Lazy Kelsey’s guide to selling a kidney for beauty

A few days ago I put out a teaser on my instagram, touting that I would soon be launching a post about an Innisfree skin care collection. I had dreams of following up that night, writing it and posting it hastily. But Lazy Kelsey took over and made me catch up on my PVR. Then, Lazy Kelsey made me eat Brookside fruit & crunch chocolate goodies. Finally, she made me sleep half the weekend away. Somehow now it is Wednesday night and I am just now tapping at the keyboard. This long (insightful) intro should allow you to preclude that I am not exactly “prepared” nor am I going into this post with a plan. Enjoy the probable mediocrity!

Just know that Lazy Kelsey is still in charge. She likes to write too, but she’s a touch vapid, easily distracted, and a bad speller. Moving on! Now, beauty-lovers o’ mine, here is the topic at hand. Innisfree.

To be more specific (as I fancy myself a beauty-blogger and they are supposed to be professional and detail-oriented) it is Innisfree’s “Bija Anti-Trouble” line. The foam cleanser and the lotion in particular (and an honourable mention of Innisfree’s “White Tone Up Sleeping Pack”) Oh, lovelies. I am in love with a new Korean brand. From packaging to efficacy – this one had me at “Helloooo, nurse!” We’ve been in bed together ever since. Well, when we’re not in the tub.

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I can’t help but fantasize about what the Memebox Innisfree collaboration box will look like … I’ve let myself run away on thoughts of a box brimming with expensive lotions and miracle natural cures curated carefully by the folks at Innisfree headquarters (heaven) knowing full well Memebox will have constraints and may very well not meet my absurdly lofty hopes for this box. But, we all must continue to dream even in the face of our reality – the reality being that of late Memebox’s offerings have been slipping in quality. I don’t harbour anger toward them, I know too well that new businesses grow in leaps and bounds – as they struggle to keep up things will change, sometimes suffer, and often quality takes a few hits below the belt. We can only hope the kinks get ironed out and they bounce back, dressed to impress. In other words, I am giving them a little slack as a consumer and customer, only because I am the type that feels “once I am done with them, I am done with them.” And, with me, it holds water.

As you remember, in past posts I’ve been bemoaning my breakout caused by my beauty forays. And, well. It has been a long road back to recovery. Once I had recovered, I was unwilling to pull the trigger on new face products, but at night while I laid there unslept and restless, I heard them calling. So I broke out a few goodies from one brand, hoping that if I stayed with a single brand I might be able to calmly introduce a new regime to a face that has recently been so abused by the beauty industry and its insipid little minions of evil. Yes. They do exist.

I’ve had relatively “calm” skin now for two weeks. The residual marks and the last two or three puffy painful spots were deflated and defeated by this gentle duo by Innisfree.

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Here’s what I’ve been doing in the tub with my little tube of foamy delight. I used the Innisfree Anti-Trouble foaming cleanser with my exfoliating gloves at first because I was trying to combat the drying spots and rub down the bumps and get them to heal up. Yet, I quickly discovered this cleanser was potent and the more I scrubbed the more I was likely to overwhelm my skin, dry it out and add to my problem. I ditched the gloves. I began to use a small dollop of cleanser, day and night, I massaged the creamy cleanser onto my skin gently, let it foam and then let it sit on the surface of my face for a minute or two. After those minutes pass, I rinse my hands with hot water and place my warm palms up to my face to warm my skin and the foam together. Finally, I rinse with cool water to close my opened pores. Bear in mind, that some nights I used an oil cleanser to remove my makeup first before commencing this process with the Innisfree foam cleanser.

At night only, I followed my cleansing routine with the LJH Tea Tree essence (that I have used religiously for months, and it didn’t aid in my recent breakout which was a reaction to another product, so I don’t think it changed the efficacy of the Innisfree) and the lotion in the same anti-trouble line as the cleansing foam. In a few days, a visible change took hold. Not only have my acne issues quieted but the tone and texture of my overall skin is vastly improving. Over the two week trial, I used the White Tone Up Sleeping Pack twice to add to the evening out of my skin tone. It helped wash out the red, but it was a tad uncomfortable to wear overnight as it stayed a little wet and tacky.

Needless to say and what is best of all, these two Innisfree products did not irritate or worsen any of my issues. I credit them with keeping my breakouts at bay for the last two weeks. My face and I have returned to our quirky selves … you can barely see what once was an epidermal beastie’s romping playground! In the following pictures the only foundation I am wearing is a mineral makeup with lightweight coverage. Something I only can get away with when my skin is behaving.

