Friday, December 05, 2014

Good evening lovelies, hope you've been staying warm, safe and hydrated. It's officially Winter in sand land so I'm bundled up to my ears in itchy sweaters. I love the cold weather but I was definitely not built for it. Speaking of things that have made their debut, my Winter skin is here. I'm not excited for flake-y and cake-y to get together on my dime, but I am excited for all the great products I've been trying to combat the duo. Recently, I've become a fan of microdermabrasions, bentonite clay facials, raw nut butters, and vitamin C serums. I've taken a liking to C serums in particular because the help balance my complexion in the colder months when my skin would be more  susceptible to breakouts and inflammation. The one pictured above is from Valentia Skin care, and I'm very excited to share it with you!
    I have been using this serum for three weeks, and I just about swear that there is a second bottle in my future. Since I've used C serums in the past that did not give me anywhere near the results I wanted, I was skeptical about whether or not this product would live up to its acclaim. Not only does it have a five star rating on the market place (the first heads up), it has a great blend of ingredients like sea buck thorn, rose hip oil, and green tea, all great for trouble skin that still needs the kick of vitamin c without the side effects. After reading a directory's worth of positive reviews, it was time to take a leap of faith with this one. I was able to start using it almost immediately since it shipped in two days flat, which is impressive for standard shipping. The carton it came in was a big sell for me, I'm such a  sucker for product design; the golden foil borders and minimalistic typeface just make the whole product seem that much more polished.
     The smell was not my favorite, I'll admit it. A lot of the reviews I read had people raving about how good it smelled, how it was a 'pleasant surprise'. I mean, I do get it, the last vitamin c serum I used smelled like fish skin; I am just not into the smell, very reminiscent of orange starburst. The consistency reminds me more of an emulsion than a serum. Its viscosity is a bit low to be in the serum category, but that's the more accepted terminology, am I right? Anyway, it still absorbs into the skin very quickly so I don't have to massage it in too much, unless I just feel like rubbing on my skin (and it most cases, I do). I can wear this day or night time and it really does give my skin a healthy glow. I didn't get that impression immediately, but even my esthetician complimented me on my complexion after the first week. With two weeks of use, I noticed that the tone and texture of my skin had improved so much that I didn't find using my toner or extra moisturizers to be a necessity in my routine. I still had a few acne clusters in my brow and chin area, but they weren't as easily irritated and I could even have them extracted without worrying about post-acne discoloration.
      Tomorrow will officially be three weeks of using this serum, and I have to say it's definitely become a staple in my skincare routine. It's thirty-five dollars a bottle on Amazon, and it ships prime if I'm not mistaken. I love this stuff but if I can't convince you guys to give it a try then maybe some of the lovely reviewers on amazon can, I know how much you love reading those (just kidding, some of them really are funny). If you've tried this product already, what did your think of it? Let me know in the comment box below.



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Monday, July 28, 2014

From left to right: The skin house Aloe fresh moist gel, rose hip seed oild, repair amino acid, white vita c, and wrinkletox collagen serums, and crystal peeling gel. Not pictured: baking powder bb deep cleansing foam, tomato complexion bar, cleansing oils, dermatologist.

