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2 weeks ago

Christina C.

Hi there,
I saw your reviews for The Ordinary and you really seem to know your stuff! I was reading your answers to other people here and, man, you should be getting paid for all of the help you give out!
I was considering just ordering all of the products that you gave 5 stars, but wanted to check in with you first.
Here's my deal: I am 35. I'm Hispanic, but am super pasty white with a neutral undertone that leans warm when I get sun, except that I never really go out into the sun haha. I have combination skin.
I have some frown lines from all the glaring at people that I do. Ha! I also have some fine lines showing up around my eyes. However, my main concern is my god**** melasma.
I read in one of your reviews that you have it too.
Basically, the worst of my melasma is in the spots where a person would normally apply highlight, (at the highest points of my cheeks and my forehead), as well as some additional hyperpigmentation here and there on the rest of my face. Obviously it gets worse when I've been in the sun, (which I try to avoid), but it never goes away completely. And, like you said in your review, it really screws with my self image. I just want to get to the point where I don't feel like I have to wear full coverage foundation to feel 100 percent comfortable. I live in Austin, Texas, so it's hot pretty much all year round and makeup sweats off.
I'm not the best when it comes to sticking to a 10 step skincare routine, so if possible I'd like to get the most bang in just a few steps.
I was thinking something to treat my melasma (probably the Alpha Arbutin), as well as something with overall anti aging properties (something preventative that will make my skin look more supple and help a bit in terms of fighting off these fine lines around my eyes and frown lines between my eyes and on my forehead).
I know there's no magic serum out there and that these products require diligent application night and day. That is not a problem at all for me.
It's just that, when I was loading up my basket with products, I was ending up with like 10 different things and I don't know if I can trust myself commit to that many steps everyday. Then again, at this point, I'm willing to add an extra 20 min to my routine if necessary.
As of now, I just use a bit of not that great face wash by Soap and Glory (their vitamin c face wash) and then I apply an organic Argan oil by Accure at night. In the morning, before makeup, I apply a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with spf and a pore blurring primer by Too Faced under my foundation.
I know I should be doing a hell of a lot more though now that I'm in my mid thirties. I was a punk rock kid in my teens and twenties and I thought it was uncool to worry about stuff like skincare, so I guess I'm getting into this stuff later than today's kids.
Geez, I made this way longer than it needed to be.
I guess my questions are:
*Which products from The Ordinary would you suggest for melasma?

*Is the Arbutin enough on its own, or do I need to combine products?

*What would you suggest for moisturizer from The Ordinary, or is there a serum of theirs that is good enough in terms of moisturizing?

*Can I use the moisturizer both day and night, or should I get 2 separate moisturizers?

*Considering my skin type and background and specific issues, what other products should I throw in?

*If you had to pick just a few of their products, (like 3 or 4) what would they be?

*Would you choose the Buffet over a combination of other things?

The reason I'm so set on this particular brand right now is because I'm on a pretty tight budget and it seems that this is going to be the best I'm going to get on the budget that I have. I'm trying to keep this particular purchase under 40 bucks (I know that's not much at all). I'm going to have to order from their UK site because Beautylish is out of stock of a lot of their products, which is a bummer because I hear that it can take over a month to get the products from the Deciem site.

Anyway, thank you in advance for your help!
I'll check back in a few days to see if you've answered. 

2 weeks ago

Rozberry J.

Hey, Christina. You have great timing; I just happened to pop on before hitting up "Frasier". ;) I'm always glad to help. Don't think I haven't given that "paid" notion serious I'm an old school metal head with thrash tendencies and a side of punk & industrial. I feel you on the skincare approach of days past. Now, you want to keep things simple to be sure you'll actually do them, but you also want maximum impact. I give you credit for pausing with 10 items because that's often what I would recommend. For one to stop and really consider their purchases.

I did manage to clear my Melasma, (we have the issue in identical areas/mine are largely due to health and time marching on), but skin discoloration loves to return and so keeping it at bay requires just as much determination and dedication in routine as it does to clear it. I've been foundation free all summer with just a hint of concealer and I do feel for you in that I couldn't/wouldn't be wanting that heavy, full coverage all of the time. Because so many factors contribute, it's notoriously difficult for some people, but we will do the very best we can.

To address your questions, I need to know what type of skin you have. I know you want something to address tone, discoloration, anti-aging and protection, but how is the state of your complexion as a whole? Are you acne-prone? Very dry, Dry, Combo or Oily? What is the budget price-point you are shooting for? I just want to cover those bases before I share my thoughts on how we can get both your spirit and your skin in a better place. I'll check back to see your reply before we move forward. :)

2 weeks ago

Christina C.

Hi! Thanks for the crazy fast response! That is so awesome that you cleared up your melasma and have gone all summer without foundation!!
My melasma started in my mid twenties and I'm pretty certain that it was health and hormone related, combined with my ethnicity. Prior to my late twenties, I never wore foundation, so wearing a full face of makeup is fairly new to me (like, within the past 7 years or so). I hate having to worry about sweating it off. Also, the only thing to do here to try to keep the heat at bay is to go swimming and nothing sucks more than trying to swim with a bunch of makeup on.
Austin is a fairly hippie dippy granola town, so those of us with a full face kinda stick out like a sore thumb (although I'm used to that already because of the way I've dressed all my life).. But on to your questions:

I have combination skin. At this precise moment, my face is feeling a bit dry, but I have other days where my t zone gets fairly oily.

I do get the occasional zit here and there, but overall I'm not particularly prone to breakouts.

I have enlarged pores on my nose that are pretty noticeable to me, which is another concern I forgot to mention in my last message to you.

I was hoping to stick to around $40 for this particular purchase (I know that isn't much at all, but my budget is super tight right now).

I was considering getting Buffet and Arbutin and calling it a day, but then I thought maybe I needed to add some more things to really be able make a difference.

I look forward to your reply!
Thanks again!!

2 weeks ago

Christina C.

Also, I forgot to mention, these are the products I'd finally narrowed it down to, as per your reviews.. Let me know what you think (too many? too few? wrong combo?)..

-Alpha Arbutin 2%+HA
-Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
-Plant Derived Squalane
-Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
-Buffet (was considering ordering this in lieu of some of the others)

2 weeks ago

Rozberry J.

My most sincere advice would be to not use only The Ordinary to address your skin issues and needs.
To begin, from The Ordinary I'd purchase:
Alpha Arbutin
Azelaic Acid
Niacinamide w/Zinc
Advanced Retinoid 2% - Anti-aging/Boosts Collagen/Evens skin-tone/Treats Pores -
These will all help even skin tone while helping your pore struggle.

A C serum is vital to skin health both for discoloration and for stimulation of collagen for anti-aging. It's an added benefit is that it boosts sun protection. I don't recommend The Ordinary for this.
I'd bring in Timeless C serum instead. It's a lightweight C serum that's a near Dupe for some high end formulations. Pop it in the fridge to extend shelf life and use it with a light hand around the eyes (not the lids), on the face, down the neck and chest (very tiny amount is needed) and on the backs of your hands with whatever product is left. You can get it for $20 by using code HF5OFF. (That's not my own code and I have nothing to do with them outside of being a customer...but I always have a bottle in my fridge and it will save you $5.) Batches are made fresh and should provide 3 months of use. Again...light hand is key.

I have family in Texas and so I know there are some CVS stores. Rather than spend on a facial oil from The Ordinary, I'm going to recommend you use a moisturizing AHA right now: LacHydrin5. In in my personal experience, it is as effective as Sunday Riley Good Genes.

Your skin will glow and tone even out and you'll get moisture without any greasiness. This will stimulate collagen and so it helps both reduce and fight new wrinkles. It's also inexpensive and you get a big bottle. You need only a dime size bigger than a nickel total. I cannot stress how little you need. This is Spa or Derm/Clinical quality.
It is perfectly normal when starting any AHA to feel a bit of warmth of slight sting upon initial use. It is about $12-15, but for a very large bottle. Airtight and protected from light with a squeeze top. Very easy. My Derm gave this to me when I was in my teens. I have never been without it all these years since.

That bottle should last you all year used nightly in the same areas that you apply your Vitamin C. So you use C in the morning...Lactic AHA at night. The website is out of stock at the moment, but they have a "check store availability " option and you just enter your zipcode. I checked for you and some stores in your area do have the lotion in-store, in stock.

When you have the funds, then you should bring in a cold-pressed oil, but you'll benefit right now from the other items much more at this particular point in your skin health/needs.

I"d also bring a toner without questions in your routine if you don't have one, when funds permit. (Paula's Choice would be my recommendation for your concerns.)

Another product I cannot recommend enough is CeraVe PM lotion in the pump. CVS often has them buy one get one 50% off or they offer them on discount online during promotions and if you sign up for their rewards, you earn CVS bucks, which is cash in your pocket and you also get access to sales. If you shop online, you can connect your CVS card. If you have Ulta Points, you can buy it here. (There is a $2 off coupon on the CeraVe website.)

Lastly, for pores, BHA is amazing. I have a recommendation when your funds permit, as well as if you wanted some guidance selecting a toner for your pores.

I'm not sure which sun protection item you use, but it has to be broad spectrum and be used every single day, even if it rains or it is winter. If not, when using such skincare, you will increase your discoloration and actively break down collagen.
I have no doubt you'll see a difference in your skin I you use these items as part of a regimen with diligence and dedication. I find an index card with AM on one side and PM on the other helps when I'm starting a new skin care regimen.

Again, to sum it up, based on your skin type and that you said you are not senstive:

AM - wash, (tone)
Apply your Serums/Treatments (water-based first/oil-based secondary) A quick look at the ingredients will tell you if water or oil is the primary, base ingredient.
Sun Protection

Wash (tone)
Use your serums/treatments - Let skin dry (about 30 minutes)
Lac-Hydrin5 or Retinol - Alternate these. Don't layer these.
Example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for Retinol and Sunday, Tuesday, Saturday for Lac Hydrin-5. Keep it simple and it's less you have to remember if you make it routine.

Best of luck to you! :)

2 weeks ago

Christina C.

Oh my gosh, thanks so much! I just placed my order for the Vitamin C Serum from Timeless!!

I have both a CVS card and an Ulta account. I just checked online and the CVS near my house has the Lac-Hydrin in stock, so I'll pick that up tomorrow. That is so crazy that it is comparable to Sunday Riley's Good Genes! I've always wanted to try that stuff, but can't really throw down $100+ for it.
If they don't have the Cera-V, I'll head to Ulta for that..

