Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


Body Luxury with Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Body Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($65.00 for 5 oz.) is an enzyme-based scrub that utilizes both papaya and pumpkin enzymes as well as beads to exfoliate away dead skin.  According to Kate Somerville, the enzymes “digest dead skin cells” while the beads “buff them away.”  The visual I get of enzymes digesting dead skin is partially gross… and yet hilarious.  Moving on!

I love me some ExfoliKate (for the face), and I like ExfoliKate Body, but I don’t think I’d repurchase it at full price.  I picked up mine through Gilt, when they had a sale, so I think I paid around $40.   What I like most about ExfoliKate Body is how it seemed to help moisturize my skin post-shower.  By no means is this a replacement for a moisturizer (unless you have pretty hydrated skin already, then perhaps it might)–on my dragon-scale legs, it just helps.  They also feel ridiculously soft and smooth and stay that way for a few hours, even without moisturizer.

Ingredients:  Water, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Pectin, Carica Papaya Fruit, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo Fruit, Ferment Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Papain, Bromelain, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Mel, Acetic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Salicylic Acid, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cinnamal, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Beta-Carotene (CI 75130), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810).

The product is easy to apply but the process of application is not my cup of tea.  Just like ExfoliKate for face, this is a product that is supposed to sit on skin for a couple of minutes.  I don’t know about you, but this means I have to step to the back of the shower and just stand there, out of the spray, and well, it’s not as convenient.  I also feel like I’m wasting a ton of water, since I’m not enjoying it and it’s going right down the drain.

It’s a good product, but I don’t know if it’s that much better than so many other body scrubs and exfoliators.  Seeing how my body doesn’t seem all that particular or reactive to scrubs in general, shelling out for this one is probably not the way to go.  I’m more apt to spend more for good facial care, which is an area of skin that seems more finicky.


If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: A lovely exfoliating scrub that relies more on enzymes and lactic acid to slough off dead skin, rather than scrubby particles, but it is an indulgence.  Certainly worth trying if you don’t mind the price tag, but it’s not so above the rest that it’s necessarily worth saving up for.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash
Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash

Quick & Clean with Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash ($32.00 for 4 oz.) is a no-frills cleanser for me. I really like it, because it just gets the job done quickly and effectively. I purchased mine several weeks ago via Gilt, when they had a Kate Somerville sale, so I bought the economy-sized 16 oz. bottle for $47 (regularly $95, from what I see on QVC).

Ingredients: Purified Water, Sodium Alpha Olefin (C14-16) Sulfonate, Cocomidopropyl Betaine, PEG/PPG-8/3 Diisostearate, Glycerin, Acrylates Copolymer, Silicone Quaternium-8, Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Salvia Offincinalis (Sage) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Zinc PCA, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorphenesin.

It’s a lightweight gel cleanser that has a light lather that smells a little like lavender and tropical fruit.  I have no idea why I always get tropics out of it.  Nobody else does, so I think my nose is engaging in some wishful thinking!  It cleans effectively and quickly; directions state to work into moistened skin for thirty seconds and then rinse.  There is no tight feeling left behind, and my skin doesn’t feel parched either.  I just feel clean and refreshed!

For me, it does all the cleansing that I need.  It gets rid of dirt and grime and any foundation/tinted moisturizer I’ve worn that day.  This won’t breakdown heavy eye/lip makeup, but in my experience, gentle cleansers rarely do as that is not what they’re designed for.  (I personally use something targeted for makeup to do a preliminary/makeup cleanse, and then follow-up with a gentler cleanser.)  I was surprised it removed my foundation so well, though, but the toner-test (take a cotton pad with toner and see if your cleanser missed any makeup) showed nothing was left behind.

At its regular retail price, it’s a rather pricey no-frills cleanser.  A little goes a long way, certainly, so I imagine this super size would get one through at least six months’, if not a year’s, worth of cleansing.  The jumbo size also features a pump system, while the normal, regularly available sized cleanser comes in a squeeze-tube. I think I’d actually like the squeeze-tube better, even if it is easier to manage a pump with damp hands.

I don’t need a full pump’s worth, so I usually do about a half pump, but this has resulted in excess cleanser getting stuck in the dispenser and hardening a bit from exposure to the air.  It’s easy to remove, but it’s a little annoying, too.  (It’s kind of like if you squeeze too much toothpaste out of the tube–it lingers until you remove, and it’s not difficult, but it’s a bit frustrating.)

I do really like this cleanser in conjunction with the Clarisonic, though.  It has just the right gel consistency and light lather that works well with the device!   I will probably switch to another cleanser soon so I can test-drive something else, but I definitely see myself keeping and returning to this one at some point.  If the boy doesn’t steal it and use it all up!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you have the dough, it’s a nice cleanser that feels gentle and does the job.  But it’s not exactly revolutionary, and as much as I like it, it’s quite costly, even relative to other high-end brands of skincare.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Kate Somerville

Oh, ExfoliKate, How I Love Thee!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85.00 for 2 oz., $175.00 for 5 oz.) is something I’ve been wanting to write about but have no real idea about how to go about doing it.  I just don’t know how to explain WHY I love this product so much, and it’s not exactly something you can easily show. I also struggle with what to say in regards to this product, because I love it, and it’s not cheap. While I worry about any recommendations I may make (I worry that you’ll hate what I loved!), I stress out over bigger ticket items in particular!  Anyway…

