Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Philosophy hope in a jar a to z cream

As much as I love Philosophy's Purity Made Simple, many of their other products fall short.  I love most of their body washes (the Cinnamon Buns smells so real I almost tasted it) but their face and eye creams have been disappointing.  And the other two products I really like, the Supernatural and On a Clear Day primer, have been discontinued.

This BB cream falls somewhere in the middle.  It only comes in 3 colors but the medium blended nicely into my winter-pale skin (sometimes new products only come in limited colors when they are in the "trial phase").  It seemed a little thicker and harder to apply at first but, for some reason, after a week it was easier.  It gives a nice tint of color and has a20 spf sunscreen.  Like many BB creams, it is supposed to replace moisturizer and primer as well.  It does keep my skin hydrated all day and is a nice base for my Bare Minerals powder.  It stays on through the workday and into the evening.  It also hasn't caused any breakouts which is very important.  All in all it is a decent product.  So what is the problem?  The price.  It's $38 for one ounce.  That's a little surprising as I consider Philosophy to generally be reasonable for a non-drugstore brand.  If it was even 10 dollars cheaper, I would consider using it regularly but I believe there is something out there that is either cheaper or works better.,en_US,pd.html

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

earth science Azulene Eye Cream

I've been keeping a secret but only out of laziness.  One of my favorite online shopping methods is to sort by ratings.  I came across this while searching on for a new eye cream.  As I've mentioned in the past, my biggest problems are dark circles and cross-hatching (which I like to refer to as the nicer sounding "fairy trails").  This product had mostly good reviews and was very wallet-friendly at under $15.  Ignoring the woman who likened it to "a thick, blue paste," I went ahead and ordered it.  This was at the end of July and I've been using it since.  The best part is that I'm only halfway through the jar.  While this is not a miracle worker as far as fairy trails (you'd think fairies wouldn't leave such heavy marks), it is a good eye cream that definitely helps with my dark circles.  It is a little think, and blue, but I have no problem patting it in with my ring finger.  It gives moisture all day long and, while it looks a little greasy when you first apply it, it quickly absorbs. 

I'd never heard of azulene before.  It is a compound that is found in some plants including chamomile.  It has been used for a long time for it's soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.  I came across it again in a wax hair removal kit as an after-application oil.  So it seems chamomile is good for your insides and your outsides.

I really appreciate a decent product that does what it says it will at a reasonable price and I plan to continue using this (at least in between testing others with more radical claims).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rimmel The Max Volume Flash waterproof mascara

A friend of mine who is familiar with my issues with mascaras that smear sent me this to try since it is waterproof (it doesn't come in a regular formula).  Even though I don't like having mascara rings around my eyes, I usually shy away from waterproof formulas because they tend to make your lashes too stiff and aren't build-able.  Maybe I've stayed away too long because this is flexible, build-able and stays on through sweat and tears (hey, what can I say, the holidays are an emotional time).  Unfortunately there are some downfalls that will keep this from being a new favorite.  Although you can't tell from the picture, the brush is very large and the head barely tapers at all which makes it unwieldy.  It also doesn't give enough volume.  Two coats is not enough for even the daytime.  For e, volume is key. 

If you're looking for a subtle, smear-proof look, this might just me worth a try.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum

This was a tough one for me to review partly due to my bad habits.  I'll explain.  I received a 10 day sample of this from Sephora.  It claimed you would see results in that time.  I used it for about 6-7 days but, going against one of my cardinal rules, I used another new product.  One of the two made me breakout so I stopped using both.  I used the last few days once my skin cleared up and it was the other product that was the issue.  I thought my skin looked a little better but I still wasn't sure.  Luckily they were still having the promotion so I ordered another 10 day sample.  I used that for several days and then didn't wash my make-up off one night so didn't use it, then had a trip and skipped several days.  By the time I got back on it, I still had 5 packets.  They say each packet was for one day but you could get almost two days out of each one so I started again and this time used it religiously.  At the end, while the results weren't spectacular, there was definitely a difference.  My skin was smoother and brighter and, well, just nicer in general.  I don't have very deep wrinkles that I could use to judge and it was hard to pinpoint specific things.  I just know that a couple times after washing my face, I would look in the mirror and think, "wow, my skin looks really nice."

