Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 Fall 2011 Beauty Trends

Fall is just around the corner and I figured this might be a good time to look at a few of the more promising makeup trends.

1.  Eyeliner Bold and Beautiful:  The focus is definitely on eyeliner this fall.  This trend, perhaps more then any other, has predominated the fashion magazines,runways and editorials.  Thanks to new eyeliner formulas from such companies as Make Up Forever, Urban Decay and Stila it's easy to recreate these bold eye looks at home.  Beautiful bright gem toned eyeliners in purples, teals and blues are brightening eyes.
If the eyeliner isn't bright then it's a bold kitten flick or a sexy wing.  Do you have an unsteady hand?  Then Dior Velvet Eyes has you covered with their new felt eyeliner stickers.  How cool is that?

Whether you choose a bright bold color or a sexy kitten flick, remember to keep the rest of the eye neutral.  This is not a look that calls for deep contouring or bright sparkly highlights. 

2.  Brows Are Back:  Finally the trend of bleached, over plucked brows has gone the way of the dodo bird .  Brows are finally back and in a beautiful way.  The trend is to a more natural brow, not the bushy brows of the 80's.  Uhmmm...guess who may of been the inspiration to this liberating trend?
3.  Blush Heads South: This has been a look I've been struggling to figure out.  Is it a editorial/runway only trend or something that works beautifully at home?  I'm not talking about contouring, but moving that luscious flush below your cheekbones.  I think this is a look that works better for those blessed with amazing cheekbones.  For those so blessed, it's a beautiful look.

4.  Bright Lips Without a Harsh Edge:  In the past when going for a bold lip it has been essential to start with a lip liner.  It's no longer important and in fact it's rather passe.  Today's  better lipstick formulas, don't bleed and offer a level of translucence we haven't seen before.  Whether glossy or matte don't fall into the trap of a harsh rigid lip line.  If you absolutely have to use lip liner, gently roll a damp Q-tip around the edges to soften them.

5.  Metallic Nails: Gold, rose gold, silver, platinum pick your poison.  Almond shaped or bejeweled it doesn't matter as long as the gorgeous gleam of precious metal is there.

Are any of these trends calling your name?  What do you think?  I, for one, am seriously jonesing for those Dior Velvet Eyes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

They're Real! Benefits Newest Mascara

Mascara is probably the last thing I need.  As you may know I'm a bit of a mascara slut.  I fall for about every new product that hits the shelves.  I have found my holy grail mascara, but that doesn't seem to be enough for me!  I want more!

So when I heard about Benefits new mascara; They're Real, I just HAD to have it!  Can you blame me?  They claim that it will give you dramatic length, volume, base to tip curl, visible lift AND long wearing results.  What really got me was the really cool wand, it's designed to be used both vertically and horizontally.  It's a traditional mascara wand with a spiky sphere on the end that allows you to get to all those little baby lashes.

I bought this months ago when Benefit had a pre-release at Ulta and it's taken me this long to decide if I like it. 

The first time I used They're Real I was almost in tears.  It clumped my lashes so badly and I was rushing to go out to meet friends.  It was weeks before I was willing to give it a second chance, but I'm glad I did.

The key to this mascara (all mascaras really) is to make sure you don't have too much product on your wand.  The mascara dries to a inky black finish with a slight sheen.  As the mascara dries it shrinks, pulling your lashes up, giving you that curled lash look.  After that first time I had minimal clumping.  I have not experienced any flaking/smearing with They're Real AND I've even been successful wearing them on my lower lashes, with no smudges.

This is a good mascara, a very good mascara.  I still love my Buxom and my Cover Girl Lash BlastThey're Real offers a look that neither of them delivers on...drama.  I don't use They're Real  every day, but if I'm going out or looking for drama, They're Real is my go to mascara...for now.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cindy Sherman for MAC

Here are some of the new promotional images from MAC's new fall collection.  I was excited when I first heard about this collaboration, but when I saw these images all I could say is, WTF?!  The actual collection may be to die for, but these images are just not pulling me in.  Cindy Sherman is a gifted artist and photographer, but I'm just not getting these images.  What do you guys think?

July 2011 Birchbox

What is Birchbox? Birchbox is a membership service that delivers 4-5 deluxe size beauty samples to your door monthly. The cost is $10/month and that includes the shipping and handling. If you like what they send you, you have the option of purchasing full sizes on their website, many of them with free shipping. Membership also includes access to their website, which is loaded with beauty tutorials and the latest in beauty information. 

