May 292014
 

 

Zelens Sunscreen1aThe geniuses at Zelens have just released a new skincare-savvy sunscreen, the Zelens Daily Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF30 ($65/1.70 oz). Now that Memorial Day is officially behind us, I hope that you are taking your sun protection very seriously. This offering from Zelens combines a number of lovely qualities that makes it easy–actually, make that quite pleasant–to add sun protection to your morning routine.

Zelens Sunscreen2This sunscreen was developed by Dr. Marko Lens (you can read his interview with A Model Recommends here), who included antioxidants in the formula to reduce free radical formation, helps prevent sun damage, reinforce the skin’s natural barrier and combat the signs of premature skin aging. Zelens Daily Defence also includes hyaluronic acid for moisture and is oil free.

Zelens Sunscreen5

The feel is a touch moisturizing without any greasy feel–like velvet. It wears well under makeup, giving me a very smooth, non-drying surface that did not seem to interfere with my foundation’s longevity. There is a scent (slightly sunscreen-ish) that fades after about an hour. The product is supposed to be used as the last step in your skincare, either alone or just before applying foundation.

Zelens Sunscreen7Unlike some of my stronger sunscreens, the Zelens Daily Defence sinks right into my skin. In the above picture, a few more swirls and the left blended portion would be invisible. According to the line, the formula uses:

…organic UV filters are encapsulated in silica-based capsules, which are invisible in formulation and on the skin. . . . Encapsulated filters have a low chemical load since the encapsulation process prevents direct skin contact (encapsulated organic filters remain on top of the skin surface) resulting in a reduced dermal up-take and low allergy potential.

Imudilin®
A pseudodipetide with cytokine-like activity. Stimulates the signal transduction pathway in the cells, improves the immune cells’ response and restores the immune defence.

Vitamin E
Zelens uses an ester of Vitamin E and acetic acid (tocopheryl acetate). It demonstrates strong antioxidant activity.

Vitamin C
Zelens uses a precursor of Vitamin C, tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid. This stable form of Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant. Effectively suppresses UVB-induced skin pigmentation and helps lighten pigment spots and brightens the complexion. Stimulates collagen production.

Botanical Antioxidant Complex
A proprietary botanical complex containing active molecules from 6 different plants: Shiso (Perilla frutescens), Green tea (Camellia sinensis), Centella (Centella asiatica), Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), Pine (Pinus Strobus) and Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia). The following active molecules were extracted from the plants:
• Rosmarinic acid (from Shiso)
• Polyphenol Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG (from Green tea)
• Cichoric acid (from Echinacea)
• Pycogenol (from Pine)
• Glycoside – Asiaticoside (from Centella)
• Flavonoids (from Ginkgo)
Botanical antioxidant complex demonstrates strong antioxidant activity to help reduce formation of hazardous free radicals and prevent oxidative damage.

Overall, I found Zelens Daily Defence to be a lovely skin screen. I’ve noticed that some sunscreens can make my skin dry, especially if used in dry mountain air and the formula is heavy on physical sunscreen ingredients. Zelens is a godsend for sunscreen in dry temperatures–I used this for a few days in the Lake Tahoe area this weekend, and loved it. I can’t wait to take it to the mountains of Colorado in a few weeks. It makes my skin feel moisturized, and look rested after the day. No breakouts. I’m excited to keep using the product to see whether there are any long-term results.

Available for order on Zelens website, and pre-order on Space.NK.  Here is the ingredient list from the Space.NK website:

AQUA (WATER), ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, GLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, BUTYLOCTYL SALICYLATE, BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE, OCTOCRYLENE, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, GLYCERYL STEARATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, DIMETHICONE, MICROCOCCUS LYSATE, PERILLA FRUTESCENS LEAF EXTRACT, SODIUM HYLAURONATE, GLUTAMYLAMIDOETHYL IMIDAZOLE, ASCORBYL TETRAISOPALMITATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CENTELLA ASIATICA EXTRACT, ECHINACEA ANGUSTIFOLIA LEAF EXTRACT, GINKGO BILOBA LEAF EXTRACT, PINUS STROBUS BARK EXTRACT, LECITHIN, SILICA, HYDROGENATED PALM GLYCERIDES, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, PVP, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, SORBITOL, CETEARETH-20, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), LINALOOL, SORBIC ACID, CHLORPHENESIN, PHENOXYETHANOL, BHT, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM EDTA

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

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Oct 302013
 

Chanel Sunscreen21

Chanel has recently introduced the Chanel Le Blanc Light Revealing Brightening Makeup Base SPF 30 ($55/ 1 oz.) in the pink-toned Rosée to the U.S. market.  Chanel describes that this is:

A lightweight, oil-free makeup base helps to correct uneven skin tone, smooth imperfections and extend the wear of any foundation that follows to give you a radiant complexion. Pearl protein and licorice extracts work together to counteract dullness, while pure white mineral-ceramic pigments give you a natural glow. The formula is also enriched with SPF 30 and hyaluronic acid to protect your skin. 

