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Foundation is such a “take it or leave it” beauty product. I find that folks either love it or can’t stand it. Obviously, I am on team Loves It! And for good reason: The right foundation has the ability to blend perfectly with skin’s complexion and exist virtually undetectable. It has the power to blur imperfections and diffuse the appearance of uneven tone, blotchiness or a break out. Conversely, the WRONG foundation is equally gifted in its ability to do the reverse of the aforementioned. So as a foundation-loving beauty girl who dibbles in dabbles in it all, it’s my pleasure to share with you:

Five New Foundations That Give You The Best Skin Ever

LAURA MERCIER CANDLEGLOW SOFT LUMINOUS FOUNDATION

LAURA MERCIER CANDLEGLOW SOFT LUMINOUS FOUNDATION
WHY I LIKE IT: Point blank – This foundation gives you baby ass skin. The whole premise of this foundation is to mimic the reflective glow of just lit candles…you know — the golden, diffused, ethereal look!
PROS: This foundation aint never lied. [TRANSLATION: Never has a foundation so accurately lived up to its name.]
CONS: If I had to find a con, it would be the price. Almost $50 ($48) is a lot. But can one put a price tag on achieving baby ass skin?
JAY MANUEL BEAUTY

JAY MANUEL BEAUTY SKIN PERFECTOR
WHY I LIKE IT: First of all — I 100% expected to NOT like this foundation because…well, I prefer subtle makeup and Jay Manuel is not. But look at me, all judging a book by its cover. I am indeed in need of a read (see what I did right there?) for not taking this foundation seriously at first glance. But the pitch-perfect shade match and seamless coverage told me everything I needed to know. This one’s a keeper!
PROS: For Jay Manuel’s first foundation offering, I’m very impressed with the shade range. It’s a solid representation of skin tones from fair to deep.
CONS: The product is available online only and it’s tough to know your shade without an in person swatch. (But the site does offer a shade finder with beautiful visuals.)

BECCA AQUA LUMINOUS SKIN PERFECTING FOUNDATION
BECCA AQUA LUMINOUS SKIN PERFECTING FOUNDATION

WHY I LIKE IT: There’s so much to love. For starters, the formula is light to the touch and is weightless on the skin. The foundation matching is “shade-flexible”. Meaning: it’s hard to make a bad choice when picking a shade. You can sort of float in between two shades and either amp up or turn down your bronzer, blush or contour to suit your taste.
PROS: The whole “shade-flexible” concept is a plus….making shade selection almost foolproof.
CONS: While the coverage is buildable, a concealer is definitely needed to further minimize the appearance of  blemishes and hyperpigmentation

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid MakeupNEUTROGENA HEALTHY SKIN LIQUID MAKEUP BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 20
WHY I LIKE IT: I’m all for drugstore formulations competing with big department store brands.
PROS: Price! You’re definitely getting prestige quality foundation in this formula. And the coverage is full enough to ditch your concealer.
CONS: While (in the words of the old school Virginia Slims ads, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”) Neutrogena’s recent foundation shade extension is a step in the right direction, there’s still work to be done. I’d love to see the addition of 2-3 deeper shades. Because drugstore brands appeal to the masses…they really have to work harder at being more inclusive.

 

NARS
NARS VELVET MATTE SKIN TINT BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30

WHY I LIKE IT: You had me at ‘matte’. I’m never not hunting for the perfect mattifying foundation….one that takes my oiliness down a notch and controls the shine, without making me look mortuary fresh. This formula delivers an immediate soft blurring of pores and minor imperfections. The finish is what I like to call “breathable” matte…i.e. your face will not look suffocated.
PROS: NARS VELVET MATTE SKIN TINT BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30 comes in 12 global shades, lasts all day and is oil-free!
CONS: I can’t think of one. Looky there!

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Vitamin C has long been hailed as an antioxidant superstar in the skincare world and has lots of research to support those claims. Vitamin C helps to boost skin’s radiance, promote collagen production to increase skin firmness, reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and more.  I was recently introduced to the Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30% and  I am intrigued! Since no one has ever complained about their skin being too radiant or too firm, I’m introducing you to this Vitamin C rich product.  Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30 % features a formula with one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C available. It’s packaged in black pump bottle to keep light and air out and prevent oxidation, thereby keeping the Vitamin C at its most potent level.  Dr. Anna Paré, a board-certified dermatologist and President of Dermatology Consultants in Atlanta, GA, shares her expertise on why we should be using Vitamin C in our beauty regimen and what makes the Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30% so effective.

Revision Skincare Vitamin C 30 Lotion

Q: What are the benefits of using products formulated with Vitamin C on your skin?

A: Anti-oxidants have many benefits for the skin. Studies now show it is just as important to have a daily anti-oxidant alongside a great UVA and UVB sun protection regimen. It is shown to act as an anti-inflammatory, reducing redness by strengthening weakened capillary walls. Vitamin C also lightens and brightens by suppressing excessive melanin production, providing a more even tone to the skin. One exciting benefit that Vitamin C has over other anti-oxidants is the stimulation of collagen production. Restoring collagen loss is important as we age – patients in my practice ask me daily for solutions to treat pre-mature aging.

Q: Why do you recommend Revision Skincare’s Vitamin C Lotion 30% to your patients?

