Make Up For Ever Mattifying Primer Review!

MUFE

Hi everyone!  How is everyone holding up with this weather?  It’s  hot and humid in So Cal with no sign of cooler temperatures yet.

Speaking of heat, I have a review on the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying primer and summer has provided the best weather to put this to the test.  Let’s get to it.

Described as, “a makeup primer that assists with balancing the skin’s texture and tone for smoother, more even, and longer-lasting makeup wear. Mattifying Primer reduces shine for oily skin.”

Pros 

Travel sized version costing $16 for 0.5 oz

Does have a mattifying effect for a couple of hours

Absorbs quickly into the skin

A little bit goes a long way especially if you only spot treat certain areas

Cons

Pricey with full size costing $36 for 1 oz

It’s best to avoid putting this primer on dry patches

Has a cooling effect that tends to feel tingly when foundation is applied on top

Although it absorbs quickly into skin, I can feel a sort of powdery residue

Didn’t work well with certain foundations/BB creams

Overall: I like the primer but I’m not sure I would purchase it again, mainly because I feel it sensitizes my skin a little bit.  When I apply foundation over it, sometimes I feel a tingling/burning sensation.  It does help keep oil at bay for a good amount of time, about 4-5 hours when inside and 2-3 hours when I was outside.  It won’t leave you completely shine free, especially when you are out in the scorching sun, but I didn’t look as shiny as I normally would.  Unless you have very oily skin all over, it’s best to apply a small amount to the T-Zone or wherever you’re oily as it can feel and look drying on the skin.  For reference, I have combination skin.  I also found that wearing this primer underneath BB creams wasn’t the best choice as my skin looked dry and patchy.

What’s your favorite face primer?  Comment below!

Stephanie

 

GlamGlow ThirstyCleanse Review!

 

 

 

 

IMG_20150326_111750-1

Hello readers!  I’m still feeling pretty drained from these allergies but I wanted to leave you with a review on a sample I received of the Glam Glow ThirstyCleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser.

Described by GlamGlow as “a revolutionary Mud to Foam daily cleanser that combines the Power of Mud and the Performance of Foam for a NEW Daily Cleansing experience. THIRSTYCLEANSE™ transforms from a luxurious mud into a moisture-rich foaming lather to gently & effectively rinse away make-up, dirt & impurities while deeply moisturizing your skin. Designed For Men & Women of All Ages & All Skin Types. THIRSTYCLEANSE™ for a Super Hydrated Super Clean Complexion.”

My Brief Description

Coconut scented (reminiscent of a tanning lotion)

Tan colored

Initial creamy consistency upon application

Foams up when water is applied

My Take At First Glance

Before trying this, I was skeptical on how this mud to foam cleanser could be moisturizing.  After all, it contains sodium cocoamphoacetate, which when I researched found it to be a surfactant that causes a product to foam; this product also incorporates kaolin clay which is best used on oily skin types, due to its oil absorbing properties.  I had read good reviews though, so I put this information on the backburner and  decided to try it.

My Experience

Initially when I tried this, I was surprised by how creamy the product was when I applied it.  I had some glimmers of hope that this pleasantly scented cleanser might just be hydrating after all.  After I rinsed it off, my skin felt nice but unfortunately, this was short lived.  About 3 minutes later, my skin felt so dry and tight even after I applied my toner and moisturizer.  I added another layer of moisturizer and it helped somewhat but by morning, my skin had soaked up all the moisturizer, leaving my skin feeling very dry. (For the record, I have a combination skin type which you can learn about by clicking here.) I was able to squeeze about four uses out of this sample.  For my last use, I decided to try something out.  I also received a sample of Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask which is a hydrating night treatment and decided to apply this and leave overnight after using the ThirstyCleanse.  Well, my skin apparently soaked that up all too. 😦

Final Thoughts

Normally, I give products about a month or so to come up with my final verdict but this is one exception.  This product is best suited for someone who has very oily skin but even at that, I wouldn’t suggest this as a daily cleanser as I found it to be far too stripping.  I would use this no more than 2 times per week if you’re oily.  Dry, sensitive, normal and combination should skip this one entirely.

