Reviewing the GlossyBox Skincare Eye Boost Cream

While many of you may have heard of the Glossy Box Beauty Subscription, in August the brand launched their very own skincare line.  They took the feedback from subscribers regarding what they liked and didn’t like about the current skin care options and came up with a range of products.  August was their Birthday month and in that month’s Glossy Box a full sized tube of the GlossyBox Skincare Eye Boost cream was inside.

So what is this eye boost cream?

Tired eyes? This fragrance free Eye Boost Cream is a super lightweight, fast-absorbing formula that reduces the appearance of dark circles and depuffs your under-eye area, leaving skin looking bright and fresh. ​ ​Elderflower extract reduces the appearance of dark circles​. Eyebright plant extract works to refresh tired, puffy eyes. Red seaweed creates a protective barrier that locks in moisture around the delicate eye area​

Following a two-week trial with 110 panellists between August and December 2019:​
86% of women agreed that the Eye Boost Cream left their eye area looking instantly brighter.
86% of women agreed that the Eye Boost Cream instantly boosted tired-looking eyes​

While in general I don’t have terribly dark circles under my eyes, they so tend to get puffy and kind of tired looking.  My biggest focus with eye cream is to get the moisture in without clogging pores.  Along the top line of my lower orbital bone is where I am prone to the raised bumps produced by clogged pores. 

While I want the under eye area moisturized and I am working on delaying the advancement of fine lines, a lot of eye creams tend to cause issue with my problem area for clogged pores.  It doesn’t really help that that line is currently where my face masks press when I leave the house. So it is just a fun situation all around.

Oddly enough that line of clogged pores has been reduced as of late.  It is much less clogged.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not crediting the Glossybox eye boost cream with that.  I’ve been working with other products that have really done well at dealing with the ongoing issues. But the eye cream hasn’t undone their work.  This cream hasn’t added more blocked pores to the area.  And sometimes not adding to the problem is a big benefit.

the cream is thicker than I expected

I’ll be honest though I was a bit concerned when I first tried it out.  I thought it might add to the issues because of its texture.  While it is completely fragrance free (the only thing I smell when I sniff the tube is the plastic of the tube, likewise I smell my skin more than the cream when it is dispensed), it is somewhat thicker than I am used to eye creams being.

This made me suspicious.

I know, I was expecting the worst.

But it didn’t happen.  The cream absorbed really well and left the skin feeling a little plumper, making me look a little more bright eyed. Typically I use eye cream two times a day, morning and night.  While I use it under my eyes, you may notice in the picture that there are little white dots of cream waiting to be massaged into the skin placed in my lip area. 

Face dots of eye cream

This is a trick I learned from my grandmother. The skin of the upper lip where you tend to get more fine lines as you age has a similar skin texture to the under eye area.  So she always advocated using a little eye cream around the mouth to plump up those little lines as well. 

It is advice I have always followed and I really like the little bit of plumping I see to the skin there as well. I tend to put a little cream on my finder and then dot it on my face where it is needed, then rub it into the skin, in case you didn’t get that from the picture. What I have found with this cream is that I can do a quick application just before a video conference call. 

It really helps especially if I have been starting at the computer all morning typing before an afternoon call.  I just put a very tiny amount under the eyes, rub it in slightly and then dust off the shine with powder.  It tends to make me look a little bit more awake.  While it has a slight cooling effect to it, on days when I need a little extra kick for a meeting, I put it in the fridge for ten minutes, and then apply it.

As it is currently ragweed season where I live and puffy eyes and sniffles abound, especially in my house. I’ve been keeping the eye cream in the fridge and then in the afternoon before a meeting using both the cream and one of the stone rollers just under my eyes to de puff.  Because ragweed is too much for any eye cream to tackle alone. It has worked really well.

Over all I am rather fond of this eye cream.  I thought it would be too thick at first, but it proved me wrong.  I thought it might clog my pores and it did not.  I was skeptical of its depuffing abilities and it really did help with the depuffing. I can’t speak to the dark circles, but I really liked using this eye cream this month.  It makes me very eager to test out some of the other products in their newly released line.  And as the line was designed to be affordable, testing them out won’t break the bank. 

There is also an added bonus for all Glossy Box subscribers.  Glossies get a 20% discount on the Glossy Box Skincare line.  So this Eye Boost cream, which is $23 for the general public is only $18.   At the moment they have several different cleansers I am looking at and trying to figure out which I want to try first. I am currently oscillating between the Purifying Charcoal Cleanser and the Deep Cleansing Cream.  I strongly suspect I am going to end up with both.  But there are worse things in life than having too many cleansers. 

For those who aren’t Glossy Box subscribers the cost of the Glossy Box Skin Care line is slightly more expensive (20% more to be exact) but still a really good value and well worth the full price.  Or at least the eye cream is. I would certainly pay full price for it. After a month of use it feels like I haven’t used very much at all. 

I have only a thumb’s width of empty space at the top of the tube and about four and a half thumb’s worth of product left.  I know that is not a very scientific measurement, but the truth is you really need very little of the cream so it will last about four months. It will probably last a little longer once ragweed season ends. So good product, great value.

Especially for members.  If you aren’t a member and want to look into it, you can actually get your first box at a discount with code GLOSSYSPA16 from now until September 30th and if you are interested in what the September box looks like, you can use the link to read my September review of the Spa Edit box.




