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.

 

The above links are not affiliated. 

Birthday Haul [365 to 40]

I picked up a few things for my birthday from Sephora in late March. Mainly to claim the yearly birthday gift before the month ended. I haven’t shopped much at Sephora over the past two years since I discovered Ulta and the Dermstore.

Haul included:
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer – I love a glossy lip and wanted to try at least one Rhinna created product. This universal shade is so pretty and definitely work appropriate.

Image courtesy of Google

 

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Mini Mask Sampler Set – I have been eyeing the Kiehls mask individually for quite a while now but didn’t want to spend a lot for such large jars.  This sampler set is perfect and each 0.5oz jar provides enough for a few routines. I just bought this last week of March and it is now no longer on the site.
Set includes Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque, Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask, Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask, Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask & Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Mask. The prices do vary from $32 to $54.

Image courtesy of NeimanMarcus.com

 

I also claimed a few rewards:
250 pt perk – The Ole Henriksen The Bestsellers -Truth Serum, Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer, Invigorating Night Transformation Gel and Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser.

Image courtesy of Google

 

500 pt perk – Fresh Mini Mask Bar – Soy face cleanser, Umbrian clay purifying mask, Lotus youth preserve rescue mask and Rose face mask. Each mask retails for $25 – $58.

                                                        Image courtesy of Google

 

Bite Beauty Bite Lip Set (Birthday Gift)- Mini Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Chai, Mini Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glacé, Agave Lip Balm and Agave Sugar Lip Scrub.

Image courtesy of Sephora.com

100pt perk – Kiehl’s Since 1851 Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate 12.5% Vitamin C trial size – 0.17 oz/ 5 mL. The full size of this retails for $62 – $104.

Image courtesy of Sephora.com

 

 

Disclaimer: The above post contains product links. They are not affiliate links. 

Dermstore – Company Overview [365 to 40]

I cannot remember how I first came across the Dermstore but I have been hooked ever since. It was either through an ad on Facebook or feeds on Instagram. I love the extensive range of brands, products and price points. Other features I like are the free shipping, PayPal payment option and regular 20% off sales. Plus cashback through Ebates.

They also provide in-depth information on each product. Each product page features product details, ‘how to use’ instructions, an ingredient list, reviews, a link to the brand’s page, highlights on any ‘gift with purchase’ and/or if the item appears in a set or kit somewhere else on the site. The Dermstore is one of the most user/customer friendly skincare sites I have used.  They also have their own rewards program as well as a subscription service where one can have products regularly delivered.

Also of note is their blog that covers skincare, makeup, haircare, lifestyle, the latest news, and trends. Here are a few of my favorite posts to date:

9 Face Serums That Will Banish Fine Lines and Wrinkles

9 Hyaluronic Acid Serums That Do More Than Moisturize Parched Skin

Skin Care Products You Need in Your 30s

6 Skin Care Essentials You Need to Use in Your 40s

 

My most recent haul from the Dermstore.

DHC Silky Cotton (rival of Shiseido Cotton Pads), DermaE Anti-Wrinkle Cleanser and Toner, La Roche-Posay Serozinc and Avene Thermal Spring Water.

 

Dermstore was launched in 1999 with the vision of creating a trusted dermatologist-backed online store, carrying the finest cosmetic dermatology products. This online retailer was founded by a board-certified dermatologist, the company became a safe haven where customers could purchase with confidence (description courtesy of dermstore.com)

 

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The Ebates link is the only affiliated one in this post. I am not affiliated with the Dermstore.

Spring into a Glowing Skin Routine [365 to 40]

Spring is here, well trying to make it’s debut if the weather can make up its mind. Here is a great video on achieving glowing skin from a true skincare connoisseur Gothamista or Renee on YT and IG.

The above routine is ideal for dry sensitive skin but can be applied to other skin types especially during the winter months. Some of the products mentioned in the video are new to me and I have added them to my skincare wishlist such as:
(1) Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk
(2) Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment – Renee points out that is an affordable alternative to the Biologique Recherche P50, which I have in my routine.
(3) Blithe Vital Treatment Essence for Lifting ( 8 Nourishing Beans ) – a part of the intriguing 7 essence step that I have never heard of but will try with the May Coop Raw Sauce. I think the latter is of a similar consistency to the Blithe Vital.

