life is always about the journey...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Skincare Maniac!

Skincare Notes from a Skin Fanatic

I'm a maniac, a maniacccccc .... 
(gotaha singing that Flashdance song now don't I ...heehee)

That doesn't sound creepy now does it...ahahahaha!  But I AM!!!  I have been a maniac about my skin since I was 13 and discovered "Teen" magazine (back when teen mags were a tad more innocent KWIM).  And skincare is something I take very seriously...VERY!  You rarely ever find me going to bed wearing my makeup and I'm never without some kind of spf on my face and a day cream.  You gotta fight those wrinkles early nowadays...the UV rays and pollutants in the air are coming to get you!  Be very scared!

So below are some things that I use religiously, they belong to MY skincare church LOL and I highly recommend them all.  Now a little note...I tend to have dryish sensitive skin and I try to use a ot of things on my skin that lean to organic or as natural as I can get along with some of those powerful chemicals that dermatologists put on in their office for big $$$.  I'm not a huge fan of the $200 creams myself...not saying they don't work but if you take the time to INVESTIGATE the ingredients you can find drugstore brands that have the same ingredients, perhaps not at the same exact strength but pretty darn close and much cheaper.  So you have to be your own advocate and researcher.  I also go to a dermatologist twice a year to get other suggestions or tips for what I should be doing with my skin and make sure I have no cancerous spots which is VERY important for everyone to do.  And your derm is a great place to ask about drugstore brands...they will recommend similar products for you as well to those prescription creams or $200 creams.  I don't know about you but I don't have $1000's of dollars to spend on stuff like that...I have two college educations to be paying for very soon so I'm a budget girl whenever I can.  Plus why waste your good dollars on something you may be able to find cheaper.

It may SEEM like a lot of time put into my skin in the morning and night...but it really isn't.  Most of the time its done in under 5 mins in the morning, nighttime is about 8-10 mins.  Not too much time spent on the largest organ on my body right?  Its like brushing my teeth for 2 mins each day, twice a day...once you get into a routine it doesn't seem so hard or a waste of time.

NOTE:  I was a makeup artist for both Lancome and Clinique when my kids were younger.  I am an artist, I like to paint and painting on faces was just another version of that :)  While at Clinique I went to many hours of skincare training...I'm forever grateful for the things I learned in all those classes.  We learned from top dermatologists from around the country and the information has helped me choose how I treat and care for my skin since then.

Tip #1:  Check Amazon and other online sites before buying facial products to find the best price.  Amazon will likely have them cheaper but Ulta can have great prices, sales and coupons too that may be the better way to go.  I shop for the cheapest price...$5 saved here and there can amount to a lot!

Tip #2:  These products can be used on most types of skins...but I handpicked them for myself.  Hopefully it will encourage you to use some similar products that work for your skin and remember that skincare doesn't have to be expensive and just a luxury unless you want it to be.  SKIN is the LARGEST ORGAN on your body...take good care of it!  Its super expensive and painful to fix surgically ;)


I have the original (and mine is zebra, no surprise right), I don't have the #2 or the body attachment.  I paid $90 for mine a few years ago and I use it 4-5 times a week and it DOES do what it advertises!  Its great for any kind of skin type and because I verge towards dry it keeps my skin smooth and soft.  If you get one and use it for a week you will understand my passion for this little machine.  TIP #2:  I do NOT buy the Clarisonic cleanser...not that's it bad...I just use my own cleanser with mine instead.

A great cleanser to use each day, doesn't upset my sensitive skin and cleans all my makeup off my face easily.  I love the Mario Badescu line of products...I've been a user of this line for the past 18 years and have nothing but good things to say about all the products.  Each product they carry tells you if you should use it on a certain skin type which is very helpful if you have any confusion about what to use.  This cleanser is the one I squirt on my Clarisonic as well.

