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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.

Review: Tarte Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette – I Don’t Think So

  • Posted on June 15, 2013 at 12:22 am

Tarte Aqualillies Collage

I typically love Tarte cosmetics, so I was immediately drawn to the Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette.  Summer = Focus on Waterproof Makeup  for me, as you can tell by my recent posts.  I have seen YouTube videos raving about this palette, and read comments on the Tarte site about how wonderful it is.  I was incredibly shocked at the polar opposite reaction I had to it after swatching it and testing it for transfer and it’s waterproof staying power.

 

Aqualillies Palette1

 

 

Tarte Aqualillies Waterproof Eye and Cheek Palette – The Claims

  • Waterproof
  • Fade-free, flawless finish
  • Lasts up to 12 hours

 

 

 

True Beauty Junkie Assessment

In a word – NO.  It’s just that simple.  I didn’t find any of the claims to be true.  In fact, they didn’t even come close!

I’ll start with the swatches from the palette.  Normally if I do swatches I try to just do one pass at the color so that you can see the minimum color payoff you would receive using the product.  I had no lotion or primer or any other product on my arm, just bare skin.  With this palette I had to go over, and over, and OVER just to get the colors to show up on my arm – and I am still sporting my winter white skin, no tan in sight yet.

Aqualillies Palette Swatches1

There is nothing exceptional about the colors in this palette, especially when swatched.  The pigmentation is horrible, there are three very frosty shades that are so close to the highlight color it’s really a waste to include them, and the one color that I was hoping would be a beautiful pop of turquoise in the otherwise neutral palette (Poolside) barely showed up on my arm.

I would normally show you swatches after a rub test and then after running them under water, but in this case the swatches didn’t even make it past the rub test.  If I were to show you my arm after lightly rubbing over the swatches (after letting them sit for a few minutes) you would just see my bare arm with a little sparkle left over.  Literally nothing stayed in place.  On a separate occasion I didn’t rub them but went straight to the water test  and they still completely disappeared.

 

Bottom Line

I generally love Tarte, so it pains me to give them a negative review.  This palette is not waterproof, not fade-free and certainly not going to last 12 hours on your skin.  Skip it.  Use the $38.00 somewhere else – anywhere else would be better spent than on this palette.

** I can’t reiterate enough that this review applies only to the Aqualillies palette.  Tarte has so many other awesome palettes and products that are worth checking out.  They just really missed the boat with this one. 

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.

Sunscreen: What You Need To Know About the #1 Anti-Aging Product

  • Posted on May 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm

“Trust me – sunscreen is so, so, so important.”  ~Lea Michele

Sunscreen Collage

Why is it that as soon as I decided to write about sunscreen I visualized a collective rolling of the eyes by anyone who may read this post?  I think so many people feel that sunscreen is something that they need to worry about when they’re older, when skin cancer shows up on their radar.  People may have a huge awareness of anti-aging products.  They may line their counters with the latest and greatest serums, night creams and peels, or even have regularly scheduled Botox sessions – all in an effort to try to turn back the clock of aging on their skin.  Yet they still lather on the tanning oil and bake their way to a summer tan with no idea what they’re doing to their skin.

I am known in my circle of family and friends as the Queen of Sunscreen.  I line everyone up and slather them with sunscreen – men, women, and children.  There is no option to politely decline.  If you are in my presence you will get covered.  I don’t want the people I love and care for the most to increase their risk for cancer, and I want them to have the best shot at aging gracefully.

There is so much misinformation out there about sunscreen and tanning, I had to write about this.

 

Nobody Wants Leather Skin!

Nobody Wants Leather Skin!

Sunscreen is the #1 Anti-Aging Product Out There

Forget Retinol.  Forget Peptides.  Forget Vitamin A or C.  The #1 Skin Ager is the sun!  There is nothing that you will do, nothing that you will encounter in your lifetime, that will age you as much as the sun.  All those anti-aging products you may own are just trying to reverse all of the damage you’ve done to your skin through sun exposure.  Stop it at the source!

When you’re looking at a bottle of sunscreen and you see “UVA  and UVB protection” on the label, consider the A in UVA to equate to Aging and the B in UVB to stand for Burning.  Sunscreen not only stops your skin from burning, it also acts as the best anti-aging product you can have in your arsenal.  If you want to go back to your high school reunions with skin so fresh you look like you never left – use sunscreen!  Daily.

