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Friday, 29 April 2011

Two New Frugal Faves Under $10!

Although few things elicit a bigger endorphin rush than a luxurious makeup splurge, I also am always on the hunt for inexpensive items that pack the same excitement punch as their higher-end counterparts. Plus, on a grad student's budget, finding frugally-priced goodies is a necessity! Here are two fab items that I've purchased recently that I think you should all try:

Jason Naturals Cocoa Butter Hand and Body Lotion

I bought this body lotion a few weeks ago and I have to say it's one of the best I've ever tried! And especially given its wallet-friendly price of $4.49 CAD, this is hard to pass up. It comes of of the tube as a rich creme, but soaks into skin nearly instantly, leaving it feeling moisturized but not at all greasy, which will be perfect for summer. It leaves a beautiful light, sweet scent that lasts all day but isn't overpowering at all. I've even gotten compliments on the scent of it, including one from my boyfriend, who told me I smelled like vanilla candles. I think that's a good thing...? :) The only downsides to this product is that you probably won't be able to find it at every drug store, but it's certain to be in stock at any health food store you visit. Also, although it claims to be a "natural" product, it does contain ingredients like silicones, so if you're looking for a true organic product, this isn't it. Overall, though, I recommend this highly for anyone who likes rich, but non-greasy moisture and sweet, nutty scents. Check it out!

TokyoMilk Dark Lip Elixir in Cherry Bourbon

I purchased this recently at The Outer Layer on Bloor St., a store jam packed with quirky and divine smelling bath and body treats. I was instantly drawn to the sleek black tins, simultaneously gothic and whimsical. There were several morbidly-named flavours of Lip Elixir ($8.95 CAD) to choose from, including "Smoked Salt", "Absinthe", and "Dead Sexy", but I developed a soft spot for "Cherry Bourbon", which is said to have notes of cherry brandy, whiskey (probably why I liked it!), aged wood, and clove. It has a truly sweet and spicy scent that makes me want to re-apply it every 5 minutes! Check out all the flavours, and other products by this brand here:

Front of tin
Back of tin

For some reason, this won't post any other way than sideways! But click to enlarge (and tilt your head ;) to read the ingredients.

As you can see, the tin is quite large (about 3" wide) and the balm itself has a consistency somewhere in between creamy and waxy. It doesn't add any colour to the lips, but definitely leaves them feeling moisturized and plump. Can't wait to try some of the other flavours!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Photo Tutorial: Colourful Spring Makeup Look

In the midst of Easter, I've been inspired by all of the candy and jewel-toned colours that the season has to offer. With this inspiration in mind, and given the vibrant theme of this blog, I thought I'd put together a photo tutorial for a bright, colourful (but wearable!) spring makeup look. In the process, I've realized that video tutorials are much more helpful, as you can see the actual application, but I hope you all find this post helpful regardless! Here is the finished look we're aiming to achieve:

And yes, I do make dorky faces when I'm taking pictures of myself... ;)

Step 1: Base Products
First, you can start out with any base products that you normally use (i.e, foundation, powder, etc.). No need for any special foundations for this look, but if you want an extra fresh, springy finish, try a powder with a slightly soft, glowy effect. I used MAC's new Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus. Here are some pictures of the base products I used (including my invaluable brow powder, as my eyebrows are very sparse without it!) and of myself after using them:

(L-R): MAC Careblend Pressed Powder in Light Plus, Revlon ColourStay Foundation in 150 Buff, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC20, Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ash Blond (with Quo angled brow brush)

Starting out with foundation, concealer, powder, and brows
 2) Blush! (And highlighter...)
Essential to any spring look is a pop of colour on the cheeks to brighten the face. My skin can look very dull and sallow otherwise, so I never leave home without a good blush! Neutral pink tones are flattering on almost everyone and are perfect for the season. Here I've used MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty. A gorgeous pink! For some extra glow, try applying a powder highlighter to your cheekbones, above your blush. I've used a small amount of the ivory eyeshadow used later on this tutorial, applied lightly with my finger.

With MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty. My face looks much brighter already!
Closeup of blush
Here is a pic of the blush and eyeshadow I used for the tutorial...