The product itself is a thin, green-tinged (think seaweed, perhaps–moss? anchovy paste… no!) mixture of enzymes and acids (which is kind of redundant, but whatever).  This is not a scrub–this is like a cleanser meets mask meets scrub.  To apply, you squeeze out about a pea to nickel-sized dollop onto fingers, then gently apply in circular motions to damp skin.  Let it sit for about thirty seconds (based on your tolerance), and then rinse off, towel dry, and enjoy the pretty glow it leaves behind.   I don’t think you need much, but considering the price tag, I still find myself ensuring I don’t over-use.  (Though my boyfriend suffers no such affliction!)  It’s meant to be used once or twice a week, depending on your skin’s needs.  I usually use it twice a week myself.

I love the ridiculously soft feel of my skin post-ExfoliKate.  It’s so, so smooth.  It’s not dry, tight, or red after using it, and it’s not rough against my skin at all.  I know that ExfoliKate also comes in a Gentle formula for those with more sensitive skin, but I really didn’t feel much tingling (from the enzymes!) even from the get-go.  When I had my boyfriend try it for the first time, he felt the tingling much, much more than I, but after two or three uses, he didn’t seem to have any issues with it.  My skin looks and feels renewed and refreshed after each use.

One itsy-bitsy tube has lasted me about four months (I bought my first tube back in October ’09 but didn’t start using it right away), but I’ve definitely had lapses where I’ve only used it once a week or less… but then again, the boyfriend has definitely used more than copious amounts in the time I’ve had it in the bathroom!  All in all, I do think the 2 oz. tube lasts a good while, so it won’t be as if you’ll run through a single tube in a month or even two.   Not to say it’s cheap stuff, though!

There is one thing I have learned after having acne-prone skin for several years now–good skincare is worth it.  If you find something that works, it’s probably worth sticking to, rather than hunting for something cheaper and just as effective.  That’s just my motto nowadays; it’s worth the investment in my skin.  A good product doesn’t have to be expensive, either, but if it is and it works (and obviously, you’ve tried more than just that!), I see no reason to go elsewhere.  Once you find a solid skincare routine, you can plan to stock-up during sale events or triple points or whatever.

I like that it’s really easy to use, and you don’t have to set aside a large chunk of time to get a nice, enzyme-based exfoliation session in.  I love masks and all those kinds of products, but too often I completely forget about using them, but I always have a few minutes to spare for quick and effective exfoliation.    The packaging is simple, but I’ve found it works.  It dispenses product without a fuss–you don’t have to worry about getting too much out–and it’s pretty hygienic.  I could see that a pump might work better, but given my recent experience pump-packaging, it’d likely dispense way too much.  And this isn’t a product I want to waste a single drop of!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I am always hesitant to recommend anyone to shell out so much for so little product, even if I’ve experienced good results with it. If you can, I’d definitely try a sample OR purchase from a retailer with a solid return/exchange policy in case you really don’t get any magic out of it. I still can’t commit to buying the big daddy size, though I’ve purchased this product twice now.

Availability: Sephora

See another photo… Continue reading →
Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Weekly Beauty Report

This Week’s Beauty Report: Saturday, May 8th, 2010

  • Illamasqua‘s BODY ELECTRICS will launch in select Sephora stores and online at Sephora.com this month.
  • Kiehl’s will launch SUPER FLUID UV DEFENSE SPF 50+ this May. It contains stabilized Parsol 1789 and Oxybenzone, as well as Homosalate, Octocrylene, and Octisalate for both UVA and UVB protection. It will retail for $32.
  • Beauty.com has paired up with Lela Rose to launch the Lela Rose Feather Painted Linen Beauty Clutch, which is available with purchase of $100 or more.
  • Smashbox’s Naked Beauty Collection has launched on Nordstrom.
  • Kate Somerville launches CYTOCELL, which comes at a pricey $150 for 1.7 oz.
  • TEMPTU has their SUMMER GLAM kit, which includes a limited edition blush and highlighter just in time for summer.

Seems like a slow week… Ha!

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer Review

Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer ($65.00) recently became part of the Kate Somerville product line after customer demand for a moisturizer that worked well on combination and oily skin. This particular moisturizer is aimed towards those with sensitive, combination-to-oily skin; something that doesn’t aggravate existing acne, too.

Benefits

  • Moisturizer (duhhh!)
  • Enhances skin smoothness and reduces fine surface lines
  • Improves skin firmness and elasticity
  • Increases cell turnover
  • Helps control and absorb sebum to give you oil-free skin

How-to: Use as part of the AM and/or PM routine by applying a thin layer over clean skin (face/neck).  If using a serum, layer on top of the serum.

Key Ingredients: Pepha-Tight (skin tightener, anti-wrinkle, firming, toning, moisturizing properties); Red Marine Algae (APT) (cell turnover, firmness, elasticity, smoothness, reduces fine lines); Sepilift (firmness, stimulation of collagen)

Those are some fancy schmancy ingredients! Find out what I liked (or what I didn’t!) about this moisturizer… Continue reading →