First Impressions: Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion + Advanced Cleansing System


olay prox meicrodermabrasion advanced cleansing system

Have you ever touched your skin and thought it felt a little rough, or looked in the mirror and wished your skin looked brighter? As I’ve gotten older, it’s been a concern of mine. Not only do I want more brightness and even tone, but I find that whenever I exfoliate my skin regularly, my skincare products just seem to work better.

Many times, people turn to expensive treatments and facials for this (I know I have), but sometimes you want to take matters into your own hands, literally. That’s where the new Pro-X Microdermabrasion + Advanced Cleansing System from Olay comes in! The clinical testing for this product proved pretty impressive—exfoliating as effectively as a single $130 professional microdermabrasion treatment in just two uses in one week. Even better, his new professional tool and products offers two professional treatments in one system: microdermabrasion, and thorough daily cleansing. You know I was game to putting this to the test!

What’s inside:

  • 3-speed rotating facial cleansing tool
  • Pro-X by Olay Thermal Crystal Polisher
  • Pro-X by Olay Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser
  • replaceable microdermabrasion foam head
  • replaceable facial cleansing brush
  • 2 AA batteries

olay 2

I’ve been using the cleansing system for a few days, both for my morning and evening cleansing routine. I feel like the combination of the brush and Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser are doing a great job of cleansing deeper than when I cleanse without it (washcloth or facial sponge for removal, usually). But after a single use, I felt that the magic was really in the microdermabrasion feature! The special foam head, combined with the Thermal Crystal Polisher (it even slightly warms up) made my skin brighter, smoother, and more luminous with just one use.

For best results, I’m going to test this product more—using the microdermabrasion feature twice a week (on non-consecutive days) for a few weeks, while cleansing daily with the advanced daily cleansing feature. I’ll make sure to update in a second post for an overall review of the system.

I love the affordability of this product, there are much more expensive facial cleansing brushes on the market, and at a retail of about $39.99, this is an easy one to take home and feel comfortable about what you’re spending. Stay tuned for the follow-up review!

Send Your Brows to Rehab with the Elke Brow Collection


elke brow collection

I’m not afraid to leave home sans makeup, but there are two things I am absolutely OCD about: clean brows, and clean, healthy-looking nails. Those two things are pretty non-negotiable for me. I don’t know why it’s those two things, but it just is! Many years ago, some crazy esthetician whacked off the tails of my eyebrows, and my brows haven’t been the same since. I’ve spent years treating them with TLC, with the hopes of making them look fuller than they really are, but I haven’t been 100% successful. I know this situation sounds familiar to so many of you.

About six weeks ago, I had a brow experience that nearly sent me into a tizzy. I realize it’s not the end of world, but my regular threader wasn’t in because she’s on vacation for a few weeks (you know I can’t wait that long!), so I reluctantly sat in another gal’s chair. That was my first mistake. A few minutes later, I looked in the mirror, and my stomach nearly dropped. She got a little too happy with the thread like it was a weed whacker. I politely tipped and got out of there, but I was so bummed. You’re thinking—Amber, it’s hair—it will grow back. I assure you, it’s a struggle to get my sparse little hairs to reappear. I left there knowing I had to rehab my brows all over again, and I have been ever since. Great.

elke brow scrub

I turned to celebrity brow guru, Elke Von Freudenberg for help to make this process a little less daunting. [Read more…]

First Impressions Review: Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamoured Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer


marc jacobs enamoured hi shine nail lacquer

A funny thing happened at the mall yesterday. I went there solely to get my rings cleaned, and wouldn’t you know there was a wait. During that wait, I figured I’d take a look inside Sephora—the operative word being “look”. 10 minutes later, I strolled out, bag in hand, with four Marc Jacobs Beauty nail polishes. Just like that. That place will get you EVERY TIME.

marc jacobs enamoured nail polish 1

Flourescent Beige, Ultraviolet, Nirvana

This was my first time seeing the Marc Jacobs Beauty line in-person, and it’s super drool-worthy in my opinion. The longer I stood there, the more temptation I had to buy more. Ultimately, I picked four fall-friendly polish shades to check out. I’m a little over-eager to share these with you, so I’m afraid I haven’t been able to test wear time on these yet. The verdict is still out on that, but I can give you the skinny on everything else.  [Read more…]

Murad Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo Review


murad blackhead pore clearing duo

When I see my esthetician, one of my biggest gripes is the congestion in my pores. I feel like, no matter how hard I try, they just get gunked up again a few days after seeing her. I’m using great products, I try to religiously take care of my skin, I exfoliate with alpha hydroxy acids. So what exactly is it that I’m doing wrong? Why does it seem like I always have blackheads?

First—we have to start with the basic anatomy of a blackhead. Blackheads are simply the result of your skin’s natural oils and external free radicals settling in, and oxidizing in your pores. That’s why they seem black when trapped inside the pore, but are actually a gross yellow color when extracted. Oxidized gunk? Eww. No thanks. They can build up and get worse over time, but that oil can actually build up and oxidize really fast, as evidenced by my own personal experience.

