Oh, please – this was me yesterday, trying out the new Chanel Les 9 Ombres Palette (notice how my pink eyeshadow matches my pillowcase?) and Charlotte Tilbury lip. Today, you don’t even want to know how i look…but you will. Keep reading.

Well, it’s finally hit me – whatever this nasty bug that’s been going around is has finally found its way into my system. So, this will be another Sick Day Coping Post – plus a little bonus makeup review, thanks to my taking a slew of photos over the weekend after a trip to the Chanel counter at the (gasp) suburban mall. What can I say? Sometimes they have stuff that’s been sold out in the city, and this time my instincts were correct – and I was hot on the trail of the new Chanel Affresco Les 9 Ombres Palette!

But first, let’s start with how i’m coping with my day, thus far. Caveat: this will probably be really long, and really rambling – because Fever.

Firstly, i’m drinking tons of water – just because I should be doing that anyway, but especially when i’m sick. Even though I hate getting up to refill my glass and even though my throat hurts. Health considerations aside, also because my face is like the Sahara desert today; for some reason, whenever I get sick, it really takes its toll on my skin, like, Every. Single. Time. Of course, the fact that I sweated out half my body weight last night in the throes of fever probably had something to do with it…

 

I’m never too sick to mask! Or cuddle with kitties. Also, could my eyes be any puffier?!

 

So, even though I feel like Microwaved Death, I still made myself do my skincare – i just got around to it a little later than usual – but to be honest, my skin felt so crappy that I HAD to do something – so I used my gentlest products that I know will treat my super-dry, recently healing skin with care, and get it back to being really hydrated.

And, because I had the time, I threw a mask in there, as well. I chose a nice Ginseng mask, because I know my skin loves the Gollum Root, and won’t irritate it. I’m still dealing with an autoimmune flare-up, and am medicating a hive-breakout, so I don’t want to exacerbate the situation on my face by using anything active.

So, let’s talk about hydration.

If you have stressed-out, sick, or extremely dehydrated skin – and yes, dehydrated skin CAN and WILL break out, or even look oily in areas because it’s overcompensating – the last thing you want to do is start throwing a bunch of Actives on it – by which I mean anything that will chemically peel, exfoliate, lighten, or have a direct result in changing the skin’s structure in any way. This includes AHA, BHA, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid (you get the idea – just stay away from the acids!), Retinoids, and the Vitamin C derivatives. What you DO want to do is build up your moisture barrier with Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid (yes, I know, I said no acids, but this is the exception – it’s a different animal entirely), Glycerin, and Squalane. In other words, humectants. When we are in a delicate place health-wise, our skin needs to be treated gently, just as we do. And for whatever reason, those of us with fucked up health are very prone to having dehydrated skin.

ANYONE can have dehydrated skin. It doesn’t matter if you are an oily skin type, or sensitive, or dry, or normal. It’s a skin condition that can be changed , not a skin-type. There is a great thread on Reddit that addresses this very well, by u/JoanOfSarcasm – Dehydrated Skin and the Moisture Barrier: An Updated Guide. I highly recommend this read, it’s fantastic.

My skin was at the point where if I put on a moisturizer, it actually STUNG. That is a sure sign of a damaged moisture barrier; it didn’t matter what brand I used. Also putting on my essence stung, and my serums. Everything stung. This was the result of several things; over-use of Glycolic Acids and AHAs, as well as not getting enough water, and finally, my health. This Triumvarate of Doom set my poor skin on a downward spiral of painful breakouts, cystic acne, and hives from which i’m still recovering.

However, with a lot of research and an entirely new approach to my skincare, things are finally looking MUCH better. My skin doesn’t hurt every time I put a humectant on it, and i’ve learned how to use Actives properly (and which kinds I can use – which are EXTREMELY gentle).