A: Unlike many of the other Vitamin C product’s available in the skincare market, Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30% is well tolerated by our patients. Many serums require opening the bottle to use the product, exposing the Vitamin C, which results in premature oxidation and causes the product to be less effective. I recommend the Vitamin C Lotion 30% to patients in search of anti-aging benefits.

Q: What are the differences between THD Ascorbate and L-Ascorbic Acid? Why does it matter that Revision Skincare uses THD Ascorbate in their products?

A: Unlike L-ascorbic acid, THD Ascorbate will not irritate or cause the skin to exfoliate. THD is more potent with a higher penetration rate. L-Ascorbic Acid loses its stability when exposed to light, heat and air causing early degradation and premature oxidization. THD Ascorbate is stable in air and water and is lipid soluble, making it easier for the product to penetrate deep into the dermis layer to maximize the benefits of the product. It does not have a low PH because its lipid based, therefore it eliminates the irritation that is common with other vitamin C products.

I don’t know about you but I want all the benefits of Vitamin C and I’m not talking about what I can get from oranges. Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30% is currently only available through dermatologists, plastic surgeons and medical spas. If you would like to try it, please visit revisionskincare.com to find a location near you.

This post was written by Christene Carr. Find her on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her personal blog.

 

Another year has come to a close and now it’s time to reflect — reflect back on all the beauty products that we have tried. I’ve reviewed and tested many different products over the past 365 days, but there were those few products that stood out amongst the rest. That makes them worthy of their own post. I present to you my Best of Beauty 2014 picks.

Best of Beauty 2014  Picks

Sunday Riley Good Genes – A total cult classic and now I know why. It’s a multi-purpose anti-aging serum that targets fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, hyperpigmentation, dullness and uneven skin tone. But what makes this even more special is the immediate effect you see after using it just once or twice. Nothing like a product with instant gratification to get you hooked.

Anastasia Brow Wiz – Eyebrows may not be the most glamorous part of the face, but they are a vital part. Without a good brow, the rest of the face can look unfinished and incomplete. I fell in love with this ever-popular product because of its ease of use, amazing color selection and long lasting wear.

First Aid Beauty Blemish Patrol Pads – These are my blemish busting miracle pads! If you follow me on instagram or read my blog, you are probably sick of me talking about them over and over but they are just that good. Gentle enough to use twice a day, I add these into my routine after cleansing and before my serum/moisturizer and I am guaranteed a breakout free existence.

Guerlain Maxi-Lash – I tried a lot of mascaras over the course of this year but Guerlain’s Maxi-Lash won my heart. The formula is initially quite thin and lackluster, but many of my readers suggested that I wait a few weeks for it to thicken up before giving it my final judgement. Well, they were 100% right. After about 2-3 weeks, the formula completely changed and it became the perfect consistency for thick, voluminous, long, dark lashes. False lashes need not apply.

Sephora Formula X System – I love getting manicures, but no matter how well I take care of my nails, they end up chipping after just 2 or 3 days of wear. I have tried a few different base and top coats which were nice, but nothing as substantial as Sephora’s Formula X system. It consists of a nail cleanser, base coat and top coat and no matter what nail polish I use, I am guaranteed 6-8 days of a chip free and long lasting manicure.

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide – Since foundations and concealers are my weakness, I thought it would be a bit of challenge to pick a favorite from this past year. However, it was just the opposite. The new Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide was the one foundation I reached for consistently because of its ability to always make my skin look great. It never made me too shiny or too matte, and wore like a dream all day long. And the fact that it is designed for all skin types is just an added bonus.

What are Your Best of Beauty 2014 Picks?

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Keeping the skin below my neck moisturized is a major job. It actually takes a village  just to look presentable let alone halfway amazing. This fact is the reason Felicia considers me  the body care ‘expert’ at ThisThatBeauty.  When a product promises to “speed skin cell turnover, repair and improve barrier function and lessen visible signs of aging,” I immediately want to know where to send my cash. Lancer The Method Body Nourish not only moisturized my skin, but left my skin the softest it’s been in a long time.

Lancer The Method Body Nourish is a part of a three part body care routine that includes a cleanser, a body polish and a moisturizer. The systems “goes beyond basic cleansing and moisturizing to deliver a complete anti-aging solution.”

Lancer The Method Body Nourish Review

What’s in Lancer The Method Body Nourish?

Glycolic Acid (10%) – to exfoliate, increase cell turnover, improve the skin’s ability to absorb and hold onto moisture and reduce the visibility of hyperpigmentation and age spots.

Hylaplex   – a  moisturizing compound  developed by Dr Lancer that contains hyaluronic acid, soybean extract, yeast amino acids and polypeptides.  This combination of ingredients helps increase the moisture levels, decrease flakiness, reduce wrinkles and firm skin.

Zanthoxylum Bungeanum Extract – derived from Sichuan pepper and provides a tingling sensation and skin lifting and firming.