Was this article helpful? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

Could Your Skin Be Dehydrated Instead of Dry?

Hello readers!  🙂

We’re pretty much all familiar with the term dehydration.  Dehydration occurs when your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should but did you know that the same concept applies to your skin? If your skin has ever felt dry or taut, you may be experiencing dehydration.  It’s important to note that dehydration can occur on all skin types (yes, even oily).

The difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin is that dry skin lacks oil while dehydrated skin lacks water.  (To learn more about skin types click here)

Appearance

Dehydration can be characterized by:

  • a flaky appearance
  • feels tight and dry
  • very superficial fine lines

Causes

Skin that is dehydrated can be caused by:

  • lack of moisture
  • age
  • incorrect product use (harsh products such as soap and over-exfoliating)
  • diet (mainly fat-free diets)
  • climates (cold winds and low temperatures)
  • environment (heaters and air conditioners)
  • medications/medical conditions
  • excessive coffee and alcohol intake,
  • hormonal imbalances
  • UV exposure

Treatment 

Keep in mind all the possible causes and adjust accordingly.  (FYI: For dietary concerns ALWAYS consult a medical professional and/or registered dietitian before implementing any changes in your diet to verify there are no contraindications with certain medical conditions or medications.)

Also, maintaining a skin care routine appropriate for your skin type that includes humectants (water attracting ingredients) such as glycerin, sodium PCA, sorbitol and hyaluronic acid.

Click here for product recommendations, including those with oily skin.

I hope this information was helpful and as always if you have any questions/concerns, feel free to ask me. 🙂

Stephanie 

Disclaimer:  The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.  

 

Skin Tip: Adding Hydration to Oily Skin!

When you have oily skin that’s feeling a little bit dry and tight, switching to a heavier moisturizer results in hydration but at the same time can also make you breakout.  Mixing a few drops of a  hydrating serum formulated with hyaluronic acid into your moisturizer increases your skin’s water content (something all skin types can benefit from), adding moisture without the heaviness of an oil.

My favorite to use is Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster but brands like Kate Somerville, PCA Skin, Renee Rouleau and Dr. Dennis Gross carry similar products.

Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you next week,

Stephanie 

Can We Reach Pore-fection?

Aside from anti-aging, pore size seems to be a huge complaint from customers.

A study conducted by L’Oreal Paris revealed that roughly “45% of women wish they could change the size of their pores and            almost one in three women  (28%) are more concerned about  their pore size than wrinkles.”

With so many products out there that claim to shrink or eliminate your pores, how do we know what works?  Let’s take a closer look at what a pore really is.

What is a pore?

A pore is a small opening in the skin that allows oil to reach the surface.  On average, an adult has five million pores on their body with approximately 20,000 on their face alone.   Without pores, our skin would be dry and cracked since oil produced in the sebaceous glands travel up the pore to the skin’s surface and naturally moisturize the skin.

How is pore size determined?

For the most part, pore size is determined by genetics and generally speaking, is most prevalent in men.  However, oil, dirt, dead skin cells and our lifestyle can impact pore size.  For example, avid sun worshipers often see an increase in pore size because the sun’s UV rays breakdown and weaken the skin’s elasticity; the same can apply to aging skin.  Oily skin types typically have an excessive accumulation of dirt, oil and dead skin cells, leading to large, visible pores and in some cases acne.

How to minimize pore appearance

Since you can’t get ‘rid’ of pores (and really, you don’t want to as they flush out toxins and help regulate temperature) here’s a couple of suggestions to help reduce their appearance.   

