ICES Long Beach 2106 Mini Haul!

ices-long-beach

Happy Thursday everyone!  Over the weekend I attended the International Congress of Esthetics and Spa in Long Beach.  It’s a trade show where professionals in the beauty industry can shop and learn about the latest and greatest within our trade and for an esthetician, it’s our version of heaven.

I posted a few snippets on Instagram, but after a while my phone refused to cooperate so I couldn’t really take any pictures. 😦 However, I can share with you some of the items I purchased, for personal use and to also use in my treatment room.

Let’s get started.

pca-skin

 

PCA Skin

Nutrient Toner

This toner has a, “combination of vitamins, enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids helps to refine pores, remove superficial cells and provide added nutrients to the skin.” It contains pumpkin wine and lactic acid and it smells really good.

Oxygenating Trio Treatment Protocol 

This professional treatment has a formulation that contains antioxidants and enzymes that leave skin smooth, purified and glowing. It contains niacinamide, pumpkin seed oil, hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid.

 Retexturize Therapeutic Pumpkin Mask Protocol 

Another professional treatment, the Therapeutic Pumpkin Mask combines exfoliating pumpkin enzymes and salicylic acid, along with a host of purifying and antioxidant ingredients to leave skin glowing following treatment.

eminence

Eminence

Soothing Chamomile Tonique 

This product was to be purchased along with the enzyme peel I bought. It’s “a soothing and calming tonique to use alone or with enzyme, glycolic and lactic peels for all skin types, particularly normal to oily skin. Soothing herbs will restore the skin’s balance.” This has licorice and the smell is very prominent throughout but disappears after a while.

Pink Grapefruit-C Gel 

I’ve been experiencing problematic skin lately and this product was recommended. This C Ester-rich veils skin to fight free radicals, environmental factors, and calm the appearance of inflammation. Refreshing peppermint clears and heals while helping to prevent the appearance of blemishes.

Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 5% 

One of the main products I came to the Eminence booth for, this will, “accelerate the exfoliation process to remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and sun damage. This delicious purée of yam and pumpkin leaves skin looking firm and radiant.  I tried it last night and it had a mild tingling sensation, most likely due to the lactic and glycolic acid in here.  My face feels ad looks a bit smoother today. This item is for consumer use.

le-mieux

Le Mieux Eye Wrinkle Corrector

I received a sample of this last year and I absolutely loved it. It’s a “lightweight cream [that] provides intense moisture to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, bags, and dark circles. Features 7 potent peptides, hyaluronic acid, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants to help promote a bright, youthful appearance.”

morphe-35o

Morphe 35O 35 Color Nature Glow Eyeshadow Palette 

Of course I could not leave the trade show without purchasing this cult-favorite item.  Just look at all these colors-perfect for fall! *Swoon* I will have an individual review for this soon.

 

h2t

(h2t) Natural Pumpkin and 30% Multi Fruit Complex Peel 

No trade show is complete without this pumpkin peel.  It smells just like a pumpkin pie and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a chemical and enzyme peel, lol. This is a professional use product that contains a 30% formulation of Glycolic and Lactic Acid with an approx. pH 3.2. Formulated to provide deep exfoliation for facial area, allowing acids to effortlessly penetrate clogged pores and assist in cell proliferation.” I can’t wait to try this and start offering it next month at my spa!

Dermodality Skin Solutions Peptide Plus  

Purchased in conjunction with the (h2t) pumpkin peel, this helps to restore vibrancy and health to the skin.  It contains cucumber and melon extracts to help calm skin and to help leave it health, radiant and revitalized.  I used this at night under my moisturizer and I liked the soothing and hydrating effects of it.

HydroPeptide 

Cleansing Gel: Cleanse, Tone, Makeup Remover

An all-in-one anti-aging cleanser that gently and effectively removes dirt and excess oil while toning and lifting away all traces of makeup without over-drying.  This gentle cleanser has extra soothing benefits from Chamomile, Allantoin and Cucumber.  You definitely get a whiff of cucumber in this product. I squeeze a little bit of product onto a damp cotton ball and it does a pretty nice job of removing eye makeup.

Power Serum Line Lifting Transformation

Aside from DermaQuest, HydroPeptide has really great peptide serums that make skin feel and look firmer.  It’s definitely on the pricey side but in my opinion, well worth it. This power packed treatment delivers the most advanced peptides, antioxidants and a growth factor activating plant extract to immediately improve skin health.

Power Lift: Advanced Ultra Rich Moisturizer

I had to pick up this moisturizer again as it made my list of favorites last year in September. Read more about it here.

Solar Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30

A physical sunscreen that features titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, this sunscreen is light and has a blend of green tea, aloe and hyaluronic acid.

 

hydropeptide

That’s all for this year and I’m excited to check out what next year has in store!

See you tomorrow!

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

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Skincare Routines for Every Season!

Year Round Skincare

Happy Thursday everyone!  Anybody else ready for the weekend?

I have a special post today about seasonal skincare that was inspired by the people over at Dollar Shave Club.  As a company that provides an economical and convenient way to deliver razors each month, they also recognize the importance of a good daily skincare routine. They reached out to me to share my tips for keeping skin healthy and glowing all year long so let’s get to it!

