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Coppertone oil-free sunscreen for face, SPF 30. Another option for the hands, but despite its oil-free claim it goes on slightly greasy, then dries. Almost odourless, with a just a memory of that Coppertone scent.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF 50 sunscreen, $10.99. I am constantly looking for sunscreen for my hands to keep in the car and apply as needed. This one seemed like a good idea with its hydrating ribbons. You have to want to smell like the beach, however.
Sephora travel kit with makeup brushes, $50 at Sephora. Four brushes, for blush, powder, shadow and blending, with soft-as-kitten fur bristles and wooden handles. Comes with a glittery cheetah-print clutch case.
Veld Xim-Up Superfine Deep Action Anti-Wrinkle Cream, $89, and Veld Xim-Up Mouth Area Intense Filler and Lip Plumper Soft Gel, $59. Brand founder Joyce Musy, a French former model in town to launch the products, explained that she found certain South African plants to fight wrinkles. A woman of a certain age, Musy owned up to Botox treatments for brow lines, but insisted that her smooth skin was the result of Guggulu, Ximenia and other ingredients in her line. The cream is rich and satisfying, great for those with dehydrated skin; the lip plumper is extremely rich and oily.
Vichy Neovadiol Lumière BB cream, $44. This balm is also invisible, but somehow manages to brighten the complexion, which is what BBs became popular for in Asia. It also claims to densify mature skin, but feels a bit dry. Best to use it over a rich serum or moisturizer.
Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm, $49. Smooth, weightless and invisible, this beauty balm purports to use the smallest particle sized of coated pigments to hide imperfections and a cocktail of wrinkle-reducing ingredients like Tripepitde-37. It works for me.
Lancôme Absolue Extrait Regenerating Ultimate Elixir, $350. The latest luxury cream boasts 2 million rose native cells, or stem cells, which Lancôme claims to have extracted through a process called Fermogenesis. The cream comes with a heavy wand and complex instructions on how to massage it into the skin. I promptly lost the wand. It melts into the skin like silk, and smells divine, like sweet tobacco leaves in a Montecristo.
Annabelle BB Cream, $15.95. Montreal’s Annabelle makeup line is getting in on the BB act, with a full line of BB products, launching in fall and with Marie Mai as its spokeswoman.
Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream Compact Makeup, SPF 15, in 40 Beige, $64. It’s not often that samples are so perfectly suited to my skin. A quick application at my desk seemed to add an hour of sleep and subtract a few years.
Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector, BB Cream, $19.99. While it may not be a miracle, a quick application of Garnier’s new product (in medium dark) imparts a healthy glow, and is boosted with SPF 15, Vitamin C and mineral pigments.
G.M. Collin Instant Radiance Anti-Aging Eye Patch set, $50. After a night of some indulgence, I pulled out these patches and wore them for almost 20 minutes, which was more comfortable than I had thought it would be. Immediate result: none. After a while, however, puffiness was gone. Alas, dark circles remained. Green tea and oak complex are supposed to reduce dark circles, AquaCell is said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5 (my friend) works on the puffiness.
Shiseido Eudermine Revitalizing Essence, $78. Shiseido marks its 140th anniversary with a reissue and reproduction of its first ever product, a softening and toning lotion, which feels nice enough when applied. With a bottle this beautiful, form trumps function, however.
Sephora Baked Bronzer Duo in Honey Heat, $23. It looks dark, but when applied with the Sephora powder brush, is sheer and does indeed impart that hot desert tan look.