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All About Acne – Part IV: Cosmetics for Acne-prone Skin

  • Posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Brand CollageAfter my last post I’m sure there was a lot of exasperation, like “what the heck IS safe to use?”  I wanted to give you a list of just some of the foundations I’ve found that do not have the ingredients that may cause irritation and breakouts.  Obviously something may not have any of the Big Nasty ingredients and still irritate your skin, or you might not like the particular formula, but I didn’t want to leave you with only the bad.

 

High End Foundation

 

BareMineralsbareMinerals Original Foundation SPF 15

My favorite mineral foundation by far is the Bare Minerals Original Foundation with SPF 15.  This is the foundation that I used through my twenties, and still have in my rotation today.  It has only 5 ingredients.  That’s right – no huge paragraph of hard-to-read chemicals, just 5 simple ingredients – 2 of which are for sunscreen!  The fewer ingredients you have, the less of a chance for irritation.  It also offers 20 shade variations, and those shades are very forgiving.  That means that you don’t have to get a near-exact match in the way you’d expect with a liquid foundation.  They’re very blendable.

Now, I know the price for this foundation can be a deterrent for some.  There may be other mineral foundations out there that are cheaper.  I would caution you to make sure that the brand has no fillers or additional ingredients for shimmer or shine.  Check those ingredients!

 

Additional Products – I thought it would be helpful to mention that not only does bareMinerals make foundation, they also carry a line of concealers, blushes, bronzers, highlights and basically every type of cosmetic you may want.  Their loose mineral powders have the least amount of ingredients and are the ones that I would recommend.  You can’t go wrong checking out this line.

 

 Tarte Tinted Moisturizer

Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer

This is my other go-to face product.  It’s not a true foundation; the coverage is too light for that.  But it doesn’t claim to be.  I use this for light coverage when I just want to even out my skin tone and I want something more moisturizing.  This is definitely not a matte tinted moisturizer.  It does have a more satin finish to it.  Sometimes I will layer this with a dusting of the bareMinerals over top.  It goes on easily, doesn’t slide all over my face in a grease fest 20 minutes after applying it, and is great in the summer when I don’t want to have anything heavy on my skin.

 

Additional Products – Tarte, like bareMinerals, has a whole line of cosmetics you can check out.  Their blushes are beautiful and really do last all day like their name claims.  They have a silicone-free primer called the Clean Slate Flawless 12-Hour Brightening Primer which is a great alternative for oily skin.  Just stay away from the Aqualillies palette!

 

Drugstore Foundation

Let me tell you, within the category of drugstore brand cosmetics, the selection of “safe” foundations for acneic skin is very limited.  VERY.  LIMITED.  It was surprising to me how many foundations have names that would suggest that they are perfect for acne-prone skin, only to read the ingredients and see several horribly irritating and breakout-causing heavy hitters listed.  That’s why you have to ignore the names, the claims, and go straight for the ingredients.  If you are shopping online and the ingredients are not listed anywhere – skip it.  Move on.  Even if it’s called “Amazing Acne Clearing Best Thing For You Foundation.”  Resist the urge!

 

Neutrogena Skin Clearing


Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil Free Makeup

This foundation has salicylic acid in it, which is an ingredient that actually helps treat acne.  A word of caution about this one though – it also has Vitamins A, C, and E, which for some people can be irritating (especially the Vitamin A).  I have not tried this foundation personally, so I can’t talk to the formula or the wearability.  I’m basing this solely on the ingredients.

 

Neutrogena Healthy Skin
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup

Neutrogena gave me two options for the drugstore.  I promise, I looked at other brands and either was not able to get a list of their ingredients or they had some of the Big Nasties in them.  This foundation option has a whopping 55 SPF, which is awesome!  It’s rare that you will see an SPF that high in a foundation.  The down side is that there appear to only be eight color options, catering to the light and medium skin tones.  I haven’t used this foundation to be able to give you an idea of the coverage.  Like the Skin Clearing foundation, I am listing it here based on it’s ingredients.  I’d love to hear if you’ve tried this foundation, or any of the ones I have listed.

