Blog Archives

Winter Skin Woes: Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream

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kate

Does your skin get dull and lifeless with the change in weather? If so, illuminate with IllumiKate – Kate Somerville’s new CC Cream. This multifunctional tinted complexion correcting cream instantly minimizes the look of imperfections with buildable coverage. Broad spectrum SPF 50+ protects skin from the sun’s harmful rays while known brightening agents Arbutin, Licorice Extract and Natural Amino Acids help improve and even out skin tone for more luminous, younger-looking skin over time.

  • Provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50+ / PA+++ sun protection
  • Albatin, Licorice Extract, and naturally occurring Arbutin help to brighten the appearance of discoloration
  • Moisturizing Sodium Hyaluronate minimizes water loss and improves the appearance of skin
  • Chicory Root Extract helps to improve the integrity of the skin’s natural barrier function

IllumiKate is a little thicker than your everyday face lotion and is extremely moisturizing. It blends well and offers light coverage with minimal build-ability. The dewy, “luminous” finish truly wakes-up the skin and provides  healthy, fresh looking skin. There are  five shades of IllumiKate, ranging from Extra Fair to Medium, so this product might not work on deeper skin tones.

If your winter skin needs an instant pick-me-up, try Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream.

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Summer Must-Have: Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder

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lmbaked

Summer is all about bronzed, glowing skin. The only product needed to achieve this is Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder. Available in four bronzing colors and one highlight, one is able to mimic the sun’s rays without the damage.

  • Highlight 01 – Golden nude
  • Bronze 01 – Fair to light skin tone
  • Bronze 02 – Light to medium skin tone
  • Bronze 03 – Medium skin tone
  • Bronze 04 – Tan to deep skin tone

Titled “Matte Radiance Baked Powder,” this product is far from the stark matte bronzers of the past. Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder warms-up the skin revealing a healthy glow. No glitter or shimmer but a beautiful glowing sheen.

The ultra-smooth formula provides natural color with absolutley no orange tinge. The modern, multidimensional matte finish reveals a hint of soft luminosity and the sheer, buildable coverage lets you customize your glow.

Easy to apply, these bronzers leave skin looking naturally radiant. Coming from a bronzing addict – this is the most natural finish and color-range I have experienced. It instantly warms up the face and creates healthy looking skin.  Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder is my in my top 10 Summer Must-Haves for 2013.

Fresh-Faced: YSL Creme de Blush in Baby Doll

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baby

The Yves Saint Laurent Arty Stone Collection for Spring 2013 is a gorgeous collection filled with bold spring colors. To top it off, the collection is all worn by Ginta Lapina, the label’s ambassador for this season.

Taking its inspiration from warm, precious jewel tone pigments, Lloyd Simmonds, Creative Director Make-up Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, describes as:

“Pink quartz, amethyst, pyrite, malachite, azurite, jade, each possesses a hypnotic beauty. When you hold them in your hands, these precious stones diffuse energy and light, like galaxies. Their crystalline purity and voluptuous opalescence were the departure point for the creation of the Spring Look 2013 for Yves Saint Laurent.”

This collection features three new Creme de Blush: 7 Rose, 8 Brown, 9 Pink (Baby Doll Pink). These blushes are very unique. They apply and blend like a cream but set to a powder finish. However, the finish is luminous, radiant and healthy looking. Incredibly easy to apply, this product feels like silk, ensuring a seamless result. The lightweight, mousse-like and non-waxy texture does not break-up makeup, and can be layered for higher color payoff.

Baby Doll is my current favorite. It looks very pink in the pot – almost neon, however, when blended, creates the perfect flushed cheek. Swoon. Apply with a light hand for a subtle effect or a heavy-hand for a statement look. Baby Doll really makes the skin look fresh and healthy.

Suggested application: Using fingertips, gently apply to the apples of the cheeks, blending up and outward toward the hairline. Gently tap into the skin for flawless blending.

Skin Rehab: Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10)

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Get glowing, healthy-looking skin instantly with one swipe of Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10). This one-step, daily peel gently exfoliates the skin delivering a powerful dose of protective antioxidants to help prevent visible signs of aging.

The Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10) is formulated with 10% Citric Acid (antioxidant found in citrus fruits) to exfoliate dead skin cells, neutralize free radicals, and help prep skin for moisturizer and serum absorption. With no rinsing or recovery time required, the result is impossibly smooth skin with improved texture and tone.

Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10) is an amazing rehab for the skin. Gentle enough for everyday use, this peel provides the instant gratification of glowing skin after every use.

The product comes with a  jar containing 36 pads (+1 test pad), and a bottle of solution. When ready to start the regime, pour the solution over the pads and let it soak in. Then begin to use one pad over the face (can also be used on hands, neck and chest) each morning, or as tolerated. Skincare and makeup can be applied immediately after. There is no rinsing, waiting period, stinging, drying or flaking.

In a clinical study, 100% of participants reported healthier looking skin, smoother texture and a more even tone after just one use.

“The skin is constantly shedding and renewing itself. Failure of old cells to slough off leads to a dull, more aged appearance to the skin. This peel is an innovative way to incorporate gentle exfoliation and antioxidant protection into your daily routine with one easy swipe. It’s formulated by the dermatologists who created the original glycolic peel, and utilizes 10% Citric Acid to scavenge damaging free radicals brought on by environmental exposure and help prevent future signs of aging. I recommend using it between office visits to help refine skin texture, smooth fine lines, even skin discoloration, and help diminish the appearance of acne scars and environmental damage.” -Dr. Julie K. Karen, a board certified dermatologist who currently practices at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of NY.

What are AHAs – Alpha-Hydroxyacids?

AHAs are a group of naturally ocurring acids, many of which are found in fruits (hence “fruit-acids”). AHAs are used to help improve a variety of skin disorders including xerosis (dry skin), acne, ichthyosis, seborrheic keratoses and psoriasis. They also improve pigmentary disorders and symptoms of photo-aging; such as fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, skin laxity and dullness.

AHAs penetrate the dead surface cells of the skin, loosening the molecular bonds that attach them to the underlying tissues. The loose cells slough off, exposing newer skin.

The following are the 5 major types of alpha-hydroxy acids found in skincare products and their sources:

  • glycolic acid – sugar cane
  • lactic acid – milk
  • malic acid – apples and pears
  • citric acid – oranges and lemons
  • tartaric acid – grapes

About Citric Acid:

Citric acid is a substance that is found naturally in citrus fruits. It is a powerful antioxidant that can improve the health of skin cells. It stimulates collagen production, fights and protects from free radicals, has skin lightening properties, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of scars.

Sun-Kissed Favorites: Bronzing Powders

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Bronzing Powders. The most purchased item in my collection. Used to create the illusion of sun-kissed skin without lying in the sun. Not only are they easy to apply, but they conceal, even-out skintone and create a more toned/sculpted appearance.

Bronzing powders should be placed strategically on the areas that would be naturally “kissed” by the sun: the forehead, bridge of nose, tops of cheeks, and chin. Take what’s left on the brush and blend onto the neck and décolleté so there is no line of demarcation. Bronzer should be transluscent. The brush that you use will make a big difference in your application: denser, shorter hairs will pick up more pigment than looser, longer hairs. (Favorite: Bobby Brown Bronzer Brush).

Over-applying or picking the wrong shade will result in looking like Snookie. Everyone can wear bronzer, fair or dark skin, it’s just about knowing which shade works best for you. When picking out a bronzer, go about two shades deeper than your natural coloring, or choose a shade that is close to the color your skin naturally turns in the sun. Stay away from products that are frosted or have orange undertones, they will look artificial.

Matte and semi-matte bronzers ONLY! Matte bronzers look more natural than glitter or frosted products. Especially for contouring purposes, matte products are a must. (How-To Contour: Here) A small about of sheen/glow is okay, however, apply with a light hand. If you want the shimmer or highlight, add separately with a highlighting product.

