Category Archives: Toner

Ready for Spring with Jane Iredale BeautyPrep

Posted by:  Jordan

Jane Iredale Beauty Prep

Emily and I recently had the treat of being invited to Jane Iredale’s launch of their new BeautyPrep line of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.  On a blustery winter day in February we were transported into an oasis that smelled, tasted, and looked like spring!  The launch was held at Bouley Botanical, which was a much-needed respite for the winter-deprived senses with all the herbs growing in planters along the walls.  David Bouley served up small plates of botanical-infused delights as we tested out the new products.

Jane Iredale and David Bouley

Jane Iredale and David Bouley

Jane spoke about her love of the new Eco-Cert certified line (with the exception of the moisturizer, which is–rest assured–100% natural but couldn’t be listed as Eco-Cert due to the Rose Stem Cell extracts not being Eco-Cert certified yet).  I am IN LOVE with this line. The smell is like a blast of spring, full of extracts of lemongrass, rose, cucumber, pear, apple, carrot–the list goes on but, let me tell you, it’s just so incredibly refreshing to use this gentle 3-step cleansing/toning/moisturizing set!

Jane Iredale Spring 2016 event

BeautyPrep Cleanser ($28)

I love the ease of this cleanser–no water required!  I usually use a bit of coconut oil on my eye makeup, wipe off with a tissue, and then use a cotton pad doused in the cleanser to remove the rest of my makeup and any residual eye makeup.  So simple, quick, and provides gentle but thorough cleansing.

This no-rinse cleansing water provides a deep pore cleanse with nourishing Oat Amino Acids. Ideal for removing makeup and cleansing skin prior to toning and moisturizing, it contains a proprietary micellar water with dual Cucumber Extracts in liposome form that gently hydrate, smooth and protect the skin. Removes environmental pollutants and is antioxidant and vitamin rich to help reduce free radical damage. May be used with or without water, leaving no oily residue on the skin.

BeautyPrep Toner ($33)

The toner might be my favorite product of the line, though I love all three!  I use a couple pumps (the dispenser is so handy!) on a cotton pad and swipe over my just-cleansed face, and to my initial surprise there was no makeup or city grime left behind on the pad.  The toner left my face soft and ready for my serum and moisturizer.

This gentle toner refines pores and moisturizes with organic botanical liposomes. Prepares skin for layering moisturizer and makeup and is infused with Herbasome, a fruit extract infused water, to provide deep skin hydration. Contains organic Lemon Grass, Apple, Pear, Carrot and Coconut Water to balance pH and restore the surface of the skin

BeautyPrep Moisturizer ($45)

This moisturizer is perfection.  Creamy yet lightweight, it’s ideal for all seasons.  I layer it over my serum of choice both day and night.  And, as I mentioned, it smells divine!

This soothing cream moisturizes skin and helps prevent transepidermal water loss while protecting the skin from airborne pollutants. Prepares the skin’s surface so makeup goes on smoother and lasts longer. Contains four organic Rose Stem Cell Extracts:

·        White Rose supports natural cell regeneration and the skin barrier, while restoring suppleness.

·        Damask Rose helps to tighten pores, purify and smooth the skin.

·        Rosa Canina (Rosehips) calms and brightens skin and helps prevent transepidermal water loss.

·        Pale Rose helps to rebuild the moisture barrier and provide suppleness for the appearance of newer, softer skin.

Jane Iredale Spring '16 event 3

In addition to the face care line, Jane Iredale also launched a supplement that’s intended to help skin from the inside out.  I haven’t had a chance to try this yet since I’m pregnant, but as soon as I’m allowed to take supplements again, I can’t wait to test these out!

This scientifically advanced supplement is designed to treat acne and improve the health of the skin from the inside out, with a formula that combines Vitamins A and C with a highly-active phytonutrient found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale.  Results show Skin Accumax helps clear the redness and irritation associated with acne breakouts as early as ten to twelve weeks after starting the program, and the unique skin supplement offers healthful benefits for skin problems by promoting important steps in maintaining skin integrity and restoring a well-balanced and natural appearance. Skin Accumax is easily absorbed by the body, has no harsh chemicals and will not cause dryness or flaking. There are no artificial colorings, flavorings or wheat in the product. Skin Accumax comes in an easy-to-take capsule and is suitable for adults 16 years and older who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.  The recommended regimen includes taking four capsules per day until results are seen. Some who have continued on the program reduce to two capsules a day. jane iredale is the exclusive distributor of Skin Accumax in the United States, and both Starter Packs ($115) and Single Packs ($65.80) are available at

Jane Iredale Skin Accumax

If you’re searching for a new line of facial care products, I can’t recommend Jane Iredale’s new BeautyPrep enough.  In the mornings I tend to just splash my face with warm water, apply toner (either the BeautyPrep or spritz on some Jane Iredale Hydration Spray in either Pommisst or Smell the Roses) and then follow with a Vitamin C serum, and moisturizer/sunscreen.  A quick swipe of Jane’s PurePressed foundation, followed by another spritz of the hydration spray to set the mineral foundation, and my skin is ready to face the day.