African Antioxidants and Moisturizers

  • Marula Oil an antioxidant rich in fatty acids.  It improves the skin’s barrier function
  • Shea Butter   –  excellent moisturizer that is rich in vitamins A, D and E.  
  • Kigelia Extract   –  improves skin’s elasticity and helps to soothe and calm skin  
  • Kalahari Melon Seed Oil   –  has high levels of fatty acids. it also helps the skin to regenerate

My Results with Lancer The Method Body Nourish

The first time I used Body Nourish it stung a little but that was totally my fault because I had just exfoliated and shaved my legs and I guess I had a few tiny cuts.  The stinging quickly stopped and I massaged the cream into my skin.  While it is very emollient, it absorbed into my skin relatively quickly. After an hour my skin seemed to get a little shiny…almost like I had just applied the product.  I also noticed that when I rubbed my skin, tiny little balls of product rolled off. I’m guessing it was product but it could have been dead skin cells.  This happened the first few times but stopped with continued use.  When I first started using the product I followed the directions and did only once daily application but  after a week I switched to twice per day. After a week of using this product I felt a definite change in my skin. My skin was very soft and it seemed to stay moisturized for longer. After about 3 weeks there was a noticeable change in the texture and and tone of my skin. I am now on my second jar and a dark spot I had on my leg has almost disappeared. Needless to say Lancer The Method Body Nourish is now a permanent part of my body beauty arsenal. It is available at Bergdorf Goodman and retails for $55.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a product to moisturize and soften your skin PLUS  even out the tone and texture of your skin, Lancer The Method Body Nourish should be close to the top of your list, if not at the very top.

NOTE: This product is formulated with Glycolic acid which makes skin more susceptible to sunburns. Sunscreen should be used on all exposed areas when using Lancer The Method Body Nourish.

This post was written by Christene Carr. Find her on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her personal blog

 

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I’m always doing something to my skin….always trying to make it ‘appear’ a particular way – brighter, more even toned, pimple free, etc. My focus is largely been on improving the outward appearance of my skin. But until I decided to do a four week trial of Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, I never gave much thought to how improving the strength of my skin could dramatically improve the surface appearance of all of the little things I was always wanting to correct.

But when you think about it, it sort of makes sense — Stronger, more resilient skin is less likely to incur damage in the first place. Building skin’s immunity seems like a no-brainer, right?  With this ‘aha’ moment in mind, I jumped head first (err, face first) into a four week trial of Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

Within one week I noticed my skin’s increased resilience…Meaning: My skin definitely skin seemed less prone to the usual triggers. For example, while testing Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, my skin did not experience the usual level of hormonal outbreaks.

After about two weeks, my skin was visibly brighter. The change in my deep dark spots (from a breakout last month) was not significantly changed, but the overall clarity of my skin was much improved…even my mom noticed! By the time my trial ended, I noted that my skin was clearer, more luminous, and a lot less reactive to environmental and hormonal stressors.

I’m usually pretty skeptical when it comes to “do-it-all” products….you know, those treatments that claim to cover a variety of skin issues with one single miracle formulation. I generally like to do more focused treatment, but the philosophy behind Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate makes perfect sense. If skin is more resilient, and stronger, it’s less likely to show signs of premature aging…and skin is in a better position to withstand daily stressors.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is ideal for skin that’s on the cusp of early signs of the aging process (and this isn’t really age specific – you might be 25 or 55 and starting to show signs of aging). Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is also a great simplifier if you’re looking to cut steps in your skincare routine. I used Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate twice daily (day & night) and noticed results in about a week. But if you have more defined aging concerns (like deep facial creasing or advanced hyperpigmentation), Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate was designed to be used twice a day, so it’s a great option to pair with both your day cream as well as your night serum or cream.

All in all, Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate delivers on its claim to boost skin’s defense function. I feel like my skin is well positioned to thrive all winter.

Visit http://www.shiseido.com/ultimune for more information Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

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Ahh, the pursuit of flawless. For me — it started in my early twenties (while battling adult acne and hyperpigmentation)….A few years later I started my blog and the social media flood gates opened and that lead to this breakneck pace of needing to ‘flawlessly’ maintaining 930,747 social platforms without missing a beat…yikes, the pressure! And then came Beyonce and her can’t-get-it-out-of-my-head track, “Flawless”.  Oh, and did I mention that I now have a 13-month old baby girl? So you see, the #struggle to stay flawless is real. And no I am not being overly dramatic when I say “#struggle”. The struggle juggle of it all it is enough to give a girl a mild, why-didn’t-my-pic-get-more-likes panic attack. Seriously.

But freaking out has never helped anyone…so let’s chat staying flawless despite life’s daily stressors and triggers.

One major area of stress is my skin. It’s good now…but it took years of trial, error, discovery and re-discovery to understand my skin’s needs and how to properly care for it. So while it’s pretty much under control now (minus the occasional hormonal disruption) I still love trying new products and sharing the results on my blog…because obviously we’re all in pursuit of flawless skin. So when I learned of Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future, I couldn’t wait to give it a whirl. I mean, “Flawless Future”?…have you ever met a more promising-sounding product?

#FlawlessFuture

For the last few weeks I have been using the entire Flawless Future collection: FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Caplet Serum, FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Moisture Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 and FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Eye Gel.

What’s unique about the line is that the products are all formulated with barrier supporting Ceramides – a protective protein complex that boosts skin’s overall radiance and helps to counteract early signs of aging skin. When life gets stressful, it shows in my skin. My chin, literally, goes bananas when I am stressing. Flawless Future targets signs of stress in skin, working to energize and visibly improve tone and surface texture.

