Quick side story (cause that’s what I do best!) Ok, so I’ve been working on a lengthy post about foundations. I hit a writer’s block wall. During that time Black Friday happened. Plus, I work in a beauty store sooooo of course I get to see all the hot deals. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to purchase them until after 5 on the last day. Boo.
This may surprise you all but I have never owned a Clarisonic facial brush. Ever. I just wasn’t intrigued. I’ve always been a chemical exfoliant kinda gal. Use the hard stuff to keep my vampire skin youthful. I always related to it as a “basic girl” item. Because I’m a dick like that. It wasn’t until I saw a video with a beauty guru using the foundation brush with the Clarisonic that I finally was interested. I needed this in my life.
Here’s my holiday story:
‘‘Twas the night of Thanksgiving as I laid on my bed. Full of stuffing and Jell-O shots clouded my head…..
Ok ok. I’ll stop.
For the last few months I have noticed that my skin has been exceptionally dull and dry. Usually I can blame it on the harsh Wyoming winters but we really haven’t had one. Yet. I know my health has been meh so I thought maybe it was that. I have been using mega moisturizers, grainy exfoliant, glycolic acids and retinol creams to try and remove that ridiculous layer of depleted skin. Nothing was working long term. It would work for a few days until my skin was like “nope”.
A few weeks ago I had noticed the gift pack of brush heads at work had the foundation brush in it. So I curiously went to the Clarisonic website to see what deals they had. I was super pumped because it was 30% off! Wicked good deal. So I bought this set: This set came with the Mia 2, radiance brush head and flawless foundation brush head.
(If I’m completely transparent, I only bought this for the foundation brush.)
When I got home with my fancy purchase I felt like a kid on Christmas! I love skincare if you didn’t already know this about me. I rushed upstairs and decided to take a shower and wash my mutha fluffin face!
I don’t really consider myself to have an addictive personality. That is until I started using a Clarisonic. I literally cannot wait to wash my face. Now be warned because overuse with this brush is bad. Over exfoliating is bad. It causes dry skin, discoloration, and other problems. So use in moderation.
I think a major bonus for me is the fact I can do this anywhere. I’m like a fluffin Dr Suess character! I can do it in the shower, I can do it by the sink, I can do it in the kitchen, I can do it in the roller rink!
The first thing I noticed when using this is it beeps. At first I was like “whaaat?” So I charged it thinking maybe it was dying. Then it did it again. I thought maybe it had water in it. Was it going to explode? Good lord is this another Samsung phone debaucle!!? Needless to say I was really confused and began to think I had a dud. Before I returned it I figured I should maybe read the instructions. I have a bad habit of not doing that. If you didn’t notice…
So I used my lady brain and researched this beep only to find out this:
How freaking cool is that??? I love science and technology!! Plus, this makes washing your face fun and you are aware of how well you wash your face.
Now, some folks have been telling me they didn’t see anything special except the brush tickling their face. Let me explain “sonophoresis”:
Sonophoresisaka Ultrasound infusion technology uses a low frequency vibrations to assist in the absorption of active ingredients. Aka the anti-aging, Anti-acne, hydrating, brightening stuffs we spend too much money on and get frustrated when it doesn’t work well.
So sonic vibration pushes product into the skin up to 1000 times better than if manually applied. Let’s break it down further: Sonophoresis aka (Clarisonic brushes, ultrasonic skin equipment) creates small openings between the skin cells. Tiny openings so product can penetrate deeper.
There is plenty more but I will leave you with this list of benefits from using sonophoresis in your skincare regimen:
Improves fine lines, wrinkles, elasticity and firmness
Increases hydration levels, plumping the skin and regenerates collagen and elastin. (Aka tighten that face)
Helps to shrink them there pores
Healthy glowing skin
Helps to calm and reduce redness
Reduces acne breakouts
Improves sun damaged skin and pigmentation
Fuuuu yes. Sold.
Now let’s jump to the foundation brush head.
I discovered through trial and error this brush head works best to buff out your foundation not apply it. I have also tried it with all forms of foundation: liquid, cream, stick, gel, imaginary etc. (This once again is my personal opinion) I really like it to airbrush my skin and even out my blush and contour. It’s really fun! Plus that sonophoresis is deep in the back (who am I kidding) it’s right in the front of my mind. Any excuse to stimulate those skin cells and collagen fibers!! Ugh. I love skincare.
Welp there ya have it lovely friends! I’m a Clarisonic fan.
I do have a referral code for all of you if you miss the Cyber Monday 30% off sale! I purchased everything with my own moneys and am not affiliated with Clarisonic or anyone else. Just little ol me.
