Monday, April 25, 2011

REVIEW: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

Okay, if it's good enough for Madonna, Liv Tyler, Kate Hudson, and Uma Thurman, then it's definitely good enough for me! :o)

Granted, these famously beautiful-skinned celebs have the actual $160 Oxygenating Facial done at the Bliss Spa in NYC...and this mask is based off that very expensive facial treatment! So yeah...I am definitely interested.

According to the good folks over at Bliss this mask "instantly delivers a shot of oxygen, a powerhouse form of vitamin C, time-released antioxidants, and a moisture fix, to spiff up your complexion when it's looking and feeling lackluster".

This mask has Vitamin C, NaPCA (a natural moisturizer), EUK-134 (a synthetic super-antixodiant that prevents oxidative damage to your skin), and Liquid Oxygen to increase Oxygen content in your skin.

You apply a thin layer of this mask on damp skin after you have washed it and let it sit for a quick 5 minutes.... it immediately starts to bubble and froth on your skin! It tickles a little, and the frothing is so intense you can easily hear it! After about 5 minutes you rinse it off well and follow with your regular serums and moisturizers. After I rinsed it off I have noticed that I am positively GLOWING! A rosy glow takes over my cheeks and my skin feels brighter.

The glow is only temporary, maybe lasting a few hours... so when you are after a "glow" this mask is best used in the morning. Maybe apply it to your face after washing with your favorite cleanser and before brushing your teeth for a quick fix! I have also used this mask after a night of too much vino with dinner to oxygenate and refresh my complexion, with great success.

As a side note, bacteria can't thrive in oxygen-rich environments, so theoretically this mask could even be used by those with acne-prone skin types!

The bottle is 3.4oz (100mL) and costs $52 at Sephora... I have EASILY had this bottle for about 8 or 9 months now, using it occasionally (maybe 2 or 3 times a month) so it's long lasting and well worth the little splurge.

If you ever feel your skin is looking a little lack-luster and in need of a little glowing boost you will LOVE this fast-acting mask!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

REVIEW: Guerlain Abeille Royale Youth Serum

What an absolutely luxurious delight this serum has been! Often times we dismiss luxury brands as not having effective skincare, that you may just be paying for the "name" more than anything. 

This particular serum helps to dispel that notion! Yes, it costs $160 for an ounce. Yes, the gorgeous glass bottle is far larger and heavier than one would ever think an ounce of product would require. But for someone serious about anti-aging, with a little extra cash burning a hole in their pocket, this serum is a must have!

The gorgeous glass bottle has a hexagonal shape through the top of the gold lid. A golden dropper with a little embossed bee is built right into the lid, which is a thing of beauty in and of itself. The bottle is quite heavy, so keep it somewhere safe. A little knock could send it crashing to the floor! (I would cry)

The main active ingredient, Royal Jelly, is very close to the top of the ingredient list. There are also other goodies, like Hyaluronic Acid, Centella Asiatica, and various peptides. The promise from Guerlain is that tiny micro-tears in the skin cause wrinkles, and Royal Jelly helps to speed up the repair process.

What I do know is that after using this serum twice a day for just a few days my skin was positively glowing! After about 10 days there was a new firmness along my jaw line and my eyes felt brighter (I tapped this serum right up to the orbital bone). 

What most surprised me about this product is the lack of silicone. There is a Dimethicone blend in there, but it's most of the way near the bottom of the ingredient list! Often when anti-aging products claim such fast results (cough *Olay* cough) they are using loads of silicones in the creams (combined with non-scientific, in-house, perception studies...not independent clinical trials).

After about a month of using this amazing serum I have to say...I am definitely in love (wouldn't it be a shame if an expensive treatment sucked?!?). My skin glows! Hydration levels are definitely up (even though I have started occasional Retin-A...more on that another time), my moisturizer works better, and my eye area is luminized!

A little goes a long way with this product! If you are in the Toronto area, get yours from Murale at Shops at Don Mills...the girls there will hook you up with loads of great samples to make the purchase even moreso worth your while! 

If you are buying it online, click on the logo below

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

REVIEW: Biotherm Skin-Ergetic D-Tox High Recovery Night Care

Biotherm recently launched a naturally derived skin care line, free of Mineral Oils, petro-chemicals, artificial fragrances, silicones, dyes, parabens, etc. The range of products include the serum (read that review here), an anti-oxidant day cream (read that review here) and this night cream.

