Can facial cleansers double as makeup removers?

Soooo, I’m back with another St. Ives product that I can’t believe I’ve never tried. I thought I had given just about ALL of St. Ives products a spin buuuut I guess not. Have you seen this baby in stores?

Retailing for a little less than $4, this gentle cleanser also doubles as a makeup remover.


I am always skeptical of such gimmicks. After all, I’m a beauty blogger and skepticism is one of my finest traits. A cleanser that promises to not only cleanse the skin AND remove makeup must be good enough to cleanse thoroughly as well as remove making without drying out the skin. It’s the kind of product that will only work for guys and gals with certain skin types. The consistency of the cleanser is like a lotion.

In fact, it looks and feels exactly like lotion. But if you were to rub it in your skin, it wouldn’t sink in as effortlessly as lotion does. When rubbed together a bit, it because slightly frothy and creamier. And I do mean slightly.

When thrown on the face and mixed with water, it still feels just like a lotion. It took a ton of rubbing in for me to “feel” like I was cleansing my skin. You know, because, like many, I’m used to cleansers foaming up. But despite the foams and bubbles, I felt like the cleanser really did its job. My skin felt clean and after wiping my face on a hand towel, I didn’t see a left of leftover concealer. Score! It removed my mascara and gel liner with ease too. Eyeliner on the waterline is a bit tricky, though, because if you get it too close to your eyes, you may endure some burning. I’m okay with using a regular oil-based eye makeover remover for the hardcore eye cosmetics.

I’m thinking this cleanser is best suited for those with normal to dry skin. Because it can be a bit emollient, it may be too moisturizing for those with oily skin. I’m sold!

Another win from St. Ives. Woot!

Lovin’ glō•therapeutics Pumpkin Enzyme Scrub. Nom nom nom!

I’ve got pumpkin on my face! Cool, uh? I’ve tried beauty products with all kinds of fruits and veggies in them but this is my first time test driving a skincare product with pumpkin in it.

Speaking of pumpkins…do you like them? I don’t. Pumpkin seeds are just okay, pumpkin bread is no bueno and I’d much rather eat sweet potato pie over pumpkin pie. But I can’t deny how yummy a whiff of pumpkin anything smells. Such is the case with glō•therapeutics’ Pumpkin Enzyme Scrub.

What glō•therapeutics says about the scrub,

“Removes dead skin cell build up and stimulates cell regeneration with granules and

enyzmes that exfoliate without stress or irritation to the skin.”

Some of the scrub’s active ingredients:

Date Seeds & Jojoba Beads – provide natural, gentle physical exfoliation without stress to the skin
-Zeolite – a porous mineral that has the ability to help trap impurities for removal from the skin
-Pumpkin Enzymes – pumpkin is naturally rich in antioxidant bioflavonoids and vitamin A that assist in breaking down dead and irregular cellular buildup
-Fungal Protease – mushroom enzymes that helps breakdown fats, proteins and carbohydrates
Fruit Enzymes – softens and smoothes the skin
L-sodium Hyaluronate – (a.k.a. hyaluronic acid) enhances elasticity, lubrication, plumpness and moisture of skin and also has healing properties

$30 will get you a 1.7 oz bottle. Although the directions say that you only need to use the scrub 2-4 times a week, you may run out within a month or so if you REALLY like it. I think this product would be a better bargain if they gave you at least an extra ounce or two. It is certainly one of the most interesting scrubs that I’ve used.

At first squirt, it doesn’t appear to look any different from the average scrub. Until you rub it in…

It has a bumpy consistency. If almost feels like a pot of grits that didn’t cook thoroughly. Slightly creamy but still on the bumpy side. The fragrance, however, is divine….

If you love the smell of pumpkins, you’ll love this scrub. The fragrance wasn’t too overpowering but considering this was the first time I had ever smelled a pumpkin beauty product, I was in love!

If you’ve got super sensitive skin, fret not as I think this scrub does a great job exfoilating without being too harsh. The granules in all of their bumpy fashion feel good when rubbed on the skin, but they don’t hurt. It took awhile to rinse the scrub off but once I did, my skin felt ah-mazing. It didn’t give me a deep cleanse (you know, like how my Clarisonic gives me) but it felt wonderful and is an ideal scrub for pampering the skin before bed.

I’m starting to fall for glō•therapeutics. This brand is slowly but surely rocking my world.

Want some pumpkin in your life? You can grab this scrub online here.

