Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask

I was pretty excited when I saw the Fresh was offering a new mask. Called Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask ($65), it was enticing. I love masks; I love masks that can be left on overnight; and I love Fresh (as a rule). The photo at Sephora showed a pump dispenser, the key to my heart. What could go wrong?

A powerful overnight treatment, says Fresh, Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask is proven to lighten the appearance of dark spots, correct uneven skin tone, and significantly brighten the complexion. The highly concentrated overnight treatment formula is also proven to replenish and preserve hydration for 24 hours, promote suppleness, and smooth skin texture so you awake to youthful-looking, luminous skin. An exclusive brightening complex derived from peony and licorice root extracts and vitamin C glucoside has been proven to reduce and prevent the appearance of dark spots and even skin tone, while amino acids help to visibly firm and smooth wrinkles. The formula is further enriched with cucumber extract, notable for its hydrating and calming properties.

Sounded great! Of course, Lev Glazman, Fresh Co-founder of Fresh, was quoted extolling the well-known properties of peonies, and some test data was presented - unfortunately without any data on sample size. After an independent consumer testing panel used Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask:
  • 94% reported a visibly brightened and lightened complexion, improved texture, and skin that was protected, smoothed, and plump;
  • 90% noticed soft and supple skin;
  • 87% felt the product clarified their complexion after one night;
  • 81% said the product restored youthful contours.
I wish. Unfortunately, I found the mask to be somewhat unpleasant on application because of its scent, and I experienced no treatment benefits. I definitely fall into the 13% of testers who found no complexion improvement after one night's use.

The mask is a cream and dispenses easily into my palm using the pump dispenser. So far, so good. As I start to apply it (I've used it twice), I notice a synthetic fragrance with a slight resemblance to Lemon Pledge. I'm sure that's from the Lemon Peel Oil or possibly the Limonene, which is used for its scent in cosmetic products. Unfortunately, it's also used as a cleaning solvent. Fortunately, it's close to last on the ingredient list.

I don't smell peony at all, one of the benefits of the many beauty products that are "based on" the peony's recognized beneficial effects. The peony's root is extracted for the product, not the flower. That's too bad because the scent of the peony flower is divine and might have flipped my impression of the product.

It's moisturizing, no doubt due to the sodium hyaluronate (remember, nature's sponge) in the ingredients. Simply being moisturizing doesn't give it an edge over my other hydrating masks.

I'm blown away by the complimentary "reviews" on Sephora. I cannot imagine how small amounts of licorice and vitamin C could even skin tone overnight. I guess there are women who read the claims and believe them so strongly that they transfer hope into evidence.

In general, I love Fresh products. In my opinion, this one misses the mark. I find the scent mildly unpleasant, and masks are supposed to be pleasant and relaxing. Fortunately, the scent dissipates fairly quickly. The cream absorbs quickly. That's good so that users won't leave grease slick on their silk pillows.

Does it offer any advanced properties to improve skin tone, decrease dark spots, or brighten the complexion. I believe the answer is no. Sorry, but it's not worth the $65 price. Spend your money on one of my favorite masks. I have featured all of them.

Photo at top courtesy of Sephora; peony photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quad in #301 from the Celestial Beauty Collection for Fall 2014

Here's Clé de Peau Beauté's Eye Color Quad in #301 ($55), the third of the three I purhcased.  This one is "interesting." I usually look for palettes to have coordinating shades, often ranging from a light base shade to a dark accent or liner shade. This quad features four hightllighters.

I'll go straight to the swatch photos to "make my point." I took my photos in full, late-morning sunshine. I swatched from left to right as I moved down my arm. I swatched using a sponge-tipped applicator, applying each shade relatively heavily so that you could see the shimmering shades well.

The pink at the left in the quad is a nice, light pink - not too blue, but nor warm either. What appears to be light gold in the palette is actually an ivory/flesh tone on my skin.

The white shade is bright white. It jumps off the skin with its whiteness. The only shade with a suggestion of "real color" is the antique gold. It's very pretty, but seems disconnected from the other three shades.