 

 

Bottom Line

Read the ingredients on any product that is going to be against your skin.  Don’t rely on the name of the product as a guide for what you should be purchasing.  Especially when you are looking at drugstore brands… it is a mine field out there.

It’s important to note that you may have a foundation that you love that might have a questionable ingredient in it.  The best way to test how your skin reacts to a product is to only add one new product at a time into your routine.  Or conversely only take one product away at a time from your existing routine and see if it changes things.  However, if you looked at your skincare and makeup and saw that the majority of the items had Big Nasties in them – STOP USING THEM NOW.  But if you are in love with a particular product, and don’t want to believe it may be hurting your skin, remove it and see if it helps at all.  If you’re following the skincare routine I outlined in my previous post here, your skin should be reacting positively to the changes.  If the foundation was breaking you out, you will see a change.

All About Acne – Part I: What Is It, and What Causes It

  • Posted on June 22, 2013 at 1:56 am

“I wouldn’t trade the acne scar on my right cheek, because that recurring zit spent more time with me in college than any boy ever did.”  ~Tina Fey

Acne Part 1 Collage Final

One of the most challenging – and rewarding – skin conditions that I have dealt with as an esthetician is acne.  It is truly rewarding for me to work with someone who has acne and watch their skin transform as it clears up.  It can be life changing, especially for people whose acne seems to be out of control.

I have wanted to write about acne since I started this blog, but it is a huge topic.  I wasn’t sure where I wanted to start, so I decided to break this down into pieces and parts.  I hope this information helps!

We seem to have a ton of names for it – zit, pimple, whitehead, blemish, blackhead, pustule, cyst, sore… But what IS acne?  When I ask people to tell me what acne is, they invariably give me another name for it and look at me like I am nuts.  “You know, it’s a zit,” and point to one they are trying to cover up.  Understanding how to deal with acne requires first knowing what it is, and what causes it.  Like GI Joe taught us – Knowing is half the battle.  Go Joe!  (For those of you who are not 80s and older children… I’m sorry.  I’m 33 and a total closet 80s fanatic.)

Anyway, back to acne.

 

What The Heck Is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil.  You’ll see it pop up mostly on the face, although it can spread its way to your neck, shoulders, chest and back as well.

 

What Are The Types of Acne?

Doctors use fancy names for the different types of acne that you can get, but I want to try to keep it simple.

  1. Whiteheads – A non-inflamed (not red, agitated, or irritated) pore clogged with oil, dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria that has a white cap to it.
  2. Blackheads – If a whitehead has a slight opening at the top, the oil and dead skin cells will darken as the air oxidizes it.  It’s the same thing that happens sometimes with foundations – they look one color in the bottle, but as soon as they get out in the air and on your skin they darken up slightly.
  3. Pimple – The angry step-sister to the whitehead.  They are the inflamed, red, tender bumps that have white pus built up on the tip.
  4. Pustule – I didn’t have any other specific name for this type of pimple, because they tend to get lumped in with the rest.  These are the slightly raised, very tender red suckers that hurt when you touch them but have not yet come to a head.  No pus has developed on these yet.
  5. Cysts – These are larger, painful, pus-filled lumps under the surface of the skin.  These bad boys are the ones that cause a lot of acne scarring.

 

What Causes Acne?

There are three major causes of acne:

  1. An Overproduction of Oil – We all have a thin layer of oil on our skin for protection.  Sometimes our skin can go into hyper oil production mode and all of a sudden our face turns into an oil slick.
  2. Irregular Shedding of Dead Skin Cells – Our skin has a renewal cycle; fresh new cells are created and move to the surface of our skin, where they eventually die and shed off.  When that process doesn’t happen as it should, we can get a build up of dead skin cells clogging our pores and irritating our skin.
  3. Build-up of Bacteria – If our skin doesn’t get cleansed properly and regularly, bacteria can collect on the surface, get into our pores, grow and spread, causing all kinds of irritation and issues.

