Archive for the 'face treatment oil' Category

Josie Maran Argan Oil Review

July 15, 2009
Josie Maran Argan Oil ($48)
When Josie Maran began creating her cosmetics line she knew she had to include argan oil, her long time beauty secret, in all of her formulas. Produced in the semi-deserts of Morocco from the argan tree, argan oil has been used for centuries as both a nutritional and cosmetic supplement. Rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, this multipurpose oil feeds the skin from the inside out and nourishes lackluster hair. It has been used for centuries to fade scars, heal acneic skin and smooth wrinkles.

I vacillated on whether or not to purchase Josie Maran’s Argan Oil for the longest time. At the time I’d never use an oil on my severely oily yet dry-patch riddled acne and hive prone complexion, and was plagued with visions of breakouts galore and angry, irritated skin. I mean doesn’t it seem counterintuitive to be applying oil to your face? I’d reconciled myself to the wonders of oil cleansers, but applying oil to my face and leaving it there was a whole different matter

Thank goodness for Nicole! As usual she came to my rescue and obviated the need for me to make any kind of decision by sending me this bottle of Josie Maran’s 100% pure organic Argan Oil.

How I Use It: I use this medium-weight golden oil primarily on my face as it’s too precious/expensive to use all over. I tried using this on its own as a serum and mixed into my moisturizer, and found that the mixed into moisturizer method worked best for me. I mix 1-2 tiny drops of argan oil into my moisturizer day and night and my skin is left looking plumper and feeling incredibly soft. No product has ever made my skin feel as soft as Josie Maran’s Argan Oil!

I have found using too much of this can cause me to break out a little bit unlike REN’s oil serums (you can find reviews of those floating around the blog) which never broke me out. I’m a little torn on this though: I love how soft the Argan Oil leaves my complexion and the radiance that I wake up to, but it doesn’t really seem to heal and soothe my skin’s underlying redness the way REN’s serums did. I’m perfectly happy to use all these products in conjunction with each other though until I run out!

Other Uses: While this is pretty expensive for a hair treatment, my hair really loves it when I run a few drops of Argan Oil through the ends while it’s still damp. It dries to a shinier, healthier looking finish and just looks better overall.

Would I repurchase? I’m not entirely sure, and luckily I won’t need to think about that anytime soon since this large bottle is going to last me for ages. I’m thinking I’ll probably end up sticking to my REN Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum (review HERE) for mixing into my moisturizers though as it effectuates more of a dramatic improvement in the look and feel of my skin.

RATING: 3.5/5

By the way if you’ve been wondering why some products receive a numerical rating while others don’t, it’s purely arbitrary. Some days I’m just too tired to dig up the photo icons for the ratings so I don’t bother, whereas other days I’m feeling a bit more energetic. If you’d like a rating for a particular review though, always feel free to ask! 🙂

Lumene Vitamin C+ Energy Cocktail Intensive Care Review

March 30, 2009
Lumene Vitamin C+Energy Cocktail Intensive Care ($19.99)

Velvety soft intensive care soothes your skin and maintains its suppleness. Abundant natural antioxidants in the Arctic cloudberry seed oil and caring cranberry seed oil protect skin from stress factors. Together with vitamin C, which protects skin, and skin-softening vitamin A, these active ingredients work in perfect harmony with your skin to give it optimum care.
  • Arctic cloudberry seed oil strengthens and protects the skin from external and internal stress factors.
  • Arctic cranberry seed oil protects skin from UV rays, prevents premature aging and retains the skin’s moisture balance.
  • VitaOptimaleTM compound gives optimum care for skin: Vitamin C protects, vitamin A strengthens and softens skin.

On the left is what it looks like before shaking, on the right is after shaking.

Lumene’s Energy Cocktail is a fun-looking two-toned cocktail of great-for-your-skin ingredients that’s fairly light as oil serums go. The Cocktail separates into two distinct colors(ooh pretty!) and must be shaken prior to use. See the photo below to see what I mean:

Small squirt of Energy Cocktail. Kinda looks like a UFO egg no?

I purchased my Energy Cocktail for around $10 on sale at CVS months and months ago, and while I do like it, I don’t happen to think that there’s anything particularly spectular about it that would prompt repurchasing. It is an oil serum but it’s not nearly as moisturizing as others I’ve tried, nor does it give me the luminosity or glow that other products do.


