Things I Buy: Ole Henriksen

When I was pregnant one of the first things I did was switch out my skincare. Goodbye Retin A and all the other hardcore products that keep my face properly sanded down and presentable. See ya later good skin- or so I thought. After some research I found that AHA’s, lactic acid, and a most natural exfoliating ingredients were safe to use so I looked into Ole Henriksen, a brand I’d been sent to review in the past and always really liked. I remembered their natural-yet-effective spin on skincare so I bought Sheer Transformation for a light moisturizer that would also aid in keeping dark spots away. (Sidebar: there’s no stopping that melasma when it comes on, you just have to wait until after the baby is born to tackle it and let it fade out on its own.)

Fast forward to today when I’m out of nearly everything and need to actually buy things because all of the samples on my desk are for skin types unlike my own. I remembered how much I loved my Ole Henriksen so I headed into Sephora to grab another Sheer Transformation. I had also read great reviews on their Walnut Complexion Scrub ($24) which I tried first on my hand- it’s gritty but not too chunky and foams up so I grabbed a jar of that too. I’ve also wanted to try the Invigorating Night Gel ($45) which is a big fave among Sephora reviewers for keeping pores cleaned out and skin really clear and bright. My Sephora bonus gift was Ole too! Small sized Truth Serum Collagen Booster, Ultimate Lift Eye Gel, Sheer Transformation, and Invigorating Night Gel.

I’m always excited to try some new skincare especially when I already know I’ll love it.

Check out the line HERE at Sephora.com.

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In my car after Sephora- the car is parked of course..

MyChelle

I was able to try some products from MyChelle a while back after I got my face scanned. After learning that I basically have the face of a 90 year old, I took home a bunch of their products so I could return for an ‘after’ scan which unfortunately didn’t happen before I had some laser treatments so we wouldn’t have an accurate look at the changes their products alone made. Sigh. But what did happen (even pre-laser) is that I finally found a natural skincare line that actually works! I love MyChelle; from the packaging, to the product variety, to the way it makes my skin look and feel. Here’s a rundown of what I used, what I liked, and what unfortunately missed the mark.

Cleanser: Apple Brightening

I really liked this cleanser, light and slightly foamy but not overly so. The apple scent was a nice and I used it faithfully until it was totally gone which is really saying something. It also left my skin feeling soft and looking bright without stripping or drying. Biggest downside would be the size- 2.1oz for $13 which seems a little skimpy to me.

Apple Brightening Cleanser

Apple Brightening Cleanser

Mist: Apple Brightening

Ever since I can remember I’ve used a toner. From Sea Breeze to Clinique, I’ve used them all in the name of squeaky clean skin. Though I’m still addicted to that (not really important) step after cleansing, it’s good to give my skin a break and to stop stripping away the moisture it needs. In the morning after cleansing when I know there isn’t any makeup left behind on my already clean skin, I’ll spritz a few sprays of this mist instead of my usual toner on a cotton pad routine. It feels refreshing and adds an extra dose of brightening power in a way that’s as light as water.

Apple Brightening Mist

Apple Brightening Mist

Serums:

Apple Brightening

Hydroquinone is not for me. Too harsh and too many risks involved so it isn’t worth it to use even though uneven skintone drives me crazy. I’ve used this serum on and off for years and I’ve found that it does work. It’s so easy on the skin without the use of harsh chemicals to fade dark spots in a natural way. Compared to hydroquinone, it will take more time so be patient and stick with it, you will see a difference.

Apply Brightening Serum

Apply Brightening Serum

Perfect C Serum 17%:

If you’re using a Vitamin C (and everyone should be in my opinion) look for it in the form of L-Ascorbic, the most effective with the best absorption. Anything else might just be orange scented liquid that smells great but does nothing for the skin. This L-Ascorbic serum doesn’t aggravate or leave skin red so sensitive skin can enjoy using it too.

Perfect C Serum 17%

Perfect C Serum 17%

Moisturizers:

Daily Defense Cream SPF 17

I love a zinc-based sunscreen, but this was my least favorite product of the bunch. It was hydrating and the texture was good, but it left a bit of a sticky after feel that I couldn’t get used to. Nothing too terrible, and the feeling did go away eventually but it just wasn’t for me.

Daily Defense Cream SPF 17

Daily Defense Cream SPF 17

Supreme Polypeptide Cream with Matrixyl® Synthe’6

A friend with similar skin to mine raves about this cream, she said not to let the rich feel steer me from trying it. It’s by far the thickest cream I’ve ever used but also one of the best. It dissolves into the skin and leaves it really soft. Long term its benefits are great; wrinkle relaxing, tightening, and clarifying so that skin looks brighter and younger. At $54 it’s pricier than most of their line, but it’s a price I’d happily pay.

Supreme Polypeptide Cream with Matrixyl® Synthe’6

Supreme Polypeptide Cream with Matrixyl® Synthe’6

Because MyChelle isn’t 100% organic, they can balance some more advanced ingredients with natural ones which makes the line more effective in making changes in the skin. Fewer essential oils also mean fewer irritations for sensitive and acne-prone skin so trust in their speciality lines and give them a shot. You can Skype a skin specialist of theirs, or better yet see if they have a Visia scanner at a store near you so you can get a (free!) before and after of your skin and some product recommendations made just for your specific needs.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

I love all things coconut from the chia pudding I’m eating right now made with coconut milk, to the oil I use as a body hydrator fresh out of the shower. I’ve also used our rice cooker to steam Harper’s apples and pears in coconut oil with a dash of cinnamon for several months now for her breakfast. It’s her favorite and a great way to feed her the healthy fats her growing brain needs. Check out the benefits of coconut oil via MindBodyGreen.com in a cute little infographic below.

