Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My New Indulgence!

If you are like me, when you are looking for a new face cream, you may find the options a little overwhelming. There are so many to choose from, and they all have a variety of different claims. Have you ever found yourself reading about a skin cream in disbelief? Sometimes the claims or story behind the cream are really unbelievable. Beauty brands always seem to spin some pretty fancy tales about how they chose and sourced their newest “it” ingredient. Which, by the way, are always wildly exotic sounding and usually come from some faraway land.  Most likely you have never heard of anything that is on the product’s ingredient list, let alone pronounce it. How on earth are you supposed to know if it will work for you? Should you just take a leap of faith and trust the sales girl? She promises you that the cream is amazing, totally works and that it is being snapped up faster than they can put it on the shelves? Just because everyone is buying it doesn't mean that you will see results. Plus, as we all know, skincare products aren't exactly cheap. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to shell out a ridiculous amount of money only to find out that the amazing miracle cream that is being promoted as the best thing since sliced bread did absolutely nothing to enhance your skin. Why can’t finding a high-end skin cream with effective ingredients be simple?

Well it can.

Meet Velixa.


Photo Credit: Velixa
Velixa specializes in therapeutic formulas that lessen the visible signs of aging and give skin a vibrant, healthy glow. The company is also dedicated to the quality, luxury and science of facial enhancement.

Now meet Velixa’sDay Correction Cream


Photo Credit: Velixa

“The luxurious cream provides the necessary hydration, while diminishing the appearance of fine lines. Its principal ingredient is Resveratrol and when combined with our six potent Peptides, this innovative formula offers an effective, corrective and preventative result.” -Velixa.com
That all sounds simple enough right? No talk of faraway lands or the most gorgeous beans found on top of a mountain that were hand pressed by a sloth. Simple stuff, big results!

While the description of the cream sounds simple, the results are anything but. Let’s discuss the benefits of the cream:

         Reduces and prevents the appearance of fine lines
         Fosters collagen production
         Ideally hydrates the skin both day and night
         Contains natural antioxidant properties
         Can be used alone or under makeup
         Tightens skin on contact
         Moisturizes and dries to a matte finish

That last bullet point is a pretty big one in my book. It is very difficult to find an emollient face cream that hydrates the skin and dries to a matte finish. For me, it has actually been impossible up until now. All of the face creams I have used either hydrate really well but leave me looking like I rubbed butter on my face. Or, I get a matte finish but feel like my cheeks are going to crack in half. So this benefit is HUGE.

 I love telling the story about how I was strolling around the beauty counters in a posh department store when I stumbled upon a counter carrying a certain high-end moisturizer. This particular moisturizer is constantly mentioned by celebrities and is frequently promoted as “the best” on the planet.  Due to the fact that the smallest jar of this “miracle cream” costs $150 for 1oz, (I’m serious) I had never tried it, but was dying to. So I sauntered up to the counter and listened to the salesgirl spin her stories about the most perfect cream in the world. After what seemed like an eternity she asked me if I wanted to try some. She pulled out the sample jar from behind the counter and produced a popsicle stick. She dunked it into the jar and handed me the stick which had the tiniest blob of cream on it. Excitedly, I placed the blob in my palm and followed the instructions that the girl gave me. I was to warm the cream between my hands and then gently place my palms on my face to pat the cream into my skin. Luckily, that day I was not wearing makeup and happily patted the cream, as directed, all over my face. There was a mirror to my immediate right and I just could not stifle my gasp when I stole a glance. I almost asked her to see inside of her jar to confirm that she hadn't just handed me a blob of Crisco. I had never in my life seen my skin so greasy. How on earth did users of this cream apply their makeup? How did they go out with this film of cream on their face. I thanked the girl for her time and hustled away in search of the nearest rest room.


Face of Butter....literally.
Photo Credit: break.com
So, yes. Drying down to a matte finish is one of the main reasons why I am so smitten by this cream.

The deep hydration that lasted all day was another big plus of Velixa’s Day CorrectionCream. If you look on the ingredient list, you will see the multiple ingredients that make this cream so incredibly moisturizing. Here are a few:

Squalane-
A super emollient ingredient that is naturally found in the skin. Has an antioxidant and immune-stimulating property.

