Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Face Mask and Lipstick???

I wasn't planning on doing a review today at all. But as I was washing my face this evening I saw some bumps looming, dum dum DUM...and I thought a good purifying mask might be in order. Out came my little unsung hero, the same mask I've been using since I was old enough to put a mask on (which for me was probably around 4!), the one and only Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque!
Masking it up!
Now I have used  many, many face masks in my skincare career, some that were great and some that were awful, some that were cheap but mostly they all seem to cost a fortune, and I still always keep a tube of Mint Julep Masque at the ready. It's smells minty, as you would imagine, feels creamy going on, and leaves your skin feeling tightened, toned, and very soft. The best thing about this little wonder aside from that fact that it really does work, is the price! This gigantic tube only cost $3.79! For that price, you practically owe it to yourself to give this mask a try!
As for the second part of this review, you may notice that my lips in the picture above are rather nicely stained.  This wonderful phenomenon happened quite by accident and was only noticed as I was applying the mask! And just like that, my next beauty discovery was born! ;)
Earlier in the day I had applied one of my forgotten Cover Girl Lip Perfection lipsticks and went about my business. I had some soup, did a little cleaning, some bathroom organizing, face washing, teeth brushing, and mask applying. It was only then that I realized how bright my lips still were! Amazing! This lipstick is not a longwear formula, it's just a regular old lipstick in the amazing shade Tempt (I'm pretty sure I got this in a buy one get one half off sale at Walgreens but it's available almost anywhere), and it is perfect for Fall, which is why I pulled it out today in the first place. But I guess I had never realized the staining power that this particular shade gives! When Tempt is applied in the usual way, it feels smooth and creamy, and as it wears off the stain left behind feels comfortable and not tight or dry like some stains. It's a beautiful cool cherry that's not too pink and not too red and it will now be a go-to shade to keep in my purse! There's something about a red stain that is so much more wearable than a full on lipstick. You don't have to worry about it getting on your teeth or feathering out at the edges. That said, this shade performs great as both a classic creme lipstick and a stain giving it a solid A+ in my book!
Have you ever come across a go-to favorite by accident?
Cover Girl Lip Perfection in Tempt

