Product Review: Origins Plantscription SPF 25 Anti-Aging Oil-Free Cream

skin care, oily skin, moisturizer, day cream, product reviewBack before the sun cruelly abandoned New York to a grey and snowy winter, I went in search for a good daytime moisturizer with built-in SPF. When I spotted Origins Plantscription SPF 25 on the shelves at Sephora, I couldn’t resist. Not only is Origins one of my favorite skin care brands, but the cream was oil-free, anti-aging, and had a broad spectrum SPF higher than 15. With all my boxes checked, I whisked it straight to the checkout counter.

Having been using this cream for a number of months now, I still go back and forth about whether or not I love it. On the upside, this cream has a gorgeous, rich consistency; a lovely, subdued herbal scent; built-in SPF; beautiful packaging; and it really moisturizes the skin. On the downside, the formula is heavy: it needs at least ten minutes to sink into the skin and can leave you looking a tad shiny. For someone with oily skin like me, that makes this moisturizer a no go for the warmer months. During the winter; however, my dehydrated skin has been loving the intensity of this cream, it’s become a daily staple. The other downside is the price, at $55/1.7oz this product is a tad expensive, though it does last a number of months.

Overall, I’d say this moisturizer is better suited to dryer/normal skin types or for faces that need some extra TLC this winter. While I’ve enjoyed using it, I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing Plantscription SPF 25 any time in the near future.

Image credit: Origins.com

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Face Off: Lush Lip Scrub vs. Bliss Fabulips

lush sugar lip scrub, Bliss fabulips lip scrub, skin care, beauty, chapped lips, winter

Long gone are the humid days of summer and my lips seem particularly resentful of the change in season, remaining stubbornly chapped despite endless application of lip balm. When things are at their dehydrated worst and Burt’s Bees, EOS, and Carmex have all failed to make an impact, I reach for a lip scrub. I think of scrubs as kind of a reset for your lips: they buff away the accumulated dead skin, leaving you with fresh, baby soft lips. At least until you head back out into the Arctic Tundra that is this endless winter. Le sigh. 

When I say lip scrubs, you probably think LUSH. Their flavored sugar lip scrubs have cornered the market and everyone seems obsessed with the fact you can exfoliate your lips and then simply lick off the remaining sugar. None of their standard flavors (Bubblegum, Popcorn, Mint Julip) have ever appealed to me and the idea of licking up freshly buffed dead skin always seemed sort of…gross. So, in a fit of non-conformity, I picked up Bliss’ Fabulips sugar lip scrub instead and left LUSH to the masses.

Well, I did for a few months.

When I discovered that LUSH had come out with a holiday edition Santa Lip Scrub that was…wait for it….cola flavored, I jumped right on the bandwagon. Not only was I finally getting a chance to try the famous scrub, but it was in one of my favorite flavors and was christmas themed? JUST TAKE MY MONEY. I justified the purchase by deciding it would be interesting to compare it to the scrub I already owned, and this post is the result.

I was surprised at how different the products actually were. Fabulips is almost waxy in consistency, while Santa’s Scrub is far drier, with nothing really bonding the sugar together. As a result, you need less of the LUSH scrub to get good exfoliation but it tends to fall everywhere and feels much harsher on the lips.  The Santa scrub also contains enough red dye to double as a lip stain, mid-use I bore a rather unfortunate resemblance to Heath Ledger’s Joker. I will admit that the scrub did taste delicious, like cherry cola, and I may have even sneaked a lick. A major point in Lush’s favor is that the sugar mostly dissolved as I exfoliated, leaving me with limited clean up. With Fabulips, the waxy consistency takes more effort to clean off the mouth and, in turn, your fingers.

Ingredients-wise, Santa wins when it comes to simplicity, boasting a brief list of all-natural and easily pronounceable items. On the downside, only one ingredient (jojoba oil) seemed actually targeted at moisturizing. Fabulips, though it does contain several scarily scientific sounding ingredients, also includes jojoba oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and vitamins e, c, and a. No contest on the moisture front.

