Archive for the 'skincare' Category

Sensai Cellular Performance Hydrachange Cream Review & Swatches

April 5, 2010
Thank you so much to all of you who’ve reached out to let me know that my daily posts have been missed – I love hearing from you amidst all the craziness of work, it really brightens my day.  So given all the stress I’ve been under (and the massive sleep-deprivation I’ve been experiencing) you’d think that my skin would be going haywire, but thanks to the soothing, hydrating gentleness that is Sensai’s new Hydrachange Cream, my skin hasn’t been betraying the chaos that happens to be my life.  Check out the full review after the jump!

The Science: Hydrachange Cream is an uber-gentle gel cream that imparts a refreshing moist sensation upon application.  Sensai’s unique Hyaluronic Acid Supporting Network evenly distributes Hydrachange Complex, (made up of a marine monosaccharide to improve firmness and smoothness, beta-carotene to promote hyaluronic acid synthesis and a hyaluronate to boost collagen) with water and emollient oils to clam the skin while sealing in moisture for constant hydration. 
The Good: My simultaneously super oily and super dry (and always super-irritated) skin loves loves LOVES Hydrachange Cream.  Over the nearly three months that I’ve been using this cream (never have I stuck with a single moisturizer this long) my pores have noticeably decreased in sizes, my skin is balanced and happy, and I’ve experienced nary a dry flake during the cold winter months.  This gel cream has a wonderfully light, almost watery texture that makes moisturizing such a pleasure in the morning (I hate struggling with a super thick cream) and is infused with the fresh, feminine, comforting fragrance of plum blossoms blended with notes of sandalwood, rose and jasmine (which are also supposed to boost hyaluronic acid synthesis in the dermis).  Have I also mentioned that I haven’t experienced a single major breakout since I started using this cream?  It’s heaven I tell you, pure heaven!
The Bad: I do have to say that there was one small hitch in the ABS/Hydrachange Cream love story – stickiness.  If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a sticky skincare product, and Hydrachange doesn’t dry to a completely matte finish, but rather remains slightly sticky to the touch throughout the day.  I do, however, think that this is why this particular product moisturizes so well and is so incredibly hydrating, so I really shouldn’t complain.  PLUS happily I’ve found that perfect skincare combination that makes for happy skin and a nice, smooth feel – I layer Hydrachange over my ever-trusty Estee Lauder Idealist (I’ve been using this stuff for years) and it settles into a nice and smooth, non-tacky finish that foundation just glides right over.
As promised, here are the ingredients!
The Verdict: While my wallet cringes (just a little) at the $160 for 1.4 oz. price, to be honest I’d pay pretty much any price for beautiful, happy skin, and so when sample jar (generously provided to me by the wonderful Sensai PR people) goes empty, I’ll be dragging myself over to the Kanebo counter at Bergdorf to restock. 
 
Availability:  Sensai’s Hydrachange Series is available at Bergdorf Goodman, BergdorfGoodman.com and NeimanMarcus.com (online only).  Do check out the line, it’s one of my favorite brands ever!
This review contains a press sample sent to ABS by the brand’s PR representative for blog consideration. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at a.beautyful.sentiment@gmail.com.

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SENSAI Cellular Performance HydraChange Series Preview

March 10, 2010

I hope you all survived your Tuesdays better than I did – I’d have to say that even for a Tuesday, mine was pretty abysmal.  On the bright side though, the work week is almost half over and I’ve got a seriously amazing new skincare line to introduce you to.

Sensai’s new Cellular Performance HydraChange Series (launching in mid-March), containing a unique hyaluronic acid cocktail, seals in moisture, smooths skin’s appearance, and best of all, provides an immediate water-like hydrating sensation upon contact. 

I’ve been playing around with two items from this launch, the HydraChange Mist ($75) and the HydraChange Cream ($175) and my mother will be the first to admit that my skin is looking pretty amazing lately (and if you know Korean mothers, you’ll know they never compliment you on anything, especially your skin).  I haven’t broken out once in the two months since I switched my skincare over to HydraChange and my skin hasn’t been dry despite the ridiculously cold we’ve been having, but most amazing for me is the fact that my pores seem to be significantly tighter (although I can’t be sure this is what brought about that change – I think it might have something to do with the daily cleanser I’m using as well – either way I’m seriously amazed and so so ecstatic since I’ve tried pretty much every pore-tightening product known to man to no avail).  I’ve got to run off to work soon so this is all the info you’re getting today, but you can expect review of the products soon!

Availability: Launching in-store at Bergdorf Goodman in mid-March.  Pre-orders available via kanebobg@gmail.com.  Available at Kanebo.com in April.

L’Oreal Go 360˚ Clean Scrublet vs. Random Japanese Scrubbie

January 5, 2010


Just to show you how good a deal L’Oreal’s Go 360˚ Clean cleansers are, I’m bringing you a quick comparison of the Scrublet you get with L’Oreal’s cleanser vs. a similar scrubby I purchased at my local Japanese market (all on its own, no cleanser included). Check out the details and more photos after the jump!


So admittedly the Japanese scrubby (on the right) is pinker, larger, cuter, and comes with finger loopies – but surprisingly it just doesn’t match up to L’Oreal’s Scrublet for several reasons.

#1 it’s just too large and floppy and therefore a bit of a disaster to use. The finger loops do help to hold it in place, but the added size really does nothing for this as I prefer to focus on smaller areas of my face while cleansing.

#2 the suction on my Japanese scrubby is pure rubbish. Stick it on my mirror, walk by a few hours later and there it is, sitting on the ground, just crying to be picked up. Contrast that to L’Oreal’s suction which stays put for days on end. Really people, it’s the little things that make me happy :).

#3 – it really comes down to price. From what I can remember, I paid close to $5 for my Japanese scrubby, whereas L’Oreal’s Scrublet + cleanser is a mere $6.99 – who can argue with numbers like that?

My conclusion? Go out and try L’Oreal’s Go 360˚ Clean for yourself. It’s inexpensive enough that I can suggest it to all of you without feeling guilty, and fun enough that I know you’ll all want to indulge!

Drugstore Discoveries: L’Oreal Go 360˚ Clean Deep Cleanser with Scrublet Review

January 5, 2010


If you’re anything like me, you look at a $6.99 cleanser on the shelf at the drugstore and wonder if it can really be any good – you’re probably used to the drying, irritating, strip your skin to the bone type of cleansers that many drugstore brands seem to love releasing. Well your inner recessionista will rejoice over the awesomeness that is L’Oreal’s new Go 360˚ Clean Deep Facial Cleanser. Check out the details after the jump!


The Go 360˚ Clean Deep Facial Cleanser makes a fantastic daily cleanser. On my simultaneously super dry yet super oily skin, Go 360˚ Clean provides a wonderful deep clean that removes trace of foundation (it’s not so great with the mascara) while also keeping my skin break-out and blackhead free. And the best part? It’s non-drying!


What makes this a ‘love’ product for me is L’Oreal’s darling little Scrublet (close-ups below) that comes cleverly nestled within the Go 360˚ Clean bottle. Its soft, siliconey nubbies are gentle enough for use on the most sensitive of complexions but deep cleansing enough to keep the most stubborn of pores clear and blackhead-free. Plus the back has a suction cup (if you don’t feel like sticking it back into the bottle) so that you can pop the Scrublet onto your mirror, shower door, or other surface of choice for easy storage.


I only have two tiny gripes and they really are pretty minor – I’m not crazy about the slightly medicinal scent, and I don’t know about you but the top of my bottle is ridiculously hard to get open. One other thing I should mention is that while this is a great cleanser, it’s not very high-lathering meaning if you’re used to working your cleansers into a rich, thick, luxurious foam, you might be a little disappointed.


If you’re like me and have gargantuan mutant blackheads that never know when to quit, L’Oreal’s deep facial cleanser just may be the product for you, and given that it’s well under $10 even after tax, it’s definitely worth a look-see. If you’ve tried the other versions of this product (I’ve got my eye on the cream and the exfoliating versions) I’d love to hear about them!

