Archive for March, 2012
So today I went to Sephora to pick up a few things….. and I was so happy when they told me it was a VIB event, today only, where I saved 15% off everything! Wooo HOoo! So I did end up getting a few more things that I went there for, but I am definitely happy with my haul today. I never got any email about this (although the salesgirl assured me that at least 3 emails had gone out regarding it, several other people in line said they didn’t receive any emails about it either). So…. expect some more product reviews coming your way really soon!
Here is my Haul….. did I mention I got a big bag of samples and an umbrella?!
My Sephora Haul
I love it when you go to buy something, and you get an extra bonus off!
My Beauty Booty Loot:
- Phyto 9 Nourishing Day Cream with 9 Plans for Ultra-Dry Hair. Post-winter hair is unhappy :(
- Bumble and Bumble Mending Shampoo and Mending Conditioner. Again, post winter hair is unhappy. Hopefully I can get a trim to get rid of the really damaged ends and this will take care of the rest of my hair!
- Bliss Starter Set – Triple Oxygen. Contains travel sizes of “Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Cleansing Foam, Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask (which I have ALWAYS wanted to try!), “Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel, and Triple Oxygen +C Energizing Cream. Because my hair isn’t the only winter casualty… my skin has taken a beating as well!
- “The Original BeautyBlender” makeup sponge – I need to blend better
- Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil. I hope this lives up to the hype, I only got the small bottle (15 mL/.5 fl oz.) But we will see if it seems to work….
- Murad Acne Spot Treatment. Just to have on hand.
- Tarte Beauty and the Box – Amazonian clay eye shadow quad and Lights, Camera, Lashes! mini-mascara. I will have no shortage of mascaras to review! I also needed some brown everyday shadows. These look a bit shimmery, but I think they’ll work! and finally….
- Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Fair. I was torn between getting Fair and getting Light, but I decided to go with Fair (the lighter one) and I can always get another one in Light come summer when my skin tans a bit. I had wanted to try the Too Faced BB cream, but they were all out of the light colours. Trying the sample, it did seem a bit shimmery though, so maybe the smashbox one is better to try first!
My samples packet contained:
- Sephora Full Action – Extreme Effect Mascara
- Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash – Extra Black Mascara
- Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Thickening Conditioner samples
- Perfume Sample – Viva La Juicy
- Perfume Sample – BCBGMAXAZRIA
- Givenchy Mister Light – Instant Light Corrective Pen sample. This one is on since it says it is a pen, the picture is of a pen, except it is in a little packet. Weird :)
When I checked my email later that night, I HAD received an email from Sephora regarding their “Chic Week” from March 30 – April 5. Weird, since when I was in the store they said it was a “Today Only!” type of thing. But whatever :) Maybe VIB’s got an advanced day before regular Beauty Insiders did?
Did you get to participate in the “Chic Week” event? What did you get???
Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin
The Moisturizer and Cleanser
So I received a kit to review the Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin moisturizer and cleanser from Burt’s Bees. The letter that came with the kit says:
“It puts an end to redness and over drying with gentle, natural ingredients including Cotton Extract to soften, Rice Extract to moisturize and Aloe to soothe”
I am sometimes wary about “natural” products, but Burt’s Bees is a line I trust; I like quite a few of their products (especially their Tinted Lip Balm and Baby Bee Nourishing Baby Oil). The Facial Cleanser is a soap-free one that is supposed to moisturize sensitive skin while gently cleansing it without over-drying or causing redness or irritation. It also contains Quillaja (an extract from soap bark trees) to provide natural foaming lather; and Yucca (a desert plant high in saponins, which are traditional cleansing agents. The Daily Moisturizer is a day cream that is meant to provide nourishing moisture to sensitive skin without causing redness or irritation, and is labeled as non-comedogenic. It also contains the rice extract and aloe.
so I put a bit of moisturizer on my hand, and the texture was smooth and blended easily. I liked the fact that they basically smelled like nothing. One thing that I did not like right away was the disproportionate package sizes. The cleanser is 170g and the moisturizer is only 50g. So you will probably have to buy about two packages of moisturizer for every tube of cleanser. I was also a little bit put off that they had a separate box for the moisturizer. It seemed a bit superfluous. I don’t really like excess packaging. I did like the packaging choices of a tube for the cleanser and the pump for the moisturizer. It made them both easy to apply! One caveat – the pump puts out too much product, use only half a pump.
