Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best Acne Treatment

La Roche Posay  Effaclar K

I have combination skin which, even at 37 years old, is still prone to clogged pores and occasional breakouts. Most over the counter products to treat acne are made for teens and have not worked well for me. Effaclar K is different. It contains 1.5% salicylic  acid and gently refines the texture of your skin.  I apply this easily absorbed lotion to clean skin right before going to bed and wake up with fewer blemishes and clearer - thus tighter - pores. And my skin does not feel dry or irritated. Definitely an excellent product!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best Microdermabrasion Cream

Naturderm Epidermx II

The holy grail of all facial exfoliators, Epidermx II is  made with pure alpha-fused medical grade Corundum Crystal, natural botanical enzymes and actives, vitamins, minerals, herbs, antioxidants,  natural occurring alpha-hydroxy acids  and pure essential botanical oils. A gentle, yet powerful exfoliator, Epidermx II  removes dirt, dead skin and other pore clogging debris. Nightly use of this miracle cream will produce noticeable results - almost immediately. A must-have for anyone with skin that is dull, dry or sluggish.  Smoother skin, improved skin tone, less visible pores and an overall vibrant complexion. It is free of parabens, silicone and preservatives.  Safe, non-irritating and leaves skin fresh, moist and renewed. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Worst Microdermabrasion Exfoliator

Cosmedicine Medi-Morphosis Self Adjusting Exfoliator

I was out of my tried and true microdermabrasion cream - so in an act of desperation, I went to the drug store in search of something to use for the time being.  I made the unfortunate decision to purchase this one, from  Cosmedicine.  The first thing I noticed, was that the crystals were much larger than most microdermabrasion scrubs I have used.  It also felt rather chalky, almost like a clay face mask.  Then there are the "stop-action" granules,  made to dissolve after what seemed like just a few seconds of rubbing and the fact that it  left a weird film behind.  Don't be fooled by the many "positive" reviews posted all over the web - this is one supremely ineffective product.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Best Leave-In Conditioners

Goldwell Color Glow IQ Gloss Infusion

Available for lightened, highlighted and color treated hair. I used "Bright Shine" (for blonde hair) as well as "Brilliant Gloss" (for highlighted hair). It also comes in "Deep Reflects" (for red hair). It comes in a box containing four 10 ml tubes.  Perfectly designed to take care of lightened hair with Gloss Repair System and Color Protect Complex *Highly concentrated gloss emulsion revives and intensifies the rich radiance of your blonde tone *Smoothes - nourishes and protects the hair structure *Gives blonde hair dramatic  bright shine.  This stuff rocks - your hair will thank you.

Enjoy Leave-in Conditioner

The Enjoy haircare line is one of my favorites. This is a great leave-in for all hair types. It moisturizes, detangles and protects each precious strand of your hair against the damage from heat styling and the sun's UV rays.  Preserves hair color and prevents fading. The consistency is creamy, without being too heavy or greasy - and makes a great moisturizer for skin as well.  Leaves hair smooth, frizz free and PH balanced.  Sulfate free and safe for color treated hair.  Also pretty economical, as a 12 oz. bottle lasts a long time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Product Review: Colgate Optic White

Whitening Toothpaste - Colgate Optic White

I decided that I would not write a review of this toothpaste until I used an entire tube.  So for the last month and a half, I brushed three times per day and did not use any other whitening products. I am a sucker for new toothpaste - especially those which promise a brighter smile. With it's slick packaging and advertising, "The Hottest Thing in Whitening has Arrived" - I was anxious to start brushing! This new toothpaste contains 1% hydrogen peroxide and promises whiter teeth in one week. Well, the verdict is in and I am not impressed. After six weeks of diligent use,  my teeth look exactly the same.  This is quite disappointing, considering that a white strip produces noticeable results in just five minutes. Another negative is that it comes in only one flavor - wintergreen,  which Colgate calls, "Sparkling Mint".  

Worst Self Tanners

Xen-Tan Dark Tanning Mousse
Seldom have I been so utterly disappointed in a product. After spending $30 on a 4oz bottle - I certainly expected more from this self tanner. I'm not usually bothered by the smell of sunless tanners but this one, which is supposed to be "light and delicious" had an odor that can only be described as rancid vanilla frosting.  Even after five consecutive days of application, the "instant" color was almost non existent and the "tan" was a pale, yellow/orange which did not fade well.  Save your money!

