Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask

Recently I have been using the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask. I have an interesting history with Glow Recipe products.

I know everyone raves about all of them, but for me they are very much hot or miss. The Blueberry Bounce cleanser was okay, but not fabulous. In fact I forgot I even tried it until I went to write this review and then had to double check. Generally that is not a good sign. If I liked a product, even a little I generally tend to remember it. The Blueberry Bounce was completely forgettable.

The Watermelon Sleeping mask was really good, but only in the summer months.  I ended up not liking it once the weather grew cold.  I just don’t think it provided enough moisture for my skin when the winter arrived and the central heat kicked on. It was a sample size though and I do have a full sized one to try out once this has been emptied. The Watermelon Ultra fine Mist did very little for me.  It was cooling after I’d been on a walk but truthfully I prefer the Avene Facial Spray. It may not smell like watermelon, but it is cooling and soothing. Its one of those products I go through a lot of but always forget somehow to write up. Also as they tend to move around the house, when empty they are placed in the recycling instead of my empties bin. It is something I need to get better about. I do highly recommend the Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray though. It is a $9 product that beats both Evian and Glow Recipe in my book.

But that isn’t the point.

Night Cream is the point.

And I am always looking for a good night cream. Retinol is very good for my skin so I am very glad that is a label mentioned ingredient. (It can also be sun sensitizing so generally use it at night as a precaution). So on with the night cream.  According to the Glow Recipe site…

The retinol of your dreams is here to make all your radiant and plump skin dreams come true. The Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask is a creamy, nourishing mask formulated with antioxidant-rich avocado, exfoliating PHA, and the most gentle form of retinol, encapsulated retinol. This super gentle, yet effective mask works to reveal smoother, hydrated skin with each use. Use as a wash-off flash facial or overnight mask for deep recovery.

Full Ingredient list: Aqua/Water/Eau, Propanediol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, C9-12 Alkane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Kaolin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Polyisobutene, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Stearic Acid, C13-15 Alkane, Platonia Insignis Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Hexylresorcinol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Gluconolactone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Malachite Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylglucoside Crosspolymer, Maltodextrin, Hydrated Silica, Curcumin, Ethylhexylglycerin, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Retinol, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Sodium Phosphate, PEI-10, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Arginine, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Extract, Flavor/Aroma*, PVP, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol. *Natural Fragrance

Glow Recipe

There are a lot of really good ingredients in this night cream and to be completely honest, I really enjoyed using it. Avocado features heavily in the top ingredients which should be expected (despite all of the really long terms surrounding it). Ginge is also up there too as is my buddy Squalane.  There are also a lot of preservatives and antibacterials, which as I’ve seen avocados go black and mushy within moments of being sliced, I’m really certain is a good idea.

inside the jar

It is a thick cream.  It sort of has the consistency of mashed avocados to be honest.  I found that rubbing it between my hands helped in warming it up before putting it on my skin.  It is more moisturizing than its watermelon counterpart and in the cooler weather is where this product shines. When it is warm outside, I found it a little too heavy unless it was on the days where I spent too much time in the sun. Then I felt like a raisin and this was the perfect night cream. I think that is again my middle of the road skin showing it’s more obstinate side. If you have oily skin, I think you could still use this at night, I would just use less. If you have dry skin, just use more. I like heavier creams in cold weather so for me, this is a winter use night cream.

Not a lot is needed and if you warm it up in your hands before applying it to your face then it absorbs very quickly into the skin.  If you don’t, then it takes a little longer.  As night cream is the last thing I put on my face and I tend to read in bed after putting it on. The absorption rate was not a big deal for me either way, but it does absorb faster when warmed.

While it didn’t clog my pores and didn’t really have much of a scent, there was one issue that bugged me about using this product.

The jar.

the cream itself

While it is a cute shape and the dimples in the glass make it very easy to grip, the shape of the jar itself insures that once you have used the product down to a certain point, it is difficult to get out of the jar without a spoon or spatula.

Maybe I just have short fingers, but I reached a point where I needed something other than my fingers to extract the product from the jar.  It is just the way the jar is shaped.  Which is really annoying because so much thought seems to have gone into the rest of the jar.

The dimpled glass makes it easy to grip even with wet hands, the lid turns smoothly and easily.  It is great, except for getting product out once the level drops a little past the midway point of use.  Don’t get me wrong, I will still use the rest of the cream, I have just appropriated a spoon in order to do so.

I think because everything else works so well, that one design issue stands out more.  I think it is a good product, one of the best Glow Recipe Products that I have tried thus far actually.  I will use it down to the bottom of the jar, using my appropriated spoon to extract all of the product, and I will purchase this night cream again next fall when the weather once again turns cold. That is when this kind of night cream works best for my skin. All in all I am very pleased with this Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask.


Today is not only Veterans Day (happy Veterans day to all who have served in the armed forces, including several of my family both past and present. I hope you are having a fabulous day. In my family it is usually a day of gathering where fried chicken is eaten and Thanksgiving plotted out. Dishes are divided out and an official turkey day headcount is made. Alas that is not this year’s plan, although I suspect the fried chicken will still be eaten.) but it is also Singles day and sales aboud. Some sales start this morning and some this afternoon. Some actually started last Friday. It’s a wacky year. Anyway for those wanting to take advantage of these, I will be posting some of them below and again later in the afternoon as they become active. They are also mentioned in the ads. If you are trying to get things ordered before the crush of Black Friday/Cyber monday this might be your best chance. Happy shopping.

Shop Versed’s Singles Day Affiliate Exclusive Sale: Take 15% Off Everything 11/11 only with code: SINGLESDAY15

Elemis: Singles Day 20% off & 11 Treats. For 48 hours only, save big and get an 11-piece treat with $150 orders. Don’t miss the single best deal of the Year! Use code 11GIFTS and remember there are still deals with the Advent Calendar until November 19th…

Enjoy a FREE Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment when you purchase an ELEMIS Advent Calendar.* Use Code: ICONIC

Singles Day is here at Skylar! For 11/11 only get 11% off sitewide. Use code: BRIGHT11 at checkout. Terms apply*

Trying out Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2

I know I have been hitting the sample moisturizers pretty hard lately, but once I finished this Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Moisturizer, I shifted into opening a full sized face cream (the Marc Jacob’s Youthquake to be exact) so more full sized moisturizer reviews will be coming shortly. Plus my skin really needs to settle in with a longer moisturizer trial so I can change out some of the other products and have it remain stable.

