Makeup and Beauty Blog

Beauty product reviews, makeup tips and news from your friendly neighborhood beauty addict.

Archive for April, 2007

Makeup and Beauty Blog Has Moved!

Posted by Karen on April 21, 2007

Hello friends!

Makeup and Beauty Blog has moved. Please visit for even more beauty product reviews, makeup tips and news.

I’ll see you soon!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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Product Review – Crest Vivid White Toothpaste

Posted by Karen on April 20, 2007


Product: Crest Vivid White Fluoride Toothpaste in Refreshing Mint
Use: A whitening toothpaste
Price: $3.99 for a 4.1 oz tube
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

I have a slight obsession with teeth. It’s not freaky or scary or potentially debilitating (I hope), but I have to admit to loving vigorous flossing and Sonicare brushing a little too much. It hasn’t always been this way. It started when I met my current dentist Dr. Y – a total character and diva extraordinaire. When I first sat in her dentist’s chair she immediately asked me who made my suit (it was bebe.) She then told me to check out the Versace store down the street – “They have similar cuts in their clothing and it’s very flattering for petite women. Plus, I get a discount!” Just when I thought that I met the coolest dentist ever, she frightened the bejeebus out of me by giving me a totally scary lecture on the importance of gum health. There were many, many, many frightening pictures of gingivitis and swollen gums. It ain’t pretty, folks. I’ve been touting the virtues of mint floss ever since.

A few months ago when I told Dr. Y I was getting married the first thing she said was, “Congratulations! Is this your first?” She was the only person who had that reaction, but then again she’s been married three times. But whose keeping track? The next thing she said was that for my wedding gift she’d hook me up with Zoom teeth whitening. Woo hoo!

The process of Zoom whitening itself was pretty painful – and to be blogged about in sordid detail in a future post – but in the end I got a set of really nice, white teeth. However, the teeth whitening was in June so it’s been a while. I’ve started to do things to keep my teeth from re-staining, like drinking coffee and red wine with a straw (I know, I know, it’s kinda tacky-looking in public but I don’t care!) but I still noticed in the past few months that they aren’t as white as they used to be.

I asked one of my best friends, Mary Anne, a superb dentist as well and all around cool gal (sorry fellas, she’s taken), and she recommended Crest Vivid White Fluoride Toothpaste in Refreshing Mint. Mary Anne told me that it’s probably the best whitening toothpaste you can get at the drugstore, and after three weeks of use I have to agree – this stuff is the shizz for getting those canines white!

The formula doesn’t make my teeth feel tingly or weird. It has a refined mint taste. The biggest pro: it actually works. The whitening effect is subtle yet noticeable. Granted, if you’ve been smoking for 20 years and sip coffee through your front teeth I don’t know how white your teeth are gonna get. It’s a tube of toothpaste, not a Christmas miracle, people.

It’s pricy for toothpaste. My good old stand by toothpaste, Colgate Total, is the same price for a tube that’s twice a big, but ultimately I don’t mind because I don’t use a lot and it works really well.

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A Quick Makeup Removal Tip

Posted by Karen on April 18, 2007


derma e Jojoba and E Skin Oil – A Versatile Product and Your New Best Friend

I’m right handed, so I hold brushes in my right hand and use the back of my left hand as a palette. I put cream or liquid products like MAC Paint, tinted moisturizer, concealer, etc. on the back of my hand before applying with a makeup sponge or brush. I also use the back of my hand to get rid of excess color. Instead of blowing on a brush to remove excess eyeshadow, blush or powder, I’ll swipe the brush head against the back of my hand.

This leaves me with all sorts of makeup on the back of my hand, which can take a long time to remove with bar soap or liquid hand wash. To get rid of makeup quickly and easily I keep a bottle of derma e Jojoba and E Skin Oil in my medicine cabinet. I drop the smallest drop on the leftover makeup on the back of my hand and then give it a quick rub and voila – it’s all gone. I’ll rinse with water and then just rub the leftover Jojoba oil in for some quick moisture.

Jojoba and E Skin Oil is one my favorite workhorse products because I use it for so many different things. When my hair feels dry, I put a rub a few drops between my palms and then work the oil through the ends to condition it. After a shower, I use it as a body moisturizer. You can also use it as a massage oil as well. It’s $9.50 for a 2 fl oz bottle, and a little bit of the product goes a long way. Derma e products aren’t tested on animals, have no parabens and are 100% vegetarian, too. Yay for your skin, and yay for the bunnies.

Posted in Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Skin Care | Leave a Comment »

Product Review- Origins Spring Fever Body Souffle

Posted by Karen on April 14, 2007


Product: Origins Spring Fever Body Souffle
Use: As an all-over body lotion
Price: $26.00 for a 7 oz jar
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

A few months ago I got a Macy’s gift certificate so I decided to splurge on this body soufflé. I like that this really does smell spring-y. When I wear it I get a floral scent combined with a citrus scent. This body lotion has an accompanying fragrance, also called Spring Fever. I find that my skin doesn’t wear the fragrance well because the citrus scent becomes too sharp, which is why I ended going with the lotion. This product includes Olive, Grape Seed, Apricot Kernel and Rice Bran Oils to soften and smooth your skin.

The smell. It’s really uplifting, and great after a morning shower. The scent also fades nicely and isn’t cloying. I like that the product absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky or greasy.

