The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Monday, February 28, 2011

Beautypedia is now free!

Good news for skin care fanatics (and make-up fanatics too): Paula Begoun's reference website Beautypedia is now free for everyone, all the time. Those who have subscriptions will be eligible for partial refunds (pro-rated depending on how many months are left in the subscription) back to the method of original payment, or you can opt for a Paula's Choice e-gift certificate.

I highly recommend Beautypedia for reference purposes, it has been extremely useful to me in making my product choices. I don't agree with Paula 100% of the time (some things just work differently for some people), but she is knowledgeable and her reviews are comprehensive and to the point. Making this database available for everyone was a great move..

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Colbert MD Heal and Soothe Night Cream

Achieving homeostasis for the skin is sort of like teaching it to sing. At first, maybe even for years, there is a good degree of dissonance when trying to find the right products for your particular skin, lots of trial and error, performance anxiety and hopefully not too many disasters. Once in awhile a product will come along that makes the task of creating harmonious skin a lot easier. In my case, it's another winner from Colbert MD: Heal & Soothe Night Cream.

Dr. David Colbert has been quoted as saying; "With the right products, the skin's ability to self-heal is amazing". He developed Daily Nutrition for Skin based on that principle. Similar to the idea that taking supplements and eating well every day are necessary for good health, there are three products for your skin that will help you achieve optimal skin health: Nutrify & Protect Day Cream, Heal & Soothe Night Cream and  Stimulate: The Serum. I like the simplicity of Dr. Colbert's philosophy of skin care, and what's more important, I love the products. You can see my review of his Intensify Facial Discs here.

Heal & Soothe Night Cream has a few ingredients of note:
Purified Angelica Sinesis: a potent anti-inflammatory, promotes renewal and natural healing
Glucosamine: a natural form of hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrates, leaving skin plumper, fresher, more youthful
African Shea Nut Butter: anti-ager rich in moisture, calms skin and visibly improves and pigmentation

The benefits of this product are that it blocks inflammation, corrects daily damage and it bolsters the skin's cellular renewal processes. The inflammation-blocking is especially important for me because I have sensitive skin that reddens easily and can become very irritated. I have been using Heal & Soothe for about 3 weeks straight and have noticed a huge difference in how my skin feels day-to-day. I do not limit my use to nighttime only, I often will use it during the day, too.

The texture of this product is unique: it is a light cream, and spreads very easily so you do not need to use a lot of it. It forms a barrier between your skin and the environment, effectively hydrating it and sealing it in. At first, it seems like it might feel sticky, but just give it a few minutes to settle on your skin. Now comes my favorite part: looking in the mirror. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the dewiest, most glowing skin of all? Oh yeah, that's right. It's moi. It's so nice to not be wearing any makeup at all, and to look at yourself approvingly. Even my husband notices how nice it makes my skin look (and he rarely notices these things).

The hydration of Heal & Soothe is incredibly intense, and is almost baffling due to its light consistency. At first I thought there was no way that it would satisfy my dry skin. I have used Creme de La Mer for a long time and have become quite accustomed to it's ultra-rich texture, and this couldn't be more different. After a few nights of using Heal & Soothe, I realized that not only was it doing a good enough job of hydrating my skin, but it was starting to improve the texture of my skin. The moisture is long-lasting as well, I wake up every morning with my skin still feeling soft and hydrated.

Over a period of several weeks, I continued sometimes twice-daily application, and used my Colbert MD Intensify Discs twice a week. As I sit here writing this today, I can safely say this combination has done my skin a huge service. It has the fine texture and suppleness of a child's skin, free of dry patches and unevenness, no breakouts, redness or irritation (not even around my allergy-riddled eyes). In short, it is softly humming a tune. In key.

Colbert MD Heal & Soothe Night Cream is appropriate for all skin types (really), and is available at Colbert MD's website (1 oz for $145) and Barney's stores and online.

[product was sent to me for review by Colbert MD. My opinions are strictly my own.]

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Inspired Hydration: Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter

The lovely Get Lippie first introduced me to indie vegan body care and fragrance line Haus of Gloi a few months ago in time for me to try their Pumpkin Butter in limited edition Snow Wolf scent. I'll be honest, it takes a lot for me to get excited about body care products, but this is exciting.


The texture of this shea butter and pumpkin based body butter is not quite whipped, but it has a light, soft texture. Here's the best part: it acts as a true cushion against the skin, hydrating it beyond comparison of anything I've ever used (even La Mer body lotion), heals dry areas and prevents them from coming back. The effects are still felt even after a shower.

The Snow Wolf scent is a delicious dry cedar with a hint of sweetness, and I will indeed miss it once my container of the Pumpkin Butter is gone. The scent lasts an extremely long time on the skin, Haus of Gloi do not skimp on the fragrancing of their products. Today I purchased two more containers in Aether, which has no fragrance. I can only imagine that I'll use the unscented version even more because it will leave my options for daily perfume choices more open. I also picked up a sample jar of the Body Emulsion in Moon Dog to try (coconut, dry sandalwood, nutmeg and clove).

A 6-ounce jar of Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter is available for just $9, with 2-ounce sample jars for $4.50. Check website for availability, as it is made from scratch in small batches and not from a pre-made base, but they restock frequently.

*UPDATE* Aether Pumpkin Butter is now back in stock as of 2/28/11

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Becca and Mars Hand Candy Sugar Scrub

I've recently had the pleasure of trying a few Becca and Mars products, and the runaway favorite was their Sugar and Spice and Orange Hand Candy Sugar Scrubs. I like the simplicity of the sugar scrub, and how you only need a small palmful and a bit of water to exfoliate and soften the hands. Made with sugar, apricot kernel oil and essential oils, it's an extremely relaxing product to use because it just feels good.  The sugar dissolves as you use the scrub on your hands, and what I have been doing is rinsing my hands once the grains of sugar are almost dissolved. After hands are dried, a layer of fragrant oil remains which lasts for an hour or so. I highly recommend mixing fragrances as I like to do; it is fun, very easy to do (just scoop a little from each jar and mix together) and works very well. I like scents that are grounding and earthy, but cheerful sometimes, so I created a Patchouli & Orange scent by using Sugar & Spice and Orange Hand Candy Sugar Scrub scents.



I have tried other hand scrubs before that were either very messy to use, or did not rinse off very well and left a greasy slick on my hands. Becca and Mars offers the best case scenario: cleansing with protection, no mess left behind and beautiful, natural fragrances.

The benefits of regular hand exfoliation are clear: you can minimize the effects of sun damage, wrinkling, remove rough patches and let your hand creams work harder. Basically, many of the same benefits of exfoliation on your face. Let me stress that Becca and Mars Hand Candy Sugar Scrub does not feel rough as you use it, it's a pleasant, light scratching feeling, and it sends shivers down my spine every time I use it. TMI? Maybe, but now you know what the perfect Valentine's Day gift is!

This product is available in several different scents, only $8 (!) for an 8 oz jar.

[Press samples were sent to me by Becca and Mars for evaluation. I am not affiliated with Becca and Mars. My opinions are strictly my own]