Showing posts with label Skincare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skincare. Show all posts

Monday, July 27, 2015

philosophy x QVC Month of Miracles


philosophy and QVC have teamed up to offer special value sets with their Month of Miracles event this July. The Amazing Grace line has been a regular go-to for me. I'm a huge fan of the soft clean feminine scent Amazing Grace has in wide range of body products from the perfume, shower gels and body creams. It's refreshing, calming and there's something about the scent that makes the skin feel clean. This month there are a number of really good sets and bundles available now. The biggest set is the Philosophy Miraculous 12 Piece Shower Gel Collection with scents that sound amazing like Vanilla Coconut, Beach Party and Snow Angel.

The QVC x philosophy team sent two value items for me to try. One is a trio called discover the miracle of amazing grace which has an 8-fl oz amazing grace shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath, an 8-fl oz amazing grace firming body emulsion, and an 8-fl oz amazing grace olive oil scrub. The QVC price is $52 for the set, during the event the price is $42.96.
  • The 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath is a staple in my beauty routine. It's one of my favorite bath products to relax and unwind.
  • The Firming Body Emulsion is new to me - it smells a bit more like linen compared to the perfume version of Amazing Grace but layers really nicely with the perfume. It has pretty good strength for a body lotion and the scent lingers for a long time and fades nicely. It has a super clean feel.
  • The Olive Oil Scrub is also new to me and it's incredibly gentle on the skin. It's a body scrub but has a more liquid base which makes it easy to rub all over. It has tiny little beads inside but it's very gentle so you don't have to worry about it irritating the skin (some scrubs are harsh). It leaves the skin feeling super soft and moisturized but doesn't leave behind any greasy oily residue.
I love how each philosophy bottle has a little saying or quote on the front. It's something unique that has made an impression on me going back to the 90's when I first discovered the line. I've always found the packaging concept to be very beautiful.


The second value is the philosophy purity made simple 32 oz body cleanser. It retails for $42 (event price is $34.96). The Purity Made Simple Face Cleanser is something that has been recommended to me by so many readers - I tried it in a cleanser set early in the spring and wasn't a huge fan, but the body cleanser is a completely different story for me. If you're looking for a super gentle moisturizing cleanser that lathers well, I highly recommend this one. It comes in a large bottle with a pump. It's good for those sensitive to fragrance - it does have a scent to it but it's not fragranced with any perfume.


True to philosophy style, there's a beautiful quote on the front. It lathers up really nicely in the bath. I find it really does work well as a shaving gel. The Purity Made Simple Body cleanser leaves the skin feeling soft and clean, it doesn't dry out the skin. The body does feel nicely moisturized after a shower but it doesn't feel like there is a film on it. If you're sensitive to any kind of fragrance in shower products - I highly recommend this one.


You can find all the QVC x philosophy Month of Miracles sets available at special prices this month (this is the last week for them). I've been browsing the other value sets and am trying to decide between the Best of Fresh Cream 5 piece set or the Vanilla Coconut Duo (although it's not on sale). If you've tried either scent - which one do you like best? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I think there are a lot of good deals going on right now. It's a good time to stock up on gifts - there are a three skincare and bodycare brands that I think are no-brainers for gift giving, philosophy is one of them. I've gifted the Amazing Grace sets for a number of occasions. I think the miraculous 12 pc shower gel collection set would be amazing to split up as gifts. (The price for the shower gels individually would total $126, value price is $87.94.)


Do you have any philosophy favorites? I've stuck with Amazing Grace for so long because it just works so well for me - I've neglected to explore other items from the line. I'm open to suggestions :)



Many thanks to philosophy and QVC for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions my own. For more information refer to my disclosures.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NUXE Loves


I've been a long time fan of the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil. It's a really good dry body oil that absorbs quickly into the skin and smells amazing. I was excited to see all the products in French Pharmacies in Paris (a few snapshots here). There are a number of things you can buy in Paris that aren't offered in the US (like the sun line and a number of body products). I really wish I had stocked up on items while I was in France, but there's always next time. One of the places we stayed at, Hotel Brighton stocked NUXE Toiletries and I was in heaven. The first thing I did when I got back to the US was place an order for some shower gels, hand creams and lip balms. The new Huile Prodigieux® Shower Oil just launched and it's amazing. It leaves the skin super soft and smells just like the dry oil. It's sulfate-free and scented with sweet almond oil, orange blossom, magnolia and vanilla. I really love it.

Today NUXE is offering 30% off on their US site https://us.nuxe.com/ in celebration of Bastille Day. No code needed - prices are reduced, they also offer free shipping with any $50 purchase. According to the e-mail I received this morning, the offer expires on July 14th, 2015, at 11:59pm EST.

