Archive for the ‘Product Commentaries’ Category

Our Faves: Top 5 Cleansers

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OB003-Gentle-CleanserThoroughly cleansing your skin at least once daily is extremely important for proper skin care and maintenance. Your face becomes covered with bacteria, pollutants, dirt, and old (dead) skin cells throughout the day. Skipping a good facial cleanse leaves skin with built-up dirt, grime and residue, making it difficult for beauty products to penetrate the skin. Proper cleansing also helps to maintain facial hydration, pore size and oil production. Here is a list of some of our favorite cleansers that will help to balance your skin and leave you feeling radiant.

DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Brightening Daily Cleanser

This gentle cleanser is ideal for dull, uneven skin tones, helping to remove impurities and brighten skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and radiant. We love the light, foaming texture this gel cleanser creates when mixed with water.

Jan Marini Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser

With 12% pure glycolic acid, you can expect this creamy, exfoliating cleanser to pack a punch and leave you feeling refined and thoroughly exfoliated without the harsh texture of scrubbing beads.

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser

This foaming, all-natural cleanser is great for aging skin, because it is packed full of botanicals and antioxidant-rich ingredients. It is great for all skin types and smells wonderful too!

iS Clincial Cleansing Complex

Filled with antioxidants, gentle resurfacing agents and bio-nutrients, this cleanser is great before and after any harsh exfoliating treatments or pre/post procedure, because it prepares the skin for treatment and also aids in repair.

Obagi Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser

This classic cleanser is great for giving your skin a powerful yet gentle cleanse, removing any impurities, makeup or oil. This is great for any skin type and is soap- free.


STAFF FAVORITE: iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance Plus

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For those of us concerned with reducing redness, inflammation, and even rosacea, there is a wonderful serum that will bring relief! We‘ve tried other anti-redness products and even medical treatments that simply made things worse. Not to worry with this gem. Cosmeceuticals with quality ingredients tend to be better tolerated by rosacea sufferers, and Is Clinical makes excellent, high-quality cosmeceuticals.

This soothing Vitamin C serum offers so much more than just the amazing collagen-building benefits of isVitamin C. Vitamins A and E provide antioxidant protection which actually fights off harmful environmental pollution that can damage healthy skin cells. It makes your sunscreen more effective by providing photo protection, and also brightens the skin, which is helpful in reducing hyperpigmentation. We know that hyperpigmentation comes from sun damage, so these ingredients really provide a one-two punch to external aging factors. All of that makes for a really awesome product, but it also calms signs of skin irritation and is even effective in managing cystic acne.

But here’s the real deal: you see results! After my first use, I noticed an increased radiance. The first week, my skin was firmer and I also noticed it just felt more comfortable and didn’t sting as it sometimes does. Many times our customers say “I don’t mind spending the money if the product REALLY works”. This serum, and frankly the whole brand, is worth every penny!

Which Clarisonic is right for you?

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clarisonicmia1Clarisonic devices are the #1 most-recommended by dermatologists and estheticians, but if you aren’t skin savvy, it can be overwhelming to decide which model to commit to. Here’s a brief description of each model, which will hopefully be helpful if you’re looking to purchase your first Clarisonic device.

The Mia 1 is the first model Clarisonic released. It has one universal speed and is best for those with normal skin with no sensitivities. The speed on this model is the second speed on other Clarisonic models, so it may be too harsh for those with skin sensitives, acne, or rosacea.

The Mia 2 has two speeds and can be used by almost anyone. It is best for someone with normal to combination skin who may experience the occasional breakout or sensitivity. The first speed is delicate; speed 2 is the universal speed for normal skin and is also the Mia 1 speed.

The Mia Fit is the newest addition to the Clarisonic family. The sleek new design is perfect for the modern woman on the go, teens, or the healthy/outdoorsy type. It fits perfectly into the palm of your hand and features delicate and power-cleanse modes. The power-cleanse mode gives you 20 extra seconds to include the decollate, or extra time for problem areas. Any skin type can use this model. Delicate speed is perfect for sensitive or acne-prone skin and power- cleanse is good for normal and combination skin types.

