Dec 15, 2010

Ingredients Search Website

I found this website while looking for the ingredients of a product. It allows you to search for a single ingredient or you can copy and paste an entire ingredients listing and it tells you what the ingredient is and what it is used for. Very cool.

Dec 1, 2010

L'Oreal Youth Code Serum Intense

L'Oreal has introduced a new product line called Youth Code. It consists of a serum, day lotion, day/night cream, and eye cream. These products are similar to those offered by Lancome, the luxury division of L'Oreal and retail for about $25.00.

I pre-ordered the L'Oreal Youth Code Serum Intense and used it for a month. The first thing I noticed was the extremely light texture of the clear serum. Very little product is needed to cover the entire face. This serum is identical to Lancome Genifique serum except that the Youth Code serum has peptides, known as Matrixyl-3000, while the Genifique does not. The scent is very light and gender neutral unlike a lot of Lancome products. The serum absorbs very quickly and leaves a smooth, powdery finish. My only complaint, and I have this with several other L'Oreal and Lancome products is that it tends to ball up if I try layering other products on top of it.

I didn't see a huge improvement in my skin while using this but I liked it and would consider using it again. Alcohol is rather high up on the ingredients listing which can cause dry skin although there are also numerous humectants in the serum to counteract it. I like that a drug store brand product contains peptides, most do not.

The serum seems to be the powerhouse product as it contains peptides while the lotion and cream do not. Of additional interest is the high concentration of Bifida Ferment Lysate which is one of the main ingredients in Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex.

Except for the alcohol content and the fact the serum can ball up depending on what is applied over it, I liked this serum a lot.

This product is available at Ulta, Target, Walmart, Meijer, and a variety of other stores. It retails for $25.00 or so in most stores.

Ingredients: Water , Bifida Ferment Lysate , Glycerin , Alcohol Denat. , Dimethicone , Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acids , PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate , Sodium Hyaluronate , Salicyloyl Phytosphingosine , Palmitoyl Oligopeptide , Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 , Adenosine , Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide , Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate , Disodium EDTA , Caprylyl Glycol , Citric Acid , Xanthan Gum , N-Hydroxysuccinimide , Chrysin , Octyldodecanol , Sodium Benzoate , Phenoxyethanol , Limonene , Fragrance.

Nov 15, 2010

Open Forum: How Important are Brand Names?

Would you rather use a well known brand name product such as Lancome or the less expensive but virtually identical L'Oreal brand? How important is brand name when choosing products? Leave your comments below.

Nov 1, 2010

Estee Lauder Reformulates DayWear Moisturizers

Estee Lauder has reformulated their Daywear moisturizers now calling them DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Moisturizer. Available in cream, lotion, and sheer tint formulas this new version is said to have better skin protecting qualities.

Having tried a sample of the new formula I like it but found that it is was slightly more greasy. The scent has been changed and is now more floral with a hint of the cucumber scent. I prefer the new scent as it seems lighter and more elegant.

DayWear is available online and at Estee Lauder counters for $43.00 in a 1.7 ounce jar.

Oct 15, 2010

The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

The Body Shop, now owned by L'Oreal, has been updating their product offerings. One of their newest product lines to be updated is their Vitamin C line. Having tried and liked their Vitamin E line I was eager to try their revamped Vitamin C line.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 is delightful. The slightly thick texture smells slightly of citrus, spreads easily, and absorbs well. A lot of products with a high SPF tend to be greasy but I have found that this moisturizer leaves a dewy finish. The texture is great because it is thick enough that you know where you are applying it but not so thick that it just sits on the skin. It contains Vitamin C and Amazonian Camu Camu along with the Sesame Seed Oil found in a lot of their other products. Camu Camu is said to be rich in Vitamin C.

This is a great product in my opinion and well worth trying, especially for those wanting a higher SPF.

Available in a 1.69 ounce tube, this moisturizer retails for $20.00 at The Body Shop stores and online.

