By Terry Bronze-Expert ($48.00) is a creamy, gel-based bronzer that clicks up and onto a brush. It comes in three shades Sun Beach (light), Sun Desert (medium), and Sun Tropic (dark). All three are on the sheerer side, so if you’re not sure about your color, don’t worry so much. Even the darkest shade is sheer enough to work on medium skin tones. What I particularly liked about this formula is how buildable the color is, which is what a bronzer should be. It is often too easy to go overboard with bronzer, which results in a fake-looking color that can be too orange or too dirty. The formula is very much like a gel, which gives it a great weightless feeling when applied and smoothed over skin. Traditionally, you’d use this on the face, but it can also be used to bronze cleavage and decolletage, too.
I was pretty satisfied with this bronzer (and I’m not a big fan of bronzers on myself), but the price leaves much to be desired. It’s hard to tell just how much product you use in each application relative to how much you get since it’s in a pen-brush applicator, so I’m not even sure if you at least get some bang for your buck. On the other hand, By Terry is more of a luxury beauty brand, so the price is in line with the rest of the brand’s products.
Origins’ Modern Friction ($37.00) is a super citrus-scented exfoliant that uses rice starch to help slough off dead skin cells. You might remember I posted about this product a few months ago, as I bought it for my younger sister after she fell in love with the difference it made on her hand (she tried it in-store). Being a beauty addict, I figured she couldn’t have all the fun, so I had to get my own jar to try, too!
The product leaves me a little torn, because sometimes I find it seems too acidic that my eyes tear/sting a little just from the scent (because I definitely don’t use this near my eyes–at least not deliberately!). I think I must be particularly sensitive to an ingredient in there that causes that problem, so it probably isn’t something the average person would experience. Also, I do find it can be too harsh/abrasive when used dry (I find myself having to use water to soften it a bit). Origins says it is “nature’s gentle dermabrasion,” but it doesn’t feel that gentle to me. I love to exfoliate–and I have a whole slew (err, bin) of exfoliants and scrubs for face and body–so I’m no stranger to the feeling!
But on the other hand, my skin feels ridiculously smooth and instantly brightened post-use. The product is designed to be used over dry, clean skin two to three times a week. They do mention to use it over damp skin if you have more sensitive skin. After you’ve rubbed the product in, work it into a lather with a splash of water, then rinse. It really can be an amazing product to help soften, smooth, and brighten skin, so I definitely suggest stopping by your local Origins’ counter/store and getting a sample if you can.
It’s easy to use, but I know a lot of people are going to be put-off by the packaging, which is a large 4 oz. tub of product, which you scoop out product of. It’s just not the most sanitary way of doing things, so be sure to wash your hands before using to minimize contamination. Personally, I wash my hands thoroughly before I start my AM/PM skincare regimen, so it’s not a huge deal, *but* the jar contains so much product you’ll have this on-hand for at least a year. You just don’t need much to get the job done (especially if you use it with water rather than just dry). So while it helps stretch out the product’s cost, it is longer than I’d like for this kind of product. I do think this is a product better off in a tube and sold in smaller sizes (obviously at an equivalent price).
Overall, I still use the product regularly, but I wouldn’t say it’s my holy grail, just because it’s a bit harsher than I’d like on my skin in particular. The results definitely make it worth checking out, and like I said, I still find myself using it periodically, because I love the way it makes my skin feel afterward. If you find it’s too harsh for your face, it does work just as excellently as a body exfoliant, too!
