Blog Archives

Holy Grail: Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

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Wake up to beautiful skin every day with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II.

As a fan of the Advanced Night Repair “OG” – I couldn’t help but wonder… “If it ain’t broke… ” However, this upgrade not only repairs, brightens and hydrates the skin – it “purifies” the skin.

The new formula introduces Estee Lauder’s exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology. This technology delivers a  shot of hyaluronic (helps the skin to hang onto its water) and a big dose of antioxidants (helps to repair and protect against daily wear and tear), it also helps to break down what’s not needed, which is where the “purify” element begins to make sense.

You really do wake up to supple, fully hydrated skin. Skin looks rested, radiant and de-puffed.

The formula has been tested and proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, smooth, hydrate and strengthen skin and give you a younger, radiant more translucent glow.

How to use:
Step 1: Apply a drop on each fingertip of one hand.
Step 2: Touch fingertips of both hands together.
Step 3: Massage serum over face and neck, starting at the center, outward.

Tanning Trifecta: Supergoop! SPF 20 Gradual Self-Tanning Sunscreen Mousse

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Get a beautiful, natural looking tan with Supergoop! SPF20 Gradual Self-Tanning SunscreenMousse. The whipped-mousse texture  melts into the skin to deliver color, hydration, and the globally approved SPF protection. Tan. Moisturize. Protect.

A broad-spectrum UV protection feels light on the skin and has high water-resistance. Antioxidant-rich formula improves skins appearance and provides a slight sheen to the skin.  No self-tanning odor, instead a fresh scent of green tea and crisp cucumber. Supergoop SPF 20 Gradual Self-Tanning Sunscreen Mousse is a great way to speed up the tanning process (the healthy way) and protect your skin from the sun.

A  multi-tasking solution that creates a gradual, natural-looking tan without leaving a residue behind on your clothes or towel. 365 days a year.

Powerful Peptides: REN Keep Young and Beautiful Anti-Aging Eye Cream

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Keep Young and Beautiful” with REN’s new anti-aging eye cream. REN Keep Young and Beautiful Anti-Aging Eye Cream promises to dramatically reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet and deep expression lines around the eye area.

Rich in skin-plumping peptides and moisture-boosting collagen, REN’s new eye cream contains Hexapeptide-11, a plant peptide that stimulates collagen production for firmer skin. Peptides, or mini proteins if you want to think of them that way, are active molecules that send signals to your cells. When collagen breaks down, it forms specific peptides that signal to your skin that it was damaged and needs to make new collagen. So by applying peptides topically, we can trick the skin into thinking that it has lost collagen and needs to make more.

REN Keep Young and Beautiful Anti-Aging Eye Cream is wonderful for sensitive skin, as it is free from perfume, petroleum and parabens. The lightweight formula feels incredibly moisturizing and sinks into the skin in seconds. After just three weeks of using the product I have noticed a more hydrated and smoother eye area. I will continue to use this product as I have already noticed a positive difference. I expect to see more positive changes in the near future.

The Balm: REN No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm

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Chemistry 101 dictates that “like dissolves like.” When it comes to cleansing the face, oil is better at binding to oil and dissolving it, which is why it is so often the basis of makeup removers.

Ren’s No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm uses plant-based oils to cleanse the skin. It is extremely gentle on the skin, but powerful enough to remove oil, oxidized sebum (blackheads), daily dirt, and even waterproof mascara. Infused with chamomile oil and pink violet leaf, it calms the skin and soothes redness, while rose oil relieves stress, leaving skin purified and clear.

A totally unique way to cleanse your skin, the creamy clear balm transforms into a rich milk on contact with water. As you rub the product into the skin, the emollient process begins. This gives you ample time to work on a deep-facial massage – a facialist secret and crucial component to great skin. The balm is nourishing and hydrating and leaves the skin feeling clean and supple. It comes with a muslin cloth, which works wonders to remove all traces of makeup, grease and dirt while gently exfoliating the skin at the same time.

