Monday, January 25, 2016

Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF35

[Product was provided by Tatcha for review. No affiliate links.]

My go-to facial sunscreen for a while has been an all-physical formula from Neutrogena, which was a good, budget-friendly alternative to the Clarins UV Plus HP Broad Spectrum sunscreen. However, as Lena mentioned, the two recent bottles I bought have been gritty; I'm not sure whether they reformulated it, or what, but I've given up with it for now.

Fortunately, at that time, Tatcha sent over their new Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF35 ($68). It's taken me a while to try it, because I am really slow with incorporating new skincare, but yes - this has become my go-to. It's lovely.

The formula is 15% zinc oxide and 5% octisalate, one of the few chemical sunscreens that doesn't appear to break me out (hurray!). The one thing is that my personal preference for sunscreen is for all-physical formulas, and I wish they had made one like that; here the inclusion of zinc oxide (which offers both UVA and UVB protection, hence broad spectrum) means that it will still probably flash white, but octisalate isn't broad spectrum (it's a UVB filter) though I suppose it adds protection while helping maintain a spreadable formula (too much zinc oxide can make it pasty or gritty, as mentioned with the Neutrogena above). I'm not a cosmetic chemist, so you can take all of that with a grain of salt!

The texture is on the thicker side, and it's lightly scented and still retains some of that "sunscreen" smell - but barely, and it is gone by the time you apply. I apply sunscreen last, after the rest of my skincare; it is easy to apply and does seem to smooth out my skin without having the heavy silicone feel of traditional primers.

I know I was just talking about budget skincare items, but this sunscreen/makeup prep combo falls in a slightly different category for me, I think because it has a more noticeable effect, and the dual-purpose isn't as easily substituted with another product. (I've used Clinique's City Block and Super City Block in the past, and liked them, but they definitely were a little more greasy and not quite as lightweight, as well as tinted, which can make them a little less universal or versatile). Also, I don't know, I always smile a little when opening Tatcha packaging - it's always so lovely.

Tatcha's products are luxurious and this sunscreen is also meant to offer skincare benefits. I love that they offer trial sizes ($13 for 10 mL), and include full ingredients lists on their website. They also ship fast, based on the time that I did order directly from their site. My other favorite is the Tatcha Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder, which I use a few times a week for exfoliation. I think I also want to try their Brightening Serum.

What are your Tatcha favorites? What's your go-to sunscreen?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

FOTD: Inspired by Adriana Lima


(Read: I am snowed in and I have nothing else to do.)

In all seriousness, though, I actually have been feeling a little more creative about makeup lately. I think the winter break helps - I also had a massive cold, so I spent a couple of weeks without any makeup on. There were a few days where I wished I could just stand under some magic beam and instantly have my face put on for work, but now I'm feeling a little better.

Instagram is a great place for finding quick inspiration, and I often screenshot photos on my phone and keep them for later. This isn't a particularly difficult one, but the always-stunning Adriana Lima really sells that matte fuchsia lip, so I had to try it.
Photo: Adriana Lima's Instagram
It's simple - dewy, clean skin, lots of mascara and some black liner, brows, a hint of pink blush, and a strong lip (can't replicate those stunning baby blues, though!).

Packed on the mascara. Even tried putting it on the lower lashes, which, er, I don't think I'd do again. But I love this mascara - L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly (non-wp), Midnight Black. Have gone through several tubes - it's a fiber mascara.
Products used:
Shiseido BE213 trio (middle shade)
Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner
L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper in Medium/Dark
L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara, Midnight Black
Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, 03 Buttercream
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, Incandescent Light
MAC Prolongwear Concealer, NW25
Diorblush Cheek Creme in Capri
NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick

I usually pull out the neon lip shades around this time of year, anyway, because I'm tired of gloom and doom and gray, so I was already feeling this. Here are some of my other favorite neons.

L-R: NARS Carthage, Maybelline Electric Orange, MAC Lady Danger, Maybelline Vivid Rose, MAC Toxic Tale.
Swatches in same order as above, top to bottom.

What's your favorite winter look? If you're on the lower east coast of the US, I hope you're staying safe and warm!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Budget-Friendly Skincare Basics

[No affiliate links. Products were all purchased by me.]


It's me.

(I couldn't help it.)

But really, how are you? Did you have a nice holiday? My brother came up to visit with us for Christmas, which was really nice. We did some wine tasting and just relaxed, played a lot of board games (some of our favorites: Ticket to Ride, Smash Up, Carcassonne, and some of the ones listed here, as well), and made great food. I squeezed in a lot of fluffy cuddles with my dogs - and put them in the Christmas boxes, much to their dismay. (Follow me on Instagram! There are fluffy photos!)

I thought this drugstore skin post would be a good one to share, as a lot of people are always re-examining budgets at this time of year. In 2015, I rearranged some of the emphasis in my skincare products, investing more in pricier serums and turning back to drugstore brands for moisturizers. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra-Dry Skin has become my moisturizer of choice - I just bought a second jar.

It's moisturizing without being heavy or greasy, and since I've been relying on serums for extra hydration, anti-aging and spot-correcting, all I want out of my moisturizer is some good, solid...moisturizing. This delivers. It's regularly priced at about $17.99 (1.7 oz), but it often goes on sale and I usually scoop it up around the $11-14 mark.

Just about ready to open the new jar.

I have a couple of plastic spatulas lying around from other jarred products, so while I don't love moisturizers in a jar, I've become less fussy about it. I just use a plastic spatula and there we go.

For all-over body moisturizing, I love Palmer's Daily Skin Therapy ($5.29 at Target). It's thick enough for winter without being greasy, and it's easy to rub into my skin. I store it upside down, because it can kind of become difficult to shake out (and the bottle is hard to squeeze), but otherwise, no complaints. Also, um, I don't like the smell (or, er, taste) of real chocolate, but this one smells a LOT like Too Faced's chocolate bronzers (see?) and it is delicioso. Another one I'm going to pick up again.

The last thing is one that I forgot to take a photo of, but it's the Aveeno Skin Relief Hand Cream (usually around $4-7, right now it's $4.84 at Target). S and I both like this one a lot, as it moisturizes well (you feel like it's actually doing something), but also does not leave your hands feel greasy or slippery - a total deal-breaker, as we spend all of our time at work typing or writing, and I hate feeling like I'm leaving a film a slug. NO SLUGS. At night, I use the Hand Chemistry cream, but that one is definitely a little more silicone in feel, and while the residue is ok at night before I go to bed, I couldn't deal with that throughout the day.

Ok, so, a roundup of three budget-friendly products isn't bad, right? These aren't mind-blowing or brand-spanking new or whatever, but they're new to me and reliable, and have been incorporated into my routine, so I thought they were worth sharing, in case you're in the market for one of these types of products. Anyway, drop me a line - how are you doing? Did you have any shift of priorities in 2015?