Products I'm Loving

Hey, everybody! I've been loving some products so much that I felt I needed to blog about them. There are also a couple new ones that didn't stand out so much for me, unfortunately, and I'll tell you about those as well.

I'll start with the good. There are five products that I felt deserved the time it took for me to photograph them and tell you about them...

1. Bioderma Crealine: This is THE best makeup remover, hands down! I've used lots and they never do what this product can. It removes everything, even waterproof mascara. And you don't have to wipe hard or anything to remove it. It's just an amazing product and is perfect for sensitive skin, which I have. You hardly use any, so it lasts you a really long time. I've been using it for several years. When I start getting low I always order another bottle because I never want to be without it. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find it in a store locally, so I just order it on

2. Abba Moisture Conditioner: This conditioner really does moisturize your hair but without making it heavy. I have fine hair so I steer clear of 'moisturizing' products because I'm always afraid of weighing my hair down. You don't have to worry about that with this conditioner. It leaves your hair soft and manageable and shiny. It has a peppermint fragrance, which I love. I also love that it's sulfate free and free of synthetic dyes.

3. Dove Visible Care Body Wash: I just found this new body wash a few weeks ago while at Target. It smells divine!! It also lathers up beautifully and it has little exfoliating beads in it. My skin always feels so soft after I use this. I just love it! And the smell. Ahhhhh! Oh, I already said that. ;)

4. Bumble & Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse: This is a fairly new product by Bumble & Bumble. I'm in love with it. I've always used the thickening spray but have recently been using this mousse. A little goes a long way. It gives lots of lift and volume and adds great texture. {Not as textured as the Bumble & Bumble Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme, if you're familiar with that one}

5. Method Kitchen Lemongrass Hand Soap: They say this is an "odor-eliminating hand wash." They aren't lying! This is my third bottle of this stuff. We love it in my household. I can smash and peel and chop loads of garlic and wash my hands with this soap and there's no garlic smell. I don't know how they do it but they do. It has a really refreshing fragrance and my hands don't feel dry after I use it.

Now for the bad. I don't like talking about the bad stuff but I'd hate to see people go out and spend money on these two products...

1. Clinique CC Cream: I have this CC cream because I took the BB cream back to return and they talked me into exchanging it for this. My complaint with the BB cream was that it didn't blend well on the skin. The associate at the makeup counter assured me that the CC cream was more blendable. Unfortunately it's not. Having said that, the color correcting part that they say it does, does work well. It evens out the skintone nicely, as did the BB cream, but it just doesn't go on well and doesn't settle into the skin very nicely. In order to use either of these creams by Clinique I have to spritz my face with some water first or mix it with a moisturizer. You just shouldn't have to do that.

2. Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer: I was so excited when I saw a commercial for this product. So excited!!! It takes so long to moisturize your whole body and wait to dress, etc., so I couldn't wait to try this. Anything to save time. Right? Fail! **big thumbs down** Sorry, Vaseline. :(  I had to use quite a bit in order to feel like I was getting something on my skin. Also, I had to rub it in right away. (Not spray my whole body and then rub in, but spray a part and rub it in, spray another part and rub it in, etc.) It was time consuming. Yes, it dried quickly (too quickly). And as far as moisturizing, I just didn't think it did a good job.

So there are my opinions on some products I've been using. Hope they help you out.

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Makeup Brush Cleaning and Storage Tips

Each weekend there's that one extra chore that I never feel like doing, but if I don't I will definitely notice it on my face when it starts to break out. It's so important to keep your makeup brushes clean to avoid breakouts, and, well, dirty brushes are just gross.

As I use my brushes during the week I do spritz them with some anti-bacterial brush cleaner and wipe them on a clean washcloth after each use. But as the week goes on some of the makeup builds up in the brushes and the spray just isn't going to cut it. So here's how I go about deep cleaning my makeup brushes at the end of the week.

All you really need is some baby shampoo, a clean towel and some anti-bacterial spray like this one...

The other thing that is very helpful but not necessary are brush guards. These help keep the shape of your brushes and eliminate that fraying of hairs thing that often goes on with makeup brushes. I personally can't live without them now. They come in different sizes so they will fit the tiniest to the biggest brush. They look like this:

What you want to do is get all of your brushes together near a sink.  Start by putting a very small amount of baby shampoo in the palm of your hand.  Take one brush at a time and gently rub it in the baby shampoo, over your palm, as if you were mixing paint on a palette.  Lay the brush on a clean paper towel.  Do this with each of your brushes, laying them all out on the paper towel.
Now you will take each brush and run them under warm water, using your fingers to rinse the shampoo out.  I do this as quickly as possible as to not waste much water.  So this will go by very quickly.  Keep the brush facing downward so that you don't get water in the ferrule, otherwise it will get water up in there and loosen the glue, which will cause your brush to come apart over time.  As you rinse each one out, squeeze the excess water from the brush hairs and lay them on a clean, dry towel.
Next you will take each brush and gently wipe it back and forth on the clean, dry towel, getting as much water out of each one as you can. You will then give one spritz of the anti-bacterial brush cleaner to each brush. Then add the brush guard (if you are using them).