Avoiding overly-cleansed skin is key to healthy skin – especially those with acne-prone skin. Dryness sends a signal to your skin to produce more sebum (oil), which can make skin and acne worse. The oils in REN’s No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm bind to the oil in your pores, and whisk away grime without stripping your skin.  If your cleanser leaves your face feeling tight and dry, you’ve likely been stripped!

Moisture Surge: Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask

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Fall is here. Along with the crisp mornings and turning leaves, you may have also noticed your skin feeling a little chapped and dry. When the season changes, so does your skin. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of the colder weather and ease your skin into the winter months gracefully.

Now is the time to seal in the hydration. Clarks’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask is designed to hydrate, nourish and comfort dry, aging, environmentally damaged and dehydrated complexions. Natural ingredients work together to deeply moisturize and replenish the complexion, allowing it to regain radiance and suppleness over time. With regular use, fine lines and wrinkles will be diminished and a youthful glow will take their place.

The mask hydrates and soothes skin quickly, and can be used year-round to nourish the skin and restore the natural glow. The high concentrations of algae extract, coupled with comfrey root, Jasmine Absolute, and Japanese Green Tea, make this mask a potent anti-oxidant treatment. It is thick and rich and instantly quenches the skin. It can be used as a weekly treatment or as a daily moisturizer. If used daily, only the smallest amount is needed. Skin will be noticeably plumper and hydrated.

Make a few tweaks in your seasonal skin care to ensure healthy, glowing skin all-year-round.

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ABOUT CLARK’S BOTANICALS

Some skincare lines come and go. This year’s miracle ingredient is often next year’s outdated science.Then there are those exceptional lines that not only deliver results, but are truly compelling because they are based on real human experience and a brand narrative not created by a corporate marketing team, but by a personal history.

Clark’s Botanicals was born out of tragedy when company founder Francesco Clark, who then worked at Harper’s Bazaar, suffered a crippling spinal cord injury in a swimming pool diving accident on June 1, 2002.

With his central nervous system impaired, Francesco lost the ability not only to walk, but even to sweat. This led to clogged pores and chronic breakouts. When neither over-the-counter nor prescriptive remedies worked, he turned to his father, Dr. Harold Clark, a physician trained in both traditional Western medicine and homeopathy.

Together they developed botanically-based formulas that effectively rebalanced Francesco’s skin, clearing it up entirely. Through word-of-mouth, other people discovered and fell in love with these products, and in 2005, Francesco began selling Clark’s Botanicals on his website: http://www.clarksbotanicals.com

Even as the collection grows into a full-fledged skincare system, rebalancing skin remains its overarching objective. That’s why all Clark’s Botanicals products today feature Jasmine Absolute, a precious essential oil that naturally rebalances skin. Derived from nocturnally-blooming flowers, this extract is also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immuno-stimulating. It works to calm and heal a broad spectrum of skin types, from young to mature, oily to dry, and normal to sensitive.

With a passionate consumer following, Clark’s Botanicals is pleased to announce its latest move into select, prestige retail distribution with updated packaging and a launch family of thirteen paraben-free treatment products.

“Clark’s Botanicals is an organic part of me and my recovery,” says Francesco. “Everything about this line has a purpose and reason for being, from the ingredients to the packaging. It’s an expression of who I am in its purest form.”

Francesco Clark serves as a National Ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.

A percentage of profits from the sale of Clark’s Botanicals go to The Christopher Reeve Foundation.

 

Four Favorites: Red Lipstick

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As the seasons change, the reach for a red lipstick grows closer. Unfortunately, many women are scared of scarlet. I believe there is a simple adjustment period or rite of passage, when wearing a bright lip. Just like anything else, to diverge from our comfort zone is an uncomfortable feeling. Try this: When home alone, cleaning house, reading a book, watching television – apply your bright lip and test-drive for the day. Let your eyes adjust to the unfamiliar look and I promise it won’t be so shocking next time.

