Apr 132014
 

It’s hard for me to believe that I used to use harsh products to tackle clogged pores and acne. Are there people who don’t have their Sea Breeze regrets? I envy them. I used to wonder why my skin seemed even oilier when cleansers and toners were supposed to help. Little did I realize that my skin was over-producing oil because I was using products far too harsh for my skin.

Amarate daily exfoliator

Recently, I was sent two products that have helped me to cleanse my skin effectively without the harshness. One is Amarte Daily Exfolipowder ($35/2.8 oz.), which is powder crystals that turn into a cleansing paste when combined with water.

amarate cleanswer

According to the company:

Daily ExfoliPowder® helps you discover your true beauty with a refined, plant seed-based exfoliant that removes dry skin and reveals the smooth, radiant face beneath. This Wonder Wash is delicate enough for daily use so you can always be your spectacular self.

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I was surprised to find that this gentle cleansing powder seemed to remove all of my makeup. It felt as gentle as a cleanser as I’ve ever used. Once I mixed the powder with water, there was no scratchiness, stinging, or roughness.

Amarate powder cleanser 4

I also love fact that a powder can be packed for travel, as this cleanser doesn’t start out as a liquid. Overall, thumbs up on this one.

seba 3

The other item is Sebamed Deep Cleansing Toner ($14/5 ounces). Although this does contain alcohol as a second ingredient, the product advertises a 5.5 ph. It feels as comfortable as water, and there is no stinging.

seba md 1

According to the line, the product “offers antibacterial action and is therefore extremely effective in preventing the developement of pimples. Panthenol encourages skin regeneration and hamamelis soothes it. Silk proteins and allantoin act as moisturizers.” Overall, this is a rather nice toner that feels gentle and seems effective.

Ingredients for Amarte Daily Exfoliopowder:  water, Zea mays (corn) starch, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauroyl aspartate, titanium dioxide, Phaseolus radiatus seed extract, Oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, Triticum vulgare (wheat) bran extract, Salix alba (willow) bark extract, Pinus densiflora (pine) extract, pearl powder, arbutin, genistein, elemental sulfur, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, sodium palmitate, phenoxyethanol
Fragrance: summer fruit

Ingredients for Sebamed Facial Toner: Water, Alcohol, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Hammamelis virginiana bark/leaf/twig extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Cucumis sativus fruit extract, Hydroxypropyl Oxidized Starch PG-Trimonium Chloride, Urea, Caramel, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Levulinic Acid, p-Anisic Acid, Cl 42090.

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Apr 132014
 

Le Mieux 1

Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum ($85/1.7 ounce) is described as a moisturizing serum which is designed to address hydration, even skin tone, boost collagen, and fight free radical damage.

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This product, which is intended for twice-a-day use, applies a bit like Chanel’s Hydramax serum–it’s a lightly hydrating gel that leaves skin feeling fresh all day. It’s quite lovely, actually, especially when I extend it’s use down to my neck and décolletage. There’s a restorative quality to the product. As The Nonblonde said in her review, this is lovely to use after a face mask or peel.

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Le Mieux Collagen Peptide Serum is intended for purchase by professionals (see the Le Mieux website).

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

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Apr 132014
 

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair1

I was sent this set of Nelson j. Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Shampoo and Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask ($22/$20 respectively). According to his website, Nelson j. is a stylist to the stars who believes in natural hair care products that deliver. Both are wonderful for my colored hair, leaving it feeling soft and healthy. Because I color my hair, and because the water in the region where I live is not very good (despite the care and feeding of a water softener), I’m constantly battling the War on Frizz.

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair2

The Nelson j. Argan Oil 7 Shampoo is an argan and coconut creamy liquid, that cleans, protects color, moisturizes and enhances shine. I actually love using it–it does leave my hair de-frizzed, shiny, soft and there is zero color fading. It feels great, and makes my hair feel great too. The cleansing is thorough, but my hair doesn’t feel stripped. For me, this was a big win.

Nelson J Argan Oil Hair3

I also loved the Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask. I used the coconut scented version, which was really pleasantly scented. The texture is a cream, which does not require much to work. When used with the shampoo, I got really good results–soft, shiny hair. What more can I ask?

Overall, this is a really nice combination. I liked this more than some other shampoos that I’ve tried in this same (and lower) price range. If you see these nearby, they are worth a look.

Ingredients for shampoo:  Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived from Coconut), Dimethicone (Derived from Volcano Rock), Decyl Glucoside (Derived from Sugar), Argania Spinosa Seed Oil, Glycerin (Veg and Coconut Oils), Stearalkonium Chloride (Plants Derived), Behentrimonium Methosulfate (Rapseed Oil), Orange Oil, Pepper Mint, Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived Coconut), Cetearyl Alcohol (Derived Coconut), Dicetyl Phosphate (Derived from Coconut), Glyceryl Stearate (Derived from Rapseed Oil), PEG-100 Stearate (Derived from Palm Oil), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol (Plants Derived), Beads, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plants Derived), Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Beads, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Plants Derived), Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Ethylhexylglycerin (Vegetable Derived).

