Sep 222014
 

Shiseido Ultimune4

Lately I’ve been musing about ways to protect my skin. I’ve tried several lovely skin care products over the years, and given Shiseido’s reputation for high quality I was wondering about their offerings. I’ve loved their sun protection, foundations, several makeup items, and their Benefiance Eye Contour Cream. This time, “I tried Shiseido’s Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (1.0 oz/$65 and 1.6 oz/$95). Check it out HERE.

This is a first-of-its kind product, and it incorporates 20 years of research in its creation and development. Here are the images of the available two sizes:

 

Shiseido Ultimune3

 

This concentrate is designed to protect skin from all factors–including stress, environment, and aging. The line recommends using on the face in the morning and evening after cleansing and toning. I’m also adding a a drop or two on my neck area.

 

Shiseido Ultimune2

 

This lightweight concentrate includes the line’s Ultimune Complex, which is designed to boost the skin’s defenses that have begun to deplete due to aging. According to Shiseido, these are called “Langerhans Cells” and they hold “the key to promoting skin’s multi-defensive power.” These cells, which protect the skin when one is younger, become less effective with age or stress. Shiseido’s Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate is designed to compensate for this loss, to protect the skin, and prevent further damage.

 

Shiseido Ultimune1

 

The formula contains a variety of plant-based ingredients, including a unique botanical cocktail of ginko biloba leaf extract (an anti-oxidant, which helps prevent damage), and herbs from both the East and West.

 

Shiseido Ultimune8

 

The container has a pump top that keeps the formula protected until needed (the pump action is very controllable).

 

shisdeido ultimune 4

 

When applied, the formula is a light concentrate that quickly absorbs. As a light product, you will want to use this before any other skincare, sun care, primer, or foundation (because you want it closest to the skin to work best). The formula has a light slightly floral scent that fades quickly. I noticed a lovely effect on the first application–my skin felt more hydrated, lifted, and smooth. It looked and felt similar to the effect of using a moisturizing face mask. The product absorbs quickly and feels as if one is not wearing anything (except with better looking skin!). The line promises a more youthful glow in as little as one week, and increased firmness and resilience after four weeks. Based on my brief experience, this is well worth a look.

 

Shiseido Serum11

 

You can check out Shiseido’s Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate HERE. It really helps you discover the #beautyinyou!

 

shiseido ultimune 3

 

To learn more, see:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shiseido
Instagram: http://instagram.com/shiseido
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/shiseido/

This product was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. Many thanks to Shiseido for sponsoring this post. Also, this post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Mar 082014
 

Armani CC Cream07

For the past several days, I’ve been using the new Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminessence CC Cream (available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Barneys and Saks)($50/ 1 oz.). This series, just released in eight (8) shades, provides glowing and moisturizing medium-to-light coverage.

Armani CC Cream01

According to Armani, there are skin care benefits in the formula:

A good night sleep in a cream. Luminessence CC Cream is a color control bright moisturizer with SPF 35. It features a triple technology on skincare for its energizing and antioxidant complex, color for its pinky “rose glow” pigments and light for its liquid mirror technology. Apply once and the skin looks as rested as a good night’s sleep.

According to the product insert, the point of this product is to use 1) the product’s color to correct and even skin tone, 2) the formula to deliver moisture, antioxidants and sunscreen protection, and 3) luminzers to impart a soft glow. Essentially, the coverage is medium toward light with one pass (and buildable on problem areas). You can trust that Armani knows how to create a buildable foundation. In my opinion, the line is one of the best at developing formulas that can be layered and this Armani Luminessence CC Cream is no exception. The product comes in an easily packable squeeze tube.

