smart is the new pretty

Tag: skincare

Save or Splurge? Which Makeup Products are Worth Your Money

Save or Splurge? Which Makeup Products are Worth Your Money

There are two types of people in the world: those who are willing to spend their entire paycheck on makeup, and those who are not. Just kidding… kind of. I know that not everybody is makeup-obsessed like me, and that for some, it’s just not […]

The Ordinary Skincare Review: The Perfect Skincare Line for Twenty-Somethings

The Ordinary Skincare Review: The Perfect Skincare Line for Twenty-Somethings

If there’s one thing my mom taught me, it’s to take care of my skin. I’m not the kind of girl who falls asleep with her makeup on– not once, not ever. I wash my skin religiously, moisturize, and apply SPF every day. However, that […]

L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks

L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks

As soon as the L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks came out, I was dying to try them. I like L’Oreal a lot, because they are 1) French, 2) socially responsible, and 3) make consistent and affordable products. L’Oreal is one of the nicer brands at the drugstore, but L’Oreal Group actually owns other drugstore brands (like Maybelline and NYX) as well as high-end makeup brands (Yves Saint Laurent and Urban Decay). I’m always on the lookout for a new face mask to supplement my skincare routine, and L’Oreal had a beautiful campaign for these clay masks.

Part of L’Oreal’s advertising campaign for these masks was “multi-masking,” or using multiple face masks at one time. For example, you use a mask to mattify on your forehead, a mask to exfoliate on your cheeks, and a mask to remove impurities on your nose. There are three masks in the set: a eucalyptus mask to purify & mattify, a charcoal mask to detox, and a red algae mask to exfoliate. I only got the charcoal mask and the algae mask, because I wasn’t interested in mattifying (even though I love eucalyptus).

The L’Oreal Detox & Brighten charcoal mask feels cool and refreshing when applied. It compares to the Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask, but the L’Oreal Detox & Brighten actually dries my skin out less. I like the L’Oreal Detox & Brighten better than the Origins Clear Improvements Charcoal mask. The L’Oreal mask makes my skin feel clean and soft, and I like that you can use it multiple times a week without your skin getting too dry.

The L’Oreal Exfoliate & Refine red algae mask has a very fragrant smell, which threw me off at first. The smell isn’t bad, I just wasn’t expecting it. I like that this mask clears away the dead skin and makes my skin feel very soft, but I think the reason it is exfoliating is less the ingredients and more the little micro-beads in the mask. I still like using it, though, especially to exfoliate my skin before I use a different mask, like the Detox & Brighten or the Aztec Secret Mask.

L'Oreal Pure Clay Masks

The L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks can be used several times a week. I do really like them, because they are gentle but they make my skin feel supple and clean. I prefer Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay to get rid of blackheads and really clear out my skin, but I like the L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks overall. They are gentle, and they feel more luxurious than the Aztec Secret because the L’Oreal masks contain multiple ingredients, and Aztec Secret is purely Calcium Bentonite Clay. I would recommend the L’Oreal Clay Masks to people who want moderate purifying, and who dislike the intensity of pure bentonite. I like using the masks separately, or together, depending on the state of my skin. The multi-masking thing really does work!

The L’Oreal Clay Masks are great products at a reasonable price. They provide gentle cleansing and softening. Have you tried the L’Oreal Clay Masks? Let me know what you think!

De-Puffing Your Eyes 101

De-Puffing Your Eyes 101

The school year has begun, which means business, stress, and (perhaps worst of all) less sleep. While makeup is no substitute for actual sleep, there are remedies for de-puffing your eyes and faking-it-til-you-make-it when you are exhausted. Think of it as a morning cup of […]

The Pale Girl’s Guide to Bronzer

The Pale Girl’s Guide to Bronzer

Summer is in full swing, but late July and early August don’t bring natural tans for everybody. Or, if you’re like me, you are tanner than you were in April, but that’s not saying much. You could even be the type of person who has […]

The Truth About Facial Spray

The Truth About Facial Spray

When did facial sprays start hitting the shelves? Cleansers, toners, eye creams, masks, and moisturizers have been around for as long as I can remember, but as far as I am concerned facial spray is brand new. Brand new and very enticing.

Here’s the truth about facial spray : it is 100% non-essential. And that is coming from me, who considers face cleanser and moisturizer to be essentials (something with which most of the male population would likely disagree). Don’t get me wrong, facial spray is quite the luxury. But if you are going to go out and buy it, keep in mind that it is a luxury.

