Tuesday, September 18, 2018

REVIEW: NYX Pore Filler

Packaging - 3 (average)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 3 (average)
Oil Absorption - 5 (excellent)
Pore Filler - 5 (excellent)

The NYX Pore Filler is a popular choice for many, but I wasn't 100% impressed by it. First of all the packaging is not good at all. It's cheap looking and it wears and stains super easily. The actual wear of this product is also not great, it has a super powdery texture, so it wears off quickly. It's not a primer, so you have to prime before AND after in order to get it to last. It does however absorb oils, and it does fill in pores really well. I just wish it had more of a priming effect and balm like consistency. A little goes a long way so you won't run out of this anytime soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

How to Learn about your Beauty Product's Ingredients

I have been working on this post for such a long time. You all know that I am an ingredients nerd when it comes to beauty products, but I am not infallible by any means. I didn't go to cosmetology school and memorize every bad ingredient commonly found in hair and skin care. But I do read product labels and I do know ingredients, and that has all come with time and practice. I still trip up though. I recently posted a video first impressions review of the Flower Beauty line, and I even looked at the ingredients and said they impressed me a little bit, little did I know (as I explain in my post Why I Don't Offer First Impressions - I learned my lesson)  there were several pore-clogging ingredients lurking in there - just not ones I knew. But now I DO know them.And I learned this ingredient names from this experience.

So what is this post about really? I am going to try to give you the tools to find the best quality products and to understand ingredients better. You will find that when you look up product's ingredients lists, that the same few ingredients stand out over and over again as bad choices. You will eventually familiarize yourself with the names of bad ingredients over time, simply by looking them up now.

Most companies have ingredients listed on their websites. So let's say you are picking up a primer at Ulta. Well Ulta.com has every single product's ingredients listed on their site.  This is also the case with Sephora.com as well as many retailers. Check your retailer;s website or app to find a full list of the ingredients you are looking into. Of course you can also look at the back of the box, but having a copy and paste-able list is super nice to use for the rest of the list.

 Campaign for Safe Cosmetics created a "red list". I have it saved on my phone and I used to look over it before buying beauty products. This list is full of common ingredients that are known to be bad for your skin and body that you should always avoid. Here are the lists for cosmetics, but you can click here to see all 7 lists that they provide. You can also visit their site to learn more about each ingredient and why it's not good for your body.

This website is a godsend!   I love Acne Mantra, it's not super flash or pretty but it gets the job done. Basically you can copy an entire list of ingredients from a website (as long as they are separated by commas) and paste it into their search bar. Once you do, it will bring up a list of each ingredient that is comedogenic (aka pore clogging) and just how damaging they are. So for example when I dropped in the ingredients from the Flower Beauty foundation I learned that it had two ingredients that typically clogs pore, four ingredients that could clog pores (but is mostly of concern if you have sensitive skin) and one ingredient that would likely clog your pores even if you don't typically break out. That highly comedogenic ingredient is Ethylhexyl Palmitate.

 This app is brilliant, and the more people use it, the more amazing it will be. The think dirty app is an amazing tool. It is available for those using both android and apple devices. The think dirty app allows you to scan product barcodes and it will pop up with the item and the over all rating for that item. Click on it and you will get a breakdown of each ingredient and it's individual rating. Click on the ingredient and you will see it's other names, what it's used for, health concerns related to it and more! It is SO MUCH information in one place!

However the Think Dirty app doesn't always have the products we want (but they do have THOUSANDS of products listed). If a product you want is missing it allows you to put in the name of the product and to take a picture of the front and back of it (including the ingredients list) and they will add it within 30 days. So the more people that use it, the more info we will have.

 This app works pretty much the exact same as the Think Dirty App, except you can't submit your own stuff (as far as I am aware). There is also a few things about this app that I don't love - for example, if you scan a bar code and it doesn't have hat item in their database, it freezes the app. But you can simple close it out and use it again otherwise. If it does have the item it pulls it up very quickly, which is nice. You get a good break down but the initial rating can be deceiving, so you have to look further. For example, I looked up the Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo which had an initial rating of 0 (which is super bad and in red). When I looked at the break down though it had an ingredients hazard rating of 8 (which is pretty good and in green), and the red was because of independent performance reviews and lack of information on a few ingredients. So you do have to dig a little deeper with this guide.

