The older I get, the more I enjoy retinols. Some work well, others not so well. I think it depends more on the concentration than anything else to be honest. The ones that work the best seem to have the highest concentration. However with a higher concentration comes the increased possibility of sun sensitivity. This is one of the reasons Bakuchiol has become increasingly popular. It tends to have similar results as retinol but has less sun sensitivity. For me, even though I tend to switch to bakuchiol based products in the summer time, I tend to find they don’t have as dramatic an effect on my skin.
I think a lot of which you like and which you use is going to depend on your sensitivity levels, how much time you spend in the sun and what concentration level of serum you choose.
Now I only use retinols at night (regardless of the time of year – and yes I know the sun is just as strong in the winter, but I spend less time outside in the winter so it’s effects are lessened by duration not intensity). I had a few friends who tried retinol based products when they first started gaining popularity and ended up with some sun issues because on some of them night time use was not stressed. I think all of them mention it somewhere now, but personally I love that this serum from Keihl’s is labeled a Night Serum. There is no fuzziness about the term.
I know it is now widely known that retinol can cause sun sensitivity, but I know a few people who just want to minimize their routine and just use one serum. They also want to reduce wrinkles. I know, it is a long winded way of saying I am glad it is clearly labeled night serum.
This is a first use post of a skincare product so clearly there aren’t going to be any over night changes. There are a few before pictures in this post. I generally find if I put them in a post at the beginning, there is less chance of me losing them later on when the trial ends and then guessing about it’s visible effectiveness. So the pics are all before. What I found the most interesting part is that the retinol with this product comes separately. It is in a little pod and you have to mix it together.
Normally this is where I would include a blurb from the product page, but I couldn’t find it. I found several of Keihl’s other serums, but not this exact one. The reason given in the directions is that keeping the retinol separate and then mixing it in later keeps it fresher. As skincare can loose efficacy, even if it is just sitting on a shelf, I like the thought of keeping the active ingredients sealed away from each other until it is time to use them so that it has maximum potency.
I have no idea if it works or not, but I did feel like a mad scientist as I sat down to mix things. It proved clean and simple actually. The main tube was turned upside down and the bottom part of the bottle unscrewed. The retinol pod was screwed into place and the I pressed down on the bottom to release the retinol into the serum. I took the now empty pod out, replaced the bottom, shook really well and everything was good to go. The serum was white, the retinol a yellowish, the resulting serum is a pale yellow.
The dispenser has a pointed end that allows a small drop to come out and to get it out you press the bottom of the tube. I like this because it means if I accidentally knock it over in the sink without the lid on it isn’t going to run out because the button wasn’t pushed. And yes I accidentally knock things over all of the time. I have a small powder room with a skincare shelf which I use for skincare. It is small and I am sometimes clumsy.
There is no real scent to the Kiehl’s Retinol Fast Release Wrinkle Reducing Night Serum. It is quite liquidly and absorbs well into the skin. A pea sized amount is all I needed for both face and neck and while this is a first use, I started my first us on Thursday night and it is now Monday morning. Thus far I have not noticed any increased sun sensitivity. As you might have guessed from my opener, that was one of my biggest concerns with retinol as I am spending a lot of time in the sun these days. Thus far it hasn’t been an issue. The serum absorbs well, has no scent and isn’t causing me damage with the sun. Which means so far so good. Now all we need to do is see if the wrinkles reduce. If hey do that then I will be a happy camper. And so now, the Kiehl’s Retinol Fast Release Wrinkle Reducing Night Serum.
Oh my darlings it is time for changes. Several items that I was using last week are no more and others have been replaced. As only the night cream differs from day and night time use, I went ahead and put them all together for one list instead of breaking apart the day time and the night time list this week. Next week there will be a bit more differentiation, but as I was replacing so many things at the same time, I wanted to go a little more slowly with the routine and not create upset. Shall we take a look?
Why don’t we start at the top. I finished out my current makeup remover and this Nuxe micellar water came in a subscription box. I opened it to see just how Rose scented it was so I figured I might as well roll it into the line up since it was open. Plus I really like Nuxe products. They always work so well for my skin. While I sniffed it originally and it had a barely there rose scent, it is a little stronger when you go to apply it. With makeup removal what I normally do is wet my Makeup Eraser (they are incidentally having a Birthday sale right now the code INVITEONLY will get you $9 off), and wipe off my makeup. Once the first layer is gone, i go in with products. The Nuxe took off all but the barest whisper of what was left and then the Clove and Hallow Cleanser knocked out the last bit.
I know, a lot of people don’t see the point of having two cleansers, but I like to make sure every scrap of makeup is removed AND my actual skin gets the benefit of the cleansers. I find for me this is the best way to keep blemishes and clogged pores down. With just one cleanser i will actually reach my toner stage and find I have traces of makeup still on the toner pad. With this method, I have a clean toner pad so I know it is my skin that the products are actually going into and not a protectively polished makeup layer.
It works for me.
Foir it’s first few days of use i have to say the Nuxe is working well. I like the French Skincare rose scent which is still quite mild and dissipates quickly. I’m sure i;ll have more to say once i’ve used it longer.
The Clove and Hallow I have been using for a while and really enjoy. It is gentle enough that I can use it mid day if I am just too sweaty to stand leaving my skin unwashed. It has a great mango powder scent (which has that slight vanilla scent mangos get). It is a powder so i add the water I want to adjust the consistency. It also means there is a lot of product in the jar. It has been over a month of use for this cleanser and I am not even half way down. One dash of powder is all you need. Plus it is in a reusable jar so I can recycle it in the house until the glass jar no longer is of use her, which as it is is shaped like a spice jar and will probably be filled with red pepper flakes once empty and cleaned out means it will be used for a long time to come. I grow the peppers and always need ajar for the flakes so this jar will be reused for quite a while before it ever goes to recycling. Which is part of it’s design. If you are into good, hardworking products that are also clean and sustainable, I highly suggest checking the brand out. But I do love this cleanser. And will be using it for a while more.
