Oxylight Facial at Rescue Spa

Anna Marie here! After not having a facial since October, I decided that it was time! I usually get the Bio-lift facial at Rescue Spa which incorporates microcurrents. My new facialist Magda, asked if I wanted to try the oxylight facial. The facial started off with some cleansing, followed by an examination of my skin. I haven’t had many breakouts but still quite a bit of stubborn hyperpigmentatjon left.

So what is the Oxylight facial? It uses microdermabrasion, led light therapy, oxygen, ultrasound and Microcurrents. The ultrasound therapy is supposed to make serums penetrate more deeply. Light therapy, depending on the color, helps decrease acne, soothe inflammation, and increase collagen. The oxygen spray is supposed to detoxify the skin and felt like a fine cold mist on my face.

My favorite step was the microcurrents. The previous machines would give me a funny taste in my teeth and mouth. This one did not. Instead, it felt a bit prickly, and occasionally right over my temples and brow ridge would cause my facial muscles to twitch! I don’t know why, but it’s a weirdly satisfying sensation for me!

Of course my facial included lots of lymphatic massage that was strong and methodical. I have to mention this—for me, more than the gadgets, a good facial massage is the world!

💧 so would I do the oxylight facial again? While I loved how strong the current is, and do enjoy the other technology, the price is much higher ($350!) and I don’t know if it was worth it. I waited over a week to write this review to see if the effects would be longer lasting or better than my previous rescue experiences, and I would say not dramatically so. 💧I will keep trying the serums to help maintain my results! 💧I really want a microcurrent device for home… the sensation is oddly soothing for me!

That post facial glow!

NARS Skincare: Brand Overview

 

As many of you know, I am a “slight” #narsaddict At the end of last year, I decided to plunge further into the brand and purchase some of their skincare. I purchased the Gentle Cream Cleanser ($29) and the Aqua Gel Luminous Mask ($39). Shortly after, April @narsfreehold reached out and kindly sent both of us samples of the entire line, so we could test everything. April, again, thank you! Here are our thoughts:

💦Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer & Luminous Moisture Cream-I found both of these effective while traveling a few weeks ago. The gel was light enough for my combo-oily skin and kept things balanced during the day. I used my #nars cushion over it and it applied well. The luminous cream kept my skin well-hydrated overnight and was a nice “blanket” to my PM oils. I’m not sure (for either) that I picked up on a luminosity increase, but from a hydration standpoint, both were effective on my skin.

💦Total Replenishing Eye Cream-my goals with eye cream are simple: hydrate, mitigate puffiness and help prevent/reduce fine lines. I found this effective, but there are others that I love a bit more.

💦Multi-Action Hydrating Toner-this alcohol-free toner was fine, but did not wow me. I’m very partial to my #perriconemdtoner and have yet to find one that is better (for my skin).

💦Double Refining Exfoliator-I used this on my neck and chest because I am a long-time chemical exfoliator. I am very careful about adding an additional layer of exfoliation to my skin. This was a gentle scrub and for where I used it, I liked it.

💦Aqua Gel Luminous Mask-I really liked this! I adore masks that you can leave on overnight. Skin was soft and nicely hydrated after each use.

💦Gentle Cream Cleanser-this was my only dislike of the line. My skin never felt clean and there was a heaviness to it that I didn’t like (for my skin). My skin reacted fine, but I won’t be finishing the bottle.

Anna Marie: there are a few hits and misses in this collection, and frankly, #nars excels at makeup more than they do at skincare. As these were samples, I went on various websites to look for ingredients (they are not even listed on their own). Note: April provided us with topline ingredients and Hilarie recycled packaging a while ago. Nars highlights “synthetic fragrance free”–but all of their products contain “parfum”–and fairly high on the ingredient lists. They are all pleasant smelling, and nothing is overpowering, but this always makes my easily irritated skin a little wary. Amazingly, nothing irritated my skin.

