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I figured I would do a quick post on a few complimentary products that were sent to me by Influenster to consider for testing and review. This is the first review I’ve done on products that were sent to me for free, and as you all know, I will ALWAYS disclose that! However, that won’t change my opinion about these products or the fact that this is a completely honest review, so I hope you enjoy reading it!

Also, if you miss my makeup posts, have no fear! There will be a new one up this Sunday and now that I’m done traveling for a while, I should be able to get two to three posts up a week from now on!

LorealVoxBox

I always love trying new drugstore products and skincare in general, so I was pretty excited to get these in my VoxBox. Unfortunately, I have dry to combination skin and I feel like these are both best suited for combination to oily and/or breakout prone skin… Either way, I gave them a shot!

As for the mask, I’ve used it three times now, as it says you can use it that often in a week. Like most masks, you leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse.

I pulled this little tidbit from L’Oreal’s website to see what kind of claims they make:

–   “Pure Clay Face Mask Clarify & Smooth addresses your skin concerns for smooth, even, and resurfaced skin. Pure Clay Face Mask Lemon Yuzu Mask is formulated with 3 Pure Clays: Kaolin Clay, Montmorillonite Clay and Moroccan Lava Clay and enhanced with Yuzu Lemon extract to clarify & smooth skin.”

Basically, it’s made to clarify your skin, pulling out impurities, and also smooth your skin by helping to exfoliate and slough off all the rough areas of dead skin cells. For me, the smoothing/exfoliating part was the most effective. It did seem to draw out excess oil and impurities from my skin too, but because of that, I had a bit of a breakout from purging. Overall, it left my skin smooth, but quite dry, since it’s not really targeted for dry skin like mine, although it claims to be for all skin types. That said, I think this would be great if you have oily skin! On the plus side, it rinses off easily, but one drawback that I found is the smell… It’s somewhere between earthy and synthetic, which sounds weird but if you smell it, you’ll know what I’m talking about! The scent also seemed to linger, even after rinsing it off, so you may want to wash your face after removing this mask.

It sells for about $13, according to L’Oreal’s website. I imagine it will also sell for the same price at other drugstore type retailers like Walgreens, CVS, Target, and Ulta. It contains 48g / 1.7oz of product, which is a great value for that price! I did feel like I had to use quite a bit of product for an even application, though, so I went through about 1/3 of the jar pretty quickly, so that is something to keep in mind if you don’t want to rebuy something often.

 

Now lets move on to the cleanser, which worked for me MUCH better than the mask! I’ve used it nightly for the past week, and I’ll give you my thoughts on it after I share L’Oreal’s claims for this product:

–   “L’Oréal Paris created our first range of clay-to-mousse daily cleansers that leave skin looking perfectly clear. Each cleanser is powered by 3 pure clays and enhanced with a nature-sourced ingredient. Indulgently formulated to seamlessly transform from clay-to-mousse, Pure-Clay Cleansers remove everyday impurities such as dirt, oil and pollution without overdrying. Pure-Clay Cleanser Purify-Mattify with Eucalyptus goes beyond daily cleansing to deep clean and remove excess oil for skin that feels refreshed. Immediately after using this Eucalyptus facial cleanser, skin feels purer with a matte finish. Use after use, this cleanser for oily skin improves skin’s overall quality. It leaves skin with a clean, clear look”

This cleanser felt great, and I really like the clay to mousse formula. It feels like a lightweight mask at first, then gets nice and foamy once you add water and rub it around. Because it contains Eucalyptus (which smells great), it feels slightly tingly and very refreshing, which made me feel squeaky clean. It removed most of my makeup too and rinsed off completely and easily, so that’s a plus! It definitely leaves your skin with a matte finish, though, which for me was a major drawback. It claims to be for oily skin and I believe it! I was hoping that since it’s just a cleanser, it wouldn’t dry me out too much but it did, like to the point of my skin feeling very dry and tight before I would use my usual oil and moisturizer. I probably won’t continue to use this product either, but like the mask, I think it would be phenomenal for oily skin!

This cleanser sells for about $10 from the L’Oreal website, as well as from other retailers. It contains 130ml / 4.4 fl oz of product, so it’s a good deal, especially since very little product goes a long way!

 

Although I’m SUPER stoked that I received these products from Influenster, I wouldn’t purchase them myself and won’t continue using them. However, I am interested in trying out other masks and cleansers from the Pure-Clay line that are more suited for dry skin. My best friend has oily skin, so I’m going to let her try both the mask and cleanser and see what she thinks! After she tests them out, I may edit this review to reflect her opinion as well!

Thanks for reading this post! There will be more makeup posts up this weekend, so check back on Sunday!

 

*** I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. ***

If you want to receive free stuff, all you have to do is download the Influenster app or go to their website where you can review products you’ve used yourself! The more you participate, the more likely you are to receive products in what they call a “VoxBox” like I did! It’s super easy and I mean come on, who doesn’t love free stuff?!

(That was totally coming from me, btw, and they didn’t ask me to say that. I just want to hook up my readers with free goodies if I can!)

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Hey everyone! Long time no see, I know, but I’ve been super busy with work, as in glamming people up!

