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
Hello beautiful brides-to-be! If you followed my 6 Weeks Before the Big Day advice, you’ve already seen a dermatologist, begun oxygen facial treatments, and started a religious nightly skin care regimen. Now, with just two weeks to go before the wedding, it’s time to step up the skin care routine and SPOIL YOUR SKIN LIKE IT’S VERUCA SALT!!!
1. I will hunt you down and cut your veil if you’re not using at least a nickel size dollop of sunscreen every morning. The sun instantly dehydrates your skin, enlarges pores, and emphasizes wrinkles. So don’t think “Oh, I’ll just get a little color for the wedding and pay the price later.” Bitch, you’re going to pay the price when your groom lifts up the veil to see a leather raisin. I don’t want to hear any excuses either. I can assure you my skin is a bigger drama queen and I use COOLA – Face SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Matte Tint ($36) every morning after my moisturizer and my makeup goes on beautifully. Hint: If you’re using a chemical sunscreen, make sure you apply it first thing after you wash your face. If you’re using a mineral sunscreen like COOLA, it should be the last step in your skin care regimen since it’s a physical sunblock.
2. Put down and walk away from the Clarisonic. That’s right I said it. The Clarisonic is to be used only at night when you have makeup and daily grime to remove. Unless your fiancé licks your face while you’re sleeping, you don’t need any aggressive cleansers in the morning. If you continue to use your Clarisonic twice a day, you may end up stripping your skin and causing irritation. Instead, opt for a gentle cleanser like Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38) which is super gentle and smells deliciously of cucumbers.
3. Incorporate a brightening and/or energizing serum like Eminence Eight Greens Youth Serum ($42) which is a revitalizing serum for dehydrated and/or oily skin. Bonus: It’s specifically made for hormonal issues so if your two weeks fall within the dreaded PMS zone, this serum will help get your skin on track.
1. Nothing makes your skin look older than tight, dry skin. So after you cleanse, spoil your skin with a hydrating mask 2-3 times a week. Use a soothing, moisturizing mask like Caudalie Moisturizing Cream Mask ($40) which will help tight, dehydrated skin and quiet down any redness and irritation.
2. If you’re suffering from oily or congested skin, incorporate a mud treatment mask twice a week that will gently treat by absorbing impurities and controlling oil like Boscia Clarifying Detox Mask ($25). If your skin is suffering an identity crisis, meaning it’s both congested and dry, then apply the mask before your shower and remove once you get out of the shower. The steam will help the mask penetrate but won’t allow it to dry out your skin.
3. As I said in the last post, slather on the oil and the creams! My face is so greasy from products at night my husband kisses me good night on my neck to avoid being slimed. I wake up the next morning to plumped, hydrated skin. You, my fair bride, better be going to bed with a face full of product too or, you guessed it, I will hunt you down and cut your veil.
Make sure you check out my next post in my Bridal Skin Care Bootcamp Series, where I will be giving you the “Don’t you Dares!” for the week before the big day!
Posted by janna Tags Boscia, Bridal skincare, Bridal skincare tips, Bride, Caudalie, Clarisonic, COOLA, Eminence, Fresh, Sensitive Skin, Skin Care
I feel like every magazine I’ve picked u in the past month has touted the Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Mask ($45) as a ‘moisturizing breakthrough’. Now I tend to be cynical (shocking!) when I read about a new product in every single women’s rag — I figure either the company must have thrown one hell of a decadent launch party or sent out Chanel bags as a launch gift. (Yes, it’s done. Not for a peon like me but the editors at the big magazines sometimes receive ridiculous gifts from the beauty brands and tend to give editorial to big advertisers which is why you should be cautious when taking their recommendations. And don’t you worry your pretty little heads — if I ever become big-time know that a Chanel bag isn’t going to make me like a lipstick more)
Since every editor seemed to be in love with this sleeping mask it was obviously my Beauty Binge duty to investigate the situation further. I found that the user reviews on Sephora were even more complimentary than the magazines (and I assure you these users didn’t attend the launch party or receive gifts) — “I am OBSESSED with this product. I use it every night and it has literally changed my life.” and “I have oily yet dehydrated skin prone to breakouts and this sleeping leave-on mask hydrated, calmed and nourished my skin.”
SOLD.janna Tags Anti-Redness, Dry Skin, irritated skin, Korres, Sensitive Skin, Skin Care