All I want for Christmas is spectacular skin

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Welcome my darlings to the week before the big sales start.  Or what is usually the week before the big sales start. Many of the sales started early this year.  Even so, each year around this time, I look at products I’ve tried and liked enough to want to continue using or products that I tried in a sample size and want to give a full sized version a go in the upcoming year. When stocking up on skin care, it really pays to hit the sales.

As I start looking over things, there are always a few memorable stand outs that I don’t have to think too hard about.  There are always more I see pop out at me when I start to look over my previous posts and start seeing forgotten gems.  As I could literally go on for hours about various products, I have decided to attempt to limit each section to three or four items. There are some categories that will flaunt that decision with flagrant disregard for my attempt at control, but I will try to keep this post from becoming too massive.

Also throughout the week I’ll try to hit all of the categories I am currently reviewing for my own Cyber Monday/Black Friday Sales extravaganza.

Also in an attempt to keep the length of this skincare post semi reasonable, I have put masks in their own special category. We’d be here for days if I didn’t split them out.

So welcome to the skin care roundup. As we all know whether you are dressing up or dressing down for the holidays great skin is your best accessory for every occasion. Any of you reading this site on a regular basis probably realized, I am the sort of person who favors a multitude of steps to my skin care routine.  Some of the steps I do every day, others I only do on occasion and some fall somewhere in between.  I generally decide what steps I am using based on what my skin needs at the time. 

Breakouts call for one set of steps while dry patches and dullness call for a different regime. So I adjust.

I know some people are minimalists, but I really enjoy the routine of skin care.  It helps me wake up in the morning and it lets me unwind in the evening.  Whatever your routine, here are some products that I have enjoyed, that I will be repurchasing (or have already stocked up on) and that I would recommend to those looking for products to try.

We’ll start with makeup removers.  I am partial to cleansing balms as I find them neater to use and less likely to spill as they get knocked over.  While I have more or less cornered a powder room for my skincare/beauty needs and am usually the only one using that bathroom, when someone else does use it they tend to rocket through like a whirling dervish.  I’ve gotten many an apologetic look as something was knocked over and spilled by accident. Then there is the invariable look of shock when they realize how much that tiny little bottle they knocked over costs. Being the only female in the house lets me cause shock and awe quite frequently.

As the only skin care term my babydoll has managed to pick up has been ‘Cold Cream’ and it is the term he uses for every skin care product that exists (he is quite proud of knowing it actually) and believes that nothing in the bathroom should cost over $10 he has suffered some major shocks.

the travel size

Plus, when you are working in a space with hard surfaces and frequently wet and or greasy hands, things happen.  The two cleansing balms that are on my top tier right now are The Elemis Cleansing Balm and the Versed Skincare cleansing balm.

Both are excellent products that don’t require a lot of product to work and so last quite a while. The Elemis Cleansing Balm is a thick, custard like consistency and has a slightly floral, slightly botanical scent. I have tried for a while to fully identify it but the scent just smells like Elemis.  Several of their products have the scent. I personally like it. I also like the fact that it leaves my skin feeling soft as well as clean.  This is not a product that will strip your skin.  It just removes the makeup.

The Elemis Cleansing Balm actually features in several of the brand’s  holiday kits this year. I believe it might actually be in their advent calendar as well.  It is one of their top sellers, which is easy to see why.  They have a set of three cleansing balms as a pack, one in the original (which I tried and loved) one that is rose and one Neroli (orange) in case you wanted to try out different scents. Purchasing them together gives you a discounted price. 

And if you are looking for a deal (as well as a fantastic gift for either you or a skin care lover on your list), one of the sets, the Glowing SkinCare Stars, actually includes both the Cleansing Balm and the Dynamic Resurfacing  Pads that I’ll mention a little further down.  I actually picked up this set for my mom for Christmas. Not only does it contain two of my favorites (which I know she’ll love, but there are plenty of other extras in the bag. There are other kits of course and all worth checking out, but that is the one I ordered as a gift this year. I love kits because they let you try out a whole bunch of products at the same time.

The Versed cleansing balm is a little different.  It too removes the makeup and doesn’t strip your skin, but it has a more solid consistency.  It has the feel to it of a giant lip balm. To get it out of the jar I generally ran a tiny skin care spatula across the top of the product and then gathered up the product into my hands.  The heat from my hands melted it a little and then I rubbed it onto my face. 

It has a scent that is more menthol than floral and reminded me of Vick’s Vapor rub. While the scent is not my favorite, I was willing to use it because the product worked so well. And to be honest the scent dissipates quickly. It is also relatively inexpensive.  The product is on the large side and costs only $17.99 for a full size.  

