Products I’ve Repurchased


I always find it interesting to know what products people have repurchased time and again. It truly says something when even beauty addicts, who are consistently trying new things, return to old favorites. So why not return to blogging with some tried and true faves of my own? I’m breaking them down into categories.


I definitely have the most repurchased items in the skincare category, so let’s start there.

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner ($8.49, Ulta)
I couldn’t even tell you how many bottles I’ve gone through of this stuff, but it’s several. I love that this product is so good, even though it’s really inexpensive. The price is really great considering you get a huge 8 oz bottle. The active ingredient is 2% salicylic acid, which helps keep breakouts and clogged pores at bay, but since it is in a formula with camellia and cucumber, it isn’t irritating or stingy on my face. If you have very sensitive skin this may cause a little irritation because it does contain alcohol, but it has worked out fine for me.

Pixi Glow Tonic ($15, Target)
Another fantastic, inexpensive skincare find that I have purchased more than once. This is another acid toner (generally I would use this in the daytime and the Neutrogena toner at night). Pixi Glow Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid in a very gentle alcohol-free formula with aloe and ginseng. I experience no stinging, no redness, and no irritation, and I’m about 2/3 of the way through my second bottle. This toner is designed to keep your skin looking even and radiant. I definitely notice a difference!

Murad Acne Spot Treatment ($18, Sephora)
Murad has two acne spot treatment products. This one is not to be confused with their “fast fix” product, which is a benzoyl peroxide-based product. The one I’m in love with is simply called acne spot treatment and it is a 3% sulphur active ingredient treatment. There are only a few different actives that treat acne, and for me I prefer sulphur treatments to benzoyl peroxide. It’s way less drying and irritating. I only see a teeny bit of drying with this product, whereas benzoyl peroxide has more than once given me itchy dry patches. Not cute. Anyway, I am on my third tube of this handy stuff, which is great at helping to reduce the inflammation of breakouts, which is ultimately what causes them to be so painful (and noticeable!) and also what causes scarring. A little bit goes a long way, so in order to get through multiple tubes I have been using this product for years.

MAC Cleanse-Off Oil ($32 & free shipping, Nordstrom)
When I’m wearing makeup and/or sunscreen, I prefer to double cleanse. I use MAC Cleanse-Off Oil as my first cleanse. It’s great at removing even the heaviest makeup (even waterproof mascara or bits of lash glue). This cleanser emulsifies with water, so you don’t even really need to do a second cleanse if you don’t want to. If you have dry skin, you may not feel the need. The oil is formulated with no mineral oil, and contains soothing oils like olive, evening primrose, and jojoba. If you’re at all acne or clog prone, you may want to follow up with a second cleanser. I do just because I like to be extra squeaky clean, and because my skin has been more normal-to-oily than dry lately. As an added bonus for this product, you can recycle the packaging with Back 2 MAC.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($14, Ulta)
For a cleanser with chemically exfoliating actives in it, this cleanser is so very gentle. I think it would work well for just about any skin type. This cleanser exfoliates with hydroxy acids from papaya and grapefruit extracts. It’s gentle enough that I have even used it with cleansing devices like the Foreo Luna or Clarisonic and had no irritation. If you have dry skin that is prone to clogged pores, this will help to keep them clear without irritating your skin. I love that the packaging is no-nonsense and without any frills that would drive up the price, too. I’m on my second bottle, and still loving it!

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Dry Skin ($8.99, Ulta)
Do you think this moisturizer has a long enough name? Because I’m not sure. This moisturizer is sold in a dry skin formula and a normal skin formula and I have tried both. Though Garnier says the dry skin version has 2x more moisturizing agents, I don’t notice a huge difference. This moisturizer is better for people who have normal to slightly dry skin rather than those who have very dry skin. I think it actually works great for skin that is dehydrated and producing too much oil to compensate, because it is so very light weight. The name says gel-cream, but it is very much a gel texture. It’s not going to give you a heavy night cream feeling at all. I think it wears very well under makeup, and on days when I need even more hydration I just use a serum first.

Hair Products

Hair products are another area where I am pretty settled into a routine and I know what I like.

Psssst! Dry Shampoo ($6.99, Ulta)
I wait ’til this stuff goes on sale and buy them a couple at a time. This is a very basic, yet well-performing dry shampoo. I have bangs–dry shampoo is a necessity. I flip my head over and spray it at the roots, or spray it into my bangs and then comb through and sort of “fluff” them out for refreshed hair.

