Category Archives: SKIN CARE

Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants Review, & Photos


Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants

Not bad, but not the BEST!

Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants ($27 USD for 2 oz./60 ml.) is described as a moisturizer for combination, dry, or very dry skin.  This product is “effective for anti-aging, brown spots, eczema, extra sensitive skin, redness, rosacea, and wrinkles.  It provides gentle, mineral-based, broad-spectrum sun protection, and proven antioxidants boost skin’s environmental defenses.  The lightweight, yet emollient, cream soothes, brightens, and is designed to work beautifully under makeup.  It is clinically proven non-irritating, 100% fragrance free, with no added dyes, and is not tested on animals.”

Currently, I have combination skin that becomes oily during spring/summer and dry during fall/winter.  This moisturizer is best suited for those with dry to very dry skin.  It is very emollient and conditions the skin well, so those with oily or combination skin will find it too heavy for daily use.

The conditioners in this product leave a noticeable sheen on the skin that reads dewy on dry skin and slightly greasy on combination/oily skin.  Despite the amount of emollients, this rich moisturizer does not feel greasy or heavy on the skin.  After application, I did not feel the need to immediately wash my hands to rid them of any residue.  It easily glides across the face, but can leave a white cast on the skin if not thoroughly rubbed in.

The silicones in this moisturizer make it a good foundation primer.  While using this product my foundation applied smoothly and did not break down throughout the course of the day.

This moisturizer’s main drawback is the sole Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide.  Titanium Dioxide is very effective at screening UVA 2 and UVB rays, but it does not protect against UVA 1 rays.  You might remember from my post on Sun Care 101 that UVA 1 rays penetrate the epidermis more deeply than UVA 2 rays.  Using Zinc Oxide as a single Active Ingredient, or even combining it with Titanium Dioxide, is highly recommended for the best protection.

Overall, this is not a bad product.  I have seen much worse at higher price points.  Does this product meet all of its anti-aging claims? In a sense, yes.  Can it be improved to more effectively prevent signs of aging?  Yes!  The inclusion of Zinc Oxide as an Active Ingredient, a little less concentration of emollients, and a little higher concentration of antioxidants would make this a stellar product.  For now, there are better products on the market, even from Paula’s Choice!



The Final LAB Report for

Paula’s Choice RESIST Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25 and Antioxidants


Disclosure: The product(s) featured in this post was(were) purchased by TheLABofLuxury for review.


Editor’s Note – June, 2013 (Sun Care 101 – Part 1)


Photo By D. Baker

Sun Care 101 – Part 1

With summer just around the corner, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of protecting your skin from the sun.  Yes, this needs to be practiced regardless of the time of year, but since we are often directly exposed to the sun’s harmful rays during warmer weather, adequate protection is crucial.  Any good dermatologist or plastic surgeon will tell you the key to preventing wrinkles, and other signs of aging, is protecting your skin from the sun.  In the long-run, this prevention will save you time, money, and the agony of some cosmetic procedures to reduce damage.

Over the next few weeks I will unleash a series of posts answering some of your burning questions.  My goal is to clear up the confusion regarding how to choose the right sunscreen for your skin tone and type, which Active Ingredients to look for, using sunscreen with makeup/skin care, and I will provide other tips on how to protect your delicate skin.

Unprotected skin starts to become damaged the moment you step outside, so I want to open this series by explaining the difference between UVA and UVB rays.

Ultraviolet A rays, also known as long-waves and the rays responsible for aging skin, are silent killers!  They are separated into two wavelength ranges: UVA 1 (340-400 nanometers) and UVA 2 (320-340 nanometers).  UVA 1 rays penetrate deeper than UVA 2 rays (this information will be more relevant when I discuss sunscreen ingredients).  These rays deeply penetrate skin, causing cumulative damage over time and, unfortunately, we do not feel them.  They do not burn skin the way UVB rays do.  However, they cause skin cancer, wrinkles, and can weaken the immune system.  UVA rays penetrate through clear glass, tan the skin, and are the ultraviolet rays primarily used in tanning beds.  It was not until recently that researchers realized the harm UVA rays cause.

Ultraviolet B rays, also known as short-waves, are responsible for burning the epidermis.  Although these rays are omnipresent, their intensity is dependant upon the time of day (they are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM) and the season (they are most harmful during spring and summer).  High altitudes and reflective surfaces such as water, light concrete, and snow can bounce UVB rays up to 80%, which means your skin receives a double dose of these rays.  Similar to UVA rays, UVB rays cause skin cancer and wrinkles.  Unlike UVA rays, UVB rays generally do not penetrate through clear glass.

It is important to not be fooled by cloudy or rainy days, as all ultraviolet rays penetrate clouds and damage skin even when the sun is not shining.

What are some questions you have regarding sun care?  I would be more than happy to answer them for you.

Stay tuned for Sun Care 101 – Part 2.


