Autumn / Winter – Cushion Correction

You know how trends go…they generally hit the mainstream and go through countless innovations and iterations until they are exhausted.  Cushions are a format that many have taken to, though, and given the popularity of multi-use single products (whether with respect to format, such as palettes, duo splits etc; or formulation, such as concealer and primer, or moisturizer and foundation etc), it makes sense that someone would come out with a half and half cushion.

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Cushion acts as a color corrector, and a primer in one – the color splits offered include a green and yellow (a traditional pairing) and a peach with lavender.  

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-8-03-09-am

Of the four, lavender is always the color I’d use the least – it works really well for brightening on sallow skin, but I actually LIKE the yellow undertones in my own.  Peach often comes in handy too, to brighten dark patches and circles (I guess it’s fair to say I wish there was a peach with yellow combination…)

As for yellow and green, yellow often can stand in place of green, because it does calm redness a bit, and definitely helps to brighten and even skintone.  Green is a shade you do have to use with a gentle hand because it can become too cooling and “show” more so than a yellow might.

In any case, I love the idea… These boast an SPF 20, which is always nice to have, and they are non-comedogenic (something I make a point to find on the label!)

Halloween Shoppe…Meow!

It’s that time of year! 😀

No matter the enormity of the selections out there for foundation – whether color, or formulation, mass market, or prestige – I only ever use Meow.  I’m a cat lover, tis true (the fact may indeed be responsible for me finding the Company many years ago). . .but I stick with Meow not because I love the names (marketing can sway a lady easily – you know who you are!)  

No, they are my must-have because they straight up deliver.  Their mineral foundations contain VERY little – something that tends to be like an elusive butterfly these days.  An ingredient list that’s short, to the point, and pronounceable?!  SIGN ME UP!

The formulas last too – as an athlete and Martial Artist it’s fair to say I’ve put these to the test.  Often. And not just any old paces – full on Jiu-Jitsu, ballroom competitions, leg day, HIIT on occasion…those minerals work hard!

With all that activity, why wear any at all? Wouldn’t my pores be clogged?!  I happily – and emphatically – say “NOPE!”

These minerals are skin-loving – it’s almost like doubling up (let’s be honest, with me, quadrupling up!) on skincare.  My skin manages to breathe and stay even with the added benefit – thanks to zinc oxide and titanium oxide – of natural sun defense, and protection from daily aggressors.  These aren’t full of fancy pants ingredients but they don’t have to be – they give me an extra layer of armor, so to speak, over all of my lotions and potions (with which I am equally as discerning!)  It’s nice not to have to peel back a label just to read the rest of the ingredient list.

That aside, the color selection is ASTOUNDING – WELL beyond what most mass or prestige companies will ever offer.  Meow accounts for countless undertones (86 shades with coordinating concealers – read that number again!) I know! What?!?! 

Another major point? The products are non-comedogenic – for someone who’s active, that goes a long way.

Did I mention you also get a TON of minerals for your money (the larger containers are enormous! – don’t count on finding the same generosity at a Sephora or Ulta!) 

Anyway…to my Hallows point!

…Meow is currently offering Halloween Foundations – a nice departure from greasy, pore-clogging face paints of old – so definitely check them out if you have sensitive skin. . .or you don’t want to coat yourself in something ultra-unnatural!

The colors are designed to be opaque, and layerable, so you can achieve whatever level of zombified or goulish that you are aiming for…without clogging your beautiful peau. I mean what’s the point of haunting around if you’re dreading post-Halloween breakouts!? Talk about freaky!

La Roche Posay – Effaclar Duo Unifant

I’m a huge La Roche Posay fan – their products are great quality, and always manage to deliver.  The Effaclar lineup is a hugely popular one, and has been since Effaclar Duo (specifically) launched about two and a half years ago.  As an athlete, taking care of my skin is not only important, but imperative – rolling on sweaty mats means I have to take extra steps to keep my peau clear!

The newest addition (no launch date just yet!), Effaclar Duo Unifant, takes the anti-blemish technology and pairs it with mineral pigments to visibly even your skin tone and reduce redness, while going to work on potential blemishes AND letting your beauty show – nice.

BritishBeautyBlogger image

BritishBeautyBlogger image

The formula boasts a combination of:

  • Niacinamide, an anti-inflammatory form of Vitamin B3
  • LHA. a hydroxy acid (and Effaclar favorite) to aid in cell renewal
  • Piroctone Olamine, which fights off bacteria
  • Procerad helps to calm the kind of inflammation that allows dark spots to form
  • Linoleum Acid, which regulates sebum 
La Roche Posay image

La Roche Posay image

The product comes in only two shades for now – light and medium (my disappointment resides here, as I feel it is important to offer a deep, and ultra fair as well.)  Overall, though, I love this brand, and I LOVE non-masklike products that let the best of your skin show through.  

For more images, check out BritishBeautyBlogger

Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes For The Mats

Some of my training partners and I were talking about an issue (several, actually) that comes up a lot in Martial Arts (especially fuller contact ones) – staying clean!

