Holiday Weekend Essentials: May 2017

Greetings from the first official summer holiday weekend! I’m writing this post while curled up in bed with a multiple masks on my skin – testing out Josh Rosebrook’s new Advanced Hydration Mask on dry patches and a mask I finally added to my collection: Tammy Fender’s Epi-Peel, on oilier/more congested areas.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve provided an update on the products in my rotation and as many of you have told me through e-mail and on social media, I agree that individual product review posts do not really provide a comprehensive window into how exactly the products work or are being used together. So without further ado, these are the products I’ve been using regularly for the past month or have introduced recently.


Sun: Spring and Summer is all about committing to sun protection. Mustela Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ has become one of my all time favorites and I have repurchased this about 5 times which is super rare as I love to try new products. For starters, this is a broad spectrum sunscreen that uses only mineral based sun protection (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide) rather than chemicals which can be unstable and irritating. I’m not speaking from an analytical standpoint on chemical sunscreens, I speak from experience as someone whose eyes burn with any combination of chemical sunscreens. I also prefer the way my skin looks and feels with a physical block, yes it leaves a white cast and feels heavier than a chemical screen, but if you put it on just right it works like a highlighter and your skin just looks more luminous while being protected. And yes Zinc Oxide physical blockers may feel weighty, but they’re also anti-inflammatory and can be mixed with foundation for tinted coverage. Comparatively, chemical screens always add an oily shine, require more frequent applications, and don’t hide any imperfections (in fact I’m pretty sure the shininess accentuates them).

The SPF 50+ rating for Mustela is very rare for a non-chemical sunscreen so that is a huge bonus. There is a lot of evidence that many sunscreens on the market do not hold up to their sun protection claims, but Mustela is a brand that is developed from it’s French Lab origins which has higher compliance markers than the US (they have the seal of approval from the Melanoma International Foundation) and their line is specially made for the delicate skin of babies which makes this sunscreen even better for sensitive skin. They are categorized as a natural sunscreen but this isn’t really a botanical sunscreen and the ingredients are clean enough for me although some might not like that there are iffy ingredients like silicone. The kicker: a 3.4 oz tube costs only $16, which is INSANE for the quality you get, which may be why it’s sold out everywhere (Dermstore currently has 20% off but if they’re not allowing back ordering, try Sephora).

Fragrance: My former Neiman Marcus co-worker says there are two types of women, those who invest in perfume and lip stick, and those who invest in skincare, I fall firmly into the latter group.  I love sampling fragrances but cannot wear any because the synthetics are nauseating to me. I remember trying natural perfumes from Whole Foods and feeling like I was just throwing on essential oils from an aromatherapy class which felt too crunchy for my taste. Enter Kahina with their concentrated roll-on oil perfumes. Essaouira is a seaside Moroccan village, and their namesake fragrance is a fresh and crisp homage with notes of floral rose, sweet woodsy sandalwood, uplifting lavender, and a very pristine top-note of citrusy petitgrain. The perfume is 100% steam distilled essential oils which means it is powerful and concentrated yet never cloying as there are no artificial fragrances. The staying power is just right where you can catch it wafting with the summer breeze. And best of all, it actually smells like something I’d be able to get at a department store.

Moisture: Weleda’s Soothing Almond Facial Lotion is basic, and that’s the point. This lotion is meant for sensitive skin and is hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free. With all the active serums, masks, toners in my rotation, I really wanted a moisturizer that just moisturized really well. This is that product. Sweet Almond Oil and Plum Kernal Oil both fight dryness, enhance softness and soothing properties that makes this lotion a pacifier for when you overdo it with the retinol or acid-toning. Too much action from acids and serums can lead to inflammation that ages skin and makes it more delicate, this lotion is my trick for avoiding that fate whenever I start seeing redness or feeling tightness and excess tingling and it has always come through for me.

Acid Toner: Speaking of… I finally jumped on the Drunk Elephant bandwagon by taking the plunge on Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. I’m not a huge proponent of regular acid-toning, but during the summer with the sweat+excess oil production plus heavier sunscreen usage, pores are way more prone to clogging so I acid tone to basically let my skin breathe every few days especially if I feel a breakout developing. This is a transparent brownish gel that works best under a moisturizer and reminds me of Arcona’s The Solution. I just started using this night serum (which is really an acid toner), and like all glycolic acid based acid-toners, my skin tingled/burned a bit when first used but is now adjusting.

