Friday, October 18, 2013

Clarisonic Plus Review

I have been neglecting this blog pretty badly the past couple months, but no more!  Tonight I am taking a break from homework to write this long-promised Clarisonic review!  Lots of text coming y'all's way, so brace yourselves.  I also overshare a bit in this post, but that's okay, we're all women here am I right?  Just kidding, guys are welcome too.

I had heard about the Clarisonic system a long time ago but I was always wary of it.  I just figured the brush heads would be a breeding ground for germs.  Well, I was persuaded to give it a try by one of the sales associates at our local Sephora, Marlen (if you go to La Cantera's Sephora, always ask for her!  She's great.).  My mom wanted to treat me to a makeover for my birthday, and she'd had a makeover from Marlen before for a special event and highly recommended her.  At the time I was really frustrated with my skin because I was having pretty bad acne breakouts (this is a real talk zone by the way :P), and I couldn't seem to find a good foundation or concealer to help deal with it.  Marlen not only gave me some great recommendations for makeup, she also helped me figure out a new skincare routine that was perfect for my VERY sensitive skin.  I've been following it pretty faithfully since the beginning of August, with just a few modifications.

Marlen told me that she always starts her makeovers by using the Clarisonic to cleanse her client's face. I was hesitant at first, but she explained to me that the brush heads actually stay perfectly bacteria-free as long as you rinse them with water daily after use, and massage clean with soap once a week.  The brush heads are good for three months and then you replace them.  I say brushes plural because the Clarisonic system is very customizable depending on your skin concerns.  I'll talk more about that later.

So she tried the Clarisonic out on my face and I was very impressed.  It was very mess-free (keep in mind I was sitting at the beauty bar in the middle of Sephora and was having my face washed, basically!), the brush circulation felt great, and honestly, my skin did feel better after just that first use.  It felt truly clean.  She followed the cleansing up with a toner from Caudalie (all the product details will be provided later on in this post of course).  I honestly had never used toner, so she explained to me that it helps to balance the skin tone and reduce redness.  Or at least the one she recommended for me does, anyway.

As luck would have it, there was a rep from Clarisonic at Sephora that day and he was super helpful in explaining the different options available.  I ended up going with the Clarisonic Plus which has three speeds (and you know I leave it on the fastest speed all the time!).  I mean, I am serious business about managing my acne.  It's a pain (sometimes literally) and even though I try to keep my self esteem up, it used to really bum me out.  I mostly get breakouts when I'm stressed, so... all the time when I'm at school.  The Clarisonic system has been a huge help.  It seriously does clean your pores out.  I mentioned earlier that this post is a real talk zone, and I'm going to get very real with you:  it can be kind of gross watching a spot that you thought was a freckle forming get cleaned out after a few washes with the Clarisonic.  But at least it's a clean pore afterwards!  They aren't kidding when they say it cleans deep into the pores.  All of this talk of pores is making me think of Quinn Morgendorffer, but anyway...

The very kind Clarisonic rep gave me a free acne brush head to try.  It's got the softest texture out of all their brush heads, which is funny because I would think firmer bristles would help more, but I guess it's just one of those things that is counterintuitive.  I also got a deep pore cleansing brush to try as well.  All of the base models (Plus, Aria, and Mia) come with a sensitive brush head, which is really good for all skin types.  I know they also have one made for men's skin, and the new luxe brush head that's got very soft, long bristles for delicate areas like the mouth, sides of the nose, and under the eyes.  The Plus that I got came bundled with a body brush, a cleanser, exfoliating body polish, a nice brush extension for scrubbing your back/feet/harder to reach areas, and a bronzer (which I gave to my mom, because I embrace my paleness), all pictured above.  Plus a cute little waterproof bag that I use when traveling to hold my Plus and any brush heads I feel like bringing on the trip!  It's pretty roomy.  Of course they sell just the base models and brushes separately, as well.  Since the Clarisonic rep gave me a free acne brush head, I also go the travel size acne cleanser that it came with, which I have tried and is definitely great for fighting acne, but a little too drying for everyday use.  The Plus model comes with a nice charging dock as well.  I can't remember how long you can go without charging it, but it's pretty long.  The Clarisonic also has a built in timer, so it lets you know when to move on (the standard setting is 20 seconds for chin and nose, 20 for forehead, and 10 for each cheek, with pulses in between each interval).

I will acknowledge that Clarisonics are pretty pricey.  It's easy for me to say how great it is because I received it as a gift, but I do think that the price is definitely fair if you think of it as an investment.  The brush heads themselves are not expensive, and you only have to replace them every three months (I still have a couple weeks before my first replacement).  And I cannot emphasize enough how dramatic of an improvement I've had in my skin.  I can't eliminate breakouts entirely because I cannot eliminate the stress in my life from my college classes and such, but when you use the Clarisonic every day, breakouts never get that bad.  You're nipping it in the bud, so to speak, and it becomes manageable and over time, hardly a problem at all.  And you can use pretty much any cleanser you want, as long as it doesn't have hard exfoliating beads (apparently there is a difference between cleansers with soft beads and hard beads), so if you have one that's already done wonders for your skin, the Clarisonic will just take your skin to the next level.  My skin has been softer, smoother, more evenly skin-toned (I used to have pretty uneven skin tone), and more vibrant.  I mean, it sounds ridiculous, but it's been true for me.

So that, in a nutshell, is why I am a total Clarisonic devotee now.

I'll do a roundup of my favorite skincare and makeup products tomorrow (homework allowing :P).

Also digging this week:
This Nars Ride Up to the Moon eyeshadow palette.  The green is killer.  I've used it as a liner and shadow both.
The best product ever from Vera Bradley, a TSA-approved clear case for your liquid travel needs.
Mom and I discovered the joys of Teavana today (I'm in SA for the weekend).  Pumpkin spice brul√©e tea!
The trailer for Wes Anderson's upcoming film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Now with more Voldemort Ralph Fiennes!
File this beaded top under Impractical Things That Working at Anthropologie Has Convinced Me I Need.
Also related:  My Newfound Candle Addiction.  I got the Snow on Cedar scent and it smells like Christmas and happiness.

Speaking of Christmas, I am going to make a real effort to do some gift guide posts in November.  I love Christmas so much.  It is seriously my favorite time of year.

On a final note, it is finally fall in Texas!  And by that I mean it stayed below 80 degrees for a whole week.  A whole week!  All is well in the world.

If  you have any questions about the Clarisonic system, drop them in the comments!  If you made it this far in the post, you are great and I appreciate your readership :).


  1. Where did you buy these clarisonic brush? I wanted to have my own.

  2. I got mine as a combo kit at Sephora. It had the Clarisonic Plus and came with a few brushes, including the body brush and the extender handle to use with the body brush. It also came with some bronzer, but I don't really like the tan look so I didn't use it :P