I'm sure you've probably heard all about the L.A. Girl Pro HD Foundation. There's been tons of videos done and reviews form huge beauty vloggers talking about it. It looks incredibly similar, packaging wise, to the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in the pump. So since it's inexpensive, and I absolutely love foundation and concealer, I thought I'd give it a whirl.
Now I want to say that I went into this with bad expectations. I just didn't like some of the comments being made about it from these bigger names. They liked the end result but they seemed to have their issues with it. Plus I'm one of the only people who doesn't like the pro concealer from L.A. Girl. So I was a skeptic, hard core skeptic.
I got shade Porcelain, which doesn't look like a regular "porcelain" shade in no way shape or form. It has a pretty strong yellow undertone (which I prefer) but also a touch of orange I thought. So I was really worried it was gonna oxidize and be a messy disaster. Once I pumped it out though and started working with it, the color wasn't an issue. I use a brush from Morphe which is in their "Gilded" line and I think it's Y8, which is technically a contour and highlight brush but I really enjoy using it for foundation. It's dense enough so that it doesn't absorb too much product. It's more rounded instead of flat so I feel like it does a good job of applying foundaiton if you don't want to use a stippling technique. Which technically you still could but I like just buffing it or swiping it on so that my coverage isn't so intense. There are some people that use it with a Beauty Blender but they find it doesn't look as good as when you use a brush. I've not tried that method but considering I do find most Beauty Blenders sheer out any foundation and make it even more luminous, I'm pretty confident I wouldn't like it for this particular foundation.
So things I'd heard about this were that:
"It absolutely has to be set or else it transfers and slides around so easily"
"has a weird smell to it" (That's true)
"it's very wet looking"
"it feels very wet after applied"
So here's how I apply it. I used it without primer the first day. I was running late and needed to leave so I skipped primer. My skin is normal and sometimes combination for reference. I basically used one pump and that was enough for my entire face. Using the Y8 brush to apply in more swiping and then buffing motions. Stippling would be fine as well. Like I said, I don't feel like, because it's an "Illuminating" foundaiton, that a Beauty Blender would be the best bet. I feel like it would sheer it out even more and then make it super super luminous. I applied this at 9 am. I noticed that at around 6pm I had some shine. Not a ton but some. Easily fixed with a brush, blotting sheet, or dry sponge without adding more product or powder. I did set mine but not like everyone else did. I set it with my typical ride or die powder which is the Algenist Color Correcting powder. I wasn't super precise or heavy with my powder either. Just a dusting. I did notice a smell but it disapated quickly.
Now my shade is Porcelain. I didn't notice it being a super luminous foundation, keep in mind I didn't use any primer so it's not that. I only noticed the intense luminosity after around 4 hours of wear. The powder I used wasn't "mattifying" either. So I don't feel like it has a "wet" look on my skin either when first applied.
There are 16 shades including a pure white to lighten any foundaiton. A statement from the company about the product description is as follows:
"PRO.coverage high-definition long wear illuminating liquid foundation is ideal for a flawless looking, full coverage finish. Lightweight formula is comfortable for all day wear. Paraben free formula with added anti-oxidants helps hydrate and improve the skin's appearance. Now available to extend the color range even further, an innovative white foundation mixer to adjust and customize color."
Their shade range for women of color is really good I think. Since they offer the white shade it could be used to make the lightest foundation you would need if you're super pale, but you'd have to buy two bottles. Which are $10 a piece. That's not a bad price but if you're buying 2 that puts you at $20.
After 13 hours of wear I was ready to take it off because I felt greasy and just wanted to wash my face. Plus it didn't look too hot anymore after 13 hours. I've worn this pretty much every day since I've got it so maybe about 4 days. Each time I didn't use a primer ( I intended to but in general I don't use primer so why start now), and I either used my Algenist Color Correcting Powder or Too Faced Primed and Poreless Smoothing Powder to set it. My skin is typically very normal like I said, and during the day it can get a little oily. So without primer this needs to be touched up after about 4ish hours I feel, if I'm not doing anything crazy or sweating profusely. By touched up I just mean blotted or powdered a little to take away shine. I don't mean that it's moved on me or gotten patchy. So my overall thoughts about how to wear this is: avoid if you're oily, use some type of primer. Maybe you wouldn't even have to use a "mattifying" primer or a bullet proof primer just a generally good primer that holds foundation well for you. If you don't like primer I think you could probably get away with just setting this with a good setting spray. Like the Ben Nye Final Seal or UD All Nighter Spray even the Wet and Wild Setting Spray is really good so give that a try. Those steps are going to help you to avoid having to touch up or blot a lot through out the day. If that doesn't concern you than any blotting sheet, pressed powder, or even just a kabuki brush in your bag, will take away any unwanted shine. For those of you that are very dry these may be completely unnecessary steps for you in which case good for you, you can wear it and not worry about it.
