Archive for category Exfoliants
For the past 6 months, my skin has been in better condition than I can remember – which I attribute to really being careful with each and every product I use, reading ingredients, steering clear of fragrance, and opting for gentle products that don’t cause irritation and possible inflammation. One way I’ve helped my skin in particular is completely swearing off manual exfoliators – for people with eczema, roughing up the skin doesn’t do us any favors.
However. Dude, you KNOW how sweet it is when you scrub your skin and how soft and smooth and lovely it feels afterward? Yea, I MAJORLY missed that. So I’m cheating a little bit – and thankfully my skin’s not paying the price!
Marcelle’s Hydra-C Radiance Facial Exfoliating Gel (100mL) is purported to gently eliminate impurities and dead surface skin, and is hypoallergenic, perfume free, and paraben free. When I saw it on sale at Lawtons about a month ago, I was far too tempted, and picked it up to spoil myself with every now and then.
The exfoliating properties of this gel are very gentle – used on damp skin, the scrub feels more like a slightly granular cleanser than much else; on dry skin (which is how I use it), it refines the skin along with giving it a clean, refreshing feeling. Though it claims to unclog pores, improve skin texture, and bring back freshness and radiance to the skin tone (through the inclusion of Vitamin C + E), the effects are really quite subtle. While my skin feels smoother and fresher after use, the exfoliation aspect is secondary. However, it’s just enough that my I get my ‘fix’ without the resulting irritation, and that’s perfectly alright with me!
Marcelle is a Canadian brand carried at drugstores around the country. For sensitive skin, the brand carries quite a few products that are well-suited and a reasonable price – I’ve used several different products from the line and have never had an issue.
Do you use manual scrubs? Which one? Have you tried Marcelle products before?
My skincare regime is always a work in progress. Being the type of person I am, I rarely stick with one product – even if it’s working (which is kind of stupid, yes, but – there it is). There’s just always something new to try, and my easily bored ways mean that I’m always drawn in by the latest and greatest. However, there is a central idea to my madness, which is to say, there are certain types of products that I want to be sure to incorporate into my daily routine. The biggest one that I’d like to pull into the fold are retinoids, a form of Vitamin A. I have yet to dabble in the world of this heavy-hitting product (which has many types, including Retinol, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, isotretinoin, and tazarotene – Skinacea has a great chart to explain them here). Retinoids are favored even over many of the more new-fangled (<– awesome old-person word) products of the day, because of their ability to multi-task: as they promote cell and collagen production, they diminish the look of lines and wrinkles and help improve the texture and clarity of the skin, while also helping to treat acne and clear blocked pores. On top of that, retinoids help repair damage through their antioxidant component. Sa-weet! Sign me up I’m not going to get too technical here because I’m not a dermatologist and I don’t know the science behind it all (though my pic above makes me look awfully smart!). But I’ve been doing some research for my own cause, and I thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you! Using retinoids isn’t a totally no-brainer situation. There is a method to the madness that should be followed in order for you to get the maximum benefit from your products, as well as not causing unnecessary irritation to the skin. Because my skin is so sensitive, this was a must for me to decipher.If any of you are like me, you use a multitude of treatment products in order to achieve the best skin you can. I particularly try to ensure that I’m using something with antioxidants in it, as well as a chemical exfoliant of some kind (as I can’t use manual scrubs since they rough up my skin too much). Here’s the lowdown on how to proceed with some of these products while still using retinoids safely and effectively:
- Do not apply retinoid in the morning, as the sun will deactivate the product and cause the skin to be more susceptible to UV rays.
- Do not apply glycolic acid/lactic acid (AHA’s) at the same time as retinoid product as they will cancel each other out (and cause some mega-irritation I would think!).
- Apply retinoids at night to bare skin, waiting 20 minutes after washing face (*If you experience too much sensitivity, you can apply a buffer moisturizer an hour before using the retinoid).
- Begin using retinoids over time; start by applying them once every three days for the first one or two weeks. After your skin adjusts to the product (or if you experience no irritation at all), bump it up to once every two nights for another few weeks. Then, use it every other night for another week and gradually graduate to using it nightly.
- Wait an hour after application, then use an anti-inflammatory moisturizer on top to prevent redness and flaking.
I have yet to incorporate a retinoid into my regime, but plan on picking one up within the next few months (likely one of the ones I’m showcasing here – perhaps right around my 30th birthday???) and slowly introducing it into my system over time . Right now I’m using an AHA cream, which also helps to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps exfoliate the skin – I apply it about every third evening just to keep my skin smooth as I’m not using much else in the way of exfoliation. I probably won’t use both a retinoid and an AHA product at the same time; I’m sure it’s possible for some, but with my tempermental skin I’m not going to chance it!
Just to give you an idea, here’s what my ideal skincare regime will look like:
Moisturizer w/SPF (Winter) / SPF (Summer)
Eye cream with SPF
Oil-based makeup remover (Summer or for heavy makeup days)
Nothing fancy by any means but I think it covers the bases fairly well – I think the simpler the better, to avoid irritating my skin (which can actually cause you to age faster).I hope this post was at least a bit helpful! I’m confident that most of you already know what you’re doing with regards to skincare, but it can get a bit convoluted when you start to introduce more advanced products into the fray. I’m looking forward to getting this down pat and hopefully seeing some results – not that I have a ton of visible aging yet, but I want to keep it that way! And as much as I like trying new things, I want to find a solid regime that helps minimize any surprize rashes or breakouts, and have my skin calm down for a long stretch of time (which seems to have been AGES ago).
