A different sort of Line up for the Skin: September 22nd, 2022

if you are looking at the picture above and thinking, that seems like there are some duplicates, you aren’t wrong. in the above photo I have the products I have been using and I also have the products that will be going with me when I leave tomorrow morning. Tonight i will use the products going with me and if there are no issues they will be packed and taken for two weeks at my mother’s house. Currently in rotation Are…

Cleanser: Avant Blue Volcanic Stone Purifying and Antioxidizing Cleansing Gel

Toner: Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner from First Aid Beauty

Serum: 35% Vitamin C Perfecting Serum from Allies of Skin

Eye cream: Kat Burki Nutrient C Eye Cream

Moisturizer: Volition Yaupon Tea Glow Awakening Moisturizer

Lip Mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

while there is probably over a week’s worth of cleanser in the Avant, there probably isn’t two weeks worth and I don’t want to pack two cleansers. So I will be taking the Alpha H Balancing cleanser with me. I wanted to try it out and I have two other Alpha H products to try so they will be going with me. One I know I like (the Liquid Gold Toner) and one I haven’t tried. But I will get to that below.

The FAB toner won’t be going with me because there is very little product left and it is a big bottle. As the Alpha H toner can only be used every other day, I have added in the travel sized bottle of the Byroe Toning essence. I’ve use it before and it is both a fantastic toner and a great essence. I will use it on the days I am not using the exfoliating toner.

I did pack a physical exfoliator as I really like exfoliating once a week. I am taking a travel size of the ESPA Refining Skin Polish because I have used it before and absolutely love it. I am sticking with the allies of skin serum since it has a locking pump and I am keeping the Volition moisturizer in the travel line up. This week i did use the Elemis Super Food Midnight Facial a few nights and it really worked well with the volition to give my skin the moisture it needed so i will be keeping them paired up for the trip. As I felt I had enough glass bottles and jars I traded out the eye cream for a tube of the Alpha H eye cream. It not only goes along with the other AlphaH products but it is a smaller tube.

Over all I was rather pleased with the products I used this week and I am happy with the ones going with me on the trip. While I am gone, there will be no skincare updates so tonight I will make sure there are no skincare reactions and then I will report back on the skincare in motion once I return from my trip.

Traveling with me are…

Cleanser: Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera

Toner: Alpha H Liquid Gold and Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence

Serum: 35% Vitamin C Perfecting Serum from Allies of Skin

Eye cream: Alpha H Liquid Gold Firming Eye Cream

Moisturizer: Volition Yaupon Tea Glow Awakening Moisturizer

Night Mask: Elemis Superfood Midnight Facial

Exfoliator: ESPA Refining Skin Polish

Lip Mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

And so my darlings, those are the products I will be taking with me. I look forward to putting them to the test and reporting back about how well they worked and how well they traveled. I also can’t wait to tell you all about it when I return. Until then…

The Skincare Line Up: September 9th, 2022

It is time once again for the weekly skincare line up. Here slowly but surely i work my way through products in my routine. For me I find this sort of thing exciting. I like the first use posts because there are interesting first impressions and of course I like the end of use posts where we see if there are any actual results, but I really find the in progress line up to be the most fun. Not only do I get to think about an array of skincare, but i get to think of it working in conjunction with other skincare. Does this product work better if I incorporate a facial oil into the routine or if I leave it out. Does this take longer to absorb and thus better left for evening use when I have more time in my skincare regimen than I do when i am racing to get my day started? These are the sorts of thigs I really do find interesting to know. So let’s see what we see with this week’s line up.

