Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Perricone Blue Plasma for a non-irritating face peel

Given our skin is the largest organ of the body, when it's not at its best, the first signs of that will often surface on our skin. Which is why we sometimes have bad skin week. It generally comes around whenever we are run-down, didn't get enough/proper rest or are just plain stressed.

That's been happening to me of late. Aside from the hormonal break outs on my chin, my skin just looks a bit sallow and dry, lacks vitality and is very reactive with any strong product (which my skin normal tolerates well) causing sensitivity, redness, and additional break outs on my cheeks and around the temple area.

So in search of something that can help clear my skin whilst I de-stress my body and mind, I found it in a blue bottle of liquid from Dr. Perricone which promises to give me smooth soft radiant skin without causing inflammation, abrasions or micro-scarring, irritation or redness, photo-sensitivity or requiring any down time.

Perricone MD Blue Plasma

Blue Plasmas seeks to increase the skin's natural renewal produce by increasing the rate of cell turnover - this sounds pretty much like a exfoliator, yet it isn't one. It appears to act like a peel and it isn't that either, not in the traditional sense anyway.

Here is an excerpt from the official marketing of this quirky product:
A non-acidic daily peel for brightness and radiance. The revolutionary technology of Blue Plasma reinvents the action of more traditional peels or exfoliators. It bio-specifically peels only dead skin cells, micro-purifies the pores and hydro-fuses the skin with nutrient rich water.
Slightly sticky with a faint but unremarkable scent, this blue (it's blue because of the dye but it's supposed to replicate the blue of the copper gluconate in the product) fluid  is meant to be used after on cleansed skin once a day (either morning or evening is fine).You apply the product into skin (I dispense a dropper for each side of the face and another one for the forehead and nose, chin area) and use the patting motion to pressed it into skin until it's absorbed before continuing with your regular skincare routine of serums and/or moisturisers.

The first thing I notice is that skin is immediately re-hyrdated thanks the the hyaluronic acid and aloe combination. It's other key ingredients list is also impressive - the enzymes in the hydrolised salmon egg roe attacks only the dead skin cells on the surface level to help gently speed up the shedding of skin. The amino acid L-carnitine unclogs congested skin and bring to surface impurities within skin, magnolia bark extract to sooth irritations, copper ions to promote skin cell healing and  ptersostilbene provide anti-oxidant functions to give skin radiance and clarity.
look how dry my skin is lately - immediate hydration after applying just one dropper of Blue Plasma
When using Blue Plasma, the irritations and flare ups on my skin often will die down within 15 minutes after application, which makes it great for those for sensitive skin who normally wouldn't consider any peel products as those can be too harsh on sensitised or reactive skin. Other than that, I don't really notice anything different in this product than any other serums.

I didn't experience any flaking skin with its use, yet it looked like I have renewed skin after 4 days' use. I notice that my skin tone is clearer - the sallowness has disappeared. In fact, Blue Plasma helped to rid me of flakes around my blemishes that were being dried up by acne creams and accelerating the healing of the blemishes. My skin is now calmed down and smoother again.

After 2.5 weeks of almost daily use, I am more than impressed by its ability to speed up healing of minor blemishes, and ability to gently exfoliate skin without any irritation and causing further flaking during the process. The fact that it doesn't cause photo-sensivity like many other 'peel' products is a winner as we head towards the summer months.

My skin is now softer, smoother, clearer and more even in tone. I can't say that the result is entirely from using this product alone as I use other skincare products on top of Blue Plasma and also use a cleansing brush (Clarisonic) to wash my face, but I definitely see that without it's addition, the results just isn't as efficient and I don't get the clear skin as quickly as I do with its use.

Blue Plasma is really a mini facial in a bottle and the new generation of home face peels; you don't need to go to salons to get the coveted radiant clear skin if you have this bottle in your beauty cabinet. And best of all, it is effect for all skin types so anyone can use it for clear and bright skin. The only downside is that once you've discovered it, you may become addicted like I am and fear you will run out of it.

Perricone MD Blue Plasma RRP A$130 for a 59ml dropper bottle at Mecca Maxima stores and Cosmetica online in Australia. Internationals can try their Sephora stores.

This product was provided for editorial consideration. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tooling up with Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Collection Brushes

When you are looking for the flawless, streak-free finish, you need to invest in proper makeup brushes as the application of a product  is often only as good as the tool used. It used to be that you have to look high-end brands to get good quality brushes but there are now value-for-money options that does equally as good if not sometime better job.