Yesterday I just wrapped on a couple of shoots for a calendar that’s for a local charity, which I will share on here as soon as I get approved images from the photographer. I’m super excited about it because I got to do some really creative makeups as well as some classic looks and they all turned out SO well!

I’ve been trying to come up with a better layout/outline for reviews to make it easier to read when you’re in a hurry, but I still want to cover all the important parts, as always. I think I may split posts between a brief rundown and a more in-depth/how-to, or put the more extensive part below the summary… What are your thoughts on this? I’d love for some input!

Some additional ideas for regularly featured posts are monthly favorites, what’s trending in the makeup world, and adding a skincare feature each week for “Skincare Sunday” of something new or something that’s a must have product for me. I’m working on the whole YouTube thing but I’m still getting the hang of it and learning to edit, as well as overcoming my anxiety with filming (yep, I have anxiety disorder and it flares up PRETTY bad over some things)… Making videos is NOT as easy as it looks, but I’m getting there! I feel like I don’t want to half-ass my videos and disappoint anyone, ya know?

I’ve picked up a TON of new products over the past couple of months, which I’m currently photographing and rephotographing with my new lighting setup… I mean I’m working on it at this moment! So here are some of the posts that will be coming up in the near future:

  • Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
  • Sunday Riley UFO Clarifying Face Oil
  • Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection Haze Eye Shadow Stack
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection Lipstick in Cherried
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection AllDay/Everyday Lip Liners in Kink and Edible
  • Melt Cosmetics Hot Box Collection AllDay/Everyday Eye Liners in Baked and Bloodshot
  • Jeffree Star Summer Chrome Collection Lip Vault (all 8 Velour Liquid Lipsticks and all 5 Lip Ammunition Lipsticks
  • Jeffree Star Summer Chrome Collection Watermelon Gum Lip Scrub
  • Jeffree Star Summer Chrome Collection Skin Frosts in Summer Snowcone and Crystal Ball
  • Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks (several permanent colors)
  • Jeffree Star Beauty Killer Eye Shadow Palette
  • Jeffree Star Princess Cut Skin Frost
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (not sure why I never posted it before?)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Glow in Perla, Bronzed, and Peach Fizz
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills new Matte Lipsticks – All 30 of them, but in singles or groups for posts… That would be too overwhelming as one review!
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills most recent single eye shadows from Summer 2017
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipglosses from Summer 2017 (only a few colors)
  • Kylie Cosmetics In Love with the Koko Collection Matte Liquid Lipsticks & Gloss
  • Kylie Cosmetics Send Me More Nudes Matte Liquid Lipstick set
  • Kylie Cosmetics Send Me More Nudes Velvet Liquid Lipstick set
  • Kylie Cosmetics Koko Collection Matte Liquid Lipsticks (excluding Gorg) & Gloss
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Genius Gel SuperCharged Oil Free Foundation
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer in the color Tantric
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo Blushes
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(cover) Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara (waterproof and regular formulas)

There are a lot more products too, but that’s just some examples of what I’ve been photographing and testing recently. I plan on slowly posting EVERY Anastasia Beverly Hills Single Eye Shadow, Liquid Lipstick, and Lip Gloss too, as well as a lot of permanent products from MAC and other brands that have been my go-to’s for a long time!

Sometimes it may take me a while to get reviews up after a product launches because I do purchase everything myself, so I have to order it, receive it in the mail, THEN thoroughly test it out before I give you all my honest opinion. It’s also just dependent only work schedule at times, but I’m going to start pre-writing reviews so I can post them even when I’m swamped with other things and don’t have time to write!

I’ve been posting peeks at products on my TwitterInstagram and Snapchat more often and consistently, so be sure to go follow me on those platforms… All are under the name lesley_makeup.

Well, now you all know what’s been going on and what’s to come! If you have ANY suggestions for posts or products you’d like to see, please leave me a comment! I do this because of YOU, so your input is always appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

XO, Lesley

This is a little different from my usual posts, but I want to start doing more posts about skincare and this sort of falls into that category, right?! I had to take a little break due to my health and while I’ve been away I haven’t worn makeup aside from testing a few new things I got recently… It’s made me realize just how much I was missing in my skincare routine so that’s definitely something I want to focus on more and share with all of you!

It’s so important to have a good canvas to start with before applying your makeup, and with as popular as matte liquid lipsticks are, you have to have something that locks moisture into your lips before you apply that lipstick that’s going to be on literally all day! I initially got this product just to try something new but I’ve been using it for over a month now and I see a major difference in the texture of my lips. As always, I hope you all enjoy this review as much as I enjoy sharing some of my favorite things! Please leave me a comment if you’ve tried it or know of any other miracle lip balms!

There are three shades to choose from, but this post will just be on the clear one. I have purchased the other two, though, and I’ll be reviewing those in the future.

Also, if you want to stay up to date with new products I’m testing or playing around with, or just want to chat, you can follow me on Instagram @lesley_makeup , twitter @lesley_makeup or add me on Snapchat, which is also lesley_makeup. I LOVE hearing from all of you so don’t hesitate to hit me up!

