yesterday's post & we're on the same page.  I like my cleanser to remove dirt & oil and unglog pores & Id like it do have anti-aging properties.  Okay so there are a million cleansers that foam and do all of that so which ones are good & which arent?  Look at ingredients you should know that you do not want to put anything with mineral oil on your face or any part of your body!  There a ton of cleansers formulated without synthetic colors, glycols, parabens, sulphates, and petrochemicals-the act of cleansing is to purify the skin so I feel that using a natural or organic cleanser will do the best job.  The words natural & organic are not regualted by the FDA in the cosmetic market so be careful of marketing techniques and read the lables!  Sephora has created their own natural standard.  You can check out sephora.com to see what they require companies to do/have to be concidered natural/organic. 

We've narrowed my personal cleanser market down to one that foams, removes dirt & oil, unglogs pores, has anti-aging propeties, & is naturally derived.  And the winner is Organic Homemade By Greenscape: Lemon, Barley & Tomato foaming facial wash.  1st let me just say this entire skincare line is sooo great & smells so yummy you could just eat it!  But dont because that would be strange...yikes...but thats neither here nor there.  Back to the cleanser: I love this cleanser because its gets so foamy & the lemon scent makes the cleansing process seem as though it is cleaning deeper then most because of the fresh citrus smell.  But the lemon extract does more the smell lovely it contains citric acid which is an alpha hydroxy acid.  Which like I explained in my first blog helps to  remove dead skin cells & promote cell turn over bringing fresher younger looking skin to the surface.  Barley has antioxidant properties & antioxidants fight freeradicals which can prematurely age the skin.  Tomato contains lycopene which also has potent antioxident properties.  I love when antioxidents fight & win again free radicals-the dirty buggers!

Want to give this cleanser a try?  At only $15 for 10.2 fl oz you cant beat it!  I bought mine at Lavish Body + Home in Scranton, PA.  But if you dont live in the NEPA area then you can purchase on http://www.shoplondons.com/greenscape-homemade.html

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Do You Shower With Your Clothes On???

I didn't think so.  Then why are you washing your face with a full face of makeup on??? I know some cleansers claim they remove your makeup as you cleanse, but this makes no sense to me.  Allow me to explain:  okay so its the end of the day & your ready to wash your face. You wet your face, dispense your 2 in 1 cleanser and lather away.  As your washing, your makeup is dissolving away, wonderful, thank you 2 in 1 cleanser!  But besides taking off your makeup is really getting down to the surface?  I just don't think it can.  15 seconds into the cleansing process & your lather is now a foundation-y soapy mess.  You're now scrubbing not only the foundation back into your pores, but the dirt that has collected on the top of the foundation throughout the day.  So it is my opinion that in theory a 2 in 1 cleanser is great, but unless Houdini is living in your cleanser bottle there is no way it can remove your makeup & thoroughly remove impurities such as dirt & oil as well.  Like I asked do you shower with your clothes on???

The solution?  Take the extra 30 seconds and remove all your makeup before you start scrubbing away.  Clinique has 3 excellent makeup removers : Rinse-Off Foaming Cleaner (for dry combination or oily skin types), Comforting Cream Cleanser ( for dry, delicate or sensitive skin types), and the Wash-Away Gel Cleanser ( for oily or very oily skin types).  All 3 are designed to remove your makeup so that your cleanser can do its work and remove all the impurities of the day & leave you with truly clean skin.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Im Having a Love Affair

It's true...I am completely in love-my glowy complexion is proof.  OMG ladies, my lover isn't another man!  Its the Alphahydroxy Acid, Glycolic-DUH!!!

Alphahydroxy Acids also known as AHAs, are a group of gentle acids that are found naturally, such as in fruits an vegetables. The family of AHAs include: malic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid; and my all time favorite glycolic acid.  AHAs can aid in a huge number of skin care concerns including, hyperpigmentation, oily and acne-prone skin, dryness, sun damage, and fine lines.  These acids work by removing dead cell buildup, smoothing the aging, sun damaged, and dry skin.  Which results in wrinkles appearing to be not as deep and refining the skins texture. By removing these dead skin cells you are allowing the natural process of cell turn over to happen more rapidly, bringing fresher & younger cells to the surface.  For the oily & acne-prone skin types by removing dead cell build up you are loosening clogged pores and if used on a daily basis you will prevent the dead cells from accumulating altogether, saying "goodbye" to those inflammatory acne lesions!

My personal two favorite glycolic based products are DDF's Glycolic 10% Exfoliating Oil Control Gel ($48)& Anew Rejuvenate Night Sapphire Emulsion ($30).  I use the DDF serum in the morning & the Anew serum at night.  Remember ladies, even if you have oily skin you always want to moisturize after applying any AHA. 

DDF's Glycoloic 10% Exfoliating Oil Control Gel is AMAZING Ive been using it for almost 3 years (except for when I was pregnant.  AHAs aren't safe to use during pregnancy).  In addition to the 10% of glycolic there is 2% salicylic acid which is another great ingredient to use when combating acne because of its antibacterial properties. This serum is designed for us oily & acne prone skin types.  But in addition to helping with acne it will minimize the appearance of pores & the look of fine lines & wrinkles.  Like I said, I use this once a day but you can use it up to 3 times daily.

