Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lira Clinical BB Creme & Bronzer

Designed with the purpose of brightening and rejuvenating skin, Lira Clinical has been a leader in developing medical grade skincare products that yield results. Formulated without parabens and assured to have the quality natural ingredients, Lira Clinical strives to give clients lasting results.

I was given the opportunity to try the BB Bronze, Tint, Brite and Noir shades. Each is a BB creme or can be used as a bronzer based on your skin tone. Each cream contains powerful brightening agents, spf 30 (8.5% Zinc Oxide & 6.8% Titanium Dioxide) and Plant Stem Cell technology. The formula is very creamy, smooth upon application, moisturizing, evens skin tone well and the sunblock is very effective and reliable against UVA and UVB rays here in LA. Packed with anti-inflammatory and healing ingredients, this cream is an excellent choice for those with post peel or microdermabrasion or with hypersensitive skin. The unscented formulation is gentle on skin and is also a great addition to an anti aging skin regime.

BB Brite, the lightest shade works excellent as an under eye primer and concealer, as it contains skin brightening ingredients Mulberry and Arbutin.

BB Tint is a neutral shade for medium skin tones. Can be used for as a concealer for golden girls.

BB Bronze is excellent for medium to dark skin tones. I found this product to be a great bronze and contour product!

BB Noir is for dark skin tones. A great contour cream for brown girls too, so pass this along!

I would love to see a shade available with a yellow undertone soon.

You can expect to get up to full coverage with this cream, but it's all about how you apply it. If you want a sheer coverage, dot sparingly on face and buff into skin. For medium-full coverage I like to apply the cream to the back of my hand and warm it up prior to buffing onto my skin with a flat top brush. You won't need much product, as the cream is pigment rich as shown below, these bottles will last 12 months at least!

                                                Top to Bottom: BB Brite, Noir, Tint, Bronze.

Products Provided by Lira Clinical. This review is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Exuviance OptiLight Tone Corrector

I have been a fan of Neostrata products for a fair amount of time and was curious about their moisturizers and Vitamin C products. This specific product drenches skin with moisture, while brightening (turmeric yes please!), gently exfoliating with NeoGlucosamine. A combination of Retinol and stable Vitamin C gently fade existing dark marks. Like any brighteners, this product should be use religiously with SPF 30+ on a daily basis. Sunscreen will keep those pesky marks from re-darkening and allow the product begin it's work on your skin. The hydroquinone free formula guarantees your skin is in good care and the many antioxidants provided improves the health of your skin.

I was pleasantly surprised by the citrus smell of this yellow lotion and enjoyed it so much, I have incorporated it into my evening hand moisturizer. This powerhouse brightening formula is excellent for sun damage and acne scarring! Upon first application, my skin instantly looked brighter and felt hydrated and loved. I highly recommend for those with sun damage and acne scarring!

Products Available at Ulta & Neostrata $65 1 oz.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Acetyl Glucosamine, PEG-8, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Propylene Glycol Hydroxystearate, Nylon-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Arginine, Retinol, Citric Acid, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Glycerin, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Leaf Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustfolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris (Lady's Mantle) Extract, Plumeria Rubra Flower Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Hibiscus Abelmoschus Extract, Hedychium Spicatum Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Extract, Polianthes Tuberosa Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Steareth-20, Ceteth-20, Polysorbate 20, PEG-75 Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 17200 (Red 33).

Product provided by Neostrata. This review is my honest opinion.

Vapour Organic Beauty Will Have Your Skin Red Carpet Ready

The recipient of Allure's Best of Beauty 2013 Award, Vapour Atmosphere Luminous Foundation sets a new standard for foundation. Vapour Organic Beauty will have you skin looking red carpet ready within minutes! My first day wearing a combination of Vapour Stratus Instant Skin Perfector, Atmosphere Luminous Foundation and Illusionist Perfecting Concealer, my skin had a dewy appearance and I received not one, but three compliments from complete strangers about how luminous my skin looked. I could only attribute it to Vapour's 100% natural ingredients.

Vapour's Stratus Instant Skin Perfector is a translucent primer, which erases pores, primes the skin for foundation and concealer, moisturizes, contains antioxidants and essential fatty acids. All products were warmed on my hand and applied to my face with my fingers, for a better application. Each products is extremely easy to apply, smells of Frankincense upon application, has a creamy consistency and blends seamlessly with my skin. This is saying a lot, as finding shades for my yellow undertone can be difficult. The Atmosphere Luminous Foundation leaves a radiant natural finish that is not artificial. Due to it's creamy consistency, it is perfect for dry, mature skin and during cooler months. Oily skin gals will love that it doesn't feel heavy or sink into pores, a look no one wants. My skin felt like it could breathe. I would love to see a fragrance free option for those with allergies.

