Product Reviews

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Soniclear by Michael Todd

Soniclear by Michael Todd

There is nothing I love more than the feeling of a freshly cleansed face after a long day. When you’ve sweated through all of your makeup (sexy, I know) and you feel like a giant oil spill, it’s so refreshing to remove all of your makeup and wash away the day.

And while cleanser on its own is all well and good, cleaning your face just feels so much more luxurious when using a skin-cleansing brush. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve heard me share my thoughts on my Clarisonic and my Skin Authority. Well, I have another wonderful brush for you today, lovelies. The Soniclear by Michael Todd.

Soniclear by Michael Todd

Soniclear by Michael Todd Soniclear by Michael Todd

The key difference between the Soniclear and my other brushes is the antimicrobial brush. A cleaner brush means a cleaner face, which is a plus when you’re … you know … trying to  clean your face. Think about it, you don’t want to be simply pushing bacteria around on your face, so it’s a plus to not have to replace your brush head every couple of months like with other systems. Since I’m not a scientist, I’ll let the Soniclear team explain their antimicrobial system in more detail in the below video.

In addition to the antimicrobrial system, I’m also impressed with the battery power. I’ve been using my brush almost daily over the past month and change and I haven’t needed to recharge it at all. That excites me more than you could ever imagine because I’m the laziest person ever and charging my beauty tools is sometimes just too much work sometimes.

There is nothing I dislike the brush, but there are a few things I’ve noticed that I can’t decide how I feel about yet. First – the brush is larger than my other two, which isn’t necessarily bad,  but it makes me feel like I have midget hands. Second – I can’t decide if I’m imagining it or not, but I think the brushes are a bit stiffer than my other brush heads. Third – the Soniclear comes with a body brush head, which I used once but then never used again. It wasn’t bad, I was just too lazy to run the brush over my entire body.

The Soniclear by Michael Todd runs about the same price as most other cleansing brush systems – $149. It’s not completely inexpesive, but the blow is softened by knowing you won’t have to buy new brush heads every couple of months. If you’re in the market for a skin-cleansing brush, make sure the Sonicelar by Michael Todd is on your list. And if you do get it, let mw know in the comments section below!

Do you use a skin-cleansing system?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Valentine's Day Manicure

Valentine’s Day Manicure and Pedicure

I’m weird about Valentine’s Day. I don’t care about it from a romantic sense (my boyfriend and I never do too much) but I love the holiday. I love all of the red, pink and roses that Valentine’s Day entails. If I could, I would make everyone at work make DIY mailboxes for Valentine’s cards like we did back in elementary school. I hope that wasn’t just my school, because if so, the rest of you really missed out. And of course, I love the chocolate. Wait, did I just say that? No way would I be sneaking some extra Hershey kisses ….

Any who, since my boyfriend and I don’t typically do anything fancy on Vday (one year we were on a juice cleanse so we drank matching red juices … hot), I don’t got too crazy with my hair and makeup. Well not any more crazy than any other standard day. But one thing I always do is whip out a seasonally-appropriate polish for a Valentine’s Dat manicure and pedicure.

valentine's day manicure

 

Sure, there is over a week until Valentine’s Day, but I actually painted my nails last night. What can I say, I’m perpetually early to appointments and holidays. I decided on a barbie pink for my fingers and a classic red for my toes – essie in Madison Ave-hue and CoverGirl in Lasting Love. Nothing crazy here, just classic colors to celebrate the day of love. Now excuse me while I search for that chocolate.

How are you prepping for Valentine’s Day? Are you a pink and red girl or is black more your speed this month?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

January Favorites

January Favorites 2015

January is a weird month, it’s the start of a New Year, which is exciting, but nothing really exciting happens during the 31 days. Retails stores are trying to sell all of their Winter items to get ready for Spring inventory, but shoppers really just want warmer weather. After a couple of holiday-filled months, January is relatively uneventful.

That general in-between feeling flowed over into my beauty stash as well. I was perfectly happy with all of the goodies I’ve been using, but I wasn’t overly obsessed with as many beauty products as before. Nothing was wrong with anything, but I only really flocked to a few products over and over.

January Favorites

Skin Authority Resurfacing Accelerator – I have a feeling this is going to be a skin care staple for life. It’s a gentle-yet-effective exfoliant, which is majorly needed during the cold, dry months. I use it nightly as soon as I get out of the shower and before I lather on the face lotion.

