I've had this starter protocol kit from Olay for a couple of months now, but I held off on making a review in order to give the products a chance to work. I'm sure many of you have seen, heard or read about this new professional anti-aging starter regimen from Olay. The Pro-X Anti-Aging Starter Protocol is your introduction to the three-part daily program. It contains starter sizes of Age Repair Lotion SPF 30 (for sun protection, moisturization and anti-aging appearance benefits), Eye Restoration Complex (a specialized treatment that improves the look of dark circles, puffiness and crow's feet) and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream (smooths uneven textures with moisture, combating the look of fine lines and wrinkles). Olay claims that each product in the daily regimen contains a unique combination of the Olay’s highest recommended levels of proven anti-aging ingredients in a patented formula. I will state a description of each product in the kit, and I shall follow it with my own thoughts on the skincare product.
Pro-X Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30 is designed and professionally tested to help shield your skin from harmful UVA & UVB exposure. This Primary Solution also hydrates to fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Apply liberally to skin in the morning, spreading evenly over the face and neck as needed.
The core Olay anti-aging ingredient combination of Pal-KT and Pal-KTTKS Peptides, Carnosine, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), SPF 30 ingredients.
Size: 1 Ounce
My Take: This is my favorite among the three products in this kit. I am an avid fan of Olay Complete moisturizer with SPF 15. I believe the Olay Complete was the same "Oil of Olay" my grandmother used to slather on her face and neck (without the SPF), and her skin looked porcelain-smooth even in her twilight years. Her blessed skin convinced me to use Olay Complete everyday as my day moisturizer before putting on my makeup. I have yet to see Olay Complete break me out or otherwise wreak havoc on my skin, but this new moisturizer from Olay held a lot of promise. The new Pro-X Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30 is double the goodness of Olay Complete. It is double the SPF (wow, a "drugstore" moisturizer with SPF30, and Olay at that, is a hands-down winner in my book). It is also doubly creamy compared to Olay Complete, so that's another huge plus for me. I also like the fact that this does not contain any scent, as I am a little sensitive to scent even the subtle ones. This really makes my skin moisturized, supple, and fully prepped to face the day (sunlight and all). I also use this under my eyes after I put on the Eye Restoration Complete eye cream because the latter doesn't contain SPF, and I need a lot of SPF in my sensitive, thin undereye area, and the Repair Lotion with SPF 30 never made my eyes sting. All in all, I love this product and will be buying another one after I've used up the one I'm currently using.
Eye Restoration Complex
Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex is designed and professionally tested for the part of your face that communicates age the most: the delicate eye area. This Specialized Treatment hydrates to restore the area to its optimum appearance by improving the look of crow’s feet. Massaging it in reduces excess fluids to diminish dark circles and puffiness.
Treat skin morning and night by applying Eye Restoration Complex to the corners, lid and suborbital eye area, massaging in thoroughly until absorbed. As with all facial skin care products, avoid getting into your eyes.
The core Olay anti-aging ingredient combination of Pal-KT and Pal-KTTKS Peptides, Carnosine, Caffeine, and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3).
Size: 0.3 Ounce
The Eye Restoration Complex cream that came with the kit is housed in a tube. I like that it is not scented and that it doesn't sting my eyes. The problem with reviewing eye creams for me is that I don't really see a noticeable difference after I've roadtested them, but neither do they make the skin around my eye area worse. Having gone through several eye creams, I guess an eye cream to me is good if I don't see any adverse effects on the area being treated. This product efficiently makes my undereye area supple and smooth to prepare it for my application of mineral foundation. I also like that it doesn't make my foundation nor concealer cake around the fine lines. The downside is that I don't see any improvement in my puffy eye circles (I guess my puffiness is kinda hopeless). I think this is a decent product, though, especially if your goal is to moisturize the undereye area.
Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream is designed and professionally tested to smooth uneven textures with moisture, combating the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Transform skin at night by smoothing over the face and neck.
The core Olay anti-aging ingredient combination of Pal-KT and Pal-KTTKS Peptides, Carnosine, and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3).
Size: 1 Ounce
My Take: I am not a fan of this cream, although I believe that this can be a holy grail item for some people. I broke out when I used this, and I stopped using this cream while continuing with the Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, so I knew that this might have been the culprit and not the Age Repair Lotion. I like though that this is unscented, and that it applied pleasantly smooth on the skin without the greasy feel. I really wanted to like this product, but as I said, it broke me out so I had to let go of this. If your skin is not sensitive to this product, though, you will love this as it effectively moisturizes without the oily feel.
