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.





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.

Trying out Erno Laszlo’s The Original Black Soap

I’ll admit, I had my doubts.  It has been a long time since I tried using a bar of soap to wash my face.  And the dull black bar didn’t really do much to inspire confidence.  The Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar, also labeled The Famous Black Soap, arrived in an Allure Beauty Box. I’ve tried the Erno Laszlo makeup removing cleanser (which was really good) that comes in a pump and it had a similar color so I wasn’t ready to judge it by its appearance. Also I have a fondness for their under eye masks.  So since I’ve tried and liked skin care products from the Erno Laszlo Company before, I was willing to go on a little faith.

I will say, because I saw a few reviews in passing, this bar has been around a long time so for many it is a familiar and well loved product.  There seemed to be some disagreement about formula and scent change.  While I may have tried this soap at some point in the dim dark past, as I believe my mother once had a membership with them (I think it was the only way you could get their products at the time), I don’t remember it well enough to compare it to the current bar.  This review is solely based on using this product now. This is not a comparison for what once was or what might have been.

It all begins with the cleanse – the essential first step to skincare success. Shop Erno Laszlo cleansers today!

So what is this soap now? According to the product page…

Our iconic Laszlo-original cleansing bar boasts the uniquely therapeutic benefits of Dead Sea mud, a mineral-rich miracle of nature, to deeply cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate skin.

To begin our commitment towards sustainability and doing our part in the circular economy, our packaging has been updated to feature 0% plastic.

We are committed to formulating without ingredients that do not meet the Erno Laszlo clean standards. Formulated Without: Phthalates, Parabens, Sulfates Mineral Oil, and Petrolatum

Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water (Aqua/Eau), Silt (Dead Sea Mud), Charcoal Powder, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss) Extract, Benzyl Cinnamate, Benzyl Benzoate, CI 77489 (Iron Oxides), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).
Please be aware that ingredient lists may change or vary from time to time. Please refer to the ingredient list on the product package you receive for the most up to date list of ingredients.

Erno Laszlo website

I will say right off that the package, a cute little paper wrapper, contained an ingredients list that matched the website. So if they changed the formula it wasn’t with this bar. Although I do appreciate that they let you know which is the most current list and which you should pay attention to. I’ve tried products before where the package and the website didn’t match on the ingredients list and there was no mention of which was the more up to date (printed or posted).  For me, I really like knowing that.

Fresh out of the wrapper bar on the left and the bar after two weeks of use. In case you are wondering the paler spots are not mold they are where the soap bubbles dried on top of the bar after use.

So dry, the bar had only a light scent that sort of came and went.  I wasn’t sure the scent was from the soap or something I had the soap next to, to be honest.  Then I got the soap wet.  The scent increased.  Oddly enough, it smells like black tea. I was expecting something more earthy and maybe mud like in the scent. I was even sort of expecting the odd almost lack of scent from the charcoal as in skin care it sometimes swallows scents.  Maybe tea scent is the parfum ingredient added.  Either way I liked it.  When I used the bar in the morning it sort of reminded me of waking up in my grandparent’s house. If the morning didn’t smell like black tea at that house then something was seriously wrong.

Because it has been so long since I have used a bar of soap (as opposed to a liquid, oil, gel or cream) to wash my face, it took me a little while to adapt. The first thing I realized was that you not only have to wet the soap down (which I did automatically) but you really need to splash a little water on your face first to help get things started.  According to the directions you are supposed to rub the bar on your face, using the corners to massage the planes of your face. 

I tried that, because it was recommended. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of this approach.  I preferred rubbing the bar of soap between my hands until it lathered and then rubbing the suds onto my face with my hands.  I know I lose the rounded corner massage element, but as I use a vibrating cleansing tool on my skin while the soap is on there, I think it makes up for it.  I did try the soap without the tool as I know not everyone uses them so I can compare the experience.

bit of a mess on the sink

But first the soap.  So it is scented like black tea.  It foams, but not a whole lot and the foam from the soap looks grayish black and to be honest, like dirty water.  Applied to the face any sort of exfoliation efforts were so gentle as to feel non-existent while rubbing on the face.  There was no harsh scratching or beads or seeds. This was not a physical exfoliate. When rinsed off the skin, the skin did feel as though it had been exfoliated.  My skin felt soft and super clean.  It was the sort of clean that made me want to wait a while before applying any moisturizer to the skin so I could just relish in the soft clean skin for a little while.

As good as it was on it’s own, I have to say, using the vibrating skin massager with this soap made it better.  I think they just worked really well as a tag team.  You don’t need the tool to get the soap to perform, but if you are using one, this is a great product to use it with.

contained on the plate it doesn’t bother me so much.

There is a little bit of a mess with using this product. There are dark dribbles in the sink that are easily rinsed off, you just have to remember to swirl a little bit of water through the sink to clear them out.  The product doesn’t leave any soapy residue, wither on your skin or in the sink so you don’t have to scrub.  I originally put the soap on the sink beside the faucet where whatever product I use to wash my face usually lives.

The black smears on the side of the sink and the drips leading from it down the sink kind of bothered me so I moved in a small plate.  It keeps the dribbles at bay and even though there are black smears on the dish it bothers me less than on the white sink.  I think it is because of the busy pattern of the plate to be honest.  The eye is less drawn to the schmutz.

My one regret with this bar is that I didn’t measure it before I started my trial.  I’ve been using it for about two weeks now, ever since I finished my Purlisse cleanser, and while the brand imprint on the center of the bar is less sharply cut, I don’t think the bar of soap has gotten all that much smaller.  The comparison photos are posted above (but with no real reference scale since I didn’t think before I usd the bar of soap.). While I normally wash my face with my standard cleanser in the morning and evening, this bar was so gentle I was able to use it for my mid-day post workout rinse off with no noticeable issues.  While I like my post workout Olay Gentle cleanser, it is really nice to be able to just use one cleansing product.

There are two sizes of soap that Erno Laszlo sells.  One is the 100 g bar (retail $38) and the smaller 50 g size (retail $23). The 50 g size is the one that came in the Allure Beauty Box.  I am curious to see how long the bar actually lasts.  I suspect that it will last for quite a while, in fact it might just last as long as a bottle of liquid style cleanser.  I would like to point out that I also keep it by my sink rather than in the shower.  I do have an oil makeup remover that I keep in the shower, but it is in a pump. 

I wouldn’t leave this bar cleanser in the shower as I think the shower spray might cause it to disappear faster than it needs to. This is a sink facial cleanser not a shower one. As always the final question is would I buy this product to use again.  The answer is use.  It is a good non drying cleanser that leaves skin soft and smooth.  I like the scent and I like the effects.  And once I managed to contain the dribbles in the dish instead of having them streak the side of my sink, I even got used to the color of the bar. It is definitely a product I would use again.

While Erno Laszlo products can be purchased on the Erno Laszlo site they are also available on the Look Fantastic Site. Today starts the Exclusive! 15% off Sitewide Sale on Look Fantastic. Just use code EXCLUSIVE15. The offer is good from today through October 5th.