Last month I hinted that July's Birchbox was supposed to be something special, and special it was.  For July, Birchbox partnered with iconic designer Cynthia Rowley to create a box filled with Cynthia's personal favorite things.  This months box was a special present and opening it was a delight.

The first thing different I noticed about my box, was that it was covered in a pretty water marbled over wrap, just like gift wrap!  Inside, instead of the traditional pink tissue paper, this months goodies were wrapped in pretty turquoise tissue.  The wrappings while pretty aren't really the meat of this box though.
Inside was a beautiful nude Zoya nail polish.  It's a pretty pearled nude that actually looks good on me.  I've struggled with nude nail polish and it always gives me cadaver fingers.  Zoya's Shay had enough reflective properties to help me pull the look off.

Also included is a 1 fl oz sample of my favorite cleanser Purity.  For more on this fabulous cleanser check out my post here.  Needless to say I was quite happy to receive this travel size of my favorite cleanser.

I have been on a seemingly endless search for the perfect hand cream.  I almost found it in this months Birchbox.  It's the Ahava Mineral Hand Cream.  It absorbs nicely into my hands with a nice soft non-greasy finish.  Unfortunately it has a rather strong fragrance (not unpleasant) and due to my "real" job I have to try and stay "fragrance free".  There's also some political stuff brewing around this Israeli based company and I prefer my cosmetics to be a "political free zone".

My favorite addition to this months Birchbox is the the Redken Shine Flash 02.  This is a hair shine product that leaves an almost glossy finish to my hair.  Cynthia Rowley uses this on her models before they march down the catwalk.  I love the finish it gives my hair, it even tames those pesky baby hairs.  I do not love the stinky smell.  It quickly evaporates though and is undetectable in my hair.

Last but not least was this months "treat".  Tucked away in the box was a KIND Almond & Apricot bar.  I have seen these before at Starbucks and have hesitated to try them.  Not any more, they are yummy! This snack is loaded with nuts and fruits, but no preservatives or "hard-to-pronounce" ingredients.  Since trying this, I have purchased several of the other flavors and Almond & Apricot is my favorite.

Have any of you subscribed to Birchbox or are you thinking about it? The last two months have been great, can't wait till August's box comes!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

L'Oreal Le Gloss

Le Gloss is L'Oreals most recent introduction into the world of tube lip glosses.  I'll be honest, I've never really been a fan of tube lip glosses; they just seem messy, not that pigmented and quite frankly the colors have never really wowed me.

After seeing these pretty tubes in just about every drugstore I've been in over the last few weeks, I decided to break down and give them a try.  I took the plunge and picked up 4 tubes in Golden Splash (shimmering coral), Really Rose (creamy mauve), Watermelon (shimmering pink) and Blushing Berry (creamy berry). 

The gloss has an artificial vanilla cookie scent to it, but no flavor.  No flavor is a good thing, otherwise I find myself licking it off.  Unlike most tube glosses these are not particularly sheer,and the colors themselves are really quite pretty.  On their own they are not opaque like a lip cream, but neither are they sheer. I get about 2-3 hours of wear with these glosses.  The color wears off quickly, but they remain moisturizing for another hour or so.

The moisturizing properties of these lip glosses are probably their best attribute. Infused with omega 3, argan oil and vitamin E these glosses provide not only shine but a nice dose of moisture for your lips. I did not find these drying in anyway and most impressive of all...they are not sticky! My hair didn't get stuck to my lips once.

I like these best over lipstick. They do a nice job of giving your lip a subtle shine and dimension without breaking down the lipstick below it. 

The packaging is pretty much a miss for me.  The tubes and dispenser are your typical tube lip gloss, nothing special, but nothing bad.  The gold labeling on the package is a big fail though.  After just a few uses I found the gold rubbing off.  Not a terrible thing, but it does end up leaving you with a rather shabby looking product.

Currently there are 16 different shades available including clear. Each tube retails for around $8, less if you can find a sale. I bought mine on a BOGO 50% off.

  Would I buy again? Yes.  While they are expensive for a drugstore lipgloss they are a bargain compared to high end brands.  What about you?  Have you tried these?  Are you planning on trying these?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maison Lancome-Fall 2011 Blush

I should be ashamed, but I bought this based on the image alone.  How gorgeous is this?!  It won't be shipping till August, but it will be mine!  The whole Fall 2011 collection from Lancome is gorgeous, but the blush was a must have for me!  What do you guys think?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Milani Color Streaks

I LOVE Milani!  Their blushes are to die for.  The Liqiuif'eye liner is simply the best liner I've found (sorry Urban Decay).  The lip glosses put MAC to shame.  I really, really wanted to love or at least like the newest product in the Milani collection; Color Streaks.