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pur~lisse is a product line created by Jennifer Yen utilizing science and Chinese beauty secrets to create products good for you. You’ll find most products have either Blue Lotus Flower or White Tea (antioxidant) in them.
pur~moist ($65.00) is a moisturizer that feels like a hybrid of gel and cream. It absorbs quickly, and it keeps skin hydrated throughout the day. What I particularly liked about this moisturizer was it helped calm any redness I had in my face (which, admittedly is not a major concern nor obvious). I couldn’t detect any noticeable scent to it–seemed non-fragrance to me. This particular moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, so you’ll need to use something else to cover you on sun protection (though they have pur-protect, which does include SPF). The only downside to this product is the price; you should easily get two to three months worth of usage out of the tube, though. Also, since it is in a tube rather than a jar, you can worry less about getting bacteria in it and oxygen exposure. Always a good thing!
pur~delicate ($38.00) is a cleanser designed for all skin types, and it is a non-foaming milky cleanser. It uses soy milk (along with soy proteins) as one of its key ingredients. You’ll also find extracts of oatmeal and white tea in it. Because it doesn’t really lather or foam up, it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils, so it shouldn’t dry you out. It does a great job of removing dirt and makeup and leaving your skin feeling clean (but not that squeaky clean feeling of tightness). As far as packaging goes, it uses an airless pump, so you can control how much product you need (one pump should do ya!) and keep it sanitary and out of oxygen’s reach. There’s no real fragrance to it, which further lends credence to its claim of being non-irritating for all skin types.
Benefit Powderflage ($28.00) is a great product for setting your concealer, to further help diffuse the appearance of dark circles and minimize concealer settling into fine lines. I found it didn’t work nearly as well without a cream/liquid concealer underneath first — I don’t normally wear concealer since I don’t have too noticeable dark circles, so I figured I’d try it without first. You don’t need a lot of product, which is good, because the container only contains 0.11 oz of product–but it should last you six months or more, I imagine. The brush included with the product is really, really small. I actually liked using a fluffy shadow brush to apply this rather than the fan brush! I know I’ve heard several people rave about this over Laura Mercier’s Brightening Powder, but I haven’t tried it, so I can’t compare unfortunately. Overall, it helped to soften any darkness under my eyes, and I really liked how well it set my cream concealer (Kanebo) so it didn’t budge, migrate, or settle.
visit Sephora.com to purchase
Clarisonic ($195.00) is one of those products you tend to hear raves about, but you take one look at the price tag and run in the other direction. But you’re always wondering, “Does it actually work? Is it worth it?”
Yes, and yes. Most definitely.
The Clarisonic Skin Care System was developed by the creators of the Sonicare toothbrush. I look at this in a similar way–the Sonicare toothbrush price tag shocked people, but it does give you a great clean. It’s a purchase that saves you money elsewhere in your life. The toothbrush kept you from going to the dentist as often for problems (or minimized problems found during your regular visits), and the Clarisonic does the same. You get a better clean, which lets other skincare products absorb better–you know, that pricey serum you purchased may have better results because of the increased absorption.
Here’s the other big reason why both sonic systems work: the timer. You’re supposed to brush your teeth for two minutes (30 seconds per side), and because the Sonicare lets you know when to switch sides, you actually brush for that length of time. Same idea on the Clarisonic; you can choose between one minute and two minutes cleansing times, and it will beep approximately every thirty seconds. We are all busy, busy people, so we often don’t think about whether we are properly cleansing. A few weeks ago, I read about a study where people who washed their hands properly with regular soap had the same amount of bacteria leftover as those who washed properly with antibacterial soap–because the key was washing your hands properly, getting underneath the nails and giving yourself enough time.
So, let me tell you how my skin has changed as a result of using this product for the past four weeks! Continue reading →
M LAB is a line of products designed by Milbar Laboratories, which challenged their scientists to create skincare products without any limitations–they could use the most efficacious and luxurious ingredients and formulations, and as a result, M LAB products use high levels of clinically active ingredients to fight against signs of aging. According to the brand, “Professional clinical testing has validated the results and expectations of the M LAB™ product line. Demonstrable effects and positive changes will quickly be seen by you and others. Study results indicate our formulation approach produces skin firming, the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles and the improvement of skin clarity, color and texture.”
Let me tell you what I thought about M LAB’s Travel Kit! Continue reading →