I may wait until Beautylish restocks products from The Ordinary because, from what I've heard, it takes forever to get them from the Deciem store in the UK.

Honestly, I've just been using witch hazel to tone lately which I know isn't great, so a toner recommendation would be super cool.

For about 6 months I was using a face wash and peel pads from Philip Thomas Roth, as well as a powder exfoliator by AmorePacific (I'd gotten a deluxe sample of the AmorePacific from Sephora and it lasted me forever).
I really liked the Philip Thomas Roth HA peel pads and the AmorePacific powder, but they didn't seem to be making too much of a difference for me on their own.
Then I went on this "all natural" kick (hence my very simple current routine of witch hazel and argan oil :/ ), but those just aren't cuttin it.

I would love a recommendation for good sun protection, toner, and BHA if you have time!! That would be incredible!! Preferably a sunscreen that isn't super scented and greasy and works well under makeup. Which toner from Paula's Choice do you think would be best? Would you recommend the BHA from Paula's Choice as well?

You've already done so much for me! I feel like I should send you a little thank you card or something!

2 weeks ago

Christina C.

Edit: it looks like they've just restocked The Ordinary products on this site, so I'm going to go ahead and purchase the products you suggested from here as well (well, the azelaic acid is still out of stock, but that's ok). Yay!

2 weeks ago

Rozberry J.

My pleasure! I appreciate you returning with thanks as many members ask and then remain silent, which is disheartening. I'd love to know how you like it when you've gotten into the routine. :) Your note and kindness is thanks enough and I"m always glad to help someone kind out. (I have debated a blog or channel, but that's brutal and hella I'm debating doing it from an educational standpoint and not "look at me" because honestly, I dislike the But, again, thanks for the kindness.

I usually only recommend items I have put to the test myself...and if I recommend a dupe, it's because I tested the original, but I also take into account ingredients/formula if someone wants to try a new item. I have owned, for example, Good Genes, and it's fantastic, but performs equal, in my view, to the item recommended...even if it doesn't have the extra bells and whistles.

Face wash is the one place in skin care where spending big bucks and all these anti-aging ingredients that run prices up are a waste. Acne or infected pores are the only time I'd recommend a "treatment" face wash. You always want to invest your cash in the items that remain on the skin for a long enough period to be skin reactive and communicative. Washes are where you can save cash.

For your skin, I think you should use good ole' ponds with a pure cotton puff to remove eye make up or use a facial oil (Such as Nature's Truth). I love less-pricey facial oils for removing longwear lipsticks, waterproof cosmetics etc...including on my complexion. This is also terrific on dehyrated lips and just a touch on fingertips to tame frizz. You get 4 oz. for about $6 bucks.

Always use pure cotton rounds. You never want to tug that delicate eye area. I avoid stripping, foamy washes and prefer more milky or gel, hydrating options.

For a great, milky wash:
(Ulta also carries this item)

Peel Pads.
You shouldn't need these with the Lac-Hydrin5 as with every singe use, you'll be actively exfoliating chemically several days a week, which is what the peels do... BUT sometimes we do want a stronger peel to use as a "treatment" we work into our routine. These peels are at often at percentages in keeping with what you'd get in a Salon/Spa/Derm.
My two favorite home "Peels":

1. 14% AHA serum by Alpha Skincare. (All of their AHA's are a win, including their anti-aging, softening Body Lotion) This is as close in effectiveness to the Pro-Peels I've had at my Derm's Spa. I won't go over 20% at home for my own comfort level. This is a very strong peel serum. You need just a dime size. I'd use it on an evening I was not using any other acids . Just wash tone, let dry, apply.

2. Olay made a Triple Acid Peel now discontinued. It's gentle and glorious with rapid results and no dryness. It's on clearance at some sites, but I stocked up so I'm A bottle could last 6 months to a year, easily. This is a dream. I"d grab one (or 2) while I could.

Toner/SPF/BHA, I love Paula's Choice. Shipping is free this weekend with many exfolliants 20% off this weekend also. 3 free samples included. (use your 3 to try the Resist SPF) Toner, I'd keep it hydrating and anti-aging. You're using a lot of treatments on skin so I wouldn't use an acid toner at this point in my regimen...not yet.
Apply with clean fingertips (no cottonballs) after washing, both morning and evening.


(Get the TRAVEL size to start) You need so little product and just dab on your fingertips where pores are of concern. (I wouldn't layer acids) You can use this as skin permits; a weekly treatment or daily. I feel like since you are not combating serious acne and tend to run a bit dry/combo, this would work best as a treatment weekly right now. It's your call. Help in layering can be found here.

Great SPF:
Paula's Resist and her SPF line as a whole are my favorite as is UltaMD, but those are quite pricey and I know you are on a budget. For now, just to get your started, I'd steer your to this based on your lifestyle, location, skin-type, and budget.

Just a heads up: I have purchased directly through the DECIEM website twice and both times items arrived more quickly than Beautylish with regard to their line. I do not see a shipment delay notification on DECIEM, but I did see one on Beautylish for orders not long ago.

Enjoy your Sunday and best of luck. :)

2 weeks ago

Christina C.

Thank you so much, Susan! If you start a channel or a blog, please let me know! You definitely have a subscriber in me (and I'm sure you have a subscriber in everyone else on this site as well).

Thank you for the heads up regarding the DECIEM site. I'm going to order from there instead because, in just the time that it took me to enter my payment info, Beautylish had already sold out of the Arbutin again.

I can't begin to express how completely helpful you've been. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer ten months ago and I have been too depressed to really pamper myself at all. Your suggestions have cut out all of the guesswork for me and have put me on the road to something that I would have been way too tired and overwhelmed to do alone..
You have really shown me a great kindness <3

I will definitely let you know how these products turn out for me (I'm sure they'll be great) and I promise to stick to them in the long term.

Thank you again!
Much love,

2 weeks ago

Rozberry J.

You are a doll. I'm so sorry to hear of your Mother's illness and suffering...and I do understand more than I can express how difficult is is to watch a parent battle a serious, and often grave, illness. Please, let me know her first name and I will include her in my prayers. Your keeping a bright spirit will ultimately help elevate hers as well...and she may want to share in a little bit of pampering. The little things are so important right now. <3 It does my heart good to know that I've made things a tad easier for you to navigate.

I have always had great luck with DECIEM and both their communication and customer service were excellent. (I've used them for other lines beside the Ordinary and for The Ordinary itself.) Beautylish also has terrific customer service and the items always come packaged so lovely with a little note, but as I said, my last 2 orders were accompanied by a shipping delay notification. They've also stopped including samples, which is a shame. I will say they are terrific with returns and if, in the future, you really need something, but are short on funds, purchases of $99+ include a 3 payment flexible pay option. They break that amount down into 3 and debit it over 3 months. I only use that in a pinch, but you may find that info of use down the line. I'd love to see a rewards system here within the shop. Dare we dream...

Since you are embarking on an entire new skincare regimen, it is perfectly normal to see some changes in your skin..maybe feel a little sting...get a little dry at first or sensitive...but you should not get a "purge" or breakout from anything you are using, especially since you only experience minor acne. Listening to your skin is going to be the key to your success and so I really think an Index card taped on a mirror or near your vanity, or a calendar marking what days you should use what will help you remember what to use when, especially when you are exhausted or in a rush. It will become a comfortable, relaxing time you appreciate pampering yourself when you aren't stressing to recall which items goes when and on what day. The link to Paula is also a quick click away and even if I'm not posting, I often check my profile, so feel free to hit me up if you have questions or concerns.
On a semi-related note, citrus scents have been show to be mood elevates and are often used to treat depression. Peeling an orange, adding a lemon or lime to water...even using a Citrus body wash all have shown to cause the brain to respond in a fashion that is both calming and uplifting. I believe in Miracles and in the power of Grace that nature brings.

I wish you all the best of luck and sending prayers to you and your family. Be strong. Every day is a blessing. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." xoxo
My very best to you and your mother, Christina.

3 weeks ago

Marina V.

Hi Rozberry! I was looking out for The Ordinary products to purchase and came across your comments that were incredibly deep and helpful! Since you seem to know the subject rather well, I thought I could ask you for an advice. I am in search of a good budget moisturizer to use over serums. I want to buy two: one for a nighttime, one is for morning to use under makeup, maybe with spf. I have a combination skin that gets more oily in summer. It's not sensitive, although I have rosacea - well, not the severe form of it. And being 36, I have wrinkles, really bad ones on my forehead as I mimic a lot when talking. I can't live without good exfoliation and like using acids. I've managed to find some good products but still in search of a great all-purpose moisturizer. Surprisingly, I liked collagen cream from Reviva Labs, it makes my skin supple but I feel I need more hydration. I am thinking of getting squalane from The Ordinary but I am not sure if it will bring what I want. Looking at their rosehip oil also but I usually avoid oils because of possible breakouts which I sometimes have. I do own hyaluronic serum from The Ordinary but I am not a huge fan. Well, back to my question - can you recommend a working budget moisturizer? Thanks in advance.

3 weeks ago

Rozberry J.

Marina, I'm glad you found my feedback helpful.

For your skin type and needs, I"d recommend Paula's Choice Resist Super Light Anti-Aging/Moisturizer with SPF. It's slightly tinted and blends with any skin tone, even pale and deep shades, while leaving a nice, natural glow. It contains anti-aging ingredients and brings moisture without creating any oil. Gorgeous under make-up or for use as a BB cream with concealer. It can be used in after C serums to boost sun protection/stimulate collagen. Rapid absorption for quick make-up application.

You need a quarter size amount which means a tube lasts a long time. It is very cost effective if you consider it is serves multiple purposes and replaces 3 products, but at the drugstore, I'd go with Eucerin.

For Eucerin, blending with clean fingertips and permitting a good few minutes to absorb into skin before applying make up is key to success.

In the evening, my recommendation would be:
CeraVe either in the jar (with the pump- this is a thicker cream) or CeraVe PM in the bottle with he pump, which is a lotion. Great for acne-prone skin, layers perfectly over any night-time serums, light and rapidly absorbing. It helps skin calm and is cell communicative, strengthening, plumping, boosting your moisture barrier while you sleep. These are also wonderful under make-up for evenings or after a bath. I'd boost that Moisturizer with a facial oil that is very acne-friendly, Jojoba. You can cocktail it by mixing a few drops in with the CeraVe.
Any drugstore or chain store will have both items.

3 weeks ago

Marina V.

Thank you very much Rozberry! Ordered CeraVe from iHerb :) Still need to figure out how to order Paula's Choice to my country.

