Dec 28, 2009

Product Launches: Estee Lauder Makeup

Estee Lauder is launching a limited edition Michael Kors Very Hollywood makeup collection.

Estee Lauder has also reformulated their popular Resilience Lift Extreme Radiant Lifting makeup SPF15 to pair with their number one selling moisturizer Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Moisturizer SPF15. The make-up retails for $36.50 and comes in a variety of shades.

Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Moisturizer SPF15 is available in cremes and lotions and retails for between $49.50 and $85.00.

In addition, they have launched a new wrinkle filler, Perfectionist [CP+] Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler which retails for $39.50 for a 0.50 ounce tube . It is meant to be used with their Perfectionist Wrinkle Lifting Serum and Time Zone Line and Wrinkle Reducing Creme SPF15 and Time Zone Anti Line/Wrinkle Eye Creme. This new wrinkle filler appears to be very similar, at least in theory, to the Estee Lauder manufactured Good Skin Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler which is sold exclusively at Kohl's in a 1 ounce tube and retails for $39.50.

These products are available at Estee Lauder counters and the Estee Lauder website.

Dec 21, 2009

Chanel Sublimage Essential Regenerating Cream Texture Supreme

I had the opportunity to sample Chanel Sublimage Essential Regenerating Cream Texture Supreme in a generous 0.17 ounce tube.

This thick cream is designed to help with, according to the Chanel website, "...wrinkles, loss of firmness, dehydration, lack of radiance and inconsistency in pigmentation are pinpointed at once for regenerating action, leaving skin revitalized, regenerated, radiant..."

This product contains Vanilla Planifolia extract from Madagascar and according to Chanel, "...Sublimage is powered by Planifolia PFA, engineered by Chanel Research..."

This seems to be a product designed for more mature, drier skin types. On my combo skin it didn't sink in very quickly or completely. Additionally, the scent is quite strong and lingers, although it is very pleasant.

Because of the thick texture I found this product worked really well for me using it as a moisture mask. It feels very luxurious and rich and makes me feel I am doing something good for my skin. There is something about a product with the name Chanel on it that just feels so special.

Available from Chanel, a 1.70 ounce jar sells for $375.00.

Ingredients: Currently unavailable.

Dec 14, 2009

Prescriptives Going Out of Business

Estee Lauder announced in a press release that it would be closing it's Prescriptives line. Products will still be available at the Prescriptives website while supplies last.

Estee Lauder has been taking a look at it's various divisions deciding what is working best for the company. Estee Lauder owns a variety of brands including Clinique, Aveda, Lab Series, La Mer, Ojon, and numerous others. Estee Lauder continues to be one of the world's largest manufacturers of luxury skin care, cosmetics, and fragrances.

Dec 7, 2009

Product Launch: Dior Capture Totale One Essential Skin Boosting Super Serum

Dior, another brand that exudes the feeling of luxury, has developed some excellent skin care products.Fresh in stores is Dior's new Capture Totale One Essential Skin Boosting Super Serum.

According to Dior this new serum is an advanced, scientifically proven product meant to help maximize the results of all skincare routines.

An elegant 1 ounce pump bottle retails for $95.00 and is available at Dior counters.

Nov 30, 2009

Open Forum: Winter Skin Care

With the colder weather, heated homes and cars, and the rush of the holiday season, our skin tends to become drier and need a little extra TLC. I find that packing on an emollient cream and letting it soak in for a while, prior to showering, helps reduce some of the dryness. A little extra moisturizer at night also seems to help. Overall, I try to do what I can to keep my skin hydrated.

What are your tips and hints for skin care during winter?

Nov 23, 2009

Armani Crema Nera OMC3 SPF15

Armani's newest skin care product is a new cream in their Crema Nera line. OMC3 is a newer version of their popular, and expensive, Crema Nera.

I received several sample packets and used this product for approximately three days. The texture is fairly light but still a bit thicker than I expected. The scent was also rather strong, but very pleasant, which is something this product has in common with other L'Oreal owned companies including Lancome, Garnier, and numerous others.

I found that is was a bit slow to absorb and sat on my skin until I would use tissue to pat off the excess. This may be, in part, to the sunscreen ingredients. Overall, it is a nice, soothing, cream that may be best for those with drier skin types.

A 1.69 ounce jar, beautifully packaged, is sold at finer department stores for $185.00.

Ingredients: Currently unavailable.

Nov 16, 2009

Arm and Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant

Arm and Hammer began selling an all natural deodorant several months ago. It is free of the parabens and aluminum of most deodorants. This product is a deodorant, to control odor, not necessarily an anti-perspirant which is meant to prevent wetness.

While it applies smoothly and smells good, it leaves a substantial white powdery residue on clothing. In addition, it is not very effective at controlling odor. It must be reapplied frequently in order to control odor and even then it isn't very effective. While an excellent idea, this product seems to be best for those who do not sweat.

This product is available in scented and unscented versions, a 2.5 ounce container retails for less than $5.00 in most areas.

Fresh Scent Version:
Ingredients: Dipropylene Glycol, Water, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandula) Oil, Fragrance, Triclosan, Terasodium EDTA, Allantoin.

Nov 9, 2009

Estee Lauder Time Zone Eye Cream

I received a jar of Estee Lauder Time Zone Eye Cream in a gift with purchase set. I bought a bottle of my favorite serum, Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, and it came with a cosmetic bag of make-up and skin care samples.

This eye cream is very rich but spreads and absorbs extremely well. I like that it is supposed to drastically decrease the look of wrinkles in the eye area and features some of Estee Lauder's newest science. Despite the heaviness of this cream it absorbs extremely quickly and doesn't "feel" heavy on my skin.

However, after using it for just a few days I have developed a few breakouts in the eye area. Granted, my skin is easily broken out, but I was a bit surprised that I would breakout so quickly. I do not have the ingredient list for this product but I wonder if it contains mica which I know causes me breakouts (as does titanium, mineral oil, talc and petrolatum).

Despite my issues with breakouts, this is a wonderful, emollient, eye cream and it seems to moisturize extremely well. The Time Zone products seem to be aimed at those with more mature, drier skin and therefore this may possibly be too heavy for those with oilier skin types. However, as with most Estee Lauder products, this is a great product. If only they would resist using mica in so many things.

A half ounce jar retails for $43.50 on the Estee Lauder website and at Estee Lauder counters at finer department stores.

Ingredients: Currently unavailable

Nov 2, 2009

Avon Solutions Agless Results A.M.

My Mother is a huge fan of Avon Dramatic Firming Cream, so I thought, for her birthday I would get her Avon's new Ageless Results A.M. Day Cream to try and see how it compares.

The jar contains a thick, white cream that spreads fairly well and absorbs quite quickly. The scent is a bit strong but not obnoxious. It feels a bit less greasy than Dramatic Firming Cream which does not have sunscreen. So, far, my Mother has said this is her favorite because she likes how well it absorbs, she loves the scent and also likes that it has peptides.

A 1.7 ounce jar sells for $14.50 on the Avon website or from an Avon representative. Avon frequently has specials on their products such as two-for-one or half off making their products an even better deal.

Avon seems to have come a long way in formulating up to date products with peptides and other potentially beneficial ingredients.

Ingredients: Currently Unavailable

Oct 26, 2009

Open Forum: Cosmetic Sales Down

For obvious reasons the skin care market has not been as robust as it was prior to the recession. Various reports indicate that consumers are either not buying higher-end skin care products as often, if at all, or are instead choosing less expensive mass market products.

