Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Sandalwood Powder
wws1980 4/13/2013 8:28:00 PM
I love using sandalwood powder mixed with turmeric and rose water once a week to keep my skin clear and bright. It smells divine too. If you have dry skin, you could mix in some Argan oil or yogurt to make it more moisturizing. For acne prone skin, turmeric, neem or tea tree oil. For oily skin, try adding clay. The possibilities are endless. You can find sandalwood powder for about $5 at any Indian grocery store, but for that price, I suspect it's mixed with a filler powder. My bag says "100% pure sandalwood" but the scent is very faint. Maybe it's the by product of the sandalwood oil processing?
I use these and the wedge shaped sponges from Quo and they're fabulous. They're similar to the BeautyBlender sponge since they expand in water and give that airbrushed look. I always use them wet like the BeautyBlender so it doesn't soak up any foundation and then wash it immediately after use. Since they're so cheap, I can keep tossing them out to avoid spreading bacteria on my acne-prone skin. An added bonus/hindrance is that my kitten loves playing fetch with them and steals them from my bathroom counter all the time. I stock up when they go on sale at SDM frequently - usually around $3.00.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Personal Microderm
wws1980 10/11/2012 12:08:00 PM
Love this! I purchased it during one of MUAC's 30% off sales for about $130 with an extra set of normal discs and it's my favourite skincare tool/toy. As others have noted, it comes with six green and blue discs which are great to use while you get used to the device. I've since moved to the red discs which feel more like a professional microdermabrasion treatment. I buy them on Ebay for about $16 including shipping. It's really satisfying to see the dead skin come off, leaving smooth, soft skin underneath. I don't really get red or pink from using the red discs but I have pretty tough skin. My dermatologist recommends combining (professional) microdermabrasion with a collagen boosting cream so I I usually follow up with a mild toner and Skin Actives Copper Peptide cream.I also use retin A nightly so I'm sure that's helping.
I use President's Choice Black Label Argan oil. It's about $15 and is a high quality culinary oil. The scent of this argan oil is quite pungent but I rather like it - it smells nutty to me. My boyfriend hates it though so be warned,it's not everyone's cup of tea. I use it on both my (non-facial) skin and hair and it sinks in quickly without much residual scent. It leaves me with soft, non sticky hair and skin. It makes my hair feel thicker somehow.
Cleansers -Unlisted Brand - Oil Cleansing Method OCM
wws1980 9/3/2012 12:32:00 AM
Yikes. Be very, very careful when deciding to try the OCM to cleanse your face. I had high hopes for this. My current method of Clarisonic and Black Soap had me almost clear but I still had one or two hormonal acne breakouts around my period. They take about two weeks to clear so I decided to try the OCM to see if I could clear it out faster and maybe even prevent them. Boy was this a bad decision! On my third day of trying the OCM (castor oil and sunflower oil), I started breaking out in tiny whiteheads on my jawline, where I normally breakout. Thinking it was part of the purging process, I proceeded for another week and it consistently got worse and worse until my entire lower cheek to jawline on both sides of my face were covered in cystic acne. I stopped OCM immediately and went to my dermatologist thinking it might be a horrible allergic reaction or something - she diagnosed me with oil folliculitis and possible staph. I' was put on a regimen of antibiotics, Hibiclens cleanser, topical antibiotics, and a steroid cream. The breakout continued for another three weeks, just getting worse and worse. Every morning I would wake up and there would be two or three new zits. It was horrible and even makeup couldn't cover the breakout. Random strangers commented on my skin which didn't help. My dermatologist did a series of AHA peels which seems to have finally curbed the onslaught of new acne, although the in-between stage of peeling + acne just added to my misery. My dermatologist has also put me on Retin A Micro to prevent future acne but I've been hesitant to start it in earnest since I've heard it also comes with a purging period. I know the OCM works miracles for many, but sadly I wasn't one of them.
ETA: This has been amazing for my skin - I completely bypassed my monthly hormonal breakout. I haven't had skin this clear since I used Accutane! I use this with my Clarisonic and follow up with an AHA/Vitamin C lotion (diy with supplies from Garden of Wisdom). I'm really pleased I found this because I was considering going back on Accutane or birth control, and now won't have to.
Misc Beauty Tools -Clarisonic - Deep Pore brush head
wws1980 11/27/2011 9:39:00 PM
This little brush is amazing! I've used my Clarisonic with the sensitive brush for two years now and I've never been wowed by it. I honestly thought the Clarisonic was over-hyped crap and I only kept using it because I spent so much money on it. I bought the deep cleaning brush at Sephora three weeks ago and the difference it has made for my skin is ridiculous. My skin feels so clean and my ongoing breakouts just stopped. I'm going to order back up brushes on Ebay or Amazon because it's cheaper but I'll definitely order more!
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Inebrya - Ice Cream Dry-T Banana Hair Mask
wws1980 11/17/2011 2:32:00 PM
This stuff is great - actually everything I've tried from Inebrya has been great and I'm surprised their products don't have more reviews on MUA. I actually use this as a weekly colour mask by adding a few tablespoons of Manic Panic dye. I slap on a plastic shower cap and keep it on for about 20 minutes. It's one of the better drugstore deep treatments out there.