So tell me your thoughts? I know I am late to this party but am curious to your opinions!
I feel like I had to write this post. I was driving to get my kiddo from school and it just hit me. I have to do a PSA. I owe it to all of you out there.
For years now I have been flooded with inbox messages and emails asking me to “join their team” or “be part of the #1 growing home based company” yadayadayada. No offense is meant with this post but I want you and everyone else to know why I can’t join your team.
Here is the countdown of my top 5 reasons:
5) I’m an Aquarius. I hate commitment and being told what to do. I’m also a very ethical creature, so if your awesome business isn’t doing things I feel are “right” I can’t join. For example one company is selling a tool I do not believe is in the consumer’s best interest to operate by themselves. I feel it’s a fantastic way to spread infection, scarring and irreparable damage to their face. Possibly even causing folliculitis or MRSA. I’m serious. I am not ok with this.
4) I have four degrees. Three of those are beauty industry related: Licensed cosmetologist 1600 hrs, Licensed esthetician 1200 hrs and esthetics instructor 650 hrs. I don’t consider my 800 hrs makeup artistry certification relative because it is not regulated in majority of the US. I spent way to much money on my education and training to just join a team of “hardworking gals” that don’t understand sanitation and disinfection procedures. No offense (although I mean a little bit of offense). If they were required to be certified by the board of cosmetology or board of health before doing house parties I might feel better. I actually went to a party where everyone was trying on makeup and using their fingers and double dipping applicators. I kindly told the rep that I witnessed some ladies doing that and she (no joke) tells me “Our products are guaranteed to not attract bacteria”. W. T. F. Are you fluffing serious? I will just leave the idiocracy of that statement right there for you to ponder.
3) I don’t want a car, or a cruise, or extra spending money. That doesn’t entice me. Tell me what you love about this product line first. Approach potential salespersons as customers. I hate getting thirty emails that never get to the point. What do you sell? Is it shakes? Is it wraps? Is it everything? I’m confused……make me want to be part of your world.
2) Just because I like to post my face on the interwebs doesn’t mean I will use those products. I have no interest in mediocre makeup and spiderlashes. Skincare is my life but half the time I am using a bajillion products and never put it in my captions. It seems like a waste of limited reader space (TLDR mentality). Lipstick that never comes off scares me when I am trying to do several photo sets for the week. Wait, that’s Stevie, not me. I like to pretend I may possibly do a weeks worth of posts. Plus she is actually is a huge fan of that lipstick so I take that back. I guess my suggestion is know your audience or in this case your “teammate”.
1 ) Last but not least I don’t want to isolate my audience. One of the nicest comments I received was recently when an avid reader messaged me asking for skin care advice. She stated “I love your skincare blog-it’s honest- and I hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way- it’s not just someone trying to sell their products.” That melted my heart and made me so proud. My only purpose in life is to educate. I don’t want to make money. I want to have a few avid readers who feel like they are taking away something every time they read my mindless rambles.
I love every one of you. Even if you sell products I still love you and admire your commitment. I love that you think I would be a great asset. Truth is I would be a terrible asset. I’m way too much of a disbeliever to be part of a team. I don’t even use the same toothpaste every night.
My advice to you budding entrepreneurs:
Find someone who believes in the products as much as you! I know you can do it. Who is your biggest buyer and start with them. If the person you approach has never even tried the product you’re wasting your time.
Work on your pitch. Stop telling the world how “everyone asks me how I get to stay home” or “look how much money I made..”. Instead tell what your favorite product is. Start the conversation with how much you love this product and why. Make your audience crave that item not your lifestyle. People buy products not ego.
Stop cold calling pro-mua’s or licensed professionals. Majority of us have been in this industry long enough to know the pitch. If we were interested we would be reaching out to you. Plus it’s almost daily I get hit up. I haven’t even seen this many d@&$ pics in my life. Just sayin……
The before and after photo bullarky has to stop. Nothing irks me more than a poorly lit before photo with a smiling face and the well lit after photo with no smile. Of course her fluffin wrinkles are gone!!! If I took a photo with my forward facing camera in the closet I would be a perfect before picture too! I want to see beautiful glowing healthy skin. With a few wrinkles. It’s ok. Let’s age gracefully. At least that’s what I keep telling my forehead lines…..
This all being said I think it’s awesome there a companies out there making money and helping their consultants make money. You do you. I appreciate your “boss-babe” mentality. It’s just not me.
We’ve all been there. Standing aimlessly in the skincare aisle looking at all the pretty labels and flashy packaging. We carefully read each box looking for the right product. Each box we pick up we hope that the angels will sing out and a glorious light will shine down upon our weary heads. But that never happens. The truth is majority of us are lost when it comes to picking out products that work for our skin. Even after almost 2 decades of experience I am still overwhelmed by all the choices.