Keep in mind Estee Lauder manufactures Good Skin, Flirt, and Grassroots which are available only at Kohl's department stores in the US. These products have nearly identical counterparts to other Lauder brands such as La Mer, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Aveda, Origins, Ojon, etc. The various products I have tried from Kohl's are extremely well formulated products (as are most Estee Lauder manufactured products) and costs quite a bit less. The Good Skin All Firm Rebuilding Serum is a favorite ($26.00) as is the All Bright Moisturizing Sunscreen ($14.00). My absolute favorite Estee Lauder product, Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, on the other hand is $47.50.

A similar situation exists for Lancome which is actually owned by L'Oreal. There are numerous L'Oreal products available at mass market drug and grocery stores that are very similar to the much more expensive Lancome products. L'Oreal owns brands such as Kiehl's, Biotherm, Redken, Armani, etc.

As anyone knows who reads this blog, Mastey de Paris is one of our absolute favorites. A small company, Mastey produces some great hair and skin care products at reasonable prices (although they have raised their shipping charges). Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer comes in a 3.38 ounce tube for $28.00 and the Mastey de Paris Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex with AHA comes in a 3.38 ounce tube for $18.00. They also have a more expensive skin care product Mastey de Paris Rejuvene Cellular Recovery which retails for $40.00 and comes in a two-ounce jar.

One of the main differences I have noticed between a company's expensive and less expensive products are scent. Even among Estee Lauder products, the Re-Nutriv line has a scent that just seems more luxurious than other Estee Lauder products. Re-Nutriv, of course, costs substantially more. Scent is a more expensive part of a product. Scent is something people seem passionate about, they either love strongly scented products or prefer a light or unscented formula. I don't mind scented products as long as it isn't overwhelming. I tend to prefer lightly or unscented products though.

Newer products or products reformulated with the newest, trendy, ingredients will tend to cost the most. Copmanies say this is because of the research and development costs for developing new products. Again, however, there are many lower cost products with the very same ingredients.

Lacura is a skin care line sold by Aldi grocery stores. The products are made in Germany and many sell for less than $10. The Lacura day cream won awards in England and the products seem to be quite popular. This only proves it is possible to make quality skin care products that actually work and do not cost a small fortune.

Whether you buy from a drug store or a fancy department store, there are many amazing products available at very reasonable price points. It isn't necessary to spend a fortune to get a great product. In this day and age of higher cost and recessions, cosmetic companies need to realize that in order to retain our business they must either start producing more affordable products, maintain their current prices or develop newer products at better price points.

Oct 19, 2009

Organic Apoteke Rejuvenating Face Cream

I received a sample of Organic Apoteke Rejuvenating Face Cream. This is an organic line of skin care similar to that of Aveda, Origins, and Grassroots. However, Organic Apoteke products are certified 100 percent organic.

This product is gel like and easily spreads, sinking in very quickly. The scent is quite strongly herbal but fades gradually after a few hours. The scent may be a bit strong for some but I didn't feel it was at all offensive. I prefer unscented or lightly scented products as strongly scented products tend to bother me.

This product contains Palmitoyl Oilgopeptide which I think is great. Though peptides are still being researched to prove their effectiveness it seems that many of the higher end products are including them for their potential anti-wrinkle, skin firming, and moisturization benefits.

I am not usually a fan of so called organic products simply because they aren't always ideal for my sensitive skin. I've found many organic products will "ball up" on my face and/or not absorb very well. I found that this product balled up on my face if I touched it and didn't seem to absorb all that well. While not an inexpensive product line, the prices seem comparable to many of the other department store brands.

This face cream is available from the Organic Apoteke website, Macy's, Whole Foods, and various other stores and websites. A 1.7-ounce jar costs $45.00.

Ingredients: Rosa damascena distillate*, Helianthus annuus seed oil*, Cocos nucifera oil*, Glycine soja oil*, Prunus amygdalus dulcis oil*, Cera alba*, Rosa damascena oil*, Butyrospermum parkii butter*, Citrus paradisi seed extract*, Glycerin (vegetable)**, Xanthan gum**, Palmitoyl oilgopeptide**, Potassium sorbate**, Sodium benzoate**, Sodium dehydroacetate, Sorbic acid**, Citric acid, Cymbopogon martinii oil*, Daucus carota oil*, Triticum vulgare germ oil*, Cananga odorata oil*.
* Certified organic
** Derived from organic botanicals

Oct 15, 2009

A Note from SkinCareJunky

The majority of the products I test are samples provided to me by the kind people at various cosmetics counters or they are items that I purchase and regularly use. Nothing is provided to me by companies for the specific purpose of writing reviews. The new rules for bloggers about disclosure requires that anything that is provided by PR people must be disclosed as being such. This is in order to help make certain that the reviews by the various bloggers are accurate. My reviews are based on my perception and opinion of a product and I do my best to be as accurate about them as possible.

Oct 12, 2009

Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Sculpting Firming Concentrate

Chanel's new Ultra Correction Lift Sculpting Firming Concentrate is a very interesting product. It is an updated version of their previous lifting products. The packaging Chanel uses is gorgeous and so regal looking.

According to the Chanel website: "High-performing star ingredient elemi PFA* stimulates the production of tensin, improving the quality of skin's collagen and elastin fibers, and helping to improve their bonds within the skin to create a firm supportive network.

Lightweight silky gel, luxuriously textured and delicately scented, provides an immediate lifting effect.

*PFA: Polyfractioned Active. An ultra-pure, ultra-powerful ingredient created through an exclusive purification technique developed by CHANEL. Ophthalmologist tested. Dermatologist tested. Comedogenicity tested."

Regardless of the science, this product smells amazing. The fragrance is a bit strong at first but very pleasant. This serum absorbs incredibly quickly and it requires very little as it spreads remarkably well. The texture of this pale pink serum is a bit thicker than a lot of serums but much lighter than lotion. It makes my skin feel very soft and silky without being oily. There is a sense of tightening after applying the product but it is difficult to say just how much. I used a small sample size tube of product I received from the Chanel counter at Macy's for several days and really enjoyed it.

I have no idea what ingredients are in this product as the sample tube doesn't list them.

A 1-ounce bottle retails for $165. while a $1.7-ounce bottle sells for $225. at the Chanel website and at higher-end department stores with Chanel counters.

Ingredients: Currently unavailable

UPDATE: After using this product daily for approximately two weeks I have noticed that it tends to "ball up" on my skin if I use a bit extra. Also, based on the texture, tingle and scent, I think this may have a high alcohol content which I think the former version of this product did as well. A high alcohol content can be drying and or irritating for some people. I am not a big fan of products that ball up on my skin because it makes me think it isn't absorbing. I would guess this is because of a high silicone content; however, I do not have a list of ingredients for this so cannot say. This is still a nice product and I think with a lighter application it would not ball up. If this does indeed have a high alcohol content I am not sure how hydrating it can be. It seems that some companies use alcohol in order to make a product dry quicker, absorb better and give skin that "tingle." I personally prefer alcohol-free products because my skin is ultra sensitive.

Oct 5, 2009

Lancome Paris Absolue Precious Cells Advanced Regenerating and Reconstructing Cream SPF15

Jumping on the plant stem cell bandwagon, Lancome has recently launched new products in their Absolue line. Lancome Paris Absolue Precious Cells Advanced Regenerating and Reconstructing Cream SPF15 contains the apple plant stem cells that are starting to show up in more and more products.

There isn't a whole lot of research yet to back up a lot of what the various cosmetic companies are saying apple stem cells will do for the skin, however, from what I have read it is promising and something we can expect to find in more products.