My Current Skin Care Line Up

I know I talk a lot about different products, but I thought you might find it interesting to see the full regime as it stands now.  First off, I ought to say that I have a staggered rotation system for skin care. I like to have an older product I’ve been using for a while roll into my trial for a new product so that I’m not changing out every item at the same time. 

For example I am currently testing three Timeless Skin products (gifted to me by Timeless Skin for testing and review purposes for which I am extremely grateful).  The Hyaluronic Acid Serum I have been using for two weeks now (Labor day started week three so I will be reviewing it on the 21st after 30 days of use), while the while the Squalane Oil from Timeless skin is just starting its second week of use and the HA Spray is on its first full week of use.

The same can also be said for my Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk.  I used it for a month but will use it a little bit longer since I just started with the HA spray. I’ll use the same cleanser while I figure out how everything reacts and then I’ll start a new cleanser trial.  I generally find that staggering new products keeps my skin from freaking out with the new so I get a more accurate opinion about how things work.

Now I do have one disclaimer, my skin care routine is slightly jumbled a bit because I am trying to get in several workouts  and don’t want to just sweat off my products, so I’ll try to put those in here as well.

current cleanser

In the mornings, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I am trying to get in about twenty minutes of strength and flexibility training.  This is mostly with youtube videos, wii fit and yoga.  It is done in doors and because I have the tendency to talk myself out of it, I find it is easier to start with the workout before I’m fully awake.  So on those mornings I splash water on my face to rinse off the remnants of my night cream, towel off and after dressing, do my planned work out.

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After I turn on the coffee pot and cool down a bit, I start in on my morning skin care. I start by washing my face, currently with the Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing milk. 

Toner

I then use a toner.  I just finished the Akar Balancing Toning Mist and am now trying the Pixi Skin Treats Clarity Tonic.  Typically with Pixi I tend to go for their exfoliating toners so this was a new one for me.  While early in my use thus far I have been liking it.

serum

After toning I use a serum on my face, neck and decollete.  Currently, the serum I am trying out is the Timeless Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  And I did remember to take before pictures this time so I will have before and after photos from 30 days of use. 

I’ve actually noticed a positive change actually, but I will get into details with the full review.  At the moment I can say that I really like this serum and am turning into a pretty big fan of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare.

After I apply the serum, I brush my teeth while it takes it’s time settling in.  While this serum sinks in fast, I really like to give it a little extra time to settle in before I move on. You can probably see it in the background of the above photo but I am a big fan of the Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste.  It has been my go-to for years.  I like the taste better than I like the regular aqua fresh.  Although sometimes the foaming can be a bit much.  But it is a good toothpaste.

eyecream

Then once I have wiped up all of the toothpaste fall out, I apply my eye cream.  Currently I am using the Glossy box Skin Care Eye Boost Cream (I’ve almost finished my month of use so a review will be coming soon).  With eye cream I not only use it around my eyes, but on the fine lines around my lips. 

The same formulation that helps eye cream work on the delicate tissue around the eyes also helps it on the fine lines around the lips. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite tricks and one I use increasingly as I get older.  In its own way that skin is just as delicate as the eyes and a little extra help in fighting those lines doesn’t hurt.

Squalane Oil

After the eye cream I use the oil.  At the moment I am using the Timeless 100% Squalane oil.  Oddly enough, I am finding that I can use it both morning and night unlike many other oils which I have only been able to use at night.  I think it’s because squalane’s main purpose is to simply lock in moisture and it really is just one type of oil (it’s also a really affordable oil as these things go). I’ve just started using it so I’ll have to see how it works moving forward.  Right now I am really enjoying it.  I use three drops and apply it to my skin and then follow with my moisturizer. I like applying the oil first rather than blending it in with the moisturizer. No real reason, it is just what I prefer.

moisturizer

The moisturizer I am currently using is the Dior Dream Skin Capture Totale. It was sent to me by Influenster and comes in a refillable container.  I can already tell you I am going to want to get a refill.

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At the moment it is running about even in my moisturizer preferences with the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer and the Volition Celery Green Cream. 

Those three may be my top three moisturizers of 2020 at this point.  Still the year is not over.

sunscreen

Speaking of Volition, after I apply the moisturizer I top it off with my Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield with SPF 50. I keep trying other sunscreens and I keep going back to this one.

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You will notice there is a second sunscreen in the picture however.  This is the Polaar Fluide Solaire also with SPF 50. While it is a good sunscreen, I don’t like it on my face.  It feels just a little too heavy.  It is perfect for my neck and upper chest where v-neck t-shirts expose the skin and I have really been enjoying using it there to give my skin some extra protection. 

lip masks, the maple day cream is in the tube and the night mask is in the jar.

I then add my Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask in the scent Maple to my lips.  It really does smell like maple syrup.  And it tasks kind of like it too.  I generally find that not only does it keep my lips wonderfully soft but the scent makes me feel like I’ve already indulged in some delectable treat and thus makes it less likely that I will feel like snacking.  I sort of feel Like I’ve already snacked.

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And skin care done I sit at my desk and get a few hours of work done.  I don’t put makeup on at this point as my meetings tend to be in the afternoon and I still have my daily walk to get through.  All my skin care has a couple of hours to soak in though. 

Then I take my walk.  Before I leave the house I spray myself all over with a spray sunblock.  I’m partial to one from Neutrogena. Even with the sunblock underneath, I like to be extra careful, especially after my bad burn earlier in the spring.

In general I sweat profusely during my walks.  Which is fine.  I like to think of the seat as encouraging my weight loss.  However I am a mess when I return.  While I often employ the Busy Beauty Showerless wipes to get me through until I can take my evening shower, and have various ways of dealing with my hair, my face is a different matter. 

