3.30.2012

Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator Review



Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator
[Linked Photo]


Australian-based Jurlique's philosophy is that "beauty comes from beauty." And what's more beautiful than nature?

That's the idea behind this brand, which seeks to use only the purest and most effective plant ingredients.  To accomplish this, the husband and wife founders grow 95% of their own botanicals on an 153-acre farm in South Australia.  That's dedication!

Jurlique is carried at Sephora, but I haven't noticed the brand receiving much attention through Sephora's press/promotions or the beauty blogosphere.  I received several samples of the Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator, a natural alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) treatment ($45). I am satisfied overall with the product quality and results, but there are some caveats that prospective buyers should consider.

One of Jurlique's major strengths is that they do NOT use jar packaging. Jar packaging renders skin care products basically useless, because the direct contact with air and light deactivates the ingredients.  The Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator is in an opaque bottle with a dispenser, which is the best design for preserving the efficacy of antioxidants and other ingredients.

Preserving the ingredients does not matter if they aren't good for your skin to start with though!  I researched every ingredient in the Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator to make sure that they will do what the product claims without causing any damage.

What I found was a bit of a mixed bag. One of the first active ingredients is sugar cane extract, which is what glycolic acid (a type of AHA) is derived from. There is not enough research to show that sugar cane extract performs in the same way as glycolic acid, but it is possible that it has similar exfoliating properties. The second active ingredient, willow bark extract, has anti-inflammatory properties and may exfoliate skin in a manner similar to salicylic acid.

The Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator includes many other plant extracts, and about six of them have proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and/or anti-bacterial qualities. Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (green tea) and Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract (chamomile) are particularly good choices. The product also includes glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, which improve skin texture and cell function.

Unfortunately, Jurlique included some irritating ingredients in this product as well.  Lemon, orange, and witch hazel extract can all irritate your skin, which causes damage in the long run. The product also contains denatured alcohol, but it is listed as one of the last ingredients so it probably won't dry your skin out.

Wow, that was a lot of background.  Let's discuss how the product actually worked on my face.

First off, the Exfoliator smells delicious - like sugary citrus!  It has a thin gel consistency and applies easily.  I left it on for five minutes and felt a warming sensation on my face, perhaps due to exfoliation from the sugar cane and willow bark extracts.  After I rinsed it off, I did not notice any irritation - it actually seemed very gentle as far as exfoliators go.  My face was markedly softer and smoother, my pores looked more clear, and some discolorations appeared to be somewhat reduced.  My skin had a renewed, radiant look.  I especially noticed the tactile difference when applying my moisturizer - it glided on more smoothly. I will have to wait and see how long these changes last.

Overall, I am impressed with Jurlique's philosophy, packaging, and many of the plant ingredients that they chose to include in the Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator.  I am also happy with the performance of the product and its effects on my face. Although I did not experience any problems, certain ingredients may cause irritation, particularly in those with sensitive skin.

            Here are some special offers currently active on Jurlique:

3.29.2012

Sephora By OPI Nail Polish - Seeing Pink Elephants Review

Sephora by OPI Nail Polish - Seeing Pink Elephants
Sephora by OPI Nail Polish - Seeing Pink Elephants

Cute color, not so cute formula. 

Sephora and leading nail polish producer OPI partner to provide a range of over 54 polish shades sold exclusively at Sephora.  Wowed by the vast selection, I spent a long time deliberating before finally deciding on Seeing Pink Elephants ($9.50), a neon bubblegum pink, to try as my first Sephora By OPI nail polish.  

Unfortunately, it might also be my last.  The polish was pretty sheer, so I had to apply 3 coats to get the opacity I wanted.  I followed with a top coat for a total of FIVE coats of polish.

Even with so many coats, the polish started chipping that same day.  By the next afternoon, the chips were so bad I considered removing the polish right then.  I thought the hot bubblegum shade was adorable, but I cannot tolerate my nail polish looking so shabby on day two!  

I was very impressed with the wear time of Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel, and Sephora By OPI is just disappointing in comparison.

I am perfectly willing to cough up $9.50 for a quality nail polish, but Sephora by OPI is just not worth it to me.

Have you bought any of these polishes? What's your take?

Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner in Pure White 03 Review

Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner - Pure White
Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner - Pure White

One of my favorite beauty tricks is to apply a white eyeliner to the waterline.  It instantly makes you look more awake and brightens your overall look.  

I am wearing SEPHORA COLLECTION Nano Eyeliner in Pure White in the above photo.  This eyeliner is very creamy and smooth, so it does not tug at your delicate lower lid area.  Available in 24 shades at just $5 a pop, this eyeliner is a great deal as well.  

I have found that Pure White is a little harsh for some daytime looks though, so I am planning to try a light nude for something a bit softer.  So far I am considering SEPHORA COLLECTION Nano Eyeliner in Pearl Beige ($5) or Tarte EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener ($18).  Any recommendations?


3.28.2012

Sephora Chic Week Starts Tomorrow!

