Nude lips much?

Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve somehow collected several new lip products. I’m not sure how that happened? ::wink wink::

I’m not ready to do full reviews yet, but I do have some initial thoughts ready for public consumption. I will warn you though- there is definitely a pattern with my shopping choices (with one glaring exception).

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The gang’s all here:
- Dior Addict lipstick in Beige Casual
- L’Oreal Glossy Balm in 200 Lovely Mocha
- Femme Couture Ultra Hydrating Lip Color in Nude Kiss
- Ulta Butter Balm in Luna
- Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy in 105 Ambiguous Beige
- Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Musk
- Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious

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Swatches, left to right:
Dior, L’Oreal, Femme Couture, Ulta Butter Gloss

The Dior Beige Casual is a lot more sheer than I realized, even after swatching it in Sephora. I think the Glossy Balm feels great, but the color’s a little more pink than I prefer.
I bought the Femme Couture from Sally’s Beauty and I’ve never heard of the brand before. So far I’m in love with the color and the texture!
The Ulta gloss is nice, but not all that remarkable.

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Swatches, left to right:
Armani, Bite Beauty, Revlon

The Armani Ambiguous Beige may be the best nude shade I’ve ever found, but it’s so heavily fragranced. I love the Bite lipstick, but I’m afraid it’s going to melt if I leave it in my car; they’re incredibly soft.

This isn’t the first Revlon Lacquer Balm I’ve owned, and yet again, I’m thoroughly impressed. Such amazing texture and pigment!

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I’m really getting into luxury beauty products (gulp!), which is starting to show in my posts and Instagram photos. Time to send my husband golfing.

June 2014 Favorites and #savePacificBlue

These videos are some of my most loved videos to watch and, therefore, are some of my favorites to film. The month of June was simultaneously hectic and awesome, and I welcomed summer with open arms, possibly for the first time in my adult life.

My skin wasn’t cooperating, though, but I talk about a product that really made a difference. I also go on about a nail polish you probably need. (You’ll have to hunt for it, but I promise, it’s worth it.) And Makeup Geek? Makeup Geek KILLED the month of June, as evidenced by the new products they’re offering and the ones that made it into my June Favorites.

Grab a cup of coffee and find a comfy chair while we talk about June’s best in beauty.

Rainy Day Tidbits

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Really lovely July 4th weather, no? Suffice it to say that my pool plans were cancelled, along with those of the entire complex. My husband and I are going to salvage what we can of the day by eating charcuterie for dinner and watching a movie. Netflix saves the day!

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I changed out my little vanity desk for the larger desk we had for an office space in the main living area. We didn’t really use the desk as anything more than a dumping ground for clutter, and I needed more space at my vanity. The picture above shows how much organizing needs to be done. I think I’m going to shut the bedroom door for the rest of the day.

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I went into a newly-opened Sally Beauty Supply yesterday and picked up a couple of quads by Palladio. These aren’t sold in the selection at Ulta and I thought they looked like something I would enjoy spending money on.

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The warmer toned palette is clearly the winner of the two. I haven’t worn them yet, but I have a sneaky feeling the purple-y, sheer quad will be returned.

*****

That’s all that’s going on here. I hope you’re having a fantastic Fourth of July (if you’re American) and that you have an awesome weekend!

Back From Hiatus and No Longer a Twenty-Something

My twenties are officially over; I turned 30 on June 27. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t bother me like it does some. I happen to believe I am so much cooler now than I was. Sure, I don’t get carded nearly enough, but what can you do?

I remember when I turned 25 and I noticed a significant change in my skin- the texture, the oiliness (or lack thereof), and the fact that now I had to take take care of it or face the consequences (pun actually not intended). No more sleeping with makeup on every night, no more teen skin care lines, and lots more sunscreen. 30 is roughly the same, only the products are more complex and more expensive.

I bought a face mask from Colleen Rothschild in honor of my new decade, and I’m pretty excited about it. It smells fantastic and even though I’ve only used it once, I think it’s going to be glorious. I’ll give it a full review when I’ve had a chance to use it more.

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I also purchased some luxury and prestige beauty items, but I think I’ll save those for a video. I won’t call it a birthday haul, because if I’m honest, I bought most of it myself!

