Friday, July 1, 2016

The Friday Forum - July 1

It's hard to believe it's July. Just yesterday, I was sure we had days to go before July started. I'm seriously out of synch with the calendar.

Last weekend, when I thought I would get makeup photos, I didn't have a spare second. All day Saturday, after my hair appointment at 8:00 am and a quick trip to Neiman Marcus, I spent the rest of the day getting my kitchen ready to accept a new dishwasher. Saturday morning, cousin Bob and I met early at Mom's house to start the process of moving her new dishwasher into my house. Nothing went according to plan. Nothing.

He had to start by ripping up the kitchen floor at Mom's to get under the dishwasher to shorten the legs. Then he was able to remove it. Minor setback. Kitchen floor ruined, but who's counting?However, when he got to my house, he ran into problems. My dishwasher had been "hard-piped" into the water system with copper pipes. They don't do that anymore. They use flexible hosing for the inbound and outbound water. He had to cut out copper and get fittings onto the remaining copper to connect the new dishwasher. It took hours. He finally finished the whole ordeal 4.5 hours after he started. I was so tired, I feel asleep right after he left. He had planned to take the old dishwasher to the county "dump" for me, but didn't have time. So I have had a dishwasher in my driveway, awaiting a special pick-up by the county. Did I get lucky! My regular trash guys hauled it off this morning. I was stunned. I'm sure they broke the rules, but I will tip them the next time I see them. My house looked like one of those homes where old appliances are thrown out back to rot over time. It would have been a nice picture for the Fourth of July weekend. I was thinking I could stick a flag on it.

Home maintenance can be quite a chore when your house starts to age. In the last month or so, I've had a fan replaced in my heat pump (really not cheap), a plug in the condensation output pipe fixed in my air handler in the basement, screen panels replaced or patched on the porch (I cannot have Charlie continue to bring me little gifts of wrens), and a fuse in the microwave replaced. I am hoping that's my spate of bad house luck for the next few months.

Now I have to get a mover to bring some furniture over from Mom's house so I have somewhere to put her china and crystal. Oh, and there's the grandfather clock - not a cinch to move.

We are supposed to have a sunny Saturday, so I'm counting on taking photos tomorrow. I'm staying home - no side trips to Neiman Marcus. Charlie will be happy. I have so many things to show you, although in a way I'm glad my lack of photos forced me to focus on some fabulous skin care this past week.

It's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

I want to tell you again how grateful I am for the many expressions of sympathy I have received. Although some of your e-mails left me in tears, I was grateful to know that you are out there in the blogosphere caring about my loss.

Photo courtesy of spyderonlines.com

Thursday, June 30, 2016

NUXE Paris Anti-Aging Roll-On Mask Nuxuriance Ultra Global Anti-Aging Re-Plumping Roll-on Mask

I absolutely love masks, so when NUXE Paris sent me a few new products to try, you can picture me reaching for the Nuxuriance Ultra Anti-Aging Roll-on Mask ($53) first. I have to admit that I was enthralled with everything in the box, especially the packaging. The dark green product boxes, holding each dark green and gold Nuxuriance product are spectacular. They look rich, luxurious, and classy. Turns out the products are too. (They even sent me a T-shirt that fits! It's cute. I was thrilled. Bloggers aren't often treated this nicely - at last I'm not.)

This NUXE Paris global anti-aging re-plumping roll-on mask with saffron and bougainvillea bi-floral cells helps smooth the skin, reshape facial contours, and enhance radiance - in one night! The first night I used it I awakened to skin that looked plumper, hydrated, rested, firm, and even-toned. I was impressed. Who was that woman in the mirror?

If you check out the ingredients at this link, you will see that the mask if filled with a garden's bounty. There is a lovely place on the NUXE Web site where you can explore the company's botanical ingredients and their beneficial effects. Please stop by to see how nature is integrated into their products. I think that's important.

I had to figure out how to use the mask, so I actually read the directions - unusual for me. You apply the mask using the "fresh effect" roll-on applicator. It feels wonderful; it cools the skin as you massage the mask into the skin. NUXE says to leave it on for 10 minutes and then remove the excess product with a cotton pad, either dry or soaked in lotion. I did that the first night I used it. Then, I figured that since the "cream" had absorbed into my skin, I'd leave it on all night. I love applying it and leaving it on. It has quickly become a habit for me. NUXE recommends you remove any excess product using the Gentle Toning Lotion before going to bed. I know; I'm a rule breaker.

To use the tube, you have to make sure to turn the applicator tip to the right, to the "ON" position (look, it's not obvious). Then use the roll-on to apply the product, working outwards from the center of your face, starting at the bottom of your face, neck, and decolleté. Remember to turn the applicator to the "OFF" position before you stow it for the night.