Next time I order one I am planning on adding a couple of their tinted lip oils (they are $9.99 each).  While the Versed Cleansing Balm can be purchased at my local Target, they don’t stock the lip oils for some reason. It’s one of those small annoyances. 

The last time I replaced my Versed cleansing balm I just went to Target and picked it up.  I forgot I was going to order it because of the lip oils. So now I have to order them separately.  Of course I’ve also been eyeing their Winter Unwind Gift set. I’m thinking of trying it out for my post-holiday de stressing. So I may just order that and a lip oil since I have the backup balm in my skin care drawer.

While there will be a post later in the week regarding tools and other items, I have to mention that this is where I use my Makeup eraser.  I know the Makeup Eraser can just be wet and used with just water, but I really prefer applying the cleansing balm and then using a wet makeup eraser to take everything off.  I find it removes more and it requires less rubbing on my skin. And I must confess that while my Makeup Eraser is good and can still take several years more worth of use (my last one I used for three years before my babydoll saw mascara and eyeliner stains and decided it was an oil rag and used it in his workroom), I have been eyeballing the SpongeBob Squarepants exclusive Seven day set.

Not only are they seven smaller Sponge Bob Character decorated cloths, but with seven of them I could use one each day and send it through the wash instead of just using different parts of the same cloth all week.  I know that sounds a little extra but it really is more hygienic.  Plus, how can you look at them and not want them. They are so cute and the entire set is only $25. I’m actually contemplating picking up the set in the name of hygiene.  And fun. Can’t forget fun.  (although if you want a non cartoon themed cloth, the seven day sets also come in a classic black as well.)

Because I favor a double cleanse, my routine generally moves from makeup removers to actual cleansers.  I love the cleanser category and have had some really good luck with products lately. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few stinkers in there, but they shall not be discussed here. Only good products need apply for this post. 

The first is from Malin + Goetz.  I have used their Grapefruit cleanser for years and even though there are lapses, it is one that I return to often. It has a fresh scent and a slight (ever so slight) exfoliation to it. It is one of my favorite scents to wake up to and a really great clean.  I will admit I like it more in the morning than I do at night, just because the scent is more of a wake me up scent.   

At the moment not only is the cleanser for sale regularly but the cleanser also comes as part of the Saving Face Limited Edition Set.  It comes with the cleanser, the Vitamin E moisturizer (which I have heard great things about especially from friends trying to soften or reduce scars) and the detoxing  face mask (which I must confess I know nothing about). But as with most kits, buying the set is more cost effective than buying them separately. 

I love holiday sets, I know I’ve said that before and I will probably say it again. The value is usually pretty good on sets and I almost always find something new that I never would have picked up on its own or that I had never heard of.  Like the Malin+Goetz Detox Face Mask. Of course sometimes I fall in love with something that is limited edition in itself and I have to wait a whole year and hope they bring it out again the following winter, but that is another story and usually involves peppermint scented items.

Other people go for the Pumpkin spice, for me it is the peppermint that gets me every time. I’ve already picked up the peppermint chapstick that only comes out this time of year. And I’m sure there will be more peppermint themed items coming my way before the season is done.

This actually makes it pair well with the Erno Laszlo Original Black Soap.  While I love the way this soap makes my skin feel and adore the clean I get from it, the bar soap does make a bit of a mess.  It is black soap (from charcoal) as the name implies and when you lather it the drips splash black around.  That is it’s only real drawback actually.  While it is a good soap to use both morning and evening, I tend to use it at night more often because I somehow mind less cleaning up at the end of the day than I do at the start.  I put a soap dish in the bathroom just to keep some of the smudges contained so ‘clean up’ really means wiping away a few drips. I just prefer it in the evening to the morning.

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

The Purlisse Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk is one cleanser I have no problem using morning or evening and would highly recommend picking up. It foams nicely and washes off clean. In fact I tested out a whole bunch of products from the Blue Line for Purlisse a while back.  I found all of the products in that line to be excellent, the moisturizer in particular was excellent for shifting seasons. It is the Purlisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer and balancing is what it does best.  It really worked well with the shifting seasons for me.

One of the most fun cleansers I tried this year was also from Elemis.  It is the Cica Superfood Calming Foaming cleanser.  Seriously, a face full of fun foam that also cleanses your skin and leaves it soft?  It was one of those cleansers that after I used it, I wanted to just leave my face bare for a while to simply enjoy the clean skin. I have a backup already purchased and awaiting it’s moment to emerge from the skin care drawer. Not only is it one I would repurchase, but it is one I already have repurchased.  It went on sale in the summer and I snapped it up. I am not ashamed to say it is one I will watch for and pounce on anytime a sale emerges.

