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Over-The-Counter Power: Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream

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avene

Recommended by dermatologists, Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is currently one of the most innovative skincare products on the market.

Available in three different strengths including 0.1% retrinal (French for retinol) which is currently the highest amount of retrinal available in an over-the-counter product. The lowest strength is 0.025%, which is where someone who has never used a retrinal product should begin. Classified as dermo-cosmetics, Avène Rétrinal Skin Care products are considered to be cutting edge skincare with a medical approach to skincare.

Avène Rétrinal + 0.1 Cream is quite effective for a couple of reasons. The product is a form of Vitamin A which through clinical studies has been proven to improve elasticity, radiance and skin texture – as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. You will get the normal side effects with any retrinal/retinol product – skin sensitivity, peeling, dry skin. But it is all well-worth the end result. Clear, glowing, firm skin.

The easy to apply product should be applied to the face and neck after cleansing. As with all anti-aging products it is imperative that broad-spectrum sunscreen be used at all times when exposed to the sun.

I have used many retinol/retrinal products, over-the-counter and prescription – this is by far the best over-the-counter product I have used.

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The Beauty Berry: Sea Buckthorn

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Known as the “beauty berry” across Europe and Asia, sea buckthorn contains over 190 bioactive compounds that restore, revitalize, and protect youthful beauty – inside and out. Available in skincare products, haircare products and healthcare products this bountiful berry has been used topically and internally for centuries.

Topically, these hardy berries help nourish skin, hair, and nails with powerful antioxidants and essential fatty acids, including the rare Omega 7. Sea buckthorn contains the highest Omega-7 content in the industry. Today scientists are touting Omega 7 primarily for it’s anti-aging benefits. It helps control free radicals, is vital for healthy collagen production and contains dozens of skin-nourishing phyto-nutrients including full spectrum Vitamin E, well known for healing and repairing skin tissue.

Internally, sea buckthorn can protect against heart disease, cancer, natural aging symptoms, liver damage, sun damage, memory loss, ulcers, menopause symptoms and more. Over 120 specific studies on sea buckthorn have shown that this little berry promotes health and vitality. Even Dr.Oz featured the sea buckthorn berry on his show as a vehicle for healthy weight loss and maintenance. From sea buckthorn’s rare abundance of some of the most powerful antioxidants to being the only plant in the world known to contain essential fatty acids 3, 6, 7 and 9 – sea buckthorn has earned it’s title as a “superfruit”.

Traditional health-related uses for the sea buckthorn berry include:

  • Sustained energy levels
  • Improved cellular health
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Healthy inflammation response
  • Joint support
  • Moisturizing dry and damaged skin and hair
  • Improved immune health
  • Decrease in wrinkles and fine lines
  • Addressing exzema and rosacea symptoms

Fact: It takes approximately 10 pounds of sea buckthorn berries to product 1 pound of oil.

Here are four wonderful companies that incorporate sea buckthorn into their products:

Sibu Beauty has developed an entire system of premium health and beauty products made from wild, hand-harvested, fair-trade sea buckthorn. Products include luxurious cleansers, moisturizes, and other topical treatments as well as dietary supplements that beautify and protect from the inside-out. Each product is packed with the maximum levels of Omega 7 and the 190 other bio-active nutrients from the sea buckthorn berry to revitalize, renew, and replenish the body.

Shown: Sibu Repair & Protect All Natural Facial Cream and Sibu Sea Buckthorn Cellular Support

Weleda, named after the Celtic god of wisdom and healing, develops it’s products based on a passion for beauty, wellness and environmental respect. Weleda uses sea buckthorn in products targeted at dry, dehydrated skin. The essential fatty acids replenish vital moisture, while pro-vitamin A and vitamin E soften and protect the skin. Weleda adds sea buckthorn to it’s products to provide thirsty skin with nutrient-rich moisture and added antioxidants and vitamins.