Chloé Eau de Parfum – This is an oldie for which I rediscovered my love this month. This is scent was actually one of the first presents my boyfriend got us when we started dating. He had been working in France for a few months and brought back the full-sized bottle for Christmas. This perfume is expensive, so rather than paying full price for a bottle that takes me forever to use, I picked up a rollerball last time when I was at Sephora. I’ve used it almost daily all month and I haven’t made much of a dent, so I have a feeling this small package will last me at least a few months. Plus, it’s easy to travel with, which is key for me with all the weddings and work events I travel to.

bareMinerals Touch Up To-Glow – I’ve been suuuuuuuuuper lazy this month, and foundation is just too much effort. This pressed powder has been the perfect easy solution for weekends when I just can’t even. One swipe across my face and my flaws mysteriously blur away and I look fresh-faced all day long. Sadly, this was part of their holiday collection, so I don’t think you can buy it anymore.

Rituals Hammam Hot Scrub – I’ve only had this for the past couple of weeks, but this is already a major favorite. The eucalyptus and ginger scent really wakens you up and the sea salt leaves your skin smooth and soft to the touch. I just noticed I’ve used almost half, so I’m trying to ration myself, but I have a feeling I’ll be buying a replacement real soon. 

DermOrganic Leave-In Treatment – This stuff is made by gods. Just a drop or two and your hair is silky smooth and you’re waving hello to your most fabulous blowout ever. I’ve used it every day this month and I don’t think I’ve even used up a tenth of the bottle. I have a feeling DermOrganic and I are going to have a pretty long-term relationship.

Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner – This is another oldie that I rediscovered in January. I was feeling just a touch too lazy to bother with my regular stila liquid liner so I busted out my angled brush and this gel pot. I had forgotten just how much I love a good gel liner and how easy it is to apply in the morning when it’s pitch black and I’m wondering why I’m even awake.

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Facets of Marsala Multi-Finish Eye Palette – Sadly, this is another limited-edition product that seems to have sold out. I never would have imagined owning a palette like this because it has colors other than browns and nudes. THE HORROR. I see a green, blue and marsala shade. While this palette intimidated the hell out of me at first, I ended up loving it! I guess it pays to step out of your comfort zone.

What were your January beauty favorites? Share them in the comments so I can give them a try!

Photos:  beautyXposéDisclosure

natural lipstick colors

5 Your-Lips-But-Better Lipsticks

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a bold lip. Hot pink, deep red, velvet berry, I love them all. But there are some days where I don’t want to have to check to make sure my lipstick isn’t smudged or fading.

That’s when natural lipstick colors are clutch. These your-lips-but-better shades add a polish to your look while still being low maintenance. If these shades start to smudge or fade, it’s not as big of a deal since they match my natural lip color closely. If I don’t have time to freshen up for a couple of hours, I don’t even have to worry.

There are lots of great options out there and shades for all skin tones, but I wanted to share five of my favorites. These perfectly compliment my ghostly-pale complexion and blonde locks, and I’d love to hear if they work for other folks as well!

natural lipstick colors

Palladio in Lady Rose | Bobbi Brown in Blue Raspberry | Fresh in Petal

Sensai in Akanezome | Rimmel in Tower of Mauve

And of course, you could always go really natural and just rock a little lip balm, but where’s the fun in that? There is just something so nice about applying a lovely lipstick as you’re getting ready in the morning. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel like I’m ready to take on the world!

What are your favorite natural lipstick colors?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Winter-Moisturizers

Smooth Winter Skin: Moisturizer

Oh hi there, beauties. Remember how last week I was talking about my exfoliating routine? Well I’m back, back again, with the sequel to that post … my go-to Winter moisturizers. What good is exfoliated skin if you don’t moisturize it, anyways?

Winter-Moisturizers

So let’s get down to business. In the morning after washing my face , I apply a couple of drops of Fresh Seaberry Face Oil to my face (pretty self explanatory) before I apply my makeup. This oil gives me moisture that lasts all day while creating a nice base for my foundation.

Then, I smother the rest of my body in either The Body Shop Wild Argan body butter or Skin Authority Olive, Fig, Shea body butter. There is really no rhyme or reason as to how I pick one on any given day, I just go wherever the body butter winds take. They are both amazing products with lovely scents, I can’t say enough good things about them.

Then comes night time. After my shower, I follow the same body butter ritual as the morning and then apply either the GlamGlow ThirstyMud mask or the NUXE Masque Crème Fraîche de Beauté if I think I need a little extra moisture over night. Just like with the body butters, I can’t speak highly enough of these two products. They offer amazing results, leaving your skin quenched, and both smell amazing. I prefer the scent of the NUXE mask slightly more because it smells exactly like honeysuckle, which reminds me of my childhood.

