Category Archives: SkinCeuticals

Product Girl's Top 11 of 2011

Narrowing down the best beauty releases of the year can be a daunting task. But when it comes down to choosing the best of the best, all we really had to do was look in our makeup bags and on our bathroom counters. From there, it was pretty clear what products we can’t live without and will happily  carry into the New Year. Without further ado, we present to you the Product Girl Top 11 of 2011.  

While this list is officially in no particularly order, NARS Velvet Gloss Pencil is definitely our favorite lip product of the year. We can’t get enough of these. Frivolous and New Lover are my top two, but the deep raspberry of Baroque is a close third.We absolutely love how these look and feel on the lips – the subtle gloss, burst of color and moisturizing properties make them a major winner.

We purchased countless tubes of Burts’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms this year. For ourselves and for others. The Rose is the perfect tint of sheer red, and Honeysuckle is a lovely peachy nude. The formula is 100% natural and the price, at $7, is just right. These are a standout drugstore buy of 2011.

We continue to be mesmerized by this seafoam green tub of youth! Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica is such an  interesting moisturizier. It’s thick in texture, very balm-like, but doesn’t feel like it on the skin, and seems to instantly make our skin look brighter and healthier. Plus, we love the way Rosa Arctica looks on our bathroom counter!

Thank you, Dr. Dennis Gross, for reviving our pale skin and helping me fight my Vitamin D deficiency with the Alpha Beta Glow Pads. Since these launched in February, they’ve been a constant in my beauty routine. I don’t let actual sun rays get near my face, so these were a godsend. Unlike self-tanner, these are skin care. They give you a legit bronze and unleash anti-aging + exfoliating properties into your skin.

Perhaps the most difficult category for us to choose the “best of” was nail polish. But, Chanel Black Pearl managed to take home the honors. This gunmetal green is like an edgy accessory that goes with everything. It looked good no matter the season, and on fingers or toes.

Benefit Cha Cha Tint was worth waiting until 2011 for. It is a delicious mango-colored stain that looks intimidating in the bottle but is like magic on the skin. If you think you can’t wear coral, Cha Cha Tint can prove you wrong. Plus, it’s a stain so it lasts forever.

Another cheek product that dominated our makeup bags the majority of 2011 was Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush. We can’t pick just one favorite, so consider ALL of them the best of 2011. (Although, we might be partial to Amused and Tipsy!) They are the longest wearing powder blush you’ll ever use and the color stays vibrant all day. And the colors are phenomenal and importantly, flattering on the skin.  

2011 will go down as the year the U.S. got a taste of the BB Cream. And we couldn’t be more smitten with Boscia’s B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++, a skin perfecting “blemish balm” that is like a super-powered tinted moisturizer. It manages to blur out imperfections and moisturize our skin. In the summer, we could get away with using this for coverage, moisture and SPF!  

A serum that actually helps repair and heal damaged hair and split ends? Yes, it exists.  The exotic oils and silk peptides in Phyto Phytokératine Serum  helps strengthen strands and restore moisture to dry hair (and is silicone-free). I truly believe that by slathering the ends of my hair in this, I can go a lot longer without a trim.

The central weapon in our fight against aging is sunscreen. It may not be the most exciting part of our beauty routine, but it’s very necessary. Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense is the best facial SPF we’ve ever used. We like that it contains only physical blockers and a special extract that increases skin defenses and resistance to UV and heat stress. But the best part? It feels weightless on the skin.

Each month, we looked forward to the arrival of the pink Birchbox! What a treat – which is why this beauty delivery service deserves a spot in our best of 2011 list. We’ve been introduced to some great brands, like Sunday Riley and Oribe, and fabulous products, like Orofluido Elixir and Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee.

What beauty items topped your list this year? Let us know what you loved!

Anti-Aging is a Battlefield, Fight it with SkinCeuticals

There are a few camps of people: some who are perfectly content falling asleep with makeup, and others who would never. Even in my most inebriated state, I’ve been known to bust out the Clarisonic. Clearly, you know which camp I fall in. I take my skincare routine very seriously.

A key part of said skincare routine is using a serum in the morning and night. Think of a serum as a drink for your skin. Like a cocktail of antioxidants. While there are many formulas and potions out there, I swear by the power of SkinCeuticals. I like to describe it as being in a constant war against free radicals and other environmental stressors, and SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF and Retexturing Activator are my soldiers. These products have got my back in the battle against environmental stressors and signs of aging!

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Love the Sun, But Love SPF More

I can get pretty preachy when I’m passionate about something. Like how Boston Terriers are the cutest breed of dog and how The Bachelorette is quality television, for example. The importance of wearing SPF is also something I step on my proverbial pulpit for. It’s the single most important step in preventing skin cancer, and if that doesn’t quite resonate, hello, the anti-aging benefits should!

Here’s our picks for the best sunscreens of summer, and beyond.  Remember, SPF is a year-round necessity!

Best in Multitasking. Kate Somerville SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen. We trust our faces with Kate completely, and SPF is no exception. We especially love that this antioxidant-rich sunscreen doubles as a serum, eliminating an extra step in our morning routine. $45 for 2oz. KateSomerville.com

Best in Natural. Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused SPF 40+. Sometimes natural sunscreens can be tough to blend, but not this one. This is infused with Argan Oil, and works to repair skin and improve skin tone. I love the mild, lightweight formula. I find it’s a great base for makeup in the summer, too! $32 for 2 oz. Sephora.com

Best in Texture. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. Absolutely weightless, this is a powerhouse at fighting off the sun’s harmful rays. It contains only physical blockers, as well as a plankton extract (called artemia salina) to increase the skin’s ability to defend against UV and heat stress. As an added bonus, it comes in a universal tint that makes makeup-free days a reality. $30 for 1.7 oz. SkinCeuticals.com

Best in Powder. Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF™ Dry Sunscreen – SPF 30. Ancient clay rich in minerals is at play in this product, and this might be my favorite for the purse. It starts working upon application, and layers well over moisturizer and other products. The tanned version is great for giving arms and legs some sculpt, and the translucent seamlessly disappears while protecting. The only downside? It’s kinda pricey. $44, Jane Iredale

Best in Lips. Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15. This formula covers off on the SPF, and is the perfect summery lip. Bright colors in a sheer, juicy formula that’s packed with cocoa and shea butters and jojoba, apricot kernel and avocado oils. It really is a treatment for your lips! $23, BobbiBrownCosmetics.com

Best in Budget. Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30. Aveeno does sun protection very well, and I really appreciate how they included SPF 30 in the Smart Essentials day moisturizer. Another multitasker! The star ingredient is southernwood extract, an antioxidant that helps soothe stressed skin. $15 for 2.5 oz. Ulta

Best in Ingredients. PCA Skin Perfecting Protection SPF 30. There are so many rock star ingredients in here, it’s mind-blowing. Caffeine, Silybin (a.k.a. milk thistle), bearberry, licorice root extract, lactic acid, kojic acid, among others, work to reduce skin discoloration and prevent future hyperpigmentation. Sun spots, you’ve been warned. I use this mainly on my arms, chest and neck but it is also good for the face. $24 for 1.7 oz. Dermstore.com

What are your SPF must-haves? Share with us, and tell us why!