Category Archives: CLEANSERS

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.


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MAC Tranquil Cleanse-Off Oil Review, Photos


MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil

Not Worth the Hassle!

Not too long ago, I was at my local MAC picking up some essentials and as I was paying, I noticed the skincare display and remembered reading the great reviews for MAC’s Cleanse Off Oil.  I started to ask the makeup artist what the difference is between the original formula and the MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil ($30 USD for 5 oz./150 ml.; $10 USD for 1 oz./30 ml.) and he told me the Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil is supposed to be gentler on the eyes and skin.  Well, needless to say I got suckered into buying the travel size (1 oz./30 ml.).  Total impulse!

On MAC’s website, this cleanser is described as a “mineral oil-free makeup remover/cleanser for the skin. Formulated with extracts of sea grass, peach leaf, soothing chamomile-derived bisabolol and scented with citrus-y yuzu, fused with conditioning botanical oils of grape seed, olive leaf, sunflower and lavender. Apply, splash with water. Lifts off makeup leaving skin clear, soft, relaxed. Ultra-gentle: especially good for dry, mature or stressed-out skins.”  Now that’s one hell of a description, but there are two red flags: 1.) citrus-y yuzu and 2.) lavender-both of which you do not want in any skincare product.  The fragrance in this product is a very faint floral/citrusy/zesty scent.  Red flags aside, this simply is not really an effective cleanser.

I tested this three different times, hoping maybe I was doing something wrong.  First, I squirted this on a cotton round, held it over my eye for 30 seconds to let it sink in, and wiped away.  To my dismay, hardly any makeup had been removed, and it did not want to breakdown my non-waterproof mascara!  I ended up switching to my usual makeup remover because i did not want to keep rubbing my eye.  I did two additional tests in which I swatched regular and long-wearing/waterproof products on my hand and tried to use this cleanser to remove them.  In all fairness, is great at removing makeup that can easily be washed away with water (what’s the point of wasting money on this when you can use water?!?), but you’re outta luck if you want it to remove anything long-wearing or waterproof-it’s TOO gentle.  The cleanser itself washed away easily and I did not experience any oily residue.

In the end, this experience reinforced that I need to stick to my guns of not purchasing any skin care product without researching it first!  Had I known there is citrus and lavender oils in this, I would not have even bothered buying  it.

Update: Due to selling in countries that require animal testing, MAC is no longer considered a cruelty-free brand.  Please excuse the error in The Final LAB Report.  TheLABofLuxury apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.


flr_mac_tranquil_cleanseoffoilThe Final LAB Report for MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil


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


Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser Review, Photos


Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser

A Dream for Sensitive Skin and Rosacea

It is no secret that the “foundation” to any skincare routine is a great cleanser formulated to meet your skin’s needs.  About a year ago, after experiencing some major changes in the texture of my skin, I decided it was time to switch to a different cleanser and elected to use Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($23.95 for 16 fl. oz.).  It is a creamy, liquidy cleanser-not thick, nor watery-that is supposed to “keep dry skin supple while actually improving skin’s softness and adding moisture, safe to use around the eyes, [and] is also an excellent option for truly sensitive skin, including those with 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 really is a great, gentle cleanser that leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth after every use.  I use an amount about the size of a quarter (I like a good lather) and it helps to hydrate the areas of my face and neck that are feeling dry and removes excess oil from my T-zone.  It never leaves my skin feeling stiff or tight, nor does it ever feel as if a film has been left behind.  I have seen am improvement in my skin since I started using this cleanser, as it no longer becomes flaky (even on the dries days) and the overall appearance is smooth with a slight glow.  I would not say this cleanser has drastically reduced my rosacea, but it certainly does not further irritate it.  Unfortunately, it takes more than a cleanser to combat rosacea.

The only claim the company makes that I do not agree with is that it “completely removes makeup.”  On its own, it removes about 95% of makeup (which is normal), but you do need to use about twice as much of the product to do so (also a common occurrence).  I would always recommend using a separate makeup remover to remove the majority of your makeup, and then use a cleanser to get rid of any last traces of makeup and get your skin feeling really clean.  Also, this cleanser will not remove waterproof or ulta long-wearing makeup.  You really need an oil-based makeup remover for those types of products.

It is good to note that 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 the products.



The Final LAB Report for Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser


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