💦Luminous Moisture Cream: it’s creamy but easily absorbed into my skin, didn’t cause any breakouts after several days of use, and nicely hydrated my skin (I used this at night). There are some emollient and hydrating ingredients that worked well for me.
💦Toner: a nice toner that has some hydrating and mildly exfoliating ingredients. a nice prep for the next steps in skincare.

💦Aqua Gel Moisturizer: lightly scented and worked well for me under makeup during the day.

💦Optimal Brightening Concentrate: lots of good extracts and ferments in here, but it’s quite low on the list. I think the brightening comes from the mica/sparkly that’s in the concentrate.
💦Cream Cleanser: this is a cream cleanser that while it did not strip my skin, I never felt it was completely clean.

The packaging is gorgeous. nothing was offensive, but nothing screamed to me, must repurchase. Personally, I would spend my money on a few audacious lipsticks and foundations.

First Impressions: JKosmmune Skincare

9A99BD01-F17E-4A5A-A2AD-55660F2A454F79E13C5B-A418-41DE-997E-69414466FAB8IMG_6301

We were so excited to try @jkosmmune_cosmetics—they generously sent us their serum and samples of their other products, including a new shampoo meant for oily hair.

Hilarie:
Enzyme Cleansing Powder
As I’ve stated in previous reviews, I’m not a huge fan of water activated powder cleansers. I struggle with the ratios and ultimately, give up. I was expecting much of the same with this, but was pleasantly surprised! I tossed a few drops of water into the powder (in my hand) and built up a slight lather before applying to face. Lather felt effective, it washed clean and did not strip my combo-oily skin. I found this very nice primarily as a morning cleanser, but also as second cleanse in the evening. These little packets will be perfect for upcoming travel.

Lotion for Normal to Oily Skin
My goals for moisturizer are simple: hydrate, keep me dewy and layer well with oils and under sunscreen/complexion products. I only used this lotion during the day and I found that it was a match for my goals in this category. Also, we’ve had unusually mild weather and even with the low to high temps, this kept my skin balanced and I never looked like an oil slick!

Serum
I used this serum as part of my morning routine. I primarily used it as a layer of hydration following cleansing and toning. It applied well to skin and additional products layered well on top of it. I think for my skin, the main benefit is hydration (vs pore minimizing, elasticity, etc). I prefer a hyaluronic acid for this step, but this product helped keep my skin balanced throughout the day.

Shampoo for Normal Hair
This was the only miss in the products that I tried. My hair is fine, but I have a lot of it. I have an oily scalp and I do cleanse my hair every other day. First time I used this, I applied my usual post-cleansing products. Result? My hair was like an oil slick. Second and third time, I skipped additional products and hair was less oily, but very dull and flat. I am going to have Anna Marie try this sample to see if it works better for her.

Anna Marie:

When JKosmmune offered to send us some products I was super excited as I have read about beta gluten, and have used some products containing this ingredient. Beta Glucan is hydrating and penetrates the Skin and can be soothing and anti inflammatory.

Serum: This serum also contains purslane and centella, also skin soothing ingredients!
Serum: adore this serum. I’ve been using this daily and sometimes twice daily. It’s light and nonsticky. I find it a wonderful addition for my dry winter skin. I haven’t used it long enough to comment on the rest of the skin effects, but I will definitely be finishing this bottle!! The texture reminds me of MMHC.

Shampoo: another standout for me was the shampoo. Again, my hair is very dry and processed. This shampoo starts very watery and works into a nice lather. I would not use too much as it can weigh the hair down-but I find that even with a lighter conditioner my hair is in great shape.

Enzyme Cleansing Powder: the enzyme cleansing powder reminds me of @amorepacific powder cleanser. It’s light and lovely, lighting foaming. As @beauty_unplugged Commented, despite being foamy, it doesn’t dry out the skin! I do love the packaging for on-the-go cleansing. I’m so glad I got to try some more beta glucan products!