Jane Iredale Spring '16 event 4

Enjoying Bouley’s rose ice cream as I test out Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation, now available in eight new darker shades.


Cheers to spring, and to Jane Iredale for this amazing new addition to their collection!

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Filed under Cleansers, Foundation, Moisturizers, Product Reviews, Toner

Be Prepared for Summer with Jane Iredale (Giveaway!)

Here in New York we’ve been hit with an intense heat wave already this summer.  So, being the super generous and timely people that they are, jane iredale has put together a really great giveaway for our readers consisting of a beach-ready cosmetic case filled with all the SPF, bronzing and hydrating essentials needed to enjoy warm summer days, whether you are hitting the beach or just faking a golden glow at the office. The set includes:

  •  Tantasia (two deluxe samples), a 2-in-1 self tanner and bronzer
  •  Powder-Me SPF (deluxe sample, in Translucent), a dry mineral sunscreen for face and body
  •  LipDrink SPF 15  (deluxe sample), a quenching fruit-infused protective balm for lips
  •  POMMIST Hydration Spray (full size), a refreshing spritz with UV-protective pomegranate that sets makeup and soothes inflammation
  •  A jane iredale  clear cosmetic case, perfect for traveling and packing into a beach bag

Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF TranslucentAll of these products are suitable for every skin type and tone (even the translucent Powder-Me SPF works for dark skin tones).  I’ve been using the Powder-Me SPF in Translucent for a couple months now and really enjoy the flexibility of dusting a little SPF protection after applying my makeup.  It’s also great for stashing in your bag and quickly touching up any areas that are prone to getting too much sun, despite my diligent sunscreening (for me that’s my chest and nose).

We’ve yet to try the LipDrink SPF 15 balm, but on a side note, Emily has been using another Jane Iredale lip product that she Jane Iredale PureGloss Sangria is enjoying (not included in the giveaway).  She  previously reviewed her first Jane Iredale lip gloss here, and since then, got her wish to try one of their shimmery PureGlosses since the nice people at Jane Iredale sent her one to test out!  Says Emily, “Well, my friends, it lives up to my hopes! Shiny, sticky (in the good way), and yes, shimmery, Jane Iredale’s Sangria has made the cut as one of the few lip products I keep in my purse (currently sharing that honor with Alima Pure’s Nourishing LipBalm in Fig and W3LL PEOPLE’s Universalist #4, which I will be writing a lot more about soon!).  When you really want that old-school gloss feeling, PureGloss is a great option.  Like all glosses, it doesn’t last long, but you get the joy of reapplying, where you get to smell the scent all over again and feel refreshed and new.”

Jane Iredale POMMISST

I haven’t tried the Pommist Hydration Spray yet either, but it sounds so lovely that I want to pour it in a summer cocktail!  I’m currently using a rosewater mist for lots of uses: to set my makeup, use as a toner, and as a refreshing spritz in the afternoon.  But the added UV protection of Pommist sounds perfect for this weather.

Leave a comment below to enter this generous, summery giveaway.  Bonus entries for following Jane Iredale @janeiredale on Twitter and Instagram, as well as  Just let us know in the comments what bonus entries you’re eligible for so we can give you extra entries.  This contest is open to US shipping addresses only and will end on Monday, 7/22/13 at midnight EST.


Filed under Giveaways/Freebies/Discounts, Lipstick/gloss/balm, Sunscreen, Toner, Travel

Sharing the Love – A Valentine’s Day Guest Post + Giveaway!

Posted by:  Guest poster, Amy

So I apologize that this post is a little long but I just have to spend my Valentine’s Day sharing the love with all of you and letting you in know about my favorite skincare company, Cocoon Apothecary.

Last summer, while on a quest for the perfect facial moisturizer, I discovered Jessica Berman and her Canadian based company. After seeing nothing but positive, glowing reviews, a very low hazard rating (almost all products are a 0) on Skin Deep, and a short list of ingredients I could actually recognize, I ordered the Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream and immediately fell in love. I really can’t say enough good things about it and I have even stopped trying anything else (which says a lot since I am a product junkie).  There is just no need to continue my quest because I have found my skin’s soul mate. I love the non-greasy feel, how quickly it soaks in, and how soft my skin feels in the morning when I wake up. The cream also smells great – a light rose smell that is not overwhelming and doesn’t remind me of my grandmother (which most flowery/rosy scents do!).  I also love that I have found a product that I can use year-round and that lasts a long time.  In the summer I was using one pump of product and have now transitioned to two small pumps for my extra dry winter skin.

