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My Winter Beauty Must Haves!

November 8, 2010

A reader asked what kinds of bath and skin care products I use. Most people who read this blog know of my obsession with Thierry Mulger’s Angel Perfume:

It’s sickeningly sweet to the point of being gag inducing. It’s vanilla and chocolate and caramel and dewberry and hippie stink and something note I can never remember. Starts with a B. It’s like the kind of chem experiment that blows up the lab, in a bottle.

Angel is the only perfume I wear, however, it’s not the only scent I wear. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I might use my Rich Amber hippie solid thingie to change the way Angel smells on me or cut it with Bath and Body Works’ Japanese Cherry Blossom, a huge stash of which I scored at some ridiculous price when the company decided to upgrade the packaging.

I’ve been using Chandrika soap since my late teens and I still can’t believe this soap is only $1.49. It’s one of my favorite body bar soap, besides Lush’s rockstar and Lush’s Karma soap. As for my face, I rotate Lush’s Coalface, Garnier Nuti-Pure Microbead Cleanser, Ambi complexion soap and Cetaphil, which tends to be the product I use the most.

I love Johnson’s Baby washes, baths and whathaveyou, favoring cocoa butter scent, vanilla or the purple so called “cranky baby” scent as my friend Sara calls it. I try different formulations and flavors, mostly because Johnson’s tends to road test and quickly disregard all but the “classic” flavors. I’m a huge fan of Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel, which I use immediately out of the shower before even drying off. I’m like Rod Tidwell; I air dry. Anyhoo, most people would find this too greasy, but I like it and it doesn’t stain my clothes or make me feel icky. It does make my skin feel soft and successfully wards off ashiness. If I use a scented lotion it’s usually something from Bath and Body Works – always gifted that stuff for Xmas, but usually it’s a flavor I don’t hate. I should also note I’m addicted to buying drugstore lotion. Particularly anything new by Johnson’s Baby, Eucerin or Vaseline.

With the exception of my powder/foundation – MAC Studio Fix – and my perfume, I tend to prefer drugstore cheapie goodness. I have extremely sensitive skin, which sometimes results in a minor eczema flare up, so I probably should be more careful than I am. That said, I don’t like spending a bunch of cashmoney on packaging and bullshit. I’m an adept label reader and have done the high end skin care thing, yet nothing gets my skin as right as a $5.99 bottle of Cetaphil and a weekly check in with Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque ($3.79).

But I’m probably the worst person to seek skin care advice from. My skin doesn’t really break out and doesn’t wrinkle and doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. I don’t even know what “type” of skin I have (on my face). I just assume it’s combo skin because that seems reasonable. I wear sunscreen with SPF eleventy billion because to quote Margaret Cho, “that turn around cream didn’t turn around shit.” So I went back to Dramatically Different Lotion because it feels good after you’ve used a facial scrub and not because I think it’s doing anything amazing. When I want “amazing” I turn to Eucerin Plus. I am such a masochist when it comes to AHAs. If they aren’t stinging the fuck out of my face then they aren’t doing their job. Unfortunately, Eucerin Plus hasn’t stung my skin in years, but it’s still my secret weapon!

My lips live in Carmex, M.A.C. Film Noir and Lipglass. My nails spend the winter in either OPI’s iconic Lincoln Park After Dark, Chanel Vamp or China Glaze’s Up All Night.

Also, I am a serious bubble bath enthusiast. Cheesy scented candles, turning my bathroom into a “spa like retreat”. Everything, but Enya.

Tell me about the products you swear by.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2010 6:13 pm

    “$5.99 bottle of Cetaphil and a weekly check in with Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque ($3.79)”.

    This is my exact beauty routine, plus Eucerin’s Q10 moisturizer. It’s like butter. (It is butter, actually. Mostly shea butter and vitamins.)

    “With the exception of my powder/foundation – MAC Studio Fix”

    I love the coverage, but I’ve never been able to get a good color match with MAC. I’m light, but with noticeably yellow undertones. The single “C” shades work well, but I’m always afraid they’re going to be discontinued.

  2. November 8, 2010 6:20 pm

    @Kathy, I haven’t tried the Q10 yet, but I want to. Does it contain sunscreen?

    Yeah, I find that I can only use M.A.C. studio fix in the winter when my skin is a little more sallow/lighter. In the summer I usually go with Loreal or a different M.A.C. situation.

  3. November 8, 2010 8:58 pm

    I think my only swear-by product is what I use for my hair: Aussie is the only shampoo/conditioner that’s ever done much for me, and at my current hair length I use about three times as much conditioner as shampoo. I switch between “Moist” and “Sydney Smooth.”

    I’ve yet to find a swear-by product for my face. Right now I’m experimenting with Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cream Cleanser and a handmade tea tree oil soap from the local hippie grocery. I also like a St. Ives apricot scrub now and again. Makeup I’ve just started getting back into after not wearing it for a few years, and I mainly go with a few dabs of L’Oreal True Match concealer and a touch of Jane Be Pure mineral powder. Drugstore cheapies for the win!

  4. November 9, 2010 8:13 am

    Love L’Oreal’s True Match! I used a lot of Jane Cosmetics, particularly their liptogloss. I should look into getting another Tea Tree Oil soap because I love it. I also made a facial mist with tea tree oil that made my face look so good.

