Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review: Replenix Pure Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum

I received this very generous sample of Replenix's hyaluronic acid serum with a recent skincare order. It's meant to plump up the skin with the hyaluronic acid and it also has antioxidants and peptides for anti-aging effects. As a serum, you're meant to wear it under your moisturizer. I tried it that way, day and night; I also tried it on its own without moisturizer on top. It did absolutely nothing for me. With the hyaluronic acid, you're meant to see results quickly with the plumping effect taking shape that very day. I saw no difference in my fine lines at all. I also saw no difference in my skin texture over time. (I used it up over the course of two weeks.) I'm surprised because this particular brand has a good reputation as being no-nonsense with good ingredients. I'd give it a pass, though. The best I can say about it is that it didn't break me out or make my skin look otherwise worse.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Space NK's GWP Event was WAY better than Barneys' this year

I mean, look at that photo - this gift bag was a thing of beauty. The sample sizes were, as a rule, larger than the ones in the Barneys bag and the brands were more interesting. Standouts for me were the Diptyque Philosykos purse spray, the Eve Lom morning balm cleanser, and the By Terry lip gloss/balm. I am impressed. I may make Space NK my new fall gwp event splurge rather than go for the Barneys bag if they keep this up.  Oh, and what did I get?  In case anyone hasn't noticed, I've been on a bit of a skincare bender:

  • Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser
  • Zelens Hydro Shiso Balancing Moisturizer
  • Kat Burki Cucumber Balancing Elixir
  • Diptyque Figuier Scented Oval
I will have reviews of all eventually.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review: Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex

It's hard to categorize this Tata Harper product. It's kind of a facial oil and it's also kind of a serum. It is composed of jojoba, olive oil, and apricot seed oil, along with all sorts of botanical extracts. I don't really know how beneficial those extracts are for your skin. An extract can be produced a bunch of different ways and the active ingredients that were in the plant originally may or may not survive the extraction process. I suspect a lot of the benefits from this product derive from the oils. It does work beautifully in plumping out the skin.  I apply it at night, on clean skin. I roll the ball (it comes in a rollerball applicator) all over the skin and massage in as best I can. I would not use this during the day because it does not absorb readily and the skin will feel tacky for a while. I shudder to think what it would be like under makeup. However, in the morning, my skin is soft, smooth, and glowing.
While I will probably use this up, I do not think I will repurchase. The applicator really bothers me. A rollerball will pick up skin cells, bacteria, and all sorts of other unpleasantness and then deposit in the bottle with your unused product. Yuck. Pretty sure I can find something with similar effect that has more sanitary packaging.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Barneys Fall Beauty Event

I always make a Barneys order during the fall beauty event. Usually, that's when they have the BEST gift bags. This year's was a tad disappointing. Yes, it is far more bountiful than practically any comparable store's gift with purchase, but a hallmark for Barneys has always been the inclusion of at least one full-size product. This year there were none. Frankly, it's enough to make me explore other options for a splurge, such as SpaceNK. I have an order from their gwp event (which overlaps with that of Barneys) on the way and will do another post when I receive it and can compare.

Oh, and what did I get?  Here was my Barneys haul:

  • Oribe Gold Lust hair oil (repurchase)
  • May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden face mist
  • Zelens PHA+ Bio-peel
  • Davines OI Hair Milk
Reviews of all forthcoming soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Review: Skinceuticals AOX+ Eye Gel

It's hard to go awry with Skinceuticals - the brand is expensive, but the skincare works. I don't usually buy products specifically for my eyes because normally the area tolerates my normal skincare quite well, but I've started a job working nights and my eye area is particularly ornery right now. I've got circles, puffiness, and generally ugly undereyes. Skincare guru Caroline Hirons raved about this eye gel, so I decided to try it.

I'm happy to report that it works very well. It contains antioxidants and caffeine, which serve to improve the texture of the skin and any puffiness. The antioxidants are also protective against pollution and damaging sun rays (not that I see the sun much these days). The gel texture moisturizes nicely with only a tiny, tiny amount and wears well under make up. I put it on after my toner and before my moisturizer. My one complaint is the pump - it dispenses too much product and for $93 you really don't want to waste any AOX+. That aside, I'm very happy with the purchase and expect it to last me quite a while.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

Not too long ago, I posted about how much I was enjoying using Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant, which is 2% BHA (salicyclic acid). So pleased was I with this acid toner that I decided to branch out and explore other products that fulfilled the same niche. These First Aid Beauty pads caught my eye for several reasons. First, they use lactic and glycolic acids, which are a bit more potent than the Paula's Choice BHA. Second, the first two ingredients are water and aloe, which sounded like an excellent combination of ingredients to pair with acid exfoliants to minimize irritation. Third, First Aid Beauty is a great brand that produces affordable, very high quality skincare products.

In short, I had high expectations and these lived up to them. To use, I swipe a pad over clean skin and then mist with a hydrating toner. I follow this up with a hyaluronic acid serum and moisturizer. Because this combination of acids is a bit stronger, I only use it a few times a week. It leaves my skin with a smooth, radiant glow. No irritation. I bought the jar with 60 pads for $30. A very good buy - at my current rate of usage, these should last me around 5 months.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Review: Bumble & Bumble Don't Blow It

Bumble and Bumble have tapped into every woman's hair fantasy: a magical product that you can apply to freshly washed, wet hair that makes it dry in a lovely, tamed style with no heat tools needed. At least, that's what they claim to be producing with Don't Blow It. I had fairly high hopes it might work for me when wearing my hair curly because I don't use heat in those instances anyway. Alas, I haven't had much luck with it. Because I consider it a styling cream, I applied it after my leave-in but without any additional gels or mousse for hold. This was a mistake. I found that it tamed my frizz and curls slightly but not nearly enough to satisfy me. It seemed to "loosen" the curls to be more wavy, but on me this just wound up looking rather lank and odd. In subsequent usages, I followed it up with either a styling gel or hairspray after shaping the curls with my fingers. This worked much better, but it did leave me to wonder, why on earth would I need this?  I can get the exact same results with just my leave-in and the styling gel. The answer is, I don't need it at all. Unfortunately, it does not live up to the ad copy.