Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sampler Platter: Brazilian Peel

Photo by Sephora
In case you're just joining us, I've been on a mission to actually use and review all of the samples in my ever-growing stash. For too long I've been collecting samples and saving them for that proverbial rainy day. Well, folks, the temperature's rising and the barometer's getting low. Let's do this.

Normally, I would just reach into the magic bag o' samples and pull something at random. Normally. Today's not normal. Well, really, in my house normal is relative, but that's another story. Anyway, today, Thomas and I put down a deposit on a brand new townhouse. For months, we have been trying to find something with more space and better management, and after a long and, quite frankly, painful search, we have finally found the perfect place. Thank God. To celebrate, I thought I'd take a little time to pamper myself this evening. I gave myself a mani-pedi, then grabbed my sample of Brazilian Peel, Professional Strength Glycolic Acai Anti-Oxidant Facial Treatment. Stress had left my skin looking a little dull, and I had a couple of tiny breakouts, which is unusual. I figured this might do the trick.

According to Sephora:
The Brazilian Peel™ instantly firms, noticeably smoothes, and brightens skin with just one use. Fine lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced after four weekly applications and a radiant, youthful complexion is maintained with continued weekly use. The Brazilian Peel™ will not cause redness or irritation.
Now, normally, when I hear the word "Brazilian", my mind jumps to hot wax, a very delicate area, and a searing pain that hurts considerably more than being hit by a car. Not exactly the most comforting thought before smearing a chemical all over my face, but hey, I'm game. The peel comes in a double-chambered syringe, which makes it look medicinal, but also a little scary. (Thomas: "What is that?!") Once I figured out how to open the container (I never claimed to be coordinated), and located the lid's landing point behind the toilet, I followed the directions and squeezed the contents into my hand. Using two fingers, I mixed the gel from one chamber with the cream from the other chamber. The mixture heats up almost immediately--and I mean, heats up--but, thankfully, cools down just as quickly. Starting at the forehead and working down, I applied the clear mixture to my face and neck. I waited ten minutes, then rinsed with cool water and patted my skin dry. The pleasant-smelling gel tightened as it dried, and came off easily. Then, I followed the treatment with my usual drugstore moisturizer. My skin feels markedly smoother, with just the slightest hint of discomfort. Really, it feels like I steamed my face over a pot of water on the stove.

So, is it worth it? The Brazilian Peel retails for $78 at Sephora. That's for four applications. Four. I ended with three applications as free samples, so I guess I won the beauty supply lottery. At almost $20 a pop, I'm using these very sparingly. I can't bring myself to use it weekly.

I can't not recommend this, since it is a good peel. If you have scars you're trying to lighten, this might be your best bet, though I would suggest seeing a dermatologist first. However, if you're like me, with generally clear skin and just a little dullness, I'd suggest a less expensive alternative. My go-to face mask is one I've been using for years: Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, $3.99, I started using it on a musical theatre tour where I was wearing heavy stage makeup daily. It kept my pores clear, my skin smooth, and my wallet happy. Also, it makes you green, which is always a fun way to scare your husband, roommate, twerpy kid brother, etc.

I think that's the one I'm going to stick with, even if it does make Thomas ask me if I'm a member of the Na'vi tribe, or feel the need to put on an episode of The X-Files, just to mock me. In my opinion, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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