Tag Archives: luxury skincare

Radical Exfoliation: Clarisonic Pedi Sonic

CLARISONIC PEDI SETMy Clarisonic Mia broke right on schedule at the three year mark.  I swear they equip those things with an internal destruction timer.  For awhile now, I’ve been thinking the Mia isn’t cutting it in terms of power and exfoliating intensity.  Recently, Clarisonic rolled out the Pedi Sonic which has a larger base, a stiff brush attachment, and a metal disc head.  I’m annoyed by the exorbitant $199 price point, but decided to splurge since the device is returnable.  I planned to use it on my face.  I know some of you think that is insane.  I get it.  Truthfully, the metal disc mimics mild microdermabrasion without the suction.  The abrasive brush doesn’t really work on the face because of the super stiff brustles.  Save the brush for your feet.  My skin’s chemically sensitive, but resistant to physical exfoliation, so the hardcore Pedi Sonic option suits me.  For most, it will be waaay too abrasive.  For those brave enough to try, expect exceptional exfoliation.  Deep level shit.  Be careful, because the Pedi Sonic is strong and you could sand your face right off.  Do I have to mention not to use the same disc on your face as you do your feet?  As intended, Pedi Sonic works wonders on feet too.  My main complaint: the little fucker doesn’t hold a charge for shit.   CLARISONIC PEDI SONIC

Epionce Lytic Tx Retexturizing Lotion

EPIONCE LYTIC TX RETEXTURIZING LOTIONI have a new favorite skincare product: Epionce Lytic Tx Retexturizing Lotion.  I struggle with dryness and breakouts.  Lytic Tx aids cell turnover without over-drying.  I noticed significant improvement in texture in just one use.  Don’t be afraid to integrate Lytic Tx to boost your current skincare regime.  A welcome addition to the routine, it makes a nice companion to retinol and plays well with other products.      LYTIC TX INGREDIENTSEPIONCE LYTIC TX PRODUCT DISPLAY

Jessnered

KARINA SUPER JESSNERWhere does the time go little doves?  It was just a mere month ago I embarked on my first Jessner peel, and I promised to get back to you on the results.  The delay partially stems from my ambivalence.  On the one hand, the peel results are rather remarkable.  On two separate occasions over the last thirty days I received unsolicited affirming comments which reinforced my belief that the peels make a meaningful difference. PEELING SKIN The problem with peels is who has that kind of downtime?  I have to be somewhere everyday, so I don’t have the choice to hole up and hide.  There’s really no disguising the crazy burn-like afterparty of a Jessner peel.  Are those two or three days of abject humiliation worth shaving off a few years?  Even though embarrassment is my least favorite emotion, I’m going back Thursday for my second round of ‘plane+peel.  Peels embody the the weirdest dichotomy of vanity and anti-vanity.  You have to agree to look ugly before you can look more beautiful.  SKINCARE

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.

 

The Fourth Peel

So those perky bitches at the spa convinced me to buy a six peel package.  I’m on peel four, (the first of which was not included in the package).  The results have been widely varying from peel to peel.  The first peel produced mild, but noticeable peeling.  There was definitely a “peel” day.  By the third sesh, I felt my skin had built up a tolerance, so when I entered my fourth I mentioned that the impact of the treatments seemed to diminish as the appointments progressed.  She decided to leave the peel on a bit longer to intensify the results. Coachella left a dust storm film on my face which I really wanted to remove.  I also endured significant and inevitable sun exposure standing in the middle of a polo field all damn day.  These truths, paired with my recent usage of Arcona’s Mandarin Brightening Peel apparently left my skin quite vulnerable because my face really fucking peeled.  Certain patches burned raw.  Not to mention how embarrassing it is to walk around with your face flaking off visible debris.  Not a good look.   I don’t believe I have suffered any permanent damage from my over enthusiasm, but I will never again challenge the aesthetician to intensify the power of the peel.

