Happy New Year everyone! It’s that time of year again! There’s a lot to go through, so get comfy folks!

My Skincare Faves of 2016

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Beauty Reflections’ Skincare Faves of 2016

Cleansers

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I love Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil($58) to remove sunscreen and makeup. It takes off everything, including mascara and doesn’t irritate my eyes. Of all the cleansing oils I’ve tried, this one emulsifies the best and rinses off the best as well, leaving no oily residue at all. My skin feels soft and clean after using it, and sometimes I don’t even feel the need to double cleanse to remove any leftovers. It’s never, ever broken me out either. Will definitely repurchase this for sure!

BriAA’s Genesis Cleansing Gel is new for me. BriAA is an Israeli Company that is launching in the USA. They are a leading skincare manufacturer with international reputation of more than 38 years in the skincare industry, specializing in natural cosmetics and skin rejuvenation technologies. They sent me a couple of products to try, and WOW-I LOVE this gel cleanser a lot! It smells like green tea and is so light and refreshing. Without a doubt, it’s probably the best foaming, gentle, gel cleanser I’ve ever tried. It cleanses gently, and leaves my skin feeling so GOOD and soft. LOVE IT. Look out for this company, their products are pretty awesome from what I’ve tried.

Hylamide Hydra-Density Mist($18)

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Love this mist after cleansing! It has some marine extracts with a higher water-retaining capacity than hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin. There’s also Green Tea Polyphenols, Golden Eye Grass Root, and Tasmanian Pepperberry to soothe skin and reduce redness. It’s a meaty spray which I love and works well. Good stuff!

AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel
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I didn’t use this for a few months as I was testing out so much skincare this year, and I missed it SO SO MUCH. I’m so glad to be using it again and so is my skin haha. Within a week, my skin looked brighter, better, calmer, less flaky, and less breakouts. See my original review here on how it changed my skin. It now has the dubious distinction of being the one skincare product that I’ve been using for over 2 years now and that’s something when you’re a blogger!

Hylamide and Deciem The Ordinary 
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The Hylamide Booster C25($38) is back again this year as a fave. It’s just solidly good stuff and my skin loves this 25% concentrated and completely stable 25% Ethylated Vitamin C booster. I should really do a more in-depth review of The Ordinary serums and that skincare line, which you can find here. I don’t know how they do it, but their prices are outrageously affordable and from what I’ve tried-REALLY GOOD TOO. The Ordinary Buffet($14.80) is a Multi-Technology Peptide Serum, with Matrixyl 3000 being the main proven anti-aging peptide. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80) is an awesome hydrating serum and did you see that frickin’ price? HOW. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% costs $6.50 and it’s SO GOOD you guys. Lactic Acid is for me at least, the one exfoliating HA that doesn’t break me out. This one smells good too, not overpowering at all, but has a nice gentle scent. It works so well, leaving skin smooth as silk. I use it every other night and love it. They have a 10% concentration as well, and that’s the next one I’m picking up for sure.

It’s hard to see in that pic, but Consonant HydrEXTREME ($72 for 10ml) is on my faves list again. It’s seriously the BEST hydrating serum I’ve ever used. Click on that link to read all about it.

Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence($38)
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Here’s comes some of the Korean Skincare I’ve been using and loving this year. Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence contains 60% artichoke extract to hydrate, nourish and smooth skin and it also helps to tighten the appearance of pores. It’s waterless, which I find amazing and has no silicones, no parabens or other not good for your skin ingredients. It’s an essence, so that means it’s a lotion-y serum. It absorbs quickly, and I swear my pores are looking smoother too. You can find it at Glow Recipe, although it’s sold out at the moment.

J.One Jelly Pack($42) and J.One Hana Cream($30)
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This Korean Skincare line is created by a popular actress and these two products are AWESOME. J.One Jelly Pack firms, hydrates and is a primer for makeup too. It’s a weird texture, a kind of sticky gel that seems a bit hard to rub on, but don’t worry, it does finally sink in and when it does WOWZA. I swear my face loses like 10 pounds when I use this stuff haha! It firms and lifts up everything, smooths over pores, and is a great primer too.
The J.One Hana Cream is a capsule cream which is SO COOL.

