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

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estee lauder

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.

Summer Must-Have: Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder

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lmbaked

Summer is all about bronzed, glowing skin. The only product needed to achieve this is Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder. Available in four bronzing colors and one highlight, one is able to mimic the sun’s rays without the damage.

  • Highlight 01 – Golden nude
  • Bronze 01 – Fair to light skin tone
  • Bronze 02 – Light to medium skin tone
  • Bronze 03 – Medium skin tone
  • Bronze 04 – Tan to deep skin tone

Titled “Matte Radiance Baked Powder,” this product is far from the stark matte bronzers of the past. Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder warms-up the skin revealing a healthy glow. No glitter or shimmer but a beautiful glowing sheen.

The ultra-smooth formula provides natural color with absolutley no orange tinge. The modern, multidimensional matte finish reveals a hint of soft luminosity and the sheer, buildable coverage lets you customize your glow.

Easy to apply, these bronzers leave skin looking naturally radiant. Coming from a bronzing addict – this is the most natural finish and color-range I have experienced. It instantly warms up the face and creates healthy looking skin.  Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder is my in my top 10 Summer Must-Haves for 2013.

GLOW-T AWARDS: Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan

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BEST MOISTURIZING SELF-TANNER: Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan

Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan is an innovative product that provides easy application, natural color, consistency, moisture and a pleasant aroma.

The uber moisturizing formula is enriched with Sweet Almond Oil and Shea Butter to deeply hydrate and smooth the skin for a radiant, streak-free appearance. Ginko Biloba and Echinacea extracts help to condition the skin, fight free radicals and promote healthy cell regeneration.

The active ingredient in most self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which reacts with the outer layer of the skin to create a bronzed tone. Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan uses a natural sunless tanning ingredient derived from a vegetable source. It reacts with amino acids in the top layer of the skin to produce the golden appearance.

Selected by SELF Magazine as the “Best New Self-Tanning Product of the Year,” Kerstin Florian Sunless Tan is thick and creamy and smells subtly like a bouquet of flowers. The initial color is light but builds to a beautiful sun-kissed glow. It feels very lux on the skin and feels and smells like a spa treatment.

Read my post on: Application Tips & Tricks

Tried & Tested: Dior Hydra Life BB Crème

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The BB Cream craze has officially arrived stateside. Prestige brands are now formulating their own versions of these “magical creams.”

To read more on the meaning and creation of the BB Cream, read my previous post, here.

I admit, I jumped on the BB Cream bandwagon a couple years ago. I starting with traditional Asian brands and have worked my way up to my current favorite, Dior.

The difference between traditional BB Creams and the BB Creams now available at your local counters, is color and consistency. The majority of the traditional brands offer a selection of only one or two shades, developed primarily for Asian skin tones. These shades are often very light and have greyish-undertones. Traditional BB Creams are thick in consistency and provide medium to full coverage as well as excellent sun protection, anti-aging benefits and skin-regenerating properties. The majority of the “new” BB Creams are no different than a tinted moisturizer with higher SPF. The coverage of these products can be very sheer, but most offer a better selection of shades.

Dior Hydra Life BB Crème has a thicker, full-coverage texture that is more in line with traditional BB Creams. Formulated with the Hydra Life skincare line, this cream is packed with moisturizing and age-defying benefits. The smooth velevety-texture has complexion-enhancing properties that produce a dewy, radiant glow. With SPF 30 PA+++ protection, this is a great product to reach for in the warmer months. The one caveat is, similar to traditional BB Creams, Dior Hydra Life BB Crème is available in one only shade. It is important to test this product before purchasing.

The BB Cream craze is confirmable, who wouldn’t want a single-step cream that will balance skin, correct the complexion and protect a youthful appearance?

Tried & Tested: The Battle of the Cleansing Conditioners

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A cleansing conditioner is a new approach to the way you clean your hair. These products cleanse and hydrate the hair in just one-step. Different from past “two-in-one” products, these cleansing conditioners do not contain any harsh detergents, chemicals, surfactants and/or sulfates that strip hair of it’s natural oils.

The three products up for review are: WEN Pomagranate Cleansing Conditioner, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo and L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner. Each product claim the same purpose – a healthy alternative to cleansing hair – but perform differently using varied ingredients.

WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner

Company Description: WEN uses a combination of natural extracts and botanicals to hydrate and cleanse the hair without the use of detergents and chemicals. The perfect mixture and blend of it’s ingredients leave hair healthy, moisturized and cleansed. WEN Cleansing Conditioners replace shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, detangler and leave-in conditioner giving you five products in one bottle.

Suggested Use: Rinse hair thoroughly. Apply product in 4 sections, crown, nape, ends on left side and ends on right side. For short hair 24 pumps is suggested, for longer thicker hair 48 pumps. Add a splash of water and massage into scalp. Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product and leave in for 3-5 minutes. Rinse. Product can then be used again as a detangler or leave-in treatment.

Review: WEN Pomegranate Cleansing Conditioner is truly a unique product. My first attempt trying the product was mediocre, due to the fact that I ignored the company’s directions and thought “I could not possibly need that amount of product.” After a bit of experimenting and following directions, WEN left my hair clean, extremely hydrated, bouncy and shiny. (Do I sound like the infomercial?… sorry.) When trying this product for the first time, the satisfaction level is a bit frustrating. With no lather or bubbles (it barely foams), it is hard to get used to, until you see the results.

Shu Uemura Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo

Company Description: Delicate formula that transforms quickly into a rich thick foam that effectively draws out the impurities and build-up on the scalp without stripping the natural oils. Leaves hair naturally radiant, soft, and in a balanced state – volumized and moisturized. Paraben and silicone free.

Suggested Use: Formuated for daily use. massage through wet hair and rinse.

