Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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Project Empty: Try or Cry (2018)

Yes, you read that correctly – I got a little busy at the end of the year when I was going to send my final thoughts on these products, so here are my 2018 empties. As always, I’m supposed to say that this is only my opinion. You are welcome to disagree (although, sadly, I am always right, at least that’s what I tell myself). It is a long one, so get cozy. Just a reminder, buy is a product that I recommend and cry is one that I do not.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Eye Cream Mini (Cry) – This didn’t do much for my under eye area AND it dried out before I could get too far into the product and it was a mini.

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (Cry but HMMMM) – This is difficult because I used it at a time when I wasn’t supposed to be using glycolic acids or any type of AHAs. In fact, I am still using Retin A so I should not be using any chemical exfoliant. I can’t recommend this product, but I really can’t offer an opinion. I would say try it if you are not on Retin A or if you do not have sensitive skin, it is a well reviewed product.

Drunk Elephant LaLa Retro Whipped Cream x 2 (Buy) – Here are my feelings on this skin cream. One note, I don’t know how I got my first jar to last 6 months, it is more like 2 months now, but it is a good product.
https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/project-empty-buy-or-cry/

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Daily Moisturizer (Buy) – This is a very good product if you have sensitive skin. It is especially good if you are on an isotretinoin for acne and your skin is in that very dry phase. It helped me a lot, but at the height of my treatment, I went through one of these every three weeks. It is also tested on animals so I stopped using it in favour of Drunk Elephant which ended up being more cost effective too.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour Cream (Cry) – La Roche-Posay makes excellent products that really worked on me. I just didn’t find that this really did any more for me than using the daily moisturizer on it’s own. I did get this free although I don’t remember why.

NIOD Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid (Buy if I had to) – This was not a bad product, but the dropper made it really difficult to apply and to judge how much to use. I prefer Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum. It has the perfect pump. This does smell better than C-Firma though if that is what is important to you.

Clinique Foaming Facial Soap (I believe that it is now Foaming Sonic Facial Soap) (Buy but not cruelty-free) – I got this from a friend a couple of years ago. It was fine, did what it was supposed to do. It didn’t majorly dry out my skin or cause any type of skin irritations which is always a concern for me. It was a mini so it was perfect for travel.

Estee Lauder Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask (Buy but not cruelty-free) – See above – I have the very same feelings about this product. Since it is not cruelty-free, I’ll stick with Drunk Elephant.

Ahava Mineral Foot Cream (Buy) – When I first had my ankle surgery and my cast was removed, my foot and leg were SCALY in a see you later alligator kind of way. This moisturized my foot and made it look normal again.

Bite Beauty Agave+ Weekly Lip Scrub (Buy) – This worked well and the sugar exfoliated my lips nicely. It has a delightful taste. I’m not in a rush to repurchase this, but only because it feels like one more step for me. Maybe I’ll pick one up at the next Sephora sale.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Clear (Buy) – This is an amazing product – I used it every night and it is by far the product that worked the best on my parched lips during my stint with isotretinoins. I will pick another one of these up as soon as I finish with my current night time lip treatment which should coincide with Sephora’s summer sale. I don’t need to stock up on lip treatments. One at a time is my new mantra.

Beauty Bar The Ten Spot Lip Balm (Cry) – This lip balm has a nice scent, but it is just an ok product. There are better out there, but it is a Canadian brand if you want to support it. I’m not sure if they still make this product.

Feet Treat Pedi by Look Beauty Intensive Moisturizing Foot Mask (Buy) – This worked really well on my feet – it was very moisturizing. The little plastic bags though, make your feet feel disgusting while you are doing the foot mask. I would also recommend plunking yourself in front of the TV while doing this – they are very slippery too. Enjoy the moment, relax and take a load off.

Sonia Kashuk Makeup Brush Cleaning Spray (Buy) – This cleaned my brushes so well and was so easy to use. The sprayer worked until the last drop too. I just wish that it was available in Canada.

L’Oréal Total Repair Replenishing Detangling Care (Cry) – I bought this out of desperation at the drug store one day, because I couldn’t find anything else. This weighed my hair down which almost never happens. It did detangle though, so if you have course hair and are ok with a brand that isn’t cruelty-free, this may work for you.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Hydrating (Cry) – I just don’t find that primers do anything for me in terms of wear time or finish for foundation, and this product was no exception. It was a point perk from Sephora. It is not cruelty-free so I would not buy it anyway.

