Month: September 2016

Top 5 Essential Fall Skincare Products|My Sample Fall Skin Routine

Hello all and hello fall! 


With cooler weather already here, it’s important to make sure you and your skin are fully prepared for the chillier months. 

I’ve put together my top 5 essential fall skincare product picks and also a sample fall skincare routine that includes not only my personal products, but my rationale for each choice as well in this post.

Enjoy and Happy Fall Y’all!

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This week’s Beauties on Fire collaboration theme is fall and I could not be happier…even though it’s still in the 90’s here in Florida. Gotta love that crisp fall air from the Gulf of Mexico!

We are always accepting new members so please join us if you want to belong to a fun, supportive,  and diverse blogging group. We have gone way beyond just a “basic collab,” now providing blog/blog post promotion, blogging help, discussion on weekly beauty/fashion/blogging topics…and literally so much more I physically can’t list it all here.

You can also vote on next week’s theme via Twitter.

Last week, I saw a really cute fall tag post on Emily Mae’s blog that totally got me in the autumnal spirit (not that I need any help with that of course…look at this intro if you need further proof). 

It reminded me of how much I love fall for all the basic reasons: the fashion, the food, the pumpkins, the holidays, the certain Starbucks beverage that’s over 5$ a pop, but also reminded me of how much I love it when my skincare routine gets super exciting with even more layers (like the clothes) and how I can get all sorts of nerdy and creative with my chronic overspending at Memebox and Amazon. (Yes, I am 100% completely aware I have a problem and need urgent help).

I could honestly go on and on (and on and on) about how and why I love fall so so much, and how I wish it were the only season to exist, but my Ode to Fall would be longer than an unabridged copy of Les Miserables, and frankly, I care about you all enough to not do that to you😰

I tried to make this post as helpful as possible, and if you have any questions, concerns, or love/hate, please let me know in the comments below (you know the drill). 

**My Top 5 Essential Fall Products**


1) An Effective Exfoliator

I personally like to keep both a chemical and physical exfoliator on hand at all times. Since I have dry skin, I like to use a gentle chemical exfoliator 2-3 times per week to keep my skin as soft and smooth as possible, then I use a physical exfoliator 2-3 per month (basically as-needed) to banish any flaky patches and do some heavy duty exfoliating work.
I also just love having the best of both worlds: the awesome fun of watching your dead skin ball up and fall off, then the lovely clean feeling of a good old fashioned scrub.

2) A Glow-getter
As skin dries out between the effects of cold weather and indoor heating, it can become dull and lifeless, making you look older and more tired than you actually are. To counteract these undesirable effects, add in products with glow-inducing ingredients like:

-propolis

-yeast ferment filtrates

-rice

-glycolic acid

-kojic acid

-vitamin c

-azelaic acid

-niacinamide

-arbutin

(To only name a few)

The drier you skin tends to get, the more products with glow-boosting ingredients you’ll want. So for someone with oily skin and a healthy moisture barrier, maybe one product will do the trick. If your skin is naturally dry like mine, it might take 2 or more products to achieve that natural-looking inner glow.

3) Sunscreen 

Even though the days may be getting shorter, it doesn’t mean anyone gets to start slacking on this step (insert typical Kbeauty sun damage fear mongering here). Given the drier weather, finding a formulation without alcohol can help offset unnecessary drying effects.

4) A Trusty Sleeping Pack

If you want to truly say you woke up like this, include a sleeping pack in your routine

As full-blown winter approaches (for those reading this who actually experience seasons unlike where I live), having a tried and true sleeping pack (or a heavy, preferably occlusive moisturizer) to fall back on when your skin starts to get uncomfortably dry will become something you don’t know how you managed without. 

5) A Heavy Hitting Daily Moisturizer

It doesn’t really matter if it’s *technically* a moisturizer, serum, ampoule, or something else; what matters is that it consistently gives your skin the amount of hydration, nourishment, and protection it needs. 

It will probably be the final layer of a routine, and somewhat occlusive (think of a sleeping pack’s lighter cousin meant for daily use). It should seal in anything applied underneath, and protect your skin from water loss. 

**A Sample Fall Morning Weather Routine**


I don’t use the same products every day, preferring to reach for whatever my skin needs that day (using my skintuition, eh?), so this is by no means my full, actual routine (as I really don’t have one, just a slew of possible products to apply any given morning or evening), but rather a possible routine I might use.

