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Kate-Sommerville-Discovery-Kit.jpgReady to start your gift giving brainstorming sessions but don’t know where to start? For the beauty junkie, a sample kit is always the best way to go, and one of our new favorites is Kate Somerville’s Discovery Kit.

Get your gift recipient (or yourself!) one step closer to radiant skin with this sampling of Kate’s best sellers. A clear plastic zipper bag (great for traveling, btw) comes stocked with the Gentle Daily Wash, Quench Hydrating Face Serum, Total Vitamin Antioxidant Serum, Nourish Daily Moisturizer, ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, and two other sample creams.

We loved the foaming gel face wash because it removed all our makeup, but didn’t leave our skin feeling stripped. The 60 mL size is still going strong after daily use for three weeks, as you only need a small amount to get a good lather. The 15 mL jar of the ExfoliKate is marvelous for sloughing away dead skin cells (thank you, dry winter air). It’s an enzyme exfoliator with a slight roughness to it, that tingles just a bit, but leaves your skin ultra smooth. Our favorite gem of the bunch would definitely have to be the Nourish Daily Moisturizer. It’s ultra light-weight, super fast absorbing, and perfect during the pm for our oily skin.

Normally, this kit runs for $90, but from now until November 30, Kate Somerville is offering 30 percent off with coupon code KSFF2010Grab this goodie bag for yourself or a lucky friend/relative for just $60!


Eye-Treatment-Image.jpgWrinkles. Fine lines. Puffiness. Dark circles. Sound familiar? Taking care of the kids can, well, take its toll on your eyes. But never fear — we’ve come to the rescue with unbelievably affordable eye treatments. Seriously, they’re all under $20!

Yes to Cucumbers I Love Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel
Does anyone not love the feel of cucumbers on her eyes? Not only is this eye cream completely cooling and refreshing — it reduces puffiness and brightens dark circles, too.
$14.99 at

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller
Honestly, we were wary of this product until we tried it … but it works. The under-eye area is instantly de-puffed, even on only 3 hours of sleep!
$12.99 at

Biore Cooling Eye Gel
We seem to be fans of gels rather than creams under our eyes! This one is oil free and so refreshing, we actually long for days when we’re running on empty.
$9.49 at

Physicians Formula Luxury Eye Cream
Color us impressed … the texture of this eye cream leaves some expensive brands to shame. Sesame oil and beeswax help to hydrate and nourish the thin skin under the eyes.
$5.95 at

H20+ Cooling Eye Patches
Every woman needs to keep a set of these in her freezer. Find 10 minutes to yourself, slap these babies on and voila! You’re a totally new woman.
$6 at
Clarisonic-Mia-Skin-Cleansing-System.jpgAdmittedly, the Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System is a bit of a splurge. Ringing up at $149, it definitely makes a bit of a dent in your wallet. But believe us when we tell you that it’s the best $149 you’ll ever spend.

The technical details: the vibrating brush moves back and forth over 300 times per second with sonic frequency. It clears pores, removes all traces of makeup and cleanses skin thoroughly in just one minute.

The actuality: this skincare brush is AMAZING. In just one use, you’ll have noticeably softer, smoother skin. It clears up blackheads and unsightly blemishes, and in just one week? Your skin will be baby soft and gorgeous. Not too bad for just a minute a day, right?

The Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System retails for $149 at

During fashion week, there are so many mixers, events, parties…it’s easy to get lost in the swag. Some of us still have freebies sitting around from LAST season (eek!), so when approached at a mixer about a new eye cream by the creator herself, we kept one ear on the party and didn’t expect much.

the_ultimate_eyecream.pngLisa Ashley, the creator, approached a group of us and asked for a few minutes to tell us about her Ultimate Eye Cream. She told us briefly about its features and benefits, demonstrated the product for us on our hands, and asked us for business cards before leaving us to enjoy the mixer. Impressed by her soft yet professional pitch, genuine passion for her product, and ok….curiosity about the wild claims (eliminates need for concealer! covers imperfections without color! masks redness and dark circles! smooths wrinkles and fine lines!), the cream stayed fresh in mind all night, and was begging to be tested the very next day.

First, we did some more research. From the site:

After years in the laboratory, combining the most advanced ingredients to create a multi-functioning product that delivers ultimate and immediate results, Lisa Ashley introduces The Ultimate Eyecream. A truly groundbreaking beauty product with some of the most advanced and innovative features in the cosmetics industry.

“Lisa Ashley, The Ultimate Eyecream” uniquely integrates six different benefits into one eyecream:

  1. helps to firm skin, reduces puffiness, and inflammation.
  2. special light diffusing properties gives the illusion of instantly neutralizing dark circles, brightening eye area while leaving a luminous glow.
  3. increases blood circulation and helps to improve lightness of dark circles.
  4. unique blend of ingredients gives the appearance of significantly softening lines.
  5. a natural alternative to silicone, rejuvenates and hydrates skin while also providing strong antioxidant protection.
  6. distinctive steel roller ball application helps soothe and minimizes inflammation.

Tall order, huh?

We weren’t expecting much - generic white packaging, sticker label, “illuminating” roller ball design seen on many a trendy eye product - but let us say: WOW.

The product did exactly as it claimed, and then some- brightened, smoothed, soothed, and we barely had to touch our concealer (For the record, this is after years of piling on heavy duty concealers to mask our hereditary dark circles).

A complete winner in our book. We’d gladly pay double the cost.


GinZing.EyeCream.jpgLet’s face it: the recommended eight hours of sleep we should all get every night is sometimes hard to come by. This lack of Zzzzs usually shows up all over our faces, particularly in puffy eyes with dark circles. 

That’s where Origins steps in to provide relief with it’s GinZing Refreshing eye cream

Claims: “GinZing™ Refreshing eye
cream brightens and de-puffs with nature’s clinically-proven morning-rescue eye cream that instantly reduces dark circles. Like a shot of espresso for tired eyes, this power-packed eye cream delivers both an instant impact and sustained benefits over time. GinZing™ Refreshing eye cream is formulated with
a cool, crème texture that invigorates and hydrates the eye area, helping unsightly bags and under-eye puffiness virtually disappear. Vibrancy is restored, leaving the delicate eye-area appear rested, even-toned and revitalized.”

Our take: We loved the smooth, fast-absorbing texture of this eye cream. It didn’t sting or burn in the least (which is hard to find in an eye cream), and didn’t leave any hint of greasy residue, making it great to wear under makeup. The skin around our eyes felt a light tingly sensation - the result of the caffeine - that helped a little with de-puffing (though we didn’t see a significant difference). Also, we didn’t notice much lightening of our dark circles, and resorted to our usual concealer. 

Bottom line: We loved how smooth and tingly this product made our eyes feel, but didn’t experience a major visible difference in our eye puffiness or dark circles. Although it did brighten up our eye temporarily, perhaps more longterm use would produce better results. 


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