Tags Posts tagged with "anti aging"

anti aging

Mother’s day is May 11th and  Silk’n Home Skinovations is offering  you and your mom the opportunity to pamper and treat yourself with with the perfect beauty gift.  Silkn.com will run a promo from today, April 28th,   to May 11th. 

Silkn Devices


From left to right:

FaceFX:  Is  at-home anti-aging device that uses a combination of fractional red light therapy and deep thermal heating to stimulate collagen production and achieve long-term radiant skin.

Silk’n Blue: Uses dual energy system to kill acne-causing bacteria while dehydrates oil-producing glands to prevent future breakouts.

Silk’n Pedi –  Is a battery-operated tool that uses two rollers to remove dry callused skin.  (If you neglected your feet during winter, sandal season will be upon us in no time and this would be perfect to get and keep your feet in check.)

Use code LOVEMOM at checkout  and save 20%…both you and mom can have clear, radiant skin right in time for summer.  

Exclusions: Flash&Go, Flash&Go Luxx and Long Life Cartridge are excluded from the sale.

Find  @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterestFacebook and her blog.


I’m certain you’re familiar with the old saying: “save the best for last”. Well, that’s sort of the case with my write up of my Orlane Paris experience. While recently in Paris on a little Parisian Beauty Tour, I had the pleasure of not only experiencing a facial treatment at the Maison de la Beauté Orlane, but I also had the opportunity to meet with the Orlane senior team, go behind the scenes and truly get to know the brand.

Me & Orlane Senior Team
With Orlane’s Senior Team

As my faithful followers know, I truly pride myself on honest skin care reviews based on my personal experience with incorporating products in my daily real life. So back to my earlier statement about “saving the best for last”…After leaving Paris, the lovely team at Orlane was kind enough to send me off with several of their most popular products.

Me at Orlane
At Orlane Headquarters in Paris

Before writing about my the product experience, I always feel compelled to dedicate the recommenced about of time before sharing my thoughts. With Orlane, I absolutely wanted to make sure I spent the appropriate amount of time using the products before sharing my thoughts. The price tag is definitely a luxe investment, so again, I needed to give the products my undivided attention for at least 8-10 weeks. And in this case, my time investment really paid off — I saved the best for last!

But first a little background — Orlane is a family owned group, with a strong botanical tradition enhanced with pharmaceutical grade formulations. Truly a haute Parisian beauty brand, Orlane offers prestige, anti aging products for the high demanding skincare needs of extremely discerning customers. The brand’s three pillars are: Anti-aging, Prestige and Institute.

Vintage Orlane
Vintage Orlane

During my visit I learned that Orlane was the first brand to use fresh royal jelly, an ingredient well known for its anti-aging properties. Creme Royale, Orlane’s hero face cream contains fresh royal jelly and 24k gold to help regulate melanin. When I learned that Creme Royale is known for its restorative properties and ability to “bring your skin back to life”, well — I just HAD to try it.

I must admit, overall, my skin is in pretty good shape…I mean, I’m ThisThatBeauty — I know things;) However, over the last year or so, I have started noticing a creeping smile line that seems to intensify with age. And since I clearly do not intend to stop smiling, this pesky little developing smile line has been my litmus test for product trials. Given Creme Royale’s active antioxidant formulation and skin-building properties, I was really hopeful that I would see some improvement in my smile line.

Orlane Creme Royale

It’s been over 10 weeks of testing Orlane Creme Royale and I absolutely see improvement in my smile line. On the right side, the line is not as deep…and on the left side, my smile line is practically gone. When I wear foundation, after a few minutes I would start to notice the settling of foundation into my little smile line. After 10 weeks with Orlane Creme Royale, I don’t get the settling of foundation anymore…because my smile is is significantly re-plumped.

Part of why I keep saying that I “saved the best for last” is because it took weeks of staying committed to Orlane Creme Royale to actually see results. The product (and the price tag) is a commitment. While the cream is proving to be completely effective at addressing my number one pre-mature aging concern, it doesn’t work overnight…and that’s O.K….you just need to stay the course. It’s worth it.

My plan is to continue using Orlane Creme Royale until I reach the end of the jar. Then, the real decision making happens. Do I make the investment and purchase another jar? Well, I have to tell you, while Orlane Creme Royale is quite quite expensive, it’s still way less than Botox or fillers. And I have always said — I will avoid the needle for as long as humanly possible. As a card carrying Beauty Girl, I pride myself on seeking out needle-less options to maintaining my youthful appearance. So when you look at the cost of Orlane Creme Royale from that point of view, it’s actually quite affordable.

In a nutshell, does Orlane Creme Royale work? Absolutely yes! Is it work the luxe price tag? Well, that depends on where you are in your anti-aging skincare routine. Are you *this* close to considering the needle? Do your developing lines and creases drive you bananas? If the answer is yes, then Orlane Creme Royale isn’t as pricey as you think. Because let’s face it — what’s good skin really worth? I think we all know the answer to that questions. It’s priceless!


Read all about my Beauty Tour of Paris. Learn about my life changing hair experience with Leonor Greyl Paris. Discover Patyka, a lovely French organic skin care line. Read up on Talika, a solutions oriented, high performing line of products for face and body.

For an intimate look  into my world and my time in Paris, peruse my Instagram feed, and search using #TTBinParis

Follow my Paris videos on Vine (@ThisThatBeauty)

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By a show of hands, who’s enamored with French beauty? Everyone, right?

I absolutely crave the rituals and beauty secrets of French women. There’s just something about the French beauty aesthetic that I cannot get enough of…the mood is chic & understated, yet undeniably present. For years I’ve dabbled in French beauty products ranging from creams and treatments serums, to haircare and color cosmetics.

with Jean Patou Parfumer

I recently had the opportunity to visit Paris and spend intimate time behind-the-scenes with five incredible French brands: Orlane, Leonor Greyl, Jean Patou, Patyka, and Talika.