Take the latest brush set from Real Techniques. Created by a make-up artist and you-tube beauty guru, Samantha Chapman (or Pixiwoo as we've endearingly known her), who knows tools of the trade can make or break a job sometimes so it's fantastic that she has created a line of great value duo-fibre brush set of three that makes achieving a flawless air-brushed look easy and fool-proof.
Made by synthetic duo fibres of thicker and short black to add density to the brush with longer and finer hair optic hairs to give to make blending light work. The hair on the products did not shed on me, unlike real animal hair duo fibre brushes that I own from MAC and Hakuhodo, which sheds when used with liquid products. They are also slightly firmer, but not scratchy (at least not the set I have as I've seen online comments that the eye brush bristles can be too stiff), making it easier to blend liquid and cream based products to achieve that airbrushed look.

The face brush is a flattened round shape that is tapered at the tip to create a dome shape. It is perfect for very light weight application of pigmented powders – think bright coloured blushes.  On liquid foundations, I  dot the product on skin and then stipple it in so that the results  like it was achieved with an airbrush– ie, even and diffused, giving me that perfect coverage that looks good even under a magnified mirror.
On cream based foundation I apply the product on my hand and the finish off the final blending with the duo fibre face brush to achieve the airbrushed look.

The contour brush is great for working in tricky areas like around the nose and near the eyes where the face brush would be too big for precise work.  It is also perfect for contouring with a matte bronzer to create that killer high-cheekbones look.
Using the duo-fibre brush with a Bobbi Brown shimmer brick to create the diffused glow on the face
The eye shadow brush is amazing for blending and crease work and it helps me to achieve an amazing smokey eye look every time, I even use it to smoke out my under eye area using the very tip of the brush.

I’ve now incorporated these brushes into my everyday routine and it is now a welcomed addition to my family of makeup brushes.  If you don’t yet have duo brushes in your beauty ‘toolbox’ then I highly recommend you look into these versatile and value-for-money brushes

Real Techniques Duo Fibre Collection – RRP A$49.95 is limited Edition and available at Priceline and online at the Beauty Office. Those in the US can try the Real techniques online store here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

11 uses for Lanolips Lovely Lanolin Golden Ointment

I love versatile products which is why when I tried Lanolip's  Lovely Lanolin Golden Ointment and kept finding different uses for it, I made sure it's always in my handbag wherever I go.

Packed with 60% medical grade lanolin, Manuka honey, apricot oil and vitamin E - ingredients that soothe, smooth, heal and rebuild the skin's natural protective barrier.

This light golden coloured ointment is thick and highly moisturising so a little goes a long way. It can take a bit of rubbing for the product to absorb into the skin but it is worth the extra effort for the multitude of miracles it performs on problem skin. So far, I've found 11 uses for my little tube of golden magic ointment:

  1. For itchy skin. Allergy and ezcma, psoriasis sufferers can rejoice and stay off steroid creams with the use of this ointment for minor and temporary relief of itches. Even nappy rash can be soothe with this little beauty. 
  2. On mozzie bites - A life saver when bitten, it soothes the bite and settles swelling.  Now I just have to work out how to get those mozzies to stay away from me. 
  3. As an ultra hydrating lip balm - when you'r lips are dry or chapped, nothings seals it and moisturise it like this ointment. It also has the slightly sweet taste of honey that makes it lip-smacking delicious. 
  4. As a lip exfoliator - layer it on a thicker than you would use as a lip balm and leave for a few minutes before rubbing it off gently with your fingers to remove the flakies bits off your lips. Trust me, you will love the resultant kissable soft lips.
  5. for dry elbows and knees  - it's the bee's knees for it (sorry, for the lame pun - I just couldn't help myself). 
  6. As a heel softener -  keep those feet happy and cracked heels at bay by rubbing a bit on and popping on a pair of cotton socks when you head to bed at night. In 2 weeks weeks, you'll have no cracks or rough heels in sight. 
  7. As a cuticle cream - soften cuticles and treat rough/ragged bits from your fingers by rubbing this in any time your digits feel dry.
  8. For Minor burn treatments - it seals the burn and blister area and helps prevent bacteria getting in. It also helps skin to heal faster. 
  9. As an intensive hand cream - too greasy for normal use but if your hand is super dry or like me, you do chores and wash dishes and hand wash clothing leaves your hands under stripped of moisture, then this will be your S.O.S ointment. 
  10. As an extreme weather barrier - this is great for air travel or when visiting the snow where air is dry and thin. When applying on my face, I spritz a bit of water to wet it first to make the ointment spread more easily. 
  11. As an after-shave balm - its soothes and calms irritated skin after shaving as well as provide hydration and less than a pin head size of the ointment is needed for rubbing in to the chin and each side of the face. 
So if you are after a multi-purpose product or just lacking space when traveling and want to pack light, pack a tube of this and you will be set for almost all sorts of skin situations. 