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Each little sphere is perfectly portioned so you get the right amount every time you use it. I love this idea! It’s full of ingredients that brighten, firm, blur, and plumps up the skin. You can find both of these products at Sephora in the USA right now, and I’m hoping they make their way across the border soon. Otherwise, you can order them from Glow Recipe which ships to Canada in 2-3 days. So worth it!

Moisturizers

 photo SAM_5408Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb($38) is Korean as well, and you can find the line at The Face Shop across Canada, and at Sephora in the USA. It’s such a good moisturizer if you have really dry skin. It’s a kind of bouncy cream that gives instant moisture. You know when people say it feels like your skin just drank a big glass of water? That’s exactly what this feels like.

Live Clean Fresh Face Soothing Daily Moisturizer is probably the best drugstore moisturizer I’ve tried, and it made my list this year again. So affordable at around $14 for a massive tube-it’s 5 oz. Who in the heck makes a face moisturizer that size these days? Live Clean, that’s who! No bad for your skin ingredients at all, it’s a solid moisturizer that I love to use and never interferes with makeup at all.

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Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30($52) is another Korean skincare brand, and again I’m so sorry, but this one isn’t in Canada either. The other Tiger Grass cream is, but because this one has SPF it’s not here. Maybe soon. But I love using this one on no makeup days.

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The green-beige colour does a pretty decent job at correcting my redness amazingly enough! Shocked me actually. I got a sample at Disneyland the last time we were there, and loved it so much I got the full size to take home. The Tiger Grass helps soothe redness and reduce it. It’s thick, and really protects the skin’s barrier. Plus, it’s got SPF 30 too, so for me this is a godsend product. If you suffer from redness like I do, it’s worth trying for sure.

Night Creams/Moisturizers

 photo SAM_5415.jpgMost nights, I opt for a sleeping mask with Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask($92) being my fave. I love the stuff. I wake up with moisturized, brighter, firmer looking skin every time I use it.

Another Live Clean Fresh Face product! The Nourishing Night Cream($20) is awesome. Natural, organic ingredients that work so well and is so affordable. I love using this one if I’m using an acid or retinol overnight as it doesn’t have any ingredients that would interfere. Love it and Live Clean a lot!

Masks

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I love masks. And I love the Blithe Patting Splash Mask in Rejuvenating Purple Berry($45). Marky loves the Soothing Green Tea one. You can read my review HERE, but for both of us these Splash Masks are probably one of the best skincare finds of the year.

Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpgI have a lot of masks, but to be honest these three from Eau Thermal Avène are the ones I reach for and use the most. Pretty much after every shower I’ll use one. The Soothing Moisture Mask I’ll even use as a moisturizer if I’m feeling especially parched. The Tolérance Extreme Mask  is great when my skin is acting up and feeling itchy and blotchy and misbehaving. And the Antirougeurs Calm is perfect for anytime I want to look less red.

Eye Cream

 photo SAM_5428.jpgThe Bella Aura Instant Lifting Eye Contour is my favourite daytime eye cream hands down. It’s more of a lotion than a cream, but it sinks in immediately, cools, refreshes, brightens, and I swear my eyes look lifted as well. I adore it so much, and will need to repurchase another this month for sure.

The Peter Thomas Roth Retinal PM Cream($68) I’ve been using since the Sephora VIB Sale in November, so I can honestly tell you this is probably the best eye cream I’ve used to reduce the look of fine lines and crow’s feet. I’m really noticing the difference about now, and that’s the thing with products like this, it takes time before you really see results. I figure I’ll need to replace it this month, and I plan on doing that for sure.

