Review: Pond’s Luminous Finish BB Cream

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Up until this point, I have been quite underwhelmed with the Western BB Cream craze. Unlike their Asian counterparts, the BB Creams on this side of the pond have been nothing more than repackaged tinted moisturizers with negligible skincare benefits. Most of them run too orange and have a greasy finish, like Maybelline’s Dream Fresh and Garnier’s Skin Renew Miracle BB Cream. After trying several BB creams, I had just about decided that this was one skincare trend that was more of a gimmick than anything else. Until I bought the Pond’s BB cream purely on a whim. I didn’t have high hopes for it. I figured it would be too dark for my pale skin, and too dewy for my combination skin. But I figured I would try it anyway.

Boy was I wrong. I love this stuff! It is NOTHING like the oily, orange Garnier BB cream. This is much more of a true BB cream. It hydrates my skin and dries to a semi-matte finish, it provides as much coverage as a foundation, it contains ingredients that lighten dark spots and improve skin tone, and it contains SPF 15.

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It also comes in a shade light enough to match my skin. I know one of the biggest problems with BB creams is that they often come in one “universal” shade, the problem being that many women are either too light or too dark to wear that shade. You all know by now how pale I am, and this BB cream actually matches my skin. Even better, I have been wearing it for three weeks now, and I have had no breakouts from it, and I swear that my old acne scars have faded. It’s got a great texture too; it looks thick at first but it feels almost luxurious when you put it on. It smells nice and floral too, but not too strong.

Heavily swatched
Heavily swatched

I have used a brush and fingers to apply it, and it goes on great both ways. One thing I don’t really get is why it’s marketed as a “luminous” product. To me, luminous implies dewy/glowy, but this isn’t either of those things. It’s pretty matte, although for me that is a plus. Surprisingly for a BB cream, it’s very long-lasting also. I usually set it with a translucent powder, and I can get twelve hours of wear from it. Colorwise, it’s very neutral; it doesn’t pull too yellow or too pink. It is a teeny bit dark on me, but I don’t really mind because it’s getting warm outside and I want to look a little less pasty. I do wear moisturizer under it, but if your skin is straight-up oily and not combination you could probably get away with using just this.

No foundation, just BB cream
No foundation, just BB cream
Wearing just Ponds BB cream
Wearing just Ponds BB cream

In one easy step, this product does the work of a moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation. The only bad thing about it is that Pond’s does test on animals, which definitely bothers me. The product itself is so good that I really regret it isn’t cruelty-free.

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My New Favorite Face Cream

I’ve finally found the perfect night cream. It’s rich, ultra hydrating, and has already improved the tone and texture of my skin drastically. And it’s dirt cheap. What is this little miracle, you may ask. Well, it’s good old Nivea Crème. Yep. I ain’t even lying. That little blue tub that you’ve probably all seen on your grandma’s dresser, filled with that thick white stuff that looks like lard, is my new favorite moisturizer.

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I never even considered putting the stuff on my face until a week ago. I assumed it would be thick and oily, and I figured my pimply skin couldn’t handle it. But then I read an article that compared Nivea to the famed Crème de la Mer–and the Nivea beat out its much more expensive counterpart by far. My skin was particularly dry because of my new face wash, so I grabbed one of those 99 cent tins, just out of curiosity. I washed my face as usual, then put on the Nivea. It isn’t one of those creams you can just slap on and be done. The Nivea is so thick that you have to pat it onto your skin gently.

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It smells surprisingly good, like citrus, and it’s very rich-feeling. I was really surprised by it the first night. Despite how thick it looks, it didn’t feel heavy at all on my skin. And it absorbed immediately. I had put it everywhere, including under my eyes, and my skin felt deeply hydrated. A lot of my redness was gone too.

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It may look too thick and heavy, but it's not, I swear!
It may look too thick and heavy, but it’s not, I swear!

I didn’t want to get my hopes up though. I was expecting to wake up and be covered with pimples, but to my great shock, there were no new pimples AND all my old acne scars looked much lighter. After just one night. I was intrigued. So far, I’ve worn it for a week, and I have not gotten one single pimple. Usually, when I’m trying a new product, I break out immediately if my skin can’t handle it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this. Previously, I had tried lots of expensive night creams that just left me very underwhelmed, but I never thought that something as cheap as Nivea would help my skin as much as it has. My skin just drinks it up, and it’s so gentle. It’s not something I would wear during the day, of course. It is way too rich for that, but for nightly use, I think I’ve found the perfect cream. And it can be used on your body too!

Review: Simple Skincare

My kitty is checking them out...
My kitty is checking them out…

Okay, so I just tried the new Simple Skincare Nourishing 24-hour Day/Night Cream, the Moisturizing Face Wash, and the Ultra-Light Gel Moisturizer. The Day/Night Cream is a thick white cream, with virtually no scent, and the Gel Moisturizer is clear and feels/performs a lot like E.L.F.’s Mineral Primer–very silicone-y, not too hydrating.

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Now, I’ve used Simple in the past with great success, and I assumed these products would be just as good for my skin. Boy was I wrong. I don’t know if they have changed the formula or what, but all three products have really irritated my skin. Like, REALLY irritated it. I look like I just had an unsuccessful face peel, and it was so red today that even my teacher noticed—she asked me if I was about to pass out, because “my face looked like it was on fire.” Nope, just my new products.

