Monday, October 24, 2016

Goodbye old look, Hello new Derma E!

*DISCLAIMER - Items sent by company for the purposes of review/testing.  All words are 100% my own unless otherwise noted.**POWERED BY BRANDBACKER*

Derma E.  The brand that you have come to know and love has gotten a facelift.  Come to love the new look of Derma E...

Hello everyone!  All you Derma E fans out there....they now have a new look!  The skincare you have to know and love now has an updated look.  New look, but same amazing, award-winning formulas from the company you have come to  trust.  Having started in September, Derma E launched the new look and will be rolling it to all retailers by May of 2017.  The first lines getting the new revamp are the Hydrating, Anti Wrinkle line, Firming and their much loved Microdermabrasion Scrub + Overnight Peel.

First up, we have Derma E's Hydrating Day Cream.  Now I received the old style packaging of this, but that in no way hinders the amazing product inside.  The Hydrating Day Cream claims that it  "helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by replumping skin with moisture.  Hyaluronic Acid delivers powerful hydration to keep skin soft, smooth and youthful looking.  Vitamins A, C & E plus antioxidant Green Tea help protect skin from environmental damage." - Derma E

What I love about this cream in particular is how it really a heavy weight moisturizer, yet its formula is so lightweight!  Once blended onto the skin, you feel so soft and plumped.  The Day Cream does really well and delivering a quick shot of moisture when and where you need it.  It comes with the loveliest fragrance that is half flowery, half herbal, all subtle and does dissipate within minutes of application.  Perfect for those with sensative skin and those wanting to incorporate a moisturizing cream without fear of a major facial setback.      

Here is what the old packaging looked like.  Still beautiful, and the product inside was still the same, ever trusted skincare you've come to love.  Now it just has a beautiful new look!

I also received the Hydrating Night Cream...

This luxurious feeling cream is just like the day cream in that it packs a plumping and moisturizing punch to your skin but in a rich, nourishing formula. Derma E tells us that "this extra-rich, intensely hydrating night cream replenishes anti-aging moisture to skin while you sleep.  Vegan based Hyaluronic Acid replumps the skin, reducing the appearance of dryness, fine lines & wrinkles.  Also contains  antioxidant-rich Green Tea and enriching Vitamins A, C and E to help soften and smooth the look of dehydrated skin." - Derma E

Well, now that we know why I love them,  go HERE and learn about their entire line of ranges including Essentials, Purifying, Theraputic, Sensative Skin, Very Clear, Sun Care and more.

Remember that you can find Derma E and its range at these retailers near you - Ulta, Target, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Walgreens, GNC, CVS, Ralphs, Meijer and many local natural stores in your areas.  Remember to check to see if your lucky to have your particular location carry the line you want!

Again, check out Derma E on their website HERE to learn more about where you can find Derma E and its products, their mission, ingredients and all updates.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Continue that summer glow with Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer

*DISCLAIMER - Item sent by company for the purposes of testing/reviewing.  All words are 100% my own unless noted.  I am not being financially compensated for this post.**POWERED BRANDBACKER*

This summer, I was lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time outdoors and this led to my first tan in years.  I had forgotten what it was like to look healthy and bronze.  Now, don't get me wrong, I've got melanin, I know.  But I am always on the lighter shade of things so it was a change for me.  With that tan, I was a rocking a pretty sweet glow that I am was afraid of losing with the autumn here and winter just around the corner.  Thankfully, Valentia stepped in with their Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer and took care of any concern I had!

Let's get to the details...
Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer comes in a 4.0fl.oz/120ml dark glass bottle with a pump dispenser.  This moisturizer retails for $25.00 USD.  Moisturizer can be purchased through Amazon HERE.

