Because It’s Worth It… Where to Spend a Little More Money

If you haven’t watched the adorable Marcel The Shell video that’s such a huge hit on YouTube – you have to check it out below (and click HERE to see it if you get this post delivered via email). The the couple who produces it has already written a book and is in talks to develop a series staring their lovable one-eyed shell after just 2 videos. I watch it religiously. It just makes me smile.

http://youtu.be/Ta9K22D0o5Q

My favorite line is at the end when he says he smiles because it’s worth it. Which caused a mental domino about what’s really ‘worth it’ in terms of popping the lock off the wallet and spending a little more for an investment in your skin looking great. I’m not someone who thinks you have to spend a ton to look great – I recommend drugstore finds as often as department store ones – but there are a few exceptions that are so great that I’ll spend the extra cash because I know they’re worth it.

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation:

I’m scraping the bottom of my jar of Chantecaille Future Skin that I got almost 2 years ago. I heard so much about their foundations that I purchased the jar at a counter not knowing it was $72 and then tried to play it off when she told me my total like it wasn’t twice as much as I’d ever spent on foundation. I quickly discovered that after I tried every type of foundation that passed my desk, I’d happily return to Future Skin. Its coverage is fantastic, staying power terrific, and the look of it is so natural – which might be because it’s made of 60% water and seaweed. The higher price tag could be attributed to its treatment benefits like reducing sebum and calming redness with chamomile and green tea – but who knows. All I know is that I’m mentally preparing for another $72 purchase very soon, but at least this time I know it’s worth it.

Liz Earle Cleanser:

Cleanse & Polish, the cleanser that I’ve referred to as ‘near perfect,’ is so worth an order from the UK based Liz Earle (or from Fred Segal Santa Monica- their only stateside location I know of.) It’s not a pricey buy at $25 for a 3.3oz pump (and around $7 to ship), it’s the ordering that makes it a little more of a challenge than grabbing a bottle at a store like we’re all so used to doing. I’m so addicted to this thick, creamy, lightly Eucalyptus scented gentle cleanser which removes all makeup so effortlessly, that when I try out a new cleanser to review it’s what I measure them all against. It’s a gold standard for a cleanser and one that’s so popular they have an automatic refill service and also a 3 pack available to make getting this perfect cleanser as easy as possible.

SkinCeuticals Serums:

SkinCeuticals is renowned for their high-potency, crazy effective serums designed to correct, fade, protect, and calm – whatever your skin happens to need. Their C E Ferulic is probably their best known do-it-all serum with vitamins C and E and Ferulic acid to protect the skin against environmental damage and skin aging. They use the purest, best forms of vitamins (like L-Ascorbic for their C) for maximum benefits and create combinations with other vitamins and acids for the very best skin absorption. Serums compliment any skincare routine and are so beneficial using only a few drops a day making them worth their $100- $150 cost.

Estée Lauder Eye Creams:

Eyes show age. It’s that simple. Getting that thin skin moisturized and protected is important, as is finding an eye cream that has some beneficial ingredients and proven science. So many eye creams are a complete waste – basically just plain moisturizers in a smaller jar without any true benefits. I trust and love Lauder’s eye creams – they have something for every skin type and concern, but their Re-Nutriv eye creams are their supreme offerings. With too much science in them to explain (or understand, really) I just know that when I use a Lauder eye cream, I can see the difference. I can waste money $35 at a time with something that isn’t working, or just fork out the $100 (ish) to see a difference and keep the Botox away a little bit longer.

Don’t worry, I’m also rounding up a ‘not worth it list’ (hello mascara!!) so you can save your pennies on things that are all pretty much the same.

Vitamin C for Sensitive Skin

We all know what a big difference using Vitamin C makes, but some C serums can irritate sensitive skin and worsen breakouts. Bioelements Advanced VitaMineral C Complex is a light lotion starring Acerola Cherries, a super antioxident boasting 3000% more C than oranges for a more gentle efficacy . It’s combined with essential oils to soothe, and minerals to nourish so it makes a perfect day treatment that fights aging on even the most sensitized (or acne prone) skin.

Professional Skin Care From the L.A. Experts

What would 2 L.A. based plastic surgeons and a facialist know about skin? A lot actually. Keeping celebs camera-ready in the age of HD and paparazzi (where grocery shopping can turn into an impromptu photo shoot) is the cornerstone of their businesses, so formulating their own lines to get the exact results their clients need is a natural next step for their successful clinics. Here are 3 I’ve tried recently that give celebrity-worthy results to us little people.

Of the few things I sampled from the Kate Somerville line, I was most impressed by her Anti Aging and Acne collection, a totally underrepresented category of skin care. It’s for those who are still experiencing slight to moderate breakouts in their 30′s and beyond where drying the hell out of your face to banish acne isn’t the best option for a youthful skin texture. Her Oil Free Moisturizer balances skin hydration levels carefully so as not to exacerbate oiliness or breakouts and also uses Pepha-Tight, an exclusive skin toner and tightener for a firmer looking face.

Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer

Also worth checking out is her Anti Bac Clearing Lotion, a 5% prescription strength, time-released Benzoyl Peroxide that’s strong enough to wipe out acne but gentle enough to  protect skin from the typically drying and peeling effects some acne fighters cause.