The moisturizing properties aren’t enough for the dry skin on my legs or elbows. However, the moisturizing properties would probably be just right if I lived in a warmer, humid climate like Hawaii. Also, I hate the having to dig my fingers into the jar – yuck. I wish it came in a pump or tube. The biggest issue I have is the price! If the moisturizing properties were better I’d probably buy this product again because I really love the smell and you get a lot in that big ole’ jar, but it’s just too dry here to make this product last over a long period of time. If you live in a warm, humid climate, or just don’t need heavy moisturization then you might really like this.

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A Quick Money Saving Tip for Beauty on the Cheap – Keep Scissors in Your Bathroom

Posted by Karen on April 13, 2007

As most of you know, I’m a big fan of making my dollar go as far as it can when it comes to beauty, makeup and skin products. One way that I stretch out my dollars is by keeping a pair of scissors in my medicine cabinet. I use it to cut disposable products, like Oil of Olay Daily Facials Express Wet Cleansing Cloths. A box of 30 cleansing cloths is about $5.50, and if you use one cleansing cloth every day that’s $5.50 per month or $66.00 per year. You can make those Olay Cleansing Cloths last even longer by cutting them into two pieces, or sometimes four (which is what I do when I only have to remove tough eye makeup or just need a quick refresher.) If you cut them into half, you can easily make that box last two months, and save $33.00 per year.

I cut or divide stuff in half when I can – I’ve done this with cotton balls (just tear them apart, you don’t need the scissors), makeup remover cloths and benzoyl peroxide pads.

For non-disposable products that aren’t easily “divisible” – like expensive face treatments and creams – I just use less to make them last longer. For example, I’m currently using a pricier product for acne treatment, DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5% With Tea Tree Oil, which costs $24.00 for a tube (ouch). But because I only use a pea-sized amount over my entire face, I can stretch out the use of the product for at least 8 months. That’s $3.00 of DDF product usage per month, which my wallet can totally get behind!

Posted in Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup Tips/How To, Skin Care | Leave a Comment »

Product Reviews – DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5% With Tea Tree Oil and H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment (aka, My New Favorite Acne-Fighting Combo!)

Posted by Karen on April 12, 2007


Product: DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5% With Tea Tree Oil
Use: Acne treatment
Price: $24.00 for 2 oz. tube
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

Product: H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment
Use: Hydration for oil-prone, dry or combination skin types
Price: $34.00 for a 1.7 fl oz jar
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

My new favorite acne-fighting combo!
A few weeks ago my skin went a little nuts. I got a few small pimples on my forehead, and my Poor Woman’s Proactiv wasn’t getting rid of them. I looked inside the drawer in my bathroom where I toss stuff that I buy and don’t end up using and found a tube of DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5% With Tea Tree Oil. I think I bought it a year ago and stopped using it because it was just too drying and actually gave me more pimples than I started with. Just for the hell of it I tried using it again, figuring my skin may have changed since then. I put on a small layer over my entire face (except for the eyes, of course) for three nights, and noticed that my skin was starting to clear up but still felt tight and dry.

Once more, I dug into the magic drawer and found a moisturizing gel sample of H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment. I got this a few months ago in my goody bag after attending a fashion show at San Francisco Fashion Week. After I put on the DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel, I let it dry for 10-15 minutes and then slather on the H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment over my entire face (including my eyes.) I’ve been using this combo for the past two weeks and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that it actually works, woo hoo! The pimples on my forehead cleared up and I’m not getting any new ones from switching to the new products (knock on wood). These two products are one kick-ass combo!

The Combo Pros and Cons

If it weren’t for the price then these products would get an A. You know me, dear readers. I am a cheap-ass (aka frugal) these days when it comes to throwing down the cash for skin care products I won’t do it unless it’s proven to rock my world. Despite the price of each product, you get a lot for your money. The tube for the DDF Gel is big – if you use just a pea-sized amount of the gel it could easily last you at least 6-8 months if you apply only at night. (I don’t know how tough your skin is, but for me, putting this on in the morning and the evening would probably be overkill because I find it can be drying.)

The H2O+ website describes the H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment product as: A penetrating liposome delivery system and Sea Mineral Complex™ help attract, transport and distribute moisture equivalent to eight glasses of water. Marine extracts of wakame, sea lettuce, and sea fennel, provide vitamins A, C, E and Provitamin B nourish and protect the skin.

It comes in a jar, which I’m not too crazy about because you have to dip your fingers into it and you have to be careful about not scooping out too much. H2O+ products are also not readily available for purchase – there’s only two stores here in California, and fortunately one is in San Francisco, which is where I bought my jar last week. You can purchase it online, and the H2O+ website says that they have free shipping on orders over $100 dollar with no-hassle returns. The smell of the product is really strong – it’s got a faux-oceany marine smell, so if you are scent-sensitive (try saying that fast ten times, ha ha ha!) then you might not like it. Also, some might find the consistency of gel a little too sticky. I don’t mind it so much.

While I’m not sure about how much of this product’s effectiveness is due to these sea-derived active ingredients, I have to say that this stuff really works for me, even better than my previous favorite moisturizer, Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin. This moisturizing gel does what it claims to do – hydrate your skin – and you don’t need to use a lot of it. I’m estimating that this jar will last me at least 6 months.

Another added plus? You can also use it as a moisturizing mask. Spread a thin layer over your face and neck, let it absorb for 5 minutes and then massage in the excess.

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