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!

A Dupe For The Makeup Eraser

If you’re a makeup enthusiast, or makeup artist with an internet connection, you’ve probably seen this ad or something similar to it:


You’ve probably also seen the videos of women with full faces of makeup on impressively removing it with just this magical pink cloth. But when they started describing the properties of the cloth– soft, with a short side and a longer side, it reminded me of something. It reminded me of the microfiber cloth I got at the dollar store to clean my stainless steel with.


So I decided to dig that cloth out from under the sink and toss it in the wash and give it a try. The instructions for The Makeup Eraser are–

1. Wash before using.

2. Wet with warm water (and wring out excess).

3. Using the shorter side, remove makeup by rubbing gently in a circular motion.

4. Wait for chorus of angels and your life to change, evidently.

So I decided to do the exact same thing with my microfiber cloth from the dollar store. And you know what happened?

My makeup came off. Easily. With water. No choir of angels though. But that means you can take your makeup off with a microfiber cloth. You don’t need to spend $20 on The Makeup Eraser. Just go to the dollar store, girls!

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!


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)

Model in a Bottle Super Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Review

model in a bottle removerIf you’ve heard of Model in a Bottle it’s probably because of their signature product, the makeup setting spray. You also may have heard of their eyebrow sealer, which I’ve heard is absolutely amazing and a must have if you have an issue with your brow makeup moving. But have you heard of their eye makeup remover? I hadn’t, until I was gifted a bottle at The Makeup Show LA’s blogger preview event!

Always curious to try new makeup removers, I was extra intrigued because of the name. It’s called Super Gentle eye makeup remover. Normally I use Bioderma Crealine h20, and I’m a huge huge fan of micellar cleansers because they are SO gentle. I’ve tried other makeup removers that CLAIM to be gentle that aren’t, too. So how does Model in a Bottle’s makeup remover stack up?

Pretty darn well, actually. It definitely lives up to its gentle claim. It’s extremely gentle on my sensitive eyes. They claim it’s safe for contact users and I could see how that is true because it’s so mild. It looks and feels like water, but removes makeup and mascara much easier. ;) The only thing it had a little trouble with (or rather, I had trouble with while using it) is removing Stila Smudgestick eyeliner. However, that shit stays even on my waterline; it’s TOUGH to remove with anything, it wears so well.

The packaging is a clear plastic bottle with a pump that locks and unlocks easily. A+ for that locking and unlocking pump – you won’t need to worry about chucking it into your kit and having it open up etc. The one downside to the packaging is that if you wanted to dip a q-tip in and use that to scrub at your pesky waterproof eyeliner, you’d have to unscrew the whole top off. Pretty small downside though compared to all the positives.

Water(Aqua), Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Chamonilla Recutita (Matricaria)  Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativas (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Algae Extract, Mugwort ( Artemisia Vulgaris) Extract, Citric Acid, Methylparaben

Overall, I’m a fan! I’ve been using it quite often lately and I am definitely glad to have it in my arsenal. Model in a Bottle products are available from Model In A Bottle and Amazon as well as specialty retailers such as Naimies. The 4 oz bottle is $14, made in the USA, and not tested on animals.

LeAine Dehmer Eye-Dration Eye Makeup Remover

This month I was invited to visit Skinsations Spa in Tustin. I reviewed the spa on my other blog, OC Beauty, but I wanted to share the skincare with you here on this blog. The owner of Skinsations, LeAine Dehmer, has her own line of skincare that so far has proven to be quite remarkable. The first product I’m going to review is the eye makeup remover.
This eye makeup remover is formulated with ingredients such as aloe, wheat protein, and white tea. This makeup remover actually nourishes and conditions your eyelashes! LeAine says that after approximately 3 months you’ll notice less eyelash fallout. Very cool. This eye makeup remover rinses completely away leaving absolutely no residue, which is the biggest reason why I love it. It’s also the best darn mascara remover I’ve tried. 
A little bit of Eye-Dration goes a long way. You only need about a pea-sized amount at a time for both eyes. I apply it and rub in a downward motion down my lids and lashes. Then I rinse it away with the help of one of the cellulose sponges included in my LeAine Dehmer skincare kit. I highly recommend using sponges when you wash your face. They’re great! LeAine suggests to fold the sponge in half for wiping the waterline/under the eyes. If you do it that way, it won’t sting at all. The only time it might sting a little is if the remover mixes with makeup and then gets in your eye. But pretty much any makeup in your eye will sting anyway! It is to be avoided. ;) 
So far I am really enjoying this eye makeup remover because it works so well, especially on my mascaras. For particularly hard to remove long-wearing/waterproof makeup you may need to repeat the process, but I’ve only ever had to do that once. Usually once over with this stuff is all I need. It’s truly great, and I know it was supposed to be 3 months, but I already notice fewer lashes falling out. 
The only drawback with this product is the initial price. It’s $22 for a 2 oz bottle. The price is steep, but 2 oz will last you quite a while! Eye-Dration Eye Makeup Remover is available at and Skinsations Spa.

Makeup Remover Round-Up

Yee haw!

Okay cheesiness ends now. Promise. :) Rather than do a ton of short reviews about makeup removers, I thought I’d just do a big huge post with my thoughts on various removers I’ve tried, from cheapo to expensive! This post is for the makeup removers that are supposed to be just swipe and go, so I am omitting anything that needs to be rinsed off or followed with an additional cleanser.

