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Made From Earth Three Berry Daily Face Serum Review
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments Off - October 12th, 2012

Made From Earth is a small company producing a nice collection of skin care and body care products. I had the opportunity to try their Three Berry Daily Face Serum, and I quite like it! Check it out.

The Three Berry Daily Face Serum is a serum that can also be used as a daily face moisturizer, particularly if you have oilier skin. It contains Vitamin C for all its great antioxidant effects, as well as blueberry, cranberry, and raspberry extracts. Blueberry extract also is a good antioxidant, the raspberry is very soothing and calming for the skin, and the cranberry extract has antibacterial qualities.

The serum has a light texture, although it leans a little sticky. This was my only nitpick with it, but it’s only a problem if you’re in a hurry and need to get makeup on your face fast. If you have an extra 5-10 minutes to let it fully absorb, the stickiness isn’t a problem. My skin liked it just fine, no problems with breakouts or irritation. It works fine for my skin as a moisturizer, although I usually used it like a serum and applied a sunscreen moisturizer on top.

Overall, if you are looking for an antioxidant serum that doesn’t break the bank, this one could fit the bill. At $27.99 for 2 ounces, it’s quite reasonably priced. I give it a thumbs up.

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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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Yes To Tomatoes Value Set Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (3) - May 5th, 2012

I found this AWESOME Yes To Tomatoes set at Target, and since I was wanting to try the line anyway, decided to snatch it up! This was a very good decision, as it turns out.

Unfortunately, I can’t find this set anywhere online, so I’m guessing it’s in-store only. It is basically a steal, at $19.99. It contains three full-size products, the Repairing Acne Lotion (regular price $14.99), the Daily Pore Scrub (regularly $9.99), and the Roller Ball Spot Stick (regularly $9.99). So you’re getting $34.97 worth of product for $19.99. A STEAL, RIGHT?!?

Let’s go from least favorite to most favorite. The Daily Pore Scrub doesn’t knock my socks off, but that has more to do with me than it does with the product. Basically, the product is meant to take the place of a daily cleanser (probably what you use to wash your face at night, for example). I already have cleansers I like to use at night (like this one) so I’m not really in the market for a new one. It’s a very gentle scrub, as is appropriate for something you’re meant to use daily. If you want something REALLY SCRUBBY, this isn’t it. It isn’t scrubby enough to work in my twice a week with LOTS OF GRIT exfoliation routine. HOWEVER. If I decided to start using it daily, I’d probably love it. It feels good, it doesn’t smell objectionable, it works well as a cleanser, and it has salicylic acid in it to clear up your pores. Buy it because you want a slightly scrubby daily cleanser, not because you want a really scrubby scrub.

The Acne Roller Ball Spot Stick is pretty cool. I’m usually quite skeptical of spot treatments, due to their propensity to not actually do much to clear up blemishes in a hurry. That’s the point, right? This one seems to actually do something! It contains salicylic acid, ginger root, and bisabolol, which are all supposed to help with shrinking down zits. When I use this on pimples, I do notice they seem to go away much faster than using nothing at all. Large, nasty inflamed ones appear much smaller and much less inflamed in the morning after using it before bed. At $9.99 it’s not cheap, and it’s really small (only 0.5 oz.) but I’ll consider buying it again due to its effectiveness.

The star of the show for me is the Repairing Acne Lotion. Let’s start with the drawbacks. It is more drying than other acne serum-type products I’ve used (Neutrogena and Murad). I am not fond of the vinegar-y scent. Neither of these things are deal breakers. It contains salicylic acid, ginger root, and bisabolol, as well as aloe, witch hazel, and pomegranate juice. Daily use (once per day, usually in the AM) translates to fewer breakouts, for me. This product definitely can replace my beloved Neutrogena product and isn’t as expensive as the Murad. THIS PRODUCT IS FULL OF WIN!!

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Yes To Tomatoes products for acne! I definitely recommend checking them out, especially if you can find this particularly set.

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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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Wild Carrot Herbals Skincare Review
Cat, Complexion, Get Local, Skin Care - Comments (1) - October 9th, 2011

I’ve been eying Wild Carrot Herbals’ products for a long time. They are an Oregon company, making plant-based skincare and body care, as well as an entire baby line. I’ve watched this line grow and evolve, and decided it was time to purchase some things and give it a whirl. I’m really pleased so far!

