My skin is one of my biggest insecurities. Being in my late thirties, every time I break out, I want to hide until my skin is clear. Acne chips away at my confidence at times. It makes me look down and avoid looking people in the eye when they talk to me or shy away from loved ones when they try to touch my face. I can handle bad hair days, that’s easy to hide, but what I hate is bad skin days. You can’t hide that quite as easily.
Because of this, I turned to prescription medication. I’ve visited a handful of dermatologists in the last few years but I didn’t feel like I was actually heard. I walked away with a prescription for spironolactone but no real advice in terms of skincare. I’ve been on spironolactone for a few years now and I’ve seen some improvement in my skin but not as much as I hoped for. I wanted more progress but the dermatologists I saw didn’t offer any other alternatives.
A few weeks ago I began researching a few other prescription medications that I hoped would put an end to my bouts of painful cystic acne. Right when I was considering visiting a new dermatologist to explore this, I received an offer to try a consultation with a dermatologist from YoDerm.com. The timing was perfect so I couldn’t say no, I was eager to try this service and see what would happen.
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives unveiled earlier this month are almost coming to an end so I thought I should share my picks from the sale before it ends this weekend, the things I’m lusting over as we speak.
You probably know by now that Nordstrom does not have sales on beauty but what they do instead is offer fantastic values with sets from brands we all know and love. Some items are discounted (more on that below) but most are value priced, not to mention exclusive to Nordstrom for the time being.
Ready? Here we go!
I’ve been trying to simplify things lately and that means going with products that can multitask, this JASON Vitamin E Oil does just that. It’s an antioxidant rich blend of almond, apricot, avocado, sunflower and wheat germ oils you can mix in to your favorite body lotion for added oomph, use it on your cuticles and use directly on hair and skin.
I’ve talked about this before… I am obsessed with oils and have been for the last few years. For me, they have made the progression from being “body” only to now being OK to use everywhere else. I’ve been using this oil at night in place of moisturizer for the last few months and I’ve loved the results. My chronically dry spots around my jaw have improved and my skin has felt smoother and softer overall… and I’ve barely made a dent in the bottle.
By far, my favorite way to use this product is on my body. I’ve started putting vitamin E oil after I step out of the shower. I’m not a fan of body lotions and creams, they feel heavy on me and don’t absorb as quickly as I would like them to. I hate getting dressed when I feel like my skin is still moist from lotion. This isn’t the case now, a few drops is all I need for my chest, legs and arms and my skin doesn’t feel weighed down at all. I love the sweet almond scent this oil has but it is just momentary, it dissipates pretty quickly so it won’t interfere with whatever fragrance you have in mind for that day.
There are different variations of vitamin E oil out there and if you plan on picking some up, here’s the difference: the higher the “IU”, the more concentrated the oil is. It also becomes thicker as it changes in strength. At 5,0000 IU, this is not the most powerful version of vitamin E oil out there but I feel it’s the most appropriate one to use on the face and body. JASON also makes a 14,000 IU and 45,000 IU versions, these versions would be best if you plan on trying this in place of your moisturizer.
So who’s on Team Vitamin E Oil with me? You should be! It’s known for its anti-aging properties as well as scar fading prowess. 🙂
I’m the girl who will plan something out and think of almost every aspect of except one… and it is always something very obvious. When it comes to lounging in the sun, that thing is always sunscreen so the end result is an uncomfortable sunburn. Because of this, I have now learned to keep a few things on hand to try and calm my skin afterwards and one of those things is Jason Aloe Vera Gel.
Not only is this great to have on hand in any first aid kit to come to the rescue of minor burns (mine are always cooking related), it is much needed relief on top of sunburned skin. It’s like a tall, ice-cold glass of water for parched skin. The gel is water based so it doesn’t contain any oil and feels practically weightless on skin so it absorbs super quickly. When I get a particularly bad burn, usually on my face, I like to apply it in a thick layer and leave it on as long as I can as a manage to stay still for. The relief is instant and it cools me down while I soothe my skin.