That is one of the things I feel needs to be said: I know this brand made a splash by intimating that due to a lack of essential oils, their products will not cause irritation and be a sensitive skin’s best friend, which is a hefty promise that is unfortunately not realistic. All ingredients have the potential to cause irritation based on individual allergies and it is therefore not possible to have an ingredient much less a formulation that will work for everyone without triggering any sensitivities given that no two people are alike. Drunk Elephant may not use essential oils but they do use other active ingredients, in this case a 12% Glycolic Acid in addition to Tartaric and Lactic Acid which is very powerful and should be approached with some caution. I think there will be more people with sensitivities to this acid than a dilution of an essential oil like rose oil. It all depends on your personal skin sensitivity and how a product is formulated (concentration, other ingredients, other products used) that will determine how your skin gets on with the product so don’t blindly think this will work for you and don’t automatically assume anything with essential oils is going to be bad for you if you don’t have those sensitivities. This is not a critique on the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, in fact I quite like the formula so far but I just wanted to provide clarity to what I felt was a problematic message by their founder regarding skin sensitivity. As for the actual product, I’ll be able to give more insight after I’ve used it a while longer.

Mask: I’ve really been obsessed with masks lately. Beyond the two mentioned at the beginning, I finally got around to opening my Tata Harper Purifying Mask which is. oh. so. good. Truth be told, I like this more than her original Resurfacing Mask which is already one of my favorites. This is one of those cases where Tata’s tendency to stay in her own lane in terms of developing products that primarily suit her own skin type (mature – drier skin) is beneficial. This purifying mask is deep cleansing, removes “environmental toxins” and great for “eliminating surface build up” which is much needed in the summer, and because it’s a Tata Harper product – even the purifying mask is buttery and non-stripping. It spreads so easily and rinses clean, and is a total pleasure to use (the scent is very fresh and spa like, I’d describe it as crisp lemongrass meets zingy ginger)- only con is that it only comes in that one size which really doesn’t last long enough given how addictive this will be throughout summer. Seriously though, please – someone at Tata Harper, I’m glad you got the pricing under $60 but these masks HAVE to be offered in a size that is bigger than 1 oz.

Serum: I think anyone who invests in skincare asks the question: “is this the best that money can buy?” With YÜLI, the answer is a resounding yes. Liquid Courage is their antioxidant serum which I use year round but especially for environmental protection and repair during summer. This serum is special, here’s why: mainstream lines throw in superstar ingredients next to an ingredients list of fillers that are cheap and don’t do too much, while green/organic lines just throw together a bunch of plant oils and call it an “antioxidant” serum or a super active serum. With YÜLI, each product feels like a realization of a dream product the same way that companies like BMW and Mercedes Benz design concept vehicles to realize purist visions outside of prohibitive production costs or other business considerations.

Case in point: YÜLI designed Liquid Courage to be the antioxidant powerhouse with a base made of a botanical seed complex which is the densest natural source of nutrients and has the highest levels of antioxidant activity. Then there is the advanced form of Vitamin C that even a line like Sunday Riley has JUST incorporated as the star ingredient in her newly released Vitamin C serum, heralded as a cutting edge discovery. This just shows the level that YULI is on, as the same form of Vitamin C is just one of the many notable ingredients for this serum, when with any other brand’s product, much less Sunday Riley, it is treated as the singular superstar. YÜLI also put in Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E, which means, yup this is a cleanly formulated CE Ferulic serum with an organic antioxidant botanical seed oil base – basically all the best things for your skin in one bottle. Oh we’re not done: then there are peptides and their exclusive – biofermentation of black garlic which increases its antioxidant potency by 6 times. The serum sinks in effortlessly and has a crisp, bright scent of neroli, which like most of their ingredients, are grown right on their own farm which brings fresh to a new level as well. And while a “super oil” these days will often mean a blend of 11-20+ oils if that, at around the $200 mark, this one has 20+ of the most beneficial ingredients, including powerful ones that are not harnessed in this synergy anywhere else for $125. So yes, this is the best that money can buy and the fact that it comes in at the price it does shows they design the best products and really deliver on value, this is why YÜLI has earned such a cult following where their products are continuously sold out and it is also why I’m currently on bottle number 8 of this antioxidant serum.

