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LORAC FACE selfTANtalizer

30 Jun

This is a perfect example of why I love samples.

As you are all well aware by now, I have vitiligo, which makes my face a blotchy mess. On top of that, for some reason, although my face and body seem to tan at the same rate, the tan fades twice as fast from my face, so I end up with a golden body and a white face. This looks not so good, especially in photographs, where I endlessly look like either I have white mime makeup on OR like my head has been photoshopped on. Excellent.

The two best solutions I have found for this so far have been Caudalie’s tinted moisturizer (which kicks ass) and Too Faced’s bronzing powder (which also kicks ass). However, with me being me and all, I continue to look for the ever more effective everything, and when I got a sample packet of LORAC’s FACE selfTANtalizer (no kidding, that’s really what this stuff is called), I thought, why not?

Okay I’ll tell you why not! When I saw on the packet that it says, “FACE BRONZING GRADUAL SELF-TANNER,” I thought, “Parfait!” I tore it open, squeezed some out, smoothed it on, and immediately looked like – you know, I literally just gazed into space for several seconds trying to think of something to compare myself to that wasn’t offensive to EVERYONE and I could not. It is brown. Not light brown. Medium, chocolate-brown. And not just that – it’s pearlescent. I think maybe if I took some shimmery dark brown eye shadow and smeared it all over my face, it would achieve the same result, and I am in no way exaggerating. If I went out that way I would surely get stares and maybe even accused of insensitively mocking another race. It was that huge of a difference. There was nothing “gradual” about it and I can’t imagine any scenario in which I could pull off a shiny, shimmery brown face. I love the fact that the back instructs you to “APPLY DAILY UNTIL DESIRED LEVEL OF TANNING IS ACHIEVED.” Aaaahahahahahahaha!!!! Frankly I can’t imagine ANYONE using this and looking sane, regardless of skin color, because of the very high shimmer content. I am not a mirage! I am a human being!

FAIL, LORAC. FAIL.

Birchbox

26 Jun

What do I love as much as product? Getting things in the mail. So when I heard about Birchbox, a subscription service where for $10 a month you get a box of product samples shipped to you, I yelled, “ALL IN!” I did not research. I did not waffle. I did not ask around. I SIGNED THE HECK UP.

I have been a Birchbox member now for six months. Some months have been unimpressive. Some months have been pretty cool. One month I even got a free, special bonus box (in addition to my regular monthly box), full of Vichy products. Quelle belle surprise! Until this month, only one product had hooked me, and it’s actually one I have since blogged about – Orofluido’s hair oil. I got a nice little tester of it that lasted me for a good week, really enjoyed it, and ended up buying stock in the company. Okay, not really, but I should, because I have bought it for myself twice since and recommended it both personally and in my blog. I also got another product I blogged about, the Miracle Skin Transformer, which I did REALLY like but found to be a little too expensive for the size you get.

Anyhow, I have gotten some other great stuff, but nothing to write home about, until June’s box. June’s box has not just an eyeliner, not just a lip stain, not just a Borghese bath soak… BUT ALL THREE! And some other crap too! Not just one packet of the Borghese bath soak, either, but TWO packets of it, so you can really decide if you like it before ordering.

Damn, Birchbox. You got me. I am hooked. And I can now endorse you fully, far and wide. If you can cut out two Starbucks lattes a month, you can afford a Birchbox subscription. And if you love product even half as much as I do, you can’t really afford not to.

Caudalie Mineral Tinted Moisturizer

22 Jun

I realize I owe you a blog post on all things Caudalie, but for now, let me focus on my new favorite product: Caudalie Teint Divin Mineral Tinted Moisturizer.

I have been using Caudalie for a few months now and am absolutely in love with them. They claim to be “natural” (and very well may be, although we have since learned that can often be a lie), they’re gentle to my skin, they smell good, and my skin has never looked better (with the glaring exception of the recent outbreaks of pregnancy acne). I was using another of their moisturizers, which I will cover in a different blog, but before leaving for my recent trip abroad found their tinted moisturizer. I have never used a tinted moisturizer, and only just recently began experimenting with foundation. It all comes back to my stupid, stupid vitiligo, however – when I get tan, as I knew I was bound to do on the sunny Italian coast, my vitiligo looks especially horrid. I can handle the spots on my hands, my armpits, the one on my belly – but my face also suffers and it is honestly hard for me to look in the mirror and see all those spots staring back at me. No matter how I do my hair, what pretty dress I have on, or what sensational cosmetics I might be using, when my skin is GLARINGLY blotchy, it makes me feel really ugly. I get white patches by my mouth, around my eyes, and on my chin, and it just looks dreadful. The two things that make this worse are 1) I LOVE the sun, and 2) I tan really easily and well, and look good tan. This leaves me with three options: avoid the sun, load on sunblock and resign myself to never being tan again, or look awful. What a delightful array of choices.