While I need to wrap up the cleanser section there is one more cleanser I really need to mention.  That is the Olay Gentle Cleanser. This is a different one.  I don’t use it in my morning or evening routines.  I tend to use this one solely after my workouts.  After a good sweat I need a really gentle cleanser that will keep my skin from feeling that post workout sweat grossness, but won’t damage the skin by overly cleansing it. 

This is where the Olay Gentle cleanser shines.  It is one of those products I repeat buy just for this purpose and then forget to mention because it is not in either my morning or evening routines. One quick pump of product, a bit of water and I am feeling fabulous.  Usually this Cleanser costs $9.49 but it is currently on sale for $7.14. 

The same can be said for the Regenerist Cleanser as well.  It is usually $9.49 and now on sale for $7.14. While I love the gentle cleanser (and will repurchase it) I wanted to try something else so I picked up the Regenerist Cleanser to try. I just started using it so I haven’t posted the review yet but I am already really liking the product. The review will actually be up either next week or the week after, I just wanted to mention it for those stocking up. I think it is a very good cleanser to try out.

For those of you looking for ease of purchase, as well as discounts, Olay now has a subscription service.  You pick your products and decide when you want them delivered and the products are 30% off their usual price.  There is no commitment and you can change up your order any time, so if you haven’t run out of eye cream yet, but are almost out of moisturizer you can adjust what products get sent to you so you aren’t stuck with too much of any one thing.  It’s actually a really cool system, especially if you are trying to reduce the number of times you go out to restock products.

At the moment I have three toner products worth mentioning. The first is from Elemis. What can I say? I love the brand. I know, you are probably getting tired of hearing that, but this is the last Elemis product on today’s list.  Promise. But the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Toner pads just had to be mentioned. They are fantastic.  Not to dry, not to wet, they tone the skin and provide a light exfoliation.  They are fantastic.  Hands down, full stop. Fantastic.

The other two toners I need to mention are both from Pixi. One is the Glow Tonic exfoliating Toner and one is the Clarity Tonic.  Both are really nice and I will be picking them both up repeatedly for a while.  (don’t worry I still have several other toners to test out before my next Pixi purchase). The exfoliating toner is a nice gentle chemical exfoliant that is gentle enough to be used daily and the Clarity Tonic helped me have more good skin days.  Between this and the Peace Out Acne Dots I had a surprisingly long run of good skin days despite the wearing of the face masks.  (I did have a masking trick that helped a well, but that is another post oh and as a quick note you can get 15% off your first purchase at Peace Out Skin Care.).

While I still love my Skin and Co Truffle Therapy Face Gommage and will still be picking it up again, repeatedly, there were two new physical exfoliates that came my way this year  that are not only worth mentioning but worth repurchasing.  The first was the BKind Sensitive Skin Face Scrub.  It was not only an excellent product but it is ethically sourced and has a host of other fabulous claims.  I did find it left a little bit of a waxy feel to the skin when I rinsed it off, but as I tend to use exfoliators after removing my makeup and before I do my second cleanse, I didn’t mind this so much. 

The second new exfoliator that I tried and loved this year came from Nuxe.  It was the Nuxe Insta-Masque Exfoliating mask and it had the consistency of a jelly. While technically it falls under masks, I used it as an exfoliator.  It only sits on the skin three minutes so I would apply it, let it sit while I brushed my teeth and then massaged and rinsed.  

The exfoliate mixed in was both gentle and effective and I very much enjoyed using the product.  I think I actually pouted and sighed when the product ran out.  Because of the consistency it was surprisingly moisturizing as well and is one of the few exfoliates that I have tried that I could actually use every day.  I stuck to three days a week when using it, but I could have used it more often without damage to the skin which is not something I can say for a lot of other products I tried this year.  Many were tested, only a few made my repurchase list.

Nuxe also has this style of Inta masque in a purifying and smoothing formula and a detoxification one if exfoliating is not your thing.  Both of those are actually on my list of products to try.  I know I will probably mention that again with masks, but it seemed appropriate to mention it here as well. I suspect all three will end up in my skin care drawer by the end of the year.  But the Nuxe Intsta-masque exfoliating mask was better than a lot of other exfoliators I tried this year.

The same thing can be said for the serum category.  I tested out a lot of serums this year and I have to say only two really stand out without me having to look them up.  The first is the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  I had such fantastic results with that serum that I think it is going to be a staple for a while.