Armani CC Cream09

I used this product as my foundation, although it could be used as a color-correcting, moisturizing base. Those who want more coverage might consider using a powder foundation over this formula to increase both the coverage and overall wear time. On application, you will immediately notice a dewy glow. I powder down my forehead right away with a finishing powder. The overall effect is youthful. Here’s a quick swatch on a portion of my arm that shows you the dewiness in very bright sun. I think you can see that it creates a pretty satin sheen without any sparkle:

Friday late13

Armani Luminessence CC Cream is genius at delivering all-day moisture. I’m not sure of the magic that Armani puts in the formula, but my skin looked young, moisturized, and perfected. With a touch of layering, the product evens out my dark patches and small acne scars to invisibility. The enclosed literature suggests that it’s nice to put a little more around any areas that you want to photoshop–the labial folds, for example. The effect makes me look rested, younger, and my skin looks moisturized and softer.

Armani CC Cream14

As with many moisturizing formulas, Armani Luminessence CC Cream is not a true long-wear formula. After about the eighth or ninth hour, I started to notice some imperfections peeking through. Fortunately, this can be easily refreshed with a concealer (Armani’s Maestro Concealer is wonderful, but any will do).

Armani CC Cream11

What was surprising is how good my skin felt after removal. There are a few CC Creams that deliver is in the skincare department, and Armani is one of the top of the list. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised–bathing my skin all day in Armani sounds luxurious and it is.  It’s lovely to see a company deliver on the technology that has been promised. Armani is not kidding around.  If this product is meant to get customer’s interested in Armani’s skin care range, it is working (at least for me).

Friday late06a

The Nordstrom sales associate that I worked with matched me to Shade #4 which is a bit darker than my usual. As we are heading toward spring and summer (really, I promise!), and my arms typically pick up some color during that season, I didn’t fight back very hard. For the record, during the makeover we used a highlighter on my upper cheek and it was not too much. That’s the thing about lines like Armani–they are never too much. Packaging (click to enlarge:

Armani CC Cream05

And more of the ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Armani CC Cream06

Overall, Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Control Bright Moisturizer successfully delivers on its mission to deliver skin that looks awake and alive. I love that it has a decent SPF level, and the moisturizer seems extraordinarily effective. The color corrective properties provide both medium-to- light coverage and mask color variations well. No breakouts or clogging pores. This is designed to works best on skin that benefits from a moisturizing formula, although my combination skin loved it.  I needed a powder-down and concealer refresh after about the eight-hour mark, although your own mileage may vary.  So far, one of the best–I’m loving this one.

Available at Neiman Marcus, NordstromBarneys and Saks

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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May 082013
 

Shiseido Tinted Sun Protection06

As much as I love a new color palette or bronzer, at the beginning of every day I also think about protecting my skin. Lately I’ve been considering summer options for base makeup. I live in Northern California, and the climate can be dry and bright. I have combination skin that is warm and light (Chanel Ivoire/Cameo and around a MAC NC15). I decided to try Shiseido Urban Environment Tinted UV Protection SPF 43 ($30/ 1 oz.) (available in 3 shades, I’m using #2). This one is easy to miss, it’s a quiet product that is worth a look.

Shiseido Tinted Sun Protection07

This is a tinted sunscreen in a cosmetically elegant makeup base that feels lightweight and a touch moisturizing. On application, I do not detect any strong scent. The coverage is on the lightweight side of medium, but far closer to the medium category. It covers about as well as many foundations, slightly more than Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (the Shiseido feels more moisturizing than Chanel).  The Shiseido is very comfortable when applied.

Shiseido Tinted Sun Protection05

It’s notable that Shiseido is offering this level of sun protection in a cosmetically elegant makeup base for $30, when the prices of other lines are pushing $40-90. Shiseido’s Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector looks like a true foundation, particularly when compared to the Elta MD Physical Sunscreen which feels and looks much heavier and drier. Shiseido’s has a pretty, natural sheen. This Shiseido Tinted Sun Protector does have dimethicones listed in the ingredients, is advertised as “oil free,” and has not shown any signs of pore clogging or breakouts (your mileage may vary, of course).