I brought the tinted moisturizer along without really getting my hopes up about its abilities, and I am pleased to say I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Of course it cannot completely erase my vitiligo, but smoothing it on daily does greatly reduce the noticeability of the pigment-depleted areas, as well as give my face an overall “glow” that it sometimes lacks (for some reason, even before the vitiligo, my face never got as dark as my body – I probably sunblock it slightly more diligently or something). Coupled with my favorite bronzer dusted on my chin and around my eyes, I literally could not believe the difference! (Again, if you’re suffering from vitiligo, this does NOT treat it or even eliminate its appearance, but it did, in my case, make a huge difference.) My only complaint is I wish it was offered in a formulation that contained a light sunblock of SPF 15 0r 20 – if it did, I’d certainly use it twice a day, both before going to the beach and after showering.

It does have a slightly perfumey scent I’m not crazy about, but it disappears pretty much immediately after application. I have to give this tinted moisturizer a 10 out of 10, and if they make one with SPF, then it will be the only moisturizer I ever use – and coming from me, that’s really saying something.

Two Notes!

25 May

I have two product reviews for you that I hope to publish today, but first, two quick notes!

One, I took my friend Dina, who is not a huge makeup fan, for her maiden voyage to Sephora last week. She was visibly nervous and I get it – it would be like me going to Fry’s without my husband and attempting to buy some computery thing. But she had an idea of what she wanted – a concealer and a lipgloss – and those are two things I know lots about. I recommended she get the Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer and Tarte LipSurgence Crayon. I am happy to report she is positively delighted with both, and has even gotten compliments on how fab she looks! Moral is: Listen to the product princess, she knows that of which she blogs.

Second – in spite of obstacles and set backs, it seems that my wonderful huzz and I have defied the odds and managed to create a new little person. 🙂 Due date is December 1, so far so good, and yes, we will be finding out the gender. Cross your fingers that things continue to progress normally!

Incidentally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to that same wonderful huzz, and thank you for tolerating my product addiction and supporting me always! xoxo

Target’s Beauty Bag Giveaway!

22 May

Cheers to the fabulous Candice R. for bringing this incredible steal to my attention! Target Summer Beauty Bag Giveaway! Be patient, the demand is great and it’s taking some time to load. But act fast – offer good only while supplies last, which I bet won’t be long!

http://www.facebook.com/TargetStyle 

What’s Your Makeup Lying To YOU About?

21 May

7 Lies on Your Makeup Labels – special thanks to Michele C., the SassyCityGirl herself, for forwarding this along – it’s a fascinating read!

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder With Real Cocoa

16 May

Bronzers. I tend to shy away, especially for my face. Why, you ask? This is why.

That is not a good look. It doesn’t work on him, and I don’t really see it working on me. And the problem is once you get a lot of bronzers on, you’re committed, at least for the day. The only way to fix a bad bronzing is to apply lighter makeup on top, and my God. You’re really in a vicious cycle then, aren’t you?

However, I have a problem – between my vitiligo and the fact that I have been very good about facial sun protection, my face is three shades whiter than my body, especially in the summer. It is HORRIBLE and evident in many photos. The result is that it looks like I have used a foundation way too light for my face, and in photos it looks as though my head has been photoshopped onto my body. Awful.

I finally decided to try a powder bronzer last summer. I had tried one before – a Bobbi Brown one that my sugarer, Jill, gave to me – and found that it made me look shiny and scary. I cautiously shopped around for one that might not have the same shiny effect, and found Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder With Real Cocoa. (Incidentally, every time I type that I want to put “With Real Cocoa!” in parentheses after it, like it’s a commercial for some new food.)

First of all, yes, it smells like Cocoa. Not just a little bit. It smells like a compact full of cocoa. I put it on and then had my Mom smell my face and she laughed and told me she wanted to lick me. This could go either way for you – personally, it’s a HUGE plus for me. I love chocolate, so I think it smells divine. I also don’t find it overpowering – you can smell it in the compact and as you apply it, but once it’s on, it’s no longer noticeable. If you hate chocolate or have a chocolate allergy or something, this may not be the right choice for you.

Second – SCORE! A light dusting of this over my makeup totally brings my face to the same color as the rest of my body. As I get darker over the course of the summer, I can apply a little more for a darker look – it’s totally buildable. And, unlike cream bronzers, if I somehow apply to much, I can wipe the excess off with a tissue and move on with my day, still looking like a normal person.

I even use this in the winter sometimes, just to brighten up my face and take away a little of the Seattle sallow. It works like a charm, washes off at the end of the day, and even makes me FEEL a little sunnier!

I could not recommend this bronzer more highly. If you’re looking for something with real staying power, this may not be the right choice for you – after all, it is just a powder. But if you’re looking for an ultra-natural, buildable, wash off-able bronzer that smells great and goes on evenly, DING! Look no further.