All in all, the winner in this collection is the Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, followed by the Eye Restoration Complex. I will continue to use these products, especially the Age Repair Lotion, which shall now replace the Olay Complete with SPF 15 in my daily morning routine. I live in a place where sunlight is the harshest (especially during summer), so SPF is very important to me. I put another film of SPF lotion on my face during summer for added protection. The Age Repair Lotion is a real winner in my book.
For those who have tried Pro-X, how did you find this anti-aging system?
How many of you have been googling for product swatches of the latest collection of MAC, for example, only to wade through a plethora of useless websites? You are looking for a review on the new L'oreal mascara, and Google directs you to a bunch of eBay listings or other sites that sell the same thing. You want to go to the meat of your search, which is, of course, beauty blogs. Well Google has created a nifty search engine specifically for blogs, so you don't need to weed out useless search results. Just go to blogsearch.google.com or search.blogger.com (you will get all the blog entries related to that keyword, not just blogger blogs). Type your search words in the search box, hit enter, and voila! Your favorite blogs' entries on that particular beauty item are revealed in an orderly fashion, without the unnecessary sites. Google describes this seach feature below:
Blog Search is Google search technology focused on blogs. Google is a strong believer in the self-publishing phenomenon represented by blogging, and we hope Blog Search will help our users to explore the blogging universe more effectively, and perhaps inspire many to join the revolution themselves. Whether you're looking for Harry Potter reviews, political commentary, summer salad recipes or anything else, Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice.
Your results include all blogs, not just those published through Blogger; our blog index is continually updated, so you'll always get the most accurate and up-to-date results; and you can search not just for blogs written in English, but in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, Swedish, Malay, Polish, Thai, Indonesian, Tagalog, Turkish, Vietnamese and other languages as well.
The goal of Blog Search is to include every blog that publishes a site feed (either RSS or Atom). It is not restricted to Blogger blogs, or blogs from any other service.
I don't know how long this search technology has been going on, but I only discovered this recently, so I am excited to share this with you beauty blog addicts. You can even create a Blog Search box on your Google tool bar. If you are interested in what bloggers think about a particular topic (yes, even the Iraq war and the budget deficit), Blog Search via Google is the best tool to use.
Do you use Blog Search or do you still use the main Google search engine to look for beauty items on blogs?
Here's a look using Aromaleigh's Spring Solstice eyeshadows from the samples that I got a few weeks ago. Before I do that, don't forget to enter Aromaleigh's contest to get a chance to win a full set of full sized jars of Aromaleigh's Spring Solstice collection. CLICK HERE for the mechanics of the contest.
Here's a step-by-step illustration on this springy look. All items Aromaleigh products unless otherwise indicated.
Apply MAC Butternutty shadestick all over lid, brows, and lower lashline. Smooth product on the lid with finger. Using a fluffy shader brush, apply Greenstroke paint pot on lid. Doesn't have to be perfect.
Using a flat, stiff shader brush like the MAC 239, apply Greenbrier on the lid foiled using MAC Charged Water.
Using the other side of the same brush, apply Heartleaf on the inner to mid-lid dry using quick patting motions.
Apply Chantal dry on the outer V using another shader brush. Blend into the other shadows using the Sonia Kashuk blender brush.
Apply BackinBlack on the crease and outer V dry sparingly using a stiff shader brush and blend the colors together using the Sonia Kashuk blender brush. Using the MAC 224 brush, apply MAC Brule shadow on the borders of the shadows above the crease to blend out harsh lines. Apply a matte highlighter to the browbone.
Line eyes using MAC Penultimate liquid liner in Rapidblack. Apply Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero to rim eyes. Using MAC 316 brush, apply Trillium on inner lower lashline, and Chantal on outer lower lashline. Apply Revlon false lashes in Intensifying. Apply mascara.
Monistat gel as primer
MAC Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone mattifier and pore reducer
Earthen Glow mineral foundation in Yuan Yuan
MAC Studio Sculpt concealer in NC20
Dayna's Rested mineral undereye concealer
DreamWorld Whipped Cocoon (silk finishing powder) in Whipped Strawberries
MAC mineral blush in Warm Soul
MAC mineralize skinfinish in Refined over blush
MAC lipliner in Whirl
MAC lipstick in Lollipop Loving
Aromaleigh lipgloss in Gosh (discontinued)
I just checked out how many entries have the label "Aromaleigh" here in my blog. There were 48 entries with Aromaleigh labels, and this is going to be the forty-ninth one. Forty-nine labels! That just shows how much I like this brand. Well Kristen of Aromaleigh is holding a contest where one can get a chance to win a full set of full-sized jars of Aromaleigh's Spring Solstice shadows!! I am pasting the contest mechanics prizes below:
Here's how to enter. This is a "viral" contest, in which you'll be posting about Aromaleigh and this contest on your blogs, social networks, forums you visit, myspace bulletins, facebook, vox blogs, etc, etc.
