{Test This} Victoria McGill EyeDefining Contour Strips

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What’s in both celeb makeup artists Patrick Eichler and Jennifer Snowdon’s bag of tricks? Victoria McGill EyeDefining Contour strips (retail value: $9.99 for 16)–little crescent-shaped adhesives that give you a “non-surgical eyelid lift…instantly!” according to the company.

The strips are made from surgical grade adhesive cut to fit the crease of your eyebrow. Each one is coated with “makeup-gripping” material to hold eyeshadow. Just “moisturize, apply the strip, apply makeup” and the strips will “tuck and hold eyelid skin in its more youthful position.” They’re “comfortable, discreet and nearly invisible,” according to the company.

If it’s good enough for the stars, it must work on ordinary FOFs too…right? We want you to test them and tell us!

150 FOFs will put Victoria McGill EyeDefining to the test and report back.

For a chance to win, leave a comment below.
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(See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes June 20, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.

{Tested} Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel

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In the early 90s, celeb dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, MD, launched his first at-home product, the Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, designed to bring his signature, skin perfecting formula to the rest of us. More recently, he’s launched a new Extra Strength version (retail value: $88 for 30 applications). The two-step peel comes in the form of two containers of pre-soaked towelettes (similar to makeup remover pads.) Step one contains a proprietary blend of five different acids, including Alpha and Beta Hydroxy that Dr. Dennis Gross promises will minimize the appearance of pores, wrinkles and fine lines, and leave you with firmer, brighter, more even skin. Step two contains retinol, natural antioxidants (such as Resveratrol and green tea extract), and Genistien, an ingredient in soy extract that boosts collagen production and soothes the skin. Sounds apeeling but did it actually work? We sent it to 6 FOFs to test. Read on for their reviews.

P.S. Want to be guaranteed a product to test? Join the FOF Beauty Club, now!

**Quick take: 5 out of 6 testers would recommend the Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel to other FOFs.**

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M. DIANE GIBSON – San Marcos, NY

Was this product easy to use?
Yes, very easy. The entire procedure took only minutes, and I could feel it working immediately.

Did you see a difference in your skin?
The texture felt softer.  I liked it.

Did the product diminish wrinkles, and reduce pore size and dark spots?
I never had much of a problem with my pores.  However, I have dark patches near my temples.  The product hasn’t done much for this particular problem, which is disappointing.

{click here to read all the reviews!}

Did it improve your skin’s tone and texture?
Definitely yes. It’s much softer and moister.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
Yes, especially if it starts working on those brown patches. Even still, I like the softer texture it gives my skin.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Of course.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
4.

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CHRISTINE NORMAN – Boise, ID

Was this product easy to use?
Yes, very easy. I used it every morning.

Did you see a difference in your skin?
No, my skin actually broke out in irritating small bumps at one point, which I treated with another product.

Did the product diminish wrinkles, reduce pore size and dark spots?
No.

Did it improve your skin’s tone and texture?
No.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
No, because I did not see any improvement in the skin on my face. I felt I can get better and much less expensive results with cotton balls and a bottle of astringent and a daily moisturizer.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
No.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
2

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MICHELLE NARVAEZ – Sacramento, CA

Was this product easy to use?
Yes, very simple.

Did you see a difference in your skin?
Yes.

Did the product diminish wrinkles, and reduce pore size and dark spots?
Yes.

Did it improve your skin’s tone and texture?
Yes.

Would you continue using this product?
Yes.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Yes.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
4

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MARLA RUDONI – Santa Rosa, CA

Was this product easy to use?
Yes, extremely easy. The presoaked towelettes/pads are a great and easy way to distribute the product.

Did you see a difference in your skin?
Yes, a very slight difference in my skin’s texture.

Did the product diminish wrinkles, reduce pore size and dark spots?
I think some of my light wrinkles look a bit better and my pores appear less visible. I have melasma and this product did not decrease the color or lighten the pigmentation.

Did it improve your skin’s tone and texture?
The texture was slightly improved but there was no improvement in my skin’s tone. My skin got a bit red and peeled slightly around the folds of the nose area. Nothing a good moisturizer or Clarisonic couldn’t take care of…Other than that, my skin tolerated the product very well.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
I will not continue to use them. Even though it states the product is ‘best suited for stubborn skin conditions that have not responded favorably to other anti-aging treatments,’ it might not have been strong enough for me to see results.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Yes, because everyone’s skin is different.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
4.

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CELESTE M. CRAGO – Bluffton, SC

Was this product easy to use?
Yes, very easy. It is a two-step procedure, two jars of product used two minutes apart. The pads are very thin, but hold a lot of  liquid. There is enough product in one pad to cover my face, neck, decollete and hands, which was impressive. I actually look forward to using the product. It makes my face feel fresh.