I'm almost through my 1st jar of Anew's Rejuvenate Night Sapphire Emulsion. Not only do I smooth this all over my face but my neck as well.  Woman always forget about the neck but it's seen just as much as your face and should be treated with as much TLC as the skin on your face.  No one wants to look like a turkey right?  This product is designed for night so is a little on the emollient side-but oily skin types do not have to be wary I have not had any breakouts caused by the heaviness of this product.  Since using this product my pores appear smaller, my skin feels more rejuvenated, and my skin has a seamless airbrushed look.
In addition to applying glycolic acid on a daily basis in your everyday skincare regime, it is always great to get a professional glycolic peel at a salon or spa.  At home products can only have up to 10% glycolic but professionals can use  between 15%-30%.  Before you call your local salon or spa & book an amazing peel, make sure you have been using between 8%-10% glycolic acid in either a serum or cream at home for at least 2 weeks.  Otherwise your anticipated relaxing facial will be an extremely painful experience...not to mention the incresed chance of redness and irritation after the treatment.  It is recommended by professionals to receive a series of 6 treatments over several weeks before you determine further treatment.  After your 1st series of 6 peels you and your esthetician can decide whether weekly, biweekly, or monthly peels are the best for your skin. 


I have a feeling that me & glycolic are going to have a long and happy life together...sighhhh

Until next time ladies-Your MakeupMeBlush guru,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Best Skin of Your Life

I had acne since I was about 13 till I was 23. I'm on the verge of 24 and finally finally I have the skin I have always strived for.  From drugstore brands to department store brands and beyond, Ive tried it all!  I really wonder how much money I wasted on products that didn't even touch the problem?  If you are sick of throwing away skincare, acne related or not, because it's not working you need to read this blog! 

This Christmas after almost 3 years of wanting-sitting under my Christmas tree was the Clarisonic (enter Heavenly music & angels singing here).  The Clarisonic is the most precious wonderful skincare device known to man.  Drugstore brands are able to create knock offs of the Clarisonic now because their patent is up.  But if you want the best skin of your life go to the people that invented it. 

Conventional cleansing will leave behind dirt and oil stuck in your pores. This clogging can damage the appearance and health of your skin and actually keep your skin care products   from functioning like they should.  The Clarisonic uses a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to gently, and effectively remove 6X more makeup and 2X more dirt and oil than cleansing with only your hands.

Within the first 3 days all blemishes had disappeared, and everyday since I started using it my skin appears healthier by the day.  My large pores are definitely smaller, my skin is so incredibly smooth, even skin tone.  Every skincare concern taken care of!  As much as I adore makeup, and getting dressed up I cant see the point in getting all glammed to run to the supermarket (currently I'm a stay at home mom).  But before the Clarisonic I had to had at least put foundation, concealer, & powder on.  But now my skin looks like it has foundation on naturally!!!

If you have annoying acne that you cant seem to get rid of, you NEED the Clarisonic! If you have fine lines & wrinkles and you current skincare isn't doing what it claims, you NEED the Clarisonic.  If you have uneven & dry skin, you NEED the Clarisonic!  If you're a person and have skin on your face go out and get the Clarisonic right now!  Trust me it will change your skin's life, period.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beyond the Basics

Welcome to my first blog post-& thanks for reading!

Woman have been performing beauty rituals, or skincare regimens since before the famous icon of beauty, Nefertiti.  In Egyptian times, cleansing the skin & taking part in beauty rituals were luxuries that only the royals could enjoy.  Luckily for us, we can lavish our skin & bodies on a daily basis!  Yes, I realize that the woman of today are extremely busy-working, running the home, etc.  Nevertheless, if you take just 5 minutes and care for your skin (the largest organ of your body) it'll make all the difference.  You can slap on as much foundation & concealer as you want ladies...but if your skin is dry even the most expensive foundation will look cakey & flakey!

For some reason our grandmothers got it in their heads that using cold cream & never allowing water to touch the face was the best way to prevent wrinkles.  ***Allow me to just say that if your grandmother did this & did indeed have wonderful skin then its because of good genetics...and just think if she actually had a solid skin regime what her skin would have looked like!  Let me share a story with you:  I was working in the skincare section one day at  Sephora this elderly looking lady came up to me & wanted a cream for the wrinkles  that covered her entire face (they were at least a quarter deep).  She went on to tell me that she was only 70 years old & could I believe how wonderful her skin looked?!  To be honest I was totally freaked out even having a conversation with this woman since her skin was not only one big wrinkle but so dry she looked like a walking corpse.  She continued to tell me her "secret" which was she never allowed a drop of water to touch her face, never washed her face in all her 70 years.  And every night smothered her skin in massive amount of cold cream! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!  This was the most appalling thing I ever heard.  I had to be honest with this woman that nothing we carry would reverse the wrinkles on her face. I didn't want her to waste her money. 

Why may you ask is cold cream so bad for your skin?  It contains mineral oil which adds to skin aging. When products with mineral oil  are regularly applied, cellular activity decreases, aging becomes more apparent, and other anti-aging ingredients that you may be using are incapable to be properly absorbed because your cells have been damaged people!  Okay now you may want to know what mineral oil is: " Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin's ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. ...Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH's (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap. It is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil, the same stuff they make gasoline from. Mineral oil is leftover liquid, and because it is abundant, it is very inexpensive. It is less expensive for manufacturers to purchase these by-products as a filler than it is for the industry to dispose of it. " YUCKKKK!!!  If you are using any product on your body that contains mineral oil put it back in the trash where the company using it found it!!!  What should you be using?  Use products that have ingredients such as essential fatty acids, ceramides, vitamin C, & hyaluronic acid these ingredients promote cellular repair.  Additionally, you should use a lighter lotion in the day & a more emollient one at night.