The fountain of youth? Nutriganics Drops of Youth Serum and Eye Concentrate from The Body Shop

Do you remember when you actually wanted to be older? When I was in my teens, there was no bigger compliment than someone thinking I was even one year older than my actual age. And if someone assumed I was in my twenties…now that was the ultimate! It’s certainly a different story now. I cringe at the thought of someone ‘guessing’ my age. Well, I suppose someone guessing my weight would be worse…but the age thing is definitely a bummer too.

It actually does exist!!

It actually does exist!!

The Body Shop has come a long way from its initial incarnation as a specialty body product store. Now it has a cadre of skin care items that promise a more youthful appearance. They recently sent two products from the Nutriganics line with names that would be right at home in Ponce de Leon’s shopping cart:  Drops of Youth Serum ($36) and Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate ($30).

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Serum

Drops of Youth is a serum housed in a glass jar with dropper applicator. It smooths the surface of skin, making fine lines look less noticeable.  In addition, the serum:

  • Helps enhance surface skin condition
  • Smooths skin
  • Instantly moisturizing
  • 99% of ingredients are of natural origin

There are some great ingredients that skin just loves, like aloe leaf juice plus lots of emollients and skin conditioning ingredients. However, it does contain alcohol as the second ingredient, which can be irritating to the skin, as well as fragrance. If you have sensitive skin, this may not be the fountain of youth for you.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate

The Body Shop’s answer to those pesky eye wrinkles is their Drops of Youth™ Eye Concentrate ($30), a eye serum with Edelweiss plant stem cells that smooths out wrinkles and reduces puffiness. I love the applicator, a ‘cooling’ roller ball pump that is easy to use and so soothing. This is a great eye serum that does three main things:

  • Smooths the appearance of lines around the eyes*
  • Appearance of eye bags seems reduced*
  • Eyes appear less tired*

It may not make wrinkles disappear, but it certainly feels great and makes me look younger. At my age, taking even one year off my appearance is a bonus!

You can find The Body Shop at most malls as well as online at http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/ or http://www.thebodyshop.co.uk/.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Great things in small packages: MIYU Beauty Merry Mini Ornament

MIYU Mini

There is something about drinking tea that feels special. It seems more indulgent, more refined than coffee, probably because tea sets are delicate and the intricate ceremonies for drinking tea are fascinating. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great cuppa joe. But tea…every time I drink it I feel pampered. So I was intrigued with MIYU Beauty, a Canadian line that launched in 2013. This line is based on beauty from the inside out, pairing artisanal teas with skin care products. Lifestyle, not skin type, is the determining factor when choosing products. MIYU is meant to give yourself some ‘mi’ time.

MIYU Mini Hydrate Mi

MIYU sent us one of their special holiday sets to try, and it was a great introduction to this beauty line with such an intriguing concept.

The Merry Mini Ornament with the Hydrate Mi Mini pairing ($15, the retail value is $20) is a large acrylic ornament that houses a 30 ml Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence and 2 sachets of Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea.

Inside the ornament - Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence and 2 Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea Sachets

Inside the ornament – Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence and 2 Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea Sachets

The Hydrate Mi Essence is a spray mist serum. Shake the bottle first, spray on and pat into skin.  As a spray it is extremely hygienic, and the opaque bottle ensures the efficacy of the Asian botanicals inside. It works as a primer for moisturizer, as well as a primer for makeup, too. I am impressed with how hydrating it is and it really smooths skin, creating an optimal canvas for makeup application.

The Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea is the matching tea blend for the Hydrate Mi Essence. It makes an elegant, citrusy tea that smells as delicious as it tastes. I couldn’t put my finger on which fruit it tastes like, which turns out to be the snow pear – I’ve never tasted a snow pear so no wonder I was having trouble! I used the steaming tea as a quick pore treatment just for kicks and saved the two tea sachets afterwards. I put them in the fridge and then used them as a de-puffing eye treatment later!

Full sizes of both the Hydrate Mi Essence and the Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea are available online, along with De-stress versions. Tea lovers will really enjoy the unique Merry Mini Mi pairings.  MIYU Beauty is an elegant, interesting niche line that is worth checking out!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

MDSUN Super Hydration B Serum and Intensive Eye Gel

MDSUN Skincare, the cosmeceutical line created by Dr. George Sun, is an intriguing line that features some of the most effective skin care ingredients available.  They recently sent us their Super Hydration B Serum ($85) and Intensive Eye Gel ($105) to test, which proved to be an impressive introduction to this line.

