I'm a fifty-something, coffee addicted, empty nesting, sarcastic beauty/lifestyle blogger who believes that life is too short for stupid rules, especially those that pertain to people in my age bracket. Beauty of a "Certain Age." Reviews, how-to's, all about the beautiful things I love are in the Notes from My Dressing Table.
FASHION FLASH IS LIVE This week, Melanie of Society Wellness is celebrating three years with Fashion Flash and she is this week's lovely host.
Fashion Flash is the weekly e-news magazine for women over forty. The contributors this week have some great stuff up our sleeves and we'd love for you to join us. Here is just a taste of what you can expect:
celebrity skin care secrets
an easy-peasy in home gel manicure that won't wreck your nails
summer in an unusual destination
an answer to an age old question
the magic ingredient
exercise and dance merge
an affordable way to get gorgeous
a high end beauty secret
we all talk to ourselves and... maybe it's not so crazy, after all
I admit, I love night cream. The ritual of sitting down at my dressing table just before bed and cleansing my face, applying my essence and serums, eye cream then... My night cream. Smoothing the rich, silky stuff across my skin, gently tapping it in and waking up to a soft, plumped up, glowing complexion. Yeah. I love night cream. Today, I'm sharing with you my three current favorite night creams for dry/mature skin and I'm giving you three budget options, too.
//products provided for editorial consideration//affiliate links that help support my site are in use//
So, what is so special about these three night creams? Well, they all work beautifully for my very dry, maturing skin but you don't have to have my exact skin type to enjoy and get great benefits from these moisturizers. I think that any of these options will work nicely for normal/normal to dry skin types, too.
My Save night cream is DERMA E Hydrating Night Cream, a hefty, 2 fl. oz. jar is $24.99. While that may sound a bit pricey for drugstore skin care, you're getting a big jar of the stuff and it's rich enough that even I don't have to use a ton of it so it lasts me a long time. DERMA E harnesses the power of Hyaluronic Acid, Natural Macadamia Seed Oil, Vitamin C, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Vitamin A to deeply hydrate, brighten and firm skin without leaving it feeling heavy, greasy or sticky. This cream is scented, it's kind of tropical - banana. The scent is light and it doesn't last a long time but if you are scent sensitive or averse you need to know about it. Don't let the attainable price point fool you, this is serious skin care that delivers.
DERMA E is cruelty free, vegan, gluten free, non GMO and soy free. Packaging is recyclable.
For my Spend night cream, I recommend the Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon, 1.7 fl. oz. - $80.00. A bit expensive, yes but this stuff is so lovely and my skin just adores it. The lightweight gel cream is packed with skin loving nutrients like Persian Silk Tree Extract, wu-zhu-yu, Tamarind Seed Polysacchride, and Australian Kakadu Plum extract that work together to hydrate, reduce the signs of fatigue, brighten, comfort and improve the overall appearance of the skin. Encapsulated Motion Activated French Lavender Oil releases a gentle, calming aroma that soothes my senses and helps me relax and get ready for sleep. The lavender fragrance, while apparent is not strong and it drifts away, after a few minutes so I'm not smelling lavender for hours.
Ah... Time to Splurge. This night cream is a bit of a punch in the wallet but, in my not so humble opinion, it's worth every penny. And I ain't even kidding. If you have signs of aging and or skin damage or you just want a powerful cream that will set your complexion right, Jan Marini Transformation Face Cream, 1 fl. oz - $105.00 gets the job done. This feather light wonder contains a luxurious, Patented Growth Factor, Antioxidants and Peptides along with Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera and Plant Extracts to hydrate, firm, renew and rejuvenate my complexion. When I use this cream, I wake up in the morning to skin that feels comfortable and looks firmer, plumped with a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and has a natural, radiant glow.
Do you want to know how well this cream hydrates? I normally give new to me creams the 24 Hour Test, where I apply as part of my normal skin care routine then I leave my face alone for twenty-four hours to see if the moisturizer can really deliver on it's promises. Failure to pass the 24 Hour Test is not a deal breaker; if it keeps my skin hydrated and happy all day or all night, it passes. When I did my test on this cream - it was winter and my skin was really suffering - it flew through the twenty-four hours and was still going strong so I extended it to forty-eight hours (I know... gross) because I was curious to see what this cream could really do. It passed with flying colours. My skin felt just as soft, plumped and pampered at the end of the extended test period as it did, at the beginning. That sold me. You know... I have yet to meet a Jan Marini skin care product that I don't like.
