Oil Change

When it comes to beauty, “oily” is a four letter word. An oily skin type is less than desirable. An oily scalp is synonymous with a dirty one. We use blotting papers, dry shampoos, mattifying gels, anything to stop the slick and look, well, dry.

But what’s so great about being dry? Sadly, our efforts to get rid of the oil often result in the loss of our natural glow. Glowy is good! Dewy skin and shiny hair and nails are something we all long for, yet many of us seem to be okay with killing the glow in order to avoid looking oily. How silly we are!

The truth is, oil is not the enemy. We don’t want to look, feel or be greasy, and that is what we are fighting against. But our efforts to strip the oils from our skin and hair frequently make the problem worse. When we over-clean our skin and hair without properly replacing moisture, our bodies try to compensate by producing more oil. We need a little oil to keep things in balance. But that’s not all! Not only do we need some of our natural oils, but you may be surprised to discover that adding oils to your beauty routine – instead of trying to remove them all the time – can take your look to the next level, while helping to keep any greasiness in check.

I’ve been using several different oils as part of my regular beauty routine, and the results have been wonderful. My skin has never – EVER – been softer. My hair is silky and frizz-free (even in ridiculous humidity). And best of all, I’m no longer battling any greasiness.

Ready to stop treating oil like the enemy and start using it in a beautiful way? You can start by giving these three favorites a try:

Olive Oil: Plain ol’ run-of-the-mill olive oil has long been my secret to a great at-home manicure. Fill your sink with warm water, add a few drops of olive oil, and soak hands for five to ten minutes. For added softness, massage a drop into each cuticle before you soak. After you’re done, gently push your cuticles back, rinse your hands, and pat dry. Swipe a nail polish remover-soaked cotton ball over each nail to remove excess oil before painting them. Your cuticles will look great and your hands will be extra soft!

Johnson’s Baby Oil: This favorite of babies everywhere claims to lock in up to ten times more moisture than regular lotion, and my ridiculously soft skin leads me to believe that this claim is true. Immediately after showering I slather baby oil from the neck down while my skin is still damp. It quickly absorbs into my skin, and the result is absolutely amazing softness. For extra smooth skin, exfoliate with a good body scrub first.

Orofluido Hair Oil: This beauty elixir is truly liquid gold. Work a couple of drops of this sweet smelling oil through your hair before blow drying – it smooths frizz, gives hair a silky texture, and honestly is the best smelling hair product I have ever used. The best part? The results last for days without weighing hair down or causing strands to look dull – or greasy.

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Brand Crush: Murad

I’ve done it again, folks; I’ve become infatuated with a collection of beauty products. Specifically, my heart has been skipping beats for a brand that makes my skin soft, blemish-free, and glowy. I’ve gone head-over-heels for Murad.

It all started a month or two ago when I tried a sample of Murad’s Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask that came in a Sephora package.  It’s no-nonsense pink and white packaging was appealing. I got the impression that the mask meant business. Intrigued, I did a little online research to see what other beauty enthusiasts thought of the product. Turns out, lots of ladies love it! Craving the energized, youthful glow that others were enjoying, I slathered the fruity slime on my face and let it dry. It had a pleasant tingly feeling on my face, which made me feel like it was working. After about 10 minutes I rinsed it off, and instantly noticed softer skin. The next morning I thought my skin looked a little less dull. Happily, one little packet of the mask contains enough for 3 or 4 applications, so I was able to reapply it every few days. After about two weeks of regular use, my skin was free of some stubborn blemishes and felt incredibly smooth. I promptly bought a full-sized box of the product.

But one great new product isn’t enough to create a full-blown brand crush. The deal was really sealed a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to give some other new samples a try. Murad recently launched a new line called Clean Scene, a fun bunch of skin care products that feature fun, bubbly packaging and alliterative names like Craving for Clean (a smooth face wash) and Begging for Balance (a light moisturizer). I was intrigued by the moisturizer because, having combination skin, I’m always on the lookout for something that can both soften my skin and keep oil in check. Since I had samples of both, I decided to try the face wash too.

I pretty much instantly fell for Craving for Clean. It smells DELICIOUS. Both products feature yumberry, which is apparently great for skin and smells like candy. After cleansing, I slathered on the moisturizer. I found I had to put a little extra on my really dry areas, but other than that, it made my skin super soft and not shiny at all. Success! Not only do these products work fantastically, they actually make me WANT to wash my face each night before bed. Two weeks later, I’ve bought full-sized bottles of both products and have been getting compliments on my complexion. Even without makeup on.

So, there you have it. In the course of a few weeks I have tossed old favorites aside and replaced them with Murad’s incredible skin care line.

I guess you could say we’re getting pretty serious.

Simplicity

If you’re anything like me, you’re a little bit lazy. Not super lazy, but the kind of lazy that comes from being busy and tired, and from not having enough days off from work. Sometimes, at the end of the day, instead of making the full, nutritious meal I’d planned for dinner I throw a frozen pizza in the oven and call it good. And sometimes, even though I know it’s bad for me, I go to bed without washing off my makeup.

