Peter Thomas Roth: Killing the under eye game

Peter Thomas Roth has always been a favorite of mine. With super effective, tried and true ingredients combined with some great innovation. Peter Thomas Roth has found his way into many people’s beauty drawer. But these are two new kick ass eye products that I can personally vouch for! 

I started this blog a few months ago but haven’t posted much since the beginning and I’m going to change that! (It may be shorter posts but it’ll keep me posting!) But the main reason I haven’t had time to write is because I’ve been relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area to Seattle, Washington. Being my first move, it’s been tough! But because of this move I’ve had a lot of late nights, or draining days with not enough sleep in-between it really started to take a toll on my eyes. Well, my whole body but my dark undereye circles turned into basically two black eyes. Peter Thomas Roth came to my rescue and just in time. In just a few weeks my eyes were looking better than honestly I could remember. 

I’m gonna start with the newly appointed king retinol eye cream, Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Eye Cream. Retinol is considered to be one of the best anti-aging ingredients out there. Commonly prescribed from Dermatologists to clients coming in with anything from acne to wrinkles, this ingredient is great at smoothing texture (all my fellow friends with milia hello!!), improve skin tone, and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles micro encapsulated at a smooth 1% to be released over 8 hours. This is the new age of beauty sleep! 

(okay but not the most luxurious packaging ever?)

Now I could rattle off just a couple more ingredients that are helpful but I mean seriously this this is FILLED with them. Here’s a helpful list:

  • Caffeine – depuff 
  • Vitamins A, C, E – antioxidant protection/ conditioning
  • Hyaluronic Acid – hydrating humectant
  • Squalene – moisturizing
  • Echinacea & Camellia – superior antioxidant protection
  • Aloe – hydrating, soothing
  • Allantoin & Panthenol – softening/smoothing/conditioning 
  • Ceramides – restoring lipid layer/ moisturizing

Like, guys there’s more but I didn’t feel like going any further. Let’s talk about texture. It’s a fairly thick cream and it dries down completely. I actually notice a bit of ‘hold’ like the same feeling you get with a heavy duty under eye concealer. I was told by a brand representative that this is to help the absorption of the ingredients with the eye area having smaller pores it can be a little more difficult.

TRY IT!   

Then my guilty pleasure are the 24k Gold Lift&Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches. If you can’t get your 8 hours these will make you not only look but feel like you did. 

These bad boys are packed as well! 

  • Niacinamide – antioxidant protection, brightening, conditioning
  • Allantoin & Hydrolized Collagen – moisturizing/conditioning
  • Caffeine – depuff
  • Hyaluronic Acid & Glycerin – hydrating and plumping humectants 
I’ve never had as many astonished faces after taking these off clients compared to any other product I’ve used in consultations. These are crazy fast acting, and not to mention super relaxing. Whether you’re not feeling it when you wake up or have to look your best for a night out these lil guys will always have your back for puffiness, dark circles and dehydrated/tired eyes
I didn’t mention the gold found in these on purpose, it’s something many people believe has no/little effect on the skin topically and can be relatively gimmicky at times like how many people advertise collagen as a ‘unwrinkle’ ingredient but in reality it is beneficial as it’s very soothing/moisturizing but we don’t see much documented evidence it helps with firmness and elasticity and we know for sure it does not ‘add’ or ‘synthesize’ collagen production. 
I know I said i was going to make these smaller probably and looking at the size of this, I’ll start with the next one.

Sleeping ______

Have you ever heard of a sleeping mask? Like every other product in skincare these fellas are also very ambiguous going by names like sleeping cap, sleeping pack, sleep-in facial, etc. The list goes on. Here I’m gonna talk about 3 of them. 

image

First, what is a sleeping mask?

Generally, these masks are loaded with specialized ingredients and have a ‘sealant’ like effect to help increase absorption of the mask (and everything we’ve applied underneath) Great for overnight while we aren’t doing anything. There are also different consistencies too. Gel like ones may be more suited for normal to oily skin, while they have more nutritional/lipid based ones as well for normal to drier skin.

MIZON Special Solutions Good Night White Sleeping Pack has to be one of my favorites. Niacinamide is the name of the game with this mask. One of my favorite ingredients for brightening. Niacinamide unlike some brightening ingredients is a B-vitamin that’s great at suppressing the excess melanin (the pigment of our skin, the deeper the color the more melanin is present.) but is especially good for those who may not apply sunscreen regularly or at all. Some people may know this all over brightening effect marketed as ‘radiance’.  Contains Natto Gum (fermented soy protein) and Placenta (yes!!!) to help ‘feed’ the skin nutrients and protect against oxidative damage. Doesn’t require to be washed off in the morning as well, however I will always recommend to do so and follow with a morning routine. If you’re in a pinch you won’t have to worry about this causing any little white heads from leaving it on!

