Icelandic Relief

Out of all the types skincare products, the one I am most particular about is my eye cream.  Why?  They either work or they don't, there's no real in between.  Let's talk about eyes, they are the first to show signs of aging because they have the thinnest skin on the face, so you see all that stagnant blood underneath; they're constantly moving, all blinking and shit, creating fine lines, plus smiling moves the thin skin on the sides creating crows feet.  Oh you had a rough night sleep?  You drank too much? Basically your eyes are just going to say a big "fuck you, we're gonna make you look old".  Now Botox will help with crows feet and filler will help with dark circles and fine lines, but when you're forking $4k+ a year just to get your eyes looking less than dead, you search for other options.

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Over the years I've found a handful of eye creams that have made a real difference, most over $100, so I was beyond thrilled when I tried the $45 Icelandic Relief Eye Cream from Skyn Iceland.  I'm obsessed with their Hydra Cool Firming Eye Gels (they adhere to your skin so you can move around instead of laying still for 15min) so when Skyn Iceland had a special that included an eye cream I figured I'd give it a try.  Now I have a long ass queue of products in my closet of happiness, so thissat right in the back for a few months.  I typically use an eye serum then a cream over top, sometimes a different cream for am and pm.  I had 3 products I was using for about a month when my eyes said "bro, chill out" and started looking all kinds of irritated and old, I turned to my closet and looked for the most natural formula I could find.  I tossed all my other eye products to the side and just used the Icelandic Relief Eye Cream.  Immediately my eyes felt hydrated and less irritated. Within a week my eyes started looking brighter, and continued to look better and better.  I only needed the smallest pea size amount of this oddly textured cream, which feels like a fluffy cottage cheese.  I tried bringing back in a 2nd eye cream/serum but this was working so good alone, I continued to use it am and pm until the sad day that it ran out. 

Key Ingredients:

Saponaria Pumila: A plant that survived the Ice Age, it contains stem cells that that stimulate eye regeneration helping smooth out fine lines and wrinkles while reducing puffiness.
White Lily, Pfaffia, and Marapuama: Improve microcirculation, lock in moisture and help diminish pesky dark circles.
Rice Peptides: Help destroy the enzyme that breaks down collagen.

If you want a bomb eye cream, no matter your budget, definitely give the Icelandic Relief Eye Cream a go.($3.50 off with code MAGICLINKS350)  I hope you're pleasantly surprised like I was.

My other favorites, in the order I found them over the years and what they helped me with.

La Mer Eye Concentrate $205- dark circle

Natura Bisse Diamond Extreme Eye Lift $210- dark circles, lid lift, hydration

Caudalie Premier Cru $99- hydration, dark circles, fine lines

PerriconeMD Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum $120- lid lift, skin tightening, fine lines

Skincare from Down Under

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I'm obsessed with anything Australian, like extremely obsessed.  Kylie Minogue, for starters, is my music idol, Aussies have the best accents, hottest guys, the best coffee you'll ever have, and create some amazing skincare.  Jurlique is one of the strongest brands out of Australian.  Pioneers in natural skincare technology, Jurlique started in the 1980s, moving the Australia from Germany, due to their pure lands ideal for starting a farm.  To this day, they still grow the majority of the ingredients use din their products.  I've always been a fan and now's a great time to try some of my favorites since they're doing 30% off for their 31st birthday! Just use code "CHEERS" at checkout

Rosewater Balancing Mist $35 down to $24.50 - This is probably Jurliques most well known product.  It has the most amazing rose scent, refreshes and hydrates skin, and has antioxidant properties.  Can be used to tone after cleansing or to hydrate throughout the day.

Sun Specialist SPF40 High Protection Cream $38 down to $26.6 - I went through a tube of this over the winter and fell in love after the first application.  It has a rich texture that goes on weightless and smells nothing like sunscreen, it have very earthy herbal scents that's hella refreshing.  It has broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection and antioxidant protection.  It can be used for beach wear, but I really like it on the daily.

Skin Balancing Face Oil $50 down to $35 - I just added this to my routine about a week ago and like it so far.  Rose Hips, Avocado, and Macadamia oils plus Shea Butter make this oil deeply hydrating and and help with tone and texture.