Exfoliate (Optional)

If my skin is looking rough with any signs of dryness (I have a 100% flake-free policy), I’ll use a gentle chemical exfoliant like Cure Natural Aqua Gel to start the day off with a clean (smooth) slate.

Cleanse

I never skip a good cleansing session using my trusty CosRX Good Morning Low pH foaming cleanser. Because of its lower pH, it won’t further dry my skin by stripping it of (what little) moisture my skin already has.

Smooth

After patting my face dry, I apply straight up galactomyces ferment filtrate (currently using Ramosu’s version, but will be trying out an actually-labeled-as-a-first-treatment-essence-FTE soon) to my face to help smooth out texture, provide nourishment and moisture, and most importantly, deliver some glow.

Tone

I like to use a hydrating toner next to prep my skin for the oncoming layers of moisture. Right now, I’m currently liking the Hyaluronic Acid toner by Its Skin, but want to try their collagen version once I run out. If I’m broken out/feel some spots coming on, I typically use Papa Recpie’s Trouble AC toner. It helps the issue without being too drying.

**This part forward of my routine tends to be the most variable for those who may be curious**

Treat

-D’ran Wonder Tea Tree essence: to prevent spots and lighten scars/PIH.

-CosRX Propolis Light Ampoule: this guy is just getting introduced into my routine (how I love testing out new things!), and so far the results are pretty instantaneous. If all continues to go well over the next 2 weeks, it will be a “glow” product in my collection/hoard.

Moisturize

-Goodal Murumuru Hydraseed Serum: I knew I loved this stuff, but had forgotten exactly how much I freakin love it until It arrived at my doorstep again. It’s incredibly nourishing and protective and I am so glad it’s back in my routine again. One of my favorite winter products. 

-CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Serum: this stuff is a total cure-all. I think I’ve ranted enough on this blog how much I love it already.

-If my skin has gone super-dry on me, I might add an extra moisturizer on top like the Broccoli Clearing Lotion by Innisfree, or something like Scinic’s Snail Matrix Cream.

Seal

-To seal everything in, I like to layer on CosRX’s Brightening Rice Overnight Spa Mask, or Etude House Moistful Collagen Cream. It keeps all my hard work locked in while helping protect my skin from moisture loss due to the cold, or moreso, indoor heating.

Protect

And no proper skin routine would be complete without sunscreen. I generally wait a few minutes after applying my final skincare step to allow it to fully absorb, then apply my sunscreen, wait another 5 minutes minimum, and then apply any makeup. It may seem annoying to wait, but frankly, I just do my hair or eat breakfast, that sort of thing while it sinks in.

This is what a typical fall routine might look for me. I’m typically indoors so I worry most about the artificial heating sapping moisture from my skin (hence lots of hydrating layers and a heavy-handed application of an occlusive barrier).

Cold weather can be really hard on the skin, so the more damage you can prevent, the better.


What’s your favorite thing about fall? Bonus points if it’s related to skincare 😊

***

And, of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without the Beauties on Fire link-up. If you’d like to read more 🍁fall-themed posts🍁, just click on the picture to be taken to the main page πŸŽƒ

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The Truth About Your Sheet Masks

While not breaking news in Korea, a recent sanitation scandal involving any Kbeauty enthusiast’s skin care staple-the sheet mask-has run rampant world wide after a Reddit post made by dvaonline22 brought the issue to light and exposed the sketchy practices of many Korean companies. After Racked got word via an article by fanserviced-b, it’s been all the K beauty world has been talking about.

In short, many sheet masks are being hand-folded by workers in their homes, creating not only major sanitation and health issues for sheet mask users, but labor concerns as well; workers are typically underpaid, making a quarter of an American cent per single sheet mask folded according to Weekly DongA.

Here is the original Reddit post that has taken the Asian Beauty world by storm. 

Screenshot of the original post from Reddit:

Chances are VERY LIKELY that your sheet mask stash is contaminated, the material having been folded bare handed, on a recycled cardboard folding guide, in someone’s unregulated, unmonitored home, by grossly underpaid human labor. Personally, not something I want on my face PERIOD, let alone for an extended period of time. These sorts of practices have been going on for awhile now, but not much is being done about this issue (as it seems to not be seen as much of an issue by many brands).

