Apr 152014
 

clarins self tanner5

One of my favorite makeup discoveries of this pre-summer season is Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster ($30/0.50 oz.). To use this product, you place 1-3 drops into the palm of your hand, mix with your current moisturizer or serum, and place over your face and neck just before going to sleep. In the morning, I am waking up to the most beautiful, subtle, natural looking soft tan. No streaking or orange, really it’s absolutely perfect. Clarins Golden Glow Booster is now available from Nordstrom.com (currently 10% off), Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

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When I first read Clarins’ description, it sounded like just the right product for Spring. I wear sunscreen year round for anti-aging and to avoid other adverse effects of UV light. Still, I must admit that I look much better with a touch of color. This video made the experiment irresistible (it’s also helpful to show how the product is used, and is a short 1  1/2 minutes):

I don’t notice any unpleasant self-tanner scent, although it may be that I’m asleep so I’m unaware of any.  Honestly the results are extraordinary. Clarins has always been highly regarded for facial self-tanners, but this one in particular gives the most beautiful, natural glow.

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I’ve used this most mixed with a vitamin C serum (the Paula’s Choice reviewed here), as well as cream moisturizers. Every morning when I wake up, the glow is so good. If I use it several nights in a row, I start to accumulate more color. The color fades if I skip more than a day. If you’d like a more subtle effect, use just one or two drops. Enclosed instruction sheet (click to enlarge):

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Although your results may vary, I have to  say that this is one product that worked so beautifully for me that I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t share it with you.  Beautiful results, easy to use, and well worth the $30 price point. Love, love, love.

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Clarins Golden Glow Booster is now available from Nordstrom.com (currently 10% off), Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Apr 152014
 

packing08

I feel as though this post should come with a warning label. Something like, “Caution–the images you are about to see may be disturbing.” Yet I thought it useful to detail at least the first half of my experience moving my beauty products across the U.S. to a new home. I thought it would be useful in case anyone on the Internet, ever, has to undergo similar project.  After years of blogging, I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only person who truly loves makeup and have accumulated (ahem) more than a few items. By the end of April, I’ll be moving out of one home, into a transitional home, and then finally landing on the opposite coast sometime during the summer. As a practical matter, I’ve got to figure out how to make this move while packing several boxes of perfumes, skin care, and fragile beauty items.

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 This is my first try with anything like this–these items will be moved and stored until our new home is ready. Whether this project is successful cannot be known until later this year. In less than two weeks, I will be saying goodbye to most of my beauty stash until at least July, and possibly later. I wish it a pleasant and safe trip.

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To start, I accumulated numerous the following tools:

  • small packing boxes
  • large and small scissors
  • rolls of bubble wrap in large/small sizes
  • contractor paper for stuffing (to keep everything from moving)
  • Scotch tape
  • packing tape to close the boxes
  • rubber bands for bundling similarly-sized items together
  • a Sharpie to mark the boxes

Perhaps most importantly, I had the help of Sandra the Organized. She arrived at my home at 8:30 a.m., and didn’t leave until 4:00 p.m.  She swears she took a break, but I didn’t see one. There was a lot to do.

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Boxed powder items were bundled together in bubble wrap, and then secured with tape or rubber bands. Then, the bundles were packed into cardboard boxes that were lined with more bubble wrap.

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Spaces were filled in with the contractor paper, or the large-sized bubble wrap, then taped shut.

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Non-fragile items, like pencils and lip glosses (boxed and unboxed), were put into bundles with rubber bands. Again, these were put into boxes lined with bubble wrap.

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Round, unboxed items were stacked into bubble wrapped into tube shapes. This was really helpful for unboxed nail polish, because we didn’t want the glass to hit against each other.

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Another example of some unboxed items:

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By far, the most difficult thing was to sort what should stay, and what should go. I’ll post again in a few days to show you how I’ll be transporting them items that I’m keeping throughout the next few months.

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As I said earlier in the post, I’m not sure that I’m doing this correctly or whether there are better ways to tackle this project. My goal is simply to show you my own way and then follow through to see whether this was successful.  If you have thoughts, please feel free to include them in the comments.

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Apr 132014
 

Coconut Oil1

Ever since Into the Gloss did a post on oil-pulling, the media has been buzzing about this ancient technique. Essentially, one holds an oil in the mouth for about 2-3 minutes (some say up to 20 minutes). Just like using an oil cleanser, the teeth and gums are cleansed. Others claim that this technique actually reduces plaque, whitens teeth, and reduces bacteria in the mouth.  Liz and I set to investigate.