L’Oréal True Match Healthy Luminous Makeup in Warm (Cry) – I think they may have rebranded this True Match Lumi, but I recommend leaving it at the drug store. I found the formula hard to blend and the texture almost felt oily. I’m cheap so I used it up, but I was never happy with my foundation. Next.

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Swish & Pop Blusher in Love Glow (Cry) – The colours were beautiful and went on nicely, but this blush did not have staying power on my cheeks. It is cruelty-free, but there are better options out there that are less expensive.

L’Oréal Infalliable Liner in Brown (Cry, Cry Cry, a thousand times cry) – I don’t think that they make this eyeliner anymore and I can see why. It is terrible. It does a few things that I’ve never seen happen with a liquid liner – it runs and smudges and causes raccoon eyes. If they didn’t discontinue this, stay far, far away.

Tarte Colour Splash Lipstick (Mini) in Soaked (Buy) – This was the perfect lipstick. Great colour, great formula and great lasting power. It also had a really nice finish. It is one of my favourite formulas and once I’ve used up a sufficient amount of lipsticks so that I’m not overwhelmed with volume, I will repurchase.

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick (Mini) in Fig (Buy) – This is also a great formula. Click here for more thoughts on this lipstick (Fig was a great colour)
https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/project-empty-buy-or-cry-updates/

Sigma Tranquil Lipgloss (Buy) – Sorry, I don’t have a shade name or photo. This was really good, but it had a really weird brush applicator. I find doe-foots easier to apply gloss with. It still was a really nice product but bought it at Winners so odds are good that I won’t see it again.

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara (Buy) – I prefer Essence’s Lash Princess False Lash Mascara, but this is a good option if they are sold out. It lasted, didn’t flake or smudge. The price is right too at $4.99.

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Palette (Cry) – I never loved the shadows in this palette. They had a thick consistency but stayed on with primer. I also bought it in 2007, so I thought it was time to get rid of it! Guerlain cosmetics are not my favourite (except their foundation) and they are not cruelty free, so I will not be buying anything from the line.


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Project Empty: Buy or Cry

Like many people, I am trying to be more responsible about my self-care habits. That means different things to different people. To me, it means, buying less of everything. The last few years, I bought far too much makeup. I’m reasonably good about skincare because I know that some have ingredients that deteriorate so I don’t stock up on it – I’d rather not throw away my money. Makeup became an issue and this is the year that I am limiting what I purchase to only items that I need like foundation and buying less of what I don’t (eye shadow palettes and lipsticks). I am also trying to use up products that are not cruelty free. In the YouTube world, this is called a low buy. In my world, it’s called project empty. I’m not a YouTuber, nor am I an Influencer, so I realize that I don’t need to have a million of everything and I should only buy replacement items or something truly unique. I’ve spent a lot less money this year (I’ll compare 2018 to 2019 at the end of the year) and I’m also getting rid of items that do not suit my colouring. Hanging on to them does not “spark joy” in the words of the great Marie Kondo.

I’ve had a lot of empties over the last little while and need to play catch up. Similar to my other Buy or Cry articles, I’ll let you know if I would re-purchase the item (buy) or not (cry). I’m supposed to tell you that these are just my views and you can think what you want. All true – but I’m right about everything!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, I have really sensitive skin so you aren’t going to see a lot of variety in skin care. I have a fair complexion; even if I like a formula, certain colours may not work for me. You are also going to get an honest opinion about the product whether it is cruelty-free or not. Just my little warning….Now here we go:

Lancôme Hypnose Drama Mascara (Cry) – I received this mascara as a gift. I know that people swear by this brand’s mascara, but I always find that it flakes on me so I would not re-purchase it. It is also not a cruelty-free brand if that is important to you.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Extreme Zero Smudge All Effects Mascara (Cry) – This must have been a point perk or gift with purchase based on the small size. I checked the website, and I don’t think that they make this exact product any more. The wand was tiny and perfect for your bottom lashes. It was a great formula too with no flaking. Unfortunately, Estée Lauder is not cruelty-free so I couldn’t purchase the mascara, even if it was available.

