Apr 082014

Clarins Opal Primers01

Clarins has recently introduced two shades of the Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in 01 Rose and 02 Champagne ($37 each). Who doesn’t like champagne and roses? Given my ever-present interest in the perfect completion, I thought that I would take these out for a spin. (note: These are available at Macy’s and Nordstrom)

Clarins Opal Primers07

According to Clarins, these Complexion Bases are each “a moisturizing base that illuminates and corrects your skin tone, while hydrating and soothing with moisture-rich Katafray Bark extract.” The company explains: “Two shades cast a veil of corrective light on the skin: Rose brightens all complexions, Champagne corrects redness. In just seconds, the complexion becomes luminous and radiant.” I used these as moisturizing primers with a touch of sheer color correction.

Clarins Opal Primers12

My thoughts on the “PRO’s” of these products:

  • Although not advertised as such, both helped provide a smooth base for foundation and really extended the wear time for foundation.
  • On my light, warm skin tone (MAC NC15/Chanel Ivoire), I preferred 01 Rose on a completely subjective basis. The rose color seemed to add the slightest hint of luminosity (it was not as dramatic as Burberry Fresh Glow). More significantly, Rose neutralized the warm tones in my skin.
  • Clarins’ claim that these are moisturizing held true for me. My skin looked refreshed and healthy after removal. Neither of these had any drying effect.
  • Even more delightfully, neither seemed to make my skin any oilier or “glowier.” Perhaps the hydration was not overdone, but my skin looked very good without making my forehead or t-zone area break through with shine.

Now for the “CON”:

  • Unfortunately, there is some ingredient in these that disagreed with my skin.  This may not happen to you, but after using these continuously for 2-3 days, I noticed that some of my pores were clogging. Now that I’ve discontinued use, this effect has stopped. Although I can’t be certain that it was this product, I’m a bit wary and thought it best to pass this along, so that you can sample before you buy.

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Clarins Opal Primers05

Here are a few heavy swatches of the shades (you’ll want to use these more sheerly):

Clarins Opal Primers14


Clarins primer opal

Overall, if my skin had agreed with these, I would have loved them (especially the Rose!). These gave me an excellent base for long-term foundation wear, nice skin-care benefits, and lovely texture. Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base are available at Macy’s and Nordstrom.

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

Please follow us on....

Sep 192013

Can we discuss exfoliation? Sometimes my skin needs a little ooomph –a little reminder that underneath it all, there’s still a fresh, dewy bit that is dying to get out and greet the world.  Although I don’t think I’m quite ready for the dermatologist’s version that forces me into seclusion for a few days afterwards, I am ready to explore the over the counter versions. I’ve enjoyed the daily exfoliators, like Perricone MD Blue Plasma (reviewed here),  Bare Escentuals Intensive Glow Pads Brightening Treatment (reviewed here). I’ve also used Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel in the non-extra strength version (reviewed here).

Dr Gross Alpha Beta Peel1 copy

I really liked Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula (5 treatments/$15 and other sizes available). I got this in a little “try it” version of five applications. This is a two-part system that consists of two pre-moistened pads in little foil packets. The system is quite easy to use.

Continue reading »

Please follow us on....

Aug 312013

Perricone MD Cold Plasma8

When I was packing for a few weeks in Paris, I was panicked over which skin care to bring. Travel can be hard on my skin–the long, dehydrating plane trip, time in the sun, new foods, and unpredictability.  I delayed packing my skincare products until the very last minute, absolutely unable to decide what to bring. I tweeted for help, and was answered with some very good, practical advice from one of my favorite skincare experts, at The Black Panties. She suggested one cleanser, two toners, two serums, and two moisturizers (and, of course, sunscreen).  To anyone but a beauty lover, the is probably enough skin care for a year. For me, this seems a sensible amount.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma9

One of the items I chose was Perricone MD Cold Plasma ($155/ 1 oz.).  I applied this every night for the full three weeks, and was really impressed. My pores looked better, my skin seemed plumper, more moisturized, and it looked younger and more refreshed. My skin glowed every morning after I removed it.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma4

When I was very  young and my skin was great, I had no need of anything like Perricone MD Cold Plasma. If your skin is perfect, you won’t need it either. But if you do wish your skin had more life, more firmness, and more glow, it is definitely worth a good look.

