My New Skincare Routine featuring Mario Badescu


Last weekend I visited my favorite event of all– The Makeup Show LA! I adore The Makeup Show, and was really excited that for the first time ever Mario Badescu would be there! I got a chance to meet with them and get a whole new skin care routine picked out based on my skin type and its needs. I’ve only been using the products for a little less than a week, so this isn’t a review, but more of a first impressions and info about the products I’m trying out.

To understand why the products were picked, here’s some info about my skin type. I have dry skin with some sensitivity. I have redness around my nose and mouth, and only the occasional breakout. I also work in a heavily air-conditioned environment, which is sometimes really tough on dry skin! We just moved in to our building too, so it’s also a little dusty. Gotta love it. With that in mind, here’s what they recommended.


The cleanser I’ve been using is their Keratoplast Cream Soap. My first question was “wtf is keratoplast?”. Keratoplast is an ingredient found in plants that helps with redness. It’s a very gentle, creamy cleanser with a pleasant scent. There’s no added fragrance, but the cleanser still smells pretty nice. Since it’s very gentle it can only remove very light makeup. To remove my makeup, I have been using the Cleansing Milk with Carnation & Rice Oil. The cleansing milk is one of those cleansers you can tissue off, which I love because a.) water shortage! hi! and b.) less work to do if I don’t have to rinse. It does leave some “residue” but I use the soap cleanser after so it’s not a big deal.


There’s all kinds of debate about the necessity of toners, but I’ve really been enjoying Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner. It’s literally just water, aloe juice gel, and a preservative. It feels amazing, as you would expect since aloe is so soothing.


Both the day and night moisturizers I use are actually categorized as night creams, but hell if that’s what works, I don’t care. At night before bed I use the Protein Night Cream. It’s a very thick, rich cream that acts almost like a sleep mask. It also contains collagen (hooray!) and Vitamin A. It’s labeled “intense” and it is. Love it. During the day, I’m using Peptide Renewal Cream. It’s lightweight for a night cream (so probably a good night cream if you have combo skin) chock full of hyaluronic acid, peptides, nori and willow bark extracts. It does play nicely under my makeup, but I have to let it sink in first for a few minutes or my makeup feels slightly tacky.

Eye Care

During the day I either skip eye cream or use a lightweight one, but at night I have been trying out Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream. It’s rich without being greasy and the skin around my eyes feels soft and hydrated. What more do you really need in an eye cream?

So far this routine is working for me in that it feels great, and I’ve noticed no negative effects. After such a short time, it’s hard to really say how it’s actually improved my skin, but these are just my first impressions. ;) I do notice an especially dry area between my brows is much less so after only a few days using these moisturizers, though! That’s a very good sign. :)

Have you tried any Mario Badescu products? In addition to these products I’m using now, I’ve used their Enzyme Cleansing Gel many times (I’ve used about half a bottle and will probably still use it from time to time even with this new routine). I’ve also tried samples of various others. The Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream in particular is nice. I was also given their Rose Hips Nourishing Oil for when I need a little extra boost. I haven’t needed any extra moisture on my face lately, but I’m thinking of trying it out on my cuticles because they are looking pretty haggard lately.

What I like about the line in general is the lack of “fuss”. The products are all in plain packaging, which keeps them affordable. I’d rather know my money is going toward quality ingredients than fancy packaging. There also isn’t a whole bunch of totally unnecessary fragrance– something that drives me crazy in skin care of all things because it’s generally so irritating to the skin.

I’ll keep you all updated on how things go with this new routine!

Do Eye Creams Really Work?

The following is a guest post from none other than skincare expert Renee Rouleau! I adore Renee and her products. I want to thank her so much for writing this article so I could share it with you all! Check out her website for more info, and make sure to follow her on Twitter!

Recently, I was flipping through a magazine when I read a top beauty editorsaying, “I never use eye cream becauseI’ve never found one that actually worked.”  So it got methinking. If a top editor or blogger, who is given skin care products on adaily basis from beauty brands, therefore has surely tried many of them, issaying this, then certainly consumers must be feeling this too.

