I know you ladies must think I’m jaded now that I get free goodies sent to me from the publicists. But let’s be realistic here… An addict is an addict. Do you honestly think I will ever get to a point where I look at my room (that’s right room) full of beauty products and say to myself, “I have enough?” Please. As a true beauty addict I simply cannot walk past a Sephora, apothecary or makeup counter without making a purchase. Sure, I can rationalize “it’s for my job” but we all know that if I was in a completely different profession I would be buying the same amount of products (actually I would be buying more because I wouldn’t be getting any freebies).
I blame my latest beauty binge on my friend Cat. She wanted to introduce me to her friend Connie McGrath, founder of Veer & Wander, a salon / apothecary in San Francisco. As soon as we walked in the door of the industrial chic apothecary, I knew I was in trouble. It reminded me of one of my former problem
binge spots — Woodley & Bunny — a Willy Wonka of an apothecary carrying independent brands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Woodley & Bunny is dangerously located 2 blocks from the subway and I would ALWAYS find myself “stopping in” to see if they had anything new, even though my loft was in the opposite direction. Now that I’m in California I thought I would be safe from such temptation. Right…
We all know I have sensitive drama queen skin (mainly because I won’t shut up about it) which means most anti-agers are strictly off limits. You can imagine my elation when I heard one of my favorite brands, First Aid Beauty (FAB), is launching a line of anti-aging products specifically for sensitive skin called FAB Dual Repair. My elation hit a ridiculous level (like chanting OHMYGOD OHMYGOD over and over again until my husband demanded to hear the news) when I found out they wanted me to be a FAB Dual Repair Blogger Ambassador, representing their brand and their new product line. Now, you should know I’ve had the chance to work with brands prior to this but I was never interested because I wasn’t passionate about the brands (which means this was my first OHMYGOD OHMYGOD since I was made a finalist in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards). What got me about this opportunity was that I knew I would have zero problem raving about the FAB products since I’ve been doing it since the inception of my blog…
My review of First Aid Beauty’s 5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30 was my second blog post in the history of this blog and the very first product review. This means that among my piles and drawers (and let’s face it closets) full of beauty products, I was more passionate about this face cream than any other product. That’s love I tell ya. I declared it “the soul mate for my sensitive skin” and that it was one of the very few beauty products I would never cheat on (though I’m cheating on it now with the FAB Dual Repair, but that doesn’t really count since I stayed in the family. Note: this rule does not apply with husbands, only skincare).janna Tags Anti-Ager, Anti-aging, Anti-Redness, FAB, First Aid Beauty, Sensitive Skin, Sephora
Yes, you read the headline correctly. My latest obsession is made by the pink cadillac-cavalry “bringing makeup parties home to the housewives” Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Now, don’t be a snob (okay fine I was until I was reintroduced to the brand) and keep an open mind. Good skincare is simply good skincare and the Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Eye Renewal Cream ($40) made me throw the rest of my eye creams in the beauty cabinet like little Velveteen Rabbits. I’m in love with the creamy, non-sticky nor greasy texture (which makes applying makeup so much easier) and it gives me an instant tightening and brightening effect. The eye cream comes in a tube with a metal-tip applicator which soothes my swollen eyes and encourages micro-stimulation. With active ingredients like plant stem cells (firms), peptides (repairs), and a hyaluronic acid booster (hydrates) this eye cream is a multi-tasking powerhouse.
Okay, I know I’m sounding like I’m ready to start driving around town in a pink caddy going door-to-door, but if the rest of Mary Kay’s collection is this good, well ya never know. I may wear all black now, but whose to say I wouldn’t rock a pink polyester suit?Posted by janna Tags Anti-Ager, Eye Cream, Mary Kay, Puffy Eyes
We all know I’m spoiled… I get tons of products sent to me by publicists for consideration. I test them all — hating some, liking others, and coveting a select few. When I say “covet” we’re talking about products that will permanently become part of my personal regimen and be re-bought again and again. People always ask me, “What are your favorite products?” Here’s a good place to start:
1. Kate Somerville ‘Dermal Quench Liquid Lift’ Advanced Wrinkle Treatment ($95): I’m a huge fan of in-spa oxygen facials and this treatment seems to mimic the instant smoothing effects of an oxygen facial and still manages to reduce redness and fine lines over-time. I had two consistent dry patches on my cheeks that were softer after Day 1. It’s also perfect for pre-event regimens since it has temporary wrinkle-relaxing PFC- carriers to relax facial muscles. Read my original review here.janna Tags Anti-Ager, Anti-Redness, Delicious Scents, Eyeliner, Kate Somerville, MAKE UP FOR EVER, Nest Fragrance, Sensitive Skin
As a former beauty publicist (okay it was almost fifteen ago, but it still counts) I’m usually pretty cynical when it comes to “miracle” products. Every new skincare product seems to have a “revolutionary” ingredient and/or formula that will “change the face of anti-aging forever.” I usually chock this up to good PR writing, and then try the product hoping for some results but not expecting miracles. I took this jaded attitude when I read about Institut Esthederm’s E.V.E. “Essential Vital Elements” Serum Source ($129):
Rather than creating a serum full of ingredients already know to be anti-aging Institut Esthederm has focused on adding substances found in the skin tissue itself. This allows the skin to naturally regenerate itself with these essential, vital elements (E.V.E) - including 21 amino acids, 6 minerals salts, 6 trace elements, 9 vitamins, 3 carbohydrates, 5 nucleopeptides and 1 peptide.