What you do to your skin in your teens and twenties will absolutely come back to haunt you in your thirties and beyond.  We’ve all seen the leather-skinned people at the beach.  They started out tanning in their teens, either out in the sun or in the tanning beds, and it’s caught up with them.  Not a cute look!

 

The Infamous Tanning Mom

The Infamous Tanning Mom

Indoor Tanning – Stop the Madness

I know that it sucks when you’re pastey white and you have to bare your albino legs for the first time in the summer.  Trust me, as soon as summer is over I basically live in pants until the spring rolls around again.  My legs can be blinding.  I hate it.  I totally get it.  But I don’t understand actually paying someone to let you lay in a lit up tube that more than doubles your chances of getting skin cancer.  It’s like saying, “Cancer – Shmancer.  Bring it on God!”  Don’t do it!  Wearing sunscreen doesn’t mean you won’t tan.  It means you’ll tan protected.  And there are many sunless tanning products out there that give your body the same dark tan without the added boost to your risk of cancer.

 

 

Sunless Tanner Suggestions

Bare Minerals Faux Tan Body Sunless Body Tanner

Tarte Maracuja Self-Tanner & Application Mitt

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse

 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation with SPF 15

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation with SPF 15

 

Using A Foundation with SPF is NOT Enough

Makeup that has SPF will only protect your skin if you apply a LOT of it, and reapply every 90 minutes.  Not a good look.  Also, most makeups containing SPF skimp on the UVA-blocking ingredients, which, again, are the rays that cause not only skin aging but also cancer.  The best thing you can do is use a separate broad spectrum SPF moisturizer before applying your makeup.  I have some listed in the next section.

 

 

 

Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector

Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector

 


How Much Broad Spectrum SPF Do You Need?

You want to choose a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum SPF” on the bottle so that you know it is protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays (protection from premature aging of the skin, burning and cancer).

 

 

Find The Right SPF For You

If You Are: Someone who only gets exposed to the sun on your daily commute to work or school, or on the occasional walk to the local store. You want protection from skin aging and the risk of skin cancer, but you know you aren’t in the sun much during the day.
Your Number: SPF 15

Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector SPF 15 – FYI: This is my go-to daily SPF for my face.  I love it!  I don’t have to wear a moisturizer with this; it gives me all the benefits of a daily moisturizer along with the SPF.  It is not greasy.  I have had just this on as sunscreen for an unexpected day out, when I really should have bumped up to 30+, and it performs amazingly.


If You Are:
Mr. or Ms. Outdoorsy.  You love being outside!  You hike, bike, jog, garden, play sports, etc. You need protection from prolonged exposure to the sun that will decrease the risk of skin aging and skin cancer.
Your Number: SPF 30 and higher, depending on your skin

Bioelements Raydefense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen – Again with the Bioelements, because I love their products!

Aveeno Continuous Protection Lotion Face SPF 30 – This one definitely feels and acts more like a typical sunscreen on the face, but has not broken me out when I use it.  I usually apply a separate moisturizer before this to give my skin a boost.  You can have a slight white pallor left on your face; it’s something you need to blend into your skin well.  I lather this or the SPF 70 on my son when we’ll be out all day.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock Body Mist, SPF 45

Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray, SPF 70+


If You Are:
Concerned specifically about lines, wrinkles, and sagging.  Fighting aging caused by the sun is a priority to you. You want a combination of an anti-aging moisturizer with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection while you are out and about.
Your Number: SPF 50

Bioelements SPF 50 Facescreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen – This lends itself better to people with combination/dry skin.  It improves the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and the feel of firmness, along with giving you the SPF of 50.  It takes the place of your daily moisturizer.  If you are very fair skinned you will still likely want a higher SPF.

 

The Facts on Skin Cancer

  • Half of all cancers in the U.S. are skin cancers (source: American Cancer Society)
  • UV ray exposure is the most preventable cause of skin cancer (source: American Academy of Dermatology)
  • One or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than double a person’s chances of developing skin cancer later in life (source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)
  • A person’s risk for skin cancer doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns at any age (source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)

 

Bottom Line

Make sunscreen a priority for yourself and your family – regardless of age.  You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so.  You’re ensuring that you’re fighting the #1 cause of aging, as well as doing what you can to decrease your risk of getting skin cancer significantly.