 

What Can Trigger or Worsen Acne?

Causes of Acne Collage

  1. Hormones – Lord, don’t we know it!  Anything from periods to puberty, pregnancy to menopause.  If something changes our hormone levels it can often trigger our skin to break out.
  2. Medication – For women, often going on (or off) the birth control pill can cause our skin to freak out on us.  But it’s not just a woman thing – steroids, lithium, and many other medications can also break us out.
  3. Diet – The yummiest foods may be the worst when it comes to acne triggers.  Greasy foods, dairy products, foods rich in carbs (breads, bagels, chips), sweets… “you are what you eat” takes on a new meaning in relation to pimples.
  4. Bad Products on Skin – I have had clients who would put Vaseline on their skin to “moisturize.”  I’ve seen people use baby oil as their makeup remover… all over their face.  There are a lot of ingredients that can exist in makeup, cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreen, etc that can cause nasty breakouts.  It’s a vicious cycle with makeup too, because when you get a breakout you want to cover it up, which means sometimes you are using even MORE of the product that is actually causing the breakout.

 

Bottom Line:

By knowing what acne is, what causes it, and what can trigger an outbreak, we can sometimes stop it before it even starts.  In future blogs in this series I am going to cover how to treat acne, whether you should pop that annoying zit or not, ingredients in cosmetics to look for and avoid, and what your skin care routine should be.  I hope you’ll hang with me, and let me know what you think about everything I’ve said!

 

Let’s Talk Makeup Primers

  • Posted on June 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm

“I love the confidence that makeup gives me.”  ~Tyra Banks

Primer Main Collage

You know that feeling when you have a “good makeup day”; everything went on right the first time in the morning, you didn’t end up with half of your eyeshadow falling down onto your cheeks, you were able to blend out the colors perfectly, and you strut your way out the door feeling great… only to look in the mirror a few hours later and discover that somehow your eyeshadow migrated from your lid to underneath your eye, your blush has disappeared, you look splotchy, and you wonder in horror how long you have been talking to people looking this way?  Primer is your ticket away from looking like a hot mess halfway through the day.


What’s The Big Deal With Primers?

Many people feel that they can skip a primer altogether; that it’s not needed.  Or they tried a primer and didn’t like the way it felt so they nixed them all.  I’m here to tell you that a primer can be your best friend!  I use eye and face primers every time I put on my makeup.  Why?  Because they are awesome!  Haha.  Let me explain …..


Benefits of Eye Primer

  • Stops creasing
  • Stops color fading
  • Stops shadow migration (when your eyeshadow decides it wants to try to be blush instead)
  • Intensifies the color of your shadow
  • Locks it all down until you are ready to remove it

If you have an oily eye area and you feel that you can’t wear makeup, even waterproof makeup, because it uses your face as a slip and slide – you need to try the right primer!  Waterproof makeup is just that – waterproof.  It is not oil proof.  In fact, how do we have to remove waterproof makeup?  With an oil-based makeup remover.  So waterproof makeup is not the answer if you have oily lids.  A primer is what you need to help combat the oil.


Benefits of Face Primer

  • Provides a protective layer over your skin
  • Allows foundation to be applied easily
  • Allows you to use less foundation for the coverage you want
  • Minimizes pores
  • Color corrects
  • Keeps your makeup from being sucked into your pores and disappearing mid-day


Bonus Use For Face Primer

If you don’t take anything else away from this post, please remember this little tip!  If you want your night creams to work exponentially better and see results quicker, after you apply them to your face before bed cover them with a layer of primer.  This will keep all of the nutrients and good-for-you ingredients from your creams and serums from being absorbed by your pillow, your hair, your comforter, evaporating…. You will be amazed at how this little addition to your nightly routine will change your skin!

** This is also a great way to use up primers that you have tried and don’t particularly like under your makeup, or samples that you’ve received that are taking up space.  Don’t throw them away, use them over your night creams and serums.