Do you use retinoids in your skincare? What’s your current regime? What products do you buy over and over (if any)?
Last chance! Enter my giveaway tonight by 11:59pm AST!!
Posted by Latoya in 2012 Beauty Challenge, Anti-Aging, Bare Escentuals, Blush, Body Care, Boscia, Brows, Chanel, Cleanser, Clinique, Concealer, Exfoliants, Fresh, Hair, Highlighters, L'Oreal, Lips, MAC, Make Up For Ever, Make-up, Mascara, Maybelline, Moisturizers, Skincare, SPF, Wet n' Wild on February 20, 2012
Well, we’ve successfully finished month one of the low/no-buys to which myself and several other fantabulous beauty bloggers have
chained dedicated ourselves! I have to admit, when it started, I thought it would be a piece of cake – my guidelines felt tough but reasonable, and left me a fair bit of leeway so that I wouldn’t go out of my mind from the challenge. However, once I was well into week two, I found myself becoming maniacal with respect to listing all the products I was *going* to buy as well as figuring out what products I could get rid of so I could make said purchases. I spent hours daily planning what I would do in order to be able to buy a new lippie or blush, in a way that would allow me to stick to the plan but get my ~fix~ Crazy, right? Thankfully, the feeling passed near the end of week three, and now as I move into the second month, I feel stabilized and am spending more time enjoying what I have rather than obsessively plotting my next purchase. Just like any craving, it passes if you don’t give into it I guess!
I’m going to combine my usual ‘downsizing’ post with my new ‘monthly purchases’ posts, since one directly affects the other. No shady business here! I promise to be truthful about what I pick up each month – if I slip, I’ll let you know about that too. Keeps me on the straight and narrow
So, here are the products that I managed to finish/part with since my low-buy began:
Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer
Good hydrator for dry to combination-oily skin, but honestly I wasn’t wowed by this. I find the Turnaround Concentrate, a serum, far out-performs this moisturizer, and I would recommend going for that plus your favorite basic moisturizer, rather than using this alone. Just didn’t exfoliate as well as I wanted it to!
Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Moisturizer SPF25 (Combination Oily to Oily)
I really loved this moisturizer with SPF, until I started learning about how any beneficial ingredients in products get lost when exposed to open air. Jars have got to be the worst packaging anyway, majorly unhygenic! So, while the idea of this product is AWESOME (helps to repair the moisture barrier so skin stays hydrated; helps treat and prevent fine lines and wrinkles via antioxidants and sun protection), I suspect a lot of the good-for-you ingredients are gone within days. Boo. But, if you’re looking for a nice moisturizer with sunscreen, this is a pretty good choice! It keeps skin feeling supple – though unless your very oily/do not need extra hydration, I’d probably opt for the dry to combination version as I found I could have used it this Winter.Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Facial Cleanser (travel size)
I liked this cleanser – it smelled lovely and rinsed away nicely without stripping the skin – but I always wondered if it was causing a bit of sensitivity in my skin. I think the fragrance, while enjoyable, made me nervous. It certainly didn’t soothe my skin at all. For ladies with less sensitive skin, I think you’ll enjoy this – though it requires a second wash (or a makeup remover) to get rid of all traces of heavier makeup. I’m not a fan of self-foaming cleansers as I find they run out more quickly, so that’s something to consider as the full size of this product is $38CAD.
B.Kamins Bio-Maple Suncar Sunscreen SPF30 (sample)
I used this while I was camping last year in Gros Morne, and didn’t experience any problems, it absorbed easily and a little went a long way – as I still had some left after 10 days! I used it up the past few days just to get rid of it. Nothing special, just seems like a basic physical SPF (it’s tinted pink and opaque and reminds me of Pepto Bismol…hmm), and shielded my skin from the sun. Would be a good product for ladies with oily skin as it imparts no hydration or greasiness whatsover. Complex 15 Face Lotion/Complex 15 Body Lotion
Super basic face and body lotions that would be ideal for someone with sensitive, oily skin, or for really hot, humid days. They both contain humectants such as glycerin to bind water to the skin, without being greasy AT ALL, but for me I need to also have products which act as a barrier so that I can retain that moisture. Neither of these were enough for my eczema-prone skin, but I could see them working in a pinch for those who don’t have those issues.L’Oreal Nutri-Shimmer Shine Detangling Spray
I liked this leave-in spray – it detangled my hair and left it very soft without being weighed down – but I noticed that my scalp itched a whole lot less once I ran out of it. Odd, because perfume was the last ingredient listed, but I have read studies that say that linalool (which is sort of in the middle of the ingredient list) can cause allergic reactions and inflame eczema, so I’m thinking that’s the culprit. Soo…I won’t be buying this again. But it was a good, light-weight leave-in all the same – and did make my hair quite shiny!Chanel Eclat Lumiere Highlighter Face Pen in 04 Beige Moyen
So. Glad. This. Is. Gone. Remember how I said last week that I don’t believe in undereye illluminators? Yeah. I paid upwards of $40CAD to learn that lesson! I tried to use this every which way – under concealer, over concealer, without concealer…the only real use I found for it was a subtle brightening of the inner eye area. Other than that, it was a total bust and just didn’t do it for me at all. If you have hardly any undereye darkness, by all means, give this a shot – I’m sure it’ll brighten the area just enough and its sheer enough that it looks quite natural. But if dark circles are an issue for you, don’t waste your money. Also – shade range is kinda crappy, this is the darkest they had and it’s still a touch light for my skin, and would be entirely useless once I’m getting sunshine on the regular.MUFE Smoky Lash mascara
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this mascara. There were times when I really liked it, and then times when I REALLY didn’t. I think the issue was that it was kind of dry to begin with, which makes avoiding clumps and flakes much more difficult. I think the brush itself was pretty decent, so really it was the formula they need to tinker with. All in all, I was glad to put it in the ‘finished’ pile.