Availability: L’Oreal Paris Go 360˚ Clean will be available February 2010 at www.lorealparis.com and chain drug, food and mass market retailers for $6.99.

A press sample of this product was sent to ABS by the brand’s PR representative for blog consideration. I probably would’ve purchased this anyway because I’m a sucker for the cute scrubby! If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at a.beautyful.sentiment@gmail.com.


L’Oreal 2010 Sneak Preview: Go 360˚ Clean Cleanser with Scrublet!

December 16, 2009

L’Oreal Paris’ new Go 360˚ Clean is an innovative new cleanser collection which comes paired with the Scrublet cleansing tool that goes beyond clean for an extraordinary pore-by-pore daily cleansing experience. Pores look smaller and skin is cleaner, smoother and softer.

More info and photos after the jump!

Go 360˚ Clean includes L’Oreal’s Scrublet cleansing tool, a super-soft, flexible cleansing disc that applies the collection’s cleanser with 500 extra-supple touch pints that gently glide across the skin, activating the cleanser formulas on contact to create a high-foaming lather. This rich lather penetrates into the pores, unclogging them and gently removing traces of dirt, oil and makeup in every last pore, crease and crevice.

Go 360˚ Clean offers a complete range of cleanser calibrated for ideal performance with the Scrublet:
The Scrublet pops right into and out of the custom-made bottle for convenient storage, and even comes with a suction cup allowing you to stick the Scrublet onto your bathroom mirror or tile. I’ve been using the Deep Facial Cleanser for a few weeks now and my skin is looking pretty fabulous if I do say so myself, and my pores are noticeably tighter looking. Full review to come soon!

Availability: L’Oreal Paris Go 360˚ Clean will be available February 2010 at www.lorealparis.com and chain drug, food and mass market retailers for $6.99.

La Mer The Lip Balm Review

December 7, 2009


La Mer’s The Lip Balm icon($45) was a very generous gift from Nicole, who seriously has the most fabulous taste in cosmetics. So I know the big question on everyone mind is — is it worth it? Find out after the jump!


So what does your $45 get you? 0.32 ounces of long-lasting sweet, minty, refreshing balmy goodness containing La Mer’s famous Miracle Broth, vitamins, and marine and botanical extracts. The balm imparts a nice light cooling sensation and a yummy minty scent (and flavor), is never sticky, and is really incredibly moisturizing. A little goes a long way so while the stuff is pricey, it should last you for a few months of regular use.


My gripes? Well I would’ve liked a little SPF in the product, but I guess the absence of SPF makes for a nice nighttime treatment so it goes both ways. My one plea to La Mer is to bring us this fantastic balm in stick form – I would love not having to stick my fingeres into a pot everytime I go to obsessively reapply this wonderfully soothing balm.

So back to the question of whether this slim little pot is worth your hard-earned $45. While I absolutely love my La Mer The Lip Balm, I’m hard-pressed to say that it’s worth what could otherwise be spent on a new bottle of foundation or moisturizer. I personally would repurchase as I’m a bit of a La Mer addict and absolutely adore the product, but if you’re pressed for cash and on the hunt for an insanely moisturizing lip product, I’d say skip The Lip Balm and check out Sara Happ’s The Lip Slip instead. Yes it’s sticky and completely different texture-wise from La Mer’s Balm, but it’s also much friendlier on the wallet and makes a much-appreciated holiday stocking stuffer.

Drugstore Discoveries: Burt’s Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser Review

December 3, 2009


Burt’s Bees Facial Radiance Cleanser with Royal Jelly
($10.00 for a generous 6 fl. oz.) is one of those drugstore gems you discover every now and then – the kind that makes you wonder why you bother to spend $50 on a pricey department store cleanser that you happen to love but loathe shelling out for every few months. Read the rave after the jump!