Dr. Jart+ Water-Max Sleeping Mask is another goodie. (Also an oldie to my routine; it was the first sleeping mask I ever tried and fell in love.) This is one that mentions in the directions to wash it off in the morning. Containing Hyaluronic Acid Macromolecule a super tiny (or should I say ‘macro’) size of this amazing ingredient that acts like a water reservoir for our skin. Skin can have a hard time absorbing things depending on the size of the molecule it’s trying to absorb. The smaller the molecule the better. Many brands have been starting to use Micromolecules of this ingredient but Dr. Jart+ steps it up by adding it one step smaller. You can also find Olive Leaf for increasing skin barrier and a surprisingly small ingredient list filled with other supporting protecting ingredients. They have also added some relaxing botanicals like lavender to help relax and lull you to sleep. 

Fresh’s Black Tea Overnight Firming Mask may be my least favorite out of the bunch that I’ve tried. It may be the best smelling with a scent signature to Fresh’s Back Tea line. But it’s very thick, tacky, and initially uncomfortable. It absorbs fully overnight leaving you in awe with how soft your skin is in the morning, but I recommend getting a sample of this one from Nieman or Sephora before taking home the $94.00 mask over the others. But comfortability aside, this mask is still loaded with some great ingredients. Contains Hyaluronic like the Dr. Jart one however just regular ol’ hyalo. Some peptides are added to the mix for firming, lifting, toning, contouring, all that jazz. Belle De Nuit extract is a power player for this mask, great at soothing and softening, but also gives this mask a great relaxing twist on the already great Black Tea fragrance. This flower in french literally means “Flower of the night” as it only blooms at night! It’s said this flower is a very potent aphrodisiac as well. 

Whatever sleeping mask you end up with, whether it be one of these or another, remember to find one you’re comfortable with. I have many clients who want to like the Fresh one but can’t stand the feeling of it. Check out the consistencies of these below. Mizon’s actually start to absorb and dry in the the time it took me to take the photo.

image

MASK HAUL! MASK HAUL! MASK HAUL! MAS—

Hi! Recently I went on a ‘staycation’ here in the Bay Area (actually also Point Reyes) while my partner visited. I’ll post em’ all here and as I try them out I’ll be posting lil reviews on them. (And yeah that one down there is a placenta mask.)

But here I wanna take a second to give an (unsolicited) shout out to Candy Doll Beauty in Japantown, San Francisco CA. They carry a lot of popular and great Asian Beauty products you can only find in a small handful of places in the US like MEDIHEAL, Too Cool For School, PureSmile, ETUDE HOUSE, Dolly Wink, I even came across a couple Missha products. Also their markup is very very small. I was paying $3.00 for a product online directly from Korea that is $2.30.

AB SKINCARE 201: Essences

image

What is an Essence? Essence is an ambiguous word. Like most names for things in skincare. A good example of this is how many products are called a ‘lotion’ we know (some of us may not and it’s very okay) that a lotion basically means any sort of topical product with a low viscosity. Ask Wikipedia she knows. But if we look at some different products that say lotion they can be complete opposites. Like SK-II’s Clear lotion is similar to a cleansing toner with a watery texture. Clinique’s oh-so famous Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer. So before someone gets their panties in a bunch saying I am talking about some different types of products in this, well I am! But also take a step back from thinking there one way to do things and it has to be perfect. It’s a mindset I sometimes start to develop when researching products.

We’ll start with the DEFINITIVE points of an essence. Essence is usually your first step of treatment. (What about toner) Yes! Nowadays toner is usually a treatment step and could be considered an essence. It will provide a pre-moisturizing effect on the skin and help product absorption of whatever we are applying on top! Thats about as concrete Essences get.

image

First Treatment Essence (or FTE) is usually a yeast dominate product. Some containing as much as 97% yeast ferment. These are also usually watery essences feeling a lot like toner. They usually have some sort of humectant ingredient as well to help the product actually adhere and soak in (remember our skin is naturally hydrophobic!). Why yeast? Yeast ferment is loaded with b-vitamins and as they are amazing with supporting cell function inside of the body they are also pretty fantastic at it on the skin as well! We see a promotion of skin cell turnover with yeast ferments so it can help in correcting many issues. This is a reason why they’re so popular in the skincare world. Kinda like how retinol can help with sun damage, acne scarring, acne, wrinkles, etc by helping our skin turn skin cells over faster.

