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Skin care

Nuxe Dry Huile Prodigieuse Paris Limited Edition

September 13, 2016


I’m in the process of getting my life back in order, and hopefully back to more regular blogging. I’ve missed it greatly.

In the meantime, I wanted to flag this too-adorable version of Nuxe’s Dry Oil, especially as the cooler weather approaches. I’ve loved everything about this body oil–the scent, the quick-dry texture, and the deeply moisturizing effect. Now I can be reminded of my favorite place in the world every time I use it.

This limited edition Parisian spray bottle is priced at $45 (3.3 ounces), which should last me well into next summer.

This item was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Skin care

My Thoughts: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 Dry Touch Sunscreen

May 27, 2016

LRP Anthelios Dry Touch - 3

A few years ago, I decided it was completely unacceptable that a product that was supposed to save your skin could also create breakouts. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to identify those that don’t. A few of my go-to success stories are:

I’m now adding another — La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 Dry Touch Sunsreen ($19.99/ 1.7 oz./available at Ulta).  This one has all the right boxes checked. This products against UVA/UVB, it absorbs moisture, is water-resistant, stays matte, and it works well under foundation. I’ve worn it to the gym, during long days, and during times when I’ve been battling cystic acne.

I happy to report that this one works, gorgeous. I used it as a primer, and found that my foundation stayed shine-free all day while the SPF protection kept those damaging rays away. The texture is a white cream that dries clear almost immediately (unlike Institute’s Estederm’s No Sun, which takes a good twenty minutes for the white cast to fade away. La Roche-Possay’s Clear Skin worked under a few different foundations without separating, balling up or clogging pores.

LRP Anthelios Dry Touch - 9

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The one issue that I have to note is that there is a sunscreen-like scent upon application. It fades pretty quickly, and it doesn’t seem to be artificial or perfume-like, but it’s something that I wish wasn’t there. Otherwise, I really love the formulation. It dries quickly and doesn’t feel “heavy,” although it does apply as a cream. It’s very pleasant.  Definitely worth a look if you are looking to play out in this sun this summer!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 ($19.99) is available at Ulta.

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Laura Mercier Skin care

Review: Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Moisturizing Creme

May 4, 2016

LM Flawless Skin Moisturizer 2

Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Moisturizing Cream ($68) is a remarkably effective, lightweight moisturizing cream that I recommend for those with combination to dry skin.  I’ve used many moisturizers, from the French pharmacy lines, various high end brands including Chanel Sublimage. In my view, Laura Mercier’s delivers quality that far exceeds its price. This particular version, infused with a rose scent, delivers glowing, fresh-looking skin, while feeling very pleasant (and not at all heavy).

LM Flawless Finish 6

The moisturizer is remarkable for being both effective and lightweight. This is especially effective at allowing my skin to recover from stress. The scent is sophisticated and calming. I just adore it. It’s one of those Sunday-afternoon facial products that makes you feel very pampered, or one that I apply at night that allows my skin to look refreshed in the morning. It’s been delivering excellent results.

LM Flawless Finish 4

Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Creme is available at Laura Mercier online, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdales.

Sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for review/ Affiliate Links

Ingredient list

Aqua/Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Myristyl Myristate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Hexyldecanol, Isohexadecane, Panthenol, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip Oil) Seed Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteareth-20, Myristyl Laurate, Xanthan Gum, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Hydroxide, Bht, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Disodium Edta, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Citric Acid, Fructose, Sodium Hydroxide, Urea, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Protein, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Maltose, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Pca, Trehalose, Amino Esters-1, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Glucose, Pearl Powder, Sorbic Acid, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Beta-Carotene, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Tocopherol, (Rose) Fragrance/Parfum, Citronellol, Geraniol.

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Clarins Skin care

Review: Clarins Mission Perfection Serum

December 7, 2015

Clarins Mission Perfection - 2

I’ve been using Clarins Mission Perfection Serum ($72) since September. This is asserted to be a ‘groundbreaking’ serum that is intended to even skin tone (both reddened, dark spots, and dullness) without changing your natural skin tone. If you’ve read this blog, you know that I’m in a vigilant fight against discoloration. Mine comes under control, but sometimes goes off again during the summer no matter how strong my sunscreen is, or how often I apply. I was intrigued by Clarins Mission Perfection because it does not rely on hydroquinone as its active ingredient. As you may know, hydroquinone is a controversial ingredient. Most of the non-hydroquinone products that I’ve tried in the past don’t really seem to cut it. I’m not comfortable getting laser, because of the potential side effects. Claris provided some pretty impressive data when this was first released in Europe, and so I bought this when it was released in the states.

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According to the line: “Acerola extract monitors melanin production. Hexylresorcinol helps reduce the appearance of dark spots. Gingko Biloba extract helps restore radiance.  Gentle Fruit Acids eliminate dull, dark cellular debris—improving skin radiance. Pigment perfectors illuminate and even out the complexion.”

