WANT A RADIANT COMPLEXION? THINK LEMONS

 I remember one of my childhood friends used to spray a ton of lemon juice and water in her hair to get those natural looking sun-kissed highlights. If you have ever done that then you most likely know that if you spray a mixture of lemon juice in your hair, it will become lighter and brighter. The same is fortunately true when you apply lemon juice to your skin; fresh lemon juice, not the concentrate from the bottle. Lemons act as a natural exfoliant, thanks to the concentrated amounts of citric acid; while Vitamin C works to brighten. Lemon juice will lighten dark spots and freckles and reduce oiliness. The anti-fungal properties in lemons will also treat acne. You also get the added benefits of calcium and magnesium. It truly is a super fruit!

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 A lemon enzyme facial or a fruit acid peel are some of my favorite ways to get my skin glowing. Lemon infused facial treatments can be easily overdone, however. The trick is to use it in an occasional treatment and not as part of your everyday routine. Lemon juice is harsh. If it will strip away the enamel from your teeth, it will strip away more layers of your skin than you actually need it to. You must also never expose skin to direct sunlight if you have any sort of concentrated lemon product on your face. It will cause your skin to become sensitive or could cause a phototoxic reaction, which is true for any type of acid used in facial products. Everything in moderation is my motto!

So what type of product should you use? I have found that you will get the best balance of effective yet gentle, with a mask or peel. Then you can control the amount of time you have the product on your face. If you have sensitive skin, start out slow and then work your way up to more frequent use.

Here are my top picks for the best lemon based facial products!

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask $62
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask $62 

I love this new facial from Fresh! It works so effectively and is one of my new favorite go to facials. It is 50% concentrated crushed fruit! You can see the bits of lemon. That is a ton of natural fruit AHA! My skin just looks glowing after. The recommended usage for this product is leaving on for 10 minutes, but I would start out with 5 and see how your skin reacts. I am used to regular exfoliation treatments, so for me it is a perfect pick me up. It smells fruity too.

Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel $48
Ole Henriksen Lemon Strip Flash Peel $48

This is great for those of you with sensitive skin. It is a combo of glycolic, lactic, and lemon citric acid; but also contains licorice extract, which will work to soothe any skin irritation.

Neogen Dermalogy Bio_peel Gauze Peeling Lemon $27
Neogen Dermalogy Bio_peel Gauze Peeling Lemon $27 

These little pads pack a punch; they are double-sided and work amazingly! One side of the pad applies the product, and the other sloughs the dead skin cells away. This product contains lemon and several other fruit acids along with other chemical exfoliators. These are great if you are just trying fruit acids for the first time; you get a months worth of product for under $30. I love how fresh and fruity they smell too. I like that these travel well. The pads are soaked with solution, so if you wanted to take a few in a separate container you could. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about wasting product or taking the entire jar with you.

EmerginC Vitamin C+Retinol Mask $50
EmerginC Vitamin C+Retinol Mask $50 

I have been using this product for years and it has yet to let me down. This is a sort of clay based mask. Aside from the lemon extracts, fruit acids, and retinol, there are some great antioxidants in this formula including green tea extract. This mask works so well to brighten and retexturize at the same time. It is quite powerful, so those with sensitive skin, I caution again to start out slow. I love this mask in the Winter too as it helps to combat flaky skin.

If you haven’t tried a lemon facial product before, you can’t go wrong with any of these. My face adores them! Just a fair warning: All of that lemony scented product may cause you to develop an unhealthy lemon meringue pie fetish!

 

THE NEW CLE DE PEAU ILLUMINATING SKIN TRIO

Over the years, I have tried many a luxury skin care product that boasts an enduring cult following. Everything from the modestly priced, overly priced and in between; some that have worked wonders for my skin and some that just did absolutely nothing to warrant the price tag. Crème de la Mer for example, is arguably one of the most desirable face creams on the market. For $170 a 1 oz. jar, it is hardly modestly priced, but it is also not overly priced when you compare it to other creams on the market, think Orlane Cream Royale for $650.

But is any of it really worth the price? Personally, I love Crème de la Mer; especially after a skin searing peel or microdermabrasion treatment. It just heals and soothes my facial skin.

It still goes without saying however, that if I am buying luxury; I want LUXURY. Luxury that works that is. Enter the new Illuminating Skin Trio from Clé de Peau.

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These are not exactly new products, as they have been around for some time, but they have been re-formulated along with getting a packaging face lift that is almost too beautiful. The bottle and jars are faceted with golden accents. Once they were empty, I don’t think I would throw them away.

La Creme $535-$795
La Creme $535-$795

La Crème is an intensive and rich face cream that is loaded with a plethora of beneficial ingredients. A concentrated retinol is blended with major anti-oxidants, silk and pearl extracts, and rich moisturizers. I am partial to anything that includes retinol in the formulation. Also present, is pine tree extract. Now, if you are unaware about what pine extracts can do for your skin, this information may enlighten you. Pine extracts are potent in proanthocyanidins, which are flavenoids. Some of you may already know that flavenoids are the longevity ingredients found in red wines. Pine extract in skin care’s main function is to repair collagen, and all of the studies that have been conducted on it show that so far it is doing a pretty darn good job. Touted as being more powerful than vitamins C and E, you get more potent antioxidant enzymes and UV radiation protection. This cream carries a price tag of $535 for a 1 oz. jar, but if this cream is truly the “fountain of youth” what is $535? It is cheaper than botox! It will treat your entire face and certainly doesn’t carry the risks associated with botox.

Intensive Eye Contour Cream $250
Intensive Eye Contour Cream $250

This eye cream is already an award winner and has gotten some stellar reviews for its ability to lighten dark spots and re-energize the delicate skin around the eyes. Most interesting is the exclusive wand that comes with the eye cream. The wand is designed for a targeted eye massage to increase circulation and improve skin tone. Skin care tools for accompanying use with skin care products are all the rage right now, and I have personally found them to be quite effective.

Le Serum $325
Le Serum $325

Boasting awards of its own, this serum contains Inositol, which is a very important B vitamin complex that maintains healthy skin cells. Add in key moisturizers, and you get a well-rounded formula that is perfect for daily and nightly use. I do like that this is a pump and not a dropper. Although with pumps a bit of product is always wasted, I know the active ingredients will stay fresher.

If it is complete and effective luxury skin care you are looking for, then these new products are about as good as it gets!

NEW FACE MASKS FROM BOBBI BROWN

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Who doesn’t love a good face mask? A truly well formulated one can do wonders for numerous issues you might be having with your skin. There seems to be 100+ mask options for every type of problem from dryness, to dullness, acne, redness, enlarged pores, excess oil, and everything in between. With so many choices available it is difficult to choose just one. There are too many great ones!

I must have tried over 100 different face masks in my lifetime so far. What I have found over the years, is that I have always gravitated towards face formulated for dryness, exfoliation, and detoxing. Which is why Bobbi Brown’s new trio of face masks is so ideal,  they address all 3 of those issues.

Skin Nourish Coral Grass and Green Algae Moisture Mask $47
Skin Nourish Coral Grass and Green Algae Moisture Mask $47 

This mask is my most absolute favourite out of the three, and I will never be without it! It is so deeply mositurizing and soothing, yet it is pretty lightweight. Your skin just drinks up the nourishing natural oils, butters, plant extracts, and proteins.

Everyone should know by now that algae is extremely good for your skin, and green algae is one of the main ingredients. Aside from the algae, coral grass is the star component to the mask. Coral grass, also known as eucheuma cotonii or “sea bird’s nest” is a type of seaweed that is extremely rich in enzyme nutrients, calcium, iron, and proteins. When applied topically, coral grass will help to generate collagen production and protect it, as well as lock in vital moisture. This would be perfect to use after any in office microdermabrasion treatments or chemical peels.