So to sum this up. I really like it. I think it's a high quality, affordable, medium to full coverage (more on the full side) foundation. That would be a really good alternative for those of you who didn't like the Milani 2 in 1 Conceal and Perfect because it was too heavy, thick or intense with it's full coverage. I think this would please you. Like I said, I don't really recommend it to oily skin types. I feel like normal, combo, and dry, would do the best with this because of the luminosity. Not to say that just because it's a drugstore price that it wouldn't do well against higher end brands. As a matter of fact I like it a little better than the MUFE HD Foundation (pump) I only prefer the color from MUFE over this one. I also like it more that the Urban Decay All Nighter, the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, I could name quite a few. So what I'm getting at is this is a great affordable foundaiton with high end results.
My mom used to tell me that at Christmas people were kinder, more generous, and had more compassion. I've seen that often times. Especially this year within my own state and county. I wanted to put this post up for anyone who reads this and gets touched or moved in a way to help some special people.
I'm going to make this short and sweet my friend Rayven lost her father in 2013 suddenly, her mother Tracy has now been diagnosed with breast cancer. I know first hand at how hard it is to be really sick and also feel like you're drowning in not just medical bills but daily expenses as well. Bottom line is they need some help and a kind soul started a Go Fund Me page for them.
If you find it within your heart to donate even the smallest amount that would be awesome. I could sit here all day and explain why these are good people that have been hit with misfortune on a massive scale but I won't do that. What you need to know is these are great people, they've went through things I can't imagine going through, they came out fighting and they continue to fight. The last thing they should be worried about is bills and expenses. I don't know what I would do in their situation but I think most of us could say, placed in the same situation we would need help as well.
If you don't want to donate, then by all means pass by this post and send your thoughts and prayers. If you can't donate, then I ask you remember them often in prayer and send your love and support. This world still has decent, good, people in it. Be one of them.
To Donate please go here: Love Fights Breast Cancer
I know what you're thinking....another Argan Oil. Don't keep scrolling just here me out! Recently ActuallyOrganic asked if I would try their Pure Argan Oil, they had so much confidence that I decided...why not? Argan Oil is always so beneficial in general, I never feel like you can have too much. I've used Josie Maran Argan Oil for years. I love it. However, this is quite impressive, and less expensive.
Before I get into the actual product lets discuss why Argan Oil is the secret weapon of nature that it is. Argan Oil is a plant oil that is from the kernels of the Argan tree that is unique to Morocco. It's actually used on food. To dip bread into, or drizzle on certain dishes. We all know it more so from the cosmetic use. It's rich with essential fatty acids, and Vitamins A and B which is very beneficial to the anti-aging game. The extraction process is fascinating. The fruit from the Argan tree houses a nut inside. The nut inside the fruit has 1 to 3 kernels which is what has the Argan Oil. To extract the oil, workers will dry the fruit in open air, then pull the pulp of the fruit away from the nut. Fun fact: Moroccans feed the pulp to their animals. To get to the oil they have to crack the nut, this is still done by hand because every other method thus far has been unsuccessful. Now, for culinary usage they will roast the kernals and the crush them to get pure unfiltered oil. In cosmetics though they don't roast the kernels, to avoid the nutty smell. The oil is then set aside for two weeks so that the solid parts will settle at the bottom and the top portion is then filtered again depending on the desired purity that is needed. Moroccans actually use unroasted argan oil to treat skin diseases. In cosmetics it's basically the boss of all oils. It's moisturizing benefits being the key part but also it's effective in regards to helping with acne. It also is very beneficial to the hair. As well as being useful for healing wounds and burns and helpful for rheumatism. Another fun fact: in 2007 there were only 2 products using Argan Oil, by 2011 there were over 100. The popularity of Moroccan Argan Oil has increased so much that the Moraccan government then had to plan to increase the production of Argan Oil to possibly 4000 tonnes by 2020 annually. Which it's now somewhere around 2500. Argan Oil is sold without additives as natural skincare and hair care straight from Morocco.