The Mia 3, previously known as the Aria, is perfect for all skin types, especially those in need of a deeper cleanse. The 3rd speed on this model provides a 30% deeper cleanse than speed 2. It comes with a charging stand and can be charged with either a USB or traditional plug.

The SMART profile is the most luxurious model offered by Clarisonic and can be used by any skin type. It features 4 speeds, the fourth being a turbo speed for the body brush head. This model is best for those who are skin savvy, or those who have been using another Clarisonic device and are looking for an upgrade. The SMART profile communicates with smart brush heads and pedi attachments to adjust speed, timing, and power. It also tracks usage of all brush heads and pedi attachments and tells you when a replacement is needed.

The alpha fit was specifically designed with men in mind. Men’s skin is 22% thicker than women’s skin, and their pores are larger. The alpha fit was designed to osculate wider to thoroughly provide an invigorating cleanse for men. The bristles of the Alpha Fit Men’s Daily Cleanse Brush Head are shorter and provide the most invigorating cleanse. They’re also beard- safe.

Whichever Clarisonic device you choose, be sure you charge it for the full 24 hours before the first use to ensure the longevity of your device.

NEW!! Clarisonic Mia Fit!

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The latest device from Clarisonic offers the same great cleansing as the previous devices, but now comes in a sleek, upright, portable design.  Born of women wanting to use the same design as the men’s version, the Alpha Fit, the Mia Fit rests comfortably in the palm of your hand.

fitAdvances in skin care have taught us that free radicals (particles in the air), attach to our unhealthy skin cells and cause them to attack the healthy skin cells. Clarisonic cleansing systems remove 99% of the particulate matter from our skin. Wow!  Add to that some great antioxidants and an effective SPF and you’ll have a powerhouse of external aging prevention!

The Mia Fit offers two speeds. The Delicate Speed or Speed 1, is great for cleansing the cheek areas, which are more susceptible to redness, broken capillaries and environmental damage. Speed 2 is the Universal Speed that is appropriate for all. There is an extra 20 seconds added to the built-in timer so you can cleanse the neck and decollate. Nice!

It also comes standard with the Radiance brush head.  This one of the most gentle brush heads offered in the line, yet you still get the same effective cleanse as with all the brush heads. The longer, more densely-packed bristles give a more comfortable cleansing experience.  This is an excellent option for those with truly sensitive skin, but it’s suitable for all.

The charger has a base for the device to sit on while charging. You plug it in a little differently than the other models.  It comes with a USB cord that can plug it into a computer.  Or you can use a phone charger from a smart phone.  Most smart phone chargers come in two pieces, the USB cord and the power adaptor that plugs into the wall.  You can plug the USB cord from your Clarisonic charger into the power adaptor to charge your device.  The power adaptor is not included with the device. And as always, you should charge the device for a full 24 hours before the first use. This adequately charges the battery for a longer life between charges.

If this is your first cleansing brush, you have truly sensitive skin, you’re a woman who cleanses on the go, or you just want the latest model, the Mia Fit will fit your life!

My Favorite Nudes

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NV243-perricone-md-no-lipgloss-lipgloss-spf-15The right nude lipstick for your individual skin tone is sometimes hard to find with so many beautiful options available. Each hue is a bit different, with orange, brown, pink, or neutral undertones. Once you find the shade that suits your skin tone, a nude lipstick will be your go-to color. The best trick to determine your undertone is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they appear blue, you have blue undertones. If your veins have a greenish hue, then you have yellow or warm undertones. If it’s hard for you to tell, then you probably have a neutral undertone, in which case just about any hue will work for you!

I really enjoy bareMinerals lipsticks, because they’re creamy, very pigmented, and glide on smoothly. One of my favorite nudes is Take Charge. It’s considered a nude rose with shades of brown as well. This lipstick is very hydrating but delivers a luxurious satin finish. Jane Iredale carries a blue under toned lipstick called Melody, which is a subtle yet rich pop of color. The Vitamin A and C extracts deliver antioxidant protection to the delicate lip area. Melody has an amazing scent of pomegranate and blueberry that’s just intoxicating. For a matte look, I like to start with a lip liner base which insures that my lippy will last a lot longer. Jane Iredale’s nude lip pencil is made with oils and waxes that make it a breeze to apply. It has a pink undertone that brings out my true lip color for a very natural look. One more for our glossy gals out there is the Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss SPF 15. This is not your typical sticky, thick gloss—it has a very smooth texture and conditions your lips. It’s also an anti-aging lip serum that mimics the natural color of the inside of your lips. This amazing lip gloss provides UVA/UVB protection with SPF 15 to guard against sun damage.

