Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Product Review: Wet n Wild MegaImpact Mascara

I've been looking around for a good, paraben-free mascara for several months now. I've tried Physician's Formula, which smudged, felt heavy, and irritated my eyes, and Maybelline Falsies (which I will review soon). Neither worked for me. I finally picked up Wet n Wild MegaImpact Mascara, one because it was cheap, and two because I love the Wet n Wild makeup line so figured why not. 
This mascara claims to add both volume and length, both of which are needed desperately for my lashes. So does it?

I have to admit, I was surprised that it did. I would describe this mascara as one that enhances your natural lashes. I noticed a definite improvement in both the look of length and volume after applying this mascara, however, it wasn't a drastic change. My lashes look very natural, and I have to say I really love it. It doesn't flake, I don't feel like I'm wearing anything, it doesn't seem to irritate my eyes, and it comes off easily with a makeup removing towelette! Win, win, win, and win! 

Plus…the packaging is easy to hold and apply, and it's super cute ;)

Oil Cleansing: This Is the End

I'm back on the hunt for another facial cleanser. After using a solution of grapeseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and tea tree oil for over a month, I've decided that such highly concentrated oils are just too much for my skin to handle. Overall, I feel like the oil cleansing made my skin worse. Obviously this method of cleansing works wonders for quite a few people, but for me it just didn't work. 

PROS of Oil Cleansing:

---  Feels AMAZING. It's like having a mini facial every night. 

--- I'll admit I had days my acne was better than ever, but that was also around the time I was drinking my skin detox tea as well. The only high point is that my dry skin is so much better, and I can often forego moisturizer at night. 

--- A little goes a long way.

--- Non-irritating

--- Don't need a makeup remover, however, I found I'd have to cleanse my face twice to remove all of the makeup.

CONS of Oil Cleansing:

--- I hardly ever felt like I got all of the oils off my face and often found myself reaching for a cleansing towelette to get the excess off. 

--- A bit messy

--- Made my skin worse (those bumps all over my once-clear forehead I talked about last time? They are still there. I started getting acne - painful acne - in places that had been clear for a long time, and I now have more blackheads, something I rarely use to get.) 

Again, this is what didn't work for me, but it may work for you. Other people swear by the oil cleansing method. Don't be afraid to try something new if your current skin care regimen isn't working, but do try to stick to one thing at a time and not flip flop between lots of different products (including makeup products, ect.), or you'll confuse your skin (unless you severely react to a product, that is). 

What's next? Probably either Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Facial Cleanser or Yes to Carrots Fragrance Free Facial Cleanser. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Oil Cleansing: Rant

So it's only been three days since I gave my 3 week update on oil cleansing, but I just have to rant a little because I'm feeling rather frustrated, and I guess y'all should know the bad and ugly as well.

Three days ago my skin was looking great and starting to clear of blemishes. I thought I was reaching the turning point. The next day…I woke up to a horrendous breakout. Now, to be fair, this could be tied to hormonal acne, I'll admit it. However, I suddenly broke out with FIVE cystic acne spots, from my cheekbones to my chin. Throughout today, I've broken out in about three tiny whiteheads — most of them were a pretty quick fix with some treatment, but one doesn't seem to want to be going away. 

My face kills. It's inflamed. It's bumpy. I started thinking and paying attention to how my skin looked before I started this treatment compared to now, and really, my skin is so much worse. I really don't think the oils are for me. I think they are just too heavy and not suited for my sensitive skin. I just feel like if I was going to see much improvement, I would've seen it by now. 

I'm sticking with it for the full four weeks, so I will give another update at the end of the week. But I have a feeling it's going to be on to the next thing…. 

BAH! :P So there you go. A bad skin day. Sometimes you've just gotta let off some steam… 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Product Review: Pond's Evening Soothe Towelettes

I've been on the hunt for the perfect drugstore makeup removing towelette. I still love Olay Fresh Effects S'wipe Out, however the package contains only 20 (though is usually priced a little cheaper than other towelettes) and I've been wanting to find one with at last 30 to last me a whole month.

