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Fresh Soy Face Cleanser Review, Photos

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($15.00 for 1.7 oz. / $38.00 for 5.1 oz.) is recommended as a daily cleanser for all skin types as an “ultra-gentle face wash” that also contains “nourishing amino acids, rich soy proteins, and soothing botanicals to hydrate, calm, and tone.” According to Fresh, despite being a gentle cleanser, it “effectively removes every last trace [of makeup], even around the delicate eye area.”

It’s taken me months to flesh out this review, because I like this cleanser overall, but it’s hard to quantify why. (I usually jot down notes as I test products, then do some summary points at the end to later write a review with.) I wouldn’t say it’s the best cleanser I’ve ever tried yet I reach for it whenever I’m in-between cleansers. I think those who go heavier on the eye makeup will find it lacking in comparison to cleansing oils or dual-phase removers. I don’t find it breaks down longer-wearing products like eyeliner well enough to warrant skipping the eye makeup remover–good but not perfect.

As a general cleanser, I love it–it feels gentle and leaves my skin clean without being dry. It does do a good job of breaking down face makeup like foundation and tinted moisturizer, though. When I use my toner, it’s easy to see how effective the cleanser is, because there is really nothing left behind, except for around the hair line (which I don’t always get cleanser far enough up, just because I don’t want it in my hair, ha, so that’s more user error!). One of the best things about this cleanser is that it is incredibly gentle on the eyes; no burning, clouding, or stinging at all for me.

Fresh describes it as a creme gel formula.  It’s a semi-opaque gel that squeezes out of the tube, and while it foams, it doesn’t foam as much as your typical gel cleanser would. It’s more like a cross between milkiness and full-on lather. I’ve heard some complain about the scent, but I really like it–it smells like fresh cucumbers to me with a little hint of soy. It comes in two sizes, and honestly, I wouldn’t bother buying the larger size (at least not initially), even though it is less expensive by the ounce. It’ll take you several months to work through the 1.7 oz., and it might be better to 1) see how long it takes to get through a tube and 2) be able to get a fresh tube more regularly than using the same one 3 or 4 times as long. I use about a pearl-sized drop of product each time.

ingredients: Rosa Damascena (Bulgarian Rose) Distillate, Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) Water, Water, Coco Glucoside, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Xanthan Gum , PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Glycine Soja Germ Extract (Soybean), Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Rose Flower Oil, Borage (Borago Officinalis) Oil (Borago Officinalis), Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Extract, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Helianthus Annuus Oil (Sunflower), Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polymethyl Methacrylate, PEG 40 Sorbitan Peroleate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Methylparaben, Sodium Propylparaben, Polysorbate 20, PEG 35 Castor Oil, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, BHA, BHT

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Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ Review, Photos

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ ($34.00 for 1.7 fl. oz. or $56.00 for 4.2 fl. oz.) is described as “oil-free, ultra-lightweight” while using a “patented photo-stabilized technology with long-lasting broad-spectrum protection” against both UVA and UVB rays. Kiehl’s recommends layering over your moisturizer for optimal protection. It contains Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), and Oxybenzone (6%).

The consistency of this is most definitely fluid, and I recommended shaking well prior to use to ensure proper consistency, which is still thin and runny–much like milk but slightly thicker. The thinner consistency allows for easy application, as it spreads well and evenly across the face and doesn’t require five minutes of massaging it into skin to avoid any white casts or streaks, as some thicker and higher SPF products might.

I loved how non-greasy and quick-absorbing this sunscreen was.  It doesn’t leave behind a heavy shine at all–mostly semi-matte to slightly natural in the dry down. It does smell somewhat like sunscreen when applied, but I found the scent faded within a few minutes and didn’t linger throughout the day. When I initially tried this last year, I thought it was breaking me out, so I immediately stopped using it, but I re-initiated testing a couple of weeks ago to great success (and no breakouts), so I’m relieved and pleased to have found a new sunscreen for summer–even if it is still rather gloomy here in June!

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Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner Review, Photos

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner
Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner ($30.50 for 8 oz.) is a calming and hydrating toner that’s alcohol-free. Over the years, one of the musts in toner, for me, is to ensure it is alcohol-free, because toners that contain alcohol are often too drying and leave my skin feeling stripped rather than refreshed.

The Elderberry Toner is effective while being simple and straightforward.   It removes any vestiges of makeup I might have missed during cleansing (particularly around the hair line), gives my skin a boost in moisture, and preps skin for my moisturizer.   It never leaves my skin feeling dry or stripped, just clean, refreshed, and moistened.  I’ve been using this at least once a day for the past couple of months, and I’ve used–at most–15% of the bottle.  It’s actually cheaper and stretches further than one of my favorite toners–NARS Hydrating Lotion.