Cleanser: Avant Blue Volcanic Stone Purifying and Antioxidizing Cleansing Gel

Toner: Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner from First Aid Beauty

Serum: Depology Matrixyl 3000 Collagen Boosting Serum

Eye cream: Kat Burki Nutrient C Eye Cream

Moisturizer: Korres Santorini Grape Poreless skin cream

Lip Mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

This week there is only one new product but we have two products that are reaching the end of their life. This week I started the Avant Gel Cleanser. Avant is known for having both extremely long names on their products and for being rather expensive. This cleanser for example is listed at $110. which in my opinion is far too much to pay for a cleanser. All of the Avant products I have tried have come to me via subscription box. Which I like because while I love trying new products and in all honesty don’t mind spending money for good skincare, I am not going to spend a lot of money for something I haven’t tried before. Which is partially why I love samples. The reason is because skincare can be very subjective. Some products that work well for someone else’s skin type can work less well for you. I’ve also moved a lot in my life and to be honest there are some products that I’ve used in some places that simply don’t work with my skin when i moved to a different area.

that being said, this week i tried the Avant cleanser. It is a gel cleanser and it has a light fresh scent. I have to say that is actually just a pleasant relief. While my skin worked well with the BFF cleanser, the highly perfumed scent was starting to get to me. By contrast this was light and fresh. It is slightly on the perfumed side, but it is far lighter in scent and it leans into the clean scents rather than floral ones. It will be interesting to see if i continue to think it is light and fresh as the use goes on. Mostly because it is kind of on the edge and I think I might be giving it a bit of a pass since it has less of a scent than the Bff. Beyond that it is a nice, decent cleanser. It doesn’t seem to be doing anything spectacular. But it also doesn’t seem to be doing any wrong either. Again this will be interesting to watch as time progresses.

The First Aid Beauty toner is still working well. it is a good toner. I don;t mind using it and wouldn’t mind using it again. It isn’t one that I will feel the need to repurchase, but there is nothing wrong with it.

The Kat Burki eye cream is interesting. This week I had one clogged pore in my under eye area (left eye). i did some spot masking to draw it out and it cleared out well. I have had no other issues with my under eyes (and they are prone to clogged pores) so it may or may not be related to the eye cream. It is thus far the only one so I will watch it as time continues.

The Depology Serum has just completed it’s fourth week of use (the full review post will go up next week.) and I have to say i really liked this serum. it absorbed well and I can really feel a difference in my skin tone. My skin feels soft and hydrated with an improvement in texture. I will continue using this serum in the coming week. I don’t know how far into the week the serum will take me but i will be using every last drop. It will also be repurchased down the road.

The moisturizer I have been using is also reaching the end of the line. I will be able to use the last of it tonight and then I will need to roll in a new moisturizer. In general I enjoy Korres products and while I can’t say that i saw a reduction in my pore size throughout the use of this cream, I can say that it was the perfect level of moisture for my skin at this time of year. It wasn’t too heavy and it wasn’t too light. I used a little more at night than i did in the day, which is fairly typical for me. This summer it has been rather difficult to find moisturizers that weren’t too heavy for day time use, but this worked out well. It is a light cream and absorbed well. It did take a little longer to absorb in the mornings than I liked, but part of that might have been the humidity. There were very few days this summer where the humidity dripped below 80%. That this one took a little longer to absorb but didn’t just slide right off, was quite impressive.

And then finally we had the Fantastic Tatcha Lip mask. While only a little is used at a time, the mask is starting to show a dip in the center. I still think it will last quite a while, which i am pleased by. It is a fantastic lip mask to wear to bed and let absorb over night. I would happily repurchase it, but i am just as happy to have it last a long time before i di need to repurchase it.

And that my darlings was my skincare for the week. there was only one new addition, but next week, there will be two new products to join the line. I can’t wait to see how they perform.

Korres Greek Natural Beauty

Trying out a new lip scrub

Lip scrub is one of those items I don’t use everyday, or even every week. It is one of those things I always have around, so that when I need it I can reach for it. Consistently I tend to need lip scrub through the transition time in the autumn as we go into winter. I then use it periodically over the winter and then my use of it fades out though the spring. There is always a stretch of time where spring becomes summer where my lips need a good scrub and that is the time we have now entered.

This lip scrub came to me in a Subscription box. I believe it was Glossy Box. The full name is the Avant Hyaluronic Argan Oil Peony Sweet Almond Age Protect And UV Velvet Perfecting Rose Sugar Lip Scrub. For the purpose of not making anyone reading this out of breath before they reach the end of the name, I’m just going to shorten that to the Avant Lip Scrub.

This was an interesting lip scrub to review.