Shown: Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil

Naked Organix offers concentrated, plant-based formulas to protect, repair and moisturize the face and body. Featuring some of the most effective botanical ingredients on the market, their skincare line is hand-crafted in small batches and contain only the finest quality organic, wild-crafted ingredients. Naked Organix uses sea buckthorn for it’s renowned ability to protect and revitalize dehydrated skin and help any skin type appear more youthful and radiant.

Shown: Naked Organix Sea Buckthorn Cleansing Bar and Naked Organix Sea Buckthorn Body Butter

Amika dedicates an entire line of haircare products to sea buckthorn (also known as Obliphica). The range provide deep conditioning and manageability utilizing pure obliphica oil or sea buckthorn oil. The concentrated formula feeds hair, restoring natural moisture and balance and imparting vitality and health to the follicle. The natural oil won’t weigh the hair down so dull hair becomes enriched and replenished with the it’s natural moisture.

Shown: Amika Obliphica Oil Treatment

In The Know: Chanel CC Cream

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CC Cream, also known as Color Control cream, is an improved and refined BB (Blemish Balm) Cream. While BB Creams are manufactured primarily as a skincare product, CC Creams are developed to retain all the skincare benefits of a BB Cream plus added nourishing ingredients and the additional aim to provide more effective skin coverage. CC creams are formulated with technology originating in, industry-leader, Japan and further developed in Korea.

Asian countries have been using CC Creams for some time now and currently have many brands and product available. Just like the BB Cream “craze” – these creams will soon begin to roll out worldwide, one-by-one.

Chanel launched it’s version of a CC Cream (Chanel’s Version: Correction Complete/Complete Correction) to the Asian Markets earlier this year and will soon be available to the USA. No release date set.

READ BB CREAM REVIEWS:

Dior Hydra Life

Bobbi Brown

Boscia

Skin Rehab: Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10)

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Get glowing, healthy-looking skin instantly with one swipe of Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10). This one-step, daily peel gently exfoliates the skin delivering a powerful dose of protective antioxidants to help prevent visible signs of aging.

The Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10) is formulated with 10% Citric Acid (antioxidant found in citrus fruits) to exfoliate dead skin cells, neutralize free radicals, and help prep skin for moisturizer and serum absorption. With no rinsing or recovery time required, the result is impossibly smooth skin with improved texture and tone.

Exuviance Daily Antioxidant Peel CA (10) is an amazing rehab for the skin. Gentle enough for everyday use, this peel provides the instant gratification of glowing skin after every use.

The product comes with a  jar containing 36 pads (+1 test pad), and a bottle of solution. When ready to start the regime, pour the solution over the pads and let it soak in. Then begin to use one pad over the face (can also be used on hands, neck and chest) each morning, or as tolerated. Skincare and makeup can be applied immediately after. There is no rinsing, waiting period, stinging, drying or flaking.

In a clinical study, 100% of participants reported healthier looking skin, smoother texture and a more even tone after just one use.

“The skin is constantly shedding and renewing itself. Failure of old cells to slough off leads to a dull, more aged appearance to the skin. This peel is an innovative way to incorporate gentle exfoliation and antioxidant protection into your daily routine with one easy swipe. It’s formulated by the dermatologists who created the original glycolic peel, and utilizes 10% Citric Acid to scavenge damaging free radicals brought on by environmental exposure and help prevent future signs of aging. I recommend using it between office visits to help refine skin texture, smooth fine lines, even skin discoloration, and help diminish the appearance of acne scars and environmental damage.” -Dr. Julie K. Karen, a board certified dermatologist who currently practices at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of NY.

What are AHAs – Alpha-Hydroxyacids?

AHAs are a group of naturally ocurring acids, many of which are found in fruits (hence “fruit-acids”). AHAs are used to help improve a variety of skin disorders including xerosis (dry skin), acne, ichthyosis, seborrheic keratoses and psoriasis. They also improve pigmentary disorders and symptoms of photo-aging; such as fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, skin laxity and dullness.

