I know. It happened ages ago. But I still wanted to share what I picked up in the Sephora VIB sale. Because of reasons.
I know. It happened ages ago. But I still wanted to share what I picked up in the Sephora VIB sale. Because of reasons.
Some of you have been waiting for this, some of you haven’t, but here goes nothing. It’s taken me this long to post about my Paris haul because of all the things that I had to photograph! And the weather hasn’t been that cooperative. (I need to get some lighting!!)
You may have seen my “overview” on Instagram, but here we go in detail… (more…)
Update 4/9/14: Innarah amazingly sent me full-sized versions of the other items, so I updated the photos. They also sent a product I hadn’t tried before, so I’ll review that separately.
When last we talked about my skin, it was in excellent condition. I must have jinxed it, because shortly after writing that, I started to notice weird, bumpy pimples springing out on my upper cheeks. And a field of zits broke out on my chin and refused to go away (and they weren’t even hormonally induced!). So when someone from Innarah skin care reached out to me about trying some of their products, I knew that I had nothing to lose! (Even though I just keep thinking of Inara!!)
I know that it was just a fluke of proximity, but I received the products the day after they were mailed out. That’s unheard of. And inclined me to feel favorably towards them. BUT, would they live up to these favorable feels?
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.
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.
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?
Enjoyed this post? You’ll enjoy following me on Bloglovin’ even more! 😉
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.
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. 🙂
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.
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?
I don’t say things like this lightly. If something becomes a Holy Grail product for me, it’s because it’s been tried and true and complete surpassed any expectations I may have had. And I have to try something out for a while, at least 2 weeks, before I can render any verdict on a product.
No one was more surprised than I was. My skin was a mess after my Liz Earle experience, and I needed something to help with the breakouts. Did I ever in my life think that for my oily, acne-prone that thing would be…an oil?!
In a word, no.
And then you walked into my life.
(Please forgive the non-original photography. My work schedule is kicking my ass.)
I don’t even remember how I came across the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil as an option for treating a breakout, but I’m so glad I did.
Naturally, I was skeptical, so a sample was procured from Sephora. (Not easily, either! Despite it being listed as being in stock in many stores, I had to go to three on the list before I found it!) I took it home and used it at night.
And woke up and saw a NOTICEABLE improvement in my poor, broken out skin. FROM AN OIL. When everything else had failed to make a dent. So let’s just say, I went back out and quickly procured another sample from Sephora.
Clarins call this a purifying treatment oil, and they say it hydrates, tones and balances oily skin types. I don’t know how an oil can do that, but it’s true, it does. Its blend of Rosewood, Geranium and Lotus extracts are supposed to tighten pores and refine the skin texture, while Hazelnut Oil softens, soothes and seals in moisture to minimize the appearance of fine lines. (Or so they say. We’ll see if I keep looking this young. 😉 )
It does have a strong smell, that I’ve read some people don’t like, but I quite do like the scent.
I’ve been using it since then and my skin has continued to improve. I even dab a tiny bit on just my pimples in the morning to keep up the healing (but I’d be afraid to have the oil all over my face…although, it might be okay. One of you try it, first. 😉 ).
And, as the biggest mark of my esteem, I have actually invested in purchasing it. (Yes! I bought something! But I had a discount voucher. So there.)
So Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil officially has the SheDreamsInPerfectFrench stamp of approval! And if you’re having skin problems, I highly recommend it.
Have you tried this? What did you think?
I know that it’s been a while since I received the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit that I won through Birchbloggers. You may or may not have been wondering about my review. Well, it’s finally ready.
Before I go any further, I do need to say that I feel truly thankful (heh, get it?) for having won this to try. It’s very hard writing a blog when you can’t afford new products to review. That’s probably why I took it as far as I did to really be able to give you a fair assessment.
The Liz Earle cleansing system works in two parts. The first step is the cream cleanser. Free from mineral oil, it contains naturally active ingredients, including eucalyptus and cocoa butter. It’s supposed to be a gentle cleanser, suited to all skin types, that still removes even the most stubborn of makeup. The second step is polishing with the muslin cloth. A gentle way to exfoliate your skin, it makes for a really lovely regimen.
Everything I’ve been reading about skin care lately has said to use cream-based cleansers, even if you have oily skin. Any cleanser that foams is supposed to be the devil. So this system definitely fits the bill.
Reviewing a cult product like this, one that has won over 90 beauty awards, one that so many people consider a holy grail product, you feel a certain burden of responsibility.
It’s just such a lovely system. Look at it.