Now that we've worked through that little educational section lets talk about the brand Actually Organic.
Per usual I'm going to leave a statement below from the brand itself:
"Unlike some companies, we do not add other harmful ingredients that degrade the product and result in a poorer quality product. We are an honest company that refuses to sell products with “mystery” ingredients. When essential oils are altered in this way it destroys the essence as well as the healing properties. Therefore, ActuallyOrganic is actually organic, dedicated to providing the highest quality and most powerful oils and beauty products. We, at ActuallyOrganic, refuse to carry essential oils that have been diluted, altered, or artificially changed, and beauty products that are not food or plant-based. Heal your hair and skin with nutrients, not chemicals."
As of right now ActuallyOrganic only has Argan Oil but they will soon be expanding into many more products that will be equally as clean and organic as this. I enjoy watching them evolve. I enjoy watching any good company evolve but especially those who are dedicated to making the current product the best and then moving on once they've accomplished that. Which is what I feel they do. They devote their time and energy in producing an amazing oil and focus on that because they want their customers to have the best that they can give. You have to respect that. Most companies jump in and produce several products all at once therefore their focus is then divided between each with none of them being the center of attention. Leaving all the products then lacking in some area somewhere usually. Not ActuallyOrganic, this is their baby, their pride and joy if you will. Their Argan Oil is as clean as you can really make it, I would think.
"No Rancid Smell. No other oils mixed in. No Fragrances to cover up poor quality. This is not synthetic Argan Oil. No preservatives and No Chemicals. No Heat - Cold Pressed. Only Pure Argan Oil."
"Body, Hair & Face Treatment. Restores elasticity, softens wrinkles and fine lines, heals dry scalp, and restores nutrient content to skin cells treating an array of skin conditions. Argan oil can nourish and moisturize, eliminating scaly, flaky skin, and has been found to help with skin conditions."
It actually turns out that just because something says organic, it doesn't necessarily mean it's pure or even that good.
We've discussed Argan Oil at length I feel, but I want to drive home this point that I learned first hand. There are so many people that are terrified of oil, of any kind, to put on their face. Even people that have super dry skin. I was the same way. However, my skin turned around when I actually started using Argan Oil, it was the first oil I'd ever used. It evened out the oil production in my skin. I was kinda on the oily side but Argan Oil actually balanced that out and now my skin type is typically normal. According to some studies at least 80% of people who use Argan Oil notice a change in their skin's hydration. As well as a reduction in wrinkles and fine lines around the eye area. Which if you think about it, it makes sense because hydration and moisture plumps the skin and fills in those lines and wrinkles. It's like consuming the right amount of water each day. Not only is it super beneficial for your health over all but your skin changes drastically as well because the hydration plumps the skin and makes fine lines less noticeable.
So for those of you with dry skin types I definitely encourage you to try one. Even with combination to oily I still recommend you trying this oil.
I've used this and it's amazingly good. It has a pump instead of a dropper which I tend to appreciate more. I don't feel it necessary to continue purchasing Josie Maran Argan Oil when this is on the market for less and just as good if not better. In that respect there's not much left to say other than it does the job like it's supposed to, it's a staple or should be in every skin, body and hair care routine, so what are you waiting for?
Here's some places where you can follow them.
Also hashtag them with #ActuallyOrganic
You can purchase them on Amazon.
The 1 oz is $11.99
The 2 oz is $15.99
The 4 oz is $23.99
For reference a Josie Maran Argan Oil (I'm using it, because it's the most well known) is $16 for .05 oz, $48 for 1,7 oz, and $96 for 4 oz. Now, I don't want you to think I'm bashing on the Josie Maran Oil, it's very good I'm just saying this is equally as good and less expensive if you're looking for a better deal. Which we all are aren't we?
