Saturday, December 6th, 2008

LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser ($9.95 for 3.5 oz.) has been my go-to morning cleanser lately, because it’s a mild exfoliating cleanser that’s perfect for both sensitive skin and everyday use. If you’re new to Lush, this might be a little more adventurous product type than other products they offer, just because it feels very natural/organic.

It’s sort of a gummy roll of product, which you take a pea or two peas-sized dollops out of. You add a little water, then rub it between your hands until it starts to break down into almost a paste consistency. Then you apply it like your usual cleanser–gentle, circular motions. Rinse, then pat your face dry, and you’re all done. Of course, you can choose to follow up with toner and/or moisturizer if you so desire.

Angels on Bare Skin includes the following ingredients: Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Glycerine, Kaolin, Water (Aqua), Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Lavender Flowers (Lavendula hybrida), *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume. The Rose Absolute is supposed to tone, while the Lavender Oil soothes your skin. I list the ingredient list so you can see what’s in the product, but also so you can have an idea as to why this product has a shelf life of a mere three months. This is not a product to stock up on! That huge chunk of product in the photo will surely last me at least three months!

The scent of Angels on Bare Skin reminds me of going out in the woods or a field–it’s not that compost heap “natural” smell or anything, but more like the invigorating scent of nature. I don’t mind it, though I know a few are put off by the scent of this. I don’t feel this removes makeup 100% (especially not eye makeup–hello, it does have ground almonds in it, aka not going near my eyes), so I prefer to use something else in the PM or else I’ll use something else to remove makeup, then follow-up with this cleanser in the PM.

Overall, I recommend trying this product, because it’s worked well in recuperating from my silicone-based break out. It hasn’t caused any additional acne, and I believe it has helped in reducing inflammation of those stubborn pimples (thus, making them appear less red and making me feel less self-conscious!). I’ll be posting more about my favorite Lush skincare products soon!

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Origins’ Modern Frictionicon ($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!

See more photos… Continue reading →

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.

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008


visit Sephora.com to purchase

Clarisonic ($195.00) is one of those products you tend to hear raves about, but you take one look at the price tag and run in the other direction. But you’re always wondering, “Does it actually work? Is it worth it?”

Yes, and yes. Most definitely.

The Clarisonic Skin Care System was developed by the creators of the Sonicare toothbrush. I look at this in a similar way–the Sonicare toothbrush price tag shocked people, but it does give you a great clean. It’s a purchase that saves you money elsewhere in your life. The toothbrush kept you from going to the dentist as often for problems (or minimized problems found during your regular visits), and the Clarisonic does the same. You get a better clean, which lets other skincare products absorb better–you know, that pricey serum you purchased may have better results because of the increased absorption.

Here’s the other big reason why both sonic systems work: the timer. You’re supposed to brush your teeth for two minutes (30 seconds per side), and because the Sonicare lets you know when to switch sides, you actually brush for that length of time. Same idea on the Clarisonic; you can choose between one minute and two minutes cleansing times, and it will beep approximately every thirty seconds. We are all busy, busy people, so we often don’t think about whether we are properly cleansing. A few weeks ago, I read about a study where people who washed their hands properly with regular soap had the same amount of bacteria leftover as those who washed properly with antibacterial soap–because the key was washing your hands properly, getting underneath the nails and giving yourself enough time.

So, let me tell you how my skin has changed as a result of using this product for the past four weeks! Continue reading →

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 →

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Review

Philosophy Purity Made Simple ($20.00 to $40.00) is a cult favorite when it comes to finding a gentle, one-stop cleanser. The original is a creamy formula with no real lathering/foaming properties. They recently launched a version that is high-foaming, which is not a creamy formula, and instead pumps out as a foam and then lathers up a bit more while applied. Purity Made Simple is a 2008 Sephora Beauty Award Winner, as well as an Allure Award winner in 2007 selected by readers. It is an “emulsifying cleanser” that gently cleanses while removing dirt and makeup. The original version was actually designed not to foam!

How does it pan out? Foaming or emulsifying? Let me tell you! Continue reading →