How it Works:

Photo via Twitter


Basically, the unfolded masks are dropped off at workers’ homes where they are folded, often with the aid of a handmade cardboard folding guide like those used in retail clothing stores, and then put into unsealed mask envelopes. The now-folded masks are taken to the factories where they are (supposedly) sanitized/tested, filled with essence, sealed, and readied to hit the shelves. They undergo a “microbial check,” but that means that things like hair and cigarette ash could still remain.


Via Racked

https://mobile.twitter.com/dotorucom/status/740822092665475072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

And they often do: there have been numerous reports of cigarette ash, hair, and other debris found in sheet masks by Korean consumers as well as strange smells (like STALE NICOTINE not accounted for in the ingredients list). Skin irritation and reactions have also occurred. 

Photo via Racked


A lot of the time, it seems most companies divert the task of mask folding to subcontractors, not the factories themselves, pointing the Finger of Blame at the middleman in this equation. When labor is outsourced, it’s true that companies have less control over their product, but this issue has been one surprisingly ignored both by the companies themselves, and more shockingly, the average Korean consumer. 

This is far from a small time brand issue; many large companies like Mediheal and SNP are explicitly known to use at-home labor for this task. These brands claim that sometimes hand folding is a necessary task due to a large variety of masks that automated folding would not be suited for, or that they have strict sanitation rules and regulations for the at-home work. πŸ™„ 


Via Revelist

The lack of regulations doesn’t matter that much though. A Korean blogger with experience in the beauty industry told POP SUGAR that in the sheet mask factory she worked part-time in, workers often smoked cigarettes while on the line. Much of the factory was incredibly dirty and unhygienic. It seems an upheaval in sanitation enforcement is needed across the entire sheet mask industry.

Photo via Cosmo.PH


Is anyone getting Benton flashbacks from this?

 It’s a widespread epidemic that is commonly known by the Korean public; many of the top selling masks use this unsanitary manufacturing practices and are doing only a little about it.

For starters: no gloves? 

 Many Reddit users and Kbeauty enthusiasts have reached out to multiple companies about this issue. Some have responded, some haven’t. 

This article on Racked has an updated list of companies who have responded. They also have some safe mask recommendations included as well.

How to Stay Safe:

If anyone here remembers the Great Benton Sanitation Scandal, many users developed stubborn skin infections their dermatologists and doctors struggled to treat. From heavy-duty antibiotics to OTC treatments, nothing really worked. People were left with scarring from said infection from the Benton product(s) after struggling with it for months, and for some a year. 

Sanitation issues are nothing to brush off, especially if you value your skin, let alone health. While much information is still being collected, research your masks-check them against cleared companies/brands, and inspect them carefully before use. Don’t accept any off smells, weird discoloration, and obvious things like ash, hair, bugs, and mold. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the company directly either. Many have great customer service, and if they don’t…well, that should tell you all you need to know.

This news is equally as shocking as it is sad. I’m not sure to do with my stash to be honest.πŸ˜…However, I’m so glad that this issue has finally gotten international attention it deserves. If everyone makes a big enough fuss, these illegal, and frankly disgusting, practices will finally by retired.

Here’s to a safer sheet masking world. Stay safe everyone! πŸ’•

How I Fixed My Keratosis Pilaris

YYQ3XBYDAPMany people struggle with a skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris. This skin condition causes tiny, acne-like bumps and dry patches to form on the arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks; the bumps form due to an overproduction of a protein called keratin which can block pores. It’s by no means a serious condition, but it can be annoying and unsightly. Its also not really curable: it can only be managed and subdued.

I’ve struggled with these little bumps on my upper arms ever since I can remember. In grade school, I was always so embarrassed to wear short sleeves or go sleeveless. A couple of times, kids would ask “eew, what are those?!” and for my middle school self, comments like those did nothing for my self-esteem. I’ve tried countless methods over the years to eradicate these stupid SOB’s but nothing really worked. I spent my middle school and high school years in 3/4 tops and sweaters, embarrassed and self-conscious (in only the way a typical teenager can be) about my bumpy arms.

It was by no means severe (except in my teenage mind, which, well, we’ve all been there), but I didn’t register that fully until I hit true adulthood (and had other bigger things to worry about like college finals, bills, real health problems, and, of course, adult acne).

As most of my readers know, Asian (well, Korean) skincare is more exciting to me than the creation of pre-sliced cheese and bread. Along the way down that rabbit hole, I picked up two products (I’m getting to them, I swear!) that in a true stroke of luck/fate/whatever have you, I combined and applied to my arms and was like “whoa!”