So Bronze Tinted Self Tanning Body Lotion

Hands down - the worst self tanning product ever! Where do I begin? To start, the color, straight out of the tube immediately evoked childhood memories of the most hated crayon of Crayola's 64 colors - "Burnt Sienna" (which I believe has since been discontinued.) For those too young to remember this ugly crayon - it was a dark, red-orange brown. Not exactly the most desirable shade for coloring or tanning!  I should have stopped right there but I didn't.  This over-priced nightmare was thick, difficult to apply and left behind a splotchy, streaky, orange mess. Three hours after applying, it had settled into my pores and was still rubbing off on my clothes. I have used many, many sunless tanning products and none were as awful as this one.

Best New Blusher

Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush

Physician's Formula blushers are top-notch and this one is no exception. The multi-toned blushing hearts are absolutely irresistible. There is a slight shimmer but  just the right amount - not enough to leave you with  unwanted sparkle! The compact has a separate compartment which holds a mini blush brush but I recommend using a full size natural bristle blush brush for optimum results. Swirl your brush across the entire palette, in order to get the full effect. It does have a slight fragrance but nothing overpowering. It left my cheeks flushed with a fresh, natural glow and just the right amount of soft highlights. Another plus is that it does not cause breakouts!  And with a retail price of  just $11  - this one is a keeper!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Carol's Daughter
Ecstasy Sea Salt Scrub

Exfoliate and smooth with sea salts and natural oils - leaves skin glowing. Made without parabens, petroleum or mineral oil. And the fragrance is heavenly - 
Nectar, Egyptian Musk, Amber and Vanilla Bourbon.

Best Body Scrubs

100% Pure Body Scrubs    

100% Pure delicious body scrubs packed with skin brightening fruit acids,
moisturizing organic fruit oils and anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants in a
a variety of fruit, nut and herbal scents, including pomegranate, mangosteen, coco kona coffee, blood orange,  cabernet grape, eucalyptus, vanilla bean, strawberry, french lavender and  meyer lemon - just to name a few. The best thing about these amazing products is that they are 100% Pure: No 
 synthetic chemicals, no artificial fragrances, no preservatives or any other toxins.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Worst Eye Shadows

L'Oreal HIP Studio Secrets

Color was not as highly pigmented as promised and worst of all, it seriously lacked clinging power - meaning that much of the shadow will fall off lids and end up under your eyes.

Rimmel Eye Shadow

Cheap, chalky with very little color pay-off.

Worst Eyeliner Pencils

Stila Kajal Eyeliner.
This one is a hot mess! It is too soft, smudges very easily, ends up in the corners of your eyes and does not sharpen easily. Save your hard earned cash.

N.Y.C. Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil
A perfect of example of "you get what you pay for", this eyeliner is difficult to apply, wears off quickly and can be irritating to your eyes. Not a bargain.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Worst Beauty Products - Continued...

Worst: Laura Mercier Powder Foundation

Laura Mercier Foundation Powder comes in a mirrored compact with a powder puff and a make-up sponge and can be used either wet or dry, depending on the amount of coverage needed. It can also be applied with a foundation brush.

Upon application, it feels nice, as it is finely milled - and even dry,  provided decent coverage.  Within an hour, however, it had settled into my pores and fine lines - and gave my skin a very cake-y appearance. And it did not wear well, especially on my moderately oily skin. Another downfall was the color - which for some reason, seemed okay when I tested it at Sephora. I have medium skin with olive undertones so I chose No. 3 and it was very, very yellow and un-natural.

The price is $40 so again, a huge waste of money!

Worst: Strivectin WF

StriVectin WF - Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler is a topical serum which is supposed to instantly fill in and smooth wrinkles , such as crow's feet and frown lines as well as improve skin's texture and appearance. Pretty lofty claims. Sadly, this product simply does not work. I used it faithfully for three weeks and saw absolutely no improvement whatsoever. And at $59.00 for a small tube .78 fl oz, a rather costly mistake!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Worst Products

Here are some products to avoid!

Worst Mascara

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes This is one disappointing product from a brand which is known for superior quality drug store mascaras. Sadly, their latest is not one of them. With a name like "Million Lashes" and a shiny gold tube, I had high expectations - and using this product was a big let down. The first thing I noticed was an unpleasant, over-powering scent - rather odd for eye make-up!  The brush was puny and even after three carefully applied coats, my lashes were sticky and full of clumps, with absolutely no definition. It dried like glue and flaked off into my eyes, causing substantial irritation. I do not recommend this mascara!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Product Reviews - Best part II

Best Lip Liners

Estee Lauder Lip Defining Pencil The perfect texture, this pencil glides on effortlessly, stays in place and is great or precision lining. The other end is a lip brush which can be used for blending or applying gloss.

MakeUp 4Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner contains jojoba and Vitamin E which makes application easy. Waterproof and extremely long wearing, yet glides right on and is non-drying. 

