Monday, August 19th, 2013

Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream
Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream

Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream ($62.00 for 1.7 oz.) is one of the newest releases from Kiehl’s, and I really don’t leap to test skincare, let alone anything that makes as many claims as this one. What intrigued me the most was that it promised visible results in two weeks–not four, not six, not eight, a mere two–and the skeptic in me immediately thought, “Well, then maybe you’d actually see visible results in four or six weeks at least…” The exact claim is that “Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream is clinically demonstrated to simultaneously lift, firm, visibly redefine skin contour and re-texturize skin within 2 weeks and double efficacy within 4 weeks.” According to Kiehl’s, their chemists selected Jasmonic Acid (supposed to be “highly effective … for its ability to support epidermal renewal … smoothing and retexturizing the skin’s surface”), Beech Tree Extract (said to “improve skin firmness and visibly improve plumpness and density”), and Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid (listed to “reinforce skin’s natural short and long term moisturization … improve skin elasticity while reducing skin roughness”).

Kiehl’s is basing its claims on a clinical test of 50 women (described as multi-ethnic and those experiencing multiple signs of aging). It’s rare to receive so much specific information from a brand, so I would have loved to see the full ingredient list posted on their website as well. I’ve been using it for just over two and a half weeks now.  I’ll update this post after I’ve finished the jar (probably around four or five weeks of use).

It feels like a lightweight cream, though the texture is thicker but not heavy. There’s a very faint herbal scent, though it is touted as fragrance-free (I expect it is just from the ingredients themselves), and I didn’t notice it once applied and mostly only caught the scent if I sniffed the jar. It absorbs for the most part within five minutes, but it takes a full fifteen minutes to really sink into the skin. The cream never feels sticky on the skin, and it doesn’t look greasy. The one thing I can say with absolutely certainty is that it is nicely hydrating, and it remedied some lingering dry patches I was contending with.   I’ve worn it underneath makeup, and I haven’t had any issues doing so–as long as you give it proper time to absorb.

I’ve been looking for visible signs of, well, anything, since I hit the one-week mark, and after a week and a half, the one thing I kept noticing was my under-eye area seemed less shadowed, slightly less puffy. I don’t have major, major bags and shadowing, but my lack of sleep has become more noticeable over the past year. It hasn’t reversed it, and it is only minor improvement, but it’s something I’ve kept remarking on each time I’ve taken a moment to note what visible results I’ve seen. I haven’t seen the fine lines around my eyes really smooth out or become improved in any visible way. The general clarity and evenness of my skin’s tone has seemed to be slightly better.  I don’t expect to be able to weigh in on firmness/lift, as my current signs of aging are the fine lines around my eyes.  I’m quite impressed with how hydrated my skin is, and it does feel… plumper? in a way as my skin can when it’s really getting the hydration it needs.  It’s not quite a miracle cream after using it for two weeks, though I like it and it is majorly hydrating, so we’ll see how it stacks up after more prolonged use.

Kiehl’s says to use this twice a day (morning and night), but without SPF, it’s just not a feasible daytime solution–putting a sunscreen on and this will feel and be too much for most. To clarify:  When I know for sure I’m not leaving the house, I’ll skip the SPF and just use this in the morning, but on days where I need SPF, then it can take a couple of hours before the skin feels ready for makeup (this, of course, will vary depending on what product you use in combination–I’m using Origins’ A Perfect World, and I did try one day with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial and experienced similar results as when I used my Origins). I’d love to see a complementary product with SPF for this product or else a version with SPF.

Update: The final verdict is that this is a great cream for hydration. I think it helps to give skin a healthier, smoother, and clearer look overall, but I didn’t notice any fading, softening, or diminishing of the fine lines around my eyes or forehead.

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Friday, December 10th, 2010

Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15
Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15

Chanl Beaute Initiale — Is it love?

Chanel Energizing Multi-Protection Cream SPF 15 ($75.00 for 0.1.7 oz.) is a quick-absorbing moisturizer with a cream consistency but the feeling and behavior of a lotion. It is designed to be used daily to “keep early signs of age and fatigue at bay.”

I wanted to try this particular moisturizer, because I really enjoyed Chanel’s Ultra Correction Lift Day Cream SPF 15 ($150.00 for 1.7 oz.). Chanel has several different product families available in skincare, and Beaute Initiale seems to be their “entry-level” range. It also seemed like it would be a good fit for my skin and aging concerns (more about preventation than reversal at this time). Hydramax + Active seems like another alternative for getting your foot in Chanel’s skincare.

