Monday, June 27, 2011

Skincare, Waterproof Stuff and Oh, My Face is Peeling Off

So I've been on the new skincare prescription from the dermatologist for almost two weeks now, I think my skin is adjusting to no salicylic acid (this is the longest I've gone without using it in a wash/gel probably for 12-15 years).  At first I was amazed that it wasn't drying me out, I skipped moisturizer altogether and still had fairly dewy (read: a little oily) skin.

Redness seemed to be clearing up and I do wonder if it's due to not using the drying wash/treatments with the salicylic acid - but the sulfur based products are supposed to help with rosacea so who knows.

Now I don't know what started all of this strange behavior over the past four days, but wowzers.  What a strange combination of issues I've been having.

First off, I had decided to try using a waterproof mascara daily.  I figured it wouldn't be as bad as I remember (removal) and the curly-lashed staying power plus no concerns about watery eyes in the wind would be reason enough to use it.  I had bought some Neutrogrena oil-free waterproof makeup remover to take it off with.  Even trying to be patient, I was getting frustrated getting all of the mascara off (I am generous with the mascara!).  Then my skin around my eyes was burning a bit in the morning, so I thought maybe I didn't wash it off afterwards because my whole washing routine is different now that I have to store my new sulfur stuff outside the bathroom.
A day or two after I noticed the burning, even though I had changed to being very careful about washing off the remover, I noticed some big scaly peeling around my eyes.  Yikes!  I decided straight away that I was chucking this waterproof mascara (okay, it's just going to the back of the bin reserved for days I really need waterproof) and getting some nice new easy to remove mascara.

I also felt my eye cream wasn't really moisturizing me (always have problems with concealer being patchy).  I was concerned maybe I'd been getting the new skincare/antibiotic too near to the eye skin, all had been revised in how I was applying.  I bought new eye cream, some stuff for "mature" skin from L'Oreal and it was gold, couldn't pass that up.  I love gold! Anyway.

This morning, I woke up and to my horror I was peeling around my left eye and down on to my cheek.  Criminy christmas!

Add in some mystery rash/burn of unknown origin on my neck and chest for the past 4 days and I'm a mess.  From the chest up, I'm burning and peeling and falling apart!  My neck was peeling this morning as well.  I'm not sure how it's possible that this was a sunburn as I wear sunscreen every day and last week it was raining and overcast almost every day anyway; and I only spend 45 or so minutes in the sun cumulatively all day... but it really does look like a sunburn today.  Maybe I was sleep-walking in the sun during a post-workday-nap.

I've also been getting several very small blemishes, the kind that clear up overnight for me with salicylic acid - getting them on my forehead and bridge of nose - and those are places that aren't terribly common for me to get spots.  I figure this is just another adjustment.  I may start wearing a bit of moisturizer again on my cheeks to keep them from drying out.  I'll wait another day or so to make sure it wasn't a weird fluke.  

We will prevail!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Black and Gold Nails - Maybelline and Sinful Colors

I needed some new mascara (another post most likely, I did not react well to the Neutrogena oil free makeup remover and reconfirmed waterproof mascara is not something I want to deal with on a daily basis) so I headed over to Walgreens with some coupons and sales in mind.  Of course I had to check out the clearance items while I was there!  This Maybelline Express Finish polish was on $2ish clearance price, I like the line in general and I had in mind to pick up a black polish (was surprised to find I didn't have one already).  So I grabbed Onyx Rush, it looked a little watery but shaking it up it did recombine so I figured I was good. 

Got home and slathered on two coats and it was fully opaque (no top or base coat, my nails are a hot mess after giving them 2 weeks to breath and wearing polish once, wondering if it's the Seche Vite...).  I left it to dry but decided it was looking slightly gothic-y so I knew I wanted a glittery something on top.  I just pried off some extremely chunky glitter earlier in the day (and only from 2 fingers and it was exhausting!) so I figured I'd go for a sheer very fine glitter non-glitter polish.  Knew the Sinful Colors All About You would be perfect for the job.

