Facial Care By the Season?

Recently, I was reading an article on Vogue.com about a different way to care for your skin: by the season. The concept makes sense, as I find myself using a lightweight moisturizer in the summer and a heavier one in the winter. I had never thought about moisturizers and other facial products being created for each season, catering to the different needs of the skin with the rise and fall of temperatures and humidity. And, as I have gotten more and more conscious about my skin – especially over the past year – this is the kind of thing that I would want to try.

One company that is creating these products is de Mamiel. They have developed season facial oils that are designed to give your skin exactly what it needs with each season. Their Summer Facial Oil helps to heal and protect skin from the overexposure to the sun that happens in the summer, and helps to rehydrate and rebalance your skin, among other things. Their Autumn Facial Oil – which you can preorder now and will be available September 22nd – regenerates your skin from the summer months, focusing on complexion and moisture. Their Winter Facial Oil focuses mainly on protecting your skin from the cold and drying elements and the Spring Facial Oil focuses on renewing and brightening the skin.

Based in the UK, de Mamiel products are available online through demamiel.com and shen-beauty.com, the second of which will ship the products for free. The facial oils are a bit pricey at $110, but if you are as skin-health conscious as I am, they might just be worth the cost. And, since I am already trying out a few facial products courtesy of the Body Shop this summer, I’m going to wait till the next season and order the Autumn Facial Oil. It just might change my life.


Makeup & Skin Care Loyalties – Old & New

Those of you that know me, know that I have two go-to brands when it comes to makeup and skincare, the Body Shop (of which I’ve talked extensively) and Dior, but recently, I’ve started to add a third brand to the mix.

My love for the Body Shop stems from a random trip to the mall out in Huntington a few years back. I can’t quite recall what drew me in, but once I was there, I never wanted to leave. My first purchases were eye shadows, lip-glosses, bronzers, etc, and of course body butter (to name a few). I became obsessed with how soft the makeup was, and that’s when I went to their website and started reading about the company and found out how amazing it was. First, they are against animal testing of any kind – they neither test the ingredients nor the finished products – and even received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 by RSPCA because of this. Also, instead of going to China for ingredients and production (China has a policy where everything is tested on animals), they have a community fair trade program where they employ people in third-world countries, using ingredients from there and therefore encouraging growth in these locations.

Aside from the makeup (tons of makeup) that I get from the Body Shop, there are three products that I cannot live without. The Seaweed Iconic Clay Mask (which I have written about here) is amazing and always leaves my skin soft, youthful and glowing. The Vitamin C Radiance Capsules – an end of the summer discovery that I use as a boost under my moisturizer – also leaves my face unbelievably soft. And lastly, the Brazil Nut Shower Cream which smells like heaven.

My love for Dior started years ago with my first purchase of Diorshow mascara (it really is the best), and then from a trip to Sephora, where I got a sample of Dior’s Sorbet Eye Crème from their Hydro Life collection, which uses three flower extracts to help defy aging. Right away I noticed the difference under my eyes, the dark circles were less visible and they were less puffy. This of course made me decide to try their Sorbet Crème for the face. These easily became staples of mine for two reasons: one, because I love the texture of the sorbet crème, and two, because the formula is light-weight (not greasy), but still leaves my skin hydrated. I also use their Gentle Foam Cleanser and Toning Lotion.

A few weeks ago I made my newest Dior discovery. I was in need of an eye sorbet replenishment, so I walked over to the Dior section in Sephora and decided to peruse it. The eye makeup remover that I had been using sometimes burned my eyes, so I wanted to see if they had a product that was better, and I found it. I’ve always hated the fact that, makeup removers are usually packaged as for the face or for the eyes, and it is a rare treat to find a product that is meant to do both. So, of course when I saw Dior’s Instant Cleansing Water, I thought that it was too good to be true, but, I am happy to say that that is not the case. It is truly amazing. Not only does it remove all of my makeup, but it leaves my face feeling soft, and, perhaps more importantly, doesn’t burn my eyes. If you try nothing else, make sure to try this, because it really is worth it.