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If I don’t wash my face after my walk I am just going to feel gross the rest of the day.  But I don’t want to strip my skin.  So I tend to use a gentle cleanser that will just wash away the sweat (and sometimes pollen) residue from my walk in the park/walking trail. 

Post work out cleanser

The cleanser I have consistently used for a while has been the Olay Cleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser.  It is an excellent oil free, no frills cleanser that just makes my skin feel less gunky after a good sweat. 

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To be honest I have been using this as my post workout cleanser since I started my weight loss journey.  I have lost track of how many times I have used up and replaced this bottle. It is also the cleanser I grab when another cleanser is giving me problems because I know it is effective and reliable. So I use it after my walks.

post workout serum

Something new I am trying, because it came to me in an IPSY box, is the 111Skin Cryo ATP Sports Booster.  It is a serum you are supposed to use after a workout.  So because I wanted to see how it worked, I have started adding it to my skin after my quick wash with the Olay.  Previously I just did the quick wash and then moved into my makeup.

After the 111Skin has had a few minutes to settle in, I apply my makeup for the day.  While I usually end with a setting spray, the HA Spray with Matrixyl 3000 sent to me by Timeless claims to be able to be used as a setting spray as well as being skin care, so this week I started using it to set my makeup.  There will be more on that later this week.  But I will tell you now that is it wonderfully refreshing and smells like cucumbers.

skin care based setting spray

And then I go about my day.

At the end of the day I use a cleansing balm or oil to remove my makeup and then I use a cleanser like the Purlisse.  I just finished the Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleansing oil and tonight I will start using the Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser.  It too came in a Petit Vour Box and I am looking forward to testing it out. 

upcoming cleansing oil/makeup remover

Often times I will remove my makeup after dinner and then use a mask of some sort while reading or watching television or you tube.  With my mask I will apply the Bite Beauty Agave Nighttime lip therapy mask to my lips.  It is more intense than the maple one I use in the mornings, although with less of a scent. 

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It also keeps me from snacking while watching television.  I know it is technically supposed to be left on over night, and sometimes I will re apply it just before I lay down but I find when I am watching movies or television with my babydoll in the evenings I am tempted to snack.  This really keeps me from snacking, even after the face mask is removed.

Eventually, I will migrate to the bedroom.  I do my night time skin care before I start to read in bed.  Once or twice a week I will use an exfoliator.  At the moment I am using the Avant Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant.  It is an extremely gentle physical exfoliate but I don’t like to use them too often lest it damage the skin. 

exfoliation

After the exfoliate is rinsed off (on the nights I use it) I go back in with my toner, followed by serum, teeth brushing, eye cream, oil and moisturizer. Depending on the moisturizer I am using I will either use the same one I use during the day or a night cream.  The Dior is good for both day and night, but on a few days where I have been outside a bit longer, I replace my moisturizer with a night cream.  Currently I am trying out the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping mask.  I only use it a couple of times a week.

Then I read in bed for an hour or two and go to sleep.

night cream

I know, that’s a lot of different steps to my skin care.  Personally, I enjoy the ritual of it and I really like taking the time to work on my skin.  At the moment, my skin is doing really well.  Most of my acne has faded. I still have a few clogged pores where my mask presses into my face, but really that is a combination of mask and sweat.  Some combination of elements in the last week has really been doing my skin well. 

This is another reason I like rotating products.  I can check in with my skin and see what I was using when things start to get better and I can monitor it as I stop using certain products and see where things change.  I helps me to figure out what is actually working and what is not.  It is also why I am not opposed to taking extra time in my routine.  To be honest, written out it looks like it takes a lot longer than it actually does.  It only really takes me about twenty minutes in the morning and then another twenty at night (not counting the mask) so it isn’t really as onerous as it looks on paper.

But there you have it.  Even though some of the products rotate out, the sequence and system remains more or less the same.  There are always changes based on products though.  Sometimes the oil I’m testing is one I only want to wear at night and so I skip it in the morning.  Sometimes I will try two different serums, one at night and one in the day because one reacts poorly to the sun. Sometimes my skin needs more or less exfoliation.  But in general, this is my daily skin care regime.



So, Is Algenist a Genius? Testing two products from their Genius line

The Algenist Ultimate Anti Aging Eye Cream and Liquid Collagen lip from the Genius line

Recently I ended up with two Algenist products in my testing line up, both from different sources, but both part of the Algernist Genius line.  The first was the Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-aging eye cream (retail $74, although I got it on sale.).  The reason I ended up purchasing it was a friendly recommendation given to me by a stranger when I was out shopping for eye cream. I was having trouble deciding on a product and the helpful stranger suggested this one.  I took the recommendation and after a trip to the cashier I took it home.

Buy 7mL GENIUS Cream for $15 and get $15 off a full size + free shipping. No Code Required.

The second product came to me via Scentbird and no, it isn’t a perfume.  Scentbird also offers various skincare and makeup items that you can add to your queue in lieu of a perfume that month.  In March, I decided to forgo my monthly perfume trial and try the option and from their line up I chose the Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen lip to try out. It looked interesting and we all know I am totally down for anything designed to make my lipstick look better. So I received this product instead of perfume from Scentbird this month. I didn’t review the Scentbird subscription box right away as I wanted to have time to try the products.

So with two separate products from the same line ready for testing, I decided I needed to find out what made them genius.

Or at least why they thought of themselves as such.

