P.S. Right now there is a promo code for a complimentary deluxe sample of the Tatcha eye cream (valued at $45) with any Tatcha.com purchase – use code EYECREAM at checkout, it expires on 10/31.
- Purifying Foam Cleanser – for Normal Combination Skin
- Diorskin Airflash Skin Foundation in 300
- Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown
- Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum
- Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara
- Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Rosy Tan
- Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Bar
- Dior Addict Gloss in Nuit Boreale and Diablotine
- Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Rieuse
- Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer Incognito, Wonderland, Nuit 1947
- Dior Gel Top Coat
concealer. Who doesn’t want their makeup to last all day without touching up or fading? For me, the long-wear factor has had one downside: it doesn’t come all the way off with a regular cleanser and leads to clogged pores and breakouts. Using stronger cleansers tend to irritate my skin.
- Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil ($12 for 1.9 oz) I purchased the small travel size online based on the 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Sephora. I found this one to be my least favorite of all the oils even though I had high hopes. It has a very thick texture that feels goopy on the skin. It does a very effective job at cleaning and removing makeup, but I couldn’t get past the texture. The scent is also too sweet for my taste and the flip open cap of the mini leaked product all over the place. It also made my skin feel a bit too tight after application.
- Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($12 for .08 fl oz or $48 for 5.1 fl oz) I was really pleased to find out large the trial size was after ordering it online from the Travel Sized beauty category. I was also happy to see the small version come with a good pump and also with good packaging. Sometimes minis are cased in cheap containers but the Tatcha is very well designed. This turned out to be one of my favorites. It has a medium-thin texture which applies well to the face. Massaging the product emulsifies on the skin. It cleanses well with water and gave the skin a moisturizing feel without any residue feeling. It has the signature Tatcha Camellia scent which is soothing and gentle.
- MAC Cleanse Off Oil ($10 for 1 fl oz) has been a long-time favorite of mine. I like to keep the mini bottle and refill it for travel although it comes in the mini size. The $10 price seemed very affordable for a trial (when I first tried it many years ago). This is the best one for removing all trace of waterproof eye makeup without stinging the eyes.
- MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil ($10 for 1 fl oz) was a purchase I made after reading so many rave reviews, I liked the texture and soft scent, but found it less effective compared to the regular version. If you have super sensitive skin or want something more gentle this is a good option for you.
- Chanel Le Blanc Immediate Brightening Oil-Gel Makeup Remover (mini sample shown, $60 for 5 oz) is something that has been used on my at several Chanel events. It’s a clear gel that turns into an oil as you work it into the skin. It’s lightly scented which might bother some of you, but it is extremely effective. It’s the only one that will remove all traces of mascara and eyeliner. The upside of the gel texture is that it’s slightly thick so it doesn’t run into the eyes if you work it on the eye area. Even though it’s thicker, it’s not goopy and is very emollient once massaged but not greasy. This is the most unique formula I’ve tried.
- Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Oil (green sample gwp shown, $37-$77 for full size) has had so many raves online. It cleansed well and I found it emulsified nicely too. I couldn’t get over the scent. It smells like green tea with an emphasis on the herbal side. I liked that it left no residue on the skin but it left my skin feeling a bit tight.
- Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil (brown sample gwp shown, $42-$90 for full size) is most like a traditional cleansing oil. It reminds me of the older versions Shu Uemura used to have. It’s gentle yet very efficient leaving skin feeling clean.
- Shu Uemura Whitefficient Clear Brightening Cleansing Oil (blue sample gwp shown, $38-$81 for full size) is a brightening oil, this one has the best scent out of all the ones I’ve tried, it’s a refreshing clean scent, kinda like dryer sheets, but not quite as sharp. This one emulsified really well and is more gentle compared to the Ultime8.
- Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil (mini gwp shown, $36 for 6.7 fl oz) is one I had high hopes for. So many have raved about this one too. I did not like this one. It has a slightly sticky feel making it a bit hard to massage over the face. It didn’t tug or pull, but didn’t emulsify quite as well as the other more fluid options. After cleansing with water the skin felt sticky.
although these are designed with brushes gentle enough for 2x per day
usage. Improvements I’ve seen:
- Deep recurring pimples along the temple area and chin have disappeared
- Acne scars have started to fade (they are still visible but I’m hopeful with the results so far)
- Overall skin texture has improved, with smoother skin
- Tiny bumps along the face that aren’t acne, red or pimples, but those small bumps that are clogged pores have started to disappear
Some overall thoughts based on my experience:
- Even though this is a cleansing tool, you do need to start with makeup-free skin, if you use this with makeup on, you’ll get the brush dirty and it will be spreading your makeup around, start your routine by either removing makeup with a Cleansing Water (I like Caudalie or Koh Gen Do) or Cleansing Oil (I like MAC or Tatcha)
- As with any skincare routine, if you have sensitive skin you shouldn’t do anything drastic, for this tool I was super nervous about how it would work with my skin, I eased into it by using it only a few times first and then increased usage according to my comfort level, I also started using it with my go-to cleansers
- It will take time to see a difference, for the first 2 weeks I felt an improvement in texture but didn’t see any visible results, by Week 3 and now Week 6, I’ve seen a visible improvement, but depending on your skin conditions, it might take longer
- Don’t use this on broken, raw or tender skin areas, I like that you can spot clean if you have specific areas you want to avoid
This Lancome Cleansing Water currently retails for $35 for 6.8 fl oz (see more details on Lancome.com). It’s a gentle makeup remover for the entire face and comes in a sleek clear bottle with a well-designed pump. The packaging is sturdy and easy to use. The pump dispenses just the right amount so nothing is wasted by over-pouring. Although it’s designed as a makeup remover, I use this more as a purifying toner/cleanser.
Two pumps spritzed onto the cotton square is enough to cover the entire face. At $35 I find it fairly expensive for a makeup remover, but for a toner it seems to be decent priced. It will remove mascara and eyeliner, but not 100% for those long-wear formulas. For makeup removal in the evenings, I typically soak a cotton pad with a dual-formula makeup remover (something inexpensive like Neutrogena) to remove the eyeliner and mascara. I then cleanse the face completely with soap and water and dry. Next I tone. This is the point where I will sometimes use Lancome’s Eau Fraîche Douceur instead of toner just to make sure any remnants of makeup left on the skin are completely removed.
Overall: Highly recommend.
- Cleanse with La Mer Cleansing Gel
- Tone with La Mer The Tonic, Paul & Joe Refreshing Skin Toner or Lancome’s Eau Fraîche Douceur
- Moisturize at day only with Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Sculpting Firming Concentrate or La Mer The Moisturizing Lotion
NARS Sertao Blush
NARS Cordura Eyeshadow Duo
Urban Decay YDK Eyeshadow
Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush
Bobbi Brown Shore Cream Eyeshadow
Chanel Nail Polishes
MAC Blonde’s Gold Pigment
MAC Fleur Power
J.Crew Skinny Belts
- Paul & Joe Creamy Facial Foam – I tried this from a sample and finally purchased the full size. It’s thick and creamy and cleanses the skin really well. Leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed.
- NARS Beverly Hills Multiple Tint – See more swatches and the review here, a nice swipe & go type of product, easy to use and blend, gives a pop of color, can’t rave enough about these
- NARS Sertao Blush – A pretty shimmery light golden tan
- NARS Cordura Eyeshadow Duo – Great for a smokey bronzed eye look
- Urban Decay YDK Eyeshadow – This is from the old packaging, a nice nude-taupey-bronze sparkle
- Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush – This is from the Black Plum set, but is available in the regular brush handle, the most luxurious soft bronzer brush you’ll ever find. Definitely worth the price even though it is pricier.
- Bobbi Brown Shore Cream Eyeshadow – My perfect lids-but-better base, review here
- Chanel Nail Polishes – Especially love Riviera (check out dupes here) and Orange Blossom (see the manicure here)
- MAC Fleur Power – The perfect healthy warm pink blush
- MAC Blonde’s Gold Pigment – The prettiest wash of soft gold-champagne
- J.Crew Skinny Belts – Simple, classic and makes a nice accent to the waist, now I just need to go back and find a black one
*Update* I wasn’t happy with the swatches for this post – I think they were a bit misleading because the lighting was off so I removed them so I don’t confuse my readers. Sorry for any confusion!