Incidentally Lovely Skin has SkinCeuticals products on sale during the Singles Sales. In fact most products on their site (including the one I’m currently reviewing) are 22% off. It is a really good place to stock up on a variety of skin care as they offer a boat load of brands and products to choose from so you can pick up a lot of different items and just get them shipped together. I’m finding these days bundling items so that I am waiting on fewer packages is the way to go. Plus they have free 2-3 day shipping on most orders. I am a sucker for free shipping. And despite all the post office mehem, everything I have ordered from them this year has come arrived in a timely manner. Which at this point is kind of a minor miracle.

But moving on to today’s review.

This sample sized tube of the Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Moisturizer had a little over a week’s worth of product inside. According to the website…

Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is an anti-aging cream that contains the optimal and patented lipid ratio of 2% pure ceramides 1 and 3, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids, which is proven to nourish skin and correct signs of aging. This unique lipid correction cream contains the first 2:4:2 cholesterol-dominant ratio to help restore skin’s external barrier and support natural self-repair, while potently nourishing aging skin for improvement in the visible appearance of skin smoothness, laxity, pores, and overall radiance.

  • Restores essential skin lipids: ceramides, natural cholesterol, and fatty acids
  • Improves the look of skin fullness, texture, and pore appearance
  • Improves the appearance of skin evenness and overall radiance
  • Unique lipid stabilization system in a lightweight and fast-absorbing texture
  • Shortens the adjustment period to retinoids up to 1 week while reducing dryness (see Science & Proof below)
  • Paraben-, and dye-free
  • Ideal for aging, normal, and dry skin types

Ingredients: aqua/water/eau, dimethicone, hydrogenated polyisobutene, glycerin, cholesterol, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, ceramide 3, helianthus annuus seed oil unsaponifiables/sunflower seed oil unsaponifiables, bis-peg-18 methyl ether dimethyl silane, sodium polyacrylate, peg-10 dimethicone, nylon-12, lauryl peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, dimethicone/peg-10/15 crosspolymer, phenoxyethanol, disteardimonium hectorite, hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid, ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, chlorphenesin, caprylyl glycol, peg/ppg-18/18 dimethicone, propylene carbonate, disodium edta, acrylonitrile/methyl methacrylate/vinylidene chloride copolymer, adenosine, dipropylene glycol, lavandula angustifolia oil/lavender oil, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil/rosemary leaf oil, t-butyl alcohol, mentha piperita oil/peppermint oil, sodium citrate, linalool, isobutane, ceramide eop, bht, tocopherol, limonene, d182888/1

Skinceuticals

Now I will have to say, I have no idea why cholesterol is good for your skin.  It does amuse me that it is considered good for your skin as so many people have demonized it because of heart health care.  And I can see why, I am not making fun of needing to cut down on cholesterol.  My baby doll in particular has to watch his cholesterol.  What I find amusing that what is bad for your heart is good for your skin.

I will say that I did try the moisturizer before I read through the ingredients list.  The first thing I was struck by was the scent.  I know when am I not interested in the scent?  Still, I sniffed and smelled peppermint. It isn’t like a toothpaste peppermint, it is a light peppermint scent.  It smells like I stored the cream in a bag with my mouthwash and the lids were a slight bit loose.  Dental care adjacent maybe would be the correct term for the strength of the peppermint. 

And as my moisturizer generally sits on the side of the sink next to my toothpaste, I’ll admit,I did check the cap. No leakage.  Then I checked the ingredients and found waaaaay down on the list, peppermint oil was mentioned. And the mystery was solved.  No cross contamination at all.

It is seriously a light scent though and once I knew why it was there, it was quite pleasant. It is a white cream, but there was no white cast left on the skin.  The texture is thin enough that it absorbs really quickly. It didn’t leave a greasy film on my skin and it didn’t clog my pores.  Now a week of use isn’t enough to provide any real skin care results, but I really did like the way my skin felt when using this moisturizer.  My skin was hydrated without being greasy and the peppermint scent dissipated almost instantly.

I was actually sad when this sample size ran out.  My only draw back was at night I think I would want a little bit more moisture for my skin. Not much more though.  I was only reaching for my night cream every couple of days rather than every night.  I think if you lean more towards the oily side, you could use this and not need a separate night cream, if you were more on the dry side of skin care, you might want to just use this as a day cream.

Like I said, I didn’t use it long enough to actually see any results, but I did like this cream enough that I am willing to put it on my list of products I’ve sampled that I do want to try out in a full size. This has definitely made my list for a future full size review.


LovelySkin

Cooling down with Sunday Riley Ice (Ceramide Moisturizing Cream)

I have a hit or miss relationship with Sunday Riley.  I know there are those who adore every product and those who despise every product.  I am oddly in the middle. Some I like, some I don’t. I tend to be that way with most brands actually. While I have tried many serums, oils and cleansers (with varying levels of success), prior to this I only used one moisturizer and that was the Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C moisturizer.  It made my loves and repurchase list. Although for me it is a better cream in the winter as the thickness of the cream’s texture is just a little too heavy for summertime wear for me.

But this is not a post about the Vitamin C moisturizer it is a post about the sample sized jar of Sunday Riley’s Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream.

First off, this is a little jar.  I’m sure you can tell from the photos.  I do not have massive hands, the jar is just small. It is a sample size.  I do love the fact that it does just look like a miniaturized version of the full sized jar though.  And although I forgot to take a picture of the sample when first opened, it was packed with product. 

There are no hidden bubbles or divots, it was all product. And what there was in the jar lasted me five days (using morning and evening). While five days isn’t enough of a length of time to see any major results, it is enough of a time to give me a good feel for the cream and decide whether or not I wanted to try it for a longer time with the full sized jar. But before we get into my impressions, let’s look at what the product claims.

Ceramide-enriched moisturizer replenishes the skin with lasting hydration and strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier against environmental stressors responsible for premature aging. Skin stays smooth, balanced and ageless-looking throughout the day. 