Do I believe me skin was actually regenerated? Well… that may be a little too True Blood for me to digest, but I can say after the first application of the serum my skin’s texture was visibly more refined (as if I had just exfoliated), less redness, and physically felt tighter. Even though I’m in love with the instant results, the E.V.E. serum is meant to be used only as a “21 day cure” for almost every skin ailment from post-acne scars to angry sensitive skin prone to redness (my affliction).
You pat the serum on to cleansed, toned skin and allow it dry (a couple minutes). Then, apply moisturizer and SPF as usual. Even under all my various serums and creams that followed the EVE Serum Source, my skin was noticeably brighter and smoother. In fact, I didn’t have to apply highlighter above my cheekbones since the serum gave me a highlighted glow!
I’m anxious to see what my skin looks like on day 21 (I’m only on day 3), and I’m not going to lie to you, the little Sookie in me is hoping for some real regeneration action. ;-)
This blog post contains press samples sent to Beauty Binge by a public relations representative. The Blog and its Author do not provide any guarantee of review, nor whether a review will be positive or negative. The Blog does not accept financial compensation for product reviews.
Okay, I know preventative serums aren’t the sexiest of Sunday Splurges, but even I need to be practical sometimes and the Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Gel ($152) is a staple in my morning skin routine. I found out about Skinceuticals in my early 20s when I was a PR peon at a boutique firm who represented the brand. Through my work I was able to learn a lot about the science behind the products and its founding scientist Dr. Sheldon Pinnell. At the time, Skinceuticals was just starting out and they only had 3 or 4 products in the line, but it didn’t matter. All anyone wanted to talk about was their topical vitamin C serum. We didn’t have to pitch the beauty editors to try the serum, their assistants were calling us for refills. Several studies showed that topical vitamin C can prevent photo-aging and help correct inflamed skin, and guess what, Dr. Pinnell is the guy who discovered it.
In the years since the golden days of my early twenties, Dr. Pinnell and team discovered a way to combine vitamin C with ferulic acid and phloretin to create a powerhouse of protectors warding off the vicious agers of mass destruction. Full disclosure, my skin never got along with Skinceuticals serums until they came out with the Phloretin CF Gel . Back in my peon days of organizing the beauty closet I tried Skinceuticals Serum 15, which at the time was 15% L-ascorbic acid serum and a little too much firepower for my wussy ass sensitive skin. Then a few years ago I tried C E Ferulic, thinking that since they added vitamin E it would obviously work on my skin now (E is supposed to be healing, right?). Big mistake. The E makes the C super-potent. My skin didn’t speak to me for weeks.janna Tags Anti-Ager, Anti-aging, Anti-Redness, Sensitive Skin, Serum, SkinCeuticals, Sunday Splurge
Today’s Sunday Splurge, Kate Somerville ‘DermalQuench Liquid Lift’, retails for $95. I know $95 is pretty on par with quality serums, but I decided to make the DermaQuench Liquid Lift a Sunday Splurge because I went through the bottle so quickly! At this rate I will have to get a new bottle once every 1-2 months, though it’s a small price to pay for the results.
For those of you unfamiliar with Kate Somerville, she’s esthetician to the stars (the likes of Jessica Alba and Demi Moore) and has a gorgeous, multilevel spa in LA. Her spa is famous for their Dermal Quench Oxygen Treatment, an intense hydrating facial using pressurized oxygen to deliver the potent ingredients. Somerville found a way to convert her famous facial into an at-home treatment with the DermaQuench Liquid Lift.
I am in love with the consistency and delivery. It starts off with blast of foamy white liquid. It reminds me of hair mousse when I would forget to shake the bottle. The difference is this foamy white liquid transforms before your eyes – it starts to bubble like a carbonated beverage with the bubbles getting bigger and bigger. Once the bubbles stop growing, I massage the serum into my skin. It smells faintly of freshly cut lavender and spreads like a light non-sticky serum. I usually don’t have a reaction to it, though if my skin is extra angry in general, then I’ll feel a tingle for a few minutes. That’s it. Read the rest of this entry »Posted by janna Tags Anti-Ager, Anti-Redness, Kate Somerville, Sensitive Skin, Serum