  For a limited time only they have released Color Streaks, which is basically a mascara like product that temporarily colors your hair. You may remember similar products that either made your hair stiff and crunchy, oily, waxy or just didn't  work.  In fact, I remember Miss S getting some with a Barbie one year for Christmas. I wasn't hyped when I first heard about them, but hey it's Milani, it's got to be good!  They even have keratin in them and that's good, right?

No.  No. AND NO!  These suck worse then those Barbie wands Miss S got that Christmas.  They don't show up in my brunette hair, which wouldn't be to surprising, but the promo images show it on beautiful BLACK hair!  They dry stiff and clumpy. AND they stained my hand!

In the tubes the colors are gorgeous.  The multi colored glitter one had me so excited.  It had those beautiful hexagonal glitters I love so much mixed with a smaller glitter.  Unfortunately it's mixed in a black base so it's hard to see and the mascara applicator barely picks up any of the glitter.

Buy or Bust?  What do you think? I bought the pink, purple and black glitter and ALL 3 are going back to CVS.  Have you tried these yet?  I'd love to hear about your experiances!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June 2011 Birchbox-OMG! Such Awesomeness!

What is Birchbox? Birchbox is a membership service that delivers 4-5 deluxe size beauty samples to your door monthly. The cost is $10/month and that includes the shipping and handling. If you like what they send you, you have the option of purchasing full sizes on their website, many of them with free shipping. Membership also includes access to their website, which is loaded with beauty tutorials and the latest in beauty information. 

I'll be honest with you, the last couple of Birchboxes that I've received had me doubting my subscription.  Not any more!  June's box was amazing. I won't keep you in suspense, here is a picture of my Birchbox in all it's amazing glory!

In case you were wondering, yes that is a FULL SIZE Laura Geller Baked Blush N' Brighten! Oh, and that Kiehls bottle, it's full of a their brand new oil-free moisturizer.  What can I say?  This was a box of greatness!  Well at least for $10!  Remember though, each box is customized to the indivdual.  My box may be different then the one you or others receive.

This month's theme was summer travel and vacation-ready products.  I think each product was a home run and something that I or Miss S will be using on a regular basis. 

Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe is a self tanner that has a reputation for being natural looking and easy to apply (lotion is tinted for easy application).  I have wanted to try it, but at $39 for a 8 fl oz bottle I was holding off.   I haven't tried the Xen-Tan yet, but my 1 fl oz sample will be getting some good use before my next holiday!

Kiehls Ultra Facial Oil Free Lotion is a brand new addition to the well respected Ultra Facial line.  This lotion hasn't even hit the stores yet, but it's sitting on Miss S's vanity as we speak.  Poor Miss S, suffers from eczema and oily skin.  Most lotions are either too heavy or too light.  This oil free lotion is neither.  It moisturizers her skin without exacerbating either problem.  A full size bottle will cost $24.50 for 125 ml's.  The Birchbox sample was 30 ml's and after 1 weeks use, Miss S still has a good amount left.  Definitely a product I will be purchasing.

This months perfume sample was Kate Spade's Twirl.  It comes in a mini spray sample bottle thingy (it must have a real name, I just don't know it!). Twirl is a nice fruity scent that smells bright and cheerful.  A 1.7 fl oz bottle will run you $65 and the  Birchbox sample is a generous 0.05 fl oz.

Of course my favorite by far is the full size Laura Geller Baked Blush N' Brighten.  This is a four in 1 product that works with almost every skin tone.  It can be used wet or dry.  It works as a blush, bronzer, eyeshadow and/or highlighter. This has a bit more shimmer then I usually like, but I've been having a lot of fun with it.  The retail price is $29.50 and the cost of my Birchbox was only $10!  Woo Hoo! SCORE!

Last but not least are the Herban Essentials Orange Towelettes.  These are very cool, handy little germ-killing hands wipes.  They smell amazing and they don't contain any alcohol. Orange essential oil is a very effective antimicrobial and antiseptic.  A full size box contains 20 towelettes for $15 and the June Birchbox was packed with 2 of these delicious smelling hand wipes.  Goodbye germ gel!