Rich but lightweight, this dual action moisturizer uses beetroot and coconut extract to pull hydration into the skin, while ceramides, vitamin F, and pomegranate sterols strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier, sealing in moisture. Together, skin is glowing, baby-smooth, and deeply hydrated. Best for Normal to Dry Skin. Sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and phthalate-free.

Ingredients: Extract Blend [Water/Eau/Aqua, Chondrus Crispus (Red Algae) Extract], Squalane, C13-15 Alkane (from Sugarcane), Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Tri(Polyglyceryl-3/Lauryl) Hydrogenated Trilinoleate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Ceramide NP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide AP, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Fructooligosaccharides, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Pimpinella Anisum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Sterols, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Wax/Rhus Succedanea Fruit Wax, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Triethyl Citrate, Tapioca Starch, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Aspartate, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Lithothamnion Calcareum Extract, Zinc Gluconate, Stearic Acid, Copper Gluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer.

Sunday Riley

Okay first of all the fact that squalene is high on the listed ingredients makes me happy.  This is one of those ingredients my skin really likes and I have started looking for.  It isn’t a requirement for my skin care, but it always makes me happy to see. And yes even though it is now a plant derived ingredient, I like to think of sharks splashing moisture at my face and threatening wrinkles with their sharp teeth. That’s just my process.

But now that we can see what the moisturizer is supposed to do, let’s look at the actual product. It is a thick yellowish cream and if you’ve read any of my posts you know the first thing I did was sniff it to see what it smelled like. (FYI the Sunday Riley Vitamin C Cream smells like a creamsicle). 

This moisturizer smells like old fashioned cold cream.  Seriously, it smells like the cold cream my grandmother and mother both used when I was little. I would love to have a more descriptive term for it, but it was one of those things that is so tied to a sense memory that I have a hard time separating it out. I’m sure there is someone who can look at the ingredients list and say yeah, ‘that’s what is smells like, that ingredient right there’, but to me it just smells like the cold cream the two of them both used when I was little.

Nostalgia just hijacked my senses.

It is a thicker cream and it is clearly designed for drier skin.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my skin sits right on the balancing line of what is strangely called ‘normal’ .  What this means is that in warm humid weather my skin leans towards the oily side, but not too terribly far and then in the cooler, drier months it leans towards the dry side, but again not too terribly far. Occasionally I can be called combination as my T-zone starts to get a little oily mid day.

It means my skin care very much changes out with the seasons.  What I like in the summer I cannot deal with in the winter and vice versa. It is also dependant on location, each time I move I need to develop an entirely new skin care regimen. It is one reason I will always be trying out new skin care (even though no moves are planned in the near future). Which is fine, I enjoy testing out new products.

Where I live the air is just starting to dry out and become cool.  For me this was a petty ideal time to test this moisturizer, and why I pulled it out of my skin care drawer now. I like to give products their best chance at success. what can I say, I’d rather rave in delight than rant in disappointment.

While the cream is thick, it absorbs into the skin well.  What I found myself doing was putting the moisturizer on my hand, rubbing my hands together and then applying it to my face.  This is one of those moisturizers that seems to apply better as it warms up a little.  Just the rubbing together of my hands was enough.  If I didn’t use this method, I just dotted it on my face and had white streaks until it warmed up and I rubbed it in.  The rubbing my hands together first just let me spend less time rubbing my face.  Although even then, there wasn’t a massive amount of rubbing involved to get it to absorb.  As I said before it did absorb really well, it just needs to warm up a bit.

It took five days of twice a day use to go through the sample sized jar. I did use more at night than I did during the day. For me, I found that during the day it was slightly too moisturizing for my skin.  However it was a very good night cream. In fact for me, it was an excellent night cream.  While slightly too heavy for day time use, it was absolutely fantastic at night.  It was then that I could feel the lightweight moisture claimed in the description working to my benefit.

Again, I think that is just my skin type. I could wear it both in the day and at night, I just preferred it at night.  If I had slightly drier skin I think I could wear it during the day and be very happy.  If I had slightly more oily skin I would only be able to wear it at night. Like me, this moisturizer sems to balance on a very fine line between skin types.

But the big question remains.  Would I purchase a full size of this cream to try out in a full on test?

Conditionally, yes.

The condition is that I would purchase this moisturizer, but I would wear it as a night cream and use something else during the day.  For me I think this Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream would make a very good night cream.  As I have mostly been testing out light weight gel creams lately (not by design it just happens to have worked out that way) and they tend to work well as day creams, it is nice to have the possibility of a night cream on the horizon.  I’ve tried several night creams that I like, but none recently that I love.  I would most definitely be willing to give this a go to see if it would stand up to nightly use for a full trial. For me, this is a product that will go on my list for a future trial.


Testing out the Goldfaden MD Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer

Goldfaden, MD is one of those brands that every time I look at it I think, ‘I should like that’.  It is skin care designed by a dermatologist and it has a clean look to it that says this is serious skin care.  I also like the fact that they are a clean skin care.  I tried the Exfoliating scrub from the brand a while back. It was supposed to be for daily use, however I found it surprisingly harsh and ended up using it once a month until it was gone.  My skin just couldn’t take its level of exfoliation more often than that.

Then I had a surprising number of Goldfaden, MD products appear in my subscription boxes so I got excited about seeing the brand again and testing out more products from them.  After all, they still look like they should be good skin care and I did have three products to try.  The first one I decided to give a go was the Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer.  According to the website this $68 moisturizer…

This antioxidant-rich detoxifying gel provides anti-pollution protection and antioxidants to prevent premature aging from environmental stressors while beta hydroxy acids keep pores clear and free from breakouts. Achieve a pure, calm complexion with this moisturizer for oily, problematic skin.

Ingredients: Water Propanediol Glycerin Carrageenan Gluconolactone Sodium Benzoate Calcium Gluconate Saccharide Isomerate Citric Acid Sodium Citrate Sodium Hyaluronate Glycerin (and) Marrubium Vulgare Meristem Cell Culture (and) Xanthan Gum Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract Veronica Officinalis Extract Achillea Millefolium Extract Primula Veris Extract Xanthan Gum Cellulose Gum Salicylic acid Centella Asiatica Extract Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract Potassium Sorbate Sorbic Acid Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Fruit Extract

Goldfaden MD

As I have taken to using a detoxifying mask to keep maskne in check it seemed like the perfect time to try this out. Now, it is a sample size which usually means about one to two weeks’ worth of product. While this is not long enough to see any long term results it is generally enough time to let me know how it is going to react with my skin and if I would want to purchase a full size to do a full trial.

