Current Skincare and Makeup Loves

Makeup Peek
A peek into my current skincare and makeup routine.

Last year I resolved to use up all of the skincare and makeup I had been hoarding during the last few years. Some of it went in the garbage but most of it was used up to the point where my stash got pretty lean, something the old Carla would have hated. The current Carla is pretty happy with the size of her stash, there is plenty of room for new green additions.

I worked my way through quite a few cleansers, exfoliators and moisturizers. Along the way, I developed an interest in oil cleansing. I was reading everything I could on essential oils and carrier oils until I finally started using my own blends to remove my makeup and moisturize my skin. There was a period of adjustment but I found that I really preferred oil cleansing to how I use to cleanse my skin, it was relaxing and left my skin feeling better than ever. I was hooked but more on that later…

As for makeup, there are two things I have not purchased recently: foundation and concealer. I know a lot of you can relate to this, I had so many bottles of foundation and tubes of concealer that I forbid myself from buying any more. For the most part, I stayed the course. Small samples don’t count, right? I still have some foundation to work through but I’m almost at a point where I’m ready to scoop up some products I’ve been dying to try. I’m looking at you, Gressa and Kjaer Weis!

Do you know that feeling when you’ve gone for a long walk and you realize the end is in sight? That’s how I feel about this foundation/concealer “no buy” of mine, I’m glad it’s nearly over!

Continue reading Current Skincare and Makeup Loves

Products on a Pedestal for January 2012

It’s a new year and us gals here at Product Girl decided to introduce a new monthly feature dishing on our favorite products from makeup, skin care, hair, and anything in between. We call it “Products on a Pedestal.”  If you’re like me and love hearing people’s favs, check in at the end of every month to get the scoop. I’m kicking off the first edition!

To start, my favorite blush.  Is it possible to talk too much about a single product?  Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are just so good! We’ve yet really talk about the color Exposed, though. It’s such a unique tan, plum color. My everyday, perfect blush.

A new obsession for me is highlighters (following in the footsteps of my sister and Laurie!) Current favorite? TheBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer, such a cute name! The champagne shimmer is suitable for cheeks and eyes.

Now, since it is winter, had to mention my moisturizer. I’ve been using Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream and let me tell you, ahh-mazing!! It smells incredible, doesn’t feel greasy and makes my skin so soft. It also isn’t too much for my oilier skin.

Mascaras are an obsession of mine, so I had to include one. I’ve been head over heels for the Tarte Gifted Mascara. That’s exactly what it is, gifted. Does it all – lengthening, separation and volume in just one coat. Hardly any mascaras are up to my liking with one coat! Clump and flake free, this is something to talk about.

Undereye circles are something pretty much every woman faces at some point. As a teenager up late at night studying and chatting with friends, waking up in the morning is not my favorite thing. But when I need a pick me up, I reach for my Garnier Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Roller. Roll on a bit, blend, and I’m instantly (looking) more awake with laser sight!

New! TheBalm Balmbini Palette

I have a weakness for palettes and this new theBalm Balmbini palette is so cute, but then again I think pretty much everything from theBalm is cute. 🙂 The image here is a little dull in comparison to the real thing, this palette is definitely a vibrant one in terms of packaging and shades.

At $28, I think this palette is a pretty good value and features some of theBalm’s staples. It includes blush in Downboy and Hot Mama (almost a NARS Orgasm dupe), highlighter in Mary-Lou Manizer, ShadyLady eyeshadow in Insane Jane and Jealous Jordana then lip color Read My Lips in Wanted and a special edition Tinted Gloss. If I didn’t have most of these things already, my wallet would be totally exposed and vulnerable.

p.s. See the new Facebook box to the left? Do a gal a favor and Like us on Facebook. You can find our Facebook page here. Upload a picture, write on our wall… just hang out. 🙂

Product Girl 2009 Favorite Beauty Products – Face and Palettes

Our favorite beauty products of the year continues with our must-haves for our faces and top-picks for palettes! We saw a lot of new foundations released this past year, with the trend no longer being just coverage but good-for-you ingredients. See what stood our for us below!

Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer was a favorite of Carla’s this year. If this multi-tasking concealer is good enough to cover up Miss Von D’s tattoos, imagine what it can hide on your complexion?

We were wowed by Benefit Hello Flawless and Benefit Erase Paste. Together, the two create a flawless (uh, pun intended!) canvas. Plus, Benefit’s packaging and marketing is top-notch, don’t you think? We always look forward to seeing what they’re bringing next.

We fell hard for Dior Nude Skin Foundation and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, both giving excellent, buildable coverage without looking like we’re wearing foundation or irritating our sensitive skin.

The standout of MAC’s Colour Ready collection, Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder Powder, is our pick for best powder of 2009. This stuff is the perfect finisher to foundation and helps set our faces without mattifying us completely. And it’s part of the permanent line, thank you MAC… a few swipes of this with a brush and our pores are instantly minimized.

TheBalm Sexy Mama helped keep Carla’s skin shine free the year before so she re-upped and kept with it in 2009.  The adorable pinup girl may reel you in but this translucent powder is bringing sexy matte without caking.