Perricone MD Cold Plasma7

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Perricone MD Cold Plasma2Perricone MD is available from Nordstrom, Sephora, and other Perricone MD sources.

Perricone MD sent Cold Plasma to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information About Cafe Makeup)



Please follow us on....

Jun 242013

Camellia Oil Tacha1

This beautiful Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil ($125 /1.69 fl. oz.) (available here at Tatcha’s website and Barney’s New York). This is a highly moisturizing oil which has lovely moisturizing and anti-oxidant properties to restore the skin.  I love a good beauty oil. Despite the fact that my face is combination-oily, I’ve found that oils are some of the best moisturizers that I own.  They are surprisingly light and highly effective. When used overnight, they making my skin look beautifully alive. Tatcha’s Gold Camellia Beauty Oil sinks into the skin instantly, and if you apply just a bit gently plumps the skin cells to make skin look moisturized (but never oily).  It leaves the skin with a quiet, youthful glow.

tatcha camelia oil10

This product is one of those luxurious essentials that, once you start using it, make you wonder how you ever lived without it.  The bottle is a generously large size.  A tiny drop can be used to moisturize the entire face. Another few drops can be rubbed into your hands and then patted onto your hair to tame and restore. The oil is also designed to be used as an all-over body moisturizer.

Continue reading »

Please follow us on....

Jan 032013

Nars Skincare 15

Nars Gentle Cream Cleanser ($29/ available here) has been a lifesaver on my winter-stressed skin. This is a lightweight but very thorough cleanser that is extremely pleasant to use. It allows me to cleanse my skin, leaving it feeling clean but without feeling stripped of moisture.

According to Nars:

A gentle, creamy cleanser that helps to maintain skin’s moisture balance while removing makeup and impurities. Infused with Monoï Oil, Wild Rose Extract, and Chamomile, it leaves skin feeling soft and looking radiant.

Contains the NARS exclusive Light Reflecting Complex™ designed to restore skin’s youthful radiance and reflect light like a prism.

Ideal for normal, dry and seasonally dry skin.
Dermatologist Tested & Non-Comedogenic
Synthetic Fragrance Free, Paraben Free, Alcohol Free

There is a slight, pleasant fragrance which I find mildly addictive because it is both comforting and fresh. I love this stuff (and, yes, it also works well on a Clarisonic).

If you are checking into this product, you will find it is part of Nars Moisture Travel Set ($140/ available here). This contains a mix of Nars skincare products that were reformulated during Fall 2012. This is a very lightweight line, designed to improve the skin’s luminousity and youthfulness. The set includes:

Full sized 15ml Total Replenishing Eye Cream
30 ml Optimal Brightening Concentrate
50ml Multi-Action Hydrating Toner
30ml Gentle Cream Cleanser
15ml Luminous Moisture Cream
Deluxe NARSskin Travel Bag

This set is designed for normal to dry skin:

NARSskin Luminous Moisture Travel set-1

For those with oily/combination skin, look for the Nars Luminous Aqua Travel set ($140/available here). This includes a different cleanser (a gel), and the very lightweight Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer (reviewed here), which is one of the most effective lightweight moisturizers I’ve experienced. The full details of this set are:

Full sized 15ml Total Replenishing Eye Cream
30 ml Optimal Brightening Concentrate
50ml Multi-Action Hydrating Toner
30ml Purifying Foam Cleanser
15ml Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer
Deluxe NARSskin Travel Bag

 Both sets include the Optimal Brightening Complex, a lightweight pearly primer/skincare solution designed to fade dark spots and repair skin.

NARSskin Luminous Aqua Travel Set

Both sets come in a travel bag, which is opaque (and therefore should go in luggage on flights, not carry on):

NARSskin Travel Bag

The sizes are pretty generous on these–the toner (which feels like a micellaire toner but without leaving as much residue) is 1.6 ounces. The gel moisturizer size is 30 ml., which translates to over an ounce. Based on my average use, I could see taking one of these on a month-long trip (or several shorter ones) and having plenty of product to use. The sets are available online at Nars Cosmetics online.

Nars PR sent the Nars Gentle Cream Cleanser to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links. For more information, please see About Cafe Makeup.

Please follow us on....