Makeup artist finds from Phytomer – and a giveaway!

Phytomer GiveawayHow about another amazing giveaway?  Phytomer, a French-based professional skin and body care line found in high-end spas all over the world, asked me to choose 3 of my favorite products for a giveaway.   They sent some really terrific products, which I expected since they are one of the few spa brands with their own laboratory and team of scientists.  I chose these three makeup artist-friendly items for the giveaway:  Rose Visage Toning Cleansing Lotion, Hydracontinue Radiance Energizing Cream, and CC Creme with SPF 20.

If you are a makeup artist, you will want all three of these products in your bag of tricks.  And if you just specialize in doing your own makeup, you will want them too!

Phytomer Rosee Visage

Phytomer Rosee Visage

The ROSÉE VISAGE TONING CLEANSING LOTION ($33.50) is everything you need to cleanse and tone all in one bottle.  It is perfect for pretty much everyone since it’s free of alcohol and super gentle.  It cleans like crazy but doesn’t leave a tacky film behind.  Skin is soft, clean, and ready for product.  This has a very soft rose scent that doesn’t linger.  It really is fantastic.

Phytomer Hydracontinue Radiance Energizing Cream

Phytomer Hydracontinue Radiance Energizing Cream

Phytomer Hydracontinue Radiance Energizing Cream

Phytomer Hydracontinue Radiance Energizing Cream

Every makeup artist wants a cream that will hydrate skin and work as a perfect base for makeup.  Phytomer’s HYDRACONTINUE RADIANCE ENERGIZING CREAM ($54) is the perfect answer.  This lightweight cream soaks in quickly and leaves the skin with an amazingly soft texture.  Check out the clinical test results:

Healthy complexion: 95%*
Immediately hydrated skin: 85%*
After 30 minutes, level of hydration: +66%**
Revitalised skin: 85%*
Toned skin: 85%*

I love this as a primer.  It works on every skin type from dry to oily, and it makes a perfect canvas for makeup application.  This is a wonderful multi-tasker that needs to be in your kit.

Phytomer CC Creme SPF 20

Phytomer CC Creme SPF 20

swatch of Phytomer CC Creme

swatch of Phytomer CC Creme

swatch of Phytomer CC Creme

swatch of Phytomer CC Creme

PHYTOMER CC CREME SPF 20 ($51) is such a great find!  It just came on to the market last March.  This creme is fabulous all by itself, or patted on before foundation and under heavier makeup. It evens out skin tone, gives an extra glow, moisturizes, refines pores, and provides sun protection.  There is only one shade but it’s very forgiving, and works on all but super light or dark skin tones.  The effect is beautiful and natural looking.  Phytomer, please make this in more shades!!

Phytomer has sustainable products that truly deliver results.  This is one giveaway everyone – professional makeup artist and cosmetics aficionados – will be extremely happy with.  You will be sending me a gushing thank you note soon!!

Phytomer is giving all three products to one lucky winner.  This fabulous giveaway runs through October 13th at 11:59 p.m. (If comments aren’t open please comment on our Facebook page or email me at — Lisa

*products reviewed and giveaway prize courtesy of Phytomer.

This giveaway is US only.

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A cult favorite: Pixi Glow Tonic

pixi logoYou know how it goes. She tells two friends, then they tell two friends and so on, and so on. (If you are as old as me you will remember that commercial!)  Well, that is exactly what happened with Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic ($29).  Word spread fast about how terrific this exfoliating toner is and suddenly it became as desirable as a cronut.

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic

When Pixi Beauty sent the BIZ this ‘exfoliating facial glow tonic’ to test, I was skeptical. One of the key ingredients is witch hazel, which can be problematic. Witch hazel is a great antioxidant and anti-irritant, but it also contains tannin which can cause irritation. To remove the tannins, witch hazel is often distilled – and within that process, alcohol is added, which isn’t great for the skin ( So I wondered…has Pixi Beauty found the perfect ratio of witch hazel so the tonic works without irritation?

Glow Tonic is meant to exfoliate, firm, and tighten skin. It’s used after cleansing and before serums and/or moisturizer. The key ingredients include ginseng (for skin repair), fructose (for moisturizing), aloe vera (for moisturizing), and 5% glycolic acid (for exfoliating). And guess what? It’s alcohol free. Ah, so the mystery is solved…some people may experience irritation from the tannin, but most will simply enjoy the antioxidant properties without any issues.

Pixi Glow Tonic 2

I definitely like this. It goes on very wet, so there is some dry time involved – not a bunch, maybe about 30 seconds more than most toners. It is strong so it’s not something I use to help remove any leftover eye makeup. It definitely leaves skin clear and it gets rid of dead skin cells so my skin glows.