"Packed with brightening power, this moisturizer helps to lighten pigmentation marks and enhance the radiance of your overall complexion.  With energizing antioxidants like Ginseng and Kojic Acid to control melanin production, dark spots are faded and collagen production is enhanced, revealing firmer more even skin.  Skin moisture is replenished is protected with Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Safflower and Shea Butter.  Tired and Dull looking skin is restored to unveil a healthier, more vibrant glow." - Valentia

The Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer is a lightweight yet moisturizing lotion that leaves skin with a radiant glow.  I was surprised because at first pump, the lotion itself seems very basic.  Once blended into the skin, you start to feel how soft and plump the skin becomes.  The lotion is very fast absorbing and leaves no trace of film afterward.  It is softly scented but the smell starts to fade soon after application.  I find that this plays well with my current multi-step facial routine.  This does brighten and make skin glow.  The feeling of moisture lasts for a huge chunk of the day and in areas where I normally get oily when introducing a new cream, I have minimal oil production.  After the first 2 weeks, I noticed a bit of fading on some of my darker spots.  I even used this cream down my neck, decolletage and arms and it has been a godsend on my arms (I suffer from keratosis pilaris) and this has smoothed them quite a bit.

Valentia keeps knocking them out of the park and cannot wait to see what they release next!

Things to remember and check out..!

Valentia is Cruelty Free.

Learn more about their products here

Follow them on Facebook here

Follow them on Instagram HERE

*DISCLAIMER - Item sent by company for the purposes of testing/reviewing.  All words are 100% my own unless noted.  I am not being financially compensated for this post.*

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

LUKE Mugwort Nose Strip - review

*DISCLAIMER - Item(s) sent by company for the purpose of testing/review.  All opinions and words are 100% my own.  I am not being financially compensated for this review.*

I am an avid nose strip user.  Yes, I know there are people who say you should not use them, that they cause more harm than good.  Well, you know what?  I like to use them, I find them effective and continue to use them as an integral part of my skincare routine.  Well, enough of that rant.  Let's get on with the stripping ;)...

I was sent this lovely strip by Natural Beauty Skincare, a lovely site that has tons of skincare from Asian skincare with brands like LUKE, aritaum, leaders, mediheal and more.  The LUKE Nose Strips come in three different varieties (Charcoal, Mugwort and Lemon Tea Tree) and right now retail for just $0.65 cents USD!!!

Beware, nose pore closeup!!! 
Before - there is obvious congestion on my nose.  Pore size is something I also struggle with, which is why I like to keep those suckers as clean as I can.  I washed with a basic, non-abrasive face wash so that I could see the extent of the powers of the strip!

As with all skincare, I followed the steps as stated on the package:
1 wet nose
2 apply strip
3 wait 10-20 minutes
4 remove and enjoy

Its blue, its blue!
This strip dried down so quickly...that was something I was not anticipating.  It adhered to the skin nicely without needing my face to be doused with water.  I will say though, there was a weird herbal, sulfuric scent to this that was a bit disconcerting, but thankfully, subsided quickly.  Removal of the strip was just like any other.  Since this had stuck on good and proper, it did leave my skin a bit red.  But it lifted the demon scum from my pores and for that, I am grateful.

After -

Nose was cleaner and skin was smooth.  Redness went away after a few short minutes and I was happy.  That nose looks a lot more pleasant...doesn't it?


See those little "trees" sticking out?  Yup.  Goners!!!

Check out what Skin18 has to offer by checking them out HERE.  *not an affiliate link, I am not being paid by skin18*

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Give your lashes a boost with Wet n Wild's photofocus Lash Primer

*DISCLAIMER - Item(s) for this review purchased by the passenger element blog.*

WetnWild photofocus Lash Primer
I can imagine what you might be thinking...I'm busy I really need to prime my lashes also?? :/.  Well, no, you don't have to.  But let me show you why you might after reading this...

Wet n Wild's photofocus Lash Primer is widely available at drugstores and also big box stores such as Wal-Mart.  This was purchased at my local Walgreen's for $4.99 USD.  It is packaged as any typical mascara would be with a midsize spoolie on one end.  Contained inside are 0.27fl.oz/8ml of cream product.  According to Wet n Wild's website, this only comes in one color - 849B Committed a Prime.

This primers blend of waxes also contains vitamins A, E and D-Panthenol to give lashes an added boost of health while building lash length and volume!

The creamy primer formulation is somewhere between wet and dry.  It is akin to when I like to age a mascara and open it and let it sit to make it easier to layer/dry.  The brush coated lashes pretty well, aside from some clumps here and there.  It separated my lashes really well!  I was surprised to see that it did not cake up my lashes into sections.

