Keep It Moisturized!

One of the most important steps in your daily beauty regimen, especially during the cold fall and winter months, is to keep your skin hydrated. The surface of your skin acts as a canvas, so the better prepped it is, the more flawless your makeup finish will look.

The world of facial moisturizers is daunting and some high end brands can cost a pretty penny. I don’t disagree that some designer moisturizers are fabulous (ahem, La Mer), but I’d rather buy a killer pair of heels to add to my arsenal.

Over the years, I’ve built a solid list of affordable daily moisturizers that I love. The following brands are lightweight, hydrating and mild – all “must have” properties for my face. Please note, while these moisturizers work amazingly on my skin, they may not work as well on yours. Take this list merely as my suggestions and do some extra research if need be, especially if you have problematic skin.

  1. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30, $13 – What knocks this moisturizer out of the park is the product quality for the price. It’s perfect for dry skin and it’s non- irritating, non-comedogenic formula packs some uber hydration.
  2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer, $31 – I hate creams, serums and makeup products that have any sort of fragrance, so this fragrance-free formula offers that lightweight feel I’m after, while remaining lush and hydrating.
  3. ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer, $21 – Who doesn’t love a reasonably priced, rejuvenating moisturizer to tackle those expression lines?
  4. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè, $16 – Known as the 24-hour miracle cream, it’s formulated to soothe and correct by mimicking and reinforcing the natural surface oils and waterproofing barrier of the skin. In turn, slowing down moisture evaporation- amen! A lifesaver if you have extremely dry, peeling or sunburned skin. I also love to use it on my legs for shaving or even as a makeup removing emulsion.
  5. Dermalogica Active Moist, $54 – While it’s not the cheapest of price tags, the lightweight, oil-free formula absorbs without a trace. Factor in the added silk proteins and extracts and it calms even those most sensitive of skins.
  6. Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiaging & Antiwrinkle Day Cream, $48 – In a nutshell this moisturizer is the perfect balance of science and nature. The product boasts to contain high-tech bio actives, lipids (surface oils) and extracts without any of that synthetic junk. It boosts skin’s natural ability to protect, repair and renew itself. I love it because it’s firming, lightweight, and super absorbent.
  7. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial & Sodium PCA Oil-Free Moisturizer, $18 – This moisturizer contains an extract from olives that mimics the skin’s protective surface oils while the Sodium PCA preps the skin with hydration.
  8. Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 17, $22 – I have combination skin and have a tendency to get an oily T-zone throughout the day. This moisturizer helps fight oil while keeping skin hydrated.
  9. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, $14 – I’m a huge Clinique fan in general, but I adore this fast absorbing, lightweight lotion. It’s designed to smooth dry or combination skin without feeling heavy. Likewise, the gel formula would suit oily skin types perfectly.
  10. SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture, $60 – If you’re looking for a moisturizer that is not only lightweight, but will also reduce the appearance of pores this is a great choice. I love it for that lush feel and non-greasy finish.


So, what are your favorite daily moisturizers?

MsLauralai

 

 

The Perfect Match

Shopping for foundation can prove to be a difficult task. Knowing whether your skin type is oily, dry or combination will help you choose the correct formula, but knowing how to match skin tone is a whole other story. Here are a few tips to remember when shopping for your holy grail foundation match.

Who doesn’t love a little sampling? A sure way to find the perfect shade is through trial and error, so you should never purchase a full bottle of foundation with trying a tad first. That’s why I suggest heading on over to a Sephora or any department store makeup counter where you can get generous samples, unlike at drugstores. Don’t feel awkward asking for three: a shade you think matches best (one that seems to disappear when swatching on your hand), a shade darker, and a shade lighter.

Remember – store lighting is deceiving. A color that looks flawless in the warm lights of Nordstrom may not be so flattering outside the confines of the mall. Be sure to study the swatch in natural light ensuring that it’s flattering for not only your skin tone, but for the season as well.

Maintain your usual skin care routine. You want to apply the test foundations on your skin over any lotions, sunscreens or primers you use daily. Layering products can not only change the texture and feel of a foundation, but can also appear to alter the color and tone.

Even though we live in a fast past world and are forced to make quick decisions on the regular, you need to give the foundation time. Before making a decision as to whether or not you have the perfect match, leave the foundation on for a full, 9-5 day of application. Some foundations have a tendency to darken throughout the day in a chemical process called oxidation. You know the foundation has oxidized, when the flawless match you had a 9AM turns into a orange-yellow shade of Snooki come 5PM. No bueno. If that happens, it’s onward with the search.

The best foundations have a large range of shades with options for pink, yellow and neutral undertones. As pictured above, my favorites include:

  1. Laura Mercier Silk Crème
  2. Lancôme Teint Miracle
  3. Illamasqua Skin Base
  4. BareMinerals Matte SPF 15
  5. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum
  6. NARS Sheer Glow

Have fun testing,

Lauralai

Purple Haze

​Fact. I’ve been craving the brisk mornings of Autumn on the daily. As you start to dig out your scarves, blazers, and boots from storage don’t forget to sift through your makeup stash for this fall and winter’s hot colors. On today’s radar: Purple.