The gel like formula

This tube of Goldfaden MD Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer held a lot of empty air and about three days’ worth of product.  And even that was stretching it.  It was one of those tubes that just wasn’t filled properly before being sent out. 

Normally, I would complain, but three days of this moisturizer was about as long as I wanted to use it. While it may or may not do anything long term to acne, I can tell you that it was sticky on the skin and never felt like it really absorbed. 

To be honest it felt like a makeup gripping primer more than a moisturizer.  That’s how sticky it was.  The second morning I tried this moisturizer I decided to go sans makeup until it actually absorbed to see how long it took.  It never really did fully absorb.  It remained sticky on the skin.  I was not a fan. 

Usually gel formulas and I really get along as they just melt right into the skin.  This one I didn’t like.  There are several items in the ingredients list that many of my latest moisturizer (the ones I liked) didn’t have, so I am going to have to do some digging to see if those ingredients are ones I need to avoid (or if they do occur in other products), but for now, I just know I will not be purchasing a full size of the Goldfaden MD Detox Hydrating Gel Moisturizer in the future.  I still have two Goldfaden MD products to try out, so fingers crossed I like them better than I liked this one.


Shop Annmarie Gianni Today.

Sampling Coconut Water Cream from First Aid Beauty

I’ll be honest, I let this First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream moisturizer linger in the drawer.  Each time I reached in to try out a new product, my hand would pass over it.  I passed on it only for the sake of the word coconut. 

I know it is foolish, but there were so many coconut scented products in my world this summer that I felt a little coconutty myself.  It was the scent of the summer.  Admittedly, this summer was the Summer of 2020 so I’m not sure it really wants that association.

But most of the coconut scented products have been taken out of my skin care drawer and to be honest I have very few trial sized moisturizers left in the drawer.  I have an entire box full of serums to test out, but I am getting down to the larger moisturizers so soon I will be going back into the one month long trials and leaving these short tests behind.

It was time to bring the First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream out of the drawer and give it a try. So what should I expect?

Oil-free refreshingly light water cream moisturizer infused with skin nourishing Coconut Water hydrocharges your skin with a burst of electrolyte-rich moisture for softer, smoother, healthier-looking skin. Rich in electrolytes, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, Coconut Water is known as nature’s perfect hydrator. This non-comedogenic formula absorbs immediately into skin while hydrocharging, to make it appear softer, smoother and more plumped. The oil-free formula is boosted by a combination of Sodium Hyaluronate and Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate to help reinforce skin’s moisture, protect against exposure to the elements and leave skin appearing smooth, soft and plumped.

Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Glucose, Maltodextrin, Aqua (Water, Eau), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cocos Nu-cifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sea Salt (Maris Sal, Sal Marin), Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dip-teryx Odorata Seed Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dimethicone Cross-polymer, Dipropylene Glycol, Cetyl Diglyceryl Tris(Trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl Dimethicone, Phe-noxyethanol, Laureth-8.

First Aid Beauty

Okay first off, I don’t see anything in the ingredients list that cause me any concern which I am very happy about.  And so we open the little tube of product.  As you can see from the photo the cream is a clearish jelly like consistency.

To my utter delight it did not smell like coconut.

I have to admit, I did a little happy dance.  I was committed to trying the product regardless, but the fact that there was no coconut scent made me happy.  (while I do actually like coconut, I just got buried in the scent this summer. I actually do like the scent of coconut I just don’t want EVERYTHING to smell like coconut or months on end.)

It actually smells vaguely candy like.  Actually, you know those candy necklaces and bracelets you could get as a kid?  That’s the kind of candy it smells like.

So happy with the scent, I applied it to my face.  Let me tell you, I am in love.  It blended into my skin like a dream.  My skin was soft and hydrated and not sticky or greasy at all. The sample tube only had enough product for about a week and a half of use, and trust me, I used it all. Which is why the tube in the top photo loos very squished.

While this trial wasn’t enough to determine any actual effects on the skin long term, it was enough to let me know I want a full sized tub of it to try out.  I also want to apologize for not trying this sooner and I will be adding the $34 full size to my full skin care trial as soon as I am able. 

I may have other moisturizers to test out and work through, but I will be circling back to this Coconut Water Cream by FAB.  I actually enjoyed using this sample more than I have enjoyed some of the more higher priced moisturizers I have tried. 

I also think it was helped out by the time of year.  It is my skin’s traditional transitioning time.  This provided the kind of light weight moisture that is definitely appropriate for this time of year. I still have summer oily spots and a few dry spots brought out by the turning on of the central heat. It is the bane of skin that is balanced on that thin line they call ‘normal’. In the summer I am normal leaning to oily, in the winter I am normal leaning towards dry, which means spring and fall I flip flop between dry and oily depending on the weather of the day. This past week we had rain and sun, high and low humidity and temperatures ranging from the mid-fifties to the upper seventies. This moisturizer handled it all beautifully.  So oh yeah, this is going on my list for a full sized trial.




Trying out Korres Nourishing Probiotic Gel Cream

As we move closer and closer to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, I am concentrating on the sample sized products in my collection.  Not only does it clear out a lot of the sample sizes from my skin care drawer before they expire, but it lets me know which products I want to actually try a full sized version of in upcoming skin care trials.

And so I pulled the Korres Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream from my skin care drawer and decided to give it a shot.  According to the product page…

The ultimate hydrating, gel-cream moisturizer with protein-boosting Greek yoghurt for a plumped, healthy looking bounce to your skin that lasts all day.

The unique whipped texture of this nourishing moisturizer immediately melts into skin and unlocks time-released hydration for 48 hours without clogging pores. While clinically-proven microbiome-friendly technology provides a skin veil for your ultimate healthy glow.