Hyaluronic Acid-
Also naturally found in the body, this ingredient secures moisture and creates fullness in the skin. It is distributed widely through the connective, epithelial and neural tissue. Hyaluronic Acid is a main component of the extracellular matrix (the tissue that provides structural support to cells).

Jojoba and Apricot Kernel Oil-
Both of these nourishing oils are easily absorbed into the skin, provide elasticity and suppleness. Apricot Kernel Oil contains Vitamins A and E which are essential when trying to achieve radiant, hydrated skin.

Pichia/Resveratrol Ferment Extract-
The star of the show. This ingredient promotes firming, reduces the visible signs of aging and has the ability to promote the synthesis of collagen.

Velixa’s DayCorrection Cream is packed full of effective, beneficial ingredients. In addition to what I listed there are also the six peptides that all assist in making the magic happen.

Are you interested in knowing what makes this cream different from the others? What makes Velixa’s Day Correction Cream a superstar? The simple answer is that the cream delivers deep moisture to the skin for up to 12 hours underneath a matte finish. It will also increase the staying power of your makeup.

After using an entire jar of the cream I have to say that I am really impressed. You already know about how amazed I was with the way it dries matte, and how pleased I am with how hydrating the formula is. These two things are just the tip of the iceberg. I am smitten for so many other reasons. First you notice the jar, which when you hold it in your hand, feels like you are holding the most luxurious skin care product in the world. The cream is contained in a posh clear jar, and the words are all printed in the prettiest violet hued font. Then, you unscrew the lid revealing the white cream. When I touched it I was reminded of a soft and delicate fluffy cloud. As you are applying it to your skin you feel an instant burst of hydration, then see that your skin looks gorgeous. You give a glance to your mattifying primer and happily look away. You won't need it anymore. The best way to describe my results is to say that my skin just simply looks better. I’m all glowy and my imperfections are quietly shrinking away.

The cream isn't just a cream. It’s an EXPERIENCE.


Photo Credit: Velixa

Are you in love yet? Oh you want to hear another review? I grabbed this gem from the plethora of reviews that are displayed on velixa.com.

“What a lovely product. After my first application, my skin experienced a delicate tightening effect. It also felt smoother and softer. I followed the directions and use this product twice a day and after 7 to 10 days, my fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes were reduced about 20 to 28% and my complexion looked healthier. Velixa obviously put their heart and soul into making this product; it’s on a high level." -Jennifer M., Connecticut

So don’t just take it from me, Jennifer M. shared my experience. If you want to read more about Velixa’s Day Correction Cream or check out some more testimonials, I strongly suggest that you log onto velixa.com and experience the cream for yourself.





Friday, September 6, 2013

Back To School Beauty

Photo Credit: summermagic

Hello!

With Labor Day behind us, it is that time of the year when some of us need to focus on the books. Going back to school means late nights up studying and waking up early to make it to class on time. Unfortunately, that hardcore schedule can leave our beauty routine in shambles. The time that we would spend primping is spent learning. And really, that's not a bad thing. But still, shortcuts and trusty products can help you look like you made an effort and in my opinion, absorbing all of that knowledge is a lot easier when you aren't worrying about what you look like. So sweet readers, here is a round up of back to school beauty essentials.


Photo Credit: kollectionk.com
How adorable is this compact?! Besides being the cutest thing in your makeup bag, this super soft powder will adsorb excess oil while protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. The appropriately named brand for back to school products even added the slightest tint of pink that not only flatters most skin tones, but promises to brighten your complexion. Too Cool For School offers a slew of other delightfully charming, practical products, and Kollection K is one of my favorite places to shop. So if you have a spare minute between class and studying I suggest perusing the website!


Photo Credit: 99perfume.com
Sitting in a cramped classroom calls for a light, pretty fragrance. Adidas Natural Vitality for Women is perfect for close quarters and will help you to feel all fresh and clean. At first sniff you will detect juicy apple, orange and peach that mingles with effervescent ginger ale. As it melts into your skin, you will get a burst of refreshing watermelon and sensual shots of violet and rose geranium. Once it has dried down, the faintest hint of warm sandalwood and cozy musk is released, rounding out a perfume that smells as feminine as the gorgeous purple bottle that contains it.


