Rachel K CC Cream – Neutral

CC creams are all the craze now even though the Western market is just now coming out with BB creams. If you’ve been watching LisaLisaD1 on YouTube, then you’ve heard of the Rachel K CC Creams from her. When she re-stocked her online store, I immediately placed an order to beat the crowd since they’re always sold out!

CC creams are fairly new to me and this is my first one. Before LisaLisaD1, ChefCaffy on YouTube was rumored to have raved about this product, so I didn’t doubt that this was a good, well-performing product. Shipping was fast and I tested the product out immediately. Since then, I’ve been using it non-stop. This is considered to be a “10 in 1” product and is marketed as a mineral color control bb cream. According to the box, “CC cream is a much more refined and improved BB cream which combines various benefits all in one: color control, oil control, whitening, brightening, moisturizing, and UV protection (SPF 35 PA ++).”

The product claims to “ehance complexion by improving texture, balancing skin tone,” and mimics real skin – providing a dewy, fresh, and glowy complexion. The tube is deceiving because it’s quite small; but there’s 1.4 fl. oz. (or 40 g) of product, which is more than the average amount of base product you get.

I can’t say all the additional skincare “benefits” are doing anything miraculous, but it feels nice on the skin and makes me feel like I’m doing something to help my skin during the day.

This good size dollop is more than enough to cover the entire face. I chose the color NEUTRAL because it is supposed to accomodate yellow undertones. To me, the product is not very yellowy, but slightly gray-pink. Like all BB cream, the color adjusts on the face by oxidizing slightly. Like Lisa, if you choose to add mineral powder, power foundation, or anything else on top, the CC cream will balance out.

FOr those who need full coverage, this is great to start out with as a base/primer. Because the product “color corrects,” mostly all imperfections are cancelled out immediately. I feel that applying foundation or anything else on top will be easier since you would need less of it to do the job.

For me, I wear this on its own since I don’t need additional coverage. This product really does create an immaculate cavas – no lines, no pores, no pigmentation peaking through. The coverage is strong and a little bit goes a long way. I would suggest using your hands or a buffing brush to apply this and give it a minute to set on the face before deciding to add anything on top. Although the finish is dewy, it does remain non-oily for the most part of the day.

I can’t say that this is anything more than a BB cream because it seems all work relatively the same for me. I really like the conveience of the product because it makes my morning routine so fast. It’s great to slap on when you don’t have anything planned or you’re heading to the gym (without wanting to look like monster-face).

Made in Korea.

Summer Foundation Routine – SHISEIDO Sun Protection Compact Foundation SPF 34 PA+++

Summer is in full heat here in Texas and it’s allowed me to explore some new options for makeup. Normally, I’m a liquid-foundation-kinda-girl because powder foundation tends to get/look/feel cakey throughout the day. Sometimes I opt for mineral foundation (like the Laura Mercier), but in the summer months, it tends to make me more oilier than usual.

Recently, I decided to purchase and try out the Shiseido Sun Protection Compact Foundation SPF 34. I figured since I liked their regular suncare line anyway, the suncare-makeup line should be just as good.

I did my homework online and looked up reviews for both the liquid and compact foundation in this range, and decided that for right now, the powder foundation would be my choice since I was trying to avoid anything heavy and liquid on my face during the sweaty and humid months.

As with all Shiseido compact products, the refill and compact is to be purchased separately. I suppose this is more earth-friendly, but I do find it a tad bit inconvenient. I also read online that the compacts tends to break before the actual product runs out. I was told by the sales associate at the Shiseido counter that if the compact breaks to just bring it back to the counter for a replacement.

Sephora’s website describes this foundation as “a powdery foundation that resists perspiration and oil to remain fresh and color-true for hours.” It’s designed to be a “convenient solution” that “unites optimal sun protection with skin-caring makeup, in a single travel-perfect compact.” This foundation “minimize[s] imperfections [to] achieve a flawless, matte finish as you defend your skin against damaging UVA/UVB rays.”

“It smoothes on with a lightweight feeling and a natural, subtle look. It is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV sunscreen.”

First of all, let’s talk about the packaging. It’s cute and bright colored, which is appropriate for anything catered towards “summer time.” Also, I like that the sponge is housed in a separate compartment so the powder foundation itself doesn’t get ruined. The flip-top compact has mirror included. The sponge is thick and durable; not thin and cheapy feeling.