**This post was sponsored**
Recently, I got to try a serum with Neurophroline in it from Reviv Serums. Neurophroline is an extract from Wild Indigo, who's scientific name is Tephrosia purpurea, it was used in Ayurvedic skin care which if you've not read my posts about that, is ancient skincare from India. More specifically this is an extraction from the seeds of the plant which has very unique benefits to skin care. Actually it's shown it's capable of breaking down cortisol production and calming the skin thus improving skin tone within a couple of weeks. I can say that, that is true. I have used this for just under two weeks and there is a visible difference. I went in as a hard core skeptic too.
I was super happy with my skincare routine as it was. I had added an AHA and a Retinol and started being more diligent with my Vitamin C. As well as doing Microdermabrasion once a week. So when this came about I thought that it would be nice as a moisturizer but not that it would make the difference that it did. In which, I'm happy to say that I was wrong. I'm also happy to say that I'm very impressed.
As always I'm going to include a statement for the brand about the product:
"HA7X: THE latest in dermal science
A multi-dimensional approach to the application of topical hyaluronic and rejuvenating complexes, this first-of-its-kind dermo-biotech serum combines 7 forms of hyaluronic technologies with a new, pioneering molecule from Givaudan(R) Active Beauty (a recent 2016 Gold Award winner), to deliver visible hydration, protection, plumping, smoothing, rejuvenation, and recovery from the skin's surface down to subcutaneous levels."
So this is a product that's going to protect the skin from free radicals as well as hydrate and plump the skin, improve skin tone and so on. I'm going to leave a link to a short video about the product here.
If you've heard of the SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator this is incredibly similar by housing 29 of the same ingredients as well as going a step further and adding 2 other key ingredients SkinMedica's product didn't have which was the Neuroprophaline and new hyaluronic technologies which makes it a total of 7.
If you're wondering Hyaluronic Acid is a natural molecule in the body that lubricates. It's highest concentration in our body is found in our joints and in our eyes. It can used as medicine or injection for those who have joint disorders, it's often used in eye surgeries, and some people even use it topically to heal wounds or burns etc. It can also be injected as lip filler. The kind that is injected, taken by mouth, etc, is either lab created or extrated from rooster combs. It's been around for a long time as an anti aging benefit for skincare. So there's some fun facts about that.
Back to Neurophroline:
It won the 2016 Gold Award for Best New Ingredient at in-Cosmetics Paris. It was developed by Givaudan SA. Like I said earlier it can brakdown or block the production of cortisol which is the number one stress hormone. It's also said to promote the release of endorphins and thus make you feel more relaxed and calm. It also has super fast results in improving redness, skin tone, luminosity and so on. Which again like I said earlier I have to agree with.
Here's a bit about the brand Reviv Serums.
They're located in San Fransisco, they specialize in new clinical treatment serums. Basically always striving to find something better and more effective for our skin and hair. That's right Pinky, they aren't just trying to take over the skincare world but also the hair care world. What I like about them is they developed a business around producing products that were either as good as or better than in office procedures or clinical grade products that were often times way too costly and formulated these products better and more cost efficient without having to leave your home. Through their research they found that a lot of skin care used in clinics was sometimes not very effective but also contained ingredients that were not that expensive so the price was then, in my eyes, unwarranted and unnecessary. They've produced some amazing products along the way like the RevivHair and RevivLash stimulating serums. So the success and results of their products speak volumes for the company itself.
So my final thoughts about the serum, is I'm very happy to include it into my daily regimen. Especially with seeing what I think is quite an improvement in not just the look of my skin but also the texture in such a short amount of time. For me this actually replaced the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel which is $52 and also the Caudalie Grape Water that I used just before that which is $22. Also I use it at night as well just as an additive, which technically I'm sure it could replace my moisturizer at night as well. So while this product is $89, for the benefits that you're getting and the quick results I think it's worth it completely.
You can find the HA7X Serumhere.
Also they were kind enough to offer a giveaway. Five lucky readers will get a full-sized package of new HA7X Serum, an $89 product. Entrants are limited to those of you located in United States and Canada (Except Quebec).