Cheek and Eye products used- (L-R): MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty, Victoria's Secret Heidi Klum eyeshadow palette (with Quo blush brush and a couple of old eyeshadow brushes from Lancome)

3) Begin the eyeshadow...
Using a shimmery ivory shade, apply eyeshadow all over the lid, from lashline to brow. Concentrate on the centre of your eyelid, just under the arch of the brow, and on the inner corner of your eye. This will brighten the eyes and make them look larger and more awake! Next, apply a shimmery brownish-taupe shade to the crease of your eye (the space in between your eyelid and browbone, where the eye naturally creases when open). Make sure not to extend it too far towards the outer corner of the eye. Here's what it will look like after these steps:

With the ivory shade all over the lid and the brown shade in the crease

Same as above, with closed eye

4) Finish eyeshadow with a pop of colour!
Next, to add some jewel tones to the eye, apply a medium-toned purple shade to the outer corner of the eye, blending it into the brown shade already in the crease. If you want to add some extra colour (like I did), take a fuchsia-pink shadow, and blend it into the purple shade, extending slightly closer to the centre of your eyelid. If you're a bit colour-shy, forget the pink! Here's what it will look like:

With purple and pink shades added to outer corner of the lids

Here is a picture of the liners and mascara I used next:

Finishing touch eye products: Urban Decay Liquid Eyeliner in Minx, Clinique High Impact Mascara, and Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen

5) Apply liquid eyeliner to top and bottom lashlines.
Next, add some black liquid liner (or pencil liner, if you want a softer black) to the top lash line. This will help define the eye and balance out the vibrant pink and purple shades you used. I used Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen. After that, add a vibrant liquid eyeliner to the bottom lashline. Blend it gently with your finger to soften the shade and prevent a harsh line. I chose a turquoise colour, Urban Decay Liquid Eyeliner in Minx.  Here's what it will look like...

Black liquid liner on the upper lashline
Turquoise liquid liner on the bottom lashline
6) Mascara!
Finish off the eye look with some volumizing mascara. I used Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black. If you prefer more subtle lashes, try a black-brown or brown shade.

Add some mascara... Eye look finished!

7) Add some pink lip gloss... And you're done!
Some pink-toned lip gloss is the perfect way to finish off this spring look. If you prefer a bolder lip, opt for a fuchsia toned gloss (like I did- Korres Cherry Lip Gloss #54 Fuchsia). If bright lips are too much for your taste, choose a more subtle, nude pink gloss instead.

The completed Colourful Spring Makeup look, with Korres Cherry Lipgloss #54 Fuchsia on lips

I hope you all found this tutorial fun and informative! Let me know if you have any questions about the techniques or products I used :)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Yay for Care Packages!

Recently my friend and I decided that it was about time we send each other some of the makeup goodies and tasty treats that we had at our disposal. I had access to some Korean cosmetics and snack foods that she couldn't find in her city, and she had an ever-growing collection of makeup and skincare samples that she was never going to use. Solution- send each other fun care packages! Receiving packages in the mail is exciting enough, but when these packages contain makeup, skin care, and edibles, they are doubly tantalizing. I received my care package earlier this week, and thought I would share it with all of you.

When I saw it had arrived, I hastily opened the envelope to reveal this lovely floral Clinique cosmetics bag...

The package inside the package :)

Then I opened up the bag to reveal all the goodies... What an awesome assortment!

A multitude of goodies!

I felt like a child on Christmas morning as I rummaged through all of the treats! There were skin care samples, lipstick, flowering teas, bath treats, and a pretty yellow Ahh Bra- not pictured here for the sake of modesty ;) What a lovely collection! I took closeups of some of the products to show them off... Here are some of the goodies from Clinique and Mark:

Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser and Even Better Moisturizer, Mark Liplick Full Colour Lipstick in Coral Fixation

Pretty floral compact containing...

Clinique Soft Pressed Powder blusher in New Clover, which wasn't in the big picture at the beginning because it has already snuck its way into my  makeup bag :)

And here is a closeup of the skincare samples. They're from Etude and Skin Food, which are both cruelty-free Korean cosmetics brands.

Add caption

It was really such a nice treat receiving all of these items in the mail! I'll follow up with some reviews if any of the new products are standouts. Thanks so much, Sheri! :)

Friday, 15 April 2011

A Vibrant, Vivacious Thank You!

Hi everyone!

Thanks to your readership, my blog has received over 1,000 views in it's first 30 days and has been read in 5 continents throughout the world. Your support and feedback is so greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for sharing this passion and hobby with me :)

xo Jen

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

How to choose the right foundation for you!

