Tags Posts tagged with "skincare"

skincare

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For the last two months I have been dealing with what appears to be acne. I’ve never had acne, however, I get the occasional hormonal breakout but nothing that a quick application of my go-to pimple reducing solution and mask couldn’t fix.  This breakout has not been so easy to deal with and I am left experimenting to find a solution. Treating acne is different for everyone, so, something that works for your BFF might not work for you and vice versa.  It is also interesting that products with the same active anti-acne ingredient might work differently on your skin. In short, you have to play around with various products and ingredients to find the thing that is right to treat for your acne.  This is no easy task, with this in mind, I’d like to introduce you to Dr Lin Skincare and share some tips from the brand for treating acne using their products.

Dr. Lin Skincare features a 2-step Acne Clarifying system that uses a  proprietary blend of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and natural active botanicals to provide continuously clear, beautiful skin.

dr lin skincare

Start your routine with Dr. Lin Skincare 2-Step Acne Clarifying System, complete with Daily Cleanser, Acne Lotion and bonus Acne Spot Corrector to treat and prevent breakouts. Contains top acne fighting ingredients like 2% Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. Step 1 includes washing with the Daily Cleanser, formulated with 2% Salicylic Acid to deep clean and purify clogged pores. Follow with the Step 2 Acne Lotion, packed with benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria. Shrink unexpected breakouts fast with the bonus Acne Spot Corrector. The entire system contains Arbutin, found in the bearberry tree plant to reduce inflammation and prevent and fade marks.

To take your acne fighting up a notch, show your skin some extra TLC with the Acne Cleansing Pads and Acne Cleansing Wipes for a gentle exfoliation that rids pores of blockage and helps remove makeup.  Best for use after cleansing, 2% Salicylic Acid penetrates deep, ridding the skin of impurities.   Skin will feel ultra-clean and the convenient packaging makes them perfect to take on-the-go!

Dr. Lin Skincare Daily Hydrating Gel moisturizes and heals skin with a soothing mix of Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera for beautiful finish. The gel-based product can be used as a quick 30 second treatment or left on skin overnight as a mask for optimal results.

Products range from $8.99 – $21.99 and are available on www.drlinskincare.com and Walmart.

What are some of the most effective acne products you’ve ever used?

Find me, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and my blog.

 

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It’s no surprise I am again writing about the bane of my skincare existence – acne.  But instead of just reviewing a product, I figured I would group my favorite, most effective acne fighting winners together in one post. From cleansers, to moisturizers and everything in between, these are my regular stand-bys for  acne treatment and the unending war on blemishes.

Cleansers

Boscia Makeup Breakup Cleansing OilThe first step in helping me reduce breakouts is an effective cleanser that removes all makeup, dirt and grime from my face. Cleansing oils are my recommended choice because they give the skin a nice and thorough deep clean, without stripping the face of necessary oils. Leaving a small amount of oil on the face is a good thing, and often using an oil based cleanser can help to balance out the skin. Boscia Cleansing oil is an all time favorite.  I often follow up a cleansing oil with a secondary cleanser aimed to help reduce bacteria or address breakouts.  Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is one I always keep around and use about 2-3 times/wk because it helps to exfoliate the skin and remove any build up from the skin’s surface.

Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil retails for $28.00 and is available at SephoraMario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser retails for $15.00 and is available at Ulta.

Toners

First Aid Beauty Blemish Control PadsA toner is the one step of many skincare routines that gets overlooked or skipped, but it is the one I feel can make the most difference.  Toners are designed to help balance the pH of the skin, prepare it for subsequent treatments and serums and remove any bacteria that may still be on the face. I recently came upon these First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads and think they are a wonder! Gentle enough to be used daily, I have found they help to reduce any breakouts I may be struggling with, soothe any irritation and prevent any future blemishes from making an unwanted appearance. I was a tad hesitant they would dry out my skin, but I am going strong after 30 days and my skin has never looked better! Now for those particularly evil times when I need to bring out the bigger guns (hormonal breakouts in particular), I substitute in my Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion a few times per week after cleansing and it does wonders to remedy any cystic or incredibly stubborn pimples that may be hanging around.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads retail for $30 and are available at Sephora. Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion retails for $15.00 and is available at Ulta.