So to the product page my darlings!

As far as I can tell it is called the genius line because it is born from biotechnology using super fantastic algae and is safe and clean, hypoallergenic and formulated for all skin types. It is also free of a whole bunch of not so good for you things including coal tar, mineral oil and petroleums.  There is actually a long list of what they don’t use, which made me quite happy to see. As far as I can tell though those guidelines apply to all of their products and not just the genius line.

So we look at the products.  Unfortunately, all things are not equal.  I liked the eye cream and did not like the lip treatment.  Let’s go with the best first though and start with the eye cream.

According to its product page, the Algenist Ultimate Anti-Aging Eye cream…

This vegan eye cream delivers unparalleled benefits through a combination of naturally sourced and sustainably produced Alguronic Acid and Microalgae Oil. Alguronic Acid helps increase skin’s smoothness, and Microalgae Oil works to replenish the eye contour moisture while improving the skin’s luminosity. The formula also includes a plant-based collagen and a Persian silk tree extract to visibly firm and lift the upper eyelid, nourish and smooth skin around the delicate eye area. 

I have to say, I am a big fan of this eye cream. It is a plain, white cream with almost no scent other then ‘I’m a cream’ scent. It is thicker than I expected and I worried that it might clog my pores as some of the thicker eye creams have been known to do.  However, it did not.  I’ve been using this product for a month now and I have had no problems with clogged pores.  The eye cream does make the skin feel super soft and hydrated.  I think this is partially because of the shea butter included rather high up on the ingredients list. I like that it is thick enough that I can put it on my eyelids as directed without worrying about it traveling down and stinging my eyes. 

There was no eye stinging with this product. 

Where this product really shines though, is during allergy season.  As the pollen count rises, the puffiness of my under eyes increases.  The trees began their annual pollen parade shortly before I started using this eye cream and they were a bit on the puffy side when I started.  I noticed a reduction in the puffiness after a few days of use even though the pollen count was steadily on the rise.

My only issue with this product is that it is in a small jar and it is a thick cream.  I know I also like that it is a thick cream, but here’s the deal. It is thick enough that if you rub your finger across the top to collect some product to use, you get only a little on your finger as it just presses down. You have to sort of scoop a little bit up with your nail.in order to use it. Personally I don’t like sticking my fingers into face creams for fear of accidentally contaminating the entire thing.

I ended up putting one of the scoops from an old mask to use with this product as I was getting product under my nails with it and it was going to waste.  This is not a product I want to waste.  Also it is a small jar and my little plastic scoop was a little too big for it so I had to be careful not to scoop out too much.  A tiny little scoop/spoon included with this product would make it just about perfect.

On the other hand, the Liquid Collagen lip is far from perfect. First, let’s see what it is supposed to do.

applicator

A vegan lip treatment to help deliver fuller, smoother-looking lips in 10 days*. This unique dual phase lip treatment suspends botanical lip enhancers and hundreds of beads of Microalgae Oil in collagen water. The unique formula visibly smooth lips and improve lip definition for a more youthful appearance. Formulated with plant collagen, and Algenist’s naturally sourced and sustainably produced Alguronic Acid. Apply with soothing and cooling ceramic tip applicator.

dispensed

Okay, the packaging is nice and really well thought out.  The plastic applicator is shaped perfectly and when you twist the top to dispense the product, the absolute perfect amount of product comes out.  Seriously it is just enough to coat the lips and no more. The packaging is perfectly well thought out.

And it looks pretty.

It is comprised of golden drops of oil suspended in a gel.  You hold it up to the light and it almost glows.

But as we all know, looks aren’t everything.

So I applied the product to my lips.  It has no scent and it glides on like a lip gloss. As it was on my lips, I did taste the product. It is a very bizarre taste.  I am going to describe this to the best of my ability, but I am not sure how good that is.  So, the taste. 

Okay imagine you go to the dentist and have a lot of Novocain as they are working on your mouth.  They finish, wipe off your lips and send you home.  Eventually the drugs wear off and you can take out the pads they shoved in your mouth to make you look like a chipmunk (and not bite your cheek without realizing it). Now think of the first time you lick your lips after that. You know that post Novocain taste your lips have? The slight non-taste that is still a taste?

That’s what this tastes like.

And yes I had to think about that for a while and it is still the best description I could come up with. Now you know why I don’t write poetry.

Okay so moving past the taste.  At first, my lips just felt wet.  After a couple of minutes it started to absorb and my lips felt warm. Really warm. Not run for the wash cloth warm, more like you put a few too many sliced jalapenos in your sandwich warm.

And yes, I put jalapenos in my grilled cheese. They are yummy.

The warmth died down faster than jalapeno juice though, so I was relieved.  Also about the time my lips stopped feeling hot, when I touched them they felt dry to the touch even though I still thought they were wet. I will say they looked a little smoother and I was able to easily apply lipstick over them.  I used a lipstick that was almost at the end of its life in case it contaminated it, but I still applied lipstick over it with no problems.  In fact it looked really good.

I know you’re thinking, Mimsy, you said you didn’t like it, what’s the deal?

Okay here’s the deal.  The one time use was fine.  It worked exactly as it was supposed to. But it is a product that is supposed to work over time.  According to the application directions you are supposed to apply it once in the am and once in the pm and you should see results in ten days. That is the recommended usage.

So I used as directed. 

