Monday, June 30, 2014

Bioré Acne Clearing Regimen - Review, Pictures, Swatches


The Bioré products for acne clearing and blemish fighting were sent to me well over a month and a half ago.  I started using them thinking that I would do my usual review, explain how my acne is a "special snowflake" and how it didn't really work like it said it would on me, but it might work for you and here's why, and blah blah blah.  Well Guess what?  It worked on me!  I'm not saying that other factors haven't lead to the elimination of acne from my face. I have given up most dairy, all refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and corn syrup, I take a turmeric supplement 3x a day and I drink tonnnnnnns of water. I am also super critical of labels for cosmetics and have eliminated all physical sunscreens from my daily skin care and makeup routine. But the things that really pushed me over the edge, the things that made a world of difference are these three products from Bioré

Let's start with the one product that I think has made the biggest difference in how amazing my skin looks right now:


Retails for $6.49-$7.99 USD
Sold at, Ulta, Walgreens, and Target
This 2% salicylic acid acne treatment is supposed to deep clean, tone, and treat blemishes for clear pores.  In my experience it did all of that!  I always use an oil cleanser followed by a foaming or cream cleanser so I rarely need to use an astringent to remove makeup, but I find that using this in the morning instead of cleansing with water and soap has made my daily routine faster and has helped my skin so much. It primes my skin for the application of moisturizers and makeup very well.  Bioré says that the Blemish Fighting Astringent uses salicylic acid as the key to penetrate pores to help treat blemishes and reduce breakouts. It does remove oil, dirt, and cuts down on surface shine too!  The fragrance was slightly citrusy combined with a light minty fragrance, but not overpowering.  The liquid is clear and comes in an ample 8 oz bottle.  It was gentle enough to use once or twice a day and it never irritated my skin or caused any sort of redness, itching or peeling. 

Active Ingredient:  Salicylic Acid 2%

Next on to the cleanser! 


Bioré Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser 6.77 FL OZ (200 mL)  
Retails for $6.49-$7.99 USD
Sold at, Ulta, Walgreens, and Target
They call this an "Ice Cleanser" because of the menthol in the product and cooling sensation it gives when using it. This 2% salicylic acid acne treatment cools as it washes away dirt and oil that can cause blemishes.  The liquid cleanser foams very well and uses a less irritating surfactant called Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) which is made from coconuts.  The cleanser has a citrus and menthol scent that is mildly strong ...does that make sense? Mildly strong?  It's medium scented?  Anyway. The fragrance disappears once you rinse the cleanser away.  The menthol action, however, does not. I'm not a fan of menthol fragrance and I am am not a fan of the feeling you get. I figure that the supposed cooling feeling is actually the menthol irritating your skin. No bueno.  But whatever. It only "cools" for a little while after use and my skin never looked red or irritated after using it, so what do I know?  I didn't find that this cleanser made my face feel dry and tight after use, however I do not believe I had it sit on my face long enough to reap the benefits of the salicylic acid in the product.  Those with less sensitive skin might consider using this cleanser with your face brush as it would sit on your skin for at least a full minute or so before rinsing. That might help.  Otherwise I think cleansers with salicylic acid are kind of useless.  I was able to use this cleanser every day with no irritation, peeling or redness.


Active Ingredient:  Salicylic Acid 2%

 Last, the scrub.


Retails for $6.49-$7.99 USD
Sold at, Ulta, Walgreens, and Target
I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of scrubs. I'm convinced that a years ago, a bad scrub caused tiny tears in my delicate skin and allowed bacteria to get in and become acne on my face. I could see the "cuts" from it. Thankfully the Bioré scrub is waaaaay more gentle than the one I used in the past, so I don't think there is as much risk of damage with this one.  The claim that this scrub will get you clearer skin in just 2 days is not accurate. I wish they wouldn't do that. 