3 weeks ago

Rozberry J.

This may help! It lists their International sites by country. You are quite welcome. :) Good luck!

3 weeks ago

Marina V.

Ukraine is not on the list, but I can ask my Polish friend to collect that for me. Thanks!

3 weeks ago

Rozberry J.

Your'e welcome. I'm delighted you managed to find a way to try it and I do so hope you enjoy it. Cheers!

Jun 20, 2017

Mar F.

Hello Rozberry! I think we interacted a few times in this community before :) granted to say, you are the skincare guru of beautylish!

I was reading your reviews of the ordinary on my lookout for a vitamin C product to add to my routine.
I've had my eye on the Vit C Skin Inc serum for a while, and I was wondering if you've had any experience with it. Here's its ingredient list (if that's going to help):
Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Algin, Phenoxyethanol, PVP, Alcaligenes Polysaccharides, Carbomer, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Pyridoxine HCL, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Polysorbate 80, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Potassium Hydroxide.

Also, if you know of other good options that would be readily available in Europe, I trust your recommendations blindly! (unfortunately, I can't get my hands on Drunk Elephant or Timeless)

My skin type is normal (a tad on the oilier side, but I like to believe I've managed to balance it). I don't have major concerns, other than keeping my skin looking healthy and starting to actively prevent aging (I'm turning 27 soon). Also, my skin type isn't too sensitive (even with products that state that tingling sensations are normal, I usually don't feel it)

Thank you so much! you're the best ;)

Jun 23, 2017

Rozberry J.

I've never tried the Skin, Inc. and I like to usually base my recommendations on products I have put to the test for 90 days. Not always, as I do examine formulation, but if I know something personally to be excellent and effective, that's certainly a bonus.

I can vouch for the clinical grade/quality of Paula's Choice Vitamin C. She should be available with shipping to the UK as well as within the EU to an extent. If you have Nordstrom stores there, they may be available in store.
I'd actually pair her C with one of her toners targeting your skin type to bring anti-oxidants to your routine and to get a healthy glow and retain hydration. You should look into her Resist toner or into the Skin Balancing Toner to suit your skin type. Honestly, sun protection that is broad spectrum is so important. Her Resist Tinted SPF is a win and fantastic under foundation, regardless of skin tone/depth. It's very light and lovely.

I also think the 20% by the Ordinary is a nice option if you want to save some cash since you are 27 and you're easing into the anti-aging regimen. It's enough C to make a difference and as a bonus will boost your sun protection. You can amp that up with their Retinol for collagen production and getting a lovely glow. Thank so much for the kind words. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask. My best to you! I'm so glad you found The Ordinary Reviews of use. Cheers!

May 01, 2017

Farah J.

I forgot, I also have been using Clarins lotus oil for years, only when my skin is inflammed or unhappy, it seems to calm things down after I use it at night. Sometimes I use it as a base for the triluma, because I find it impossible applying triluma on dry skin, I can barely spread it using the pea sized amount I'm supposed to use, it sinks right into the first spot I place it on. Again, I don't know if I should be doing this, but I can't figure out any other way of using it. Thanks

May 01, 2017

Rozberry J.

For the Tri-Luma, I'm guessing this is for anti-aging and hyperpigmentation simultaneously. I use low-dose Retin A and have for years and am also a very dry gal, and so the very best way for me to blend my own script is the Obaji Nu Derm Blender. This also helps lighten skin in one of their Blender formulations.

It has a slip to it, making creams such as the ones we are using just glide on so beautifully. You simply mix equal a pea size with a pea size on your fingertips...smear them together and blend in...lightly applying as you would a moisturizer. You don't want to be heavy handed because you don't need to be. It will not diminish your product effectiveness in any fashion. You aren't watering down your medication in any way. This is especially divine for applying those types of creams in the delicate, drier eye area (but never on the lids, as I'm sure you know). It has really helped with the spreading-evenly issue for me. I can use less of my script since I'm not wasting or over-applying accidentally due to spreading issues so in the end, it is cost-effective. I know it's expensive, but the quality is there and that bottle will last you an eternity. I promise! (A year at minimum)

They have 2 formulations so if you don't feel comfortable increasing your Hydroquinone percentage use (olive skin tones and dark tones need to be careful with Hydroquinone) or you find the ingredient irritating, there is a secondary option for the Blender. Hydroquinone can sometimes irritate dry and sensitive skin.) My Estie doesn't carry the line anymore and you usually need a Derm or MedSpa to get it, so I purchased mine online at the site I'll link you to.
I'll include both the formulation with Hydroquinone (the first link) and the formulation without that ingredient (the 2nd link).

Beautylish is very helpful with many wonderful members, but Hydroquinone isn't something many members seem to be comfortable with (or with and so I no longer make no mention of it. Since we both have consulted a physician regarding our skin (I assume a Derm gave you the Tri-Luma) then they must feel you are a good candidate for Hydroquinone, but with your skin irritations, you might not want to double up on that ingredient. Instead, there are other things you can use to help lighten Melasma along that will work with the current dosage you are using of Hydroquinone, such as The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin, which I noticed you listed below. I'll address those concerns in a moment.

I hate to say a negative about something you clearly enjoy, but Clarins is doing you no favors with that Lotus formulation. It can actually increase clogging of pores and cause irritation below the surface, which can lead to collagen loss and cell-death. I warm people about these things all the time and they often say, "Well on the surface, I have no reaction. I love it so much.", but for many, you don't see the irritation as it occurs deeper below the skin. With how seriously you are now taking skin and the level of money your products indicate you are spending on your skin, I feel like your Lotus oil is undoing all of your hard work...and potentially making things worse down the line. I'd save it for the ends of my hair or maybe rough elbows and knees...or toes...use it up, but I would discontinue use on my face and neck. When you want to calm skin there is nothing, in my view, better than Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Toner (there is no better soothing hydration and relief for dry skin that has such lovely, anti-aging ingredients and zero irritants). If you want an oil, use instead a nice dose of Evening Primrose Oil. It's loaded with fatty acids and non-fragrant. It is notorious for soothing skin.. Pure aloe is also nice, but has to be pure with zero alcohol or fragrance. I find aloe *juice* that is pure makes a lovely splash as does Green Tea. You put the juice in the fridge and it's cooling while calming.

For Green Tea, I drink it for it's amazing benefits, but I also make a soothing splash for my face and my scalp, as I have Psoriasis/Dry Scalp. Green Tea is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and reduces inflammation both externally and internally. It is loaded with anti-oxidants. Country of origin plays a role if you decide to drink it for benefits. Leaves from Japan are insanely more beneficial for drinking as they are much, much higher in anti-oxidants than China-harvested leaves, For drinking I prefer Teavana...and then put the used leaves to good use by making a splash for my face. I place them in boiling water and let it sit for hours.

If you need something more budget-friendly, Yogi Brand and Bigelow makes a nice Green Tea that's inexpensive. ( I believe those are Chinese Leaves) I think I take my skin more seriously than many people, but that's a personal choice and I feel the results are worth every moment I invest in my skin health. It is our largest organ. I'd personally rather own (and need) very little make-up,..spend less on clothes and accessories and have great skincare. It's about personal choice. I chose skin, hair, and nails for where I will splurge. But you can save money on many skincare items if you know what to look for. Start to read those labels.

How often are you using your Vitamin A-derived script, Tri-Luma? How long have you been using it? Have you ever had a professional, light peel done to address your skin discoloration or anti-aging concerns?

May 01, 2017

Farah J.

Thank you so much for your elaborate answer! It's sad to hear about the lotus oil, but I will start using it less often.

I didn't want to bother you with my whole skincare life story initially, but here is a summary: I used Obagi in the past and loved it, the problem was that I dove right into nightly use, without easing into it, which made matters pretty bad after a couple of weeks, and I stopped using it. So when the dermatologist who did my fraxel last year told me to use triluma, I looked it up and decided to do a progressive plan of use. I started in January with once a week use, then February every 6 days, march every 5 and so on. And it seems to be working better that way, no crazy irritation. I'm using ever 3 days now. I intend to have another fraxel next month. I have also had peels, IPL, microderms, dermarolling (disliked), etc. It has been a fight! I started getting melasma about 3 years ago, unsure why (been on same birth control for 12+ years!).

I think I might try the obagi again, with the same "less is more" approach that you mention. I'm also no crazy about using hydroquinone continuously, even though my derm says it's fine. I read a lot of scary stuff online about it. But I will finish my tube... I paid a hefty price for it!

I actually drink tea all the time, mostly green. Teavana and other brands. I do it for taste, I like it, so it doesn't feel like a chore :) glad to hear it's helping! I also take some skin supplements, but that's a different story.

How would you combine all those other products I mentioned to you, with the triluma? What I've been doing is simply use the Clinique even better on nights when I don't use triluma. During the day, I just did vitamin C and Clinique moisturizer, and sunscreen of course (Elta MD, also recommended by derm).

So with all this other stuff, I'm not sure how to introduce it to my regimen, I feel I am going to need to write it on a planner because there's no way to remember other wise!

Thank you! Farah

May 02, 2017

Rozberry J.

I'm not a fan of the entire Obagi line, but the #5 is just a silicone based product with some lightening (or not if you chose) that serves only to help skin creams like these scripts blend. Just that 1 product is all I think you need to help your spread it evenly and use less of it, which will reduce irritation. Since some Obagi did irritate in the past, perhaps you will want use the one with no Hydroquinone. That should just serve to give your cream a glide without adding any irritation or compromising your script's integrity.

Your script should be used in the evening after washing, using a hydrating, calming toner, and after any serums you are using...and before your moisturizer and facial oil cocktail (or layering.) I've listed some info that should help just below in your first post. I think you are wise to acclimate your skin slowly, but again, some of the products you are using aren't soothing enough and even serve to worsen your skin, so I say that from a place of sincerity. I only know so much about skin because I have struggled since a child with Psoriasis from head to toe at one point, so do not get discouraged. I now have it only on my scalp and a few spots where it's stubborn here and there. I sat for hours at the library and online and began to study ingredients rather than products to understand the science...the combinations that would work...and my complexion is exactly where I want it to be, thankfully. I am very prone to follicle issues so I know what to avoid to trigger irritation or breakouts and I stepped up things that were beneficial to my own skin's needs...I asked a lot of questions to educated Pros.
I gave up buying this to have that...and you're doing that right now, which is wonderful and will pay off. Medication and a good doctor can do wonders, but time is the best healer of all about some matters. Soothe soothe..when you can and protect your skin's integrity. It's the one thing I noticed more than anything in your routine. The combination of irritants with the lack of soothing and hydration on a level that is actively calming and cell-communicating. You already know more than the average bear, so I think you're already at an advantage.

