Styling Products -Philip B. - Maui Wowie Beach Mist
mmmmary 5/29/2013 5:08:00 PM
PROS: Very volumizing -- more than any other beach spray I've tried. Moisturizes without weighing the hair down. Nice smell that doesn't overpower or compete with perfume. CONS: Turns my hair slightly too blond for some reason. Made my cheeks break out after two uses! Due to the breakouts, I will not be using this again. I've had problems with other hair products that contain oils, including the Sexy Hair beach spray with argan oil and a L'Oreal leave-in treatment. My cheeks RARELY break out but hair products are the one thing that unfortunately can give me issues in this area:-(
Lotions/ Creams -Neova - Neova Body Therapy with GHK copper peptide complex
mmmmary 5/16/2013 2:07:00 PM
This has been languishing in my cabinet for quite awhile. Not a winner in my book. I can't get past the smell. It's extremely perfumey and competes, unpleasantly, with any fragrance I'm trying to wear. I believe in the power of copper peptides and use the Neova Night Therapy on my face pretty religiously. Thankfully that has no discernible fragrance. Not sure what Neova was thinking in this case.
I had a sample of this that I tried last week. I love the Neova Night Therapy but my skin has been EXTREMELY dry lately so thought I'd try this since the company markets it for aging skin, which is definitely part of my problem. This dried it out even more and, I suspect, the jojoba oil in it caused some problems, as I've had weirdly unsettled areas on my chin and around my nose ever since I tried it. I experimented with jojoba oil years ago and had the same sort of problems. Furthermore, this stuff STINKS! And the smell doesn't fade. It is possible that my sample was old and the various oils in it (including castor) had gone rancid. But given all of the above, I am not about to shell out the big bucks for this when I can continue using the lovely Night Therapy and maybe just add a nice basic moisturizer like CeraVe on top as needed. On the plus side, I did notice some tightening of the skin with this, helping out with the dreaded sagging and jowliness of approaching old age, however the effect didn't last past the next time I washed my face and was maybe tied in with the drying effects I noticed. Not a great trade-off.
I got an 8 oz pump container last year and used it all summer as a body lotion on exposed parts. Works great. Got another a couple of weeks ago so I'm set for this summer!
My hair was looking really bad this winter -- dry, flat, limp, not holding the color well. I shopped around under my sink for products that had been languishing there for awhile and came up with this and Enjoy Luxury Shampoo and have been enjoying the results for the last few weeks. I don't put this on the roots because bad things happen when I use anything but the lightest conditioning products on my roots (i.e., hair falls out in clumps!). On my roots I use a few sprays of the Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Tonic and then work about a nickel-sized amount of the Nectar Thermique through the hair from about the ears down to the ends, which are about 6 inches below my shoulders. Blow dry and then finish with a small blob of Living Proof Amp2. Easy peasy and lasts me three days. Hair is shiny, well-conditioned and has decent body. Color holds up well too.
Sunscreen -Neova - DNA Damage Control SILC SHEER 2.0
mmmmary 2/5/2013 12:33:00 PM
Oh, how I wanted this to work for me! I love Neova Night Therapy and their DNA Total Repair. This sunscreen also appealed to me because of it's nice sheer tint. It applies LOVELY -- goes on super smooth and immediately gives a flawless finish. Only problem is that I start having breakouts around my nose after about two days:-( I think it's the chemical sunscreen (Octinoxate). I need to stick with the physical sunscreens, apparently. Wish Neova had an all-physical option! If you aren't sensitive to the chemical stuff like me, I would highly recommend this product.
Styling Products -L'Oreal - EverStyle Volume Root Lifting Spray
mmmmary 10/4/2012 4:28:00 PM
Interesting product. I've always had fine hair but liked a big hair look to offset a somewhat long, thin face. As I get older, I'm also dealing with thinner hair so that has only increased my quest for volume, texture, lift, waves -- something to add some body and keep my hair & scalp healthy so I don't lose any more hair than I have to. Usually I've gone for products that are volumizers or texturizers. This is my first root lifter, so I can't compare with others, but here's what I found: First of all, I get better results spraying in my hand and rubbing in at the roots than spraying directly at my scalp. (It's okay to use quite a bit.) Then I'll also put just a couple of squirts in my hand and run over the rest of my (fairly long) hair. I definitely DON'T get insane volume but I do get decent width to my hair, if that makes sense, especially if I use plenty on the sides of my hair as opposed to just the top. It leaves my hair in REALLY nice condition (in conjunction with Enjoy Luxury shampoo and an Alterna anti-aging spray-in conditioner/heat protectant). I have no issues with itchy scalp as others have mentioned -- in fact, it's probably less itchy than I've experienced with most other products. The smell is definitely French -- reminds me of a L'Occitane sort of scent. My favorite part, though, that no one else mentions, is that this gives really great hold at the roots. I have very fine, fly-away hair with LOTS of weird cowlicks and odd growth patterns. My hair sort of swirls around in different directions:-( This does a really nice job of taming all that without much effort. I just spray it in, then do a rough blowdry with my head upside down, working my hands through my roots in the direction my hair is supposed to go. I spend a couple of minutes at the end with a round brush on the ends and I'm good to go for three days. So, although this product didn't produce the large amount of volume I was initially looking for, I find myself using it every time I wash my hair.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Priori Coffeeberry Tightening Serum
mmmmary 9/19/2012 6:02:00 PM
At 48, I don't have major wrinkles (never been one for hanging out in the sun), but I've struggled with sagging and overall loss of firmness for the past couple of years. It's especially evident in the jawline where occasionally I can look decidedly jowl-y:-( I now use this in the morning (under Neova DNA Total Repair) and Neova Night Therapy at night and this combo is FABULOUS!!! I love too that this serum gives me a nice dose of a good antioxidant, since the Neova products aren't big on that and can't be used in conjunction with Vitamin C, which is the antioxidant I had the best luck with in the past. The coffeeberry is working well for me -- calms down inflamation while giving me a nice glow. My only gripe is that the pump squirts the serum out all over the place. I have to be careful to hold it so that my hand is completely in front of the opening, otherwise expensive squirts of serum are flying all over my bathroom. Otherwise it's a darn near perfect product.
