EverPure UV Protect Spray by L'Oréal Paris — It's Vegan!

LOreal Paris EverPure UV Protect SprayA quick note about a new L’Oreal haircare product: EverPure UV Protect Spray. As you know, color-treated hair requires special care, and this lightweight, non-sticky spray contains UV filters to help protect hair from the sun’s harmful rays and preserve long-lasting color purity.

A spritz or two on dry or damp hair, and your tresses are left healthy-looking and shiny. Infused with rosemary and mint for an invigorating, aromatic experience, UV Protect Spray provides you that extra bit of protection — heck, we slather our skin with SPF 30, but somehow we forget our hair. And when you’ve spent upwards of $175 on those precious highlights, you’d be crazy not to preserve them as long as possible, right?

FYI: All EverPure hair products are 100% vegan with no harsh, color-stripping ingredients. An exclusive Anti-Fade System features UVA & UVB Filters for long-lasting color purity.

Never Get the Wrong Foundation Color Again

Senna Cosmetics Mineral Mix FoundationI recently discovered Senna Cosmetics, and glad, glad, glad am I!

So far, I’ve tried a plethora of goodies from Senna, each of which I’ll be reviewing soon. But, first up is a Senna best-seller, Mineral Mix Cover & Finish Foundation.

Mineral Mix marks the end of getting the wrong foundation color. How so? It contains a beautifully blend-able loose mineral powder foundation in the base along with a darker pressed mineral foundation powder in the lid. Simple and smart.

Mineral Mix isn’t just a color-matching miracle. It’s also smart in other ways. A special milling process gives this mineral foundation a supremely silky smooth texture that glides onto the skin. The neutral color range looks fresh,  clear…more natural than any I’ve tried before. Natural minerals supply the dewy soft light reflection needed to diminish lines, wrinkles and flaws while also providing chemical-free sun protection. Plus it completely covers blemishes, discolorations, redness, even rosacea and is gentle enough for the most sensitive, problem-prone skin.

I really love that Mineral Mix is chemical free. Not only that, but it’s also free of talc, oils, fragrance, waxes, and dyes. So if you’re looking for a super-natural foundation that actually lives up to its promises, you’ve finally found it.

Moreover, Mineral Mix is great for all skin types, but it’s particularly good for oily skin. In fact, makeup artist Wei Lang gives it two thumbs up, saying Mineral Mix “gives the ultimate soft-focus finish.”

Don’t forget: GET 10% OFF AT SENNA THROUGH TODAY (8/30) by entering “tweet10″ at check-out.

Less Wrinkles with 24-Hour Eye Repair

l'oreal revitalift deep set wrinkle repair eye creamFeaturing another new product with a long name from L’Oreal: Revitalift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair 24-Hour Eye Repair Duo.

With such a serious(ly long) name, you’d expect serious(ly good) results along with a serious(ly expensive) price. Well, that’s about half true.

The results? Good. I’ve been using Revalift’s new eye cream duo for about three to four weeks, and I can definitely see a visible lift to my upper eye lid. I recently celebrated by 39th birthday, so this was a nice bonus. Plus the skin around my eyes is softer and more pliable.  FYI: for full wrinkle-free results, L’Oreal recommends using the eye cream duo day and night for eight weeks, so I expect more magic to come.

L’Oreal has put together a very nice eye repair duo chock full of some heavy-duty silicones, polymers, moisturizers, and emollients along with sun protection in the Day/AM cream, caffeine in the Night/PM cream, and most impressive, Pro-Retinol A aka retinyl palmitate  which is a vitamin A derivative — it’s near the bottom of the ingredient list meaning there’s very little of it compared to the other stuff…though according to my research a little goes a long way with this powerful anti-oxidant.

Retinol is what targets and fixes your wrinkles. The caffeine in the Night/PM cream acts to reduce puffiness. We like. And the SPF 15+ (yes, it does say “+” — not sure what that means but whatever) in the Day/AM cream is gentle and effective. The skin around my eyes is sensitive and gets red and irritated when I use sunscreen, but Revitalift AM gives me no problems whatsoever.

Other pluses include a rich, non-greasy formula that spreads easily = no tugging. And they last well, so your small investment is well worth it. Speaking of price, you can pick it up this power-packed beauty duo at almost any drugstore for less than $20.

Eyeing L'Oreal for Volume and Wear

L'Oréal Paris - Extra Volume Collagen MascaraL’Oreal Paris recently released *another* new mascara, this one called Extra Volume Collagen Mascara. It touts lush and luxurious lashes with hydra-collagen (?) for super-duper volume. A pretty, sleek black tube reveals the biggest, fattest mascara brush you’ve seen. Seriously. Thick.

Admittedly, I was skeptical. I had to see just what sort of super-duper volume we were talking about. Well, I was certainly not underwhelmed, but at the same time, I’m not sure it lives up to “12x more impact, instantly.”