Avon ANEW GENICS Treatment Cream

If there is one kind of product that I don’t review enough on Clumps of Mascara, it’s anti-aging products. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some pre-teen with perfect skin but I’m not exactly an octogenarian either. I sit comfortably in the middle. Unlike most women, I don’t lie about my age. I am 26 and proud yo! Buuuut, I do battle acne and while my skincare regimen isn’t full of anti-aging products, I do use eye creams and wrinkle creams. Not because I feel like I have to but you know…just to get myself in the habit.

Avon has recently released ANEW GENICS Treatment Cream and it comes with a whole heap of promises. According to the website, users can undo up to 10 years with just 4 weeks of regular use.

Do I think that’s a bit of a stretch? Maybe. But with its rave reviews and decent price point at $38, I definitely think it’s worth a try. I took it for a bit of a test drive to get an idea of the consistency and um yeah…it kinda rocks.

While intended to be used as a night cream, I find it to be moisturizing enough to wear during the day as well. It’s thick enough to provide enough moisture on your skin but didn’t appear to be too greasy or oily.

Which is always a plus if you suffer from acne-prone skin. In addition to reducing the look of wrinkles, the Anew Genetics Treatment cream can improve the appearance of discoloration. My gals with hyperpigmentation are singing praises as I type.

So yes, while I don’t think I have much use for this cream at the moment, what kind of beauty blogger would I be, if I didn’t let you know about the latest and greatest in skincare?

You can snag this anti-aging piece of wonder from the Avon website or flag down your favorite Avon representative to place an order.

So what do you think? Do you get down with using anti-aging products?

St Ives’ newest: Naturally Smooth Body Lotion

We all know our how much I love St. Ives. And I mean, I LOVE St. Ives. Even more so now that they’ve become paraben-free. My eczema-ridden skin sings praises. I’ve tried several of St. Ives lotions and I am excited to announce that they are adding a new kid to the crew.

According to St. Ives, “Formulated with a natural, fruit-derived AHA complex, the dual-action, non-greasy formula absorbs quickly to provide intense hydration while a multi-fruit blend with alpha hydroxies gently exfoliates skin by promoting cell turnover. Perfect for all skin types, Naturally Smooth Body Lotion works to improve texture, revealing fresher, smoother and younger looking skin – naturally!”



Like all of the newly formulated St. Ives lotions, this one feels absolutely wonderful on the skin.

Aaaand, the paraben-free formula means that my skin won’t have to go haywire shortly after application. I’m not the biggest fan of this fragrance though. While it isn’t overpowering, it doesn’t smell THAT good. It has a plasic-y/fruity smell. The good news is that is dissipates quickly and is virtually hard to sniff once on your skin. Woot!

My skin does 10x better with products that aren’t heavily scented and loaded with synthetic ingredients. Which is why St. Ives is one of my top drugstore-friendly skincare lines.Them being super cheap has something to do with it too. 😉 Because I’ve only been using this for a few weeks, I can’t really speak on if my skin has improved or not. My guess would be that it would take a good month or so to determine that. The good news is, because this lotion feels good all over and is great at ash bashin’, the likeliness of me using it to actually see results is pretty high. It’s getting a little colder ‘roun these parts and this lotion will be one of the ones in my stash.

Any St. Ives lovers in the house?

A Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strip is a man’s best friend.

Sooooo, he’s going to kill me for saying it but The Guy has an insanely flaky nose that is ridden with whiteheads. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is…he won’t let me do anything about it! He’d rather walk around with a flaky nose than have his beauty blogger of a girlfriend help him out. Men, I tell ya. He wouldn’t let me take pictures, but his nose knew no safety with me and my pack of Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips.

If you thought I loved the Clarifying Detox mask, brace yourself because these strips are a close 2nd in “Things I Love From Boscia”. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried nose strips. I remember when they first came out. The commercials had me begging Mama Clumps to scoop up a pack of them for me. When she finally did, I wasn’t impressed. Granted I was just 14 or 15 had didn’t know WHAT I was looking for, but still…underwhelmed teenagers turn into underwhelmed beauty bloggers. It’s a been a good 10 years since I’ve tried these and I considering I absolutely LOVE Boscia, I knew I would love these.

Just as I thought, they didn’t disappoint. Sans the preservatives including parabens, sulfates and the like, the strips do a fantastic job at thoroughly removing dirt and oil from clogged pores. A box of 6 strips will run you $15, which to me, is a good price point. After all, you don’t have to use these that often. Twice a month at best.

According to Sephora,

“Each adhesive strip attracts pore-clogging dirt and oil. Its full-contact delivery system instantly applies charcoal powder, an ingredient that draws out impurities and detoxifies the skin. Silica, a natural mineral, controls excess oil while witch hazel extract, a natural astringent, tightens pores. Effective yet gentle, additional botanical ingredients provide a soothing and cooling sensation upon adhesion. Skin is left exceptionally clarified.”

