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Beauty Review: Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel

boscia_exfoliating_peel_gel_1Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel

What it is: A peeling gel designed to exfoliate and cleanse skin

The claim: “This peel gel works in three ways: as a physical peel to remove the outer layer of dead skin, as a chemical peel to penetrate deep into skin for in-depth exfoliation, and as a treatment to firm and brighten for a healthy complexion,” – Boscia

Available at: Boscia, Sephora, Amazon

Price: $34 (5 oz)

Review:

I received a 1 oz bottle of Boscia’s Exfoliating Peel Gel for free, so naturally I decided to try it out (because who doesn’t love trying out free products?!)

I used a generous amount of this product on my skin, and, after a few moments of gentle, circular rubbing, I noticed that the “dead skin” was coming off like crazy and pilling on my skin.

Super exciting, right?!

Well that “dead skin” would stick like glue to my eyebrows and any little baby hairs, and once this product latches onto a hair, it doesn’t want to let go. Basically, this product is the ultimate clingy ex… minus the constant texts and creepy Facebook posts, of course. I had to scrub my face until it was red and raw to get rid of the residue, and even then, some remained.

The whole process was a literal mess, but did the Exfoliating Peel Gel deliver on its promise of smooth, bright skin?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Nooooooooooooo.

The “dead skin” sticking to my face provided promising results, but as it turns out, that result was not what it appeared to be.

Use this product on a surface other than your skin (such as a kitchen counter), and you’ll see that Boscia’s formula naturally pills when scrubbed on any surface.

The pills look flesh toned, which leads consumers to believe that the product is stripping unwanted dead skin from their face.

Boscia’s Exfoliating Peel Gel is, therefore, just a disgusting gimmick designed to fool consumers. If you love ingesting placebos for no reason, then you’ll absolutely adore this Boscia product.

For shame, Boscia. For shame.

Have you tried Boscia’s Exfoliating Peel Gel? Let us know your own experiences in the comments!

 

 

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Beach Beauty: Easy Summer Makeup

Summer calls for carefree days and humidity-resistant makeup. Let’s be honest, the only thing that should be melting on your face is ice cream, not your makeup. Here’s a round up of my favorite everyday summer products to keep you looking glowing and fabulous all the way into September.

Step 1: Moisturize!

You’d think the last thing you would want on your face is moisturizer during the summer, but skin can get dry even if you’re in a humid climate. I try to stay as light as I can with my moisturizer because I have oily skin, and my favorite serum to hydrate right now is Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum. It keeps my skin feeling moisturized and soft without my face feeling heavy or greasy.

Original Skin™ Renewal serum with Willowherb – $39, Origins

A great moisturizer for those with dry skin is the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. One pump of this is instantly absorbed into dry skin, making it super soft. Plus, added SPF in your moisturizer is great for summer days. Always wear some sort of sunscreen!

Ole Henriksen Total Truth™ Vitamin C Eye Crème – $45, Sephora

If you suffer from under eye dryness like I do, try Ole Henriksen’s Total Truth Eye Creme SPF 15. It really moisturizes the under eye area, making under eye concealer go on smoother and with less settling into fine lines.

Step 2: Prime

My all time favorite summer primer is Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light. I don’t know about you, but I really hate the silicone based primers on the market right now. I feel like an oil slick with a silicone based primer on. Unlike the original Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, the Light version goes on like a slightly tacky lotion but dries to a smooth texture. It really feels much lighter and less like I’m trying to clog my pores. Plus, any foundation I’ve used over this goes on like a dream!

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light – $36, Sephora

Step 3: All about that base

It was really hard picking a favorite summer foundation, and my toss up was really between Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Sephora’s own Teint Infusion. Chanel’s foundation is incredible but I’d rather put my money towards drinks on the beach than foundation during the summer. At nearly half the cost, Sephora’s Teint Infusion is an incredible foundation for the money. It’s a serum foundation and a near perfect dupe to the Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation. It is in a glass bottle with a dropper, and 3-4 tiny (and I mean tiny!) drops evens out skin tone and makes your skin look naturally radiant. It’s a buildable light to medium coverage with 12 hour hydration (according to the packaging). This foundation sets to a natural finish, not too dewy and not too matte, making it perfect for both oily and dry skin types.

Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish – $24, Sephora

My all time favorite under eye concealer for any season is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind under eye concealer. I used to be absolutely obsessed with MAC’s Pro Longwear concealer but it really dried my under eye area out and my under eye area was never as “bright” as I wanted it to be. Not the case with the Age Rewind concealer. This stuff is pure magic for under $10. Easy application and great coverage. It has a weird sponge/felt? applicator that really gets a good amount of product on there. Just rub a bit of that on in an upside down triangle shape on your under eye and blend with your ring finger and bam! Perfectly bright and concealed under eyes.

