Archive for the 'sunscreen' Category

Protect Your Haircolor This Summer: Introducing L’Oreal EverPure UV Protect Spray

September 11, 2009
L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System UV Protect Spray ($8.99)

As someone who dyes her hair at home quite often, I’ve learned that one of the main culprits of faded, dull color (other than failing to use shampoos/conditioners for color-treated hair ~ this is a must!) is the sun. I know many of you love lying out on the beach on a gorgeous summer day, and while we all think to protect our complexions nowadays with the help of some SPF, so many of us forget to protect our hair!

Of course it’s best to wear a hat, bandanna, or something else that will physically block the sun, but if you’re like me and hate having things on your head, a great alternative is L’Oreal’s new EverPure UV Protect Spray!


EverPure UV Protect Spray is gentle and lightweight enough to be used on daily on all hairtypes (wet or dry). The UV filters in the spray help to protect your hair (and that gorgeous new dye job) from the sun’s harmful rays, meaning healthier, happier, less breakage-prone hair for you!

All of EverPure’s conditioners and masques (they come in various formulations such as Extra Nourishment, rizz Frighting, Volumizing, etc.) happen to contain both UVA and UVB filters (although I have yet to try these myself) so the UV Protect Spray is great for additional coverage on top to help prevent your color from suffering premature fading.

And of course as the name indicates, these products are 100% sulfate free and contain botanical infusions of rosemary, mint and juniper extracts for a soothing aromatherapeutic experience.

Availability: At http://www.lorealparis.com and chain drug, food and mass market retailers nationwide.

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ABS Shops Nordstrom’s Beauty Exclusives!

July 20, 2009

You’ll be getting more in-depth info on the products in upcoming posts, but here’s my tiny restrained haul!


So here’s my favorite purchase of this year: Lancome’s ‘Declaring Indigo’ Brush Set (see it on Nordstrom’s site HERE). I’ll be posting a review on these tomorrow or so but let me just say that if you haven’t already, you need to get your hands on these! Not only are they simply stunning, but they’re also an amazing value, exceedingly soft and plush, and just so much fun to own.


Plus it didn’t hurt that my purchase qualiied my for a great gift with purchase (GWP). I chose the indigo tote to go with my new indigo brushes and was delighted to see that the set included a Color Fever Shine lipstick in Pink to the Club (you get a choice of two shades), a bright pink that’s heavy on the golden flecks, which I’ve actually been meaning to purchase.


Can you believe I only made two purchases during this year’s Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives event? But that’s pretty much all my wallet would permit, and I’m proud that all of my purchases were relatively practical ones.

Purchase #2 was Clarins’ UV Plus Day Screen SPF 40 Double Edition (see it on Nordstrom’s site HERE) which I raved about on the blog HERE. This is seriously my HG sunscreen and it’s one amazing product that I don’t think that I can be without.


And lucky for me there was yet another GWP! While you technically have to purchase two separate Clarins products to receive this gift, the salesgirl was sweet enough to let me get away with just puchasing the UV Plus duo. How amazing is this set? I can’t believe that it was free!


I’ve already taken a bunch of rather beautiful close-ups of the Lancome brushes so you can expect those to be up Tuesday (hey a little suspense is good for you!) but in the meantime I’ll be posting a bunch of swatches that I know you’re going to love!

Eye Cream Quest Part 1: Dior HydrAction Visible Defense Hydra-Protective Eye Creme SPF 20 Review & Swatches

July 17, 2009
Here’s installment one of the eye cream reviews that I promised you! I’m wondering if these should have a title like the Mascara Series does, but I’m not entirely sure. Any preferences? I’m leaning towards no.

Dior HydrAction Visible Defense Hydra-Protective Eye Creme SPF 20 ($54)
This SPF 20 hydra-protective skincare that uses Aquaporin technology moisturizes your skin intensely, protecting it effectively against external stresses thanks to the exclusive Dior Multi-Protective SPF 20 complex that acts as a powerful protective barrier. Effectively protected and perfectly moisturized, your skin visibly regains its glow and beauty.

I had my mother pick up Dior’s HydrAction Visible Defense Hydra-Protective Eye Creme for me a few years back when she was in Korea (from Duty Free of course), sight unseen, and it was definitely full of surprises for me as it was nothing like what I was expecting.


Age Range: I’d say this particular eye cream is best-suited for those in their teens to mid thirties as it seems to be formulated to address the more preliminary signs of aging and to emphasize preventative measures as opposed to actually remedying fully-formed wrinkles. While it’s decently moisturizing, it’s also rather light and doesn’t provide the heavier moisture your under eye area may be craving once you hit 40.

Sorry for this terrible photo — these were taken with my old camera which didn’t do so well in low-light conditions.

