Confessions of a Product Junkie

I’ve just come from what is by far my biggest indulgence: a monthly facial and brow shaping at Robin Evans Skincare
in SoHo. Not only does Robin sculpt my arches into near-Natalie Portman
territory, she purges and peels, massages and masks until my skin glows
pink and plump as the day I was born. I would go every week if I could,
but Robin says every four weeks is plenty. Plus I don’t want her to
think I’m stalking her.

So between visits to Robin I get my facial fix from what my husband
calls my ‘lotions and potions’: a medicine cabinet full of scrubs,
crèmes, clays, gels, and other assorted goos. On Saturday mornings I’ll
slather some on, slip into a pair of rubber gloves, and clean the
bathroom while the products do their thing; it’s multi-tasking at its
very best. Here are some of my tried-and-trues.

I discovered the Solar Recover
line when the founder of the company set up a demo table in my local
Whole Foods. The whole collection is brilliant, but I especially love
the Solar Facial Exfoliator.
It’s made from the cranberry hulls and seeds that remain after the
production of cranberry juice–so it’s sustainable!–and is super rich
in the same vitamins and antioxidants that make cranberries so good for
your insides. Give it a good stir in the jar, then work the fine grains
around your face with your fingertips and leave it on for about ten
minutes before you rinse. It’s recommended for all but the most
sensitive skin types, and I find it particularly effective when one of
those pesky midmonth breakouts appears.

Solar_recover_2

By law product ingredients are listed in order of dominance, meaning
that the ingredient at the top of the list is present in greater amount
than the others. In the case of skin care, this primary ingredient is
usually water. But the first thing listed in Naturopathica’s Environmental Defense Mask is (drum roll please) Cherry Puree.
Like the stuff you find in fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt, only a billion
times more concentrated and not full of sugar. The aesthetician who
sold this to me suggested that I apply this mask while running a
steaming hot shower, because the steam activates the enzymes and helps
the good stuff penetrate the pores. I can tell it’s working because it
tingles. Plus, if you miss a spot when you rinse it off, you have a
snack for later!

Naturopathica_2

The Chantecaille Fruit and Flower Acids Mask
falls into the category of ‘pricey but worth it’. It costs a whopping
$82 for 1.69 oz. The good news, however, is that a little goes a long
way; I’m still dipping into the jar I bought a year ago. The
consistency resembles a thick lotion, which makes this mask the ideal
substrate to facilitate a soothing self-massage. Grapefruit and
sugarcane exfoliate while jasmine and mimosa flower waxes seal in
moisture. I imagine über-wealthy French women smearing huge quantities
of this stuff all over themselves and then strolling naked around their
Parisian pied-à-terres while they wait for the cream to work its magic.
Of course, a tiny dab on your forehead, cheeks and chin will do. At
least until you wait for the deal to close on that place in the 6th
Arrondissement. (Note: The below photo shows the Jasmine and Lily
Healing Mask, but they look the same in the jar.)

Chantecaille

Finally, no matter what combination of lotions and potions I use, I always cap things off with the Rose Face Mask
from Fresh. Cucumber, marine algae and aloe vera combine with a base of
rose flower water to create a cooling finish to any at-home facial. But
the ultimate luxury of this product is the real rose petals suspended
throughout. The ancient Greeks had their olive oil rubdowns, and
Cleopatra her milk baths, but for me nothing can top the extravagance
of using real rose petals in my beauty ritual. The result?
Firm, radiant skin. No more puffy cheeks and droopy jowls. And pores
sealed tighter than Nefertiti’s tomb.

Rose_mask

But ultimately, my pleasure comes less from the products themselves
and more from the ritual as a whole. Because even though I might be at
home–not in SoHo–and up to my elbows in toilet water–not in eau de toilette–my lotions and potions turn even the dreariest task into a day at the spa. Ce qu’est un régal!

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Confessions of a Product Junkie

I’ve just come from what is by far my biggest indulgence: a monthly facial and brow shaping at Robin Evans Skincare
in SoHo. Not only does Robin sculpt my arches into near-Natalie Portman
territory, she purges and peels, massages and masks until my skin glows
pink and plump as the day I was born. I would go every week if I could,
but Robin says every four weeks is plenty. Plus I don’t want her to
think I’m stalking her.

So between visits to Robin I get my facial fix from what my husband
calls my ‘lotions and potions’: a medicine cabinet full of scrubs,
crèmes, clays, gels, and other assorted goos. On Saturday mornings I’ll
slather some on, slip into a pair of rubber gloves, and clean the
bathroom while the products do their thing; it’s multi-tasking at its
very best. Here are some of my tried-and-trues.

I discovered the Solar Recover
line when the founder of the company set up a demo table in my local
Whole Foods. The whole collection is brilliant, but I especially love
the Solar Facial Exfoliator.
It’s made from the cranberry hulls and seeds that remain after the
production of cranberry juice–so it’s sustainable!–and is super rich
in the same vitamins and antioxidants that make cranberries so good for
your insides. Give it a good stir in the jar, then work the fine grains
around your face with your fingertips and leave it on for about ten
minutes before you rinse. It’s recommended for all but the most
sensitive skin types, and I find it particularly effective when one of
those pesky midmonth breakouts appears.

Solar_recover_2

By law product ingredients are listed in order of dominance, meaning
that the ingredient at the top of the list is present in greater amount
than the others. In the case of skin care, this primary ingredient is
usually water. But the first thing listed in Naturopathica’s Environmental Defense Mask is (drum roll please) Cherry Puree.
Like the stuff you find in fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt, only a billion
times more concentrated and not full of sugar. The aesthetician who
sold this to me suggested that I apply this mask while running a
steaming hot shower, because the steam activates the enzymes and helps
the good stuff penetrate the pores. I can tell it’s working because it
tingles. Plus, if you miss a spot when you rinse it off, you have a
snack for later!

Naturopathica_2

The Chantecaille Fruit and Flower Acids Mask
falls into the category of ‘pricey but worth it’. It costs a whopping
$82 for 1.69 oz. The good news, however, is that a little goes a long
way; I’m still dipping into the jar I bought a year ago. The
consistency resembles a thick lotion, which makes this mask the ideal
substrate to facilitate a soothing self-massage. Grapefruit and
sugarcane exfoliate while jasmine and mimosa flower waxes seal in
moisture. I imagine über-wealthy French women smearing huge quantities
of this stuff all over themselves and then strolling naked around their
Parisian pied-à-terres while they wait for the cream to work its magic.
Of course, a tiny dab on your forehead, cheeks and chin will do. At
least until you wait for the deal to close on that place in the 6th
Arrondissement. (Note: The below photo shows the Jasmine and Lily
Healing Mask, but they look the same in the jar.)

Chantecaille

Finally, no matter what combination of lotions and potions I use, I always cap things off with the Rose Face Mask
from Fresh. Cucumber, marine algae and aloe vera combine with a base of
rose flower water to create a cooling finish to any at-home facial. But
the ultimate luxury of this product is the real rose petals suspended
throughout. The ancient Greeks had their olive oil rubdowns, and
Cleopatra her milk baths, but for me nothing can top the extravagance
of using real rose petals in my beauty ritual. The result?
Firm, radiant skin. No more puffy cheeks and droopy jowls. And pores
sealed tighter than Nefertiti’s tomb.

Rose_mask

But ultimately, my pleasure comes less from the products themselves
and more from the ritual as a whole. Because even though I might be at
home–not in SoHo–and up to my elbows in toilet water–not in eau de toilette–my lotions and potions turn even the dreariest task into a day at the spa. Ce qu’est un régal!

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