Thursday, July 31, 2014

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Review and Swatches: Everything You Need In One Palette

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Urban Decay Naked Flushed Review and Swatches

Urban Decay has slowly been adding more and more products to their Naked line, have you noticed? While I'm a big fan of all the eye shadow palettes (Naked2 is my favorite), the double ended 24/7 Glide On Liners and the foundation, I think this might be my favorite yet! They released their original Naked Flushed palette a while ago, somehow I haven't tried it yet. But three new shades have just been added to the collection, and I'm in love!

Each of these palettes is pretty large. They contain a trio of very finely milled products. Don't let that palette fool you, there's enough of each to fill a regular full sized container. Each trio is meant to work together for your look, and there is a bronzer, a highlighter and a blush. Everything you need to highlight/contour/glow!

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Review and Swatches

Since the original Naked is more of a medium-pink (I don't have it, so no comparison pics, sorry!), the 3 new shades all fill the colors you'd want to see as well. Native is a lighter pink, Streak is more of a peach and Strip is mauve. And yes, Strip makes me look a bit bruised? I do think they would all work with any skin tone, though on such light skin I would use a very light hand with Strip!

I thought for sure that I'd be using Native the most often, I seem to always be drawn to pink blushes. But, the bronzer in Streak is a tad lighter and the golden glow of the highlighter seem to work better for me. So, I'm using Streak a bit more often.

I think these palettes are a steal if you use blush, bronzer and highlighter every day. They're also very compact for travel.

Which trio would you use?

Urban Decay Naked Flushed
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How To Wash Your Face (AKA- Do You Need a Clarisonic?)

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How To Wash Your Face (AKA- Do You Need a Clarisonic?)

We all do it. I know I do. We get lazy and just rub some cleanser on our face using our fingers. That definitely happens at my house. While this lazy cleaning is definitely better than nothing, it isn't great to wake up and find mascara marks on your pillowcase or to have chin breakouts after a few days. I've been getting a lot of questions from readers recently about deep cleaning brushes as well. Should you use them every night? Do you have to use a Clarisonic, or are there cheaper options that are acceptable? (Check out my review and comparison of deep cleaning cleaning facial brushes) What about that sonic action of the Clarisonic, does is really make a big difference?

So, I decided to ask the experts. I posed those exact questions to dermatologists, and here's what they had to say! Don't forget to check out Dermatologist's Favorite Facial Cleansers!

Are women washing their face wrong? Should we always be using a Clarisonic, a wash cloth, are our cleansers to harsh or should we (or should we not) be using toner? What are your thoughts on how to properly wash the face, and what to avoid?

• I like washing once per day at night. It is really each person's preference on using a home classing device, a soft wash cloth or just hand washing.
• Best is to avoid using a classing agent that is too harsh or being too aggressive with a home cleansing device or washcloth. I like to first rinse with warm water then use a mild cleanser to remove any dirt and make up and then rinse again with warm water, pat dry and use appropriate skin care products after cleansing.
- Brian Zelickson, MD is the founder of MD Complete Skincare

• Sonic cleansers are proven to remove dirt and makeup more effectively than washing by hand. But that doesn’t necessary mean every woman needs to go out and buy a Clarisonic. If washing your face by hand and exfoliating a few times a week gives you a great complexion, then keep doing what works for you.
• Toners are meant to balance pH levels after a thorough cleansing. Be mindful of what toner you use though. Some are alcohol based and strip skin of natural oils even further.
• Avoid over exfoliating. Although exfoliating is necessary to remove dead skin cells, over exfoliating can leave skin flaky and sensitive.
• Know your skin type and choose a cleanser accordingly. For example, if you have oily, sensitive skin, don’t reach for a cream cleanser. Research skin care products for any harmful ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin, before purchasing.
- David Bank, MD is a Dermatologist at The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY

• It’s important to use a clean washcloth every time we cleanse our face, so as to avoid introducing any bacteria into the skin from the previous time you washed your face.
• Always use tepid water, not hot, when cleansing the face. If your skin is dry or sensitive, a gentle cleanser is the way to go.
- Eric Schweiger, MD is a Dermatologist at Clear Clinic Acne Treatment Center in New York City

• It is safe for all skin types to gently cleanse without a spinning brushing, using a simple gentle cleanser like Cetaphil.
• The spinning brushes are helpful to exfoliate if they're used with an exfoliating cleanser, but should be cleansed properly between uses and may occasionally irritate or flare-up the skin.
- Karen Stolman, MD is a Dermatologist in Salt Lake City and she writes Skinality

