It was the most inflamed of times, it was the shiniest of times, it was the age of visible redness, it was the age of large pores, it was the epoch of angry skin, it was the epoch of visible shine, it was the season of dryness, it was the season of t-zone troubles….
Ok, you get it.
What I’m trying to say (aside from my poor attempt to Dickens up my post) is my skin is going through two very ugly phases right now:
1. Tons of redness and irritation that tends to flame up from stress (good luck avoiding that), a glass of wine (I have a better chance avoiding the stress), and coffee (I would rather pull my eyelashes out one by one than give up coffee)
2. My pores are huge and I seem to get shiny in my t-zone regardless of the weather or situation
Luckily, I found two primers that are helping me through these woeful times. Yes, it sucks that I have to apply two separate primers but it’s better than the unsightly alternative. First, banishing the redness…
I tried CLINIQUE Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15 without expecting much. I’d heard it all before — soothing, redness-reducing, blah blah blah. I’ve tried almost every green-tinted skin product out there, all of them made big promises to correct my angry red skin. So, I wasn’t expecting much when I slathered the creamy, green dill-scented primer all over my face. It felt cool and comforting upon application. Then I looked in the mirror and noticed my skin looked borderline normal! Sure, there was still some visible pink but it wasn’t the usual “I just walked through a chemical fire” face.
Protects skin from the UVA/UVB exposure that can aggravate skins with Rosacea or reactive redness. Does it without chemical sunscreens. Comforting, oil-free makeup primer with a sheer green tint visually corrects redness, evens skin tone.
Overall, my skin looked healthy and dewy. This definitely isn’t the type of primer to give you that flawless airbrushed finish. My pores were still large and in charge and obviously the dewy finish wasn’t doing my shine any favors.
Enter primer #2…
Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer is a blurring primer to help fill in fine lines and enlarged pores, and put the kibosh on shine. If you have oily skin, this primer is your new best friend. It literally melts into the skin giving you an airbrushed, “blurred” finish.
A melt-in smoothing primer with innovative blurring and filling technology for a youthful appearance perfectly primed for makeup application.
Product Performance: Turn back the hands of time with tarte’s new timeless smoothing and filling primer formulated to fade out your biggest beauty boundaries such as large pores, fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant-rich formula infused with vitamins C & E and green bean extract gently melts into the skin delivering a surge of moisture, peptides and other naturally-derived elixirs for a firmer, smoother appearance. You’ll love the lightweight texture and fresh powder scent as it provides the perfect blank canvas to enhance the look and wear time of makeup. It can also be worn alone as part of your skincare regimen, blurring out skin imperfections and signs of aging for a flawless, soft-focus finish.
Powered By: vitamin E: natural preservative that also acts as an anti-inflammatory emollient and antioxidant
vitamin C: antioxidant that fights free radical damage and premature signs of aging while brightening skin
green bean extract: known for anti-wrinkle and pore minimizing properties
mineral pigments: soothe and soften skin
A word to the wise… If you have combination skin like me you only want to put this mattifying primer on your trouble spots or your skin will end up looking flat. And as Dickens may have said himself, had a been a beauty blogger…
“It is a far, far better primer that I wear, than I have ever worn; it is a far, far better skin that I have, than I have ever known.”
Posted by janna Tags Clinique, Enlarged Pores, Oily Skin, Primer, Redness, Sensitive Skin, shine, Tarte, tarte cosmetics
Okay, maybe my headline should have read “Like a kitten willingly rubbing up against your face…” Poor kitty. All I know is that before I discovered the Clarisonic Luxe Facial Brush Head – Cashmere Cleanse my ultra-sensitive, tantrum-throwing skin would limit me to using my Clarisonic (with the standard sensitive brush head) 1-2 times a week max.
Not only does this ultra-soft and gentle brush head allow me to use my Clarisonic every day, but it feels like heaven and leaves my skin clean and tantrum-free. It honestly feels like a thousand fairies fluttering their wings on your face.
The Clarisonic Cashmere Cleanse Facial Brush Head features a dynamic dual-layer design that gently massages facial skin — generating fluid forces to cleanse 6x better than hands alone while simultaneously increasing skin’s natural hydration levels. Compatible with all Clarisonic facial cleansing devices.
