Dr. Oz and The Wonders of Sea Buckthorn Oil

I didn’t know that Dr. Oz recently touted Sea Buckthorn ‘the new miracle berry’ when I ordered it from Amazon a few weeks ago. I was searching for natural skincare to help with my melasma and such during this pregnancy when I fell upon Sibu Buckthorn Oil and 180+ sparkling reviews about how amazing it is. It has a cult following for calming rosacea (a big theme among the reviewers), but it was also said to clear acne, fade dark spots, heal burns, and give skin a glowing new appearance. Really! People are losing their damn minds over it (see the reviews HERE on Amazon where I bought it.) There are a few different brands who sell this type of oil, but Sibu was the best reviewed and under $10. Sold.

I started using it under my moisturizer at night only as recommended because it takes a little while to fully absorb. It isn’t greasy or heavy and doesn’t really have much of a scent at all. I like the added hydration it gives and it hasn’t caused any breakouts – a big concern when using a new product on my skin especially an oil. Right away I noticed how calming it is and how I wake up with a glow. I think it’s too early to see long term benefits, but since it’s 100% natural and safe so I’ll continue to use it. It’s one of those things that you know is just good for your skin long term so I’ll be patient and wait for some great results.

Next I’ll try their Cleansing Bar, another fave among reviewers, as well as check out their supplements since it’s meant to be taken internally as well.

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Murad’s Renewing Cleansing Oil

If you would’ve told me years ago that I’d be pre-cleansing my face nightly with an oil I would have thought you were crazy. Although my skin isn’t oily anymore, I think I’ll always have that mind set that it is- sort of like when you loose weight but still see yourself as heavy. I can’t tell you how many 40-something year old clients I meet with clear (and usually dry) skin who still use Proactiv as a sort of crutch, never evolving their routine with age and skin changes. I’m glad I got brave enough a few years ago to try cleansing oils, they’re the easiest way to reamove makeup while adding some light hydration. Murad’s Renewing Cleansing Oil $32 does this particularly well leaving just a soft slick of moisture behind so your skin doesn’t feel tight or dry after washing. It’s non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores (most oils don’t, it’s creams that you need to watch out for actually) so all skin types can benefit.

Protecting your skin from harsh stripping is important. Dry skin equals old looking skin, just look at the way women age when they live near water versus a drier climate. Trading out a drying cleanser for a cleansing oil could make a big difference in the overall look and health of your skin.

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Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 24 Hour Miracle Cream

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.

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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.)

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And here again, next to Eve Pearl, one of my favorite foundations at a different show. Every artist it seemed was carrying it.

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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!

Kiehl’s BB Cream

I feel like a BB Cream expert at this point. There aren’t too many out there I haven’t tried so I can tell right away when one is good, or if it’s just a cleverly marketed foundation thrown out there to join the BB craze. I knew I’d like Kiehl’s BB Cream from a skincare perspective, because that’s what they do so well but would it hold its weight as a good foundation? Surprisingly, yes.

The first thing I noticed is how smooth the formula is, almost like a good moisturizer it glides into the skin which makes it really easy to put on and blend using just your fingers. I also love the SPF 50 because I’m outside so much during the day that the extra protection is worth it. The coverage is as good as any daily foundation and better than most BB Creams actually. It hides imperfections so well that I don’t have to go back in with a concealer for minor things and it wears nicely all day long.

I find that the shades run a hint darker, so look for one lighter than you normally wear. Also, because of its hydrating nature, it might be too moisturizing for really oily skin, but those with combination, normal, and dry will  appreciate the smooth feel and natural looking finish.

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Hawaiian Tropic Island Radiance Creme Lotion Self Tanner

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.

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Check it out at Ulta now on sale for buy one get one 50% off.

Makeup Before and After: Glam Mom

Recently I got to work with Nicole, a busy mom who (like the rest of us) rarely has a reason to get all out glam. I made her up for a shoot she did last week and the before and afters were so great I couldn’t wait to post them! I can’t wait to see her final images from her photos which I know will be amazing. Check out what I used below to get her look.

Click all images to enlarge:

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Her eyes: Copper is such a perfect way to add tons to depth to any look- even for everyday. Her dropped liner on the bottom was Pixi’s Copper Glow smudged out for a more dramatic look. I used Neutrogena’s cream shadow all over under her powder shadow to prevent creasing and to really give the shadow something to stick to. Stila’s Ebony and Kitten were her two main shades, which gave the perfect amount on contrast and pop.

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Her face: A silicone primer sometimes isn’t enough moisture (often the case here in Colorado), so I used Miracle Skin Transformer’s Heal Everything Balm which absorbs quickly but leaves the skin hydrated and primed so blending foundation is easy and it sits beautifully on the skin. I mixed together shades 1 and 2 in Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Foundation which as you can see gives a ton of great coverage without looking heavy. I buffed in Dermablend’s Mineral Powder on top to chase away any shine without a hint of a dull or powdery look.

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Her lips: These lips are the kind most women pay for- big and full and just begging for color. I mixed together two nude shades over a pinky liner and skipped the gloss. The sheen was enough and without the gloss her color would wear longer.

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