Acne, Hyperpigmentation, Wrinkles – Oh My! My skin care routine to counter these villians!

My Skin Care Routine

I have a feeling that I am not the only one who deals with a range of issues keeping his or her complexion from being flawless (if that is even a worthy goal).  Over the years, I have battled most of the common skin issues including cystic acne that left awful scars and sometimes even craters in my skin.  On top of that medications the medications I was taking left my skin so sensitive to sun damage that even when my skin did clear up a bit, I had muddy looking patches on my cheeks from hyper pigmentation remnants.  Fast forward a few more years, and fine lines (aka wrinkles) started making their presence known.  Over the course of the past 20 years, I have been on antibiotics, creams, Retin A, Accutance (3 times!), and countless over the counter products!

Now that you know my dermatological history, where am I now?  Presently, I still deal with some cystic acne and take prescription meds for it (Spirolactane) and use Retin A every other day to counter the scarring that I get when those flair ups arise.  My skin care routine, however, focuses on the use a few products that in combination seem to work really well to address all my needs!


Here is a list of what I am using:

In the Morning:

In the Evening:

  • Simple Micellar Facial Cleanser Water  –  – $6.99
  • Clarisonic Mia 2 – – $149
  • I use Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar –  – $2.66 for 4 bars with my Clarisonic!  It works so well!  Just wet the brush on the Clarisonic and with it turned off, rub the brush on the bar of soap to create a nice foam.  Love this combo!
  • Origins Starting Over Eye Cream – – $41
  • Clinique Take the Day Off eye makeup remover – – $19
  • If I am not using my Retin A (every other night), I use Paula’s Choice RESIST SUPER ANTIOXIDANT CONCENTRATE SERUM – – $36
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer – – $26



If needed for breakouts:

Does anyone use any of these products? Any thoughts or suggestions?

If you want to see my video describing this routine, click below.  Have great days everyone!!

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Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Review


Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation

I know – another day, another foundation!  Why do we (or I) always keep searching for the next best foundation when we already have two or three that hit Holy Grail status?  I cannot answer that question, but I can say that I am so thankful that I have kept looking!  More on that later.

One of the newest foundations to hit the shelves of Sephora and other beauty retailers is the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible foundation. Purported to be an invisible foundation that leaves your skin feeling natural but looking beautiful all within a medium coverage.  It has some new ingredients in it, which I will not bore you with (actually I do not understand the chemical properties of the new additions so I do not want to mis-speak), but I will provide you this link to review it for yourself.  What I can say is directly from the product marketing:

Developed specifically for the film and TV industry’s most advanced technology, Ultra HD Liquid Foundation creates a naturally flawless complexion—on and off camera. Completely invisible under the latest, super-focused 4k lens, this revolutionary foundation features uniquely-coated pigments that provide medium coverage with a lightweight texture that looks just like skin. Long-lasting with a natural-looking finish, Ultra HD Liquid Foundation is formulated with hyaluronic spheres for time-released hydration that ensures comfortable wear on all skin types. Now available in an expanded range of 40 shades to match all skintones, Ultra HD is the perfect everyday foundation for a flawless complexion—and an unretouched life. 

Doesn’t it sound wonderful!  Are you already set to take the testing it out plunge?  Well, I was!  I used the MFE HD foundation before this new improvement, and although I liked it, I did not LOVE it.  But, I did like it enough to venture off to Sephora and get some samples and then a bottle of my own.

Important note: If you have worn the previous MFE HD foundation, your color code will be different with this product.  Fortunately, they have made it very easy to know which code matches up to which new code (several tables available and the old and new codes are written conspicuously on the top of the box).

Okay…All this build up…did it impress me?

Do you see me smiling?  Wonder why?  It is because I LOVE this foundation!  It is lightweight, covers wonderfully (but not too much to make you look like a solid piece of clay), blends easily, and last all day without transforming into anything odd or sinister on my skin!  See my ratings below.

Ratings Image


Should you run out and try it?  Well, YES!  I cannot speak as to how it will work for you if you have different skin than myself (normal to dry with some oiliness around my t-zone; hyper pigmentation scars, and occasional acne); however, I have a suspicion it will work very well on most skin types.  I just loved how this foundation applies (prefer my Morphe M435 but the Beauty Blender does an awesome job too), covers, and stays fresh all day.  I have worn it with and without primer but do prefer some primer just because…

Let me know what you all think as well!

