Friday, August 14, 2009

Victoria's Secret VS PRO Lasting FX Eyeshadow Primer

For the longest time, the makeup section at my local Victoria's Secret was empty. The other day, when I went, they had finally added new products!

One thing that caught my eye which they didn't carry before was the new VS PRO makeup line. Supposedly these are all products that are used backstage at the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and now made readily available for the public. I am running out of Urban Decay Primer Potion (and I'm not the biggest fan of it either), so I really wanted to try the new VS PRO Lasting FX Eyeshadow Primer. What made up my mind was the realization that this primer is only $8 for 0.28 oz. EIGHT FREAKIN' DOLLARS! Compare that to Bare Escentuals bareVitamins Prime Time Eyelid Primer, which is $16 for 0.05 oz, or Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which is $17 for 0.35 oz, or everyone's favorite, UDPP, $17 for 0.34 oz. Though the latter have slightly more product, they cost over twice as much. Nothing at Sephora can beat the Victoria's Secret price.

The primer comes in a nice plastic tube with a narrow point. The product itself is a light nude color and has a very creamy, non-greasy consistency. A little goes a LONG way with this product, and it dries to a smooth, matte, nearly invisible finish--unlike Urban Decay Primer Potion, which can feel rubbery and unevenly dispersed on my eyelid. The shade of the primer matches with my skin shade (MAC NC20ish, not sure about the exact shade since I've gotten paler since I last went to MAC) and seems to have a some color correcting properties.

I primarily use eyeshadow primer to prevent my eyeliner and mascara from smudging because my eyelids are pretty oily. Secondly, I use it to keep my eyeshadow from creasing on my folds. To really test it out its eye priming abilities, I lined my upper and lower waterlines with black eyeliner, used non-waterproof mascara on my upper and lower lashline, and applied dark eyeshadow before going out at night. The primer really held up my eyeshadow all night, and I had no smudging underneath my eyes from the mascara. Also, I thought that it helped my eyeshadow look more vibrant than usual, and it did prevent creasing. As for the eyeliner on my lower waterline, it ran a little bit, but I still have to test this primer out some more under multiple situations.

I will report back with my final conclusions on my next post, but I just wanted to share the good news immediately!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Jurlique Product Reviews

Today I have just some short reviews on a couple Jurlique products I tried out awhile back!

First up is the Herbal Recovery Gel. The bottle is 1 oz and costs $67 or you can choose a 3.3 oz version for $134 on the Jurlique website. Jurlique says that it is a "potent anti-aging concentrate" that "firms, hydrates, revitalizes the skin."
The first thing I noticed was that this gel has an intense strange, pungent musty dried-up wildflowers that have been fermenting in aloe vera. Didn't like the smell, but had high hopes for the product since I've read so many good reviews. The gel feels semi-watery, but has a slightly sticky finish. It reminded me of a serum or the essence from paper facial masks. Smoothed easily over the skin and absorbed immediately. I only used this at night, so I applied a thick cream or facial oil over it right after.
When I first tried it, I didn't think it did anything for my skin. However, I went back to it a couple of weeks later and it seemed to help my skin retain moisture better and slightly brighten and firm up the skin. I like this product and I think it does do what it promises, but the results aren't mind-blowing enough for me to spend $67 on it.

Ingredients from
Water, Glycerin, Alcohol, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Rosa Gallica Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Viola Odorata (Violet) Extract, Viola Tricolor (Heartease) Extract, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Black Elder) Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citronellol*, Eugenol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Limonene.* *From Natural Essential Oil (Chamomile - Chamomilla Recutita, Rose - Rosa Centifolia).

To be used in conjunction with the Herbal Recovery Gel is the Herbal Recovery Eye Gel which you can get at Sephora or on the Jurlique site. This isn't cheap either--the 0.5 oz bottle costs $48. (They used to sell a 1 oz version which cost $85, but that has been discontinued.) Jurlique says that it is an "antiaging concentrate for the eye area" and is "deeply hydrating, easily absorbed, firming, brightening."
This product is pretty much on par with the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel, except they've exchanged a few products. It doesn't contain licorice extract for brightening, instead it uses eyebright. The other newly added/substituted ingredient is arnica for cooling and soothing.
The texture and consistency and scent felt practically the same as the Herbal Recovery Gel, but the eye gel is slightly more emollient. As for the results, since I basically only used this on my eye area, it was hard for me to tell whether or not this product helped much. I thought it plumped my skin up a bit, but I didn't think it really brightened the eye area. Also, this product stung my eyes a lot. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, I would just use the Herbal Recovery Gel also on the eye area and be careful not to over apply or open my eyes until the product has completely dried, since the two are very similar, and the regular Recovery Gel contains better ingredients.

Ingredients from
Water, Glycerin, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Alcohol, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Rosa Gallica Flower Extract, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, Viola Tricolor (Heartease) Extract, Viola Odorata (Violet) Extract, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Lactic Acid, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Lecithin, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Allantoin, Citral*, Geraniol*, Linalool*, Limonene*.
* From Natural Essential Oil (Chamomile - Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria)).