The downfall of this product is the $98 price tag.  I will not be buying the full-size anytime soon but if I had the money, I would give it a shot.  The active ingredient, in addition to Retinol, is called Alguronic Acid and is said to have anti-aging properties.  Maybe it does or maybe it is the Retinol but this is one of the few products where I could see a visible difference.  As with any Retinol product, there was some minor redness especially the first few days but it was nothing bothersome or overly noticeable and it went away with continued use.  Also, as I mentioned, a little goes a long way.  I would bet it would last you quite some time which may help reduce the sticker shock.  If anyone does try it, I would love if you would post a comment about your experience.

Friday, October 4, 2013

SEPHORA COLLECTION Illuminating Bronzing Oil

I have a small problem with Sephora having its own brand because I think it takes space away from other products which, I thought, was the point of the store.  However, they do have some decent products at more reasonable prices.  This is one of them.

I bought it as an "add-on" to get free shipping and it was half-price, $7.00.  I was a little skeptical because I don't want to look like an Oscar statue.  It doesn't give a lot of color but it gives your skin a nice glow like it's lit from within.  Although it has some shimmer, it's not too much.  Definitely more subtle than the Charlotte Ronson!  I have two complaints about this but neither will stop me from using it.  First, the smell is a little musty.  Not the scent a single, forty-something woman wants anywhere below the waist.  Luckily it fades after an hour or so.  Second, it doesn't really give any moisture to your legs which is surprising since it has several oils in it.  Maybe the ingredients for the shimmer cancel it out.  However, I think this could be easily solved by keeping your legs moisturized or applying a small amount of moisturizer first.  It is easy to apply (although check any nearby surfaces after applying for overspray) and dries quickly.  The best part is that the shimmer/sparkle/glitter doesn't rub off much on hands or clothing. 

I plan to use this product any time I show my legs in the spring, summer and fall.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tarte Brazilliance™ skin rejuvenating maracuja face and body self tanner with mitt

Earlier this summer I posted about Jergen's Natural Glow self tanning lotion.  While I liked the product, I am essentially lazy and did not want to have to apply it every day.  I wanted something that would give faster results (I want it all and I want it now!).  I chose Tarte's Brazilliance based on other reviews and the fact that it came with an application mitt which I've never used before.  It's expensive at $37 a bottle but I think it is fairly large (5.5 oz) and a little goes a long way.

This is a tinted self tanner so it makes it easy to see where you are applying it and helps to keep you streak and splotch free.  Although I read some complaints that the mitt soaks up too much of the product, I did not find that to be the case and I think the little bit it does soak up is outweighed by the ease and thoroughness of application.  It has a lovely scent that only smells slightly like self tanner hours after using it and washes away completely with one shower.  It only takes a few minutes to dry and doesn't rub off on fabrics.  I like to apply it in the evening and let the color develop while I sleep so I can wash off any lingering scent in the morning.  I wake up with nicely tan-colored legs about 2-3 shades darker than I had when I went to bed. Maracuja oil is from the Amazonian (where all the good stuff grows) passion flower and is said to have essential fatty acids and vitamins.  I'm not sure it rejuvenates my skin exactly but it doesn't dry it out.

This says it can be used for face and body so I tried it once all over with the help of this "handy" little tool.  I liked the color it gave on my body and face (although my torso was still lighter since it never sees the sun anymore) but I think it made me breakout and I haven't been willing to take the chance again.  However, my skin is very sensitive to breakouts, so, if you're isn't, I wouldn't hesitate to try it.  It did not get into my pores like others have in the past.  All in all I would say this is one of the best self tanners I have used.  The only con is the price but I think it's worth it for a quality product that performs as advertised.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dr. Brandt Blemishes No More Oil-free Hydrator

Even at my age (which we'll just say is "out of my 20s") I still get occasional breakouts.  Usually it's when I am out partying like I'm still in my 20s and don't remove my make up before bed.  I was looking for something that would help and wouldn't give me shine, an on-going battle in my life. 

Dr. Brandt is another dermatologist to the stars who released his own skincare line.  I like the idea because I feel like they are more involved in actually creating the product unlike a model, actress, or fashion designer.

This is an oil-free product with Dr. Brandt's Active Impurity Shield.  The main acne fighting ingredient is salicylic acid.  There's really only one other that I know of, benzoyl peroxide.  On my skin (ok my back!) benzoyl seems to work better but, on my face, I like salicylic acid.  There is no rhyme or reason, it's just what I've found.  So, if you use products with one and they don't seem to work, try the other.

It's a light moisturizer and it doesn't have any serious anti-aging properties.  I don't use it every day but when I have a flare up, I find a couple days of using this calms everything down.  And lately, since it's been so humid, I find myself using it more and more.  I like it enough that I just ordered a second tube.