Moisturizers -Cerave - Facial Moisturizing Lotion - AM SPF 30
bernsie 3/1/2012 11:39:00 AM
This is a newer general moisturizer I've been seeing on the shelves of drug stores and Walmart. I'm specifically reviewing their daytime moisturzer w/SPF 30. I like it for it's simplicity, although the ingredient list is short, they are high quality performance derived ingredients. When I mention it's a general moisturizer I mean it simply locks in water to protect from dehydration and adds an SPF 30 for sun protection. Niacinamide appears as the 2nd ingredient after water. This ingredient helps protect the outer skin barrier from disapating water (hydration.) The packaging suggests this ingredient helps the skin re-establish ceramides (ingredients that hold water to the skin and hydrate it.) I always thought of Niacinamide as a chemically morphed derivitive of a B Vitamin, being benificial to skin by increasing hydration in the way panthenol works. I also thought this to be an ingredient used in other products (Olay's Definity) to block pigmentation of the skin in the form of blotchyness and particularly sun/brown spots. I may be wrong here. Ingrdients that I think of as quality and found in more expensive moisturizers are as follows: Ceramide3, Ceramide 6-11, Ceramide1, Hyoluronic acid and Phytosphigosides along with common dimeticone for slip and comfort. These are rather high tech ingredients not usually associated with a $14, 3 ounce pump bottle drug store/Walmart moisturizer. These are ingredints more associated with high end department store brands such as Elizabet Arden who were the pioneers in using Ceramides. This all said and done is a superlative moisturizer for the price. The texture can be a bit heavier than most lotions, but this may just be the ticket for a drier skin type or a normal one in cold winter climates. This is just the thing the doctor may have ordered (plastic surgeons and dermatologists) for an after procedure (face lift, laser/chemical peel) when one needs something for sesitized skin. It does what it says and does so quite well at that and is dirt cheap. Highly Recommended!
Treatments -Neutrogena - Rapid Wrinkle Repair night moisturizer
bernsie 3/1/2012 9:07:00 AM
Although this is a review of the night cream, I'm including the day lotion w/sunsreen as a 24 hour treatment. Neutrogena, Roc and Aveeno are all owned by Johnson & Johnson. This newest Neutrogena Retinol based anti-aging treatment really is their best yet. I initially didn't think it would be better than their Ageless Intensives w/Retinol as the ingredient appears much lower down the list than in the Ageless Intensive's. Somehow the quality of the Retinol they use is higher and more concentrated in the newer treatment as it works quicker so you see results quicker. It evens the skin tone by fading imperfections fast. It reduces fine lines and even deeper wrinkles better than any Retinol Treatment in this price range ($20.00 for each in Walmart.) They both come in a 1 oz pump bottle which is sealable (on/off.) For $40 bucks (day/night treatment) I don't believe you can get a higher quality, quick result producing anti ager. As a matter of fact you can spend much more money (4&5 times this amount) for one product by a prestige brand in Sephora which will not produce these results. With continued use, skin just keeps getting better. Highly recommended. I would not be w/out them both! I've an addendum here: It is part of Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Series: Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum. I love serums in general (Retinol containing) as they concentrate the active ingredient (s.) In this case it is the new Accelerated Retinol SA and Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid binds hundreds of times it's weight in water w/out being greasy, heavy, occlusive or emolient. It's also an expensive ingredient as is the Retinol. That however, is not the only reason I like serums: I like them as they set quickly and allow you to apply something else w/other benefits on top, without getting thick and greasy and this serum dries to a filmlessness which makes it even more special. Now, if you wanted a super dose of Retinol apply this serum under this Retinol product. Watch out that your skin can take it. You may not be able to tolerate the continued use of this right off the bat. Just use it this way, a couple of times a week and seperate by a few days. My skin is tough as it is used to Retin-A and my favorite Rx skin product Tazorac Gel. I still like this serum under my Ole Henriksen Truth Revealed Super Cream w/SPF 15. This way I'm getting concentrated Retinol along with stabilized Vitamin C and other ingredients (peptides) which also work on lines and wrinkles. This cream I've reviewed elsewhere under the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum (Vitamin C), sort of the way I've snuck this in as there was no Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum listed here yet as also the Ole Henriksen Cream mentioned here. I can't say enough about this Neutrogena Serum and it's counterparts within this somewhat newer Neutrogena Line. Best Retinol based products for the price, and then some!!!
