philosophy

philosophy At-A-Glance

Strengths: Relatively inexpensive; some of the best products are fragrance-free; very good retinol products; selection of state-of-the-art moisturizers; innovative skin-lightening product.

Weaknesses: Irritating and/or drying cleansers; average to problematic scrubs; at-home peel kits far more gimmicky than helpful; several products contain lavender oil; several products include irritating essential oils; the majority of makeup items do not rise above average status.

Believe in miracles. That's the "lifestyle" branding statement philosophy makes, which is an approach that is decidedly different from their former positioning, which encompassed family values and spirituality along with a dash of department-store élan and endearingly clever quips. The miracle angle may grab your attention, but the company is also quick to point out that its history is steeped in providing products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons worldwide (so, in addition to miracles, philosophy has a serious side, too). Although its heritage may have included providing clinically oriented products to doctors, we have yet to see or hear of any medical professional retailing philosophy products. And that's a good thing because, by and large, most of philosophy products are resounding disappointments. Moreover, several products, including almost all of their sunscreens, contain one or more known skin irritants. We would be extremely suspicious of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who recommended such products to their patients, and even more so if they actually believed some of the more farfetched claims philosophy makes.

Interestingly, when you shop this line at department stores or at the cosmetics boutique Sephora, what you'll notice is the preponderance of food- and drink-scented bath products, all in vivid colors or cutely boxed for gift-giving. It seems that somewhere along the way, the company decided to promote these nose-appeal products while downplaying their more serious-minded, simply packaged skin care. Perhaps the body lotions and bubble baths have become philosophy's bread and butter. Given the hit-or-miss nature of their facial-care products, that's not surprising. Then again, they've also heavily promoted their anti-aging-themed Miracle Worker products...

So what's to like if you're into the vibe philosophy puts out? Well, this is still a line with some well-formulated staples, including an AHA product, some retinol options, and a handful of state-of-the-art moisturizers. The products that get the most promotion at the counter are the ones you should avoid, such as the at-home peels, scrubs, pads, and anti-acne products. However, the somewhat confusing, conflicting image philosophy presents shouldn't keep you from considering their best products—but it's not a lifestyle brand in the sense that using the entire line will somehow bring you a more joyful existence, or significantly improved skin. The philosophy line is now owned Coty, a cosmetics brand primarily known for their fragrances. Their acquisition of philosophy is their first major foray into a widely-distributed skin care brand.

For more information about philosophy, call (800) 568-3151 or visit www.philosophy.com.

Note: philosophy opts to use lowercase letters for every product they sell, so the listings below are simply following suit.

philosophy Makeup

Minimalism is a big theme among philosophy's dwindling, uneven range of makeup. Whereas the color options from this company used to be extensive, well-organized, and at times clever, what's lining the counter now needs help, in more ways than one. The major issue is the plethora of ordinary products that cost far too much for what they don't offer, which is innovation and, in almost every case, selection. The line shines brightest (pun intended) with its lip color offerings, though the best products in this category are counterbalanced by glosses or lip balms with needless irritants. If you're a fan of philosophy's skin-care products and are considering their makeup, you don't want to try to build a comprehensive color wardrobe with it. However, you'd be wise to explore the handful of pleasant surprises here, including an excellent bronzing lotion, foundation primer with sunscreen, and the multi-use makeup brush.

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+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Poor 27 wishes multi-purpose skin nurturing balm (Discontinued) philosophy Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $19.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Poor amazing grace perfumed firming body emulsion philosophy Anti-Cellulite/Firming Products  $22.00 8.00 fl. oz.
Good back to nurture replenishment philosophy Face/Body Oils  $50.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Good booster caps retinol capsules (Discontinued) philosophy Serums  $50.00 60.00 capsules
Good clear days ahead fast-acting salicylic acid acne spot treatment philosophy Exfoliants  $18.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Best Deep Fill Fix Instant Line Filler and Long-Term Wrinkle Smoother philosophy Wrinkle Fillers  $34.00 0.12 fl. oz.
Poor divine illumination (Discontinued) philosophy Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $85.00 1.60 fl. oz.
Average divine illumination love at first light ageless skin luminizer (Discontinued) philosophy Face Shine  $33.00
Good eye hope advanced anti-aging eye cream philosophy Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $50.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Good Eye Hope Anti-Aging Concealer (Discontinued) philosophy Stick Concealer  $28.00
Average eyes wide open instant refreshing eye gel (Discontinued) philosophy Eye Moisturizers  $30.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Average full of promise restoring eye duo philosophy Eye Moisturizers  $68.00 0.50 fl. oz.
Average full of promise tightening and firming neck cream philosophy Specialty Skin Care Products  $65.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Good Full of Promise Treatment Duo philosophy Moisturizers/Anti-Aging  $75.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Average Hands Of Hope Hand and Cuticle Cream philosophy Hand Creams/Lotions  $18.00 4.00 fl. oz.
Average help me retinol night treatment philosophy Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $47.50 1.00 fl. oz.
Average here comes the sun age-defense gradual glow self-tanner for face (Discontinued) philosophy Self-Tanners  $26.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Average here comes the sun age-defense very water-resistant SPF 30 UVA/UVB broad-spectrum spray sunscreen for body (Discontinued) philosophy Water-Resistant Sunscreen  $26.00 4.00 fl. oz.
Good here comes the sun gradual glow self-tanner for body (Discontinued) philosophy Self-Tanners  $28.00 4.00 fl. oz.
Poor hope in a bottle (Discontinued) philosophy Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $40.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Best Hope in a Jar A-Z Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 philosophy Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen  $38.00
Average hope in a jar night philosophy Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $50.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Poor hope in a jar oil-free moisturizer for normal to oily skin philosophy Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $42.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Poor hope in a Jar SPF 20 extra-rich moisturizer for normal to dry skin (Discontinued) philosophy Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $40.00 2.00 fl. oz.
Poor hope in a jar SPF 25 daily moisturizer for all skin types philosophy Moisturizer with Sunscreen  $42.00 2.00 fl. oz.
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