You can apply the mask during the day (I haven't, basically because I'm always rushing in the morning) for an immediate tensing and radiance effect: leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with a cotton pad soaked in toning lotion and apply your usual skin care.

I have also tried the Anti-Aging Eye & Lip Contour Nuxuriance Ultra the company sent me, and I am equally impressed. I'll tell you about it soon. In the meantime, I'd recommend that you check out the wide array of products offered by this luxury line. NUXE strives to promote sustainable development and conducts itself responsibly as a cosmetics brand by taking simple steps that are not detrimental to the environment. My kind of company! I hope it's yours too.

The NUXE Laboratory is committed to prioritizing ingredients with a natural origin and to selecting active ingredients from the plant kingdom. NUXE face products are all non-comedogenic. All NUXE products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, and ingredients containing animal extracts. To prove the safety and effectiveness of NUXE products, all their formulas are subjected to tests carried out under dermatological supervision by external laboratories approved by the French Ministry of Research. They have collaborated on programs to build bee populations and finance the installation of an environmentally-friendly water production station in the heart of a rural village in the Kandal province of southern Cambodia. This NUXE station will ensure the village's autonomy by providing sustainable drinking water. Much like Chantecaille, one of my favorite brands, NUXE has a conscience and uses its position to improve our Earth.

You can find them at the NUXE Paris Web site and at specialty stores all over the world. Use the store locator function at this link. I do like to buy online when there are special offers. Right now, you can receive five minis with a $50 order. Temptation! Plus there are other benefits and gifts. I appreciate companies that reward my loyalty.

Update: I just saw an ad online for a 20% discount and free shipping with code FIRSTORDER.

Photo courtesy of NUXE Paris

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

MDSUN Intensive Eye Gel

Until I was approached by a representative of MDSUN, I had never heard of the company. Not only that, at first glance, I assumed from the company name that it was a line of sun products (ho hum). Instead, I learned quickly, it is a superb line of skin care products founded by the world-renowned cosmeceutical surgeon, Dr. George Sun, in 2001.

When Dr. Sun began developing the MDSUN line, he drew upon his extensive background as an aesthetic plastic surgeon and a biochemist. Each MDSUN product features a custom formulated base, designed with specialized ingredients that provide clinical efficacy and long-term improvement in the look and feel of skin. At the same time, MDSUN products are mild enough to for use on sensitive skin over a lifetime. MDSUN products do not require a peeling or acclimation phase in order to enhance the appearance of skin (praise the Lord!). They are safe to use pre- or post-treatment or in conjunction with surgical procedures. The line reminds me of one of my long-time favorites, RéVive developed by Dr. Gregory Brown.

MDSUN sent me two products to try, and I have been using Intensive Eye Gel ($105) for well over a month. I love it! It is a gel that acts like a cream (I'll explain below), and the dispenser allows me to pump out only the small quantity I need, avoiding waste (one of my pet peeves with luxury products).

MDSUN’s Intensive Eye Gel addresses delicate skin concerns with a unique blend of anti-aging, brightening, and hydrating ingredients, leaving the skin more firm, moisturized, and radiant. Infused with sodium hyaluronate (nature's sponge), coenzyme q10, and vitamin E - all ingredients I want in my eye cream - the gel’s formula helps to support natural collagen and elastin and softens expression lines and wrinkles, and it restores suppleness and youthfulness. Anti-fatigue agents vitamins C and K significantly reduce under-eye puffiness due to fluid retention and dark circles so that the skin looks brighter and well-rested. Precious algae and oat extracts further protect the skin against aging and environmental damage. All true! (Forgive me; I try not to use too many exclamation points, but when I get excited about a product, they slip out).

You are supposed to use Intensive Eye Gel twice/day, but I have been using it in the morning only. Still, I have realized its beneficial effects. Most impressive? I sleep on my right side, and fluid tends to build up overnight in a pocket over my right sinuses. I don't often have time to lie with frozen peas over my eyes for 20 minutes in the morning to shrink that pocket, but MDSUN does it for me within minutes. I'm impressed. It also makes my "expression lines" far less visible by plumping the thin skin around my under-eye area. I use it both under and over my eyes, and I have had absolutely no seepage into my eyes. It's a gel, but it absorbs quickly like a cream, and my makeup goes over it without any unevenness. My eye area looks hydrated all day - just like it looks when I use any of my favorite eye creams. I'm totally in love with Intensive Eye Gel.

Its key ingredients are Phytonadione (Vitamin K), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, and Algae Extract - a relatively short list, but one that's filled with excellent ingredients.

I am eager to try other products from MDSUN. They sent me a product that is laden with retinol, and I am afraid to try it (given my serious allergic reactions to retinol and my dermatologist's advice to avoid it). I just don't want to risk going to work with a burned face (although I only have a week left on this current job, so maybe I should risk it later). Here is a blurb from MDSUN's Web site on its innovative philosophy, with my comments added in parentheses. I think it's important to emphasize the company's commitment to quality and state-of-the-art beauty product manufacturing.

