Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel Review

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel ($38.00 for 1.0 oz.) is a moisturizer that can be used for either day or evening application. Boscia states that this moisturizer is supposed to “refine skin texture, brighten skin clarity, and minimize the look of pores instantly and over time.” According to the brand, it’s suitable to all skin types.

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Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel

BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer

BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer ($30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is available in two formulations: one for normal to dry skin, and one for combination skin. It’s supposed to be hydrating, lightweight, and leave skin protected and smooth. The brand also states that it is “[c]linically proven to reveal brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and remarkably smaller-looking pores.” Both formulations are also available in a sheer tint, but I don’t know how much of a tint it gives–the one I tried was for combination skin without a tint.

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Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Review & Photo

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($5.79 for 3.8 fl. oz.) is a dual-phase remover, which means there are two layers of product and once the bottle is shaken, it can be used.  You can put a little bit on a cotton pad or cotton cloth, then press against the eye area, and gently swipe away the makeup.  Whenever I use a product like this, I like to press against the lid, wait a couple of seconds (not long at all, just not instantly attempting to remove), and then proceed to remove.  This remover nearly removes all traces of eye makeup for me, but it does struggle a bit against waterproof mascara.

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Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm & Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 Review

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm & Moisturizing Balm SPF 25
Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm & Moisturizing Balm SPF 25

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm & Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 Review

This past winter, Bobbi Brown released Extra Repair in balm-form.  (It seems like these were reformulated, because based on googling, these were out previously.)  The range calls out two specific ingredients that make this extra awesome:  Argireline Peptide, which is said to “boost the natural production of new collagen and elastin in the skin, gradually helping to restore natural structure and firmness,” and Clary Sage Ferment, which is said to “improve cell renewal and repair barrier function, so skin looks more radiant and is more hydrated.”  Both come in glass jars with black screw-top lids, so for those who prefer airless pumps, pumps, or tubes, these are not for you.

The Extra Repair product range is focused on anti-aging, which is hard for me to weigh in on.  I have some fine lines around my eyes, but I don’t have too many aging signs yet.  The majority of my review is based on texture, feel, hydration, and the like.

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm ($90.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a thick, gluey cream that really is like a potted lip balm.  Using this put me in such a quandary; at first, I loathed it, because it was such a pain to apply and never fully absorbed, yet it provided excellent hydration.  I cannot emphasize how thick, tacky, and gluey the texture of this product is.  I couldn’t even imagine using this during the day, because it doesn’t fully absorb for me, even after two to three hours.  It’s possible very dry skin types will have skin that just drinks this in, so absorption may be better.  I’m having very dry skin at the moment, and it’s still not quite absorbing for me.

I have just a couple of uses left in this jar, and I’ve been using it consistently as a night cream for about two months.  The best way to apply, which is still annoying, is to warm the product up between your fingers, dab a little bit all over your face (like spots), then pat those dabs into the skin with finger tips.  I don’t recommend attempting to spread the mixture, because it really doesn’t like to move around.

My skin always felt really plump and hydrated the morning after using this, and despite the heaviness, I never had an issue with breakouts.  The amount of acne I had was about the same or slightly less than my normal range.  The texture took some getting used to, as did the application method, and I’d still prefer a cream that was spreadable.  The jar format is less desirable, especially at this price point and with anti-aging ingredients.  It has a citrus and herb scent; I like it, but I tend to like those types of scents–others may find it less appealing.  FutureDerm has an excellent post on Argireline Peptide and its background, which may not be the most effective topical anti-aging ingredient (also see Cosmetics Cop).

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm SPF 25 ($90.00 for 1.7 oz.) is the daytime companion product to the balm, but the texture of this is completely different.  It feels like a heavier cream, but it doesn’t feel too heavy for daytime wear if you have drier skin. I really liked this one, and I was sad when the jar finished (about a month, but my fiance was also using this for daytime wear).  Despite the heaviness, it absorbs after five to ten minutes, and it leaves skin feeling hydrated all day long.  I never began my night time skin regimen feeling like I needed more moisture.  It has the same citrus and herbal scent.

The active ingredients are Octinoxate (7.5%), Homosalate (5%), Oxybenzone (3%), and Avobenzone (2%). Octinoxate, Homosalate, and Oxybenzone cover the UVB spectrum, while Oxybenzone covers part of the UVA range and Avobenzone covers part of the UVA range (the ingredients themselves then cover 290-400nm). Cosmetics Cop has a good breakdown on whether avobenzone is stable or not. SmartSkincare also has a good overview of avobenzone and stability.

These were product samples, so they did not come with boxes, therefore I don’t have the ingredient lists at my disposal. I was able to find this ingredient source for the SPF 25 version.  On that note, I continue to be frustrated by the lack of ingredient lists published online by brands themselves–especially with skincare.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Review & Photos

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($7.99 for 25 or $0.32 each) are pre-soaked cloths that are designed to remove makeup, including waterproof mascara. Neutrogena says there’s no need to rinse after using one of these to remove your makeup. This kind of product is great for on-the-go removal (say at the gym), overnight bags/weekend trips (where you may not want to use liquid makeup remover or have it clogging up space in your quart-sized carry-on liquids’ bag!), or if you’re someone who isn’t so good at removing makeup before going to bed.

Generally, I use a liquid makeup remover to take off my makeup at night, because I usually enjoy my night time skin care routine, so it’s not a chore for me. However, I always pack wipes with me when I travel on short trips, whether by plane or car. I also use makeup wipes for spot makeup removal and if I’m wearing a really strong lip color, then I’ll use one to remove the majority of makeup and finish with a regular cleanser.

There are a lot of times where I will do several swatches in a row–say blush–and a wipe is easy and fuss-free to just remove the area I applied blush in. This keeps the rest of my face looking the same, and then I can just reapply foundation and then the blush on top. Neutrogena’s Towelettes do an excellent job at removing makeup and leaving the surface mostly matte and ready for the next swatch. The towelette is soft to the touch, and it’s thick enough to hold plenty of moisture (the cleanser) and stretches easily without tearing. I love that my skin doesn’t feel dry or tight after using it.

What’s shown in photos is technically a refill package, and you are expected to purchase your first batch of wipes in a plastic container ($8.99 for 25 plus the case). If you don’t use wipes often, you’ll want the case or to store these in a zip-top plastic bag to ensure they stay moist. I usually don’t have issues with the refill packaging staying sealed (it is adhesive), but over time, the adhesive can weaken. One thing I like to do is to store them upside down, because this helps to ensure the wipe that’s next in line to be used is very moist. If you do have a wipe that’s dried out or not as moist as it should be, you can add a little bit of your favorite cleanser or even just water to rejuvenate it a bit!  These are also heavily scented with a fresh, clean floral-like scent.

I really like these, and if you aren’t someone who uses wipes often, they’re a good, easy-to-find, budget-friendly option. I don’t buy these regularly, just because I like MAC’s Wipes better for my purposes (removing swatches usually), and I go through them frequently, so I buy the Bulk Wipes ($28.00 for 100 or $0.28 each). I prefer MAC Wipes for removing swatches, because they are more moisturizing, and when you’re removing makeup from the same patch of skin 10-20 times over a couple of hours, regular wipes often leave the area dry, scaly, and irritated. But what’s funny is that MAC Wipes do leave behind a slightly slick feeling after use–not really oily or slick per se, but what keeps my arm hydrated during a major swatch session is a noticeable feeling on the face, which you may or may not appreciate. I also can’t use MAC Wipes on the eyes (and they’re not recommended for use on the eye area last I checked!) without the skin feeling like it’s on fire.

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