Shiseido Tinted Sun Protection04

Shiseido’s Tinted UV Protector takes a few minutes to dry down.  I usually wait and do my eyes/hair in the meantime, because applying blush over a wet foundation can be a one-way ticket to patchy-town. If I’m in a real hurry, I grab my duo-fibre brush and apply a quick dusting of Nars Light Reflecting Powder (loose), which settles everything down. I really like the SPF 43 features of the product, although to be safe I use a layer of sunscreen underneath as the sun can be quite unforgiving where I live. According to Shiseido:

  • Contains SuperVeil-UV 360™ offering comprehensive protection of the skin’s surface and Profense CEL™ protects cells and DNA and helps inhibit enzyme activity, which are the causes of wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
  • Thiotaurine and Rose Apple Leaf Extract are effective in inhibiting oxidation caused by external environmental factors.
  • Water resistant (40 min) but easily removable with regular cleanser.

My experience with Shiseido sun care products in the past has been quite good–they seem to know their business quite well in the sun protection area. Active ingredients:

Shiseido Tinted Sun Protection10

Inactive ingredients (click to enlarge):

Shiseido Tinted Sun Protection08

Let’s talk about stability. Shiseido Tinted UV Protector seems like a really good option for skin that leans a bit dry. I have combination skin, and on days when the temperatures are in the moderate range (the 70’s), the foundation was very stable. I got a good 10 hours without any shifting or fading. Note that I’m wearing Nars Light Reflecting Powder, which acts as a setting powder and does help. On very warm days (into the ’90’s, or 30’s Celsius), I start to get a “glow” on my forehead about 3-4 hours application (this also happens with Diorsnow BB Cream). Still, Shiseido Tinted UV Protector gives me stable coverage despite the glow–it doesn’t shift or fade, but I do have to powder down. Even with my combination skin, I love it because the texture looks nice, natural, and has a pretty finish. This one’s going to get used up.

Here are some swatch comparisons with some other foundations that I have on hand–Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska, Chanel Pro Lumiere in Cameo, and MAC Pro Longwear in NC15.

Shiseido Sun Protection Tinted1

 If you are looking for something similar with a broader shade range, has more coverage, and that stays matte longer in the day (and doesn’t feel quite as moisturizing), I’d go with Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation. (I’m planning to do a “foundations for hot, humid weather” overview soon–spoiler alert, this Shiseido foundation makes the cut).  By comparison, the Shiseido Tinted UV Protector has slightly less coverage, feels more comfortable, and has more a more luminous, natural sheen. Here’s a picture so you can see it blending into the skin:

Shiseido Sun Protection Tinted2

Available at Nordstrom and at all other Shiseido counters. Like this Sun Protection Liquid Foundation, the Tinted UV Protector is found on the sun/skin care display, not with the standard Shiseido foundations/BB Cream.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup

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May 182012
 

Yesterday, I posted my first review of an Omorovicza product, the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask, where I discussed some of the line’s origins and philosophy. I’ve also been using Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum ($215). This lightweight, nourishing product is intended as an anti-aging product that uses gold and other active ingredients to re-texture and repair skin. Here is some of the line’s background about the ingredients in the product:

  • Gold, a powerful anti-inflammatory, repairs accumulated micro-damage to strengthen the skin.
  • Polypeptides (Palmitoyl Tripeptide and Caprooyl Tetrapeptide) to strengthen proteins such as collagen and elastin for renewed elasticity and vitality.
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate) to enhance skin tone and helps reduce the appearance of age spots; which also boosts the synthesis of collagen and elastin to help restore elasticity.
  • Watercress extract and zinc promote brighter, more even, skin by inhibiting the production of melanin.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate provides long lasting hydration to the skin.
  • The ingredients are delivered via Mineral Cosmetology, a patented mineral delivery system designed to leave skin firmer, more supple and younger-looking.

The Gold Flash Firming Serum is very light in texture, it applies easily (no pilling), and absorbs into my skin within a few seconds. Other than adding the subtlest sheen on the skin, the product is invisible and the soft powdery citrus scent (which is extremely pleasant) fades quickly. It leaves no “emollient” feeling on the skin, so all skin types can use the product.