Sunscreen

SAMSUNG CSC

Cyberderm Simply Zinc Sun Whip and Every Morning Sun Whip($38 each) are the best mineral sunscreens I’ve ever used. They protect all day long, don’t interfere with makeup, and never break me out. I prefer mineral sunscreen on my face, and these two are pretty much perfection in my eyes. And yay! They are Canadian as well! And, they ship to the USA and International as well.

Favourite Skincare Line Of 2016

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Bella Aura’s Essential Energy Boosting Kit

Bella Aura Skincare was the best skincare line I’ve tried this past year. It’s a luxurious, natural, and highly effective skincare line that is is emulsion-based. Emulsions are created when a water based moisturizer is combined with botanical oils. They are lightweight and quickly absorb into the deepest layers of your skin, leaving no greasy residue at all. An emulsion has the ability to maintain hydration levels and prevent moisture loss from your skin’s surface. All skin types benefit from emulsions, as they are hydrating and don’t clog pores at all. This is Bella Aura’s Essential Energy Boosting Kit($75) and contains 10ml sizes of all 5 Bella Aura Skincare products. It’s a great way to try the line and I think you’d love it as much as I do!

Phew again! These faves posts take so long to do, but I like doing them because it really makes me look at what products I actually use. A lot of them I’ve bought on my own, a few have been sent by PR. But all of them I will continue to keep using and purchasing when I run out, that’s for sure.

Have you tried any of these products? What skincare gems did you discover last year?

Soooo….did I tell you in the summer I noticed I had a VERTICAL wrinkle? VERTICAL you guys-like this ——– just above my left cheek bone. And that was the moment I really understood that: I. Am. Getting. OLD.

I really am….  🙁

My skin as you know, is very sensitive and so I haven’t really been able to use anything that most normal people do like glyoclics or retinols to smooth out any kind of wrinkles that appear. Every time I’d try one of those kinds of products BOOM I’d break out. Sigh. But Mr. Vertical Wrinkle SCARED ME. I needed to do something!

And then, lo and behold, one of my favourite gentle skincare brands came out with something that gives aging sensitive skin hope!

Avène PhysioLift Skincare line

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AVÈNE PHYSIOLIFT

The Avène PhysioLift Skincare line is made for people like me who want to do something about wrinkles, but have sensitive skin. The products firm the skin and reduce the appearance of pronounced wrinkles. AND best part is that they are gentle enough for persnickety aging skin like mine! And yours!

AVÈNE PHYSIOLIFT DAY SMOOTHING CREAM

Not only does it replenish skin with collagen and hyaluronic acid, it protects it from free-radicals as well. What I love the most about this cream is that it’s enriched with anti-fatigue and anti-grayness micro pearlescent agents that act as a soft-focus blurring, kind of making those wrinkles disappear. Well, not disappear, but my skin instantly LOOKS better and less wrinkly when I use it, whether I wear makeup or not.

AVÈNE PHYSIOLIFT NIGHT SMOOTHING REGENERATING NIGHT BALM

Magical stuff! Seriously, you’ll notice a difference in one night I promise. This has a magic ingredient called Hesperidine methyl chalcone. Hesperidine methyl chalcone works to improve skin tone and reduce redness by calming inflammation and decreasing capillary permeability. Meaning, it strengthens the capillary wall and prevents blood from leaking out, which can cause redness in the skin. One night of using this and you’ll wake up to firmer, less wrinkled looking and luminous skin. The Retinaldehyde is what smooths out wrinkles and my skin can tolerate it, so yay!

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AVÈNE PHYSIOLIFT EYES

This is my new favourite eye cream, especially when I want to wear makeup. It fills wrinkles and tightens the skin around the eye contour, plus it reduces puffiness and dark circles. It’s so smoothing and lifting and makes a perfect base for concealer. But, it does contain silicone though, which is why it’s so smoothing.

