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Roundup Skincare

Best in Skincare and Grooming 2015

December 31, 2015
I discovered a lot of new favorites in 2015 for skincare. I’ve compiled a list of items I consider game changers that have made a significant difference for my skin over the past year improving texture, clarity, and smoothness. I struggled over 2014 with lots of stress with some life changes and didn’t take the best care of myself health-wise. It impacted my skin and took months to recover. In 2015 my husband also went outside of his comfort zone to try more in skincare and grooming. We’ve rounded up our favorites for the past year. First up, best skincare picks for me:

Shown above featured from left to right:
  • Le Mieux 4-in-1 Ultrasonic Anti-Aging Skin Perfecter* (review here) best cleaning device tool discovered this year, helps to clean pores and with gentle extractions that won’t break the skin
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser (review here) best daily cleanser to help clarify skin, clean pores and help prevent breakouts
  • Tatcha Indigo Triple Recovery Cream* the entire Tatcha Indigo Line actually should be on the list as I’ve found every item I’ve tried to be a game changer for my sensitive skin. It’s great for those who have eczema, for me it helped moisturize and soothe irritated and inflamed skin on flare up days, you can try the entire line in the Soothing Indigo Mini Set
  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream (review here) one of my top day creams
  • Eve Lom Brightening Cream* (review here and here) also in the top day creams which really helped with brightening the complexion and lightening dark spots and acne scars
  • Kate Somerville Dermal Quench and Dermal Quench with Retinol * (review here and here) experiencing the Kate Somerville line in person this year at the clinic in Los Angeles changed my life, I had always been interested in the line but didn’t know where to start, having an in person assessment and facial helped me pick out what would be best for my skin, the Dermal Quench items have been game changers to improve skin texture for day and night, helps give the skin a lift and also reduce redness
  • Hourglass Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum* (review here) I wrote about this back in February after giving it a thorough 50+ day test (or night that is), it comes with a hefty price tag but I found it to be the biggest game changer for my skin, at the beginning of the year I had horrible skin texture, lots of dark spots from acne scars, breakouts on the chin area – nothing I tried seemed to restore my skin and at that point I was too scared to use anything with retinol. This completely restored my skin in a gentle non-irritating way. It’s a night treatment that helped with resurfacing and rebalancing. I continued using it weekly throughout the year as needed and I’m almost finished with the bottle. Whenever I feel my skin starting to act up this has hands down been the best treatment to help improve texture.
  • Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen* (reviewed here and here) best sunscreen I’ve ever tried that doubles as a matte primer, helps smooth skin, doesn’t look white on the face, keeps oil controlled
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream* back in November, my skin suffered a serious allergic reaction to Neosporin. I put it on a couple scabs that I had picked from acne to help with the healing process, instead my face literally blew up into a serious rash with tons of deep red bumps and swelling. It took around five weeks for my face to recover (it wasn’t bad enough for any prescription treatment, I was told the only thing to do was wait for it all to heal). The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream was one of the few creams I could use for my irritated inflamed skin. My friends swear by it. I really love it.
  • L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil* best facial oil that I like to use at night or weekends on no makeup days, helps restore the skin’s glow and moisturize without being too greasy, bottle lasts forever as a little goes a long way
  • Chanel Sublimage Eye Cream after all the eye creams I’ve tested this is still my favorite

For my husband, best in men’s grooming:

Men’s grooming favorites shown from left to right:

What were your skincare favorites? Any new discoveries that you found to be game changers?

Press samples featured with a * indicator next to the product names.

Jo Malone Tea Fragrance Blends: Fresh & Light

February 24, 2011

Jo Malone has released a limited edition collection of five tea inspired colognes perfectly described as “tempting, refreshing and engagingly unexpected.” There are three tea inspired fragrances Assam & Grapefruit, Earl Grey & Cucumber and Fresh Mint Leaf ($55 each for 30 ml). The other two colognes Sweet Milk and Sweet Lemon are the layering scents designed to be spritzed and combined with the other tea fragrances to reflect the actual tea drinking experience. Each scent in this collection is amazingly delicious and I ended up with four of the five.

Assam & Grapefruit citrus grapefruit with a spicy herbal undertone, mate, cardamom, almond and patchouli: Reminiscent of the Lime Basil and Grapefruit scents because of the citrus undertone, but overall more spicy and herbal with a musty smell. One of the more complex scents in the tea collection, but still simple and pure.

Earl Grey & Cucumber top notes are bergamot with cucumber, vanilla & musk undertones: Earl Grey is actually one of my least favorite teas to drink simply because it reminds me of a flower. The scent of Earl Grey is very soothing and delicious, I just am not a fan of flowery teas. Put into a bottle combined with cucumber and a hint of vanilla translates into a fresh and light cologne. Those who are familiar with Aqua di Parma’s Mirto di Panarea Eau de Toilette is similar in undertone (the bergamot) however, the Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber is a lighter, milder and less spicy and overall less complex version of the Aqua di Parma.

Sweet Milk creamy sweet blend of star anise, almond and vanilla: This smells like a scrumptious tea cookie. Sweet creamy vanilla scents are hit or miss for me. There’s something calming about milk based scents but sometimes on the skin the fragrance can turn once mixed with one’s natural body chemistry. The result is sometimes nauseating. At a first spritz of Sweet Milk on the small paper strip, I almost gagged. My Jo Malone rep assured me it was not as sweet on the skin and he was right. I layered this with the Earl Grey and it turned out to be a surprisingly nice combination. Still, I don’t think this scent is for everyone, if you get a chance to smell this, try this on the skin rather than just on the paper.

Sweet Lemon lemon, sugar, pineapple, peach and fresh green cypress: A fresh sweet lemony scent that smells like something picked fresh from a garden. The peach undertones evoke a slight pear-like scent (very slight). The cypress gives this a slightly earthy smell which prevents this from being overly citrus.

Fresh Mint was absolutely delicious but I simply couldn’t picture myself wearing the scent. I think it would have made a lovely candle. The intensity of these colognes is soft which, unfortunately, makes lasting power only about 4 hours. After 4 hours, I can still smell remnants of the cologne on my wrist, but it is significantly faded. Still, I prefer more natural scents. It would be great if these were upped in intensity a few notches to last longer, but I love each of these for their pure and simple quality. Other than the intensity, the only other things I wish were different: why limited edition and why not in other forms like candles, body creams, and bath gels?

Have you tried Jo Malone Colognes before? $55 for the amount seems extremely pricey, but the exquisite clean packaging along with the luxe boxes make these irresistible to at least pick up and try. Neiman Marcus currently has a gift with purchase instore and online. The top photo features two mini colognes in Grapefruit and Orange Blossom in a small leather case with a $150 purchase.