• Most people wash their face wrong because they wash it with their fingertips and there's bacteria under the fingernails.
• I'm a big fan of sonic cleansing systems so I like the Clarisonic. If you choose not to use this then use a washcloth and change it every time you wash your face. Otherwise wash your face with a cotton pad.
• I like mild cleansers unless you have very oily skin and then you should use an exfoliating cleanser.
• You should only use a toner on an oily t-zone.
- Debra Jaliman, MD is a Dermatologist in New York City

• You want to use something to help loosen up your dirt and makeup, that's why Clarisonics are all the rage now. Be sure to use luke warm water and rub up and out in circular motions if not using a Clarisonic.
- Haley Kulow is a makeup artist and esthetician in New York City

Is a Clarisonic necessary or is any deep cleansing brush ok? Does the sonic action (rather than rotation) make a big difference in cleaning the skin or in anti-aging?

• Clarisonic is just one of many sonic cleansing brushes. There are various powerful, deep cleaning brushes that work just as well.
• The sonic action is what takes off layers of dead skin to allow new skin through. It is more effective in cleansing compared to hand washing but everyday use may be excessive for sensitive skin. However it does remove dirt, makeup and pollutants that may cause skin to age more rapidly.
- David Bank, MD is a Dermatologist at The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco, NY

• The spinning/moving brushes are meant to assist in exfoliation, and simulate in-office or spa microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion both in-office with a stronger device and the home versions both have a handful of studies to support that they help exfoliate.
• Exfoliation is helpful for acne, brown spots, melasma, wrinkles, and dry skin.
- Karen Stolman, MD is a Dermatologist in Salt Lake City and she writes Skinality

• I'm a big fan of the Clarisonic because of the sonic technology. It also offers a choice of different brush heads for different skin types. The Foreo is another small handheld option which does not require brush heads.
• Sonic cleansing is superior to a washcloth. There is also research that it helps exfoliate the skin so antiaging products penetrate better.
- Debra Jaliman, MD is a Dermatologist in New York City

• It's debatable, the important thing is to get all the dirt, makeup and sweat dislodged and off your face so your skin can breath properly.
- Haley Kulow is a makeup artist and esthetician in New York City

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: My Favorite Time Saving Beauty Products

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My Favorite Time Saving Beauty Products via

I have to admit that I had a really hard time paring down my product list for this post! I restricted myself to a few product categories, and there are a few options for some of them, though my fave product made the picture. I've found that multi-tasking products are wonderful, and that the "fast" products, which promise results in a fraction of the normal amount of time, can be both good and bad. I'm also a fan of just multi-tasking myself. So, I wear a face mask, a deep conditioning hair mask, and tooth whitening strips while I'm doing my at home pedicure. Look at the hours saved!

1. POND'S Luminous Finish BB+ Cream: This is my favorite BB Cream, though there are other great ones out there! I love that it has my moisturizer, sunscreen and some light foundation coverage all in one step! For days that I think I need a bit "more", I mix in a little bit of a highly pigmented concealer that is the exact same shade as my skin. Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer is the best one for that.

Other Options:
Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector
Kiehl's 'Actively Correcting & Beautifying' BB Cream
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

2. AG Hair BB Cream: these creams do a ton of things to your hair all at once! It's like a leave in conditioner, smoothing serum, frizz fighter, shine serum, etc... all rolled into one.

Other Options:
Pantene BB Cream

3. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes: I still need to write a full review of this product, but I really love it! It's a pretty pigmented concealer, but also an eye cream, and I swear it will not settle into fine lines and wrinkles.

4. DevaCurl Deva Towel: It's true, gently squeezing the water out of your hair with a microfiber towel will dramatically cut down on drying time.

5. Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover: This stuff takes 30 seconds and gives you absolutely perfect cuticles! It's a professional manicure in a (much) cheaper bottle.

6. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment: I put this on in the shower (when I can, it isn't pregnancy safe so that isn't for another 3 months), and it is a super powered exfoliating treatment, but still gentle enough for my sensitive rosacea skin.

7. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle: Every woman should own a dry shampoo. Period. End of story. It is perfect for soaking up greasies on days you don't have time to wash your hair (let's face it, we should all be skipping days anyways, it isn't great to wash your hair every day), it also adds some much needed texture and volume.

Other Options:
Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo
Batiste Hint of Color Dry Shampoo

8. Maybelline EyeStudio Master Smoky Mechanical Eyeshadow Pencil: It's shadow and eye liner rolled into one, creating the fastest and easiest smoky eye ever! Apply around your eye, then blend it out with a smudge brush.

