Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme ($250.00) is a product I recently received to test. I want to put it plain that I did not purchase this product, so there is no confusion. I am by no means on an unlimited cosmetic budget, so for me to test a cream of this standard is a real treat, but I always desperately hope not to love it, and secretly desire it to fall flat on its face. Why? Because a face cream for $250.00 is not friendly to my budget. I preface this review with so much attention to the price because I now face a huge dilemma: there is something about this cream that has performed a small miracle on my face in the past three weeks of continuous use.

What it’s supposed to do: Resveratrate is the trademarked ingredient dubbed “The Youth Molecule” by Estee Lauder. It “is a more potent, stable, and time released form of Resveratrol.” This product is meant to extend the skin’s youthfulness so that time “stands still.” According to Estee Lauder, the skin will increase in its clarity, tone, and fine dry lines will be plumped by the moisturizer. There is science clearly involved, and they talk about “longevity genes” that regulate the lifespan of skin’s epidermal cells.

What it actually does: Based on testing it for three weeks as both a day and night moisturizer (and let me be honest, there were a few times I misplaced it, so I substituted, but generally speaking, I used this pretty religiously). After one week, I noticed something very impossible happening–my acne was vanishing. Now, this is not an acne-preventing product, it is an anti-aging product geared towards women in their late 20s and older. My diet hadn’t undergone any real change, water intake didn’t increase, and I hadn’t added any other products to my daily facial regimen.

I have never suffered from severe acne, but I get enough that it can be annoying, and there is always one that’s far too noticeable for my liking. Since using the Youth Creme, almost all of my noticeable acne has disappeared. I am not 100% clear-faced, but in my eyes, this is about as close as I could ever get. My skin looks much improved because of the blemishes being gone, but it is also more even and healthy looking. Every time I see my Mom, no matter what, she mentions how pale and sickly I look–but she didn’t say that when I saw her last week (first time since using the Youth Creme). She asked if I did something different with my makeup, because I looked healthier. Application is easy, as you don’t need much to cover the entire face, and it feels lightweight, but it still moisturizers quite well (despite wintry patches of skin). I also love that it dries quickly! There is no strong, overpowering scent, either – it kind of reminds me of a very subtle organic, maybe a touch of oatmeal scent that you can only distinguish if you put your nose in the jar. So to me, it’s nearly fragrance-free once it’s on my face.

So as I said, I face a serious dilemma: how am I going to be able to afford this in the future? I would like to note that the jar still seems mostly full, despite using it twice a day for three weeks. It gives me hope that I can stretch the jar over four to six months.

Do I recommend this product? I do and I don’t. I recommend it because it worked well for me, and the acne-miracle it worked for me would make it worth the price (how much money do I spend each month on products that only work minimally?) as the product jar should last me multiple months. I don’t, because I fear for your poor wallet if you fall in love with it as I have! You know that whole saying, “You can’t miss what you never had?” Exactly. So basically, I do recommend this product, but know that you may find yourself addicted!

Available now at www.esteelauder.com and Estee Lauder locations.

Have you encountered a similar dilemma before? What product led to your downfall? Did you become a loyal re-purchaser or have you been hunting for a less expensive alternative?

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Prescriptives Instant Gratification Skin Renewal Peel ($45.00)

Get instant gratification for tired, lackluster skin with this all-in-one dermabrasion-peel treatment that improves clarity, renews tone and immediately uncovers a smoother, more radiant complexion. Oil-free. Non-acnegenic. Ophthalmologist and dermatologist-tested. No fragrance.

GET THIS PRODUCT. I am rarely impressed so much by a product that I am compelled to write the review immediately after using it. Seriously, as soon as this product was rinsed off my face with lukewarm water, I was like, “OH MY GOD!!” I ran to my boyfriend and made him feel how utterly soft and smooth my face was (of course, I made him wash his hands before he did this!). I couldn’t stop feeling my own face, because I just could not get over how amazing my skin looked and felt right after using it. I really appreciate a product that is honest about what it can do, and I was skeptical of this living up to its name of “Instant Gratification,” but I am quite happily proven wrong. I did wait 48 hours before writing up the review, just in case there were any side-effects–there were none. Just smooth skin! I can handle that!

Instantly your skin will soften, feel smoother, and even look a bit brighter, healthier. You would think with such amazing results that there would be a complicated application process, but you would be completely off the mark! Put a little product on your finger tips (a dab will do you) and massage onto damp skin in circular motions for about thirty seconds. Leave the mask on for five minutes. Wet fingertips with lukewarm water and massage in circulation motions for an additional thirty seconds. Rinse off using lukewarm water and pat face dry with a clean towel. That’s it! Now you have ultra silky soft skin that will be the envy of every person around you. You only need to use this product once a week, so please don’t let the price tag put you off. I think I will get at least 3 months worth of applications out of the tube (if not more), because you only need three pea-sizes worth (left cheek, right cheek, then forehead/nose/chin) or less.

Definitely check this product out if you have the chance; it is something I wholly recommend–so much so that it is now a staple in my beauty regimen.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

If you remember anything about my skincare routine, I hope you remembered how much I absolutely adored Renee Rouleau’s AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel, which I don’t leave home without–it is just THAT fantastic!  Obviously, Renee Rouleau’s doing something right, so I thought I’d try a few more products!  (And now, since I was impressed by these, I am eager to try more!)

CALMING CHAMOMILE CLEANSER ($30.50)
I know many of my readers have sensitive skin, and this particular cleanser is meant to work with it in a gentle manner while doing its job flawlessly.  It is a creamy, water-soluble cleansing lotion with chamomile, aloe vera, and vitamins A and E.  It helps to remove dirt, oil, and makeup and let pores breathe.  It’s so easy to use, all you do is apply a dab to your skin and rub in circular motions into the skin for thirty seconds, wet your fingers, rub for another thirty seconds, then rinse with warm water (not hot).  I recommend this for those who have

SKIN DRINK ($33.50)
Skin Drink is a serum that’s purpose is to intensively hydrate the skin instantaneously.  It is actually quite refreshing, no doubt because one of the key ingredients is aloe vera, and cool to the touch.  You really only need about two drops of this stuff to fully cover the skin, and I find that through regular, near-daily use, a bottle will last me two months or more.  It is a great way refresh and pump skin full of moisture before applying moisturizer or after using a facial mask.  It is an oil-free serum, so those of you who worry about leaving a greasy film behind, worry not.  This serum sinks into skin and leaves no evidence behind.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Estee Lauder’s Take It Away Makeup Remover Towelettes ($17.50)

Fast, effective and incredibly convenient. Portable, pre-moistened towelettes quickly remove makeup and freshen skin without water. Advanced cleansing emulsion hydrates, softens skin. Ophthalmologist-tested. Do your skin a favor: never go to bed with makeup on. Clean skin is healthy skin. Sweep over entire face. Firmly reseal package.

What makes it worth it: I am not one to fall prey to high-end brands with makeup removing sheets when I can purchase them for much less at my local drugstore. However, Estee Lauder’s take on the makeup remover towelette has me reconsidering my position. These feel luxe, soft, and delightfully gentle against my skin when I use them to remove my makeup. Unlike my drugstore finds, Take It Away makes removal effortless and a feel-good remedy for my skin on lazy days or when I need a quick remover. The scent that lingers behind is a subtle, clean aroma. I also feel like my skin doesn’t need instant rehydrating after using these, which I do notice is an issue when I use drugstore versions.  I do like that they give you an actual package that is resealable, whereas many drugstore versions are tougher to reseal and may end up drying out the top one or two sheets (yes, you can get a container or ones that are meant to reseal, but those often are $7-10!).

Why you might pass on it: Budget. This is really the only reason to skip these, because they’re effective, luxurious, and effortless to use. If you’re looking to skimp somewhere, opt for drugstore makeup remover wipes and pick up Estee Lauder’s DayWear Plus (what, I love it! I must proclaim my new found love all the time!) instead.

Find this product at Estee Lauder locations, www.esteelauder.com, and www.nordstrom.com.

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Cream Extreme Barrier Repair ($75.00)

A healthy and glowing complexion is directly related to the optimal functioning of the skin’s barrier. CREAM EXTREME features Osmotics’ BRT, (Barrier Repair Technology), a patented combination of epidermal lipids clinically proven to repair, nourish and maintain healthy barrier function, thereby eliminating the underlying cause of dry skin. In addition, this breakthrough technology dramatically improves moisture retention and increases penetration and absorption of antioxidants and vitamins. Ideal for post treatment care after peels, lasers and dermal procedures and extreme weather conditions. Skin becomes healthier and acts younger.

Physiological Lipids- these lipids occur naturally in the epidermis and are the key components of the skin’s barrier. When all three are used in the proper molar ratio, they restore the lipid balance (by forming lamellar membranes) and provide long-term barrier repair. The three physiological (epidermal) lipids are: Chlosterol, Ceramides, Fatty Acids- including both non-essential and essential. Also included are: Non-Physiological lipids, Petrolatum, Lanolin, Glycerin, L-Carnosine, Linoleic Acid, Allantoin, and Tocopheryl Acetate.

What makes it worth it: Let me preface this review by saying that I have had this product awaiting a test run for quite awhile, but I have only recently had sufficient reason to lust after a product of this caliber. I recently experienced incredible dryness around my mouth–I cannot really figure out why, but I think it may have been a skin drying reaction from anti-acne production–and this was my MIRACLE product. I had already been trying to moisturize twice a day, sometimes more, for that area, in addition to applying hydrocortisone cream to it (which is what my dermatologist recommended for dry/flaky eyelids). That particular regimen just wasn’t working, it wasn’t making it better. It would hide it for the day, but it didn’t FIX the problem. Osmotics’ Cream Extreme was the answer to my problem. This is an ultra rich moisturizer, but it dries quickly and doesn’t feel heavy. It truly does create a barrier, locking moisture in. In two days–yes, 48 hours later–and my dry, flaky skin had been resolved and turned back into normal, healthy skin. For that, I am forever in debt to this product. I fully recommend it. I am so tempted to continue using it, but at $75 a pop, I will use this as a spot treatment for dryness as I experience it.

Why you might pass on it: The price is quite hefty for most, but it is a definite must for truly eradicating dry, flaky skin. If used as a treatment, and not a regular everyday moisturizer, this product should last you quite awhile. Even using it as an everyday moisturizer, it should last you at least a month, if not two. Anyone who has experienced skin that is visibly dry and literally flaking off will know that $75 is nothing to get back to gorgeous, naturally healthy skin.

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Estee Lauder DayWear Plus ($38.00)

More than moisture. More than protection. DayWear Plus actively shields skin from the multiple assaults of the environment to help prevent lines before they appear — so your skin looks younger longer. The secret? An active response anti-oxidant system with a powerful blend of new and natural ingredients. A skin-friendly UVA/UVB screen you can wear AM and PM. An advanced dual moisture system to keep skin feeling moist and healthy. Lightweight, oil-free creme. Dermatologist-, Ophthalmologist-tested. Apply AM and PM after cleansing, and after applying your Repair Serum.

What makes it worth it: Oh my goodness, I fell in love with this rich moisturizer as soon as I put on my first application of it in the morning! It is a luxuriously thick cream that dries quickly and leaves skin feeling incredibly smooth and hydrated. The scent reminds me of cucumbers and cool days, I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a subtle scent, so it’s perfect for a facial moisturizer. I just honestly felt like I was pampering my skin with this product, and I will definitely be adding this to my list of staples. A little goes a long way, which as I always say, is most excellent. Oh, what else? It contains SPF15, which is an essential item you need for your daily regimen.

Why you might pass on it: None! Buy it today. I adore this, and I can’t think of a single reason not to at least check it out and try out the texture for yourself. The price is the only thing that could sway you, but I imagine one container will last me at least a month of use, so I’ll fork over the money for this lovely addition.

Find this product at Estee Lauder locations, www.esteelauder.com, and www.nordstrom.com.