I found it took me a good 2 weeks to see results from using this scrub. Maybe my acne is different or more severe, but 2 days to clear skin of blemishes is just not realistic.  If you notice in the ingredients the salicylic acid concentration is only 1% wish makes sense as you are already exfoliating using a physical exfolaint (ALUMINA: Primarily used as an abrasive  Because of its abrasive texture, many use these crystals to exfoliate and resurface the skin-particularly with Microdermabrasion.) so the chemical exfoliant (salicylic acid) does not need to be as strong.  The Alumina, which is like teeny, tiny tapioca pudding pearls are round rather than jagged and they are encased in an orange colored wax. I believe this type of exfoliant is safer compared than the plastic micro beads that are ruining our lakes, rivers and oceans. (YAY Bioré for not using Polyetheline beads!)  Even though I am biased against scrubs, I found myself really liking this one.  It did "scrub" well enough and my face did feel smooth after use.  Bioré claims it is gentle enough to use every day, but I opted not to because my skin is sensitive.  The scent is citrus and menthol. Not my favorite combo. The scrub actually foams up when you add water to it so you could use it as a cleanser too. The foaming action is good as it also uses SLES (see above) which is less harsh.  The generous 4.8 oz tube is slightly transparent so you will know when you're getting low and need to repurchase.  


Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 1%

As with any product containing salicylic acid of any concentration you should use caution in the sun as you are prone to burn faster while using this product.  In addition women who are pregnant or breast feeding should avoid or consult their doctor before use. Salicylic acid is a member of the aspirin family, so those with an aspirin allergy should avoid this product.

Do you NEED this?  YES! Despite my aversion to menthol and scrubs I know that's just a personal preference and does not apply to everyone.  For the price, amount of product in the packaging, and the very favorable results I had I say this little trio is totally worth it!  I like the astringent the best out of all the products. I plan to purchase another once it runs out. Obviously if you have hormonal acne no amount of salicylic acid will clear that up, but for those with occasional breakout, those with oily skin and those with mild to moderate acne, you might very well see an improvement in the overall skin tone, texture and appearance after some use.  Just give it more than the 2 days listed on the scrub. OK?  Also if you go to Auburn University, Louisiana College, Syracuse University, or University of Virginia you should get these just because they match your school colors!

What say you?  Have you used this product before?  Do you use products with salicylic acid in them? What has been your experience.  How do you feel about the scent of menthol in your skin care products?  Let me know your thoughts and more in the comments section!

The Lipstick League – week of 6.23.14

Question of the Week: Which lip color do you reach for when you’re in need of a pick-me-up?

Answer: Red. Always RED!

Gouldylox Reviews - Makeup Wars is all about purple eye shadows! They look amazing on everyone; which is your favorite?

My Beauty Bunny - Who says natural makeup has to be boring? Go bold with the Cherry Bomb Lip Lacquer (and more!) from Cate McNabb.

Nouveau Cheap - swatches the new Maybelline The Nudes Palette and gives you her first impressions (plus a few dupe comparisons).

Pink Sith - wonders if you actually read nail polish reviews, or just look at the pictures. She puts you to the test with some pretty Nail Polishes from FingerPaints!

Prime Beauty - discusses the issue of rosacea, a common problem among women and how to treat it. But that's not all...enter to win a Cetaphil Gift Basket AND a trip to the Emmy's!

Phyrra - brings you an Orange is the New Black Flaca Makeup Tutorial! See other character tutorials too!

we heart this - if James Vincent tells you need a Fan Brush, well then, you go get yourself a Fan Brush (and read his advice on what to do with it.)

Clumps of Mascara - is in love with this Too Faced Melted. How can a lipstick/gloss/stain thingy be THIS fantastic?

EauMG - It’s officially summer and here are Victoria’s perfume picks for Summer 2014!

Beauty Spotlight

When Jessika from polish insomniac was asked to share one of her favorite collections, she stared around her room, wondering how she would decide. Nail polish? How many? Which brand? Can't show them all! Blush? Lipsticks? As her eyes wandered around her room, she silently started counting her pieces of IKEA storage. Yes, she thought, that's a collection worth sharing.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Birthday Wishlist

So my birthday is coming up next week and I was thinking about the the best gift I ever received for my Birthday. It was my Apple Computer. I love that thing. It's so awesome in every way. It's so much better than the POS HP computer I had, and easier to use too.  The WORST gift I ever got for my birthday was a Member's Only Jacket...In the mid 1990's. 

Member's Only Jackets had gone out of style about 15 years earlier so the fact that I was getting one after the fad had crashed and burned was just awful. I never wore it. In fact I think I might have left that gift behind never to be seen again. I know everything old, is new again, but that's one item from the 80's I would rather forget.