Tips on Application: HOW TO: PERFECT RED LIPS

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Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle: My all-time favorite. A bright blue-based red with glossy sheen. The Rouge Cocos’ are extremely moisturizing and allow you to wear both a sheer or heavy red lip.

NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red: NARS best-seller, Jungle Red is bright and bold. If you want to commit to a “Gwen Stefani/Rita Hayworth” red lip – this one’s for you.

YSL Rouge Volupt in #18 Red Taboo: Cool-toned red with a hint of raspberry. The Rouge Volupt lipsticks are comfortable and light on the lips. Extremely pigmented, long-lasting, uber-creamy and incredibly glossy.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Scarlet Rouge: The classic brick red. For those still uncomfortable wearing the bright lip – this is your training wheels. Deep and luxurious – the color is beautiful and sophisticated – the formula is hydrating and long-lasting.

Four Favorites: Multi-Purpose Balm

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More concentrated than most creams or lotions, these versatile salves can tackle two or more problems at once. Great to keep on your nightstand or in your handbag/gymbag these multi-purpose balms will cure – honestly – whatever ails you… soothe cracked heels, chapped knuckles, sunburn, windburn, minor scrapes, post-peel irritation, skin irritation, chafing, chapped nose, scratches, dry elbows, rough cuticles, between toes, post-wax skin, post-shave skin, dry patches, earlobes, blisters, ring fingers, tattoos, hairline prior to coloring, stretch marks. extra dewiness, tame flyaways, rebellious eyebrows, makeup mistakes and split ends. Whew!

Here are my current four favorites:

Rodial Glam Balm MULTI: A brilliant multi-use anti-aging balm that feels luxurious and solves all manner of beauty woes from flaking skin to dry knees. This cult product has been ordained “The Swiss Army Knife of Beauty Products,” for it’s wide variety of uses. The new formula “MULTI” has added the anti-aging benefits of 3D Hyaluronic Filling Spheres to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Favorite use: In-flight moisturizing mask. FULL REVIEW OF RODIAL GLAM BALM: HERE

Egyptian Magic: Living up to it’s namesake, this olive oil and honey-based balm works magic on elbows, knees and everything in between. Formulated with all-natural ingredients this magical balm has been used for centuries to care for and nourish the skin. Favorite use: a moisturizer to help extend your summer tan. FULL REVIEW OF EGYPTIAN MAGIC: HERE

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips: (Yes, you read that right…) Recommended by midwives, this balm was originally designed to relieve the dry, painful nipples associated with breastfeeding. Makeup artists discovered many other uses: hydrating skin and lips on the fly/highlighting cheek bones/eye gloss – and it soon became an industry secret. Formulated with 100% medical-grade lanolin, this balm reduces skin roughness by up to 40% in an hour. It also acts as a barrier to prevent any moisture from escaping or bacteria from entering. Favorite use: Eye cream.

The Balm – By Nieves:  This concentrated balm is made with all-natural ingredients that moisturize, heal and soothe the skin; softening coconut oil, antioxidant-rich sesame oil, calming virginia cedar, healing lavender and balancing ylang ylang. Orange extract releases an uplifting and zesty aroma and provides a healthy glow to the skin and hair. The buttery texture melts effortlessly into the skin restoring softness and elasticity immediately. Great for both man and woman, The Balm is safe to use anywhere on the body. Favorite use: Moisturize dry ends and fix fly-aways.

Lip Lacquer: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres (Glossy Stain)

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Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres (Glossy Stain) is a unique hybrid of a lip stain and gloss without the dryness of a stain and the stickiness of a gloss.

The Glossy Stain is available in 19 beautiful shades. The pigmentation is rich and true to color. One layer provides a perfect wash of color and two, reaches full opacity. It stains the lips for a long-lasting finish that will not transfer.

