Bronzers -Paula's Choice - Soft Matte Bronzing Powder - Tawny Brown
KylesBeguiles928 3/24/2013 4:26:00 AM
Holy grail bronzing powder. The most believable results you will ever find from a bronzing powder. Sadly it has been long discontinued from the Paula's Choice line. Such a shame, as it has the most luxurious, rich bronze pigments that applied to the skin like silk and would make even the palest complexion look sun-drenched to perfection, minus the UV damage.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum
KylesBeguiles928 3/18/2012 10:50:00 PM
I am very impressed with the results I am seeing from RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum. Apparently retinol is not a first-line treatment for rosacea, but after seeing minimal results from virtually every dermatological treatment I thought to give this one a try... well, after four weeks of nightly application (I use retinol-free Paula's Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum in the morning) my redness looks calmer and my skin's natural defenses seem strengthened! During the first week of treatment I noticed a very slight itching sensation and a few breakouts, but my skin must have been adjusting to the retinol because by week two those side effects subsided and by week three I really started to notice an overall improved skin tone and clarity; in fact, this serum eliminated some stubborn blemishes on my forehead that I had been battling for the longest time. At first my application of the serum was overzealous (naturally, I wanted to saturate my skin with all those good ingredients!) but trial and error have revealed that two pumps worth of this serum is more than enough to cover my entire face (including the eye area) and throat. I spread the serum evenly between my fingertips and gently pat it onto my skin starting with the eye area and drier spots, then finishing with the t-zone. I much prefer the airtight pump packaging of this serum to the squeeze tubes used to house Paula's other serums as the airless pump lends to more controlled application (i.e. less waste) and superior preservation of the high-quality ingredients it contains. Many thanks to the team at Paula's Choice for unleashing yet another skincare powerhouse... perhaps their best one yet!
Lip Treatments -C.O. Bigelow - My Favorite Lip Balm
KylesBeguiles928 2/29/2012 8:14:00 PM
Not just another petrolabum-based salve! This fragrance-free formula is enriched with emollients like squalene, shea butter and plant oils to moisturize the lips and boosted with antioxidants (in packaging that protects these important ingredients from light and air) plus a wonderful natural aroma from vanilla extract. It is similar to Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 (but better) and a nice alternative to Paula's Choice Lip & Body Treatment Balm for those of us who can't handle jar packaging (Paula's formula is slightly more emollient though as it contains beeswax and lanolin). The formula can become slightly runny when left in a warm pocket, but this situation can be easily remedied by gently shaking the tube before use. It also lends a shiny finish to the lips, but if gloss isn't your preferred lip look then simply apply sparingly - a little bit goes a long way. Generously sized for a lip balm, and decently priced for such a thoughtfully formulated product.
RESIST Ultimate Anti-Aging Hand Cream SPF 30 + Antioxidants has an elegant base and absorbs quickly to provide broad spectrum sun protection for two parts of the body that endure lots of elemental exposure - the hands. The packaging is both convenient and portable, making this easy to reapply throughout the day after extended sun exposure, hand washing, etc. This product may not be moisturizing enough for very dry skin (those seeking additional moisture may wish to try the RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 & Antioxidants, which I ordered for my hands before this product was available). However, many creams intended for the hands are very greasy and never seem to absorb (rendering a person useless after application) and, thankfully, this is not one of those hand creams. It is also great to find a daytime hand cream that does not irritate my skin or eyes, and that applies smoothly and seemingly without a trace. The price is a tad steep but no worse than comparable products sold by prestige cosmetic lines, and at least the Paula's Choice brand gives a sense of value since you are buying a high quality item that will prove effective for its intended purpose and possibly other uses (e.g. some users may find this cream is great for both hands and face). I wish this product contained a greater amount of antioxidants, but as Paula says it is better to have some antioxidants than to have none at all! I would buy this again based on the positive experience I've had using it and my overall confidence in Paula's Choice. It is definitely worth a try to see if it works for you.
Lip Treatments -Nivea - A Kiss of Smoothness Hydrating Lip Care
KylesBeguiles928 11/14/2011 11:55:00 PM
This product is housed in a portable swivel-stick with gender-neutral packaging and contains avobenzone for broad-spectrum sun protection, though the SPF 10 is too low, the avobenzone is not stabilized, and the active ingredients are listed without percentage information, so it's truly a gamble to rely upon this for daily sun protection. The formula includes dustings of skin-beneficial antioxidants and minimal perfume. The base is not very moisturizing, at least not for my dry lips. Jane Iredale Lip Drink SPF 15 remains my holy grail lip balm with sunscreen.
