Nuance Part Two

I was so impressed with the Nuance Salma Hayek cleanser that I reviewed last week that I ran out to CVS and purchased more items. I purchased the Oxygen Activated Foaming Face Wash ($12.99), the AM/PM Anti-Aging Super Cream ($19.99), the Smoothing Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($17.29), and the Rose Petal Hydrating Balm ($7.29). CVS was having a Buy One Get One for 50% off sale, so I made a couple of trips in order to get the more expensive items at half off. If I had bought them all together, then I would have been charged full price the two most expensive items and gotten the two cheaper items for free. Since it debuted last August, Nuance has been flying off the shelves at CVS. Every time I went to CVS to buy Nuance, I snagged the last one of each product I bought. No wonder Womens’ Wear Daily awarded Hayek and CVS their award for Launch of the Year for mass market beauty brands.

Although my first Nuance purchase was the Chamomile Facial Cream Cleanser, I was tempted to try the Oxygen Activated Foaming Face Wash because of all the postive reviews on CVS.com and in YouTube videos. It’s a gel cleanser that transforms into a foam when massaged into the skin. It has mimosa, blue agave, and prickly pear extracts to soothe, firm, and hydrate the skin. These ingredients are not usually found in skin care but their inclusion is indicitive of Nuance’s mission to use natural ingredients that Ms. Hayek’s grandmother in Mexico used. Two squirts is all you need. It really does turn into an oxygen-activated foam that deep cleans the skin. Unfortunately, this cleanser isn’t right for my skin. My face felt tight after using it. From some of the reviews I’ve read, and from an interview with Ms. Hayek herself, I understand this cleanser is supposed to turn warm as it foams, but I didn’t get any warm sensation. I’ll stick with the Chamomile Cream Cleanser, which is really lovely and doesn’t dry out my skin.

I bought the AM/PM Anti-Aging Super Cream because it’s suitable for both day and night. Nuance also makes a separate day cream with an SPF of 30 (thank you!), and a separate night cream, but I prefer to use one cream for both day and night. I use a separate sunblock, or the SPF protection in mineral makeup, because I don’t like moisturizers with added sunscreen. The Super Cream features antioxidant-rich bark from the Tepezcohuite tree, which helps regenerate skin and has been used for centuries to help burn victims. The cream has a very light, pleasant fragrance. Some online reviews recommend using it on slightly damp skin for better penetration, but I found it to be easily absorbed whether my skin was dry or damp. I can’t attest to any anti-aging benefits, although the line that I have between my eyes (some people have the “elevenses”, I just have the “one”) seems to look less visible. But it may just be my imagination. That being said, the Super Cream is a luxurious cream that keeps my skin moisturized without being too heavy. I like it.

The Smoothing Anti-Aging Eye Cream claims to brighten dark circles while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I can’t say that I see any anti-aging benefits from this either, but it is a rich cream that contains shea butter, avocado oil, and jasmine extract. It comes in a tube, so you don’t have to dip your fingers in a jar and then touch your eye area (some people are really picky about that). It’s as good as any eye cream I’ve tried from department stores, including my usual fave Origins Eye Doctor. The one gripe I have with Origins is that their prices keep increasing year by year, and now Eye Doctor is $32.50, up from about $21 or so when I first started using it. At $17.29, the Nuance eye cream may be a bit pricey for a drugstore line, but it’s a more affordable alternative to department store brands. I don’t hold out hope that any eye cream will magically reduce fine lines and dark circles. I just use eye cream as a preventative measure and to moisturize the delicate eye area. I feel it’s paid off, as I have relatively few lines around my eyes for someone my age.

Some reviewers have dismissed the Rose Petal Hydrating Balm as a pricier, smaller version of Rose’s Lip Salve. While the jar is tiny (.265 oz.), the salve inside is superior to that of Rose’s, and C.O. Bigelow’s, just to name a few. Although the main ingredient is mineral oil, which is an excellent moisturizer despite some people’s objection that it is a petrochemical, it also contains shea butter and evening primrose oil. It does an excellent job of moisturizing my dry, chapped lips. When I apply it before bed, my lips still feel soft when I wake up. And when I apply it before I leave the house in the morning, it survives my daily cup of coffee during my morning commute. Of course it needs to be reapplied several times a day for maximum benefits, but it definitely lasts longer than most lip balms or salves that I’ve tried.

All in all, I’m still impressed with the Nuance Salma Hayek line. You can’t beat the price points, and the quality is surprisingly good for a) drugstore skin care products, and b) celebrity skin care products. I appreciate Ms. Hayek’s desire to combine natural ingredients that have a long tradition in her culture with proven scientific ingredients, but without parabens or animal testing. All of the products that I’ve purchased so far are vegan. Even the Rose Petal Hydrating Balm uses microcrystalline wax instead of the beeswax that’s usually found in lip balms. I haven’t tried any of the Nuance color cosmetics yet, but that’s next on my list.

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