The Moisturizer is on the Left, Cleanser on the Right
Using the Product
Unfortunately, these products just did not work for me. I think it has something to do with the cotton extract. I had a similar reaction to the Ultra Comforting Organic Cotton line from L’Occitane which is also supposed to be a great product for sensitive skin, just not mine.
The cleanser I didn’t really like. It made my skin kind of itchy. It is a weird putty colour, and is almost the consistency of putty. It is very thick, and I found I needed to rinse A LOT to get it all off. I also had to rub my face, which I don’t think is suitable for sensitive skin. I usually prefer a sudsy cleanser (which I know is not the best for sensitive skin, but I like the feel of it!) and this one is very creamy. Just not my taste.
Burt’s Bees Sensitve Facial Cleanser
The moisturizer is nice (even though I had a reaction to it!). it is silky smooth, bright white and absorbs quickly. Perfect for applying makeup over it in the morning. Skin feels nice afterwards, but it did not get rid of my dry patches. I think this would be better for normal to normal-oily skin, as I just didn’t feel it moisturized my dry skin enough.
Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream
Unfortunately, when it comes to sensitive skin you need to go through a lot of trial and error. You just can’t please everyone, since their sensitive skin can be caused by an infinite number of reasons. This product line just did not work for me. It caused my skin to get red and itchy, and I even ended up with a few blemishes and dry patches. That being said, I think if you have sensitive skin, you should feel free to try it out. What works for me might work for you. For example, I prefer a foaming type of facial cleanser but if you like creamy cleansers, this might be the perfect product for you. I think I am sensitive to cotton in my products, but maybe you won’t be.I do like the silky texture of the moisturizer, the fact that it is fragrance free, and that it was fast absorbing and non greasy. The line also has Burt’s Bees Sensitive Eye Cream and Burt’s Bees Sensitive Night Cream (which I did not get to try). So if you are still searching for the right sensitive skin line for you, this could be one you can try out.
Some more info from Burt’s Bees on their line:
“The folk’s at Burt’s Bees have formulated their new Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin line with Cotton Extract because its gentle touch is perfect for sensitive skin. It includes seven “oligosaccharides.” or sugars, that help support the skin barrier, reduce the appearance of skin redness and promote the production of keratin. Keratin is actually the key material making up the outer layer of skin, and it gives skin its strength, flexibility and water retaining capabilities. It also helps carry moisture where it’s most needed….. it can provide all kinds of benefits including:
- Moisturizing the skin
- Increasing the softness and suppleness of skin
- Supporting the skin’s barrier function
- Helping to maintain skin’s natural moisture
- Helping to even out skin tone.”
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product to provide a review. It in no way affected my review, and this review is honest and true to me – Sarah
I received a product sample, coupon, collateral or other special premium from BzzAgent.
On the March 19 episode of Live! with Kelly, Prevention Magazine’s Jennifer Goldstein was on to share some Double Duty Beauty Foods aka foods that have beauty benefits by eating them or applying to the skin. One caveat is to make sure you have no food allergies first! If you can’t eat almonds, don’t apply them to your face either! Kelly had a little too much fun applying these foods to co-host Nick Lachey.
Avocados are a great anti-ager, mostly due to their essential fatty acids (and Vitamin E!). They help plump skin and keep it smooth. Hooray for Guacamole!
Applying avocado oil to the skin may stimulate collagen and elastin production. To create a great mask, mix with 1/4 cup sour cream (which is a terrific skin exfoliator due to Lactic Acid – hey another great double duty beauty food!) and leave on for 10-20 minutes. Then rinse with cold water.