What It’s Good For: You’ll want this HydrAction Creme is you’re seeking moderate hydration and don’t suffer from excessively parched undereye skin. This eye cream is good for those who spend a lot of time outdoors as it contains SPF and protects against environmental stresses and pollutants. It’ll help address those first few fine lines you’re seeing, but it doesn’t do much for more deeply ingrained wrinkles, dark circles or puffiness.


The Formula:
As I mentioned, I was rather surprised by the formula. Dior’s HydrAction Hydra-Protective Eye Creme has the consistency of a thick souffle and therefore is a little disconcerting upon first use. It feels nice and light though (it’s almost fluffy) and glides on easily. One aspect that can be either a pro or a con is that this product leaves a bit of a whitish cast wherever it’s applied thanks to the SPF (see it sheered out in the photo below to see what I mean). I actually like this since I’m decently pale and it gives me eyes a brightened appearance, but if you’re on the darker side it might appear to be a bit odd. The formula is moderately hydrating, non-irritating, very gentle on the eyes and all-around a good solid eye cream. I appreciate that it’s non-greasy and therefore doesn’t migrate and slide around my eye ruining my eye makeup.


The Verdict: While I don’t really see this eye cream providing any heavy-duty anti-aging benefits, I do quite like it for its simplicity and the fact that it’s one of the few eye creams to provide decent SPF protection, something that’s key for the delicate skin under our eyes. If you’re young, have relatively good skin and are just looking for a good solid eye cream that’ll provide you with sun protection, moisturization and a brightened, lightened undereye area with some anti-aging bits thrown in this is a good option for you. I like to use this on those summer days when it’s just too hot for anything heavier.

RATING: 3.75/5

Your One Must-Have Item For Summer: Clarins UV Plus Day Screen SPF 40 Review

June 17, 2009
Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40
($42 for 1 oz; $56 for 1.7 oz)

Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 is the ultimate natural, non-chemical day screen. It has anti-UV and anti-pollution protection with 100% micronized, microdispersed mineral filters that guarantees optimal tolerance for even the most delicate skin.

Nestled within the Sephora Sun Safety Kit the SO got me (see my post on it HERE) was an undiscovered treasure and my latest must-have summer items ~ Clarins’ UV Plus Day Screen SPF 40. Before I get to the review–yes the price is ridiculously steep for one seriously small bottle of sunscreen, but this stuff is so good I can almost say that it’s worth it.

I went through a few of the sunscreens included in the Sun Safety Kit and I was relatively unimpressed–they irritated my skin, caused redness, stinging and the like, or turned my forehead into an oilslick. So naturally I wasn’t expecting much with the Clarins, but I can say with confidence that this is the best sunscreen I’ve ever gotten my hands on, and I really don’t think that there’s better out there.

The formula’s super lightweight and non-irritating. My super sensitive skin is irritated by pretty much every sunscreen out there, but after applying this I don’t even feel the slightest tingle. But what I find so amazing is the non-greasiness of Clarins UV Plus. After applying the easily blended liquidy formula to my face, I count for literally all of five seconds and the sunscreen is dry–you would never know that you’d applied anything to your skin and your face is raring to go for some foundation. For me it’s nothing short of miraculous and a godsend on those hot summer days when you know you should be wearing sunscreen but you just can’t bring yourself to.

An added bonus? This creates a nice, smooth matte surface much like primer, and on my good-skin days obviates the need for foundation. Convinced yet? I sure am! I think I’ll be purchasing the 1.7 oz size as soon as it’s back in stock.

What’s your must-have summer product?

Take A Peek Inside Sephora’s Sun Safety Kit

May 28, 2009
Sephora Sun Safety Kit ($110 value for $22.50)

Sephora Sun Safety Kit brings you a bevy of summer skincare must-haves! Sun exposure is the #1 cause of wrinkles and skin damage. Try out this array of products and find your perfect match. Do something good for your skin and feel good knowing that 100% of the net profits from the sales of this set will be donated to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Stay safe this summer!


Unbeknownst to me, my boyfriend ordered this cute Sephora Sun Safety Kit for me while I was away in Korea–I guess he got bored without me! =D And of course I love it since he’s usually anti buying my anything cosmetics related.

I’m all about year round sun-protection (see my reviews of my favorite SPF products HERE), but of course it’s especially important come spring/summer with the hot sun beating down on your delicate complexions for hours on end. I’m always loathe to experiment with full-sized SPF’s since many of them irritate my skin and cause burning/itching, so I love having all these minis to play around with before having to commit to a full-size.

Check out what the set includes below!

The fun expandable yellow bag (made out of recycled plastic) that all the goodies come in. It’s such a nice bright shade, and even better is that it expands into a really cute backpack (photos below)!