Guide to Color Correction in Primers

You may look at an avocado green face primer and say why in the world would I put that on my face?!  Color correcting primers are great underneath your foundation to help address issues you may have with your skin.  Don’t be afraid of them.  They go on sheer and really come alive to work their magic when you put your foundation on top of them.  I made a guide to help explain what each color corrector is perfect for.  For myself personally, I use a green primer most days because my cheeks, around my nose, and my chin always have a slight redness to them that I hate.

Color Correction Collage

 

Primers to Try

I have gone through so many primers, and the range of formulas is sometimes daunting.  It also means that with a little perseverance you will find one that is exactly what you need.  The few that I have listed here are ones that I have used and like.  Primers are very subjective, and one that I love may feel odd to you, but it’s a place to start.

Eye Primer Collage Face Primer Collage


Splurge or Save?

So should you go for the high end primers or something inexpensive?  My opinion in a nutshell – save on the eye primer and splurge on the face primer.  Most of the eye primers will give you similar results, it just depends on what formula you want (drying, tinted, moisturizing, slippery, etc).  However when it comes to my face, I am very particular about what I put on it.  If you find a cheaper primer that is good for your skin, works the way you want it to, and can save you money – great!  But it is one item that I will splurge on without feeling bad about the cost.

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 HR Eyeshadow Review

  • Posted on June 5, 2013 at 3:32 am

“Eyes are your most important feature; they draw people in.”  ~Andrea Walmsley

Maybelline Color Tattoo IntroYou may have noticed a trend in my makeup posts lately – waterproof, waterproof, waterproof!  Summer is here, and with it is some much needed sunshine and warm weather, pool parties, and days at the beach.  Unfortunately it can also mean sweat, raccoon eyes and general face melting.  I think I can handle my foundation disappearing a bit in the heat, but my eyes are another thing.  I want my eye makeup and mascara to stay put throughout the day, regardless what I have going on.  I don’t want to go to the bathroom and see my eye makeup has migrated to my cheeks – never a good look.

 

 Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 HR Cream Gel Shadow

I have heard nothing but good things about this shadow, so I picked up a few colors that I thought I would get the most wear out of this summer.

 

The Claims

  • 24 hour wear without creasing or fading
  • Ink pigments for intense color
  • Cream-gel texture

 

True Beauty Junkie Assessment

Let’s start with the colors I selected:

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Swatches

Barely Branded is a beautiful champagne color.  When I first swatched it on my arm it reminded me a lot of The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer highlight, only in cream form.  Not glittery or chunky, it glides on easily and works as an all-over eye shimmer base, a highlighter for your brow bone or the perfect shade to brighten your inner eye corners.

Purchase: Maybelline Color Tattoo – Barely Branded

Bad to the Bronze is a warm brown with subtle bronze and gold shimmer in it.  This is the color that I will be reaching for the most over summer.  You can sheer it out or pack it on for a more pigmented look.

Purchase: Maybelline Color Tattoo – Bad To The Bronze

Tough as Taupe is a matte cool brown mixed with gray.  In the pot it looks much more gray, which worried me because gray is not an eye color I gravitate towards.  It tends not to work well with my eye and skin color.  When I swatched this I was happy to see that there is enough brown there to make it wearable for me.  I love that it is matte, and I find myself wearing it as a base and warming it up a bit with other shadows.

Purchase: Maybelline Color Tattoo – Tough as Taupe

 

Testing the Claims

 

24 Hour Wear – No Fading

After I swatched all three colors on my wrist (just the shadow, no primer underneath), my family and I headed to the pool.  Yes, you know you are a true beauty junkie when you walk around in public with makeup swatches on your arm.  :)   I swam in the pool, soaked in the jacuzzi, occasionally rubbing on the swatches to see if they were going to shift at all.  They did not budge!  I was thinking that I wouldn’t need to even take a second picture of the swatches at the end of our pool day, because they looked the same.  Then I tried rubbing them off with my towel, and finally there was some fading.

Now, I have to say, I was really happy that even though these faded after being scrubbed with my towel, the fading wasn’t a bleeding out all over the place.  The color just faded over all.

