I tried this last year after seeing it on AModelRecommends. I love clay masks, because they help dry out any spots I might have. I liked the tingly feel of the mask and the tightening effect. However, I found that the mask did not do that much for my skin. I felt that it didn't dry out my spots. Additionally, the flakes of seaweed in the mask just fell off, without doing anything. The other thing I didn't like was that the jar didn't close tightly, and so the mask dried out before I could use it all. I felt like this product was a complete waste of money. I have since tried the Serious Skincare Glycolic Gommage, and I much prefer the price, packaging, and results.
This is an effective yet gentle cleanser with a gel/cream texture that is very similar to Cetaphil. It comes in a practical white plastic tube. I like that it stands on the lid so you can get every last bit of cleanser out of the tube. I wish the white plastic used was slightly less opaque. I can never see how much is left. This generally results in squirting out the last of the cleanser and then immediately having to go buy a replacement. I use this at night to remove makeup. I cleanse once to get off all my makeup. It effectively removes waterproof mascara and eyeliner as well as long wearing foundation set with Urban Decay's All Nighter Spray. I cleanse a second time using this cleanser and the Clarisonic to really get my skin clean. The texture of this cleanser is perfect for using with the Clarisonic. It is a non foaming cleanser that won't strip skin. It actually leaves my skin feeling clean but slightly moisturized. I find I get the best results if I apply this to the brush head and then use the brush head to cleanse, rather than putting the cleanser on my face and going over it with the Clarisonic. The cucmberesque smell of this cleanser was strange at first, but I have gotten used to it. I now love the smell. It is one of the best things about this cleanser. All in all this cleanser is great for my normal skin that can occasionally be sensitive or acne prone. It feels refreshing in the summer and soothing in the winter. this is a great basic cleanser, especially for those looking for a cruelty-free, plant-based alternative to Cetaphil.
Scrubs -St. Ives - Apricot Scrub Blemish and Blackhead Control
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 12:36:00 PM
This is a good, cheap facial scrub. I used to use this scrub every morning and it kept my skin smooth and clear. The granules felt a bit rough at first but I got used to it. Although I have switch to chemical exfoliants, I still come back to this scrub when I feel I need to slough off some dead skin cells and get rid of a few rough patched on my cheeks.
Cleansers -Peter Thomas Roth - Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 12:31:00 PM
This is an extremely effective salicylic acid cleanser for acne. It works to combat whiteheads, blackheads, and cystic acne, but isn't over drying like other acne cleansers I have tried. Moreover, unlike Proactive, I continues to work for years after I stared using it. When I have a breakout coming on I switch to this cleanser and the crisis is averted. Although this cleanser is expensive ($35), you get a lot (8 fl.oz.) for your money. When I was using this twice a day a bottle lasted almost a year. I highly recommend this cleanser, but I wish it came with a pump.
Cleansers -Ren - Mayblossom and Blue Cypress Facial Wash
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 12:26:00 PM
I like that this cleanser is natural, not animal tested and has super sleek and convent packaging. It is extremely gentle and has a mild smell. However it is extremely expensive and I find it does not clean as well as cheaper cleansers I have tried. I care the most about product performance, and so I will not repurchase.
I faithfully used this product for years before switching to the Clarisonic. It is a gentle yet effective cleanser that really breakup oil and leaves my skin feeling clean. A little really goes a long way, and so this cleanser is also cost effective. However, because it is a foaming cleanser I cannot use it with my Clarisonic, and so I have stopped using this cleanser. Additionally, it is not cruelty-free, and so I can not use it, because have decided to eliminate as many animal tested products as possible. Still it is an excellent cleanser, that I would recommend to anyone with normal to oily or acne prone skin.
This product left a horrible firm on my skin. It also caused me to get whiteheads all over my skin. For a product continually touted as gentle, that was not my experience at all. I have had much better success with other drugstore cleanser, like Purpose or Cetaphil. I would recommend those over this cleanser any day.
Moisturizers -Clinique - Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 12:18:00 PM
Despite the fact I should know better, I continually try to like Clinique products. However this products is another disappointment. I love the fell of this product on my skin. It really is a surge of moisture that doesn't fell heavy on my oily prone skin. However, like every other Clinique product I have tried, I had an adverse reaction to this product. It caused me to break out with millia all over my forehead and cheeks. I also don't like the non-hygenic jar packaging for a moisturizer. Overall, it is an ok moisturizer. Aside from my reaction, I still don't like it enough to repurchase.
Moisturizers -Boscia - Vital Daily Moisture SPF 15
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 12:04:00 PM
I like the premise of this moisturizer. It's natural, has no preservatives, is not tested on animals, comes in a convenient pump tube, and contains sunscreen. However, I find this product does not live up to the description. After using one pump I feel as if my skin is drier than before I used a moisturizer. Additionally this moisturizer feels a little masky on my skin and left it with a rough texture. When I am using moisturizer, I want to feel that my skin is getting a surge of moisture and that leaves my skin feeling smooth and clean. This moisturizer does none of this and so I would not recommend it.
