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Murad Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - October 8th, 2012

Murad is increasingly becoming my go-to skincare line. I’m just about out of the Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20, which is still my favorite moisturizer with sunscreen. Since I am less concerned with sunscreen in the winter (I have it in my foundation), I wanted to try out the new Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator to see how it compares. I really love that Murad offers anti-aging products for people who are still dealing with breakouts!

The Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator is a lightweight lotion. Murad says it refines pores, plumps skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and provides essential hydration to soothe and help repair skin breakouts. It contains their Kombucha Collagen Defense to stimulate collagen production and inhibit its breakdown to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has lentil seed extract and witch hazel to tighten pores and help control excess oil, and cinnamon extract to restore skin surface by reducing inflammation and optimizing oil production.

I REALLY like this moisturizer. It leaves my skin soft and smooth, with less visible oiliness, and fewer blemishes. If I do get a blemish, it heals faster and with less lingering redness. The moisturizer plays nicely under makeup as well. At $49.50 it’s a bit of a splurge, but I think it’s worth it considering how well it works for me. Overall, I give it two thumbs up!

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Pevonia Lumafirm Lift & Glow Eye Contour Cream Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - October 7th, 2012

I love eye creams, always have. I’m always game to review a new one, so I was excited to try out Pevonia’s new Lumafirm Lift & Glow Eye Contour cream. The Lumafirm line is an anti-aging line with an emphasis on brightening and firming the skin. Who doesn’t want some brigtening and firming?

The product comes in a pump bottle, which I really like. I prefer pumps because they’re more hygienic and they also protect the product from oxidation. The active ingredients include watermelon fruit, diacetyl boldine, vitamin e, and kombucha. It’s supposed to visibly smooth lines and wrinkles, quickly diminish dark circles and ease puffiness around your eyes.

The scoop? I like it a lot. The skin around my eyes looks better than ever, and while nothing totally beats back dark circles, this eye cream does seem to brighten things up more than others I’ve tried.

It’s pricey, at $70 for 0.5 oz., but if you’re looking to splurge on something, it’s worth checking out!

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L’Occitane Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash Review
Body Care, Reviews, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - August 23rd, 2012

I’ve been using L’Occitane’s bar soaps for years because I like how mild they are and I like the fragrances. The Bonne Mere line of soaps are a particular favorite of mine, so it’s really cool that L’Occitane has expanded the line to include body wash, hand wash, and lotion. I got to try out the body wash, and it’s really nice!

I tried out the Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash in the Milk fragrance. First, the bottle is HUGE. This is going to last for a while. It’s also probably the most economical of the L’Occitane body washes, at $34 for 20 fl. oz versus $20 for 8.4 fl. oz. I still consider it a splurge-type product, but it’s a good value for sure. The milk scent is a clean, fresh scent, and should appeal to most everyone. The formula is also really nice – lots of soft lather, and it leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized. I like the pump bottle, it’s very easy to use.

In addition to the milk scent, there is also a honey scent which I’m sure is great. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve always liked L’Occitane’s honey scents so I’m sure it’s great. The new Bonne Mere products also include a hand wash and a gentle cream. I really want to try the cream!

The new Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash is totally splurge-worthy! I give it two thumbs up!

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L’Occitane Angelica Cleanser & Scrub Review
Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - June 28th, 2012

When I’m feeling splurge-y, I really like L’Occitane’s face care products. The Angelica line is newer, introduced last year for dehydrated skin. Basically, it’s for anyone who needs hydration but not emolliency. I’ve used the Angelica Cleansing Gel and the Angelica Exfoliating Gel. I like them both!

The Angelica Cleansing Gel is a foaming cleanser. It contains angelica extract, and some peppermint. It’s made to remove makeup and cleanse the skin without being too harsh. It has a nice lather, and does a decent job removing makeup. While it’s supposed to be good for all skin types, personally I think it’s better suited to normal/combination skin. I didn’t find it drying, but I have really oily skin. I think drier skin types might find it a bit much. A little bit goes a long way, so while it is pricey, a bottle is going to last a while.

The Angelica Exfoliating Gel is a real winner, especially if you have sensitive skin. It has a fascinating texture – it’s soft, but still exfoliating. If you like a really SCRUBBY scrub, this one isn’t it. But if you have sensitive skin that just can’t take something with really scrubby bits, you’ll love it. It really reminds me of gommage-style product, which uses the rubbing motion of your fingers combined with a softer texture to do the exfoliating work. It’s still quite effective, my skin feels really soft and smooth after using it. This product is definitely splurge-worthy.