The doe-foot applicator makes for easy and precise application. The soft-slanted tip is controllable and accurate. The texture is a gel-like formula that feels comfortable, cooling and hydrating on the lips. The thick consistency plumps the lips and exudes incredible shine with absolutely no glitter or sparkly bits.

This is one of the most inventive lip products I have tried. It is like nail polish for the lips, lacquered and glossy. This is the type of product that you must branch-out and try an extraordinary shade. Skip the neutrals and go directly towards the bold and vibrant shades. My current favorite is #12 Corail Fauve – a pinky-coral shade that looks like sweet watermelon on the lips. However, I have my eye on the perfect red for fall –  #20 Rouge Enamel (Sephora Exclusive) as well as a bold orange – #8 Orange de Chine, my out-of-comfort-zone shade.

Tips & Tricks: Perfect Summer Glow

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I have spent the last couple months aggressively testing the best self-tanning products on the market. From sprays to mousse, wipes to lotions, I have discovered some great formulas and techniques. (Reviews to follow)

Along the way, I have picked up some tips and tricks to get the perfect summer glow:

PREP:

☀ Do a patch test: Skin may be sensitive to DHA (a sugar derivative) or other ingredients in the product.

☀ Wax 24 hours in advance. Shave 12 hours in advance.

☀ Exfoliate! To get the smoothest, streak-free color possible, apply self-tanner immediately after exfoliating. The outer layer of the epidermis, which is what the self-tanner interacts with, is composed of dead skin cells that last only 7 to 10 days before they shed. You want to make sure you have an even layer of dead skin cells so that they all tan and slough off together. If you don’t properly exfoliate some of the skin will begin peeling in a day or two, which can result in a splotchy tan job.

☀ Apply a light body lotion to dry areas such as knees, elbows and heels. Body lotion will prevent the tanner from saturating these areas.

☀ Choose your favorite self-tanning formula: Aerosols are easy to apply and dry very fast. Mousse has quick-drying power and gives you more control. Wipes are great for on-the-go. Lotions are the most hydrating and will generally last the longest.

APPLICATION:

☀ 99% of the time you will end up with a streaky or uneven tan because of lack of product. Always work with enough product so you are able to glide it over the skin freely. Your skin will only absorb a certain amount of product so it is better to follow the “more is better” rule.

☀ With many application methods to choose from: gloves, mitts, brushes… I believe the best device is your hands. To prevent tan-palms, do not wait until the end to wash your hands. Scrub hands after each section of the body is completed.

☀ Apply product section by section. Always start at the bottom, so you won’t crease the color as you bend over. Start with feet: Apply product to a cotton round and blend on the tops of feet, toes and ankle area. This is my biggest problem area and have found this technique to be the best.

☀ Continue to apply over the shin and calf of a leg. Then apply tanner to your thigh from front to back, using the excess to cover your knee. Repeat on your other leg. For the final step, apply tanner to your hips, stomach and torso, following with your shoulders and arms.

☀ For application to the back area – your best bet is have someone do it for you. Otherwise, use an aerosol formula for an easier reach.

☀ Hands – same technique as feet. After applying product to the body. Wash hands vigorously. Add product to a cotton round and smooth over the backs of hands and lightly on the fingers, blending down onto the wrist area.

☀ An easy way to soften or slow down the absorption of self-tanner on areas that tend to grab a lot of product such as the elbows, knees and heels is to use a dry wash cloth to gently buff these areas after application. It will pick up some of the excess self-tanner and prevent them from getting too dark.

☀ Ever notice that areas like sunspots, melasma or old scars tend to get darker and more noticeable when you’ve slathered on self-tanner? Once you apply self-tanner to the area, take a slightly damp Q-Tip and gently wipe off the self-tanner from the areas where the dark spots are most prevalent. If it still grabs to the spot – try dipping Q-Tip into some rubbing alcohol. This will minimize the chance of the area getting darker and create a more even tone to the skin.