Photo Credit: birchbox.com
Personally, I cannot believe that this limited edition box is still available! It is such an awesome find and a treasure trove of useful back to school essentials! According to Birchbox the Head of the Class Box includes "a mix of tween-tested, Birchbox approved products." Curious to know what goodies you will receive? Check it yo....

  • Willa Start Fresh Foaming Face Wash and Face Friendly Clear Face Moisturizer
  • Sisco & Berluti Friendship Bracelets
  • Poppin Pink Small Soft Cover Notebook
  • Stila Lip Glaze in Dreamy
  • Color Club Nail Polish in Flamingo and Silverlake
  • An assortment of five select colors from Color Club's Sequin Nail Art Kit
  • Jane Tran Chrysanthemum Print Bobby Pin Set
  • Birchbox Custom Pouch

All for $28.00 you guys! That is a MIND BLOWING deal considering a tube of Stila Lip Glaze retails for $22.00 on their website. I don't know about you, but I am going to snap the Head of the Class box up immediately because it most likely won't last much longer!


Photo Credit: yestocarrorts.com

These are a backpack/makeup bag/purse STAPLE for sure. You never know when you might need to freshen up. And don't just limit use to your face. Think stink after working out, a late night pick-me-up, or I stayed out all night and have mascara on my cheek. You need this. Always. The super saturated wipes gently remove dirt, sweat and makeup with ease. They are all natural and bio-degradable. These awesome little wonders are serious multi-taskers too. Not only do the clean your face (or armpits) but they exfoliate, detoxify and rejuvenate your tired complexion. 


Photo Credit: eyeslipsface.com
e.l.f. Cosmetics has decluttered your vanity for you by putting all of your makeup essentials in one place. The Studio Makeup Clutch may look slim and sleek but it is jam packed with a whopping 32 eye shadows, 2 blushes, 1 bronzer, 1 eyebrow cream, 1 face shimmer, 6 lip colors, 1 eyebrow powder and includes 3 dual ended eye shadow applicators. Absolutely anything and everything you could ever need to create a pretty daytime look or a gorgeous night out face. Done and done. 


Photo Credit: colorandflavorshop.com

Lip Smacker rocks! We all know that. Their lip balm is loved by all, and their Dr. Pepper version is one of my all time favorite products EVAH. I have loved it for too many years to count. I always have at least three in my house. YESSS. Of the Dr. Pepper version. It smells delicious, tastes good and give lips the most perfectly shiny hint of red tint. It is faint, but it is perfection and universally flattering. I have never met anyone who has owned it and ended up regretted it. 


Photo Credit: ulta.com
This is another one of my favorite products that I cannot live without. Imagine you missed your alarm, are late to class and your hair is gross. No time to shampoo and style. What do you do? Well, how about instead of throwing a temper tantrum you calm down and spritz your locks with Psssssst's Dry Shampoo Spray? It's magical you guys. All you do is take sections of your hair and kind of spray your roots to absorb oil and finish with an all over spray to eliminate odor. Your hair will smell good, look like it's freshly shampooed and bounce to class with more life than you can ever dream of having. Maybe you need to hit your pillow earlier.


Photo Credit: thisworks.com
Speaking of going to bed earlier....

If you are having trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing, you are a ball of anxious energy or you hate counting sheep, try putting fragrance on your bed. Seriously. This Works has created a fragrance for your sheets that promises to calm your nerves, clear your busy mind and lull you to sleep. Simply spritz your pillow and blankies, lay down and Zzzzzzzz. The spray's formula is infused with essential oils of lavender, vetiver and wild chamomile or AKA, your ticket to dreamland.

So kids, what are some of your back to school beauty essentials? Do tell!






Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Microdermabrasion: The Procedure, The Benefits, And Recommendations

Photo Credit: picasaweb.google.com
Microdermabrasion treatments have long been hailed as one of the easiest ways to transform your skin. The procedure, which is administered by a dermatologist, is painless and quick and results can be seen instantly. The non-invasive, effective treatment leaves patients with a healthier looking, glowing complexion.