I applied it both am and pm. The heat I felt that first day did not occur with repeat applications. I don’t know if my lips adjusted or what, but there was no further heat.  There was chapping.  By day three the corners of my lips were red and raw and I had to discontinue use.  If I realized it was the lip product causing the chapping I would have discontinued use earlier.  I thought it was just the wind so I applied more Chapstick.

It was not the wind and I apologize for blaming it.  I also apologize for telling the Chapstick it was not doing its job.  It was, I was just torpedoing it without realizing it. Please don’t hold it against me dear Chapstick, as I will need you in both the upcoming summer sun and the cold winter to follow. I’m sorry I was so rude.

So there you have it. It’s a Genius family where one child seems to have sucked all the brains out of the other one. The liquid collagen is still pretty and perhaps I had some sort of reaction to one of the ingredients (a case I will be investigating), and someone else would have better luck with it than me. I can however say, it is definitely not a repurchase for me. I might try using it again on a one time basis if I need to look good going out (although heaven only knows when I will next leave my house). But I will not use it routinely and I won’t repurchase. 

The Ultimate Anti-aging eye cream however is fantastic and definitely something I will be repurchasing. For now I am less than halfway through the jar and still have at least one other eye cream in the line up to test. But it still goes on the list.

I also am going to sit down with as complete an ingredients list as I can to see if I just had an allergic reaction and if I did, what I had the reaction to. I find this very important as I saw many crossovers from the eye cream and lip treatment when I looked through them. I find this important generally because I like to know if I am allergic to something, but also because I had so much success with the eye cream that I want to try out other cream products in this line to see if they are comparable. To be honest, after I make my comparison ingredients list, this may be a case where I get samples of other products in the line to try before committing to a full sized version, just in case. every product line has some flaws and I’m hoping that for me the lip treatment was it. So not only will I be repurchasing the eye cream but I will more than likely be trying out more products from the Genius line and hoping it is a family of virtuosos, with just one errant child.


Algenist

Reviewing the Blue Lotus Line

The Blue Lotus Line from Pur-lisse (well most of it anyway)

Around the time the weather finally decided that summer was more than likely over (it seemed very lothe to commit to such a sentiment this year) and it would start shifting between warmer and cooler temperatures, more or less indiscriminately, I tried the Ble Lotus Balancing moisturizer from Pur-lisse. The moisturizer really impressed me with the way it worked during those transitional temperatures and I wanted to give it a try when the fluctuations were a little less severe.

Since I already reviewed the moisturizer I was just going to test it on my own and then add my findings to a second chances posting at a later date. Sometimes I find that first impressions aren’t always accurate and I like to give products a second chance before I make my final decision on them. However I decided that if I was going to be retesting the moisturizer I might as well look at the other products in the Blue Lotus line.

Deciding this I added the Blue Lotus Seed Mud mask and exfoliator, the Balancing Serum and the Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Eye-Adore serum to my trial, thus making it more of a test of the line rather than just a test of the moisturizer. While they are all part of a Korean multi-step skin care program, I will admit, I have never officially tried the ten step skin care regime.

My personal regime (currently) has several steps in it and I tend to vary them based on what I actually feel I need at the moment. I might try something more directly in line with the ten steps at a later date, especially as I keep finding really nice products that are more or less designed to fit into that system. The working theory is that if I like the products I might like the system. But that is something for another time.

As I was trying the line, I went with deluxe sample sizes for these products rather than purchasing the full sized versions. I figure if I liked the products, I could always pick up the full sized versions later. This being said, while I used the products for two weeks, I didn’t do the weigh in at the beginning to see if I could plan out how long they would last.

Now on to the products.

I will start with the Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask and Exfoliator (full size retails for $48). Mostly I am starting with this because it comes earlier in my routine than the others. The claims for this product according to the website:

Just a thin layer is needed.

Improve texture and tightness of your skin in just 10 minutes! Blue Lotus extract is a powerful antioxidant known for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. White Clay tightens skin & purifies pores, Bamboo improves skin texture, Ginger detoxifies, Mushroom extract helps to brightening skin tone, White Tea soothes skin, amd Rice Bran Water improves skin texture.

Now that I knew what to expect I tried it on. I applied a thin layer to the skin, massaging it a little to get the exfoliating benefits. The mask itself has very little scent, it just smells clean if that makes any sense. In fact none of these products has much of a scent to them. Clean and like cream are all of the scent descriptions I have for any of the products in this line. While the mask felt a little bumpy when applied to the skin so that I knew it wasn’t just a straightforward mud mask, the exfoliation granules (which I’m guessing are the seeds) was very gentle. So gentle in fact I at first doubted they would do much. But After massaging, I let the layer sit on the skin for the recommended ten minutes.

As it sat the product made my skin feel cool, but not tingly. This is something I tend to feel with almost all clay based masks so I was sort of expecting it. At the end of ten minutes, the mask felt like it tightened as well as dried, but not overly so. I returned to the bathroom, and more importantly the sink, to wash it off. Given that it had clay in it, I suspected I would have to use a brush to loosen it before it would be removed as it did dry to a thin but solid layer over my skin. Such things were not needed as a simple splash of water, rehydrated it enough to simply loosen and wash off. I have never had a clay based mask wash off so easily before.

For a moment I thought I did something wrong.

And yes I reread the back of the bottle, I didn’t do anything wrong as it turns out. It just washes off easily. I dried my face and looked at my skin. It was soft and smooth, but not overly dried. As gentle as the exfoliant was in this product, I could really feel the difference after using it.