Clean lashes - eye makeup was left without liner so that you could see the impact of the primer and mascara on its own without any help.

Lashes - Primer added.  Heavier white areas denote larger deposits of the primer.

This is one coat of primer and one coat of a popular drugstore mascara.

Lashes are slightly thickened and lengthened even more.  Mascara and the photofocus primer work well with each other.

I'm really happy with the results.  I used the mascara here the most with the primer, but I also used quite a few other mascaras, both drugstore and high end.  I did not find that the mascaras flaked at all and was really happy with the condition of my lashes after removal.  During removal, it felt as if I had used 2 to 3 layers of mascara, so the process took a bit longer than usual, but nothing that was too much or annoying to handle.  The primer does have a bit of a chemical scent that goes away rather quickly after application.

Repurchase - absolutely.  Definitely a great way to turn dud mascaras into something better!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

dear Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream SPF40, PA+++

*DISCLAIMER - Item(s) sent by 08liter in exchange for an honest review.  I am not being financially compensated for this review.  All words and opinions are 100% my own.*

As I am becoming more active about my skincare routine, I researched and fell hard for Korean beauty.  Yup, officially obsessed with kbeauty now, and though I am still a newb, I have found some products I already love and some that I am super excited to try.  One of those products is a tried and true BB Cream.  A BB Cream, or blemish balm, is a workhorse, kind of does it all products.  It does everything from color correction, wrinkle care, brightens, whitens, sun care, pore care, oil control...the list goes on and on.  Here in the states, many "bb creams" are released, but none come close to asian bb creams.

Thanks to I had the chance to try a lovely bb by the name of dear Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream SPF 40, PA+++.

Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream
Here we have dear Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream!  Here are its particulars...

+Plastic Tube with screw top
+Contains 40ml of cream product
+Retails anywhere from $18 - 22 USD.  Can be found at known outlets like Amazon, wishtrend, etc.
+Contains SPF 40, PA+++
+Claims - to whiten, provides wrinkle care and sebum control

Let's just get this out of the way first....western BB creams have NOTHING on its Asian counterparts. What we get here are nothing more than glorified tinted moisturizers.  From high end to drug store, I have yet to find one that promises or delivers like I heard eastern BB creams can.

Since this experience was my first with what I deemed a legit BB cream, I had no idea what to expect.  Unfortunately, a few weeks before I received this, I had gotten a tan from helping a friend move.  And boy did I tan.  Let's just say if you know you are going to be outdoors moving with no sun cover, don't buy new foundations just days before :/.

Here we have Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream, one heavy swatch and one blended.  This was taken with no flash, under kitchen/day lights.

Here is the BB cream taken with flash photography under the same kitchen/day lights.

* Scent -  a light, pleasant combo of makeup and skincare, fades a few minutes after application.  I think even those that do not like scented products would not mind this.
* Texture - lightweight in texture, but with enough body to spread evenly.  Once blended, skin feels tacky for a few minutes.
* Application - melts nicely into the skin.  Even when applied in 2 or 3 layers (for discoloration), it layered nicely over itself and over my current concealer.  Once on, product remains tacky for a few moments.  Does dry down to a skin feel, but dewy appearance.
* Wear - This wore lovely on the skin, no primer, but I did set with a powder. 6 hours had lapsed before I noticed any immediate need to blot/reapply powder.  Skin feels soft throughout the day.  I did notice that this wore rather thickly in my hairline and stuck around that way for a while.  Brush application there seemed best for avoiding that.
* Color - As far as I know, this only comes in one shade.  Had I been the color I usually am around winter, this would have been a good match.  I did notice a heavy white cast, due to the sun protection, and also on the face, this made me look a bit grey.  It was nothing a bit of correcting with powder couldn't fix.

pre application
post application
Have been loving the feel and look of my skin during this trial with Klairs.  Look forward to seeing my skin in a few weeks and also getting my hands on some more Klairs products!