I totally get why Glow Tonic is a cult favorite. You can find Pixi Beauty online and at Target stores – but good luck finding Glow Tonic because it is often sold out. However, it’s worth a try – check it out and see if Glow Tonic is something you will want to tell two friends about…and so on, and so on, and so on.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ingredients: Deionized water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts, Propylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid and Ammonium Glycolate, Hexylene Glycol, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexylnicotinate, Ginseng Extract, Potassium Alum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Biotin, pixi Natural Fragrant Oil. Active ingredients: Glycolic Acid-5%, partially neutralized by Ammonium Hydroxide. 8.5 fl.oz

Put some space on your face with Kiehls

Check out this really cool social media contest – Kiehl’s ‘Put Some Space On Your Face’ gives you (well, actually your face!) an opportunity to travel with them to space.  The giveaway is in celebration of the new Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator line.  They sent its ‘hero’ product (24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer For Men) into space. For real. The product was on a custom rig that was sent 20 miles above the surface of the earth.

Kiehls SpaceFace

You can see the video at and can also enter the giveaway there.  Just take a photo of yourself in mid-air then hashtag it #SpaceFace.  Random winners will win their face a trip to space via a 3D custom astronaut figurine with their face on it.  That figurine is attached to a shuttle and sent into the stratosphere.  After the figurines land, the winners are sent their personalized, space traveling action figures.

What is this new line that has inspired the space travel?  The OIL ELIMINATOR FOR MEN, brand new this month.  There are three products that tackle men’s oily skin, mattifying and reducing the appearance of pores.

Kiehls Oil Eliminator

So why the space travel?  It’s all in the ingredients.

Oil Eliminator uses Aerolite, an advanced material based on the science of aerogel, which has been used in space exploration (for example, as an insulating material on Mars Exploration Rover in 1997). Aerolite is the lightest solid material on Earth because it is composed of up to 99.98% air by volume, helping to provide a weightless feel on the skin. The substance is likened to a gel from which the liquid portion has been removed without causing the material to shrink in size or collapse. Due to its highly porous structure and large surface area, it is able to absorb FOUR TIMES its own weight in oil, providing efficient sebum absorption capabilities. Oil Eliminator 24-hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer, with Aerolite technology, helps reduce pore visibility and imperfections.

In general, men have different skin issues than women.  A man has more sebum-producing sebaceous glands, so they have more oil production and larger pores.  Plus they sweat more, which means every more shine and oily residue on their faces.  Kiehl’s three new products containing Aerolite address these concerns.

close up of the Deep Cleansing

close up of the Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash

The Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash ($20) is a soap-free and sulfate-free cleanser.  It has crushed Apricot Seeds to help exfoliate, which also decreases the appearance of pores.  It doesn’t dry out the skin, and it does a terrific job of smoothing skin texture and getting rid of shine.

The Refreshing Shine Control Toner ($20) is a cooling spray that tones and also decreases the appearance of sweat and oil.  The Capryloyl Glycine dries up the bad stuff, but doesn’t dry out skin.

Moisuturizer swatch

24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisuturizer swatch

The 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer for Men ($27) is a lightweight moisturizer with Aerolite to absorb oil and sweat.  The result is a shine-free appearance and soft, hydrated skin. It also has Totara Wood Extract to diminish the appearance of pores.

My 21-year-old son, who has sensitive, oily, breakout prone skin, thinks this line is the bomb.  He gets the best results using the Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash in the shower, then toning with the Refreshing Shine Control Toner, and following with the 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer for Men.

My son defying gravity!

My son defying gravity!

This is a terrific line for men so be sure to take a look.  And don’t forget to put some space on your face!  Snap that photo then hashtag it #SpaceFace on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  - Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Healthy skin with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

The Kiehl’s line has always fascinated me. The packaging is old-school pharmacy and the prices are extremely reasonable, especially for a line found in high-end department stores. The BIZ was sent two Kiehl’s products to test:  the Ultra Facial Cleanser (5 oz. tube is $19.50) and the Ultra Facial Toner (8.4 oz. bottle is $16). Both are terrific skin care products.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

The Ultra Facial Cleanser is a no-frills, no messing around water-soluble cleanser that does exactly what a great cleanser should do. It dissolves even the heaviest makeup without stripping the skin thanks to emollient ingredients like Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, Vitamin E, and Avocado Oil. This cleanser will work for even very sensitive skin and another great plus is that it’s fragrance-free.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner

The Ultra Facial Cleanser foams up slightly as you use it and it’s a terrific cleanser to use with face cleansers like the Clarisonic and the Luna. This is one of Kiehl’s most popular products and it comes by its terrific reputation honestly!