Other Options:
NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
Too Faced Bulletproof 24 Hour Eyeliner
Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Primer + Shadow + Liner

9. Stila Convertible Color: I use it mainly as a blush, but this cream formula can be used on your eyes and lips as well! It looks like a very pretty flush when blended out with a brush.

Other Options:
Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush

10. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover: Yes, even I hate removing my makeup at night! But, I hate going to sleep with eye liner around my eyes. This face wash (and the Kiehl's below) both are gentle enough to use around your eyes, but they also actually remove eye makeup. (Ok, they really remove regular eye makeup, they both only get about 90% of waterproof eye liner off.) I call that pretty amazing. 1 step instead of 2 (I get to skip eye makeup remover) and I'm that much closer to bed!

Other Options:
Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette Review and Swatches

Product Sent for Review Affiliate Links I Bought It Myself

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette Review and Swatches

In case you haven't noticed I'm a huge fan of Too Faced (and this week you'll see a lot of Too Faced, I have a lot of reviews coming up), and their brand new Cat Eyes palette is pretty amazing. I can't say enough about it! It's so amazing that we're dedicating a special edition of Makeup Wars to this palette today. You'll see looks and tutorials from our bloggers (here's my Too Faced Cat Eyes Tutorial), though you shouldn't be surprised to see a lot more looks using this palette all over the web for weeks to come.

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette Review and Swatches
One of the most interesting things about this palette is the wide range of colors. Yes, there are 3 very light colors. They're so light that on my super pale skin they don't show up very well (as you can see in my swatch pictures below).

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette Swatches

The real reason go get this palette is the medium and dark shades. The light shades are well pigmented and great neutrals, though they just don't show up well on my skin in pictures. The purples are my favorites, though the neutral brown/bronze shades in the day set are also very pretty! The silvery-blue of Kitty Glitter is pretty but powdery. I recommend using it over a glitter primer such as Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue.

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette Review and Swatches via

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette (also at Sephora)

Product Sent for Review Affiliate Links I Bought It Myself

Lilac Every Day Eye Tutorial With Too Faced's Cat Eyes Palette

Product Sent for Review Affiliate Links I Bought It Myself

Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette Tutorial

Today for Makeup Wars we're trying something different. We'll all be tackling the new Too Faced Cat Eyes palette, creating looks and tutorials!

I decided to create a pretty quick and easy look using the palette. Just because it has the darker colors and is named Cat Eyes, doesn't mean you need to create such a dramatic look. I did this quickly one morning before spending the day with my family.

Eye Tutorial With Too Faced's Cat Eye Palette

I started with a pre-prepped eye area. I prepped with concealer and then Shadow Insurance, which makes everything stay put all day long!

I used a medium fluff brush to spread Meow all over my lid and up to my brow bone.

Eye Tutorial With Too Faced's Cat Eye Palette

Next I used a slightly smaller fluff to apply a light wash of Pussy Cat on to my lid up to (but not into or over) my crease. Because it was over Meow you only get a hint of lilac, alone it is more vibrant.

Eye Tutorial With Too Faced's Cat Eye Palette

Next I grabbed my black Perfect Eyes Eyeliner and lined my eyes in the lashes. I know it doesn't look remotely perfect (that's why I'm giving you 2 pics of it, look! It's messy!) The point really was to get the liner down into the base of my lashes, something that is hard to do with wet shadow. The line is a bit thicker at the outer corner than the inner corner.

Eye Tutorial With Too Faced's Cat Eye Palette

Next, using a wet brush (a stiff and angled eye liner brush for my upper lash line, a small detail brush for the lower 1/2 lash line), I grabbed a little of Jungle Love and a bit of Panther. Along the top line I traced over the eyeliner, making things more even. The lower lash line, I just placed a bit of the color at the lash line, though I used a bit too much water (see how it kind of smudges down?) and I had to clean it up a little with a q-tip. After the shadow was on the lower lash line I applied more of the black eye liner into the water line.

Eye Tutorial With Too Faced's Cat Eye Palette

Finally, I finished up the rest of the look! I filled in my brows with Bulletproof Brows, highlighted above and below my brows with Instant Attitude Brow Lift and applied Better than Sex Mascara.

Lilac Every Day Eye Tutorial

Everything used:
Shadow Insurance
Cat Eyes Palette
Perfect Eyes Eyeliner
Bulletproof Brows
Instant Attitude Brow Lift
Better than Sex Mascara
Sweethearts Blush in Something About Berry
La Creme Lip Balm in Pink Slip

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