Swatches After Tests

 

Creasing

My lovely sister reads my blog, and after my original posting of this one she texted me asking “What about creasing?!”   I had forgotten to add this piece in.  She is the best quality control editor.  :)   Thanks Becca!

When you are applying these to your eyes, if you are using a synthetic brush to initially place the shadow, you should then go over it with your finger and press it into your skin to smooth it out.  You don’t want a thick layer of the shadow on your eye all at once.  If you want to intensify the color just apply it in layers, always remembering to use your finger to press and smooth it into your skin between each one.

Like any cream eye product, if you don’t apply it correctly it will crease up on you the minute you blink, settling into the lines of your eyes.  However, I haven’t had any issues with these colors creasing on me, applying them as I described above.

 

Intense Color

The formula allows for buildable coverage.  I found the shades I chose to start off with a great base color.  The initial swatches I took are just single strokes of the cream shadow, no primer, no additional layers.  I was able to pump up the pigment as I wanted when I was applying these to my eyes, so that I could use just one of them to serve as an all-over lid color as well as a smudged out smokey crease.

 

Not So Honorable Mention

It appears that the formula can vary between the colors, as everything else I’ve tried.  I purchased the Tenacious Teal and was truly disappointed with the pigmentation and staying power.  It applied slightly patchy and milky, certainly not as the bold color it appears to be in the jar.  It was mostly gone after just a little water from the faucet and rubbing it lightly.  I returned it.

 

Bottom Line

Once you place these specific cream liners where you want them and let them set for a few minutes they will hang with you all day.  I was truly impressed with their staying power.  They aren’t even marketed at waterproof, and yet I was able to swim with them, soak in the jacuzzi, and they were exactly where I put them when I finished my day.  The colors are beautiful and pigmented and apply easily with your finger or a synthetic brush.  Just be aware that not all of these will wear like the gems I picked above.

**

Let me know which of these you have tried.  How did they work for you?  How do you like wearing them?

The Balm: Bronzers and Highlights

  • Posted on May 31, 2013 at 7:40 pm

“I always wear bronzer because I love the way my skin looks when it’s tan.”  ~Lauren Conrad

Part Two of my The Balm Cosmetics shopping spree included picking up their bronzer, contour and highlight products.  I was so excited to try these out, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you.

The Balm Cosmetics

The Balm Cosmetics

Bronze and Contour

Bronzing and contouring your face can turn into a hot mess, depending on the product you use and how you use it.  Knowing that The Balm tends to have highly pigmented products, I was a little nervous about purchasing their bronzers.  In the end I just couldn’t resist.  Let me walk you through what I got, and what I think about them.

 

Bahama Mama – Bronzer and Contour

Purchase: TheBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer

Bahama Mama is a matte finished multi-tasker.  You can use it as a bronzer, a contour shade, or an eye shadow.  It looks very dark in the pan.  Like scary-dark for someone with my fair-medium complexion.  I was surprised to find that I was able to apply it sheerly enough to work for me, and build it up if I wanted to.  As with all of The Balm cosmetics – a little bit goes a long way!

I love that it is matte; I am not a fan of bronzers with any kind of shimmer, glitter or sparkle to them.  I feel they tend to look odd on the face.  When you’re contouring or bronzing you’re looking to add shadows, depth, warmth to the face, not turn into a tanned, sparkly Twilight vampire chick.  Once I started using Bahama Mama it quickly replaced the others I had in my collection as my go-to product.

Application:  The key to applying this is to lightly touch your brush to the product, tap it off, and then blend.  DO NOT swirl your brush around in the pan like there is no tomorrow.  It won’t be cute.

The Balm: Bahama Mama Swatches

The Balm: Bahama Mama
Swatches

 

Betty-Lou Manizer Bronzer and Highlight

Purchase: TheBalm Betty-Lou Manizer

I realize that not everyone agrees with my opinion that bronzers should be matte.  Betty-Lou Manizer is certainly NOT matte.  This product has shimmer galore!  It’s not something that I would reach for to use as a bronzer or contour; it just doesn’t do it for me in that capacity.