When shopping for makeup, finding a good foundation can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task. So many options, so little time! It seems like every brand offers several foundations and it can be difficult to decipher what each formula has to offer. So, to help make some sense out of the multitudes of foundations out there, here are some tips and things to consider when looking for one that suits you best:

1) Figure out which formula is best for your skin type

More and more, companies are coming out with foundations that are catered to specific skin types. You can find them with oil control, moisturization, or all-day wear. When trying to decipher which may suit your skin best, look for descriptors like “oil-free” (typically best for combination or oily skin), “moisturizing” (best for those with dry or flaky skin, or for combination skin during the colder months), “dewy” (best for drier skins and those that like a glowy finish), “matte” (for a shine-free finish), and  “long-wear” (for those who don't want their foundation to budge throughout the day).

Choosing a foundation can be also be difficult because they are offered in a range of consistency, from sheer liquids, to rich cremes, to pressed powders. Here are some tips to navigate these options:

Liquid- The most common option, there are liquid foundations available for every skin type. They can be applied with fingers, a sponge, or a brush, and can sometimes be a bit time-consuming to apply. For oilier skin types, try Revlon Colourstay Foundation (offered in both combination/oily and dry skin formulas), MAC Studio Fix Fluid, or Laura Mercier Oil-Free foundation. For combination to dry skin, try Make Up For Ever's Face and Body foundation, NARS Sheer Glow foundation, or Almay Line-Smoothing foundation.

Powder- Powder foundations typically come in a compact and offer more coverage than traditional pressed powder used to set liquid foundations. They are typically best for oilier skin types because they leave a powdery finish (and often work like a foundation and powder in one). If you have drier skin but like using powder foundations, try a mineral formulation, which typically offer a more “glowy” finish. Some great powder foundations to try are Laura Mercier Mineral Powder foundation, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, and Clinique Almost Powder foundation.

Creme- Cream formulations are best for those with dry skin who are looking for a rich, moist finish. They are like a creamier version of traditional liquid foundations, and can be quite hydrating. Try Laura  Mercier Silk Creme foundation, Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Cream Compact foundation, Shu Uemura Nobara Cream Cover Stick foundation, or Avon Cream to Powder foundation . 

2)    Decide how much coverage are you looking for.

Foundations come in a wide array of coverage options, from extremely sheer to opaque, full coverage. When trying to figure out how much coverage a foundation offers, look for descriptors like “full coverage”, “sheer”, “natural” (usually meaning slightly more coverage than sheer foundations), or "high definition/light adjusting" (which usually claims moderate coverage that looks has the illusion of bare, flawless skin). When deciding how much coverage you require, ask yourself "What am I looking to cover? It is common for people with any skin imperfections to opt for a fuller-coverage foundation and apply it all over. I'm guilty of this as well, but if you're only trying to cover up minor or localized imperfections (small blemishes or scars), a sheerer foundation will show off the even-toned parts of your skin and you can leave the other spots to your concealer! If you do have more diffuse discolouration, such as all-over redness or larger patches of acne scarring, you  may want to opt for a more full-coverage formulation.

3)    What is your undertone?

Most foundations offer a wide range of colour options, and they're often categorized into Warm, Cool, or Neutral undertones. Those with Cool undertones tend to have more pink pink in their skin than yellow, look best in silver jewelry, probably have blue or green eyes, find clothes or eye shadows with pastel colours most flattering, and are best suited to  pink-toned blush. Those with Warm undertones tend to have more yellow in their skin than pink, look better in gold jewellery, probably have brown or hazel eyes, prefer earthy-toned clothes or eye shadows (like gold, bronze, or mossy green), and are best suited peachy or coral-toned blush. Those with Neutral undertones tend to have a mix of pink and yellow or a beigy tone to their skin. They can be a bit more versatile with what jewelry, makeup, or clothing colours they can wear. 

4)    Test it along your jawline

To ensure a perfect colour match, always test out a foundation along your jawline before buying. Basically, you're looking to see if it blends invisibly into your cheek and down onto your neck. You really want to avoid any visible lines of colour, and if it blends well into your jawline, you're most likely to avoid that dreaded "makeup mask" look! And to go along with this, when trying to find the best colour, always...

5)    Test it in natural light!

