sunscreen

News: FDA Issues New Rules for Sunscreen Labeling

Via the Los Angeles Times:

“The agency has developed new protocols for testing the products’ effectiveness at blocking the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Under the new guidelines, sunscreens may be labeled “broad spectrum” if they block UVB radiation and a percentage of UVA radiation. UVB is the major cause of sunburn, while both UVA and UVB cause early skin aging and skin cancer.

Products that are broad spectrum and have a sun protection factor of 15 or higher may be labeled to say that they reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging. Conversely, those that are not broad spectrum or that have an SPF lower than 15 will be required to carry a warning that they have not been shown to reduce such risks.

Sunscreens will no longer be able to claim to have a specific SPF above 50: The highest category now will be 50+. “We don’t have sufficient data to show that those with an SPF higher than 50 provide greater protection,” [said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research].

Products will no longer be allowed to be labeled as sun blocks because there is no evidence that they block all the radiation in sunlight. Products also may no longer be labeled “waterproof” or “sweat proof.” Instead, they can only be called “water resistant,” and labels must state clearly how long such protection lasts — either 40 minutes or 80 minutes.

Labels with these new requirements must be in place by summer 2012, Woodcock said, but the agency hopes that companies will implement them sooner.

Woodcock also noted that there had been some concern about sunscreens containing nanoparticles of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which block sunlight. Some critics have suggested that the extremely small particles can penetrate the skin and cause health problems.

But Woodcock said the agency had recently performed animal testing and found that the nanoparticles do not penetrate the skin. The findings are in agreement with studies that have been published in scientific journals, and there is currently no evidence to suggest that other chemicals commonly used in sunscreens are dangerous, she added.”

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11120192@N07/1048268321/

 

Review: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++

Since May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (right, I knew that, of course I knew that, how dare you suggest that my previous posts on sunscreen were just happy coincidences), I thought I might as well keep on with another review of a tinted sunscreen. Or a tinted primer with sunscreen. Or a sunscreen primer that’s tinted. Whatever.

If you cruise around the billions and billions of makeup blogs on the interwebz, you are sure to come across a mention or two of a mysterious product called a BB (beauty balm) cream, which hails from the Asian markets. BB creams are touted to moisturize, act as a primer, provide sunscreen, lighten the skin, heal blemishes and minor skin injuries, act as a tinted moisturizer, record all of your favorite shows on TV, do your dishes, change the oil in your car, bake oatmeal cookies, walk the dog, and predict the winner of America’s Next Top Model (DidYouWatchThatLastCycleOhMyGodSheTotallyDidn’tDeserveToWin). I am only slightly exaggerating. They’re like Jesus in a tube.

Since these are so popular in the Asian market, you would figure it would only be a matter of time before they are released into the wild — which is to say, into the slavering barbaric lands of the West. And indeed, within the last several weeks, the eagle has landed for a couple of these products. Unfortunately, saith the blogosphere, these Westernized BB creams lack most of the awesome power of the originals. Having never tried the originals (but hoping to pick one up someday), I can’t vouch for that. However — just because they aren’t the same as Asian BB creams doesn’t mean they aren’t worth exploring in their own right. I am here today to defend one of these products: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++.

First of all, I don’t know why Dr. Jart+ has a + after his name. It makes me want to add something there too. You know, like Ke$ha. I could be Vøxy. Or, Vöxy. Or Voxyº, which symbolizes that I am hot hot hot. Or Voxy± to signify my ambivalence about something. Ideas?

Right. On to the actual review. Forget anything that you might have heard about what other BB creams are like and just see if you like this product for what it is. I have to say, I really love it. (Løve it.)

I would describe this as a tinted primer with SPF. It is heavy on the silicone, so those who are not ‘cone-a-holics may want to avoid this one. It is also, I am delighted to say, definitely, defiantly pink in tone. Hä! We çool-tonéd girlß will tâke contró£ oƒ the wö®l∂ 1 of thésè dª¥z. You wait and see.

While in Hell recently, I used it as a primer in the morning over a liquid sunscreen by Cosmedix, and used the previously-reviewed e.l.f. mineral powder sunscreen as a finishing powder and for touchups during the day. The combination worked great; I didn’t come home with any tanning of facial skin. Now that I am no longer in Hell, and neither the heat nor the UV exposure are quite as extreme, I can eliminate the Cosmedix and just go with the Dr. Jart and the e.l.f.

