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Cosmetics Cruelty Free Fragrance Skin care

10 Best Products for Sensitive Skin

October 16, 2015

Sensitive skin is the worst. The itchy red patches, the bumps or welts, all make choosing beauty products a tough job. Just because a product says its for sensitive skin, doesn’t mean it will work.  In many cases, those of us with sensitive skin have full-blown allergies to deal with, as well. But I’ve found a few products made for us that are worth the hype.

1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation ($39.00)
This foundation actually feels good going on. Tarte isn’t into using a lot of chemicals so their foundation is much less irritating. In fact, they pack a lot of good things into this foundation to help soothe skin. There are tons of shades to choose from so it’s easy to find a perfect match to your skin tone.  The coverage is a good medium coverage, in my opinion. It’s buildable though, so it could very easily be a full coverage foundation like the name describes.  Tarte is cruelty-free, too. Yippie!

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush ($28.00)
This blush glides on. You can use as little or as much as you’d like. It blends like a dream, and my cheeks don’t itch or break out after application like with many products. Again, the ingredients are minimal and great for sensitive skin. There are tons of colors so it actually made picking one difficult. Oh, and being cruelty-free like the rest of the Tarte line makes it perfect. Tarte for the win!

3.  It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eye Brow Pencil ($24.00)
I snickered at the term “universal.”  Not only do I have sensitive skin, but I’m a redhead. They seem to go together. Finding a “universal” product that includes us redheads is impossible. Or so I thought. This pencil works great. It makes my brows look natural, but gives them color and depth. No itching or redness around my brows either. Oh yeah, this line is cruelty-free, as well.

4. Bare Minerals Powder Eyecolor ($14.00)
Really any of the Bare Minerals powder in their foundation, blush, and shadow lines are good for sensitive skin. There isn’t a lot of unnecessary ingredients and all their products have staying power. I never worry about the sensitive skin around my eyes when I use Bare Minerals. Some brands of eye shadow have made my lids itchy and red with weird dry patches. Not Bare Minerals. It’s a great go-to brand when all the others get tossed aside. Bare Minerals is also cruelty-free. (I’m seeing a pattern evolve here.)

5. Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray ($14.00-$30.00)
This is one of my favorites that isn’t cruelty-free. While some label the brand CF, its parent company is not. Is that splitting hairs?  Maybe. I’m just giving the information. I love the spray, honestly. Something that gets put on the entire face makes me nervous. An itchy red eyelid or patch on the cheek is bad enough, but to have your entire face react to a product is the pits. Unfortunately, it happens to those of us with sensitive skin if we aren’t careful.  Urban Decay’s setting spray really works, and my skin feels great when I use it. It dries fast. Makes my makeup look dewy but not oily. It has no discernible  scent. Best of all, it makes my makeup last longer without crazy reactions.

6. Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser and Oil-Free Moisturizer ($22.00 and $28.50)
Awhile back, I wrote about my search for a new cleansing system because Origins is not cruelty-free. I’m still on that search. Origins is hard to beat for sure. I have not found a product line I buy into and love as much as Origins, but I have promised myself I would. I’d like to phase out all the products that aren’t cruelty-free eventually, so the search for great CF products is ongoing. For now, I have to give Origins props for helping out those of us with sensitive skin. The cleanser gets rid of all traces of makeup. It does not over-dry the skin. The moisturizer is light, not too oily, and keeps skin with just the right moisture balance. Origins, if you were only cruelty-free, I’d sing your praises more.

7. Dr Brandt Pores No More Refiner Primer ($15.00-$45.00)
Here’s a product line on the pricy side, but good heavens does it work!  On a whim I bought this primer. I bought a small one so I didn’t feel too guilty if it didn’t minimize pores like many products claim to do.  Wow!  I loved it. It isn’t greasy. My pores around my nose disappeared. My sensitive skin felt wonderful, and my foundation went on smoothly over this primer. It’s a dream. It’s cruelty-free, too.  I’m in love with whoever this Dr Brandt is. After trying some sample sizes, I’d say the Dr. Brandt product line would replace my disappointing love for Origins if I could afford their cleanser and moisturizer ($35.00 and $60.00).  But alas, I can’t. For now, I’ll sing the praises of the primer though, and pray Origins becomes cruelty-free or Dr Brandt goes on sale permanently.

8. The Clean Perfume Line ($18.00-$72.00)
For those of us with sensitive skin, it doesn’t stop at the neck. Many perfumes and perfumed lotions make my arms and legs itch. Spraying perfume directly on the body is like dipping some sensitive skin people in acid. More often than not, I spray the perfume on my clothing, not my body. The lotions, I choose carefully. The Clean line is not like that for me. I don’t itch when I apply the lotion. The perfume does not make my neck turn into one giant itchy welt. Oh, and every one of their scents smell amazing. Yep, the product line is cruelty-free, too.

9. Simple Kind To Eyes Makeup Remover Pads ($5.99)
God bless a cruelty-free product line that is less expensive. Michele already talked about how going cruelty-free is not always cheap. This is one product that can be found in most drug and discount stores. The skin around the eyes is very delicate for everyone, not just those of us with sensitive skin. These inexpensive rounds remove all traces of eye makeup without making my skin feel like it’s burning. Contact lens wearers also worry about harsh makeup removers. Not with Simple. This product gets a very big thumbs up for being budget-friendly, cruelty-free, and great for sensitive skin.

10. Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer ($22.00)
Let’s end where we began. Oh Tarte, I love you more everyday. Like I said before, delicate skin around the eyes needs special care for everyone. I worry about eye makeup and what goes into it. Least of all, I don’t want needless wrinkles that didn’t come from living life. While worst case scenario, I don’t want to harm my vision. I never worry with the Tarte product line. This primer really does help my lashes look longer and thicker. It doesn’t clump or smear. It helps my mascara stay in place. I don’t notice dark circles under my eyes at the end of the day where my mascara gradually leapt from my lashes to under my eyes. No itching or redness from Tarte’s primer either. (Now, Tarte, please make a brown mascara for us redheads. Pretty please. I promise to write about it.)

Okay sensitive skin peeps–speak up. Tell us what products you love, or hate. These are mine, and I’m sure my list will always be changing as I find product lines I love AND can afford.


Photo Credit: garlandcannon


Fragrance love leads to Clean addiction

June 16, 2015

A mall trip with one of my friends always begins with, “Don’t make me walk through there. Seriously, it stinks and gives me a headache.” She said this as we walked into our local department store. I replied with a half-hearted courteous response, and we avoided the entire second floor where the makeup and perfume are located.

I inhaled as we skirted the area rushing to the escalator. I stole a quick glance at what the latest freebie with purchase was at the nearest counter. We continued on to the department we needed, but my friend and I both knew while she was busy elsewhere, I’d end up in the cosmetic section. I always do.

Not to belittle anyone who is sensitive to scents, or someone with a real addiction, but I may have a slight addiction. I can’t get enough perfume, shower gel, lotion. The words “layering set” make me giddy. Free samples give me goosebumps. I could give facts on how scent affects the mood or how certain scents evoke memories, but I won’t.

Let’s face it, we all have frivolous things that make us happy, and perfume is mine. I’d buy a different fragrance for every day of the year if I could. I love to wander around the cosmetic section and sniff and sample and see what works on me. My tween daughter comes in handy then because when I run out of places to spray on my arm, I use her’s. Yep! I’m not ashamed. Things smell similar on us. It works. She loves perfume, too. She also has a better memory than I do and can tell me which one is which when I forget.

As I’ve embraced cruelty-free beauty products, I’ve had some disappointments. I’ve had to give up some brands I love (Oh, Coach and Philosophy, we were such good friends.). Going cruelty-free in my luxury items was hard at first, but I soon realized an entire new world of products is out there. Do I still go into a department store cosmetic section and twirl around like a scene from “The Sound of Music?” Or literally skip with happiness from the store to my car when I make a purchase? Maybe. I’ll never tell, but I will say that I’m much more mindful about what brands I spend my money on.

One of my new favorite brands is Clean. Yep. That’s the name. The name is simple and says a lot about their fragrances and beliefs. They have several scents in their line, with shower gels, lotions, and even home fragrance. I’m working my way through them all. Yes, I want them all. No, I cannot afford to buy them all at once, but one at a time is fun, too. Visit their website
for a complete list of fragrances and to check out their story.

The first Clean fragrance I bought was Summer Escape. I’m not sure if it is a limited item only showing up certain times of the year, or if it was a one time scent. Either way, it’s in their GoingGoingGone section of their website now. I love this citrusy, beachy scent. It feels like a cross between a fruity drink and clean ocean air. Who doesn’t love a fruity drink on the beach? It isn’t over-powering. Trust me on that one. My husband and friend, who both hate the cosmetic section, will tell me instantly if it is. It is the perfect amount of scent. It lasts most of the day, and I got lots of compliments on it. The Clean Perfume website has another on their current list of fragrances called Summer Sun. I’m not sure how similar it is to Summer Escape, but I’m hoping to try it soon.

Next, I purchased Skin. This time I got the perfume, shower gel, and lotion. I don’t even know how to describe this scent. It’s there but it isn’t. I smell fresh and clean, but not a soapy clean. Its smells like clean skin. (I realize I just restated the company and perfume name, but it’s accurate.) It’s very subtle even when layering it with the shower gel and lotion. My husband likes this one a lot because there is something natural and not over-the-top about it. The description on their website says its floral yet musky. I can’t believe I bought something akin to anything musk. It isn’t my favorite of scents, but Skin is different. There is no overtly musky or floral smell. It just smells good – clean. The scent is pleasant, but I don’t feel like I’m wearing perfume. I’m thinking this is perfect for someone who wants a light scent, or is new to the perfume game.

As I already said, I’m eyeing Summer Sun, as well as Cool Cotton, Air, Fresh Laundry, and Rain. Just by the names, I think you can see what this company is all about. I’m also hoping to pick a home fragrance line the whole family likes. Prices for the perfume are $38.00 and $69.00. I bought the smaller size both times and it lasted quite awhile. Bath and shower gel is priced at $22.00. Lotion is $26.00. The sizes of the lotion, perfume, and shower gel are just right. Each product seem to last equally as long as its partner. I love that because I don’t like running out of one item with a certain scent, and still having others left to use. One last unique aspect of Clean’s perfume line is the site says fragrances can be mixed for your own personal scent and experience. They even give suggestions. I haven’t tried it, but it seems to me that simply gives even more options and choices.

These fragrances are available on their website, as well as at Sephora and Amazon. Check out this cruelty-free company. If you love perfume and want something subtle, this is it. It might even make you want to twirl around like “The Sound of Music.”


Photo Credit: Lisa Bedore