Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Verso Super Facial Serum and Super Eye Serum | Review #VersoSkincare

Purchased (Affiliate Links)

I received an email from a longtime reader who remembered that I had purchased a couple of Verso products, and wondered if I might review them so that she could decide whether or not she wanted to purchase them. I have been meaning to review them for quite a while, and she gave me the proper motivation to reflect on the Verso Super Facial Serum and the Verso Super Eye Serum.

I have to preface this by stating that I am very cautious with my skin, and I generally consult my doctor or dermatologist before I beginning using active, exfoliating products, and have them take a close look at moles to determine whether there are any that are suspicious looking. To state the obvious, sometimes the things that one might seek to treat with retinol-based products could actually be cancerous, or pre-cancerous, and therefore the worst possible thing to do is apply active products to make these skin conditions disappear. It is also incredibly important to be sure to be diligent about using high SPF sunscreens when you are using retinol, or other products that encourage rapid skin cell turnover.

According to Verso,

Verso products contain no dyes, mineral oils, or other harmful substances. In addition to its revolutionary anti-aging effect, Verso Skincare has been developed to minimize the risk of irritated skin, so it is suitable for those with sensitive skin.
According to Verso, here are their research results:

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, split-face study under the supervision of Dr. Margareta Frohm Nilsson at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm (Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, Stockholm):
  • Retinyl retinoate universally decreased the appearance of wrinkles
  • Retinyl retinoate was safe to use with no reported side-effects
  • 86% reported improvements in eye wrinkles
  • 100% reported overall improvement
  • 82% reporting more lustrous skin after 12 weeks of use
  • 77% reported overall improvement compared to the first 12 week period
-Do not use Verso Skincare during pregnancy, as it contains a vitamin A derivative.
-It it recommended to try a small amount on your forearm before applying it to your face.
-Even though retinol 8 is stable in sunshine, still be careful and protect your skin from overexposure to the sun.
Verso Super Facial Serum ($120.00 for oz. from Verso, Barneys New York, Sephora, Net-A-Porter and Cult Beauty): This retinol serum is lightweight, fast absorbing and gentle enough that I didn't experience any redness, peeling, drying or irritation with my sometimes finicky skin. I cannot speak to Verso's claims that it is "eight times more effective than the standard retinol in the same dosage," but I can say that it effectively speeds up skin cell turnover, softens the appearance of fine lines, evens skin tone, and fades hyperpigmentation. My skin is left very soft, smooth and radiant. I should note that I have tried a wide variety of retinols– including those that require a prescription– and this was among the most gentle on my skin. I tend to use this serum at night rather than day and/or night because while one sleeps skin renewal is the most pronounced, and I tend to prefer to use products that accelerate skin cell turnover during this time of the day.

I am close to the end of my bottle, and once I finish up a few of my other retinol-based products, I will purchase another bottle of Verso Super Facial Serum.

According to Verso,

Formulated with a high dose of retinol 8—a stabilized vitamin A complex which is eight times more effective than standard retinol in the same dosage—Verso Super Face Serum supports skin’s natural collagen, reversing the visible signs of aging. Combined with other Verso creams or used on its own, this serum has profound effects on the skin, improving texture and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration. It has been developed to minimize the risk of irritated skin, so it is suitable for those with sensitive skin.

Directions: To be used morning and/or evening. Apply on cleansed skin all over the face and neck.
Select Ingredients and their attributes:
  • Retinol 8 with Retinyl Retinoate: Combines the highly effective antiaging properties of vitamin A acid and retinol; dramatically decreases the UV sensitivity usually associated with retinol.
  • Niacinamide: Beneficial for treating dry skin, wrinkles, fine lines, spider veins, hyperpigmentation, and blotchiness.
  • Curcuma Longa Root Extract (from Turmeric Root): Enhances antioxidant activity in skin, leading to a more even skintone, reduced appearance of wrinkles, and improved skin hydration.
  • Tetrahydropiperine (Pepper Extract): Improves absorption of active substances into the skin.
Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Pentylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Palmitic Acid, Glycerin, C12-16 Alcohols, Squalane, Palmitoyl Glycine, Glycine Soja Oil, Palmitoyl Proline, Magnesium Palmitoyl Glutamate, Sodium Palmitoyl Sarcosinate, Retinyl Retinoate,Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ceramide NP, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Tetrahydropiperine, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/C10 – 30 Alkyl Akrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, BHT, Fragrance.  Made without: Parabens, Sulfate or Phthalates.
Verso Super Eye Serum ($80.00 for oz. from Verso, Barneys New York, Sephora, Net-A-Porter and Cult Beauty): There are not very many retinol-based eye creams or serums on the market, and this is definitely an effective one. I have sensitive eyes, and am therefore very careful to avoid getting it in my eyes because I have found that it stings if I do. That said, this has only happened a couple of times when I was careless. When I initially began using this serum, I noted that it tingled the skin under my eyes, but once my skin acclimated to it, that subsided. It effectively increases skin cell turnover without peeling or irritating the skin, but the big surprise was the fact that it diminished the appearance of my dark circles, and it reduced the appearance of puffiness on the days that I don't get enough sleep. Furthermore, it leaves skin soft, smooth, supple and firm. I only tend to use it at night, and I have used it alone, and under an eye cream when added moisture is needed.