One of the most irritating and misguided skincare products on the market. How it's lasted this long is based upon old wive's tale (older people recommending it to the next generation) and nothing else. Horrible base formula laden with volatile compounds that are layers of irritation waiting to happen. Anything that makes your face tingle is just bad news - whether or not your skin shows signs of irritation, the tingle is causing cellular damage. Adding insult to injury, the jar packaging causes the white cream to quickly turn yellow and spoil (although the sooner you rid your life of Noxzema Original Skin Cream, the better it will be). If you prefer a rich-feeling cleanser like this, find a fragrance-free lotion cleanser or even a cold creme used with a wet washcloth - at least then you will not be subjecting your skin to all the menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, and stress. Avoid at all costs!
Sunscreen -Paula's Choice - Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF15
KylesBeguiles928 7/31/2011 8:26:00 PM
I give kudos to Paula for creating a mineral-based sunscreen in a lightweight base with no added irritants The fragrance-free lotion has a unique aroma that is kind of interesting - not foul, not strong... mildly mineral is the only word that comes to mind. Sadly, the white cast left even after deft blending looks odd on the skin. Also, good luck trying to remove this product - I used a silicone-based makeup remover tonic followed with a water-soluble cleanser and then toner, and I could have sworn there was still residue left on my skin. Given the insight that Paula and her team have when it comes to everything skin care products should and shouldn't be, I was surprised by the considerably lean antioxidant content - just green tea and grape seed, and halfway down the ingredient list. I am equally shocked by Paula's professed adoration for this sunscreen (apparently she uses it indispensably for her hands and other exposed skin throughout the day). This one was a real disappointment for me, and an unfortunate misstep in what is normally a line of cosmetics that sets the standard for the industry.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Coola Mineral Face Lotion SPF 20 (Unscented)
KylesBeguiles928 1/13/2011 8:16:00 PM
As someone with sensitive combination skin that seems to be in a constant state of flush, imagine my surprise to find a fragrance-free, untinted, mineral-based SPF that did not leave a prominent white cast on my face, did not sting during use, and felt sheer to the touch! As mentioned, this lotion does not contain any iron oxides to create a flesh-toned finish in an effort to offset the naturally white tone of the active SPF agents titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. However, the product somehow applies invisibly to clean, primed skin — no small feat for a product of this type! The inactive ingredients are in a silicone base with a blend of cocoa and shea butters, which I thought would cause breakouts on my combination skin but have actually yielded a clearer complexion than before using the product. Although the touted antioxidants are merely a dusting and barely warrant a mention (which prevents me from rating this product with five stars and also makes the price seem a bit steep despite the product's relatively strong performance), applying an antioxidant-rich serum or primer before using this lotion can help boost your skin's natural defenses. Overall this product is a godsend for those of us suffering from reactive and/or rosacea-prone skin and highly recommended for both men and women seeking gentle everyday SPF protection for the face. Coola also makes a mineral-based SPF for the body which I am now eager to try. I ordered this product from www.dermstore.com which offers discounts and free shipping on many purchases.
Clinique (quietly) reformulated the Wash-Away Gel Cleanser, and wisely so - gone are the irritating extracts of eucalyptus, pine, lavender, lemon, and cardamom, and in their place is soothing chamomile. The base formula remains an intriguing blend of gentle cleansing agents that make fast work of dirt, oil, sunscreen, and make-up - all without disrupting skin's delicate moisture balance. This is one of the few cleansers available for combination-to-oily skin that does not contain sodium laureth sulfate, a detergent that can be intolerable for certain skins. As someone whose face tends to feel parched and stripped after washing with foaming gel cleansers, I am very impressed by Wash-Away Gel Cleanser making my face feel clean and matte yet smooth and soothed. The price per ounce is a tad steep (January 2011 sees another price increase) but the formula is so concentrated that a mere dab should wash your entire face and neck, so one bottle should last quite awhile. I prefer measured pump packaging for face wash (much like the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap formulas) to flip-cap squeeze tubes, but Wash-Away Gel Cleanser features fairly sturdy packaging and is basically a cinch to control how much product you dispense so you can avoid wasting product. I am spreading the good word about this remarkable cleanser to anyone with sensitive combination-to-oily skin!
Moisturizers -Clinique - Moisture Surge Face Spray
KylesBeguiles928 7/3/2006 1:57:00 PM
Soothing and refreshing spray toner with no colourants or irritants. Packaging is easy to use but could be a bit more opaque to better protect the boasted aloe content from light. A bit pricey for such a simple formulation though.
Moisturizers -Clinique - Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
KylesBeguiles928 7/3/2006 1:52:00 PM
Simple formula without any irritants or perfume. Lightweight gel texture feels soothing upon application. The packaging is terrible though -- why would Clinique take a product that is boastful about its aloe content, yet package it in a clear jar that allows air and light to degrade the formula with each use? Otherwise, this is a great product for slightly dry skin that finds other moisturizers too heavy or occlusive to pores. APPLICATION TIP: I recommend applying this product by dabbing it onto the skin with fingertips, leaving a bit of excess gel on the skin and allowing it to absorb for a few minutes before proceeding with SPF or make-up -- this provides more of a soothing and moisturizing effect than if the product were rubbed into the skin for immediate absorption.
