Beauty Review: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

My mother-in-law is a hero and picked up some Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief for me when a department store she visited was having a special. I’m not a huge fan of Clinique makeup — their foundation just doesn’t do it for me, and I haven’t found their products to be all that exciting, but this changes the game. This is a moisturizer that is intended to hyper-hydrate your skin for 24 hours. It’s supposedly made for all skin types and can also be used as a moisture mask or over makeup.

This stuff is no joke. It is heavenly. The cream-gel formula is silky and luxurious and beautifully lightweight. Just a dollop was able to completely moisturize my face and get it ready for the next day. Walking around in a city is super drying for my skin, and when I add makeup on top of that, I’m in for a lot of recovery work. Not when using Clinique Moisture Surge, though. My skin looked FANTASTIC after using it as a moisturizer. It also wasn’t oily at all — my skin is crazy and is often really dry but has a hard time actually soaking up any moisturizer, so if I do try to moisturize it, it just ends up looking oily. Not so with Clinique Moisture surge. It just looked dewy and gorgeous. (I can’t wait to try this after flying!)

It’s on the spendy side — $52.50 for 2.5 ounces, but it should last a while. The tiniest dollop goes a long way, so for me, I’m thinking it might be worth the investment — maybe not as an everyday moisturizer, but as something to have when my skin decides it’s not happy with the weather or environmental conditions. If you can get a sample of it before spending a lot of money, or want to try the smaller size (Sephora has a 0.5 oz one for $12), I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot! It’s wonderful.

Beauty Review: Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask

This was very much a “meh” for me. While it’s a gentle face mask and certainly didn’t harm my skin, I really didn’t see any difference after I used it. The smell is DIVINE, but the texture is chunky with the fruits they put in it, which was kind of gross. Not my thing at all. It does what any sort of vitamin A/E infusion would do — make skin a little bit brighter and plumper, but for $62 for 3.3oz/100mL? No thank you. Not worth the price AT ALL. Just break open some Vitamin E capsules and rub it on your skin to get the same results.

Beauty Review: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Daily Peel

This daily peel is supposed to combat aging skin and wrinkles, and is also said to help with some acne. Basically, it uses 7 safe-to-use-at-home acids to exfoliate and smooth out your skin. It comes in pre-soaked pads, so you don’t need to measure anything, just pick up a pad, rub it on your face. Wait 2 minutes. Take a step 2 pad, rub that on your face. And voila! Beautiful skin.

This stuff did work for me and didn’t at all irritate my skin like I thought it was going to. As I always warn in skincare reviews, I have very sensitive skin. I thought this would cause a lot of redness, like my prescription acne creams used to, but it didn’t at all! It just gave me very smooth, healthy looking (and feeling) skin. I’ve only used it for a few days, so I can’t attest to its amazing anti-aging properties, but it has definitely given me smoother, softer skin. However, this is something that you’ll have to use regularly in order to enjoy the benefits. There are some products out there that say you can use them daily, but I feel like it’s unnecessary because the effects last long enough. This is not one of those. After a full day of living (working, being outside, doing chores, etc), you’ll need another treatment. I’ve heard some people say they use this as a boost to their regular routine and only use it 2-3 times a week. If you have a really good cleanser/toner system that you’re already using, I can see how only using it 2-3 times a week would work.

The one con about this is that it’s definitely medicinal. Don’t think that just because it has a cute orange color theme that it’s going to smell citrusy and give you that feel-good feeling when you pamper yourself with products. It smells like medicine. But, it’s a great product and it WORKS. It costs about $84 at Sephora for 30 treatments; if you want a better deal, you can get 60 for $148, which slightly lowers the pre-treatment cost.

Beauty Review: Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser

I love cream cleansers, because my skin has a tendency to be flaky, and I feel like these do the job while also keeping my skin a bit more moisturized than a normal gel cleanser would. The Korres Greek Yoghurt is super foamy and a small amount goes a long way — I just used a pea-sized drop and it worked for covering my entire face. It felt very gentle and silky against my skin, and my skin felt a lot better than it usually does after a wash with the Neutrogena cream cleanser. I think this one leaves less residue or something, which makes sense, because it goes for $26 for 5 oz. Not a terrible price, but when you can something similar for $5, it’s something to think about.

It didn’t blow my socks off or anything, and it doesn’t seem to be ruining my skin or helping it either — it is saving on moisturizer, because I don’t feel the need to slather it on my face after using it, so there’s that. I have very sensitive skin, so if you’re looking for a decent cleanser, this one could be a good one to try and see if it works for you.

Beauty Review: Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

This is a peel-off mask with activated charcoal that is supposed to make your skin look gorgeous, basically. It’s supposed to purify and minimize your pores, get rid of access oil, and gently exfoliate. How does it really work?