Alterna CAVIAR Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner ($32 each, Sephora online)
Once upon a time several years ago, the good folks at Alterna sent me a PR package with these two products in it, and thus began my love affair with really pricey haircare. I used both bottles up and then totally willingly forked over the cashola for my own more than once because this stuff is amazing. I have fine, color-treated hair. It tends to be on the dry side vs. oily, and I also heat style with a blow dryer and flat iron very regularly. I try to take very good care of my hair because if you’re going to pay $100+ to color it, you want to preserve that color or it’s throwing money away. These products are luxurious and sulfate-free, and make my hair feel oh so silky. Even the ends of my hair are in great shape and I believe I owe it to Alterna! It’s tough to swallow paying $64 for your hair care, so I do sometimes stray with L’Oreal’s sulfate free products, and I stock up on Alterna during events like Sephora’s annual VIB 20% off sale.


Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup ($40, Sephora)
I’ve purchased this bad boy twice, even though it is far from cheap. The shade range is pretty extensive, and shade 0.5 matches me very well. It is described as a radiant finish, and looks very skin-like. The coverage is medium, and somewhat buildable. If you are looking for something to even out your skintone and wear well without looking like a mask, you’ll probably like this. If you have extremely oily skin or a lot to cover up, probably not as much. I loved this the most when my skin was normal to dry.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation ($12.99, Ulta)
As my skin became more normal to oily, I wanted a more matte foundation. The hype was huge surrounding this foundation’s launch, and for good reason. I love this foundation, possibly even more than the Urban Decay. It has easy, hygienic packaging that is travel friendly, a decent shade range (I wear 101 Classic Ivory), and wears very well throughout the day. The coverage is medium to high medium and buildable. Though it says matte, it’s not a dry or flat looking matte. It’s like your skin but better. At the end of the day I can feel oil on my t-zone, but the foundation doesn’t break up or smear, etc. It may require a bit of touching up around hour 12-13, so I raise my eyebrow at the 24HR claim, but you should never really wear foundation for 24 solid hours anyway. For less than half the price of Urban Decay, I am sold!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28, Sephora)
While the Urban Decay foundation has been replaced in my go-to lineup for the moment, the accompanying concealer remains a favorite. This concealer does wonders for brightening up my under eye area and inner corners of my eyes. It blends out nicely and the fact that it is light enough to brighten even on my pale complexion is impressive. I wear shade Fair Neutral.

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Mascara ($6.99, Ulta)
I’ve repurchased this mascara easily 3 to 4 times. I love that it not only volumizes, but also lengthens. Most recently, I’ve been trying out the waterproof version of this (picked it up when I went on a cruise), and it is VERY waterproof.

Sedona Lace Synthetic Round Top Brush (480) ($18.95, Sedona Lace)
Simply put, my favorite foundation brush. It’s so dense, so soft, and blends foundation out like a dream. It also washes very well, and looks freaking adorable with the pink and black ombre bristles. They do not bleed or shed. Awesome all-around brush. I love it so much I needed a second one in my arsenal so I never have to be without it, even when one of them is drying from being washed.

Sedona Lace Synthetic Small Round Dome Brush (217) ($16.95, Sedona Lace)
My favorite concealer blending brush ever. It’s pretty much a smaller, less dense version of the 480. It’s a small, compact fluffy brush that blends concealer out even better than my fingers. Worth every penny, and I just had to get another one.


What are some beauty products you love so much that you’ve purchased them more than once?

MAC Matchmaster Concealer – Fall 2014 #MACCosmetics


Picking up where the MAC Matchmaster Foundation left off, the new Matchmaster Concealer utilizes the same Shade Intelligence Technology. This technology utilizes breakthrough pigment technology to create a fully personalized, subtle satin finish. The concealer contains Vitamin E that conditions as the concealer reduces the appearance of under eye circles, dark spots, discolorations, fine lines, and wrinkles. This stick concealer launches in 12 shades with ‘color-true’ coverage for up to eight hours. Added to the permanent collection.

Matchmaster Concealer – $21.00 US / $25.00 CAD

1.0, 1,5, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0


March Beauty Favorites


Those of you following me on Twitter/Instagram know that I am on the brink of moving house. In fact, I am moving this coming Friday! Because of that, almost all of my stuff is packed already. Including my makeup. I’ve been living out of my makeup bag recently.