Clarins Mission Perfection is sold in a plastic pump bottle that holds one ounce. My first impressions were very positive. This lightweight cream feels weightless, disappears quickly, and has no annoying scent. I’ve read lots of reviews that says that it works beautifully for reddened skin, but that’s not my issue–rather, I have areas that go to darker shades (whether this is a side-effect of some medication that I no longer take I cannot say but I suspect this is the case). The peachy color of the product does seem to have some visual color-correcting properties, but that isn’t why one would spend $70 on this product. I want skincare, not camouflage.

The first week seemed to deliver impressive results, at least until I exfoliated. Anticipating that my skin would look brighter after a week of Clarins Mission Perfection and using my Dr. Gross Peel Pads, I was surprised to see dark areas return after I removed that top layer.   I persisted with my Clarins, under the belief that my discoloration goes lower in my skin that the very top layer. On the upside, I knew that I could continue to use Mission Perfection without fear that it is harming my skin because it is not hydroquinone-based.

I’m very glad that I did. After persisting for the past two months, my skin is about 98% both before and after exfoliation. Particularly over the past month, I’ve used sheerer and sheerer foundations. It’s pretty astounding. It’s certainly wonderful to see how young my skin looks when the tone is even. Really, I feel like I’m free of a problem that I’ve had a very long time. I’m going to use my Sephora money to get a refill of this. It’s that good for this very narrow purpose. I have to admit that I do get self-conscious about uneven skin, and finding a gentle, effective solution has been huge.

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Clarins Mission Perfection is available from Clarins, Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdales, Macys, Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue.   

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Elizabeth Arden Skin care

Early Morning Jump-Start: Elizabeth Arden’s SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster

October 25, 2015

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Lately I’ve been rising earlier and earlier in the morning. When I am up before the sun, I’ve needed to get my day jump-started with my Elizabeth Arden SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster.

SUPERSTART could not make it easier to feel good about rising early. This booster is lightweight and helps improve the condition your skin’s surface layer. It boosts my skin’s ability to repair, renew and enhance hydration and moisturization. This refreshing booster makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my skin before I put on my heels. Even better, this is called a “booster” for good reasons, because SUPERSTART is targeted to help the effectiveness of the other skincare products that I use. How lovely is that?

I apply SUPERSTART first. Then I add my moisturizer and serum, sunblock and finally foundation.

In the evening after cleansing, I use SUPERSTART again first. Then I add my other evening products to wake up to another day of better skin. The product comes in a travel-friendly container with a little lock to prevent spills. After using Elizabeth Arden’s SUPERSTART over the past week,my skin’s surface layer looks healthy, youthful, more radiant, leaving a more even-toned look. Some fine lines are softened, and my skin has a nice dose of vibrancy. It certainly makes waking up so early so much nicer. At that hour of the day, I need my SUPERSTART!

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Elizabeth Arden through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster, all opinions are my own.


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Skin care

Review: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

August 18, 2015

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos 10

Following my positive past experience with Drunk Elephant, I decided to buy the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Frames Glycolic Serum ($90/ 1.0 oz.) This is a gentle AHA liquid gel that is applied and worn overnight to allow you to wake up with brightened, slightly exfoliated skin. The Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Frames Glycolic Serum is available at Sephora, Dermstore and B-Glowing.

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Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos 3
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Belif Sephora Skin care

Review: Belif Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner

August 13, 2015

belif bergamont herbal extract tonerBelif is a skincare brand sold in the U.S. through Sephora. Based on natural ingredients, the brand bases its formulas on ancient traditions combined with modern knowledge. A few months ago, I began to wonder whether my toner was too harsh. Still, I wanted something strong enough to wisp away any last remaining mascara and makeup after using my oil cleanser and Clarisonic. Here is a bit about the company’s philosophy (click to enlarge):

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Skin care

Paris: Shopping Trip to City Pharma

July 23, 2015

Citipharma 9Today I found myself just near City Pharma at 26 Rue Four, 75006, Paris. Beauty lovers may recall that this is the destination recommended by the lovely Lisa Eldridge in her video describing her favorite French skincare. The last time that I ventured near City Pharma, it had just been filled with two (!) busloads of French shoppers. European shops are not famed for their generous aisles, and the crowd made it impossible to browse. However, today the streets nearby looked relatively quiet, and so I braved through the doorway to see what I could find. Please come with me so you can see it too.

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Perfume Skin care

Paris: A Trip to Buly 1803

July 15, 2015

buly 27After reading this recent review of Buly 1803 in The New York Times, I decided to stop by their shop at 6 rue Bonaparte, Paris, on my way to the Musee D’Orsay. It’s very easy to find, the tiny shop is just around the corner from Dries Von Noten’s shop. The shop is small, friendly, and offers a wonderfully unique and extremely worthwhile experience.

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MAC Skin care

My Thoughts: MAC Lightful C 2-in-1 Serum and Tint

July 7, 2015

Are we all ready to learn new things about base products? Between some of the water-based BB’s, serums, and other new formulations, MAC has introduced its MAC Lightful C 2-in-1 Serum and Tint ($60). This is a niche-product that is targeted to help with radiance and eliminating dark spots and pigmentation. For purposes of this review, I ask that you place your knowledge of foundations to the side for a bit. At the end, I’ll compare this to foundation, and why the word “tint” is used in the product name instead. MAC 2-in-1 Serum and Tint is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

Mac Tinted Serum 5

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