Category Archives: Maryland

Three finishing powders for every budget

L to R: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder, $24; Make Up For Ever HD Finishing Powder, $20; E.L.F. High Definition Powder, $6.

Finishing powders are an essential last step in any makeup application. A good powder sets makeup, blurs imperfections and gives your skin an airbrushed look. Over the years I developed a coterie of favorites, starting with the original Make Up For Ever HD Finishing Powder and ending with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder.

I have a list of must haves when it comes to powder. It has to be light/ white (I don’t like beigey translucent powders), it has to be stable and loose. I don’t like finishing powders that come in a compact, they get gross. With a loose powder, you can shake it into the lid and just tap out the excess, keeping your powder pristine.

The first powder in the trio is Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Finishing Powder. It got a bad rap in the past for the white blurs in celebrity red carpet photos but they have fixed that problem. It’s super light and you don’t need a lot. I usually buy the travel version ($20) and it lasts a few months with daily use. The only thing I don’t like is that it is hard to get the last bit of powder out. I tried cutting the webbed cover but still couldn’t get it out. Find it at MUFE stores and Sephora.

Next up is the bargain, E.L.F. High Definition Powder. This powder is a little thicker than the others but at $6, it’s great when you don’t have $20 plus dollars to lay out for powder. It also comes in a skin toned version and a corrective yellow (banana powder).

Finally, my new favorite  is Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder by IT Cosmetics. This powder by the anti-aging specialists at IT Cosmetics sets and blurs lines and imperfections. It does have a yellow cast to it but I didn’t really notice it. If you have aging skin, you will really notice a difference. Get it for $24 at ULTA or itcosmetics.com.

 

 

The new place for beauty, discount department stores

Beauty moves at lightning speed these days. All the amazing products on the market can leave you with a bulging makeup drawer and an empty wallet! But there is way to make all your beauty dreams come true on a budget – discount department stores. 

Visit any TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls and you’ll find a vast beauty department filled with skincare, bath and body,  makeup, haircare and more. On a recent trip I found high end skincare like Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder, mermaid makeup brushes, products from Philosophy and The Body Shop, hair dryers, even hair extensions!

You can get really great deals, especially on clearance. I got one of those makeup eraser cloths for $2 and a package of collagen eye strips for $2.99. The thing to remember when shopping is to check expiration dates and the list of ingredients. Products made in Europe are a safer bet (even better than the U.S.A.)  because the E.U. has adopted laws that require ingredients to be tested before added to a product on the market.

Lastly, remember the cardinal rule in beauty products, never use a product on your skin you haven’t tried before for a special event! Allergies don’t care about your itinerary!

The latest trend in skincare, the essence

Hate serums? You’ll love essence.

Essence. It sounds like an 80s drugstore perfume, but it is actually a K-beauty face treatment gracing the shelves of beauty retailers. Essences are liquid treatments that fit in between a toner and a serum in your skin care regimen. Essence is designed to replenish the oils striped from the skin by cleansing, toning and beefing up your skin’s delicate moisture barrier.  This particular product contains 80% fermented yeast concentrate and is designed to hydrate skin, reduce fine lines and improve skin tone. Is also seemed to help clear my acne – maybe it’s the strengthening of the skin barrier feature?

Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, $49. (I may get a commission if you purchase through this link.)

Missha Time Revolution has been compared to the super chic (and pricey) SK-II Facial Treatment that starts at $99. If you hate the texture of serums or break out from them like I do, you’ll love an essence. Simply apply it with a cotton pad or your fingers and follow it up with your day or night time moisturizer. It sinks in super fast and 

Missha and SK-II aren’t the only brands in the game. Quite a few essence treatments can be found by brands like Clinique, The Body Shop, Origins and a couple of lesser known brands at ULTA. Missha also sells an essence mask for $7 at Target and you can get a 3.2 ounce bottle of Missha Time Revolution for $20 at Amazon (affiliate link included). 

Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Melting Cleanser- a review

Yes To Coconuts Hydrating Melting Cleanser

 

I  love oil cleansers. They are the easiest way to remove makeup without causing stress on the skin. Plus, they leave residual moisture, unlike most soap based cleansers. My favorite cleanser of all time by The Body Shop (Moisture White) was discontinued and so I have been on the lookout for an new oil cleanser made without mineral oil. 

I found this creamy coconut oil based cleanser at Target and gave it a try. Made with rice bran oil, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil and olive oil, Yes To Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Melting Cleanser (I may get a commission off this link!) is actually a thick gel. You can apply it as is, or mix it with water. Mixing it with water makes for an easier application but it hard to get the right cleanser/water mixture that takes off your makeup in one try. It also seems to leave a residue behind. 

Bottom line, I use it once in a while but it doesn’t work as good as a traditional oil cleanser. I just started using  Simple’s Hydrating Cleansing Oil (I may get a commission off this link) instead. It is made with a majority grapeseed oil and pulls most of the makeup off in one swoop. The Yes To Coconuts cleanser does work well to clean makeup brushes and sponges!

Cool stuff to get for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to buy things like candy, flowers and cards. But it is also a good time to treat yourself to pink themed beauty or drop hints for non-perishable gift ideas to your sweetheart!  Here are eight products on the top of my list.

(top left to right.)

iluminage Me Glow Beauty Boosting Eye Mask

Sleep soundly while your skin gets repairs via this eye mask made with copper threading. Copper promotes skin renewal, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Lasts 100 washes, $25 at nordstrom.com.

Kevyn Aucoin The Neo Limelight

This new highlighter from Kevyn Aucoin is almost too pretty to use…almost. The ombre highlighter is highly pigmented, gives skin a strobed glow and lasts all day, $58.

Oasis lip Gel in Blush Crush

This cool lip product from H20 Plus is part lipstick, part lip gel and its transparent. It applies like a dream and has a nice minty flavor. It comes in six different shades (including a completely clear version) and costs just $12. Get it online at ULTA and H20Plus.com but hurry – it sells out frequently.

Hard Candy Blooming Lip Oil

Lip oils are great for keeping lips moist in the dry winter air, but they can be a little pricey. Hard Candy Cosmetics has a new lip oil made with ten essential oils and a ph adjusting  formula that creates a shade unique to your lips. It lasts for 8 hours and will only set you back $6, get it at Walmart.

Valentine Shampoo Bar Giftset

If you’ve never used a shampoo bar, now is the time!  Bath and body purveyor Basin White is offering a choice of your favorite shampoo and conditioner bar in a cute heart tin for just $17.99. Each bar lasts about 50-75 washes and they are great for travel.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Dry Shampoo

Two of my favorite things are dry shampoo and Philosophy’s Amazing Grace. This limited edition dry shampoo cleanses and texturizes with the lovely scent of Amazing Grace, $24 at Nordstrom.com. Also available in Pure Grace. 

Lash Couture Mink Lashes by KISS

These super thick lashes by KISS have the look of mink but are 100 percent cruelty free. Easy to apply and reusable, you can skip the serums and extensions for lashes that are more than “battable”. Get them at Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart stores, $5.99 per pair and $5.99 for adhesive.

Voluspa Vermeil  Prosecco Rose Candle

Technically candles aren’t beauty but they sell them in the beauty section so I’m going with it. It’s pretty, pink and smells of Rosé, cassis and white rose petals. Made with coconut wax, essential oils and cotton wick, $18 to $30.