Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Sneak a Peek: My Makeup Bag -part 1

I am no expert, but I have had a few questions in this direction lately.  I gave myself permission to take my skincare and makeup routine more seriously after our Gentleman was born.  If you're not an adult after you've had three kids, then I don't know what you're waiting for.  I decided I didn't know what I was waiting for, and I began to search in earnest for products I actually love.

First up is skincare, and I have the moodiest skin in all the world.  The smallest blips of sleep deprivation, stress, germ exposure or changes in hormones or climate cause me embarrassing breakouts and ample scarring.  Here's what is working well for my sensitive skin in Utah's dry climate:

skin care

1. My Clarisonic Mia.  It took me a long time to decide to bite this bullet.  It is not an inexpensive tool, (especially with buying replacement heads every 3 months) but with skin as high-maintenance as mine, I decided I ought to be doing everything I can to reduce scarring.  While it doesn't altogether eliminate breakouts, it has made a remarkable difference, especially in the severity of breakouts and the length of time they are camped out on my face. (I've been using mine for about 8 months now.)

2. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser.  I got a sample of this with a Sephora order last year, and in conjunction with my clarisonic it leaves my face oh-so-happy.  I never have any makeup residue left behind after this gentle but effective combination.  It lathers up so well that I only need a tiny bit and it works great and smells great - clean but not like it's laden with artificial "clean" scents.

3.  I make my own eye-makeup remover.  It works nearly as well as anything I've purchased and is nearly free to make if you've got a baby floating around.  I fill this 7-ish ounce container with water and add two squirts of tear-free baby wash, then shake really well.  If I find it's not working well enough, I add a bit more soap.  I use the cotton-rounds from Costco for this - they are remarkably solid and never shed or pill or fall to pieces on me.

3.5  Not pictured here is my sensitive skin astringent.  I am trying to wean myself from the stuff because it dries out the less-oily portions of my face (I do live in a desert...) I'm hoping to try this as an alternative soonish.

4. Eye cream - I'm currently using Lanocreme Eye Cream, but I'm not married to it yet.  I've yet to fall in love with an eye/skin product, but I do believe in using one!  I usually pick something out at TJMaxx when I'm running low.  It's a cheaper way to experiment with higher-end skin care products.

5. For Day - Origins VitaZing Moisturizer.  It was very highly recommended to me and I've liked how my skin responds to it.  It is expensive enough though that I'd be willing to try something else if it sounded like a good fit for my finicky skin.

6. Sephora Age Defy Night Moisture Cream.  This stuff is about the consistency of cold cream, but it smells way better.  My skin practically purrs at me after a light application of this, and I do mean light. The jar will last me for.e.ver.

7. Bio-Oil - for really dry days and for trouble areas.  It's also purported to help reduce scarring, I haven't been using it long enough (or paying enough attention) to say how effective it is at that, but it's remarkable to me that I can use an "oil" product without my skin flipping on me.  (Coconut and almond oil both sent me into an acne blitz)

8. I am a huge proponent of all the products from Medline/Remedy,  they are the very best form of preventative skin care out there.  My mother, who works for a homecare and hospice company, was introduced to them as an aid for preventing bedsores, they have been a huge help for my dad's skin (he was in an explosion years ago that caused severe burns and necessitated skin grafts) and I cannot tell you how much their products help with the Captain's eczema.  We buy their skin repair cream in giant 32 ounce bottles and it's our go-to body lotion for every member of the family.  It's safe for babies too, so I use it instead of baby lotion, and the repair cream has a nice citrus smell to it, though no ingredients are added just for the sake of scent.

9. Mentholatum Ointment - My mother has been using this stuff for ions, and I have found no better multitasker.  Mr Renn and I both use it on our lips at night preventatively and never have any problems through the bone-dry winters.  I also use it in lieu of vapo-rub and the menthol in it will clear up stuffy sinuses pretty well too.   It also tastes awful, so I've been rubbing it on our Captain's fingers in a desperate attempt to curb his most recent bad habit of chewing on them.

10. On days when I find my hands in water every hour I am really glad I splurged on some L'Occitane Hand Cream.  It definitely is a spurge, but one that determinedly pulls its weight.  If I use it at the first sign of dry knuckles or tight sandpapery skin, everything seems to smooth itself over so that my hands never get a chance to turn raw.  And it's so prettily packaged that it's always a pleasure to pull it out.  If I'm careful I can make a 5 ounce tube last 6 months.

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