My Current Routine

For the sake of documenting a moment in time, and perhaps to reflect in five years to ask myself “why on Earth did I use that?”, I wanted to list some of my current skincare favorites. I recently went on a short trip, which is always great for forcing yourself to decide on which products are truly must-haves (and also useful in those moments where you think to yourself, “why did I forget to pack that?!).

Now, of course, I don’t use all of these every single day, but everything listed is in heavy rotation. All of these products have been in my routines for a minimum of five months — some have been in my routine for over six years. I can say that all of these have maintained or improved my sensitive, acne-prone skin. Everyone’s reactions are different, but if I had to recommend products to someone with skin issues, these would all be included in that list.

AM Routine

  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray
  • Melano CC Gel (although I’m not 100% sold on this one yet…)
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  • Rohto Skin Aqua Super Moisture Milk SPF50

PM Routine

  • COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (I obviously love this)
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray (same with this, I would spritz this every hour on the hour if I could)
  • Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner

PM Exfoliant Options:

  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA
  • The Ordinary 5% Lactic Acid
  • Epiduo
  • Derma-E Anti Wrinkle Eye Cream

PM Moisturizer Options

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  • Cerave PM

PM Heavy Moisturizers — “Last Step”:

  • Bio-Oil
  • CosRX Honey Ceramide Cream
  • HadaLabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Solution

Makeup

  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination – Medium
  • Maybelline Stick Corrector Concealer (under eyes, and on/around eyelids with careful blending)
  • NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Brown
  • L’oreal Lash Paradise
  • Physicians Formula Eye Booster Pencil Eyeliner
  • Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls in Bronze (used as bronzer)
  • Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Rose Gold

Maybelline The City Mini Palette

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted! I recently had a huge clear out of all my beauty products, and had some blogging inspiration strike me when I found some old favorites — and not so favorite — products in my drawer.

I bought two of these Maybelline powder eye shadows on a whim whilst remembering the errant MUA video I had seen with a relatively good color payout with these products. Generally, it seems like this eye shadow has good reviews. Now, full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of eye shadow to begin with, and I’ve privy to believe that no drugstore eyeshadow – powder or gel – has a good color payout.

I picked up Chill Brunch and Downtown Sunrise (pictured). I really liked the presentation sparkly silver and beige in Chill Brunch, and wanted to play with the orange in Downtown Sunrise. Sadly, between the two palettes, I wasn’t exactly blown away by any of the turn out. I’ll go over some of the highs and lows of these palettes:

Downtown Sunrise: I think I just grabbed this for the orange, if I’m being honest! The color wasn’t extremely noticeable, but definitely more pigmented than I’ve seen other drugstore-oranges. It actually stuck around on my eyelids for more than three hours! The color payout of the orangey-beige, yellow, and the pink, however, were terrible, much to my dismay.

Chill Brunch: They got it right on the shiny beige here, good coloration and it seemed to stick around for more than three hours. I liked the impact that the shiny gray and brown had – very pigmented, very sparkly — but they weren’t great for my skin coloration, so I had to pass on those. The purples, on the other hand, are good for my skin tone, but the color seemed to disappear or lighten within minutes of application.

An upside to both of these pallets is that I didn’t really have an issue with powder fallout into either my eye or my skin. But all in all, these were still typical Maybelline eyeshadow palettes. Some of the colors are very well pigmented, but a large majority are ineffective, even if you’re using a heavy hand in application. Even if you’re able to pick out a good color from the batch, chances are you won’t see the color after thirty minutes of wear. I did really like the orange from Downtown Sunrise, but there are definitely better palettes for orange than this one. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 1.5/5

Rimmel Scandal’eyes Shadow Stick

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Stick

I really love the idea of non-powder eye shadows, but I can’t ever seem to find one that sticks, not even the internet-coveted Maybelline Color Tattoo. My eyes are very sensitive to powder, so I would love to find a gel-type product that will stick around on my lids. Unfortunately, this product was not the solution to my dilemma.

This is a super cheap buy at $4-5 at most drugstores. I picked up the taupe color that is in the picture, and “bulletproof beige”. It’s a gel-pencil — instead of using powder, you can apply this directly to your eyelids. Because my eyelids tend to, ahem, “sweat”, I applied primer before application to help give this product some more staying power.

