Oh M.A.C! I love you I really do. You give me options with and without shimmer, your "Red" shade is my personal holy grail. You are somewhat reasonably priced, and your products are consistently pigmented enough for me to trust you on and off camera. Here's the rub. You consistently break out my clients. Lipstick and liners are the worst. At first I thought it was me, not you. Had I somehow gotten sloppy with my hygiene? Not a chance. Old products? Nope. My Ben Nye, Mehron, and Kryolan don't break clients out. MUFE doesn't break my clients out. Cinema Secrets has never so much as given me a single blackhead, no matter how many times I came home from the club and passed out in it. WTF M.A.C.?! I took you home! I let my parents meet you! I sometimes think you like my friends better than you like me. I thought we had a future together, M.A.C! How could you betray me like this?
What the hell is up with everyone putting Mica in everything?! This blush would be perfect without it. Not everyone wants to walk around looking like a disco ball. FYI ladies, shimmery blush on mature skin looks awful. I've actually gone back to using Ben Nye on myself and my M/U clients because it's one of the few brands that carries matte products, doesn't charge an arm and a leg, and as far as I know hasn't made any of my clients break out. I love your stuff Nars, but you're too over priced and under pigmented for me to take you seriously.
Like the rest of Skinceuticals products I've tried, this one is over priced and hasn't done anything for my skin. I am down right angry that I paid so much money for something that didn't do !@#$ for my skin. I found out that you can buy Vitamin C in whatever form you choose for about $5 for 30ml (last me two months and I use it all over my body), and other actives for a shockingly smaller price tag. I mix my Vitamin C serum up every day to ensure I get the most from it. Takes me all of 20 seconds. Actually, outside of my chem peels and sunscreen, I mix all my own skin care products and change the actives to suit my needs. I can categorically say have had better success doing that, than using any pre-mixed product, and saved myself a boat-load of money in the process.
Masks -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - Pumpkin Exfoliating Masque
rachaelvictorious 5/13/2012 2:49:00 AM
I'm not one of those people who goes crazy for packaging, or what the product smells like. If it works, and I don't have to sell a kidney to be able to afford it, I'm on board. But I must say, this mask smells great. I ordered a sample to try and I'm glad I did. This is a nice treatment to do before applying your make-up, but don't expect any miracles. I certainly don't think it's worth $20 a jar.
This is a good basic cleanser. It doesn't strip the skin, it contains a couple of actives (not sure if it contains enough of the actives to really do anything), and I've used it after a TCA peel with no ill result. My problem with it is the price. I can get a bottle of CereVe for $8 at Walmart which is much more economical and I personally like it better.
Treatments -Makeup Artist's Choice (MUAC) - TCA Peel
rachaelvictorious 5/13/2012 2:21:00 AM
I want to preface this review by saying, I've since switched to Monell Essentials brand chemical peels, which can be found on Ebay. They come in various sizes which I like because I use different strengths for different parts of my body, and don't really need big bottles of every peel I use. MUA doesn't have them listed in their brands, so I can't yet add a review for that company. This is my first experience using TCA. I chose to use 12.5% over 8% because I had been doing the MUAC 30% Glycolic Acid peels 8 consecutive weeks prior, and knew my skin was reacting well to them. I had active acne, (some of the spots had been there for years), oily skin, huge pores, fine lines, and lots of shallow scars. It's very important to prep your skin for a medium strength peel, to ensure you have even results. During the course of the 8 weeks of Glycolic Acid peels I noticed a huge improvement in all noted conditions. I preped my skin by washing it with CereVe cleanser, and de-fatting it with rubbing alcohol. If you buy a TCA kit from MUAC it includes a prep, but I have found no difference between using it and rubbing alcohol as a skin prep. Made up my neutralizer of baking soda and ice water, and soaked a wash cloth in in so I was ready to go. I also took 600mg of ibuprofen and a dose of Benedryl an hour before my peel. I'm glad I did because I had noticable swelling and discomfort afterwards. I doned gloves and applied an even layer of 12.5% TCA over my entire face. Holy camp fire, Batman! You could have roasted marshmallows on my face! It was intense for about 30 seconds but I noticed no frosting. The instructions regarding how long to leave a peel on vary from person so person, but the general advice is until it frosts or no longer than 10 minutes [Please correct me if I'm wrong.] After one minute has passed, I dragged myself away the fan (set to hurricane) and applied another coat (that one didn't frost either). It is important to note that TCA doesn't always frost. It burned like a sinners feet in church. I invented new !