The thought of this rare experience immediately appealed to me. While pretty colors and lovely packaging send my heart sailing, my expertise as a Beauty Girl is deeply rooting in gaining a deeper understanding of brand heritage, product ingredients, formulation, efficacy, delivery systems, etc.

Orlane Headquaters

So, when offered the chance to travel to Paris and meet with the owners and R&D professionals behind five of Paris’ most successful brands, well — only an act of God could have prevented me from going!

Over the next few weeks, I will share my Parisian Beauty Tour with you:

– You’ll learn all about the life changing Leonor Greyl hair treatment and treatment technique that has forever changed how I care for my hair…I’ll share the products used (lucky you — they’re available in the US) and insider tips on how to get the results of your life.

– I’ll share how I fell in love with fragrance house Jean Patou.

– As a new mom (to be!), I’m really getting into products that are both organic and effective – key word: effective! So learning about Patyka was an absolute pleasure…can’t wait to tell you more about the line and the products with which I’m having tremendous success.

– Beauty innovation gets me going…and, oh the things I learned while visiting with Talika! Stay tuned…

House of Orlane was truly a unique and special experience. During my trip I took lots of video of rarely seen archives and original product packaging. And since my return three weeks ago, I’ve been faithfully using Orlane’s #1 elixir and cream…can’t wait to share more!

Stay plugged in more, more more!

For a look into my world and my time in Paris, peruse my Instagram feed, and search using #TTBinParis

Follow my Paris videos on Vine (@ThisThatBeauty)

Chat soon!

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When it comes to new beauty, you know me — game on! I mean. . . is my blog’s tagline not, “Benefit from my Obsession?” I joyfully and tirelessly sift through pretty packaging and lofty claims, all to uncover the best new beauty that you truly need to know.

Over the years I’ve blogged about my obsession with beauty infomercials. If I flip through the channels and come across one – it’s on! I seriously have a thing for these scripted 30-minute programs that are designed to pique, capture, and hold your interest…and then ultimately compel you to buy! Maybe it’s the beauty girl in me or maybe it’s because I secretly long for a career as a shopping network host (true story!). . . but whatever the reason, I recently found myself mesmerized by Meaningful Beauty by Cindy Crawford.

Meaningful Beauty Crème de Sérum: “Crème de la crème treatment takes a triple approach to combating the signs of aging with three powerful anti-aging ingredients: superantioxidant melon complex, anti-aging peptides and hyaluronic acid. “

For starters, clearly Cindy Crawford knows a thing or two about aging gracefully. She’s gorgeous! And not in the my-forefead-no-longer-moves sort of way. She really appears to take good care of her skin. My theory is that lots of preventative treatment in her 20’s has a great deal to do with the incredible skin she’s enjoying in her 40’s. Oh, so that’s where Meaningful Beauty comes in — it’s Cindy’s breakthrough secret for younger looking skin. Developed with Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh, Anti-Aging Specialist, Meaningful Beauty is a comprehensive a skin care system that’s designed to moisturize, protect, hydrate, and rejuvenate. The formula lynchpin? A super anti-oxidant derived from a rare melon found in the South of France. What’s so incredible about this particular melon, you ask? Well, apparently, it decays at a much slower rate than traditional melon. Hmm. . .

Meaningful Beauty Skin Brightening Décolleté and Neck Treatment SPF 15
Firming Chest & Neck Crème: “Helps to firm, smooth and revitalize the often neglected chest and neck area. This new, advanced formula includes a skin brightening complex designed to diminish the appearance of age spots and SPF 15 to help protect skin against future damage.”

Well color me intrigued! For the next 30-days I’m going to give Meaningful Beauty a whirl. So follow along as I delve into the line and put the claims to the test. The complete line includes (I have placed an asterisk next to the products that I’m jonesing to try):

Skin Softening Cleanser

Antioxidant Day Crème SPF 20 UVA/UVB*

Crème de Sérum

Skin Brightening Décolleté and Neck Treatment SPF 15 *

Lifting Eye Crème–Advanced Formula*

Glowing Serum

Wrinkle Smoothing Capsules – Advanced Formula

Also for 30-days, to truly mimic the life of Cindy Crawford, who believes that “living a healthy life and staying young and beautiful is half about your skincare/beauty regimen and half about how you actually live your life.” (Amen, sister!), I’ll be engaging in lots of “meaningful” activities and tagging them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as #CindyCrawfordYoung and @MeaningfulBty. My meaningful activities might include dinner with a dear friend in need of a break, volunteering down the shore post-Sandy, or treating my mom to a mani/pedi. You’ll just have to follow along to see!

So let’s go. Here’s to the next 30-days with Meaningful Beauty! Will I emerge a dead-wringer for Cindy Crawford? Probably not, but hey – a girl can dream. Will I emerge with improved skin? Well, I certainly hope so.

Be sure to follow me on my social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Viddy) @ThisThatBeauty. Remember the hashtag #CindyCrawfordYoung. And also follow Meaningful Beauty at @MeaningfulBty.

What if I told you that playing in mud is great for your skin? You would probably say you’ve heard that before and that you don’t have time to  regularly play in mud . Well, fear not, Neydharting Moor has bottled up the best of what mud offers to deliver all the amazing benefits without any of the mess or inconvenience.

Moor mud  is not actually mud, it is a water soluble composite called peat that forms over thousands of years and  is made up of hundreds of botanicals and other organic matter that form in swampy or wetland conditions where there is very low flow of oxygen… hence a very low rate of decomposition. Moor mud, or peat, is  rich in plant hormones, bio-minerals, trace-elements, vitamins, amino and fatty acids.

Neydharting Moor, found in Austria, is the source of the peat used in its namesake products. Neydharting Moor is rich in anti-aging botanicals, herbs and vitamins that have been recognized over centuries for their ability to calm, soothe, balance and clarify the skin. Proprietary to the Peat and Peat Water of the Neydharting Moor in Austria, Neydharting Moor Skin & Body Care products are formulated with a unique blend of ingredients taken from the Moor.