In a pinch, it has a ton of other uses as well, some of which I employ… like as a facial moisturizer when I don’t want quite as much hydration or when I’ve irritated my skin after a peel. I also use aloe vera when I make some homemade scrubs for face and body, I’m becoming a bit of a kitchen beautician these days. The best thing about this is I get the hydration without any of the slip-and-fall-break-your-neck danger when I use the scrubs in the shower. Another shower use? Shaving, it minimizes any irritation from the razor and leaves legs and underarms feeling super soft.
The last thing I love about Jason Aloe Vera Gel? It is super wallet-friendly. This 4 oz. tube can be picked up for just under $4 and there’s also a larger 16 oz. size if you mean business. I hope you remember your sunblock but if you don’t, just reach for this…
LancÃ´me has been on point with its skincare game lately, with its serums in particular. First the amazingness that is Visionnaire and now the new DreamTone, a customized skin tone correcting serum. When DreamTone was first launched, I was definitely curious about it but not for the right reasons. I thought it was a tinted-moisturizer/serum hybrid of sorts since it comes in Fair, Medium and Dark. DreamTone is not a tinted-moisturizer; letâ€™s get that part straight so you donâ€™t make the same assumption I did. I was unsure of which shade to choose because I didnâ€™t understand the product enough. What DreamTone really is, is a powerful serum you can use to target those areas of concern with your skin.
It all starts with the three options offered in Fair, Medium and Dark. Each option targets dark spots and uneven skin tone but each one targets an additional concern. For Fair, DreamTone sets its sight on redness. For Medium, DreamTone combats sallowness. Finally, Dark fights acne and blemish marks. For best results, you should use DreamTone morning and night under your moisturizer of choice.
It is never too early to start an anti-aging regime and there’s a new anti-aging skincare line named LifeCell about preventing, reducing and erasing those pesky signs of aging. The line is composed of four products: LifeCell Anti Aging Treatment ($189), LifeCell Under-Eye Treatment ($79), LifeCell PH Balanced Cleanser ($29) and Anti Aging Supplement ($59).
LifeCell Anti Aging Treatment started it all, is light reflective cream that blurs away imperfections as it treats the skin. For those of us with dark uder eyes or puffiness, the Under-Eye Treatment, the metal tip instantly helps depuff the area and glides along the skin. LifeCell’s PH Balanced Cleanser was created from the high demand for a cleanser to compliment the treatment. It’s gentle and is a great foundation for the treatment itself. Finally the supplements, help your skin from the inside out with a combination of hyaluronic acid, collagen and resveratrol.
Want more information on LifeCell products Sign up for a 30-day trial offer.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post.
I tend to test more skin care than I probably should. I’m always in search of that perfect combo to make my skin look radiant. Because when my skin is in good shape, my makeup looks better and I don’t wear as much. The testing process can lead me to a sweet discovery or give me breakouts. I recently tried a line that falls into the former and I am beyond excited by the discovery. Meet My, launched in 2012 with five anti-aging products. The secret to My is a blend of antioxidant-rich Asian botanicals, namely Pili and Moringa oils indigenous to the Philippines. Pili is naturally restorative and rich with omega fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and Moringa does that as well but also has a high concentration of vitamin C (hello brighter skin!)
I’ve been experimenting with My’s five and was blown away in the first few days. My skin is so incredibly soft and supple — not easy to do when the temps keep fluctuating on a daily basis (today is in the single digits). I cannot wait to see how My performs over the rest of winter. I admittedly have a short attention span with skin care, but these moisturizers and serums can be weaved into just about any skin care regime.
Let me introduce you to what I’m deeming the fab ‘My’ five:
Skin Recovery Formula wears a lot of hats. It helps brighten skin and even out discoloration from sun damage and acne and also has a special peptide that helps increase collagen production.