@#$ words that day. I stuck it out for another minute and noticed no frosting, but my face was getting red, and since I ALWAYS err on the side of caution when it comes to skin care, I neutralized it and applied a coat of neosporin. Day 1: Day of the peel. I was really uncomfortable. My skin was red, my face was a bit swollen and I went to bed early. Day 2: I looked very mildly sunburned. My skin cannot get enough of this Neosporin. If I even think about using a moisterizer (pre peeling days), I would turn into an oil slick. This was novel. I kept taking Ibuprofen throughout the day and Benedryl to curb the itching (there was mostly soreness vs. itching) Day 3: I look very sunburned, my skin is tight and I'm still noticably red. The swelling has gone away, and the soreness has been replaced by itching. Ice packs and vinegar help a lot, as do anti-histamine tablets. Note to self: Buy stock in Neosporin. Still super dry, and tight. Laughing hurts. Day 4: The red parts of my face are now a touch on the brown side, and I've just started to peel. I've pried myself away from Neosporin and am using CereVe cream. My skin cannot get enough moisure. (Note: I've used CereVe cleanser the whole time as Cetephil has SLS which I'm allergic to) Day 5: Still peeling, was able to stop taking Ibuprofen and Benedryl. I broke down and used a light coating of Neosporin after my morning cleanser. Soooooo tight! I can see bits of the new skin peeking though. Yay! I'm also about to go back to my beloved UNT sunscreen and stop skulking around sunny patches in my house like a vampire. Tomorrow is Day 6, and I'll update after I stop peeling so I can update the initial results. As far as the product goes, I'm happy with it. MUAC is a great company although a bit pricey for their peels. ______ UPDATE: It's been about two weeks since I did the peel and I've finally stopped flaking. I didn't notice a huge difference in results between this peel and the 30% Glycolic Peel, but bear in mind this is my first TCA peel, and it's a low percentage. My skin feels so soft! I'm going to continue doing TCA peels every four weeks (or as my skin can tolerate it) adding a layer until I hit the max reccomended (5) or I see a vast improvement in my skin condition. Update: Do not use Neosporin after a peel. If you have any tendency toward allergic reactions, you might develop hives. I used Neosporin after my last peel (15%) and broke out in HIVES on my freshly peeled skin. It wasn't pretty. I ended up having to go see my doctor for a cortisone shot. She told me that she doesn't reccomend Neosporin due to the fact that so many people have an issue with one of the ingredients. I've been using plain ol' Vasaline and have been fine with that. Updates to follow.
I started using MUAC 30% Glycolic Acid peels after a life-time of disappointment in acne treatment. I've used dozens of skin care lines, OCM, Retin-A in cream and gel form, internal suppliments, professional facials (sometimes with peels), anti-biotics, and sulphur masks. [Mini Rant/Word to the wise: Research your actives before plunking down an obscene amount of money for a product. If a ingredient is not in the INCI, then it's likely marketing maurading around in a lab coat. Also, I don't trust research that isn't peer reviewed, or is sponsored by the company hawking the product.] My skin before I started using the peel: Oily Active acne that wouldn't budge. I've had some of these spots for YEARS. Lots of scars Sallow complexion Lots of huge pores I started using the peel once a week, each week adding a minute until I hit the max reccomended time. I've been using this peel now for about 8 weeks, and have noticed a dramatic improvement. The first couple of weeks I still had active acne, but my complexion looked almost dewy and I noticed a few shallow lines start to disappear. By week 3 a noticable decrease in active acne was noted, and my pores had started to become less noticable. Week 8 was during my cycle and instead of the vicious breakout that signals the start of my period, I only had THREE! count them THREE! smallish pimples that cleared up in a couple of days. I'm so happy I could tap dance! Sometimes I will be a teeny bit pink and tender the day after I peel, but nothing serious. I also have not experienced any visable peeling (which I wasn't expecting since this particular peel at this strength is considered a chemical exfoliation and not a true skin peel). This week I did my first TCA 12.5% peel, and I'm waiting for the peeling to finish before I can gauge if there is any initial improvement. On top of that I've changed my daily routine to: AM: Skin Actives: Salicylic wash (very gentle) Vitamin C in the AM, UNT tinted sunscreen PM: Skin Actives Salicylic wash, and "Let's Make Collegen" serum I still have damage to repair, but my active acne has slowed down to a couple of minor pimples per month and clear up quickly, and the fine lines I was starting to see are slowly vanishing. I can live with that! A word of caution. I've seen a lot of folks on the internet saying they started bang out the gate with 50% Glycolic or 30% TCA with no former peel experince, and seemingly very little knowlege about the chemistry of their skin, the mechanism of what they are doing, or why a chemical peel is able to do what it does. Please do your research. I'm a licensed cosmetologist and a current chem student, which gives me a bit of a unique perspective. When done properly, there is no reason why anyone (who's skin condition is suitable for this treatment) can't benefit from doing a home chemical peel. Do a skin test prior to any unknown peel type (this includes changing brands), or change in strength. If I have a bad reaction to XYZ peel type/brand at 8%; I can't imagine what it would be at 18%. Increase the strength of your peels SLOWLY, and be sure to use sunscreen every single day - whether you leave the house or not.
This is one of the better products from Paula's Choice. It's light, creamy, and doesn't make my oily skin feel dry or tight, or leave an oil slick behind. It does a really good job of removing make-up even when I use a sealer over it. It used to be my go to cleanser until I started using MUAC DMAE cleanser, which is my holy grail. All in all it's a little over-priced, but I would buy it again if I couldn't get the DMAE cleanser.
I used a whole bottle of this, and didn't see any results. It seems the bigger Paula's Choice gets, the worse her products get. I find MUAC products to be superior.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
rachaelvictorious 4/5/2012 12:52:00 AM
This product did nothing to help clear up my acne, and was irritating to my skin. I ended up sending it back. The best product I've found from Paula's Choice (and I've used many of them) is the 8% AHA Gel, which is a good bargain for a daily chemcial exfoliator. That being said, I've found MUAC products to be superior, and better priced.
Sunscreen -Paula's Choice - Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 45
rachaelvictorious 4/5/2012 12:47:00 AM
This sunscreen sucks. It always feels greasy on my skin (like every other Paula's Choice sunscreen I've used) and makes me break out. UNT sunscreen (I use the Perfect tint) is a superior product.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
rachaelvictorious 4/5/2012 12:44:00 AM
I've been using this product for about 4 years now. I've used the gel, cream, and liquid formulations. The gel is the by far the most economical formulation. A bottle lasts me about 6 months with daily use. Until I started doing my own chemical peels, it was the only thing I found that help control my acne. It never cleared it up completely, but it made a huge difference. I started out with the lowest concentration and worked my way up to 8% as my skin acclimated. Now I can use it under my eyes with zero irritation. It hasn't done anything for my fine lines or minor pigmintation issues, and because of that I am switching over MUAC products, which I found the be superior to anything else I've used.
I recently started using this as a post peel cleanser and have found it to be soothing and moisterizing to my irritated skin. I wish I had found it earlier. I also use it as a body wash when I get allergy rashes on my body and it seems to soothe those too.
Treatments -Unlisted Brand - The Original Skin Store--Acne Stop
rachaelvictorious 3/28/2012 6:48:00 PM
I've had trouble with acne for years, and after hearing that people had good luck with this product I decided to give it a try. I have to preface this review by saying, I really wanted to like this product. I have no issued with the company who makes this. Shipping was fast, and they included a sample of micro-derm crystals, which was nice. I'm an experienced chemical peeler, and had no bad experiences in the past. I started using the product according to directions, and while it did dry up my acne, it also dried my skin out. I was flaky (something I had never experienced with post chem peels) and irritated all the time. If you've used Differen - you know the feeling. Nothing liked dull, wind-chapped feeling skin 24/7. I've found this product to be effective as a spot treatment for ingrown hairs around the bikini line (I hate to waste products), but I won't be re-ordering it. I've since switched to using MUAC Glycolic Acid 30%, with the Phytocell Serum after (the only moisturizer that hasn't made me greasy/break out) and the DMAE cleanser. For the first time, I could not be happier with my skin.