Tag Archives: Give Good Face

generic clarisonic replacement brush heads

GENERIC CLARISONICEven though I love my Clarisonic, the replacement heads border on prohibitively expensive.  After eying the generic replacement brush heads on Amazon, I ordered to see if they measure up to the Clarisonic standard.  Considering Clarisonic replacement heads are more than 10x as expensive as the generic, the potential bargain is alluring.  So far I haven’t been disappointed.  I can tell no discernible difference between the generic and the Clarisonic, save the price.  Moral of the story?  Pocket your money and buy the generic replacement heads.  Change the brush quarterly.  GENERIC CLARISONIC GREEN

earring hole blackheads

LOBE BLACKHEADSIf you have pierced ears with no earrings in the holes go to a mirror right now.  Put your thumb on the under side and stretch the lobe so the pierced hole turns inside out.  Did a blackhead plug pop out?  Are you horrified?  I know.  Now turn your lobe the other way and get the back side blackhead plug.  Then go to the other ear and take care of business.  You’re welcome you filthy bitch.  EARBLACKHEAD

facial cleansing oils

OILS GLASSAny bitch who has read a beauty mag in the last 24 months has heard of facial cleansing oils.  Facial cleansing oils have been around for eons, but lately they’ve experienced a renaissance; first within the prestige market and then trickling down to the discount demographic.  Proponents insist oils remove impurities without disrupting the lipid barrier, thereby cleansing without creating unnecessary vulnerability to the skin.  Since I struggle with the holy trifecta of breakouts, dryness, and sensitivity, I hoped oils could help calm the epidermal storm. CLEANSING OILSIn the last few months, I’ve worked a rotation of three different cleansing oils.  To clean the skin, rub facial cleansing oil into dry skin.  Then you could take it a number of different routes: emulsification and warm water rinse, washcloth, grains, etc.  Personally, I use a Clarisonic.  No suds.  No foam.  The makeup slides off in the slick, including difficult mascara.  Expect super soft, clean, nourished skin as a result.KISMET CLEANSING OIL1) First, DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, a cult favorite comprised of the following: olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil.  Although, the principal ingredient is olive oil, the addition of rosemary adds an interesting dimension.  I enjoy DHC Deep Cleansing Oil because it’s luxurious and reasonably priced.  I bestow a letter grade of A-.DHC DEEP CLEANSING OIL2 ) Second, consider organic extra virgin coconut oil.  Like many of you, I buy the big tub at Costco and use it all over.  Among the three mentioned here, the most economical and simple choice is the organic extra virgin coconut oil.  With just one pure ingredient, there’s only a marginal likelihood of allergy or reaction.  For its simplicity and ready availability I give it an ACOSTCO COCONUT OIL

3) Third, let me present Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil which is a mix of argania spinosa kernal (argan) oil, polysorbate-20, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis oil, citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, tocopherol.  Sweeter, I like the consistency and experience of Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil, but when I accidentally got some in my mouth it tasted yucky.  It’s also the most expensive of the three and for these reasons I grade it a respectable B.    JOSIE MARAN CLEANSING OIL


Jessner ain’t Joking.

JESSNER PEELI finally wrapped up my glycolic peel series at one spa and started patronizing a medically-supervised spa that offers a wider range of services.  My skin grew a tolerance and resistance to the glycolic peel after three to four sessions.  The upside to less peeling is less downtime.  The downside to less peeling = less drastic results.  To get the most of the treatments, I decided on the plane + peel combo.  Dermaplaning removes the old.  The peel uncovers the freshest of the fresh.  When it came time to choose a peel, my esthetician suggested a JessnerJessner blends salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol together at an intensity of 14%.  I decided to give it a try.  Holy Fucking Peel BatgirlJessner ain’t playing.  I didn’t expect the intensity of the burning hot redness upon application, the immediate tightness, and second day peeling in flakes ya’ll.  On the third day, I require total isolation.  This burn-victim shit ain’t cute and probably isn’t worth it, but I’ll let you know for sure when I finally get to see what is underneath this mess.  They warn you not to pull the skin off.  I don’t know how that is possible.  Are we supposed to walk around with huge sheets of flaking skin barely hanging on to our cheeks?  The expectation that a person would not peel it off just doesn’t comport with my fundamental understanding of human nature.  JESSNER PEEL RESULTS

Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick

BURT'S BEES BLEMISH STICKMy friend Anne-Marie absolutely swears by Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick.  Her complexion glows, so she’s worth a listen.  The potent and fragrant botanical blend soothes inflammation without aggravating peeling.  The rollerball application is downright fun too. BURT'S BEES BLEMISH STICK UNCAPPEDBurt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick is a powerful alternative to traditional acne treatments.  I warn that sensitive folks won’t enjoy the intense aroma or the tingly burny sensation.  Keep it away from your eyes.  For real.  Beauties who enjoy a natural product, this little wonder stick is worth keeping in the arsenal to address those rude little imperfections.INGREDIENTS BURTS BEES BLEMISH STICK

