Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Month of Meaningful Beauty: What Do I Think After Using It?

Meaningful Beauty Ingredients
For the past month or so I've been participating in a Meaningful Beauty skincare review. This was a product line that I was interested in anyways (seriously, Cindy kind of sucks you in with the French Melon in the infomercials), and I get asked about it by readers a lot. Like, really, a lot.

So, for the past month I've been using the line and participating in Meaningful Activities. You can see some of the activities over on my Facebook Page. There are a few things not mentioned there, in truth because I forgot to take pics! Things like bringing donuts in to the ICU for my nursing staff on the week end, etc. It was really nice to have a little extra money each week to think about what was really important to me or would enhance my own life or those around me. I was able to go out to eat with friends and family, purchase a gift for our adopted family at work and I bought a few goodies to enhance the cooking marathon that was Thanksgiving. I have one more activity to post over there later today.

Overall, what are my thoughts on Meaningful Beauty? First, I am pretty impressed with the active ingredients. There's definitely stuff in there that works. After using the line for a month, there are a few products that if I wasn't a product testing beauty blogger, I would just keep using. After trying it out, Meaningful Beauty is definitely a line that I'll be recommending in the future.

In particular I really love the Creme de Serum, the Eye Cream and the Neck Cream. I do really like the Glowing Serum (especially with the added Vitamin C), but the more gel-like/matte formula of the regular serum has won me over for every day use. The Glowing Serum is something that I have been using just as needed, on days that I feel a bit blah or am a bit under the weather for some reason. I'm even using the neck cream (as a non-neck cream girl!) and it's really nice to have the spf in there with all of the other anti-aging goodies.

If you're first starting out with a fairly complete line like this, I really recommend trying out one of the monthly kits. You'll get to try out the whole line for a decent length of time (somewhere in the 4-8 week time period is when you'll start to see results), usually for a pretty discounted price. The 5 piece monthly kit from Meaningful Beauty is under $40 and today there's a code on the site for 50% off! While you can't order the products separately on their site currently (I swear you could before...) there are places that you can order some of the products on their own (Amazon and QVC).

Meaningful Beauty

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meaningful Beauty: What Exactly is in this Stuff?

Meaningful Beauty Ingredients
As a beauty blogger, I get about 5-10 request a day to review skin care lines. (I'm serious people, that's a lot of expensive cream!) So you can imagine that I see a lot of crazy ingredients being added to skin care. Everything from blood, to pieces of human placenta (ick!) Some of these pitches clearly don't understand the science behind the products, if there is any science.

Anyways, you'd think that a brand featured prominently on late night television would rank up there with the fake science and gross human by-product skin care lines right? What exactly is this Melon stuff that Cindy talks about?

Luckily, Meangingful Beauty is much more normal than those other companies, and the science behind the line is actually real. (Insert sigh of relief here!)

The real "hero ingredient" is this melon extract that is in nearly every product. It even gets to be called "Microencapsulated Melon Complex", which sounds extra fancy.

It turns out, the people behind Meaningful Beauty have taken a french melon and basically turned it into a pulp (made into extra small, skin friendly pieces) and added that to the products. The melon is high in Superoxide Dismutase, which is a very well known anti-oxidant! It is definitely real, very potent and will get the job done.

(Note that I'm of the opinion that anti-oxidants are more prevention than treatment for aging (they neutralize free radicals preventing them from doing damage. They can't fix that damage). But, I definitely consider anti-oxidants an important ingredient category to fight aging.)

So, I think it's easiest to go through each product that I'm using one by one, highlighting some of the ingredients in each. I'll show you a pic of what each one looks like and share some initial thoughts, though keep in mind I've been using this system for about... 4 1/2 days! I'll obviously be updating this at the end of my month.

Meaningful Beauty Skin Softening Cleanser
Everyone needs a gentle cleanser, and Meaningful Beauty's line starts with one. This cleanser isn't really a gel, it isn't a cream... I can't really quite describe the consistency. It's a bit in between all of those. It's a pearly semi-opaque white, and is meant to be gentle enough to be used alone as a makeup remover. It also contains an apple extract to add a little added anti-oxidant boost.

So far I've found that it does remove pretty much anything, with the exception of waterproof eye makeup. Non-waterproof isn't an issue, but it definitely leaves behind a little waterproof eye liner (that MUFE Aqua Liner just doesn't want to budge). I think that's pretty good for a cleanser that wasn't actually designed to remove eye makeup!

Meaningful Beauty Anti-Oxidant Day Crème SPF 20 UVA/UVB
I'm a big snob when it comes to my day time moisturizer. It must (must) have at least SPF 15 with broad spectrum coverage. (The UVA is the aging bit! Why doesn't it always get covered?) I want it to be lightweight enough for my combination skin, I want it to sink in quickly and I don't want residue left behind that interferes with my makeup application.