According to Verso,

Verso Super Eye Serum diminishes the look of eye puffiness, dark circles, and lines. This light and refreshing serum is formulated with retinol 8, a stabilized vitamin A complex, which is eight times more effective than standard retinol in the same dosage. It supports the skin’s natural collagen while reversing the visible signs of aging.

Directions: Gently pat around the eyes morning and evening. For superior results combine with Verso Super Facial Serum and Verso Day and Night Cream.
Select Ingredients and their attributes:
  • Retinol 8 with Retinyl Retinoate: Combines the highly effective antiaging properties of vitamin A acid and retinol; dramatically decreases the UV sensitivity usually associated with retinol.
  • Niacinamide: Reduces the appearance of dry skin, wrinkles, fine lines, spider veins, hyperpigmentation, and blotchiness.
  • Curcuma Longa Root Extract (from Turmeric Root): Provides antioxidant protection for a more even skintone, reduced appearance of wrinkles, and improved skin hydration.
  • Tetrahydropiperine (Pepper Extract): Improves absorption of active substances into the skin.
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Heptyl Undecylenate, Squalane, Caprylyl Methicone, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Retinyl Retinoate, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Glycine Soja Oil, Curcuma Longa Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrahydropiperine, Steareth-20, Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, BHT, Fragrance. Made without: Parabens, Sulfate or Phthalates.
Descriptions and Ingredients:
Overall Assessment: I have had great success with Verso's Super Facial Serum and Super Eye Serum, but I would not recommend that you start using a retinol-based product until your doctor says that you have no pre-cancerous or cancerous moles or spots to be concerned about. What might look normal or benign to us, may tell an entirely different story to a doctor. Furthermore, I would never walk outside wearing less than an SPF 30+ when using a retinol-based product. It doesn't matter if the retinol is itself stable, but instead the issue is that one's skin is more vulnerable to the elements when skin-cell turnover is intensified through the use of retinoids, or physical exfoliants for that matter. Therefore, one needs to make sure that their skin is adequately protected. I also think that it is an exercise in good judgment to spot test any retinol-based products before adding them into your skincare routine. Even if your doctor clears you to use them, there is no way to know how your skin will react until you have begun trying it. I realize that I may seem overly cautious, but my doctor is quite accustomed to me coming in with these sorts of inquiries, including lists of ingredients for her perusal. I am simply unwilling to take chances when it comes to topically treating my skin, it is, after all, our largest organ– and it is incumbent upon us to protect it.

Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie! Deluxe Boxed Gift Set | Review

Press Sample (Unaffiliated Links)

If you are looking for a wonderful gift for someone in your life, or want to get a head start on Valentine's Day gift shopping– then may I suggest checking out this fantastic Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie! Deluxe Boxed Gift Set. It features 4 products from their Whoopie! Cream range, and these delectable Whoopie Pie inspired sweet treats for the skin and home are sure to delight the senses.
According to Farmhouse Fresh,

Gift your loved ones with our most popular Whoopie! Cream assortment. This deluxe boxed set is loaded with our delicious white velvet, whoopie pie dessert-scented favorites, including a full-size body cream and hand cream, and travel-size body wash and candle. We're scenting every aspect of life - from shower to room with this must-have, ribbon-adorned set.

4 Piece Set includes: 8 oz. Whoopie Cream Shea Butter for body, 2.4 oz. shea butter hand cream, 3.3 oz. body wash and 1.7 oz. travel candle. The products in this gift set are Paraben and Sulfate- Free.
Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie! Cream Shea Butter Lotion ($30.00 value 8 oz. glass bottle): This deliciously scented lotion is rich, thick, very moisturizing, and fast absorbing. It is a perfect way to stave off dry skin this winter, and it leaves your skin soft, smooth and supple.

