Take it all off

One of the most important things to learn about makeup is how to take it off. Our skin needs a chance to breathe and repair itself while we sleep, and it’s crucial to wash our faces at the end of a long day to get rid of any buildup, oil and grime. Neglecting to routinely cleanse the skin can result in clogged pores, breakouts, and a dull complexion.

For the past year I’ve been using Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Towlettes in the Hydrating formula and I love them, especially for the price. For a pack of 25 wipes it’ll cost you around $7.00. Each cloth is saturated so it effectively removes foundation and eye makeup (I use a different product for eyes too, if needed, Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover) so your cleanser can penetrate deeper and actually do its job. Neutrogena and other brands offer many different kinds of wipes in many different formulas for different skin care needs, but these are my favorite so far.

The wipes have a faint scent but nothing that is put there on purpose and doesn’t strike me as offensive. Since the formula is hydrating, it’ll save you if you absolutely can’t pull yourself out of bed to apply moisturizer.

You can also use a cleansing oil, (Bobbi Brown, MAC, and Shu Uemura are known for great ones) cleansing balm or cleansing milk but I find wipes to be faster, easier and less of a mess. Even at the end of a long day if you’re too exhausted to go through a whole skin care routine, you can at least use a wipe to get the product off your face and give your skin a break.

What do you use to cleanse?

MAC Fix+

There are products that are nice-to-haves, and those that are need-to-haves. Products that fall under the category of cosmetics are necessities in my opinion, but I’m admittedly a junkie. That being said, even I have my limits. These usually fall within the realm of setting sprays and the like; I just find them unnecessary. This was the reason I usually breezed right by MAC’s Fix+.

When I was giving into temptation and purchasing from yet another MAC collection some months ago (they release two per month…excessive??) I spritzed some Fix+ on my skin just as a refresher, not thinking much of it. After the spray set in, my skin felt better. Not only that, but it looked better. It revitalized my skin and gave it a natural, dewy appearance. A bottle came home with me that day. 

I’ve been using it every day after my makeup is complete. I don’t see it as a setting spray; it doesn’t really prolong the wear of my foundation. I have primer for that. I use it as a last step to make sure everything is blended and the appearance is natural. It’s a great tool if you happen to get a little heavy-handed with your blush or bronzer, causing your face to look loaded with power. Fix+ works as a diffuser and softens up your look. I keep a travel size bottle (only available at MAC Pro stores, not at your local department store counters) in my makeup bag at all times, and it proves especially useful in the hot summer months when you need a little pick-me-up.

There are many other uses for Fix+ if you’re trying to justify the price, which is $20 for a 3.4 oz bottle. It’s not bad considering how long it lasts and what it will do for your skin. It is unlike any other product and a simple spray bottle of water will not do the same thing, trust me. A travel-size bottle is $10 and will get you 1.0 oz of product. You can use Fix+ as a mixing medium for foiling eyeshadows to give you a metallic effect, you can use it to turn powder eyeshadow into an eyeliner, and you can use it with loose pigments to make them appear more vibrant on your eyelids. You can also spray it on your hair to tame flyaways and it works surprisingly well.

I’d recommend at least trying Fix+ when you’re browsing your cosmetic counters to see how it feels on your skin and what a lovely appearance it gives. It’s a solid product to have in your arsenal that can turn out to be a life-saver, more than once.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Supreme Foundation

With so many cosmetic lines on the market, each one has its own claim to fame. For Laura Mercier, it’s a flawless face. Perfect-looking skin is what Laura Mercier products are known to achieve. I’ve been a fan of the line since I started wearing foundation at age 14. My mother took me straight to the Laura Mercier counter, as the brand always made an appearance in the In Style Best Beauty Buys issues. I came away with a foundation and concealer that day, and they’ve stayed with me 11 years later.

Well there’s good news for fellow lovers of the line; Ms. Mercier has released a brand new formulation of foundation for us to enjoy. Laura Mercier Oil-Free Supreme Foundation is packed with skin-loving ingredients including Aloe Bardadens, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Panthenol and Silica. Each of these components blend together on the skin to give a flawless finish to the complexion that lasts all day.

Sensitive skinned gals can rejoice as this foundation is oil, fragrance and silicon-free. It’s offered in 12 shades and will be available soon at your local Laura Mercier counter, lauramercier.com and sephora.com. For a standard 1 oz bottle the cost is $42, but in my experience LM foundations are worth every penny due to their buildable yet natural coverage, shade range and longevity.

What do you think? Ready to give it a try?