Enjoy, D

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summertime Beauty Giveaway

Yup, it is that time again...Giveaway time!  And what for?  The past 6 months were huge for me.  In between full time class load at school, a death in the family and overall general craziness, life became overwhelming.  And many of you stuck around to see and give love to the few posts I was able to muster.  For that, I cannot thank you enough.  So, as a token of my gratitude, here are two prize packs that are available for you guys!  Yup, that means 2 lucky winners!  Follow the widget below to enter!  Because its summertime and who doesn't need some new pretties?  Good luck all!

* TonyMoly Im Real Lemon Brightening Mask
* Aurora Gel Effect nail polish in 4 Alarm Fire
* Pacifica shadow single in Treasure
* Wet n Wild Fergie Collection lipstick in Fergie Daily

* TonyMoly Im Real Lemon Brightening Mask
* Aurora Gel Effect nail polish in Old School Pink
* Peony Shadow Trio
* Wet n Wild Fergie Collection lipstick in Saraghina

a Rafflecopter giveaway

giveaway available to US residents only.  Starts 7/15/2016 - 8/5/2016.  Winners will be chosen through  Emails used to contact winners, they will never be sold.  If under 18, please get your parents permission.  Winner will be notified over various social media channels.  IF winner does not claim prize, another will be chosen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

About Face - the basic ins and outs of my skin

So...before we even start, there will be faces of my naked skin, no filters, no creams, potions or lotions.  Just freshly washed skin.

I've wanted to do this post for such a long time.  First, because I am deep in the throws of a skincare obsession that shows no signs of waning.  And secondly, because I review makeup, I wear it and I need to get better about posting FOTD's, but it would be nice to show you what I am working with.  I am hoping that this goes far in helping someone that may share some similarities with me.

Alright, here we go...

Tanned against my will, freshly washed face, no product
So here is my mugshot.  I recently helped a friend move coming on a week now.  I was much paler before this and now am toasty brown.  Anymore sun and I will definitely be hitting brownie status.  But here we are...lets go down the list of exactly what nature is throwing my way!

*dark circles (horrible sleep schedule that I keep)
*hyperpigmentation (Im sure getting sun the other day didnt help, but I've been getting kind of impatient with pimples and bumps recently, so I have been picking more than I usually do)
*fine lines under the eyes (yup, its starting...but hey, I laugh and smile, sue me.  It shows!)
*texture (bumps all over the place!  I try to keep this in check and though I won some battles, I have not won the war yet :( )
*dryness - another war I have not won yet...moisturizers galore and exfoliation to boot and I have yet to find something that will kill the dryness monster altogether!
*oiliness - don't get me started.  Your typical combo-oily gal, T-zone oily poster I am!

Issues, I haz them
Let's start from the a teenager, I was lucky enough (thanks mom and dad) that I did not have a traumatic experience with teenage acne.  Mom started me on Noxema cream from a very early age, that and okay, yeah, I let her pick my face.  I attribute the condition of my skin then to those two things.  Slightly oily in the tzone, normal everywhere else, I had no trouble with any makeup or skincare I decided to add to my routine.  I state confidently that I had normal, not in the slightest sensitive, great skin.  This followed throughout my 20's, with hormonal acne taking a bigger bite out of my face, but nothing I could not handle.  Then came my late 20's to early 30's....and here is where it got ... weird.

Texture and peach fuzz galore!
In my 30's, my skin changed quite a bit.  Gone were the days where I could slather whatever lotion or foundation I could get my hands on and not experience any changes with my skin.  I started to experience sensitivities that I had not in my younger years.  Redness around my nose, dry patches on cheeks, forehead, and corners of mouth, hyperpigmentation, texture that I could not exfoliate off, increased pore size, fine lines (which I expected though).  I am sure there are a myriad of other details but hey, I'm sensitive :p.

I am hoping this gives you a good look into my specific makeup and helps you and I track what future skincare works or doesn't.  You may have my issues, maybe more, maybe less, but let's see if we can't get to a much more improved state together!  I decided to take a break from a lot of the previous skincare I was using to cleanse my skin and also to introduce new products.

You guys will see all the new things I am obsessing over soon :)

Let's start this journey...shall we?

xo, D