Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Still Crazy After All These Years

Birthday No. 42, gulp.

Products come and go.  Especially for a skincare/makeup whore like me.  I really play the field. Some products are so tried and true though I continue to use them regularly, if not daily.  I may cheat on them a bit now and then but I always return to products that work.  These are the absolute gold standard of my regime.  Follow the links to my original blog postings.

Purity Made Simple Face Wash - Philosophy
There simply is no better face wash.  It is gentle, dissolves makeup, and doesn't sting my eyes.  I buy 32 ounce sizes so that I never run out.
Purity Made Simple

Clarisonic Face Brush
This brush is amazing.  It's worth the money.  Your skin just gets cleaner.  Your pores look better.  Just remember to REGULARLY replace that brush.

UN-Wrinkle Peel Pads - Peter Thomas Roth
I don't take the time to use these enough.  When I do though (and I always do), I swear to myself that I'll use them at least weekly.  The results are miraculous.  I never fail to break these out if I have a special occasion to attend.  In other words, I am never without this product.
Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads

Un-Wrinkle - Peter Thomas Roth
When there is a sale, I stock up on this serum.  I have yet to run out of it without a replacement bottle on hand.  In fact, I got the stronger version of it for Christmas because I have people in my life who understand.  There is no living without it.

Asahi R&d Suhada Shizuku Pack Gel All-in-one Beauty
This product is fairly new to my regime but I think it's pretty safe to say it's not going anywhere.  As long as Japan will ship it to me I will use it every day.  I have used some very high quality sources of hyaluronic acid in my day but nothing beats this pack gel in pure effectiveness.
Asahi R&d Suhada Shizuku Pack Gel

WEN by Chaz Dean
I literally buy this stuff by the gallon.  It's imperative.  Just recently, my new hairstylist was commenting on how healthy and soft my hair is despite coloring and highlighting it regularly.  I also have it down to a science so it really doesn't add much shower time.  

Elisha Coy Premium Gold Mineral BB
I have to admit I'm rather proud to have first posted this BB crème back in May, 2012.  No one I knew had heard of BB crème at the time.  Somehow I hit the jackpot with my first BB Crème.  Believe me, I've tried others.  This is simply the best and I still put it on my face every single day.
Elisha Coy BB Crème

Mally Perfect Prep Poreless Primer
This is the best primer period.  Not an every day thing for me but an absolute must for an important night out.
Mally Primer

Clear Radiance - Bare Escentuals
I wear this highlighter so regularly it's constantly with me.  There have been other affairs, sure, but I'm never without and always come back to Clear Radiance.  You simply cannot go wrong with this stuff if you have fair skin.  It's completely mistake proof (trust me, other highlighters can go very wrong) and extremely flattering.
Clear Radiance

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Gel What?

 Normally I'm one for keeping my face creme simple and spending my money on serums.  I've been on this Japanese skincare kick recently however and came across this amazing product.  Now I'm hooked.

The Japanese are all about hyaluronic acid which makes them kindred spirits in my book.  You've heard me talk about this ingredient many times before.  I'm admittedly obsessed.  This particular product called Asahi R&d Suhada Shizuku Pack Gel All-in-one Beauty is positively loaded with hyaluronic acid, two kinds in fact.  

This gel takes the place of my moisturizer yet has a very unique texture.  They call it a gel for a reason, it melts into your skin and becomes almost the consistency of water as you rub it in.  You see and feel little droplets of water form as you rub the product into your skin.  It's quite literally the opposite of oily.  

According to the Japanese skincare guru Chizu Saeki, you know your skin is hydrated if you press your fingers gently into your skin and it clings a bit to your fingers as you pull them away.  All I can say is when I put this stuff on in the morning, my skin passes this test the entire day.         

What's in it you ask?  Well, the packaging is entirely in Japanese so I really had no clue until the Amazon store that sold me this product was kind enough translate.  Along with water, glycerin, and some other long words, it has both regular hyaluronic acid and hydrolized hyaluronic acid.  It also contains hydrolized collagen, placenta extract, soybean seed extract, glucosylceramide, water-soluble proteoglycan, and hydrogenated lecithin.  There are crosspolymers to thicken the gel and strangely enough ethanol, but I'm trying not to judge it too harshly for that (or the placenta for that matter).  

Because my skin is so plumped up and dewy moist!  Like I said, I’m hooked.   

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Japanese Lotion Mask

My newest skincare obsession has been the wealth of products and methods the Japanese have to offer.  Thanks to the internet, I have been able to try popular Japanese products normally sold only in Japan.  It’s all very exciting. 

For this post however I would like to introduce you to a remarkable method for which you can use the products you already have in your drawer.  It’s called the lotion mask.

The concept is simple.  By applying product via thin saturated cotton and leaving it on your skin for 3 to 15 minutes, your skin somehow absorbs the product more deeply into its epidermis than it would if you simply applied to your skin directly.  Osmosis perhaps; I’m not sure. 

The Japanese have a product category they call lotion which is somewhere in between toner and serum here in the US.  This is the consistency you need for this mask.  They have products for sale with this consistency, very good ones in fact.  But depending on your needs and what you already have in your cabinet, you can create your own by combining your serums with your toner.  For example, I would combine my toner in a small bowl with some hyaluronic acid, vitamin c powder, and my serum containing retinol.  Maybe even just a little bit of moisturizer to thicken it up a bit.  The idea is to have a consistency that is thicker than a toner but thinner than what we would call a lotion here in the United States.  It should be much thicker than toner but thin enough to easily pour out of the bowl. 

With that said, I understand not everyone is as DIY as I am so a good Japanese lotion I can strongly recommend would be Rohto Hadalabo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (Moist).

This is a really solid source of hyaluronic acid in the perfect consistency for a lotion mask. 

Once you have your lotion figured out, you will need very thin cotton squares like Daisan 5-layer Cotton Facial Cosmetic Pads:

You can see by the picture that the idea is to saturate the cotton pads, peel them apart, and apply the thinnest layer all over your face.  Once they are saturated you can actually work with the layers to stretch them out a bit as you apply them.  This takes a delicate touch (you can mangle the pads a bit if you stretch them out too much) and a little practice however.  Feel free to just simply use more pads until you’re comfortable. 

Allow them to sit on your face until the moisture has transferred from the cotton into your skin.  The cotton will actually dry out.

Another method that I actually prefer simply because it’s faster is a premade, dry mask.  One that I found that works perfectly is a DIY Facial Paper Compress Mask.   

They are readily available on Amazon under various names, a simple search will find them for you.  They are very easy to use, you drop the tiny little dry disks into a bowl with your lotion mixture and it expands into the mask as it absorbs the liquid.  Make sure the mask is fully saturated but not sopping wet.  There's a fine line between not enough product and wasting your product that you will figure out with a little practice.  Gently pull it apart into the flat mask shape and apply it to your face.  Voila, you’ve got an easy breezy lotion mask. 

All of the goodness of those ingredients will absorb deeply into your skin, much more deeply than if you applied it directly.  After 3 to 15 minutes, peel the mask off and you will find that your skin is plumped and hydrated.

Then apply the rest of your thicker serums and moisturizers as you would normally.  As always, follow the thin to thickest rule of thumb.  I have a very thin peptide serum that I actually apply separately before the mask.  Assuming I were to use just the hyaluronic lotion above, after the mask I would apply my thicker retinol serum and moisturizer.  Basically, whatever ingredients I need that are not included in the mask itself.  
With regular use over time, I think you will find that your more deeply absorbed ingredients are much more effective and at the very least, you are seeing a major difference in your skins overall hydration.