Herbal Recovery Advanced Eye Serum $48 down to $33.6 - I've been using this for about a month now, it's a super lightweight serum that helps reduce the look of fatigue around the eyes (and let me tell you, I'm regularly fatigued).  Great for use under makeup.

Rose Hand Cream $25 down to $17.50 - Put it all over my body!!!  This rich hand cream hydrates, smells like magic, and leaves lasting softness.  Definitely one of my favorite hand creams (and I need more, perfect timing Jurlique!)  Also Available in Lavender, Jasmine, Citrus, and a limited edition Rose Hand Cream Handpicked with roses from their 2016 harvest.

Rose Love Balm $10 down to $7 - This is the perfect pocket balm.  I always need something to throw on my lips, cuticles, and hands throughout the day, but so many of those kinds of multi taskers don't come in pocket friendly sizes.  This is one of my go to's (and I'll be ordering one of these as well...)

Perricone Sale

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One of my all time favorite eye serums is on sale as well as a bunch of other Perricone amazing products!  I'm about to start my 3rd bottle of PerricneMD Acyl-Glutathione Eye Lid Serum, its been one of the only eye products I've seen quick results with.  I haven't had the serum for about 2 months and I've noticed my eyes look much more tired since Its left my routine, even after getting Botox recently.  The Acyl-Glutathione Serum had key ingredients DMAE to firm and tone (I just bought some DMAE pills to take as part of my supplement routine) and Acyl-Glutathione which helps with fine lines, creases, and skin vitality.  Consumer tests show great improvements in most all eye care concerns, including dark circles, redness, tightness & firmness, and eye lids looking smoother.  Its definitely one of my favorites, and at $70 vs the normal $120, its a must have! (Also in a set with their Firming Eye Cream I've yet to try, but only $109 vs $192)

A few other Perricone Items on sale that I love
Face Finishing Moisturizer $50 down from $75.  This moisturizer can be used day and night for healthy glowing skin.  Great for all skin types, all ages, and definitely a great start if you're looking to step up your skin care game.

Blue Plasma Cleansing Treatent $30 down from $45.  Apply to cotton pad and sweep onto the skin to gentle cleanse, exfoliate, and reveal a brighter complexion.  Removes makeup but I like to use after cleansing as an exfoliating toner.

Intensive Pore Minimizer $40 down from $60.  If large pores are your concern, this toner helps to keep them in check.  Use after cleansing to keep oily skin matte all day.

 

New Product Review

Been a bit crazy with the new job, but I’ve added some great new products to my skincare routine that I’m sure you’re just dying to hear about.

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Dior Capture Total Le Sérum $165-$225 4/5 Stars– Now I haven’t used Dior skincare since I used the No Age range 3,000 years ago (it smelled like nana and I loved it), and I was a little hesitate to use Dior skincare as they are known for using a lot of fragrance.  The active ingredient is Longozo of Madagascar Extract, the Dior Researchers have boosted the Longoza extract enhancing its properties, making is capable of synchronizing cells, including stem cells, in every layer of the skin. Dior reports say that when used twice a day for a month, 92% of users noticed fine lines and wrinkles smoothed, 88% noticed facial features were firmer, and 92% said their skin reflected light better.  Now I don’t know how a serum can turn my face into a light reflective prism, but I’m into it.  I’ve been using Le Sérum for 2 months now and while I thought I would hate it, I really really like it.  It absorbs easily after my essence and doesn’t have a strong fragrance.  My skin is noticeably smoother and is definitely glowing, so maybe it does turn skin into a prism…

Odacité Green Tea-Lemongrass Serum Concentrate $39 – I just started using this guy 2 weeks ago and I LOVE the smell!  I had previously used the Wild Carrot-Vital Glow which I really liked, so I’m just as excited about this one.  This serum only has 2 ingredients, Camellia seed oil (Green Tea) and Lemongrass oil.  Green Tea is a powerful anti-oxidant great for protection and adding radiance, Lemongrass has tightening properties and also helps refine sluggish, lackluster skin.  I mix 3 drops in with my moisturizer in the morning, now if you don’t like the smell of Lemongrass, you won’t like this, I however love the smell of Lemongrass.  I did lightly notice the smell throughout the day, which was invigorating.  I’ve definitely seen it perking up my skin as I’ve been crazy tired lately.