Lanolips Golden Ointment RRP A$28.95 for 50g at David Jones, Priceline, Adore Beauty online and Terry White Chemists.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Modern Muse EDP by Estee Lauder

Modern Muse is the newest fragrance from Estee Lauder since it's last offering Beyond Paradise, launched a decade ago in 2003 which I adore and currently own two bottles of.

Modern Muse is Estee Lauder's most grown up floral fragrance - it embodies independence, confidence and with a firm feminine touch from the jasmine and woody accords, a exemplification of the modern women and the multi-roles she plays in today's society.

Sleek and tall, the bottle's curved edge and clean and clear straight lines houses a light grapefruit pink juice, complemented by the rectangular geometric gold and black top to gives it a bold and strong presence, representative of a strong  feminine woman standing tall and holding her own.

Upon first spray, the highlights of fresh citrus makes a brief appearance before waltzing off to give way to the belle of the ball - the sambac jasmine accord which have been cleverly enhanced by mandarin and the light sweetness of honeysuckle. The woody aspects don't really project strongly in this Modern Muse. Here it plays more of a supporting role - gently wrapping around the white floral scent to enhance it with notes of amber wood, soft musk over a vanilla back drop. Modern Muse also features patchouli but I can't say its very discernible to my nose.

Modern Muse may be floral and feminine, but it is no wall flower. Being able to come off as very clean, fresh and cool, I see myself putting Modern Muse on during a spring or mild summer day, as it it imparts to its wearer the confidence to get through whatever challenges she may face on her given day.

RRP A$85/ A$115/ A$155 for 30ml/ 50ml/ 100ml
Modern Muse  EDP is available now at Estee Lauder counters and online.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Think Pink in October and Support Breast Cancer Research

Once again October is upon us and it's the month to Think Pink and open up the wallet to support the various Breast Cancer foundations (the National Breast Cancer foundation and McGrath foundation being 2 dedicated breast cancer funds) with its endeavours to fund research and support those affected by breast cancers. Having been touched by cancer in my family, this cause is always close to my heart.

So instead of telling you to buy some pretty pink merchandise offered on the streets, school or workplace to take part in the fundraiser, I'd like to encourage you to donate online directly to the National Breast Cancer foundation so that every cent of your dollar is fully utilised to find a cure for breast cancer.

However, if you have to buy something - a birthday gift perhaps for the October babies, then might I tempt you with these luscious offerings by the following beauty brands who are huge supporters of Pink Ribbon Day (Friday October 25th 2013)? In fact you might even want to indulge and buy these for yourself and feel good that you're contributing towards the cause.

Bobbi Brown Pink Blush Set - RRP A$85
Too cute for a travel sized goat hair blusher brush and blush in Pink. 20% of sales goes towards the National Breast Cancer foundation. 

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Pink Ribbon Honey Set - RRP A$36 
A pretty lip-tint and a cute little case will be perfect for any teen. $5 from every sale goes towards the Nation Breast Cancer foundation. 

Cedel Extra Firm Hairspray - RRP A$3.99/$5.49 
A little something for yourself in this too cute pink ribbon packaging - one for home and another baby sized one to carry in the hand bag for those touch up moments. Whilst no confirmed amount is pledged, the awareness raising when using this spray will show that you care. 

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II - RRP A$95 for 30ml 
The recently reformulated cult serum just got better when this adorable pink ribbon bracelet charm that supports the McGrath foundation

GHD Proud to be Pink Diamond Styler and brush set - RRP A$289
If you love pink and bling then this is the perfect item with this limited-edition GHD pink hair straightener and diamond encrusted hair brush. Raise awareness and bling on the good hair days I say!

