Julisis: Liquid Gold Alchemy for Skin

Ancient alchemists believed the secret to eternal life lay in gold. Throughout history, gold has been used in medicine and elixirs thought to bring health and everlasting youth to all who consumed it. In order to get theirs hands on this precious metal, expeditions were launched that led to the discovery of the Americas by European settlers who looked for the ‘Fountain of Youth’ and the city of ‘El Dorado’ where the King and the streets were covered in gold. 

Julisis is the modern day continuation of this infatuation with gold and the properties it could hold. The founder, Julisis Eulberg took inspiration from the alchemist Paracelsus who wrote “liquid gold cures all illnesses and regenerates and renews the skin.” Eulberg calls Julisis a 100% Pure skincare line that incorporates organically grown herbs and liquid gold. 

Julisis is said to be different from other products on the market that contain gold in that their extraction process ensures the liquid gold is easily absorbed into the skin to act as a cell opener to deliver optimal levels of nutrition to each skin cell.

 

Gold Wash Day is their gold infused cleanser, which is $93 for 5.1 oz is easily their most attainable product in the line. The fluid is very different from anything I’ve ever experienced. The Aloe and Glycerin base makes this a thicker fluid while the oils/lecithin add an oily subtlety to the texture. It is hard to label this as a gel or a cleansing oil, this hybrid is very interesting. The scent is a delicious, fresh mix of neroli and orange. This is very gentle and mild but due to the presence of oils (Almond & Jojoba) makeup and sunscreen were easily removed. Despite great performance and an interesting formulation, I feel that most cleansers that cost less have out performed this including Intelligent Nutrients, Kahina, and Tata Harper- though I only advise more mature or dry skin types use Tata products, although I do think she has lovely products, they are not suitable for my normal-oily skin type.

Gold Neroli Toner Day ($90/5.1oz) is a little underwhelming. Himalayan Salt is one of the few ingredients in this simple concoction and did make my skin feel dry. This product felt very simply formulated as though they were just looking to infuse liquid gold in a spray on and used neroli for added scent, so I would skip over this and instead opt for the Kahina Toning Mist or YULI’s elixirs that suit the gamut of skin types. 

Sun Emulsion SPF 30 ($130, 3.4oz) The actives in this sunscreen are micro-Titanium Dioxide and micro-Zinc Oxide, so for those of you wary about Titanium Dioxide or micro-particles, definitely avoid this product no matter what I say after this sentence ;-). The formula is fairly clean and the botanicals are stellar: Apricot oil, Tree Moss, Calendula, Aloe, there is also vitamin A and E. Wearing it for the few days fashion week has been going on, I noticed my skin seemed really soft and makeup goes on and layers easily. Since I’m mainly outside between shows (I am volunteering and interning for makeup artists backstage), or on my way to class I’m usually good about sun exposure so I can’t attest to the true staying power of this product although Julisis customer service did tell me this is not waterproof. The complaints are: it contains the cheaper and less photostable vitamin A: Retinyl Palmitate, and also contains 2 types of citrus extract which are known to increase photosensitivity which doesn’t make sense for a sun protection product. I get why they did it – to add a lovely scent, but I would rather get a wonderful product than a sunscreen that smells lovely but leaves my skin damaged. 

Gold Elixir Day ($285, 1oz) This is a very interesting product. I’ve noticed a few products on the market work through rhythmic alignment. I can’t figure out what this is, part marketing, part frou-frou science? Until I learn more about this process, I’m not going to go into more detail about the claimed benefits. The Gold Elixir Day is a product to be used only during the day and as part of the harmonizing/rhythm dynamic, you MUST begin using this on a Sunday. I felt crazy just typing that last sentence. But I followed it because for $285, I didn’t want the reason I wasn’t seeing the full benefits of the product to be that I used it on the wrong day. Oh and you HAVE to use it Sunday MORNING, not just anytime the sun is out, but when the sun is in the rising stages. I think doing these extra things does make you feel like you purchased something special, but at this point I think it is a little ridiculous. Ridiculous application requirements aside, the product didn’t really do a lot for my skin – I don’t think it is a bad product but perhaps compared to the great, clean skincare I had been using, it was not as good so I didn’t see the perceived benefits. I can definitely imagine a girl who uses La Mer seeing great results because the formulation for the Gold Elixir isn’t bad, with the exception of alcohol as the 2nd highest ingredient. One good thing about this product is that it does moisturize skin, so this product added with the SPF was enough to keep my face full and supple all day. If you want to really see the power of the Liquid Gold, this product has one of the higher concentrations so it might be a good test to see how your skin adapts. 

