Friday, September 27, 2013

The Art of Double Cleansing

So this is how washing my face usually went. 
Five minutes before bed I would use 2 pumps of my Aquanil cleanser, massage it around my face for 10 seconds fully expecting it to completely remove the 3 pounds of makeup that has been sitting on my skin all day, only to have a smeared imprint of my face transferred to my previously clean towel. 
Forget about my morning routine--pathetic. I would rinse my face off in the shower, maybe a splash of water in the sink-why use cleanser in the morning? Ummm sweat and oil maybe? 
*hangs head in embarrassment*

Thankfully that has all changed.  My half assed attempt at washing my face was definitely contributing to my acne problems. Duh. 

Double cleansing is basically washing your face twice, first with an oil based balm to remove dirt and oil. Remember "like likes like", meaning oil and water don't mix but oil will be attracted to oil and lift it (and any makeup including mascara) right off of your face. Who should do this? Anyone who wears makeup or sun protection. If you have oily skin, do not be afraid. Plant based oils will not clog your pores and are perfectly safe to use. However, I would stay far away from mineral oil. That will clog your pores. 
The second cleanse can be a gentle, non-foaming cleanser (such as Aquanil, Cetaphil, CeraVe etc.) and is done to remove anything that had not been removed with the first cleanse. You can almost consider it an insurance cleanse. 

So here is how it goes now. Since my skin still reacts to products it does not like, I have not found a balm that I love (although I hear Clinique has a fantastic one that I may give a looky loo to), so I use coconut oil for my first cleanse. I used to use olive oil but coconut  works better for me. Take the coconut oil (or whatever you are using) and rub it all over your face, all over your eyes to lift the eye makeup, all over your cheeks, neck, everywhere. Then take a warm, damp washcloth and wipe off all the oil, dirt and makeup. If you don't have a wash cloth (you should go buy some, they are cheap), you can use those little cotton rounds. Next I take a few pumps of my Aquanil, massage it into my skin and again using my wash cloth, wipe everything from my face. There should not be a trace of makeup or anything left on your skin. You should be left with truly clean skin. Slather on some moisturizer and call it a night! I have even started properly washing my face in the morning with cleanser and a wash cloth. If you are going away on vacation and do not want to pack an oil or balm along with your cleanser, that's fine-just cleanse your skin 2 times using the same cleanser. 
As long as you stick to gentle products, you will not over cleanse your skin-we want properly clean, not squeaky clean. 

Everyone should try this! 
Your face will thank you for it
and then you can thank me!
So you're welcome in advance.

Happy Weekend Kittens!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jessica's New Skin Routine

Ok! So finally-this is the new routine!

I have always had a pretty simple skin care routine. In the morning I would rinse my face in the shower, dry it off and apply sun block. At night, I would wash my face before bed (religiously) and then apply either an AHA or BHA and be done with it. I was never one for pricey products or special serums because I was skeptical of the ingredients and felt they did nothing but break me out, so why spend the money. 

After being exhausted with my acne prone skin, I decided to visit the dermatologist (which you can read about here). The same week as my derm appointment, I stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Caroline Hirons, a beauty and skin care expert from the UK. I started reading her blog, and my skin and my way of thinking about my skin have been changed forever! According to Mrs. Hirons website, she is a globally qualified advanced facialist trained in over 100 brands and has trained teams internationally for top brands in the UK, USA and Far East. She now works as a Consultant to brands and retailers in the Beauty Industry. Caroline's immense knowledge, her no nonsense delivery and her incredible wit, make her blog a pleasure to read.

The first thing I changed, was my way of cleansing my skin. This has to be the single most important thing I did for my skin, and for that reason, it will receive it's own detailed post. Hopefully tomorrow.
So basically, I started double cleaning my skin at night which is washing your face twice, first with a balm to remove dirt and oil and then using a gentle cleaner to clean everything off. I will never wash my face any other way ever again and if you wear sun protection or makeup, you need to be doing this as well. 

The second thing I changed was how I moisturized my skin. I always thought it was ok to use a moisturizer with sun block in it. I was wrong. In order for sun protection to be effective, there has to be a substantial amount of protecting ingredients, which leaves little room in the formulation for moisturizing ingredients. So I have started using a separate moisturizer and Sun Protection. You should use moisturizers that contain emollients and humectants such as Hyaluronic Acid. Humectants take moisture from the air and hold it in your skin. This is what will give your skin that plump and youthful look. Also, look for moisturizers that contain vitamins and antioxidants as all of these ingredients work together to keep skin healthy and prevent it from aging. 

Lastly, I have started taking supplements. I have always taken vitamin D, now I have added Omega Fish Oils because they are amazing for your skin. I hope they help with my memory because I sometimes forget to take them.

This routine is still a work in progress. I am on the hunt for a good toner with skin repairing ingredients to hydrate and replenish. These are not the toners of our teen years (hello sea breeze!). I am also shopping for a nice anti-aging serum and I am working on reducing my sugar intake.

This may not seem like a huge amount of change but I have seen big differences in my skin these past few months. I don't know if it's the Retin-A or a combination of everything together but it's working. I know the double cleansing has had a huge impact on my skin. I have stopped using the Skineteca that I had reviewed, as well as the topical antibiotic that my derm  had prescribed.

So a BIG FAT THANK YOU to Caroline Hirons for all of the amazing information that she provides. Please take a look at her cheat sheets, they are incredibly informative. If anyone wants to read a well written, witty blog about skin care (besides this well written, witty blog), I suggest you give her a try.

Cheers Kitty Cats!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Armour Beauty Lip Gloss Review

Autumn is here and just like the birds flying South for the winter, this girl is starting her cool weather beauty transformation. 
The hair is going darker, richer/darker colors for the nails as well, and as it happens every single year without fail, we start seeing all the delicious reds, berries and plums for the lips!
Now I am usually a nude lip girl all year round. I stick to my flesh tones and my soft shimmery pinks and corals but I can't help but be intrigued by the gorgeous colors of the beauty landscape that appear this time of year and how classy and beautiful they can make a lip look. I feel that as full and fleshy a nude color can make your lips, if not done properly, it can make them disappear as well. You won't have that problem with bolder colors, quite the opposite-your lips will get all the attention so be prepared!
Armour Beauty is known for their lip glosses. 
They tout themselves as the "Rock n Roll Lip Gloss" and I can see why. They have gorgeous colors from the most subtle nudes and pinks to the most daring oranges and reds. They even have a black lipgloss! Now that is Punk Rock!
Armour Beauty was created by Theo Kogan, the singer for the Lunachicks, an all female, NYC based band from the late 80's-90's. Armour names it's glosses after their favorite rock and roll songs, artist and night clubs and here's the funny part:
They have a scrumptious pink gloss named Cat Club after the legendary NYC metal/rock club that me and my friends practically  lived in during the late 80's-early 90's!
Now I love this brand even more!
I have been wearing Grace, a drop dead gorgeous magenta pink with blue shimmer. You can even see hints of purple in it. This gloss is hugely saturated with color and shine. I have worn it with and without liner. You really don't need it, there is so much pigment. I have worn it bold and glamorous, as well as subtle by dotting it on my lips with my finger to create that bee stung pinky look. It has great lasting power and leaves behind a pink stain in its wake. These glosses are slick, never sticky, paraben free and never tested on animals. 
I highly recommend these and will definitely be purchasing more colors.
If you want to learn more about Armour Beauty,

This gloss was a gift from my Rock and Roll momma so it is my own product. No affiliate links.