The Definitive Facial Spray Ranking:

  1. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rose Water: The first facial spray I ever purchased was the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rose Water. I loved this facial spray, because it was refreshing and lightly moisturizing, perfect for a summer day spritz. I liked that it was appropriate to use at all times: before makeup, after makeup, after washing my face, whenever. And at $7, I didn’t feel like I was being totally ripped off. A few squirts give your face a lot of moisture, all while engulfing your senses in a light and refreshing scent.
  2. Caudalie Beauty Elixir: The best part about this facial spray is easily its unique, slightly minty scent, which leaves an equally minty tingle on the skin. It is a luxurious spray, somewhat reasonably priced in France, but quite expensive in my home country of the United States. I bought it while abroad, but I would never pay the American price tag for this product. The spray bottle diffuses the product, so it doesn’t feel like it hydrates your skin as directly as other facial sprays. I didn’t like using it with makeup as much as the Mario Badescu Facial Spray, though it was a nice addition to my skincare routine. Overall, it takes a backseat to the Mario Badescu Facial spray, particularly given the hefty price tag.
  3. Evian Mineral Water Spray: This is literally water in a fancy spray bottle. Granted, it is probably nicer than any DIY water-in-a-bottle facial sprays that I could whip up, but there is no hiding the fact that there is only one ingredient, and it’s H2O. Does it qualify as a beauty product? Not in my book. Could it be great for a trip to the Grand Canyon or Disneyworld in July? That’s probably the Evian facial spray’s best use.

 

French Skincare Essentials

French Skincare Essentials

The French are all about their skincare. Every time I pick up a magazine article to read about French beauty tips (and try to get that “je ne sais quoi” for myself), I seem to find an article about the importance of skincare. French pharmacies […]

Five Steps for Perfect Foundation

Five Steps for Perfect Foundation

Do you remember that part in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Part 1) when Harry admits to Ron that he thinks Ginny is attractive because “she’s got nice skin,” and Ron responds that Hermione has also got nice skin? That was the first […]

Micellar Water: Garnier vs. Simple

Micellar Water: Garnier vs. Simple

Micellar water has made an appearance at the drugstore in recent months, and while micellar water was a staple in France, it is a relatively new addition to American skincare. But what is micellar water? How do you use it. Before I purchased micellar water for myself, I read a great article from Elle explaining the science behind micellar water. Basically the micelles in the water are attracted to the dirt and makeup residue in your skin. Micellar Water is unique in its ability to remove impurities without drying out skin. To use it, pour a generous amount of micellar water on a cotton pad, and wipe it all around your face to remove impurities. Micellar water does not need to be rinsed off the face. Sometimes I find that I have to use two cotton pads to get all of my makeup off, and I rarely use a moisturizer afterwards because I live in a humid climate. The two easily available options for micellar water available in the USA right now are Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water and Simple Micellar Water. But which one is better? I’ve tested them both out to give you the verdict.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water has a gentle formula, with “no harsh chemicals that can upset your skin, artificial perfumes, or dyes.” Micellar water is gentle by nature, but Simple’s formula is especially gentle. If you have very sensitive skin, or if you don’t wear makeup, Simple Micellar Cleansing Water is the way to go. I have trouble getting all of my makeup off with Simple’s micellar water, especially if I am wearing a lot of eye makeup. However, if you are the kind of person who doesn’t wear makeup, Simple Micellar Cleansing Water is a great one step skincare routine.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is a better deal– Simple Micellar Cleansing Water comes in a bottle of 6.7 fl oz whereas Garnier’s is a 13.5 fl oz bottle for about the same price. I prefer the Garnier Micellar Water because it cleans off my makeup more easily, and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean. Even though Simple Micellar Cleansing Water is a little gentler, the Garnier micellar water is still very gentle on my skin.

 

Overall, I think micellar water is a great product. It is better for my acne-prone skin than any traditional makeup remover, because it is so lightweight and doesn’t clog my pores at all. I like that I can use micellar water to wash my face in the morning, before I put on my makeup, because it helps my skin maintain the natural moisture that other acne-fighting cleansers remove from my skin. However, I wouldn’t use micellar cleansing water to remove my makeup at night without using a traditional face cleanser and lotion afterwards. In the future, I will repurchase the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.