Better to have several mild peels with less irritation rather than one big inflamed peel that leaves you face-shamed for days.  

peel pro/cons

Ten days post-peel, I’m ready to discuss the final verdict on the paint-on glycolic acid procedure.  Shall we review the pros and cons?

Peel Pros

non-invasive ♥ little down time ♥ relatively inexpensive ♥ quick ♥ produces measurable results ♥ addresses sun damage ♥ immediate gratification ♥ addictive

Peel Cons

unpredictable — must avoid the sun — triggers breakouts and fever blisters — requires professional application — causes flaking skin — thoughtful timing needed

I look forward to my next peel and plan to book one in the next few days well in advance of Coachella.  Next time I will ask for more intensity on the cheeks, forehead, and jawline and less intensity around the eyes, mouth and on the nose.  I will also request my neck and the tops of my hands get a little glycolic love too.  One appointment produced noticeable benefits.  A second is bound to improve upon the first.  I have a hunch that three is the magic number, and it’s only after the third appointment that optimal results are achieved.  From there on out, it’s all maintenance.

 

the deal with a peel

Yesterday I splurged on a light glycolic peel.  My cell turnover really lagged this winter, and I needed a boost with it being the first day of spring and all.  I’ve secretly wanted a peel since Brandi Glanville discussed them as part of her skincare regime in her stupid book.  I’m ashamed to admit my susceptibility to the power of suggestion.The results have already begun to emerge.  A stubborn hateful patch miraculously flaked away within the first 24 hours.  This spot has been testing my patience for months, so achieving meaningful results in the first day sold me on the procedure.  I enjoy immediate gratification.  I’ll keep you updated on the ongoing outcome over the next week.  

DHC Velvet Skin Coat

I know what some of you are thinking; this zesty bitch isn’t recommending another fucking primer.  Well I am, because what fascist doesn’t enjoy a lovely skin perfecting product?I received a sample of DHC Velvet Skin Coat several years ago and it just stuck with me.  Recently, I purchased a full-sized tube to see if the reality lived up to my hazy fond memory. You gotta love a product that describes itself by its own name and Velvet Skin Coat does just that.  Utilizing the same dimethicone base as many other primers, the texture of this particular primer is indeed best described as velvety.   It glides on and finishes semi-matte.  Most importantly it provides a sublime canvas for cosmetics, softens the appearance of fine lines, and mellows redness.  

For most, Velvet Skin Coat won’t pack enough moisture to fulfill your skin’s daily needs.  Allow moisturizer to soak in first, and then prime with DHC.  Primers aren’t just for cosmetics wearers; this product will temporarily improve the overall appearance of your skin.  Men, you’ll be surprised how much you love it.

 

Murad Clarifying Cleanser

Murad’s really been pushing their “clinically proven” Clarifying Cleanser by giving away generous samples to the prestige beauty sites to disperse to qualifying buyers.  I’m such a sample slut, I made sure to qualify.  I’m almost through the tube, having used it on and off over the last few months.  Murad claims 92% of users experience a reduction in breakouts in the first three days.  I must be one the 8% leftover.  Peruse the ingredients and then we’ll chat some more…

Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 1.5%
Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Silver Citrate, Menthol, PEG-150 Distearate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch Octenylsuccinate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Polysorbate 80, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil, Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Fragrance (Parfum).

As you can see, the formula relies on Salicylic Acid which ain’t revolutionary, but Murad claims to have improved the delivery by encapsulating the ingredient for slow release.  Even if this is true, I’m doubtful a cleanser leaves enough of the spheres behind to make a meaningful difference.  When it comes to face wash, I’m a firm believer that most of the beneficial stuff ends up swirling down the drain.  The sudsy clear gel provides a menthol-medical experience – think luxury Sea Breeze.  Some will find it drying as I do.  When used with a Clarisonic, a few drizzles on the bristles creates a foamy face washing experience, but the suds can be quite irritating to the eyes.  Personally, I prefer a gentler, simpler wash with fewer harsh ingredients.