Caudalíe Beauty Elixir

Caudalíe’s Beauty Elixir is one of those one-size-fits all things that becomes a cult classic by mostly word of mouth. It’s a refreshing spray that visibly perks up skin and gives makeup a second life.

I use it on a damp Beauty Blender sponge to blend and set foundation and concealer but I also spray it on skin right before makeup as a last step prep. Most women carry it in their bags and use it throughout the day in place of powder to keep makeup fresh without looking chalky or heavy. It has been praised for shrinking pores, calming redness and breakouts, and adding a fine layer of visible hydration. I just know that my client’s skin looks much better when I use it which is why I’m on my 4th bottle.

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Concealer 101

Here are the questions I get most often about concealers- a confusing (and often misused) makeup.

What is concealer?

It’s basically a more pigment-dense version of foundation used to hide small discolored areas around the eyes and face when foundation alone doesn’t offer enough coverage.

Can you use one concealer for face and under eyes?

Maybe, if your under eye circles aren’t too severe but concealers meant for under eyes have an orangey hue which counteracts the bluish tone most circles have so you wouldn’t want to use an under eye concealer on the face. I like Eve Pearl’s Salmon Concealer for dark circles, it’s creamy and has the right amount of orange to perfectly disguise darkness- it’s what I use daily. Concealer for the face is more yellow based and made to hide redness and discolorations so it could look chalky or weird around the eyes if you have a lot of darkness.

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Do I need to use concealer?

Not if you don’t have any redness or areas of discoloration that a foundation can’t hide. Larger areas ( like melasma) would be covered with foundation (Dermablend is a good one for big time coverage.) Concealer is used for smaller areas like blemishes, old scars, or spotting. If you don’t have any of that (you’re lucky!), then you probably don’t need the added step. The less foundation and concealer you use, the more natural (and youthful) your complexion looks.

What concealers do you like?

Cle De Peau is one I invest in. Yes it’s expensive ($70) but the one I have now has lasted nearly 2 years. It’s thick but also creamy so it’s easy to blend. Another one that has impressed me so much that I’ve bought it in two shades for my kit is Miracle Skin Transformer’s Treat and Conceal which is basically liquid skin in a tube. It melts into the blemish or discoloration leaving it looking so natural that its unreal. I’ve found that it also doubles as a perfect eye shadow primer as well as anything else. Consistency is key so steer clear of those too creamy (Bobbi Brown- I can never get it to blend in) or too dry (Laura Mercier’s face duos- totally useless.)

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Cle De Peau

How do I apply concealer?

Warming and blending it into the skin is key. Use a brush meant for concealer to apply, then lightly press the makeup into the skin with your fingers until it isn’t obvious anymore. Creasing can naturally occur into fine lines under the eyes so it’s especially important to blend there. The idea is to get the makeup to look like skin and not like makeup just sitting on top of your face.

Organize Your Makeup

A little bit of organization goes a long way. This two tear drawer organizer allowed me to get rid of my bulky Japonesque train case that lived under my sink for too many years. Now I can see everything easily which means I use things I never did much more often, it just makes getting ready a whole lot easier.

I couldn’t find the exact one I bought online, but I picked it up at the Container Store for around $10 recently.

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Without the sliding top drawer.

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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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How to Get Rid of Streaks From Self Tanners

If streaks from self tanning lotions are keeping you from getting a bronzy glow, check out the Bronze Buffer, a new chemical-free sponge that’s supposed to exfoliate away splotchy streaks from self tanning lotions. I haven’t had the chance to use it, but it’s worth a shot if you tend to streak since they can sometimes take days to fade out.

Bronze Buffer $10 for 2 Sponges

Bronze Buffer $10 for 2 Sponges

Professional Micro Needling and Q&A with Dr. Theresa Pacheco

The search is over! I’ve been looking for a doctor I can trust for about a year to help with my pigmentation and get my skin back to where it was just a few years ago. Having a baby made it worse, I swear my skin aged 5 years from the melasma and hormone stuff that go along with pregnancy. Anyway, I’m almost 7 months post-delivery so I figured now is a good time to explore what my options are as far as a safe (I’m still nursing!) treatment to get my skin back on track.

