Archive for July, 2011

I haven’t done a proper Benefit Cosmetics review yet, which is inexcusable since Hello Flawless Custom Cover Up is  my ‘go-to’ powder foundation when I need extra coverage.  This is one of my favorite foundations for acne prone skin, and I have been using it for several years now. It gives excellent coverage, has the option of using either a sponge or brush for application, lasts all day, and doesn’t make me break out. Sounds perfect, right?

Here is the description from the company:

Custom cover! For a light, natural finish, sweep on “hello flawless!” with the accompanying brush. Blend on with the sponge for full coverage or spot concealing. Apply & you’ll see… it was meant to be! With 6 flattering shades, it’s easier than ever to find your perfect match. Lesson included.

What I Love

I tend to use the sponge since it gives so much coverage that I usually don’t need any concealer. Isn’t it great when you can just use one product to do the job of two? The less makeup you use, the less chance of aggravating your acne.

The brush is great when you only need a little color, but it gives almost no coverage. Keep it for when your skin is in good condition and you can get away with a little dab of concealer here and there.

I almost forgot to mention – Hello Flawless also has an SPF 15. That makes this a 3-in-1 foundation. You can’t beat that!

Improvements Needed

There are only two criticisms I have for Hello Flawless. The first is the lack of a truly light shade. Luckily, the lightest shade is perfect for me (Me, Vain?), but it probably won’t work for someone with extremely fair skin.

My other complaint is about the case it comes in. I like to be able to carry my powder foundation with me if possible. The case for Hello Flawless is a bit big and very square. Does that seem a little trivial? Well, it isn’t enough to keep me from using it. I just carry something like MAC Blot Powder for any “grease” emergencies.

About Benefit

Benefit Cosmetics is a little bit of a cult brand that’s not as easy to find as the mainstream lines. They are incredibly creative in the way they name their products, and they maintain a very high quality standard. Their Hello Flawless compact powder foundation is one of the stars of their product line, at least in my eyes, but I also love their blushes, bronzers, and lip tint. With names like Confessions of a Concealaholic, you could definitely go a little crazy once you start browsing their line. So be careful and keep to your makeup budget!

Where to Buy

You can find Benefit Cosmetics products and Hello Flawless Custom Cover UP powder foundation online and in specialty cosmetics stores. Ulta.com carries the full range and always sends you 3 free samples. They also have free shipping when you spend over $50.

Usually, I recommend a trip to the dermatologist as one of the first stops when putting together a good acne treatment regimen. However, are your numerous trips to the doctor for high priced medications and ointments not showing results? If so, you may want to try natural treatments for acne. Unlike prescription medications, alternative acne treatments rarely cause harmful side effects and are generally less expensive than a prescription. It just may take a little longer for them to work, or to identify the most effective products.

Why Use Natural Treatments for Acne?

Some people with sensitive skin just can’t handle the stronger topical prescription medicines. As alternative medicine becomes more popular, a greater number of acne patients are seeking natural ways of treatment. While some people may have experienced relative success from prescription medications, the side effects or reactions to the medicine are often just as much of a problem as the acne itself. Dry, itchy skin can be one side effect, and increased sensitivity to sun is a problem with most of these treatments.

Other people who turn to natural products have tried every over the counter remedy available, only to find their condition hasn’t improved at all. In fact, when used improperly or in excess, many non-prescription ointments and lotions can even aggravate your acne. Overdrying your skin can just lead to flakiness, which can clog your pores and result in more blemishes.

In women, acne is often the result of a hormonal imbalance that occurs every month, or later in life during menopause. This type of acne isn’t something that will just go away on its own or during a short-term treatment. In order to effectively treat adult acne over the long term, you’ll want to choose a method that will not jeopardize your overall health in the process.

What Natural Products Work Best on Acne?

Today there are many natural herbs available that have proven helpful in eliminating or reducing the painful and embarrassing effects of acne without the irritating side effects of prescription treatments. Some of the most commonly used herbs include: primrose, black cohosh, red clover, and wild yam.

These particular herbs are used for women since they are effective in striking a healthy balance of estrogen and androgen in the body. An excess of androgen in the system is a common culprit in the overproduction of sebum, which can result in blocked pores that lead to acne.

There are also natural treatments that can be used by both men and women. These herbs help improve the skin’s appearance by both eliminating the infection and soothing the inflamed areas of skin. Visit your local health food or organic store to find some of these herbal treatments. You can also visit The Natural Store online for a huge range of natural acne products. If you have a Whole Foods near you, that is another great place to find items such as dandelion root, red peony, licorice, salvia, and echinacea – all of which are popular herbs used to treat acne.

Vitamins as a Natural Acne Solution

Many dermatologists believe that acne is the result of a vitamin deficiency in their patients. Clinical research results have shown that a good percentage of acne patients have an insufficient amount of Vitamin B in their system. This deficiency can also cause excess sebum, along with the resulting clogged pores and blemishes. Supplements of Vitamin B5 in the diet on a regular basis have shown a great deal of success in reducing or healing acne symptoms. You don’t even have to go to a health store for this. You should be able to find Vitamin B5 at your local pharmacy. However, I’m a Trader Joe’s devotee and get mine there.

Get Expert Advice

While natural or herbal treatments for acne are generally safe, you’ll still want to proceed with caution when trying any new type of treatment. It’s a good idea to talk with a knowledgeable herbalist or an alternative medicine specialist if you’re uncertain about possible side effects or reactions.

An alternative medicine specialist can also provide you with additional information on suggested dosage requirements. If you’re currently taking any type of prescription for illness, be sure to discuss the matter with your physician or alternative medicine practitioner.  Just like prescription medications, many herbs should not be used in conjunction with other types of medicine.

If you are not sure where you can get advice on the best natural treatments for your acne, try talking to someone at your local health or organic store. They often know good practitioners since that is their field of expertise. The larger natural health chains (such as Whole Foods) also employ very knowledgeable people, but a true alternative medicine specialist will have much more extensive experience and training. There is no formal regulations on natural treatments, so you need expert advice to figure out what to try first. And remember! Patch test first!!!

Organic Mineral Makeup for Darker Complexions

Organic Mineral Makeup for Women of ColorFinding the right color foundation for very fair or darker complexions can be difficult since most companies have a relatively limited range of choices, especially when it comes to natural makeup. For women of color, I just came across the organic mineral makeup brand Valana Minerals. I’ve often heard complaints that the colors available from major mineral makeup brands can look ashy as it gets darker, just as it can look a little chalky on very light skin. Valana seems to have solved that problem with a “natural mineral makeup for women of color”.

According to the company, these are the main features of the Valana Minerals makeup line:

  • 100% Natural and Vegan
  • Formulated for sensitive skin
  • Large range of colors
  • Exceptional quality
  • Radiant glow – no “ashy” look

There are numerous testimonials on their website of customers raving about how much they love the Valana makeup. Also, the company says that even though the product line was created for ethnic skin tones, the large range of colors works on many shades of skin.

Mineral Makeup for Women of ColorIf you’ve had problems finding a good color match in mineral makeup for your skin tone, take a look at Valana. They are available in some Whole Foods stores (this is an organic line) or you can go directly to their website: Valana Minerals.

Have any experience with Valana?  Tell us about it!