Product Review: Deborah Lipliner 06

deborah lipliner 02

Name: Lipliner #06
Brand: Deborah
Price: €5,95

From Deborah’s website:
A creamy lip pencil for defining and enhancing the lipliner with the utmost precision.

What I liked:
- beautiful and rich colour
- defines the lips well
- average staying power
- the price

What I didn’t like:
- texture doesn’t glide on very smoothly and feels drying and uncomfortable on

I’ve never been a big Deborah fan. I’ve been burned so many times that these days, whenever I need a new makeup product, Deborah, despite its low prices, is one of the last brands I look too. But the Italian drugstore brand has recently revamped some of its formulas, so I thought it was time to give it another go.

deborah lipliner 03

First up, their new lip liners. Available in 12 shades, the range is unimaginatively called Lipliner, and is said to have a creamier texture than its predecessor. Well, it’s that true, the old formula must have been as hard as a rock. When I line and fill my lips with #06, a pretty and rich mauveish pink shade, the pencil doesn’t exactly glide smoothly on my lips.

deborah lipliner 04

A few times, it tugged too. Not good. It performs a bit better if you apply a thin layer of lip balm beforehand. That way, the tip goes on more easily, without tugging and pulling. The lip balm will also keep your lips moisturized. You surely can’t count on the pencil doing that. On its own, it feels really drying and uncomfortable on.

deborah lipliner 01

Does it last long, at least? Average, I’d say. About three hours, more if you use it as a base for lipsticks. It also helps define lips well. When used together with a bright pink or mauve lipstick, it helps make application more precise and prevent the colour from feathering.

But the best thing about Deborah Lipliner is its colour payoff. I can’t fault that. The colour is rich and beautiful, and a little goes a long way. Because of how uncomfortable the texture feels on the lips, though, I’d recommend it only to teenagers on a budget.

Available at: Douglas

Summary
Deborah Lipliner #06 defines lips with a beautiful rich colour that lasts for about 3 hours. However, the texture isn’t creamy, tugs on the lips, and feels very drying and uncomfortable on.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclosure:the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Are They Dupes?: Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque VS L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

kerastase l'oreal dupes

Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque is touted to be a godsend for colour-treated or damaged hair, giving it the nourishment and softness it needs. But at $54.15 a jar, this stuff isn’t cheap. What’s a girl on a budget to do? Look for a dupe, of course.

But where to start? With L’Oreal. The brand owns Kerastase, so there’s a big chance one of their product will be very similar to this mask. Corporations like L’Oreal rarely take the trouble to come up with original formulas for every brand they own. It’s cheaper to just create the one and tweak it to give it a different scent, colour,  consistency, or “miraculous” botanical extract to suit the different image of each brand and the tastes of its customers.

As it turns out L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm has a similar formula to the Kerastase mask. Sure, it has a lot more ingredients, but it’s only the first 5, which are the ones that make up most of the product and give it its beneficial properties, that matter. And these are the pretty much the same in both formulas. Let’s take a look:

Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque Ingredients:

Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Trideceth-6, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Hexyl Cinnamal, Parfum/Fragrance.

L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm Ingredients:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Candelilla Cera/Candelilla Wax/Cire De Candelilla, Cetyl Esters, Glycerin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Trideceth-6, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Arginine, Glutamic Acid, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Cetrimonium Chloride, Serine, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 15985/Yellow 6.

Ingredient Analysis

cetearyl alcohol

Cetearyl Alcohol

Cetearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol, ie a good type of alcohol with hydrating properties. It is often used in shampoos and conditioners, especially those designed for damaged hair, in concentrations up to 20%. It lubricates hair, making it soft, but also gives the masks their creamy and rich consistencies.

behentrimonium chloride

Behentrimonium Chloride

Behentrimonium Chloride is a cationic surfactant widely used in haircare and, particularly, in deep conditioning treatments. It works by coating hair, creating a protective barrier that makes it smooth, manageable, and less prone to breakage. Cationic surfactants do this better than silicones. Why? Because cationic surfactants are positively charged, while hair is negatively charged. Therefore they adhere better to it.

amodimethicone

Amodimethicone

Amodimethicone, which is short for amine-functionalized silicone, is a smart conditioning agent. It is able to provide selective conditioning to the areas most in need of it through electrostatic attraction. Basically, “highly damaged areas of the hair cuticle possess higher negative charge density, which enhances the affinity of the cationic polymer to that specific area,” allowing it to provide targeted conditioning. In addition, it also gives hair shine and protects it from heat damage.

