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.

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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)



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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.

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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.

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Jul 092012

Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Concentrate Continuous Action TXC  ($195/1.7 oz.) is a daily brightening skincare serum. It is said to “deliver a high intensity of the TXC™ molecule, while Pearl Protein Extract visibly corrects skin’s dullness and moisturizes.” TXC™ is the first active brightening ingredient registered in Japan as a quasi-drug by a Western company — has a distinctive structure that delivers continuous action for 12 hours. According to Chanel, it’s use will make skin to become brighter and more radiant, as dark spots diminish and the complexion appears more even.

Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Complex applies as a white-clear serum, and absorbs quickly. I’ve been using this for about four weeks, together with Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15 and near-constant sun protection. These added elements are important.  Vitamin C repairs. Although some skin generates darks spots without sun exposure, many dark spots will come out stimulated by sun exposure.  In my opinion, if you don’t have adequate sun protection while using any dark spot corrective treatment, you are throwing your money away.

I’ve been pleased with this product cocktail–I’ve found significant lightening of the dark areas of my skin. Of course, I don’t know how much of this is attributable to each product separately, but this combination has been effective. Ingredients (click to enlarge) for the Chanel:

Of course, the Chanel serum is not inexpensive. If you are looking for a lower cost solution, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution ($49.50/1.0 oz.) is a less expensive alternative. Note that the Chanel has 1.7 ounces, the Kiehl’s has 1.0 ounce of product.

I had been using Kiehl’s for a few weeks before my Chanel arrived, and I had been seeing good results with the product. According to Kiehls, this product contained “Activated C”– an ingredient that is fast acting at evening skin tone and breaking apart existing dark spots and discolorations.  Also, Kiehls Clearly Corrective contains botanical ingredients, such as White Birch to enhance clarity and luminosity as well as Peony to help prevent future dark spots and discolorations. Here’s Kiehl’s chart:

Here is an ingredient list for the Kiehls (click to enlarge):

As far as a comparison between Chanel and Kiehls, it’s very hard to scientifically compare them with just myself as the test subject. There are very few reviews of the Chanel around. I was able to get samples of the Chanel at a local counter (probably enough for one to two weeks, not a full twelve week treatment round).  I’d suggest that you try to get samples of either or both, as availability allows, before investing, to test them on your own individual skin.

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Jul 072011

In Part 1 of Skincare Advice from Dr. Colbert, we received answers to some of Café Makeup’s questions.  As background, my questions focused on anti-aging, skin protection and repair.

Of course, before anyone proceeds with their own treatment options, they should take into account their own circumstances and, if appropriate, consult a treating physician.

Also, one’s individual appearance is such a personal choice.  One should always pursue one’s own individual health first and foremost.

Here are the answers to my remaining questions:

5.  Let’s assume that a woman budgets $200-300 per month for her annual skincare regime for her at-home treatmetns.  Which are the products that she should seek out?  

The A-list Products:

    • RODIN olio lusso Lip Balm
    • One Full set of Daily Nutrition for Skin by Colbertmd:
      • Stimulate Serum
      • Nourish Eye Cream
      • Heal and Soothe Night Cream
      • Nutrify & Protect Day Cream
      • Intensify Discs for home microdermabrasion
    • The Line Rewind by Zeno to massage the skin and stimulate elastin production.
    • La Roche Possay Toleriane Dermocleanser
    • Lipikar Body Baume
    • Clarisonic Brush
    • Biomedic Foaming Cleanser
    • RODIN olio lusso Face Oil
    • Physicians UV Defense SPF 30
    • Ted Gibson Hair products
    • Line and Grow Eyelash

This set of products will last 4-5 months and figures out to less than 200 per month. It covers all your bases from dry to oily days and includes something for all seasons.

6.  What is the best way to cleanse skin?  Some advise that cleanser ingredients do not really matter, so a less expensive cleanser is fine.  They reason that because the product is on the skin for a very short time–usually less than a few minutes–that paying more for cleansers is not worth the investment. Is this true?

In cosmetics, you get what you pay for. That means that pricier cleansers often have higher grade ingrediants with better emollients and surfactants. Cetaphil or La Roche Possay Toleriane Dermocleanser are both great and not too pricey.  Soap is too drying.

Our skin changes day to day, so sometimes we do need a stronger cleanser. At New York Dermatology Group we recommend an arsenal of washes.

    • One for dry days
    • One for acne days
    • One for stress-oily days.

Reach for the one you need, depending on how your skin is feeling.

7.  What the best ways to protect skin from environmental damage?

    • Physicians UV defense sunscreen every day all year long is the most important.
    • An antioxidant skin cream (Nutrify & Protect) to fight off free radical which eat away at our collagen.
    • 4-5 glasses of water a day. Start your day of with one glass right out of bed.
    • Wear a hat whenever possible if out in the sun.
    • Take a a fish oil capsule daily.
    • Green tea one cup daily.
    • Walk whenever you can or use the stairs to promote blood flow and moderate exercise to keep cortisol levels even.
    • Never eat processed foods or high fructose corn syrup.
8. What is the best way to delay under eye wrinkles?
    • Always wear sunblock (broad spectrum).
    • Vit C cream under your block
    • Wear sunglasses that wrap around.
    • Get tiny doses of botox AKA” mini-crowtox” to stop lines from forming.
    • Nourish eye cream every night to keep puffiness down.
    • Gently use the Intensify Discs 2 times per week to exfoliate.
    • Laser toning every 3 months.
    • If over 35, then three fraxels per year and a TRIAD in office every 2-3 months.

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Apr 012011

Via Planete Beaute, Chanel Creative Director of Beauty and Genius Peter Philips was recently interviewed in French Vogue about his go-to products for revitalizing skin.

Although Philips has access to Chanel’s magical and extensive skincare line, his choice was a rather interesting one–Coup D’Eclat Lifting Ampoules–which are products sold in health and beauty stores throughout France.  A translation of the article says (provided by Cafe Makeup reader Marie):

It’s a must-have to smooth skin in an instant: in ten minutes flat, lines are re-tightened and wrinkles are smoothed, like after a real facelift.  However, it is better to use this “Cinderella effect” for special occasions: such a radical retightening of the skin can be a little uncomfortable.

I was very impressed that Peter Philips chose this little drugstore-type products to use on the gorgeous young Chanel models, but I suppose everyone’s skin can use help when stress levels are running high.

Coincidentally, I had noticed a box of these at a local store the other day.  Of course, with the force of Peter Philips’ recommendation, I went to try them.  These are individual skincare pods, similar to the idea of the Guerlain Midnight Star Collect’Or, although the Coup D’Eclat are not as expensive.  Coup D’Eclat run roughly 2 euros per application, depending on the size of the box that you buy.

Each of the ampoules are a single-application pod. The serum is sold in a 1 oz. bottle as well, for about 18 euros.

Essentially, the serum tightens pores, primes and revitalize the skin.  It’s very lightweight.  After a very slight sting, the liquid sinks into the skin so that you cannot feel it is there.  There is a slight tightening effect as well and a significant softening and smoothing effect.  Yes, it does make your skin look better and is a great primer.

The ingredient list on my little trial box refers only to “plant extracts.” By the way, I noticed that Coup D’Eclat ampoules are for sale on Le Guide Sante.

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