The Goody Bag: February 2006


We are well into the New Year and already the crises that often define the times are still dominating the news. While writing this, I have a mix of issues pushing for space in my crowded mind – wondering about the regular homeless people I encounter each day on the walk to work, questioning the fate of the brave, young reporter in Iraq, and hoping this New Year will bring peace somewhere, or at least tolerance. As my Bluewick candle burns down to the bottom of the wick and Leela James bellows her soulful tunes in the background, I smile reminding myself of the sweet life I live. Each month, I am afforded the luxury of sitting in my spacious heated apartment, surrounded by piles of magazines and newspapers, a nosy cat, and a slew of products, reporting the best new items we Beauty News staffers have encountered. So, without further ado, I present the latest potions that have taken my mind off reality.

Our friends at Body Bistro have been busy lately, developing new products for the folks out there that appreciate Vegan certified, nature inspired items. Based on Ayurveda, which translates to ‘the science of longevity’, Carina Chatlani’s products are influenced by the values that govern both hemispheres. As such, her products use the scientific developments that reveal anti-aging treatments, and the herbs and philosophies that promote harmony, to introduce delicious new face and body products that cater to the holistic lifestyle.

The Tapioca & Soy Milk Bath Infusion is a powder that transforms ordinary tap water into soothing, detoxifying bath water. Soybean protein is used for its elasticity-boosting properties, while coconut and safflower seed oil aid tissue repair. Gotu kola extract is used to smooth skin while kukui seed oil moisturizes it. Turmeric, long used in the Himalayan region, plays the role of fighting free radicals.

A faint nutty note sits in the background while the subtle coconut aroma mixes with the sweet tapioca smell I know well, from splurging on one too many coconut flavored bubble tea concoctions.

At first glance, Hydroxatone seems like the kind of skin care line you’d learn about while watching QVC at 4 a.m. during a bout of insomnia. But, a quick read of their materials convinced me to think twice.

Dr. Michael Florillo, a local plastic surgeon, is at the helm of Hydroxatone, a skin care system that includes a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and an eye cream. Though I’m usually opposed to multi-step methods, Hydroxatone won me over for two reasons: there are no added fragrances, and there’s no separate moisturizer for day and night.

Additives such as fragrances can be culpable for the reactions some have to skin care products. Since almost everyone around me claims to have ‘sensitive skin’, I’m always on the lookout for products that have equal parts scientifically constructed elements and natural essences. Their signature complex includes Hyaluronic Acid, a filler; Haloxyl, a complex that combats under eye circles; Matrixyl 3000, an anti-wrinkle complex; and Argireline, a peptide compound that parallels Botox via its ability to relax facial muscles. The natural ingredients include chamomile, lavender oil, palm oil, aloe, grape seed, pine bar, and pomegranate extracts. The Rejuvenating Treatment, meant for use as a day and night moisturizer, also contains kukui nut oil, shea and cocoa butters, bearberry and licorice extracts, and Echinacea and yeast extracts.

But, the real winner is the Instant Face Lift. The jar comes with a bunch of rolled up patches soaked in the signature solution, that can be used anywhere on the face. I chose not the eyes or the forehead, but the nasolabial lines. The patches are just long enough to stretch from the jowls to the bottom of the nose, where broken capillaries plague me. Just around the 20-minute marker, the patches began to curl up, but after a mere 10, I felt my skin plumping around the area. These give new meaning to the phrase quick fix.

Fruits & Passion, a Canadian skin care company, is ushering in the spring a bit early. Who are we to argue, what with the dreadful, dreary dark days and the frequent rain bringing us down? Their latest collection, Solstis, celebrates the power of the sun with the cheery scent of melon, fennel, and vanilla. The sky blue boxes are designed to evoke memories of summer days in lush fields with tall grass and sprouting canary yellow wildflowers.

The collection of eight products ranges from fancy staples like deodorant and lip balm, to fun extras like the travel size eau de toilette and the glittering cream, best reserved for the face and body, to add a sparkle to bare shoulders and freshly washed cheeks. All of the products contain three different types of vitamin E to moisturize and combat free radicals.

Though the uplifting scent was enough to lure me, there are a few unusual ingredients worth mentioning. The body cream employs blackberry leaves to help tone skin. The deodorant utilizes hamamelis water, an astringent that tightens the pores and prevents excessive perspiration, and lichen extract, a property with an innate acid that kills odor-causing bacteria.

By now, anyone interested in beauty should be able to recite the names of three major dermatologists. Patricia Wexler is most likely one of the most renowned doctors in NYC. The strength of her new skin care line lies not just in the concentrated solutions of the main ingredients, but in the variety of products offered. Her expansive collection of products caters to every flaw from wrinkles and drooping skin to acne. When the weather transitions or you skin gets confused after a tropical vacation, try her spot acne products. The Exfoliating Glyco Peel System is a stellar system with 10 percent glycolic acid, but the foaming wash is delicate enough to use daily, with just one percent salicylic acid.

Tapioca & Soy Milk Bath Infusion 10.5 oz tub $35 available at Ritz Carlton hotels and

The four-step system costs $200 for a two-month supply, but the full size trial kit is free. Hydroxatone Instant Face Lift Pads are $49.95 for a 2 oz jar. Hydroxatone offers a 30-day money back guarantee, even if you’ve used half or all of the products, but their system is an auto-ship program.

Solstis products range in price from $8 for .5 oz lip balm to $25 for 8 oz Body Cream and $40 for the 3.3 oz eau de toilette, all available at

Patricia Wexler products available at

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