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Origins Make a Difference Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream Review, Photos

My Winter Skin Savior from Origins

Origins Make a Difference Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream ($36.00 for 1.7 oz.) has been my go-to night cream for the past month!  It has just enough richness in texture (it is most definitely a cream–thick, viscous) to leave me feeling like I’m really treating my skin right during the drying winter season, but it’s not so rich that it never sinks in.

As per usual, I tested this cream out for a full four weeks (I’m actually still using this, though–haven’t decided what to try next!).  I typically spend anywhere from two to six weeks trying out skincare products, but usually four to six weeks for creams and the like (cleansers, toners, etc. I don’t feel obligated to try for as long–particularly since I don’t review for anti-aging efficacy).  It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed any Origins products, but I’m really glad Origins thought to send this to me as a possible way to combat my dry, winter skin.

According to Orgins’ website, “Tested on the driest of skins. Clinically proven to instantly satisfy the deepest of thirsts. This rich, quenching cream owes its endless hydration to the drought-resistant resurrection plant, The Rose of Jericho. But there’s more. Reviving Trehalose virtually erases visible dry lines to restore smoothness. And oceanic Padina Pavonica rebuilds skin’s barrier to help keep moisture levels up to 100% all day. Discover why when it comes to renewing and refreshing dry skin, only nature can Make A Difference™.”

It’s recommended for dry skin, and I’d definitely say it’s meant for dry skin.  I have normal-to-dry skin, and I love the way it feels and keeps my skin moisturized all night.  I don’t think it’s too heavy for me at all, but during the winter, I can get dry patches if I don’t use the right moisturizer.   I think this is a moisturizer that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles–it’s not claiming to turn back the hands of time by 40 years, that it has all these funny patent-pending technologies that do this and that, etc. etc.  The only claim the product really seems to make it is it’s going to restore your skin’s hydration level.  The copy says “erases visible dry lines to restore smoothness,” but note it says dry lines so I don’t interpret that as aging lines, but merely more like the cracked-skin-look that dried out skin can have.

I was using a few other moisturizers during the late fall/early winter, and I noticed I was still getting dry periodically, but I haven’t had a single dry patch since using this cream, so my experience has been really pleasant.  It has this slightly citrus-y scent that has the smell of freshness.  I use this as a night cream, because it is a heavier cream and works best for me at night time, since I can really let it sink in and not worry about whether my makeup will work with it or not.  I find it sinks in within fifteen minutes or so; I always apply it about a half hour before I go to bed (which is typical of my night time regimen) or whenever I remove makeup–whichever comes first.  By the time I get into bed, it’s sunk in and my skin feels happy.

I’ve been loving it, and this is the first time in awhile that I’ve liked a skincare product enough not to want to switch over to something else to test out for you all!  I only wish it came in pump-packaging rather than a tub, but I can deal with it. I’ve been using it for a full month now and it’s maybe a third through (definitely not half-way, though), so I think each jar should easily yield two, if not three, months of daily usage–just keep in mind I only used this during the evening, so just once a day.  Also note that skincare is very personal, so my experience may not be the same as yours; your mileage may vary!  (Such is the nature of skincare, sigh!)

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you have dry skin, you may want to check this cream out.

Availability: Origins

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Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser Review

Mild Cleanser: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser ($22.50 for 5.0 fl. oz.) is described as a mild, foaming, deep cleansing formula for normal to oily skin types to “purify and thoroughly cleanse” without stripping skin. It uses “Amazonian White Clay and finely crushed diatomaceous earth particles to gently remove surface debris, toxins, and oils.” It purports to help minimize the appearance of pores (read: it does not actually minimize them, just minimizes the appearance of them) as well. There are also a few additional products from the Rare Earth line-up: Pore Refining Tonic, Pore Minimizing Lotion, Pore and Cleansing Masque.

It’s a thick, slightly creamy, mostly white (perhaps, a little grayed white) cleanser that you squeeze out of the tube. I use about a dime-size amount of product, and I find it’s more than enough to thoroughly cleanse my face and neck during my morning shower. It lathers up just enough to give you the “it’s doing something” feeling, and my skin definitely feels clean post-shower, but it doesn’t feel dry, stripped, or tight.