Multi-Purpose Mattifying Moisturizer – I was most scared of this product (the look of truly matte skin conjures up images of dry and flaky to me) but it turned out to be my favorite. If you try anything in this line, start here! It is so moisturizing and smoothing and doesn’t take the life out of your skin. The opposite – skin looks glowing (in a controlled, non-oily way!) Bonus: it can double as primer.
Weightless Eye Cream – The botanicals in this target everything from puffiness and dark circles to wrinkles. I love how light it is and how quickly it absorbs into skin….just in time for me to layer on my La Bella Figura Decouverte Eye Serum. Wrinkles…I’m stopping you before you start.
Dynamic Lifting Serum – I love the gel texture of this serum that works to make everything more taut and firm. It absorbs quickly which I appreciate since I tend to layer on treatments. This is a great first step on clean skin morning and night.
Transformative Night Cream – The most intensive moisturizer in the line, for sure. It gets to work while you’re sleeping with a ton of amazing ingredients. I think I credit this for my softer than ever skin. I wake up and my skin just looks more plump like it had its 8 glasses of water. My favorite part? Instead of digging your fingers into a container, you just press down on the container and out squeezes out the perfect portion.
My really brought the goods with these five debut items and I cannot wait to see what the brand introduces next.
The new NARS Skincare Travel sets have arrived on narscosmetics.com! NARS introduced their new skincare last summer and there are some great standout products in their new range. If you’ve haven’t had a change to mix things up with NARS and you’re skincare routine just yet, check out the new travel sets. You know we’re a sucker for travel sets…
Each set retails for $140 and includes a travel bag. There are two sets; the Luminous Aqua set and the Luminous Moisture set. The Moisture set is for the gals needing a little more moisture in their routine and the Aqua set is for those of us who like our skincare oil-free. Both sets contain full sized Optimal Brightening Concentrates and Total Replenishing Eye Creams then the rest is travel sized.
Here’s what’s in each set:
LUMINOUS AQUA SET
- Multi-Action Hydrating Toner
- Purifying Foam Cleanser
- Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer
- Optimal Brightening Concentrate
- Total Replenishing Eye Cream
LUMINOUS MOISTURE SET
- Multi-Action Hydrating Toner
- Gentle Cream Cleanser
- Luminous Moisture Cream
- Optimal Brightening Concentrate
- Total Replenishing Eye Cream
You can find each set on narscosmetics.com now. Stay tuned for product reviews from the NARS skincare line next week!
I have only experienced the joys of facials twice in my life (I know, I need more!), but the best part of the last one I had was the steam. The facialist took some lemongrass essential oil and just let that wonderful blast of steam penetrate my skin, it was blissful. Now the amazing Dr. Dennis Gross has introduced his Steamer Solutions’ Facial Device, and available now at Nordstrom.
At $125, this is a professional device that delivers a constant flow of moisture for up to 20 minutes at a time. Aside from being the most relaxing part of a skincare routine that you’ll experience, steam will help clear your pores and hydrate your skin while helping your products do their job even better since the steam helps with penetration.
I love that Dr. Gross has introduced this device. Standing over a boiling tea kettle or boiling pot of water is not my idea of a good time. A device like this that makes the process easy is exactly what I would want. He’s already pushing the envelope with his products and now we have our first tool. I can’t wait to see what he does next. How about a you?
What are your dry winter skin essentials? For “Girls” star Alison Williams, she stocks up on Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, it’s her ultimate winter go-to and a staple for makeup artists everywhere. Last week she stopped by the “Elizabeth Arden Recharge Room” pop-up in NYC to stock up on her dry winter skin essentials.
Created in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden herself, the Eight Hour Cream has become a legendary, award-winning skin protectant that does more than soothe sun-burned skin, rehydrate chapped lips, and heal rough elbows and calluses. It is also the secret that makeup artists all over the world use for keeping legs, lips and eyelids shiny; eyebrows in place; and cuticles perfectly manicured. I’m definitely putting this last tip to good use with our next Mani Monday. 🙂
Have you tried the Eight Hour Cream before? What are your winter skin essentials? Let us know in the comments.