So there you have it, gentle reader. My three current favorite night creams for dry/maturing skin. Have you tried any of these lovely products? If you have or have any questions, please leave me a comment, I'd love to hear what you think.
Say, this is a Makeup Wars Link Up and my fellow beauty bloggers have some great skin care suggestions, too so please, go give them a look see. The gallery is just at the end of this post.
If you enjoyed this article, won't you please give it a share? I really appreciate it when you share my stuff.
I have been curious about gel manicures for a while... The beautiful, glossy finish, the long wear, the potential for all kinds of simple or intricate nail looks. But the expense of gathering up all of the stuff I would need and knowing that removing gel polish from my somewhat fragile nails could wreak havoc on them has held me back from exploring gel polish. Until now.
PURECURE™ Peel-Off Gel Base and Top Coat - Mini Size (.25 oz)
PURECURE™ Peel-Off Lacquer in Cheeky (a rosy nude) - Mini Size (.25 oz)
4 Nail Scrubbers 2-in-1 Prep & Remover Wipes
2 Cuticle Pushers
Nail File and Buffer
Some of the features and benefits of this system are:
Quick drying time under the LED White Light, less harsh than UV light
A glossy, cushion finish
Easy gentle peel off removal - no soaking in acetone required!
No damage done - nails are intact! (We'll discuss this one, later.)
12 free lacquer
The LED light automatically set for 60 seconds. Convenient hand sensor, manual on/off button and power cord.
To get started, just unpack the box, insert the power cord jack into the port in the back of the lamp and plug it in. Have your base/top coat and gel lacquer ready, as well as a nail file (I don't use the included file, I use my crystal file) and the included nail scrubbers wipes or cotton pads and acetone, either do the job, equally. I also make sure to have my cleanup brush and little dish of acetone ready to spring into action because let's get real, as hard as I try, I have always been and always be a sloppy polisher.
I'm not going to bore you with the complete, step by step how to; that is all covered in the instruction booklet and it's super easy to follow. In the process of playing with this kit, I have learned a few good tricks that I will share and you may find helpful.
First, the Scrubbers packets are nice to have on hand but they aren't a necessity. My usual cotton rounds and good old acetone does their job, just fine. I think that I'm going to toss my remaining Scrubbers packets into my travel beauty supplies bag, they will come in handy for getaways.
The LED curing light is set for a 60 second cycle but in my experience, two cycles when curing the base and each coat of the lacquer and three, for the top coat gives a harder, more complete cure. Yes, it takes a little more time, while my nails are being done but I don't have to worry about my polish being as soft/dentable after I'm done.
Apply the lacquer in thin, smooth, deft coats and do not over work it or touch the nail with uncured lacquer on it to any surface. If you do, the gel polish will crinkle up and bake that way under the light. I over stroked the polish on one thumb and touched the other to a surface and had to redo those nails. Lesson learned!
If, like me you are a bit of a sloppy polisher, have your cleanup brush and little dish of acetone at the ready. You must quickly do cleanup and any desired refining after each coat is applied to each nail while the lacquer is still wet. Once the gel has set on the nail, cleanup becomes difficult without ruining the surface and, after it's been cured under the light, it's pretty much impervious to acetone and you are stuck with any boo-boos.
If a nail chips, the chip can be repaired. Gently file the edges of the chipped gel smooth and clean with a cotton pad with a little acetone. Apply a thin coat of the base/top coat, cook it for two cycles under the light. Repeat with the lacquer, two coats. Then the base/top coat, three cycles and clean with your cotton round and acetone and you're good. If you work carefully, the fix should be nearly invisible.
At one point, I somehow peeled the gel off of about half of my right index nail and there was no hope for that one but to redo the nail, completely.
As you can see, in the photo below, my application wasn't absolutely flawless but, I think that for my first time ever working with gel, it turned out pretty well. I like that the gel system offers a nice, smooth finish, even on my ridgey nails and it stands up pretty well to my daily routine of housework, showering, typing and so on. Overall, I find this kit easy and fun to use and I'm impressed at how long my manicure, with just a small hiccup or two lasted. I had to repair one chip and redo one nail in a three week wear trial. I wasn't mad at that, at all.
Did I mention that this stuff wore very nicely for three weeks? Photographic evidence, below:
Let's talk removal. I use a wood cuticle pusher and gently lift the gel around the edges then lever it up and off the surface of my nails. I don't suggest using your nails as tools for removal, this stuff doesn't lift off as easily as regular nail polish with a peel off base coat.
