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Philosophy Hope In a Jar SPF 20 Moisturizer Review & Photos

Philosophy Hope In a Jar

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, continues to enjoy his romp here on Temptalia! He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).  I couldn’t take Hope In a Jar (too greasy!), so I passed it onto poor, poor Shaun…

Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan. Or maybe not! He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes to being my shoulder to cry on.

LET THERE BE… SHAUN! Yes, it’s me–the tech guy–and my ego has continued to grow enormously. I now find it hard to manage standard doorways, so I have to have Christine insult me a few times to lessen my ego enough to get through the door. She enjoys this, so it’s win-win!  Christine also found out about my ExoliKate fiasco and put alcohol into my contact solution. Touché, Christine… Touché.

If you don’t believe in aliens or extra terrestrial life, then you probably haven’t taken a look at the gelatinous ooze that is Philosophy Hope In A Jar SPF 20 ($18.00). It is the oddest form of life I’ve ever come across. I don’t know whether to eat it, wipe it on my face, or take it to the CIA for testing. This stuff is bizarre.

When you first open up the jar, you kind of think you’ve been duped: whatever was supposed to be in this thing had obviously passed its prime. I asked Christine and she said that nothing was wrong with it and told me to take out the trash. I proceeded to stick my tongue out at her and told her to take out the trash herself! She then kicked me in the shin, and I then hobbled to take the trash out.

After a week of shin icing, I slowly gathered up the courage to take another look under the cap of the Hope In a Jar. It still looked the same. I jiggled the container, and it almost jiggled its way out at me causing me to drop it and run out of the room. I came back to see if it had eaten its way out of the bathroom and on its way to torment Tokyo, but it was still there… Waiting… Biding its time…

I finally touched this part-liquid, part-solid form, and it felt weirder than you can imagine. It felt like what you think Flubber would feel like. Anyone remember Flubber? No? Darn you kids!

You touch this stuff, and it kind of feels like a solid mass. You don’t really understand how you are supposed to use it. Eventually you realize you can pierce it so it becomes more of a cream. It’s hard not to take too much because you have to grope at it to get it to unlock from its solid form. Once you get pass the initial shock and rub it on your face you come to find that it’s a solid moisturizer. I tend to prefer moisturizers that dry quickly and this is not one of those. I assume this could have something to do with the SPF that is added, or the fact that it is a living organism and it doesn’t want to be absorbed into your skin. Whatever the case, it takes a good deal of working into the skin before it fully absorbs.

The other odd thing about this moisturizer is that it apparently, uhh… Bleeds? And the blood is… Yellow… I don’t know what it is, but I eventually opened it up and noticed a yellowish liquid in the jar. If this is not more proof that this form is alive, then I don’t know what is.

Recommendation: This does a good job moisturizing, but getting a guy to sit there and rub his face for a few minutes to get it to absorb thoroughly might be difficult. Having a moisturizer with added SPF is always a plus, though.

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Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Treatment Review & Photos

Kate Somerville

Oh, ExfoliKate, How I Love Thee!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85.00 for 2 oz., $175.00 for 5 oz.) is something I’ve been wanting to write about but have no real idea about how to go about doing it.  I just don’t know how to explain WHY I love this product so much, and it’s not exactly something you can easily show. I also struggle with what to say in regards to this product, because I love it, and it’s not cheap. While I worry about any recommendations I may make (I worry that you’ll hate what I loved!), I stress out over bigger ticket items in particular!  Anyway…

The product itself is a thin, green-tinged (think seaweed, perhaps–moss? anchovy paste… no!) mixture of enzymes and acids (which is kind of redundant, but whatever).  This is not a scrub–this is like a cleanser meets mask meets scrub.  To apply, you squeeze out about a pea to nickel-sized dollop onto fingers, then gently apply in circular motions to damp skin.  Let it sit for about thirty seconds (based on your tolerance), and then rinse off, towel dry, and enjoy the pretty glow it leaves behind.   I don’t think you need much, but considering the price tag, I still find myself ensuring I don’t over-use.  (Though my boyfriend suffers no such affliction!)  It’s meant to be used once or twice a week, depending on your skin’s needs.  I usually use it twice a week myself.

I love the ridiculously soft feel of my skin post-ExfoliKate.  It’s so, so smooth.  It’s not dry, tight, or red after using it, and it’s not rough against my skin at all.  I know that ExfoliKate also comes in a Gentle formula for those with more sensitive skin, but I really didn’t feel much tingling (from the enzymes!) even from the get-go.  When I had my boyfriend try it for the first time, he felt the tingling much, much more than I, but after two or three uses, he didn’t seem to have any issues with it.  My skin looks and feels renewed and refreshed after each use.