Ingredients: Water (Solvent/Diluent), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Sunscreen), Isododecane (Solvent), Octisalate (Sunscreen), Octocrylene (Sunscreen), Hydrogenated Polydecene (Skin Conditioning Agent), Glycerin (Humectant), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Arachidyl Alcohol (Emulsion Stabiliser), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Sunscreen), Caprylyl Glycol (Skin Conditioning Agent), Behenyl Alcohol (Emollient), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Arachidyl Glucoside (Surfactant/Emulsifying Agent), Cetyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Antioxidant), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Acrylamide/Ammonium Acrylate Copolymer (Binder), Fragrance (Fragrance), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), Polyisobutene (Binder), Myrciaria Dubia Fruit Extract (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifier), Sorbitan Isostearate (Emulsifier), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Benzyl Benzoate (Solvent), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Hexyl Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient).

Oct 1, 2010

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1

I have never been a big fan of Clinique products, however, after reading reviews for their Clarifying Lotions, decided to give it a try.

Clinique is the dermatological formulated brand from Estee Lauder and perhaps best known for their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. Good Skin, offered exclusively at Kohl's and also owned by Estee Lauder, makes similar products.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 is for very dry to dry skin and is advertised as being gentle enough for those who are sensitive to water. This may be, however, it does contain alcohol rather high up on the list of ingredients. Still, this product doesn't sting my sensitive skin. Applied prior to moisturizing this product is supposed to refine fine lines and remove dulling dry skin flakes. I found that it makes my skin a bit oily and shiny. This lotion is great at removing soap residue and it does feel soothing.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion is available in five different formulas for different skin types and can be purchased from the Clinique website or from the Clinique counter and department stores. A 6.7 ounce bottle retails for $12.50.

Ingredients: Vary by formula.

Sep 15, 2010

Estee Lauder Good Skin and Grassroots

It seems the original Good Skin and Grassroots products launched by Estee Lauder's Beauty Bank division and sold exclusively in Kohl's stores has been discontinued in favor of a few new products. Good Skin is the Clinique equivalent at Kohl's and offered a variety of really amazing products. Grassroots is the Origins or Aveda version offering more natural sounding products.

While it was a great idea for Estee Lauder to offer many amazing and affordable products in a store such as Kohl's the displays are often not tidy and the products are difficult to get out of the displays. Overall the appeal of the beauty department at Kohl's is not ideal because it isn't kept neat and clean. Perhaps this turned some customers off who are more use to the elegant displays at higher-end department stores.

Sep 1, 2010

Yves Rocher Serum Vegetal 3 Plumping Force Day Cream

Yves Rocher has been updating a lot of their product lines; one of their newest product lines to be updated is their Serum Vegetal line. Available in a variety day or night creams these products are designed to help the skin with wrinkles, radiance, and firmness.

Yves Rocher Serum Vegetal 3 Plumping Force Day Cream is slightly thick, but spreads extremely well. I found that while very pleasant, the scent is slightly strong. And while it does seem to absorb pretty well, it does seem to leave the skin just slightly greasy and may be best suited to those with drier skin types.

According to Yves Rocher this product: "Fills in pronounced wrinkles, Restores bounce to skin, Moisturizes and protects skin."

Available from Yves Rocher's website, catalog, or Yves Rocher stores, an elegant jar of this cream retails for $46.00 for 1.7 ounces.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Lentius Edodes Extract, Dimithicone, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, Cetyl ALcohol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sodium Mannuronate Methylsilanol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydrolyzed Pectin, Talc, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Acacia Senegal Gum, Mangifferin, Butylene GLycol, Parfum/Fragrance. Glyceryl Stearate, Ethyl Linoleate, Methylparaben, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Allantoin, Ethylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylparaben, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene GLycol, CI 17200 (Red 33).