Do I really need to usean eye cream? Is using eye cream really necessary?
Let me start by saying that eye creams and other skin care products are notabsolute miracles like some cosmetic companies and their sales people make themsound to be – and we want to believe. If you use an eye cream thinking you’llget rid of all your lines and wrinkles, this is just not possible. Moreinvasive treatments such as Botox will make the biggest difference fordramatically smoothing this area, but an eye cream simply cannot do this. But can they help to prevent wrinkles and keep thisarea moist and younger-looking? Absolutely yes.

The skin around the eyes is 10 times thinner than that of the face and has veryfew oil glands. Combined with blinking 10,000 times a day, squinting andsmiling, this area is the first to show the signs of aging and you really needto treat this tender area by using an eye cream every night. Of the fivefingers one can use to apply eye cream, the ring finger is the weakest fingerso therefore should be the one used.  Simply put, you need to keep ithydrated and moist to prevent it from aging as quickly.

For an example on the powerful effects of topical moisturization, I alwaysrefer back to a study done on stretch marks in pregnant women. It showed thatwomen who applied lotion to their stomachs several times a day (with any kindof lotion, no specific magic ingredient) had fewer stretch marks than those whorarely moisturized. When the skin is hydrated topically, it keeps theskin’s structure intact to keep it supple so the wear and tear is less.This means moisturizing definitely works. So in the case of the eye area, sinceit is constantly moving from smiling, squinting and rubbing, an eye cream willprevent collagen and elasticity breakdown, resulting in the prevention of linesand wrinkles.  Generally, because the skin is thin around the eyes, facialscrubs may be too aggressive for the eye area, but an acid serum can really dothe trick at managing the signs of aging around the eyes.

There have been many breakthroughs in the science of moisture retention andwhen choosing an eye cream, it’s important to use one that is well-formulatedand doesn’t use petrolatum or mineral oil. Instead, choose eye creams that usegood emollients and barrier-repairing oils like sunflower or jojoba oils. Thesenatural oils are much better for repairing the skin and preventingtransepidermal water loss so the skin is kept moist and supple – the way itneeds to be to prevent wrinkles and soften fine lines. I love Renee Rouleau SynergyEye Cream and Firming Eye Therapy.

Note: Eye creams do not have to beheavy and greasy to give moisturization. In fact, if an eye cream is toogreasy, it can migrate into the eyes and cause under eye puffiness which thenunnecessarily stretches out the skin causing a weakening in elasticity. Notgood!  Also, it’s so important to keep the eye area protected from the sunby using sunglasses when outdoors and making sure sunscreen is used on the eyearea during all daylight hours.

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.

H20 Plus Sea Pure Skin Care Collection

H20 plus is one of those brands I’d seen around, but for some reason never tried. What I usually would see is the spa products carried by my local Ulta. I never really paid it much attention because when it comes to bath & body stuff, like I’ve said many times– Bath & Body Works owns my heart.

As you may or may not have noticed I now blog for BeautyStat, and when I got the opportunity to try out h20 plus’ skin care line, my curiosity peaked. I have tried the full Sea Pure regimen, which is their anti-aging line. I’m 24, so that’s not too early to start with anti-aging skincare.

Sea Pure Creamy Facial Cleanser

As you might have guessed, the Sea Pure line contains ingredients sourced from the ocean, such as marine-sourced amino acids, and sea moss. The 96% natural creamy facial cleanser also contains citrus oils and amino acids derived from apples. It has a refreshing citrus scent, which I was happy about because other marine-sourced products I’ve tried did not smell good haha. It’s definitely very creamy and pleasant on the skin. I was afraid it would be too heavy for my normal-to-oily skin. Most anti-aging stuff I’ve tried is too moisturizing. However, I really liked how this worked for me. It was cleansing without stripping. It is said to be able to remove makeup but I generally use MAC Cleanse-Off Oil as a makeup remover before cleansing. This cleanser would also work beautifully with a Clarisonic brush. It is recommended for all skin types. I would recommend it for anyone except those who are extremely oily. Sea Pure Creamy Cleanser is 4 oz for $20.
Sea Pure Gentle Refining Polish