I have insanely sensitive skin and because of my Psoriasis, that complicates I am always very very careful with anything new added to my routine...even an oil or moisturizer. Always test patch for a full night or two to see how skin responds before you apply to the face. Less is often more and you'd do better to use something potent in a very small amount, and devote entire days to just hydration if you need to. Since you are acne prone, the Evening Primrose is amazing and will not prompt any breakouts. I think you will love it even more than your Clarins...and it's certainly less money.

Melasma is one of the toughest things to combat and it was once a real issue due to my health, but my regimen and my Derm (along with some fantastic products, such as your script's ingredients) changed all that. Now, it's just about keeping it at bay...and you will get there with time and persistence. Don't be afraid of your script. There is so much that poses a risk. Apple seeds have cyanide in them!! lol They'll scare you with using bug spray...really, it's going to be fine, so please, don't fret! I didn't do any IPL. I love Microderm, but it didn't address the issue, but it does leave skin looking amazing. I instead used yellow peels (Retinoic Acid Peels)..a series of 3, one week apart...and then, let the skin rest with just hydration..and then brought in my my Obagi with C and have added other brightening ingredients such as the C serums and the Alpha Arbutin...which I'm still testing out for effectiveness, which is why there is not a review just yet.

Arnica, Liquorice Root...these also help lighten skin and brighten skin, but that chemical exfoliation is also a game changer. I was always afraid of Arnica because it can pose a risk if it gets in the bloodstream, so I finally did sit down again with my Derm and now I have an Arnica Gel that is inexpensive that I added to my routine from the drugstore. My guess is you were using the Obagi #3 Clear, which is 4 percent Hydroquinone and that can be irritating...such a light hand is needed. Your script is making up for that so you don't need to use the #3, but you can certainly benefit from the #5...and use the Hydroquinone-free formulation if you're concerned.

There is a peel that blends a yellow peel with Hydroquinone and that can be a less-expensive game changer since it can kick start a serious skin regimen. I'm not sure which peels you had; perhaps they did try that already. A lot of people hate microneedling and I think it's because they don't realize that it comes in a variety of levels...using differing needles. I have never had it done by my Derm. I did discuss it with her, however, and she said I could easily and safely roll at home using just the lightest of needles, which permit product penetration to reach a whopping 90% verses the tiny percentage they penetrate without. Peels, of course also increase your percentage...but with acne, if you have outbreaks, rolling even with a pain-free, blood-free, tiny roller is a huge no.

If you aren't broken out at the moment, dermaplaning is another way to stimulate collagen, remove fuzz and flakes from skin and amp up your absorption in a pain-free visit. I wait until my Derm or Estie at a local spa has specials. If you can save, then it's always worth it.

I do like that you are using EltaMD, I think it's great stuff. I own and use their tinted formulation, among a few of Paula's options. I cannot tell you enough how much your skin will settle if you use Paula's Recovery Toner. Keep the faith. I think that C is going to make a big difference, but if your Melasma is that intense, I would do what worked for me, and alternate the Timeless with the Drunk Elephant...but only if you can afford to do so. Since you are acne prone, you may already know this, but I would steer clear of mineral oil, coconut oil and any skincare containing waxes on your complexion. Watch the powder, avoid Talc on the complexion, cut way back or discontinue using the setting sprays that are loaded with alcohol (it's the first ingredient) and avoid anything fragranced when you can help it. I make the exception if fragrance is in a minute amount in the formulation and also includes something soothing. You instead want fatty alcohols and Niacinamide/Ceramides, which is help skin repair itself, hydrate and calm skin. (CeraVe PM and in the jar are both great options for you that should save you money).

Thanks so much for getting back to me. People often don't and so I do appreciate it!

May 01, 2017

Farah J.

Hi Roz! I am your newest fan :) I signed up on the community site just so I could ask for your advice! I have read all your reviews on The Ordinary religiously and also ordered some other products you recommended. Some other stuff I think might already have so I didn't buy extra. My problem is that I don't know how to use all these things, or in what order! I end up having a ton of stuff on my bathroom shelf that just sits there... About me: 37, dry skin with uneven skin/ hyperpigmentation issues (melasma, sun spots, some dark acne scars), fine lines, smallish pores. I am a makeup junkie who just recently started getting serious about skincare.

This is all the stuff I have now, please help me make sense of it! I will start with what I already had. For daytime, it's important that products play well with foundation.

- DHC oil cleanser and coQ10 wash
- Triluma prescription (has hydroquinone, tretinoid)
- Clinique even better serum, new double chamber version
- Clinique even better toner, gel-like stuff that is supposed to be similar to SKII at a lower price.
- Clinique moisture surge intense, I know it has no active ingredients but I just love this stuff and texture in a moisturizer. Keeps my skin really hydrated.
- Glycolic lotion from
- CoQ10 toner you recommended
- Pixi glow toner
- Vitamin C serum from Timeless
- The ordinary argireline solution
- The ordinary niacinamide solution
- The ordinary buffet
- The ordinary alpha arbutin 2%

For eye cream, I use Lancôme progress, again simply because I love the really thick texture and how well concealer glides over it, but I know it has zero active ingredients, and would love to find a better and cheaper substitute.

I think I got it all! I have no idea what to use with what, what I can and can't mix, and how not to end up with 50 layers of stuff on my face prior to putting foundation on.

Thank you in advance! Please keep reviewing! xoxo

May 01, 2017

Rozberry J.

You are very sweet. Thank you so much for the kindness.

I feel like I'm about to burst some beloved-product bubbles The Moisture Surge loses all of it's antioxidant benefits because of the jar.
The moment air hits the cream in a jar, it begins to break down. I would start with saying goodbye to the Clinque in the future. That's just my personal advice. I'm not a doctor, I'm just personally researched in skin-care and I do approach this also from a place of personal use experience. Because I have Psoriasis, I realize the level of dryness you are most likely dealing with and so I get that you have favorites you want to stick with. This may be the case for you with the Surge. I'd instead use CeraVe in the jar, with the pump option and seal it using occlusion with your Buffet. You may want to add Buffet to the moisturizer and make a cocktail. That should give you the same level of moisture the Surge does. The Surge has a glide to it because of silicone and these do not, so they will feel different, but the level of hydration of this combination with Paula's toner and some products I will mention below will not only multiply the amazing skin benefits, but should leave skin with a glow.

You are doubling up on some very irritating ingredients and that's of concern because of the skin-cell health/collagen issues mentioned above as well as bringing on dryness. I only recommend Pixi for people who do not have any access to other AHA's or cannot order them online due to their country or their budget.. Because you are using a drying script and you need to sometimes calm your skin, I also do not recommend the Pixi formulation at all. I also just noticed that you are using's AHA. Is that the one at 10%? If is excellent, but no way should you double up by layering two acids. They don't even do that at the MedSpa when you go for a professional level peel. It's really tough on skin.

For AHA you are using an All-star for certain, but because of how dry you are, you would do much better by reserving that for a treatment once a week and instead use a more gentle AHA, Lactic Acid at 5% (NOT The ). You might want to pick up a $15 bottle of Lac-Hydrin5 and alternate.. This is a lovely Lactic-acid/moisturizer that is outstanding for dryness and will remove flakes.. CVS has it both online and in-store. If not, they should be able to order it for you. You have to watch your acids when you're using a script and when you're dry. Over-exfoliating in any fashion will wreck your skin and bring on irritation below and on the surface. If the is not causing you any signs of irritation, stick with just that, but I would limit use to nights I was night using my script...Maybe every 3rd night..and acclimate skin to it.
For a hydrating Toner that works much like an essence, I'd use the Paula's Skin Recovery, which will bring in hydration and antioxidants for anti-aging, as well as soothe your skin.

The CoQ10 toner comes in a clear bottle. I have a sleeve that I use on the bottle to keep it protected from light and I store it in my medicine cabinet. I don't have it in front of me, but I can't recall if the top is removable or not. If it is, you can always put it in another bottle that is not clear, but has a spray. (I also use and love the DHC CoQ10 and that does come in a protective bottle.) They are both excellent, but you can save a pretty penny with the CSI from Vitacost. I always like to alternate between something pricy and something more affordable to get the most bang for my buck. They are not twins, but instead sisters. I like that I can use the Vitacost one to freshen up my face during the day or for a secondary evening application. I reserve my DHC CoQ10 for morning-only use.

The C from Timeless is very effective and affordable. I'd store it in the fridge to extend shelf life. I think that Drunk Elephant's C is the best I've ever used, but I alternate between a few C formulations based on how my skin feels. I do always have Timeless on hand and use it on my hands, neck and chest as well because it is so affordable..and then can reserve my pricier C from Drunk Elephant for alternate days on my complexion. Just avoid the eyelids themselves as the formulation contains Ferulic Acid. (A plus, for certain, as well as Vitamin E) I do hope you like it. It will stimulate collagen because of the type of C (ascorbic acid) and the percentage present within the formulation. The dropper and bottle tint help protect it from air and light, but don't leave it open when you use it. Be quick about

I do like DHC, but not the line as a whole. DHC has several cleansing oils if memory serves. I just use Sweet Almond Oil and save myself a ton of money if I need an oil to cleanse. I get it at Walmart (NOW brand, for example) or Target.

The CoQ10 Wash. Washes are a tricky thing. In many instances they are on the skin for such a brief period of time that skin won't see benefits. This isn't true of all washes, but for certain ingredients, it sometimes applies. If you like it, of course, please continue use. It does foam, and foaming strips skin of essential oils that are necessary to protect skin, but also prevent dryness. You never want to compromise your moisture barrier if you can help it. Your script, for example, is already doing that as does use of you want to replenish moisture wherever you can. If you are considering a repurchase down the line, I'd instead wash with a gentle, hydrating, non-foaming cleanser. La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser is about $14 and is very gentle. It won't strip your skin or irritate it and you can save some cash. Often, online they are buy 1 get 1 50% off. I'm not sure if you are in the states, but if you have CVS Bonus cash, an online CVS account with a savings card or access to Walgreens online, they have sales where you can pick it up for about $8-10. Ulta also carries the wash.