I picked up Pond's Evening Soothe Wet Cleansing Towelettes after reading numerous good reviews online (and my mom tried and likes them as well). 

The wipes are soft and ridged, good for cleansing, however…they are a bit soapy. I have this thing about soapy cleansing wipes — I don't. like. them. :P Don't ask me why, but it's just a personal thing, and I don't like the feel of them.

As far as removing makeup - so so. I use one whole side to remove foundation, the other side to remove eye makeup, and if there is any clean section left I'll run it over my face again. More often than not, there's at least a little bit of residue left. I can also never fully remove my eyeliner and mascara is pretty stubborn. 

The smell of these is a bit odd, but I do agree that they are soothing. Now that I'm oil cleansing, I'll only occasionally use them at night to remove eye makeup, but I usually use them in the morning. But they do give you a "deep breath" moment.

For sensitive skin - maybe not. I have sensitive skin and I find my skin is a little red for a while after using them. However, these do not dry my skin out.

Overall: Good for a quick cleanse in the morning, not amazing at removing heavy makeup, maybe not suitable for very sensitive skin.

Would I recommend to a friend? : Not based on personal experience, but I would mention them as others seem to love these.

Oil Cleansing: Week 3

Earlier today I posted a very late "first impression" of oil cleansing. Today is exactly three weeks since I started this routine, so I'll go into some detail of how I cleanse with oil and what I think of it so far. 

I've now created a blend of grapeseed oil (3/4) , pumpkin seed oil (1/4), and tea tree oil (I believe I put in two or three drops. I didn't make a very big solution since I'm just testing it out). I also bought two 100% polyester towels from Walmart; they're very soft and non-irritating to the skin, unlike most regular wash cloths. (I use one towel per wash, so I don't use them every time.)

I pore a liberal amount of the solution in my hands and rub it all over my face (I don't have to mix it with water in my palms or on my face first). After gently rubbing it all over in a massage-fashion for at least a minute, I'll rinse my towel in medium-warm water and lay it over my face to help open my pores. (**I first started rinsing the towel in water as hot as I could manage, but my skin reacts much better to slightly-warmer-than lukewarm water.) After that, I'll wipe off the oils. This first step is to remove my makeup. As my last step, I'll rub another small amount of the solution onto my face and flip the towel over, use the same temperature of water, and do my best to completely wipe all of the oils off. This second step may not be necessary, but I have a thing about removing my makeup before cleansing. It just doesn't make sense to me to say I can thoroughly cleanse my face while makeup residue is still present on my skin. Finally, I'll use my hands and rinse the skin a few times until my skin feels smooth instead of just oily (it's a subtle difference, but it's there). You really want to make sure the excess oil is completely rinsed off. 

First off, the process feels AMAZING. It's like having a mini facial each night, and it's so simple. I love not having to use 4 different products each night. The only extra step I include occasionally is, if I'm having a bad breakout, I'll take a q-tip and put a drop of tea tree oil on it and dab that on the trouble spots. 

Unless I use the tea tree spot treatment, I usually don't have to moisturize my skin at night. I still could without it feeling oily, but the oils are doing a pretty good job helping my dry skin.

I'm only oil cleansing at night. I've done it occasionally in the morning, but usually I don't have enough time before work to go through this process. I use a facial towelette instead (right now I'm using Pond's Evening Soothe Towelettes, but I'm not a huge fan). 

As far as ACNE goes: Your skin has to go through a detoxifying period when oil cleansing. At first I didn't break out - in fact, my skin looked great. However, within about the last week and a half, I started experiences major breakouts. I was in a lot of discomfort, but I stuck with it. Within the last few days the acne has calmed down a bit, and I would say the worst is on my forehead and jawline. With makeup and from a distance, my forehead doesn't look bad, but I have lots of tiny bumps (not exactly whiteheads) and blackheads. I'm trying to decide if it's just the icky stuff trying to release from pores or if I'm reacting to one of the oils. I'm going to give it another week and if it doesn't start to clear up, I'll eliminate one of the oils.
(I do want to quickly mention that yes, my skin has been clearing up in the past few days, but I also started drinking Yogi's Skin Detox tea and I think that has been contributing to it.)

