Trial of Rodan + Fields Redefine

Hi ladies!

As you may have noticed, I am a product junkie. I love buying and trying new things so that I can share them with you. I also love when people give me stuff to try! In the last few months, I’ve noticed that no fewer than THREE people who I have respect for as professionals and as fellow beauty lovers have begun working with Rodan +Fields (remember Pro-Activ?) and selling their skincare. When my good friend Erika asked me if I would try some of their products, I said yes, because I’ve actually been wanting some new skincare, AND because I trust her opinion.

NOW. Let me just say that, I will always give you my honest opinion on products. Even if I get famous one day (HAHAHAHHAHA) and companies send me boatloads of goodies (my dream!) I will still give you my 100% true feedback so that you can make your own decisions about what you spend your money on AND what you put on your face.

Now that I’ve made myself clear, I agreed to do a mini-trial of Rodan + Fields products. Erika sent me the Redefine regimen, including the cleanser, toner,  AM & PM creams, an exfoliating paste and two capsules, one a lip serum and one a skin smoothing serum. Because it was a mini-trial, it was not enough for me to see HUGE results, but my interest was definitely piqued and I can give you all a preview of what to expect from this line!

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My favorite products were the Microdermabrasion paste and the Overnight Restorative Cream. The paste is a combo sugar/salt scrub that was not too abrasive but really helped give my skin a healthy glow. After this winter, I needed it! The Overnight Restorative Cream was rich but not gloppy, and absorbed quickly into my skin. It’s formulated with loads of peptides, which help plump up the skin and give you back a more youthful look. During my trial, I actually would layer this over the day cream as well, since my skin is drier since I am still nursing my little guy!

The daytime cream, or Triple Defense Treatment, is actually a great lightweight lotion that has SPF in it–and I think I would reach for this more in the summer, when my skin needs a bit less moisture during the day.

The Daily Cleansing Mask is a great cleanser–got my makeup off but didn’t leave my skin feeling dry or tight. It has a pleasant, fresh smell that’s not overly perfume-y. I spilled the toner after only one use, so I didn’t really get to give that one a fair go! 🙁

As for the serums, luckily, my lips are in pretty good shape, so I didn’t notice a huge difference when I used the lip serum. However, the night renewing serum did really improve the smoothness of my skin when I applied it–I would be interested to use this for a longer period of time to really see the full benefits.

It was fun to see what the hype is all about with Rodan + Fields. I had pretty high expectations because, like I said, I respect the women I know who are involved with the company now. Having had my mini-trial, I will be ordering the night cream for sure and probably the cleanser and microderm paste as well!

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IF you have a Rodan + Fields rep in your life who has been asking you to try their products–give it a whirl. I know it seems like everyone is working some kind of side business, but like I said, when 3 people who I trust starting doing the same thing, I figured it was worth it!

IF you don’t know any R+F people–my friend Erika is offering my readers a special deal if you are interested–including 10% off and free shipping! Contact her at emaechtle@yahoo.com She also wanted me to let you know they offer a 60-day empty bottle guarantee, so you have nothing to lose.

Let me know if you have any questions! And let me know if you try anything, I LOVE discussing great finds with you.

Thanks for reading! March/April Empties post coming soon!

xoxo,

Tricia

 

February Empties!

Hi ladies!

It is already March 8th so it is time for my February Empties post! Here it is! (or here they are)!

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This month’s round up features a lot of hair conditioner–funny I ran out of so many all at once. Not surprising though, considering the length and severity of this winter, I’ve been slathering my body, face and hair with moisture at every opportunity.  I’ll start with those.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Multi-tone Revealing Moisturising Conditioner: This is one of my all-time favorite drugstore hair buys, it works well and hydrates and detangles without weighing my hair down. It is also what I was using when I started dating my now-husband, and because scents are so evocative, whenever I use it I am immediately taken back to those pre-date showers when I would be getting ready and so excited to see him again! Will I re-purchase? Absolutely!

Bed Head by Tigi Urban AntiDotes Damage Level 2 Conditioner: I found this massive bottle at TJ Maxx in early November, having used it previously on my stylist’s recommendation. I truly love this conditioner but I don’t know if it is still made! It smells so freaking good my husband started using it on his curly, coarse (read: grey) hair and so we went through it pretty quickly. I hope I can find some more! Will I re-purchase? Totally, if I can!