So after I couldn’t get enough of the Rosey Cheeks I decided to also try some other products and moved on to the skin care set (which as a side note is a great value – you basically get a free product!). The set includes full size bottles of the Petal Purity Facial Cleanser, the Rose Dew Facial Toner, and my favorite Rosey Cheeks.  I have been using the three for about 6 months now (my true test of a product is time so I can see how it transitions and works with me on a daily basis) and I have to say all three are really amazing. I have never gotten so many compliments on my complexion! The cleanser took me a little while to get used to because you first apply it without water, then rinse it off (something I had never tried before) but I have grown to love it because it doesn’t strip or over-dry my face and does a great job removing makeup. The toner is also wonderful and reminds me a lot of my favorite Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel, but even better because I can spritz it on instead of having to constantly buy cotton pads/balls!

I am also deeply in love with the Touchy Feely Lavender Body Lotion which I use every night. It has such a relaxing light smell and makes my dry skin so soft and smooth! I more recently got the Magic Bean Body Lotion and it works just as well and smells amazing – like chocolate coffee! The Magic Bean is on sale for 50% off on the website until February 28th so I would definitely recommend trying it out!

As an added bonus the product packaging details will warm your heart. Not only are all of these products naturally good for your skin, but they come in glass bottles which means a happier environment and no risk of plastic chemicals leaking in to your products. They also have wonderful pumps that don’t break/clog and really allow you to control how much comes out with each pump – so no waste!

To help me share the love with a lucky reader, Jessica has generously donated a full size bottle of her Petal Purity Exfoliating Cleanser (which I have next on my list to try so would love to hear what the winner thinks!). Please enter by writing a comment on this blog post and we will draw the name of a lucky winner on Friday, 2/18 at midnight EST. In the meantime give yourself a little love today and check out Cocoon Apothecary!


Filed under Cleansers, Cool Companies We Love, Giveaways/Freebies/Discounts, Moisturizers, Product Reviews, Toner

Mystery solved: The purpose of Toner

Posted by: Emily

I know I’m a product junkie, so saying this may sound incongruous to you, but I’ve never really understood toner. It just always seemed to me like an extra step. What was the point? You clean your face, and then you put moisturizer on it, right? So what could it possibly need in between those two steps, I wondered. I just didn’t get it.

I didn’t get it, but I sure tried it. Like most girls my generation, I went through a Sea Breeze phase. Sea Breeze was introduced to me by some family friends, two older, cooler, gorgeous Texan sisters I saw every summer, and they had perfect skin and shiny hair and were each over 6 feet tall, so you can only imagine what I thought Sea Breeze was going to do for me! It stung like crazy on my face and I still broke out, but I used it religiously for a while, in hopes of becoming a Texan supermodel. No luck.

Then, also like many women who grew up when I did, I used Proactive for a few years. The three step system included toner, as I am sure you all know. So I used it for a while. Went through a lot of cotton pads. Bleached a lot of pillowcases and towels. Proactive didn’t solve my acne problems. Late in my teens, I discovered the birth control pill and THAT solved my acne problems! I went on to have a decade of flawless skin! Sigh. Good times.
Anyway, through it all, I was never convinced that toner was really necessary. And even though there are some toners that smell nice and come in pretty bottles, it never seemed like a necessity to me.  However, a few months ago, I met a woman who finally made me understand the value of toner! Her name is Deanna Elstrom and she is the Vice President  of Melvita USA. Jordan and I met her at an event introducing Melvita products to the press, and yes, we were psyched to be included as members of the press!

Deanna explained, and bear with me, as I am just retelling this from memory and I don’t recall the concrete examples, that the water you use to wash your face may leave deposits on your skin.  So, let’s say your water leaves calcium deposits. Those, in turn, make it harder for the skin on your face to absorb the moisturizer you’re about to put on it. Toner acts as a neutralizer for your face, preparing it to absorb the good stuff in your moisturizer after cleaning. (Deanna, if you’re reading this and want to write in a better way to explain it, we’d love to hear it, since I can only hope I’m remembering it correctly!)

Well, that actually sounds like something I can get behind! And the toners from Melvita do not sting and dry out my face like Sea Breeze. (I have a feeling that Sea Breeze had different goals than just preparing my face for moisturizer, but it’s time to let that go.)

I started using some Melvita products for cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, and found the whole process to be lovely and effective. The line I chose is their “Young Skin” line, and while I think the name for this line is a little funny, I see what they’re getting at. At 30, my skin is not particularly young, but it is sure acting teenaged with all the breakouts and pimples. So, I embraced the naming, and started with the Foaming Gel. It lives up to its name– it gets really foamy, which I love, because I’ve found some other natural cleansers don’t foam up as much as I’d like. It contains ingredients I’m familiar with, like Tea Tree and Witch Hazel, known for being good for problem skin.