For more information on how to protect yourself, visit:

Editor’s Note – May, 2013


***If you or a loved one suffers from a serious and persistent mental illness, visit for information on how to help your loved one and yourself.***


Maintaining good mental health is as important as sustaining good physical health!  Whether you are an individual living with a serious mental illness, or you experience many of life’s stressors, there are times in our lives when we have to step back and practice self care.  In observance of Mental Health Awareness month, I will share some luxurious products I enjoy using (primarily beauty related, of course!) to give me that little “pick me up” or to help me unwind from a stressful day.


Keep reading for more information!  Read the rest of this entry

UPDATED! MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 Review, Photos

mac_prepand primefaceprotect_spf50_2ndreview_001

MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50

Not the Primer it Once Was!

It is almost heart-breaking for me to have to update this review.  About a week, or so, ago I repurchased my favorite foundation primer, noticing some labeling changes on the packaging.  I expected there would be changes to the labeling to comply with new FDA regulations regarding products with sunscreen.  It was not until yesterday that I noticed the formula has been drastically altered.  What was once a Holy Grail product for me, is now a good moisturizer with SPF 50.

MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($30 USD for 1 oz./30 ml.) is supposed to be  “a skin-protecting cream with SPF 50. Applies under makeup to prime the skin for the sun. Featherweight, fast-absorbing, oil-free, invisible. Will not affect the look, texture or long-wear integrity of your makeup. Specially formulated with oil-absorbing powder, helps prevent oil breakthrough. Provides high-level broad spectrum sun protection. Worn daily helps guard the skin against discolouration, premature aging, dryness and other effects of sun exposure. Suitable for all skins.”

What really hurts the rating of this product is the brand’s claims.  It no longer contains the ingredients that curb oil breakthrough, prolonging the longevity of your foundation.  This cream is not oil free, no longer has Zinc Oxide (a beneficial ingredient for those with sensitive skin and/or prone to breakouts.), and will not leave your skin with a matte finish.  Instead, this leaves a slick (but not really greasy) look.  I would not recommend this product for individuals who have very oily skin.

I re-tested this product with a foundation that dries down to a matte finish, but my skin did not look as matte as it did with the previous  Prep + Prime Face Protect formula.  After four hours, my nose became slightly oily, and was noticeably oily after 6.5 hours.  Also, my foundation did not apply as smoothly as it once had, and when I blotted my nose and chin, a good amount of product transferred to the tissue.  Again, I did not experience these problems with the previous formula.  With the exception of the areas where I blotted, at the end of the day, my foundation was still intact and looked nice.

Luckily, the addition of active ingredients such as Avobenzone (and others) gives your skin broad-spectrum protection (protection against UVB and UVA rays), which does ebb against signs of aging, discoloration, and dryness.  This also contains a fair amount of antioxidants, which also prevent signs of aging.  Lastly, it is still a lightweight formula that does absorb quickly.  MAC does receive points for those claims, and for their anti-aging and sun protection declarations.

Personally, I’ll save this product for days when my skin is feeling dry.  With the warmer months quickly approaching, and my skin starting to become oilier, I will be on a the prowl for a mattifying foundation primer.

This is a prime example of false advertising, something MANY cosmetic companies are guilty of (particularly with skin care products).  MAC either needs to change their inflated description of this product, or re-market this as a sun-protective moisturizer for normal, dry, or very dry skin.  If the company did so, it would be rated much higher.

To see my previous review of this product, please click HERE.


flr_mac_prepandprimeface protect_spf50_2ndreview

The Final LAB Report for MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50


Keep reading for more information!  Read the rest of this entry

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner Review, Photos


Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner

Sooth and Hydrate Your Skin!

One way I like to refresh and hydrate my skin is by using Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner ($15.95 for 6.4 oz./190 ml.).  It is a milky liquid that, according to Paula herself, is supposed to “calm your skin, providing a radiant appearance as it works to prevent signs of aging.  [It] helps fortify skin against environmental damage with skin repairing ingredients, soothing plant extracts, and a careful blend of potent antioxidants.  It works especially well for extra sensitive skin and rosacea.”

Presently, I have combination skin (dry cheeks and neck/oily T-zone) that becomes slightly drier during fall/winter and slightly oilier during spring/summer.  I experience minor breakouts and have mild to moderate rosacea.

This is the second product I use in my skin care routine, right after cleansing my face with Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser.  I use this to remove any last traces of makeup I may have missed and the milky texture, which is different from most clear toners, lightly moisturizes my skin-never making it look or feel oily or greasy.  It helps to slightly calm my rosacea and it feels very refreshing on a warm day.  On days when my skin does not feel as dry, this product adds just the right amount of moisture  to skip using a separate moisturizer, and go straight to my antioxidant serum.

This is just one of several well formulated toners from Paula’s Choice.  She has one for every skin type, targeted to fit your needs.

It is important to note all of Paula’s Choice products are 100% fragrance free, contain no added dyes, and are not tested on animals.  On the website, you can also view the sources of published research which support the company’s claims of their products.  You can also find a plethora of information and reviews on thousands of cosmetics and skin care products.

If you have always liked the idea of a toner, but always felt as if they were drying on your skin, then this one is definitely worth a try.



The Final LAB Report for Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner


Keep reading for more photos!  Read the rest of this entry

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