Josie Maran Argan Milk | $56 at Sephora
La Mer The Lifting Contour Serum | $290 at Neiman Marcus
Madewell “the erin” boot | $218 at Madewell
Free People strappy back bra | $20
Splendid tee dress | $138 at Splendid
Bengal Spice tea
Random, I know, but I can explain 🙂
I’m having sort of a “crisis of face” lately. Okay, maybe it’s not quite so dramatic, but I’ve been rather frustrated with my red spots and sagging chin, so I’ve made a zillion trips to Sephora and Nordstrom/Neiman Marcus to try and find some miracle product that’s going to fix everything. Not that I have a lot that needs fixing, but in the last month I have been through so much change and stress that I think my skin is starting to show it. The red spots on my face are so much more pronounced and it’s quite dry, even with my twice daily application of argan oil. I had been using the Hourglass illusion tinted moisturizer and I thought I liked it, but lately when I use it, all I see are my HUGE pores. So I’ve switched from that to using my ArmorePacific Color Control cushion more consistently, with the Hourglass primer underneath to neutralize some of the redness. Better.
Before we moved, I’d stopped using the Caudalie beauty elixir because it’s quite expensive, and I wanted to see if I noticed a difference without it and I definitely do. I didn’t connect the dots until I was thinking about my redness and recent skin issues and remembered that I haven’t been using it. So I’m using that again, along with a sample of the new Argan Milk by Josie Maran and I am so much more pleased at how “natural” my skin looks. I haven’t bought the argan milk yet, I’m just using a sample I got, but I’m sort of blown away by how hydrating it is. Seriously. Go to Sephora and put a dropper on the back of your hand and you will be obsessed. It’s also amazing on my face, and it helps to tone down the redness on my cheeks when I apply it after the beauty elixir.
It feels a little like we’re being duped, because the argan milk just the oil and water, but it’s combined in such a way that it stays together and produces amazing feeling skin. I didn’t think I’d need it because I thought the argan oil was good enough, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to buy it; my skin feels hydrated from within when I use it, and stays feeling that way all day and night. Josie says you’re supposed to use the oil after the milk, but I’ve been skipping that step.
To finish out my new skincare obsessions, let’s talk about La Mer, shall we? I have avoided going near the La Mer counter or trying anything La Mer for fear I would become addicted and honestly, I can’t believe all the hype. And the price. OMG, the price. But after reading something about the new Serum being specifically effective for the chin/neck area I decided to suck it up and go see if I could get a small sample to try. Never intending to actually purchase it, by the way, because I really didn’t expect anything from it. BUT, as I was having my color matched at Sephora a few days into using the serum (only at night), I was sort of taken aback looking in the mirror; I noticed that my chin seems to look more firm and contoured, and the skin at my neck is a little less saggy. Which really pissed me off, because how on EARTH am I going to buy that serum for $290. $290!!!! But $290 for serum is less expensive than surgery, right?
I’m going to try some other options first, like using some different Caudalie products (which are much more affordable) and see if I can notice results with those as well. It sounds like I’m trying to avoid getting older, and I’m really not, I just don’t want my face to show it too soon, and I am very concerned about taking the best care I can of my skin.
Now, onto the other stuff! I actually purchased those Madewell booties yesterday while I was in Austin for a friend’s birthday AND because I had a 20% off coupon that was expiring on February 1st. I am conflicted about them, because while I love them, I’m not sure how often I’ll wear them. Then again, I was trying to listen to that voice in my head that’s saying “GRECHEN, you’ve been SEARCHING for a pair of cute ankle boots that aren’t too high and are comfortable FOREVER. If you don’t get them I will HURT you.” Actually that was my friend’s voice, but I was thinking it too 😉 They’re super-cute, and very comfortable (you have to size down one full size), and I really loved the way they looked with my black leggings and long Inhabit charcoal sweater. We’ll see how many outfits I can make them work with – also they’re brown – before I decide if I’m going to keep them. But I think I’ll have to keep them, and then get the black ones as soon as they have a 25% off code…
The new Splendid dresses are REALLY good – as if that’s a surprise – but this striped one in particular is a favorite. I tried it on in the store the other day and nearly bought it, but decided to wait (I actually already have this v-neck striped version, without the side slit). The medium works well for me and I love that the lining serves both as a slip and to smooth out little bumps here and there. The only issue was that the side slit is a bit longer/higher than I generally like, but not high enough to show anything, so I can learn to live with that.
And the Free People bra is just awesome. I don’t wear a ton of low or open back tops/dresses, but this would be the perfect thing to wear with them when I do.
Finally, I cannot LIVE without my Bengal Spice tea after dinner. Well, honestly, I can, because it’s hard to find, so if I don’t buy out the stock whenever I find it, I tend to run out. I started drinking this when I was seeing the Qi Gong practitioner in Austin who recommended that I drink it DURING meals to aid with digestion. Now, I NEVER drink during my meals because it interferes with your stomach’s ability to digest food properly, so this was concerning. I still don’t drink it much during my meals, but I ALWAYS drink it immediately following – usually 2-3 cups. It’s perfectly spicy and wonderfully warming!
