GIVEAWAY! Win and get rid of your blackheads with Anjou!

Anjou Giveaway!

Blackheads, ugh. Who needs them? No one!! Let’s get rid of them, shall we? How about a skin care kit with a dissolving serum, pore minimizer, and deep cleansing pore strips, a 6 piece blackhead removal kit with all the tools you need to safely and effectively remove stubborn blackheads, comedones, and pimples, and a terrific magnifying mirror to properly see them for removal? Anjou has everything you need – including a giveaway for all three items, making this a fantastic contest that everyone will love – everyone except your blackheads!

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First, for treating those stubborn blackheads, Anjou Blackhead Remover Kit ($13) is a great treatment system that addresses problematic, congested skin. There is a serum for dissolving blackheads, which is followed with the pore strip. After the strip sits for ten or fifteen minutes, it’s peeled off and then you just massage in a little of the pore minimizer gel.

Blackhead Dissolving Serum and Pore Minimizer

Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

A complete poreless kit: Blackhead Dissolving Serum 48 ml / 1.6 oz, 32 Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, Pore Minimizer 48 ml / 1.6 oz

  •  Dissolve blackheads, remove dead cells, and shrink pores to reveal clear, fresh, and smooth skin
  • Designed to better fit your nose: Contour design with 6 ergonomic slits perfectly conforms to your nose for a more uniform contact
  • 32 strips for clearer pores: Benefit with 32 cleansing strips that will last for 4 to 6 months when used twice a week
  • Shorter treatment time: Quickly fix your pores with the easy-to-clean strip and cut your cleansing routine by half
  • A complete poreless kit: Blackhead Dissolving Serum 48 ml / 1.6 oz, 32 Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, Pore Minimizer 48 ml / 1.6 oz

Sometimes there are stubborn blackheads, whiteheads, comedones, or congested pores that need to be cleared out manually. As tempting as it is to use your fingers, that’s really not a good idea. Fingernails tend to rip and bruise the skin, making a bad situation even worse. You are much better off using the right tools for the job, and Anjou 6 in 1 Blackhead Remover Tools Kit ($8) has an excellent tool kit with 6 dual ended tools that address every possible problem in a precise and hygienic manner.

Anjou 6 in 1 Tool Kit

Anjou 6 in 1 Tool Kit

Anjou 6 in 1 Tool Kit

  • A Useful Skin Care Kit: A cleaner and more hygienic way than your fingers to remove impurities like acne, blackheads, whiteheads, comedones, and pimples
  • 6 Tools to a Clearer Complexion: 6 differently sized bottlenecks, needles, and tweezers effectively help you handle pimples and acne of different sizes and types
  • Ergonomically Shaped Stainless Steel: The tools are durable with a rust resistant stainless steel and anti-slip handle that helps you better control the pressure and get a secure grip during use
  • Convenience for Traveling: Individual leather package is convenient for storage and transport; integrated mirror enables you to use it everywhere
  • Precaution: We recommend to use the kit on acne that is ripe enough and please wipe all tools with rubbing alcohol before and after each use

There is a tool for every sort of skin emergency you can think of! Check out all of the different variations right at your fingertips to tackle any type of pore congestion. The tools are great quality – I was very impressed, especially with the price point so reasonable.

Anjou Makeup Mirror

The Anjou Makeup Mirror ($22)  is terrific. Lightweight, easy to use, and I love that it comes with batteries. One side is 1x magnification, the other is 7x magnification for seeing all those problem areas up close so you can do your extractions with the ultimate precision.

  • Standard & 7x Magnification Mirror: Reflect a clear image of your face or an extreme close-up to better view your eyes, chin, or nose for makeup, shaving, or deep cleansing
  • Full Circle LED Lights: Get a clearer sight of your face with a focused light that makes up for dim indoor lighting conditions
  • Double Side 360° Rotation: Spin the mirror and angle it at any position to obtain the best angle for different makeup needs
  • Portability for Flexibility: Benefit from the cable-free compact design and conveniently place it anywhere for a quick touchup
  • Unique Minimalist Design: Black and white linear style fits any décor; includes 1x Lighted Makeup Mirror, 3x AA Batteries, 1x User Guide, and a 12 Month Warranty
So this is really a 3 pronged approach (pun definitely intended!). Soften and dissolve those blackheads with the treatment serum and deep cleansing pore strips. Then, for particularly difficult blackheads, do proper extractions with the right tools using the 6 in 1 Tool Kit – and do this delicate work correctly using the Anjou Makeup Mirror.  Enter our giveaway for all three items today to make your blackheads a thing of the past! – Lisa
Giveaway information: giveaway ends at 11:59 EST 11/30/2017.  You must complete all three mandatory entry options to qualify for this giveaway!  Giveaway is US only.  Good luck!!