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These Innisfree products came my way in my last eBay haul. I purchased them through a Korean seller and didn’t pay any shipping. The cleanser was 12 dollars, the lotion around 11 and the sleeping pack was 20 (USD) – I received them about ten business days after I ordered, and the seller sent updates during the wait. I have had nothing but good experiences with eBay and Korean sellers so far, nothing against Memebox but it is nice to order exactly what you want – even if it’s less of a surprise, there is less disappointment going this route.

I will be reordering from this line in my next haul, you know when the day comes that I have a little cash to throw around. This Anti-Trouble line also has quite a few other options such as a gel cleansers, a spot treatment, patch treatments, other creams and so on. I am eager to try them all but I can only collect them a couple at a time unless I plan to stop feeding the kid and selling his personal affects … heeeeeey … my hubby has an Xbox to sell … and a kidney! Offers?

It is refreshing to discover a product or two that I know I will use until the bottles are empty. It still amazes me how rarely that happens! In any case, if you yourself are experiencing a “skinmare” try looking this line up, it might be worth it. And, if you do or you have already let me know your thoughts!

Until we meet again, my beauty-extroverts … be safe out there.

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Dirty Girls Club

Whether you’re into sheet masks, heating or cooling packs, mud masks or clay masks; we’ve all been touched by the magic that is the face mask. I discovered masks really late in my life, but once I rubbed clay onto my face for the first time, I was hooked. Not only does my skin prefer this type of pampering, but I love the whole process. As I discussed at length in an earlier post about clay masks, they really do transport me to a tranquil space. Emotionally they provide me with therapy, physically they help my hormonal acne, and immediately they calm & centre me. Now, I can’t imagine living without them. Luckily for us, it doesn’t matter the type of face mask you like, there are so many choices out there on the market. Korean or not, you can find the right one for you through trial and error. And, for the first time “trial and error” translates to a fun beauty adventure.

During my last eBay haul, I bought a slew of different clay & charcoal masks. More than anything else I’ve found, these types of masks do wonders for my skin. I never have to worry about them breaking me out because they are so neutral and calming. I have sensitive skin and skin that doesn’t like to be fucked with but I can’t remember a time when a natural based clay pack or something similar ever caused a problem. It’s one of the reasons I always go back to them time and time again. I don’t have to think about it and because of that, it adds to the relaxation in the process of my facial cleanse.

There are three stages to keep in mind when you are using a clay or charcoal mask. The first stage is when you apply the mask pack and it is smooth and wet in consistency. While the mask is moist, our skin is receiving beneficial minerals and nutrients from the pack. The second stage is when the mask becomes tacky, at this point your capillaries are getting good exercise as the pack tightens and contracts. This also stimulates blood flow to your face aiding in your skin’s regeneration. In the third stage, the mask will dry – now, the longer you leave it on after this point, the more you leave yourself open to dehydration and irritation. Ideally, you want to wash off your mask pack at the end of the second stage just before the third stage is in full swing. Before it dries, cracks and leaves you unable to move your mouth or any other parts of your face.

I often get far beyond the second stage because I often apply these masks while I am readying my two year old for bed at night. Thirty minutes or more will go by before I’ll get to wash my face. Luckily, I tend to be able to get away with this, though it is not recommended. It is important to remember that if you forget to wash off the mask before the drying stage is complete, don’t over compensate with too much heavy moisturizer. This could possibly overload your skin, stress it and trouble won’t be far behind. By all means moisturize, but use it sparingly.

There are several different types of clay and they vary in colour, mineral density, and level of absorption ability. For example, white clays are best for sensitive skin, brown clays are great for exfoliation and green clays tend to be packed with minerals. I seem to work well with all three, though it is beneficial to know that any clay mask can bring on a breakout at first as they all will draw out toxins, bacteria and extra sebum from the pores. This is normal, but minimize this possibility by picking a mask that compliments your skin type, and don’t let it over-dry and crack. Similarly to clay, charcoal does much of the same. It absorbs what you don’t want and it delivers nutrition your skin will benefit from.

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My recent purchases included a charcoal & bamboo mask pack from Nature Republic. Already a fan of clay masks, I was eager to try this one in particular. As I expected, this one acted much like any other clay mask would, except I noticed that charcoal’s ability to absorb and draw out sebum was extremely powerful. I did leave it on for much longer than intended – as you will see in the pictures – but because of that lapse in judgment you can really see the level of absorption and the efficacy of this mask in particular.

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After removing the dried pack, I noticed refined pores and a decrease in overall redness. I followed with a mild oil cleanser because I left the mask pack on much longer than intended and I wanted to head off the possibility of dehydration. After, I did not find my skin irritated or dehydrated which I expected. Hours later, my skin feels drier than usual but soft. All my acne spots are reduced, flattened and feel less irritated. I certainly feel like it delivered on it’s “detoxifying” claims. With this mask’s seemingly powerful grip on absorption, I wouldn’t use this more than once weekly whereas with a white clay mask I might use it twice a week or even three times depending on my skin’s condition.