Budget Makeup Removers

Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover – $4/2 oz. @ Avon
This one comes in a lotion formula. I don’t find it to be terribly effective on difficult to remove makeup, but it feels nice on the skin and for simple makeup removing it works a treat. It’s also great for quick mistake fixing, so I keep it in my freelancing kit.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover – $5.79/3.8 oz @
This is a bi-phase makeup remover. In other words, you need to shake it to mix the ingredients together before using it. I went through probably 3 bottles of this stuff before curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to try other things. It does work really well. For hard to remove eyeliner and mascara etc. you might have to “soak” the area by holding a cotton pad up to the makeup for a minute or so before wiping. I believe Target and/or CVS sell a knock-off of this that is just as good. Maybe Walmart too, I don’t know. What I do know is this is a solid choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive makeup remover. The reason I stopped using it is partly curiosity, and also because when I started tightlining my eyes I noticed that my eyes got irritated when I used this to remove makeup from that area. Sometimes it leaves a bit of a residue, other times not. I think maybe it depends on the makeup you’re removing.

ELF Eye Makeup Remover Pads – $1/18 pads @ ELF
I’m going to say this as nicely as possible: do. not. want. Don’t get me wrong, I love ELF. But not this product. It doesn’t remove very well and it made my eyes water and sting. They also leave a bit of a residue that you have to rinse off, which to me kind of defeats the purpose of having makeup remover in a little pad like this. The pads themselves are very thin, and also dry up quickly. Do yourself a favor and skip these please!

Almay Hypo-Allergenic Eye Makeup Remover Pads (Non Oily Version) – $4.99/80 pads @
As Randy Jackson says on American Idol, “it was just okay for me, dog”. I guess I just wasn’t feelin it. These were okay. Not terribly wonderful, not horrible either. Each individual pad isn’t that wet with remover, which made them lack effectiveness. This formula is supposed to be extremely gentle, and it was pretty gentle. I didn’t find them that great at removing all of my mascara. It was after trying these that I wondered if maybe I just don’t like makeup remover pads. Hmm.

Almay Eye Makeup Remover (Oil Free) – $6.29/4 oz @
I asked my Twitter followers what makeup remover I should try, and this got a lot of votes. It had been a couple years since my lackluster experiment with the remover pad version of this eye makeup remover formula, but I was still kind of dubious. I bought it, figuring I could always return it if it sucks…? It smells awful. Fragrance-free skincare often does. Companies add fragrance to things because the ingredients naturally smell awful. My first reaction when I opened the bottle: “is it supposed to smell like watered down paint thinner?” Apparently yes, because this eye makeup remover works really well! I’m a newly converted fan. NO stinging and NO residue. If you’re looking for a good gentle makeup remover get this, not the pads.

Mid-Range Makeup Removers

NYX All Purpose Makeup Remover Gel Type – $9/3.4 oz @ NYX
This stuff is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. It smells to me like coconuts. But I don’t know why. Looking at the ingredients, there’s no reason for it to smell like coconuts. Spooky. But I don’t care, because I love it! Leaves the face feeling soft, smooth, clean, and coconutty. Removes makeup very well! I like the gel formula as opposed to a liquid because you have more control with it, so it’s easier to put it where it needs to go. I have not tried the Eye & Lip Makeup Remover, so I can’t compare them, but I’m pretty happy with this unique, effective makeup remover.

High End Makeup Removers

Napoleon Perdis Makeup Remover (Foaming) – $25 @ Napoleon Perdis
Oh. Em. Gee. When I had the extreme delight and privilege of meeting Napoleon Perdis and having him do my makeup, this was one product I tried where I wasn’t expecting it, but I was instantly hooked. It’s a bit on the expensive side for a makeup remover, so it’s a special treat for me, but holy hell I love it. You know those waterless foaming hand sanitizers? It’s like that, but for MAKEUP removal! It creates this luxurious foam that removes ALL of your makeup. No rinsing required. If you want to treat yourself to an awesome makeup remover, try this!

Special Mention Makeup Removers
These two are really difficult to find, but need to be mentioned because they are excellent. You’ll have to go online to try and find these. Google is your friend. <3

Sana Easy Peel Makeup Cleansing Water – $13.99/10.1 oz @ Webichi
When you read the ingredients of this product you’ll be like wait what? Use this on my eyes? OH HAIL NO. Except I promise you, this is as gentle as pure water. I don’t know how they do it, but this product has AHA and BHA and yet is totally fine for use on the eyes. It also has hyaluronic acid, which is so fabulous for moisturizing. This can also be used as a toner! It’s fantastic at removing makeup, even if I have no idea how it works.

Mandom Cleansing Express – $13.99 or so on various sites such as Amazon or Ebay
Similar to the Sana product above, this is a toner/makeup remover/cleanser in one that is as absolutely gentle as water. I’ve finished 2 bottles of it (which is saying something because they’re big bottles!). This is the ultimate lazy girl’s skin care product. I keep it or the Sana on my bedside table for lazy nights or nights when I’m so tired I might be tempted to sleep in my makeup. No excuses now! Mandom Cleansing Express has 3 formulas: Sebum (oily/acne-prone skin), Moist (dry skin), and Age Care (self-explanatory). I’ve used the sebum formula and the moist formula (which really will work on any skin type in a pinch…my skin was combo/oily at the time) and both work equally well to remove even the most stubborn makeup.

Whew! I hope that helps some of you who might be curious about makeup removers. If you have one that you love that you think I should try, please let me know in the comments. :)

Sample of NYX All Purpose Makeup Remover provided for review.