The Aavari toner I took out last night to use as I finished my Elemis (the Elemis will be repurchased by the way, it was fantastic). So I used this toner once last night and once this morning. Use wise I am still learning. Scent wise it is very Tea Tree Oil forward. There is a hint of chamomile. I’ll be honest, neither tea tree oil nor chamomile are my favorite scents. The scents aren’t oppressive though, or at least not to the point where I don’t want to use it. That may be a factor later on, but for now it is fine. I love the blue glass bottle (shallow of me, I know but there it is). I dislike the name because it is confusing. It is a toning serum according to the website and the description reads like a toner. I haven’t decided if it is a toner trying too hard to be a serum or a serum that is trying too hard to be a toner. It is going to take a few more uses before I figure that out, but I suspect it is going to be good at one of those things but not both.
The vitabrid serum is a hold over from last week and I am gaining a fondness for it. My skin drinks it in and looks a little more pump right after I apply it. it is a creamy serum and i wasn’t too certain of it at first but it is growing on me. It also reminds me why I shouldn’t make snap judgements on skincare and let them settle in and take time to show what they can do. I think this was the end of the third week and I am starting to see that it is doing something nice. i am happy to keep using it.
My eye cream ran out and so since the Symbiosis was new I decided to roll it into the line up. I know that while I often get fabulous results from inexpensive skincare cost isn’t everything. However this is a $93 eye mask. For me here is the deal with price and skincare. I don’t mind paying more for products that work. Well i don’t like it, but if the results are amazing I can justify the cost in most cases. If I use a less expensive product and it works I am always pleasantly surprised and often become a bit of a devotee. For example the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre is only $29 and for dry skin moisture and pre makeup application I will sing it’s praises until the cows come home, and since I don’t have cows that will be a while. If it is inexpensive and didn’t work then i will think “what did you expect,” I think it is because of the ‘you get what you pay for’ mentality of several older family members.
With expensive products I automatically expect more. If you are going to charge $93 for an eye mask it had better be fantastic, especially since I have tried several really good eye creams that cost less than that. An example is the Lancome Genifique Andvanced Eye Cream. It is $68 and worth every single cent of the cost. It has actually become the eye cream to beat in my world. In rating eye creams regardless of the cost, you are as good as, better than or not as good as the Lancome Advanced. (and no I am not an affiliate, i wouldn’t mind being, but I am not. it is just good eye cream) So I don’t know yet what the Symbiosis can do, but I have high expectations and will be watching it closely. I will say in a few days of use, it absorbs well without being greasy. Time will tell if it does more. And yes, I took pictures for comparison.
Speaking of Embryolisse, the current moisturizer is the Lair Creme Fluide. My trial is actually coming to an end with this and I will have the full review up next week hopefully. It is a really good moisturizer and a perfect day time summer weight formula. I did find that a couple of times a week I needed an extra night mask.
My Night mask isn’t in this week’s line up right now because Bzz Agent sent a Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Omega Rich Cloud Cream for me to try out and review. So i set the night mask to the side for the moment and started using it at night (with the Embryolisse still as a day time cream)
The pairing worked well and i haven’t felt the need to add a night mask. While I love the dark blue glass of the jar, I have to say I am tickled by the light blue cream inside. i don’t know why but I wasn’t expecting the blue. I think because of cloud in the name i expected fluffy white. it is fluffy, but it is pale blue. It is a whipped formula and melts into the skin , well… like a cloud. It has a slightly medicinal scent to it. I don’t mind it, I just can’t place it. It also has squalene which i like and do well with. In general I either do well with Kiehl’s products or I can’t stand them after one use. I’ve had four of five nights with this and still like it. Generally if that happens with Kiehls then I end up liking the product more and more with each use. With this brand that just seems to be the way. I seems to be going into the liking it more and more range, which is always nice to see. I will keep you posted as I continue to use it.
And finally there is the Kissu lip mask. I really like it. it is light weight and absorbs into the lips throughout the night leaving them soft and plump by morning. It looks virtually unused after two weeks of use because to use I just barely skate my finger across the surface. So little product is needed that this mask will last a really long time. And I for one am glad. I have really enjoyed it this far and hope to keep enjoying it.
And so my darlings that has been my skincare line up for this week. A lot of changes but as products ran out they were needed. Because of the timing I was able to roll in a lot of the newly arrived products which makes me happy. I know a lot of this was a brief first use, but as I get more comfortable using them and start putting them through their paces, I will be able to share more about them with you. Until then, have a great Friday and I will return later this afternoon with the Friday Face mask and a brief relaxing interlude. See you then.
I have to admit, I chose to try this out so soon after it arrived because it was the one item that came in my Allure beauty box that wasn’t explained in the pamphlet. I kind of find this amusing actually. There is an entire page about a lip scrub scrubbing lips and a body moisturizer being used to moisturize the body but not a single mention of the Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage.
Because gommage needs less explanation apparently?
(oh and I checked, the Limited Edition refers to the packaging not the product so I’ve linked to the product on the website in the usual packaging just in case they take the Limited Edition down from the site. The difference between the regular and the Limited Edition is the color of the bottle – white for regular, peach for limited edition. If there is any other difference I couldn’t find it.)
Right, so let’s look at the product page on the brand’s website…
The perfect exfoliator for sensitive skin and for those experiencing breakouts, clogged pores, dull skin, uneven skin tone and pigmentation. Radiance Enhancing Gommage uses a mild enzymatic formula free from grains and beads to remove dead skin cells. The unique texture begins with a luxurious balm-like consistency, transforming into a soft nourishing oil as it gently dissolves the outermost layer of the skin. Radiance and luminosity are immediately increased and a fresh, glowing complexion is revealed.
