Happy New Year, my Little Kumquats! I hope everyone had a fabulous time – and that you all showed a bit more restraint than i in the celebration department; the next morning was a little bit unpleasant pour moi, i must say…
But thank goodness, that’s all over! My skin, however, is still punishing me; i’m a bit redder, a bit more dehydrated than even is usual. But fortunately, i took a trip to Sephora over the weekend, to check out some of the new K-Beauty choices they’ve got available – brands like Neogen have caught my eye in particular. They didn’t have the Calendula Cleanser i wanted in store, unfortunately, but i DID make my way over to the Dr. Jart section, as i’ve reading up a bit on a couple of his products for sensitive skin – an issue i’m beginning to accept that i need to seriously address, as my skin keeps breaking out and getting hives, even as it gets dryer by the minute as Winter in lovely Chicago progresses, it would seem…
So i grabbed myself a Sephora Beauty Specialist, and wouldn’t you know it, i found one who seriously knew her K-Beauty! We headed on over to Dr. Jart, while i told her about my skin woes. I was interested in the Ceramidin line, because, as a 40-something Babe of a Certain Age, i’ve heard ceramides are a Thing i might want to start using. Also, apparently, it’s a good line for sensitive, Special Snowflakes like myself. She pointed me towards the Ceramidin Gel Cream, because, since i’m still prone to breakouts, it’s non-occlusive yet super-moisturizing, without being irritating at all. She advised that the cream, the one in the tube, would probably be too strong for me.
When i opened up the jar and looked at the gel-cream, i was a little taken aback – it’s got the WEIRDEST texture – kind of an almost lumpy, whipped-eggy looking thing going on – or perhaps something you might find in a newborn’s diaper. Kind of viscous, gellid, and undigested-looking. Only much better smelling. And the smell is a strong, lemon-grass, herbal aroma, which personally i really dig. I hate perfumy smells in my skincare. But the way it looks…do i really want to put this goop on my face? But when i smoothed it onto the back of my hand…oh my goodness. SO heavenly. It immediately becomes this water-cream texture that is much more thick than your usual water-cream. It’s like nothing i’ve ever felt before. It feels like it will keep even MY skin hydrated, without leaving an oily residue. I like it a lot. It’s just…different. I then noticed the Ceramidin serum, which comes in a very generous bottle, next to it. “Oh yes, this stuff is fantastic,” she said, as i looked uncomprehendingly at the Korean text. “It will make your Ceramidin cream penetrate even better, and make your skin super-hydrated. It has the ceramides in it, and will work synergistically with the cream. It’s especially formulated, like the cream, for sensitive, dry skin. I think you’ll love it.” Ugh. Sold. I will check back in with you about these two products after i’ve had the chance to use them for a bit, and let you know how they’re working out for my goofy skin – keep your fingers crossed for me!
I then turned towards the Cicapair line – this stuff has been intriguing me for ages. It’s a green-tinted cream you put on after your moisturizer, and before your cushion compact or foundation, that calms and corrects redness. It’s not just cosmetic, but has tiger grass in it, which actually helps heal blemishes, calm redness, and boosts moisture in the skin. It also has an SPF of 30. It goes on your skin green, then turns beige. My new Sephora Beauty Specialist buddy told me that this was something i could definitely use along with my Ceramidin products, and she’d be happy to make me up a sample. She said that people often made the mistake of using way too much – that a tiny bit went a long way, and my sample should last me quite some time. She advised me to only use it on spots that needed it, like red T-Zone areas, or cheeks, or wherever i needed to calm redness. That it really wasn’t necessary to put on the whole face. She said it was perfectly fine to put on blemishes, and would help to heal them.
So, i put it on today, and it’s pretty freakin’ amazing stuff. After i put on my new Dr. Jart Ceramidin moisturizer, i spread a very small amount over my T-Zone area and let it set. It pretty much made my redness disappear, and i was pretty red this morning as the result of my overindulgence on New Year’s Eve, as well as it being super-dry in my apartment. Instead of needing concealer, i just put on some sunscreen, then pressed in my Amore-Pacific Cushion Compact, and i was good to go!
I then asked her what her opinion was of alcohol in my Amore-Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact. Was it going to undo all my hard work of moisturizing the crap out of my face? Because frankly, it FEELS great when i put it on, it makes my skin all glowy, and i’m just downright confused by the whole thing. She assured me that, at the amount that it was included in my compact, it acted as a carrier for the other ingredients, and wouldn’t dry me out. “Do you FEEL dry when you wear it?” she asked. Well, no. “See?” she said, “that’s why a lot of Asian companies use it. There are a lot of different kinds of alcohol – but even just plain alcohol acts as a carrier for other ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin – so you don’t need to worry. Unless you have a specific sensitivity to it – and it doesn’t seem that you do – it’s completely OK.”
Well, alrighty then.
Then to complete the look, of course i had to swipe on a bit of red lipstick. Today, i chose what is becoming a new favourite – Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet in First Light – a classic orange-red that reminds me of the 1950s lipsticks you’d see Marilyn Monroe wear:
This is a really unique red, i think – you don’t often see this shade of orangey, tomato red these days. It’s so pretty, truly wearable and goes well with a lot of skin tones. It’s also tailor-made for the limited edition blush, Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in So Close! Which, of course, i am wearing in this post. In this crazy weather – it’s a mind numbing 0 degrees out today here in sunny Chicago – i’m not bothering with face powder; i’ve layered the toner and essence and serums and moisturizer and pressed in the cushion compact and i’m letting my skin stay as moist as humanly possible. So far, it’s feeling really hydrated still, despite walking out in the frozen tundra to work.
Finally, i thought i’d do a little bit on my hair today. I tend to like a bit of a messy look with my pixie, but it does take a bit of product for it to look this way, and not like a fluff of cotton sitting atop my head!
My three go-to products are these little babies – Schwarzkopf Got 2 B Smooth Operator, which i put in while my hair is still wet, focusing especially on my bangs, which for some reason tend to be frizzier than the rest of my hair. This just acts sort of like a leave-in conditioner/smoothing cream. It just needs a little bit, like maybe a dime-sized amount, and i smoosh it in before i do any blow-drying.
Next, i spray some Rusk Thick in, concentrating mainly at the crown of my head, avoiding the bangs. Only about 4 sprays does it, this stuff will last you forever. Now i’m ready to blow dry, using a two-inch vented round brush. I lift my hair at the roots by the crown, and brush it forward on the sides and at the bangs, moving it from side to side in order to break up my numerous cowlicks.
Finally, when my hair is dry, i put in a tiny bit of Davines This Is An Invisible Serum to set everything in place. I love this stuff – it smells like sandalwood, and is natural, effective, and non-flaky or sticky. This finishes up my look, and keeps my hair from looking all fluffy and weird. It’s a tiny tube, but i’ve had it for months and i’m still nowhere near finished with it, as a little goes a long way.
Well, my Darlings – that’s it for me today! I’ll keep you all updated on the Dr. Jart products – keep your fingers crossed that they don’t break me out, like everything else eventually seems to! So far so good, after 4 days, so we shall see…
I hope you enjoyed today’s post!
Keep warm, people!
XO – Monday