  • Thoroughly cleanse skin daily
  • Regular exfoliation with either enzymes or hydroxy acids (i.e. glycolic, lactic, or salicylic)
  • Those with oily skin types can benefit from using clay-based masks (look for kaolin or bentonite) about 2x/week
  • Limit excessive sun exposure and always wear SPF
  • Make sure you are using the correct skincare products/makeup for your skin type- makeup primers can help reduce pore appearance
  • Consult with a dermatologist and/or esthetician for other options such as chemical peels
  • Avoid pore strips as in the long run can stretch out skin even more

Questions? Comments? Have a pore-minimizing product you love? Do share!

LUSH Review!

I’ve heard some great things about LUSH so when I came across this store, I stopped by to check out what they have.  If you’ve never heard of LUSH, they are a company that prides themselves on creating and selling fresh, handmade products with little to no preservative and they support humanitarian, environmental and animal rights causes.  Their items range from shower gels, face masks, hair products and makeup among other little knick knacks. After glancing at their products, I decided on a face mask and shower gel.

The Sacred Truth Fresh Faced Mask

LUSH 1

LUSH describes this mask as being for dry or mature skin but I definitely think combination/oily skin would benefit from this a bit more. The reason? It’s made with kaolin clay which helps remove sebum and removes impurities from the skin- not too ideal if you have dry to very dry skin.  Among other ingredients, this mask also has honey ( a great humectant and antibacterial ingredient), shea butter, green tea, yogurt and fresh papaya juice, whose enzymes provide an exfoliating effect.  After using this mask, my face did seem a bit brighter and smoother and my T-zone was less oily.

LUSH 2

 

Pros

$6.95 for 2.1 oz

The bottom of the jar lists the date it was made, the person who made it and the date you should discard it

LUSH 3

Handmade and fresh

Enzymes provide a gentler exfoliation effect

Nice cooling effect (especially for hot, summer days and nights!)

Cons

Because it is fresh, it needs to be stored in the fridge

Only sold in stores because it needs to be kept in the fridge

The smell- you either love it or hate it.  Not the best smell in my opinion but tolerable

You get a good amount of product for the price but because it doesn’t have preservatives, it needs to be tossed out sooner than most products.   Use it as a body treatment (i.e. your back and décolleté) so you don’t waste the product.

Can enhance your complexion but don’t expect major changes

It’s Raining Men Shower Gel

LUSH 4

lushusa.com

 

 

Absolutely LOVE this shower gel!  My skin is pretty sensitive to shower gels and I usually stick to Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash since it’s the only body wash that doesn’t irritate me or cause my skin to itch.  So, needless to say I am very wary of trying anything new but I gave this a try and gladly so.  It smells amazing-think honey, citrus and bergamot- and leaves skin super soft.  I find the scent to be very soothing and the best part is no adverse reactions on me as of yet.

Pros

Moisturizes your skin and leaves skin soft even if I forget to moisturize

Leaves behind a faint scent that is not overwhelming

A little bit of product goes a long way

The bottle states when it was made and when to discard

Several sizes available

Cons

There is added fragrance so if you’re sensitive or allergic, tread with caution

Main ingredient is honey so if you’re allergic to it or to bees, steer clear

 

Price- it’s a bit more pricier than most body washes found in drugstores- $9.95, 3.3 oz; $$18.95, 8.4 oz; $28.95, 16.9 oz

Bottom Line- I think they have some great products to try but I was disappointed a lot of the products meant for the face have ground almonds in them.  Ground nuts and fruits can be too abrasive for the delicate skin on your face and cause microscopic tears-save this knees, elbows and feet.  Also, as I stated before, these can enhance your complexion but if you’re wanting professional results, this wouldn’t be the best line.   

Have you tried LUSH products? What do you think about them? 

 

What’s Your Type?

Our skin types are genetically determined.  However, to the joy of some and the dismay of others, they can change over time, or you can have a combination of several all at once.  Dry skin and a few breakouts here and there?  Yup.  As weird as it sounds, it can happen.