Yup, it’s an exfoliator. Technically it translates to erasing or exfoliation and is considered a more gentle exfoliation than is traditional. well traditional here, it is apparently the more traditional French variety.
So now that we’ve had our morning vocab lesson, let’s look at the exfoliator.
I generally like using an exfoliator once or twice a week. This week has been interesting. In the summertime, time outside causes me to sweat a lot and while that causes me to seek out gentle cleansers so I don’t over wash my face as I add in an extra mid afternoon rinse, it also tends to limit my exfoliation use. I don’t know if it is just the summer sweat making me feel like my pores are purging themselves but i just don’t feel it as necessary.
However this week has been different. The heat index popped very high, too high to spend time outside so it has been an indoor week. While exfoliation is usually a Saturday self care moment, I find myself thinking mid week wasn’t a bad thing. I think it may be the not sweating while staying indoors with the air conditioner aspect.
For whatever reason I decided an exfoliation was in order and as i just finished my last exfoliator, I chose this newly arrived one to replace it. The scent is light and fruity. It is like a peach mixed with a hint of mandarin. It is a very light scent and it also smells like fresh skin care. It is just enough scent to be a pleasant whiff, but still clean enough to smell of skincare.
it dispenses into the hand and feels like a gel. On the website the advice is to “Rub until the balm turns into an oil, then rinse’. So that is what I did. I applied to the skin, and felt it melting into an oil from the heat of my skin almost immediately. Still I massaged a bit and then rinsed.
My skin felt fantastic. It was a very light exfoliation, there are no hard bits in it whatsoever so I’m guessing it leans more towards chemical exfoliation (hence the enzymatic in the description) If I run my finger over the areas where my pores tend to get clogged, they feel slightly more raised then they did prior to use. And to be honest, I felt that rise the next morning rather than right away. For me this tends to happen with chemical exfoliators. My skin will feel soft and extra clean after use and then the next morning the clogs in the pores will rise. this was done in a gentle way. It smelled light and fresh and gave the rest of my skin a good clean (with surface clear out) while bringing clogs to the surface.
This is all i really expect from an exfoliator. To exfoliate. this worked well, but gently and I think would be good for someone just trying exfoliation or who has sensitive skin. I would try it on the inside of your arm before your face if you have sensitive skin (and as always double check the ingredients list before applying it if you know you have allergies). It is however a very gentle exfoliator and I was very impressed by the Gatineau Radiance Enhancing Gommage. Prior to this I never heard of the brand Gatineau before, however with this product working so nicely, I think I may have to take a deeper dive into it. It was a very nice brand introduction. I just wish Allure saw fit to put more about it in the brochure.
We all know I love a good exfoliate but I also adore a good lip scrub. Oddly enough I am a little more picky about my lip scrubs. I know, you’d think it would be the other way around, wouldn’t you. I think it is because I have used some rather rough lip scrubs in the past. Maybe it is because the skin is delicate or maybe it is because unlike the rest of my skin, my lips have the added dimension of taste involved.
Not that I eat lip products, but 9 times out of ten you do end up tasting what you apply to the lips so it is a factor other skincare items rarely have to contend with.
This is the Manna Kadar Lippie Love 2.0 Lip scrub. As a brand I find Manna Kadar interesting. I know it can be a bit pricey, but to be honest I have never encountered it outside of subscription boxes. I never see it in stores or on the websites where I shop. In all fairness it may be there, but nothing has ever brought it to my attention. That could be me, it could be a marketing failure or some packaging design element, but it is not a brand I ever notice when I am shopping.
While I like all forms of lip scrubs, I find that the ones shaped like lipsticks are the most convenient to use. (Admittedly my absolute current favorite is from Hanalai and comes in a jar.)
So the Manna Kadar is off to a good start with the formula. It rolls up like a bullet style lipstick and has about as much product in it as a lipstick would. I know it looks like I rolled it up simply to see how much product there was inside, but I actually am looking at the consistency. Sometimes when you get these stick lip scrubs some of the scrubbing particulate (usually sugar) is clumped on the side. While it may make it limpy, depending on where the sugar chunk is, it can also fall out as you use it and cause the product to break off and fall out of the tube. So it isn’t actually an appearance thing, it is more of a product usage thing. If that makes sense. This particular tube looks fairly smooth. The texture, when touched has a slightly textured surface so it feels as though the particulates will be fairly finely ground.
So now to the use.
There is almost no scent to this product and when in use if the lips are licked then there is just the taste of sugar. I don;t particularly need a flavor with my lip scrubs but it is a factor as I have had some really bad tasting ones in the past.
The top of the tube wore away pretty fast as it was more oil than particulate and pretty much melted away. This is kind of expected for a first use with a tube style lip scrub, or at least it has happened with every one of them I’ve used. So I wiped my lips, took a break and came back to try the lip scrub anew.
While the particulates are not large, they are a little on the harsh side. They did work, but I found my lips growing quite pink from the friction of the scrub. I like a lip scrub that feels like fine grained sugar. Thai felt as though the sugar crystals hadn’t had their rough edges sanded off before being put in the mix.
In addition I found that this deposited a substantial coating of lip oil on the lips. While I don’t mind having the oil mixed with the scrub remain on the lips, this felt a little waxy and not all that pleasant. I found myself wanting to wipe it off.
This Manna Kadar lip scrub is a decent lip scrub, however it needs to be used with a light hand so you don’t damage your lips. It is also one I would use only on lightly dry and flaky lips, not ones that have painful cracks in them, It is simply too harsh a product and I fear you would cause yourself pain. I know at that point most lip scrubs would cause pain so your best bet would be to use a lip mask until the painful cracks are gone then use an exfoliator to take away the dry bits. But in general this had a rough particulate so caution when using is advised in general. To be honest, this isn’t my favorite. It isn’t even my favorite stick formula lip scrub. For that I would turn to elf. They have a wide variety of scents and flavors, are inexpensive and are less harsh on the lips. While I will use this lip scrub, I will use it gently and when it is used up, I will bid it farewell and not seek to replace it. There are simply much better products out there.
