Tag: skin

Review: By Terry Cover-Expert Foundation

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I mentioned in passing that I’ve been trying out different foundations to become my new every day base, and By Terry Cover-Expert Foundation is definitely the front runner.

By Terry Cover-Expert Foundation (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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Wishlist Wednesday #17 – Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder

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In this week’s Wishlist Wednesday, the item is not so much coveted yet unaffordable as it is coveted and somewhat frightening and baffling.

One of the banes of my existence is my chipmunk face. My cheeks go out and get rounder heading towards my jaw, making my cheekbones disappear. (I guess that at least I know I could fend off starving by storing acorns in there.)

I keep reading about contouring products that are supposed to help people like me carve out some cheekbones. Chief among them is Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium. (So I guess technically this week I’m wishing for cheekbones?)

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder in Medium
Yes…but how do you use it?!?!

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Live on the edge: FOTD with Lady Danger by MAC

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P.S. See how much better my skin is looking?!

MAC Lady Danger lipstick. You knew I was going to break down and buy it, right? Well, of course. It’s such a standout color, I think, even more vibrant and attention catching than red. But I have a gorgeous look for you to incorporate it into your everyday makeup wardrobe.

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

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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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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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New Holy Grail product alert: Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil

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.

1258669_fpx 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?

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Review: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish – Unluckiest of the lucky ones

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.

Excited? 😉

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.

DSC_1289It’s just such a lovely system. Look at it.

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Mini haul: Shopping Sephora’s VIB 20% off sale

Yes, you read that correctly. I bought something. (I haven’t been as good, in general, as I’ve made myself out to be, anyway. :p But I have been so restrained, I don’t know where it’s come from.) Well, with 20% off and store credit, how could I not get something?!

The problem was really more what not to get. There are so many things in my “loves,” and it’s the best time to buy.

But I was good. I was so good. I only bought 2 things that I actually needed.

DSC_1303I mean, really, I ONLY BOUGHT TWO THINGS.

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