This new cream from Lancome Paris is very similar in texture and scent to the various other Lancome products. The texture is quite thick, heavy and rather oily. I found that it doesn't absorb very well. To be fair, my skin is combination and this cream is intended for drier, more mature skin types. This seems like it would be an excellent cream for those who deal with frequent dry skin. This product contains petrolatum (vaseline) which is an ingredient I avoid simply because it seems to cause me breakouts, many people don't have such issues. The scent is very much like other Lancome products, pleasant and gender neutral.

One nice thing about this product is that it includes sunscreen. So many products meant for day use still do not contain sunscreen.

The cost of this product is extremely expensive like many Lancome products. There are ample skin care products on the market with apple stem cells that cost many times less. Additionally, there are many L'Oreal products very similar to Lancome. L'Oreal is the parent company of Lancome.

A 1.7 ounce jar of Absolue Precious Cells Advanced Regenerating and Reconstructing Cream SPF 15 sells for $145. at Lancome counters and the Lancome website.

Ingredients: Currently unavailable

Sep 28, 2009

Open Forum: Expensive Cosmetics - Are They Worth it?

According to an article in Forbes, some of the most expensive skin care products cost more than caviar but less than gold with an average price of $402 per ounce!(1) The question is, are they any better because of their sleek packaging and supposed state-of-the-art ingredients. Sales of prestige skincare products in U.S. department stores alone reached $2.1 billion in 2004, up 17% from 2000 (2), a staggering amount by anyone's comparison.

According to Dr. Gregory Brown, founder of RéVive, topical application of an epidermal growth factor accelerates the rate of healing of second-degree burns and partial-thickness skin wounds.(3) RéVive's most expensive product, Intensité Volumizing Serum, sells for $600 per ounce and uses a bioengineered molecule called keratinocyte growth factor. Brown justifies the expense by saying the reason his products cost so much is because they use growth factors obtained from recombinant-DNA technology. Celebrity beauties such as Madonna are said to use his products.

Estee Lauder sells a line of skin care under the Re-Nutriv moniker with a price range of $85 - $900.(4) Lauder owned Creme de La Mer is well over $100 per ounce.(5) I have tried numerous products from both the Re-Nutriv and La Mer lines and while they are extremely luxurious products, the formulations, at least that of the Re-Nutriv line, are very similar to other Estee Lauder products sold for much less. Are they worth it? It depends on what your take is on such things. The Re-Nutriv line contains some expensive ingredients such as gold and pearl. As an Estee Lauder fan, it is difficult for me to say the products are overpriced. However, I use Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, $47.50/1 ounce, which I consider to be quite expensive. While there are far less expensive serums available, I have found this particular one works best for me so I continue to purchase it.

It must be kept in mind that part of the retail price for any product is the research, development, ingredients, packaging, marketing, etc., that goes into said product. Products containing the newest ingredients will usually cost more than previous products the company sells. When a new "it" ingredient starts getting press, many companies rush to develop a new product with it or update a previous product to include it.

Mastey de Paris, on the other hand, markets a number of skin and hair care products for less than $40 with mostly naturally derived ingredients. They avoid using the fluff and trendy ingredients found in so many product lines and instead stick to what is actually known to work. Mastey doesn't have the expenses associate with brands that are sold at department stores; this results in a line of products that work extremely well and at a reasonable price. I have used Mastey products for years and love them.

We all like the idea of some new magic ingredient that will do this or that. But the newest ingredients generally have little to no research backing up the claims. Many of the research studies done on new ingredients are done in-vitro and therefore their effects on skin are not fully known. Many of the studies are done by the company who manufactures the ingredient which is not as impartial as outside research studies.

So, how much is too much to pay? That all depends on your bank account and how important name brands are to you. There are many excellent products out there at all price points. It all comes down to how much are you able/willing to spend and whether or not a product works.

(1) Forbes
(2) NPD Group
July 1989 in the New England Journal Of Medicine
(4) Estee Lauder
(5) La Mer

Sep 21, 2009

Clinique Maximum Hydrator

Clinique is not a brand I generally go for; their toners contain alcohol, a lot of their products contain mica and their facial soaps are a bit harsh for my skin. Clinique is Estee Lauder's allergy tested line of skin care products, make up and fragrances.

Clinique Skin Supplies for Men Maximum Hydrator is a wonderful product. A little dab spreads extremely well covering the skin, absorbing fast and making it feel extremely well hydrated. Anyone who has ever used a Clinique product is familiar with the "Clinique" scent. It's a nice scent in my opinion, not heavy or offensive, sort of natural and herbal.

This cream appears very similar to the discontinued Clinique Moisture On Call.

It contains peptides which as thought to firm the skin along with numerous hydrators such as shea butter, jojoba, olive fruit extract and sodium hyaluronate. This is an excellent product and great for use at night. Because it contains no sunscreen it is recommended that if used during the day it be used in conjunction with a sunscreen of at least SPF 15.

There is a noticeable improvement in the tone and texture of skin after using this product. It seems to plump up fine lines and even skin tone rather quickly. I was quite surprised by how quickly this great product got to work on improving my skin.

1.7 ounce jar retails for $27.00 from Clinique counters and website and $21.75 from the Cosmetics Stores which is an Estee Lauder brand outlet store.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tricaprylin, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Bran) Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Powder, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caffeine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol, Linoleic Acid, Sucrose, Cetearyl Glucoside, Methyl Glueth-20, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chamomilla Recuttita (Matricaria), Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-8 Hydrogenated Lecithin, Behenyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol.

Sep 14, 2009

Ingredient Spotlight: PTFE (Teflon)

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) is known by the trade name Teflon, and is a non-stick coating used on cookware to prevent food from sticking, made by DuPont. Most of us are familiar with Teflon but how many of us know about it being used in skin care products? A prominent French skin care company uses it it their products! Is this safe to use in skin care products that are absorbed?

Sep 7, 2009

DermOrganic Conditioning Shampoo

DermOrganic Laboratories is a company founded by the son of the Mastey de Paris founder. According to the DermOrganic Laboratories website the products are made to be 100% vegetarian, contain no animal by products and have never been tested on animals, contain no sulfates, parabens, glycols, DEA, MEA or colorants of any kind and are gluten-free, alcohol-free and sulfate-free. The products are naturally preserved and the Argan oil is certified 100% Organic according to USDA NOP standards.

The texture of this creamy, white, shampoo is not as thick as some shampoos. It does, however, lather extremely well. The scent is amazing and it leaves the hair feeling extremely clean, soft and supple.

As a HUGE fan of Mastey de Paris products, I was pleased to try this new product featuring one of the latest buzz word ingredients: Argan oil. This shampoo left my color-treated hair extremely soft and manageable just like Mastey de Paris Traite Shampoo. It contains amino acids, panthenol, vitamins, Omega-6 and gentle plant derived cleansers. This product also worked well as a facial cleanser on my extremely sensitive skin.

This is a great shampoo and meant to improve the condition of dry, color-treated, permed or heat styled hair.

The website doesn't currently allow online ordering but the products are available by calling the company.

Ingredients: Aqua/Eau/D.Water, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate(1), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate(2), Decyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Glucoside, Methyl Gluceth-20, Infusion of Argan Oil & Sunflower Seed Extract & Grape Seed Extract & Rice Amino Acid & Sodium PCA & Panthenol & Tocopheral Acetate (Vitamin E), Glycereth-2 Cocoate/Benzoic Acid (natural preservative), Fragrance.