Today my darlings, I was sabotaged. The started off fabulously. I awoke after an actual good night’s sleep. I remembered that I needed to get up early and get my walk in first thing. I even checked the air quality stats and weather reports. Partly cloudy with rain later this afternoon.
Perfect. I double checked my sunscreen, put on my walking shoes and out the door I went.
The first half of my walk was fine. The clouds prevented the sun from a murderous attack but it was still warm enough that I had worked up quite the sweat. By the time I walked the length of the trail and was ready to turn around and come back, I was sweat coated and thinking longingly of the shower and fresh clothing. The sun may not have been as broiling behind the screen of clouds, but the humidity was high so the sweat was inevitable. It was like being in a sauna you couldn’t really escape.
But I finished half the walk and turned around in high spirits. A few steps into the return trip, the wind picked up and my spirits faltered. The wind kicked up and I could literally see great yellow clouds of pollen being blown out of the trees. Much of it fell on the pathway. It was very much like the trees decided to throw confetti on my one woman parade. Because of the sweat, it stuck. By the time I got home I looked like I was rolled in yellow dust. Seriously if you have ever added too much turmeric to flour when preparing a flour dredge for chicken, that is sort of what I looked like. Minus the flour.
I stripped in the laundry room and post shower I vacuumed the floor of the laundry room. So today became more about eliminating the pollen coat then about adding makeup. So I thought that in the wake of runny eyes and a beet red dripping nose, I would talk to you about the products I did use today.
First up, we have the Advil Sinus Congestion and Pain tablets. At the moment these are my go to sinus tabs. They knock out all of my symptoms without making me feel drowsy. It still makes me feel like there is a cheese cloth between me and the rest of the world, but it is just a slight mental haze that I can still work through.
The Soda Stream is there to rehydrate after sweating buckets and to wash out any pollen that I might have taken in. I can’t do anything about my nose and lungs, but it makes me feel good to wash my throat clear with carbonated bubbles.
For my hair, which locked in the pollen in every strand, I went with the Christope Robin Cleansing Purifying scalp scrub with Sea salt in place of my shampoo. The salt gets deep down through the hair and scrubs the scalp clean without being too harsh and the foam this product produces is thick and luxurious. I actually used the last of this scalp scrub in today’s shower. It is hands down one of my favorite scalp scrubs and today it was amazing. This jar is now empty but I will be reordering it probably later this afternoon. I usually pick it up on either the Skinstore site They have memorial day sales going on so this is one product I will be adding to my sales purchases.
Since I replaced my shampoo with scalp scrub, I went ahead and replaced my conditioner with the Kendra Platinum Intense fortifying hair masque. I’ve been using this a couple of times a week for the past week and this far it has been a really good hair mask. I don’t always like Kendra products, but this one is definitely a winner. It leaves my hair feeling soft and easy to manage. Of the Kendra products it is my favorite and the one I will reach for repeatedly. I think it is also currently on sale with Lovely Skin’s Memorial Day sales if you are looking to add a hair mask to your collection.
I also used my Honey Pot, because it is standard for my bathing and at this point i reach for it automatically in every shower. Ladies, if you haven’t tried this, you are missing out. It is a fantastic product to add you your line up. I picked it out just to try and see how it performed and have since repurchased this every time i get low on product. It is plant based feminine care and perfectly ph balanced to keep you fresh and clean. I can not recommend this highly enough for any woman. It is not about fixing a problem it is about self care. I am not an affiliate in any way, just a big fan.
While the packaging for the Daily Concerns Daily Body scrubber is in the above photo, I did take a picture of it before I took it to use in the shower. It has a nice sponge inside which hold a lot of the product so you can actually use less as the product comes out as you use it and the exterior is nicely exfoliating on the body. It isn’t that harsh an exfoliation, but you still might want to switch to a mesh body scrubber for your delicate bits. It may not be too harsh for the skin, but it is a bit too exfoliating for certain areas. This was my first use of it and I think I will get a lot of use out of it, it just won’t be replacing my regular mesh scrubbie.
And with this sort of exfoliating scrubber I really like to use a moisturizing body wash. Todays was the Olay Fresh Outlast Orchid and Black Currant Body Wash. Generally if I am not testing out a body wash, this is my standard. It provides a nice level of moisture which is always good for my skin, without becoming slimy as some moisturizing body washes can get. It was especially important to use a moisturizing body wash after the exfoliation of the body scrubber.
And of course post shower I vacuumed the floor of the laundry rom and porch where I entered the house, turned on the air purifier to high to clear out the remaining particles and then scrubbed off the yellow ring of pollen left in the bathtub after I washed it from my body. So needless to say, today did not go as planned. However I now have a very clean bathroom, and I am clean myself. In addition, may hair feels quite amazingly clean all the way down to the scalp. Even if it does mean hat I realized my hair color has faded and more grays are poking through than I realized.
That just means it is time to reach for the root touch up and to pick out another hair dye color to try. I rather like the darker color so I think I will be sticking in the darker range. I had fun with the reds, but I think the darker color might actually suit me better. Something to contemplate while I reach for the root touch up and get back to work. Settling back into my desk I notice the computer is now flashing a Pollen High notice at me in bright red. You know, just in case I missed it. Sigh. I hope your day runs a bit more smoothly than mine. Ah, the joys of spring.
Good morning one and all. It is time once again for the weekly skincare line up. Are you excited? I know I am. This week had only some minor tweaks to the line up. It wasn’t anything major actually. In general I like to have my skincare rotate in and out at different times so I am not adding all new products on the same week. But let’s get into it and see what happens.
