SUPER 24/7 Wrinkle Protection Set Review

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you nothing but happiness and love for 2013.

 

If you’re into beauty and skincare you must have heard of Dr. Nicholas Perricone. Dermatologist (internship at Yale), author, nutritionist. A firm believer in a holistic approach to beauty and health.

His skincare line, Perricone MD, has a cult following. It’s one of those iconic, amazing, premium brands, supposedly beloved by many A-listers and Hollywood stars. Just as Creme de la Mer can set you back anything between £50 and £500 most of Perricone MD skincare ranges between £50 and £400. Less pricy products such as No Foundation Foundation, and No Concealer Concealer are quite popular in the UK. I have tried the concealer but am not a fan. It’s a good product but personally I need much more coverage.

SUPER 24/7 set

SUPER 24/7 set

SUPER

SUPER is Dr Perricone’s ’younger’ skincare line designed on the basis of the same principles and philosophy as the main line but much more accessible. The ingredients are different and ‘simpler’ than in the main line but the products are arranged in the same fashion, which makes SUPER a good introduction to the main group of products.

The SUPER line is named so after superfoods, a group of foods which contain an exceptionally high number of nutrients, beneficial vitamins and antioxidants. They are the main active ingredients used in all SUPER products. These superfoods include: ginger, turmeric, olives, apples, watercress whisks, chia, yogurt, coconut, acai berries, melon, red algaes, and chilli.

SUPER was introduced in the UK earlier this year. It took a while before I got round to trying it. Couple of months ago Boots had a 50% sale across all SUPER products and I decided to go big and bought the 24/7 wrinkle set.

 

Package

What is it?

This set is designed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The main active ingredient is red algae, a natural source of astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is “a collagen- and elastin-supporting antioxidant known to increase moisture and protect against dehydration” (SUPER web page). What can you expect from Dr. Perricone? First of all amazing quality, no parabens, artificial, and harmful ingredients. And also an innovative skincare regime and approach. Just as in the main line, the SUPER line includes two anti-aging serums (day-time and night-time one) and an ‘activator’.

This set contains:

  1. Firming Activator: treatment preparation. An exfoliating liquid that helps the serums to penetrate the skin, seals in moisture and activates ingredients. It takes a bit of getting used to. It contains astaxanthin and glycolic acid.
  2. Crinkle Eraser: a day-time firming serum with astaxanthin, benzyl benzoate, glycolic acid, and green tea.
  3. Night Recharge: a night-time brightening and smoothing serum. It contains astaxanthin and retinol.
The 3 products

The 3 products

What I Liked About it?

I liked the fact that the set includes a day-time and night-time serums. I always thought it makes sense to use two different serums in the morning and in the evening. It’s nice to have them both in one set.

I liked the activator. I haven’t seen a similar product before. As far as I know it’s a Perricone-specific thing.

I liked the effects. I use a number of different products (including Alpha-H Liquid Gold) so it might not be down to that. But I have noticed that my skin look good and healthy during the treatment. 

I liked using the day-time serum under my daily moisturiser and make-up. It was an added layer of protection against harsh London air.

I, obviously, love the ingredients and philosophy behind the product: I’m crazy about superfoods in general and using them in skincare seems to be a logical next step. After living in Japan I started to believe that algae and seaweeds are an unparalleled source of minerals, vitamins etc.

What I didn’t Like?

The product didn’t wow me. This was 3 products used together for a couple of months. The results should be clear and visible. They weren’t.

What concerns me the most are the containers. The night-time serum contains retinol. As mentioned many times before retinol is a substance sensitive to light and air. Although many brands sell facial creams and serums containing retinol in normal pots, they are to a large extent ineffective after a couple of days due to the chemical processes that occur when retinol is exposed to light. Containers in this set are definitely not suitable for retinol-based products. On the other hand Dr Perricone is an excellent brand so it’s hard to believe that they would sell a product with a design flaw.

The activator ended much quicker than the two serums even though I only used one pump.

Final Ruling

I liked this set and used up all three products. I liked that it contained two different serums for different purposes and parts of the day. I liked the effects and I remember having less break outs during the time of the treatment. On the other hand, I’m not sure how effective the retinol in the night-time serum was. My skin wasn’t as ‘plumped up’ as it normally is after using retinol products.

Still, I really enjoyed this product. Not the least because it’s by Dr Nicholas Perricone. I would very much like to try the Perricone MD line in the future.

I don’t really have a negative comment about this set. It’s natural, has great ingredients. Still, I don’t think I will be repurchasing unless it’s on sale again. On the whole, I think I’d rather go with Filorga.

The set costs £59.50 at Boots (here).

Coming up:

Friday: The Best Eye Cream Ever

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Taking a Day Off and Some Belated Sad News

I’m taking a day off today to enjoy the last weekend of 2012. Hope everyone is excited and ready for the New Year! I certainly am :).