I have a love/hate thing with my birthday.
I LOVE getting presents
I HATE getting crappy presents
I LOVE birthday cake!
I HATE that I gave up refined sugar
I LOVE being able to sleep in
I HATE having a birthday in the summer. No one is around.
I LOVE Mr. Sith for always making my birthday special
I HATE then when he buys me a gift it comes from our joint checking account and it feels like I'm paying for it.
I LOVE getting gift cards for my birthday
I HATE getting gifts that someone thinks I want when I really don't.

So to remedy at least the last love/hate thing I decided to do a little shopping list. Obviously I won't get everything on the list, but it's a short one and except for the purse, everything is pretty affordable.  Shall we see what I want?  Yes we shall!

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Tulip $22.50
The latest color in their ever growing collection of lip balms. This is supposed to be a hot pink hue! 

Peter Thomas Roth Skinstant Mask Magic $46
Three masks and all of them sound loverly! Now that my skin has cleared up and believe it or not, getting less oily (that's old age for ya) I can now have fun with masks that promise moisture and firming and all that fun stuff.  Plus PTR masks are pretty awesome. 

Empire Leggings $30.00 
What's a birthday without something from Star Wars?  Mr. Sith got me the R2-D2- measuring cup set from Think Geek for Mother's day, so maybe he will splurge on these leggings too!  (Ask for my size before ordering, darling) 

OK. I'm still obsessed with the seat belt bags from Harvey's. In fact I have been told by a few readers they are now obsessed thanks to me!  (You're Welcome) On Mother's day I said I wanted the Medium Blue Tote, but now I have changed my mind and I want a purse that's even more expensive! (because that's how I roll)  Now I want the TreeCycle Medium tote. It's made with all recycled materials (seat belts that would have ended up in landfills if not for Harvey's) and the shades are multi colored blacks, grey's silvers and tans.  That would go with a lot of outfits. I'm just sayin'

So that's all I want.  If I get nothing from this list I won't be sad. It's just stuff, after all. I can always save up for anything on the list. I really do hate getting older. I feel like I'm stuck at 29. I guess age is just a number, but I would rather not share with you the actual number I am. Let's all pretend I'm 29 for the rest of my (hopefully) long life, shall we?  Yes we shall!

Do you make birthday gift lists?
Do you ask people what they want for their birthday or just buy them what you think they want?
What was the best birthday present you ever received?   What was the worst?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FingerPaints Nail Polish in Margritte's Masterpiece and First Edition - Review, Pictures, Swatches

FingerPaints-Nail-Polish-in-Margritte's-Masterpiece-and-First Edition-Pinksith

This was my first foray into FingerPaints nail polish. I picked 2 solid creams or what I though were creams. The shades were a loverly Cobalt Blue called Margritte's Masterpiece and a stunning Royal Purple called First Edition. 

Now as nail polish reviews go there's not much to say about them other than I found both colors to be extremely sheer and I needed a good heavy 3 coats to get opaque results. The polishes dried to a semi satin finish and I used a top coat in all pictures. The formula was thin, but not runny and easy to apply and control on the nail.  The brush was decent and not too floppy or too thin.  The wear time was very good. When applied with a base and top coat I got well over a week of wear with no chipping. I had minor tip wear, but that's expected because I type so much. 

So now what do I say?  It's not like people actually READ nail polish reviews do they?  Why don't I just tell you a story in between the pictures of the nail polish and we'll call it even. Sound good?  Good!

FingerPaints-Nail-Polish-in-First Edition-Pinksith

As always I dream of being BOSS OF THE WORLD (BOTW)!  However there is a problem with being a dictator.  There is no career advancement and no retirement plan.  I'm pretty much at the top of the corporate food chain once I become BOTW, and I have to stay in that dead end job for life.  The problem is, "life" may not be until I'm ready to retire.  I might be overthrown at an early stage in my BOTW duties, and I can assure you that the first move the NEW BOTW is going to do is execute me and turn my skull into a candy dish.

FingerPaints-Nail-Polish-in-First Edition-Pinksith

So basically the only option as BOTW is to continue to suppress the people with edicts such as: No wearing of Jorts.  No driving on the road when I'm driving. No slow walkers on the sidewalks. No "pop" music and especially no Nickelback. Ryan Seacrest is not allowed to host any more New Years Rockin' Eve Countdowns without the reanimated corpse of Dick Clark.  Stuff like that.  That's a lot of work for the me and I'm sure it's not much fun for the people, except for the no Nickelback part.


