Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Lather Up: Chanel Mousse Exfoliante Purete

Chanel Mousse Exfoliante Purete ($45.00 for 5 oz.) is a creamy cleanser/extremely mild exfoliant that cleanses, controls oil, and lightly exfoliates without ever missing a beat. If the name as you a little confused, the English version is Exfoliating Cleansing Foam Purity + Anti-Pollution.

Don’t let the sticker price fool you, this product does its job amazingly well and one tube will last you at least six months, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it lasted longer. It took me several tries to figure out just how little I needed–no more than a pea-size amount for face and neck. It foams up with little water and goes on thickly (but doesn’t feel heavy). All I know is I didn’t expect to fall in love with a Chanel cleanser, but I definitely did! This has quickly become a Temptalia household staple.

There are small exfoliating beads in this product, and I really do mean small. They’re small and sparse enough to make it incredibly mild in exfoliation, so you can easily use this product once or twice a day (AM/PM). It smells clean, that’s the only way I can describe it, and really does an excellent job at leaving my face clean.

It’s not the best at removing more lasting makeup like eyeliner and mascara and will leave a few traces behind, but I find most cleansers to do this (particularly since I don’t want to exfoliate my eyelids or anything!). Whenever I wear heavy eye or lip makeup, I use a separate makeup remover to handle those before I get into the facial cleansing anyway, so for me, it’s not a make or break point.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you want a cleanser that feels luxurious AND delivers and still holds value… consider Chanel’s latest addition to the Precision skincare line-up.

Availability: Nordstrom

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Clarisonic MIA

Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System

Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System ($149.00) is the latest launch from Clarisonic. It is a miniature-sized version of the original Clarisonic, and it is also $45 cheaper. It’s also available in pink.

You may wonder how this possibly can be part of Money Saving Mondays… because I know the Clarisonic can be a hefty investment for some who really want it, this does offer you a way to get it for less. It is also just as effective as the original, more expensive Clarisonic, so it represents true savings.

First, Clarisonic has a really useful comparison chart for the four models: Mia, Classic, PLUS, and PRO. The Clarisonic Mia is about an inch and a half to two inches smaller the the original,and it doesn’t feel as bulky. The Mia comes with a pLink charger whereas the Classic used a cradle charger, which makes it a lot more compact. The Mia brush head is the same size as the Classic, so you don’t lose anything in how well it cleans or the area it cleans.

Surprisingly, the Mia feels heavier compared to the Classic, but not by much (note that neither are, by any means, heavy). When you opt for the Mia, you have only a single speed setting, whereas the Classic provided you with two. Since I’ve used the Classic forever now, I can say that it’s not a big deal, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t even know you had two speeds on yours! The Mia also only lasts twenty minutes on a full charge compared to the Classic which lasts thirty minutes. Again, this is not really an essential difference to me; twenty minutes is still ten or so uses, which is plenty on a single charge.

I recommend you read my original review for the Clarisonic to get a more in-depth look at why I really love the cleansing system and recommended it even at $195. In brief, it is an easy, efficient way of cleansing the skin. It helps with skin turnover and keeps my skin clearer and smoother looking overall. I’m not often sold on advertising claims, but the Clarisonic is one beauty gadget I can’t live without!

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you want to get your skin its best shape, the Clarisonic can help. It gives skin a softer, smoother appearance while deep cleansing every time you use it without irritating even sensitive skin. If $145 is still out of your budget, consider looking out for F&F sales at Sephora where you can save another 10-15%. Or put it on your wish list!

Availability: Sephora

See size comparison photoContinue reading →

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Gel Cleansing with Darphin

Darphin Cleansing Foam Gel with Water Lily ($38.00 for 4.2 oz.) is a soft, gentle gel-based cleanser with an incredibly light floral scent. It looks nearly colorless when squeezed out of the tube and applied to face. It’s easy to use–just dampen face with a bit of water, then massage the cleanser all of your face to cleanse. It is a water-based cleanser designed to work even on the most sensitive skin without adding redness.

I’ve actually stuck with this cleanser for a few weeks now, because I find it so effective at cleansing, but also because it doesn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts. It seems to lift and remove the majority of makeup and dirt build-up from my day without much fuss, and my skin never feels tight or stripped after using. Even when I follow-up with my toner, very little residue is left behind–mostly around my hairline, which is where I always miss cleansing (I fear getting it in my hair) anyway.

Although it is a bit pricey, it doesn’t hold decent value, as a tube should last you between two and three months. (I’m into my second month now, and I haven’t even used close to half — maybe a third or so.) I imagine if you use this twice daily you should see about two months’ worth out of each tube. This cleanser is also easy to travel with, because you can squeeze what you need into a travel bottle, too.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, consider Darphin’s new gel cleanser. Soft, mild, and gentle are all perfect descriptors of this daily cleansing product.

