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Date: 03.23.13

Very often, beauty pursuits are a bit like the search for the unicorn, which you know should exist but doesn’t. And scrubs, exfoliants, cleansers, and the entire arsenal of beauty products all packaged oh-so nicely promise the moon but leave you very much on planet Earth.

L’Oreal’s new Ideal Clean cleansers and moisturizers don’t really promise the moon but they do promise ideal, clean, and hydrated skin. The simplicity of the entire collection won me over because it was not about the next new miraculous ingredient or a unique fragrance…it was just about giving you ideal skin.

L'Oreal Paris Ideal Clean Foaming Gel Cleanser

Photo Credit: Matt Minucci for BeautyintheBag

The Ideal Clean Collection offers two gentle formulas, which aim to remove dirt, oil, and tough eye makeup—it performs wonders on waterproof eye liner and mascara. The Ideal Clean Foaming Gel Cleanser ($4.99) lathers beautifully, cleans the skin without stripping, and leaves no filmy residue. A bonus? It also targets pore size to help minimize their appearance. The Ideal Clean Towelettes ($4.99) remove makeup, banish dirt and oil, and are perfect for sensitive skin.

The cleanser is a great option for daily use: it’s ideal for acne-prone skin because it leaves your skin feeling thoroughly (but not squeaky) clean—and no residue. Plus, true to its promise, it gives you a nice boost of hydration. We also would recommend this cleanser for sensitive skins because the fragrance is not strong or harsh. Two thumbs up!

L'Oreal Paris Ideal Moisture Moisturizer 48 Hours Review

The Ideal Moisture Collection also offers lightweight products, lotions that thoroughly hydrate. They’re the everlasting gobstopper of moisturizers, really, with the promise of 48 Hour Protection (clinically proven). Since they are lightweight, they won’t clog pores. The three basic oil-free moisturizers ($6.99 each, for Dry, Sensitive, and Normal Skin), are good for use during the day, and have SPF 25. There’s also an Even Tone formula that’s available in both a day and night version. Tourmaline is added to give you a radiant glow.

We tried the 48 Hour Normal Skin Day Lotion and was impressed at how light it was: think souffle light! The best part is that it hydrated the skin but also withstood the wear and tear of the day very well. Obviously, we couldn’t test it for a full 48 hours (we do like to wash our faces from time to time) but we’re glad to say that it lasted throughout the day without leaving our skin parched and wanting more.

The Ideal Day Lotion Even Tone ($6.99) was a bit trickier to evaluate. It is hard to see the evening out of skin tone in a matter of days, but the skin-softening component was definitely present (as the product advertises). Infused with antioxidant vitamin E, this lotion feels light and lasts a while as well. The product does say that you will see results in four weeks, and we’ve been using ours for a few weeks with much success. Plus, the price point is highly attractive too.

L’Oreal’s new Ideal Skin and Moisture Collections are impressive, by any standards, and the agreeable prices are an added reason to stock up on these beauties.



Photo Credit: Vaseline.com

Date: 03.19.13

It’s a spritz-and-go world that we live in and now Vaseline has jumped into the game with a spray body moisturizer. No fuss, no muss, no waiting: just spritz, rub, and you’re out the door. Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer ($8) dispenses lotion quickly and evenly and comes in three varieties: Aloe Fresh, Cocoa Radiant, and Total Moisture.

I tried the Total Moisture, which is formulated with pure oat extract and Vaseline’s Stratys-3, a multi-layer moisturizer that quickly absorbs into skin with just a quick rub. At first, I was a little wary about a spray-on lotion—I was so used to slathering on heavy creams. Would such a quick alternative really make my skin feel silky smooth even in dry and cold weather? The answer, fortunately, is yes.

Application is fool-proof: just hold the can four inches from your skin and spray it over arms, legs, and body in a continuous motion. Then, quickly rub it into your skin and you’re ready to go. Now there’s no more waiting for your lotion to dry before having to throw on clothes. Even better, there’s no more of that greasy or sticky feeling either. Plus, I noticed that my skin felt soft and moisturized hours after use.

Fair warning: if you decide to use it in the office for a little moisture pick-me-up, you may get a few strange looks when your colleagues hear someone spraying.  If you’re in the market for a moisturizing facial spritz, we have a great round-up here. And those suffering from dry skin or eczema can look into CapriClear Spray-on Moisturizer, which is applied the same way but the gentle hypo-allergenic formula makes it safe for all skin types while alleviating very dry and itchy skin.


Date: 03.06.13

Olay is breaking out of its anti-aging box. The venerable brand has just introduced Fresh Effects, a skincare collection targeting the concerns of teens and busy 20-somethings: think shine control, pore patrol, and moisturizing protection. The youthful line relies on the same technological advances that we love about Olay, but is packaged in a user-friendly form far removed from “your mother’s Olay.” It features six cleansers and moisturizers to mix, match, and layer, allowing you to basically customize your routine.