To dry the brushes... for eye brushes, I just stand them up to dry as there are not as many hairs as face brushes and I don't run as much risk for water to run down into the ferrule. With face brushes though, you want to lay them on their side off the edge of a table or counter to dry, so the water doesn't run back down into the brush ferrule. Like so...

For really dense brushes, like kabuki type ones, you will probably want to eliminate the use of a brush guard, as I find it takes way too long for them to dry when I do that. These types of brushes usually hold their shape just fine.

That's it! Your brushes will be all clean and soft again.

Here is how I store my brushes. I just purchased an acrylic holder from Staples, in the desk supply aisle.

At Michael's or Jo-Ann's you can purchase the bead fill like you see here.  It allows the brushes to stand up and is soft enough to get them in and out of the holder easily.

I hope this helps you with cleaning your brushes. I have found that it really is the best way for me. I would love to hear any other suggestions you have for cleaning brushes.

Until next time...

Lady by the Bay

Top Ten Beauty Discoveries of 2010

Some things you just can't live without, and these are my top 10 beauty product discoveries of 2010 that I use and abuse and simply can’t live without:

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation GOBI

I am not a big fan of foundation -- I just can't stand the feeling of makeup on my face -- and I almost always only wore tinted moisturizer, until I found this foundation. Wow! This is such a sheer feeling foundation but with very good coverage -- not full coverage but I would say a medium coverage. Your skin is just left with a beautiful, healthy glow and it evens out the skin tone. I absolutely adore this product and can't imagine ever living without it.

Origins VitaZing(TM) SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen 1.7 oz

When I don't wear foundation or am in a hurry and just want to even out my skin tone and look really healthy and awake, this is my go-to product. I love everything by Origins, but this has to be one of the best products they have. It's a wonderful moisturizer, but when you put it on there is a slight tint to it that evens out your skin tone and gives it a healthy glow, and you're getting your SPF at the same time! Who doesn't love that?! I don't know what it is about this moisturizer, but it just makes my skin look great and I love the way it feels on my skin.

It's A 10 Miracle Leave In Product, 4-Ounces

This one slipped in under the radar right at the end of 2010. I had asked someone what they put in their hair to make it so shiny and beautiful, and they told me "It's A Ten". I couldn't believe that's all it was, but now I do. This is an amazing product and basically replaces a ton of other hair products that I had and was putting in my hair each time I had to do it. Now I just need this one bottle!

Product description:
It's A 10 does 10 things instantly: 1. Repairs dry damaged hair. 2. Adds shine. 3. Smoothes and controls frizz. 4. Seals and protects hair color. 5. Detangles. 6. Prevents split ends. 7. Stops hair breakage. 8. Creates silkiness. 9. Enhances natural body. 10. Flat iron spray and thermal protector.

This product really does do all that it claims to and I can't live without it now.

Brushlab Fresh Ceramic Thermal Nylon Bristle Large Hair Brush

I had to include this brush in my top ten because it was a huge breakthrough for me in 2010. I have thick hair and it takes forever to dry, and when I'm finished I feel like my arm is going to fall off. This brush glides through my hair effortlessly, and dries it in half the time, seriously. I don't know how a brush can do that, but it does. I ♥ this brush!

MAC Blending brush 217

If I could only have one eye shadow brush to do everything, this would be it. This is simply an eye shadow brush that no one should be without. It's super soft but also quite dense, and it blends eye shadow perfectly. I really don't know what else to say about it.  You know how at Coldstone they have "like it", "love it" or "gotta have it"?  Well this is definitely a "gotta have it"!


I am big on exfoliating... BIG! I have tried so many body scrubs and nothing, I mean nothing, compares to this. This scrub isn't harsh, it gently exfoliates your skin and leaves it soooo soft and silky, vibrant, and smelling incredible. The scent is so invigorating.


There are several good mascaras out there, but this one takes first place for me. It only takes one coat to get thick, dark lashes. I'd have to say I haven't found a mascara that can get my lashes darker than this one; it is an intense black pigment. I love it!

Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat 0.6 oz

My nails tend to peel and break no matter what I try to do to prevent it. This gel coat really helps get and keep my nails healthy while making them look beautiful. There's a brightener in this gel that makes your nails look really white and healthy, and at the same time giving them the nutrients they need. Definitely a can't live without product.

MAC Eye Shadow Frost Satin Taupe

I could literally wear only this color for the rest of my life and be perfectly fine with that. This color suits all skin tones and eye colors and is very flattering. It's a very pretty taupey brown. You can wear it alone on the lid or as a crease color... it's just gorgeous. I don't know what I'd do without this eye shadow.

Korres Lip Butter Glaze Jasmine

This really does feel like butter -- it just melts into your lips when you put it on, and it has a lot of staying power. This lip butter comes in different shades, but my favorite is Jasmine (a sheer pink). It just gives the perfect light pink tint with a bit of shine. And I also love that they're all natural. A must have, especially for dry winter lips.

I'd love to know of any products that you can't live without, so please do share.

 Until next time...

Lady by the Bay