Okay, Butter London claims that there is no damage to the nails after removal. I would say that that claim needs to be amended to there is some surface damage, after removal. My nails experienced a good surface roughing up and only one shallow gouge (purely user error) in my left pinkie nail. After an ultra gentle buffing to smooth away most of the roughened surface and application of oil, my nails looked almost as good as new and felt only a little less strong than they normally do. I can live with that.
Here are pictures to show the damage my nails sustained and how they looked, after a gentle smoothing and some oil.
So. Do I love it? Or did I lose it?
I kinda love it. The Butter London PureCure™ Peel the Love Gel Manicure System is fun and easy to use. The gel manicure is shiny and pretty and the wear is pretty impressive; I got a solid three weeks out of my manicure with only a few minor hiccups. The manicure can chip but chips are repairable so if one happens, you don't have to remove the whole thing and start over. Full sized bottles of base/top coat and gel lacquer are available here. I have my eyeballs on a few shades I'd love to have on hand for when I'm in the mood for a nice, long lasting mani.
What do you think? Do you like the look of this gel kit? Have you tried it? How does it work for you? Please, do tell.
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I don't know about you but this time of year, I get the urge to purge. Clean out the excess, clear clutter, organize and have everything fresh and at my fingertips. I've been taking care of my beauty stash; I tossed expired stuff and passed along to family and friends new/nearly new and nice things that I hated to see go to waste. Next came closets and kitchen cabinets and my husband and I went through all of the papers that accumulate, over time and shredded bags of old stuff. Ahhh! I love getting rid of old junk that is just taking up space. Then it was time to turn to my computer. Since it's fairly new, I didn't have to do too much but I did spend a good hour or so cleaning out my contacts list. Holy shit! How did that become the bloated monster it did? I'll tell ya, clearing out that insane list of contacts, many of which I haven't used in years was so satisfying!
Now to tackle my inbox...
If you don't hear from me, please call search and rescue because something in there got me.
While you're waiting, check out all of the fantastic articles from Fashion Flash, the weekly E-Newsletter by a fabulous group of savvy, forty plus women.
Barbara Hanna Grufferman - author of Love Your Age: The Small Step Solution to a Better, Longer, Happier Life (National Geographic) - has discovered an alternative to traditional hormone therapy, recommended by her best friend, a leading endocrinologist. Get the scoop and a discount code, right here.
Summer is here, even if the calendar says that it's still a few weeks away. Summertime means increased oil production, sweat, heavier sunscreens, wind, salt water and chlorine and these factors can all wreak havoc on our skin, resulting on dry, flaky patches, clogged pores and breakouts. Happily, a little extra pampering can quickly set things right.
Today, I'm sharing a couple of products from Derma E. If you read here with any regularity or follow my Instagram you know that I have been using and loving Derma E skin care for a while, now and for very good reason. Derma E offers high quality, efficacious, cruelty free and vegan skin care for all skin types, from young to mature, oily to dry and every combination, in between at an accessible price point. If you've never tried this line, I encourage you to hop on their page and check them out. I think that you'll be very pleasantly surprised.
Derma E Purifying Daily Detox Scrub, $15.50 - 4 fl. oz. combines activated charcoal, seaweed extracts, apricot seed powder and green tea to gently lift and sweep away dead skin cells, cleanse and purify your complexion leaving your face feeling sparkling clean, fresh and silky smooth.
Derma E Purifying 2 - in - 1 Charcoal Mask, $19.50 - 1.7 fl. oz. This is a natural kaolin and bentonite clay based mask enriched with apricot seed powder and natural seaweed extracts that gently exfoliate and deep clean your complexion and leave it soft, glowing and fresh.
If I told you that adding one quick, easy step to your skin care routine can result in a more hydrated, smoother looking eye area, would you be interested? Yeah, I thought so. Get ready to amp up the power of your eye cream and see and feel a real difference, fast.
//product provided to me for editorial consideration//
Crow Catcher - seriously, how cute is that name, I ask you? - is an unscented, cruelty free, vegan, gluten free and 98% natural formulation that combines dermatologist tested peptides and complex nutrient algae in a silky, hydrating base that in clinical testing produced real, impressive results with consistent use over time. Some of the documented results are:
A 58% reduction in the appearance of wrinkle depth in two months.
91% of trial participants saw disappearing crows feet, lines and wrinkles - even puffiness and dark circles.
In just seven days, 100% of participants wanted to add Crow Catcher to their skin care routine.
