I feel like a traitor to the skin care board writing a positive review for the Clinique 3 Step System. For years, I've avoided these products like the plague because of the high alcohol content of the toners, the moisturizers whose first or second ingredient is some form of silicone, and the bland liquid soap that contains no extraordinary ingredients. I have odd skin. I'm in my late 30's and have taken two rounds of Accutane spaced three years apart that cleared my skin temporarily but then it went back to being an acne-prone oil slick. I have small pores but am still acne-prone and also have a few fine lines. I've used so many skincare brands, both expensive and cheap, including Neutrogena, Philosophy, M2, Perricone, Replenix, Paula's Choice, Roc, Skinceuticals, Alpha Hydrox, Estee Lauder, Zia, Juice Beauty, and many, many others. NOTHING has cleared my skin, tamed the oil, and softened my fine lines like Clinique. For many years, I religiously followed the mantra of "retinoids and sunscreen" but I suffered from flaky skin, redness, oiliness, and frequent breakouts. Retin-a is a fantastic product but it's not for me. As the saying goes, everything is YMMV when it comes to skincare (and probably many other things in life!). I use the DDMG, toner 4, and the liquid facial soap for oily skin. I use several other Clinique products as well, including the Overnight Radiance Moisturizer and All About Eyes Rich, both of which are also working well for me.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Coconut Hut - Sea Spray Body and Hair Mist
rainy_days 3/25/2008 11:34:00 AM
I can't believe I haven't reviwed anything from The Coconut Hut yet! My first order was about two years ago and I fell in love with the Coconut Pear and Tahitian Black Coconut scents. I really love this body and hair mist as the scents are long-lasting and the formula isn't greasy. I just placed an order for more of the body sprays and a few body creams. I strongly recommend any of the tropical drink scents (Frosted Hawaiian Mimosa is wonderful) as well as the floral fragrances. I even have a single-note perfume in jasmine from CH that is beautiful and the scent is authentic and lasts forever--I can even smell it the next day. The customer service and TAT are great and everything is packaged beautifully with real labels.
This is the best SLS-free shampoo I've ever used, and I've tried many different brands. Yes, it doesn't lather as well as a shampoo like Pantene or even some of the more expensive brands and it doesn't give your hair that "slip" but that's because it doesn't contain SLS or silicones, both of which (I believe) are not good for your hair, skin, and overall health. Initially, my hair SEEMED a bit drier but it adjusted to the Giovanni shampoo and conditioner and, within a few days, my hair was shiny, bouncy, and looking better than ever. Give this a chance. Your hair will probably misbehave at first as it adjusts to the lack of harmful ingredients that might make your hair appear healthy but are not beneficial in the long-run. This shampoo is really top-notch and so is the conditioner of the same name.
I bought this because it was cheap and it looked interesting. My expectations weren't very high considering I normally use high-end concealers because I figured they were better formulated and of a superior consistency. I've tried a few drugstore concealers in my time and was never impressed so I stuck with my MUFE and Amazing Cosmetics concealers even though I wasn't completely satisfied with their performance. I washed my face, applied some eye cream and then used the Maybelline concealer on my dark circles. I was amazed at the coverage this provided yet it wasn't heavy or opaque. It concealed well without settling into fine lines or caking up. I then applied a bit of the highlighter was was further amazed at how the shadows under my eyes were diminished by about 90%! I've been using this concealer/highliter duo for about five days and have to say that it puts the more expensive concealers in my collection to shame. I bought the "light" color and I have fair-to-light skin with neutral/pink undertones and it's a perfect color match. I highly recommend this if you suffer from dark shadows under your eyes and you're tired of trying expensive, thick concealers that draw more attention to your imperfections rather than covering them up, as this product does.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Cyclic Nano Silver Cleanser
rainy_days 6/22/2007 8:05:00 PM
Holy smokes! Where has this soap been all my life?! I feel silly singing the praises of SOAP but this stuff is truly amazing. I have normal-to-oily skin with small pores that tend to get clogged, especially around my nose. This makes for an oh-so-attractive red area on either side of my nose that I have to cover up with concealer every morning. After two rounds of Accutane and an IPL treatment to get rid of spider veins, my dermatologist concluded that the redness around my nose is because of the stubborn clogged pores and there's really nothing that could be done about them. I'm almost mid-thirties and have a few fine lines around my eyes and my skin is very sensitive to silicones so I can't use 99% of the makeup primers out there, which I always thought was a real shame, considering how great they made my skin look (if not for the breakouts that would appear on cue after two days of use of ANY product that contains silicone high up on the ingredient list). I was looking for a product that would temper my oily skin and possibly reduce the clogged pores around my nose, thus reducing the redness, too. This soap accomplished that after just two days! Now I no longer NEED a makeup primer! Not only is the redness going away but my pores are clearing up and the rest of my face looks smooth and clear and is so soft. I was shocked by the price of this simple bar of soap but wish I had given in sooner after wasting so much money on other supposed "miracle" products. When it comes right down to it, all I need is this soap, a high PPD sunscreen, and my Skinceuticals Vitamin C Serum and my skin looks and feels better than it ever has.
