Is there a difference? Can you see a difference?

For years and years, I was a loyal Lancôme face cream consumer. Nightly, I’d slather my face with a healthy dollop of moisturizer.


At about $98 bucks a pop, it certainly was not cheap stuff. [But then at least it’s not the price of La Mer!] And, my skin felt silky-smooth. I radiated! I glowed!

When I went for a facial last April at The Waters, my esthetician suggested I may wish to try the line of skincare products carried at the spa – the deal with the Phytomer line. I bought a few products, including the face cream:

i tried a serum, a moisurizing cream, and an exoliant

The prices are more reasonable than those of Lancome – the cream was about $48. Again, my skin felt great!

Well, a few months ago, I ran out of the Phytomer cream I’d been using at night, and just didn’t get around to replacing it. In place, I just started using up a couple of creams that had been lying around for a while:

exhibit A...

Exhibit B

So, as you can see, I’ve been using a light body lotion (Kiehl’s is another lovely line) and a cheap and greasy heavy-duty hand cream on my face!

The verdict? I can’t tell the difference. In fact, I’d go so far as to say my skin is more clear** and less lined** in the past few months (well, with the exception of the sun-damage incurred in Aruba!).

[**being free of a certain beverage could also be playing a role!]

So, I’ll use up these creamy leftovers, then decide which way I want to swing: return to a $$$ cream, or stick with a utilitarian drug-store model…we shall see!

Are you loyal to certain skin care lines? Does price matter, at all?


Last night, I attended an Author Event, held by Wordsworth Books over at the Princess Café. A free reading-related outing? Count me in! [Note that this evening entertainment option cannot be counted as a New Experience; I’ve attended numerous Wordsworth Author Series events over the years].

All three of the featured authors were new names to me: fact, i've never heard of any of these ladies, previously!

I brought my knitting because, no, I am not embarrassed to knit in public! And time is money, people!

a's sweater - did you really expect anything else?!

Unfortunately, the turnout was very VERY small. Embarrassingly so.

mandy and david, the new owners of wordsworth, introduced the evening

The first author who read, Suzanne Desrochers:

the details suzanne shared about the pre-writing research for her historical novel "bride of new france"...

...was much more interesting than the actual excerpts she shared. polite applause followed her reading.

The second author received a glowing introduction from David, and I understood why, once she started to read.

rosemary nixon, reading from her novel "kalila" - now this book i would read!

I came home before the final author, Sarita Mandanna, presented her book, “Tiger Hills.” Live author readings make a lovely evening out, and are a more interactive alternative to watching a movie – glad I went!


Anybody else watching Top Chef Canada? The first episode (you can watch online – practically commercial free! – here) aired Monday eve on TV. I love this show, and am excited to follow the Canadian version! Love the Canuck-specific references, like Loblaws and GE; Mark McEwan as a judge, and familiar Toronto landmarks!

Calling my person-to-win NOW (note: I picked my players after the initial introductions):

#1 – Rob

Having worked in the industry since the age of 16, Chef Rob Rossi has learned everything he knows from his hands-on experience. Rob is currently an Executive Chef for the Mercatto group of restaurants.

# 2 – Dale

At an early age, Dale was hand-picked by Chef Gordon Ramsay to work at Claridge's in London, then at the three-Michelin-starr Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London and later at the Conrad Tokyo Hotel.

Are you watching? State your pick for eventual winner!

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  • Johanna  On April 16, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Well, confession time in the blog comments. I’m terrible when it comes to skin care anything . Oh, I’ve bought the things (cleanser/toner/moisturizer) and after a week I realize they’ve just joined the graveyard on my shelf. The closest I come to using a product on my face is actually from Sue (you know, long-time friend, Sue). She has her own business and makes her own bath/body products. I know! Really! ( I am entirely addicted to her moisturizer and sugar scrub. While I can say that I don’t have a ‘regiment’ that finds me in front of the mirror at xx o’clock every evening, I do use the scrub on (all) my skin when I’m in the shower and use the moisturizer on (all) my skin when I come out. OK, maybe that means that I do have a BIT of a have a skincare regiment but I just can’t do the regular appearance in the evening in front of the mirror.

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 16, 2011 at 8:45 am

      that’s awesome to have a friend who makes her own products! thanks for the “true confession” about your routine..or lack thereof! i admit i get lazy too – the only thing i’ll stick with is taking 37 seconds to rub in the face cream at night. hey – a small bit of skin care is better than nothing! plus, water + veggies help, as you have noticed for yourself!