MDSUN Super Hydration B Serum and Intensive Eye Serum

The Super Hydration B Serum is a skin treatment that is housed in one of the most beautiful bottles I have ever seen for a serum.  Usually serums have rather boring packaging, but the silver and blue glass bottle is a stunner!  Of course, looks aren’t everything and it’s what is inside that counts.  This serum has great ingredients that hydrate and smooth skin.  Here are the benefits listed on the web page:

MDSUN Super Hydration B Serum

  • Spreads easily and fast absorbing, non-greasy finish
  • Nourishes and hydrates the skin for a glowing complexion
  • Leaves your skin feeling exceptionally smooth
  • Protects against moisture loss and oxidative damage

The major ingredients include sodium hyaluronate, which is the salt form of skin plumping hyaluronic acid; panthenol, which is another name for vitamin B5, which keeps skin healthy and blemish-free; plus gluconolactone and lactobionic acid, which are similar to AHAs but less likely to irritate skin.  These ingredients reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

I use this serum morning and night after cleansing and before moisturizing, and it leaves my skin looking and feeling great.  Because it helps skin retain moisture, it plumps up fine lines and wrinkles and definitely improves their appearance.  I know I will use every last drop of this serum and it is on my repurchase list.

MDSUN Intensive Eye Serum

MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel also has very attractive packaging.  The bottle is a cheery, sunny yellow – and so is the eye gel!  It definitely took me aback the first time I tried it.  This eye gel has lots of powerful antioxidants and vitamins to reduce dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.  The benefits include:

  • Dark Eye Circles – high concentrations of Vitamin K work decrease the venous condition that causes dark eye circles
  • Pigmentation – ascorbic acid works to reduce melanin pigmentation
  • Static Wrinkles/Movement Wrinkles – oat extracts for hydration and arginine for improving wrinkles
  • Puffiness – anti-inflammatory ingredients reduce swelling and soothe skin
  • Lightweight, fast absorbing texture is perfect for oily/combination skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Fragrance free
  • Paraben free

The major ingredients include Vitamin K1, an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce dark circles; acetyl hexapeptide-8, which is a cell-communicating peptide; ubiquinone CoQ10, which stimulates collagen production and heals UV damage; and ascorbic acid, a type of vitamin C that works as an antioxidant.

I use this eye gel morning and night and am very pleased with the results.  I prefer an eye cream over an eye gel, but the gel is certainly calming to the eye area and it minimizes puffy morning eyes.  I will keep using this in the a.m. and will probably switch to an eye cream for night.

MDSUN Intensive Eye Serum and Super Hydration B Serum

Overall, I am quite impressed with these two products.  The packaging is stellar and the product formulas are elegant with extremely effective ingredients.   I think this is a line to get excited about, and I can’t wait to try more of MDSUN Skincare.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Increase the effectiveness of your skin care with Indeed Labs Hydraluron

Is it just me, or is this winter even more drying for skin than usual??  I can’t believe how quickly my skin gets itchy and scaly if I am not adding tons of hydration.

photo from

photo:  tracymatthews.com

I have been desperately needing something to put moisture back into my skin.  The product I have been enjoying that fulfills that need this season is Indeed Labs Hydraluron ($24.99).  Indeed Labs sent us this moisture-boosting serum to test, and I am loving what it does for my dry winter skin!  Check out all the benefits:

  • Reinforce skin’s natural short and long-term moisturization
  • “Plumps up” skin tissue to restore elasticity and firmness.
  • Reduces skin roughness and provides a soft, smooth and silky texture to the skin.
  • Boosts the action of your moisturizer by stimulating cell turnover resulting in an improved absorption of active ingredients to the skin.

Indeed Labs HydraluronThis clear, nonsticky serum is the purest form of hyaluronic acid available.  It helps skin self-hydrate and it stimulates cell renewal for soft, glowy skin.  I love how it instantly plumps up and hydrates my skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Smoothing this serum on before other skin care ingredients actually increases their effectiveness, making all skin care that much better.  So it plumps up skin AND increases the efficacy of my other skin products…how fantastic is that?

This is a truly beautiful serum to use on its own or with other skin treatments.  If you want to banish dry winter skin, this is a great solution!!

You can find Indeed Labs Hydraluron at Walgreens.com, Duane Read, and Us.Boots.com.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ingredients:  Water , Propanediol , Sodium Hyaluronate , Carbomer , Phenoxyethanol , Butylene Glycol , Sodium Hydroxide , Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract , Disodium EDTA

Ten holiday gift ideas for the practical fashionista!

Beauty Info Zones Practical Holiday Gift Guide
Pretty things are great, but sometimes function is more important.  Here are some awesome stocking stuffers, Hanukkah gifts, and holiday gifts that are BIZ tested and recommended!  Any one of these options will look fabulous all wrapped up and are sure to become staples items for your down to earth, practical-minded giftee.

