Beauty Chat: 1 Life Changing Product + 4 Really Good Ones.

You guys. I test a lot of products for this blog. Like a lot. You might have noticed this if you follow on stories, but it’s a lot. I feel like a human guinea pig at times but I love it, because trying new beauty products is fun and it is the absolute best feeling when you find a really good one.

Last month, I tested a very expensive 30 day product. I’m not going to tell you which one… but it’s a brand I’ve never featured here; a brand that was completely new to me. The thing was though, everyone raved about it and you only use that one product (after face wash of course) for 30 days. I photographed it, I did a before selfie, and I committed to only using that product for a full 30 days. AND THEN IT TOTALLY SUCKED. Like really sucked. I don’t know what it did to me but it clogged my pores and then I had these hard white bumps all over my cheeks and that was just awful. It wasn’t super noticeable in photos but my skin felt so rough and bumpy – yucks.

But also while I was doing 30 days of just one product, the deliveries rolled in and I fell way behind on product testing.

One of those said products was Kiehl’s Line Reducing Concentrate. I had heard good things and was (almost literally) itching to test it and OMG. It was as though the the skincare gods were throwing me a bone and sending me a gift after testing that other terrible product.

Literally three days after starting to use the Kiehl’s product (I only use it at night), my skin looked so much better. The lines in my forehead were less noticeable, and my skin was so much smoother. My mom told me I looked younger (and believed me when I lied and said I’d tried Botox). It’s also helping with those pesky bumps. I should tell you that I also put just a little bit on the back of my hands as I am a) a little bit extra and b) paranoid about having old looking hands. IT WORKS. I think what makes it work so well is that it’s got 12.5% vitamin C. I’ve tried so many vitamin C serums (obsessed) and have never seen one with more than 10% vitamin C.

I hate to sound like I am proselytizing or really trying to “sell” you on a product, but go buy this product. Right now. Thank me later. It’s the best thing I’ve tried in months. My best friend tried it this weekend and texted to tell me that she noticed a big difference after a DAY. It. Is. So effective. Oh and if you’re wondering when to apply it, it’s a serum – so after cleansing/toning, but before moisturizing. It’s pretty creamy so sometimes I will just apply this, let it sink in for 20-30 minutes while I get ready for bed and then add a layer of face oil right before I get into bed.

That’s not all though! Four other products really knocked my socks off this month, so here they are.

* Vapour Deodorant in Palo Santo / Blood Orange is hands down, the BEST natural deodorant I’ve ever tried. The. BEST. It has a gel/cream to powder formulation (like Secret, with the holes in the applicator and you twist it and the product comes up for the holes) and you only need to use a little bit. It smells amazing (though I’m a sucker for anything with palo santo), and it lasts all day long. It’s also the first natural deodorant I’ve tried that is 100% hot yoga approved. You’ll sweat, but you’ll smell like a rose… or rather, a stick of palo santo which is even better.

* Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads are just the best. An oldie but a goodie – you can use them every day if you’d like, but if your skin is feeling rough and/or dull, a week of using these will bring it back to life. I love how travel friendly they are. They take up zero space in your bag and using them after a long flight or day of sight-seeing will make everything better.

* Sunday Riley Good Genes is an old favorite that I had forgotten about until more recently. I’ve always loved the brand (for a laugh, see this post from 8 years ago where I talk about Good Genes before it came such a cult favorite – it’s probably the first high-end skincare product I ever tried!) but what I love about it is what it does for the texture + tone of my skin. It makes your skin glowy and smooth and hides all sins (the glass of wine from the night before, too much salt, etc etc). Such a good product, I don’t know how I ever forgot about it!

* Tata Harper Eye Contour Mask is another rediscovery. Honestly? I use it like a night cream for my eyes. It’s technically a mask but if the area around your eyes gets dry, use it as a night cream! It’s suuuuuuper rich and concentrated and when I wake up in the morning, the fine lines around my eyes look a lot better. As with so many of Tata’s products, it also just feels SO, SO good on your skin. The jar is expensive but you don’t need a lot. I’d say there’s probably a full year of product in there, and that’s if you were really religious and used it every single night.

photography by Trent Bailey.

Leave a Comment


  1. Life changing! That I’ve got to check out! I’ve never used any of these products but will definitely look into them. Thanks, Grace! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Emily says 3.13.18

    I am so with you on the Vapour deodorant and actually wrote a little review of it over here – – simply the best! The Tata Harper eye mask is definitely next on my to try list. Thanks for always providing great and honest reviews.

  3. Emily B. says 3.13.18

    Such a coincidence…I just picked up a sample of Good Genes from Sephora to test out before taking the $105 plunge. Glad to know it gets your stamp of approval! Makes it seem more legit : )

  4. Maria B says 3.13.18

    You should try Osmosis Catalyst! Pricey but amazing. It gets rid of spots, pigmentation, redness and helps with anything! It has a different texture but is so effective!! It completely cleared my sun damage.

  5. Natali says 3.13.18

    Thank you for recommending all of those products, I’m happy to test them!

  6. Katie says 3.13.18

    If you are looking for high Vitamin C, you should check out Revision – they have both a 15% and a 30% Vitamin C serum! Their products are great. I’ve used the 30% for a few months now and love it, and have also been using their Vitamin K serum. Very sensitive, acne-prone skin and their products don’t make me break out or get a rash like many others!