I already use the Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution and Shiseido Facial Cottons.

This is an excellent video and the routine is simple enough to be incorporated in one’s own regime.

Disclaimer: I am not the owner of the above video and has chosen to utilize the ‘share’ option on YouTube. Credit is given above to the owner.

 

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Pearlessence Rosewater Hydrating Face Mist Review [365 to 40]

I have been on a facial mist kick lately and have purchased at least five new ones. Previously, I was not a fan of facial mists but with steady use of the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb and Rosewater fell in love with them. Here are two of my recent purchases from TJMaxx online of two bottles of the Pearlessence Rosewater Hydrating Face Mist. They were on sale for $5.99 each at the time of purchase but are no longer online. It can also be purchased from Amazon where it retails for $19.90.

This pleasantly scented rose mist is described as both refreshing and soothing and is a combination of fragrant herbal and botanical extracts. It is also FREE of Common Allergy Causing Preservatives, Paraben, Lanolin, Topical Antibiotic, MCI/MI, Nickel, Gluten, and Soy.

Directions: Mist can be used after cleansing and/or toning but before moisturizing, or throughout the day over makeup.

My take: I prefer to use this mist as part of my evening routine or when I am up late at night. The scent is a nice rose although at times I think it is a bit too fragrant but not overpowering. 

 

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5 Easy & Essential Steps to Great Korean Skincare

Interested in great skincare especially Korean Skincare. Here are 5 Essential Steps to great skin no matter culture, skin tone or ethnicity. I have incorporated Korean skin care products into my regime for sometime know and as a Woman of Color (WOC), they have done nothing but improved my skin. Even if you are skeptical or unsure, you can find similar Western products that you are comfortable with and incorporate them into your skincare routine. Good, healthy skin is universal. So let’s take noted from the pros.

This video is does not belong to me but to Charlotte Cho and Soko Glam. I am just a skincare connoisseur and am a fan of Soko Glam.


Sheet Masks on the Go – Work Trip Skincare

Whenever I travel for work, I always bring a sufficient number of sheet masks with me. For this particular 5 day work trip  I brought along 17 sheet masks and 2 tube masks (1 glycolic acid and 1 mud). The joys of checked luggage – it allows you to pack whatever you want. I used a few and some I left as a small thank you gift (tied with a bow) for the cleaning lady.

Sheet masks are a great way to take of and treat your skin while away especially after a plane ride. The air in the airport and plane usually dries out my skin, so as soon as I check into and get settled in my room, I cleanse, detoxify and mask. Masks specific for restore moisture and boosting hydration are the best after a flight e.g mask with green tea, bamboo, honey, aloe and hyaluronic acid. As the trip progresses with long days, I usually use masks that detoxifies  (mud & sheet masks with charcoal), brightens (pearl and rice) and repairs/treats (snail and tea tree).

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.

Review – Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum

retinol-serum

Valentia’s Night Revive Retinol Serum is a potent blend of Retinol, essential vitamins and botanicals. Retinol works down to the cellular level to stimulate collagen production and diminish even the deepest of wrinkles. Vitamin C helps Retinol penetrate deeper into the skin, while Vitamin E and Squalane nourish and hydrate, counteracting the drying effects of Retinol and maximizing anti-aging benefits. This transformative retinol serum will turn back the clock, giving you visibly smoother, rejuvenated skin. The Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer retails for $35 (1.18 fl oz / 35 ml, a 3-5 month supply) on Amazon.com or Valentia.com.