The second is the Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum.  I know, it sounds strange, but it was a fantastically hydrating serum.  This serum and the Volition Sunscreen were my saving graces this summer.  I spent a lot of time outside on the walking trail instead of going to the gym.  One product kept my skin safe while I was sweating it out and the other made certain my skin was healthy and hydrated.  Seriously if I could give a bottle of the Volition Sunscreen to everyone I know, I would. As it is my mother and aunts each got one as a gift this year. I absolutely loved that sunscreen and have already purchased it for myself. It sits beautifully under makeup and does not feel at all like sunscreen. In fact they market it as the sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen, which quite frankly was me.

The Snow Mushroom Water Serum doesn’t smell earthy it just smells light and fresh.  It absorbed well into the skin without feeling heavy or greasy (or clogging pores) and was fantastic throughout the summer time.  I have already picked up a second bottle and when it arrives I will be stashing it away for use in the spring and summer. While I’m sure it would be lovely to use in the winter, it was so good in the spring and summer that I am holding it in reserve while I test out other products. As I am writing this Volition has a 30% off sale going on that you might want to check out. It started before the holiday sales.

And this brings us to the moisturizer category.  Here we once again start with Volition.  The Celery Green Clean Moisturizer is super lightweight and again I really enjoyed using it this summer.  It has a light green, celadon like color and smells fresh and clean.  It absorbed well into the skin and was never greasy.  It was a fantastic day cream.  I found myself wanting something a little heavier at night especially if I had too much sun during the day, but as a summer time day cream it was fantastic. It also helped reduce the size of my pores a little bit, which really helped with my skin’s texture. And that is year round good.

The Dior Capture Care and Protect DreamSkin Moisturizer was also one I might want to use a separate night cream with, but I have no problem finding a good night cream to balance it out.  The Dior Moisturizer was fantastic to use.  It made my skin feel like silk.  It does have that French rose skincare scent to it which isn’t for everyone, but it is a very light scent that doesn’t linger.  Personally, I like the scent. I also like that the container is reusable so that there is less waste.  When you finish with it, you can order a new insert and just fit it into the existing container. I like the less waste almost as much as I liked this moisturizer. 

There are three moisturizers that I only tried in sample form but are high on my list to give a full size trial this coming year.  These are the Skinceuticals Lipid Moisturizer, The First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Gel Cream and the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer.  I enjoyed all three samples a lot and will be picking up full sized versions soon so that I can give them a full test.

There is the final Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizer I tried that I will also be picking up, but it felt more like a night cream to me. As I don’t really have a go to night cream at the moment, I will be delving deeper into this category in the near future as well.  I liked the Avocado Sleeping Mask from Glow Recipe and will be repurchasing that one at some point, but I wasn’t so over the top in love with it that it is going to be my standard.  There is plenty of room for experimentation.

Okay my darlings, deep breaths. We have made it through the skin care category. It was a long review., I know and thank you for sticking with me. I know I took a few extra byways as we went down that path. And, okay so I didn’t do fantastically well narrowing it down to three products per category and as a consequence this is a bit of a longer post than I planned. 

There are just so many good skin care products out there.  Even knowing I didn’t stick to my three I know there are some that I completely forgot and will remember as soon as I post this.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t good, or that I won’t be posting about them (or purchasing them as soon as they go on sale) it just means I had to constrain myself.

And yes, this was me constrained.

Just remember that whether you are celebrating your upcoming holidays in a glittering gown or in a fluffy bathrobe, good skin is always in style.Hopefully this post will help you find something for you and maybe something for someone on you shopping list this holiday season.

While I did mention a few ongoing sales, here are a few my skin care lovers out there might want to remember.

Peter Thomas Roth is having their 50% off select Kits Sale. It runs through November 19th so it is a pre holiday sale. I really like this one and get pulled into it every year. I think their kits are a great way to try different products. In fact the Peter Thomas Roth moisturizers I tested this year all came from Kits. I was able to determined which I liked but wasn’t gaga over as well as which ones I really wanted to buy in the full size. I ended up being oddly surprised by which one I fell in love with. I seriously didn’t think it was going to be the Hungarian Thermal Water mineral Rich Moisturizer. In fact I think that was the free sample I got when I purchased another kit to actually try out. Surprise! The free sample won the day.

The SkinStore is also having a boat load of sales. Here ae a few you might be interested in. First there is the 15% off select SkinCeuticals Bundles which runs through November 26th. From now until November 19th you can get a Beauty Bag (ten piece set) worth $95 with $150 purchase. Just use the code EXTRABAG. There is also a Buy 2 get 25% off with the code BUY2GET25 which is also good through November 19th.

For those looking for Stocking Stuffers you can use the code STOCKING to get 28% off Stocking stuffers from brands like ARCONA, beautyblender, Bioderma, Dermablend, DERMAdoctor, DHC, Eyeko, First Aid  Beauty from now until November 19th. And there is also a 25% off Clean Beauty gifts going on with brands like Alterna, Codex Beauty, First Aid Beauty, Jurlique, Koh Gen Do, KORRES, Pai, Patchology. There is no code for that one as the discount is applied in the cart, but that discount runs until November 19th as well.