Of the three piece collection, I most enjoyed using FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Eye Gel and FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Moisture Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30. Over the years I’ve learned that a hydrating eye cream is essential for skin over 25. But, FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Eye Gel not only hydrates, it also illuminates and leaves a luminous, healthful glow….diminishing the look of stress and fatigue in the eye area. The silky lightweight gel immediately absorbs into skin and wears beautifully under concealer, foundation and setting powder. FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Moisture Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 is my second favorite product from the collection. I’m never without a daily layer of sunscreen…it’s truly the most important step to maintaining flawless skin. But here’s where FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Moisture Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 achieves high marks – In addition to broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Moisture Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 contains special skin brighteners and pore refiners that immediately refine texture and increase radiance. With Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future, achieving and maintaining flawless skin just got a little bit easier.

As for keeping the rest of your life flawless, here are my best tips:

#FlawlessFuture

UNPLUG A LITTLE

I’m not saying you should pack up and move to a cabin in the woods, but I do think it’s important to unplug just a little each day. For me, this means putting social media away once I get home with my family. Aside from hosting the occasional evening Twitter party, I try to unplug from social media at a certain point each night. I also try to get through as many emails as possible on my commute home…so that once I reach home, Phoebe has my undivided attention and I am not stressing about the emails of the day.

#FlawlessFuture

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

This one is easier said than done. If we’re being honest, I think we’d all agree that it’s human nature to occasionally covet what others have. It happens. But the daily and ongoing stress of coveting other’s possessions, lives, things, etc. is completely unhealthy. Instead, I try to channel my energy into being grateful…for just one or two things per day. In doing this, I’m able to focus on my own accomplishments and not be so stressed over The Jones’s.

I’d love to hear your best tips for staying flawless despite the daily stressors of life. Please share in the comments or tweet me!

Follow Elizabeth Arden on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethArden

#FlawlessFuture

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Now how does that famous quote go?…”Flawless skin is next to godliness”. Ok, I just made that up. But when my skin is free of imperfections, I gotta tell you — I feel unstoppable and maybe even a little Godly. I feel like the Queen of Everything. But with skin-tuations (I just made that up, too…skin+situations) like occasional breakouts, uneven tone, and hyperpigmentation — flawless skin seems totally out of reach. Luckily, with the right arsenal of complexion-enhancing products, pristine skin is possible.

Lately I’ve been faking perfection with two really gorgeous foundations. Well, one is a tinted moisturizer, aka “my weekend boo,” and the other is an actual foundation.

Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide

When I first heard about Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide, I squealed a little because there’s nothing more promising than swatching a foundation with the word ‘flawless” in its name. With 24 shades from Shell to Espresso, I was confident I’d find a solid shade match…but to make sure, I visited the Laura Mercier counter at Bergdorf Goodman and a very lovely Beauty Advisor matched me to “Pecan.” I was immediately drawn to the ultra lightweight consistency (obviously no one likes heavy-feeling foundation). Laura Mercier describes this dreamy, light-as-air formulation as Hydro-Brilliant Technology, “where true color pigments rest at the bottom of the package while reflective waters float to the top. Vigorously shaking the package before each use ensures the pigments blend with the reflective waters to create fresh colour every time.”

In picking a foundation, the Beauty Advisor gave me some great tips that I’d love to pass on to you:

– Always match to makeup-free skin. This might sound like a no-brainer, but I’ve been guilty of swatching over my current foundation. Clearly the problem with that is that you’re not getting an accurate match to actual skin.

– Choose the texture that works for your skin type. For example, skin that’s mature or dry might require a more hydrating formula like a cream or rich liquid. While oily skin will gravitate toward powders and oil-free liquid formulations.

– Live in the foundation a couple of days before committing to a purchase. Test it in daylight and at night and get a feel for how the formula wears. Once you’ve done this for a couple of days, go back and buy a full-size bottle.

– For stay-all-day coverage, always prime skin first. This is essential for a budge-proof wear.

Well, seeing is believing. Here I am wearing Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide…and it’s rather evident that this foundation lives up to its name.

Laura Mercier evening look

COMPLETE PRODUCT LIST
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Amethyst
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Tuxedo
Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Lash Building Mascara in Black
Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Orchid

When the weekend rolls around, I generally want to be completely sans makeup…except for a little spot coverage, tiny bit of liner, like one layer of mascara, and a sheer lip. Oh, who am I kidding?…I still love a good beauty moment for the weekend, but I prefer to go wayyy more natural than my Monday through Friday look.

Laura Mercier Weekend look

So, for my off-duty moments I reach for Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. My shade is Walnut. For a seriously,glowy, model-off-duty look, I mix two drops of face oil with Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and holy fresh-faced, Batman!

Laura Mercier Daytime Look

COMPLETE PRODUCT LIST
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Walnut
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Amethyst
Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Pink Pop
Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Supreme Lash Building Mascara in Black

Want to get in on the action and show off your flawless face?
Join The Laura Mercier Instagram Challenge! The contest starts October 14th.