Becca Mini Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Moonstone (Both) – This is a great formula from a cruelty-free brand. The only reason that it is a cry is because I prefer the Vanilla Quartz shade which is a little lighter. If you have a lot of highlighters or it just takes you a long time to go through one, I strongly suggest the mini-size. In Canadian dollars, the mini is $27 and the regular size is $46, making the larger size the better deal, but unless you put it on with a spatula, this will last you at least 9 months and will ensure that you actually use up your product so that it will be fresh.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in paaarty (Cry) – This was a 2017 Sephora Birthday Gift that I finally used up. The colour was nice – it was a neutral pink. The formula was nice, easy to apply, pigmented enough to not need to build it up, but not so pigmented that I felt like a clown. The major draw back was the lasting power. I found that it disappeared on me in about 3-4 hours. It is cruelty-free if you still want to try it.

Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon in Night Mauves (Buy) – I got this in a Sephora lip box in December 2017. Those boxes are one of the reasons that I have far too many lipsticks so I decided to stop buying them. I believe that this was a full size. It is a unique formula – it really feels like you are wearing nothing on your lips and has the lasting power of a liquid lipstick. It does not make your lips feel dry like a traditional liquid lipstick would. The colour was perfect. If I ever get down to a reasonable amount of lipsticks, I would 100% repurchase this cruelty-free product.

No 7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Berry Blush (Both) – No 7 lipsticks are not available in Canada. I first tried them when I went to Europe and fell in love with their formula and perfect colours. I would always stock pile them when I went to Europe or the USA. The reason that this is getting de-cluttered was simply because it smelled off. I bought it in October 2016. I also cannot find information on whether the brand is cruelty-free or not, so I’m going to take a break from it. If that is not a concern of yours and you want a great drug store brand, this is it.

Bésame Cosmetics 1930 Noir Red Mini Lipstick (Both) – Bésame is one of my favourite brands. This came in a mini-lipstick set that I received as a gift. The formula of the lipstick is perfection. Their customer service and packaging is also perfection. The only reason that this is a cry at all is because the colour is way too dark for me. If you have a deeper complexion or just like very dark lipstick, then this will work for you. I highly recommend this cruelty-free brand.

Empty!

Joico Daily Care Leave-In Detangler (Buy but….) – This product did exactly what it promised – it detangled my very tangled hair. It did not weigh my tresses down, nor did it make them feel greasy. It is perfect except….it is not cruelty free. I believe that the issue is that the brand sells in China. I’ve read that China may eliminate the need for animal testing in the very near future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Eau De Parfum 30ml plus sample (Both) – I loved this perfume. It reminded me of old school sun tan lotion. It is beautiful and unique. I got compliments every time I wore it. Alas, it is not cruelty-free. Hopefully, one day I will be able to buy this beautiful fragrance again. Until next time Tom….

Empties

Bath and Body Works 24 Hour Moisture Cream in In the Sun (Both) – This is a great body cream. The scent is the perfect affordable complement to Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc. It has that same amazing sun tan lotion scent that just screams summer. The issue? It’s not cruelty-free. I have a ton of Bath and Body Works products to use up. They always do those buy 3 get 3 free (really who needs that much body lotion?) and I have some that are gifts. I won’t need body lotion for a very long time.

Ahava Dermud Intensive Foot Cream (Buy) – This brand is cruelty free and vegan. This foot cream saved me when I had my cast off after surgery. My foot was as dry as a lizard and my skin was flaking off – it was gross. Within a week of using this, my skin was back to normal and it has really helped with heel cracking too. It isn’t cheap, but I have not been able to find anything that works better on me.

All Empty – All Cruelty-Free

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream (Cry) – This was expensive and it just did not work for me. I actually felt like it made my under eye area even drier.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (Buy) – All Drunk Elephant products are pricey (this one is $100). This one happens to be worth it and lasts for about 3 months. Do not stock up on Vitamin C serums, even if it is on sale or Sephora is doing one of their Rouge/VIB events. The product will degrade in time and they have a very short shelf life.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum (Cry) – I got this is “The Littles” gift set. It was worth the $110 to try more Drunk Elephant products and see what I liked and didn’t like. The little container held a lot of product – this lasted me for almost two months. It was long enough to see that this just did not work for me.

Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser (Buy) – This is a great face cleanser and a little goes a long way. This one tube has lasted me for almost 6 months which makes it cheaper over time than other drug store brands. It is $40 but you can save by buying it at the Sephora sale – it will keep if you buy one or a spare but don’t go crazy and buy ten. It leaves your face satisfyingly clean without drying out your skin.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream (Buy) – I wrote about this product in my last Buy or Cry. Here is the link to learn more
https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/project-empty-buy-or-cry/

Are you on a low buy or doing a project use up yourself? Tell me what your favourite products are.


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Project Empty – Buy or Cry?

You know from my last post that I may watch a few too many beauty YouTubers, and my latest time suck has been Project Pan and “18 in 18” videos.  Project Pan, if you didn’t catch the definition the last go round, is when an Influencer puts select makeup into their everyday rotation so that they are forced to use up older products or even just “hit pan”.  Again, this just means that you will see usage through a little sliver of metal that peeps through the seemingly endless supply of blush/eye shadow/.  Some people make hitting pan or using up product their goal.  People who do “18 in 18” are committed to using up 18 beauty products in 2018.  This may not seem like a big goal, but these people have enough makeup to fill a Sephora.

I was watching a few of these “project empties” and was struck by the ridiculous items that they started including just so that that they could say that they had something to report.  One YouTuber showed off two tubes of toothpaste and an empty package of cotton pads.  Honey, brushing your teeth isn’t something that you should brag about, it’s essential for oral health.  What are you going to do next, show off empty toilet paper rolls?

The ridiculousness of these videos, plus my own desire to use up or declutter some of my own stash of makeup, skin care and hair care made me want to do my own project.  I have  rules for mine though, so you will not be seeing stuff that I use daily and re-buy constantly – no cotton pads, swabs or toothpaste.  I use the same shampoo and conditioner and can’t veer away from them, and I always use Simple Cleansing Cloths to take off my make up because I don’t get a rash from them.  I’m also not going to brag about body wash – I use that daily too so I won’t be showing that off.  I’m also including items that I’m decluttering.  I don’t have a goal in mind, but I’ve already gone through 17 products (to be more accurate, 11 empties and 7 decluttered items) in the two months it’s been since I’ve started this project.  Here are the items and whether I’ll re-buy or if they just made me cry.  Oh yeah – this is just my opinion, yada yada, if you don’t agree, you don’t have to – everyone’s skin and colouring are different.

Skin Care:

Skin

Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Skin Daily Therapy Cream (Buy or Cry) – Cry – I was looking for something to replace my beloved, but discontinued Lachydrin Lotion.  I bought three of these from Amazon just in case, and have gone through 1.5.  It isn’t cheap and it’s a fine body cream but nothing spectacular and does not do anything at all for Keratosis Pilaris if that’s your skin concern.

Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (Buy or Cry) – Cry – I paid $25 for a product just because it smelled good and said Bum Bum on the packaging.  It’s good but there are better creams out there that are a lot less costly.

LB Gentle Skin Cleanser (Buy or Cry) – Buy – it’s just as good as Cetaphil and it’s lower price tag is nice.  It’s perfect for people with sensitive skin, at least it was for me and it lasted for months, like 6 months.  Like why do I keep writing like?

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream (Buy or Cry) – Buy – yes it’s $75, but this jar lasted me almost 6 months and did not irritate my skin.  I’m already working through my second jar.

Avène Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum (Buy or Cry) – Cry – it really did nothing for my skin.  It did not feel any more moisturized with it than it did without it.  They have other really good products, but this just is not one of them.

Hair

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Daily Nourishment Leave-In Fortifying Spray (Buy or Cry) – Neither – My sister gave me her half full bottle (half empty if you are a pessimist) of this when chemotherapy led to her losing most of her hair.  That makes me sniffle a little.  These is OK for a leave-in, but will never replace my Biolage Daily Leave-In Tonic.

Moroccan Oil Treatment (Buy or Cry) – Buy – I love this product!  I re-purchase it constantly.  It’s an all-in-one styler, conditioner and makes my hair shiny.  It also smells amazing.  I’ve been using it for years and always go back to it.  You only need to buy 3 a year so it’s not that pricey when you do the math.  I would not recommend it if you have fine hair – it may weigh it down.  Remember to use it only on the ends or it can make your hair look greasy.