I hope to post again next week at the one-month mark and let you know how it's going. 

Again, this is what I'm using for MY skin. I did a lot of research, as I mentioned in my "Day One" post. If you're wanting to try oil cleansing, make sure to research your skin and different oils. 

Oil Cleansing: Day One

** I wrote this 3 weeks ago, but I'm still posting it as "day one" because I wanted to give my first impressions. I'll be posting an update in just a little bit. Sorry - things came up and I wasn't able to post it immediately. **

More than likely you've heard about oil cleansing. If not, then well, it's cleansing your face with oils.

The first I heard about oil cleansing was on youtube, I believe. I began watching as many videos as I could,  from tutorials to personal reviews to information about different kinds of oils, and pinterest proved to be very valuable as well. I did a lot of research on varying skin types and how the right oils can greatly benefit your skin and the wrong oils make it worse than ever. I was rather nervous to try this method, but on the other side I knew, if everything good I was reading was true, there was a possibility of my skin becoming better than ever.

After doing all this research, I decided to order grape seed oil and pumpkin seed oil. Grape seed oil is a very light oil that absorbs into the skin quickly, fights against acne (it's high in linoleic acid which helps if you struggle with acne, as opposed to oleic acid) prevents aging, tightens skin, and contains vitamins C and E. Grape seed oil is gentle and mostly recommended for oily skin because of its light properties, however it's good  for all skin types (I myself have sensitive dry/combination skin).

Pumpkin seed oil is also higher in linoleic acid, omega fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants. It has a balanced pH of 4.64 (the healthy pH of skin is about 5.5), contains vitamins A, C, and zinc (all great for clearing up acne), and heals hyper-pigmentation.

I just received my grape seed oil from Plant Therapy
and decided to start using just that. I figured if I started using both at the same time and it didn't work, I wouldn't know which oil wasn't the right one.

So, I dampened my face just a little and spread that oily mess over my skin. It was a little tough spreading it all over actually, which I assume is because it's such a light oil. One thing I noticed is that though it felt good against my skin, my whole face turned rather red, though again I didn't experience any other irritation. I then laid a hot cloth over my face and let it set, wiped off the oil, re-rinsed the cloth and laid it over my face again before giving my skin a final swipe, just to make sure all the oil was rinsed off.

I followed with an apple cider vinegar and green tea toner, and I have to say my skin feels very soft; after about twenty minutes, my skin started feeling a little tight, but not near as bad as usual and only a need for a light moisturizer. My mom did comment on my red cheeks and nose, however that could be because the cloth I was using was warm and not as soft as it should've been (that area of my face has been red lately anyways, so I think that might just be a new thing for me).

Anyways, we'll see how it goes! I've read it takes 2-4 weeks to start noticing a difference and by then I should determine if the oil is working for me. I expect my skin to get worse as the oil draws the impurities from the pores, but I'm hoping in the long run this method will work. It's so simple and my skin really feels great. I'll keep you updated once in a while on how the process is going!

Have You Had Any Experience With Oil Cleansing?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscars 2014: Best Dressed

I have to say, the dresses at the red carpet last night were kept pretty classic for the most part! Here's my list of best dressed.

Naomi Watts

Amy Adams 
(can anyone tell me why this gorgeous, classic look was on FoxNews' Worst Dressed?)

Sarah Paulson 
(in Elie Saab, who is one of my favorite designers)

Jennifer Lawrence
(I love the sleek simplicity of her look this year)

Cate Blanchett
(I'll admit, her dress wasn't one of my favorites at first, but she just looked so radiant I had to list her as a favorite. Cate can do no wrong.)

Two of my favorites actresses together. Love this picture!