Show Us Your Fresh Face For a Chance to Win $1,000 of Laura Mercier Products
• Use the hashtag #LMFlawlessContest

That’s it!!
I can’t wait to see your entries!!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Laura Mercier through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Laura Mercier, all opinions are my own

Skincare is sort of my thing, no? Let’s all agree. I mean, I’ve been writing ThisThatBeauty for over seven years, and while we’ve evolved to cover lots more fashion, lifestyle and baby – the core has always been skincare (many years later and THIS Hyperpigmentation blog post is still the most read post on my site). We love to ooh and ahh over pretty colors, but beautiful skin – that’s the thing! So when I learned of Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System, a cleansing brush that claims to clean skin ten times more effective than hand washing alone – I was intrigued. And when I learned that Philips PureRadiance also incorporates Sonic Technology with Advanced Dual Motion, well…I was ready for a trial run!

Philips PureRadiance

Slightly apprehensive, I plunged face first (pun intended) into a four-week trial. When the brush arrived, I first inspected the bristles and thought, “Wow, so soft.” You see, I’ve seen other brushes on the market with rotating bristles and yikes, they all scare me just a little bit…stiff, prickly bristles make me very nervous. But I immediately noticed that the Philips PureRadiance was different. In addition to super soft bristles that gently rotate to dislodge yucky blackheads, surface dirt and debris, two frequencies of sonic pulses go deep down into skin to further break up dirt, dead skin cells and leftover makeup. The gentle rotations don’t tug at or irritate skin…even with twice daily use!

Philips PureRadiance
Philips PureRadiance is now a staple in my daily skincare routine

In a two-week clinical trial (Philips’ findings), women reported 90% deeper pore cleansing, 88% softer skin, 87% more radiant skin and 81% more even tone. And my results are similar – from the very first use, I noticed cleaner, brighter skin. Over time, my skin’s texture feels smoother and my complexion appears more vibrant. I’m also pleased to report not a single pimple emerged during my four-week trial! In addition to the normal and sensitive brush heads, there’s also an exfoliating brush head that I love to use before doing a mask…my skin is just glorious afterwards.

Philips PureRadiance

With cleaner skin, my skin care products are able to penetrate deeper and work even better…making Philips PureRadiance a really nice complement to my existing skin care regimen. So, if you’re super committed to your current skin care lotions and potions, adding Philips PureRadiance to the program will help boost product efficacy without having to swap out your favorite cream or serum.  No matter what your skincare routine (I know I change products seasonally) Philips PureRadiance is the ideal add-on to make sure you’re getting the most out of your products.

In this video I share a bit more about my experiences with Philips PureRadiance and why it’s my new BFF (Beauty Friend Forever). Take a look!

Philips PureRadiance is currently available in select Bed Bath and Beyond retail locations, online and on Philips.com for $149.99.

When it comes to skincare issues, I sometimes say that I’ve experienced it all . . . adult acne, post acne-scarring, hyperpigmentation, excessive oiliness, excessive dryness, uneven skin tone — yup, my skin’s been through a lot. And it is through this process of learning about and treating my skin that I’ve learned to face (no pun intended) a few things. Despite all of my skin’s “issues” it’s still my skin, and I need to love and accept it. Be kind to it. Be patient with it.. . . easier said than done, but this is the truth. One issue I’ve never dealt with, though, is rosacea – a chronic inflammation of the skin that leads to excessive visible redness. Again, while I’ve never personally experienced rosacea, given all of the aforementioned skin conditions that I have dealt with, I can certainly empathize.

So when Galderma approached me to share information on Mirvaso, a FDA-approved treatment for the persistent redness of rosacea, I happily accepted their offer. And not because I’m hard up for sponsored posts (If only you knew the amount of offers I regularly roll my eyes at and politely say “no thanks”), but because ThisThatBeauty is, and has always been about sharing pertinent skin care information. So while rosacea might not be my personal struggle, I do acknowledge that an estimated that 15MM Americans are affected by this condition – and surely a few of those folks read this blog.

Because Rosacea is characterized by redness, many women try to get by by covering it up with makeup. And that’s just a bandaid, not a solution. Mirvaso topical gel, 0.33%* is fast-acting andprovidess same-day relief that can last up to 12 hours.

For additional information, visit: http://mirvaso.com/

Enter Break Up With Your Makeup contest for a chance to win a trip to the Emmys in Los Angeles: http://mirvaso.com/sweepstakes?v=1

Important Safety Information

Indication:  Mirvaso® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33% is an alpha adrenergic agonist indicated for the topical treatment of persistent (nontransient) facial erythema of rosacea in adults 18 years of age or older.  Adverse Events:  In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) included erythema, flushing, skin burning sensation and contact dermatitis.  Warnings/Precautions:  Mirvaso Gel should be used with caution in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, thromboangiitis obliterans, scleroderma, or Sjögren’s syndrome. Alpha-2 adrenergic agents can lower blood pressure. Mirvaso Gel should be used with caution in patients with severe or unstable or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease. Serious adverse reactions following accidental ingestion of Mirvaso Gel by children have been reported. Keep Mirvaso Gel out of reach of children. Not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Galderma Laboratories L.P. through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Mirvaso, all opinions are my own.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am a skincare junkie…..ahem lover. Below  is a picture of an average night of my skincare routine. Seems elaborate but it truly is what helps me maintain my great skin. However, I get asked all the time about that one magical product that will give someone perfect skin. To which I respond – “that is impossible”. There is no one cleanser, mask, cream or serum that will give you picture perfect, gorgeous skin. However, that being said,  read on to see 3 skincare non-negotiables for my skin.

