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All Your Eye Shadow Base
Dec 21st, 2011 by Sharon

Eye shadow base/primers are a great new makeup invention.  I was just watching an excellent television drama series from the 1976 called I, Claudius and wouldn’t I just notice that one of the leading ladies had an eye shadow creasing problem.  There’s nothing worse than putting on your brilliant eye shadow color in the morning only to have it all gather in your crease in one greasy line by lunch time.  Below I have pictured eye shadow primers by e.l.f., L’Oreal, NYX, and Urban Decay.  Urban Decay have re-done their packaging thank goodness so that not half the product is wasted.   There are hundreds of blog posts in the interwebs about how to extract the entire quantity of product out of the former packaging of Urban Decay eye primer (seen below in the 9 o’clock item), which is arguably their most popular and famous product, excepting possibly NAKED eye shadow palette and the 24/7 glide-on eye pencils.  All of these primers work, and my eyelids feel naked if I’ve forgotten to apply.  Kat Von D makes a primer in edgy dark grey which I would like to try some time.

Eye Shadow Primers

A Basketful of e.l.f.
Oct 25th, 2011 by Sharon

… For $32.95 shipped!  (my basket – 50 cents at yard sale)  I just discovered this brand of cosmetics from watching Klaire de Lis fabulous makeup tutorial videos.  I checked out the e.l.f. web site and was pretty floored by the pricing – I mean, you can’t help but be floored by the pricing if you’re a makeup addict (ahem).  Who says us senior makeup addicts don’t appreciate a bargain?!  Just so happens they were running a half-off sale of their Studio line; they have 3 lines (Essential, Studio, and Mineral).  So I selected a grab-bag full of goodies to sample their products ->

1 Glossy Gloss, 1 Blush, 1 Mineral Infused Mascara,  1 Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder, 1 Mechanical Eyelash Curler, 2 Lip Liner & Blending Brush, 1 High Definition Powder, 1 Kabuki Face Brush, 1 Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths, 1 Eyebrow Kit, 1 Cream Eyeliner, 1 Mineral Eyeshadow, 1 Eyeshadow Primer

I have to say I’m generally very impressed with these items.  The glossy gloss is thin, non-sticky, and reminds me of Mally (sells on QVC). The blush is really nice – great color saturation and just a touch of shimmer. The contouring blush & bronzer and great, and the packaging is great – a nice large mirror. The eyelash curler is your basic eyelash curler.  The lip liners are fine and the lip brush on the other end is a nice shape.  The High Definition powder is wonderful! The Kabuki face brush is very soft. The eyebrow kit is good, the mascara is good, the mineral eyeshadow is very pigmented, and the eye primer works pretty well (can’t compare with Urban Decay though).

My faves – the HD finishing powder – awesome.  The mineral eyeshadow – highly pigmented and pretty.  The blush – quite nice, very happy with color, finish, and application. The Kabuki brush – much softer than you could expect at this price point.  The only product that I wasn’t wild about was the gel eyeliner – not going to compete with Bobbi Brown any time soon.  I’ve included some photos below of the haul below.   The pic on my About Author page shows me wearing most of the products (I also have on Clinique Perfectly Real foundation).  I used the blush from the contouring blush & bronzer, the lip liner, the lip gloss, the eye primer, the mineral eye shadow, the mineral infused mascara, the cream eyeliner, the HD finishing powder, and the eyebrow kit.

Paula’s Choice 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Products – Chemical Exfoliants to Love
Oct 20th, 2011 by Sharon

My favorite chemical exfoliant is Paula’s Choice 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid (gel or liquid).  This stuff is fantastic for someone with clogged facial pores – it addresses this problem beautifully.   I apply it as a night time treatment as I don’t like anything under my makeup during the day and also am afraid of weird interactions with makeup.  I only use at most every few days.

This contains Salicylic Acid 2% in an aqueous solution.  Upon application, there is a slight stinging sensation as it gets to work right away exfoliating within the pores themselves.  There are anti-inflammatories in there to buffer against irritation.  It’s a really mild version of ‘facial peels’ you see advertised in salons:  which term sounds rather frightening to me.

Along with this chemical exfoliation, I also regularly physically exfoliate with the low-tech scruffing agent: a washcloth with my regular cleanser.  I’ve tried cleansers with crushed apricots pits and the like and they just leave me red and irritated, which is worse than nothing.  I have heard that baking soda makes a decent physical exfoliant, and may try that.

One mustn’t go overboard with exfoliation, but it’s really an important step in making sure your pores are as free from dead skin and pollution debris as possible.

The Best Facial Cleanser In The World
Oct 20th, 2011 by Sharon

Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive… or at least at your local CVS. I’ve tried a lot of facial cleansers in my half-century long life and in general they have greatly improved over the years, especially as I was growing up the options were 1) Cold Cream, or 2) Soap.  In all my trying I always return to one that satisfies all my criteria for a great facial cleanser:

  • It must remove all traces of makeup including mascara and eyeliner
  • It must not leave a greasy film
  • It must not leave skin tight and dry
  • It must not require a lot of tugging at the skin to work
  • It must not cost a fortune
  • It must not have irritating ingredients

In my opinion, the only one I have tried that satisfies all these criteria is this:

 Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive, $4.49

By the way, if you go into your local CVS and can’t find any in stock, I may have gotten there before you. When they recently changed the packaging from black/white label on white plastic to the current label on blue plastic, and I couldn’t find it on the shelf, I nearly had an nervous breakdown thinking perhaps *my* facial cleanser had been discontinued, which thank goodness wasn’t the case.

I’m not sure how Olay came up with the perfect functional no-frills facial cleanser, but I can just say to Olay: thank you.

Now that I’ve extolled the virtues of this product, I sadly acknowledge that Procter & Gamble who own Olay still do animal testing during production of their products, which I am totally against.  However, checking out their web site, it states that they are 99% animal-testing free and working towards 100%, so they seem to acknowledge that animal testing is cruel and/or is an issue which would negatively affect their bottom line.

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