According to Farmhouse Fresh,

Whoopie! hand and body creams contain a supple blend of Shea and cocoa butters, jojoba seed oil, soybean oil, aloe and vitamins A and E. The butters and oils soften and soothe even the severest of dry, chapped skin, while helping to improve the skin's elasticity. The aloe and vitamin E also help to calm skin irritations and sunburns. The 90%-natural Whoopie! hand and body creams contain no mineral oil, parabens or sulfates, and are vegan and gluten-free
Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie! Shea Butter Hand Cream ($14.00 value 2.4 oz tube): If you have dry hands and cuticles, then this rich and thick Shea Butter hand cream does an enviable job deeply moisturizing, and healing dry and cracked skin. Massage in into your cuticles each night to keep your nails mani ready! It is quite concentrated, and therefore a  little goes a long way, but it also sinks in quickly without leaving hands feeling greasy.
According to Farmhouse Fresh,

Our #1 selling Shea Butter whip is now available as a tube full of joy! Lightly scented with scrumptious white velvet cream and moist layer cake, it is hard to resist as a start to each morning... or as a sweet farewell to each day. So deliciously scented it's taste-tested as often as it's used (we do not recommend this!). The supple butters and Vitamin E packed Jojoba and Soybean oils calm even the severest of dry skin.
Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie Cream Body Wash (3.3 oz deluxe travel size. $18.00 for 8.4 oz.): This body wash has a creamy consistency, forms lovely bubbles and it smells delectable. It thoroughly cleanses the skin, but the sulfate-free formula is gentle and thoroughly non-stripping. Instead, skin is left soft, smooth and moisturized.

According to Farmhouse Fresh,

Whoop! Whoop! Our delicious Whoopie Cream Shea butter is now a bubbly shower and bath delight. This whipped, creamy body wash bubbles without sulfates, while leaving behind our delectable fresh-baked whoopie pie scent. Made with aloe, vitamin E and a blend of extracts that calm sensitive skin including Green Tea, Chamomile and Arnica Montana Flower. Nourishing Green Tea Extract is loaded with polyphenols and anti-inflammatory properties for delicate skin tissue. Plus sodium PCA, a skin identical ingredient that helps boost skin’s moisture content and prevent moisture loss as you wash in this scrumptious dreamy whip!
Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie Cream Soy Blend Candle (1.7 oz. Deluxe Travel Size): This charming Whoopie! Cream scented candle smells so delicious that it is a delight to the senses as it subtly fragrances the home. 

According to Farmhouse Fresh,

The vegan Whoopie! Travel Candle features soy-based wax and comes in a travel-friendly glass jar (1.7 oz) and offers 15-20 hours of burn time.
The gift box is fantastic!
Overall Assessment: This set is so charming, and it makes a really lovely gift!

$54.00 from Farmhouse Fresh (Unaffiliated Links).
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Plus Anti-Ageing Face Cream | Review #TheOrganicPharmacy

Purchased (Affiliate Links)

I realized that I should hurry up and review my jar of The Organic Pharmacy Rose Plus Anti-Ageing Face Cream before I finished it. I hit the bottom of the jar, and while I still have a few weeks left before it is empty, I thought it wise to talk about it while I am still using, and coveting, the last bits of this tremendous jar. I should preface this by stating that I have every intention of purchasing a replacement as soon as I make a dent in a few other face creams, but this one is worth every cent!

About The Organic Pharmacy,

Founded in 2002 by pharmacist Margo Marrone and her husband Francesco, The Organic Pharmacy skincare brand evolved from the duo’s successful London-based chain of herbal, homeopathic dispensaries and wellness clinics. Developed for a range of skin types, the comprehensive collection of organic and fair-trade products treats, repairs, and improves a broad spectrum of issues. One of the brand’s first products, the Carrot Butter Cleanser, is celebrated for its velvety texture and blend of all-natural ingredients which gently lift dirt and makeup without stripping the skin.
The Organic Pharmacy Rose Plus Anti-Aging Face Cream is a phenomenal, ultra-potent antioxidant-rich anti-aging face cream that is very effective, makes a visible difference, and does so without harmful chemicals. As you can see from the picture at the bottom of this post, I am a big fan of The Organic Pharmacy, and I always have several of their products in my weekly, if not daily, skincare product rotation.

Rose Plus Anti-Aging Face Cream is a light to mid-weight face cream that is concentrated and that sinks into the skin immediately. This nutrient-rich cream leaves behind no greasy film, but instead leaves skin with a healthy glow. It is deeply hydrating, it improves micro-circulation, it scavenges free-radicals, and it renders skin soft, supple and smooth. After sustained use, it softens the appearance of fine lines, gently exfoliates dead skin cells, and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Skin appears lifted and rejuvenated, and this is honestly about as perfect as an anti-aging cream could be. It has a warm, earthy aroma that is natural rather than artificial smelling, and it calms the senses as it sinks into the skin.

According to The Organic Pharmacy,

This synergistic blend of highly active natural extracts has strong free radical scavenging properties that helps protect epidermal elastin and collagen fibres. It helps reduce and reverse sun exposure damage and improves micro circulation, restoring hydration and elasticity. Blackcurrant Leaf contain flavinoids that have shown potent anti-ageing activity and proven to reduce wrinkle depth by 50% after 30 days use.

Select Ingredients and their Attributes:

Blackcurrant Leaf contain flavinoids that have shown potent anti-ageing activity and proven to reduce wrinkle depth by 50% after 30 days use. 

