Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review

urban decay bb cream w724 Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review

I know I’m kind of late to the game reviewing Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, but you know…better late than pregnant. Anywho, late or not, I have recently been wearing the UD BB after a suggestion from Bren of OMG Bren. My skin has been super dry lately, and she suggested I wear a good BB cream under my foundation. Since my foundation of choice is UD Naked Skin, this seemed a logical choice!

It claims to:

- hydrate instantly
- improve hydration over time
- make makeup go on nicely
- make makeup last longer
- protect with SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
- instantly even out skin tone
- instantly minimize pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness
- treats skin to firm, improve elasticity, and provide “measurable anti-aging benefits”

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm contains some new to me ingredients. Pepha®-Protect helps protect your skin cells against daily stress. Uh hi? I need that. Vitasource® and dGlyage® firm the skin, improve elasticity, and fight wrinkles. Not huge issues for me NOW, but hey better to prevent than to try and fix later!

At first I wasn’t all that excited about trying this because it only came in one shade. That shade has been renamed Naked Medium, and a lighter shade and darker shade (Naked Light and Naked Dark) have been added to the range. Hooray! Not surprisingly, I’m wearing Naked Light.

urbandecaybb Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is not what I expected, formula-wise. I was expecting something thicker. UD’s BB is pretty runny actually. It applies very smoothly and sort of glides over the skin. Unlike other BB creams I’ve tried, I actually don’t recommend applying this like you would any other skin care. If you rub it in circles or rub too much, I find it just balls up. If you just smooth it gently in one direction, it will blend and apply beautifully. That could be because of the skin care I use beforehand, but  if you’re having similar issues try that. Apply it almost like you would a face mask type product.

After applying I definitely feel the silicone-y primer-y feeling, but it’s not as much as when I just whack on a bit of primer. Flaws are definitely blurred. As far as coverage goes, it’s not so much covering problem areas as just making them less noticeable. Red areas look less red, spots are still spots but not as glaring. It’s like a soft focus effect more than a tinted moisturizer effect of providing light coverage – which is what a lot of other BB products provide. I find that I need way less foundation/concealer when wearing this. Whereas before I had foundation and loads of concealer, today I only put on a little concealer over the beauty balm and I was good to go.

If you aren’t looking for coverage, this beauty balm will appeal to you. If you need additional actual coverage, it does make a sublime canvas for applying additional foundation/concealer. Foundation and concealer apply so nicely over the beauty balm! If you don’t wear more base over this, blush and highlighter etc. still  applied really well.

I haven’t been using it long enough to know if the long term benefits are really coming through, but wearing less concealer and foundation couldn’t ever be a bad thing. I can definitely feel a difference in hydration overall. And also, sun screen! :) This sun screen doesn’t bother my skin at all. Many of them do.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this and have incorporated it into my everyday beauty routine! Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is available at Sephora, Ulta, UD’s site…you know the drill, for $34.

Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Creme Review

garniergel creme 1024x962 Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Creme Review

I was holding off on this review because I was expecting some other of the newer Garnier skin care products in the mail and was going to review them all together, but I don’t know what happened to them – they seem to have vanished! So perhaps I will review the scrub and the cleansing oil some other time. For now, I have a review of the Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Normal/Combo skin.

I don’t even know where to begin with my skin right now. Previously, “normal” for me was dry, but clear skin. Now it’s still normal-to-dry, but breaking out like crazy. It’s still not severe acne by any means, or probably not even moderate depending on who you ask, but going from not even really having clogged pores to having 3-4 deep under the skin zits and a handful of smaller surface pimples = PANIC at my disco. I know it was caused by a combination of hormones and a great deal of stress. This past weekend I moved house, which as you know is insanity no matter what. Anyway. Moisturizer.

I was intrigued by the idea of a “gel-creme”. It sounded like some new exotic thing. The reality is this is a gel. Not even a thick gel actually. It’s pretty darn liquidy in texture. I was kind of skeptical about it being able to moisturize well when I felt the texture. I was pleasantly surprised though. It does a decent job! A little bit goes a long way, because it’s so liquid (it spreads over your face quite easily). For me, it absorbs very quickly and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and refreshed, but not in any way greasy.