Quick shot of NUXE in Paris:


Some of my favorites include items from the Rêve de Miel line. They released a few limited-edition pots of their lip balm to celebrate their 20th anniversary (now sold out). I bought one of the yellow pots but haven't had a chance to try it. I have tried the Lip Moisturizing Stick Rêve de Miel and like it for a soft lightweight sheer lip balm treatment. The Rêve de Miel Gentle Shampoo is a staple for me, it's ultra hydrating and smells like honey. I don't have super dry hair so I reserve this for once a week use and use other shampoos on a daily basis. The Cleansing Gel is designed for dry skin and is multi purpose for both face and body. It's good for sensitive skin and cleans nicely without leaving a film but still leaves the skin feeling moisturized.
Two other shower gels I bought include the Men's Shower Gel and the Fondant Shower Gel (smells like orange blossom and almond). Both are thick in texture but lather up gently. My husband is a loyal user of Jack Black's Turbo Wash and prefers it over all others, but likes the way the NUXE smells.


Last but not least, NUXE has a new limited-edition summer bottle of the classic Huile Prodigieuse for summer out. It's not yet available online at NUXE (so far I've only seen it at Beautyhabit).

I'm happy to see the line available at more places now. If you miss the sale today and are curious about where else to find it, you can find NUXE online at at their US website, Beautyhabit, Space NK, Beauty.com, Urban Outfitters, Target and Birchbox.

Do you have any NUXE favorites? If yes, what are your favs and where do you usually buy NUXE? I've seen a number of places stock the Dry Oil, but have never seen the full line in stores near me (Paris was a first!).

The NUXE Rêve de Miel Shampoo, Rêve de Miel Shower Gel and Summer Huile Prodigieuse were provided courtesy of NUXE for review consideration. All other items purchased by me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bioderma Sensibio H2O and Sébium H2O from Beautylish



I purchased my first Bioderma product back in February when Beautylish launched the Sensibio H2O online. Bioderma is a brand that's been on my radar for quite some time but I did not know where to purchase it in the US. Koh Gen Do's Cleansing Spa Water has been a long time favorite of mine out of all the cleansing waters I have tried so I didn't think to try very hard to look for the Bioderma (I've since found out that select Marukai Japanese markets and Amazon carries it too). I ordered the 250 ml size and fell in love immediately as it's a super gentle no-rinse micellar cleansing water/makeup remover that doesn't sting. In March, I was able to see the Sébium at The Makeup Show LA. I've been testing both formulas for several weeks and finally have a review ready to share with you today.


First, on prices and sizing. There are multiple size options for Bioderma. Beautylish currently carries three size options with different pairing options. If you shop elsewhere via Amazon or local markets, prices will have a wide range depending on size. I like shopping via Beautylish because their customer service is excellent, shipping is fast, tracking is easy and prices are consistent:
  • 250 ml retails for $13.95
  • 500 ml + travel size bonus retails for $19.95
  • Pro Pack with 500 ml x2 + 250 ml x1 bonus retails for $39.90
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The Sensibio H2O is a gentle makeup remover micellar cleansing solution that is designed for sensitive skin. It's fragrance-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free and hypoallergenic. This is good for extremely sensitive skin. I like that it doesn't leave any residue on the skin. In terms of how well it removes makeup, in general cleansing waters are best to use for face makeup. The gentle nature of cleansing waters makes it good for the face, but not so great for eye makeup. No matter what kind of face cleanser I'm using, I always use dual-phase eye makeup removers to remove eye makeup first (my favorite is from Chanel Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover). I like using cleansing waters in conjunction with a traditional gel, cream or soap cleanser to make sure all makeup is removed. I'll use the cleansing water first, followed by a regular face cleanser to make sure there is no trace of makeup left on my face. Cleansing waters are also good for quick touch ups in the event you have a bit of shadow fall out on the cheeks or under eyes.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide.


The Bioderma Sébium H2O is a purifying cleansing micellar water designed for oily skin. I don't have super oily skin (it's more on the combination side) but I actually prefer this one to the sensitive skin version. This one is slightly scented with a fresh almost cucumber-like scent but it's very gentle. Since this one is designed for oily skin I was worried it would be drying but it didn't strip the skin. You can really feel it clean the pores and it contains ingredients to help clear the skin. I personally found this removed face my face makeup better than the Sensibio version, but both perform really well. This one is also paraben-free, alcohol-free, soap-free and hypoallergenic.

Ingredients:Aqua/Water/Eau. PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Citrate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Sulfate, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Manitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide, Fragrance (Parfum).


Here's a quick comparison of the size options to two sizes of the Koh Gen Do Cleansing Waters. I believe there is an extra large size of the Koh Gen Do as well, but I have not seen it in person.

In terms of cleansing waters I've tested a lot. I have used up the NARS Makeup Removing Water, Dior Instant Cleansing Water, Lancome Eau Fraiche Douceur, Koh Gen Go Cleansing Spa Water, Clarins Water Purify One-Step Cleanser, and the Caudalie Cleansing Water. My most repurchased ones include the Koh Gen Do (I like this formula the best), Lancome (I think this has the best packaging because it comes with a pump) and Caudalie (I love the Caudalie fragrance in this but I know some do not like it). The two I've tested from Bioderma are by far significantly more gentle on the skin, which is noticeable during super sensitive skin days. I am still a die-hard fan of the Koh Gen Do because it's the most effective at removing makeup while still being very gentle, but sometimes it's nice to switch things up. Bottom line I give Bioderma a thumbs up. I've stocked up on multiple sizes and think it's definitely something I will be using up entirely.