“The product line is used during treatments at Austria’s world-famous Moorbad Neydharting Clinic, where treatments at this facility often have a two-year wait period. Neydharting Moor Skin and Body Care products are available exclusively from www.moorskincare.com and internationally in Austria and South Africa. The spa treatments are also available at Canyon Ranch.”

Here is a list of the products available:
The Body Line

Intense Body Cream – Soothing and moisturizing body cream to deeply nourish and protect dry, sensitive skin.

The Essential Line

Revitalizing Toner – An invigorating toner made with 90% Neydharting Peat Water to refresh and revitalize the skin.
Intense Hydration Cream AM – A hydrating daytime moisturizer that firms and restores elasticity.

The Advanced Line

Ageless Eye Cream – A delicate eye cream infused with age-defying antioxidants to minimize wrinkles and reduce puffiness
Intense Regenerating Serum – A potent antioxidant cream-gel to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while firming the skin.
Repair & Renewal Cream – A dynamic peptides treatment that visibly improves the appearance of skin.
The Balm – Face & Body – A moisturizing balm for dry, irritated or sensitive skin.

I’ll be dedicating a whole month to this line starting in a few weeks.  With so many hydrating benefits, I think late fall into winter is a perfect time to try these products.  Follow me on Twitter and Instagram (ChristeneCarr) to see my results as they happen.

For more on  Neydharting Moor Skin & Body Care products visit the company’s website.

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The more I write about beauty and beauty products the more obsessed I get about anti-aging products.  When I talk about anti aging I’m not talking about things to prevent me from aging (as if those products exist) but more so products that will aide in gracefully aging.  Nobody, I mean nobody wants sagging, super wrinkly skin, not matter how old.  With that said, I am all about products that slow down that sagging and wrinkling process (I can sag and wrinkle in the casket.)



AMOREPACIFIC TIME RESPONSE SKIN RENEWAL GEL CREME claims to slow down and reverse skin aging on a genetic level. Color me excited!

AMOREPACIFIC partnered with Dr. David Weitz Research Group at Harvard University to design a new skincare delivery system that penetrates the skin’s surface to deliver anti-aging ingredients into the deepest layers of the skin for a 24-hour release period. The delivery system is everything in this product! There are 63 actives in this gel creme and were chosen to help calm, soothe and smooth skin while simultaneously correcting, protecting and restoring the skin to its optimal state of firmness and hydration. According to the manufacturers, AMOREPACIFIC TIME RESPONSE SKIN RENEWAL GEL CREME radically renews, restores and reverses all signs of skin aging, from dynamic lines and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation and sagging skin. Yes!

Check the Benefits:

  • Restores collagen production improving skin density, volume and resilience while reducing lines, wrinkles and sagging
  • Regulates melanin production, reducing hyperpigmentation, improving skin clarity and discoloration
  • Controls moisture levels throughout all layers of the skin resulting in smooth, supple skin Improves cellular regeneration and turnover while preventing cell breakdown for a youthful complexion
  • Increases natural antioxidant production to prevent premature skin aging while protecting against free radical damage
  • Stimulates hyaluronic acid production to significantly increase moisture levels in the skin Improves skin’s circulation for enhanced product performance and results
  • Reduces inflammation to improve skin clarity and functioning
  • Restores natural barrier function to prevent excess moisture loss
  • Unique 24-hour time-release formula stimulates skin functions for longer lasting benefits
Check out the active ingredients:
ThisThatbeauty Previews: AMOREPACIFIC TIME RESPONSE SKIN RENEWAL GEL CREMETIME RESPONSE Skin Renewal Gel Creme retails for $450 and is available Spring/Summer 2012 at Select Neiman Marcus stores (888.888.4757 and www.neimanmarcus.com) Bergdorf Goodman (212.872.2770 and www.bergdorfgoodman.com) and  AMOREPACIFIC Beauty Gallery and Spa in New York City, 212.966.0400
This post is written by @ChristeneCarr

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How often do you evaluate your skin care routine? I mean, really critically analyze the needs of your skin against the efficacy of your products. Perhaps the serum you’re using is great for managing acne, but that was five years ago and suddenly you’ve noticed tiny fine lines on your forehead. Or, perhaps your usual daily moisturizer feels great and applies well, but when stacked against current technology and advanced delivery systems, you realize that in addition to increasing hydration, maybe there are creams on the market that also eradicate wrinkles, fight hyperpigmentation, and leave a luminous finish.

I say all of this to say: Skin beyond the age of 20ish regularly goes through a laundry list of changes. It’s up to you to make sure that the products you apply topically are the cream (pun intended) of the crop and best suited for skin’s changing needs.

Does your skin suffer from diminished vitality? Is it not as plump, smooth, and supple as it used to be? In just four weeks, ANEW Genics Treatment Cream (patented with YouthGenTM Technology – inspired by genetic research on human longevity) is a fairly recent skin care breakthrough that promises to do a Cher (“turn back time”) in as little as four weeks. By boosting specific skin proteins, ANEW Genics Treatment Cream stimulates skin’s Youth Gene and triggers younger acting skin. Momma ThisThatBeauty has been enjoying the benefits ever since I gave her a jar about a month ago. Recently, I could not help but marvel over mom’s much improved 58-year old skin…Isn’t she pretty?!

Most women first reach for an eye cream somewhere around early 20’s…usually due to the effects of dryness, puffiness, or dark circles. However, as skin matures, the prevention of fine lines, wrinkles and creasing is a primary concern. Newly launched, SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream smooths the early signs of aging at the corners of eyes and underneath.

The signature complex, a proprietary blend of Pitera™, Oli-Vityl (anti-oxidant protection), Signaline, and concentrated levels of Niacinamide, work in concert to reduce dull appearance, increase hydration, and firm the look of crepe-y skin. SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream is serious treatment for eyes and an appropriate next step option for those of us in search of an eye cream that does more…much more! (ME!!)