AHAs penetrate the dead surface cells of the skin, loosening the molecular bonds that attach them to the underlying tissues. The loose cells slough off, exposing newer skin.

The following are the 5 major types of alpha-hydroxy acids found in skincare products and their sources:

  • glycolic acid – sugar cane
  • lactic acid – milk
  • malic acid – apples and pears
  • citric acid – oranges and lemons
  • tartaric acid – grapes

About Citric Acid:

Citric acid is a substance that is found naturally in citrus fruits. It is a powerful antioxidant that can improve the health of skin cells. It stimulates collagen production, fights and protects from free radicals, has skin lightening properties, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of scars.

Tried & Tested: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

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The newest BB Cream to hit our counters is Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35. Exclusive to Nordstroms, the formula combines moisturizer, skincare, foundation and SPF into one.

Features & Benefits: Water-attracting molecules boost hydration. Light-reflecting pearls brighten dull skin. Botanical extracts and caffeine reduce discoloration and redness. Pore-reducing peptides minimize fine lines. Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and antioxidants fend off future damage.

Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream SPF 35 is available in five shades: Extra Light, Fair, Light, Medium and Medium to Dark. I was certainly intrigued by this, due to the fact that Bobbi Brown Cosmetics are primarily yellow-based shades. Many BB Cream (especially asian brands) are based on cooler-tones, such as pinks and greys.

As I sampled the different shades, I was persuaded by a sweet Bobbi Brown representative to try the darkest shade, Medium to Dark. This shade looks quite dark, almost bronzer-like. But, I took her advice and purchased.

APPLICATION: Smooth and easy to apply. Goes on quite dry, but feels nice and extremely light on the skin. (Unless you have very oily skin, a moisturizer is needed in addition to this BB Cream.)

COVERAGE: Sheer.

FINISH: Skin appears matte with a subtle sheen. Very healthy-looking. However, like most BB Creams, after a couple hours the oils will come-out and skin will look too glowing. A finishing powder is recommended.

COLOR: Initial application, the color appeared too dark. Let dry and after a couple minutes, the color adapts to the skin and the color is perfect. It might be a smidgen too dark – but I am loving the subtle-tan look for summer.

VERDICT: Like many of the US BB Creams, this is much like a tinted moisturizer. But, I love the finish it leaves on the skin and the feeling is remarkably lightweight. For a high-SPF product, this cream wears like you have nothing on. The shade choices are great and warm-up the complexion beautifully. Leaves skin looking fresh and healthy. A great option for the summer months – SPF, lightweight, easy.

(When testing these BB Creams, before deciding on a shade, I suggest waiting at least 5 minutes for the color to oxidize and adapt to your skin tone.)

For other BB Cream reviews:

Dior Hydra Life BB Cream

Boscia BB Cream

Queen of Cleansing: Eve Lom Cleanser

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Eve Lom Cleanser

Regarded as the Queen of Cleansing, Eve Lom is one of the most acclaimed and sought-after facialists in the world. Her skincare philosophy is that when it comes to achieving great skin, less is more.

The basis of Eve Lom skincare regime is cleansing. The Eve Lom cleanser is concocted of a powerful blend of Egyptian chamomle, hops, clove, coccoa butter and eucalyptus oil that is suitable for all skin types. This product tones, exfoliates and cleanses all-in-one to achieve perfectly balanced skin.

The cleanser comes with a woven muslin cloth, used to improve skin circulation while cleansing and exfoliates the skin in minutes. It makes your skin feel baby soft and removes absolutely everything.

The Eve Lom Cleanser has been described by Vogue as the “best cleanser in the world” and is also a cult-product used by women all over the world.