Feeling pleased with this step, I moved on to the Brightening serum (full sized retails for $65). According to the website:

Blue Lotus extract is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits known to combat against free radical damage. Lupine Peptides promote a luminous complexion. Vitamin C & Alpha Arbutin brightens & evens skin tone. Neem and Prune extracts fades away hyper~pigmentation & sun damage. Avocado Oil & natural Squalene nurtures sensitive skin.

Okay I’ll admit, while I really like all of the other ingredients, I had to look up Neem. Apparently Neem extract is made from Neem leaves (I know you are in awe of my investigative skills, no?). Neem is also another term for Indian Lilac. That at least I had heard of. When looking further I found the plant is used medicinally to treat all sorts of disorders from stomach ulcers to leprosy. It can also be used to soften skin, which is I’m guessing the effect here.

Mostly because I don’t have leprosy.

And my skin felt soft.

Moving on, the serum surprised me when I put some in my hand as I expected it to be like most serums with a somewhat loose almost gel like consistency. This is white and has a cream like consistency. In fact i thought I picked up the cream by mistake and reread the bottle to be certain. Nope, it was the serum.

It applied well and only a little dab (about pea sized) was needed for the face and neck (I am still looking for the perfect neck cream but for now I am just trying to remember to apply products down the neck. With each few pounds lost, my neck skin sags and then firms back up so I like to encourage it to firm up quickly, things no one tells you about weight loss right?) If you don’t extend your serum down the neck then just use a little less.

I found the serum absorbed well and was the perfect post mask treatment for my skin. I know I shouldn’t find it surprising that two products from the same line work well together, but they do. It was soothing and smooth and as I continued to use the product over the course of my trial I did notice a bit of brightening to the skin. My skin tends to react really well to Vitamin C so I’m guessing that was part of it.

While I couldn’t find the full sized version listed, the travel sized contains a lot of product and will last quite a while.

Next in line was the Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Eye Adore serum. I chose this because I was looking for a really good eye cream and have yet to find one I am truly satisfied with. Like I mentioned above, I am testing the travel sized or deluxe sample sized version of these products. when I wwent to look up this cream on the main site, I found the full sized version missing. The travel size is listed however (retail $33) and the only information listed on the page is ‘ Transform your under eye for a smoother look‘. There are reviews posted, but not much else listed for the product. I’m not entirely certain why, but I will keep looking, mainly because I really liked this product.

One of the issues I have with a lot of eye creams is that they tend to clog my pores and give me a small row of sub-surface acne around the eye area. As I’m already fighting time to slow down the appearance of wrinkles I don’t need to add fighting acne to the list of concerns for that delicate skin. Maybe because it is a serum instead of an eye cream it did not cause any problems for me. It does have a cream like consistency to it rather than a serum one though. Like the other products in this line, it has virtually no scent to it and only a small amount of the product is needed. I will certainly be using up ever drop of this serum and more than any other in this line, I will be repurchasing it. Even if I can’t find a full sized version, I am okay with the travel size. It has a thin nozzle that dispenses a small amount of product and keeps the rest secure from the air. while I’d like to find a full sized, mostly to cut down on packaging waste, it is good enough I will cut down waste elsewhere to justify the travel size.

Finally we return to where we started, with the Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer (retail $45). Like the rest of the line it has a clean almost non existent scent and very little of the product is actually needed. To use in the day time, I use just a little bit less and to use at night, I used just a little bit more, but the difference was really the difference between an early snow pea and a full sized garden one. On the website the product claims:

Blue Lotus extract is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits known to combat against free radical damage.White Tea offers anti-bacterial and skin soothing abilities. Vitamin E prevents premature aging and improves skin texture. French Marine Plants help retain moisture and promote skin radiance.

Over all not that different from the rest of the line in claims really. While I have no way of testing the protection against free radicals, I can say that my skin felt smooth and hydrated through out the trial and at no point felt greasy. I had no break outs from these products and while I don’t have a big sensitivity to scent, I appreciate that no scent was actually added to the products and I think that a person who is sensitive to added scents would find this relatively easy to use.

I am pleased with how the moisturizer performed when the temperatures aren’t yo-yoing all over the place. While the Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer was at the top of my list for transition moths, it has now joined my top five moisturizers and it is one I will repurchase. I also found that I really liked the rest of the line as well. The brightening serum makes the top five list as well, while the eye serum, despite my difficulty in locating a full sized version actually is at the top of my eye products list. The mud mask and exfoliator is also in my top fives. During this trial I used it twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays and I will continue doing so until this product is gone. It is a great mask and an excellent, but gentle exfoliator.

Over all I found myself really impressed with this product line and while some of the products do lean on the more expensive side, the cost is not outrageously expensive and is a very good value for the money. while I tested travel sized versions rather than the full sized ones, very little product is actually needed from each of them. At the end of the trial and two weeks of continuous use, I still have plenty of product left.I think the full sized versions would last long enough to justify their price. Way to go Purlisse.

While I did purchase these products on my own, I do have some affiliate codes you can use to access posted below. I do receive a small compensation if you use the codes towards purchasing, but even if you don’t use the codes, I’d recommend checking them out as the products are really good. I think the Milk sale posted below where you get a free Blue Lotus Product with purchase runs through January 11th.

Save on the original pur~lisse collection, check out our last chance sale at purlisse.com

Get Free Shipping on purchases of $50 or more ($75 in Canada) at purlisse.com

Milk Day 2020

QMS Medicosmetics Review

Both of my QMS Medicosmetics products came to me via Boxy Charm, albeit in two separate months.  The Intensive Eye Care Day and Night Cream (retail $140) came in November and the Lip Line Corrector Lip Serum (retail $200) came in the December BoxyCharm. Because I knew the lip serum was coming, I put the eye cream to the side until it arrived so I could test both of them at the same time.