One itsy-bitsy tube has lasted me about four months (I bought my first tube back in October ’09 but didn’t start using it right away), but I’ve definitely had lapses where I’ve only used it once a week or less… but then again, the boyfriend has definitely used more than copious amounts in the time I’ve had it in the bathroom!  All in all, I do think the 2 oz. tube lasts a good while, so it won’t be as if you’ll run through a single tube in a month or even two.   Not to say it’s cheap stuff, though!

There is one thing I have learned after having acne-prone skin for several years now–good skincare is worth it.  If you find something that works, it’s probably worth sticking to, rather than hunting for something cheaper and just as effective.  That’s just my motto nowadays; it’s worth the investment in my skin.  A good product doesn’t have to be expensive, either, but if it is and it works (and obviously, you’ve tried more than just that!), I see no reason to go elsewhere.  Once you find a solid skincare routine, you can plan to stock-up during sale events or triple points or whatever.

I like that it’s really easy to use, and you don’t have to set aside a large chunk of time to get a nice, enzyme-based exfoliation session in.  I love masks and all those kinds of products, but too often I completely forget about using them, but I always have a few minutes to spare for quick and effective exfoliation.    The packaging is simple, but I’ve found it works.  It dispenses product without a fuss–you don’t have to worry about getting too much out–and it’s pretty hygienic.  I could see that a pump might work better, but given my recent experience pump-packaging, it’d likely dispense way too much.  And this isn’t a product I want to waste a single drop of!

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

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I am always hesitant to recommend anyone to shell out so much for so little product, even if I’ve experienced good results with it. If you can, I’d definitely try a sample OR purchase from a retailer with a solid return/exchange policy in case you really don’t get any magic out of it. I still can’t commit to buying the big daddy size, though I’ve purchased this product twice now.

Availability: Sephora

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Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel Review & Photos

Summer Cleaning with Renee Rouleau — The Freshness!

Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel ($35.50) is a minty-fresh cleanser that leaves skin feeling refreshed. I’ve been using this as my AM/PM cleanser (not makeup remover, though) for the past three weeks, and I really just like the way it leaves my skin feeling, which is cooled and refreshed. It’s particularly been lovely for me as my seasonal allergies have been acting up!

Key Ingredients: Licorice Root Extract – anti-inflammatory properties, Peppermint Oil – vaso-dilator that increases circulation to bring fresh nutrients to the skin, Rosemary Leaf Oil – antioxidant skin energizer, Spearmint Leaf Oil – invigorating, circulation-boosting.

The texture is also thick without being heavy. It’s thick and gel-textured, so you don’t need much — really, you don’t — just one little squeeze and a pea-sized portion later and you have enough. Despite using it for three weeks, I’d say I’ve only used up about half an inch’s worth thus far, which means I anticipate a solid six months or more of usage out of this. It’s not a makeup remover, so while it removed my tinted moisturizer, it’s not going to get off long-wearing eyeliner.

I love Renee Rouleau, the woman behind the brand, even though I have never met her in person. (But seriously, sometimes I just want to go visit Texas so I can book an appointment at her spa so I can meet her.) She is inspiring as a female entrepreneur, but she gives real, meaningful skincare tips on her blog–actually written by her, gasp!–and it feels genuine.

Just for Temptalia readers, get Free Shipping with code TEMPTALIA from May 25th through the 31st.

The Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel is recommended for those with oily/combination skin and not for those with severe redness or rosacea. It contains no artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, parabens, or sulfates for those concerned about ingredients. I have normal-to-dry skin typically, but in the summer I do get a little more normal-to-oily. I like this after a day spent outdoors or after a workout–very invigorating but not burning, stinging, or irritating–refreshing.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For those with oily/combination skin looking for a no-fuss, easy-to-use cleanser that cleans skin well while leaving you feeling fresh, I think you may like this one.

Availability: Renee Rouleau

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Alford & Hoff Moisturizer Review

Alford & Hoff Moisturizer

The Tech Guy Shaun, aka The Tech Guy, aka my boyfriend, has been kind enough to grace us with his first beauty review!  He’s twenty-seven with normal-to-dry skin and suffers from no more acne (much to my envy!).

Shaun enjoys long walks on the beach, vegging out on the couch watching chick flicks, and cuddling with Mellan.  Or maybe not!  He handles all the behind-the-scenes action here at Temptalia, from tech support to server woes to being my shoulder to cry on.

I take on this task with an open heart and an empty stomach because Christine won’t feed me until it’s complete.

I’ve been using Alford & Hoff’s Moisturizer for what feels like a year but is more likely about two to three months. It’s a very thin moisturizer and goes on smoothly. It dries as quickly and easily as it goes on and requires very little working into the skin. By the way, I’m just making up all of this terminology as I go, so forgive me if I’m sounding pompous.

What’s great for us guys is that the packaging is lightweight and easy to use. It’s simple… yet sophisticated. You also have to twist the top to get the pump to appear, so I played with that for a half hour before my first use. The most miraculous thing about this particular packaging was when I sadly finished the bottle.