Aug 15, 2010

Avon Solutions Total Radiance Day Lotion SPF 15

When it comes to skin care, Avon is not usually my first choice. For a while it seemed as thought they had over perfumed, dated formulas. With the introduction of numerous products, that has all changed. Avon is now using very modern formulas and going easy on the fragrance which makes many of their products a great choice for those wanting something modern and effective.

Avon Solutions Total Radiance Day Lotion SPF 15 is a very lightweight and silky face lotion that spreads and absorbs quickly. It dries to an almost matte finish, doesn't feel oily or sticky, and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated. While the scent is quite noticeable, it is not overpowering or floral and smells rather fresh and citrusy.

This product, along with many of the others in the Avon Solutions line, contain peptides, vitamins, plant extracts, intense hydrators, and numerous other ingredients meant to help hydrate the skin and improve the look and feel. These elegant products contain ingredients found in much more expensive brands. There are numerous products available for different skin types as well as the recent addition of serums to correspond with the particular moisturizers. Overall, this is a very nice product and good for those who prefer a lotion.

While this product does contain numerous chemicals, the majority of such products do, it would be nice if companies would reduce their use of petrochemicals, silicones, preservatives, etc. A lot of companies have jumped on the bandwagon and are reformulating their products to remove the chemicals. Some chemicals are needed; however, many are not. Mastey de Paris, while their customer service skills may be lacking when it comes to communicating with their customers, has figured out a way to formulate high quality, elegant, skin care formulas without silicones, mica, titanium, alumina, mineral oil, or petrolatum. Their formulas are simple, effective, and some of the best.

This product is available in a 4 ounce pump bottle from the Avon website or Avon representative.

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Avobenzone 2.0%.
Other Ingredients: Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Dimethicone, Lauryl Lactate, Dilauryl Thiodipropionate, Calcium PCA, Lactoferrin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Phospholipids, Phytol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aframomum Melegueta Seed Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Ceramide 2, Cholesterol, DNA, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed Extract, Viola Tricolor Extract, Yeast Extract/Extrait De Levure, Peg-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Urea, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Peg-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Boron Nitride, Silica, Isohexadecane, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Tribehenin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Carbomer, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide.

Aug 1, 2010

Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Gel-Creme

Garnier is still a relatively new brand, owned by L'Oreal. It has been made popular through advertising featuring Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker who is known for her beautiful hair and skin. Garnier has a line of hair and skin care products that contain natural fruit extracts. I haven't tended to be over excited about the Garnier skin care line because they tend to contain titanium dioxide, aluminum, and mica. However, Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Gel-Creme contains none of those ingredients. It also does not contain sunscreen. The lotion version of this product contains sunscreen and comes in a larger pump bottle.

This is a very light, quickly absorbed gel with a very delicate, clean scent. It spreads quickly and easily and absorbs leaving a matte finish. The scent is refreshing and gender neutral. This product is amazing, it provides hydration big time plumping up the skin and making it look soft and dewy. It does not feel heavy and provides ample hydration.

I have found that using too much causes it to ball up some as well as if I layer it with other products; however, a little goes a long way since it spreads so easily. Also, I have been using it as a sort of face mask. I sort of goop it on and let it soak in for a while before showering. It is cool and refreshing and makes my skin feel very soft and hydrated.

The 1.7 ounce jar of Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Gel-Creme is available at a variety of stores and retails for under $8.00.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Carbomer, Dimethiconol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Vitis Vinifera Extract/Grapefruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Menthoxypropanediol, Magnesium Gluconate, Sodium Citrate, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Calcium Gluconate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 42090/Blue 1, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol.

Jul 15, 2010

Free Advanced Night Repair July 22, 2010

Estee Lauder will be offering, one to a customer while supplies last, a 10-day supply of either their recently reformulated Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex or their brand new Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum. This even will be held July 22, 2010 from 5-9 pm at most Estee Lauder counters.

Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair was one of the first repair serums available and still one of the most popular. It continues to be a best seller for Estee Lauder and has an enormous following.

Jul 1, 2010

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex

Being a big fan of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex I was eager to try the new eye creme. The creme is unscented but has a similar sent to the Advanced Night Repair serum. The texture is quite thick and doesn't spread all that well, but eye cremes are to be applied by patting them onto the eye area.

This product contains petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly) which tends to cause me to break out. After using this eye creme for a few days I noticed I had some small breakouts under my eyes. Something I have noticed with numerous eye cremes as they tend to be a bit heavy for my skin and this product is rather thick and heavy as well. While I like it, I would have to guess that it is better suited for more mature skin types. If it works half as well as the face serum, it is a winner.

A 0.50 ounce jar retails for $49.50 and is available at the Macy's counter at finer department stores and the Estee Lauder website.

Ingredients: Currently Unavailable

Jun 15, 2010

The Body Shop Vitamin E SPF 15 Moisture Lotion

The Body Shop has a large array of skin care products including Vitamin E SPF 15 Moisture Lotion. I tried a sample of this lotion a few weeks ago and decided to purchase a full size tube.

This product is a slightly thick, white, cream that spreads fairly easily and absorbs somewhere between dewy and matte. The scent is light and clean and reminds me of baby lotion or baby powder.

The Body Shop has numerous other products available in the Vitamin E line including a cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, and night cream. These products, while very nice, do contain a lot of preservatives high up on the ingredients list which indicates a higher percentage of them. Additionally, this lotion contains SPF 15 chemical sunscreen, which I prefer, titanium and zinc break me out. This lotion also contains Vitamin E and wheat germ oil among its other ingredients.

I found that I really like this product. The texture, the scent, it just feels nice on the skin. If they would add more active ingredients and reduce the plethora of preservatives this would be an even better product. Still, I like this a lot and it seems to moisturize pretty well and doesn't make my face extremely greasy.

The 1.69 ounce tube retails for $18.00 and is available online or in store.

Ingredients: ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (6.0%), Octisalate (4.0%), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (3.0%); INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance, Carbomer, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Citronellol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Linalool, Geraniol, Tocopherol.

Jun 1, 2010

The Body Shop Honey Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

The Body Shop is a UK company that is now part of the L'Oreal Group of companies. The Body Shop is known for using naturally derived ingredients in its products.

Honey Moisturizing Shampoo is a thick product that lathers well, rinses quickly and leaves the hair squeaky clean. The scent reminds me of a floral honey, and while it is light, it does linger. Despite being sulfate-free, this shampoo cleans well; however, it does contain silicone which may build up.

Honey Moisturizing Conditioner is a lotion like, creamy, product that instantly detangles the hair and makes it feel silky soft. A little bit is all that is required as too much will leave the hair feeling quite greasy. This product rinses a bit slowly but cleanly. Again, the scent is sort of a honey floral but seems a bit stronger than that of the shampoo.

These are both nice products that are reasonably priced. Although The Body Shop has a reputation for naturally derived ingredients, the majority of their products have high levels of preservatives and silicones. These two products do contain a lot of natural ingredients including protein, amino acids, olive oil, and honey.

Honey Moisturizing Shampoo is available in three sizes with the largest size retailing for $15.00. Honey Moisturizing Conditioner is also available in three sizes with the largest selling for $15.00. The products are available at The Body Shop stores or online from their website.

Ingredients: Honey Moisturizing Shampoo: Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Stearic Acid, Honey, Coconut Acid, Glycerin, Acrylates/Palmeth-25 Acrylate Copoymer, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil) Nut Oil, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Isothionate, Olea Europea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Phenethyl Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Lanolin, Polyquaternium-10, Methylparaben, Aminomethyl Propanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydrolysed Wheat Protein, PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Polyquaternium-7, Propylparaben, Bertothelia Excelsa (Brazil) Nut Amino Acids, Wheat Amino Acids, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Potassium Sorbate, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Titanium Dioxide.