Ingredients: aqua/water/eau, propanediol, glycerin, sodium acrylates copolymer, c13-15 alkane, caprylic/capric/myristic/stearic triglyceride, coco caprylate,hexyldecyl stearate, passiflora incarnata seed oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, algin,alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, ascorbic acid, behenyl alcohol, bisabolol, caprylyl glycol,cellulose gum, cetearyl alcohol, chlorella vulgaris extract, disodium phosphate, glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl polyacrylate, glyceryl stearate citrate, hydrogenated ethylhexyl olivate, hydrogenated olive oil unsaponifiables, hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate, lactic acid,lactobacillus, laminaria digitata extract, lecithin, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle)flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, maltodextrin, maris aqua/sea water/eau de mer, menthyl lactate, microcrystalline cellulose, panthenol,pentylene glycol, phenethyl alcohol, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate, polymnia sonchifolia root juice, potassium phosphate, pullulan, saccharide isomerate, salvia hispanica seed oil, serine, sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan, sodium hyaluronate, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, tocopheryl acetate, trehalose, tridecane,undecane, urea, xanthan gum, yogurt, yogurt powder, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract, benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, salicylic acid, sorbic acid, parfum/fragrance.

Korres.com

I have been a big fan of Korres for years.  I adore their pomegranate moisturizer and have purchased it multiple times in the past. I have tried and enjoyed many of their masks including the mask from this probiotic line.  That one I actually keep refrigerated and enjoy cold on the skin. So I anticipated really enjoying this sample and adding it to the list of products I wanted to test in their full sized versions.

Alas, it is not to be.

the gel cream

While the cream is nourishing and very light weight against the skin, I think it is designed for someone with much dryer skin than I have.  While the gel cream is a light weight texture and does absorb well, I found myself reducing the amount I put on my skin with each use so that I didn’t feel greasy.  I think if you had very dry skin, this would be an excellent product.  I do not have skin that dry. It didn’t break me out or clog my pores, it was simply too hydrating.

In addition, there is the scent.  The Probiotic line is yogurt based.  Which oddly enough I like in the mask, but did not like in the moisturizer.  They smell very similar, but I think because I keep the mask cold, the scent didn’t bother me.  With the moisturizer, the scent kept making me think that milk had spoiled.  I will say that when I put the moisturizer in the fridge and then tried it, I was fine. Still overly hydrating for my skin type, but my nose didn’t pick up as much scent. I think the scent of the yogurt just made me think it was bad if it wasn’t cold. Also, while I like the mask from the probiotic line, I only use that specific mask when I know my skin needs extra moisture.  Like the Gel-cream it is very moisturizing and something that I don’t use a lot. I will use it more in the winter than I did in the summer. It is excellent on dry skin or sun damaged skin, but too moisturizing to be used routinely for me. 

The gel-cream has the same issue.

So although I love the brand and will continue to purchase other products from them (specifically everything in the Pomegranate line), the Nourishing Probiotic Gel cream is not for me.  The scent and my skin type make it one that I will pass on instead of picking up a full sized version.  It is one I will still recommend that those with dry skin check out. You might have better luck with it than I did.

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The buzz about Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Cream from Banila Co.

A while back I tried the Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm from Banila Co and really ended up liking it.  I made a mental note to look into the company and some of the other products they made, and then I completely forgot until the Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Cream appeared in my Glossy Box.

The honeycomb shaped jar is adorable but it is one of those deceptive jars that looks bigger than it is.  This is only with the sample size.  The full size looks as though it is a nice glass honeycomb shaped jar without the rounded interior.

When you flip it over there is empty space around the round of product. Belif has a tendency to have these same types of jars.

While I was testing out the Dior Dream Skin Moisturizer, I found that it worked well as a day cream but not so fabulously at night, so I decided to try this cream at night.  Using it only at night (except for a day or two when I tried it during the day to see how I liked it) the product lasted a little over 2 weeks (16 days, or nights actually and two mornings). Very little is really needed to achieve full coverage. This was enough to give me a feel for the product and determine whether or not I wanted to try it again, but not long enough to see any actual results. Hence no before and after photos.

But what does this product have to say for itself?

This cream offers deep skin nourishment through the benefits of Honey! Our Intense Nourishing system includes 6 types of premium honey blend (Royal Jelly, Honey Butter, Beeswax, Honey, Propolis, High Honey Drop) to replenish, protect and lock in moisture for a healthy, supple complexion. Used day or night, this luxurious cream glides on smoothly to give skin a vitality and will support & strengthen the skin’s barrier.

Ingredients: Honey Extract, Aureobasidium Pullulans Ferment, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, PCA Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Glycereth-26, Petrolatum, Trisiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethiconol, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VPCopolymer, PEG-150 Distearate, Water, Caprylyl Glycol, Raffinose, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Ceramide NP, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Arginine, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Beeswax, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Propolis Extract, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Maltodextrin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Pyridoxine HCI, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract

Banila Co.

That is a lot of honey.  And you can smell it as soon as you open the jar.  It smells exactly like clover honey.  It has the consistency of whipped honey but it is not in any way sticky.  Whatever they did to the honey took out all of the stickiness. If you don’t like the scent of honey, then this is not for you.  It is not a scent of honey that can be ignored. It is a very strong scent that lingers. Personally, I like the scent of the cream (and honey in general) so it didn’t bother me.  But if you don’t like honey, you will hate this.

I really enjoyed using it at night.  It made an excellent night cream.  It absorbed well into the skin without feeling greasy and my skin felt soft and hydrated in the morning.  I will say that I tend to apply my night cream and then read in bed for about an hour or so before laying down.  By the time I lay down to sleep the cream absorbed really well so there were no pillow smears (which occasionally happens with some night creams). If applying this at night I would wait a few minutes before laying down. You don’t need the full hour, five to ten minutes before you go to bed is plenty of time for it to absorb into the skin before your head hits the pillow.

Just to test it out during the day I did try applying the cream a couple of mornings.  While it worked well during the day, I did notice that I attracted a bit more interest from the local insect community than usual.  I know that sounds a little strange, but I applied my moisturizer, had my coffee and then worked on my autumnal garden chores.  The scent of the cream was still fairly strong since I didn’t apply any products over the moisturizer at that time.

I didn’t get more bug bites.  I was not nipped, bitten or stung, but I felt thoroughly investigated by the denizens of the garden for the first twenty or so minutes I was outside.  Then everyone left me alone.  I thought I might be imagining it so I did try a second morning and the same thing happened. 

