Archive of ‘Skincare’ category

Giveaway: Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Collection

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The lovely people at Skin&Co Roma were nice enough to send along an extra set of their Truffle Therapy samples for me to give away to one of my readers, so what better day to start the giveaway? Consider it my Valentine’s Day present to you!

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Skin and Body Care

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Review: Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Skin and Body Care

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I was thrilled when Skin&Co Roma approached me about reviewing some samples of their truffle therapy products, but also completely apprehensive about changing up a skincare regimen that had just recently repaired my skin and seemed pretty nailed down. But when an Italian skincare company making products with truffle oil offers you samples, you don’t say no!

Skin&Co Roma Truffle Therapy Skin and Body Care (more…)

Review: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

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Whenever anyone talks about over-the-counter options to treat adult acne, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo invariably comes up. Back when I was still treating my product-induced breakout, but after I had discovered Clarins Lotus Treatment Oil and calmed the worst of my breakout, I was looking for something else to use to treat the stubborn zits and bumps that loved me so much, they didn’t want to get lost.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (more…)

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Giveaway/Concours: REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate

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Because I want to help you start the New Year off right (it IS still January, okay?!), I have decided to give away a full-sized REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate to one lucky reader.

REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate Giveaway

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January 2014 Birchbox Unboxing

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New month, new January 2014 Birchbox. I finally got mine, days later than some. My post office is literally the worst.

(In case you’re not familiar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. Get your own here.)

So, I followed through on my threat to stop making videos. (Actually, if I’m honest, that was decided by my oversleeping by an hour yesterday morning.) I’m sure you’re devastated not to watch my hack productions. (This will give me more time to hone my craft for next month?)

If you’ve read my previous unboxing posts and/or watched my videos, you know that I’ve been finding Birchbox disappointing for a while. Every month I’m THISCLOSE to canceling, and just never pull the trigger. I am not an optimist, but I guess I just WANT it to get better since I love getting my Birchbox (in theory).

Well, this month’s has not gone far to staying my hands. Especially considering one of the main things was tea. (Fine, it was a “lifestyle extra,” but still!) I got a couple of things that were, hmm, okay, cool. But only one thing that I’m like, “Yayyyyyy!!” about. Maybe my expectations are too high?

Anyway, on to the rundown!

January 2014 Birchbox

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Haul: Emma Hardie, Magnetic Lash, Caudalie, Nuxe, & more

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DSC_1691-2

I had been eying some things to try on Feel Unique for a while, and, coincidentally, they were all restocked right before their big winter sale started. I just couldn’t resist. (IT’S LIKE THEY KNEW.)

I admit I got caught up in the rush of shopping and probably snatched up a few things I shouldn’t have. Definitely impulse buys. But everything seems like a good deal when it’s on sale, even if you didn’t think you needed it before!

Let’s get to it, shall we?

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New Holy Grail product alert: Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment

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2014 is starting off with a bang. (And I told you it would be the year of Sunday Riley!)

I’m bringing you a new Holy Grail product post, just as I’m testing and putting through their paces not 1 but 2 more! (Unprecedented!) At this rate, the rest of the year will have a lot to live up to!

Like so many of my recent beauty interests, I started looking into Sunday Riley because of Lisa Eldridge and this tutorial. The day that my face was highjacked by the Sunday Riley makeup artist at Barneys, she recommended a few of their skincare products for me, but didn’t mention this. My curiosity was piqued by seeing her use it and then seeing it was a lactic acid product. (Again, something Lisa Eldridge recommends.)

So when I went to Sephora to get some samples, I made sure to get some of Sunday Riley Good Genes to try.

Helloooooo gawgeous!!

Helloooooo gawgeous!!

Honestly, at first, I wasn’t sold. I was using the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate at night and noticing some improvements in the red marks left by my really bad breakout. The Good Genes was going on top of a lot of other things, and I wasn’t noticing that it was really doing anything.

