Mario Badescu Haul & Review [365 to 40]

Last Fall Mario Badescu had a great sale on this set for their 50th Anniversary. I was in need of a new cleanser and couldn’t pass up this gift with purchase deal. If my memory serves me right these samples came with a $30 purchase and since I did not need anything else apart from a cleanser I decided to try two.

How cute is the pouch?! I think the design is why I really made the purchase. The deluxe samples are as follows: (1) Super Rich Olive Body Lotion, (2) A.H.A Botanical Body Soap, (3) Enzyme Cleansing Gel, (4) Almond & Honey Face Scrub, (5) Elasto-Seamollient Hand Cream and (6) a sachet of the Buttermilk Moisturizer. Plus a small mirror.

Of the samples I have used the Almond & Honey Face Scrub that is specially formulated to be very gentle. It is made from finely ground almonds and also includes cornmeal to buff away dull, flaky skin. It smells amazing. Other ingredients include sweet almond oil, honey, and oatmeal that leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth, and nourished. The full size of this scrub is 4 oz and retails for $15. I also used the Elasto-Seamollient Hand Cream. This is a thick, rich hand cream that is suited for very dry or frequently washed hands. It contains a unique blend of skin-conditioning ingredients such as Elastin, Vitamin E, and Peanut Oil that combined delivers lasting hydration to soften and nourish dry skin. parched skin feels soft and nourished. This hand cream at 4 oz retails for $8. This was an effective hand cream but the scent of the vitamin E was a bit overpowering.

The two items I actually purchase:  Enzyme Cleansing Gel that cleanses, brightens, and gently exfoliates all at once. Ingredients include fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (naturally found in papaya and grapefruit extracts) to dissolve away makeup, oil, and impurities. The skin is left healthy and rejuvenated. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types and retails for $14 for 8 oz and $24 for 16 oz. The Botanical Facial Gel formulated for oily skin that features exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids to rid the skin of excess oil, makeup, and pore-clogging buildup for a balanced, clear, and healthy-looking complexion. Retails for $14 for 8 oz and $24 for 16 oz.

I am a fan of this brand of skin care products and believe that the products do live up to the company’s philosophy of simple, gentle and effective skin care.


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Current Night-time Skincare Routine

I am a huge fan of exploring skincare either by skin type, ethnicity or geographical region. I typically incorporate Asian skincare products into my routine with Western one. My favorite Asian skin care products are sheet masks, ampules/serum/essences. The latter three are very different and has its own properties and benefits but are more or less are in the same family of products. Over the last few years, I have been paying more attention to my skin and the type of products that I am using. If a product is good i.e. great effective ingredients, reputable manufacturers/companies, believable honest reviews etc., and maybe a bit pricey. I will purchase it, if it is worth it.  My favorites in this line up are the cleanser, facial oil, toner and eye gel.


From L to R: Derma.E Even Tone Brightening Cleanser; Missha Time Revolution The First ‘Intensive’ Treatment Essence; Missha Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule; SundayRiley Luna Night Sleeping Oil; Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Gel Creme and Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex.


Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris.

Disclaimer: The links are not affiliate links. They are to provide information about the product on the site of the most popular retailer.

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash – Review

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash is a potent, pH-balanced facial cleanser formulated with 18% Glycolic Acid and 2% Lactobionic Acid to smooth skin texture, unclog congested pores and stimulate cell renewal. Recommended experience Glycolic Acid users, this soap-free face wash prepares skin for optimal benefits of the regimen that follows. has been featured in Prevention’s “Defy Your Age” Challenge, as well as The Today Show, and Fitness and InStyle magazines.

Glycolic acid (GA) is alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) naturally derived from sugar cane. It is often made synthetically for uses such as in the skincare (cosmetics) industry, most commonly as glycolic peels.  GA is typically used at varying percentages and is considered to be the safest of all the AHAs. it is an excellent exfoliator removing the outer layer of dead skin cells. This promotes cellular turn-over, essentially bringing new ones up to the top layer (epidermis). The goal of many anti-aging skincare products.  GA also lightens discolored skin, reducing the presence of sun/age spots, blemishes and general hyper-pigmentation.

Lactobionic acid (LA) is a sugar acid found in milk and is formed by the oxidation of lactose as well as by other reactions. It is used in the cosmetics industry as an antioxidant. LA is a patented (one assumes by Neostrata) as a non-irritating ‘bionic’ polyhydroxy acid that helps to prevent and reverse the signs of photoaging which include lines, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, enlarged pores and uneven texture.