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Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask is a permanent product that sells for $26 and is available at Sephora stores (including most inside JC Penney). You can also order this from www.sephora.com. It contains 15 g / 0.52 oz of product, which may not seem that much, especially for that price but a little goes a long way! When I photographed this I had been using it for about 3 weeks already, at least twice a day if not more, and that’s the dent I had left in the tube at that time! I imagine one tube of this is going to last me at least a couple of months, so I feel like this is a better deal than some cheaper alternatives out there, just due to the fact that the ingredients are very high quality and you don’t need to apply this very often at all. If this would have been any other type of squeeze-tube lip balm, I’m pretty sure I’d have run out by now! It does not contain any Phthalates, Parabens, or Sulfates and Bite Beauty is a cruelty-free brand ❤

From the box it comes in to the tube itself, the packaging is simple, yet modern and classy. I appreciate that with this type of product because I feel like no matter who you are, you can use this product and not be turned off by extravagant, bright packaging. The tube itself is your basic squeeze tube, but it’s pretty I dunno, hefty?, which prevents you from squeezing out too much product too easily and wasting it, since you only need a little bit. The tube has surprisingly held up floating around in the bottom of my purse for over a month now, so that says something about the quality of it! When you get it, the there’s a seal over the opening, which you break using the screw on lid. I like that with products like this because you know you’re getting something brand new and sanitary.

Since this is a pretty basic review, I’m just going to pop the photos down below the description and such so keep scrolling down to see those, including the list of ingredients which are all of super high quality and 99% natural!

As I just mentioned, Bite Beauty uses the utmost high quality ingredients. On top of that, all of their products are hand made in house, so when you buy their products, you aren’t getting something that’s going to have any weird chemicals or vary much from batch to batch because the production is from one location, is hands-on, and is closely overseen by people. Since Bite Beauty is also a company that focuses on lip products, I feel like that might have something to do with this literally being the best lip balm type of product I have ever used, and I’m not just saying that because it’s a current, new obsession… I really mean it!

Obviously, this one is clear and has a natural type of finish. The texture is pretty thick, which is probably why it’s referred to as a mask rather than a balm. It honestly takes a little bit of effort to squeeze it out of the tube, but you only need an amount about the size of a peppercorn or metal bb to get plenty of moisture packed onto your lips. Since it’s a thick product that’s not very slippery, I like to pat it onto my lips then gently rub it in with my finger using a back and forth motion because it does need to be warmed up in order to go on evenly.

Another great thing about this being more of a mask than a balm is that once it’s applied, it looks natural and not too shiny or glossy. The less you apply, the less shiny it looks, so this is a product that’s suitable for everyone… And by everyone, I mean all you men out there who need to upgrade from chapstick but are too afraid of wearing something high-end because it might look too wet and glossy! There’s also a stick version of Bite’s Agave lip treatment that’s even less satiny than the Lip Mask is, but I find it harder to apply. I also feel like I have to use more product with the stick type and apply it more often… I’m actually going to review that one soon, too, so that way you all will know more about the differences in them.

With this Lip Mask, you honestly see instant results. After I used this just once and sent a picture of my lips to my best friend the next day, she asked me what I did and said it looked like I’d had my lips filled a little because they were so full and smooth… The only thing I had changed was the fact that I applied this before bed! You see, because of the consistency and ingredients, it soaks in and adheres to your lips without slipping off, so you can apply this before bed, then wake up 8 hours later with smooth, plump (as in naturally, this doesn’t have plumpers in it), hydrated lips. Because this formula is so unique and soaks in so well without leaving your lips slippery or sticky, I find it ideal to wear before I apply matte or liquid lipsticks. When I get ready, I’ll usually shower, apply my skincare including this Lip Mask, dry my hair, then put on makeup, always doing my lips last. That gives this product time to soak in prior to putting on your lipstick so you won’t end up with lips that feel like they’re dry and cracking underneath your liquid lipstick that’s going to be on all day! I don’t usually have a problem with this, but if you feel like there’s a little too much still on the surface of your lips before you apply your liner and lipstick, just blot onto the back of your hand or a tissue. Even at the end of the day after I’ve removed my lipstick, I don’t feel like the moisture has been sucked out of my lips at all… Since I usually end up reapplying this after washing my face, I feel like my lips are never dry any more and in the month I’ve used this consistently, I have not had dry patches or chapped lips ONCE!

I bought this in the other two colors too, one of which is a peachy-pink with a hint of shimmer called Champagne, and the other which is reddish pink, but just makes your lips look naturally pigmented and flushed. I’ll be reviewing those soon, so make sure to subscribe for updates via email or follow me on the social media platforms listed in the beginning of this post to see when those reviews go up.

Overall, I 100% recommend this to anyone and everyone… Especially to anyone who is a liquid lipstick addict! Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip mask will literally change your lips and your life!

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   N/A

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5   (8 hours)

Packaging:   5

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*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one of those products that I bought AGES ago when it first came out and it just sat there forever until I recently picked it up and absolutely fell in love with it! It’s the type of moisturizer that you can wear alone if you want a healthy glow but don’t want to wear makeup, or you can wear it under your foundation or even mix it WITH your foundation to create a base with extra luminosity. Glowstarters come in three colors but I’ll only be reviewing Nude Glow in this post.

