L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow- No-go

Happened to test this one foundation, and felt like I needed to tell the world not to buy this. Of course, we all have different skin, skincare, preferences in texture and coverage, but certain things are universally bad.

The first thing I noticed when I squeezed this out of the tube was the strong alcohol smell. I turned to the tube to look at the ingredients, and they only list octinoxate 3.2% in an easily visible place, to see the full list you have to actually peel off 2 sheets to see what is in the foundation, and the print is very light too. Anyway, alcohol denat. is listed as number 3, but since you can really smell it, there is quite a lot of it. This is a very drying ingredient, which can do a lot of damage to the skin., especially in the long run.

I went ahead and tested the foundation anyway. It applied more or less evenly, the color matched me well, and the finish looked fairly nice, although it was obvious I had foundation on my face. After just a couple of hours I noticed that the foundation started breaking up on my skin, and I developed lots of small bumps (see the pictures), and my face felt super uncomfortable. I actually washed this thing off while at work. Haven’t done that in a long time!

I do have sensitive skin, and very picky about what foundation looks like on my face and whether I can feel it on my skin. Very few foundations/tinted moisturizers/BB creams make it into my makeup bag, because I only want the absolute best in terms of ingredients, finish and wearability.

Now it is possible that this foundation started to break up because didn’t play nice with some of my skincare, might look pretty on some. But I think nobody should use this product because it contains a lot of alcohol. L’Oreal should know better than to create formulas like that.

Vitamin C in Skincare Routine

There has already been a lot said about vitamin C and it’s anti-aging skin benefits, so I won’t go into detail here, and will just add a couple of informative links at the end of this post. Briefly, vitamin C can make skin more firm, even, and glowy, especially at higher concentrations. There might be quite a few challenges with finding a product that works- formulated right and is stable, using it at the right time and with the right products, as it needs certain PH to work; and with using it right so that it doesn’t cause irritation.

As someone with sensitive skin, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with vitamin C because it causes a lot of irritation. Sadly, there hasn’t been much information online on how to prevent the irritation. Perhaps, most people don’t have that issues, so this post will be for those who do. Currently I’m using The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23%+ HA Spheres 2% , and finally figured out a way to use it in my routine to get the benefits and avoid burning and redness.

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(no foundation, just concealer under eyes)

First of all, I suggest adding vitamin C to skincare routing gradually and paying attention to how your skin feels. Actually, always pay attention to how your skin feels on a given day and adjust what you put on it accordingly. I’ll be talking about L-ascorbic acid here- LAA, since it is one of the most effective and affordable forms. LAA is very unstable, it needs Ph of 3.5 or lower to work, oxidizes when exposed to light or heat (can send one to Oompa Loompa land very fast), so don’t just go applying it whenever wherever.

I’m using LAA every other night- the nights that I’m not using tretinoin. I start off with cleansing my face thoroughly. Face wash of choice is usually something very mild and simple like Purpose- gets the makeup off, and doesn’t dry me out. Then I follow with spraying my face with a gentle toner like MAC Fix + or Lumene and letting it absorb, which is a few minutes. After that I apply a little bit of my LAA avoiding the eye area and find something else to do for the next 20-30 minutes. And then I follow with my BHA (either Paula’s Choice 2% gel or my new COSRX Blackhead Liquid Power). If my skin if feeling extra dry or a bit too sensitive I like to use snail mucus serum. On some nights I use Alpha-Lipoic acid instead of BHA. I’ll write more on that product in another post.

Ever since I switched to this more thoughtful routine the burning and irritation from LAA has stopped, and I am finally seeing skin that is firmer, more supple, glowy, and even.

A little warning. If you are just starting to use The Ordinary’s LAA, or any other LAA are afraid that the product is too harsh for you, you could dilute it with another product, but if you do so, make sure to check PH and ingredients. For example, LAA will not work with niacinamide.

Some useful sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11207686

Fantastic blogpost on LAA, BHA and AHA http://www.snowwhiteandtheasianpear.com/2015/01/skincare-discovery-putting-your.html

http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/anti-aging/_/how-does-vitamin-c-help-skin

YSL Touche Eclat. Is it worth the hype?

YSL Touche Eclat is one of those cult products that is frequently considered a must-have.  In fact, Telegraph.co.uk claims, one is sold every 10 seconds. Recently I got my hands on a generously sized sample, that allowed me to test it a few times and see if it is worth the hype. The luminizing pen claims to “erase signs of fatigue and brighten the completion”. “8 hours of beauty sleep in a click”. Sounds promising, especially when it is 7am, and you are getting ready for work wondering if there have been any pandas among your distant relatives.

I had my sample in color 1- for fair to light complexions with pink undertones. We have a match. The luminizer/concealer is light creamy consistency, slightly peachy color to  cancel out the dark circles and imperfections, applies fairly nicely. The coverage, however, is very light. It does cover dark circles a bit, but not well enough.

