July 27, 2014

Accutane Month 4

I just completed month 4 and I'm still alive! My skin is doing well, as is my general health.  Not to be gross, but I did have some umm... "bathroom troubles" from not drinking enough water. This is why it's SO important to drink enough water in life, as well as when you're on Accutane. My doctor said that the average human should be drinking 6-8 cups of water a day.  Since I've been taking this medication, I feel normal (read: not like I'm made of sand) when I'm drinking 9-11 cups, depending on the day. So when I was only drinking around 6 a day-- problems started happening.

Another complaint is one I spoke about before-- extremely dry lips. I'm only bringing it up again because they got even worse and cracked in the corners. The corners also were a tiny bit swollen and tender at times (this is probably partially due to my horrible habit of peeling my lips DON'T JUDGE ME!!). Something that has been helping is plain old Chapstick, probably because it's so thick.  I'm getting ahead of myself, BUT when I saw my dermatologist to start month 5, she suggested using 1% hydrocortisone cream (found at any drug store) to help with the cracked corners. So far, it works but I'll talk about that more in next month's post.

Like always, I'm not wearing the any makeup in these pictures. I'm a little shiny because I JUST applied my moisturizer.

I had one of the most stressful weeks in a while, so the guy on my chin came out to let me know. Gr.

July 21, 2014

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick: Mötorhead Swatch + comparisons!

Hi! So I decided I couldn't live without Mötorhead and snatched it up, all with the thoughts that I didn't have a color quite like it in my collection. 

COLOR/PIGMENTATION: Sephora describes Mötorhead as "black cherry." I would say it is a darkened berry. Full on it pulls cool-toned, but sheered out it looked a warmer. I naturally have warm undertones to my skin, so you may have different results.

When swatched, I thought this looked could use a touch more pigmentation.  I'd say it had medium coverage.

Since I have a few darker lipsticks from KvD, and truthfully was disappointed by Mötorhead's color (I was expecting something MUCH darker), I decided to see how it compared to my other dark shades.

L-R: Vampira (from the Spellbinding lipstick set), Vampira everlasting love liquid lipstick. Mötorhead, Rosary Painted Love Lipstick 

As you can see, it is similar to the Vampira Liquid lipstick, just a touch lighter. This alone is making me consider returning Mötorhead to Sephora, but I really like the texture!

PRODUCT: Mötorhead has a slightly creamy texture and applied fairly evenly, that isn't drying nor is it moisturizing. Even on my desert-dry lips, I was able to wear this (with the help of lots of lip balm, of course) for quite a few hours. I think I lasted about 4 hours before I took it off-- not because of the lipstick, but because my dumb lips were peeling and looked gross.  Keep in mind my lips can't take wearing lipstick these days, and usually last around an hour before I have to take it off, so I'd say this is a pretty good formula!

PACKAGING: Please see my first Studded Kiss lipstick review for my thoughts on this.

PRICE: $21

Of course, you don't have to take my word for it! Kat Von D's Studded Kiss lipstick range is available now at Sephora.

July 20, 2014

Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer- Fair

Since beginning Accutane, I have had to abandon all of the foundations in my beauty arsenal because I felt nothing looked or felt good on my dry, sensitive skin. Because my skin was/is very red, I didn't want to completely forgo color correction, so I turned to tinted moisturizers.  The few I tried definitely weren't for me, and then on a very desperately dry and red day, I found Josie Maran's Argan Tinted Moisturizer. This is my review. (cue Law and Order sound effect)

PRODUCT: Josie Maran's Argan Tinted Moisturizer (let's call it ATM for short) seems to be more of a foundation with a broad-spectrum sunscreen than simply a tinted moisturizer. It has a thick consistency, and I recommend either putting this on immediately after washing/towel drying your face OR wear over a bit of moisturizer. Using this just on a dry face made it really difficult to blend out. Yes, this does moisturize your skin, but I think the oil in it makes it more difficult to distribute the product without something to help it. 

Upon initial application, my face was pretty shiny; however, after a few minutes the product sunk in and I was left with a natural, semi glowy complexion. I usually prefer a matte face (which isn't an option right now because of how dry my skin is), but I really like the finish of ATM! Also, despite this being a thick texture and having decent sun protection, the product never felt like I was wearing a mask.

A kind of big downside is that when my skin is driest, over the course of the day my foundation will pool in my pores. Using a separate moisturizer usually helps with this, but not always. (to re-distribute the ATM, I'll either press and roll my clean fingers against my skin, or I'll do the same motion with the sponge from my powder compact. Note: these methods don't always work  depending on how dry my skin is.)