Glamglow’s Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer is a permanent product which sells for $49 and can be purchased directly from www.glamglow.com, Sephora, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, and many other retailers. It contains 50 g (or ml) / 1.7 oz of product, which is pretty average for a higher end moisturizer in this price range. Glamglow is a cruelty-free company, so this product was not tested on animals ❤

If you sign up for emails on Glamglow’s website, you get a 15% off code! Also, if you act now, they have a friends and family discount code that will take 25% off of your entire purchase. The code is FF25OFF and it expires on Monday, 5/1/17 at 11:59PM Pacific Time.

As always, if you’d like to get updates on upcoming posts, chat with me, or get sneak peeks of new products that I’ll be testing and reviewing, be sure to follow me on twitterinstagram, and snapchat, all @ lesley_makeup!

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The packaging for this is your basic little tub but it’s SO pretty! It’s a bright silver with the Glamglow star on the top of the screw-on lid. It feels heavy but not bulky and it’s sturdy enough to live through being tossed in a travel or gym bag. It also seems to hold up well  when dropped onto a tile floor (I’ve dropped mine at least half a dozen times and it hasn’t even cracked). It’s easy to get all of the product out too since there’s no awkward shape or lip to the container, so you won’t waste a drop of this moisturizer!

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The formula isn’t too thin and fluid-like, but it’s also not super thick and creamy… It almost feels whipped but not in a dry, poofy sort of way… If that makes any sense. It has a slick, almost cooling feel to it but isn’t greasy at all. I guess the best way to describe this is just exactly what it is, which is SUPER moisturizing without being sticky or heavy. It absorbs quickly so you don’t have to worry about waiting a long time between applying this and then your makeup. I actually like to use this right before putting on my foundation or primer, if I even decide to use one along with this product. Glowstarters have a tropical, almost creamsicle-like scent, which I like but that’s me… It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, though. The scent does fades after a little while, so you don’t have to worry about walking around smelling sweet and fruity all day!

According to Glamglow, and also based on my personal experience with this product as well as my experience using this in my makeup kit, Glowstarters are suitable for all skin types. That said, if your skin is sensitive to things which are scented or have very small pearlescent particles, you may want to try a test area before applying this to your entire face. Personally, my skin varies between dry and combination depending on the time of year but I can use this year round without getting overly shiny or oily. If you have oily skin and don’t want any extra glow, this product may not be for you or you could just mix a small amount in with your foundation for a healthy hint of luminosity. Also, if you have larger pores, this moisturizer can emphasize them a little bit, like many shimmery products can, so that’s something else to keep in mind. I’ll go over different techniques of using this product below the summary for this particular shade of Glowstarter.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’m only reviewing Nude Glow today but you can choose from three different Glowstarter colors. Pearl Glow is the lightest and is a pearlescent white, Nude Glow is the medium color and is a pearlescent pink, and Sun Glow is the darkest and is a pearlescent bronze. The great thing is that all skin tones can use all of these colors! If worn alone, I would recommend Pearl Glow for fair to light skin, Nude Glow for light to medium dark skin, and Sun Glow for medium to deep skin. You can also use the different colors to lighten or deepen your foundation if mixed together, or use the different colors on different areas of your face, much like doing a very sheer, subtle base, contour, or highlight with a glow. In the summer, I have a pretty medium skin tone and prefer Nude Glow most of the time but I will reach for Sun Glow if I want to look a little more bronzed.

Glowstarters are hydrating enough to use as your daily moisturizer and contain all sorts of beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, botanicals, hyaluronic acid, and Glamglow’s own Teaoxi golden root technology which instantly gives you boost of moisture that lasts all day. One of my favorite ingredients in Glowstarters is green tea extract, which helps to soothe the skin. They also contain emollients like ceramides, jojoba oil, shea butter, and a top secret, special lipid-complex that’s going to infuse your skin with moisture and keep that moisture locked in all day long. The pearlescent particles in these moisturizers add to the glowing effect, reflecting light and helping to blur out imperfections. For me, when I wear this alone, I feel like I have one of those naturally radiant looking filters on my face (think flower crown filter on snapchat minus your skin color being all blown out and bright… And without having to walk around with flowers on your head lol).

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Photo taken indoors using natural, diffused sunlight PLUS a ring light. Glowstarter swatched on NC25 skin.

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Photo taken indoors using a ring light only. Glowstarter swatched on NC25 skin. 

Nude Glow:   This is a light, sheer peachy-champagne type of nude with warm undertones and a soft golden sheen. The texture is very smooth and almost feels cooling when applied. It has a medium consistency, falling right between a lotion and a cream so it isn’t runny but also isn’t so thick that you need to warm it up on your fingers before putting it on. The color payoff and amount of shimmer is obviously not going to be as pigmented or intense as it is in the pot, but that’s to be expected with this type of product. Coverage is the same way… While it’s not going to be anywhere near opaque, you will get an even amount of glow without any patchiness. Wear time is actually really nice for a radiant, shimmery moisturizer… When worn alone, I don’t notice the shine beginning to fade away in most areas until I have it on for about 10-12 hours unless I get hot or it’s exceptionally humid, then it may fade a bit faster because the glow will slide off right along with your sweat!