That’ll do it for this round-up, any products you have questions about? Drop a comment!

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The Spring Beauty Edit

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As seasons change, so too does our skin needs making Spring the perfect time to update our skincare top shelf! Gone are the thick moisturizers and anything that can be described as “heavy,” and in are fresh, enlivening products that awaken skin. The above are some products that I’d like to share with you as part of my Spring Beauty Edit:

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser: As a first step, this cleanser smells lovely and gets rid of make-up/sunscreen build up. It washes off as a milky fluid making removal easy. Good for a quick removal or extended massage. Use in place of a balm which might prove too heavy for Spring/Summer.

Pro-tip: Apply on dry skin and cleanse before washing. The times I used this in the shower resulted in cleanser washing immediately into my eyes as I believe this cleanser is designed to break down with continued water exposure.

Kypris Moonlight CatalystA gentle resurfacing treatment that sloughs away dead skin cells and exfoliates dead skin cells that perhaps have been trapped under all the oils and moisturizers from winter. A night-time only serum, apply before face oil for best results.

Pro-tip: The older version which is more of a brownish-orange hue seemed to work better for me and the new version which is clear seems much more mild. Both versions seem to work best when slightly heated in hands first. Dry/delicate skin should use this 1-2 times a week as too much exfoliation can be counter productive and reveal thin/crepy skin. I’ll provide a more in-depth review comparing the two soon.

YÜLI M.E. Skin FuelSpring is a season of change, meaning skin may be in flux. This face oil from YÜLI is incredibly high quality being made on site from really incredible ingredients that are beneficial for problematic or compromised skin – black cumin, broccoli seed, sea buckthorn, red raspberry, prickly pear and the formula is focused on balancing and optimizing skin. Deemed a multivitamin for skin and topped with a refined fragrant jasmine note, few will find anything to complain about with this versatile oil.

Pro-tip: Apply to skin that is dewy. Oily and acne prone skins can actually put this anti-inflammatory oil on breakouts to speed up healing. Red/irritated/sensitive skins will like this gentle formula as it contains actual anti-irritant extracts. Use the press/pull technique for maximum absorption.

Kari Gran Lip WhipAvailable in a variety of colors, the naked Lip Whip is a beautifully packaged, green lip balm that gives a viable option for us girls looking for an alternative from the Rodin and Omorovicza balms. The buttery texture is melt on your lips soft while providing a solid base to apply lip stains (or just opt for one of their lip tints). Wonderful to heal chapped lips from chronic winter dryness for supple Spring kissers.

Pro-tip: layer under or dab and mix with heavily pigmented lip products (i.e. W3ll People, RMS, etc) to create a natural, moisturizing tint.

Sunday Riley Good Genes: Good Genes perhaps has Sunday Riley’s biggest cult following, any IT girl from Emily Weiss of Into The Gloss to Alexandra Pakzad will swear by this stuff. Good Genes Treatment is a multitasking lactic acid lotion that is perfect for Spring Cleaning skin. The lactic acid is pretty strong at first (with a very acidic 2.4 pH) and helps to brighten dull, tired winter skin. The first time I used it, my skin felt the tingle and once the sensation subsided, it appeared that all the trapped sebum from winter were released onto my skin as I looked absolutely shiny (TMI?)

Pro-tip: As lactic acid is an AHA, do not layer with oils or actives that can be easily broken down such as Vitamin C and Retinol. Use as either a 20 minute mask (2-3 full pumps) or alone in the evening with an inactive moisturizer.

Kate Somerville Cytocell Eye CreamMy eyes are SENSITIVE. Origins/REN eye products make it red, oils always end up in my eyes and many of the luxury (non-natural) products can really irritate my eyes so when I find one that works, I stick with it, especially through Spring when pollen and allergens are at an all time high. This eye cream from Kate Somerville has been on my wish list for years before I could afford to spend $75 on an eye cream. The ingredients include Vitamin C, a milk peptide complex and Peptide P-199 that renews skin. It relieves, soothes and gives me confidence that somehow my eyes look awake even if I am not.

Pro-tip: Stock in the fridge for added cooling benefits which helps with dark circles and firming. This cream glides onto skin so it can also be used as an eye make-up primer.

