Empty Bottle Review: Creme Dermopurifiante + Creme Placenta

Empty Bottle Review: Creme Dermopurifiante + Creme Placenta

Moisturizing is a tricky business when you’re a greasy girl. People with acne tend to run from thick moisturizers thinking they cause more zits (and some can) but what many dermatologists and estheticians have told me is oily skin really does need moisture. You just have to choose the right one. As I’m sure you’re well aware, I’m a Biologique Recherche devotee, but two of the products I was most apprehensive about were the Creme Dermopurifiante and the Creme Placenta.

These two moisturizers were recommended to me for use at night to help balance and heal my skin that was breaking out all too often and marked with scars. It was not love at first sight. Biologique Recherche don’t contain any dyes or fragrances so these creams are basically the color of brown butter and smell like, well, what’s in them. Creme Placenta has the strongest scent, which I got used to. I can’t say Craig ever did.

They texture is very creamy and somewhat slippery. It took a bit of work to massage the products into my skin and while I usually say a little goes a long way, I’m starting to reconsider whether that’s a philosphy I should follow anymore. I was listening to an older interview with Tata Harper on the Goop podcast The Beauty Closet (love, love, love) and she explained many people don’t see the benefits of their products because they are using so little. The suggested amounts to apply are there for a reason (and it’s not just for you to need to buy a new bottle or jar faster). At the most basic level, products expire.

Think about it, when you have a facial, they really slather everything on. That’s why you leave looking all out-of-this-world glowy. So while you certainly don’t need a huge dollop of moisturizer, using more than a pinch is probably a good idea.

OK, I digress.

I tried joining the facial oil club, adding a few drops of Drunk Elephant Marula Oil on top, which I love because it’s the only facial that hasn’t made me break out, but this felt like too much. I think the texture of the Biologique Recherche creams are what kept it from absorbing into my skin.

As for the results I saw, these two moisturizers absolutely kept redness, tightness and dryness at bay and didn’t make me break out. I preferred to use Creme Placenta on the nights I used my stronger retinol serum.

Using them along with the rest of my regimen helped clear up my skin (especially around my jaw) and I noticed post-acne marks faded faster. If your skin is in the midst of a freakout, I highly recommend them. If your skin isn’t oily, you can also use Creme Dermopurifiante during the daytime, as it’s the lighter and more pleasant-smelling of the two.

Now that my skin is more balanced, I’ve moved on to other moisturizers (my wish list is long) but should I notice anything getting out of control this winter, I’ll definitely go back for these.

See what else I’ve used up here.

Empty Bottle Review: Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Gel

Empty Bottle Review: Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Gel

The first department store beauty product I ever purchased was eye cream. I’ve been obsessively hydrating my peepers since I was 18, morning and night, and eye cream is a product I simply refuse to live without. In need of a new daytime formula, I picked up Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood Eye Gel while visiting Space NK in London.

During the day, I prefer a gel formula as opposed to heavy cream so my eye makeup doesn’t crease and I don’t end up looking like a raccoon from my mascara. In terms of texture, Rodial’s eye gel was a perfect match. When I applied makeup over it, my shadow stayed in place all day without any annoying lines. It’s not too thick and a little bit goes a very very long way. I bought this jar last December and just finished it at the end of September.

I’ve had trouble in the past with eye creams stinging, mostly because I’m crazy about covering the entire eye area. I apply my eye treatments to the lid, under the eye and all around it, even covering my eye brows to help them grow. In short, I don’t have time for crow’s feet. This Dragon’s Blood Eye Gel doesn’t burn or sting and didn’t interfere with my contacts.

I can’t say for certain what impact it would have on any deep wrinkles, but it did help me look more awake and refreshed each morning. My eyes looked brighter and less puffy shortly after putting it on. I bet keeping it in the fridge would only help with that effect, but I live in NYC and fridge space is precious.

With how long it lasted and the absence of any of the usual pitfalls of eye cream or gel, Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Gel is definitely worth a try. And with how long it lasted, it’s likely to be the only eye product you need to buy for a long time.

See what else I’ve used up here.

Empty Bottle Review: Joanna Vargas Daily Serum

Empty Bottle Review: Joanna Vargas Daily Serum

Living in NYC has presented plenty of challenges for my skin from pollution to the instant sheen of sweat I’m covered in after entering the subway (ick). This city is also home to some of the top skincare experts and one of them is Joanna Vargas. I had her Daily Serum on my list of products to try for months when I finally used up the vitamin C I had been working through and decided to bite the bullet.

I mean, anything dubbed “green juice for your face” was worth a try, am I right?

And let’s be clear. This serum is green. It also smells like those Flintstones vitamin C chewables we all took as kids, which is certainly not a bad thing. It has a gel-like texture and one pump was always enough for me to cover my face and neck. I would give it about 30 seconds to absorb before following with a moisturizer and didn’t experience any issues.

What I noticed most of all with Daily Serum is that it made me look fresher and more awake (much like I hope paying $10 for a bottle of green juice does). When I applied it, my skin was smoother and felt hydrated and fresh throughout the day. I layered it with both tinted moisturizer and regular moisturizer and added foundation on top sometimes. All applied smoothly and stayed put.

If you’re interested in adding a vitamin C product and a hyaluronic acid product to your routine, I suggest going for this one for the two-in-one benefit and saving a step (and some cash).