While I have been a bit so so about the cleanser I have to say this week it sort of came into it’s own. With the increased humidity I have ended up washing my face more than usual. I try to usually stick with the morning and evening routine, but this week I was sweaty and nasty a couple of times mid day and had to roll the cleanser out because I simply felt gross. I was able to use this gentle cleanser with out stripping my skin, so I am quite pleased with it.
The Time Revolution Essence I still love. It does a great job of opening up the pores to get them ready for the rest of the skincare. It is used one spare drop at a time, more simply isn’t needed. It is not yet low enough that i am risking having more product come out than I need but i suspect in the next week I will have to start watching that. Because of the way the regulator is placed when there is less product, upending the bottle to dispense lets the product hit the distributer with more force so more product comes out. it has happened with all my essences regardless of brand. The trick is to remember to tilt it slowly instead of just upending it over the palm of your hand.
My one new product in this week’s line up is a sample sized serum. I am going to try to roll through some of my sample serums to clear out out some space in the drawer and this one has been hanging around a while. The problem is that it was only about half full when i unsealed it from it’s plastic at the beginning of the week. Now I’ve used some of it and I don’t think it will make it through a second week. I won’t be using it long enough to decide it it has any use to it because of the lack of product. The serum has no scent to it. It absorbs well and doesn’t leave the skin greasy. It has hyaluronic acid in it, which is a good ingredient, but given the time i’ve had with it I can’t tell if it has enough to have an effect. I do like the way it feels enough to consider giving it another try with a full size though.
The Sunday Riley eye cream I am absolutely loving though. It absorbs well without leaving my skin greasy or clogging pores and I am starting to see a reduction in the fine lines by my eyes as it plumps the skin.
The Embryolisse is a great moisturizer and perfectly weighted for this time of year. It isn’t too heavy and it moisturizes well. We are nearing the end of the thirty day tril though so next week there will be a full review and I will be rolling the third moisturizer in the lait Creme line into the skincare rotation. I’m hoping it proves to be a summer weight product but i will have to wait and see for that.
And Sunscreen is a must. It is a must year round but as I spend more time outside in this weather it is doubly important. The Sunday Riley is doing well. Once the cream warms up to skin temps the white cast disappears. It does leave me looking very shiny for about twenty minutes after application but after that it is fine. I’ve had no problems with it and am happy to continue using it.
The Yensa Cleansing oil s great for the general makeup removing as well as washing my face, however when it gets in my eyes it tends to cloud my contacts a bit. So I brought in the Laura Mercier to take off my eye makeup. Thus far I haven’t had any problems with it. The eye makeup remover is a good product with no scent, you just have to remember to shake it up before using it as the oils tend to separate. Is it my favorite eye makeup remover? No. It takes a bit more effort to get mascara off than I’d perhaps like. It is good enough to use, but I’m not sure I’d repurchase it.
The other new product in my line up is the Sonage serum. Again it has only been a week with this serum so i haven’t seen any effects yet. It has a scent that somewhat reminds me of rosemary but in a more industrial skincare kind of way, if that makes sense. It is a potent scent, but it fades fairly quickly. It does leave the skin sticky. I was not expecting that but it is very sticky. The stick factor isn’t a problem as I apply moisturizer over serums and that took away all of the stickiness, but it is sticky enough to warrant notice. This is one of those products that I am going to have to wait and see in order to pass judgement. I’m not a huge fan of the scent or of the stickiness even though both could be excused it the product works well. I just need to use it more to figure out if it works well. If it works well and plumps my lines and rejuvenates my face i will forgive the scent and the stickiness. Only time will tell on that one.
And finally we come to the Alpha H. Used every other day I am really liking this exfoliating toner. My skin feels clear and clean after using it. At the same time, I am only using it three times a week. I would not want to use it more than that. Three times is plenty, more would be overdoing it. But it is a fantastic item in my line up. It tingled and was a little stinging the first couple of times I used it, but that faded quickly and I haven’t had anything but good skin since. I am pleased to use it and pleased to have a second bottle waiting in the wings. Truthfully once i finish this bottle I’m just going to roll in the second one unless there is something else I nee to test out. I would happily award this a permanent spot in my routine.
We have reached the end of the pre Mother’s day gift guide posts. While there are many more things available than what I have listed, I have listed a few that caught my eye as I was doing my own shopping. And for my final one I am listing Herbal Dynamic Beauty and their gift sets.
Oh before I forget they have a 25% off code: MOTHER25. You can use that on the gift sets or on regular purchases.
I know this is about gift sets, but really I would be remiss if I did not suggest that mask as a possible gift idea. It is just such a fantastic mask to have in your skincare arsenal. It feels good on the skin and when you use it, you skin feels fantastic. However the real magic comes later. the mask works to draw out deeply clogged pores and bring them to the surface so you can clear them out. This means the day following the mask use you end up with more break outs that need to be cleared away. I like to use this a week before I need my skin to look it’s best for an event. I’ll take a weekend home, use it on a Friday afternoon and spend the weekend clearing away what gets drawn to the surface and then hit the following week with extra fabulous skin.
While it is an amazing gift, there are skin care gift sets for mothers day as well. One of my favorites is the set of Hydrating Recovery essentials. Usually $74 it is currently on sale for $54, It includes: YOUTH REFRESH® HYDRATING STRAWBERRY ANTIOXIDANT CLEANSER, CLEAN & CALM® COOLING CUCUMBER EYE CREAM, and YOUTH REFRESH® HYALURONIC ACID & OAT OVERNIGHT RECOVERY MASK.
I would purchase this solely for the Hyaluronic Acid and Oat Overnight mask. No shade to the other products (as I haven’t tried them) but that overnight mask is fantastic. I applied it over night and the next morning my skin was hydrated and many of my fine lines flitted away in the night. Admittedly you have to keep using it or the wicked little lines return, but it was a nice way to wake up.