(1) Amino-Acid based, plant derived cleanser.
(2) Essential Lipid based, plant derived cleanser

Aug 31, 2009

Ingredient Spotlight: Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha Hydroxy Acids, sometimes referred to as AHA, have been in use for centuries. The great Egyptian beauty, Cleopatra was thought to have taken milk baths. Lactic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid found in milk which has exfoliating abilities.

AHA are thought to stimulate the formation of collagen in the skin. They are also thought to help even out skin tone and lessen discoloration through exfoliation. Which is just one reason AHA products may be good for men prone to ingrown hairs. They are also thought to thicken the skin which may help lessen the appearance of wrinkles and make the skin look firmer and more youthful, much like peptides are said to. AHA products also help with skin moisturization which helps the appearance of skin tremendously, dry skin looks older. Products containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids must have a certain concentration of AHAs and a certain PH or they will not exfoliate. If you're unsure if the product you're using has the proper amount of AHA and the correct PH range, email the manufacturer and ask.

A word of warning and this is extremely important, you MUST use sunscreen every single day without fail when using any products containing AHA and for at least two weeks afterward as they make the skin more sensitive and more prone to burning and damage from the sun. Sunscreen use, everyday, is still being recommended. Wrinkles are thought to be caused from sun exposure more than they are caused by aging so sunscreen is thought to help prevent wrinkles.

Some people are unable to use scrubs to exfoliate as they are too rough on their delicate, sensitive skin. I cannot use scrubs, they cause me redness, soreness and irritation. Likewise, some people are unable to use products with AHAs as their skin is too sensitive. It is best to take it easy and see how your skin reacts to it before applying it all over and risking irritation or worse. Doing an allergy test prior to use will help you know whether your skin can tolerate the use of products containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids.

Looking at product labels you may see Alpha Hydroxy Acids listed as Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Malic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Gluconic Acid, Citric Acid and Tartaric Acid. Additionally you may see Urea listed; it too has exfoliating and moisturizing properties. It is most recently being touted in Estee Lauder's Good Skin Lumecin Overnight Brightening Gluco-Protein Treatment. This product is sold exclusively at Kohl's and retails for $44.50.

One of my favorite products with AHA is Mastey de Paris Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex which can be used on the face and body. Mastey claims it renews the skin and lessens the appearance of wrinkles while increasing skin moisture. I have found it helpful with breakouts and evening out my skin tone. I generally use it during winter and only at night to help lessen the freckles from summer. Mastey de Paris Velvetant Skin Renewal Complex retails for $18.00 and is available in a 3.38 ounce tube available on their website and some finer salons and spas. This product contains mixed fruit acids as well as Urea. I use Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer during the day, every day, since it contains SPF. Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer comes packaged in a 3.38 ounce tube and retails for $28.00.

Used properly, and with a reasonable amount of care, Alpha Hydroxy Acids can be very useful in helping to revitalize and reduce the look of photoaged skin. As always, if pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor before using any new products; our skin absorbs most of what we put on it. If you have any medical conditions, sensitive skin or other issues, talk to your doctor before using any skin care products. He or she can help you decide what is best for your skin.

Aug 24, 2009

Open Forum: Websites and Ingredients

When we go into a store to buy something we can read the ingredients list off the package and decide then if there is a particular ingredient we want to avoid. However, many times, when we shop online we do not have that option. Manufacturer's websites generally do not list the ingredients for the product and so we either must email them and ask, search online or in some cases call them. Why is it that all companies selling skin care products online are not required to give a complete list of ingredients for each product they sell?

The Estee Lauder company websites (Estee Lauder, Clinique, Prescriptives, Good Skin, American Beauty, Grassroots, La Mer, etc.) will highlight a particular ingredient but do not give a complete list. Lancome will only provide ingredient listings via snail mail yet their owner L'Oreal is now providing the ingredient listing for L'Oreal products on their website. Garnier, also owned by Lancome does not list ingredients on their website. Even Sephora, which list ingredients for most products does not provide them for Estee Lauder brands.

It would be really helpful to those of us with skin sensitivities if we could go to the website of the brand we want to buy something from and see what it contains so we don't have to return it or get stuck with something we can't use.

What do you think?

Aug 17, 2009

L'Occitane Ultra Matte Face Fluid

I used L'Occitane Ultra Matte Face Fluid yesterday to see how well it would work on my skin. For the most part my skin is normal/combo but the T-Zone is where I show shine; especially my nose. This product is designed to make the skin matte instantly and keep it matte for up to 8 hours.

This is a fluid, the texture being somewhere between a serum and lotion. It is light and delicate and spreads very easily. The scent is absolutely wonderful, fresh, clean and light.

However, it did not provide the matte effect I was expecting. It left my nose shiny and seemed to make fine lines appear far more prominent. It was as if it settled into the fine lines like a powder would. My skin felt extremely velvety soft and that is always a bonus. Perhaps this is more mattifying if used in conjunction with the cleanser and toner, but alone, I didn't find it made my skin truly matte.

In my opinion, skin that is matte often times looks older. A more dewy, glowy almost shiny finish seems to give skin the appearance of youth and actually seems to minimize the look of fine lines. Keeping skin hydrated makes it look plumper, less lined and more youthful.

This is a great product, and as with other L'Occitane products this one smells awesome. I tend to think it is better suited for someone who is only slightly oily and not someone who may have more dry, mature skin or excessively oily skin.

A 1 ounce bottle is $26.00 and available at the L'Occitane website and boutiques and Sephora.

Ingredients: Water**, Glycerin**, Dicaprylyl Carbonate**, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, Red Rice Vinegar*, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract*, Oryza Sativa (Rice)**, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder**, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil**, Butylene Glycol, Maltodextrin**, Cetearyl Alcohol**, Sorbitan Stearate**, Ethylhexylglycerin, Zinc Glycyrrhetinate, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract**, Cetearyl Glucoside**, Zinc Pca, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroxyethylcellulose**, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60**, Laureth-7**, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Peg-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate**, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene**, Coumarin. *Ingredients issued from Organic Agriculture. **Natural origin ingredients.

Aug 10, 2009

La Mer The Lifting Face Serum

The La Mer Lifting Face Serum contains the gemstone Tourmaline and is an addition to the La Mer line, meant to be used with the coveted original Creme de La Mer, La Mer Gel Creme or La Mer Lotion.

I have been using this product on and off for about a week now and it is certainly a very nice, elegant product. The scent is barely noticeable and a bit difficult to describe, I almost think it smells a bit of citrus. It has a pretty thick texture that spreads well and absorbs fairly quickly. I feel that it helps to moisturize and possibly lessen the appearance of dry, fine lines. It reminds me a lot of the Good Skin All Firm Rebuilding Serum also manufactured by Estee Lauder and sold at Kohl's for $26.00.

La Mer is one of those product lines you either love or you don't. Because they are so expensive they are a bit out of reach for most of us. For example, I am a huge fan of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex which sells for $47.50 for a 1 ounce bottle and of course my very favorite moisturizer, Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer which sells for $28.00 for a 3.3 ounce tube, both of which I use daily.

La Mer, like most Estee Lauder owned product lines, seems to be well formulated. However, this is a very costly skin care product and is really supposed to be used with the Lifting Intensifier which is also quite expensive. For those who have the money to spend La Mer is one of the most famous skin care lines available. By now most people know the story of Creme de La Mer and how a NASA scientist, Max Huber, used it to heal his own skin by fermenting certain ingredients he called a broth. Celebrities use it and tout it as being the best there is. Only you can decide if it is worth the expense.