Platinum Night Treatment I ($966, 0.2oz) I received a sample of this product, which really excited me as this is worth more than its weight in gold. As the Gold products are meant for day time, the Silver/Platinum products are meant for night time. As the silver products require syncing with the moon, I was elated to receive a Platinum product which had no such specification, as I didn’t want to make my life about syncing up with two bottles of products. The Platinum Night Treatment reminds me a little of the Dr.Hauschka and Intelligent Nutrients products I reviewed a while back. It is a roll on intensive treatment with antioxidants that stimulates cells to work and boost vital functions. Reading the ingredients list, I believe the Liquid Platinum is probably what makes up most of the cost as everything else is either a herbal extract, essential oil, or alcohol/glycerin/water. I wouldn’t buy this product mostly because unless it is really not worth the cost.

In general I found this line to be very interesting – can gold still carve out a niche for itself as a key active in the skincare market? I remember reading about how gold was a key irritant for many people which is also why I really wanted to try this line since every product has a metal in it. I found the line performed well, but the formulations were subpar for the price. The products ranged from interesting and unusual to lackluster and unnecessary. All this aside, if you have the money, are curious to try something different, and do not mind a few quirky instructions – this might be a good line to put on your next shopping list.

Green Beauty Event Shopping List

I don’t know about you, but as a girl with one foot firmly planted in the luxury beauty market, and one foot planted in the clean beauty market – I couldn’t be more excited about some of the luxury brands participating in the 1st annual Green Beauty Event on Fashion’s Night Out! I will of course be working, so those of you in New York – please feel free to stop by Neiman Marcus where we will be hosting many events and giving away lots of prizes! Before my shift though, I’ll be eagerly taking advantage of the promotions offered by each brand, here is a shortlist of what I plan to buy:

Kahina Antioxidant Mask ($62)

I love masks and I love antioxidants, is it any wonder this product earned a spot on this list? I’m at the age now where I need to decongest skin while I can’t have anythign too drying/harsh as I need to start worrying about the first signs of aging so this seems like the perfect product. I also want to keep the jar for future use- I don’t know what I’ll use it for but it looks really neat.

Kajer Weis Lip Tint ($48)

Clean product? Check. Beautiful colors? Check. Slick packaging? Check x 100. This is a product that is not only well formulated but the gorgeous mirrored metallic sliding container is one of the most distinct, eye-catching packaging I’ve seen in a long time. I do hope the pigmentation and wear time are sufficient – I will definitely post a review after I’ve had enough time with this.

YULI Mr.Incredible ($78)

Been a fan of this line and the quiet storm they’ve generated since launching. The Mr.Incredible product is the ultimate luxury shave oil that I plan to get for my boyfriend who up til now only just transitioned from shaving creams to olive oil. I ordered a sample before and the scent is HEAVEN, kind of like my boyfriends current Tom Ford cologne only it is completely natural. I also really like that it also really takes care of skin besides just for shaving so he can use it daily.

Dr. Alkaitis Purifying Facial Cleanser ($65)

I’m always on the hunt for cleansers, and I’ve been meaning to try Dr.Alkaitis for some time now. I thought the cleanser would be the best product since it is described as both gentle and deeply cleansing which is important for me since I find that deep cleansing products often leave my skin ‘tight’ and dry which only causes my skin to overproduce oil soon after. I’m really curious if the organic castile cleansing base will be similar to Dr.Bronners or if the additional ingredients such as Aloe Vera and Skin Repair complex will add in some nourishment.