Why yes. Yes, it is. Exceptionally clarified is a bit of an understatement though.

I felt like I had a new nose after using these strips.

Pro’s
-Strip is wide enough to fit folx of all nose shapes, lengths and widths.
-While intended for the nose, you can probably use this anywhere on your face.
-Gentle enough for whiney guys to use.
-Free of fragrances.
-Works within minutes.

Con’s
-If you don’t wet the strip before removing, it can hurt a bit.
-May not be the best product for those with extremely sensitive skin.

The Guy won’t admit it, but these dramatically improved the skin around his nose. His nosey is clearer and those white heads are like…gone. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’ll be tossing these on his face at least once a month. Even if I’ve got to hold him down.

You can grab Boscia’s Pore Purifying Black Strips at Sephora stores and on Sephora.com.

Want skin that smells like Strawberries & Milkshake?

Look at that pretty body butter thingy. It’s darling, uh? I’ve been spotting I Love… Cosmetics and have kept my eyes on their cutesy pieces. Popular and well known in the UK Canada, the brand I Love… reminds me of someone. Philosophy, that’s who! With similar packaging and flavor-esqe scents, I was hoping that I Love..’s products were just as nice as Philosophy’s.

Good news is, they kinda are. I tested the Moisturizing Body Butter ($7.99) and while I’m not a fan of fruity scents, I have to admit, it smells pretty good. And the consistency is whippy and creamy.

The Strawberries & Milkshake scent is pretty dead on but it isn’t overpowering. It lightly scents the skin but won’t leave you smelling like a strawberry field and dairy farm. The body butter feels good on the skin too.

It isn’t watery and sinks into the skin nicely. While this isn’t a butter that I could regularly wear (you know, with my skin issues and all), this will make for a perfect holiday gift for my sisters. I Love… also has other fantastic scents like Blueberries & Smoothie, Coconut & Cream, Mango & Papaya and Raspberry & Blackberry. They also have a slew of other lovely goodies including shower gels, hand creams and balms.

Keep your eyes peeled for this kid. Duane Reade, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS  should ’em.

L’Occitane, L’Occitane. How I love thee, L’Occitane.

I absolutely love L’Occitane. I love saying their name. I love walking into the stores and I absolutely adore the packaging of their products. I am in complete and total shock that I have yet to try their World Famous hand cream. Wellllls, I finally got my hands on it (hehe, no pun intended). I can totally see why just about everyone who tries it loves it.

Isn’t the packaging just beautiful? The limited edition packaging  for the Shea Butter collection, which includes Ultra Rich Body Cream, Hand Cream and Lip Balms are inspired by Bogolan traditional fabrics. I love when beauty products and packaging have some kind of meaning behind them.

But that’s not it…the scent of these products also come from an inspiration; more specifically flowers that are indigenous to the African continent. Desert Rose from Morocco, Hibiscus from Egypt and Cocoa Flower from the Ivory Coast are pleasantly placed in the Shea Butter collection products. Let’s rap about the Hand Cream first.

Retailing at $26 for 5.2 oz and $10 for 1 oz, this is perhaps L’Ocittane’s post popular product. Rightfully so. With a faint hint of hibiscus, this hand cream will find a permanent spot in my makeup bag. Yes, it’s a bit on the pricey side but if you don’t mind making a splurge on a skincare product, I’d definitely snag this hand lotion. The consistency is creamy and totally ash bashing.

It leaves the skin feeling moisturized without feeling greasy. It is absolutely perfect. Even more so because it’s an actual hand cream.

Meaning it fits in your hands; making it perfect for purses, pockets and briefcases. And then there’s the lip balm ($12)…

At first glance, this balm looks a lot like the hand cream. Even after you pop the top, it looks exactly like the hand cream.

I’m not digging that as a lip applicator. It doesn’t make application difficult, but it isn’t ideal. Lip applicators should be smooth, gentle and pleasant. This one, on the other hand, isn’t as pretty. In fact, I much prefer to put a bit on my finger and then apply on the lips. Which, of course, isn’t exactly sanitary. The consistency of the balm is a lot like Carmex.

It isn’t super thick nor is it super thin. It sits comfortably in the middle. I will say, though, the smell and fragrance are 10x better than that of Carmex. It’s a nice long-lasting balm that I think is great for every day use.

As if I needed another reason to love L’Occitane.

You can snag these from Loccitane.com.

