Makeup & Skin Care Loyalties – Old & New

Those of you that know me, know that I have two go-to brands when it comes to makeup and skincare, the Body Shop (of which I’ve talked extensively) and Dior, but recently, I’ve started to add a third brand to the mix.

My love for the Body Shop stems from a random trip to the mall out in Huntington a few years back. I can’t quite recall what drew me in, but once I was there, I never wanted to leave. My first purchases were eye shadows, lip-glosses, bronzers, etc, and of course body butter (to name a few). I became obsessed with how soft the makeup was, and that’s when I went to their website and started reading about the company and found out how amazing it was. First, they are against animal testing of any kind – they neither test the ingredients nor the finished products – and even received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 by RSPCA because of this. Also, instead of going to China for ingredients and production (China has a policy where everything is tested on animals), they have a community fair trade program where they employ people in third-world countries, using ingredients from there and therefore encouraging growth in these locations.

Aside from the makeup (tons of makeup) that I get from the Body Shop, there are three products that I cannot live without. The Seaweed Iconic Clay Mask (which I have written about here) is amazing and always leaves my skin soft, youthful and glowing. The Vitamin C Radiance Capsules – an end of the summer discovery that I use as a boost under my moisturizer – also leaves my face unbelievably soft. And lastly, the Brazil Nut Shower Cream which smells like heaven.

My love for Dior started years ago with my first purchase of Diorshow mascara (it really is the best), and then from a trip to Sephora, where I got a sample of Dior’s Sorbet Eye Crème from their Hydro Life collection, which uses three flower extracts to help defy aging. Right away I noticed the difference under my eyes, the dark circles were less visible and they were less puffy. This of course made me decide to try their Sorbet Crème for the face. These easily became staples of mine for two reasons: one, because I love the texture of the sorbet crème, and two, because the formula is light-weight (not greasy), but still leaves my skin hydrated. I also use their Gentle Foam Cleanser and Toning Lotion.

A few weeks ago I made my newest Dior discovery. I was in need of an eye sorbet replenishment, so I walked over to the Dior section in Sephora and decided to peruse it. The eye makeup remover that I had been using sometimes burned my eyes, so I wanted to see if they had a product that was better, and I found it. I’ve always hated the fact that, makeup removers are usually packaged as for the face or for the eyes, and it is a rare treat to find a product that is meant to do both. So, of course when I saw Dior’s Instant Cleansing Water, I thought that it was too good to be true, but, I am happy to say that that is not the case. It is truly amazing. Not only does it remove all of my makeup, but it leaves my face feeling soft, and, perhaps more importantly, doesn’t burn my eyes. If you try nothing else, make sure to try this, because it really is worth it.

My newest brand obsession began over the summer when I purchased Bobbi Brown’s limited edition Navy & Nude palette. I really loved the subtlety of the nude shades, and also the use of navy as an eye liner instead of my usual midnight grey (almost black) look. Recently though, I had been getting a bit bored of my look. Not necessarily that I wanted more color, just something different. So, last Wednesday, as I found myself at Grand Central with some time to kill before boarding my Metro North train, I stepped into the Bobbi Brown pop-up shop and perused the lipstick options. After trying on three different ones of which I was not completely satisfied, I ended up trying on the color that the makeup artist was wearing. The base was their Sheer Lip Color in cherry pink, and the top was their Lip Gloss in baby pink. I ended up purchasing both. Two days later I was back and looking for new eye shadows, and although I did not make this purchase at the Bobbi Brown pop-up (I actually made this purchase at Sephora while shopping with a friend), I did spot them there. I ended up with a very dark brown (almost black) called Rich Caviar, and Champagne Quartz, the perfect champagne color with just the smallest hint of pink.

And while I plan on keeping my current loyalties to the Body Shop and Dior intact, I see another trip to the Bobbi Brown pop-up in the very near future. What new products will I purchase? Stay tuned!

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Mask Obsession

For years I have searched for the perfect mask, trying a whole slew of different kinds – mud masks (one that I really loved has been discontinued for ages), a cucumber/avocado one that smelled awful and took forever to dry…I’ve even tried peel off masks, but found that they were just too much work.  Then, a few months ago I had an idea.  I’ve been obsessed with The Body Shop for a long time – about ninety-nine percent of my makeup comes from there with the exception of mascara and a couple lipglosses.  So, if I feel that strongly about their makeup, why not try one of their masks.

I was really looking for a clay mask, but since they don’t have one, I decided to go for something completely different.  My first attempt was their Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask.  As a mask, I was not completely thrilled with it, particularly due to the fact that it does not require any rinsing off, seeing as how it is a sink-in mask (of which I did not realize when I picked it up from the store).  The first time I used it, I felt like it would make my skin oily.  The second time, I put on a thinner layer before I went to bed, and when I woke up the next morning my skin was softer and the dry spots were noticeably less dry.  I liked the results, but it felt more like a night cream than a mask, so, back to The Body Shop I went, this time choosing their Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask (which I had been avoiding because I wasn’t sure about the seaweed aspect), even going insofar as purchasing a foundation brush with which to apply it.  Two days later, I tried it, and I instantly fell in love.  It didn’t smell awful, dried quickly (a lot quicker than I’m used to) and left my skin super soft.  I’ve used it once a week since, and every time I do I’m in awe over the level of softness and healthy glow.  It’s simply amazing, and just another reason for my obsession with The Body Shop to continue.