I pulled and pried on the top of it to see if there was a precious morsel left in the bottle, but I found that it was COMPLETELY EMPTY. I don’t know what kind of space age science they used when creating this bottle, but it didn’t leave anything left. And when I say it didn’t leave anything left, I mean the thing was bone dry! I was prepared to take a hacksaw and saw it in half to get the precious bits left at the bottom, but to my amazement it was all gone.

I’ll give this moisturizer one critique–and it’s not so much a critique than a warning–if you’ve just shaved and plan to put this moisturizer on then you might want to reconsider. It BURNS!!!! If you aren’t used to using aftershave or some equivalent then be prepared for your skin to feel like it was pressed into a waffle iron. And what guy can’t relate to having their face pressed into a waffle iron? Am I right?!

The most painful part about this moisturizer isn’t the post-shave sizzle–it’s the price tag. It’s hard enough to get us guys to put on moisturizer but paying 75 bones for it will be nearly impossible. This is where the ladies come in!  If you want your man to moisturize, don’t show him the price tag. Just buy it and sneak it next to the toothbrush. You may also want to chip in the extra 5 bucks for the version with SPF, because a lot of times I had to choose between this moisturizer and a moisturizer with SPF and the SPF version almost always won unless I was moisturizing at night.

Recommendation:   While reluctant to conform to my “review structure,” I (Temptalia) was able to weasel out, “I liked it, but I can’t justify $75!”

Availability: Alford & Hoff

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Quick Reviews: Guerlain Champagne Pearl Kiss Kiss Gloss, La Mer The Hydrating Facial Mask, Urban Decay Razor Sharp Finishing Powder

Guerlain #847 Kiss Kiss Gloss

Quick Reviews:  Guerlain Champagne Pearl Kiss Kiss Gloss, La Mer The Hydrating Facial Mask, Urban Decay Razor Sharp Finishing Powder

What are quick reviews? I’m glad you asked!  Quick reviews are products that I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing but either photographed, swatched, and/or tested.

Guerlain Champagne Pearl (847) Kiss Kiss Gloss ($30.00) is a sheer, sparkly peachy beige with champagne and gold shimmer. It’s definitely a sheer wash of color on lips, but it provides tons of sparkle. I like it better over a lipstick, because it can bring out the depth of a lipstick that way, rather than just being a wash of shimmer on lips.  Rating:  B+

La Mer ‘The Hydrating Facial’ Mask ($250.00 for 6 applications) is the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like I’m getting a spa facial at home. Granted, I’ve only had about two facials in my entire life, but I felt like I might have spent a little time on cloud nine when I relaxed with this on. There are two parts to the mask–an upper and lower zone–and together they infuse skin with moisture. My skin felt as amazing as it looked, and I definitely wished I had more than one mask to try, ha! The price is steep, but it’s La Mer–not surprising. I still find it completely funny that my Mom, who is not a beauty junkie, LOVES La Mer and says she can tell the difference when she uses something else I’ve given her. At least every gift giving occasion for Mom is easy 🙂  RatingB+ — love the product, value drags it down a bit.

Urban Decay Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder ($30.00) is a nice, translucent powder to help set your makeup, but I really hated the delivery system. It annoyed me so much that I only used it twice and completely forgot about it. It’s a sponge that goes over the “nozzle” that disperses the powder. It just strikes me as particularly unsanitary, but aside from that, I much prefer a brush for a delicate, soft application. I feel like this presses more product onto the skin than necessary to set, but it can also smudge or over-blend your makeup if you’re not careful. I tried to twist/pry off the whole contraption on top, but to no avail, and thus why it’s taken me three months to review.  Rating:  B- — the product itself is decent, the packaging drives me batty.

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Skin Care Expert Renée Rouleau Reviews the Clarisonic!

Temptalia is extraordinarily pleased to be able to bring you an exclusive review of the Clarisonic by renowned skincare esthetician and expert Renée Rouleau! It’s a very informative and thorough review and read with invaluable information for improving your skincare routine and ensuring it is doing the most for your skin.  You can visit her blog for more skincare advice and tips!

Is Clarisonic harmful or helpful? Renée Rouleau gives a review….

Let me start by saying that I normally don’t do reviews of other skin care products. I use my blog as a place to talk and share my thoughts on what I know to be true about skin from being an esthetician for 22 years, but I leave product reviews for all of the great beauty bloggers out there.

My reason for doing a review on Clarisonic is because I have observed changes in my client’s skin that use the brush, and some of the changes have not been beneficial to the health of their skin. Since my goal is to offer helpful skin care tips to allow you to become a smarter skin care consumer, I feel that this is important information to share.

Read all about proper exfoliation and how to use your Clarisonic to avoid damaging your skin!

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