Innovative, Effective, Revolutionary, and Researched
With thousands of clinical experiences, we at MDSUN understand the importance of staying connected to our patients and customers to make sure their needs are met in every way possible and provide an experience that other brands cannot reproduce. Our associates are selected on the basis of their distinguished research and product development, and we choose only from the research labs that meet our stringent standards and requirements in order to create the UltrapackTM product line; carrying with its name a treatment experience that is innovative, safe, effective, and revolutionary. (Here is a little secret in the industry. Many well-known companies buy prefabricated products and pass them off as specialty care developed specifically for their customers.)

Manufacturing Specialties
We at MDSUN specialize in pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical skin care, hair care, and supplements - all incorporating Liposome technologies and Ultrapack™ ingredients. In accordance with our mission, we make it our utmost responsibility to ensure our products and manufacturers meet all GMP guidelines. Our products are certified high-quality, manufactured in the USA (many thanks!), and meet the most stringent of standards. Our professional team consists of experts from across the disciplines: doctors, chemists, pharmacists, beauty therapists, and nurses. We aim to provide the most effective and safe skin care treatments to our patients and customers. Patients and customers are our foremost concern, and in this, we provide the best treatment option whether pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, or a combination of both.

Confidence in Quality Assurance
All our materials are derived from American facilities that guarantee compliance with stringent SGS and ISO standards (if you don't know what that means, trust me, it's good). All materials come from American and European-based research facilities to ensure the product compliance to SGS and ISO standards.
  • Dr. Sun requires MDSUN to be a quality brand name in the skin-care industry.
  • All products follow FDA guidelines and fall under the supervision of a recognized Product Development Committee.
  • Collaboration with well-established suppliers to provide Ultrapack™ ingredient, use Liposome™ technology.
  • Each step of manufacturing, production, and packaging is strictly monitored to adhere to MDSUN’s professional standards.
  • SGS-certified laboratories work closely with our professional staff to conduct tests and research to provide the best and most efficacious active ingredients.
Effective, Safe, and Mostly Paraben Free
MDSUN focuses on two lines of products: cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical. Our pharmaceutical line of products focuses on effectiveness, safety, research, and clinical studies. We provide products that meet our rigid safety guidelines and effectiveness standards while minimizing the pre-and-post-surgery/pre-and-post-therapy recovery times of thousands of our patients. The products in our pharmaceutical line are targeted for medical usage and are formulated from years of experience in both the research laboratory as well as with thousands of patients during clinical studies.
Our cosmeceutical line of products focuses on using the most effective, non-prescription ingredients available to provide the best possible results. By producing vitamin-based and antioxidant supplements, we using Ultrapack™ ingredient to provide the upmost care for our customers’ beauty and health. We ensure our cosmeceutical line to produce the fastest results.

I've learned a few lessons here. Don't assume anything about a company until you have learned its specialty and tried its products. The fact that it's not on the counter at Neiman Marcus and Saks may be an advantage. You can wink when your friends ask you what you've done to look so young and fresh and you tell them your secret didn't involve a surgical procedure. I always share product recommendations with my friends, and I'll definitely be sharing this one, now that I've shared it with you.

You can purchase MDSUN products - and there is a great, long list from which to choose - at the company's Web site. I intend to become a regular customer.

Photo courtesy of MDSUN

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

TATCHA Soothing Triple Recovery Cream

I was the lucky recipient of samples of this amazing moisturizer, and now I plan to order it. TATCHA had sent me their Indigo Smoothing Silk Body Butter, and I used up every tiny bit. There was no trace left behind in the travel jar. I loved it - and I suspect, like most, I was surprised that it didn't look blue on my skin.

Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream ($135) is formulated for sensitive skin, which basically  means it will work for everyone. This anti-aging moisturizer is rich in Indigo extract, Colloidal Oatmeal, and Sophora Japonica extract, all of which calm, comfort, and restore the skin's natural resiliency.

To my skin, this cream feels like a rich, ultra-hydrating barrier that helps my skin preserve moisture while it soothes, balancing skin tone for an even look. It is a wonderful cream for use day or night. Even though it's rich, it doesn't interfere with makeup application or wear.


TATCHA's soothing blend of botanicals calms sensitive, easily irritated skin and reverses the signs of premature aging. Formulated with 3% Colloidal Oatmeal (the highest percentage available in a product of this kind on the market), the skin is left comforted, supple, and replenished. It's so good, it was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.

My eczema flared after my knee surgery last year (I don't really understand why, but I've heard that certain anesthesias can cause that), and I would love to have had my hands on this cream then. TATCHA says it's ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive skin showing signs of rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, or allergies - and I believe that. It's also billed as non-comedogenic, which is perfect for anyone with eczema.