This is probably one of the more gentle cleansers I’ve ever tried that’s also supposed to exfoliate. It has diatomaceous earth as its scrubby bits, but I found I could hardly feel them. If I wasn’t trying to think about all the nuances of the product for a review, I might never have really thought about it as an exfoliator whatsoever. I would certainly have to agree with Kiehl’s claim that it is a mild and gentle cleanser.

Bottom Line: I liked it a lot, and if I wasn’t regularly trying out new skincare products for review, I would consider repurchasing it. It’s a very mild cleanser that’s effective without being harsh. It doesn’t have too many frills, which is something I like – less frills, less over-the-top claims.

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: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a gentle cleanser, you might like Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser!

Availability: Nordstrom

Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Cleanser Review & Photos

Affordable Skincare: Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Cleanser

Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Cleanser ($6.99 for 5.5 fl. oz.) is a foam-based cleanser that feels lightweight, doesn’t dry out skin, and removes most makeup.

This review is one of those short and sweet kind, because the product itself is really simple.  Like many Aveeno products, it’s not about frills, it’s about meeting a need.  If I had to compare this to another high-end brand, I’d consider this similar to Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple (Foaming).  This one comes in a bottle-shaped container with a pump to distribute the foam cleanser.  I find one or two pumps is all I need to feel clean.

It is advertised as a makeup removing cleanser, not just a cleanser, and it’s unfortunate, because it doesn’t quite remove all makeup.  Whenever I have a makeup remover, I test it against the long-lasting power of MAC Fluidline.  This removed some, but it didn’t remove all.  It does remove the majority of my makeup (eyeshadow, non-waterproof mascara, foundation), but it’s not necessarily the best choice for heavier or more long-wearing products.

I do, personally, prefer to remove heavier makeup with an oil-based makeup remover (like Lancome’s Bi-Facil) before I do my nightly cleanser, so it’s not a big deal for me.  It’s just something that does take away from this product’s score, since it doesn’t completely live up to its claims.

It smells like something soft and clean and a little sweet–it reminded me of baby shampoo, to be honest.  When I was trying to describe it, all I could think of was baby shampoo as my descriptor.

Bottom Line: This is an affordable cleanser that works well for daily dirt and grime and light to medium makeup.  If you’re looking for a cleanser to remove heavy eyeliner, you may want to look elsewhere.   I actually really liked it, and I was pleasantly surprised by it overall.  I’ll probably be switching over my boyfriend over to this from Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple when he runs out.  (Well, I’m going to have to see if Aveeno offers a foaming cleanser in this product line that doesn’t have “makeup remover” on it!)

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For an easy, lightweight cleanser that works well on daily dirt and build-up, this one is worth checking out!

Availability: ULTA

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Aveeno Positively Ageless Warming Scrub Review & Photos

Warm Up Your Mornings: Aveeno Positively Ageless Warming Scrub

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Warming Scrub ($9.29 for 4 oz.) is a gentle exfoliator with a warming feel.  It uses shiitake mushrooms in it (this is where you might find your “anti-aging” properties).  Like most thermal products, it heats up when it comes into contact with water.  It has very fine, sand-like exfoliating beads that slough away dead skin without being overly abrasive nor too fine that you’re not sure if it’s doing the job right or not.  I’m not going to discuss the anti-aging claims, because even if they worked, I’d unlikely to be able to tell since I’m 23 and don’t have too many signs of aging yet (thankfully).  The skeptic in me doesn’t really feel that a scrub that you rinse and wash off in a few minutes is likely to turn back the hands of time in a truly significant way either.

I was really, really impressed by Aveeno’s Warming Scrub, and it’s definitely a new favorite and easily in line to become a shower staple.  As someone who pretty much lives and breathes new products, it’s always difficult to actually stick with a staple–but for the sake of argument, if I was a normal consumer, this would totally be a buy and buy again product.  It smells kind of like a more natural version of baby shampoo.  I couldn’t think of a better description for the scent other than that; it’s kind of clean, lightly sweetened, kind of natural.  I liked the scent quite a bit, just because it was soft, pleasing, and relaxing.

