Thursday, August 29, 2013

Paula's Choice and Skinetica

Oh hello there pretty kitties!
Just a heads up-this is going to be a long one. 

Regular readers of this blog know that I am fanatical about protecting my skin with the proper sun protection and that I treat my skin with my favorite acids-AHA's and BHA's. You would also know that I have very reactive skin and struggle with breakouts. 

I have recently upped my skincare game to include Retin A (this will be a separate blog post) and a topical antibiotic to help banish the breakouts and generally improve the health of my skin. At the same time that I started this new skincare regime, I had discovered an AMAZING blog written by Caroline Hirons ( that has changed the way that I take care of my skin. All of this will be a separate blog post as there is just too much to write.

What I do want to tell you about are two products that you may be interested in trying. 

The first one is from Paula's Choice ( Reasons I love Paula's Choice: good products with good, quality ingredients, very reasonably priced, fragrance free, you can try it before you buy it, and she takes on the big named companies who sell sub par products with basic ingredients at ridiculously expensive prices. 
So earlier this year, Paula's Choice rolled out their Resist BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections.

Now usually the highest strength you can find for a BHA product is 2%. The good folks at Paula's Choice have managed a 9% formulation that is very gentle on the skin. The texture of this product is like a serum bordering on an oil. I am on my 2nd bottle of this product, however I had to stop a few month's ago as per doctor's orders, when I started using the Retin-A. According to Paula's Choice website, Resist BHA 9 is effective for: Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Brown Spots, Enlarged Pores, Keratosis Pilaris, Redness, Rosacea, and Wrinkles. 

  • Reduces clogged pores-Yes
  • Diminishes enlarged pores-Yes
  • Reduces white bumps (milia)-Not Sure
  • Minimizes flesh-colored bumps (sebaceous hyperplasia)-Yes
  • Softens rough, dry, and flaky skin-Yes
  • Calms redness and irritation-Yes
  • Fades marks from past breakouts-Yes
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines-Yes
  • Dissolves stubborn blackheads-Nope
  • Clinically proven non-irritating-Definitely non-irratating
  • 100% fragrance free, no added dyes-Yes
  • No animal testing
  • Reduces Breakouts-Yes
Pros: A well formulated product that definitely makes a difference in the skin's appearance and helps with controlling breakouts.
Cons: Very expensive for a Paula's Choice product. $36.95 for .3 oz. That is not a lot of product.  

This product confused me at first. It was touted as a spot treatment, however my blemishes, wrinkles, pores, etc are located on all different parts of my face so I was applying it all over as a full face treatment. The original pump sucked. This was being marketed as a spot treatment but the pump only pumped out a full face pump. They seem to have gotten that in order with their New Precise Control Pump so you can use it any way that benefits you. 

This is definitely worth a try if you have any skin imperfections. You can purchase a sample to try it first before committing. I tried the sample first and didn't see any major changes until 1/2 way through the sample bottle. 

The next product I've found, I am on the fence about. 

I found Skinetica ( while snooping around online and decided to give it a whirl. The reviews looked good and the price was right-around $21 USD. This product ships from the UK.

According to the website, it is:

•    anti-blemish skincare treatment~  for the removal of acne, spots, pimples, blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads
•    a Super Toner – removes virtually all skin impurities
•    a Base to Foundation – prevents make up running even in hot climates

•    With visible results in 2-3 days and no side effects

•    No harsh chemicals, non-toxic, non staining, non greasy and can be used under make-up
•    Safe for all skin types and all areas of the body

It claims to "kill 99.99% of P.Acnes Microbes without using toxic chemicals". The technical explanation from the website is:
 As Skinetica air dries after being applied to the skin, it forms a molecular matrix, attached to the skin surface, which consists of very sharp pointed molecules. P.Acnes microbes cells are negatively charged, whereas the Skinetica molecules carry a positive charge, and when in close proximity the two are electrostatically drawn together. The Skinetica molecule being sharp like a sword, penetrates the outer cellular wall of the microbe, thus killing it. The medical name for this process is “lysis”. 

The ingredients list is short:  purified water, ethyl alcohol (only 18%), fragrance (BOOO-we no likey fragrance in our facial products), quaternary ammonium compound. 

So basically, you would use this product twice a day after you cleanse your skin, just like a toner (this product is a liquid- It is thin like water). Apply to a cotton round (I feel you lose too much product with a cotton ball) and swipe all over your face, neck, hairline, chest, back-wherever you may have a blemish. 