First, what bag do I use? It’s the super awesome set bag by The Kim Greene Line. The 2nd edition Essential Bag, in pink. It holds a TON of stuff. This bag is my life right now. :) It holds more than the items I’ve been using/am blogging about this month, believe it or not! Sometime I’ll do a “what’s in my makeup bag” post, but these are the creme de la creme. ;)


My usual foundation if I am going to wear any is Urban Decay Naked Skin. This stuff is so flawless. I love it. It actually comes light enough for my pale ass self (I wear shade .5!), and it feels weightless once it’s on. My bottle is almost empty, and I’ve already made sure I have a second one to start using as soon as I unpack it. It’s a little on the pricey side, but one bottle will last quite a while since a little goes a long way! ($39, Sephora)

Along with the UD foundation I have been wearing Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Skin concealer in shade Y0. It’s perfect for spots as it blends naturally and wears like iron. Win! ($20, Sephora)


This month’s cheek looks can pretty much always be attributed to The Makeup Show LA and NARS. Both of my favorites are NARS products and I got both of them at The Makeup Show. I’ve been using the new Contour Blush in Paloma ($42, NARS), the lightest shade for contour & highlight. For a color, I am in love with the new blush shade “Love” ($30, NARS). It’s like a non-shimmery Deep Throat. Let’s be honest though, I’ve never met a NARS blush I didn’t like. As per usual, the gals at the NARS booth at TMSLA were very supportive of my crazy NARS addiction very helpful in helping me make my purchases.


Since I still get up at the crack of dawn (just a few more days of that! yay!), my eye makeup has been pretty simple. I like the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette because it’s completely idiot-proof, no-brainer eye makeup. I go over the lid with Naked 2, the crease and/or outer V with Faint, and highlight with Walk of Shame. Boom. Done. Sometimes if I wanna get fancy I will do the crease with Faint and the outer V with a mix of Faint and Creep (mostly Faint, little tiny bit of Creep). I can line my eyes with Creep or Faint, so then all I have to do is add mascara and I have a complete eye look with one little palette. Seriously, it might be basics, but they’re AWESOME basics. ($28, Sephora)

I’ve also been sort of addicted to the Make Up For Ever Aqua Color  in 20E. It’s a pinky taupey basic BROWNISH shade with shine/shimmer finish. It’s one of those shades you can just pop over the lid, blend out, and be DONE with it if you want to. And I have, many times. Or other times I’ve incorporated it into a Naked Basics look to add a little ‘oomf’ to the mattes in that palette. ($20, Sephora)

You all know from my review that I am madly in love with the Kevyn Aucoin lash curler. I’ve been using it every day. Want more info? Read my review. ;) ($21, Nordstrom)

Also getting lots of love and previously reviewed? Maybelline The Rocket mascara. LOVE LOVE. Still love. I haven’t loved a mascara this much since I tried that ungodly-expensive Hourglass Film Noir. And Maybelline is MUCH friendlier on the wallet! Check out my review. ($6.99 at

Also at The Makeup Show LA, I picked up another Senna Sketch-a-Brow. Brows you can literally throw on in 5 seconds? Yes please. This time I’m actually wearing the shade “Blonde”, which is not too light. It’s just more ashy than the Brunette shade. I’m always really impressed with how these pencils wear, too. They wear like iron! A very important quality in an eyebrow pencil, I say.


I have been living in 3 shades of Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain virtually non-stop all month. They’re really hydrating, and the color does leave a light stain. Moreso for the brighter colors, but even for the lighter more neutral colors too. The three I’ve had in rotation are Sweetheart, Honey, and Precious. Sweetheart is a bright bright pink. This one is the most staining of the three. Honey is a rosy pink. Precious is a pinkish beige nude. ($7-$9 depending on the drugstore you go to, $8.99 at

So those are my favorites… what are yours?

Introducing the Monday Mash-Up


In addition to now featuring an Avon or mark. product once a week, I am going to feature a combination of products each week that I love to use together…because beauty products don’t function in a vacuum! The Monday Mash-Up will highlight products that play well with others. It could be formulas that work well together, or colors I like pairing, or as in this week’s case, a combination of a tool + a product that work perfectly together.

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The Benefits of Benefit Cosmetics


About a month ago (yeah, this post is overdue…what else is new…) I attended a fun Benefit event at Macy’s in Westminster. I got my makeup done by supersweet MUA Katie, and she and I talked about the latest and greatest (and some cult favs) from Benefit! Inspired, here is my list of favorites from Benefit. If you’re new to the brand, or just want to try some new things, check these out! [Read more…]

MAC Studio Collection – New Foundation Shades!

mac studio visual1

I’m so excited about this much needed update to MAC’s foundations! This update is being made to Studio Fix Fluid and Studio Fix Powder foundations. Alongside the new foundation shades come new concealer palettes – perfect for any artist kit. Check it out!

