Tag Archives: moisturizer

Stratia Skin Liquid Gold, Rewind, and Fortify Review

Stratia Liquid Gold Rewind Fortify

Stratia is a fairly new handmade, science-based skincare line. It was founded Alli Reed, who blogs over at The Acid Queen (I found it via her blog).  She currently sells five products, and I have three of them to review today.

I purchased all items featured in this post, and there are no affiliate links.
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Deciem The Ordinary Skincare Review

deciem the ordinary skincare

Today, I have a review of several products from parent company Deciem‘s new-ish skincare line, The Ordinary. All the products from the Ordinary are inexpensive; Deciem has said that the low cost is in large part owed to the fact that The Ordinary doesn’t have innovative formulas – it has “ordinary” ones.  While the formulas may be ordinary in that particular sense, offering proven ingredients in well formulated products at such low costs is unique among the skincare brands I’m familiar with. (Also, Deciem has several other brands that do have innovative formulas if that’s what you’re looking for.)

There aren’t that many reviews of the products yet, so I thought I’d throw mine out there.  I have first impressions only for some of the products, and more thorough reviews of a few.

[Ed note: Oh hey there. I haven’t blogged for a long time. I got burned out on blogging for a while, then I had a baby and moved across the country.  Now the baby is old enough that I’m starting to get some time to myself now and then, and I have the itch to blog. No promises on how often it’ll be though.]

(I purchased all of these products and this post does not contain any affiliate links.)

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Skincare Mini-Reviews

 Simple Eye Makeup Remover, Bioderma Sensibio,  Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil, Lush Angels on Bare Skin

Makeup Removers & Cleansers:
Simple Eye Makeup Remover, Bioderma Sensibio,
Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil, Lush Angels on Bare Skin

Today, I thought I would post mini reviews of my favorite and most-used skincare products. I have a ton of products to mention, so each individual review will be super short. If you have questions, please ask!

Makeup Removers and Cleansers

Simple Eye Makeup Remover and Bioderma Sensibio: I use both of these primarily to remove leftover eye makeup under my eyes after cleansing; just a little on a q-tip does the trick! I’ve heard that the Simple one stings some peoples eyes, but never had that problem myself; I find it very gentle. Both are water based, so perfect for fixing mistakes as well.  I’ve also used them to remove lip swatches.  Since the price is actually not that different between the two, I will probably repurchase the Bioderma.

Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil: Fantastic stuff – it removes almost all of my makeup, including waterproof mascara (just leaving a little darkness under the eyes). It cleanses thoroughly and gently, and leaves my skin soft, not dry or tight. It’s my one-step nighttime cleanser – I use this almost every night. I will definitely repurchase.

Lush Angels on Bare Skin: A very gentle manuel exfoliator.  I occasionally use this in the morning, it feels really nice on my skin.  However, since I’ve started using a retinol (which chemically exfoliates), I use the Lush less frequently. I might repurchase.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser [not pictured]: I forgot to take a picture of this one since I keep it in the shower.  It’s a really nice gentle, hydrating cleanser that doesn’t strip my skin.  I use it when I’m not wearing makeup but I need to wash my face – for example, after exercise, or in the morning if my face needs washing (most days I just splash with water in the morning). I have, and will continue to, repurchase.

 CeraVe PM, Mandom Barrier Repair, Philosophy Hope Oil-Free SPF, Armani Regenessece High Life SPF, Avene Eluage, Neutrogena Healthy Skin

Moisturizers, Sunscreens, and Retinoids:
CeraVe PM, Mandom Barrier Repair, Philosophy Hope Oil-Free SPF,
Armani Regenessece High Life SPF, Avene Eluage, Neutrogena Healthy Skin


CeraVe PM: This is a long-time staple of mine. It’s a light, but very hydrating, moisturizer.  I hear it  has good skincare ingredients (ceramides, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid), though I’m not sure what does what.  I sometimes use it at night, and it’s all my go-to moisturizer to mix with foundation if I want to sheer out the coverage. I have, and will continue to, repurchase.

Mandom Barrier Repair: I read online that this Japanese serum was great for dry or dehydrated skin, so when I saw it in-store (in LA’s Little Tokyo), I bought it.  It has a light gel-like consistency, and feels wonderful when applied – hydrating, and not sticky or tacky. I love it so far, and I think it will become a staple this winter. I will probably repurchase.