My newest brand obsession began over the summer when I purchased Bobbi Brown’s limited edition Navy & Nude palette. I really loved the subtlety of the nude shades, and also the use of navy as an eye liner instead of my usual midnight grey (almost black) look. Recently though, I had been getting a bit bored of my look. Not necessarily that I wanted more color, just something different. So, last Wednesday, as I found myself at Grand Central with some time to kill before boarding my Metro North train, I stepped into the Bobbi Brown pop-up shop and perused the lipstick options. After trying on three different ones of which I was not completely satisfied, I ended up trying on the color that the makeup artist was wearing. The base was their Sheer Lip Color in cherry pink, and the top was their Lip Gloss in baby pink. I ended up purchasing both. Two days later I was back and looking for new eye shadows, and although I did not make this purchase at the Bobbi Brown pop-up (I actually made this purchase at Sephora while shopping with a friend), I did spot them there. I ended up with a very dark brown (almost black) called Rich Caviar, and Champagne Quartz, the perfect champagne color with just the smallest hint of pink.

And while I plan on keeping my current loyalties to the Body Shop and Dior intact, I see another trip to the Bobbi Brown pop-up in the very near future. What new products will I purchase? Stay tuned!


Wild Kingdom: Where Would You Draw the Line for Your Face?

On my way to work this morning, I was reading an article in the latest Vogue by Lynn Yaeger, titled “Wild Kingdom.” The sole photo in the article is of a woman’s face covered in fish eggs. Apparently it is just one of several new and unconventional ingredients (treatments) for skin care. A couple others mentioned in the article are having a live snail crawl across your face, and using bee venom.

According to Paul Cox, PhD, who is quoted a lot in this article, not only does salmon-roe contain a lot of omega-6, which is just good for your body in general, if applied to the skin, “an enzyme in the roe – released while baby salmon are hatching – …act[s] like an ultra-gentle exfoliant” that doesn’t irritate or dry your skin out. You can find salmon-roe extract in Perricone MD’s Blue Plasma ($95, perriconemd.com).

What are the benefits of having a snail crawl across your face leaving mucus? Apparently mucus contains a “collagen-style protein” that, as many of you should know, ccan help restore elasticity to skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles. Snail mucus has been found to have restorative properties as well. Napoleon Perdis’ Auto Pilot BBB Cream ($45, Nordstrom.com) contains this such ingredient.

How does one extract venom from bees to use as a skin care ingredient? “By subjecting bees to tiny electric shocks, inducing them to drop a dot of precious venum,” or from collecting dried venom “from the bottom of a beehive.” According to the article, bee venom has the ability to diminish the appearance of wrinkles by plumping the skin, and help control and treat acne. Rodial Bee Venom 24 Carat Gold Super Essence ($470, skinstore.com) is on the expensive side, but is supposed to be amazing.

The article also goes on to discuss botulinum toxin (botox), and how even though it toxic for your body, people still do it. While the idea of putting any of these “treatments” onto my face is revolting to me, I would be more inclined to try them as long as they were in a small part of a whole rather than just being the whole thing. And, if I had to choose between which of the three above to try, I probably would try the salmon-roe extract. It sounds much more appealing than the other two.


Mask Obsession

For years I have searched for the perfect mask, trying a whole slew of different kinds – mud masks (one that I really loved has been discontinued for ages), a cucumber/avocado one that smelled awful and took forever to dry…I’ve even tried peel off masks, but found that they were just too much work.  Then, a few months ago I had an idea.  I’ve been obsessed with The Body Shop for a long time – about ninety-nine percent of my makeup comes from there with the exception of mascara and a couple lipglosses.  So, if I feel that strongly about their makeup, why not try one of their masks.

I was really looking for a clay mask, but since they don’t have one, I decided to go for something completely different.  My first attempt was their Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask.  As a mask, I was not completely thrilled with it, particularly due to the fact that it does not require any rinsing off, seeing as how it is a sink-in mask (of which I did not realize when I picked it up from the store).  The first time I used it, I felt like it would make my skin oily.  The second time, I put on a thinner layer before I went to bed, and when I woke up the next morning my skin was softer and the dry spots were noticeably less dry.  I liked the results, but it felt more like a night cream than a mask, so, back to The Body Shop I went, this time choosing their Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask (which I had been avoiding because I wasn’t sure about the seaweed aspect), even going insofar as purchasing a foundation brush with which to apply it.  Two days later, I tried it, and I instantly fell in love.  It didn’t smell awful, dried quickly (a lot quicker than I’m used to) and left my skin super soft.  I’ve used it once a week since, and every time I do I’m in awe over the level of softness and healthy glow.  It’s simply amazing, and just another reason for my obsession with The Body Shop to continue.