The exfoliating bits and bobs in this product seem gentle enough to be used several times a week, and I’ve encountered no problems using it about three or four times a week.  I use mine in the shower, so typically in the AM, so I don’t have to worry about getting off any makeup.  I’ve been a long-time user and fan of Aveeno products, so I’m happy to see this one work out for me as well.  I think I’ll have to pick up a tube and pass it along to my sister and see if she likes it.  (We both grew up using Aveeno skincare products.)

For a very long time, my favorite thermal scrub was Prescriptives’ Instant Gratification ($45.00), with Clean & Clear’s In-Shower Facial coming close as a more affordable option.  Instant Gratification is much more of a mask kind of product, because it’s not something you’re meant to use on a daily basis (I used mine about once a week or less), and it’s more abrasive than both the In-Shower Facial and Warming Scrub.  I really like that I can use the Warming Scrub more often, because I love that thermal/heat sensation that comes along with it.  It doesn’t last long (20 seconds or so), but it’s so relaxing and a great way to start your day off.  Smooth, soft, and radiant skin, courtesy of $9 well-spent!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For an affordable, thermal exfoliating scrub, Aveeno has you covered!

AvailabilityDrugstore.com

Korres Wild Rose Moisturizer Review, Photos

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

MAC Style Black: Volcanic Ash Exfoliator Skincare Review, Photos

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator Review

MAC Style Black included two pieces of limited edition skincare — the ever-raved about Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and previously-mentioned-but-finally-released Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask.

I’ve been a big supporter of MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator since it released.  I loved it.  I sparingly used it so it would last as long as I could manage.  I managed to make two tubs last me a year or so (it was launched in 2008).  I couldn’t even begin to tell you how excited I was for it to be re-released with Style Black!

The re-released Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is slightly different than the original in a few key ways, though the product still feels, smells, and does the same (for me!) as the original version did.  This release of Volcanic Ash Exfoliator uses both sugar (sucrose, specifically) and silica for exfoliating, whereas the original release only used sugar.  Before, when you scrubbed your face with the exfoliator, the sugar particles would eventually dissolve, but with the addition of silica, you’ll notice a slightly gritty texture the whole time.

From what I can tell, MAC was attempting to address some of the problems/concerns the product created when it was originally launched.  The tub packaging was both unsanitary and was not shower-friendly (which is the most convenient place to use this, because it can be messy).  The tub seemed to get a lot of water in it when I had it in my shower, which kind of resulted in the sugar dissolving faster than I’d like–and the heat of the shower also caused some of the sugar to dissolve, I’d imagine.   Since silica doesn’t dissolve, it also makes it a more shower-friendly ingredient when it comes to exfoliation!  The new tube packaging now makes it more hygienic and shower-friendly, as well.

Considering I ended up having half a tub of exfoliator without any exofliating properties because all the sugar dissolved, I’m happy it’s in a tube!  I also think that while it feels thicker, it’s also hard to judge, because before you were scooping it out of a jar so the two processes are different enough.  I also don’t have any of the old stuff left to compare.  It does, though, feel a little thicker.

In the end, it applies and feels like the original.  I’d say it’s a little grittier than it previously was, with the addition of silica, but it still doesn’t feel like a harsh, aggressive exfoliator.  It’s fairly gentle, and it should be used once or twice during the week, depending on how your skin takes to exfoliants.

Product value on this could be better, because they took out about an ounce of product and tacked on an additional fifty cents.  I can handle the slight price increase, but I’m less than impressed with the decrease in the product itself (particularly since it’s 3.4 oz.), since it represents about 20-25% decrease in how much you get for your money.

Bottom line: It’s a mild exfoliator that has an earthy, ashy smell that’s not unpleasant (at least not to me), nor is it like ohhh, yummy! , it’s just kind of the scent I’d expect from it.  It leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and may even give you a lil’ bit of that glow.  I still love it, but I’m not quite as in-love as I was originally (I think that’s more because of all the other exfoliators that I also love).  I definitely still recommend trying it out–ask for a sample if you’re unsure–because it is a fantastic exfoliator!

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

Recommendation:  If you liked the original, I think you’ll still like this slightly reformulated version!  It’s a good, mild exfoliator!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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