It seems like every day a new fancy product or ingredient comes out and sweeps the industry. They all promise clearer, smoother, younger, healthier, glowing skin in rapid time. This clouds our judgment making decisions extremely complicated. Why does it have to be so hard?!?
I discovered years ago that it is easier to know what ingredients you are looking for versus what type of products you are choosing. Not all products are equal but majority of the time ingredients tend to not deviate from the norm. For example, if mineral oil makes you break out then any products with mineral oil will make you break out. There is no maybe. Just like an allergy you should stay away from the bad ingredients.
So that being said I wanted to enlighten and educate you about 5 myths and misconceptions I hear constantly about skincare products:
“Wearing moisturizer will break you out if you are oily”- I hear this a lot. Let me explain why this isn’t true. First, your skin naturally produces oil to help protect and hydrate the skin. When your skin is too dry it will over-produce oil creating OILY SKIN. Then along with excessive sebum, aka oil, dead skin cells will clog the pores and add to majority of the reasons your skin breaks out. Now, I understand some people have naturally oily skin. It over produces oil on its own and this can cause frustration. If you treat oily skin and moisturize with an oil-free moisturizer you can tame the beast. There are also amazing products out there to help control oil while keeping the skin hydrated and clear.
“Oil is so bad for your skin”- Have you ever washed your makeup off and it’s still hanging on? No matter how hard you try it rolls around on your cheeks. It’s not your super foaming face wash (although that can be a problem) but instead it’s the oil based ingredients in your products. Why do you think they put oil in eye makeup remover? Because…. oil breaks oil. It’s a fact and when you use the right oil it can make your skin love you back! I love cleansing oils that are hydrophilic “water loving”. This means they will still protect the skin but they won’t leave a residue and clog pores like apricot kernel oil. All skin types can use facial oils! You just have to use the right ones.
“You should exfoliate your skin everyday”- Oh boy. This one kills me. Sure we all want smooth beautiful skin but over-exfoliating can cause abrasions and superficial cuts all over your beautiful face! This can then lead to: infections, hyperpigmentation, scars, breakouts, boils, and premature aging. This is the equivalent of never wearing sunscreen and washing with hot water every day. So that being said make sure you are exfoliating twice a week and if you use retinoids, AHA’s, or glycolic treatments be gentle. Those are chemical exfoliates that help to slough off dead skin cells too. Doubling up can reverse all the process you are trying to make.
“Sunscreen is only necessary if I’m going outdoors”- Did you know that the overhead light sin office building produce UVA light? Weird right? So that can explain why office women tend to have more fine lines and wrinkles…… or maybe that’s just because they have terrible attitudes. Just kidding. Kind of. Sunscreen should be worn every day and make sure you are wearing at least SPF 15 if you are going to be indoors all day. This helps protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays that can cause premature aging, hyper pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles as well as melanoma. Yes, even those who aren’t outdoor lovers can get skin cancer. Make it simple and find a facial moisturizer with sunscreen already in it.
“I’m too young to worry about skincare”- *Sigh* We once were young. All of us used to be or are or will be 21. My grandmother said to me once “The youth is wasted on the young”. I couldn’t agree more. Luckily my whole adult life has been encompassed within the skincare world. I am rapidly approaching 40 (yes 40 and no that’s not old) but I look much younger than I am. This is because I wore sunscreen and created a skincare regimen that was essential to my lifestyle. If you start young or even start old, it can slow down the effects of skin damage. Wear eye creams to help protect the delicate skin around your eyes especially if you wear makeup. Wash your face and do not fall asleep with makeup on. This can age your skin but also wreak havoc on your skins natural PH. Stop being ignorant, naive and lazy. Take care of the only skin you were given. Its OK. No one will judge you for being awesome. So what are some other skincare myths you’ve heard? Comment below and let’s debunk them together!!
The hunt for perfect skin care items seems endless. In my world at least. I recently decided to purchase a bunch of higher price point products and give them a whirl.
This is one of many upcoming higher end skincare reviews and I hope your enjoy it. Please, please, please, remember what worked for me or didn’t work may be completely different for you! I always try things at least for a month before I make a decision. Unless they really suck. Then it’s hasta la vista.
Let’s begin shall we:
It just sounds fancy. French and fancy. Like creme brûlée. Even though deep inside we know it’s just fancy pudding and just the fact you use a blow torch to melt the sugar on top makes it extra super cool. That’s kind of how I view French skincare and makeup brands. They’re so elegant and fancy. I know deep inside it’s probably the same as other brands but just that fact a French girl may have possibly designed it makes me give them all my money. There’s something about these brands. We aspire to be beautiful and refined like these brands. Sipping our tiny cups of coffee and reading poetry while looking eau naturale effortlessly in the daytime. Le sigh.