Bottom line: good for quick touchups to remove makeup in detail areas, or as a makeup remover for face makeup. For mascara, eyeshadow, or eyeliners, I still recommend using a bi-phase makeup remover. My top two favorites and most repurchased removers for eye makeup are the Chanel Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover and Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover.

Shelves filled with Bioderma at The Makeup Show LA:


Have you tried the Bioderma Makeup Removers? If so which ones? What did you think? If not, do you have a current cleansing water favorite? You can find the Bioderma Sensibio H2O and Sébium H2O online now at Beautylish. They've sold out a few times but have just restocked.


The Beautylish team was kind enough to gift one of the 500 ml Sensibio and one of the 500 ml Sébium cleansing waters, but I purchased a second set online in order to get the travel sized minis. All other items purchased by me.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Caudalie Mask Wardrobe: Instant Detox, Purifying, Moisturizing and Glycolic Peel


Caudalie launched four facial masks in their skincare line: Glycolic Peel Mask, Instant Detox Mask, Purifying Mask, Moisturizing Mask ($39 each for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz). Although I'm a huge fan of Caudalie, this is my first experience with their masks and I am thoroughly impressed. There are four masks each designed for different needs - you can mix and match masks to can create your own custom mask treatment. The options allow to to tailor your treatment to each area of the face. For example, if you're looking for skin clarity, your T-zone might need oil absorption while the cheeks might need brightening. In this case you would use the Purifying Mask in the T-zone and Glycolic Peel on the cheek areas. The concept is quite clever and I tried all four of their pairing suggestions (you can find the face charts on the Caudalie website). Here is an overview of the four options:


Each mask retails for $39 each for 75 ml/2.5 fl oz, all Made in France. They come packaged in a beautiful sleek squeeze tube.
  • Glycolic Peel Mask is a non-irritating exfoliant that activates cellular renewal for fresh, bright and even skin. It's recommended use is to leave on for 10 minutes then rinse off, 2x per week. Main ingredients are glycolic acid, papaya and Viniferine (ingredient from grapevine sap for dark spots and radiance, said to be 62 times more effective than Vitamin C).
  • Instant Detox Mask is designed to eliminate impurities and toxins to tighten pores and renew skin texture. Recommended use is 5-10 minutes and rinse, 2x per week. Main ingredients are pink clay, grape marc and coffee.
  • Purifying Mask is a non-drying mask that eliminates impurities and absorbs excess sebum for clarified and even skin. Recommended use is 10 minutes, then rinse off. It contains white clays, sage and zinc.
  • Moisturizing Mask is created to provide intense moisture and relief for dehydrated skin to feel comfortable, supple and soft. This one is recommended to leave on for 15 minutes and remove excess, or as an overnight treatment. Main ingredients are grape oil, Vinolevure, and Hyaluronic Acid.
Below you can see the texture is slightly different for each mask:



My thoughts on each mask after testing them. I do think to see long-term results one needs to put skincare products to the test for an extended period of time, but in the two weeks that I've tested these, I can say that after each use, you can definitely feel a difference in skin texture and overall feel.  I have already seen some improvements in my skin from these. Each mask has a different purpose, texture, consistency and feel, but are gentle on the skin. None of them irritated, dried out or broke out my skin. If you are one who found the Glamglow masks a bit too strong for you, the Caudalie ones are extra gentle but still effective.
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Glycolic Peel Mask is a gentle non-irritating exfoliant. This is the most gentle peel mask I've ever tried. I think with many peel masks you can expect some kind of tingling sensation but there was no tingle or burn with this one. This one will show results over time rather than overnight but it is a really good treatment to help remove dead skin from the surface in the gentlest way possible. By comparison, I adore the Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel Mask. It's the only other peel mask that I've liked enough to use multiple times. The Ole Henriksen is a stronger version in a gel form while the Caudalie is creamier and feels more gentle on the skin. My skin does look brighter and the texture is more even. It's very lightly scented, if you're familiar with the Caudalie Cleansing Water, this mask smells like that one. Three main ingredients:

- Viniferine: Diminish the appearance of dark spots and delivers radiance.
- Papaya Enzymes: Provides immediate radiance.
- Glycolic Acid: Delivers non-irritating peeling.