All in all I’d say this is a decent option if you’re looking to try an affordable oil serum, and a lot of peopel seem to absolutely love this so it’s definitely worth a shot, but if you’re willing to splurge I highly recommend checking ou REN’s two oil serums, the Omegao 3 and the Rose Synergy (see my reviews HERE and HERE), both of which are pretty fabulous.

All blended!

I think I’ll be saving this for summer when my face doesn’t get nearly as dry as it does in the cold winter weather–I’m thinking I may notice more of a difference when my skin isn’t nearly as parched. For now I’ll be sticking to my REN serums and testing out Josie Maran’s Argan Oil (thanks so much Nicole for this!!) so expect a review shortly!

ABS’ Favorite Winter Serum: REN Rose Synergy O12 Restoring Facial Serum Review

March 9, 2009
REN Rose Synergy O12 Restoring Facial Serum ($80)

Been looking for that perfect serum to soothe your over-stressed, under-nourished winter complexion? REN’s Rose Synergy O12 Restoring Facial Serum is it! I know I raved on and on about Peter Thomas Roth’s viz-1000 75% Hyaluronic Acid Complex Intensive Hydrating Serum, and while I love its lightness and quick-drying finish for the summer, during the cold harsh months of winter I definitely prefer something a bit more substantial.

What I LOVE: Just about everything. There are few times when I’ve been able to say that a product has brought about a significant, marked improvement in the state of my skin, but this is definitely one of those instances. Prior to switching pretty much all my skincare over to REN I was suffering from some pretty severe breakouts, my skin was feeling parched (but of course super-oily in the t-zone just to annoy me), and it just wasn’t looking so great–lots of ruddiness in the cheeks, no youthful glow, etc. While I’ve been loving all my new REN products, I’d have to say that I think the Rose Serum has been key to the changes I’ve been seeing in my complexion. I was worried that since this is a pretty heavy duty oil serum I’d experience breakouts and blogged pores, but I’ve seriously stopped breaking out at all (a miraculous feat in and of itself) and my pores are happy as can be.

I’ve been receiving so many compliments on my skin since I switched over to REN, making me one happy blogger. My skin is more radiant and has a dewy look to it, and this product has really helped to alleviate some of the redness in my cheeks. People have been asking me if I’ve been getting treatments from a dermatologist and how I get my skin to look so glowy!

Love the packaging! Sleek glass bottle (that I’ve knocked over many many times) + handy little plastic cap to prevent accidental pumping = Happy Jen

More Info: REN’s Rose Synergy Serum is formulated to lock in moisture, prevent skin dehydration, restore and maintain your skin’s glowing softness, elasticity and comfort, and protect against oxidative damage and premature aging–whew that’s a mouthful! This luxurious serum employs REN’s Biomimetic Skin Complex, a unique delivery system rich in lipids that strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier, boosting hydrating while calming irritation and inflammation.

Check out some of these fabulous ingredients!

  • The purest steam distilled Rosa Damascena Oil to soothe and calm inflamed skin (and also to provide aromatherapy benefits–this stuff smells heavenly!)
  • Octacosenoic Acid from African Ximenia Oil to seal in moisture and increase hydration
  • Vitamin A from Rosehip Seed Oil to stimulate cell turnover
  • Arctic Cranberry Seed Oil fights oxidation and free radicals
  • In addition, the serum has a bio active complex of ceramides, phospholipids and omega 6 & 7 essential fatty acids boosts skin repair and softness.

Skin Post-Application ~ nice and dewy

How I Use It: REN’s Rose Synergy Serum is thicker and richer than their Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum (see my review HERE), but while it’s ultra-hydrating and soothing, it still absorbs quickly, never leaving your skin looking or feeling greasy. During the daytime I like to mix this into my moisturizer (one part moisturizer to one part serum), and in the evening I tend to apply this under my moisturizer/night cream. And on those days when my skin seems to be in need of a little extra TLC, I’ll take an extra 1/4 squirt or so of the serum and apply it over my moisturizer as well, just to the apples of my cheeks.