What I would need to craft is a graceful retirement plan for being BOTW. That way I have an option to step aside and I wouldn't suffer the consequences for my crimes. Kinda like being a member of Congress that keeps getting re-elected while accomplishing nothing!  I would make sure that I have some security guarantees like permanent amnesty, 24/7 guards for my island fortress, ability to keep up to $50 Billion of the money I "earned" (stole). I think that's enough to keep me in red lipstick and taupe eyeshadows for the rest of my life.


I think it would also be good that as the departing BOTW I would be glorified in history. I would have all of my faults white washed over and only the "good" things I did repeated like talking points on all the news channels and history books.  Then they could talk about how magnanimous I was to "step aside" and allow another BOTW to take over.  I could then be put on currency and stamps after my retirement of BOTW to remind people of how good they had it under ME and not the current jerk that's running things.

I know it all sounds too difficult to actually accomplish. Just the preparation to become BOTW sounds really involved and expensive.  But it's nice to have goals in life. If I am ever  BOTW I will have a well thought out plan to rule AND to retire. I'm prepared.

At only $4 USD for a bottle of FingerPaints nail polish, I really have no complaints at all. I would totally recommend both of these shades and any other colors this brand carries. I received one shade as a press sample for consideration and purchased the other at Sally Beauty Supply.  You can also purchase FingerPaints Nail Color in First Edition and FingerPaints Nail Color in Margritte's Masterpiece at (but be warned they spelled "Margritte's" incorrectly on amazon. It's spelled "Magritte's")

What say you?  Let me know in the comments section!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beauty I'm Loving in June

Beauty I'm Loving In June
Nest, Urban Decay, Anastasia, Yves Saint Laurent
#Makeup #Beauty #Lipstick #Fragrance #EyeShadow

I found that I have been reaching for the same products again and again this month, so I thought I would share with you the items that have truly captured my heart for the month of June. Because I am so fickle I might not be using the same product from week t week, but for some reason these items have made it into my daily routine, and I'm all the happier for it!

Fragrance: NEST Dahlia & Vines $25–$65 USD. This is full bottle worthy! A pretty green floral with notes of peony and rose. Light and energizing for summer!

Mascara: Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking $30 USD. High volume, blackest black, and long lasting. I hate paying a lot of money for a mascara but this one made me change my mind!

Mascara Top Coat: Anastasia Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat $21 USD. Yes. it's an extra step but it will make ANY mascara smudge proof, flake proof and waterproof. Tons of mascara options are open t me now that I have this gem!

Eye Cream: Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm $65 USD. OK, the price tag is high, but this actually works really well. My eyes have never looked smoother...except for 20 years ago.  But seriously. this balm isn't greasy, absorbs quickly and I can apply eye makeup over it without the fear of it sliding off a few moments later. This eye cream is AWESOME! (Review)

Eyeshadow Primer: LORAC 'Behind the Scenes' Eyeshadow Primer $21 USD. I couldn't make it through a day without this primer. It's been a staple for a long time now. I'm on my zillionth tube of it! (Review)

Eyeshadow: Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Plum Quartz $12 USD. While it doesn't have as many plum colored shades as I would prefer from a palette that is named for plums, I do like how the shadows are well pigmented and last a long time (with primer) I also like that the palette is sleek and easily fits into my makeup bag for travel! (Review)

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion $19 USD. The blackest black liquid liner and it stays all day, even while swimming!  Never smudges or smears. (Review)

Moisturizer: Kiehl's Skin Rescuer $40 USD. I'm already on my 4th bottle of this brilliant and simple moisturizer. It doesn't do anything but calm your skin and make it hydrated.  I also mix it with my Ardency Inn Custom Coverage Concentrate for the perfect foundation! (Review)

Foundation: ARDENCY INN AMERICANA Custom Coverage Concentrate $38 USD. I have fallen in love with this versatile foundation. I can adjust the coverage (light to full) without sacrificing the quality of the finish. I mix it with my favorite moisturizer Kiehl's Skin Rescuer and use it alone to spot conceal! (Review)

Contouring: NARS Contour Blush in Olympia $42 USD. What can I say that hasn't been said about this amazing product. I'm sincerely in love with the ease of application, the shade range and the finish. It's perfection in a compact! (Review)

Blush: Paul & Joe Beaute Color Powder CS2, Dahlia $28 USD. It's a blue based pink and sorry, the overspray doesn't last very long or transfer, but this is such an amazing pink I find myself reaching for it again and again. The powder is pigmented and how can you not love the packaging!? (Review)

Lip Balm: Fresh Sugar Lip Advanced Therapy $25 USD. I received a sample in a recent Sephora VIB gift and I'm hooked all over again. My lips have been super dry lately and this has saved me from chapping and cracking! I'll be purchasing a full size soon! (You can read my reviews for the tinted versions HERE, HERE and HERE)

Lip Color: Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Pale Mauve $25 USD. How is it I have never reviewed this lip product. It's super moisturizing and imparts a nude pink color that is actually fairly pigmented for the balm like quality it possesses. I have almost finished my first tube of this so I promise to review when I repurchase!