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deeeep Conditioner: This was hanging out in the shower for a looooong time. It is decent thick, rich conditioner, found in most drugstores, but Aussie reformulated their products a few years ago, and I just don’t love the smell of the new ones. I think the old formulas are still available in Europe so I will be looking next time I am in Ireland! Will I re-purchase? Yes, because it is a good, basic deep conditioner, but I will try other brands for fun first.

Moving right along, out of the shower now!

No. 7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Exfoliator: My enthusiasm for this scrub waned as I continued using it. It feels a bit too much like a micro-derm treatment to be enjoyable for twice weekly use. Read my full review with edits hereWill I re-purchase? Probably not, but I will try other No. 7 products.

Lumene CC Cream in Light: This CC cream was my second favorite makeup discovery of 2013 and I have recommended it to scores of people. I wore it so much this summer, it is lightweight, but gives good coverage and made my skin look bright and healthy. It has an SPF of 20 and is like a tinted moisturizer on steroids. The only drawback is the slightly strong fragrance which I don’t really mind but which might be a problem for those with sensitivities. Will I re-purchase? Totally.

Lumene Pure Radiance Night Cream: Lumene actually sent this to me to try after my review was chosen for a feature on their Facebook page. It is a totally satisfactory night cream and left my skin comfortably hydrated, and absorbed quickly. Read by first thoughts on it here. I can’t really tell if it helped brighten my skin, then again, this never-ending winter has been rough so I don’t really know what could have helped! As with the CC Cream, there is a stronger fragrance than I usually enjoy in my skincare, but it is a good drugstore option for a richer, quick-absorbing night cream. Will I re-purchase? Maybe, but not right away. I want to try the new Reviva line I keep hearing about first.

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream: I remembered I had a sample of this when I was starting to get bored with my Lumene cream. The side effect of being a beauty addict is one frequently becomes bored and is always looking for a new favorite! As you know, I love Kiehl’s and this is no exception. I actually had a full size tub of it at one point, but that was pre-pregnancy and my skin was different, so I gave it away! BOO! Now I love this and want a big jar again! Will I repurchase? Yup! Add it to my wishlist of Kiehl’s products!

Make Up Forever High Definition Foundation: Hands down, best thing I discovered last year, this foundation is great! Full coverage, but feels really lightweight on the skin. It’s very easy to blend. The pigmentation is also such that it is easy to build–making modern foundations light years better than their predecessors. I wore it almost every day since I purchased it in early December, and just ran out of it this week. It comes in a wide range of shades and is worth the price–read my full review here. Will I re-purchase? Yes!

Thanks for reading ladies! Have you used any of these products? Have I piqued your interest to try any of them? Let me know!

 

Stay pretty, girls! xoxo

January 2014 Favorites-Skin Care

Hello, ladies! Welcome to Part 2 of my January favorites–Skin Care!

The picture of skin care and makeup was just too crowded for this month’s faves, so I decided to write two posts. Skin care has been CRUCIAL this month as I just feel like I am really noticing the lack of fresh air and sunshine and exercise! I am holding onto hope for a ridiculously lovely spring, aren’t you?

Here is the round-up of skin care favorites:

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Masks

Since I’ve been stuck indoors with plenty of time to ponder how lackluster my complexion is, I’ve used a lot of masks to combat the effects of winter: dry air, lack of sunlight, less exercise, snow snacking (it’s real, and it’s a problem!!). I’ve alternated the following depending on needs.

Dermalogica Multi-Vitamin Recovery Masque: Great for super-dull skin that is showing signs of aging. Promotes healthy tissue regeneration and loaded with vitamins A, C, E and F–all the good skin vitamins.

Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask: I use this when my skin needs a quick boost. Helps hydrate and reduce the look of wrinkles, thanks to collagen boosting lychee. Smells comforting and delicate and you can use a thin layer as an overnight mask. Fresh is available at Sephora now and they will create samples of the products for you to take home.

Fresh Rose Face Mask: My favorite when I just want to indulge in some pampering–super hydrating and calming. Smells like real roses, not fake or perfumey.

Moisturizers

Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream: My daily moisturizer for this arid, indoor apartment climate. Really quenches my skin but absorbs quickly. My go-to Simple face lotion was not cutting it once January hit. Dermalogica is sold in salons click here for their store locator.

Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Cream: I’m using this as my night cream. It was too rich when I picked it up in early Summer, but for this time of year, it’s a godsend.

Fresh Lotus Eye Gel: Have I mentioned I have a teething 11 month old? This means I don’t sleep as much as I’d like. This eye gel keeps me looking presentable. Helps de-puff and prevent dark circles. A new mommy must!

Oils

Josie Maran Argan Oil: I pat this all over before I apply makeup. Absorbs easily and doubling up on hydration during the day is keeping me from looking like a hot mess. I am loving the Josie Maran products I’ve used so far…check out a full review on more of her line here.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate: I use this oil at night to seal in my Rosa Artica cream and add another level of moisture. It’s a wonderful concoction of oils and I wake up looking much better when I use this. Kiehl’s is really lovely with samples and if you stop by a stand-alone store or department store counter, they will hook you up so you can try a variety of products before purchasing.

So those are my skin saviors–I love hearing what you used last month and continue to love! We’ll survive this winter ladies, just wait and see!
Stay pretty, and thanks for reading!

January Empties–aka, Would I Re-Purchase?

Hi ladies! This is my very first empties post!

I have been sitting on a couple of these empty bottles for a while now, and I’ve amassed quite a pile! So I will keep each description pretty short and sweet. As you can see in the picture, there is quite the mix of products: skincare, makeup, hair care, and also high-end and drugstore items.

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  • Moroccan Oil Light: I cannot LIVE without Moroccan Oil! I use it every single day. It is the #1 reason why my hair is shiny and healthy (and was that way even when I heat-styled it EVERY DAY).
  • Simple Skincare Moisturizing Face Wash: I’ve been using this wash for a couple months–great basic cleanser. Doesn’t dry my skin out, and a bargain too.
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: My favorite high-end facial cleanser. Totally non-drying, smells lovely but not perfume-y. Lasts for ages. I had this and forgot I’d set it aside to blog about! I also found a back-up this week and squealed with excitement! Bonus in my closet!
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer: This stuff is legit! In my first few months of motherhood, I was able to fake a few more hours sleep by dabbing this under my eyes, and the formulation actually works well on blemishes too. Lasts ALL DAY and comes in tons of shades. It is a fave I mention in my video 5-Minute Face you can check out here.
  • Benefit Waterproof Eyeliner, Espresso: Yes, those 2 little nubbins are eyeliners. I love the Benefit pencils, they glide on smoothly and last all day. My only beef is I go through them so quickly! But the pencil is so convenient and looks natural.
  • Bumble & bumble Thickening Shampoo: B&b are some of my high-end luxuries, I haven’t splurged on them in awhile. I made this bottle last for eons by alternating drugstore shampoos and using this when I wanted big ‘ole Southern belle hair. Smells divine, and really works to give your hair sexy oomph.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Light: I use this ALL THE TIME in my pro kit, it is great on most skin types (I use the regular version on more mature or really dry skin). I love it for myself as well. A little goes a long way.
  • Benefit POREfessional: I use this as a primer when my pores are really driving me nuts. The mattifying aspect tends to wear off if it is super hot or my skin is acting really oily, but I swear, a dab of this on my t-zone and cheeks before my foundation makes me look airbrushed. And if someone sits in my chair when I am doing a wedding and their skin is not the smoothest, this is the first thing I reach for.

So, will I re-purchase any of these?

Yes! To be honest, if I don’t love a product, I usually don’t use it up! I give it away to someone I think it will work better for.  That being said, I am always trying new stuff, so just because I will buy these again, doesn’t mean I won’t try others in the meantime. So, while I can’t live without the Moroccan Oil, I might let other primers, concealers, face washes and shampoos go for test drive.

What do you think? Have you used any of these products? Love? Hate?

Tell me what you think about my first empties post!

Stay pretty ladies!

love, Tricia

Review: Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer

Yesterday I shared with you my favorite new drugstore facial wash,Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash, which you can read about here. I am so glad that Simple skincare products are now available here in the States. I’ve purchased them at Target, Walgreens and CVS, and if you “like” them on Facebook, you’ll know when they run promotions and can get a discount.

