Sunscreen Has Come a Long Way, Baby

When it comes to beauty faux-pas, my biggest misstep was that, until very recently, I didn’t put on sunscreen every day. I work indoors, and I almost always wear a baseball cap whenever I go outside. But the biggest deterrence was that just about every sunscreen I tried broke me out. Acne.org (a great resource for those of us with troubled skin) recommended Olay’s Sensitive Skin Moisturizer with SPF. It seemed to work well, but after applying it for four consecutive days when I was in L.A. last fall, the pimples started appearing.

So when I was in San Francisco this past November, the friend that I visited was like, “I can’t believe you don’t wear it everyday?” So not long after that, I called my dermatologist’s office (if you go here, ask for Dr. Suarez) and wanted to know what they recommended. They told me Anthelios or Neutrogena. I’ve had bad luck with Neutrogena’s face lotion in the past, but I’d had never heard of Anthelios before.

I was slightly sticker shocked when I learned that Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, made by La Roche-Posay, is $33.50 a bottle. But since the company offer full returns if you don’t like the product, and two free samples too, I decided it was worth it. And I’ve just had the best luck with the product. It’s never broken me out, and I’ve been wearing it for about three weeks straight.

It’s watery, unlike a lot of other sunscreens, but it absorbs quickly. It does leave a faint white sheen, but it also goes away and is much more subtle than other brands. It’s got that faint chemical/sunscreen smell to it, but it’s not overpowering. Best of all, CVS recently put it on sale for $20, and with the other coupons I had, I only paid around $12 for it. And I think we can all appreciate a good deal. So if you’re looking for a great sunscreen for acne-prone skin, go out and buy La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios. You won’t be disappointed.

And just as an aside, I’m also in love with Hawaiian Tropic’s Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen. It goes on like a moisturizer, smells tropical and floral, and I’ve never been burned wearing it. It makes me want to put on sunscreen, which is something I’ve never felt before. Heck, I can still remember when my Dad told me to get “greased up,” because that’s what putting on sunscreen felt like. And I’m glad that those days are long gone.sunscreen

Can you Bottle Happiness?

Butter London's Slapper

After I hit up this year’s Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival, I decided it was time to hunt for my latest nail polish obsession: Butter London’s (don’t you just love that name?) Slapper. It’s a gorgeous, rich turquoise color that is perfect for summer.

And just like back in March when I decided I had to have Essie’s Mint Candy Apple–a perfect spring shade–I drove to two different stores to get it. My first stop was the Sephora in Fair Oaks Mall. A cashier told me that Butter London is something only Sephora’s online store carries. She was nice enough to tell me that Ulta in Fair Lakes stocks it. So after getting my free truffle-of-the-month courtesy of my Godiva Rewards Club membership, I headed off to Ulta.

This Ulta is in same shopping area as the Best Buy and is a free-standing shop. The friend that I was with spotted the Butter London stand first. When I first opened the bottle, I thought the color looked a little darker than the pictures I saw. And for $15 a pop, it was little pricy for it not to be what I wanted. But I knew that if I didn’t purchase it now, I’d just think about it constantly until I got it. So I shelled out the cash, had a great conversation with the clerk about the company’s high-quality products and painted my finger nails last night.

And it was worth every penny. It goes on thick, dries quickly and the color is just perfect. It’s a dark, bright turquoise that honestly reminds of lululemon’s (another one of my favorite brands) surge. I know I’ve found my perfect color for summer, and I’ve had a small smile on my face since I put it on. So, can you really bottle happiness? I’d say yes. Sure, it’s a temporary jolt of happiness, but for $15, I can afford it. 

The Best $8 I Ever Spent

photo_handswithbluepolishYes, yes, this is another beauty post about a product I adore. But this one is special. This time last week, I decided to take one day off during the week as I worked throughout most of the previous weekend. I saw “Silver Linings Playbook” in the morning (great movie, by the way) and then went on a “hunt” to find Essie’s Mint Candy Apple shade of nail polish. I saw this ad in a couple of magazines and could not get over it. The nail polish (which is the perfect blend of mint and turquoise) was shown dripping all over an apple, and I had to have it. Ah, the power of advertising.

So I drove to Target, two CVSs (who had cardboard displays featuring the shade, but not the product itself) and finally found the last bottle of it at Walgreens. And it’s just perfect. It reminds me that spring is coming even though winter is still lingering around.

I’ve gotten numerous compliments on it. Someone told me that it was the perfect shade of robin’s egg blue and made her think of spring. It just goes to show you that sometimes you just need a little retail therapy to brighten your day. Sure, $8 is a lot to spend on a tiny bottle of nail polish, but this one was worth every penny.

photo-bottleofnailpolish

The Best $60 I Ever Spent

I realized I haven’t posted in forever (the holidays were very busy), and I also realized that I haven’t written about one of my favorite subjects yet, beauty.

Now, because I have a blemish-prone complexion, I usually shell out more for facial cleansers/moisturizers/treatments but save on everything else (hello Bath & Body Works sale). Overall, I’m pretty cheap, and one of my personal philosophies is that you should never pay full-price retail.

But there is one exception to this rule I’ll make. I once spend (gasp) $60 on eyeshadow, and it was easily the best beauty purchase I’ve ever made. I bought a gorgeous YSL eyeshadow set from Sephora in 2009 and still have it today (hooray for non-water-based products). Now, buying this was difficult for me as I usually purchase my makeup from CVS or Clinique when they’re having a good deal. But this eyeshadow was just too good to pass up. The blue in the center of the quad really brings out the color in my eyes. The deep purple plays up the brown. The tan is a shadow I use during job interviews because it’s light enough to look professional but still makes my look gorgeous. There’s another dark blue that I use when I want a smoky eye, and a very light shadow that I use when I want to make one of the other shadows lighter. In short, it’s perfection in the form of eyeshadow. So, if you’re wondering whether you should drop $50+ on a new eyeshadow set, I say do it if you’ll know you’ll use it. In four years, that $60 has really paid off and was worth every penny. Image