There are so many products that come and go in my bathroom, but then there are the staples that are as regular to my routine as brushing my teeth. Jane Iredale’s PureLash Extender and Conditioner ranks up there as one of the few things I’ve used daily for 5 years now that I always buy more of when I’m out and never replace with something else. It’s how I plump my lashes everyday under mascara and then I use it again at night on clean lashes to moisturize and protect. It’s a natural formula with beeswax and algae instead of harsh chemicals so it’s gentle which is why I recommend it to women who are post-chemo to start building up lashes again.
Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream is nothing short of a cult favorite among Makeup Artists and celebs alike. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.
I first saw it in action backstage at Fashion Week at every show – see the squished up tube behind the Rosewater spray (which I also went out and bought shortly after.)
And here again, next to Eve Pearl, one of my favorite foundations at a different show. Every artist it seemed was carrying it.
Even Gwyneth Paltrow gave it some Goop love a few years back touting its big time Makeup Artist following. But why is it a staple in most pro’s kits? Because I’ve yet to find a skin type it doesn’t work on. Oily, acne-prone, dry, and even clients with skin so sensitive they bring their own moisturizer because they’re afraid that whatever I’m using might trigger a reaction. But it never has. On the contrary- it calms, softens, and evens out the skin in a subtle but complete way. I’ve been using fewer silicone-based primers these days because this primes the skin so well that I don’t need the added step. At Fashion Week, I also saw it used as a makeup remover for the girls who came in full makeup from other shows. Without sinks and water, the artists were able to get the girl’s faces totally clean using this cream and tissues alone.
A 1oz tube is just $16, but I get the larger 2.6oz since it’s only $28. Yup, it’s a French drugstore line so not only is it free of nasty chemicals (Europe bans most of the ones we still use here), but it’s also cheap!
I was getting my brows done by Denver’s best brow guru Carla Gray yesterday when we starting talking about self tanners. My last bottle of Jergens gradual was a disaster, totally streaky with a stronger odor. Carla agreed that it wasn’t a formula that worked for her either- too orange. She was loving a self tanner recommended to her from our hair stylist friend Kim who, like us, is a total product junkie. They love it so much that they stock up when it’s on sale at Ulta (as it is now.) 4 hours later I was at Ulta. I’m impressionable, what can I say?
The girls were right, Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Creme Lotion Self Tanner is where it’s at.
I grabbed the Medium/Dark without even looking to see if there were other options (there is a medium but I’m glad I chose this one which I’ll need to use less frequently), and then promptly used it yesterday after my shower then again today. The color is amazing, completely realistic and rich. The scent is very faint, virtually undetectable and nothing that I could see being a real problem for anyone. It’s a thick cream that comes out of a mousse-type spout quickly so beware. Unless you’re really dry, don’t apply too much because the heaviness of the cream makes it hard to rub in completely leaving some dry time until it sinks in. I wasn’t as careful rubbing it in as I could’ve been yesterday so I have a place on my wrist and ankle where it isn’t perfect, but nothing over the top terrible that I even notice. Today’s application should even things out.
I wouldn’t recommend using it on your face because of the weight of the cream, but if you carry it up your neck a good face bronzer should take care of the discrepancy.
I’ve had such a hard time with self tanners lately that I’ve just avoided them altogether, so I’m happy to have found one that works so well- I finally have some color! I’m still researching using a self tanner while pregnant, (I haven’t found any cons so far) so I think I’ll be on board for a once a week application throughout the summer.
Check it out at Ulta now on sale for buy one get one 50% off.
I carry several different types of foundations in my kit, but these are my tried and true little soldiers that never ever let me down. They’re all professional brands meant for photography so any skin challenge is easily disguised. When I use a powder, Dermablend’s Mineral Powder is what I often use to set because it gives additional coverage (and can be used daily on its own) but dissolves into the skin without sitting on top. Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi was a pleasant surprise I discovered years back. It’s the best non-cream I have with a ton a great coverage and some moisture that doesn’t drag over dry skin (a common problem here in Colorado.) When someone is really dry or has mature skin, I grab my Eve Pearl Dual compact because it’s the most moisturizing of the bunch and leaves behind a pretty glow that makes otherwise sallow skin look alive. When I’m on TV or have an event where I’ll be photographed, I even use Kett’s Fixx Créme which is probably my most used of the bunch. It glides on but doesn’t drag and it looks so completely natural that skin looks just as perfect in person as it does on camera. The fact that it’s waterproof is just icing on the cake.
