The Supers Are Here!

It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader of famed beauty blog Into The Gloss.  I’ve been reading and commenting since its early days, and it still is probably one of the first four websites I hit up each day when I want to do a little leisurely browsing just to get the creative juices flowing.  It’s also no secret that out of Into The Gloss has come Glossier, a skincare and makeup brand inspired by what real girls (and guys, quite frankly) need in real life.  Glossier’s marketing is genius, their branding is fresh, and their products are BOMB.  You may have read my review for their brow product, Boy Brow, that I posted some time last year.  I’ll be going on my third tube of that stuff in maybe a month or so.

So when I was contacted by an editor at Into The Gloss asking if I would be interested in receiving Glossier’s newest product a week before it launches to try it out and spread the word, I very, very, very quickly said “GIMME”.

Just kidding. I said a very professional why-thank-you-I’d-be-glad-to-help kind of thing.  With probably too many exclamation points.

But it was in the response I received after that, that I knew I’d hit truly the jackpot- the new launch consisted of not one, not two, but three new serums.  And as a tribute to the original supermodels from the 1990’s days of yore, these new serums have been dubbed The Supers.  Because let’s face it- Kendall, Gigi, and Bella would be nowhere without the original Cindy, Naomi, and Linda.

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If you’ve never used a serum before, you may find that they’re a great way to level up your skincare routine as they can deliver very concentrated ingredients to target specific concerns.  Prior to receiving the Supers, I’d been using a vitamin C serum to treat dark spots and improve my skin’s texture.  However, it leaves sort of a film on my face that doesn’t make applying sunscreen or makeup very easy.  I can always tell when I’m not a huge fan of a product when I forget to use it everyday, or even every week.  I’ve had this serum for a while and I’m only halfway through- I can’t blend makeup very evenly on top of it and I can’t put moisturizer on top of it without it rubbing off.  Absorbency is key.

Now on to the Supers.  My first observation was one of relief- trying to meet the needs of every skin type in one kind of serum is incredibly hard, and I am so glad that Glossier really went for it and created three serums and not just one.  I mean, does everyone use the same kind of moisturizer?  Do even you use the same exact moisturizer every single day of the year, day and night?  Of course not.  So why would creating one type of serum make sense?  Everyone’s skin is different, and even our own skin’s needs change from season to season.  In the winter out here my skin becomes extremely dry and dull, whereas in the summer I’m exposed to the sun much more and my eating habits aren’t as great thanks to nights out and restaurant food, which typically means greater acne risk.  So, a combination of three different serums to meet a variety of needs is a dream to me.

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Here’s what each serum is meant for, according to the press release I received from Glossier and from left to right as pictured above:

Super Glow – Vitamin C brightens and Magnesium energizes for days when you didn’t get enough sleep or your skin looks sallow.  It evens skin tone and creates a light-reflective complexion.  The water-like texture immediately absorbs into skin without a trace.

Super Pure – Niacinamide soothes redness and Zinc helps calm blemishes.  Junk food and stress are other skin-disrupting triggers that Super Pure helps counteract.  The light, water-gel formula quickly absorbs into skin.  It helps let go of irritation and flushes out impurities, including excess sebum that builds up inside pores.

Super Bounce – Hyaluronic Acid plumps skin up with moisture and Vitamin B5 brings elasticity back to tight skin for supple softness- the “bounce” you want.  Good for skin that’s depleted from blasting A/C or high high heat.  The smooth, milky texture soaks into skin without any stickiness or residue for instantly softer skin.

Here’s my very, very, very shorthand interpretation of each of these: Super Glow is for anti-aging and dullness, Super Pure is for acne and skin congestions, and Super Bounce is for dryness and roughness.  All three can be used to both prevent and tackle a variety of issues, or perhaps just one can be used daily to treat something specific.  It’s really up to you and what your skin needs.  Here’s what I did …

I chose to use Super Glow each night after removing my makeup, washing my face, and before applying my night cream.  Its consistency is just like water so I admit it’s not very “fun” to apply- no yummy texture.  Also, I’d place the dropper right on my skin and apply the serum directly, quickly patting it in.  Otherwise, if I placed it on my fingers first, it would absorb right into them and would never reach my face.  In the morning, my skin looked refreshed with a light glow.  A notable dark spot on my right cheek seemed to improve along its edges throughout the week, too (and I hadn’t used my previous Vitamin C serum consistently enough to track such changes).  Out of the past six nights, I’ve used Super Glow four nights.

In the morning, I chose to cleanse my face and then apply Super Pure right after applying toner.  Super Pure has that nice whoosh texture- it absorbs very fast and leaves skin ever so slightly mattified, from my perspective.  I liked using this in the mornings because I am always guilty of eating a bit of salty food late at night, and this week was no exception.  I’d hoped to counteract the havoc my popcorn consumption my wreak on my skin by using this, and it did seem to work.  I had no major blemishes throughout the week to track for effectiveness, but my pores were less visible after application and the little bumps I get on my cheeks (the telltale sign of my salty snacks) settled down after about two applications.    Out of the past six mornings, I used Super Pure on three of them.

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I chose to save Super Bounce for the weekend because I had a feeling it would be my very favorite of the Supers, and boy am I glad I did.  It’s definitely my favorite with the quickest payoff in terms of making your skin feel “yummy”, as I so love to say.  This is the most viscous of the three serums, and “bounce” is a completely appropriate term for describing its texture and affects on your skin.  I love using my favorite skincare products right before applying makeup, so I cleansed and then prepped my skin on Saturday and Sunday with Super Bounce.  Whew- my skin looked faboosh!  Glossier definitely delivered on the promise of improved elasticity with this one.  And in the winter out here, I know this stuff will not leave my side- soooo hydrating.  I’ll probably go through a whole bottle just getting through December and January alone.

