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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

Skin care

Cruelty-free Products Worth the Fight

June 8, 2015

As I get older, I learn to pick my battles. In my younger years, I was passionate about everything…for about 10 minutes. As I go through my 40s ReStyle, I find some causes don’t affect me like they did when I was 20. Other issues I just can’t ignore. For example, I am not a member of PETA. (I like pretty leather purses and shoes.) Vegan products don’t interest me much. I am not swayed by the all-natural trend.  BUT…animal testing for beauty products and fragrances that, in all honesty, are no more than luxuries, upsets me.

There are all sorts of opinions out there. Medical research is one area I’m sure that there are arguments for animal testing. I am not drawing a line in the sand.  I know that with this, and many other issues associated with animal testing, there is A LOT of gray area. I am not trying to persuade anyone to support or discard one brand or another. I am all about making informed decisions, though.

Armed with all the information I can find as I go through MY own 40s ReStyle, I am making better, more informed decisions about how I spend my money on luxury items.   From now on, I will seek out products created by companies that do not test on animals.

I wish I had known all this when I revamped my entire skin regime a few months ago. The Origins products appealed to me when I was looking. I bought it, and it works well. I doubt I’ll buy it anymore. The company does animal testing. Come on Origins!  We could have been a great match!  I had already recommended you to so many people.

I was angry when I read the article, but I’m renewed in my quest for quality products that I feel good about.  I was skeptical too, so I read other articles and visited product websites. After weighing my options and with a bit of sadness, I leave behind brands like Origins, Benefit, Coach, and Urban Decay.  I will miss you a bit. Yet as I research cruelty-free beauty products, I find there is so much out there. There will be other products to love and recommend. In fact, there are some smaller companies, as well as big name brands, and quirky little lines I find incredibly interesting. I suppose this 40sRestyle is all a process. It is definitely all about learning and changing for the better.

Skin care

Discovering that Original Beauty Again – with Origins

May 18, 2015

As you may have already read, I hit 40 and developed problems with my skin. I’d never had to struggle with my skin and a multi-step skin regime was not part of my daily routine.  I had no idea how blessed I had been all those years. Nor did I develop strong habits early on. I never had to do so.

Now suddenly it seemed all “the best products” had several steps, cost an arm and a leg, and had a list of a hundred ingredients.  I was lost. I knew my skin was sensitive and oily. I knew I did not want to aggravate it more. I was also certain I knew nothing about any of the leading brands or their ingredients. After reading up and comparing brands, I settled on the Origins product line.

I cannot really say why. It felt right. I’m so glad I went with my gut. Where has this been all my life–or at least in my forties?  (Yeah, I know this isn’t  a new brand, but remember, I’m new to this whole thing.).

If you live under a rock, or have been unknowingly blessed until middle age with decent skin like me, and are wondering about the brand, it works.  I first bought their charcoal mask (Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, $17.00 1.7 oz).  I also bought the Zero Oil Cleanser, Toner, and Moisturizer ($21.50-$28.00).

I have to admit I was a bit scared of the product line because of the name. Zero Oil made me fear my skin would either end up being dry or it would over-compensate and make more oil.  That wasn’t the case at all. Each one has made a ton of difference in my skin. None of the products are harsh or lend to future oil slicks and breakouts.  The mask deep cleaned my pores–especially around the nose.

While taking away the extra oil, Origins Zero Oil did not dry out my skin.  My skin is calm and the pores around my nose are smaller.  The price is more than some, but less than other systems and worth it. A little goes a long way, so I expect them to last awhile.  I see real improvement in my middle-aged sensitive skin. This skin care novice is sold on the Origins Zero Oil product line.


Photo Credit: Honolulu Media