It all sounds so sci-fi…A renewable energy project, turned anti-aging discovery is the real life true story inception of Algenist. Picture it: A team of San Francisco based biotechnology scientists were hard at work developing microalgae-based renewable energy solutions when they uncovered “alguronic acid”, a powerful compound connected to cell regeneration. When tested in clinical trials, younger-looking resulted…in as little as 10 days. Yes, 10 days! Now, who doesn’t have 10 days to put the claim to the test?

Ladies, start your engines…I mean, er, start your infrared LED light. Sure, topicals are effective…but why not work deeper? LightStim helps create collagen (the secret to plump, line-free skin) and improve skin’s elasticity by emitting pain-free amber and red infrared LED light. The wavelengths energize skin’s youth cells and promote radiant, brilliant complexion. The handheld, at-home device is a must add to your routine. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


Give your skin the attention it deserves. Take a step back. Look in the mirror. Survey your skin. Now, survey your medicine cabinet? Are you well-equipped to handle the skin care challenges before you? If not, re-read this blog post and compile your shopping list. Thank me later!

I am incredibly passionate about skincare. Just take a peek at the innards of my medicine cabinet…. obsess much?

Around age 21, which marked the ceremonious start of my battle against adult acne, I embraced skincare lotions and potions with open arms. I have always taken great pride in the care/management of my skin. After all, skin is the body’s largest organ. While many facets of skincare float my boat and light my fire, two groups of products in particular have made the biggest impact on the quality of my skin.

1) Sunscreen

2) Peels

You all now that sunscreen is an absolute MUST for me. I have written countless blog posts on the importance of a daily stand-alone SPF product. In my opinion, sunscreen protects against a multitude of skin issues like pre-mature creasing, hyperpigmentation, age spots, and uneven tone

The second most important area of skincare, in my opinion, is chemical exfoliation….i.e. chemical peels, alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic peels, etc.

Earlier this year I wrote about my battle with hyperpigmentation and graphically detailed my process for ridding my skin of dark (nearly black) post acne spots. In the post I discussed the importance of at-home chemical exfoliation. Today I will elaborate on this most important step as well as highlight several products that I have used over the course of the year and ABSOLUTELY LOVE.

I have been d-d-dying to write this post for months and share with you the at-home peels in my life that truly ROCK.com!

If you’re not currently including at-home peels in your skincare regime, sister — you are totally missing out! Peels are incredibly effective at improving texture, increasing luminosity, reducing pore size, correcting uneven tone, and restoring skin’s overall brilliance. Even though I embrace a very complete and through skincare regime overall, I strongly feel that the process of chemical exfoliation is what has made the BIGGEST difference in my skin. Without sounding like a narcissist, because believe me I am not, my skin’s texture is incredibly smooth and brilliant…even when I’m battling a breakout. The pimple is there, don’t get me wrong…but the surrounding skin maintains a certain level of smoothness. And quite honestly, the surrounding “smooth” skin is what keeps me from slitting my wrists when I’m dealing with the routine dastardly cystic zits!

Over the last year I have had the pleasure of trying many at-home peels and I am delighted to share with you my faves! Each product mentioned below is ThisThatBeauty tested. I have used each for at least 4-6 weeks and honestly love them all. I whole-heartedly stand by my recommendations. My rationale behind listing several products is this: I wanted to recommend a variety of products based on various skin types, budget, ease of use, and regional availability (I recently had a Canadian follower email me regarding products that I recommend that are not available in her neck of the woods).

So without further ado, here are my current favorite, most effective at-home chemical peels. I hope that you will find a product that suits your skin type and budget.

For those of you (like me) who deal with the occasional acne bout, I very highly recommend Cane + Austin Acne Treatment Pads with 5% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid. This one-step acne/glycolic acid treatment is derived from pure cane sugar, which acts as an exfoliator to gently resurface skin while salicylic acid treats acne. What I love most about this product (and its sister product, Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Pads with 10% Glycolic Acid) is that the treatment is delivered in a single step. With many glycolic treatments, you are required to rinse or use a neutralizer. With Cane + Austin, you simply apply day and night and follow with a moisturizer. Super simple! A 30-day supply is $60.

ThisThatBeauty Tip: When I used this product for 30 days, I used the acne treatment pads during the day and the glycolic ones for night. Admittedly, I tend to overdue it…and I have a very high tolerance for glycolic products. You might choose to start slow with evenings only.

Talk about an unsung hero…I wish this product received more buzz. I first learned of Actifirm Z Peel a couple of NYFW’s ago and it sat in my beauty closet for months before I decided to give it a whirl. If you’ve got three minutes and ActifirmZPeel, you’re well on your way to brighter and smoother skin. Z Peel is marketed as a “smart” peel that targets specific areas and exfoliates only where you need it. If you’re sensitive to glycolicpeels, you might find this product of interest because it is said to mimic nature’s own exfoliation processes and does not cause excessive redness, scaling or irritation. Instead of glycolic, Actifirm Z Peel uses exfoliating enzyme from Japanese mushroom along with 14 additional botanicals. The formula also includes a soothing cocktail of extracted oils from lavender, coriander and Roman chamomile flowers.

ActifirmZ-Peel is sold in two at-home concentrations – 10% for those with sensitive skin and 15% for folks like me who always want MORE MORE MORE. In fact, I totally wish I lived near a licensed professional who does the professional strength Actifirm Z Peels peels (30-60%). I would absolutely do the occasional in-office peel! $66.30

Naturopathica Glycolic Refining Peel – I cannot say enough wonderful things about this product. In just four minutes a night, this potent exfoliating treatment lives up to its claim. It promotes more youthful and radiant looking skin by increasing cellular renewal. The potent alpha hydroxy treatment is balanced with the inclusion of soothing aloe verato cool and calm the skin. This refining peel contains a concentrated blend of five botanical extracts (bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange, lemon) that contain naturally occurring AHA’s like citric, glycolic, malic and tartaric acids. This one definitely tingles, ladies. The recommend dosage is four minutes per evening. If you’re new to AHA treatments, I highly recommend starting slow with about 1-2 minutes. $68.