It isn’t pretty, but it’s par for the course, so you just have to be prepared. It’s not only the fact that you are all up in someone’s face (which is a huge part of it), but also about fending off clogged pores, dirt and other offenders.

I ran across these Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes recently and was honestly psyched to see them – I’m not crazy about some of the wipes out there because some just don’t feel like they get the job done.  These, though, are formulated with charcoal – a pore-clearing, grime-busting substance that will provide and on-the-go detox when you simply don’t have other options.  They also happen to be black, which my inner goth finds not-so-secretly satisfying.  How badass of you, Yes To!  😉 ) 

The brand has a bunch of other ones too, but I like the idea that these amp up the impurity busting quotient – when you finish a Reflex Development class at Jiu-Jitsu, you WILL be sweating like a farm animal, and you’ll need that extra skin-clearing boost. 

Toss these “LBG”s (cheeky, I like it!) in your gym / dojo bag and keep yourself clean wherever you are, and whenever you need it!

 

Sweatproof Minerals Designed By (And For) Athletes

The concept behind this Company is one near and dear to my athletic, but womanly, heart – products designed for athletes that will stay on, stay true (in color), and don’t cause havoc for your skin.  

But…the reviews for this newbie – Sweat Cosmetics – range from terrible, to “not worth it,” to five-star.  It’s a little tricky to tell where this really will average out, but overall the reaction hasn’t been stellar – hopefully that will change (I’m rooting for you, ladies!)  

The line is made up of just four products so far – the Translucent Mineral Powder ,  Mineral Foundation with SPF 30, Mineral Illuminator with SPF 30, and the Mineral Bronzer with SPF 30.  I have seen a lot of water-resistant, longer wearing products in the last year or two, which is definitely a-ok by me – I need products that live up to their claims of staying power without making my skin freak out.  But…not all of the offerings out there manage to be a home run in both categories…  Their twist brush also makes life a lot easier, another plus for women on the go.

sweatcosmetics.com/

sweatcosmetics.com/

I love that this was created by five Olympic and pro athletes though – they GET the struggle active women face! 🙂 For many years I wanted my own product line too (not that I was noteworthy as a public sports figure, but I sure as heck have knowledge and experience!)  I was managing the Fragrance section of the Cosmetic Department in NYC in a massive department store, so my exposure to the cosmetics arena at the time was daily.  I was frustrated by the lack of products that could lend a more natural feel, last through rigorous training, and long days.  I’m seeing more of it but I still have to rely on random pieces from specific brands – I can’t get all products from the same brand because it doesn’t really exist.  

So overall, the idea is wonderful – I’m just not sure these particular formulas have caught on as yet, or that they are delivering quite as they need to…but I really hope that they do, and that more women try them out.  I’m reluctant to switch what I use currently because my formula (my collection of go-to products) really works for me.  I also have my wedding coming up in October and trying to avoid any potential skin woes – product-induced clogged pores, breakouts, acne, whatever! – beforehand!

The reason I personally get it?  HERE!

 

 

 

Cover FX Custom Blot Drops

Sign. Me. Up!

I can’t STAND shine.  Summer is that time of year when grateful-for-a-glow turns to slick-skin misery!  Sometimes it is only perspiration.  But mostly I feel like I have a harder time staying generally mattified in the hot, summer sun and increasingly humid conditions…even when I’m not breaking a sweat, so to speak. Ugh.  No thanks!

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

So…I LOVE the idea of a drop formulation designed to help tackle the slippery slope that is summer skin!  Enter Cover FX with a new breed of Custom Drops (they have been rather successful with their liquid pigment Cover Drops, and other items of the ilk, such as skin-loving Infusions, over time so why not expand further?!)

Custom Blot Drops  give you an instantly matte complexion by balancing skin (especially the troublesome kind!) with oil-control ingredients AND acne-attacking salicylic acid.  Cucumber, papaya and chamomile tea up to hydrate and soothe skin, while the former few keep you clear and shine-free.  

The product can be used on its own or paired with any of your liquid makeup or skin care.  It is This product is “free of mineral oil, gluten, talc, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthlate), and camphor,” just in case you’re wondering! 😉

I kind of feel like it is about time for this kind of item – mattifying moisturizers and shine solutions just haven’t made enough of an impact in the past (for me, at least.)  The one thing that has is a good ol’ blotting sheet…but I’d love to eliminate those while I’m at it. 

Sephora How-To’s – Color Correction

Most beauty trends do need a little explanation, particularly as they come from backgrounds that require an almost artistic knowledge of the products and how to use them (think: stage, performance, ballroom, even drag!)

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

Sephora has always been great about doing tutorials and making the trends less daunting for those who want to give them a whirl…in a more natural, toned-down reality (under lights or for a camera, where over-exaggeration is expected.)

  • The latest videos address Color Correction:
  • How to cover dark circles
  • How to cover breakouts and redness
  • How to cover dark spots
  • How to brighten dull skin

Color Correction isn’t outrageously complicated, but it does take some knowledge of the color wheel, and proper layering and blending.  Fortunately, Sephora makes the whole thing less involved, and easier to replicate.  Yay for the Internet…and Youtube. 😉 

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

If you STILL feel like you aren’t sure (and don’t feel badly if you do!), here’s another cool article from Imabeautygeek that helps to further demystify the trend! 🙂

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue

The benefits of charcoal as a detoxifier are by no means new, but there has been rather a surge in charcoal based skincare over the last few years, and I’ve more recently seen it for haircare as well!

And, while there are a plethora of products out there, it is worth mentioning Dermalogica’s Charcoal Rescue Mask, which appears to be a heavier hitter in the epidermal detox than many others. The mask is formulated with Binchotan Charcoal, derived from the Japanese Ubame Oak Tree – in addition to adsorbing up to 1,000x its own weight in impurities (environmental toxins, sebum etc…), it has also been used to deodorize, purify water, and whiten your pearly teeth. Impressive!

Ulta.com

Ulta.com

In addition, Dermalogica uses Sulfur in the formulation, known to treat various conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea, sebaceous dermatitis, and to promote cell turnover.  Brilliant!  Add to that Volcanic ash, sea silt, bamboo extract and alpha hydroxy acids to “further accelerate skin brightening with dual-action exfoliation.” ANDNiacinamide, and Chilean Wild Mint, which ” helps reduce congestion and calm the skin” and refine pores, respectively.

If you have problematic skin at all…this sounds like a serious holy grail (HG) treatment mask – at $46, I know it’s a lot, but I’ve never had a bad experience with Dermalogica’s products.  EVER. 

 

 

Spring 2016 – Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick

Following not he heels of easy-to-use, portable, and multi-tasking products, Lancome is offering its Teint Idole Ultra Stick.  The formula is designed to offer 24-hour wear with high coverage, high pigmentation, weightlessness, smooth application, and a matte finish.  

I love that it’s non-comedogenic (that’s always a make or break in my book), and that it is transfer-resistant – as an active girl, that works wonders for me!

Per Sephora: 

“…This foundation’s innovative extreme long-wearing formula gives all skintones a flawless, complexion-perfecting coverage all day. Its ultra-lightweight, powder-cream texture glides and blends on smoothly and flawlessly, covering imperfections while leaving a traceless, second-skin look. Formulated with broad spectrum SPF 21 for sun protection, it contains porous polymers that absorb excess acne-producing oils, leaving the skin looking mattified and pore- and shine-free. Transfer-resistant and smudge-resistant, it’s infused with ambora extract, which helps to reduce the appearance of redness, making it suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin. This oil-free, pigment-rich makeup stick can be used as a concealer, and it glides on easily for custom contouring or highlighting. Perfectly portable, it can be used for touch ups on the go.”

Honestly…it sounds pretty amazing!  I don’t traditionally love Lancome’s shades, but I’d be willing to check them out given the lovely – albeit lofty – claims!

 

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil

I’m positively delighted that oils have gotten such generous praise over the last few years – gone are the days where those with troubled skin are destined to shy away from the nutrient-rich, hydrating and calming properties of oils! 

It’s a wonderful thing, because there are countless benefits, not least of all that healthy, dewy glow many oils can give the skin (not in a sit-on-on-top-and-clog-my-precious-pores, greasy way- a legitimate, dew-kissed freshness that comes with youth…and absorbent, delectable oils!)

Using oils as primer before makeup is also nothing new – they’ve been doing it backstage at Runway shows for a long time.  But the general public may not have had many options in the past…in addition to harboring fears of makeup slipping and sliding off within minutes!  Jumping on board the benefits-of-oil train, Smashbox has just released a new primer oil.  

Photo Finish Primer Oil is a “fast-absorbing, hero blend of 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils,” designed to hydrate, soften, and glow-ify your skin.

Per Smashbox:

WHY IT’S UNIQUE
…This signature blend is the perfect fusion of 15 oils like jojoba, Arabica and Argan—all handpicked for their known skin benefits. To de-stress your morning routine, calming chamomile and lavender oils sooth senses while the light veil reduces the appearance of dry, fine lines and makes you glow. Add a drop to our Studio Skin foundation for a natural, second-skin look without sacrificing any coverage. 

BRAGGING RIGHTS (I LOVE that terminology! 🙂 ) 
• Softens complexion to make foundation look like skin 
• Instantly absorbs and adds radiance  
• 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils including moisturizing jojoba and calming chamomile
• Morning and evening application adds increased moisture in just 4 weeks
• Apply a few drops to split-ends, cuticles, elbows and clavicle for a dewy, youthful sheen.

I would say that if you are oily, you would want to try this on a day where it won’t matter much if it doesn’t work…or steer clear all together.  There ARE oils out there that can help to mattify, remarkably, as well as to tone acne-prone or troubled skin – so if this specific product doesn’t work for you, not to worry!  

You can still use some nourishing oils at Night suited for your skin – hydrating and pampering when you are home can give you that same lovely glow in the even an oil primer feels too forward!