Did you see a difference in your skin?
I used it on my face, neck, decollete and hands. I was a beach babe in my youth and now my skin is doing all kinds of weird things.  I was impressed to notice a difference in only 5 days, and by day 7, I knew I wasn’t imagining it.

Did the product diminish wrinkles, reduce pore size and dark spots?
My dark spots on my hands have noticeably improved.  Lines around my mouth and eyes are more smooth, and my pores are tighter.

Did it improve your skin’s tone and texture?
Most definitely!

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
I will definitely  want to use this product, at least three to four more months. I still have discoloration that I would like to fade or hopefully, erase. I think using this product, I am likely to get these results.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Definitely, but I think you’ll have to use it for several months to see if it will work for you.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
5.

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BERTI KATZ – Suffern, NY

Was this product easy to use?
Yes.

Did you see a difference in your skin?
Yes.

Did the product diminish wrinkles, reduce pore size and dark spots?
It reduced pore size noticeably, reduced dark spots very slightly, however, it did not diminish wrinkles.

Did it improve your skin’s tone and texture?
Yes, a little.

Would you continue using this product?  Why or why not?
No, because I do think that it was effective enough to warrant the price.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Yes, if they are willing to pay that much for it.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
3.5

{Tested} Somme Institute 5-Step Regimen


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Somme Institute’s 5-Step Regimen—a cleanser, exfoliant, moisturizer, serum and sunscreen–comes with a hefty price tag ($298), but according to reps at Somme, it “transforms the skin…improving its tone, texture and clarity while reducing the signs of aging.” All five products contain MDT5, a patented compound which Somme claims will help the active ingredients penetrate the skin 3-4 millimeters deep, much deeper than other products on the market.

Seven FOFs put Somme products to the test. Read on to find out: was it was high fives for this five-step regimen? Or did it leave our testers hanging?

P.S. Want to be guaranteed a product to test? Join the FOF Beauty Club now!

**Quick take: 6 out of 7 testers would recommend Somme Institute’s 5-Step Regimen to other FOFs.**

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CHRISTINE WILLIAMSON – Girard, PA

Were these products easy to use?
Five steps – it couldn’t have been easier.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Fine lines and wrinkles? Dryness? Skin tone?
My skin was smoother and firmer, wrinkles less noticeable. The products worked so well together.

{Click here to read all the reviews!}

Would you continue using these products?
Yes and I’d add the Somme eye and neck treatments! The day defense lotion was heavy, I would have preferred something a little lighter for day. [It actually] worked well for me as a body or night treatment. The travel kit was excellent.

Would you recommend these products to other FOFs?
Yes.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
Double Defense: 4
Everything else: 5

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CHRISTINE NEWTON – Santa Rosa, CA

Were these products easy to use?
Very easy.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Fine lines and wrinkles? Dryness? Skin tone?
My lines didn’t go away, but appeared softer.

How did these products compare to the products you normally use?
The line is much nicer than my normal skincare products.

Would you continue using these products?
I would continue using this skin care line, but the cost is an issue [too high].

Would you recommend these products to other FOFs?
Yes.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
5.

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SUZANNE MEDICI – Troy, Michigan

Were these products easy to use?
Once I put them in order, [the regimen] was easy enough to follow.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Fine lines and wrinkles? Dryness? Skin tone?
My skin seemed to become even more dehydrated and I can’t blame it on the weather (the Michigan winter was mild this year.) The areas that are of a concern to me (around my mouth), seemed to become even more of a concern when using these products. No difference [in fine lines and wrinkles] that I could see. I felt as if these products were geared more towards a combination-oily skin.

How did these products compare to the products you normally use?
My usual skin care routine was working, but I always felt it could be improved. My favorite Somme product was the cleanser, though it reminded me of Cetaphil. I did not like using an SPF moisturizer on my face at night.

Would you continue using these products?
No! I was committed to see if they would work, but after 5 weeks and not seeing anything positive happening, I called it quits.

Would you recommend these products to other FOFs?
No. Well, only if you have combination-oily skin.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
2.

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KAREN HANSHAW – Tucson, Arizona

Were these products easy to use?
Yes, extremely easy.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Fine lines and wrinkles? Dryness? Skin tone?
Yes, fine lines and wrinkles are reduced and flakiness is gone. My skin tone is noticeably brighter and [my face is] fresh looking. [The products are] surprisingly gentle. I am particularly impressed with the lightening of redness on my neck and brown splotches on my face, jaw line and chest. I also used some on a red, scaly spot I’ve had for years on my forearm. Not even prescription steroid creams from my dermatologist helped as much as Somme’s regimen.

