Skin Organics Olive Eye Cream

I love olives!  Any size, shape or color.  And because I adore them so much, I decided to try them on my skin.  I’ve recently discovered a ‘natural’ skin care line called “Skin Organics” that makes an olive-based eye cream.  There are several things I like about this product besides the fact that it is olive-infused.  First off, the ingredients are organic and fair-trade certified.  Secondly, it’s pH balanced at 5.86, unscented and contains no nasty parabens.  Lastly, this slim tube of loveliness does triple-duty!  It restores collagen, reduces puffiness and eliminates dark circles.  The Skin Organics line was developed by Austin-based Esthetician, Ann Webb, who envisioned a product line that was affordable, simple to use and contained the best pharmaceutical-grade ingredients available.  Compared to other ‘organic’ skin care lines, Skin Organics Olive Eye Cream is reasonably priced and I love the results I’ve seen in just one month.  It absorbs well ~ so easy to use under concealer.  Available at for 31.99/1 oz.  Also available at Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmer’s Market and Sunflower Farmer’s Market

Compare to-Suki Eye Lift Cellular Renewal Cream, $53.95 for 0.5 oz.

The Bottom Line-a smart buy compared to other, pricier organic eye creams (all in the price range of $48.00-$58.00.)  Best of all, it works!

L’Oreal Youth Code Serum Intense

Run, don’t walk to your nearest drugstore and get  L’Oreal’s Youth Code Serum Intense”.  After only 1 week of usage, my skin  looks revived and feels more hydrated.  Priced at just $21.99 at Target, this is a great buy!  I bought Serum Intense after hearing it was similar to Lancome’s Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate, and after doing a bit of research – the two products are quite similar.  They even have similar test results!  

L’Oreal Scientists put 10 years of research into discovering a specific set of genes responsible for skin’s natural power of regeneration.  The company claims their product instantly hydrates and transforms skin to be visbly smoother, rested and youthfully luminous.  After 4 weeks, it liberates skin from signs of fatigue, and skin is revived and appears visibly younger.

I like the texture, silky ~ without feeling greasy or sticky.  I prefer to use it at night, as my treatment.  High-tech packaging, too!  Available at Target for $21.99. 

Compare to-Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate, $78.00

The Bottom Line-What have you got to lose?  If it only does half of what it claims – it’s still a good buy!

Olay Definity Eye Illuminator

From one of my favorite mass-market beauty companies, Olay, comes Definity Eye Illuminator.  This is a gel/cream formula that promises to penetrate mulitple layers of the skin’s epidermis to strenghten the delicate skin around the eye area.  It also promises illumination due to an ingredient called “mica” that gives a shimmery, light reflecting effect.   Eye Illuminator has a couple of  ingredients that I particularly like.  The first is palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, or matrixylMatrixyl is a proven anti-aging ingredient that stimulates the production of collagen.  The others are, sodium hyaluronate and soluble collagen.  These 2 ingredients boost moisture and plump the skin for a smoother, younger appearance.   Though I like the key ingredients, I was disappointed in the wearability of the formula.  I tried using it in the morning, under my makeup.  The formula tended to  “ball up” under concealer.  Very disappointing.  I love the fact that it reflects light, due to the mica, but I didn’t love the fact that I couldn’t wear any makeup products over it.  There are directions on how to use it on the package, but nothing that says this product is best used at night or without makeup.  $29.99 at all drugstores. 

The Bottom Line–great concept, pretty packaging, not-so-great formula.

Burt’s Bees Chemical Free Sunscreen

Because I love all things Burt’s, I was excited to try this latest addition to the ‘natural sunscreen’ category.

This product boasts titanium dioxide as its active ingredient.  Titanium dioxide is a naturally-occuring physical sunblock.  It’s non-greasy formula provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

I found it a bit sticky, and it left a white film on my face.  The last time I used it, I was bike-riding for several hours in the sun, so I didn’t wear any makeup.  I would hesitate to use this sunscreen under makeup, due to the fact that it’s hard to blend and the opacity of the formula.