In short, microdermabrasion is the process of applying very small, rough crystals, grains or diamonds to the skin to slough off the outermost layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. Frequent cell turnover is imperative if supple, youthful looking skin is the goal. Unfortunately, the manufacture of skin cells drastically slows as we age. Microdermabrasion initiates and speeds up this process, which gives our skin the boost it needs to look its absolute best.


Microdermabrasion is used to treat a plethora of skin conditions including: 
  • Acne scarring
  • Sun damage
  • Clogged pores
  • Mild discoloration
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
The procedure can also help tame oily skin, exfoliate dry skin and has been successfully used to diminish the appearance of stretch marks. Post-treatment, the healthier layer of skin left exposed is able to accept further skincare treatments in a more effective manner.  Many patients find that their creams and serums penetrate much more effectively, helping them to achieve superlative results from their products faster. In addition, since your skin’s surface will be smooth, your makeup will not only apply more evenly, but it will look amazing too.

Unfortunately, microdermabrasion is not accessible to everyone due to the cost and time involved. The average cost of one treatment can be between $150-$300, and it is usually recommended to undergo the procedure more than once. Also, follow-up appointments with the dermatologists are standard practice and will most likely be a requirement pre and post-treatment.

For those of us who do not have the time or cash to dedicate to professional microdermabrasion treatments there is still hope! At-home microdermabrasion creams are currently being offered by many skin care brands in the market. The results that can be achieved with most at-home creams are comparable to the results that you would get in your doctor’s office.

Almost all of the brands offer the same basic formula. It is usually made up of super tiny, hard granules that are suspended in a cream formula. The combination of granules and cream is usually very dense which helps the product work effectively by staying on your skin while you are performing the application process.

What makes the best stand out from the rest though is the list of ingredients. Look for at-home microdermabrasion creams that are packed full of beneficial ingredients. You know the ones on the ingredient list that you can actually recognize and say out loud? They will be far more beneficial for your skin, and well worth your time and money. Take a pass on all of the others.


Photo Credit: Velixa.com
Velixa offers an at-home microdermabrasion treatment that really outshines what other brands are currently offering. Their Micro-Dermabrasion Renew Creme is packed into a tiny tube, but trust me, your results will be huge! Using just a small amount of the product promotes surface cell turnover and instantly reveals fresher, healthier skin. The appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles will be reduced, and the wonder product even moisturizes and protects all of that newly exposed skin. If you take a peek at the ingredient list you will see that there are plenty of antioxidants and essential oils making this product a fantastic option.

Photo Credit: Velixa.com
Jojoba Seed Oil
A popular skin and hair conditioning agent that closely matches our skin’s own sebum. The oil improves elasticity and suppleness.

Red Tea Extract
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it ideal for treating eczema, acne and aging skin. Red Tea Extract can also fight free radical damage.

Apricot Kernel Oil
Contains powerful vitamins E and A which are essential when trying to promote radiant, hydrated skin. Very nourishing.

Hyaluronic Acid
Naturally found in the body working to secure moisture, creating a fullness to our skin. When we are young our hyaluronic acid is turnover by our body at a high rate and assists in tissue repair. As we age this process slows down which results in our moisture levels dropping. When applied topically, hyaluronic acid boosts hydration levels and plumps skin.

Japonica Extract
A potent antioxidant and anti-irritant.

At-home microdermabrasion creams are not meant for everyday use. At the most you should indulge your skin in this treatment once or twice a week.

When applying the cream, or any at-home microdermabrasion cream for that matter, I must caution you. Use a light hand. These creams contain a higher concentration of scrub particles, far more than exfoliating creams do. If you rub too hard or apply harshly to your skin you could end up damaging your skin. So be gentle and your face will thank you.


A healthy dose of Velixa's Micro-Dermabrasion Renew Creme
After using Velixa’s Micro-Dermabrasion Renew Crème just once I noticed a huge improvement in my skin. My face looked refreshed, smooth and my makeup applied flawlessly. The cream is dense and you really only need to apply a very small amount to achieve maximum results. While rinsing the product off of my face, I felt traces of oil. I assure you that this is not cause for alarm. In fact, this is one of the biggest benefits of using the cream. First, it showed me that the above mentioned Jojoba and Apricot Kernel oil were present in high enough quantities to be effective. Second, the faint amount of oil left on my skin after rinsing and drying my face off provided gentle moisture and helped my face not too feel uncomfortably tight.


