Cosmetics

My Favorite Skincare Brand Ever

Northwest Pearls: Avene Review I've tried a lot of different moisturizers and cleansers. My skin has switched from being severely oily to severely dry. At my current drier-than-the-desert state, I am in love with Avene and I don't anticipate finding anything better for a while.

I use their Clean-Ac Cleanser, Clean-Ac Hydrating Cream, Thermal Spring Water, and their Cold Cream Lip Cream. I use their cleanser and moisturizer twice a day and go between using the spring water multiple times per day to every few days. I've got the largest spring water bottle for home, and the smallest for my purse.

The only thing I wish they'd do was make their Clean-AC Hydrating Cream in a larger container. This is my favorite product by far and I use it twice a day so it'd be great to not have to buy it every two months. I know that sounds lazy, but the brand isn't available at most stores so it can be hard to get without ordering online.

With how much I love the brand I've been wanting to try some of their other products, like their sunscreen. I did get some mini-samples of the sunscreen and found that it didn't layer well with my makeup, but that was the body and face sunscreen, the just face kind may work better with makeup.

Have you tried any of their products?

Lush Bath Bombs

Northwest Pearls: Bath BombsAt first, I didn't see the excitement over Lush. But my best friends got me into the store and then my eyes were opened. I love it! Since I don't get in often, when I do go, I buy a couple of bombs at a time. This time I bought these three.

From front to back:

I love how the bombs smell once you're in the bath. I could sometimes do without the biodegradable glitter/shimmer that's left on your skin, but it's not too bad.

What's your favorite bath bomb?

Northwest Pearls: Bath Bombs

My Perfume

Northwest Pearls: Perfume DisplayThere isn't much storage space in my room, or my bathroom, so most of my decorations are also things I use. My hats are hung on the wall, my nail polish lined up on a shelf, my stationery displayed on another shelf etc. So my perfume is also displayed on a mirrored tray. The hairbrush and handheld mirror are purely for decoration, as is the painting by my grandmother.

I've used all of these perfumes at one point or another. Currently I'm using the Jimmy Choo the most often. I'll usually take the Vanilla Fields to travel with because it's less expensive, the bottle travels well, it's small, and it's under 3 oz.

What perfume do you like to use?

Makeup Bag

Northwest Pearls: Makeup PouchMy everyday makeup is displayed on a cakestand in my room, but when I travel, I put it all in one of my makeup bags. My best friend gave me this cute Kate Spade pouch for Christmas. It's from The Strand book store in NYC. Makeup from left to right:

I also use tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder and a bareMinerals blush (the color I use is discontinued.)

What makeup do you like to use?

Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume

Northwest Pearls: Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume While flipping through Nordstrom's newest catalogue, I came across a Jimmy Choo perfume sample. I opened the paper to smell it.

It was heavenly. The next day I ordered the Jimmy Choo Illicit Trio.

Northwest Pearls: Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume

I didn't care about the lotion that came in the box, I ordered the trio because it came with a "gift with purchase" of another travel-size Illicit Eau de Parfum spray. Otherwise, I would have just ordered the Jimmy Choo perfume bottle by itself. But it was a better value to order the trio instead of the perfume bottle and two rollerballs. This way I got the bottle, lotion, and two rollerballs. I'm going to put one rollerball in my travel kit, and the other in my purse. I don't anticipate using the lotion too much, I'm not usually a lotion person, I'll use Palmer's Cocoa Butter (it's amazing and smells like chocolate) on my arms and legs, and Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing Moisture Lotion on my hands.

I love how the perfume smells. It's very floral. I usually wear Vanilla Fields or Elie Saab, but I like to switch it up. Plus both are running a little low so I would have had to buy new perfume soon anyways.

The bottle is art deco and very pretty; it reminded my mom of a city skyline.

Northwest Pearls: Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume

I can't wait to start wearing this perfume everyday!

What perfume do you like?

Makeup Hack

Northwest Pearls: Makeup Hack

For the last few weeks I've been saving my almost empty container of bareMinerals Matte Foundation. I had a plan to try to somehow open the container to get the last of the foundation that I can't shake through the opening but hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I found this tutorial on how to get the last of the makeup out of the container. I tried it and it worked! I've now got my container open and about a week's worth of foundation to use that otherwise I would have thrown away.

