summer skincare favorites

On July 31, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

In the summer I am, like most, drawn to lighter skincare formulations. Here are my current favorites, for face rather than body this time, in the order I would apply them.

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Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner

Key ingredients here are avocado and apricot kernel oil, and squalane, a botanical lipid that behaves much like skin lipids. This has a milk-like texture and a faint, aloe-ish scent. I like to pat this on with my fingers rather than involve a cotton pad. Wonderfully hydrating, the main idea being that you get some hydration going on before you try to seal that moisture in.

This is one of my favorite face products at the moment, up there with the Clarin’s Blue Orchid face oil. Picked up on a recommendation from Brit facialist Caroline Hirons, a great, straight talking resource. It’s a kind of serum/oil hybrid, a fantastic light liquid serum that has played well with everything I’ve layered over it. It smells like perfectly ripe peaches, sinks in promptly, leaves a healthy fed-ness behind. I plan to repurchase.

[OR]

Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil

The most expensive of the lot, but really nice. Really very, very nice.  A complex blend of superfood oils, basically it does everything.  A “blend of lightweight, fast absorbing oils extremely high in natural retinol, Omega-3, 6 & 9, essential amino acids, Vitamin C, UV shields, and natural anti-inflammatory agents for luminous skin. Anti-aging, antioxidant.” It doesn’t smell especially good (not bad, just vaguely herbal), and this is because they didn’t add anything (especially no essential oils, which can cause reactions in sensitive skin) to make it smell a particular way. Same story re: the healthy nourished effect mentioned with the REN serum. We’ll see how long it lasts before making any plan to repurchase, but I approve. Maybe I’ll talk about it more when I’ve used it a while longer.

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum

Lisa Eldridge recommended this in a skincare video and I was curious to try it out. Clinique, for the record, has an awesome return policy, and you can try the product and still return if unsatisfied (others with great return policies: Sephora, Mario Badescu, Beauty.com, Ulta). I like it so far, but not sososo much that I wouldn’t switch it up when it’s gone.

(I like to use the REN serum in the morning and the Clinique at night)

Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream Moisturizer

I’ve been using this for about 2 months. I don’t know. I can never tell if these things are helping with my pigmentation (my main skin issue at the moment). If I see a difference (and lately I do), there are always too many factors to determine which product deserves the credit. I’m inclined to chalk most of it up to the prescription retinol (if you have skin issues, step 1 is to see a dermatologist. For one thing, my prescription retinol is much, much cheaper than its over-the-counter equivalents) but active brightening ingredients here and there (and there, and there), don’t hurt. I figure. Nice creamy texture, not a bad price point. 

A solid moisturizing SPF [Always check for ‘UVA/UVB’ or ‘Broad Spectrum’ in the description] with some bonus skincare benefits. This is my budget option, and I’ve repurchased it a few times.

[OR]

Origins Mega-Bright SPF 30 Skin tone correcting oil-free moisturizer

Smells great, a light citrus scent, lovely texture, plays well with others. Not cheap, but really nice. Really nice but almost gone and I’m going to try this Murad Essential C one next, about which have heard no end of good things.

 N.B. I like these products but, of course, they may not work for you. Try first!

a few favorite summer lip colors, vol. iii: glosses, sheers, paints

On June 26, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Let’s ignore that I changed my categorizing criterion from color to texture mid-series. I do what I want.

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Origins Liquid Lipcolor in Juicy Details (w/ gold glitter), Lip Fusion gloss in Boca Babe, Estée Lauder The Lip Gloss in Coralée, Maybelline Color Whisper in Orange Attitude, Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti

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Revlon Kissable Balmstain in Rendez-vous, Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Pomegranate, Sleek Pout Paint in Lava, OCC Lip Tar in Banjee

OK, quickly:

Hardly wear lipgloss but when I do wear it, I wear these ones. I keep thinking I ought to give them more of a chance. They have that summer ease and swipeability about them, and have the virtue of already being in my possession. I especially like the Origins one, sheer with a bit of gold shimmer. Others in this Origins line are beautifully pigmented. Thinking of the red one.

Isn’t that Estée Lauder gloss packaging beautiful? What? Oh. Tom Ford designed it. Genius.

It’s like learning that Joss Whedon script-doctored Speed (which he did).

I like Maybelline Color Whispers more than Revlon Lip Butters. There, I said it.

And I like Revlon Balmstains better than either of them.

The Sleek Pout Paint is intense and exactly the color I hoped it would be. Lava is actually a pretty accurately evocative name, hue-wise.

I picked up the OCC Lip Tar in Banjee to mix with red (so I could determine my own red-orange ratios) but it’s pretty stunning on its own, a vibrant orange marigold color. It would be a slightly editorial look, but what’s wrong with that? In the grocery store. At the liquor store. In line for hot chocolate. Baffling small children. Etc.

See also vol. i: coral, vol. ii: orange.

lipstick: keeping things organized

On March 5, 2013 by theseventhsphinx
top row: Maybelline, NYCbottom row: NARS, Lancôme, Shu Uemura, MAC, Lancôme

top row: Maybelline, NYC
bottom row: NARS, Lancôme, Shu Uemura, MAC, Lancôme

Rimmel, Revlon, Origins, Korres, Clarins, Victoria's Secret...

Rimmel, Revlon, Origins, Korres, Clarins, Victoria’s Secret…

I’d been sticking all of my lipstick in this drawer from a stackable set I got at Target (in a manner not quite but something close to higgledy-piggledy) but at a certain point it was more than a drawer is inherently designed to handle.

One night I got out the scissors and came up with this setup. It’s not the sleekest thing, using chopped up cardboard, but it was free (I am totally cheap about certain things), and it is effective.

Can you tell that I really like the Kate Moss Rimmel collections and the Revlon matte lipsticks? Ditto the Wet 'n Wild semi-mattes.

Can you tell that I really like the Kate Moss Rimmel collections and the Revlon matte lipsticks? Ditto the Wet ‘n Wild semi-mattes.

I’m pretty pleased.

I’ve seen instances of people standing everything up and being able to get at the individual bullets that way, but the drawers would have to be just the right height to avoid wasted space, and it sounds kind of troublesome to keep everything in a grid, not everything is the same height/size, etc. You can get those quite nice looking acrylic grids, but those cost the money.

I briefly considered organizing by color but that’s not how it works in my mind, so I went roughly by brand/price point and consistency. Is this quite dull? I can never tell with this kind of thing. I never tire of seeing how people organize stuff.