YÜLI Halcyon: This cleanser is an all time favorite and is in the Spring Beauty Edit because 1) with a flower water base, it smells like spring in a bottle 2) Spring is the best season for bare skin and this cleanser is perfect for that quick, one-step cleanse to keep skin beautiful. Every wash leaves my skin naked but never stripped just super comfortable and plush.

Pro-tip: The most luxurious cleanse I’ve had was by wetting skin with rose-water or face mist first before applying 3 full pumps of Halcyon and massaging skin. I do this every Sunday and my skin is baby soft, glowing, and pampered afterward. This gel cleanser is also superb when mixed with powder-to-cream masks.

In Fiore Encens Vetivert Body Oil: Unfortunately not yet in stock from In Fiore, this seasonal body oil is one I am well and truly obsessed over. The body oil comes out in a green hue due to the grapeseed oil base and sinks into skin beautifully that it can be applied to dry or wet skin. In Fiore’s scents are phenomenal and their body oils almost double as perfume oils, each transporting the wearer. This one is perhaps my favorite: Vetiver, Neroli, Jasmine, Mandarin all shine. It’s a floral heaven with some edge due to the grassey Vetiver note.

Pro-tip: Apply as a hair oil and do a weekly scalp massage with this oil. Not only do I find it beneficial for my hair and scalp, but it helps keep the scent ruminating all around.

What products have you put on the back burner and what are your staples for Spring? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser

 

IMG_0447Tata Harper has been on a kick with releasing new products! When the Purifying Cleanser was announced, I immediately added it to my list of products to purchase. Her line already had two cleansers: Refreshing and Regenerating. I found both to be too waxy which led to build up in my pores that I never had with a cleanser before so when the Purifying Cleanser came out – I had high hopes for a slam dunk.

The Purifying Cleanser is targeted for those of us who have acne prone and oilier skin. I’ve seen on Periscope that Melissa, the owner of Citrine Beauty who describes her skin as on the drier side, only uses this cleanser as a once a week power clean.

I played with a tester in store at Neiman Marcus and immediately recalled the classic Tata Harper aroma that I love, although the herbal fragrance has a decided stronger citrus aroma here. I noticed that upon wetting, the cream-gel textured cleanser emulsified and washed off, which gave me high hopes that this would finally be the Tata Harper cleanser that would work for me so I immediately bought a bottle home.

Here’s all the information gleaned from the product description:


What it is:

A hydrating cleanser that combats the daily wear and tear of environmental exposure and pollution by effectively clearing pores of excess oil, dead skin, and buildup.

What it is formulated to do:
A powerfully purifying cocktail of sugars, broccoli extract, and fruit enzymes thoroughly cleanses the skin and refines the appearance of pores. While maintaining the skin’s moisture balance, an invigorating blend of essential oils helps flush away impurities for a deeply refreshed look and feel. This soap-free cleanser has a cooling effect on the skin and helps to combat the appearance of oiliness. When emulsified with cool water, foaming sugars create a micro foam that further detoxifies the skin.

The formulation is powered by 10 high-performance ingredients, including purple clay, which supports natural cell renewal and protects against absorption of impurities; sugar based surfactants, which provide topical cleansing without stripping the skin of hydration; broccoli extract and bioflavanoids, which provide a long-lasting cleansing effect and decrease visible shine on the skin’s surface; and essential oils from clove, fennel, and ginger, which help flush away surface impurities.

Ingredients
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Capric/Caprylic/Triglycerides, Water, Glycerine, Propanediol, Glyceryl undecylenate, Aroma, Sucrose Stearate, Decyl Glucoside, Oryza sativa (Rice) Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lactobacillus/Punica granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Papain, Curcuma Zedoaria Root Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sucrose Palmitate, Zingiber Officinale Root Oil, Salix alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus Flower Oil, Sucrose Laurate, Abies PectinateLeaf Oil, Foeniculum Vulgare Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extracts, Kaolin, Bioflavanoids, Leuconostoc ferment filtrate, Montmorillonite, Mica, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Superoxide Dismutase, Soybean Peroxidase, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene.

The keyword to note here is that despite being called the purifying cleanser, Tata Harper would still like it to be noted that this is a hydrating cleanser. There does appear to be quite a bit of an oil dominated base here that I didn’t fully realize until I read the ingredients list closely when I got home.