  5. Lani permalink
    November 9, 2010 10:56 am

    I tried multitudes of more expensive products before I realized that on my face they did more harm than good and just went back to cheapie Cetaphil cleanser. I also use their face lotion, which I find is not too greasy but still moisturizes well.

    I haven’t tried the Mint Julep Masque, but between the reviews here and on Amazon I’ll definitely be checking that out.

    For makeup, I’ve been on a semi-ban of typical commercial makeups (except MAC, they have some stuff I just can’t resist) and I’ve lately been buying things primarily from independent online shops, particularly Orglamix (http://www.etsy.com/shop/orglamix) and Geek Chic Cosmetics (http://geekchiccosmetics.com/) the latter because I’m a total video game nerd. For foundations I hesitate to buy online because who knows how accurately it will match my skin, but I’ve found that eyeshadows in particular are far cheaper from a lot of online sources.

  6. November 9, 2010 12:49 pm

    I think my only swear-by product is what I use for my hair: Aussie is the only shampoo/conditioner that’s ever done much for me, and at my current hair length I use about three times as much conditioner as shampoo. I switch between “Moist” and “Sydney Smooth.”

    Even though I no longer scrunch, I live by that damn Aussie Scrunching Spray! It smells so damn good.

  7. November 9, 2010 12:50 pm

    Geek Chic Cosmetics (http://geekchiccosmetics.com/) the latter because I’m a total video game nerd. For foundations I hesitate to buy online because who knows how accurately it will match my skin, but I’ve found that eyeshadows in particular are far cheaper from a lot of online sources.

    I’m very excited about this Geek Chic Cosmetics situation. Thank you for the head’s up. What do you think about Lush?

  8. November 9, 2010 7:45 pm

    @Snarky’s Machine

    No, the Q10 doesn’t have sunscreen. It’s more a heavy nightcream than a day moisturizer. I think they make a separate one with SPF, but I haven’t tried it.

  9. Octavia permalink
    November 10, 2010 12:22 am

    We’re going into summer, which is the harshest time in NZ because of our lack of ozone layer. Early this year I started using L’Occitane products and am a complete convert. I’ve tried pretty much everything else and it’s the only stuff that has actually done anything (positive) for my skin. I have all sorts of funky hormonal issues so I’ve only just started not having bad acne in the last couple of years. People actually compliment me on my skin now, that’s never happened before. I use their almond and apple range on my face, and recently bought their rice masque, which I also love. And about every fortnight I use a mud masque by Natio because I still have some left.

    Summer is Neutrogena’s ultra-sheer dry-touch sunblock at SPF 70, the only one I’ve found that actually isn’t greasy so I’ll actually wear it and hopefully not get skin cancer. I wear makeup so infrequently I’m a take-a-picture-to-remember-it-by person, though when I do after much testing I’ve discovered my favourite foundation is a mousse by Australis (‘mineral inject’) that is cheap but awesome and doesn’t give me “Oh god there’s crap on my face I hate it get it off”.

    This has reminded me! I have a nail polish recommendation for you. Butter London ‘Artful Dodger’. Looks baby blue in the bottle but goes on the most sexy light shade of perfect teal, I am in love with it. http://www.butterlondon.com/

  10. hsofia permalink
    November 10, 2010 2:34 am

    Every few days I use Neutrogena’s foaming facial cleanser, and every day I use Neutrogena’s Daily Defense untinted 30SPF moisturizer. Every few weeks I use an Azteca clay mask. Okay, honestly, more like every two months. I should use it every week or so. I don’t break out unless I use a face lotion that’s non-comodogenic or don’t wash my makeup brush every week or two. Unfortunately, when I DO break out in one or two pimples because of those oversights, they leave a scar. I used to have flawless complexion, but not anymore. =( Now I try to just stick to the basics.

    I need to try the baby oil gel; the lack of humidity here does a real number on my skin.

  11. Lani permalink
    November 10, 2010 1:40 pm

    Snarky – Would that I could give a perspective on Lush! I’ve actually never used one of their products (I know, I know…). I have a lot of friends who swear by Lush, and I definitely want to get my hands on some of the bath bombs at least, but it’s just been one of those things I’ve never gotten around to. Now I have even more motivation to give it a try.

  12. November 10, 2010 2:57 pm

    Summer is Neutrogena’s ultra-sheer dry-touch sunblock at SPF 70, the only one I’ve found that actually isn’t greasy so I’ll actually wear it and hopefully not get skin cancer. I wear makeup so infrequently I’m a take-a-picture-to-remember-it-by person, though when I do after much testing I’ve discovered my favourite foundation is a mousse by Australis (‘mineral inject’) that is cheap but awesome and doesn’t give me “Oh god there’s crap on my face I hate it get it off”.

    I forgot to mention that one! I love love love Neutrogena’s moisturizer. I use that SPF 70 year round because I have been really impressed at the level of consistent protection it provides. Also it gives SPF 70 protection with a dime size amount of product, versus the shot glass product glob required to get up to maximum coverage with other brands/formulations.

  13. Octavia permalink
    November 10, 2010 6:29 pm

    Yup, I have a real thing about greasy stuff on my face so it’s the only one that doesn’t creep me out.

  14. Carolina permalink
    February 6, 2011 11:38 pm

    Chandrika is my absolute favorite soap. So cheap and great smelling. Doesn’t last as long as I like but glad its cheap.

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