Moisturizers With SPF

Philosophy Hope Oil Free SPF 30: This is my daily sunscreen. It works well under makeup, and isn’t too greasy. It doesn’t smell too much like sunscreen. It’s photostable. I don’t love it, but my goal for sunscreen is to find something that I can tolerate, and this works for me. I will probably repurchase, unless I find a similarly priced sunscreen I prefer.

Armani Regenessence [3.r] High Lift SPF 15 Cream:  I got a sample of this with my recent Armani purchases, and it is AMAZING.  It feels like a wonderful moisturizer, has no sunscreen smell at all, and I love it.  It is photostable.  However, the SPF is too low, and the price too high for it to be my daily sunscreen. So, for now, I am really enjoying wearing it on days that I won’t be outside much, and when it’s gone I will be sad. I would love to purchase, but can’t afford to.


I started using retinoids about seven months ago, to improve my skin texture.  I started off with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Night – it’s has fairly weak retinoid (a retinol, specifically), which is great to start with – I had no irritation at all.  Once I had almost finished the tube, I moved on to Avene Eluage, a stronger retinoid (a retinaldehyde) – I believe it is one of the strongest over the counter retinoids available.  Since my skin was already used to the Neutrogena, I had no irritation when I switched. I’ve been intending to use up the rest of the Neutrogena on my neck/chest area, but I usually don’t bother. I will repurchase the Avene.

If you are unfamiliar with retinoids, Skinacea is a fantastic website for information.

Body Shop Mango Body Butter, Trader Joe's Jojoba Oil, Rapidlash, Lansinoh (in jar)

Misc Skincare:
Body Shop Mango Body Butter, Trader Joe’s Jojoba Oil, Rapidlash, Lansinoh (in jar)

Other Skincare and Related Items

Body Shop Mango Body Butter: The only lotion / body butter I will use on my legs.  Feels fantastic, smells great, and doesn’t irritate my legs post-shave.  I love this; I’ve used up a mini and made a significant dent in the full size. I have, and will continue to, repurchase.

Trader Joe’s Jojoba Oil: Pure oil is, in my experience, the best makeup remover for super-stubborn makeup.  I used to use this on my eyes, and still occasionally will, but my favorite use for this is removing extremely stubborn swatches on my arm. I haven’t met anything this cannot remove yet – though Prestige Total Intensity pencils and Rouge d’Armani 400 required two applications – massage oil in, wash off, dry, then repeat. I will repurchase.

Rapidlash: I started using Rapidlash about nine weeks ago.  After about four weeks, I noticed that my lashes were longer.  I can absolutely see the difference – especially with mascara on.  I can’t tell if they are thicker, but I’ve heard that eyelashes continue to thicken for several months after starting Rapidlash. I’ll keep you updated! I will repurchase.

Lansinoh (lanolin): I use this every night on my cuticles. It’s a fantastic moisturizer, but very thick and sticky – thus, night is the best time for it.  Lansinoh is actually meant for breastfeeding mothers, but I promise it works really well on cuticles too! I will repurchase.

Poshe AHA Cuticle Cream [not pictured]: I forgot to include this in the picture, but I LOVE this.  It helps keep my cuticles moisturized and under control.  I use it a couple times a day. I have, and will continue to, repurchase.

Kate Somerville EradiKate [not pictured]: When I feel a cystic pimple forming under my skin (usually if not always hormonal), I use Eradikate at night to treat it.  It often prevents anything from every surfacing / forming, which is great – that means it doesn’t leave a slow-to-fade mark.  I will probably repurchase.

It isn’t obvious where to find all of these, so here’s a list of where to buy some of them – the links go directly to the relevant page.

  • I bought my Bioderma at a store in Little Tokyo, but the best prices are probably on Amazon.
  • In the US, Shu Uemera Cleansing Oil is only available online.
  • I bought my Mandom Barrier Repair at a store in Little Tokyo, but it’s also available on ebay, and Adambeauty (it’s on Amazon too, but overpriced).
  • I bought Avene Eluage from Dermstore because there was a sale; it’s also on Amazon.
  • Rapidlash is available at many websites. I did some research on the best prices, and decided on Amazon.  Hautelook sometimes has it available, so I’ll check out the price the next time it’s there.
The Armani moisturizer was given to me as a sample for personal consideration.  The Amazon and Hautelook links are affiliate links; the rest of the links in this post are not.  

This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.