Rumor has it that July's box is going to be even better!  I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

High End versus Drugstore Cosmetics-Is One Better Then the Other?

YES!...and NO!  How's that for an answer?  These days the line between drugstore cosmetics and high end cosmetics is blurring.  You can find a $16 single eyeshadow at Target (Jemma Kid) and with the many promotions out there, you can pick up a high end shadow for free! Price should probably not be your primary consideration anymore.  Quality and color should be the driving force. 

When it comes to color and quality, some drugstore cosmetics really stand out as being truly special and sometimes, are as good if not better then their department store counterparts. 
  • Revlon stands out ahead of the competition when it comes to lipsticks and lip glosses, though Rimmel makes some nice glosses (just not much selection). 
  • Revlon's Colorstay foundation is quickly becoming a cult favorite. 
  • Wet 'N Wild makes some outstanding eyeshadow palettes
  • Essie nail polish is now available in big box stores and their more recent releases have had some fabulous colors. 
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure is one of my new favorite nail polishes.
  • Covergirl makes some outstanding mascaras. 
  •  Milani makes one of my all time favorite eyeliners
  • NYX Cosmetics is a pretty solid line overall and definitely one worth seeking out.

Why then would anybody buy high end cosmetics?  Well, the answer is complicated.  Sometimes higher end products are better packaged.  High end cosmetics generally have a much broader color selection and often will branch out into more of the edgier trends.  High end cosmetics usually set the color trends with drug store lines usually several months behind.  Often a high end product such as Christian Dior eye shadows are just plain better then anything you will find in a drugstore.  There is also the snob appeal.  Some people simply believe that a higher price equals a better product.

The long and the short of it is, that you should be looking at both drug store lines and the high end lines.  Price does not always equate to quality (either good or bad).  Let your budget guide you.  If you are lusting after a particular color does it really matter if you bought it at Walgreens or Neiman Marcus?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Find the Best Foundation For YOU! Part IV

Finally!  You are ready to start shopping for your foundation.  I suggest a trip to your local Sephora, if you have one close by. I like Sephora better then Ulta and department store cosmetic counters when shopping for foundation. The sales associates at Sephora don't work for any one brand and they are in general, very knowledgeable about all the lines they carry. Show them your list and tell them your color, they will guide you the rest of the way.

Sephora is also very generous with the samples.  Nordstrom is one of the few department stores I have found that encourages you to sample.  I recommend narrowing your choices down to 3 or 4 different foundations. Don't be afraid, ask for samples. What may look good in the store, may not look so good 3 hours later.

If your budget doesn't allow for Sephora then I suggest hitting a local CVS, Target or Walgreens. CVS is great because they have a generous return policy. Shopping for foundation in drugstores is more difficult because they don't usually have testers like they do in Sephora or department stores. Samples are almost nonexistent in drugstores.  Finding a drug store with a good return policy is important because what looks good in the bottle may not look good on you when you get home.

A good tool to use for shopping for foundation in drugstores (and in general) is the Foundation Matrix on Temptalia.  To use the Foundation Matrix, you basically input your MAC color and then find the brand of foundation you are looking at.  The matrix will guide you to finding the best color for you.  I have used the matrix with quite a bit of success.  It's not perfect, but it really is very helpful.

Take your time choosing your foundation.  Use the samples several times, in different situations.  Don't rush to make a purchase.  Make sure you're happy with what you have chosen.  Most importantly...have fun!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bloggers Obsessions

Oh yeah!  MAC has done it.  Today in honor of all the beauty bloggers out there, MAC launched a line of cosmetics specifically designed by beauty bloggers.  MAC didn't use these bloggers as inspiration...they actually had the bloggers come to MAC headquarters and design the products.  In some cases, these bloggers spent months working with MAC to get the colors just right.
I'm excited to try the line and hope it doesn't sell out too quickly.  For now the products are available online only with shipping to the U.S. and Canada only. You can browse/purchase here.

For more information check out Temptalia.  Christine was one to the bloggers chosen to design an eyeshadow; Jealousy Wakes-a beautiful emerald green. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Find the Best Foundation for YOU! Part III

 I swear I'm not trying to make this difficult.  I'm not trying to drive you nuts, and I most certainly don't want you to give up and just say, "screw it!". I DO want you to take your time when choosing a foundation.  I don't want you to end up with multiple useless bottles of foundation cluttering your counters, drawers and medicine cabinets.

