Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Extra Strength Alpha Beta Face Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels

Ok, so it’s been a little too long since I’ve taken the time to do some beauty product reviews.  (I’m not really sure why it’s taken me so long either because I certainly haven’t stopped using beauty products….at all!)  Regardless, here comes one and hopefully more to follow in the near future.

I have always wanted to have a chemical peel done but can never actually bring myself to have one done because I don’t want to deal with the downtime of having a red, flaky, peeling face for a couple of days afterwards and the thought of them kind of freaks me out…just a little.  My skin can be very temperamental…I have periods where it’s great and periods where it’s anything but great.  I also tend to have acne spots that last long after the pimple is gone (I guess it’s an annoying and pesky way of reminding me of what used to be there.)  So, when I stumbled upon these little facial wipes I was definitely tempted to try them being that they aren’t as invasive as an actual chemical peel and have no downtime.

These wipes are available in two different strengths, regular and extra strength.  I dove right into the extra strength wipes and didn’t even try the regular strength ones because I was dead-set on getting results and thought that the extra strength ones stood a better chance at giving me my desired results.  If you have sensitive skin, I would highly suggest starting out with the regular strength wipes first.

Another great thing about these wipes is that they are available in different quantities which is great for someone who is just looking to try them out.  These treatment wipes are available in the following quantities: 5, 30 or 60.  Packs of 5 retail for $15.00, packs of 30 retail for $82.00 and packs of 60 retail for $145.00.  (For my first time using them, I obviously went for the 5 pack.) They also have them available in a package deal called the “14 Day Challenge with Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution” which retails for $45.00. (This is also a great deal, which I’ve also purchased….more than once.)

We’ll start with the 5 pack, which is what I tried first.  Each treatment consists of two conjoined pouches which each contain a wipe (so two wipes per treatment).  Wipe 1 is to be used first (but I’m sure that is obvious to everyone) on a clean face.  You simply rub your skin in circular motions until the wipe is no longer moist.  Then you wait two minutes before using wipe 2.  After the two minutes are up, use wipe 2 the same way that you used wipe 1.   That’s it.  It’s quick and easy but I will say that I did (and still do) notice a burning sensation when using wipe 1 so be aware of that and don’t be surprised if you notice it too.

I noticed a subtle glow to my skin immediately after using these but really noticed it after using them for a couple of days consecutively.  I noticed an even better glow after trying the 14 day challenge treatment with the brightening solution.  The 14 day challenge works the exact same way as the 5 pack of pads does except there are enough treatment packs for 14 days and there is the brightening serum.  The brightening serum is applied after you use both wipes and I think that this serum is really beneficial and just gives your skin that much more of a healthy glow.

I will say though that I would not do this treatment after doing a face mask of any kind prior (speaking from experience.)  It could have been something in the face mask I did prior to using this treatment or my face could have just been feeling sensitive but it was not a pleasant experience!  The burning sensation was a lot worse than ever before and my face was left looking patchy and red….so don’t follow in my footsteps there!

Overall, I like this product and like the results.  My skin always looks like it has a nice natural glow after doing these treatments and it also helps reduce my acne spots in a significant way.  (I notice the most dramatic results and lighter/faded acne spots after using these for multiple consecutive days.)

What I like:

  • Gives skin a natural glow
  • Reduces and fades acne spots
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Noticeable results….quickly

What I don’t like:

  • Burning sensation
  • Results seem to fade if this isn’t used on a regular basis

Sephora Collection Classic All Over Shadow Brush – Large #21

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Ok–time to take a little breather from the endless D.I.Y. posts I’ve been making lately to do a review!

I’m really loving this all over shadow brush-so much that I use it daily!

I love the size of it because it allows me to cover large areas of my eyelids with one to two sweeps rather than having to do a bunch of applications using a small brush.  I actually love using this brush to do my eye shadow base since the base covers the largest area using one color.

The brush has firm yet soft bristles.  They are soft on my skin yet firm enough that I can build the level of shadow coverage that I desire.

I’ve washed this brush countless times too and have not had any issues with it.  The bristles haven’t frayed and haven’t been shedding either.

This one is a winner in my book :)

Pros:

  • Can cover a large area at once
  • Soft yet firm bristles
  • Great for building the level of shadow coverage you desire
  • Doesn’t shed (at least it hasn’t yet)

Sephora Collection Classic Smudge Brush #14

 

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I am obsessed with this smudge brush.  I have to admit, prior to getting this brush, I wasn’t really very educated on what a smudge brush was and I never imagined it to work like it does (amazing!).  This was $13 very well spent and I suggest everyone have this (or another) smudge brush in their makeup bag!

I wear eye shadow pretty much on a daily basis.  A lot of times I keep it relatively simple for work but when I’m doing something outside of work I like to play around with it a little more.  I recently tried a brown smoky eye look and with the help of this brush, it turned out really pretty!