A 1 ounce dropper top bottle sells for $235.00 and is available at higher-end department stores and the La Mer website. There is also a 0.50 ounce Lifting Intensifier available for $150.00 to be used in conjunction with the serum or both are available as a set for $315.00.

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Peg-75, Bis-peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Bupleurum Falcatum Root Extract, Siegesbeckia Orientails Extract, Hydrolyzed Ulva Lactuca Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract, Morus Nigra (Mulberry) Root Extract, Yeast Extract (Faex), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Artemia Extract, Algae Extract, Sea Whip Extract, Coenzyme A, Sodium Rna, Acetyl Glucosamine, Tourmaline, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Caffeine, Glycosaminoglycans, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Linoleic Acid, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetraacetylphytosphingosine, Squalane, Micrococcus Lysate, Glycerin, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Glycine, Sucrose, Sorbitol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Oleth-10 Phosphate, Oleth-5, Choleth-24, Ceteth-24, Glycereth-26, Lecithin, Linalyl Acetate, Peg-8, Maltodextrin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Carbomer, Disodium Edta, Bht, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Green 5.

Aug 1, 2009

L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Face Cream

L'Occitane is a French line of products that come from natural and/or organic sources. Many of their products are nearly completely all natural. They use mineral sunblocks in their products rather than chemical sunblocks which may be an issue for some people (I cannot use products with titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica, alumina or talc) but the vast majority of people will experience no such issues.

The first thing I noticed about the L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Face Cream was the wonderful, baby powder, scent. Very light and delicate. The cream is thick and dense but spreads easily and absorbs nearly instantly. It reminds me a lot of Darphin, Lancome and Yves Rocher products in texture. Lancome and Yves Rocher have French pedigrees as well. There is something about French skin care products that just shouts luxury.

This is a great product that seems to moisturize quite well. It may be better suited to really dry or sensitive skin needing some extra TLC. It contains 25% Shea Butter and feels very soothing and is said to increase moisturization for 24 hours.

Available from L'Occitane a 1.7 ounce jar retails for $38.00. Available at L'Occitane boutiques and website.

Ingredients: Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Corn Starch Modified, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Sodium PCA, Peg-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteareth-33, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Methylparaben, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Extract, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Tetrasodium Edta, Laureth-7, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Seed Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sorbic Acid, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Cyclopentasiloxane, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Coumarin, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Butylene Glycol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Methyl Ionone, Limonene.

Jul 27, 2009

Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser

I received a generous sample tube of Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser, for Normal/Combination skin, when I ordered some Advanced Night Repair from Estee Lauder, and used it daily for about two weeks. Since then I have gotten a full size tube. The reason being; it works!

It doesn't dry out my skin and actually seems to be slightly hydrating. It removes stubborn blackheads and gets my skin squeaky clean. One of the greatest things, it is so concentrated that the smallest amount lathers easily and cleans my entire face.

The scent, yes, it is scented, but it is very pleasant and gender neutral, it smells clean but not soapy or like perfume. It does an excellent job of removing blackheads on my nose as well, which is something a lot of cleansers don't seem to do very well on my skin.

If you need a high quality, soothing, gentle, non-drying, effective cleanser, this is well worth trying.

Some of the hydrating extracts it contains are:
  • White Water Lily
  • Senega
  • Barberry
An elegant 4.2 ounce tube sells for $19.00 at most Estee Lauder counters or from the Estee Lauder website.

Ingredients: Water, Potassium Myristate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Potassium Behenate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Potassium Palmate, Potassium Laurate, Potassium Stearate, Polygala Senega Root Extract, Nymphaea Alba Root Extract, Berberis Vulgaris Extract, Dipotassium Gylcyrrhizate, Caffeine, Sodium PCA, Sodium Myalluronate, Trehalose, Sucrose, Urea, Cetearyl Alcohol, Peg-3 Distearate, Polyquaternium-51, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Jul 20, 2009

Open Forum: Do You Use a Facial Serum?

Do you use a facial serum as part of your routine? What do you use and why? Do you use it twice daily? Tell us the details.

Jul 13, 2009

Good Skin Tri-Aktiline Total Face & Grassroots Bamboo Leaf

Estee Lauder's Beauty Bank division which sells products at Kohl's is launching two new products. Goodskin has launched their Tri-Aktiline Total Face Instant Line Reducing Moisturizer which sounds very similar to the Estee Lauder brand Time Zone. It is meant to be used with the Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler. The brand new Good Skin website is now at:

Grassroots is launching Bamboo Leaf Ultra Soothing Anti-Redness Cream which sounds similar to the Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream. This cream is unscented and seems to have many soothing ingredients. It appears Grassroots has discontinued many of their products and are replacing them with new ones under the Grassroots Research Labs name. They recently added a Pomegranate Super Anti-Oxidant Cream and Pomegranate Overnight Recovery Serum as well as Blue Algae Enriched Firming face and eye creams. The new Grassroots website is:

I am eager to try both and see what sort of ingredients they contain. Estee Lauder seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to formulating excellent skin care products featuring the newest in science.

Jul 6, 2009

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex

Some may question another post about Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex but I feel justified, if for no other reason than to say, it is absolutely wonderful. I questioned whether Estee Lauder could improve on this product but they did.

This newer formulation is slightly more liquid, absorbs instantly, dries matte and spreads better. The scent and texture, otherwise, are no different. The bottle has been updated and is now plastic rather than glass. It does however retain the same basic design. The main thing I notice using this is how it is less greasy. Before, with the previous version, it could be oily if I used too much, but this new formula sinks in so quickly and completely. I do find it takes more than just a few drops to cover my entire face but applying it to slightly damp skin seems to help me in that regard.

The science behind the new formula is basically that it helps repair the appearance of aging while helping to prevent further skin aging. This formula sports a new plant extract and peptide which Estee Lauder states will help synchronize repair and encourage DNA repair. The Estee Lauder website has a nice explanation of the science behind the new formula and why your skin will benefit from it.

The biggest news about this product is how well it works and how quickly I have seen results. I notice my skin feels firmer and softer, better hydrated and with a drastic reduction in fine lines and sun spots. It works very well under my Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer.

No, this is not a cheap product and with the economy many consumers are having to limit the luxuries. This is something I consider a must have and an investment in my skin. While the thought of spending $47.50 on a one ounce bottle of luxury seems a bit much the results it gives me make it worth while. Lancome recently launched a similar product costing substantially more.

Should you have the inclination, I suggest requesting a sample from your local Estee Lauder counter and giving this little brown bottle a try.

A one ounce bottle retails for $47.50 while the 1.7 ounce sells for $74.50 and is available at most higher end department stores and of course the Estee Lauder website.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-75, Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Tripeptide-32, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Cola Acuminata (Kola) Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Pantethine, Caffeine, Glycereth-26, Sodium RNA, Squalane, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Oleth-3, Oleth-5, Bisabolol, Choleth-24, Ceteth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, TEA Carbomer, Trisodium-EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Green 5 (CI 61570), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 4 (CI 14600).

Jun 29, 2009

Open Forum: Do You Prefer Chemical or Mineral Sunscreens?

As we all know sunscreen is one of the best things we can use to help protect our skin from aging. However, there are chemical sunscreens and mineral (physical) sunblocks. Chemical sunscreens must be applied a half hour or so before sun exposure while mineral sunblocks can pretty much be applied immediately before sun exposure. So, which do you use and why?