  7. jill mccracken-presco says 3.13.18

    Thank you for sharing about your experience w/ Kiehl’s
    Line Reducing Concentrate.
    How’s Kiehl’s eye cream or is there another you tried or know of??
    (for older skin)

  8. Megan says 3.13.18

    Grace, have you tried the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum? I’ve been wanting to try it and know you’ve used Drunk Elephant products before. Thanks for the reviews!

  9. Christina says 3.13.18

    I just started using the Dennis Gross peels and can’t wait to see what they do!

    Thanks for sharing,

    Christina |

  10. Emma Finlayson says 3.13.18

    I love the Sunday Riley Good Jeans and the Tata Harper eye cream as well! Totally going to try the Kiehls cream. I have deep forehead lines that I am always trying to soften without botox (yet)

  11. Laura says 3.13.18

    I have been wondering about that Kiehls product, so this was perfect timing!

  12. Kate says 3.13.18

    I’ve been using the Kiehl’s for about a month now and I LOVE it – I think the HA included has been doing wonders for my skin. So glad it got your stamp of approval! Definitely gonna try it on my hands, too!

  13. Carrie says 3.13.18

    Have you tried Native deodorant? I was using Nateur but started getting painful red spots after a few weeks. I know you’ve rec’ed Vapour but Native is only $10 compared to $24 (which feels insane for deodorant), so I’m really hoping it’s good!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.14.18

      I did – everyone loves it but I did not (which is why I haven’t featured it here – I have literally tried every single natural deodorant but don’t post negative reviews here).

      For something more affordable I’d go with Schmidt’s. I don’t love it as much as Vapour but it’s in that price point and it works!

      • Carrie says 3.14.18

        I know you don’t do negative reviews so just curious if you had tried it before. I tried a Schmidt’s but hated the smell. Just got my native today, so fingers crossed it works for me!

        • grace at the stripe says 3.15.18

          Oh weird! What fragrance did you try in Schmidt’s? They have a ton of different scents… I really loved the lavender one.

          • Carrie says 3.15.18

            Lime and Bergamot, which sounded up my alley, I love citrus. I’ll check out the lavender. I loved the smell of Nateur – alas.

  14. Nancy says 3.14.18

    Thanks for the recommendations. I have not used a toner because I thought my Clarisonic exfoliated but now I understand it only deep cleans. Any advice on a not too pricey toner for dry, mature skin? I read on one blog that witch hazel exfoliates the same as a toner but do not know if this is true. Any recommendations and clarifications you (or your followers) can give me is much appreciated.

    • grace at the stripe says 3.14.18

      I have dry skin and I don’t use toner. I actually think toner is better for oily types. For exfoliation I’d use a mild scrub a few times a week and a vitamin C serum at night (like the Kiehl’s!)

      • Nancy says 3.14.18

        Thank you.

  15. Annette says 3.16.18

    I also like Tata Harper’s eye mask. I use it overnight as well as I think your eyes can never have enough healing. I like the Vapour deodorant in Palo Santo too. It works and smells amazing. My only complaint is the container doesn’t last long, compared to other deodorants, especially for the price. Always enjoy seeing your clean beauty reviews!

    • grace at the stripe says 3.16.18

      I agree! Although… I wasn’t listening to their instructions. I was using wayyyy too much product. Once I stopped that the tube lasted a lot longer.

  16. Megan C says 3.16.18

    Was it Lamer lotion??? I bought it and I don’t think it is helping my skin at all, but clogging my pores.

  17. Elissa says 3.16.18

    Hi Grace!

    Itching to try the Kiehl’s! Do you know if it is considered non-comedogenic?

    Always trust your picks! 🙂


  18. Jessica says 3.16.18

    Girl, I got that Kiehl’s concentrate in September of 2016 and haven’t looked back. IT’S THE BEST. I’ve tried so many Vitamin C serums since (that are much more expensive) and still, I always find myself coming back to it. IT’S SO GOOD. Glad to know I’m not the only one! (I kept questioning myself because it’s pretty affordable… Like, is it really as good as I think it is or is it just in my head?!)

    • grace at the stripe says 3.19.18

      YES So glad you agree! It is truly the best new product I have tried in AGES AND AGES. I feel like I sound crazy when I talk about it but it’s just SO DAMN GOOD.

  19. Carly A. Heitlinger says 3.17.18

    the kiehl’s is DEFINITELY the best ever. I’m psycho about putting it on my neck too!

  20. Liz says 3.17.18

    Hi Grace,

    Your review of Kiehl’s Line Reducing Concentrate definitely caught my interest. I read (I think in a Sephora review) that the dimethicone content can cause other products to not absorb as well. I use some high end stuff like Vitner’s Daughter and La Mer, so the idea of those not absorbing well is enough to give me pause. Have you experienced/noticed an absorption issue with any products you use after the Kiehl’s? If not, I think I am gonna have to try this!! 🙂

    Love your blog, btw. One of my favorites!!!

  21. Amy says 3.19.18

    Hi Grace! I’m new-ish to the serum scene but at 31 am trying to up my game 🙂 I’ve been using a retinal type of night serum for a year (R+F night serum) and would like to add onto it. Do you know if you should/can use the Kiehl’s alongside a night retinal? I’ve read conflicting stuff online about Vitamin C along with Vitamin A products and am hopelessly confused! Thank you so much, love your blog!