Cosmetics

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick (Buy or Cry) – Cry, because I love this product so much, it’s the perfect lip tint, but Clinique is not a cruelty-free brand (they sell in China which has mandatory animal testing).  If you are fine with that, then buy away.  I’m in the process of using up any of my cosmetics that are not cruelty free and avoiding them in the future.

Wet N Wild Pout & Love in 955B (Buy or Cry) – Cry – this product was supposed to be a tinted lip balm.  It was not terrible, but it smelled exactly like you put an entire stick of butter on your lips.  Seriously, the smell is overwhelming.  I tried to use it, but every time I put it on, I felt like I had just eaten a tub of movie theatre popcorn drenched in butter and was too lazy to wipe my lips with a napkin.

Make Up Forever Artist Liquid Matte in Shade 105 (Buy or Cry) – It’s not fair for me to provide an opinion.  This was a Sephora freebie (100 point gift).  The colour was way too nude for me so I decluttered it and gave it to my sister.  I will not buy Make Up Forever because it is not a cruelty free brand.

Quo Double Dip Lip Gloss (Buy or Cry) – Neither – it was just a very clear gloss that was fine.  I believe that the product has been discontinued.

Laura Mercier Lovers Lip Colour in Sensual (Buy or Cry) – Neither – again, this was another Sephora freebie and the colour was just not for me and I decluttered it.  I cannot figure out if Laura Mercier is cruelty free or not, so I’ll reserve judgment.

Ciate Liquid Velvet Lipstick in Voodoo (Buy or Cry) – Cry – this was part of a Sephora Favourite’s lipstick collection and this liquid lipstick took up valuable real estate.  It’s formula is drying and the colour is a big yuck.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Potion (Buy or Cry) – Both – the lip gloss is really good – it has an excellent formula, but the colour was completely wrong for me.  If you are a fan of very dark lip colours that are on the other side of goth, or if you have a deeper complexion, this would work well on you.  I found mine at Winners (Canada’s version of T.J. Maxx).

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Volume Mascara (Buy or Cry) – It was a Sephora Freebie so I can’t cry, but I would not buy it.  It is quite clumpy and it flaked on me.  There are better mascaras out there for the price – not the free price, the retail price.

Hourglass Illusion Hyalloronic Skin Tint in Vanilla (Buy or Cry) – Buy – I did not love this product at first, but over time, it really grew on me.  It had more coverage than I was expecting and a really nice formula.  It is not my favourite, but I would go back to it.

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer (Buy or Cry) – BUY – this is an amazing eye primer.  It’s one product that I almost always re-purchase.  You need to use a very small amount and blend it in very well before it dries.  It really makes your shadows last all day and through the night.

There you have it.  My next list will not be as long and it will not be in six months either.  So what about you?  Are you doing your own declutter?  Which products are on your buy or cry list?  Let me know in the comment section.

 

 


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Not By The Zit on My Chinny Chin Chin

 

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I used to suffer from adult acne.  That’s right – used to suffer.  Tired of the constant up and downs that the skin condition was causing, I finally decided to do something about it.  I spent years on Minocin to no avail.  I tried topical acne products like salicylic acids and benzoyl peroxide.  I tried supplements.  I went for regular facials.  I changed what I ate.  No matter what I did, it didn’t seem to help, and once a month (yes that time of the month), like clock-work, my chin exploded.  Some months it wasn’t as bad, and most people politely told be that they didn’t notice it until I pointed it out.  I noticed it, and it really bothered me…a lot.  Sigh, like every former Winter Carnival Queen contestant (I was Princess of the Debating Club, thank you very much), I couldn’t stand to have my perfection marred (SNORT) by this annoying condition.  Seriously though, like many women, when I had a break out, I didn’t want to leave the house.

The other thing that you may not be aware of, is that even if you only have one spot, when it’s cystic acne, it’s quite painful.  It felt like I had a hot bruise on my chin.  The nodules could get sickeningly big, and I could often feel them before I could see them.  They also can cause scarring and like most people, I couldn’t help but want to squeeze them.  So satisfying, but terrible for your skin.    You can get also a cortisone injection, which I often did, to help the blemish disappear in a day or two, but to say the shot is painful is an understatement.  It’s like someone is injecting you with fire – however, the good news is, that the pain only lasts for about 3 seconds.  Let’s just say there is nothing good about adult acne and leave it at that.