If concealer tends to set in your fine lines like it does on me, set it with an under eye setting powder. My current favorite is the $3 E.L.F High Definition Under Eye Setting Powder. For $3, this stuff is absolutely incredible. It sets concealer perfectly and you don’t feel as bad when you leave it open and knock it over because of how cheap it is.

Step 4: Bronzing, contouring, and highlighting

Contouring and Highlighting has become such a huge craze in the makeup world, but personally, I’m over it. I don’t have 45 minutes to blend out my contour on the daily. For the simplest contour and bronze, I’ve become a devout believer in Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel. As pricey as this is, my goodness is it worth it. Its a universal bronzing base/ Cream Bronzer that blends so flawlessly its unreal. It does look a tad bit orangey in the container but once on the skin it just melts into this beautiful, natural, I’m-a-Victoria’s-Secret-model bronze. A little goes a long way, and lighter skin tones can definitely use this. It’s super super buildable too, and will really give you a gorgeous natural bronze. I use it to very lightly contour my cheekbones by applying it in the hollows of my cheeks and bring it along my hairline and temples with my Real Techniques flat top Stippling Brush.

SOLEIL TAN DE CHANEL BRONZING MAKEUP BASE – $48, Chanel

For highlight, I love The Balm’s Mary Lou-Manizer powder highlight. This stuff is amazing and gives you a perfect champagne colored highlight. This is amazing for all skin tones for a perfect highlight on the top of cheekbones, under the eyebrow, tip of nose, and Cupid’s Bow. Use a light hand though if you’re going for a natural glow. The Mary Lou-Manizer is pretty pigmented for a highlight.

Mary-Lou Manizer® – $24, The Balm

Hourglass makes incredible blushes and I’ve fallen in love with nearly all of their Ambient Lighting Blushes. My favorite is in the shade Diffused Heat which is a beautiful coral-red color. The Ambient Lighting Blushes are swirled with the Ambient Lighting Powders and come in a beautiful almost tie-dye like pattern. The pigment of these blushes are great and this color will still look amazing in the middle of winter on the cheeks.

To extend the wear time of your makeup, always finish with a setting spray. My favorite is the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, which is oil free and keeps your makeup looking fresher for longer.

Step 5: Finish off your face

A strong brow is all the rage right now and I’m totally obsessed with filling in my eyebrows. In my opinion, nothing does as great a job as Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz does. This stuff is seriously sent from the heavens and makes your brows on FLEEK. The double sided brow pencil has the pencil on one side and a spoolie on the other to blend out the color as you’re working it through the brows. I fill in my brows by drawing the shape underneath the brow first and blending the color into the brows. The point on the mechanical brow pencil is always pretty sharp too, which is perfect for gently drawing little lines in hair like strokes to make naturally full brows. I set my brows with NYX’s Control Freak brow gel which is one of the greatest brow gels I’ve used. This formula doesn’t flake and manages to keep my brows on fleek all day and into the night.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – $21, Ulta

I haven’t found my ultimate favorite summer mascara yet, but I am enjoying both Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes and Benefit’ Rollerlash, and have even been combining both of them.

For summer lips, I try to look as natural as possible, and my favorite nude-pink lipstick is MAC’s Kinda Sexy. It’s a perfect matte lipstick and really isn’t that drying. Plus it’s pretty long wearing too, and really finishes off the face for a perfect natural summer look.

Have you tried any of these fabulous products? Let us know in the comments below!

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Review: Beauty Blender Original Blender

One of the hottest cosmetic products on the market right now is the Beauty Blender, a makeup sponge that promises to give your makeup a flawless finish while using less of your product.

The manufacturer describes the product as follows:

The world’s first edgeless, non-disposable, high-definition cosmetic sponge applicator. The unique shape and exclusive material available only with beautyblender® ensures impeccable, streak-free application with minimum product waste. Use it with primers, foundations, powders, cream blushes, and any other complexion product.

beautyblender® features an open cell structure that fills with small amounts of water when wet. This allows the sponge to be “full” so that the makeup product sits on top of the sponge rather than being absorbed, allowing you to use less product every time. When wet, beautyblender® doubles in size and becomes even softer, returning to its original size when it air dries.