I’m not going to give this the typical rating since many parts of that don’t apply to this product, but we’ll try it this way:

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Hydration:  5

Luminosity:   4

Texture:   5

Scent:   5

Packaging:   5

Application Tips:

Worn alone or as a moisturizer:   

Gently rub or pat this into clean, dried skin, avoiding the eye area. You may also apply this to your shoulders, arms, legs, décolletage, or anywhere else on your body for a sexy, goddess-like glow. If you are wearing primer and other makeup over this, let it soak in for about 10-15 minutes, then you’re good to go with your normal makeup routine! This technique is great for all skin types.

Worn as a primer:

Apply lightly to your face after letting your usual moisturizer soak in for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Let this absorb for about a minute, then apply your foundation directly over the Glowstarter. At this point, it will be tacky enough that your foundation will adhere to it like it would any other primer. This technique is best for dry to normal skin types.

Mixed in with foundation as a luminizer:

You can mix in as much or as little as you want! The more you mix in, the more sheered out and glowy your foundation will become, while the less you add, the more coverage you’ll have with your base and the more subtle the glow will be. You can also mix this with something like MAC’s Select Cover-Up or Pro Longwear Concealers to create a beautiful, luminous foundation that will still give you a good amount of coverage, since concealers are typically more pigmented than foundations are. You can use this trick no matter what type of skin type you have but if you’re oily, you will want to use a very small amount of Glowstarter in your mixture.

Worn as a highlighter:

As with any liquid highlighter, you’ll want to pat this onto the high planes of your face (cheekbones, tip and bridge of nose, above the brow bone, on the cupid’s bow, etc). I like to use my fingers for this method. You may add a powder highlighter over it to intensify the glow but it’s not necessary to set with a powder if you want a softer, more natural look.

 

 

*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***

 

 

I’ve been searching for the best, most nourishing moisturizer for quite some time now and I finally found it… It’s not a complicated product with tons of fancy ingredients… It’s pure, simple, organic shea butter!

There are so many uses for shea butter, but I purchased this with the primary intent of treating my eczema. You see, I have a type of eczema called dyshidrotic eczema, which causes little tiny blisters on the sides of my fingers and backs of my hands. It gets very dry, then cracks and hurts SO bad. It’s embarrassing to have too, being a makeup artist and all. I finally did my research and saw that shea butter was something natural that could nearly cure this condition, and it almost has in only a week!

I started applying this to my eczema throughout the day, anytime my skin would start to feel dry or tight. I went from having about a dozen dry, cracked blisters, to having two that are nearly all healed up. It’s amazing!

That said, there are also so many more uses for shea butter, like these:

  • Chapped Lips:   It’s taken my lips from dry and chapped to completely smooth and soft.
  • Frizzy Hair:   I rub a tiny amount of shea butter between my fingertips and run it through any frizzy areas of my hair that need “tamed”. I also use it on the dry areas of the ends of my hair.
  • Cuticles:   Rubbing this on my cuticles has made them soft and easier to push back.
  • Dry Heels/Feet:   After I shower and buff my feet with a pumice stone, I rub shea butter all over my heels and the dry, tough areas of my feet every few day. If you do this, make sure to wear socks for a little while so it soaks in and you don’t slip on the floor! It’s made my feet SO much softer… Just in time for sandal weather.
  • Scars:   If you apply shea butter to recent scars, it will help keep the skin supple and help it to heal and reduce scarring. Make sure the tissue is no longer open. This will work on scars from any cut, scrape, surgical procedure, burn, or even acne.
  • Dry Scalp/Dandruff:   Just like shea butter helps with other dry patches of skin, if you have dandruff, you can rub a very small amount of shea butter between your finger to warm it up, them rub it on the dry areas of your scalp to help control dandruff.
  • Rosacea:   For some people that have rosacea on their face, neck, and chest, applying shea butter can help soothe the skin and reduce redness.
  • Psoriasis:   I have heard that shea butter can reduce the amount of redness and flaking associated with psoriasis… A good friend of mine has psoriasis and is going to test this for me very soon!
  • Fine Lines & Wrinkles/Sun Damage:   Because shea butter is full of antioxidants, it can help reduce the appearance of aging if you apply it to your face where you have wrinkles, lines, or sun spots.
There are even more uses for shea butter, but those are the main ones that I can think of right now! It basically calms and conditions dry, irritated, or damaged skin. Shea butter has loads of Vitamin E and other antioxidants in it, so it soothes and protects your skin, helping it heal and restore and retain moisture.
Shea butter has a thick, creamy, slightly oily consistency that thins out once it’s warmed up between your fingertips or on your skin. In tubs like the ones I bought, it’s nearly a solid… kind of like a thick lip balm. It can range from white to yellow in color and has a slight smell, which is minimal if it’s a more refined type of shea butter. The smell is not bad, though, and fades quickly.
I purchased my shea butter from L’Occitane, which is a high-end, somewhat pricey brand, but I know that the quality of it is great and it’s certified organic. For the small 8ml tub, it was $10, while the larger 150ml tub was $40. A little bit will last you a VERY long time, though! You can also find shea butter at most health food store or store, or even some grocery stores that carry organic foods and supplements, like Whole Foods. My mom purchased some from her local health food store for only $6!
If you have any other uses for shea butter or other suggestions, please post them in the comments section… Thanks again for reading!!