MAC Studio Fix is probably the best powder based foundation to ever come down the pike. This type of Powder Foundation was probably first done successfully by Lancome's Dual Finish. However, Studio Fix far out shines that brands product, Studio Fix was initially a heavier formula before it was changed to their color system divided into NW's, NC's, C's and they used to have straight W's (for Warm) which may not be available outside MAC Pro Stores. Studio Fix can only be used dry unlike Dual Finish which can be applied w/a damp/wet sponge. It doesn't matter however as Studio Fix applied w/a brush is equivalent to Dual Finish applied w/a sponge And Dual Finish applied w/a damp or wet sponge is equal in coverage to Studio Fix sponged on dry. I'll use this opportunity to give some MAC history 101: It was originally created by the Canadian team of Frank Toskan and his family and Frank Angelo (God rest his soul.) They started with lipsticks they sold to professionals (make-up artist, stylist, models.) Due to the density of their original pigments they wore on and on even under hot lights w/o touch-ups (a make-up artists best friend.) The product caught on with people in the know and Frank and Frank expanded their line. Originally started in a little counter in a department store called The Bay Company in Toronto. They expanded rapidly and suddenly magazine covers were giving them credits as to the make-up of the make-up artists. Their expansion into the states happened quickly. People wanted the product the "people in the know" prefered. It was the early 90's when this happened. Frank and Frank had filled a market niche no one (not even Lauder) thought of; that urban, funky, downtown girl who was cool and always part of the "in crowd." Their brushes were the best, made in France to specifications unheard of commercially. The make-up pigments in everything were dense, so they showed up with far more "payoff" on the skin than that which appeared in the container. This is quite the opposite of most makeup sold in drugstores/Walmart/Department Stores where the blush as seen in the packaging comes off much softer and sheerer on the skin. This took a certain new understanding of working with the product and a specialized staff to advance this understanding. This was when MAC (Make-up Art Cosmetics) had the best artists in the field developing and selling their product. Any make-up maven worth their weight in gold wanted to sell or buy the product or both! Frank and Frank were also very much about "giving back" and started the Viva Glam series of lipsticks where all proceeds went to AIDS related communities and help (no monies went to administration fees. It went to programs like Meals on Wheels and the like, to directly help people w/medication, doctors, food, etc.) Frank and Frank would actually visit their stores and locations to get to know their staff and praise them. People who worked for them finally felt "home." Estee Lauder, who had a monopoly on the cosmetic world w/Clinique, Estee Lauder, Origins, Prescriptives, Tommy Hilfiger Fragrances, Donna Karan Fragrances and accesories and their diversification into everything and anything. You know the old saying "if you can't beat them, buy them." That's what Lauder did. They bought their competition: Bobbi Brown, Stilla, Jane and finally MAC. This is when MAC changed and became all about the "bottom line" (power of 3 then 4 then 5 etc...) MAC's Culture had changed and not for the better in my opinion anyway. Their most talented staff (the dinosaurs) left. Now they hire 2 part timers instead of one full timer to avoid paying benefits. How much loyalty do you think somone given 16 hours a week w/no benefits give an employer? Well, with this proud, but sad history MAC continues to be the most full range color line I'm aware of. As a make-up artist since1977, if I had lost or had stollen all of the make-up I ever used on movies, fashion shoots, editorials etc. I would have to start all over by getting myself to a MAC Pro Store, a MAC Store or MAC location witin a department store. They still have a quality product with color like no other brand, a plethora of products like no other brand at a Quality/price ratio like no other brand...
First off, let's get to the formula: Perfection upon application. It's not a sheer gloss nor an opaque lipstick, but falling somewhere inbetween. The barrel is not that of a wide round angled stick. Instead it rolls up as a thinner, less wide barrel which really helps promote you the ability to "shape" the lips. The consistency is pure luxury: moist, soft, shiny, but with enough body to not break or become mishapen. Surprisingly one does not expect much staying power from a formula which is sheer enough to let lip texture show through, but this stuff stays on, leaving quite the "stain" even after the formula has worn off. This color: Bel Ami 66 is perfect. I cannot imagine it not looking good on anyone other than the darkest of skin tones, where it might get lost. On fair, fair-medium to medium skin tones, this is the perfect "go to" color when in doubt. It's a true rose-neutral. Imagine the natural color of lip times 2 or 3. It also will go with practically anything you have on for atire (dressed up to ultra casual) and with most colors of clothing. This is a neutral without being too brown/lifeless. The packaging is luxe and the mechanism works smoothly with authoritive movement. The cap "clicks" open/close with the same authority. This is about as perfect as a lipstick gets; nurturing to the lips as well as in a treatment balm for the lips. If you are one of those with a drawer full of lipsticks and still feel as though there is a more perfect one you haven't found yet this may just be your "find" of a lifetime and the thought may enter of you throwing out 3/4 of that drawer. Worth every penny. Expensive??...Yes, rediculously so, but worth sacraficing/saving for!