Some years ago, my former skin care doctor (he wasn’t a dermatologist, but ran an acne clinic) told me to go on Accutane.  I went to get my blood tests done, picked up my prescription and was ready for better skin.  Then, I read the side effects and got completely freaked out by one in particular.  Can you guess?  No, it wasn’t liver and kidney damage.  It also wasn’t suicidal thoughts.  Was it the nausea?  No siree Bob.  I got freaked out by “thinning of hair (may continue after treatment is stopped).”  I lasted for 4 whole days as my skin was drying and my face was exploding even more.  One of the other nasty side effects is that your skin gets worse before it gets better.  I fixated on thinning hair checking the mirror every time I’d walk by one and I knew it was thinning by the second.  It wasn’t, but that’s what I thought.  I took myself off of the drug and vowed never to go on it again until….

My acne doctor retired and I thought it was time to go to a proper dermatologist.  I ended up going to one that I just didn’t click with.  I never saw him and all I got out of it was very expensive chemical peels that did nothing to solve my skin condition.  Then I went to my mother’s dermatologist who ended up being a better fit for me.  He recommended Epuris, an Isotretinoin.  I’m no dummy – I knew that this was a nice name for Accutane, and of course my very first question was, “Isn’t it going to thin out my hair?”  He almost rolled his eyes, but kindly refrained and told me that it is an extremely rare side effect and that we can stop the treatment if it happens.  He also told me that it wasn’t the same course of treatment that it used to be.  It is a much lower dose and it’s based on weight (yours more specifically, so be honest and tell the pharmacist).

What happened to my skin?  I started it in April of 2017.  Within 3 days, my skin started drying, and I once again got the worse before it gets better blemishes.  As even more time went on, my skin got even dryer.  My lips dried out too, but luckily, my eyes did not.  I read up on what other people used to keep their skin hydrated and I also figured out through trial and error what worked best for me.  Here is my list:

  • Simple Cleansing Wipes – I used these before washing my face to remove all of my make up – these have been my go-to for years.  If you live in Canada, but them at Winners if you can find them – they are $5.99 compared to $10.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Life Brand Gentle Skin Cleanser – don’t use a harsh cleanser on your face.  This is very much like Cetaphil, but much less expensive
  • Germaine De Capuccini Intense Renewal Exfoliating Mask – I actually didn’t use this as a mask, I used it as a scrub once a week.  Don’t leave it on your face if you are taking Isotretinoins.  You need to exfoliate your dry skin, but gently and this works.  The best tip that I can give you for exfoliation is to avoid natural products like walnut shells – you’ll injure your poor skin.  This is one time when you need to use an artificial skin scrub.  They are far gentler on your delicate dermis.  This product is only available at spas
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Riche Soothing Protective Cream OR Avène Tolerance Extreme Cream – I used these interchangeably.  They are both just really good moisturizers for when your skin is at it’s driest and most dehydrated.  They didn’t irritate my skin or give me a rash.  My skin is sensitive already, so I have to be really careful.  You really will need to slather this on
  • La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Eyes – for the poor fragile skin under my eyes
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Face SPF 60 – don’t even try to go without sunscreen – you will pay for it and it’s not worth the burn
  • Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream Formula – this was a tough purchase at $100, but I wanted to try it.  It is fragrance-free and beauty bloggers rave about it.  The good new is that it works even better than skin lotions that I had been using, and because I need less product and it comes in a pump, it actually ends up being more economical then my drug store purchases.  I was going through one tube of skin cream a month, and I’ve had this one since January.  Sometimes you pay more to get more
  • Eucerin Intensive Lip Balm – I’ve tried every lip balm on the market and when you are on an Isotretinoin, nothing worked better than this.  Avoid things that make your lips tingle – they will end up drying out your parched puckers.  You don’t need anything fancy, you just need a good basic lip balm that works, and this worked the best for me
  • One last tip – don’t wash your hair everyday.  I went down to only having to wash it twice a week.  I would also avoid heat styling your hair where possible and limit the use of hair sprays and other fixatives.  Your hair gets very dry too

What would I say about my experience?  It ended up working for me.  In one year, I’ve had one tiny blemish that went away in 24 hours.  It is not for everyone.  Let your doctor be the one to tell you to go on it.  The only side effect that was kind of bad for me were the nose bleeds.  It wasn’t constant, but a few times a month, I would get one.   Some of you may experience worse than this, so it’s important to think about how you are feeling and whether you can put up with your skin issues.  Everyone’s results are also different.  I noticed that my skin got much better within one month, but I had very localized acne.  I’m thrilled with the results and glad that I stuck with it.