Before (no makeup):

After YSL Touche Eclat:

As you can see, the undereye area looks a bit better and brighter, but far from 8 hours of sleep kind of look in my book.

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YSL Touche Eclat + eye makeup. Dark circles are even more visible with the rest of my makeup. Also, the product started creasing after just a couple of hours.

My conclusion is, YSL Touche Eclat is not worth the hype and the hefty $42+ tax for 0.1 oz/ 2.5 ml. Yes, it was a revolutionary product for it’s time, when there weren’t so many concealers, and particularly highlighters, but nowadays you can get something much better and cheaper. Even Maybelline’s dark circle eraser outperforms this, because it actually covers and brightens. Or my all-time favorite MAC Pro-Longwear concealer, with is pure magic. Touche Eclat really needs a concealer under it to work, which creates an extra step in routine (who has time for this?) and extra expense. I tested Touche Eclat as a highlighter for high points of my face too, and, yes, it brightens and is a good quality product, but again, it isn’t that impressive, there are hundreds of highlighters that are was good or better for much less than $42.

Current Skincare Routine

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I’m always struggling between the desire to simplify my routines and wanting to try new things, which leads me to adjusting how and when I apply various products.

  1. Tretinoin Cream 0.05% has quickly become my favorite and can’t live without product. It deserves a separate post with actual skin photos. But there is no other skincare product that managed to change my skin as noticeably as tretinoin.
  2. Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 30 is the only sunscreen I ever repurchased. Multiple times. Non-stinky, non-oily, moisturizing, soothing and comfortable to wear even for very sensitive skin. The price is also great, so you can actually apply the necessary amount as often as needed without any heartbreak.
  3. Lumene Refreshing Toner Bright Touch I’ve started using toners very recently, as I used to think they are an unnecessary extra step, but I have enjoyed this toner greatly. It is very moisturizing and non-irritating. No bad ingredients like alcohol, and nothing irritating. Unfortunately this exact toner has been discontinued as part of Lumene’s redesign, now they have face mists, which are probably great too.
  4. Mizon Snail 80 Intensive Repairing Serum is a wonderful moisturizing serum. Unscented plumping and brightening serum. Must have for those days when skin is sensitive and cranky.
  5. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Speres 2% is the most controversial item in my routine, as vitamin C is supposed to be a great anti-aging tool, but I find that I have to be very careful when using it on my sensitive skin. Took quite a bit of time to get used to this product. I currently use it on the nights I skip tretinoin.
  6. The Ordinary “Buffet” is the newest addition to my skincare routine, so at this point I can’t say how effective it is at fighting the signs of aging. I use it every morning after my toner. The serum has a thicker slippery consistence, easy to apply. It is unscented, which I love, doesn’t sting or burn, absorbs quickly without leaving any film or residue. It is packed with peptides and all the good stuff, so i’m looking forward to updating you on how it works.

Wet’n’Wild Wild Shine Nail Color in Blazed

Quick swatch of Wet’n’Wild’s Wild Shine Nail Color in Blazed. I apologize for questionable photos.
The color is not very bright, it is sort of a pastel coral. Nice for summer, but not my favorite. Application wasn’t particularly smooth, in fact was rather disappointing, and you need at least 2-3 coats for proper coverage. It is a jelly type of polish, so if you manage to apply it nicely, it will look nice.
I say it’s not the best Wet’n’Wild’s polish, I might have gotten a defective bottle though, as their Caribbean Frost is one of my favorite polishes of all.
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Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

This I a pretty famous product, but for some reason I bough it not long ago. And I love it! It comes on this nice tin container, that is easy to open even with wet/slippery hands, yet it is safe to throw in your purse, it closes securely.

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The cream is very thick, so you need just a little bit. It is 100% natural and smells soooo good- real sour lemon flavor. The butter is easy to apply throughout the day, as it isn’t too greasy, and I find it very moisturizing. I do a lot of housework, and my cuticles can look dreadful. I can see real improvements with this cream. It works so much better and is so much easier to use than oil.

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I’m wearing one coat of Sensationail’s Pink Chiffon SOG here.

Gelish Rendezvous Swatch

I’ve been postponing sharing the swatches of Gelish’s Rendezvous for a long time, mostly because it is so difficult to photograph! It is one of my favorite colors- sort of a cool toned dark raspberry color. None of the photos does this color justice!

I won’t go into details about the quality of this gel and about how it applies, because I ordered mine through Amazon, and am pretty sure the seller messed with the formula adding some sort of thinner, making the gel smell and act funny. I’ve been using original Gelish for base and top coat for months now, and am very happy with it, so just watch out for those questionable sellers.

So here we go- the pictures! The gel looks darker in real life, and is really pretty.

Gelish Rendezvous indirect daylight

Gelish Rendezvous

 

Gelish Rendezvous

Gelish Rendezvous

Gelish Rendezvous