A con for Fabulips is the price, this little number comes in at $18 for .5 oz, whereas Lush Lip Scrubs are only $9.95 for .9 oz. That being said, I’ve had both scrubs for months now and have barely made a dent in either. Overall, I’d have to say Bliss Fabulips is my favorite. The scrub is smoother, easier to apply, and decidedly more nourishing. If, however, you’re looking for a no hassle (and delicious) clean up process, then Lush might be the way to go. Either way, a lip scrub is an absolute essential for winter and life in general.

In related news, I’m off to listen to some TLC..

Image credit: lush.co.uk, sephora.com

Quickie Makeup Tip: Bronzer As Eyeshadow

Bronzer’s one of those makeup items that every girl seems to own. Whether shimmery or matte, well-loved or mostly neglected, chances are you’ve got one stashed away somewhere. Being a pale girl with a built-in radiance (read – oily skin), bronzer doesn’t tend to fall on my list of holy grail products. I have one or two, sure, but it’s only in summer that they see any regular action.

That’s all about to change; however, bronzer is definitely having a moment this year, and I am all about it. Bronzed, sexy, Victoria’s Secret eyes are making a comeback for spring and bronzer is your one-stop-shop for achieving them. This past year saw matte bronzer as a go-to transition crease shade: a soft brown that added warmth to a look while making the transition between shadow and skin that much more seamless. This trick worked especially well with something like a black smokey eye, making a traditionally intense look more wearable.

For 2014, bronzer is taking over the whole lid and it couldn’t possibly be easier. Simply sweep a wash of bronzer over your entire lid with a fluffy brush (think MAC 217) and blend through the crease. That’s it. You’re left with a subtle, trendy, smokey eye in the space of maybe thirty seconds. This look works with either shimmery or matte bronzers, though matte works better for defining the crease.

The real beauty of this tip is that your bronzer is already matched to your skin tone, you’re working with a color you know suits you –  no guesswork involved. It’s a wonder it took us this long to figure out. This would be an especially great trick to keep in mind when traveling this summer – think about how much space you’ll save leaving your palettes at home.

Anyone else tried the bronzer/shadow look?

Product Review: Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara

makeup, cosmetics, drugstore, review, rimmel, benefit, mascara

I’ve long awaited this day – the glorious day I find a bonafide drugstore dupe for Benefit’s BADgal Lash mascara. For years, BADgal has been my go-to for fluttery, daytime lashes. And for years I’ve resented shelling out $19 per tube. Well no more, my friends. Rimmel London’s  Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara just might be usurping BADgal’s throne (and it’s a much more affordable $6.99).

Let’s start with the packaging, it has one of those super thick, chunky tubes which I oddly really like, but can take up more than it’s fair share of real estate in your makeup bag. The tube itself is also very lightweight (not that mascara is traditionally muscle-straining but this one is practically weightless). The brush, like BADgal’s, is oversized and full-bristled, which works beautifully to comb through your lashes.

Now for the the good stuff – what it looks like on. I really love this mascara, my lashes look long, curled and oh so fluttery. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit I love a good daytime mascara; something that doesn’t clump and gives me length and volume without looking like I have a ton of mascara on. One coat will give you beautiful, natural lashes: two will up the volume for something that could transition into nighttime. If you’re into a super glam, full-on mascara look then this isn’t the product for you. If, like me, you sometimes enjoy a softer look, this is definitely worth giving a go. The formula also dries to be fairly flexible, you’re not left with that stiff lash feeling you find with more intense mascaras like Maybelline’s The Rocket or Benefit’s They’re Real.

Now for what you really care about, photographic proof of what the mascara looks like on. You’ll have to excuse the quality, I’m using an iPhone and good light is scarce in an apartment with itty bitty windows.

rimmel london scandaleyes lycra flex, mascara, review, before & after, fotd

Anyone else tried this mascara? From what I’ve heard on Twitter, it’s a real hit or miss product.