Let’s talk about silicones

In fact, all of these products do contain a bit of silicone, just in different amounts. The eye cream in fact, has the least amount. But the day cream feels the least siliconey-in fact I don’t even really feel that silicone feel when I use it. Yet, I counted silicone THREE TIMES in the ingredient list?!! Usually as you know, my skin doesn’t do well with silicones, but I don’t know man-I think the addition of Avène Thermal Spring Water magically makes it easier to tolerate? Avène DID test out the entire range on people with sensitive skin and it was well tolerated, so that’s what I guess I’ve experienced as well.

But…BUT…I do wish Avène wouldn’t have put silicones in every product?! I know they’re there to optically help blur and fill in fine lines and wrinkles, but seriously, they could have kept it out of the night balm at least, as I don’t see the point of them being in there. Who needs to blur their wrinkles to go to bed hey? Even though I love what the night balm does for my skin, I don’t use it every night because I really don’t like using silicones in my night skincare. Anyways, silicones in makeup and skincare have been deemed safe here in Canada, and you can read more about that HERE. In the end, like I always say: it’s up to YOU to know your skin and what it likes and does not like and what it can tolerate. 

AVÈNE PHYSIOLIFT PRECISION WRINKLE FILLER

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I love seeing a pretty innovative delivery system like this! It has a pen-type applicator that you push down on the bottom to release the product. It’s kind of a foam texture that expands and fills in those deep wrinkles so that they get all the highly concentrated ingredients and stay there. I put it where I have really visible wrinkles like where I have the 11’s between my brows starting to appear, and that damn Mr. Vertical Wrinkle above my cheekbone. Again, I only use this during the day, as my preference is to not use silicones at night. But hey, if you can-you go girl!

Mr. Vertical is slowly getting better from using the Avène PhysioLift Skincare line-hopefully someday he’ll disappear!

What is your favourite anti-wrinkle skincare product? And if you have any that are silicone-free, I’d appreciate it!

Yup, it’s that time of year again! The busy holiday season and cold weather is upon us once more, so I’ve got some Holiday Beauty Tips from Avène, Klorane, René Furterer, and A-Derma. These products are my winter staples and keep me moisturized from head to toe and will do the same for you.

Holiday Beauty Tips from Avène, Klorane, René Furterer, and A-Derma

 

First, radiant, moisturized skin is a must for all of us at this time of year. And I promise that’s what you’ll get if you start using Eau Thermale Avène products in your skin care routine.

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Eau Thermale Avène

After using a gentle cream cleanser to cleanse your face, spritz some Eau Thermal Avène Thermal Water Spray on your face, and let it sit for a few seconds before gently dabbing dry with a towel. Instantly your face will be less red and blotchy-that’s what it does for me. I can’t live without the stuff, and this travel sized version is great to keep in your purse (50 ml-$9.50) to freshen up your makeup whenever you need to. After the spritz, slap on some Avène Hydrance Optimal Hydrating Serum (30 ml $44) to keep the moisture in your skin. This serum is one of my faves too, and it will really help keep your skin hydrated and flake free this winter. And don’t forget the Avène Soothing eye contour cream! It’s so gentle and will keep your under eye area looking awake and hydrated.

My favourite tip to make sure I look dewy and radiant? I use the Avène Soothing Moisture Mask as a moisturizer before my foundation. I’m telling you guys, it’s AMAZING. Put on a thin layer and let it absorb for a couple of minutes before you apply your favourite foundation, BB or CC Cream and you’ll be surprised at how great your skin looks! You can also swap your night cream with this moisturizing mask as well. Apply a thicker coat and let it soak in for at least 15 minutes. If there’s any excess just wipe it off with a tissue, or do what I do-put it on your hands! And then voila! You’ll wake up with hydrated plump skin on your face and hands!

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Klorane Smoothing Relaxing Patches

Not having enough beauty sleep this holiday season? Fake it with these Klorane Smoothing Relaxing Patches(7 packs of 2 $17.25)! Put them in the refrigerator for a boost of freshness! They really work well anytime you want to look like you’ve had 10 hours of sleep. Check my review HERE.