La Bella Figura Under Eye Repair Serum ($115)

I haven’t met an eye serum yet that has done what I needed it to: moisturize, firm/lift, erase dark eye circles, and enliven. At my age, I don’t have under eye bags or even crows feet  (luckily) but I do feel the undereye area get fatigued more easily now and when I don’t get enough rest, sometimes I look like a panda.

This natural beauty promises to tackle tired eyes, dark circles, and smooth facial lines. I have high hopes for this product since the ingredients list looks well put together with coffee beans, rosehip, tomato, and blue tansy.

YULI Panacea Elixir ($36)

This is my addiction. Plain and simple. The flower hydrosols, the antioxidant rich actives, the fresh earthy scent – this elixir feels like spraying living nature on your face. It is such a rush of energy when you’re tired throughout the day. I also noticed that if I spray just this on my face at night and go to bed, newly forming blemishes die down. I don’t know how it does this, but the decongestant/detox qualities of this product are no joke. My skin just feels better and pores look refined. I’m definitely stocking up on this stuff.

Vapour Organic Beauty Soft Focus Foundation ($48)

I love my current Koh Gen Do foundation, but the truth is – it isn’t a ‘clean’ product although based on the retailer literature I have access to, I did see that it is low in silicones compared to other foundations. I’ve decided to try out Vapour Organic’s Soft Focus foundation because if it can live up to the promise, it sounds amazing. There is light reflective technology to conceal the appearance of lines, pores, and wrinkles, and organic Pumpkin/Papaya complex actually moisturizes skin as you have your foundation on. There are also anti-inflammatory ingredients, skin brightening actives, and no chemicals! If this does work, it will most likely replace my mainstream Koh Gen Do, Armani, and Chanel foundations -so we will see if it can rise to the occasion! 

What products are on your shopping list?

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Good Genes is what I don’t have when it comes to the genetic skin lotto. When I hit puberty, my face was just a constant battle between breakouts and astringents, in college I had cystic acne that lumped onto each other which even made the dermatologist say “I could give you some retin-a and antibiotics, but honey, that’s like treating a fire with a kitchen faucet at this point”.

Even now that my skin is at the place I’ve dreamed it could be (in no small feat due to the product formerly known as Ultimate Perfect Serum, Cell Perfecto PM– read about my experience with it here) – I still don’t think I’ve ever been in the category of people fortunate to be born with skin that just naturally glows and looks flawless.

If I can’t be born with it, then I’ll buy it! And Sunday Riley has the perfect product for such a thing, fittingly named Good Genes. The playful name promises to deliver the look of “good genes” for everyone! If there is anything Sunday Riley does well, it is in marketing her products.

The instructions for the product are very precise, it is a corrective treatment to be used at night (at least I think it should be), about once or twice a week, for a power treatment she recommends using it for five consecutive nights. The reason is because this is a very acid-heavy chemical exfoliator with a primary active being lactic acid. This doesn’t mean the formula isn’t clean, only that it doesn’t exfoliate through physical means which I actually really like, and lactic acid is fairly clean compared to alternatives.

The full promise of the product is that it will ” plump fine lines to reveal brighter, newer skin, and improve circulation to offer a smooth, vibrant complexion. Long term use will help restore damaged skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and scars, reduce the depth and number of lines and wrinkles, even out skintone, and increase epidermal thickness and firmness.”

The lactic acid is probably the active that addresses fine lines, revealing newer skin. Other actives include licorice which brightens complexion, yeast extract, squalene, lemongrass, and arnica.The formula comes out as a white creamy fluid that smells like dried fruit creamsicle (all her products seem to smell like a creamsicle). It is absorbed fairly quickly, though not as fast as Bionic. After one use, I did not experience irritation, but when I did the consecutive week long treatment I noticed my skin was getting red and I actually got a new breakout on my forehead and not looking so great around Day 3/4 – and my skin is fairly sensitive, so those of you with ‘normal’ skin might not find this to be too tough to handle.