Jun 26, 2009

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex is a slightly reformulated version of Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex which it replaces. Advanced Night Repair was introduced in 1982 in New York and continues to be a best selling product for Estee Lauder with a bottle of Advanced Night Repair selling every 3 minutes. There is a reason why, after all these years, this product still sells so well and is so highly regarded by those who use it.

I had no way of knowing how much more I would like the new version. While the scent, texture and base formula are basically the same, there are two additions, a peptide and a plant extract, that are thought to help prevent and/or repair DNA damage and slow aging. Lofty claims for a product, however, Estee Lauder seems to be at the forefront of cosmetic formulations. They were the company that introduced the very idea of a "repair" product, one of the first to have a serum, and one of the first to address treating the skin at night when skin is more receptive to repair. This is an iconic product and one that most people will recognize from the bottle immediately.

This serum is less oily than the previous forumla, absorbs even better and also seems to spread easier. I love this product and although a 1 ounce bottle costs $47.50, a price increase of one dollar over the previous version, it is well worth it to me. Estee Lauder has a tag line for Advanced Night Repair that says this is the one product beautiful skin cannot go without and for my skin, I agree. I love this product and find it works extremely well under my Mastey de Pairs Moiste Facial Moisturizer. The two are my power duo. Although not what most people would consider inexpensive, considering how long a bottle lasts and the fact that even mass market drug store brands are becoming so expensive, this seems like a relatively good deal.

While the brown glass dropper bottle remains, it has been updated slightly to distinguish it from the previous version.

Available from finer department stores and the Estee Lauder website.


Jun 22, 2009

Grassroots Research Labs Blue Algae Enriched Firming Cream

Grassroots is a product line sold exclusively at Kohl's department stores and is manufactured by Estee Lauder under their Beauty Bank division. Think Origins or Aveda as far as marketing goes for this product line.

Grassroots has recently launched several new products under the Grassroots Research Labs banner. These new products are more expensive than the orginal Grassroots products.

The Grassroots Research Labs Blue Algae Enriched Firming Cream is a wonderful product. The scent is slightly herbal but extremely light and barely noticeable. The texture is sort of a gel/lotion that dries to a velvety, powdery, soft finish. It isn't greasy like a lot of other Estee Lauder creams. I really think I can feel it "firming" my skin. It also seems very similar to Creme de La Mer's recent gel moisturizer, which I really like, but as you know La Mer costs substantially more.

According to the Grassroots website... "This refreshingly, lightweight gel-cream delivers nutrients and moisture to parched skin on contact to hydrate, tighten and firm skin for a more youthful appearance.

• immediately: 66% increase in skin's moisture level.
• after 4 weeks: 45% of subjects saw firmer skin.
•skin is firmer, more lifted and natural collagen production is increased (an effect which helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)

The only thing that would this cream perfect in my book is the addition of chemical sunscreens and if they packaged it in a tube instead of a jar. A matching serum would also be nice. Another issue I have with it is the fact that it balls up if I touch my face after application. I've had the same issue with other high silicone content creams. Some people may not have this problem, however, and it may be caused in part to me layering other products with it.

This product is light enough that I use it over my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum and under my Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer.

A 1.7 ounce jar retails for $32.50 at Kohl's department stores or online from Kohl's.


Jun 15, 2009

Orlane Paris Pure Youth Oxygentatin Restructuring Care

Orlane Paris is not a brand I am overly familiar with. However, seeing how it is a French made product and the fact that I, like so many, love French skin care decided to try several of their products.

Orlane Paris Pure Youth Oxygenating Restructuring Care is somewhere between a cream and a serum. It starts out rather thick but emulsifies quickly during application. The scent is very sublte, very light and clean. Fresh and not at all overpowering.

The packaging states this product is said to "help the skin maintain its respiratory rythm and fortifies cells. The result: your skin remains youthful and gets a "second wind."' Application is morning and evening.

This cream feels quite nice on the skin and seems to absorb fairly well leaving the skin with a rather dewey look. This product seems to contain far more preservatives than it does cosmetic actives. The fragrance is also listed quite high on the list of ingredients. There are numerous paraben preservatives used in this product. And while I use several products that use paraben preservatives but they do not use so many or in such a high concentration.

$165.00 buys a 1.7 ounce jar. Available at the higher-end departments stores.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Disopropyl Adipate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Myristyl Lactate, Cyclomethicone, Polysorbate 60, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Padina Pavonica Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolized Soy Flour, Triethanolamine, Parfum, (Frargrance), Carbomer, Tetrasodim EDTA, Methylparaben, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Glycol, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Polyacrylamide, Sorbitol, Propylparaben, Urea, O-Cymen-5-OL, c13-14 Isoparaffin, Ethylparaben, Laureth-7, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Citrate, Chlorphenesin, Faex (Yeast Extract), Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Cytochrome C, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexylcinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool.

Jun 8, 2009

Pure Fushion Super-Charged Age Defense Radiance Renewal Serum

Fusion Beauty's Super-Charged Age Defense Radiance Renewal Serum is a more ntaural product and is formulated without a lot of the chemicals used in mainstream skin care products and cosmetics.

According to Sephora's website: "Fusion Beauty PureFusion™ Super-Charged Age Defense Radiance Renewal Serum helps to nourish, protect, and hydrate skin. It is a natural and organic way to boost protein production and replenish dull, dry complexions, renewing a healthy radiance. It is formulated without: Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Synthetic Dyes, Petro-Chemicals, Phthalates, GMOs and Triclosan."

This product is a slightly taupe color and has a very thin consistency. The scent is very much herbal, bit not offensive. This serum applies and spreads easily although it does require some time to absorb. As with a lot of natural products, this serum tends to ball up when applied in tandem with the matching moisturizer.

The elegantly packaged pump bottle , 0.85 oz., sells at Sephora for $69.00.

Ingredients: Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Water, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Xanthan Gum, Corthellus Shiitake (Mushroom) Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Yogurt Extract, Yeast Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Juice, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lecithin, Superoxide Dismutase, Soybean Peroxidase, Citric Acid.

Jun 6, 2009

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme

Re-Nutriv is Estee Lauder's high-end, prestige, skin care line. It is similar in cost to the Estee Lauder owned Creme de La Mer.

Ultimate Youth Creme is a light cream that absorbs quickly and leaves the skin somewhere between dewey and matte. The scent is very much like other Re-Nutriv products, a very clean, subtle scent, very distinctive, very Estee Lauder. It is a wonderful moisturizer, regardless of any claims Estee Lauder makes, it moisturizes very well and didn't make my combo skin extremely shiney. My skin felt good, looked good and I was mostly impressed. Estee Lauder makes quality products for a variety of skin types and concerns.

If this product did not contain mica or titanium dioxide I would consider it one of the best I've used. Mica and Titanium Dioxide tend to cause me deep, painful, breakouts. Why companies feel the need to use them in their products knowing they may cause people breakouts is beyond me.

Jun 1, 2009

Chanel Precision Ultra Correction Nuit

Chanel Ultra Correction Nuit Restructuring Anti-Wrinkle FIrming Night Cream is part of Chanel's Precision skin care line.

This creamy pink product is very thick and lush. The scent is very light as similar to the other Chanel skin care products. This cream absorbs well leaving and dries to a fairly matte finish. It feels great on my skin and makes my skin feel powdery and soft. The packaging is beautiful and looks very high-end.

According to Chanel this product: "Be firm. Look young. Correct every sign of age. This rich, yet delicate moisturizing night cream dispenses water and ingredients during the night, when skin is predisposed to renew itself. Adhesioderm firms and resculpts; it's as if surface skin is 'bonded' to its support system. Exclusive Life Cycle Regenerator dramatically reduces the appearance of wrinkles. The look of youth is restored."