But the directions for the AHA Concentrate say to use it 7 days on and 7 days off, and so after the second round, I had a thought. All the reviews of Good Genes said it helps your skin look better and glow. The description on the web site was similarly effusive:

Everyone wants the unmistakeable look of having “good genes”. This amazing treatment is formulated with key ingredients which will plump fine lines, reveal brighter, newer skin, and improve circulation, offering a smooth, vibrant complexion. Long term use will restore damaged skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and acne scars, reduce the depth and number of lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone, & increase epidermal firmness and thickness.

So I stopped layering it on top of a lot of other things and started putting it on directly after toning at night. And the next morning I woke up and went, “Woh.” And the next morning. And every morning I wake up and go to wash my face and notice it looks a little better every day. My red marks are now so faded that only I would notice them, because I look that closely.

It’s has a nice creamy consistency and feels really nice on your skin. It tends to drink it up. Sometimes I do feel a bit of a tingle, but nothing too bad. All the Sunday Riley products have strong scents, and for a while, this was my least favorite of all of them—it’s a bit herby—but now I really love the scent and enjoy putting it on. (I enjoy putting all of them on, it’s bad. I’m getting addicted and it’s an expensive addiction!)

I went back to the Sunday Riley counter a couple of weeks ago for something else, and the person there that day gave me a lot of skincare samples. He recommended the Good Genes as my moisturizer for day. But I have found that when I use acid exfoliators during the day, it stimulates oil production in my skin, and it winds up looking oilier a lot faster.

Just to test this theory out, I did an experiment yesterday using all the new products I’ve recently adopted that have left me practically shine free the whole day, and used the Good Genes as well. And, yep, definitely more oily. So I will stick to using this at night, but boy, am I glad I found it!

It’s going to set you back, I won’t lie. (But not as much as the Bionic Anti-Aging Cream!!) But it can be found at Sephora, which means samples can be found. I always advocate testing out products before investing, if you can. But I have found this one to be worth the money. I’m finally not embarrassed to not wear foundation again!

Have you used Good Genes? Any Sunday Riley products? What are your holy grails?

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.

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Favorite Products of 2013

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One day left to this godforsaken year, so I thought I would share my favorite products. This year was a weird one, in terms of my beauty and skincare purchasing. I managed to earn Sephora VIB Rouge status in August, yet haven’t been able to buy too much since then. So I feel like I’ve already discussed my favorites previously, but, well, without further ado…

Makeup

2013 makeup favorites

As luck would have it, this year was all about the foundation and lipsticks for me.

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December 2013 Birchbox Unboxing

(In case you’re not familiar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. It’s pretty much a cycle of awesome! Get your own here.)

I followed last month’s lead and again avoided all spoilers so that I would not be envious or upset about what I did or did not get. It’s been only mildly successful, because, while I now no longer am upset that I didn’t get something specific, I’ve been underwhelmed by what I did get. (And I had a slight spoiler by texting with Rose who let slip the nature of one of her items, and I wound up figuring it out. And being sad I didn’t get it.)

So, on to this month. I feel like I am nearing 2 decisions:

1. Cancel my Birchbox See, I LOVE getting a little box of goodies in the mail every month, but I’ve really been underwhelmed the past few months. Since I resubscribed back in July in order to get the Davines shampoo and conditioner samples, I’ve really only been thrilled about 3 products: Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray, the Tocca hand cream, and the Stila Stay All Day in Beso. That’s 3 things in 6 months, and one of them came in a replacement box. It may just not be worth it anymore, or maybe I should try a different service.

2. Quit making videos
I know, I know, learning curve. But this is my 4th video and I’ve done yet another thing wrong. (I forgot that you can’t see what’s in my hands and I didn’t hold everything up for the camera.) I mean, at this point, I may have learned to a. shoot it with my point-and-shoot so that it focuses in on close-ups, b. how to add music, and c. how to add an intro, but my video skills are still severely lacking, it may just look worse for me to keep making them than it would for me to stop them. I mean, come on, admit it—you watch other unboxing videos and they’re way better.