Teas contain skin-boosting antioxidants (especially but green and white varieties) that may protect skin from damage caused by environmental pollutants and sun exposure.
First, you can put cooled tea bags on your (closed) eyelids to depuff the skin around your eyes, as the tannins can constrict blood vessels.
You can also boost your hair colour and get some subtle highlights going by applying a rinse. Use black tea for brunette hair, chamomile for blonde, and redheads can use red zinger. Prepare the tea, let it cool, then apply the solution to your hair. Put on a shower cap, wait for 15 to 30 minutes and rinse with cool water.
Got Grey? Almonds contain high levels of catalase enzymes that can help counteract the buildup of hydrogen peroxide present in greying hair. Who knew?! I’ll be reaching for almonds more as a snack now!
For a skin smoothing scrub, pulverize about 1/4 cup of almonds in a food processor and mix in some coconut oil (also a great double duty beauty food!). Use about 2 tablespoons to make it into a paste. Use on your hands, elbows, knees, or anywhere else you need to get rid of rough skin.
Great for teeth and skin (high in calcium), yogurt is also high in protein, to help build your hair and nails.
Yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that can get rid of dead skin cells. Try using full-fat, plain yogurt as a mask. Just apply a thin layer to clean skin and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Or make a hair mask. Mix together 1/4 cup full-fat yogurt, 3 tablespoons honey and an egg yolk. Apply the protein rich mask to hair, put on a shower cap, and rinse after about 15 minutes.
Strawberries have high levels of vitamin C and ellagic acid. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen. It also acts as an antioxidant to prevent environmental damage. High Vitamin C intake is associated with a lower likelihood of wrinkles and skin dryness. Ellagic acid increases skin’s ability to hold moisture, and has been shown to help fade dark spots.
Make a brightening face mask with pureed strawberries, yogurt and a squeeze of lemon juice (also high in Vitamin C). Leave on for about 20 minutes before rinsing. Nick seemed to really like eating it.
Full of antioxidants to protect skin from sun damage and help prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin (which results in wrinkles and sagging).
Cooled coffee grounds are a way to treat cellulite due to its high caffeine content. Caffeine is a diuretic, and pulls water away from fat cells to smooth skin. It is also grainy, so will exfoliate like a scrub. So take some used coffee grounds with you into the shower and rub on your butt, thighs or whoever that dimply skin is hiding.
BB Creams, aka Beauty Balms, are the new buzz word of the beauty industry, at least here in North America. They have been popular in Asian countries for some time, then became popular in Europe, and now are here. They were originally developed to help regenerate and protect the skin of patients who had undergone laser treatments.
Many creams now are used as a type of foundation, with some claiming to cover blemishes, improve skin texture, and/or reduce acne scars; all while blending imperceptibly onto the skin for even skin tone with a satiny finish. Used both as a skincare treatment and foundation at the same time.
Rather thick in texture, and they often contain plenty of silicones to achieve that satiny finish. And because they are usually highly pigmented, they even out skin tone temporarily, while being almost unnoticeable. They are often recommended for acne prone and sensitive skins.
The creams being released now are touted as being “all-in-one” products (primer, foundation, sunscreen, moisturizer, blemish control, etc.) eliminating the need for a drawer full of separate products.
Many magazines have been talking about them, including:
InStyle (March 2012) -
“Popular in Asia, BB products (the initials typically stand for beauty balm or blemish balm) are “like multifunctional tinted moisturizers,” says Great Neck, N.Y., dermatologist Jeannette Graf. In other words, they usually contain skin-treatment ingredients such as antioxidants and UV filters while offering sufficient coverage. Many also have light-reflecting goodies such as mica. “They can help even out skin tone without being as heavy as some foundations,” adds N.Y.C. makeup artist Troy Surratt.”