A big pet peeve of mine has always been when I try to create an eye look with different shades of eye shadow (such as browns, tans and gold) and end up with harsh looking edges.  I’ve never been a fan of the harsh edges and could never really blend or fix them perfectly with any other brush or with my finger (had I only known about this smudge brush a long time ago!).  Well, this brush cured my harsh eye shadow edges and gave me a very nice blended and polished look (without the harsh edges!).

This brush is a must have for creating a smoky eye look too.  You can control the level of smudging that you want because this brush provides an excellent amount of control.  The size is small enough that you can smudge in just one specific area but not too small that you can’t smudge around the entire eye area.

This brush has been holding up well for me so far.  No bristle shedding or fraying.  It also comes with a nice snap shut plastic lid that is great for keeping the brush protected and clean.

This is a beauty brush that is a must have!  I suggest it and can’t really think of any con’s so far since I’ve started using it.

 

Pros:

  • Perfect for creating a smoky eye
  • Perfect for blending colors
  • Provides maximum control
  • Small enough for specific areas but not too small that you can’t smudge entire eye area
  • Plastic lid for protection
  • No bristle fraying or shedding
  • Removes harsh lines

 

Sephora Collection Classic Flat Liner/Eyeliner Brush #16

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When I first started using cream eyeliner I had countless problems applying it and could never get my eyeliner to match from one eye to the next.  I always seemed to apply  more to one eye than the other or one line of eyeliner was always straighter than the other.  I purchased this brush from Sephora in hopes of being able to apply my eyeliner with more ease and precision than I seemed to be able to manage using any other standard eyeliner brush.

This brush is designed to provide an even amount of eyeliner to the lash line for uniform definition.  It also can be used to apply powder, cream or liquid eyeliner.

I use this brush to apply cream eyeliner and the first time I used it, I noticed a huge difference in the way that the eyeliner applied.  For starters, this brush is flat and wide so the area that it covers with each application is a lot larger than a standard pointed eyeliner brush.  The flat design definitely aids in producing a flat and clean line above the lash line.  It doesn’t however correct a shaky hand if you deal with that issue.  (But no brush can really fix that!)

I really don’t have any negatives to say about this brush.  I purchased it while it was on sale so that price was really good and I’ve had it for well over a year now and it has been holding up great.  I don’t use it on a daily basis and I do wash it and haven’t noticed any shedding or brush fraying.  Overall, I’m really happy with the brush.

 

Pros:

  • Great for beginners learning how to apply eyeliner
  • Can be used to apply liquid, cream or powder eyeliners
  • Easy to use
  • Covers more area than a standard eyeliner brush
  • Holds up well (no shedding or fraying of bristles)

Cons:

  • Has been sold out at Sephora

Sephora Collection I.T. Face Contour Brush

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I’m still trying to perfect the art of facial contouring but I think that with time and practice I am getting better and better at it.  I have to admit, contouring wasn’t a term I really ever used in my makeup vocabulary and I never really understood the effects it can have on your face and makeup when done correctly.

I decided to buy a facial contouring brush and give it a go!  I wasn’t expecting a miraculous difference between not contouring and contouring bur I was please surprised by what a difference it actually ended up making.

I almost always stuck to using this brush when I contour my face.  It seems to always get the job done and leaves me satisfied with the results.

The handle of the brush is long and narrows itself down to the tip.  Even though the handle is long, it still gives me plenty of control when using the brush.  The tip of the brush is rounded with a thin tip.

Something else that I really like about this brush is the clear cap that comes with it.  It’s not just a cheap plastic wrapper that falls apart and can’t be used again after removal.  This keeps the brush bristles safe and protected from damage as well as germs and other makeup residues.

I’ve washed this brush plenty of times too and it remains in excellent/like-new condition.  The bristles haven’t had any shedding or fraying.

 

Pros:

  • Offers control
  • Comes with protective clear cap
  • Great for contouring, shadowing or highlighting
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Sold out at Sephora.com

 

Sephora Collection Pro Tapered Foundation Brush #58

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Lately, I have been getting more and more into makeup brushes and have really been working to expand my collection.

This brush was on sale at Sephora.com for $15 (regularly $32). I figured why not for the price and also figured it would be perfect to use with my new Make Up Forever liquid foundation to get in tight spaces such as around my eyes and nose.

I gave this brush a try this morning with my Make Up Forever foundation. I expected that it would probably not really blow me away and leave me with more of an average it did the job feeling. (This was my first time using a brush like this to apply liquid foundation).

I must say that I was VERY pleased with the results! It did an excellent job of getting around my eyes and nose. It applied smoothly and evenly without looking streaky or blotchy. I wouldn’t really suggest it for your whole face since it is tapered but I think that now after using it, it’s a must have for the areas I mentioned. The bristles are high-quality synthetic fibers and are firm enough to get the job done (not rock hard/firm though) and yet still soft enough that it’s comfortable to use and doesn’t make me feel like I am “poking” my face.

I’m definitely glad I added this one to my makeup brush collection.