The Clarisonic Luxe High Performance Brush Head Collection
A symphony of performance and comfort, the Clarisonic Luxe High Performance Brush Head Collection features innovative tapered, ultra-long filaments to deliver uncompromising cleansing efficacy with enhanced hydration results. Perfect for even the most mature and dry complexion, these brush heads gently glide over skin, leaving it feeling clean and supple.
So, go out and buy this brush head so you don’t have to use Fluffy to gently exfoliate away those blackheads.
Posted by janna Tags Clarisonic, Sensitive Skin
I feel like every winter I romanticize summer. I curse my dry itchy skin and say I can’t wait for summer when the humidity will bring much-needed moisture to my bitchy skin. I imagine myself running through a field of sunflowers, hair flowing under a crown of daisies, my skin giving off a glistening glow (but only along my cheekbones, obviously)… The reality: Me cursing the heat and humidity as soon as I step out of my air conditioned haven, wiping layers of skincare and makeup away as I fervently try blotting the sweat pouring from my face. I rummage around in my bag for a hair tie since my hair feels like a dead animal around my neck. As soon as I step into the sun my cheeks start burning. Oh, I didn’t forget sunscreen… It’s the molotov cocktail of skincare products I’m using in my regimen. God only knows which product is the culprit. Once I get in front of a mirror I see enlarged pores and a couple little bumps that could morph into blemishes if I’m not careful. Oh, and did I mention I see a few lines around my mouth and eyes that I had only seen before in my anxiety dreams? Even being in the sun for for a short time with SPF 50 and a floppy hat can’t prevent the evil sun from doing its damage. Okay, enough crying. Let’s talk solutions… PROBLEM (SENSITIVE SKIN): Fine Lines, Enlarged Pores, Whiteheads, Blackheads SOLUTION: Perricone MD Chloro Plasma Anti-Aging Treatment Mask ($75) Okay, clocking in at $75 this mask is not cheap. I know this. But, I can honestly tell you this is a miracle mask. It’s by far the only mud mask that hasn’t made me look like I got caught in a chemical fire, and my skin actually looks smoother and brighter after one use. What Perricone MD Says: Perricone MD Chloro Plasma is an anti-aging treatment mask formulated with innovative plasma technology and phytonutrient-enriched microcapsules to deliver deep detoxification and purification benefits to your skin while smoothing wrinkles and dramatically minimizing the appearance of pores. With one application, your skin is instantly illuminated and your healthy radiance is restored. PROBLEM (Normal / Combination /Oily Skin): Enlarged Pores, Whiteheads, Blackheads, General Greasiness SOLUTION: Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque ($6.00) As much as my teenage skin loved this refreshing mint mud mask, my adult skin pitched a fit the last time I tried to use it to clear up some unsightly blackheads. Luckily, not everyone has my tantrum-prone skin… My beauty addict friend who has oily skin ditched all her expensive masks when I turned her on to this little gem. Of course she first thought I was kidding and asked, “Are you also going to recommend Sea Breeze to really make me feel like I’m back in high school? Perhaps I should spritz myself with Love’s Baby Soft and tease my bangs?” What a comedian. She wasn’t laughing the next time I saw her and she showed off her tightened pores and blemish-free skin. What Queen Helene Says… Mint Julep Masque is the original natural home treatment developed by a dermatologist that helps dry up acne pimples, rinse away blackheads and shrink enlarged pores. Simply apply Mint Julep Masque to your clean face and neck. Within minutes it firms and hardens, drawing out impurities from your pores. After the masque is removed, your skin will feel clean, refreshed and smooth. PROBLEM: Sunburned, Irritated, Pissed-Off Skin SOLUTION: Skinceuticals Biocellulose Restorative Masque for Compromised Skin($107) Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know this mask is pricey but holy shit it’s worth it. Made for post-procedure skin, this mask immediately sucks up redness and inflammation, leaving you with visibly smooth, calm skin. So the next time you ignore my advice and bake out in the sun for too long, you best have this mask on-hand to clean up your mess.
It astounds me how many women stick to their same skincare regimen during their periods. Hurricane Flo blows into town wreaking havoc on your moods, your body, and of course your skin — but you don’t think to go easy on the skincare? Really? Did you happen to notice your mood isn’t the only thing that’s easily irritated during this special time? SO TAKE IT EASY!