From Farmhouse Fresh:
Seaweed extract: Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils help reinforce skin’s hydro-lipidic barrier. Bio-Peptide: Dermatologist-led clinical tests revealed 58% visible reduction of deep wrinkles versus placebo and 82% reduction in transepidermal water loss in 2-8 weeks. Ascophyllum Nodosum and Cyantophyta-class Algae extract: Rich in beneficial antioxidants, including vitamins C & B12. Caprylic Triglyceride is an excellent emollient that helps skin repair its surface and resist moisture loss. Organic Gotu Kola is an extract of Centella Asiatica and is known for its antibacterial, anti-psoriatic, and wound-healing properties.
Okay, to be clear, I'm not claiming that I, at fifty-three suddenly have the exquisitely smooth, tight eye area I did when I was twenty. (Now, that would be a miracle!) What I am saying is, that by layering a baby pea sized pump of Farmhouse Fresh Crow Catcher Eye Transforming Serum, $47.00 - 1/2 fl. oz. under my usual eye cream, my eye area feels rose petal soft and looks even more refreshed, smoother and plumped up. When I speak and smile, my fine lines, the crinkling and little crows feet that appear and disappear are less visible, overall and that, gentle reader is a real result I feel good about. I am excited to see how this continues to work, over time. I really like this eye serum and I enthusiastically recommend that you give it a try.
What do you think? Is Crow Catcher something that you would like to add to your skin care routine? Have you tried it? I'd love to hear what you think.
Taking care of my maturing, very dry skin is almost a full time job, these days. I kid you not! I am devoted to my morning and evening multi step routine and I am forever on the hunt for the next great thing that will hydrate and make my skin look and feel it's very best. If it smells gently of lavender? Bonus!
//product provided for editorial consideration//affiliate links that help to support this site are in use//
I was recently offered the opportunity to try one of Dermalogica's newest complexion pampering products and, after giving it a good test drive, I'm so excited to share it with you, today.
The Sound Sleep Cocoon, $80.00 - 1.7 fl. oz. is a transformative night gel-cream created to deeply hydrate, soothe, plump and revitalize the skin as we sleep.
To use this beautiful moisturizer, I turn the lid, press down and a featherweight, white gel cream with a gentle lavender scent is dispensed into my hand. As I smooth it across my face, I feel the formula drop into my skin and go to work while the soft scent begins to relax and soothe my senses. My complexion instantly feels velvety soft and when I wake up in the morning, my skin is hydrated, has a soft, natural glow and my fine lines and wrinkles appear plumped and a little smoother. And that, gentle reader, is what it's all about. I have had the pleasure of trying a few Dermalogica products over the years and this is definitely one of my favorites! I just love the Sound Sleep Cocoon and I recommend it.
Ahhh... What says "summer" quite like warm, glowing, tanned skin? I freely admit that I love having a good tan but once I learned about just how extremely dangerous a tan from the sun can be, I made the switch from laying out to laying it on. Sunless tanner, that is.
I know... Just the thought of sunless tans can evoke some not so happy mental images. We've all seen pictures and video of sunless tanner abuse and it's not pretty! But, when it's done right; when you prep well, take your time and maintain your tan carefully, you can enjoy a sexy, golden, glowing and safe summer tan without the risk of premature aging, skin damage or worst of all, skin cancer. A great sunless tan isn't fast or effortless, it's a look that requires some work and dedication but the results can be worth it.
//press samples//self purchased items//affiliate links that help to support my blog are in use//
Step One: Cleanse and Exfoliate. The biggest secret to success when it comes to sunless tanning is clean, silky smooth skin that is free of dead skin cells and excess moisturizer. I like to use a clear shower gel like Lather Baobab and Shea Body Wash that gets my skin nice and clean but doesn't strip or dry it out. Next, comes exfoliation. Yep. It's gotta be done, gentle reader. Not only is exfoliation good for the skin, it makes all of the difference to the look and life of your sunless tan. I like to use a combo of scrubby shower tools and a good salt or sugar scrub. My favorite scrub is Soap & Glory Flake Away. The scent, the scrub, the clean rinse all make my skin feel like a New Thing. I am out of it, right now so I'm digging into my jar of Farmhouse Fresh Sweet Tea Whipped Body Scrub. I am loving the scrubby-ness and the soft, peachy scent as well as my soft, soft skin.
Have you tried the Via Buff Clinical Body Exfoliator? This Level Four puff is serious stuff. If you have sensitive or delicate skin, stay away from this bad boy. But, if you have very dry skin that can take a hammering, get one. It's life changing. It starts out white and over time it yellows, as you can see in my picture. If you want to scrub your back, check out the Daily Concepts Your Back Scrubber. Bye-bye itchy back and pretending I'm a bear, rubbing on trees. Wanna know a secret? I don't self tan my entire back. I don't run around in super skin baring stuff, so I just tan it enough to show tanned skin under collars or a slightly low backed top. *lazy hag Plus, I can use a lotion applicator and not bug the hubbs to help me. He gets squicked out by sunless tanner -weird- so I don't make him get into it. I'm such a nice wifey.