Honey Moisturizing Conditioner: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Musa Sapentum Banana) Pulp, Glyceryl Stearate, Amodimethicone, Bertothelia Excelsa (Brazil) Nut Oil, Ceteareth-20, Glycerin, Steartrimonium Methosulfate, Lanolin, Olea Europea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Phenethyl Dimethicone, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Prpopylparaben, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Amino Acids, Cetrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-12, Wheat Amino Acids, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate.

May 15, 2010

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Cream/Gel

Clinique, one of Estee Lauder's many brands, is not my first brand of choice. I've tried numerous products that have caused me breakouts. That being said, one thing I love about Clinique is the scent. Their products are not scented but most of them have a very distinct Clinique scent. I was bought a jar of Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Cream/Gel as a gift.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Cream/Gel has absolutely no scent whatsoever. It has a pink, thick, gel-like texture. It easily spreads and absorbs fairly quickly but leaves the skin a bit sticky for a few minutes. This product is designed for dry skin, yet, it is not the least bit greasy, and dries matte. Reapplication throughout the day can result in the product balling up if too much is used and it is not rubbed in well. My skin is left feeling very fresh and hydrated but not oily. I am surprised by how much I like this product.

This is a simple product, while it has many beneficial ingredients, it has a rather short ingredients list which may mean this is a good product for those who have very sensitive skin that reacts to everything. The ingredients include aloe, peptides, and vitamin C.

Available in a jar in two sizes, 1.7 or 2.5 ounces it retails for either $34.00 or $46.50 at most Clinique counters or from the Clinique website.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Birch Bark Extract, Ladys Thistle Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Sucrose, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Trehalose, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Sorbitol, Oleth-10, Tromethamine, Caffeine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydrolyzed Extensin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Olgiopeptide, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Peg-8, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Magnesuim Ascorbyl Phosphate, Carbomer, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Red 4 (Ci 14700), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140).

May 1, 2010

Estee Lauder Daywear Plus Creme for Normal/Combination Skin

Interested in trying new products, I have looked to Estee Lauder since I currently use their Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex serum.

I received a sample of Estee Lauder Daywear Plus Creme SPF 15 for normal/combination skin. The pale green creme is rather thick and with a fresh, light, cucumber scent. The scent does linger and fragrance is really rather unnecessary in a skin care product, so is color, but the fragrance is pleasant enough. I much prefer unscented products with no added color.

This creme, being so rich, requires very little in order to get good coverage. It is a tad on the oily side, which most products with chemical sunscreens are, but it dries down to a slightly matte finish. It is slightly slow to absorb, but I found that by massaging it in just a bit longer seems to help. I find that if I allow my Advanced Night Repair to fully absorb before I apply the Daywear Plus it is less oily than if I apply them one right after the other.

This product feels luxurious on the skin, and for the price, it should! But it is a very nice, award winning moisturizer, that seems to have quite a following. It is available in a creme for dry skin, one for normal/combination skin, a lotion for oily skin, a tinted version, and a SPF 30 version.

It is available at most finer department stores or from the Estee Lauder website. It costs $39.50 for a 1.7 ounce jar or bottle.

Ingredients: Currently unavailable

Posted by

Apr 15, 2010

Open Forum: Companies Not Responding to E-Mail

These days the most frequent way to communicate with a company is via e-mail. It is usually fast and to the point. So, it is quite frustrating when a company doesn't respond.

A good example is Mastey de Paris, they rarely, if ever, respond to e-mails. A recent e-mail was sent to them inquiring when their skin care line would again be available, specifically regarding Mastey Moiste Facial Moisturizer. No response. E-mail should be answered promptly, especially when there is so much competition for consumer interest.

An e-mail was sent to Alterna regarding a product they offer requesting further information. Again, no response. This e-mail was sent to them seeking information on how to use a product as a potential new customer and they didn't make the effort to respond.