While I wouldn’t recommend this serum for those of you who are super oily, if your skin suffers from dryness or irritation, this may be a dream come true for you–it most definitely has been for me! I know it’s pretty pricey at $80, but a little really goes a long way with this product (I never need more than one pump) and even though I’ve been using this for a decent amount of time now, I’ve hardly made a dent in it.


REN is available at Space NK, Sephora, Blue Mercury, Barneys, Fred Segal, and @ They currently have a great promotion going on that I’ll be posting about in a few minutes, so pop by the site and check out two of my fave REN products, their Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel and their Multi Mineral Detoxifying Facial Mask.

REN Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum Review

March 2, 2009
REN Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum ($60)

What It Is: Ideally used at night, this serum will boost the skin with essential bio active nutrients that stimulate its natural process of renewal and regeneration helping to restore suppleness and elasticity. In addition it stimulates the skin’s natural protection mechanism helping fight moisture loss and free radical attack. Vegetable Plankton Extract which is rich in Omega 3 promotes cell membrane development while Rosehip Seed Oil and Wheat Germ Oil intensively nourish and protect.

Feed your face…literally. REN’s Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum is high in lipid content,which is vital for cell hydration, longevity, and skin nourishment. I’ve been turning more and more towards oil serums as of late (although I still adore my Peter Thomas Roth serum), and REN’s Omega Serum is one of my favorites (although you’ll have to wait a day or two to find out what my absolute favorite is). It’s a pure blend of natural oils including rosehip seed, wheat germ, vanilla, chamomile, Vitamin E and Vitamin A that work together to soothe your sin, boost suppleness and elasticity, and even help to reduce the appearance of scars.

Half a quirt of REN’s Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum-see how light it is?

The Omega 3 Overnight Lipid Renewal Serum is light, quick to absorb, and doesn’t leave any unpleasant greasy-feeling residue on your skin. I absolutely love mixing a squirt of this serum into my moisturizer–it helps any cream to apply much more smoothly and just feels so incredibly soothing on.

Since I switched my entire skincare regimen over to REN, my skin has never looked better and I’ve been receiving so many compliments on my skin, which hasn’t happened in a long long time. I’m not sure exactly which REN product this is due to, but I don’t think I want to discontinue any of them to find out! If your complexion is mildly oily to combination or normal, I’d recommend giving this a try, particularly if you’re experiencing the early signs of aging and suffer from some slight dry patches.

All Absorbed

The serum does smell a little bit like fish oil to me, but it’s nothing all too unpleasant (think the fish oil capsules that you take) and pretty much disappears when you mix it into your moisturizer. Other than that one tiny little factor, I seriously can’t think of a thing I dislike about this product. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to to test out REN Skincare–they haven’t disappointed me yet! I also swear by their Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask and their Multi Mineral Detoxifying Facial Mask, both of which were featured in my Best of 2008 Year End Round-Up.

More Affordable Facial Treatment Oil Options and How to Use Them

July 17, 2008

Today’s a little crazy for me (studying, studying, and more studying!) so no serial posting! But I did want to take the time to to post about a few still-a-little-pricey-but-MUCH-cheaper alternatives to this Olio Lusso by Rodin blend of essential oils I posted about a few days ago (I’ve developed a mini-obsession with finding a good face treatment oil).


While I wouldn’t call them “cheap,” Darphin’s Aromatic Cares (generally around $80 or so for a half nounce) seem to be among the best of the bunch. They come in a range of scents (from tangerine to chamomile) and formulations (for oily to dry and sensitive skin) so there’s something for everybody, and overall they seem to be a favorite amongst face-oil users.


Decleor’s Aromessence Concentrates are $64 for 0.5 ounce, and while I haven’t tried them yet, they’re my primary candidate for purchase both because of the great reviews they’ve received and the pretty shape of their bottles. The Ylang Ylang purifying concentrate soothes and softens the complexion while helping to control oiliness (I know that using an oil to control oiliness seems counterproductive but supposedly it really works!)-it sounds perfect for me! I’ll probably be testing this out at some point and reviewing it.


Clarins also makes a face treatment oil that is by far the most affordable of the bunch-only $46 for 1.4 oz, meaning you get 3 times the product for a much much cheaper price! I’ve heard good things about the Lotus and Santal treatment oils. It’s pretty tempting since it’s SOOO much more affordable than the others-we’ll have to see!

How to Apply a Facial Treatment Oil: