Saturday, March 31, 2012

March's Empties

*Herbal Essences Hydralicious conditioner (not pictured)* I used this up after the man bought it when he couldn't find his usual. The smell went well with the shampoo I'd been using. I can't say anything else good about it. This stuff is adequate.

*John Masters Organics Bearberry Balancing Serum sample packet. Nice stuff, just don't think it's worth the hefty price tag.

*Josie Maran Argan Oil mini size. I got this as a Sephora 100-point bonus. It's great for my hair but not so great for my face, which responded with some teeny zits. It's not great enough for my face to justify the purchase of a full size, especially not when there are so many wholesalers selling the stuff for so much less.

*Mountain Rose Herbs Cleansing Grains* I think these may actually have made my face worse. Which makes sense, if acne can be bacterial, then putting grains on your face is like feeding the monsters. Also, for me, the grains didn't do any cleansing.

*Nuance Salma Hayek Spot Treatment* I am not sure this did much of anything.

*Nuance Salma Hayek Wild Lime Exfoliating Gel* This does seem to make my face smoother, but I'm not sure it's better than other things that take less time.

*Pacifica Island Vanilla body butter - small size. I loved the scent of this, but not the form. I think I should look into their solid scents instead, as I could take a bath in all my lotion.

*Philosophy Mocktails Peach Daiquiri body wash, bubble bath, shampoo* I was thrilled to find this at a Marshall's because I liked last years Sephora birthday gift one. At first, I really liked the smell. Then, I couldn't believe how much of it there was left. I actually did try it as all three uses, too. It's an ok body wash, an ok shampoo, and not very bubbly as a bubble bath. For the price, you'd expect it to be great. Also, this stuff had sulfates in it, which I did not expect initially.

*Physicians Formula Healthy Wear foundation* This was my second one of these, and I do like this product, but I don't like how it's not in stores anymore. This means that it's impossible to get on sale. And I don't like it enough to pay full price plus shipping. If it were a better match for my skin tone (it's a bit pink), then I'd be more excited about it.

*Self-made cleansing oil (not pictured)* I liked this enough to make up another batch. It's a great thing to have around as a makeup remover. I mix roughly 9 parts oil to 1 part cromollient sce, which is an emulsifier and rinsing aid.

*St. Ives Green Tea Scrub* I still do not know if I'll buy this again - I liked it, but I have a few other things I want to try before committing to this one.

*full size item*

Friday, March 30, 2012

Better late than never, February's Used it!

Look! I took a picture!

*Alba Botanica Hawaiian sunblock - spf 45 Buy again? No. I'm not happy with the UVA protection - it looks like it doesn't get all the waves.

*The Body Shop Wild Cherry Body Butter Buy again? No. It smells kind of fake and only moisturizes so-so.

*ELF nail polish remover pads Buy again? I have - it's cheap, portable, works, and fairly easily available. The only downside is that it seems to leave my fingertips a bit sticky, so I have to wash my hands.

*Garnier Nutrisse Anti-Dark Circle Rollerball Buy again? Not a chance. I didn't so much use this up as throw it out in disgust. It looks nice for the first hour or so, then creases. Who needs it? I don't.

*Physicians Formula Brow Definer Buy again? Nope. Formula is slightly too waxy for my taste.

*Silk Naturals Awesome Sauce Buy again? I did! I like it. I'm not sure if it's magic or not, but I like it and it seems to help a little.

*Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara Buy again? Maybe. I like the stuff, I really do. It looks great, makes a good natural but impressively so look, but it's expensive and dries out too soon. This stuff dried out before I wanted it to.

*Wet'N'Wild Rocking Rubies nail polish Buy again? Oh hell no. While pretty, I found that this had the tendency to flake off within a day or two. When I found a thumbnail-shaped flake in my snack bowl, that was the disgust point. I tried lots of top coats, base coats, etc - flake city!

*Evil Shades Gossamer Blush sample Buy again? Complicated question - I like the brand's blushes, but this color was too cool for me.

*Tarte Amazonian Clay powder sample Buy again? Nope. Too expensive for what it is. Glad this was a trial size - it works, but so does anything with that much silica.
*Too Faced Shadow Insurance Lemon Drop sample Buy again? Nope. If my primer's gonna be tinted, it had better double as a cream shadow. This doesn't. Also, it makes my eyelids gray. So there we go! 8 full sizes, 3 samples demolished in February

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My first facial!

Last week, I had my first ever professional facial! I used a gift certificate the man got me for Christmas and really enjoyed the experience.

When I got there, the esthetician offered me a glass of water, which was much needed after a dehydrating day trying to teach Spanish to little kids. Then, she led me to a small room with an enviable row of pump bottles on a shelf along the wall, a sink in the corner, and a cot in the middle of the room.

I took off everything from the waist up and put a towel over my torso - then got under a blanket on the cot and laid back. I enjoyed a chocolate that had been left on the headrest as I waited for Sandra to return.

The first thing she did was to smear a cleansing gel on my face, neck, and upper chest. The amount she used surprised me, but heck, I was gonna enjoy the experience! She cleaned it off with a very warm damp towel - the warmth of the towel really impressed me. After that, she applied a thin liquid that she said was supposed to exfoliate. We chatted about my skin (combination oily, jawline acne) and she removed the exfoliant with copious amounts of toner. At this point, I was more exhilarated than relaxed, but feeling fairly gung-ho about everything.

Then she asked if I'd ever had extractions and bragged about how most of her clients came to her special for them. I said no, but that I wanted the full experience and she could go ahead and I'd tell her if it got to be too much. No lie, extractions hurt. Sandra was not kidding: she is thorough! By the end, she'd used her (gloved) fingers, a bunch of Q-tips, a lance, and even more toner; most of the clogs on my chin, nose, forehead, and face were demolished!

After a final wipe of the toner, she applied a mask to my face, got out the massage oil, and gave my hands, arms, neck, and upper chest a really nice massage while the mask did its work. When the mask had been on long enough, she placed another deliciously warm towel over my face, and massaged my arms some more. As the towel became cool, she replaced it with another one which she used to clean the mask from my face. As a last step, she applied a mix of lavender and tea tree oils and massaged them into my face.

In discussion with Sandra about my skin, it developed that my skin is oily with a top layer that dries out, trapping the oil and other residues inside my pores. Her recommendation was more frequent exfoliation to remove that dry layer and use of oils to help the gunk to flow out of my pores.

It's been a week, and my jawline is a lot less inflamed. I'm being more cautious about proper exfoliation, and while I have had a few tiny whiteheads, my skin condition is overall improved.

I'd definitely do a facial again, and I'm hoping to return to her three or four times a year.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No, I'm not Irish. But green is my favorite color.

Essie Navigate Her
Left hand - attempts at shamrocks with a green Milani nail art polish
Sinful Colors green sparkly coat