Kate Somerville CytoCell Dark Circle Eye Cream $75 3.5/5 Stars – This eye cream has a huge cult following and I had been hearing about it for so long I just hand to get some.  Its an all in one anti-aging eye cream with a focus on fighting dark circles.  It contains 2 peptides to refresh, hydrate, and smooth, plus Vitamin C and Light Diffusing Pearls to brighten the eye area.  I find it funny that on the Kate Somerville website they list 4 user studies, none of them mentioning dark circles (I mean, it’s a Dark Circle eye cream…) then I look to the Sephora website and see they do have a user result but its only 60% of users that said is dramatically reduced the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.  Dark Circles are one of the hardest concerns to treat, probably why there is such a low number.  I’ve been using this for just over a month, and I have noticed my eyes looking brighter, it definitely hydrates instantly and with the smallest amount.  I give it a 3.5 because I've noticed more of a difference in hydration and firmness than dark circles, and that's really what I wanted out of it.  I do really like it though.

Boscia Sake Balm $46 3/5 Stars– The texture on this one is just the coolest.  It’s this weird gel that bounces back into place like a memory foam mattress (If you ever used the Mizon Returning Starfish Cream, its similar to that).  This lightweight balm contains Sake, which is loaded with antioxidants to help with loss of water, radiance, hyper-pigmentation, and pretty much every other skin concern.  Glycolic Acid helps with texture, fine lines, and hyper-pigmentation.  Vitamin C to help brighten and protect the skin, as well as boosting collagen.  Lastly a botanical blend of Jojoba Leaf and Willowherb to fight free radicals and help with inflammation.  I’m on week 3 of using this every morning, I like that its so light weight, making it great for layer with other products, but I can’t help but feel it’s a bit too light weight for dry LA weather.  The texture definitely makes it ideal for combo to oily skin, but I feel drier skin types probably won’t love it.  To see results from the actives in this, it usually takes a little time, so I plan on finishing the jar to see if it can fade some of my sun damage.

Skin Medica Retinol 1.0 $93 – Retinol is one of the only ingredients proven to fight fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and improve texture, so everyone needs one.  I recently finished a tube of my favorite A313 and decided to give the SkinMedica a try.  Going from using an Rx strength retinol to OTC strength, I’ve definitely noticed less irritation, but I’m still getting similar smoothing results.  Skin Medica makes their retinol in 3 strengths, .25, .5, and 1.0, so if you’re not use to using a retinol product, definitely start on the lower end; Start by using it every 3 nights working your way up to every night.  The nights I haven’t used this I see why I definitely need to keep using a retinol, its smoothes out the texture of the skin and helps sloth off the dead skin so my cleanser can remove it all in the AM.  If you’re in the market, I definitely recommend the SkinMedica Retinol range.

 4 Week Before & After

4 Week Before & After

Elizabeth Arden-Prevage-Clinical Lash + Brow Serum $100 – So I may not be the best at taking before and afters (getting the same lighting is so hard!) but you can see by the photo of week 1 vs week 4 that there’s definitely an improvement in length of the lashes and thickness of the brows.  Being that I tweezed the fuck out of my brows as a young gay, they just don’t grow anymore, that arch is permanent.  I won’t say that I noticed a lot of new hairs in my brows, but they look MUCH thicker than they did before.  My brows normally disappear in photos with a flash, but now I can actually see them!  My lashes also are much fuller.  I’ll definitely continue to use it, I’m happy with the results.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream $38 – I’m slowly becoming more and more obsessed with First Aid Beauty.  The brand is really clean, meaning no harsh chemicals, no parabens, colourants and the such.  I was always under the impression that the products were designed for the most sensitive of skin (which they are) and that they wouldn’t be active enough for someone wanting more.  This has definitely proved that theory wrong.  I’m so obsessed with this Sleeping Cream, and its only $38, seriously??  It has peptides to boost collagen, ingredients to firm and improve elasticity, as well as Hyaluronic Acid, Colloidal Oatmeal, plant butters, and waxes for tons of hydration.  The texture is creamy, but not heavy, and the hydrating and calming ingredients make it ideal for anyone using retinols, chemical peels, or with sensitive skin.  Give is a try, and experience some of the other products in their range (I’m loving the Vitamin Hydrating Mist right now as well!)