Spot Treatments

Murad Acne Spot Fast FixI don’t know where I would be without spot treatments. My acne is not typically all over my entire face, but more regional, attacking the same areas over and over (and over and over). Targeting the specific area is always my first line of attack. This Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix is new to my acne treatment arsenal. The active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide and I like it for some of the stronger, cystic  pimples I get around my jawline. It does burn a tad when I first apply, but it does a great job at reducing the size and depth of the blemish within the first 2-3 days. Clinique’s Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel is another new discovery for me and has been a life saver. This one is formulated with salicylic acid, goes on as a clear gel and wears beautifully under makeup! Though it can be used over the entire face, I find it best used for me as a spot treatment.

Murad Acne Spot Fix retails for $16.00 and is available at Sephora. Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel retails for $17.00 and is available at Sephora.

Moisturizers/Treatments

murad-acne-clearing-solutionWhile my chin may be the number one spot for hormonal breakouts to set up shop, my forehead can be the place where I get smaller blemishes and often small little bumps. I use the Murad Acne Clearing Solution under my moisturizer  to help address my forehead shenanigans.  Formulated with retinol and salicylic acid, it does a great job at exfoliating the area and helping to clear up the area overall without causing irritation or dryness. Speaking of retinols, the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream is my ultimate favorite, and while it is designed specifically to treat anti-aging concerns, I find that it is one of my holy grail products for helping me to keep my skin looking clear and blemish free.  The retinol in the cream helps to exfoliate the skin, which can make the skin appear brighter and more even, but for me it has helped to remove any congestion or dead skin build up that often clogs pores and leads to breakouts.

Murad Acne Clearing Solution retails for $39.00 and is available at Sephora. Ren Bio-Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream retails for $65.00 and is available at Sephora.

Masks

Ren Invisible Pores Detox MaskNext to cleansing, masking is my favorite skincare activity. My pore clearing masks are obviously my most used, and this REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask quickly became a staple in my routine after just one use. I have tried many similar masks that seek to detox the skin, remove debris from the pores and heal acne, but this particular mask did all of those things while still leaving my skin feeling hydrated, soft and supple. I use it all over my entire face, whereas other similar masks I use just on the areas that are prone to breakouts. My Mario Badescu Drying Mask is one I have used for years and works best on the congested area rather than the entire face. It attacks the blemishes with a vengeance, but does leave the area a bit dry after (which I then follow up with the Herbal Hydrating Serum to help balance – it truly works wonders).

REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask retails for $34.00 and is available at Sephora. Mario Badescu Drying Mask retails for $18.00 and is available on Ulta.

What are you favorite acne fighting products?

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For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Confession: I don’t sleep well. My husband works late nights and my black pug is fussy and likes to think he owns the bed. I’m also pretty sure my upstairs neighbor doubles her apartment as a bowling alley with all the noise she makes. What does this equal? Interrupted and often incomplete nights of rest. Luckily for me, I have bags and bags (and bags and bags, eek!) of tricks that I can use to help me fake it every morning. Tarte’s Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment sounded like something that would most certainly be a welcome addition to the morning routine.

Tarte Maracuja Eye TreatmentThe cream is quite rich (something I would use mostly at night) but the much touted  brightening benefits made it a struggled for me to decide whether to use it only at night or in the morning as well. I decided to give it a go in the morning because that is when I need my peepers to be their brightest and freshest. That being said, my mornings are quite enjoyable now with this addition. The first day I was a bit too generous in applying and my makeup slid right off and it was too much for under my eye. You live, you learn. The second morning, I used just the tiniest amount and voila! Perfection.

I have been using now for the past few weeks and love how it makes my under eye area look, and how concealer wears on top of it. It hydrates like no other, and while I didn’t think I had that many dry patches, clearly I did. My eye area looks smoother, softer and well rested. I don’t suffer from intense dark circles, but I can see a definite brightness when using Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment….it helps to make me look more awake.  I may not be getting the recommended 8 hours per night but at least I can make others believe I do, then nap on the weekends to catch up.

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment is available at Sephora for $38.00.