Burt’s Bees Radiance Cleanser
is pretty much exactly the kind of cleanser I like to use every day. It’s a light lotion-type cleanser that, when mixed with water, lathers lightly and becomes wonderfully milky. It’s effectively removes all of my makeup while leaving my skin neither stripped nor oily thanks to the additions of nourishing royal jelly and very lightly exfoliating jojoba beads. Plus I do happen to be rather fond of the packaging, particularly the easy lock mechanism for the pump which makes this a dream to travel with.


I actually have noticed that my skin appears to be brighter when I use this cleanser on a regular basis, and I have every intention of stocking up and using these as stocking stuffers. I think they’re a bargain at only $10.00 a pop (it’s tough to find a good product under $10 nowadays) and do recommend that you check them out!

This was my first Burt’s Bees purchase and I’ll definitely be making more in the future. Who knew that a drugstore cleanser could feel so luxurious and department store-y?

Josie Maran Mini Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick

November 14, 2009


I saw a mini version of Josie Maran’s Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick peeking out at me from one of the many bins Sephora so cleverly places by the registers on the way to checkout, and I couldn’t resist trying it out for only $6. I’m not quite ready to review it for you yet, but I am currently in the process of testing this out on different parts of my skin (lips, cheeks, undereyes, hands, etc.) to see if that product really is as multi-functional as it claims. I’ll be back with a review for you soon!

Etude House O2 White Mask Pack Review

November 9, 2009


I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately, so I figured it was time to get back to some fun, inexpensive Asian products for a nice change of pace.

Etude House’s O2 White Mask ($14.99) is a skin whitening and revitalizing wash-off mask that contains an oxygen complex meant to give your complexion a whitened, brightened appearance.


The O2 White Mask has a fresh fruity/floral scent and a fun jelly-like consistency that’s cooling to the skin upon initial application. I do experience some tingling when this touches my rather sensitive skin so I wouldn’t recommend this for those of you who are really sensitive and prone to irritation, but apply the mask, wait 2-3 minutes and rinse off (you’ll see a tiny bit of foaming as you wash this off) and you’ll immediately notice smoother, brighter, happier looking skin.


Etude House’s O2 White Mask makes a fabulous inexpensive midweek pick-me-up and is something I like to slather on as I’m sitting in front of the television (like tonight) not doing much of anything at all. It takes zero effort and provides immediate results – can’t really ask for much more than that!

This product was a gift from my aunt in Korea – the last time I visited her she saw that I was interested in Etude House and she actually remembered – very sweet of her! She’s also a typical Korean woman, meaning she’s on a neverending quest for that perfect milky white complexion, which explains her choice of product for me =P.

Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm Review & Swatches

October 30, 2009
Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm ($42)

From the Label: Inspired by old-world Russian herbal remedies, this supremely rich body balm renews the look of very dry, tired-looking skin with Sea Buckthron Berry Oil, known for its replenishing effects on skin. Sea Buckthorn was even known to be a secret ingredient used by Russian Cosmonauts.


When I first saw that Kiehls was launching this Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm, a major lemming was born. Berry and olive oil to regenerate skin, shea and cocoa butters to hydrate, and honey and fruit glycolic acids to accelerate skin turnover for improved smoothness and radiance – how could I resist? The funny thing is I received a press sample of this literally the day that I was planning to go out to buy it. Yay!


The Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm is a thick opaque yellow cream/balm that smells of shea and cocoa butters (not particularly appealing to me, but not really offensive either). It’s rich and luxurious and a little really goes a long way – yet amazingly enough it’s not even remotely greasy and it sinks so quickly into my skin that by the time I’ve gotten around to getting dressed, I’ve forgotten all about it.


The Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm is beautifully hydrating and while pricey at $42, if you do the math it comes to $5 an ounce which isn’t terrible considering that I don’t foresee ever finishing this mammoth tub. My one gripe is that I find huge tubs like this rather annoying and cumbersome, but I guess I can’t have it all!

This review contains a press sample sent to ABS by the brand’s PR representative for blog consideration. Honestly I probably would’ve purchased it myself if I hadn’t received it as I was dying to try it. I’m a sucker for a product with the words “imperial” and “balm” in the name!

This review contains an affiliate link. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at a.beautyful.sentiment@gmail.com.