That gold shimmer is so pretty!  I really love the effect it gave with black, not exactly a summer look though. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Chartreuse Chase

My Sinful Colors in Gorgeous was chipping a bit (4-5 days, not bad!) so I was eager to try out my new Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Chartreuse Chase that I picked up at Target recently.  I like the brushes in this Insta-Dri line, flat and wide; the darker shades I've tried in the past were quick to apply and opaque in one coat.  I don't expect any very light opaque shade to go on easily, and especially not in one coat.  This was streaky and a little thin on the first coat, and I likely globbed it on in the second coat for it to be opaque.  I am pretty useless at nail polish application, despite my continued attempts. :)
Love the shade and shimmer, got a pretty good picture of the shimmer here.
I didn't use a base coat this time, I am wondering if it's contributing to the nail peeling I've been having.  Two layers of the Chartreuse, covered in the ever-reliable Seche Vite top coat.  Then on a whim I grabbed my new NYC glitter polish, Starry Silver and layered that so I could get 4-5 big chunky sparkles on both ring finger nails.  It took some work to get much happening and mushing around to get the chunky sparkles distributed.
Excuse the red hands (hot shower prior to pictures) and messy edges.  Holding up darker more true lime greens to my skin made it look a little sickly, but I think this brighter yellow green works better for me.  I did also buy lime green with shimmer from NYC (figured I'd give it a try at 89 cents), curious to see how it looks.  I have China Glaze's Refresh-Mint and I can't stand how it looks on me.  Get a weird sickly hospital green vibe from it.  I definitely like this more from the get-go!  If nothing else, I like the shimmer which can take the edge off a funky creamy pastel.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Colors I've Been Drawn to Lately

It's interesting how I (we) cycle through color preferences.  I think I am likely influenced by what's on trend, but sometimes certain shades just speak to me.

Lately I've been really digging greens/yellows/teals, chartreuse especially; and lilac/lavender.  I think part of it is being attracted to the combo colors - yellow-greens, blue-greens and pink-purples.  Can't get enough of them!

I was at Target for some waterproof eye makeup remover (picked up Neutrogena's liquid based on some half-remembered youtube recommendation) and the nail polish always speaks to me.  I can convince myself to skip the makeup, but I have a horrible time passing up polish. :)  I got two lime/yellow greens and a hot pink coral.  I tried out the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Chartreuse Chase (chartreuse with a greenish shimmer?) and NYC Long Wearing (on sale for $.89 down from $.99, score!) Classic Coral on my toes.  Alternated the green and pink and did the big toes half pink and half chartreuse.  Feeling the 80s!

So, what colors are everyone else out there being drawn to these days?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wet N Wild Color Icon in Greed and Covergirl LashExact Waterproof EOTD

I had bought the Wet N Wild Color Icon palette in Greed fairly recently, I wasn't terribly excited by it but knew that the peachy tone would likely be something I liked when on.  I don't have a lot of blacks/silvers/grays compared to warm tones, so I figured it'd be good to add that in as well.  I do really like how these six shadow palettes have 3 matte and 3 shimmer shadows.  And the mattes are easy to work with, no less!  Minor disappointment would be the shimmery peachy pink color has a lot of fallout and is difficult to get any product out of the pan.  It's pretty once you can pack some on though.
I also had bought this Covergirl LashExact waterproof mascara some time ago, I'd been waiting for my L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes to dry out and after having that stuff flake into my eyes on a daily basis of late I decided it was time to chuck it and try out the new CG.  I don't normally use waterproof since I don't need it as such, but I was curious to try it out with curling my lashes.  Also something I didn't do on a regular basis previously because I was pretty lucky to get naturally fairly curled lashes.  So it was on sale, etc etc and I got it.  I also was looking for a rubbery bristled brush, something that wasn't as chunky as the L'Oreal or CG LashBlast  This one has a thinner, flexible rubber bristled wand - just what I was looking for.  Here's a closeup of the brush.
I put this makeup on about 9 hours before taking this picture so the lining I had done with the matte black was seriously fading (not to mention I took a little post-dinner catnap in it :) ) but the matte peach was still going strong.  The shimmery peach is only visible on the inner half of the lid but it had slid off somewhat too.  My lashes have definitely stayed curled as well, I used the e.l.f. eyelash curler pictured above, only held a couple seconds midway and at the tips.
I've been liking the peachy look so much, wore it two days straight this weekend (a rarity!).  I have also been wearing my MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Pink Porcelain for blush (finding the Sigma contour brush works well to get decent color payoff) and my Physicians Formula Bronze Booster in Fair to Light.