I bought these earrings on my birthday from my favorite accessories boutique, Wicked Peacock, in Rockport, MA. If you ever are in New England and you have the opportunity to visit Rockport, take it! It’s an artsy community with great shopping.

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-Laura

PS- Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @newshinebeauty!

On A Sabbatical, of Sorts.

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6 months from today, I’ll be 30. And I’m looking forward to it. However, there are some things I thought I would have accomplished or learned by now that I haven’t, and I have to figure out why that is. In order to do so, the noise and the distractions have to go. So, for at least 6 months, I’m leaving Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogging, the excess reading of blogs, (most) YouTube videos, and (most) TV behind. (I don’t plan on deleting everything, just being inactive.)

I’d like to think I will come back to this space ready to make it what I know it can be.

I’m going to go pick up a book, go to the gym, cook a new recipe, learn how to use ALL the buttons on my camera, and anything else that strikes me if I need something to do. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in 6!

-Laura

Winter Skincare, Part 2: The Toners, Serums, and Moisturizers

NewSkincare, part 2
I realize now toners would be better grouped with the cleansers, but we’ll power through anyway. ;) (Click to enlarge the photo.)

This week is all about winter skincare on New Shine, which turned out to be quite apt. The high on Saturday in my neck of New England is 19 degrees Farenheit, and when you basically live at sea level, that’s cold. Much colder and I’ll be slathering Vaseline on my face!

Part 2 finds us continuing into my regimen with the serums, moisturizers, and miscellanea that keep my face in check. My hope is that by sharing this info, you might be inspired to try something new if you’re experiencing the same issues! (Part 2 is especially Mario Badescu-heavy. I’m a fan of their products and their price points, but this post is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form.)

Here’s the rundown of the products pictured above, how I use them, and why they work.

Mario Badescu (MB) Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion- One of the first Mario products I tried. A great, alcohol-free toner for drier skin types, this removes any makeup leftovers from my face after I cleanse. It contains a bit of acid from the citrus ingredients, acting as a mild exfoliant that I can use every day. I’ve repurchased this several times.

MB Glycolic Acid Toner- This product is fairly new to my regimen, but I love it. Even though it has glycolic acid in it, the concentration isn’t so high that it can’t be used daily. I don’t use it daily, I just can’t, but I use it every other day or so. I use it in the same way as the Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion, right after cleansing.

MB Vitamin C Serum- This is one of my favorite products! I pick at my face (I know, I know!) and I have very light skin, so hyperpigmentation is a constant battle for me. Products like this serum use a high concentration of vitamin C to lighten the skin a bit more naturally than something with synthetic ingredients. I like that this product doesn’t use hydroquinone, as well (I’m not anti-hydroquinone, but I don’t know enough about it to want to use it. I also don’t have age spots and the like, so it’s a bit much for my needs). This keeps any scarring to a minimum and the dark spots fade much faster. The Vitamin C Serum also has lavender oil and hyaluronic acid for extra moisture without the greasiness. I use a few drops before moisturizing at night. This is my second bottle!

MB Rose Hips Nourishing Oil- I started using this a couple of weeks ago out of sheer desperation. My skin had become so dry, so flaky, and so unhappy that I was willing to slather just about anything on. A coworker suggested the Rose Hips Nourishing Oil and it’s been a LIFESAVER. It’s an incredibly lightweight, non-greasy oil that absorbs into the skin within a few minutes. I put it on morning and night before a moisturizer as needed, and it doesn’t sit heavily on my skin or underneath my makeup. The instructions recommend 2-3 drops for each use, but I am using substantially more than that and it seems to be fine. This oil is fragrance-free, nor is there a noticeable scent, which is great for sensitive skin. If you have combo-dry/dry/sensitive skin, this is for you!

Lumene Vitamin C+ Radiance Day Cream- I first used this a couple of years ago, liked it, and then tried something else just because I could after I ran out. I picked this up again a few weeks ago since nothing else seemed to be heavy enough and because I remembered liking it. Fortunately, I was right! My skin feels plumped after each time I use the cream, like it’s the hydrated skin it was always meant to be. I love that it has sunscreen, and the light citrus scent is pleasant in the morning. It’s very rich, but it doesn’t seem to affect my makeup during the day. LOVE!