First, the packaging. It is quite nice. Sturdy plastic that can stand up to squeezing but isn’t too firm. An angled tip so that it could easily be spread on the lips. I think the full size does come in a jar though. Which I think I’d prefer the trail sized tube, but that is just a personal preference. In addition, the hole for dispensing product is large enough that the granules can get through. During the times I used it, there was no clogging and the product was easy to use.

The argan oil always works well on my skin, lips included so that was nice and quite frankly I like seeing hyaluronic acid.

And in truth, my lips did feel gloriously soft and smooth. It performs really well. The exfoliant particles were gentle enough not to cause any harsh scrubbing, yet quite effective. It really is a very well performing product.

I know you are thinking, well that doesn’t sound like it is an interesting scrub to review. It just sounds like you liked the scrub.

The interesting part is that I found it really a hard scrub to use. In fact i found that I often talked myself out of using it.

‘Oh no, I think my lips are fine tonight, I’ll just add an extra layer of lip balm instead.’

And here’s why: The Avant Lip Scrub tastes awful.

It quite frankly tastes like its name. It tastes like Rose, Peony, and argan oil. It is not a delightful combination. When sniffed in the tube, the Sweet Almond comes through and so i expected that to be the taste, which would have been fine. It might be mixed in, but the taste is oily dead flowers.

I know, it isn’t a product designed to be eaten. However, it is on my lips. To use a lip scrub, you apply it to the lips and then roll your lips a bit so the sugar can work around and exfoliate. Then you pat off any particulates that remain so that the softness of the oil can remain on the lips and be absorbed. That’s just how lip scrubs work.

Because of this, at some point (possibly many points) you are going to taste the scrub. And this Avant Lip scrub tastes vile. Argan oil is great for hair and skin but it isn’t a tasty oil and mixing it with florals doesn’t help. In fact all it does is insure that if you do get any in your mouth the oil will case the flavor to linger.

Normally, I brush my teeth, use my mouthwash and then use my lips scrub so that I can leave the oils on my lips to settle in overnight. With using this scrub this week I had to bring the lip scrub forward a bit and apply it well before my nighttime routine. Then make a conscious effort not to eat or drink anything. Then I washed off the oils before brushing my teeth. After I just added My Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask for moisture and called it good.

I will say that the product does work well, but the taste insures I won’t really use it. The best thing that can be said about the taste is that it works well as an anti snacking device. If you are looking for ways to keep yourself from snacking in the evenings, this might be a good choice for you because after you taste it once, you will do your best not to taste it again.

Sometimes, taste does matter. Even in skincare.

The Avant Lip Scrub (the 10 ml not the trial size I have) retails for $71. Which is a lot for a lip scrub. Personally I don’t think a lip scrub should cost that much. As far as lip scrubs go, my two favorites are much less costly. I really like the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($18). Fresh is one of those brands I can always trust for good products actually. Personally I also like the Elf Lip exfoliator sugar scrub ($4). It comes in a lipstick form and is very easy to use. The exfoliation on that one is nice although I do find I need to add something like the Bite Beauty Agave lip mask to the lips after using it to provide post scrub hydration. I think the dryer formula used to crate the stick form just leaves it lacking in the post scrub moisture department.

Even though both are less expensive (even if you also add the cost of the Bite Beauty Agave Mask ($26) into the tally) were they all the same price, I still wouldn’t go for the Avant Lip Scrub as a repurchase. The formula may be great but the taste insures I would never use it.


I think that Fresh has a standard 15% off for new shoppers on their site. They also seem to have a 20% off deal going with their refer a friend section. I’m not an affiliate (and the link will just take you to the general page) but it seems like if you and a friend each purchase from the site you both get 20% off. Bite Beauty and Elf also have some sales going at the moment which I’ve posted below. The ELF 60% off clearance sale lasts until June 18th.

Bite Beauty: Take 30% off the Changemaker Collection!

Elf Cosmetics: 60% off Clearance Sale!

Skin Care Line up: March 12th, 2021

Products in Use March 12th, 2021

Good morning my darlings. I thought it was time to do a bit of a skin care line up. This week there are a lot of sample sizes so this will be a lot of first impressions. Some of the products lasted long enough to earn a full review, and those will be posted as individual reviews. I just wanted to go over what was in my line up,. When I add products I tend to stagger them so that I don’t start a whole new routine at the same time. Also, even though there are a lot of products in this line up, they aren’t used all at the same time. Some I use in the day, some at night, some I only use a few times a week. But lets get into it, shall we?

