Welcome to the makeup and speciality edition. Here are some of my fav's. I don't have low cost fill in's for these guys. They are what they are. I'll give them all a 1-4 star rating so that you can know how much I love them. If you have to choose one over another trust the stars girls. It might seem as if I wear all of these things everyday but I don't, I sort of mix and match based on my day. Use it as a guide if you're looking for something not as a step by step template.
I know I shouldn't blow my wad on the first product but I'm starting out with a **** 4 star product. It deserves a bit of explanation though because I didn't even know something like this exsisted, I guess, until it did. I've tried a few others on the market but this is by far the best. This product is smoothed on after you SPF and prep your A.M. Skin for makeup. It is designated for the under eye area, but trust me you can use it all over your face.
Instant Smooth eye prep by Clarins $28 [**** 4 star rating]
Smooth a little bit of this below your eye are prior to putting on your concealer. The product acts like a makeup floater so that it doesn't crease or get cakey. I have found if you let it settle on your face a few minutes it acts better than freshly applied. I do lotions/ eyecream /SPF ect then blow dry my hair to let everything settle.
This cream also has this very odd side benefit, as it makes pores vanish and fine lines disappear. I don't know how the stuff works, it's fairly clear, is light weight but has the heft of a superhero! The product if used just in the eye area lasts about 3 months. A friend and I agreed that we wanted to dip our entire bodies in the stuff because it was so amazing.
Yet another Primer recommend
Smashbox Photo Finish with SPF 15 and Dermaxyl Complex $42.00 [ *** 3 star rating]
If you are someone who needs an all in one product this might be your ticket. Smash Box's Photo Finish with SPF 15 and Dermaxyl Complex. This has the same "floating" properties as the Clarin's eye cream but is meant for the face. The SPF and the Dermaxyl Complex are great. From their site: "The revolutionary formula contains SPF 15 to guard skin against harmful UVA/UVB rays, vitamins A & E, grape seed extract and green tea for antioxidant protection and Dermaxyl™ Complex, an advanced peptide treatment clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time. Wear under foundation to increase its longevity, or alone for a velvety-smooth finish."
It truly does triple duty if you just can't hang with multiple products. Makeup looks fantastic over it as well. My only negative on the product is that you can't use it near the eyes, as you can with the other. Trust me I've tried and it burns like a Mo-Fo. For this reason only I give it 3 stars.
Speciality product Illuminator
Estee Lauder's Spotlight. $32.00 [***3 stars]
Perhaps the most unnecessary product on my list. If you want a little pizzazzz for a wedding or a night out with your sweetheart [actually your girlfriends will notice first]. This is a product that Illuminates, adds just a hint of iridescent to your skin, helps reflect light and makes you look as if you've got that "lovin' feeling".
If you're following the full regime, apply after SPF etc..., eye smooth cream/ it's part of the "prep stage" just before makeup. It has a fairly rich feel to it so if you tend to be oily this might not be your best product. I have tried cheaper versions of this [Revlon etc] and they don't work. The iridescent quality to this product has very tiny particles which makes it look glowy-natural. The others look like you have glitter on your face. If you have to go to a wedding where you're ex will be with his new girlfriend, this is your product your skin will look amazing.
SKII Facial Masks
SK II Facial Treatment Mask (New Substrate)--6 sheets $80.00 [***** 5 stars] off the chart good.
Again, unnecessary as all hell but f*ing fantastic. This is the "Manolo Blahnik" of skin care. If you want to have super duper skin for a date, or want to have a total chick night and give yourself a facial this is the ticket. I'm not going to lie to you this shit is EXPENSIVE!! I haven't been able to afford a kit of this for some time. When I do though, it's the most amazing product I've ever used [everything looks better, is plumped up and super smooth]. I might actually like it more than Clarins. Available only at Saks 5th Avenue [at least that's the only place I've seen it thus far] it is available on line with a resource I'll mention later Fragrance.net.
A paper thin mask that you apply and lay around looking like super mummy girl for 15-20 minutes. Use the extra goo in the packet for your neck and hands- don't let any of it go to waste.
From their site: A Japanese scientist who visited a sake brewery in Japan was surprised to discover that the brewery workers had extraordinary soft and youthful hands. Even an elderly man with pronounced wrinkles on his face possessed the silky smooth hands of a young boy. He shared his findings with a group of scientists, who became equally excited by the potential of his observation. This observation encouraged them to conduct a series of experiments for over five years, eventually discovering a clear, nutrient-rich liquid that could be extracted during the yeast fermentation process. In this unique, natural ingredient, lay the secret to radiant, glowing complexion. They called it Pitera.
Like any great shoe purchase, the "high" only lasts a few days or so but damn! you look so good good while it lasts. [Cate Blanchett an avid user of the product just signed to be the face of SKII]
Other bonus products:
Benefit's Eye Bright $18.00 under concealer this puts dark circles in their place [*** 3 stars]
Tarte Cheek Stain $28.00 [lasts forever I've had mine for a year+] [***3 stars] gives a really fresh look! Takes some getting use to/ how to use it.
Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss $19.00 thick and great colors. My only annoyance with the product is getting the expensive goop out when it's down to the last bit. [***3 times]
Check out Fragrance.net for online specials with cosmetics in general. Be careful when ordering though they don't allow returns on skincare products [ A NY state regulation] so make sure it's what you want. Approx 10-20% savings.