Have you had similar difficulty get an e-mail answered? Did it deter you from doing business with them?

Apr 1, 2010

Mastey de Paris Revamps Skin Care Line

As anyone who has read this blog or my twitter account knows, I love Mastey de Paris, especially Mastey de Paris Moiste Facial Moisturizer. So, imagine my surprise to find the skin care link removed from their website. I was told Mastey has halted sales of their skin care line while they repackage it. Meanwhile, since no one was told beforehand, those of us who loyally use it could not stock up on it and are left to find a substitute until they begin selling it again. They also do not indicate when they will make it available again for purchase.

Most companies will introduce new products while still selling the previous version. An example being Estee Lauder who recently reformulated and repacked Advanced Night Repair, they sold both the old and new product side by side; this allows customers to stock up. Mastey, as they are doing it, are forcing customers who run out of their favorite skin care products to find something else to use, and possibly like better, since they are not currently able to repurchase from them. If someone tries a new product that is easier to obtain and cheaper, why would they switch back to Mastey? Mastey products are not easy to find locally and thus must be ordered from the company via their website or by telephone.

In addition, when products are repackaged it often times also indicates it is being reformulated which is not always the best solution. It seems more than likely Mastey is reformulating their products to remove the parabens, as they did with their hair care line previously, which is great depending on what ingredient they use as a substitute. With Mastey, their products are wonderful, but the formulas might be considered dated when compared to newer products with peptides and various other new ingredients (which many times are nothing more than new industry buzz words to sell more products). However, one of the main reasons I love Mastey products so much is they do not use any silicone, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, talc, mica, zinc, titanium, or propylene glycol. They use ingredients proven to work such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, the natural moisturizing factor, and pseudocollagen, and not the latest beauty buzz word ingredient. They also avoid use of strong fragrances, unlike so many other brands. So, it will be interesting to see what they do, if anything, with the formula.

It will also be interesting to see if they continue selling the same amount of product for the same price. Some companies use repackaging as an excuse to sell less product for the same price, in essence raising the price. Mastey was selling a 3.38 ounce tube of their Moiste Facial Moisturizer for $28.00. If, for example, when it is repackaged they begin selling a lesser amount for the same price or the same amount for the a higher price, they are raising the price which is not ideal in this economic climate. Estee Lauder relaunched Advanced Night Repair for $1 more than what it sold for before it was reformulated.

Additionally, Mastey has raised the cost of their shipping and handling. Yves Rocher ships from Canada and only charges $4.95. Estee Lauder, Clinique, and many others frequently offer free shipping if the purchase is over a certain amount and include free samples of other products. They are also extremely slow to ship orders out forcing a wait of up to two weeks according Google Checkout reviews.

Mastey is also a bit difficult to communicate with via email. Their website is not frequently updated so information must be obtained either by email or telephone. Emails to them can go days unanswered, if they bother to answer them at all. Communication and customer support are extremely important when selling consumer goods. Mastey is a smaller company, however, it is important that they, at the very least, answer emails promptly and keep their customers updated on product changes and offerings. Consumers like building relationships with brands and if communication is lacking they will look elsewhere.

I have said numerous times Mastey de Paris is, in my opinion, one of the very best product lines available. Their products are thoughtfully formulated and the prices, while not cheap, are less expensive than many drug store and department store brands. However, with high shipping and handling, long shipping delays, little to no communication with customers, and halting sales of their skin care line while they repackage it, they are making it difficult for customers like me to stay loyal to their brand.

Mar 15, 2010

Estee Lauder Hydrationist SPF 15

One of the newest Estee Lauder products in their Hydrationist creme. It replaces their Future Perfect, Hydra Complete, and Hydra Bright creams and lotions.

Estee Lauder Hydrationist SPF 15 Creme smells just like Hydra Bright. The scent is quite strong and lingers, and while pleasant, it is a bit stronger than expected for a skin care product that seems designed for younger users.

