Wednesday, May 14, 2014

***In Depth REVIEW*** Nature's Best Vitamin C Serum (PART I)

This is the first part of a 3-part review for Nature's Best Vitamin C Serum from Mystelic. I will do the second part of the review when I've used this product for about 3 weeks, then I'll do the third and final part in June - about three weeks before my birthday.

comes with a little stopper
to make application easier.
I'm pretty excited to try this for several reasons:
  • I've got a birthday coming up next month that starts with 5 and ends with 3.
  • I manage to do a lot of smiling, despite life & it's worries. And all that smiling is showing up in the corners of my eyes and around my mouth!
  • In the past few years, because of my illness and the meds, I gained 60lbs and have now lost 40 of those pounds. My face joined my body in the game and went from "elfin" and "aquiline" to "round" and "chubby". And that pendulum is now swinging back to the thinner version of me.
  • I've always had youthful skin and I really want to keep my face at thirty, even if my body insists on celebrating every freaking birthday...
  • You'll see why I'm trying the product when you get a look at the pics posted below!
Also, right off the bat, I like what that this product is vegan (even though I'm not!) and not tested on animals. Yay. Nothing had to suffer for my vanity. Another plus: read the disclaimer at the bottom of this post. Now, on to my pre-use expectations as I begin using today (note the date of post):
  • I want to see some change in skin texture (less dry, a little plumping).
  • A decrease in the wrinkling around my mouth and outer edge of my eye-line.
  • An overall better make-up free look to my skin.
  • Any improvement that I can get with the fine lines.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Directions are simple enough
I actually have heard of all the ingredients!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What the product promises to deliver (paraphrased): 
  • Clinically tested & proven to stimulate collagen, reversing the effects of aging.
  • Highest quality Vitamin C serum available on the market. Guaranteed to work.
  • Serum will remove toxins & create collagen, diminishing fine lines & wrinkles.
  • Organic ingredients make the product perfect for all skin types (dry, oily, sensitive).
  • Mfd in the USA by a top of the line FDA certified cosmetics lab.
Customers are advised to use the product for 45 days, then check for results. If not happy with those results, that's when that money-back guarantee kicks in. (I want to finish the review before my birthday, so, I'll give it 5 weeks. Close enough!) 

And.........Here we go!

These are pics of my face on this day, before I start using the product. I tried to do with and without makeup, before and after applying the product and my regular moisturizer (Anew). 

Ewwww... no makeup to hide the imperfections!

Not as bad in B&W! Note the smile lines at my mouth.
(Looking at the pic,I'm sure not smiling now!)

Better. Much better with some color,
even without makeup.

Ewww Pt 2! Hate the age spots.

All makeup removed from this area
to show mouth lines. Ugh!

This is with product and moisturizer,
 but no makeup.

Creepy eye! LOL
Lines & pores! Oh, my!

Forehead lines.
(Gotta do a dye job on the hair.)

MAKEUP! Yes!!! I should super-size this pic!

That right there, posting those closeup/no makeup pics? Sheer act of bravery! By the way, as far as how my skin feels - when I first applied it, I realized that it does dry fairly quickly. It goes on smoothly with a sort of slick feeling. When my skin dried, there was a very subtle tightness, which felt similar to when I use a toner product. Once I applied my moisturizer, my skin felt normal. 


***DISCLAIMER: I recieved this product free of charge to try for this review, but was not otherwise compensated.***

Makeup for Black Skin You Might Not Have Heard About

Since I've already ranted about the hard time I and other black women have in finding appropriately shaded makeup, I decided to go positive. I went looking around the web for makeup that does come in a wider range of shades - not just for black women, but for any woman who does not fit the trendy molds in place.

There are actually quite a few products to choose from, though you won't be able to make a quick Walmart, Target or Walgreen run to pick them up. (And, yes, I did cull some from lists I found posted by other people!) Here we go:

Sleek Makeup - Wide range of products. The CC and BB creams come in good shades for light & dark tones. Good pricing. They even had a cream-to-powder testing kit with varying shades.

Black Radiance - Nice shades in all their products - lips, eyes, foundation. The "custom coverage" foundation comes with 2 blendable shades. Nice. More brands need to follow that trend. Available in a lot of Walgreens & CVS stores (not in Alaska though!) Best of all: the prices ($1.99 for some lipsticks; $5.99 for the BB cream. That's more than affordable.) Since I can't find these in Alaska, I'm glad they are on for the cheap.

All those nice shades & for that price?!

Interface - This was under the Flori Roberts flag. While the shade were off for my liking in some products shown, there is variety for darker tones. Pricey though - especially after seeing the Black Radiance line. (By the way, I'm not sure why a black cosmetics brand like Flori Roberts would have a sub-line of black products.)
Interface (love the 2nd from left, but not for $18.50)
Those are just a few to get you started. I recommend checking out Amazon by doing a general search. There are a lot of brands that don't get the attention they deserve. Two brands that I had never heard of are: LAMIK and Joy Lorraine, (check Facebook); and one that I had heard of but didn't realize they had a wide range of shades - Kiss New York. That one was tricky. I had to see a YouTube video to know about the BB cream that can be found the Kiss page on Amazon. I could not find that cream on the brand page.

What I am realizing is that there are plenty of brands with shades of cosmetics to fit every woman. The problem is that companies are making too many wrong assumptions about women who wear makeup. It's as if, unless the customer lives in a major city - or one that is predominately brown - they're not likely to see "Mocha", "Chocolate" Deep-Deep" or other such shades on the shelves of the local drugstore. I always want to write to cosmetic companies and remind them that Blacks, Mexican, and Pacific Islanders do live here in Alaska. The Alaskan Natives and Asians aren't exactly one shade of whatever the brands seem to thing.

I also notice (now that I am back on Facebook - which you are not allowed to tease me about) that smaller brands aren't using the social networks effectively. Aren't you in business to do business? So, get yourselves out there on Google Plus, (and, okay, Facebook too) and Twitter - and promote, promote, promote. Send out samples and offer trial sizes. Hit up all those blogs and sites that discuss the lack of quality makeup and show them your stuff. I mean, come on, people...

Until I find more products, I'll stop this rant for now!