Multi-Tasking Night Cream

86536940-2546-45B1-BD4A-6E8AD09E7C39January Labs Retexturizing Night Cream

I was so surprised and happy when I won this January Labs from their giveaway. We will save the day cream review for later, but this is a long overdue review on the retexturizing night cream.
Anna Marie–My skin loves lactic acid–it really does wonders for me–its gentle but effective as it does not penetrate as deeply as glycolic acid in the skin. this formula has a whopping 9% lactic acid. there is barely any scent to this but plays well with my hydrating serums (no pilling)! This one also has beta-glucan (an amazing hydrating ingredient), and niacinamide. It also has vitamin c in the form of ascorbyl palmitate–but its pretty far down the ingredient list. While I can’t use this every night, and DEFINITELY not on a retinol night, I think it’s a wonderful overnight acid treatment where I wake up to plump glowy skin. @sundayriley good genes is one of my favorite lactic acid lotions. this one comes super super close. BUT… this one is $74 for 1.7oz vs $158 for the same size of good genes! I love a good cost effective product!
Hilarie–I’ve been fairly consistent with my PM moisturizer selection. Choosing simple, yet effective products that seal in my serum, acids and oils with a “hydration pillow” of sorts. Anna Marie shared her purchase of @januarylabs Retexturing Night Cream with me to see how my combo-oily skin would respond. I am a huge fan of how acids feel on my skin. I love the tingle! While I tested RNC, I skipped my regular acid as this product is comprised of lactic acid (one of my favorites). Here are my thoughts:
–For moisturizing night cream, I am happily pleased at how active it felt upon application (especially on my cheek area). It felt like an acid.
–I woke to plump and hydrated skin. The first time I used it, I remember waking, touching my face and thinking, “what did I use last night?”
–I love a routine however, this product combines two steps in my nightly routine (acid and moisturizer). With that said, I would absolutely use on nights when I need a quick, yet effective routine. This product would be the perfect travel companion for me!
I am really happy with the results, which were fairly immediate. I would purchase this product and as indicated above,  Retexturizing Night Cream would have a place in my lineup.
ingredients: Water (Aqua), Lactic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sodium Lactate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Verbena Officinalis Extract, Beta Glucan, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Glycerin, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

 

First Impressions: Tarte Knockout

8E8E3236-FE69-4EE3-8939-DCED070AEBBFHilarie & Anna Marie here with some exciting new product info to share! Recently, @tartecosmetics sent us an upcoming, new skincare product to test. Here are our #firstimpressions of Knockout ($39):
Anna Marie: I didn’t know what to think when I heard that @tartecosmetics had come out with skin care. But if Knockout is a sign of things to come I’m super excited! This uses a 10% acid complex including lactic acid as it’s star ingredient with gluconolactone (a polyhydroxy acid), malic, phytic and salicylic acid. It also includes niacinamide. This is quite the awesome blend. I did some inci comparison and this is very very comparable to p50 (although we don’t know percents). The pH of this acid is 3.5 on multiple testing for me (for comparison p50 1970 was 3.6)
So… does it work? My all time favorite acid is p50 and I would say this is quite the contender! As my skin has been fairly sensitive lately (hello, winter eczema)—I have only been able to use this once or twice a week. It slightly tingles but I don’t get the flush I get with p50 1970. I skipped retinol on the days I used this. I woke up to smooth and soft skin. While less strong than p50 or drunk elephant, this was perfect for me. I don’t plan on increasing the frequency to more than 3 times a week!
I love the color theme and ease of the packaging
Hilarie: I love acids. Part of my complexion balancing act involves using the right acid nightly. For my combo-oily complexion, glycolic works best with lactic next in line. I felt very mild tingling with Knockout, but like the softness that if left with my skin. It also did not cause any issues like redness or more irritation. For my specific skin, I would pair this nightly with a Retinol, but I really like it as a morning toner with “umph”(always follow w/ sunscreen!). Both of our skin types responded well, but slightly differently to this product. We will both keep this in rotation and continue to play with it.

Update (2/4/18): Hilarie here with an update. I’ve been using this product consistently in the PM and I love it. I think it is an exceptionally effective exfoliator that leaves my skin flawless the following morning. My skin can handle this nightly. I’m not sure that will be the case for all users, but if you are looking for a high-quality product at a great price, Tarte Knockout is a fantastic option.