What all this means is that the cleanser kind of worked like a gel-to-oil cleanser for me. I was let down because I imagined a gel cleanser like Ren or Grown Alchemist (see Cleansing Game Changers), or the green gel cleansing champion Yuli Halcyon. It dispenses as a rather pleasant and rich gel which can be applied to dry or wet skin. Once it’s moved around, it breaks down into almost an oil texture. Now this doesn’t mean it’s a bad cleanser, but rather I just don’t see the point of adding this to two already very similar cleansers in the line, not to mention a nourishing oil cleanser released at the same time that is a straight forward oil cleanser.

I read that Caroline Hiron’s compared this to Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip which makes me think either we got completely different products or there’s a reformulation in one of the two products because the truth is that Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip was a strong, foaming cleanser that dried out my skin if I used it more than 3 times consecutively while Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser is what I have reluctantly relegated to a 1st cleanse. They’re both dispensed as gels that you can massage but the breakdown and reaction with water is completely different.

I think this is a decent product in the sense that it feels luxurious and pleasurable however I just don’t feel Tata Harper has truly provided a standalone cleanser separate from the Refreshing Cleanser and that the moniker of “purifying” is a misnomer for this product. In fact, after washing with this I never felt that my skin was clean so I reserve it for when its really dry and I don’t have a lot of makeup if I want to use it alone or most of the time I’ll use it as the first part of double cleansing.

For those with oily or acne prone skin I might recommend this in place of an oil or balm for the first cleanse but not as a solo cleanser. The price is $58 for 4.1 oz which is not too bad but you do need quite a bit of product for each use since the gel disperses into an oil. If used daily, I imagine a bottle lasting me between 30 and 50 days so in that sense, it may not be as economic. If you use the Refreshing Cleanser and just want it to be slightly better at washing (it’s also about $20 cheaper than the Refreshing Cleanser for the same amount) or if you like oil/balm cleansers but want them to actually rinse off cleanly – this might actually work out well for you.

Purchase from:
Neiman Marcus
Sephora

*Strangely this product is not available at time of writing from Tata Harper’s website.

Summer Essentials

TheBeautyIdealist Summer Essentials

We often think of our skin as a “type” but the reality is, it is constantly in flux. So while some of us have dry skin or oily skin, the truth is every day our skin is responding to so many different things that when the seasons change, skin needs will have to be evaluated. Here are the products that have been so good to my skin so far this summer.

The Hair Care: Rahua Shampoo

When I originally reviewed this shampoo, I noted that it was slightly drying. However this quality also makes it pretty good for summer where hair and scalp in general is more oily. The organic blend of quinoa, rahua-ungurahua, and palo santo improves healing, moisture retention, and regenerates scalp and hair follicles. The gentle formula uses coconut derived surfactants to clean hair and it is said to be color-safe. All these qualities make it great for summer when the sun can do some serious damage.

The Eye Care: Verso  Super Eye Serum

I have a Goldilocks problem when it comes to eye product: too light and there is a tight/dry feeling, too heavy and it makes me feel suffocated (not to mention, I’ll no doubt end up rubbing it into my eye eventually). Verso’s Super Eye Serum gets it just right. It’s a light creamy gel texture that absorbs quickly without sitting on skin but retains that feeling of significance so the delicate skin around eyes is never feeling dry and tight. The patented Retinol 8 complex is formulated into every Verso product. It’s supposedly a more effective, gentler and UV stable form of retinol that increases collagen and reverses signs of aging around the eyes. I luckily don’t have crows feet or fine lines around my eyes but I feel this really makes my eye area take care of.

The First Cleanse: In Fiore Treate

I’m not a oil/balm cleansing type of girl. It takes too long to get skin clean from the film and doesn’t ever make my skin feel that clean afterward. In Fiore’s Treate is a non-foaming cream that gently helps to remove make-up and sunscreen which is very applicable for summer when my going out routine is sweat proof make-up and heavy water-resistant sunscreen. The scent is a light jasmine which also feels refreshing for summer. The bonus is unlike oil/balms, this actually washes clean. Look for a full review to come!