It does have a scent! The fragrance is floral-fruity and pleasant, typical of most Garnier products – if you’ve ever used any, you know this smell. I happen to love it. You may not. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, save your receipt! It dissipates though and I think it adds to the refreshment I feel when I use it.

There is also a dry skin formula that is allegedly a ‘dupe’ for Clinique Moisture Surge. I would like to try that sometime as I’ve tried samples of Clinique’s and I liked it. Also I do anticipate that once I get the hormones and the stress in check my skin will probably go back to being more dry as usual, so it’ll be good to know if I can make a switch. ;)

The price runs about $8.50 for a 1.7 oz jar, available at most drugstores. I believe I got mine from Target!

Foreo Luna Now At Sephora

lunaface e1374647168720 Foreo Luna Now At Sephora

Great news! The FOREO Luna, aka my favorite skin care gadget evar, is now available at Sephora! Let’s quickly re-hash why I’m ALL about the Luna!

* No replacement brush heads (what you pay is what you pay – no added cost built in!)

*All silicone – fully rinseable – goes in the shower with you!

* Easier to keep CLEAN because there are no nooks and crevices (under the brush head of a Clarisonic = HORROR SHOW)

* Also works as anti-aging device (massage in serums with it for extra ‘wow factor’ from your serums, too)

* REALLY gentle, even for sensitive skin. (I use the delicate brush head on Clarisonic and Sensitive/Normal for Luna

* Holds a charge FOR-EV-ER. (seriously, I have had mine for MONTHS and I haven’t even charged it yet since the initial charge)

So yeah, the Luna is pretty much the most awesomest (yes, that’s a word now… bwahahaha) skin care thingy ever. And it’s at Sephora now! Which means you can earn BI points on your purchase, buy it during F&F to save $$, and if you aren’t as head over heels in love with it as I am, Sephora’s return policy is the greatest.

Anyone going to be trying out the Luna now that they’re at mama Sephora?! This thing has been life-saving/game-changing for me. When I went to BeWell Expo in October I had someone look at my skin under a microscope (which was definitely as daunting as it sounds), and she said my pores are TOTALLY clear. I owe it to this!! I was given an A+ in skin and it’s totes because of my little Luna.

Avon Product of the Week: Avon Elements Cream Cleanser

avoncreamycleanser Avon Product of the Week: Avon Elements Cream Cleanser

This week’s Avon Product of the Week is from the Elements skincare line – the Elements Moisturizing Cream Cleanser. I wanted to try out some of the Avon skin care since it has been quite a while since I’ve tried any, and there’s a lot of new things to try.

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Would You Put Bee Venom On Your Face?

Honey bees Would You Put Bee Venom On Your Face?

You read that correctly. Bee venom. As in the stuff that makes those stingers really ‘bite’. Would you put that on your face?

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Beauty Box 5 Unboxing & First Impressions

bb51 Beauty Box 5 Unboxing & First Impressions

I was recently invited to try out Beauty Box 5, which is a subscription sampling program similar to Birchbox/Beauty Army/Ipsy/*insert other box sample program name here*. Since I recently unsubbed from Ipsy I decided heck, why not!

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My New Favorite Skincare Gadget

lunaface e1374647168720 My New Favorite Skincare Gadget

Let me introduce you to my skin’s new BFF – the Luna by Foreo. Like any good geek, I appreciate a gadget. I have tried a bunch. I own a Clarisonic, I at one point had a Neutrogena Wave… you get where I’m going. So when I heard from Foreo asking me if I wanted to try the Luna, I said SURE! It sounded really cool.