Wet N Wild Color Icon Eye & Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
I got this from Walmart for like, $1.99, and it was a great pencil – just the right shade and was quite a large size to begin with, so it lasted ages. I can’t comment on the lasting power because I never really pay attention to whether my brows are still looking good at the end of the day – I guess because my brows don’t *need* to be filled in, just polished up a bit. I’d buy it again if I came across it, but it wasn’t so good that I’m going to seek it out, either.MAC Lustre Lipstick in Freckletone
Ugh. Worst nude lippie (on my skintone) ever. It was much too peach and looked far from nude on me. I’ve had this for several years now, and I’m sooo happy it’s finished (though I just realized you can’t tell from the photo – oops!). I had to mix this with a ton of other shades in order for it to work. I like the lustre formulation, just not this color.
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain in In the Buff
This product isn’t ‘finished’, because I’ve only used it a handful of times, but it seems like it is bone-dry – to get any color from this (which is supposed to be a muted berry) is damn-near impossible. It barely gives off anything at all. So today I decided I’m done with this. What’s the point of keeping something that doesn’t do anything?
Helena Rubenstein Stellars Gloss in Star Camellia
When I did my ‘Beauty Stash’ list, it was a process for me to find the actual name of this gloss, let me tell you. The name on the end of the product is impossible to read, and I bought this about 8 years ago in Portugal, so I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. I found a picture and a swatch online that seemed to match, but I could be wrong. In any case, I don’t think they even make this anymore so no worries! In the package you can see that there is still product left, but the wand simply won’t get at any of it! The brush on the end of the wand is itty-bitty, first of all, and the way the tube is shaped you just can’t get at what’s left. Oh well, after 8 years I’m totally over this bright sparkly coral shade! It was fun while it lasted
Fresh Sugar Plum Lip Treatment SPF15
I’m embarrassed, yet sort of proud, to say that even though this was essentially done in December (as Liz can attest to – she took photos!), I scraped and scooped out every last bit before officially calling it quits. It wasn’t just that I liked the product – which I very much do, as well as loving the deep berry color this time of year – but for $22.50CAD, I just felt like I should make sure I get every bit of my money out of the product. Which I did I still have the Sugar Honey and the original Sugar Lip Treatments to enjoy – but don’t expect to see them finished any time soon!Clinique Glow Crazy Powder Highlighter in 03 Gold Dust (sample size)
GAH. I don’t know how old this sample is – Glow Crazy powder has been gone for some time now – but finally! I finished it! It’s too bad it was a sample size (of which I kind of have issue with as a general rule), because this was actually a beautiful highlighter (or eyeshadow!), but it had to go.
Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (sample size)
I got this in one of my free GWP’s from Clinique. Black Honey is our 2nd most sold product on the counter; the subtle reddish-berry looks good on everyone! ….Everyone except me. On me, this shade is god-awful. That sounds dramatic for a sheer lipstick, I know, but honestly, I can’t get down with this tone on my lips in any way, shape or form. I’ve had this for so long just because there was nothing wrong with it. Then, a couple weeks ago, I pulled it out to try it out again after the resurgence of the Almost Lipsticks, and it broke right at the base. Woohoo, out it goes! Bye BYE!!
So – yay! Managed to get some makeup items in there, woohoo! And I wasn’t just trying to get rid of stuff in order to buy more (I know you were thinking it! ); either they finished or they were products I really didn’t care for in the least and was hanging on to them for no good reason. Out you go!
Now, lets look at the purchases I made in the past month, and see if I stuck to my guns:
1) Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel $74
I bought this the very next day after the low-buy began. See how I started out strong? I’m still very much in love with it, and I’ve never had a moment of doubt about the cost. I am nervous to see if it’ll still show up once I’m tanned, but here’s hoping it’ll make a great highlighter if nothing else! If not, then – till next Winter, my dear
2) Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Exfoliating Facial Wipes (25 wipes) $8.59
Since I tend to run on most of my lunch breaks, I was starting to feel like I really should be removing and reapplying my makeup on those days. Though I leave my run till later in the afternoon, I still feel uncomfortable at the thought of my makeup mingling with sweat and possibly causing clogged pores and irritation, even in the two hours before I get home and can properly cleanse. So, I picked up these wipes on a whim, as they contain aloe, vitamins, and no perfumes or dyes – while also being safe for sensitive eyes, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Bonus! The ingredient list is shorter than most as well, which always gives me comfort. I’ve used them a handful of times to no negative effects – I’m not sure how effective they are at cleansing, but I still feel better at putting in an effort.
3) Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in #12 First Kiss $29
Newly minted blush fiend that I am, I saw a photoshoot in the recent issue of Glow which showcased a delicate redhead with a gorgeous peachy flush. The look I was hoping for with Torrid just doesn’t cut it, as it’s more pink-based than orange. This bright apricot shade seems to do the trick, and I’m often partial to cream/liquid formulas because I find they give a more believable glow.
4) Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm $24
I picked this up in anticipation of our Jamaica trip. It’s supposed to help soothe and hydrate sun exposed skin and help prevent any damage that the UV rays cause. I have wanted to try this product for AGES as I’ve heard so, so many good things about it – but amazingly, I’ve never had the opportunity! I find it difficult to actually *purchase* Clinique when I get so many for free, but the time was right so I finally gave in. I’ll be sure to report back once I’ve given it a go!
5) OPI ‘A Roll in the Hague’, and ‘Dutch’Ya Just Love OPI?‘ $9.99 ea.
I had long planned to grab ‘Hague’ once OPI’s Holland collection came to town, but I was pleasantly surprized to find that I ended up enjoying ‘Dutch’Ya’ as well!
6) Boscia Restorative Day Moisture Cream SPF15 $58
This will replace my Superdefense as my daily moisturizer with SPF. I bought it because my skin’s been tempermental with the Winter weather lately, though after the past week or so with unseasonably warm temperatures, I’m hoping this isn’t too heavy. The cool thing I’m excited about is the inclusion of Magnolia Bark extract, which apparently has cortizone-like effects. I’m hoping this will help with any eczema issues I have on my face and help keep any irritation under control. Fingers crossed!
7) Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black $22.50
I’ve been meaning to buy this for ages but just haven’t taken the plunge for one reason or another. It has great reviews on MUA and sounds like the perfect formula for my sensitive eyes. I hope its as volumizing as it claims!
8) MAC Tendertone Lip Balm in Purring $18
I fell for all the hype about these Tendertones returning, and not wanting to miss out, I scooped up this sheer orange one this past weekend. So far, I’m not terribly impressed, but I’m going to give it a fair shake before making my final judgement. It’s not the sheerness I’m disappointed with (though it is very sheer), but the moisturization. We’ll see how it fares in the end.
Not too shabby, eh?? If you recall, my guidelines were use one-buy one for skincare/haircare/essentials like foundation and concealer, and use two-buy one for everything else (ie. makeup). Note that sample sizes are considered a half-one, so two = one in the ‘use one’ category. Also, remember that I’m allowed 5 nail polish purchases a month. Here are my totals for this month:
USED – 4 full-size skincare, 2 travel-size skincare, 1 full-size haircare, 1 concealer, 6 full-size makeup items, and 2 sample-size makeup items.
ALLOWANCE – 4 skincare items, 1 haircare, 1 concealer, 3.5 makeup items; 5 nail polish + 2 brought over from January.
BOUGHT – 3 skincare items, 4 makeup items; 2 nail polish.
So…let’s count the MAC balm as a .5 product, eh?? LOL. I came pretty close! All in all, not too bad. It’s certainly gotten easier as time has passed – most of those purchases were made in the first two weeks LOL. I will admit, there is a lot of things to remember, but thankfully I have lists upon lists just about everywhere I go reminding me, so it’s been doable for the most part. Gotta keep on keepin’ on!
Have you put any restrictions on your own shopping habits? If you have, how are you making out? If you haven’t, what’s your secret to keeping yourself in check??
There’s just something about having products that are somewhat of a luxury item – something you don’t need but have nonetheless, just because you want it. Fresh’s Brown Sugar Lip Polish is definitely one of those products, and I have to tell you – I am LOVING IT! I reviewed this briefly last month, and since I’ve been using it, I’m finding I’m becoming more and more infatuated with it. It’s true, I could probably just mix some olive oil and brown sugar and it would have a similar effect – or even easier, rub some Vaseline on my lips, then buff it away with a damp wash cloth. Both are tried and true methods of keeping my kisser soft and smooth – but oh how delicious this indulgence is! And looks infinitely prettier in my medicine cabinet A full-size of the Brown Sugar Lip Polish (this is a deluxe sample) is the same price as the Lip Treatments – $26CAD – and worth every penny. Even though this, like the lip treatments, are a ridiculous indulgence, it’s one I take great pleasure in every single time. I’ve been using it every few days, and it’s really helped keep my lips soft and smooth – this time of year especially, they take a beating from the cold weather, and tend to get flaky on the regular. Since using this product, I have yet to have that issue, which is a real bonus in my books as I hate the feeling of rough and chapped lips!Woo, look at that meaty fist! I wasn’t going to post this shot because it makes my hand look like a man hand or something – but I kind of liked the visual with my bathroom sink in the background, so I left it. Never let it be said that I’m too vain! You can see all the little granules of real brown sugar in the close-up. The benefit of the sugar as well, is that it slowly dissolves as you buff, so that it works itself down to next to nothing and then rinses away – leaving lips soft, and hydrated through the jojoba, grape, and meadowfoam seed oils, and shea butter.
This is a product I normally wouldn’t shell out before, because as I said, it IS an indulgence, and I can find items in my kitchen that could probably produce similar effects. But I just feel special using this, I’m sorry. I love the cute little container; I love the smell of it; and the effects are indisputable. Will I buy it again when I run out? Maybe not right away – but as soon as I feel like treating myself, I know exactly where I’ll be headed!
Do you have any guilty pleasures that you stand by, regardless of how unnecessary?