Pine Bark Extract is a potent antioxidant with Red, Green and White Tea high in polyphenols, quercetin and Rutin which provides powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity as well as DNA protectors. 

Rose extract is high in purifying free radical scavenging antioxidants to help restore radiance to the skin.

Kigelia Africana is rich in flavinoids and saponins to improve the skins tone and elasticity. 

MSM, Ester C, Alphalipoic Acid even out the skin tone and improve the condition of the skin. 

Cucumber Seed Extract helps reduce pigmentation along with White Mulberry and Fermented Grape which helps to inhibit tyrosine activity (helps reduce pigmentation). 

Hibiscus Extract helps to gently exfoliates and remove pigmented cells, lightening the skin.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis)*, Rye Alcohol*, Marigold (Calendula Officinalis) Extract*, St Johns Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)*, Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera)*, Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum), Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate*, Soybean Sterols (Glycine Soya)*, Phospholipids*, Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)*, Kigelia Africana (Kigelia Africana)*, Blackcurrant (Ribes Nigrum)*, Pycnogenol (Pinus Pinaster)*, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)*, Cucumber (Cucumis Sativa), Honey (Mel)*, Ceteryl Alcohol, Mulberry Leaf (Morus Alba), Honeysuckle (Lonicera Japonica), Tamanu (Calophyllum Inophyllum), Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis), White Tea (Camellia Sinensis), Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Palmitate), Alpha Lipoic Acid (Thioctic acid), DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), MSM, Limonene. Rose Extract should be listed above. and I am not sure why it isn't.  I found the ingredients list of of their website a while ago, and it must have been accidentally omitted.
Overall Assessment: In my humble opinion, this cream embodies the perfect antioxidant-rich, anti-aging luxury face cream, and it does so without any harmful chemicals. Another jar is on the horizon for me! A+

$235.00 for oz. from Barneys New York, Beautyhabit and Selfridges (£120.00) (Affiliate Links).

Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Makeup Wars Top Pick Highlighters | #TOMFORD #HOURGLASS #SURRATT #MAKEUPWARS

Press Sample, Purchased (Affiliate Links)

When the Makeup Wars Team decided to feature our favorite cream highlighters and contours, I quickly realized that my stash is primarily made up of powders, so with their blessing that is what I am featuring. I have a huge selection of powder highlighters, including numerous limited edition beauties from Guerlain and Chanel that are long since available. Therefore, I decided to select some of my very favorites that are still available.
I tend to take the less is more, subtle approach to highlighting, rather than that less-than-subtle highlighting that we saw so much of in 2016.
I have many more highlighters from Hourglass, but narrowed my selection down to these three.
TOM FORD Beauty Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight ($80.00 for 0.42 oz. from NordstromNeiman MarcusBergdorf GoodmanSaks Fifth AvenueBloomingdale'sHarrods and Selfridges): is a stunning highlighting and illuminating powder duo that is ultra finely milled, glides across the skin effortlessly and it neither emphasizes pores, nor does it settle into fine lines. Both powders have a velvety smooth texture that make them both exquisitely satisfying, and easy, to use.

The luxe compact contains two generously sized powders with a total weight of 0.42 oz. The golden white shade, at the top of the compact, is a subtle shimmering highlighter that imparts the perfect ethereal glow to the skin. It does not contain large chunks of glitter, and is therefore appropriate to wear day or night. The bottom shade seems to modulate between a rose gold and a peachy golden shade that adds a touch of sun kissed color to the complexion. It contains a refined glowing shimmer that is equally appropriate during the day, or the office for that matter, and the evening. The two shades can also be mixed together to create what TOM FORD Beauty calls a "multidimensional glow."

I experimented in order to find the best brush to use with the TOM FORD Beauty Skin Illuminating Powder Duo, and find that I get the best effects with soft and fluffy brushes. A stiffer brushes tend to lay down more color than I want–  therefore a fluffy brush gives me the more natural glow that I seek.

That the creamy smooth texture facilitates effortless blending is a supreme understatement. In fact, the texture is so enviable that you will find yourself looking for excuses to use these beauties. Both shades offer buildable coverage– should you seek a more obvious glow, but as previously noted, I prefer using a lighter hand to achieve a more natural glow. When built up excessively the finish becomes more metallic and less natural looking.

Furthermore, I noted exceptional wear-time for both powders– in fact both tend to wear all day without a primer on my combination skin, but your experience may differ. If you have particularly oily skin, then the use of a primer will certainly increase the wear-time of these shimmering beauties.
According to TOM FORD Beauty,

Tom Ford created this highlighting and illuminating powder duo to capture the two most flattering types of natural light on the skin—a soft white shade is like the luminous glow of daylight and a radiant golden shade is like the romantic illusion of candlelight. These lightly shimmering shades can be applied individually or layered together to create a multidimensional glow.
Surratt Artistique Highlighter in Aureole ($32.00 for 0.14 oz. from Barneys New York, Sephora, and Cult Beauty): is a staggeringly beautiful, and infinitely subtle and refined golden highlighter. The texture is soft, smooth, creamy and glides across the skin effortlessly, evenly and blends out seamlessly. While it is a powder it feels like a cream to the touch as a result of the slurry technology employed in its making. It is this very textural difference that makes the formula unique and indescribably luxurious to the touch. The finish is best described as a natural and luminous glow from within– particularly so when applied with a light hand. 