 

Pros:

  • Perfect for hard to get areas (such as around the nose and eyes)
  • Firm yet soft bristles
  • Applies foundation flawlessly without streaks
  • Can be used for liquid or powder foundation

Cons:

  • Not the best option for applying foundation to larger areas

Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray

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I’m not a big fan of washing my hair everyday but I hate when it starts to look like it needs to be washed.  I started hearing a lot about dry shampoos and figured I would give it a try.

I ordered this small 0.75 oz. can of Oscar Blandi dry shampoo for $5.00 from Sephora.  Since this would be my first time using this product I decided to go with the smallest and cheapest option in the event that it didn’t work out and I didn’t like it.

I’ve used this quite a few times now and have to say that I like it.  It’s easy to use and does a great job at concealing any oils or grease that are present in your hair.  It says that it is volumizing and I think it is to an extent.  You can expect a mild increase in volume but not significant.

I apply this to the roots of my hair, let it sit for a few minutes and then brush or comb through it.  It’s a great product for traveling or when your rushing out the door and don’t have time to wash your hair and need a quick fix.

Pros:

  • Conceals grease and oils
  • Great for when your are in a rush or traveling
  • Different size options

Cons:

  • Still doesn’t beat the feeling of clean washed hair

Alterna Bamboo Silk-Sleek Brilliance Cream

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Ok, so I’ve been spending a lot of time reviewing beauty products and haven’t really spent any time on hair products (which I am also obsessed with) so I figured I would spend some time today reviewing some hair products as well.

This product is amazing!  It lives up to its name and really does give you silky and frizz-free locks of hair!

I had originally gotten a small sample packet of this and decided to give it a try.  I figured that it probably wouldn’t end up being anything special that I felt the need to purchase in the full size version.  Boy was I wrong!  I rubbed a small dollop of the cream between my fingers and applied it to my hair.  It glided on so smoothly and effortlessly and my hair actually felt like silk while I was applying it.  It also worked to detangle and smooth my hair, banishing any signs of frizz.

Something else that I really love about this product is that it is very lightweight.  A lot of hair products state that they are lightweight and won’t weigh hair down, but I find that few actually live up to that.  This product actually does.  My hair doesn’t feel the slightest bit weighed down or heavy.  It also doesn’t feel like there is a layer of product buildup either.

The tube is 4.2 oz. and retails for $24.00.  Somewhat pricey, but, it lasts a long time because you really only need a very small amount each time you use it.  I’ve had mine for a couple of months now and still have plenty left.

This definitely ranks as my favorite day to day hair styling cream!

 

Pros:

  • Leaves hair feeling silky and smooth
  • Tames frizz
  • Doesn’t weigh hair down
  • Doesn’t leave hair with a layer of product buildup
  • Long lasting

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey

 

Sephora Collection Classic Bronzer Brush #44

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This brush can be used for any type of powder makeup but I prefer to use it specifically for applying bronzer.

For the most part, I like this brush but I can’t help but to think that it may have been cheaply made.  I’ve had this brush for well over a year now but a couple of months into having it, the actual bristle head popped right out.  I was able to repair it by gluing the base of the bristle head back into the top of the brush handle and it hasn’t happened since.  I probably managed to get the lemon of the bunch (go figure-of course I would).

Aside from that little fiasco the brush has been working out for the most part.  It does shed on occasion but nothing significant and not to the extent that I’m leaving a trail of bristle hairs across my face….just an occasional one here and there.

The bristles are not super soft and are actual more coarse….so for those of you that like that super soft bristled brushes, this one isn’t for you.  I think that the firmer and coarser bristles on this brush help it to make applying bronzer easier because it allows for more control and allows you to build and blend the bronzer while controlling the coverage.

I think if you wear bronzer, this brush (or one similar to it) is a must have…hopefully though, you get one that doesn’t fall apart.

 

Pros:

  • Allows for controlled coverage and easy blending
  • Thicker brush for more control

Cons:

  • Bristle top fell out and I had to glue it back on
  • Sheds occasionally, but not excessively

Sephora Collection Daily Brush Cleaner

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I think a lot of people often forget how important it is to wash your makeup brushes.  I know in the past, I never realized the importance of washing them and I should have.  My face is extremely fussy and is prone to breakouts (unfortunately) and I know that once I started washing my makeup brushes on a regular basis it really made a difference in reducing the amount of breakouts I got.

I normally stick to this makeup brush shampoo.  It comes in a nice pump bottle.  This stuff generally lasts a decent length of time too, depending on how often you wash your brushes.  I like to wash mine weekly (on a minimum) because I use them daily and in that time they gather a lot of makeup and grime.

I was amazed the first time I used this (and honestly, I still am every time I use it) at how much makeup comes off my makeup brushes.  I can always tell when my makeup brushes need a cleaning but I never realize how much makeup and buildup is really on them.  And after seeing how much makeup and grime washes off, I understand why not washing them can cause breakouts!

This always leaves my brushes fresh, clean and soft after each wash and is a must have!

 

Pros:

  • Cleans makeup, residue, oils, buildup, etc. from makeup brushes
  • Helps to prevent breakouts
  • Cleans all makeup types off of brushes

Cons

  • Can’t really think of any :)