I thought I’d share some sad news I got just before I left the UK 2 weeks ago. My favourite beauty subscription box, She Said Beauty (see my post on it here), will no longer be available in the UK. The December box was their final box.

I’m disappointed for two reasons. First, this was by far the best beauty box I’ve tried and I have tried every single box available in the UK. Out of all the subscription boxes, this was the only one that introduced me to products I liked enough to buy the full size. Secondly, I’m sad cause they referred their current customers to their ‘preferred’ partner – the Joliebox. I have been a customer of Joliebox for many months now and I do not like their service. I think their boxes are full of products I would never want to buy and as such are a waste of money. Most of all, I feel that out of all the subscription boxes Joliebox offers the worst value for money: the samples are small, not interesting and there is not enough of them.

So with the end of 2012 we say goodbye to She Said Beauty box. I can just hope that another company will start a new box in 2013.

Last Minute Holiday Nails

It’s that time of the year again. A time to be jolly. And to visit your friends and family, some of whom you haven’t seen since last Christmas. But before we all start exchanging gifts and eating more than we should here is a simple, last minute holiday manicure idea.

Mani

It’s two coats of Avon’s Golden Wine nail polish with one coat of China Glaze’s I Herd That and a top coat.

Golden Wine is a beautiful wine red with tiny bits of gold glitter. It has a lovely shimmer to it and has been one of my favourites for a couple of years. I Herd That is from China Glaze’s fall 2012 On Safari collection. It’s a clear base with small bits of yellow, gold, copper, and holographic glitter. It has orange and red undertones and works particularly well over Golden Wine which has a similar colour combination.

AvonMani

China

Mani3

Mani2

The end result is a red golden textured manicure. It’s not as textured as Ciate’s sequin or caviar manicure but it definitely is multi-dimensional finish. It’s a quick and very easy idea for holiday nails.

 

Coming up:

Monday: Super by Dr Nicholas Perricone, 24/7 Wrinkle Protection

Friday: Filorga Eye Cream

Japanese Drugstore Makeup Brands: Visee from Kose

Following on from the Monday post, Visee by Kose is another good Japanese drugstore brand. I tried less products from Visee than from Integrate but I still have two  of their eye shadow quads and use them quite often. Similar to Integrate, the quality of those quads is really good. They are pigmented (less so than Integrate) and long-lasing. 

Two of the Visee quads

Two of the Visee quads – I depotted the pink one for my Z-palette

ViseBoth1

Primer (top right), glitter (bottom right) and three eye shadows

The pale shade in the top right corner of both quads is an eyelid primer. This is the only eye shadow palette with a primer I’ve ever seen. It’s a thick cream with just a hint of colour but it works surprisingly well. Probably cause it’s designed to work with this eyeshadow formula. The shade in the bottom right corner is a shimmery shadow with large chunks of glitter. It’s a bit much for a daytime look but perfect for a night out. I usually wear it all over the lid over the other shades.

Pink quad up close

Pink quad up close

Brown quad swatches

Brown quad swatches

Finished look

Finished look – apologies for the poor pic quality

PinkIN2

As with Integrate, these eye shadow quads are a really good value for money. They are less than £8 and match the quality of high-end products.

Coming up:

Monday: Christmas Mani

Friday: Super by Dr Nicholas Perricone

Japanese Drugstore Makeup Brands: Integrate from Shiseido

When you visit Japan there is a wide array of gifts to choose from for your friends and family. You can get a samurai sword or a kimono. For comic book lovers anime or manga is always a good choice. However, when it comes to buying Japanese cosmetics things get a bit more complicated.

This is caused by a couple of things. 1) Japanese products are made for Asian skin types. A great majority of Japanese skincare products are designed to whiten the skin (big thing for Asian girls). No everyone needs that. 2) Japanese cosmetics can get pretty expensive. 3) The description is often only available in Japanese so you don’t always know what you’re buying. On the plus side, Japanese products are usually of very high quality and many of their drugstore brands match or exceed the quality of our high end products.

Shiseido Integrate quads

Shiseido Integrate quads

We all know and love Shiseido. It’s an amazing high end brand with great skincare and equally fantastic makeup range. But did you know that in Japan Shiseido has a drugstore makeup line? It’s called Integrate. I used many of their products and was never disappointed.

Brown quad

Brown quad

Pink quad

Pink quad

Above are two eye shadow quads. I don’t know if those shades have names as the description is only in Japanese. They come in a plastic box with a paint-by-numbers-like instructions on where to apply each of the colours. They are pigmented and really long-lasting! I often don’t even use a primer with these shadows. The colours in each quad complement each other well and look quite striking on the eyelid. The only negative comment I have is that the white in both quads is a bit too powdery.