Second, let’s talk about the claims. I agree that the prodcut “resists perspiration” and remains “color-true” all day. In fact, this product is truly the longest-wearing foundation I have ever owned. Upon application in the morning, it’s very matte and flat. However, after settling in on the face, it gets better and better. I can wear this for up to 10 hours without having to blot – and, this includes being out and about and sweating.

The powder smells like Shiseido’s suncare line. I personally still wear sunscreen under this powder foundation to double-up on protection since I reserve this product specficially for summer time and being outside. It’s quite impressive for a powder foundation and you don’t have to worry about your makeup melting, getting blotchy, or running off your face due to the heat.

The color match for this foundation is tricky because it ALL looks dark in the pan. Upon first glance, I would’ve assumed they were bronzers. It appears the color choices don’t suit darker skin tones, which is such a shame. I wear this powder foundation in SP20 which is the second to lightest color. SP10 was a reddish pink color and even though SP20 looked a bit dark, it swatches nearly invisible and blends in extremely well.

Also, the coverage for this foundation is amazing. Who would’ve thought a powder foundation could be so reliable with coverage? I can skip concealer most of the time, unless I’m having a “bad skin day.” And, even then, the redness from bumps and pimples is covered.

I apply this with the sponge provided. I normally steer clear of sponges, but I like this sponge and it seems to deposit the product perfectly onto my skin. I just do 2 swipes and pat it onto different portions of my face. It’s not cakey or powdery-looking at all. The directions for the product indidcates that it “can be applied with a dry or moistened sponge, for flexible coverage,” but I don’t really feel the need to use the product wet.

0.42 oz.
Made in USA
Container made in Japan

Active ingredient: Thiotaurineprovides antioxidant protection against free radicals.

$27.00 for refill
$8 for compact

REVIEW: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 60 PA+++

Sticking with my love and need for good sun protection year-round, I decided it was necessary to talk about what I use a non-daily basis – more specifically, when I’m participating in outdoor recreational activities.

Please keep in mind that all the other previous sunscreen reviews I’ve written about have strictly been for my face and daily use.

The Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion contains SPF 60 and is the highest amount of protection level I currently own/use. I reserve this specific product for days when I’m outside for activities such as swimming or for when I’m outside for a long period of time.

It’s considered to be safe for the face and body and is labeled to be “very water resistant.” Realistically, no sunscreen can technically be waterproof – however, Shiseido’s sun protection products have been known to be “sweat-resistant,” “very water resistant,” and “sand proof.”

Compared to my current Shisiedo sunscreen I use daily (underneath makeup), this one is huge at 3.3 oz., while my daily sunscreen is only 1 oz. When I’m outside for longer periods of time, I slather on sunscreen liberally all over and re-apply frequently – so, perhaps the bigger container is an advantage.

As “a highly nourishing sunscreen lotion for the face and body,” this product is excellent at “prevent[ing] sunburn, cell damage, and premature signs of aging.” Considered to be a “skincare essential,” the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion protects against both UVA/UVB rays. It is “formulated with rose apple leaf extract [to] deliver excellent antioxidant [benefits] and fortifies skin against UV-caused DNA damage.”

Shake the bottle well before applying since this is a sunscreen that is watery and runny. Compared to the Chanel UV Essentiel, Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion is more runny and thin in consistency. It does not leave a white cast nor does it have a filmy texture. The product dries matte and absorbs instantly into the skin; it blends easily and is lightweight. Again, it’s great to layer underneath makeup, but when I’m out at the pool, I usually forego all face makeup anyway.

Even after repeated application, it doesn’t get cakey or thick. I also apply this to my ears and around my neck and chest because it isn’t thick and sticky like most traditional sunscreens out on the market. For the rest of my body, I’ll use Neutrogena or Copperstone sunscreen since I don’t want to waste my Shiseido one. :)

Water, Cyclomethicone, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1 Copolymer, Dimethicone Copolyol, Dextrin Palmitate, Xylitol, Methyl Gluceth-10, Glutathione, Zinc Myristate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Thiotaurine, Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract, Ectoin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Isostearic Acid, Stearic Acid Disteardimonium Hectorite, Silica, Alcohol, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide.

