Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fresh - Feel Good Beauty

I'll bet many of you know Fresh primarily for the Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50). Often featured at Sephora, this iconic lip conditioner, along with the rest of the Sugar Collection, put Fresh on the beauty world's map in 1997. Fresh founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg were inspired to use sugar as a natural ingredient in their formulas by childhood memories of their grandmothers using it as a natural antiseptic to heal cuts. As they say, the rest is history. Fresh's Sugar Collection remains a pillar of the brand today. To know Sugar is to love it, but a failure to explore the rest of Fresh is an oversight you need to correct!

Did you know that the White House has had a Fresh gift closet since Bill Clinton was president? Special visitors of the president and first lady are given Fresh presents! Presidents George Bush and Barak Obama have continued the tradition, treating their guests to the ultimate in American luxury. Now I want an invitation to the White House!

I didn't know that Fresh did the skin care and makeup for Chelsea Clinton's wedding. A team of Fresh beauty masters, including Jawn, prepared Chelsea and the whole party (groom, bridesmaids, mothers, fathers, relatives - everyone) for the big event. No wonder Chelsea glowed!

For years, I've had a habit of stopping to see what was new in Fresh land each time I visited a Sephora or the Fresh counter at Neiman Marcus. My favorite counter at Neiman Marcus is now a large display on what seems like floor-to-ceiling metal and glass shelves, making all of the testers accessible for customers to touch, feel, and smell. On Thursday, Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria had a Fresh event, and Alison Kauffman, the store's Product Specialist, was joined by Jawn Marques, Creative Director for the company, and Alyson O'Brien, the Fresh Account Executive for our region. By the time I arrived, they had already had a long day, but they were "fresh" and fun, making sure customers with and without appointments got a mini-facial and color application. They had a whole team with them, and everyone was warm and welcoming.

I thought this was a cute photo of the adorable Alyson and Jawn, posing in front of the Fresh display. You can't see all the customers, but they were scattered around the Fresh area, all loving their sessions - and looking pretty.

I had been watching Jawn complete a customer's skin care and makeup, and she glowed. I didn't hesitate for a second to jump into his chair when my turn came. I had been eager to try Crème Ancienne, Fresh's couture anti-aging formula, handmade in a monastery, and I wanted to see what other products Jawn would select for me. I enjoyed every minute of my pampering session, which included a short hand massage that was too short (I think the next time my blood pressure starts to rise at work, I need to pop next door to the spa for a hand massage).

Off came my makeup with Soy Face Cleanser ($38), a unique, multifunctional formula that is ideal for all skin types. The ultra-gentle face wash contains nourishing amino acids, rich soy proteins, and soothing botanicals to hydrate, calm, and tone. It's one of Fresh's best sellers.

Jawn exfoliated my skin with Sugar Face Polish, which leaves the complexion extremely bright and radiant with just one use. The innovative formula is enriched with revitalizing brown sugar and antioxidant-rich wild strawberries, which work together to gently dissolve dead skin cells. The nourishing blend also has meadowfoam seed, plum, mango, and macadamia oils to intensely condition and moisturize the skin. It's so gentle, you can use it every day, and it has a marvelous fruity scent. What was interesting to me was that it didn't leave any gunk on my face, as one would expect from an exfoliating product applied in a department store. I couldn't hang my face over a sink and rinse thoroughly.

When it was time for the Crème Ancienne, Jawn applied the Eye Cream ($95) and the Elixer Ancien ($250). There is a video at Fresh's Web site where you can learn the magical story of the Crème Ancienne Collection. Only two drops of the Elixer, a precious, anti-aging face treatment oil, were needed to make my skin glow. I mean seriously glow. The key ingredients tell the story.
  • Seabuckthorn oil - an antioxidant enriched with high amounts of omega-7 fatty acids that enhance cell regeneration
  • Skin-firming amino acids - derived from palm trees to lift, tone, and firm the skin
  • Comminphora extract - an age-reversing resin that plumps and visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles
I loved the look and feel of the Elixer Ancien and decided on the spot that I had to have it. Apparently, so did a lot of customers because Alison had to "Option 7" it for me, meaning it is being sent from another Neiman Marcus. I want it now!

Skipping forward a bit, Jawn then applied my makeup. He used one of my regulars, Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation, to even out my skin tone, and then he applied Fresh color to my eyes, cheeks, and lips. I loved it all - and bought new Fresh color: an eye palette and a Sugar Lip Gloss in Sugar Desire ($18), a deep burgundy. I already have Fresh Sugar Plum Lip Tinted Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50) - love it! If you haven't tried one of the Fresh Lip Treatments, you must. The combination of the light plum treatment and the punchy lip gloss was all I needed to look natural, but polished.

I also purchased the Rice Dry Oil ($48), which I had picked out earlier in the week. I was smart enough to predict that it would sell out that day. With the scent of toning camellia and grapefruit, deepened by luscious bourgeon de cassis, ripening into a fruity, earthy essence, the dry oil will probably be addictive.

There's more to tell. I was there for over an hour, enjoying every minute of my time with Jawn and Alyson. I'll feature my Fresh goodies over the coming weeks. I love everything about Fresh: the innovative natural ingredients, the indulgence and sensory pleasures of using Fresh's products, and the purity of their formulas. Fresh offers skin care, fragrance, soaps, makeup, candles, and more. It's a one-stop shopping beauty company.

My friends always say it's hard to buy gifts for me - the gal who buys what she wants. It's really quite simple. Just buy something Fresh! If you buy Fresh gifts for your friends, you might even get a little sample for yourself too. Everyone will be happy!

Photos by Fresh and BTiB


Marley's Mom said...

I think I need to ask my Fresh counter when that gorgeous guy is coming to my store!!! :) Even happily married ladies can appreciate beauty while beauty shopping.

classflirt said...

ive been a fresh-fan for quite a while now. as much as i love the armani fdt., fresh also makes a wonderful one- surprised jawn didn't use it? glad you had such a delightful time, thx for sharing it with us.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi friends! Thanks for the comments.

Marley's Mom, yep, he is a great looking guy, but even nicer on the inside!

Classflirt, Jawn chose to use one of my regular Armani foundations to demonstrate something. I had noticed that the Elixer made me a little shiny. He wanted me to see, with a product I know well, how that shine turned to a beautiful glow when my foundation was applied. His technique was sheer genius.

Unknown said...

this is one brand that i never tried but keep wanting, considering all the great reviews. i will probably start off with the lip treatment.

Charlestongirl said...

Anna, definitely try it! I counted the other day, and I have three of them "going" at once! :)