Items of Intrigue, Vol. 007

Items of Intrigue, Vol. 007

Another week, a few hours wasted window shopping at the usual suspects online. These are the five items that caught my attention the most during my browse-a-thon…

  • Laura Mercier Smoky Mauves Eye Color Trio ($25.00) is one of three trios (the others are Smoky Neutrals and Smoky Taupes) available for the holidays. I think these sets could be great gifts to give–they seem travel-friendly and the price isn’t painful. Of course, I’m curious about the quality, and it says 0.02 oz. each — now is that each shade or total? If it’s total, then these are tiny!
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour ($24.00) look like MAC shadesticks, but I wonder if they’re softer and tug less on the eyes.
  • Clinique Lid Smoothie ($19.50) comes in a ton of colors, and it’s supposed to be a creamy, crease-resistant eyeshadow that wears for eight hours. Any favorite colors?
  • Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydragon Gel ($38.00) sounds like a product that could work for my skin type–love the moisturizing ability of gels combiend with the lighter feel compared to a cream.
  • Kate Somerville 24-Hour Pimple Punisher ($28.00) just caught my eye because of the name. Of course, it would be great if it worked, too – but really, the name alone is intriguing!

What’s caught your eye this week?

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Love the new Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours. They are wonderfully creamy and long-lasting. Amethyst and Sapphire are really gorgeous colors, too.

You should try Garnier’s Moisture Rescue in the gel form 😀 Its quite hydrating without being oily and it’s very cooling. The lotion version is more hydrating and very light weight too but you might get oily on your t-zone

LOVE the Clinique Lid Smoothies – 10ish hours of perfectly primed lids, whether or not I’ve got shadow overtop. (I’m in love with Currant Affair and Born Freesia at the moment.) But I seem to be the odd one out; I keep reading really bad reviews of the line!

I wouldn’t like to give them a bad review, but Lid Smoothies were messy and creasy on me. Very pretty colors; wish they worked for me and I’m glad they work for you!

I like shadow sticks, but the only ones that have worked for me so far are NYX Jumbo Eye Sticks.

I’m intrigued by Estee Lauder eyeshadow singles. I’ve never tried their shadows before.

The EL singles are a mixed bag for me; Mischievous Mulberry, although stupidly named, is my go-to crease color (I’m very pale and so is this color), but the metallics are so lightly pigmented…

For a creamy smooth eyeshadow stick that glides on easily, can be smudged for a smoky effect, blended out like a shadow, or used as an eyeliner, Laura Mercier has knocked it out of the park. Bonus points: Once applied, these stay put! The Amethyst is particularly beautiful and is actually a warm pinkish brown; not purple as the name implies. If you haven’t tried these, you’re really missing a winner.

Amethyst is amazing!

I find Caviar Sticks to be a completely different texture and finish to MAC Shades Sticks which I think are dry and go on patchy. These are the best shadow sticks I’ve tried for a refined finish and they last well on me. I’ve had really good results applying them with a brush as well as directly from the tip.

I haven’t tried the Lid Smoothies yet but I think they’re a newer generation of the Quick Eyes and those wear well for me.

The Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Color Sticks are quite lovely. They slip on easily and are VERY creamy and longlasting. I have Khaki, which is the perfect brownish color for me. The colors are pretty, but I only use it for eyeliner. To use it over the whole eye would require some quick work as they dry pretty fast.

The Caviar sticks do look promising. I don’t wear eyeshadow but I have swatched them in stores and they are very creamy, pigmented, and come in a variety of quite vibrant colors. But I can’t say how long they last without creasing or anything like that.

Now the Boscia Gel is something that I can review quite thoroughly. xD It contains efficious amounts of the antioxidants pomegranate, vitamin C (though in a biologically less viable form-ascorbyl glucoside), as well as the anti-irritants willow bark and licorce. The emollients and water-binding agents present include glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, and jojoba leaf extract. There’s also a (tiny) dash of vitamin E. There is a large concentration of glycolic acid,, however, the pH of the product is unknown. Therefore, I can’t know if this product will allow for exfoliation. (The pH needs to be less than 4).

Now, the negatives. It contains a large amount of the irritant menthyl lactate, an analog of menthol. This ingredient is what causes the product to feel tingling and cooling on the skin, which means that’s its irritating your skin. Though the irritation probably isn’t significant enough to trigger a massive decrease of collagen production, long-term use of this product could produce unwanted results. This also contains moderate to low amounts of the essential oils citrus and geranium. Those have no significant benefits, but do provide irritation, even if you don’t see it. Well, they do provide a level of fragrance.

Here are the ingredients that are more… neutral, meaning that it isn’t clear whether or not they induce positive or negative reactions. The artichoke extract that’s touted is a very good antioxidant and cholesterol-regulator when consumed orally. However, there’s no study that demonstrates or even suggests that artichoke has any effect on the skin. My recommendation? Stick to eating artichoke, rather than smearing it on your skin.

Now, it looks like this product is packaged in a jar. From the pictures on Boscia’s official site, it appears that large quantities are exposed to air simultaneously. Not to sound like a broken record, but jar packaging is never good because the antioxidants mentioned above, will begin to deteriorate the moment you open the jar.

Okay one down, one to go.