Beware of lighting at makeup counters! It can definitely be deceiving. Because you want your foundation to match your skin indoors and out, make sure you can check the colour match in natural sunlight before purchasing. This means it’s important not to buy foundations on a whim- test it, go outside, and think about it! And always get samples when possible! And finally-

6)     If you are in between shades, go with the lighter one!
Even with a range of colour options, it can still be the case that you’re in between shades. When this happens, it may be tempting to get the darker shade, as many of us would prefer a bit of extra colour over the prospect of looking pale. Thing is, when a shade is darker than your skin, a noticeable line between your jaw and neck is almost inevitable. If you go with a lighter shade, however,  you can always darken things up with a bit of all-over bronzer. It will look a lot more natural!

Hope this article was informative and helpful. If you want the details (price, where to buy) about any of the foundations I featured here, let me know! Also, if you have any other foundations tips and tricks of your own, share them here! :)       

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Veracious Skincare Review: MAC Cleanse-Off Oil

Because I use a long-wearing foundation and a moisturizer with SPF, I've always struggled with finding a cleanser that thoroughly removes all of my makeup and sunscreen. With most cleansers I've tried, I'll wash my face twice in the evening and still find traces of makeup on my toner-soaked cotton pad afterwards. Not effective! Thus, most nights I'm suspicious that my skin is not totally clean when I'm going to bed, and am fearing that my recent breakouts have been a result of this.

I've always heard that oil-based cleansers are the most effective at removing heavy makeup and sunscreen, but I've been wary of them, particularly because of the ingrained association that oil leads to breakouts. Also, I have dared to try a few oil cleansers in the past, and they have either left me feeling greasy afterwards or have caused me to wake up the next day with a fresh batch of clogged pores or blemishes. Despite these negative experiences, I've been doing some more research lately into which cleansing oils are best for my skin type: combination/oily, sensitive, and acne-prone.

After much research, I decided to face my fear of cleansing oils and purchased MAC's Cleanse-Off Oil ($29 CAD at MAC counters and stores). I'd read so many rave reviews of  this product, many from those with acne-prone skin, all claiming that it was gentle, effective, and did not lead to breakouts. That's why I had to give it a try.

MAC Cleanse-Off Oil
As you can see, the product is a clear oil-based liquid that comes with convenient pump packaging. The directions say to "gently massage" the oil over your face and to then "rinse off thoroughly". When I've used it, I dispense two pumps' worth into my dry hands and massage it onto my dry face. I find cleansers are more effective at removing makeup when skin is dry, so that's what I stick with! After massaging it in, I wet my hands slightly and it starts to form a milky finish on my skin. Then I rinse if off with warm water. And that's it!

Back of the box with directions

I've used this cleanser for the past few nights, and here are my thoughts so far:

  • Using two pumps, this really removes ALL of my makeup, including my long-wearing foundation and mascara! When I use a toner afterward, no excess makeup shows up on the cotton pad.
  • It does not leave my face feeling greasy afterwards. No oily residue at all!
  • Light, pleasant scent that is not overpowering
  • Does not cause any redness or irritation in my skin
  • Does not burn or irritate my eyes
  • Hygienic pump packaging
  • At $29, this is quite an expensive product
  • It contains a few ingredients that are known to be fairly comedogenic (pore-clogging), such as wheat germ oil (see ingredient list below), but luckily so far has not caused any new breakouts
  • It actually leaves my face somewhat dry and tight, but is easily fixed with using a toner afterwards

Slightly blurry picture of the ingredient list

So, overall I'm very happy with this product so far. It truly removes all makeup without leaving a greasy residue, which is exactly what I was looking for! As with most new skincare products I try, I'm "waiting for the other shoe to drop", that is, soon come to realize that this is breaking me out. So far this is not the case, and I will keep my fingers crossed that this trend will continue :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Budget-Conscious Beauty: My 10 Favourite Drugstore Items!

Even though I've been known to splurge on fancy department store makeup from time to time, I'm no snob when it comes to shopping at the drugstore for cosmetics. Living on a student's budget is the ultimate motivation to be frugal, even when it comes to makeup, and this has led me to find some true gems at affordable prices. Here are my top 10 drugstore picks! As with other lists, they're not ranked in any particular order. I've just organized them by category.