Regarding layering. The easiest way to remember is that you want to start with anything water-based first. Thin, watery formulations, toners...these will be applied first. Then, you follow with treatments. This is your serums, for example. Then, you seal the deal with moisture. So you add your lotions...followed by creams and oils. In some instances, oils right on the skin is your best bet. It depends on how skin is feeling and looking that day. If you aren't sure, cocktail the oil with the lotion or cream.

For you, I'd say:
AM: Wash, Hydrating Toner, CoQ10 Spray, your Argireline...let that soak in...then Alpha Arbutin (use with a very very light hand or this can get tacky)...let it sit...then apply your moisturizer (I'd recommend CeraVe PM) I didn't see any sun protection, so that's of great concern since you are using acids and a script for a Vitamin A-derived product. I'd apply my Broad Spectrum Sun Protection and then, mix a drop of your Buffet in with your foundation. I find in the AM, letting products have ample time to be absorbed and using a light hand is key to lovely foundation application and not getting pilling issues. Apply something, then brush your teeth..apply another, pick out your outfit, etc. You may want to devote an extra 10 minutes in the morning to your skin. Whatever works best for you

PM: Wash, Hydrating Toner, Niacinamide, The Argireline, let that settle in...Then Moisturizer or Moisturizer with oil for a cocktail (your Buffet.) I'd alternate this and every 3rd night, use Lac-Hydrin5 as my moisturizer to exfoliate and hydrate/remove flakes/stimulate collagen. Never layer your acids with your script. You'll get irritation. If you find that you prefer the Niacinamide in the AM, use your Alpha from The Ordinary in the evening. Listen to your skin...always.

Eye cream: I don't use a dedicated eye cream. I run very dry and all of my products layer right up under the eye. CeraVe in the jar with the pump is what I use when I need thickness. It is safe for the eyelids as well and has cell-communicative ingredients. It's also very affordable I use oils on my eyes and also Aquaphor. I bring everything I use on my skin up around my eye area. and that has served me well...including my script and my acids.. If you are nervous with acids or scripts getting on your lids or your eyes, apply Aquaphor to any area you want to seal in moisture, but not get acid or script on. No dry gal should be without it. It's inexpensive and sold everywhere. Even when you get professional treatments, they use it on the lids and lips to protect skin so I promise you it will work and is safe.

I know that's a if it helps, make an index card and tape it inside your medicine cabinet or beside your vanity if it helps. I do hope you return to see this and reply. It can be very disheartening to put in so much effort to help members and never hear a follow-up from someone. I do wish you all the best and thank you again for your very kind words.

May 02, 2017

Farah J.

Rozberry, I can't believe people don't respond to you after putting all that work down! You are a total skincare guru, thank you for your knowledge! I am in the US, in Chicago actually, like you :)

Question: what do you mean by "cerave in the jar with a pump"? All I could find is cerave pm facial moisturizing lotion (bottle, with pump) or cerave skin renewing night cream (jar, no pump). Which one is it?

Regarding cerave moisturizer, Paula toner, sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil, I will buy all of those when I am done with my current versions. I DID buy the Obagi #5 (without hydroquinone) to use that to spread my triluma instead of using oil. I used the link you sent me, thanks!

I know you explained what I should use AM and PM, but because I am a bit thick, I still have a major question: what are the things I should NEVER mix or use at the same time?
I understood to never mix 2 acids, but I'm not quite sure what constitutes an acid...I know AHA and tretinoid are acids, but what about vitamin C? Alpha-arbutin? Argireline? Niacinamide? Buffet? What should I NOT use together? I was going to ask you the question in reverse (what can I mix), but I think asking this way should make it even clearer for me :)

I actually had dermaplaning twice, second one just last week, combined with a PCA peel I believe. I liked it the first time better, second time I think she used too much and it irritated my skin. I do like getting rid of the peach fuzz though! However, I am really trying to avoid spending more money at the spa/derm, and trying to figure out what I can do at home that will help more in the long run (since I can be more consistent).

I simply didn't enjoy the feeling of microneedling, and I only thought my skin looked better for a day, while it was swollen I guess. Instead, for "increased absorption", my husband got me one of those JeNu devices for Christmas, and I think it actually works fairly well. The problem is that I get lazy and skip using it sometimes... Part of the problem here is that I don't give myself enough time to get ready (I love the snooze button), so that's a whole different life goal for me... I am one of those people putting makeup on in the car on my way to work. Shameful, I know.

Drunk elephant has a pretty fat price, so if I can avoid that for now, it'd be great.

I do avoid alcohol in setting sprays. I actually don't have a problem with makeup staying put, the problem is with it caking/getting dry and cracking. So I use moisturizing sprays. As far as powder, I also avoid using much of it, especially because it just makes me drier and adds 5 years to my face. When I use it, sparingly, it is talc free.

I actually didn't buy the ordinary's lactic acid based on your review :)

I am in Miami right now. I got envious of all the golden goddesses walking around, so I got a spray tan. My body looks great, but the stuff made my face super dry and the color also clung to my hyperpigmentation spots, making them look more pronounced. I was actually hoping for the opposite effect... for a sort of more even color, but nope, my white skin is darker but my spots are even darker :-/ lesson learned!

A hundred more thanks!

May 02, 2017

Rozberry J.

Hey! A fellow Chicagoan! You're missing driving rain and chilly weather, which I love, but if you're in Miami, you're probably not a fan Hope you have a great time and a safe journey home!

It is surprising when people come here and seem so sincere and often are really struggling or feeling hopeless over a situation and I give such detail specific help and then they don't return, but even in the forum, if I do not receive any response of any kind, even a simple thank you, I delete it all. It still doesn't give me back my time, but it does remove them from access to that information in the It's better than getting upset! :P

I'm sure your spray tan looks gorgeous on the body, but with your current dryness, it isn't unusual to suffer the dreaded flaking. If you are using your medication or anything exfoliating, that will further fade your tan rapidly. It can be tough to keep a spray tan on the face for sure.

I'm glad to see some people loved the Lactic on here from The Ordinary, but the ones I like are gentle and inexpensive. That burn wasn't a total surprise because of the absence of soothing ingredients, which is partially why some of The Ordinary is inexpensive, but I've had professional grade acid peels that never hurt like that, so I tried to give a heads up for sensitive folks. The Ordinary is counting on you stacking products so they leave a lot of benefits out of single products for cost-sake and with some, I think it's a mistake to do that. I do think they're a nice addition to a broader skincare regimen, but I'd never recommend someone use only their line...ever. I'd rather have a very pricy product that does what 5 of theirs does because they not only average about the same in the end, but it's also less time and has soothing ingredients. I do get that some people want to address one or two issues or bring an ingredient into their routine and so for that, they will serve nicely. Aside from the oils, they will never be dupes. Not in formula or in results, for their popular counterparts. I think people want to believe they are and if they feel they work the same, I'm happy for them, but the ingredients are always the tell in the end..just like food. ;)

My Drunk Elephant has lasted me 6 months or so because the formulation is so impressive that a tiny amount is needed. I alternate with Timeless and so I imagine I'll get even more use out of the bottle. Timeless is made fresh to order and it will expire in a couple months, which is why keeping it in the fridge will help it remain will the added E. It is clear or slightly cloudy, depending on the batch, but C has a very specific odor when it turns. I've never had Timeless turn on me because I do use C faithfully and so I'm not wasting any product. Dermstore often has 20% off sales and if you sign up for their mailing list, that's 20% off with free shipping (you can always unsubscribe if you like afterward) and so that saves money and earns points when you create an account. I will often use Dermstore rather than Sephora to enjoy that discount. They carry high-end items and the descriptions/ingredients are from a clinical perspective, which I appreciate.

I'm actually surprised to hear that you had a peel and Dermaplaning in one visit. My own Derm's MedSpa will not do that, nor will my local spa where a friend is an Estie. Dermaplaning is done and you can't schedule a peel for a for 7 days, let alone a TCA peel. Yeoch! As for acids, anything AHA or BHA or Vitamin A is an acid. You'll see the word acid on acids, such as Glycolic Acid...Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid or Citric Acid. Retin A is Retinoic Acid. Your prescription is derived from Vitamin A. Treat it like any acid. Retinol is derived from A, but needs the skin to convert it to acid, which it that's an acid. An easy way to remember is, don't pair two exfoliating products if you have sensitive skin. Some people can, I don't. Some people use an acid in the morning and then a different acid at night. I also don't do that. I also don't choose to layer my Vitamin C (which has Ferulic Acid) with *certain* acids. On some days I will use an acid toner and then apply C, but only often my skin has fully acclimated and then I use a soothing product to keep skin calm.

Vitamin A is supposed to cause skin to react; acids are intended to and that's how they stimulate collagen, but if you can bring in hydration and avoid irritants then you can make them work quite well and banish pesky flakes. AHA, BHA, Prescription Retinoids...these all work on different layers of the skin and so some people use them all together. I am not of those people. I think it's a recipe for disaster and that's just not my thing. I'm more in keeping with Korean skincare philosophy where a serious amount of time is put into layering products, absorption, and then, devoting entire days to reinforcing skin's moisture barrier because that's what I find works best for my skin...and I think it would work nicely for you as well.

I usually just wear tinted sunscreen daily, but when I do wear foundation, it's usually sheer to light/buildable medium. I own full coverage, but reserve that for special occasions. Because you are probably using something with more coverage, that's going to show more dryness. You can reduce this by using a great moisturizer as your primer (instead of primer) and then, using a hydrating SPF, followed by adding a drop of any acne friendly facial oil to your foundation. You work in very light layers. You can add a drop of evening primrose, for example, to your foundation on the back of your hand and blend before applying; that will help you retain some moisture since such oils serve to not only bring moisture, but to seal moisture. Then, you have the bonus of hitting it with a mist and that also helps reinforce the barrier and relieve some of the foundation's appearance. I think those who run dry should steer clear of long-wearing foundation. It's notoriously drying for people like us..and it always cracks. It would be better to get a great concealer for any skin discoloration and then blend that out with a water-based foundation that is buildable for fuller coverage. (I don't touch up my foundation, but if I had to, I'd rather do that than have it crack or cake..which is maddening.) If you aren't using a Beauty Blender, I'd do that and not stir up flakes with micro-exfoliation from brushes. You probably are already doing that, but I thought I'd mention it.

