First Impressions: skincare and Bath Mini Haul

minihaul

I thought I would share some recent acquisitions and first impressions. My skin has been misbehaving lately, and that has inspired a couple of these purchases. I really can’t blame it all on my skin breaking out. There is definitely some lust and impulsiveness in these buys–and no regrets. (At least not yet!)

Andalou Naturals Beta-Hydroxy Complex Recovery Cream ($24.95; 1.7 oz) If you haven’t checked out this brand, you should. It’s good, affordable, clean, and so underrated. I was thinking of repurchasing the goji peptide moisturizer from their age-defying range, but I decided to get this one from their clarifying range. I figured it would help with the breakouts and those pesky acne scars that can take so long to fade.

This contains: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Vegetable Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel)*, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Stearic Acid, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Epilobium Angustifolium (Willow Herb) Extract, Salicylic Acid, Salix Alba (Willow Bark) and Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extracts*, Zinc Gluconate, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) and Sabdariffa Extracts*^, Tocopherol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil*

It is clarifying thanks to the salicylic acid and very softening. I noticed the difference in my breakouts and congested pores after just one use. I also think it is potent enough that it can be used for exfoliating in place of (or on rotation with) a retinol or other acid. I am glad that I purchased it. Though I can see this perhaps being too strong for me every night, particularly in the dead of winter. I get windburned really easily, so sometimes I just need to layer on a thick, simple moisturizer. I may need to get another jar from Andalou’s sensitive range for that purpose.

OK, now to my fave of the bunch: Skin Owl Eye+. ($46, .8 oz) I tried to resist buying this. I have so much other stuff to finish first. That is what I told myself. I resisted the photos of this luscious gel in its cute little jar. I resisted when the Caroline Hirons chose it for her latest Cult Beauty Box. It wasn’t easy, dammit, but I held fast. Then my skin went nuts and I was feeling sorry for myself and one thing led to another and I bought it and OH MY!

Will you just look at what’s in it? Look! Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber Distillate), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend (Sodium L-Pyrrolidone Carboxylate, Sodium Lactate, LArginine, L-Aspartic Acid, L-Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid, Glycine, L-Alanine, L-Serine, L-Valine, L-Proline, L-threonine, L-Isoleucine, L-Histidine, L-Phenylalanine), Wildcrafted Vinca Major (Periwinkle), Organic Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

It smells like a freshly cut cucumber. It’s cooling,  smoothing, and soothing. I just love the experience of using it. I put it all around my eyes and cheeks. It firms, it depuffs, it leaves skin silky. If you are a sucker for gels and aloe-based products, try this. It’s a little splurgey, but worth it. You will not be sorry.

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask ($49, 2.5 oz) Another pimple-panic purchase. I went with this blogger fave that somehow I hadn’t manage to ever try. Until now. This mask has a nice mix of clays and oils. I used a very thin layer all over my dampened face and applied a little extra on my t-zone.  I think I used about the same amount as I would a foundation. You can really make this product last. I only left it on for about 10 minutes. I would say this is the most gentle clay-based mask I have ever tried. It left my skin feeling very clean and smooth.

Here is what’s in it: Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bentonite, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool.

Aura Cacia Shower Tablets in Reviving Peppermint ($6.99 for a pack of 3). I was so excited to see an Aura Cacia display containing oils, aromatherapy sprays and roll-ons, essential oils, and more at my local Rite-Aid that I couldn’t resist. I purchased some oils (not pictured here) for blending into a homemade body oil (will post about that project soon) and a packet of these shower tablets. You place the tablet on the shower floor and the scent is released as it dissolves. I thought it was a nice little touch for my shower–especially since I used it after a sweaty house-cleaning session. Could you get the same effect (and save money) from sprinkling essential oils on the shower floor? Yes, yes you can. At least it wasn’t a pricey impulse buy!

Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bentonite, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool. – See more at: http://www.aesop.com/usa/skin-care-1/deep-cleanse/parsley-seed-cleansing-masque.html#sthash.YO2mx8lC.dpuf
Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bentonite, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool. – See more at: http://www.aesop.com/usa/skin-care-1/deep-cleanse/parsley-seed-cleansing-masque.html#sthash.YO2mx8lC.dpuf

Onomie A.C.E. Iluminating Eye Treatment and Bright Concealing Elixir

onomie

I was browsing though my Instagram feed and saw that it has been 13 weeks since I purchased the Onomie Eye Essentials Duo! I hadn’t realized so much time had passed, in part because concealer doesn’t seem close to running out. Anyway, time for a review!

I was in a real concealer rut when I purchased Onomie’s A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment (boasting 10% Vitamin C for serious brightening) and Bright Concealing Elixir (packed with antioxidants and caffeine for depuffing). I thought my circles were showing through every concealer I tried. I put away my fave green concealer (Studio 78 Paris) and went back to department store concealer (Clarins) in the hopes of more coverage. I still wasn’t happy with how it looked. The worst part? I developed bumps under my eyes, which I believe were caused by using a product with such a heavy texture. Around that time, an article about Onomie got my attention. They have created a makeup/skincare hybrid with these two products, the company’s first offerings, which address what women most want to fix. I figured it couldn’t hurt to treat while covering up,  so I decided to order a try at home kit. (Onomie has a really affordable way to try the products. For just $4 you get 3 shades plus the corresponding illuminator. Check it out here.)

I intended to use Onomie every day for 8 weeks. Turns out, 8 weeks came and went! So how did it work for me? I have noticed some improvement in my dark circles! It is important to note that I had somewhat modest expectations on this front because my circles are hereditary. I am most impressed by the improvement of the texture of the skin under my eyes. The bumpy texture has improved and my fine lines are a bit softer. Between these 3 improvements, I am less crazy about covering my circles, which is good. I don’t layer on a ton of product and if they aren’t totally invisible, that is ok because the skin looks brighter and smoother. Some additional thoughts:

  • The A.C.E. Illuminating Treatment is great. I love the pump packaging (and wish the concealer was in a pump instead of a tube). Onomie recommends tapping the illuminating treatment in a “C” shape around the outer part of the eye. I do that, but I also use it on the inner part of the eye–sort of like a primer for the concealer. This stuff blends beautifully. It comes in a pink pearl shade and a bronze shade.
  • The concealer is thin and pretty pigmented. It is easy to work with–it blends easily with fingers or a brush and doesn’t crease (unless you really over apply). You can layer it too. I find it’s best to let the first layer set for a minute before adding more. I don’t think it needs setting, but I do set it and plays well with powder. (I set with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light.)
  • I like the yellow undertone in the lighter half of the concealer shade range. It’s so brightening, but it may post a problem for cool and neutral toned people.
  • The illuminating treatment costs $32 and the concealer costs $26. You can buy the duo for $58. This seemed weird to me. I think there should be a price break for buying both at the same time.
  • I still can’t find the ingredients list on the site. You can find the lists on the packaging on my Instagram here and here.

I’ll close with this: I think Onomie deserved their Allure Best of Beauty Award for their concealer. I highly recommend trying it for yourself. They make it affordable and easy to try, so why not go for it?