Furthermore, as I have previously stated in other posts, anyone who has ever tried any of his powder-based products will attest, their smooth creamy textures are utterly peerless. As Troy explained to me, his powder products are made using the Japanese slurry-technology whereby they begin their life as a liquid that is poured and then evaporates leaving behind the most creamy and easy to blend powder. The textures of these products are utterly sublime, and the tactile experience is so superbly satisfying that one is naturally inclined to reach for these products with great regularity. Troy's products boast a modernist design with eco-friendly minimalist packaging, and his eyeshadow and blush pans can be placed in one of the chic Surratt Palettes for added convenience.
According to Surratt,

Surratt Beauty's 'Artistique Blush' is a lightweight powder that gives your complexion a flawless, natural-looking finish. Designed to accentuate your features, 'Auréole' is a highlighter that makes your skin look more radiant and your bone structure more defined. Use it below the arch of your brow, down the bridge of your nose or across the highest part of your cheeks.

Created using the Japanese ‘slurry’ method, which allows for an ultra-blendable ‘artistic’ application, Surratt’s Artistique Highlighter in shade ‘Aureole’ lends ‘high points’ a beautiful, soft focus glow. Just use the Highlight Brush to sweep pigment on top of cheekbones, brow bones and the cupid’s bow to draw attention to your favourite features and achieve a more ‘3D’ effect.
Soft focus photograph to underscore the luminosity.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light ($46.00 for 0.35 oz. Available from HourglassSpace NK USSpace NK UK (£40.00), Bergdorf Goodman and Sephora): Mood Light is indeed "a soft, sheer lavender pink powder, that mimics the softest and most forgiving light...." I find that it is the perfect color for my cool-toned complexion. One might think that it would be too lavender or pink to dust all over the face, but I find that it works beautifully in this capacity. It boasts a nearly matte finish with a very subtle and refined sheen that effectively brightens and illuminates the complexion. It reduces the appearance of redness and gives the skin a very even and flawless finish. I have found that it leaves my skin looking naturally glowing and healthy. Every single time that I wear it people comment on my beautiful skin, and while my skin is in very good shape without makeup there is no question that Mood Light gives me the highly coveted "My Skin but Better" appearance that we all seek in finishing products. I also like to use Mood Light as a highlighter when I don't feel like dusting my entire face, and it offers a subtle beautiful glow in all of the right places. The texture of Mood Light is just spectacular: it is soft and silky to the touch and ultra-finely milled, and it effortlessly glides across the skin. It is truly powder perfection incarnate!
                              Left to Right: Heavy, Medium & Light Swatches of Mood Light
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light ($38.00 each from HOURGLASSNordstromSpace NKBarneys New York and Sephora) is described as an "illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight." It is a stunning pale pink powder that is ultra-finely milled to the extent that it has a rather creamy consistency. This faint pink will flatter many skin tones, but I suspect that those among you with cooler-toned will be particularly elated by this shade since it is often difficult to find flattering illuminator shades for blue-based skin tones. It spreads across the skin and deposits color effortlessly and evenly, and it neither settle into fine lines, nor does it accentuate pores. Instead of depositing discernible glitter, that looks decidedly artificial, it leaves skin with a stunning ethereal glow.

The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders are formulated to be used wet or dry whether one opts to use a  brush or the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor (full review forthcoming) that was created specifically for the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. HOURGLASS suggests that it is best applied with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, and that whether used wet or dry one can easily "achieve varying levels of intensity, taking you from day to night."

Whether you prefer to use a brush or the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, these powders could not be easier to use.  You simple dip your tool of choice into the powder and sweep it wherever illumination is desired.

Initially, I thought that I might prefer using a brush to the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, but after some experimentation I concluded that the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor offers greater precision than a brush. It is firm enough not to yield too much against the skin, and the angled side offers perfect placement wherever you want to highlight the face.
According to HOURGLASS,

For a soft, sheer highlight - Sweep the angled side of the Ambient® Strobe Light Sculptor across the powder and apply to the tops of your cheekbones, bridge of nose and cupid's bow. Gently blend in with the flocked side for a smooth finish. 