What are you obsessed with lately? Any amazing purchases recently?
Have you tried any of the Eminence Organics products? I used to have very challenging skin, dry and oily and prone to painful scarring breakouts. I now use the strawberry rhubarb exfoliant powder (mixed with water) and the eight greens serum, and it’s made all the difference. For a period I switched from the serum to the moisturizer, and it turns out I need the more concentrated version. 30 ml ($48) will last 3 months. The exfoliant lasts 5-6 months. I don’t even bother with Sephora or other skincare counters anymore, I usually pick up new supplies when I go for my seasonal facial.
Grechen Reiter says
no, i hadn’t even heard of them before! but now that i look at their site, they have a ton of spas that sell/use their products nearby, so i’ll have to try them out – and maybe even get a facial 😉 but i’ve never been for a facial or any sort of spa service before…
I’ve been an abid La Mer user for at least 12 years, but recently I gave been having such dry skin, and rashy. Horrible. I got some samples of Skinceuticals moisturizers, and boom….fixed my skin in 1 day! No lie. I also have used Eminence in the past with great results. Can’t find them locally so pretty much don’t use their products anymore. I really like the emoilience moisturizer from Skinceuticals and my new fav foundation is the liquid by La Bella Donna. Really nice and gentle.
Love the Splendid dress!
I’ve tried every product on the market and have finally settled on Kiehl’s and tea tree oil (for blemishes). Kiejl’s has the best products on the planet. Also, no sugar/preservatives helps my skin tons.
totally unrelated…..whose tank are you wearing in your picture at the barre?
Grechen Reiter says
haha! good question 🙂 – it’s the everlane ryan tank, size medium! i love it so much, and it’s perfect for pure barre…
Grechen Reiter says
i used to use ONLY keihl’s on my face, body…everywhere, but then i tried something and it made me break out, so i searched for something else and ended up on Caudalie, which i’ve been using pretty exclusively for the last 4-5 years. i do love the shower gel and the creme de corps still though 🙂
Grechen, do a trial run of CeraVe, the original moisturizing cream (not the new varieties) and the pm lotion (and any of the two facial washes depending on skin type). I swear by the thing. Top notch ingredients (though I wished they would find a way to do away with the parabens… still, the best, the La Mer people would sell it and put a $200 sticker on it). Reviews at beautypedia.com
Grechen Reiter says
thanks luna! i’ve heard great things about CeraVe also, wanted to try the cleanser specifically…although i get really frustrated with cleansers that don’t remove eye makeup, and i don’t use waterproof mascara or anything very intense, but hardly anything i’m using lately dissolves it all. except koh gen do cleansing water. but i still can’t get used to NOT rinsing my face after. it feels clean, but something in me says it’s not quite clean…
Grechen Reiter says
oh. yes, i have also wanted to try skinceuticals. but what though?? that’s where i get so caught up – trying to figure out what i need. i should probably go see a dermatologist – maybe i could benefit from a retinol? i feel like my biggest issue is the redness. i can hydrate enough, i just want to tone down the redness. and the discolorations/patchiness i’m getting.
I get confused too. I really havent tried much, but I know they make a redness reducer. I am so pleased with one of their masks….the B5 mask. Incredible at making my skin look moisturized and my tone even. I suffer greatly from redness too. It is such a problem. Hope you find something that works for you.
I know, I gave up trying to make cleansers work for removing make-up. I use Paula’s Choice Gentle Makeup Remover and love it. Almost cried one day when I forgot to decant it to a smaller bottle and they took it from me at the airport security check, I could not bear the thought of two weeks without it!
Amazing purchases? Hmmm… I love my Bed-Stu Roma boots that I scored for 25% off, and they’ll look even better when they’re broken in. They’re comfy, so I’ll probably wear them to Chicago, but I’ll get an insole for some more cushioning. I just ordered two basic J Crew vintage long-sleeve tees…nothing too exciting there, just black and white. I’m on the hunt for a perfect pair of slip-on sneakers when I go to Chicago., so I might try Vince, Sam Edelman, or Steve Madden. Either basic black or leopard. And I’m dying for the new Lipstick Queen liquid lipsticks – just trying to hold off so I can get myself a “souvenir” on my trip! ( I know I’m a grown-up, but I always want to bring something fun back with me!)
I love your site, it’s so inspiring! I’m always adding to my own obsession list. I’ve mentioned that I’m a Frye fan, so I’ll share my latest eBay score. I bought a rare pair of Frye harness boots in olive green. It’s a very hard to find color, and I’ve been searching for years. I received them this week, and they’re on my feet now. If my husband would allow it, I’d probably sleep with them on. “Hon, would you mind removing your boots? You just hit my shin.”
Lol, RJS! I know what you mean!!
Have a great trip, Val! Hope that you get to go shopping, too.
Thanks, RJS! Oh, you know I will!!! (That,and cuddle my 9-month old granddaughter??)