If you want to see my video review and demo – yea me without makeup, how lovely – just watch below.

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Lorac POREfection Foundation and Powder: Are they perfection for me?

Lorac foundation thumbnail

Another foundation and powder  – Lorac POREfection foundation ($36) and Lorac POREfection powder ($33) went through the test.  Did they perform well?  IMG_4010

Start at the beginning.  The POREfection foundation is oil, paragon, and fragrance free and contains anti-aging ingredients that is touted to soothe, nourish, and provide a healthy, silky-smooth finish.  Coverage is supposed to be medium to full.  It also is described as being appropriate for all skin types including sensitive skin.

What did I discover?  I cannot comment on the ingredients but it is fragrance free.  It has a rather water consistency but does blend well.  This is one of those that a little spreads easily.  The finish is quite nice – satin and natural looking.  I definitely can see the ability to make this full coverage.  I had complimentary colors in both : PF3 light/medium beige.

All good so far, right…unfortunately, this is where the positive experience ended.  The foundation looked good at first but as I wore it the makeup seemed to separate from my skin and look like a layer on top of my skin.  It also began breaking up around my nose and every time I touched my face, it transferred and left a mark.  Another complaint is that it sat so heavily on my fine lines around my eyes – never a good thing!  The foundation also had a rather unpleasant tacky feel to it.  Finally, it felt heavy on my skin.  I could NOT wait to wash it off!  See the photo of right after the application and then 4.5 hours later.


Right after application


4.5 hours later. Can you see it separating from my skin and breaking up?

So…it is a definite no go for me!  See my ratings on the foundation:

Foundation ratings image


So how did the powder do?  So MUCH BETTER!  I really liked this powder.  It is silky and provides the perfect amount of blotting and additional coverage that you may want but it does not build up or look cakey.  I tested it out again over other foundations and loved it!

I have heard comparisons of this powder to Mac Mineralized Skin Finish (I have it in Medium Plus), so I tested it out.  I applied the Mac MSF on one half of my face and the Lorac POREfection powder on my other.  And….NO DIFFERENCE!  What does that mean?  My thoughts are that if you already have Mac MSF, you do not need this powder, but if you do not you may want to do a bit of detective work to see which you should purchase (if you choose to buy a new powder).  The Mac powder is one dollar less than the Lorac powder.

IMG_4018 IMG_4017

Here are my ratings for the Lorac POREfessional powder:

Powder ratings image

What do you all think?  Have you similar or very different results?

Here is my YouTube review of the products.  Oh, if you do not mind, can you also subscribe to m channel on YouTube?  I am trying to read 100 subscribers by the end of August!  Thank all!  have fabulous days!!

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Empties: Love it or Leave it? July 2015

My Castaways (Empties) from July 2015

Empties photo

See what I thought of my recent castaways (my empties).  I have a ton of hair products, skin products, and makeup.  Here is what I have and if I LOVED it ;-D, Felt So-So about it :-|, or am LEAVING it 🙁 :

Skin Care


Hair Products

Body Wash

Well that was a big stash of empties (probably 3 months worth)!  What do you think about these products?  Watch my video to see all my thoughts and a more in-depth review.

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Mac Longwear Waterproof Nourishing Foundation Review


Waterproof AND Nourishing Foundation?

Yes – Mac Longwear Waterproof Nourishing Foundation

I have said that I have three Holy Grail foundations and here is the last of the three – you can check out my other favorites on this blog  or on YouTube (It Cosmetics CC+ Cream and Laura Mercier Smooth Finish).  I actually was not looking for another foundation but the characteristics of this one (longwear, nourishing AND waterproof) caught my eye.  On top of that it was a Mac product, and I do like Macproducts.  Long story in a shorter version…I decided to try out this foundation when the summer hit because (kids had summer swim meets outside and that means big time sweating, we were headed on a cruise in a few weeks, and every now and then I shed a tear and hate ending up with streaks down my face) the conditions were favorable.