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IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer and Bye Bye Breakout Powder

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakcout Full Coverage Concealer and Powder

It doesn’t seem to matter how old I get. Wrinkles? Check. Oily skin? Check. Blemishes? Check. Yes, someone up there has one heck of a sense of humor. I thought by this age I would at least be done with the zits. But nooooo. My blogging partner Marcia was blessed with much nicer skin than I have, so she happily gave me the Bye Bye Breakout products to test – the Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer and the Bye Bye Breakout Powder.

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IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakcout Full Coverage Concealer

The Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer ($28) is a creamy concealer in a jar with a doe foot applicator. This isn’t a concealer for dark undereye circles, although I will make a major confession – I am forever running late so I have been known to use this to conceal whatever needs covering up at the moment. It certainly does conceal, but it’s more of a medium concealer, not full coverage.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full Coverage Concealer in Fair

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full Coverage Concealer in Fair

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full Coverage Concealer swatches, left to right:  Fair, Light, Medium, Medium Tan, Tan, Rich, Deep

It also doesn’t make those blemishes super dry and cracked, which is what I was a little afraid of – ever try drying lotion? I was wary, thinking it might be similar and I thought how in the world could I go through the day with something like that on my skin for everyone to see?? But it’s nothing like that. Ingredients include anti-aging peptides and hydrolyzed collagen, plus oil-absorbing zinc oxide, kaolin clay, witch hazel, tea tree, sulfur and a gentle AHA/BHA complex.

There are seven different shades from which to choose. I like Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Concealer for my localized breakouts, and I think it works even better in tandem with Bye Bye Breakout Powder.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Powder

The sister product to the Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer is the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Powder ($28), a loose powder that absorbs oil and keeps you shine-free while also preventing new breakouts. There are lots of great ingredients for doing so, including zinc oxide, kaolin clay, witch hazel, colloidal oatmeal, tea tree, sulfur as well as an AHA/BHA complex.

My breakouts are typically localized – I will get one or two on my chin or by my nose. The loose powder is meant to go over the concealer to really finish it and give an airbrushed look, as well as provide more treatment for the inflamed area. Hence, the price – $28 is rather expensive for a loose powder, especially for one that is relatively small when you compare it to the jars offered by other lines, which are about twice the size. But the ones from other lines are basically cornstarch and filler, not treatment, which is why they are cheaper and you get lots more. Now, if you are very blemish prone you can certainly use this as a full face finishing powder and it will do a beautiful job. Just know that since it’s also a treatment product, it’s going to be a bit more expensive for you.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Powder swatches, left to right:  Translucent, Light/Medium, Tan/Rich

The shades available are Translucent, Light/Medium, and Tan/Rich. I had to swatch them quite heavily because the shades are actually quite forgiving. Basically, Translucent will work for anyone up to slightly darker than medium skin. If you have medium skin you will probably want the medium shade, and anyone darker than medium should go with the Tan/Rich shade.

I am a huge believer in multi-tasking. If I am going to have products on my face while they are covering up blemishes why not also be treating them and preventing new ones from popping up? That sort of logic definitely speaks to me! You can find Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer , Bye Bye Breakout Powder, and other IT Cosmetics products online and at Ulta stores.  – Lisa

Lisa’s Top Five Favorites from Paula’s Choice Cosmetics

Top Five Paula's Choice Cosmetics Favorites

There are many, many reasons why I am such a huge fan of the Paula’s Choice line, but really what it comes down to is this:  Paula’s Choice is full of no BS, workhorse products that are the foundation of an excellent skin care and color cosmetics arsenal. Is every single product my favorite? No, there are some products (hello foundations and concealer!) that have never worked for me. Is this a perfect line? No, there are too many skin care products with similar functions and the names are way too complicated and confusing. That said, this is the line I recommend for anyone new to beauty products, for anyone looking for effective yet gentle skin care, and especially for any teenagers who want the perfect products to treat their crazy skin care needs.

paula-begoun

Love her or hate her, Paula Begoun has had a huge impact on the cosmetics industry. Me? I love her.  Way back in the day I bought her books, read them over and over, underlined, highlighted, tabbed…I subscribed to her newsletter and saved every single one, pouring over them and making my wish lists of the best things to purchase. When she started her own cosmetics and skin care line I wondered if she could keep her objectivity. Much to my delight, I think Paula is still the same sort of prickly but totally no-nonsense expert that I can always count on for fantastic advice.