Nail Art: Minimalist Valentine’s Day

I’m not entirely sure this qualifies as nail art but I’m going to count it anyway. I saw something similar to this look in an article about the nails of NY Fashion Week and decided to give it a go. The look is basically an asymmetrical black french manicure which leaves all but the tip of the nail au naturale. The asymmetrical edge makes the look more interesting (and makes it clear it’s nail art as opposed to dirt stuck under your nails). This being Valentine’s Day, I decided to sneak a simple little red heart on an accent nail, which amounts to the sum total of effort I put into celebrating this year.

nail art, essie, sally hansen, Valentine's Day, beauty

I ended up really liking how this turned out. It’s creative without being crazy and Valentine’s themed without being sickly. I think the black would look cool layered over colored polish too, something like Marc Jacob’s Gatsby would up the cool factor while keeping it girly.

P.s. I almost called this look “Edgy Valentine’s Day” because of the black tips which are just SO crazy alternative and badass.

…Can you tell I was a nerd in high school?

PRODUCTS USED

Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen (black) – the felt-tip end on this little number made creating the tips much easier. The water-based formula is considerably thinner than your standard nail polish; however, so it will seep into any rough edges or tears along the tip of your nail. This could potentially become a non-issue if you seal the edges of your nail with a base coat beforehand.

*update. This formula doesn’t have the best staying power, even with a top coat, about 50% of the black had worn away after three days.

Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-Up Pen – I was disappointed by this product. The white, highlighter-esque tip of the pen immediately gets stained and did more to thin and spread errant polish than clean it up. I ended up switching to a detail brush dipped in remover.

Essie Size Matters – I used this shade to create the accent hearts. This is just an ultimate red polish: classic, vibrant, and sexy.

Seche Vite – This top coat needs no introduction. A cult favorite among beauty fans for its thick formula, high shine finish, and super fast dry time.

Tag: What’s My Face Worth?

I came across a “what’s my face worth?” tag on Bethany Worrall a few days ago and my first thought was that I had to do it. My second thought was that I would most likely regret it. On a side note, does anyone else feel like this tag sounds like the ultimate passive aggressive girlfriend question – aka “do these jeans make my butt look big?” The kind of question where you want to know but you’re probably not emotionally prepared for the answer. Anyway, after roughly totaling up the makeup I use on a daily basis, I made the executive decision to exclude tools from the calculations. Baby steps, guys, baby steps.

For reference, here’s what my face looks like looks like on a daily basis. Sorry for the low quality light, it’s a dull, gray day here in NYC.

makeup, cosmetics, tag, daily makeup, FOTD

Priceless. Jk, I’ll do the calculations…

FACE

Urban Decay De-slick setting spray $30 – I use this both before and after applying my makeup.

Benefit Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer $32 – full review here.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation (Shade 1.0) $39 – featured in my 2013 favorites.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (Vanilla) $29 – full review here.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee (Poppy Paradise) $22 – also made the 2013 favorites.

Physicians Formula Solar Powder Bronzer (Light) $12.95 – once again, in the 2013 faves.

Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder (Translucent) $35

BROWS

Bobbi Brown Brow Pencil (Grey) $22

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel (Clear) – $22

EYES

NARS  Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base $25

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette $28 – yet another one for the 2013 favorites, apparently I’m a creature of habit.

Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara (Very Black) $7.49 – full review here.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (Black) $10

MAC Chromographic Pencil (NC15/NW20) $16

LIPS

Clinique Almost Lipstick (Black Honey) $15 – for sure in the 2013 beauty faves. It’s pretty much either this or lip balm.

The total comes to an eye-watering $345.55. That being said, some of these products, like the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and the Urban Decay Basics palette will most likely last me the rest of my natural born life. If I was feeling absurdly motivated i’d try and estimate cost per use for some of the products but, let’s be honest, there are other things I’d rather do with the next three days.

Anyone else braved this tag?

p.s. look what you can accomplish by accident in Photoshop

What's My Face Worth (crazy colors)