The next step is the aforementioned Toner, the Skin Tonic, or in French, Lotion Tonique. It’s nothing like Sea Breeze– as the French  name suggests, it feels more like a lotion. It’s very light and smooth, doesn’t sting a bit, and you just wipe it on your face with a cotton pad and it absorbs almost immediately. As promised, after that, I feel prepared to moisturize.

I then use one of 2 Melvita moisturizers, depending on the time of day. In the morning, I prefer the lighter Perfecting Cream, which has AHAs for skin renewal, and at night, I use a moisturizer from the Apicosma Collection, Revitalizing Cream for sensitive skin. I just like a little more moisturization while I’m sleeping.

And when I have a particularly bad pimple, I dab it with the Anti-Blemish Roll-On, also from the Young Skin line. It contains Tea Tree Oil and Lavender, which help purify and heal.

The best thing about ALL these products, being from Melvita, is their Natural ingredients, Eco Cert status, and overall wonderful philosophy. Read more about Melvita here, if you haven’t already.

Deanna, thanks for solving my life-long confusion about the purpose of toner! And for introducing me to Melvita…


Filed under Cleansers, Moisturizers, Product Reviews, Toner

Rose Water and Chamomile Water

Posted by:  Jordan

Recently I’ve been loving two other floral waters in addition to my Springtime favorite, orange blossom water.  The first one is from the same brand as the orange blossom water, Al Wadi, sold for $2.10 at the  local Brooklyn favorite, Sahadi’s Middle Eastern market.  I use this 100% natural rose water in the same manner as the orange blossom water, which I discussed several months ago; mainly,  as a toner, a hydrating mist to set my makeup, and mixed with some Dr. Bronner’s unscented liquid soap and essential oils to make a subtle, relaxing body wash which is perfect for sensitive skin.

1/2 cup rose water
1 cup liquid castile soap
15 drops lavender essential oil
15 drops chamomile essential oil

There are so many uses for floral water, I’d love to hear what anyone else uses these beautifully scented waters for. I’ve even heard of using them as a breath freshener–much more elegant than Scope, I’d say!

The second floral water I’ve come to enjoy as part of my daily routine in the past few weeks is Melvita’s Chamomile Water.  Packaged in a beautiful cobalt blue spray bottle, Melvita’s water is 99% organic!  At first I thought the scent was a bit overpowering and strange, but now the distinctive, yet calming, scent is something I look forward to in my morning and evening regimen.  I’ve been spraying 4-5 spritzes on a cotton pad after cleansing to tone my skin and prepare it for its nightly serum or lotion.  Chamomile water is wonderful for alleviating irritated, red eyes.  Simply spray some of the water on a couple of cotton pads, chill in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes, then apply as a cold compress to your eyes while lying down.  Melvita’s website even claims that this product is recommended for treating dark under-eye circles!

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Filed under DIY Beauty, Product Reviews, Toner

Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner: Would Ms. Havisham approve?

Posted by: Jordan

I have a deep-rooted love for anything rose scented or flavored.  Rose always tends to bring to my mind a very refined, slightly kooky, but extremely glamorous older woman.  In fact, the  dear husband invented a cocktail for me that involves Hendricks gin and organic rose juice, which I have coined the Ms. Havisham in honor of my mental imagery of rose.  Good old eccentric Ms. Havisham…I kind of want to be her when I grow up.  Waltzing around my sitting room in my rumpled, rotting wedding dress, martini in hand, completely wrecking a young child’s life.  A girl can dream.

I also have an instant affection for any beauty product that looks like it came straight from Ms. Havisham’s medicine cabinet.  Old apothecary jars filled with ancient creams are just fascinating, no?  They’re glamorous and old-timey, which in my mind always means it will work far better than some newfangled high tech $1300 face cream from Japan.

So when I found a toner that not only features witch hazel and rose (both calming ingredients for pale-skinned, reddness-battling, complected girls like myself), but also looks straight out of the 1800’s, I was sold.  And it’s all-natural and costs less than $10.  What could be better?  Why, I’ll tell you!

1. It’s an effective and gentle 100% natural, alcohol-free toner, which is a wonderful addition to your facial cleansing routine

2. It features a bewitching Rose Thayer’s picture on the front.  And who doesn’t want to look like that, with her cascading curls?!

3. And this is a completely ridiculous reason for liking a skincare product, but we product junkies don’t need rational reasons, do we?  The customer contact number is not some mysterious unnamed call center.  It’s one person!  It says on the label “Questions or comments?  Contact Katja Gehr”  and gives a phone number.  I love that!  I can just call our ol’ friend Katja up and chat about their awesome old-fashioned products.

Go try it–I think you’ll soon be waltzing around your own home, feeling a bit Ms. Havishamy yourself.


Filed under Product Reviews, Toner