Atopalm BB Cream in Light (2.4 oz, $25)
Available at Atopalm.com and other retailers
BB Creams usually make me nervous, and that's mostly because I'm so fair-skinned (a typical English Rose complexion). I have a natural distrust for things that are very limited in available shades (this one has two-- light and medium). The super-cool folks at Atopalm urged me to give it a try. I wanted so bad to love it, and I was prepared to mix it with this and that to get the shade perfect if I had to.
And all that for naught, because shockingly, the shade was already practically perfect. Perhaps a tad yellow, but my Besame Violet loose powder took care of that. I was thinking that it was originally developed for the Asian market, so maybe it just needs to be tweaked a bit more for Westerners. Perhaps add a couple more shades... I can see the line expanding, because it's a product that out-performs every BB Cream I've tried.
It's a fairly thick, densely pigmented formula. It's got broad spectrum spf 20, and I use a generous amount, which makes taking a few extra minutes for blending a must. It's worth it, because the feel on the skin is light as a feather, hydrating and ever so comfy. If you've got a BeautyBlender sponge, it's perfect for this purpose, especially around the nasal folds. Once it sets on the skin fully-- maybe 20 minutes or so after application, then decide if you want to use other products like powder, concealer, etc. I just find that I don't need anything else but blush and mascara most of the time. If you want to cut the density of the product, you can make it lighter in weight by adding a dab of Atopalm MLE Cream. This is how I prefer to wear the BB Cream when I'm using additional SPF or won't be going out in the sun. The benefit of this type of application is that it behaves more like a tinted moisturizer than a BB cream. Any way you slice it, it's a fabulous product, well-priced and just one of MANY of my must-haves from Atopalm.
Notable ingredients: Atopalm's patented MLE complex (Multi Lamellar Emulsion), Antioxidants, Arbutin (brightens and lightens), Vitamin E, Broad spectrum SPF 20 (titanium dioxide and octinoxate), licorice root extract (soothes sensitivity, brightens skin tone), portulaca oleracea (high in omega 3 fatty acids), phellinus linteus (medicinal mushroom used in Asia that grows on mulberry trees in the wild. Studies have shown it to be a very effective anti-inflammatory agent)
Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiageing & Antiwrinkle Face Serum (1 oz, $62)
Available at Sephora and other retailers
I'm starting to have ambivalent feelings about the term "anti-aging". As someone who eats, breathes and dreams beauty, that's an interesting spot to be in. To me, it doesn't really mean much on its own. I want to know what a product is going to do once I let it set up camp on my skin.
I've been experimenting with layering it with other treatments, serums and moisturizers, and I haven't found one that doesn't play well with Korres Q&O Face Serum. I will say that it works best layered with other water-based products, such as essences, AHA swipes, mineral water sprays, alcohol-free toners, etc.
After several days of using it twice daily along with the rest of my regimen, my skin is quite a bit softer than usual and was helpful in aiding the disappearance of some pesky little bumps I had as a result of dryness and clogged pores. Even the areas under my eyes aren't puffy and discolored anymore-- so yes, use it under your eyes. It's definitely safe (and highly beneficial) to do so. I'll also give the green light to acne sufferers, oily skins, dry, dehydrated, sensitive and mature skin. Instead of being packed with lots of irritating actives that could potentially compete with or cancel out the actives in other products you're using, this baby will instead enhance their performance. This serum is all about plumping and smoothing, and it does those things exceedingly well. I can officially say that I've been bitten by the Korres bug again. A huge thumbs-up for their Quercetin & Oak Face Serum, and I'm really looking forward to discovering what the longer-term benefits are to using it. In the meantime, I can't wait to give their new Black Pine range a try.
Notable ingredients: Quercetin and Oak (used as a type of natural retinol substitute), Vitamin C (the standard for effective skin brightening, wrinkle smoothing and more), probiotic lactobacillus ferment (soothing to sensitive and acneic skin plus more), honeysuckle flower extract (skin soothing, excellent cellular regenerative properties), hyaluronic acid (hydration superstar), myrtle and several interesting botanical ingredients I've not seen used in skin care products before.
If any of you have experiences with these products that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear your comments!
[samples provided for my consideration]