FAVORITES:

Disclosure: I am constantly changing bronzers, daily. I have yet to find the “holy grail”, but will continue to search high and low. The favorites I have chosen are the products I reach for the most and believe to be universally flattering.

Laura Geller Bronze-n-Brighten: This is a great product for correction purposes. The multi-colored, baked layers provide redness relief and an even skintone. The “bronzing” layers add a lasting glow to the skin.

Bobby Brown Bronzing Powder: The universal bronzer. Available in seven shades for a wide range of complexions, this bronzer will suit anyone. The long-lasting formula is extremely smooth and silky and applies seamlessly.

Guerlain ‘Terracotta-Four Seasons’ Bronzer: Guerlain is considered to be the “ultimate bronzing authority”. With many great products to choose from, the Terracotta-Four Seasons can be used all year long. The idea is to blend the four colors together in different variations to reach your desired color for every season.

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Faux Tan & Warmth All-Over Face Color: Both of these powders are my most reached for bronzers. Quick and easy, these bronzing powders bring “life” to the skin. Use separately to create healthy-looking skin in seconds. Mix them together for a radiant “sun-goddess” look.

Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Moisturizing Bronzing Powder: When my skin is looking a bit dull or flat, this is the bronzer I use. It produces a nice glow on the skin and the color is very subtle. This is the most natural looking bronzing powder I have used.

Honorable Mentions:

NARS Laguna: I have a love/hate relationship with this bronzer. Sometimes it looks amazing and other times it just looks dirty.

Too Faced Caribbean in a Compact in Sun Bunny: Great color, too much shimmer. This is a great product to use on chest/legs and décolleté.

QUESTION?

What are your favorite bronzing powders?

Bronzing Oil: Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

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Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

Summer is all about healthy-looking skin. The quickest way to fake this is with Terracotta Hulle De Voyageur Nourishing Dry Oil. This luxurious bronzing oil hydrates the skin and imparts a short-term glow.

The non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula is made primarily of Argan oil to hydrate the skin. Tiny specks of gold and mother-of-pearl provide subtle color and shimmer. Skin is left nourished, smooth and luminous.

The scent is a hypnotic blend of Tiare flower that perfumes the skin of jasmine. It smells rich and exotic, coating the skin for hours.

Guerlain’s Terracotta line uses a Tan Booster technology that prolongs a tan. It also uses Roucou, a reddish-brown vegetable pigment that has been used throughout the ages to intensify color day after day.

This is a great quick-fix bronzing oil, as it washes off with simple soap and water. Tip: Let the product dry completely, as some color will transfer.

Easy Exfoliating: Origins Ginger Body Scrub

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Origins Ginger Body Scrub

Want softer, healthy-looking skin…Exfoliate!

Your body is covered by a layer of dead skin cells. No matter how often you moisturize, these creams and lotions will not be able to penetrate the epidermis of the skin without sloughing away these dead skin cells.

A body scrub is made up of granulated particles that deeply clean the skin and unclog pores. These products single-handedly remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil. They also stimulate the skin and promote blood circulation which has been used to help with cellulite and even boost immunity.

Once you have removed the barrier of dead skin cells creams and lotions will be readily absorbed by the skin.

Origins Ginger Body Scrub is made with dead sea salts and ginger zest. This invigorating scrub smells delicious and removes all traces of roughness on the skin. It also contains moisterizing properties like Macadamia Oil, Soybean Oil, Jujui Nut Oil and Sweet Almond Oil.

When using a body scrub, gently rub all over body in circular motion and rinse off. The amount of pressure used is up to you. When having a scrub procedure done at a day-spa, they use an immense amount of pressure that can be slightly painful – but totally worth it. Don’t be afraid to work up a little sweat when applying. Make sure to moisturize immediately after to reveal your new skin, healthy and glowing.

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