31

I’m An Eye Serum Convert

 

IMG_0566Years ago, I thought I didn’t need or want a specific product for my eyes.  I just used whichever face product I liked (I’m so sensitive I’d rarely put anything on my face that couldn’t be near my eyes). I admit I still am not an eye cream fan, but a nice light serum can be very pleasant and helpful.

When people talk eye products, they often want something that alleviates dark circles. I want to say right up front that I personally have never experienced any product that helped in that area. The only thing that ever helped with my constant just-got-in-a-bar-fight look was eliminating processed and sensitivity-aggravating foods.  But there are other things an eye product can do for you.

When I looked for an eye serum, I was after something unscented, that provides a little moisture, but not too much under makeup, and that kicked the butt of my morning puffiness. I have found three eye serum products that I love. They take a few minutes to sink in, but that actually works out well, because…

…I started doing a little eye massage every morning. Using one finger on each eye, I pat the serum all around, then massage from the outer corner to the inner corner in little circles, both above and below. This seems to get fluids moving, and assists the serum in depuffing. I’ve tried the massage with random products, and a serum really does make a difference.  Here are my top choices:

Blissoma Bright – Eye Vitalizing Nutrient Serum: I reviewed this some time back, but I’m going to plagiarize myself a bit for the sake of comparison. Just a few minutes after a little eye massage, my puffiness is dramatically better.  The consistency is very thin, so I pump it out slowly and carefully. About half a pump per application works for me.  The texture is perfect for under makeup – you’ll be moisturized but not remotely greasy.  With regular use, I feel I look more awake throughout the day.  Can’t beat that!  The way I use it, the bottle lasts a couple of months.  ($45.99/.5 oz)

Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum:  This review by Pemberley Jones convinced me I had to try Kahina’s Eye Serum.  I’m glad I did.  The texture of this one is easy to work with.  It’s pleasantly light, but half a pump holds together nicely on the finger.  I do experience some pilling if I layer it on top of other products, so this is definitely a first layer.  It does help with puffiness, but excels at softening the skin, yet firming the eye area.  And I am a sucker for violet glass packaging. ($78/.5oz)

La Bella Figura Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum:  As an oil based product that does have a light scent, this is different from the other two.  Sink in time is longer, but this is my favorite for a truly luxurious eye massage.  When my eyes really need some pampering, this is what I reach for.  Application with the pretty glass roller ball packaging is unique.  It can be rolled directly on the eye area or on a finger, and the amount is easy to control. ($115/.33oz)

I said I love them all, right? So how to choose? Honestly, I keep going back and forth between them.  They all accomplish essentially the same missions.  If you want to use a serum at night and/or firming and fine lines are a priority, I’d go with Kahina. If morning puffiness is more of an issue for you, I think Bright has the edge.  If you are yearning for luxury with your results, go LBF.  They all have good long-term results.  With any of these choices, you will have a winner.

Have you tried these? What’s your favorite eye cream or serum?

 

 

 

12

Water Based Moisturizers

IMG_0518I’m the president of the fan club of face oils.  Since they are best applied on moist skin, my obsession for them matches well with my obsession for hydrosols.  But last winter I started needing some additional help with my dry skin, especially right around my lips.  Just like your lipstick rubs off in the course of the day, any product you’ve applied around the lip area can wear thin.  A sip of kombucha here, a mid-morning snack there, and even before lunch I’m unpleasantly dry.

I went searching for something I could dab on those especially dry spots throughout the day as needed, something quick and easy to apply that would sink right in.

These moisturizers all have a water and/or aloe base blended with very light oils, antioxidants, vitamins, various botanicals, etc.  They sink in fairly quickly, and work well applied alone, layered with an oil, or my favorite – mixed with a drop or two of oil first, then applied.  The method will all depend on your skin type and the season, of course.  Adjust as needed.