And that’s it; my routine is pretty simple. Just the way I like it.

So, tell me. How do you keep moisturized during the cold Winter months?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation

I’ve been keeping something from you beauties for a while now, and I just couldn’t live with it anymore. Meet one of my main squeezes – the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation.  I’ve been using this foundation weekly, sometimes daily, for a few months now, and I just realized I was too busy applying it all the time to actually write up a review.

I’m typically not much of a foundation girl; I’m more of an alphabet cream kind of girl. BB Creams and CC Creams are my jam. But true to its name, the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation offers airy coverage that can be built up to a heavy cover with a light feel. The foundation never cakes, flakes or leaves my skin ravaged at the end of the day.

Charlotte Tilbury

And if I wasn’t convinced of my love already, I always get buttloads of compliments on my skin when I wear this, which is always the true test of a good foundation. Can others tell the difference (hopefully positive) in your skin?

Charlotte Tilbury

And while we’re on the Charlotte Tilbury train, let’s quickly discuss their KISSING Lipstick. I have the shade Coachella Coral, and I haven’t made up my mind about it yet. I love the formulation and the wear the lipstick wears, but it’s a bit of an odd shade for Winter. I think the shade will grow on me as the weather warms, but I would buy another shade in a heartbeat.

So, moral of the story? I’m loving my Charlotte Tilbury products and I can’t wait to try out more. And while you’re at it, treat yo self and pick up some goodies for yourself.

Have you tried any Charlotte Tilbury products lately?

Photos: beautyXposé; Diclosure

exfoliators

Smooth Winter Skin: Exfoliator

I don’t have to tell you that it’s Winter, and unless you live in a tropical haven, I don’t have to tell you that the colder weather takes a toll on your skin. Dry, flakey skin is a Winter staple for me and my other Bostonians. Not a welcome staple, but a staple nonetheless.

Unfortunately, there is not quick solution for dry Winter skin. Due diligence and regular care will keep the alligator skin at bay, though. The first step for me (after cleansing) is always exfoliating. Using an exfoliator is key to sloughing off the dead, dry skin. That’s the stuff that makes you look like a snake about to shed it’s skin. Every person and their routine is different, but  I typically save my exfoliating for night. Mainly because I shower at night instead of the morning, but also partly to make sure I have 12 hours before anyone has to see my face incase the exfoliating doesn’t go so well.

exfoliators

For face, I use a face brush almost daily with my cleanser to deep clean and as a means of exfoliating. Killing two birds with one stone is always a fabulous plus. I’ve recently been enjoying this Soniclear brush, but I still love my Skin Authority and Clarisonic brushes too.

After hopping out of the shower, I reach for my Skin Authority Resurfacing Accelerator, which is a peel in a bottle. It dissolves skin cell build up and leaves your face glowing.  And that’s it for my face. Now on to body.

I really only use two body exfoliators, both of which serve the same purpose and could be interchangeable. But I’m picky and neurotic, so I have specific reasons why I like each one. First up: The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Scrub. I love the scent of this and how intense it is. I don’t use this daily as it’s a bit more rough, but I like to use it once a week to make sure I get rid of any build up that might have snuck pass me during the week.

My daily body exfoliator is the Skin Authority Bamboo Ginseng Scrub. The scent isn’t my favorite (not sure if it’s the bamboo or the ginseng), but I love that this is a soft exfoliator with a bit of lather once it hits the water. A perfect prep step before applying all of my favorite lotions … which we’ll get to next time. And while you’re at it, make sure to check out how I exfoliate my lips to keep them from getting chapped.

How do you keep your skin silky smooth in the winter? Do you have a favorite exfoliator?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Gloss48-Patchology

Patchology Energizing Eye Patches

If you’re like me, you’re still recuperating from the holidays. All of those late nights, delectable desserts and extra glasses of wine did a number of my skin and left my eyes tired and my under-eye bags even more prominent that before.  And while you can’t technically catch up on lost sleep, you can fake it with the help of makeup and a well-executed eye patch.

Gloss48-Patchology

To revitalize my eyes, I’ve been reaching for the Patchology Energizing Eye Patches, which I was gifted from the beauties behind Gloss48, an indie beauty site based here in Boston. The patches refresh my eyes, making them look and feel like I woke up from a year of non-stop sleep. Two thumbs up from this beauty gal.