Prior to their arrival I had never tried anything from the brand. It is apparently a British Brand that is branching out into the US Market from what I’ve gathered.

I have to say that given the price point of the products, the packaging wasn’t what I expected. Both come in plastic containers.  While the eye cream is in a pretty blue color with a silver lid and feels quite sturdy, the lip serum container feels a little thin. Admittedly that may simply be the top dispenser.  It is a twist up dispenser that you pump the serum from. 

While I like that it keeps the product away from the air, don’t actually like the pump.  There is no adjusting the pump to dispense smaller amounts of product.  You can’t pump it halfway down, it is one pump and that is it.  For me this was a problem as I only need about half of the product that came out of the pump each time I used it. I ended up using the excess serum on my neck but I still felt as though I was wasting it by dispensing more than I needed.

But as we all know, packaging is one thing, product is another. Since I’ve already started with the lip line corrector, I’ll continue and then move on to the eye cream. So on the QMS website the product is described as:

Formulated exclusively for the upper lip area, Lip Line Corrector targets fine line and wrinkles. This high-performance lightweight serum is specifically designed to hydrate and plump lips for a smoother, youthful appearance.

I will say that the serum is very light weight.  It is a very liquid formula and it takes a while to absorb into the skin.  I found myself adjusting my skin care routine to apply it as early as possible to give it time to absorb before moving on. Truth be told in the three weeks I used the product, I didn’t see any real difference in the lip area. 

I will however say that I did see significant improvement on the skin of my neck and décolletage where I applied the excess serum. There it smoothed and plumped skin and I saw a noticeable difference. Which I have to say that as I only put it on my neck because the pump dispensed too much serum for my lip and I didn’t want to just wash it down the drain, I find darkly humorous.

While I will continue to use this on my neck and upper chest, I probably won’t use it on my lip any more.  I have not tried a product specifically designed for my lip area before, but prior to this I used eye cream on my lip area and that has worked much better. So I think moving forward I will not be purchasing a separate lip serum, but returning to use what I know works.  I would be up for trying a different brand should one come my way but once this product is gone I will not be repurchasing it.

The eye cream was an interesting product. According to the website:

With its multi-action formulation featuring natural firming extracts and intensely moisturizing ingredients, Intensive Eye Care provides targeted treatment to the delicate skin of the eye zone. Its rich, nurturing texture is both gentle and highly effective in helping to reduce fine lines, dark lines and puffiness.

It came in a regular jar with no pump and where the lip serum was thin and fluid, the eye cream was thick, very thick.  A very little dab was all that was needed to cover my under eye and the fine lines in the ‘crows foot’ area. Even with using very little product, this cream needed a bit of massaging to get it to absorb into the skin. Its thick nature made it want to sit on top of the skin. It has a very old fashioned cold cream sort of texture (and scent actually).

I’m not certain if it is the scent or the texture of the cream, but I could see it more as a night cream than a day cream. Unfortunately for me, it made my skin break out so I had to discontinue use. I ended up with a sort of crescent shaped section of skin around the orbital bone breaking out in a very distinct row of pimples.  As it was in exactly the spot where I put the cream, I figured it was the culprit.  The suspicion was confirmed when I stopped using it and the break outs went away.

It did actually work well on the fine lines around my eyes before it broke me out and it was excellent at reducing puffiness which is among its claims. The fact that it was actually an effective product made the break outs more annoying. I don’t know if it was clogged pores or an allergy, but unfortunately this is not the eye cream for me.

Unfortunately for me neither QMS products will be making it into my must have’s list. Perhaps because of the price point, I expected more. As I have used many less expensive products that worked much better, I was quite disappointed. The lip line corrector makes a wonderful serum for the neck and chest, but did nothing for the fine lines around my lips and the eye cream gave me two lines of crescent shaped breakouts. Clearly, this is not the brand for me.

Juice Beauty Review

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum and Eye Treatment

This month I have been using two products from Juice Beauty and as they are both from the same product line (Stem Cellular Anti-wrinkle) I thought I would not only use them together, but review them together.  The two products I have been using are the Stem Cellular Anti-wrinkle Booster Serum and the Stem Cellular Anti-wrinkle Eye Treatment. As those are both really long names I will probably just call one Serum and the other Eye cream throughout this post.

My trial of both of these products ran twenty-two days instead of my standard two week trial. At the start of the trial the Serum weighed in at 4.47 ounces. The package contains 1 ounce of product so 3.47 ounces of that is packaging. The eye cream which has 0.5 ounces of product weighed in at 1.82 ounces with a package weight of 1.32 ounces.

The packaging is interesting.  The containers do well in keeping the product from the light and air which I really like as it lessens the chance that they will spoil before I can use them up. I don’t like the fact that you can’t tell how much product is left in the containers though.  Once I start getting low on a product, especially when it is skin care related, I like to make sure I have a replacement ready to go. I’m not entirely sure how you would fix that though.  The same feature that I like for the fact that it keeps out the air and light is also what keeps me from seeing how much is left.  It’s just sort of shrug it off and do the math for estimates sort of situation.

applicator nozzle from the eye cream

When I got the serum I was worried about the relatively small nozzle getting clogged.  I have to say that has not been an issue at all.  It has worked perfectly.  With the eye cream I was intrigued by the applicator.  I like the pump to release the cream and I like that I can apply it with the applicator, but the plastic is simply too hard for use on the skin under my eyes.  It works great on the fine lines on the side of my eyes, I just don’t like it on the under eye area.  Otherwise it too is a nice feature.  It dispenses just enough product so there is little waste and remained operational without jamming or having other malfunctions.  Overall I am happy with the packaging and I liked not having to dip my fingers into the jar of eye cream.