As a primer, I find it not *quite* sufficient for the areas of my face that really need help in terms of camouflaging larger pores — that is to say, my nose and surrounding territories. This is easily remedied by applying my favorite primer (Too Faced Primed & Poreless) either on top or beneath the Dr. Jart. That is seriously my only complaint about the product. The color is a great match for me; it has enough coverage to even out skin tone but not so much that it looks fake-ly opaque; it wears well through the day; it’s easy to blend — in short, it’s a big tube of WIN. (No Jesus, though. Sorry.)

For those who are wondering about the “+++” business, this is one part of the Asian-market sunscreen effectiveness designation. Not for them our measly UVA/UVB  or “SPF 15” designations (though the Dr. Jart people do tell us that this is SPF 45). US sunscreen designations tell us the strength of the UVB protection, but not that of the UVA protection; we are merely warned to choose a sunscreen that says it has “broad spectrum” protection. The PA system (which comes in +, ++, or +++) is like its European compatriot PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening) in that it measures the strength of protection against UVA rays, the part of American sunscreen designations that’s woefully missing. PA+ products offer “some” UVA protection, and correspond to a European PPD grade of 2-4. (Note that’s not at all the same as an SPF of 2-4!) PA++ products are generally what’s touted as your everyday sunscreen, and correspond to European PPD 4-8. PA+++ is the top mark and corresponds to European PPD of 8 or above; obviously this is the kind you want to pick up if you can get it. The product under review today both has an SPF of 45 (UVB) and is designated PA+++ … so, definitely worth picking up from a protection point of view.

This was a dream to apply and blended well with my skin (but remember, I am both light and pink). It lasted all day but was not stubborn when it came time to remove it. The packaging is neat and clean, with a pump top under the black cap. I do wonder a little bit how well the pump will dispense product when the tube starts to approach empty, but that’s a problem for a future date. I will definitely repurchase this, since it can fulfill most of the functions of my foundation and gives a higher level of sun protection to boot. Note that I’m thinking of it as a foundation replacement, not a primer replacement — I’ll still use my Primed and Poreless in conjunction with it to make sure that areas that need extra primer coverage are, well, covered.

The blurriness in the photo at the top is not that I was drunk while I was taking the picture (come on, you were thinking it, you know you were) but is instead due to the odd way the printing is applied to the tube. It’s cool-looking but doesn’t photograph well.

Swatch!

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Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++: $39 at Sephora

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair. A bit pricey.

Purchase again? Yes (though I’ll also be checking out other BB creams as they hit the U.S. market)

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: e.l.f. Studio SPF 45 Sunscreen UVA/UVB Protection

Buy this now.

Oh, did you want more? Sorry.

Buy this right now.

Seriously, this is an amazing product. As you may have gleaned from the Wall, I was recently in Hell a tropical location, and this performed like freaking gangbusters. I absolutely could not have been more impressed.

I have never been super-tolerant of hot weather, and since coming down with heat exhaustion at last year’s Commencement, have been even less tolerant than before. (A Biologist warned me that that could happen, and unfortunately she was correct.) So in terms of climate, this was a difficult trip.

Because we were nearly in equatorial climes, I wanted to be sure I had plenty of good facial sunscreen options. I brought with me my Cosmedix Reflect SPF 30 liquid mineral sunscreen, a Dr. Jart SPF 45 BB cream (soon to be reviewed), and this e.l.f. powder sunscreen. I figured the e.l.f. would probably be the easiest way to preserve some semblance of glamour rather than being a slick, shiny, sunscreen-y mess. Most days I put the Cosmedix and the Dr. Jart on in the morning, followed a little later by the e.l.f., and then reapplied the e.l.f. throughout the day as needed.

I am beyond amazed at the performance of this product. Did I sweat? Of course — it was 100º and excessively humid. But the surprising thing was that I sweated through the powder. I don’t know how to explain this. When I toweled off my dripping face gently touched a tissue to my brow, the tissue came away with sweat glow on it, but no powder. The powder did not streak or smear — not even a little bit. It was bulletproof. Bulletproof! And I know bullets, because I was sweating them. The tissue came away damp, but my face looked matte and flawless, as if I had just put on foundation. Same goes for swimming — for all but the most extended swim sessions, the water just beaded up on my face and was easily brushed away.