The slight issue I have with this product is once again, it isn’t as clean as I hoped it could be, 3 types of silicones, 2 types of parabens, 2 PEGs, and caricinogenic Phenoxyethanol – I just wish they could have really lived up to their promise of 99% natural, botanical based products without injecting so much of this chemical stuff, it is actually a cheaper way of production that they don’t need to take since they’re at such high price points. Due to my silicone sensitivity, I think this might also explain why instead of getting clearer, my skin was freaking out during the 5 day test.

Good Genes retails for $105 for 1 oz in a beautiful glass vial that feels very heavy in a high-quality way. After having used nearly half the bottle (it does last a while) I will say that I think it is my favorite Sunday Riley product (after hits and misses), and it works well as a chemical exfoliator. The smell is good, texture is good, and results are good. There are cheaper options on the market, such as Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel at $45 (it has a cleaner formula too – but is much stronger and less refined).

Vapour Organic Beauty Clarity Cleansing Oil

When it comes to beauty products, I would describe myself as being on the adventurous side! I remember using the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, it was my first oil cleanser. I was so surprised at how soft it made my skin feel and how great of a job it did in removing my make up. However I always hard a difficult time ‘washing’ the oil off and the fact that they used mineral oils really bothered me. I also tried out the Amorepacific Cleansing Oil which was beautifully packaged, but the fragrance was too strong for my taste.

I feel like with skincare, it’s always a delicate balance. I don’t think a cleansing oil is versatile enough to act as a sole cleanser, and I don’t think traditional cleansers (milks, gels, creams) can really remove makeup as effectively as cleansing oils while imparting the same degree of softness (since they tend to use lots of alcohols). 

Recently, as part of my switch to cleanser products (and also keeping with my personal love of everything niche-luxury)- I decided to try out the Clarity cleansing oil/makeup remover from Vapour Organics. At $28 for 1 oz, the price is actually quite reasonable. 

The formula is very clean- 95% organic/5% wildcraft EO:

Ingredients: Organic/Bio Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic/Bio Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Organic/Bio Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic/Bio Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Organic/Bio Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Essential Oil, Eriocephalus Punctulatus (Cape Chamomile) Essential Oil, Organic/Bio Borage Officinalis, Organic/Bio Helichrysum Arenarium, Organic/Bio Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail)

The major base oils in here are: Sunflower, Castor Seed, and Jojoba, which are known to be soothing and moisturizing to skin. Castor Seed and Sunflower are a little ‘rich’ for my skin type but as this is just a cleanser and not something I’m leaving on my face, I wasn’t too concerned. You might notice the lack of preservatives in this oil and that is because the container dispenses product via an airless pump to keep airborne bacteria out. 

2 Pumps of this stuff applies removes all traces of makeup when massaged into skin. I’ve used this to remove a face of: Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30, Sunday Riley Tinted Primer/Korres Primer, Koh Gen Do Foundation, Edward Bess Concealer, Shiseido Bronzer, Koh Gen Do Powder – not to mention eye products, etc. All layers are off in a minute.

Besides just removing makeup, it also nourishes skin and imparts a soft, dewy finish. The oil itself is thicker than what I am used to, but my skin handled it just fine. I think this is a must-have product for heavy makeup days for these reasons but not a daily cleanser especially if you’re just going out sans makeup. But for the ladies who want a very cleanly formulated product that will remove all their makeup, you will not be disappointed. 

Dr.Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner

Dr.Hauschka at this point is one of the ‘classic’ natural skincare lines. Although many purists believe their products contain ‘iffy’ ingredients, I still believe they’re a viable presence in the clean skincare market. Dr. Hauschka is a German company that practices holistic health and this practice is carried through their skincare, beauty, and health products.