So yes, you can take great care of your skin, and still get blackheads. And I’m learning the reason that’s contributing to mine—it’s because I haven’t been using a product to help stop the oxidation. I’ve only been using exfoliators and pore cleansers. Aha! And that’s where this new product from Murad steps in, the Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo.

murad mask

The Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo is a one-two punch against blackheads. First, there’s a clay mask (with volcanic clay and shikakai extract) that you apply to the areas that are prone to blackheads for 10 minutes. For me, it’s my T-zone, and I’m guessing that’s where most people have theirs too. But you can still apply it elsewhere. [Read more…]

Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish Powder Review, Photos


purely cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish finishing powder

You know those products that have such a cult following, that people call them their “holy grail” products? This is one that time and time again, I’ve heard the term “HG status”, enthusiastically spoken by both professional makeup artists, and bathroom counter beauty junkies alike—Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish.

Why on earth it took me four years to make it my own holy grail product, heaven only knows. But I finally fell into the lure of Purely Cosmetics’ spell, as the founder and creator of all the products, Robyn Bloom tells me that she personally and painstakingly formulates and blends all of her products herself—no loose mineral repackaging here. Purely Cosmetics has an excellent reputation in the indie mineral makeup industry, and I can see why. Everything I’ve tried has been fantastic thus far.

purely cosmetics 1

What makes Diamond Perfect Finish so special, is that it’s a talc-free finishing powder that is so finely milled that it’s whisper soft on the skin, and even contains diamond powder. While I’d like to say that the diamond powder is for the glitz and glamour (but hey–why not for that, too!), it actually lends an ability to the product to bend and refract light, allowing a special light spectrum to show through that not only looks great in everyday light sources, but photographs incredibly beautiful. [Read more…]

MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara Review, Photos


MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara

My mascara addiction is truly no joke, and it breaks my heart every few months to have to purge them. Which is why I just know it will hurt me when it comes time to bid my new MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara adieu, because I just love it so!MAC In Extreme Dimension Mascara

In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash

I guess what makes me love it so much, is that it truly does envelop all of my lashes in a yummy black shade that makes them pop out. The small, stubby brush has rows of plastic bristles that are on the shorter side which actually make it look like the mascara is going to clump because of the way it gathers on the bristle tips—but luckily—it didn’t. [Read more…]

Benefit Rockateur Blush Review, Photos, Swatches


benefit rockateur 1

As a fan of Benefit’s blush boxes, imagine my happiness when their latest one made its way into my hot little hands a little early! Rockateur will debut in stores next month, and this rose-gold blush is absolutely gorgeous. Dressed up in a racy lace and croc printed box with raised print and stud accents, Rockateur is all dressed up with everywhere to go!

benefit rockateur 2

Benefit Rockateur

Rockateur is beautifully decorative. The product itself is textured, with an initial icy-shimmer over-spray on the top and bottom of the raised “Rock” lettering. After a few swirls of my blush brush, the over-spray gives way to a beautiful satin-shimmer rose-gold shade that goes all the way through the product for just the right amount of iridescence. [Read more…]

Too Faced Lip Injection Color Bomb Review, Photos, Swatches


too faced lip injection color bomb collection 2

I remember when lip plumpers first became popular. It was about 7 years ago (maybe even 8), and I was working for a cosmetics retailer. Some used cooling ingredients, and some used ingredients that stung with a combination of marine collagen. That effect is caused by dilation of blood vessels which would slightly make your lips pinker, and temporarily swell them. I was super obsessed with the sensation, and I was actually an early adopter of Too Faced’s Lip Injection Extreme, which was the latter. too faced lip injection color bomb collection 1

Lip Injection Color Bomb

too faced lip injection color bomb collection 3

Lip Injection Color Bomb

Years later, here we are with a new iteration of Lip InjectionColor Bomb—which is a combo of the original Lip Injection, and a chubby lip gloss stick. The Color Bombs have added hydrating ingredients; mango butter, Vitamin E, sweet almond oil, along with lavender extract. [Read more…]

Jenna Hipp What’s Hot Now Nail Collection Review, Photos, Swatches


jenna hipp set costcoOn one of my three trips to Costco last week, I couldn’t leave without this—the Jenna Hipp What’s Hot Now Nail Collection. I’ve never loved and hated a place so much in my life! They’re doing these cool collaborations with beauty industry pros, like Pati Dubroff, Orlando Pita, and in this case—celeb manicurist Jenna Hipp. I hope to try the others soon, but I had to share this one with you.

With shades like these for just $14.99, you know it was leaving with me. Unfortunately, that excitement was short-lived.

What’s inside:

  • 12 – 0.16 fl. oz. Mini Nail Lacquer Bottles
  • Nail File

jenna 3

Damage Control, Hashtag, Tweet Me, Freshmaker

Here’s what I encountered: [Read more…]