AH-MAZING!!  I use these Glycolic-Alpha-Beta pads every other morning...they are not as strong as a chemical facial would be but they are pretty close and do not upset my sensitive skin.  Great for fighting fine lines, wrinkles, minimizing pores and clearing your skin up.  Seriously you use these for 2 weeks and you will see a difference.  This is how I use them...I cleanse my face, take off eye makeup and then wipe my face and neck with a pad.  TIP #3: Then let it dry for about 5 not rinse off any of it...then add your night creams. (cheaper by at least $20 at Amazon)

I have used a lot of day creams..I've tried a lot of day creams...I always choose one with a good SPF though.  Currently this one I've been using since March and I'm happy with it, it doesn't make my skin greasy and keeps it moisturized all day.  And it packs a serum and moisturizer into one step..BONUS!!

I have used this powder foundation for over 15 years..I will die with this stuff on my lie.  I HATE FOUNDATION...I hate feeling like I have anything on my face, ICK.  But I like my skin to glow and look even and natural KWIM?  This powder will not clog your pores which is something I love.   And this powder is pretty foolproof, use a kabuki brush to put it on in swirls on your face...start with one side of your face and will see the difference immediately.  Nice and light and evens your complexion out perfectly.  And it packs an SPF 15 as well which is another bonus.  Not to mention that one pot should last you for 6 months.  I also use their pot concealer, tinted mineral veil and their eye primer..I recommend them all highly.  Amazon has the best deal that I've found on the foundation but if you need to match your skintone for a color you can find it at Sephora, Ulta and other stores in your mall.  I can't tell you how many people I have converted to this powder over the years...I should get a commission LOL...because once you try it, you WILL love it!
TIP # 4:  Buy a small pot of their bronzer powder and use it to custom mix a color during the summer when your skin may be darker.  I mix it in the lid each time, easy to do and cheaper than having 2 separate pots of colors and you can increase/decrease the amount you add.

This cream can be used day and night...I only use it as a nighttime cream as its a bit thicker than what I like to wear during the day.  It has Hyaluronic Acid to fight wrinkles and then it has ingredients that also mimic collagen helps fill in and prevent droopiness in your skin.  Hey I'm almost 40...gravity is starting to kick in..I'm fighting it!  I buy mine at Target or Ulta..seems to be the cheapest at those places.

I use this each night to remove my eye makeup..I don't like oily versions so this gel is very gentle and leaves behind NO residue and it takes off my waterproof mascara like a champ...a total winner!

I have used this eye cream has one of the highest concentrations of retinol on the market that IS NOT prescription..whoot!  However I don't use it every night because it can be drying to my skin...I use it about 4 times a week and it helps with wrinkles and saggy-bags and dark eye circles.  My Costco carries it in packs of two for the price of can also find it at Target and at most drugstores.  I ONLY use this one at night!

And then I have my more expensive eye cream.  I used to work for Clinique (as I mentioned above) and I used their original All About Eyes eye gel for a long time.  But when they came out with this cream version that is a bit richer I decided to switch.  Its a bit pricey but remember you use 1/2 a pea-size drop so it lasts, and lasts and lasts for a long time.  So for me its worth the money (I buy 2 a year) I use it in BETWEEN when I use the cream above (the RoC) about 3 times a week in the morning and night.  TIP #5:  I bought a small empty cosmetic pot (at Ulta) and put a good dollop of cream in it.  I keep the small container (marked well so no one EATS it ahaha) in my fridge and use it when my BAGS and SAGS are out of control in mornings...instant amazing awake lie!!

I've tried many facial scrubs and you know what?  Most are the same no matter what the cost.  And I've used a St. Ives version since I was a teen...and I love this gentle version even better.  Its like $3 bucks at your Target, Walmart or CVS (or other drugstores).  It does the same thing as expensive exfoliates fabulously.  This isn't as grainy and rough as the original which I found was too harsh for my skin as I've aged.  TIP #6:  The key to using an exfoliating scrub is to scrub on your face for AT LEAST 2 minutes, slowly and not too don't want to damage your skin.  Then rinse off and pat dry..I do this in the shower once a week in the summer, twice a week in the winter when my skin is super dry.  It works for ANY skin type period and its cheap and smells good!!