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser

The Ultra Facial Toner surprised me a bit, because it’s a little more creamy and thick than the typical toner. It’s very emollient and does a great job of hydrating the skin and preparing it for other skin care products like serums, treatments, and moisturizers. Moisturizing ingredients include Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Avocado Oil. It also has the excellent antioxidant Vitamin E to help fight off free radicals.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner

The Ultra Facial Cleanser and Toner are my very first Kiehl’s products ever and I’m glad they were my introduction to the line! I recommend them both, but I definitely think the Ultra Facial Cleanser is a must have.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Ultra Facial Cleanser Ingredients:  Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Acrylate Copolymer, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Pentylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Distearyl Ether, Behenyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Laureth-2, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Sodium Methylparaben, Squalane, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil

Ultra Facial Toner Ingredients:  Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, PEG-100 Stearate, Sorbitan Oleate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil

Divine anti-aging skin care from L’Occitane

L’Occitane is very well-known for their bath and body products as well as their signature fragrances. But did you know they also have an extensive skin care line? There are products to combat lines and wrinkles, ones to tackle uneven skin tone, and options that focus on hydration and vitality. L’Occitane sent two items from their Anti-Aging Divine line, Divine Lotion ($54) and Divine Extract ($116). Rounding out this line (but not reviewed today) are the Divine Cream ($106) and Divine Eyes ($76).

The Divine line is instantly recognizable by the super luxurious golden glass jars. These jars look and feel totally decadent. You won’t want to hide them in a medicine cabinet, they will go front and center on your counter!!


Divine Lotion

What makes the Divine Collection unique is each product contains the immortelle flower. This flower never fades, even after it’s been picked. It has a large amount of neryl acetate, which is an anti-aging molecule. Products also include 7 plant-derived active ingredients that increase skin’s radiance and luminosity. The Divine products I tested have a definite citrus scent that does linger, so if you are sensitive be sure to try them out first.

The Divine Lotion is a toner and it is much thicker than what I expected. It’s not quite a lotion as the name would suggest; it has lots more heft than a typical toner does. I actually like the screw-top jar since it would be difficult to get the product out with a pump. Smooth this on after cleansing for some impressively hydrated and amazingly soft skin!


love the gorgeous bottle


makes it easy to pour this thicker toner


a swatch of some divine toner!

The Divine Extract Serum has a very high concentration of organic immortelle essential oil along with myrtle essential oil to help smooth wrinkles and plump up skin. It also has hyaluronic acid and vitamin C for anti-aging and fighting the good fight against free radicals.


Divine Extract Serum


love that golden jar


a great hygienic pump


such a velvety smooth serum

As the days and months fly by and I just keep getting older, I notice that my skin tends to look dull and dry. Unfortunately, it also has a nasty reaction to anything that is too hydrating, resulting in painful cystic acne. I was concerned that this serum might be too rich for my unpredictable skin, but it turned out to be nothing short of rejuvenating. The serum has an amazing texture. It’s really silky, almost like velvet, and it feels amazing on. My only complaint is the citrus scent. While it isn’t as strong as the scent of the toner, it does seem to linger longer. (A really cool feature is the jar has a see-through line down the side so you can easily see exactly how much product is left.)

As rich as this serum feels, it doesn’t make me break out at all. It quickly makes dry, flaky skin a thing of the past and it reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

While I wouldn’t say these products are for everyone – they have fragrance and are definitely on the spendy side – they are very impressive. I would love to try the Divine Cream and Divine Eyes. For now I can tell you that the Divine Lotion and the Divine Extract truly are divine anti-aging skin care.  – Lisa

 *pr samples

Affordable and effective skin care from DermaE

Call me a total nerd, but I don’t think anything gets me as excited as super effective skin care that is also easy on the pocketbook. So when I ended up loving the products sent to us by DermaE, I was really thrilled when I also realized how affordable they are. Chalk one (actually two) up for skin care nerds!!