Because this is such a thick, rich, product, it is probably meant for use by those with drier or more mature skin types needed extram moistuure and firming.

A 1.7 ounce jar of this cream retails for $115.00 and is available at the hihger end departments stores and Chanel.

Ingredients: Unavailable.

May 30, 2009

Product Launch: Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex

Fresh from the Estee Lauder laboratories is their new product Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex.

"This serum provides optimized night-time repair to skin’s appearance using revolutionary Chronolux Technology to support the natural synchronization of skin’s repair processes. A new patented technology encapsulating Alkyl Guanine Transferase (AGT) helps repair the appearance of damage from smoke and pollution, in particular toxins and chemicals, putting this new serum at the forefront of repairing the look of damage from all known major environmental assaults."

This product is just now available at select Estee Lauder counters with a major ad campaign to begin in June. The question is whether this product will replace the original Advanced Night Repair or continue to be offered in conjunction with it for the traditionalist who resist new or updated products. I am all for improving a product if it means better, faster results.

I have a small sample that I will be using for the next few days. Being such a fan on the original, and iconic, Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex, I am eager to see what this product offers.

The 1 ounce dropper bottles sells for $46.50 while the larger 1.7 ounce bottle sells for $74.50. Estee Lauder products are available at most better department stores as well as the Estee Lauder website.

Ingredients: Unavailable.

May 25, 2009

Open Forum: Favorite Hair Care Product

What is your absolute favorite hair care product and why? How long have you used it? What does it costs?

May 18, 2009

American Beauty Moisture-Wise Continuos Hydrating Lotion

American Beauty, distributed by Beauty Bank, a division of Estee Lauder, is available in the US exclusively at Kohl's Along with the Flirt, Goodskin and Grassroots brands. American Beauty seems to be the higher end of the brands sold at Kohl's and aimed at the more mature.

According to the packaging Moisture-Wise Continuous Hydrating Lotion hydrates for up to 12 hours; time released micro spheres feed your skin a continuous supply of mineral rich spring water. While antioxidants help protect against environmental damage. For all skins. Apply AM and PM.

The first thing I noticed upon application is how the consistency is much more like that of a serum. To me it was extremely similar to, the excellent and luxurious, Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Lifting Serum and shares many of the same ingredients. It is also similar to various other Estee Lauder moisturizers from their various brands.

The scent is sort of a mix of roses and cucumbers but it is light and delicate so as not overpower. While this has a serum sort of texture it does take a few moments to absorb. It made my skin feel extremely soft and well hydrated for the entire day. The only drawback for me is the high silicone content as well as it containing petrolatum, although in a much lower concentration, both of which tend to break me out. This is a delightful product and a great way to experience Estee Lauder skin care.

A bonus for me is the fact it is Mica free. A lot of skin care companies are putting Mica in their serums, creams, lotions, toners and even cleansers because it can help to disguise imperfections on the skin and adds a bit of shimmer to a product. For me who tends toward the combo, acne prone, extremely sensitive skin type, Mica can clog pores and create some nasty, deep painful, pimples.

American Beauty Moisture-Wise Continuous Hydrating Lotion comes in a very attractive teal box and elegant Estee Lauder-esque 1.7 ounce teal pump bottle and retails for $23.50. Available at Kohl's stores and online. It is also available as a cream and comes packaged in a jar.

Ingredients: Spring Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Distearate, Glyceryl Dilaurate, Steareth-10, Cholesterol, Ethylhexylpalmitate, Ethylhexyhydroxystearate, Rosa (American Beauty) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ceramide-2, Linoleic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Soluble Fish (Pisces) Collagen, Magnesium Phosphate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Propylene Glycol, Dicaprate, Petrolatum, Cetylesters, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Distearyldimonium Chloride, BHT, Fragrance (Parfume), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Green 5 (CI 61570), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Blue 1 (CI 42090).

May 11, 2009

Update: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex

I am a huge fan of this serum, the more I use it the more I love it. I have been using it twice daily for two weeks solid, sometimes even three times a day, and it actually seems to be fading my freckles.

I do, however, have to be careful not to get too much near my eyes or it tends to irritate them. While I have found that it takes more than a few drops to cover my entire face, I have been applying it to damp skin and find it does spread easier while helping to reduce any greasiness. I have been using it under my Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer and find that they seem to work well together.

As I mentioned in my original post about Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex, this is a product I tend to go back to. Yes, it is rather expensive, but it seems to work for me and when you consider how many years it has been available and how popular it is, it appears to work for a lot of people.

May 4, 2009

Yves Rocher France Radiant Complexion Treatment Duo

Always eager to try new products I settled on the Yves Rocher France Radiant Complexion Treatment Duo available in the recent catalog.

This treatment duo consist of a botanical scrub to be used first followed by a intensive moisturizing mask that is allowed to absorb with the excess being tissued off.

The products I received came in two attached packets. These are lightly scented products that are easy to use. The scrub is gentle and can be used without causing too much skin discomfort. A gentle hand is best with this scrub as the granuales are a bit on the rough side. The moisturizing mask is a lightweight lotion that absorbs surprising fast. Both leave the skin feeling soft, smooth and supple.

My only real complaint is these products contain so many perservatives compared to similar products from other botantical/natural skin care lines.

While the packets are one time use and sell for $1.50, these products are available seperately in full size tubes that retail for $16.00 each. Available at Yves Rocher stores in Canada and Europe or from the Yves Rocher website in the US.


Botanical Scrub: Water/Eau, Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Zea Mays (Corn) Cob Powder, Trilaurin, Polyethylene, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Sunflower Seed Oil Glyceride, Diatomaceous Earth/Terre De Diatomees, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Steareth-100, PEG-8, Stearic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, BHT, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Methylchloroisothiazounone, Methylisothiazounoe.

Intense Moisture Mask: Water/Eau, Propylene Glycol, Urea, Isononyl Isononanoate, Alcohol Denat., Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Behenoxy Dimethicone, Methylparaben, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Allantoin, Sodium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Blue 1.

Apr 27, 2009

Update: Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate

I was given a sample packet of Lancome's new Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate to try and it is a pleasant enough product.

This serum is a thick, unscented, clear liquid that spreads easily but requires a minute or two to absorb. It felt a bit thick and sticky during application. Lancome spent 10 years developing this product and it has 7 international patents.

This is very similar to Estee Lauder's iconic Advanced Night Repair and based on the the bottle with the dropper applicator as well as the use of the ingredient Bifida Ferment Lysate, it seems Lancome wants to gain some of Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair customers.

However, it is also very different. Price is one area where they differ greatly since Advanced Night Repair sells for $46.50 and Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate sells for nearly twice that. Advanced Night Repair contains numerous humectants and vitamins such as Squalane, Sodium Rna, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bisabolol, Pantethine, Hydrogenated Lecithin and also contains a lesser amount of alcohol.

Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate is a nice product but I prefer Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, it is what I use, what I like and what I am used to. However, for those who do not care for Advanced Night Repair and for those with extra pocket money, this might be a worthwhile alternative.

Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate retails for $78.00 for a one ounce bottle with dropper applicator and is available online from the Lancome website or at better department stores with Lancome counters.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Salicyloyl Phytosphingosine, Amonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide/Amonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Limonene, Xathan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Octyldodcanol, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Parfum/Fragrance.

Apr 20, 2009

Lacura Hydra Complete Cream

Lacura, a skin care line sold at Aldi and manufactured in Germany, has a line of day and night creams, body lotions, cleansers, serums, wrinkle fillers, eye creams and toners with make-up debuting soon.

