Inside Influenster’s @Neutrogena VoxBox

voxbox-blogimageLast month I was selected by @Influenster to receive the Neutrogena VoxBox, which contained a jar of Neutrogena’s new Hydro Boost Water Gel (#BehindTheGlow). According to Neutrogena, this formula has been a best seller in Asia since 2009 and features a “Progressive Release System Formula” that creates a “hydration reservoir” and works to balance your skin and provide moisture throughout the day. The moisture gel uses hyaluronic acid, olive extract and glycerin to provide non-greasy hydration.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
It’s no secret that I have very dry winter skin, so I was excited to try this new product. The packaging and the gel itself both have a very spa-like feel, from the clear, light blue colors to the clean and fresh scent of the moisturizer. When I smoothed the gel onto my skin I immediately noticed its refreshing, cooling sensation. It didn’t absorb completely right away, but after a few minutes my skin felt soft and not the least bit greasy or oily. However, it didn’t take long for that soft smooth feeling to change to a slightly dry and tight feeling. Within a couple of hours I had dry flaky patches on my forehead and cheeks.

While I can say that this moisturizer is more hydrating than many others that are currently sitting in my beauty stash, it just did not provide enough moisture for my very dry winter skin, and the moisture it did provide was not very long lasting. I’ll be setting this moisturizer aside and will give it another try come summer, when my skin is much less thirsty; the lightweight moisture and cooling sensation could make it a perfect warm weather hydrator.

I received this product free for testing purposes; all opinions are my own.

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Summer 2013 Beauty Essentials

I was lucky enough to have a long holiday weekend to celebrate Independence Day, and I could not have asked for more perfect weather. Filled with sun-filled days at the lake, evenings out with family and friends, and plenty of lazing/reading/napping, my mini-vacation marked my unofficial kickoff to the summer season.

I like to keep my summertime beauty routine fairly light and fresh – there’s nothing worse than a face full of makeup melting down your chin – but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to look polished. Here are three key products that took me from the beach to the bar – and probably will all season.

Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Lotion SPF 30: My fiance and I tested three different sunscreens over the weekend, and this was the winner, no contest. It’s sweat-proof, waterproof and pleasantly moisturizing, without being greasy. While the other sport block we tested faded after just a couple of hours, resulting in slightly singed shoulders, this one stayed put through two dips in the lake and lasted all day. This is my number one summer must-have product this year – no sunburns allowed!

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB: I’ve blogged about this BB cream before, but it’s back in my summer lineup, and with good reason. Not only does it pack an SPF of 30 (see above – no sunburns!), it also takes the place of my morning moisturizer and concealer, all while providing more coverage than my standard tinted moisturizer. It’s ultra lightweight, and on super hot days it’s pretty much the only makeup I apply. Other than lip color, of course. Which brings me to:

Fresh Sugar Coral Tinted Lip Treatment: Unless you live under a rock you probably know or have heard about how amazing Fresh Sugar lip balms are. Silky smooth and oh-so-good for your lips, these balms have a cult following for a reason. I’ve long been a fan of the original and rose versions of the Sugar balms, but this summer I’m reaching for Coral – it’s a wonderfully smooth, highly pigmented red-orange lip tint, and it looks great with my now slightly less corpse-like summer complexion. For dinner with friends on a sweltering Friday night I swept my hair back in a messy ponytail, smoothed my skin with the above-mentioned BB cream, swiped on the tiniest bit of waterproof liner (upper outer lashes only) and mascara, and finished the look with this cheery pop of color. The result? I felt totally glamorous with almost no makeup on, and even in the humid heat it didn’t budge. And did I mention that the Sugar balm comes with SPF 15?

Those are my beauty must-haves this season – what are yours?

Catch the Wave

My quest for perfect skin led me recently to purchase a variety of skin care products from Drugstore.com. When my package arrived, I opened it with glee, carefully unwrapping each bottle and inspecting its beauty claims. Over the past two weeks I’ve been testing several of the products. So far, one is a clear winner.

I was skeptical at first about the Neutrogena Deep Clean Wave. It came out around the same time several other strange new vibrating products came out (Mascara? Razors? Why?). I laughed the whole situation off as companies marketing potential sex toys to teenagers who are too embarrassed to by the real thing. And honestly, if you watch a Neutrogena Wave commercial with the idea that the miracle item is a vibrator and not a skin cleansing implement, you will understand where I’m coming from.

But I digress. While doing some beauty reading a few weeks ago, I came across an article in Elle that talked about how the vibrating action of the Wave has been shown to help clean pores more deeply and stimulate cells in a way that leads to younger looker skin. I was intrigued. So I added a Wave to my online shopping cart and had it shipped my way.

I was a little afraid the vibration would be too strong and would irritate my skin. Honestly, I had visions of buffing my face with little circles of sandpaper. Happily, the cleansing pads that you stick to the end of the wave are soft and contain a gentle, mildly scented cleanser. You run the pad under some warm water, turn the Wave on, and then massage your face with the thing. It’s easy to use, and lathers up only a little, so no need to worry about soap-bubble beards or cleanser in the eye. After you’re done, just rinse your face with warm water. I’ve been following it up with another one of my new skin care products – Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion.

The first morning after using the Wave, I have to say I noticed that my skin had a nice glow. After two or three uses, the stubborn blemish on my cheek that I’ve been trying to erase for months was markedly faded. Not only am I no longer making fun of the Neutrogena Wave, but I’m recommending it to friends.

So hats off to you, Neutrogena Deep Clean Wave. Sorry I called you a sex toy.