This is a before and after picture. The left side being before and the right being 10 days later. I actually had no plans of taking the after picture that quickly I just noticed that my skin looked a lot better so decided to take the pic. I had originally intended to take it at the 14 day mark. Now why this is impressive to me, is because blemishes or anything on my face that needs to heal takes weeks to go away. That's without me messing with them or picking at them and doing all I know to speed up the recovery process. You'll see I had some blemishes that had just popped up the day before and normally it would take close to a month for those to go away and they were gone in probably under 10 days but 10 days for sure. Plus I feel like I had even less redness and also that my dark circles didn't look as noticeable. This was taken in front of the same window, at the same time of morning, and before I had used any products from my skin care routine in the mornings. So nothing is on my skin. I literally woke up like that both times. (get it? did you catch that #beyonce #flawless line right there? No? ok. )
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For the past month, literally 4 weeks, I've been using the PMD Personal Microderm and Regeneration System. You may be wondering what in the world I'm talking about, so thus let's go over ALL the details about this.
First, Microdermabrasion is a non invasive (meaning "not requiring the introduction of tools into the body") procedure that uses tiny crystals to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells on the skins top layer. This is typically an "in office" service. So you'll see this offered at spa's or dermatologist offices. This is a buffing and polishing type machine that uses a interchangeable tip on it and also has a suction effect to suction in the loose skin cells along with other benefits. Fine lines, clogged pores, large pores and uneven pigmentation are said to benefit from these treatments as well. Like I said this is typically offered as an in office service, and usually you need about 6-10 treatments (from what I've read that's the average they suggest). The norm from what I've seen of cost per treatment is usually more than $100. Maybe a little less if you can do a package, if they offer that. So that's a lot of money when you think of how many treatments you'd need to have. These tools range from $159 to $204, which includes discs and can include some skin care as well depending which one you get. This tool can be used for men and women. With the results I've seen I'm super impressed. I've also never been this proud of my skin's condition. I'm so pleased with how it looks and I will continue to use this for quite a while or as long as my skin needs it. It's helps me with my pictures for my makeup as well. I always had a lot of texture that showed in pictures and now I don't have hardly any. It's really worked wonders for me personally and it's something I can do myself and not have to go to an office or spa for. Which saves money.
This is an at home, professional results, powerful tool. I'm going to leave a direct statement from the company about the device.
"The Personal Microderm combines the power of Patented Spinning Disc Technology with a Perfectly Calibrated Vacuum Suction to brighten, smooth, and even skin tone and texture. The Personal Microderm reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes, and enlarged pores. After a treatment, makeup goes on smoother and skin care penetrates significantly deeper – 20X deeper."
This is the Microderm Classic it comes with a white disc initially so you can see what it feels like and train with, but you could use it on the skin as well if you had ultra sensitive skin. It also comes with 6 other discs. Two of each color, each color representing how abrasive it is or what skin type it's for. So the grey disc is for very sensitive skin, blue is for sensitive skin, and the green is for normal skin. The farther away from sensitive skin you get the more abrasive the tip becomes. There are small discs and large discs. The small ones you use on your face, the larger ones can be used on your body (said to be very good for stretch marks). It also comes with two classic suction caps. One with a smaller opening for the facial discs and then one with a larger opening for the body discs. The caps provide the suction, which is like a vacuum suction pretty much. The suction not only sucks in the dead skin cells you loosened but, it also increases blood flow to the surface of the skin. It increases circulation and triggers the body's healing process which then builds collagen and elastin which makes the skin look visibly firmer. With most at home tools you don't get the suction benefit like you do with this one. Which is one reason why this is so different.
Now once you've used the tool and got rid of the dead skin cells that was smothering your skin, your skincare will penetrate deeper and work better for you. Which is where the Regeneration System comes into play. I personally like using the actual skincare system they sell with this instead of my regular skin care when I use the Microderm. That could just be me though. I use this once a week. Like I said it's been 4 weeks. I can definitely tell you that it works and that I'm a fan. Everything about it from the tool itself to the skincare is really really good and has noticeable results.
I have pretty normal skin. I don't have very many breakouts. My main issue has been texture problems from dry areas on my face. I still had texture even with using my Foreo Luna to really clean deep. While that did help, it wasn't enough. Even using super hydrating products didn't help either. So when I had the opportunity to try this I was thrilled. Also, I'll be 29 next month and I have started to notice some fine lines around my eyes. So that combined with my texture issues had me rip, roaring and ready to go with this. I also tend to have large pores but that wasn't a major concern for me as much as the other stuff.