For my “go green” girls, try this: jeune d’age organics 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Peel. I have written about this product before, as part of my Hyperpigmentation Series, but could not resist including it in my “fave peels” roundup (in case ya missed it before). jeune d’age organics 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Peel is an excellent product for individuals who prefer organic skincare. Click here for my previous review. Since my review back in May, the brand has launched new packaging! $23.95 *Discontinued*

Get the glow you desire with Votre Vu Nouveau Glow. Through a gentle blend of bergamot, healing bilberry, and AHA loaded citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit and orange, the formula resurfaces skin without irritation. What separates this at-home peel from the other recommendations in this rundown is the use of highly emollient ingredients like Vitamin E, papaya extract and sunflower seed oil….making this peel deeply moisturizing and incredibly soothing. While the product is labeled as safe for all skin types, I imagine that more mature skin types will appreciate the hydrating benefits. $45

Continuing with the trend toward sugar cane derived exfoliants, Bambola Glycolic Sugar Cane Exfoliant is effective at accelerating the removal of dead skin, increasing collagen production, and reducing the appearance of slight facial creasing, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation. This serum also incorporates a balance of smoothing and soothing ingredients…Apple Acid is used to smooth and firm while cucumber nourishes and clarifies. $48

The name says it all. LIERAC Comfort Peel is a 2-in-1 daily moisturizer and face peel treatment. This ultra gentle formula contains time-released glycolic and salicylic acid which leaves skin deeply exfoliated and perfectly hydrated. The slow release of 1% salicylic and 4% glycolic acid optimizes effectiveness, while living up to the product’s claim of “comfort”. No tingling or burning sensations here! $52

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel is a sure-fire oldie but goodie, and is widely available online and in-store via Sephora. The two-piece kit contains a 2 oz container of Lactic/Salicylic Activating Gel and a small 2 oz tube of Vitamin C/ Peptide Resurfacing Crystals. I love products that have a “participation” element and Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel satisfies. After applying the Resurfacing crystals to dry skin, the activator gel is applied over the crystals. From there a warming sensation takes over and a foam appears…this tells me that the product is going to work to break down the yucky disgusting layer of dead surface skin…and fresh, rejuvenated skin in en route! $65

I hope you’ve enjoyed my run down of my favorite “peels” of the moment. I tried to cover a range of products at different price points that work well for a variety of skin types – acne prone, oily, mature, dry.

Please comment and share your thoughts. Do you see a product that appeals to you? Have you tried any of my recommendations? Was this post over-kill with 8 recommendations? Do you feel there was something for everyone?

Cat got your tongue??? Share!!!


Every now & then I like to republish this article for my many followers who deal with hyperpigmentation & inquire about my skin care routine. The blog post is a couple of years old — but my core principles are timeless….

Grab a cup of tea, a big bowl of (ThisThatBeauty’s fav) popcorn, glass of vino, yummy cocktail, or what ever it is you reach for when you settle in for a good read. This article promises to be the longest post in ThisThatBeauty history.

I am often approached regarding my exact skin care routine. I must confess. This is an extremely difficult question to answer for a number of reasons:

1) Everyone’s skin is different and the results I achieve may or may not be similar for your sweet little face.

2) My skin care routine changes from season to season…and when I say “season to season” I am not referring to weather. I am referring to my different “skin seasons”. For example, there’s the “acne season”, where my primary focus is managing my annoying adult acne. There’s the “dry season” where I incorporate products that help remedy excessive dryness. Currently my skin is in “hyperpigmentation season” so my routine is very heavily and aggressively focused on remedying the dastardly dark spots that have taken up residence on my otherwise pristine (I kid) mug.

3) I regularly (and cheerfully) review/test/and flip flop from product to product….and allow me to clarify what I mean by “flip flop”. I only flip flop from product to product after I’ve used for the recommended time frame (usually 4-8 weeks). If there’s no adverse reaction, I generally stick with a product until its used up. I then write a review and decide to re-purchase or move on to the next one. However, I should note that even though I regularly review and switch products, there are certain skin care principles that are constant (more on that later).

4) My overall skin care routine is somewhat extensive. Just ask @KatAragon. We recently roomed together in LA and she lovingly poked fun at my diligent day and evening skin care rituals…but she also all but licked my face and marveled at how smooth and even my complexion is. (I kid about the licking, but I could tell she wanted to-LOL).

So for reasons 1 through 4, it is hard for me to give an exact run down of what my skin care routine is….No two faces are the same, my skin issues and products change often, and my overall routine is quite intense…I’ve actually seen eyes glaze over when I’ve tried to explain it all.

The main focus of this article is my current “skin season”HYPERPIGMENTATION, which is in bold and spelled out in caps to signify that I am yelling the word at the top of my lungs. Hyperpigmentation is no joke! It makes me feel angry, sad, insecure…and basically unpretty. So for this article I will share with you, the intimate details of my struggle with hyperpigmentation and the products I am currently using. Once I am through this particular “skin season” some of the products will likely change.

Before getting into the actual products, I have to take a small step back and talk a bit more about my overall skin care routine. As I’ve already said, my routines are “skin season” specific and change often. HOWEVER HOWEVER, there are CORE PRINCIPLES that are constant….cleanse, tone, eye cream, treat issues, anti oxidant serum, sunscreen, special treatment masks, regular facials and regular dermatologist visits.


I generally tend to favor gentle cleansers. I am usually on some sort of topical medication for acne management (currently using Evoclin foam) so I steer clear of harsh cleaners that will possibly conflict. However, the cleanser must clean deep enough to control my excessive sebum and oil production. A few of my fav cleansers include:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – It is super gentle and does no harm.

KISS MY FACE Exfoliating Face Wash – Don’t let the word “exfoliating” scare you. The formula is gel-like with no bits or particles. The cleanser gently uses the power of natural fruit acids to exfoliate the skin. Lemon Grass Oil is incorporated as an anti-inflammatory and astringent. Antioxidant Green Tea repairs damaged skin.

