Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Salicylic Acid Challenge - can you see the difference?

Hi Ladies,
Not to toot my own horn, but sometimes I am really on top of things, even if I don't realize it. I was just going through my "blog pictures" folder on my laptop here and came across the pictures that I took of my skin during my salicylic acid challeng so I could show you guys and we could collectively decide whether there's a visible difference in my skin (hence today's title). I had even created the post in draft, even though I never actually got around to writing it lol.

So without further ado, I give you The Salicylic Acid Challenge - can you see the difference?

For a month I used only products with salicylic acid in them to see whether and intense attack on my pesky clogged pores would prove fruitful. I give you my soldiers:

1. Olay Age Defying Anti-Wrinkle Replenishing Night Cream

According to Olay's site, this cream "renews skin's appearance at night when it needs it most while visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles..." It's got pro-retinol and beta-hydroxy, and Vitamin E and is oil free and won't clog pores.

Sounds good to me.

2. Olay Age Defying Protective Renewal Lotion
Olay's site says this is "proven to reduce the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and protect from the sun...". Contains beta hydroxy complex and a broad-spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen. It's also oil-free, greaseless, and non-comedogenic

3. Aveeno Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser

Y'all already know how I feel about this stuff right? This "creamy cleanser with moisture-rich soy extract" is the business. I would love this even if it didn't have salicylic acid in it but thank G-d it does.

The only other thing I did was an aspirin mask about once a week. What - you don't know about the Aspirin Mask? You better ask some-BODY! I guess that's going to have to be my next post, but in the meantime check out a cute and quick YouTube video on it.

Other than that, there really wasn't much to my regime. I washed with the Aveeno cleanser morning and night (in the evenings I used it after using MAC Cleanse-Off Oil to remove my makeup), used the day cream in the day and the night cream in the night. Asprin mask on Saturday mornings, and tried to avoid wearing makeup unnecessarily and also to remove it as soon as I got home from work. And of course I never ever ever sleep in my makeup. Never. So let me show you the results and then I'll tell you my thoughts:

Week 1 - just before I began the challenge:

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Okay right off the bat I have two thoughts: 1)why the hell are the pictures so small? Hope you can even see them and 2)I look awful in these pictures. But oh well.
I really don't know whether you guys can see a difference in my skin from these pictures but in real life I certainly do. I have fewer clogged pores and the ones I have aren't so big, my skin feels a million times better, and it's ever so slightly less greasy than usual. I read online today that Linda Wells says you have to give every skincare product at least six months to work so I'm going to continue with this plan of action at least until I run out of the stuffs. I'll update you then on my progress.
Oh and I'm sure quitting smoking wouldn't hurt either, but we're not going to get into that right now ;)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Product Review: Free Stuffs from pHisoderm

Hi Ladies!

We're not even going to get into how long it has been since I've posted. Suffice it to say I'm a blogging punk. My only defense is that the weather has been so nice lately I'm coming up with every possible reason to stay outside. Let's hope my blogging habits improve once it gets cold.

So anyway, on to today's products. The lovely ladies over at ChickAdvisor hooked me up with some products as part of their Product Review Club and all I had to do in return is write about them. But I can't drop science on beauty products without sharing it with my loyal readers now can I?

So first up is pHisoderm Daily Facial Cleanser for Dry-Normal Skin
Overall I'd give it a rating of just alright.

It's definitely gentle on my skin and it comes in a nice big bottle, which is a plus, but it has a weird smell that I didn't care for at all. The best way for me to descirbe it is as what West Indian people call "fresh". It's not a good thing, but I don't know what the Canadian equivalent would be...maybe gamey? Let's just say that in the Caribbean raw chicken smells "fresh" until you squeeze some lemon juice on it. Know what I mean? Although the smell was unpleasant it didn't linger and wouldn't stop me from using the cleanser again.

Anyway, apart from the smell the experience of using the cleanser was pretty good. It doesn't lather too much, which is good and when I used it first thing in the morning my face felt clean but not tight or dry. However when I used it to wash off my makeup, my face didn't feel clean and I had to re-wash it twice before it got off all my makeup. Not a good thing but I don't know too many cleansers that can remove all your makeup and get your face deep down clean in one shot so I won't hold that against it.

After using it all weekend, I did notice a couple of tiny pimples coming out on my face but it is my time of the month so I can't say for sure this cleanser caused it.

pHisoderm has never really been on my radar so I was glad to have a chance to test out some of their products. I think of it as being more natural and gentle and targeted to people with sensitive skin and when I'm choosing skincare products I tend to look more for heavy artillery. My skin is very oily and riddled with clogged pores and blackheads and is not sensitive at all so I wouldn't say this is ideal for me, but if you're looking for something gentle and non-drying that just gets your face clean this is the cleanser for you. The wiwfm verdict on this is....yes, in yes it cleans your face but I doubt it will do much to improve the overall condition of your skin if it's as crappy as mine.