If you have a period of time or a day where skin is so incredibly dry, it's your skin talking to you, so I always listen and say "Today is devoted to hydration." The Koreans have a method where they apply a hydrating toner or essence (like Paula's) 7 times...waiting only about 30-60 seconds between patting it in with their fingertips. This works and plumps skin..really soothing and leaving skin dewy. ( I find I can get this same effect with 3 applications of Paula's on those days when I really need the extra hydration.) You'll want to apply it with your clean fingertips and press it onto skin. It's a milky liquid and you don't need much, so a bottle, even if you did go more than one round, will last you.
After that, I'll hit my skin with a blast of CoQ10 and then the hydration just continues from there.

CeraVe makes quite a few formulations. The PM is excellent for acne and makes a non-greasy, anti-aging, light moisturizer for daytime beneath make-up as a primer. I apply it twice on drier days, including on my lids, and it absorbs rapidly...but I'm still very patient about the prep process. Facial oils...everything should have time to be absorbed or you get pilling and foundation will not lay right. CeraVe in the jar is the same formulation; they just sell a pump for the lid for the jar to retain the ingredient integrity and it also keeps bacteria from entering the product. Even clean fingers in a jar can bring bacteria, which breaks down ingredients and also can cause acne. This can be used on the entire body and the face. If it were to cause you irritation or acne I would be very surprised.
I always leave my derm with an armful of I'll link you to the jar with the pump.

Another product I do love and that is quite remarkable is Dr. Jart's Ceramidin liquid and cream. That is a dry-skin savior and worth every penny. It's also anti-aging and has liquorice root in it, plus some other favorites for skin...and I can find no dupe for any price point. A bottle lasts forever. A tube, quite a bit, since you need just a small amount. I'll use the liquid all over the face and hit just my eye area or the sides of the nose with the cream. The ceramides are so great for skin as is the Sodium Hyaluronate, but if you are on a budget, wait for a sale or you're out of something to try it and instead, go to Sephora and request samples. Then, go into the Sephora in JCPenney and get a A girl has to save where she can! Of all my skincare, it's one of the few times I'll forgive the inclusion of alcohol (which is used for preserving the formula) and certain oils.

The only risk with those is that even though they although they contain water as a primary base, the secondary is a series of oils, some naturally fragrant. I rarely ever..almost never...break that skincare rule, but I cannot deny it has transformed my dry skin becauses the formulation includes skin-soothing agents and hydrating, high quality ingredients...and the hydrating and plumping effects are both immediate and long-term. Because you are acne prone, a sample would be the way to go. You may find you can use it in the eye area without any issue so it is worth a peek. You also chemically exfoliate so you may not be as prone to clogged pores as the average acne sufferer. But again, because you are sensitive, I would sample this only. I really wouldn't feel right if you bought it without trying a sample. It isn't for everyone, but it is food for thought!

I did laugh about putting your makeup on in the car. I have friends who do the I'm all about a good wing, mascara and my lipstick. Lipstick more than anything. I do agonize over wings because if I do wear la wing, (I only wear make up once or twice a week other than lipstick), I say, 'Okay! Add 30 minutes to getting ready! I just don't have a steady hand. We all have our strengths, I say.

I hope that explains things a bit. Please, because you are sensitive and also dry and prone to acne, test patch everything..including Buffet..any oil..anything new, including the CoQ10 spray. Save your receipts because you can return opened product from anything I recommended, including from the drugstore, if it doesn't work.

So as a general rule, remember, layer acids with something hydrating and soothing. Don't pair acids on the same day, including with your medication. So don't use Lactic or Glycolic on a day you are using your script...for now.
Don't layer C with an AHA in the morning. If you exfoliate one day, take 2 to hydrate and soothe for now. The Alpha Butrin is an Alpha Amino Acid..,,but your skin should treat it much differently than AHA or a BHA. I didn't have any issue with using C with the Alpha Butrin, but if causes an issue, use the C in the morning and the Alpha Butrin at night, but not with your script. Pair it with something hydrating. I didn't see a BHA in your routine, which may be because you on a script, but I'd get my skin under moisturized control before I ever dipped in those routine waters with dry and sensitive skin. HA is short for Hyaluronic Acid, which draws moisture to the skin from the air and helps skin retain it. In some formulations, it can be a tad tacky to the touch, such as the Alpha Butrin (it has HA in it), so use a light hand with little product. It is present in all of CeraVe moisturizers, but it is NOT tacky in any way or greasy in their formulationS. HA always pairs well with other acids because it's not an AHA/BHA. BHA... That's another ball of Your other Ordinary Products, you don't need to worry about mixing. The Buffet, treat as a serum. It should work very well in your morning routine, but you can use it at night as well...or twice a day. It's a hydrating product, and not exfoliating. The schedule I gave for those should work for a jump off point.

I know it's a lot. Take notes and put them on a card. This kind of skin care isn't for everyone, but it becomes very simple with routine, much like cooking, and if it helps, get a sharpie and a dollar store calendar to keep track of which day you use what. (That's what I do.) I can tell at a glance, half asleep in the AM or PM, what I need to use. I also put labels on things with numbers or will write on the bottle with a sharpie #1 #2 AM #3 AM #1 PM, etc. so I easily tell what I usually use. If I alternate, I break this, but when I'm exhausted, it saves a lot of time when I'm using something new. I think the more time you invest in your skin at home, the less you'll be at the Derm..and the less foundation, concealer, etc. you'll want to wear because you'll want to show your skin off and all that hard work and you won't have these long routines unless you really love putting on make up. I reserve the 'dolled up' for a weeknight or weekend out and then I enjoy getting ready. You'll find a good balance and schedule...just take your time for now. Hope that helps and enjoy Miami. Have a Cuban for me!!

May 02, 2017

Farah J.

You guessed right: I hate the cold weather, and I am not a native Chicagoan. Originally from Spain. Lived in Florida for 7 years before moving to Chicago, and let me tell you, the warmth and humidity down here does wonders for dry skin... mine got significantly worse when I moved to Chicago. But hey, you can't have everything!

I actually tried 1 drunk elephant product before, the marula oil, and I was really unimpressed (sat on top of skin, was greasy and icky), that's why I didn't look into other stuff from them.

I followed your advice with the lactic because I don't want to risk messing up my skin, since it takes so long to recover.

Since you are in chicago, I will tell you I had the dermaplaning+peel at spaderma, and the fraxel at chicago cosmetic dermatology in kinzie.

I love the Korean/Japanese skincare philosophy, I think they have beautiful products and concepts. Love your tips! I discovered kanebo in Europe many years ago and loved it, but it's not sold here for some reason. As far as foundation, I used to do full coverage, but can't anymore, for the reasons you pointed out. Foundation is now my fremeny, total love-hate relationship with it. Makes the color better but the wrinkles/texture worse. So I use a light-medium coverage. I do use a beauty blender. I actually have quite a ridiculous amount of knowledge about makeup, it's skincare where I'm lacking!

Thanks for the link to cerave with pump, I would have never guessed that's the one you meant, since it does not seem targeted for the face.

I saw that Dr. Jart also has a ceramidin gel-cream. I wonder if that would make a good alternative to my Clinique intense moisture surge... because that's pretty much what I like about it, that is has this refreshing gel sort of texture, instead of a heavy cream, but gives terrific moisture.

Alright, I think I understand the mixing rules better now! I will definitely need to do the list/sharpie thing though... I will keep you updated of the progress!

Thanks a bunch! :-*

May 02, 2017

Rozberry J.

Hey! Now I know who to ask for dry skin make-up tips! Often I feel like there's only a handful of us seriously-dry members in the forum. I see a lot of people feel defeated when they start acne medication or Retin-A, etc. because they can't cope with dryness at that level, so I hear where you are coming from. It's part of life for us and Chicago is brutal with the winter. Summer, you'll see that improvement we enjoy as you did in your home country...but I'm certain not to the level that Spain would provide.

Because of Psoriasis, I'm so prone to even slight eyelid irritation..everything is caution. It's always Luckily, I can put Paula's Skin Recovery Toner directly over my eyes, on my stinging (for me) and even if I do a Pro or a home peel, that's what soothes without fail. I have one bottle in my bathroom..and 2 back up bottles I stock up when I find it on sale and I think I paid $12 for my last bottle. The packaging and formula mean it won't break down.

Those are some pretty swanky and well-received skin spots, especially the one in Lincoln Park. I think skin is always intensely personal and so I don't know if they did personal consultations with you beforehand (a head Estie or Derm who examined your skin and talked with you), but I think sometimes, Esties stack procedures not taking into consideration personal level of sensitivity, but also to make money. Even with product they put on during or after a facial, I've had to stop an Estie and say, "I can't use that." They benefit from selling stacks and also product. I just remember being told "NO way", by both a friend who is an Estie and a Doc when I requested a peel the day of Dermaplaning. MY logic was, "Hey, skin is primed and most ready to absorb that peel right now." I wanted the most bang for my buck. Well, it turns out that would be the absorbs too intensely immediately following when skin should be healing and calming. Odd, since that's my primary rule for my home skincare, that I would expect otherwise elsewhere. Skin is already in a compromised state and needs healing after a Dermaplane, even if we can't see it. I just was so damn eager..haha
Maybe it's because I'm so sensitive..but I'm grateful; I'd rather have a "no" than be hurting...and I know that had to hurt like Hell. I think those are reputable spots, however, and that they are respected. I have seen them on Groupon, which may save you some money if you go again, but sometimes those are procedure-specific discounts.

It does say on the CeraVe jar for the body, but skin care companies make a fortunate out of getting everyone to buy body, eye, neck, For Men, etc. when often, it's safe for effective for more than one area. It's just a thicker formula and so it is a cream instead of a lotion and I love to sleep in it. I seal mine with facial oil about 20 minutes after I apply by patting an oil on... or I'll mix it with the cream for a cocktail. It's perfect for the face and is free of any fragrance or drying alcohol or irritants. It actually has calming ingredients and I use that as my eye cream, even on the lids, but not in the day because it is so thick and I'd end up with raccoon eyes from the moisture during the day.. (I use the PM as my base beneath foundation and then mix a drop of oil in my MUFE Face and Body).
Do you use powder blushes and contour/highlight products? Anything you have that is a favorite cosmetic that works with your skin?

My favorite Korean Skincare spot is OhLolly (the Dermstore has some), but I think OhLolly has a great selection and outstanding service. Even the packaging when it arrives is perfection. Paula is sold at Nordstrom, but I don't know if they give samples (and you actually save if you buy online). I don't think there are any stores to buy Kanebo here, but has some of their line (They make Sensai) Shipping is free with orders over $25. I don't know if you've tried them and I have never, but Sensai is a Kanebo line if you wanted to peek.

