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:
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
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.
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
Men’s grooming favorites shown from left to right:
Clarisonic Alphafit (review here) is the first Clarisonic made for men, I bought this for my husband earlier in the year, he was skeptical that it would do anything but he loves it and says it’s helped reduce oil and is instrumental in prepping his face for shaving
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash for Men – I bought this Starter Kit for my husband earlier this year and he discovered a lot of new favorites, the Facial Fuel Face Wash is something I borrow from him from time to time, cleans the skin and makes it feel refreshed, he says it’s good for oily skin but doesn’t dry out the face
Is it too early for spring beauty yet? For those looking forward, there is a lot on the horizon for spring that focuses on fresh and glowing beauty. I’ve already spotted sneak peeks of new foundation releases from Chanel, Laura Mercier, YSL, Armani, NARS to name a few – all to be launching soon. For now, here’s a roundup of new beauty launches on my radar that you can purchase right now if you need instant gratification. I placed a large order a couple days ago for some Dior spring items and also picked up a few pieces from Chanel spring. I’ll be testing them in the next week and have swatches as soon as I can.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic just launched the Magic Skin Trilogy with two new additions to her Magic Line. I’m a huge fan of her Magic Cream ($100) and couldn’t be more thrilled to see it available now in the Magic Night Cream ($145) and Magic Eye Rescue Cream ($60). I’ve been testing both of the new items for 3 days now, will have a report back after a few more days but I can say now that the Magic Night Cream is phenomenal – I wake up with glowing skin. (Also available in a Magic Skin Trilogy Set for $285.)
Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint ($33) launched a few weeks ago. I went to two counters to see if they had it in stock and both had sold out so I ordered it online. I’m excited to see how it compares to the ones from Clarins and Dior.
Dior has a couple spring launches, one is a Lip Glow collection which features the Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Lip Balm ($33) in Lilac. As a fan of the pink and coral, I’m really excited to see how this one wears.
Dior Glowing Gardens for Spring has light and airy colors with powders ebossed with gorgeous floral designs. The Diorskin Nude Air Illuminating Powders ($58) in Glowing Pink and Glowing Nude look so pretty. There are two Eyeshadow Palettes in Blue Garden and Rose Garden ($63 each) but as one who rarely wears aqua or green eyeshadow, I will need to test before splurging.
The Sephora VIB Holiday 20% off sale starts today for VIB Members in store (with your e-mail code or coupon mailer) and online with code VIB20. I am a VIB Rouge member and tested the code today to see if it would work (because several e-mailed me asking me to test it) but it doesn’t. I have a roundup of what I bought last week when the code worked for VIB Rouge Members along with some quick swatches of the color/makeup items. I shopped in store – there were a few things in my online cart that were online exclusives but I didn’t check out before the sale ended – no biggie since I splurged on a lot of other goodies. Here’s the damage below.
For my husband, I picked up the Dior Sauvage Eau De Toilette Spray in the 2 oz bottle. He prefers smaller bottles because they take up less counter space. I had the 3 piece gift set on my list for him, but it’s an online exclusive and he’s picky about after shave lotions. I decided to stay with what was safe. I also picked up the Tom Ford Costa Azzurra Eau de Parfum for him. It’s a fresh scent but still has enough masculine notes to wear year round. Sephora has the exclusive on the small 1 oz size so I thought I’d try it. I should have just bought the regular 1.7 oz size but my curiosity got the best of me with the tiny bottle.
Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks in Melted Nude and Melted Chihuahua have been on my list for ages, I can’t believe it took me so long to buy these, Melted Nude might just be my new holy grail nude lip color, Chihuahua is what I wanted Kat Von D Lolita to be on me
Cover FX Illuminator in Sunlight has had so many raves, I had to try it, I’ve worn it 2x so far, I’m undecided about it, it’s like but not pure love, for the price it’s good
Sephora Colorful Contour Powder in Fiji and Highlighter in Secretive can’t be beat at the $15 price tag (for each), I was hoping Secretive would be a dupe for Chanel Coups de Minuit, but the Sephora color is a lot sheerer in finish, Fiji is a nice warm subtle contour
Cover FX Illuminating Primer is another highly raved about primer, I have high hopes for it, currently testing, will report soon
Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos in Café/Pepper (for me) and Latte/Cortado (as a gift) of course I could not resist these cute lip duos, Café is the best light pink ever, I wish it was available in the full size lipstick
There were also mini Glam Glow samples for beauty insider points in store so I redeemed some points for the newest one
If you shopped the sale last week or are planning to shop the VIB Sale this weekend, let me know what’s on your list or what you picked up. Would love to hear about your hauls 🙂
If you’re shopping in store, you can show the card or e-mail you received for the VIB Code or Coupon. If you’re shopping online at Sephora.com use code VIB20 (good for VIB members only), you should be able to use it multiple times online from today until November 16th.
The Sephora Beauty Insider event is happening this month! VIB Rouge Members get early access starting today where you can get 15% off your purchases online at Sephora.com with code ROUGELOVE and in stores by showing the mailer or copy of the e-mail you received with the barcodes 4/12 through 4/21. VIB and other Beauty Insider Members will have access at later dates (will update as more as I receive more info).