Gloss48-Patchology-2

Unlike some traditional eye patches that must be tossed in the trash bin after one use, these patches have four lives in them. Hooray for sustainability(ish)! Since these aren’t a hit-it-an-quit-it product, there are a few more steps for use than other one-use patches. Three steps, to be exact:

Step 1: Apply Gel to Patches

Gently squeeze the Activating Gel Tube and spread a generous, even layer of gel directly onto the back of the first patch. Move to Step 2 (Apply Patches) and then repeat Step 1 with second patch.

Step 2: Apply Patches

Apply each patch to clean, dry skin and press firmly. The patch will activate automatically and begin the gentle micro-current infusion. Each patch should be worn for 20 minutes. If the patch is not adhering to your skin, simply add more Activating Gel under the patch and re-apply.

Step 3: Remove, Wipe and Store

Gently remove the patches and wipe the treatment area with the Refreshing Wipes to reveal renewed, refreshed skin. Following your treatment, you may apply your favorite eye cream, serum and/or makeup. Place the patch back onto the clear plastic sheet and then back into the re-sealable pouch.

Gloss48-Patchology-3

A kit with one set of pouches will run you $35, which is under $10 a use. Pretty reasonably priced, if you ask me. If you want to try these out for yourself, you can order them from Gloss48 here.

How do you wake up your tired eyes?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclaimer

younique

A Love Affair with Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes

You guys, I’m in LOVE! …with mascara, but still. A few months ago my friend, Ashley, began raving about a line of makeup she was selling called Younique. She was obsessed with their Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes mascara, and all I could think was, I own more mascaras than I’ll use in the next ten years. Eventually I caved and let her put it on me and Oh. My. God. Love at first sight!

younique

Above is an unplanned early morning shot the first time I tried the mascara. On the left eye I have on my beloved $30 Lorac mascara. On the right is Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. What a difference!

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes is made with 100% natural fibers taken from green tea. For all of you eco-friendly gals out there, it is a naturally based, vegan product that is not tested on animals. And, for what it’s worth…it’s gluten free? Not sure how lashes can be gluten intolerant, but if yours are, they’ve got you covered!

younique

The larger tube is a Transplanting Gel that has the same look and feel of regular mascara and is applied first. The second, smaller tube of Natural Fibers reminded me of a wand of black cotton candy. After applying the fibers, a second coat of the Transplanting Gel locks it all in. It was definitely as quick and easy to apply as regular mascara. I can also vouch for the fact that these lashes are water resistant, yet wash off easily with a facial cleanser.

younique

After trying 3D Fiber Lashes, Ashley came over and we tried out Younique’s other products. My favorites were the Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eyeliner in Perfect and the Moodstruck Glorious Face and Eye Primer- both felt like satin and went on super smooth. Next on my wish list: Uplift Eye Serum. There are some amazing before and after photos floating around the web- check them out!

younique

For $29, it is not inexpensive, but it is the exact same price I was spending on my original mascara. Want to experience the magic for yourself? It’s easy-for the next 10 days, you can order Younique products by clicking here. Now go fall in love!

Want to hear more about Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes? Check out Kristin’s review here.

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About the author – Amy Genduso

Amy Genduso

Amy spends every waking moment around children, and she stands by the fact that a classic, polished look can still be achieved! Don’t let that fool you, she’s anything but basic. Ulta is her own slice of heaven, and she has a small hoarding problem with OPI and Lorac products.

Photos: Amy Genduso/beautyXposé; Disclaimer

marsala

Sneak Peek: SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Facets of Marsala Multi-Finish Eye Palette

As I mentioned earlier this week, I went on an eyeshadow bender recently, and one of my purchases was the new Marsala palette from the SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE collection. This throwback to the 90s is so divergent than the shadow shades I gravitate to, so I figured it was worth a shot. New year, new me. #Amiright?

marsala

Depending on what you’re used to spending on makeup, I think this palette is a steal at $39 because it comes with 24 gorgeous shades! That’s less than $2 a shadow, so it’s basically free if you think about it that way … And while many of the colors go out of my comfort zone, none of them are so crazy that I can’t imagine wearing them.

marsala

To be completely transparent, the packaging feels a bit cheap and I am more worried about dropping it than my sturdier palettes, but other than that, it seems perfect. I’ll be giving it a go today (today when you read this, not today when I write this), so I’ll make sure to update you on my thoughts.

marsala

Sadly, the palette is sold out online, but it’s worth checking your local Sephora to see if they still have any in stock.

What is your favorite shade in this palette and what do you think of the Marsala trend?

Photos: beautyXposé