There are two makeup removers in this week’s line up. The first is the Klorane Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. The link will take you to the full review if you are interested. It is not only effective at gently removing eye makeup but even if it gets in your eyes it doesn’t sting and it doesn’t coat your contacts with an oily film that clouds your vision. I’m a big fan. I tend to use it on the eye makeup that doesn’t just come off with my wet Makeup Eraser. There aren’t a lot of products like that, so it takes a while to use u even a sample size. I will be picking up the full size when it runs out.

The Makeup remover oil I used this week was the MAC Cleanse off oil. It is in the regular formula. I really like it. What I tend to do is put it on a dry face full of makeup, rub it in to break down the makeup, then rinse it off and then go in with the wet Makeup Eraser to take off every little bit. Then if needed go back in with the Klorane. I know it seems like a lot, but it is sort of my system. I have about two to three uses left in the bottle and then the MAC will be no more. I like it and I wouldn’t mind using it again. I think I’m going to roll in the Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm to take its place when it is finished.

Once the makeup is removed I go in with a cleanser. My cleanser this week was the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder. And Oh my darlings, I am in love. Don’t let the name fool you. It may have a gentle exfoliant in it but the powder melts with a drop of water and rubbing your hands together productse foam. There is no grit whatsoever with this product.

The scent is light and clean. It is that slightly fruity, slightly floral category that many Asian based skin care products seem to have. I’ve noticed it in both Amore Pacific and Tatcha ones. Personally I can’t tell if it is a fruit or a flower or a combination of the two that produces the scent. I really like it and the scent is very light and fades quickly, but it is present. I usually like Amore Pacific products and this was no exception. This is definitely a product I will be picking up in a full size for a full on trial. I liked it for the two week’s I’ve used it and think I would be very happy using it over a longer period.

I can not say the same about my toner. This week (and actually for several weeks prior) I used the Youth to the People Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliant Power toner. I was excited because with the AHA’s I didn’t feel the need to roll in an AHA product to use the morning after I’ve used my retinol. I figured this had it covered. It may have, but I did not enjoy this toner. I’m sure the scent could probably be chalked up to the Kombucha but to my nose it kept smelling like rubbing alcohol and I just didn’t like that.

toner and moisturizer

It also made my skin feel very sticky. It was not a feeling I cared for in a toner. I reached the end of the bottle yesterday so this morning I rolled in my Akar Balancing Toning mist to replace it. I used a sample of the Akar and liked t enough to pick up a full size so this is the full size. After a month of use I’ll post a full review. The Youth to the people Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliant Power toner I will not be picking up in a full size.

For the past few weeks I’ve been using an essence in my daily routine. I used the Real Ferment Micro Essence Neo Gen Dermalogy. There is still enough product in the bottle that I might be able to use it another week, if so it will have given me five full weeks of use so there will be a full review soon. If you are wondering what an essence is then let me simply explain.

An essence is a product that opens your pores and makes them more receptive to accepting the skin care products that follow. I will be using this product until it is gone. I will probably pick up a full size but it might be a while as I want to try out other essences as well. This was my first so I want more of a sampling to compare it to before I make that decision. Previously I was using it before my toner, but I really didn’t like the feel of that particular toner so I sort of used the essence to take it away. I know, not the best, but that is why the toner is not returning.

In case you ae wondering about order. I was always taught to go lightest to heaviest with products. So I tend to go with Serum, eye cream, moisturizer. On the nights when I use retinol, I don’t use my serum and use it in place of it, but i follow with facial oil for extra moisture and then later go in with a night cream just before bed. The mornings after I use retinol i use an AHA product. The AHA products sweep away all the dead skin cells the retinol evicted the night before.

My serum in this line up was the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum with Red Algae and I can unequivocally say I will be picking up a full size of this product. My skin reacted really well to it and I loved the way it made my skin feel. The sample was tantalizingly tiny though. I managed a little over a week with it, mostly because I was also using a retinol.