The second set I would look into is the Anti Aging Heroes set. I know, getting someone something called anti-aging as a gift might send the wrong message but these are really nice products. Maybe you could just term it The fabulous skin set instead if you choose to pick this one up. Usually it retails for $66 but is now on sale for $55. It includes the YOUTH REFRESH® HYDRATING HYALURONIC ACID SERUM, YOUTH REFRESH® PRICKLY PEAR ANTIOXIDANT DAILY FACE MOISTURIZER, and the VIVID REVIVAL® VITAMIN K CONTOURING EYE CREAM. Of these three the only one I have tried is the Hyaluronic Acid serum. It is something I have purchased at least twice since I first tried it. It is a fabulous addition to any skincare line.
Whether you are looking for sets or singular items, Herbal Dynamics beauty is a great place to check out for Mother’s day gifts. And don’t forget, you can get 25% off with the code MOTHER25. Happy shopping.
For the last month I have been using the Bl’eau Beauty Glacial Organic Clay Mask. The brand very kindly sent it to me to try out, but as always the opinions in this post are my own. while this mask can be used daily (or as needed) I opted for a Monday, Wednesday Friday approach o application. And after a month of such wear the jar is completely empty.
I tend to apply masks a little on the heavy side, but that meant that I had fourteen solid uses out of the jar. It was a very interesting clay mask and had a couple of atypical features for a clay mask. Which we will get to below. First I want to remind everyone what this mask is supposed to accomplish.
Sourced from ancient glaciers off the coast of British Columbia, our Glacial Oceanic Clay Mask gently exfoliates, soothes redness and irritation, and infuses thirsty skin with intense hydration. Boasting more than 60 minerals, micronutrients and rare elements that are proven to detoxify and replenish, this detoxifying botanical blend promotes a softer, brighter and radiant complexion.
*NSF certified organic: Our Glacial Oceanic Clay Mask is committed to the NSF/ANSI 305 Standard. The NSF/ANSI 305 is an American National Standard written specifically for personal care products containing organic ingredients.
To wear this mask I applied it like I would any other clay mask. I used the provided spoon (which I have to say is the perfect shape, the slight curve in the spoon/spatula made it ideal for applying the mask. It was easy to maneuver around my face and while I applied it with one side, I then turned the spoon over and smoothed it out with the other side. The only minor flaw was that the angled edges of the spoon end left lines on occasion so I would have rounded those off a little more, but that is a vey minor complaint (and as the second pass with the spoon took the lines out, not really a complaint, it was simply the only potential modification I would make otherwise fantastic application.)
But this isn’t a tool review, it is a mask one.
The mask smoothed on well and very easily. It felt cool against the skin like a clay mask would, which was expected. The scent of the mask is fresh with slight floral and earthy notes and a slight oceanic tang. I know it sounds like I am describing a perfume. It is in no way perfume-y, but it is a very lovely scent. The scent fades after application so it isn’t overwhelming. To figure out the scent I kept opening the jar and sniffing. which is why my nose ended up with more masking on the end than any other part of my face. You mostly get the scent when you first open the jar. It did cause me to look over the ingredients to figure out what it was that created the scent.
The lavender and Jasmine are where the slight floral notes come from I believe, but they ae very light and instead of dominating, they mostly help to lighten up the earthy/sea scent. There is also the trace of Aloe which is I think what my nose picks up as the fresh scent in this mask.
Over all though it is a fresh scent that dissipates quickly and smells nice while it lasts.
As per the instructions, I let the Glacial Oceanic Clay mask sit for fifteen minutes each time before removing it. Here is where it doesn’t behave like your typical clay mask. In fifteen minutes of wear almost every clay mask I have tried has hardened to a crispy shell. It is vaguely reminiscent of that ice cream topper that went from liquid in the bottle to a hard shell when it hit the cold ice cream. (Magic Shell was the name I knew when I was a kid, not sure if they even make that any more, but I digress.)
Then to remove the clay mask you have to chip through it to reveal the skin beneath. This mask never really hardened like that. In fact after fifteen minute of sitting, I was easily able to take a damp wash cloth and wipe the mask off of my skin. I then splashed a little water on my face to make sure nothing was missed and then patted my skin dry.
Occasionally I would use the mask in the afternoon while sitting at my desk. Most often it was a post dinner relaxation. while the act of simply sitting down with a mask on a regular basis was in itself calming, I found that after removing the mask I had little desire to put anything on top of it. My skin felt moisturized, so I didn’t need any moisturizer (which can sometimes happen after an intense clay mask, at least for me) and my skin felt soft and clean so I didn’t want to put makeup on after it. I ended up finding myself using the mask after I knew that i would not have to leave the house and put makeup on. Not that I couldn’t, I just simply didn’t want to.
However this mask had an interesting effect. The morning after applying this mask, I found that several of my deeply clogged pores had moved closer to the surface. In fact in the beginning, it was quite a lot of clogged pores rising, more than I actually thought I had to be honest. For the first week the clogged pores rose at a pretty rapid rate. It was as if my skin noticed things were clearing out and just sent clogged pores racing to the exit.
What I ended up doing was employing a Saturday exfoliation session. It cleared out a lot of the rising clogged pores and kept my face relatively clear. After that initial week, it was less noticeable as most of my pores were cleared out. There were a few more deeply buried clogs that slowly moved to the surface. The mass evacuation of the first week slowed dramatically in the second.
It was interesting to watch the deeper clogs being drawn out to the surface of the skin with each application. In the second week I ended up using my exfoliator Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and that did seem to help. In the third week my skin was getting back to normal and just began looking good. It was clear and fresh and I went back to the once a week exfoliation.
This week, the final week of the trial, was preceded by me consuming much more sugar, fat and salt than I usually eat. We had company and that is just what happens. Interestingly, the reactions to my skin after a week of indulgence usually would hit me in the middle to end of the following week and I would go into the next weekend vowing to eat better and take better care of my skin.