That being said I don’t want to crush your fancy Francophile dreams buuuuuuut if you want to go French for skincare these products I tried, may not be the way to go. Once again…..Please don’t hate me after this.
Of the 4 products I tried wasn’t overwhelmed by a single one. To clarify, I didn’t hate them, I just was far from impressed. I received these deluxe size via Sephora insider rewards. 500 points for travel size goodies. (I love trying things out before committing to the full size). I had also been eyeballing Caudalie for years and never made the plunge. I really had been interested in the Vinosource moisturizing sorbet ( once again it just sound so fancy!) Caudalie’s claim to fame is its use of grape vine for its antioxidant properties. Wine for your face. Who could say no? My first impression of this little kit was that the size for a 500 point reward was pretty decent. It came with:
Instant foaming cleanser
Vinosource moisturizing sorbet
Instant detox mask
Resveratol lift eye cream
Of course being an ambitious skincare junkie I dove right in!
Let’s break it down by product:
–Instant Foaming cleanser– you know when the hand soap feels like it didn’t do anything? That’s how this felt. I also hate squeaky clean skin. I don’t like the feeling or the concept of squeaky oil free skin it creeps me the heck out. I like my skin to feel hydrated even after I wash it. Like I could step outside and awe the crowd with my glowing skin. This foaming cleanser did nothing except dry the fluff out of my face. It somehow leave all the makeup and grime on my skin but managed to suck the life out. I also felt like I had to use a lot of product to even make my face feel somewhat clean. Like several fluffy cloud pumps. Fluffy drying nuthin. Perfect description. You’re welcome.
–Vinosource Sorbet– I wanted sooooo bad to like this. It sounds like a delicious treat for your skin. However, once again, it left my skin needing more moisture. I even doubled up on it to really pack the moisture in. Nothing. Zip. Nada. It didn’t even have a scent that made it worthwhile. You guys. I’m so bummed. Plus the travel size bottle was probably only filled maybe 75% full. So it’s almost gone after a few uses. I get it. It’s a tiny travel trial deluxe sample size but way to skimp on the goods buddy. I can’t even say this would be good for another skin type it was so lackluster. I could recommend maybe for someone who wants light moisture. It does apply and absorb beautifully. It’s just…….so Boring and blahse.
–Instant detox mask– yay. Another boring clay mask. Wait. Was that rude? Probably but let’s be honest here everyone has a clay mask. I will let you know when I find the best one which still is to be found. This isn’t it. My skin didn’t even glow or feel awesome. I guess for a clay mask to put on your not so troubled skin it could be fantastic. I might add that this made the Elle magazine top beauty list! Whuuu?? It only made me even more bitter that 500 points were wasted on this fancy fail. I will Clay away from this. (Pretty punny, huh?)
–Resveratol lift eye cream– Meh. It takes 30-45 days to see skin improvement. I’ll let you know how I feel about this one. Nothing miraculous. It doesn’t weigh heavy on the delicate skin and absorbs rather well. It also does, however, have more product than the Vino sorbet tube. So that’s cool. Eye don’t know yet…….
Conclusion: As I was linking each of these items I couldn’t help to see that they have fantastic reviews! Like seriously. I don’t know where I went wrong. So overall I’m super disappointed but I really want to give it another go. I will probably will pick up some of the beauty elixirs to try because why not? Plus the holiday season is fast approaching and gift sets are the bomb. Am I right??!?
(I know some will ask and as for French skin care lines I highly recommend Lancome. I love their products. I know they tend to be really fragranced but their Energie De Vie line is bombtastic. It really made my hormonal combo skin happy. Yes, the price is high but quality cannot be sacrificed for quantity.)
Have you guys tried any Caudalie? What do you like? What didn’t you like?
Stevie: My all-time holy grail foundation is actually a BB cream, but I’ve been using it since it was classified as a tinted moisturizer! (A LONG TIME) it is Tarte’s BB Cream in Light. It has enough coverage to help hide minor imperfections, but isn’t cakey at all – and allows my powder foundation and concealer to do the heavy lifting only where necessary. Warning though – it definitely oxidizes, so grab a few shades as a sample first at your local store to try out and find your perfect color.
Laura: This is like asking me to pick my favorite child! For affordable drug store I love the L’Oréal Infallible pro-Matte and pro-glow. (Check out my ride or Die post) As for Prestige brand I too love Tarte but I’m a sucker for the Amazonian Clay foundation. It makes my skin look airbrushed and doesn’t break me out. I prefer full coverage because I like the added protection from free radicals and the sun. Yet this doesn’t make me look pancake faced.