I have been using them for four days, and I noticed that my skin was somewhat red the first day, but I attributed it to lingering sensitivity from my La Roche Posay trial run. But then, the second day, when I put on the gel moisturizer, it made my face tingle and sting. The redness it induced did subside, but I noticed my skin felt extra dry, despite my not using any acne products. On the third day, after wearing the 24-hour cream all night, I woke up to a face that was red all over, and foolishly I thought putting on more of the gel moisturizer would help. Nope. Not at all. It burned really badly. Finally, today, on day four, I realized that what was messing up my face so much was Simple. It wasn’t the La Roche Posay, which I hadn’t touched in five days. I was irritated in places the La Roche Posay hadn’t even been, like under my eyes, around my mouth, and under my chin. I accidentally got some of the gel moisturizer on my lips, and immediately my lips got all hot and red! I had only used the Simple products, nothing else, and hadn’t made any other changes, so there was nothing else it could have been. I’ve used the face wash before and liked it, but this time it made my skin blotchy and dry. I looked at the ingredients on all three packages, and nothing jumped out at me as being an irritant or anything I was sensitive to, so this is perplexing to me. What the heck, Simple!

I got these products because I thought they’d be calming and more natural for my skin, but my skin hasn’t looked this bad in a long time. Not only do the moisturizers burn and cause irritation, but they aren’t hydrating either. My face felt just as dry, maybe even drier, after using them, and to make things worse, my skin is so irritated that it’s started peeling off in flakes. Not a good look for my upcoming spring break. This marks the first time that just a basic moisturizer has bothered my skin so much. I expect it from acne products, but not something that’s marketed as being “kind to skin.” Definitely pass on this one.

Also…sneak peek of my Forever 21 Premium Beauty Haul! Needless to say, I’m very excited about this. Expect a review soon!

 

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Favorite Everyday Skincare products

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Today I just wanted to talk about my favorite skincare products that I use on a daily basis. I feel like I’ve tried hundreds of products other the years to find a skincare routine that works for my face and body. Now, I’m not one of those lucky people who has been blessed with great skin. I have acne, and sensitive skin, and while most cleansers dry me out, most moisturizers break me out. I have dark circles, pre-rosacea, very oily skin, and acne scars on my face, and I think I’ve finally got a facial routine that keeps those issues under control. The skin on my body is dry, so I like my body lotion rich.

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For my face, I love my Noxzema Bacteria Fighting Cleanser. Its active ingredient is triclosan, which is in antibacterial hand soap. That made me a little hesitant to use it on my face at first–I was afraid it would dry me out or make my acne worse. But I tried it, and I’m so glad I did. It has helped my acne so much! Before, I was covered in cystic acne (oh joy) but this unclogs my pores and kills the pimple-causing bacteria on my face…WITHOUT turning my skin into the Sahara desert. It’s actually moisturizing, and contains aloe to soothe skin. It is very thick, and smells like Noxzema’s trademark clean scent. Plus, you only have to use a teeny bit to get a creamy lather going. My next favorite is Sea Breeze Naturals Facial Wash. This is a great, basic facial cleanser. I only picked this up because it was on sale for a dollar, and I was out of my other wash. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it though! For one. whole. dollar, this cannot be beat. It’s got a thin, liquid consistency, and smells subtly floral. I had never even heard of the Sea Breeze Naturals line, but apparently its main goal is to cut back on chemical ingredients and include more plant-based ones, like mint and camphor. It cleans my skin really well, and takes off makeup in a flash. Really beneficial for oily skin.

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For my moisturizer, I am in love with Elizabeth Arden Matte Moisture Lotion. Not only does it control oil, but it also clears up acne even better than more expensive treatments (*ahem Proactive*). I know everyone’s skin is different, but for anyone with acne or oily skin, this is highly recommended. It is $34, but it actually works. It feels much more like a serum than a moisturizer, honestly. With a milky consistency, it absorbs immediately, and is very gentle. It has a whole long list of skin-loving ingredients, like rosemary, lemon, grapeseed, and witch-hazel. It has normalized my complexion drastically. For my eye cream, I use Atopalm Daytime Under Makeup Cream–clearly not intended as an eye cream, but it works well. I had originally gotten it for my face, but oddly it wasn’t very hydrating there, although it works under my eyes just fine. Very gentle.

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My absolute favorite face primer is the divine Revlon Photoready Primer, which comes in a perfecting translucent option or a color correcting lavender one. I can’t say enough how great this primer is! Often I wear it by itself, because it brightens and corrects and controls oil so well that heck, I don’t even need foundation. It fills in my acne scars and lasts for a good twelve hours. For anyone who likes to wear a little something on their face but doesn’t want a full face of foundation, this is for you. This primer is light ages better than ALL of the high-end ones I have tried. For my lips, I’m currently liking the Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue balm, the clear version with menthol. Very hydrating!022
And lastly, my favorite body lotion is Curel Daily Moisture Lotion for dry skin. Not only does it smell fresh and clean, but it seriously makes my skin feel super soft and drenched in moisture for 24 hours. It doesn’t take long to absorb, either!
Well, those are my favorites, folks. What about you? Got any must-have skincare products?