DR. BRANDT’S DISCOVERY KIT ($85.00)
This convenient instant gratification kit contains everything you need to replenish and retexturize your skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and maintain skin’s natural firmness. Includes:
- mini microdermabrasion instantly polishes away dead skin cells leaving skin smooth and radiant – 0.5 oz
- mini r3p- anti-aging formulation of three intense polypeptides, and potent antioxidants to refinish, replenish and retexturize your skin 0.5 oz
- mini laser tight- tighten and tone, leaving skin firm and improving elasticity. 0.5 oz
- deluxe size crease release targeted formula to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles 0.25 oz
What makes it worth it: First, I love skincare kits that give you an opportunity to try before you buy [in full-size], because then you save a bit of money and get a chance to test out products you might not have on its own. I followed the instructions that come with the kit, which means you start with Crease Release. I have to say, even though I don’t suffer too many fine lines yet (thank god, but I know they’re coming, boo!), I did notice that my eyes looked a bit brighter, and my smile lines (sigh) were less apparent. Next to use was Laser Tight, which comes in a pump-bottle (yay!) and is meant to tighten and tone. I think this was one of my favorites out of the kit, because my skin just felt so much healthier and great after using this for a few days. I liked that it was an unscented moisturizer, because sometimes it’s refreshing to have little to no fragrance in a facial product. R3p is an anti-aging ultra thick cream – I wouldn’t quite call it a luxe cream, because it’s a bit different from that in that it has a thick texture, but it is not really heavy cream. It takes a few minutes to absorb, and you really do need to let everything dry before you continue with the steps. Since I know I tend to dry out when I use anti-aging products (just so long as I never go through Retin-A results again, I’ll be OK!), I only used this once a day (PM) and enjoyed the results. For my microdermabrasion treatment, I went with the once-a-week-regimen, because I have fairly normal skin that only reacts oddly around the mouth area. This scrub doesn’t require much product to get total coverage of the face, and it doesn’t feel too rough or harsh against the skin. In fact, I definitely think this would be a good idea for sensitive skinned readers who would like to try a facial scrub. Overall, my skin thanked me for its healthy glow and incredibly soft texture. Even my boyfriend mentioned I had been looking more awake and refreshed!
Why you might pass on it: The price tag is steep, at least to plunk down all at once, but it really is an incredible value. The products should last you a good while before you need to replace them, and of course, you get to test-drive four products in one kit. Although, if you do love these as much as I did, your wallet may cringe at the thought of buying everything full-sized, so best ask friends and family to stuff your holiday bin with Discovery Kits!
Available at www.drbrandtskincare.com.
Find out how to use this great kit with step-by-step instructions straight from the Doctor… Continue reading →
Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent ($14.50)
Fast, rinse-off eye makeup dissolver. For quick makeup changes, repairs. Cleans up eyes easily without disturbing other makeup. No rubbing. No smudging. No oil. Use day or night. Cleanse one eye area at a time. Moisten 100% cotton ball with Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent; sweep over eye area. Rinse with water.
What makes it worth it: It is an effective eye makeup remover, and the price point is quite low for a high-end cleanser, which is always a selling point (at least for me). In general, I am not a huge fan of individual makeup removers–I prefer an all-over makeup removing solution–but there are times where you’ve gone heavy on the eyes and need something to really break down all that product to give your eyes some time to breathe. I loved how this worked well with my sensitive eyes; I didn’t experience any stinging or burning sensation as I removed my eye makeup, even when a drop or two managed to get into my eye. I personally double my eye makeup remover as a lipstick remover for days I’ve worn bold colors or longwearing formulas. This bottle will definitely last you a good while before you need a replacement, which is good news for the budget-conscious folk.
Why you might pass on it: There’s no real reason to pass on it unless you already have a favorite eye makeup remover. This does the job well, so you might want to consider it the next time you are in the market to try something new.
Find this product at Clinique counters, boutiques, as well as www.clinique.com and www.nordstrom.com.
John Masters Organics’ Rose & Apricot Antioxidant Day Creme ($24.00)
Enriched with sea algae, aloe vera and other nutrient-rich botanicals, this anti-oxidant day creme is potent yet light and gentle enough for all skin types. Oat beta glucan stimulates procollagen production and promotes cellular turnover. $24
What makes it worth it: All John Masters Organics products must be 75-100% organic with no petroleum or non-carbon based products. They use as much organic ingredients as they can manage in their products, which means this is a line and product that is perfect for those wanting to protect the environment and still get their dosage of beauty. They also do not test on animals, use environmentally-friendly harvested ingredients, and no artificial colors/filters/fragrances can be used in their products. I liked the lightweightedness of the product, because I can’t stand a heavy cream (at least not if it feels heavy) My skin definitely drank this creme up, as well, and it left it feeling soft and velvety.
Why you might pass on it: I’d would prefer a more fragrant scent to accompany this creme. I found that the oat beta glucan in it was a bit overpowering, and I’d have enjoyed a more natural, citrus scent instead. If you’re not into organic beauty, you might find the price point a bit too high for your liking.
Find this product at John Masters Organics boutiques and www.johnmasters.com.
Who doesn’t love a little facial pampering? And who doesn’t love to beat the price of an at-spa treatment with a do-it-yourself one? Earthen’s InstantPeel is a non-irritating exfoliant that does it gently and quickly to remove impurities and residue from the skin to give it a lovely texture and renewed vibranchy. Each box contains six single-use packets, which might not sound like a lot, but it just depends on your skin type. If you have oily skin or normal skin use this once every other week or so; and for dry skin, use it once every three weeks. It is an all-natural exfoliant, and it is hypoallergenic, which makes it excellent for those with sensitive skin. No burning, scratching, or harshness whatsoever; it is a gentle exfoliant that does its job!
Want to see the rest of my review? Continue reading →
per-fekt skin perfection gel & body perfection gel
Skin Perfection Gel ($57.50) is designed to act as a “second skin” with enough color to give an “airbrushed finish.” The product should improve skin tones, even and smooth complextion, and disguise minor imperfections. There are also some anti-aging and moisturizing benefits wrapped up in this dynamic pseudo-foundation. It is available in five shades: translucent, luminous, radiant, rich ideal, and decadent. It applies easily, and the company recommends using fingertips to pat and smooth onto skin.
I like that the product is free of oil, parabens, talc, and fragrances. I loved how smooth my skin felt after application. It also felt weightless — I really couldn’t tell I was wearing anything on my ace; it felt more like I had just put on a thin layer of moisturizer than a product meant to help even out skin and give the appearance of smoothness while covering a few skin flaws. In terms of coverage, I could have used more, but I tend to like light to medium coverage. However, this is such an ideal way to get a flawless skin look with less product. For those who hate the way foundation feels (cakey and whatnot), Skin Perfection Gel is the solution! It’s also a great product for summer or lazy days when you want something light, not at all heavy, and something that’s practically grab-and-go.
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Napoleon Perdis’ China Doll Foundation ($50.00) makes me feel like I’m living in a bit of my own personal luxury with how creamy this product is. It is described as a “lightweight, long wearing luxe liquid formula” that is a self-setting foundation and powder in one. It sets to a soft velvet finish (very matte), which is quite dreamy. My skin feels softer than it normally does when properly moisturized!
What do I look for a holy grail foundation? I want my complexion to look flawless, and I don’t care what it takes to make it look that way. If it means a dewy finish, I’m there; if it means no SPF, I’m down! I have found through experience that I have a definite preference for a foundation that sets or dries to a matte finish, has a high liquidity, provides light to medium coverage (preferably the ability to build from light to medium easily), and wears all day without requiring touch-ups.
How does this one stand up? Very well. I honestly couldn’t feel the product on my face once it set (this product is designed to give you several minutes to add blush, contour, etc. before it sets), which is an absolute for me. I also love that it does have SPF 15 in it, because I’ve been using Napoleon Perdis’ Dream Cream beforehand, which doesn’t, and I just have to have SPF!
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