The Retinol I used was the La Roche Posay B3 Retinol Serum. It too was a tantalizingly small sample but I really enjoyed using it. It is another product i will definitely be picking up in the full size. My skin was clear and smooth (with one exception which I’ll cover in a bit) the entire time I used this. I know it was also a combination of products, but I think this did play a role. I only used the retinol twice a week because I am spending a lot more time in the sun. I am getting my garden ready for spring and retinol do make the skin a little more sensitive. I also need to look at getting a gardening hat actually.

This wasn’t too sensitizing actually. I had no redness appear after spending time in the sun, but as I’ve spent the winter indoors and am likely to burn now in any event I like to be careful. After the spring sun burn last year that took me down, I am being extra careful. The tube was emptied and completely flattened in my last ues so I will be rotating a full size of the Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum. Truthfully I went to pick up the Lo Roche Posay from my local Target when I went figuring I might as well just roll the sample into a full sized trial, but they were out. And then I saw the Versed bottle and bought it. I like Versed products so we will see how it does. I will be purchasing a full sized version of the La Roche Posay however.

I like to wear oil after my retinol to ensure moisture is locked in and this week I used the last of my Malin+Goetz Recovery Oil. I think this is either my second or third bottle. I also have a spare in my skin care drawer so I will clearly be using it again. I really like it. I will be trying out another oil this coming week though as I have several samples sent in subscription boxes that I want to try. I will be rotating in the Earth Harbor Marina Biome Brightening oil into the line up.

One product that I have to say I am getting rid of even though there is product left in the tube is the Avant Pro Radiance Brightening Eye Final Touch. I’ve been using it a while and to be honest I just don’t like it. I like several Avant Products, but this is not one of them. Under my eyes I ended up getting a lot more clogged pores. While I am used to a few here and there, they were mostly gone before I started using this eye cream and now they have all multiplied. Even though there is product left, I am done with it and will rotate in a Perricone MD Eye cream tonight to take its place.

I also did not like my moisturizer. It too was from Youth to The People. I’ve liked YTTP moisturizers in the past but this one just didn’t work for me. It was the Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. It was not only not as moisturizing as I like but it took a really long time to absorb in. It was a lot of wait for very little pay off. I will not be picking up a full size for a full scale trial and am happy to see it go. The jar is now empty and I think I am going to rotate in the 111Skin Y Theorem Day cream. I tried a sample and really liked it so now it is time to see what the full size can do.

My night Cream was Dr. botanicals Pomegranate Sleeping Mask. It is a much larger product than the others but i don’t think it is a full size. I will use the last of it and I think that I will reach for a full size in the future. The scent is light and fades away almost immediately. It is a thick gream and I used it every other night. On those nights I used it to replace my moisturizer. I actually liked it more than the moisturizer so that wasn’t a problem. I still have a few more days, possibly even a week before it runs out so I will be finishing it up. The cream is the sort that needs to be warmed up in the hands before applying it to the face. Even then there will be some white streaks, but they absorb in with very little rubbing, which I like. I think that I would pick up a full sized tube of this in the future. it is a good basic night mask. It provides moisture and in the dry winter that is a good thing. It doesn’t have any real anti aging properties which i am leaning towards more and more, but it is an excellent moisturizer.

I know this has gotten really long but we are almost done.

I like a lip scrub and a lip moisturizer on my lips before bed. I used the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub and Milk Makeup Kush Lip Glaze in this line up. I am almost out of scrub and will use it until it is gone. I am likewise almost out of the lip glaze. Both will be used until they are gone and be repurchased. This link will take you to my full review.

And finally for my neck I used the Dermelect Self-Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum. I’ve used it before, I will use it again and thus far it is the best product I have found to help eliminate the loose chicken skin on my neck I am very please with it and foresee multiple purchases in the future.

This week’s post was a little long because I had so many sample sizes I wanted to do a first impressions of. I am sorry for the length. Hopefully next weeks will be more manageable. Over all there were plenty of wins and a few losses. In general it wasn’t a bad week and it will be interesting to see how things change as I start rolling new products in. That is always the really interesting part,

LovelySkin