1) Revlon Colourstay Foundation (Combination/Oily skin formula)
Finding a suitable foundation for my skin has always been a struggle because my skin is pretty oily and needs decent coverage, but also is extremely prone to breakouts. Revlon's Colourstay foundation ($21.99 CAD at Shopper's Drugmart) has been the answer to all of these issues, and I've been using it for years as a result. It comes in 2 formulations (one for Combination/Oily skin and one for Dry Skin), offers moderate-full coverage with a natural finish, and does not break me out. I've tried other foundations over the years, but always come back to this one!

Revlon Colourstay Foundation Combo/Oily skin formula Shade 150 Buff

2) GOSH Extreme Art Liner
This liquid liner comes in a wide array of shades, from classic black to vibrant turquoise. It's waterproof and smudge proof. It really lasts all day! You can find it at Shoppers Drugmart for $17 CAD.

Revlon Colourstay Liquid Eye Pen in Black and GOSH Extreme Art Liner in #11 Aqua Art

3) Revlon ColourStay Liquid Eye Pen
This is my go-to every day black eyeliner. It's a liquid formula, so it offers a true deep, dramatic black shade. For those who like a more subtle look, it also comes in soft black and brown. My favourite thing about it is its sturdy, felt-tipped applicator, which makes application incredibly easy. Much simpler than liquid liners that come with a flimsy brush. $11.99 at Shoppers Drugmart.

4) Revlon Colour Burst Lipstick
This line of lipsticks was released last year and offers a wide range of shades. They have a rich, creamy, opaque finish and have pretty good lasting power. I find them comparable to Chanel's Rouge Allure lipsticks, but they're about a third of the cost ($11.99 CAD at Shopper's Drugmart). I recommend Rosy Nude, which is a perfect pinky-beige shade that's neutral to wear on a daily basis.

Revlon Colour Burst Lipstick in Rosy Nude

5) Bonne Bell Lipsmacker- Dr. Pepper Flavour
When I was 12 years old, I had a huge collection of Lipsmackers. So many yummy flavours! A few years ago I was feeling nostalgic and I picked up a Dr. Pepper lipsmacker for old times' sake. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this flavour actually left a nice rosy shade on my lips! It's super moisturizing and offers as much colour as a gloss, and for only $2.99 (at Shoppers Drugmart)! It's the cheapest item on my list, and I wear it every day :)

Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lipsmacker and Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Raisin Glaze

6) Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss
This gloss is just over $10 ($10.99 at Shoppers Drugmart) and it rivals all of the department store glosses I've tried. A completely non-sticky finish and rich colour. Completely comfortable on the lips. Try it out- you won't regret it!

7) Quo Cosmetics Brushes
Even though several high-end brands make fantastic brushes, I've never been able to justify paying upwards of $40 or $50 on a single brush. Luckily, I've discovered Quo's cosmetics brushes, which generally cost between $12-$22 CAD, at Shoppers Drugmart. I own about ten of them and I've never been disappointed with their quality. My favourite is their Bronzer Brush (pictured below). It's perfect for sheer application of highly pigmented blushes and bronzers.

Quo makeup brushes (top-bottom): Blush Brush, Bronzer Brush, All-over Eyeshadow Brush

8) Ecotools Makeup Brushes
I more recently found this line of eco-friendly brushes at Zellers (also available at Wal-Mart). I purchased their Bamboo Bronzer Brush (pictured below) and I was instantly amazed at how soft it was! I believe I paid about $15 for it, and it's one of my favourite brushes for applying mineral foundation. Can't wait to try other brushes from this line!

Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer Brush

9) Marcelle Oil-FreeMultidefense Lotion SPF 15
For the same reasons that finding a good foundation is difficult, finding an appropriate moisturizer for my skin has always been a challenge. Personally, I need one that wears well under makeup, doesn't leave an oily finish, and doesn't break me out. SPF protection is also a nice bonus. Marcelle's Oil-Free Multidefense Lotion meets all of these requisites, and has been my staple moisturizer for years. The bottle is a generous 120mL ($19.95 CAD at Shoppers Drugmart) and lasts for over a year when used daily!

Marcelle Multidefense Oil-free Lotion SPF 15

10) TRESemme Conditioner
After years of splurging on high-priced conditioner, my wallet started to complain so I turned to the drugstore. There are very few hair care lines at the drugstore that are cruelty-free, so I turned to TRESemme, which claims no animal testing. And I was in luck! TRESemme makes fabulous conditioners that my dry hair loves. Their bottles are huge, and at only $7.49 (at Shoppers Drugmart), I can't complain. I've tried a few of their formulas, and right now am loving their Thermal Recovery conditioner.