It sounds great on paper, but does the Beauty blender stand the test of time? I’ll let you know the good, the bad, and the downright ugly based on my experience with this product.

Six Months of Beauty Blending

I purchased my Beauty Blender at Sephora at the suggestion of a friend and I was extremely anxious to try to it out!

First I ran it under the sink and let the sponge expand with the water. I immediately noticed that a lot of the pink dye was running off into the sink, but to be fair the manufacturer did warn that this could happen the first time you use it.

I dabbed some of my foundation in little dots around my face and slowly began to blend it in. I bounced the sponge around my face, rather than smearing it, and eventually my foundation was indeed even and flawless.

Six months later I found myself still using it,  and I was extremely impressed at how seamless the foundation looked with each use.

My foundation would normally look caked before, but with the Beauty Blender as my main tool my skin finally looked like smooth, natural, and honestly just incredible.

I really couldn’t believe how different the foundation looked just by using the sponge (which made me extremely happy since I initially paid over $50 for that foundation!).

I know I sound like an infomercial, but it’s absolutely true.

But, please note, the only reason why this product worked for me for so long is because I was dedicated to making it work.

First I would begin by dampening the sponge under the sink and then squeezing most of the water out of it. Then I would blot some of the foundation onto my skin and begin to use the sponge to blend it in using the bounce method that I mentioned before.

I made sure that I was blending outward, that way I didn’t have a sudden discoloration when I got to my hairline

Depending on how much coverage I needed I would sometimes use another pump of foundation (namely days with a breakout), but on most days I could get away with only one pump. Normally I would use two or three pumps, so this was definitely a welcomed change!

When I was finished with my makeup for the day I would then thoroughly clean the sponge and store it away in its original cylinder packaging.

To clean the sponge I did use the Beauty Blender soap, which is, unfortunately, sold separately unless you buy it as part of a bundle. However, the soap did last me months (and I cleaned this thing every day) and it eventually outlived the sponge itself.

The Downward Spiral

After about six months of daily use and cleaning my Beauty Blender finally gave out.

The texture of the sponge changed and became slimy to the touch. I tried to rigorously clean it but that sliminess unfortunately didn’t go away.

I also noticed that the sponge stopped blending my normal foundation properly, as it would  leave dark spots of foundation on my face that I of course only noticed while I was out in public.

It would absorb most of the foundation so I ended up having to use two pumps of foundation rather than one in order to cover my entire face. On top of that, in order to get it blended properly I had to put in a lot more effort and check it over multiple times.

I eventually stopped using the Beauty Blender entirely after I realized that the sponge was most likely responsible for my recent breakouts. Note: I can’t confirm whether or not it caused my face to break out, but I do believe it is related.

The pros:81eVNgrTI1L._SL1500_

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Allows you to use less foundation compared to other methods of application
  • Has a long life span when taken care of  and stored properly

The cons:

  • Expensive compared to similar sponges
  • The sponge cleaner is not included with the basic blender
  • Long fingernails may accidentally tear the sponge
  • Sponge loses its ability to accurately blend after months of consecutive use

The bottom line:

If liquid foundation is your go-to then the Beauty Blender may just be the perfect addition to your cosmetics arsenal. It’s easy to use, effective, and, when used properly, will actually save you foundation.

However, cost may just be the biggest factor playing against the Beauty Blender. The average consumer may find it to be too pricey for their tastes, especially considering the fact that the cleanser is sold separately.

Luckily there are several bundle deals available at Sephora that can help slim down the costs compared to the price you would pay if you were to purchase these items separately.

But ultimately, it is in my opinion that the Beauty Blender’s longevity and usefulness make it 100% worth the price.

Have you tried the Beauty Blender? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Why You Need To Start Toning Your Skin

You cleanse, you moisturize, but do you tone? If not then you should do your skin a great favor and start today.

Explain…

Cleansing, as we all know, clears the skin of dirt, makeup, and nasty little bacteria. But what you may not have known is that cleansing (especially with a harsh cleanser) also strips away some of your skin’s natural acidity that is key to maintaining healthy, glowing skin.

Toners will restore natural PH levels in the skin, leaving your skin healthier, vibrant, and younger looking. Toners also aid in skin cell regeneration, which is great for acne sufferers, as scars will be visibly reduced in time.

So when should I use the toner?

You should ideally use a toner right after you cleanse. The toner will finish the work of your slacking cleanser, erasing any more dirt gunk that may have been left behind.

Just note that your toner may dry out your skin, so it’s best to let the toner absorb into your skin and then follow it up with your favorite moisturizer.

Okay… what toner do I use?