One thing I noticed while reading the online reviews, either people loved it and described it as a miracle product or they didn't see a difference. There was very little in between. After using this for a few weeks, I did not feel it did anything for my breakouts, existing or preventive. It definitely made my skin look and feel much more soft and conditioned in the morning but blemishes were still present and did not disappear, especially within the 3 day time frame. Once Retin A came on the scene, I put this on the shelf for about a month or so. I am now back to using it and like it much better the 2nd time around. My face is much clearer than it has been in a while but I am not sure if Skinetica has anything to do with it or if it is the result of the Retin A/Antibiotic combination. Either way, I am not sure if I will be repurchasing this when the bottle runs out. 

So there you have it! 
Please feel free to post any questions in the comment section below and I will answer as best I can. 
Until next time!

Have a safe Labor Day weekend!


Monday, August 26, 2013


I am not the most organized person I know. I am definitely not that girl that has everything in just the right place. I envy those people. However, I am very organized when it comes to my makeup kit. You have to be! For multiple reasons. First, you don't always have a ton of time to be leisurely looking for what you need. Second, you don't want to look like a disorganized mess in front of the client. 
Most professional makeup artist know all about ZPalette. They are very cute, stylish and customizable makeup palettes. I believe they are an absolute necessity for the pros but I highly recommend them for anyone who wants to organize their makeup clutter.
Zpalette's are magnetic, empty cases with a clear top that you can fill with your own eyeshadows and blushes. 
The palette I bought at The Makeup Show was specifically for liquids, so I filled mine up with lipstick. Now I don't have a huge amount of lipstick that I carry around with me but enough to make it difficult when I'm in a rush and do not have a ton of time to open every lipstick to find the shade that I'm looking for. I usually end up going with gloss because the shades are easier to find because of their see through tubes. 

I purchased a hot pink palette, along with the little silver magnetic wells for the lipstick. 50 come in a package. 

So here is what you do.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (depending on your oven, you may have to go up to 225). 
  • Slice about an inch off of the lipstick of your choice and place it in the metal well. Do this to all of the lipsticks that you would like to melt down. 

  • Line a cookie sheet with all of your lipstick filled wells.

  • Place in the pre-heated oven and DO NOT WALK AWAY. Seriously, this will take about 30 seconds to a minute for them to melt down. 
  • When they are all melted and liquidy, take them out and let cool.

  • Now just put them in your pretty, little ZPalette and Voila! Instant organization. 

Let me know what you do to organize your makeup.

Physician's Formula Review

Hi there! 
Sorry I disappeared for a minute but life gets in the way and I went into vacation mode. Thanks to all that have stuck around and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

So I was lazing around, just minding my own business when I bumped into two products that made me snap out of my summertime stupor. 

Some of the problems us fair skinned lovelies have with bronzing powders are that they can pull too orange or muddy on our skin. A bronzer should make you looked sun kissed, not like an Oompa Loompa and dirt had a baby. So on my recent first visit to Ulta (I know, where have I been?), I decided to try Physicians Formula (a line I do not recall ever trying before) Mineral Airbrushing Bronzer SPF 30 in the shade Light Bronzer. I am so happy I found this product! Let me first say that this is so finely milled, it is pretty much goof proof for anyone worried about blending it. It does give an airbrushed effect and it has a high SPF so it is protective as well. The Light shade has a pinky, sandy, neutral tone to it (no orange!), which works really well with my fair/medium skin. I use it more for contour as it is a satiny matte with no shimmer and blends really well. I am not sure how well this would show up on a darker skin tone but you can try the darker shade. Also, it was less than $8 at Ulta! I believe they had a buy one, get 2nd 1/2 off. It usually runs about $13. My one complaint would be the packaging-it is quite cumbersome. The Bronzer comes with a mirror and a brush (which I will never use) but it is bulky and awkward to carry. 

Hey Physician's Formula, ditch the brush and make the packaging slimmer please!

The Bronzer is showing up lighter in the photo than in person but this shade is definitely for light skinned ladies. 

The second product is a highlighter, also from Physicians Formula. I bought Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent Pearl after being drawn to the bumpy pearl like texture and the pinkish sheen of the product. I have to say, I am impressed with Physicians Formula's products. This product is again, very finely milled and provided a subtle sheen perfect for highlighting. It is pretty translucent, leaning towards the white side than the pink. It does not settle into lines, it just creates a healthy glow. I would use this on cheekbones, brow bones and down the bridge of the nose. I paid $13.99.

Again, epic fail on the packaging. Another bulky compact with a useless brush. 

All and all, two great, reasonably priced products worth a try.