a mascara comparison

when it comes to mascara, i go for a smaller brush with either plastic or natural bristles.  but the smaller brush is always key.  i want my lashes to look natural, but a little longer and a little thicker.  my all-time favorite mascara was/is the bare minerals flawless definition (i actually reviewed this a few years ago), which unfortunately is no longer available, so i usually turn to the w3ll people expressionist mascara which is quite similar.  but a few weeks ago i felt the urge to return to an old favorite – mac extended play.  so excited little me made my way over to an ulta and purchased.  and then i realized that mac mascaras still use black 2 – which is essentially fine particles of carbon.  and that is sooo not something i want near my eyeballs.  please note, when it comes to mascara i don’t make myself use something perfectly clean, since i don’t wear it everyday, but do try to use ingredients that are on the cleaner side.  the mac mascara rates a 7 on ewg, which is far beyond what i want.

so insert my usual challenge – find a cleaner product that i feel safe using but still get good results from.  so little me went back to ulta to return my mac mascara and do some exploring.  i purchased 2 cleaner (again, not completely clean) mascaras that i feel are dupes, if not better, to mac extended play. bb mascara comparison3.jpg the first mascara that came to mind was the cliniquefit workout 24-hour mascara ($22).  this has almost an identical brush to the mac extended play, i.e. very thin and quite long in shape.  this is the only waterproof mascara i’ve ever used, but i don’t feel like it is actually waterproof in removal – it is very easy to get off with just warm water, but has the waterproof benefits of not smudging or flaking during the day.  i wouldn’t usually go for waterproof, but now that i am full-time teaching and need to look fresh all day, it fits my needs perfectly.

as this is a clinique product, it is allergy tested, 100% fragrance free, and ophthalmologist tested.  though not the cleanest, clinique is a brand that i trust for being on the cleaner end and this product has many good ingredients and few bad ones.  it rates a 2 on ewg which is pretty darn perfect in my opinion.  the ingredients are as follows:

Water\Aqua\Eau, Acrylates Copolymer, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax\ Copernicia Cerifera Cera \Cire De Carnauba, Silica, Beeswax\Cera Alba\Cire D’Abeille, PEG-15 Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Nylon-12, Alcohol, Hydrogenated Rapeseed Alcohol, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Bentonite, Kaolin, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Sucrose Distearate, Tocopherol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vp/Va Copolymer, Nylon-6, Simethicone, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Xanthan Gum, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Carmine (CI 75470).bb mascara comparison2.PNGafter choosing my clinique mascara, i wanted to also find a non-waterproof option.  i wandered over to bare minerals, another cleaner but conventional brand that i trust to have better ingredients.  i haven’t checked out their mascaras since they discontinued my favorite, but was immediately drawn to their love every lash micro defining mascara ($19).  i am shocked that this doesn’t have better reviews online – it is a great every day mascara offering length and volume, while featuring a drier formula that doesn’t get clumpy or flaky in my experience.  the brush is small while being a perfect rectangle, which makes my lashes look super fluffy and makes me look like i have more lash hairs than i actually do.  as always, bare minerals is free of: parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, chemical sunscreen, triclosan, triclocarbon, propylene glycol, mineral oil, coal tar, microbeads, and animal cruelty or testing of any kind.  oh bare minerals, how i love you! this product also rates a 2 on ewg.  ingredients for this mascara are:

Water (Aqua/Eau), Beeswax (Cera Alba/Cire D’abeille), Cetearyl Stearate, Synthetic Wax, Stearic Acid, Acacia Senegal Gum, Palmitic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Cera Carnauba/Cire De Carnauba), Glyceryl Stearate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Cetearyl Alcohol, Vp/Hexadecene Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, 77492, 77499).bb mascara comparison1.jpg. . .

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everyday products // skincare and makeup

i have fallen into a delightfully easy skincare and makeup routine.  my goal is to always look the same (aka like i’m not wearing any makeup), but change up the products when i need or want to.  so for the past few months, this has been my routine, every single day.  the products at the bottom are the ones that i add in when necessary, like face masks or lipstick.  bb daily skincare.jpgmorning skincare routine //