Over the past few months, I’ve been researching products and tweaking my skincare regime, trying to streamline it as well as find effective products that don’t irritate my sensitive, eczema-prone skin. While there are still a few items I’d like to incorporate, for the most part I think I’ve successfully found a system that works to effectively cleanse my oily skin, keep it smooth and soft, and which doesn’t cause eczema flare-ups (fragrance free is a must) – all while preventing aging as best as possible. While I’ve had good success with all of the products I’m about to show you, note that everyone’s skin is different and requires (and tolerates) different ingredients and treatments, so these are just some that work well for MY skin and it’s particular traits. Nevertheless, I thought it might be handy for others who have similar concerns or for those looking to try a new product
First of all, a quick description of my skin (if you aren’t already familiar): Oily, but not overly so – gets shiny in the t-zone by mid-day and on cheeks closer to my nose. Blotting once a day is necessary. Pores are slightly visible on cheeks and nose, but not a concern. Break outs are infrequent, though the odd pimple may occur every month or so, and high stress can cause consistent breakouts. If breakout is severe, scarring may occur (seen as dark spots). Can have dry patches (particularly on forehead, around mouth, and jawline) due to eczema; sometimes scarring (seen as lack of pigment) results. Skin around eyes is normal, very few lines, and has recently become somewhat sensitive and can have dry patches at outer corners. Little, if any signs of aging overall (yet!).
OK! So now, here’s the rundown of the products that are floating my boat as of late (oh yeah, and by the way – this is gonna be a wordy post, so get comfortable!):
Currently, for my morning wash I’m just using up the last drops of my Purity cleanser from Philosophy to cleanse my skin. When that runs out, I’m unsure if I want to use the Boscia both day and night, or find something else for the morning. I also have Philosophy’s The Microdelivery Wash, which I specifically bought to use in the AM – but I suspect its too harsh on my skin and was causing eczema flare-ups, so I’d feel more comfortable finding something else. Some days I don’t even wash my face in the morning if I feel like its a particularly cold and windy day. Likely I’ll find a creamy cleanser just to rinse off the night’s product/sebum but that will cushion the skin from the cold.
At night, if I wore a full face of make-up, I’ll use the MAC oil (which I’ve reviewed here) to remove it first, and then go through my normal cleansing routine with the Boscia. I picked up the Boscia cleanser a few weeks ago, and have only started using it last week. It’s supposed to ‘purify pores and bolster skin’s natural defenses against irritations and reactions,’ and does not contains parabens, sulfates, or fragrances – hello, this product was designed for me! I’ve used it enough to determine whether it will or won’t work with my skin, and it’s a definitely winner. It comes out of the pump sort of with an oil-gel texture, and then foams when applied to a wet face. The foam is one of the most luxurious I’ve felt, its so creamy and smooth and doesn’t feel like it’s stripping my skin at all – but when I rinse, I feel perfectly clean with absolutely no residue. I love it! It’s a pleasure to use each evening. I just wish it were in a bigger container (only 5oz) – another reason why I want to have a separate day cleanser, because I want this to last! At $32CDN a pop, it’s not exactly the cheapest cleanser ever. But well worth the price for the way it feels and works.
After cleansing in the morning (if I do), I apply Ole’s Truth Serum to my entire face and neck (previously reviewed here). I leave it on for as long as I can to let it penetrate before adding Clinique’s Superdefense SPF25 moisturizer on top. Though I’m starting to feel like its silly to use a separate SPF product for around the eye, I use Clarins Sun Control eye cream every day. As it seems like a lot of products cause irritation to my sensitive eye area now, I think it’s better to be safe than sorry, and this doesn’t cause any issues whatsoever – and it lasts for freakin’ ever!! This is my second tube and I’m sure I’ll have it for another year (or until the expiry runs out). I got two years out of my last one; for about $30, I’ll take it! That’s like $0.04 a day (for those who like to do the math like I do ).
Nighttime is a pretty quick affair! After cleansing, I just slap on Clinique’s new Turnaround moisturizer, and add a dab of The Body Shop’s Wise Woman eye cream and I’m good to go! Eye creams have got to be the best ever – people have a hard time shelling out what feels like a lot for such a small jar of product, but they last forever! I’ve had this one since probably this time last year – phew! It’s gotta be nearing the end, though I can’t tell. Once I finish this up, I’m going to move on to the bottle of 100 Percent Pure Coffee Bean eye cream I got from eBeauty last month (reviewed here). Mainly I’m looking for a product that’ll help alleviate darkness (next to impossible) and which contains antioxidants to prevent aging. The 100 Percent Pure product is actually better suited to my needs, but I read on MUA that the Wise Woman cream was pretty stellar. It’s supposed to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, hydrate, and smooth the skin around the eyes by ‘filling in’ lines via cotton fibers. I do like it – it hydrates nicely and I haven’t seen any increase in lines around the eye – but it’s a bit of a premature purchase considering who it’s actually designed for. Great price though, at $24CAD (15mL).
These are products that I use semi-regularly, but not every day. The Complex 15 moisturizer is a great drugstore basic that I use if my skin is being reactive, or if I’ve done a treatment and need something no-frills to avoid creating a reaction. It doesn’t contain lanolin, which I’ve recently discovered can cause allergic reactions to those who are also allergic to wool such as myself (as it is a wool-derivative). You learn something new every day.