My Skin: I’m 24 years-old with some fine lines around my eyes, slight but noticeable lip lines when I smile. My skin type is normal-to-dry in the fall/winter and mostly normal in the spring/summer. I am acne-prone and suffer from minor breakouts that seem to be more hormone or stress related than anything else.

There were so many things I loved about this cream, but it just doesn’t work with my skin type (normal-to-dry). I need more moisture, and I found my skin felt parched after a couple of hours after using this. I think those with oily skin  (but I would still recommend the Fluid for very oily skin types) could definitely consider this as an option for a daytime moisturizer. The cream dries down very quickly, within a few minutes, which is something I always keep an eye on when it comes to creams. Nobody wants to wait thirty minutes for their moisturizer to absorb!

It also spreads very evenly and well without leaving any streaks of white–it feels and looks like a cream, but the way it evens out so quickly makes it seem more like a gel. It dries down to a semi-matte, smooth finish. It is scented, but I found it pleasant–a fresh floral that didn’t feel heavy. I loved using it and wearing it for two to three hours, but for my skin, I need something heavier.

I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t sufficient, because I don’t have particularly dry skin, and there is a Fluid version (which I imagine is lighter and designed for oilier skin types). It is listed as a cream, so it should be heavier and more suitable for drier skin types, but it does not seem to be hydrating enough for my normal-to-dry skin, let alone dry skin.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I recommend trying a sample of this for normal-to-oily and oily skin types. If you are oily or very oily, you may consider using the Fluid version, which comes in a pump and may be lighter (but I haven’t tried it myself).

AVAILABILITY: Nordtsrom

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Day Cream SPF 15

Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Day Cream SPF 15

Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Day Cream SPF 15 ($150.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a rich, luxurious anti-aging cream designed to be used during the day time, and the texture and name suggest its better for normal to dry skin rather than oily skin. Chanel’s description of this moisturizer is all about the elemi PFA, which “stimulates the production of tensin, improving the quality of skin’s collagen and elastin fibers, and helping to improve their bonds within the skin to create a firm supportive network.” The description goes on to say that the cream is “luxuriously textured and delicately scented, delivers a very soft, matte finish, with ultimate comfort, for a visible lifting effect.”

Chanel has a whole website dedicated to the Ultra Correction Lift line, which includes more information about the ingredients, science behind the line, and all that good stuff. The line also includes Day Fluid SPF 15 (lighter weight moisturizer) ($150.00 for 1.7 oz.), Total Eye Lift ($100.00 for 15 grams), Lips & Contour ($85.00 for 15 grams), Night Cream ($165.00 for 50 grams), and Concentrate ($165.00 for 1 oz.).

My Skin: I’m 23 years-old with some fine lines around my eyes, slight but noticeable lip lines when I smile, and a nasty canyon ever-deepening on my forehead. My skin type is normal-to-dry in the fall/winter and mostly normal in the spring/summer. I am acne-prone and suffer from minor breakouts but generally nothing major.

My general feeling for this day cream is, “I LOVE IT!” but I don’t know if I’d shell out $150 quite yet for it–I think I want to explore more of Chanel’s skincare line-up before committing, you know? It’s only the second Chanel skincare product I’ve tried (the other being their Exfoliating Mousse), so I think I’m going to look into trying some of their other products before making any hasty decisions.  Besides, can you really imagine me committing?

It feels absolutely heavenly on skin. It’s rich, but it doesn’t have the negative characteristics often associated with heavier, richer creams. It has that rich, luxe texture that’s instantly hydrating and soothing, but it absorbs in under a minute. I’ve never encountered such a rich-in-texture cream that soaks in that quickly!  As far as sun protection goes, it contains Avobenzone (3%), which covers the UVA spectrum, and Octinoxate (7.5%)., which covers the UVB spectrum.  (See our Sunscreen 101 post for more.)

Not only is it incredibly hydrating without being greasy or heavy, it holds up throughout the day–it actually has really helped keep my skin from getting oily towards the end of the day (mostly in the t-zone).  I’ve noticed that some of my fine lines seem to be less prevalent, too.  I only notice them when I’ve gotten less than four hours of sleep, and then I just look ragged, period (ha!).  This is actually the first time I’ve ever noticed a moisturizer doing anything visibly apparent on the subtle signs of aging I have. It does have a near-matte finish–it’s feels lightweight and has a soft, matte finish that’s soft, smooth, and not at all shiny or greasy.