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

Some of my favorite skincare products come from the French brand Caudalie, so when I heard they were joining forces with Harvard to bring new advancements from their already potent resveratrol, I said "put it all over my body".   The line contains their signature Vine Resveratrol and combines it with Micro Hyaluronic Acid to boost firmness, elasticity, and help your skin to boost its own Hyaluronic Acid levels.  I started using the entire line October 1st and continued through November 1st, here's what I thought.

 Let's see how many products I can hold in one hand

Let's see how many products I can hold in one hand

The Firming Serum is the key formula in the 4 product line up.  It's also the product I finished first.  Consumer studies on the serum boast denser skin in 7 days, firmer And lifted skin in 28 days, and smoothed wrinkles in 56 days.  Well, after using it twice a day, I only made it to day 28 before I ran out of product.  I'm typically not heavy handed with my skincare, but the serum is thicker than most and I spread all my skincare down my neck, I found I needed quiet a bit of it.  The dropper style dispenser also leads you to believe you can use a full droppers worth.  Last complaint is that the dropper isn't long enough to get out all the product, so I was q-tipping the rest out to get to 28 days.  Despite it only lasting 28 days, I love the results from this serum, my skin was so plump and hydrated and definitely looked firmer.  Great for all skin types who need a boost in hydration and some help with fine lines.  I would recommend it for late 20s and up.  4/5 Stars $82.

I typically hate having sunscreen in my moisturizer because so many irritate my skin.  The Face Lifting Moisturizer SPF 20 was a nice exception to this.  I do wear 30+ SPF so I would still prefer not to have it added in, but on my days running out the door this is a great option.  Its lightweight fluid texture provided a great deal of hydration without being greasy.  I switched to a different moisturizer after November 1st, but now I'm thinking to switch back, I miss how soft it made my skin! 3.8/5 Stars $66

My favorite time for skincare in evening, mostly because I can layer on as many products as I want.  The Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion was a nice addition.  It has a lightweight whipped creamy texture, almost mouse like.  In Caudalie's studies they found 93% of users noticed smoother wrinkles and 90% noticed their skin was more relaxed in 28 days.  Well this is one of the products I kept using after 11/1.  I've been loving how my skin looks in the morning, so refreshed like I actually slept 8 hours (I usually get 4-6).  As its been getting really dry in LA I've found myself needing to add some more oil or alternating with heavier creams, but I keep going back to it.  It's spreads really far, feels like it will last me a long time. I would recommend this to anyone 30+ with Combo-Dry skin in need of a solid great night cream 4.2/5 Stars $76.

Lastly we have the Eye Balm.  Now I'm a bit of an eye cream snob, I've used nearly every one on the market, so I'm quiet particular.  Caudalie reports that 80% of users noticed less puffiness in 28 days.  I don't get puffy, so I can't really talk to that.  It's very lightweight, I felt that it did help my skin stay hydrated, however I like my eye creams a lot thicker.  I felt like I needed an eye cream on top, so I used an Amore Pacific one on top.  I keep grabbing it every morning and night, so I must not hate it, but I wouldn't say it's one of my favorites.  Would be a great starter eye cream for someone, or apparently anyone with puffiness.  3/5 Stars $62

All in all the Resveratrol Lift line has been enjoyable to use, the textures have been different from the rest of their products, and I've enjoyed that.  I still prefer the Premier Cru Face Cream and Eye Cream but this is definitely a nice more affordable option.

UPDATE

Just finished using the Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Soft Cream after 3 months of use.  It was what I loved about the SPF Moisturizer, and without the sunscreen that I didn't.  This kept my skin hydrated when it was dry, but wasn't so heavy that I ever felt greasy.  My skin glowed every morning I wore it, and stayed super soft and plump.  It even helped when my red was peeling from too much retinol/peels.  I would 100% use this again, the texture was amazing, and I knew my skin was going to always look smooth.  5/5 Stars 😉 $76