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Posted by 09.18.14

There are dark circle correctors, and then there are dark circle correctors (operative word being ‘CORRECT’).

From Clinique’s uber popular Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector ($39.50) to the latest flex-tipped wunderkind, Avon’s Anew Clinical Absolute Even Dark Circle Corrector ($30), the market is filled — no, littered — with items that promise the supermoon and fall short. But there are those that are the quiet achievers and Avon’s Dark Circle Corrector is one of them. Scientists at the company have worked overtime to create a key ingredient — what they call a Shadow Erase Complex — which includes kudzu root extract and fennel fruit extract that promise to brighten dark circles and smooth uneven texture.

Avon Dark Circle Corrector

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The formula is chameleon like in the fact that it instantly matches different skin tones and blends in seamlessly, and it has self-adjusting sheer optics that illuminate the eyes. The drill is simple: swipe the flexi-tip beneath your eyes and watch your dark circle issues melt like ice.

I used this on a daily basis and hoped that my genes wouldn’t get in the way (most eye creams have failed me like a makeup artist with a bad hangover). No matter how much I apply eye creams and pray for pale, my under eyes remain a constant shade of slate. For the price point, this is a good buy, especially when there are many more expensive (and often, less reliable) ones out there.

Another top dark spot contender is Lumixyl Revitaleyes ($65). Unlike most eye creams that focus on treating only one cosmetic problem, Lumixyl® Revitaleyes Brightening Eye Cream contains Decapeptide-12 (also known as Lumixyl Peptide) which works on wrinkle formation but also delivers hydration, repairs inflammation, and treats under-eye circles. According to New York plastic surgeon Bryan G. Forley, “Revitaleyes targets the six common eye concerns, including such as hyperpigmentation, iron deposits, inflammation, fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration, and it has the clinical data behind the brand to prove these claims.”

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No matter what dark circle remedy you choose, Dr. Forley says, “Sun protection with SPF30 is an absolute must — even as fall and winter approach — to keep lower eyelid discoloration at bay.”



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Posted by 09.16.14

Makeup Academy is an exclusive beauty collection that CVS/pharmacy stores launched nationwide in August. Makeup professionals and beauty experts developed the products.

The three types of products–lip, false eyelashes, and makeup brushes–are the focus of this test launch, which features many a shade in distinct black machines along the stores’ walls, with the words “Makeup Academy” on top of them in bold letters.

The reason for these categories is based on research surrounding 35 million CVS/pharmacy weekly consumers, 80% of whom are women. The research showed that lip products were the most impulse purchase done by women, and with this in mind, Makeup Academy has more than 100 lip products in its inventory, including a Color Infused Balm ($8.00) which delivers hydration and sheer pigment, a Lip Color Crayon ($7.00) with a no-mess color application and the Liquid Lipstick ($9.00) which has a rich, saturated color and a velvet matte finish.

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There are other companies who have gone the makeup academy route by offering signature-named items in stores, most notably Duane Reade’s LOOK Boutique, which has product island displays, makeup counters, and also retouching services.

The star item of the three major SKUs offered is definitely the eyelashes, which include the Natural Fine Ultra Lashes ($5.00) for a subtle flutter, the Glamour Volume Boosting Lashes ($5.00) for mega volume and fanned-out fibers, and the Individual Lash Starter Kit ($10.00) that allows you to mix and match to create your own signature look and channel your own inner Barbie.

Not all products cost latte-money. Some, like the Pro BB/CC Cream Brush ($18.00) and the Pro Travel Set ($20.00) are more pricey, but practical items.

If these makeup products seem daunting to you, don’t fret. Makeup Advisors are on standby to help you figure out your perfect shade, just like good beauty sentinels.

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Posted by 09.12.14

Clarisonic, which certainly needs no introduction, is upping the ante when it comes to brightening and cleansing.

Its new Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution Regimen is its first formal partnership with L’Oreal, which snapped the company up a few years ago. This skincare system has a Skin Illuminating Cleanser, Skin Renewing Peel Wash, and Brightening Activator Serum–all with an ARIA Cleansing device and Radiance Brush Head with softer bristles.

The daily morning routine focuses on radiance recovery, with a nickle-sized amount of the Skin Illuminating Cleanser applied directly onto the skin or to a damp Radiance Brush Head. The way to clean skin in the morning is to use the Aria Cleansing device on speed 1, and then obey the beeping sounds (the T-TIMER prompts) until your face is clean and residue-free.

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Then, it’s time to apply the Brightening Activator Serum, and massage it onto the face, neck, and décolleté area.

In the evening, it’s about texture renewal, and cleansing switches to the Skin Renewing Peel Wash, and if using the Radiance Brush Head, put it at speed 3. Follow the cleansing with 1-2 pumps of the Brightening Activator Serum and you’ve got yourself a routine.  While it is possible to buy the items piecemeal, the entire Sonic Radiance Kit (including the Aria and skincare items) retails for $249.

In clinical trials, 37% of users saw improvement of skin texture immediately, while in two weeks they saw 10 times improvement in hyperpigmentation, which is a huge skincare issue today.

For me, Clarisonic is a perma-fixture in my beauty routine.



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