Status: keratosis pilaris remission achieved!

Now that all that background is out of the way, here is the method that took my upper arms from full-on granola mode to sleeveless-ready.

I use two products: Papa Recipe White Flower Clear Up 8% AHA Gel and Let’s Cure C-ster High Performance Powder.


The AHA gel stinks to high heaven (and much MUCH worse than a typical AHA which will smell like butt to begin with) and that rotting fish odor on my face was just something I couldn’t tolerate even for the sake of skincare…and that is saying something. Being the ardent “waste not, want not” stingy person that I am, I had to find another way to use it.

Within this time frame, I also picked up my first, very sad attempt at Vitamin C and wound up with a powder formulation that was supposed to be mixed with whatever moisturizer of choice. I didn’t know anything about pH or using vitamin C at the time, and when I used it on my face for 2 months, several times a week, and was not seeing anything that resembled results, it went into the same pile as the AHA.

And then I got creative and decided to mix the two. I had noticed that the Vitamin C powder helped neutralize the scents of whatever it was mixed with and lend it a gentle citrus-y note. Figuring the AHA couldn’t get any worse, I went ahead and mixed it as a 1:1 ratio (as per the C-ster powder instructions) and slathered the slightly less terrible solution on my upper arms where it wouldn’t be directly under my nose.

To use these two products up and get them off my valuable counter surface real estate, I mixed this solution up every night fresh and applied it. Within about a month of doing this, I started noticing how soft and smooth my normally rough upper arms were getting. Within two months (the products you don’t want always last the longest right?), my arms were 98% clear-the most “normal” arm state I ever remembered achieving.

Its now been three months since arriving at this lucky fusion of crap products and my arms are totally tank-top appropriate. They are also ridiculously soft. While I do have to apply sunscreen to my arms now in addition to my face, its worth the newfound texture.

I have yet to totally decide whether or not the Vitamin C powder actually works  (its just sketchy as hell y’all), the AHA definitely does as its not only at a powerful 8% concentration, but also a powerful exfoliator which keeps keratin from building up and forming bumps.

Before I conclude this post, I just want to say that I am no doctor or scientist and I’ve also been very bad and not done any research on if these two formulas can be mixed together without preservative measures cancelling out the other, etc. I figured (for my own safety, when I first played mad-cosmetic-scientist on my vanity) that the C-ster powder could be mixed with any moisturizer of choice, and since that territory was pretty broad, I figured why not a gel? If the C-ster powder actually does work, it would work with a product with similar pH needs. When it didn’t burn my arms off or anything, I think just mixing it up fresh, every night is safe enough for my own self. I would NOT recommend keeping a bottle of this stuff pre-mixed as, despite the fact these are acids, who knows what might want to play petri dish? (And geez, whatever would grow in THOSE conditions, I would NOT want on my face even more than just typical compact cushion/hangbang serum dwellers). The powder as well, should you choose to buy it (I honestly don’t know if it does anything other than minimize the day-old fish market “scent”), you’ll find that the amount of mixing will make successful bottling near impossible.

If you do try this method, know that YMMV, I am not a doctor or scientist or any kind of person that is qualified to be doling out this sort of information, and that if anything bad happens, I refuse to be responsible (although I will feel bad, probably cry a lot, remove this post, and send you lots of care packages).So if you attempt this, you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK and release me from any sort negative consequences like legal action. Love you guys!

Anyway, now that I’ve made this sound super scary and serious (lol, sorry, you just never know!), this very strange, very lucky, and in hindsight, very stupid adventure with two products that my stingy self just couldn’t chuck in the bin led to a very nice discovery and some very nice results. Just in case anyone who reads this is struggling with managing this skin condition, I thought I would share my findings here online. To perhaps try this method at their own risk πŸ˜‰

If you do so happen to try this method, please let me know how it went. I am very curious to see if this is just a me-thing or if I’ve actually stumbled on something weird-but-super-helpful. I can only tell you in this case that it gave me my arms back in about two and a half months from a M/W/F application schedule [and with wearing sunscreen on them during the day (so no burns or anything from AHA and Vitamin C photo sensitivity)].