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Skincare Routine

Alright, this is going to be a lengthy post. There's just no way around it. So, go grab a cup of coffee, snuggle up, and let's get to it!
 In the last year my skin has really changed and not for the better! While I've always loved having a skincare regimen, it used to be relatively simple for me to keep my skin clear and soft. Not so now! A few months ago the dermatologist told me that I have the beginning stages of rosacea. While not the worst skin ailment in the world, it certainly isn't pretty. :( For me, rosacea presents itself as blotchy, red, blemish-prone skin that's become increasingly sensitive with lots and lots of broken capillaries. Sigh.  Now when I get a blemish and it goes away, a lovely red broken capillary is left behind. This is different from a red hyperpigmentation spot that can sometimes be left behind after a blemish. This is a little broken blood vessel that stays red. At this point in the skincare world, there really isn't any easy fix for broken capillaries except laser therapy, and that is a very expensive option. The best course of action then, is to avoid getting broken capillaries in the first place and to cover up the one's that are already there. So, over the past year I've been on a constant journey of finding the right mix of skincare products to best suit my finicky skin. I do sometimes add in new items or exclude others but the following regimen seems to be keeping my skin somewhat happy! Here are the products in the order in which they are used.
A.M. Routine:
Loreal Go 360 Clean Deep Cleanser for Sensitive Skin - this is a super cheapy cleanser that works great on my skin. It has no scent whatsoever, feels very gentle, but effective and does not dry me out.  I use this one every other day in the shower.
glotherapeutics Purifying Gel Cleanser - This one contains salicylic acid which is a great ingredient to keep those pesky rosacea bumps at bay. I use this in the shower on alternate days since it can be a little drying for everyday use for me. (However, if you have oily skin it's great for daily use.)
Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser - I've been coming back to this exfoliating cleanser for years. I just can't seem to find anything else that works better for me! The AHA/BHA combo really gets into the pores and cleans them all out, and the jojoba beads are gentle enough to buff off dead skin cells without being too harsh for sensitive skin. I usually use this in the shower 2 times a week.
glotherapeutics Ultra 15% Vitamin C serum - my Esthetician, previous boss, and dear friend Nikki Greene reminded me a few months ago that I should be using Vitamin C on my face every day. It's one of those things that I tell my clients to do but was completely forgetting to do myself! This serum is full of powerful antioxidants that strengthen the skin's defenses against damaging and aging elements, and also boosts collagen production, among other things. And Nikki was right, it is helping!
glotherapeutics DailyDefense SPF 30+ - which one I use depends on how my skin is feeling that day. The Oil-Free SPF is not greasy, and it absorbs well, but it also gives my skin a little bit more of a nourished & hydrated feel than the DailyDefense which is better for hot, muggy, oily days. The DailyDefense also has a little bit of a primer feel to it, so it works great at binding foundation to the skin and keeping it in place all day.
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream - Ah! I love this eye cream! I love it so much that I think I might have to do a separate review on it sometime, so I'll just say here that this is my ultimate go-to eye cream. You can get this online, or if you're in SC go see my friend Robyn at the BB counter in Belk. She's awesome! I mostly use this eye cream in the daytime under my concealer. Mostly. (Aliens reference anyone?)
P.M. Routine:
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - to remove my makeup at night, I have been using the same cleanser for years, Origins Clean Energy. It's smells exotic, removes every trace of makeup, and leaves my skin feeling so clean and soft and not stripped. BUT, let's face it, sometimes I have lazy nights and for those I reach for the Simple wipes! They are unscented and unirritating (yes, I made up a word) and they take off the most stubborn makeup!
glotherapeutics Conditioning Tonic - I like to follow up the oil cleanser with the complexion pads when my skin is acting up and needs a little more aggressive treatment. These contain salicylic acid to which my skin reacts very well. Or for those days when my skin is dry and feeling sensitive, I love the Conditioning Tonic. It's so soothing and hydrating!
Alpha H Liquid Gold - I found out about this UK brand from one of my favorite bloggers A Model Recommends  You really have to check her out, she's amazing! Anyway, after reading her rave reviews about Alpha H, I had to give it a try and it really has been wonderful! It's an exfoliating serum that helps to smooth, brighten, and clear your skin. The label does say that it's not intended for sensitive skin but as long as I only use it every other or every two nights, my skin doesn't get irritated at all. And best of all, when I wake up the morning after, my skin feels so soft and smooth!  One word of warning, this does ship from the UK (for free!) so expect it to take a little while to ship if you're in the US!
Emybrolisse Lait-creme Concentre - this is a French brand moisturizer that is well-loved by makeup artists and skincare lovers round the world! It's really not a fancy moisturizer with lots of gimmicky anti-aging ingredients. It's just a nice, simple, all-around great lotion! It makes your skin feel like Buttah! It can be a little rich for oily skin but is so soothing for most skin types.
Or if I'm breaking out I will use
Clearasil Overnight Face Lotion  - yes, i did say Clearasil. It's an oldie but a goodie! I've honestly tried TONS of blemish creams and most of them are way too harsh for my skin. Then one day, out of sheer desperation, I grabbed a tube of this and had great success with it! Doesn't irritate at all! This also contains salicylic acid, are you sensing a theme here? Now, I am mentioning a lot of exfoliating products here and it is very important to note that I do not use all of these on the same day! For instance, on a break out day, I might use the complexion pads and the Clearasil lotion but not the Alpha H serum. You definitely don't want to over-exfoliate your skin, which can make it more irritated and lead to more bumps and no one wants that! So, rotate your exfoliants people!
bareMinerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment - this product is so weird. I know skincare and in my experience there really isn't anything else like this on the market! Let me know if you know of something similar. This is a mineral powder that you put on as the very last step in your nighttime routine and it is supposed to reduce pores, even skintone, and improve skin's texture. Now, I honestly can't really say that it does all that, but I usually use this when I'm having bad skin times, usually over the Clearasil cream, and somehow I do wake up with prettier skin. I'm really not even sure if putting a layer of my glominerals pressed base over the top of my nighttime skincare wouldn't do the same exact thing! But apparently this mineral contains special clay ingredients or some such. I dunno. It's so crazy! Anyone else out there using this? I'm not sure if I would repurchase, but I am enjoying it for now.
Nuance Smoothing Anti-Aging Eye Cream - I have this really pesky problem of getting little irritation bumps all around my eye area from eye creams which is why I am constantly on the hunt for ones that don't cause this! As stated previously, I love the BB one but it lives in my makeup area which is on the other side of the house, and I was intrigued by this one from Salma Hayek's line Nuance, so I picked one up and it now lives on my bedside table. It is nice and thick, doesn't give me bumps, and leaves the eye area feeling very hydrated. Thanks, Salma! ;)
Dr. Weil for Origins Conditioning Lip Balm with Turmeric - Holy Moly, this is the best lip balm in the whole world! I am a lip product junkie and I have yet to find a balm that tops this one. It doesn't just hydrate your lips, it HEALS them. It's amazing. Go get some. And buy some for me while you're at it because I'm out! ;)

Whew! And that is my skincare routine! I promise, I do this stuff in my sleep now, so it's really not a production!
One final word of caution. I love telling people what I use, and trying to help them find the best skincare for their particular needs, but please remember, all skin is different, and what works for me may not work for you. Also, if you decide to try some of the things that I use,  gradually introduce one or two products at a time. The skin doesn't like to be overloaded by too many new ingredients at once! As much as I'd like to say that there is a magic skin potion out there, it's simply not true! We're born with perfect new skin and as we get older, it changes. And that's as it should be. Should a 65 year old woman with a world of experience under her belt look like a 20 year old? No way! She's earned a few lines and looks all the more beautiful for them, in my opinion. My Mom has said to me several times, "Don't worry about crows feet, Bethany, they just mean you've smiled a lot!" I love that and I try to repeat that to myself often! For me, it's important to remember that beauty really does come from within. I also believe that it's important to put your best foot forward, and to take care of what you've been given. So to that end, go forth and cleanse thy face!
Much love and happy skin to you all from a crinkly eyed girl!

Thanks to my sister, Jo for capturing my crinkles! :)

No comments: