Beauty Expert: Elise Marquam-Jahns
One of the most exciting things to me right now in the beauty industry is the proliferation of new brands.
There are many small, independent beauty brands that are producing some really innovative products and approaches. And the first two brands I’ll be talking about today certainly fit that description.
The first brand is Womaness. I always find it helpful and interesting—and I hope you do too—to learn the backstories of brands. Who the people are behind the brands and why they felt the brands were needed in the marketplace. So let me share a little of this brand’s back story with you.
“She was surprised to learn that her recent aches and pains, dry skin, and other concerns were connected to menopause.”
The Two Co-Founders:
The two co-founders of this brand are Sally and Michelle. They met twenty years ago early in their careers and became really good friends. They also became creative collaborators and sounding boards for each other throughout the years.
During a get-together several years ago, Sally revealed that she’d been to a doctor. She was surprised to learn that her recent aches and pains, dry skin, and other concerns were connected to menopause. She and Michelle discovered that this lack of knowledge was all too common among their friends and colleagues. As they thought about it, they realized that they were part of a community of 50+ million women in the U.S. who were entering menopause with a lack of education and support. So they started to wonder where women in their 40s, 50s and beyond go to find solutions and inspiration. So that’s what launched their journey into developing these products.
Their collection includes supplements, skincare, and feminine care products. You’ll find seventeen products on their website. And you can shop by choosing the symptoms you want to address or you can shop by product category. What’s also helpful is that on the website there’s a quiz you can take and based on your answers you’ll see recommended products pop up.
“And I can definitely see an improvement in how hydrated and smooth my neck area looks.”
First Of Three New Skin Care Products:
The first of the three products that I have is a neck and décolleté serum that hydrates, lifts, and smooths called “Let’s Neck.” The description says that it has a combination of seven powerful ingredients. Ingredients derived from hyaluronic acid which optimizes the skin’s moisture, elasticity, and firmness.
It also has something called Pepha-Tight which is an extract that provides a firming effect and over time also helps strengthen the skin’s natural connective tissue. I’ve been using this product in the morning and the evening for approximately two weeks. And I can definitely see an improvement in how hydrated and smooth my neck area looks.
Also, I have to say that I think the design of the applicator is brilliant. Every other neck cream I’ve ever tried has involved dipping into a big jar of cream and spreading the cream over my neck with my fingers. Of course ,it’s necessary to thoroughly wash my hands to get rid of all the excess cream. What I love about this product’s applicator is that there’s no mess and no fuss and it’s quick and easy to use.
There’s a metal tip on the applicator and to open this product you swivel the top to the opposite side so the arrow on the top points to “on.” Then, you simply roll the metal tip up and down your neck area. The metal tip revolves and applies the product so easily and quickly. I’m definitely a fan of this product and will absolutely keep using it.
Cream Called “Eye Opener”:
The next product is a smoothing and brightening cream for the eyes called “Eye Opener.” The cream is formulated to tighten puffiness, provide hydration, and also blur fine lines.
“This cool metal applicator tip feels absolutely wonderful on the skin.”
Over time, it’s meant to diminish dark circles and smooth out wrinkles as well. It has the same hyaluronic ingredients as the neck cream. It also has another ingredient called Bakuchiol which brightens and promotes supple skin. It’s a plant-derived gentler alternative to retinol without any of the retinol downsides that irritate and cause red or flaky skin. It also has Filmexel which is composed of extracts from red algae and terra fruit from Peru. These ingredients are meant to smooth, lift, and firm skin.
And once again, the applicator is genius. One side of the metal applicator is where you squeeze out the cream. The other side of the applicator has a smooth metal tip. This tip is perfect for blending in the cream using small circular strokes. The cool metal applicator tip feels absolutely wonderful on the skin. And I have noticed a slight decrease in puffiness in my eye area. This eye cream goes on very smoothly and easily, it absorbs well into the skin, and it’s not the least bit greasy.
So applying makeup over it is not an issue at all. And compared to many other eye creams, it’s quite reasonably priced. I’m going to keep using this product as well in my skincare regimen.
Magic Cream To Moisture The Skin:
The last of the three products that I tried from this brand is the Womaness Overnight Magic Cream. This product also has the plant-derived alternative to retinol, as well as a number of other ingredients, to moisturize the skin.