– Replace your aggressive cleansers and exfoliators (especially anything with a physical scrub) with a soothing cream cleanser like Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.
– Unless you have very oily skin, give your Clarisonic a rest and use a damp cotton pad to remove any remaining makeup or grime.
– Skip your usual dose of topical Vitamin C, which can irritate sensitive skin, and instead apply a soothing serum like Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Restorative Treatment Serum.
– Avoid moisturizers with active ingredients and replace with soothing hydrators like REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream for day and Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial for night.
– Put off applying sunless tanner to your face if you’re prone to breakouts or oiliness. Sunless tanners can block pores and you don’t want to take any chances when your body is going through a hormonal roller coaster.
DON’T YOU DARE:
– Apply a toner with alcohol. Instead, opt for a botanical or herbal toner like Kiehl’s Since 1851 Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner.
– Pick or pop pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. You are just asking for ugly marks that are going to have an even harder time healing that usual.
– Over treat said pimples with aggressive products. Most pimple medications will just dry your skin out and make your skin even angrier. I always use my TANDA Zap Power a few times a day to blast pimples without dryness or irritation.
– Get a facial. That’s right — it’s the only time (besides the week before your wedding) I will advise you not to get a facial. You think extractions usually hurt? Try getting them on your period. Not only will the prodding and squeezing hurt like hell, but expect those ugly red welts to stick around a lot longer than usual. Even if you wanted to get a facial without extractions, the exfoliation process could put your skin over the edge.
Don’t forget to take Advil or something similar, which will not only help your cramps but will help calm your skin down as well. And, if all else fails — keep a pint of ice cream handy.
Disclosure: I was gifted these products with no editorial obligation.Posted by janna Tags Clarisonic, Fresh, Hormonal Skin, Jurlique, Kiehl's, Korres, REN, Sensitive Skin, Tanda
Hello, my lovelies! Please forgive me for my prolonged absence! Things have been a bit busy, but rest assured I’m back and ready to binge!
You all know I’m a whore for a good face mask… With a 7-month-old baby who just learned (like 2 nights ago) how to sleep through the night, you can imagine my skin is a bit stressed (along with the rest of me). I don’t have loads of time so I try and decompress a few nights a week with a little mask love — exfoliating, hydrating, soothing, purifying — I mix it up depending on my bitchy skin’s latest demands. When a lovely publicist sent me the Radical Skincare Instant Revitalizing Mask ($65) my first thought was,”that’s a small ass bottle for $65.” I’m so judgey.
Little did I know before I made my ugly snap judgement, that this mask starts as a serum so you need about a dime size for your entire face. You give it a good shake before you start, to get all those oxygenating bubbles excited. Once you put on the thin serum, the mask starts thickening into a foam. Then, the magic happens a few minutes later…
The mask starts tickling your face and it begins to crackle and pop in random spots. It’s not subtle either. Put it this way, you’re going to want to rush to a mirror and watch the mask transform. And if you have a stoner friend, but nice and let him or her watch the magic.
Wait until all the excitement has died down (you’ll know you’re done because the foam will have disappeared) and rinse. The results? Brighter, smoother, clearer skin. A word of warning – if your skin is sensitive, use the mask at night. I got a little pink, but the next morning my skin looked amazing.
I’m not sure if Willy Wonka has opened a skincare factory, but I’m pretty sure this mask is made by Oompa-Loompas. It’s that magical…
From their website:
Restores, Stimulates, and Boosts Radiance.
The Instant Revitalizing Mask is the ideal coach for the skin: it delivers the nutrients necessary for hydration and regeneration while teaching it to breathe, stock up on energy and optimize its oxygen resources in rarefied conditions.
- Optimize oxygen resources for a lasting youthful glow
- Stimulates energy production
- Controls oxidation reactions
- Smoother skin
- Antioxidants are the best defence against free radical damage and ageing.
- The strongest antioxidants are found in nature’s dark night shade fruits like resveratrol, coffee berry, acai, grapeseed, red wine extract, pomegranate, and cranberry to name a few.
- Multiple antioxidants are required to fight the numerous types of free radicals. Using one or two antioxidants is simply not enough.
Posted by janna Tags Mask, Radical Skincare, Sensitive Skin
I know, I know… I promised that I wouldn’t become a dreaded mommy blogger now that I have a baby. BUT… It’s my duty to share with you my latest skincare love affairs. And, if said beauty product of my affection just so happens to be effective on both my bitchy sensitive skin and my 7-week-old baby, you should probably take note.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to try Egyptian Magic. I know I’ve read over the years that celebrities like Kate Hudson, Brooke Shields, Rachel Zoe, and Nicole Richie swear by the stuff for its “healing powers” for dry skin. I’m pretty sure Sephora used to carry it as well. What got me to finally take the leap was a trip to Costco. Yeah, that’s right Costco. You would be shocked at the treasures you would find in their beauty aisles.
So I went ahead and bought the set, which includes the 4 oz. and 2 oz. jars. I went home and did a little research and found that not only is Egyptian Magic touted as a “miracle balm” for dry, sensitive skin, but it can also be used as a baby cream and diaper cream. The all-natural balm is made with only six ingredients — Honey, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen and Bee Propolis. No additives, preservatives, fragrances, chemicals or parabens. I use it every night as a sleeping moisture mask and I slather it on Baby Stella’s little body and her face after baths. (She loves a good massage just like her mommy) Not only has her dry skin gone away but her (gasp!) hormonal breakouts disappeared after a couple uses of the Egyptian Magic.
According to their website, the balm can also be used as an eye gel, a hair masque, burn and wound relief, and a shaving balm. I personally think it’s a bit pricey to use as a hair masque, but I can get why it would be good for the tresses. Unfortunately it does have one of those thick creamy consistencies that can be really addictive. It takes every bit of restraint for me to not stick my whole hand in the jar and scoop out enough to hydrate the neighborhood. Of course if I have a moment of weakness I can always steal Baby Stella’s jar… JOKES!
P.S. Do not buy Egyptian Magic on Amazon, Ebay or in China Town! There are tons of counterfeits out there. You can buy it direct from them here.
Come on, how great does Baby Stella’s skin look???
Posted by janna Tags Dry Skin, Egyptian Magic, Sensitive Skin, skincare
For those of you who’ve read Beauty Binge from the beginning you know I worship at the house of First Aid Beauty. I find that it’s one of the only skincare brands that acts as a Valium to my overly sensitive drama queen skin. Um, thank GOD for their Ultra Repair Cream during my pregnancy. At first I was hesitant to waste that fluffy hydrating goodness on my body… But, when my belly and legs got attacked by a bad case of the pregnancy itchies, I found the Ultra Repair was the only cream that managed to calm my skin and prevent me from lighting it on fire. I was also worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up any kind of anti-aging regimen while I was pregnant but after doing some research I found the Dual Repair line was safe for mommys-to-be. So I use the Dual Repair Power Serum every day before my moisturizer. Everyone wins.
Okay, enough about me…
Let’s talk about how you can win some products! First Aid Beauty is giving away over $600 worth of products in their “Fab to the Rescue Sweeps”. Here are the prizes:
– 1 Grand Prize: $300 prize pack including Ultra Repair Cream, Oatmeal Mask, Facial Radiance Polish, Dual Repair Eye Cream, and more!
– 2 Runners Up: $150 prize pack including various First Aid Beauty Products
To enter, either click the photo above or follow this link: http://on.fb.me/1aliIqe
Good luck my lovelies!
Posted by janna Tags First Aid Beauty, Giveaway, Sensitive Skin, skincare
We all love summer… no denying that. What we don’t love is the havoc it wreaks on our skin. Whether the humidity is breeding more oil fields than Texas or the chlorine and salt water are making your skin dry and irritated, nothing makes you wish for Fall faster than a skin temper tantrum. Or, if you’re like me, your skin is a total walking identity crisis — dry and uncomfortable yet still being invaded by blackheads and blemishes. No bueno.
In my constant search to set my bitchy skin right, I was blessed by a publicist who sent me the Zensation Healing and Soothing Mask ($85). This magical mask instantly talked my skin off the cliff — toning down redness, smoothing, softening, and absorbing oil. Oh, and it smells like you’re walking through a French garden after the rain. Delicious.