The first thing I will tell you is READ THE DIRECTIONS AND WATCH THE TUTORIAL. I will link thetutorial so you can watch it for yourself. I tried just reading the directions and doing it and I made some mistakes. Like I didn't have the right cap on (dummy) and then wasn't careful enough to not go over one area too much because it can become raw and irritated, which also happened to me. It's my own fault though I wasn't paying close enough attention.
So to use this you first need to cleanse the skin. I use the PMD Advanced Soothing Cleanser because it really preps the skin and keeps it from getting irritated. After that I use the Microderm. Now, what you're supposed to do is pull the skin tight and make strokes in an upwards motion. Not passing the same area more than twice. I only pass an area once though. This is where you need to pay attention so you know not to go over an area that you've already went over before. The skin will be suctioned like a vaccum, so really all I feel is the suctioning not necessarily the dermabrasion. I started with the white disc first, then quickly went to the one for sensitive skin and used it twice and then finally went to the blue disc which is still for sensitive skin but has a stronger abrasion. After I'm done with the tool itself I rinse off any lingering dead skin. I then immediately use the Calming Neuro Neutralizing Toner. This helps with any discomfort or irritation you may feel, evens out texture and skin tone and also takes care of any lingering flakes you may have. After that I use their Professional Recover Moisturizer. This also helps soothe and also heals the skin. It keeps the skin hydrated, smooth and also helps with anti-aging. The skin care products are all fragrance free as well. They can be used on their own everyday if you want. The Microderm is supposed to be used every 6-7 days but I've seen some people use it only every 10 days.
My skin felt a little uncomfortable the first two times right after I had used it and then the next morning. However, after the 3rd time and then even the 4th with the moderate abrasion disc I didn't really feel much discomfort at all. The little sensitivity I did feel was gone as soon as I used the toner and the moisturizer. Which I why I say use their skin care system for this. Keep in mind every skin type is different so that will be the deciding factor on what disc you should use. They offer more than just the ones I mentioned. I recommend that you definitely start with the lightest abrasion and then go up from there. I almost went for the moderate one first because my skin is normal and not sensitive. I'm very glad I didn't though because I made some mistakes and also my skin had to adjust to this new type of exfoliation. So start with white because it will work trust me and then go from there. Test it on your hand first and with every new disc I run it over my hand a few times to get that top layer on the tip ready to use on my face. Each disc can be used 2 times depending on how aggressive you are. You can buy replacement discs and they aren't super expensive either. I use a light hand with this I don't press down on the skin because the suction brings the skin to the tip anyway so there's no need in potentially irritating your skin even more by pressing way to hard. Don't use this under your eyes / above you cheek bones because the skin is much thinner there and can break easily. Don't use this if you're using prescription skin care or under the care of a dermatologist. Always ask you're dermatologist first before you start something as powerful as this anyway.
PMD is actually a company that was built around beauty bloggers, and youtubers and their experiences through using this tool. Microdermabrasion dates back to ancient Egypt when they used sandpaper to exfoliate the skin. The first actual microdermabrasion tool was introduced in 1985 in Italy. It wasn't introduced into the states until 1990. In 2003 the Microderm was patented and the first at home, hand held microdermabrasion professional grade tool. It's also been proven to be as good as a 10k physicians dermabrasion machine with a study that showed 7 different patients who used it for 12 weeks and 15 times and had the same results at home as the results that came in office. They produced these without any financial backing. They made 1800 and sent 500 to "mommy" bloggers as a form of marketing and PR. Which worked amazingly well for them. From there, testimonials flooded in and word spread about new found confidence and life changing skin transformations. Which brings us here, today and they are quite popular and for a very good reason obviously.
**Keep in mind, please, that this is a powerful professional grade tool and can be irritating to the skin. It may not be something you need right yet. Especially if you're in your teens or early 2o's and have no texture issues or the other issues this addresses. You don't want to do too much to the skin and damage it if it's not exactly something your skin can benefit from or doesn't need right now.**
For more info on the PMD Microderm devices that they offer and skin care you can visit their website here.
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I'm sitting here eating a fudgeround for breakfast....just thought you may want to know. It's good too. Moving on....