Again there were no bug bites, but I think the initial scent was interesting to everyone. Once it faded I was fine and I ceased to be of interest.  I think if I weren’t doing my garden chores right away and the scent of the moisturizer had time to fade I would have been fine.  It was just still warm and I was trying to beat the sun.  If I hadn’t been trying to race the heat and went about my normal day it wouldn’t have happened.  It’s just sort of interesting to note.  Not problematic, just kind of amusing. 

While the length of time I used it wasn’t enough to see any results, I did notice the dry spots from sun damage were less dry and less damaged.  I think the dryer your skin the more you will like this cream, which makes me want to try it out in the winter time.  And probably why using it as night cream worked so well for me. I tend to go heavier on the cream at night and leave it to soak in while I sleep.

The full sized jar of Miss Honey and Mr. Flower Honey Cream retails for $42 and the question is would I spend that to try out a full sized jar?  Yes, I think I would.  I really liked this as a night cream and I think if nothing else I would continue to use this as a night cream.  It is one of those creams that I suspect I could use in the winter when my skin is drier, but probably not in the summer time because it is a little too hydrating for summer days and my normal zoned skin.  So now I know the best time in which to try this cream to give it the best chance for working well with my skin. This is the second product I have tried and liked from Banila Co and I am really glad Glossy Box put them back on my radar. Hopefully this time I won’t let them fall off the radar.


For those interested in doing a little shopping of their own, Benefit Cosmetics is having a Friends & Family Sale. You can score 20% off ALL orders using the code FRIENDS20. Valid 10/5-10/8. Personally Bad Gal Bang Mascara, Gold Rush Blush, and the Pearl Porefessional Primer are among my favorite Benefit products.

Benefit Cosmetics Friends & Family Sale! Score 20% off ALL orders. Use code: FRIENDS20. Valid 10/5-10/8.

Testing out Dream Skin Care and Perfect by Dior

I was gifted a bottle of Dream Skin Care and Perfect Moisturizer from Dior by Influenster to test out and review. I know it feels like a while since I have done a moisturizer review. I spent much of the summer testing out samples which at best lasted two weeks so there were moisturizer reviews every couple of weeks for a while.  But this is a full sized bottle (1.7 oz retail value $120). So I used it for the full month, putting it to the test with my skin to see how it performed.

So let’s get into it shall we?

The complete age-defying skincare and perfecting emulsion, to be applied as the last step of your skincare routine.

With its beneficial skin-perfecting action, the Dreamskin emulsion helps recreate naturally exquisite skin while fighting visible signs of aging: wrinkles, dark spots and redness appear minimized. Day after day, the skin’s texture is refined and smoother. Skin is radiant.

This perfecting emulsion fuses with the skin instantly thanks to a unique* complex of moisturizing ingredients. Its skin-perfecting action helps refine texture and pores appear tightened. Progressively, dark spots and redness appear faded and the complexion is more radiant. The skin is more beautiful, even when bare.

Apply the Care & Perfect emulsion at the end of your skincare routine, for perfect affinity with your foundation. Results from this skincare are instant and lasting – after 7 days and 28 days – and visible on bare skin with the naked eye.

Also available as a refill, Capture Dreamskin Care & Perfect skincare is included in Dior’s efforts to improve the environmental footprint of our products.

INGREDIENTS LISTING

“THE INGREDIENTS THAT ENTER IN THE COMPOSITION OF THE PARFUMS CHRISTIAN DIOR PRODUCTS ARE REGULARLY UPDATED. BEFORE USING A PARFUMS CHRISTIAN DIOR PRODUCT, PLEASE READ THE INGREDIENT LIST ON ITS PACKAGING TO ENSURE THAT THE INGREDIENTS ARE SUITABLE FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE.”

#13769/A AQUA (WATER) ● DIMETHICONE ● CYCLOPENTASILOXANE ● GLYCERIN ● BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER ● NIACINAMIDE ● POLYSILICONE-11 ● PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE ● ALCOHOL ● METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER ● BUTYLENE GLYCOL ● CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE) ● PARFUM (FRAGRANCE) ● MICA ● DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE ● PHENOXYETHANOL ● BORON NITRIDE ● DECYLOXAZOLIDINONE ● MAGNESIUM SULFATE ● SORBITAN SESQUIOLEATE ● XYLITOL ● PROPYLENE CARBONATE ● CITRIC ACID ● MENTHOXYPROPANEDIOL ● ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE ● SODIUM BENZOATE ● SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE ● TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE ● SODIUM HYDROXIDE ● ADENOSINE ● SAPONINS ● POTASSIUM SORBATE ● LIMONENE ● MALVA SYLVESTRIS (MALLOW) EXTRACT ● ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE ● CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES) ● TOCOPHEROL ● GERANIOL ● SACCHARIDE ISOMERATE ● PALMARIA PALMATA EXTRACT ● ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE ● CITRONELLOL ● CI 77492 (IRON OXIDES) ● CITRAL ● AFRAMOMUM ANGUSTIFOLIUM SEED EXTRACT ● JASMINUM OFFICINALE (JASMINE) FLOWER EXTRACT

Dior

Okay, those are some bold claims.  But before we break them down, a few words about packaging.  I know the image looks a little blurry but it is because of the dual layer of the outside packaging.  The letters are printed on the outside and then sort of reflected against the inner layer so although it looks lovely in person, my photos are a bit on the blurry looking side where the letters are concerned. 

The pump after the full trial, no clogs at all.

The bottle itself feels luxe in the hand.  It also feels durable, which is nice as the outer casing is reusable.  It is only the inner portion that you replace.  I like the fact that there is less waste, should I want to reorder it.  I would also think that there might be a cost reduction if you are only buying the refill versus the entire package but I am not 100% certain of that since I could not find the cost of the refill.

I will say the cap does fit a little loosely.  When you pick up the bottle, if you pick it up by the cap it is likely to pop off and drop the bottle.  So you have to lift from the bottle not the cap.  However if you have mobility issues with your hands it is very easy to open as the lid lifts with relative ease and no extra exertion needed.  While I like the ease of opening, I wouldn’t mind seeing something like a magnetic cap.  In other words I almost dropped the bottle several times. But that is not a deal breaker. And in some cases the ease of opening might actually be beneficial. It is just something to keep in mind.