Lancome Creme Radiance – This clarifying cream to foam cleanser contains antioxidant White Lotus and soothing Rose de France to penetrate deeply without drying out the skin. I always feel brighter after using.

GRN Blue Chamomile Cleanser – Certified Organic Extracts of Chamomile, Rosemary and Green Tea. This gentle cleanser provides deep cleansing without harsh chemicals. It does not dry or irritate my skin.

So you see, I mainly use cleansers that are gentle and free of harsh irritants. My cleansers do rotate from time to time, but GENTLE is key for any cleanser I use. In addition, my Clarisonic Skin Care Brush is a staple. This brush is working miracles in my skin….*cue the parting of the sea and the conversion of water into wine*

This brush saves lives! I bought my first Clarisonic a few years back when Lady O (not Michelle, Oprah) touted the brush as one of her fav things. The brush flew off the shelves like Free Pancake Day at IHOP, but I was lucky enough track one down (and was later rather unlucky because I left it at a hotel and was forced to buy a replacement). For some odd reason I abandoned using the brush…bad move. During a skin care convo with my sister from another mister – Adri, she encouraged me to get back on my Clarisonic grind. I charged up the super sonic brush and have not looked back. My skin is, at this very moment, the best it has been in a long time. Regardless of the different cleaners I rotate, my Clarisonic skin care brush is a staple.


The next step of my skincare routine involves the use of a “gentle” toner. There’s that word again, “gentle”. My current favs are all awesome with a capital “A” because they are non-drying, contain no alcohol, and help to restore my skin’s balance after cleansing:

Chella Refining Tonic – Contains zinc and pomegranate. Is gentle and refreshing. The yummy pom scent is a bonus!

Renee Rouleau – Moisture Infusion Toner, Revitalizing Ginseng Toner, and Balancing Skin Tonic are my favs.KISS MY FACE Balancing Act Facial Toner – (Description from KISS MY FACE) Tone and nourish skin with organic ingredients. Revitalize tired skin with this blend of certified organic grapefruit, orange, ginger and lemon balm essential oils and extracts. Seaweed extract provides trace minerals while antioxidants Ester C® and Vitamin E help fight the signs of aging.

Again, the trend is “gentle” yet effective!

The last few steps in my general routine include acne medication, serum, eye cream, SPF, special treatment masks, regular check-ins with my derm, and somewhat regular facials.

And now, getting back to the main focus of this article, the next few products in my routine are formulated specifically to address my current “hyperpigmentation season”.

Are you surprised that I stated there will be a “few products” required to address hyperpigmentation? Well don’t be. Often times we expect one miracle product to solve our issues. I wish! The reality is that good skin takes a concerted and continued effort.

While this post is intended to share with you the products I am using to win my personal battle against hyperpigmentation, I also want to express my opinion that a lot of folks out there are slackin’ on their skincare pimpin’ and expect one miracle product to improve your skin. Girlfriends, I am here to tell you that if you are not properly addressing your skin from all angles, don’t expect the two or three hyperpigmentation remedies I’m about to recommend to work for you.

For example –

  • If you’re sleeping in your makeup….your skin is filthy and not properly repairing itself so don’t expect these products to work for you.
  • If you are not using sunscreen daily (preferably SPF30)…. don’t expect these products to dramatically diminish your hyperpigmentation.
  • If you do not properly exfoliate…do not expect these product to magically transform your roughness.

Am I making myself clear:) Good skin care is a multi-pronged approached. Whipping your skin into shape is serious business, kids. I highly suggest that you evaluate all aspects of your regime and not just place a band-aid. I am taking the time to highlight my core principles of skin care because I want you to understand that it takes a certain level of sustained commitment to achieve your desired results.

So having said ALLLLLLLL that (Whew, momma’s tired), I now want to share with you the products that I am currently using to address my hyperpigmentation. But remember, overall good skin care habits in conjunction with these products is the route that ThisThatBeauty wholeheartedly recommends.


I did not always have post acne hyperpigmentation. When I was in my early twenties and first started breaking out (Hello Adult Acne), my pimples usually healed without leaving a trace of its existence. This is no longer the case. I went through a terrible breakout phase last summer. The pimples were often cystic and extremely painful. After months of a couple pimples here and a couple pimples there, my face transformed from relatively blemish free to a face full of dark spots.

I went from skin like this (no makeup in pic):

To occasional breakouts like these (NSFW):

Which eventually led to lots of dark spots like these (DOUBLE NSFW):

I even ended up in my derm’s chair for cortisone shots:

With the help of great concealers by Cinema Secrets, Make Up For Ever, CoverFX, and BECCA, I was able to conceal the dark spots with minimal effort. But that was a band-aid, not the solution. The products I am recommending in this post are tried and true skincare solutions!

First and foremost, not to beat a dead horse because I already mentioned my Clarisonic in this post but ….hats off to my Clarisonic skin care brush. Its sonic technology gently and effectively cleanses my skin, clears pores, and really helps to improve my tone and texture. Everything about my skin improved once I started back using my Clarisonic skin care brush. Without proper cleansing, environmental stressors like pollutantion, oil and bacteria accumulate on the skin, clogging pores which causes blackheads, blemishes and dullness. Clarisonic’s gentle cleansing and massage help to prep my skin to better absorb my skin care products. In a study Clarisonic reported that after cleansing with their brush, skin showed a 61% improvement in the absorption of Vitamin C. They claim that skin becomes clean, clear and smooth—allowing skin to experience the full benefits of serums and moisturizers. I co-sign. The proof is in my gorgeous glowing skin….and did I mention I bought two Clarisonic brushes? Yea, its that serious!

For daytime I use Kiehl’s Highly Effective Skin Tone Corrector (KHESTC). This has been a staple in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal. I’ve been using for over four weeks and already see significant improvement.