My favorite has to be SK-II’s First Treatment Essence. It’s the first of the first. Containing 90% yeast ferment, this ferment was discovered by accident in a Sake brewery quite some time ago! It’s also what Cate Blanchett says she owes her skin’s perfect aging too! It’s been heard she’s scared flight attendance wearing SK-II’s Facial Treatment masks (containing a concentrated version of their FTE) on flights. (Which is a totally awesome idea if I wouldn’t get questioned and looked at funny on a regular flight). Even though other FTE have been shown to do similar if not the same because they come from similar yeast ferments like SK-IIs Pitera. That’s the name of the yeast ferment if you were wondering. But I do also enjoy MISSHA’s FTE as well! Containing 80% yeast 10% skin friendly ingredients like niacinamide for brightening, licorice root for soothing. You can find the whole list of them on MISSHA’s website. Most opt for something like MISSHA’s because it has other ingredients that are super helpful as well as it not costing $99 for 2.5oz up to $290 for their jumbo 11ozer. (The bottles above are the regular MISSHA size of FTE and SK-II’s 2.5oz, I also paid 36 dollars for MISSHA’s on sale and I wouldn’t own SK-II’s period if it wasn’t a gift.)

image

Essence(?)

Majority of essences that do not fall under the FTE category have a gel consistency and all have different key ingredients for different concerns. My personal favorite is Maycoop’s Raw Sauce. With a high content of maple water and a nice watery gel consistency you’re skin feels super dewy and hydrated with this guy alone. Some will use it as a light moisturizer because of it’s amazing hydrating properties.

image

Treatment Toner/Lotion

Most of these will fall somewhere in-between the feeling of what would be just called a plain old ‘essence’ and FTE. This name definitely has more consistencies than others because it’s a more common american name, and americans do whatever the hell they want. Fresh’s Black Tea Instant Infusion Treatment Toner is actually loaded with a yeast ferment as well as some other goodies like Polysaccharides to help with smoothing the skin and Hyaluronic acid to help soak and seal the product in. Kenzoki’s Melt-In Moisturizing Lotion is technically a gel moisturizer with very little hydration but I love it as a essence since its glycerin heavy, a humectant like hylauronic to help it soak in (and whatever we put on top!) 

Some things to remember when looking at purchasing an essence:

  • Don’t look at the type of product it describes it as, it can make it more confusing. Look for something that sounds like it would benefit your concerns and needs in your skincare!
  • No it’s not necessary! But can give you that boost you’ve been looking for!
  • Pat/lightly slap/press/knead into the skin. Products with a lighter consistency can need a little extra help getting into the skin. Clarins’ website is actually loaded with how to’s on applying products and they’re very accurate and similar to what I do at home! http://int.clarins.com/en/why-clarins-expertise-advice/application-methods.html

All about that base.

Why is the cosmetics world just FULL of potential play on words?

Anyways, so about these bases…

image

I love my makeup bases. Like so much. Especially these three. Missha BB Boomer($15) Kenzoki Cream with a Sheen($49) BECCA Backlight Primer($38) these bases aren’t all the same type of products. Cream with a Sheen is actually a moisturizer while the other two are more of a primer type. 

From top to bottom we have Kenzoki, MISSHA, and BECCA.

Check them out moving in the light here!:

Lets start with the Kenzoki cream. As we can see it has a lot less visible sheen than the BB Boomer or Backlight Primer. This is partially due to it having to deliver a lot more than just some sheen and adhesion for makeup application like the other two (we’ll see they both do a lot more of course) But this moisturizer is loaded with white lotus flower to help sooth and reduce irritation and redness while pink peony flower will help with brightening and evening skin tone out naturally!

Next we have the MISSHA BB Boomer. If I had to pick a favorite, I think I’d pick this one. First off, it has a natural spf with it’s high Titanium Dioxide amount. While MISSHA doesn’t disclose this so it could also mean it’s SPF is >15. You can see it’s really intense pink pearl. This is going to be more suited for someone with a fairer complexion. Also keeping in mind this is a korean product which means it can possibly limit who can and cannot use this product due to it’s color. This ‘BB Cream Primer’ as it’s marketed as also has some great brightening ingredients like Allantoin!

Lastly, and definitely not least is BECCA’s Backlight Primer. White the other two were a little more heavy on the pink tones to the skin. Becca claims there are 3 pigments being used to help neutralize more undertones than just one! 1 point BECCA for being a little bit more universal (funny because I cannot match even slightly to any of their foundations) However this product has more of a warm undertone regardless. Making it more suitable than MISSHA’s primer for some. However I can wear this primer without looking “too warm” or anything like that. This product doesn’t have the same slew of benefits Kenzoki and MISSHA has but contains licorice root which is great to have in a primer to help prevent any potential breakouts or redness in the skin. 