For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

 

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Blemishes, ugh.   The bane of my oily-skinned existence.  Just when I finish treating one, another one pops up to take its place.  Delightful.  I am constantly on the hunt for products to help me deal with my breakouts without the harsh side effects such as dryness, flakiness and redness.  Sometimes my face ends up looking worse before it looks better!  Rock – me – hard place.  But throughout my trials and tribulations to help treat my acne, I have found a few products I love, so I was a hesitant to try something new.   Shocking, I know, since I am such a beauty product guinea pig.  No need to thank me, I’m very selfless.  I am happy to report that the results I got after using the new Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel were well worth the risk of trying a new product.

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Review

The active ingredient in this formulation is salicylic acid, it helps to unclog pores and decongest skin.  The texture is a thin liquid-like gel that can be used up to twice per day on targeted areas or all over the face.  Since I only break out in certain areas, I have been spot treating with the gel rather than using on my entire face.  When first applied it, there was a slight tingling sensation which made me worry that it would dry out the area, but it went away within a few minutes.  Some other acne treatments bring the blemish to a head (gross but true), and while this can do that as well, for my specific cystic chin rudeness it cleared up the inflammation, reduced the size of my pimples and made it almost non-existent by the next morning.  *cue the angels singing*

As far as any redness or flakiness, it was minimal at most.  And the best part was it applies so thinly, that I was able to wear it under my makeup to keep treating that rude pimple all throughout the day.  In the past when I have tried wearing making with other acne creams or gels, my makeup would pull or pill around the area.  However, Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel (when applied very lightly) allowed my makeup to glide over it seamlessly. To add another successful acne treatment to my arsenal feels like I’m winning at everything.  Well, at least winning at clear skin.  If only Clinique made a product for the rest of my life.

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel retails for $25.00 and is available at Sephora.comClinique.com and department stores.

For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

Clinique has become synonymous with easy, gentle and effective skincare and now they have expanded their line to include an entire range of products for men.  They put cleansing, toning and moisturizing on the map and are now lending a hand to all the men out there by launching products designed specifically for them.  And frankly, it’s about time!  There are various lines out there that carry products for men but what I love about Clinique is that they are already known for having a systematic approach to their skincare, and this type of thinking is exactly what men need to help them take better care of their skin.  While my husband wants to use better products for his face, he is often lost as to what products to use and in what order, leaving him discouraged and unwilling to take any initiative at all.  When I introduced him to the Clinique for Men line, he felt it was easy to understand, simple to use and after a few weeks under his belt, he saw great results.

The premise of the entire range is still the Clinique system of (shave)/cleanse, tone and moisturize.  Within each category there are various products that cater to different skin types, and then a few additional products that target specific concerns such as dark spots and aging skin around the eye.

Cleansers

Clinique for men face wash

In this category there are both liquid and soap options, both methods offering non-drying cleansing that builds into a rich lather and rinses off easily.  Both prep the skin for shaving, as well as remove any dirt and debris from the face.  Available in both Regular and Oil Control, both cleansers are $16.50 and available at Clinique.com.

Exfoliate

CLINIQUE FOR MEN Exfoliating TonicSince men often have to deal with shaving regularly, exfoliating is key to making that process easier.  Clinique has introduced two different exfoliating tonics, one for normal skin and one for oily skin.   Daily use after cleansing will help to control excess oil, and remove dead skin which will significantly reduce the occurance of ingrown hairs and blemishes.  Both retail for $13.00 and are available at Clinique.com.

Moisturize

clinique for men moisturizing lotionThe last step in the skincare routine is always the moisturizer – and there are a few different options  for both day and in the evening use.  The Moisturizing Lotion is suitable for normal skin and helps to control oil for a matte, shine-free look, and just happens to be my husband’s favorite.  Women may love a glowing and dewy complexion, however, men typically do not.  The Oil-Control Mattifying Moisturizer is designed for oily skin types,  and provides hydration while still helping to normalize oil production.  For those men who want to address aging concerns, there is the Anti-Age Moisturizer that is a multi-puprose, all day hydrator that helps to fight dullness, lines and wrinkles.  But because I am such an SPF fanatic, the most important product in this category (in my opinion) is the Broad Spectrum SPF 21 Moisturizer.  I feel that most men do not reach for sun protection daily so this is a great way to give them both in one product.   All moisturizers range in price from $25-$36 and are available at Clinique.com.

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For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

My love of skincare knows no bounds and I’m always intrigued by new ways to care for  skin, afterall, it is the body’s largest organ. When I learned about the Lancer Method I had to share it with you! I mean, what kind of beauty guru would I be if I didn’t?

