Tag: dark spots

Find Your Favorite Concealer

Find Your Favorite Concealer // Belle Belle Beauty

A good concealer can often stand on its own. Covering redness, dark circles and a rogue blemish can give the appearance of even skin without the need for a heavy foundation. That’s why I always recommend starting your makeup with concealer – you’ll find you don’t need as much foundation or tinted moisturizer as you thought!

But how do you find the right formula? I have loads of favorites and they are each suited to particular skin types and concerns. I’m guessing one of these will tickle your fancy:

Benefit Erase Paste is a new find and I am wild about the creamy, blendable coverage. It doesn’t disappear in the middle of your day. And it works on both blemishes and under eye circles. The texture is a little thick to cover redness. Best suited for: under eye circles and blemish-prone skin.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Custard has been in my rotation for months and is the one I reach for most often. The smooth and buildable texture does wonders on my areas of redness. And I love the luminous correction on darkness under eyes. Best suited for: drier skin and redness.

Cle de Peau Concealer has long been a makeup artist favorite. While pricey, this little tube lasts forever. I find the formula works best if you warm it up between your fingers and pat on. It covers blemishes and dark circles like a champ. Best suited for: normal to oily skin, acne-prone skin and dark circles.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage is a long time classic but has a new long-wear upgrade. The two shade system, one to match the skin’s depth of color and one to match the skin’s undertone, ensures a perfect match. Used with a precise brush, this camouflages any spot into a flawless complexion. Best suited for: skin with age spots and blemishes.

Lancôme EFFACERNES Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer has a balanced finish, somehow being matte but still with some radiance. But the real beauty to this concealer is its waterproof properties, making it well-suited for tearjerker events, long days or hot weather. Best suited for: oilier skin, brides and those who need all day coverage.


Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum

Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum // Belle Belle Beauty

I know, I know… I can go on and on about my darned hyperpigmentation. But I am really going after it this fall. Now that I got basking in the sun out of my system (I am NOT doing that next summer), I can really go after the dark spots that have cropped up.

Let’s talk about hyperpigmentation. There are lots of different kinds: sun spots, age spots, darker freckles and a larger area of discoloration. And lots of different reasons behind it including:

  • Exposure to UV rays: While melanin can be a great asset, it won’t always protect from the harmful rays of the sun.
  • Heredity: Nearly 30% of African Americans, Asians and Latino Americans are prone to dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
  • Hormonal Changes: A change in estrogen levels during pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills can cause dark spots on your face and body.
  • Medications: Sometimes hyperpigmentation may be caused due to side effects of certain medicines, including some antibiotics.
  • Diet: According to recent studies certain diets with foods like parsley and lime can cause hyperpigmentation because they contain Psolarens which can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.

But no matter their cause or type, all hyperpigmentation is treated basically the same. You can start with kojic acid and vitamin C. There is even a mushroom extract that is said to work well. And many lab developed ingredients that are getting rave reviews. But it is actually a 50 year old ingredient that is still the tried and true (albeit controversial) combatant against hyperpigmentation: Hydroquinone.

Hydroquinone is the star of Murad’s Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum and it promised to make a dent in these dark spots in just one week. I was a bit skeptical since I love my Rx strength 4% Hydroquinone (usually only 2% strength is available over the counter). But, I’ll tell ya, it got this process going in a jiff! I have been using Murad’s Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum morning and night and I can see clear improvement. I am starting to work my Rx version in a little more at night to see if I can speed it up even more.

Also in the formula is Hexapeptide-2, a powerful skin lightening peptide that blocks future damage by helping prohibit pigment formation. And Glycolic Acid also works to exfoliate and enabling the Hydroquinone to work even more effectively. The gel like texture works well under makeup. And even my sensitive skin isn’t irritated by the active ingredients. I am requiring a little more hydration, but that also could be due to a change in season.

Murad’s Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum is available at Sephora, Beauty.com and Murad.


Favorite Vitamin C Serums


Hyperpigmentation (grrr!) is my skin’s biggest issue. I’ve tried everything. And have made some progress. But every time summer rolls around, SPF be damned, I get those nasty spots again. (This summer, I am taking the hat-approach in addition to super-powdered SPF). The progress I have made, I credit to Vitamin C. This super ingredient can fade dark spots and even skin. It also helps with aging and radiance. So, here is my round up of Vitamin C MVPs:

SK-II Facial Treatment Repair C  has been in my rotation for a while. I love the light formula with a silky finish. This serum also contains SK-II’s signature ingredient, Pitera to fight aging.

M-61 Vitablast C is a fabulous oil-free version from the BlueMercury brand. This formula contains gallic acid to naturally brighten. And at the same time, it soothes and nourishes skin with Vitamin E.

Taylor Owen Vitamin C+ 12% manages a decent level of Vitamin C without being irritating. This formula gave us some pretty immediate brightening and we love the way it smooths onto skin. Bonus points that this South Florida based skincare line is 98% natural.

OBAGI Professional-C Serum, 20% packs a punch. Obagi has consistently brought me fast and dramatic results. Expect no less with this highly concentrated serum. Not only will it bring the strongest brightening effects, but it will also give you a does of hydration.

Perricone MD Vitamin C Eye works specifically on this delicate skin and in conjunction with your your daily eye cream. For those with genetic dark circles, this could be the ticket. The formula is also loaded with antioxidant protection  from Tocotrienols.

Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution GIVEAWAY!

My loyal readers all know about my persistant war I am waging against brown spots. I use a prescription to some success but was thrilled to give Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution a try as an alternative. I have seen a dramatic improvement in just the couple of weeks I have used Clearly Corrective.

The Clearly Corrective is designed to address the appearances of dark spots, discolorations, acne scarring and uneven skin with the ingredient Activated C. Kiehl’s is the first to bring this ingredient to the US market. So how does this newcomer work? Activated C slows down the production and transfer of melanin, and is proven to have an anti-cluster effect on existing spots and imperfections, breaking them apart before they form. So not only does it improve dark spots but prevents more from showing up. So plan on using this everywhere (after cleansing and before moisturizer), not only where the spots currently exist.

Activated C is photo-stable and 100% active on contact (no need for any carrier molecule to help the ingredient work on skin). And it is not made with optical diffusers or pearls to mask discolorations or dark spots (hence clear formula in a clear bottle). The serum is very light weight and absorbs quickly. The very small molecular size allows Activated C penetrates deeper and faster into the skin. Don’t expect a slippery or silicon feel. Because it is a clear, lightweight serum, all skin types can use this year round. This didn’t irritate my sensitive skin in the least.

So, you know it works for me. How about those clinical tests:

  • In as little as 2 weeks, 55% of women clinically demonstrated a significant reduction in dark spot intensity.
  • In 4 weeks, 69% of women clinically demonstrated a continued reduction in dark spots intensity and 73% of women showed a significant reduction in acne scarring. Reduction in other skin discolorations was clinically evident among 69% of women.
  • In 8 weeks, 87% of women clinically demonstrated more uniform skin tone to deliver breakthrough clarity.

So, when I find something I LOVE, I want to share it with my readers. Here is your chance to win a full sized bottle. And this time around, anyone can enter!


a Rafflecopter giveaway