I am a mask addict...I love them and use one at least once a week!  This is my current fave of the past clears my pores and makes my skin silky smooth.  It sucks the UCK out of your pores and leaves you smooth and clean.  It doesn't have a horrendous smell either which I like.  I keep it on for 20 mins once a week...I'm like the swamp monster at night heehee!  My family is used to it.  I'm not a huge fan of facials...I usually break out afterwards and find them painful and yes I've had many over the years.  I find that I can do my own facials at home, customized to the way I want and much more economical.  TIP #7:  I clean with my face with my Clarisonic,  then I steam my face (holding it over a hot sinkful of water for at least a minute), do any extractions with my extraction tool and then apply the mask.  Then I usually read or do some chores for 20 mins until I have to wash off.

I don't break out very often thank goodness but when I do or when I FEEL a pimple perhaps coming...I dot this on and its like MAGIC.  Doesn't dry out your skin, reduces the size quickly and heals it quickly.  REMEMBER do NOT shake it ever...dip your Q-tip down into the pink stuff at the bottom and dot onto any problem areas.  It works great I'm tellin' ya!

And that's pretty much my skincare bible for you...what I do and use!  I order from Sephora a lot and I'm in their rewards program (Ulta's too) you get lots of free samples that are usually good sized too.  Its a great way to try new products without the investment.  I'm always on the lookout for new and improved products with great claims or ingredients.  And sometimes they work great and sometimes I end up going back to the oldie but goody :)

Do you have a favorite skincare product you use??



  1. Thanks so much on the tip for the powder foundation. I hate the liquid foundation on my face - even the lightest I can find.

  2. Thanks for the recommendations . I may try the powdered foundation. I have never worn any liquid foundation because I dislike the way it makes my skin feel.
    I would love to read about the products you use on your feet. Mine are very dry and in sad condition LOL -Barbara Spanheimer

    1. I have trouble with dry feet as well. This is what I do: I use a foot file after I shower and scrub on my heels and undersides of toes. Then I put Aquaphor on in a nice coat and then put socks on...leave them on overnight and soft feet the next morning. I do this twice a week :) HTH!

  3. I stayed a kid for a long time, playing cowboys and indians with neighborhood children, using Noxema as "war paint". All through high school I stayed with Noxema and never once had a pimple. I am 66 now and still never had a pimple. Something happened when I went to college and I started to have almost a scaling across my nose and slightly onto my cheeks. If I put foundation on my nose, within a few minutes it would look like alligator skin. Since then I have spent a fortune trying different skin care products. I did use Clinique for the longest time but really miss their Skin Texturizing Lotion. I have struggled with this scaling since 1965. Last September I took a chance on the Murad menopausal skin line, after seeing an infomercial. The scaling is GONE and my skin has not looked this good since I was 17 (now 66). I still cannot wear foundation on my nose, so I will definitely give the product you mentioned a try. Don't even get my started on the dry skin on my heels. I could destroy pantyhose in one wearing. I always wondered why my ex had baby soft feet when he wore heavy work boots and thick socks all the time (as a contractor) and I have used every product to counteract the dryness but it never goes away completely. I will try the Aquaphor. There is a product called Gormel which is a urea product and only for heels. Hard to find, not cheap but it works well. I meant to tell you that I love this new blog of yours, Suzanne, and the other one, of course.

    1. Murad has excellent products, pricey but well made for sure....glad you found something that worked. I think if you wear heavy socks and sweat in your socks your feet stay soft...I on the other hand hate having anything on my feet and I'm barefoot most of the time when I can be. My mom has dry heels too although hers crack, but I have found filing my heels and then applying aquaphor with socks overnight a couple times a week to be my savoir as far as that is concerned. I've tried urea products before with so/so results. I used to use Vaseline but found Aquaphor was stronger and kept them nice longer so hope it works for you too. And thanks, I'm sooo happy you enjoy the blog(s)..I write but never sure if anyone in the universe really reads it LOL. That's ok, its a bit of a journal for me too :)

  4. I hate anything on my feet also and am barefoot whenever I can be. I will try your Aquaphor tip. What I like about the Murad is that they will break up your payments over three months so that makes it much easier to be able to afford the product and it comes right to me - decided benefit. I am a skin care and make-up junkie though and have saved this post of yours in case the Murad ever stops working. Now if I could just come up with something that would work on the crepe-like skin on my old-lady arms!


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