I don’t know if because my skin had so recently been cleared out or if it was the Monday use of the Glacial Oceanic Clay Mask, but by Monday around 11 pm when I was getting ready for bed, (I used the mask around 7pm) I noticed the break outs had arrived and while they were more than I would like, they were not as bad as I feared they would be at the end of the week. In fact now, when I would expect them to arrive and be planning a weekend of skincare domination, the break outs are clearing up.
Over all this was a very interesting mask trial. I would definitely use this mask again and it has certainly made it to the top of my to be repurchased list. I love the scent and the application, I love the way it doesn’t completely dry down but most of all I love that it really does detoxify my skin. (and yes I love the look of the jewel shaped box too).
In the future, I think this is a mask I would use when I know I have some time where I won’t have to go out in public for a few days. After applying it and rinsing it off, I don’t want to wear makeup so there is that aspect. Then the following day I would let things rise, and then use the exfoliator. I would always pair this with a gentle exfoliator. How often the exfoliator should be used will depend on your skin and what the mask brings up.
If I had a major event scheduled I would make it a month of masking prior to the event, because once the skin has a chance to clear out it looks radiant. It is a hydrating, and not a drying mask and my skin quite honestly loved it. This Glacial Oceanic Clay Mask from Bl’eau Beauty gets two thumb’s way up from me and it makes me not only want to repurchase, but to try out more items from the brand.
This week I feel a little bit bad for my skincare. I have several breakouts, but they are the result of too much sugar in my week. I won’t harp on it here because i have mentioned it a lot this week. But it does make me feel bad for my skincare. they put in the effort, I simply sabotaged them when they weren’t looking. You may notice that there are a lot of products in that picture above, mush more than is usual, even for me. Many of those bottles are actually empty. And a couple of the items are rolled in as replacements. Also I have two non-daily products in the mix, on for Tuesdays and Thursdays and one for every other day.
I’ll separate them out below so this week there are three sections; Day, Night, and Other. The picture to the left is my bare skin. I forgot to take it in the bathroom, but as I hadn’t put on my makeup for the day, i went ahead and took the pic at my desk, hence the light and backdrop difference. Also I finished my Native Deodorant (actually the last of it popped out of the tube unexpectedly and landed on the floor). I had an extra Dove Deodorant in the drawer (I keep it as back up for when I am testing natural deodorants that may or may not work) which I pressed into service. So now that I have given a lengthy intro to match the extra products pictured, let’s get into it. As always, we will start with the day time lineup.
Okay we have a few changes this week. I finished up the Missha Cleanser. Although gone, it will be returning. I pulled this Kate Somerville from the collection of cleansers I need to work through. It is a clear gel. It smells slightly florally but the scent is very light. The cleanser has minimal foaming but seems to work well. To be honest the most notable part of it thus far is the cap. Instead of twisting off, it twists and opens a hole in the center so you don’t have to fumble with putting the lid down somewhere while you use it. I am a fan of this. Thus far the cleanser is nice. I have no problems continuing to use it, but at this stage the cap is the most notable element.
I live the Missha essence. It is quite fabulous. almost no scent whatsoever so if you are sensitive to scents this might be something for you to look into. It absorbs quickly and I j=know this will sound strange but when applying it I feel as though my skin is opening up. Like my pores are opening wide. It is an odd sensation. Not a bad one, just odd. But as essences are designed to open the skin to increase the efficacy of the other skin care you are using I suppose that is a good thing. I kind of like the feeling too.
The Pill by the Nue co is about half way finished and while I love the shape of the bottle and how it fits in the hand the serum itself is kind of meh. I have two Nue Co products in my line up and the other (used at night) is really great. I am just not really liking this one.
The Pixi glow tonic toner is completely empty. It was nice. I like Pixi by Petra’s toners. they generally work out well for me. My favorite is the clarity toner so I would probably purchase that one over this one, but this was a nice, lightly exfoliating toner. I haven’t chosen it’s replacement yet but in the Other section below there is a toner used once every other day so I’ll need to roll in something for the between times.
The sensitive Embryolisse cream has been interesting. This is the first week of use actually. I really like it. It has much less of a scent. It is still there and still the same scent as the original, but it is less present. In addition the cream is a slight bit lighter. I think this is perfect timing as we are starting to see warmer days. The sensitive cream is performing just as well as the others and there has been no noticeable difference. I think there will be more of a difference as the sun heats up and I am curious to see how it performs as a pre makeup base, but for now I am thrilled with it.
And speaking of the sun, the time has come where a daily sunscreen is no longer optional. I know, I need it year round, but the truth is I spend a lot more time indoors during the winter and when walking outside for the daily walks I use a spray sunscreen before I leave the house but don’t add it into my skincare line up. Once April hits, this changes and sunscreen is placed in the skincare line up. (I still add the spray sunscreen before my walk as a back up just incase I forgot.)
I tried a small sample of this Sunday Riley sunscreen and really liked it. So I was happy to have a full size to try out. When dispensed it has a slight pink tint to it and it has a light scent. It is one of those creams that needs to warm up a bit. There will be a little bit of white cast when first applied but as the cream warms to your skin it absorbs in and the white disappears. As with moisturizers that do this, just put it in your hand and let it warm up a second before applying and there is no white at all. I am rather enjoying this sunscreen.
As usual I won’t cover the items I talked about in the day since they performed as well at night as they did in the day (if they didn’t I would mention it). The last of the Sunday Riley makeup remover was used this week. I think it might have been discontinued. If not, then I would buy it again as it is a really good makeup remover. The bottle is empty and it will be tossed away. I used the Yensa last night for the first time. well first time for this bottle. I’ve used it before. It was interesting. I had one bottle, loved it and then picked up a discounted bottle that I think might have been a little old. The scent was stronger but it worked just as well as before. I think the older the product is the more like CBD oil it smells. It still works, but the scent is stronger. So check your dates. This is a fresh bottle and the scent is barely noticeable. it wasn’t until I applied water to rinse it off that I really got much of a scent at all. It is a great product and I am happy to use it, I just thought you might want to be aware of that.