This stuff is the "real deal." A Vitamin "C" serum which is superior to most all and at a reasonable price. Two stabalized forms of Vitamin C listed as the 2nd and 3rd ingrtedients after water. The 3rd being Calcium Ascorbate which is Ester C (less irritating than others.) The 2nd being Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (very stable and concentrated.) Stability is what you need to look for: simple Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is not stable and henceforth will not do your skin any good. This serum is loaded with skin nourishing extracts of all kind (many of them fruit extracts.) There are healing ingredients (aloe being just one) along with widely actives of the latest fare. This is one high tech skin benefit. It also contains a healthy dose of Sodium Hyaluronate which binds hundreds of times its weight in water without being greasy, emollient or occlusive to the skin. This product due to its ingredients is a multi tasker if ever there was one. Vitamin C acts as an anti free radical treatment and because of its potency (10%) will stimulate collagen and elastin fibers which are the network within the skin which keeps it tightly draped across the bones of the face (therefore being firming and reversing aging such as lines, folds and wrinkles.) This percentage and quality of Vitamin C will also brighten the skin and fade brown-sun-freckle marks. It will also smooth the skins surface and give it more translucency, the way skin reflects light when it is young. There also happens to be a coordinating day/night cream (though it has an SPF of 15) called Truth Revealed Super Cream. This name is really an understatement for how it actually performs as performs it does like a German Sports car. It continues with many of the same ingredints, but puts them into a more moisturizing base and adds an SPF (though I use it at night also.) It will super charge the serum as it seals it in when applied in conjunction/over the serum. There are also additional (many) ingredients in the cream (such as peptides, which work on lines and wrinkles) not found in the serum. Used together they are a formidable combination achieving results of products 2,3 and 4 times their price. What more could you ask for???? Highly recommended and well worth it.
I have normal skin with an oily T Zone. This base is absolute perfection in every sense of the word for me. It's coverage not too heavy nor too light. The color range is descent enough (I use beige rose-sienne.) It is not pinky or rosey as the color name might suggest. I find it on the peachy side which works well for me as I'm a medium golden undertoned w/rosiness. If I go too gold I look jaundiced, too pink will make me look grey. This base has the perfect texture: not too dry/oily. It floats on w/out pulling. It doesn't need to be powdered down if you don't like the mattness of powder (though it will increase any foundations wearability.) It always comes off looking like skin as opposed to make-up. It stays where you apply it. Everything you put on top of it looks lovely. There is a light which seems to come from within the skin the way young, transluscent, perfect skin looks. Put this on top of young, transluscent, perfect skin and you have utter flawlessness. This is one of Chanel's newer or newest foundation. It's cost is within the fourties, not bad for a Chanel base. The packaging is a bit on the cheaper looking side (plastic), but I don't mind if the extra bucks saved goes into ingredients, which this base seems to do as it is made of the newest high tech ingredients not only for the appearance it gives the skin, but adds those ingredients which are good for the skin in the first place. A treatment oriented foundation w/a flawless finish! What more could you ask for. It's made in France, which by the way not all Chanel USA make-up is made. I find French formula bases and powders to be milled finer (smaller) than others from other brands. This is not a definitive rule, but I find it more true than not.
I can't get over how most all of the reviews here about Even Better Foundation by clinique never say it's quite shiny. When first applied, no matter how lightweight the moisturizer you use, this base has a sheen. You can practically see yourself in it. I can't imagine an oily skin type or someone in a humid climate wearing this. My skin is normal with an oily T zone. This base is made to be powdered down quite well, if you ask me. I still like it because it does look like skin and comes in a very large range of colors. I was able to match my skin perfectly w/shade 08 beige (M-N.) I like the fact it has sunscreen (although I'm wondering if their use of these particular sunscreens is giving it such an oily initial finish.) I like the idea of the stabalized Vitamin C as this ingredient acts as an anti-oxident and will brighten the skin while fading slight imperfections (the sales associates were not aware of this.) It seems to use high tech ingredients (whereas super balanced must be a 30 year old formula.) It wears well once powdered down. It has very good coverage yet maintains the look of skin. It's not that expensive compared to other Department store brands. I like a cream blush on top of it and a matching powder blush once you have powdered it down. Everything applied atop it regardless of brand looks teriffic. I just think oily skins should beware, especially in Summer, humid months. Is it the best base I've ever used??...No, but for the price and shade range it works nicely. Cheaper drug store choices would be L'Oreal's Color Match, Revlon's Photo Ready (though I still like the Clinique better.) More expensive prestige brands such as Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua, Dior Skin Nude (in the glass pump bottle) Shiseido The Makeup Dual Balancing Foundation, Makeup Forever's High Definition (HD) are preferable to me yet vastly more expensive. The Clinique makes for a teriffic every day base, whereas the prestige ones mentioned may be used for special occasions when you want to look a bit more refined as these bases share a similar quality the Clinique does not: the ability to make the skin seem to glow from within, as in a translucence which young beautifully perfect skin has.