 Maria Menounos
(One of my absolutely favorite looks of the night)

Beautiful Hair and Makeup: Emma Watson
(I love looser styles on Emma Watson

Best Dress Baby Bump: Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis 

 Zooey Deschanel
(Slightly over the top with the massive curls and ruffles, but it's completely Zooey. There's something about this look I still love)

Alison Brie
(I love Alison's sweet, simple spring look)


 Ellie Kemper
(Ellie in Elie Saab, I believe. This dress is perfectly balanced with the unique, fun detailed top and classic, smooth lines of the skirt.)

Zooey and Ellie:

Benedict Cumberbatch PhotoBombs U2. 
(Okay, so this doesn't fall under the best dressed category, but it should win for best picture. ;) )

What were your favorite looks from the night?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fabulous February Favorites

February has come and gone! Although it wasn't a very fabulous month for me personally, there were still some highlights. Here were some of my favorites for the month:

Yogi Detox Tea

I had read great reviews about how Yogi Skin Detox tea helped clear up cystic acne, however I made a mistake and purchased the regular detox tea instead of the skin detox. However, I stuck with it and drank the tea for 2 weeks, curious to see if it would still help. Turns out, my skin did clear up a little and a my complexion evened out. The only thing was that the tea made my stomach a little upset right after drinking it (NOT a guzzling tea!) and the taste is funky, but I quickly got use to it. I'm going to be purchasing the Skin Detox tea soon, so we'll see how that goes!

Multivites Gummies

I had tried taking a multivitamin a few years ago, but it didn't last long as it caused nausea. However, I wanted to try again and figured the gummies might be a bit easier on my system. After taking them for about a week and a half, I wasn't sure I was seeing much of a difference and backed off for a couple days. Turns out, my acne started to flare up a little and when I went right back to taking them, my acne cleared. I'm now convinced they do help and have already purchased my second bottle.

Party-Tizers Veggie Dippin' Chips with Kale, Carrot, Spinach

Um, talk about YUMMY! These are gluten free and a bit healthier than regular chips, and with a wee bit of hummus, talk about a delicious way to satisfy your night-time munchies!

Alba Botanica Coconut Cream Lip Balm

When I first bought this, I thought I'd hate it; the balm was really rough and didn't glide over my lips at all. After using it for about a week, however, the balm smoothed out, but I still wasn't sure I loved it. I went back to using my EOS lip balm and soon realized I missed this Alba Botanica one. It's really very moisturizing, not to mention tastes and smells heavenly. Definitely buying more of these!

Wet n Wild Bronzer

I bought this in the shade Reserve Your Cabana, and turns out that particular color, though advertised as a bronzer, is actually a highlighter (unless you literally are Snow White). I was a bit disappointed at first, but then came to discover how invaluable a highlighter actually is. It's amazing how much an improvement this one product makes the entire outcome look so much better. Can't go a day without it!

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Chocolate and Strawberry Facial Mask

Now that I've started oil cleansing (posts to come soon), I've been holding off on this mask for about a week, but before that I was using it up to 2-3 times a week. I've fallen in love with this mask, which claims to tone and moisturize. I was using it every Sunday and Wednesday, or on nights where my skin felt extra dry. It's perfect for sensitive skin and doesn't dry out my skin like most facial masks do. Plus, it's only about $4 at the drugstore!

Rue 21 MMXIV for Her Limited Edition 

So I have never owned actual perfume before, so lemme jus' tell ya right now, I was excited to get this 
stuff ;P It took forever to decide which Rue 21 fragrance I wanted because my nose was bombarded with seven different fragrances, but this one seemed to be the least aggravating to my sensitivities, and the scent, though deep, is very light. I've been wearing this every single day and love it. It isn't very strong, which in one sense is good because I don't have to worry about giving a headache, but in another sense I don't really smell it throughout the day (maybe I get desensitized and others can, I dunno). It has mandarin, berries, honeysuckle, sandalwood, and vanilla. The first three notes kind of surprised me when I found out what they were because I'm not usually into those scents, but I love the last two scents and those are rather strong, so I think it evens out very well.