Let’s talk Squalane

While I am not a chemist or a dermatologist or a biologist (or any kind of ologist to be honest) I love finding out about new ingredients and how they work with my skin. (In case you are wondering I’m a writer and architectural historian, which means one thing I definitely know is how to research).

Squalane seems like a new thing because it has so recently popped up on the skin care radar.  However, squalane was first introduced into the world of beauty in the 1950s.  It was used as an emollient (meaning it softens or smooths the skin.) Squalane oil is created when squalene oil undergoes hydrogenation processing. 

Squalene is naturally found in your sebum (the oils of your face) as well as other places.  Most notably in shark’s livers which is how it came by its name.  Squalus is a genus of sharks. However most commercially used squalene is derived from plants like olive oil rice and sugar cane.

The hydrogenation process not only changes the a to an e, but it turns the squalene from an unsaturated oil to a saturated one. This makes it more stable and less likely to turn rancid. It is safe for all skin types and it is lightweight and won’t clog your pores. It helps balance your natural oil production and helps keep skin clear and healthy.

For the past month I have been using the Timeless Skincare 100% Squalane oil gifted to me for review purposes. My skin is not particularly acne prone however I have always had the tendency to get clogged pores.  They are bumps beneath the surface that have the tendency to rise up and create a bumpy texture on my skin that seems to last forever as the clogged pore don’t seem to have any motivation to actually rise to the surface. 

Occasionally one will surface and I will be able to deal with it.  Products like Peace out with their acne dots can help bring them to the surface in many cases.  Some are just too deep for the dots to touch. While some acne washes do well with my skin, a lot of times it dries out my skin causing almost as many problems as the clogged pores.  With masking when leaving the house, the situation was not improved.

According to the Timeless Skin Care

As a dry oil, Squalane keeps your glow on without leaving an oily sheen. We call it the ‘finishing touch’. This light-weight oil seals in moisture and is also anti-bacterial, making it ideal for acne-prone skin and protecting skin against pollutants. It is also perfect for helping to set your make-up, so it stays in place all day.

In case there was any doubt, the Timeless Skin Care Squalane is derived from olives, not sharks. It is purely plant derived.

I have in the past had good luck using squalene oil based products on my skin so I though trying a daily application of pure squalene oil might be good for my skin. The oil was lightweight enough that I could wear it during the day without a problem. A lot of the time I just apply oils to my skin at night (such as the Malin+ Goetz Recovery Oil which is too heavy for me to wear in the day, but is fantastic at night).  This Timeless Skincare 100% Squalane oil I could easily wear during the day. 

I applied it once a day for the last month.  I used three drops, applied to my skin after my serum had time to sink in and then, after giving it a moment or two to settle, I added my moisturizer. I have to say I have seen a big reduction in my clogged pores.  There are still some along the mask lines, but they are not as deep or as hard to get rid of.  While my skin is nowhere near flawless, some of my biggest concerns have been mitigated and my skin feels better than it has in a while.  The bumps may not be as noticeable to others but they were quite noticeable to me and I am very glad there are fewer of them.

As for holding makeup in place all day, I have noticed that most of the foundations I have tried since I started using the Squalane oil have had wonderful staying power and lasted all day.  I saw non-clogging and locks in moisture when I looked at the description at the start but somehow missed the increasing makeup longevity section of the description.  I may actually have to go back and try some of the foundations without the oil being used to see if they last on their own or if they received a little extra help.  So I may have to do some repeat foundation trials to not only make sure my foundation reviews were accurate but to see if the oil lived up to this claim.   So on that claim, I’ll have to put a pin in it and do a little more testing.  However, even without knowing about the makeup longevity, this oil has enough plusses to keep it around.

While I’m sure the anti-aging properties help the serums and moisturizer work more effectively as well as help to treat acne and blemishes.  The anti-inflammatory properties are supposed to help treat eczema.  While I have only a mild spot of eczema on my arm, my baby doll has quite a few larger spots (mostly on his legs). 

He also has a tendency to pronounce everything, but basic shampoo and soap to be a scam. (He found out that one of my masks had clay in it and he offered to go and dig a bucket of red clay out of the back yard for me. I’m pretty sure he believes that is actually what skin care companies do, dig out buckets of clay from the back yard and slap them into fancy jars.) Did I mention that he is from Montana, one of three boys (no sisters) and that his father had only brothers, who also had only sons? His mother apparently had a bathroom to herself that was declared off limits upon penalty of death. So my baby doll is both confused and oddly mesmerized by some of my ‘girly potions’.

He tried the squalene oil on his eczema and he pronounced it ‘maybe not a scam.’ Which in the lexicon of my baby means it worked really well.  His one complaint was that it didn’t smell medicinal and he deep down believed that a product can’t be good for you unless it smells like medicine. The 100% Squalane Oil from Timeless Skincare is part of their Pure line and has nothing added to it.  It is a clear oil that smells of absolutely nothing.  While it is easy to mix in with your moisturizer, I prefer applying it to my skin first and then following with the moisturizer. For the eczema on my arm I’ve been applying it and then following with a body lotion.  (Actually the Lord Jones CBD lotion to be exact.)  It has worked really well in softening that patch as well. 

The one thing you really have to remember is that it is a thin oil.  The bottle has a dropper but the oil does start dripping out almost as soon as you lift it from the bottle.  I recommend squeezing it into the glass dropper, lifting it up, but not out of the bottle and then squirting half of the dropper back into the bottle before lifting it out to apply. There is less chance of wasting product that way. 

Over all I really enjoyed having this 100% Squalane oil from Timeless Skincare around this month and I have to say I will be picking up another bottle as soon as thins runs out.  As it is good for eczema as well, I’m going to try to get my baby doll into the habit of using it as well. As a one ounce bottle is only $9.95, it is very affordably priced. And if I can get him to use it routinely, I may have to stock up on it when black Friday comes.  Maybe I can set it between the Kneipp Juniper scented bath salts and the Menthol scented muscle soak oil he keeps around.  Between the two they make the air wafting off of the shelf smell medicinal.  Maybe it can be medicinal by association.   Even if he doesn’t turn to it habitually, I will be keeping this around at least as long as I have to wear facemasks.

If you are interested in more information about squalene you can find more information at Healthline.com, The Truth Beauty Company, or The Skincare Edit.  All three are great resources in learning more about this fantastic ingredient.

Peace Out Skincare

Oh Honey, Honey…It’s the Friday Face mask

Good afternoon my darlings.  I hope your Friday has been going super fantastically, or at least fantastically productive. I just spent far too long on a conversation with someone who complained a lot about washing reusable masks, but didn’t want to buy the non-reusable ones. 

It turns out she takes all of her laundry to the dry cleaners rather than washing it at home. Or has in the past. From the conversation I gathered that the pandemic has forced her to do laundry herself for what sounded like the first time in her life. 

As my mother taught me how to do my laundry when I was about ten and then put my laundry on my weekly chores list, I was kind of surprised that she made it to her forties without any laundry skills. Our family did the drycleaners once a year when we took the winter coats out of storage. My mom did my brother’s laundry until he hit his twenties and then he finally learned to do it himself. Mostly because he is too cheap to pay a dry cleaners.

And yes this meant that I spent the bulk of the conversation wondering if her underwear was dry cleaned as well.  I didn’t ask because there is really never a good time to ask a professional associate about their underwear, but the question still haunts me.