3.3 fl. oz.
Retails for $39.00.
Made in USA.
Formulated in Japan.
Container made in Japan.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.sephora.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

CHANEL UV Essentiel Multi-Protection Daily UV Care SPF 50

Other than my trusty Shiseido and Asian brand sunscreens, the CHANEL UV Essentiel Multi-Protection Daily UV Care SPF 50 sunscreen has been a long time favorite of mine. Recently, I re-purchased my third bottle and was reminded that I hadn’t posted a review for it yet. Because I know that there are so many other sunscreens that get the job done, I realize this may not be something that interests everyone. However, I’ve decided to go ahead with the post for those who are researching and curious.

On Chanel’s website, the UV Essentiel sunscreen is described as “skin’s guardian angel [that] shields skin safely beyond the reach of aggressive UVA/UVB rays.” I especially like that the promo picture is light and bright because it fits the description so well. Also, please make note that the title – UV Essentiel – is spelled correctly in French; and, yes, the American spelling for the word is “essential.”

As always, Chanel’s packaging is beautifully done. The white squeeze bottle is one that you need to shake since the formula of this sunscreen is the runny kind that is watery and thin. I’ve tossed this bottle around in my makeup bag numerous times and it’s held up well despite its white hue. It’s compact and travel friendly, which is always a plus for portability and convenience.

There is a floral fragrance that takes some getting used to if you’re not used to Chanel’s products. The scent is light and fluffy, but it does linger on the skin after application. The formula is great for underneath makeup – cream, gel, liquid, and powder makeup alike – this sunscreen wells wear underneath it all.

The formula is slightly thicker than the Shiseido formulations and I find it to be more moisturizing. I’ve also noticed that this product takes longer to dry on the skin than other liquid sunscreens I’ve tried. The finish is not matte like Shiseido’s, so that may turn some of you off from this product.

As you can see, the texture of this sunscreen is not as runny. It blends well into the skin and does not leave a white cast. Because the finish is a bit more slick, I cannot immediately apply my face makeup over this – in fact, I need to wait a good 10-15 minutes. This is why this particular sunscreen is not my #1 go-to product. Also, nowhere does it claim to be water-resistant or sweat-resistant (like Shiseido’s), so I wouldn’t suggest wearing this to go swimming or to be outside for hours sweating.

Chanel’s website also explains that this sunscreen is “a free-radical and anti-pollution shield with a Vitamin E derivative and plant extracts.” It moisturizes the skin well and is very soothing. The “oil-free, lightweight formula safeguard[s] [the] skin against environmental pollutants.” Other ingredients in this product like “licorice root extract and a highly effective combination of UVA and UVB filters help diminish and prevent the appearance of dark spots and signs of premature aging.”

I enjoy using this sunscreen and will continue to re-purchase it when I run out. As with many of my products, I rotate sunscreen as well from time to time. At the moment, I’m in the process of finishing up my Shiseido sunscreen and will probably move onto my new bottle of Chanel’s UV Essentiel afterwards. It’s nice to use but it’s not necessary; in fact, using Clarins or Shiseido sunscreens have proved to be just as effective with a friendlier price point. However, using Neutrogena on your face works just the same for about $10 – so all this is based on personal preference and budget.

As I’ve stated previously in other sunscreen posts, I prefer the runnier and watery formulations for my face because it’s lightweight, non-oily, and non-sticky. It’s also better for makeup application and every day wear as well because it’s just easier to use. Using this formulation in sunscreens has not affected the amount of coverage or protection for me – I know that many people are concerned about not using “enough” for their face for adequate sun protection, since this style of sunscreen is not thick and creamy.

Overall, I recommend this product even though it is a luxury item. Is a high-end sunscreen going to protect you more from the sun than other brands? Definitely not. But it’s nice to use and that’s the only excuse I’ve got. :)

1 fl. oz.
Made in France.
Retails for $54.00.

Active ingredients: octinoxate 7.5%, titanium dioxide 2%, zinc oxide 17.1%
*Quotes extracted from http://www.chanel.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Sunscreen Rave: Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector For Face SPF 42 PA +++

As promised, I’m here to bring you my review on Shiseido’s newest sunscreen: the Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 PA +++. Before I begin my review, let me just start off by stating a few general background information.

First of all, I use a separate sunscreen for my face that is different from the one I use on my body. There is no scientific reason for this; it’s just that I prefer a specific “for face” sunscreen for my face because I have sensitive and reactive skin. I use thicker creams and lotions for my body when I’m indulging in water-activities. Also, this Shiseido sunscreen is my “daily sunscreen,” which is what I use under my makeup every single day. For days I’m out in the sun for water-activities, I use a stronger and more water resistant formula so I will not use my daily sunscreen for that occasion.

Because my daily sunscreen is worn under makeup every day, I have specific requirements that need to be met:
1. The texture must be thin.
2. It must not disturb makeup application and wear.
3. The formula needs to be matte and fast drying.
4. It must not leave a white cast on my face (since makeup will be applied over it).
5. It must be easy to remove (along with my makeup) at the end of the day.

With all that said, this sunscreen meets all my expectations. And, with that, I can simply end my review here, lol. If you want more in-depth information, you may read on, of course.

Sephora describes this sunscreen as “an oil-free daily formulation that protects against three major causes of skin cell damage: UV rays, oxidation, and overproduction of sebum.”

The product claims to be an “ultra-light formulation [that] contains mineral powders and herbal extracts to help it spread smoothly while creating a pore-free and shine-free finish.” This sunscreen is “formulated with Shiseido’s highly effective multi-defense sun protection system and advanced skincare ingredients, it prevents skin damage and free radical production.”

After moisturizing, I shake the bottle and apply it evenly onto my face. There’s a typical Shiseido scent, which is light and flowery; it’s nothing too overpowering, and after application you don’t notice it. Within a few seconds, the product will “set” and become matte and smooth. For me, this doubles as a primer because makeup applies wonderfully afterwards. At night, I remove everything on my face (sunscreen + makeup I’m wearing that day) with cleansing oil.

The texture is very thin and watery. In fact, it’s so watery it will run off your hand/finger if you’re not careful. This texture allows the product to blend easily onto the skin and then dry instantly. The best part is that it doesn’t disturb the makeup you will end up applying onto the skin afterwards. Liquid, cream, and powder products apply equally beautifully. Other sunscreens will ball up and peel off the skin when you try to add anything else; this does not. HOORAY!

A possible compaint may be that this product provides questionable coverage because it’s so thin. To some people, the texture may seem like you’re not applying enough sunscreen or any product at all. Before liquid sunscreens came onto the Western market, Asian cosmetic companies were distributing them years and years before. I’ve been using liquid sunscreens daily for a decade – and have not had one sunburn on my face; and I’ve maintained my fair skin tone straight through summer. In fact, I have never re-purchased a foundation because my color didn’t match anymore.

Liquid sunscreens are best for the face because it’s not thick, heavy, and oily. I hope that by using an easy product like this, more people will add an extra 15 seconds in their morning routines to protect their skin from premature aging (and skin cancer). Perhaps that’s the whole point in developing such a product.

Item retails for $30 for 30 mL/1 fl.oz.
Made in USA
Container made in Japan.

Octinoxate 7.4%; Octocrylene 3.0%; Zinc Oxide 8.6%

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

REVIEW: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Perhaps some of you may remember my haul posting not too long ago where I featured the NARS tinted moisturizer. Although I promised a review in “a few weeks,” I jumped the gun because I got excited. To be fair, I have worn this every day since I purchased it in various weather conditions. I also wore it for a few hours on some days and all day on others to test its longevity. Above, is a sneaky photo I took at Sephora while the display was still pretty and virtually untouched. I HATE sloppy and goopy displays.

Before I get started, let me just start off by saying that a tinted moisturizer is NOT a foundation. We, as makeup wearers, should not have the same expectations that we have of foundations for tinted moisturizers. Coverage will always be limited in tinted moisturizers versus a foundation that claims to be “long wearing” or “full coverage.” Another thing I’ve noticed is – just because a tinted moisturizer has “moisturizer” in its title doesn’t mean it will actually moisturize; or, that you can substitute your regular moisturizer with the tinted one. However, all this can vary depending your own skin type and condition.

Packaging is typical NARS-style: a sleek black tube. It’s not their rubbery material, which I appreciate, because then it won’t get dirty so quickly. The squeeze-tube makes it easy to adjust how much product you want to dispense, but I can see the opening gettting a bit messy after awhile. Even now, I always have to wipe it off because I’m just OCD like that. Overall, there’s 9 shades, with my shade – “Finaland” – being the lightest one.