My impression is that Clé de Peau created #301 to accompany every other quad in the collection, offering highlighters and plenty of options. Naturally, one can create a pale eye with this quad, and that might be beautiful on Asian skin tones. I'd like to see it used.

You can find the new Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quads at very few sites so far. I purchased in store at Neiman Marcus. They can be found online at Saks in the What's New section. Otherwise, keep checking your favorite source for Clé de Peau Beauté. The collection should arrive within two weeks. Nordstrom told me they expected it in store late this week.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Monday, July 21, 2014

Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quad in #305 from the Celestial Beauty Collection for Fall 2014

Next up in my three-hit run at the Clé de Peau counter is Eye Color Quad #305 ($55 for refill). I was immediately drawn to it, primarily because of the three brown shades. I call it my second favorite of the three, but it may overtake my current favorite, #302. Those greens and browns may have a go at it for my affection.

There's not a lot I can tell you about these new quads that I haven't already mentioned. So I'll go straight to the swatch photos. I took my photos in full, late-morning sunshine. I swatched from left to right as I moved down my arm. I swatched using a sponge-tipped applicator, applying each shade relatively heavily so that you could see the shade well.

You see why I love these shades? The shimmering tan shade at the top is cool (in tone) and totally gorgeous. It works beautifully with each shade in the palette. The dark copper/bronze, like so many other palettes featuring copper, is unique in its shade. That's nice in the sea of copper and bronze that has surrounded us recently.

The shimmering taupe is exquisite. Simply exquisite. Taupe lovers unite! This shade alone makes the palette worth the entire $55. The dark deep brown charcoal accent shade can be worn as a liner. I see in "real life" a touch of plum in it. You can't see it in my photos, but that plum snuck in is consistent with the many lavenders in this collection. It is very sparkly too.

I will show you the remaining quad I purchased tomorrow. For now, after a day that started at 4:30, a full day of work, a trade of my car for a loaner at the dealer (my key needs an exorsism - really!), and a physical therapy session, I'm pooped.

You can find the new Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quads at very few sites so far. I purchased in store at Neiman Marcus. They can be found online at Saks if you use the link above. Otherwise, keep checking your favorite source for Clé de Peau Beauté. The collection should arrive within two weeks. Nordstrom told me they expected it in store late this week.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Coming Soon: Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil

I had a chance this weekend to try a sample of Sisley's new Black Rose Precious Face Oil. My first impression was one of love. It is luxurious in every aspect if its being: fragrance, feel, absorption, and hydration.

Here is what Sisley has to say about it...

Nourishing and anti-aging dry oil with a delightful floral fragrance. Visibly smoothes wrinkles and fine lines. Revitalizes the skin and brightens the complexion. Can be used alone or as a base for daily care to prepare the skin for optimal benefits. Suitable for normal to dry or very dry skin, as well as sensitive skin.

This is clearly a follow-on to the wildly successful Black Rose Cream Mask, which I adore. Now, breaking ground, this is the first time Sisley is using an oil based product as a facial skin-care product. I can predict it's going to be a mega-launch when it arrives on U.S. shores.

I do not yet know the price. Stay tuned. I want a case of it, so I hope it's affordable.

Photo courtesy of luxuryactivist.com

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quad in #302 from the Celestial Beauty Collection for Fall 2014

I purchased three new quads from Clé de Peau Beauté's fall's Celestial Beauty Collection. They had arrived at Neiman Marcus. There are eight available. I might have purchased more, but a majority of the quads offered at least one lavender shade, and lavenders are not my best colors.

Take a look above at #302 above, and you will see that the only difference between the old design and the new one is that Clé de Peau has finally seen the light and made all four shades equal in size. Besides the silly case price, the only thing that bothered me about Clé de Peau eye shadow quads was that they were less then generous with the tiny sliver size to the extreme right in the old quads. I have not yet detected any major difference in formula, although I've only had these new eye shadows for a few days.