And I bet you’re now thinking about it too.

You are welcome.

So I am ready for a change of mental processes, a Friday etch-a-sketch for my brain if you will. And so on to the Friday Face Mask. Today I went with Farmacy’s Honey Potion. It comes in an adorable glass jar shaped like a honeycomb cell.  The lid is plastic but made to look like wood.  It is also magnetized so that it keeps the metal spatula in place. I’m pretty sure this is the only reason I haven’t lost the spatula yet.

So from the Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing antioxidant hydration mask I expect…

An intensely hydrating honey face mask for a glowing complexion! Infused with powerful antioxidants, this warming mask leaves skin soft, supple and plump with hydration. Mask day or night for an indulgent spa experience. Hydrates with honey. Pure and sourced from U.S. farms , our honey blend delivers skin-loving moisture, nourishment and antioxidants.

Use the magnetic spatula to spread a thick layer onto clean skin.
– Massage for 1-2 minutes while it warms and transforms into a white cream. Avoid lip and eye areas.
– Leave on for 10–15 minutes then rinse off.
– For sensitive skin: Due to the warming sensation of the mask, we recommend patch testing before use of the product.

All ingredients
Glycerin, Diglycerin, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Honey Extract, Propolis Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Honey, Water, Flavor, Vanillyl Butyl Ether


Well, I used the metal spatula to take the mask from the jar.  I didn’t really care for the metal against my skin so I transferred it to the silicon spatula.  I figured that at least it kept the mask in the jar from becoming contaminated. 

While the mask looks just like jelly on the face, when I did massage it did turn white as they claimed. It also warmed up quite dramatically. One of the things I like about the rubbing it in part is that because you are massaging it all over your face, you don’t have to make certain you have an even layer to start with.  It is spread out evenly as you massage it in.

After the initial warmth during the rubbing, the mask cools back down so as intense as the heat feels it doesn’t last long.  There is a little bit of tingling as it sits but it isn’t a lot.  It is enough that you don’t forget that you are wearing the mask though.  When you have this mask on, you know you have this mask on.

before massaging

After fifteen minutes I returned to the sink to wash it off.  As you might expect there is a fair amount of rubbing as you wash it of.  During this time the mask warmed back up.  It wasn’t as dramatic as the first blast of heat but it was nice.  The washing off did take a while.  This mask didn’t want to let go.  While the mask didn’t feel sticky going on to the face (which considering it looks so much like honey I sort of expected it too) when rinsing the skin after the mask, my skin felt a little sticky until I managed to wash all of the mask off.  Once it was off my skin felt absolutely lovely.  Soft hydrated and clean.  Maybe the stickiness is there to make certain you rinse it all away. 

I rather enjoyed this mask.  It was warming, it was hydrating and it made my skin feel soft to the touch.  There is surprisingly little scent to it.  I again expected it to smell like honey.  It does not. 

I also think that those with sensitive skin might not be as enthused as I am with this mask.  The heat and the tingles are a bit intense. I could see it being a bit much for some.  To be honest I actually prefer it to the bubbling masks.  I prefer this sort of heated tingle to that oxygenated fizz. The fizz I will keep in my bath bombs and champagne. 

This mask had an intense tingle that I am okay with.  I also think the results are better.  If you feel like zooming in on my chin, you can see that a couple of under the surface blemishes have been pulled to the surface. While not terribly appealing to see, it does make them easier to deal with and quicker to fade away without scaring. That is a big plus in my book.

As the results are supposed to be more dramatic after repeated use, I may have to try this throughout the week next week (I tend to do facemasks Monday and Wednesday evenings) and see how it performs.  For now, I will say I like it and am not opposed to trying it longer to see if I do get the results mentioned on the product page.  I think I’ll decide whether or not I would repurchase it after the repeated usage and comparison to claims.  For now, my first impression is quite hopeful.

For those doing a little shopping this weekend, here are a couple of offers you might want to look into. The first is from Kerastase. I am a big fan of anything from their Genesis line. It is fantastic on over worked hair. I tend to get it and then save it for Fridays after I have completed all of my weekly workouts because I don’t want to sweat or do anything to my hair after using it because it feels so soft and lovely. I even deal with crazy unstraightened bangs because I don’t want to add the heat protectant spray to my hair.

Free Kerastase Black Tote Bag & Shipping With Orders of $100+! Use code CHRN20 at checkout. Offer valid 9/18-9/21 (7am EST).

Also to look into Paula’s Choice is having a Love your skin Weekend where there is 15% off everything. I highly recommend the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. I really enjoyed using it, just remember that retinol does make your skin sun sensitive so it is a night time only kind of product. At least for me. I turned red, red, red when I forgot that. But when the sun goes down, It is fabulous to have around.

And if you are looking for a little makeup to go with your fabulous skin and hair, NYX Professional Cosmetics is having a 30% off sale this weekend Plus a little bonus for those stocking up. I am really loving their Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil. It gives great coverage but feels like you are wearing nothing at all on your skin. I actually think I am going to be using that in this coming week’s makeup bag. I think I have my summer shade and nee to figure out how light I need to go to pick up a winter one. Because this is one I will be picking up in additional shades to use year round.

Receive 30% Off Sitewide + a Free Rose & Play Eyeshadow Palette With $50+ Purchase ($20 Value)! No code required. Offer valid 9/17-9/22.

So for those of you planning to restock or starting to pick up your fall and winter shades as we edge out of summer, there are a few deals you might want to take advantage of. Happy shopping and have a great weekend.

Keeping it clean with Kahina Giving Beauty Cleansing oil

As many of you know, I adore a double cleanse. I love knowing that I have gotten all of the makeup as well as the residue of the day off of my skin.  There is just something fabulous about getting you skin super clean.  In a previous month’s Petit Vour box (I can’t remember if it was August or an earlier month) I received the Kahina Giving Beauty Cleansing oil

The full size retails for $59 and contains 100 mL worth of product.  The size I received contained 11 mL.  The suggested use is both morning and evening so that is what I did. Using the cleanser twice a day (with a second cleanser) the 11 mL cleansing oil lasted two weeks. The full size contains a little over nine times the amount of product (9.090909 if you want to be more accurate). So if I have done my math right then the full sized version would last a little over eighteen weeks, or if you only double cleanse in the evening to remove your makeup then a little over 36 weeks.  Which breaks down to $1.63 per use whichever way you use it.

But knowing the math is one thing, what the product does is another.  According to the product page it is designed to…

Dissolve makeup, sunscreen and bacteria with this nourishing oil cleanser that leaves skin clean and soft without residue. Super hydrating, antioxidant rich plant oils combine with healing and anti-inflammatory Calendula, Turmeric, and Blue Tansy to calm and detoxify skin. Luxuriate in the scent of a blend of all natural neroli and geranium essential oils.

This unique Oil Cleanser is water soluble and can be removed with just water.  No washcloth required. Ideal for dry, sensitive, and acne prone skin.