This post is finally over, and I hope it was helpful. Please let me know if you’re interested in tying this method or know of something that worked for you! Have a wonderful rest of your day/night everyone! *mwah!*

Curology Month Three

The day has finally come: my first bottle of Curology is empty, and it’s time to decide if it’s worth the reorder. It’s been quite the journey thus far to say the least!
To recap: 

(Feel free to click on the month to go to the original post)

Month One: I went into this prescription super-excited and a little too high and mighty about the whole actives/purging thing. Lets just say I got taken down a few pegs…and then some.

Month Two: My skin got angry at the prescription, dried out, and broke out. Basically, it threw a nasty temper tantrum like a small child, causing me to throw nasty temper tantrums like a small child. I had to really up my moisturizing game and fiddle around with the application to get things back under control. I just about ditched my prescription it was *that bad.*

And this fiddling around worked…for a little while. Which brings us all to month three.

Month three is the month where results are supposed to start happening. It’s when all the pain and suffering from the previous months is supposed to become worth the tears and frantic derm messages. Results are supposed to start showing up.

But my skin is actually worse for wear than when I first started this whole thing 3 months ago. No other way to put it. 

Part of it has to do with what I am trying to treat; the small acne army that’s been camping out on my chin and neck area for quite some time is still there, doing the same clear up for a few days, get bad for a few days, then clear up again thing, over and over again. Talk about some stubborn acne! Even when I was full-on vegan, it didn’t clear up despite the rest of my skin being crystal clear.

 My azelaic acid Curology prescription has basically just made my skin drier, which in turn has made my breaking out worse. As in, looking back, I’m 98% sure that that “purging” was honestly breakout aggravation. 

Makeup (plus decent lighting) can hide the redness, but not the texture. And while my skin regime has done wonders for my face (I’m looking at you ex-cystic acne), it seems certain parts haven’t gotten the all-clear memo quite yet.

The second bottle of my original prescription arrived automatically in the mail just two days after I finished the first bottle. But given the lack of improvement, I’ve messaged my derm, and we have been weighing some options as to what to do with this first world problem of mine.

As of right now, we have formed a new action plan as this old formulation has been doing ziltch:

-a reformulation of my prescription to take out azelaic acid and switch it to a low concentration of zinc pyrithione which should more directly target the infection (whether it’s “normal” bacterial acne, an actual skin infection, or fungal in origin *shudder*). It will also (supposedly) help immensely with the dryness factor. The new bottle is on its way to me now.

-supplementing my current prescription with an antibiotic pill known as doxycycline. I’ll be starting it soon and taking it for about a month. Bonus: it may help with my dry eyes too…or just permanently discolor my teeth. How I love thee, modern medicine πŸ˜…

-she also suggested using vinegar diluted in water to dry the evil suckers out in the meanwhile. Will definitely report back if this method successfully kills off pimples in a future post. 

And a heads up about the Curology dermatologists: they are all so attentive and wonderful!

My old derm retired and I was (automatically) matched with another one. My new derm is fantastic,  and I so appreciate how much she is trying to work with me to solve this problem. I hate to say it, but she really is making my old derm look like a slacker. She has been very attentive, asking me lots of good questions about my skin routine, stress levels, and such (that was such a long message cuz 10+ steps or die, all day, every day). And when I uploaded more pictures, she was like “you don’t need to deal with this anymore. We are changing your prescription, and here is this optional antibiotic to speed things along if you’d like.” My old derm was like “it’s too early. Just sit tight and let’s see what happens. Try this soap and reduce application.” May I mention, however, my old derm did say the medication basically needed a full 3 months to work and when I was assigned to her, I was not yet at that mark. I think the new derm caught me at the fun able-to-tweak-RX time.

 Anyway, what matters is that things have now changed around here, and I hope it’s not going to be another three months of purging/breaking out/more of the same, and instead a three months of my trouble areas clearing up, and my skin returning from its desert-dry state.

Azelaic acid is a pretty amazing substance, but it seems my acne may either be ridicuously stubborn (yay) or not really acne at all, but a fungus (double yay) or a skin infection (triple yay). I never dreamed I’d say this, but I really, REALLY hope it’s just acne πŸ˜…

Now that I’ve made Curology sound absolutely terrible (they honestly aren’t one bit at all), here is my invite link for a FREE first month to Curology should you feel so inclined to delve into the world of prescription-strength actives. Disclaimer: I am NOT affiliated with Curology, and recieve a 10$ credit for every “referral.” This money helps me pay for the prescription. So please, help this broke blogger achieve her #skingoals if you decide to try them out πŸ™‚

So that’s the full update. If you’d like another month-by-month update (as it’s technically a whole new prescription), please like this post or comment below!