Chanel Sunscreen22

 I’ve been using Chanel Le Blanc in Rosée for the past few weeks. First up, in my opinion, this is not a product for everyone.  I do believe, however, that there is a certain demographic that will absolutely adore the results, and I fit within that demographic and so I’ll provide my experiences.

Chanel Sunscreen26

Have you ever noticed the glow that very young children seem to have? Even warm toned skins seemed to have a touch of dewy freshness. As we age, go through hormonal changes, acquire age/dark spots/scars, or even have a fading tan, our skin may seem to lean a bit darker or warmer than we are used to from our younger days. This manifests in unevenness that is hard to conceal unless one wears some spot-treatment concealers or medium to full coverage foundations. It makes cooler colors hard to wear on warmer skin tones–skin just doesn’t look bright, clear and super clean. Even so, these solutions don’t seem to have the same glow factor that’s so beautiful about younger skin. Chanel Le Blanc Rosée blurs, corrects, and helps hide uneven skin colors, and adds a fresh-faced base that mimics that youthful pink glow.

Chanel Sunscreen29

When I use Chanel Le Blanc Rosée on my warm NC15/20 skin, it evens out the color imperfections, serves as a matte primer to extend the wear time of my foundation, acts as a sunscreen, and gives my skin a pretty, fresh, youthful, delicate, light, ethereal color cast that knocks off a few years. It’s surprisingly flattering.

Chanel Sunscreen23

More ingredients (click to enlarge):

Chanel Sunscreen24

Chanel Le Blanc Rosée will certainly work on cool skin tones as well, indeed pinks look lovely on cool toned individuals. Note that there is no way on this planet or any other that I would wear Chanel Le Blanc Rosée without foundation–the pink is unnatural without at least a sheer wash of color that matches my skin tone.

Chanel Sunscreen31

In the past, I’ve used a few other Chanel bases, including the former Blanc Lumiere (in 20 Mimosa, pictured above), the Asia-exclusive Le Blanc in 30 Lys, and the U.S. UV Essentiel sunscreen (which applies sheer/clear).  Lately, I’ve been reaching for Chanel Le Blanc Rosée because I love the fresh look and longevity that it provides. It makes my skin look prettier, and isn’t that the whole point?

Chanel Sunscreen32

Blanc Rosée has been a wonderful brightening base product for the last several weeks–definitely my favorite primer so far. It really brings a youthful, tone-evening luminosity to my skin. So far, so much love!

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

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Jun 062013
 

Burn Out eco sensitive1

As you probably know, I’m a big believer in good suncare. I love Chanel, Institute Estederm, Shiseido, and other high end lines. Still, if you do as much sunscreen research as I do, you are bound to run into raves for Burn Out Eco-Sensitive Sunscreen ($17.99), also called “Burn Out Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin.” It’s available on the Burn Out website, and also at Whole Foods (where I bought mine).

Burn Out eco sensitive2

Unlike some cosmetic company sunscreens, Burn Out is made for rough and tumble outdoor life. Formulated in Santa Cruz, California, the formula uses a physical zinc oxide as a block and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes. It’s oil free, chemical-free, paraben-free, petroleum-free, fragrance-free, eco-sensitive, ocean safe, and biodegradable. It’s made by Sun Resesarch LLC, a company “dedicated to suncare education, and enjoy motivating people to get out and have fun in a sun-safe, environmentally responsible way.”

Burn Out eco sensitive4

It’s enriched with plankton extract, aloe vera, and antioxidant vitamins. Also, it’s remarkably cosmetically elegant to wear on the face or body. It provides a very nice stable base for foundation–I’ve been wearing this (on and off) for about three weeks, and found that it doesn’t interfere with (or degrade) foundation.