My one gripe would be the oil-balancing claim. I couldn’t say it made me any less shiny and I definitely wouldn’t call this product mattifying, so that was a bit of a letdown.

I would say the search continues on that front, but I think I just found the answer. Coming soon…

See what else I’ve used up here.

Empty Bottle Review: Biologique Recherche Emulsion Gel Biosensible S.R.

Empty Bottle Review: Biologique Recherche Emulsion Gel Biosensible S.R.

I have been lucky enough (or unlucky if you ask my husband) to do some amazing beauty shopping during my travels this past year. I’m working on putting together some roundups of my shopping destinations from England, Croatia and the Netherlands so stay tuned for those! One such too damn expensive magical experience happened in the legendary beauty department at Liberty London, where I was final able to snag a bottle of Emulsion Gel Biosensible S.R. from my favorite brand, Biologique Recherche.

As soon as the woman behind the counter put some on my hand and I saw how quickly it absorbed, I knew I had to have it. This moisturizer is for oily skin (S.R. = Seum Regulating) so it has a texture that is lighter than a cream but not sticky at all. I ignored the exchange rate, declared it a souvenir and had her wrap it up, all the while convincing another woman at the BR counter she needed everything they had recommended for her. Where’s my commission check?

As soon as I got it home, I worked it into my daily routine. Following my cleansing and toning in the morning, I applied my two main serums and followed it with Emulsion Gel Biosensible S.R. But here’s where I went wrong…

I added another moisturizer on top of it.

I’ve heard over and over how oily skin is the most dry and you need to add more hydration to help balance it. While I don’t totally disagree with this, I learned you can go overboard. My skin was feeling oilier and my makeup was practically sliding off. I thought it could take the place of a hyaluronic serum but I was wrong. This was not the feeling I had expected. I didn’t break out, but I had definitely tipped into the overdoing it category.

So, I remembered what Coco Chanel said and I took one thing off before leaving the house (she was totally talking about skincare, right?). Once I did, I started to notice the benefit of the product. My skin was smooth, hydrated and looked even. No redness or tightness and no acne. I wouldn’t call my skin sensitive by any means but I can see how soothing this would feel to anyone with tightness or inflammation. It was almost the most pleasant smelling BR product I’ve tried.

The one bottle did last me almost six months, applying just a pea-size amount per day, but I will probably save it for a special occasion before purchasing again. I personally would rather spend more on a night cream that my skin has all night to reap the benefits of, without competing with makeup and pollution.

But if you’re looking for something light — and certainly luxe — and know how to follow instructions, you won’t be disappointed.

See what else I’ve used up here.

Empty Bottle Review: Environ Concentrated Retinol Serum 1

Empty Bottle Review: Environ Concentrated Retinol Serum 1

Whew… this summer left me faster than that high school soccer player who dumped me freshman year after I wouldn’t go to second base. It felt like we barely sat still this summer and today was the first morning where I walked to work and it really felt like fall was just around the corner. So, with the start of a new school year, I’m back with another review, this time for the Concentrated Retinol Serum 1 from Environ’s Focus Care Youth+ line.

It should come as no surprise I discovered this product through Rescue Spa, but since then Environ has become one of my favorite brands.

Retinol is everywhere these days and for good reason: she delivers. Like a mean girl with a sensitive side she can be tough, but deep down she’s there for you. I last used retinol back in 2014 but moved away from it after I felt like it wasn’t helping me anymore. But now that I’m post-30, I’m back on the sauce and happier than ever.

Retinol is your skin’s best friend after you turn 30. She fights those first wrinkles we’re trying to ignore and those fucking zits we’re still getting. Before you hit 30, I wouldn’t go the retinol route unless your dermatologist recommends it. I’ve seen much better results in this decade of my skincare life than I did the last and retinol can be harsh.

However, Environ’s Concentrated Retinol Serum 1 is a great entry into the world of retinol and all its pore-shrinking, wrinkle-reducing, dark spot-crushing, acne-fighting benefits. As the first serum of three in this series, which they call their STEP-UP SYSTEM™, it has the lowest amount of retinol, which is a form of vitamin A. It has wonderful texture, not watery but not a rich cream, and it absorbs really well. I didn’t experience any redness, dryness or peeling when I used it, even after moving from using it three times a week to nightly application.

The best part is this serum layers very well vitamin C. Vitamin A and vitamin C are soulmates for your face to help you achieve a brighter, more even complexion. They actually make each other work better. Like Chandler and Monica (sorry, Friends is my background noise). The key is to give the retinol 20 minutes to absorb before you add the vitamin C. If you’re short on time, they won’t not work, but you really get the benefits when your skin has time to suck up one serum before you add the other. I liked to add a moisturizer on top and then I was ready for bed.

Using this combo helped me wake up fresh faced and combat any painful hormonal zits. I’ve been on the anti-aging route for a while and was pleased to find a product that delivered results without any sting or discomfort. Just remember these two things:

  1. Skip the harsh toners/chemical exfoliants/physical exfoliants before applying retinol.
  2. Wear some goddamn sunscreen the next day.

Environ recommends using 2-3 bottles of each level before moving on to the next one. While I decided to try another brand of retinol for something stronger, I would certainly go back to this one.

If you’re ready to take it up a notch, I highly recommend jumping on the retinol bandwagon. Come on, everyone’s doing it.