When a product repeatedly sells out at Sephora, you know it is a good thing. I had to wait about a month to get my hands on Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and it was worth every moment. First, what is a sleeping mask? Inspired by Korean beauty rituals, a sleeping mask is one that works overnight. The formula is key here otherwise it could cause quite a mess. This bouncy gel is pillow-proof. It is also oil-free and surprisingly lightweight.
I’ve used the mask several times over the last couple of weeks and each morning, I wake up with hydrated, smooth skin that looks glow-y and radiant. The mask is infused with hyaluronic acid and watermelon extract to add moisture. AHAs clarify and smooth skin by exfoliating dead skin cells. I use two scoops for a generous layer after cleansing skin. Allow to absorb for several minutes and wash off in the AM. If sleeping masks aren’t your thing, apply a thick layer and rinse after 10 minutes (advised for more sensitive skin).
Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free made without synthetic dyes and mineral oils. Free of parabens and sulfates. I hesitated writing a review about something that is currently unavailable but Sephora made it so easy to get on the wait list, I thought I’d encourage you to hop on the list as well. They sent me an email notifying me the mask was in stock again and it was in my hot hands within days.
During last month’s trip to Iceland, my friend and I made a detour on our way back to Reykjavik before our final evening at the Blue Lagoon. I had read about Taramar and was dying to try it, especially since it is a little tricky getting your hands on stateside. We visited their marketing center and met with their charming head of marketing. I learned that the line was started in 2005 by Dr. Gudrun Marteinsdottir, a professor of science, on the hunt for skin care with more pure ingredients. She began by making creams for herself, and soon after, her friends were clamoring to get their hands on her creations. Dr. Marteinsdottir’s line is comprised of fresh products, designed to be used in 12-24 months. Ingredients include seaweed from the west of Iceland. In fact, 98% of the ingredients are from the island nation.
I had the opportunity to try out all four core products: Day Treatment, Night Treatment, Purifying Treatment and The Serum. The Purifying Treatment is an oil-based cleanser that I used at night. I followed with The Serum and then moisturized in the AM with the Day Treatment and in the PM with the Night Treatment.
The Day treatment works to unclog the cells and illuminate skin and works beautifully under makeup. The Night Treatment provides deep nourishment and antioxidant protection. The Serum is the star, working against anti-aging and discoloration. It strengthens skin, giving my skin texture its best look ever. Lastly, the Purifying Treatment gives skin a deep clean while leaving behind hydration. After a month of using the products, my skin was more even and my pores were dramatically clearer. For one of the first times, I was sad I had to rotate through my editorial calendar and start trying out a new skin care line. I could envision using the four Taramar products as a permanent part of my skin care routine.
While you can’t order this stuff on Amazon or pick it up at Sephora, it is worth tracking it down at nammi.is where they ship to the US directly from Iceland.
I have always liked mists but mostly used them on a whim during the summer. Honestly, they never became part of my everyday routine. But TULA Urban Defense Hydrating Mist is worth keeping on the regular. It is perfectly designed for my needs for hydration, protection and to fight against redness.
I have heard about TULA products and accolades for their hydrating products but hadn’t had a chance to try the line. The nourishing properties of the mist makes me want to branch out! The mist works via all sorts of interesting ingredients, many which I have seen in health foods and eastern medicine (not to mention a goop article or two). Included:
- Coconut water acts like a natural moisturizer that helps reduce excess oil.
- Ashwagandha extract is a stress-relieving, anti-aging herb that calms skin.
- Reishi mushroom extract has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic agents that fight free radical damage.
- Algae extract hydrates and detoxifies, while replenishing essential vitamins and minerals.
- Probiotic technology protects against harmful bacteria and restores skin’s natural balance.
After my skin drinks in the mist, it is supple, remarkably soothed and even in appearance. The fragrance is incredibly light – vaguely clean and crisp. I give my face 4-5 sprays from about eight inches away. I like to finish my nightly skin care routine with a round of mists, but it also works great during the day over makeup. It also came in handy when I rolled in from the pool directly to a casual dinner over the long weekend.
Available via TULA on Amazon.
Back in the day, I was loyal to my Clarisonic, but it slowly made its way out of my routine. Not that I didn’t love it. I just got lazy about replacing brushes and used other ways to exfoliate and deep clean my skin. It wasn’t until the FOREO LUNA play plus landed on my desk that I realized how much I missed a face wash device.
I had tried the FOREO products before but hadn’t truly given it a solid couple of weeks in my routine. I am glad this play plus worked its way in. The battery operated device pulsates to remove dirt and grime without any irritation. Plus it is so portable, light and not bulkly one bit. It leaves my skin rejuvenated and fresh. Comes in Aquamarine, Fuchsia, Midnight, Mint, Pearl Pink, Purple and Sunflower Yellow $49; available now at foreo.com.
Now, FOREO’s toothbrush, Issa play, was something I was a little more hesitant about. I haven’t been hooked on an electric toothbrush and was worried that my teeth wouldn’t feel clean after using it. But I love the Issa and use it now morning and night. This travel-friendly brush is sleek and easily rinsed and cleaned. There are no replacement brushes or bulky covers. It lasts for 6 months, so it would be perfect to store away in your toiletries bag ready for your next jaunt, but, for now, I am using it at home just because I love it so much. It whitena and brightens your smile but also is super gentle on sensitive teeth and gums thanks to its gentle and hygienic silicone design. Comes in Wild Strawberry, Pink, Cobalt Blue, Summer Sky and Cool Black $49; available at ulta.com.
I was facing a double duty beauty hazard: broken strands and destroyed nails. I had resorted to buns for most of the winter. And gel manicures too. Both of those habits leaves me with broken, weak hair and thin, damaged nails. I knew I needed a supplement and a break from beauty treatments to get back into fighting shape.
HUM Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair is designed for a strong, healthy mane. The ingredients are a combination of nutrients including biotin, zinc, PABA, folic acid and fo-ti (a root used in Chinese medicine). Biotin and folic acid help with hair, nails and skin. PABA helps maintain hair color (yay!). And Zinc promotes hair growth (double yay! – went too short last time).
Fo-ti, this Traditional Chinese Medicine has a history of promoting hair growth by strengthening organs of elimination – think the liver. And increasing circulation which makes sense in helping with blood flow and healthy hair follicles.
These little guys were actually a nice treat after dinner. They have a strong fruity taste. And the texture was more substantial than a regular gummy but still pleasant. I have a hard time swallowing supplements so I love to see all these gummy options! Not to mention my nails are completely healed after a bottle of Hair Sweet Hair and a break from gel manicures. My hair appears to be growing faster and my baby hairs around my face have started growing out to substantial real hair!
The formula is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, GMP certified, and sustainably sourced with no artificial colors or preservatives.
Available at Sephora.