Do you know your skin type(s) or do you just recall what someone once told you your skin type was and have clung to that notion ever since?

Here are six common skin types and their characteristics to help you determine-or at least give you an idea of- of what would be beneficial to your skin.

normal skin

Normal

Normal skin (oh the lucky ones!) has a good oil-water balance and is soft and plump.  It has a healthy glow and color, with fine texture, small pores and no congestion .  Maintenance and preventative care are your main goals.

combination skin

Combination

I personally fall into this category and let me tell you, it can be gosh darn frustrating.  Combination skin is characterized by an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) while the cheeks tend to be on the dry side, causing a flaky appearance.  The goal is to control areas prone to oiliness while moisturizing areas that are dry, and to keep skin well exfoliated to help combat breakouts and dryness.

oily skin

Oily

Oily skin is characterized by an all over greasy shine, visible pores, coarser skin texture (akin to that of  an orange), little wrinkling (silver lining, no?), blackheads/whiteheads, breakouts.  Controlling sebum production, and clearing out the pores is key.  Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin are good at providing hydration.

acne

Acne

Not just for teenagers anymore as the number of adult acne is rising.  Symptoms range from blackheads/whiteheads, breakouts, painful cysts, inflammation and sensitivity .  Causes of acne can be genetic or a hormonal imbalance.  Deep cleansing facials, proper home regimen and soothing the skin are goals. Avoid excessive or harsh cleansers as it can make acne worse.

dry skin

Dry

If the Sahara desert would be envious, then you probably have dry skin.  Where oily skin produces a mass amount of oil, dry skin doesn’t produce enough. Visible dryness, small pores, tightness,and a propensity to wrinkles are indicators of dry skin.   Cleansing creams or milky cleansers are ideal as they don’t strip the skin while ingredients like shea butter or borage seed oil are great moisturizers.

sensitive

Sensitive

Sensitive skin is identified by fragile, thin, red skin that has an impaired barrier function and more reactive capillaries. It’s easily irritated by products (even sometime water) and exposure to heat and sun.  Avoid excessive rubbing, heat, exfoliation, or extractions.  Use calming, soothing ingredients like aloe vera, panthenol (pro-vitamin B-5), bisabolol, and niacinamide.

Has your skin type been consistent or has it undergone major changes throughout the years? 

 

 

 

 

Shine On…Just Maybe Not Too Much

oil

Oh, oil.

You can be a dry skin type’s best friend by creating an ethereal glow and an oily skin type’s worst enemy causing us to look like one hot mess.  While oil is a natural substance found in our skin that helps keep skin supple, too much of it can cause problems such as acne and blackheads.

Aside from genetics, there are other factors that can contribute to less than a desirable amount of oil production.

Causes

Genetics, of course

Yup, you can thank your ancestry for this one as skin types are determined by your genes.  There is a chance however, that your skin type may change with age.

Hormones/Stress

There is a reason why the majority of breakouts occur when you are a teenager.  Your sebaceous glands (glands that are charge of producing oil) are typically dormant before puberty, and spring into life after puberty. Hormones at this time are also raging out of control.  The adrenal glands produce testosterone in women, thereby increasing sebum production.

Continual chronic stress also increases hormone levels and also increased sebum levels.

Environment

Heat and humidity increase oil levels.  Individuals who work in kitchens or laundry mats or who live in hot and humid places can often find an increase in oil.

Harsh products/Not using a moisturizer  

Excessive drying of skin or not moisturizing the skin may cause the sebaceous glands to overcompensate by producing an excessive amount of sebum to replace the moisture lost.

Solutions 

Although you can’t really reason with genetics, figure out what your triggers are and read these options available to help keep sebum at bay.

Relax and slow down if stress seems to be the issue.  Take a small amount of time out of your day/night (even if it’s only one minute!) for yourself and do something you enjoy. Exercising, reading, meditating, and aromatherapy can work wonders.