Skincare Non-negotiables from Maree on ThisThatBeauty

Cleansing Oils/Cleansing Balms

Removing all of my makeup thoroughly is the first step for me in getting and keep clear skin. Typically my nightly cleansing involves two cleansers, but always, and I mean ALWAYS starts with either a cleansing oil or cleansing balm. I find they cut through makeup, grime and oil (ewwww, gross) like no other. And mascara, waterproof or not, is a breeze to remove with either types of these cleansers.  Since I have oily skin, it may not seem like  oil based anything should be the first thing I should be drawn to but they truly are remarkable.  Oil binds to oil, so often the best thing to help manage oily skin and keep it balanced without overdrying it, is in fact cleansing oils or cleansing balms. I always use dry hands and a dry face to apply the cleanser (it takes some getting used to at first), and then add water to emulsify and remove.

Some of my top favorite cleansing oils and cleansing balms are:

Exfoliators

After cleansing, there is nothing I love more than a good ol’ exfoliation. It is vital in helping to reduce hyperpigmentation, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, slough off any dead skin to help reveal more radiant and glowing skin – the latter of the three being my favorite reason of all for exfoliating. Over the years, there has been a drastic improvement in the types of exfoliants available. Gone are the days of those rough and abrasive scrubs that leave your face scratched up and in most cases worse off.  Now there are chemical exfoliators that use different acids and enzymes to help gently slough away dead skin cells, refine the skin’s texture and even help to reduce hyperpigmentation. Manual scrubs have also been reformulated to be gentle, yet effective, with enzyme powders being one of my favorite types.  I find that the gentle nature of the powder mixed with the enzyme properties of the ingredients help to give a thorough exfoliation minus the redness, flakiness or irritation. I usually exfoliate 2-3/times a week, sometimes more if needed but try never to overdo it which can throw my skin out of balance.

Here are a few of my favorite chemical exfoliators and/or peels:

For manual exfoliators and/or enzyme powders, I recommend:

Sunscreen/SPF

I know beauty bloggers, beauty editors, dermatologists tell you to wear sunscreen ad nauseum, but to tell you the truth it really does make a difference. Now don’t get me wrong, your body and skin needs some sun exposure – it’s healthy. Frying yourself at the beach all day without protection – no good. Walking to work every single day without any SPF on – I wouldn’t recommend it. Unhealthy sun exposure can lead to premature aging, sun spots, hyperpigmentation and gasp…wrinkles! Now with all the great formulations out there, you can find sun protection that works for your skin type. With my oily skin, I have found a couple that really wear well throughout the day and even under makeup.

My favorites are:

What are some of your skincare non-negotiables?

For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

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Today’s Topic — Skin Care. If you’re anything like me, your routine requires many steps. First I cleanse to remove the grossness of the day. Then I tone to balance my skin and rescue it from the rude, hardness of New Jersey water. Next I treat with a next-big-thing miracle serum of some sort (a girl loooves her miracle serums!!). Then there’s a moisturizer. . . and if it’s daytime, that moisturizer better include a broad spectrum SPF. Phew! So many steps, so little time. But if forced to narrow down my routine (and yes, new mommy-hood does force me to pare it down at times), I’d have to say that it is the “protect” step that’s really critical. SPF, as I’ve said many times before, is my beauty non-negotiable. Even if you just splash your face with water and simply apply SPF, you’re protecting your skin from hyperpigmentation, lines, wrinkles, and all sorts of pre-mature aging. But what if you could use one product to cover at least three of your skin care steps? Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector might offers such promise. . .

Garnier-Ultra-Lift-Transformer-10776

The do-it-all correcting treatment combines:

  • Argan Oil to moisturize
  • SPF 20 to protect
  • Pro Retinol to soften and de-age
  • Self-adjusting micro pigments to immediately relax the appearance of imperfections

So is Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector the multitasking skin care workhorse that you seek? Well, thanks to the Pro-Retinol formulation, with continued use, skin will absolutely see a reduction of texture and a softening of fine lines. Retinol is, in my opinion, the gold standard anti-aging ingredient for diminishing lines…but the key is continued use, so stick with it for at least eight weeks. With Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector your skin will immediately feel more hydrated and the SPF 20 offers a good level of protection…SPF 30 would be even better, but SPF is certainly sufficient (remember to re-apply every two hours if you’re out in the sun). The self adjusting micro pigments, also provide immediate improvements…primarily for fair to medium skin tones…deeper complexions should note that a tiny bit of product goes a long way and you might want to layer a lightweight BB Cream on top. All in all, for fair to medium skin tones, Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector is a solid choice for getting your moisture, sun protection and anti-aging all in one smart little product.

Have you tried Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-Age Skin Corrector? I’d love to hear your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

I’ve been writing ThisThatBeauty for about six years now and it all goes by so quickly. Readers who have followed my blog from the very beginning, and actually, even new comers will agree — I have an intense passion for skin care. Blame it on my woeful adult acne years or my hyperpigmentation phase, but whatever the reason, I am extremely passionate about clear skin and love sharing my product picks for bright, luminous, even toned skin.