KHESTC is formulated with a blend of antioxidants and acids that help to lessen the appearance of dark spots, sun spots, and uneven skin tone. KHESTC does not contain Hydroquinone. Instead it is made of a unique blend of Glycolic Acid, Emblica Fruit extract, and HEPES which KHESTC claims is as effective as 2% Hydroquinone and a safer, gentler combination of ingredients to achieve almost similar results.

Emblica Fruit extract contains a large amount of Vitamin C which serves to protect the skin from sun damage, promote collagen production, reduce inflammation, and help repair damaged skin. It is a natural antioxidant, which means it eliminates free radical damage to the skin. Emblica extract also works as a skin lightener. HEPES is an organic chemical buffer and acts as a hydrating agent to the skin. HEPES helps to eliminate roughness. It is as powerful as Glycolic Acid.

Glycolici Acid, a long time friend of mine, is essential because it works to dissolve the outer skin layer, breakdown hyperpigmentation, and reveal fresher looking skin. Glycolic Acid also helps to even out skin tone and improve texture/scarring.

I like that KHESTC is a corrector and antioxidant in one. That’s very important because it cuts down on the need for a separate antioxidant serum. The product comes in a gel like formula which is quickly absorbed into the skin. My one complaint about the product is the packaging. The metal tube oozes product long after you squeeze and dispense. This leads to the wasting of product. Here’s how I worked around this annoyance…I squeeze less than I need and allow the tub to ooze out additional product. Does this make sense? [UPDATE: KHESTC has been discontinued but try Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution instead]

After applying KHESTC, I follow up with a healthy slathering of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I am eternally grateful to my beauty blogger bud who was kind enough to give me her press sample of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I had heard buzz from several friends in the industry that the moisturizer is effective in correcting hyperpigmentation. I used the product every morning for about 6-8 weeks and noticed that my dark spots were beginning to fade. Over time they became less and less obvious. After going through one full sized container, I rushed out and purchased another. I continue to use it today.

In the evenings, for the last 2-3 weeks, after cleansing, toning, eye cream, and Evoclin, I have been applying Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. Once again, I have my sister from another mister, Adri, to thank for turning me on to this product. I was complaining that I need another product in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal and she suggested stepping up my game with Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. NOTE: Your Hyperpigmentation might not require a treatment for day and a treatment for night….but you saw my pictures. I did not have time to play games. I should disclose that Murad contains 2% Hydroquinone. Momma’s not hear to judge, but merely inform. My dark spots, in my opinion, require a product like Keihl’s that’s safe for daytime use…AND a product like Murad’s that’s highly effective for evening use. Once my spots fade a bit more, I will transition off of the Murad because I don’t want to use a product with hydroquinone for an extended period of time. You definitely need to think long and hard about the severity of your hyperpigmentation and then choose a product accordingly. Consult your dermatologist…which is actually a very important step that I won’t spend too much time on today. But see your derm…I do, regularly. Over the counter products can be expected to do but so much. I usually get regular facials and Silk Peels (but I haven’t made time for either since starting this new regime…bad girl!).

After applying Murad, in lieu of a night cream I rotate between one of two Vitamin C serums. In the evenings I alternate between Mario Badescu Vitamim C Serum and MD Skincare Hydra Pure Vitamin C Serum. Both contain potent doses of Vitamin C and have proved effective in diminishing my dark spots. Sometimes I skip the serum and go straight for Creme de La Mer.

On a weekly basis I use enzyme masks like Chella’s Enzyme Exfoliating Crema Mask. I also alternate between at home peels like Erno Laszlo C Peel or MD Skincare Alpha Beta Peels.

I am incredibly pleased with the improvement I am seeing in my skin. If my skin remains on its current course, I hope to slay the hyperpigmentation beast and be blemish free by summer.

Here’s what I look like today…WITH NO MAKEUP!!! You will notice that my hyperpigmentation is SIGNIFICANTLY improved. Perfect? No! But definitely much improved. I feel I’m well on my way….

Hyperpigmentation is no joke! In my day to day as a makeup artist and beauty writer, I often come across women who struggle to remedy their hyperpigmentation. Often times in our insecure moments of weakness we purchase some random snake oil in hopes that we’ll wake up looking like new money. This is almost never the case, love bunnies. You must commit to improving the overall health of your skin. And that has everything to do with how you care for your skin from sun up to sun down and from “skin season” to “skin season”. Make the investment!

This is an extremely personal post for me. I went back and forth in my head debating whether or not to leak my “un-pretty” photos. In the end I decided to share my photos/experience and pour hours into writing this post because I want to help other women in the hyperpigmentation struggle. I want to arm you with the information and resources to improve your skin. Be empowered! I also want you all to know that you’re not alone…ThisThatBeauty’s been there too!

Please share this post with your girlfriends, aunties, roommates, etc. I hope this extremely long article is in some way helpful!

Please share your thoughts! Have I helped…or run-on for way too long? Leave a comment:)

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A foundation ingredient label with ingredient names that you can actually pronounce? Let me explains. . . . .

Truthfully, when was the last time you looked at a foundation bottle and could understand and pronounce all the ingredient names? Hmmm…never, you say? Well, I am a product ingredient junkie and even I often have difficulty. Not so with GlamNatural Hydrating Foundation. The Ingredient list is impressive but that wouldn’t mean diddly squat if the product wasn’t also effective.

The ingredients in GlamNatural Hydrating Foundation are: Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Sunflower Oil, Berry Wax, Grape seed oil, Jojoba oil, Iron Oxides and Titanium dioxide; that is a whopping six ingredients plus two colors. GlamNatural foundations are formulated without water, as such they are highly concentrated and a little does go a long way. When applying this foundation it is imperative that you start with just the tiniest amount and blend out, adding more if needed. I have oily skin, so when I tested this product I didn’t use a moisturizer. I cleansed, applied a serum them applied the GlamNatural foundation.