Your local drug store will have at least one shelf dedicated to toners, but that’s not your only option.

I personally am a huge fan of do it yourself home remedies, especially when it comes to skincare. So for my toner I went right to the pantry and grabbed the apple cider vinegar.

apples-and-vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is rich in natural alpha hydroxy acids and has a PH level of 3 when diluted, making it ideal for restoring lost acidity in your skin.

But before you start smearing apple cider vinegar on your face, please note that you have to dilute it first! Putting raw apple cider vinegar on your face is sure to yield a nasty reaction.

You can start by mixing 1/4 raw apple cider vinegar and 3/4 filtered or sterile water and apply it to your face with a cotton ball or pad. If the mixture is too harsh, just add more water. Too weak, add more vinegar. Easy as that!

The hardest obstable to overcome is the stench. With this toner you will literally smell like a salad. The benefits completely overshadow the cons, and luckily after a few applications you will become completely nose blind it.

That’s great and all but i’d rather just buy it…

If you do choose to take the drug store or Sephora route, just make sure to read the ingredients carefully and avoid products that are known irritants to your skin.

If you need a little cheat-cheat, Totalbeauty.com has a great run down of 22 toners at varying price points.

Are you going to consider using a toner on your skin? Weigh in in the comments below!

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Are We Brainwashed By Beauty?

Dustin Hoffman

A recently unearthed video clip of Dustin Hoffman talking about what it was like making his 1982 Academy Award nominated film Tootsie, and also what it was like to see himself as a woman is causing a stir. The distinguished actor has to struggle to keep himself composed as he relays the epiphany he had that as a man he had been brainwashed by our society’s concepts of beauty, attraction, respect for women.

The video was uploaded to the American Film Institute’s Youtube channel last year, but it is making the viral rounds due to coverage on tumblr, The Mary SueUpworthy, and even the Today show website. It has begun to open up an interesting dialog all over the internet about preconceived notions surrounding beauty and its weight as a deciding factor of a woman’s worthiness as a potential romantic interest. Laws of attraction aside, Hoffman’s touching recollection gives us all something to ponder and seriously consider when we think about how we interact on a personal level with others.

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Sugar: Sweet Ways to Exfoliate

Image via beauty-advices.comExfoliating your face and body is an amazing way to achieve beautiful, soft, glowing skin. And it’s easy! Simply scrub your body gently with an abrasive substance, and poof! Say goodbye to all that flaky, built up dead skin.

But with the process being so simple, why do so many of us invest in costly facial scrubs? In truth, you can get the same, fresh results not by visiting your local drugstore, but rather your very own kitchen.

So open up your cabinets and crack out the sugar, ladies!

Sugar’s naturally soft, yet abrasive texture makes it the perfect exfoliant for your skin. There’s no discrimination between sugars, either. Both the white and brown varieties of sugar will work equally well. Yet if you desire a stickier substance, brown sugar will definitely be your best choice.

And considering how so many of us already have sugar at our disposal, this at-home beauty treatment is totally budget friendly. That’s going to be a welcomed relief to many wallets, especially with the YWCA estimating that women are spending over $7 billion on beauty products annually.

But it’s not only economical, it’s 100% natural.

Next time you find yourself in the beauty aisle, pick up a facial wash and read the drug facts. You’re sure to see ingredients such as neopentyl glycol dicaprylate, disodium lauroamphodiacetate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, propylparaben, and cocamidopropyl betaine. I don’t know about you all, but I can barely pronounce those words, let alone understand what impact they have on my skin. As it turns out, most of these ingredients are simply chemical agents meant to bond the product together, as well as agents designed to preserve the product during it’s possibly lengthy shelf life.

Image via buzzle.comWith sugar, you skip the unnecessary chemicals and get straight to the sweet result you desire.

But don’t start rubbing sugar on your skin just yet. The same abrasive properties in sugar that remove dead skin also have the power to injure new cells. Without a moisturizing agent, you run the risk of a bad skin rash or even cuts.

To solve this problem, you just need to get a little culinary.

Half a teaspoon of honey and a full teaspoon of sugar will create a wonderful facial scrub full of antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. And if honey isn’t on hand, extra virgin olive oil will work just as well and will moisturize your skin in the process.

For those of you who suffer from acne and oily skin, this must sound like a nightmare. But don’t worry! You can turn your favorite facial wash into an exfoliant by simply mixing a few sprinklings of sugar into your wash.

Beautiful skin at a low cost? Now that’s what I call sweet.

Have any other exfoliation ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

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