Cosmopolitan (April 2012) -
“TREND ALERT – A New Sexy Skin Weapon …. BB creams (short for beauty balms) are like tinted moisturizers – except they do way more (like fade spots and fine lines, reduce redness, and protect with SPF). And each comes in just one or two sheer shades that fit all tones (easy!)”.
(Just beware that since these were made for an Asian market, sometimes these creams tend towards lighter colours!)
Allure (February 2012) -
“Two-in-one products seem sadly unambitious when you consider BB creams (short for beauty or blemish balm), a makeup and skin-care hybrid that treats, protects, primes, conceals, and covers in one tube. Developed by a German dermatologist in the 1950s, BB creams later gained a cult following in Asia and are now hitting the U.S. “It’s a twist on tinted moisturizer – these creams hydrate and tint but also contain active ingredients to treat skin, plus antioxidants and broad-spectrum sun protection,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. “They’re good for the person who only wants to put on one thing.” “
Some popular BB Creams:
Boscia BB Cream
Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
Senior Lifestyle Editor for Shape magazine, Bahar Takhtehchian, was on the Today Show on March 28 for a segment called “Beauty on the Fly”, with air travel friendly products and suggestions. Here are some of her suggestions for the best travel sized cosmetics and lotions to throw in your ziplock before takeoff, so travelling with that carry-on won’t have to mean leaving your have products behind.
Bahar started out with a reminder on some of the rules for getting through the security checkpoint by remembering “3-1-1″.
3 – All liquids, aerosols and gels need to be in containers of THREE oz. or less.
1 – They all need to fit into a ONE quart bag (clear, usually zip locked)
1 – Everyone gets to bring just ONE of these bags on board with them
So Bahar wanted to look at alternatives to bringing liquids to take care of your beauty routine.
Many people want to bring their cleanser or toner with them. Because, of course, great skin is one of the best ways to get gorgeous! Since bottles can break and spill, think outside the box with towelettes. She brought the “Yes!” line, recommending “Yes to Blueberries Brightening Facial Towelettes” for mature and aging skin, “Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes” to soothe sensitive skin and “Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes” with salicylic acid for people with problem skin.
She also had hypoallergenic Biore Makeup Removing Towelettes and Pond’s Wet Cleansing Towelettes, Morning Refresh with citrus and cucumber. These have exfoliating beads, so you don’t need a separate face scrub.
Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes she called “a very potent makeup remover, going to get rid of waterproof mascaras and that eyeliner, but it’s gentle on your skin and eyes. If you wear contact lenses this is a product for you.”
If you don’t want to bring a big bottle or buy it once you get there, she suggested using one in stick form. One of her favourites is Clarins Sun Control Stick because it is 100% mineral based. So it is for target protection around eyes, lips and nose.
If you are sporty and going to be in the water, she recommended Sun Bum Face Stick as an alternative or the Shiseido line.
Instead of bringing separate lipsticks, shadows, bronzers, etc. Consider a compact palette. One of Shape’s favourites is Cabana Glama from Benefit. It has eye shadows, bronzers, and even a little bit of foundation! It is an easy way to look great since usually the colours are all complementary.
She also showed off a Trish McEvoy Effortless Beauty Little Black Card palette, as well as Sephora Mini Shopping Bag Makeup Palette. You can even pop these in your purse after your vacation for touchups on the go. Instead of bringing a bottle of liquid foundation, try using one that comes in compact form. Bahar’s favourite is from Neutrogena. She says it gives flawless coverage, is nice and blend able but also has SPF55.
As an alternative to translucent powder, which can sometimes get cake and make you appear ashy, Bahar likes Mally Beauty Evercolor Poreless Face Defender. I even like the cute pink packaging! It will set your makeup, reduce the appearance of pores and wrinkles, and control oil by mattifying the skin.