The Angelica Cleansing Gel and Exfoliating Gel get two thumbs up!

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Sunscreen: Eyes, Lips, Hands
Body Care, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy, Sun Care - Comments Off - June 23rd, 2012

Most of us are pretty good at using some kind of sunscreen on our faces on a daily basis. After all, using sunscreen daily is probably the easiest and most effective way to slow down the signs of aging. Remembering to put sunscreen on the delicate eye area, on your lips, and on your hands is another matter entirely. Today I wanted to mention some sunscreens specifically for those areas that I’ve tried (and some that look good, although I haven’t tried them yet).

L’Occitane’s Immortelle Brightening Hand Care SPF 15 is a really nice daily hand care product that is basically anti-aging for the hands. With regular use, your hands will look smoother and if you already have age spots, they’ll diminish. I really like the texture of this hand cream. It’s a bit splurge-y, but otherwise it’s great.

I haven’t tried this one yet, but for a more budget friendly option, Boots’ No 7 Protect and Perfect Hand Cream SPF 15 looks interesting.

I’ve revised my opinion of Lavanila’s The Healthy Lip Screen SPF 30. It’s luxe, but I really like it. It’s the texture – I like it better than other mineral-based sunscreens I’ve used. It has a much more weightless feel on the lips than other products I’ve tried.

I haven’t tried this yet, but a very budget-friendly option to check out is Nivea’s A Kiss Of Protection, SPF 30. It’s really inexpensive, and combines chemical and mineral sun protection. It’s also readily available in drugstores.

I liked this L’Oreal Revitalift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream quite a bit. It’s a two-fer – it has an SPF 15 day cream and a non-SPF night cream. Considering it’s two products in one, the price is pretty reasonable. I liked that the SPF 15 cream didn’t sting or irritate my eyes. I don’t have much in the way of deep wrinkles, so I can’t comment on that, but overall I was pleased with the product.

This Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Eye Contour Care SPF 30 is more splurge-y, but their products are always so nice. I haven’t tried it, but if I was going to a sunny place for vacation or spent all day in the sun regularly, I totally would.

What are your favorite eye, lip, or hand sunscreens?

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Review: L’Occitane Brightening Essence
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - May 10th, 2012

L’Occitane introduced their Brightening line a few years ago, and the Brightening Essence has been one of the most popular products in the line. It’s a lightweight serum that is supposed to correct wrinkles, even skin tone and brighten the complexion. I’ve been using it pretty regularly, and the prognosis is I love it!

While I don’t have significant pigmentation issues from sun exposure, I have heard from a good friend of mine that this product works a number on darker spots and unevenness left from acne. I don’t get a lot of breakouts, but probably because of some immune system issues I have, I heal slowly from them when I do. I really hate having the marks on my face for weeks (sometimes months if they’re particularly deep) afterwards. Immortelle essential oil, one of the ingredients in the Brightening Essence is particularly good for healing skin. I wanted to try the serum to see if it would help with the acne marks.

In addition to immortelle essential oil (which also helps with collagen production), Brightening Essence contains Bellis Perennis (Daisy) extract and a Vitamin C derivative to diminish age spots and give skin a youthful glow, and Garden Nasturtium extract to increase the skin’s natural ability to reflect light. It also has wintergreen leaf to help with natural exfoliation.

The texture of the serum is light. It’s water-based, so it’s not greasy or oily. The bottle lid is a dropper, which I like, as it helps regulate how much product you use. If you’re treating significant pigmentation issues, I would use it morning and night for best results. I only use it once a day, usually at night. Be sure to wear sunscreen, or you’ll negate the brightening effects! There’s no point to using products to correct sun damage if you aren’t wearing sunscreen every day.

Right away, I noticed that the lingering redness from acne marks cleared up much faster than usual. Sweet! Overall, my skin does seem improved over time, with a smoother feel and the blemishes I do get (they are reduced) heal much faster. I also appreciate the anti-wrinkle effects of this product!

It’s a serum, so a little bit goes a long way. Used twice a day, you’ll probably use up a bottle in three months, or six months with once a day use. It’s not cheap, at $56, but I’d call it splurge-worthy since you get firming and anti-wrinkle benefits as well as the brightening effects. I definitely recommend the Brightening Essence if you’re in the market for a good anti-aging serum, that’s not full of harsh chemicals.

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3Lab Perfect Cleansing Foam Review
Complexion, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments (2) - March 23rd, 2012

I was digging through my stash of products the other day, and discovered I never gave this cleanser a proper review. Terrible! It’s a fantastic cleanser, so it deserves a mention on the blog.