Kate Somerville Anti Bac Clearing Lotion

Dr. Solieman is a double board certified plastic surgeon who developed Jolie MD Metamorphosis to refine lined, blemish-prone, hyper-pigmented, and oily skin into a clearer, more vibrant version of itself. His two step system uses an arsenal of proven ingredients that helps overall skin clarity like Glycolic, Salicylic, Vitamin A, and Whitonyl to name a few. The two light lotions are layered together nightly for a deep down exfoliation revealing the clearer skin you’ve been hiding all this time.

Dr. Garth Fisher is known for his appearances on ‘Extreme Makeover’ as well as the guy who fixed Bruce Jenner’s earlier too-tight face work. Even Kim Kardashian raves about his line, CellCeuticals and says her whole family has been using it since they’ve met him. Extreme Defense is a best-seller because it’s a good-for-all skin protector that targets daily environmental pollutants known to advance skin aging. He uses Vitamins A, C, E, Green Tea, and Vitamin B5 along with Almond and Avocado oils to soften the skin without a heavy cream. His line is straightforward and so effective that he touts visible results in just 2 weeks.

More Fantastic Eye Creams

Since I’ve been off Botox, I’ve been busy testing out a whole slew of treatments to curtail my crow’s feet. Here’s another tested and approved array of eye creams I’ve used that help you not to look as haggard tired as you feel.

For Dry Eyes with Early Signs of Aging:

Advanced Night Repair has been one of my very favorite eye creams for years. Lauder created this little miracle potion with a unique texture to it like a thick serum so you can slather on as much as you’d like without a thick build up. It feels like a quenching gulp of water for that delicate eye area that’s so vulnerable to dryness and fine lines.

For an All Purpose Cream

If you aren’t protecting that delicate skin under your eyes yet, you really should be. Noah’s Naturals has a popular ‘green’ Eye Cream that delivers light hydration and antioxidants for just $10.

For Quick Wrinkle Erasing

I like feeling the intense tightening brought on in minutes by Freeze 24/7′s Anti-Aging Eye Serum. Everything from this line is designed to give quick, visible results and this eye serum is no exception. Use it sparingly and go easy on the concealer over top, it causes makeup to drag a little bit,  but considering how it erases crow’s feet, eh who cares?

For Tired Looking Eyes

Everything in Glytone’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream is meant to take the tired look out of eyes; Caffeine to reduce puff, Licorice to lighten dark circles, and Red Tea to protect from future damage. There’s even a shot of Glycolic Acid to mildly exfoliate the skin to allow brighter skin come through.

For De-Puffing Naturally

I’ve been using various things from Desert Essence for years now and I’m glad they finally got into the skin care game. They created a (big tube of) Coconut and Olive Oil rich cream that helps reduce eye puff. Daily Essential De-Puffing Eye Cream gets the moisture level perfect, use it solo or mix a little in with your concealer for a custom tinted eye cream. If you’re super puffy in the morning, store the tube in the fridge and make a habit out of using it when you stumble into the kitchen for coffee.

For Firming

I’ve been on an Osmotics kick lately. Sure I’m a sucker for a Denver-based company, but I’m also sucker for a line that’s edited and focused. Anti-aging is their thing, and Blue Copper 5 Firming Eye Repair is an anti-aging treatment for the eyes. It’s a best seller for them because of its dreamy gel-cream texture packed with healing Copper, Peptides, and Vitamins to firm and contour skin while incidentally acting as a nice little primer for makeup as well.

Osmotics anti-Wrinkle Vitamin C Patches

Nothing like a straight shot of Vitamin C to get your skin livened up. I’ve been using these Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin C Patches from Osmotics, their answer to lifeless, lined skin. In the kit you’ll find 12 sets of 2 patches infused with straight Sodium Ascorbate and Ascorbic Acid that adhere to the skin overnight delivering a big dose of C into targeted areas where you’d like to see fewer wrinkles.

I’ve been using them around my eyes to lessen my crow’s feet which are more pronounced these days since I’m off Botox again**.  They are a short-term solution, but a good one nonetheless. I can see a softening of lines and improvement in clarity in the morning after I wear them especially after a couple of wears a week. If you’re looking to stave off Botox (or make the most of Botox injections), or to target-treat facial wrinkling for special occasions, this is a pretty solid solution for a reasonable price ($48).

** This update is subject to change depending on how wrinkly I can tolerate seeing myself.

Osmotics Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin C Patches

Best Anti-Aging Skin Care From WebMD.com

There’s a fantastic article at WebMD about skin aging and what ingredients truly deliver results. You can check out the article HERE, but I’ve highlighted 2 that seem to be the most effective of the bunch; Coffee Berry antioxidants and Peptides.

While Vitamins, C, A, E, Green Tea, and other antioxidants are perhaps the best known, WebMD found studies that suggest Coffee Berry is not only the clear leader in antioxidant effectiveness, but the most powerful anti-aging ingredient around . Priori has created a natural line (and a mineral makeup I love) around Coffeeberry extract. Check out their Day Complex for an A.M. dose of big-time environmental protection.

Also among the darlings of skincare are peptides, a chain of proteins that have been used in studies to promote wound care and stimulate collagen. Now tripeptides are all the rage, an uber-advanced designer peptide that helps to break down aging catalysts while promoting collagen production. The article mentioned Osmotics Anti-Radical Age Defense Barrier Longevity Complex, a Tripeptide packed cream that assists damaged skin on all fronts.

Also mentioned about a bazillion times in their video report – sunscreen, it’s still the very best anti-aging solution to prevent damage to the skin. Use it daly no matter what.