Now that you know the benefits of treating your skin to an at-home microdermabrasion product, why not consider starting with Velixa? The company’s website contains a wealth of information, not to mention access to their incredibly effective skincare products. Also, be sure visit Velixa’s Facebook page so that you can get social with the company and get all of their latest updates!
Sunday, July 28, 2013

Smitten Sunday

Hey you!

Sorry for the slacker blog lately you guys. The past week was NUTS for me! But, just know that I think about you, and miss Frances Is A Beauty every time I can't squeeze in blog time.  I am super excited that I found time to spend here tonight! Yay for Smitten Sunday!


Want:


Photo Credit: shop.mango.com
I have a serious cardigan problem. I wear one daily, for real. Even if it super hot and muggy, you will find me wearing a cardigan. Most times my cardigan is accompanied by a scarf. I don't know why. It's just how I roll. I love the versatility cardigans offer. Cardigans are the champions of layering. It can easily be removed or put on depending on how chilly I am. (I'm always chilly.) Sometimes though it would be nice to stray from my beloved cardigans and try something else. Spice up my stupid "sweaters forever!" problem. This gorgeous crew neck sweater from Mango would be a nice diversion. The long, lean cut is super flattering, and the shorter sleeves make it seem somewhat appropriate to wear during the sweltering summer months. The fabric is all sparkly, and I can see this piece easily dressing up or down. Plus, the ombre print is in my favorite color....blue. A great neutral! I would wear this with my khaki shorts that have a black tuxedo stripe going down the side and a pair of wedges. Done and done. Cardigans need days off too I guess.

Need:


Photo Credit: target.com

I originally saw the Early Bird Kit on Pixi's website a few weeks ago and freaked out a little when I went there tonight and couldn't find it anywhere on the site. After a quick Google search, I luckily found it on trusty target.com. Good ol' Target never lets me down! Pixi's Early Bird Kit was designed to "make it simple for you to greet the day looking like you got up early." This is a great beauty goal to strive for everyday, but since I always get up early, I decided to tweak the description a little to make it more applicable to my life and needs. I'm selfish, get over it. I came up with "make it simple for you to greet the day looking less like the coffee guzzling, pale as death grouch you really are in the morning and more like the spunky go-getter who does it all while remaining naturally beautiful, always smiling person that you want to be in the morning." It's a longer description but it fully captures my daily beauty goals.

This kit will help me bring out my inner Susie Sunshine with it's soft daytime hues. Packed with three cheek colors, two bronzers, one face glow, four eye base shades and a whopping sixteen eye shades in colors that will enhance my fair skin tone and not make me look like I applied my makeup in preparation to pose for my Glamour Shots photo shoot. Why was that ever popular? Ick. 

Of course, since I always find ways to overspend at Target, I will have to round out my order with a few extras from Pixi. I will need their Large Lash Mascara in Bold Black, $18.00, to separate, lengthen and plump my eyelashes and Pixi's Lip Blush in Energy, $18.00, to add budge-proof color to my lips. Plus I can't imagine a better partner for my Early Bird Kit than a lip product named Energy. Because energy....in the morning....well you get it. 

Have:

$3.99 for a 6oz tube or $1.99 for a 0.5oz travel packette

Photo Credit: freemanbeauty.com
I love scrubs and I love face masks. Putting the two of them together in one tube is magical in my opinion. I was browsing around my local drugstore when I stumbled upon this. I have always liked the Freeman brand and have tried almost every product they offer. It is all reliable, effective stuff at decent prices. Nothing wrong with any of that. So, this caught my eye since it was new and I had never tried it before. 

I became more interested in this product once I read "charcoal". Charcoal is a skin purifying hero. Charcoal will not rest until it has successfully sucked all of the nasties out of your skin. As I continued reading the back of the tube my excitement grew. Sugar scrub? Mask? $3.99?? SOLD!! 

As far as scrubs of any kind go, I prefer sugar formulations. Salt does not treat my skin well, and weird unidentifiable scrubbie bits are well, weird. Sugar is gentle to my sometimes sensitive skin, and I like how it dissolves once you introduce water. Freeman added the Black Sugar to whisk away dead skin cells to make your skin softer. 

