Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - TCA Peel
marley100 11/1/2008 2:31:00 AM
I'm new to TCA peels, but I''ve built up to using 60 percent glycolic and 25 percent salicylic peels off and on for a few years, and my HG face/body mosturizer is AmLactin, a drugstore moisturizer that's 12 percent lactic acid. (It used to be a prescription item.) Still, I have fairly sensitive skin, so I didn't want to start too high with a new product that penetrates not just in the epidermis but the dermis. I bought the 18 percent for some melasma on my temples and a couple of faint age spots on my face and not so faint ones on my hands and legs. For me, the 18 percent on my legs (dabbed on with a Q-Tip) was a yawn. Nothing. A bit of tingling, and I did two layers and a few days later repeated it. Clearly, I need something stronger there. My hands fared a little better. I definitely got frosting with two layers, and the age spots got a little darker and I was hopeful that would cause a peel, but within a few days all but one spot had lightened again. The one spot that stayed dark actually developed the faintest of scabs: it didn't look like a scab, but it felt like a scab. That age spot was a seborrheic keratosis--a stuck-on age spot. On that one, I swabbed three layers of acid because I really wanted it gone. Still, several days later it hadn't peeled, and didn't look like it was going to. Impatient, I put another double layer of acid on that spot and the others on my hands, and got more frosting. A few hours after washing it off (I didn't bother with neutralizing; I just washed with the fabulous green-tea soap and rinsed a zillion times) my hands looked shiny, the next day the skin got a little red and hard and the stuck-on one peeled off. Halleluyah! On my face, I've only treated my problem areas: the melasma at the temples, the age spots, and the top of my nose, where the pores and one small ancient acne indent are visible (at least to me). After my hands had been so slow to peel, I right away went for two coats of acid and waited for the frosting. My temples got shiny and tight right after I used the acid, and, surprisingly, peeled the next day. The age spots got a little darker but didn't really peel. They just got flaky-looking. I waited five days. They were still a little flaky, but mostly back to normal. Grrrrr. So, I took a Q-tip and dabbed the 18-percent solution on the age spots once again. I put on a second coat after 5 minutes, and let that coat marinate for another 5. It burned, of course, but in this case I see pain as a "No pain, no gain" kind of thing. Besides, for me it wasn't that bad. I waited until the skin was really white in the magnifying mirror, kinda like a horror movie right before things get REALLY disgusting or a dermatology text on skin diseases you so don't want to have. I was tired of messing around with it; TCA is so different from the instant gratification of glycolic/lactic/and salicylic acids. Next day: redder and a little crusty feeling. Peeled on the third and fourth days. Age spots are lighter but by no means gone. Since I didn't use the stuff on my whole face, I can't comment on the overall quality of the skin, etc. The stuff clearly works, and there's always a learning curve in using a new product. Now I know that I need to keep this stuff on longer for it to work, or maybe user a stronger solution. I'll update as I learn more. UPDATE: Tried the 18 percent again, just on my hands. Couldn't afford the down-time for my face. Even a heavier application this time. More than frosting--it was more like frothing in the spots I really hit, like curdled milk. I wouldn't take that chance on my face, but I wanted to see if more would be more effective. Harder scabs formed in those spots the next day. Those peeled in 4-5 days in the shower, but then rescabbed--though a far lighter scab. Two weeks since the peel, it's pretty much done except for some faint pinkness in the spots I hit hard. And again, I've noticed improvement, but again, not as dramatic as I had hoped. That said, even when the dermatologist burns stuff off, it's not a miracle, and it's not overnight--so why should this be? If these results occurred overnight, it would be a small miracle, but two weeks for a, say, 20 percent improvement is just a very good thing.
My hair is straight and fine, but I've got a good amount of it. When I decided to grow my shorter layers into a longer bob, I wanted to find a shampoo that would give me more body and root lift. That's why I decided to try Amplify. The first time I used it: wow! My hair had so much body and fullness. So, naturally, I continued using it. Within a couple of weeks my hair became so so so dry, felt like straw, and stripped the color. I've never experienced anything like it. Right before trying Amplify, my hair was maybe a little on the dry side--though all my life I had oily hair, the kind of oily hair that I'd have to wash at least once a day, the kind of oily hair that thrives on clarifying shampoos several times a week. But because of spending time in the sun this summer, highlighting, and letting the layers grow out instead of snipping off three-quarters of an inch every month, however, it had become drier. In fact, I could sometimes skip a day of shampooing once in a while. After it dried my hair, I stopped using Amplify and deep-conditioned, which helped some, but my hair is still dry and a bit damaged largely because of the Amplify. I'd use conditioners after shampooing, but they weigh my hair down because my hair is fine, so I rarely use them or if I do, I condition before shampooing. I'm experimenting with hydrating shampoos now to see if I can find a way to fix the problem Amplify seems to have caused. If your hair is oily/not highlighted, Amplify might be a great shampoo. But if you have dry or highlighted hair, it may be problematic.
Polishes -Lippmann Collection - A Whiter Shade of Pale
marley100 10/30/2008 3:49:00 AM
My absolute favorite light polish of all time. I've tried so many of them, including Essie's Ballet Slippers (too pink); Essie's Adore-A-Ball (becomes too light and thick after a day or two); Essie's Allure (OK, but too sheer); Lippmann's Sarah Smile (too pinky-beige, and my nails look dirty, maybe because I've got skin with blue-red undertones). Lippmann is more expensive than Essie, but in my experience it's way better. I've tried several of her polishes, and they don't streak, even with one coat. One coat of Whiter Shade of Pale is pretty sheer, but elegant and feminine nonetheless. Two coats is what I usually do. But I've done three, especially when the bottle's new. With three coats it becomes opaque. It's hard to describe the color, except by saying what it isn't: it isn't at all pink. It isn't at all beige. It's a perfect whiter shade of pale :-). I get so many compliments when I wear this polish. Women reference the polish color, but men compliment me on my hands. The polish dries quickly; my manicure usually lasts several days before chipping. Love, love, love it.
Eye Shadow -Urban Decay - Deluxe Eyeshadow - Fishnet
marley100 10/24/2008 3:46:00 AM
When making my rounds in Sephora, I couldn't resist this bright fuschia eyeshadow. I thought it would be fun for evening, but it's proved surprisingly versatile if it's layered. On top of Laura Mercier's cream eyeshadow Rose Gold, for instance, the fuschia morphs into lavender. Over MAC's shimmering brown cream eyeshadow Indianwood, Fishnet is more violet, and the effect is bronze with a touch of purple. It's beautiful. Fishnet is, of course, highly pigmented, goes on smoothly, and lasts. Though it's iridescent, it's not glittery or frosted and doesn't make my lids crepey, which some Urban Decay shadows do.
Mascara -Shu Uemura - Mascara Basic [DISCONTINUED]
marley100 10/23/2008 6:52:00 PM
I bought this mascara because I wanted a soft-black, natural-looking mascara. When I applied it, I was thrilled. Usually, for instance, I don't apply mascara on my lower lashes: on me it tends to look harsh and fake. But with Basic, I used it on the lower lashes and it looked fab: so natural. (I have short, curly lashes.) With most mascaras I've used, including Dior and Chanel, I have to wipe off the mascara with a tissue before applying to prevent clumping. But with Basic, I don't need to do that. But here's what's problematic with the mascara, at least in my experience. A few hours after applying, a lot of the mascara seems to vanish. I don't know where it goes; it doesn't pool underneath my eyes or fly into my contacts. It just disappears. I'll probably stick with this for the lower lashes and use Dior Iconic (wiped off with a tissue before applying) for the top lashes. And continue the hunt for my HG mascara.
I bought these Flashy eyeliners a couple of months ago in blue, copper and brown (which is really more bronze than brown), and I so love them. In fact, I like them more than Urban Decay's, and Sephora's are half the price. Easy to apply, they stay put all day but aren't hard to remove. They're a little on the soft side, but if you refrigerate before sharpening, that helps conserve the product.
I had been looking for an eyeliner in lavender for ages when I spotted this Korres Soft Eyeliner Pencil in Purple at Sephora. Most of the purple liners I had been coming across were too dark or more red than purple. Korres has the added plus of being a more natural product, and it goes on smoothly and looks great--initially. On me, it doesn't stay put very long. Within a couple of hours it's gone, baby, gone. To salvage it, and because I LOVE the color, I may try it as an eyeshadow and see if makeup base/primer increases its problematically brief lifespan.
Lipstick -NARS - Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine
marley100 10/20/2008 5:48:00 PM
Liked this muted rosy-mauvey-pink lipstick on its own for a pale lip or to line my lips under a brighter lipstick. Though it's called matte, it's really not. It's relatively moist, doesn't dry my lips, and goes on like velvet. It feels different from any other lip product I've ever used: kinda like the way primer feels when you apply it to your face. The bad news, for me, is that I've had it five days and have sharpened it three times. And it's not a particularly long-wearing lipstick/liner. In my view, it's too expensive a product to sharpen so often. I'm going back to my trusty Trish McEvoy fat lip crayons. Pricey, yes, but they last a looooong time, as well as the nearly-as-fabulous, and very inexpensive, Prestige waterproof lip liners.
In a way, I was hoping I wouldn't like this product because it's so expensive, but I like it a lot. I bought it because I had grown weary of the swirl, tap and mess of Bare Minerals. First, I looked at Sephora's pressed mineral foundations, which are half the price. But the colors were off: Even the lightest shade was too pink (I'm already too blue-red, thank you very much) and too dark (I'm a BM Fairly Light in winter and Medium Beige in summer), so the Sephora SA recommended Fresh, because it offers many more shades. Chalet Girl was the best match. The color looks very light in the compact--I thought it would be too light on--but quickly it melted, for lack of a better word, into my skin in a way that BM never has. None of the faint sparkles of BM, but more luminescence, which I prefer. It gives my face the poreless, flawless look of using a primer without using one, which is surprising since Face Luster is billed as a powder not a foundation. The packaging is pretty but not the most practical. The top and bottom of the container aren't attached; the powder closes by screwing the lid on. I wouldn't pack this in my purse; it's an accident waiting to happen, compounded by the fact that the powder is very soft. The SA said it was a mineral formula, but it also contains talc. I'd repurchase again if I can't find something I like as well--or nearly as well--for less money.
Having grown weary of the daily Bare Minerals mess applying True, I picked up Blush N Brighten in Berry--the lightest of the blushes--and have been pleased. It took a few days getting used to, as True has more shimmer and far less pigment than the Laura Geller Berry. True also has glitter, which Berry doesn't have. For me, without foundation Berry can look a little too rosy (I'm a BM Fairly Light in winter; Medium Beige in summer), and don't like blushes that scream "blush," which is why in the past I've stayed clear of them. However, over foundation, which tones down the bit of natural ruddiness in my cheeks, I swipe my brush once on each cheek with Berry, and voila, delicate sheen and the glowy skin that looks lit from within. Berry also works well as an eyeshadow, particularly for the evening. The staying power is good. The packaging is underwhelming: chintzy plastic and bulky. The price is higher than I'd like, but you do get a lot of product.