Friday, February 27th, 2009

Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion ($15.00)

After I use the Acne Facial Cleanser, I pat my face dry (with a towel used *only* to dry my face). I squeeze a little bit of the Special Cucumber Lotion onto a cotton round, and then I use apply it to my face. You basically apply it the same way you might remove makeup. I wait about 30 seconds or so, and then I splash my face with ice cold water.

The Special Cucumber Lotion is considered an astringent, which means it’s designed to dry up existing acne. It contains sulfur, which has been known to be used to help fight acne. I find this acts like my toner, and I like that it has alcohol in it, because it helps sanitize my skin. I don’t feel like this particular product is drying, either, despite having alcohol in it. It also doesn’t burn or sting on any healing or irritated areas on my face, which lends me to believe the alcohol content has been quite diluted (compared to grabbing your bottle of isopropyl alcohol from your medicine cabinet).

Again, Mario Badescu recommends that this product is best for combination and oily skin. I’ve had no issues with it drying me out whatsoever, and it doesn’t make my skin feel tight either. I don’t necessarily know if this is an essential step in my regimen nor if it’s actually doing the majority of prevention against acne or not. (It’s hard to know since I’m using multiple products as a system vs. just one product.) Like the cleanser, it costs the same and will last you just as long, so I’m willing to hedge my bets and keep using it.

Next to be reviewed is their famous Drying Lotion…

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner ($7.95 to 17.45) is designed to re-hydrate dry skin while restoring your skin back to the correct pH balance. What I really love about all of Lush’s toners is that they come in handy spray-bottles. You can spritz on the go, on your face, or on a cotton pad–whatever you like–and you know you’re going to get the same amount. I find two spritzes onto a cotton pad to be perfect for half my face, then I repeat on the other side of the cotton pad to finish my face. One bottle seems to last forever–it’s definitely not a product you have to buy more than once or twice a year.

While some cleansers have made toning unnecessary, it’s still an easy step to keep to your beauty routine. I find that they are really helpful to ensure you’ve gotten every last vestige of your makeup off. If you have acne-prone skin like mine (which is terrible right, ugh!), you definitely do what you can to minimize the chance of setting off a breakout by keeping that skin clean before you go to bed! I also like that this toner really does not dry out your skin whatsoever or make it feel tight at all. It is a toner more suitable for those with dry skin, because it helps to soothe it.

The one thing I dislike about the toner is that there is perfume in the ingredients’ list. I really don’t know why it’s necessary, and I’m not sure why there isn’t a more natural way to make it smell acceptable. I just worry when perfume is listed anywhere but in the very last portion of an ingredients’ list!

Ingredients: Spring Water (Aqua), Fresh Sea Water (Aqua), Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis), Perfume, Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus crispus), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin), Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis), Seaweed Absolute (Fucus vesiculosus), *Limonene, *Linalool, Methylparaben.

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, June 26th, 2008

I will be the first to admit that I am not a toner person. In fact, I didn’t even know what toner did until I started this blog! Since then, I have learned that adding a toner to your skincare system can be more beneficial than you think. Toners are used to help balance the pH level of your skin after you’ve cleansed it. They also help add moisture so long as they are alcohol-free, when used before applying your moisturizer.

If you’ve been a long-time reader, one of my favorite products is Renee Rouleau’s AHA/BHA Cleanser–it is an absolute staple in my skincare routine, and I would not give this up! (And gah!, I’m almost out!) I recently tried out Renee Rouleau’s Balancing Skin Tonic ($30.50), which is designed for oily/problem skin. RR has six different types of toners formulated for various skin types, which is great because it lets you customize your skincare system a bit more (who doesn’t want that?). The Balancing Skin Tonic helps to reduce acne-related bacteria, manage oiliness, and calm the skin–plus, it’s alcohol-free, so it shouldn’t dry out your skin like some other toners might.

I’ve been trying to include toner in my morning and evening routine, especially when I’ve been wearing a lot of makeup. So far so good. I’m really enjoying the Balancing Skin Tonic after I’ve used my AHA/BHA Cleanser, because it helps make my skin feel moist and refreshed. I also like that it helps take off any last bits of makeup I might have missed during the cleansing process. Best of all? This toner doesn’t dry out my skin (which, now that I’m more beauty-smart, I know is the result of its alcohol-free-ness!).

Now, while I adore my RR cleanser to bits, I can’t say that the toner has miraculously changed my skin or anything. It feels lighter than some other toners I’ve tried, and it does work well when I’ve applied moisturizer while this is still damp on my face (it’s a tip they give you). Maybe I’m not experienced enough in the vast world of toners to determine what makes an amazing toner stand out amongst the rest. What I can say is I think this is a good product, and it does its job–restores my skin’s pH level (assumedly, lol, no pH testing strips here…) and reduces acne-related bacteria.

Find your perfect Renee Realeau Toner at www.reneerouleau.com!