I took this out for a test drive the night I brought it home. Applying the mask is kind of difficult since it is all sugary. Freeman didn't scrimp with the sugar. Trust. My kids got a good laugh after I finished slapping it onto my face. Apparently I resembled a sea monster or witch of some kind. Whatever. I have been called worse. The directions say to leave the mask on for 5-7 minutes so I did what I was told. This isn't mentioned anywhere on the packaging, but I SWEAR there was a slight warming effect while the mask was on my face. Maybe it was my irritation level slowly rising after being ridiculed by my daughters. I am going to go with the mask has a warming effect. Makes me sound like a better mother. After 5-7 minutes elapsed I went back to the bathroom and scrubbed the mask around just like I was applying any other facial exfoliating product. The mask does not dry like a clay or gel mask. Everything rinsed off easily and my face looked all pure and matte. I love this stuff! I am planning on stocking up when I run out of my first tube. And, to be honest with you, some days I have used this just as a face scrub/cleanser without doing the whole mask bit. It rocks!

Happy Sunday Sweet Readers!



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Smitten Sunday


Whatcha doooiinn??

Hopefully enjoying your Sunday by doing something awesome! 

Now who's ready for Smitten Sunday!?

Want:


Marc Jacobs Honey is available in the following sizes/prices:
1oz $52.00  1.7oz $72.00  3.4oz $92.00

This is Mr. Jacob's newest perfume offering. From what I understand, it's only available for purchase at Marc Jacobs stores and Sephora. Of course the first thing that caught my eye was the adorable bottle. The tiny bees with their pearl bodies just kill me. Sephora describes the fragrance as being a "sunny, delicious floral." After reading the list of notes I would have to agree with the description without even smelling it. Here is the note list:
Pear, Juicy Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Peach Nectar, Apricot, Honeysuckle, Honey, Golden Vanilla and Smooth Woods
Also! Did you hear about the soon to launch Marc Jacobs cosmetics collection?! Google it when you have a chance. The collection is stunning. And again, it will only be sold at Marc Jacobs stores and Sephora. 

Need:


Available in 0.52oz for $22.50

I love a good skin primer, and to be honest with you I have tested out an embarrassing amount of them without a lot of success. Something is always off, and....well....I need perfection. DHC's Velvet Skin Coat is the perfect primer for me. I emphasized "for me" because everyone has different skin care concerns and needs. Your idea of the perfect primer could be way different than mine. My foundation and concealer applies so smoothly when I use this. My fine lines and pores get blurred and buffed over. Best of all is the normal looking matte finish it gives. Not makeupy looking at all. Just like perfect, magazine photo skin perfect. And it lasts for a while too. If I put this on in the morning it keeps me looking fresh to death until late afternoon. NO JOKE. So if I already own and use this why is it in the "need" and not the "have" category? Well because I don't actually own it it. I have been living off of samples. That's right! 

Behold, my sample packet: 


Every time I get one of their catalogs, which is pretty frequently, I get more samples of this. Each catalog contains samples of their bestsellers and this is one of them. So once I work my way through the thirty or so sample packets I have I will purchase the full size of it. 

If you aren't already signed up to receive a catalog from DHC you should really take advantage of it and do so. They really have some great products! 

Here is what Velvet Skin Coat looks like as a blob on my hand:


There is no point in showing you what it looks like rubbed in since it just looks like perfect skin. You can kinda see at the bottom of the blob how it buffed out the skin on my hand. 

Have:


Essie Sunday Funday, $8.00
I am loving this new Essie Color from their Summer 2013 collection. Also, as a fun coincidence for Smitten Sunday the name of the color is Sunday Funday! Essie describes the hue as a "tangerine coral crush shimmer." I love Essie polishes and own a large amount of them. The formula/brush combination is one of the best on the market and the colors are all gorgeous and unique. 

Here is a picture of my bottle and my slap dashy manicure. 


There you have it. You can get back to watching your Mad Men marathon on Netflix, your six hour nap or gardening. Whatever it is you do on Sunday. 

What are you smitten with sweets?? 

xo-Kit

 

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