Stevie: I find that primers don’t do a lot of good for me, so you’ll find me using them very infrequently. However, some favorites of mine are Heroes Beauty, CoverFx Anti-Acne Mattifying Primer, and Hourglass.
Laura: I use a primer only to hydrate my skin and balance out the oil. I am a huge fan of Too Faced Hangover primer with coconut water. It smells awesome and makes my face feel nice. However lately I have been using Urban Decay B6 prep spray and Dermalogica Active moist for my primer.
-Is it better to use BB Cream or Foundation?
Stevie: This really depends on how much coverage you need. BB Cream is a category of products that has much lighter coverage, and in fact, once was called tinted moisturizer. If you have a lot of discoloration or skin issues to hide, a regular foundation is a better bet – since it will hide more of these so-called imperfections. There are also quite a few levels of coverage within the foundation category, so I suggest trying samples of a few to determine how much coverage you need. My favorite mix is to use BB Cream as a base with Powder Foundation to set.
Laura: So it’s all about preference. If you’re taking care of your skin and using quality products, you can use whichever one you prefer. BB stands for Beauty Balm and CC is Color correcting. Some BB creams can have a fantastic coverage and provide skincare benefits at the same time. Buuuut so can foundation. If you find the right ones. It’s all about product and ingredient knowledge. It helps you make the right decision when choosing a product. I personally have fallen in love with It cosmetics CC cream. It’s light but has enough coverage plus it’s SPF 50! (My little dark heart rejoices) Added bonus is the anti-aging serum and pore minimizing primer. Products are so subjective! What someone likes others may not. Definitely try things before you commit! That’s what makes beauty stores awesome is all the testers.
-Best drugstore primer for combination skin?
Stevie: I swear this isn’t me being a princess, I don’t think I have ever used a drugstore primer! I very rarely use them under my makeup, so most of what I have was either given to me, or samples that I received with purchases of other items. Hopefully Laura has a better answer for you on this one!
Laura: Oh my…I have to think..actually I do really like NYX primers! Especially the Hydra touch one. I also remember when Maybelline released the Baby face one and I did use that for a bit during my poor kid phase. I hope that helps. Maybe this is something Stevie and I should do as a review in the future??
–What is the trick to getting eyeliner the same for both eyes? Which products are the best and easiest to use, which don’t involve tape?
Stevie: I find that prayers are the most important part of the process. Eyeliner is tricky, and even seasoned vets get scared everytime we put that liner on, because as the meme goes…it can sense your fear! I prefer gel liner with a fine angled brush, as the gel does not spread on my wrinkly eye skin (any felt tip or liquid liner just makes a huge mess for me) and gels are thicker and more precise. As much as I would love to give you the perfect liner, I haven’t found a great one yet. I’m using beauty bakerie right now and it works well but is pricey for a tiny pot. ELF used to make a great one, then they watered it down. Now, I actually use a bit of tape, pulled off of the back of my hand to soften the adhesive after I have marked a thin starter line (to get that angle right). BUT if you don’t want to put tape on your sensitive skin I totally understand. just work with tiny strokes and a stiff fine bristled brush and go little by little. Again, pray! It really is one of those situations where practice makes slightly better than before.
Laura: I use Stila stay all day liquid liner. I just watched a video from Kat Von D explaining how to draw the perfect liner. I will link it here. I found using light strokes makes me mess up. So I go for the gold and draw my starting line above my lashline in one full motion. Now for application on other people, I use the side of the felt tip to press it into the eye and then in one motion outwardly I smooth the top line. To create a wing I have always done the little curvy wing because I like it. Work from your ending point of the wing inward. That way you create the same length on both sides. I don’t like tape cause I’m a skin snob. However, the side of a business card can help when contouring your shadow and creating a sharp edge for liner. It takes practice. Lots of practice. Everyone does it differently too! Don’t get discouraged. Find what works for you and don’t let the internet police tell you it’s wrong. Unless it makes you look like Hatchet Face from Crybaby.
Laura: Hands down Too Faced Shadow insurance is my fav. I also love the underrated Benefit Air Patrol. I love that it doesn’t have that silicone slip to it and it has SPF in it. It’s a BB cream for your lids! It dries Matte and has a great coverage so if I don’t want to wear shadow it protects and evens out my skin tone.
–Do you believe that there are any beauty trends, colors, or looks that should stop with age? Or can I continue to rock any damn look I want to for as long as I want to?