Whether it be a lighter wash of lilac or a pop of eggplant, purple is the headlining makeup hue this season (you can thank Prada, Cavalli and LV for their F/W 2012 collections). Work the color into your beauty regiment by simply switching your go-to neutral staple product for the purple alternative. I’d say focus on one region for a single look. You don’t want to end up looking like a plum with purple eyes, lips, nails – you get the idea.


Suggested products:

1. Cosmetics Pressed Eyeshadow, 2AM
2. Anna Sui Nail Color, #210
3. MAC Casual Lip & Cheek Color, Evening Stroll
4. Illamasqua Lipstick, Underworld
5. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, Lust

Have fun playing with this color and Instagram or Tweet us pictures of the outcome!

@MsLauralai

A Fashion Week-Worthy Face

Fashion week is upon us yet again and if you’re a busy profesh like myself, you don’t have much time between job A and event B to transition into that evening vixen.

Here are a few simple trends for nailing the perfect Fashion Week beauty look on the fly (outfit choice is a whole other story). Just remember to keep it simple. There’s no need to attempt a bold, smokey eye or burgundy ombre lip if it’s out of your comfort zone.

Let us dissect.

  1. Fresh Faced. The fall means you can get away with wearing those cream foundations again. Just because the inspiration calls for medium to full coverage doesn’t mean it has to look cakey. My favorite foundation for fall and winter is  Illamasqua Skin Base.
  2. Wide Awake. With the change of the season, comes a change in the shadow. Warm up your face with a brown, rusty smokey eye or balance off a bold lip with barely there shadow with a warm, golden inner-corner highlight. Have the UD Naked palette? Then you’re all set. For that extra umph, add an uber natural lash, like Ardell Demi Wispies.
  3. Natural Brows. Fuller brows are here to stay. While you still want to groom and fine tune your sisters, don’t overdo it. If you’re notoriously heavy handed, opt for a brow powder like Anastasia Brow Powder Duo instead of a pencil.
  4. A Beautiful Mess. Who says beachy waves need to stay with summer? Take a tip from Mary Kate and Ashley this season for effortless, messy locks. This perfect “undone” look is killer with a crisp center or deep side part.
  5. The Perfect Pout. Whether you rock the perfect nude or that buxom red, make sure your lips compliment the rest of your makeup. Note, this model’s ultra nude lip won’t translate well off the runway for everyone. To avoid looking like death in pictures, sweep on a light wash of berry. Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable balm stains are the perfect way to ease into darker colored lips.


Don’t forget to visit my F/W 2012 Beauty Inspiration board for additional looks.

See you at the runway,

@MsLauralai

Fact: Stress is Not Pretty

The carefree days of summer are nearly dust in the wind and we are being thrown back into the real world of deadlines at work, tests at school, and overall seasonal woes. Cue breakouts.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but we all have some sort of stress in our lives and we all manage it differently. But have you ever actually stopped to think about the repercussions that high stress has on you? While quick spurts of drama excite the body and enable us to knock projects out of the park, constant stress can lead to weight gain, hair loss, dull and drained complexion, breakouts, eczema, and much more.

I must admit, a big move on the horizon has had me insanely anxious lately. As if the move is not enough, I just can’t seem to find the time to please everyone. I have a million faces to see and every effort I take seems to be overcrowded with plans upon plans and deadlines upon deadlines. Needless to say, my face has broken out. Like, bad. A recent trip to the dermatologist proved to be quite the therapy session.

After my initial examination, the doctor went on to talk about my stress triggers and how stress affects the body and skin. Everything she said I knew already, but sometimes it just takes the reiteration from a higher authority to see the bigger picture. Although they are all a part of everyday life, the most common causes of stress stem from work, family, marriage and relationships, time management, finance, deadlines and self disappointment. All of the above can lead to lack of sleep, immune system deficiencies, ulcers and the most common, skin irritations. On a more mental level they can lead to depression, lack of motivation, procrastination and anger. Naturally, when the body is “drained” no amount of makeup can mask that little cloud lingering over your head or those puffy bags under your eyes.

As for a clinical diagnosis for my “acne”, there was none. My dermatologist just suggested a mild cleanser and moisturizer like Cetaphil or CeraVe. Thank you, here’s your $30. What I did gain from my appointment was that I need to manage my stress better. So in an effort to take care of myself, I created a few rules of thumb to guide me.

  1. Beauty rest is a must. Lack of sleep shows in my face quite easily, so I vow to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Watch my diet. Skimping on breakfast because I’m running late for work isn’t an excuse anymore. I vow to whip up some PB2 for my whole grain toast, leave healthy snacks around my office and drink lots of water. Wait, does tea count towards my water intake?
  3. Nightly gym sessions. The best way to alleviate stress from the body is to workout. I love me some yoga, but I’ve signed myself up with a trainer for that extra kick in the tush.
  4. Talk it out. Instead of keeping things in, I vow to ramble to my boyfriend on a nightly basis. Apologies in advance, B.
  5. Just remember, you can’t please everyone. No explanation needed.

I suggest you all make a little destress list to help keep the balance in your life.

Breathe, stretch, shake – let it go.

MsLauralai