I check everything out on Think Dirty first, and if they don't have it I check Good Guide. On Think Dirty the same dry shampoo was found, with a negative red score, but when I clicked on the product list the only negative ingredients were added fragrances, which many people don't like, but aren't known to be toxic and I don't mind them. However if you are sensitive to artificial fragrances this would be great information to have. But on Think Dirty the info is a little more accessible.

 Before these lovely two apps became known to me, I used several ingredients sites to basically look up any ingredients I didn't know on products. Typically the most important ingredients are the first five. The rule of thumb is that the first 5 ingredients make up 75% of the product. Even if I had only looked up the first five ingredients in the Flower Beauty foundation, I would have learned about the Ethylhexyl Palmitate that broke me out, as it is the second ingredient listed!

There are a lot of ingredients guides out there, but it's best to research on at least two sites. The thing about Ethylhexyl Palmitate is that it is not a toxic ingredient, it's just highly comedogenic. Because it isn't considered toxic it's given a pass by a lot of sites, so that's why it's so important to start by checking AcneMantra.com. Here are a list of other sites I like to research ingredients.

This all seems like a lot - I know. But if you are vigilant in the beginning by looking into all these things thoroughly you will begin to remember words, phrases and ingredients so well and eventually you will memorize certain ones. It is easier than it sounds, give it a try next time you are in the beauty isle.

Friday, September 14, 2018

REVIEW: Flower Beauty Light Illusion Liquid Foundation

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Shade Range - 1 (bad)
Coverage - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 5 (excellent)
Ingredients - 0 (horrible)

I am so bummed out by this foundation and I will tell you why. First of all the packaging is exactly what most drug store foundation look like. I bumped it up to a four instead of a three rating because I like the pretty rose gold metal plating on the lid, as well as the fact that it has a pump, which I did not expect. Also the shade range on this product is abysmal. This line has been out for over two years and still only has twelve shades, and all of them are for Caucasian skin (with the exception of one super warm yellow/tan shade). The world has spoken - we want diversity. We want inclusion.  And after 2 years they have had plenty of time to expand the shade range. Also the whole brands tagline and message on their site is that "Flower Beauty is for Everyone" which apparently only includes white people....? I am not a fan.

So here is my experience with the product. I was hooked! You guys can click here to see the first impressions video I did using this and I was clearly a fan. I remained a fan at the end of the day too! It was so creamy and blendable, it had amazing coverage but wasn't cakey or thick. My skin looked like skin. It lasted all day and didn't break down or anything. You guys - I was AMAZED!

So where is the let down? After day three, my skin was a war zone! It was inflamed in multiple places where acne was coming up and there were zits everywhere! I had not had skin that bad my entire life, I am not kidding. My puberty skin was clearer than this. I was so upset, I had only changed my foundation, so I went ahead and stopped using it. After a week of hard work, my skin is finally clearing up again and normalizing. I finally did some more research on the ingredients, at first I didn't see anything of concern on the label (I only did a quick glance) and so after researching all of the ingredients I wasn't familiar with I found out that this foundation has SIX comdeogenic ingredients (which means they clog the pores) and a couple are considered HIGHLY comedogenic, and one of them is a non-hypoallergenic skin irritating ingredient that a lot of people are allergic to. I would never recommend this product at all.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

REVIEW: Mary Kay CC Cream

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Coverage - 4 (very good)
Sun Screen - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Hydration - 3 (average)

The packaging isn't my favorite. If you keep the lid on you can set this product on a counter, otherwise it actually has a pump on top so if you loose the lid (which I always do) then you can't sit it up on the counter at all. But the package is air tight, so you will get every single drop of that product out of the bottle, which is a win for the packaging. It's also really nice and sleek packaging and I don't feel the writing comes off easily.