Healing & Soothing Mask features several ingredients with soothing and hydrating properties that are ideal for irritated skin. With its rich mixture of Carnuba Wax, Bee’s Wax, Shea Butter, Natural Glycerin and Provitamin B5, the Healing & Soothing Mask completely moisturzies, softens and smooths delicate skin. Adding Witch Hazel Floral Water, Buddleja and Masterwort gives the product a wonderful toning and invigorating effect. Lavender Essential Oil and Tea Tree Oil leaves your skin feeling fresh and re-energized.
I recommend this mask at night after a day in the sun and heat. If you find that you just can’t make time for a mask, wash your face before you shower, apply the mask, and then wash off when you’re done with the shower. The steam will help the ingredients penetrate. Good luck my lovelies, and don’t let your skin bully you this summer!
Posted by janna Tags Anti-Redness, Dry Skin, irritated skin, Moisture Mask, Sensitive Skin, Zensation
As you know I was on hiatus this past week (I’m sure you were all crying into your compacts)… That’s because I was on my Babymoon (and no I didn’t just make up that word to trick my husband into taking me to Hawaii) for our last romantic trip before the bambino arrives. Now, you know how I feel about sunscreen so you better believe I went to paradise armed with an arsenal of SPF powerhouses and wide brimmed hats. Since I had just written the “Screening Sunscreens” piece for the San Francisco Chronicle a few weeks back, my beauty cabinet was stocked with a bevy of sunscreens per my choosing. Even though I brought four different body sunscreens with me on the trip, only Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Lightweight Foaming Lotion made it out of the suitcase. It was love at first foam.
There is something so divine about spreading a fluffy non-sticky air mousse on your body instead of a greasy oil or liquidy lotion. First of all, it is so much easier to keep track of where you’ve applied. Second of all, it just feels amazing. But, what’s most compelling to me about this sunscreen is that not only does it have broad spectrum “multi-layer protection from UVA/UVB rays and free radical damage,” it’s packed with a potent dose of White Grape Polyphenols and Vitamin E for antioxidant protection. Dermatologists have been quoted EVERYWHERE saying that by combining antioxidants with sunscreen you further protect your skin from sunburn-causing rays and dangerous free radicals.
I’m telling you this foam is the wave of the sunscreen future. The FDA is already scrutinizing sunscreen sprays and threatening to take them off the market because they’re worried about the sprays’ efficacy in properly protecting the body. You don’t have that issue with this fluffy foam. The Capital Soleil is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and it’s appropriate for sensitive skin so I slathered it on my face too. That’s right — my bitchy drama queen skin didn’t have a damn thing to say about the foam. I didn’t get even a spot of redness and the sunscreen protected my skin through hours of swimming and floating.
Trust me and go get your foam on…Posted by janna Tags Sensitive Skin, Sunscreen, Vichy
Whether your skin freaks out along with your moods every month when PMS attacks, or, you’re going through “the change” and in addition to those fun hot flashes your skin breaks out in redness, blemishes and bumps — changes in hormones are to blame. In my case (as you know if you’re a regular Beauty Binger) I’m 5 months pregnant so my skin has fluctuated from desert dry to blackhead bonanza in the past few months– who said pregnancy wasn’t fun? I FINALLY found a serum to calm my bitchy skin and regulate its dramatic mood swings — Eminence Organics Eight Green Youth Serum ($42).
This ultra-gentle serum helped my skin retain moisture at its driest times (prior to using the serum, my skin was literally sucking up skin oils and thick creams within a matter of seconds) and made my skin less greasy during oily times, shrinking those ghastly blackheads that have taken up permanent residence on my nose. I use it twice a day right after my toner before my thicker serums and creams (don’t forget: you should always apply your skincare products thinnest to thickest to ensure maximum absorption).
Product Info from Eminence:
A lifting and regulating serum for breakouts and hormonally-imbalanced skin. A powerhouse of organic phyto-estrogens work to lift facial contours and reduce the signs of aging associated with collagen loss, breakouts, hormonal imbalances and menopause. Concentrated whole plant yucca extract, vitex angus castus, algae and flaxseed absorb deep into the dermis to tighten and brighten problem areas, and plump loss of skin tone.
Skin Type: From oily to hormonal, dehydrated, dry and devitalized.
All I know is this serum is magical when it comes to hormonal havoc. Now, if only Eminence could create a serum to calm my mood swings… Baby steps.Posted by janna Tags Eminence, Hormonal Skin, Organic Makeup, Pregnancy, Sensitive Skin