As you may or may not know Makeup Geek, Queen Marlena, has blessed us with highlighters. Officially part of their permanent line and there are colors for everyone plus Duo Chromes as well. Which you know that what I was going for. There are 13 highlighters all together (not including the Kathleen Lights palette that may still be available) 7 regular highlights and 6 duochromes. These come in at 7g/ 0.25 oz for $20. Which to give you some reference the Becca Skin Perfectors are .28 oz for $38 and Urban Decay highlighters are .23 oz for $26. I gave you those two as reference because I feel formula wise these feel alot like those, which in my opinion is very soft. So while I think this is their highest priced item they have in the brand the quality and quantity is really good as always with them. So if you're willing to pay $38 for Becca why don't you save some money and try Makeup Geek instead. They also have bundles as well for each complexion, where you get 3 highlights for $48 (which is the better deal obviously), the only bummer is you can't choose your shades. I think you get a duochrome in every bundle though.
Like I said these are soft so they're easily broken. Keep that in mind if you're gonna pack them to take with you or whatever. Try not to drop them. Also Marlena put out a video on the launch of these which I will link here, and I remember her saying something about the top layer almost having a "film" over it so to rub your finger across it to get that off. I didn't have to do that with mine, they were just fine but just remember that if you're having some issues. She also said she made these to be "buildable" and not overly intense when first applied. The duochromes I feel are more pigmented when you apply them first. I use a small but dense tapered brush to apply highlight though so naturally it's going to pick up more product than say a fan brush. The regular highlight seems to have the "buildable" quality like she said. The duochromes can be built up, I'm just saying that you may not need to because I think they're pretty heavily pigmented in the beginning anyway.
I have 4 shades. Which are 1 regular and 3 duochromes. I didn't really need regular highlighters and I was still on the hunt for really good duochrome highlights so thus I have 3 from MUG.
The shades I have are:
Celestial which is a neutral base with a violet or lavender shift
Moonphase which I feel is an Ivory base with a blue or teal shift
Lit which is a warm ivory with a peachy pink shift
Glitz which is a cool toned almost silverish pale pink highlight
The three duochromes are Celestial, Moonphase and Lit of course. The regular one being Glitz.
My favorite by far is Lit and then probably Celestial. Moonphase is nice as well but the blue shift throws me off sometimes. Glitz came in a bundle so I didn't choose it. I'm not one to use pink highlights but this is nice as a blush topper and as a highlight as well I just usually prefer something more Ivory or neutral. The duochromes are pigmented but the duochrome is hard to catch on the face. Especially in pictures. In real life you can see it if you catch the light just right but it's not super noticeable which I tend to like because often times that's what makes them unwearable. I feel like Lit and Celestial especially are super wearable because unless you really pack it on your only going to see subtle hints of their duo chrome shifts.
As I said earlier there is something for everyone which includes duochrome as well as regular highlight. From the palest of skin tones to the deeper ones. I have the ones for pale skin obviously. I really love Makeup Geek for the simple fact that they do their best to include everyone and every skin tone in their brand. Unfortunately in makeup brands it's very limited for some skin tones esepcailly if you're very pale or a deep skin tone. Makeup Geek does a really good job catering to eveyone though not just with highlighters with everything they've put out thus far.
So I'm going to try and do swatches, but the duochrome may be hard to catch but I will try my hardest to get pictures of the duochromes for you.
So from top of my wrist down in both pictures its:
I tried my best to get catch the duo chrome shifts in them. They get more noticeable the more you layer them. Which again is something I like but if you don't want to layer the product to get a beaming efect (which I don't like layering product either) then you may not like these.
I'm wearing Lit here but as you can see it's not overly noticeable also light isn't shining directly on my cheek either. However, just so you know it is everyday wearable for sure.
As of late I've really been changing up my products but more improtantly adding products to my skin care routine. I'll be 29 next month so I really wanted to be more aggressive with my skin care. Which before was:
In the mornings:
maybe some rose water spray
Cleanser w/ Foreo Luna
Antioxidant Soothing Spray/Toner
Night cream or sleeping facial
Now my morning routine includes:
Cleansing or Bioderma at least
Vitamin C Serum
Anti Oxidant Oil/Serum
My night time is:
Foreo Luna with cleanser
Lactic Acid lotion
a gentle retinol
CoQ10 night cream
I've added in quite a bit and also taken out most things that have "fragrance (parfum)/perfume" listed in the ingredient deck. Now that won't always be the case since I review a lot of skin care for my blog but in general day to day this is how I choose to do my skin care right now.