I was introduced to the 3LAB Perfect Cleansing Foam by way of Beautyfix. You can get a 3.4 oz tube for $32 at DermStore (more on the price in a minute). The foam comes out like a thick cream, but once it mixes with water, it turns into a really rich foam and rinses clean. A LITTLE BIT GOES A LONG WAYS. I can’t emphasize this part enough. I use barely a pea sized amount and it’s enough to take off makeup and leave my skin really clean – even eyeshadow and mascara!

My technique for maximizing use is to first wet my face. Then I rub the cleanser all over my skin. Next, I wet my hands thoroughly and start rubbing my face, adding water with my hands until I’ve got a good foam going. After massaging a little more to loosen dirt and makeup, I rinse it off. This 3.4 oz tube is going to last a long time, lemme tell you.

The fragrance is really nice, like oranges. The product has a lot of botanical extracts, like green tea and chamomile, plus a whole bunch more. It also has sodium hyaluronate, to help with retaining moisture. For a foamy cleanser, it’s not drying at all. My skin feels clean and soft, not dry and tight.

So, the price. It’s quite spendy. However, when I say a little goes a long way, I’m not kidding. I’d say in the long run, it’s basically a wash (ha ha) with other cleansers I like to use that are in the $15-20 range because of how long a tube will last. Whether or not I purchase it again will likely depend on how my budget is when I run out – but if money were no object, I’d be ordering another tube for sure.

Overall, I find this product quite splurge-worthy. Two thumbs up.

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Review: Mychelle Perfect C Serum & Supreme Polypeptide Cream
Best Of, Complexion, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments (1) - March 15th, 2012

I have two more MyChelle Dermaceuticals products to add to my list of AWESOME: The Perfect C Serum and the Supreme Polypeptide Cream. Let me give you the scoop.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals is all about combining plant-based active ingredients with cutting edge skincare, to bring to consumers effective, safe products. You can read more on their website about this. I like their philosophy, it fits with the kinds of choices I want to make about the products I buy.

Let’s start with the Perfect C Serum. According to the website:

Advanced formula to protect skin’s health while combating the signs of aging. A potent 17% dose of clinically proven L-Ascorbic Acid helps to strengthen collagen and improve skin texture. L-Ergothioneine boosts cellular energy and helps interrupt the stress reaction that destroys elastin. Buddleja Plant Stem Cell protects against photo-damage and oxidative stress through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.

What does that mean? It’s supposed to help with texture, smoothness and firmness, and protect your skin from sun damage and stress. Two pumps under moisturizer is all you need, so the bottle does last a while. The only thing I’m not in love with is the scent – it’s a bit pungent right out of the bottle. However, it fades quickly, so it’s not really a big deal. The serum sinks right in. I haven’t experienced any breakouts from it – on the contrary, I think it’s helped with my blemishes, keeping them at bay and fading redness from old acne marks really quickly. It’s $41.79 on the MyChelle website for 0.5 oz – a bit pricey, but worth the splurge. I love serums – you get a lot of bang for your buck. Personally, I’m willing to drop the dough on serums and take it easy on moisturizers.

The Supreme Polypeptide Cream is soooo nice. Here’s what the website says about it:

Nutrient-rich recontouring cream lifts and retexturizes skin for a more refined, youthful appearance. Matrixyl® synthe’6™ reduces wrinkle volume by 21% and wrinkle depth by 19% in 8 weeks. Proteasyl® TP Pea Peptide is clinically proven to improve skin’s elasticity, increasing overall firmness by 35% in just 6 weeks. Rice Peptides improve skin smoothness while Syn®-Coll Peptide triggers skin’s own reparative function to accelerate collagen production.

I lurve this cream. It’s rich, but not greasy, it smells AMAZING, it feels so good on my face. I use it at night, and wake up to the softest skin. I’ll admit, I’m only 33 and I don’t have a ton of wrinkles or anything – so I can’t comment on whether or not it’s going to take years off your face. What I can say is, my face loves it. I like that it’s probably keeping my skin looking younger, longer. There is an unscented version for sensitive skin, too. At $53.39 for a 1.2 oz. jar, it’s definitely on the splurge side. If money were no object, I’d totally keep buying it. Since I’m on a budget, I’m going to keep using the Pumpkin Renew Cream, which isn’t an anti-aging powerhouse but does have its own good points.

If you are looking at putting together an anti-aging skincare regimen, I would definitely look into MyChelle Dermaceuticals. They represent a good value for your money, and the products are a pleasure to use.

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