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Lixia

Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb

Skincare

Overall

With the colder seasons on the horizon, the introduction of this moisturizer into my routine could not have been more timely. I have easily congested and blemish prone skin, and have been alternating between prescription retinol and now benzoyl peroxide in order to treat my acne. Suffice to say that the gel based moisturizers I had been using in the warmer months will not be enough to combat the dryness caused by said acne treatments and the colder seasons. Not only has this moisturizer not caused any blemishes or congestion, it made me see the inadequacies of my previous gel moisturizers. This sinks in very well but not completely, leaving an ever so slight grip ideal for makeup application and a moisture barrier. The texture is that of a gel cream, resulting in a moisturizing but non-greasy formulation that is a pleasure to use.

Formulation

This moisturizer sits in a base of water, glycerin and silicone, which is a rather common and effective base for moisturizers. Glycerin is a humectant that draws moisture from the air into the top layer of the skin. Silicone and hydrogenated polydecene imparts a cosmetically elegant texture to the formula. Not only is silicone proven to be completely non-problematic for the skin, it creates a moisture barrier that still allows for the other beneficial ingredients in the formulation to penetrate. Various alcohols are used as penetrating agents for oils, extracts and other moisture imparting agents. There is a good amount of macadamia nut oil in the moisturizer, which is great for dry and maturing skin but not ideal for easily congested skin types. Macadamia oil is is bio-compatible in the sense that it contains essential fatty acids that the skin needs and loses when we age. Although the high levels of oleic acid in the oil is ideal for combating dry skin, it can be pore clogging for those that are acne prone. The various fermented and non-fermented extracts contribute to antioxidant activity on the skin that will combat free radicals.

Usage

Although there are a few ingredients in the formula that are slightly comedogenic, I have not experienced any congestion or breakouts after a month of use. I find that the macadamia oil gives it a great slip that helps makeup glide on easier and also imparts a gentle glow the skin. By effectively moisturizing the skin, it is  a good preparation step for foundation. I find that it is a sufficient primer if I am looking for hydration. It will not fill in pores or prolong the life of your foundation. I usually use a dime size dollop of product, which is enough that I don’t find my skin to be dry at the end of the day. When I use the product in the evening, it will sink in completely by the morning and leave the skin in good condition. 

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dipropylene Glycol, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Triethylhexanoin, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, PEG-40 Stearate, Saccharomyces/Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Ferment Extract, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Imperata Cylindrica Root Ferment Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteayl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sorbitan Stearate, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Poncirus Trifoliata Fruit Extract, Panthenol, *Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, *Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, *Nepeta Cataria Extract, *Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, *Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract, *Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, **Alchemilla Vulgaris Leaf Extract, **Viola Tricolor Extract, **Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, **Spiraea Ulmaria Flower Extract, **Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Achillea Millefolium Flower Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Thuja Occidentalis Leaf Extract, Menyanthes Trifoliata Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Chelidonium Majus Extract, Urea, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium EDTA, Tromethamine, ***Frgrance, Citronnellol, Limonene. *Napiers Original Formula. **Napiers Moisture Formula. ***Fragrances of Natural Origin.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Pore Extractor Mask

Skincare

Overall

In many ways, this clay mask is a small miracle for the skin in need of some purification. It surprisingly delivers on its promise for “virtually blackhead-free skin in only 2 uses.” The kaolin, diatomaceous earth and bentonite clay serve to detoxify the skin of excess sebum and impurities. Salicylic acid at a 0.5% concentration is oil soluable and can therefore penetrate and clean out pores.  The formulation also contains propanediol, which not only helps all the ingredients above to penetrate deeper into the skin but also keep the skin hydrated. All of this results in a formula that can give congested skin some relief without drying out the skin as clay masks can tend to do. I would say that this mask is suitable for all skin types. I personally have an oily/combo skin type and I do not believe that this has helped decrease my oil production. It has helped with mild congestion but I don’t think the 0.5% salicylic acid is enough for this to be an effective acne treatment.

