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.
Copper Diamond Shimmer Brick ($38.00) According to Bobbi Brown, there are five shades found within this shimmer brick: Candlelight, Gold, Copper, Beige, and Sand. I like the subtle glow it gave me; it’s very subtle, not too much color–more of a shimmer, highlighting effect. Some shimmer bricks give more color than others, but I’ve always liked the shimmer they’ve given, regardless of actual color (since I still consider these highlighters rather than blushes!). Copper Diamond is probably more suitable for warm-tones, just because it’s so warm itself. I still think cooler skin tones will enjoy this shimmer brick, because it won’t bronze you in a fake, orange kind of way.
Copper Diamond Glitter Lip Balm ($19.00) is a very subtle and sheer lip balm. It’s not sticky or tacky; it barely went on for me, to be honest. I saw a hint of shimmer/glitter on my lips, but the color itself was minimal. I haven’t tried the other shades, so perhaps those are more pigmented–otherwise, I’d skip these and head straight for the new, limited edition glitter lip gloss (the ones in the compact).
Glitz Metallic Eyeshadow ($20.00) is a new shade to the line’s existing metallic eyeshadows. The metallic eyeshadows have a more–you guessed it–metallic finish. I find they’re shimmery/frosty finishes, some of them do seem more metallic than others, though. Glitz itself is a soft, pale yellow-gold that goes on with a nice dose of shimmer and glitz (ha!). I think it’s a great shade for the holidays, as it’s a great all-over lid color to match with festive holiday-red lips! Oh, by the way? While they’re sold in their individual compacts, you can always pop ‘em out and put them in Bobbi Brown’s customizable palettes. Depotting without the hassle that comes alogn with MAC pots–awesome.
Ball Glitter Lip Gloss ($19.00) is actually my favorite product from the two collections. It’s a thick, semi-tacky gloss that is full of glittery bits with decent color. I picked up Ball, which gives lips some warmth and golden shimmer. It’s a great gloss over reds, especially a red like MAC’s Port Red, because of the lipstick’s subtle gold shimmer.
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OVERALL, Little Darlings is less about offering innovative and brand-spanking-new shades as it is about great gifts to give and receive for less. Each gloss set contains five mini-sized versions of popular past and current lipglasses/lustreglasses. The case is cute, and the cover can later be used to hold glosses or brushes, too! Plus, the pigment sets are great way to collect pigments without spending a fortune–whether you’re new or experienced when it comes to MAC.
You can get official collection information here, as well as product photos here. Swatches are here.
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Nelson Chan, a celebrity hair colorist and stylist and founder of Nelson J hair salon in luxe Beverly Hills, offers some tips to budget when it comes to your hair color!
“If budget is preventing a client from coming into the salon every 4 weeks to touch up their base and highlights, I advise women to color the re-growth area at home and then come to the salon only for their highlights and cuts,” explains Chan. “While it’s possible to easily do the re-growth area at home, the highlights are complicated because they require more skill, as their placement is so important.”
Chan offers these tips for at-home coloring:
- Don’t overlap the hair color, only apply it to the re-growth area
- Use ammonia-free hair color to refresh this area, as ammonia damages hair
- Or use semi-permanent colors
- Color re-growth every four weeks (this may save $50 – $100 per month)
- Always follow color with a moisturizing treatment: after shampooing, towel dry hair, then apply moisturizer on ends, letting it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out.
“For highlights, you can generally wait up to 2-3 months before coming to the salon if your haircolor and highlights are generally dark. But if your haircolor is light, or if your highlights contrast greatly from your natural haircolor, I recommend coming in every 6 weeks,” states Chan.
He also suggests reducing your visit frequency to save some money on hair cuts, and he says to get creative in styling your hair between visits.