Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Still Searching for a Miracle in a Bottle

Time for another chapter of "e Spends A Lot of Money on Cosmetic Products!" And to my male readers - don't worry - a very manly post is on the way for tomorrow, I promise...

But in the meantime, for the beauty product-obsessed, I bring you some good news this time around... I have been using Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair for over a year, and I still really like it and will keep using it, even though it's $73 a pop (you can get a smaller-sized bottle, though). I was waiting to write about this product because, since I'm always on the lookout for even better, more miraculous lotions and potions, I had been using a trial of AlphaDerma CE for a few weeks and wanted to be able to compare the two for those of you who are into this kind of thing.

But before getting into the comparison, I will share how I even came upon Estée Lauder's infamous "little brown bottle" in the first place. There was an ad for it on the back of InStyle magazine a long, long time ago, and it touted this web site for the product. I went to the site and got sucked in by the never-ending "testimonials" from people who had been using the product for nearly two decades and claimed to look significantly younger than their real ages. I figured I would give it a try - in this day and age, any product that actually can stick around for twenty years is pretty rare and is a testament to the fact that people like it enough to keep shelling out the cash for it. By the way, they are still running ads for ANR on the back of InStyle, I just checked the October 2007 issue. But for some inexplicable reason, the testimonials have been taken off of the web site.

So I went into what was at that point Marshall Field's (now Macy's) and the sales girl pumped me up about the product even more. She assured me that I could exchange it (but not return it for a refund) if I had a bad reaction to it, but claimed that no one had ever returned it. She then told me that they just so happened to have a few of the rare 2.5 oz, $90 bottles in stock, which are a really good deal when you consider that the 1 oz bottles are $46.5o. I figured "What the hell," and bought the $90 bottle.

But wait - BONUS FOR e!!!! When I got home, I realized that there were TWO bottles in the bag! The 2.5 oz one AND a 1.7 oz one. If you think for one second that I actually returned the extra one, then you are crazy. I thanked my lucky stars and then prayed that the stuff was actually good, or else I would have to sell the unused bottle on eBay or something.

Since that point in time I have used all of the products in this "complex." The concentrate, the normal serum and the eye area-specific serum. I don't think I'll ever use the concentrate again... that is the stuff you are supposed to use for 21 days to "kick-start" your new regime, and then again every 4 months or so. It was fine, but I don't feel like it did anything significantly different from the normal serum.

The directions say to use the Advanced Night Repair product at night, but the counter people will tell you to use it in the morning, too. I followed their advice and use it twice a day.

So what exactly does it do? I'll tell you what it doesn't do first. It is not an acne-fighting product, so, you will still need to use something else to combat break-outs. What it does do is smooth the skin and make it seem more "glowy." I don't really know how to describe it, but even my husband noticed a difference when I was first using it a year ago - and you know that guys never notice anything like that! You can read the site I linked to above or this page on Estée Lauder's site to understand what exactly it is supposed to be doing for your skin. The only thing I would forewarn you about is if you buy the eye area serum, which I use and like as well, more is not necessarily better. I was globbing that stuff on and that did irritate my eyelid - it was just too much. After I stopped spreading it on so thickly I have never had any problems. And I never broke out from the overall face serum, either, which is a freaking miracle.

So why did I stray from the ANR and try AlphaDerma CE? Well, while the ANR does say that it helps fight future wrinkles and smooth current ones, it's not really known as a "wrinkle-reducing product." Whereas AlphaDerma CE is. One day I was feeling particularly bad about the state of my forehead so I starting researching the latest and greatest new products. I think what started my search was an ad for LiftFusion. Once I realized that that crap was $130, I figured I better make SURE it was good before buying it. When I started digging around online, all signs seemed to point to AlphaDerma CE being the way to go instead. But that stuff is of course expensive, too. Which is why I was extremely happy to find this "5 Day Sample" kit of all of Janson Beckett's top products at Skinstore.com.

I only used 2 of the 4 products that came in the kit - the AlphaDerma CE, obviously, and this stuff called Okusil which is for the eye area. The good news is that neither irritated my skin (once again, this is miraculous in and of itself), and I actually feel like the Okusil serum did tighten my eyelids a bit. However, I didn't notice any difference in my forehead wrinkles after using the AlphaDerma CE. And the 5-day supply lasted past 2 weeks, so I figured I should see something. I was really disappointed, because I had totally bought into the hype and was astonished by the supposedly untouched photos that users sent in to the web site.

Now after looking at all of these sites and testimonials and pictures again I wonder if I shouldn't give AlphaDerma CE another go, and just suck it up and buy the actual bottle (rather than the sample size) and use it only on my forehead for a few months and see what happens. I will continue to use ANR on the rest of my face. Does anyone out there have any experience with AlphaDerma CE? I need to know! BE AN ENABLER!

- e


Anonymous said...

I am intrigued... I just started noticing that my forehead/above my nose wrinkles were getting deeper! I'm only 32 (OK, almost 33) for crying out loud! TOO young for wrinkles, right? I was going to start doing some research on products so this helps. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Girl, you can't give up advanced night repair!!! On a whim, I put a dab on a scar on my arm, and it looked so much better that I did it again the next night. It is almost invisible now!!!! It makes blemishes go away over night too! It is a miracle elixer!