Ole Henriksen’s 3 Little Wonders

In hopes of making updates to this blog a more regular occurrence, I’ll keep the ball rolling with a product review. Well, a 3-in-1 product review in attempts to make up for lost time.

In the past 4 months, I’ve completely fallen in love with Ole Henriksen. And if you’re wondering as much as I was, his name is pronounced Ooo-Lah not Oh-lay. You also might be wondering who he is, or rather how good or bad his products are.

Last December, I was in the market for some new skin care and I had heard great things about Ole Henriksen and his thoughts on ingredients for glowing skin. I had my eye on the 3 Little Wonders kit. It features 3 generously sized products for $70, so essentially you’re getting to try a full-size product for free since the kit is valued at $101.

The kit includes:

  • 1 oz Truth Serum
  • 1 oz Invigorating Night Gel
  • 1 oz Sheer Transformation moisturizers886358-main-hero

It’s hard to say which product in the kit is my favorite, because I’ll they all play a part in visibly improving my complexion. They are all oil free, and formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, GMO and Triclosan. Now I don’t know what most of those are, but they sound bad so I don’t necessarily want to be rubbing them all over my face.

The first item in the kit, and possibly the front runner, is the Truth Serum which is loaded with Vitamin C that promotes brighter, healthier skin. It has a slight citrus smell, and its consistency is very thin. The bottle has a pump which is great for sanitary reasons, but sometimes it sticks and is a pain to get the right amount of product out. I use this first in my night time routine after removing my makeup and cleansing my face, but I use it in the morning as well after cleaner and before moisturizer.

Next up is the Invigorating Night Gel. This is basically a chemical exfoliant, (which I find more effective and more gentle than a physical one) so I only use it 2-3 times a week depending how my skin feels. I’ve never tried anything like this particular product, and it does make a difference. It might cause your skin to feel a bit tight and tingly at first, but that quickly dissipates when moisturizer is applied. It does wonders for evening skin tone and preventing breakouts. I use this product only at night, hence the name. My one qualm about it, and also about the moisturizer which I’ll talk about next, is that both come in jars rather than having pump applicators. Sticking your fingers in the product then on your face then back in the product night after night just screams for bacteria that is likely causing the problems you’re trying to avoid or correct in the first place.

Sheer Transformation is a light weight moisturizer that feels quite nice when applied. It makes skin noticeably smoother, or at least it does in when used in conjunction with the other products in the kit. There is no heavy scent, and it has not caused any irritation or a single breakout. I don’t think it was heavy enough for me in the winter months (for that I stick to my trust Clinique Moisture Surge) but I can tell this will be a staple for me come summer.

All in all, the 3 Little Wonders kit is a great introduction to Ole Henriksen’s line and it’s a great value. I will say that I have purchased the kit twice now, and it is a bit irritating that you don’t necessarily finish all the products at once so there is some overlap, especially with using the Invigorating Night Gel much less than the other two products. It is worth it though, at least for me, to try a new skin care regimen that actually performs the way it promises to.

Skin care is a sensitive area, and what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. As someone with very fair and sensitive skin, I will tell you this line has done no wrong for me so far in the four months I’ve been actively using it. If you’re interested, ask for some samples from your local Sephora. I also recommend introducing each product into your skin care routine one at a time, this way if you do suffer a reaction, you will be able to pin point the culprit rather than playing a guessing game.

Ole Henriksen is sold at Sephora, sephora.com and olehenriksen.com.


Good Hydrations

When it comes to moisture, your skin can’t get enough. Winter, spring, summer, doesn’t matter. The key to anti-aging besides the serums and creams and chemicals and potions is simply hydration.

Aging skin is exacerbated by the look of dryness, bringing out every wrinkle that we try so desperately try to hide. By keeping your skin moisturized, which includes drinking tons of water, you will give yourself a dewy complexion that will cause people to wonder just how old you really are. But remember, a lady never reveals her age.

Choosing the perfect moisturizer is like choosing the perfect mate. You have to try a lot of them out, and give them a few months to see if they work the way you want them to. Sometimes they cause irritation, and other times they provide balance and comfort.