I compare this very favorably with a Chantecaille cream I use - one that I love, but it costs $342! Yes, I spend that much because it works. I will happily trade out Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream for $135. They are both 50 ml.

I cannot say enough good things about TATCHA and every one of their products I've tried. Next, I'd like to get my hands on their masks. I will wait, though, and see if I still have a job in a month. You can purchase all of the Indigo product line at TATCHA's Web site. You're going to get hooked.

Photo courtesy of TATCHA

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Friday Forum - June 24

Yesterday, I brought you up top date on my comings and goings. My life has been hectic - even at work. I'm glad a weekend is upon me. Even though I have a lot to do (such as swap out a dishwasher), my list is achievable.

I have enjoyed the gray-hair discussion on last week's Friday Forum. It has continued all week. So if you missed it, you might want to go back and check out the comments.

I am going to try desperately to get over to Neiman Marcus Mazza this weekend. If I can do that and take photos for next week's blog features, I will feel like an over-achiever.

I have Armani, NARS Multiples, Laura Geller, Stila, Tarte, Guerlain, and other wonderful things to share with you. There is also a new eye treatment that I've tested for a month and really like. The back-up of boxes in my bedroom is out of control.

I managed to slice into my finger with a cat food can lid, and it's very hard to type accurately with my finger all wrapped up. I'm going to keep this short.

It's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photo courtesy of typesofflower.com

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie Le Métier de Beauté "June-fest" Continues

First, where have I been? Every day since last week, I have been either making room in my house for boxes and boxes of my mother's things or packing and moving them into my house. All fragile items - everything from hand-painted china to antique figurines she had collected. I had hoped to take photos last weekend, but I didn't have a spare second. I'm sorry. There is always this weekend.

We have had some nasty weather this week. I found myself carrying boxes of china out to my car Tuesday in driving rain, with lightning and thunder crashing all around me. Even this morning, the thunderstorm started at 5:15 am.

I wanted you to know that the Le Métier de Beauté celebration of June, the first month of summer, continues despite the end of the Neiman Marcus Camp Gorgeous event. Gifts with purchase are still available, and Michael has been very generous in providing them, even without technically qualifying purchases.

This Saturday, June 25, Beatrice will be back all day doing facials. She is Michael's personal aesthetician, and now that she has touched my face, I can see why. There are still some appointments remaining, so definitely call if you would enjoy a facial Saturday. They are still free, but like other counters in the store, you are expected to purchase two skin-care items to "pay" for the hour-long treat - and qualify for a GWP. Call Michael or Andy at the counter at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258, to reserve your appointment time. I think you will be pleased with Beatrice.

Just to remind you, Mazza has a special step-up GWP available: either the Runway Palette with 18 colors or the Breast Cancer Brigitte Kaleidoscope.

I promise to try to get photos this weekend. I have moved most of what I can move myself. This Sunday, my cousin is moving the dishwasher I bought Mom last summer into my house. Mine is kaput after 34 years. Of course, I have to move all the stuff I've thrown in front of my dead dishwasher. That will be my Friday-Saturday chore.

Thank you again for all of your kind expressions of sympathy.

Photo courtesy of scienceclarified.com

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Friday Forum and a Very Special Deal at Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie Le Métier de Beauté Counter

I've been watching these eagles, now named Freedom and Liberty, since before they hatched. They have survived and thrived (God willing they will continue to do so), and today they are big, strapping juveniles who soar, explore, and fight over food. Since they are flying freely now, there isn't much to see at the nest unless it's feeding time, but you can find the live feed at http://www.dceaglecam.org/ and get a blow-by-blow of what's happening at the American Eagle Foundation Facebook page. I am totally smitten. Last night, I worried about them - a lot. We had a horrendous storm, but fortunately, the tornado and hail hit west of here. DC had a plain vanilla severe thunderstorm. The post-hatching photo above is copyrighted by the American Eagle Foundation.

Starting today, the Le Métier de Beauté Counter at Mazza Gallerie is offering a step-up gift to accompany the GWP for Camp Gorgeous. The regular GWP can be "earned" by spending $350 at the counter. The step-up gift is a Kaleidoscope, which sells for $95. Spend just $100 over the $350 GWP threshold, and you will go home with a beautiful new Kaleidoscope. I have this one, but I'd love to have another. It's one of my favorites. Call Michael or Andy at the counter at (202) 966-9700, extension 2258 if you don't live in the DC area. They will make sure to fulfill your order and ship you the gifts.

It looks like we may have sunshine this weekend, so I'll be able to show you photos next week. I'm ready. Some nice things have arrived.
One more thing: right now Armani Beauty online has a 20% discount on everything. Just use the code ARMANI20.

It's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.

Photo courtesy of and copyrighted by the American Eagle Foundation, eagles.org.