Photo Credit: Olay.com

The collection even has its own cleansing gadget. Fresh Effects {Va-Va-Vivid} ($22.50) is a cleansing system that is designed to clean 400% better than basic cleaning. The battery-operated power brush is used in conjunction with the {Shine, Shine Go Away} Shine Minimizing Cleanser ($6.99) to get rid of dirt, oil, and makeup even in deep contours around your hairline, T-zone and nose. After one use, I could feel that my face looked cleaner and it thankfully lost it’s shine. The vibrating brush did take some getting used to, especially along sensitive parts like my nose. However, it requires half the normal amount of cleanser and gives you twice the results. Don’t be alarmed by the silver color of the cleanser! It purifies like a mask but with the power of a cleanser—giving you a clean and fresh feeling while also minimizing pores.

I also gave {Bead Me Up!} ($6.99), an exfoliating cleanser with microbeads a try. Unlike other exfoliators, this one was gentle on my sensitive skin and didn’t leave me looking splotchy or red. The foaming bubbles help to remove any trace or dirt or grime, and teamed up with the minimizing cleanser, my face felt extra clean, soft, and radiant.

After drying my face, I dabbed on {Long Live Moisture!} Satin Finish Lotion ($12.99). The lightweight gel-like lotion is great for oily skin and didn’t leave a trace of shine or grease. The satin finish was also something I wasn’t expecting. The lotion is said to hydrate for 24 hours but if you tend to be on the dry side you may need to apply two layers of the moisturizer. This is a great option for normal to oily skin. But if you’re like me, with dry/oil skin, you may need some extra hydration for the dry spots.

Photo Credit: Olay.com

I know that it’s important to wear sunscreen every day, but I have to admit, I don’t always wear it. However, I might finally pick up this good habit thanks to {BB Cream!} Skin Perfecting Tinted Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15 ($14.99). The formula is lightweight and absorbs quickly without feeling heavy or shiny. Since it’s a BB cream, all of my blotches and skin imperfections disappeared after I applied the product. Be fair warned though: there is a hint of sunscreen scent since it has SPF so that can be distracting if you don’t really care to smell like summer in the dead of winter. I think having full coverage, sun protection, and flawless-looking skin without drying it out is worth it though. The BB Cream comes in two shades: Fair/Light and Light/Medium.

The collection also includes {S’Wipe Out} ($5.99) makeup removal clothes that are refreshing and effective even on waterproof mascara. Oil-free and pre-moistened, the cottony-soft pockets lift dirt and makeup away in a snap.

Overall, I really like this collection. It’s easy to use, my skin felt soft and radiant, and I can definitely mix and match products depending on my skin needs.


Photo Credit: RosebudPerfume.com

Date: 11.28.12

My all-time favorite multipurpose product is Smith’s Rosebud Salve, pronounced “saaav,” like saavy, not “sal-ve” like Sal’s Pizza. This vintage-inspired .8-ounce tin is only $6, and I promise it’s money well spent with almost 10 ways to use it other than as a lip balm.

1. Repair dry cuticles
Dry cuticles in the winter are hard to repair until the weather warms up. But until then, the best way to prevent peeling cuticles is by moisturizing. Rosebud Salve is richer than many lotions and moisturizes a lot longer. Just rub a little bit on your cuticles and nails to both moisturize and create shiny, healthy looking nails. Be careful though—too much will make your hands feel greasy and the oil could stain clothes.

2. Highlight cheekbones
Everyone lusts for bone structure like Angelina Jolie and Gisele Bündchen, but for the less blessed among us, here is a good trick. The best way to give the illusion of chiseled cheeks is with a highlighter along the top of the cheekbone, leading up to the brow bone and just under the eyebrow. Instead of buying a separate product just to highlight, blot a little bit of Rosebud Salve along the cheekbone in a “C” pattern to get the same effect.

3. Tame flyaways
Don’t you hate it when you’ve straightened or blown out your hair, and you’re left with short strands sticking up at the crown? You try hairspray, water, gel, and mousse, but those stubborn hairs just won’t lie flat. Next time, try rubbing a dab of Rosebud Salve along the crown to combat flyaways and smooth those pesky strands. Bonus: it adds shine, too!

4. Moisturize knees, elbows, and heels
No one wants to feel like a rhinoceros with dry, cracked, or rough skin, and often ordinary body lotion just doesn’t do the trick in the cold winter months. Try slathering Rosebud Salve on stubborn dry areas twice a day for extra hydration. Bonus: after moisturizing at bedtime, put on thick socks or gloves and wake up with baby soft skin!

5. Prevent blisters
I can’t even count the number of scars I have on my feet from old blisters. However, my mother recently taught me a great trick to prevent them: slather Rosebud Salve on the places that your shoe rubs against your foot. It creates a barrier between the skin and shoe, and prevents friction.

6. Control unruly brows
Not only do eyebrows help define bone structure, but they also frame that gorgeous eye makeup you’ve spent a lifetime perfecting. If you don’t have a brow pencil handy or you’re on the go and need a midday touch up, try slicking brows with Rosebud Salve to add shine and keep hairs in place.

7. Treat cuts and burns
One of the original uses of Smith’s Rosebud Salve was to treat burns, cuts, and minor skin irritations. Next time you have a curling-iron burn, sunburn, or even a paper cut, rub salve over it to accelerate healing, soothe the pain, and prevent bacteria from getting into the wound. You can even use it on your newborn’s tush to soothe diaper rash, and to help soften scabs and prevent scarring.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve has 3 flavors: Original, Strawberry, and Minted Rose, which sell for $6 or $7 (depending on the flavor).


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