100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan | Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Isoamyl Laurate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil*, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil, Panicum Millaceum (Millet) Seed Extract*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Tocopherol, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Flower Oil*, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Leaf Oil*, Tanacetum Annuum Flower Oil, Hypericum Perforatum (St. Johns Wort) Leaf Extract, Santalum Spicatum (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Bisabolol, Citronelol†, Geraniol†, Linalool†, Farnesol†, Limonene†

* Ingredients From Organic Farming †Potential Allergens In Essential Oils Included In The Formula.  Not Added Ingredient. 100% Of The Ingredients Are From Natural Origin 76.84% Of The Total Ingredients Proceed From Organic Farming Cosmos Organic Certified By Ecocert Greenlife According To Cosmos.

Made in USA

Kahina Skincare

The fact that sunflower seed, argan and carrot seed oil are the top three ingredients really makes me happy.  My skin always reacts well to those three.  My hair too, as a matter of fact. Beyond the assorted oils, there are a couple of preservatives so the product doesn’t spoil and so that nothing funky grows in the bottle. 

end of the day makeup

Over all there is nothing troubling in the list that I can see.  I know some folks have issues with Limonene because it is a fragrance component and can cause sensitivity. It is however the very last ingredient on the list and I have never had sensitivity issues to it.  My skin is also not terribly sensitive in general. I know some people can develop sensitivity issues, however as this is a cleanser it is not designed to sit on the skin all that long so I have very little issue with it being in the ingredients.  Plus it’s the first step in a double cleanse so very little of the oil, if any will remain on the skin. If you are sensitive to it, you might want to be aware that it is in the oil.

So now that I know what is in the bottle and what I should expect from it, it is time to give it a try.  I wet my face and then dispensed the oil into my hand.  I used two pumps to get the amount I needed and then I rubbed it into my fully made up face.  As you can see, my lipstick had more or less vanished by the time I tried this oil, but what did remain, the oil took off. 

slightly foamy where the water touches the oil

After cleansing, there was some mascara remaining as well as some foundation.  It was broken up foundation though.  I’m not certain that you can see this in the photo, but what foundation remained was ready to let go and wash away.  While it didn’t rinse off with the oil, when I applied my regular cleanser to follow the oil, the remaining foundation practically streamed off the face with the first touch of soap.  I didn’t even have to rub. 

I did rub however as my mascara was still holding on for dear life. In fact as I washed with my regular cleanser more mascara came off my lashes that had not been touched by the Kahina Oil Cleanser.

Is it a good cleanser?  Yes, but it is very much a part of a two step cleanse.  It will break up the makeup but it needs a second step to make certain it is all gone. Just to make certain that this mascara was not being stubborn, I tried the oil cleanser with two separate mascaras, one an all natural vegan one and the other a waterproof one (the one I wore this week was a regular non-waterproof one).  The vegan one was easily removed with the oil, the waterproof one was not.  I then tested just my regular cleanser with the makeup and different mascaras.  The regular cleanser worked the same on all three mascaras, but without the oil I had to scrub more to remove the foundation and when I used my toner, the cotton round had much more makeup left behind on it than when I used the oil cleanser. 

still with a bit of the mascara remaining, more unfortunately came off my lashes when I went in with my second cleanser

So essentially what I found with my skin and products was that the Kahina cleansing oil was really good at loosening up and breaking down all makeup except mascara (other than the vegan one) and that it is definitely worth the time of doing a double cleanse. I actually enjoyed this cleanser very much.  My skin was cleaner than when I washed without it and it left my skin feeling soft and refreshed.  I like that the ingredients are ethically sourced and that very little was actually added to the oils. I also like the fact that it didn’t smell of bergamot. I don’t know why so many oil cleansers (especially the ones that are clean and vegan) tend to lean into the bergamot scent.  This one thankfully did not.

Would I consider buying it? Yes, I think I would.  It was a good cleansing oil and while it was a rock star with the foundation and fell down a bit with the mascara, most cleansing oils seem to fall down with the mascara.  And at least when I tried it on my eyes it removed all the shadow and didn’t leave a film on my contact lenses (which some have been known to do). All in all a pretty good product and I’m glad I got a chance to try it.

As I mentioned before it came in one of my Petit Vour Boxes. It is a clean and vegan beauty subscription I am really enjoying using. 

At the moment in addition to their regular subscription box, they are offering twelve limited edition curated boxes for sale.  The prices vary depending on what is in them but you can actually see what items are in the limited edition curated boxes on the Petit Vour website.  Several of the items have been featured in previous boxes and they vary from skin care to makeup.  All of course, cruelty free.

As an extra bonus now through december 31st 10% of all curated box sales are being donated to Austin Pets Alive. Just add code DONATE10 at checkout.

There are a couple of samples I’ve tried before that I wouldn’t mind having a second sample size of before I decide whether I want to commit to a full size.  Or that I just want to have around in general. It is definitely worth checking out, especially with 10% going to such a worthy cause. You can find the boxes at the link above or by clicking on the general banner below and following the prompts on the site. The Austin Pets Alive link will take you to their site if you want to look into where the money is going.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Break Out

No I did not go crazy on my grocery run yesterday. My babydoll is not now trying to bake files into cakes or slip me the architectural diagrams for the air duct system. although I’m pretty sure the air ducts (while still completely ineffective) would still be more viable than the file in a cake method. It would also be more reliable than my babydoll baking a cake anyone would want to eat. Although if you are baking it as primarily a file smuggling device I suppose taste isn’t your primary focus.

Still no arrests. Just the Break Out Spot Treatment from Rosen Skincare.

the application wand

First, let’s talk break outs. While most of mine are under control, there have been some clogged pores and break outs due to stress, masking and general life as of late.  At the moment my skin is fairly clear. I have some clogged pores that I am working on dealing with (I have a system that thus far seems to be working).  However, I did notice that I had a really red spot indicating the imminent arrival of an unwanted friend.  And it is in one of those odd spots near the curve of my nose so it is both prominent and hard to reach and deal with.

I also noticed the Break Out Spot Treatment that came in my September Glossy Box sitting next to my face wash. (the link will take you to my full review of the September Box)  It is from Rosen Skin care and according to the product page…

Tired of the same calamine/alcohol spot treatments? So are we. That’s why we made Break-Out, the super simple, paste for bumps and breakouts. With easy application and an even easier ingredient list, this overnight spot treatment can help you feel smoother after just a few uses.


Zinc Oxide, Water (Aqua), Apple Cider Vinegar, Radish Root Ferment (Leuconostoc) Filtrate, Lactobacillus, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Fruit Extract, Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) Oil, Xanthan Gum

Rosen Skincare

So I figured why not give it a whirl.  It looks like white-out correcting fluid.  It more or less feels like whiteout correcting fluid.  It smells like a peppermint stick.  The end result was that I felt a bit like I was putting toothpaste on my face. I know you are thinking, why would you know what it feels like to put toothpaste on your face Mimsy?

Ah ha.  It was one of my grandmother’s acne recommendations. Toothpaste on pimples at night to suck out all of the oil and then which hazel during the day as a toner. Both oddly enough worked rather well. Just remember to use regular, old fashioned tooth paste, not some sort of odd flavored gel formula if you try it. This is a job for Crest or Colgate.