Avaibility

Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque comes in an eyecatching bright pink jar that contains 6.8 oz of product. It’s available at Walmart for $54.15. L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm, which comes in a more subdued yellowish green jar that contains 8.5 oz of product, retails only at $5.99. It’s available at Target.

The Bottom Line

Kerastase Reflection Chroma Riche Softening Treatment Masque and L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm aren’t exact dupes. Chances are one of them has a texture or scent that appeals to you more. But the active ingredients are the same so, if you’re on a budget, the L’Oreal mask will nourish, soften and protect your hair like the Kerastase one at a fraction of the price.

Have you tried these masks? If so, which one is your favourite?

Product Review: Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum

dr dennis gross skincare ferulic retinol triple correction serum

It’s no secret that I think eye creams and serums are unnecessary. There aren’t ingredients that work only on the face and others that work only on the eye area. If something works well, it works well everywhere, so I’d rather just look for a moisturizer/serum that I can slather on all over. Saves me both money and time in the morning.

But I know many of you love to use a separate product on the eye area, and if you’re gonna invest in one, you’d better pick one of the best out there. One of my favourites is Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum.

What Dr Dennis Gross Says

This anti-aging ferulic acid and retinol eye serum gently but powerfully reduces visible signs of aging in the delicate skin of the eyelid and around the eye while smoothing texture and tone.

Ingredient Analysis

licorice

Licorice Root Extract

One of the main ingredients in the serum, Licorice Root Extract has anti-inflammatory and skin-lightening properties. Both are due to one of its main components, glabridin. A 2003 study found that it is a good treatment for atopic dermatitis, reducing itching, swelling, and redness in over two weeks. Another study shows that glabridin inhibits tyrosinase activity, which is responsible for melanin production. Does this mean that it can get rid of dark circles? If they are caused by sun damage, then yes, this can help. But if they are hereditary or caused by blood pooling under the skin, then licorice extract will do nothing for you.

ferulic acid 01

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic Acid is one of my favourite antioxidants. Unlike most others that fight only one type of free radicals, Ferulic Acid can destroy three: superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide. It can also inhibit both UVA- and UVB-induced matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which degrade collagen, one of the main components of the skin that give it structure and elasticity.

retinol

Retinol

A form of Vitamin A, Retinol is an anti-aging superstar. A 2007 study has found that “retinol improves fine wrinkles associated with natural aging”. It has antioxidant properties that can help prevent the formation of new wrinkles, stimulates collagen production which leads to firmer skin, and accelerates cellular turnover, which helps treat discolourations.

But if you’ve never used Retinol before, it could irritate your skin. To give it time to get used to it, it is recommended you use it every other day at first, and, slowly, increase the frequency of application. That way, you’ll get its benefits without its side effects.

glycolic_acid

AHAs and BHA

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum also contains a blend of AHAs and BHA (Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid), which has exfoliating properties. These exfoliants can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and discolourations, but they won’t do much here. Why? Two reasons. One: their concentrations are too small. Two: “this serum’s pH is outside the range needed for effectiveness”. It’s a bit disappointing, but even so, the formula contain many other goodies that benefit the eye area.

Final Considerations On The Formula

Suitable for all skin types, Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum also contains a bunch of botanical extracts and vitamins that have antioxidant (such as quercetin and ubiquinone), skin-lightening (arbutin), and vasoconstricting (caffeine; it may help to reduce puffiness and dark circles caused by vasodilation) properties. In addition, Sodium Hyaluronate has good water-binding properties that help to keep skin hydrated.

Full Ingredient List

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Propylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Ferulic Acid, Retinol, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Arbutin, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Quercetin, Caffeine, Ubiquinone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates, Phospholipids, Tetrapeptide-21, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Urea, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

Avaibility

Packaged in a dark bottle that will keep the antioxidant stable and effective, Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum retails at $65.00. It is available at Amazon, Nordstrom, and Sephora.

