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Four Favorites: Multi-Purpose Balm

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More concentrated than most creams or lotions, these versatile salves can tackle two or more problems at once. Great to keep on your nightstand or in your handbag/gymbag these multi-purpose balms will cure – honestly – whatever ails you… soothe cracked heels, chapped knuckles, sunburn, windburn, minor scrapes, post-peel irritation, skin irritation, chafing, chapped nose, scratches, dry elbows, rough cuticles, between toes, post-wax skin, post-shave skin, dry patches, earlobes, blisters, ring fingers, tattoos, hairline prior to coloring, stretch marks. extra dewiness, tame flyaways, rebellious eyebrows, makeup mistakes and split ends. Whew!

Here are my current four favorites:

Rodial Glam Balm MULTI: A brilliant multi-use anti-aging balm that feels luxurious and solves all manner of beauty woes from flaking skin to dry knees. This cult product has been ordained “The Swiss Army Knife of Beauty Products,” for it’s wide variety of uses. The new formula “MULTI” has added the anti-aging benefits of 3D Hyaluronic Filling Spheres to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Favorite use: In-flight moisturizing mask. FULL REVIEW OF RODIAL GLAM BALM: HERE

Egyptian Magic: Living up to it’s namesake, this olive oil and honey-based balm works magic on elbows, knees and everything in between. Formulated with all-natural ingredients this magical balm has been used for centuries to care for and nourish the skin. Favorite use: a moisturizer to help extend your summer tan. FULL REVIEW OF EGYPTIAN MAGIC: HERE

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips: (Yes, you read that right…) Recommended by midwives, this balm was originally designed to relieve the dry, painful nipples associated with breastfeeding. Makeup artists discovered many other uses: hydrating skin and lips on the fly/highlighting cheek bones/eye gloss – and it soon became an industry secret. Formulated with 100% medical-grade lanolin, this balm reduces skin roughness by up to 40% in an hour. It also acts as a barrier to prevent any moisture from escaping or bacteria from entering. Favorite use: Eye cream.

The Balm – By Nieves:  This concentrated balm is made with all-natural ingredients that moisturize, heal and soothe the skin; softening coconut oil, antioxidant-rich sesame oil, calming virginia cedar, healing lavender and balancing ylang ylang. Orange extract releases an uplifting and zesty aroma and provides a healthy glow to the skin and hair. The buttery texture melts effortlessly into the skin restoring softness and elasticity immediately. Great for both man and woman, The Balm is safe to use anywhere on the body. Favorite use: Moisturize dry ends and fix fly-aways.

Tried & Tested: Dior Hydra Life BB Crème

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The BB Cream craze has officially arrived stateside. Prestige brands are now formulating their own versions of these “magical creams.”

To read more on the meaning and creation of the BB Cream, read my previous post, here.

I admit, I jumped on the BB Cream bandwagon a couple years ago. I starting with traditional Asian brands and have worked my way up to my current favorite, Dior.

The difference between traditional BB Creams and the BB Creams now available at your local counters, is color and consistency. The majority of the traditional brands offer a selection of only one or two shades, developed primarily for Asian skin tones. These shades are often very light and have greyish-undertones. Traditional BB Creams are thick in consistency and provide medium to full coverage as well as excellent sun protection, anti-aging benefits and skin-regenerating properties. The majority of the “new” BB Creams are no different than a tinted moisturizer with higher SPF. The coverage of these products can be very sheer, but most offer a better selection of shades.

Dior Hydra Life BB Crème has a thicker, full-coverage texture that is more in line with traditional BB Creams. Formulated with the Hydra Life skincare line, this cream is packed with moisturizing and age-defying benefits. The smooth velevety-texture has complexion-enhancing properties that produce a dewy, radiant glow. With SPF 30 PA+++ protection, this is a great product to reach for in the warmer months. The one caveat is, similar to traditional BB Creams, Dior Hydra Life BB Crème is available in one only shade. It is important to test this product before purchasing.

The BB Cream craze is confirmable, who wouldn’t want a single-step cream that will balance skin, correct the complexion and protect a youthful appearance?

Silicone Synopsis: Makeup Primers

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Face primers are a great way to smooth, prep and perfect the skin before applying foundation. If you have acne scars, fine lines or large pores, a makeup primer can spackle those spaces for an even coverage. However, some people can be allergic or sensitive to the main ingredient found in most makeup primers, silicone.

Silicone is a chemically derived product that sits on top of the skin to protect and keep moisture in. Any product used with that “slippery/silky” feel to it, more than likely contains some kind of silicone. To identify silicone in a product, look for Dimethicone or Methicone in the ingredient list. The general rule of thumb is that anything ending in “cone” is likely to be silicone. Opinions however, are divided as to whether silicone is indeed good or bad for the skin.

Unless you have a sensitivity to silicone and your skin reacts with break-outs or irritation, it seems quite harmless. Silicone is used in almost every product we use on the body from haircare to skincare. To immediately confirm sensitivity to silicone, notice if you breakout on your back from the hair conditioners used. Silicone is abundant in these products and can be the culprit for reoccurring back acne.

Currently, I have two favorite face primers, one silicone-based, one silicone-free. The main activities I look for in a primer are: skincare properties (I do not believe in adding another step to my daily routine – unless it is good for the skin), ability to smooth the skin and longevity.

Hourglass – Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15: This is a wonderful silicone-based primer. It applies effortlessly, smooths the skin, increases the longevity of my face makeup and gives the skin a subtly glow. It contains anti-aging benefits and restores moisture to dehydrated skin. I use this primer for “special occasions” – mostly when I am wearing a full face of makeup. I have found that mixing a small amount of this primer with your foundation produces a flawless, airbrushed-look.

Fresh – Rose Freshface Primer: This is the first silicone-free primer I have tried and now can’t live without. I use this primer on a daily basis and sometimes as my primary moisturizer. Packed with rosewater and cucumber extracts, this lightweight lotion immedietly soothes redness and evens out my skintone. It contains vitamins and botanicals that are beneficial to the skin and smells like a bouquet of roses.

I do notice a difference between the two products, in terms of skin smoothing. Silicone is currently the best ingredient for reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores. This is why the majority of  makeup primers on the market contain them. However, there are many silicone-free products on the market and I assume many more will emerge in the future.

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