The shade I tried, Bronze 2, was a little off for me, but it turns out that it was perfect for my girlfriend who is darker complected and has dry skin. Before I reluctantly handed it off to her, I found that it also worked if added a drop of foundation to my regular moisturizer (a quick and easy tinted moisturizer.) I got a nice glow and light coverage, which is perfect for those days when I’m feeling a little lazy but still want to look my best.

GlamNatural Hydrating Foundation comes in 6 shades. Ivory 1 and 2, Beige 1 and 2 and Bronze 1 and 2. The website does a good job of breaking down who should select what shade but the swatch colors are ridiculously off. From reading the description I think I would be a Bronze 1. Here is Bronze 2 on my hand..

ThisThatBeauty Reviews: Glam Natural Foundation Bronze 2

GlamNatural Foundations retail for $65. Visit the company’s website for more information and to discover other GlamNatural Products.


This post was written by Christene Carr

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Girls!! I would give a pinky finger for QT time with the lovable, fiery Ms. Mally. . .Luckily — this offer exists:

Master Makeup Artist, Mally Roncal will be revealing her beauty tips and tricks at:

Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue
Thursday, March 29th 2012

Mally Roncal will host a Master Class especially for the Bendel’s customers in New York City, where she will be spilling all her secrets and sharing her must have beauty products. For VIP celebrity treatment, book a private one-on-one makeup session with Mally herself, to learn her makeup tips first hand and become red carpet ready for your life.Private

One-On-One Sessions

- Hour-long private lesson with Mally
- $500 fee, completely redeemable in product
- Book appointment via Gabriel@Mallybeauty.com

 Master Class

- Hour-long class hosted by Mally, revealing her tips and tricks
- $75 fee redeemable in product
- Book appointment via Gabriel@Mallybeauty.com

Want to know my favorite Mally Beauty product? . . . it’s this!

Mally Poreless Perfection Skin Finisher

I have a few friends (three to be exact,) who claim they are too busy for “traditional makeup” [gasp]. After asking what tradition makeup is and getting pretty much the same answer across the board, I realized it’s not that they don’t like traditional makeup, they just seem to be intimidated by the steps they think it takes to get a flawless look. For them makeup should  be quick, easy and fool proof and they shouldn’t have to have steady hands or blend, buff and repeat and in order to achieve makeup perfection.

When I was introduced to Per-fekt Beauty cosmetics I immediately recommended it to these three (lazy) friends. Creator of Perfekt, Richard Anderson says  “Today’s woman doesn’t have the time to apply a concealer, then color corrector, then primer, then foundation and then powder. I created my products with her  mind.”

Per-fekt products are free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, wax, talc, mineral oils and parabens. The products are highly concentrated so you get a higher product payoff. The base of Perfekt Face and Perfekt Body products are formulated with silicones so they have a smooth finish that sits on top of the skin, evens out texture and tone. The face and body perfecting gels add immediate radiance and warmth to the skin and application is as simple as pat, smooth and go!

If you need a bit more coverage, apply the face perfecting gel then you can spot conceal. It comes in translucent and  four  other shades; luminous, radiant, rich and decadent (see swatch below). I use decadent but rich could also work for me.

Perfekt Beauty Face Perfecting Gels

My favorite product from the line is the cheek perfecting gel.  This is truly fool proof, lazy encouraging stuff.  You simply put on a smile, pat on cheeks, smooth with finger and go.  You can start with a light application and build coverage for a more dramatic look. Here I am in a completely Per-Fekt look: Skin Perfecting Gel in Decadent all over face and one layer of Cheek Perfecting Gel in Blushed.

If you are too busy to go through the multi-step makeup application process, or just need a quicker way to pretty, try this line of Per-fekt(ion) beauty products. Visit the company’s website for more product details.


This post was written by @ChristeneCarr 

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We are a few months into the new year and I know many people are looking for ways to improve their appearance. Some, like me, are hitting the gym hard. Some have already started their new diet. Others are looking for non-surgical ways to improve, not only their body, but their face as well. If you fall into that latter group, I’ve got some news for you!

A couple of months ago I was introduced to LAVIV,  “the first and only FDA-approved personalized cell therapy to improve the look of smile lines.” LAVIV is highly personal because it is made from your very own skin cells and it is made just for use on you!

The science behind LAVIV. . . 

As some of you may know, the skin is made up of the dermis, epidermis and the hypodermis.  The dermis is roughly 10 to 40 times thicker than the epidermis and fibroblasts are the main cells found in the dermis.  Fibroblast cells are responsible for the production of collagen, and as you may already know, collagen is what gives the skin its firmness and structure. However, as we age, collagen production slows, creating “an imbalance that causes the dermis to become less stretchable, less resilient, more lax, and prone to wrinkling.”

LAVIV is clinically proven to be safe and effective in improving the appearance of smile lines.

Here are the steps:

  • A doctor takes a skin sample from an area of your body that is not exposed to sunlight, and is not prone to wrinkles (generally behind the ear.)
  • The skin sample is sent to Fibrocell Science’s FDA-inspected manufacturing facility where it is inspected
  • After inspection, the fibroblast are multiplied over a period of 90 days using standard cell growth techniques into hundreds of millions of cells, (yes, millions!)
  • Once the cells have been created, the fibroblasts are inspected to ensure they are living, pure and actively producing collagen
  • Cells are then cryopreserved (frozen)
  • One day prior to your first treatment, fibroblast cells are thawed and prepared into a LAVIV treatment injection.
  • Treatment is shipped overnight to your physician
  • It is recommended that the course of LAVIV is a series of three treatments that are 3-6 weeks apart.

The proof is in the pictures!

– Each before and after 6 months of treatment –

So you see, it is all connected and on a very high level it makes perfect sense to me! If we harvest fibroblast cells and multiply them, then inject them back into areas of the skin that have lost collagen, then fibroblast cells will spark collagen production and essential reverse and/or slow down some of the problems, such as laugh lines, that become evident because of collagen loss.

Click here to find a LAVIV Certified Physician and here to read important safety information. To learn more about LAVIV, please visit the company’s website.


This post was written by @ChristeneCarr 

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