Before I did the tutorial, I unscrewed the lid, shook all the makeup I could have reached back into the bottom, and then twisted shut the plastic lid that separates the foundation from the accessible foundation. Afterwards I screwed the main lid back on and turned the whole container upside down.

Then I took a penny and wedged the penny under the ridge at the bottom. I turned the container and wedged the penny under different areas and after about two turns of wedging, I popped it off!

Northwest Pearls: Makeup Hack

Do you have any makeup tips to share?

Makeup Review: Pixi Brow Powder Palette

A while ago I picked up the Pixi Brow Pencil/Gel and loved it. (You can see my review of it here.) The Brow Powder Palette was recommended in a magazine I read at the nail salon, and since I loved the pencil so much, I decided to try it out. Northwest Pearls: Pixi Brow Palette and Pencil

*Palette on left, Pencil on right

It is pretty great. It comes in different shades so you can blend to match your eyebrows and also use the lighter shades to highlight your eyes and brows. You have to be careful to not use too much though. I was putting it on and when I looked in a different mirror my eyebrows were way darker than normal. The blending may take a bit of practice, but I really do love the product. I was going between three of the brown shades, the 2nd darkest color worked for part of my eyebrows, and the two next lightest were a little too light or red for me, but I really do love how it fills in my brows. Also, the brush it comes with has two ends so you can apply the highlights with the same brush as you use to fill in your brows.

I've only found Pixi at one Target location, despite looking for it at another three, so I ended up ordering the palette online.

Have you tried out the Brow Powder Palette? What did you think?

Makeup Review: Pixi Natural Brow Duo Pencil and Gel

Northwest Pearls: Makeup review: Pixi Natural Brow Duo I hadn't heard of the brand Pixi before, or if I had, it hadn't registered. But I was looking for an eyebrow pencil so while I stood in the aisle at Target reading eyebrow pencil reviews, a worker asked if I needed help and when I asked her opinion about the two pencils in my hand she promptly led me over to the Pixi display and handed me the Pixi Natural Brow Duo.

She raved about it and after an explanation about why she liked it, waxy but not too wavy, she told me which of the two I had in my hand she liked more. But neither of those two compared to the Pixi in her opinion.

I figured that since she didn't work on commision, the Pixi product might be worth a try. Also- not going to lie- the fact that I didn't have to sharpen it was about 50% of my decision to get it because I was planning on keeping it in my purse.

After one use I put it with my daily makeup at home. I love it. I used to have another eyebrow pencil and I hated it. It was too creamy and didn't stay put. This goes on well but is waxy and stays where I put it. It also has a gel with a brush somewhat like a mascara brush so you can brush your eyebrows into place and they'll stay. The product is amazing and I'm about to go buy a second one to put in my purse.

I got it in Deep Brunette from Target. There is a lighter shade and a darker shade. Some beauticians recommend getting a lighter shade than your hair color, some recommend getting darker. You can figure out for yourself which shade you think you'll look best in, but if you're looking for an eyebrow pencil, I'd highly recommend the Pixi one. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Have you found an eyebrow pencil you've liked?

Skincare

I've struggled with acne for about seven or eight years. It's finally almost gone, but it's taken a while. Doctors and dermatologists have prescribed me all kinds of acne medications, I've been using oil-free makeup for years, and still my face is oily and I still have acne into my 20s (thanks family genes.) At least I'll have less wrinkles when I'm older! But, I do work to make my skin as nice as it can be.

I use my Clarisonic Pro (available only at certain locations) once a day. I used to use it twice, but I've gotten lazy. With it I use SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser.

Skincare Routine

Then, in the morning, I put on CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.

Following that, I use Colorescience skin mattifying face primer to help with the appearance of oil.

Afterwards,  I use bareMinerals READY Foundation, which provides full coverage. Then I use bareMinerals READY Blush and bareMinerals READY Touch Up Veil, which really helps minimize the look of my pores.

Throughout the day though, I have to blot the oil on my skin, otherwise my face is covered in oil. Maybe one day I'll find the magic product that makes all the oil go away! If I find it, I'll let you know.

It's important to keep your skin healthy. What do you do?