Rimmel 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Liner Pencil Affordable, long lasting and transfer resistant, helps keep lipstick from bleeding.  Available in eight great shades.

Best Face Cleansers
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser  It is no wonder that so many dermatologists recommend this product - it's fragrance free, non-comedogenic and PH balanced. It cleans gently, without stripping skin of natural oils.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Dissolves pore clogging oils, dirt and make-up. Water solubale formula rinses clean and leaves your face feeling soft and clean. Great for all skin types - even oily or acne prone.

Alpha Hydroxy Foaming Face Wash
 Free of soap, fragrance, oil and alcohol - this PH balanced cleanser leaves skin feeling fresh, smooth and clean. Gentle enough for eye makeup removal.

MD Forte Facial Cleanser II Gentle, creamy cleanser, suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Contains a PH balanced 15% glycolic compound which leaves skin smooth and soft.

Best Treatment for Acne Prone Skin

La Roche Posay Effaclar K  Treats oily and acne prone skin with 1.5% salicylic acid and thermal spring water. Penetrates deeply to exfoliate and gently hydrate skin. Non-drying and extremely effective.

Dr. Semel's Face It Acne Wash Definitely the first step in clearing break-outs. This mild cleanser dissolves blackheads and blemishes fast - without drying skin. Contains  Zinc and Copper PCA.

Murad Exfoliated Acne Treatment Gel Patented formula with anti-inflamatory botanicals, retinol, hydrogen peroxide and glycolic acids to remove pore clogging dead skin cells and acne causing bacteria. Reduces redness and inflamation, while promoting clarity.

Best Shampoos
Enjoy Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo
 Gentle cleansing without harsh chemicals, PH balanced for silky soft strands without frizz or build-up.

Matrix Biolage Colorcaretherapie  Sulfate, paraben and silicone free, this super gentle shampoo restores shine, replenishes moisture, protects color and smells great.

Kerastase Bain Satin Shampoo  This luxurious shampoo drenches hair in moisture, eliminates frizz and the PH balanced formula contains proteins and lipids for shiny softness.

Bioken Enfanti Shampoo for all hair types, blends oragnic botanicals and herbs as well as vitamins to revive and revitalize hair. It uses nano-technology to soothe hair and scalp without sulfates and protects from UV rays without parabens, DEA or alcohol. It also makes hair feel wonderful and soft.

Best Conditioners

Goldwell Kerasilk Fortified with silk proteins and jojoba oil, this deep conditioning treatment re-balances hair structure, instantly making it sleek, smooth and easy to comb. 

Terax Crema Ultra-Moisturizing Conditioner A cult favorite that revitalizes stressed tresses, moisturizes and smooths spilt ends.  Protects against chemical and environmental damage. Smells great, too.
Hollywood Secrets Hair Care Hydrolyzed Silk Protein Conditioner This truly amazing conditioner was developed by Steve Erhardt, stylist to the stars - with a celebrity client list which includes Cher, Michael Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna - to mention a few! Deep conditions dry, damaged and chemically treated hair in just 60 seconds. Proteins with a low molecular weight penetrate the hair shaft to rebuild and strengthen. Produces exceptional results.

Best Deep Conditioning Treatments

Kerastase Oleo Relax Masque A bit pricey but sooo luxurious and a must for dry, rebellious, course hair. Rich palm oils and shorea seed butter provide nutrition and hydration and lipids block out humidity to prevent frizz. The fragrance is a bit overwhelming but your hair will look and feel it's best with weekly use of this product.

Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor for Damaged Hair Tried and true, this is a go-to product when trying to salvage hair damaged by heat styling or chemicals. Infuses hair shaft with exclusive triamine complex. Effectively targets  and repairs for an immediate noticeable difference in strength, texture and appearance.

Brazilian Keratin Deep Conditioning Mask made with cocoa, keratin and panthenol, this deep penetrating mask eliminates porosity for stronger, smoother, shinier locks. Once a week is all you need for amazing results.

Best Facial Moisturizers
ReVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream Luxury skincare at it's best, ReVive products contain Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) which work to retexturize and renewskin. The result is dramatically tight, glowing skin.  In two weeks, you will experience the trademark ReVive Glow. Expensive, yes - but worth it.

Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 Excellent basic moisturizer for daily use, PABA free sun protection, lightweight, non-greasy, fragrance free, won't clog pores, replenishes moisture and very affordable.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid Non oily soothing protective emulsion for sensitive combination skin. Light, mattifying texture, easily absorbed into skin.  Fragrance free, non-irritating, non-comedogenic.

Vichy Normaderm ProMat Ultra Mattifying Lotion SPF 15
  Light, oil free moisturizing, with UVA/UVB
protection formulated for sensitive and oily/combination skin, smooth, even skin, will not clog pores.

