product: josie maran argan cleansing treatment $48
uses: massage into dry skin to remove make-up & other impurities. dampen the musilin side of the towelet to exfoliate the skin, then flip the cloth over to use the microfiber side to remove the product & remaining make-up. no need for another rinse, just pat skin dry (with a different towel). used to detoxify, hydrate, & exfoliate skin.
verdict: i am a huge josie maran advocate. this is why i was so disappointed when i wasn’t pleased with this product. lets start with the cleansing cloth. it gets gross. fast. especially if you wear mascara. after two days a ‘rinse’ just won’t cut it to get it clean. i didn’t feel that the muslin side was exfoliating my skin, either. it just felt like i was rubbing a towel on my skin…which i guess i was. the product itself feels good, smells nice, but doesn’t exactly take off make-up. i found myself reaching for my eye-make-up remover to finish the job. it definitely hydrates the skin, but i don’t feel like my skin is fully clean afterward. perhaps if this product was used with one of those fancy face-washing brushes, it would do a better job. however, i will not be purchasing this product again to test that theory. i’ll stick with her argan cleansing oil instead. 3 out of 5
product review: garnier skin renew clinical dark spot overnight peel treatment & skin renew anti-puff eye roller
product: garnier skin renew dark spot overnight peel $16
uses: after cleansing, leave this peel on overnight to even out skin tone, fade dark spots, & exfoliate skin for a smoother appearance.
verdict: i have seen this product mentioned multiple times in several magazines, so i thought i would give it a try. it is very…chemical-y, with lack for a better word. the texture & smell just don’t feel right upon my skin & for some curious reason the product always comes out freezing cold. Since glycolic acid is supposed to be one the best anti-aging ingredients on the market & vitamin c is nothing but a brightening, nourishing antioxidant, i was confused when i didn’t notice any differences with my skin. 2 out of 5
product: skin renew anti-puff eye roller $12
uses: use under the eyes in the morning to instantly diminish eye circles & puffiness
verdict: i’m beginning to believe that garnier is possibly paying my magazines to promote them in their beauty articles. this product was a waste of my $12. i could’ve purchased a delicious bagel with lox & cream cheese at russ & daughters instead. 1 out of 5 (the one is for the properly made rolling device)
product: peter thomas roth anti-aging cleansing gel $35
uses: this facial cleanser promises brightened, clarified, & younger-looking skin. with ingredients such has glycolic & salicylic acids, various fruit extracts, & the amino acid arginine, this product assures detoxified pores, better skin texture, & faded fine lines.
verdict: the ingredient list & the endless positive reviews from users had me sold. but after each use, i started to wonder if some kind of conspiracy was going on, for i just couldn’t find anything positive about this product! right after i rinsed my face after cleansing, my skin felt dry & tight–so much so that i began to skip my retinol portion of my nighttime regime & go straight to my face oil. when i started to get flaky skin & dry patches i knew that my face oil wasn’t enough. in the morning i added a face cream after an oil in hopes of getting my skin back to normal, but alas, my tinted moisturizer & loose powder foundation managed to cling to every flake–the added layer of moisture from the cream did nothing. i stopped using the product for a while & my skin went back to normal…but then i had a crazy notion that if i tried the cleanser again things would be different the second time around (the great reviews! the amazing ingredients! the price!). lets just say after resorting to slathering my chapstick all over my face during work to avoid looking like a flaky freak, i will not be purchasing this product again. 1 out of 5
product: omorovicza refining facial polisher $95
uses: this face wash does more than just exfoliate. it promises to regenerate skin cells & restore dull skin–leading to reduced wrinkles & brighter skin tone
verdict: i was lucky enough to get this as one of my samples after ordering from sephora online (i love the choice of 3 samples you get!!)–otherwise, i wouldn’t even give this product a glance due to its price tag. well, breaking the bank might be in order. this product is incredible. yes, it is a neon teal color, but the marine micro-algae worked wonders on my skin…it looked absolutely alive & refreshed after one use! i also noticed that my face felt squeaky clean–all remnants of make-up, air pollution, & other impurities were wisked away by ‘lava powder’ & ‘tropical fruit extracts’ 5 out of 5
product: dr. brandt cc glow with signature ruby crystal (light to medium) $39
uses: apply this lightweight color correcting cream to brighten, hydrate, & even out skin tone.