On to the next product: pHisoderm Body Wash in Aloe, Vitamin E, and Chamomile

This stuff couldn't have arrived at a better time. When I got home Friday evening after playing 18 holes of golf in the blazing sun I was a sweaty, dirty, sticky mess! I was so happy to see this in my mailbox that I jumped into the shower immediately.

I normally use Dove Cream Oil body wash and although I dearly love it, I don't really like using it when I'm hot and sweaty and dirty. It deposits a lot of moisture on my skin - which is normally a good thing, especially in the winter - but when it's hot and I feel filthy, I just want to be squeaky clean when I get out of the shower. I had high hopes for this (it even LOOKS clean in the bottle lol) and it did not disappoint. The smell is pleasant, fresh (in a good way - see my face wash review), fruity and vaguely floral. It lathers up nicely but not excessively, and rinses away clean with no sticky residue on the skin. I felt so good after washing it with it once that I did it again just for the heck of it. I've been using it all weekend and I'm still pleased with the results. I will say that it's a bit runny so be careful or this will spill and you'll end up wasting it.

Another great thing about this cleanser is that it's unisex - I've even gotten my male roommate using it. Normally he and I each buy our own body wash which gets a little crowded on our tiny shower shelf, but this is something we can both use.

While nothing can take the place of my favourite body wash, this will make a great backup cleanser for the days when I just want to get clean without all the extra fragrance, creams, and oil. I would probably buy this again. So the wiwfm verdict on this is yes!

Monday, July 14, 2008

i suck.

Hi ladies!
Yeah so my promise to post every day for a week or whatever it was was clearly a big fat flop. I apologize. Work was a bit nutty and the weather was beautiful and you know I hate being inside when it's hot so...yeah. I did do a couple of posts at my other blog "And then he never called me". Check 'em out if you're interested.

The good news is I'm on vacation from work this week and I finally figured out how to get online with my laptop so that means I have ample opportunity to post. And with pictures, since I'll actually have my camera nearby. You'll be sick of me soon :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

More tidbits about me

It's kind of a slow day at work so I've been drifting along the web getting caught up on some blogs. Although I love this blog, sometimes I get wistful at other people's freeform blogs in which they can just write about anything they feel like and not be confined to one set subject matter. But then I remembered that I am the master of my fate and the captain of my sould (remember that from Jaleesa's wall on A Different World?) and as such can blog about whatever I damn well please. So watch out. I'm going on a blog rampage this week - seven posts for seven days starting now. About anything I want (but I have to keep it 30% beauty if I want to qualify for Total Beauty's network lol).
Hope you ladies enjoy. Maybe you have questions you want to ask me and then I could blog about the answers. Wouldn't that be fun?

My Wedding FOTD

Hi ladies!
Hope y'all had a good weekend.
Mine was pretty good as it featured tonnes of sunbathing and dressing up for my friend Dove's wedding on Saturday. I love dressing up. At first I was going to play it low key with just a blouse and knee-length skirt but then I remembered that it was a Trini wedding and Trini people love to do it up. It was an extravaganza of sequins, chiffon, and taffeta I tell you. I was glad I went with the dress I did.

Anyway. this was the second wedding I went to this summer and I did my hair & makeup the same both times so I thought I would share it with you as I believe I've found the perfect look for summer occasions when I want to look pretty but not overly done up. And since I actually remember what I used, I thought I'd do my very first FOTD for you. Let me know what you think:

This is what I used:

Maybelline Pure Makeup in Caramel mixed with MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC50
MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC50

(I patted the concealer under my eyes and buffed it on my cheeks and upper lip using Scandalous Beauty's awesome method)

Set with MAC Blot Powder in Dark (applied very lightly with a brush - I find it looks ashy if I use a puff)

Lorac Hot Flash (just the bronzer) on my cheeks, chin, top of forehead, and bridge of nose.

Urban Decay Primer Potion (of course)

Filled in my brows with dark brown eyeliner and then blended it out with a MAC angle brush and set with Tweezerman Brow Gel

Too Faced Caribbean in a Compact in Snow Bunny as a highlighter on my brow bones (mine broke and all the colours blended together to create a beautiful champagne-y colour that makes me look candlelit)

MAC Antiqued in the crease

MAC Expensive Pink on the lid
MAC Shroom in the inner corners.