Spring

Spring brings with it the renewal and resurrection of nature but, unfortunately, for most of us it also brings one not so great feature-allergies!  The watery eyes, itchy throat and nose, and constant sneezing coupled with allergy medication can leave your skin sensitized.  Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen as some medications can cause skin to become more sensitive with sun exposure and keep your skincare routine basic (cleanser, toner and moisturizer) until you’re in the clear.

Summer

Arguably the most favored season, summer signifies endless days at the beach and camping trips which can also bring about sunburns if you’re not careful.  It’s imperative to not only wear sunscreen but to also remember to reapply it every two hours or as directed.  In the event of a sunburn, ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile and yucca extract can help calm the burning and itchy sensation that often accompanies a sunburn. Dermalogica After Sun Repair is a personal fave!

It’s also good to include some type of exfoliation to help get rid of buildup that can clog pores.  Skip skincare products that contain retinols and AHA’s and instead use scrubs that contain spherical jojoba beads for a more gentler form of exfoliation. Low foam cleansers remove oil and debris without stripping skin.

Fall 

With summer over and temperatures dropping, now is a great time to step up your skincare routine and address any damage/sun spots that might have surfaced.  Incorporating a vitamin C serum in the daytime under sunscreen can help brighten and fade spots over time. Using a retinol serum at night can smooth the appearance of skin and using AHA’s like lactic acid can help both exfoliate and hydrate the skin.

And, with the pumpkin craze that hits the market this time of year, why not add a professional pumpkin peel to your facial.  Pumpkin peels are great for stimulating collagen and elastin production and reducing the sings of aging by softening fine lines and wrinkles.  A perfect skin treat right before the holiday madness and they smell amazing!

Winter

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, celebrating the holidays with dear loved ones and hanging out in the snow filled mountains; however, cold harsh weather can wreak havoc on skin, making it feel dry. Add in all the indoor heating, and you’re left with skin that is tight and itchy.  Combination to dry skin can benefit from a cream cleanser which is more hydrating and a richer moisturizer that contains ingredients like glycerin, squalane and shea butter. Oily and acne skin can still use a low foam cleanser but can implement a hyaluronic acid serum underneath their moisturizer to keep skin hydrated without feeling heavy or greasy.

If your skin is in good condition, you can schedule chemical peels to really resurface your skin and bring about a nice and healthy glow.  Just remember that sunscreen is still a must this season and every season.  Snow reflects about 80% of UV radiation so you want to make sure you’re protected.

I hope you find these tips helpful!

What are your tips for seasonal skincare? 

Stephanie 

 

 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil Review!

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil

Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m excited for today’s post as about a little over a month ago I received confirmation that I was part of the SEPHORA Beauty Enthusiast community. They sent me a deluxe sample of Sunday Riley’s Luna Night Sleeping Oil and while I had tried a small sample of this before, I gave another test run. Let’s take a look at what this highly talked about oil is all about.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Described as, “a next-generation retinoid oil that improves skin plumpness and helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly clearer, younger-looking skin.” It’s supposed to help reduce pore size, improve the appearance of damaged skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and moisturize and calm the skin.

Pros 

Retinol as an ester

Antioxidant oils such as cold pressed chia oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil

Improves skin texture

Provides excellent hydration

Includes chamomile which helps soothe irritation

Can be mixed in with your moisturizer for added benefits

Cons 

Essential oils might be irritating for some people

Very fragrant

May be too moisturizing for acne skin types

A bit pricey

Inclusion of dyes (albeit small)

Overall:  The first thing I noticed is that even before I opened the box, I could smell the product.  The scent is laced with chamomile that while it smells nice , it’s fairly strong.  Once this is applied though, the scent quickly dissipates.  The star ingredient is hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a trans-retinoic acid ester.  According to, The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook, hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a mild retinoic ester that decreases effect of sunlight-induced aging and can improve the appearance of acne-prone skin. An ester is a compound formed by a reaction between an acid and an alcohol, significantly reducing the risk of irritation; it’s perfect for people that have experienced irritation with retinol.  As I’ve stated before, my forehead has textural issues and I noticed it was smoother after using this for a few days.  This inclusion of the above mentioned oils and chamomile left my skin feeling very nice and hydrated but unfortunately because I have combination skin, it made me breakout on my jawline.  I would recommend this oil if you have normal to dry skin but if you have acne prone skin or are have sensitive skin, I would tread with caution. I found that I had better luck with Sunday Riley’s Good Genes.

Sunday Riley Luna Oil

What are your thoughts on Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil?  

Stephanie 

The Acid Chronicles: Glycolic Acid!

Glycolic

Hello readers and happy Thursday!

Last week I posted on lactic acid and today I am continuing this short series with glycolic acid so read on to find out more on this AHA.