I wish it was as simple as; if you have skin type x and color y, and you want xy coverage then you need to buy foundation 2(xy). Hee hee!  I knew algebra would come in handy someday! It doesn't work that way.  Even if you are the same color as me and are looking for the exact same coverage, the foundation I'm using will likely not work for you in the same way.

 Skin chemistry is different from person to person.  Some people have trouble with their foundation oxidizing, I have almost never had that happen.  What you do during the day and where you live plays a part in the success of your foundation.  There is no one size fits all in foundation.

There are some general rules of thumb though...
  • The younger you are, the lighter your coverage should be.  If you have severe skin problems (acne), foundation will not and should not cover it.  If you have acne you need to focus on skincare not finding a foundation to hide it.
  • Oil free foundations are great for oily skin.
  • Matte coverage is good if you have problems with shine.
  • For dry skin stay away from foundations that require you to buff it in.  Buffing will only emphasize the flakes in your skin. 
  • Mature skin and dry skin needs moisture and illumination.  Look for foundations that use words such as glow and dewy.  Mature skin should in general stay away from matte formulas.
  • Foundations with SPF will often cause flashback (white face) when photographed.  If this is a concern for you, look for low or no SPF in your foundation.
  • Liquid foundations are the most forgiving formulas and usually look the most natural.
I am not a fan of powdered foundations in general.  Mineral powder foundation is an exception to this.  I do not think mineral foundation is the one size fits all solution that the cosmetic industry tries to sell it as.  It works well on young skin, normal to oily skin and relatively even skin tones.

So now you are armed with your list of of what you want from your foundation, you know what color you are and have a general list of guidelines it's time to go shopping.  Finally!

Friday, June 10, 2011

How to Find the Best Foundation for YOU! Part II

NC Versus NW (what does it mean?)

Now that you have your list of what you're looking for in a foundation, it's time to head off to your local MAC counter or PRO store.  Forget your budget for now, we're not going with the purpose of buying anything...yet.

I'm sending you to the MAC counter to find out what "color" you are.  Over the years MAC has become the standard in defining skin tone.  If you know what MAC color you are, getting the right color from any line will be a breeze.

One of my least favorite places in the world is the MAC counter on a Saturday afternoon. I suggest you go on any other day of the week, early in the morning is best. Avoid the crowds. ASK for help. Tell them you need to know what color you are. They'll know what you're talking about. Have them match you using their Studio Fix Fluid formula.

MAC breaks their foundations down into basically two different color groups  NC and NW.  This is where things get a bit confusing, but I'll try and make it as simple as I can   The C in NC stands for cool; ie cool skin tones.  The W in NW stands for warm; ie warm skin tones.  The N in both of them refers to the term neutral, but for todays lesson don't worry about that.
  • Cool skin tones are skin tones that have a blue/pink undertone.  Look at the back of your wrist, if your veins look blue, you have a cool skin tone.
  • Warm skin tones are skin tones that have a yellow/beige undertone.  The veins on the back of your wrist will look greenish if you have a warm skin tone.

BUT MAC doesn't make it that easy.  The NC (cool) foundations have a yellow undertone and the NW (warm) foundations have a pink undertone.  I know it's confusing and it all has to do with the color wheel (important when you go to buy concealer) , but all you need to remember is ...
  • NC foundations have a WARM yellow undertone
  • NW foundations have a COOL pink undertone
You will notice that after the NC or NW there is a number.  The lower the number the lighter the color.  The higher the number the darker the foundation.  That part is pretty simple. I am a NC20 in the winter and a NC25 in the summer.  What that means is, I'm warm toned and my foundation is lighter in the winter then it is in the summer. 

Here's the thing, I don't expect you to fumble around at the MAC counter trying to figure out what color you are. I do want you to understand the way the colors are organized.

 Don't worry if you like the foundation they're using, the purpose here is to determine what color you are.  The color that is right for you will have the same undertones as your skin and will disappear into your skin.  Do NOT test on the back of your wrist.  You need to test the color along your jaw line.  You need to leave the color in place for at least 30 minutes and you need to go outside with a mirror to verify the color is right.
  • test the foundation along your jawline
  • leave the color in place for at least 30 minutes
  • verify the color outside in natural light.
Once you have your color you are done.  That's it. You now know your color and you can use that information to help you find your perfect foundation.  Now I'm not saying you can't keep shopping and no one at MAC would complain if you pick up a Lipglass or two. In fact I recommend taking a look at their Surf Baby collection-very fun!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to Find the Best Foundation for YOU! Part I

Finding the foundation that works for you is a difficult task, one that we often fail at.  Many men and women struggle to find that elusive elixir that will give us smooth flawless skin.  Pick the wrong foundation though and you'll be far from flawless.
To help you find the foundation that works for you, I've created a series of posts to guide you.  Over the next several posts I'll help you find the right formula, correct color and even review the best ways to apply your foundation.