Left: my bare skin Center: ATM blended out (I left some streaks so you could really tell the difference) Right: ATM not really blended.  

PIGMENTATION: ATM is medium coverage.  Corrected my general redness pretty well, but I still need concealer for old acne marks and what not. The shade "Fair" has a warm undertone, so if you are cool-toned, this may not work for your coloring.

PACKAGING: The squeeze tube ATM comes in has an easy flip top cap. No frills-- which is great when I'm rushing to get ready in the morning.

PRICE: $38 for 1.7 oz

All in all, Josie Maran's Argan Tinted Moisturizer is definitely more like a decently pigmented moisturizer. It has become what I use when I A. barely have any time to get ready B. am not going anywhere fancy but want to look polished. Yes, this covers 95% of my life. If you have super oily skin, I would say to proceed with caution.  Thinking back to my oily days, considering I was a constant oil slick, I think this might have felt gross on my skin and not dried down.  HOWEVER, if you are combination, normal, or dry, check it out. 

July 17, 2014

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick: L'ecole Des Femmes and Lullabye

The long awaited Studded Kiss lipstick collection from Kat Von D became available on Monday-- a week early than what Miss Von D posted herself on Instagram quite a few weeks back. AND THANK GOODNESS! Even though my lips are sad and peeling from Accutane, I was too excited not to pass up a few colors. I wanted colors that I thought I'd wear, but didn't have 100 variations of (like red), so I settled on L'ecole des Femmes, "salmon pink," and Lullabye, "matte magenta violet."(*both shade descriptions come from Sephora.com)

Lullabye Studded Kiss Lipstick

L'ecole Des Femmes (Let's call it LDF for short): Coral pink. It's pretty close in color to the Jeffree Liquid lipstick, but slightly warmer and a tad less bright.
Although blurry, this is much closer to what  LDF looks like in real life
L'ecole Des Femmes

Lullabye: Iridescent magenta with pink micro glitter.
Lullabye Studded Kiss Lipstick


PIGMENTATION: LDF was fully opaque in about two swipes in the swatch above. Lullabye took a little bit more to build up. I feel like there is an underlying sheerness to it.

PRODUCT: LDF had a drier texture than Lullabye, probably due to it being matte.  There is a 10-hour wear time claim on these, which I will have to test when my lips can wear lipstick for more than 10 seconds. (wah) The Studded Kiss line has been scented with Creme Brulee, which has a slight plastic-y smell. Another update is that the lipstick bullets have been stamped with the KvD insignia, which I am loving-- it looks really nice.

PACKAGING: The updated packaging looks very nice, however, it feels like a thinner plastic so I'm concerned about breaking tubes when I'm less-than-graceful. When I saw the new packaging on KvD's instagram, I was disappointed that the color window of the old packaging was scrapped. Thankfully, the labels on the bottom reflect the lipstick color. I rarely care about outer packaging, but the Studded Kiss boxes had a raised studded pattern which was pretty cool.

PRICE: $21

Despite the weird new scent, the wide shade range, sleek packaging, and great color payoff, make Kat Von D's new Studded Kiss lipsticks a worthy buy in my opinion.
As always, you don't have to take my word for it. The Studded Kiss lipstick range is available now at Sephora.

June 15, 2014

Blinc Brow Mousse- Dark Brunette

To whom it may concern, I have tiny eyebrows that make me self conscious when not made up.  Ok, maybe tiny is not the proper description, but they are naturally thin with sparse tails. Pencils are my eyebrows' best friends, but I love using a colored brow gel to go the extra step towards Elizabeth Taylor brows.
Liz Taylor, queen of eyebrows. (image from: idealbeautyacademy.net)
(tangent warning: scroll down for the review) My holy grail brow gel was limited edition and therefore discontinued, so I have been on the hunt for a replacement. It seems that every cruelty free eyebrow gel had shimmer in it- no bueno. Dear every company that makes eyebrow gels, what the hell is the purpose of putting shimmer in your product? Who has shimmery eyebrows in real life? I NEED TO KNOW! /endrant

After learning about the existence of Blinc's eyebrow mousse, I decided to try it.

COLOR/PIGMENTATION: "Dark Brunette" is a ash-toned dark brown. The product is very pigmented, and I could probably get away with using this alone to fill my brows in if i wasn't having a full-face makeup day (which, let's face it, is most days).