I placed an order online this morning to avoid the crowds, although quite a few of the Surratt Beauty items I had on my wish list sold out already. I’ll have my haul to share with you in the next week (my package is expected to arrive Tuesday or Wednesday).
In the meantime if you need some recommendations here is a list of items I’ve reviewed from the past few years that are good to save on. Sales on mid to high-end luxury products rarely occur except with the occasional friends and family discounts. In the mix a few splurges along with classic staples.
Caudalie Purifying Mask and Detox Mask $39 each just arrived a few days from my order, I couldn’t wait for the sale to try these, I’ve tested these two and they are incredibly gentle on the skin but very effective – detailed review as I test the other two
NARS Dual Intensity Blushes $45 each come in six options, I’ve been obsessed with Craving although I haven’t had a chance to post the review yet, since these are pricey now is a good time to save on these
Make Up For Ever Dany’s Pouch $31 is something I bought at The Makeup Show LA, it’s a round brush holder you can use for travel, it’s sturdy so your brushes won’t get smashed if you put the case in a large carry on or suitcase
Did you buy anything for the VIB Rouge Beauty Insider sale at Sephora? If you’re shopping online be sure to enter in the code ROUGELOVE at checkout. If you’re a VIB/Beauty Insider Member, what’s on your wish list or in your shopping cart?
I haven’t done a monthly favorites roundup in a while since I find my favorites rotate quite frequently. I like to mix things up and change things around. This month I narrowed down a favorites list to some items I’ve been enjoying thoroughly. As always I’d love to hear from you about your favorites for the past month. (The items below include links to previous reviews where applicable.)
This month feels like it’s been all about new lip releases. I’m still working on reviews for the new Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine but will say right now these new Dior glosses are phenomenal. I’ve been loving them a lot – they have the perfect mix of color and shine. I have all the swatches and review finished but still need to pull colors for comparison swatches.
For the skin I’ve been going through a lot of masks. My favorite is the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask. It’s the best clarifying face mask I’ve tried that is good for sensitive skin. It will draw out impurities and is gentle enough to use multiple times a week. I like it because it smells like a spa and it doesn’t irritate the skin. My favorite new cleanser discovery is the Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser. It’s a bit too strong for daily use but I do use it multiple times per week.
For eyeshadow palettes, the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con in The Dreamer has a beautiful mix of warm neutrals. There are golds, corals, champagnes and tan shimmers with a really good matte brown. This one is what I wanted Lolita to be. Let me know if you want a full review of this one.
For fragrance, I’ve become smitten with the Byredo Bibliothèque, Cotton Poplin and Fleur Fantôme set from Net-A-Porter. These are so cute although pricey, it’s a nice way to try the candles at a cheaper price than buying the full size. My favorite is still Fleur Fantôme (which I have the full size of). Full review to come soon.
Last but not least, I’ve still been loving the Lumira Paradisium perfume. It’s the perfect mix of florals with a hint of fig.
Glamglow recently expanded their mask line to include new mud to foam cleansers. I’m a huge fan of their face masks so I knew I had to try the recently released cleansers. I purchased two of the new cleansers in the Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser ($39 for 5 oz) and Thirstycleanse Daily Treatment Cleanser ($39 for 5 oz) from Sephora the week they launched back in January. Today I have a review of both to share after extensively testing both.
Both the cleansers are designed for daily use. I found them to be gentler versions of their mask counterparts. The scents are identical to the mask formulas which I find soothing and refreshing. They both come cased in a hefty cardboard cylinder which keeps both of the cleansers in tact inside – a huge plus especially if you order online, you can rest assured that these are well protected. The cleansers come with a pump dispenser. I usually use two pumps of product although some may need three.
The Glamglow cleansers are mud to foam cleansers. A Sephora rep did a small demo on the back of my hand in store with the Supercleanse to show how it works. I was amazed at how it really smoothed the skin and also removed redness. A comparison of a treated hand to one that wasn’t treated showed a noticeable difference. The way you use these is pretty self explanatory and there are easy to use instructions on the packaging. Apply the mud on dry skin and massage into the face. Leave it on for as long as you would like (it was recommended a couple minutes at most). Then add water to your hands and massage it into the product to create a foam. Since these are thick mud cleansers, I found there wasn’t really a traditional foaming result with just a tiny bit of water, but it did create a creamy lather with water added. I found the foaming action to be very subtle. Then rinse off completely.
Deciding on which one to buy will depend on your skin type. I will say upfront that I prefer the Supercleanse to clear the skin and clean out pores. Although these are gentle and designed for everyday, for my skin I think these are still too strong for daily use. For me they are better suited for every other day use. More thoughts on each below.
The Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is based on the Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask. It’s designed for problem skin and helps remove pore-clogging debris and impurities. It claims to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections and create a mattified, super clear complexion. I found all to be true. It works as an excellent clearing treatment cleanser and really does work to draw out impurities. Some have reported that it caused breakouts or a purging period. After using this I did have a few breakouts surface on the chin (3 to be exact). But none on other areas of the face and there were no additional breakouts after a week. The Supercleanse has a slightly cool feel on the skin but it’s not tingly. After using it I found it does give the skin a slightly tight feel with a matte finish.