This cream also seems to be using Estee Lauder's new gel-like formula. Rather than being a heavy creme, this, like numerous other new Lauder owned products, is more of a gel-cream. While it absorbs quickly, it is a bit difficult to spread meaning more is needed for complete coverage. This product comes in creme and lotion versions for dry, combo, and oily skin types. SPF 15 sunscreen is available in only one of the cremes.

Using this creme, I expected my skin to feel very moisturized; however, instead it felt a bit sticky and my skin still felt a bit dry.

This creme does not use peptides, that have become so common place in even less expensive products, but it is full of numerous other natural extracts, vitamins, silicones, and hydrators.

Estee Lauder Hydrationist SPF 15 Creme is an excellent product. However, after a few days of use I got a few small breakouts. This has been a common issue for me with Estee Lauder cremes and lotions.

Estee Lauder Hydrationist SPF 15 Creme is available from the Estee Lauder website or the Estee Lauder counter at department stores. A 1.7 ounce pump bottle or jar retails for $38.00. This is a great product for someone who has slight dryness and who doesn't mind a fairly strong fragrance.

Ingredients: Currently unavailable.

Mar 1, 2010

L'Oreal Collagen Moisture Filler Lotion SPF 15

L'Oreal recently introduced a new moisturizer, Collagen Moisture Filler, available in lotion with SPF 15 and a cream without sunscreen.

The first thing I noticed upon opening the box was that the plastic pump bottle has sticker labels rather than the actual bottle being printed on. This may save the company money for the simple fact they can use different stickers in different locales, but it also gave it a slightly cheaper appearance.

The texture is quite thick and the scent, while not overly strong, lingers. This lotion is a bit difficult to spread for the simple fact that it dries so quickly. It seems to dry rather than absorb, and because of this, it seems to sit on the skin and "balls up" and peels if I touch my face. It may be due to the high silicone content, as I have noticed this with numerous other products. I am not a fan of products that ball up because it makes me feel it isn't absorbing at all. For a product to truly work, it needs to absorb, not just sit on the surface. Perhaps the cream version has a different texture that won't ball up; however, I prefer products with sunscreen.

While this is by no means a bad product, it is not the one for me. Because of my super sensitive, prone to breakout skin, I try to avoid products with a lot of silicones. Silicones coat the skin, and I feel, especially in warmer weather, cause me to breakout. Also, a product that balls up makes it difficult to reapply throughout the day, something I like to do sometimes.

In addition, it just doesn't seem that this product contains a lot of the goodies so many of the newer products do. It contains natural collagen but I was unable to find out the source, is it animal or vegetable? I am not overly keen on products that contain animal source ingredients.

L'Oreal Collagen Moisture Filler is available in lotion with a pump bottle and a cream in a jar. It retails for under $20 and is available at most drug stores and discount retailers.

Active Ingredients:
Ensulizole 1.8%, Octinoxate 7.49%.

Ingredients: Ensulizole 1.8%, Octinoxate 7.49%. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Silica, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentylene Glycol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dipropylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Triethanolamine, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Caprylyl Glycol, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Manganese Gluconate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, C12-13 Pareth-23, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, C12-13 Pareth-3, Soluble Collagen, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Benzyl Alcohol, Citronellol, Atelocollagen, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate.

Feb 15, 2010

Open Forum: Fave New Products

What are some favorite new products? Is it a new fragrance, facial moisturizer, or a hair care product?

Feb 1, 2010

Ingredient Spotlight: Peptides

Peptides are sort of like chains of amino acids, they are fragments of a protein. A string of peptides make up a "whole" protein, so, instead of, for example, collagen, which is a whole protein, a peptide is a portion of a protein. Peptides communicate with cells and tell them to perform certain functions in the skin.