The fragrance is a bit strong, though a nice change from the usual too-strong, pina-colada smell that accompanies most sunscreens.

As is the case with all Burt’s Bees products, this sunscreen is paraben-free, sulfate-free, contains no petrochemicals and is phthalate-free.  Gotta love that!   $14.99 at Target

Compare to-Epicuren Zinc Sunscreen, $34.00

The Bottom Line-definitely blocks the sun’s harmful rays naturally, but best used on the body.  Not great for use on the face, or under makeup.

Waleda’s Skin Food from Germany!

I have ‘gypsy in my soul’ and fully intend to see the world before I leave it.  I take at least one international trip a year and try to never visit the same place twice.  You’re probably wondering what my lust for world-wide travel has to do with affordable beauty products.  Let me explain… On one of my European adventures (while combing through a Dutch Apothecary), I discovered a line of natural/organic beauty products from a German company called Waleda. 

In 1921, Waleda pioneeered the use of  organic ingredients in the personal care/beauty industry.  I consider Waleda to be the drugstore version of AVEDA, though a much smaller line.  One of my most coveted Waleda products is “Skin Food”.  It’s an intensely rich cream for dry, rough skin.  Skin Food claims to nourish, restore and protect the skin on the hands, feet and elbows (though may also be used on the face).  I’ve been applying it on my hands & cuticles at night, then wearing cotton gloves to bed and WOW!!!  What a difference!  My hands are significantly softer and actually look less wrinkled! 

Skin Food is formulated with extracts of precious essential oils (calendula, chamomile and viola).  If you’re ingredient conscious, you’ll be glad to know there’s no synthetic fragrances, colors or preservatives (and no mineral oil). Waleda is now carried in most U.S. drugstores and can also be ordered on-line.  It smells good, too–a light herbal scent.  $16.99 at CVS

The Bottom Line-an excellent, organic option for extra dry skin and a little goes a long way!  Available at most drugstores!

Regenerist Filling and Sealing Wrinkle Treatment

Yes, another Olay product!  In my humble opinion, they’re the geniuses of mass-market beauty products.  Regenerist Filling & Sealing Wrinkle Treatment is a must-have for anyone who wears foundation.  The consistency is simliar to a foundation primer, but  this comes with treatment benefits!  Olay claims “it penetrates the wrinkle surface to immediatley reduce the appearance of fine lines and lock in moisture”.  Use it after your daily moisturizer, under foundation.  It allows makeup to glide on smoothly–I especially like what it does for my eye area, under concealer.   This is a great value at $18.99– significantly less expensive than a lot of the “makeup artist” foundation primers.

The bottom line–a ‘seamless’ foundation primer that provides treatment benefits at an affordable cost!  Available at all drugstores! 



Olay PRO-X Hydra Firming Cream

Olay has partnered with a team of specialized dermatologists to launch its PRO-X line.  This is a full series of ‘professional grade’ skincare products that features all the latest research, technology and ingredients that many of the pricey, prestige lines boast.  All of the products in this line are targeted to address different anti-aging skincare issues, including:  loss of firmess, moisture and elasticity.  It sounded so good, I wanted to take a bath in the stuff!  Needless to say, I was very excited to try these products.   The first one I bought was the PRO-X Hydra Firming Cream.  Ingredients include, niacinamide, (vitamin B3 ) retinol and pentapeptides.  I have to tell you that after using this product for 3 weeks, I saw a noticable difference (got a few compliments to boot)!  My skin looked healthier (and more vibrant)!  By that I mean, it appeared firmer, the clarity had improved and it felt less dry.  Olay claims that this product will “resignal skin to perform more like it did when it was younger” in just 28 days, mind you!  That is exactly how I would describe my skin after using this!   It absorbs quickly and it’s not over-fragranced!  This product gives amazing results for significantly less money than the Department Store equivalents!   Buy the Hydra Firming Cream on sale for $42.00 or try the Anti-Aging Starter Kit for $64.00.

The bottom line–the latest technology in anti-aging skincare for a fraction of the price!  PRO-X Hydra Firming Cream gets my vote… Available at Ulta, Target and CVS.