Earlier this summer I bought a bottle of the Oregon Strawberry & Rose Toner, when I happened to give it a spray at our local grocery. It smelled amazing!! The toner really does smell like fresh strawberries mixed with the soft floral scent of roses. It’s alcohol-free, and it’s very soothing to the skin. I’m pretty much hooked on this and have bought a second bottle. The formula consists of strawberry essence, radish root extract, and Bulgarian rose essential oil. I like it for my oily skin, but any skin type could use it. It’s very refreshing on a warm day or after exercising.

I also bought (admittedly for the smell) the Cardamom Facial Cleanser after trying the toner. I’ve developed a real fondness for cream/milk type cleansers (the kind that don’t foam or lather) because they take makeup off like no ones business and leave my face happy and clean. This one is no exception, and has become my new favorite cream cleanser. It smells amazing, but more importantly, gets the job done with no breakouts or other problems. The formula is a simple one, with apricot oil and virgin coconut oil, and essential oils of cardamom and lemon. I think the lemon is a nice choice for oilier skin types as it’s a bit astringent. Cardamom essential oil, in my research, is also provides some antiseptic benefit.

I’m really interested in exploring more of the Wild Carrot Herbals line – like the Blue Burdock Moisturizer and the Soulshine Ambrosial Serum. If you can find these products in a natural grocery or health food store near you, do check them out! You can also order online. I give them two thumbs up!

(Theo looked like a good background for the product shots.)

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Annmarie Gianni Skincare
Complexion, Earth Friendly, Skin Care - Comments Off - July 1st, 2011

I’ve been test-driving some new products lately, from Annmarie Gianni Skincare. I’m really pleased with them, so let me tell you all about it!

Annmarie Gianni Skincare was created out of the desire to offer a clean, natural skin care experience using natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients. Everything smells really good and feels really good on your skin! I think I’ve written before that one of my major complaints with all-natural skincare lines is the lack of attention given to keeping products safe from microbial contamination – in other words, they don’t contain preservatives when they should or use packaging that would prevent contamination. Annmarie Gianni Skincare address this concern by making formulas that are water-free and by using packaging to keep the product safe (like pumps instead of jars). I approve!

My favorite product is definitely the Aloe-Herb Facial Cleanser. It’s made with aloe vera juice infused with organic herbs, a really mild foaming agent, and essential oils. It’s more of a milky cleanser than a foamy cleanser, but it definitely gets the job done! It takes off all my makeup, including eye makeup, without irritating the skin or leaving it dry. It goes on with a lotion-y feel but rinses really clean. It’s a little pricey at $24.95 for only 50 ml, but a little goes a long way and I think the quality justifies the price. It really is one of the best cleansers I’ve tried! I love the smell, it’s fresh and citrus-y. I would purchase this product again!

At first I was a little skeptical of the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub. I love the concept of scrub powders, since they can contain all the wonderful plant and clay goodness you want without worrying about preserving them like you would with a water-based product. The customer mixes it fresh at the time of use. The only drawback is that the powders can be a little messy to use. In this case, it’s totally worth it! The Ayurvedic Facial Scrub uses clay, dried herbs, and fenugreek seeds to get the job done, and it does it well. You can control the scrubbiness level by using more or less water when you mix it in your hand before applying to your face. You can also mix it with the Aloe-Herb Cleanser, which I haven’t tried, but is a genius idea. The scrub left my face feeling very soft, and the scent is fantastic. I would also purchase this again.

I LOVE facial oils. I love how they deliver super-concentrated goodness to your skin. So, the Herbal Facial Oil for Oily and Acne Prone Skin gets an enthusiastic two thumbs up from me. This potent oil contains an awesome blend of plant oils and is infused with herbs that support the healing of acne blemishes, helps to prevent more from forming, and balances the skin’s natural oil production. Use just a few drops massaged into your skin after cleansing, and wake up with perfect skin! I found this helped to speed the healing of blemishes that I had when I started using it, and I do think it has really helped keep more from forming. You can use it alone as a moisturizer, or put a moisturizer on top. I will definitely be purchasing more of this!

The Anti-Aging Serum is another standout product. It contains a slew of plant ingredients to support collagen production, hydration, and elasticity. I’m really impressed with the ingredient list! It also feels good, and the fact that it’s a serum means a little goes a long way. You can use it alone, or under a moisturizer. Despite containing a lot of plant oils, it’s not oily at all, so it works great under makeup. I like how my skin feels and looks when I use this. I would consider purchasing more!

Overall, I am really impressed with the products offered by Annmarie Gianni Skincare. If you are looking for products free of synthetic ingredients that are highly effective and safe to use, this line will fit the bill.