When Strivectin first came on the market it was all about it's cutting age ingredient, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (also known by the trade name Matrixyl). Palmitoyl Oligopeptide is thought to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and therefore minimize wrinkles similar to Retinol without as much irritation. Interestingly enough, there are sources online that claim Squalane, which is derived from olives or sharks, works similarly as Retinol or Vitamin A. There are numerous other peptides, some are used for firming the skin and others such as Argireline (Acetyl Hexapeptide-3) which is marketed as being similar to Botox. Most of these ingredients have been tested invitro by their respective manufacturers so the research is somewhat limited.

Research aside, many manufacturers have not jumped on the peptide bandwagon. Lancome uses peptides in very few, if any, of their products. L'Oreal and Garnier also don't seem to use peptides in their current products. Estee Lauder uses peptides in some of their products but mostly in their products aimed at wrinkle reduction or firming. Estee Lauder owned companies such as Clinique, Good Skin, Lab Series, and a few others use peptides as well. Mastey de Paris, uses amino acids and proteins (pseudocollagen, cysteine amino acid and rice protein) in their skin and hair products but not peptides.

So, are peptides and the products that contain them worth it? It depends. If peptides work as well as they are thought to based on their limited research, yes. Some manufacturers charge more for products that contain peptides but, for the most part, they seem to be on par with products without them.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair recently reformulated their iconic serum, adding a peptide and renaming it Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex and are only charging on dollar more for it, which proves a product doesn't have to cost a fortune just because it contains a peptide.

Some products with peptides seem to be a bit drying. I have noticed that the newest Advanced Night Repair formula is not as hydrating which may or may not be due to the peptide. However, most products that contain peptides also have ingredients to hydrate so for most people it wouldn't seem to be a big issue. And with a serum, a moisturizer is generally applied over top so it lessens any drying effects.

Peptides are still an emerging science and show a lot of promise in skin care. The best way of knowing if a product works is to use it. It can take several months before a product makes a noticeable difference so it can also take patience. And, after using a product and seeing results it is necessary to continue using it to maintain the results.

Jan 15, 2010

Avon Alternative Clearly C 10% Vitamin C Serum

Avon Alternative Clearly C 10% Vitamin C Serum is a concentrated serum with a good dose of Vitamin C. I recently purchased a bottle for a family member who has become a fan of several Avon products. This being despite the fact she has used and liked so many expensive department store brand products.

This serum has a high level of alcohol in it which may make it drying for some. The online reviews for it are amazing and indicate that it is an extremely popular product with a very loyal following. A search on the Avon website shows it is currently not available for sale and an internet search indicates it may have been discontinued. Avon has a knack for discontinuing products and in fact, it appears this was discontinued previously. Why companies discontinue products when they are so popular amazes me. Especially when you consider that what they replace it with my not be as popular. If you are a fan of this serum it might be worthwhile to visit the Avon website and suggest they reintroduce it.

This serum, was selling for approximately $20.00.

Ingredients: SD Alcohol 40-B, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Ascorbic Acid, Water, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxypropylcellulose, BHT, Fragrance.

Jan 1, 2010

Product Launch: Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme or Lotion

Another big product launch from Estee Lauder is their new Hydrationist Maximum Moisture moisturizer. Available in a lotion, a creme, and an SPF15 creme. This new product retails for $38.00 and comes in a 1.7 ounce jar or pump bottle.

This new moisturizer is intended to instantly moisturize the skin to help keep skin looking younger. It is formulated in such a way that it continues to provide moisture to the skin for 24 hours and helps with the skin's barrier function.

Hydrationist Maximum Moisture creme or lotion is sure to become a favorite for those needing a moisturizer that not only hydrates skin but also helps it to appear younger. Another great bonus is price, Estee Lauder is aware that people are not as willing to spend a fortune for skin care these days but still want something luxurious and something that actually works.

Hydrationist Maximum Moisture creme and lotion are available at Estee Lauder counters and from the Estee Lauder website.