Full list of ingredients: Water, Glycerin*, Isononyl Isononanoate, Sorbitan Stearate*, Glyceryl Stearate Se*, Glycolic Acid, Cetyl Palmitate*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Panthenol, Squalane*, Cetyl Alcohol*, Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Bisabolol*, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60*, Sodium Pca*, Caprylyl Glycol, Arginine, Palmitoyl Grapevine Shoot Extract*, Tocopherol*, Carbomer, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Phytate*, Papain*, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Algin. *Plant Origin.
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Instant Detox Mask is the strongest treatment of the four. It's like a traditional clay/mud mask that will draw out impurities, oils and tighten pores. This one shows instant results, I found a thin layer dried within 6 minutes (although you can leave it on the skin up to 10). This comes in a pink clay color that will dry and tighten after you apply it. As it dries you can see small dark spots where it's drawing out the oils from your pores. I have never seen a mask shrink and tighten pores like this one does. It's non-irritating and leaves the skin feeling super clean. If you have dry skin you may want to leave this on for a shorter period of time or just use this on spots.

Main ingredients:
- Grape Marc: Detoxifies and drains.
- Pink Clay and Coffee: Purify.
- Papaya Enzymes: Delivers immediate radiance.
- Eight Essential Oils: Nourish skin.

Full ingredient list: Water, Bentonite, Glycerin*, Acacia Senegal Gum*, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Alcohol*, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Sodium Citrate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract*, Coffea Robusta Seed Extract*, Citric Acid*, Papain*, Cupressus Sempervirens Oil*, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil*, Commiphora Myrrha Oil*, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil*, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil*, Petroselinum Crispum (Parsley) Seed Oil*, Carbomer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Algin, Limonene, Linalool. *Plant Origin.
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On the nails, Formula X Extraordinary (also swatched here)

Purifying Mask is one of the most gentle purifying masks I've tried. This one comes in a white paste. A little goes a long way and it smells like the Beauty Elixir spray from Caudalie, but is still very gentle in terms of fragrance. It has a similar effect to that of the Instant Detox Mask, but is a gentler version and not quite as potent. I prefer this one to the Instant Detox for right now because my skin is normal/combination, although once the warmer and more humid weather arrives, I think the Instant Detox will be really good. Main ingredients:

- White Clays (Bentonite and Kaolin): Purify.
- Cypress, Sage, and Lavender: Astringents.
- Chamomile Extract: Soothes.
- Zinc: Regulates sebum.

Full ingredient list: Water, Kaolin, Glycerin*, Olus Oil (Vegetable Oil)*, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride*, Bentonite, Cetyl Alcohol*, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Benzyl Alcohol, Dicetyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil*, Caprylyl Glycol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract*, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax*, Dehydroacetic Acid, Cupressus Sempervirens Oil*, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil*, Sodium Hydroxide, Commiphora Myrrha Oil*, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil*, Sodium Phytate*, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil*, Petroselinum Crispum (Parsley) Seed Oil*, Zinc Pca, Silica, Limonene, Linalool. *Plant Origin.
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Moisture Mask is a creamy gentle white mask. I usually prefer sheet masks for hydration because I find creamy ones too rich, but this one by Caudalie is really amazing. Reports indicate this is the same formula as the original moisture mask, just in improved packaging. I didn't try the older one so I can't compare, but this works wonders on my forehead (above the T-Zone) and also cheek areas which tend to get dry. It gives the skin a nice boost of hydration and helps calm down areas that are irritated or red. It has a light and clean refreshing scent. Main ingredients:

- Vinolevure: Strengthens and soothes.
- Grape Seed Oil: Nourishes.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Moisturizes.

Full ingredient list: Water, Glycerin*, Isononyl Isononanoate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Sorbitan Stearate*, Peg-100 Stearate*, Glyceryl Stearate*, Ceteth-20*, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane*, Cetyl Alcohol*, Cetyl Palmitate*, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol*, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 60*, Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopherol*, Carbomer, Sodium Phytate*, Sodium Hydroxide, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract*, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Carboxymethyl Beta-Glucan, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol. *Plant Origin.

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As one who loves masks, I can say that I'm thoroughly impressed with each of these. I had just used the last of my Aesop Parsley Seed Mask which is something I will definitely repurchase, but the Caudalie Masks were released just as I was getting to the end of my Aesop and I decided to try something new and I am glad I did. Normally I wouldn't have splurged on four skincare items without being able to test, smell or see in person first, but given the fact that I've loved every Caudalie skincare and body care items I've tried, I knew there was a good chance that I would really like these.

I purchased mine from Sephora individually but there are also a couple of minis in the Prep for Radiance ($49) and Founder Favorites ($79) sets. There are still a few more days of the Beauty Insider Event so you may want to take advantage of the discount if these interest you.


My top two picks include the Purifying Mask and Glycolic Peel Mask, however the concept of mixing different masks on the face at one time is something I had never tried before. I really like using the Moisture in areas that need that hydration boost while using the Purifying one on the T-zone. The Instant Detox Mask is something I think will be extremely popular, especially for those with oily skin, it's potent but still very gentle on the skin and won't irritate or sting like some other lines will.

You can find each mask individually for $39 at Sephora, Nordstrom and Caudalie. Have you tried these yet? What did you think? If not, what are your favorite masks right now?