A must-have product from DermaE is the Soothing Toner with Pycnogenol® ($15.50).  The pycnogenol is a wonderful antioxidant that fights those free radicals that make skin look haggard. It also has Green Tea, another excellent antioxidant.

derma e toner

DermaE Soothing Toner

Besides the antioxidants, this toner is terrific because it is very gentle, soothing, and calming. It has no alcohol in it and is also fragrance-free. The formula easily removes any last traces of makeup while also prepping skin for treatments and moisturizer.
DermaE Soothing Toner

DermaE Soothing Toner

Soothing Toner with Pycnogenol® is a fantastic toner that will work for those with extremely sensitive skin. It really is one of the best toners I have ever used. Plus, it’s 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free.
derma e Overnight Peel

DermaE Overnight Peel

Another fantastic product in the DermaE line is the Overnight Peel with Alpha Hydroxy Acids ($16.95). This is a light lotion that is applied once or twice a week at night after cleansing and toning.  Just apply a generous layer before bed –   the alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate and brighten skin while you sleep. The formula has 5% glycolic acid along with lactic and malic acids, with a perfect, highly effective pH of 3. This exfoliator works and it has enough moisturizers to beautifully hydrate skin at the same time.
DermaE Overnight Peel

DermaE Overnight Peel

The Overnight Peel - it doesn't peel off, it's a light lotion that smooths on like a moisturizer

The Overnight Peel – it doesn’t peel off, it’s a light lotion that smooths on like a moisturizer

Throughout the night this AHA lotion eliminates dead skin cells, evens skin tone, and restores a glow to skin. Just like the toner, this product is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten-free, and GMO-free.
DermaE is a perfectly priced line and has some excellent products that are well worth checking out. Make both your skin and your pocketbook happy and take a look at DermaE.  – Lisa
*pr samples
Soothing Toner with Pycnogenol® ingredients:  Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Pinus Pinaster (Pycnogenol®) Bark Extract, Panthenol, Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract* (.1%), Organic Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract* (.1%), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract* (.1%), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Overnight Peel ingredients:  Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate and Peg-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata (Passion) Fruit Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (C-Ester), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil* (.1%), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract* (.1%), Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate.

Tammy Fender Essential C Tonic

Meet Tammy Fender.

Tammy Fender

The beautiful, angelic Tammy Fender

Tammy is not only gorgeous, she is also the extremely talented and intuitive creator of Tammy Fender Skin Care.  Tammy believes in authentic health and authentic happiness. She has studied botany, aromatherapy, holistic chemistry and medical science, all with a focus on the healing properties of essential oils, plants and vitamins.Tammy Fender products are custom-made in small batches – ladies, this is truly organic skin care based on holistic medicine. Her formulas are created to heal and balance your mind, body, emotions and spirit.

I was thrilled when she sent the BIZ her Essential C Tonic ($55) to try and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  It’s not often that I come across a line that feels so good, like it’s got love and sunshine bursting from the jars. Using her products makes me feel better immediately, as if I am surrounded by happy puppies on a gorgeous summer’s day. Sounds odd, but it’s true – and products are as much about how they make you feel as they are about how they make you look.

As Tammy says, this is about you.

Tammy Fender

Tammy Fender Essential C Tonic

Because Tammy uses so many natural active ingredients all of her products come in amber glass. The amber glass preserves freshness and the efficacy of the products. She also uses a food grade preservation system, which means you want to use the products within 90 days of opening.

Tammy Fender Essential C Tonic is a fabulous toner that cleanses the skin, restores the pH balance, and detoxifies. It is fantastic for oily and blemish prone skin thanks to the bergamot and rosemary. It comes with a hygienic pump inside an amber bottle, and this is one big bottle! It will last for at least 3 months, even using it day and night. It has a slight orange scent that dissipates quickly.


Essential C Tonic

Here are the main ingredients and their functions:

Green Tea: powerful antioxidant that stimulates and protects the skin from free-radical damage; contains flavonoids.

Hibiscus: restores normal acid-alkaline balance of the body and assists in the elimination of toxins.

Lemongrass: refreshes dehydrated skin, enhances immunity, tightens and has a lightening effect on the skin.

Bergamot: natural skin toner and detoxifier, cooling and refreshing, has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and astringent properties.

Rosemary: astringent, restorative herb with antibacterial properties and improves circulation.

I am completely impressed with this toner, it’s wonderful.  I love what Tammy Fender stands for and I can’t wait to try other products from this line – this feels like a *favorite find in 2013* already.  – Lisa

*pr sample




*Aqueous Extracts of Hibiscus Sabdariffa, Rose (Rosa Canina) Hips, Orange (Citrus Sinensis) Peel Extract, Lemongrass (Cymbopogan Citratus), Lemon (Citrus Limon) Peel, Green Tea (Camellia Oleifera) Leaf, *Kelp (Ascophyllum Nodosum) Extract, Essential Oils of Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia), Lavender (Lavendula Officinalis), Olive (Olea Europaea) Leaf Extract, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis), Dehydroacetic Acid and Benzyl Alcohol (Natural Preservative System), Colloidal Silver
*Certified Organic