Skincare Storytime: The Craziest $hit I’ve Done to My Skin+ How I Did My Makeup in High School

Hello there my wonderful readers (and welcome you newbies here)!It’s time for another Beauties on Fire Collaboration post, and this week’s voted theme is “retro.”

For those of you who don’t know how this collab works, anyone can join at any time. Literally.

It’s an exceptionally diverse and SUPPORTIVE group of people, and our main goal is to make friends while learning from one another and having tons of fun! You know, all that cheesy stuff everyone hates to admit that they love and secretly want a part of.

You can contact our Amazing Leader Beth via email/Twitter/you know the drill (the picture below will be linking to her blog and the other posts, so heck, just leave a comment) and join our collab and Facebook Group.


If you don’t want to be apart of this collab (why would you NOT want to?), be sure to vote for next week’s theme via Twitter.

Anyway, I’ve been really loving the “how I did my makeup in high school” tag floating about YouTube right now, and have decided that retro will be a blast from my own past this week.

I’m also throwing in a little skincare storytime (can you tell I watch a lot of YouTube? Is it obvious?) from my middle school days because I’ve put my face through a lot over the years and, personally, it’s a lot more interesting than my makeup history: mainly during my amateur surgeon phase…it will probably make you cringe, and make you grateful you were less hell bent on making your zits disappear instantly with some sort of miracle cure.

Now that the world’s longest intro is over, let’s get into this blast from the past.

My Jenna Marbles Style Makeup Evolution


My makeup journey began when I was twelve…yup, I’ve been wearing makeup for over a decade now(holy cow, Β I feel old).

I wasn’t like a baby you-know-what, roaming the halls of my small private Christian school in my below-the-knee-skorts, but rather my group of friends’ mothers all got their hairstylist who did the best makeup out of all of them to give us the makeup equivalent of The Talk and show us how to apply mascara and lip gloss.

Ta da! I was officially initiated.

My mother instilled in me a Great Fear of the Cake Face and the Pancake makeup, so I didn’t get around to actual foundation until I was 20 out of sheer terror.

I would buy Neutrogena foundation, but then use it as a concealer applied with my finger tips. Because brushes and sponges and beauty blenders weren’t a thing for me yet.

I distinctly remember many tubes of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (I honesty don’t know anyone to this day who used a different first starter mascara) and used that all the way till high school. There were also those cheeker blush things from Covergirl and 99 cent lip gloss…so much lip gloss.


Freshman year of high school, I went through the mandatory teenage angst phase where I applied grey sparkly eyeshadow (because the lady who showed us 12 year olds how to do makeup told me grey shadow went with blue eyes and I never thought to, you know, branch out) in a very large smokey eye/zombie fashion, until my friend literally told me three days in to stop wearing it like that because she didn’t want to be seen with me looking as such. It was a good call. I switched to lighter, more neutral shadow quad called “pure romance.” It was a much better look, but didn’t reflect the darkness of my soul. Cuz I was deep like that.

And that is what I did, every single day, until my junior year of college, when I conquered my fear of foundation, discovered what the heck a beauty blender was, and stumbled upon the beauty guru side of YouTube. We all know I drank that Kool-Aid right up and can now be found making it rain every other weekend at ULTA.

Warning: I was A Dumba** πŸ™‚

Now here’s the scary part: my makeup may have been super safe and basic (minus the 3 day zombie/vampire phase), but my skincare routine was anything but.

All through middle school, I thought my skin was SO bad, bad with a capital B. Because 3-4 pimples every two weeks was literally the end of the world.

If it was small, sharp, and had a 30% likelihood of being able to pop a zit, I’d attempt to do so. Safety pins, needles, thumbtacks, my fingernails, you name it. And then, when I got smarter about skincare (oh, I’m supposed to wash my face with something not-Dial-soap?), I started disinfecting them with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol before use. *cringe*

I eventually wised up and bought an actual extractor that gets disinfected each and every time it goes near my face. I also know better than to pop them willy-nilly too…now.