We have a major thing for highlighters here at Product Girl HQ. Major. We could probably change the name of this blog to Highlighter Girl and get along just fine. But even we have our favorites. Bobbi Brown’s Nude Shimmer Brick may just be the best Shimmer Brick of all time. This gives that “lit from within” glow and is so easy to wear. It’s love. One of our most recent favorites, Le Tissage de Lames Chanel imparts a brightening gold sheen and is our pick for most luxurious.

Benefit’s One Hot Minute has been a revelation to us this year. Take your pick, use it as a bronzer or use it as a highligher, the gorgeous rose gold shimmer can work as either on a variety of skin tones. And how cute is the tin? Loving it…

MAC’s Rose Romance collection made a dent in our wallets and included an amazing cheek stain – Just a Pinch Gel Blush. It’s a sheer rosy red that gives a natural flush to cheeks. We would so looove to see more of these released! What do you say, MAC? Will we see more?

Another MAC blush that captured hearts in ’09 was The Perfect Cheek, released with MAC’s Fall launch, Make Up Art Cosmetics. It’s a tricky line a fair-skinned girl walks when wearing nude blushes (mud alert), but this has the right amount of pink in it to make it well, perfect. (Full of puns today, loud and proud!)

Ok, this is the last time we’ll mention the Trish McEvoy Voyager Beauty Emergency Card or Trish McEvoy… this year. 🙂 We can’t help it, we really, really love it. Pictures really don’t do this little set justice, if your local counter still has it, you need to snap this up… for cuteness sake.

We made some big claims about Dior’s Smoky Crystal quint earlier this month, and we stand by them! These shadows are incredibly smooth and every color in this palette is stunning.

Bobbi Brown has had some great releases this year but one of our favorites is the Bobbi Brown Brights Eye Palette. We love seeing Bobbi show us bolder color and this palette definitely had plenty of that.

Now it’s your turn. What lit up your face in 2009? Any palettes that you can’t get enough of?  Share in the comments!

Its TheBalm!

I am a bit of a shadow snob. There is nothing worse than chalky shadow that streaks on rather than blending beautifully. I’ve found that even expensive brands tend to disappoint in this arena which makes me loyal to my favorite companies that provide finely-milled, long wearing shadows. Recently, I decided to take a leap of faith and test out the Balm Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette.

the Balm Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette With their kitschy vintage pin-up packaging, I never took the brand very seriously until I tried it myself. TheBalm really impressed me with their highly-pigmented, quality Shady Lady shadows. Since the shades are so rich and intense, they easily convert to powder liners; just use a wet brush to apply. Check out this Sephora exclusive the Balm Shady Lady Eyeshadow Palette. It includes 9 fabulous Shady Lady shadows in a leopard palette. Colors range from rock-star intense to pretty plain vanilla (in a good way) – at $38 this is such a great value!

Since I have blue eyes, I was weary to break the cardinal “no blue shadow” makeup rule but I decided to try Risque Renee, a glistening navy blue.  I figured it would work as an alternative color to black for a smoky look. I applied the rich, soft shadow to my lids and followed with the usual routine (you know, highlighter on the brow, black liner on inner and outer eyelids, heavy mascara). The result was a surprisingly wearable grey denim color. Quite possibly my quickest and easiest, sexiest smoky eye in history.

Another beautiful shade is called Racy Kacy, a shimmering copper, with the perfect balance of metallic (not too sparkly), gold (not too yellow) and pink. I like to wear this shadow in an “understated” way – simply apply to lids and add 1 coat of mascara. Anything more would be too fancy, almost too special, if there is such a thing.

BalmShelter Tinted Gloss

theBalm BalmShelter SPF Tinted Lip Gloss Carla’s not the only one loving a product from retro-cute line theBalm. I’ve been using BalmShelter Tinted Gloss SPF 17 for a few weeks and it’s quickly become my go-to gloss. When no other color seems right with my outfit or the rest of my makeup, BalmShelter in Girl Scout (a shimmery, sheer light caramel color) ties it all together.

The gloss applies very lightly; you can swipe just a hint of it or goop it on. Either way, you end up with the same delicate, natural look. Because the formula is so sheer, it layers over lipstick like a dream. I’m not a huge fan of the taste – it’s distinctly green apple Jolly Rancher – but that’s not enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of this gloss. And the fact that it coats my lips in color and SPF is tops in my book.

Bringing Sexy Matte

One line that is very appealing to me is the Balm. I love their vintage packaging and the feel their line has. I picked up this product just because of the cute pinup on the front. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

The Balm Sexy Mama the Balm’s Sexy Mama is a mattifying translucent powder and it’s been in my bag ever since I got it. I’ve been using this powder to set my concealer and foundation and it works like a charm. It doesn’t leaves my skin looking powdery, it blends in very well and doesn’t leave any color behind. When I see a little shine coming on, I can add on layer of Sexy Mama on and it does not make me look cakey at all.

The packaging may be an issue for some but it’s not a problem for me at all. This powder is housed in a paper case and comes with a mirror just like some of it’s the Balm counterparts. The compact stays shut due to the magnetic closure in the case. The mirror isn’t the best mirror in the world but it works for touch ups and shouldn’t be enough to distract you from trying this product.