beauty

Rest in Peace, Brandon Truaxe

A few days ago, the founder of The Ordinary, Brandon Truaxe, passed away. Truaxe’s brand is brilliant: it finally brought professional grade skin care to the masses at affordable prices. The Ordinary’s powerful, effective serums and solutions have been a staple in my routine for quite some time.

Truaxe experienced a tumultuous year, and was eventually ousted from the company that he started. Aside from the controversy surrounding his company, I suspect that he was deeply troubled and experiencing many personal struggles as well. I hope that he is able to finally rest in peace.

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(Photo courtesy of DetailOrientedBeauty.com)

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Skin Care Updates

Hi everyone! I’ve been eager to do this update because it’s been a few months since I started my Glass Skin routine and I wanted to let you all know about a few changes I’ve made that have made my skin even better than before.

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So I ran out of toner and I was at a loss for what I should use on my face. Picking up Caudalie would have required a 30 minute drive and I couldn’t have even gotten to Sephora until the next day, anyway. So I used the only thing I had available: hydrogen peroxide. I used it in the evening and the following morning and I was so impressed with the look and feel of my skin that I decided to keep it in the rotation until further notice.

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CVS Hydrogen Peroxide

After doing some research, I learned that hydrogen peroxide is great for skin, especially if you’re acne prone, like me. So I’ve been using it and my skin has been loving it! It’s very inexpensive – around $1USD per bottle – and can easily be purchased at any drugstore. It’s been a great addition to my routine!

I also made a few other small modifications:

  • I don’t use an oil-based makeup remover: I use makeup remover towelettes on most days. I sometimes use coconut oil to remove stubborn eye makeup but I don’t apply it all over my face unless I have on a TON of makeup (which is rare).
  • I only use my Dr. Gross exfoliating pads a few times a week. I find that I’ve been able to stay glowing and even-toned without using them daily. The moment I notice any dullness or unevenness in my complexion, I’ll go back to using them every day.
  • Instead of the “Buffet” serum by The Ordinary, I’ve been using the Argireline solution. It’s thinner and seems to absorb really easily into my skin. I’ve been liking the results so far.

Other than those changes, my skin routine is pretty much the same! I can get everything done in less than 15 minutes at night, and my skin has been looking wonderful! I’m still trying to figure out the best way to reduce the appearance of my pores, but since my skin is oily, large pores are generally part of the deal. I’d rather have oily skin than dry skin, so if I have to just suffer through visible pores, then so be it.

That’s all for today! Talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

beauty · luxury

Glass Skin Challenge – Updates

So I’m 15 days into my Glass Skin challenge, and yes, I have updates.

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(from Pinterest, courtesy of Getty Images)

For starters, keeping up with the routine is MUCH easier than I anticipated. I did, however, make a few modifications.

For Step 6: Serum/Booster/Ampoule, I added a benzoyl peroxide cream along with my serums. I’m currently bouncing between Oxy Maximum Action Spot Treatment and Mary Kay’s Clearproof Acne Treatment Gel. I apply both in a thin layer all over my face, right after I apply my Niacinamide but before I apply the Buffet serum. I apply the benzoyl peroxide cream every time I cleanse (morning and night).

I’ve done the mask consistently two times per week, and I’ve noticed that my skin really enjoys the extra moisture. Also, I decided to forgo the Mary Kay Firming Eye Cream. Instead, I’ve been using Mary Kay Indulge Soothing Eye Gel, with a layer of The Body Shop’s Smoothing Night Cream on top on the eye area only.

I’m saving the photos for the end of the month, but let me just say, I’ve been LOVING the results so far! I’m looking radiant and even, and I’ve been skipping foundation on most days. When I do decide to use foundation, I need so little of it. I’m delighted with how things are going!

 

 

beauty · luxury

March Beauty Challenge: Glass Skin

I don’t spend a lot of time talking about my skin care routine on this blog because, well, there’s a lot more to life than beauty stuff. But I recently saw a post about a woman that had “glass skin”: skin so flawless that it looked shiny and smooth like glass. And, I was intrigued by what could create such a perfect, poreless complexion. After reading the post and comparing the “glass skin” routine to the Korean 10 step product routine, I decided that I would do a “glass skin” challenge during the month of March.

My skin is combination and can be sensitive at times. This routine will (hopefully!) help nourish my post-winter complexion and give me the kind of skin that looks perfect without makeup.