The Bottom Line

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum has moisturizing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin-lightening properties that makes this a well-rounded option suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. It’s not that cheap, but at least contains ingredients have been really proved to work.

Have you tried Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum?

Product Review: Moroccan Hammam Argan Oil

moroccan hammam kit

Name: Argan Oil
Brand: Moroccan Hammam
Size: 70ml
Price: $30.00

From Moroccan Hammam’s website:
Argan oil also named the Morocco liquid gold is a 100% organic gift from nature. Recognized as the best oil for the face skin, hair, and nails, it has a wealth of unparalleled vitamin E particularly recommended for dry skin as moisturizer or as a powerful natural anti-aging.

What I liked:
- very moisturizing, makes skin soft and smooth
- conditions hair, making it soft and shiny
- absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind

What I didn’t like:
- may be too greasy for people with oily skin and hair

The Moroccan Hammam experience is a four-step pampering ritual that cleanses and nourishes your skin. First, you cleanse it with black soap, then you exfoliate it with a kessa glove, and follow it up with the rassoul clay to remove excess oil and impurities while softening it. Finally, it’s time for the last step: argan oil.

Derived from the kernels of argan trees, argan oil “contains several beneficial lipids and fatty acids for skin, including oleic acid, palmitic acid, and especially linoleic acid”, as well as powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin E and ferulic acid. Because of this argan oil is a wonderful moisturizer, especially for those with dry skin, that can also help prevent the signs of aging.

Should you use argan oil if you have oily skin? Well, a 2007 study conducted on 20 people with combination to oily skin has shown that a cream containing argan oil, saw palmetto, and sesame seeds reduced from 20% to 42% the oiliness of several parts of the face. However, the study didn’t mention whether this was due to argan oil, one of the other ingredients in the formula, or both. Moreover, the effects of the cream were only studied for four weeks so we don’t know if, used for a longer period of time, argan oil, because of its high fatty acid content, can cause breakouts.

moroccan hammam argan oil

I don’t have oily skin, but I have oily hair and a few drops of argan oil made it soft and shiny. I wouldn’t suggest using more than that or you may end up with greasy hair. Not nice! For the same reason, don’t apply it near the roots.

Instead, I apply it a bit more generously all over my body. The skin there is very dry, and argan oil does a great job at moisturizing it. Afterwards, my skin is soft and smooth for hours. It takes a couple of minutes to sink into the skin (unless, again, you use too much) and doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind. You can also use it to moisturize your hands, nails and face. I only use a drop or so on my cheeks, as the rest of my face is on the oily side and doesn’t need that extra moisture. So far, I haven’t experienced breakouts.

Available at: Moroccan Hammam

Summary
Moroccan Hammam Aragn Oil moisturizes skin, nails, and hair, leaving them soft and smooth. It also makes hair shiny. But if you have oily skin or hair, this may feel a bit too greasy on you.

Rating: 4/5

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Product Review: Miss Pupa Lipstick In Divine Raspberry

miss pupa lipstick divine raspberry 02

Name: Miss Pupa Lipstick in Divine Raspberry
Brand: Pupa
Size: 2,4ml
Price: €12,00

From Pupa’s website:
On the lips, an extraordinary crystal effect, an incredible, semi-transparent wet finish and comfort without compare

What I liked:
- great colour payoff
- beautiful wet finish
- smooth and moisturizing texture
- good staying power; softly fades into a stain
- pretty packaging

What I didn’t like:
- packaging is not very practical

I love raspberry desserts. Their smell and taste is the right mix of sweet and sour, and the bright reddish colour so cheerful. Unfortunately Miss Pups Lipstick in Divine Raspberry doesn’t smell nor taste like the delicious fruit, but the colour, an intense reddish fuchsia with a wet finish, is spot on.

