Monday, January 22, 2007

These Are a Few of My Favorite (Beauty) Things...

~*~*~ UPDATE, Tues. Jan. 23 ~*~*~ Nicole came up with the great suggestion that this could a 'meme' so CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED! Go ahead and comment here, but if you feel like playing along, create your own post on your blog. I'll be watching for it!

Time for a nice fluff post. I am such a girly girl. And I'm smart. Except when it comes to the claims of various beauty products. It's not that I actually what the marketers come up with, it's just I really want to believe their claims true. That I can look 10 years (at least!) younger and have smooth skin and poutier lips - all without having to visit the doctor. (Of course the flip side is that I spent so much on beauty products that ultimately disappoint, that I could probably affort that trip to the plastic surgeon's office. ha ha!)

But enough whining, on to my favorite things. I should point out now that this is NOT a pay-per-post. I receive no compensation, commission or consideration in exchange for my opinions. How's that for a disclaimer?

* Favorite Beauty Website: Makeup Alley. I make it a point NOT to buy an expensive skin care/beauty item without checking the product reviews on Makeup Alley first. The folks that post on the review boards, real people like you and me, have saved me a lot of money over the past few years (and yes, I've even posted a few reviews myself).

* Favorite Facial Cleanser: I wish I had one that I really love, but I don't so I tend to switch quite a bit. Because I have roseacea (I have the red flush and broken capillaries, but not really the accompanying acne), I should use a very mild cleanser. I do use Cetaphil, but for me, it's just so-so.

* Favorite Hand Cream: My favorite handcream is Le Couvent de Minimes Honey & Shea from Bath & Body Works. It comes in a silver tube with a yellow label. It's very emollient, yet non-greasy. I like that it lasts through at least a couple of handwashings, before I have to reapply. And it smells yummy. Dear Hubby uses it too. He's man enough not to mind smelling like honey (seriously though, after a few minutes the smell fades).

* Favorite Facial Moisturizer: Because my skin tended to be oily, I rarely used a moisturizer. I know that oil does not equal moisture, but most moisturizers - even oil-free ones - just felt too greasy on my skin. As I'm getting older, though, my skin is more normal-to-oily (it's about time!) so I've been using Vital C Oil-Free Solar Defense Gel (which despite its name, looks like a lotion to me). It's made my Image Skincare, and I buy it at a local day spa. It has SPF 15 and smells great. Given my skin condition, I'd probably be better off with a fragrance-free product, but this is the one that works for me.

* Favorite Foundation: Because of the rosacea and skin sensitivity in general, I prefer mineral makeup. My favorite is Jane Iredale. My shade is Warm Sienna, which took me a while to accept because I'm a 'winter' and tend to look better in cool colors. However, the warm sienna really tones down the redness. It hides the broken capillaries, and feels like I'm wearing nothing at all. That's important to me. I don't like feeling as if I have a lot of goop on my face. It also has a very effective SPF (17, I think). Most makeups tend to fade off of me, Jane Iredale does too, but I find that I can go a few hours without a touch up (other than a dab with an oil blotting paper). A few hours for me is huge!

* Best Exfoliator (scrub): Let me preface with this: I know that people with sensitive skin and/or rosacea should NOT use a scrub, but the reality is this: Despite my normal-to-oiliness, I am prone to flaking. When it gets too bad, I reach for the my Avon Anew Microexfoliant. It has tiny micro-beads, which makes it hard for me to over-scrub. I used to use Buf Puf like an orbital sander, but I'm trying for a gentler approach. I use this Avon product maybe once a week in the winter, less often in the summer.

* Best Exfoliator (chemical): The only one that works on my general flakiness (aside from a chemical peel), is also by Image Skincare's Vital C Line. It's called Hydrating Enzyme Masque and I love it. I use it every other day and keeps most of the flakies at bay. Like the Solar Defense Moisture Gel, this one also has a fragrance. My skin feels hydrated and looks less red after using it. This is probably my favorite product - did I mention that I love it?

* Favorite Lip Plumper: My lips are average and I keep them moisturized, but it's a fact that as a person ages the lips appear to thin out so I'm starting to experiment with plumpers (since sucking the fat out of my ass and injecting into my lips is not yet an option). I've tried a couple with varying degrees of success: Sally Hanson (so-so, but I didn't like the taste), Philip Thomas Roth (worked, but hated, hated, hated the packaging), and Freeze 24/7 Lip Plumper. I just received a sample on Saturday of the Freeze 24/7 Lip Plumper and it's my favorite so far. Most lip plumpers contain ingredients designed to irritate the lips slightly which causes them to swell. It's ironic that I even consider using this, given the fact that I've spent the better part of my life trying to avoid irritation but I digress.... This stuff tastes minty, and does make my lips tingle for quite a while after applying. Kissed Dear Hubby and his lips tingled, too - or do I just have that effect on him after all these years?? ;-) It did feel a little weird, not really unpleasant though, and my lips did appear smoother for a couple of hours so I'll probably end up buying this. It's expen$ive, but I think I saw the smaller size at Bath & Body Works so I might pick it up there before committing to the full size.

* Favorite Eye Cream : I haven't found one yet, but I'm open to recommendations if you know of a good anti-aging eye cream.

* Favorite Eyeliner: I love Clinique's Brush On Gel Liner in Black Honey (a dark raisin color - not quite wine, not quite brown - with a teeny hint of gold flecks). It's a limited edition shade from Winter 2005, and brought back on a limited basis for Winter 2006. I stocked up and have enough to last me for years if it doesn't dry out.

* Favorite Nail Polish: I never wear nail polish on my fingers. My nails are too soft and nail polish starts to flake the first time by hands get wet for more than a nano-second. I do sometimes use Neutrogena Nail Enhancer because it fades off subtly, and dries super fast so I can reapply daily. The downside: It comes in pearl sheen and buff sheen. That's all. I do however, paint my toe nails and splurged the other day on a bottle of O.P.I. The color is the most obnoxious frosted shade of red. Its name is Red Like Roses, but it should probably be called Mid-life Crisis Little Red Sportscar. It struck me as a happy color.

* Favorite Beauty Splurge : Gift-with-Purchase! I'm a sucker for Gift Week at my local Clinique counter. I do use quite a few Clinique products, but I coordinate my purchases for Gift Week at my local department stores (Feb and March, and August and September). Getting free stuff makes me feel less guilty about spending the money. My mother wears Estee Lauder so she ends up sending me her free gifts too.

So there you have it - my beauty picks. Post a comment and let know about some of your recommendations.


Nicole said...

I am loving this post!! I LOVE make-up. I have never heard that make-up review site. I WILL be going to check that out.

I think this should be a meme. It would be fun to see what everybody uses too. Great Post!!!

Lala's world said...

that was fun! I love Mary Kay's foundation, it is so light on but does the trick! I also love their microderm scrub...totally is clearing up the acne prob I recently started having, and their 3in1 cleanser. I love makeup and I am on the hunt for a good lip plumping stick too so I will have to try what you did! I bought some all day stuff but it dries out so fast and then curdles...I hate it! and I use another eye cream but I can't remember the name,..some renew thingy! from shoppers drug mart. and I wash my face every night and every morning....I cannot sleep with makeup on!

Elle*Bee said...

That's a good idea, nicole. Consider yourself tagged!

lala, Mary Kay has a more concealing foundation, which I need b/c of the redness. It was pretty good, but I like the Jane Iredale more. I love Mary Kay's Satin Hands kit (I think that's its name). Ditto about washing twice daily.