☀ Wait at least 15 minutes before dressing.

EXTENDING YOUR TAN:

☀ Moisturize! Try to moisturize the skin a couple times a day.

☀ Try a gradual tanner. This will not only extend your tan but will even it out as well.

Drugstore’s Finest: CeraVe

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Recommended by dermatologists everywhere, the CeraVe line of skincare products are all non-irritating, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. Better yet, they are all available at a drugstore near you.

The CeraVe line was created in conjunction with dermatologists and was intended for use in the treatment of dry skin and other conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis. CeraVe is the first brand to contain essential ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids that healthy skin needs. CeraVe uses a patented “multivescular emulsion” or MVE® system that was only available through prescription not long ago. This system consists of a controlled and steady release of various ingredients over time allowing skin to be hydrated longer and more efficiently with one application. The daily regimen of cleansers and moisturizers helps repair, replenish and protect the skin’s barrier to leave it looking and feeling soft, clean and healthy.

The CeraVe line of skincare products are drugstore’s finest. Here is a review of the first few products I have tried and tested:

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser: Gentle yet powerful, this cleanser removes makeup, dirt and oil like a champ. It leaves the face feeling soft and clean, not stripped or dry. It contains the brand’s signature ceramides and hyaluronic acid – two ingredients that help lock in moisture so your skin will never feel tight or dry.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30: A great daytime moisturizer that feels light on the skin but wards off UVA/UVB rays with it’s standout broad-spectrum sunscreen. It keeps skin hydrated and restores the skin’s barrier with Niacinaminde (vitamin B3) making it less vulnerable to the elements.

CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion: This body lotion does it all – exfoliates, smoothes and softens. Skin can only be truly hydrated when the top layer of dead skin cells are removed. This allows moisturizing ingredients to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. The Renewing Lotion does all of this for you. Formulated with both salicylic acid (used for epidermal exfoliation) and ammonium lactate (a mild exfoliant and humectant) this lotion gently removes dry, scaly skin. While, vitamin D, glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid smooths, firms and hydrates the skin.

CeraVe, in my opinion, is the best affordable line of skincare products. All of the products are gentle, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, non-irritating and readily available at mass retailers and drugstores nationwide.

Floral Water: Chantecaille Rosewater

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Chantecaille Rosewater

Rosewater is a by-product made when producing rose oil. It is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A and has antioxidants that help transform dull, tired skin to radiant, glowing skin.

Rose is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties. It is excellent for maintaining hydrated skin and combats pre-mature aging. Rose water helps to balance the pH of the skin, controlling both dry and oily skin and can also soothe many types of dermatitis.

Chantecaille Rosewater contains 100% of the Rose de Mai, an antique rose named after the month of May, when it blooms. It is harvested by hand and distilled in the purest artesian well water to produce this healing, moisturizing and uplifting spray.

Continuing my love of French skincare, it is said that Rosewater has been used in the beauty ritual of French women for centuries. It can also be used in many different ways: to enhance skincare, as a make-up setting spray, body fragrance, linen spray, hair-freshener…

Chantecaille Rosewater is a wonderful treat for both the skin and the senses.

 

Tried & Tested: Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

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Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

With party season around the corner, every girl needs a powerful lip color in their arsenal. The Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color’s by Urban Decay deliver high-impact color with a punch.

Like having a lipstick and lip gloss in one, these chubby pencils provide vibrant, rich color with a glossy finish. The product is long-wearing, and the opaque color continuously looks presentable without feathering. The Lip Color’s are super creamy, hydrating and convertible.

Currently available in five shades: F-Bomb (bright red cream), Punch Drunk (bright orange cream), Adrenaline (bright fuchsia sparkle), Crush (hot pink), and Big Bang (bright pink with sparkle).

Of all the shades, I am currently loving F-Bomb and Crush, the creamier versions. The sparkle shades feel a little gritty on the lips and are a bit troublesome with application. All-in-all, the Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color’s by Urban Decay are a great lip product to have on-hand during party season.