For a more intense highlight - Dampen the angled side of the Ambient® Strobe Light Sculptor and sweep across the powder. Apply to the tops of your cheekbones, bridge of nose and cupid's bow. Gently blend in with the flocked side for a smooth finish.
Available in 4 shades:
• Iridescent Strobe Light: An illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight.
• Incandescent Strobe Light: An opalescent pearl powder bestowing a celestial highlight. 
• Euphoric Strobe Light: A pearlescent beige powder bestowing a natural highlight.
• Brilliant Strobe Light: A shimmering gold powder imparting a lustrous highlight.
HOURGLASS Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light ($38.00 each from HOURGLASSNordstromSpace NKBarneys New York and Sephora): is described as a, "shimmering gold powder imparting a lustrous highlight." It is a stunning pale gold powder that is ultra-finely milled to the extent that it has a rather creamy consistency. This ethereal and refined gold shade will flatter a variety of skin tones, and it is even flattering on cooler-toned skin, like mine. It spreads across the skin and deposits color effortlessly and evenly, and it neither settle into fine lines, nor does it accentuate pores. Instead of depositing discernible glitter, that looks decidedly artificial, it leaves skin with a stunning luminous glow.

The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders are formulated to be used wet or dry whether one opts to use a  brush or the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor that was created specifically for the Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. HOURGLASS suggests that it is best applied with the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, and that whether used wet or dry one can easily "achieve varying levels of intensity, taking you from day to night."

As was the case with Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light, I actually prefer applying Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light wet rather than dry. One might surmise that it would create a metallic foiled effect, when, in fact, it creates a more luminous finish than it does when applied dry. I found that the damp application accentuated the pale golden hue without appearing harsh or metallic. There is a more pronounced, albeit subtle, sheen that occurs when it is applied damp.
Whether you prefer to use a brush or the Ambient Strobe Light Sculptor, Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light and Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light could not be easier to use. Simply dip your tool of choice into the powder and sweep it wherever a luminous finish and ethereal glow is desired.
Overall Assessment: It was exceedingly difficult to narrow down my selection, but these five gorgeous highlighters are unquestionably of the highest quality, and they are such a true pleasure to use. All five earn an A+ without any hesitation!

Press Sample & Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Artnaturals Jojoba Oil and Makeup Setting Spray | Review

Press Sample (Affiliate Links)

I am always so excited about trying new-to-me natural brands, and Artnaturals is one of my recent discoveries that I wanted to share. I only have experience with two of their products, and can't comment about any of their other offers, but I can tell you that I am very happy with the two that I have tried thus far.
Artnaturals Jojoba Oil ($13.00 for 4 oz. from Artnaturals and their Official Amazon Store): This organic Jojoba Oil is a high quality multi-tasker that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, and is well-worth having.

Jojoba Oil is one of my all-time favorite natural products to keep on hand at all times. It has so many uses, and is so easy to use without being a huge mess. It's affordable and widely available– making it a very convenient choice.

There are many uses, but here are the one's that I have actually tried:

1. Makeup Remover: Jojoba Oil makes a wonderful non-stinging eye makeup remover. Rather than using it undiluted I prefer to make a dual phase eye makeup remover by placing purified water and jojoba in a bottle (one to one ratio) and giving it a good shake. It removes every trace of makeup without any irritation, and it moisturizes the delicate area around the eyes. You can also use the oil undiluted as well- and it even breaks down stubborn waterproof formulas. I tend to apply it with soft cotton pads.

2. Pre-Cleansing Oil: Pre-cleansing oils have been such a popular part of beauty routines for a while now, and Jojoba Oil is simply amazing in this capacity. You simply apply it undiluted all of your face and it will effectively remove all traces of foundation, blush, even tough to remove lipstick. It softens and hydrates the skin, and even provides some cushion against more abrasive cleansers.

3. Pre-Shampoo Hair & Scalp Treatment: Jojoba Oil is a fantastic pre-shampoo treatment! Massage it into your hair and scalp and leave it in as long as you like- then shampoo and condition as you would normally. I have left it in overnight, and the results were amazing. Some people use it as a hot oil treatment- I keep meaning to do this, but keep forgetting!

4. Body Oil: Jojoba Oil is quite concentrated so you really only need to use a small amount. I find that using it first thing when I jump out of the shower is the best for me because the slip created from moist skin allows you to use less oil, and it absorbs quickly because your skin is still warm. The end result is silky smooth skin! Since it is also a great carrier oil you can add perfume oils or essential oils to it to create a customized scent.

5. Cuticle Oil: Just rub undiluted Jojoba Oil into your cuticles daily and see the difference in no time. It is so moisturizing that it can tame even the most stubborn cuticles!

6. Overnight Intensive Hand & Foot Moisturizer: Massage liberally into hands and feet before going to bed and put on moisture mitts and socks. You will wake up with petal soft hands and feet!
According to Artnaturals,

Versatile multi-tasker ArtNaturals’ Jojoba Oil is a real team player. The organic oil is rich in Vitamin E—and its antibacterial abilities make it super for deep-cleaning pores. It’s gentle enough to use right from the bottle to moisturize skin, condition hair, or massage into dry nails and cuticles. Great for use on kids, too!