Kiss Press on Manicure in Breast Cancer Nail Brave design - RRP A$14.99
Have pretty cheery nails this month with this press-on nail stickers. 50c from each purchase goes towards the National Breast Cancer foundation. 

OPI Pink of Hearts 2013 - RRP A$24.95
Another Nail offering, from OPI in Pink-ing of You and More than a Glimmer to paint your digits pink and bring on the bling with crystal decals and pink ribbon stickers included. 

Revlon Super Lusterous lipstick in Pink Hope - RRP A$21.95
A beautiful medium pink shade, this will brighten up any face when it's worn. All proceeds goes towards the Pink Hope foundation

Sukin Limited Edition Organic Rose Hip Oil - A$19.95 for 25ml 
The cult product from Sukin has gotten a makeover this limited pink packaging to promote Pinktober and raise awareness for the McGrath foundation.

Don't forget to wear pink on Friday 25th October to show your support. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Freebie: Jurlique Serum Exchange - Westfield Sydney Event

Looking for a new serum but don't have the cash to spend? Well here is your chance to try a new serum for free. And I'm not talking sample sizes but a free 30ml full size item.

If you happen to be in Sydney, you will have a chance to try out Jurlique's iconic serums during the Jurlique Serum exchange program this week.

All you need to do is bring in your current full size bottle (it doesn't have to be full) to exchange for a brand new bottle of Jurlique's iconic serums - Herbal Recovery Advanced serum, Purely White Skin Brightening essence, Purely Age-defying facial serum.

Here are the details:
WHERE:  Westfield Sydney pop-up Jurlique store (opposite Pitt St entrance)
WHAT: surrender your own bottle (full size) of serum and score a 30ml Jurlique serum on the following days and times:
  • Thursday 3rd October midday to 9pm
  • Friday 4th October, midday to 6pm
  • Saturday 5th October, midday to 6pm
  • Sunday 6th October, midday to 6pm

There is a limit of 60 bottles exchanged every hour during the promotional period so you might have to be patient and come back later if these bottles get snapped up quick which I bet they will!

Now if only Jurlique will opens up the exchange program next time in other states!

The ABCs of BB and CC Creams

Are you confused with the recent influx of double-alpha base makeup this year?
It was BB creams making waves last year that gave way to even more offerings this year and just as you’ve only gotten your head around the new product, the beauty market moves onto the CC cream craze.

Before we go into the actual products, let’s do a recap first.
  • BB Cream fondly known as beauty balms or blemish balms has a primary function as a makeup base that provides flawless natural coverage with skincare benefits. 
  • It’s generally multi-purpose acting as a all-in-one primer, concealer and medium coverage foundation product to provide a natural and flaw finish to skin
  • BB creams generally have a gel-like texture and have a dry to touch finish. 
  • On top of being a moisturiser, it has additional skincare benefits depending on variety (whitening, healing, anti-ageing)
  • It has UV protection often means you don't need a separate sun block. 

Then what is a CC cream?
Being the new cream of the crop, a CC cream is a colour correcting cream and similar to a BB cream being primarily a makeup product but packed with additional skincare benefits like vitamin C and E that focuses on improving skin clarity and tone. CC creams normally contain colour pigment that specially correct redness, pigmentation and broken capillaries as well as higher concentration of skincare

Today I’ll look at a few a bunch of BB creams and one of the CC cream released this year. Let’s start with the latest BB cream offerings.

Clarins Skin Perfecting BB Cream - RRP A$50 45ml 
Texture:  light weight cream with floral scent very easy to blend
Finish: semi matte finish and contains optical pigment to created radiant (not shiny) skin.
Coverage: medium buildable coverage that is long lasting
Benefits: broad spectrum SPF 25 mineral sunscreen so don’t need a separate sunscreen when used alone. and contains kiwi extract for anti-oxidants, katafray and hyaluronic acid to restore the skin’s moisture level and improve its softness.
Colour matching: available in 3 shades (light, medium, warm) I tried the medium one which was slightly too dark and I notice that it is more suited for those with red/beige undertones than those with yellow undertone – great to achieve a tanned look in summer for me. I'll be going for the light shade next time.
Best for: anyone looking for a multi tasking base that is moisturising and those with oily skin.
Clarins is available in Clarins counters in Myer, David Jones and online at Adore beauty