  • Julie  On April 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    When I last had a facial (ages ago), the skin care lady told me that you should regularly swap your skin lotions as your skin gets too “used” to one brand. Okay, this is a facialist in FRANCE!! Country of MAKEUP!!! So, I believe her… I used to use Clinique in Canada for years, but when I moved to France, the Avon line was way too expensive. I have now switched to Nivea and am very pleased.

    • Julie  On April 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

      oops, should clarify…after Clinique, I switched to Avon before moving to France and was equally as satisfied, if not more with a cheaper product. However, when I moved to France, Avon was too expensive, so I looked for other brands and am now using Nivea.

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      that makes sense, about switching up your products…they say that about shampoo, too. yes! given where you live, i would totally follow the advice of a skin care specialist! 🙂 have you heard of the line, La Mer? it’s french and it’s soooo expensive, celebs love it/rave about it.

  • Nicole  On April 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Oh, yeah. How could I forget the bonus gift that’s offered about twice a year or so. I always coordinate my purchase with “Bonus time” so I feel like I’m getting something a little more.

  • Nicole  On April 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I am ever-so-faithful to Clinique’s dramatically different moisturizing lotion. I have been using that cream for about 15 years now. I love it. I use it in the morning after I shower. I hate the feeling of a dry face, so it helps. I’m not sure if it’s made the difference, but my face certainly feels soft. I like how there isn’t any greasy residue on my face. It’s about $26 and it lasts a good while. You should give it a try. 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      wow! that’s a great price, nicole, and clinique has a good rep (plus they often offer free gift-with-purchase bonuses, i think). i am DEFINITELY going to check that out! thanks so much for the tip! 15 years?! yup, you’re loyal!

  • Zo  On April 13, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    With skin care, I’m usually “loyal, but looking”…I’m always trying to find stuff with spf, fragrance free, cruelty free (if possible), that doesn’t make me break out (and not crazy expensive!). I was using a St. Ives moisturizer, but it got the search is on (I suspect Kiehl’s may have a role in my future skin care).

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      that’s so annoying when you find a product you really enjoy and then it’s discontinued – argh! kiehl’s makes beautiful products…the store in toronto is really good with mailing orders, too, since it’s a bit inconvient for us (ie. my mom and i) to get to the toronto store. i like that – “loyal but looking”!

  • Dorry  On April 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I love that you knit in public! I think you’ve just gotta own those sorts of things in life and go for it. I’ve switched skin care lines many times and price definitely plays a role for me. I have a heavy duty prescription face moisturizer that I really love. I have acne-prone skin and my pores clog easily (too much info?) so I have to be careful when I switch products! Right now, I’m using a simple Nuetrogena face wash and loving it.

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      never too much info! 🙂 neutrogena: have heard good things, but have never used that brand – sometimes simple is best! haha, yes i have knit through meetings, at book readings, on airplanes, even in movies! we get more confident as we get older!

  • Gina Unger  On April 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Skin care: I wash my face with water every night (nothing else) and use Lubriderm hand and body lotion from Superstore. Love it. It’s my kids that have creates the lines on my face in the past 5 years – can I purchase some children that don’t cause lines, please?!
    Haven’t gone to a book reading ever, I think… maybe once a LONG time ago. But they always sound interesting.
    Top Chef? Haven’t watched but think I’d be interested. I’ll let you fill me in instead! Just can’t “do” TV these days!!!

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      that’s cool that you’re a basic skin care person – and you’re very funny that it’s your children who cause lines! haha! yea – with your schedule, i could see that top chef would not be high on the list of priorities! 🙂

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg  On April 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I love Top Chef! I’ll have to see if I can find Canada Top Chef online — I’d be interested to see the challenges. I just love that show!

    Honestly I have the skin of a 13 year old so I still use a “acne fighting” kit from Clean and Clear. I used to be super loyal to Proactiv but then it started drying out my skin TOO much so I switched to a different brand and I like it a lot!

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

      i thought of you, holly, when i was watching top chef because i know you’re a fan! the canadian version only has 3/16 women contestants. they’ve found an exact padma-replica as one of the judges – kind of funny! maybe you can watch online thru the link in the blog post? gotta love skin that has a mind of its own!! eesh!

  • Johanna B  On April 13, 2011 at 9:21 am

    As for skin care products. I’m not loyal to any one brand. Right now I’m using a Garnier skin renewal cream with great SPF. I am adamant about using a sunscreen. My skin has really improved as I’ve changed my diet. I eat so many fruits and veggies that I don’t even count them anymore and NO caffeine. One step at a time.

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

      i so agree that fresh veg and fruits play a key role in healthy skin. glad you’ve seen some positive changes in your skin since you made your lifestyle adaptations! SPF is very very good…that is one area i am very very lax in (eesh!)…

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