How to Get Rid of Blackheads with Murad Pore Reform

I’ve been hearing such good reviews on Murad’s Pore Reform line including two friends who swear by it. One started off with buying just the moisturizer and saw such big results that she went back to Sephora for the whole line. They say that their pores have never been clearer and their stubborn blackheads which were once resistent to any sort of treatment were totally gone. After receiving the products from Murad to try, I decided the best thing to do (since my skin is clear right now and being pregnant I can’t do retinol which is in the T-zone Serum) was to hand it over to another friend whose skin is a total roller coaster ride in terms of breakouts and blackheads.

Now all three of them are in love.

They all agree that the cleanser is a good formula, but the foamer reduces its richness and they’d like to see sturdier suds in their cleansing routines. They also loved the T-Zone pore Refining Serum that you use after cleansing day and night to dig out the trapped dirt and keep pores clear. They said that it leaves skin really soft and zaps shine for those who were a bit on the oily side, yet isn’t too drying. But the real heros are the Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo, a twice weekly treatment starting with the cream that you leave on for 10 minutes before washing it off and applying a lotion to seal the skin to prevent any additional blackheads from forming. I’m sad I gave this one away because they all swear by it and say that it gives their skin an instant fresh looking glow like no other. It’s like an extraction for the skin minus the painful poking and prodding.

murad

Makeup Before and After: Liner and Lips

How adorable is this ‘girl next door’ bridesmaid whose makeup I got to do recently for a wedding? On girls like this who are so naturally beautiful to begin with, I really like to do a more casual, unstructured look that flatters without looking heavy. Could you imagine if I drew a big swoopy cat eye on her? Or did something really smokey? It just wouldn’t work. Filling in her brows, evening out her skin out, and adding some bronzer made a big difference, but her sparkly blue eyes and full lips were definitely the focal point.. Here’s what I used to make them front and center.

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My pencil liners have been getting a lot more use than the gel ones I’ve always carried in my kit because of the unstructured look they give. Laura Mercier’s long wearing pencils glide on so smoothly and wear as long as any gel. Typically a pencil this soft is the first to smudge, but this formula is as close to perfect as it gets. For this look, I used Noir (black) on her top lash line and Slate (charcoal) to line below. Using grey to line under her eyes looks less harsh than using just black all the way around.  Try it using a violet, blue, or ivy liner- just use a black liner on your top lid, then any color along the bottom. It’s a modern and easy way to wear colored eye liners and a fun departure from ho-hum black.

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Laura Mercier longwear crème eye pencils

Since she didn’t like the heavy look of lipstick, I lined her lips in a neutral pink and used Jouer Lip Sheer SPF 15 in Santorini over top. It’s a perfect, universally flattering pink that’s lightweight and moisturizing. You can use them solo (as I typically do since I use mine all the time in place of lip balm) or with a liner to deepen the color if you’d like. Either way, you’ll love how soothing they are, and their casual color that works for any occasion or no occasion at all.

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Jouer Lip Sheer SPF 15

I Love Living Proof Haircare!

Well the virdict is in for the Living Proof haircare I bought last week. I love it. I had no idea that it would make the biggest difference in my hair (which is still falling out unfortunately.) It was looking brittle and was beyond static-y to the point where I was putting it back all the time because it was so annoying. But not anymore. It looks like I just had it cut and highlighted because it’s so behaved and healthy looking.

If you have gripes about your hair, it might just be that your products aren’t doing their jobs. Check out Living Proof and prepare to ba amazed.

living proof

What’s a Konjac Sponge?

I’d never heard of a konjac sponge until I saw this one from Boscia with tons of great reviews on how it drastically changed people’s skin. One reviewer wrote something along the lines of how it’s more expensive than another konjac she had. A quick Amazon.com search yielded several brands and types of sponges and I ended up buying this well reviewed one for just $10.