NARS’ website describes the shade “Finland” as a “neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones.” I would say that this is true. It’s yellow enough to balance out the redness on my cheeks and around my nose that I have naturally; and, it’s slightly pink enough to make me not look orange or washed out. For reference, even though I don’t wear MAC on my face, I’m a NW15/NW20 because their NC range is far too yellowy for me. The next shade, “Alaska,” is super orange when blended.

This is a heavy dollop of Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer in the shade “Porcelain,” the lightest shade in the range. Despite its name, the shade is quite yellow and nowhere near “pinkish” or “neutral.” This color suited me well, but without blush, I looked like I was extra pale and somewhat ill. LM’s TM dries slightly sticky and I get oily quite quickly even if I powder. The coverage for LM’s TM is impressive for a tinted moisturizer, and begins to look messy and cakey on the face at the first sign of long wear, humidity, and sweat.

NARS’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is an “oil-free formula [that] provides a translucent veil of color and sun protection while helping to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots in just four weeks.” The site also claims that the product is “infused with lush, naturally derived botanicals and ingredients to immediately helps thirsty skin feel hydrated. Kopara from French Polynesia and mineral rich seawater revive and re-mineralize skin for a softer, smoother, and brighter natural glow. Skin is transported.”

1. The application is smooth with a regular foundation brush and/or using your fingers.
2. There’s a slight clean scent but barely noticable.
3. The texture is thin and gel-like but seems to blend like a cream.
4. Coverage level is light to medium because you can add more to areas that are uneven, but concealer would be necessary to apply over areas that are more severely pigmented.
5. Pore coverage is way better than LM’s TM, but pigmentation coverage is not as high.
6. The finish is semi-matte; powder if necessary but not mandatory.
7. The NARS tinted moisturizer held up well throughout the day in rain or shine. I would recommend that you wear this product on “good skin” days; otherwise, use foundation for more coverage.
8. The added sun protection is nice, but I would still layer on regular sunscreen underneath this personally.
9. Moisturizing properties are okay but not stellar – however, for me, that’s okay since I wear a regular moisturizer during the day anyway.
10. Oil control is quite good and better than LM’s TM; but regardless, I still have to blot at least once throughout the day (as usual).

Item retails for $42.
Final thoughts: Yes, I would most certainly recommend this and I find it totally worth its price. I personally prefer this over my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. However, with only 9 color shades to choose from, this may not be a hit for many.

NARS tinted moisturizer will NOT cover dark circles under eyes, raised acne bumps, dark pigmentation such as old acne marks and veins. It WILL even out overall skintone, adjust redness on your face, and provide a natural finish that appears to be healthy with a mild “glow factor.”

Are you thinking about trying out this product? Do you prefer tinted moisturizers or foundations?

*Quotes extracted from http://www.narscosmetics.com
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels); and Blackberry Bold

And the Hauling Continues…

I present to you yet another modest haul. I wish I could say that I accumulated these items over time to make it seem more practical, but I didn’t, lol. What can I say? YouTube made me do it.

1. MAC – Duo Fibre Blending/Tapered Brush 286
2. Revlon – Colorburst Lipstick 006 “Pink Sugar”
3. Josie Maran – Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40+ (not full size)
4. Kat Von D – Painted Love Lipstick in “Agatha”
5. Bare Minerals – Matte Mineral Foundation in “Golden Fair”
6. MAC – Mineralize Concealer in NW 15
7. Fresh – Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment (white tube)

All items purchased were based on stellar reviews online either via YouTube, blogs, and various review sites. None were items that I needed – as all hauls seem to be this way, haha. However, I was curious about everything I got apart from the Bare Minerals matte foundation.

Side note –> I have a love-hate relationship with Bare Minerals. When I was much younger, and before the time of using liquid foundations, I only used mineral ones. At that time, BM was the option that every one was raving about simply because nothing else was available yet (in my opinion). When the matte formula was first released, the shade “Golden Fair” wasn’t available, so I used “Fairly Light” which was too neutral-toned for me. Because of the unsuccessful color match, I gave up and moved onto bigger and better things – only to forget about BM for years. Recently, I got re-interested in BM’s matte foundation because of the shade “Golden Fair.” Just by looking at the loose powder particles I could tell this would be more of a suitable match for me.

I’ve decided to give BM another try because:
1. The shade “Golden Fair”;
2. the “click, lock, go” thing that makes everything less messy;
3. the introduction of the matte formula;
4. and, because Houston’s nearly year long heat wave is rapidly approaching, and I know liquid foundation will begin to slip and slide all over my face.