So, what is the Lancer Method? It’s actually quite simple, in theory. The Lancer Method is just three steps…1) Polish 2) Cleanse 3) Nourish. But, wait. Are we to exfoliate before cleansing? According to Dr. Lancer — yes.  Head over to Bergdorf Goodman Blog to find out why.

 

Lancer Method

 

The Lancer Method

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “it takes a village to raise a child”, well, sometimes it takes a village to achieve great skin….And, the dermatologists at New York Dermatology Group with their Triad Facial may be the village you’ve been seeking.

The Triad Facial was developed by Dr. David Colbert to give skin the superficial or cosmetic boost of a facial but with longer term dermatological benefits. Think of the Triad Facial as your best esthetician on steroids.

Facial

As the name suggests, The Triad Facial includes three procedures:

  • Microdermabrasion – gently exfoliates dead skin cells, which immediately clarifies and tones the skin and prepares the skin for renewal 
  • Laser Toning – heats the collagen bed to stimulate long term collagen production. Laser Toning also energizes the skin and lightens pigmentation and evens texture
  • Gentle Chemical Peeling – uses a mild fruit acid to refresh and renew the skin

If done regularly, the Triad Facial diminishes acne, reverses or minimizes the signs of aging, improves skin tone and texture and stimulates the production of collagen.

If you want clear, radiant, beautiful skin, the New York Dermatology Group‘s Triad Facial is definitely worth considering.

Click here to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog

 

 

 

As a beauty blogger,  it is natural for me to constantly be testing products, trying new trends, looking to the next season for inspiration – but often these are short term focuses.  Taking a look at my beauty behavior as a whole and making resolutions for the year help me to look at the big picture and see how it can be improved. Here are my beauty resolutions for 2014:

 Maree Sye 2014 Beauty Resolutions

Focus on Skincare Ingredients

I will always be drawn to makeup for its color and wearability rather than ingredients but skincare is 1000% dependent on ingredients – and while I have stepped up my game this year in taking care of my skin, I would like to take it to an even deeper level.  I plan to take a more active approach to understanding the science behind the skincare products, how the ingredients work and which ingredients work best together.  I found that at the beginning of my skincare journey, I was simply trying whatever I wanted to, without understanding how, if and why it would work or not work for my skin. Having a more thorough understanding of it all will help me choose the best products for my skin, thus yielding the most optimal result –flawless skin.  And frankly, isn’t that what it is all about?

Get More Cardio

I do not like shine on my face, but when induced by a strong workout, and increased heart rate – I do not mind.  I rarely ever speak about exercising or workouts on the blog (or any of my social media channels) but I do keep up a regular routine.  Now mind you, I had major back surgery 3 years ago, so my activities changed significantly after that and I had to take a different approach to staying fit.  I had to do more low impact exercises that targeted specific areas to help me regain my strength.  It has been a long road, but I am finally beginning to feel strong enough to engage in more strenuous (at least for me) workouts.  I typically do my targeted exercises 4 to 5 nights per week at home focusing on a different body part each time, but will work towards adding in one 30 minute cardio workout a week to begin.  Walking on the treadmill at the gym or swimming some laps is the best for me as it is low impact but can still get my heart rate going.  Maintaining a beauty routine should encompass every part of the body, not just the face and staying fit is the best way to keep up one’s “beauty”.

Exploring New “Superfoods” 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may ask yourself just how healthy is this gal when she is always posting pics of desserts, ramen, pizza, etc.  But the truth is I actually have an extremely healthy diet, and believe more in moderation than in complete denial of certain foods.  My daily meals consist of whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins and a ton of water which allows for a treat or splurge now and then.  But while my diet is quite healthy by most standards, I am incredibly intrigued by the claims behind many different foods or ingredients that may not be as commonplace.  Many of these “superfoods” and ingredients can having quite astounding health benefits if added to ones regular diet.  Foods such as chia seeds, goji berries, kefir, and apple cider vinegar as examples are not as mainstream but from what I have read can have amazing effects on the body and ultimately one’s skin, hair, nails, etc.  Nourishing the body with the right ingredients is often the best beauty routine out there.  Nothing gives the skin a “lit from within” glow like optimal health and nutrition.  Now I just hope it all tastes good.