Not knowing what to do with all my newfound facial friends in the sixth grade, I got a little too creative with my spot treatments. It was quite sometime before I figured out there was such a thing as a 3 step face routine kit (which, spoiler alert: didn’t do much for about 4 years), so I turned to every household cleaner (Hi there, Windex), brand of toothpaste, home remedy possibly conceivable. Because products designed to actually kill zits just didn’t appear on my radar until the seventh grade. I was cool like that.

Here’s a brief list of some of the stuff that has gone on my (poor) face:

-Windex (who hasn’t done this at least once?)


-clear nail polish (I was trying to suffocate them for some reason)

-nail polish remover (to remove said “suffocate-ant”)

-toothpaste (too drying, makes things worse)

-honey* (good choice, but not fast)

-mosquito repellent (just don’t)

-sulfur* (makes sense)

-charcoal* (still use this)

-duct tape/tape (again, I just wanted to suffocate the infection? Why did I feel the need to do so? Someone please tell me)

-hand sanitizer (err, I was clean?)

-hydrogen peroxide (white, flakey aftermath)

-bleach/oxiclean (whoa, too clean. Waaaay to clean. It buuurrrrnnnnsss)

-baking soda* (cleans the pores…but remember to moisturize afterwards)

-lemon juice* (lighten the natural way…stings a lot on needled open zits though…)

-rubbing alcohol (that tingly, omg, my pores are on fire feeling)

-drawing salve* (try this one tonight with Prid’s version and you’ll thank me tomorrow)


-oatmeal, banana, aloe, avocado, milk, yogurt, egg masks* (all super okay to use and super cheap, but I was like “no, give me something dangerous that makes no sense to get rid of zits or give me death”-go puberty hormones!)

-mayo (it belongs in sandwiches and hair masks. I don’t want to talk about it)

-peanut butter (cuz PB will obviously cure pimples. Everyone knows that)

-jelly (because the PB didn’t work…surprise, surprise. This is where I proceeded to mustard and all the other condiments in the fridge. They also didn’t work)

-straight up vinegar* (um, dilute it, just saying)

-raw potato* (it is rumored to draw out infections…I dunno if it did, but there were worse things I could have (and did) put on my face)

-gasoline (why Lord, why?)

-Draino (how did I even survive between the ages of 12-15?!)


-cortisone/anti itch cream* (actually takes down the swelling)

-legitimate spot treatments* (ugh, finally, something not totally insane)

Obviously, don’t try most of this at home.

The “treatments” that have asterisks are the ones that won’t kill your skin, or more importantly, you.

I was creative back then, real creative. I think it’s safe to say I don’t know what the heck I was thinking.
Obviously, as I’m still alive, I got with the rest of the world after the sixth grade, and started using actual skin products on my face (if you’d use it to clean a toilet or power a car, it probably shouldn’t go on your face).

The biggest lesson I learned during that very (very) formative year of puberty was that breakouts are definitely 1000x worse in your mind than they actually are.

And also that Draino is not out to make any friends.

Nor are chemical burns.

There is also nothing that will make them go instantly away (unless you have a lot of money, even more of a pain tolerance, and a very patient derm).

Looking back on this actually explains why I didn’t bat an eye at slathering snail mucin all over my face come my early Kbeauty days…


Anyway, all of you readers, learn from my stupidity, and don’t try 90% of this at home.

What was the craziest thing you ever did to your skin? What are your theories on how I survived to adulthood? (Because I would reallyΒ like to know πŸ˜……😭).

Esfolio Foot and Heel Peeling Mask Review

There is an increasingly popular, no-longer-cult product known as Baby Foot that promises to make swathes of skin fall off your feel and reveal, well, baby soft skin underneath. And they deliver on this promise, as any quick Google search of the product reveals. 

In my search for a similar product, that wouldn’t cost a whopping 20$, I stumbled upon the Esfolio Foot and Heel Peeling Mask on the Memebox site (on sale, 2$, I don’t think they have restocked them(and for obvious reasons, but we’ll get there)). 


As with what seems to be all at-home foot peels, you soak your feet for 1-2 hours in plastic booties  filled with (supposedly) fruit-derived alpha-hydroxy acids. The AHAs slowly work on breaking the bonds (the glue) that hold skin cells together on your feet, and after anywhere from 3-7 days post-soaking, the skin begins to peel away, often in disgustingly satisfying large sheets. Soaking feet in hot water nightly can help speed up the process. 