Incidentally if you are wondering about the look on my face in this first photo, just as I went to hit the button to take the pic I heard glass breaking and a distinct ‘uh oh’ from the next room. It let me know something broke but that no one was hurt. I snapped the pic and then went to see what happened (a glass dropped too hard in the sink) and then forgot to retake the photo before applying.

the night before with no product, all apologies for the scowl

I will say it applies more smoothly than tooth paste. But it did make a bit of a mess.  A large chunk of it gathered at the top of the tube and had to be pushed down.  I’m pretty sure that happened in shipping.  But it got product all over the want and my hand. So it was a bit messy. I covered the one spot that had me concerned and then figured, in for a penny, in for a pound and dotted it on all of the bumpy clogged pores and blemishes currently on my face.

The product tingled.

A lot.

applied as directed

Enough that I was somewhat concerned by the thought of leaving it on overnight.  After about half an hour though the tingling stopped all together.  The product was also then dry enough that it wouldn’t smear all over my pillow. I think a large part of the tingling was due to it drying down as when it was dry there was zero tingling. Which made me less fearful of sleeping with it on.

I will say that my babydoll’s laughter was quite something to behold.  It may have dried down, but the white didn’t go away.  He found it absolutely hilarious.

The mocking was intense.

next morning wake up

But understandable.  And considering earlier in the night I teased him over his love of using a detangling brush in his beard, despite his dislike of beard grooming tools I suppose it was fair. 

(Not that his beard is long and unkempt.  It is relatively close to his face and well maintained.  He has curly hair and when he shaved, the ingrown hairs were awful so he grew a beard more for self-defense than fashion. It actually does look good on him. He just likes using his trimmer and basic shampoo and soap on it and making fun of anything that isn’t his shampoo (Suave Clean and Clear), his trimmer (every few years he does upgrade to a ‘fancier’ trimmer which he claims has better power and control – which may be true but is mostly his love of gadgets at work), and his soap (Dr. Squatch – also known as ‘that soap you pick up that I don’t mind’. He also sort of pouts when I forget to reorder it before he runs out in case you actually believe I am foisting ‘fancy’ soap on him.)

So I was mocked for the dashes of white across my face. Then the lights went out and he went to sleep chuckling so all was well. I do sleep with an eye mask on. I thought it was dry enough to use it however the eyemask looks like it made out with a clown while I slept. Surprizingly the product was really hard to remove when I actually tried to take it off.

After first wash

In the morning I went to the bathroom and found that the white had faded but was still noticeable.  So eager to see what lay beneath the white, I washed my face.  After washing my face, some of the white remained.

So I used my Avant exfoliating scrub.  Gentle, but effective.  It took the remaining white off.  For my clogged pores making small bumps on my skin, it did absolutely nothing. There was no change. 

after second wash

For the red spot indicating an eruption was soon to occur, it brought the blemish more to the surface a little faster than expected.  I think with repeated use it would help clear it away faster. 

I think this product is one that should probably be used on existing break outs.  I think it helps pull some of the oils out to dry them up. The skin around the appearing break out felt a lot dryer than last night. Because the blemish on my nose was closer to the surface it did help bring it out faster, but is not a clogged pore product.  The before and after pictured below are a close up of my nose. On the left you have the red spot threatening to come out and on the right you can see the spot raised a lot more but still not actually coming out. It is a little blurry because the lens did not want to focus that close to my skin. I can’t say I blame it, but the images are there if you’d like to see.

I think I will keep this product around and try it on full scale break outs.  I do get those, but not as often as I get the deeply buried clogged pores causing bumps. I think trying to use it on those will just unnecessarily dry out my skin. 

However as at the moment most of the items in my blemish fighting arsenal are targeted towards clogged pores, it is nice to have a straight up blemish fighter around.  I won’t be using it often, but I like having it there.  I will have to reserve judgement on whether or not I would repurchase this Break Out Spot Treatment until I try it out on full blown blemishes.  For now, I am perfectly okay with it taking up space in my medicine cabinet, waiting until it is needed. I am also thrilled with Glossy Box for sending it to me. It was part of the September Spa Edit box, which has officially sold out. Anyone signing up for Glossybox now will receive a mystery box. I may be on the fence about the Break out treatment, but the box is consistently good.

Testing out the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum

Timeless Skincare recently gifted me a set of products to try out and review.  While these were gifted to me the reviews are my own opinions. This is not a sponsored post. I’m sure you recall me mentioning the HA (Hyaluronic Acid) Spray that was also in the package they sent over.  I’ve been using it in my Weekly Makeup Bag for the last two weeks and absolutely loving it.  But as I like to give skin care a full thirty days where possible before I make a determination, it still has another two weeks of use before I give you my final thoughts. You can see my initial impressions post by clicking here if you would like.

The only reason I mention it is that the HA Spray is listed in the product description as a lighter version of the Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum, which I’m reviewing today after a full thirty days of use.

So if you are looking at the ingredients list and thinking to yourself, wow that sounds familiar, then first of all congrats on paying attention to ingredients lists. Give yourself a gold star. Second, it is pretty much the same list.  The spray has cucumber extract added to it to give it the just from the spa scent (and cucumber extract benefits).  There are other scents with the spray as well, but as this is the serum review I’ll leave that for that post.

First let’s look at what the product claims and then we’ll get to the ingredients and my use. So first off…

Kick start your daily skin care routine with this essential serum. Vitamin C with its powerful antioxidants is the first line of defense for your skin as it brightens, clarifies and protects. Matrixyl 3000™ rebuilds collagen and firm skin, and Hyaluronic Acid pumps up the moisture levels. Your face appears luminous and bright, giving you that well rested, ‘just had a full night’s sleep’ effect. 

Recommended For All skin types, every day

Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum is composed of a 5% concentration of Vitamin C, a 1.5% concentration of Matrixyl 3000™ with an added 1% concentration of Hyaluronic Acid. The combination of hyaluronic acid with the best vitamin c serum for oily skin provides a super hydra-boosting serum brightens skin with natural vitamins and essential anti-aging ingredients, while replenishing skin volume and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles

Apply 2-3 drops to fingertips and smooth evenly onto cleansed skin, preferably at night-time. For external use only. Sunscreen use recommended after application.

Timeless Promise: Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, More actives, less chemicals, Made in the USA


Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Aloe Barbadensis, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Matrixyl 3000™, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Timeless Skincare

As the product is meant to hydrate I am not surprised water is the first ingredient on the list.  In fact, I would be pretty shocked if it wasn’t.  Most skincare products do have it as their first ingredient, which makes sense.  If a product is supposed to put moisture in the skin, it has to have moisture to give.

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is the vitamin C element that is mentioned in the description in case you are wondering why vitamin c isn’t plainly labeled on the ingredients list.  According to the Derm Store this is a form of Vitamin C that not only protects skin from free radicals and helps hydrate but it helps with hyper pigmentation and stimulates collagen. The link is actually to the Derm Stores full article which goes into much greater detail about this form of Vitamin C for those interested.  Personally, I think it is pretty interesting.

