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