I can’t say that this peel didn’t work-around 5 days post-soaking session, my feel began to peel and did so for about 4 days-it didn’t deliver the results I was hoping for. There was nothing remotely close to the level of peeling Baby Foot users showed on other blogs and image searches (I couldn’t find much on this particular peel by Esfolio either so I have nothing to compare my experience to other than Baby Foot). 


Instead of large sections, my skin pilled-up not unlike a knit sweater. Even soaking them for 20 minutes nightly once the peeling began, the peeling was minimal. Frankly speaking, my face probably does more peeling come drying out in the wintertime than this peel did for my feet.

It also only peeled around the outer edges of my heels, the outer edge of my foot, and on the balls of my feet. There was a small bit of peeling on one of my pinky toes, but nowhere else.. Maybe 15% of my foot actually dropped skin.

My feet aren’t much softer than they were pre-peel either. 

This product was bitterly disappointing; once they started to peel, I was so excited to start my foot journey anew for fall, but I think I’ll need to actually splurge on a Baby Foot peeling kit to get the results I was hoping for.

Overall Rating: 3-it works, but not like I wanted it too…hence, I personally won’t repurchase. 

Rating Scale:

1-Holy Grail.

2-Worthy of a spot in my current routine

3-Meh, probably won’t repurchase, but it wasn’t horrible

4- Don’t buy this, for your own sake

Have you ever done one of these foot peels before? Is the amount of skin gross…or secretly really awesome?

ο»ΏHow to Fix Broken Makeup

There are few worse feelings than dropping a large sum of money on a designer makeup something-or-other, only to accidentally break it by its second or third use. All it takes is one overzealous swipe of a brand new lipstick shade until the tip breaks off from the tube and is rolling around on the floor, or one miscalculated reach for a brush, and that brand-new contour palette is in powdery shards on the bathroom counter top. However its been broken, here’s how to fix it:

Powders:

This category encompasses the majority of breakage. One wrong bump and the contents seem to fall apart. If broken compacts and palettes are a problem, luckily, they are super easy to fix.

image credit


Place as many pieces as possible back into the original pan. Add a few, tiny drops of rubbing alcohol over the mess. The powder will become very soft and pliable once the alcohol is added. Use something like a butter knife, clean fingertip, or toothpick to push and mold the softened powder back into shape. Let it dry overnight. The alcohol will evaporate, leaving the powder uniform again. It may not be as pretty as before, but it will still work just the same.

If the powder is too broken/just too powdery to reconstitute in the pan with alcohol, it can always be ground up and stored in a empty container to be used as loose powder.

Lipsticks:

Lipsticks have a knack for randomly breaking, especially, it seems, they newer and more expensive they are. Here are two things that can salvage a lipstick gone rouge.


The first option is to reattach the remaining lipstick in the tube to the part that has broken off. Make sure to at least wipe off the outside of the lipstick, especially if has touched the floor. Next, take a match or lighter and heat the top of the lipstick that is still inside the tube. Be very careful not to overheat and completely melt the lipstick; it should be gooey, not runny. Once the lipstick inside the tube has been heated, gently press the broken portion on top of the melted portion. Use a clean finger or spoon/knife to smooth out the edges. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. After it cools completely, its ready to be used once again!

If a lipstick breaks and dealing with it potentially breaking again doesn’t sound too appealing, creating a lipstick palette may be a good alternate option (or just a funny, rainy afternoon project!). All that is needed is a lighter or match (heat source), a small spoon or bowl, an empty container/palette (empty eye shadow ones work amazingly well), toothpicks/ butter knife, and of course, broken lipstick(s). The first step is to take an appropriate amount of lipstick (what will fit in the container) and place it into the spoon/bowl. Slowly heat up the lipstick from underneath the bowl while stirring the lipstick with a toothpick or butter knife. Keep in mind that it takes very little heat for lipstick to melt. Once the lipstick reaches a consistency that it can easily be poured, go ahead and use it to fill the palette. Lipstick expands as it cools so leave a little space for expansion at the top. Use the back of a spoon or a knife to smooth the surface of the lipstick. After it cools, it is ready to use.

This method makes it easy to use favorite lipstick shades as blushers as well.

If more lipstick shades are going to be used, be sure to clean the “mixing spoon”/bowl to not contaminate shade integrity. Customized shades could potentially be mixed and poured as well. Don’t be afraid of getting creative!

Has anyone tried any of these before? The alcohol+powder trick has saved me more than once:) Thanks for reading!