I’ve tried a select few moisturizers over the years, being that my skin is ultra fair and coincidentally ultra sensitive. They are always fragrance and oil-free. My favorite night moisturizer is Clinique’s Moisture Surge. This is my go-to cream for dry, flaky skin. After using an exfoliant (I prefer chemical rather than physical, i.e. no granules in my cleanser) I massage this all over my face and neck and wake up in the morning singing like a Disney princess. Well not that cheerful and there are no forest creatures in my room, but my skin feels soft and supple.

As for day time, this award also goes to Clinique. I’ve used their Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, affectionately called DDMG, for about a decade. This product also comes in a lotion rather than a gel, but that version is not oil free and when I used it once, long ago, it irritated my skin. So for oily, acne-prone skin I’d say to give the gel a try. It gives the skin enough moisture without overpowering it and making your complexion overly shiny.

Just so I don’t appear to be brand-bias, I have also tried Clean & Clear as well as Cetaphil moisturizers. These just didn’t do the job as well, in my opinion. My skin felt better at first, but within a few hours my skin was back to feeling tight and dry. For this I would turn to MAC’s Fix+ spray, another tried and true beauty favorite. Give yourself a spritz of this stuff and feel instantly refreshed in the summer and winter months. Further review to come. And while the Cetaphil moisturizer is not my favorite, the traditional cleanser is Holy Grail.

I have heard wonderful things about Olay’s Regenerist line for budget-friendly skin care, and also Kate Somerville’s line although that one will cost you. There are countless moisturizers to try, and the good news is that you can get a sample of any and all of them from your local Sephora. The store also has a fantastic return policy, so if you do decide to take the plunge and commit to a full-sized product, you can bring it back no questions asked.

So shop around to find a moisturizer that works for you and stick with it, morning and night. Don’t be afraid to be choosy because there are plenty out there.

If you have particularly dry skin, invest in a moisturizing spray for mid-day touch ups and remember to drink plenty of H2O. More than you think you need.

Beauty Q&A: Why do I need two primers and two foundations?

You may have read the above question and thought to yourself, “I didn’t know I needed two primers and two foundations…” This may seem excessive or erroneous to minimal makeup wearers, which is a fair assumption. However, the main reason I advise you to have two of each product on hand is this: Sun Protection. We all know it, some of us love it. Being a fair-skinned gal I rarely ever ventured into the sun, and never touched a tanning bed. Yes, even for Prom, Homecoming, my Bat Mitzvah….never.

Even the young women of my generation are (finally) realizing that the fake orange look is just not appealing and certainly not natural. So that takes care of the tanning beds. But what about the actual sun and UV rays? We all need daily protection from that, even on cloudy days. So it behooves you to have a foundation that readily contains SPF for day wear. For night-time and for occasions where you will be taking photos, I would recommend a foundation that contains no SPF, as it will cause a white cast in pictures. Have you ever looked at pictures on Facebook and thought, “What was she thinking?? She looks like she just came out of the grave!” Well cut the girl some slack, in person she probably looked stunning. It was just that no one told her about the SPF rule. So go out there, armed with this new information and get yourself another foundation.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can do this same thing with moisturizer. You can have a moisturizer with SPF for day wear, and one without for night because obviously SPF is unnecessary if the only thing your face will be seeing is your pillow. If you have a moisturizer with SPF, you can wear any foundation over it, SPF or not, because your skin will have a layer of protection.

In case you haven’t become overwhelmed enough, primer is another step in the beauty routine that does indeed make a difference. It not only provides a barrier between your skin and your foundation, but it creates a blank canvas for your foundation to go over that will make its appearance smoother and prolong its staying power. There are a number of primers on the market, both with and without SPF. My favorite two primers at the moment are Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer and Stila’s Hydrating Primer. Laura Mercier’s does not contain SPF, while Stila’s has SPF 20. Both are oil-free.

My favorite foundation of the moment that contains no SPF and is fantastic for photos is the Makeup Forever HD foundation. For all of my lovelies who are getting married, keep this one in mind!

As for a base that contains SPF, my current go-to is a drugstore pick; Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Foundation. Not only is this beautifully blendable and matches my skin tone perfectly, but at around $7 for a 1 oz. bottle, the price can’t be beat. It made an appearance in my February Favorites and will be fully reviewed soon.