I've had really good luck with the Neova Night Therapy so have been experimenting with other Neova products. This one is a winner! Pretty expensive but I think there is truth to its claims to being able to repair the skin from the inside. I don't have a huge amount of visible sun damage but I DO have a chin with some pretty substantial barrier damage from way back. Years ago I had major issues with hormones and sun-sensitive skin, both of which lead to major breakouts on my chin. I treated it with, among other harsh things, straight tea tree and lavender oils, which helped the acne but left me with permanently sensitive skin on this part of my face. There's always been kind of a reddish cast to it and I generally have to keep it (gently) exfoliated due to congestion and build up of dead skin. Yuck. Since I've been using this product, though, my chin is looking and feeling normal. Really normal. It's fairly moisturizing on its own so I haven't been using it with a moisturizer on top (which the directions specify). But that may be necessary during the winter or when my skin is just generally drier. UPDATE 9/12: Have been using this for more than a month and my skin just keeps getting better and better. I can't stop looking in the mirror:-) BUY THIS!!!!
I have learned to be very careful with oils and other botanical ingredients because they can do horrible things to my skin. Avocado oil, however, is a product that works fantastically well for me. Lately I've been using it as my nighttime moisturizer every night -- just three drops patted all over my face, eyes & neck is all that's needed. Sinks in very quickly and no breakouts! Just lovely, clear, firm & refined skin. I believe it contains Vitamin A, which would help to explain the refining & firming properties. I have issues any time I try a retinol product but maybe this can give me the same long-term benefits without the irritation? I am experimenting with patting it around my eyes before I wash my face to help protect from the drying effects of water and I think it's helping. I also use this several days a week on my body and rarely have to use any lotion or other product post-shower on the other days due to how moisturized the avocado oil leaves my skin.
Styling Products -Nioxin - Volumizing Reflectives Thickening Spray
mmmmary 4/16/2012 2:29:00 PM
I've recently re-discovered the Bliss leave-in product in my cabinet and am loving it (only to discover on a trip to Ulta and subsequent research that it has been discontinued!!), so I decided to consult MUA and try other Nioxin products that look like they might work for me. This was my first choice and I am VERY happy with it so far. I've stayed far away from thickening sprays since trying Bumble & Bumble years ago and hating it but this is wonderfully different. No crunchiness! Just great volume and definition and really incredible hold. Just tried it for the first time today and have had to be out for 10-minute stretches in the 45 mph wind gusts, coming from all directions, of a Spring day in Chicago and my hair looks like I just walked out of a salon! I finished it off after blowing drying with a drop of Pureology Texture Twist on the ends, mid-lengths and bangs so that might be helping a bit as well. On the downside, it did take me longer to blow dry -- was hard to get the brush through -- but this might be worth the extra time and effort. I'll update if it doesn't hold up well for the three days I like to go between shampoos, but first impression is extremely positive!
Gels/Soaps -Burt's Bees - Naturally Nourishing Milk & Shea Butter Body Wash
mmmmary 3/14/2012 10:48:00 AM
Well, I just tried this today for the first time, so I may need to update, but so far I'm in love! The scent is fabulous -- lovely summery coconut -- and I can still smell it on me a couple of hours later. I am very sensitive to smells and don't usually want to smell like my shower gel, but this is just plain making me happy:-) I know a lot of people are describing this as runny, but maybe it's all what you're used to. I thought this was actually THICKER than most shower gels! For reference, I've been most recently using the BB Fragrance-Free Baby Wash and before that L'Occitane Almond Oil. For the same reason probably I did not notice a lack of lather -- it's no different than what I've been using. I used it to shave my legs as well and felt very comfortable. Skin felt soft and moisturized when I got out of the shower. I probably wouldn't have even needed the Avocado Oil I applied afterwards. Seems like a winner to me!
Fragrances -Estee Lauder - Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche Skinscent
mmmmary 11/23/2011 4:09:00 PM
I am more fickle about fragrance than any other product. A scent that I love one year may make me ill the next. I am seeing a trend in my tastes towards lighter, summer-ier fragrances for year-round wear. This is a perfect example. I've been wearing it every day this fall, whatever the weather. Love it!
Treatments (Eye) -Skinceuticals - topical vitamin-c eye gel
mmmmary 11/23/2011 2:44:00 PM
Eye Gel AOX is I think what I'm using. Over the years I've tried numerous Skinceutical products but this is the only one that I've stuck with because it's the only one that's proven itself worth the considerable expense. Although compared to other products in this range, it's not over-the-top expensive. I have pared down my skincare considerably in recent years but this gives a noticeable improvement layered under my Clarins eye cream every morning so I've kept it in the routine. The most noticeable difference is in the lessening of dark circles but it also improves moisture level so wrinkling is less apparent and helps to decreases puffiness. The antioxidant factor is nice too, since the Clarins doesn't have any.
Really good product for very dry skin and the price can't be beat. I use it twice a day, in the morning with CeraVe cream and at night with Neova Night Therapy. Super simple routine that my skin is loving.