Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vacation Product Winners (and Losers)

I just got back from an amazing Cancun vacation where I tried out a variety of vacation friendly makeup and products (or so I thought). Find out which were must haves and which were duds:

1) Colorescience PRO Sunforgettable mineral powder (SPF 50)
available at
Grade: A-

I hate the feeling of thick, heavy, sticky sunscreen all over my face and clogging my pores, but Colorescience has made a sunscreen that you can simply brush on! I was thrilled when I found this product on and had to try it out and overall I was pretty impressed.

The powder comes out very lightly, and the amount that is brushed on your face is dependent on your brushstrokes. Being mainly Irish (and a freckly ginger) I loaded up. My only disappointment was that I had to reapply frequently, which in fairness takes very little time and doesn't even require a mirror, and since I was on the beach and a little sweaty, the brush got pretty sticky and the consistency has changed a bit. When I run out of the powder I will have to clean it, but am not sure how to remedy this problem until then.

The other really nice thing about this product is that instead of buying a whole new brush ($60), you can simply buy a refill powder cartridge ($23). For girls like me that are very particular about our products and the brands we use, this is a great deal!

2) Murad Age-Proof Sunscreen Oil Free (SPF 30)
available at
Grade: A

While we're on the subject of sunscreen I have to bring up Murad's Age-Proof sunscreen. It is AMAZING! I have used Murad products for a very long time and had never tried out their sunscreen, but I saw it on LovelySkin and for only $32 it was worth a try! I was not disappointed. This sunscreen didn't leave my skin feeling heavy or oily and didn't cause any breakouts on my extremely sensitive skin. To top it off, I didn't need to reapply often, even if I'd been in the ocean! Highly, highly, highly recommend!

3) TanTowel Classic Full Body
available at: Ulta in individual packs or a 5 pack at
Grade: A

Finally, a simple answer to sunless tanning! Lisa, my travel companion, told me about TanTowel before we left and I tried them out so that I wouldn't blind anyone my first day on the beach with my winter white skin. This was the simplest sunless tanning option I've ever tried and it worked really well! I used a full body towel right out of the shower before leaving for the airport (I've read that celebrities often get sunless tans right before they get on an airplane so that it sets it on the flight and they arrive looking fresh and bright) and was expecting a harsh smell and a long drying process. While it did smell a little, it wasn't bad at all and it dried instantly... My legs were dry before I even finished my upper body! It didn't leave any color on my clothes and it gave me a very nice, non-streaky glow. I'm actually really annoyed with myself for only buying an individual towel rather than a whole pack.

4) Cargo Cosmetics Water Resistant Bronzer
available at Ulta and Cargo Cosmetics online:
Grade: C

I needed to try out a new bronzer and I thought this water resistant version would be perfect for the beach. I have to say, I was not impressed. There are so many great bronzers out there and this one just didn't measure up. The color was okay, although when on vacation I like a little more twinkle, but the product and the packaging were a disaster! There was not nearly as much in the case as I thought and it wasn't secured in the pot. The second I opened it upon arriving it flew out of the case and shattered. Usually this isn't a huge problem because you can still use it in a powder form, but these chunks just weren't user friendly. Not good for travelling... I'm going to stick with my favorite TooFaced Sun Bunny Bronzer. For only a dollar more I find it to be a superior, and better travelling product.

5) Cargo Cosmetics ColorStick in Maui
available at Ulta and Cargo Cosmetics online:
Grade: A

That isn't to say that I am not still a fan of Cargo Cosmetics. Their colorstick made my life easy and fast while on vacation. I am a huge fan of cream blush and the Maui color was just the slight pop of pink I needed over my bronzed skin. These colorsticks are also multi-functional as you can use them on your lips and eyes too. One stop shop... perfect for vacation when you're on the go!

Another alternative to this is NARS The Multiple in Orgasm. Similar product, similar color. Available at NARS online:

6) MAC Cosmetics Paint Pot in Indianwood
available at MAC stores and online:
Grade: A+

I know that I go on and on about MAC Cosmetics Paint Pots and have like every color they make, but Indianwood is the winner for a beach vacation. A dab of gold on your lids right above your pupil will bring so much light to your eyes. This product on top of bronzed skin will make you look like a goddess! Total mastery of the beach babe look.

This was pretty much my whole makeup bag while I was away (other than eyeshadow and liner for nights out). If you have any suggestions for my next beach vacation please let me know! I'm always up for trying new products.

Now I'm back to the cold and snow... maybe I should have stayed ;)