The Gel-Cream is a jar and for the price, especially, this should not be packaged in this way. It's breaking down once you open that jar...and it's prone to bacteria and you'll lose benefits so quickly. (That's why I avoided the jar myself) It also includes those fragrant layered oils I wish they didn't include in the Ceramidin products. I tried the surge and the jar and I don't think they feel the same on the skin or give the same results. I think the winner of them all is the liquid/tube combo stacked, which they do sell in a starter kit together...even then, I would get samples. You could easily irritate your skin and I would feel SO badly. I can't use either product after I light peel or dermaplane, even at-home peels , to just to avoid that deeper layer irritation, but also any topical reactions. I really do wish they'd take out some ingredients in favorites, but because they include countering, hydrating and soothing ingredients, there is more a balance to it.

I say get a sample of the liquid and the cream, but the Gel is about $50 and it's not formulated for the level of dryness that you need, in my opinion. I think the stack would serve you better and be much closer to The Surge feel because it isn't heavy at all on the skin (the tube, you use a tiny bit), but I don't feel right recommending a purchase at this time. I even rarely mention it here because it's not going to pair well some many people and if there other skin care isn't calming then it won't work right, but I do think a sample is worth a peek...and then you can see how skin responds without investing money.

I hope you make great progress. I appreciate all of your sweet words and how thoughtful and polite you've been. It does not go without notice or appreciation. In Chicago, I'm certain we can't compete with Spain and so I understand that's a huge change in both culture and climate. Hopefully our pizza makes up for it. ;)
Take care!

May 03, 2017

Farah J.

Hi there! Yes, they are swanky places, which is why I want to take matters into my own hands and give them less money! I agree with your dermatologist versus esthetician comparison... I also wanted the most bang for my buck and that is why I said yes to the peel.

So I hear you say to get cerave in the jar and a sample of the ceramidin. I will do that :) Yes, I know all about Sensai, it used to be called "Kanebo Sensai" and then they just dropped the Kanebo for some reason. They actually make one of the best foundations I've ever tried for dry skin (and I have tried A LOT): their Sensai fluid finish. And you are right! They sell it at I was simply stocking up on it every time I go back home to visit (Spain). I have never heard of OhLolly. I know Shiseido obviously, Missha, DHC and a couple others.

The last foundation I got was a blind buy from, and it turned out to be unexpectedly good. Very much for dry skin, I would say. Its the Stellar limitless foundation. The only problem is that it never fully sets by itself, so a little powder is needed. Other than that, I'm sure you've heard of the Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer and the Urban Decay Naked Skin, which has a bit better coverage.I'm seriously picky with foundation nowadays, so nothing wows me, but the Sensai is really some of the best stuff I've found. I've done some BB/CC creams and they are ok too, like the one from It Cosmetics.

I use all kinds of crap, but mostly cream blush from Stila and powder blush from Clinique believe it or not (one shaped like a flower). Really natural finish, not powdery. First love by Charlotte Tilbury is nice too, I purchased it on this site. Bronzers from MAC, Armani (among others). I don't do much contouring because of the melasma, and highlight I use in minimal touches, because shimmer is also one of those things that can be your best friend and worse enemy. As long as you use it only where your skin is absolutely smooth and tight, it can look pretty. I do it right on the apples of my cheeks, top of upper lip and a little bit down my nose. Forget the youtube tutorials made by 20 year olds, highlight below your eyes only looks good if you have no wrinkles whatsoever. I actually like the liquid highlight by Becca and the drops from cover fx, used in moderation. I have tried several powder highlighters and hate most of them, but I do like that new Benefit dandelion twinkle product, because it is very subtle.

The pizza is good :-D And so is the very brief summer season, haha. Take care!

May 04, 2017

Rozberry J.

Oh!! I haven't tried that cream blush, so thank you! A good cream blush is always a win in my view. I largely wear liquid/gel tints and even an oil tint, but I only have 1 cream from NYX (which I do like, but the wear time isn't much), so maybe for my birthday this summer, I'll ask my sister for that cream. In summer, powders are easily, obviously..I love the Hourglass with a light hand because it doesn't do anything to enhance texture, but I'm so light with it and only wear on "nights out". I've been trying to use cruelty-free and so the bulk of my new purchases have been as such, but a few companies haven't come around yet. I'm making that move as best I can, however, but with certain products it's more of a difficult stretch. I have a travel-size talc-free powder recently given to me by a friend for that rare time I use in the eyes, but talc by my eyes...noooo more. Removes all hydration.

Maybe now you can grab your foundation from the site instead of stocking up.
I hope so! OhLolly is like Beautylish, it's a store of high-end goods, but there site is only Korean lines. I really do love Beautylish's store and the flexible payment program. I swore off Jeffree Star and wasn't using the store for a while, but I do love Inglot and I think their service is excellent. I have debating a new purchase from Inglot, but really was disheartened when an Ordinary review was removed.
Hopefully the new will stay put. I'm kind of nervous about sharing a few other reviews now. We shall see...

I'm with you on those super-young tutorials that just don't resonate. I've never used that much concealer in my entire life under the eye, let alone bake. I'm not cutting anyone with contours. It's just not me..and I often found many of them give AWFUL skincare advice. (I'm looking at you, Tati). Wayne Goss really brought to light the video filter that many are using, plus, they have a ring light. I'm not saying you shouldn't look your best or that it's not fun to edit a photo to pop color or soften edges, but if you're putting that forth as the sole representation of you or especially when selling a product, that's deceiving; So many influencers just take it so far.

I enjoy Monique Parent and Stephanie Nicole. Monique will do promotions, she's not someone I'd look to for skincare, but she does make a point to say "I was paid to try this/do a video" for promos. Even so, she's fun and her make-up...she's not on point, because she isn't an artist. She's got that "close enough" attitude, but I kind of appreciate that. She is a more mature woman that is fun to watch and is good with a cup of coffee. I love that she had a wig friend come explain all about them (and will be doing a series with him about how to use wigs) and also she had a set= photographer friend pointers for editing and for shooting...and some of her healthy recipes for the blender are also nice. She's interesting, (low-budget horror actress) and she's very fit. She looks amazing. I think she irritates her skin with promos, but we take our skin much more seriously than most folks. I SO wanted to create a youtube and even started a journal/site, but I didn't go live or create the channel. I don't know if I'm up for it, but it's been on my mind. The comments are such a hassle when they get nasty and I'm very private as well. I don't want 800 questions about my private life. My friend who does my hair often has put me in her personal portfolio if alter color or she does something she feels she wants to showcase, and so I met someone who a 'friend; of hers at a farewell party. She had seen my photo and she exclaimed "Wow. You look just like your photo! You're adorable." I did enjoy that and we laughed about it. Shouldn't we all look like our photo? lol She was very sweet, but I did smile about that. It was intended as a huge compliment and I did take it as such.

Psst...I think if you love your Surge, stick with it because you're adding so many other benefits with other products that there is nothing wrong with having something you know works that does not irritate. Even If THE ONLY thing you get is hydration, that's still a win in my book when you struggle with the level of dry we are, so if that's working, just keep it in your routine and amp up elsewhere. You may want to keep CeraVe just to the eyes to replace the Lancome (save a bundle) and you can also use it for your elbows, knees, feet, and neck/chest. It's anti-aging with ceramides and niacinamide, plus hydrating with HA. Do what you enjoy, I say, but I do think the exfoliating around the eyes with acids has really changed my own skin and I swear by those collagen stimulating treatments at home. I never had a TCA. I just stick with enzymes/facials now and again and once a year, my beloved "Yellow Peel", which I just had done and I instead of a set of 3, I only needed 1, because of the Obagi #3 and #5. I had a glycolic once and I thought, well, I can do this at home, but you can't do a yellow peel at home. They are so gentle and *swoon* my skin gets a reset every time. I've been using Vitamin A forever so I do think a lot of our skin is not just lifestyle , genetics, and commitment, but using that Vitamin A makes a world of difference that doesn't show immediately, but sure does down the line. You look beautiful so keep up the good work and if you do return to Chicago soon we are due sun next week...but then again, this is Chicago. Take an umbrella and a light jacket, Take care and thanks for the product recommendations! :)

May 08, 2017

Farah J.

Hi Rozberry! I love cream blushes too, I actually find the good ones can look best applied with a fluffy synthetic brush. The one from Stila has been around forever and its called Convertible Color. I can't use tints on my cheeks because of the melasma, makes it look blotchy, so I only use tints on my lips. I was going to tell you about my latest acquisition, which makes for a pretty nice very subtle blush, and it's lovely. Its the Giorgio Armani fluid sheer #11, which is a sheer, liquid, lightly shimmery peach. You can wear alone or over foundation and it gives me a really healthy glow. It's not cheap... but I foresee the bottle lasting forever.

I like the Hourglass powders too, also because of how fine the shimmer is. Whenever I use powders of any kind, I spray my face with a moisturizing spray afterwards, so the powder melts with the skin. I have several, one from the clinique surge line which is nice, the pixi glow mist, which is ok, and a couple others. None of the ones I use are truly "setting sprays" because those always dry me out.

I am with you on the youtube celebrities! Jeffree Star is a jerk and Wayne Goss is great (in love with his brushes, btw). And I know EXACTLY what video you are talking about where he exposes the instafamous who use the ring light in their videos. I actually posted it on my facebook to educate people, haha. Wouldn't it be nice to be walking around with a ring light pointed at your face? Perfection. The baking techniques are ridiculous also, and I think Wayne Goss mentions so too. The only area on my face where I can even get close to baking is just above my jawline, under the hollow of my cheeks. Anywhere else and it looks horrible.

I don't know Monique Parent and Stephanie Nicole, I will have to look them up. I actually like this woman named Angie, her channel is Hot&Flashy. She's like 53 years old and looks amazing. She's actually quite knowledgeable about skincare and stuff, she mentions her dad is a chemist. And while she is also not a makeup artist, she is honest, down to earth and makes aging look easy!! You should check her out.

You should totally start a YouTube channel!! You can't let all that wisdom go to waste :-) I know what you mean about the nasty comments though, they are unavoidable, some people are just miserable creatures and writing mean things is the only way they get some sense of power in their lives.

I am sure you look better than your photo. I used to complain about the fact I am so non-photogenic, but I guess it's better to look good in person! You must get comments on your hair nonstop, it looks so cool. Hard to maintain, I'm sure... I know little about hair coloring, that's probably what I'm least high-maintenance about.

I saw clinique surge just came out with yet another product in their line, some "ultra-hydrating serum". I would have normally jumped on that, but I think I will contain myself... The description says it has "liquid-sphere technology that combines water-binding ingredients with encapsulated antioxidants", but who knows what is even in it... right?

By vitamin A, do you mean retin-A/tretinoid/etc? Last question, have you ever used a so-called collagen product? This Jenu brand just came up with one and it has glowing reviews, so I was curious if you knew about it:

I have started to use the Ordinary stuff and coQ10 toner, no changes yet, but I will keep at it. Thanks!

May 08, 2017

Rozberry J.

CoQ10 is a long-term investment and so you won't see any immediate changes to skin, aside from a refreshing mist to help with your moisture barrier that also feeds your skin, (unlike many spritzes). It's part of a much broader regimen that includes cell communicative products, hydration, anti-oxidants, and the like. I use CoQ10 as just part of my daily, much like I take my vitamins every day. I also use the DHC CoQ10 in a spritz bottle. I'm always layering and refreshing to keep skin nourished. With some of the Ordinary you will know within a few weeks in (with regard to hydration, etc), if something is working for you and is worth a repurchase. Unless I experience a negative reaction (or no reaction/lack of effectiveness to something that should be immediate, such as moisturizer) then I give skin 90 days with a product. I think you can usually tell (aside from long-term products that stimulate collagen/are cell communicate/fight free-radicals) if it's something that will work and stay in routines. Even then, I'm personally always using up product and upgrading...trying new goodies if science and formulations have changed. Still, there are the few staples I have never strayed from as they have served me well, such as your trusted Surge.

I peeked at the new Clinique after reading your note here.
They've finally gotten the memo about the packaging! ;)
I'm not sure why, but Clinique rarely lists the full ingredients in plain view. Even on Clinque's page, getting a full breakdown is a hassle. That said, iIt looks promising. I dig the packaging, but I don't fully know what's in it, exactly. I've no doubt it feels amazing; these products have slip agents and emollients and so since they've added anti-oxidants (my guess these spheres have HA, which draws moisture) then those are protected by the packaging. I'll definitely get a sample and read the label next time I'm near a Sephora or the counter. Thank you! My guess is they took what's great about the jar, added benefits and changed the packaging, so I don't doubt that it is delightful and does as promised. As long as it's not perfumy, it's going to be a win for dy peeps, but I definitely will let you know what I think of it when I give it a try.

I do use a Collagen product from, the CSI Collagen Nourish. It's $18. A lovely member, Ms. Jacqueline, told me about the CSI line. That said, I don't see any immediate changes from collagen (I didn't expect to) although these products do feel nice applying; it's just another layer of hydration as these are often paired with HA, but largely, collagen is one of those *minute*, long-term investments you have to be diligent about...and only time will tell. The's the HA and Glycerin that people are enjoying with the collagen being a added *minimum* benefit for long-term skin-health. (Jenu isn't doing anything lots of other products can do with more benefits at that price.) Collagen, CoQ10, Stem Cells, these are not immediate results so that's kind of amusing that some people feel they are injecting collagen and duplicating it with a topical. Topical Collagen is nothing extraordinary in my view, but I just do it as part of my routine for moisture since it's already part of some products I own and why not if there's even a small benefit? I also use the Eucerin CoQ10 SPF 15 for when I'm around the house because I like it's moisture, a bit of sun protection for if I zip in and out or have the windows open with sunshine and it's got a pump to protect the formulation.; nothing Earth Shattering, but I like it and it gives a glow to dry skin with benefits. The truth is, we're all aging with each passing day and I think plenty of people wait to protect and feed skin or treat it and they want and expect miracles. That said, we can take care of our bodies and age as best we can, gracefully, and look and feel as best we can in the now. :)

Vitamin A is what your script is derived from as it Retin A and Retinol. It's the delivery system and the level of intensity/strength that makes them differ.

Thank you so much for the info on the Stila. Much appreciated. (I own their liner and love it.) Their shadows, not so much. Also, thank you kindly for the feedback on the Armani Sheer! I'm really trying to not purchase right now, but I will sample those for certain. It's always good to be on the look out for dry-skin friendly favs. Looking forward to peeking into those...and to trying the newest "Surge" variety. I do know who Angie is. She's very sweet. I think she looks great and she's very honest that she's had procedures, etc. She's informative and seems kind. She's not quite my style so I often can't relate to her tutorials, but she is sweet and informed, for certain. Stephanie Nicole is very intelligent and breaks everything down from a chemical standpoint, as she has studied herself and works in the industry. She plays no favorites and holds no punches. She's a bit edgy, which I dig. Monique is fun. She never blends, but she's stylish and adventures. She's handy and interesting...and isn't hiding imperfections, which makes her a breath of fresh air. I enjoy Wayne very much. I do think he uses way too much click bait, but he is informative and helpful on a lot of matters. His tips are great as is his wink! haha Yes, it's not just the ring light. I think good lighting is key to anyone filming or even a good photograph at home and I think youtubers are very honest about that because they have to be. It reflects in the iris...the ring. Even my close friends who take photos for their work use lighting and I love to use my vanity light to help with a pic. But, Wayne did share a lot of info people did not know; that live video can be filtered in such a way as to dramatically alter appearance and I think he's done a lot to promote natural beauty..self-love, etc.

I will most likely never get on cam. I'm not a camera person by nature. Thank you for the kind words about my photos. I don't look better in person; sometimes the camera eye is kind and you can trick it, but I do think I am putting forth the best, honest me. My 1 profile pic is just me with my low-rent, outdated webcam by the I do think editing is a ton of fun and who doesn't want to look like a model? I just think that anything can be taken to unhealthy extremes and so if peeps mix in heavily edited photos to be glam or adventurous, it's a good time and is cool/fun and interesting. When it's the only type of photo you ever share or you're selling products based on an image..then, that's a whole other ballgame. As for Jeffree, not one more dime..evah. (Nothing impressed me anyway, honestly.) Also, a BIG thank you for the sweet words about my hair. My friend does it and she's amazing. I can take no credit for it. ( The most comments I get are on my bangs.) People are very afraid of bangs in general, let alone a V-bang, but I also do a Bettie bang....or I'll do my blonde temporarily a pastel. I always keep my blonde as a base. I hope you see some success with your new goodies and thanks again for the hello. :)

I'm off to tend to errands and exercise! If your'e back then you know it's really lovely out for Spring with a slight chill, but plenty of sunshine. Have a killer week!

May 17, 2017

Farah J.

Hi Roz! Quick update: my face is definitely smoother, so something is working! (wish I knew what lol, since I added so many things at once!). I went ahead and bought another fluid sheer from armani to use as a liquid blush (#6), and I like it even more than #11. So definitely check those out. I would recommend those two if you like peachy tones, but they have pinks in other colors too.

I tried a sample of the new clinique gel and I wasn't overly impressed... Still prefer the intense cream. I also tried a sample of the ceramidin cream and I really like it! (you were right about the gel not being hydrating enough). I got the CSI Collagen toner.

Oh, and Monique Parent is great! Turns out I did know who she was, I had just forgotten the name. Super cool lady, I have fun watching her videos. I still need to check out Stephanie. WHO DOESNT edit their pics nowadays?? I went from just the filters to using this lovely app called BeautyPlus that allows me to narrow my nose! Hahaha. I thought you were considering doing videos but you couldn't find the motivation. If you are not really interested, then don't do it! Path of least resistance, I always say. Whatever feels more natural to you :)

I remember you mentioning that you were big on nail polish. Any favorite brands or tips? I typically wear them pretty short, mostly because have issues with peeling, and when one breaks I have to cut the rest because it annoys the heck out of me when they are different lengths (I'm a bit OCD).

The weather is AWESOME right now!! This is my type of heat for sure ;-)

May 18, 2017

Rozberry J.

I'm so glad to hear you are seeing changes for the better, and yes, this weather will certainly bring relief from the winter dryness! It's beautiful this time of year, indeed, with sun and plenty of breezes before the brutal heat...oy! Thanks for the heads up on the Armani. I'll be certain to get some samples to give them a free I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the samples you tried as well. I've never tried the Collagen toner. I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you find it makes a significant difference in your dryness for sure.

I've seen that app you are talking about! It even lets you put on make up if memory serves, and then you can look insane... lol I think it's about always keeping a healthy balance in the end. I dig art..when art is made with an image. That's my favorite.

Monique is fun, isn't she? I'm not a fan of the recent flood of promos, especially for repeat products. (I won't be watching any sponsored videos.) She is very funny though and she embraces her flaws in a way that's healthy, plus she does reflect how I am myself most of the time with make-up. I don't wear it daily. I don't own a lot. I like to do fun looks for a photo or night out..and she breaks those "no glitter after X age" rules and rocks it. Her figure is stunning..she shares her defeats. I think sometimes people share too much, but she does seem to resonate with people of all ages. She's hit her stride for sure. I break often from anyone on youtube outside of watching old foreign films and foreign horror or interviews of Woody Allen that fascinate in the wee hours. Stephanie, I appreciate that she's not using sponsored videos, discusses science, and isn't chasing the dollar. Youtube isn't her career and she's just very likeable and explains everything so well. You just grab some tea and kick back. I don't dig the 'influencers', but now and again, swatches are helpful and I think those three channels are great. I'm addicted to cooking videos! I think I watched six on making a 50's style coconut cake the other day. :P

I was considering doing a channel or a blog for all around lifestyle as a whole, but I like to keep on the positive and in many many ways I am private.. I just feel like my energy is better used elsewhere at this particular juncture. I even take long breaks from here. That's a good thing! :) Path of least resistance hopefully leads to a lovely patio with a grill. ;)

I do love nails...I really do enjoy nails, ,but I only paint my toes and hit up the salon to do my fingers. They're dracula-esque, yet much shorter these days so I can type easily; I couldn't shape them that way myself. They are my real nails, but I just pick a no-chip color and let them do their For my toes, it's largely O.P.I. or the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel (no light). I think those hold up excellent with a quality top coat..and a lot of patience with waiting. Tom Petty was right, the waiting is the hardest part..haha I wish I could be more helpful, but I know better than to mess with my fingernails. It's great to do a home pedi though. SO relaxing.

Enjoy the sun because we always get our share of rain, but that brings flowers and rainbows, so it's all good. Thanks again for the fun note and the hello as well as the tips and update! :)

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Rozberry J.

Location: Chicago, IL

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About Me

The road to Hell is paved with my intentions.

Eye Color: Green
Complexion: Fair
Undertone: Cool
Skin Type: Dry, Sensitive
Hair Color: Blonde