The Second Cleanse: YULI Halcyon

The second cleanse is a bit of a misleading moniker in that to the average person who thinks double cleansing is too complicated might go for the first and call it a day. The truth is that the second cleanse is when you need that really effective cleanser to come in and get rid of all those things lodged deep in skin and take care of skin. I originally reviewed this and loved it. Since then I’ve used a series of cleansers to see what was out there and similar to Nephriticus (scroll to 7:50 mark), this is a holy grail that I keep coming back to because each time I’m just reminded of how good this cleanser is. During summer our skin accumulates even more of that unwanted stuff and this is the right stuff to get it all removed without stripping/drying skin thanks to a pH balanced, soap-free formula.

The Mask: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

Summer is when we jam pack our schedules with weekend trips and vacations which makes this convenient jar of detoxifying mask perfect as your travel companion. Unlike powder masks which I love but take a while to prepare, this jelly mask comes ready to apply. The beta-hydroxy treatment sloughs off dead skin cells while clays detoxify skin. Perfect for summer. This mask applies like a dream gel and can be washed off when dried.  Easy and simple, with results every time.

The Refresher: YULI Metamorphic Elixir

I couldn’t finish this list without a facial mist! They’re so essential for cooling off, reducing inflammation, and irritation. I carry a mist with me everywhere, after the gym, if I’m out for too long, throughout the day in the office, and of course after cleansing. YULI Metamorphic Elixir is one I fell in love with last winter when I needed something hydrating but come summer and I’m still in love with it thanks to the completely hydro-based formula that doesn’t clog pores or add any weight onto skin. The smell of roses feel like a luxury every time I spray it and it helps to tone and soothe skin. It works great for when I’m out and about and also for an after-sun spray.

Do you also switch out products when the seasons change? What are your summer essentials? 

New Release: Tata Harper Lip Treatments

I know, it seems I’m obsessed with Tata Harper recently! But I just started playing with her new releases and I have to say, it makes me excited for the future of the natural beauty industry.

I really like that Tata is not just stopping at her current lineup of products and is instead diversifying, which is what she should be doing if she wants to compete with the big, established luxury brands that have products in every category.

The lip treatments take a step away from skincare and veer more towards the beauty side of things. Although there are a lot of wonderful anti-aging technology and conditioning properties in the products, I believe people will buy them more for the fact that they’re a beauty product with beneficial skin qualities rather than a skincare product with some beauty qualities. 

The products first of all purport to plump lips with a triple collagen technology. If you’re unsure of which one is right for you, this is how I would break them down:

Be fierce: is the sheerest lip treatment that conditions lips with antioxidants, this is suitable for those who might not need a lot of anti-aging treatments and is the cheapest at $24

Be true: is also a sheer lip treatment but this one is a little thicker and geared more for mature users and has anti-aging benefits 

Be adored: is pretty much “Be True” loaded with pigments

They’re produced in really sleek metal casing that screams luxury and I love seeing them in my handbag. As lip balms, I feel like they’re too expensive for the results but as lip tints (a la Ilia Lip tints) the Be Adored product is really good and worth considering for its skin pleasing benefits and wonderful pigmentation.

Shop here

Tata Harper Full Review Pt.2

(From Tata Harper’s blog – her retail space in Neiman Marcus)

The first part of my Tata Harper review got quite a bit of feedback! Continuing on, I’ll write about the rest of her line and then have a recap of my favorites and not-so-favorites:

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($55): Perhaps my favorite product in the entire line and no surprise either: it’s formulated to treat blemished skin while also being gentle enough for the rest of the Tata Harper demographic. I found this mask to be very soothing and gentle while the pinkish gel disappears into skin and leaves behind a sticky film that upon washing off reveals very fresh skin. If anyone has used Ren’s Glocylactic Acid Mask (the one with the sticky orange gel), this is like a more refined version of that with a much more pleasing scent and consistency. The ingredients are great: white willow, pink french clay, and pomegranate enzymes clear up skin and resurfaces it to  look glowing and fresh.  I read from one of your comments in the last post that if not used fast enough this could develop mold, and it freaked me out so I’ve been using this twice a week and applying liberally. Can anyone else comment if they’ve experienced this?

Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum ($150): This is more of a cream/moisturizer than a serum although it does sink into skin relatively fast. For those with oily-blemish prone skin, this works as a moisturizer after spraying the toner, albeit one very expensive bottle of moisturizer. This is heralded as a major anti-aging product but I honestly couldn’t tell if it ‘improved’ my skin during the 3-4 weeks that I used it so I’m giving it a little more time. I kind of consider this a more powerful, expensive moisturizer than serum just because it doesn’t deliver the results you’d expect from a serum type of product while it does provide some hydration. The scent of the rejuvenating serum is the strongest of all her products (besides the roll on fragrances), so you definitely should sample this to see if you appreciate the earthy, green scent and also to see if you have any sensitivities. I noticed some redness along my cheeks at first, but it went down. Another piece of advice: don’t use too much, I got some blackheads around my nose and cheek when I used 2 pumps instead of 1 during the coldest parts of winter.

Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer ($100): This is the only moisturizer I tried because I was afraid to try the heavier moisturizer since even her cleansers and serums are heavy for my skin. The Rebuilding Moisturizer is said to be for oily-combination skin and as such promises: minimizing of pores, mattifying complexion, balancing of hydration, firmer appearance. I don’t think it did anything for my pores or for mattifying my complexion mostly because I think the waxes were too much. I did notice that it took care of chronic dry patches that my combination skin sometimes gets around my mouth and cheeks. I mainly applied it there but after 5 days of regular use, I noticed that I started getting red bumps on my cheeks – they were not acne, but I can tell it was due to the congestion so I stopped using it and my skin cleared up.

I think this is a good product for when your skin really needs some hydration, like if I were to be outside an entire day right now, I would definitely use this or if my chronic dry patch came back, I would use this for two days.

Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil ($90): This is a great body oil for me because I have oddly dry skin around my arms and legs (my theory is that all the oil went to my face!). With body oils, you maximize the moisture locking benefits post-shower. I noticed that my legs and arms felt less prone to dryness, tightness, and flakiness. The scent is wonderful and the oil’s texture is good – heavy enough to feel substantial but not going to cause any oil slicks. My only issue is that the ingredients list is relatively mundane for the cost of the product, the carrier oils are all relatively common and available for pretty cheap: sunflower seed, grape seed, olive oil — you can find that in organic cosmetic grade options at most whole foods. Although the pure oils are a step above the body oils by Dr.Hauschka, I prefer using those since they’re a third of the price but give similar results.

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Summary: Overall Tata Harper is a great, luxury line that uses a lot of organic ingredients in their products. They do really well at providing products for those with mature or dry skin, which is smart since they’re positioned as alternatives for ladies who might otherwise be considering products from La Mer (which also tend to run heavy/thick) – so I think they offer good clean options for that crowd. For those with sensitive skin, I suggest sampling products because their mix of EO’s are not disclosed and random products will make me have reactions either redness, skin irritation, or headaches from the scent. For blemish prone skin – there aren’t a lot of options for products in this line, if you really want to try Tata products, go for the resurfacing mask or the toner – but avoid the cleansers and moisturizers.

Products I enjoy: Hydrating Floral Essence, Rejuvenating Serum, Revitalizing Body Oil, Resurfacing Mask
Products I’d avoid: All cleansers, all moisturizers, 2 of 3 aromatherapy treatments

Tata Harper Full Review (Pt.1)

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I’ve spent the better part of 2 months going through my Tata Harper freebies and endless supply of samples at work to really be able to do a full rundown of my impressions on the products. Keep in mind – my skin type and sensitivities may not be the same as yours so the results I get might be different from yours. For reference, I would classify my skin as problem skin that is blemish prone (former Accutane kid), combination skin that is prone to oiliness but with dry patches if I don’t moisturize enough (especially in the winter where sometimes my skin looks oily but feels dry if that makes sense), and my pores are on the larger side so they’re easily congested especially around my nose. My skin is reactive and sensitive: it gets redness very easily and loves to break out especially along my forehead. Ok onto the products:

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Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser ($75) is the cleanser I prefer between her two products in this category. It is a orange sorbet colored cream cleanser that you need to massage around your face to activate. It feels like you’re just sliding cream around your face until the enzymes are activated by the warmth of your skin and the massaging action, then you feel the cream start to break down. The cleanser does not foam (so it isn’t drying but those of you addicted to your Clarisonic will need to keep looking), and uses pink french clay, white willow bark to cleanse and exfoliate skin. The reason I prefer this over her Regenerating Cleanser is because the main difference as far as I could tell, is that the Regenerating Cleanser ($75) -meant to be more exfoliating, has Apricot Kernel beads that more physically stimulate and remove dead skin. I found the beads to be too rough for daily use. 