 

And you know what? It IS really cool. The Luna emits what are called T-Sonic™ pulsations, which is short for transdermal sonic pulsations. It feels like a very gentle vibration. Where other skincare devices have brush heads, the Luna has silicone “touch points” (which I refer to as “nubbins”, lol). They look like this:

nubbins My New Favorite Skincare Gadget

Now, I have the Normal/Sensitive Skin Luna. There is also an Ultra Sensitive and a Combination Skin version that have different configurations of nubbins:

LINEUP IMAGE My New Favorite Skincare GadgetCombo, Normal/Sensitive, Ultra Sensitive

If you’re thinking this whole idea of silicone nubbins looks kinda familiar, it’s sort of like you took one of these:

P262041 hero My New Favorite Skincare Gadget^^ Generic Cheapo Silicone Cleansing Pad ^^

And gave it magical powers. And I say magical powers because I love my Luna. Now, I’d be ignoring a great big pink elephant in the room if I didn’t somewhat compare it to my Clarisonic, because I know that’s what you all want to know. It has some major advantages. First and foremost, it’s way easier to CLEAN.

palm My New Favorite Skincare Gadget

As you can see, the Luna is all one compact, palm-sized piece. There’s no brush attachments, which means there’s no “parts” for water to seep in under and get gross. Take the head off your Clarisonic and really look down into the brush itself. It’s a pain in the ass to clean! The Luna can be fully submerged and washes clean very easily.

The second major advantage also has to do with the lack of brush attachments. No replacement costs. Clarisonic brush heads run you about $25 a pop.

But this isn’t just an alternative to a Clarisonic brush and I don’t want you to think of it that way. The Luna is its own thing. In addition to providing a very thorough, gentle clean, it also serves another purpose…

massageythingy My New Favorite Skincare Gadget

This is the Luna’s anti-aging side. In just 2 minutes or so, placing the Luna with the ridged side on certain points of the face (it comes with a little guide), this gadget gives you a tension-releasing massage to your face, stimulating your skin and helping to reduce wrinkles. It promises skin to look fuller and more youthful. Now, I’m not quite 27 so I don’t really worry about my skin looking youthful, but I do know it does something. I had a horrible headache, and could feel the tension in my forehead and temples. I used this little guy on those areas and I did notice improvement, so it DOES work for relieving tension. I don’t know enough about the science of wrinkles to really say whether or not it can do the other things it claims, and I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles to test that on. The benefits of facial massage are well-documented though, and that’s essentially what this does.

What I have noticed since I started using the Luna (and I’ve been using mine for a few weeks now – I really wanted to test it out!) is remarkably softer skin almost immediately. I also notice better absorption of my other skin care products, resulting in overall more balanced skin because it’s absorbing my moisturizer and toner etc. better than before.

As you all know I just went to Vegas, which involved staying up really late, wearing full face of makeup every day, being around lots of pollutants, eating slightly less than stellar health food (*lol*) and of course, lots of adult beverages. I’ve been really stressed lately aside from the blogging world, too. On top of all that, it was TOTM, which could have been the recipe for utter skin disaster. Even without all the other stuff going on, TOTM usually means at least one gnarly chin zit, right?

Nope! Nary a zit in sight. I even received heaps of compliments for my skin while I was in Vegas. (THANK YOU btw!!!) And absolutely no irritation whatsoever. Even when I use the delicate brush head on a Clarisonic, my skin is at least pink afterwards. I don’t have any irritation at ALL after using the Luna.

yayskin My New Favorite Skincare Gadget

This bare-faced picture was taken actually after a full day of running around doing errands etc. I washed my face this morning but haven’t washed it again tonight. My skin’s not perfect - but I am pretty darn happy with it, freckles and all. I have noticed improvement in the scarring on my chin, too, which is always awesome.

Now for the one downside to the Luna – cost. These high tech skin gadgets don’t come cheap. The Luna will run you $199. For a slightly cheaper option there is the Luna Mini at $139, which does have some differences (no variable speeds, slightly shorter battery life though both last hundreds of uses before needing a recharge). The Mini comes in cooler colors (aw shucks!), but if you can afford it either one would be a great investment in your skin. I think that whatever you can afford to spend on your skin care, spend it. I have regretted spending money on a makeup item but I have never regretted dropping cash on high quality skin care products that work well for me.