Aloe Barbadensis is essentially Aloe Vera.  I am a big fan of this.  It is an anti-inflammatory agent essentially.  I can personally attest to this.  Every house I lived in as a child had an aloe plant in it.  Sunburns, and non-sun burns, poison ivy, and any kind of itchy bite or skin inflammation saw a bit of the aloe plant snapped off and rubbed on the skin.  I was very glad this spring that I kept of the practice of keeping an aloe plant around when I got my massive sun burn this spring. It was icy cold and super soothing. My poor aloe plant is almost fully recovered from the ordeal. Needless to say I am very glad to see it in my skin care, especially since I have been spending so much time in the sun this summer.

Glycerin is a humectant, which essentially means it is what pulls the moisture into the skin and kind of locks it down.  It is pretty common in a lot of moisturizing products and kind of expected. The Hyaluronic Acid is also expected since this is a hyaluronic acid based product.  HA reduces fine lines and causes the skin to retain moisture, essentially plumping the skin to do away with fine lines.  It is not an acid as in evil villain slowly lowering you into a bubbling vat while spilling all of the details of his nefarious plot sort of acid.

As the TM by the term in the ingredients list implies the Matryxl 3000 is a proprietary substance but here is the simple break down of what the  Timeless Skin care Site had to say about it…

Matrixyl 3000 is an ultimate collagen booster derived synthetically and comprised of two skin active peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl-tetrapeptide-7. These two active ingredients stimulate the skin and work with the skin to enhance its natural anti-aging properties.

Timeless Blog Article

If you click on the site link it will take you to a more fulsome discussion of this ingredient, but the above is essentially the summation.

This leads us to the last two listed ingredients: Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid. Benzylalcohol is a preservative designed to kill microbes and Dehydroacetic Acid is a non-toxic ingredient used as a fungicide and bactericide.  It’s job is to prevent the growth of microorganisms. So essentially these last two ingredients keep the product from spoiling and from mold and microbes from growing inside the product.  I am okay with that. I prefer all my skin care to not go rancid on me. 

Five drops of the product in hand

And that is it for ingredients.  There are eight of them.  Two designed to prevent spoilage and the rest to do the job for which the serum was designed. Overall not a bad list.  I have used quite a few products where breaking down every ingredient (even in the short non-scientific way I did here) would not be possible. I really like that no extras were added just to be added.

The serum comes in a blue glass bottle with a glass dropper. Despite the fact that the Hyaluronic Acid +Vitamin C Serum only costs $20.95, it feels super lux in the hand.  The glass is nice in the hand and the dropper is well made.  With glass bottles like this I have a love hate relationship with the color of the bottle.  I love that it is a solid color that prevents light from getting in and ruining the product, but I hate not knowing how much I used. The product is clear and odorless.  If you have a problem with scent in your skin care then you will be thrilled with this.  There is absolutely no scent to it.

Now while the website says it is ideally used in the evenings, the box it came in suggested morning and evening use.  So I used it in the morning and in the evening. I know that sun sensitivity with some serums can be an issue, but I didn’t have any sort of problems with it.  That being said, when I go outside I have SPF 50 sunscreen (courtesy of my Volition sunscreen) on my face and as extra security I have been topping all of my skin (arms, legs, and face) with a spray sunscreen (Neutrogena Beach Defense) in SPF 30.  So the sunscreen may have something to do with the non-reaction in the sun.

But I’m not giving up my sunscreen to check.   

I try not to deliberately try for skin damage.

The recommended usage is three to four drops.  I generally found that three covered my face perfectly well, my skin sucking the serum in almost immediately upon contact.

Seriously, it disappeared like magic. 

Since I like to bring my serums down my neck and onto my upper chest, I used five drops and it covered everything beautifully.  This is a serum you are going to want to dispense in your hand and then apply to the face.  If you try to use a cotton round, or any other cloth applicator, it will absorb into the cloth and you will just sort of lose the product.  Definitely apply it with your hands.  Any product that doesn’t go into your face will sink into your hands.  Which is not a bad thing.  Even in a glancing application, the serum has actually smoothed out a lot of my gardening based rough spots on my hands. I know that isn’t its intent, but it isn’t a bad side effect.  

I did take before and after photos of my face in an effort to see the difference thirty days made.  I know the difference is slight in only a month, but I did notice a smoothing out of my skin in the mouth and eye area.  I even noticed a slight reduction in what I like to call my stress crack – the line across the center of my forehead. It isn’t shrunk to nothing (I doubt very much that anything would completely erase it) but it hasn’t gotten bigger and it is a little less noticeable. The hyperpigmentation on my forehead is slightly lighter.

The differences I’ve noticed are really kind of hard to see in a photo. For one, my skin feels less dry.  As I am walking more instead of going to the gym, I am spending more time outside.  Between the walking and the gardening, the sun takes its toll.  While using this serum I’ve had to use less moisturizer to keep the sun dryness at bay. and I have been noticing a lot less clogged pores lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I think somehow I also assembled a crack team of products for this round of testing as in the past month a lot of my skin issues have cleared up. While this serum isn’t solely responsible for my skin’s improvement, it was a really big help.  The dark spots left by acne scarring haven’t really diminished so dealing with skin discoloration due to scarring may not be this serum’s strong suit despite the vitamin c, but it is excellent with retaining moisture and plumping up fine lines.  So two out of three isn’t bad.

I do have a second serum that was sent to me by Timeless Skincare.  It is the 20% Vitamin C + E and Ferulic Acid.  It is designed more for the pigmentation so I will be giving it a go.  In my month long trial using it morning and evening, I used up about half of the 1oz bottle of HA serum that was sent to me. I am going to switch to using it just in the evenings (which should give me another two months of testing with the serum, plus I don’t want the left over to go to waste and I really enjoyed using it so have no problem whatsoever in using every drop). 

I am going to then test the more heavily vitamin C serum during the day and see if that works better on my hyperpigmentation.  I have high hopes that the combination of the two serums will do well with my skin. Of course I won’t know until I try.  Which I will do starting tomorrow morning. 

Until then, I have to say I have really enjoyed this serum and am very glad Timeless Skincare sent it over to me to test out and review.  It is a serum I will be purchasing on my own in the future. I may even have to look into ther DIY Beauty Box in the near future as well. Thus far I am enjoying the products I’ve used well enough that rying out more from this brand seems like a really good idea.

QMS Medicosmetics Active Glow Tinted Day Cream

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect from this product.  QMS Medicosmetics is a rather pricey brand and I’ve had my issues with them before.  The Lip Line corrector did very little for me and the eye cream was too heavy and clogged my pores rather badly. However I heard very good things about this from a cousin, who has similar skin to mine and also had issues with the eye cream.  So when I saw it as an option during Boxy Charm Choice I clicked on it.  I figured maybe the third time is the charm.

Before we get into my experiences and thoughts, let’s see what the product page has to say.

Lightweight, sheer, colour adaptive cream with vitamins. Helps to blur imperfections to reveal visibly glowing, even skin. The combination of a skin-perfecting light tint and hydrating formula make this an ideal day cream.

This sheer cream combines hydration with a complexion restoring tint.

Enriched with vitamins, this day cream is ideal for indoor days for a refreshed no-makeup, natural look or under makeup to even the complexion. Its clever tint is designed to work with every tone and its moisturizing ingredients help to firm and smooth the skin.