I'm not really an eye makeup remover user since I like to remove all my makeup with cleansing oil, but I thought I'd try Jurlique's Eye Makeup Remover out anyway. You can get it at Sephora or on the Jurlique site. It comes in a 1.4 oz tube which costs $25. What interested me in this makeup remover was that it's a "moisture based cream," so I thought it might be more nourishing for the eye area.
I was quite surprised this makeup remover only costs $25 when compared with Jurlique's other pricey skincare offerings. Well, I can tell you that this product is cheap for a reason--it is not anywhere as effective as any of the other eye makeup removers out there like Lancome Bifacil or Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover. It did not remove my cream eyeliner or mascara completely, and it wasn't emollient enough on my lids--I felt like my skin absorbed the product too quickly, so the cotton pad I used to wipe off the excess remover and makeup was tugging at my eye area. It even made my eyes (corneas) feel slightly sore and uncomfortable. I ended up using the rest of this product as a base for an aspirin mask (since I'm allergic to honey). Unless you wear extremely little eye makeup, I do not recommend this.

Ingredients from
Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Viola Odorata Extract, Viola Tricolor Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Root, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, Prunella Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Totarol, Ethylhexylglycerin, SD Alcohol 40-A (Alcohol Denat.), Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.* *From Natural Essential Oil.

Biodynamic Beauty Serum / Purely Age-Defying Facial Serum - 1 oz for $75.

Jurlique's Biodynamic Beauty range is being renamed to Purely Age-Defying, in case of any confusion. From the long winded explanation on the site, I'm gathering that they have to rename the line to make it less confusing for customers which products are for anti-aging, since all of their products are biodynamic anyway (see Wikipedia for definition).
The consistency of this serum is much more emollient than the Herbal Recovery Gel. It also doesn't have much of a scent, which I like better. It smoothes on really nicely and absorbs extremely quickly and feels muh more moisturizing. However, in terms of results, I don't really notice any anti-aging differences between this serum and the Herbal Recovery Gel. In fact, I think the Herbal Recovery Gel might be even more effective in other ways, depending on what results you're looking for. I don't have fine lines yet so I can't make any assessments on wrinkle reduction, but I think that this serum is better suited for people who want their skin to look plump and well-rested, while the Herbal Recovery Gel helps to keep the skin looking bright and clear.
Again, I'm not sure this product produced results worth the $75, but if you're a huge fan of organic/biodynamic skincare, then I'd definitely try this line out.

Ingredients from
Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Coco-Glucoside, Coconut Alcohol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosa Gallica Flower Extract, Viola Odorata Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Faex, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Viola Tricolor Extract, Althea Officinalis Root Extract, Algae Extract, Glucosamine Hcl, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ectoin, Urea, Totarol, Dextrin, Ethylhexylglycerin, SD Alcohol 40-A (Alcohol Denat.), Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance/Parfum*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Limonene*.
*From Natural Essential Oil.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunscreens with Light SPF Short Reviews

I've been trying out various high end sunscreens on the lower range of SPF lately. All of the following sunscreens were tested alone on bare, clean skin, without any makeup applied over it for honest results. I won't go into too many details and just let you in on my personal thoughts or experiences. I didn't really go into what the product is supposed to accomplish to keep things short--if you like, you can read some of the specs on the product websites below.

If this post was helpful, please let me know what kind of short reviews you'd like to see in the future. I might write one on drugstore sunscreens with high SPF or light SPF, haven't decided yet!

My skin type: normal-dehydrated combination, T-zone prone to comedogenic acne, cheeks prone to hormonal acne and clogged pores, as well as the nose
Current Climate: warm to hot, sunny, little to no humidity

Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion SPF 20 - 1.35 oz for $42

Very light and fluid, easy to spread. Texture is very smooth, a little goes a long way on the skin. I'm reminded of Giorgio Armani's Face Fabric Foundation in terms of how light and silky this lotion is. Skin develops a slight shine but not much oiliness. Absorbed completely and quickly into the skin. Scent is light and pleasant.
The product claims to "eliminate excess oil and clogged pores" via yeast extract which helps
with turning over dead skin cells as well as other various antioxidants. I didn't notice any particular improvement in the look of my skin, but I liked how it helped to mattify and smooth the skin a bit, due to the ingredient dimethicone (basically silicon, used in most makeup primers). Might be ideal for those who have normal to combination skin or oily skin and desire the "no sunscreen" feeling. Not sure about the oil controlling properties for people who have oily skin concerns.

Ingredients as taken from Sephora website:
Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Water/Eau, Glycerin, C12-14 Pareth-12, Butylene Glycol, Punica Granatum Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Sorbitol, Squalane, Yeast Extract/Extrait de Levura, Bambusa Vulgaris Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Glucosamine HCl, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben.

Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF 15
- 0.5 oz for $12, 1 oz for $27

I thought the consistency of this was thicker than expected for a low SPF moisturizer. When first squeezed out it actually seemed a bit intimidating because it slightly clung to my fingers in strands like mucus, or egg whites. It also feels like a moisturizer mixed with serum in terms of consistency. However, it spreads decently on the skin (not as well as Cosmedicine). It doesn't have much of a scent. Unlike the Cosmedicine, this does not absorb completely--I can clearly feel it sitting on my skin throughout the day, but not in a greasy, sticky, or oily way. It's almost as if it creates a barrier of water and feels very hydrating. I recommend this product to those with dry to normal skin in drier climates, since it did not really prevent oiliness.

Ingredients as taken from Sephora website:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Silica, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/leaf/stem Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Bishydroxyethyl Biscetyl Malonamide, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Hydrogenated Rapeseed Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sclerotium Gum, Aluminum Hydroxide, Potassium Phosphate, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide.

Lancome Primordiale Skin Recharge Visibly Smoothing and Renewing Moisturizer SPF 15 - 1.7 oz for $65

The consistency of this sunscreen seems to be infused with water but doesn't have any stickiness or clinginess on the fingers. Otherwise, it actually reminds me a lot of the previous Boscia sunscreen. It creates a similar hydrating "barrier of water" on the skin that isn't oily or sticky, but you need more product with each application since it is less easy to spread. I don't experience much oiliness on the T-zone with this product, my skin just feels very hydrated. However, the difference between the Boscia sunscreen and this one is that this has a definite plumping, tightening effect on the skin so it is better for mature skin. Also, it has a light fragrance. I would only recommend this product to people with normal to drier skin. This product also claims to supposedly help with cell turnover but I have not noticed it helping with decreasing clogged or large pores.

Sorry, I don't have ingredients for this product but will post them if I find them.

Mario Badescu Aloe Moisturizer SPF 15 - 2 oz for $22

This sunscreen feels very creamy and nourishing on the skin. The color is interesting--it looks like the green in mint chocolate chip ice cream. It has a thick, cream-like consistency but feels more like a night-time moisturizer than a daytime moisturizer. It does not have any scent and blends very easily on the skin with just a little product. However, it never absorbed and my skin felt oily from the time of application to when I washed it off. I would only recommend it to those with dry skin in arid climates.

Ingredients as taken from the Mario Badescu website:
Deionized Water, Parsol MCX, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Polyglycerylmethacrylate, Aloe Vera Gel, Glyceryl Stearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Squalane, Myristyl Lactate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Ceteareth-20, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Creme SPF 15 - 1 oz for $70

This cream is formulated especially for mid-life skin and helps to make it tighter and less dull. The texture and consistency of this sunscreen is very smooth and it feels exactly like a night cream--in fact, I even got confused and thought it was my night cream for a couple days. It has a warm beige color but has a pretty heavy perfumey fragrance that I actually don't really like. It looks and feels heavy in the jar, but isn't gloppy or overly thick if you just glide your fingers over it to apply rather than scooping it out, kind of like a cream eye shadow. I love how buttery smooth and soothing it feels going onto the skin, but unfortunately it doesn't absorb completely on my combination skin. The Estee Lauder site specifies this sunscreen is only for dry skins and they also have a very dry skin formulation. I definitely recommend this for dry skin, but even so it's probably not the best thing to use in the summer because it doesn't have any oil controlling properties--save it for winter instead.

Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 - 1.7 oz for $38.50

This sunscreen feels sort of like a gel creme--in the jar, the consistency seems more watery and jelly-like compared to the other sunscreens, but it smoothes over the skin with the texture of a cream. You only need to use a little bit with each application, so be careful not to over-apply lest you experience the oilies. I didn't get too oily with this sunscreen, but I don't think it has any oil controlling properties. It also provides a hydrating barrier effect on the skin but less so than the Boscia and Lancome Primordiale since this sunscreen is creamier and the other two feel more like a serum. I recommend this to people with normal to combination skin. It has a fresh scent that reminds me of cucumbers. Contains anti-oxidant ingredients like white tea, South African Red Tea, grape seed extract, and Vitamins C and E.

Active Ingredients:
Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 5.00%, Avobenzone 2.00%.

Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturizing and Brightening Cream SPF 6 - 1.4 oz for $32.50
(also available at

This moisturizer doesn't have enough SPF for me to even recommend using it as your only sun protection from the sun, but I would definitely recommend using it in place of a daytime moisturizer under your sunscreen. It has a light feel but is very creamy at the same time. You only need to use a little bit for it to go a long way on the skin. Dry skinned girls can apply it with a heavier hand, but if you have oily or combination skin, I would be very careful not to over apply. It dries to a matte finish but still feels very hydrating. I can see this product being very effective if mixed with foundation, but I do not see any special brightening or healing properties. I also do not like the scent of this cream. Rather than smelling like fresh roses it smells like potpourri, which kind of reminds me of old grannies--not something a 20-something year old wants to smell like, haha.

Aqua (water), C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester, Glycerin, Hexyldecanol, Hexyldecyl Laurate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Pentylene Glycol, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Myristyl Esters, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Olea Europea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Alcohol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Arginine, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Benzoic Acid, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Citric Acid, Citronellol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ethylhezylglycerin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Isodecyl Salicylate, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-8, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Phenoxyethanol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Phytate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Xanthan Gum