The Truth about Tickled Pink

TICKLED PINK AIRBRUSH KITLoyal readers may remember a recent post on the Tickled Pink Airbrush system.  I received Tickled Pink as a gift and even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, the giver probably meant well.  Because I was somewhat disappointed in not receiving exactly what I asked for, the device sat on my shelf unopened for months after the holidays.  When I finally broke it out and learned how to use it proficiently, I was impressed with the outcome, but not so much the process.  There are several aspects of the Tickled Pink airbrusher that are poorly designed and overall the gadget lacks durability.  After a few mere months of use the airbrusher went completely kaput.  I don’t mean the tip got clogged – which happens with any airbrusher – I mean the whole fucking compressor died.  The kit is covered by warranty, but I’m hardly about to hit up my ex-boyfriend for the necessary purchasing proof to make claims on said warranty.  The accompanying makeup is decent for its intended purposes, but the darker colors skew orange.  Let me be crystal clear: in no way is Tickled Pink a remotely extraordinary product.TICKLED PINK MAKEUP

NEO IWATA AIRBRUSHWhat I originally wanted (and should have just bought for myself) was a high-quality all-purpose airbrusher.  Iwata airbrushers are pretty much the gold standard.  The Neo is particularly well-suited for makeup application.  The compressor and airbrush are sold separately, but assembling the two is painless.  What does the Neo have that the Tickled Pink airbrush doesn’t?  For one, the cup that holds the product has a lid.  When airbrushing your own face with your eyes closed it is easy to spill fluidic makeup everywhere.  The makeup isn’t cheap and I go through it rather quickly, so waste just isn’t an option.  Overall, the Iwata Neo compressor is sexy, sleek, quiet, and well-made.  The airbrusher itself has a healthy-sized gravity-fed vessel, the aforementioned lid, and a nuanced and adjustable spray mechanism.  So far, I have been using my remaining Tickled Pink makeup, but when I exhaust that supply I will begin the quest of mixing my very own customized foundation.NEO AIR

The Iwata Neo isn’t cheap, so shop around.  Hobby Lobby has these yummy online coupons for 40% off any full-priced item.  Coupons can be used on consecutive days or on separate occasions at different stores, so theoretically you could buy the compressor for forty percent off and then do the same with airbrusher, but you didn’t hear it from me.HOBBY LOBBY COUPON

Arbonne RE9 Advanced


ARBONNE RANGEI promised you a comprehensive review of Arbonne’s RE9 range, and by now I’ve used the products consistently enough to fairly assess the situation.  Let us start at the beginning of the recommended regime with the Smoothing Facial CleanserARBONNE SMOOTHING FACIAL CLEANSERThe Smoothing Facial Cleanser is a creamy one-pump face wash that suds when agitated with water.  I’ve been using it with my Clarisonic and it works well enough for removing makeup.  It isn’t overly drying, but it does burn my eyes.  For a company that purports to be “natural,” there’s a lot of multi-syllabic mystery chemicals in the formula.  Final Letter Grade: C.  Profoundly mediocre with an unpleasant burning after sensation.  FACIAL CLEANSER INGREDIENTSARBONNE REGENERATING TONERThe Regenerating Toner is one of the most surprising and underrated products of the bunch.  The high-end spray bottle dispenses a gentle and refreshing citrus-infused mist.  Even though most people think toners are useless additions to an already bogged-down regime, they can be valuable opportunities for depositing another layer of active ingredients on the skin.  Final Letter Grade: B+.  A delightful 30 second trip to the orange groves. ARBONNE INTENSIVE RENEWAL SERUMWho doesn’t love a serum?  Serum is like pizza – it’s hard to fuck up.  Intensive Renewal Serum is light and penetrates quickly.  It doesn’t have the heavy silicone feel of many other serums.  My only complaint is that when used alone I need several pumps.  To extend its reach, I mix it with a moisturizer.  Final Letter Grade: A-ARBONNE EXTRA MOISTURE RESTORATIVE DAY CREMEBy far my least favorite product of the pack is the Extra Moisture Restorative Day Creme.  If this stuff gets in my eyes, they erupt in redness and a waterfall of tears.  Final Letter Grade: F. Harsh Sauce.ARBONNE NIGHT REPAIRI’d characterize Arbonne’s Night Repair as a decent mid-level night cream with a number of beneficial ingredients including peptides and Vitamin A.  It is decently rich and healing even for those with dry skin.  Final Letter Grade: B.   ARBONNE NIGHT REPAIR INGREDIENTS ARBONNE CORRECTIVE EYEOne of the few products that doesn’t set my eyes afire is the Corrective Eye Creme, and thank goodness for that.  This is an above average eye cream that provides temporary visible results overnight.  It softens, smooths, and pampers the tender, sensitive under-eye area.  I enjoy that it isn’t as heavy as many eye cream formulas.  Final Letter Grade: A-.  ARBONNE REArbonne offers some highs and lows with the RE9 Advanced collection, but my feelings can be summarized as follows.  First, I find their “green” and “pure” claims rather dubious.  For a “natural” product line, I have an unnatural sensitivity to the products.  Second, not one single product stands out as cult-worthy.  Which leads us to number three, none of these products are fantastic enough to put up with the relentless hounding of the Arbonnettes.  Ultimately, there isn’t a product in this spread that can be obtained elsewhere in a cheaper and more natural form.  Ordering from Arbonne with all their schemes just isn’t worth the trouble.  MERCEDES ARBONNE


Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation

Last month I hit up the Bobbi Brown friends & family event and used the discount to justify trying a few new products.  Always on the look out for an amazing new makeup moment, I splurged on Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation.  This ultra-rich base contains shea butter, evening primrose oil, broad spectrum SPF 25, and color corrector.  It seems like I’d love it, but I don’t.  

I’m a fan of Bobbi’s tinted moisturizer, but occasionally crave more coverage.   Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation definitely provides it, but the richness of the formula makes it difficult to blend.  Furthermore, the seemingly genius notion of adding color corrector in practical application doesn’t really work.  First, we don’t need color corrector everywhere.  Second, it compromises the integrity of Bobbi’s otherwise usually flawless foundation shades.  Meaning the shade “Warm Ivory” in Bobbi’s tinted moisturizer isn’t the same “Warm Ivory” of Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Foundation.  The latter has a decidedly yellow cast.  Lastly, the SPF burns my eyes.  These broad spectrum sunscreen ingredients irritate me to the point of tears. 

she just wore me down

I met this really nice woman several months ago through professional avenues.  She was kind and complimentary of my services.  She mentioned during the course of our conversation that she sold all natural skincare products called Arbonne and provided me with a generous sample.  A couple days later, she emailed me to see how I liked the products.  Avid readers know that I keep my samples for traveling, so I hadn’t even tried them yet.  I told her as much, and that I’d let her know when I got around to them on my next trip.

Then she started inviting me to see Arbonnettes receive white Mercedes as perks for strong sales performance.  I politely declined.  (Really, I just wanted to tell her that the Mercedes build quality has really deteriorated over recent years, but didn’t think she would find that information particularly relevant.)When I finally tried the RE9 Advanced samples, I begrudgingly admitted they were good.  Keeping my word, I told her of my positive experience with the products.  Of course this triggered an intense sales push.  I planned to get just one, but the company made it so difficult and financially illogical to try a single product that I ended up backing out of the overly-complicated transaction.  She wanted me to pay $20 under the guise that I can benefit from a year-long discount on all their products, plus they want me to pay shipping.  Those fucking sales lures annoy me.

She would not quit with the invitations.  She intermittently appeared around my work.  Her very presence ignited a pilot light of guilt in my gut.  Each week a new email asking me to an event or demo appeared in my inbox.  The girl eventually wore me down with her fucking indefatigable persistence.  After dodging at least eight different invites, I finally accepted one.  I drug my friend Dez along (I owe you bitch), and low and behold if we weren’t the only two in attendance.  Let’s say it together: PRESSURED.Our host spread products everywhere: in the living room, in the dining room, and in the kitchen where we began.  She prepared energy shots and protein shakes, and peppered us with product points as we consumed the mysterious contents of the offered Dixie cups.  Next, we were guided to the sofa.  Now her captives, she commenced her spiel which was comprised of a lot of random, seemingly unrelated statistics about childhood obesity and the nation’s sugar intake.  She promised us chocolate kisses if we asked questions.  Most of the questions I asked she couldn’t answer.  Questions like,

“What are the active ingredients in this product?”

“What do you mean by active ingredients?” She looks at me perplexed.

“Retinol, Acids, Peptides, Antioxidants?”  I nudged.

“I can find out for you.”  She classically covered before quickly gliding on through her presentation.

I wondered how she could possibly be so uneducated about the ingredients in the products she was so aggressively pushing, and furthermore how is it possible that no one had asked her this fundamental information before?Insisting it wasn’t a pyramid scheme, she spent much of the demo trying to sell us on selling Arbonne.   The “direct marketing” approach smacked of structured hierarchy.  If it isn’t a pyramid scheme then why are you trying to add me to your team?  When Dez showed just an inkling of interest in selling the products, our host would not let her leave without promising to host a demo herself.

Despite all this, I still bought products.  Why?  Even though I know it’s all bullshit, the Arbonnette persisted until my polite resolve eventually crumbled away.  In truth, I indirectly bribed her to leave me alone. 

If nothing else, I will review Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced for your benefit.  Steer clear of these bitches though, because they are Amway-style intense.