Sinful Colors in Gorgeous

I've been loving teals and greens and yellows lately across the board, I have almost bought teal nail polish from a bunch of different brands.  I picked up this Sinful Colors in Gorgeous from Walgreens maybe a month ago, I'm finding that I like almost everything I try from the brand and it's only $1.99!  Can't argue with that.  I had bare nails for two weeks straight because I was having some pretty terrible peeling, so I waited for them to grow out so I could snip it off.  I had been waiting to try out this color the whole time. :)
I used my Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, 2 layers of the Gorgeous and finished off with Seche Vite topcoat.  It was slightly thin/streaky with the first layer, but mostly opaque.
Loving this color, it was worth the wait!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dermatologist Visit Results and New Skincare Routine

I was eagerly awaiting my dermatologist visit, I'd never been despite my history of acne for more than half my life.  Never bad enough in my mind to justify a doctor visit, but I've become increasingly impatient with it and I had some other questions.

I have a freckle on my lip (among several) that looked like it was getting darker, I have tiny red dots on my arms and legs and just wondered what they were, the chronic peeling around my nose, and of course that stubborn acne.  So, she said the freckle looked fine and I can use a lip balm with SPF (something I've been trying to be better about).  The red dots she said are small hereditary hemangiomas that are more common for fair skintones, nothing to worry about.  The nose is seborrhoeic dermatitis and the cortizone ointment I had been using was okay, but she could give me something that would work better (desonide).

For the acne!  I got all sorts of new stuff prescribed.  A face wash with sulfur/sulfacetamide, topical clindamycin and a sulfur/sulfacetamide lotion.  After doing some reading on the sulfur/sulfacetamide, it also treats rosacea and seborrhoeic dermatitis.  Since I have a good amount of redness and peeling in some areas, I am hopeful this will not only help the acne but those things as well.

It takes 8-12 weeks to get the full effect of the medication, the doctor said if this doesn't clear it up the next step would be an oral antibiotic; not something I am thrilled about unless it would be short term.  I am certainly excited about the prospect of having less acne, it gets fairly tiresome with constant breakouts on my chin.  And if I could decrease the redness too, that would be a great bonus. 

We'll see how it goes long term, but the first couple applications I'm finding none of the products are drying out my face (even Aveeno's Ultra Calming face wash makes my skin tight) and I've gone without a moisturizer. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips as Eyeshadow EOTD

I sat down at my makeup area this evening thinking I'd quickly apply my PF Shimmer Strips in Vegas Strip as eyeshadow, I haven't used it this way yet and had been meaning to give it a try.  There's a coppery penny type shade as the darkest shimmer and a light yellow gold as the lightest.  I put the light gold over the lid and the copper penny in my crease.  It all started so innocently.

I was reorganizing my highlighter and bronzer drawer and saw the MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl, so I smeared some on my cheekbones and browbone for highlight.

I was thinking about eyeliner to add some depth, recalled pixiwoo using shadow as a liner recently so I took the Revlon dual ended smudger/angled brush with the crazy brown-red in my Coastal Scents matte palette and lined my upper lashline.  Put it on lower lashline, but the redness was too scary so I recalled the matte black in this palette was quite pigmented so I threw that on top.  Extended out with a sort-of wing, completely lined eyes, then started really layering on the black - put on some in the waterline heavily to get the fully blacked out crazy eyes along with putting a nice thick layer of L'Oreal Voluminous (original) over my already-mascara'd lashes.

Lastly I took that light nude brown shade and sort of smudged around all the crazy black to make it look slightly less sloppy, and more intentionally messy.  Not sure how well that worked. :)  So here's the result.  I was going to crop out most of my face but I had to keep the rosy cheeks.  I must be overheating.

Makeup sure has been keeping me entertained lately.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Face without a Stitch of Makeup, Invisible Eyebrows and Lashes

I went sans-makeup today, and I thought I'd grab a picture before the opportunity slipped past!  I wear something on my eyes almost every day, so it's not too common to catch me in my natural state unless I just rolled out of bed. :)

My almost-blonde lashes often garnered comments about me looking tired or sick when I would go without mascara in my younger days.  But the way I look at it now is, some days I sort of like the weird half-eyebrow-less look, and I always have the option!  Easier to darken them up than lighten, right!

I had what felt like a nodular type acne situation on my chin, and maybe it's just the switch-up in treatment I used this time around but it's receding faster than usual.  It's still a lump and slightly sore, but it was about 7mm in size, now it's down to under 5mm for sure and it's been less than a week!  I normally use salicylic acid on active blemishes, but since this was one of those monsters that can hang around for weeks, I broke out the 10% benzoyl peroxide and every morning and evening dabbed it only on that spot (I don't use it normally, it'll make me peel and cause mega-redness).  Seems to be doing the trick! 