I lined the insides of my upper lids only with some Rimmel eyeliner in black (the double-ended one that's black on one side and white on the other)

Ardell Brow & Lash Accelerator Treatment Gel as a mascara primer

Lancôme Hypnôse mascara (never leave home without it)

MAC Sheertone Shimmer blush in Breezy
(I learned from Sephora's blog how to apply blush properly - who knew?)
I layered this very sheerly over the bronzer so that I would get that lovely pinky-broze flush. I liked it at the time but looking at the picture I'm a little disappointed because you can hardly see it.

Well in the picture I didn't have lipstick on but I wore MAC Love Nectar lip glass over HIP Lip Pigment in Coy #458.

What do you guys think???

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Product Review: I have Fuscia Fever!

So ladies,
I'm a sucker for a pink polish, if you know anything about me you must know this. If I have 80 bottles of nail polish (and that is sooo not out of the realm of possibility), probably a good 60 of them are pink. Pink polish and pink shoes, those are my weaknesses. Interestingly enough, I own no pink clothes. Weird huh?

Anyway, I was in Shopper's Money-Sucking Drug Mart the other day and was once again eyeing this new Revlon nail polish in "Craving Coral". It's a really pretty coral colour (obviously) that's great for summer. But then my eyes caught a glimmer of pink in the periphery and it was all over for Miss Coral. Because I had discovered the beauty that is Fuscia Fever and it was a wrap.
Then I brought it home and started to worry that I had just purchased a drugstore dupe of OPI Elephantastic Pink.

Sidebar: Every time I buy a new pink I start to worry on the way home that it's the same as a pink I already have. But it never is.

Fuscia Fever is a really pretty (blue-based) bright but not neon pink that is great against dark skin tones. Application was a bit tricky though. Like Elephantastic, you have to apply it like a sheer shade otherwise it streaks big time. I've just about mastered the technique (it only took about 20 years!) so it went on perfectly. and for once in my life I actually remembered to take pictures - peep them here:

Some of them are a bit blurry, I don't know why.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Random Goodness - CoverGirl WetSlicks AmazeMint Product Review

Hi ladies!
Hope my Canadian gals had a good long weekend and that all of you are enjoying the nice weather.

I'm still reeling from four glorious days off, major flirtations with crushboy, and my plan to ask him out for drinks this weekend. But I digress.

Late last night I checked my mail and found something other than the usual bills - a mysterious padded envelope addressed to me. Inside I found a little card from CoverGirl letting me know I've "been specially selected to be the first to try the new WetSlicks AmazeMint brightening lipgloss featuring Crest Peppermint Oil for a boost of breath freshness!".

I have no idea how or where they found me but hey - a free lipgloss is a free lipgloss right?

Surprisingly I had never heard of this product, but truth be told I don't love CoverGirl so I don't pay very close attention to their movements. Today's Google searches didn't really reveal much - but I did find a review on Silver Lips Beauty of the product.

It seems CoverGirl has been using some interesting tactics to spread the word about this gloss. Apparently they partnered with P.F. Chang's China Bistro to offer female diners a chance to try the gloss after dinner last week. Interesting.

Anyway. The color I received was Plum Crazy, which is looks a bit pinky-mauve in the tube but when you pull out the applicator it's actually not pink at all, more of a purpley-mauve, if that makes sense. I'm guessing it's the last tube on the right in this picture, but it's a bit hard to tell.

I wasn't wild at all about the colour. For one thing it's blue-based (of course, to help make your teeth look whiter) and I tend to veer away from cooler colours even though they're supposed to look better on dark skin tones. But after putting it on, it's prettier than I thought.

The gloss has a pretty minty-vanilla scent and the doe-foot applicator puts the gloss on smoothly. It has good shine and doesn't feel sticky or tacky. It tingles as soon as you apply and as I'm writing this, the tingling has intensified some and then starts to fade after a couple of minutes. It's very noticeable but not unpleasant, although I'm not a fan of tingly glosses.

Okay - I just licked my lips and got a kickass peppermint taste. It's not bad, just very pronounced. I guess that's the breath-freshening part, as it's supposed to basically be a lipgloss and breath mint in one. Funnily enough I just had a chocolate cookie and had a smoke so I have a nasty taste in my mouth that is in no way diminshed by the gloss, but then again short of eating it how could it eliminate that?

Sidebar: I'm going to really try to remember to take pictures when I get home and add to this post so you can see how it looks. Please remind me when I forget.

Overall this is a cute little gloss and with a price tag of $0 I really can't go wrong. I'm giving this a verdict of yes!