I’ve been using it since late March, and I just finished the jar yesterday. (I also found out that the boyfriend has been stealing some periodically!) It’s important to me to look at the value of a product, not just the price tag–all in all, 1.7 oz. of the day cream lasted for about 2.5 months worth of daily application (just in the morning, since it has SPF). I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: if you find the skin care products that work for you and they’re pricey, I really think the investment is worth it (as long as it doesn’t leave you on the street, of course–everything in moderation with a dose of common sense!).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Based on my experience, it’s definitely worth looking into and grabbing a sample, if you’re able to, at your local Chanel counter.  I think it is best suited for dry and normal skin.

Availability: Chanel, Nordstrom

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Sunday, November 15th, 2009

For Normal-to-Dry Skin: Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer

Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer ($32.50 for 1.40 fl. oz.) is designed for normal-to-dry skin types and contains SPF 6. It’s supposed to give skin “24-hour intensive moisturiz[ation].” According to Korres, this moisturizer also contains Wild Rose oil, which “diminishes fine lines, hyper- pigmentation and resurfaces skin, revealing a soft and radiant complexion” along with vitiamin C to “inhibit free radical damage and brighten skin” and Phytic Acid, “a natural skin lightener.” Two other ingredients Korres calls out specifically are Grape Seed extract (rich in VItamin E) and olive oil. (You can see a full ingredient list at Korres’ website.)

Korres is a brand that considers themselves natural, and this product (based on Korres‘ website) has 85.1% natural content, and it does not contain petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicones, parabens, sulphates, or synthetic dyes. It does contain fragrance, alcohol, and nuts. It is suitable for vegans and contains no animal by-products or undergone animal testing. Also, even though it talks about diminishing fine lines, it doesn’t contain any retinol or AHAs (it’s purely from the vitamin C).

I started using Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer immediately after I finished testing their Thyme & Honey Cream, which I liked but didn’t love. I definitely liked the feel, scent, and results of Wild Rose better than the Thyme & Honey Cream. I felt like this had a very subtle scent of rose, but it was much less cloying (even when you sniff directly from the jar) than the honey scent from the other moisturizer.  I didn’t mind the honey scent since it didn’t linger, but it wasn’t exactly my favorite.

My favorite part about this moisturizer it is it applies very quickly, feels lightweight, and it does provide good hydration throughout the day. I don’t typically feel dry with this moisturizer at all, which is a great thing. However, I’ve noticed as I’ve concluded my testing phase (five weeks), I do have some drier spots–in the same places where I typically get them–so I think it’s about time for me to switch to a more moisturizing night-time moisturizer. While I was using this, I also felt like I wasn’t as oily at the end of the day, either.

I was using this AM and PM (I’ve been too lazy to come up with a dual regimen, I fail!), and it lasted me approximately five weeks. With the SPF (even though it’s minimal) in this product, I would consider it more of a morning moisturizer, and if it’s used strictly during the morning, you’ll find a jar lasts you two to three months, which is typical of a 1 oz. jar (from my experience). As far as pricing and value go, I think it’s about on par with mid-range skin care, and I get enough usage out of one jar to merit the $32.50 price tag.

I really like the Korres’ brand, and I like their mission and how they identify certain products. They also have a great labeling system and make it easier to understand what you’re getting (or not getting!) in your skincare. I do wish they’d use an airless pump (or perhaps a tube) for their moisturizer to keep it more hygienic, but I’ve personally been able to change my behavior and be sure to use open-jars more hygienically with a clean spatula.

I had a good experience with this moisturizer, and it kept and made my skin look smooth and like it had a glow from within. I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase this in the future, even though I liked it, because it didn’t do anything for my acne (it didn’t make it worse–it just didn’t eliminate it). It’s not technically supposed to, but it’s definitely something I’d love to find in a daily moisturizer so the hunt continues!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you have normal-to-dry skin and are looking for a fast-absorbing, lightweight daily morning moisturizer, you may find Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer to be right up your alley.

Availability: Beauty.com, KorresUSA.com, Sephora

Monday, November 10th, 2008

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.

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

M Lab Travel Kit

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 →