I’ve recently starting sharing my top beauty picks via ebay Collections.  I was inspired to create my “Clear Skin Begins Here” Collection as a new way of sharing with you, the various products to help get you on the road to clear skin.

eBay Collections xoThisThatBeauty

Bright, luminous, glowy skin — we all want it, but what’s the secret to achieving it? Well search no more. Follow ebay CollectionsClear Skin Begins Here” for tried and true products that promise to put you on the fast track to beautiful skin in a flash. And who has time to wait?…most of the products in this collection begin to show results within one or two uses.

Dr Murad Age SPot and Pigment Lightening Gel
This product SAVED my skin.

But the skin care gems don’t stop here. I’ve also created ebay Collections for:

At Home Spa Treatments

Bye Bye Acne

Face Masks 101

Winter Skin SOS

And a bunch more Collections on fashion and beauty trends.

So be sure to check out my ebay Collections…I’ll be refreshing them often and adding new picks to love. And hey, maybe start a few Collections of your own ; )

 #spon

TTBFaves: Every month, the ThisThatBeauty Girls (ChristeneMaree, and Felicia) share their favorite products from the previous month. Today I share my top picks from September.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I have combination oily skin that becomes a regular oil slick when it gets hot outside. I’m also prone to hormonal breakouts every couple of months. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant works great on my skin no matter what condition it is in.  It is made with a “unique rice-based powder formula that activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes that micro-exfoliates dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter.”  I use an active mask once or twice per week and this cleanser is gentle enough to use right before using my masks. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant gives a great clean and helps to balance my skin.  It also contains ingredients to brighten my skin and reduce hyperpigmentation – a winning combination. It is formulated without artificial fragrances and colors and one container can last for months. It is also perfect for travel, that’s unless TSA gets suspicious of you toting around a white powdery substance.

TTBFaves - Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Who It Might Work for and Why: This cleanser will work for anyone who wants a gentle cleanser that provides exfoliation and brightening over time.

Bottom Line: It’s a great cleanser that works on all skin types and you don’t have to pay for the water.

Price: $52

TTBFaves - PHYTOSPECIFIC Baobab OilPHYTOSPECIFIC Baobab Oil

My hair? Where do I even begin? It is dry, coarse and very porous hair that literally drinks moisturizing products and it absolutely loves this stuff! PHYTOSPECIFIC Baobab Oil  is a multipurpose pre-shampoo oil that nourishes dehydrated hair, scalp, and body. I use it on both my hair and scalp before I shampoo.  I dampen my hair and massage a  few pumps of oil on my scalp then gradually work it down to the tips of my hair.  I leave it on my hair for at least 15 minutes then follow with a co-wash or a sulfate free shampoo and a deep conditioner. I also add more oil to my hair before moving  on to the styling . The result is scalp that feels hydrated and hair that is soft and very well moisturized. According to the manufacturer this oil also “provides sun protection for hair and protects against free radicals, which can cause damage and frizz.”  PHYTOSPECIFIC Baobab Oil  is formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

Who It Might Work for and Why: If you have dry hair and scalp then I  highly recommend this product.  The only other oil that leaves my hair as soft as this is coconut oil.  However, I cannot use coconut oil on my scalp, so, in a head-to-head showdown, this wins.

Bottom Line: It provides superior moisture for my hair. If you have dry hair and scalp, get it!

Price: $40

TTBFaves - blisslabs nutricosmetics total bliss zen at work

Blisslabs Nutricosmetics Total Bliss Zen at Work

I absolutely hate taking supplement tablets.  Why do the tablets have to be so huge?  Why can’t they make them half the size and have you take two? I’m sure the answer to this and other haunting, life altering questions are lurking out in the universe somewhere but we might never know. Anyhow, my disdain for huge supplement tablets is the reason I have nothing but pure unadulterated love for Blisslabs Nutricosmetics Total Bliss Zen at Work. Here are the instructions, “place one full dropper directly onto tongue.” Could it be any easier? No, I don’t think so. Zen at Work is a  tea concentrate in a dropper bottle that “promotes relaxation and concentration with a blend of mind-unwinding, focus-enhancing nutrients.” It contains vitamin B6 to help support brain function, magnolia bark  to help relax the mind and chamomile to help soothe the stomach. I generally take a dropper right as I am starting to come down from my coffee, right when I start to get a little fidgety and start trolling the internet for cute pictures of cats. It may be mind over matter but I swear this stuff works to get me back on track.

Who It Might Work for and Why: Hate taking supplements that are in tablet form? Then this is for you.

Bottom Line: It works for me! If you are looking for a natural boost, this easy to use supplement might be just the ticket.

Price: $49

Shop the TTBFaves Post!

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog.

