Friday, February 26, 2010

Eye Makeup Remover

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Mine started out quite well...after rolling out of bed Friday morning and grabbing something for breakfast, then getting dressed and doing my make up, I checked my email only to find that classes had been canceled due to the was a nice surprise, so I just went back to bed!

I myself am in the midst of midterms and the stress and papers and exams (oh my!) are making me really look forward to spring break. Usually when I'm this busy, my makeup routine gets a little bit lax, and I tend to neglect a certain portion of my regime that is crucial to maintaining good skin...that is, removing ALL of my makeup. Usually it just happens to be a little eyeliner and mascara, but for every night you sleep in your makeup, your skin ages even more quickly! So I thought I would do a post on perhaps one of my favorite kinds of beauty products, which is, eye makeup remover! It sounds very odd to say that it's one of my favorites, but removing all your makeup will not only keep your skin looking beautiful (and healthy) but it will also keep your new makeup looking fresh when you apply it.

I've decided to post on a few different products, all varying in cost and type.

The first product I'd like to share is Blum natural eye makeup remover pads. I found these while browsing the beauty products at Whole Foods one day and the concept of natural remover pads that were only $5 a jar and were not tested on animals was very appealing to me! I think these pads do a pretty good job of removing light eye makeup (e.g. a little eyeliner, mascara, some light shadow) but not so much for something as strong as a smoky eye. The convenience factor though is huge to me, because there are always those nights that I'm too tired to do anything but take something that's already pre-moistened and wipe away my makeup. If you generally don't wear much eye makeup, and prefer something natural and decently priced, these Blum pads are the thing for you!

Another one of my favorite eye makeup removers is Aveda's Pure Comfort Remover. You will see a lot of Aveda products on my blog because I spent the last two summers in an Aveda Concept Spa and Salon. Some of the products are fantastic, others could be improved, but the eye makeup remover is perfect as it is! The thing I really love about this product is that it removes all of my eye makeup and is VERY gentle. I have very sensitive eyes and the generic store brands burn my eyes too much. I love how Aveda's product is also all natural, very effective, and easy on the delicate skin. I usually have the most problem removing eyeliner, and the best way I have found to do this is to take a q-tip and squeeze some of the Pure Comfort remover onto it and then remove your eyeliner that way. It works wonderfully!

Speaking of q-tips, if you are a busy gal and are on the go most of the time, you may want to consider Bare Escentuals q-tips. It usually costs around $5 for about 20 of them. Each q-tip comes filled with their makeup remover formula, and you snap one end which releases it to the tip of the swab, and voila, you are ready to remove your eyeliner! I say eyeliner and not eye makeup because it is really too small to remove anymore than your eyeliner, unless you used several. These are great though to keep in your purse, backpack, or makeup bag if you need to make a quick touch up.

(picture from the Bare Escentuals website)
But perhaps my favorite of all makeup removers is the one that is made by Benefit. I am a true lover of Benefit products because they are not only effective, but their ingenious marketing techniques make using their products a lot of fun. I love how there is a large quantity of product and I get the most bang for my buck with Benefit's Gee That Was Quick makeup remover. It is gentle enough to use around your eyes but also does a fab job getting rid of the rest of your maquillage. My only advice is to not travel with the bottle! For some reason, despite my best efforts to keep it from leaking (even tying tissues around it and rubber banding it shut with the lid firmly on), it always looses half the quantity of the bottle if I take it on a trip. Other than the packaging problem, this is one terrific product!

(picture from the Benefit website)

I hope you all have a great week and good luck with all of your work!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Midterm Beauty

Bon matin everyone! I can't believe how fast the weekends tend to go by. It seems like after one stressful week, I get to breathe for a minute and then it's off to another! This week especially seems to be a busy one, at it doesn't look like there will be much time to do anything but study until spring break.

I'm sure that many of you are feeling the same way, and I thought that perhaps I would share some makeup tips that will enhance your natural beauty without taking too much time in the morning. I don't know about you, but as midterms approach I like to relish every last second of sleep in the morning, and getting up early to "prettify" myself is low on my list of priorities, however I do know that whenever I feel I look good, my confidence goes up, and who doesn't like a little extra confidence?

After working with makeup all of last summer, I picked up a few tips about how to make applying makeup fast and easy, but leaving you with a gorgeous result that looks effortless. Here now is my 2 minute or less face!

Step 1: If you want to look fresh faced in the morning, the best thing to do is to wash your face when you get up with the appropriate cleanser of course. What I like to do is use a small face loofah or facial scrub pad with some cleanser on top. It takes care of your cleansing and exfoliating all in one and preps your skin beautifully for your makeup! But don't forget that moisturizer with SPF!

Step two: Apply some kind of foundation, just to cover up any blemishes and even out the skin tone. You really don't need to apply a ton of makeup, and a fresh looking face is always in style! The way I recommend picking a foundation is to think about your skin type. If you have dry skin but don't tend to get a lot of blemishes, a tinted moisturizer is a fabulous option. It evens out the skin tone, hydrates your skin, and most of the time will contain SPF to give you the sun protection you need. Now, I know that one concern many women have is putting too many chemicals on their skin, so if you are looking for a great all natural tinted moisturizer, try Aveda's Inner Light Tinted Moisturizer. Aveda uses naturally derived SPF from Cinnamon Bark and so you don't have to worry about those icky chemicals.

(picture from the Aveda website)
If you have dry skin but tend to have a lot of blemishes, then a liquid foundation would be a good bet. Liquid foundations tend to be a little heavier and give you more coverage, but it is important to make sure to pick one out that doesn't clog your pores!

If you have oily skin, you would definitely want to try a powder formula. Powder will soak up that excess oil and even out your skin. The problem with liquid foundations or tinted moisturizer on oily skin is that even oil free formulas can add extra shine to your visage. A fabulous powder formula that I keep going back to is Benefit's "Hello Flawless" powder. It comes with both a sponge and a brush, but I find that a big, fluffy brush works better to cover your face and the sponge works best to add coverage in certain areas where you might have blemishes, or to give you full coverage.

(picture from the Benefit website)
For normal skin, it is really your pick!

I know that all of that seems like a lot of work already, but really once you find the perfect foundation and nail down your application technique, it will bring out your best complexion! If you are really short on time, then I just recommend highlighting your best feature. If it is your eyes, make them pop with some colored mascara (for example blue or purple), if it is your cheekbones, add some highlighter or bronzer, or if it is your lips, pick out some good colors (a very soft pink or light coral is always pretty this time of year).

Step 3: If you have another few seconds to spare, I would recommend a little blush. Blush is great because it just gives you that very feminine and pretty fresh faced look. This blog entry seems to be one almost dedicated to Benefit products, but I do love them because they are high quality, effective, and so fun to use.

My two favorite products in this category are their Coralista all over face powder and their Posietint. Coralista is a gorgeous coral blush that really looks great on every skin tone. I have pretty fair skin myself, and a light sweep of this product on top of my foundation just adds the perfect amount of color, but you could use more product to build the color if you have a darker complexion.

(pictures from the Benefit website)
Posietint is a fabulous product, but I feel that often times women are a little hesitant to use a tint on their face. This one is quite simple to use. One of my favorite techniques is to dip a q-tip into it and put a few little dots on the apples of my cheeks and rub it in quickly. It seriously will last all day and there is no need to reapply!

*The pictures here are taken from the Aveda and Benefit websites, and my apologies for a lack of any "real" photos.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday, good luck with classes, papers, and midterms!