Review: Shu Uemura Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo should be in a category of it’s own. Just like the company’s best selling oil-based facial cleanser, their philosophy is “oil removes oil.” Which is exactly what this product does. Formulated from deep-sea volcanic extracts, this revolutionary oil-to-foam cleanser gently washes away built-up impurities and leaves hair lightweight, lustrous and magically free from unwanted grease.  After application, I do use a separate conditioner but it is not necessary.

L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner

Company Description: This one-step wonder product is an ultra-gentle, yet powerful combination of 1/4 cleanser + 3/4 moisture. Its Low-Poo, or Low-Lather, cleansing reduces friction on the hair fiber to help minimize breakage. This innovative, ultra-concentrated triple action conditioning formula, with Omega-3 and 6, leaves hair super soft and nourished without weigh-down.

Suggested Use: Apply to wet hair and massage into a low later. Leave in 1-2 minutes. Rinse. No separate conditioner needed.

Review: L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is the drugstore equivalent to WEN Haircare. The newest product of the three, this product produces much of the same results with varied ingredients. L’Oreal Cleansing Conditioner has a surfactant in it, a type of detergent. Although very mild, this product is really no different than any other “sulfate-free” shampoo – other than having added moisturizing properties. It does cleanse the hair and leave it soft and manageable and would be a great product to have in your gym bag for a quick shower.

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Conclusion: I have a hard time using one product for a long period of time, therefore, cannot review their long-term effect. But, this is what I have concluded: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo might be the best shampoo I have ever used. Feels gentle and nourishing at the same time. WEN is truly a unique product and wins for best all-in-one product. L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner is a good drugstore option, but is not that much different than the line’s sulfate-free products.

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: Laura Geller Balance & Bronze

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Laura Geller Balance & Bronze

Laura Geller Balance & Bronze is a dual compact providing foundation and bronzer in one.

The foundation is a baked formula with multiple veins of color-correcting properties. This powder provides a sheer veil of coverage that leaves skin balanced and glowing. Mineral oil and paraben-free, this foundation contains anti-aging and anti-oxidant protection.

The bronzer is also a baked formula with multiple veins of colors that provide a radiant, sun-kissed glow.

This is a great product for travel or to throw in your purse. The two items work nicely together but can also be used on their own. The Balance & Bronze is also a great item to try, if you are curious about the Laura Geller line, 2-in-1.

Drugstore Find: Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil

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Palmers Skin Therapy Oil

Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil is a multi-purpose moisturizer that improves the appearance of scars, uneven skin tone, stretch marks, aging, dry and damaged skin.

The oil formula is non-greasy and lightweight. The oil soaks into the skin immedietly and leaves the skin with a soft glow. Skin feels instantly hydrated and incrediably soft.

When I first tried this product, my initial thought was… average moisturizer/nothing special. After a weekend baking in the sun, I used this oil twice a day and noticed my skin was incredibly hydrated, radiant and dewy. Even a couple areas where I had failed applying sunscreen, healed almost instantly.

Palmer’s products use a Cocoa Butter Formula that smells reminiscent of sweet chocolate. The fragrance is a little potent but does not last on the skin.

This is a great summer moisturizer to replenish the skin from the sun’s harsh rays. Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil is an inexpensive option for healthy skin.

True Believer: Mineral Makeup

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No matter how many different products I experiment with, mineral-based powders is what I always revert back to.

Many of us were enthralled by the swirl, tap, buff philosophy of Bare Escentuals bareMinerals, in which, these miracle mineral powders seemed to erase every flaw from the skin and leave the face glowing and radiant. Or similar brands that jumped on the mineral band-wagon and created comparable products all promising the same outcome – flawless skin.

There is no set regulation for what constitutes “mineral” makeup. The main ingredients (minerals such as mica, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide), have been the basis of most makeup foundations for decades. But, many dermatologists report that because mineral makeup frequently eliminate classic irritants such as fragrances, binders, synthetic dyes, talc, and preservatives, it is considered purer and gentler to the skin.

Whether or not, classifying a product as “mineral” makeup, is propagation or even beneficial, the undisputed truth is they work beautifully. These light, finely ground loose minerals are buffed into the skin to achieve a flawless and glowing complexion. The makeup provides long-lasting coverage and looks natural.

I am a true believer in mineral-based powders which is why I seem to reach for them more than any other.

Tip: Before application, spray brush with water or fixing spray. This will provide a glowing, even, airbrushed-like complexion.


Fresh Face: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua

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Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

Chanel’s newest foundation, Vitalumière Aqua is a lighter version of the best-selling Vitalumière. The original formula is extremely moisturizing and fitting for a more mature skin.

The new formula in Vitalumière Aqua is water-based and feels extremely light and refreshing on the skin. The semi-matte dewy finish does not appear greasy or unnatural, but luminous and radiant. The coverage is light but build-able and still manages to perfect the skin. The foundation is long-wearing, 6-8 hours, and comes in 10 ready-to-match-any-skintone shades. The packaging is a small and compact plastic bottle which is a nice change from the usual unwieldy glass bottle.  A built-in shaker prevents the product from separating which will extend it’s shelf-life. 

Once again, Chanel has created an impeccable foundation, light and fresh, perfect for the warm months ahead.

Pink Pout: Rouge Volupté #10 Provocative Pink

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YSL Rouge Volupté #10 Provocative Pink is a sexy lipstick. Period. This award-winning lipstick glides on the lips gracefully and smooth. The texture feels extremely luxurious sans any sticky residue. The color in intensely pigmented and leaves lips plump and radiant.

The packaging mirrors Yves St Laurent’s impeccable style, with a refined feel. A tiny mirror features on top of the lipstick casing, ensuring easy application on-the-go.

All YSL Rouge Volupté lipsticks contain SPF15.

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