Blissoma Pure:  This “sensitive skin soothing complex” is my favorite.  It seems so quiet and unassuming with it’s simple name and unscented nature.  But the performance is impressive.  It’s got the perfect thick-but-not-too-thick texture, and is the best product I’ve tried for calming after hair removal.  Just a simple tweeze of the eyebrows can set my skin to complaining, never mind that darn upper lip area, and applying Pure lets me go on about my business without inflammation.  It mixes well with any oil for extra hydration, and won’t compete with other scents.  On its own, or mixed with an oil or balm, it is the best for moisturizing my extra dry spots.  I like the simple packaging – a glass bottle with a nice pump that lets you easily use just a bit if you don’t need a full pump.  ($25.99/oz)

Graydon:   This Canadian brand makes two of my honorable mention moisturizers.  The Putty is light in texture and lightly scented.  For this texture, it is remarkably moisturizing and reparative.  I recommend it if you want a light texture with a powerful anti-inflammatory punch, and enjoy just a suggestion of scent – from carrot seed, chamomile, and lavender EOs.  The Berry Rich Cream is more substantial in texture, but still doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin.  With no intentionally added scent, it gives one just a hint of berry from the blueberry and red raspberry seed oils. (each $29/1.7oz or 50ml)

Osmia Purely Simple Face Cream:  I’m not one for herbal generally, but this is nice – light and refreshing.  The texture is too light for my mature skin, but would be a great choice for normal to oily types, or those with issues of perioral dermatitis. ($60/1.7oz)

Have you tried these?  What’s your favorite water-based moisturizer?

A few months back, I entered a phase of having stress breakouts.  This was something more than just the very specifically timed hormonal breakouts I’ve been used to.  Although Annmarie Gianni’s oil really works for those hormonal breakouts, it can be drying if used too often on the more sensitive parts of my face, plus I’m not in love with the scent.  I decided to try some new products.

There’s no better way to feel beautiful and confident than to have clear, glowing skin.  A healthy lifestyle is the best way to get there, but ya know I need a little extra help sometimes.  These two products are the perfect solution for me.

Blissoma Smooth A+ Perfecting Serum: I love this brand!  Everything I’ve used feels immediately soothing and wonderful on the skin.  This serum lets me add a layer of blemish protection without piling on too many oils.  I generally put this on between my face oil and sunscreen during the day, or between oil and a balm at night.  Usually I can just use it once a day, but if things are particularly harrowing I may use it twice.  It sinks right in and has a matte finish, yet is not drying at all.  It both prevents and treats blemishes, and I find myself with fewer blackheads and diminished pores.  The scent is very light – mainly I detect rose and frankincense.  This stuff is pretty perfect. ($25.99/1 oz)

Osmia Organics Spot Treatment: I didn’t even know I wanted a spot treatment until I tried this on a whim, while ordering some luscious Osmia body oils.  The Spot Treatment is an overnight wonder, without the drying or the overly strong scent some spot treatments have.  I mostly smell rosemary and citrus.  I’ve had success with this whether applied to bare skin, between layers of other products, or on top of everything. ($20/.16 oz)

It feels satisfying to have found blemish treatments so good I can stop looking for something else!  Have you tried these?

Meet Ruby! Her skincare and hair routine is clean, but her makeup routine is… not so clean. We love her honesty, and we can all identify with her transition to clean products. That said, Ruby has some recommendations for clean products we’ve never even heard of! Go Girl!

Name: Ruby

Age: 21 as of October

Current weather: The cooler evenings of fall are approaching, along with what will soon be weeks of rainy winter in British Columbia!

Hair: Thick, wavy, oily

Skin: Fair, oily and blemish-prone; my pale complexion lends itself to some sensitivity and mild redness as well.

Favorite star from the past: Not necessarily a personal favorite, however, my mom says I can resemble a young Julie Christie and she’s a babe, so you won’t hear me arguing.

