Shimmer vs Radiance – Laura Mercier

I really like Laura Mercier’s approach to foundation- go for a flawless look but still natural.

Coming of age in the 90-s, I sported the matte, powdered-mask look using Lancome’s Dual-Finish, dark-brown-red lips, neutral eye.

And of late, more beauty magazines are suggesting women who are older use a lighter hand – especially when it comes to foundation for everyday looks.

The last LM make up artist event I purchased the radiance primer and tinted moisturizer liquid creme.

I do like the look-but I think the tinted moisturizer doesn’t really work for me.

However, I did combine the radiance primer, with Lancome ‘s silicon based primer over it, powdered a little with Make Up Forever’s HD Powder, and I think I found a better combination for me.  The silicon primer smooths out the edges without adding color, and the powder takes it all down a notch. For a more perfected look, I use my foundation brush and dab a little bit of Bobbi Brown’s foundation stick under my eyes, my nose and around my mouth and blend like crazy.

The other day, I picked up a sample of LM’s Illuminating tinted moisturizer.

Put on by itself, it brightens my complexion significantly-today I put on the regular tinted moisturizer over it, followed by the silicon primer and powder.

Tomorrow I think I will use it like the radiance primer, and top it off with the silicon primer, foundation stick and powder.

Stay tuned!





L’Oreal “Magic” BB Cream

Feels like sandpaper going on!

I got a sample that had been in October’s Allure and squished it around while it was still in the magazine.

You know, most samples in magazines are usually not enough to really try and feel the product, so if there isn’t more than a small squirt I don’t bother.

The interesting thing about L’Oreal’s BB Cream it is based on being a “skin beautifier” as opposed to having protective features – like sunscreen.

Instead their BB as 4 beautifying actions: priming, perfecting, hydrating and correcting.

I think in this case, the product is really foundation in disguise.  It offers no real benefit over wearing real foundation.

And it feels like sandpaper on my skin!


Is It Working?

That’s probably what most people think when they get a new product and start using it-wondering if their fine lines are diminished, brown spots are lighter or skin looks refreshed and dewy?

I have invested in enough products over the last 15 years or so to fight back the ravages of my younger sun days, but resisted using retinol products until now.

Maybe at the 10 years ago mark, I used Retin A because everyone else was trying it, and I couldn’t handle the flaking of my facial skin.  I was working full-time in sales where, it was hard to explain what was going on with my face when I met a new potential client.

I tried tri-luma and various other vitamin A based products, but always veered away because they were too irritating.

I don’t like to exfoliate either with harsh scrubs so, I probably wasn’t giving my products the best opportunity to work at the end of the day.

Vitamin A, retinols, tretonin and related, are used to encourage exfoliation and build collagen.  As people grow older the renewal process slows down so we need a little help.

I’ve been noticing more fine lines around my eyes, and a little bit of melasma on my cheek so I was starting to think about switching from my regimen of Kiehl’s Power Concentrate; a vitamin C based product which did wonders on lightening my skin.

But change is almost always good.

So, I got a bottle of True Vision Center’s retinol serum, at the 5x strength and have been alternating with other products.  It depends on how my skin is feeling at night – whether I was in the sun at all, or wore more make up than usual, felt tight etc.

What I’ve noticed is, on the nights I don’t use the retinol based serum, it feels like my other products are “doing something”.

And no flaking!

Prior to this, I’d put the product on, and they’d feel like nice comforting creams and I’d go to bed.

I have noticed after about two weeks of this alternating schedule, my fine lines around my eyes are smoothing out.

Will post an update in about a month.


Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser

When I was a young teen, I was fortunate and rarely had pimples, but my Mom would buy me Netrogena soap.

I loved the look of the transparent soap, and much like shaving away the square edges of a Fatboy ice cream while slowly eating it, I would try to keep the edges of the soap sharp as I used the soap.

At 50+, my main goal is to cleanse without drying AND take off mascara in one step.  Now that I’m on the other side of maturity, my skin is less dry and probably in the normal category.

The product smells faintly of jasmine, but is formulated for sensitive skin. It’s a clear, liquid, and when you pump it out, I always add water first.  Seems like putting it directly on my face would be too strong.

I’d compare it to using cetaphil or the like.

I’m not in love with it, but it works for now.



Prestigious Trish

I really love products that are gentle on my aging eyelids-so if I buy an eyeliner and it tugs on my lid while I’m drawing the line, in the recycle bin it goes. Comparing the test on your wrist, to what it feels like on your eyelid, is really two different things.

Cruising NM one day I wandered by the Trish McEvoy counter.  I had a really bad experience when they had an event years and years ago, and pretty much swore off the line.

However, the salesperson was earnest, and usually eyeliner and lipstick is pretty non-committal.

Trish McEvoy’s gel eyeliner is a really great product – glides on smooth and soft with no tugging, but it only comes in blue and black.  Chantecaille makes a similar product but I didn’t test it – my friend had purchased it and it smeared badly in the matter of a few hours.

Coming to the end of the TM gel eyeliner, I sharpened it and got a little of the wood shaving in my eye irritating it all day.  Ok, that’s really my fault but it really hurt.

On Sunday I saw that Long’s Drugstores aka CVS had a sale on their already inexpensive Prestige line of cosmetics.  You can’t test products at Long’s anymore, but $4.49 and 40% off was a price that I could afford to buy and put in recycle if need be.

Turns out that the Prestige Intense Liner was pretty much the same as the $20+ Trish McEvoy product!  The blue color is just intense, and after taking a ballet class was still going strong, yet came off easily in the shower.

So I don’t know about you, but if I can find a product that works just as well, I’m going to save almost $20 and buy the less expensive one!

Wouldn’t you?


Little Stuffs

Seriously, sometimes what you get in those little sample packets are enough, but other times it’s just a dab of product, and how are you supposed to get any action from that?

I was  leafing through Allure, and Philosophy had their new lifting cream – being skeptical, I squished the product while it was still in the magazine. Hnh-barely a 1/2 teaspoon.

Is Philosophy really that confident that a 1/2 teaspoon would bring about the lifting they were talking about in the ad? Or at least enough of a change that I’d hurry out and buy it?

The only thing I have ever used that had a pretty much instant lifting action was from Orlane’s Thermal Eye Lift-almost instantaneously lifts the eyelid without that stretched, tight feeling, you get with other products.


My friends and I love samples-I think when you’re using a moisturizer just to hydrate, or a cleanser just to wash-then the samples fulfill their simple basic promise to hydrate and cleanse. Like John Master’s Organics milky cleanser-great product, I might actually buy it. Cleanses without feeling dry.

But for those other guys, mayybe they are just trying to get past first base by seeing if you like the way the product smells, or feels? (Kind of like dating). I know that a recent magazine sample of L’Oreal product smelled like oranages but not in the California kissed way, more like that freeze-dried Tang way.


Or, if I ever sampled Clinique’s Super Defense SPF 25, I’d never have purchased any since I don’t like the way their sunscreen products have a synthetic texture to the cream. But hey it works for the bf so I am happy about that!

Difference strokes, li’ dat.

Deluxe samples, on the other hand are a different story.

Among them are Laura Mercier’s eye treatment, ReVive’s Moisture Intensitif and Trish McEvoy’s primer.  Amazing even in sample size!

I don’t know about your part of town, but here in Honolulu, the beauty bag wars are still raging between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.  Our Hawaii Macy’s doesn’t participate, but the other two have events so close together, I wonder how anyone has enough facial skin to use or sample the products.

Maybe that’s why good things come in small packages?