Confessions of a Product Junkie
Ok I admit it- I am a product junkie, a beauty addict, a make up-aholic. I have always loved reading about, researching, and trying the newest and greatest body and hair products, make up, and beauty tools. I am no real "expert" but I do have a decent arsenal of tools in the battle of beauty and aging. As much as I feel like I am in the know when it comes to beauty, a recent trip to a newly remodeled Sephora left me overwhelmed. I could not believe how many beauty lines are now available. This new Sephora carried high end lines that I had never even heard of before. As I wandered the store amazed at how much is now available in the world of beauty, I wondered how anyone can possible figure out what products to use and more importantly, how to get the most for their money. This trip motivated me to do a general overhaul of my three huge cases of products and make up and really look at what I own, what I use, and what I actually like. Of course, there was my everyday products and make up that I use religiously and the products I regularly rotate through; but there were also lots of products I hated and never threw away, expenive make up I never use and sadly things I bought and forgot about. I realized that even with my pretty decent research skills, I still end up making impulsive purchases, sucked in by luxurious packaging, persuasive sales people, and convincing marketing. Seeing all this waste in front of me, I had an epiphany- a beauty breakthough if you will. Now in my late 20's, it is time to take a different approach- it is now time for quality over quantity. It is time to be more aware of what products I use, where they come from, what is in them, and what is really the best value for my money.
I am now on a beauty mission. I am breaking down my beauty arsenal and rebuilding it with blood, sweat and tears. Or just lots of research. I will use this blog to share where I am starting from, what products I try, and what works and what doesn't. I will be looking at make up, skin, body and hair products, and beauty tools to find the best quality, the best places to buy, the best results, and of course what makes you beautiful. I will also be taking a holistic approach to my research and looking at beauty from the inside out. I will also be reviewing vitamins, healthy eating for beauty and "green" products,
I will start with a list of what I currently own and use, as well as a wish list of what I will be buying in the near future. I will update my blog as I try or hear of new products.
A good place to start is my skin care regimen.
Skin care- First let me tell you a little about my skin type and skin problems. I am fair skined with blond hair and blue eyes. So it goes with out saying that SPF plays a big role in my regimen. I hate to admit it, but I use to be a sun junkie and athlete, so I spent a lot of time in the sun growing up. Therefore, I am also starting to combat signs of sun damage. I use to have oily, acne prone skin, but as I have gotten older I now have combination skin which can breakout periodically and larger pores with blackheads. I also genetically have a bit of dark circles under my eyes, which can get worse with little sleep and allergies.
What I am using regularly:
Clarisonic Brush: Once a day at night with Cetaphil cleanser. I just bought the Clarisonic so I can't say too much on this yet, but I have seen some improvement in the texture of my skin and it feels smoother. It is pricey so I will give an update after a month of regular use. I use the clarisonic with a gentle non glycolic cleanser because it is not good to use a manual exfoliater with a chemical one.
Jan Marini Bioglycolic Cleanser: Before the Clarisonic, I use to use this once a day. Since I started using the Clarisonic my face is a tad bit sensitive, so I am using this once a day every other day. This product is different because you apply the product without getting your face wet. You apply, rub it in for about a minute, then wash off. I would not recommend this for anyone with very dry or sensitive skin because the glycolic can be drying and can sting. Before this, I used Dermalogica cleansers, which I still love. I bought Jan Marini on a whim after I received a Jan Marini facial. I do feel that Dermalogica is gentler on my skin and also does not test on animals, which is something I like. It is also cheaper than Jan Marini's line and I think it is just as good.
Dermalogica Multi Active Toner: I love this stuff, it is gentle with a neutral smell. It contains lavendar and aloe which is soothing and also contains arnica, which is generally used topically or orally for healing of inflammation. It is pricey for a toner at $21 for a 8.4oz bottle. But a little goes a long way with this. It is a spray bottle so you only need about two sprays on your face.
Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum: I use this after washing my face and toning, I put a little over a dime sized amount all over my face and neck. This is about $18 for 1.7oz,which is average priced for a serum. I love how my skin feels after using this, it makes it really smooth. They just came out with a non scented version which is exactly the same without the fragerence additive. I think the less additives the better so I will buying this version once mine runs out.
Olay Regenerist Anti-Eye Roller: I LOVE this product. This does wonders for my dark circles and feels amazing in the morning. The coolness of the rolling ball really wakes you up and makes you feel refreshed. I bought a pack of two at Costco and they have lasted me over 6 months.
Teamine Undereye Cream: I bought this at the recommendation of my dermatologist. She said that some people don't see results, but I really have. When I ran out last time, I saw the circles become much darker under my eyes the week I didn't have it. This is pricey at $50 for .5oz so I use very little and only in the mornings.
Day Cream: Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 50 with Helioplex. This is more expensive than my normal Oil of Olay SPF 15, at $13.99 for 1.7 fl/oz. But with spring here and summer on its way, I wanted more SPF coverage during the day. It is thicker than Oil of Olay and doesn't rub in as easily but for the additional coverage I will take it.
Tretinoin Gel .01%: This is a prescription retinal that my derm prescriped. This is a wonder product! It helps with wrinkles and breakouts. I use a very thin layer at night every other day. Retinals are not for everyone- they can cause redness, flaking, and burning. It also makes your skin extra sensitive to the sun, so sunscreen is a must when you using this. The .01% is a very mild dose, so if you have more mature or sun damaged skin your derm might prescribe you a stronger formula.
Olay Regenerist Eye Make Up Remover: I got this in a package set with other regenerist products, so I am not sure of the cost. But this is amazing. I was previously using the Sephora brand make up remover pads. They irriated my eyes and the pads were rough on my skin. The regenerist remover is a gentle cream that not only removes make up completly, but is also an anti-wrinkle cream with amino-pedptides and hydrator. It doesn't irriate my eyes and it feels great.
Night Cream: I have been alternating my night creams for about 2 months. I bought the Jan Marini Transformation Cream. This was very expensive-$60 for 1oz. It smells really good and the cream is pretty thick. I'm always nervous that thick night creams will make me break out and luckily this did not. However, there is really nothing special about it. If it was $20 I would probably like it, but I don't see it being worth $60. Once this runs out I will not buy it again.
The second night cream I use is Dermalogica super rich repair: I have a special place in my heart for Dermalogica. I have been using it since college and every product I use I seem to really like. It is also a mid-priced product, so I never feel too guilty about buying it. This cream is a lot thicker than Jan Marini's but again it did not break me out. This feels super hydrating and thick so it is great to use in combination with the retinal. I got this for $45 online-an average price for a good night cream.
Face Masks: I use to exfoliate once a week using scrubs and masks before buying the Clarisonic. Now that I have it, I don't feel like I have to exfoliate with masks anymore. I do use Dermalogica skin hydrating masque. This is a great mask for hydrating your skin when it feels extra dry. It is also very cooling and light. I leave it on for about 15 minutes after I wash my face.
The last product I had been using but have since run out of was Obagi Nu-Derm Clear: This is a skin bleaching and corrector cream. I had to get a prescription from my derm for this because some people are very sensitive to hydroquinone. What this does is lightly "bleach" your skin and evens out the tone. I have a few light red marks from past break outs and some unevenness to my skin, so this is suppose to even it out. Also, it is very useful in lightening brown spots or hyperpigmintation from sun spots. I did notice a big difference in my skin when using this and was very happy with the results. However, I did read that this can thin your skin and is not good to use on a regular basis. This might be something I will use once a year or so.
So there is my list of skin products. I will add to it when I start using a new product. If anyone has recommendations let me know, I am always on the look out!