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Influenster Spring Beauty VoxBox Update

A couple weeks ago I posted all about all the goodies that arrived in my Influenster Spring Beauty VoxBox! Here is an update on the products I’ve been able to form an opinion on so far…

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash
I’m not really a Randy Jackson fan, but I love to quote Randyisms. This one falls under “it was just okay for me, dog”. It has a light, pleasant smell, it… washes… my body? But other than that I’m not seeing anything special here. It didn’t make me break out in hives or burst into flames or anything, but the moisturizing effect wasn’t all that apparent either. It was just kind of there. See why I don’t like writing reviews of products that are just “whatever”? They’re boring, because what can I say about it? Whatever!

ChapStick Lip Shield 365
Now with this product, it’s weird. First off, it has a very strong lemon scent. I couldn’t find this indicated anywhere on the packaging so if you are sensitive to fragrances, take note. I like the lemon scent a lot actually, but I think it’s crummy they don’t indicate it on the package! Going on, it feels very moisturizing, but it absorbs really fast and then disappears. By really fast, I mean I apply it in the car at 8:15, and by 8:30 I can feel it’s mostly absorbed/gone. If you’re a person who likes to be able to “feel” her lip balm on, it’s disconcerting. If you’re someone who is putting it on more for sun protection and doesn’t give a hoot about feeling it, you’ll like it. It does moisturize, it’s just weird. Sorry I can’t be more helpful other than “weird”.  This chapstick also strikes me as very man-friendly because any shine goes away quickly.

Sheer Cover Concealer Duo in Light/Medium
Yeah, I can’t use this at all. It’s comically too dark for me. Not even close to a shade I can use. The texture is creamy, but almost too creamy. And it’s, well… orange. When I held up my hand with these swatches on it to my boyfriend, the first words out of his mouth were “it’s orange!” and then softly “…you are not orange.” lol… very good, Mr. Boyfriend.

If you’re quite a bit darker than I am (which wouldn’t be too hard) and want something more orangey to counteract blue-toned dark circles, you might actually like this and let me know, because I’ll gladly give it to you. But for me it just was a good laugh.

 Those are all my Influenster updates so far. I’ll have more to share later as I keep trying new stuff!

First Impressions – mark. Summer

mark. has been a pet favorite of mine since many years ago when I decided to become a rep. I’ve been a mark. rep since 2006! The line has changed a ton since I started, especially in the area of skin care. I like a lot of their skin care products, and I used to love their eye cream back in the day before they scrapped the entire skin care line in order to reformulate everything and re-do it all.

The newest offerings from mark. will be launching next month, and I jumped at the chance to review them before they released. There are four products in the release:

Get Defensive – SPF 15 eye cream with maqui berry, an antioxidant, licorice root (to brighten skin), and alfalfa extract for boosting collagen. Retails for $14.

Conceal For Real – Intended to be a long-wearing concealer that will last through hot, humid summer days. This is in their popular hookup format with a wand applicator. Available in 4 shades. Retails for $6.50.

Get a Tint Shimmer – This is an updated shimmer version of the already mega-popular Get A Tint tinted moisturizer. It has an SPF of 15 and comes in four shades (just like the original Get A Tint). Retails for $12.

Got To Glow Gradual Self Tanner – A subtle, slow build of natural color and slight shimmer for a nice glow. This tanner/moisturizer also has SPF 15. mark. recommends this for those who want a subtle tan, or as a helper to extend the life of your tan. Retails for $14.