 

My Hydrating Heroes

 

So, as pictured above, here is my current lineup of hydrating non-actives that I can use every day, even when i’m feeling hyper-sensitive – plus my cleanser that i use when i need clearing up AND hydrating:

  • Skinfood Ginseng Sheet Mask – $2.49: As i’ve mentioned probably a thousand times by now, i’m a huge fan of the Gollum Root, and this mask is great, especially for the price; it’s got healing properties up the wazoo, it’s moisturizing, anti-aging, and it’s non-irritating, provided you don’t have some allergy. I love, love, LOVE masking when i’m ill – it’s a wonderful, relaxing, pampering thing to do, and all you have to do is lay there and let the essences soak in. Ahhhh…
  • Boscia Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleanser – $20: Because it’s charcoal, this fun cleanser does a good job of unclogging my pores – at the same time, it works into a nice, creamy lather on the face, and is surprisingly moisturizing. It contains glycerin, rice bran oil, and jojoba oil as well as indica seed gum, all of which are very good for hydration. This is very important for maintaining a good moisture barrier; you never want your face to feel tight or dry after cleansing. Best of all, it’s been helping to clear up my skin!
  • Missha The First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist – $49: My skin just loves this stuff. It was my first ever K-Beauty toner. I use it as both toner and essence, and usually do 3-5 layers with it. When I first started with it, it really stung my skin, because of my screwed up moisture barrier. Now that i’ve done some major repair, it feels amazing and is my favourite step. I love how moisturizing and refreshing it feels! And my face looks so bright and hydrated after I use it. Especially when i’m not feeling well, and am a bit feverish, it just cools me right down. This is a must-have for me. Definite Holy Grail product.
  • Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid – $39: Another HG product for me, i’ve found my skin LOVES Ceramides – and this stuff has ‘em. This stuff is a serum, but has the consistency of a light lotion. It feels SO GOOD going on, it could almost pass as a very light moisturizer for someone with oilier skin than mine. I absolutely have to have this stuff – it’s being reformulated, and I pray that it will be just as amazing in its new incarnation.
  • COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence – $19: I think I might be oddly addicted to this stuff. I love how it feels on my skin. I feel like it’s locking in all my serums and essences, as well as giving me a burst of super-hydration. Plus, the gastropod-goo is known for its healing properties, which is great for the Hive Queen (i.e., Moi). It seems to quicken the healing time for spots, as well. Plus, the bottle seems to last forever. Go, Snails!
  • Dr Jart Ceramidin Gel-Cream – $49: Dr Jart does it again; my Holy Grail moisturizer. It’s chock full of Ceramides, and feels bloody amazing on my skin. Never irritating, it in fact seems to calm my skin. I’ve reviewed this before, here. I know it’s being discontinued and I shall have to move to the cream moisturizer, which I think will be fine – I tested it out in the store, and it feels thicker, but still has that watery sort of base consistency that I love. And apparently, they’re adding even MORE Ceramides, plus Tumeric to quell inflammation – so really, how can you go wrong?
  • Dr Jart Cicapair Tigergrass Correction Treatment SPF 30 – $18: I didn’t think i’d have a need for this today, but I got a reaction to my bloody eyedrops when they rolled down my face (I was flushing out some sort of irritation in my contacts) that left a literal track of red down my face where the liquid trailed down. It took care of it within minutes. If they ever discontinue this stuff, I will stage a protest, riding an actual tiger into their main offices in Korea. See if I don’t.
  • Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream – (buying samples – you don’t want to know how much the actual pot costs!): So I just re-ordered more sample tubes of this stuff, because I really, really like it. I like the smell, I like the thick cream, I like how it feels on my precious eye-flesh. I like that my precious eye-flesh seems to like it, and i’m not breaking out in horrible hives…yet. I’m going to give it more time, because this stuff is Pricey with a capital “P”. The benefits of this stuff are, of course, Magical Gollum Root, which has proven anti-aging benefits, as well as anti-inflammatory properties (maybe why my eyes are behaving), and many, many testimonies of decreasing the dreaded Crows Feet – however I think that’s for the even MORE expensive “Ex” version. I’m going to try samples of that as well, since this does contain a bit of alcohol, which I don’t like. I do want to try the MISSHA Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream, which is MUCH less expensive and has tons of Ginseng in it. The reviews look very good indeed, but of course I have to see how my eyes react. I just dread finding out that my eyes love the even pricier and better Sulwhasoo Ginseng Ex eye cream. Sometimes, it sucks being a Special Snowflake…
  • Clear Eyes Contact Lens Multi-Action Relief – $3.24: Because yes, even your eyeballs need moisture! Sometimes, it’s easy to forget this, and I walk around feeling like i’ve got potato chips in my eyes. I try to always carry this with me so as to avoid the whole potato chip eye thing. Especially when i’ve got a fever, it’s like my eyes are extra-dry; particularly when i’m propped in front of the computer screen, writing for hours.