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I’m going to continue to use all three of the Supers in tandem to see their long-term affects, but I’ll keep saving Super Bounce for weekend makeup prep because I know it’ll really be a lifesaver once the air gets drier.  My main focus will be on dark spots and anti-aging with Super Glow, and fighting little breakouts and pore clogging with Super Pure.  For long term results, I’m most excited to see what Super Glow will do with my dark spots.  For immediate results, I’m loving Super Bounce for its instant softness.

So there you go!  And if you’ve often thought about trying a serum but have been scared away by the expensive price tags, here’s some encouragement- each of the Supers only costs $28, and all three as a set costs just $65.  To put that into perspective, Caudalie’s least expensive serum costs $50.  Ole Henriksen’s least expensive serum costs $50.  The price tag for the Supers, I’ll admit, had me pleasantly surprised.

Let me know if you decide to pick one up, or perhaps try the whole set!  And I want to hear what they do for your skin over time.  The Supers go up for grabs on glossier.com Monday morning, probably at 6AM Eastern time.  So like, in four hours or so.  You’d better get some sleep.  xo, MR

Six(ish) Foods To Consume For Better Hair And Skin

Sometimes, when I’m wandering through the grocery store, I find myself thinking, ‘How ’bout I buy some expensive dark craft chocolate because apparently its chock-full of antioxidants’, or ‘Why not eat the whole tub of hummus because chickpeas are kind of like nuts and so hair growth of course’.  And then there are the times when I get to the supplement aisle and I end up throwing yet another bottle of biotin into my grocery cart because I decide I want my hair to grow by a foot.  By tomorrow.

You see, sometimes we aren’t always the most educated on what food can do for us in terms of what we call “beauty”.  If what we (righteously) consume is meant to strengthen and energize us on the inside, you’ve gotta figure there may be some benefits coming through on the outside, too.  However, we tend to rely more on drugstore moisturizers and four dollar shampoos loaded with detergent to provide us with lustrous hair and skin than the simple thing that our bodies really, truly need … good food!

And so, I bring to you a very simple, short list of food and beverage items that you can add to your weekly grocery list that will do your hair and skin nothing but favors (not to mention what these items all do for your immune system, nervous system, circulatory system, and beyond).

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Fennel or dandelion tea  These two herbal teas are particularly wonderful at decreasing bloat and inflammation. Do you find that your eyes are puffier than your croissant in the morning?  Try to cut out late-night salt intake (the culprit) and substitute it with a calming cup of herbal tea before bed.  Chilled caffeinated tea bags are also wonderful at quickly reducing puffiness by constricting the blood vessels around the eyes, if you find that you’ve eaten one too many Cheetos before hitting the sack.

Wild salmon  Three words: omega fatty acids.  Not only do such nutrients sustain proper nerve function and provide great defense against heart disease, but omega fatties are responsible for radiant skin and decreasing inflammation.  Salmon is a goldmine for omega fatties, and a simple way to up your everyday intake is to switch from cooking with butter to olive oil.

Berries  I literally eat berries every single day.  A coworker recently told me I probably keep the industry afloat single-handedly.  Besides being a great source of fiber, berries are loaded with vitamin C.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is essential for collagen production, which stimulates the growth of healthy, vibrant hair (as opposed to dull hair the breaks easily).  Vitamin C also assists the antiaging process through its ability to reduce free radical damage in the skin.  Any kind of citrus is also an excellent source of vitamin C.

Spinach and kale  As trendy as it is these days to be walking around with a cup full of blended spinach and kale leaves from Whole Foods, I have to say that the regular addition of such an item into one’s regular diet isn’t something to be discouraged.  Both leafy greens are powerhouses of vitamin K, an incredibly effective nutrient for combating dark undereye circles.  Vitamin K is responsible for strengthening blood vessel walls and is essential for healthy blood circulation.  It comes in both pill and cream form, but the extra dietary benefits of consuming it through leafy greens can’t be beat.

Lean meats and poultry  These are a quick and powerful source of iron, the mineral responsible for carrying oxygen into your bloodstream and throughout your entire body to places like your hair follicles to help stimulate healthy growth.  Vitamin C and zinc are two nutrients that aid in the body’s absorption of iron, so I recommend balancing your intake of each.  Additionally, lean meats and poultry provide amino acid-packed protein for hair and skin, which serves to replace and turnover dead cells.

Water  Oh, you think I’m an idiot for putting this here?  Well you’d be surprised to find that I am the champ that has managed to consume about one cup of water a day.  One cup.  Yeah, you know those eight cups that we’re supposed to guzzle down in twenty four hours?  I haven’t exactly been good at it.  So, I figured placing the beauty benefits here may motivate me to increase my intake.

Water makes the skin glisten and stay supple thanks to its moisturizing properties.  Water, whether in showers or in consumption, can calm nerves, reduce stress and anxiety, and tighten pores as a cold compress or rinse.  Going from hot water to a cold rinse is great for opening pores to release and then cleanse the skin of toxins and grime from the day.  As for the hair, cold water is incredible for constricting the hair cuticle and leaving it shiny and less frizzy.  Water also makes for a great styling product as you can “set” your hair while it’s wet and then reform the hydrogen bond in the hair to change its shape (hence waking up with kinky waves when you go to bed with your hair in wet braids).  Hair growth is also very connected to our hydration, and hair may even cease to grow if we’re not properly hydrated.  The moisture that water provides also helps to combat dandruff, dermatitis, and other dry skin conditions.

And so, just in time for summer and all those barbecues, let us not forget to grill the salmon, throw some spinach on our burgers, snack on in-season berries, and drink tons and tons and tons of water.  Cheers!  xo, MR