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The goal is to look as gorgeous as Kezia by the end of the month (photo courtesy of D’Journae)

The ten steps as outlined by Self magazine are as follows, and the products I’ll be using for each step are also listed:

  • Oil cleanser (to remove makeup): food grade coconut oil
  • Foam cleanser: Mary Kay 3-in-1 Cleanser (for combination/oily skin)
  • Exfoliant (advised for 1 – 3 times week use): Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel for Sensitive Skin (I’ll use this one daily, as it’s gentle)
  • Toner: Caudalie Grape Water
  • Essence: SCINIC First Treatment Essence
  • Serum/booster/ampoule: The Ordinary Niacinamide and “Buffet” serums, Mary Kay Timewise Night Solution
  • Mask (1 – 2 times per week): Mary Kay Moisture Renewing Gel Mask
  • Eye cream: Mary Kay Firming Eye Cream
  • Face cream: Mary Kay Age Fighting Moisturizer (for combination/oily skin)
  • SPF: Mary Kay Timewise Day Solution

Whew, so many products! I currently use anywhere from 4-7 products per cleansing session, but adding these additional products will be new for me. To be fair, some of these will only be used once or twice a week, or only once a day, so, while the list looks long, not every product will be used twice a day.

 

 

beauty · luxury

Review: The Ordinary’s Niacinamide + Zinc Formula

A few months ago, I reviewed some other products by The Ordinary, such as the squalane oil and the argireline solution. I was overwhelmingly satisfied with these products so I wanted to post my thoughts on another one of The Ordinary’s offerings.

The Niacinamide + Zinc solution is designed to treat and prevent skin blemishes, especially those associated with acne. According to the Deciem website,  “Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity. ”

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As an acne-prone girl with combination skin, any product designed to treat blemishes and redude the apperaance of oiliness is worth a try, in my opinion. So I started using the solution. The directions for use are as follows:

“Apply to entire face morning and evening before heavier creams.”

I followed the directions to the letter, using the solution before my heavier products. It’s lightweight and dries down without any sticky residue, but you must carefully rub it in, otherwise you will have traces of white product on your skin. Overall, the absorption is moderately good – it doesn’t soak in rapidly but retains moisture on the skin’s surface long enough for you to ensure that you’ve rubbed in the product before it dries completely.  The product has no odor and caused no reaction with any of my other products.

I noticed that my skin looks GREAT with this product included in my routine! It seems to really assist my benzoyl peroxide (BP) in preventing acne breakouts. Sometimes, I skip my BP completely and just use the solution as my acne fighter. I love the results!

As a full disclaimer, Deciem recommends that this product NOT be layered with vitamin C products (the niacinamide affects the integrity of vitamin C). But otherwise, this can be used with most other products.

After using this for months, I can confidently say that the Niacinamide + Zinc Solution is a permanent fixture in my routine! It’s available at both Sephora as well as Deciem. The product is extremely affordable, at less than $6 per bottle. If you get a chance to try it, let me know how it works for you!

 

 

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The Ordinary Available At Sephora.com

Christmas came early, darlings! The Ordinary is now at Sephora.com, so now you can buy these inexpensive-yet-luxurious products while racking up Sephora points.

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Quick warning for you: Sephora isn’t stocking The Ordinary’s entire line. Currently, only 18 products are available, though these are some of the most potent and popular products. The Ordinary’s foundations are not included with those 18 products, so if you like their color cosmetics, you will still have to go through the Deciem website.

One new thing that is available through Sephora is The No-Brainer Set, which has three of The Ordinary’s popular products: The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, and “Buffet”. The set is $29, which is less than the cost of buying each of these products separately.

I’m pleased to say that Sephora has maintained the low prices that The Ordinary is known for, and I’ve already placed my first order! Check it out, and see if your favorites from The Ordinary are now available through Sephora!

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More Product Reviews Coming . . .

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When all of your products arrive (courtesy of Clipart Library)

As I mentioned previously, I bought a lot of products from The Ordinary, and I’ve been trying them all. Unfortunately, the cold weather has made my skin more sensitive, so two of the products – the azelaic acid and the alpha lipoic acid – seem to be a bit too strong for my skin right now. I’ll keep playing around with it until I know, for sure, whether my skin can tolerate brightening solutions right now.

Other than that, I recently received a KoyVoca order that I am SO excited to try out! Also, I’m deciding what other small beauty brands I want to support: I need to take inventory and see what kind of items are lacking in my beauty routine, and then find a small company (or two, or three . . .) that offers them.

If you all know any brands that you think I should try, let me know in the comments below!