Now that I have told you my beauty resolutions, I would love to hear from all of you!  Leave me a comment below and tell me some of your 2014 beauty resolutions.

For more sass and beauty updates follow Maree @alittlebitetc on TwitterInstagram or Like me on Facebook.

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The more I write about beauty the more I fall in love with products that multi-task.  What’s better than a do-it-all moisturizer for hair, body, nails and face? Or a cleanser that cleans and exfoliates? While there are a number of products that perform two functions, I find that the multi-tasking heavyweights are products that are in a very basic state, for example: shea butter, coconut oil, glycerin, cocoa butter, aloe vera gel and so on.  Recently, I noticed that the makers/marketers of beauty and skincare products started calling out squalane, a derivative of squalene,  as a multitasking ingredient in their products.   Squalene  has been around since the 1900s  but from my observation, it seems squalane’s prominence in beauty products is growing.

I recently recieved the Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil, (100 % Squalane) and started incorporating it into my body, hair and cuticle care. Squalane is an odorless, colorless, lightweight moisturizer.  Peter Thomas Roth’s Oilless Oil or squalane, is derived from naturally-sourced sustainable sugarcane and is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and preservatives.   According to the manufacturer, squalane:

it helps fortify the skin’s lipid barrier to improve the look of lines, wrinkles, elasticity and radiance. It absorbs  rapidly into skin and does not create a surface barrier like an oil, allowing skin to breathe. Squalane moisturizes and helps prevent water loss below the skin.

PTR Oilless Oil

How I Use Peter Thomas Roth’s Oilless Oil:

I like adding a few drops to my body moisturizer,  especially when moisturizing elbows, knees and feet.  Can one ever have too much moisture in these areas? I think not! Because it is not an oil, there is no greasy feel and it just disappears into the skin and keeps me from entering the ashy zone.

Now for my hair – when it comes to adding and keeping moisture in my hair, I will try pretty much anything. Moisture disappears from my hair faster that shrimp at a free buffet. Since Peter Thomas Roth’s Oilless Oil can be added to dry or wet hair, I have been adding to my hair pre and post blow drying. I think it improves the elasticity of my hair and keeps it feeling moisturized even when there is very little moisture in the air.

If you follow me on Instagram you know I am a little obsessed with my nails. One of my favorite ways to use squalane is to wet my hands and massage it into my cuticles. I think it works a little better than a cuticle oil because hands feel moisturized without feeling greasy.

So, do I consider  Peter Thomas Roth’s Oilless Oil (or squalene) a multi-tasking heavyweight?  You bet I do!

Peter Thomas Roth’s Oilless Oil retails for $38 and is available here.

Have you tried the Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil?

If you have, what were your results?

Find Christene, @ChristeneCarr, on TwitterInstagramTumblrPinterest and her blog

Do you dare to go bare? No, not down there, silly! I’m talking about up top…your face. How often do you go bare there?…

If you answered “not often”, you’re not alone. But what’s stopping you? For many it’s uneven skin tone and complexion-marring dark spots. This certainly was the case for me years ago when I struggled through my hyperpigmentation phase. Ohh, that was a rough patch . . . post acne blemishes dotted my entire face and there was absolutely, positively no way I’d go out in public with bare skin. As a result of my battle with hyperpigmentation, I started the Hyperpigmentation Series on ThisThatBeauty – the focus of the series is to help others and highlight new and innovative products designed to target hyperpigmentation. So when I learned of Lancôme DreamTone (I received a complimentary sample from Lancôme), I knew I had to give it a try.

Lancome-DreamTone

DreamTone is a customized skin tone correcting serum for those of us who wish to visibly correct dark spots and color imperfections for a more even skin tone. Lancome conducted global self-assessments of women of multiple ethnicities in an 8-week study and 72% of the women found DreamTone to be so powerful that they dared to bare their skin. Before testing the product, a few things immediately appealed to me. Firstly, I appreciate that DreamTone product trials included women of multiple ethnicities. As a woman of color, this gives me a bit of an indication as to whether or not a product will work for my complexion and the kind of dark spots darker skin tones tend to experience. Secondly, Lancôme DreamTone is the first product of its type that’s formulated specifically for certain skin tones…there are three serums, one for fair skin, one for medium skin and one for dark skin. This is truly a unique feature.