Now, of course all of this amazingness has to come at a price, right? That price is this: because it does such an excellent job of repelling moisture and clings to your skin so closely, this product is a son-of-a-bitch to get off. I ended up scrubbing most of it off with a Buf-Puf (yes, I learned to love them as a teen in the 80s, and they’re so convenient for travel!) and removing the rest with my Clarisonic. When I tried not using the Buf-Puf, all I ended up doing was staining the bristles of the Clarisonic. I was not pleased.

The other drawback to it is that the container is really much larger than it needs to be and the lid is difficult to close completely. It’s a screw-top lid that closes into place with a snap, but the lid can be sticky as you approach that last bit. It comes with a powder puff, which you will probably want to throw out because powder puffs do such a good job of collecting oil and re-depositing it on your face. Use a powder or blush brush instead.

I should mention that unlike some other mineral powder sunscreens, this one is not colorless. There is a slight tint to it; it looks more tinted in the container than it does on skin. It’s pretty neutral in undertone — neither too pink nor too yellow — and I would say it clocks in on the MAC scale at about NC/NW 25. This means that it will probably work on most people of Caucasian, Asian, or light Mediterranean descent. People with deeper skintones might not find it such a good match.

If you intend to spend any time outside this summer, I can’t say enough good things about this product. E.l.f. is sometimes a little hit-or-miss with quality, but this one knocks it out of the park. Did I mention it’s only $6?

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e.l.f. Studio SPF 45 Sunscreen UVA/UVB Protection: $6

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent, amazing, fabulous, and awesome.

Purchase again? Try and stop me. Go ahead, try.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

Photo from the e.l.f. website. I usually take my own product photos, but mine is no longer in any condition to be photographed.

Review: Cosmedix Reflect SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen Spray

What? A sunscreen that Voxy actually likes? Can’t be.

No, seriously, it’s true. (Actually, there have been a couple I’ve been liking lately. Someone better check the alignment of the planets, because this is very suspicious.)

The Reflect sunscreen spray is part of my general love affair with the Cosmedix line. Everyone should be wearing sunscreen, but this goes double — triple — for anyone who’s also using Retin-A, a retinol product, hydroquinone, or AHAs. These products increase your skin’s photosensitivity so it’s even more important that you slather on the SPF. The problem is that so much of the time, slathering on the SPF is so unpleasant that it almost guarantees noncompliance. (I am not immune to that either; I’ve been searching for a sunscreen that I didn’t resent wearing every day.)

I’m so happy that Reflect is a sunscreen that is actually a pleasure to wear. (See? Go check the planets, right now.)

Reflect uses micronized titanium dioxide to provide broad-spectrum UV protection, and manages to do it without that terrible Edward Cullen ghostly white cast that titanium dioxide sometimes evokes. Because this is a physical sunscreen, not a chemical one, you can put it on at the end of your moisturizing routine, before you apply makeup. It also contains antioxidants, which is a nice bonus.

It comes in a spray bottle, and in theory you could hold the bottle in front of your face, with your eyes squeezed shut, and spritz away. In practicality, however, the spray mechanism does not produce very fine droplets, so you will look like someone flicked a paintbrush covered in white paint in your general direction. If it didn’t extend to getting on clothes, I wouldn’t care so much, but at this price point you really don’t want to waste any. Instead, squirt two or three spritzes at a time into your hand, and apply with fingers. You can pat the remainder into your skin with your palm. Don’t be afraid of the white color; it melts into colorlessness a few seconds after application.

What I love about this is that you can apply it over moisturizer and it’s imperceptible under makeup. This is unusual. And — O frabjous day! — it doesn’t make me break out. Now, there are some drawbacks: it’s not waterproof, so you would need to reapply after any swimmy activities. If I were planning a day out in the sun doing summery outside things, this isn’t the sunscreen I’d turn to — I’d probably use the Neutrogena liquid sunblock. This is partially because the Neutrogena is more tenacious under extreme conditions like sweating glowing and swimming, and partially because the Reflect is too expensive to use in a situation where you would need to reapply it frequently. It’s a fabulous sunscreen for handling daily exposure in small amounts, but if you’re planning any extended activities in the sun, I’d go with something more powerful and cheaper.