These are described as being able to remove all traces of makeup. I found this to be true except for eye makeup since you don’t really want the mud to get into the eyes, I recommend removing eye makeup with a cotton pad and your go-to eye makeup remover first, then follow with this cleanser.
I like using this one at the end of the day or after a work out. It calms and cleanses the skin thoroughly. I found daily use didn’t dry out my skin although it did start to feel a bit too tight. I like this one every other day at most.
-TEAOXI® Technology (Eucalyptus Leaf Powder): Delivers natural eucalyptol, natural linalool oil, and powerful flavonoids to soothe and treat skin.
-K17 and Mediterranean Clays: Detoxify, refine skin texture, and balance problem-prone skin.
-Bamboo Charcoal: Provides balanced replenishment to the skin with essential bamboo minerals.
-Black Cumin Seed Extract: Provides antimicrobial and antioxidant properties to help provide a more clear complexion.
The Glamglow Thirstycleanse Daily Treatment Cleanser is a designed for dry or dehydrated skin but I found this to be quite drying on my normal combination skin. The product description details that it is formulated with ingredients to boost skin for intense hydration, replenish skin, and restore the skin barrier function. It’s supposed to create a hydrated, silky, and dewy fresh complexion. After using this I found the skin to feel more tight compared to use with the Supercleanse. It did leave the skin feeling silky and smooth but there was no dewy look and it definitely did not feel hydrated.
I didn’t experience any reactions or breakouts although my skin did feel slightly irritated after using this. The Thirstycleanse does an excellent job at removing all traces of makeup just like the Supercleanse but for something that is designed for dry skin I would have liked to feel more moisture. For this one I would recommend try before you buy. If you are in search of a moisture treatment, I’d recommend you opt for or stick with the Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment Mask instead. I have sensitive skin and have had no issues with the mask (it’s one of my favorites). The cleanser on the other hand didn’t work so well for me mainly because I didn’t find it hydrating and it also left my skin feeling tingly after rinsing. It’s too bad that it didn’t work as I had hoped since it smells amazing (like coconut and almonds) and feels amazing when it’s on the skin too. It’s the after part that doesn’t feel so great.
-TEAOXI® Olive Leaf Powder: Micronized to deliver natural linoleic acid to maintain moisture.
-Rare Brazilian Yellow Clay: Helps remineralize the skin and rinse away impurities, leaving skin softer and smoother without stripping moisture.
-Pure Green Coconut Water: Naturally high in vitamins and amino acids to immediately boost and replenish skin for intense hydration and lasting moisturization.
-South Pacific Plumeria Flower Blossom Extract: Rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 to restore the skin barrier function.
Bottom line is I think they are both worth looking into. I’ve already ordered a backup of the Supercleanse because I know I’ll run out of my first bottle within the next month. Both are available now at Sephora and Glamglow. They are also releasing cleansers to match their other masks as well but I have not yet seen or tried them yet.
Have you tried these Glamglow Mud to Foam Cleansers? What did you think? If you’re a Glamglow fan, which is your favorite mask to use?
Happy Friday everyone! I’m relieved it’s almost the weekend. We have 80+ degree weather in Southern California right now, it’s like winter never came and we are in a non-stop state of summer (I’m not complaining, although I do feel like I should have a tan right now). A few things I’ve spotted new in the beauty world:
Christian Louboutin Beaute has a new Python Vulcano Limited Edition Nail Colour Coffret ($90, limited-edition) for spring. The three shades include Salonu, True Blue, and Hot Chick. I want to see this one in person as it looks stunning although I only own 1 yellow nail polish (Chanel Mimosa) and rarely wear it.
Glamglow released their new cleansers ($39 each for 5 oz) in Supercleanse (Daily Clearing Cleanser), Thirstycleanse (Daily Treatment Cleanser) and Youthcleanse (Daily Exfoliating Cleanser). I have the white and blue ones that I bought a few weeks ago and am completely obsessed with both. Detailed review next week.
Bobbi Brown has a new Sunkissed Nude Collection Set ($120, limited-edition) at Neiman Marcus. If you’ve been eyeing things at Neimans, save your shopping for next week when their Beauty Week Event starts on the 18th.
Chanel has released some new items this month. The Collection La Perle de Chanel has a new Harmonie Levres Lip Palette, Joues Contraste in Crescendo, Illusion D’Ombre in Mysterio, Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Perle de Lune along with more items for lips and eyes. If you’re shopping for Valentine’s Day, the have complimentary overnight shipping with orders $125+ (until 5 PM EST). I ordered several items + a few of the new Rouge Cocos. I’ll be swatching and photographing this weekend.
Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks ($45 each, 5 shades) have finally launched in the US. I have a few that I ordered, I’ll be swatting and have a review in the next week (fingers crossed).
Giorgio Armani has two Limited-Edition Runway pieces, a Runway Palette ($120 for highlighter + 3 shadows) cased in an embroidered silk pouch and a new Rouge Sheer Runway Lipstick ($40). The palette looks incredibly beautiful but I’m not sure about the price point.