 

Once i’m done masking, and getting my skin feeling more human and less like the Queen of the Lizard People, I’m ready to check on the soup:

 

Why do my food pics always look so crappy? Trust me, this looks much more palatable in person

 

I always have the makings for a very basic chicken soup on hand, because of my propensity for getting sick without warning. I’ve become extremely adept at being able to throw it together really quickly, so that it can get simmering on the stove or Crock Pot within a few minutes. Some chicken thighs, pre-minced garlic (you can buy it in a jar – because you DON’T want to be mincing garlic when you feel like shit), chopped onion, celery, and carrot – you can get frozen veggies for the last three to save work for those days you’re really feeling shite – some spices like dill and pre-mixed chicken spice, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, wild rice, and bone broth/stock. Toss it in there after sauteeing the garlic and onions – a step i’m afraid you can’t skip otherwise it will just taste weird – and within a couple hours, you’ve got some super-comforting and nutritious soup. I made this today, despite a fever and sore throat and achy muscles. It didn’t take long at all, I just go through the motions at this point. It was THE most basic version I make because SUPER OOGIE today, but it was so worth it. I sprinkled a little parmesian/romano/asiago mix on top, and it was Le Tasty.

And now, since I got nothin’ left in me today, here’s what I intended to work on yesterday but was starting to feel under the weather so put it off:

My first impressions of the new Chanel Spring Les 9 Ombres Palette (with more to come in future posts): 

 

Look at those gorgeous colours! The light is not great so i swatched them out below…

 

For the past few seasons, i’ve pretty much ignored the big palettes put out by Chanel. I tend to be put off by their formulation, which tends to be chalky, as well as the colour offerings. But this year! This year, my little Kumquats…

This year, the eyeshadow formulation is TO DIE FOR. It’s still not exactly the same as in the quads, but it is FAR superior to what is usually on offer in their palettes. They are nice and soft, blendable, with excellent colour payoff!  And the colours, as you can see, are modern and gorgeous – a far cry from the rather boring shades they usually seem to give us year in and year out.  When i saw this on the Chanel website, my hopes were definitely up – and so, after much searching in local downtown stores, i finally tracked one down in the suburbs.  When i finally got my mitts on one, i was almost afraid to touch the shadows, anticipating disappointment. But, as i said, these are really high quality – comparable to what you’d find in the quads, although different in formulation, still.

 

The accursed sun was not cooperating this weekend…

 

Although the Chicago Winter gloom has no intention of providing me with adequate lighting, you can still get a fairly good idea of the lovely pigmentation from these shadows.  The only one not really showing up properly is the third from the left, which is indeed a very pale, pearl shade that pretty much matches my NC 10-15 skintone. You may be able to detect the pearlescence, in any case. It’s very pretty – and i’m wearing it under my brow-bone in all these photographs, including the main post pic. For reference, i also used the first from the right on my lid, the second from the right in the corners, blended towards the center and in the crease, and a bit under the lashes:

 

First, a couple good shots by the window…

 

Crappy indoor light with eyes downcast so you can see the pretty brown shadow better – also i’m wearing lighter lipstick in these last two

 

Another good shot of the brown – it’s a lovely, light, rich matte fawn

 

These three all blended very well, with the brown being the only exception out of all nine. It was a tiny bit difficult to blend out, but i obviously managed. It just took a bit more work, which i find par for the course with a lot of Chanel’s mattes. Other than that, i was very pleased with the blendability, colour payoff, and longevity with all these shadows. With the three that i’ve tried, they wore a full 10 hours without fading or smudging. YMMV if you have oily lids.  I can’t wait to play around with the other colours!

Last Word – i am very happy with my purchase of the Chanel Affresco Palette for Spring! It can be purchased At Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macys, and at Chanel.com for $70 – a surprisingly low price compared to their usual palettes. Score.

Also wearing in this post (and queued for review):

And that’s all, Darlin’s!  I’m going to eat more chicken soup, and cuddle with kitties, who so desperately want to make me better so they can go back to their usual schedule of toe-trouncing and putting fur in my eyes.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and that you all had a great weekend – stay well, and stay pretty!

XO – Monday