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40 Weeks to Go!

Time flies when you are doing cleanses, eating nuts, taking probiotics, keeping your room cool, not making shampoo mohawks, grinding flax-seeds, reading Oz related books, taking zinc, Vitamin B and Vitamin D3…and so on.  All I have to say is Oz is tiring me out!  It’s fun though and it really has made me think more than I ever really wanted to about everything health related.  This past week was interesting as I further invested myself in the MASH plan for the rest of my life.   In addition, I’ve been laying the groundwork for April’s topic, but I won’t be revealing that until April Fool’s Day! I also had a reminder that not everyone loves Dr. Oz as much as I may.  My cousin, in a very simple way, explained a lot and helped me see where the Oz plan failed.

I think that the challenge that many of us face is that we complicate things.  In the words of the immortal Jillian Michaels the secret to losing weight and maintaining that weight loss and healthy lifestyle is to eat less and exercise more.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?  I often wonder why many people can’t just follow that advice, myself included.  Maybe it’s the environment that we live in – some people refuse to accept simplicity since we live in such a complicated world.  OH NO – shudders, I’m getting all deep and self-helpy.  It’s true though.  I’m miffinmuffinmuffitymoo years old now (that’s code for ladies do not reveal their ages).  I know – just a spring chicken or maybe just a chicken in general?  Think about it for a minute – most people who read this have access to their country’s food guides or pyramids (most of my readers are from Canada and the US).  My cousin, a registered dietician, even said that it’s important to eat from all of the food groups.  There are recommended serving sizes – again, it’s not rocket science.  I know that there are some people out there who have food sensitivities for sure (some serious like Celiac Disease), however just as surely as I know that, I also know that there are ways to still eat the nutrients and food groups that we need, even if certain foods may cause issues.

People always say that they don’t have time for exercise or the money to eat decent food.  We all find the time time to do things that we want to do, myself especially.  We can all spare 30 minutes to get a work out in.  The only time it’s not worth it is when you are injured.  In Canada, we have stores like No Frills (I like my frills and even I shop there when forced) where prices are better.  I rarely buy organic, and I’ve read enough about how the orchards where they grow organic fruits and vegetables are right next to where they have orchards with pesticides and I, for one, am ok with a few pesticides – who wants to eat a bug – shudders.  There are even lists of foods, like bananas and oranges that don’t need to be organic because they are encased in a peel.  I’ll include them in a future entry.  I know I’m being preachy, but it’s because I’m a new convert to this lifestyle – proof that you can teach an old (well, not that old) dog new tricks – and please no comments on the dog bit.

This week, I spent $102.60 (including tax) on living the Oz way.  I bit the bullet and bought the Vitamin C serum that was given a thumbs up in “You Being Beautiful”.  It has 25% ascorbosilane so hopefully it’s good!  I promised to buy this last month and finally got around to it.  According to the book, Vitamin C serums are supposed to help protect the water soluable parts of your skin cells so you look less wrinkled and improve the formation of collagen and elastin.  I let you know if I notice any difference.

As always, I’ll end on a note of gratitude.  Today, I am grateful that I woke up before my alarm went off at 3:45am – doesn’t sound like something to be grateful for, but if I had slept in, or missed my alarm, there would be no end to the stress that I would have felt.