Natracare Makeup Remover Cloths

1.  Natracare Organic Cleansing Makeup Removal Wipes ($7.49):  These are some of the softest, gentlest makeup remover wipes I’ve tried.  They are more on the ‘wet’ side, and while they remove makeup and dirt they don’t irritate the skin.  Available at drugstore.com, Walgreens.com, and Amazon.com.

Coast to Coast Soothing Aqua Serum 2

2.  Coast to Coast Soothing Aqua Serum ($40):  This is a beautiful serum that leaves skin moist, plump, and healthy.  It is a particularly excellent gift for those who do a lot of traveling – awesome for a little lift on the plane while flying from coast to coast!  You can find this at Ulta.com.

The Magic Pads

3.  The Magic Pads ($19.95):  How about some magic under the tree?  These skin treatment pads have wonderful ingredients including glycolic acid, organic willow bark, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E in an organic aloe vera juice base. The Magic Pads clear up blemishes, shrink the appearance of pores, and exfoliate skin all in one swipe.  You can find these at www.themagicpads.com

Mad Hippie Eye Cream 2

4.  Mad Hippie Eye Cream ($24.99):  Perfect for the non-traditionalist on your list, this eye cream features a slew of peptides and antioxidants in a truly elegant formulation.  The packaging is beyond cute, and this is an eye cream that really delivers.  Available at www.madhippie.com

Strivectin Tightening Neck Cream

5.  Strivectin TL Advanced™ Tightening Neck Cream ($95):  I slather this on every morning and every night and I am loving the results!  The neck and decolletage show age more quickly than any other body part, and this beautiful thick cream is just what is needed to keep that delicate area moisturized and free of crepey skin – plus it rebuilds elastin fibers.  Available at StriVectin.com

Le Beurre Shea Butter Body Cream 2

6.  Le Beurre Shea Butter Body Cream (8 oz. $22):  This shea butter cream feels like luxury, but it’s a major workhorse for dry winter skin.  It melts right in, making skin super happy with grapeseed, jojoba, and vitamin E.  Choose from five beautiful scents, including Lavender, Vanilla, Lemongrass, Sage and Unscented. Available at www.lebeurreshop.com (pick up a Shea Butter Lip Balm while you are there!)

Scala Rain Hat

7.  Scala Collezione Rain Hat ($25):  Talk about fashionable and functional!  This jaunty rain hat is a truly perfect holiday gift that will be hugely appreciated. LW281 is one of Scala’s best-selling rain hats, and is available in black, charcoal, wine and khaki.  Made of nylon, it protects your hairdo while looking pretty darn awesome. Get yourself one while you are at it!

Mally Citychick Smokey Eye Kit 2

8.  Mally City Chick Smokey Eye Kit ($40):  Now here is a perfect eyeshadow palette for any chick, city or rural.  There are ten different color combinations from which to choose.  Every combo of creamy eyeshadows has wonderful neutral shades that are both beautiful and practical.  Available at www.mallybeauty.com

Priti neutrals 5

9.  Priti Nail Polish neutrals ($15 each):  What is a great practical stocking stuffer?  Some fabulous neutral nail polish.  My pick is Priti Nail Polish, particularly the shades Ginger Snap Orchid, opaque light creamy nude, Nodding Lilac, opaque soft lilac, and Moss Campion, opaque creamy light taupe.  Available at www.pritinyc.com

Dove White Beauty Bar

10.  Dove White Beauty Bar ($5.00):  You can’t go wrong with this classic!  What a great stocking stuffer.  People swear by this bar soap that removes makeup without stripping the skin.

Stay tuned for more great holiday gift guides, including a list of fabulous finds for the glam girl on your list!  – Lisa

*items sent for editorial consideration

Giveaway and review! Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Suncreen Serum

Skinn Daily Defense CollageA few weeks ago, my cousin took her young daughter to a local roller coaster park for the day.  It was overcast, but afterward her daughter was in some serious pain from a sunburned nose and cheeks.  My cousin, however, had no sunburn at all – because her foundation included an SPF.  She didn’t even realize the protection she was getting, and with all the clouds she didn’t think sunscreen was necessary for her daughter.  That got me thinking…how many times have I been spared a sunburn because one of my facial products included SPF?  I am sure the number is in the thousands.  Skinn Cosmetics recently sent me their Daily Defense Anti-Aging Antioxidant Sunscreen Serum ($35) to try, and you can win one of these multi-tasking serums for yourself!
Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum

Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum

Every morning after cleansing and toning I use a treatment serum.  It’s the perfect time to give skin a dose of anti-aging ingredients that fight off free-radical damage all day.  Plus, the right serum gives my skin that extra boost of moisture that it needs to stay plumped and  younger looking.  After my serum I apply eye cream and moisturizer…but I have to admit, some of the best daytime moisturizers don’t have sunscreen and I’m awful about remembering one extra step for SPF protection.
Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum squeeze tube

Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum squeeze tube

Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Suncreen Serum

Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum

Skinn Cosmetics Collagenesis Daily Defense Sunscreen is a serum that looks and feels like a lightweight moisturizing cream.  It has a very quick dry-down so there’s no waiting before applying eye cream and moisturizer.  The antioxidant ingredients are terrific, including vitamins A, C, and E.  It also has oat beta-glucan, one of the very best skin care ingredients available for reducing redness and irritation.  It calms even the most sensitive skin and is a truly superb antioxidant.
Want more good news?  This serum is completely fragrance-free with SPF 30 and broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.  Using Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum on your face, neck, and chest will not only fight wrinkles and inflammation, but also moisturize and protect skin from the harmful rays of the sun.  What a perfect way to get your SPF and all the treatment your skin deserves!
Enter today to win a Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum!

Enter today to win a Skinn Cosmetics Daily Defense Sunscreen Serum!

Now it’s time to enter our GIVEAWAY (US or Canada only) for a Daily Defense Serum that Skinn Cosmetics is giving to one lucky winner.  This fabulous giveaway runs through September 29th at 11:59 p.m. (If comments aren’t open please comment on our Facebook page or email me at marciaandlisa@gmail.com). — Lisa

*product reviewed and giveaway prize courtesy of Skinn Cosmetics

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Actives Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (2.0%), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (0.5%)
Other Ingredients: AQUA (PURIFIED, DE-IONIZED), CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS (SAFFLOWER) OLEOSOMES, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER, PHOSPHOLIPIDS, RETINYL PALMITATE (VIT. A), ASCORBYL PALMITATE (VIT. C), TOCOPHERYL NICOTINATE (VIT. E), (OAT) BETA-GLUCAN, PHENOXYETHANOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, DISODIUM EDTA

Give your skin a daily dose with Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum

monstermarketplace.com

monstermarketplace.com

Have you hopped onto the Vitamin C skin care train yet?  There are so many reasons why a good Vitamin C product should be part of your routine.  When packaged properly, topically applied Vitamin C increases collagen production, reduces skin discolorations, strengthens and repairs skin, reduces inflammation, and protects the skin from sun exposure.   I love what Vitamin C does for my skin so I was happy to test the Vitamin C Serum ($95) from Painted Earth.  I was even more intrigued when I saw the Vitamin C in this serum is in a concentrated base of pure vegan hyaluronic acid.

Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum

Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum

Actually, the entire ingredient list is quite impressive.  The vegan hyaluronic acid boosts skins moisture content and reduces inflammation.  Ferulic Acid is a potent antioxidant that also protects the skin from sun damage, and Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant.  The combination of Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E is pretty amazing.  According to Painted Earth, the Vitamin C Serum provides “50 times the free radical neutralizing power of prior generations and up to eight- fold antioxidant protection, ninety-six percent reduction of sunburn cells, and prevention of the formation of free radicals in sun exposed skin.”  This is a very elegant formula that definitely produces results.

Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum

Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum

Just take a look at all the things this serum can do for you:

*Improves skin radiance and clarity.
*Stimulates collagen production.
*Jump starts cellular defenses.
*Helps extend cellular vitality.
*Promotes new cell growth.
*For Photo-aged or Photo-damaged skin.
*Repairs Hyper-pigmentation.
*Reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
*Protects against UV-induced erythema, free radical formation, and cellular damage.
***With 11% Hyaluronic Acid

I can’t come up with a single skin care woe the Vitamin C Serum doesn’t address!

Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum

Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum

The Vitamin C Serum is quite thin for a serum – it comes out in drops that are very liquid, and three or four drops cover the face, neck, and chest.  The serum is in an amber glass jar that protects it from excess light with a dropper applicator. The packaging is good…it would be excellent if it were an airless pump to also protect the active ingredients from exposure to air, which can reduce the effectiveness of the ingredients.

Other than a slight improvement in packaging, I have nothing but raves for Painted Earth Vitamin C Serum.  If you are looking to add some Vitamin C to your skin care routine, this is a great option.  The triple threat of Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E in a hyaluronic acid base is about as advanced as skin care gets.  Go ahead, visit the Painted Earth website and hop on the Vitamin C train.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ingredients: Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.
**20% Vitamin C
**11% Hyaluronic Acid content