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Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge

I don’t know what the actual difference is, but Boscia’s is labled 100% konjac root (made using the Japanese vegetable) while the one I bought reads 100% konjac fibers so it may not be the same thing but I really like it. It’s so soft, softer than a washcloth and it makes a tiny dab of cleanser go a long way. It doesn’t feel like anything that would be exfoliating since it doesn’t have a grainy feel to it, but the root is said to be infused with vitamins and is naturally alkaline so it balances the skin’s pH levels which also helps with breakouts and skin clarity.

I’ve only had it for a week so I’m holding off on calling it a miracle but I do really like it so far- it’s a nice departure from my Clarisonic and harsh scrubs that I use way too often. Next time I’ll probably check out Boscia’s sponge at Sephora just to  see if the quality is any different and worth paying almost double. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a cheap, easy, and natural exfoliant, check out konjac sponges and see if one might work for you.

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All Natural Fiber Konjac Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sponge

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A closer look at the one I bought.

Living Proof: Jennifer Aniston’s Haircare Line

I had a credit at Sephora and had just ran out of my Bumble & Bumble Prep spray- perfect time to check out Living Proof, the hair line co-owned by Jennifer Aniston that has everyone buzzing. Coming into my 8th month of pregnancy my hair is (like last time) falling out in clumps. It’s too depressing to even dwell on since last time it fell out consistently like this for 6 months straight so severely that I still haven’t yet regained that hair volume back. My hair texture has also changed  and is doing this weird thing where it’s curly from the roots down about 4 inches or so where it stops and my typical slightly wavy hair begins down to the ends. Again, trying not to dwell…

Since my hair has changed so much, what I’ve always used on it needs to change too. My newly fine hair has more static than the thick, corse mane I always had and I need to layer in more products to achieve that bulk and keep a few days worth of curls in it which is getting more difficult to do. After some research on the line, I bought their Weightless Styling Spray $36 which will replace the  Prep spray I’ve used for years. It’s free of silicone, oils, parabens, sulfates and other nasties, using instead  their own star ingredient PolyfluoroEster which blocks humidity, repels dirt, and makes hair stronger over time. I’m hoping it will detangle and give my hair some softness- another thing it’s lacking nowadays. I’ll layer Restore Targeted Repair Cream $28 over the spray to get a leave-in conditioning sort of feel throughout my strands. The little tube was a sample of the new Prime Style Extender which sets the hair up for a style and helps to keep it in place longer, kinda like how a face primer works for securing foundation.

I’m hoping a little goes a long way because it’s pricy stuff but if my hair resembles anything about Aniston’s it’s all worth it! Really though I’m just hoping for less static, more volume, and added softness. I’ll follow up in a few weeks when I’ll be able to see exactly how well it’s working.

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What’s the Best Foundation For Oily and Breakout-Prone Skin?

It’s a question I’m asked a lot. It’s tough to find a formula that hides everything and won’t make bad skin even worse. Right now I’m loving the new Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation so it’s what I recommend most often.

First, it’s truly matte. If you just think your skin is oily but it really isn’t, this foundation isn’t designed for your skin and you won’t like it. It’s called a liquid powder for a reason, it’s the absence of oils that makes it so perfect for troubled skin because it clings to an oily surface giving a full coverage that stays put all day long. It easily covers breakouts, redness, and scaring while leaving a powder-like finish to combat shine.

Second, it doesn’t just cover well, it actually helps with oil production immediately and over time. It’s a water-resistent formula that uses clay to actually absorb sebum and moisture on the skin, soaking it up like a mop. Over time, you’ll start to see less oil production, fewer breakouts, and an overall improvement in your skin. It’s a treatment and foundation all in one.

Because it dries quickly and doesn’t have extra oils that typically make spreading around and blending a foundation easy, you’ll want to apply it section by section and blend completely before moving on. I like to spread it around a little with my fingers first, buff it in with a foundation brush and then press it in with a damp beauty blender. I know that sounds like a lot, (and you can find a different way that works too) but it takes just seconds because you want to work it in fast and it’s so worth it once you see how great it looks. It’s really unique and such a must-have for anyone who has struggled to find the right coverage for their skin.

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hourglass immaculate