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When we first received our package from L’Oreal Paris containing their new Magic Smooth Souffle makeup, we read through their product information and all we could think of was “Huh?” With terminology like elastomer, microspheres and Mati-Crystal Technology, no wonder it’s just put simply as magic

But, confusion aside, I prepped my face for using the mousse-textured foundation, and started applying with my fingers. I definitely had a preconceived idea of what this was going to look like on my face. I used to be a regular user of Maybelline’s mousse foundation - mostly because of the coverage - but switched to mineral makeup because of the dull, matte look it left on my skin. I was pleasantly surprised, though, because my face was smooth and luminous. 

The consistency starts out thick and creamy, and as you apply it to your face, it turns velvety and dry (but not drying.) I was most impressed with by the Magic Smooth Souffle makeup was the even application. I always have a hard time getting even coverage with liquid/cream foundations, but not the case here. My face felt nicely primed for blush and eye makeup, and light as air (I really hate that cakey feeling, as we’re sure most ladies do.) Though the shade we were provided with was a touch too light, I’m sure I could find the right  tone in the dozen colors available. 

After the 10-hours-of-use mark, my face was still intact from the morning application. Plus, my oily complexion seemed much more under control than it normally is. The only thing I wish it delivered was some SPF, but sounds like a winner to me! $14.99, target.com




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Recently, on a trip to Sally Beauty Supply with a friend, we stumbled across a shampoo and conditioner we remember using in the past with satisfactory results, and decided to pick up two 32-ounce bottles for a whopping… $6.49. Yes, we had stumbled across a BOGO. A beauty junkie like us simply cannot resist 64 ounces of hair product for under $7, especially when we’re used to paying at least four times as much!

Well, we’re here to tell you not to let the weird, horse-marked, cheap labeling distract you from the full-hair-to-be glory that awaits. After a few days of use, our hair is thicker, shinier and more texturized. 

Reviews online point to signs of being drying, though we haven’t really noticed any drying in our locks. We were sure to leave the conditioner in for about three minutes, though, so maybe that’s the difference. And though we were a bit thrown by the human and animal directions on the bottles (this was traditionally used for horses, evidently), the super rich lather and the light, clean scent of the shampoo took away our skepticism.

After applying a little serum to our wet strands, we blow-dried our hair with a flat paddle brush, and had head-turning results (we promise, we’re pretty sure people’s heads were turning!…well, maybe.) This diamond in the rough is definitely worth a try. $6.49, sallybeauty.com
Physicians-Formula-Organic-Wear-Eye-Makeup-Remover-Pads.jpgIf you’re like us, the thought of removing heavy eye makeup at the end of a long day (or an even longer night) is exhausting. And while we know we shouldn’t, there are days we go to sleep with our makeup on. (We’re sorry, makeup artists who might be reading this!) Well, gone are those days, thanks to Physicians Formula Organic Wear Eye Makeup Remover Pads.

These makeup remover towelettes make removing eye makeup so easy, we honestly can’t even think of not using them on a daily basis. One remover-soaked towelette is enough to remove even the heaviest, smokiest eye makeup (and we tested that this past weekend, to great results!).

We were worried the pads might be soaked in remover that left behind a greasy residue. Well, color us shocked — they are exactly the opposite! Some eye makeup removers are so grease-filled, we actually need to use a cleanser and tissues afterward … but not these. They’re also infused with organic cucumber extract to soothe the delicate skin around the eyes.

A unique blend of properties, called Eco-Aroma Therapy, is what really makes these makeup remover pads a sure standout. OrganiSoy moisturizes and nourishes lashes, Eco-Olive shields lashes from harsh environmental aggressors, Organic Orange Water nourishes and restores skin’s moisture levels, and — our personal favorite — Organic Lavender Essential Oil gives off a delightful aroma that makes us feel as though we just walked into a spa. Perfect after a hectic day at the office!

Physicians Formula Organic Wear Eye Makeup Remover Pads are $6.95 for 60 pads at physiciansformula.com.
Almay-Concealer.jpgOK, so sometimes, prestige makeup brands (think M.A.C., Nars, Lorac, etc), are really worth the price tag. They deliver on their promises. Their products last on your skin and don’t rub off the moment you put your hand up to your chin in an extended, deep thought. But sometimes, you can find the same powerful punch in a very valuable package. 

Such is the case with Almay’s Clear Complexion Concealer. Now, we’ve tried a lot of concealers in our days. We have oily, acne-prone skin that tends to scar easily when we just can’t resist the naughty pop. So finding a concealer that stays in its place, covers well but doesn’t look caked on, and blends nicely is sort of (very) important to us. The medium color works perfectly with our tan skin tone, and isn’t too pinky-beige like some other concealers in that color range. Almay’s covering gem has salicylic acid in it, as well, which helps tame occasional breakouts, but don’t really expect clear-skin wonders from it either. Where this product shines is in its coverage and texture. 

We’re a fan of its consistency - not too thick and cakey, not too thin and runny. It covers discoloration and acne-scarring wonderfully when you follow it up with foundation (we use mineral makeup.) After a long, oily day, we appreciate its staying power, too, and the oil-free, hypoallergenic formula doesn’t add to our ever-present t-zone slickness. Though the package mentions not to use it near your eyes (we imagine because of the salicylic acid), we often use it for under eye coverage without any irritation whatsoever. Overall, for under $10, this is the best concealer your drugstore has to offer. $7.99 at drugstore.com
Burts-Bees-Lip-Balm.jpgOver the past few years, we’ve tested more lip sticks, glosses and balms than we could possibly count, all promising numerous benefits with varying results. 

Some were too sticky, some were too slick. Some too pigmented, or poor tasting. But the one balm that has proven one of our favorites of all time has been Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil. For merely $3, this perfect lip ointment packs the ideal combination of hydration, tint, texture (super silky smooth!), scent and price. 
With a few passes on your lips, your smackers will be soft and supple with a slight sheen. 

Plus, we love Burt’s Bees for its commitment to using all-natural products, such as the anti-oxidant rich pomegranate oil in this lip balm. And for those that already call themselves devotees to this brand’s lip products, make sure to try their new acai berry and mango butter varieties. Yum! $2.99, drugstore.com

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