Also I've added in some different steps that I don't do every night, one being microdermabrasion (at home with the PMD) and the second being facial massage which is why we're here. I wanted to talk about facial massage because I find it quite interesting.
So facial massage is nothing new it's been around for what seems like ever. It was introduced into the US in the 19th century. Some of you may have heard of it by the term "Face Yoga".
Anyway, facial massage has several benefits. Instant face lift being one of those. If you're applying your moisturizer the way you've been taught or instructed, then you know to always work products into the skin in an upward motion. So you're already doing a form of facial massage right there. We go upwards because gravity naturally makes the skin sag over time and this keeps it lifted for longer or at the very least we aren't helping gravity any by pulling it downward.
I personally like facial massage for the fact that it helps get extra fluid (which is what makes your face look puffy) out. So your face looks slimmer working that extra fluid out of the muscles in the face. So what I mean by that is you have a lot of lymph nodes around the face right under the jaw and chin. They have what is called "lymph fluid" which is a fluid that moves through the muscles and eliminates toxins. Without it the toxins build up. There has to be muscle movement for the "lymph fluid" to travel into the lymph nodes and thus get filtered into the blood stream which then eliminates the toxins in the body. Along with eliminating toxins, regular facial massage brings in oxygen to the muscles which has an anti aging advntage. Along with that, it increases blood flow to those muscles and helps produce collagen and boost your glow. So for those reason's alone it's good enough to convince me.
Along with those major benefits, if you happen to be majorly stressed (who isn't these days) facial massage can not only help the tension and help you relax, but can help smooth lines in your forehead. You know when you get stressed or angry and you furrow your brows and you get those lines. Then the lines decide to become more prominent due to constant stress. Regular facial massage eases the muscles that are tense and tight while also flattening those lines and lessening the appearance of them.
Now before you cut loose on massaging your face there's some points to remember:
Use an oil or moisturizer to not cause irritation or pulling of the skin.
Don't massage your face if your skin has irriations on it already, just let it rest.
Make sure your hands are clean.
Drink plenty of water.
Depending on your skin type, age and so on you may only need to do facial massage once a month or every 2 weeks. I personally do a little bit everyday when I'm applying my oils at night or moisturizer in the morning. I really like doing it in the morning. I just use massage techniques to work products into the skin and I focus somewhat on the areas that help push out toxins so that my face looks less puffy and slimmer. I do the full sha-bang probably every two weeks which includes the tapping, the temple massage, the forehead and sinus area. Which actually is another great thing, if you have some congestion you can massage the sinus area to hopefully help move some of that congestion out. Of course talk with a doctor as well, since you may need antibiotics if it's a sinus infection. I use a medium to harder pressure when I work on the areas that can eliminate toxins. I don't hurt myself mind you but I make sure to use a pretty decent pressure so I'm really working and kneading those muscles. Also I find that it's the best way to get the most out of my skin care products. I use them during my facial massage so I'm getting the added benefits of the massage and then also making sure my skin care if really being pushed and absorbed into the skin and not just sitting on top of it, feeling heavy and weird.
Now I'm not going to begin to try and explain in words how to massage your face correctly so I'm going to insert some links for tutorials for you to watch that might be helpful. Which is what I done.
This is a cool video of a Celebrity Aesthetician (Nerida Joy) that shows different techniques of facial massage. She has plenty of other videos as well. I like how she explains things and busts some myths.
I actually go by this detoxing and stimulating DIY at home facial massage (Facial Yoga) video by Annie Jaffrey. She clearly states that she isn't an expert so keep that in mind. but I think she does a really good job and I use her techniques very often. I really like watching her video because it's easier for me to mirror or replicate the same moves she does on her own face, rather than watching it being done to someone who is lying down. If that makes any sense at all.
I'm also going to leave some articles that will tell you more about facial massage if you want to learn more.
InStyle Magazine http://www.instyle.com/beauty/facial-massage-better-skin
Reader's Digest http://www.rd.com/health/beauty/benefits-of-massage/
I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.
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