In the shower…

I wash my hair as infrequently as possible in a desperate attempt to get my scalp to regulate the amount of oil it produces—yet tragically, after over a year of doing so, I still cannot manage to do it less than twice a week. (And I’m still in the sad hair boat of having it fall almost completely limp the day after) I’m currently using up the last bit of my Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic duo, the minty scent is quite unisex, and the conditioner is absolutely divine—so luxurious in texture and moisturizing ability. After reading the most recent review on here for Rahua’s Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner, I ordered some samples from Spirit Beauty Lounge, and suspect it will be finding its way into my shower in the near future.

Every Saturday night, I apply coconut oil from mid-shaft down, twist in a braid, and sleep on a towel. After a double hair cleanse and a massage of conditioner into my ends the following morning, I grab a bar of natural soap and do a quick swipe over my pits and bits. I’ve been debating between opting for the body wash route or trying yet another brand of soap; does anyone else get that squeaky clean feeling? I’ve tried half a dozen different clean bars (Moksa, various Etsy retailers) and can’t seem to escape it. Not to mention scent selection! Maybe I want to lather myself up in jasmine instead of vetiver and patchouli… I’m far too lazy to apply body lotion outside of the shower, so if my skin feels like it’s getting on the drier side—I’ll just slather it in coconut oil before my final rinse. I also like to mix it with some form of grit (coarse salt, sugar, SNAP anyone?) whenever I want to scrub, it kills two birds with one stone and eliminates that itchy post-exfoliation sensation that I get.

Out of the shower…

I have forced myself to only splash my face with water in the morning; my skin doesn’t appear to be any worse off and it saves my cleanser! I do several mists of Evan Healy’s Lemon Thyme Hydrosol (I have decided to try Immortelle, however, after reading Kim’s experience) and follow with Jurlique’s Calendula Cream (I’ve re-purchased this over five times which is INCREDIBLE when you consider I am a complete and utter product junkie and am always hunting for that next best product). I’m fairly lucky when it comes to my hair in that it can air-dry, without product, into soft waves. (Which is darn lucky because if it didn’t, I would endure endless bad hair days since I’m inept in that department—there are three styles in my world: down, ponytail, and sock bun.) If any frizz does arise, I can usually quell it with the help of a boar bristle brush. (I just broke down and purchased a $100+ Mason Pearson brush and lemme tell you, ignore the seemingly endless blog posts that tell you it’s worth it, because it’s not.) My Nourish deodorant has run out and I’m waiting on my Living Libations order to come through and simultaneously hoping that I like it but also hoping that I won’t … over $55 after shipping for 5 ml of the stuff! The former was good but not great, I loved the femininity of the Almond + Vanilla scent but found it would take religious re-application. I tried Miessence prior to that and after developing a red rash on my underarms, realized that I have a sensitivity to baking soda!

My current night routine is in a bit of an upset at the moment; I ran out of Blissoma’s Mild Rice Cleanser, which was treating my skin pretty nicely, especially the congestion my forehead would experience. Despite this, it’s only natural that I would try a *different* cleanser because as all fellow product junkies know, what if something worked even better? I temporarily returned to the last remaining dribbles of Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip Cleanser (I didn’t love this as much as I hoped, too foamy, but your face indeed feels like marble afterwards) and now begins my foray into samples. My first was the Sevani Ageless Radiance Refining AHA Cleanser, which smells deliciously of citrus but was also possible for what may have been my worst breakout in months. I still can’t pin down if it was this product that caused such an upset as there’s nothing I can outright blame in the ingredient list, however, I’m also not itching to give it a second try anytime soon.

I’ve switched to a sample pot of Kahina’s Facial Cleanser and can’t find a single thing that I dislike! It possesses a lovely lotiony texture, removes makeup with ease, and doesn’t appear to be aggravating my acne-prone skin. I’m waiting for a sample of Aurelia’s Miracle Cleanser and then I’ll make the final cleanser call. (I’ve heard amazing things about Aurelia’s muslin clothes, so even if the product itself doesn’t work for me, I’ll probably end up grabbing a package of those—they have a set for Monday through Sunday, how cute is that?!) I bought Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Soothing Gel a while back but it seems to have abruptly stopped doing anything for my face so now I apply ISUN’s Clarifying Serum most nights (if you haven’t tried this product and have a similar skintype to mine, DO SO, it helps to regulate sebum production and gently eases breakouts). I was hesitant about buying it at first considering there are virtually no online reviews but after loving the ingredient list and now on my second bottle, this seems to be an item that will be on my permanent regime. Every few nights I’ll use Arcona’s The Solution, which helps with any hyper pigmentation from leftover acne scars and helps give my pores that “refined” look. Whew, still with me?