It takes a few coats to build up to 12x more impact (whatever that is), but recently I had a lash curler incident and ended up yanking out half the lashes on my right eyelid. Fun times. Extra Volume Collage Mascara was a godsend. It actually helped hide my goof by amply thickening the lashes around the missing ones. Cool. L’Oreal’s website even features a great “how to apply” video.

Other pluses include little-to-no flaking and nearly smudge-proof wear. And some of the nicer ingredients include sodium hyaluronate, which has been shown to “plump” by holding onto about 10x its weight in water, and atelocollagen which, simply put is a water-soluble form of collagen (a protein) commonly used in cosmetics. So there ya go…the mysterious hydra-collagen is revealed.

One word of caution: unless you want spider-leg lashes (why?), don’t use a mascara base with Extra Volume Collagen. Otherwise, it’s a very nice volumizing, long-wear mascara indeed. And at around $8, key your eye out for this one.

Embrace Your Softer Side

Tousled hair - NEW Tousle Me Softly hairstyling products - Herbal EssencesHerbal Essences hair products aren’t normally on my radar. I generally prefer salon brands that aren’t so heavily perfumed. But recently I had the chance to try out their new Tousle Me Softly line, and ya know what? I like it. A lot.

Tousle Me Softly claims “soft tousles that beg to be touched – not that they need to beg. And hey, since we work well together to create one luscious look, it’s almost mistake-proof!” Well, okay. Minus the exclamation, I concur.

Featuring six ways to tousle, shampoo for a tousled look, conditioner for a tousled look, mousse for easy tousling, tousling spray gel, flexible hold hairspray, and finishing touch cream is all packaged in deep pretty purple bottles and jars.

The shampoo and conditioner smell of pomegranate and wild violets. They clean and condition without stripping or weighing hair down. The mousse is nice and light as is the hairspray, and no crunchies (yay!). My hair is super short — think Halle Barry — and I really like the finishing touch cream. It adds an element of sculptability without stiffness. Best of all, Tousle Me Softly does just what it says: it leaves hair touchable, soft and shiny. Bouncy even.

So for Hollywood’s hottest summer hair looks (think Halle Berry or Taylor Swift), give Tousle Me Softly a try. You’ll be glad you did.

$5 DIY Cleanser for Skin As Soft 'n Smooth As a Baby's Butt

Yesterday I ran out of my mediocre foaming facial cleanser — I use it because it was expensive and it removes my makeup pretty well, but frankly, it’s pretty much so-so. Well, in a pinch I used a little olive oil and a warm washcloth to remove my eye makeup last night. Aside from the obvious oiliness, I was quite pleased that my makeup came off completely and lickety-split, plus my skin stayed soft and supple around my eyes.

Today, instead of heading off to the department store in search of another high dollar, mediocre facial cleanser, I decided to make my own.

Based on the oil cleansing method — the gist of which insists that the best way to remove dirt and oil from your skin is to use oil (sort of like fight fire with fire?) — I grabbed some ingredients from my kitchen cupboard and bathroom medicine cabinet and got to work.

The result of my efforts was a cleanser than not only cleansed my face without stripping it but one that also made my skin super-smooth and soft.

Here’s the recipe and what I did:

In a kitchen mixing bowl, I threw in about 1/2 cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of liquid bath soap (castile or whatever you have is fine) two tablespoons of water, one tablespoon of plain glycerin (available at your local drugstore) and 1/2 teaspoon of Optiphen, a paraben-and-formaldehyde free preservative. Then I whisked everything together and poured it into my old facial cleanser bottle. That’s it.

I applied about a quarter-sized portion to my face and neck, massaged in circular motions for a minute and rinsed. Ah, clean, soft, smooth skin.

Total cost for my new fabulous facial cleanser? Because I typically buy organic stuff, my version may be a little pricier than yours’ll be. All told, I made 4 oz. of safe, pure, effective, anti-aging, skin-softening cleanser for about $6.

Optional ingredients:

Also quite inexpensive, these ingredients can be found at bulk soap-making/skin care ingredient suppliers, health food stores or handicraft stores. Warning: If you add any of these to your recipe, be careful around your eyes as they could irritate and sting.

  • Alpha hydroxy acid – I always have some lactic acid in my bathroom cabinet (I know, I’m weird that way). Used regularly and in the proper amount, AHAs are gentle and effective anti-aging exfoliants. Add a teaspoon or so to this recipe.
  • White willow bark extract – a great source of salycin or beta hydroxy acid, WWBE is one of the best, most gentle exfoliants available. Plus it helps keep pores clean and blemishes at bay. 1/2 to one tablespoon is ample.
  • Essential oil – I like lavender because it’s good for your skin for countless reasons, and it smells divine. Other good ones include heliochrysum, lemongrass, tea tree, Clary sage, rosemary, sandalwood, rose or chamomile. Add a few drops up to 1/4 teaspoon to suit. Start with just a little to be sure it doesn’t irritate your skin — you can always add more later if you want.
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