verdict: i prefer to use multi-tasking products. the less i have to buy & apply, the better. this product is supposed to have everything i need. it promises to prime, provide light coverage, supply vitamin c, anti-age, & illuminate. i had purchased this because i received a sample from sephora & i was impressed with how my skin glowed. well, the sample was a fluke. the product comes out of the tube very watery & shaking before application doesn’t solve the matter. also, i found myself using a lot of product to get that ‘light coverage’. no matter how much product i used though, i was still not glowing. another fault with this product is that it only comes in two shades: light to medium, & ‘natural’ (the natural looks pretty orange to me). there is no option for any women of color. shame on them! 2 out of 5 stars
product: garnier 5 sec blur skin renew instant smoother $16
uses: apply to face before makeup to instantly blur imperfections such as wrinkles & pores.
verdict: i liked the thick texture of this product & the fact that it had no scent whatsoever. unfortunately, it did not perform as promised. although i noticed a slight reduction in my fine lines, the before & after was so minimal that i don’t believe i’ll be investing in this product again. 2 out of 5
product: amorepacific treatment enzyme peel $60
uses: with ingredients such as papaya enzymes & green tea leaf extract, this exfoliator helps brighten & balance skin tone
verdict: i love this. i love the smell, the texture, & how fresh & renewed by face feels after use. it’s fun to use too! it comes in powder form, then lathers beautifully when water is added. the price may be steep for some–especially for a face wash–but if you ask the lovely sephora ladies for a free sample, they usually have a tiny bottle on hand. 5 out of 5
beauty tip: whenever i’m washing my face, i leave the product on for a few minutes (usually the time it takes me to brush my teeth). this helps your skin absorb the benefits of the product before you rinse it off.
product: multi-award-winning la roche-posay anthelios 60 ultralight sunscreen fluid $25
uses: put on face for sun protection provided by its “antioxidant complex”
verdict: why does everyone love this? this facial sunscreen has won so many beauty awards, & remains one of the top spf products money can buy–that’s why i tried it. not only did it dry out my skin, but it also made my forehead bumpy. i didn’t like the watery texture of the bright white cream, & it felt greasy when i applied it. 1 out of 5
beauty tip: don’t always trust american consumers. sometimes it really is just good pr. oh, & always wear sunscreen. always.
product: rodial dragon’s blood hyaluronic mask $42
uses: dragons, you ask? the ingredient called ‘dragon’s blood’ is the red sap derived from the ‘sangre de drago’ tree. it has ant-oxdiant properties to reduce redness, & also works to form a calming, protective shield on the face that smooths imperfections & firms skin. the other prominent ingredient in this mask, hyaluronic acid, plumps & hydrates skin to diminish wrinkles. you can wear it as a mask, or leave it on overnight.
verdict: i love the texture of this mask & i feel its quite soothing to apply it. i didn’t notice any real difference with my skin, however, but i trusted that the blood & acid were doing their job. 2 out of 5 stars
beauty tip: the majority of us have smart phones now, right? well, when you’re shopping for beauty products, you should google the ingredients advertised on the product you’re interested in. once you learn what they do for your skin, look at where they stand on the ingredient list—the closer to the top, the more of that ingredient the product contains. doing the research not only taught me which ingredients i should be using for the glowing skin i seek, but i also learned which brands to trust.
product: hada labo tokyo anti-aging hydrator $18
uses: a moisturizer with super hyaluronic acid–an ingredient that apparently firms skin & improves its texture. the women in asia go crazy for this japanese lightweight formula, & they believe it makes their skin glow.
verdict: i didn’t care for the texture & feel of the moisturizer–it feels more like a serum to me–& i wish it had sunscreen. i like that it is scentless, however, & after using the product for a month i was pleased with how my skin looked. i will probably not purchase this again myself, but i would recommend it because it is so popular across asia. 3 out of 5 stars
beauty tip: when putting on face cream, especially anti-aging ones, make sure you always apply to your neck, décolletage, & the back of your hands as well. Just like your face, all of these areas are sensitive to aging & are exposed to the sun–thus, they should also reap the benefits of the product.