Stevie: Is this the best question ever asked? Probably! Am I going to answer it in a pages long novel? You betcha. There are “rules” to makeup which help to direct people who are just learning or do not love makeup like we do. Some people are pretty steadfast about these rules, like they’re societal etiquette. I am not. I am all for having general guidelines to get you started – but if you are 50, 60, 900 years old and want to cover your entire face in glitter – DO IT ALL DAY EVERYDAY BABY! This is for you, and the most beautiful thing a person can wear is confidence – so throw those middle fingers up to anyone who opens their mouth about anything fun you put on your face!
Laura: Heck no!! I am almost 40 and I refuse to ever stop being me. If you embrace your inner self and rock that look who cares what anyone says. I live in a town of 60k and growing up I was always the weird kid. I still am but my clientele is Country club mature women who love their funky haired stylist. I own my look. There are too many opinions about what is ok in the beauty world. I say fluff them. We all are unique. Let’s act like it! Embrace your fellow beauty enthusiasts and that will make it easier to rock looks at any age. Whew. End rant. Did I answer that question?…….. ❤️Wanna play? Leave your beauty or whatever questions below in the comments. ❤️
Foreword: I love to write, I find it therapeutic and sometimes I feel like I have important stories to share. Besides the all skin and makeup tip stuffs. I hope this helps you all out too. Leave a comment letting me know if you would like more of these more personal stories from us. -Laura ❤️
Hi, my name is Laura and I am a beauty product hoarder.
Whew. That feels better.
I’m sure many of you can agree with me that it’s hard to say no to all the fancy palettes and lippies. I’m a sucker for good packaging and a great marketing scheme. I used to (I will get to the “used to” part soon. I promise) have hundreds of palettes that I would touch once. I had lippies that had never been opened aside from removing them from the packaging. I had stacks of bottles for hair, skin and whatever else keeps you young. Did I mention I’m a skincare fanatic?
My favorite past time was pursuing the interwebs staring at all the beauty products. Then I’d get a wild hair and decide I need the “vault” collections of everything. That in turn gave me 3 products I would use and then 50 I wouldn’t even look at again till it was time to clean my beauty cabinet out.
My collection is the equivalent to a walk in closet filled with clothing and shoes. Only it’s in my vanity and the spare bedroom. Oh and my purse….es. Because every purse has at least 2 lippies, lash glue, and an eyeliner just in case. (I should add I have a lot of purses too. Ugh the struggle is real).
For a few years I did pretty well not collecting too many items. I also lived in ponytails, baseball caps, hoodies, jeans and work boots. Makeup application was a max of 5 minutes. I call this the “dark time” others may call it depression. When I decided to take back my fashionable life (not that it was ever physically taken away) that is when I began my obsession. It began with finding the perfect drugstore brand. Everyone wants that! I felt I could share with the world all I discovered about the mass market! And write about it. The writing part never really happened, except in IG captions. Then, I discovered Melt cosmetics and Jeffree Star cosmetics. After that it was Kat Von D beauty….. online Sephora……the list continues….I was hooked. Although I’m not an overspender, I am an overbuyer. I like a good deal!! Thrifty and a lot of it. That was my motto. Alllll of the deluxe samples and free gifts.
Ok, so I want to explain why I purged a large portion of my expensive and cherished collection. However, first I need to hit a few key points that were my motivation:
Being a working makeup artist doesn’t justify the chaos.
Having skin and hair doesn’t validate excessive amounts of bottles crowding out my husband’s side of the bathroom cabinet or taking over the guest bedroom with eyeshadow palettes and liquid lippies.
A few weeks ago I decided to go to my storage unit I have had for 6 years. Yes. 6 fluffin years. I have owned a house for 3 of those years. I’m just lazy and you know the old adage “out of sight out of mind”. Anyways, I decided it was time to empty it out. As my son and I went through the items my throat began to burn and I realized that in the center of the unit all of my books and artwork were covered in black mold. (Look up black mold). I told my son to get out of the unit and I stood there staring at all of my treasured possessions destroyed.
Crates of books I had collected and read over and over again. Paintings I had brought back from Scotland, the only trip I ever took with my deceased grandmother and mother. My son’s baby clothes. College textbooks. Expensive Prisma colored pencils. Antique fabric.
The list goes on. I wanted to cry but instead I got pissed and said “fluff it”. It was a different word but you get the point. (When you get to know me better you will notice that I can disconnect quickly from things) I decided to close the door and worry about it another day.
After a few days, I return to the moldy abyss. I had a fresh mind and ready to salvage what I could. That was until I opened a vintage suitcase given to me by my Aunt. Inside that tightly sealed suitcase was my Nana’s jewelry box and all of the 1950’s and 60’s costume jewelry. Destroyed. Completely rusted and molded. My heart broke.