Also with the packaging, there is an easy to use pump.  I am actually in love with this pump.  It didn’t clog.  It didn’t stick. And the best part is that it limited the amount of product dispensed.  Two pumps covered my face well.  A third pump covered my neck and upper chest.  What I like about this is that the pump is designed for multiple skin types.  My skin right now is normal, leaning slightly towards oily.  If I were more to the oily side, I could just use one pump and not worry about having excess product.  If I leaned towards dry skin I could use more pumps.  I know this sounds like a silly thing but there are several pumped moisturizer products where one pump is far too much product so I end up moisturizing my face, neck and chest and then use the excess on my arms. I always feel like I am wasting product. Don’t get me wrong, I like moisturizing my arms, but with a $120 product, I kind of like to conserve it for my face.

Two pumps

Okay so we have talked packaging, now it is on to the product. For my skin, two pumps covered my face and a third added my neck and upper chest into the coverage area. As you can see from the photo, the cream is slightly pink.  As directed, I added this as the last step in my skin care routine. The scent is the classic French skin care rosy scent.  If you hate rose, you might not like it.  However the scent was very mild, in fact much more mild than the Nuxe products I tried a while back.  To my nose it pinged as less Rose and more French Skin Care scent. While on the floral side, it also smells fresh and clean rather than cloying. I happen to really like this scent, but if you are not a fan then this product is probably not for you.

I just really happen to like the scent.

The moisturizer absorbed really well and did not feel greasy.  From the first application my skin felt super smooth to the touch.  In fact, I really wanted to keep touching it.  Interestingly, while my skin felt moisturized, because of the tint to the moisturizer my skin also looked as though I applied a layer of primer to it. Not a heavy primer, but one I could wear with just a dusting of powder over.  And to be honest, there were several days in the past month where I did just that.  On my no makeup days I tend to just apply a layer of primer and powder, along with lip balm and mascara (because I can’t resist) and call it a day. 

With this moisturizer I didn’t need to add the primer.  When I applied foundation, I still used a pore filling primer, but I think this moisturizer gave it a little boost. For me any color was unnoticeable, it disappeared as I massaged it into my skin. I tried removing just the moisturizer with a toning pad and there was some tint on the cotton round so there may be a tint, it just matched my skin so well I didn’t notice. If you have darker or less pink undertones to your skin than I do, I would test a sample before buying to make certain that it didn’t leave a tint you didn’t want.

For me any tint was an added bonus, but again that may be my skin tone. Like the scent, that’s an individual call, just something to be aware of.

But temporary coverage isn’t the same as results.  The earliest I would see results, according to the product page is seven days.  Yeah, I can’t with any good conscience say that happened.  But also I didn’t really expect it to.  It generally takes about thirty days with any skin care product to be able to see results.  There may be results but I think it would take much sharper eyes than mine to see them. At the thirty day mark, it did start to see improvement and my skin felt soft and silky when I woke up rather than after I put the moisturizer on.  I also noticed an improvement in the fins lines around my eyes.

The refill insert inside the reusable bottle was very easy to remove from the main packaging

I did start this moisturizer trial at almost the same time I started the Timeless Skin Care Hyaluronic Acid Serum trial. (I have been using the Dream Skin for about six weeks).So technically my before and after photos for the trial would be the exact same.  I think that the two products helped each other out. These were the two main skin care products for the month and for the past month I have had really great skin.  I continued using this moisturizer past the month long trial of the HA Serum because I wanted to see which was doing what.  I did start using a Timeless Vitamin C serum (the review of that will be around October 19th) but I set the HA Serum aside. 

What I noticed is that the line in my forehead (what I call my personal stress crack) didn’t shrink any more than it had, but my skin stayed clear. The lines around my eyes still looked less prominent. I think much of the line reduction was the HA Serum, but some of it might be down to Dior.  Neither really did much for some of my skin pigmentation from acne scars or sun damage.  However this was a really good light weight moisturizer.

Let’s look at those claims again shall we?

… refine texture and pores appear tightened. Progressively, dark spots and redness appear faded and the complexion is more radiant. The skin is more beautiful, even when bare.

Did it refine the texture of my skin?  I would have to give that a yes.

Dark spots and redness appear faded? I’m going to have to say no to the dark spots but yes to the redness. 

Complexion is more radiant? I would have to go along with that.  I certainly feel like my skin looks better than it has in a long while.

Skin is more beautiful, even when bare?  I think it is.

On the negative side, it is more of a day cream.  After a couple of weeks to test how it was performing I found that at night I needed something heavier on my skin.  Not every night, but several times a week. So I switched to using a different cream at night and this during the day.  Personally I don’t mind as it makes the moisturizer last longer. To be honest I have no idea how much moisturizer is left in the bottle.  There is no gauge and I forgot to weigh it at the start of the trial.  It feels lighter, but it also feels like there is a lot of moisturizer left. While the package keeps the product safe from light and air, it makes monitoring it difficult.

As a day cream this product makes my top ten list. I really enjoyed using it and will use it until every drop has been taken from the bottle. And yes, I have begun periodically dropping into the Dior site to see when they will have refills available and to judge the cost.  To be honest, I enjoyed the product enough and I think the volume of product is enough that I can actually justify the cost.  It is a luxury moisturizer that deserves it’s luxury price. At the same time, I love the fact that the bottle is reusable and that I can reduce waste, even with a luxe product by picking up a refill.  Somehow that makes my luxury splurge feel less wasteful. And to be fair, if there is one skin care item I will splurge on, it is my moisturizer.




Foil Packet First Impressions

a selection of foil packets from my skincare drawer

I have a strange relationship with foil packets. I never consciously pick them up. They always seem to come as a gift with purchase, or a bonus item in a subscription box.They get touched into packages and sometimes arrive unannounced.

And I always think, okay, I’ve got to try that and see if it is worth giving it a full trial, either with a larger sample or a full sized bottle. Oh yes, there have been foil packets that completely sold me on the full size before. It is rare though. Usually with foil packets I don’t try to determine whether or not I would purchase a full size but rather would I be willing to try it again.

It has a much lower threshold.

