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A Few Good Beauty Products

April 1, 2010

I thought for fun it might be neat to try a “Indispensable to me…” thing, so here goes!

1. Like a lot of people out there, I have oily/problem skin (this will come up again in this list ~_~). I’ve been advised by numerous magazines, beauticians, and “people-who’ve-been-there” that a good way to combat some of this is to use a daily moisturizer after washing (which you should probably do, even if you don’t have a combative complexion). This is said to work by convincing your skin that it need not produce excess oil, since it’s already moisturized. I’ve tried many products and mostly found that, in my case, an acne moisturizer has the opposite effect and dries out my skin. This in turn causes my skin to flare up from dryness! This Christmas I decided to dedicate myself more to finding some facial products to stick with since, guess what, switching from one to another all the time can cause irritation as well (what doesn’t, really?!). Because I’d already decided to use#2 on this list I thought I’d stick with the Burt’s Bees line for my facial care (plus I love Bees and Bee byproducts and someday hope to be a beekeeper). I chose the carrot cream because it is thick, but not filmy, and has a nice scent.  Since I began using this my skin has begun to clear up, it’s not overnight, but it also seems a much healthier process (I tried proactive and it worked quickly and briefly and left my skin looking drab and dry).

2. My Great Aunt is past fifty and has skin that is as firm and glowing as a baby’s. I meant it. Her skin is gorgeous. How does she do it? Well she graciously shared her secret (simple) two-step process with Kay and I. The first step, the obvious “I still don’t know why you have to say this…” step, is wash your make-up off every day. This isn’t just key to good skin, it’s also important for basic facial hygiene – not washing your make-up off puts you at risk for infections/inflammations (such as stys). Her second step, her secret if you will, is to use a night cream. She began using night cream as a young woman and has used it religiously ever since. When I finally moved to take her advice I chose the Burt’s Bees Radiance line. My roommate (Trisha!) had begun using the body lotion (and a side note, if you are interested in the Radiance day cream, the body lotion has the same ingredients) and I really liked it.  The night cream, like all of the Radiance line, has a bit of shimmer, a lovely texture, and light smell. My skin has definitely seen an improvement since I began using this every night. It is really fantastic, and over the summer I might start using the body lotion for my face since it’s a bit lighter than the carrot cream and reflects natural light well (and right after I told you to stick with a product!).

3. While I don’t go to Toni & Guy regularly anymore, I do still love and support their S-Factor line. I love quite a few of their products and they work well with hair that is exposed to a lot of heat/processing. By far, my favorite and most used product in this line is the Flat Iron Shine Spray.  I get my hair relaxed once a year and use my straightener virtually every other day of the year.  This is a protectant as well as a shiner and it smells fantastic to boot!

4. For Christmas Ethan (with the help of Trisha) bought me the 24/7 Super Stash pack of Urban Decay eyeliners. IT IS AMAZING! I am desperately trying to figure our which colors I will get full pencils of and I have had no success! I’ll probably end up getting them all! Urban Decay liner is fantastic, a sort of hybrid between liquid and pencil, it goes on smooth and sets quickly. The colors show true and bright on any skin tone (I’ve seen this) and the company doesn’t test on animals. Now that I’ve had these I wont be going back to anything else.

5. Initially I bought this lip balm because it was pretty and I am a sucker for packaging… seriously, that’s probably where some of my appreciation of the Japanese comes from, they know how to package even the most mundane items. To be fair, I had used my friend’s a couple of times and new I would like it, but it was primarily an aesthetic purchase. I have two now and will probably soon by a third – not because they run out (these things last forever!), but because I want to have the other flavors. My favorite (picture) is Violet. It seems so luxurious to use a lip balm that is flavored like flowers. Lip balm isn’t where these lovely things end though. They can be used as emergency moisturizers for any dry patch (and do it well) and solid perfume in a pinch (or not, they do smell lovely). I carry violet around with me all the time, leave peach by my bed for late night dry lips, and and going to pick up orange soon…my excuse is that Violet is getting lonely in my purse (you can see where this is going, right?)

6. I told you we’d come back to the problem skin.  Even harder for me than finding a moisturizer was finding a face wash. Too harsh and I get dry irritated skin problems, not strong enough and I couldn’t wash off the excess oil properly. Thank heaven for the Burt’s Bees Complexion bar.  It works for both Ethan and I (and he has dry skin), is light and refreshing without harshness, and smells great (vegetal and herb-y in a good way). It lasts longer than your average container of face wash since it’s in bar form and you don’t use much. Beware of where you place it though because it is a bar soap and people will try to use it for hand-washing if there isn’t a clearer option.



What I’m Loving:

The Queen Must Die: And Other Affairs of Bees and Men. Written By William Longgood. ISBN: 978-0-393-30528-9

For Portland Shoppers:

  • You can find Burt’s Bees products all over town, I like to get them at Fred Meyer’s Stores.
  • I buy my Toni & Guy products directly from the salon, but that can get expensive. If you’re not running short on time head to Lloyd Center Mall and check out the trade secret, sometimes they carry S-Factor. If not, you can walk over to the Toni & Guy and pick them up.
  • Like Burt’s Bees, you can find Gal Collection lip balms at many stores throughout the Portland. Hands down though, I buy them at Escential Lotions & Oils. I LOVE this store. I have been going there for years with my family and it is an olfactory paradise. It is worth going solely for exploring a wonderful world of fragrance and pampering. I purchase the majority of my perfumes here, including when I get the urge to mix up my own. The prices are far lower than reasonable and the staff if always friendly and positive. You can also save by bringing your bottles back when you need a perfume refill.  They also sell essential/healing oils. I can’t say enough good things about this store. Highly recommended.
  • Urban decay products can be purchased at the Sephora stores at Clackamas Town Center as well as Washington Square (plus a number of other places). I’d go with online though.
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