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Avon Anew Reversalist Serum
Complexion, Skin Care - Comments (2) - December 1st, 2009

cb-reverseserumI love serums. They usually pack a lot of bang for your buck, and do good things for your skin. Avon Anew Reversalist Serum is no exception to this. I try out a lot of skincare items, and this one has definitely floated to the top of my “wow” pile!

The Reversalist line is based around Avon’s “Activinol Technology,” which in a nutshell seems to be a way of stimulating your skin to repair itself. As a result, skin should look and feel younger. It also has a pretty decent glycolic acid content, which is a potent skin exfoliator, and will definitely result in smoother skin. My skin is definitely less rough since I’ve been using it, and the fine lines around my mouth have definitely softened. It’s been over a month now, that I’ve been using the serum daily.

What has me really knocked out though, is the total lack of breakouts since I started using this every morning. I’ve been pretty bad about washing my face at night lately, relying heavily on makeup removing wipes instead. Usually, this is a recipe for breakout disaster after a few days. Since I’ve been using the serum, I’ve had nary a blemish. Whoa! I wonder if it’s the skin healing thing that inhibits blemishes? Blemishes are an injury to the skin, after all. Makes a girl wonder, anyway.

It’s a “dry” formula, which means it won’t leave your skin feeling sticky or greasy. Every moisturizer I’ve tried glides on smoothly on top, no problem there. One pump seems to be enough – it’s about a pea-sized amount.

Now for the fly in my ointment: I really hate the packaging. It’s a giant hunk of futuristic-looking plastic. First, it took me FOREVER to prime the pump, so to speak. I was seriously about ready to give it up as defective when it FINALLY started pumping out product. Anyone with arthritis in their hands would have given up much sooner – my younger hands were getting pretty painful with all that pumping. You can’t tell how much you have left, either. I do appreciate that it is very likely an airless pump (keeps ingredients fresh) but that’s the only thing I like. I really hate the packaging and I genuinely hope Avon will change it. The product is AWESOME and deserves better. Plus, all that plastic is so wasteful!

I don’t think the packaging defects are enough to stop me from recommending the product. It really rocks, and as long as your skin isn’t too sensitive (the glycolic could be problematic for really sensitive skins) you will probably love it if you want smoother, softer skin. One and a half thumbs up!

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New From Origins
Shopping, Skin Care - Comments Off - February 17th, 2009

Night HealthOrigins has introduced new products in the Dr. Weil lineup, a night cream, night balm, bath oil, and spray. The new products contain a blend of essential oils (Lavender, Chamomile, & Mandarin) chosen for their ability to relax and soothe the skin (and presumably the rest of you!).

Night Health Bedtime Face Cream also contains Buckbean and St. Paul’s Wort Extracts which are supposed to help smooth visible lines and promote more radiant skin. It’s scented with the essential oil blend to promote relaxation.
The Night Health Bedtime Balm is designed to be used in conjunction with a relaxation technique to relax the mind and body. Origins has a video on their website demonstrating the technique – it’s pretty easy, just gently massaging specific points to release tension.

The Bath Oil and Spray are pretty self-explanatory – use the oil in your bath to relax before bed, and mist your body with the spray to enjoy the aroma before bed.

I stopped in at Origins and put a little of the night cream on the back of my hand – it has a lovely texture, not heavy or greasy, and the scent is quite nice. Unfortunately for me, I’m sensitive to the scent of lavender, which tends to make me sneeze uncontrollably. *Le Sigh* If anyone tries these products, do comment on how you like them!

YouthtopiaAlso new(er) at Origins is the Youthtopia Age-Correcting Serum. I tried a sample a while back, and liked it a lot. It has Rhodiola root extract in it, which is supposed to “kick starts skin’s natural repair to help reenergize, visibly correct lines and renew skin’s vibrant and youthful function.” Just like my beloved Mega-Mushroom Face Serum, this serum has a plethora of plant extracts and essential oils. What I liked about it (just based off the sample) is that is has a non-sticky texture, and I was able to smooth a small amount over my whole face. What would you call that, good spreadability? Anyway, I’m out of Mega-Mushroom (man, that bottle lasted me practically a year!) and I’m considering picking up a bottle of Youthtopia serum to replace it. Has anyone else tried it? Thoughts?

Incidentally, Origins is now carried at! Since shares a shopping cart with, you can pick up your Youthtopia with your vitamins. Awesome! iconicon

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