Ingredients: Cold-Pressed Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil.
Artnaturals Makeup Setting Spray ($13.00 for 4 oz. from Artnaturals and their Official Amazon Store): This antioxidant-rich makeup setting spray not only sets makeup, but the nourishing ingredients hydrate the skin while offering it some protection against free-radical damage. There is no fragrance added, and no detectable scent. If you are looking for an affordable and healthy setting spray, then this one is most definitely worth your consideration.

According to Artnaturals,

...One easy application locks in the perfect 'just applied' look for your makeup and toners. Prevent cracking, fading, and melting of foundation, mascara, and blush all day or all night long with our all-natural setting spray....

...Our Makeup Setting Spray’s pomegranate seed extract contains polyphenols (plant chemicals) that help promote antioxidant health and help fight cell-damaging free radicals. Aloe vera helps to hydrate skin, while sage extract is loaded with calcium and vitamin A, which protect your skin and aid in daily cell regeneration, minimizing and delaying the onset of facial wrinkles. Sage also helps regulate sebum production, making sure makeup doesn’t slide off.

Meanwhile, zinc, copper and magnesium stimulate cell metabolism, and stimulate and protect skin cells. Plus, the Setting Spray’s moisturizing power helps keep you (and your makeup) cool on dry, hot days. The spray’s ingredients are gentle and effective on all skin types.

...Formulated with Aloe Vera and Pomegranate Extract, our Setting Spray assures long lasting makeup with a matte finish.

Directions: After makeup application, spray lightly onto face.

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Punica Granatum Seed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Avena Sativa Extract, Sodium Polyglutamate, Threonine, Beta-glucan, Trehalose, Betaine, Erythritol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Niacinamide, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Magnesium Aspartate, Chlorphenesin.

Overall Assessment: I am quite happy with these two products from Artnaturals, and would like to further investigate their offerings.

Press Sample. All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Beauty Spotlight Team's Top Pick Beauty Reads for this Winter Weekend

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog is very impressed by Bellatorra Cellular Renewal Serum and Cellular Repair Night Cream because this mighty duo exemplifies potent and effective anti-aging skincare. These ultra-luxe products increase skin cell turnover, deeply nourish and hydrate the skin, and create gorgeous glowing youthful skin.

Charlotte Tilbury has released four new Quick 'n' Easy Makeup Kits to help you achieve a beautiful look in only 5 minutes. The sets include 4-5 products and are under $100. Perilously Pale shares a review and swatches of them all!

From Prime Beauty: Lancome follows up their popular Paris eye shadow palette with the AUDACITY London Eye Shadow Palette and hits it out of the park--Hyde Park that is!

Natural beauty is all the rage now as we move to more environmentally friendly products. Beauty Info Zone has all the information on a beauty box from Good Earth Beauty that fits these needs. 

Looking for a new nude, MLBB or living dead girl lipstick? Courtney at Phyrra shares 30 of the Best Nude Lipsticks for Pale Skin! You're sure to find the perfect shade.

With so many Beauty Sub Boxes out there it's hard to decide which is best for you. Blushing Noir is sharing her top 8 in this post (at ALL price points), plus giving you coupon codes to shop with!

Pammy Blogs Beauty is loving the re-vamped Sibu Seaberry Therapy skincare line: Natural Skincare at its best!

Want to feel good about your neck? Allison from Never Say Die Beauty has been obsessed with her neck for years, and she’s discovered new NeoStrata Skin Active Triple Firming Neck Cream - an anti-aging neck cream that’s perfect in all ways.

See what item Shipra of Taneja's Bride picked up from the ColourPop x Amanda Steele Collection.

Amber from daydreaming beauty has the scoop on the IT Cosmetics QVC TSV for 1/14. Spoiler Alert! There's a NEW foundation and brush! Check out the post, and enter to win the new Full Coverage Solid Super Serum Foundation.

Looking for a new mascara? 15 Minute Beauty has a list of 10 worth a splurge.

Justina's Gems has been using a holistic skincare routine by Citrus Clear that is working miracles on her dry and acne prone skin. Check it out!

Friday, January 13, 2017

TATCHA Lucky Bag Surprise Skincare Gift with Your Purchase of $100.00+

(Affiliate Links)

TATCHA is having a wonderful promotion that you won't want to miss! Spend $100.00 or more and receive a Lucky Bag Surprise Skincare Gift filled with over $100.00 worth of their iconic skincare products. Use Code: Luck17

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rouge Bunny Rouge Succulence of Dew Sheer Lipstick in Murmurings: A Tale of Discovery | Review and Swatches

nce upon a time there was a girl who loved makeup with great passion. One day while walking down the street, with her head in the clouds dreaming about the perfect sheer lipstick, she fell into an open manhole.