At the end of my trial I weighed the products again to see how much remained.  In this case it was actually a necessity as I had no idea how much product was left in the jar and could do no estimations based on sight.  At the end of the trial the serum container weighed 3.5 ounces. Given that the packaging weighed 3.47 ounces only 0.03 ounces of product remain in the container.  This isn’t much of a surprise as this morning when I went to apply it, the product squirted out in a not so steady stream, sputtering as it went from bottle to hand.  I am pretty sure it will soon be empty.  As yesterday was day twenty-two and I’m pretty sure I will have enough for tonight but not much past, I will say this product lasts about twenty-three  days for me. So a little less than a month.  With an $80 retail price tag that makes it $3.47 per day.

I also weighed the eye cream in at the end of the trial and it now weighs 1.5 ounces. Subtracting the package weight of 1.32 ounces and there is 0.18 ounces left of the eye cream. Given the math, I have about twelve days left of use in this product so it should last about 34 days in total.  As it has a retail price of $50, that ends up being about $1.47 per day for this eye cream.

But it is not all about packaging, volume, duration and pricing.  The most important part is the product itself. After all a product is only worth it if it lives up to it’s claims. So first the Serum.

 On the Juice Beauty website the STEM CELLULAR ANTI-WRINKLE BOOSTER SERUM claims to…

Reduce the appearance of wrinkles with this ultra-light gel serum. Power packed with an optimum dose of our proprietary blend of fruit stem cells infused into a Vitamin C, resveratrol-rich grapeseed formula to help boost and enhance skin tone and texture. Juice Beauty’s STEM CELLULAR™ Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum is ideal for all skin types and especially beneficial for skin showing the signs of aging.

Formulated to maximize the performance of the STEM CELLULAR™ Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizers by preparing the skin to absorb rich antioxidants.  A proprietary blend of fruit stem cells and Vitamin C infused into organic resveratrol-rich juices can improve the appearance of skin tone and luminosity. Hydrates and moisturizes skin with organic antioxidant-rich jojoba and shea. Provides essential fatty acid emollients and powerful antioxidant action with evening primrose, linseed & borage seed. Plant-derived hyaluronic acid provides plumping moisture to skin.

I will say it is an ultra-light gel consistency. While I don’t mind that, it does take a little while for it to absorb into the skin.  I generally found that I had to apply it and then postpone the rest of my morning routine while I went to make coffee and do a couple of other things.  While I know you are supposed to let serums sink in before putting moisturizer on over them, this one did seem to take an extra little while to settle.  It isn’t a deal breaker but it is something to watch if you are trying to get out of the house in a hurry in the morning.

I like that it has vitamin C in it as my skin usually reacts well to it and I appreciate that it is cruelty free and free of a whole slate of things I don’t really like. I wouldn’t say it made my skin luminous but it did make my skin feel soft and smooth.  It is a good serum and if it came my way, I would use it again, however I will not actively seek it out.  There are a couple of products that I sort of stalk and as soon as they are offered on sale, I pounce like a bargain seeking Ninja. This is not one of them. I like it, but it is not in my top tier of products. Perhaps I would feel better about it if I hadn’t just used a really good serum, but I still found it to be just okay. I will use it until it is gone though (which will probably be tomorrow morning).

On to the eye cream.

On the website the STEM CELLULAR ANTI-WRINKLE EYE TREATMENT has a similar description to the serum (it is from the same line after all) and it claims to be…

A proprietary blend of fruit stem cells and Vitamin C infused into certified organic, antioxidant-rich botanical juices works to reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eyes and minimize the appearance of dark circles. Juice Beauty’s STEM CELLULAR™ Anti-Wrinkle Eye Treatment is designed for all skin types and especially beneficial for skin showing the signs of aging. It delivers rich hydration around the eye area with organic antioxidant-rich jojoba and shea. Visibly reduces the appearance of under eye dark circles with organic essential fatty acids of evening primrose, borage & linseed. Delivers nutrients and vitamins around the eye area with Vitamins C, E & B5.

It too is cruelty free and without a bunch of ingredients I don’t like. And I am starting to get those fine lines around my eyes. While dark circles aren’t really one of my problems, I have to say I did like this eye cream.  While it didn’t erase the lines (which I think is an impossibility and not something I should expect) the formula of the cream worked well with my skin.  It sunk in quickly and made my skin feel soft and hydrated.  Even though it has a very similar product list to the serum, it is a ream rather than a gel consistency and I think that might be why I had less of an issue with absorption.

While I have no way to test whether I absorbed vitamins with the cream, I did enjoy using it and will finish the bottle.  I may have to set it to the side while I run a trial on the QMS eye cream but I will return and use the remaining product.  In addition I think I will put this on my ‘to stalk’ list as it is one of the better eye creams I have come across lately. I would not only use it again if I came across it, I would actually go out and purchase it.  And truth be told, I might not actually wait for a sale to do so. It gets two thumbs up and a claim that it is in fact worth the price.

So there you have it.  My take on two products from Juice Beauty. Both are good, but only one would I actively try to re purchase.


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