Before you get all huffy about the fact that this was a press sample item, I paid for my Clarisonic and the subsequent brush heads all myself and even though I like the Luna better for my face I still have/love/use Clarisonic for my body with the body brush head – so I’m not kidding when I say I believe in investing in skin care when you can afford it. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Foreo & the Luna (and even the Luna For Men!) check out their website: www.foreo.com. If I wasn’t clear, I love this thing and I love what it does for my skin! ;)

Skincare Sorcery – Avene Cleanance Skin Care

logo avene 1024x406 Skincare Sorcery   Avene Cleanance Skin Care

About a month and a half – ish ago I started experiencing some breakouts. And not just little bitty ones… I had probably one of the biggest zits I’ve ever experienced. One of those gnarly mother-effers that is under the skin, huge, painful, virtually impossible to cover… you know the ones I mean!  [Read more...]

Favorite Natural Beauty Products

earth day Favorite Natural Beauty Products

And so you have this Earth, kay…

It’s Earth Day! So even though eco-friendly/natural beauty isn’t the primary focus of this blog, I couldn’t let Earth Day just go by without talking about it. Thus, my favorite natural beauty products…ready, go!

ecobeautycropped Favorite Natural Beauty Products

1. LUSH Lemony Flutter – How could I do a post about natural beauty products and not mention LUSH? Lemony Flutter is a faaaaabulous cuticle cream with an herbal-lemon fragrance. It just plain works wonders on cuticles. It’s also great for super dry skin like maybe on your elbows or heels. A little bit goes a long way, and the packaging is recyclable! ($16.95, LUSH)

2. LUSH Honey Trap – I walked into my local LUSH and pretty much said “I have super duper dry lips. HELP!” and the sweeties in there suggested Honey Trap. They said any of their lip balms are great, but that this one is the best. It’s compact (again, recyclable packaging), a great texture/consistency, smells nice, and most of all it moisturizes like a dream! It works well as an overnight treatment if you slather it on, too. I’ve had my little tin for ages and it doesn’t really show signs of getting used up OR turning bad any time soon, but when it does I will definitely replace it. ($7.25, LUSH)

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush – I have a lot of beloved products from Tarte but this one was my top pick. The Amazonian Clay Blushes are touted as a 12-hour blush. I rarely need to make my makeup last 12 hours but this blush definitely lasts all day. I love the texture of them (not too powdery, not too hard), the packaging, and all the fun shades! I have about half a dozen of these, but Exposed is my favorite. It’s a rosy nude shade that I think every pale girl needs in her arsenal. ($26, Tarte)

4. Korres Cherry Oil Full Color Lip Gloss – I actually don’t own any of these anymore, because my mom loves them so much I gave mine to her. ;) But they are really lovely lip glosses that smell good enough to eat thanks to the cherry oil. The formula is extremely non-sticky and lightweight with a nice amount of both shine and color. If you don’t think you’re a lip gloss person, try these. Mom did and was hooked! ($17, Sephora)

5. LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub – This post isn’t sponsored by LUSH I swear, haha. But it’s a delicious flavored, PINK colored sugar you exfoliate your lips with. It’s yummy (cmon, it’s SUGAR), so this is one of those products where not only can you eat it, you’ll actually want to. But save some for your lips please…! ($9.95, LUSH)

6. Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque – Somewhere, Krissy from Addicted To All Things Pretty is reading this and nodding going “I TOLD YOU”, because she’s the one responsible for me trying this product. This mask smells amazing, and makes my hair feel like buttah. That’s because it has both macadamia and argan oils in it. I use it about once a week or so to keep my hair looking and feeling great. I have the small size pictured because that’s what I have, but I’ll definitely be getting a larger size once this is gone. ;) ($16, Macadamia)

7. Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water – This stuff just rocks, simply said. It’s a luxurious, effective cleansing water that is extremely gentle. Its main ingredients (besides water!) are plant extracts. It really is a spa water and will leave you feeling pretty pampered. The herbs and minerals are highly soothing. Try it once and you’ll definitely want to come back for more. ($39, Sephora)

Real Life Skin Care Routine

skin care routine Real Life Skin Care Routine

I’ve been getting heaps of comments and questions about my skin lately. I hesitate to tell you all my routine because it’s NOT a routine really. I’ve read tons of these and watched tons of skin care routines. They usually have so many steps and so many products. Am I the only one who thinks “I ain’t got time for that!” ?? So lets talk about my skin care routine. The products I use, exactly how I actually use them.

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