This lotion contains the french melon with anti-oxidant activity, but also two different (and stabilized) forms of Vitamin C for added punch.

So far, this lotion seems to be doing a great job. It does have a bit of a sunscreen smell, but that disappears after a minute or two. When combined with the serum, it does take a little bit longer to sink in, but if I apply and brush my teeth, then I'm ready for makeup.

Meaningful Beauty Creme de Serum
This is the core treatment product of the whole line, and I have to admit that so far I kind of love it. While it is called a serum, really it's more of a dry gel. The 3 colors mix together when pumped out, forming a light peach-opaque product that sinks into skin quickly and easily. It provides a lot of moisture (something my dry bits need right now with the weather change), but it doesn't overdo it for the oily t-zone of my combination skin.

So, why the swirls? The orange swirl contains the french melon with that Superoxide Dismutase. White has peptides, another anti-aging ingredient that I love, and the clear gel containing it all has hyaluronic acid, which is perhaps my favorite moisturizing ingredient. It is a big glycosaminoglycan that your skin makes, which usually lives in the dermis. When applied to your skin it sits on the surface (it is way too big to get absorbed) and it holds on to a ton of moisture. It does a great job of making your skin dewy and moisturized but not greasy and pore clogged.

Meaningful Beauty Lifting Eye Creme
The eye cream looks so unassuming in its little tube, but really it is a pretty good one. It is nice and creamy, offering quite a bit of moisture and plumping things up nicely when it sinks in. I found that it does sink in pretty quickly and leaves no residue, which is key for concealer application.

The formula contains more of the french melon and its anti-oxidant power, but also Grape Seed Extract, which has polyphenols and resveratrol, more anti-oxidants. The cream also has hyaluronic acid like the serum to help plump the eye area up with moisture, and Omega-6 Ceramides. Ceramides are found naturally in your skin as moisturizers, but they are also key to helping your skin perform its barrier functions.

Meaningful Beauty Skin Brightening Décolleté & Neck Treatment SPF 15
I'm not usually a person that feels the need for a separate neck item. I just smear my leftover face stuff down onto my neck and call it done (though, I do use sunscreen on it every day). But, when discussing skin care with friends and family, neck care is frequently brought up. What neck cream do I like? Do I have any neck creams in my giveaway box? How often should they use a neck cream?

So, while I'm not usually a neck cream person, this month I'm using one each morning, and so far I do think it's pretty nice. This lotion is a bit thicker than the Anti-Oxidant Day Crème, and the sunscreen smell is about the same- minimal and then it goes away after a minute or two. It sinks in quickly without any residue.

This creme contains quite a bit of anti-aging ingredients. It has the French Melon seen in the other products, more of the two different (and stabilized) forms of Vitamin C and the peptides I was so excited about. Basically, it is all of the active ingredients found in the other products, all together in 1 neck aging fighting tube.

Meaningful Beauty Glycolic Treatment Pads
On my anti-aging checklist, you may have noticed that the "hydroxy acids" box hasn't been checked yet (in case you're new here, I look for those ingredients to be contained within an entire skincare routine, not in 1 product. I want to exfoliate on occasion with a chemical exfoliant, like hydroxy acids, or with a physical exfoliant like a scrub every few days).

These little pads are meant to be used a few times a week (meaning, 1 or 2), right after you wash your face at night. Just wipe and don't rinse off. You can see that it is actually fairly large, as it comes folded into quarters, and 1 quarter is almost the exact size of that L'Oreal shadow. I had more than enough to wipe my face, neck and down onto my chest area.

I was recently diagnosed with rosacea, which I'll be writing about on here in a bit, but I now have to be careful to not irritate my skin too much. I was fine with the glycolic pad, but you might not be if you also have rosacea, it just isn't something that can be predicted.

Witch Hazel
Lavender Flower Extract
Grape Seed Extract
Camellia Leaf Extract
Jasmine Flower/Leaf Extract
Orange Peel Oil
Aloe Leaf Oil

Meaningful Beauty Glowing Serum
Glowing Serum
Finally, the "bonus" serum, the one that is continually called the "super model's secret". This isn't meant to be an everyday serum, but instead the one you use on days that your skin needs a little something "extra".

It contains pumpkin extract, which is rich in anti-oidant activity, as well as Vitamin C and a firming complex of wheat brand and marine extracts.

The serum is a bit more liquid than most serums, and it is a light orange in color. It sinks in to my skin quickly and no residue is left behind, so it is fine under makeup.

Have you tried Meaningful Beauty? It's nice to see a product line with an infomercial that is based on science! I'll be updating you on my experience with Meaningful Beauty at the end of my month (so, around December 15th), but in the meantime, watch my Facebook page for updates on my Meaningful Activities!

Meaningful Beauty