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

By Terry Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream


One of By Terry's latest is her new Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream ($86 for 40 g / 1.41 oz, made in France). I ordered mine from Barneys Beverly Hills store for the Love Yourself Event last month. I was matched to the color Beige No. 3 which is a good match for my medium olive toned skin right now. The Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream is like a sheer hydrating tinted moisturizer. It comes in a light iridescent pink tube and a metal pump with a cap at the end. This is extremely pricey for a foundation/tinted moisturizer but it does contain a skincare aspect which makes it more than just a regular tinted moisturizer/cc cream. Like all By Terry foundations, this one comes with the signature rose scent. There are four shades currently available, for reference Beauty Professor has swatches of all four colors.


The product description according to what is on the packaging:

This CC Cream gathers together in itself all the skincare and makeup actions in one single gesture:
  • An intense hydration thanks to the Centifolia Roses Native Cells
  • A deep glow provided by the Alba Roses Native Cells
  • A youth protection released by anti-oxidant Vitamin E
  • A natural long lasting perfection revealed by the unique CC - Color Control corrective technology
  • An absolute comfort via nutri-moistening factors
The CC Cream provides a sheer but buildable coverage. The texture is creamy but still lightweight so it melts into the skin and blends in naturally. I've tested it on the face with a foundation brush, fingers and a damp beautyblender. My favorite application method is to use this with the sponge and layer on the coverage. My skin has improved significantly over the past few months but it's no where near perfect. Even though the By Terry CC Cream is buildable to medium coverage I found that by itself it didn't give me enough coverage for my specific skin. Topping it with concealer on spots and my favorite Dolce & Gabbana powder foundation gave me just the right amount of coverage I needed.


The color is sheer enough to be forgiving and does seem to adjust/color correct after it sets. What I like about the color Beige No. 3 is that it doesn't darken or oxidize, but rather warms up just the slightest bit to look natural and match my skin tone. On the skin, once blended, it gives the face a youthful glow without looking oily, greasy or too dewy. That being said I do believe it most definitely needs to be set with some kind of powder.

For lasting power it lasts all day long on the face. However this cream is incredibly hydrating and since my skin is more normal (versus dry) I found I needed a touchup by noon in the T-zone. Still, unlike some other hydrating tinted moisturizers, it didn't slide off or look like it separated in any areas, so I was really impressed with how well it lasted.

Swatches and some comparisons:


Comparison Set 1 features some other tinted moisturizers and complexion correctors:

  • NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Groenland, this is similar in color but gives more coverage and has a less moisturizing/dewy finish, in terms of tinted moisturizers, this is my all time favorite because it's not really like a traditional tinted moisturizer but more like a lightweight sheer foundation
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand has a thicker texture and slightly more coverage compared to the By Terry, the By Terry melts into the skin better and feels more weightless but has a more hydrating feel
  • By Terry Cover Expert Foundation in Honey Beige 9 looks slightly pinkish next to the CC Cream but both are a good match for my skin once it's blended out, this one of course provides medium to full coverage, while the CC cream is a lot sheerer
  • Edward Bess Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector (review here) is similar in concept to the By Terry CC cream, the EB has coverage that is slightly more buildable and a bit creamier, I have shade in Medium which is a tad too dark for me, I could probably go for the light, in my experience, the EB is the closest to the By Terry CC cream in terms of how it makes the skin glow and how it feels on the skin
  • Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluids are similar in coverage, but they don't have the same skincare factor, also the Chanel Les Beiges are warmer and slightly more pinkish in undertone (review + swatches here)
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Comparison Set 2 features other foundations for color comparison. Since all the colors are foundations and completely different in formula, I'll only describe the color difference:

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Ingredients:


Bottom line I like how it performs for right now this time of year. It has soothing properties that helps calm the skin. It evens out the complexion with lightweight coverage and the skincare aspect has helped improve my skin complexion in terms of hydration and making it glow. I do think it's a medium-to-high maintenance kind of product if you have normal to oily skin because it is extremely hydrating. As long as you're ok with a touchup or two throughout the day then you'll be ok with this one. For evenings out it's perfect because it gives the skin a nice glow and without any daylight heat you don't have to worry so much about it getting too glowy. The By Terry CC Cream is something I know I will use up entirely, but once the warmer season approaches, it will be too hydrating and rich for my skin type (which is normal sensitive). If you're one with dry skin, I think you will really like this one. 

Have you tried the By Terry Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream? What did you think? Do you have any other By Terry favorites? If not, what's your favorite CC cream or tinted moisturizer right now?

You can find the By Terry Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream now. Available at Barneys New York, Beautylish and Space NK.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Favorite Bath and Shower Gel Splurges


For most of my life, I've been a bath and shower gel kind of person versus the bar soap kind mainly because I find shower gels do a better job at making the skin feel clean without leaving any film or making the skin feel dry. My favorite go-to shower gel has been the Neutrogena Rainbath Refreshing Shower Gel in the Original Scent. It's one of the classic staples that is gentle enough for my super sensitive skin. I like it because it lathers up really well and leaves the skin feeling super clean and it's also unisex. For scented shower gels I've tested quite a few over the years. There is nothing like a beautifully scented shower gel to wake you up in the morning or to help you relax at the end of a day. I have a roundup of my favorites that I've purchased numerous times along with a few new discoveries.