TRESemme Thermal Recovery Conditioner

And here I am, after using 6 of the 10 products from my list:

After using Marcelle Multidefense Lotion, Revlon Colourstay foundation, Revlon Colourstay Liquid Eye Pen, Revlon Colour Burst lipstick in Rosy Nude, Quo makeup brushes and TRESemme conditioner

I hope you enjoyed reading my list! What are your favourite drugstore cosmetics items? Let me know! :)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

What the heck is a BB Cream?

Recently a friend and I were talking, as we often do, about our skin care woes and how to address them. Although our skin types are very different, we both have an issue of sensitive skin that reacts poorly to harsh formulations. She sent me a message shortly after our conversation saying "Have you heard about BB Creams?!". No, I hadn't, but my interest was piqued. She told me that BB Creams were the must-have "it" product in Asia at the moment and that girls with sensitive skin were swearing by them. Interest ultra-piqued!

I did a bit of research and my friend was right that BB Creams are currently sweeping the markets in southeast and eastern Asian countries such as Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. Short for "Blemish Balm", BB creams were originally developed in Europe for use on clients post-cosmetic surgery. Thus, these products were meant to be extremely soothing, with light coverage for any scars and redness that may follow the procedure. Following their initial stint with European dermatologists, they gained huge popularity in Asia, primarily via Korean celebrities and models who claimed that BB Creams were the secret to their flawless complexions.

Korean Celebrity Endorsement of Skin79 brand BB Cream

Although there are now a myriad of options with varying formulations. Here is what most BB Creams claim to offer:
  • Significant coverage of uneven skin tone and blemishes
  • An ultra-natural, "second skin" finish
  • Lightweight texture that won't clog pores
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skins
  • UVA/UVB sunscreen protection, which works to further protect skin against hyperpigmentation and premature aging

Also, there are specific formulas for targeted skin care concerns such as:
  • Skin brightening or whitening
  • Anti-aging benefits
  • Anti-acne ingredients
  • Redness reduction

Ultimately, BB Creams claim to offer the coverage of a foundation with all of the skin care benefits that most makeup lacks. This sounds somewhat reminiscent of the tinted moisturizers that are everywhere on the North American market, but with an even stronger focus on improving the skin and achieving a lightweight feel and invisible finish.

Here are things to consider if you are considering trying a BB Cream:
  • They offer varying amounts of coverage, from a sheer primer-like finish through to the more opaque finish of a moderate coverage foundation
  • There are formulations targeted at almost every skin type, so make sure you are finding ones that match your specific concerns
  • They are very difficult to find in North American retail locations, but are easily accessible in online shops and on ebay (I know a couple of retail locations in Toronto if you're interested!).
  • Most brands only offer one or two shades. Unfortunately most would not be suitable for very fair or medium-dark skin tones
And of course, because I am on a constant quest for products that will address my skin care dilemmas, I had to go out and purchase a BB Cream for myself...

Skin79 Dream Girls BB Cream. Love the girly packaging!

Last week I wandered into a cosmetics store on Bloor Street in Koreatown after seeing a colourful display of BB Creams in the window. I hadn't done as much research at that point, but I told the salesperson that I was looking for a BB Cream that was ok for acne-prone, sensitive skin. She immediately placed this sparkly box in front of me on the counter. She said that this was the best choice for me: Skin79's Dream Girls Beblesh Balm (because some companies have actually trademarked the term "blemish balm"; $18 CAD). It's formulated for blemish-prone teenaged skin- hence the pink and purple sparkly celestial packaging- but claimed to be suited for combination and sensitive skin types as well. Because the price was not outrageous, and because I trusted her expertise, I quickly purchased the item and brought it home, proud to be a new follower of this burgeoning beauty trend. I have not given it a thorough try-out yet (and thus will write a more comprehensive review later on), but I can say that the Dream Girls formula matches well with my NC20 skin tone and does blend invisibly into my skin. More natural-looking than any tinted moisturizer I've ever tried! It's a promising start, but I will keep you posted!

I hope you've found this quick introduction to BB Creams informative. If you have any more questions about it- like specific brands to try or where to buy them- let me know!