The Gentle Refining Polish is the exfoliator in the Sea Pure line. This is a physical exfoliant; it contains bamboo extract as the scrubby granules suspended in a creamy base formula. They’re not harsh at all. The scrub also contains sea moss and marine amino acids like the cleanser. I liked this scrub as it was scrubby without being too harsh, but it’s not ideal. Even rinsing and using a wash cloth, I had trouble getting all of the bamboo grains off of my face. They did not want to budge and I had a bit of a time trying to rinse my face clean. I think this scrub would work better in the shower when you can rinse it off a lot easier by just standing under the water. Other than the rinsing issue, this was a fair product. This is recommended for all skin types, and like the cleanser I think it would be fine for anyone except the very very oily. It’s kind of expensive though, at $30 for 2.5 oz.
Sea Pure Renewing Prep Tonic

This toner was actually my favorite part of the Sea Pure line. It’s alcohol free, making it good for sensitive skin. It helps to remove any remaining cleanser or dirt on the skin (it helped remove bamboo that wouldn’t come off after using the refining polish). This toner contains, you guessed it– sea moss and marine amino acids. However it also contains lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid. Lactic acid helps to smooth the skin’s surface and even out skin tone for a brighter looking complexion. Happily, this toner does not leave a residue or leave my face feeling stripped/sticky. It absorbs really well. It’s too soon to tell if it has brightened up my skintone, but because I’m already happy with it I will continue using it, and I recommend it. I think this product actually could be used by all skin types. It’s also the most economically priced piece of the collection at $18 for 7 oz.

Sea Pure Deep Moisture Cream

I’m going to preface this review by saying that I did not actually use it on my face. But here’s why: it’s way too heavy and too oily. I would not recommend this for anyone except those with quite dry skin. I tested this out on my hands. It’s very rich, and for those with dry skin I think it would be great. It has a lot of nourishing ingredients along with the marine amino acids that the rest of the Sea Pure line has. It’s just completely wrong for my skintype and I think labeling this as for all skin types will leave some people disappointed. It’s deceiving because the texture is very light and almost runny, but it’s very rich and oily; jojoba oil is the 3rd ingredient, which is a pretty high amount of jojoba. There’s also coconut oil, shea butter, glycerin, meadowfoam oil, orange oil, and the list goes on. I’m not saying oil in and of itself is bad for skin, or even bad for those with oily skin. The right oils can be magnificent for any skintype. I’m just saying that in this product, the result is something too heavy to be used on my skin and I completely disagree with saying it’s for all skin types. The moisturizer is 1.7 oz for $40, so it’s definitely on the pricey side. 
Sea Pure Perfecting Eye Cream

As far as eye creams go, I really don’t expect them to do much. I have pretty basic needs– moisturize without causing milia around my eyes. I do have some tiny fine lines under my lower lashes, but they’re minute, and I’ve had them since I was about 10 or 11 so I don’t stress about them too much. I don’t expect an eye cream to make me look like Brooklyn Decker or something. I just want my eye area to be moisturized and look healthy. With that said, this eye cream does do that. It’s also supposed to help diminish wrinkles. For first thing in the morning I like the caffeine I get from using 100% Pure’s coffee eye cream, but for hydrating and just generally feeling refreshed, this is pretty nice. I’ve been using Clinique All About Eyes (the regular one; the rich version gives me milia, ew), which is slightly cheaper. I would recommend this eye cream to those who perhaps have more concerns about their eye area than I do, haha. Before I make any decisions about which eye cream to stick with, I’m going to use this on one eye and the AAE on the other for a while and see if I can distinguish a difference. Look for that follow-up review. ;) This eye cream is .5 oz for $32.
Samples provided for editorial purposes.