MAC Heavenly Creature  –  Thursday, July 5th, 2012

MAC’s Heavenly Creature collection is a large, space themed collection full of Mineralize products such as Eye Shadows, Blushes, and Mineralize Skinfinishes. There are also Mineralize Charged Water skincare products like Eye Cream, Cleanser, and Moisture Gel. They even brought back Volcanic Ash Exfoliator with this collection! As well as Mineralize products, there are Lipsticks and Cremesheen Glasses too. MAC is also repromoting a few of their permanent products, like the 286, 187, and 188 Duo Fibre Brushes and False Lashes Mascara.

The product names in this collection are all fun and space-related. The Mineralize Skinfinishes, Blushes, and Eye Shadows all have a swirly appearance too, so they resemble planets, galaxies, etc… Most of the products are bright, bold, warm colors, which are perfect for summer! MAC usually releases a Mineralize collection around summertime every year. Heavenly Creature is my favorite in the past few years… These colors really are unique and nearly every product can be worn by anyone!

MAC’s Heavenly Creature collection is already available online, but the official North American release date for counters and stores is Thursday, July 5th. The majority of these products are limited edition. Since Mineralize products are SO popular, you may want to go ahead and get what you want online or stop by your local MAC store or counter and pre-purchase or reserve the products that you want! These will probably sell out VERY quickly!

* Mineralize Skinfinish *

$29 for 10g / 0.35 US oz

MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish is “A luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish. Smoothes on: adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish to the face.” These are shimmery, but buildable so you can wear them as a softer wash of color with a glow, or layer them up for intense color payoff and a metallic sheen. These apply best with something like a MAC 187 or 188 Duo-Fibre brush and wear for around 8 hours. There are four Mineralize Skinfinish powders in this collection, all of which are limited edition. For more photos and swatches, you can click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Mineralize Skinfinish: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Mineralize Blush*

$23.50 for 3.2g / 0.10 US oz

MAC Mineralize Blushes are “Baked minerals refined into a powder formula to provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. Veils and enhances the cheekbones with a luminous, pearlized shimmer.” All of these are warm, bright colors and although they may look a little intimidating to those of you with fair-light skin, they’re buildable, so with proper application, these don’t have to look so intense if you don’t want them to! Mineralize Blush applies best with a MAC 187 or 188 Duo-Fibre brush and wears for about 8 hours. All four Mineralize Blushes in this collection are limited edition. For additional photos and swatches, you can click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Mineralize Blush: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Mineralize Eye Shadow *

$20 for 1.8g / 0.06 US oz

MAC’s Mineralize Eye Shadows are also “Baked minerals refined into a powder formula provide exceptionally sheer and lightweight application. Colour builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage”. Basically, it’s the nearly the same formula as the blushes are, only in an eye shadow form! As with the rest of the Mineralize Products, these are buildable, and can also be applied damp for extra bold shimmer and color payoff. I go over all application techniques in my other post. With these, I get approximately 6-10 hours of wear, depending on whether or not I apply a primer underneath. All nine Mineralize Eye Shadows are limited edition. For more photos, swatches, and a full review, you can click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Mineralize Eye Shadows: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Lipstick *

$14.50 for 3g / 0.1 US oz

MAC’s Lipstick formula feels lightweight on the lips, but still gives great pigmentation and color payoff. Most of the Lipsticks in the Heavenly Creature collection are Lustre finishes, except for Pleasureseeker, which is a Glaze. Lustre finish Lipsticks give me around 4 hours of wear before they need to be touched up, while Glazes last slightly longer since they are a bit more creamy. All five of these Lipsticks are limited edition, with Pleasureseeker being a repromote that was originally released with the Neo Sci-Fi collection in May of 2008. Cut A Caper is also a repromote from MAC’s A Tartan Tale collection which came out in October of 2010. Cut A Caper was extremely popular when it was originally released and sold out online the first day that the Heavenly Creature collection was available! For more photos, swatches, and a complete review, click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Lipsticks: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Cremesheen Glass *

$19.50 for 2.7ml / 0.09 US fl oz

MAC Cremesheen Glass is “A lip finish that fuses the creamy, sheen-filled nature of Cremesheen Lipstick with the shine of M∙A∙C Lipglass. Soft, comfortable, non-sticky. Applies with a doe-foot applicator. Use as a top layer to its namesake Lipstick or on its own.” These truly are non-sticky, and while they aren’t as thick as typical Lipglass, they are still intensely pigmented and offer great coverage. I get around 4 hours of wear with Cremesheen Glass. The five Cremesheen Glasses in the Heavenly Creature collection are all limited edition. If you’d like to check out more photos, swatches, and full reviews, click here: MAC Heavenly Creature Cremesheen Glass: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

* Brushes *

187 Duo Fibre Face Brush:   This brush is permanent and sells for $42. It is “A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Use to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.” It’s perfect for the application of Mineralize Skinfinishes or Mineralize Blushes (but the 188 will give you more control). You can easily layer the product, gradually building color with it. The 187 Brush is also great for buffing and blending!

188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush:   This brush is permanent and sells for $34. It is “A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any formula colour – fluid, cream, powder or pigment. Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.” It’s a smaller version of the 187 brush, so it’s better for applying to smaller areas, like cheeks, and gives you more control over the product. This is my favorite brush for applying Mineralize Blush.