Sephora's latest VIB event starts tomorrow and lasts through April 6th.

It's a pretty good deal too - 15% off any purchase online and in-store with the offer code CHICWEEK, and the code can be reused as many times as you want! Non-VIB Beauty Insiders can take advantage of the 15% off starting March 30th with the offer code CHICBI.

There is also an in-store preview event tomorrow, March 29th.  Perks at the event include:

  • 15% off VIB discount can be shared with a friend
  • Attendees will receive a limited-edition Sephora umbrella
  • Gift bag of samples
  • Makeup lesson at the Beauty Studio
  • Interaction with Brand Experts

I suspect Chic Week was created to promote the newly-released SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE Tangerine Tango collections. I bet there will be plenty of orange, peach, and coral at the in-store event ;)  

Perfectly fine with me, as I am looking forward to using my 15% off to get the Color of the Year Creme Lipstick in Tangerine Tango and Be You Lip Stain in Peach Gelee, at the very least!  I am nuts for all of this tangerine stuff, but I reallllly need to have some self-control.

Are you going to participate in Chic Week?  What are you planning to pick up?

FragranceNet.com

Good as a Gel Manicure? Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel Review

Revlon ColorStay LongWear Nail Enamel - Marmalade, Wild Raspberry, Fall Mood
Marmalade, Rich Raspberry, Fall Mood

Revlon released this new line of nail polishes in February, and I am in love!  Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel is marketed as an at home, gel-manicure-without-the-UV-lamp deal.  I've never had a gel manicure, but I was attracted to their claims of up to 11 days of chip-free wear (provided you use the ColorStay base and top coats).

Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamel is currently available in 32 shades and retails for about $7.99. I adore coral shades in lips, cheeks, and nails, so the first color I picked up was Marmalade, a bright coral-orange. I also bought the ColorStay base and top coats to compare to their 11 day claim.

The applicator brush for the Revlon ColorStay Nail Enamels is thick, which allows you to coat your nail easily in 2-3 strokes.  I applied the base coat and followed with 2 coats of Marmalade.  I could have gotten away with just one though, as the color is nearly opaque with one coat and gives a nice shine.  I applied the top coat and waited for my nails to dry.

And waited. And waited.  The main drawback of these polishes is the long dry time.  Even after your nails seem pretty dry, the tip of the polish can still get pushed back if you bump it against something.  I ended up with a few minor imperfections over the rest of the day.  Nothing too unsightly though.

After the drying period is over, this nail polish will not come off!  It was still in great condition after 7 days, and I got many compliments on the fun, pretty color.  It didn't ever really chip like normal polish, but it accumulated imprints and looked more dull after 11 days.

Taking the polish off was pretty difficult - I felt like it needed quite a bit more remover.  My nails also looked more beat up once they were bare.  This might bother some people, but my nails grow very quickly so I am not too concerned with their health.

Overall, the pros of EXTREMELY long wear time exceed the cons with Revlon ColorStay nail enamel. I usually can only get regular nail polish to look decent for 4 days max, so I am very happy with this new product.  I am wearing Rich Raspberry now, and I am looking forward to trying Fall Mood next.  I will post pictures of my nails soon!

UPDATE:
Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Marmalade Review and Swatches
Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Fall Mood Review and Swatches
Revlon ColorStay Long Wear Nail Enamel in Rich Raspberry Review & Swatches


Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15 Review

Thousands love it, but I returned it. 

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15
Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer has quickly become something of a cult obsession in the beauty world.  Despite the price tag ($52 for 1 oz), it rates 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 991 reviews on Sephora.com, and it was awarded a "Best Product" rating by cosmetic consumer advocate Paula Begoun.

Part of the appeal of this product is its natural ingredients. The primer is vegan, and it does not include oil, parabens, sulfates, fragrances, or dyes.  Sun protection is derived from titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are considered to be the most gentle and effective broad-spectrum SPF options.

Due to the glowing reviews and the vegan formula, I was so excited to try this product.  The glass bottle packaging is elegant and beautiful, and comes equipped with a pump dispenser to protect the product from contamination.  When I spread the translucent white fluid on my face, I could immediately see how well it filled in my pores and evened out my skin tone.  My excitement grew as I thought I had found a new holy grail primer.

These hopes were dashed after I finished applying it to my entire face.  The primer has a luminescent quality, but that coupled with the white color of the fluid just left me looking like a glowing ghost.  It's supposed to be translucent when blended, but it was not on me. I looked paler in every lighting situation.  My skin is already too light for my liking, so I reluctantly returned the primer to Sephora.

Still, Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer has amazing skin-smoothing properties.  It will leave your face prepped beautifully for foundation.  If you can make the glow work with your skin tone, consider trying this primer.  For my part, I was happy to return to my reliable Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer.


Welcome

I have always loved beauty and feeling good about my appearance, but I only began to delve deep into the world of makeup in the last 5 months.  I look forward to sharing product reviews and swatches with you!  Can't wait to start chatting with my fellow makeup addicts.

FragranceNet.com