Years ago I was sent Moroccanoil to review when the brand was new and just staring to catch fire. Since then, I’ve been a loyal customer buying the oil and conditioner whenever I run out. I’m not really picky about hair stuff (I just bought a $6 bottle of Clear Shampoo which is totally mediocre but I’ll still use the whole thing), but there’s something about these two things specifically that are so fantastic that they keep me running back for more.
Moroccanoil Treatment: This is the OG, the one that started it all. A sweet smelling oil that untangles my hair, keeps it soft, and tames static during the winter. A nickel amount is what I use on my long hair and a bottle lasts over a year so you do get your $43 worth.
Their Hydrating Conditioner is the most perfect conditioner I’ve ever used- not too heavy, rinses clean, but keeps just the right amount of moisture behind. When I first ran out I just grabbed whatever I had lurking in a cabinet and was so surprised to find that my hair didn’t feel or look as great with just this one simple change. I liked the shampoo as well (and will probably grab it when I get the conditioner too) but it’s the magic of the conditioner that moves me to spend the $22.
Now, I totally realize that my love for the brand isn’t going to motivate everyone to spend $60 on two hair products so I should mention that I’ve heard great things (check out the rave reviews HERE at ulta.com) about Organix Moroccan Argan Oil. Find the whole line HERE (along with Ulta’s buy one get one 50% off sale) and let me know how it works if you give it a try.
I was able to try some products from MyChelle a while back after I got my face scanned. After learning that I basically have the face of a 90 year old, I took home a bunch of their products so I could return for an ‘after’ scan which unfortunately didn’t happen before I had some laser treatments so we wouldn’t have an accurate look at the changes their products alone made. Sigh. But what did happen (even pre-laser) is that I finally found a natural skincare line that actually works! I love MyChelle; from the packaging, to the product variety, to the way it makes my skin look and feel. Here’s a rundown of what I used, what I liked, and what unfortunately missed the mark.
Cleanser: Apple Brightening
I really liked this cleanser, light and slightly foamy but not overly so. The apple scent was a nice and I used it faithfully until it was totally gone which is really saying something. It also left my skin feeling soft and looking bright without stripping or drying. Biggest downside would be the size- 2.1oz for $13 which seems a little skimpy to me.
Mist: Apple Brightening
Ever since I can remember I’ve used a toner. From Sea Breeze to Clinique, I’ve used them all in the name of squeaky clean skin. Though I’m still addicted to that (not really important) step after cleansing, it’s good to give my skin a break and to stop stripping away the moisture it needs. In the morning after cleansing when I know there isn’t any makeup left behind on my already clean skin, I’ll spritz a few sprays of this mist instead of my usual toner on a cotton pad routine. It feels refreshing and adds an extra dose of brightening power in a way that’s as light as water.
Hydroquinone is not for me. Too harsh and too many risks involved so it isn’t worth it to use even though uneven skintone drives me crazy. I’ve used this serum on and off for years and I’ve found that it does work. It’s so easy on the skin without the use of harsh chemicals to fade dark spots in a natural way. Compared to hydroquinone, it will take more time so be patient and stick with it, you will see a difference.
If you’re using a Vitamin C (and everyone should be in my opinion) look for it in the form of L-Ascorbic, the most effective with the best absorption. Anything else might just be orange scented liquid that smells great but does nothing for the skin. This L-Ascorbic serum doesn’t aggravate or leave skin red so sensitive skin can enjoy using it too.
I love a zinc-based sunscreen, but this was my least favorite product of the bunch. It was hydrating and the texture was good, but it left a bit of a sticky after feel that I couldn’t get used to. Nothing too terrible, and the feeling did go away eventually but it just wasn’t for me.
A friend with similar skin to mine raves about this cream, she said not to let the rich feel steer me from trying it. It’s by far the thickest cream I’ve ever used but also one of the best. It dissolves into the skin and leaves it really soft. Long term its benefits are great; wrinkle relaxing, tightening, and clarifying so that skin looks brighter and younger. At $54 it’s pricier than most of their line, but it’s a price I’d happily pay.
Because MyChelle isn’t 100% organic, they can balance some more advanced ingredients with natural ones which makes the line more effective in making changes in the skin. Fewer essential oils also mean fewer irritations for sensitive and acne-prone skin so trust in their speciality lines and give them a shot. You can Skype a skin specialist of theirs, or better yet see if they have a Visia scanner at a store near you so you can get a (free!) before and after of your skin and some product recommendations made just for your specific needs.