The Almay CC Cream and Liquid Lip Balm I've Been Loving Lately

This makeup gets you compliments! Plus a kick-ass eye makeup remover.

When you're someone who tries out beauty products for a living, you just never know what's gonna happen once you take new makeup out into the world for a test-drive. Sometimes, your mother asks you if you're not feeling well—when it's actually the wrong shade of foundation. (True story!) Other times, you get compliments outta nowhere on how nice you look. (Also a true story.)

Said compliments were received from an old friend I ran into at a party recently, where I wore a new CC cream and liquid lip balm from Almay. Obviously it was because of the makeup. Now, because I don't have the foresight to photograph myself before such momentous occasions, I'm going to recreate exactly what I did so you can see the before and after.

Here is the before, where I'm wearing the saddest expression possible and zero makeup except for a tiny bit of concealer to try and hide my dark circles. (Because am I really going to slap up a photo of myself on the Internet with dark circles? This mug shot is bad enough already.)

Try not to be alarmed at my nonexistent eyelashes. I am not one of those "no makeup" people. I need makeup ALWAYS. Anyway, the point is that there is blotchiness and unevenness going on here. I'm a bit of a dummy with Photoshop—I haven't a clue how how to fix redness—so this is the real deal, yo.

Hang tight for the big reveal, because first I want to tell you what I used to even out my skin. Meet the new Almay CC cream:

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream Complexion Corrector, $16.95, available at drug and mass retailers nationwide.

Think of it like a foundation/skin treatment hybrid. It actually has a decent amount of coverage—like the same as a good tinted moisturizer or light foundation—but it's really lightweight and I found I didn't need any extra concealer over top to hide my redness, like I do with a lot of other BB and CC products out there. It also contains ingredients that, over time, help to brighten and even out your skin tone, all the while protecting your skin from future discolourations. Like all Almay products, it's designed for sensitive skin and is completely hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (something that puts my mind at ease in a big way, since I react to a lot of things).

It comes in three shades, Light, Light/Medium and Medium. I used Light. Ready to see?

Okay, here I feel MUCH better. See how well it evened out my skin? I actually applied it with a foundation brush for a more foundation-like effect and then dabbed around with a wet sponge to soften it up and really push it into my skin—but you could just as easily use your fingers and get a good result. Notice the dewy finish. Maybe that's why my friend complimented me! It definitely gives you a glow for sure.

On my lips, I'm wearing Almay liquid lip balm:

Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm, $8.95, available at drug and mass retailers nationwide.

It's a cross between a tinted lip balm and a gloss (a gloss-balm), and it feels aMAZing. Not sticky at all, smells delicious and keeps your lips feeling moisturized for hours. It’s hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested and gluten free, and it comes in 10 shades. I'm wearing the bright fuchsia one (Pink Pout) and the red (Apple a Day) is my other favourite. My lips are pretty pigmented naturally, so these are more like sheer tints on me, but depending on your natural lip colour, they may be more intense. I am a fan!

Now back to the party. When I got home, of course all I wanted to do was get my PJs on and take my makeup off. (Call me a grandma, but it's always the best part of the night.) I gave yet another Almay product a whirl. These are their new eye makeup remover pads:

Almay Lash Care Gentle Eye Makeup Remover Pads, $7.50, available at drug and mass retailers nationwide.

They come in four versions: Lash Care (shown here), Soothing & De-Puffing, Oil Free and Longwear & Waterproof. The Longwear ones are the traditional oil-infused pads that work like a dream to get off heavy-duty stuff. The Oil Free ones actually do a surprisingly decent job, considering the lack of oil, and are great for contact lens wearers because how annoying is it to get oily makeup remover in your eye? For everyday use, I'm gravitating toward the Soothing and Lash Care ones. They aren't greasy at all and are quite refreshing; plus, I don't need to rub to get the makeup to come right off. Oh, and all of these are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and dermatologist-tested.

This post was sponsored by Almay.

Tell me:

Have you checked out any of these products yet?

Are you on board the CC cream train?

What about hybrid lip products like the gloss-balm?

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