Having tried and liking the Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Day cream, but finding it a bit heavy for my skin type decided to try their Hyra Complete Cream which contains Sea Minerals and Vitamin B.

I was very pleasantly surprised. In a screw top jar this cream is sort of a gel-cream mix, very light in texture. It is a beautiful shade of blue and has a very fresh, clean, pleasant smell that makes one think of the sea.

It spreads easily and absorbs very well and doesn't seem to "ball up" on the skin like the Q10 Day Cream does. The scent is a bit strong initially but quickly fades. It does contain sunscreen ingredients but does not list the SPF and therefore I will not rely on it as a sunscreen. Having used it for several days in a row it seemed to soothe and hydrate my skin without causing me to break out despite containing silicones.

Why is it that this cream, which some bloggers have said is comparable to such creams as La Mer, able to be manufactured and packaged so nicely for such a low price? It is remarkable to me. Especially when you consider that so many mass market skin care lines are coming out with products that cost more than department store lines. Olay being the first to come to mind.

In my opinion, this is an excellent product and one that I plan to repurchase. It contains ingredients found in much more expensive products, vitamins, oyster shell extract and appears to be paraben-free.

I have tried to figure out who manufactures this product line for Aldi but so far have not been able to find out.

A jar of this delightful cream sells for under $5.00 at Aldi stores.

Ingredients: Biosaccharide Gum-1, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Acrylates/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Octocrylene, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ostrea Shell Extract, Maris Limus Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Fructrose, Glycine, Niacinamide, Urea, Inositol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Calcium Pantothenate, Propylene Glycol, Fragrance, Tetrasodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Blue 1.

Apr 13, 2009

Open Forum: What are you newest beauty finds?

Tell us what your newest beauty finds are. Many companies come out with their new products in the spring.

Estee Lauder, Clinique, Good Skin, American Beauty, Lancome, L' Oreal, and Garnier are some of the companies that just recently launched new products.

What are you using? How do you like it? Where do you buy it and what does it cost? We want to know!

Apr 10, 2009

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Lifting Lotion

I just received a sample of Estee Lauder's brand new Re-Nutriv Intensive Lifting Lotion. It is part of Estee Lauder's luxurious Re-Nutriv line aimed at more well-to-do folks.

This product absorbs very quickly and completely. The texture is somewhere between a serum and very light lotion. It starts off a bit on the oily side but quickly dries somewhat matte and dewy. The scent is typical Re-Nutriv and smells wonderful, it is very light and subtle, not at all overpowering or offensive. It appears to contain mica as it leaves behind a sort of pinkish shimmer.

This product is similar to less expensive products also made by Estee Lauder and some of their other corporate brands so if you aren't too keen spending so much on a product, you might try some of the others first (American Beauty, Grassroots, Good Skin, Clinique, Prescriptives, etc.). However, Re-Nutriv is supposed to be the ultimate in Estee Lauder luxury.

This is definitely a product worth trying if you have oilier skin but like using high-end cosmetics and do not want your face to look oily as so many of the creams can cause, especially on younger skin. Estee Lauder is one of the premier cosmetic companies in the United States with an array of wonderfully formulated products. Now, if only they would quit putting mica in everything!

A 1.6 ounce pump bottle costs $160.00 and is available by select department stores and the Estee Lauder website.

Ingredients: Unavailable.

Apr 6, 2009

Lacura Q10 Anti- Wrinkle Day Cream

Having recently discovered Aldi and their large array of discount foods and produce I was surprised to also find for sale a skin care line called Lacura. This line of products retails for under $10. and includes a serum, eye creams, day and night creams, mature skin cream, a moisturizing cream, wrinkle-filler, cleansers and body creams. According to the Aldi website they will begin selling make-up as well.

The Aldi website says of this product: "An intensively caring cream for every type of skin, this anti-wrinkle formula really gets results. Bioflavonoids, coenzyme Q10, provitamin B5, vitamins C and E, aloe vera and our powerful moisturizing complex help protect against the damaging effects of the environment, reduce wrinkles and keep your skin supple."

I must say, this is an excellent product. Shockingly low cost and it appears to be well formulated. According to some articles I've read online, this cream was put to the test with creams costing many times more and most people thought it was not only better but far more costly than it actually is. The Aldi website indicates tt has also won some sort of award(s). In addition, according to what I've read, many Aldi stores cannot keep the products stocked because people are buying it up so quickly.

This is a thick, dense, pale yellow cream that is very concentrated and applies easily. Once dry my skin was left somewhere between matte and dewy and it felt very soft, not the least bit oily or greasy. The scent is very pleasant and light and reminds me a bit of soap although someone mentioned to me that it reminded them of the original ponds cream scent. This cream, thus far, has not broken out my extremely sensitive, acne-prone skin. The cream is full of vitamins including B5, C and E along with Sodium Hyaluronate and numerous plant extracts that rivals some of the high-end products available at more expensive department stores.

My only complaint about this cream is that while it does have two sunscreen ingredients (Octocrylene and Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane) it is doesn't list an SPF Factor thus I will not rely on it to protect my skin from the sun's rays. The only other thing about it is if you reapply it throughout the day without first washing your face the product will ball up slightly which is something I have noticed with creams costing hundreds more.

Overall, I am amazed that a company can manufacture quality products and sell them for so little. The packaging is quite attractive, the jars are glass and they will not look out of place on the bathroom vanity. This line of products is manufactured in Germany for Aldi, the exclusive retailer for the Lacura line of skin and body care products and make-up.

If you're in the market for skin care and don't want to take out a loan to buy it, maybe the new Lacura skin care at Aldi is worth trying.

The 1.7 ounce glass jar retails for $3.99 at Aldi stores.

Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Diethylhexyl Adipate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cyclopentasiloxane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Octocrylene, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Phospholipids, Ubiquione, Algin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Disodium Adenosine Triphosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Alcohol, Tocopherol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Oleate, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Apr 3, 2009

Update: Clinique Youth Surge Age SPF 15 Decelerating Moisturizer

After receiving a sample of and using Clinique's new Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturizer I have been able to get a pretty good idea of this product.

Youth Surge is a thick, white cream with the normal "Clinique" scent. The scent is hardly discernible and not enough to really consider scented, in my opinion.

The cream being so thick doesn't spread as easily as a lighter, more fluid, product might but none the less spreads pretty well. It seems to absorb/dry quickly, however; it leaves behind a white hue on the skin. This is especially noticeable on men who have stubble as it seems to cling to the hair. I imagine this product, as with so many Clinique products, uses Titanium Dioxide as part of the sunscreen formulation. There is much debate right now about the safety of sunscreens and which type is best, chemical or physical. This is something best left to scientist to debate. For my skin, the answer is simple, I cannot use physical sunscreens, they break me out.

I noticed after application that any fine lines vanished. My skin feels the slightest bit oily after using this product but it doesn't look greasy.

Some blog authors and posters have been slightly irked by the ad campaign for this product which some say alienates older clients. People just have to remember that an advertisment can practically say anything it wants, the product's performance is what really sells it. So far, the reviews on the Clinique website for this product are good with an average 5 stars.

For those who prefer physical sunscreens and those who use and like Clinique products, I imagine this will be a welcomed addition to their skin care routine. If Clinique would come out with a night version of this product, no sunscreen, I would certainly consider using it.

This product is available from most department stores and the Clinique website. A 1.7 ounce/ 50 ml. jar sells for $46.50 and comes in three formulas for different skin types.

Ingredients: Unavailable.