Bright enough to provide a vivid and youthful pop of colour to the face but not so bright as to be difficult to pull off, Divine Raspberry is almost opaque in just one coat. It’s a great shade to wear on days when you don’t have much time to do your makeup. Just a swipe of Divine Raspberry brightens up the face, beautifully complementing a hastily done natural look.

miss pupa lipstick divine raspberry 01

Its creamy and smooth texture glides effortlessly on the lips, leaving them soft and moisturized for a couple of hours. The colour, instead, will last at least double the time, slowly fading into a nice stain as the hours pass. A nice, subtle stain is all that’s left on the lips after you’ve had a proper meal. You can always reapply it of course, but I do love the tint it leaves on my lips.

The packaging, just like the shade, is shiny and sleek too. But, if you own more than one shade of Miss Pupa, it may take you a bit to find it in your stash. The only way to distinguish one shade from the other is by looked at the number printed under the base of the lipstick. Not very practical, is it?

Available at: Idea Bellezza

Summary
Miss Pupa Listick in Divine Rasperry is a wearable bright shade with a wet finish, great colour payoff, a comfortable texture, and great staying power. However, the packaging is not that practical.

Rating: 4/5

Can Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Restore Your Skin Overnight?

Kiehls MidnightRecoveryConcentrate

Did you know that your skin never sleeps? At night, while you’re in the arms of Morpheus, your skin repairs itself. To aid this process, Kiehl’s has created Midnight Recovery Concentrate, a serum that claims to work “with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity to dramatically restore skin”. Its secret is a cocktail of botanical agents that moisturize and smooth skin. But, just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean that it is good too…

What Kiehl’s Says

A replenishing nighttime facial oil with distilled botanicals that visibly restores the appearance of skin by morning.
Regenerates, repairs, and replenishes skin for smoother, healthier skin.
Works with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity – when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors – to dramatically restore skin.

Ingredient Analysis

squalane

Squalane

A natural component of skin, squalane is an occlusive emollient. That means that it can create a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss, thus helping to keep it hydrated and soft.

Evening Primrose Oil

Although widely used in skincare products, Evening Primrose Oil is rarely added in high amounts. This is the exception to the rule. Like Squalane, Evening Primrose Oil can slow down water loss. But that’s not all it does. This oil, which has a high phenolic acid content, also has antioxidant properties, helping to fight the free radicals that contribute to premature aging.

Rosa mosqueta

Rose Hip Oil

Rosehip Oil, also called Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, is another wonderful ingredient for dry skin. This oil also functions as an emollient and antioxidant, thus helping to keep skin hydrated and soft, and the signs of aging at bay.

rosemary

Rosemary, Coriander, and Lavender Oils

What do rosemary, coriander, and lavender oils have in common? They can all be irritating. But at least rosemary oil has some antioxidant properties. Lavender oil can only make the serum smell good. And coriander oil has no benefit at all for the skin, so there really was no reason to add it, especially at such a high, irritating concentration.

Final considerations on the formula

Does Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate visibly improves the appearance of your skin overnight? Well, thanks to its high concentration of emollients, you’ll surely wake up with visibly hydrated, softer, and smoother skin. But then again there are a lot of moisturizers and serums that do the same thing without irritating your skin. And irritation isn’t always visible. Sometimes, it occurs beneath the skin’s surface, so you never get any redness, itchiness, or any other visible symptom alerting you that you that something is wrong.

But even if you can’t see it, irritation is damaging your skin, causing, among other things, depletion of collagen. When irritating ingredients are present in minuscule amounts, especially in formulas rich with antioxidants, they don’t really do much damage. But here, there are too many of them and their amounts aren’t that tiny, which is why I don’t really feel like I can recommend this serum to anyone.

Full Ingredient List

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lavender Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Linalool, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Limonene, Citral, Sclareolide, Rose Flower Oil, Jasmine Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil

Avaibility

Although I don’t recommend it, you can buy Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate at Amazon and Nordstrom. The 1 fl. oz. bottle, which features a dropper applicator, will set you back €46,00.

The Bottom Line

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate visibly hydrates skin, making it soft and smooth, but invisibly irritates it, causing damage in the long run. You’d better skip this and try, instead, one of the many serums on the market that give you the same benefits without its nasty side effects.

Have you tried Kielh’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate? What do you think of it?