Usage

The directions advise leaving the mask on for only 5-10 minutes. I believe that if you use a very thin layer, the mask will dry in about ten minutes. In my personal experience, applying a moderately thick layer will yield a better result. However, drying time will increase to about 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick of a layer is applied. After two uses in one week spaced out a day apart, I was able to see most of my black heads disappear with a thicker layered applied. The removal of this product is interesting because it almost offers another function to this mask. After the mask has dried, wet the entire surface of the mask and being massaging the product on the skin. Adding more water as you go, the mask starts to act as a mild physical exfoliator and also begins to emulsify on the skin. Once all the clay has dissolved, the whole thing rinses off easily with warm water. This has got to be one of the more interesting and multi-use ways to remove a clay mask!

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: 0.5% Salicylic Acid
Inactive Ingrediens:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Kaolin, Solum Diatomeae/Diatomaceous Earth/Terre De Distomees, Propanediol, Bentonite, Decyl Glucoside, Alchol Denat., Lauryl Glucoside, Propylene Glycol, Polysilicone-11, PVP, Xanthan Gum, Sailicylic Acid, Sodium PCA, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Parfum/Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Linalool, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Laureth-12, Phenoxyethanol, Geraniol, Vanillyl Butyl Ether, Ethylhexylglycerin, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)



Pat McGrath Labs Mothership V: Bronze Seduction Palette

Makeup

Overall

This is my first foray into Pat McGrath Labs cosmetics and for a good reason. I have been tempted to dip my toes in since the brand first released their Mothership Palettes. I never bit the bullet due having an already large eyeshadow palette collection and then there is the cost involved with Pat McGrath products. I find the spectrum of colors in this palette to be very cohesive. There are a good balance of safe and unique colors. One could do multiple complete eye looks with just this palette. By and large, the formula is just incredible. I lost track of time doing an intricate eye look because I was simply enjoying the formula so much. It came as a surprise that I am so impressed with this release. For me personally, this palette is worth every penny and it is a pride and joy in my collection.

Packaging:

This palette consists of ten shades of varying finishes encased in a beautifully designed and weighted packaging. The impressive graphic is unfortunately only part of the outer packaging. One issue to be noted is that there is a metal insert on the inside of the packaging that tends to scratch the smooth black plastic finish on the actual palette itself. I purchased the palette from Sephora and actually had the associate check multiple palettes, all of which were slightly scratched to varying degrees. The size and weight of the palette will preclude most from traveling with the palette. As with the other Mothership Palettes, the shade names are not printed on the packaging itself, but rather on printed card stock that one could cut to fit inside the palette. Unlike the other palettes, the name of the palette is actually printed on a sticker affixed to the back of the palette.

Formula

Overall, the various formulas in this palette are incredible. The mattes are exquisitely smooth, pigmented and extremely buildable. The glitter shades are packed with various shades of glitters and go on the lid beautifully, especially with a sticky base like glitter glue. Suffice to say that some fall out is to be expected for the three glitter shades. The metallic shade is a true stunning metallic. The lease impactful formulas with the palette are the satin and duochrome shades.

  • Mattes:
    Entrapment-midtone warm terracotta brown that could serve as a transition in this palette
    Disobedient-dark chestnut brown that could serve as a crease color
    Xtreme Aubergine-dark plum that works to deepen the look in the outer corner
  • Glitters:
    VR Fire Opal-an impactful duochrome glitter that shifts from golden tones to green hues
    Rose Gold 005-rose colored coarse glitter that almost has no color as its base and therefore makes an excellent shadow topper
    Astral Luna Gold-gold glitter that is probably the coarsest of the three glitters and hardest to work with
    Bronze Blaze-stunning gold glitter with metallic copper base
  • Metallic:
    Blitz Flame-true red metallic
  • Satin:
    Gilty Pleasure-fine gold glitters in a light brown base
  • Duochrome:
    Skinshow Divine Glow-bone color base with golden shift