Lumene Complete Rewind Eye Cream- This is the one product in the lineup that I’m really not that enthused about. I’m not sure there’s enough concentrated ingredients in the formula to make this truly anti-aging, so we’re left with moisturizing properties, and they aren’t really making an appearance, either. It’s just not hydrating enough to be worth it. I’m using it because it’s all I have right now, but this is what I’d rather be using!

MB Caviar Night Cream- This is a FANTASTIC night cream for dry skin. It’s not water-based, which equates to me being able to notice my skin is hydrated in the morning. A little goes a long way, as it’s rich and thick, exactly what I want from a night cream. It contains collagen, actigen of caviar (said to be high in protein), and cocoa butter as some of the notable ingredients. Love, love, LOVE!

MB Cellufirm Drops- One of Martha’s (Stewart) Must-Haves, this little gem of a serum is great for daytime use. With collagen, algae, and vitamin A as the first three ingredients, this product is packed with anti-aging and calming properties. It also contains hyaluronic acid for extra moisture, as well as elastin and vitamin E. As I get older, especially with dry skin, I am always looking for ways to maintain the suppleness and elasticity that I do have, while also restoring what I’ve lost. This is THE product to do just that. I will always have one of these in my routine. I cannot suggest this enough!

MB Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater- I use this spray all the time. Before makeup, after makeup, and anytime I need a refresh throughout the day. It doesn’t have any alcohol in it, which means it doesn’t dry out my skin further, and if I’ve been especially bad to my face, the aloe and rosewater calm and soothe. This is one of those products that doesn’t have a specific use; it has too many to count.

Some notes about Mario Badescu products:

MB doesn’t use a lot of preservatives and the line is botanically based, so the products need to be stored in a dark, cool place. If a product has changed color or develops a smell that wasn’t there before, stop using it. For example, the Vitamin C Serum is clear when first opened but will turn yellow if it’s been open for too long. The properties in it have denatured and are no longer effective, and can even cause negative skin reactions if used. Just use what you buy (if you like it) and you’ll be fine!

What skincare products do you use when the weather turns dry and cold, and what skin type do you have?

Winter Skincare Regimen, Part 1: The Cleansers

 

NewSkincare Regimen- Cleansers

I have recently developed a love of skin care products, and the next couple of posts will demonstrate that well. It seems that my skin has reacted more severely to the winter weather this year than in years past. I’m not drinking enough water, either, so dry and dehydrated is the name of my game. I’ve finally managed to get a good routine down, one that seems to be making a difference for my poor skin, so I thought I’d share my great finds just in case you need them, too! (This is the first of two posts showing the products I’m using and when I use them.)

(From left to right)

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser- This is one potent product! The brand recommends that combo/oily skin types use it 2-3 times per week, and 1-2 uses per week for us dry girls. I’m using it about once every other week. It’s a great exfoliator and definitely can be drying, but my skin feels baby soft after each use. I just slather on plenty of night cream after washing.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant- Easily one of the best products I’ve ever used. EVER. This product comes as a dry powder with rice bran granules to act as a scrub, as well as papain enzymes and salicylic acid to further remove dead skin cells. Rub a quarter-sized amount in wet hands to make a paste and then rub on the face and prepare to be amazed by the softness of your skin. The best part? Even my dry skin is happy to use it every day.

Boots No7 Melting Gel Cleanser- This cleanser is fantastic for everyday use, as it doesn’t foam and strip my skin, and I use it primarily in the mornings. I always wash in the mornings to get off any grime left over from the night before and to prep my skin for the day. It starts off as a gel and emulsifies with water to be a creamy/milky cleanser. Love it!

Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser- I love this cleanser. It lathers nicely and doesn’t strip the natural oils (what little I do have), but the best part? It takes off every last vestige of makeup. It’s the perfect night time cleanser- all of the day’s lash glue, environmental crap, stress, yada yada… gets washed off with Purity. My skin feels ready for the inevitable heavy moisturizer that is to come. For those of you using a Clarisonic, it works perfectly with it as well.

I’ll be back on Thursday with the second half of my regimen, which is serums and moisturizers. Have you tried any of the products above? Let me know in the comments!