Diptyque has a few of their fragrances available in shower gel form including the Tam Dao, Do Son, and L'Ombre Dans L'Eau to name a few. These are quite spendy but if you're a fan of the fragrances this is another nice way to experience it. I've tried a couple - Tam Dao is very lightly fragranced with a thicker gel-like texture. It doesn't lather up like some others but makes for a nice bubble bath. L'Ombre Dans L'Eau has a stronger scent to it (it's the fragrance version of their Baies candle) and a better lather. A little goes a very long way. Out of all the shower gels from Diptyque my favorite is the Revitalizing Shower Gel for Hair and Body. I can't count the number of times I've bought this one, it's worth every penny in my opinion because it lathers up really nicely and smells refreshingly clean and unique. My husband really likes this one as well (for him). It leaves the skin feeling super soft and lingers on the skin but won't interfere with your perfumes. Ingredients listed online here.

Next up is the Jack Black Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser for Hair and Body (also available in a smaller size). This one is designed for men and is my husband's all time favorite, but I like to borrow it too. My husband is all about products that multi-task, this one really is good for both hair and body. This one is his favorite because it suds up really well and cleans the skin without leaving any film or residue. It has a mix of rosemary, eucalyptus and juniper berry which makes it smell incredibly fresh and crisp. The eucalyptus has a cooling feel that energizes the body and wakes you up in the morning but it's not as sharp or strong as other scents with eucalyptus making it softer around the edges. I've bought him a number of travel sized minis from other brands to try out but this one remains his favorite. Ingredients listed online here.

My latest discovery is the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Cleansing Gel for Face and Body. This one is designed for dry skin. It has that sweet honey and sunflower scent which I usually find too powdery or floral in other lines but it's something Nuxe does the best. It's really thick and concentrated so a little goes a very long way. I like that it lathers up to a gentle lather - since it's on the thicker side it won't foam up like some others making it adhere better to the skin when you're in the shower or bath. That being said it does rinse off completely but leaves the body feeling well hydrated. I haven't tested this on the face yet but if you have dry skin and like honey-scented products this is amazing for the body.

Ingredients:


Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser is a staple but also extremely pricey. This has a gel texture that lathers up nicely but since it's more liquid than others it won't necessarily foam up like the Diptyque or Neutrogena. It's a nice soft geranium scent that is very mellow but still refreshing. You only need two pumps for the entire body and it cleans the skin like nothing else I've tried. Ingredients listed here.

Last but not least is the L'Occitane Bonne Mere Rosemary Shower Gel. I'm normally not a fan of rosemary scents for the body because they are often too sharp and too herbal-smelling. This one is very different. It's incredibly difficult to describe but it's a softer more refreshing version of the Jack Black Turbo Wash minus the eucalyptus. The entire Bonne Mere collection is designed to be extremely gentle on the skin. I've tried several items from the line and love the Rosemary Shower Gel, Olive Shower Gel and Liquid Marseille Hand Soap. The Rosemary has been repurchased 4 times already.

Ingredients:


If you're in the market for a new bath or shower gel I hope you found this roundup helpful. There are a number of scented showers gels I love for the fragrance but aren't so great in terms of giving the skin a good clean feeling. The ones above do both for me and are gentle enough for my sensitive skin. Do you have a favorite splurge? I would love to hear about your favorites!

The Nuxe and L'Occitane were press samples provided for review consideration. All other items purchased and repurchased by me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In Rotation: Skin Toners


I think a good toner can make a world of difference in keeping the skin clear and refreshed. This time of year my skin typically goes crazy as the seasons change, however this year right now my skin has actually been getting better, clearer and feels smoother. I attribute this to a few things I've switched up in my skincare routine for day and night. I'll have a roundup of cleansers and moisturizers I've been using, but for now today's focus is on toner.

Today there are so many different types of facial toners on the market, each one has a different purpose. For me I have crazy sensitive skin that will react within seconds to many toners. Others will feel great upon application but then make my skin super oily within minutes. Five I have in rotation all have different purposes. You definitely don't need more than one toner at a time although I typically have 2-3 toners on hand to rotate depending on how my skin feels.

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Toning Lotion ($25 for 6.7 fl oz) is my most-repurchased toner. I've gone through a few bottles of this one. For me it's the best everyday kind of toner if your skin is normal. It's gentle but effective in helping clean the skin after your regular cleanser and there is a very soft exfoliating factor built in. I like that it's good for my sensitive skin and doesn't dry the face out or leave a film residue. If your skin is normal/combo or dry there are other toner options from Estee Lauder that you might want to check out. (There's a gift with purchase online at Nordstrom right now in case you wanted to stock up on some items.)