I’ve decided to start tagging some posts as “splurge and save” because I love finding both high-end products AND drugstore gems. I used to have no problem spending big bucks on makeup, skincare, hair, etc. And oftentimes, pricier products are just better–they have higher concentrations of active ingredients, they feel or smell better to me, they come in prettier packaging (and I am such a sucker for pretty packaging), but my reality is that I just don’t have the same discretionary income to spend on those kinds of things anymore, but I still want to look and feel pretty! I am betting that no matter what your income, you like to look and feel good too, and that you’ll be glad to see not only what some of my favorite “splurge” items are, but also what I love to use that I categorize as a good “save” item.

The Simple line of products definitely falls into the “save” category. I’ve been using the Simple Moisturizing Facial wash for awhile now, and since I already knew I liked their products, I decided to add their Protecting Light Moisturizer to my skincare regimen. I just ran out of my favorite daytime Fresh moisturizer (I’m a fan of their Soy line), so it was time to try something new. I have four criteria for the moisturizer I use during the day. They are:

  1. It should have SPF–ideally SPF 30, but since I also get SPF in my makeup, I will settle for 15.
  2. It should feel lightweight and be fast-absorbing.
  3. My makeup should wear well over it.
  4. It has to smell good. I cannot use products on my face if I don’t like the way they smell. I don’t mean everything has to be fragranced, but sometimes items labeled unscented or no added fragrance don’t smell good either. If it’s going all over my face, I have to like the way it smells!

I am glad to say that a few days in, Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer is meeting all my criteria!

Simple Protecting LIght Moisturizer

Firstly, the lotion has an SPF of 15–so it meets my minimum requirement. If it were summer and I knew I would be outside a lot more, I would consider adding an additional sunscreen. Being a Chicagoan heading into winter, I am comfortable with this level. However, I am on dermatologist–always ask your doctor if in doubt!

Secondly, it has a lightweight feel to it and smooths on easily, yet my skin feels really quenched, which I especially appreciate living in a city apartment with radiator heat! It is absorbed into the skin quickly so I don’t have to wait very long before I start my makeup routine. As a general rule, I allow 10 minutes for my moisturizer and eye cream to soak in before I start applying makeup.Which brings me to my next criterion…

Thirdly, my makeup goes on smoothly and wears well over this lotion. I always advocate the use of a primer, (with the exception that if I am using certain CC creams I’ve found I don’t need to) because it helps your makeup go on better and last longer. But the first step is to really take care of your skin–or your primer and your makeup won’t be of much good to you.

Lastly, I don’t get much of a fragrance from this lotion, which is great. It is just mild, not perfume-y at all. As with most, if not all Simple products, there are no artificial perfumes or dyes.

Like the face wash, this lotion contains Vitamin B5 aka Panthenol and Vitamin E, both believed to be beneficial to skin.Also found in the face wash and the lotion is Bisabolol, derived from chamomile and believed to be soothing. 

Other active ingredients include allantoin, which is believed to help the skin appear smoother because it increases the skin’s ability to retain water, and glycerin, which is known for it’s soothing and hydrating properties.

So far, I am a fan! I think next I will be trying the facial scrub.

Have you used Simple products? What is your favorite?

Gentle Skincare is spelled S-I-M-P-L-E

Last year, while in Ireland, I was introduced to Simple Skincare. Both my mother and sister-in-law use their products, and I felt that their gentle cleanser helped my skin after the long trans-Atlantic flight and the climate change. (Not to mention, the 2 glasses of wine I had in-flight–never again! Drinking alcohol while flying is SO BAD for your skin!!!)

As you can imagine, I was stoked when Simple became available here in the States!

Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash

My first Simple purchase was the Moisturizing Facial Wash. I had just run out of my Kiehl’s Acai Damage-Minimizing Cleanser, and was looking for a drugstore alternative. Because I now truly believe that it is best to use a gentle cleanser, regardless of what skin type you have, I decided to opt for this face wash. In my experience, most women use a harsh cleanser, believing that squeaky-clean skin is the ideal–in most cases, it is not! For years, I thought I had super oily skin. Now, it might have been on the oily side, but by over-cleansing my skin, I only caused it to dry out, create more blackheads, and produce more oil to compensate!