Actually, I was super impressed with this product. Getting it on was a challenge, because it’s INCREDIBLY sticky and trying to tame the baby wispy hairs around my face is impossible, so things got a little messy. It didn’t hurt too much as it dried, but I felt it noticeably tighten my skin. Even my husband commented on how great my skin looked afterwards, and without even telling him what I used and what it was supposed to do, said that my pores looked a lot smaller and less noticeable.

I’m not sure if this would be a regular purchase for me, however. At $34 for 2.8 oz, it’s on the fairly expensive side. It doesn’t help that it’s sticky and thick and you use pretty much half the bottle for one use, so while I think it works well, for those on a budget, there might be something similar that’s more reasonably priced. I’ll update with suggestions if I find anything.

A few tips if using this:

DO NOT under any circumstances use it if you have any scrapes or wounds on your face. This stuff is sticky and it peels off. You don’t want it peeling off a scab, causing a scar. It got a lot of my peach fuzz, so I can’t imagine would it would do to a healing scratch.

Also, it has a warning that says don’t get it near your eyes. Stay well away from your eyes with this! First, you don’t want it catching any stray eyebrow hairs. Also, the skin under your eyes is super sensitive and delicate and does NOT need a peel-off mask to help clarify it. Basically, just imagine large slices of cucumbers were around your eyes and go from there. Be very careful!

Beauty Review: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

I love trying new cleansers and skin care products, because I’m finally in a place where I can afford to occasionally spend just a bit more than my normal Neutrogena cleanser. The problem is that I don’t want to invest in anything that my skin is going to react to (as mentioned in previous beauty reviews, my skin is quite sensitive), so I’m working off product samples from regular make-up purchases at Sephora.

The Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is supposed to be a great makeup remover/cleanser that is good for all skin types and especially helps improve the dryness and firmness/elasticity of your skin. I used it after a date night out, which meant I had a fair amount of makeup on my face.

For the makeup remover side: it got most of the makeup. It did an amazing job getting rid of my face makeup (foundation, blush) and eyeshadow with no residue left behind (that I could see). It completely failed for the more heavy-duty makeup (waterproof gel eyeliner and waterproof mascara) that I generally have to use eye make-up remover or a makeup remover facial cloth.

But as a cleanser, it worked beautifully. My skin was slightly dried out from it, but not as much as a regular cream cleanser usually dries it out. Some moisturizer fixed it quickly. What I was most impressed with was how it really did seem to cleanse away everything. I didn’t feel or see any residue, and the next day, my skin looked gorgeous — smooth, soft and very healthy looking. Definitely not what I was expecting after wearing makeup and walking out in the frigid temperatures in the city the previous night. Though I didn’t like the Fresh Rose Face Mask, this soy face cleanser is a winner!

Beauty Review: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask

I became a fan of Peter Thomas Roth products after using his face wash and using this gel mask. It’s another hydrating face mask that is super gentle and can be used daily (although I usually use it 2-3 times a week), much like the Fresh Rose Mask that I reviewed last week.

I said in my review last week that the Fresh Rose Mask just wasn’t for me, especially considering the cost ($62 for 100 ml), but this mask is more my style. It feels super hydrating going on and I love how healthy and rejuvenated my skin looks and feels after using it. This is my go-to post-plane mask. I fly a fair amount and hate how it damages my skin, but this perks it right back up. The best part? $52 for 150 ml. Cheaper and I feel like it works so much better! Love it!

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Beauty Review: Fresh Rose Face Mask

$62 at Sephora

I received the Fresh Rose Face Mask from Sephora as a birthday present and was super excited to see how this would help my skin. Chicago gets super cold and dry during the winter, and I fly a lot, so my skin goes through a lot of trauma and is frequently dry. The sample was large enough to try for quite a while, so I was able to see how it affects my skin long-term.

My skin is prone to redness, dryness, and a little bit of acne if it gets too irritated. I have combination skin, so I have to fight the constant battle between my face being too oily and too dry. As a result, I look for skin products that are super hydrating while still being light and not creating too much shine. This face mask seemed to be perfect for those requirements (it’s gentle enough for every day use!) and was especially great for getting rid of my redness.

This mask smells amazing and is super gentle on the skin. When I put it on, I could feel it cooling and soothing, so it’s great for getting rid of redness and inflammation. However, it doesn’t do very much to hydrate my skin. Aside from getting rid of redness, I saw no noticeable difference in how hydrated my skin looked or felt, even after using it for 10 days. With the price, I’m not sure it’s really worth the money just to get rid of redness (other toners do that just fine). I wanted to love it, because it was a nice part of my day to have my skin smell like roses (my husband loved it!), but it simply didn’t work for me.

However, there are others who RAVE about it on Sephora, so it might be that it’s just not good for my skin type.