First and foremost when choosing a foundation, you need to decide what you want your foundation to do.  Not one foundation will do all things well, nor should it.  It is not fair to blame a foundation for not providing full matte coverage when it was never formulated to do so.  Be honest and reasonable in your expectations.  A good foundation can even skin tone, smooth out imperfections, blur fine lines but it won't give you the flawless skin of a Vogue cover model (that comes with Photoshop and an airbrush).

I suggest writing a list of the things you want in a foundation.  Do you want SPF?  Do you want full coverage or do you prefer to let those adorable freckles shine through?  Do you want a matte finish or a dewy glow?  Do you want a foundation that's weightless on your skin? 

Consider how much money you want to spend.  It doesn't have to be a lot, but foundation is one of those cosmetic items, that I do believe you get what you pay for.  That doesn't mean you have to invest in a high end brand, there are plenty of quality foundations available in drugstores.

Take some time when compiling your list.  Foundation is the one item of makeup that will simply make or break your look.  Your list may change throughout the year as the seasons change and that's okay.  Just as the weather changes with the seasons so does your skin.  For summer you may want a light formula, high in the SPF.  In the winter you may need more coverage and less if no SPF.  Your list will definitely change as the years go on.  If you are wearing the same foundation you were 10 years ago, it's time to reevaluate things.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

May 2011 Favorites

I can't believe how fast May has gone.  What a busy month it has been!  Spring keeps threatening to give way to Summer and then all of a sudden Winter is back again knocking on our door.  It's been hard to tell from one day to the next what season we are in.  Where the weather hasn't been reliable, I have found some products that have been.

Hair Care
Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask- Let me start off by saying I hate the packaging.  Its a tub with a big old lid you have to unscrew.  It's bulky and just not convenient.  If it weren't for the packaging this would be the PERFECT product.  It moisturizers my hair, tames all those crazy out of control baby hairs and keeps my hair shiny.  The smell is light and comforting.  I put it on in the tub and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Absolute luxury.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Hair Spray- Okay, I'll admit the name is pretty out there, but the product itself is great.  If you need a real stiff hold, this wouldn't be the hair spray for you.  If you want a gentle hold and something to keep all those fly aways under control this is it.  I love the fact you can touch your hair and not feel the hairspray.  Your hair moves naturally, but keeps it's shape.  This is really good stuff.

Skin Care

Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads-one word:  AMAZING.  These wonder pads are loaded with glycolic, salicylic, lactic, linolenic and amino acids.  This is a chemical exfoliater, but don't let the word chemical scare you, it is actually gentler then mechanical exfoliation.  Over time this product promises to reduce pore size, reduce appearance of fine lines and fade age spots.  I can testify that I have noticed an  improvement in all three, BUT that's after using for 2 months.  I didn't notice any definite changes until the last few weeks, however what I am noticing is dramatic.  To make the product last longer I cut the pads in half and store upside down.  That way every time I go to use it, the pad is fully saturated with the solution.

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant -I use this 2 or 3 times a week on the nights I don't "un-wrinkle".  You use a small amount and rub it into your face.  The texture is similar to a mud mask, but more emollient.  Make sure you only use a very thin layer (why waste?).  This is another chemical exfoliater and uses Alpha Hydroxy Acids to slough away old skin cells and debris.  My skin feels so smooth after using and my moisturizer is rapidly absorbed.


Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation-  Last month I had almost stopped wearing foundation and this month I am wearing it every chance I get.  Chanel's latest foundation formula is groundbreaking.  The formula is water based and goes on easily.  It doesn't require any special tools to apply, in fact works best when blended with your fingers.  I do dab it with a sponge in my more line prone areas to insure I don't have any creasing.  I would consider it a light to medium coverage with an almost powdery finish.  My freckles are still visible, but my skin tone is evened out.  I don't have to blot at all during the day and I have not experienced any fade out, even after 18 hours of wear.  Unfortunately there's not a lot of shade selection, but hopefully that will improve over time.