There are also numerous health benefits to eating coral grass as well, and it is being touted as the next “big health food”. Don’t be surprised if coral grass starts popping up in all kinds of new skin care products.

After using this mask my skin was plumped, more even toned, and perfectly moisturized. The directions say to rinse it off after a few minutes but, I leave it on all night for a twice a week, overnight deep treatment. You do it for your hair after all, why not for your face? I truly cannot say enough about this one.

Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water and White Clay Mask $47
Instant Detox Hawaiian Sea Water and White Clay Mask $47

Clays in skin care are all synonymous for detoxing. Unfortunately, I have found that most of them are also synonymous for overly drying my skin out in the process of detoxing. That is why I love this one, it did not dry out my skin at all! I was just left with soft and clean skin.

Some detoxifying masks also tend to burn, and with this one all I felt was a slight refreshing tingle.

As for my pores, I noticed a difference, but nothing to write home about. There has yet to be a mask invented that will completely eradicate your pores for all time.

The white clay intrigued me, as I have never used a mask that contained it, and I find that the white clay is easier to work with when rinsing off. Black clay masks have become very popular as of late, but they can sometimes be a pain to remove; the black residue seems to linger.

This is a perfect option for someone who wants to detox but also has sensitive skin.

Radiance Boost Superfine Walnut Grain and Orange Oil Exfoliating Mask $47
Radiance Boost Superfine Walnut Grain and Orange Oil Exfoliating Mask $47 

I was a bit skeptical and cautious when I first tried this one. I was thinking “okay walnut grains…..I hope not like the go to apricot scrub of my early teens”. Obviously that was before I knew better. I was so pleasantly surprised by this one however, the grains really are superfine. My skin was retexturized and very smooth.

The addition of Vitamin C rich orange oil gives an antioxidant boost and extra exfoliation. For such an intense formula, I was surprised that my skin wasn’t slightly irritated. I would however, caution those who have a sunburn to not use this mask until after the burns have healed. I can imagine it would sting!

This trio has the makings of being the only mask collection you will ever need!

ALPESSENCE CAVIAR SERUM

When you think of luxury skincare, what are some of the first products that come to mind? What deems it to be luxurious? In my mind, such a skincare product is one that outperforms all others in terms of the formulation, quality of ingredients, and effectiveness. I have relentlessly tried and tested so much of what the industry calls “luxury” skincare, only to be disappointed by some of it.

I recently had the fortunate opportunity to receive a bottle of Alpessence Caviar Serum, and after testing it out for almost 2 weeks, I am beyond thrilled with this product.

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Alpessence is a luxury skincare line based in Switzerland, and all of their ingredients used are sourced there as well. They do not test their products on animals, which is always a huge plus in my book. I WILL NOT buy products that are tested on animals.

The Caviar Serum is Alpessence’s best-selling and most awarded product. All of Alpessence’s products are formulated to absorb efficiently and quickly, without losing the effectiveness of the serum. It truly does take about 30 seconds to absorb completely, and it leaves your skin feeling smooth and velvety. Layering this with your other skincare products is a breeze!

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Before using or purchasing any skin or body care products, I always read the ingredient list. I cannot reiterate enough how important it is to understand exactly what you are putting on your face, hair and body.

The star ingredient of this serum is of course caviar. Caviar has been showing up in a ton of new products lately and the reasons are obvious. Caviar extracts contain proteins and amino and omega fatty acids, which everyone should know by now is completely beneficial to the skin. All else aside, does caviar not scream luxury?

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Rounding out this formula is copper, zinc gluconate, honey, hydrolyzed hyalauronic acid, rose stem cells, tamarind seed, lactic acid, humecants, vitamins, and other plant extracts. These ingredients provide a well-rounded formula that will produce collagen and elastin, protect existing cells, moisturize, heal, improve texture and tone, and diminish wrinkles.