But what happens with foil packets, is I gather them, thinking I need to try them and then they languish until I go to pull something out of a drawer and then they come cascading out like a strange skin care slot machine. Because I honestly don’t reach for them a lot. when going through samples and testing them out, I gather up the small tubes and tiny jars and work through them. I tend to completely forget about the foil packets. Luckily there are no bells and flashing lights when they slide out and remind me they are there.

So I decided that I would take a selection of foil packets partially because there are a lot of them and partially because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming and I want to start making my lists. If I don’t try the sample, I can’t know if i want to pick up the product. In addition to products I like and want to try, there are also lists of gifts for Christmas and unlike me, who was sensible enough to be born in June, most of my family was born between November and February.

I don’t mind actually as it makes my birthday THE event of the summer while everyone else is just a part of the celebratory series that starts November 3rd and ends February 12 leaving everyone gasping with relief when Valentine’s day hits and we have quiet until Easter.

But it also means that I make birthday lists around the same time I make Christmas lists. It also means that even though I talk about my list the most, the items I want tend to take a back seat on my shopping extravaganza and sometimes have to wait for the spring sales.

Such is life.

But sometimes, I make it through the list and still get to shop for me. So i still make the list. But enough chatter, it’s time to sample.

The links below will take you to the product page for the company. I get absolutely nothing if you click on them. They are not affiliate links. I just want you to be able to find the products if you are interested.

Snowberry Serum

First up is the Youth Renewing Face serum with eProlex. from Snowberry. I believe the sample came as an added bonus in a Glossy Box. The serum comes out as a clear liquid and even though it looks like it is more serum that I usually use on my face each morning, the packet contained just enough for my face, neck and upper chest.

Snowberry Serum in hand

It took a little while to soak in, but I have been spoiled by the Hyaluronic Acid Serum from Timeless Skincare. That tends to soak into the skin on contact. I started the Vitamin C Serum trial (also a Timeless Skincare) this week and even that had a noticeably slower absorption rate. I think I might have just gotten used to the HA Serum’s speed. Either way it took only a little longer absorb. Since on the back of the packet Snowberry recommends waiting five minutes before continuing with other skin care, that’s what I did. (and yes I set the timer.)

I also used the five minutes to set up the coffee pot.

It absorbed before the five minutes, but as I occupied myself I didn’t mind the wait. In five minutes it was completely absorbed. while the serum is clear it is not odorless. The scent is faint and not unpleasant. I just can’t identify it. When I try to describe it I want to say that is smells like a soft gray streaked with light pink. I know sometimes my brain is not terribly helpful. It is a clean and pleasant sort of smell though. I checked the ingredients list, which they thoughtfully provided on the back. while I am happy there are Niacinamides, which my skin loves (although I know some people have a sensitivity to)there was no ingredient where I could say HA that’s what i am smelling. So for now I have to say that my broken snifter and bent brain translates the scent into a soft gray streaked with light pink. It is however a product that, after my initial test I would like to see more of so I will be putting it on the list to try again in a larger sample or even a full size.

High Expectations oil

The next two items were also extras added to a Glossy Box I believe. they are both from High SkinCare. One is the High Expectations Facial Oil and the other is the High Five Cannabis Facial moisturizer. Oddly they both had the same slightly lemony scent to them rather than the more typically earthy scent I associate with Cannabis/CBD oil based products.

oil in hand

The facial oil is 32% cannabis sativa oil. There was far more in the packet than I actually needed for one application, so I did not use it all. There wasn’t enough to add to a container to try and use a second time. Or maybe there was but I didn’t really feel like using it a second time. This oil felt a little heavy on my skin. At the moment I am using Pure 100% Squalane oil from Timeless Skincare in the mornings and the Malin+Goetz Recovery Oil at night. neither sit quite as heavy on the skin. The High Expectations did not meet, let alone exceed expectations in this first impressions test. I do not think I will be adding it onto any list.

High Five Moisturizer

However, I would consider picking up the High Five Cannabis Facial Moisturizer for a longer trial. It has 20% Cannabis Sativa seed oil and the same lemony scent that the facial oil has. (I know some of you are thinking – at least she said lemony instead of yellow, but lemony doesn’t ping in my brain as yellow it usually comes across as a pale green, so ha. Plus I am familiar with the scent of lemons.)

moisturizer in hand

The High Five cream absorbed well into the skin and was quite moisturizing. Again there was far more in the packet than could be used in one sitting. This I did add to a small jar and use at night. Because of its consistency, I really liked using it at night. It is as thick as a traditional moisturizer (as opposed to a gel or water cream). Even though the temperature has dropped, the sun is still bright and I spent longer on the walking trail than I have in a while. This was a very good cream after too much time in the sun. Unlike the oil, I would definitely consider picking up a larger size to try out.

Next there is the First and Free CBD Cream. It came in a Pinch Me Box. I have to say I was very glad to see it as they always seem to want to send me bandages and candy. And yes I looked over my profile with them but somehow I have gotten into some sort of candy eating klutz category. So it was kind of fabulous to be offered any sort of body lotion. The First and Free CBD uses canopy growth for their products which if I remember correctly is more sustainable. I can’t remember the details. I have only just started delving into the CBD world and my research is still a little shaky. As I just started trying out a CBD Cleansing oil, I will be doing more research soon. I would also do more research on the effects of using only canopy growth should I try out a larger version of this cream or any other product from the First and Free Brand.

CBD Cream in hand

As I really liked this cream, I think that is definitely a possibility. There was little to no scent to it. It smelled like lotion. Just that cream scent that unscented lotions have. As almost every lotion in my currently large collection is pretty heavily scented, this was kind of a relief. Lately I’ve been running around smelling of cake batter and sugar cookies. It’s made me want to bake more. But that could also be the cooler temps. Regardless, I would actually like to try using this cream for a longer trial to see how I liked it over a longer period and if I would like to add it to my continue to purchase list of products. As a note, when you go to the First and Free Site they will ask for your location so they can determine which products they could ship to you. Which i kind of like. I’d hate to accidentally buy something that wasn’t legal in my locale. The company does sell edibles though and I think the restrictions are more on that end then on the body lotion.

So there you have it, four foil packets and my initial impressions of the products within. Three I want to try further and one I definitely do not. Not a bad trial run. I hope you’ve enjoyed my foil packet first impressions.




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.