A lot of my friends have raved about their products, and after using a few of their skincare products (Normalizing Day Oil, Cleanser, Toner, etc) I decided to splurge on their $89.95 Rhythmic Night Conditioner (from Dr.Hauschka). When I first looked at this product I thought “what is in this thing!?” I did my research (see Beautypixie’s youtube video -scroll to 4:50m) – and really wanted to see what it did for my skin. 

The product is special in that it rhythmitizes the ingredients to balance and harmonize destressed skin and supports the skin renewal cycle on a 28 day period. I have been stressed from travel, starting school again, and other things so my skin although not breaking out, can definitely use some pampering. I thought this would be the perfect product to ‘regulate’ my skin before things got ugly.

First, the ampules are tiny and you do have to break them to use. I didn’t mind doing a little more for the product especially because I had never really used a product quite like it. If you can’t tell I’m quite taken by the premise of a ‘regulating’ product. Like Beautypixie, I noticed that if I felt an area of my face flare up a little before I apply this, the inflammation usually dies down without causing me too much grief. I also noticed that my skin in general looked pretty good with this product. I recently spent a day at the airport, moved into my new apartment, AND helped my friend move into her apartment – and noticed that the combination of Liquid Courage Antioxidant Serum during the day and the Rhythmic Night Conditioner at night pretty much kept all potential blemish flare up gone and kept my skin in tip-top shape. My skin just feels stronger and more durable. Even my small monthly hormonal breakouts are now reduced within a few hours.

The ingredients for this are:
Water (Aqua), Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Althaea Officinalis Leaf Extract1, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract1, Kalanchoe Daigremontiana Leaf Extract1, Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract1, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract1, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract1, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract1, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/Leaf Extract1, Mica1, Royal Jelly1, Honey (Mel)1, Silver1, Sodium Chloride 1In rhythmitised dilutions

It is the Silver1 ingredient that gives the product the rhythmic properties according to the website, as that corresponds to the moon and the 28 day skin renewal cycle. I’m honestly not sure if this is all just pseudo science hokey. I did like the botanicals in this product as well as Royal Jelly/Honey which are known to sooth skin and kill acne bacteria. I would love to see this formula with manuka honey as that is kind of like a supercharged honey for the skin. In general, I think even without the silver and rhythmic marketing, this is a good product but I think without the rhythmic marketing, this product is really just a toner with good botanicals so it probably isn’t REALLY worth the $89.95 if you think too hard, but then I haven’t used this product without the silver and rhythmitised dilutions so I can’t really compare. 

I think this product does help my skin stay in check and I will probably update this post when I am completely done with the product to give a better answer as to its effectiveness.

My July Must Have Products

(Starting Top-Clockwise: Aesop Tuberose Lip Heal, Byredo Parfums Le Tulipe, Weleda Skin Food, YULI Liquid Courage, Vapour Organics Lipstick, Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30, Kahina Cleanser, Guerlain Terracota Bronzer, Sunday Riley Effortless Tinted Primer, Tom Ford Foundation Brush, YULI Panacea Elixir)

Instead of a one-product review, I thought I’d also do a post on what my favorite products have been for the past month. During the summer, my primary focus is taking care of my skin in the hot, sunny weather. These are the products I’ve been using:

1. Aesop Tuberose Lip Heal ($31, Aesop.com) – a gorgeous lip roller that uses a blend of plant and nut oils to deliver gentle hydration. It doubles as a scent which really smells good and kept me from licking it off! 

2. Byredo Le Tulipe ($145, Byredo.com) – The spring/summer scent from Byredo, a very pure, simple fragrance that has a beautiful tulip scent between vetiver and rhubarb notes. This is that perfect scent that once worn a little is the perfect subtle blend whether you’re at the beach or walking to lunch in Manhattan. The price might be a little high, but I love myself a lux-niche product, if you couldn’t tell.

3. Weleda Skin Food ($18.50, Weleda) – A staple for any season, Skin Food is always in my bag for those ‘touch ups’. This is my clean version of the 8-hour cream. It moisturizes rough spots on the hands and arms and leaves skin soft and healthy. Although it is for dry skin, I feel like using a the right amount on any type of skin will provide lots of benefits.

4. YULI Liquid Courage ($125, YULI) – Sun damage and summer go hand in hand. I really wanted a clean, antioxidant serum to protect my skin from the sun and found it with Liquid Courage. It is such a light serum that really sinks into skin and absorbs fast under any SPF and smells fantastic. It uses a blend of antioxidant rich plant seeds and biofermented actives to deliver a potent natural antioxidant kick. My skin is absolutely glowing and radiant from this, while it protects my skin, I have to say, it also gives me the appearance of ‘rest in a bottle’. The price might scare some, but it lasts a long time, and I know that they just launched the option to buy deluxe samples of the products on their website.

5. Vapour Organics Siren Lipstick ($22, Vapour Organics) – Created by some of the brains behind the late, great Kevyn Aucion, Vapour Organics uses clean formulations that provide comparable results to leading cosmetics brands. The Siren Lipstick is the first product I bought from them, after reading about the dangers of lead, carcinogens, and other chemical junk found in most lipsticks on the market. The pigments are very rich and I noticed that unlike a lot of pigmented lipsticks, this also moisturized my lips. I think the blend of castor seed oil and beeswax gives it a lip balm effect, but the high pigmentation makes it a very successful lip stick. A wonderfully made product that will be a staple in my beauty closet.

6. Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30 ($125, Sunday Riley) – This isn’t the cleanest SPF on the market, but it might be the most expensive. To be honest, I’m disappointed with the options for sun protection on the market, the luxury brands think for some reason everyone wants a bronzer and spf in one or they stock it with chemicals, while the natural brands tend to go for clunky physical blocks. Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30 is kind of that right balance between clean enough and high end. The white fluid sinks into skin very fast and leaves no scent. It didn’t make my skin shiny or oily, nor did it make my skin dry. I think the consistency is perfect, not watery but not clunky.

7. Kahina Cleanser ($56, Kahina) – I’ve mentioned this cleanser on my blog a few times already but I really like it. It’s fortified with nourishing oils for skin but at the same time balances your complexion so skin is not dry or oily. I think the Vitamin E is especially needed to cancel out any sun damage sustained during the day. 

8. Guerlain Terracota Bronzer ($50, Sephora) – The epitome of a natural bronzer. Does not go on orange, or muddy. Just the right shade and density for most skin types, stays on all day. Gives that perfect healthy glow. 

9. Sunday Riley Effortless Tinted Primer ($48, Barneys) – A lot has been said about this primer. I don’t know if the ‘oxygen hole’ technology is marketing hype or if there is a real benefit to it, but I just enjoy this primer for the simple fact that it is like a primer + tinted moisturizer in one. It smooths the skin while adding a little color. I find on my low key days, this is all I need.

10. Tom Ford Foundation Brush ($70, Neiman Marcus) – My favorite brush by a wide margin. Very soft, densely packed brushes with little shed over time. I also love the high-quality ‘heavy’ feel of the brushes. I know that these brushes are made in Japan, which has a reputation for their brush quality. I know it is a white colored brush, but it really does retain this color after many applications and washes. The brushes themselves pick up just the right amount of foundation and are not streaky at all. Makeup goes on seemless and flawless.

11. YULI Panacea Elixir ($36, YULI) – There was my skincare before this product and there is my skincare after this product. Panacea means ‘cure-all’ and this product is exactly that. Some people don’t believe in toning their skin, but after you’ve tried this and see the results, you will be converted! This made my pores so tiny and really firmed up my skin. It’s like a bootcamp in a mist for the face. There is also no alcohol in here, everything is natural and clean. Also, this sets make up really well, and the skincare benefits are delivered throughout the day with this under the makeup so your skin is actually improving as you set your makeup using this product.