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Cosmedix Reflect SPF 30 sunscreen spray: $44. Available in-store at some spas, or order online at DermStore, Skinstore, etc. (Cosmedix does not sell directly from their website.)

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair. I mean, come on, $42 for a sunscreen? But I actually use it (without complaining), so evidently it’s worth it for me.

Purchase again? Yes, but only on sale.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 55

I mentioned this product in the course of my woe-is-me post about heat exhaustion at graduation, but I realized I never gave it a proper review. Since there’s still quite a bit of summer left, I thought I should remedy that.

You all know that I’ve never been a fan of Neutrogena sunscreens. They’ve either had a greasy texture, or caused breakouts, or looked at me funny, all of which are dealbreakers. But I am also a sucker for a new product, and the idea of a liquid sunblock that was actually imperceptible (or almost) under makeup made me get my Don Quixote on and venture forth with lance in hand to fight yet another windmill. Which is to say, I went to Target and bought some. (The other way is just so much more dramatic.)

Neutrogena makes this in SPF 55 and SPF 70. I bought the SPF 55, figuring that if I did turn out to be sensitive to the sunscreen, then having less of it in the product might reduce irritation or breakouts, and since there isn’t compelling evidence that sunscreen numbers over 50 provide a comparably significant uptick in protection, I decided it wasn’t worth the (possible) risk. The active sunscreen ingredient here is Helioplex, which is Neutrogena’s trademarked name for a combination of oxybenzone and avobenzone. It does provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, but these are both chemical sunscreens, so if you’re looking for a physical sunscreen (titanium oxide, zinc oxide), this is not it.

The marketing gimmick of this particular product is that you can wear it over moisturizer and it will be virtually undetectable to either sight or touch under makeup. And it is! I was very impressed. It really is a liquid — and I’m mentioning that only because in spite of the fact that it’s clearly stated on the label, I’m so used to sunscreens in a lotion or cream that I’m still a tiny bit surprised that it’s the consistency and color of whole milk. It goes on extremely smoothly and is, exactly as advertised, almost imperceptible under makeup. Yes, if you’re really paying attention, you can feel a small difference in your skin after application. But it’s tons better than almost any other sunscreen I’ve used, and certainly better than any other Neutrogena sunscreen I’ve used. (I have another sunscreen review coming up that is even smoother than the Neutrogena, but it’s also almost 4x its price.)

I’ve worn this several times since my Extreme Graduation adventure, and it’s always performed excellently. It is not quite sweatproof (no sunscreen really is), but it’s very tenacious and hangs on well in heat and humidity. I didn’t have any irritation, itching, or breakouts. I was careful to wash it off when I was done with outside stuff for the day, though, so I didn’t let it sit on my skin for longer than necessary.

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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 55: $11.99

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent. You can get sunscreens for less, but they don’t perform like this one.

Purchase again? Surprisingly, yes. And that’s the first time I’ve said that about a Neutrogena sunscreen.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a shout-out in the comments!)

Review: Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream For Face, SPF 36

Pop quiz!

Which of the following things is true of this product?

A. It has a smooth, creamy texture, is very moisturizing, and wears well
under makeup
B. It has a non-irritating broad-spectrum sunscreen containing octinoxate
and zinc oxide
C. It is marketed as being “very water-resistant” and perspiration-
resistant
D. It smells like someone set off a dirty bomb made of home perm kits
in your bathroom
E. All of the above

Bonus essay question: In 500 words or less, explain why Shiseido thought it would be a good idea not to put the expiration date of the sunscreen on either the tube or the box. No, seriously. I’d like to know.

The company has recently changed its formulation so that the SPF is 38, so that’s the product I’ve linked to below. I have no word on any comorbid change of scent.

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Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream For Face, SPF 38: $30 at Nordstrom’s

Provenance: Purchased (not at Nordstrom’s)

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair.

Purchase again? Yes, along with a bag of clothespins for my nose. I really hope the SPF 38 version is unscented; the stuff really does stink to high heaven.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Monday Mix: The Ultimate Sunscreen/Makeup Road Test, and Sales!