Have you used any of these items before?  Do you have any products you find yourself reaching for again and again?  Let me know in the comments section!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Votre Vu Lip Gloss in Tender and Sultry - Review, Pictures, Swatches


Last week I introduced you to some Votre Vu cosmetics. I promised you individual reviews, so here is one on the Lip Glosses I was sent!  

I do a lot of word association. When I hear the name of a color of a lip gloss, for example, I start to do a word association with the name.  I just can't help it. Am I the only one that does this? I'm sure I cannot be the only one. I bet you do it too. So when I received the Votre Vu Lip Glosses in Tender and Sultry I started a word association with the names.

Tender Lip Gloss is a warm pinkish beige with no shimmer.  It is a My Lips But Better (MLBB) shade that you can wear almost any time. In fact. I have it in my purse right now.  The gloss is not sticky and lasts a decent amount of time, for a gloss. The pigmentation is good, providing a medium sheer cover to the lips.  It has no offensive fragrance and applies easily with a doe foot applicator.  

But the name Tender. Tender has me thinking of Elvis Presley's song "Love Me Tender". From there, I think of "Blue Suede Shoes", another one of Elvis' hits.  Then I start looking for blue suede shoes on the Internet because I'm obsessed with cobalt blue as an accessory color for Spring and Summer. That's when I think. Yes. These Alexander Wang Antonia Suede Sandals are quite the posh "blue suede shoe.  

I can't really pull off high heels but it's nice to look at them once in a while.  Then I think. Heck. if I'm gonna wear blue suede shoes I'm gonna REALLY wear blue suede shoes!  That's where the Sergio Rossi Sergio Roi Flora TTK Women's Sandal comes in. 

Holy cow! Now THAT'S a Serious pair of shoes!  If I had my druthers, I would totally buy these.  The price tag may give you a heart attack, but hey, it's fantasy. Live a little!

The next gloss I received is called Sultry.  This is a bronzey sheer gloss with lots of sparkle. I think it would look great over a red lipstick to add a bit of drama or won alone for a neutral look.  The gloss is not sticky and does last as long as Tender. The pigmentation is light giving a sheer cover to the lips.  It has no offensive fragrance and applies easily with a doe foot applicator.   

The name "Sultry" makes me think of sexy, hot dancing, salsa, Santana, Carlos Santana. Did you know that Carlos Santana has his own line of shoes?  I mean they aren't the most groundbreaking designs, but some of them are really cute.  I'm a sucker for huge platform mules/wedges/clogs. I feel the clunkier the better when it comes to shoes.  Like these Carlos by Carlos Santana Barcelona Platform Slide Sandals. They are even priced reasonably too!  

Of course. when I think of the word "Sultry", I would be remiss if I didn't think of Christian Louboutin shoes. Louboutins just oooze sultry!  Kinda like these Christian Louboutin Audrey Strappy Glitter Red Sole Sandal. Look at them. Just look. 

Oh my goodness how I covet these shoes. I couldn't walk in them but I can covet them all the same.  Of course with the name and the red sole comes the high price tag, so don't click if you are faint of heart.

Do you NEED these Votre Vu Lip Glosses?  Maybe. They are good quality, the colors I have are nice, but not inventive or unique.  I do like that they aren't sticky, and formula is most important to me, but I can't say you NEED them because I find the price, $22 USD,  to be a bit high for what you get.  If you become a Votre Vu "Brand Ambassador" and agree to sell Votre Vu products your discount can range from 30% to 50% but honestly I have no interest in becoming a seller. I kind of hope that they will drop this and offer the cosmetics at a more reasonable price point regardless of if you sell for the Votre Vu brand or not.

What say you?  Do you like these lip glosses?  What about the shoes?  Do you like the idea of incentive based makeup sales from individuals or would you rather buy direct from the company and bypass the independent sales people?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

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