Okay, once you're all clean and scrubbed smooth as a rose petal, it's time for Prep: Step Two.
Let's talk about blocking, hydrating and protecting. First of all, if you have long hair, get it up and contained. Dude, you do not want to get your hair mixed up in your sunless tanner. Especially if you're a blonde. Ask me how I know. I use a turbie like the Daily Concepts Your Hair Towel Wrap to get every strand up, covered and protected. Next, I grab a lightweight lotion like Lather Baobab and Shea Moisturizer and apply a small amount to any dry spots where tanner can collect and harsh my vibe, like my ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and the backs of my hands. I make sure to rub it in very well and let it sink in for a few minutes, so that it doesn't inhibit the action of my tanner. Now, it's time to block off any areas that I want to keep sunless tanner free and apply a thin, even barrier of Vaseline. Oh! If your nails are bare, apply a quick coat of fast dry base coat or a clear polish, just to protect your nails from getting tanned.
Once the last bit of prep is done, it's time to lay on that tan.
Okay, here is where the rubber meets the road. It's tanner time. Some people like to use a tanning mitt (like the one in the picture, above) or gloves. I just use this mitt for pictures. I've tried them in the past and they wrinkle, roll, split apart or shred on me. Too much raggle baggle. I usually just use my hands and wash them when I'm done so that I don't end up with tanned palms.
I like to start with my face, if I'm tanning it. Vita Liberata Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask offers a gradual, soft tan on my face that is nice for my fair skin tone. Vita Liberata Fabulous Gradual Self Tanning Lotion reminds me of my good old Jergens Natural Glow lotion. This hydrating formula drops into the skin and gradually provides colour. There's not much scent, which is nice. I like this but I think it's a little spendy for what it is. I will just buy the Jergens Natural Glow when this runs out. Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse puffs out a silvery green then works into the skin and turns clear. There is a pleasant scent, it's not funky or feet, like some tanners of old. I don't get three weeks out of my tan but it does last longer than any other sunless I've ever tried and I don't have to use tons of it to get the job done.
Like I said, earlier, I generally apply my tanner with my hands. I use a circular motion to rub the tanner in as evenly as possible. I make sure to be careful in areas where tanner can collect and form uneven patches and I'm especially careful around my wrists, especially underneath, so that I don't end up with grimy looking areas. After my tanner is on, I wash my hands really well then I use a couple of cotton pads to carefully apply to the backs of my hands, making sure to flex my fingers to get my knuckles evenly coated to avoid the telltale white streaks.
Now it's time to cool my heels for a few minutes to be sure that my skin is dry, then I can put on some lightweight clothes and let my tan develop. Once it's up, I go jump in the shower and wash off so that I don't get my sheets all gross. This is a good time to assess my tan and apply a little more tanner, here or there where it may be needed or give a scrub to any little spots where it may have bunched up.
I can't talk about getting all golden and glowey without talking about bronzer. I'm still loving my Too Faced Chocolate Soliel Matte Bronzer. I'm nearing hitting pan on this one, you can't really tell from the photo but I'm pleased with the great big dip in the pan. I've actually started using a couple of other bronzers, lately and I'm kind of enjoying having a variety but the Too Faced is still my number one.
Keeping my skin very well hydrated and soft is key to making my tan last and look it's very best, as long as possible. I know that I rave about this stuff all of the time but Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Lotion and Body Butter are forever favorites. They drop into my skin and leave it so soft without feeling greasy or sticky and I adore the scent.
When a sunless tan starts to die, it's best to put it quickly out of it's misery; exfoliate to remove the remnants and start, again. I am not hardcore enough to do this, every week or two to stay forever tan but when I'm in the mood for some colour, these steps work very well for me.
Remember, a sunless tan is not in any way "protective" against UV rays. Nor, for that matter is a sun tan. Where did that idiotic old wives tale come from, anyway? Don't forget your sunscreen!
This is a collab with my fellow Makeup Wars bloggers so don't forget to scroll to the end and check out everyone's favorite sunless tanners and bronzers.
Thank you for dropping by and reading. If you found this helpful, won't you give it a share? I really appreciate it when my posts get shared, it helps get my stuff out there and seen by others who might find it useful, too.