My facialist Tjaden Lotito couldn’t say enough great things about Dr. Theresa Pacheco. She’s an M.D., professor of Dermatology, and researcher on all things related to aging and damaged skin at the University of Colorado Anchutz campus. She knows the skin and non-surgical treatments as well or better than anyone else you’ll find. I liked her right away, she’s down-to-earth and a wealth of knowledge who isn’t there to sell you on anything (they don’t offer packages and I didn’t see any product lines anywhere), just to educate you on what your options are and offer the least invase way to achieve what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for fluff, frills, and a water with cucumber in your glass sort of experience- this isn’t it as you can see by their website, they’re all about the medical side of skin. It’s exactly what I was hoping for.

Dr. Pacheco

Dr. Pacheco

I walked in to see Dr. Pacheco already knowing what I wanted: Fraxel. The ultimate in laser treatments. I’d researched it, I knew all about it, and wouldn’t accept anything else. Fire the thing up and start zapping, I’m ready to go! After a quick look at my skin she said she could do a laser treatment and loves what lasers do for the skin, but I also had other options. One being a combo laser treatment with levulinic acid that would basically give me new skin but has quite a bit of downtime. The other was medical micro needling (aka Derma Rolling!) Now you know I love me some derma rolling and have one at home that I use. The medical treatment isn’t the same as what you do at home though because her instrument has longer needles to create deeper channels in the skin which forces even more repair and better results. Basically, I go in and have a numbing cream put on my skin for about 20 minutes then she rolls the hell out of my skin poking a zillion little holes in it (yes, there is some bleeding) which tells my body to go and make new skin to heal that damage. By the time I leave, my skin will just be a bit red and swollen like a sunburn, and then over the next few weeks and even months I will see an improvement in overall skin quality especially pigment and even fine lines. I can keep up with the results by using great skincare with my at-home roller a few times a week. After seeing some before and after pictures that were pretty impressive, that’s what I ended up choosing. I’m so exited because the cost of this treatment is so much less than I expected to spend and we’re just doing one for now to see how it goes. It’s so important to see someone whose paycheck isn’t dependent upon selling you a service. If you’re in Colorado, this is where I recommend you go, otherwise check out similar doctors and clinics in your area.

A micro needle aka derma roller.

A micro needle aka derma roller.

She was also nice enough to answer a few questions I sent her way about treating different skin issues. Check out what she has to say, and click HERE to see her services and to make an appointment.

Q. What treatments do you recommend for pigmentation issues?

A. Medical therapy – Vitamin C but only if a proper concentration. Vitamin A’s but only formulated appropriately. Also, a light device/laser  depending on Fitzpatrick Skin Type and whether the pigment is epidermal or dermal to decide if certain light devices or lasers would work. Old fashioned chemical peels also work, but again they need to be properly formatted with the correct ph and free acid (this is my chemistry brain talking).

Sidenote: Right after I saw her I went and bought SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, a proven C serum that all doctors I’ve talked to rave about. Don’t skimp on C serums, many are just a waste of money.

C E Ferulic

Q. What are your favorite ingredients that make the biggest difference in the skin?

A. Vitamin A but only when it’s formulated appropriately.Vitamin C but only if formulated with another antioxidant and a proper concentration. There are many other products that have benefit but it really depends on what difference you want to make in regards to skin health.

Sidenote: I’m using Vivant Exfol-A serum at night. An excellent vitamin A formulation that’s really concentrated and doesn’t make my skin red or flakey like Retin A does. I also use it with my derma roller so it has even better penetration.

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Q. What about treatments for acne?

A. Medical therapy , alpha hydroxyl acids, Vitamin A, and anti-inflammatory agents. Light device/laser, but there is no laser/light device approved for acne treatment and covered by insurance. FDA device approval is very different than FDA pharmaceutical approval. The ‘heat dispersion’ from the devices control active acne lesions (red pustules, cysts, but not black heads and white heads). The no!no!™ skin device was the 1st device on the market that used ‘heat’ to control active acne lesions. Old fashioned chemical peels work, but again they need to be properly formatted with the correct ph and free acid (this is my chemistry brain talking again!)

Sidenote: I reviewed the no!no! years ago when it first came out and I love it for hair removal, I didn’t know I could be using it on my face?! Glycolic acid is awesome and Glytone tells you exactly how much Glycolic (aka Alpha Hydroxyl Acid) you’re getting in each product. I’m using their cleanser and moisturizer.

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I’m hoping to schedule a treatment for next week where I’ll take pictures (maybe a video?) of the treatment and post it along with some before and after pics as the weeks progress. If you have any questions about micro needling or any other skin treatment, leave them in the comment section and I’ll get them answered for you!