Blinc Eyebrow Mousse in action! I'm not wearing anything else on my brows.
PRODUCT: I wasn't sure what to expect with a name like "brow mousse" since I'm only familiar with gels and waxes, but "mousse" is not a misnomer. The product is opaque, and a thick texture (in comparison with a gel), so a little goes a long way. Despite it being thick, the application isn't difficult to master, nor do my brows look caked with product. It most definitely lives up to Blinc's claims of being fade-, water-, sweat-, and smudge-proof. 

PACKAGING: The packaging, when comparing it to a mascara tube, is a bit shorter in length, and a bit smaller in diameter. I like that the color is printed technically three times on the package (on the length of the package, and the cap has both the color name and the actual color on it)-- this will make for easy re-ordering! A problem I had with the other eyebrow products i was testing out was the brush-- usually it was too big for precise application or a strange shape that wasn't conducive to contributing excellent eyebrows. Blinc's brow mousse brush is slim, with a slightly tapered tip at the end of a short wand, which allows for a lot of control during application. However, for the sparse tails of my brows, I think I prefer to use a pencil to draw in hairs for a super precise result.

PRICE: $24

 Blinc's  Brow Mousse is definitely a winning, welcome addition to my makeup arsenal.  As a fair-complected person who dyes her hair black, Dark Brunette significantly darkens my brows without making them look harsh, and could even work when my color fades/roots start to grow in. Since the mousse is thick, it will be extremely noticeable (and probably won't look good) if you don't get the right color for your skin tone/hair color.

As always, you and your brows don't have to take my word for it, Blinc Brow Mousse is available in eight other shades (and clear) here with free shipping to boot!

June 12, 2014

Accutane Month 3

I finished another month of Accutane and haven't died yet!  Ok, not that this medication could be fatal, but all of the super horrible side effects that i read about (that initially made turn down taking it) haven't happened to me. Yet. (knock on whatever my desk is made out of)

I am sure I've mentioned this before, but the 100% worst thing about being on this medication is the dry lips.  It's something called "chelitis," and it's just annoying.  My lips peel and sometimes hurt, and sometimes whatever lip balm I'm using stops working because too much dead skin has built up.  These are the regular products I've been using:

+ Jack Black lip balm
+ A&D ointment - I use this at night, or if I'm home and my lips are particularly chapped and terrible.
+ Aquaphor - If i don't have A&D on my lips, or if it has already been absorbed, I'll slather this on    before bed.

I didn't mention this in my last post on the subject, but my doctor added another medication (Spironlactone) to help make the accutane work more efficiently. This is because my acne was hormonal, and I was still breaking out significantly after being on accutane for two months. I've definitely noticed a change for the better since I've been on the combination of meds. My fear is that, when I stop taking these, my acne will return. For now I'm trying to stay positive and enjoy my clear skin!

All natural, baby! Sorry for not brushing my hair.
These marks are from an old breakout that happened before I began taking spironlactone. 

May 6, 2014

OCC Cosmetic Colour Pencil: Black Dahlia

I feel like I was the only one having trouble with my Black Dahlia lip tar, and couldn't find a pencil dark enough to help out with the application.  Then OCC released their cosmetic colour pencils, with a shade to match my lip tar!

OCC Cosmetic Colour Pencil: Black Dahlia

"Black Dahlia" is a cool-toned dark red violet. This is definitely the darkest cruelty free cosmetic pencil  I know of that isn't black.

PRODUCT: Meant to be used anywhere on the face, this pencil has a comfortably creamy texture. It wasn't creamy to the point of feeling like a lipbalm, but I didn't have any problems with it skipping or having uneven color when applied all over my lips.  It prevented my lip tar from feathering, but didn't make it wear any longer-- after about four hours, my lip tar became uneven to the point I had to take it off.

OCC Cosmetic Colour Pencil: Black Dahlia

PACKAGING: For some reason, the pencil seems really small, until I looked at the numbers.  (Assuming these numbers are all fill weights)
OCC Cosmetic Colour Pencil: .08oz
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Lip Pencil: .04oz
MAC Lip Pencil: .05 oz

PRICE: $16! Compared to UD's $20 and MAC's $15, I'd say this is a pretty good deal.

All in all, OCC's Cosmetic Colour Pencil was precisely what I was looking for: a super dark color to match my Black Dahlia lip tar (and my other dark lipsticks!) that wasn't dry and prevented feathering. When I first swatched this in Sephora, the pencil seemed really dry, which prevented me from buying it at first. However, I figured it was just dry because it was a tester, and I was right! Just goes to show that sometimes first impressions can be deceiving.

You don't have to take my word for it! OCC Cosmetic Colour Pencil in Black Dahlia (and 11 other colors!) is available now at Sephora.