I feel like I should start at the beginning. The very beginning of my detachment. When I was 23 I was in a terrible relationship. After a few years of emotional and physical abuse I packed up and left during the day when he was at work. I unfortunately forgot I had a huge box of my childhood collectibles in his storage unit. When I returned for them a few months later he gave me a box of broken porcelain figurines and torn up photos. My whole childhood was in that box. Things I could never replace. I threw the box away and left. Closing that chapter behind me.
Let’s fast forward to 2010 and I was living in Phoenix. I received a phone call from my now ex husband telling me that our garage had been backed into by an elderly lady who lived in the apartment below us. Seriously, this happened. A lead foot elderly lady hopped up on pain pills drove through our garage. Destroying everything in its path. Boxes of antiques. Motorcycles. Tool boxes. Photo albums. We only received $1600 in damages for the super expensive toolbox. FYI: Certain Renters insurance only works for your living quarters. Not the garage.
Ok, let’s push past all the dramatic “Once upon a storytelling” and focus on the real subject. I lost material objects. Objects that truthfully have been weighing me down. These items although they are special memory wise really do not bring me joy. If they did I would’ve had them in the open where they belong. Not locked in a box or in a garage to be forgotten.
That’s how I feel about majority of my beauty products now. I don’t use all of them. I covet them because they’re popular or fancy. I buy them and then they sit in a drawer until I remember I even have them! Sometimes even after I remember they still sit in the drawer. Example: I bought the Jaclyn Hill Becca Champagne pop palette. I’ve used it maybe 4 times. Whhyy???! What is its purpose?? Besides to make me feel so fancy and cool and relevant. “Why yes I am wearing Prosecco Pop!” said no one ever.
1. rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release.
“Bob had helped purge Martha of the terrible guilt that had haunted her”
So I decided to purge. I know that word could be a trigger but it’s explains the emotions involved when decluttering. For example, I began slowly by looking at the palettes telling myself I may need that olive green shadow one day. What if someone wants a lesson? Having all those options would be nice. Then I would put it back in the drawer. By the end of the day I had only parted with 2 Wet n Wild palettes (and those were contemplated on for a very long time). I was far from successful. I fooled myself into thinking I was though.
It wasn’t until I read the book I keep linking you to, that I fully started to realize what I needed to do. Now, I need to clarify I’ve had this book for 2 years. I have a serious problem with buying things and setting them aside. I only recently really dove into it when I flew to visit Stevie in L.A. I think my traumatic experience with my storage unit allowed me to be vulnerable enough to really understand the message.
So I returned and decided to really purge the collection and make it a space that fills me with joy. Not frustration.
This is what I did:
Only touch things once (trash, donate, save)
Remove everything from my vanity and beauty boxes
Throw away expired and icky makeup
Don’t look how cute the packaging is or what it could be used as
Colors or formulas that are never going to be used are donated or tossed
Palettes that are never opened are not opened and donated (this was the hardest! I kept making excuses)
Throw away crappy products and tools. Stupid brushes, samples, etc
Write the date on the bottom of the container (this helps for expiration reasons. Also to hold usage accountability)
It’s not easy. I won’t lie. It was hard and emotional but when I was done I had a huge box to donate to my sister’s theater group. As well as a black trash bag full of crap.
I made a deal with myself too. If I can keep my stockpile in check (aka clean and organized) I will take out $75 a month. This will either add up to a plane ticket to see Stevie or help me replenish my luxury skincare products.
I want to clarify that it’s ok if you love thousands of palettes. If it brings you joy, do it! For me it doesn’t. It’s overwhelming and I’m done with the clutter. I want to live a more maintained beauty collector life.
Ps. I’m sure when I get to much stuff the demolition gods will step in and have a moldy angry old lady ruin my shit as always.
What about you? Any tips on organization or how do you decide what stays and what goes?
This is the ideal level for your skin to maintain its perfect state of being. What this also means is ideally the items you put on your skin should allow it to return to its natural state of 5.5 ph.
If you have seen “Fight Club” you know that this isn’t that case with soaps and cleansers. Cleansers tend to be alkaline based and this is great when breaking down oil. It helps liquify the sebum and dirt aka gross stuff clogging pores. While that sounds like a fluffin dream hold your horses before you drop reading this and go wash your face. WARNING: alkaline can be extremely caustic to your skin if used improperly (once again remember the scene from Fight Club?). I noticed there is a trend of using baking soda to wash your face. I’ve also noticed a trend of people getting caustic burns after this. So I thought I would jump in and save the day and your face with my nerdy knowledge. Back in the day
When I went to esthetics school they taught the steps of a proper facial:
1)Remove eye and lip makeup with makeup remover.