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MAC Pro Eye Makeup Remover Review, Photos

MAC Pro Eye Makeup Remover
MAC Pro Eye Makeup Remover

MAC Pro Eye Makeup Remover

MAC Pro Eye Makeup Remover ($18.00 for 3.4 fl. oz.) is touted as a gentle eye makeup remover that is “mega-effective” but will still “calm, hydrate, and soothe skin.”  It’s gentle, all right!  While it’s a dream to apply–no stinging, burning, or cloudiness–there’s not much else it does well.

As a makeup remover, it just doesn’t do an effective job at removing eye makeup, even just regular mascara and eyeliner prove to be too hard to handle for this remover. On waterproof/long-wearing products, it doesn’t cut through it at all. I’ve pressed a cloth soaked in the remover against my eye for thirty seconds or longer, but I wasn’t able to get much product removed. It seems to be okay for eyeshadow, but it doesn’t remove eyeliner, mascara.   Given that it’s an eye makeup remover but doesn’t excel at that task at all, I definitely do not recommend this product.

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bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin Review & Photos

Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Cream
BareMinerals Purely Nourishing Cream

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Cream

Bare Escentuals Purely Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin ($28.00 for 1.7 oz.) worked so well with my normal-to-dry skin in the spring. I used it as my evening cream for about two months (which I finished at that point), though I definitely doubled up on usage a few times and used this as my morning moisturizer on days when I knew I was staying home.

It’s thick and creamy, feels rich without being heavy, but absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy feel behind.  My skin felt hydrated and lush; like it had a little extra spring in it because it was fully moisturized.  Like the rest of the new skincare range, it has a very subtle herbal-ish scent; a little lavender, a little earthiness.  It’s not a fragrance, though; it seems like the ingredients coming through but nothing added.   It’s always interesting when you try out a product, finish it, switch to something else, and that is when you realize just how much it had done for your skin.

I’m seriously this close to buying another jar, because the combination of products I’m using right now isn’t cutting it with California’s wacky weather and my skin is dying for some real hydration.  I’m rotating in their Purely Nourishing Lotion with SPF 15 in this week, so I’m hoping for good results from that since I’ve been suitably impressed with the line so far.  The price is right, quantity is good, and the product itself is excellent.  Sure, I’d love an airless pump, but otherwise, there’s nothing I don’t like about it.

ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Glycerin, Sorbitan Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Propanediol, Soil Minerals, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbityl Laurate, Jojoba Alcohol, Isopropyl Jojobate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Jojoba Esters, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract (Viola Tricolor), Xanthan Gum, Linseed Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Hydroxide, Trisodium Edta, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Glycine Soja), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (Persea Gratissima), Citric Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil (Vitis Vinifera), Punica Granatum Seed Oil (Punica Granatum), Lavandula Hybrida Oil (Lavandula Hybrida), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter (Simmondsia Chinensis), Linalool, Salicornia Herbacea Extract (Salicornia Herbacea), Butylene Glycol, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract (Fagus Sylvatica), Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbic Acid, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Tocopheryl Acetate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil (Anthemis Nobilis), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Averrhoa Carambola Leaf Extract (Averrhoa Carambola).

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Bare Escentuals Deep Cleansing Foam Review & Photos

Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam
Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam

Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam ($20.00 for 4.2 oz.) has been my go-to night time cleanser for the past three months, and I’ve really enjoyed using it. I’ll definitely be keeping it in my to-go-back-to bin (as I rotate through to test out new products, I hold onto ones I really like). Earlier this year, Bare Escentuals rolled out a full range of skincare that has been in the works for years, and the cleanser is the first product I figured I’d try out (I am also anxious to review their Purely Nourishing Cream–which I loved–but I keep forgetting to photograph the jar!).

It’s a rich, foaming cleanser that is activated by applying a pearl-sized amount onto wet skin. One thing I love about this product is just how little you need–seriously, a pea-sized amount is more than you really need. It’s a really thick, rich and creamy cleanser that goes on easily and is easy to move across the skin. There is a subtle herbal-ish scent (it’s not strong at all nor does it linger) that seems due to the ingredients (not fragrance, as it is free from synthetic fragrances, as well as parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and the like).

My skin always feels really clean without being tight or dry, and it feels so gentle the entire time.  Foaming cleansers can sometimes leave skin feeling stripped, but I never experienced that with this cleanser, which I used even when my skin was drier than normal.  The instructions actually say to avoid the eye area, but being impatient as I am, I didn’t read the instructions before using it the first few times, so I used it on my eyes, but I had no ill effects–no stinging, burning, cloudiness, etc. Not that I would endorse using the product that way, but if you accidentally get a little near your eye, it shouldn’t be the end of the world. It was able to break down all my face makeup, including medium coverage foundation.

I’m totally surprised at the affordability of the range, though, and in particular, this cleanser, because seriously, this tube of cleanser will last me a solid year, if not longer. My tube doesn’t even look like I’ve used it, and I’ve used it nearly every night for three months!  Oh, and for Clarisonic users, this cleanser works fabulously with it!

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