The Josie Maran Argan Oil was going to be my antioxidant ‘serum’ (as it’s rich in Vitamin E) but then two things happened: 1) I received the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and fell in love, and 2) I realized that this Argan Oil is a bit to rich for my skin to use on a regular basis. So, how I use it now is on the weekends, usually Sunday, I thoroughly cleanse my skin and then apply this all over my face and neck as sort of a treatment, to really hydrate and nourish my skin. I try to avoid wearing any makeup on top as well – which works as this oil kind of gives you a great, healthy glow so that no makeup is really needed. This is a travel-size bottle and it cost $18CAD for 0.5oz, which is a bit pricey for the size, but you don’t need to use a whole lot, and for my purposes it should last a while. Jury’s out on if I’ll repurchase, however.
I picked up the Queen Helene mask well over two years ago, when I was in Vegas. I had read great things about it on MUA, and I was experiencing a lot of oiliness and a few breakouts, so I thought I’d pick it up. It was super cheap, like $4.99US, but I’ve never seen it anywhere here in Canada. In any case, it’s just your standard clay mask I think, nothing terribly special, although it’s fairly gentle so I don’t feel sensitivity after using it and it doesn’t make me feel as dry as the Sahara, so that’s a plus. For the price I don’t mind either way, though it’s lasted me SOOO long (I use it about once a week just on areas of oiliness/breakout) – I’m just sort of done with it now. But I don’t want to toss it just yet. If it’s not finished by next Summer, out it goes. I’ll be time for a new oil-absorbing mask by that time!
So there you have it, the full low-down on my skincare regime! There are just two products I’d like to add eventually (aside from a morning cleanser) – one, REN’s Glycolactic Renewal Mask, which I’ve had a few samples of and is absolutely AMAZING – results in baby soft skin, with absolutely no irritation whatsoever; and two, a retinol product to use at night (which will likely replace the Clinique moisturizer as I don’t think the two would get along well). Retinol is one of those ingredients that seems to have stood the test of time in the skincare world – years later we’re still hearing that it is the be-all end-all in terms of fighting off aging and repairing existing damage. Sign me up, please! I just want to find an affordable option that is also effective…so far I’m coming up empty-handed. I won’t give up the search though!
I’d like to note that what you see in this post is almost my entire skincare ‘wardrobe’ (so to speak) that I have! I’ve really pared down. Aside from a small handful of samples which are nearing completion (YES!), I only have a few other unmentioned products, which were excluded as I do not currently use them for various reasons. I have another serum (Clinique’s Turnaround Concentrate, which I got free and am saving for warmer months), two other masks (Pangea’s Japanese Matcha Tea Facial Mask, and Korres Yoghurt Face Mask, both of which I like in theory but which may or may not irritate my skin – the Korres is up for swap), the Philosophy Microdelivery Wash (which is up for swap), and Kiehl’s Micro Dermabrasion Scrub (which I received in a swap, have used only a handful of times, and may put back up for swap – scrubs are too irritating for me!).
Ok, end ramble…now! What do you think of my regime? Any products you’ve tried and loved/hated? Any suggestions on products to incorporate/check out??
Slowly but surely, I’m whittling my stash down to just the essentials, and I plan on keeping it that way once I get there. I still have a few products that are ‘duplicates’ so to speak – more than one night treatment, multiple eye creams…its a process, to be sure, but I’m making headway! Unfortunately, my progress is mostly limited to skincare products; I’ve hardly used up any makeup items since I’ve been working hard at paring things down. I’ve pulled a few products that are nearing completion, and I plan on dedicating myself to finishing them before Christmas. Fingers crossed!
In the meantime, let’s see what I’ve managed to accomplish since my last post:10 full sizes plus 5 sample size products. Not too shabby, methinks! I’m going to count the Aveeno body lotions as one product though, because I go through it so quickly and its going to be a regular purchase so it’s never going to truly be ‘used up.’ I apologize in advance for all the cut-up tubes, just trying to get the last drop outta each product
To read my review on this body cream, check out my first downsizing post here.I first wrote about this body wash here. I have to modify my review, as I found that it wasn’t as irritating as I thought it was previously. I think it may have been another product that I used that caused the issue – I didn’t find a problem with it moving forward. As well, while I still don’t love the smell, it grew on me over time. However, I don’t think I’d go for the Lavanilla body wash again, whatever the scent – I feel that I could find something more suitable for my skin that I loved more. Philosophy body washes are some of my favorites – they’re not natural but they sure smell delish, and they don’t seem to bother my skin, somehow.I bought this bottle of Lubriderm Moisturizer with SPF 15 lotion two Summers ago, and wore it as my daily body lotion in the warmer months as I walk to work. It did the trick, and didn’t irritate my skin, and absorbed well, but I didn’t finish the bottle and it’s now since expired, so time to go! Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream. Awesome, awesome, awesome. This sloughs off any rough skin I have gently and effectively, which is a feat because either an effective scrub is too harsh for my skin, or the scrub barely does anything but doesn’t irritate. The jar is a little unwieldy in the shower, but usually a product in a tube isn’t as ‘scrubby.’ The only thing I dislike about this scrub is the mint scent and tingle – I know a lot of people love that in a body scrub, I guess to wake them up, but it’s never been my thing. Gimme a foodie-smelling type body product any day! My mother gave me Avon’s Restorative Milky Foot Soak at Christmastime, and it was quite nice. It foamed up well and my feet felt good after soaking in it. However, it was nothing special – a plain body wash with a shake of Epsom salts would have had a similar effect, I think. I wouldn’t buy it for myself, but it was a nice treat, nonetheless.I picked up Garnier’s Moisture Rescue SPF15 Lotion back last Winter, after reading a review of the Gel-Cream version on my good friend Liz’s blog. As far as moisturizing properties go, it did the trick, but I never felt like the SPF was the *right* kind and probably didn’t protect my skin as much as I’d like. I was also turned off by the smell – which was nice, but I always fear scent in any skin products because of my eczema, and so every time I used it I worried. It didn’t seem to cause a huge problem, but then again, since I’ve finished it, my skin has been exceptionally good, so…coincidence? I’m not sure, but I won’t be picking it up again. For those without sensitivities, it’s a viable option, but I think you could find something else just as effective with a more stable sunscreen.I reviewed Murad’s Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 previously, and I still maintain it’s effectiveness. It was quite successful at keeping my oiliness at bay while providing SPF protection, so in that respect it was ideal. However, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on eczema lately, and one thing they note is that products that are oil-absorbing are probably to be avoided. Again, since I finished using this product, my skin has improved quite a bit, so hard to say if it’s coincidence or not. I had two patches of irritated skin that just would NOT go away, and now they’re nearly a memory…just something to keep in mind!