I always purchase Clé de Peau Beauté Eye Color Quads ($55) in refills. The plastic containers are perfectly functional, with a lid, and I don't want to pay an additional $25 for a case. It seems so unnecessary.

I'm glad I was able to get photos this morning because it has been totally clouded over since about noon. I took my photos in full, late-morning sunshine. I decided to start this series with my favorite of the three I purchased, #302.

I swatched relatively heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator, starting at the left of the palette and moving toward the right as I worked my way down my arm. All four shades shimmer. The light, ivory pink at the left in the palette is very pretty. It's more flesh-toned than pink on the skin.  The olive green is unique and glorious. I love it! I think it's the centerpiece of this quad.

The darker pink is an interesting hybrid between heather pink and beige. It will work well for most skin tones, and it definitely does not lead to an albino bunny look. The metallic shade, far right in the palette, will reflect an undertone of green when worn with green; however, it's actually a charcoal grey.

I haven't had a lot of time to wear these eye shadows, so I'll report in a subsequent feature on wear time. It seems average to me at the moment.

I'm not sure where you can purchase this collection. Even Neiman Marcus did not have the entire collection - just the eye shadows and mascaras. Keep checking your favorite source for Clé de Peau Beauté. It should arrive within two weeks. Nordstrom told me they expected it late this week.

Photos by Best Things in Beauty

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Friday Forum - July 18 - Clé de Peau Beauté for Fall 2014 (Edited)

I seldom get this frustrated over makeup, but I am frustrated today that I cannot find the whole Fall 2014 Clé de Peau Beauté collection in any one store. I made quite a few phone calls yesterday and succeeded in finding the eye shadows at Neiman Marcus, Tysons Galleria. I hope to get over there late this afternoon.

There are apparently 12 new eye shadow quads (edited - there are eight). Some of them look suspiciously like quad I already have (edited - because they were!), but I'm very anxious to see and play with them. Perhaps they improved the formula, like Chanel did? I'm leaving these Clé de Peau photos up because they are beautiful - as pretty as anything else I could use to jazz up this Friday Forum.

The photos here are the last (spring) collection, which Clé de Peau unfortunately still has labeled "new" on its Web site. I think when a truly new collection hits the counters, the Web site should be updated.

I may pass on the lips this season (edited - later I saw that the new lipsticks are not these thin-line ones). I find the refills hard to use without the tube, and the tube costs extra.

Anyhow, I'm very excited about the fall collection, as well as what's coming from other companies for fall and holiday. I got a sneak peak at Chanel's holiday collection, and I can only tell you to save your money. You are going to want one of everything - and I've got some Chanel friends who would love to help you part with your money (wink).

This makeup has helped take my mind off the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines plane crash, which horrifies me.  What kind of sick mind set could lead people to shoot down a civilian airliner? How on earth did humans become so heartless? If the pro-Russian rebels did it, what did they hope to gain?

On to a happier subject, it's time for our weekend sharing, the Friday Forum. I love this part of our week. What new products did you discover this week? Did you find any deals you couldn't resist? Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers will have moved on.

Update: I went to Neiman Marcus. Score! I saw all eight of the new Clé de Peau Beauté quads and selected three, #301, #302, and #305. I found it interesting that a majority of the quads had at least one lavender shade in them - clearly a trend. That disappointed me, given my personal preferences. The photo above shows my selections. There are three new lipsticks, but only the testers have arrived. I have my eyes on one of them. As soon as I can, I will swatch these new fall quads for you.

No need to comment further on the spring photos. I'm leaving them up for eye candy.

Photos courtesy of Clé de Peau Beauté

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Update on Chanel's Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadows


  



I got some great information I think you would like to hear. It came straight from a Chanel friend...

The applicators that come in the quad are velour. They give a completely different look than a sponge applicator or a brush. The quads are not frosted, but have a luminous sheen which will soften aging and camouflage lines and wrinkles on the lids. Good news for everyone over 50!

Have Chanel's Brush #14? Give it a try for application.

Photos courtesy of Chanel