[ROUTINE POST] AM Skin Routine

image

I often get asked by friend and clients, so what EXACTLY do you do every morning and every night? And I can tell you my routine isn’t as strenuous as some. I had a fantastic coworker from China who told me she masked every. single. night. If I only had that time.. But here are my steps. (give or take a couple depending on how much time I have) The products for them are changing out here and there so I’ll just give example products I may use for that particular step. So here are my AM routine steps:

Cleanser: while we’re sleeping our body goes into a ‘maintenance’ mode replenishing cells throughout the body. We’ll want to shed any of those excess off that we accumulated overnight WITH . — JuJu Bar by Drunk Elephant ($28) would be a great fit here, it’s exfoliating, yet pH balanced so we aren’t overstripping our skin in the morning. 

Essence: since we didn’t use a deep cleaning cleanser we won’t need to rebalance our pH with toner. This is going to start the hydration processes for our skin. Think of a sponge, a dry sponge cannot absorb liquid very well. But if that sponge is just a little damp it can pick it right up. Think of your skin like that sponge! — SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($99-$205) is the holy grail essence. Increasing skin cell turnover and improving texture and increasing hydration. 

Serum: I prefer to use some sort of serum (part of our treatment steps) that’ll help with firming or radiance of the skin in the morning. Mainly because these generally have some sort of instant gratification that you’ll get to show off during the day as well as those important long term results. — Fresh Black Tea Firming Serum ($75) or SK-II Cellumination Aurabright ($160-$235) are great for those long term and instant results. Fresh’s Black Tea serum has a string of peptides that work synergistically to lift and firm the face for a ‘corset like effect’ was the key phrase from a Fresh Representative and I couldn’t agree more with it. SK-II’s Aurabright, while pricey has Niacinamide a super powerful ingredient that helps even skin tone out as well as actual light optics in colors red, green, and blue to give the appearance of your skin emitting an ‘aura’.

Moisturizer: I use a lightweight cream or gel base moisturizer in the morning so I don’t have any complexion products I use sliding off my face. — Erborian Creme Frappee ($43) is the perfect texture to me. Absorbs well, it’s cooling, acts like a makeup base, but still provides hydration and amino acids from bamboo. 

Protect: Oh something I usually get from my color products… MISSHA’s Magic Cushion($19) or Perfect Cover($22) If I ever just was to wear SPF I would wear a nice chemical fluid. While I haven’t dived into the supposedly amazing South Korean brand sunscreens other than in color. I do love Shiseido’s Urban Environment Fluid($32) absorbs well, doesn’t leave the mineral cast, but is a little brightening

[REVIEW] MIZON Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule

Ampoule Up Your Skincare

So these aren’t things found in most routines. In fact, most American/European brands do not sell them! It’s something much more popular in Asian Beauty. Now, what is an Ampoule? An Ampoule is part of your ‘treatment’ steps. The consistency is usually very thick. Think of it as a super powered serum, containing more actives than a serum. MIZON, a fantastic South Korean brand surprisingly sold in Urban Outfitters, and the “net-a-porter” of Asian Beauty, Peach & Lily; has a popular Ampoule ‘Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule’. This product contains 80% snail secretion filtrate! It’s exactly what you think it is. But remember the key word filtrate as this product doesn’t have a smell or color. But why would we want to put snail secretion on our faces anyways, right? Snails are magic little creatures, they’ve been around they say for over 500 million years and are able to regenerate with ease!

Lets look into what snail secretion carries that’s beneficial to the skin:

  • Hyaluronic Acid – this is something we produce naturally! We use it to maintain a ‘water reservoir’ in our skin. It gives our skin that “plump” feeling we all love.
  • Proteoglycans – Also helps hold moisture in the skin
  • Copper Peptides – A favorite ingredient of mine! These guys actually help repair skin’s structure. In one way, it has been noted it can break down cross-linked collagen (scarring tissue)
  • Antimicrobial properties – All my acneic friends rejoice as this product will help with that stubborn congestion and/or bacterial breakouts.

I’ve noticed some significant improvements in my skin in a very short amount of time with this ampoule. My skin’s hydration has gone through the roof! I was using Fresh’s Black Tea Overnight Firming Mask about every other night and I’d wake up in the morning feeling normal instead of dry. After a couple nights with this Ampoule I noticed I had to blot my nose about mid-afternoon at work. Something I haven’t done since summer! The product absorbs crazy fast. leaving it ready for the next step of your routine whether it be the beginning of your treatment steps or the last step before moisturizer.

So with all that goodness how could I not resist? It’s price from American retailers like UO is $38.00 but you can easily find this product for under $15.00. I found mine on Amazon for $12.99, it came sealed and all MIZON products should come with an expiration date.

image