Happy Holiday Shopping.

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.




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.




Reviewing Two NUXE products

These two NUXE products came to me in the July Glossy Box, I believe.  I can recall seeing the NUXE brand before but I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything from them until now.  The first item is the Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse Boost Multi-Correctional Gel Cream for Normal to Combination skin.  

While my sample size contained 15ml worth of product and lasted almost exactly two weeks, the full sized version is 40 ml and retails for $25.15 on the Glossy Box site. The odd pricing is due to currency conversion I believe.  In case you are wondering (I know I was because I had to look it up) Prodigieuse means excellent in French.

the cream is super light weight and absorbs quickly with no greasy film

So what is this excellent cream? According to the product information it is… 

Refreshing care that rejuvenates the skin and corrects the issues caused by stress, fatigue and pollution. The Boost Multi-Correction Gel Cream preserves and supports the skin’s natural balance, easing the signs of ageing and providing a smoother, matt finish. Utilises a formula rich in natural active ingredients: jasmine, calendula, cellular sugar and hyaluronic acid. It contains 92% Natural Origin Ingredients and is Vegan Friendly. To use: Apply mornings to the face, neck and décolleté.

Ingredients: ingredients : aqua/water, alcohol denat., glycerin, phenyl trimethicone, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, propylheptyl caprylate, silica, parfum/fragrance, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, ribose, sodium gluconate, xanthan gum, butylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, polysorbate 60, sorbitan isostearate, pentylene glycol, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower extract, sodium hydroxide, faex extract/yeast extract, mica, ci 77491/iron oxides, calendula officinalis flower extract, tocopherol, benzyl salicylate, linalool, citronellol, alpha-isomethyl ionone, geraniol [n3904/a]

NUXE.com

I like that it is a day cream.  Mostly because when I tried it, the cream wasn’t heavy enough to give me as much moisture as my skin needs at night.  I also like the focus.  Since I know my skin has different needs in the day and at night I like that the moisturizer knows it as well and concentrates on one thing at a time instead of trying to be an all round moisturizer.  I think the extremes of this summer have made me rethink my skin care a lot and I am starting to separate out items I use in the day and those I use at night a bit more than I have in the past.

That being said I am not a fan of the denatured alcohol in the moisturizer.  I’m not a fan of it in my skin care in general and really don’t like seeing it as the second ingredient.  As I’m sure you are aware, the higher up in the ingredients list, the more concentrated the amount in the product.  Ingredients are listed from most active to least until they get to be about 1% and then they can be listed in any order so it is generally the top ten ingredients you have to pay attention to.

The cream was nice on my skin though, I will give it that.  I am glad I was only using it once a day though.  While the cream absorbed well and wasn’t greasy, in fact it worked really well on my skin. The thing that got me was the scent.  It is fairly highly scented.  Even though the scent was stronger than I like, I didn’t really mind it, mostly for a nostalgia factor.  It smelled exactly like the skin care my grandmother used to use.  That is in no way a slam, she always had great skin and I’m not saying it smells old lady-ish.  I’m saying it reminds me of my grandmother.  She loved any skin care products that were scented with rose and this certainly fits the bill.  In fact given her love of French skincare it is entirely possible that she did use this cream or an early predecessor of it.  I think the company has been around since the early 1990s and she adored trying new skin care products.  I actually get my love of testing them from her.

But whether or not she used this cream or not, the scent is so reminiscent of her that I enjoyed it even though it was a stronger scent than I like in my skin care.  If you are sensitive to scent this might be something to take into consideration. Truthfully if denatured alcohol weren’t the second ingredient in the list, I would rank this cream really highly as a day cream.  It was non-irritating to existing breakouts, didn’t cause additional ones and made my skin feel soft and lovely.  It has however been drilled into my head that denatured alcohol is bad for the skin long term even if there are short term benefits.  It is only the fact that moisturizer sits on your skin far longer than most other product (toners, face wash) that gives me pause.  And honestly, I liked this day cream enough that I may have to look further into skin care and denatured alcohol before I am willing to cut it completely from my list of products to repurchase.  Because I need to do more research, I’m putting this in the maybe category for repurchasing.