I tried this serum alone for 5 days, and then used it in conjunction with my other skincare. I was pleasently surprised to find that this serum did help the absorption of my other products.

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The silky formula spreads nice and evenly over your face. A little will definitely go a long way, so only one pump is needed. I also love the fact that the packaging is a pump so that way you are not constantly opening a bottle and exposing the active ingredients to air.

After using this I have found that my skin is much more even toned and smooth. My skin has a wonderful glow to it after I put this on. I have had no adverse reactions and my skin can be quite sensitive. The true test of how my skin will react to a new product, is what happens when I use it after I have done some thorough exfoliating. Fresh skin is the best canvas to test products on.

I was truly impressed with this serum and will be adding it to my regular routine!

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post. I received this product for the purposes of honest review on my website.

CLINIQUE HAS A NEW CREAM

If you are a faithful devotee of Clinique’s classic yellow moisturizer but always wanted a bit more moisture than the original offers, look no further than Clinique’s new Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream.

The lotion formula is not actually moisturizing enough for some, and you have to resort to adding a supplemental moisture cream on top of the lotion. I personally am a product layering addict, but I know some people do not like all the fuss and muss of adding extra products just to achieve something the initial moisturizer should have done in the first place. This new cream, designed for dry to very dry skin, would solve that problem and only require the additional use of a basic sunscreen on top during the day. I personally have always liked Clinique’s Sheer City Block.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream $14.50-26
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream $14.50-26 

I was fortunate to be able to sample this at Macy’s. The consistency is rich, but not overly thick or greasy feeling. For the most part it absorbed very well into the skin. Just like the original lotion and gel formulas, there is of course no added fragrance. I could tell that it was indeed more moisturizing than the lotion. Very nice to apply.  Price-wise, this is a pretty good value for what you get. It starts at $14.50 for 1oz., and $26 for 1.7 oz. To my knowledge, this cream is currently only available at Macy’s and Lord and Taylor.

Screenshot_2015-06-22-10-17-56-1[1]If you are looking for a basic but good everyday moisturizer, then this one would be worth looking into; especially if you have sensitive skin.

BEST WARM WEATHER MOISTURIZERS

Warmer weather! The time when most people adopt a “less is more” mantra, especially when it comes to their moisturizers. I tend to stick to my regimen no matter what the season, only because I always want my skin to be in the most ideal shape. However, there are times when I cave and go for something a little more lightweight. The problem for me is finding something lightweight that is still moisturizing enough.

I love trying new products, but finding something to suit my skin is not always the most exciting task. In fact, it can be quite daunting because I never know how my skin will react to a new formula. I am sure that is true for most of you as well. So in light of that, I thought I would compile a list of moisturizer options that I have used in the past and present, that would be good for almost every skin type.

Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer $65
Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer $65 

This was my HG moisturizer while I was living on the East Coast. Sadly, when I moved to the Northwest I had to give this one up. It is very lightweight and completely fragrance and oil free. This one uses some great algae-based moisturizers to keep skin supple. I am not an advocate for using mattifying moisturizers as most contain alcohol. This would be an excellent choice for anyone who is very oily or acne prone. I would not recommend this if you are living in a drier climate, as you do need extra moisture in that case.

Dermalogica Active Moist $41
Dermalogica Active Moist $41 

This one is a bit heavier than the previous, yet still light and silky. It smells naturally of lavender, so it is very soothing. This one is a pretty simple formulation, not too much in the way of anti aging, but still a good all around basic. If you layer serums like I do, this one would be good for that. I never felt greasy while using this. You also get a pretty good amount for the money. The only thing to note is that if you are sensitive to fragrant plant oils, you might want to approach this one with caution. There is a minuscule amount of lavender extract in this, but could still cause a reaction for ultra sensitive skins.