Must-Have Products under $25

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tweezerTweezerman Slant Tweezers: The best tweezers you’ll ever use. They stay sharp for what seems like forever, and if by chance they don’t, you can send them to Tweezerman to have them sharpened. (You just have to pay the shipping cost). They’re worth every penny of $23, considering how long they last, and how well-made they are.

NUXE Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm: Unlike any other lip balm I’ve ever tried, it leaves a soft silky finish and dries matte. I use it nightly to maintain baby-soft lips, and even my kids love it.

Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity 3-in-1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash: This refreshing gel cleansercleanser works great and smells amazing. It keeps skin clear without being overly drying.

Beautyblender: I absolutely love this sponge. (I devoted a whole post to it). Everyone needs one in my opinion. Applying my makeup is so quick and easy since I incorporated it into my daily routine, and my makeup looks flawless.

Archipelago Botanicals Oat Milk Body Lotion: Very moisturizing without being greasy. Smells great and keeps the skin hydrated for hours.

UltraLuxe Drying Potion: Banish blemishes overnight with this soothing, nondrying potion. UltraLuxe uses the purest essential oils to create this potion that works to disinfect the pore and clear blemishes quickly.

h2oH2O plus Hand and Nail Cream: If you’re a frequent hand washer like me, then your hands are probably dry. I love this stuff; I keep one tube in my purse and one by my bed. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave hands greasy. It’s a steal at only $5!

Farmhouse Fresh Sundae Best Chocolate Softening Mask: Love chocolate? Does your skin need hydration or radiance? Then this is the mask for you! Its smooth creamy texture leaves skin supple and velvety, and smells good enough to eat.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Natural Tint: The best dry shampoo I’ve used. A little goes a long way, it smells fresh, and doesn’t leave a powdery look or feel.

Butter London Nail Polish: Super-shiny and lasts at least a week with no chips. I love these nail polishes, they’re worth the splurge.

Vichy Thermal Spa Water: This water comes from 4,000 meters under the earth in Vichy, France, and is VH010-vichy-thermal-spa-waterrich in skin-soothing minerals and trace elements. I apply it before and after my makeup and carry a travel size in my purse for whenever I feel my skin needs a pick-me-up throughout the day.

butter LONDON Wink Eye Pencil: These pencils are my go-to! They go on creamy, last all day, and are deeply-pigmented.

Alterna BAMBOO Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Mist: I spray a little bit of this dry oil on my hair after I flat iron. It makes my hair shiny and silky smooth without weighing it down or looking oily.


Welcome Kat Burki to SkinStore!

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I am always excited when a new brand is added to SkinStore. Our buyers only bring in brands that have proven results and those they believe are going to be loved by our loyal SkinStore customers. Kat Burki developed a skin care line that contains Cell-Communicating Ingredients that assist in repairing damaged skin cells. Her mission is to create intelligent formulas for maximum beauty. After some research, I realized this is a very innovative brand. Kat Burki incorporated a cold-pressing method into her product production.

Simply put, this is when oils are kept at a constant temperature so they are never degraded, and the ingredients maintain a high antioxidant level. Some skin care formulas require heating to set the ingredients, but all of Kat Burki’s oils and complex ingredients are cold-poured once they are cold-pressed into their base formulas. She believes cold-processing ensures that the product contains its maximum effectiveness to deliver results that are very visible. She does not use binders, fillers, or water to create her base. Every ingredient she uses fights signs of aging.

After reviewing the Kat Burki line, I was instantly drawn to the Rose Hip Intense Recovery Eye Serum. I am all about trying a new eye product! This product promises to reawaken your eyes and given the ingredients it contains, I have some high expectations. This eye serum is powered by the antioxidants rose hip, Vitamin C, DMAE, and Retinol.  This eye serum works to diminish dark circles, uneven skin tone, puffiness, dryness and fine lines. What more could you ask of an eye product? I have read many reviews stating the texture is extremely lightweight and a little goes a long way. This product sounds like the perfect pick-me-up after too little sleep.