Anyway, the review!

As always, If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or anything else, please let me know. I’ve listed links to the products on Birchbox in the video information, so you should watch it on YouTube to access that. If you have any suggestions for future videos, let me know!

What did you get in your box? Have you tried any other services? (Beauty Bar? Glossybox?) Do you recommend them?

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Samples Soliloquy #1

Soliloquy noun \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\

: a long, usually serious speech that a character in a play makes to an audience and that reveals the character’s thoughts

I decided to start a series in which I (finally) review the (copious amounts of) samples I’ve procured from Sephora (among other places), so it seemed a fitting title. 🙂

DSC_1491 Finding a good use for my empty Birchbox boxes. 😉

(In order to keep track of all my samples, I’ve started to write the names on the top in Sharpie and then using Scotch tape on top to keep it from smearing. I figure if I ever buy the full size, I can refill the sample size and use it for traveling.)

I’m going to use my first entry to discuss the collection of skincare items that, along with the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I credit for helping to clear up my face after the Liz Earle Incident. Which means, yes, I like them, and, yes, I would purchase the full-size items. (And intend to!)

I’ve read about Ren Skincare everywhere, so when I saw that Sephora had the whole line, I grabbed a few items to try. And, boy, am I glad I did.

DSC_1492 The heroes of the day.

My first pick was the Ren Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk. I specifically chose this because it’s for sensitive skin and I thought my skin was upset enough as it was. I chose this over the gel since, as I’ve said, everything I’m reading these days is saying that any kind of gel or foaming cleanser is bad for you. So I started using this after taking off my makeup with Bioderma Crealine H2O. It smells nice, it feels gentle on the skin—almost like you’re not even putting anything on your skin, which is good for upset skin—and then using the muslin cloth from the Liz Earle kit and hot water to remove it. I put the hot cloth over my face for a few seconds, and then I gently scrub wipe off.

Once things started to clear up after using the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I introduced the Ren ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. I didn’t want to overstrip or overdry my skin with the clay, so I only used that at night, and continued with the Hydra Calm in the morning. But I have to say that this feels plenty milky as well. It does smell clay-like, and I also remove it with the muslin cloth and hot water.

After that, I used the Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. This is to help brighten and clear your complexion, with acidic exfoliators. This is especially good for helping to get rid of the marks that zits leave on your face. Which I know firsthand.

Then I use the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. On top of that, I’ve been using the Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum. This helps treat the pimples and also helps with the redness and marks. (You only use the Resurfacing AHA Concentrate for 7 days at a time, so this works in the interim.) It’s amazing to wake up in the morning and literally see that your skin looks better.

(I’ve had a deluxe-sized sample of the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask for a while, so I’ve thrown that in once a week as well to help fade the red marks and discoloration. [I did not receive this one from Sephora. I don’t even remember where it came from!] Especially since Lisa Eldridge mentioned her love of lactic acid treatments for exfoliation.)

Then, rounding out the sample saviors, is Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Treatment (the oil-free one). I mentioned I was liking the Ole Henriksen Vitamin Plus moisturizer sample I got, but the Origins pulled ahead in the end. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I’ve gotten samples of this about 7 times now, since I can’t be without it. It feels so nice on the skin, it feels perfectly hydrated, and it smells amazing. I don’t get over oily from using it, and my skin has really turned around over the last few weeks. (Although I do find that if I use the acid exfoliators during the day, it does overstimulate the oil production in my skin, and I get oilier, so I don’t use it during the day.)

These are just in place of those things I was previously using. I’m still using the same toners. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go back to my old cleansing routine after the Liz Earle didn’t work out. I am, too, but I am trying to take to heart the urging not to use foaming/gel cleansers, and both of the ones I was using fell under that category. Also, this stuff has really been working and I haven’t paid for it (yet). :p So…

And now my skin is looking so much better and I’m grateful.

Next time, I’ll discuss some of the makeup samples I’ve gotten.

Have you tried any of these products? Are you sampling anything from Sephora lately?

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