Sarah_Grad_2009_211_17 by nsaplayer.Ah, there’s nothing like Commencement — the strains of Pomp and Circumstance, the stirring speeches by inspiring people, and oh yeah, the three hours in the blazing early afternoon sun in 90º weather with high humidity, dressed in layers of black cloth and velvet, scrunched next to each other like hot sardines, with no shade anywhere in sight, and with one 12-oz. bottle of warm water apiece. This year I got heat exhaustion from Commencement. I am not kidding. I was ill for the rest of the day and could not regulate my body temperature until somewhere around midnight. If you have never had heat exhaustion, let me tell you that it is seriously unpleasant.

However, although my body was overtaxed and stressed, I’m pleased to say that my makeup and sunscreen hung in there. I had been wondering how some of these products would perform in extreme conditions, and I’m happy to report that they did a darned good job overall.

This was the first time I’d tested the Neutrogena Liquid Sunscreen, and I don’t have a single red/burned spot on my face. Not bad for three hours in the constant sun. It held up very well, and it was indeed almost imperceptible after application. For the body I am using up one of my facial sunscreens that I don’t like on the face (Kinerase Daily Defense Lotion SPF 30), and that worked well too. All in all I escaped without any sunburn-related redness. (I was worried when I saw my arms and legs turning pink, but it turned out that was just my muscles and internal organs cooking. Whew!)

Instead of a tinted moisturizer I decided to go with my regular MAC Mineralize Skinfinish cream foundation (SPF 15). Actually, “decided” is the wrong word. “Reached for without thinking” would have been more accurate. I set it with MUFE HD powder, as always, and used Too Faced Primed & Poreless facial primer, Shadow Insurance eye primer, and Lip Insurance lip primer underneath. (Review of that last one coming soon.) The combination did a remarkably good job of keeping me in the “dewy” category rather than “rivers of sweat pouring down my face.” Yes, I did “glow” a little, but it was much better than it might have been. My eyeshadow (Urban Decay and Clinique, applied over MAC Paint Pot in Painterly) lasted beautifully in the heat and my Tarte cheek stain in Berrylicious did a pretty good job too. Lips were a lost cause; my lipstick just melted. All told, though, it could have been a lot worse.

Sales!

Just a couple, but they might be up your alley:

Smashbox is having a F&F sale through 5/28! 20% off your purchase with code FF2010.

Sephora is having a 10% off sale for VIBs through 6/7 with code V436CB.

… and don’t forget that the Hourglass sale (35% off!) is still going on through 5/31 with code LUCKYBREAKS2.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nsaplayer/3596478415/

Monday Mix: Putting Rejected Sunscreens to Good Use; Sales

I’m sure you’re all having a hard time getting going today after the traditional Mother’s Day wild partying and accompanying hangovers, so I’ll try not to type too loudly. I’m hoping to hit the stores today for the post-holiday half-price bad floral arrangements and sappy greeting cards. Score!

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and so if you haven’t been as diligent with sunscreen as you’d like, this month you’ll be seeing plenty of encouragement to start. (For one, the Sephora Collection Sun Safety Kit has just come out — it’s a sampler of 12 sunscreen products plus two UV-detection cards and a makeup bag, all for $25.)

My own effort to increase my sunscreen diligence is as follows: I’m taking my rejected facial sunscreens and keeping them in a basket near the door so I can apply on my neck, chest, and arms before I get in the car. Car windows do not protect against all UV damage, and the fact that my left arm has significantly more little brown spots on it than my right one does is evidence of that. I might not have liked those products as facial sunscreens, but they’re fine on the body, and I’d rather use them up before they expire rather than go out and buy more.

Sales!

Cake Beauty is having a F&F sale with 40% off (!) all purchases, through 5/14. Enter code FRIENDS at checkout.

Hourglass is still having their F&F 35% off sale through 5/31 with code LUCKYBREAKS2.

Julie Hewett has 20% off thorugh 5/15 with code SPRING20.

HauteLook has Rodial skincare today (5/10) and GoSMILE tomorrow 5/11. All sales begin at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.

UPDATE: Shu Uemura is offering 20% off on purchases of $50 and over from 5/10-5/14 with code HAPPY. You will also get free shipping.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleeker/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

Review: Hard Candy Sheer Envy Tinted Moisturizer

Part of the ongoing Foxalicious Fundamentals: Foundation series!

I don’t understand why the people who make $40 tinted moisturizers can’t do as well as this one, which costs $8 at Wal-Mart. (And if you are anti-Wally, you are out of luck, because they have the exclusive in-store distribution rights to Hard Candy products, at least for now. You can get some things via Amazon or eBay, though.)