The second NUXE item sent in my Glossy Box however goes straight to the top of reordering.  And that is the Nuxe Insta-masque.  The 50ml full size retails for $22.25 and it is a definite repurchase for me.  This mask is designed…

With an ultra-sensory gel texture, the mask turns into oil to exfoliate and even out the skin, instantly getting smooth skin and a luminous complexion. Suitable for all skin types, including the most sensitive ones. Contains 98.3% of ingredients of natural origin.

slightly foamy with water

While this too lists Rose as a primary ingredient, the scent is much milder and perhaps mitigated by the macademia.  The mask looks like jelly in the jar, albeit a light pink jelly.  Where it touched my damp skin during application it turned a little white and then faded to almost clear on the skin.  I let it sit for two minutes while I brushed my teeth, then I wet my hands, rubbed them on my face and the jelly turned white and slightly foamy. 

The exfoliation is mild, it didn’t irritate any of my break outs and it rinsed away super cleanly and easily.  My skin felt amazingly soft and refreshed. I used it once a week, which is generally how I use exfoliators.  There are few I would use daily even though some actually suggest it.  This product recommends once or twice a week. 

Not sure if you can see much of a difference, but I could certainly feel it. Oh and in case you are wondering the slight redness to my skin is mostly because the water I rinsed with was really, really cold.

Once was perfect for me.  I was very sad when this container was empty.  It is definitely on my repurchase list.  Unfortunately I am working through the products that I have and not buying new ones until I’ve used up existing ones so it might be a while before I get around to repurchasing this, but repurchase I will.  The moisturizer maybe on a maybe list, but I have no qualms about using this Inta-masque repeatedly in the future.

As I mentioned before, both of these products came to me in a glossy box. If you are interested in trying out new products before you commit to buying the full sized versions, this might be a subscription box you might want to look into.  They generally have deals for the first box in your subscription and thus far, I have not been disappointed by any box I’ve received from them. The current offer, at the time of writing this is $22 off 6 or 12 month subscription with the code 22OFF (valid: 8/17-8/23). There are of course other perks, such as 20% off their newly launched skin care products.  I’ve been using their eye cream (which came in August’s box) and thus far am really liking it. I’ll post a full review after a month of use, but it does give me hope that the rest of their skin care line is going to be worth checking out. Anyway if you are interested you can check out Glossy Box below.




Reviewing The Celery Green Cream from Volition

Volition Celery Green Cream

A while back Volition sent me three products to use and review.  One by one I feathered them into my skin care regime and have given them each a month long trial to see how I liked them and how my skin reacted to the products. 

Volition is a crowdsourced skincare brand that produces clean, cruelty free, vegan products.  The crowdsourced is something I find very interesting.  (although the clean and cruelty free are also very important too). According to their site anyone who has an idea for a product that they’d like to see created can send in their ideas.  Volition then floats the idea to their community of voting participants (I believe you can sign up to be a member of that quite easily on their website) If the idea gets enough votes, then it is passed on to a team of professionals who turn the idea into an actual product.

Volition Beauty|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

Each of the three products sent to me came with a little card telling me about the innovator who came up with the idea for the product.  Aja came up with the idea for the Prizmatic Luminizing Shield.  Keidy came up with the concept for the Snow Mushroom Water Serum  and Nastia Liukin was the innovator behind the Celery Green Cream that I am reviewing today.  So what is the Celery Green Cream from Volution?

According to the website…

Celery. A classic staple turned modern juicing powerhouse. It’s the superstar ingredient in this oil-free face moisturizer that purifies and minimizes the appearance of pores for healthier-looking skin. This moisturizer hydrates and visibly plumps, helps minimize the appearance of pores and uneven skin texture, and purifies.  It is good for enlarged, clogged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture and tone.

Full Ingredients list: Water/Aqua/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Olivate, Apium Graveolens (Celery) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lactic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Calcium Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Sorbitan Olivate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Bismuth Oxychloride, Chromium Oxide Greens, Citric Acid, Mica, Potassium Sorbate.

Volitionbeauty.com

So those are the claims.  Now let’s talk about the product.  As I said, it comes with an innovator card that lets you know a little bit about the person who created the product.  The product itself comes in a nice glass jar with a screw top lid.  The label is sleek and clean and I have to say I like that the label can be peeled off easily so that the jar can be reused.  Because quite frankly, this is the kind of jar that can be easily reused and that I probably will reuse.

But packaging is one thing, product is another.  When you open the jar there is a thin inner plastic lid covering the product. I like the inner lids keeping the product and the outer lid separated. Keeping as much air away from the product as possible is always a good thing.

When this inner lid is pried up, the cream is revealed.  It is a light green, almost celadon color and it smells fresh and clean. 

It actually reminds me of the celery soda we used to get at the deli when I was a kid. Without the bubbles of course. I suppose it is to be expected since it too was made with celery seed.  There is a very light vegetal quality to the clean scent, but it isn’t an added scent, just a natural one and it isn’t overpowering in the slightest.