Very soothing product, comfortable for this contact lens wearer with sensitive, allergy-prone eyes. 100% fragrance-free claim is accurate. Contains some good soothers like sea whip and aloe water, plus antioxidants like green tea, vitamins E and C, and great water binders like sodium hyaluronate, palmitoyl oligopeptide, glycerin, and sorbitol. Interestingly enough, this product is virtually identical to Clinique's Moisture Surge Extra Refreshing Eye Gel (only this product does not contain any colouring agents and has more opaque packaging than the other) only this product is US$6.00 less...something to keep in mind! I actually use this product all over my face since the packaging is superior to the Moisture Surge Extra face gel (the eye gel's opaque tube keeps the ingredients more stable than the face gel's clear jar plus, again, this product omits the colouring agents) and the eye gel contains more antioxidants and soothing agents. Should be great for skin with slight dryness that tends to find most moisutizers too heavy for their skin, since this product is very lightweight yet eases dryness quite well. APPLICATION TIP: I recommend applying this product by dabbing it onto the skin with fingertips, leaving a bit of excess gel on the skin and allowing it to absorb for a few minutes before proceeding with SPF or make-up -- this provides more of a soothing and moisturizing effect than if the product were rubbed into the skin for immediate absorption.
Treatments (Eye) -Clinique - Moisture Surge Extra Refreshing Eye Gel
KylesBeguiles928 7/3/2006 1:41:00 PM
Very soothing product, comfortable for this contact lens wearer with sensitive, allergy-prone eyes. 100% fragrance-free claim is accurate. Contains some good soothers like sea whip and aloe water, plus antioxidants like green tea, vitamins E and C, and great water binders like sodium hyaluronate, palmitoyl oligopeptide, glycerin, and sorbitol. Interestingly enough, the Daily Eye Hydrator from Clinique's Skin Supplies For Men line is virtually identical to this product (only the men's product does not contain any colouring agents and has more opaque packaging) but the men's product is US$6.00 less...something to keep in mind! I actually use this product all over my face since the packaging is superior to the Moisture Surge Extra face gel (the eye gel's opaque tube keeps the ingredients more stable than the face gel's clear jar) and the eye gel contains more antioxidants and soothing agents. Should be great for skin with slight dryness that tends to find most moisutizers too heavy for their skin, since this product is very lightweight yet eases dryness quite well. APPLICATION TIP: I recommend applying this product by dabbing it onto the skin with fingertips, leaving a bit of excess gel on the skin and allowing it to absorb for a few minutes before proceeding with SPF or make-up -- this provides more of a soothing and moisturizing effect than if the product were rubbed into the skin for immediate absorption.
I received a sample of this when I purchased a sunscreen the other day, and today I could not thank the salesperson enough when I returned to purchase the cotton. It is silky smooth, unlike any other cotton I've ever used on my skin. As others have noted, less product goes further with these which makes the cost (US$8.00 for 150 cotton pads) less upsetting. The salesperson actually claimed the cotton does not absorb the product and it is specially designed to be lint-free. I don't know if this is true, but I am pleased to report that this is the first facial cotton of any sort that has not resulted in cotton specs on my skin, which is particularly impressive for men who use cotton to apply tonics over shaved areas of the face. This will most certainly be a staple to my future skincare. As others have suggested, the packaging (a sealed, tinted bag that does not reseal) could benefit from a redesign to make it sealable, but that is the only critique and does not affect the overall outstanding quality of this product. Highly recommended.
Moisturizers -Clinique - City block Sheer SPF 15 [DISCONTINUED]
KylesBeguiles928 7/1/2006 1:19:00 PM
I want to like this product, I really do (so much that I continue to buy it even though I've always had mixed results with it) but it will never be an absolute staple to my skincare arsenal. I love that it's a chemical-free SPF 15, that it's fragrance-free but still has this wonderful butter-rich aroma, that it's got several good antioxidants within the formula, that the packaging protects the formula from air and light, and that the iron oxides keep it from leaving a whitish cast on the skin like many other chemical-free SPFs. What I don't like is that I can always see the product on my skin regardless of how well I blend it (I have combination skin with rosacea and a very uneven texture regardless of what topical treatments I use), that it has a tendency to flake off my face as I rub it in, that it is especially difficult to blend around the eye area (I prefer to pat a product around my eyes rather than tug or rub this delicate skin), and that it never looks good over areas that I shave (I'm a male) and I have to use a separate, avobenzone-based SPF over those areas in order to have truly invisible SPF protection. So I will pretty much always have a tube of this in my bathroom and periodically give it another try, hoping all its strengths will eventualy outweigh its shortcomings. Maybe one day they will...