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A-Derma Moisturizing Body Lotion

The A-Derma Moisturizing Body Lotion (400 ml $26) is a must have for me at this time of year. Use this after every shower and you won’t have itchy, dry winter skin EVER. It absorbs quickly too, so you can get dressed immediately, which is perfect to use before a holiday party to make sure any exposed skin looks its best.

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René Furterer Absolue Keratine Ultimate Renewal Mask

This René Furterer Absolue Keratine Ultimate Renewal Mask ($65) is WOW. It is specially designed to repair and reconstruct extremely damaged hair. This camelina and plant based keratin formula is also silicone-free, and will help repair dry, brittle hair. It’s SO hard to find a hair mask that’s silicone-free-a lot of them have silicones to coat your hair, making you THINK they’ve done something good for your hair, when in fact, they just fill in damage and not actually help repair it. Distribute this mask through shampooed hair and leave it on for 5-8 minutes. It smells SO good-fresh! And for me, it’s one of those hair masks that your hair really drinks in because when you rinse it out, it really doesn’t feel like much goes down the drain. It’s all in your hair, working to make it look smooth and shiny. Really worth the splurge!

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Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, René Furterer Dry Shampoo, Klorane Desert Date Leave-in Day Cream

Klorane Desert Date Leave-in Day Cream($12.95) is another must have for me. It’s a creamy leave-in styling treatment that instantly penetrates the hair fiber to help it look and feel silky and moisturized. Silicon-free and Paraben-free, it coats the hair to seal in moisture and prevent split-ends without weighing hair down. It helps keep my curly hair frizz-free during the winter and it smells SO GOOD-spicy, yummy!

René Furterer Dry Shampoo($20) is great to have on hand when you don’t have time to wash your hair. It’ll refresh your hair with absorbent clay in minutes leaving it light, luminous, and perfectly healthy, without using water. I like this one, but it’s better for darker hair that’s for sure. It left my silver hair kind of orange looking which looked kind of cool to be honest hahaha! If you have lighter coloured hair, then the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is the way to go. This travel sized version(50 ml $6.10) is also perfect for your purse to get some instant volume in your hair whenever you need it. I use it where my hair is thinning and it instantly gives my hair a boost of volume. It’s also really great to use in your hair before you put your hair up in a pretty bun or, a high ponytail which is my preferred dressy hairdo. It gives your hair some oomph so it doesn’t look so flat. Love the stuff!

You can find most of these products at the drugstore. René Furtherer products are available in select salons and hair boutiques across Canada. Call 1-877-441-2011for a salon near you.

What are some of your favourite products and tips for looking radiant and moisturized this holiday season? 

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Avène Hydrance Optimale

My love of Avène($44) is well documented on ze blog. It’s the next best option to bathing in the Avene Thermal Spring waters in France, I swear to god. And I’m a Ukrainian Orthodox married to a Ukrainian Catholic so when I swear, I SWEAR hahaha! #notkidding #angelswillsmiteme #beenwatchingSupernaturalsoForgiveMe #angelsareDICKS

Avène Hydrance Optimale Serum has the HIGHEST concentration of Avène Thermal Spring water of any product they make. And you all know how good that water is for your skin! It’s rich in silicates and trace elements, has perfectly balanced minerals, a neutral pH, and as my favourite horsey found out for us-is a naturally soothing anti-irritant. #alwaysthankthehorsey

Avène Hydrance Optimale Serum adjusts to your skin’s hydration levels according to its NEEDS. How? Avène Hydrance Optimale Serum has liposomes. Liposomes are tiny bubbles (vesicles) made out of the same material as a cell membrane. They can be filled with different things, and in Avene Hydrance Optimale Serum they’re filled with-you guessed it- Avene Thermal Spring Water! And, because these water saturated liposomes are similar to cell membranes, they can just slide right on into the deep layers of our skin and diffuse that good for us horsey spring water deep into skin cells, all day long.

Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector jpg The Avène Hydrance Optimale Light Cream is FANTASTIC as well. It’s basically a cream version of the serum so, it is an INSTANT love for me! It seals in all the goodness from the serum. The new product in the line is the Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector in Light, and this is something I’ve been waiting for from Avène. I love everything by Avène, but now??! I can have all the healing benefits of the healing water with a bit of colour too! SIGN. ME. UP. NOW.

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Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector

Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector($38) is particularly well suited for dehydrated normal to combination sensitive skins like mine! It gives you that BONNE MINE healthy radiance to your skin that’s something I love and adore, but to be honest, is hard to believably achieve when you’re as pale as I am.

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Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector Light Swatch

It feels a little grainy when you rub it on to your face, and that’s because it has colour adjusting technology from mineral pigments, so it will give you your perfect, healthy glow and correct skin tone imperfections as well. It also has pre-tocopheryl, a powerful antioxidant, and of course Avène Thermal Spring. Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector blurs imperfections with a combination of mattifying soft focus agents to fill imperfections and disperse light. Violet mother of pearl gives radiance, while copper hues help shadows appear brighter.

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Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector Light before and after

I really like it! Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector Light evens out my skin tone and does a good job of easing up the redness in my skin. Not only is my skin perfectly hydrated all day, but it’s glowy and healthy looking too.

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Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector Light

And who doesn’t want glowy, hydrated skin for fall, right? Right! Pick up the Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Skin Tone Perfector, and the other Avène Hydrance Optimale products tout de suite! 

And don’t forget to enter this great giveaway from Avène to try for yourself!
 
Giveaway powered by Hellowave

Do you know that I’ve never been a huge fan of eye creams? Yup. It’s true. I try them all the time. Test them out. Review them. But never keep on using them after. Why? I’ve never really noticed a huge difference when using one. None of them really did anything for any lines or wrinkles that I’ve got. They’d still be there no matter what. And sure they’ve moisturized, but honestly I’d get the same moisturizing effect by just bringing up my face cream under my eyes. So, why keep on using them? Or buying them and wasting my money?

Well, I’ve been testing a new eye balm from Avene since January-that’s two whole months folks. And you know what?

I CAN SEE A DIFFERENCE.

Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm

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Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm

 

Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm is designed for us…mature ladies…but I say PFFT to that…everyone needs to use this eye balm! Oh, and it’s paraben free too! And NO fragrance!

Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm has four key active ingredients to address the four main issues for aging eyes.

1. Redensifying and anti-sagging action: It contains Hyaluronic Acid Fragments (H.A.F.) to boost the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid synthesis to add volume and firmness.

2. A cosmetic “lifting” effect: The combination of a natural, firming polymer and a “soft focus” filling agent in Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm lifts the lids and widens the eyes.

3. Refreshing action: Dextran sulfate reduces puffiness and signs of fatigue thanks to its decongesting properties.

4. Smoothing, protective and nourishing action: Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm contains Glycoleol which is nourishing and lipid-restoring. And there’s Pre-Tocopheryl, a powerful cellular antioxidant that helps create vitamin E reserves. Both of those ingredients intensively hydrates.

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Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm

The texture of Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm is something else! It’s beautiful and smooth, yet rich and not greasy at all. As soon as I put it on in the morning, my eyes look brighter, wider, more awake. And it sinks in quickly too and works well under any makeup. But, since I’ve been using Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm, I’ve noticed that I need LESS concealer under my eyes. YUP. LESS. Which is perfect, because as we get older, heavy concealer under the eyes is kind of a big NO. I sometimes even SKIP concealer now and find that my foundation does a good enough job under my eyes. My under eye area looks so much brighter and even! And I’m noticing that some of the fine lines are looking better too!

Who knew a really good eye cream could make such a difference? 😛

Avene Serenage Revitalizing Eye Balm is supposed to be on shelves this month. Look for it wherever Avene is sold and GET IT. You’ll thank me!

Are you a regular eye cream user? Do you notice a difference when using it?