How did these products compare to the products you normally use?
It’s similar to what I was doing (only one more step than usual at night), and definitely much more effective.

Would you continue using these products?
Yes, but I won’t be able to continue right now because of the cost.

Would you recommend these products to other FOFs?
Yes, absolutely.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
5

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CECILIA PRADO – Arroyo Grande, CA

Were these products easy to use?
Yes, easy and quick, even though there are five products. I appreciate the minimalist packaging.  I also like that the pump caps lock open or closed and that the serum bottle has a cap. I did not like the A-Bomb’s screw top container that I have to dip my fingers or a spatula into. I’d prefer a more sanitary tube or pump dispenser.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Fine lines and wrinkles? Dryness? Skin tone?
I did not notice any particular improvement. My skin actually felt slightly oilier than normal, even after the 2-week adjustment period.

How did these products compare to the products you normally use?
I don’t feel that Somme’s product can replace what I normally use, Vivite by Allergan. Vivite helps my skin feel balanced, toned and smooth. Somme’s products made my skin feel oily.

Would you continue using these products? Why or why not?
No, I will go back to using Vivite. I liked the convenience of the transport pads, and the serum felt very good on my skin, however, overall I do not feel there was any noticeable improvement.

Anything else?
The cleanser was my least favorite product. It felt greasy on my skin, I didn’t like the scent and never felt like my face was thoroughly clean. I thought the serum was great but the A-bomb felt heavy for daytime. Somme’s regimen did not include eye cream, which I feel should be part of any ‘core system.’

Would you recommend these products to other FOFs?
Yes, to other FOFs that suffer from extremely dry skin.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
3

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PAMELA HOWELL – Midland, TX

Were these products easy to use?
Yes, but I did have to put the chart on my mirror to help me remember the sequence of use.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Fine lines and wrinkles? Dryness? Skin tone?
The system certainly did cleanse my skin well. My décolletage was smoother and more even-toned. I noticed a clearer, brighter complexion but no significant difference in wrinkles and lines.

How did these products compare to the products you normally use?
This required more involvement without significant results.

Would you continue using these products? Why or why not?
No, the cost [is too high] and [there are] too many steps involved.

Would you recommend these products to other FOFs?
No.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
2

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DENISE EVANS – Morristown, NJ

Were these products easy to use?
Yes–I loved the color coded labels.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Fine lines and wrinkles? Dryness? Skin tone?
It felt hydrated and my favorite product was the daily moisturizer with the SPF.

How did these products compare to the products you normally use?
I’ve been using products containing Retin-A for years and am a huge fan. I stopped just to try the Somme line. I did not see an improvement so I have returned to using my original skincare line.

Would you continue using these products? Why or why not?
I would definitely continue using the cleanser and daily moisturizer.

Would you recommend these products to other FOFs?
Yes–it was effective but not necessarily better than what I was using. For someone who could not tolerate Retin-A, this line would be perfect.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
4.

{Test This} Ahava Extreme Night Treatment

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 One company, Ahava, is taking beauty sleep to a whole new level. Their Extreme Night Treatment (retail value: $72 for 1 oz.), works on your lines and wrinkles at night, so that by the time you wake up, you’ll have “a softer, smoother, radiant complexion,” according to the company.

The concentrate is made of natural ingredients from the Himalayas, one of the highest altitudes on Earth, where plants, moss and minerals are resilient to the harsh climate and conditions. Ingredients are also sourced from the Dead Sea, the lowest altitude on the Earth and “the legendary, personal spa of Cleopatra,” where the water, mud, minerals and plants have “proven regenerative properties,” according to Ahava.

Is this “extreme” night treatment–extremely effective?

6 FOFs will test it. Click here to find out more about Ahava’s Extreme Night Treatment, and then leave a comment below for a chance to test it.

P.S. Want to be guaranteed a product to test? Join the FOF Beauty Club now!

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(See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes May 17, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.

{Tested} Josie Maran Argan Balm

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Argan oil, produced from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree, has been called “liquid gold” for its healing, conditioning and anti-aging properties. “There are few-to-no formal studies proving a measurable effect of argan oil on skin health,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, a NYC-based dermatologist. So, we decided to conduct our own “study.” Seven FOFs put Josie Maran’s Argan Balm (retail value: $42) to the test.  The balm is made of shea butter infused with Argan oil and “leaves the skin softer and more supple” according to the company.

Is this balm–a bomb or a blessing? Read on to see what our testers thought.

P.S. Want to be guaranteed a product to test? Join the FOF Beauty Club now!