My friend picked up one of these and was raving about it - it does work really well. HOWEVER, I believe they charge about $50 for this (?) and I just wanted to let people know that you can get another version of this cloth at any Korean grocery store for under $2.00! It's called an "Italy Cloth" or sometimes "ddeh" cloth and it's essentially the same thing - a rough textured cloth that rubs off dead skin after a bath or long shower (you need to soften the skin first). I've been using the Korean version of this exfoliating cloth for years and it's amazing for body exfoliation. My skin is super soft and feels like silk after I use one of these. Save yourself some cash and try the Italy cloth.
Styling Products -John Frieda - 3-day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray
wws1980 5/12/2011 2:22:00 PM
I'm still not quite sure what to make of this product - today is day 2 and my hair definitely has reverted a fair bit. For some reason, the left side of my hair looks a lot better than the right and was easier to flat iron smooth as well. The right, no matter how many times I ran the flat iron over it, still feels odd / almost stiff. Maybe I used too much product on the right side? The reason I gave it a 4 and said I'd buy it again is because my bangs are still perfectly straight and I've always had a lot of difficulty in keeping them straight (I have naturally very wavy hair). I usually have to flat iron my bangs twice a day to keep it looking straight and smooth. This stuff makes my bangs look great with no need for touchups. The effect has lasted through numerous (careful) face washings, being pinned up (my bangs looked great after I took out the bobby pins), and slept on. For this alone, I'll keep repurchasing!
I've only used the new formula but I really like this. Yes, it's heavy on the silicones so not CG-appropriate, but my hair responds so well to this. I have long, chemically processed hair but it still relatively healthy and I have to credit this (and Aphogee protein) for this. It leaves my hair very soft and moisturized - this is the best drugstore conditioner that I've come across.
Treatments -Garden of Wisdom - Mandelic Acid Serum
wws1980 4/15/2011 2:06:00 PM
I had such high hopes for this serum, but it did absolutely nothing for me. My skin is acne prone and used to a tough regimen of Retin A, AHA and TCA peels, and regular microdermabrasion and dermaplaning. I used this religiously for two months and honestly didn't see any difference in my skin. Pass.
ETA: My skin broke out terribly recently and while I'm not convinced it was this product that did it, I don't think it helped. I've been using this product for two weeks as a facial cleanser and I love it! I have oily, acne-prone skin and decided to try this to remove my makeup on a whim. The combination of charcoal and pumice not only took off every trace of makeup but also left my skin smooth, glowy, and soft. I was worried that the nut oil and cocoa butter would clog my pores, but so far, so good! I was actually going through a breakout phase when I started using this and haven't broken out since. Maybe it's the charcoal? I usually wet my skin, then rub the bar over my face. Then I use my fingers to gently scrub my skin in circles and rinse off. I'm left with perfectly smooth, clear skin. I don't go for fruity scents and am not enamored by this one. It smells like sheesha/hookah tobacco to me...BUT my boyfriend loves it and for the results I'm getting, I'll overlook the scent.
Skincare - Face -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - 55% Lactic Acid Peel
wws1980 3/21/2011 6:56:00 PM
I'm quite pleased with this product. I'm using it as a spot peel on some old acne scars. My skin is pretty tough and used to Retin A, TCA peels, and AHAs. I use a q-tip and rub it back and forth on just the spots I want to work on, and leave it on for about 10 minutes or so. I won't lie, it burns like a biotch, especially near the end, but what do they say? "The tingle means it's working!" After I neutralize and wash it off, it's usually quite pink. It scabs lightly the next morning and I'm careful not to exfoliate/disturb my skin's healing. I don't moisturize though - I want the skin to peel. Usually at the three day mark, it peels and I'm left with smooth skin and (hopefully) a faded scar. I've done about three lactic acid spot peels, and I'll say that it is more effective for me than TCA in lightening scars and hyperpigmentation. (The TCA is far better for indented scars though.)
Treatments -Ion - Repair Solutions Hair Reconstructor
wws1980 1/13/2011 4:01:00 PM
Just used this last night for the first time and it's amazing! I shampooed my hair with a clarifying shampoo, let it air dry, and then put this stuff on. It's a bit sticky and smelly, but that's prolly the keratin in it - it reminds me of Aphogee's 2 Step. The packet didn't have quite enough product to cover all my BSL hair (this is where damp hair would be better to make the product spread easier). I let it sit for about 20 minutes and then rinsed it out and applied my conditioner (Shiseido Tsubaki - white). My normal hair routine at this point would involve putting in a leave in or at least some oil/cocoa butter combo, but I got distracted and went to bed with damp hair. I woke up this morning to super soft and silky hair. My curls/waves lack some definition, but for non-gelled/product-ed hair, this is awesome! The full size bottle is only $16 at the beauty supply store near me and is well worth it for these results! Loves it!