*Sorry about the glowing alien skin going on here, it's too late to fiddle with it.
**What's up with all the made-up-hyphenated-words in this post!  Sheesh.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Experimenting with new Surf, Baby MAC Crushed Metallic Pigments

Thinking about making a video about the MAC Surf, Baby crushed metallic pigment stack I got in Surf the Ocean.  There's a seafoam that I'm in love with, and I had been wanting a seafoam for some time...
I did a quick look with it today, though the seafoam gets lost in pictures for me, hence wanting to maybe record a video!  Could be fun, right!!
Here's a couple pictures of the crazy red that calls itself a brown (from the Coastal Scents matte palette) with seafoam that's mostly invisible on top.  Thumbnails seem pretty non-red toned, but full size you'll see what I mean!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

ULTA and Sephora Haul - NARS trio, Surf Baby Pigments and More!

As promised, here's the scoop on the items I got used in my FOTD along with the other stuff I bought.
MAC first!  Bought a bottle of Fix+, cream color base in Pearl and the MAC Surf, Baby! collection Crushed Metallic Pigment in Surf the Ocean.
I had been waffling over the pigment stack since they are so much more of a hassle to work with, but I caved and bought them anyway because the sizes weren't huge, price wasn't bad and they were just so darned pretty. :)

A sifter would be nice instead of the solid thin throwaway plastic tops, I can forsee these being very messy!  But a beautiful sparkly mess, at least.  Swatched them with flash and without, the sea foam pigment wasn't coming across well with the flash.

The next batch of even more exciting goodies!  NARS blush/bronzer trio (Limited Edition) in Orgasm/Laguna/Albatross, Laura Mercier Undercover Pot in UC1, LORAC ProtecTINT SPF30 oil-free tinted moisturizer in Dare to Bare.

The NARS trio is a zippered nylonish padded pack, it's a little strange.  It seems travel-friendly though, especially with it having three items in one.  The mirror is also quite large which is nice!  Probably just me, but I do sort of wish the Albatross strip was larger and Laguna slightly smaller.  The NARS plastic film is also a nice touch.  Altogether very luxe feeling!

The LORAC protecTINT does have a flat bottom on the lid (squeezy tube is nice for dispensing product in the amount you want) so it can stand upright; the Laura Mercier package unscrews with the powder sitting underneath.

Swatches of the most fun stuff first, NARS of course. :)  At full intensity on fingers (why I didn't swatch with my ring finger, I have no idea).

And more blended out on my hand.
The LORAC tinted moisturizer is oddly thick when it first comes out of the tube and a little goes a long way.
When first spreading it, I was surprised at how liquidy it felt and it spread quickly; you can see the shade here is quite light (just right for me!).
And blended it out, it mostly disappears.
And finally, here's the Laura Mercier concealer.  The lighter color, Secret Camouflage is oil free and quite firm; Secret Concealer is very creamy and soft.

My miscellaneous odds and ends from ULTA, all hair related!  My hair is notoriously fuzzy after being washed, due to my oily scalp I have to wash it daily and it doesn't get the nice smooth shine until right before I need to wash it again.  I've added putting in a leave-in conditioner for the ends into my post-shower routine, but that's mostly to prevent the ends from drying out (especially since I'm trying to grow it out and would like to cut the least amount necessarily every 2 months for my trim).  I wanted to try out a non-high end argan oil type product to see if it would help the frizz.

I've been wanting a brush for work that I could keep in my bag and these little $1 pop-out brushes always catch my eye at the impulse bins before checking out, so I grabbed one.  Extra bonus, it has a mirror too!
I'm going to be traveling to my brother's wedding this coming July and will be in the wedding party, so I wanted to have my good hairspray to come with me!  I've been using the regular sized Elnett for a few months and I really do like it.  And now that my hair is getting long enough to put back, I wanted a pretty clip as an option instead of the ponytail I've been doing so much lately.
And here's the brush folded up.

I believe this will be the last haul for a while, I think I have enough stuff to keep me entertained for quite some time. I hope.. :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Goodies (NARS, LORAC, Laura Mercier), Layer by Layer Face of The Day

I had been contemplating buying the new NARS palette with Orgasm blush, Laguna bronzer and Albatross highlight; at the least just checking out Albatross because I do love highlighters and I hadn't realize before that it was a white gold shimmer.  And as we know, I love gold shimmer.  I had swatched Laguna and Orgasm before, but I think I just wasn't intrigued enough to shell out the cash for both separately.  I do have a lot of blush and bronzer after all, but truth be told I'm not in love with any of them.  Some I like more than others!  Likewise with highlighters, there isn't one that I feel is over the top gorgeous, though the LORAC Perfectly Lit in Spotlight is quite lovely in its subtlety.  Anyway, I digress; I am rambling again!