As you likely know, serums are intended to provide a long term effect–they are intended to restore, improve, and repair. Although many add hydration, those with dry skin typically add a separate moisturizer (a serum is not a substitute, but a supplement, to a moisturizer).

After using Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum for two weeks, I found that the texture of my skin improved. If I look closely at my skin in bright sunlight, I can see that the product does seem to have strengthened and repaired portions of my skin that I may have stressed out by testing some harsher products (there’s an area on my cheek and near the bottom of my eye that look visibly better) My face feels firmer, and the skin has a healthy glow.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

The serum is very gentle and lightweight, typically I put it on first, followed by moisturizer on drier skin days, then sunscreen over it. It goes on like a dream, really. Beautifully formulated, gorgeous product.

 Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum was provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

 

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May 152012
 

Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum ($65) is a best-in-class primer for dry skin. According to Hourglass, the “28” in the name refers to the key ingredients in the primer, which includes 14 essential oils, 10 lipid-rich plant oils, and 4 vitamins. I’m no stranger to using rich and essential oils on my skin, having used Rodin’s legendary Olio Lusso for the past year whenever my skin feels dry and in need of nourishment. I’ve finally learned that even my combo-oily skin can benefit from the caring properties that well-chosen oils can bring.

Unlike Olio Lusso, Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum is a true primer intended to act as a hydrating base for foundation. In my opinion, the ideal user for this product has dry (or combo-to-dry) skin, and is concerned about anti-aging because the treatment properties are an important part of this treatment. The scent is light and pleasant, to my mind it seems like a slight floral with a touch of sandalwood. I find the scent far more pleasant and unobtrusive compared to Olio Lusso. I didn’t notice the scent after about 1/2 hour after application (and that’s being generous).

The product applies as a sheer liquid. With this product, you do not need very much to get a velvety base–I used at most three little droplets. It absorbs quickly. My liquid foundation applies like a dream over it, giving me a very smoothly textured base. I used Nars Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30++, as well as Burberry’s liquid and Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere.  These foundations lasted all day. I was surprised to find that my skin did not feel “oily” in any way–rather, the finish was more velvety. Truly a “best in class” primer.

Using so little, I can see that this bottle is going to last a very long time. Note that, according to Hourglass, the Nº 28 Primer Serum can be used as a night treatment and even to put on the ends of your hair as a conditioning treatment.

Some of you may be wondering how this compares to another of my favorite primer, Burberry Fresh Glow Luminious Fluid Base.  These really do serve two different purposes.  The Burberry is intended to add a glowy highlighter to the skin, but not to add any skincare properties. On the other hand, the Hourglass is completely sheer (no added glowy bits), but is intended to treat and moisturize. I really love both for different reasons, and I think you can see that those with dryer skin types (or those who live in dryer climates) are really going to love the moisturizing benefits of Hourglass Nº 28. And (because I know your wondering)–no breakouts from the Hourglass primer. Trust me, it’s always a concern.

Bottom line: Loved this best in class primer.

Ingredient list (from Sephora.com): Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ceramide 3, Sphingolipids, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Oil, Rose Hips Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Oil, Olive (Olea Europaea) Oil, Hazelnut (Corylus Americana) Oil, Borage (Borago Officinalis) Seed Oil, Kukui (Aleurites Moluccana) Nut Oil, Cherry (Prunus Avium) Pit Oil, Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Panthenyl Triacetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Octyldodecanol, Dioctyl Succinate, Peg-8, Tridecyl Stearate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Lithospermum Officinale Root Extract, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Citric Acid, Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) Oil, Geranium (Geranium Maculatum) Oil, Rose Geranium (Pelargonium Roseum) Oil, Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia) Oil, Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllus) Oil, Orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis) Peel Oil, Petitgrain (Citrus Reticulata) Oil, Amyris (Amyris Balsamifera) Oil, Benzoin Siam Absolute, Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Oil, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaf Oil, Bois De Rose (Aniba Rosaeodora) Oil, Cedar (Thuja Occidentalis) Leaf Oil, Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata) Oil.

Hourglass Nº 28 Primer Serum was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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