This has a really decent amount of coverage for a CC Cream, it's not full coverage is one go, but it covers my redness and acne fairly well. It does only come in 5 shades, but they do really blend with your natural shade, and I have only met a few people who couldn't find a shade compatible for them. It has great SPF, my sister in law is super sensitive to the sun, and she tried this and ditched her separate SPF step completely, which is so nice.

I wouldn't say a little goes a super long way for longevity. It's probably average, but I gave it a four because the packaging does make it easy to maximize the amount of product you get out of a tube, which I appreciate so much. As far as hydration goes I live in a dessert and I need a lot of it! This product doesn't have enough moisturizer in it for me, so I have to use a little moisturizer before I put it on. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Why I don't offer first impression reviews - I learned my lesson

MOST youtubers review based on first impressions - which I don't do. I did offer a first impressions of a popular name brand foundation once and a few days later gave a full review on it. But I simply don't do first impressions. Why? Because you can't trust them.

All a first impression does is tell you about the immediate application and immediate pigmentation of a product. It doesn't tell you about the wear of said product, the ingredients, the reaction your skin has to it, how it lasts throughout the day, if the colors oxidize, nothing. So I don't want my immediate first impressions to persuade people to run out and buy things that end up being horrible for your skin.

So how did I learn my lesson? Well a few days ago I posted a first impression video for the new Flower Beauty line. As you all know, when it comes to foundation and makeup I never review anything I haven't worn for 5 days. But I had high hopes for the Flower Beauty line. Especially once I applied it. It stayed on all day and looked amazing, the application was awesome and I did a quick once-over of the ingredients and I didn't see any of the 8 super bad and common ingredients in foundation that I look out for. I was stoked - hoping I had just found a $13 holy grail foundation to replace by $60 one.

 Boy was I wrong! I hope that no one ran out to purchase their Flower Beauty product because my face broke out like it never has before.  I literally have never had so much acne in my life, after 4 days of wearing this. I wanted to know WHY, what was causing the acne, because I didn't see my worst ingredients on there.

First of all - I was wrong. There are three types of silicone in this product, all of which I missed in my quick once over. *face palm* But I had to find more, so researched each individual ingredient to find there are not one, not two, but SIX comedogenic ingredients in this! SIX! One of which is labeled as "highly comedogenic". For those who aren't aware an ingredient that is comedogenic means that the ingredient will settle into and clog pores.

So I've learned my lesson - no more first impression videos. But I will do more future tutorials.

Monday, September 10, 2018

REVIEW: Starlooks Lip Liner

Packaging - 3 (average)
Variety - 1 (bad)
Vibrancy - 3 (average)
Wear - 3 (average)
Ease of Application - 5 (excellent)


Let's just dive right into the breakdown of the scores here. The packaging is super basic. It looks like any and every other lip liner on the planet. There are 3 different colors, so it's hard to find one to perfectly match your lipstick unless you buy their lipstick. They have a few mechanical pencils too, but altogether there were only 7 options, that's for ALL their types of liners. It goes on super smooth and easily (no tugging), but it isn't super vibrant. It definitely wears off throughout the day and doesn't last. This one was just kind of a miss for me.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

First Impressions of Flower Beauty and a Natural eveyr day Makeup tutorial

 I don't typically post videos of myself here, but I have had A LOT of demand for some tutorial videos. I am not a youtuber. I do not have fancy lights or time to heavily edit my videos. Also please note - there is a HUGE difference between a professional makeup artist, and a professional social media artist. What is that? A social media artist typically does 95% their own makeup. They know their face and skin, and they beat it more often than not in a way that is super flashy and dynamic on camera. I am not one of those. I spend max 20 minutes on my makeup every day, if even that. I spend 45-60 minutes on my clients though, and I understand facial structures and all skin types. So unlike NikkieTutorials I am going to be super basic with my application. This is me people.

Please also remember this is a Facebook Live, so I do shout out to those watching and answer questions for those who watched it live. If you want in on the fun next time I will be posting more Facebook Lives in the future I think, many that I will not be posting here.
You can follow me on Facebook by clicking here. The content there is 80% different than what's here, so it's super worth it.

PLEASE TAKE MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT - they are first impressions. Don't run out to buy anything until I have posted a full review (at least not of the Flower Beauty Products)