Hydrate!  Humectants, which include glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA, attract water (not oil) to the skin and cinnamon bark, borage seed oil, wheat germ oil, niacinamide, zinc glucanate, caffeine, enantia bark, yeast extract, horse chestnut and biotin can regulate oil production with regular use.

Stay balanced! Using a pH balanced cleanser, something that is NOT soap, can help keep you from over drying the skin. Cleansing your skin about twice a say should suffice, or you run the risk of over drying the skin as well. Those who have acne may want to be careful about over using ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, which although can be great for acne, can also be very drying.

Nutrition  Zinc can help regulate oil glands.  Zinc rich foods include oysters, crab, liver, mushrooms and spinach.

Other Blotting tissues, using oil-free makeup, and certain primers can also keep shine to a minimum.

If you have oily skin, what product do you swear by? 

 

 

Is Exercise Wreaking Havoc on Your Skin?

exercise

The advantages of exercise are numerous.  It increases endorphins, elevates your mood, decreases your risk for disease, controls your weight, focuses your mind, reduces stress, and keeps you healthy and strong.

Beauty bonus: As your heart rate increase, it sends oxygen to your skin and creates a healthy glow.

Pretty great benefits if you ask me.  But what happens when you start developing a host of other issues? Dry skin. Sudden breakouts. The dreaded bacne.  Not really what you signed up for, is it?

Instead of throwing in the towel, a few adjustments to your skincare routine can make a huge difference.

Here are some guidelines and factors to keep in mind before and after your workout.

Wear sunscreen!  Use a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 and reapply frequently when sweating or swimming, especially when outdoors.

Exercising makes your skin lose moisture so wear a light-weight moisturizer.

If possible, immediately wash your face and body after working out.  Alcohol-free towelettes or makeup remover wipes can work to remove sweat and dirt if you can’t wash your face.

If your skin feels dry after cleansing (meaning no oil), try switching to a cream based cleanser.  Adding a hydrating mask 2-3 times per week can help.

 Combination/ Oily skin can use a gel or foam wash. If you are prone to breakouts, choose a cleanser with acne fighting ingredients- tea tree, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and/ or papain (papaya enzymes) are a few ingredients to look for. Using a clay based mask up to 3 times per week can help control sebum and draw out impurities.

Tight-fighting workout clothes sweat and friction can lead to breakouts on your body, especially your back.  Adding breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics and showering right after you workout can help.  If you’re prone to breakouts on your back, use a salicylic acid body wash, gently exfoliate with a scrub, and spot treat.

Excessive sweating and heat can cause flare ups if you have eczema– something to keep in mind.

I hope this post was helpful!

Feel free to leave a question or comment.

Product Review! Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel!

Luxe Mint

Ah, Wednesday. With the spring forward time change, I’ve been having some trouble adjusting.  In times like these, I turn to a great “pick me up” product.

Renee Rouleau’s Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel is a morning caffeine fix, but for your skin!  The invigorating blend of peppermint, rosemary leaf, and spearmint leaf oils instantly wake up your senses and complexion- perfect for days when you need a refreshing boost to start your day.  This light-foaming gel, geared towards oily/combination skin types, glides easily onto wet skin and rinses clean, without leaving skin feeling tight or over-stripped.

Pros   

Deep cleans

Gel formula gets rid of oil without being harsh

Perks up the complexion

Comes in an 8 oz bottle- $35.50

For those concerned about these ingredients, it’s formulated without parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, gluten or sulfates

Cons

Peppermint can irritate some individuals

Not recommended for those severe redness or rosacea

Sold only online or in Renee Rouleau’s Spas located in Dallas and Plano, Texas

Not suitable to remove eye/waterproof makeup

Overall: I think it’s a great cleanser for those mornings I need an extra pick me up, need to feel energized before a morning gym session or for a refreshing, cool feeling on a hot day

What’s your favorite “pick me up” product?