I do however love that I can use this as an eye shadow.  It has a warm copper glow to it, which I love on my eyes more than the glitter party that a lot of eye shadows with sparkle tend to be.  This is also a great highlight for darker complexions.  Gorgeous!

The Balm: Betty-Lou Manizer Swatches

The Balm: Betty-Lou Manizer
Swatches

Highlight

I am constantly trying out different highlights.  I think the right highlight can bring a youthful glow to your face, make your cheekbones appear more defined, and really finish your over all look.  The wrong highlight can accentuate every fine line, wrinkle, and pore that is on your face.  That’s never a look that I’m going for.  I picked up The Balm’s highlight for fair – medium/tan skin to see how I would like it.

 

Mary-Lou Manizer Highlight

Purchase: The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer

This is a champagne highlight that has definite shimmer to it.  It is finely milled so that you’re not seeing glitter pieces on your skin, but you can definitely apply too much rather easily and get out of hand.  I use this with a soft hand on top of my cheeks for a beautiful glow.  I have also used it under my brows and around my tear duct to brighten my eye area.

Additional Application Trick: If you happen to use mineral makeup, like Bare Minerals foundation, you can apply some of the Mary-Lou Manizer on your skin UNDER that foundation (along the top of your cheekbones and the center of your forehead).  When you swirl your mineral foundation on top of it, it diffuses it enough to give your skin a ‘lit from within’ quality that can be quite pretty.

The Balm: Mary-Lou Manizer Swatches

The Balm: Mary-Lou Manizer
Swatches

The Bottom Line:

While some of these won’t be products I turn to on a daily basis, they are all quite lovely.  There are multiple uses for each of them, and with the amount of product you get in each… I will be bronzing and highlighting with The Balm cosmetics for a long time.

The Balm Cosmetics: Blush Extravaganza

  • Posted on May 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm

…I work so much, during the free days I have I like to let my skin breathe.  But of course I’m girly so I like to put on some blush and some mascara.”  ~Bar Refaeli

The Balm Collage

Oh, The Balm, how I love your blushes!

I have a pile of The Balm blushes, highlighters and bronzers sitting next to me at the keyboard as I type this.  I’m telling myself that I need them here in case I want to do some quick swatches (already did that, took the pictures, yet I still try to justify my addiction).  However, if I’m honest, I really think I brought them here because even just looking at makeup makes me happy.  That’s how you know you’re a True Beauty Junkie.

Anyone else able to spend hours just perusing the makeup aisles of any store, reading product details, getting excited about the claims, arms covered in swatches of products?  Welcome to the club!

The Balm Cosmetics has a complete line of makeup, skin care, hair care and nail polish.  But what I want to talk about today is some of their classic blushes.  I’ll cover contour, bronzers and highlights in a separate blog.

 

The Blushes – Gorgeousness in a Compact

The Balm blushes are beautiful, long-wearing, and highly pigmented.  That allows you to achieve several blush shades with just one compact.  You can sheer them out, build them up, use them as eye shadows or highlights… Several are must haves in my collection.  And just as a side note: the packaging for all of The Balm products is super cute, retro-inspired, and I love it!

 

Down Boy Blush

Purchase:  TheBalm Down Boy Blush

Down Boy is a soft, fresh-faced pink, and the lightest of the blushes that I will be talking about today.  It has the slightest sheen to it that gives it a little ‘lit from within’ quality.  It’s not glittery, clumpy, or gaudy.  A little goes a long way, you don’t want to apply this or any of The Balm products with a heavy hand.

In the swatches you can see that on top I have it very densely packed onto my skin, while on the bottom it’s a sheer wash of color.  Fabulous either way you choose to wear it.

 

The Balm - Down Boy Swatches

The Balm – Down Boy
Swatches

Cabana Boy Blush

Purchase: TheBalm Cabana Boy Blush

Cabana Boy is a warmer dusty-rose with plum undertones.  There is a slight shimmer to this blush, and I find that when I wear it I skip on highlighting my cheekbones.  The range for this shade is fantastic!  Depending on the amount of product you apply, and which type of brush you apply it with, you can sheer this out completely for a rosey glow on your cheeks, or go really intense with it.