Aqua (Water), Decyl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Propylene Glycol, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, PEG-8 Distearate, Steareth-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-30 Stearate, Glycerin, Panthenol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate , Sericin , Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Hydrolyzed Algin, Oryzanol, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Galactoarabinan, Lecithin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Sodium Phytate, Citric Acid, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Oleate, Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, BHT, Parfum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Piroctone Olamine, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Eugenol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Coumarin, Linalool, Limonene, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499)

QMS Medicosmetics

Normally I don’t include foundation ingredients lists (although to be fair I am not certain why I never have so maybe I will include them in the future) but it seemed like the right thing to do since skin care benefits were being claimed.

I had to try this product several different ways to see how it felt best to use this for me and to get a feel for the formula.  My skin tends to be in the what is called the normal to combination range.  In the summer I lean a little oily (especially in the t-zone) in the winter I lean a little to the dry, at least in my current climate.  I’ve lived other places where I was normal to dry year round or normal to oily year round. I really am sort of balanced on that dividing line which is why I end up with seasonal skin care.

First, let’s cover this as a day cream.  I tried it without my moisturizer under it and I tried layering it over my moisturizer. While it applied like a moisturizer, I did not like wearing it on it’s own. Without the moisturizing layer it felt oddly drying. However with the moisturizer underneath, I found I had to add less moisturizer to my skin when I followed with this.  Currently I am testing out the Dior Dream Skin Moisturizer. While I will be posting a review soon, I have used it long enough to know how it performs. 

On days without the QMS Active Glow, I used two pumps of the moisturizer, let it sit and then once absorbed went about my makeup application. If I used two pumps when I was using the QMS Active Glow, it was too much moisturizer. I’m pretty sure this is how I ended up with break outs on my chin this week.

amount of product used

If I used one pump of moisturizer and then applied the QMS after it absorbed, things went really well.  So I believe that the QMS Active Glow Tinted Day Cream does provide moisture to the skin, it just didn’t provide enough for my skin. Although I have no way of testing to see if the enriched vitamins were in facet absorbed I will say that with the exception of the chin break out while I was figuring out application, my skin looked and felt really good this week.

But I didn’t really use this as just a moisturizer.  I used it as my “foundation product” of the week. So how did it do in that capacity?

Well, first of all I have to say that it smells more like a foundation product than it does a moisturizer.  It smells like a healthy vitamin enriched foundation (no paint smells here) but still like a foundation product rather than a moisturizer. If I were categorizing products in a blind scent test, that is the category I would put it in, even though I am not exactly certain what the actual scent is composed of.

the glow with no powder

The tube has a pump dispenser which I like as it keeps the product away from air and light.  The pump worked easily.  I generally found I needed two pumps to cover my face.  Applying it was interesting.  It didn’t really care for the foundation brush so I applied it with my hands like a moisturizer.  This worked well. I then went in with my HUDA Beauty Sponge and made certain to smooth it out near my eyes.  That flat and pointed side was perfect for that and it was just the right light touch this product needed. 

For coverage, the tinted day cream was extremely light, but it immediately evened out my skin tone. It also made me extremely glowy.  I’m not a huge fan of the glowy look, but a quick powder took care of the glow.  I know I’m not a fan of the glow, but it felt really strange with this product. I think because it has the glow of a glowy foundation, but doesn’t react on the skin like a regular foundation.  It was almost like someone put glow drops in my moisturizer. So that I found a little strange.

My skin with just the QMS and a quick hit of powder. No red spots showing

However I have no other complaints.

Seriously, that was it’s one flaw.  It absorbed into the skin like a moisturizer so there was no worries about it cracking along the moving parts of the face or settling into fine lines.  It was almost non-existent on the skin in terms of feel, yet when I went to wash my face at night I found that it stuck with me throughout the day.  The even tones lasted all day and  as I applied the powder when the QMS Active Glow was still damp on the skin, it locked the loose powder into place.

It did however affect my entire makeup routine.  While I’ll get into that on Friday with my weekly Makeup bag post, most of the products I pulled this week I didn’t use because with the light coverage of this product, they felt like over kill.  I ended up using a loose setting powder with a pink tone which gave my skin all of the color it needed and then I used a light sweep of blush on my eyelids instead of eyeshadow as the eyeshadow palette I chose this week was simply too much. I also ended up switching out my lipsticks for balms and glosses.

This QMS Active Glow is perfect for a light, no makeup day, but it is not something you can build up.  I did try a foundation on top of it and in that instance the QMS felt more like a really good primer.  It gave me the even skin tone under my foundation so my foundation didn’t have to work that hard.  However, I have several primers that do just as well so it felt like a waste to just add foundation on top of this when it really worked well on its own. I do like the fact that if I was having a no makeup day and suddenly have to go somewhere I can just apply foundation on top of what I am wearing without having to scrub down, which is nice. Especially as I tend to go from working alone at my desk for long stretches of time to the occasional meeting.  Also because it is a moisturizer, it didn’t really have any issues rubbing off on my mask, which was extra nice.

I have to say in the end I am quite pleased to have this product in my collection.  It threw off my entire makeup bag this week, but it is going to be well used.  Because the tint is so light and designed to be used by multiple skin tones, I can use it year round without having to find a different shade and my skin reacted well to it.  The glow part I didn’t care for but it was very easily toned down into something wearable and I can see this being pulled out of my dressing table a lot in the future. Because of it, I don’t have an eyeshadow palette review ready to post right after this, because I really didn’t get to wear the eyeshadow this week. But I consider that a small sacrifice (and I’ll fill in a different post later this afternoon).  Apparently with QMS Medicosmeticals, the third time really was the charm. As long as the rest of my wek doesn’t start to resemble the Goldilocks story, I can live with that.

Huda Beauty

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.

Is the Avant Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant Worth is hefty Price tag?

I have always loved a good exfoliant. And I’ll be honest, while I do really enjoy the chemical exfoliants, there is a part of me that will always gravitate towards the physical exfoliants.  There are two issues with them is that you really have to be mindful of if you are going to use the physical exfoliates.

The first issue involves ingredients.  Some of the physical exfoliates include things that are a little too harsh for the skin, such as walnut shells.  The shells can actually cause micro tears in the skin and actually be more detrimental than beneficial to the skin.  While I am willing to debate whether or not a product actually does what it claims to do, I tend to draw the line at detrimental.  I’d much rather debate good or pointless instead of good or bad with my skin care.  I like to take the term detrimental out all together.

The second thing to be mindful of when looking at exfoliates is knowing when you are overdoing it.  Overdoing a facial scrub is very easy to do, even with the chemical versions.  There are many exfoliants or facial scrubs that claim to be gentle enough to use every day.  At most I will use a facial scrub three times a week.  There are some products I would only use once a week and there are some that I will at best use once a month. I tend to save those for when I need a deep down scrub.

So with all this, why do I like facial scrubs and exfoliates?

I find that even if I use an exfoliant once a week, it tends to help slough off some of the dead skin and brighten my face.  I also find that this process really does help with the rough and bumpy clogged pores.  What I tend to do is I take my facial scrub into the shower with me.  I shower, wash my hair, wash my self and then once the hot water has opened up my pores I do a face scrub while still in the shower. Then when I get out of the shower and dry off I add serums and moisturizers to my newly scrubbed skin. 