My baby doll is much more sensitive to scents then I am and when he sniffed it, his reaction was to say it smelled clean not scented.  I don’t think it would bother anyone who is scent sensitive. It is mostly only noticeable when you first open the jar and dissipates quickly.

The consistency is of a thin gel or water cream and I found my skin drank it up quickly. There was no sticky feeling left behind, which I have on occasion had with these types of formulas before. It sat under my makeup beautifully and kept me hydrated throughout the day. 

Prior to transitioning into using this moisturizer, I had several stress related breakouts and have been treating them.  Sometimes the treatment dries out the skin around the problem and sometimes instead of hydrating the skin around the treated area, moisturizers just make things greasy and irritated. 

I did not have that problem with the Celery Green Cream.  It moisturized the dry patches and didn’t irritate the inflamed area.  I don’t normally have overly sensitive skin, but those were my sensitive areas and it handled them beautifully while they were healing. 

I used this moisturizer as my main moisturizer for a month.  I applied it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  While it was beautiful during the day, I found I needed a little something extra at night.  Not every night though.  Instead of using a night cream every night, I found that I could use my night cream once or twice a week as an added boost to my night time moisturizing.  Generally, I found that the boost was needed after I spent large portions of the day outside in the heat. 

I suppose it shouldn’t be terribly surprising as on those days I was also drinking a lot more water.  I think that while working outside in the garden or walking on the walking trail, I just sweated out enough moisture that my entire body simply craved more hydration in every form.  And as I love masks in all forms, especially night masks I can wear while sleeping, I had no problem adding an extra product a couple of times a week.

While I really liked using this moisturizer, for me, I think the consistency of it lends itself to warm weather months.  Once the weather starts to turn cooler, I tend to switch to a transition moisturizer which has a thicker consistency than the gel like moisturizers of summer and then as fall fades to winter I tend to want a thicker, more full bodied cream.  This is, however a fantastic summer cream.

Using it my skin felt hydrated and used in conjunction with the Snow Mushroom Water Serum I actually saw a plumping of the skin and a reduction of the fine lines around the corners of my eyes.  While I doubt anything natural will get rid of the line running across my forehead, I noticed it didn’t get any more pronounced while I used this cream.  I’m calling that a win.

There is about two to three weeks of moisturizer left in my jar of product as I write this. I will be finishing this jar of moisturizer and slowly weaving additional products into my routine in order to give them a fair trial.

While this Celery Green Cream was sent to me by Volition, in the spring, my summer skin care preparation is going to include ordering a new jar of this moisturizer along with the Snow Mushroom Water Serum.  As for the Prismatic Illuminating Shield, the sunscreen designed for those who hate sunscreen, I will be reordering that as soon as the bottle starts to feel too light for comfort. It is not something I want to run out of anytime soon.

Speaking of ordering, the links located throughout this site are for volitionbeauty.com. Volitionbeauty.com only ships to US and Canada, so if you are located in other countries, you and want to give Volition a try you can go through @cultbeauty, which ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica which ship to Australia and New Zealand. 

I personally really enjoyed my trial of Volition and will feel very sad when my jar of Celery Green Cream comes to an end.  At least I know, I can always recycle the jar. And as Volition has a skin care test to ask questions regarding all your skin’s needs, I will be going back through and looking at the other products listed. The three I tried, were all recommended on that list and my skin really enjoyed them. It gives my high hopes for the other recommended products.


Volition Beauty|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

Reviewing Lavido skincare

One of the things I love about subscription boxes is that occasionally they send something your way that you have never heard of and wouldn’t mind trying.  Sometimes different boxes from different companies send you products from the same line in the same month. From one box came the Lavido Age away replenishing cream  featuring Grapefruit seed, Melissa and avocado (retail $69) while another box provided Lavido’s 2-in-1 Purifying Facial Mask and Exfoliator (retail $36) featuring pomegranate seed oil, lemon and macadamia.

Since they arrived at the same time, and I was just finishing up a moisturizer trial, I decided to use them together. They arrived in early April and this morning (May 20th) I used the last of each of them.  So they lasted seven and a half weeks for me.  I will admit that one of the reasons I held off reviewing them was that I lost my initial weights (instead of putting it in the notebook where I usually keep things I jotted it down on a scrap of paper and then promptly lost said paper) so I figured I would just see how long they lasted with regular use.