– 0.25 oz Smashbox Photo Finish UVA/UVB SPF 15
– 0.4 oz Philosophy Hope in a Jar SPF 20
– 0.14 oz Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15
– 0.25 oz Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Defense Lotion SPF 30
– 0.5 oz Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20
– 1.0 oz Anthony Logistics Facial Moisturizer SPF 15

– 0.23 oz DDF Protect and Correct UV Moisturizer SPF 15
– 0.33 oz Cosmedicine Medi-matte Oil Control Lotion SPF 20
– 0.34 oz Korres Watermelon Sunscreen Face Cream SPF 30
– 0.08 oz Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55 PA+++
– 0.1 oz Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40

– 0.25 oz Ole Henriksen Herbal Day Cream SPF 15
– 0.01 oz Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Well-Rested for Eyes SPF 30

The backpack fully expanded!

I think this kit is a really fun way to try out a million different SPF products without having to commit to any one of them. Yes the samples are tiny, but they’re big enough that you can get a decent idea of whether or not a product works for you before you’re out of it.

I do wish that the set didn’t include men’s products (the Jack Black and Anthony Logistics), but it’s not a huge deal as I can just give them to the SO. And I also found myself wishing that some of the products had higher SPF’s–I usually go for at least SPF 40, so some of these are on the low end of the spectrum for me.

All in all this is a great product in some fun-for-the-beach packaging that I definitely recommend. especially since all the net proceeds go to The Skin Foundation!

ABS’s Favorite SPF’s Review-Protect Yourself from the Sun!

May 4, 2008
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Now that the weather’s finally warmed up a bit I figured the time was about right for the ever-important talk. You know the one I’m talking about. To sunscreen or not to sunscreen?

Sunscreen is an essential element of any beauty regimen. I know that applying SPF to your face adds an extra few minutes to your daily routine, and I’m not saying tan isn’t beautiful, but the lower amounts of SPF contained in many of our skincare products such as lotions and foundations really don’t cut it, especially if you spend a decent amount of time in direct sunlight.

Plus really, who wants to have prematurely aged skin?! Not me!! So here are my favorite ways to arm my face against the sun:

    • This is one of my favorite sunscreens of all time! What do I love about it? Pretty much everything but the price and size. I have very sensitive skin, and most sunscreens cause a burning/tingling sensation that can range from pretty mild to a full-on redness causing burn. But the fluide extreme is a milky watery-textured sunscreen that has never so much as caused a tingle.
    • Another great thing about this product is that it absorbs super-quickly, meaning you don’t have to sit around all day waiting for your sunscreen to sink in, and you won’t even notice that you have it on.
    • A great alternative (and an amazing sunblock in and of itself) is Sofina’s Perfect UV Lucent SPF 50+. I find the two products to be very similar, but prefer the La Roche because I can get it faster and have easier access to it.

    • This is another great sunscreen, even if you’re not on a budget. Studies have actually shown that individuals who wear cheaper sunscreens are better protected from then sun than those who spend lots of money on expensive high-end sun protection. Why, you ask? Because apparently a lot of us splurge on expensive sunscreens but then are too cheap to slather on the amount we need to be adequately protected! So if you’re going to spend the money on protecting yourself from the sun, make sure you apply a layer that’s thick enough for the sunscreen to actually do its job!
    • The Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the name. It’s not as much fun as the La Roche to apply because it’s not as liquidy (this has more of the consistency of a moisturizer), but once it dries there’s no greasiness whatsoever and it feels very light on your face. It doesn’t cause the greasies or breakouts like many sunscreens out there, plus it’s cheap, so it’s a definite winner!

    • I love the fact that this is quick and easy and great for on-the-go sunscreen touch-ups. I tend not to use this as my only form of sun protection because I’m paranoid and can never really tell how much or how little of this has actually gotten on my face (and I don’t know how long it’ll actually stay on my face)), but applying a quick dusting of this over my make-up before running out of the house makes my face fell all that much more protected.
    • Another good thing about using a powder sunscreen on top of a liquid is that you need to apply liquids a good 30 minutes before actually going out into the sun. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m usually running extremely late and don’t have time to be sitting around inside my house for a half hour waiting for me sunscreen to kick in. So applying this powder as a last finishing touch provides me with the instant protection I need, and if it gets rubbed off I have the SPF underneath to protect me as well.
    • The one thing I dislike about this product is the brush it comes in. It’s the most prickly thing I’ve ever felt, and so I actually purchased a powder brush you can fill with the powder of your choice and transferred it.

Sunscreen really is key to maintaining a youthful complexion and warding off those pesky wrinkles, so if you haven’t found one that you love yet be sure to test one of these out!

Have you tried any of my favorites? Love them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments 🙂