You Need SPF All Year Round

Sun protection is a must – all year, at all times. Frankly, I fall short of applying sometimes when I’m in short sleeves, but you better believe my face is covered. I am also getting better about neck and décolletage.

I have a few favorite brands (La Roche Posay takes the #1 and #2 spots), and I actually DO take this topic quite seriously. It isn’t just the ageless and ghostly pallor I’m after, taking care to protect our skin during sun exposure affects our health. BIG time.  

But to add a little fun to the conversation… I came across this photo and couldn’t help but take to the sassy branding. Red, black, and g o t h all over – well played, marketers.

Brilliantly, wonderfully, well played…

Electric Ink…Keeping Skin Art At It’s Most Vibrant

I’ve actually seen a lot more tattoo goos lately – in store and advertised on-line.  And by “goos” I lovingly mean ointments, creams, lotions and potions to keep one’s skin art looking it’s best.  A decade ago you’d need to take a trip to the shop to get something of the ilk, while everyone else looked at your cross-eyed. 

Not anymore!  CVS has one such tattoo protectant gracing the shelves (the one I  noted being SkinFix Tattoo Balm.) While the formula isn’t necessarily novel, I love that a mass market retailer actually jumped on the tattoo bandwagon – talk about making the stuff more accessible! 

Electric Ink is a new name to me, but I saw these new goodies by way of BritishBeautyBlogger this morning (April 10) and thought they were worth sharing.  

Again, the formulas aren’t necessarily mind-bending as far as ingredients or what they can actually do – most of it is about hydration and keeping the skin looking it’s best (which makes for a healthier, glossy tattoo!) That said, I like that the ingredients are nourishing, and even take inflammation into account (which, yes, can last for a time after the initial inking.)

It’s pretty awesome that companies are embracing the idea that those with art often DO care about keeping things bright and beautiful as long as possible (why wouldn’t we?!)  I think we’ve all seen those well-weathered, and sun-beaten ones, which the wearing is more than entitled to…but many of us hope to have ones that “age” a little more gracefully.

Well, companies and retailers are making it a lot easier for your to protect your investments so there’s no reason (or excuse) for you to end up looking too much like a pirate. Unless, of course, that’s your thing…then, more power to you and your mysteriously faded artwork!

 

Multi-Tasking Hydrating Mists

I’ve stocked up on a ton of facial mists myself over the years, usually finding them at Asian markets, Asian brands on eBay, or in New-York-City style pharmacies (think Evian, Avene, La Roche Posay…now FAR more accessible!)

Many mists these days, though, aren’t just for cooling, refreshing, or soothing.  Nowadays they are designed as much to protect you from the elements as they are for instant, feeling great at the time.

Garnier’s Moisture Bomb Multi Protection Hydrating Mist (that’s a mouthful!) protects the skin from UV pollution and oxidation, boasts an SPF of 30, and hydrates with a “lighter than air” feel – a nice addition to refreshing, don’t you think?  It isn’t here in the USA as far as I can tell…but you can find it in the UK at Boots, for one.  For a review, you can check out ReallyRee’s here.

For another multi-tasking variation on mists,Wander’s Glow Getter Mist promises non-comedogenic moisturizing, antibacterial soothing and healing, plus a radiant , dullness-busting, dewiness.  Yep, this rose-scented spray actually serves as a bit of a highlighter, how about that?  So not only do you feel refreshed, but you most certainly look it (provided you are wanting that all-over-glow it provides – with or without makeup underneath. Oilier skin types may not, but I haven’t seen too many reviews just yet to determine that!) 

wanderbeauty.com

wanderbeauty.com

Last but definitely not least (since the brand has quite a cult following already for its masks!) is GlamGlow’s Glowsetter setting spray.  Per Sephora’s description: “This instant makeup finisher is infused with TEAOXI® complex (green tea, white tea, and red tea) paired with charged waters and caffeine to hydrate, energize, and smooth in a weightless fine mist. Inspired by Hollywood skin—always sexy, never shiny—this setting spray is the perfect makeup companion, finishing your look with a soft, cloud-like mist so your glow goes everywhere with you, no matter what.” Fan of the brand?  Eager to try it?

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sephora.com

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!

Etude House Sun Blind UV Cushion

So Cushions have become a major thing in the US – maybe not quite as massive as the impact from their originating countries, but they’ve definitely taken off in the last couple of years.  The formulations cover the gamut of beauty and color cosmetics, to skincare, so you can bet at least a few of your favorite products can be found in this format.

Take UV protection for example… How adorable is this Etude House Sun Blind Cushion? It’s nod-to-nautical stripes and bright white base make the compact itself something you wouldn’t mind pulling out.  What I love is that this precious little package packs an SPF 50+ / PA +++ punch.

In case you aren’t sure of the designations (let me say first, I am not a dermatologist, but this may help at least explain the terminology!):

  • SPF refers to the protection from the sun’s UVB rays
  • The PA rating refers to the UVA protection level
  • UVA = Long wave Ultraviolet A rays. These can penetrate deeply into the dermis (our skin’s thickest layer.) UVA therefore can lead to photo aging – premature wrinkling and aging of your skin – as well as immune system suppression.  No thanks!
  • UVB = Short Wave Ultraviolet B rays. These can burn the surface of the skin (superficial), potentially contributing to conditions like skin cancer

The PA is not regulated by the FDA, and is a Japanese and Korean designation.  These days the best way to be sure you have both covered is a “broad spectrum” or “full spectrum” on the label.  Still, it does indicate that the product offers at least some UVA protection – PA +++ is the highest grade of UVA protection available, with a Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) rating of more than 8.)

 

In any case, the Etude House packaging makes taking care of your skin – in Summer or any other season – a cinch.  It’s incredibly easy to tote around, making for quick and easy reapplication.  With skincare, ease of use always helps makes applying the proper amount more a habit, and less of a chore. NICE.

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!

 

 

 

L’Oreal Paris UV City Mist

So I’ve rambled on about sun protection before – it’s HUGELY important.  We generally don’t apply enough, nor as frequently as we should – I do wear SPF 30 on my face every day, but then there are hands, necks, ears, and other exposed areas that are forgotten about by most of us! 

With that said, the easier to use, the better – I love mists for that reason, so this one – UV Perfect Aqua Essence City Mist SPF 50 – caught my eye.  L’Oreal has an incredible R&D team and definitely spends on getting products right – so they are a name I trust when it comes to skincare (including suncare.)  

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(Not sure of photo attribution – if you know, please share! 🙂

This particular product is designed to be ultra light, refreshing, and long-lasting (it says 12 hour UV protection but that feels like a generous statistic.)  The details, per L’Oreal, include:

  • 3 seconds spray-on
  • Can be applied over makeup
  • Sweatproof
  • Non-sticky
  • Non-greasy
  • Hydrates skin 

I haven’t seen this in the States as yet, but it appears you can get it in the UK already!