I have way more than five favorites from Paula’s Choice, but here are my top five products that I purchase over and over (and always have several backups waiting the wings just in case!). I have chosen only skin care items so I didn’t even have to wrestle with my favorite color items.

  1. Gentle Makeup Remover ($16)
  2. Professional Blemish Extracting Tool ($14)
  3. Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide ($19)
  4. Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ($56)
  5. 10% Niacinamide Booster($42)
Paula's Choice Gentle Makeup Remover

Paula’s Choice Gentle Makeup Remover

My first favorite is the Gentle Touch Makeup Remover. This is the very best makeup remover I have ever tried and I buy this four bottles at a time whenever there is a sale. I usually wear full coverage foundation and my skin tends to break out especially in my t-zone. So I take cleansing very seriously, and the first step is always makeup remover. This dual-phase liquid makeup remover needs to be shaken first and after squirting some onto a cleansing pad you wipe off makeup prior to cleansing. It removes everything, even waterproof mascara and the most tenacious lipstick. It’s completely safe to use on eyes, and it leaves skin feeling moist and hydrated but not oily or greasy.

One end of the Professional Blemish Extracting Tool

One end of the Professional Blemish Extracting Tool

The other end of the Professional Blemish Extracting Tool

The other end of the Professional Blemish Extracting Tool

My second favorite is the dual-ended Professional Blemish Extracting Tool. Extraction is necessary and correct extraction is essential!! PC has this fantastic stainless steel extractor that safely removes blackheads and whiteheads without tearing the skin and making a bad situation even worse.  You’ve got to get those blackheads out – if you don’t, you risk enlarged pores and serious infection.  Plus, congestion of the pores is painful to have and painful for other people to look at. This baby puts pressure around the congested pore without digging in like your fingernails do, providing even pressure that gently pushes the blackhead or whitehead out of the pore. It is the BOMB.

Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl PeroxideMy third favorite is the Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide. This is a fantastic spot treatment that works quickly without stressing already stressed skin. It’s not just triage – it also prevents future breakouts and controls very oily areas. I use it around my nose and on my chin every morning and night, and sometimes I use it as an all-over mask in the evening. This 5% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment is fantastic for teens and it works on every skin type. I find that most benzoyl peroxide treatments have other ingredients that irritate and dry out skin, but this light lotion is super gentle and has nothing irritating in it at all.

Paulas Choice Retinol Treatment 2

My fourth favorite is the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. This is an exfoliating skin treatment that is applied after cleansing.  Here are all the skin ailments it treats:

  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Brown Spots, Wrinkles
  • Firms skin, smoothing deep wrinkles and fine lines
  • Reduces dark spots and uneven skin tone, refines pore size

This is a retinol product and I know that some people have problems tolerating retinol. However, even if you have a history of difficulty with retinols, I urge you to give this a try. It has licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants that make it great for sensitive skin. My skin has always reacted well to retinols, and this product in particular gives me beautiful and immediate results. My skin is much smoother, pores smaller, fine lines less noticeable. Retinol actually stimulates collagen production, so the results over time are fantastic.

Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide BoosterPaula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster

My fifth favorite is the 10% Niacinamide Booster, one of Paula’s newest products for reducing pore size. My first bottle was sent as a press sample, but I used that all up and have already bought another. This is great stuff that makes the rest of my skin care even better. Here’s why your pores get larger as you age: skin naturally sheds built up oil and dirt. When we are young, this process happens pretty quickly, so our skin looks almost as if it doesn’t even have pores. As we get older, especially after age 30, this process slows down so dirt and oil stays inside our pores longer. The increased collection of dirt and oil causes pores to stretch out and become enlarged. Exfoliating on a regular basis helps your skin’s shedding process, but even with the most diligent skin care maintenance pores become enlarged.  The 10% Naicinamide Booster does four main things: improves uneven skin tone, reduces the appearance of pore size, improves skin texture, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3. It’s a very exciting ingredient that has been scientifically proven to seriously shrink enlarged pores as well as wrinkles. What is really cool about this product is that it’s a super lightweight serum that can be used alone or added to another serum or moisturizer. I put a few drops in my treatment serum every morning and every night and I am truly impressed with my results!

If you are a long time Paula’s Choice fan, I hope that my picks give you incentive to try them. If you haven’t tried this line out, I can’t recommend it highly enough.  I know that you will quickly find your five favorites that will become staples of your skin care regimen.

Click on this link for $10 off your first order if you are new to Paula’s Choice  This is part of the Refer-a-Friend program and will give me credit towards a future Paula’s Choice order. Paula always has specials going – right now the special is free shipping and a free full size Clinical Body Butter for all orders over $50.  – Lisa