Ingredients for Moisture Healing Mask: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol (Derived from Coconut), Amodimethicone (Derived from Volcano Rock), Cetrimonium Bromide, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter, Argania Spinosa Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane (Derived from Volcano Rock), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ethylhexyl Stearate (Plants Oil), Tocepheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citrus Acid, Jojoba Crystal, Dimethicone, Scent, Phenoxyethanol (Plants Derived), Ethylhexylglycerin (Vegetable Derived), Yellow 11 and Red 17.

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Apr 132014
 

Boots No 7 Lift & Luminze

I was sent pres samples of the Boots Lift & Luminate Day & Night Serum (available at Target/Boots for $24.99 for both). As you might already know, Boots skincare has a history of challenging the luxury incumbents.For some of this history, take a look at this article from the Daily Mail UK: “The £19 anti-wrinkle cream set to cause a stampede at Boots after scientists claim it DOES actually work.” When I got an email that Boots was at it again, I agreed to test the product.

Boots Lift & Luminate9

This is an anti-aging duo meant to address wrinkles, lack of firmness, and uneven skin tone. They day serum is designed to brighten, smooth, and firm. The night serum exfoliates.

Boots Lift & Luminate8

I found that these lightweight, pleasant and non-irritating. Although I didn’t notice any immediate effect, after two weeks, my skin started looking brighter, more even-toned, and smoother. For this price point, this is an impressive product.

Boots Lift & Luminate 3

Although waiting for visible results takes patience, I was happy to see that this duo delivers. It’s nice to see an effective product at a good price point.

Ingredients:

Day serum: aqua (water, eau), cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, dimethicone crosspolymer, butylene glycol, isononyl isononanoate, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, actinidia chinensis (Kiwi) fruit water, octyldodecanol, acrylamide/ammonium acrylate copolymer, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, silica, polyisobutene, PEG-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, octyldodecyl xyloside, phenoxyethanol, alcohol, retinyl palmitate, parfum (fragrance), polysorbate 20, methylparaben, sorbitan isostearate, propylene glycol, ethylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA, lupinus albus seed extract, carbomer, sophora angustifolia root extract,panax ginseng root extract, ascorbic acid, dipropylene glycol, morus alba leaf extract, tocopherol, ethylexylglycerin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmytol tetrapeptide-7, CI77891 (titanium dioxide), CI 77491 (iron oxides)

Night serum: aqua (water, eau), glycerin, cyclopentasiloxane, butylene glycol, aluminium starch octenylsuccinate, isononyl isononanoate, glyconolactone, dimethicone, amonium acryloyldimethyltaurate,/VP copolymer, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, cetearyl alcohol, ascorbyl glucoside, potassium hydroxide, dimethicone crosspolymer, actinidia chinensis (kiwi) fruit water, phenoxyethanol, polysorbate 20, xanthan gum, dimethiconol, retinyl palmitate, parfum (fragrance), alcohol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA, lupinus albus seed extract, T-butyl alcohol, carbomer, dipropylene glycol, sophora angustifolia root extract, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, ethylhexylglycerin, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7

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

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Apr 132014
 

Couvent de Mimies Rose Toner1

I’ve recently been introduced to a French skincare company which is very unique and worthy of note – Le Couvent des Minimes. The aesthetic is very French premium natural, similar to L’Occitane. Le Couvent des Minimes derives from a hotel and spa located in a convent established in the 17th century by monks with a strong interest in botany. According to the company:

The Minim Brothers, were botanist monks, who built terraced gardens and cultivated the lands all around the convent. They grew and studied several beneficial plant species and used their expertise to provide food and remedies to the surrounding community. These same plants have inspired the current collection of beauty care products and can be found in our recipes today.

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The company has sent me a few items to try, including the Le Couvent des Minimes Minceller Water ($17.50/6.7 ounces). This has an insanely luxurious rose scent and lovely velvety feel. The texture is sublime–it leaves my skin feeling soft (but not a bit oily).

Rose Toner3

I find that I usually need 3-4 passes of a moistened cotton pad to remove all of my foundation, skincare, mascara, and sunscreen.  By the end, by skin is uber clean and fresh feeling. It’s a relaxing end-of-the-day ritual.

Rose Toner2

The primary ingredients are:

  • Damascena Rose Floral Water: Refreshes and softens
  • Centifolia Rose Absolute Essence: Tones
  • Wild Rose Berry Polyphenols: Protect against free radicals and restore radiance

Rose Toner4

I’m hoping to review another two products that I received from the line. So far, these all been using a similar cosmetic aesthetic of primarily natural ingredients that have proven effectiveness, relatively simple formulas, and luxurious scents. As I love natural and luxurious products, as well as those that are made in France, I can tell that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The Le Couvent des Minimes Mincellar Water is available here.

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)

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