Burn Out eco sensitive3

This has a high zinc oxide content as a physical block against the sun. The inactive ingredients are:  deionized water, caprice/caprylic triglycerides, vegetable glycerin, sorbitol, imperata cylindrica (root) extract, caprylyl glycol, lecithin, arabidopsis extract, plankton extract, aloe vera, vitamin C, vitamin E, and citric acid.

Burn Out eco sensitive8

Unlike some physical sunscreens, this doesn’t leave a visible white cast that takes 20-30 minutes to disappear. Instead, a little bit (or a lot) blends quickly and invisibly into the skin. It doesn’t feel the tiniest bit greasy (and not drying either).

Burn Out eco sensitive5

This is a grab-and-go product–it’s just got a flip-cap and a squeeze tube. Curiously, I don’t even see a volume printed on the label (I’m guessing it has around 1.5 to 2 fluid ounces, but I can’t be sure).  You can see that Burn Out Eco-Sensitive has none of the packaging elegance of a Chanel or Shiseido product. Some might find this works well as a good body sunscreen, while others (including me), find that it works well on the face as well.

Bottom line:  Worthy of its cult status. A surprisingly excellent formulation at $17.99. Definitely worth a good look.

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May 072012
 

Here are some quick and handy tips from MD Solar Sciences, to remind us about the importance of skin protection as summer approaches (click to enlarge):

Here are a few products from MD Solar for protection. I’m hoping to test out the MD Solar Sciences Tinted Moisturizer (I’ll post a review when I can do so). They’ve got an excellent reputation based on reviews that I’ve read, and I’ve long been curious about them. Click to enlarge:

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May 062012
 

Here’s what three things I’m obsessed with right now…

1.  Sunscreens– In sunny California, the summer sun has begun to show its smiling face. For me, that means gathering my hats and sunscreen. Yes, I know that this is important for anti-aging, but it can be life-saving as well. Did you know that for women ages 18 to 24, one in five does not apply sunscreen regularly? 

No matter how much you pay for your sunscreen, the key is to make sure you wear it. That’s why I’m so pleased to see NARS release a tinted moisturizer that claims SPF 30++, because no one can forget to wear sunscreen that’s in their foundation (I layer my Nars Tinted Moisturizer over Chanel SPF 50 sunscreen, above).  Even hats and other clothing can add sun protection. Currently, Bergdorf’s is donating 10% of sales of certain sun protection products to the Melanoma Research Alliance of certain products for May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Here’s one of the products from Cafe Makeup favorite Le Metier de Beaute:

Other Bergdorf products include:

  • La Mer SPF 30 UV Protecting Fluid
  • Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30+ Sun Defense
  • Orlane Extreme Anti-Wrinkle Care SPF 30
  • Laura Mercier Daily Face Shield SPF 40
  • Lancome Benefait UV SPF 50+ Super Fluid Facial Sunscreen
  • Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 PA+++

Check out Dr. Marnie Nussbaum’s sun safe tips here on Bergdorf’s blog.

2. Omorovicza is a skin care line that I’m just beginning to test. The line was started by Margaret and Stephen de Heinrich de Omorovicza, who launched it at their spa in Budapest in 2006. Currently, the line is sold at Bergdorf’s and there is a comprehensive website as well. Today (Sunday, May 6th) is the last day to end their Spa Giveaway at a Four Seasons Resort. There is also a runner-up prize of over $1,000 worth of product.

Either sounds amazingly good to me… sign up here on Facebook.

3. Mother’s Day Shopping. It’s hard to find the right gift–I usually depend on L’Occintane to deliver a tastefully-packaged, luxurious, and thoughtful item. I settled on this Bouquet of  Thousand Flowers shipped to mine, together with some books that I hope that my mother will enjoy:

Right now, L’Occitane is running a gift promotion so that you can tuck some additional treats into your gift, with the code SPRING and a $65 purchase (also free ship with $25 purchase):

Elsewhere on the internet:

  • The Beauty Look Book has me dying for this Haute House Hues collection from Le Metier de Beaute.
  • The Nonblonde previews a new Touche Eclat Foundation from Yves Saint Laurent–10 years in the making and slated for sale in the U.S. in July.
  • The British Beauty Blogger previews the Dior Summer Mix mini collection of glosses and nail polish.
  • Nowness has this extraordinarily beautiful video that features a underwater mix of bursts of color and gorgeous glassware.
  • Through a Glass Brightly on Nowness.com. More about the video is here.

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