Saturday, April 28, 2012

Skincare 101

This is an old post that I took down because it was formatting all crazy-like. I got it to work through Pinterest, so my apologies if you have Google Reader and have already read this one.

It seems like when it comes to beauty, the grass is always greener on the other side as evidenced by the great curly vs. straight debate. There also seems to be a down side to every desirable trait:
  • Blue eyed blondes are gorgeous, but often look washed out without makeup on.
  • Short hair is quicker to dry, but more difficult to style.
  • Pin straight hair is easy to style, but rarely holds curl well. 
I personally struggle with these two:

1) My thick curly hair is a blessing because I can do so much with it, but man is it a fight to get it to do what I want sometimes.
2) My dry skin rarely breaks out- we're talking a zit maybe once a year, but unfortunately will be much more prone to wrinkles as I get older.

It took me about 20 years of wrestling with my hair to figure out how to get the best out of its texture. After spending the same amount of time taking mediocre care of my skin, I recently decided it was time to get on the ball in that area as well.

One of my favorite things about blogging are the wonderful recs of all my favorite bloggers. So several of these are products that you may have seen many times before. But hopefully there will be a few new ones as well. Here are my findings after going on beauty bender the last few months:

  1. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel. I love these. I take the advice of previous reviewers and cut them in half. It makes it last longer and half is plenty to do the job. These tingle when I use them and just make my skin feel healthier. 
  2. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. I have only tried these once so far. Basically they have similar skin-benefiting ingredients as #1 with the added benefit of a bronzer. It worked pretty well and looked natural, but definitely heed their warnings and wash your hands really well afterwards. 
  3. Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. I really love this product. Remember those Biore pore strips from the 90's? It's basically a giant one of those for your entire face. I love peeling it off and seeing the gunk that comes with it. TMI? 
  4.  Queen Helene's Mint Julep Mask. Lovely and ohsocheap! Like $4 cheap. Gotta love that. I get the "my skin is tingling so it must be doing something" feeling with this one as well. And it usually produces baby soft skin afterwards. The mint green color is a fun retro bonus- I always feel like I'm in a cheesy chick flick when I have this one on. 
  5. Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash. Okay, I gotta say- I like this product, but whoa this one was a little overhyped in my mind. First of all, "foaming" is a very large overstatement. There is no foaming to be had with this stuff. However, I love the smell and the teeny exfoliating bits so I will likely continue to use it despite the "foaming" misnomer. 
  6. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Face Mask. I bought this after reading rave reviews. I have never had the real deal spa facial before. I've heard it's pretty much the holy grail of skin treatments, so I was excited to try this as an at-home tester. Like the cleanser, it doesn't foam as much as I expected it to, but it does make my skin feel soft. I probably wouldn't buy it again because unlike the Boscia, I felt like it was a little pricy for the results I saw. I think there is better bang for your buck elsewhere. However, the "real" triple oxygen facial is definitely on my to do list! 
  7. Bliss Fabulous Every Day Eye Cream. Like it, but it doesn't hold a candle to #9. 
  8. Bliss Fabulous Face Lotion. This will likely become my summertime moisturizer. Like all Bliss products, it smells amazing and I love that it has SPF. However, my dry skin needs something a little heavier to get my through the scaly winter months, but I can't wait to bust this out as a lighter alternative during the warmer months. 
  9. VMV Re-everything Eye Serum. I got this in my first Birchbox and love it! The texture of the serum is perfect for your eye area and it seems like it soaks into your skin very easily. I will be sad when this guy runs out because I think I'll have a hard time shelling out the cash to replace it. 
  10. Murad Hydrating Toner. I first learned of Murad after a wonderful "Intro to Lifetime" facial at my gym's spa. My favorite thing about this toner is that it comes in a spray bottle. I feel like it evenly covers my skin without wasting a ton of product on a cotton ball. 
Beyond the expendable products, my other new favorite is my Clarisonic Mia. I kept hearing about this thing but thought it was kind of silly. However, I was in Nordstrom with a Christmas gift card burning a hole in my pocket and I asked the girl behind the counter if it really worked as well as everyone said. This is how she got me:

Salesgirl: Do you have a Sonicare toothbrush?
Natty: Yes.
Salesgirl: Do you notice a difference when you brush your teeth with in versus with a normal toothbrush?
Natty (unknowing that I was about to be HAD): Omigosh, YES! It's crazy how much better.... my teeth.... yeah, okay- I get your point.
Salesgirl (nodding knowingly at me trailing off like she had had this exact conversation 1,000 times before I unknowingly walked into her web): Clarisonic and Sonicare are made my the same company- just think how much cleaner your face would be.

At which point my dirty face was shamed into forking over my gift card.

But y'all... my skin has never been so soft! And more importantly- I like using it (unlike my Sonicare- that thing makes my skin crawl!) so I always, always take my makeup off before bed. Which I can't say was the case before. And it's pretty turquoise color makes me smile every morning- so bonus points for that, obviously!

Hopefully that helps someone out there since I was helped so much by others reviews!

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