La Mer

La Crème by Cle de Peau

It goes without saying that nothing is more effective for your skin than what your dermatologist recommends for it.  With that said, it’s been my experience that one can have a very good skincare regimen using a combination of both prescribed products/methods and over-the-counter (OTC) items.  Allow me to present La Crème by Cle de Peau.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Cle de Peau is Shiseido’s higher end line of skincare and cosmetics.  The Japanese brand and this particular product has a cult following and for good reason–the results are almost immediate.  The reason for this is because the primary active ingredient in La Crème is retinol ACE (in layman’s terms, it’s a lower dose of retinol plus vitamins and boosters to increase the speed of cell turnover).  Although prescription strength retinol is great for many people, for some (such as myself), it can be a bit strong and cause inflammation (and as another side effect, some hyperpigmentation).  This is why for some, OTC-strength is the way to go for including retinol in one’s skincare routine.

In terms of OTC anti-aging creams, Cle de Peau’s La Crème is the gold standard.  I have yet to experience a cream that performs as well as this one.  (Many of you know that I’m also a huge fan of La Mer’s Creme and I still am–but strictly as a moisturizing cream and something that I use to mix with my foundation when wearing makeup, not as a wrinkle cream.)  After a few hours of applying Le Crème, my skin is noticeably softer, clearer, and brighter.  I have been using this product for three months and it has become a permanent part of my skincare routine.  For those who are skeptical and aren’t willing to take the plunge for the full-size jar, Cle de Peau’s website sells the (limited edition) travel size.  You can also ask someone from the line’s counter at your local Nordstrom, Saks, or Neiman’s to give you a week’s sample.

Now, on to the good stuff (recommendations from my personal experience).  If you have normal to dry skin, use the product as directed–at night only (slather it on, go to sleep, and wake up to soft and bright skin).  If you have oily to combination skin, use it at nighttime and, maybe–assuming you are able to go without makeup and shield yourself from the sun, also use a small to moderate amount during the daytime for 2-3 days during the week.  Do not use it on the area around your eyes (even though it’s OTC, a lower dose of retinol can still irritate sensitive areas).  It also helps to properly prep your skin before application–I wash my face with a mild cleanser and use a NON-EXFOLIATING/NON-MEDICATED toner before applying La Crème (for those who don’t use toners, you can skip the second step).  This is important because you don’t want anything to undermine and/or interfere with the efficacy of the active ingredients in the cream.  You want the product to work by itself (preferably, without any allergic reactions and/or interference).

All women over the age of 30 need to allocate a portion of their budgets to skincare/maintenance.  It’s not a frivolous matter–it’s a necessity as one gets older.  Many department store products get a bad rap for being expensive but as someone who is a product fiend, I can confirm that there are some items that are worth their sticker prices and that a little bit of product can go a long way (depending on how much you use, a jar of La Crème can last you between 6 months to 1 year).  And, as I like to tell my husband, “It’s less expensive than plastic surgery.”

(FYI, I was not paid and/or compensated in any way for this review.)

Only Skin Deep?

I have a confession: since I’ve had Max (a little over eight months ago), I’ve not been wearing sunscreen (or makeup, for that matter).  The reason?  I don’t want to expose my baby to harmful chemicals.  Of course, the chemicals in question aren’t harmful to me but with Max being so young, I don’t want to take any chances of his skin absorbing anything that could have adverse effects on his health.  And so my quest for more “natural” skincare begins…

Lip Service

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Since I’ve run out of my trusty La Mer lip balm, I’ve decided to give Mustela’s Hydra-Stick a try.  This, my friends, is great for both mama and baby.  Lightweight, creamy, and, best of all, works to keeps lips and cheeks soft (plus, it’s hypoallergenic).  Surprisingly, it’s a bit more creamy than the La Mer balm.  Max was getting little flakes of dry skin on his cheeks and the Hydra-Stick took care of it straight away.  Verdict:  perfect for dry winter skin and/or chapped lips and/or cheeks.

Baby, It’s Cold Out There

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As a pregnant Jewish woman, I do not feel bad about not fasting for Yom Kippur.  As a matter of fact, I have never fasted for any holiday (primarily due to my being anemic).  But don’t get me wrong–I’m not going to go out and grab a plate of bacon or pork ribs (I don’t  and have never kept kosher but I feel the need to be somewhat observant of the holidays–at least in my own way).  As I’ve said before, I’ve never believed that the path to salvation lied in what we ate.

The weather is finally starting to get nippy.  Thank goodness I got my raincoat/windbreaker and winter coat during the summer.  It sure feels good to have something I can just put on at a moment’s notice with the change in the weather.

Speaking of the change in weather, do you get cravings for certain things in cold weather?  I certainly do–pumpkin pie (Whole Foods has the BEST), hearty soups (Harris Teeter has a pot roast with veggie soup–perfect with rice), and pastas (Bolognese sauce and sausages, please).  D’s office is having a “chili fest” the week after next.  I have to admit that I’ve never made chili.  But I’m sure I can find a recipe online and tweak it.

So, I know I’ve been a bit MIA lately because of all the tech issues and my feeling bummed about my condition (placenta previa).  I’ve been using eLance, which is wonderful for start-up businesses and individuals who have projects but also strict budgets.  Web designers, IT consultants, ghost writers, editors, etc.  It’s quite the resource, actually (just pay close attention to the reviews of those you hire).  I believe in helping freelancers and mom-and-pops (of course, I’m biased) and think that eLance is a good way to go about it.

In other news, I’m in talks with Nordstrom about doing another beauty/fashion event for next month (featuring La Mer and Christian Dior).  On the one hand, I feel fatigued and out of it (due to the fact that I recently started the third trimester of my pregnancy).  But on the other hand, I miss doing events (especially ones that have to do with makeup :)).  Ah, the smell of the cosmetics in a department store…

Hand Job

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Everyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with the brand, La Mer.  It’s just an all-around good skincare line.  Yes, it’s a splurge but, for people with sensitive skin, so worth it.  My favorite product, as of late, has been the Hand Treatment.  Since the beginning of my pregnancy, my skin has been a bit dry and the Hand Treatment has done wonders in terms of smoothing and calming my swollen hands and arms.

Year of the Serum

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This fall, I made a disturbing discovery.  Fine lines around my eyes.  Oy vey…  I suppose those Martina McBride lyrics are true (from “This One’s for the Girls”–every laugh line on your face made you who are you today).  And ever since, I have been on the hunt for good quality skincare.  I’ve invested in two lines–Chanel and La Mer.  I’ve been using La Mer’s original cream and cleansing gel for a while now and simply cannot live without them.  New additions are La Mer’s Concentrate and Chanel’s Resynchronizing line (Le Jour, La Nuit, and Le Weekend).  All have had rave reviews (La Mer’s moisturizers are legendary).  The goal:  even out complexion and plump up face.  I’ve never believed in using serums (have always, up until now, thought they were a bunch of mumbo jumbo) but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.