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The braver of the two of us (Liz) started about a week ago using coconut oil. After seeing her results after only a week, I decided to jump in. I’d heard that coconut and sesame oils tasted the least awful, so I picked up a jar of coconut oil at Whole Foods ($11) to try it. As you likely know, it’s solid at room temperature. I dig a tiny bit out with a spoon, hold it in my mouth until it melts, and hold it there while I check my email. I’ve gone about three minutes to a maximum of ten. I promise:  It doesn’t taste completely terrible at all (unless you hate coconut).

My results after a week of use:

  • My teeth are much whiter.
  • I like these results without the use of harsh peroxides or other chemicals that seems to strip off staining. Some make my teeth very sensitive. Instead, the oil seems to act a lot like an oil cleanser by washing. I’m not having any sensitivity.
  • There is definitely less plaque, although I’ll always floss like a good girl.
  • Bonus points for dabbing some of the coconut oil on the ends of my hair and pinning it up before my morning shower. The oil is a nice deep conditioner.

Overall, not bad for 11 bucks. So long as I remember to use this consistently, I’m looking forward to having whiter, healthier teeth using this method.

 

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Apr 132014
 

It’s hard for me to believe that I used to use harsh products to tackle clogged pores and acne. Are there people who don’t have their Sea Breeze regrets? I envy them. I used to wonder why my skin seemed even oilier when cleansers and toners were supposed to help. Little did I realize that my skin was over-producing oil because I was using products far too harsh for my skin.

Amarate daily exfoliator

Recently, I was sent two products that have helped me to cleanse my skin effectively without the harshness. One is Amarte Daily Exfolipowder ($35/2.8 oz.), which is powder crystals that turn into a cleansing paste when combined with water.

amarate cleanswer

According to the company:

Daily ExfoliPowder® helps you discover your true beauty with a refined, plant seed-based exfoliant that removes dry skin and reveals the smooth, radiant face beneath. This Wonder Wash is delicate enough for daily use so you can always be your spectacular self.

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I was surprised to find that this gentle cleansing powder seemed to remove all of my makeup. It felt as gentle as a cleanser as I’ve ever used. Once I mixed the powder with water, there was no scratchiness, stinging, or roughness.

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I also love fact that a powder can be packed for travel, as this cleanser doesn’t start out as a liquid. Overall, thumbs up on this one.

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The other item is Sebamed Deep Cleansing Toner ($14/5 ounces). Although this does contain alcohol as a second ingredient, the product advertises a 5.5 ph. It feels as comfortable as water, and there is no stinging.

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According to the line, the product “offers antibacterial action and is therefore extremely effective in preventing the developement of pimples. Panthenol encourages skin regeneration and hamamelis soothes it. Silk proteins and allantoin act as moisturizers.” Overall, this is a rather nice toner that feels gentle and seems effective.

Ingredients for Amarte Daily Exfoliopowder:  water, Zea mays (corn) starch, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauroyl aspartate, titanium dioxide, Phaseolus radiatus seed extract, Oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, Triticum vulgare (wheat) bran extract, Salix alba (willow) bark extract, Pinus densiflora (pine) extract, pearl powder, arbutin, genistein, elemental sulfur, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, sodium palmitate, phenoxyethanol
Fragrance: summer fruit

Ingredients for Sebamed Facial Toner: Water, Alcohol, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Hammamelis virginiana bark/leaf/twig extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Cucumis sativus fruit extract, Hydroxypropyl Oxidized Starch PG-Trimonium Chloride, Urea, Caramel, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Levulinic Acid, p-Anisic Acid, Cl 42090.

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Apr 132014
 

Le Mieux 1

Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum ($85/1.7 ounce) is described as a moisturizing serum which is designed to address hydration, even skin tone, boost collagen, and fight free radical damage.

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This product, which is intended for twice-a-day use, applies a bit like Chanel’s Hydramax serum–it’s a lightly hydrating gel that leaves skin feeling fresh all day. It’s quite lovely, actually, especially when I extend it’s use down to my neck and décolletage. There’s a restorative quality to the product. As The Nonblonde said in her review, this is lovely to use after a face mask or peel.

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Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum is intended for purchase by professionals (see the Le Mieux website).

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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