Ingredients:


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The SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion ($70 for  5 fl oz) is my second most-repurchased toner. This one is on the pricey side but is another good everyday kind of toner. It contains a mix of AHA and Pitera™which is unique to the SK-II skincare products. These help clarify the skin and exfoliate dead skin cells to help prep your skin for moisturizers or serums. This one is very gentle on the face and really works to clear up the skin. I had tiny little bumps on the cheekbones and this helps keep them away. It's refreshing and it leaves the skin feeling soft. There is a slight moisture feel left on the skin after you apply it but it doesn't feel like residue. It's gentle enough that it doesn't sting the skin even on days when the face is a bit tender.


Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate*, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Peg-150, Cellulose Gum, Disodium Edta, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben *Pitera.

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Chanel recently reformulated their Le Blanc line. I was at the counter buying the new Hydra Beauty Micro Serum and my go-to sales rep said she highly recommended the new Le Blanc Brightening Moisturizing Lotion ($67.50 for fl oz) for my sensitive skin. I have never been able to use any of the Chanel toners in the past without getting tiny little red bumps within minutes, another rep commented she too could not use any of the toners from Chanel but this one was worth trying. I gave it a shot and have been really impressed. I've been needing extra help in the brightening area, especially with some acne scars. This one is extremely gentle. It has a texture that is thicker than most traditional toners but still absorbs nicely into the skin with a cotton pad. It helps soothe the face and really does work to help with my acne scars. After using this for a few weeks my skin feels rebalanced and clearer. There is some hydration with this which is perfect for right now as my skin needs moisture and clarifying at the same time.


Ingredients:


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Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner ($26 for 5 fl oz) came highly recommended to me by a rep who doesn't work for the line. We were discussing face masks and treatments to help with my acne scars. By now my chin and jawline breakouts have almost completely disappeared (it's 97% there to clear skin) and what I have to fix next is the scars and dark marks. He said hands down the Kate Somerville toner is his favorite and that it's designed for post-acne scars. I typically don't like tones for acne-prone or oily skin because I find them too stripping and it ends up sending my skin into overdrive oiliness. This one is alcohol-free and has witch hazel to fight acne-causing bacteria, phytic acid to lighten skin for scars, and aloe to soothe and calm.

After testing this for several weeks I think the upsides are that it really works to calm down the skin, especially if you have redness from irritation. It helped soothe areas that were tender from dry patches and acne. I do think it's a bit drying on the forehead for me, but it worked really well on other areas of the face. I've seen a difference on my cheeks and chin area with this. For toners that brighten the skin and help reduce irriration, I would say it's a toss up between the Chanel Le Blanc and Kate Somerville Clarifying Toner. The Chanel is better suited for normal to dry skin while the Kate Somerville seems to be clearly for normal to oily skin.


Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Carbomer, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Oleanolic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Methyl Gluceth-10, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Phytic Acid, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA-Copper, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin.
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Last but not least is the By Terry Cellularose Hydra-Toner ($65 for 6.8 fl oz). I had used a few samples of this in the past and it comes highly recommended by a few friends. I don't consider myself a huge fan of rose scented products but I am a big fan of the Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi Serums (review here), Baume de Rose (for lips) and the Cellularose Nutri-Baume (for a face moisturizer on dry skin days). For me to fall in love with those items even with the rose scent says a lot about the products themselves. For me the rose scent in the By Terry line is a soft rose that is wearable and soothing (at least to me). The Cellularose Hydra-Toner is their Clarifying Comfort Toner and it's the best one to soothe skin over the entire face (not just spots). It's designed for all skin types and I would say formula-wise this is really truly good for all skin types. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed and glowing and also works to shrink pores and remove any signs of dryness. I do think the rose scent is stronger in this compared to other By Terry products. I cannot use this in the evening because the fragrance interferes with my sleep. This one leaves the skin looking the most dewy/glowy without feeling greasy or any residue.


Ingredients:




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Good toners have helped keep the skin clear and it's an extra step to help make sure the face is truly clean with subtle exfoliation. All except the By Terry are almost fragrance free, each has a soft clean scent that is very subtle even for my super sensitive nose. If you're in search of a new toner as we transition seasons, I hope this roundup is helpful. I think using a good toner can really help rebalance and readjust your skin as it reacts to weather changes. Sometimes my skin just gets used to something after using a product for an extended period of time and it becomes less effective so I like to switch things up every so often. For reference, I use all of these with a cotton pad (my favorites are Cle de Peau Beaute and Chanel). In summary:
  • My everyday go-to toners are Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean and SK-II, these are good for normal sensitive skin that needs daily balancing and clearing
  • For seasonal transition, brightening and hydration, the Chanel Le Blanc is amazing, I've been incorporating this one into my weekly routine and I've been really pleased with it, it seems to be suitable for dry skin days but also works to clarify and rebalance, the skin is brightened and looks softer
  • For acne scars and soothing, the Kate Somerville is really worth looking into, although if you have normal skin, you may not see as much of a difference with this one
  • For all skintypes, the By Terry Cellularose Hydra-Toner seems the best for oily, dry, and sensitive, it will leave your skin feeling truly refreshed and glowing

Do you have a favorite toner? I would love to hear about your favorites and skin type. Do you use the same one year round or do you switch things up as the seasons change, or even on a weekly basis?