And what did I think?  First things – the packaging is very typical Mac (i.e., nothing frivolous, extravagant, or cool).  The foundation comes in a plastic tube with a dropper dispenser.  It is very easy to control – that is, it is not like Mac Longwear concealer that delivers way too much – at least for me.  I think this container will be easy to use the last drops and will also provide a good view to know when it is running low.
I used a typical amount, which is about the size of two peas (would that equal a lima bean?).  The consistency is not runny and definitely not moussey (e.g., Tarte Amazonia Clay foundation).  It blends easily and provides adequate (medium coverage) with one passover.  I used both brushes and Beauty Blenders to apply and both worked nicely (it will be your own preference here).  I did use primer and found that they all worked well.  That is, no one stood out as THE primer for this foundation.
Once applied, it settled to a semi-matte finish.  I did apply some light powder but that may not be needed for everyone and also may not produce the desired finish if you like a glowy look.  A word of caution is that there is no SPF in this foundation.  For some that is a plus but others may consider that a negative characteristic.  I am fine either way but just have to remember to apply my SPF when I use this foundation.
Did it last?  Yes, this foundation lasts through a typical day with no signs of wear except for a little break up on my smile lines and around my nose.  Was it waterproof? I admit that I tested this not by being caught in a rain storm but, admittedly, after shedding some tears (well many tears but that is another story).  The answer is that “yes” it holds up even after a storm of tears but my blush is another story!  Will I repurchase?  Oh my….that is such a tough question!  Yes, if nothing else rises to the top of Holy Grail foundation, I will repurchase but you know how that goes!
Okay…I would love to hear some comments and feedback!  Have you used this foundation?  Is there a primer that “clicks” with it?  What application process do you find works best?
Here is a video review of this foundation.  Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and also give me a “thumbs up” as a way of sharing some encouragement.

As always, have positive and productive days!

Review of Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Shadow Palette

Review of Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Shadow Palette – Not to give it away, but “Yes!”

For me, one of the most creative parts of applying makeup is what you do with your eyes.  There are so many ways to approach it and so many avenues to do something different.  In my case, however, I have deep set or what everyone calls hooded eyes, so my options are a bit more restricted than for those of you who do not have hooded eyes.  For example, no matter what eye shadow I put on my eye lid, it does not show except for when I blink and even then it is for a split second.  I also have to deal with the overhang of my upper eye onto my lid, which if handled incorrectly – for me – can make my eyes look even more closed.  I am always playing around with different techniques, but my tried and true approaches include using matte colors and applying colors to make my hooded lids recess back so that they do not take over my whole eye.

With that out there…I need a good variety of matte shadows; although I do still like to play with more sparkly ones just carefully applied.  In the past, I have bought many palettes (e.g., UD Naked 1, Lorac Pro Palette) only to use half the colors because sparkly colors dominated the collection.  I did find the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty eye palette very nice and it is ALL matter and very nice matter shadows; however, it did not rise to every day use.  In the duration, I put together Z palettes of Makeup Geek and Mac single shadows and deported the mattes from my other palettes.

And then one day…I found the Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Shadow palette ($36)!

These shadows were not only color-coordinated (a nice perk for someone like me who needs some prompts as to what coordinates well) but smooth and blendable.  There is some fall out as you can see on my photo, but the transfer of color from pan to eye is ideal.  There are so many looks that you can create with this palette.  The provide ideas in a handy booklet provided or you can use the rows that depict a step-by-step application – a good first use guide.  What I like to do, however, is to mix a little here and there and just PLAY.  All colors “work” together so free for all time is opportune with this palette.  Another key point about this palette is that it travels very well, which is a big plus for me.

Can you tell that I like this?  Watch my video below for more swatches, etc.  What are your thoughts?  Any other good matte palettes out there?

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A New Favorite – It Cosmetics CC+ Cream


A New Favorite:  It Cosmetics CC+ Cream

This is serious!  I have found a new HG foundation – well a CC Cream that acts like a foundation – It Cosmetics CC+ Cream!  Just loving this stuff!

Yes, this has been out for a while, but I finally decided I needed an all-in-one product that would hydrate, protect, cover – or beautify – and feel great.  Did I also mention that this has SPF 50+?!  This truly does sit right alongside my other HG foundations (Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless in Ecru and my MAC Nourishing Waterproof Foundation in NC 25)!

This CC cream blends well, feels great, and last all day.  I have applied it with my fingers, a dampened Beauty Blender, and several brushes (RT buffingSigma F80) and have been happy with all finishes.  The finish is pretty satin-like and maybe a bit dewy but very minimal as I tend not to like “glowy” foundations.  I most often do set it (very lightly) with a powder and have found that the It Cosmetics Celebration Powder Foundation works well if you dust it lightly but my Laura Mercier translucent powder gives me the best finish.

What are all your thoughts?

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As always – enjoy and have positive and productive days that are filled with smiles and even some laughter!