Best Foundation and Concealer Splurge and Bargain

My favorite foundation to date is the Yves St. Laurent Le Teint Touche’ Eclat which won an Allure Beauty award. The light formula creates the illusion of perfect natural skin which is the hottest beauty trend unlike the cakey “looks like you are wearing a ton of makeup” look. It has an SPF, blends well, light coverage and nice smell. It retails around $60. For a heavier coverage, I still like Makeup Forever’s Mat Velvet which I have used for stage or when I have had something to cover. (don’t forget to use Makeup Forever’s finishing powder with their foundations, it makes a difference and sets it. For lighter coverage alternatives, I finish with Guerlain Meteorites in Rose.) The tried and true drugstore foundation gem would have to be True Match by Loreal. It is light to medium coverage, blends well with a wide array of colors to choose from.

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As far as concealers go, the best I have EVER come across is Amazing Cosmetics’ Amazing Concealer which truly is amazing and is in standard use in the modeling and entertainment world. It also won an Allure Beauty award. A tiny drop is all you need to spread under both eyes. It covers great, has a good color selection, does not get cakey or settle into creases or amplify bumps and imperfections of the surface and blends perfectly. The small tube is around $30 and is plenty since it lasts so long. A good bargain alternative for concealer is the British drugstore brand Boots which can be found online, in specialty stores and at Target.

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Foundation Alternatives: Asia’s Influence of BB creams

BB creams are the latest craze to come out of Asia which takes extra steps out of the regimen being moisturizing, priming, light coverage, tone evenness, and sun protection. Most cosmetic companies have come out with their own version of a BB cream. My personal favorite is the Too Faced Beauty Balm which has sort of glowing effect with a really nice texture that has just a little bit of coverage. 

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If you like tinted moisturizers, Guerlain’s Terracotta tinted moisturizer is a winner. Great texture, coverage and lovely smell for about $60. I also use the L’or Primer from Guerlain under foundation, BB cream or tinted moisturizer depending on what the day calls for and which I choose to use. I prefer the L’or to Guerlain’s other meteorite primer (though the meteorite smells better). The L’or has real gold flecks in it which is nourishing to the skin and is a luxurious primer.ImageImage

Sparse Brows No More! Brow Relonge saves the day.

I have tried everything from castor oil to oil from Iran claiming to grow hair where it would not naturally grow in the eyebrow area due to thyroid production or years of over-waxing. Although Latisse/Lumigan can grow hair there besides lashes, it is more expensive for less product and there are alternatives that work just as well that are more economical. The first successful formula I found was Librow for $135. I use the Talika for my eyelashes which works great but their eyebrow formula did not rate as high as Librow or Brow Relonge which is at the top of the list and cheaper than Librow at $70. I actually got a deal that is still available to buy 3 tubes for $150 which is great for something that works as well as Librow. Give Brow Relonge a try.Image

Cheap and good body exfoliator: Nivea Touch of Renewal

     My biggest complaint about body exfoliators is what it leaves behind. Whether it be grime in the shower or stickiness on myself, both are unacceptable. Sugar scrubs are out for this reason and many times salt scrubs are too soppy textured and it takes more product because it doesn’t spread well. This is just my personal preference. The only body exfoliators I really like are the Dermalogica and Kiehls. Both are not cheap however ranging from $30-45. 

     Nivea recently came out with a body scrub called Touch of Renewal that can be found at the drugstore and retails $6-7. I stocked up after I realized that it has good scrubbing ability and isn’t a measly bead texture like many other exfoliators that do not fall in to the sugar or salt scrub at the drugstore level. A little goes further with the Nivea and it leaves your skin extremely soft thanks to the formula and the price is extra nice.Image

C02 Fractional Laser (not Fraxel!)

C02 Fractional Laser (not Fraxel!)

The antiaging breakthrough of the decade, according to many doctors, is a skin-resurfacing treatment known as CO2 fractional laser therapy. Combining the effectiveness of traditional carbon dioxide lasers — long thought to be the gold standard in wrinkle removal — with a new application technique, it delivers powerful results without the traditionally harsh side effects.

“Essentially, you are getting all the benefits of laser resurfacing, still the best way to remove wrinkles, but you’re getting it without the downtime and without the horrendous complication rate,” says David Goldberg, MD, director of Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey and clinical professor of dermatology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

How does it work? The natural aging process, combined with exposure to sun and pollution, destroys collagen — the main protein of connective tissue that keeps skin plump and line-free. Laser resurfacing uses beamlets of energy light to bore tiny holes in the skin, which works to put the body’s natural collagen production on fast-forward. Here’s what’s new: Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing does this in a way that prevents damage to the top layer of skin, offering maximum results with minimal recovery time.

While laser resurfacing doesn’t come cheap — the procedure will cost you about $5,000 — it is quick, accomplished in one or two sessions, with about four days downtime. Goldberg says effects are thought to last eight to 10 years.

According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, patients with darker complexions may be at risk for pigmentation loss with any laser surgery. Common minor side effects for fractional laser resurfacing include redness and swelling that lasts about two days.

Regardless of Your Regimen, Clarisonic is a must!

The Clarisonic oscillating brush hand-held exfoliator is a must in your skin care regimen at least once or twice a day. It takes off excess makeup and dead skin that washing cant touch. The extra cleansing makes your skin care line ingredients penetrate and work that much better. It is a worthwhile $125 investment. It is from the makers of the Sonicare toothbrush.Image

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale vs. SK-II Pitera line

I have always been interested in the SK-II line which originates from a yeast complex found in the making of Sake in Japan where it was noticed that the workers hands were unaffected by age from working in the Sake factory. I am trying a sample to see what I think. Any comparisons between it and Guerlain would be appreciated or comments in general. At full retail price, SK-II is considerably less than Guerlain’s Orchidee Imperiale.Image