As she was tumbling, in what seemed to be an endless journey downward, she imagined that she would land in some lurid under-city catacomb of sorts- the likes of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

She clenched her fists close to her chest and continued her descent to where she knew not.
Still from Fritz Lang’s — Metropolis, 1927 (source).

She continued falling for what seemed to be an eternity, and her watch began spinning backwards. Eventually the dark gave way to light, and soon she could see a beautiful sight, but was somewhat disoriented because things appeared upside down as she tumbled toward an oculus. It was filled with clouds, putti, a peacock, and people peering toward her as she was falling at great rates of speed toward them.
Andrea Mantegna. Illusionistic Oculus at the Camera degli Sposi in the Ducal Palace (Mantua, Italy). (source).

Once she landed, she was greeted by a lovely bunny who simultaneously (and magically) spoke in two languages. The bunny exclaimed, 

"Welcome, we have been expecting you! Let us help you get up."

"Добро пожаловать, мы ждали вас! Позвольте нам помочь вам встать."
Albrecht Dürer. Young Hare, 1502 (source).
What was the most odd was the fact that the girl wasn't at all surprised by this rather unusual encounter. She simply smiled and simultaneous said "thank you" and "спасибо."

The bunny then indicated that they, in the magical land of Rouge Bunny Rouge, were very well aware  that the girl had dreaming about the perfect sheer lipstick, and realized that they must make a preemptive move to prevent her from wandering the earth forever in search of the perfect sheer lipstick. It was then that they decided to make her fall down the rabbit hole to end her quest once and for all.
Sandro Botticelli. La Primavera (source).
The bunny then directed her to the Succulence of Dew Lipstick Trees- where she was to pick her shade. To the girl, from afar the trees appeared to offer fruit rather than lipsticks. However, once she reached the trees the oranges magically transformed into the most gorgeous sparkling tubes of lipstick.
She picked the first tube that she could reach and when she opened it the lipstick itself whispered "my name is Murmurings, and you and I are perfect for one another." The girl smiled at the tube that she held, and responded "you are the most beautiful lipstick to behold, and I love you!"
Murmurings is the perfect subtle red lipstick. It is more sheer, yet buildable- therefore it is perfect for people who are afraid of wearing red lipstick. It leaves your lips plump and juicy, and utterly kissable. It is immensely moisturizing, with the perfect amount of slip and cushion, and is simply about as perfect as perfect can get.

Murmurings is described as, "Wet effect, sheer, cool damson - Like having just eaten a bowl of cherries."

The girl, without the aid of a mirror, placed the lipstick on her lips- and then immediately found herself walking back where she came from before she fell down the Rouge Bunny Rouge rabbit hole. She looked in her hand to see that she was clutching Murmurings as though her very survival was dependent on it. After her bewilderment subsided, she exclaimed "I didn't get to say thank you or goodbye to the Bunny!" Murmurings then responded, "You did so by selecting me, and worry not- you are always welcome in our magical land-- all you have to do is think about it and you will be transported."
According to Rouge Bunny Rouge,

The easy glide, weightless formula with moisturising, lip-shaping and skin-protecting benefits comes in five delicate yet rich colours with an outstandingly sheer, glossy finish. The precise application and perfect coverage of this texture create a polished look effortlessly.

With Hilurlip™, an innovative moisturising, anti-aging and skin-protecting Sodium Hyaluronate based agent, lips are redefined, their volume is boosted, and fine vertical lines are minimised while fighting the negative effects of free radicals. Our Sheer Lipstick formula is also infused with nourishing Rosehip Butter, a natural powerhouse of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
Sheer Lipstick SUCCULENCE OF DEW: transparent, juicy colour of a lip stain, wet-look finish of a gloss.
Ingredients: Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Polybutene, Octyldodecanol, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Polyethylene, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Aroma (Flavor), Mica, Bis-Peg/Ppg-14/14 Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer,Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Tripeptide-1. (+/-): Ci 45410 (Red 28 Lake), Ci 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), Ci 15850 (Red 6), Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 15850 (Red 7 Lake), Ci 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides).

Overall Assessment: Pure unmitigated magic. Simply best in class! It is even more magical than the aforementioned story suggests. Murmurings is absolute unadulterated perfection. I suspect that you need it in your life as much as I do. It is a timeless classic that is modern, luxurious, whimsical, and utterly stunning!

Rouge Bunny Rouge is a London-born and Moscow, London and now US-based luxury niche makeup company. This is why you see my flights of fancy in this tale include Russian text– as an homage to this lovely company's origins.This short tale/tail is a repost from 2013 soon after I discovered this lovely lipstick.

$29.00 for 3.6 g/0.13 oz. purchased from Beautyhabit also available from Rouge Bunny Rouge (Affiliate links).

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.
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