Even as I was applying this, both colors, I could BARELY see the pigment, and I felt like no product was even leaving the pencil to begin with. Alright, go over it one more time. Still nothing. Alright, one more time… nope. I could hardly see any color. What little color did appear quickly… disappeared, during my thirty minute commute to work. I used these pencils for about a week to see if maybe I just needed to break through that “new” layer of product to get to the stuff that actually worked. Nope. Still no coloration.

Now, given that it’s a gel-pencil, the same concept as many eyeliners on the market today, I imagine that the darker colors would probably have much better staying power.

To add insult to injury, sharpening this is a nightmare! It’s really difficult to create a new tip, after you’ve worn it down the first time. I’m bummed that this didn’t work. I generally like Rimmel — I’ve been happy with their other Scandal’eyes products, but this product just didn’t work at all. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 1/5

 

Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter

Maybelline Master Chrome

Happy New Year, everyone!

The packaging really drew me in, with this product: It just looked so cool and modern…

This comes in four different colored powders: molten gold, molten rose gold, molten peach, molten topaz. I picked up the first two. The coloration on the molten gold was fairly good — gold, as advertised, although it was relatively subtle. The molten rose gold … not so much color. It seemed more like a “bright”/white gold, and I couldn’t really see that there were any tinges of pink.

As I mentioned before, this is a pretty subtle highlighter initially, so you may have to try a couple heavy-handed brush swipes if you want to amp up the brightness. Once the level you want is achieved, it does look quite nice! The powder is pretty consistent throughout the entire package, so you won’t swipe your brush in “too much” glitter at any one point, which I’ve noticed to be a problem with a few products. This consistency gives way to a smooth application, and you shouldn’t need to blend too much of it out.

The longevity was great on this; I’m still glowy by the end of an 8-hour day! For an $8 price point and plenty of product in the dish, this is a good buy. My only gripe with it is the coloration, but I think that’s mostly personal. I don’t think (any) gold really looks good on my skin tone, and I also didn’t feel that the rose gold was pigmented enough. Still, this is a solid buy for anyone looking to add to their daily look, without blinding anyone!  ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Maybelline Volum’express The Falsies Mascara

Maybelline Falsies.JPG

For as long as I’ve been interested in makeup, I’ve been impulse buying Maybelline mascara based on the cute packaging and the occasionally deceptive makeup buzzwords that make me think this mascara is going to change my life. The Falsies is no exception, although it does appear that it delivers on it’s product names’ promise!

This comes in a really cute purple tube and retails anywhere between $4 and $13 (low end was Target on a sale day, high end was Ulta, who almost always overprices all of their product anyway). The wand is fairly long and has quite a few bristles to pick up more of the product. Apparently this also comes in four different colors including brown and blue, but I’ve only ever seen “Very Black” in stores.

Application is fairly good, since there are a lot of bristles you will get a lot of color and product on the first swipe or two. But, also by nature of having a lot of bristles on the wand, I would also advise you go light-handed because having all of that product = potential to clump! Although this mascara is admittedly pretty easy to separate lashes once the clumping occurs.

The overall effect of this is actually pretty good. This probably provides some of the longest length I’ve ever seen in a mascara, and the volume is pretty good as well. You don’t really need more than two or three coats to get the true false eyelash effect.

Now, the longevity… meh. This stuff has some pretty bad fallout from start to finish. Most of the mascara’s effect will remain with you throughout an 8 hour period stretch, but over that period I’ve ended up flicking away quite a bit of black dust from my cheek. And that stuff sticks — it’s not like the tiny particles you can just shake off, some of it will end up absorbing into your skin and you’ll have to apply water to get it out. Weirdly, all this said, I didn’t feel like I had any issues with this stuff getting into my eyes, and if it did, it didn’t cause any over-the-top irritation.

So for overall effect, I really like this. I was extremely impressed by the length and the non-spider legs volume approach it took to get there. But if you’re going to wear it, make sure you’re close to a mirror with a sink — it’s not a good “wear it to the office” mascara!

Merry Christmas! I hope all of my readers have had a wonderful holiday season! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 3/5

How much I actually like this product: 3.5/5