Perricone MD Photoplasma $69
Perricone MD Photoplasma $69

I cannot say enough about this product! I have been using this for a few years now, and I will continue to buy it as long as they make it. It has a light almost mousse like texture. It has some great anti-oxidants, higher Spf, ant-aging ingredients, and it is fragrance and oil free. Yes you can probably find other sunscreens that are not as expensive, but this has prevented me from getting burnt on more than one occasion, makes my skin look amazing, and all without having to worry about breakouts. I feel this would be great for all skin types, as it uses gentle mineral sunscreens. I am hooked on this stuff!

Belif Milky Hydra Balancing Moisturizer $38
Belif Milky Hydra Balancing Moisturizer $38 

This is PACKED full of anti-oxidants and most of them all-natural. I got a sample of this and I love the texture. Very lightweight. This would also be a good option for extra oily or acne prone skins. The only reason I didn’t end up buying the full size of this is because it lacks some anti-aging ingredients that I prefer in my moisturizers. If aging is not at the forefront of your concerns though, this one is worth a try.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion $42
Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion $42 

This one is a great all around solution for summer. It is sheer, silky, anti-aging, contains anti-oxidants, and offers sun protection. I am just addicted to my Photoplasma, so I do not need another moisturizer with an Spf. This one does give you an added bonus with the addition of vitamin C, so it will brighten as well!

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion $75
Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion $75 

This one is going to be the heaviest out of the bunch. It has some heavier emollients, like shea butter, but it is still in a lotion form, so it will still be lighter than a cream. This is foremost an anti-aging moisturizer, with all of the ingredients I look for and then some. I really liked the sample of this lotion, so I am doing some more research to decide if I want to make this my new daytime moisturizer. I don’t feel like this made me oily as the day progressed, but when I tried it, it was still plenty cold. I will have to see how this would do now that it is warmer outside.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief $52
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief $52 

This has been a favorite product of mine for years! You honestly get so much hydration for a gel form consistency. It feels so good going on the skin. A great thing about this one is that you can pat it on over dry spots if you get a little dry later in the day. Such a great option for oily and acne prone skin. It is fragrance free as well for those of you who are sensitive. I have a good tip for this one too: Get a tiny little jar, put some in, stick it in the fridge, and then slather it on your face after a long day. Seriously, the most refreshing thing.

I hope this guide has proven helpful. What is your go to moisturizer for Summer?

THE LATEST FROM CLINIQUE

Clinique has really been impressing me with some of their latest product innovations. The newest additions to their skincare arsenal include some new formulations from their Turnaround line.tempFile_2015-05-13-11-01-30[1]

The Turnaround line focuses on lost radiance by addressing all of the issues that can cause it, including dryness and lack of exfoliation. I have used a few products from this line in the past, and while they were not bad formulas, they were not as potent as I needed them to be. I am used to more puissant exfoliation at this point.

Having said that, my curiosity for new products was piqued and I headed over to  Macy’s to check out the new Turnaround additions for myself. There is a new treatment oil, a daytime moisturizer, and a revitalizing lotion. I ended up leaving with the new Turnaround Revitalizing Lotion, which is in essence, an essence!

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Essences are fast becoming staples in the everyday skincare routine. I have been using an essence now for about a year, and I do consider it a necessary step now. An essence should be used after cleansing and toning and before any other treatments or moisturizers. Think of it as an after toner.

First impressions:

This lotion has the consistency of a thinner serum. It is fragrance free, oil free, and suitable for all skin types. This formula will treat your skin to some great anti-oxidants, moisturizers, and yeast extracts. Yes you want yeast extracts on your skin! Yeast extracts aids in reducing hyper-pigmentation, increases cell turnover, and  is a very effective humecant thanks to the mixture of sugars and amino acids. Usage is pretty cut and dry, you just shake a few drops from the bottle into the palm of your hand, and pat into your skin. 

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The other impressive thing about this product is how much you get for the price. This bottle is huge! You get 6.7 oz. for $34. This will last for quite a while. I will do a more in-depth review after I have used it for a few weeks.

Have you tried this out yet? Do you use an essence in your skincare routine?