Friday, January 25, 2013

Latest & Long-Standing Favorite Beauty Products

When I recently posted the scene of my listening to a book on the iPad while getting ready in the morning, one reader commented, "I'm more excited about all your products and their cute little tray." Which of course gave me the idea for this post! 

First, the tray; an inexpensive frame that I spray painted, afterwards insertiing a mirror in lieu of a picture. It keeps all the products organized and looking pretty while set out on the bathroom countertop. As I'm not a big fan of stuff taking over surfaces, this contains the "mess!" 

And as for the products, some are old loves while others are new favorite finds. Entering into this arena called middle age - gasp, yes - it has become vital to take care of my skin to feel good about the way I look! I've also become a huge, (and I mean gigantic, large, over the top thrilled) fan of Sephora, where I can walk in week after week asking for advice on which products to consider for what issue, collecting sample upon sample to try prior to purchasing. Now if that isn't fabulous customer service, what is?! Many of my new favs where found there. But, here's the list: 

I had been looking for a cleanser that got the job done right, as strangely I've been breaking out of late. Seriously, do I really need to relive those years?! But at the same time I was tired of cleansers that over stripped the skin, leaving it dry. After testing this product I saw clearer skin without the dryness, so in my shopping cart it went a couple weeks later. It also works great with the Clarisonic brush, another fav.

This is one of the most gentle and yet effective "scrubs" I've found in a long time. And when your skin is "polished" it has the best chance of looking refreshed and glowing!

As you can see I quickly became a big fan after testing this line alongside other products I received samples of. Over the last year I've been noticing the fragile skin around my eyes become less perky with new wrinkles and dryness showing up, so I wanted something rich to address these issues. I even tested the ultra spendy and popular La Mer The Eye Balm Intense, but after trying both I decided on Algenist. Happily I'm noticing a nice difference.

I have a mixture of dry and oily skin and this lotion hydrates without leaving my skin feeling greasy. As with the entire line, it's not cheap, but the size of the jar is generous and it's lasting a long long time. So far I'm loving the results and my skin looks more "dewy" and refreshed.

After enjoying the results of the other Algenist products for a couple months I went back and picked up their night cream. I'd simply been using the day cream at night, but with the drying weather of winter my skin was telling me it could use something a little richer while I slept. Upon waking to gaze into the mirror as I brush my teeth in the morning, I'm not scaring myself to quite the extent I was a few months ago. So a thumbs up from me.

This is a new product category for me. Compliments of Sephora recently, due to becoming a VIP member through all my customer loyalty - ha, ha - I was treated to a makeover. Fun stuff! This was one of the products they used that day, and I was intrigued by it! Oil, on the face? Doesn't that create one icky mess? It went on first, prior to the moisturizer, with the promise it would dry and create a wonderful foundation for the lotion and makeup. Here's the info on the product:

"Specially formulated for the face and neck, premium Marula Oil is a naturally soothing treatment that provides intense hydration, protection, and rejuvenation to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for soft, radiant skin. It is suitable for all skin types and contains a high content of fatty acids, resulting in fast absorption to leave skin smooth with a matte finish.Clinically proven to contain a great deal of antioxidants and omega acids, it can be used alone as a highly effective antiaging moisturizer, added to other facial products to boost their efficiency, soothe skin after facial treatments or sunburn, or used as a perfect makeup primer."

The neck part got me. Ugh, can I even begin to share how mystified I am with what is going on with the skin on my neck?! So I left the appointment with a jar of Marula and I'm LOVING it! My neck and decolletage are loving it. It feels amazingly luxurious, and isn't a little bit of that what we all can use each day?

Is there anything that looks worse on a woman than poorly applied foundation? Lots of causes behind this issue, but using a primer goes a long way in alleviating them! I've been a long time fan of the primer from Bare Minerals, it does what it says it will.

8. GIORGIO ARMANI Luminous Silk Foundation
Building on the last point, finding the right foundation is absolutely key, if you are going to wear one. I didn't for years for this very reason; everything I tried went on too heavy and made me look like I was wearing foundation. Then my daughter, of all people, (she's 11 and a makeup guru already, reading up on everything makeup related) suggested I try this one. While passing through Nordstrom one day, a favorite thing of mine to do, seeing what new bags, shoes and garments are there for the offering, I decided to stop by the makeup counter and pick up a supply. I love it. It's light, goes on evenly and easily, evening out the skin tone without the heavy, caking coverage that kept me away from foundation for a very long time.