EVE LOM CLEANSING TIPS:

  • Once a day, at night, for normal/dry skin types
  • Twice a day, morning and night, for oily/very oily skin types
  • Massage a small amount onto the face and neck over grime and make-up from the day. At this stage the cleanser will remove all forms of make-up from the skin.
  • Fill a basin with hot water and immerse the muslin cloth. Squeeze off excess water and gently press the cloth onto the face and neck for a few seconds. The heat will soften the skin and open the pores, allowing the aromatic oils to cleanse the skin of impurities. For the optimum cleanse, repeat this stage three times.
  • Fold the hot, rinsed cloth into a square and work it in small, circular movements across the face and neck to remove all traces of Cleanser.
  • The muslin will gently exfoliate the skin surface and encourage blood circulation, leaving the skin feeling exceptionally smooth.
  • When using the Cleanser at night, add this step. Rinse the cloth in cool water and press onto the face and neck.
  • This helps close the pores, giving the skin a more even, toned appearance. It also leaves the skin feeling fresh and ultra clean.

Cyber Monday Deals & Steals: Beauty

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If you avoided the hectic Black Friday stampede, take advantage of these Cyber Monday Beauty Deals & Steals.

Beauty.com : Spend $100 at Beauty.com and get an Erickson Beaman makeup case full of samples, plus free shipping.

Bliss: 20% off Bliss, Elemis and Laboratoire Remede products.

Butter London: 30% site wide discount until November 30th – Code: CELEBRATE11

Chantecaille: Free Les Macarons palette + free shipping with $150+ purchase with Code: SHOPCHIC  (11/25 through 11/28).

Clarisonic: All Clarisonic skincare pairs purchased between 11/25 through 11/29 will be 20% off.

Giorgio Armani: 20% off + free 2nd day shipping on $75+ orders with Code: GAHOLIDAY1 (expires 11/29).  20% off + free 2nd day shipping + 6 minis ($42 value) on $125+ orders with Code: GAHOLIDAY4 (valid 11/27 through 11/29).

Inglot USA:  15% off all online orders + free shipping.

Josie Maran: 25% off with Code: GIVEBACK

Kate Somerville: 30% off with Code: HOLIDAY2011

Kiehls: $20 off $65+ orders with Code: HOLIDAY, expires 11/31. Free shipping + deluxe trio of your choice on $30+ orders with Code: BIGTREAT, 11/28 only.

L’Occitane: $10 gift card with any $50+ purchase with Code: GIFT10

Origins: $10 off + free shipping on $25+ purchases with Code: TENOFF

shu uemura: 20% off with Code: WISH2011, 11/24 – 11/29, free shipping on $50+ orders.

Smashbox: 20% off with Code: SBXFF11

Somme Institute: 40% off all skincare site wide

SpaceNK — Spend $150 and enter Code: THANKS150 to receive a complimentary gift with 10 deluxe-sized samples.

Tarte:  $10 off purchases of $50, $20 off purchases of $75, $30 off purchases of $100 or more. A free gift with purchase with every order (customers will get to choose 1 of 5 items) – Free shipping on orders of $40 & up – Code: CYBER

YSL:  20% off + free shipping; spend $100+ get a free gift, with Code: MONDAY (11/28 through 11/30)

Tried & Tested: Too Faced Primed & Poreless

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Too Faced Primed & Poreless

Too Faced Primed & Poreless is a makeup primer formulated to erase pores and imperfections, soften fine lines and help create a flawless face.

This primer aroused my curiosity with one ingredient, a powerful dose of retinol. Always a fan of multi-tasking, finally a primer formulated to prime the skin while restoring moisture, elasticity with anti-wrinkle fighting ingredients.

The primer slides onto the skin seamlessly, easy to blend and sets quickly. The nude tone becomes invisible once applied, so can be used on any skintone. Pores were airbrushed away and my combination skin felt less oily. Makeup lasted all day, no touch-ups needed.

The retinol in the product is quickly noticeable with a slight “itchy” feeling. Nothing to be discouraged about, but very sensitive skin might be fore-warned.

Too Faced Primed & Poreless is a great primer for oily and combination skintypes. Just remember to apply your sunscreen as retinol can make skin sensitive to the sun.

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