     In the past, I had trouble with oily t-zone and foundation that didn't lay so velvety-smooth to my skin because of my combination skin type. I was really frustrated because I felt like I couldn't figure out when was the best time to moisturize, how often to do soap free cleanse, should I be combining these two products, and so on, and so forth. Lately However, I've found a happy medium in my post-cleanser skin care routine. I'm not completely satisfied with the results, but they are much, much better than what I was dealing with beforehand. My routine has about twelve steps now, which is much more than my work or work-out routine, is that bad? Well for the sake of the results, it's a 'no' from me!
      My first step is a cleansing oil, and it depends on whether or not I have makeup on. My favorite things to use are extra virgin olive and coconut oils because they champion even the toughest smudge-and-budge-proof formulas. Using just my first three fingers, I massage the oils lightly into my face and neck area, ears too! It helps the start with a little dab of oil on each area and then add more as I need it too. The best part about this step is that it's the pre-moisturizer that stops my facial washes from stripping my skin of what little natural oils it has. I use a dampened cloth to take the rest off and then go straight to a cream based or exfoliating cleanser.
      This step cleanses the rest of my debris and oils away and give me a totally clean canvas to work with. Exfoliating three times a week is enough for me, I like to use scrubs or peels that has mild debriding agents like SKIN79's Crystal Peeling Gel, or a rice enzyme peel. My go to cleansers are Tony Moly's Tomato Complexion bar and the Baking Powder BB Deep Cleansing Foam from Etude House. They are great for thin/dryer skin types that are prone to break outs or inflamed acne. I feel I achieve the best results if I used an automated exfoliation device or extension, but they work all the same when applied the regular way. Sometimes the complexion bar can be a bit drying, so I tend to use if I've been wearing heavy makeup and religiously using cleansing oil.
     The hardest part is doing my moisturizer routine in a way that ensures that all the products I put on my face work in harmony, so I've been pretty flexible about what I will put on my face and how much. Right now, I do three drops of oil on my damp skin and then layer the serums according to their density and benefits. I use to try to do them all and once and my face was a hot mess of gunk, some runny and some so thick it stuck to my fingers while I was trying to massage it in. If you're familiar with the new turn therapy line, then you probably know the correct order to apply these products in. Please tell me, I have no idea :). I start with the White-C serum, then the Wrinkle-tox, and leave the Amino Acid Repair serum and oil for last; I just go by how thick the serum is. That tiny jar all the way to the left is an anti-inflammation gel by The Skin House that I bought like a month ago. I only use it when I'm experiencing a severe breakout or after I've steamed my face. It's cool to the touch and reduces the redness and swelling associated with breakouts. I bought this in person and a hole in the wall shop and I will say for as much as the shop person talked it up, it was worth it. HOWEVER, it is not useful underneath makeup, that's the only point I disagree on. This is what I'm working with right now:
          The Routine:
  1. Cleansing Oil*
  2. Tomato Complexion bar or BB Cleansing Foam
  3. Crystal Peeling Gel or Powder*
  4. White Serum
  5. Wrinkle Serum
  6. Amino Serum
  7. Three dabs of oil for extra conditioning
  8. Soothing Gel on any local breakouts*
  9. A face mask to set the products
  10. Regular facials
  11. Actually going to the dermatologist.
     Can I just say that I cannot stress the last step enough? I've had problematic skin all my life but I knew I would, just like I have always known that self diagnosis is not all that helpful for problematic skin. A doctor will be able to pinpoint the source of your acneiform problems and walk you through short and long term treatment options for what ever your troubles are. There's probably not a magic pill or something that will stop us from ever having a zit again, but there are other great alternatives and they are all at the butt of a formal examination and consultation. In the long run, it's much better than spending ten grand a year just for skincare and cosmetics, and it won't put you out of business. Well, it is officially one in the morning on my end so I'll stop here for now. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below or send an email. Cheers!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's officially the best time of year to be a tourist in Vegas: Summer. It's officially the best time to sight-see and be seen, get in to all the good sold out shows on both ends of the infamous Las Vegas strip, and bar hop 'til you drop a'la lifted vip passes to the most stuck-up kick-backs in the country. It is also the best time to get a great five minute tan, if you catch my drift. Well in the midst of all that, we still have to find time to get our look in gear, and the buzz word of the season is brows. Whether we're filling, contouring, or completely reconstructing them, they have got to be on point. For myself personally, this is the first time I've experimented with my brows; I've always had a turbulent relationship with them because a) they're not congruent in shape, and b) any attempt to tame or maintain them is met with opposition (yes, they've got their own security clearance). If you've been hanging out with me on Instagram, then you know that I have been a good two months at work on my technique, and I'm not open to too much experimentation. While plucking, threading, waxing, or otherwise removing a single hair from my brow line are options I've carefully considered, I don't think they'll be viable options for my perfect eyebrow look in the near future! BUT, I do think I can achieve a happy medium by contouring with a filler. Powder and gel are popular in colder weather, so for Summer, it looks like brow pencils and mascaras are a good option. They are waterproof and add great weight to your brows without the worry of having them smudge or run (from you know, sweat and other saboteurs).

   I see a lot of people use a really, really dark color to fill and shape their brows. To each their own, I have forever and the day after said; it looks good on them but I have dark skin and non-black facial hair, so the oh-so-covet-able Cara Delevigne brows that work for others is only passable for me on rare occasions, like New Year's Eve of 2013, yeah. The color I chose from WNW is a dark brown that is more of a happy medium between true brown and brown-black. I like it because is adds low-light to my face without my having to do very much contouring and directs attention to my forehead first.


Yeah since this is a dual-wield brow and eye liner pencil being used strictly for it's intended purpose; still, it stands to reason that you may encounter some issues with durability. This stuff smudges if you lay it on heavily, so it's best to opt for the less is more look with a fixative. Makeup setting spray or a swipe of food-grade starch works for me, but if you are a face sweater then a professional fixative is a great place to start!

It's very affordable, retailing at 0.99USD to start and available a most major drug-store chains. You'll hear it often that Wet n' Wild cosmetics is a cheap brand; and that's in reference to the prices only in most cases. What you get with their products is often more than what's paid for it, and they are a great place to start for beginning artists and enthusiasts alike.

      Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Castor), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax (Candelilla), Petrolatum, Beeswax, Ozokerite, Isopropyl Myristate, Hydrogenated Soy Polyglycerides, C15 23 Alkane, Zinc Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica, Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Manganese Violet (CI 77742)
I'm gonna say it's a 5 star buy! I'm pretty much satisfied with the look I was able to create too. It's a subtle yet simultaneously striking. Later on I want to try black eyebrows or some highlighting on my brow bone but for now I really love how this came out!

But shit, it was 0.99 cents!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hey guys; first of all happy new year! I hope you've already accomplished some of your new year's resolutions, but with special consideration to the idea that we're setting goals in the first place; if not, that's good too, means we know ourselves well enough not to set up for failure. Anyway, in the past year a lot of great ideas and opportunities have landed in my inbox from a lovely evening at the Titanic exhibit in my area to co-hosting opportunities for other great channels! Now, I want to share with you another project that I'm working on and that I hope you'll be elated to jump in on:

Above is an interactive world map that I'm using to show where I'm from and I'm hoping to have a lot more beauty and fashion bloggers add their own pin to the board. You can include as much or as little information as you want, but it'd be nice if you all could include a picture and a link at the very minimum. It doesn't matter where you are from so as you include at least a zip, you'll be able to drop a pin. I have already included my own pin and a little snippet about my zine, would you guys like to join me? If so, the link to the map can be accessed here, or by clicking the image above. Thank you again for your support and let's make this year great!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

 Finally back to the grind! In my absence I've been luck enough to do quite a lot of active sampling. Not being here for five months sucks, but hey, I've come back with a bulk of things to share, feeling festive, and ready to rumble with the reviews! First off, I want to thank those of you who stayed with this publication for the duration of my absence. Second, I've got a great product to share hot of the press. SO, as you may have seen me mention here, this is Misshapes Super Aqua snail renewal cream. I got it earlier this year and used it religiously for about four months. I got about half way before I was willing to part with the remaining gel, but we'll revisit this later for now, let's get this review started:

While I must admit that I'm not a fan of the color yellow, there is something very attractive and well-to-do about it where the presentation of this product's packaging is concerned. It's a gradient-mapped foil that fades to silver on the other end with a type face that seems to me to be to simple to be called 'elegant'. Also, since Miss ha is a Korean based company, I was delighted to find that the drug facts and abstract for this product were provided in English as well, something I've found is either an uncommon practice or improperly executed.
The jar.
The main piece of this set is more like a gel than a creme. I say this on accounts of its consistency, opacity, and absorption rate; It's near-to-clear, on the thick side of serums, and gets pulled in almost immediately by your skin.
The mask.
       This is the one that will have more of a creme feel to it. It's thick, white in color, and has to be rubbed into the skin quite a bit before completely dissipating. This product is actually and add-on but it's good to have because it work well in conjunction with the other creme.
I don't really know how to describe this. It's good, I will say that, it definitely has a bit of a blended citrus/linen-esquire aroma to it.
After using this product once before going to sleep, I noticed that my skin felt a lot smoother the following morning, even after having washed the product off of my face. With continued use, I noticed that discoloration from newly formed acne was significantly reduced as well. Its a great moisturizer for underneath thick foundations and I would recommend it as a new part of a problem skin regimen in the colder month, when skin tends to be more dry. I don't recommend this if you've got oily skin, however.
Buying it directly from Missha has its benefits, and it rings in at 49.99USD before shipping and taxes. Or, you can try with Amazon; it's half the price but be forewarned: there are counterfeits afoot.

Snail Slime Extract, Methionine, Glycerin, Ethanol, Baobab Tree Extract, Bis-PEG-18methyl Ether Di methyl Si lane, Arbutus, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Methionine, Deep Sea Water, Photocopier Acetate, Adenine, Centennial Asiatics Mesmerism Cell Culture, Ethylene Nonattendance, Hydrothermal Lacerate/Sodium Calorimetry Tau rate Co polymer, Carbonate, Methamphetamine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buckteeth-26, Capillary Glycol, Nitroglycerine, Di sodium EDTA, Xanthippe Gum, Perfume
The directions on the package say that you should use it after other products. Do that if your skin is dry; if not, and I mean if you have a normal, oily, or  a combination skin type, do not use anything before this. You may have an adverse reaction, especially if you have sensitive skin.
I'm giving this product five stars. It's well worth the money and worth the reinvestment! Plus, I love that there are no parables or mineral oil in this, we don't need any more of that stuff in my pores!
That's a wrap for this review! If you have any questions or comments to make about this product, please feel free to share. Thanks again for tuning in!