I found it best to apply the foundation, then spot treat last with the concealer. I will be trying their blush and a lighter shade of concealer next to highlight. Women of Color will love the variety of shades available, I feel like they really nailed it with the shades available! Thank you Vapour!

Left to Right: Skin Perfector (903), Foundation (135), Concealer (035)

Top: Concealer (035) & Bottom: Foundation (135)
My face is darker then my wrist =)

Products provided by Vapour. This review is my honest opinion.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Elta MD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer & UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

A leader in protecting and maintaining healthy skin, Elta MD has been a favorite over the years. This line makes sure to include ingredients that will give your skin long term benefits and prevent skin cancer by use of physical sunblock. I have tried numerous products over the years post peel or in colder weather, but Elta MD has been reliable in hydrating my skin without fragrance and irritants. This season, I tried the two new products and loved them both! My skin has taken a dramatic turn from greasy to complete dehydration and these products have helped my skin repair itself. If your skins is over exfoliated, over processed these products were made to heal and protect vulnerable skin like yours.

Elta MD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer $30 1.7 oz
Hydration has become an important step in my skincare regime to maintain some balance and this takes the cake. The formulation is not to heavy or light, making it an option for someone with extremely oily skin or parched skin. I used it following a peel and didn't have any burning or redness. My skin felt comforted by the many hydrating and healing ingredients including, niacinamide (Vitamin B3 evens skin tone), Thioctic acid, Vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. Ceramides strengthen the skins moisture barrier, allowing it absorb other hydrating ingredients in this moisturizer. It glides onto skin, doesn't ball up, and feels like silk on the skin. Other brands contain these skin ingredients to heal and protect the skin, but this product delivers it without irritants. This multifunctional moisturizer will help your skin rebound from dehydration, traveling, peels, and sun exposure.

Elta MD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 (Tinted) $25 1.7 oz.
This tinted spf contains 9% transparent Zinc Oxide  and 7.5% Octinoxate, offering skin a solid shield against the suns damaging rays. The light bronze tint was a little too light for me. Vitamin E fights free radical damage, hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines. There was no residue, oily feeling, or tight feeling (which is quite common in spf.) My dehydrated skin liked this formulation. It is recommended for normal, combination and post procedure skin. I am pretty picky about spf and this sunscreen can be used around the eyes without any stinging sensation and is a great option for those wanting to quickly even out their skin tone.

Products provided by Elta MD.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Glossier Phase 1 Set

Thanks to Instagram, I came across Glossier numerous time on my favorite fashion bloggers accounts. This skincare set offers instant hydration for dehydrated winter skin and gives skin enough tint and natural sheen to make your skin look runway ready. The four piece set includes the following...

  1. Soothing Face Mist Rosewater Spray: I first noticed this spray was very fragrant; it smells of roses. I found it very useful after cleansing to relieve ant tightness from cleansing, throughout the day to hydrate my skin, and to set my makeup. Glycerin and aloe aid in hydrating and soothing skin.
  2. Priming Moisturizer: I couldn't stop laying this creme on. Hyaluronic acid hydrates, while tea and honey extracts soothed any redness I had. Vitamin A, C, and E prevent cell damage, so think of this moisturizer as a major multitasker. It works as an excellent primer for foundation allowing it to last throughout the day and didn't crease. I found myself using it on my hands as well, which made them extra soft. Perfect for the delicate eye area and it's shea butter did not break me out. Two layers of this in the winter and my stressed skin felt instant relief. Skin is supposed to feel this good!
  3. Balm Dotcom: Winter is harsh, this balm has been a lifesaver! I've used it on my lips, around my nose, lips, cuticles and elbows. It was very useful for my holiday in Oregon. Loaded with Omega 6 & Omega 9 fatty acids, it provided lasting hydration and antioxidant protection.
  4. Perfecting Skin Tint: This tinted moisturizer offers a very sheer wash of color + some much needed hydration. Simple dab onto skin with fingers for wash of color. I loved the dewy finish, as my skin needs all the hydration and sheen it can get. My face looks natural and healthy while using this skincare set. I tried the shade, "Dark" and it matched perfect; actually perfect is an understatement, other company's should take note on color matching. This stuff is amazing!
I also tried the liquid foil liner which were excellent for the holiday season. The gold and silver liners are full of pigment, smudge proof and easy to use. No makeup artist skills needed to apply this liner! Removal was easy, my normal makeup remover and cloth was not needed, it came out with warm water. I experienced no redness around the eyes or tugging to remove this liner, which I loved.

Because this set offers such great hydration, it's also great when traveling, so pack it in your carry on!

Products are not tested on animals, hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, and paraben free.
Products provided by Glossier. This review is my honest opinion based on a 3 week trial of products.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

This cleanser is my holy grail product. While my skin type has substantially changed over the past year, this product has helped keep my skin exfoliated, smooth, even toned and clear. Breakouts in eyebrows. Gone. Blackheads. Gone. Pores. Barely noticeable...and my pores are normally HUGE.
For those wanting to save money, this cleanser is $36 well spent. Salicylic, Lactic and Glycolic dissolve (doesn't scratch with abrasive beads/shells) dull dead skin cells and is suitable for all skin types. I combine the cleanser every other day with my Clarisonic Mia. I have also found it great for body acne, at the gym after a strenuous workout to prevent breakouts, fade acne scarring and for ingrown hairs. I have recommended this cleanser to male friends who have found it to be helpful in prevents and treating ingrown hairs.  Used along with Murad serums and moisturizing, this cleanser can also facilitate in plumping up aging skin, increasing hydration and improving efficiency of products in your skin regime.

$36 6.75 oz
Available at, Massage Envy, Ulta & Sephora.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Curly Hair & Sebastian Potion 9 Styling Treatment

I was recently introduced to Sebastian Potion 9 Wearable Styling Treatment.  I am extremely conscious of what goes in my hair, because of my acne.  Products always get into my hairline, forehead and neck causing breakouts, even with I sleep with a scarf or hair bonnet.  With this product, it is extremely minimal, just a few rare occurances by my ears.  My aloe vera gel wasn't hydrating enough and this has kept my curls alive, flexible and hydrated!  I picked a 5 oz bottle up at Ulta for less than $20, which will probably last more than 6 months.

Beauty of the Month Christina Caradona

I've followed this gal's blog since inception and it keeps getting better.  A blogger, model & actress, she is now on Nicktoons show, Alien Dawn.  I'm extremely happy for her success.
Visit her blog Trop Rouge, Tumblr, Youtube, Twitter and you will be hooked =)

Beautiful Skin Natural Makeup

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Holy Grail Products Safe for Acne Prone Skin & Hair

1) Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel for hair (must be clear, dyes are drying & irritating).

2) Pure Aloe Juice for skin & hair. Brand does not matter, just make sure it's 100% aloe.  Both are great for natural & curly hair!

3) Bain De Terre All Day Straight Safflower Smoothing Gel.  Can be used for curly hair or a blow out. My all time favorite gel, very light, silky, no flakiness, crunchiness, oil, not drying on hair, allows my short curls to pop. There is Amodimethicone in this gel, but I have never experienced clogged pores with this gel.

4) Neostrata Antibacterial Facial Cleanser kills acne bacteria, lightly exfoliates, hydrates (even oily skin needs it), doesn't strip skin, is soothing and fragrance free making it perfect for the most sensitive skin!

5) Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash Pink Grapefruit is the only Neutrogena product I will use.  It effectively clear body breakouts, I use this everyday with a exfoliating glove.  Don't over use, it will dehydrate skin, the reason why I do not use their other products.  You just need a quarter size for back, chest and shoulders.

6) Retin-A Cream 0.05% prescription.  I apply every night to face & neck.

7) Clarisonic Cleansing Brush 2x a day. I can't stress this enough.

8) Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation.

9) Alima Pure Mineral Makeup.  Absolutely no pore cloggers or irritants.

10) 100% Tea Tree Oil is a great spot treatment, for irritated hair follicles.  Avoid eyes and can be diluted with water.

11) Murad Acne Skin Perfecting Lotion has been the only moisturizer I can use without breakouts.  For evening hydration or under spf for day if you need extra moisture.

12) Murad Acne Spf 20 moisturizer for Daily use every morning.

Avoid: Silicone, "cones", silica, ALL oils (except tea tree & geranium oil), Neutrogena products.
Refer to the Zero Zits list, which provides a list of pore clogging ingredients.  Print it out & carry in your purse if you have to- it can safe you money and future breakouts!  Check your current products for their pore clogging capacity, I just found out my blush was causing irritation and clogging.