Gratefully Yours,

Jill


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Face This

I’ve already written about my skin frustrations.  If you share some of my grief, here the 6 steps according to “You Being Beautiful” to getting the perfect wash:

  1. Watch what your washing with – basically this means that you should use PH balanced soaps and cleansers.  I just checked mine – none of them say PH balanced, but I will compare them to the approved ingredient list and let you know where I stand.  Apparently, if they don’t sting your eyes, they are likely PH balanced.  If you use cleansers that aren’t PH balanced, according to the book, you are removing skin’s protective mantle that seals in moisture. They also recommend washing your face twice a day for several seconds so you don’t aggravate acne.  I’m just going to say this – if you aren’t washing your face twice a day – GROOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.  I wash my face in the shower in the morning, and then again before I go to bed.  If you are a woman and you are going to bed with your “face” on, stop right now, thank you very much…how did I start writing out Spice Girl lyrics?  Ok next! 
  2. Add Anti-Oxis – these are anti-oxidants like vitamins C and E that help protect your skin and fight free radicals.  Apparently you need to use something called L-ascorbic acid and it must be at least 10% to penetrate the skin. I’ll try to find this serum online and let you know the brand name and cost.  It’s to be used at night.  I wouldn’t use anything if you have sensitive skin unless you’ve spoken to a dermatologist.  The book also recommends the b vitamins (topical or oral) for good skin health.  Guess I have to make another trip to the drug store for a vitamin b supplement.
  3. Moisten before using – Basically, moisturize your skin.  They mean body and face.  For aging skin, they recommend derivatives of vitamin A (AKA retinoids).  Some require a prescription, some, like retinol, are found in common and high end brands at the drug store.  I currently don’t use a retinoid – but I’ll go invest.  I’ll research what works best for acne prone skin though and let you know what I find out.  For your body, the Doctors like natural moisturizers like avocado oil, walnut butter, cocoa butter – or ones that are hypoallergenic.  I use Lachydrin and some yummy smelling Bath and Body Works moisturizers.  Lachydrin is fine, but I guess I better go check out some other options for my arms and legs….
  4. Exfoliate often – I’m bad about this.  I have a spa quality exfoliator and use it about once a month.  They recommend  weekly.  They also recommend exfoliators with chemicals beads so that they don’t damage your skin like apricot seeds can. Alpha hydroxy acids also work – I’ve been using these on my arms and legs for years. 
  5. Wear sunscreen – I covered this already in a previous entry. 
  6. Have a pro save your face – basically get regular facials or microdermabrasion if you can afford to.  I’ve done microdermabrasion – and broke out from it.  If you have acne, it can be very stimulating, but regular facials do help to clear your pores.  I go once every 6 weeks or so. 

So there is everything you need to save your face – I do many of these things, but I’m going to review again as a refresher and let you know if there have been any changes to my skin.  These things often take time – so I’ll keep you posted.


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I’m Going Squirrely!

As I wrote previously, I am complementing “You Being Beautiful” with Dr. Oz’s 30 Day Beauty Challenge, condensing it into 15 actual days by doubling up on the tips.  Tips for today?  Come on – guess!  Ok, I give – eat even more nuts.  This time it’s walnuts since eating them helps moisturize your skin from the inside out.  They are also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation in your body.  Good grief – that’s a lot of nuts.  Fear not though, they only recommend that you eat 14 halves (7 walnuts total).  I’ll pick them up on the weekend *SIGH*.  Just to get an idea of how I get my nuts in – here is a tally:

-2 brazil nuts at breakfast – yes exactly two

-12 almonds one hour before bed

-a very small handful of pumpkin seeds or pistachios in my salad

-I’ll add 7 walnuts to my Greek Yogurt when I buy them

The next tip comes as no surprise – drink 8 x 8 ounce glasses a day.  I know I find it hard to get water in, and I’ve already written about it, but it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone how important it is.  Apparently just being 2% dehydrated can have an impact on your skin.  I have at least 6 glasses a day, but will try to bump it up to 8.

Now for a recommendation on skin cleansers.  The good doctor and his sidekick in “You Being Beautiful” like Cetaphil and Neutrogena if you are using a liquid cleanser.  Spectro Gel if you use it, is pretty much like Cetaphil.  Everyone’s skin is different, so use what works for you.  I use Cetaphil/Spectro Gel in the morning and Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash at night since it has salicylic acid – which Dr. Oz recommends for acne prone skin.  Just a note for the ladies – take your make up off with a make up remover or cleansing cloth before you wash.  I love Simple Cleansing Cloths – they are fragrance free and really get all of my eye make up and foundation off without making my skin feely oily or like sand paper – they are the best! 

Now, I’m off – I have 4 glasses of water to get in before bedtime!