Having said all these things, I hope to report back to you soon.

What are you hauling? Anything you would recommend?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

REVIEW: Clarins UV Plus Multi-Protection SPF 40 [sunscreen]

After my previous post and the messages it brought, I’ve decided to promptly post a quickie review for the Clarins UV Plus Multi-Protection SPF 40 sunscreen. Many were curious since my description of this sunscreen was quite heavenly; and I apologize for not going into detail about the product (and also for the lack of descriptive pictures). I completely understand all the commotion – since it is rather difficult to find a sunscreen we like. Every one knows that wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent aging and sun damage; but let’s face it – no one really likes the smell or texture of sunscreen. And, it’s probably why people don’t wear it. Truth? Yes.

So, what’s the box say?
“Triple protection against UVA-UVB rays, free radicals and pollution from an ultra lightweight texture that leaves skin looking smooth, soft, and matte. 100% mineral sunscreen. Oil-free. Formulated with an age-fighting antioxidants obtained from cantaloupe melon extract. Allergy and ophthalmologist tested, non-comedogenic.”

And, the insert?
“UV PLUS HP contains a 100% mineral screen to help protect against the signs of photo-aging and the appearance of sun-induced age spots. UV PLUS HP is formulated for even the most sensitive skin and Clarins ‘anti-pollution complex’ helps protect skin from the harmful effects of pollution.”

Let’s decipher all this ‘high-tech’ talk:
Clarins ‘anti-pollution complex’ is described as an ingredient that comes from cantaloupe melon extract. “This plant ingredient is both a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging enzyme that is protected by an innovative micro-encapsulating process, ensuring optimal effectiveness when applied.”

The importance of understanding UVA-UVB rays are key factors in finding the right protection level for your needs. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, “both UVA and UVB [rays]…penetrate the atmosphere and play an important role in conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers. They also suppress the immune system.” Also, “by damaging the skin’s cellular DNA, excessive UV radiation produces genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer.”

To break it down, “UVA, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, has long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling (photoaging),” and “UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer” (The Skin Cancer Foundation). So the bottom line is to look for sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum” because it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

My thoughts:
This sunscreen is lightweight and runny, yet creamy and blends easily into the skin. It doesn’t take much effort to dab it on and then rub it in. It dries almost instantly so you can move onto your next step in your morning routine without having to fan your face. It creates a smooth surface on your skin, so it doubles as a primer for those who want to wear makeup over this. Makeup application is smooth and oil control is pretty decent; however, if you do suffer from oily skin, be prepared to blot with blotting paper or powder your nose halfway through the day, as your probably normally would. If you have dry skin, you’ll probably enjoy the dewiness the product will provide on its own.

The best thing about this sunscreen is that it doesn’t leave that dreaded white cast on your face. The product retails for $38 at your local Clarins counter or at Sephora. It’s quite pricey for a 1.7 oz. bottle but it’s practical and useful for every day purposes. Since you would wear this during the day only, a single bottle can last about 8 months if you use it regularly; or, up to a year for those (like me) who like to alternate and rotate products. My only warning is to reserve denser and more thicker sunscreens (like Neutrogena) that claim to be “waterproof” for the beach or going to the pool. Clarins UV Plus Multi-Protection SPF 40 sunscreen isn’t meant to be “water resistant,” “waterproof,” or “sweat proof,” so the product will most likely become less effective once you dive into any body of water.

Final verdict:
For the price, this product isn’t completely necessary and I’m aware that something from the drugstore is just as useful and effective. Note that I’m directing the recommendation of the Clarins sunscreen for every day use and under makeup because it’s non-sticky and you forget you’re wearing it. It’s a small additional step to add into your morning routine, but in the long run, you won’t be spending thousands to reverse damage done to your skin in your 50’s. I’m a big believer in “preventative measures,” so to me, it’s an investment that’s worth it. Also, I think that many people who normally detest using/wearing sunscreen will find this product to be user-friendly, unlike the sticky goop that sunscreen normally tends to be.

One final thing to keep in mind is that this particular prodcut – much like all “high end” sunscreens – are not approved by the FDA. Products sold at the drugstore (like Neutrogena) are regulated by the FDA in packaging, label, content, and the ingredients. If this is a concern to you, purchase and use Clarins at your own risk.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.