And for those wondering, no these pictures were not taken in my shower.  I love each and every one of you, but I am not taking you into the shower with me.  I took the pictures at my bathroom sink.

But all facial scrubs are not the same. With some this process works better than others. So what are the Avant Skincare Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant claims?

Refine and brighten your skin with Avant Skincare Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant, a facial exfoliator that promotes a smoother, renewed-looking complexion.

Part of the brand’s Age Nutri-Revive range, the exfoliator has been specially formulated to nourish skin from within and combat a number of imperfections, from enlarged pores to uneven tone, fine lines and dullness, the formula. Combining nature with science for maximum efficacy, the formula helps to slough away dead skin cells and reveal a healthy-looking, radiant canvas. Its dose of hydrating Rose, with soothing and antioxidant properties, helps to reduce the appearance of redness, wrinkles and irritation, whilst Vitamin B5 delivers softening and healing benefits; moisture is retained and wrinkles appear smoother.

Skin is left feeling clarified and radiant with improved softness and texture. Regular exfoliation will maximize absorption of subsequent skincare products.

Free from carbomer and parabens.


Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Cellulose Acetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Acrylates Copolymer, Glycol Distearate, Rosa Hybrid Flower Extract, Urea, Papain, Serine, Alanine, Proline, Glycolic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Magnesium Lactate, Potassium Lactate, Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Maltodextrin, Sodium Coceth Sulfate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Cocamide Mea, Peg/Ppg-14/4 Dimethicone, Myristyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Citronellol, Linalool, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Avant Skincare

Okay, that is a host of claims. But I don’t see the dreaded walnut shells, or anything else super harsh on the list. In fact nothing jumps out at me from the ingredints list as needing a warning, at least as far as my skin concerns go.  Every skin is different so if you have allergies or sensitivities, definitely take a look for yourself. 

So we open the tube. A momentary word about packaging.  While my product is in a squeeze tube the full size sold is actually sold in a glass jar.  My Avant Skincare Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant came to me in a subscription box. I think it might have been either an IPSY or a Glossy Box.  In contains slightly less than the full size which clocks in at 60 mL rather than the 50 mL of the tube.

Oddly enough, there were a couple of months where I ended up with Avant products, one from Glossy Box, one from IPSY and one from Boxycharm. So I have three and can’t remember which was which. All three are sold on the Look Fantastic Site though, so any reordering would be done in one place.  I have this exfoliant scrub, a moisturizer and a night cream.  I tested out the cream, but found it was the kind of cream I really like in the winter time, so I put the moisturizer and day cream to the side until colder weather sets in for their trials. I rotated this facial scrub in once I finished with the Nuxe exfoliant.

Which is a long way to say that since tubes are lighter to ship, they are sent in tubes in subscription boxes instead of the glass jar you would purchase them in.   I think this would definitely work better in a glass jar than a tube.  Not only is it thick, but I generally found that because I have to squeeze a little harder to gt the product out of the tube, I tend to dispense more than I intended because I don’t stop squeezing fast enough.  Hence the too much product on my hand in the photo.  I really only needed to use about half of that for a good scrub to my face.  I think the glass jar makes it a little less wasteful than the tube. But since it is really only sold in the glass jars, it isn’t really an issue.  Just notes from my trial.

on the face it doesn’t really foam up but it is noticeable

Once dispensed the product has a very strong floral aroma.  Those who do not like rose, need to turn away now.  It is very rosy.  It is a fresh, French Skincare sort of rose which I don’t mind.  It is a little too strong a scent for my preferences but it isn’t cloying. It is definitely a fresh scent and it doesn’t linger.  If you are adverse to rose though, I can tell you, this product is not for you.

Which would be a shame. 

This is an extremely fine grained exfoliate in the scrub.  It feels a bit like caster sugar, fine grained but not yet ground down to the point where it is icing sugar. (I know that will mean more to those of you who bake, but I couldn’t really find a better description. If you took a pinch of table sugar between your thumb and index finger and rubbed them together, the grains would be slightly more harsh and scrubby than the Avant Skincare Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant if that helps any).

clean skin with nothing irritated

It is extremely gentle on the skin and to be honest, this is the first time I have ever tested out an exfoliant and said, ‘Okay, I could see how someone could use this on a daily basis.’ Most of the facial scrubs, even ones I really like, I couldn’t see anyone using on a daily basis despite what is written on the label. This I could almost see someone justifying a daily use. 

I still stuck with my two to three times a week use, as that is more typical for me.  I will say that at no time did I think I was going to go overboard with using this product.  At no time was it too harsh on my skin. While most of the time I did use this as part of my shower, I did use it a few times at the bathroom sink. 

There were days when I felt super gunky from walking outside and (especially as it is ragweed season here) and this was a great way to do more than just rinse off the sweat and pollen particles.  It helped me feel less gunky. I did notice that the scent of the scrub was stronger when I used it at my bathroom sink than when I used it in the shower.  Maybe it is the steam, maybe it is the competing body wash and shampoo scents, but it was not as strong.  Still noticeable, but not as strong.

So did it meet its claims?

Let’s see…

Refine and brighten the skin? Yes.  I would say that this product achieved this.

Promote a smoother, renewed-looking complexion? Again yes, I would go along with this.  It was very good at helping me unclog clogged pores and smoothing out my complexion.

Specially formulated to nourish skin from within and combat a number of imperfections, from enlarged pores to uneven tone, fine lines and dullness? While I would lean towards my serums and moisturizers for combating fine lines, I’m not going to say this didn’t help.  I can’t prove it did anything as there were other products in play, but it certainly didn’t hurt.  As one of the reasons pores look enlarged is that they are full of gunk and making them look smaller often involves clearing the gunk out, I would say that yes this did help with enlarged pores and certainly with the dullness by sweeping away dead skin skin cells.

Helps to reduce the appearance of redness, wrinkles and irritation? Redness isn’t generally something I struggle with so I really can’t speak to that, but I will say I had absolutely no irritation with this product.  It worked well with my skin and exfoliated without being too harsh.

 Skin is left feeling clarified and radiant with improved softness and texture? My skin was always left feeling clean and soft rather than harshly scrubbed and there was no residue left behind.

Regular exfoliation will maximize absorption of subsequent skincare products? This was one of my favorite claims and to be honest, I have no way of actually testing it.  I really like the thought of it helping other products absorb better, but I think that by using the steam of the shower to open the pores and then an exfoliant to clear them out it left room for the rest of my skin care to move in.  There is no real way I have been able to figure out how to officially test that out though, it is just something that sort of makes sense.

But now the final question, would I buy this product and use it again?

There is no question that I would use this again.  The rose scent is a bit much, but the benefits do outweigh the scent.  Especially when used in the shower.  It is a bit on the pricey side.  A full sized jar costs $114.  Currently Look Fantastic has it on sale for 15% off with the code CELEBRATE, which is very nice.  If I were looking to splurge on a product, this would be one I would choose.  Because you only need a little and don’t use it every day, it would last quite a while.  It would definitely be a splurge item and I would keep an eye out for sales, but in the end, it is one of those pricey items that is actually worth their price tag.