I feel like every season is my favorite – and I get irrationally excited about the upcoming beauty launches as if it were the first time, every time.  But the truth is – I find fall to hold the  most thrill because with the cooler weather you can wear more makeup!  Heat and humidity is not a friend of mine nor my makeup – so when that crisp, chilly air comes, I run for a smokier eye, a bolder lip or fuller coverage foundation.  And here at ThisThatBeauty, we are the queens of wanting to know, NEEDING to know what new products are on the horizon and then pick our favorites immediately.  Here is a look at what is catching our eye this fall:

Maree

Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick

Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks

We have BB, CC (and even DD) creams for the face, but Armani pushed the envelope even farther with its new Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick line designed to be the first CC lipstick.  A product that provides “color and care” for the lips, giving the softness and comfort of a lip balm with the color payoff and coverage of a lipstick.  And I can say first hand, having used them and fallen in love with them these past few weeks, these lipsticks are a fall launch worth being ‘ecstatic’ over (har, har, har).  The texture is hydrating and creamy, and then dries down to a natural matte lip stain with intense staying power.  One of my favorite colors from the line is the classic red in shade 400, which you can see here.  Available at giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com for $34.00.

pic185-detail

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Ok, so I know you may be thinking “Maree – this is not a NEW product.  We have been loving on this  Aqua Foundation for YEARS.”  And yes, my wise beauty babes, you would be correct, but what you may not have known is that Koh Gen Do just reformulated this cult classic and it might as well be a whole new product – and one that I was waiting for with bated breath I tell ya.  I already find the old formula worthy of holy grail status, but when I began to hear rumblings of a reformulation and relaunch, I could barely contain my excitement – and it was worth the wait.  Designed with even more high performance ingredients to give it a longer wear while still enabling it to control sweat and oil, the end result is utterly flawless skin that lasts forever!  I recently received a sample of it and have been wearing it non stop – and will continue to do so all season long.  And probably next season, and the season after that…..you get my drift.  Available now at kohgendocosmetics.com for $62.00.

Christene

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Elemental Energy Eye Shadow Palette

 

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Elemental Energy Eye Shadow Palette

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. Muffin tops are securely tucked away under layers, cellulite is discretely hidden by opaque tights and I can go crazy with my eye makeup.  By crazy I mean use more than two colors at at once. SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Elemental Energy Eye Shadow Palette gives me just the right amount of options to make it perfect for fall. It could honestly be the one palette I use all year ’round. It has matte and shimmer shadows with great pigment and the colors look amazing on my skin. This palette can easily be transition into spring and beyond. Available at Sephora $38

JINsoon for Tibi and Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer – The Metallics Collection

Jin Soon TIBI

Over the last several years I don’t think I have gone a full three days with bare nails. Some people have yoga and meditation to help them relax, I paint my nails. JINsoon for Tibi is one of my favorite launches all year.  The nail polish colors are rich and pigmented and the matte top coat, ‘matte maker’, is simply everything. See my review here.

Pure Color Nail Lacquer Metal Mania Collection

Estée Lauder Pure Color Metallics Collection allows you to rock one of the season’s hottest nail trends in a variety of colors.  These metallic polishes don’t have a high gloss finish, instead they appear almost semi matte. I have found that adding a super gloss top coat really gets the colors to pop. They are also great for layering over other high gloss polishes to create quick and easy nail art.

Felicia

Clarisonic Pedi Foot Transformation System

Clarisonic Pedi Foot Transformation System

Leave it to me to bring the conversation to skincare [I mean, let the record show, ThisThatBeauty’s most popular blog post ever is about skincare/ hyperpigmentation]. IDC IDC IDC…skin will always be in. Season after season, we want impeccable skin. We want it to glow in the summer and be bright & luminous in the winter. And great skin is not limited to what we see above the neck…particularly as we age, we pay more attention to the markers of youthful skin. I, for one, have become way more critical of the skin on my neck, hands and feet — yes, feet!  Which brings me to Clarisonic Pedi Foot Transformation System.

Come to momma! No, seriously…literally — this is just what this new momma needs. The Pedi Smoothing Disc is made of textured stainless steel and is designed to slough away hardened, dry, rough skin. The Pedi Wet/Dry Brush Head, with a combination of short rigid and long flexible filaments, work to exfoliate and buff overworked feet. To further enhance the at-home pedi experience, Clarisonic Pedi Foot Transformation System contains Pedi-Buff Sonic Foot Smoothing Treatment (an exfoliating treatment), Pedi-Balm Sonic Foot Softening Treatment (a rich hydrating boost) and Pedi-Boost Sonic Foot Renewing Peel Treatment (a deeply exfoliating foot peel). This sonic charged at-home pedicure system is a major must this fall!

Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation PowderLaura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder

For fall/ winter, I’m all about luminous, perfectly matte skin…so it is with great excitement that I look forward to the launch of the newest crop of complexion perfectors. Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder is oil free and formulated to last up to 8 hours without showing signs of fading. The creamy, light-as-air texture instantly approves the appearance of imperfections like tiny lines and uneven tone. And let’s also applaud all 20 — yes, 20!! —  complexion enhancing shades. Learn more here: http://youtu.be/1RAgNm4PreM

urban decay naked skin pressed finishing powder

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder

If a finishing powder is your preference, Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder is for you. Appropriately named “NAKED”, the weightless, jet-milled powder is undetectable on skin….attribute this to the magical, optical blurring pigments. urban decay naked skin pressed finishing powderDepending on your coverage needs, Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder can be applied to set your foundation or, as I use it (my shade is DARK), as a lightweight powder to balance skin tone and eliminate shine. Either way, the finish brilliantly matte…and never cakey or ashy.

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