The Kate Somerville Pimple Punisher consists of two parts. The first part is the AM one. It contains glycerin, willow bark, oleanolic acid, and almond glycerides, which will serve to soothe and moisturize the skin. The touted “SymPeptide 380” is listed as Myristoyl Hexapeptide-23, which has zero studies performed on Pubmed. Yeah, zero. And even if the peptide actually worked the way Kate says it does, it still wouldn’t be very promising because peptides function by regulating specific areas of protein sythesis. And in order to see physical change, peptides require long periods of time. So an acne spot will most likely clear up before this peptide even begins to have any effect at all. The tea tree oil, a known acne-fighter, does not have a concentration attached to it. The studies showing that tea tree oil has any positive effect, were done with 5% tea tree oil in the presence of niacinamide. So whether or not the TTO in this product will function correctly, is unknown. The two other ingredients, hydroxyphenyl propamidobenzoic acid and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), are also unknown in different ways. The first has no listing on PubMed at all, which suggests that no study has ever been done involving this particular chemical. The latter however, has many studies on Pubmed. Most of them are about how NDGA functions internally, and it’s quite stellar in this particular aspect. There are also several studies that suggest that NDGA is a powerful antioxidant and has anticarcinogenic properties when applied topically. In addition, it has a very promising role in tissue engineering because it’s capable of cross-linking collagen. However, there is nothing about how NGDA clears up acne. It’s tissue engineering aspects don’t translate to the faster healing of acne breakouts because collagen is in the dermis, and this Kate product won’t penetrate that deeply.

The PM part contains again glycerin, willow bark, oleanolic acid, and almond glycerides as well as allantoin and bisabolol to further soothe and hydrate the skin. It also contains a tiny amount of vitamin E. The relevant ingredients here are kaolin, bentonite, and montmorillonite, which are forms of clay that will dry the surface of the skin. Clays work well for more superficial acne conditions like blackheads and whiteheads. However, deeper and larger conditions like papules, pustules, and cysts, are not affected by clay in a positive way because they form in the deeper layers of the skin. The clay will only serve to dry out and irritate the latter three forms of acne, which can result in even worse breakouts. Again, tea tree oil is present, and the review is the same as for the AM section. Also, a salt form of salicylic acid is present (tridecyl salicylate). However it has to first be converted to salicylic acid before it can exfoliate properly. Now, since the pH is unknown, we cannot know if the salt version will actually be converted to salicylic acid. Furthermore, even if the pH is in the correct range, the conversion rate is not even close to 100% because salicylic acid is a weak acid. Kate claims that this product contains 2% salicylic acid. So if only 2% of tridecyl salicylate is present, a significantly lower amount of salicylic acid (if in the correct pH) will be made. However, if more is present and 2% salicylic is made, than this would be an excellent product. However, from experience, most clay-like vehicular bases, are not made to maintain the low pH levels necessary for salicylic acid to function. Finally, bakuchiol, an analog of resveratrol (a known antioxidant), is present in low amounts. Bakuchiol has demonstrated positive effects internally, however, no studies have been done demonstrating any effects when applied topically. We can’t assume that it will function like resveratrol because closely-related chemicals don’t necessarily function similarly. Think of benzene and hydroquinone. This also contains the same ingredient NDGA as the AM product, and therefore, the same review applies.

Overall, the Kate and Boscia products are decent products because they have their balances of negatives and positives. If the Boscia product is packaged correctly, then I would recommend that for people with normal to oily skin types. However, I would not recommend the Kate Somerville product to anyone because it doesn’t have any known ingredient, other than tea tree oil (which is in an unknown quantity), that has a track record of being used as a treatment for acne. Its other “effective” ingredients like myristoyl hexapeptide-23, NGDA, and tridecyl salicylate have different unknown qualities that most likely translate to this being a non-effective product for the treatment of more severe forms of acne. Despite the forms of clay present in the PM part, which will be more effective for those with mild superficial acne, I still would not recommend this product for even them because the AM part isn’t great, and the total price is quite high. If you are still truly convinced that this product will be your life-saver, make sure to get a sample from your local Sephora before making a purchase.

I love the caviar eye sticks. I have amethyst and khaki. The only gripe I have about them is all shades seem to be very dark . But their use IS to create a smoky eye. They are quite smooth and blendable. The item(s) Im pining for right now, are the LM moonlight/midnight collection coming out in Nov. The have already released an illuminizer compact embossed like petals. Im showing quite a lot of restraint not purchasing any of the holiday palettes until I see this collection!

I love the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye stick. I have it in Amethyst, which is really more like a cool-toned light purple/brown/taupe hybrid. So nothing like you would expect from the name, but it is really gorgeous. Creamy and long-lasting. The color is somewhat similar to MAC’s Street Cool, but Amethyst is way more pigments and doesn’t tug like the MAC shadesticks.

I picked up the Clinique lid smoothie in Current Affair, which looked so pretty when I swatched it on my hand. Performance wise, it definitely needs a good primer under it!

I think the Laura Mercier smoky mauves eye colour trio bears a uncanny resemblance to what Stila offered last year or so, probably the Stila Backstage Eye shadow Palette- the Runway look which i have in my stash. Exact colour combination, placement and format of packaging (only the materials used differs… Stila’s version is packed in cardboard). Though i am not too sure how the Laura Mercier’s would swatch, Stila’s is a daily essential to me, versatile and quality eye shadows… Love it.

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