UG008-kat-burki-vitamin-c-intensive-face-creamThe second product I have my eye on is the Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream. This luxurious lightweight face cream provides 15% Vitamin C that calms and heals, while delivering protection against free radical damage. This product sounds like a great brightening/anti-aging product that will tackle many skin care concerns. Even customers who have sensitive skin seem to be fine using this product.  These are just two Kat Burki products to get excited about. Come check her line out and experience something new!

Cleanse with a Splash!

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ernoDr. Erno Laszlo was a Hungarian dermatologist who began formulating products to heal Hungarian Princess Stephanie’s acne. Due to his success, he went on to open an institute of scientific cosmetology. Later his clients would include Hollywood’s A-List actresses, including Grace Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. In the 1960s his treatments were highly sought after.

Today, you can take part in the regimens that were responsible for the most glamorous complexions.  This line offers several cleansing bars. The most popular is the Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar. There is a distinct way to maximize your results with these cleansers. Start by filling your basin with comfortably hot water. Dip the cleansing bar into the hot water and gently massage wet bar over the face, and then repeat. Set bar aside and then massage the face and neck with fingertips. Splash your face 20 times with the water from the basin to cleanse and stimulate the skin. Splash your face again 10 times with comfortably hot running water to rinse the skin. Blot the skin dry. Follow with the Erno Laszlo toners, treatments and moisturizer prescribed specifically for your skin.

Dr.  Laszlo was known to have said, “I taught America’s high society ladies to wash their faces.” Now we know how to as well.

Estie Find: Vichy Idealia BB Cream

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Looking for a quick and easy foundation application? Vichy’s Idealia BB Cream would be the perfect find VH087-vichy-idealia-bb-mediumfor you. This hydrating, illuminating formula helps pores look refined, smooths fine lines and wrinkles and contains an SPF 25. This BB cream is on the thinner side in consistency, and for those with dry skin, I would recommend adding a bit of your favorite moisturizer before application. It does blend nicely however, if you need to use concealer or more foundation coverage.  The BB also has a pearly, rose-gold pigment, so if your complexation has red tones, this may make you look too pink or red. This cream does come in two color options, Light and Medium, however, both color options are on the lighter side of the color spectrum. It does blend nicely with skin tones within 1-2 shades of the cream. My favorite thing about it is that it’s a light-feeling cream, with a wonderful clean smell, that is lightly floral but not overpowering.  I hope you enjoy it as well!

Esti Tip: Use a primer, skin perfector, or hyaluronic acid before the application of your BB cream to give your skin a plumped, moisturized base for this BB cream, if adding a moisturizer would be too rich for your skin tone.

Spot Treat It!

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We all have the occasional pimple that seems to come out at the worst time, like right before an event. The key for me is finding a spot treatment that will dry out the pimple but also bring down the inflammation. Salicylic acid is one of the most common ingredients in over the counter spot treatments. This topical acne treatment is used to treat acne, dandruff, psoriasis, dermatitis of the scalp, corns, and even calluses. Salicylic acid works by dissolving the substance that causes cells to stick together. This makes it easier to shed skin cells. In many cases, acne occurs because the pore is clogged with dead skin cells that need to be exfoliated. Salicylic acid treats the breakout by reducing inflammation, and redness, and unplugging the blocked pore. In the past when I have first started using a salicylic acne treatment, my skin was very dry and a little irritated, but this only occurred at the beginning of use. I simply used less product less often and did not have any more issues going forward.

JB044-blemish-be-goneMy favorite acne spot treatment is the Juice Beauty Blemish Be Gone. This product not only contains Salicylic acid but Vitamin C as well. I love how this product is packaged—perfect for on the go! This is definitely a product you want to keep in your purse so you can catch the first signs of a breakout. This salicylic acid reduces the size of my blemish right away, while the Vitamin C works on evening out the tone and texture of my skin. The aloe, green and white teas help to hydrate and sooth my skin so that over-drying does not occur. This is a must-have for every acne-prone client who needs something fast, easy, and very effective.

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