You may enter 3 times- which means that you can post about this event in three different places. To enter, make your post in your blog/forum/community/etc of choice, which has to include a link to http://www.aromaleigh.com home page, or the Spring Solstice collection page: http://www.aromaleigh.com/nespsoliedey.html
Then, come back to the contest post at our WORDPRESS BLOG and leave a comment including where you posted your entry and the link.
Please use your real email address when you post (no one else can see this info but me) so that I can get in touch with you when we do the contest drawing. If you enter a bad email address, and you win- then I can't get in touch with you. Capicé?
What do you need to post to have a valid entry? Something about Aromaleigh. Perhaps why you like it and why you want to win this contest. Let others know about the contest so that they can have a chance to check it out, too. And you've got to include the url.
I'll go and check each entry to validate it, and in the very beginning of April, I will collect all entries and hold a video drawing that will be posted on my You Tube channel and here, in which I draw 5 winners. You'll see it happen, real-time~!
So let's get started... this is a fabulous chance to win one of five FULL SIZED sets of the Spring Solstice collection! This is a big dollar value item, and we've got FIVE of them to give away! So let's start spreading the word about this contest and Aromaleigh.
This contest is open to customers worldwide!
So why do I want to win the Spring Solstice set? As I said in a previous entry, they are so pretty and the finish and texture are awesome. They are not as metallic as the Opulent Lustres (thank God!), and they have almost the same beautiful finish as the Valentine 2009 shadows that I loved. Watch out for Spring Solstice look that I will be posting soon.
Other reasons why I love Aromaleigh? Check out the forty-nine Labels here on my blog. (At the bottom of this entry are my tags. Click on the "Aromaleigh" one.) I think all those entries are a testament that I just don't pretend to be a fan of Aromaleigh in order to win this contest.
You have a chance to win too! Spread the word via your own blogs, makeup forums, and your Facebook or MySpace pages. So what are you waiting for? Just follow the instructions and you're good to go!
I've been really itching to try the Prep + Prime Refined Zone and the Transparent Finishing Powder. I wanted to try the former because I have a very oily t-zone, and usually, oily t-zones have enlarged pores like mine. I also wanted to try the Transparent Finishing Powder because I am like the FinPow (finishing powder) queen - I have tried different kinds of finishing powders from Bare Escentuals to Aromaleigh to Joppa Minerals to DreamWorld Minerals - and I really wanted to know how MAC's very own fares in comparison to all these.
Let's start with the Refined Zone. It's actually an oil mattifier and pore reducer in one, and I really like those kinds of two-in-one products. MAC claims that this is a lightweight, oil-free, soy-based emulsion that instantly helps minimize visible pores while helping to control excess surface oil and shine. MAC also claims that it employs High Tech Optics, an advanced technology powder and light diffusers to fill in lines. The result is supposed to be an invisible, natural-looking, long-lasting matte finish that also keeps the pores clean and unclogged, and it mattifies and hides imperfections while using a Mannose-Phosphate blend that gently exfoliates away dead skin cells. What a mouthful, huh? Anyways, I really wanted to claim that promise of MAC of matte, soft, exfoliated skin with reduced pore size.
My take: I love this product. I used it over my primer and usually the primer really makes my skin a tad oily, but not so with this product. It really does mattify my oily t-zone and prevents me from looking greasy by mid-day. I used a magnifying mirror to check out my pores after I applied this on, and I was pleased to see that it did indeed shrink my pores, especially on the nose. I was quite happy, and this product is a real keeper for me.
Prep + Prime Finishing Powder contains cornstarch, silica and micronized mica. Therefore, it seems like a hybrid of Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil (which has cornstarch), Make Up Forever's High Definition Finishing Powder (which is 100% silica), and Aromaleigh's tinted Ultra Resolution Finishing Powder (which has both mica and silica). For those who are sensitive to mica and cornstarch, this product might not be for you, but I am not bothered by these two ingredients. In fact, cornstarch makes my skin look airbrushed and it soaks up excess oil, that is why Bare Escentuals' mineral veil is still a good product for me. MAC's finishing powder includes some of the best ingredients from other finishing powders in the market. Cornstarch gives a silky finish and soaks up oil, silica blurs imperfections and fine lines giving a soft focus effect, and mica gives a radiant luminosity to the skin. Kudos to MAC for combining these ingredients for their very own high definition finishing powder.