Who: Glycolic acid

What skin conditions can it help: Aging, fine lines, texture concerns, acne and hyperpigmentation

Where it comes from: Sugar cane or made synthetically

Why it’s important: It breaks down the bonds between cells that allow for easier exfoliation of the skin and is great for treating fine lines, smoothing skin texture and acne. It has the smallest molecular structure which makes it permeate faster and deeper but can cause more irritation and inflammation. *Not recommended for thin skin.

How it’s used: Glycolic acid can be found in skincare products (i.e. cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums) and also in professional treatments like chemical peels.  It also acts as a strong degreasing agent meaning it’s great for removing oil.  *Like any other exfoliating agent, limit use to a few times per week, wear sunscreen and use caution when using ingredients containing retinol as this can irritate skin.

See you tomorrow,

Stephanie

 

 

The Acid Chronicles: Lactic Acid!

 

Lactic Acid 1

Happy Tuesday readers!  Hoping your weekend was great!

Awhile ago, I posted on alpha hydroxy acids, otherwise known as AHAs and why they are important in skincare. (In case you missed it or need a refresher, click here)  Lactic acid was one of the AHAs mentioned and here’s why this ingredient is great.

Who: Lactic acid

What skin conditions can it help: Aging and hyperpigmentation

Where it comes from: Derived from milk/sugar

Why it’s important: Lactic acid functions as a humectant, which attracts water and hydrates the skin.   It breaks down the bonds between cells that allow for easier exfoliation of the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.   It also reduces hyperpigmentation due to its ability to suppress the formation of tyrosinase ( the enzyme involved in melanin production).  Because its molecular structure is bigger than glycolic acid, it’s an ideal ingredient to use for those who have sensitive skin because it permeates into the skin slowly, reducing the chances of irritation and inflammation.

How it’s used: Lactic acid can be found in skincare products (i.e. cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums) and also in professional treatments like chemical peels.  *Like any other exfoliating agent, limit use to a few times per week, wear sunscreen and use caution when using ingredients containing retinol as this can irritate skin.

If you follow my Instagram, you’ll recognize the picture below when I took the Cosmetic Chemistry course at UCLA.  The vial on the right-hand side is what natural lactic acid looks like.

Lactic Acid

I recently joined Twitter (@stephieestie) so feel free to follow me on there too! I’m still learning how to use it, FYI, but I’m sure I’ll get it in no time. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie

 

Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask Review!

Fresh

Hi everyone!  Thank you so much to all who sent me their well wishes!  I appreciate it!  I’m just waiting for the results now.

Today I have a review on a sample I received at Sephora from Fresh.  Here’s my take on this product. 🙂

Described as a mask that works in sync with the skin’s natural nighttime recovery process to achieve a lifted, firmer look by the morning. The intensely moisturizing treatment has a corset-like effect on the skin, giving the appearance of a visibly more defined, contoured complexion.”

Pros

Hydrating

Absorbs quickly

Not heavily scented

Good antioxidants

Cons

Pricey

Peptides are towards the bottom of the list

May not provide drastic firming results as claimed

Added fragrance

At a Quick Glance

Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester– peptide that can help strengthen skin (elastic fibers); sensitive skin soother and anti-aging ingredients.

Lychee– brightens, rejuvenates and protects skin caused by dehydration and UV damage.

Black Tea Ferment– provides anti aging effects and enhances skin smoothness.

 

Bottom Line: I think this product has a good range of anti-oxidants, including green tea, emollients and moisturizers and would be great for those who have normal, dry or combination skin that is looking for added moisture;my face felt nice and hydrated.  Although it doesn’t feel heavy and absorbs quickly, I wouldn’t recommend this for oily/acne prone skin.  It has peptides that can help strenghten the skin however I don’t feel it’s concentrated enough to make a drastic difference in respects to firming capabilities.  For the price, personally I would instead invest in a product that is more concentrated with peptides or a professional treatment if you’re looking for better firming properties. However, if you want a hydrating mask with great antioxidants and have the money to spend, this would be a great product to try out.

Have you tried this product? What are your thoughts? 

Stephanie 

Reader Question: What Causes Dark Circles?

 

question mark

Hello everyone! Hoping everyone had a great Easter weekend!

I’ve been asked about what I recommend for dark circles before and more recently Katie from Plus+Beauty also mentioned this concern (hi Katie!).

Q: What’s good for dark circles under the eyes?

A:

Dark circles can be caused by:

  • Sun damage
  • Veins and/ or capillaries showing through the skin
  •  Allergies
  •  Genetics

What to Use/Do

  • Products with retinol or vitamin C can help brighten the area.
  • An eye cream with SPF and sunglasses can help prevent more darkening if it’s caused by the sun.
  • Talking to your doctor if allergies are the culprit to see what options are available
  •  A peach colored concealer can help neutralize the appearance of dark circles
  •  Sometimes fillers like Radiesse or light treatments can help.

Product Recommendations

  • Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair
  • Algenist Firming and Lifting Eye Gel
  • Dermaologica Total Eye Care SPF 15
  • Le Miuex Eye Wrinkle Corrector
  • Renee Rouleau Vitamin C Eye Brightener
  • Eve Pearl Dual Salmon Concealer

These are a few products I have tried and liked but if you have another eye cream that works, please share!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Stephanie