On the right, is Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel in a convenient 50mL size. I got this in one of my gratis’, as I like to have it on hand for quick and easy basic moisturization. It’s a very simple product, no bells and whistles at all, which is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. It’s designed for someone with oily skin – if you’re at all dry, it’s just not gonna do the trick as it’s very light. It contains silica to help control the oils in the skin – but it only does so minimally, so it’s not a treatment in any sense. Overall, a nice plain oil-free moisturizer, perfect for throwing in a travel bag!Another product I noted before, and one that I’m still impressed by. I’ve used several bottles of this in the past, and I often go back to it after trying out other products because it has been the most effective to date. I finished this in early Summer, and haven’t yet replaced it, but as the weather starts to cool, I’m thinkin’ it’s time to pick up another!Samples are some of the best/worst things ever. I find as a beauty-focused person, you tend to accumulate a LOT of these babies, and it take forever to use them all up!
Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O cleanser – I’ve tried the Sebium version, which is for oily skins, and while I found it made my skin feel great, it always feels weird to use a tissue-off cleanser; I never feel like it’s really cleaning my skin fully. This version is for normal to dry skin, and was also effective at cleansing my skin, very gently. I didn’t use it when I had a lot of makeup on, but when I was wearing just a touch, or in the morning before putting any makeup on, it made my skin feel soft and clean. I’d highly recommend either version if you’re a fan of this style of removal; for me, it’s just not my thing!
Aveda Foot Relief – this was a nice foot moisturizer with a bit of minty tingle to it, that was fairly effective at hydrating my feet, though it didn’t fully get rid of the rough patches on my heels. It’s pretty expensive – even this travel size was like, $12-14 – so I’m not sure I’d indulge in the full size as it wasn’t anything any more special than your basic drugstore brand.
Pantene Dry to Moisturized Conditioner – I have a bias against Pantene because I find they use a lot of ‘cones to make the hair feel good, and after discovering how high up on the ingredient list fragrance is, my opinion has worsened. I had used up this sample before I knew better, but I believe that using this in conjunction with another conditioner that had a lot of fragrance, were the culprits in how bad my skin was a couple months ago. Can’t recommend this at all.
B.Kamins Bio-Maple Vegetable Skin Cleanser – I was liking this quite a bit when I started using it; it doesn’t foam up but rather just emulsifies a bit, and felt so gentle on my skin that I considered buying it as my new facial cleanser. But I think it was a bit too gentle, as I broke out after using it for a week (which rarely happens), and so that idea has gone out the window. I was glad to have the sample to check it out, at least! And it did smell a touch like maple, which was nice
Van Cleef & Arpels Oriens fragrance – last December, I was trying to buy my aunt a fabulous fragrance she’d love for Christmas, and I had Holt Renfrew send me some samples from their fragrance department (actually, they offered, at no charge – so nice!!). However, my brainstorm was short-lived as it turns out, my aunt doesn’t wear fragrance anymore as she works at a hospital and can’t be bothered. So, I kept the samples for myself. This one in particular was quite pretty – notes of mandarin orange, black currant and raspberry; as well as jasmine, patchouli and praline. It smelled fresh with a hint of sweetness, but unfortunately didn’t linger on the skin very long.
Whoaaaa….that was a whole lotta chatter, eh? So sorry! Good thing these posts only come every so often I’m plugging away and feeling good about my progress. Now, wish me luck that my next post contains a bunch of makeup!!
Have you tried any of these products? Did you have any experiences that differed from my own? How do you feel about streamlining your routine – necessary or a non-issue?
Oh yeah baby. My very own empties post. *insert wild applause here*
My friend Liz at Beauty Reductionista has been rocking these out on a regular basis lately and really giving her readers something to aspire to and admire. It’s not easy to reduce the load of products we often accumulate over time – typically, the load increases more and more, and if you’re like me, it only serves to weigh us down with guilt and anxiety; how are we ever going to use it all up?! So, when we do begin to pare down our stash and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel – or, more realistically, see an opportunity for us to buy more stuff without feeling so guilty – we gotta celebrate that, right??