Bronzing Oil: Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

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Terracotta Huile De Voyageur

Summer is all about healthy-looking skin. The quickest way to fake this is with Terracotta Hulle De Voyageur Nourishing Dry Oil. This luxurious bronzing oil hydrates the skin and imparts a short-term glow.

The non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula is made primarily of Argan oil to hydrate the skin. Tiny specks of gold and mother-of-pearl provide subtle color and shimmer. Skin is left nourished, smooth and luminous.

The scent is a hypnotic blend of Tiare flower that perfumes the skin of jasmine. It smells rich and exotic, coating the skin for hours.

Guerlain’s Terracotta line uses a Tan Booster technology that prolongs a tan. It also uses Roucou, a reddish-brown vegetable pigment that has been used throughout the ages to intensify color day after day.

This is a great quick-fix bronzing oil, as it washes off with simple soap and water. Tip: Let the product dry completely, as some color will transfer.

Tried & Tested: Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

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Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector is formulated to hydrate and enhance the lips, not hide them. These natural-colored lip products provide high gloss for a luscious-looking pout.

Clarins Lip Perfectors are extremely hydrating, apply beautifully and feel amazing. The colors are natural and light, used to enhance one’s lip color not erase it completely. It gives lips a soft, luminous glow sans any residue or stickiness.

The gel-like formula tastes sweet and pleasing like caramel and does not leave behind any strong scent. Available in three shades: rose shimmer, apricot shimmer and beige, these lip products are sheer and glowing.

A great lip option for those who like a natural – more subdued lip or for those with dry or chapped lips.

Brilliant Balm: Rodial Glam Balm

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Rodial Glam Balm

Rodial Glam Balm is a multi-purpose skin treatment that revitalizes the skin. This anti-aging balm can be used on the face, lips, neck or hands.

Glam Balm contains Myrrh extract that plumps-up fat cells in the skin for a fuller appearance. Vitamin C that brightens, stimulates collagen and provides antioxidant protection. Calendula, shea butter and vitamin E which help restore moisture and sooth the skin. It also contains Bergamot Fruit oil which is an antiseptic used to treat acne.

Glam balm can be used as a mask or simply to spot-treat. This product has a similar texture to petroleum jelly, but richly thicker. It goes on clear and feels extremely hydrating on the skin. Glam Balm retains no scent and can be used on even the most sensitive skin.

With a multitude of benefits – reduces fine lines, plumps lips and wrinkles, calms and heals sensitive/irritated skin and increases collagen production – there is bound to be a reward for everyone.


Spring Cleaning: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

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Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is a lightweight gel that gently hydrates and nourishes the skin. It removes all dirt, oil and makeup from the skin without stripping it of it’s essential nutrients.

Unlike most cleansers, the Soy Face Cleanser does not create a lather when applied. The gel-like consistency thickens as it is worked into the skin and feels like silk. It sweeps over the face and removes anything in its way, softly and gently. A splash of water reveals an exceptionally clean face, squeaky even, without it feeling tight or dry.

Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser smells of cucumbers and rose. It feels cool and fresh on the skin, ever so soothing. Enriched with soy proteins, amino acids and botanicals, this is a phenomenal cleansing product.


Surprising Serum: Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation

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Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation

Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation is a truly innovative product. This foundation, formulated with Organic Argan Oil, feels like a hydrating serum. The pigments instantly adjust to the skintone with a built-in color-match technology. It smooths and corrects any visible signs of aging and the Argan Oil-infused formula strengthens and balances the skin.

I was immediately impressed by this foundation. The coverage is medium but build-able. The finish has this amazing glow that looks incredibly healthy and the serum element feels extremely nutritious on the skin.

Word of caution: Foundation is available in two colors> Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. Test colors in natural light if possible. Foundation can appear a little orange, but if blended gradually, it should match any skintone.


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