**Quick take: 5 out of 7 testers would recommend Josie Maran Argan Balm to other FOFs.**
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WILMA LONGMAN – Brush Prairie, WA

Was this product easy to use?
Very easy. It’s temperature-sensitive: when cold, it’s a wax-like consistency, when warm, it’s buttery and soft. It melts deliciously into the skin as soon as it’s applied.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Was your skin softer and less dry?
Yes. I was especially impressed with the difference the balm made on my cuticles. As a pharmacist, I wash my hands many times a day, and my cuticles were a mess. When I applied the balm before work, it protected my hands all day.

{click here to read all the reviews!}

Did it provide relief for your distressed skin?
Yes–it seems to have healing properties. I had a couple small cuts on my hands during the testing time, and the balm seemed to help them heal more quickly.

Is it important to you that this product is made with all natural ingredients and no harsh toxins?
Yes. Chemicals in products can be absorbed through the skin.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
When it is empty, I am definitely going to buy another tin of Argan Balm. It is worth the $42 price tag.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Yes, absolutely! I even caught my FOF husband sneaking some balm for his rough hands.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
5

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RHONDA BYER – Los Angeles, CA

Was this product easy to use?
No. It was waxy and in a tub [which made it] hard to get out. I had to keep rubbing my finger in it.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Was your skin softer and less dry?
It worked well on my lips and elbows. I haven’t noticed a change in other parts of my body yet.

Did it provide relief for your distressed skin?
Yes.

Is it important to you that this product is made with all natural ingredients and no harsh toxins?
Yes.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
No. The consistency makes it too difficult to get out of the tub. I prefer a creamier substance for body care and moisture.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
No.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
2

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KAY FLETCHER – Charlotte, NC

Was this product easy to use?
Yes.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Was your skin softer and less dry?
Much softer–especially my heels, which are extremely dry and cracked.

Did it provide relief for your distressed skin?
Yes. My feet feel great at the end of the day when I massage them with the Argan Balm.

Is it important to you that this product is made with all natural ingredients and no harsh toxins?
Yes.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
Yes. It makes my hands and feet feel softer.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Definitely–especially to FOFs with dry skin

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
5

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CINDY STEELE – Meridianville, AL

Was this product easy to use?
Very easy.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Was your skin softer and less dry?
Skin is softer. It works especially well on my lips.

Did it provide relief for your distressed skin?
It worked well on my skin, but not my face. It was too greasy.

Is it important to you that this product is made with all natural ingredients and no harsh toxins?
Very important. Our bodies absorb what we put on our skin.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t go out and buy it. Vaseline would do the same thing.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Not for the price.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
2–nothing special.

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MICHELE DOMKE – Sunnyvale, CA

Was this product easy to use?
I didn’t care for the packaging–it was too large. Also it didn’t really transfer well from the container to my finger to my [skin and] lips.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Was your skin softer and less dry?
Yes, I used it on my lips and it kept them moist, not chapped.

Did it provide relief for your distressed skin?
Yes and it was very creamy and smooth.

Is it important to you that this product is made with all natural ingredients and no harsh toxins?
Very much so.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
Yes, but I’d use it more regularly if it was easier to get out of the container.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Yes, it does it’s job.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
4.

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ANNE KALICH – Lacey, WA

Was this product easy to use?
Very easy.

Did you see a difference in your skin? Was your skin softer and less dry?
Yes. This product really improved the texture of my rough elbows and knees. It also helped the eczema I continually fight behind my ears.

Did it provide relief for your distressed skin?
Yes. It’s especially good for knees, elbows and feet. I’d rub it on my feet, put on light cotton socks, go to bed, sleep overnight – magic!

Is it important to you that this product is made with all natural ingredients and no harsh toxins?
Very much so. Although the skin on my face is not sensitive, for some weird reason the skin on my legs is. However, I had no problems with this product. I was able to use it daily without itching or bumps.

Would you continue using this product? Why or why not?
Yes. It worked and a little goes a long way. It didn’t have an annoying fragrance.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Yes. I’d recommend this product to anyone who has very dry or rough problem areas.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
5

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KAREN LEE-DAVIS – Philadelphia, PA

Was this product easy to use?
Very easy

Did you see a difference in your skin? Was your skin softer and less dry?
My skin is definitely softer. It kept my skin moist and healthy.

Did it provide relief for your distressed skin?
Yes, it left my skin soft but not oily and it did not transfer onto my clothes.

Is it important to you that this product is made with all natural ingredients and no harsh toxins?
Yes–the more natural the better.

Would you recommend this product to other FOFs?
Yes.

Please rate this product from 1 (Ugh. This was the worst) to 5 (Loved it!):
4