This spot treatment is one of the most effective I have ever used. If I put it on a pimple at night, the pimple is smaller in the morning. That being said, it only works for cystic pimples, not for whiteheads or blackheads. Additionally the pimple is generally still there in the morning, but you can't expect an over the counter product to complexity eliminate a huge cystic pimple. I have had the best results using this on a cystic pimple while it is forming, to prevent it from getting larger while eliminating it. The yellow color means you can only treat pimples when you are staying inside, but it doesn't bother me because I use the Murad cover up to treat during the day. Just remember to look in the mirror before you go out, so that you don't have random hello spots on your face.
Treatments -Clinique - Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 11:47:00 AM
Thus continues my endless saga of trying to love Clinique products. There are so many things I love about Clinique. They don't test on animals. They are reasonably priced for a department store brand. However, I always find that Clinique products underperform, and my skin does not tolerate them well. Nevertheless I tried this product, because I was looking for a good cue spot remover. When thee is a giant pimple on my face, I tend to get brand blindness and just start trying things to get the pimple to go away. I bought this at Sephora after the sales associate suggested it, because she had success with it before. I took it home and immediately tried it. However, this product started burning my pimple so badly I had to rub it off. Even though I took it off within a few seconds, later the area around the pimple was dry and flaky, even tough the pimple came out unscathed. I went in and returned this the next day.
Cleansers -DERMAdoctor - Ain't Misbehavin' cleanser
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 11:42:00 AM
This cleanser has strong exfoliating power. When Ifirst used it, I felt a tingling and slightly burning sensation all over my face. I put it away in a cabinet to come back to later, and I am glad I did. After slowly acclimating myself to chemical exfoliants, I returned to this cleanser. It does a great job of clearing up whiteheads and brightening my skin. I use it once a week in place of my normal nightly cleanser with the Clarisonic deep pore brush head. My skin feels a little stripped and raw afterwards and so I use a gentle face lotion to hydrate. When I wake up the next morning my skin is smooth and bright. This cleanser is moderately priced at $25.00, and the bottle is huge, a full 7 fl. oz. I have been using this weekly for a few months and have hardly made a dent. I love that it is a bottle that stands on its flip-top cap. This makes dispensing quick and easy. I would definitely repurchase this item, but I think it will last long enough that I won't have to in the near future. I am giving it four lippies, because although it works well for me as a weekly exfoliator, it is too strong to use everyday. I only give the best performing products that I consider essentials five lippies.
I love the energizing yet zen-like eucalyptus scent of this scrub. Since this has to be used on dry skin, I use it while I am treating my hair with a mask, then hop in the shower to rinse everything off. I use this by taking small amounts at a time and following the same strokes as I would for body brushing (moving towards the heart, then circular motions on my stomach and back). This scrub doe not get hot, but does slightly warm the body. This is very comforting in the winter, but not uncomfortable in the summer months. This scrub rinses of clean. It does not leave a residue like other body scrubs I have tried. That being said, I do have to moisturize my body after using this. I love that it leaves my skin smooth, and my skin is generally smooth for a few days afterwards. The price is high at $36.00 for 14.1 oz, but I find that with weekly use it will last about four months. The only thing I don't like about this scrub is the container. The container has a lid that can be hard to get a grip on, and it is difficult to replace the lid when your hands are covered with salt granules. However, I can deal with minor packaging issues because this scrub performs so well and it is a product not tested on animals.
Cleansers -La Roche Posay - physiological micellar solution
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 11:06:00 AM
This is by far my favorite micellar solution. I like to use a micellar solution to clean my face in the morning because it is both fast and gentle. Since I switched to using the Clarisonic at night, my face gets so clean that I don't feel I need to cleanse with water in the morning anymore. This is especially true since it is winter here in the US and lots of washing tends to dry out my skin. I also like that with a quick swipe of a cotton pad I can combine cleansing and toning and get out the door a lot faster. This micellar water comes in a tall, cylindrical, plastic bottle with a convenient flip-top cap. The cap has a small opening so you don't wind up dumping cleanser all over the place. The packaging is plastic, but it looks relatively sleek on the counter. This cleanser leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed, without any greasy or filmy after feel like other micellar waters I have tried. It also does a reasonable job of removing makeup, so with a quick swipe I can be off the the gym. The cleanser is slightly scented, but not over powering. I have gotten used to it over time. There are a few things I don't like about this product. First, the price is the highest of all the cleanisng waters I have tried ($19.95 for 6.7 fl. oz or 200mL). Second, I don't like that it is tested on animals. However, I continue to purchase this product because it works excellently, and far out performs other cleansing waters that I have tried.
Cleansers -Vichy - Purete Thermale Cleansing Micellar Lotion for face and eyes
ashestoamour 11/30/2011 10:53:00 AM
I love the ease and gentleness of micellar water for morning cleansing. I tried this Vichy one, when the drugstore ran out of my favorite micellar solution (La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution). The packaging has a convent flip-top cap. However the bottle itself looks cheap, and the packaging looks unattractive on my bathroom counter. The product itself is equally unimpressive. Even when I saturate a cotton pad with this cleanser, it doesn't feel like it is cleaning my skin. It feels more as if it is depositing more stuff than it is removing. I often feel like I should wash my face after using this, which eliminates the purpose of using it as a cleanser. I do however think it does a goos job of removing makeup. I have been using up the bottle by repurposing this as a makeup remover before cleansing at night. Because that is its only use to me, I think that the price ($16.00 for 6.76 fl. oz. or 200 mL) is too high for what it does. I will not be repurchasing.