Borba Clarifying Complexion Shield SPF 15
 Revolutionary antioxidant moisturizer formulated with pomegranate and hydrolized cotton fibers.  Improves skin clarity, shields from sun's rays, Fresh, light, clean feeling. 

Best Blushers
Nars This finely milled powder blush is an award winning,  celebrity favorite and is known for it's exquisite colors, particularily "Orgasm" which imparts a warm, peachy pink glow to the skin and looks great on fair to medium complexions.

Physician's Formula  Baked Blush This smooth, weightless blush can be used wet or dry, depending on how much intensity is desired. Made with Italian talc which makes it very easy to blend.  Dermatologist tested. Fragrance free. And available
at drugstores. 

Best  Hair Color Kits
L'Oreal Feria  Thirty-eight brilliant shades, multifaceted  highlights and shimmering color make this a winner! Plus, the after-color conditioner is luxurious and each kit contains a  generous, multi-use tube. 

L'Oreal Preference This classic hair color covers gray, resists fading and leaves hair absolutely luminous. This also has a generous amount of outstanding  post color conditioner. Fifty-eight gorgeous shades - including a wide array of natural looking blond.

Revlon ColorSilk Inexpensive, gentle, ammonia-free hair color covers gray and leaves hair radiant and shiny. Available in forty shades.

Clairol Perfect 10  100% gray coverage and rich, glossy color in ten minutes. Plus, the after color conditioner is to die for! Available in twenty four superb shades.

Product Reviews - Best

Best Foundation

Revlon Photo Ready Makeup
 Promises "poreless, airbrushed skin in any light" - and it delivers. Complete coverage erases every flaw.  Oil-free, fragrance free and SPF 20.  This is one winning foundation!

Clinique Skin Clarifying Make-up Provides long lasting, full coverage without pore clogging oils or irritating fragrance. Great for acne prone skin. Soft, matte, velvety finish. SPF 15.

Smashbox High Definition Healthy FX Foundation This weightless, oil free foundation contains revitalizing ingredients which not only firm your face but leave it flawless. SPF 15.

Vichy Dermablend Foundation Superior full coverage foundation. Applies easily, covers completely without clogging pores and stays on all day. Smooth, matte finish. SPF 20.

Best Mascara

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara Creates dramatic volume and length, fans and separates lashes
a lush fringe without clumping or flaking.

L'Oreal Volume Shocking Mascara This lash fattening wonder includes a lash primer and the results are
pretty amazing - especially for a drugstore brand. Turns thin eyelashes dark, thick and glamorous. The only
drawback is that the mascara wand is a puny comb, which can cause some clumping.

L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara Plumps lashes and provides serious drama with just one coat and lasts all day without smudging or flaking. Non-irritating and washes off easily.

Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara Lifts and lengthens for luxurious lashes for up to 24 hours. 
No smudes or clumps. Safe for contact lens wearers. Hypo-allergenic.

Best Self Tanner
Au Courant  Instant Sunless Tanning Mousse A Favorite on Film sets, TV shows and on the Red Carpet, this is the Rolls Royce of self tanners. Streak free, odorless and never, ever orange - this amazing formula leaves pasty skin silky soft and with an incredibly natural deep tan, which lasts between 5 -7 days and fades just like a natural tan.

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel Smooth texture makes application a breeze. Dries quickly amd imparts a natural, subtle, streak free, sun-kissed glow.  It is easy to see why this product is loved by so many.

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer Become bronze in an instant with this gelee, which contains light reflecting micro-particles to illuminate  skin while your tan develops. Quick drying and long lasting radiant color. Apply carefully, however, to avoid streaking.

Bliss A Tan for All Seasons Self tanning mist with quick drying sun-set bronzer. A favorite in the Bliss spas, this stuff goes on quickly and easily, dries fast and does not rub off on your clothes. A completely natural, even tan which fades gradually.

Best Plumping Lip Gloss

Lip Fusion Revolutionary in the fact that it actually works. Micro-injected collagen swells lips for up to 8 hours.The effect is not as dramatic as actual collagen injections - but with it's smooth formula, which is thick without being sticky, great range of colors and lips which are visibly fuller - Lip Fusion is a keeper.

Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Color Full
 A more affordable version of Lip Fusion - this one also contains spheres of Hydro Collagen Complex, in addition to the tingle factor. Comes in eight different colors and has a pleasant bubble-gum flavor. Best of all, lips will look lush and plush for hours.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker XL Extreme Plump Clear lipshine which boasts plant oils, collagen nanovectors and a dose of  tinglers which guarantee to instant swell your lips and produce a more voluptous kisser.