The topical C powder to add to moisturizers is really nice. It is my favorite Nue Co product. It is one that I will consistently repurchase as it is a great way to add just a little extra Vitamin c to the routine. I tend to use it at night only because too much vitamin c in the day makes me a little sun sensitive. so if that is an issue for you, you might want to watch it. I like that I can add as much or as little as I like.
The Fig recovery oil is almost empty. It has a week, maybe two left of use. It is a nice dry oil that won’t leave your skin feeling greasy. I’m not sure it is better than other oils. I like Byroe as a brand and there are other products I will always repurchase (their Bitter Greens Toning Essence is fantastic) but while I have no problems using this oil again, I don’t think it is one I would seek out. It would be something i would add to my cart if I was shopping on the site, but not the reason I was shopping on the site.
With these two products I am making certain that I don’t use them on the same days. So I skipped the weekend with the Alpha H just so I wouldn’t use it on the Tuesdays and Thursdays I am using the retinol. while they are working well I am kind of glad that the Retinol Reform is a sample size. I think in my routine i should only use one of these at a time. But the retinol is about half empty (sample size) so I will finish with it and then just be left with the Alpha H.
Both of these products tingle on the skin. The Alpha H more than the Retinol. I would not use either during the day. While the Alpha H was noticeably tingly with the first use, each additional use the tingle becomes less. I don’t know if i am just becoming used to it but on my first use I was somewhat concerned. Then things went well. It is too early to really sea a difference with either but aside from the sugar fueled break outs, my skin feels really good. I’m monitoring it in case it becomes too much, but this far, I am liking both of these products, the Alpha H especially.
And that has been my skin care for the week. I know there were a lot of generalizations for the newer products but as I get the feel of them and they settle in to longer usage I’ll have more specifics on each. And now it is on with Friday. I hope you have a good one.
I’ll admit, when the M. Greengrass Dry Oil Spray (retail $36) came in my BoxyCharm Subscription box this month, I wasn’t quite sure what it was or how to use it. In my defense the description ‘multi-purpose dry oil spray’ didn’t give a lot of direction, it just implied multiple uses. I don’t know, maybe I’m thick. Luckily, the back of the bottle was much more descriptive and came with basic instructions citing use for both skin and in the hair.
As for the claims, according to the website:
This fast absorbing dry oil spray is formulated with a blend of high quality oils that quickly penetrate delivering superior moisture leaving skin soft and luminous without feeling greasy.
Notes: Bergamot, Citrus, White Jasmine, Brazilian Soft Woods, Heliotrope, and Musk.
Free of parabens, PEGs, artificial colors, petrolatum, gluten, phthalates and mineral oil. No animal testing ever!!!
I very much liked the free of list, especially as it is intended to more or less cover me from head to toe and some things I really don’t want on my body. Since I don’t believe gluten can be absorbed through the skin and I don’t really feel like drinking the product, the gluten free is a bit superfluous, but I appreciate the lack of petroleum and mineral oil. Those seem like more practical exclusions, at least to me. I’m sure there are plenty who disagree. which is fine, personal differences make the world a more interesting place.
And we all know I’d hate to be bored.
In addition, all of the scents included are ones I like and when I spritzed the oil I really liked the way it smelled. I can sort of see why the scent is named ‘Beach Air’ as it does sort of have a scent reminiscent of the beach, or at least it brings thoughts of the beach to me. All it really lacks is a kind of briny back scent for the full beach impact.
It has a very light aroma with a slight earthiness which I’m guessing is from the musk. It is not as floral as I would expect from the Bergamot, White Jasmine and Heliotrope, which I also appreciate as if it was I think it might be too cloying without the earthy back note. I think the citrus and musk help balance the floral scents well.
As much as I like the scent, it is not billed as a perfume, so I set off to test it as a body oil first. When sprayed onto dry skin, the oil soaks in well and does not leave a greasy residue on either body or face. While the scent lingers for several hours afterwards, I was not leaving greasy fingerprints behind me which I (as well as those around me) appreciate.
I also tried it on wet skin, spraying my body after getting out of the shower instead of using my more customary body lotion.
My fresh from the shower skin absorbed the oil more readily, which isn’t a big shock as damp skin usually absorbs product more readily. I found my skin softer than when I used the oil on dry skin but oddly enough there was less of a scent remaining afterwards.
On dry skin, the scent remained almost like a perfume. With the wet skin, the scent was absorbed more and didn’t linger. I will say though that throughout the rest of the day I did catch faint whiffs of scent, but it was very faint and no where as pronounced as when I used the spray on dry skin. With using the spray on wet skin I still could use a perfume should I so choose, when I used it on dry skin any perfume I wore fought with the scent of the oil.
After trying it on the skin, I used the oil on my hair. I found there to be no real value in using it on damp hair, but when used on dry hair, it helped with fly always and gave me the same powerful scent that it gave on dry skin. I also found that when I used the dry oil spray in my hair I could not wear perfume for fear of clashing scents. It did however not cause my hair to be greasy in any way. My hair did not feel weighed down and the scent and softness remained throughout the day.
As I found the scent quite nice, I think that I might use it on hair and dry skin on days where I am wearing no other perfume, but for the most part, I plan on keeping it in the bathroom for use on my skin just after the shower in lieu of body lotion. I think it is more effective that way and I like the little teasers of scent that I get throughout the day without having it clash with any other perfume or scented product I may be using that day. In addition I really like the spray bottle. Not only is it an attractively packaged product, but the spray is a sturdy one that sprays an even, fine mist. It is also easy to use with wet hands, making it a really nice addition to my post-shower routine.
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