9. PETER THOMAS ROTH Uber-Dry Sunscreen SPF 30
This has been my go-to sunscreen for a few years now and I swear by it. Sunscreen in my opinion is a must in protecting the skin from premature signs of aging. If at times I skipped wearing it before, it was because I didn't care for how greasy it felt on my skin, particularly my face. So when I read the "uber-dry" bit on the tube of this sunscreen I decided to give it a try - and it delivered. Goes on and dries to a matte finish.

While I'm not a fan of this sunscreen for my face in most instances, for the above reason, it is my favorite for the body. I've spent days in scorching hot sun, (think Texas at 112 degrees) happily sipping on a cool drink poolside and with frequent applications (including the face in those situations!) could go to bed at night without a single pink spot anywhere. Love, love, love this sunscreen!

11. MOROCCANOIL MoroccanOil Treatment
Can we talk hair, and specifically graying hair? I'm not quite ready to go there, so coloring is a must these days and it begins to take its toll. Dryer hair with a lack of sheen can be a side effect. But putting a pearl of this oil into my palms and running it through my hair after styling gives back its shine and luster. A must have on my bathroom countertop.

12. CHANEL NO. 5
An old classic, I've been wearing it for years and have stories behind each new bottle I've gotten. Some as gifts and some from fancy locales (London and Paris.) I suppose you could say it is a fragrance that is becoming more befitting of me (the old classic part) as the years go by!

13. BOOTS BOTANICS Body Sculpting Cream
You just have to be a fan of a good line of products that are affordable and easily accessible at a Target store! And I don't really need to go into details, I think the name of this product says all I need to. A body appreciates a good lotion, and I'm liking this one with its Centella and Echinacea extracts to firm and tone the skin.

14. BOOTS BOTANICS Conditioning Clay Mask
This is another good Botanics product, reserved mainly for the summer months when I'm outside a lot. All the biking or running around has me feeling especially grimy, particularly my face, and from time to time it needs a nice deep cleansing! This does the trick.

And so that is what sits on my bathroom countertop. What sits on yours?


  1. Thanks, Janell! I know this post took a while to compile! I appreciate the links and the photo of what the tubes look like. Amazing how fast time passes and I am suddenly reaching for wrinkle cream. ugh.

  2. I feel like my neck alone is what is making me look my age! I need uplift and firming..know of a good one for that? It is a roulette wheel for me as to what to use. Im onto Strivectin lately but need to give it a month or two to see results..I do think products are so affective these days, and with sunscreen built in, the youths today will benefit so much more in their lifetimes. I went for 45 years with only using sunscreen when I was at the ocean. Now it's my mission in life to use it everyday..hope its not too late!
    xo Nancy

  3. Love #11 product. It works well and smells fabulous. have a great weekend and thanks for sharing. The picture frame tip is a unique idea, might have to steal that one.


  4. Wow. It's obvious your skin is looking great, so maybe it's time I did a re-think of my lowest-maintenance-possible approach!

  5. Love the tray idea, I'll probably steal that one.

  6. i LOVE hearing what other people use. its the best way to get reviews on products! i still think you should bite the bullet and try La Mer. But sounds like youve got a pretty great line up. and by the looks of your pictures, you always glow!

  7. I LOVE Moroccan Oil. Best stuff ever! I use the light version and it works wonders for my fine, oily hair.

    And can I just say I love your DIY tray! Very nice!

  8. Thanks for sharing your beauty secrets with us. I am always open to hearing about new products. I am intrigued by the Marula Oil....may need to pop in Sephora for that one. Any help to the neck area is welcome! I've been using the Skin Ceuticals line. Love their AGE Eye Complex. The Moroccan Oil Treatment is a must on my counter as well. Happy weekend Janell.

  9. Thanks for sharing! I am certainly entering that stage where I seem to need a few more beauty products to fight/cover those lovely signs of aging.... I've specifically been looking for a foundation (I've never worn one)..... I'll check out your recommendation.

  10. Such a great and informational post! I am going to take notes and bookmark this. I do use Morrocan oil, and think Shiseido makes excellent products. I always enjoy these kinds of posts...have a great weekend.

  11. Great Post! The Bare Minerals Primer is the best. I wear it even when I'm not wearing foundation. It gives my skin a more polished look.

  12. I've tried shisheido sunscreen and found it very chalky and drying. I've been a long time devotee to bare minerals foundation but have never tried their primer. I will need to give it a try!


Now I Would Love To Hear What You Think!