I'm changing my review on this product because it has transformed my skin in two weeks! I had given up using it because the smell bothered me but I tried it again and, despite smelling of boiled hot dogs, my skin is nearly flawless. No breakouts despite the sticky/tacky feeling of the serum and I've found that I get even better results if I use it twice a day. My skin is combo-to-oily, small pores, and tends to be breakout-prone. My one wish is that they would package this product (and all other vitamin C products, for that matter) in an airtight pump to prevent degredation because the serum does change from clear to champagne colored fairly quickly, which means the vitamin C is oxidizing and therefore losing potency. I will not be flitting from one product to the next as I used to do because this is the one that makes a noticeable difference in my skin texture and tone. I'm using the C E Ferulic Serum in conjunction with MaMa Lotion and La Roche Posay Anthelios SX SPF 15 and my skin looks and feels great. I don't mind spending more money for products that actually work and it's nice to have such a simple routine. I don't even use eye cream anymore because I've found I don't need it.
I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet! I've been using it every morning for almost a year and just love it. I mix about a teaspoon of the powder with water and then wash my face. It creates a nice amount of lather and does a great job of cleansing but doesn't dry out my skin. This is a great cleanser to take along if you travel because you don't have to worry about "goop" leaking in your luggage. A great cleanser for a reasonable price. I've even used it to remove my makeup and it works well but I prefer DHC's Cleansing Oil.
This is even better than Juice Beauty's Green Apple Peel and is less expensive. I'm a big fan of enzyme peels because they exfoliate my skin and give me a glow but aren't harsh like glycolic peels. Mychelle's Incredible Pumpkin Peel has the consistency of pumpkin pie filling and smells delicious. This is a very active mask, so you can feel it working right away. I leave it on for about 10 minutes, sometimes longer, and it helps clean and tighten pores, fade discoloration, and makes my skin appear generally flawless. I also notice my skin is less oily for a few days after using this but it doesn't strip my skin like products that contain alcohol. I will continue to purchase this and use it at least once a week in conjunction with my DHC products. This is definitely worth the money and you can usually find it on sale at health food stores or online.
I'm very pleased with this sunscreen. The tint may not work for everyone but it evens out my pale skin, much like a tinted moisturizer. I know there are sunscreens that offer better protection out there and that have a higher PPD, but Cotz SPF 58 doesn't irritate my skin or cause breakouts and that's worth a lot to me because I use it every day. It's blending right in with my skincare routine and hasn't caused problems, unlike some of the other sunscreens I've tried recently. I use a different sunscreen for my neck, arms, and hands since I don't want the tint getting all over my clothes but I do think this is working well because I'm outside for a couple of hours a day, 2-3 days a week, in the intense Colorado sun and I haven't gotten any color on my face. I also use Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup over this, which I feel is just a small amount of added protection from the sun. If I'm going to use makeup and sunscreen, it may as well make my skin look better!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - MaMa Lotion [DISCONTINUED]
rainy_days 3/14/2007 9:26:00 AM
I've really pared my skincare routine down now that I'm in my 30's. I got a sample of MaMa Lotion and finally decided to try it and was so impressed with the results, even after just one use! I've used some heavy-duty exfoliators in my time, including Green Crean, Retin-A, etc. and this just blows all of them out of the water. I have combo skin that tends to be oily in the warmer months and I can get breakouts in addition to my fine lines. A woman I work with recently complimented me on my skin and said I have the complexion of an 8 year-old! MaMa Lotion balances my skin and makes it less oily, it evens out my skin tone, helps get rid of discolorations and fine lines, and for the first time since I was about 20 years-old, I feel like I can go out with just a little bit of mineral powder on my face and still look good. No concealer or foundation is required when I use MaMa Lotion. I use it every other night and then use Skinceuticals 15% Vitmain C Serum in the morning along with a good SPF (Total Block CotZ SPF 58) and a light dusting of Jane Iredale mineral poweder. My skin has never looked this good, even after two rounds of Accutane and many expensive skin care lines. I'm so happy to have a simple but effective routine that actually works!
Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55
rainy_days 3/13/2007 2:32:00 PM
I used this yesterday for the first time and applied a liberal amount to my face, neck, and hands. I was outside in the bright sun for about an hour and a half and either I'm sensitive to an ingredient in this sunscreen or it simply didn't work because when I got home my face was red and felt warm. I also had some stinging when I washed my face! Either way, I'm not happy with this sunscreen and won't be using it again.
What a difference this product has made in my skin! I use it in the morning, before I apply my sunscreen, and the overall look of my skin has been visibly improved. My skintone is more even and my skin seems tighter. I use NuCelle's 10% mandelic acid serum at night and am so happy with these two products. I'm in my early 30's with fair, thin skin and wasn't expecting a miracle but I have to say that this vitamin C serum really delivers! I'd previously used Philosophy's Hope and a Prayer vitamin C powder that you can mix with water or moisturizer and the SKinceuticals serum blows that one away as far as results. My only complaints are that it's expensive and it's rumored to lose it's effectiveness once it turns brown, contrary to claims made by Skinceuticals. If this is the case, I'm wondering why companies don't put these vitamin C serums in an airtight container, like Green Cream. There must be a good reason but I don't like spending $75 for a product that may only last a month or so. I keep it in the box underneath my sink and I make sure the lid is always on tight; hopefully, that will help.
I actually like this product but my skin tends to be oily so the powdery finish is appropriate for my skin. I do agree that you can't have flaky skin as this just accentuates every single flake and it does look terrible. If my skin is looking relatively smooth, I will use this product and it really helps to tone down any redness and also helps diminish the appearance of dark circles. I have it in the yellow color and, as long as I don't apply too much, I like the look it gives my skin. I use mineral makeup and apply it with a kabuki brush and my skin looks nice. I haven't tried it with liquid foundation yet but plan to try it. Overall, this is a decent product but I really believe it should be geared toward people with combo to oily skin because of the dry finish.
Treatments (Eye) -Avon - Anew Alternative Intensive Eye Cream [DISCONTINUED]
rainy_days 2/21/2007 10:54:00 AM
I have been very pleasantly surprised by this eye cream. I purchased it off of an auction site for about half the retail price and it has outperformed many of the more expensive eye creams I've used. I am in my early 30's and have dark circles and slight puffiness under my eyes which is accentuated by the fact that my skin is very pale and thin. I've used this eye cream for about 10 days and I look so much better in the morning when I wake up! My dark circles are definitely diminished and the puffiness is gone. I also have the Avon Clinical Eye Cream and bought that primarily for the puffiness under my eyes. It worked fine initially but then seemed to lose it's effectiveness. I was not expecting the Alternative Eye Cream to work any better but it does. My dark circles are not completely gone but I would say they've been reduced by about 30% so far. As someone who has been searching for something other than surgery that actually addresses dark circles and puffiness, I will happily take any improvement I can get at this point. I'm very happy with this eye cream so far and hope to see continued results.
This is for the reformulated version, which is now called Lip Cream. I agree with the previous reviewer that this makes a perfect base for lipstick or gloss and is an all-around great lip treatment! It's the only one I've ever used that I can put on at night and wake up to baby soft, smooth lips! I've tried so many lip conditioners from low-end to high-end and this is by far my favorite. I use it at night and also during the day under lipstick and it not only moisturizes but seems to make my lipstick last longer. My lips look fuller because they're not chapped or dry. It also doesn't cause clogged pores which has sometimes been a problem for me with more emollient lip treatment products. A+!