Face of Australia BB Cream (6 in 1) - RRP A$8.95 50ml
Texture: creamy with a light citrus scent blends without too much effort.
This is more of a tinted moisturiser in texture than what I’m accustomed to in BB, work quite or it will dry up and become gritty during blending. It is also prone to balling up when layered with other skincare or makeup powders.
Finish: natural finish with a healthy glow on skin
Coverage: quite sheer, providing a healthy tint to skin to even out light imperfection and sallowness to enhance your natural complexion.
Benefits: very hydrating, helping to soothe fine lines and protect skin from irritations with aloe vera, vitamin C, green tea and chamomile extract.
Colour matching: available in 2 shades (light/medium, medium/dark) - the light/medium one I tried matches well with beige/neutral skin undertones.
Best for: those with dry skin or those with fine lines as it very hydrating and will fill those lines without settling and those with relatively good skin as it doesn’t provide adequate coverage on its own. You may need more UV protection as it only contain UV filters not enough to achieve an SPF rating.
Face of Australia is available in Priceline, Big W, Kmart and online at Fashion Addict

Natio Pure Mineral Skin Perfecting BB Cream SPF15 - RRP A$14.95 50g
Texture: light gel lotion. Takes some time to blend in but worth the effort lightly aromatherapy scented with lavender and ylang ylang.
Finish: provides a natural dry-touch finish with a light glow.
Coverage: light to buildable medium coverage.
Benefits: one of the more lasting hydrating BB creams in this selection with vitamin E, jojoba oil and shea butter. Really effective with soothing redness or blemish marks
Colour matching: available in 3 shades (fair, medium, tan) – I used the fair one and although lighter than my skin colour, it matches quite well once blended in, especially when warmed up with some bronzer on top.
Best for: looking for a light hydrating base that addresses conditions like redness and rosacea.
Natio is available in Myer, David Jones, leading pharmacies and online

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector for sensitive skin - RRP A$13.95 50ml
Texture: is a fluid cream that is quite creamy and takes some time to blend and absorb into skin. This is a fragrance free offering to avoid irritating sensitive skin. Unfortunately, this BB cream easily balls up when mixed with other skincare (layered underneath) or foundation (for extra coverage).
Finish: a soft dewy finish with a light glow.
Coverage: quite sheer and is a bit streaky so might need other products over it to provide adequate coverage.
Benefits: with SPF 15, it does a decent job of reducing redness in skin and allows skin to breathe with its light sheer coverage. On oily skin types, it can look greasy within a few hours.
Colour matching: available in 2 shades, light and medium. Both are beige undertone so are more suited to those with pink/cool undertones.
Best for: those looking for good hydration and covering redness on good skin days.
Garnier is available in supermarkets, Priceline, Big W, Kmart and leading pharmacies. 

Clinque Moisture Surge CC Cream - RRP A$45 40ml
Texture: an unscented light gel fluid, it takes some effort to blend.
Finish: provides a natural dry-touch finish with healthy glow.
Coverage: medium finish but on my oily skin, it doesn’t last. About four hours later, my face seems to just eat up the product and I look like I’ve not used any product other than a sheer tinted moisturiser. Setting the product with powder stretches its lasting powder by a couple more hours.
Benefits: with SPF30, this CC cream contains lavender tinted micro beads to help correct sallowness  that instantly brightens up skin and full of hydrating ingredients that includes hyaluronic acid, aloe and trehalose to keep skin supple all day long.
Colour matching: available in 4 shades (very light, light, light/medium, medium/deep). I’m using light and it matches well with my skin tone
Best for: dryer skin types who are wants a light radiant glow.
Clinique is on counters in Myer, David Jones and online

I love Natio and Clarins BB creams for meeting all the criteria of a multi-purpose makeup/skincare product, Clinique is nice but seems to not last on oily skin and I suspect those with dryer skin would see more longevity when using it whilst Garnier and FOA were too sheer for my liking but is great for the no make up look for anyone with good skin that just need evening out of skin tones.

Overall thoughts 
Whilst I haven’t tried too many CC creams yet (next on my list is the L'oreal Nude Magique CC cream), I can’t say I see enough differences between CC and BB creams to think that they should be categorised separately. The current CC creams just seems to provide that little bit more coverage than the offerings of BB creams available (excluding the Asian BB creams which gives great medium coverage)  and contains optical pigments to improve the appearance of skintone.

What do you think of BB and CC creams? Have you tried one you like?