Monday, April 27, 2015

Skincare and Mistakes

For my first real post, I wanted to write about (post shower) skincare, and eventually get to my most current, but small, mistake (honestly the mistake isn't much of an issue at all, just posting as a little forewarning). When I start getting really in to new types of products, I can get a bit obsessed. Lately those obsessive tendencies have been geared mostly toward both skincare and lipsticks. And the lipsticks have hurt my wallet but not my lips, so lets not get into that at the moment.

My skincare up until recently consisted solely of a little moisturizer on my face after I got out of the shower. I used to sleep in my makeup all the time, and while my skin was not great for having done so, my worst issue with that was always my eyes (I know, I know, I'm an awful human). I did start using makeup wipes to remove my makeup awhile ago, but I never got around to updating my actual skincare routine. One day around a month ago I just suddenly decided that I was going to do better for my face, and do my best to maintain it (This may have been somewhat prompted by a Groupon for $10 facials). So I started reading up on different things you should be doing for your skin, and there is just SO MUCH out there that it can get overwhelming. I'm lazy and hate to research, but I did it anyway, to some extent.

I think the most important thing is to know your skin type, and find products that work for that type. From what I can tell, the general skin 'types' are: Dry, Normal, Oily, and Combination. I guess you can be any variation in between. I have Combination/Oily skin, meaning that some areas of my skin might be dry, but it leans toward the Oily skin type. I blame my Dad. ANYWAY! From what I have read, it seems like you want to use a toner, exfoliator, and a moisturizer as just a basic routine (again, this is just about post-shower skin care, nothing you would use in the 'wet' stage as I hereby dub it). There are tons of other products out there claiming to do different things, but a lot of them seem best used on an occasional basis. I'm just going to go over my new routine because I'm still in the excitement stage with these products. I am not trying to suggest that anyone else should necessarily use them, you should use what works for your skin. BUT, I am loving these and wanted to share regardless.

Presented without further comment.

Toner is used to refresh and tighten skin and helps diminish pores. Some toners can be drying, but even if you have dry skin, there is a toner out there that will still work for you. I had a toner once upon a time that I used some but never really got into because it made my skin feel sticky. The best I can say about that is to experiment and try different kinds and see what works for you. In my researches I have found my ultimate most favorite toner and I don't see myself going to any other kind. Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera feels light and refreshing, does not dry out skin due to the presence of Aloe Vera, has witch hazel (stuff is great for your skin, Here's a random article about Witch Hazel for you), and my skin basically sparkles like a Twilight Vamp when I use it. Also, it smells great and there are other varieties out there if you don't like the Rose smell. Prices can vary, but I got mine for about $7.

Enjoy this weird stock photo of a girl rubbing steel wool on her face. Don't be like this girl, and don't over-exfoliate!

Exfoliators come in a lot of varieties. Usually there is something coarse in them to help scrub away dead skin cells. I use that kind of exfoliation in the shower because it's just easier and my skin feels friggin baby soft when I get out. I have recently learned that there is a different kind of exfoliator that goes on after the toner. I'm not an expert on this stuff (or really on anything), so I don't fully know what the function of it is in terms of exfoliation. But I DO know that I love what I have been using and have had some nice results with it so far. Why exactly it is called 'exfoliation' I do not know. What I am using is a liquid that has salicylic acid in it, which is great for clearing skin of zits, and this formula works really well to diminish redness on the skin. Unlike my new favorite toner, this stuff does leave your skin feeling sticky, but that is what the moisturizer is for. I have been using This stuff from Paula's Choice. I get it from Birchbox, because I have their monthly subscription, and with their points plan, I can get $10 off when buying this, since it's a bit more than I would want to spend normally. There may be other cheaper products that are similar, but I don't know what they are, so do your own damn research on that. I'll keep using my awesome Paula's Choice stuff because it works and a little goes a long way, still on my first bottle and testing longevity though.

Will never NOT post applicable Doctor Who references.

Ok the last important step is the moisturizer. I use two depending if it is day or night. They are both Paula's Choice, again. I use This SPF 30 moisturizer for the daytime because it is made for combination/oily skin like mine, mattifies so that you don't get too oily throughout the day, and has SPF 30 which is crucial for your skin. If I accidentally use too much, which can happen because it is quite a liquidy moisturizer, I just spread the rest down my neck or wherever else. You want to keep this quite light on your skin because too much will also make you look oily even though that is what it is meant to prevent (and it does prevent it if applied correctly).  At night I use This Moisture Gel which is also for combination/oily skin. This stuff is great because it keeps my face hydrated but does not get greasy at all, it just feels like my skin is smooth and perfect. Moisturizing gels are really the ideal way to go if you have oily prone skin. And you do NOT want to skip moisturizing your skin just because you have oily skin. Your skin produces more oils when it isn't hydrated enough because it is trying to compensate for that lack of moisture. People with dry skin I'm sure already hoard as much moisturizer as they can get. Paula's Choice can be a little pricey for someone like me who is used to buying drugstore skin products, but it is definitely less expensive than a lot of the higher end products, and it all works great because SCIENCE. What I like about ordering from the Paula's Choice website is that shipping is SUPER LIGHTNING FAST (or was for me anyway), I got my package the DAY after ordering, and it was free shipping (which isn't always the case but there was a special so I would recommend waiting for that), and if you order through someone's friend link, you get $10 off your first purchase, and your friend gets $10 too. So ultimately it isn't THAT expensive, and it is definitely worth it, for me at least. I'm not going to link my friend referral link because that's not what this post is about, but if you're interested you can just message me or whatever. I like discounts, ok? Everyone does!
So anyway, on to the little mistake. Like I said, I've been getting overzealous with this stuff, and have received a LOT of skincare samples in the mail recently due to... various purchases. So the other night I decided I was going to use up some of my samples. I didn't really know what I was doing and was just kind of slathering creams on my face. It's like, oh cool, I have five samples to use, let's use ALL THE SAMPLES. Well, DON'T. I ended up with weird grainy pills on my face, and my face turned red, and things got kind of greasy. This is a waste of product, and a waste of face. I had to go wash my face again, and reapply my basics. The lesson here is not to mix and match too many things, because shit will go south. It is probably fine to add an extra step or so if you want to with different products, but don't go overboard trying all the things. Even if you don't end up with a face of mess like I did, you probably won't be able to tell what product is doing what job, and you won't even be able to tell if you like any of them or not. And maybe this stuff is common sense to you guys, (I mean it DOES make sense, you don't want to contaminate an experiment, you have to have a control group) but I just did not think it through. I was too distracted by all the pretties.

So what is your skincare routine? Do you have one? What products do you like, and what do you hate? What skincare mistakes have you made? I know I can't be the only one!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


The idea here is just to have fun, do whatever is right for YOU, and say, "Fuck it" to the naysayers. I know I don't know what I'm doing, and maybe you don't either. Here to share experiences. More to come.