My first impressions of the Get Defensive SPF 15 Eye Cream:
– The packaging is good, but could be better. It dispenses way too much product with a full pump. I ended up applying plenty to my eye area and then having a bunch of excess that I just rubbed into my hands like hand cream. 
– The product itself is a fairly thick solid white cream. It took a bit of working to get it to rub in so that I didn’t have white stuff all over my eye area. If you have darker skin this might be a huge pain for you. I wasn’t wild about it taking that much rubbing to work it in, because it’s not a good idea to rub your eye area that much; the skin is so delicate! 
– No real discernible smell/fragrance.
– The SPF is chemical-based, which for me poses a couple of problems – I’m allergic to avobenzene (a very common chemical sunscreen) and it often breaks me out. Also, this is going near your eyes. If it’s hot and you sweat, or if you go in the pool, I wonder if this would run and get into your eyes? That would sting really bad! 
– Does not seem to “play well with others” – putting concealer on top made it kind of ball up and slide all over the place. You’ll have to wait a LONG time for it to fully absorb and then maybe it will go better. 
Overall I don’t think I’ll be using this eye cream. It was a good idea in theory, but the application just doesn’t live up to what I want in an eye cream.
My first impressions of the Conceal For Real Hookup Concealer:
– Again with bad packaging. :\ I like the convenience of a hookup, that’s very cool. But I shudder to think of teen girls using this product to conceal zits by dabbing it on with the sponge wand and then putting that right back into the product. When I tested this out I rubbed some off of the wand and then dipped my finger into that, but most teenagers won’t take the time to do that I don’t think. And many of them share makeup. Oy. Breeding ground for bacteria anyone?
– mark. doesn’t specify whether this is a concealer for spots or for under eye. They’re not the same. Under eye concealers need to be moisturizing while concealers for spots/acne etc. need to be dryer so they can wear longer. Judging by the product description talking about lasting through hot humid days, I’m going to guess it’s supposed to be for spots. Which then makes me go back to the packaging and just ask “why?!”. 
– The shade I used (Fair/Light) works decently for my skin tone.
– The consistency is pretty darn liquidy.
– It’s sort of hard to blend. It doesn’t seem to meld into my skin, but perch on top of it. Or I have to blend so much it disappears/gets rubbed off.
– I did not get super fabulous wear out of it, just a few hours max. 
I may keep using this if I can get it to blend easier. If you are looking for a concealer from mark. to use for under eye, I really like the Get Bright hookup highlighter. It’s not exactly a concealer, but it really does a great job of brightening if you don’t need tons of concealing. mark. also offers a couple of other concealers that I haven’t tried – the Good Riddance concealer pencil hookup and an anti-acne concealer that contains salicylic acid to help heal blemishes while you conceal them.
As for the Get A Tint Shimmer & Got To Glow, I will be reviewing those at a later time! 
mark. products can be purchased from, or my e-boutique – As a mark. rep I do make a commission if purchases are made through my e-boutique, so your patronage is always appreciated. :)
Any questions about mark. cosmetics or being a mark. rep? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Product samples provided for editorial consideration.  I am a sales rep for this brand, but opinions are all my own.

Beauty Bests & Busts – June ’09

Beauty BEST:

Diamond Powder Perfect Finish from Purely Cosmetics. Makes my pores say sayonara!
DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin Spot Treatment. Instant reduction in redness and helps blemishes heal without any negative side effects.
Beauty BUST:
Makeup Forever High Definition Concealer. Broke me out in little bumps around my under-eye area. Eeek!
Hormones. They suck. No, really. They do. So they are going on as a “beauty bust” this month.

Test Drive Update – Makeup

I promised I’d update you guys on how I do with my test drives on these products, so here are the updates I promised! :)Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation
This is nice stuff. Like it says in the name it’s a liquid foundation. I prefer to apply liquid foundations with a sponge, and that’s how I apply this one. I sweep over areas that don’t need much coverage in small circles, blending as I go, and then pat/stipple over areas that need more coverage. One full pump of the foundation is plenty unless my skin is looking particularly blotchy. I haven’t noticed the foundation causing any break outs, although it will clog pores if you forget to take it off (which I’ve been known to do if a product is so light that I forget I’m wearing it…derr). Similar to MUFE HD, it’s chock full o’ silicones– these provide the slip that helps it hide your pores! My only real gripe with this is the packaging, and that’s purely from an aesthetic point of view. I think it’s kinda ugly. lol. But eh, for a good product I am willing to put up with that. I just know I’m going to lose the little cap eventually. Because that’s how I roll. As far as shades go, I wear the lightest one (Porcelain Ivory, I believe they call it?). It looks deceptively dark in the bottle, but blends into my skin quite nicely. Overall, this is a winner. It’s inexpensive (ranging anywhere from $6 and change to $8ish, as far as I know) and easy to find, too. Sold wherever Maybelline is.

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
MUFE calls this “extreme camouflage cream”, and boy is it. I carefully squeeze a blob out that is about the size of half of a grain of uncooked rice. In other words, TINY. And that’s enough to cover a blemish. I pat it on with a clean finger and blend, pressing it into my skin and warming it up so that it blends naturally. The result is waterproof coverage that lasts all day. I find it too dry for the under eye area, but for any blemishes, scars, or redness it’s primo. Unfortunately this is not at all cheap ($32, as far as I recall…), but in my experience a good concealer is worth its weight in gold and totally worth a splurge. I wear shade 2, which is Porcelain. I get my MUFE stuff from Sephora. I think the only other place you can is MUFE’s boutique in NYC? I could be wrong though.

Sometime when I’m feeling especially brave perhaps I will post before/after photos with these products. For now you’ll have to take my word for it that they cover up imperfections really nicely. As far as setting powder goes, I alternate lately between Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation (shade 10-watts), or MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural (shade Light).

Side Note: If Stila does end up going out of business (I REALLLLLY hope they don’t) I will hoard the IPF in 10-watts like a mad woman. It is one of my favorite powders ever. *EVER* lol.