The verdict? I am loving it as well. It didn't make my skin itch nor break me out, so that is a huge plus. I can see myself putting this in my purse for touch-ups which is more sanitary than carrying a powder compact that can easily breed bacteria. It might be a bit messy if you are used to a compact, but the benefits to your skin far outweighs the inconvenience. Just see the difference after you've touched up using this product!
In the look below, I used both the Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone and the Transparent Finishing Powder.
MAC Butternutty shadestick
Urban Decay Ammo Shadow Box (Maui Wowie on lid and inner lower lashline/inner corners, Smog on outer V and crease and outer lower lashline), Oil Slick to contour the crease)
Coastal Scents 28 pc Neutral palette (used one of the matte highlighter shades on browbone)
Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Zero to rim eyes
MAC Penultimate liner in Rapidblack
Revlon false lashes in Intensifying
MAC Zoomlash mascara in Zoom Black
Monistat gel as primer
Earthen Glow Minerals foundation in Yuan Yuan
MAC Studio Sculpt concealer in NC20
Dayna's Rested mineral undereye concealer
DreamWorld cream topping (finishing powder) in Butterscotch
MAC Prep + Prime transparent finishing powder
Jouer mineral blush in Bougainvillea
MAC skinfinish in Perfect Topping
MAC tinted lip conditioner in Pink Fish
ULTA lipliner in Flesh
MAC lipstick in Hug Me
Milani Lip Mixer lipgloss in Lip Fuse
This is a revision and update on my MAC Grand Duos swatches/initial thoughts. I deleted that entry to integrate everything into one entry.
I should be in love with the Grand Duos because I am such a sucker for mineralize cheek stuff. I collect mineralize skinfinishes (I have every MSF MAC has released except for Pleasureflush), and I have all but a couple of the mineralize blushes released last year. That deluge of products however has kept me from loving the Grand Duos as much as I want because they are practically dupes of many of the mineralize blushes/skinfinishes that I already have.
However, this is a review of the Grand Duos, so I will focus on them. They are basically mineralize blush/highlighter/bronzer rolled into one compact. There are two sides to every compact - one in solid color and the other a melange of marblelized confection of colors. These are by no means matte in finish - they give a shimmery, frosty glow to the skin, an illusion of youthful glow. The finish is just like mineralize skinfinishes from MAC, and if you love MSFs, you will definitely love the Grand Duos. Most of the colors are beautiful - and would make great addition to one's makeup collection if one doesn't have these colors yet. I will let the swatches speak for themselves at this point.
As you can tell from the swatches, these babies are pigmented, richly-hued, and some have metallic finishes. The best brushes to apply these with are either the MAC 187 brush or a fluffy blush brush like the 129 with a light hand. These would give the prettiest glowy cheeks ever. The darker ones can also operate as bronzers or contouring shades. I think the most sellable one is Love Rock- a gold violet melange/bright blue pink solid color. It is your average blue-pink shimmery blush, and if you don't have that color, this would be a good buy. I already have Pleasantry and Gentle from the first release of mineralize blushes which are strikingly similar to Love Rock, so this is not a must-have for me. Grand Duo is a copper pink melange/plum solid that is one of my favorites as the combination is really pretty. Light Over Dark is an orange yellow melange/deep brown that would make a great bronzer with the marriage of the gold and brown tones. Earth to Earth is another one that caught my fancy. It is a purple bronze melange with yellow brown solid. It would be gorgeous to warm the complexion, and the purple bronze side would make a great crease shadow color (yes, these products are multi-purpose). However, this is similar to Nuance mineralize blush so again, this is not a must-have for me. Hot Planet is a copper yellow melange/deep brown that didn't attract me that much because I didn't like the coppers in this product. Intenso is an orange yellow melange/deep brown solid that is close to Merrily mineralize blush that I have. My ultimate favorite, though, is Moon River, a blue pink melange with pale yellow pink solid. The melange looks a lot like Lightscapade mineralize skinfinish which I have, but I prefer Moon River because the pink side lends a very soft, feminine, romantic ethereal glow which Lightscapade lacks.
Here are some of my mineralize blushes so you can see how similar some of the colors are to the Grand Duos:
All in all, the Grand Duos are beautiful multi-purpose products that lend a soft ethereal glow to the complexion. Depending on the shade, they can be amazing highlighters, blushes or bronzers. The downside is that the colors are not that unique and are easily dupe-able especially if you have many of the mineralize blushes and skinfinishes. However, for those who are just starting with mineralize cheek products, these are definite good buys and are great complexion enhancers as well.
NOTE: Do NOT depot these - the Grand Duos are very fragile and they are domed, which means they cannot fit the standard MAC blush palettes.">