The Refreshing Cleanser smells gorgeous and is a fusion of neroli, grapefruit, geranium. I started off really enjoying this cleanser after after using it for just 3 days, I noticed my pores became clogged in a way that it has never been clogged before. I didn’t break out or experience redness, nor did I get blackheads. But I noticed my pores just looked congested and a few were raised like little bumps, so I applied pressure to one of them and out came this waxy-oil! This is gross and has never happened before. I’m attributing this to the abundance of waxes in the cleanser (5 types, ingredients 2 & 6 are both waxes), and for that reason I believe it is not suitable for my skin type.

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Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence ($65/50ml & $85/125ml) is one of her signature products and contains 19 active ingredients including hyaluronic acid, white willow, grapefruit, witch hazel, and orange blossom. Spirit Demerson lists this as one of her favorites that she takes everywhere and uses as an all-in-one cleanser/toner/moisturizer. I found this scent very pleasant, almost a boastfully floral scent. I think this is a great product for any skin type that truly does provide make skin feel fresh and hydrated. I really liked the older formula which felt more “pure” and this one is a little more…. “watered down”? 

I think this is a great toner for all skin types, but mature skin will get the most benefits from the formula. I don’t think this cleanses or can act as a stand alone moisturizer but it does layer well under moisturizers. For the price though – I think even at luxury price points there might be some other toners that have similar ingredients at more manageable pricepoints/quantity.

Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme ($90), is a rich creamy eye product that is said to visibly reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and dark shadows. I’m mainly concerned about dark under eye circles which are mostly hereditary but I also want an eye product that makes my eyes feel rested and not tired/sagging. 

The first thing you’ll notice is that you only need a little. I didn’t manage this correctly the first few times and ended up with white panda eyes around my face. I think part of the problem is that Tata Harper creams/moisturizers rely too heavily on waxes which lock in moisture well but are too large for skin to absorb so a lot of the product just ends up sitting on your face and you find yourself just moving it around. 

With that said, the product is very hydrating but I didn’t notice any change to my eye area, in terms of general well-being or dark circle relief. My boyfriend tried some and his eyes ended up tearing so I do think people will need to check the ingredients list for sensitivities (this is not gluten free). 

Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex ($45) think of this as Tata’s version of a facial oil, except it isn’t via pump or dropper but rather a rollerball. It is a blend of 11 essential oils with a base of Rosehip, Jojoba, Olive, Apricot, & Borage. This is a very hydrating combo but may not be suitable for blemish prone skin types due to the heavier nature of some of the oils. I think this might be good for some Neiman Marcus customers who want a more approachable facial oil that doesn’t even call itself an “oil” (though it is), but for those of you who are well versed in quality facial oils, this .34oz bottle is not really worth the price, when many facial oils with more interesting and dynamic ingredients are available for a lot less (once you factor in bottle size).

Tata Harper Aromatic Bedtime Treatment ($60) I really wanted to try this ever since reading all those positive reviews online and seeing the ladies of Nomoredirtylooks personally comment on the efficacy of the Aromatic Bedtime Treatment. I bought a bottle of this because I was really curious if it’s aromatic power was really as effective as all those ladies purported. 

To start: the scent is definitely strong. I can’t really describe it except there is definitely a very green grassy herbal scent. I went into it expecting the scent to be calming or euphoric to put me into the sleepy mood but it wasn’t.. it’s hard to describe but I think my nostrils and olfactory senses were more.. perplexed by the scent. It didn’t smell good but wasn’t off-putting, I just don’t think it really did anything to prepare my body for sleep. 

I let my mom use the rest of the bottle to see if it would work on her since she has a hard time falling asleep and is the lightest sleeper in the world. She didn’t really see any improvements and returned the bottle to me because she was not a fan of the scent. Upon trying the entire range of scents, I would recommend the irritability treatment over the bedtime and stress treatments – I think all three try to do the same job which is to make you happier and mellow but the irritability treatment smells better. 

Part. 2 Coming soon – including the mask, rebuilding moisturizer, body oil