Thursday, December 29, 2011


words/ some images Judith Ecochard


Recently, we met up with a gal pal-who runs a wellness spa-that includes a retail component. Meaning, she can slather on any beauty products she wants-price no problem as her devoted clientele skews upscale...and of course, she demos i all.

What she gave the two thumbs up -as her fav-  a skin treatment line from her past-the original skincare products developed by Beverly Hills Dermatologist Zein Obagi M.D.-specifically the original Obagi Nu-Derm® System...we were intrigued.

Well fast forward to the 21st century and now Dr. Obagi offers an at home, consumer friendly-ZO® SKIN HEALTH product collection-with the latest advanced ingredients and enhanced delivery systems- targeting the aging skin at all levels...

AND all available without a prescription or a visit to the doctor's office. .

The list of hard core products is extensive---but comprehensible via a questionnaire/test to figure out what one;s skin needs are.

We've been using the OLLUMINATE® INTENSE EYE REPAIR a no-nonsense, easily tolerated (btw) undereye cream with stabilized retinoid and peptides desined to strengthen the delicate skin under one's peepers and smooth away the fine lines.

The product also contains light diffusing minerals mica and titanium dioxides and anti-oxidant Vitamin meaningful percentages.

So far, so good-wrinkles and under eye circles not our problem...but damage from socket enhancing swim goggles is---so we use OLLUMINATE® INTENSE EYE REPAIR as a base under a cover-up...MSRP $130

Unlike the aforementioned that is specifically created with proprietary ingredients by a noted Board Certified Doctor for his own line  -there's also the recent proliferation of indistinguishable doctor/aesthetician/hairdresser labeled products. 
Reason... a lot of time the goodies are made by private label companies---with similar (maybe exact same!!!) ingredients.

So why not just go to the source?

Xania Labs recently held a media preview- introducing the press to their own labeled hair and skin care treatments.

MANE BOOST- is a collection of four products ---all conjured up to give gals luscious, thick locks without teasing. body building -thickening Volumizing Foam, dual formula protective Amplifying Cream, residue free, body building/shine enhancing Root Lifting Spray, and weightless, residue free-texture building Defining Paste are all very very lightly scented---

Use sparingly-MSRPs of $12 each...we tried the Amplifying Cream on our wet hair---and liked how it smoothed out our hair -when it dried (finally)---yet we could still run our fingers without any the sticky feeling of other hair tamers. 

Esthetic Research Laboratories introduced a SKINSYNC collection of products made to deliver "bioactive nutrients that stimulate cellular harmony and deliver effective solutions for visible, clinically proven results."

The emphasis is to simplify skincare with targeted, straightforward groups of products --- Pro-A Age Defying, Pro-B Brightener (defend skin vs free radical and prevents/reverses signs of aging like hyperpigmentation/age spots, Pro-H Hydrating (non-greasy moisturizing) and Pro-T Target Solutions-like the Pro-T Brightening Peel -a two step system taht improves texture and tone-via Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, Lactic and L-Asorbic Acids and soothing Sunflower and Carrot oils. (MSRP $85).

Cleanly packaged---the products boast proprietary solutions---like the peptide laden Matrixyl 3000™, GABA+, Bio-Tripeptide and Oz Complex in the Pro-A group.

Our new fav everyday product that we tried from this group- is the cleanser---an effective exfoliator too-that we felt, really got the gunk off without stripping our skin-containing healing jojoba, macadamia and sunflower oils. (MSRP $32)

Brightening Peel Kit-easy to use
Sold through resorts, and spas 

Two years ago -we attended a trade show for make-up pros-whereby the organizer of the entire event-personally raved about the Greek skincare line KORRES®- and specifically the KORRES® FACE PRIMER-a silicone free item-and at that time, the first effective skin primer without silicone available at that packed show. Of course it sold we couldn't get one for ourselves.

NOW---there are two amped up primers-smartly crafted for different skin types---which should do a lot to alleviate the primer phobic who just don't like the way a primer feels on their skin.

First for those with normal/oily skin that can skew red---there's KORRES® POMEGRANATE MATTIFYING PRIMER-a breathable, water based -no-color make-up base. We love this product-as our foundation went on perfectly over it-and lasted all day with no color changes...or need to powder up to rid our skin of shine. It really did minimize pores-when on. Nice.

WHAT ELSE-we can pronounce the names of 94% of the ingredients---including pomegranate extract rich in vitamins, and laden with the anti-oxidant powers similar to red wine or green tea-but more concentrated...willow bark extract and rice starch to balance out skin, gently. $33/1.01 fl oz-we figure with daily use -lasts about 2-3 months.

NICE: a real avoid-ness of harsh chemicals and artificial colorants in the entire line.

KORRES® also uses two 'hot' anti-aging ingredients-Quercetin and Oak in the new Antiageing Primer-with 98% natural based ingredients-in an easy to apply cream. Again, this is a silicone-free product---yet helps fills in the wrinkles on the skin as a precursor to an incredibly smooth foundation application.

Interesting Quercetin and Oak have been studied by Korres®' own labs in collab with the National Hellenic Research Foundation and Univ. of Athens-for five years with a focus on the function of "proteasome"-that is an essential shield mechanism of cell proteins like collagen and elastin-to defend and prolong cell lifespan.

Or ---to keep one looking young via better skin texture, fewer wrinkles, and less cell loss.

We tried this out-on a cold dry day---and felt that this product is perfect for normal to dry skins---

What else we liked-is that this treatment primer can be used instead of pricey moisturizers AND is very non-irritating-to the point where we could smooth under our eye sockets problem. ($52-1.01 fl oz.)

Available at Sephora and online everywhere.