Before I cover what I think of the products, let’s see what they have to say for themselves.  First, the Moisturizer. According to the Lavido website is…

Made with 11 innovative plant actives, this advanced anti-aging solution is clinically proven to diminish the appearance of dryness, wrinkles and rough texture while it deeply nourishes mature and compromised skin. Its rich, ultra-luxurious texture features Summer Snowflake, scientifically proven to strengthen cell integrity, slow the aging process, and stimulate new cellular regeneration. Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid boosts collagen production and imparts an instant volumizing effect for a naturally firmer, radiant, and more rejuvenated complexion.

moisturizer

The scent of the cream is floral.  It isn’t overwhelmingly cloying, but it is a noticeable scent. If you are sensitive to scents that might be something you want to consider.  The cream is also very thick.  A little dab into the hand was all that was needed.  It is designed for dry, mature skin and I think the formula would work really well with dry skin.  My skin is normal leaning towards oily on occasion.  Dry is not generally my skin care concern but fine lines are so I was happy to try it. 

white cast on skin after initial application of moisturizer (look towards the ear)

Because my skin isn’t dry I had some trepidation.  The fear was unfounded.  I needed only a little bit of the cream to cover my entire face and neck.  I will say that because it is so thick and my skin is not an arid desert, I had to spend some time massaging it into the skin.  If you look in the picture you will see a white cast on my skin where I only did a first pass rubbing it in. The benefit is that you sort of get a facial massage twice a day when using this product.  The down side is that it adds a little extra time to your morning and evening routine.

But if a product is worth it, I am willing to take a little extra time.  So is it worth it?

During this trial I used the cream morning and evening as my sole moisturizer.  When the weather was cooler (and the central heat still drying the air out) I really liked the moisturizer.  As the weather warmed, and in my part of the world the humidity rose, I found that while I still liked it as a night cream, I was less enthused by its use in the morning.  My skin was just not dry enough in the morning.  It was an excellent night cream however and I woke with my skin plumped and hydrated. Dare I say it, even glowing.  For my skin type I could use this as a night cream very happily or as a dry winter cream. It is an excellent cream and mature skin or not, I think the dryer your skin happens to be, the more you will enjoy this cream. I would have no problem repurchasing the Age Away Replenishing Cream as a night cream, but I wouldn’t use it as my go to daily moisturizer. Especially not at this time of year.

This moves us on to the 2-in-1 Purifying Facial mask and exfoliator. According to its product page…

This exfoliating and anti-aging multi-mask gently stimulates circulation and new cell regeneration while dried Pomegranate peel and seeds remove dead skin cells, revealing smoother, more radiant skin with fewer pimples, dark spots and wrinkles overtime. Use as an exfoliating cleanser or leave on as a mask to receive it’s full youth-giving benefits.

While I am always leery of any product that threatens to do too much, this isn’t too much of a stretch for a product.  As an exfoliator it is a fairly gentle one.  When applied to the skin it looks more like you have a slightly dirty face than are wearing a full mud mask. It has a slight roughness which you would expect from a physical exfoliator but it isn’t harsh.  I think because the peel is used rather than harder seeds.  I found it could be used every other day to brighten the completion without feeling like you were blasting away too many layers.  Used as an exfoliator it worked really well and I quite enjoyed it.  It has a slightly pomegranate scent to it but it is less present than the floral scent of the moisturizer and smells more fresh and clean than anything else.

While the exfoliator does leave your skin soft and refreshed, leaving the product on mask like actually did increase the benefits of the product.  My skin did feel better if I allowed it to sit for a few minutes.  What I ended up doing was using it as sort of a cross over.  On the nights I used it, I would wash my face, apply the exfoliator and let it sit while I brushed my teeth and then used a lip exfoliator on my lips I’d then wet my hands, massage the mask a little to help with the exfoliation and then wash it off and continue with my routine.  I found this gave me the best the 2-in-1 could provide. 

I have to say I would unequivocally buy this product again.  It is listed as good for all skin types and I have to say my skin loved it.  It was a gentle but effective exfoliator that could also be worn as a mask.  I really enjoyed using it and was very sad to see it now an empty tube.

Until I received these products in subscription boxes, I had never heard of the company or heard anything about them.  I can’t actually say I would have tried them on my own, but I am glad I did and I am certain I will be seeing these products in my bathroom again.


With Memorial day soon to be upon us, sales abound. I’m posting a fw deals below that you may want to look into. Enjoy!

Prai Beauty:

Memorial Day Weekend – 30% off sitewide + Free fireworks jar with $50+ purchase with code AFFMD30. Valid: 5/19-5/25.

Alyaka Spring Bank Holiday: 15% off site wide with the code SPRING15

Grande Cosmetics:

Memorial Day Sale EARLY ACCESS – Up To 50% Off + GWP With Purchase Of 75+ (Mini Rose Blush, Stay Put Lip Liner & Canvas Bag ($40 Value) )

Bliss World

Take 20% Sitewide with code HELLOSUMMER. Valid 5/20-5/26.