Finishing touches…

Here is where it gets dirty; being fair-skinned with cool undertones means that I *never* have an even complexion without the aid of base makeup. There will always be a bit of redness everywhere—around the nose, lower cheeks, chin—you get it. This is the primary reason why I wear foundation. Every. Day. It’s horrible, I know and it’s not even *that* bad but I don’t feel confident without it. If I could only own one cosmetic item, it would be Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation. It disguises redness exceptionally well, doesn’t slide off my face by the end of the day, and is easy to sheer out to lighter coverage when I use my beloved BeautyBlender sponge. I want to give RMS Uncover Up a solid try but the beeswax in it makes me nervous to use it on my whole face. I think that a non-clean foundation will be the hardest product for me to let go of in my beauty routine—even though I prefer the satin/dewy finish that comes with a lot of the natural ones, I want the staying power that comes with chemicals. *sigh*

I use a combination of Giorgio Armani’s High Precision Retouch with Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage for under eye darkness and then on any blemishes I mix the latter with some of the amazing MUFE Full Cover Concealer. I use Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Base to top it off with some MUFE HD Powder in my oilier areas. I’m still navigating the territory of blush—with natural rosy cheeks, I’m nervous about applying anything that could exacerbate this. I just tried a sample of “Spark” from Vapour and I’m waiting on a tester of “Modest” and “Smile” from RMS. Any other peachy-shade-of blush recommendations? For eye makeup, I pop some of RMS’ Living Luminizer along my brow bone and inner eye corner. I have decided that in the realm of eyeshadows, I could solely use UD’s Naked Palette and be happy (I just discovered that Silk Naturals has a dupe for the entire Naked 2 Palette, so be proud because I will be switching to that eventually!). I’m a big fan of the cat eye which I achieve with Bobbi Brown’s Gel Eyeliner and then finish it with a coat of Josie Maran’s mascara after a thorough curl with my shu uemura. And that’s pretty much it! I don’t tend to wear anything on my lips but lip balm unless I’m doing something dramatic in which case I love Aveda’s Rare Orchid or the dreaded Russian Red from MAC

Everything is a process—I could be doing better but I could also be doing a lot worse. I’m confident that in the coming years, my entire beauty routine will be squeaky clean!

It’s true, Ruby. Everything is a process. Keep it up! We bet our readers will have some fun clean makeup recommendations for you, too.

Let’s face it—summer is in full swing. Whether you’ve been hanging at the beach, the lake, poolside, under a sprinkler on the lawn, or none of the above, you’re probably catching more rays than you were a few months ago. We know what it means to walk that line between getting your vitamin D and protecting your tush. If your skin needs some extra summer love, our Friday Deal from Blissoma and Nature of Beauty is for you!

So here’s the deal: Nature of Beauty is offering 20% off all Blissoma products. Even better, you can purchase the Blissoma Amend Skin Repair Collection, which includes the Facial Solar Anti Aging Serum and Amend Body Lotion, for $50! (Hint, the lotion is basically free.)

The promo code for the Amend duo is NMDLAmend and the code for the Blissoma line discount is NMDLBlissoma20. You can use both promo codes for one order, so you don’t have to choose between the two offers! The deal runs through Monday.

We know you’ll love the purity, effectiveness, and performance of this vegan line. And this is the perfect season to try both versions of Amend. You’ll be giving your whole self a healthy UV protection boost! Check out Rebecca’s review of the Blissoma facial and eye serums from earlier this week. And if you want to know more about the Amend Body Lotion, here’s a great review from Fig + Sage!