Instead of loading a glass bottle of perfume, that could break or spill all over AND will count against your liquid allotment, why not try solid perfumes? Pacifica and L’Occitane all carry solid perfumes. Bahar says: “What we like about these is they come in small tubes, they’re portable. If you go on a hike and need to freshen up, dab some on to your pulse points. You can also blend these together, wear them awhile and blend them together. if you have a favorite brand, a designer brand, definitely check out and see if they have solid alternatives, as well. Sometimes you can get tiny roll ons as well (I love the tiny-ness of Juicy’s roll ons – Sarah). As long as they are under 3 ounces, you can bring those along.
Finally, men need grooming products too, so she suggested the John Allan’s Travel Pack. It has shampoo, conditioner and even a bit of shaving cream. All the bottles are just one ounce, so very travel friendly
This is from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Website:
Everything you should know about liquids, aerosols and gels
Before leaving for the airport, you can ensure security and speed up security screening by packing your liquids, aerosols and gels properly.
Remember: Liquids consist of items such as coffee, bottled water and shampoos. Aerosols include things like deodorant, hairspray and static remover. Gels are comprised of food items like jam, pudding and yogurt, and personal-care products like lipstick or hair styling gel.
Please note that if an item that is illegal in Canada, such as pepper spray, is presented at a pre-board screening checkpoint, protocol requires us to notify the police. This could lead to charges and prosecution to the item’s holder.
So before leaving for the airport, pack your liquids, aerosols and gels properly.
How to pack your liquids, aerosols and gels
Containers of liquids, aerosols or gels in your carry-on must be 100 ml/100 grams (3.4 oz) or less.
All containers must fit in 1 clear, closed, resealable plastic bag no more than 1 litre (1 quart) in capacity. The approximate dimensions of a one litre/quart bag are 15.24 cm by 22.86 cm (6 in. by 9 in.) or 20 cm by 17.5 cm (8 in. by 7 in.).
At the screening point, take your plastic bag out of your carry-on and place it in one of the provided trays.
Drink or discard any beverages in containers over 100 ml before pre-board security screening.
Any containers over 100 ml should be placed in checked baggage.
EXCEPTIONS FOR LIQUIDS, AEROSOLS AND GELS
The following are allowed in your carry-on without a bag and in containers over 100 ml:
- If traveling with an infant under two years of age (0-24 months), baby food, milk, formula, water and juice in small containers and reasonable amounts for your itinerary.
- Prescription and essential non-prescription medicines.
You must declare all such items at security screening. These items must be removed from carry-on baggage and placed directly into a bin at the entrance of the checkpoint, as additional screening may be required.
Solid food is permitted in both checked and carry-on baggage.
All liquid food in your carry-on (for example, yogurt, pudding or jam) must be in containers of 100 ml or less.
All containers must fit in the same clear, closed, resealable 1 litre plastic bag, as all other containers of liquids, aerosols or gels you are carrying.
Any containers over 100 ml should be placed in checked baggage.
On the March 1st episode of Dr. Oz – “Dr. Oz goes Head to Head with the Men who Hate Him” (funny title!) – Eucerin dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton was on to talk about dry skin. (you can head over to EucerinUS.com to get US coupons). Its winter and people (including me!) are starting to feel the effects of dry, heated air. Also, the older you get, the more issues you have with dry skin.
She said that dry skin goes beyond just comfort, that it can become a health issue. If yours is so itchy that you start scratching, you can open your skin up to all sorts of bacteria, viruses and fungi (Ummm Yuck?!). So according to her the three biggest reasons you get dry itchy skin are:
1. Your Morning Routine
Most people take too hot and too long of a shower. It just irritates your skin and removes its natural oils. I know I am totally guilty of this. Also, many women are applying anti-aging products like retinols and retinoids that prevent wrinkles, but at the same time irritate and dry out skin. Also, some soaps may be no good. It doesn’t protect oils, just removes dirt. The fragrances and dyes some contain are no good either.
2. Genetic Reasons
Some people may be genetically predisposed to certain dry skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. These can be causes of red patches and scaly skin.
Heating and air conditioned air suck moisture from skin. It is usually less humid in winter as well.
Her suggestions for helping skin:
- Eat salmon. It has fatty acids and oils in it to nourish skin.
- Eat bran. It is rich in zinc which repairs skin cells.
- Use a humidifier. It will put moisture back into the air. You can try one like the Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier.
- Use a timer to remind you to keep your showers short. She suggested 5 minutes. I say that is impossible! But maybe you can do it. She brought a timer from Eucerin.
- She also suggested trying Eucerin Calming Body Wash Daily Shower Oil and Eucerin Calming Creme Daily Moistuizer. I use these myself, and they are great!
Dermatologist, Dr. Tess Mauricio, was on “The Talk” on February 29 to discuss common myths. She said that misinform abounds, and it doesn’t hep that there are so many crazy claims out there; and that so many regimens and products are used incorrectly. Well, I don’t necessarily agree with some of the things she said. These are her 5 biggest myths:
Acne is the Result of Dirty, Oily Skin
Often acne is caused by over-washing. There are many factors that can cause acne, such as genetics and hormonal changes. But she says dirty, oily skin is not one of them (say what?! Sorry, while I don’t think that it is one of the main factors, I don’t think you’ll have nice skin if yours is oily or dirty, and not taken care of. I think it is evidenced by so many teenage boys with oily skin, who probably don’t have the best hygiene habits having terrible acne…. but I do agree that there can be other causes for it. I tend to get a lot of breakouts when I am under stress. – Sarah) Over-washing skin, especially when you over scrub, can over dry the skin and cause irritation. It can make your skin kick start your oil producing sebaceous glands, and make skin greasier (which causes ACNE, see?! – S). So don’t wash more than twice a day with the appropriate cleanser for your skin. Using cleansers with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help decease bacteria on the skin and minimize blackheads and other blemishes.
Adults Shouldn’t Have Acne
Since hormones and stress can mimic puberty, adults can definitely get acne. Make sure you wash off your makeup!
Cocoa Butter prevents Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are deep under the skin. They are a disruption of skin’s elastic fibers when skin expands rapidly, such as during pregnancy, rapid weight gain/loss or during growth spurts. Some may even have a genetic predisposition that makes them more susceptible to them. Dr. Mauricio said that some people use a mixture of coconut oil mixed with the lime juice (for vitamin C) as a natural moisturizer to help repair the connective tissues beneath skin’s surface that cause stretch marks. (Well, I kind of think THAT sounds a bit like a myth…. I have to say I also kind of disagree with this one, to an extent. While I don’t think that cocoa butter will prevent stretch marks, I think that it is important during certain times, like pregnancy, to keep skin moist and pliable, which cocoa butter does, to help reduce stretch marks. If you have a dried out rubber band, it might crack when you stretch it. – S)
Facial Scrubs Make Your Skin Glow
Facial scrubs may make your skin feel instantly smoother by removing dead skin cells. But over-exfoliating can cause problems, especially for those who have have eczema or sensitive skin. Over-scrubbing may also cause some superficial blood vessels to appear, especially on patients with rosacea. It may also worsen redness of the skin. For those who are acne prone, over-exfoliation can elicit overproduction of oil and make acne worse. (see Myth 1)
Dryness Causes Fine Lines
Dryness causes flaking and peeling. It may make lines look worse but it will not create the wrinkles. A mask of milk, buttermilk and yogurt contains alpha hydroxy acids that may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in some people. Try soaking a cotton cloth in cool, whole milk or buttermilk, and dab the liquid onto your face and neck in order to treat fine lines.
Toothpaste Dries Out Pimples
Toothpaste can actually be irritating to skin, and make acne worse. It contains no ingredients that will dry out a pimple. What it could do is cause irritation, burns and even more breakouts. Many toothpastes nowadays have bleaching and whitening properties that are even more irritating. She says there are more effective spot treatments for acne, so save your toothpaste for your teeth. She suggests to help dry out your acne without drying out your face, put a thin layer of milk of magnesia over your face as a mask, which can help oiliness and blemishes.