So I went to the mall today with a variety of things I had sort of in mind that I could do with better products.  Under eye concealer, possibly a thicker eye cream (I have concealer problems especially because under eyes tends to always be a bit dry even after moisturizing), oil free tinted moisturizer that actually matches my shade (tried various previously, all too dark) that's easier to work with than my MUFE Mat Velvet+ when having dry patches, NARS stuff and some things from MAC.
I wanted to try out Fix+ as a toner/refresher/makeup finisher/eye foiling-helper, get the cream color base in Pearl (pixiwoo drew me to it) and I was still on the fence about buying one of the metallic pigment stacks in the Surf, Baby collection.  I ended up buying all three!

I also splurged at Sephora, bought the NARS trio and a Laura Mercier Undercover Pot which has the Secret Camouflage and Concealer as well as the setting powder (in shade UC1 fair). 

I swatched all the high end tinted moisturizers that looked remotely close to my shade but everything was just too dark.  I wanted to go to ULTA to get an oil for my poor frizzy hair, crossed my fingers that they might have a brand there that would work.

Tried everything there I hadn't tried already, I had really wanted to like the Tarte tinted moisturizer but it was just too dark like the others (though lighter than most) - but at last!  I tried the LORAC ProtecTINT in Dare to Bare and it was actually a good shade!  It sheers out quite a lot, we'll see if I break out from it or causes a lot of oil production.  I wanted to try out all my new goodies on my face, so I thought it might be fun to do a layer by layer picture series with the new stuff.  Enough with my blathering on, and on to the pictures!

Here's my bare face, I kept my eye makeup on from today which was basically the CARGO eye look that I had done last weekend.  That gold eyeshadow sure is chunky, forgot to use a synthetic brush this time so I was a bit sparkly under the eyes today!

My skin is finally clearing up after that mess it'd been in, hopefully I'll have a good week before it breaks out again.  I still have some dry spots from still-healing blemishes.

Next I applied Smashbox Photo Finish oil-free primer, less shiny for the moment!

My lips were drying out (per usual) so I slathered on some of my Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm (smells like those strawberry candies with the goo inside, yum).

Next up, tinted moisturizer!  I can't say I see a huge difference coverage-wise, though.  I considered adding another layer, but didn't want to get gloppy.

Now since I had used a makeup wipe to take off all of my face makeup, I wanted to reapply eye cream before proceeding with the concealer - especially since it's a cream and not thinner liquid, I didn't want it catching on dryness.  This is an Aveeno Lifting and Firming eye cream - it has a little shimmer in it and is somewhat thick.  I had stopped using it for a while, but have gone back to it.  I like the shimmer, I think it helps brighten the area; it does a better job moisturizing than the stuff I had been using (some Garnier pot duo thing) but it's still not great.  I applied the Laura Mercier underneath my eyes (mixed both Secret products), on my nose (gets quite red), around base of nose, on apples of cheeks where I have some broken capillaries/redness, and lastly on my chin.  I set the concealer with the powder.

I powdered my t-zone very lightly with my Real Techniques powder brush and MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural in Light; whew back to a little less shiny!

Last but certainly not least, the NARS trio.  You might be able to tell from the slightly giddy smile I'm rocking there that I'm very pleased with this.  I wasn't in to the hype about these shades, but they really are beautiful products.  I used my Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush for Laguna (it's my go-to contour/bronzer brush), F35 Tapered Highlighter for Albatross (usually I use it for highlight and blush) and F40 Large Angled Contour for Orgasm.  So excited, couldn't even get all of the package in frame. :)  And that's one mighty big mirror!  Love it.  The packaging with the cushioned fabric zip closure is a bit odd though. 

And here's my happy glowing cheeks from the side.

I applied Laguna lightly in my contour region (hollow of cheeks) but since it is shimmery, I didn't use much, just enough for a little shadow but also some bronzey glowing goodness.  I also brought it up my temples and lightly into my hairline.  I applied Orgasm to my cheekbones (where I normally apply blush).  Lastly I put Albatross on the very tops of my cheekbones and swirled up in the C shape at temples near to the eye.  I dabbed a bit down the center of my nose and a teensy bit at the tip of my chin.

I will post about the new stuff in more detail separately. First impressions of everything is quite good!