My appropriate serum is #3, for dark skin. And like the other serums for fair and medium skin tones, #3 is formulated to brighten dull skin, but it is also formulated to correct blemish marks in darker skin tones. In  clinical trials, 74% of women said they saw glowing skin immediately, 70% noticed a more even skin tone within seven days, 69% saw the appearance of dark spots reduced in four weeks and 78% saw color imperfections reduced by the end of the eight week trial. Though I am just starting my trial of Lancôme DreamTone, the clinical trial data is really impressive and makes me feel encouraged (check out these before/ after photos). In as little as four weeks, dramatic improvement is possible. And let’s be honest, four weeks is juuust about the time when your patience starts to wear thin if you’re not seeing improvement from a new skin care product.

To think, in a few short weeks you can actually go bare and feel confident in your skin. And as someone who’s been there (and thoroughly documented the struggle via my blog), believe me when I say – there’s nothing more freeing than feeling fresh-faced and confident. I’m proud to sport my bare skin!

Dream Tone selfie
I’m totally bare…except for my obligatory winged liner ; )

 #bareselfie #dreamtone

Lancôme DreamTone retails for $98 for a 1.3 fl oz. bottle and is available for purchase at Lancôme.com and department stores nationwide.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lancôme and Style Coalition.

St. Ives has declared the day after Halloween, November 1st, National #ScrubOff Day.   Though I am not one to go hard on Halloween make up, I always do a little something extra, which inevitably leads to a mini facial the next day. If you really get into Halloween, chances are you also in need of a little extra face cleaning after you’ve removed your Halloween makeup.  Enter St.Ives Scrubs…

st-ives-apricot-scrubs

Try any of the St. Ives scrubs with 100% natural exfoliants for a deep clean and to help scrub off any Halloween look.

•       Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub – helps to invigorate dull skin

•       Blemish Control Apricot Scrub – fights unwanted blemishes

•       Blemish Control Green Tea Scrub – helps address unwanted blemishes and redness

…But What about the Prize?

St Ives ScrubOff 1

To encourage you to do the absolute most this Halloween,  then do a big #ScrubOff, St. Ives is running a photo contest on Instagram.

How to Enter St Ives’ Instagram #ScrubOff Photo Contest

  1. Create your Halloween look
  2. Snap a picture
  3. Share your picture on Instagram
  4. Use #ScrubOff when you post your picture
  5. Tag and Follow @StIvesSkin

Five winners will be selected to win a #ScrubOff prize pack that includes St. Ives facial scrubs PLUS a $250 gift card. The contest runs between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 on Instagram.

RULES

*No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The St. Ives ScrubOff Contest is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 48 contiguous U.S. & D.C., 18 or older who own a web enabled mobile device as of 10/30/13. Begins 10/31/13 at 12:01 a.m. ET & ends 11/1/13 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For official rules, click here.

I always have mixed feelings about skincare or beauty products that have “big” names — names that promise the world in results, but may not deliver on their word.  However, when a product lives up to the extravagant title, I feel such a sense of accomplishment, as if I am somehow responsible for the stellar results.  I know, I know – a little dose of humble pie wouldn’t hurt, right? My personal self esteem matters aside, I recently had an aforementioned experience after trying the L’Occitane Divine Collection Skincare line.  The name alone drove up the hype for me, but thankfully the experience and results truly made me feel it was worth it.

L'occitane divine collection

The L’Occitane Divine collection is comprised of 4 products – a toning lotion, an eye cream, an extract and a luxe cream, and is formulated with 7 plant-derived active ingredients that are designed to give skin a youthful and radiant glow.  The primary ingredient is the immortelle flower, which has unique anti-aging properties and gives this collection its swoon-worthy results.  Though the line is quite decadent and luxe, the products themselves are surprisingly lightweight and work well with my oily skin.

L'occitane divine lotionLOCCITANE-Divine-CreamL'occitane divine eye cream

My two favorite products from the L’Occitane Divine Collection are the Divine Lotion and the Divine Cream.  I initially was thrown off by the “lotion” name (yes, even beauty gals mix it up once in a while), and thought this may be a lighter version of the cream.  But instead, I was pleasantly surprised to see this was a toner – and we all know how I feel about toners (pssst…if you don’t know, I LIVE for toners), so naturally I was excited to try. L'occitane divine extract

The Toner has milky texture which I appreciate since most toners are often clear,  It made my skin feel hydrated and smooth immediately after cleansing, when my skin can occasionally feel a bit tight.  I finished my nightly routine with the Divine Cream, and ‘Divine’ it was – in richness, scent and feel.  With a texture that felt decadent, nourishing as well as lightweight, my skin absorbed it immediately, and felt unbelievably soft the next morning.  Wait, correct that.  Unbelievably DIVINE.

All products are now available on usa.loccitane.com and range from $54-$116.

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!

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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)

Over the last year or so I have come to really like beauty gadgets. I recently received the Spa Sonic Skincare Skincare System and was very excited to give it a whirl.

Spa SonicSpa Sonic Specifications

  • Small facial brush: cleanses your face by getting deep into pores
  • Large body brush: cleanses entire body deeper than loofah and body sponges
  • Facial buffer: aids in moisturizer absorption and microdermabrasion to reduce fine lines and dark spots
  • Pumice stone: can smooth out rough areas such as elbows, knees and heels
  • Exfoliates, smooths and softens skin
  • Recommended by dermatologists
  • Can be used with your favorite cleansers
  • Tightens and reduces size of pores
  • Supports the reduction of fine lines and dark spots
  • Eliminates dirt, makeup and oil
  • Safe and effective for all skin types
  • Long lasting AA battery four pack – no need to charge

Includes:

  • 1 Body polishing unit
  • 2 Small facial brushes
  • 1 Large body brush
  • 1 Facial buffer
  • 1 Pumice stone
  • 1 Battery four pack

My first experience with a facial cleansing brush was the Clarisonic Mia; I have since graduated to the Clarisonic Plus. Since the manufacture of the Spa Sonic said “Compare to the leading skincare system,” right on the packaging, I thought “Okay, let’s do it.”

Spa Sonic vs Clarisonic

The Spa Sonic  Skincare Brush cleans better with any cleanser than with just the cleanser alone. I found the best way for me to get good results from Spa Sonic system is to use it for no more than one minute each time I use it. Unlike the Clarisonic Plus, the Spa Sonic doesn’t have beeps and pauses to indicate when you should stop cleaning an area, so, I have to time it myself. The Clarisonic Plus has beeps and a brief pause to indicate when various areas of the skin are clean. 

For me, using either the Clarisonic or the Spa Sonic more than once per day causes skin irritation. I  use the Spa Sonic 4-5 days per week but only use the Clarisonic about 2-3 times per week .   Another key to having Spa Sonic work for me is to let it skim the skin. At first I held it with the same amount of pressure with which I use the Clarisonic but that led to too much pulling of the skin, it felt almost as though it was trying to pierce a hole in my skin. The Clarisonic doesn’t pull on the skin, no matter how much pressure is applied. According to the manufacturer of Spa Sonic, the brush can rotate up to 380 RPMs. Unlike the Carisonic, the RPMs are significantly reduced the more pressure you apply to brush. The Clarisonic features patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second.

The Spa Sonic uses 4 AA batteries that do not requiring charging but will require changing at some point. The Clarisonic has a charging dock that  keeps the device charged for 30+ uses without needing to  be recharged. Both devices are water resistant and can be used in the shower. The Spa Sonic system retails for about $65 and replacement  facial brush heads cost about $10 for a package of two and the body brush cost $12 for a package of two. The Clarisonic Plus retails for $225 with brush heads costing $25 each.

Spa Sonic Skin Care System

Bottom Line on Spa Sonic Skincare System

The Spa Sonic definitely cleans better than just using a cleanser alone.  With regular use of the Spa Sonic the skin does appear smoother with less visible pores. I like to use the Spa Sonic with a mild basic cream cleanser. The body brush attachment is great to use with a physical exfoliator on legs prior to shaving. The pumice attachment does a fair job of smoothing the heal and bottoms of the feet. I did not like the facial buffer attachment because it pulled the skin more than the brush and I didn’t notice a difference in my skin after using it. Changing brush heads every three months and keeping them clean is also imperative to ensuring skin isn’t irritated.  Retail $65 on sale now for $49!

Have you tried any Sonic Skincare brushes?  

What were your results?

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