Friday, February 27, 2015

Hourglass Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum


Hourglass Cosmetics launched their first skincare products in January of this year with two items in a line they call Equilibrium. There are two items both are available in limited quantites at the Hourglass Store on Abbot Kinney, Bergdorf Goodman (New York, in store) and Liberty (London, in store).

Equilibrium Day Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($115 for 1.7 fl oz/50 ml) is a daytime treatment that is designed to give radiant, supple and healthy-looking skin created from within. From Hourglass:
  • This is designed to complement the evening treatment, and shield skin from the sun with SPF 30. It contains a plant-derived phosphatidylglycerol, which improves skin’s texture and tone. The light, luxurious fluid also contains a blend of four organic chemical compounds providing broad spectrum SPF 30 to shield the skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum ($350 for 1.7 fl oz/50 ml) is a rebalancing product intended for night time use only. Description per Hourglass:
  • This revolutionary nighttime re-balancing treatment contains a powerful family of ingredients designed to counteract the visible signs of aging - resulting in radiant, healthy-looking skin created from within. The serum is created using an ultrasonication process, producing microscopic oil droplets which deliver the ingredients into the skin at the most optimal level.

Equilibrium at the Abbot Kinney store opening last September, more on the beautiful store here

Hourglass kindly sent me a sample of the Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum for review back at the beginning of the year and I've been putting it to the test for 50+ nights. This is a resurfacing and rebalancing night time treatment that comes in a black pump bottle. The bottle is made of Miron violet glass to protect the contents from harmful light. The product description recommends use of the product for 40-56 days (after a full cellular turnover cycle) to see full results. I wanted to give this a thorough test drive in order to provide as detailed a review as possible on using this.


In testing the Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum I saw results in two weeks. If you've followed my skincare posts, you know that ver the past year and a half I've had fluctuations with skin issues. I've discovered a number of products that have helped to rebalance the skin and bring it back to it's normal state. Testing skincare is usually touch and go - you have to really test things over a long period of time to see if they end up working as you hoped. The biggest issue I've had with my skin included texture issues all over the face, breakouts on the chin area and scarring. The items I've tried and tested from Ole Henriksen, Tatcha, SK-II and regular go-to's have helped with the texture and breakouts.



The Hourglass Equilibrium Serum has helped keep my skin clear and removed my chin breakouts and has worked remarkably well in fading scars. This is a fluid type of product that is very gentle on the skin and has a moisturizing feel without any detectable scent. It absorbs nicely into the skin so it doesn't feel like there is product that is just sitting on your face that will slide off once your head hits the pillow. It feels very soothing on the skin which is a huge plus for my sensitive face. The results have been incredibly good. My skin has noticeably (and dramatically) improved in texture and clarity. 


There are three other night time treatments that I've used over the past couple of years that I will offer a comparison to.

1) Chanel La Nuit de Chanel is part of the Resynchronizing line. I bought this and used it up entirely. I found consistent use helped keep my skin clear but wasn't strong enough to help with serious scars or texture issues. I used it up and really liked it, I will probably go back to this once my skin returns to it's normal state. If you have normal sensitive skin that needs basic and simple hydration at night, I highly recommend this.

2) The SK-II Skin Refining Treatment is something I used and love. It improved my skin's texture significantly after several months of use. This one is gentle on the face and after using this I noticed better skin texture, clearer complexion and a glow. The Hourglass by comparison exceeds the SK-II in terms of giving you results faster more dramatic improvement in skin. Both are good and over time they will give you a similar result (better complexion and texture), the SK-II will take a bit longer to give you the same results.

3) I've also written about and used the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment (reviewed here). This one also improved my skin's texture and reduced breakouts on the chin area. This one isn't the best for those with sensitive noses because it is fragranced. If you have super delicate skin you find this one tingles too much. I found the scent to be ok, but many have commented they found it too strong.

So out of the four night-time treatments I've tested, my top two picks include the Hourglass and SK-II. I didn't want to fall in love with the Hourglass one due to the hefty price tag but it truly delivers results and performs exceptionally well. My husband has commented on how much my skin has improved after I used this and asked "what are you doing differently?" It's gentle enough for nightly use - in testing this, I would recommend using this almost every night to get the best results (skipping this for 3+ nights resulted in breakouts coming back after testing some other products). I give this a super huge thumbs up.


The Equilibrium line is available at select locations: Hourglass Store on Abbot Kinney, Bergdorf Goodman (New York, in store), Liberty (London, in store). More online at Hourglass Cosmetics. Have you tried any of the Hourglass Equilibrium products? If not, what do you currently use at night?  

The Equilibrium serum was provided courtesy of Hourglass for review consideration.

 

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