Sunday, September 18, 2011

Penny's Addiction

Hello Friends:
Have you ever heard of lip balm addiction? Well, Penny began to wonder about her own penchant for lip balm so it was time for some research. I don't mean research for the newest and most effective lip balm on the market by advertising standards. I mean research on whether or not there is something called 'lip balm addiction.'  According to my findings lip balm addiction is a myth.  Yes, I now know there are groups out there dedicated to 'support' lip balm abusers (who knew?) but there is no scientific or medical proof that constant use of lip balm is actually an addiction. There is nothing in lip balms that is habit forming or that compells us to be psychologically dependent on them, so continous use is not considered an addiction. So why does Penny have a tube of lip balm within arms reach at all times...home, purse, car, office, etc? Inquiring minds wanna know. LOL!

Lips normally have a very thin oily film on their surface that provides natural protection against moisture loss. As someone with generally dry skin and eczema, I didn't think it unusal that I had dry lips (not usually chapped, but dry). I also have to consider my frequent beauty product trials as some may have adverse effects on me. For example, there is something in MAC lipsticks that cause my lips to dry out severely and crack at the corners. After several trials I found that I could use their lip glosses but not their lipsticks, and I can't use anything constantly for a long period of time. I don't wear lipstick or lip gloss every day, but I do apply lip balm multiple times a day. Lately I feel like the more lip balm I apply, the more I need to apply it. So it got me to thinking....why do my lips feel dry all the time? Is there something in the lip balm that's causing the dryness? That is one theory. Because I don't lick my lips often (a common cause of dryness), I had to consider the ingredients in my lip balms. I've used many brands over the years such as Chap Stick, Blistex, Burt's Bee's, Aquaphor, Palmer's Medicated Lip Balm, and Sephora's Super Nourishing Lip Balm. I noticed that I often used "medicated" lip balms to soothe my feeling of dry lips and I enjoyed the tingling sensation caused by most. However, many of these balms, even the 'natural' ones, contain menthol, camphor, or peppermint oil which have been said to be a 'cause' of lip irritation and dryness. Some also contain fragrance and citric acid both of which I have a sensitivity too. So what is a gal to do to get a more perfect pout? (read full story...)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blank Face

Question for all your make-up mavens out there....what do you use to REMOVE your make-up at night? I hope that no one is going to bed with make-up on. Humph! If you are, just don't let Penny know...she gets all worked up over things like that. LOL!

Penny has tried a number of make-up removers over the years and some may get foundation off but not mascara; others may get mascara off  but not foundation; so the search for one good product went on. Some of you are wondering...what's wrong with good old soap and water? LOL! Nothing at all...if you want to spend some time 'beating down the mug' (as one of Penny's friends would say). LOL! I always seem to have residue if I don't use something to break down the waterproof gel eyeliner, lipstick, and the various formulas of mascara I like to wear. Eyeshadow and foundation come off pretty easily with soap and water, but some products need an oil-based solvent to dissolve them.

Penny's favorite make-up remover/cleanser is Bobbi Brown's Cleansing Oil ($39, Bloomingdales). I love the feel and smell of Bobbi Brown's product but most importantly I love that it removes ALL my make-up at once. I put the oil cleanser on a dry face and gently rub it over my lids and lashes, and even my lips. This gentle oil dissolves everything and doesn't burn my eyes or leave my skin dry. The only drawback is the price. It is too expensive to purchase on a regular basis but is good for someone who doesn't use make-up often therefore allowing it to last longer. I love that this is a one-step process for cleaning my face and removing my make-up. BB Cleansing Oil is very similar to the more expensive Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils. Shu Uemura was said to be the pioneer of cleansing oils that remove make-up while maintaining the skin's balance.

Before I discovered BB Cleansing Oil, I used Clinique's Take the Day Off ($18, Sephora) for many years. This product is advertised as a make-up remover for "lids, lashes and lips" and it works well on all three. Just shake well before using (you will see the liquid separates in the bottle); saturate a cotton ball, and gently hold over your lid allowing the product to penetrate the eyeshadow and mascara for a few seconds, then wipe away the make-up. You may have to do this a few times. The only thing I didn't care for is the slightly oily residue this product left on my lids. But you have to wash your face afterwards anyway. What I did like was that it did not irritate my eyelids like other removers I tried in the past. My skin is super sensitive and my lids are easily irritated due to allergies. But this product worked fine. (read full story...)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Foundation Fix

Hi there!
Penny misses you all. It's been a hectic month and a half, and I wasn't able to get here, but here I am. Before I get into my love for the change of seasons and all the fun fall trends that I've been reading about these past few weeks, I want to talk about my latest make-up foundation. Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation SPF 30 (Sephora, $42).

With my melasma becoming more of an issue this summer (due to my own neglect and being out in the sun), I needed a full coverage foundation.  The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation, and the L'Oreal True Match that I started the summer with wasn't enough to cover all my dark spots without a lot of concealer. The Cover FX was a referral by one of my favorite beauty bloggers (MusingsofaCityGirl-Cindy Diaz). I asked her for some suggestions and decided to try Cover FX. It is a foundation and concealer in one, which I so desparately needed. I was trying different concealers at the time because I noticed that in flash photos my MAC Studio Sculpt concealer was showing lighter under my eyes (reverse raccoon). I'm still not sure if it was a concealer problem, powder problem or foundation problem. But with the Cover FX this issue was greatly minimized.

Cover FX comes in over 30 shades but I highly recommend getting a professional to assist you in choosing the right shade for you. I was originally going to make my first purchase online, but eventually called around to three different Sephora locations before I found the product. When I went into the store I had a post-it note with the shade "I thought" was the right one for me, based on what I researched online. But when the sales rep offered to help me and swatched it on my jawline, I was completely off. The shade was too light. Turned out I was in a whole different category and after about three swatches we found that I was a B15. Since I get very pale in the colder months, I'm sure to purchase a different shade then by going back to Sephora and getting swatched again.