It’s too early to say whether this is my Holy Grail of tinted moisturizers (I suspect not, because the choir of angels singing its praises is just slightly off-key), but it is better than all the other ones I’ve tried. The only contender is my Sue Devitt TM, which outshines this in terms of both coverage and finish but which isn’t moisturizing enough. I’m still saving that one for the hot swampy days of July. Still, let us not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Of all of this year’s tested products to date, this is the best tinted moisturizer overall.

Hard Candy is an uneven line, with some really excellent products (especially for a drugstore line) and then some odd misses. You will have to get over the fact that some of the products look like they are designed for eleven-year-old girls who are just moving out of the “Hello Kitty” phase. However, the Sheer Envy tinted moisturizer is generally a hit for grownups as well as eleven-year-olds (and if you are wearing foundation at age eleven, STOP IT NOW). It has good coverage, a reasonably nice finish, and SPF 15 that doesn’t break me out (hence the choir of angels). It only comes in six shades, though, and I’m not sure how forgiving they are. This one, which is “light” (#2 of the six), was the only one that was pink enough for me to wear, so if you have more yellow tones in your skin than I do, you will probably do well. If you are pinker than I am, it might be difficult; this turns pretty neutral on me but might look sallow on anyone pinker than me.

I’ve tried this both alone and over primer, and I do find that its finish is better over primer. I also set it with HD silica powder; without setting powder it dries to a finish that is a little too shiny for me. The final finish is smooth but not as velvety or dewy as my cream foundation. It lasts all day without peeling or flaking, which sets it ahead of some of the other products I’ve tried, and it’s easy to remove. Here’s an odd thing: it does tend to cling more to my eyebrows than other foundations — that is, when I’m applying it to the forehead, if I get it on my brows I really notice it (particularly on the colorless hairs around the dark brow hairs), whereas if the same thing has been happening with other products, I haven’t picked up on it. That was a little weird, because it was hard to get the product *off* of my brow hairs without also removing it from the neighboring skin.

Right now this is definitely the leader in the tinted-moisturizer-for-summer category. I still wouldn’t wear it as foundation for a chi-chi-frou-frou event, but for most casual summer living it will do just fine.

Swatch!

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Hard Candy Sheer Envy Tinted Moisturizer: $8 at Wal-Mart

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent! How often do I get to say that?! Not very.

Purchase again? Hello Kitty says Yes.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

Monday Mix: Voxy vs. Neutrogena, and Sales!

You all know that old chestnut about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right? (Well, you do now.)

There is overwhelming evidence — anecdotal, admittedly, but that’s pretty much the best kind in this instance — that I do not like Neutrogena facial sunscreens. I am aware that this opinion pits me against much of the civilized world. Yet I have tried most of them, and they almost invariably irritate my skin, cause breakouts, or leave my face with a nasty texture. There is no reasonable doubt left in this case. I do not like them, Sam I Am.

So pls to explain to me why my little voxalicious heart has gone all pitter-pat over the idea of Neutrogena’s new Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunblock (SPF 55 or 70)? It’s the word “liquid” in there, I think — the idea that I would not have to give up my regular (non-SPF) moisturizers that I love and still get SPF protection. The idea that you only need a couple of drops, that it goes on top of moisturizer and before makeup, and that early reviews say that it has a “barely-there” texture that doesn’t interfere with makeup application. Dare I hope?

Can anyone kill this lemming?

Sales!

Stila is offering 20% off sitewide with code STILASHOPPER. Expiration date unknown on this one at present.

Tarte is still offering 20% off sitewide through 4/30 with code TARTE44.

Vincent Longo is offering 30% off through 4/30 with code VFLIRT.

C.O. Bigelow is offering 20% off through 5/10 with code MOMSDAY. (Recommended: anything lemon, but in particular the Lemon Body Cream or Hand Soap; I see they have some new products out with lime in them and if they are anywhere near as good as the lemon then I will have to start stalking them.)

HauteLook happens to have several brands of interest to this blog on sale this week: Mario Badescu skincare on Monday, LORAC beauty and RapidLash on Tuesday, and 100% Pure beauty/skincare on Wednesday. All sales begin at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.

And, Hourglass still has 35% off through 5/31 with code LUCKYBREAKS2.