Availability: Beauty.com, Darphin.com

Have you tried Darphin’s latest Cleansing Foam Gel? Yay or nay?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Get Silky Smooth Skin with Lush Ocean Salt Cleanser

LUSH Ocean Salt Cleanser ($18.55 for 4.2 oz.) is an exfoliator that uses both fine and coarse sea salt to exfoliate the skin.  It also contains vodka and lime as well as avocado butter.  This scrub leaves skin feeling incredibly clean and smooth.  It smells kind of like a margarita to me, a little sour.

While the sea salt can be coarse, the best part about the product is you can always add a little more water to dilute the scrub and make it better for your skin.  I didn’t find I needed to do more than wet my face prior to using the scrub.  Do make sure you mix-up the scrub when you get it, though, as all of the salt mixture lies on top when you initially purchase the product.

For me, I feel like my skin looks and feels smoother, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been dried out either.  It’s soft, hydrated, and looks and feels smooth.  No breakouts or reactions, nor irritated skin in the least bit.  One pot of this stuff will last you quite awhile (I’d probably opt for the smaller size), because a little goes a long way.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you have normal skin and are in the market for a new exfoliating product, look into Lush’s Ocean Salt. I think the grit of the sea salt might be a bit too harsh for more sensitive skin, though adding more water will help to dilute it.

Availability: LUSH Cosmetics

Have you tried Lush’s Ocean Salt before? What did you think?

See more product photosContinue reading →

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

LUSH A Crash Course in Skincare Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is the best mask for a general purpose, make-your-skin-feel-fabulous mask. It is ideal for all skin types. It contains such ingredients as organic avocado, kaolin, organic yoghurt, glycerin, organic lemon juice, sandalwood oil, lavender oil, and chamomile oil. It has a lemon-y herbal scent, which is pleasing and not overly aromatic.

I find this mask feels creamy, applies well (not too thick, not too thin – very easy to spread), and I always feel wonderful after using it. My skin looks and feels better — softer, smoother, and almost glow-y. I love using this early in the morning or before bed time. Makeup applies even better when I’ve used this in the morning (I imagine it has to do with my skin feeling smoother). When I’ve used it the night before, it seems like my skin is a bit clearer and still has some of the results of the previous night’s mask treatment.

I’m just about done trying all of the Fresh Face Masks I’m interested in (I’m passing on anything that’s anti-aging for now), and so far, I think my go-to duo will be A Crash Course in Skincare and Cupcake. I’ll probably switch it up occasoinally and go for Catastrophe Cosmetic and Brazened Honey. I kind of have a soft spot for all of the ones I’ve tried (even smelly Cosmetic Warrior), so it’ll be tough to pick and choose. I think I’m going to go through them again, but this time, I’m going to try and see which one really works best for my skin type.

(The following is a regurgitation from previous Fresh Face Masks reviews, for those unfamiliar with them.)

Just a reminder, Fresh Face Masks, at least in the U.S., are only available in-store and not online or via mail order (I believe UK Lush will ship within the UK), and they have a shelf life of approximately three weeks, and they must be stored in the refrigerator. They’re exactly what they’re called — fresh — so don’t expect to use them much longer than three weeks, because of potential bacteria and mold growth (gross, right?).

Even using a generous amount per mask, I get at least eight masks out of each tub. For $8 a tub, it’s definitely a price I like. I usually pick up two pots — one mask that is exfoliating and another that is just a general, soothing/cleansing/refreshing one. When I reach the end of the life of them, any extra, I slather everywhere – from face to neck to chest to hands. Plus, for every five black pots you turn into Lush, you get a free Fresh Face Mask!

See inside! Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask ($7.95 for 2.6 oz.) is a calming, cleansing mask for all types of skin. It contains such ingredients as calamine powder, talc, irish moss gel, fresh blueberries, glycerin, almond oil, and chamomile oil. It smells rather like blueberries, though I find the scent very subtle. This is an excellent mask to keep in the refrigerator just because.

It is amazing at making skin look and feel more even in tone, while giving it a really thorough, deep clean feeling (without the tightness). I bought this to accompany one of the exfoliating masks, so I can switch between the two during the three weeks they last. I find this to be a pretty gentle mask, so my skin has no issues using it more frequently. I’ve used this product before, and I swear it used to be a reddish/violet shade, but mine wasn’t colored at all.

I recommend this mask to anyone who wants a little treat for their face, and especially to anyone who would like something to help calm down any redness!

(The following is a regurgitation from previous Fresh Face Masks reviews, for those unfamiliar with them.)

Just a reminder, Fresh Face Masks, at least in the U.S., are only available in-store and not online or via mail order (I believe UK Lush will ship within the UK), and they have a shelf life of approximately three weeks, and they must be stored in the refrigerator. They’re exactly what they’re called — fresh — so don’t expect to use them much longer than three weeks, because of potential bacteria and mold growth (gross, right?).

Even using a generous amount per mask, I get at least eight masks out of each tub. For $8 a tub, it’s definitely a price I like. I usually pick up two pots — one mask that is exfoliating and another that is just a general, soothing/cleansing/refreshing one. When I reach the end of the life of them, any extra, I slather everywhere – from face to neck to chest to hands. Plus, for every five black pots you turn into Lush, you get a free Fresh Face Mask!

See inside! Continue reading →