tobermory's Diaryland Diary

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Product Rodeo

I havenít blogged about beauty products for awhile so I guess itís time for a product round-up. Good timing since I had a facial on Sunday and bought some new stuff.

After years of buying toner, never using it and then throwing it away, I had pretty much sworn it off as something I didnít need. But my aesthetician, Fred, at Chicago Bliss recommended the one that Bliss sells (donít roll your eyes because he recommended a house-brand Ė he also suggests non-Bliss products for me to use as well). In the past the first image I have of a toner is something like SeaBreeze Ė very astringent and almost more like an antiseptic household cleaner then a facial product Ė but the Bliss toner has a nice citrus-y scent and Fred recommended to save product that I just squirt a few drops into my palm (as opposed to applying it to a cotton ball), massage them together and rub the toner over my face. It actually felt moisturizing Ė almost like a serum. I really like it and compared to some of the other products Iíll be mentioning it didnít cost an arm and a leg. Tip: If you buy a Bliss gift certificate along with it you get a coupon good for 20% off any Bliss house brands that you buy with it.

Last time I saw Fred I had the Bliss Fat Free Facial because I am the queen of the clogged pores Ė if I start to get lazy about my facial routine my nose actually looks freckled Ė ewwwww! Fred spent a good long time doing extractions (bless himÖ.) and when we were all done he suggested a weekly two-step process to keep my poses cleaned out and tightened up. First he suggested I use the Laboratoire Remede 3-Minute Peel. The price is kind of steep at $125, but I only use it on my T-zone and a little goes a long way so I bit the bullet (I later found it for sale for $37.50 a bottle and I snapped up two to keep in stock). Again, I donít use a cotton ball (no waste!) and apply the product with my fingertips. It itches like crazy for the three minutes itís on, but the acids do a great job of getting rid of dead skin cells and tightening up my pores. Next I use the Bliss Sleeping Peel exfoliating mask - a misnomer because you donít wear it to bed or even for long enough to take a nap Ė it only takes about 10 minutes. This mask lives up to the claim that it will tighten and brighten and it seems like a bargain at $54, but you only get an ounce and yet use quite a bit more than the 3-Minute Peel. Sort of like how cream cheese is touted to have half the saturated fat of butter, which would be great if I didnít use five times as much cream cheese as butter. Iíve been using the two-step combo for the past 6 weeks and the difference really is noticeable Ė the pores on my nose are indeed smaller and cleaner. When I saw Fred for the second time he only had to spend about half the time doing extractions and they werenít nearly as painful Ė yay. In fact, there was time left over so he treated me to a complimentary oxygen treatment (it always pays to tip very well and develop a relationship with the people who work on keeping you in tip-top shape Ė theyíll make room for you in their schedule and sometimes treat you to upgrades and samples). Iím not so sure about the oxygen treatments Ė they seem like a bunch of bull to me and I canít see that they make much of a difference, but it certainly isnít doing any harm and itís relaxing. Not something Iíd recommend paying for but as a freebie it was nice.

As far as daily cleansing of my skin goes I use a facial scrub every other day. Iím almost embarrassed to say who makes it - BeautiControl. My sister-in-law had one of those infernal Ďpartiesí and I had to find something to buy Ė little did I know it would be the best scrub Iíve ever used. Keep in mind that despite the looks of my fragile flower pale skin in reality itís tough as nails so any scrub that I like has to be a little tough and used regularly it plays a big part in keeping my pores clean. I hate the name though Ė it sound like what the Nazis would have named their skincare line because it will Control! Your! Beauty! There must be no uncontrolled beauty! I digressÖÖ Then I Ėgasp- use soap. Granted itís earthy-crunchy handmade oatmeal complexion soap (no link because it comes as a saran-wrapped cube with no maker information Ė I buy it at Halsa in Geneva, Illinois and if youíre desperate to try it they will do mail order) but itís still soap which I think is a no-no. But, it has a great lather, Steve doesnít find it too girlie to use and my skin feels truly clean when Iím done washing.

Summer sun has arrived in the Midwest and Iíve modified my make-up a little to beat the heat. I was using the Bare Essentials mineral make-up and I do like it (although the Warmth shade that is supposed to be a bronzer makes me look orange no matter how little I use) but after I use my moisturizer with SPF in the morning it just feels like Iím loading on too much product. Plus, with all the exfoliating and skin peeling Iíve been doing it seems like a shame that Iím not showing off my skin. So, I use a smidge of Perfect on my T-Zone and some gel blush on my cheeks. Since the Perfekt is very light and has a creamy moisturizing texture, and the gel blush is very sheer I can achieve the vaunted no-makeup/make-up look. Just whip on some auburn Trish McEvoy mascara and Iím ready to go! Speaking of Miss Trishís mascara Ė I canít say enough good things. The stuff stays on through rain, sweat and tears yet comes off in the shower with a minimum of cleanser. Perfect for a summer wedding!

Thatís it Ė lunchtime is over and youíve again helped me to stay in, eat fruit at my desk and avoid the dreaded plethora of fast-food options near my office. Thanks!

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1:00 p.m. - 2007-06-05

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