 

Disclosure: I was compensated for the contextual link listed in this post.

Laura Mercier gave me a flawless face!

When approached with the idea of trying out some Laura Mercier products, I so couldn’t say no. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Madam Mercier’s foundations and concealers and was super de duper (name that show) to get the opportunity to review some thangs.

I was asked to test drive the Hydrating Foundation Primer, Creme Smooth Foundation, Secret Camouflage concealer and the Invisible Loose Setting Powder. Now keep this in mind — I am not a regular foundation wearer. Because of my skin’s crazy acne-prone tendencies, I like to keep as much product off of it as possible. Even though I’ve reviewed several foundations before, I am still a wee bit of a foundation newbie. Mascara pro? Yep! Foundation pro? Not even close. Before I go into how everything looked when used together, let’s highlight the team players first.

Coming in at $40 and 1.7 oz is the Foundation Primer.

Okay, I’ll be honest. I never really understand the point of foundation primers. Sure they can smooth out the skin and provide a bit more moisture before applying the foundation, but is it really necessary? I’m not sure if I can answer that question or not still, but I know one thing…this is one dynamic primer. The silky gel-like consistency was lightweight and felt great on my skin.

I like that it’s not silicone-based as primers with that consistency tend to bead up and feel drier on my skin. If I’m going to wear a primer, then I’d much rather rock one that feels hydrating and light.

Then there’s the dual-tone concealer they call Secret Camouflage ($28).

My sample shade is in SC-6 which is described to be best for those with rich, dark with yellow skin tones. I chuckled when I first read that description because yes, while my skin may be rich and dark, I don’t have yellow undertones. Buuuut, I found this concealer to work anyway. While I do wear concealer on a regular basis, it is usually a concealer that is close to my skin tone, not lighter.

Ideally, it is best to go lighter when using concealer and Secret Camouflage did that for. I did, however, find myself only using the darker shade over the lighter one. Still, I think it’s cool that you get two shades. It makes for great mixing for us gals with various shades all over.

Now the star of the show was certainly the Creme Smooth Foundation ($50).

Hold your laughter in, but I don’t think I’ve ever used a cream foundation. How un beauty blogger-ish of me, uh? My biggest fear was that I was going to make a complete mess. But look, Mommy…I’m a big kid! I didn’t make a mess. This creamy dreamy foundation in Toffee Brown was a pleasure to work with. Application was simple and painless. I was shocked at how lightweight the foundation felt throughout the day.

Because it was of a creamy consistency, I was expecting to feel a bit of weight to it. But no, darlings. Nada. In fact, until a coworker complimented me on how luminous my skin looked, I forgot that I had on foundation. For someone who doesn’t wear it on a regular, THIS is the kind of foundation I would prefer. Coverage was phenomenal in that it managed to cover my acne scars and hyperpigmentation. My only gripe with the foundation would be that there doesn’t seem to be many richly hued (coined by Sam Fine) color selections. After my shade, there is only one more. I so think line could cover a few more shades.

And coming in last is the Invisible Loose Setting Powder ($34).

I firmly believe in setting powders. Especially if you’re like me and tend to get a little oily throughout the day. Problem is, most translucent powders end up making me look like a ghost. I still got a bit of a white cast with this powder, but a whole bunch of buffing got rid of it.

Did I buff it all the way off or  is just that good? I don’t knowwww….8)

Now here’s where the magic begins. My skin without foundation.

See that hyperpigmentation?

Application of the Secret Camouflage.

I never feel like I need to applying concealer under my eyes but wanted to give it a try. Looks great!

To apply the foundation, I used a skunk brush…

Dapped the foundation all over.

And bam…

I only applied foundation on one side. Can you tell which side?

Scars covered!

With flash…

In natural light.

Yep, I’m impressed and I see why Laura Mercier has rave reviews all over. While the foundation has a high price point, I’m all about investing in something that I’ll wear every day. Serious foundation wearers may cringe over a price tag, but at the end of the day, if they love it, they’ll buy it and keep buying it. I’ll be going to a few super fancy events this season and can’t wait to rock the foundation and siblings. I’m an eternal fan.

Laura believes there are four steps to create a flawless face—primer, foundation, concealer, and setting powder. Each product has been specifically developed to allow every woman to achieve an incredibly even, smooth, yet natural-looking complexion.

For more information on Laura’s flawless philosophy and tips on how to use each product within each step is located here.

Have you tried anything from Laura Mercier?

 

 

Disclosure:

Compensation was provided by Laura Mercier via Glam Media. I received a sample to review as part of the program. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Laura Mercier.