  1. wash face with water
  2. spray face with heritage store rosewater and glycerin spray and press into skin
  3. apply acure radically rejuvenating eye cream
  4. apply a mix of jordan samuel hydrate serum and either youth to the people hydrate + glow oil or indie lee squalane oil (3-4 drops max)
  5. apply a mix of avene hydrance optimale moisturizer with spf 25 and a small dollop of nars hot sand illuminator

bb daily makeup.jpgdaily makeup routine //

  1. after sunscreen and nars mix, apply light layer of mineral fusion powder in cool 1, applied with real techniques multitask brush
  2. apply bronzer – rotation between hourglass ambient lighting bronzer in diffused light and marc jacobs coconut bronzer, applied with zoeva 090 brush or real techniques bronzer/powder brush (in love with the new color way!)
  3. apply mac studio fix 24 hour concealer in nw20, let sit for 30 seconds or so before stippling in with my fingers
  4. apply blush (doesn’t happen every day) – either nars blush in impassioned or milk lip + cheek in werk, applied with real techniques multitask brush or fingers
  5. curl lashes (always) and apply glossier lash slick mascara (sometimes)
  6. wipe all stray product out of brows and apply glossier boy brow in brown (this only works for me when it is pretty much dried out and not as gloopy or product-heavy)
  7. heritage store rosewater and glycerin spray

nighttime skincare routine //

  1. either remove makeup with bioderma and wash face with cerave hydrating cleanser, or wash face twice with cerave hydrating cleanser
  2. spray face with heritage store rosewater and glycerin spray and let dry thoroughly
  3. apply aczone acne cream and let dry
  4. apply acure eye cream while aczone is drying
  5. apply differin acne cream and let dry
  6. apply either weleda calendula baby face moisturizer or a mix of avene skin recovery cream and indie lee squalane oil

honorable mention products //

  1. origins clear improvement charcoal honey mask
  2. origins mega-mushroom relief and resilience mask
  3. ilia tinted lip conditioner in nobody’s baby
  4. wet-n-wild lipstick in bare it all
  5. rms champagne rose luminizer (i use this on cheekbones, eyes, and/or lips!)
  6. l’oreal lash paradise mascara in black/brown
  7. auric blends perfume oil in sandalwood
  8. maison louis marie perfume oil in 04 bois de balincourt (i’m on my second bottle!)
  9. megababe rosy pits deodorant
  10. indie lee blemish stick

pink organizer from poppin at the container store // opaque white container from target

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the moisturizer that changed my skin

bb avene 1.jpga bold claim, i know, but stay with me here.  for as long as i have had issues with acne, i have used the cetaphil tub moisturizer on my face – at least in the winter.  and come summer, i would switch to just an oil or something lighter, and my skin would clear up, which i assumed was because of the sun or saltwater or just relaxation that came with the summer months.  and then, a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that the one constant in my skincare routine has been the cetaphil tub.

i am so lucky to be able to regularly see a dermatologist, but i always take her advice with a grain of salt.  for example, the warning that all oils clog your skin.  from my own thorough research, i know this is not true.  but when she recommend the tub all those years ago, i took that piece of advice with dedication.

long story short, this thick cream, while great for the body, is pure shit for my face.  it actually has an oil (take that, derm!) in it, as well as petrolatum and dimethicone.  i can now see how not only was this product wreaking havoc on my face because of the ingredients and most likely the thickness, the oils i would layer on top during the winter probably aided in the clogging of my skin.

after this realization, i immediately ordered the avene skin recovery cream – a lightweight but moisturizing lotion that is ideal for overly sensitized skin and skin that is post procedure.  because i use two acne topicals, one that is a retinal as well, my skin is definitely dry and definitely sensitive.  the avene skin recovery cream, while i am going through a period of dryness because i no longer have that petrolatum in my routine, is moisturizing without being heavy.  i am able to layer my beloved leo oil or indie lee squalane without any clogging (i don’t do this every night and day anymore to save my skin from too much excess).bb avene 2.jpgimmediately following the end of the tub and the beginning of the avene i have noticed such a change in my skin, from reduced redness and clogging to all over evenness.  i don’t know if i will stick with the avene forever – it’s very expensive for the small size you get and the ingredients are that “clean” – but for now it is my very special friend.bb avene 3.jpglast night i used the la roche posay cicalplast baume b5 for something a little heavier and different almost as a treatment, but i know as soon as a move away from such a dry climate a lighter lotion like the avene will be enough for me.  the la roche posay is an excellent, very very gentle balm that i use on my eyelids and lips when they are dry and cracked (does that happen to anyone else’s lids?!  UGH!).  i also now see the importance in mixing up what i’m using, as in notthe same oil and lotion combo day and night, to make sure my skin doesn’t get too clogged from something extra heavy day in and day out.  my baby wash cloths are still on hand for gentle exfoliation, as well as masks and other items.  my main goal with my skin is to be extremely gentle but still performance-driven, but i really do have sensitive skin and need to treat it with care.bb avene 4.jpg. . .

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