2) Precleanse (this helped remove foundation and open the pores instead of grinding dirt into the skin when cleansing)
3) Cleanse (kind of like the hobbits second breakfast. Did I mention I love Lord of the rings?)
It varies from company to company and training to training but this is how I always have it in my head. When I began working for skincare companies they were trying to minimize the steps. They felt the consumer was in too much of a hurry to do majority of these steps. Just like the pointless All-in-one shampoo and conditioner, they began to combine products like moisturizer and sunscreen. However they noticed this combo left a heavy film on the skin they dwindled the physical SPF down. Moisturizers with sunscreen are found to be less effective now because of consumer needs. Put that in your back pocket and think about it.
Another major thing that changed was toners aka astringents. They were being eliminated or combined with facial wash or exfoliants. One less bottle to worry about. Consumers don’t want to be bothered.
Unfortunately, by removing this step you are not returning the skin to its original acidic state. You have allowed it to stay in the alkaline level which disrupts the skins natural process. It continues to “dissolve oil” which is the good oil. Yes oil is good for your skin. It protects from the harsh environment we live and work in.
Now let’s add all of this together. A large majority of people don’t exfoliate, treat or even moisturize. This skincare snowball wreaks havoc on the skin causing dryness/flakiness, abrasions/infections from the skin microcracking, pigmentation from said dryness affects, acne breakouts due to dryness and infections (whaattt? See prior posts if you’re confused) and last but not least PreMature Aging. I knew that would get your attention. Yup. That’s right. Fine lines and wrinkles are in the future.
Toner has been looked at as unnecessary simply because our “quick service” society we live in deems it so. Just like waiting in line frustrates the fluff out of us. We are too much of an instant gratification society. Our bodies, mind and bank accounts show it.
Tone tone tone
Now, you have to realize that not all toners are created equal. Let us not forget the scary world of astringents like Sea breeze (flesh burner, but doesn’t that mean it’s working? Nope.) and toners that are just scented water.
Fear not. Because I am a ingredient nerd I will do all the fancy work for you.
Break it down:
Toners should return the skin to a ph level that will allow your exfoliant, mask or serum (or all of the above) to penetrate and work to its fullest advantage. It prepares your skin for success. College prep for your face.
Some companies label chemical exfoliants as toners for example: Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner or Pixi Glow Tonic. These are awesome but you need to only use them as directed. Thinned skin is not cool and causes infections and pigmentation. If you have sensitive skin be cautious.
You technically should only be exfoliating 2-3 times a week at the most. This doesn’t mean you can use a different exfoliator everyday! Be gentle to your skin. Chemical exfoliants like Glycolic (10% or higher) and Salicylic (5% or higher) count as an exfoliant. *Free pass though- if your skin is dull and dry use the Glycolic toner once daily until it clears up! I usually use it in the morning, before moisturizing, to freshen my face for perfect makeup application.
Toners should have an acidic base. Witch hazel has a ph level of 3.3 and works great, plus it is fairly inexpensive. Make sure it is low alcohol, you can find the lowest alcohol content witch hazel at the natural grocery stores. Although alcohol is beneficial in opening the pores, it can dry the hell out of your face! Witch hazel is great for calming acne. I swear by it. *Helpful tip-never exfoliate ruptured acne. It’ll make it worse. Instead use witch hazel on cotton rounds and place them in the refrigerator for a bit. Then apply to face. You are welcome.
Rose water can be found at the natural stores or online. It’s smells beautiful and is packed full of vitamin c. Unfortunately it’s only a PH of 6-7 so it won’t bring your skin back to the desired state quickly but it’s a start. You can however use it as a face refresher during the day. Spritz it on your face to freshen makeup. Or before bed (after you have washed your face and done all the right steps) mist your face and lay back and relax. *Tip- if you must use it as a toner mix it with Witch hazel! Boom. You’re welcome.
Some companies still have awesome toners. Dermalogica, Origins, Mario Badescu, Clinique, Lancôme, Murad, No. 7, Burts Bees, etc are just a few I recommend. The nice thing is you can mix and match toners. It can be a toner for dry skin and you’re using an anti-aging face wash or maybe a calming toner with an acne fighting serum. Regardless you can customize!
Everyone’s skin is different. Be brave! Try it out and see what you think. Let me know if it’s helping or if your feeling frustrated. I’m here for you
Le gasp! Can you believe that it’s almost the end of summer? Well, for some of us, it is rapidly approaching. Seeing the middle of August on my calendar I felt this was the perfect time to give you all some guidance on how to cope with the changing of the seasons affecting your skin! Continue reading “The end…of summer”→