Swatches

Swatches

Brown quad swatch

Brown quad swatch

Pink quad swatch

Pink quad swatch

And here is how it looks on my eyes

And here is how it looks on my eyes

And one more with different light

And one more with different light

If you’re travelling to Japan and want to pick up something from their drugstores I would highly recommend these eye shadows. I had them for 2 years now and they are one of my favourites. It’s a Shiseido quality for less than £7!

Coming up:

Friday: Made in Japan Week. Introducing Vise

Monday: Simple Christmas Mani

BaByliss Big Hair Vs an Old School Brush and Hairdryer Method

Another belated post. But I have a good excuse – I was packing to go on holidays for a month! I’m now in my new holiday digs and will have more time to write.

Package

I bought Big Hair after seeing a number of youtube and blog reviews. I had high hopes for this new BaByliss gadget (new to me, I believe this has been available for quite some time).

It’s a large round brush and a hairdryer in one. The novelty of this product is that the brush spins (both ways) and dries your hair at the same time. In theory this should help recreate a straight blow dry you get at a hair salon. You know, the one where the hairdresser uses a large brush and a hairdryer to style your hair and give it a nice shape. You can of course achieve the same results at home but I was hoping it’s going to take less time with a 2-in-1 product.

Big Hair has 3 heat settings (the brush only rotates on the 2 highest settings) and two buttons to control the direction in which the brush rotates. It doesn’t take long to learn how to use it.

Big Hair on the left. Round brush on the right

Big Hair on the left. Round brush on the right

BigHairComparison

BaByliss is worse than the brush + hairdryer method cause: 

1)    It’s not a very good hairdryer. It leaves my hair damp especially near the roots. I read that you should use Big Hair on partially dry hair. When I tried it ended up not doing much for my hair. It didn’t look styled. Just puffy and curly.  

2)    You’re supposed to use it on small sections of hair starting from the bottom layers. However, when you get to the upper layers, the rotating brush picks up the lower layers and messes them up. So it first smoothes the hair and then puffs them up. The final effect is similar to backcombing. Not at all the sleek straight look I was after.  

3)    It’s not easier to use than using a brush and a hairdryer. Because it doesn’t dry my hair as well as a hairdryer it actually takes longer.

4)    Because it curls the hair a bit more than a round brush the effect only lasts one day – the next morning my hair sticks out in all directions. With a brush I’m able to straighten my hair more.

Day 2. Big Hair on the left. Brush on the right.

Day 2. Big Hair on the left. Brush on the right.

BaByliss is better cause:

1)    When you take the time to do it right the finished look is really impressive. See the photos above.

Final Ruling

I was going to return this product. I think for everyday a brush+ hairdryer is quicker and more practical. Still, every now and again you need some wa wa woom. And this product does just that. So I kept it.

I got mine from John Lewis for £27 but the price has gone up over the last two weeks (here).

 

Coming up:

Monday: Made in Japan Week. Introducing Integrate

Friday: Made in Japan Week. Introducing Vise

 

Botanics Non-permanent Hair Dye Review

I’ve never dyed my hair. I used Lush henna once, and had a couple of really thin highlights put in twice. At the same time my hair got really dark over the past year. I recently had an interesting chat with a hairdresser. Apparently your hair colour changes all the time. Sun is an obvious factor. But according to him your hair can also change depending on where you live! If you live in an old house with old pipes the water you use to wash your hair will have different minerals and elements than if you live in a new house. This makes sense since my hair got really dark after I moved to my new flat which is a first new flat I had for a long time (as opposed to old Victorian houses).

I wanted to lighten my hair without having to colour my roots every 6 weeks. I thought a semi-permanent dye will do the trick.

BotanicsPackage

I got Botanics Non-permanent Hair Dye in Baked Nutmeg. It looked a bit more natural than other semi-permanent dyes. The colour table on the box showed how my dark brown hair would look after. So far so good.

BotanicsPack

The instruction box said to do a patch test and a strand test. I also read a couple of reviews of this product online that said that it can turn your hair purple or give it a strong brassy undertone. So I didn’t want to risk

I’m so happy I did the strand test !!!

Despite the colour table on the package my hair actually turned darker! Very, very dark, mousy, lifeless brown. This might be obvious for some of you but it wasn’t for me: semi permanent dyes will not make your hair lighter, no matter what it says on the box.

Results: quite the opposite of what I wanted. Dark parts on both sides are dyed.

Results: quite the opposite of what I wanted. Dark parts on both sides are dyed.

Still, I can’t understand why it turned my hair so much darker. Obviously I didn’t use the product on the rest of my hair. I tried using the deep after-colour conditioner that came in the pack but it didn’t do much for my hair.

 BotanicsConditioner

Final Ruling

This product didn’t work for me. I think it might be a good product for someone who, like me, is looking for a more natural dye but wants to go darker. It’s not an expensive product so it’s worth a try even if it doesn’t work. My main advice would be: ALWAYS do a strand test.

Product available in Boots for £4.07

Coming up:

Friday: Big Hair Review

Monday: Made in Japan. Eye Shadows Review

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