I am finding now that I am best off using a gentle cleanser morning and night, and I will share more about my skincare routine in a bit. For right now, let me say that 1 week in, I LOVE this cleanser! I only need to use a very small amount–smaller than a dime (!) and yet I still get a satisfying lather. I know I don’t need suds to clean my skin, and in general, products that produce a big lather can be drying. I think we’ve all been programmed to think that lather = clean and it doesn’t, but psychologically I really crave a nice, foamy face wash. I am loving that this wash is foamy but totally non-drying.

Simple Moisturizing Face Wash contains two vitamins: pro-vitamin B5, also known as panthenol, and vitamin E. In skincare, panthenol has been shown to penetrate well into the skin and is a humectant and emollient, meaning it helps attract moisture into the skin and also help the skin retain moisture. Vitamin E is generally recognized as being great for your skin as it helps prevent free radical damage.  I like to know why my skin care does what it claims to do, so rest assured I will always give you the full info on what active ingredients mean and what they do for you! Also, I don’t just take the info that comes on the bottle, I do my own research.

Simple Moisturizing Face Wash also contains Bisobolol, which is derived from the chamomile plant and is believed to have anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties. It also adds a gentle natural fragrance to products. Additionally, this face wash contains no artificial fragrances or dyes.

I think almost everyone benefits from gentle cleansing, followed by a good moisturizer. At night, a treatment appropriate to skin type can be used, whether you are acne-prone, showing signs of aging, extremely dry, etc. The general rule is to apply your treatment product (usually a serum or gel) prior to your moisturizer so that it can penetrate the skin.

I will post tomorrow about  my new Simple moisturizer.

Stay clean and supple, pretty ladies! Thanks for reading!

Oil Cleansing–with special guest Jess!

Hey there pretty ladies!

I’ve had some questions recently on my Facebook page ( which you can check out here) regarding oil cleansing. I’ve recently started to use oil to cleanse my skin at night. I’ve used  Jojoba Oil (bought at Trader Joe’s) and also Sweet Almond Oil, (bought at Caputo’s–you can find it in many regular grocery stores). I think using oil to cleanse my skin is helping to balance it. Typically I struggle when the seasons change, because my T-zone remains oily, I get blackheads on my nose and jawline, AND my nose and cheeks get dry! Not pretty! While I just jumped into oil cleansing, I am not an expert on it. Luckily, I have a go-to skin care guru I can turn to when I am in need of more thorough answers.

Enter Jess D. She is a licensed Esthetician and the girl knows her stuff! She is a bad-ass pixie with a graduate degree in library science, too. I knew she would be the perfect resource to answer all your questions, and of course, I learned something too. Here is what Jess has to say about oil cleansing…

“Oil cleansing: The idea of oil cleansing is that instead of constantly stripping oil away from your skin, which just ends up producing even more, you’re providing your skin with good oil to balance everything out. There are a few different bases that can be used. Jojoba oil is great because it closely mimics the skin’s natural sebum. Sunflower oil is also recommended because it’s very light. I love olive oil in the winter because it’s rich with antioxidants and good fats, even though it smells like I should be cooking pasta. Everyone’s skin is different, so what works for one person might not work for another, so it can take some experimenting to find out which oil works best for your skin. The trick with oil cleansing is to mix the oil with a little bit of castor oil. Castor oil can actually be drying to the skin, so the more oily you are, the more you should add, or add just a tiny bit if you’re dry. You can create this ratio by mixing the oils in a cute little pump bottle, or if you’re lazy like me, you can just pour it right in your hand. You can also add a few drops of essential oils like lavender or tea tree oil to make it fancier.

So you slather on the oil base/castor oil mix onto your face, and start massaging it in. Massaging it for 10 minutes works, but if you have the time to work it in for longer, that helps to get out the blackheads. I haven’t experienced this myself, but supposedly if you sit down and take 20-30 minutes to massage the oil mixture into your face while watching TV, you’ll feel all the gunk expel right out of your pores, which is pretty much the best thing ever.

To take off the oil mixture, wet a wash cloth with warm water and let it sit over your face for a minute to steam out your pores, then gently massage the oil off your face. This will also exfoliate your skin. Once you’re done, you really don’t need to add any extra moisturizer, although using a toner is a good idea to tighten your pores back up. Since this is the uber-natural way to wash your face, I recommend using apple cider vinegar, which works as a fantastic toner.”

Thanks Jess! And until you start beauty blogging on your own, I will be glad to retain you as my skin-care expert!

Have you tried oil cleansing? What did you think?