In the end, I really like this mask for its potency and effectiveness. I’d add it to your next shopping haul if you’re looking for a powerhouse absorbing monster of a mask. At a fraction of the price of say a celebrity favourite like Glam Glow, which I can’t for the life of me shell out for … for stay at home moms like me, Nature Republic might just be where we get our own glam glow-ing skin!

Until next time, Beauty-bombshells. Be safe out there.

Yes, I Am Sleeping With Him

Some times ladies and gents, it’s not a man that saves you. Once in a while, if you scream “rescue!” a face moisturizer arrives, proudly, on a steed and dressed in shiny armour, the knight to your damsel in beauty-crisis-distress!

No, seriously.

Many of you know, that last week I was brought to my knees by a skin care mis-step. As you may also know, this mis-step kept a record. On my face. And, for a week my Hubby was forced to inspect my face twice daily, once nightly, to discern a careful answer to, “Ok. How does it look now?”

He finally told me today, after we finally agreed that we started to see the red-splatter monster begin to fade, that it was in fact my “worst reaction and breakout ever.” Bar none. Nothing else makes a wife feel sexier, folks.

Every night in recent memory I have been labouring over my face. Today was the day I was attending a baby shower of a very old and dear friend – and I was intent on fixing my face for the event. Even if the internet at every turn told me, no, you can’t heal acne overnight – Well, screw you interwebs! I have to find a way! I refuse to be the woman at the shower that terrifies the kiddies. Halloween is over!

So every night it was a flurry of safe cleansers, cold compresses, moisturizers, tea tree, hyaluronic acid … praying … meditation … deals with the devil – a little clarity for my soul – you know. The usual. By last night, things had started to even out and clear up. It wasn’t perfect, and at the baby shower I looked like the living-dead as I foundation-ed like a maniac and powdered my already white face with even whiter powder. People kept asking me if I was “feeling alright,” and that’s when I kicked a baby and ran like hell.

Ok that didn’t happen. But people? It wasn’t my best day for vanity and I felt less than celebratory.

So let’s move on, shall we? To the good news portion of this shitshow post. We have a helpful creature in our midst! Something that I think really went to bat for me while I fell apart under the stress of my chicken-pox-on-acid like breakout on my face.

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If this were a man, I’d be sleeping with him.

No, I mean that literally. This is what I went to bed with, on my face – and I fell in love.

This is a really good moisturizer. The Pro You Aroma AC Cream. It is for “troubled” skin and its formula is extremely pleasing. When you have a breakout, the last thing you want, or least the last thing I want is to be left too oily from a moisturizer. But conversely, I also don’t want to dry out my skin. For me, excessively oily moisturizers (which I find is most of them) just add to the problem – I inevitably find new pimples cropped up the next morning. If I use a harsh cleanser and follow up with a lacking moisturizer then the next day when I try to apply makeup to my face but my spots are dried, peeling, crunchy and disgusting. Nothing covers them, and it is a horrible task to even try. These are the mornings that Bestie gets a text from me stating I am cancelling any foreseeable plans for hanging out in public.

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I was surprised to find myself liking this cream, and even more surprised to see myself going back to it, time and time again. I haven’t been a fan of other Pro You products thus far, their wrinkle care cream in particular (you know one, huge gigantor tub, came in the Anti-aging 3 box) that one was just way too freaking rich for my skin. I quit using it after a short stint, I was sure it would break me out. Why does that tub have to be so huge?! So, when I opened this AC cream by the same company, to say the least I was dubious.

Pro You managed to make a very rich cream for troubled skin that is non-irriating, non-stinging, and absorbs like a dream. Absorption is always on my list of grievances with moisturizers. I always feel like they sit on my skin, slough off or leave me sticky or tacky. This one absorbs rapidly, so much so you have to have quick fingers to spread it out quicker than it dries. But it does dry, and it soothes and it feels cooling on the skin. I was happy to find something that didn’t burn my skin, or the spots even if I applied it directly after cleansing. As far as effectiveness, I only have a short window to study its efficacy. But within the week my acne lightened up, and at least 40% of it disappeared. What’s left are the stubborn spots, but even those are well on their way to being healed. It wasn’t greasy when I put it on, and it wasn’t greasy when I woke. This cream came with my “Free from Oil and Trouble 4” box, so I can only guess it was fate – it was my reprieve from those egg soaps from hell.

In the end my dear beauty-lovers, I am on the mend. Today, I braved sunlight and I put on pants. That should signal to you that this crisis is almost adverted.

Until next time, Beauty-babes. Be safe out there.