Not only have I been trying to lessen the load to make way for new product, but I’ve also been trying to streamline my regime to some degree. This month, my kickoff month, I decided that I was only allow to purchase a new product after getting rid of 10 others. The official term for this is called ‘Project Ten Pan,’ an idea originated by lollipop26, a makeup guru on Youtube. I first heard about this through Liz as well, and instantly had to read up on it. The gist is that you have to use up 10 beauty products before you buy anything else. While it’s not reasonable for me to try to do this every time for the rest of my life – c’mon, be serious here! – I figured I could do it for a month at least, and so far have been exceptionally successful. I’ve only purchased one, yes ONE!, beauty product this month (NARS Grand Palais duo – to be reviewed soon!), and below is the reason for this celebration – 10 products finished! Hoorah, hooray!
Without further ado, let’s get to it:First up, Aveeno’s Active Naturals Eczema Care Cream. This is actually my second tube and I’m just about to buy a third. It doesn’t last long – maybe a month, unfortunately – but it kicks some MAJOR butt on my eczema and makes my skin super-ridiculously soft. It’s totally worth the $8.49 every month for that alone! No scent, absorbs quickly, too easy!Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. I received this in a gratis from Clinique a while back. I generally always have some of this on hand, it’s great for my sensitive skin as it’s oil-free and aloe based. Doesn’t do much but make the skin feel hydrated and soothed. It doesn’t repair the moisture barrier so it’s really more of a treat than a treatment. Nonetheless, if my skin is feeling parched, its one of the first things I reach for. This size jar (75mL) is $57CDN. No scent.TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. I’ve reviewed this before here. Still my fave conditioner, but it lasted forever because it’s a monster tube and I just got bored. I think I’ll go back to it though, the new stuff I’m using by Dove is flaring my eczema up I think. I never had an issue with this. Around $6CDN for this HUGE container of it, and it just plain works awesome. And no ‘cones!First, Clinique Turnaround Concentrate ($47CDN). I reviewed the Turnaround Body Smoothing Cream here. Same premise, it exfoliates to uncover newer, brighter, smoother skin. Really terrific. Its very gentle (easy on my sensitive skin) but works wonders. It keeps breakouts at bay, my skin soft and smooth, and my skintone even. Perfect!
Second, Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer in Combination Oily ($46CDN). Oil-free, no-fuss hydrating moisturizer that repairs skin cell damage through the antioxidants (which are time-released) to prevent and slow aging. It also repairs the moisture barrier of skin so it’s stays hydrated and is better protected against external aggressors on the skin (pollution, sunlight, extreme weather). Of course, I can’t say if it’s preventing aging really – I don’t have a whole lot of signs of aging yet – but it’s good to my skin and keeps it hydrated and supple. I’m on the hunt for a new moisturizer though, I get bored! And, excuse the cut packaging, I forgot to take a photo before I used the tube entirely – gotta get out every last drop! Urban Decay Primer Potion, on the left ($23CDN). This was THE eyelid primer to get back a few years ago, until every other line started making them too and there was much more competition. I still think this is one of the front runners – it is extremely effective at keeping your makeup in place – but I find it intensifies my shadows so much, and not necessarily in a good way (shimmer becomes SUPER gaudy shimmer). And it has a slight color, which isn’t a huge deal, but my current primer – NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base - has no color and keeps my shadows true to pan. There’s a place for both primers I suppose, but for now I’ll stick with the NARS version which is equally effective.
Next, the ubiquitous Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($44CDN). Another HG for many in the past, but again has been somewhat unsurped by newer formulations recently. I never loved this primer, and perhaps you can see I didn’t entirely finish the bottle – I didn’t like the way it sometimes would pill and ball up on the skin, and it is soo silicone-y!! I feel like used on a regular basis, this would majorly break people out. It’s effective but not my cup of tea. One of my fave products ever, Jack Black’s Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 in Lemon Chamomile. Also reviewed here. Smells SOO good and feels great on the lips. Has quite a bit of slip, and you only need a dab, but it keeps my lips hydrated and smooth without fail. For around $10CDN its a tad steep but it lasts ages to I’ll continue to buy these regularly.
Hiding underneath is an old MAC liquid liner in Black. A friend gave this to me because she just couldn’t master the liquid liner technique, so I’m not sure how much is cost – and in any case, it’s been long discontinued. This lasted forEVER and was really easy to use. It didn’t have the best staying power, so if I did a ‘flick’ at the end of my lash line, it often ran or smudged throughout the day, but it still was a standby for a quick eye look. If you’re looking for something similar, I’d recommend Make Up For Ever’s liquid liners which are about $26CDN and AMAZING with superlong wear.Last but not least, my beloved container of Jojoba Oil. I’ve been using this for everything, it’s such an amazing multi-tasker! On body & face, as a hair treatment, cuticle treatment….love. It’s pretty pricey, for this small one it was about $20CDN – the large size is like $45?? But sort of worth it. I really like that it’s JUST jojoba oil, no additives or other ingredients, so you know what you’re getting. You just feel good using it!
So, there you have it. I managed to lighten my load and it feels great!! It’s really spurred me on to keep up the good work, I already have several other products used up and ready for another showing I’d love it if my shopping addiction turned to a reduction addiction……uhhh, yeah, right.
Is anyone else having a challenge with product overload? What are you doing to improve the situation? Or are you rolling in abundance with relish? Have you ever tried Project 10 Pan?
Thanks for stopping by, I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!