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash (Product overview):
• High strength, 18% Glycolic Acid smoothes skin texture and unclogs congested pores
• 2% Lactobionic Acid increases cell renewal
• Amphoteric system captures the benefits of Glycolic and Lactobionic Acid while minimizing the potential for irritation
• Soap-free, dye-free, pH balanced and dermatologist developed
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My thoughts:
I actually like this cleanser and although the price may be a bit steep for some, I think it is worth it. Having tried other products from NeoStrata, I can appreciate that you get what you pay for.  As a scientist I appreciate and will pay for products like this cleanser, that have a solid research and development program supporting it.
The wash was not heavily scented and actually had a slight ‘clean’ astringent smell (typical of more pricey products). There was definitely no ‘fragrance’ added.   The foaming action of the cleanser was good, meaning the foam held its ground even when mixed with a bit of water and while being massaged into the skin. As for the actual immediate action – one will feel a slight tingle (from the acids), the same experienced with many over the counter glycolic cleansers/peels.  I used this wash as my only cleanser for two weeks AM/PM and have noticed an overall brightness to my skin (especially right after rinsing).  I will however feel more comfortable giving a final assessment once I have used the entire bottle, which I  do for my expensive skin care product. I use every drop and get my money’s worth. NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash retails for $40. 

Would I repurchase? Most likely, I like it and am willing to give the science a chance to work.

About the Brand:
NeoStrata Skin Active is a comprehensive antiaging system of potent professional products with active benefit ingredients that work synergistically to address the broadest spectrum of visible signs of aging. The NeoStrata Skin Active system is made up of high-performance products, each formulated to deliver outstanding rejuvenating effects, including significant improvement in the appearance of deep wrinkles, crow’s feet, sagging and uneven pigmentation.
Disclaimer: These products received from NeoStrata and their representatives through BrandBacker for review considerations. This does not  influence my opinion and this review is based on my experience with the product. A portion of the product description, benefits and ingredients were adapted from information provided by NeoStrata.

Review: Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub

Every so often, your complexion needs a little extra attention to enhance the skin’s natural renewal cycle. Nothing does this better than a densely textured, smooth gliding and terrifically energizing facial scrub. Activated with water, the finely ground walnut powder foams up and slips over the skin effortlessly to awaken beautiful glowing skin.

Aloe vera Moisturizes, calms and heals
Chamomile Calms, softens and soothes
Korean ginseng Increases cellular energy, stimulates microcirculation

Walnut powder Mildly abrasive, aids in cell renewal
(Description courtesy of
Hands down this Walnut Complexion Scrub has got to be the best ‘shell’ scrub around. I love it so much I have two and will probably purchase more (if there is a sale going on). It smells divine similar to sweet almond extract and one has to keep in mind that it is not edible. This scrub also lathers extremely well and most time I just use this by itself and it is very effective at removing residual makeup and just dirt and grime in general. This scrub retails $16 (1oz) and $24 (1.7oz).
One of the things apart from the quality of the products is that they include an expiration date. As a consumer this is a blessing as rarely do people know how to read the codes included on product labels. 

Small Jamaican Beauty Haul

A couple months ago my dad went back home to Jamaica (JA) and I asked him to pick up a few things from a store ‘Earth Elements’ in Kingston that specializes in ‘natural’ beauty/skincare products. I decided on these items after watching a couple YouTube videos by beauty vloggers who live in JA and love these products.
I got the Gentle Face Wash, Citrus Twist Toning Mist, Madina Mud Mask and the Madina Black Seed Cream.

Review: My Beauty Diary – Aloe Amino Acid Cleanser

My new favorite facial cleanser for 2012 that I bought last Christmas from Pretty & Cute
The Beauty Diary Aloe Amino Acid cleanser is a mild foaming cleanser from the Tea Collection. I’ve read that in addition to aloe the other scent is matcha tea (which I heard is very tasty).
It comes in a little mint green pot as a solid cream with a little spatula (I love that most Asian pot/jar products have little spatulas). It has the clean, crisp smell of aloe and a little goes a long way.
I use it almost everyday, I love it especially after a long day when face is extra oily. Afterwards my skin is  very happy and refreshed.
The main feature of this cleanser is the amino acids that stimulate the production of collagen, in turn making the skin firmer and fine lines/wrinkles less visible.
I think this is a great cleanser and if you are looking into trying something new, you should give this one a try. 
Would I repurchase? Yes and yes, although I want to try the Strawberry Yogurt Cleanser next.