Results:
Short Term – conditions & nourishes skin, manages breakouts and adds luminosity  
Long Term – evens skin discoloration, stimulates collagen production and diminishes fine lines & wrinkles

 

Key Ingredients: 
Retinol (Vitamin A): This clinically proven antioxidant works at the cellular level to stop the formation of wrinkles, manages acne breakouts, and even out skin discoloration. It also helps reverse the clock, for more youth looking and acting skin.
Vitamin C: An essential nutrient that boosts the protective effects of retinols, guarding skin against harmful free radicals and environmental damage to prevent premature aging.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E floods the skin hydration, diminishing the drying effects of retinol as such it adds superior moisture protection.
Squalane: Derived for pure olive oil, this nutrient-rich ingredient softens and conditions delicate skin. It further assists in mitigating the dryness caused by Retinol while reducing the appearance of fine lines.

Full Ingredient List: Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Olive Oil Squalene, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate (sunflower based Vitamin E), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola), Wildcrafted Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Wildcrafted Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion), Wildcrafted Geranium Maculatum (Wild Geranium), Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol.

photogrid_1476131695103

How To Use: Apply on cleansed and toned face & neck. Recommended to use every other night initially to determine sensitivity. 

My Thoughts: It is opaque, watery in consistency and very quickly into the skin. It does feel nice on the skin as it is not sticky and do not cause any irritation. So far I have been using it every other night. I do notice that my skin is more radiant the mornings after use. I would have to use up the entire serum before I can truly assess the long-term effects.  I typically like to  I do not wear a separate SPF product the next day as my foundation has SPF20.

It is recommended to use retinol 3 times/week in the 30’s and every other night for women 40+.To maximize the efficacy of retinol products, serums can be combined with moisturizers/cream or used separately depending on one’s skin type.  Retinols are meant to be used only at night as they can make the skin more sensitive to damage from the sunlight. When using a Retinol at night, make sure to use an SPF of 20 or higher during the day to protect your skin.

 

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Disclaimer: These products received from Valentia 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. The overall description of the product, some images, the benefits, and ingredients were adapted from information provided by Valentia.  

Review – Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer

valentia-moisturizer

 

Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer is packed with brightening power, that lightens dark spots and enhances the complexion. With energizing antioxidants like Ginseng and Kojic Acid to control melanin production, dark spots fade and collagen production is enhanced, revealing a firmer more even skin tone. Skin moisture is replenished and protected with Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Safflower and Shea Butter. Tired and dull looking skin is restored to unveil a healthier, more vibrant glow. The natural and organic ingredients are formulated to provide all-day weightless hydration without leaving any greasy residue. The Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer retails for $25 (4.0 oz bottle) on Amazon.com or Valentia.com.

Overall Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer will:
* Lightens dark spots
* Restores skin radiance
* Evens skin tone
* Diminishes fine lines
* Provides all-day hydration
* Nourishes skin

Key Ingredients:
Botanical Hyaluronic Acid: Floods skin with moisture, supports skin elasticity, and plumps skin from within.
Kojic Acid: Controls melanin production and prevents dark spots.
Ginseng: Boosts skin firming collagen, fights wrinkles, and gives the skin a brighter and more energized look.
Safflower Oil: Repairs skin’s natural moisture barrier and provide superior skin protection.
Shea Butter: Infuses skin with a myriad of vitamins and nutrients for superior skin hydration and nourishment.

Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer can be used both morning and night, and makes an excellent starting base for your makeup application. It is suitable for all skin types and provides superior hydration for both; dry to normal and oily/combo skin types.

How To Use:
Apply on face, neck and decollete. Suitable for use in the AM and PM, after cleansing, toning and essence/serum application.

My Thoughts: This is a very thick, white moisturizer that is easily absorbed into the skin. The bottle comes with a pump that is very helpful. It does not have any specific scent which is a big plus as I am not really a fan of strong scented especially citrus face creams/moisturizers/serums. It is very hydrating which does last all day and my skin is noticeably more radiant.l think I will need to use it for a significant period of time in order to see the other effects such as the reduction in wrinkles and lightening of dark spots.
I love that it is chock full of natural ingredients. In addition to the ones noted above lemon extract, vitamin B5, green tea, aloe, licorice, salicylic acid among others. I am a fan of the Valentia line of products.

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Disclaimer: These products received from Valentia 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. The overall description of the product, some images, the benefits, and ingredients were adapted from information provided by Valentia.  My Amazon review name is BEATS.

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