The tag line in Biotherm's advertising, which you may have seen in countless magazines, is "So signs of Fatigue don't turn into Signs of Aging". With this night cream, the good folks over at Biotherm have put together a detoxifying blend of Tea Catechins, Buckwheat extract, Ruscus, Soy Protein and Cranberry extract so that SkinErgetic can help to activate toxin elimination and stimulate micro-circulation. 

Now I can't actually attest to the detoxification part, but I do know that when I used this moisturizer my skin felt soft and dewy. It absorbed really well, wasn't greasy, and had a fantastic (naturally derived) fragrance. My skin is slightly on the drier side and this moisturizer was just the tiniest bit too light. If I layered any one of my many serums underneath it, it felt like the perfect bit of moisture without overdoing it. 

I used this moisturizer every night while on our Dominican family vacation, and my face is the only part of me that didn't flake or peel...even after we returned home! Coincidence?

At $51 for a 50mL (1.7oz) glass jar, this is a well priced moisturizer, especially for those of us looking to limit our exposure to chemical laden cosmetic and skin-care products! I love it and I think you will too!

Click on the Sephora Banner below to buy it!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

REVIEW: Mylana's Cold-Process Soap on Etsy

I first "met" Clare, the owner of in the Teams Forum at Etsy where we are both members of "April's Army", a group of Etsians who really appreciate the humor of April Winchell, the creator of the hilarious Regretsy website.

Clare sells both Melt & Pour soaps and Cold Process Soaps, amongst other crafts. Melt & Pour soap bases are glycerin-based soaps that are purchased ready for additives, color and scents to be added to the melted soap before it is poured into a mold. Cold Process soaps are made from scratch where oil mixtures are combined with a water/lye mixture that causes a chemical reaction where the final product, after it has cured from 4-8 weeks, is a natural soap that is LOADED with natural glycerin, a powerful moisturizer. This is the way soap had been made for hundreds of years, and sufferers of psoriasis and eczema have long spoken for it's efficacy and gentleness!

One thing I have noticed is that I don't feel that uncomfortably tight and dry skin after I come out of the shower if I don't immediately moisturize. You know that feeling you get with conventional store-bought soaps and body washes? Your skin feels stripped and parched... Mylana's Cold Process soaps don't leave me feeling like that!

The soaps from Mylana are simply amazing! The bars are hard and last a long time, the fragrance selection is varied and the soap will fragrance your bathroom beautifully, the lather is so thick you could even shave with it, and the soaps are so gentle you could even wash your face with it (and I have!!!).

My favorite scent is the Lemon Maraschino scent, a sweet and slightly nutty fragrance! The Mint is beautiful because you can even see the flecks of peppermint in the soap! The Citrus Basil is pretty with yellow and green swirls in the soap and the scent is perfect for beside the kitchen sink for your hands!

With both reasonable soap prices and shipping prices, I highly recommend you try out a variety of Mylana's Cold Process soaps today!

Friday, April 15, 2011

REVIEW: Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask

The words "Instant" and "anti-aging" used together always make me wary about the product in question. Because I know nothing works instantly, there must be a cocktail of silicones at the very top of the ingredient list. Silicones (like the stuff found in primers) bend the light to create an illusion of perfection. But when you wash the silicone-laden offender off your face, guess what?!? Your wrinkles are still there!

Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was NOT A DROP of silicones in this treatment mask. Imagine my jaw hitting the ground when I felt the silky, sumptuous, thick-yet-lightweight, almost-silicone-like texture of this mask...and had to read the ingredient list one more time to make sure.

There are no silicones in this mask.

Right near the very top of the list you will find Sake, followed closely by Black Tea extract, Litchi extract, plant extracts, and Hyaluronic Acid, among other goodies. When you put this mask on, you will instantly feel a cool and refreshing tingle. The texture is hard to describe. It is light as air with a whipped solid texture, not creamy or greasy, but almost a semi-dense soufflé feel. I put a thin layer of this on and relax for 10 minutes. You have to resist the urge to keep rubbing it in! The texture is just so unique you will want to keep massaging!

As soon as you rinse it off you feel the difference in the texture of your skin. It feel plumped, soothed, and smooth. I have noticed I need a little less of my moisturizer after using this mask, if I overdo it I definitely look shiny! It definitely moisturizer and it definitely perfects!

This mask is about $100 for a 3.3oz (100mL) jar, which will last you at least 3 months if you are doing 2 or 3 masks a week.

A FANTASTIC treatment for those prone to dryness, dehydration or dullness

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