Infographic by MindBodyGreen.com

Infographic by MindBodyGreen.com

My 5 Minute Beauty Routine

In the 7 months since Harper was born, my morning beauty routine has evolved and now takes about 5 minutes. Besides foundation (or concealer if you need it) and mascara (an essential that needs no recommendation), adding color to my lips and cheeks and a little brightness and depth to my eyes is all I do for a running errands or low key days. Tarte, one of my very favorite lines, has the best Cheek Stain out there in a round deodorant looking stick that sweeps across the apples of your cheeks where you need a pop of color. It’s a sheer stain that’s easy to apply and blend. Color on the face is so important, it’s typically what’s missing when people ask you if you’re sick and you’re not. Universal Lip Liner is a touch deeper than a basic nude. I quickly line and fill in with it before adding a lip balm on top to blend both together. It isn’t glossy or thick so it makes a perfect light casual color. Side note: if you have a skin tone that’s deeper than a light/medium, check out LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint which will give the same effect and is available in a variety of colors.

For eyes I skip the shadow and line the top lash line with Skinny SmolderEYES in black. I make small dashes half touching my lid and half against my lash roots so it doesn’t look drawn on but still but adds depth. The last step I never forget is EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener, a flesh toned liner that when used along your inner rim (aka waterline) it makes my eyes look less tired and really bright. (Kim Kardashian always rocks a light waterline.) Since it works so well it went from being a sometimes thing in my routine to a must- it’s something you have to try if you ever have tired looking eyes.

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That’s the extent of what I do most days. How about you, any essentials you think I should try? What are your tips for looking put together in a hurry?

Makeup I Use & Jane Iredale’s Latest

What you see below is the makeup I packed for our California trip (brushes and skincare not included obvs). All were things I bought (save for the CARGO bronzer and theBalm shadow) in spite of there being plenty of makeup scattered around my office sent by companies wanting me to review it all. I do have a Japonesque case filled with makeup that I love using when time allows and there’s a reason to doll up, but most days I edit down and use at least one or two things from this pile.

Bronzer: CARGO
Mineral Foundation: Jane Iredale in Warm Silk
Laura Mercier: Eyeliner for Tightline
White Eye Pencil: Jane Iredale
Lip Gloss: Jane Iredale in Soft Peach (my all time fav shade)
Lipstick: Aveda Oyster Pink (limited)
Cheek Color: Jane Iredale Parfait
Single Eye Shadow: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
Shadow trio: Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in ‘Filter’
Foundation: Boscia BB Cream
Concealer: Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal
Not Pictured: Mascara CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion (the purple tube)


Click to enlarge

I use the Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup over the BB Cream for a little more coverage. In a hurry, I just brush on the Iredale powder solo.

Speaking JI- their new Smooth Affair primer is amazing. It’s a light weight nourishing formula with good-for-the-skin ingredients and antioxidants that really help makeup stay put. I’ve even used it a few times in place of a morning moisturizer when my skin isn’t feeling dry because it’s the perfect amount of hydration and it makes my skin look and feel great. She also introduced a mineral BB Cream that will soon replace the Boscia I’ve been using once it runs out. It has tons of coverage and a beautiful finish. I like it better than the Boscia because of the natural ingredients and it comes in darker shade selections rather than just one ‘universal’ shade that really isn’t.


Smooth Affair Primer


Glow Time BB Cream

Nude Skincare

I’ve been a fan of NUDE Skincare since they first came on the scene a few years ago, but now they’ve really stepped up their game with a new look and a new collection of 11 probiotic and omega-rich cleansers, treatment oils, and creams. I’ve been able to try out most of the new offerings and what I found was ultra concentrated, safe, effective skincare that delivers as promised.

Highlights for me include:

The beautifully delicate ProGenius Treatment Oil is rich in omegas, vitamins, and plant and flower oils, my skin gobbled up just a few drops which gave the right amount of hydration and left my skin really soft and luminous. Use it solo on combo skin or if you don’t like the weight of heavy creams, or layer it under your moisturizer for extra thirsty skin. I used it recently on a client with ultra dry skin by mixing it into her foundation with amazing results, she said her skin had never looked so pretty. She was so overjoyed in fact (and so sweet) that I gave her my bottle right out of my kit.

For years I’ve used various oils as a pre-cleanse to loosen both eye and face makeup to reduce the amount of scrubbing to my skin, so I’m well versed in what makes one particularly good. Perfect Cleansing Oil replaced my beloved Shu Uemura face oil because it felt lighter, I use much less, and it just works better. There isn’t any sort of oily residue left behind and it doesn’t burn my eyes either. I work one pump into my skin before mixing in my cleanser (which is optional since it’s made to be used solo), it makes a huge difference especially with dissolving stubborn mascara.

Which leads me to their cleanser. There are two cleansing options within the line, one is the oil and the other is Purify Cleansing Wash. It’s a fantastic, great-for-all cleanser with a unique feel- neither a gel nor a cream- but soft and pillowy without any foam or fuss. It cleans without stripping and leaves skin feeling balanced and great. I’m not in love with the scent, but it isn’t a deal breaker for me either.

And now for the big show; every line is only as good as their moisturizer and Cellular Renewal is great. Omegas, probiotics, vitamins and all their best stuff provide what feels like pure nutrition on the skin. The smallest amount goes a long way and since it’s without SPF, it works for day and night. I often let my (very picky) husband try moisturizers out because he doesn’t like things that are heavily scented, too heavy, greasy, or fussy. Luckily this is none of those so he’ll actually use it nightly and has even said it’s something he’d buy again which is a little insane actually since he isn’t a ‘products sort of guy.’ Great science and results aside, it makes skin just feel better and not slathered in anything.

Check out NUDE skincare at Sephora.