The Balm: Cabana Boy Swatches

The Balm: Cabana Boy
Swatches

 

Frat Boy Blush

Purchase: TheBalm Frat Boy Blush

Frat Boy adds a flush of peachy-pink to your cheeks.  For all of you coral lovers – this is the one to start with.  It’s also a great color for all of the women who tend to have pink undertones in your skin that you spend a lot of time trying to cover and minimize.  The last thing you want to do sometimes after canceling out all the redness is to put the pink right back into your cheeks with blush.  Frat Boy gives you peaches and cream, nearly matte color with just the slightest hint of a sheen to it to keep you from looking dry or flat.

The Balm: Frat Boy Blush Swatches

The Balm: Frat Boy Blush
Swatches

 

Hot Mama Blush

Purchase: TheBalm Hot Mama Blush

Hot Mama is a blush and highlight combo in one product.  It is also a peachy-pink shade like Frat Boy, but man do they pump up the shimmer on this one with gold throughout!  You will not need to use a separate highlight on the days you wish to rock this blush.  To be clear, when I talk about “gold shimmer,” I am not talking about gold chunks or flecks.  It’s not that you’ll look at your cheeks and think that you let a child toss glitter at your face.  It is finely milled so that it’s not BAM – glitter in yo face!  This is not one that I tend to reach for regularly, but it would make a lovely highlight for Frat Boy.

The Balm: Hot Mama Blush Swatches

The Balm: Hot Mama Blush
Swatches

The Bottom Line

Down Boy and Cabana Boy are my go-to choices for blush right now.  When it comes to The Balm blushes over all I love how highly pigmented they are, which gives you so many options to play around with, their staying power, and the fact that a little bit goes such a long way.  I am going to have these for ages before I even need to think about repurchasing.  And with the shades above I feel like I can get virtually any look I want out of them, which means that I don’t need fifty different shades of blush clogging my makeup collection.  I can spend that money elsewhere.  And you know I will!  :)

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

  • Posted on May 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

“I’m strong, I’m tough… I still wear my eyeliner.” ~ Lisa Leslie

I have been on a waterproof kick lately.  I want to find the best drugstore waterproof makeup out there, and this week I tested out Maybelline’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in both Brown and Eggplant.

 

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Brown and Eggplant

 

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner: The Claims

  • Get the precision & intense color of a liquid liner
  • Smudgeproof
  • Waterproof
  • 24 hour wear

 

True Beauty Junkie Assessment

This comes with a liner brush that really does allow you to get a precision line, similar to a liquid liner.  As for the rest of the claims, I think the pictures tell the story best.

1: On the initial swatch I was impressed with the color pay off and the creaminess of the liner.  The Brown is a matte brown, absolutely no shimmer or glitter in it.  The Eggplant, however, has flecks of gold, red, and green throughout that may not show up adequately in the picture.

1: Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner Swatches in Brown and Eggplant

1: Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner Swatches in Brown and Eggplant

 

2:  After letting the liner set for a few minutes, I rubbed my fingers across each of the colors.  As you can see, the Eggplant smudged a LOT, while the Brown stayed put with very little smearing.

2: Swatch Rub Test

2: Swatch Rub Test

 

3:  I then let water run over the swatches for about 10-15 seconds.  The Brown shade continues to hang in there with almost no smearing or fading, while the Eggplant loses some of its color intensity and continues to spread.

3: Swatch Water Test

3: Swatch Water Test

 

4:  I admit it – at this point I wanted to know if anything was going to smudge that Brown!  So after letting the water run over the swatches I rubbed the water into them to see if that would disturb them more.  The Brown stuck it out like a champ, losing only a tiny bit of color.  That sad, sad Eggplant faded and spread even more.

4: Swatch Rub Test After Water

4: Swatch Rub Test After Water

 

5:  My last test – I took some hand soap and water and scrubbed the swatches like someone with OCD.  I went to town!  Finally the Brown broke down, and the Eggplant color turned into a patchy mess.

5: Swatches After Soap and Water

5: Swatches After Soap and Water

 

Bottom Line:  I returned the Eggplant shade; it just didn’t perform the way I need a waterproof liner to perform.  I kept the Brown, and have used it over several days since purchasing it.  I love the creaminess, the ease of application, and the fact that it won’t go anywhere until I want to remove it.  If you’re looking for a liner that has the precision, richness of color, and smooth application of a liquid liner, with the added benefit of being waterproof and affordable – check this one out!

 

Where To Find It

For quick online shopping, purchase this on Amazon: Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner, Waterproof, Brown

or anywhere Maybelline is sold.

Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara: Where You Goin’? NOWHERE!

  • Posted on May 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Waterproof Mascara: Mascara that comes off if you cry, shower, or swim…but not when you try to remove it.

For many, many years that’s exactly how I felt about waterproof mascara.  It’s close to summer time, and all I want is a true waterproof mascara that won’t leave me looking like Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the movie.  I just don’t want to look like him!  Last week I said enough is enough and headed to my local Ulta.  I was determined to pick up several waterproof mascaras and have a testing extravaganza!  Wonder of wonders, I actually found a mascara that truly is waterproof.  (Queue the choir of angels).

Maybelline The Rocket Collage

Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara – The Claims

  • 8 Times Bigger Lashes
  • Fast-glide formula keeps lashes smooth
  • Zero clumps guaranteed
  • Removes easily with soap and water
  • Waterproof

 

 

True Beauty Junkie Assessment

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Sorry, I was taking a moment for a little happy dance.

This mascara truly is waterproof, let’s get that out of the way right now.  I don’t think I had 8 times bigger lashes, but it definitely gave me volume and length with no clumping after two coats.   “Removes easily with soap and water?”  No way, Jose.  This mascara is not coming off without some oil and a prayer.

I initially drenched my eyes with water… it didn’t budge.  Then I took out my Philosophy Purity cleanser – no impact on it whatsoever.  I scrubbed and I swear the mascara laughed at me a little.  I took out my La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipes, ready to battle.  The were able to remove some of the mascara, but definitely didn’t take all of it off.  I then had to pull out the big guns – Almay Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads.  That finally did the trick.

1: No mascara on my eye

1: No mascara on my eye

1:  This is my eye without any mascara on.  I am wearing some Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Brown.  I was also trying the Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl eyeliner in Deep Blue on my water line.  (Reviews on those items will be in separate posts coming up!)

2: One Coat of The Rocket

2: One Coat of The Rocket

2:  This is what my eye looked like after one coat of Maybelline’s The Rocket Waterproof Mascara.

3:  Two Coats of The Rocket

3: Two Coats of The Rocket

3:  Here is what two coats of The Rocket looked like on my eyes.  It’s important to state that you should NOT wait for the first coat to dry before adding the second.  Slap it on their quick; you don’t want it to dry on you!

4:  After Soap and Water

4: After Soap and Water

4:  First, I’m sorry that I look a little cross-eyed in this picture.  I’m blaming it on my complete disbelief that the mascara is still in tact after using my Purity on it at the end of the night.

 

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a true waterproof mascara to carry you through the summer months – this is the one to try!  The thing to keep in mind is that the focus is on the fact that it is waterproof.  I’ve seen comments on Ulta’s website about how it didn’t give people amazing volume or length, and I wanted to shake them a little.  Finding a truly waterproof mascara that does ANYTHING to your lashes is amazing.  Typically you end up with racoon eyes with the first tear or drop of water – not with this!

Let me know what you think about this mascara in the comments below.  Tell me your stories about others you’ve tried, I want to hear about your experiences!

 

Where To Find It

For quick online shopping, purchase this through Amazon: Maybelline New York Volume’ Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara, Very Black

or anywhere Maybelline is sold.