286 Duo Fibre Blending Brush:   This eye brush is also part of MAC’s permanent line and sells for $30. “With its soft dome shape, this two-toned, duo-fibre brush of goat and synthetic fibres provides a sheer, more controlled application of M·A·C Mineralize Eye Shadow.” I think this brush is great for applying Mineralize Eye Shadow, but mostly just for buffing out and softening the intensity and dry application. It fits into the crease very nicely and gives you a great deal of control. It’s also a fantastic brush for applying under-eye concealer!

* False Lashes Mascara* 

$19 for 8g / 0.28 US oz

False Lashes Mascara:   This mascara is a permanent product. The formula is “Fashionably false in look, but honestly real, this mascara’s key benefits of volume and curl are matched by a dramatic end look. The unique edge: the ultra-thickening formula in combo with the plush-’em-up action of its unique double-lush brush.” This is by far one of my favorite mascaras of all time! I use this on an almost daily basis to make my lashes look long, dark, and full. I especially like layering this over Prep + Prime Lash for added volume, length, and drama. False Lashes Mascara layers well without weighing down the lashes or clumping and wears without smudging or flaking.

* Skincare *

Volcanic Ash Exfoliator:   This product is “A highly effective, dual-purpose foaming, cleansing and exfoliating scrub blending natural Volcanic Ash with fine sugar crystals. Refines and unclogs the skin, adds instant moisture: leaves skin feeling soft and comfortably clean. Mineral-rich. May be used effectively on any part of face or body. Rinses off with warm water.” I have not used this myself, but I plan on picking some up this week! I hear fantastic things about it and from what I understand, it’s good for all skin types. MAC usually releases this in limited quantities and once it’s gone, it’s not released again for a while. That said, I’m unclear if this is going to stick around or not, but I’m pretty sure that it’s limited edition with the Heavenly Creature collection. This contains 100ml / 3.4 US fl oz of product and sells for $28.

Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser:   This cleanser is “A lightweight cleanser formulated with our ionized Super-Duo Charged Water technology. Removes all makeup (except waterproof and longwearing) with a wipe – no rinse-off required. Leaves skin nourished, soft, absolutely clean.” It’s a cleanser/remover, so you don’t have to rinse your face with water after using this if you’re in a hurry. I still like to rinse mine, though. I don’t own this product but I’ve used it several times and I like it! It leaves my skin feeling nourished and doesn’t seem to dry it out. Mineralize Charged Water Cleanser is permanent product that contains 100ml of cleanser and sells for $23.

Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream:   This eye cream is “A luxuriously rich eye cream. Infused with our ionized Super-Duo Charged Water technology. Moisturizes and adds radiance, while instantly – and over time – reducing the look of dark circles, lines and puffiness.” I have only tried this out for a few days in a row but I thought it was nice and plan on purchasing it when I run out of my other eye cream! it doesn’t decrease puffiness as quickly as Fast Response Eye Cream does, but it seems to help prevent it to some degree and provides more moisture. This is a permanent product containing 15ml of eye cream, which sells for $35.

Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel:   This moisturizer is “An ultra-light, gel-like cream that absorbs instantly to give the skin intense hydration. Infused with our exclusive Super-Charged Water technology, this formula leaves skin softer, more luminous. Use day or night.” Again, I haven’t used this much, only as a sample for about a week, but I think this is a fantastic product for all skin types. If you have dry skin, this will soak in quickly, but still hold in moisture throughout the day. If you have combination skin, it will help to even out the dry areas and oily patches. If you have oilier skin, it will give you just enough moisture to keep your skin even and healthy. My favorite part about MAC’s gel formula moisturizers is that they aren’t heavy and feel like that almost adjust to your skin type, giving you the perfect amount of moisture. It soaks in quickly and doesn’t sit on the surface of the skin, so you can apply makeup over this without feeling like a shiny, slippery-faced mess. During the hotter months, I use the Lightful Moisture Creme, which is also a gel-style moisturizer, so my skin can breathe without having a sticky, heavy layer of moisturizer on it when it’s already hot and humid outside. Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel is permanent and contains 50ml of product. This sells for $37.

I feel like my skincare routine needs updated so I’m giving MAC’s Lightfully New with Marine-Bright Formula line a shot. Although none of my skincare or makeup products have changed, my skin is freaking out and I’m hoping this will fix it right up. I have combination-oily skin but lately I have these horrible areas with little blemishes all over, then in my t-zone, which is normally super oily, I have dry, flakey patches that look awful with makeup over them. I’m thinking it’s more of a change of weather and diet that’s making my skin look so bad, but with how Lightful products work, I’m hoping they’ll help to even everything out.

Lightful has been around for a while, but what MAC has done is add their Marine-Bright Formula, which contains three different types of seaweed extracts that help to brighten your skin and add luminosity. Basically, this whole line is designed to even out, nourish, hydrate, deoxidize your skin. It also helps fortify against things like free-radicals and excess melanin. It also contains MAC’s Super-Duo Charged Water, so it when you apply these products, they soak in quickly but the moisture actually stays in your skin and will appear and become healthier and have that fresh glow.