I can certainly attest to the positive hydration of this product. But I haven’t been using it long enough to really comment on the firming and brightening power of it. However, I will say that some of the other nighttime skincare products that I’ve tried recently—which are quite expensive—have given me headaches so I’ve had to stop using them which has really been disappointing. This product has not caused headaches so I will continue to use it and test it.
“They bill themselves as the cleanest drugstore skincare brand.”
Skin Care Brand Called Versed:
Now on to the second brand. This is a clean skincare brand called Versed which is available at Target and a number of other locations. They bill themselves as the cleanest drugstore skincare brand.
Two things that I really love about this brand are:
- the packaging is simple so we’re not paying for packaging which is one of the reasons they can sell these products at the upper price range of drugstore products
- each label clearly states what the product is, how to use the product, where to use it, when to use it and what the product is made for.
Let me give you an example of what’s on the label of their Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum.
Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe!
It Amazes Me:
On the front of the label, it says it’s a brightening serum and the main ingredients are Vitamin C and licorice root extract. And on the back of the label, under “how,” it says to press two drops into clean, almost dry skin, and to let it sink in for two minutes.
Under “where” it says: “face and neck and bonus points for chest.” Under “when” it says: “a.m. or p.m. after cleansing and masking and before moisturizing.” And finally, under “made for” it says: “dullness and aging skin.”
I’m really impressed with how clear the information is on the labels which is definitely not always the case. In fact, I’ve been really surprised at the number of more expensive products I’ve used that don’t clearly say when or how to actually use the product which never ceases to amaze me.
“The three other products I need to continue to test for a while in order to give a complete and knowledgeable review.”
Versed makes a total of 44 different products and on their website you can filter down their products by category, ingredients, or concern. Under “concern,” I tapped on “aging skin” and 28 products were listed.
The ones that I have are the On the Rise Firming Serum, the Smoothing Eye Cream, Found the Light Powder with Vitamin C and Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum. The one that I’ve been using most regularly is the Smoothing Eye Cream. I definitely like how hydrating it is and it absorbs well into the skin, so I’ll continue to rotate it into my skincare routine.
The three other products I need to continue to test for a while in order to give a complete and knowledgeable review. But I did want to let you know about this clean beauty drugstore brand since it definitely has several plusses going for it.
Night Serum At Sephora:
Next is a product on the opposite end of the price category. It’s Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Night Serum which is available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Violet Grey, and Dr. Sturm’s website. I’m using the mini size of the Night Serum which only seems to be available on Dr. Sturm’s website.
And this mini size—which is 10 milliliters—is $115.00. The 30-milliliter size on the Sephora website costs $310.00. Frankly, I’m a bit torn about this product because it does contain alcohol which can be very drying to the skin but it does get rid of redness and diminish the look of large pores. And it’s gotten some rave reviews on the Sephora website. You may want to look at the reviews and if you’re able to do so, give it a try. But personally, I just can’t justify the price when some other products that I have seem to produce similar, good results.
Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment:
The last product I want to share with you is one I’ve absolutely fallen in love with that’s new to me, but it’s certainly not a new product. In fact, my youngest daughter’s been using it for years, swears by it and won’t use anything else.
So you think I would have gotten the hint! It’s from the brand Fresh and it’s their Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment. It’s a rare occurrence indeed when I fall in love with a product right away. But that’s exactly what happened with this one. When I first tried it, this product immediately felt so hydrating on my lips and it just felt ultra-luxurious as well. And the fragrance just made me smile. Now usually I actually prefer unscented products, but this one somehow made me feel like I’d been transported to a tropical island. I also immediately thought of key lime pie which certainly contributed strongly to my positive response.
“This product is definitely more expensive than most lip balms.”
Quite honestly, I can’t quite figure out exactly what the scent is though it does have orange extract in it and it is sugar-infused. But to me, the fragrance far exceeds just the scent of orange extract and sugar.
The product description indicates that it improves lip volume and definition. The sugar-infused formula contains sea fennel which helps smooth fine lines. In addition, it contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid spheres. I do have one caution with this product, however. You don’t want to swivel it up very far because it’s a soft formula and it can easily break off. This product is definitely more expensive than most lip balms, but to me, it feels like a small, wonderful, and luxurious way to pamper myself just a little bit.
So on this positive note, I’ll conclude. And I hope you’ll share a skincare product—or products—you love that feel like a wonderful way to pamper yourself. After all, we deserve that.
About the Author:
Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty. Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe! Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness.