SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum is the go-to anti-aging serum. It is a clinical brand that stacks up admirably with others in its category. Recommended by many dermatologists, it is packed with peptides to plump and firm, and eradicate wrinkles. It has super power anti-oxidants for helping prevent further aging/damage, and alpha arbutin brightens up age spots. Why is this anti-aging serum so much better than others? Well, when I tried the one bottle (can't afford any more!) it truly did make my skin look younger. It also reduced my redness/inflammation, and I felt like I was doing something really good for my skin.
Natural perfumes can be expensive because they often use precious oils and rare extracts. They are nothing like the familiar, spritz-on, strident, commercial products. They can be weird. They can be magic. They are opulent, many-layered, unique. They are so special in fact, that many times I told myself "From now on I will only wear natural perfumes".
Aftelier Perfumes Secret Garden is all of the above and more. Mandy Aftel, the creator, is the cream-of-the-natural-perfume-crop. She is an alchemical genius, and everything she puts out is a work of art. My favorite of her creations is Secret Garden. On me it is the scent of haphazard rows of lush flowers leading down a garden path; their petals warming in the late morning sun. The path is still a bit damp from the morning dew, and furry little critters dart in and out of the bushes. Then there is the undercurrent of sweet sap, amber drops on delicate limbs. Notes of geranium, rose, blood orange, raspberry, lotus, jasmine, and castorium lure me in. If the price is prohibitive, you can purchase samples of any of Mandy’s perfumes on the Aftelier website.
$180 for only a 1/4 oz
Pureology Hair Care Nano Works Shampoo and Conditioner are advertised for aging color-treated hair but the truth is, they are insanely good for anyone. Ok, it's a tad bit on the heavy side so probably not for oily hair. It is luxurious with a capital L. Everyone I know who has used it, while not always able to justify the price, never-the-less fell madly deeply in love. It has that certain je-ne-sais-quoi. Maybe it's the sugar cane, or the mushrooms, or maybe even the wine extracts but something is working right. It got rid of my frizzies without weighing my hair down, so if you can afford it, do it! Oh and it's also vegan :-)
$54, 8.5 oz shampoo $58, 8.5 oz conditioner
Dyptique Candles are the ultimate in French fare. Smooth, sophisticated, they are only available at upscale venues. Sure, there are more expensive candles out there, but I'm guessing the $60 price tag may seem exorbitant to some. The unique spare designs and the slow burning wax make up some of the value, but it is the exquisite fragrances that really draw people in. Their "roses" is real rose, "eucalyptus" is all warm Mediterranean, and one of my favorites "figuier", is redolent not just of the fig fruit, but the fig leaves and wood as well. Oh and my other fave "oranger" is also fruit, leaves, and wood, but in addition has a hint of sharp spice so it almost - but not quite - smells like Christmas. I really couldn't choose just one!
I WANT TO TRY: Every single year Cle de Peau Concealer makes the fashion magazines' "best of" issue, winning the coveted "best concealer" title. Supposedly it does it all, and I would love to find out for myself. But the cost.....
Images stolen from Amazon, Aftelier Perfumes, Diptyque, Barney's
all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. I am not financially compensated for my reviews