Cleanser:

          This cleanser seems perfect to use with my Clarisonic brush (amazing little thing)! I usually use the MAC Makeup Remover Wipes and Cleanse-Off Oil before washing my face, but I’m hoping this cleanser will take off everything easily and I can skip a few of those steps sometimes. Lightful Cleanser “actively cleanses, rebalances, refreshes, hydrates and brightens the skin”. It’s also supposed to remove most makeup, including longwearing, but I shall have to test that out. It’s definitely supposed to be gentle, so if it can do that, that will make me a fan for sure!

Essence:

          At the moment, I’m using an uber vitamin c serum from another company, but I think it’s too drying for me. The Lightful Essence kinda has the same effect as my current serum, so I’m excited to see how it works. It’s a “lightweight serum which now acts more powerfully to moisten, condition and plump skin for a smoother, more radiant look and feel”. It will take time for the radiant, brightening effect (as in minimizing the look of dark spots and UV damage) to kick in, but over time I’m hoping this helps out. I spent way too much time in the sun when I was younger and it shows 😦

Softening Lotion:

          I got to play with this a little bit and fell in love! It absorbs really quickly and leaves your skin feeling nicely hydrated, without residue or a heavy layer of product left on the surface. It’s really perfect for daytime when you feel like you need a little bit more moisture but you don’t want your moisturizer to leave you shiny or greasy. I typically use the MAC Oil Control lotion during the day, so I’m going to try this underneath and see how that works for me. The Softening Lotion “conditions the skin for a smoother, more radiant look and feel”. Like the Essence, it takes time for the radiant effect to really show up.

Moisture Creme:

At the moment, I’m using MAC Complete Comfort Cream at night, which I love, but I’m almost out of it soooo I figured I would switch to Lightful. This Moisture Creme is a “lightweight, gel-style moisturizing cream that works hard to boost skin’s moisture while instantly, and over time, making the skin more luminous”. It’s not a heavy moisturizer, so for those if you with drier skin you might need something thicker at night, but I’m thinking this is going to be perfect for my combination-greaseball skin.

I’m going to try this out day and night for a solid 2-4 weeks, then write up a review for you guys.

Here’s my little plan:

Day:

Lightful Cleanser, Fast Response Eye Cream (as usual), Lightful Softening Lotion, possibly Lightful Essence, then my daily application of Oil Control Lotion and Prep + Prime Face Protect before I apply my makeup.

Night:

Makeup Remover Wipes and Cleanse-Off Oil (if needed), Lightful Cleanser along with my Clarisonic brush, over-priced eye cream that shall remain nameless at this time because I’m a little unsure of it, Lightful Softening Lotion, Lightful Essence, Lightful Moisture Creme.

If any of you have tried any of these products or have any suggestions or input, let me know!!

Update:   So far, so good! It seems like using all of these products together are making my skin more even, brighter and glowy. I haven’t been using it long enough to see complete results yet, but so far I’m really liking the improved Lightful line. It’s made a slight difference with brightening up the areas I have some sun damage… The spots don’t seem quite so noticeable any more, but maybe that’s because my skin looks more even overall? I’m not sure. It’s doing something awesome though… My super critical, brutally honest best friend asked me if I was wearing makeup the other day when I wasn’t and had just crawled out out bed 🙂

The Cleanser takes a VERY small amount rubbed all over my face to get my skin squeaky clean. Keep in mind, I use it with a Clarisonic face brush, which helps remove makeup tremendously. I considered trying it without it for a while to see how the cleanser does alone, but I can’t bear to stop using my Clarisonic ever night. It has a thick texture but gets nice and foamy as you start to rub it in. Remember that smelly old Noxema brand cleanser that came in the blue tub? If you’re at least in your mid twenties you probably do… Anyway, it’s kind of like that texture, which I love.

The Softening Lotion is slightly annoying as far as packaging goes. I feel like I splatter or drip a bit of the product when I’m trying to squirt it into my hand, but it’s not enough that it makes it not worth using. This stuff is AMAZING if you just feel like your skin is tighter than normal. It’s helped with my dry patches tremendously. I usually only apply this in the daytime, before (and sometimes after) I apply my Oil Control lotion, and off and on on my no-makeup days when my skin starts to feel dry from the heater running constantly.

The Essence/Serum is really cool… I have stopped using this at night, just to spare product since I still have a little bit left of my old serum… Anyway, I either mix this in with my Studio Fix foundation (if that’s what I’m wearing that day), because it adds a hint of a glow to a liquid foundation and thins it out to make it look more natural. If I use another type of foundation, I apply this after my moisturizer and before my primer.

The Moisture Creme is really nice. I’ve been using this at night and sometimes during the days if my skin is feeling drier than normal. You don’t need to apply a lot of this to get a good amount of moisture. Your skin will most likely suck it right up and it will leave little to no residue or stickiness, which is awesome! I have found that on my super dry skin days, I have to layer this over Comfort Creme because the gel-like formula isn’t quite heavy enough at times. After a few days of using only the Moisture Creme when it was cold out and my heater was on a lot, I noticed some flakey patches coming back but the addition of the Comfort Creme made this disappear right away.

Overall, I think this is an awesome line and is great for most people, probably more so for people with normal to oily skin types. It’s going to take some more time for my skin to get used to this line, and I think it may be better for me in the summer when my skin isn’t so horrible dry and irritated all the time, but we shall see! I’ll keep you all updated!

P.S. It smells AMAZING and fresh and it makes me look forward to washing my face every night 🙂