I know it’s not worth it. I mean, the consequences are not pretty. Clogged pores. Red, burning, sensitive eyes as a result of mascara rubbed into them. But when I’m tired, and worn out, and just want to fall into bed, taking the time to cleanse, tone and moisturize just seems like too much work.

Enter my favorite new skin care product, Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleansing Cloths. The geniuses at Philosophy have taken their fantastic Purity Made Simple  facewash and turned it into a clean-smelling, face-freshening wipe that leaves skin soft. I find that many one-step cleansing cloths dry out the skin, but Purity Made Simple does not. In one simple step I can wipe off my makeup and be done with it.

So now I get to be lazy and have great skin. Which is a plan I can commit to.

Oh, Baby!

Sorry my posts have been fewer and farther between lately, life has been a little crazy and my mind has been, as it sometimes is, on other things. But I thought I’d write a short little post on some of my secret favorite beauty buys: baby products.

Yes, I’m that girl who often chooses the baby powder scented deodorant. But there are a couple of baby-specific products that you might want to steal out of the nearest diaper bag.

My first choice is baby oil. It’s an excellent skin softener. Pour some into a bath, or slather it on your body afterwards for, well, baby smooth skin. Also, if you are showing off your legs and want to make them look absolutely smokin’ hot, massage some baby oil on them before you go out. They’ll be silky soft and have an amazing sheen that looks gorgeous. You can ante up for the pricey leg shines out there, or swipe on some baby oil. The choice should be obvious.

My second baby pick is baby wipes. They are an absolute summer must have. Want to freshen up on a hot summer day but don’t have time for a shower? A few quick swipes with a baby wipe and you’ll feel fresh and clean.

Baby Face

Having decided to take a few days off from my “real” job, I’ve spent the last day or two experimenting with different products and giving myself some much-needed R & R. As part of this I paid special attention to my face yesterday, and I wanted to share with you the combination of products that made my skin smooth as a baby’s… face?

I decided it was time for a face mask. My skin was becoming rather lacklustre, blotchy, and I noticed a few blackheads hiding by my nose and chin. Naturally, Queen Helene would be my mask of choice. But I decided to start off with a facial scrub, something I don’t normally do because my skin can be quite sensitive.

“Don’t be a baby,” I told my skin as I slathered on a dollop of Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream. It has tiny exfoliators in it that scrub the face but not in a painful way. I let it sit for a minute, massaged my skin a little more, and then rinsed it off with warm water and a washcloth. I immediately followed up with Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque.

Once dry, I again rinsed my face with warm water and a washcloth, and ended with a generous layer of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion.

About 10 minutes after completing this process I became aware of how great my skin felt. It felt very moisturized, but not greasy, and when I touched my cheek it was softer than I could ever remember it being. I got up and ran to the mirror, and my skin was positively glowing. Glowing not with the fire of rosacea, but with the dew of health.

Outstanding.

Another product I’ve been testing recently is Dior Hydra-Protect Eye Cream, which has an SPF of 20. I’ve decided recently that it’s time for me to find a good eye cream. (This decision may or may not have anything to do with the fact that last week a coworker told me that I had huge bags under my eyes – after a full 8-hour night of sleep.) So far, I have yet to see any markable difference in the appearance of my eye area, but I can say that it feels amazing when I put it on. Kind of like an instant hug for my eye area. I plan to continue using the cream; I’ll keep you posted on those huge bags.

Eureka!

Ladies, I’ve done it. I found the perfect hand cream. It smells great, it’s thick and super moisturizing, and it doesn’t leave my hands greasy. My boyfriend even commented on how soft my hands were when I tried it. Eureka!

It happened last week, while on a birthday shopping trip with one of my girlfriends. We wandered into Bath & Body Works together, and I remembered that another friend (and loyal reader) had suggested I try Bath & Body Works Lay it on Thick to soothe my dry skin woes. I was drawn to a display of trial sized lotions, and decided to try a few.

Lay it on Thick was very moisturizing, with a neutral scent, but took a little longer to absorb than I expected. However, the tube of Shea Cashmere Hand Cream that I picked up proved to be  perfect.

It has a sweet scent that reminds me of hot chocolate, and the aroma lingers all day. The cream is rich and absorbs quickly, and leaves skin feeling uber soft and silky.

Simply perfect.

A Simple Pleasure

My apologies, loyal readers, for slacking lately in my posting. Like most people, I’m finding less and less time to complete all the things I need to get done. Holiday get togethers and increased work hours mean less time to blog about beauty. Add a little illness and a blown transmission, and I have just not been as on top of things as I would like.

Obviously my past couple of weeks have been bumpy, but in all of the stress and catastophre I have been pleasantly surprised by a body wash and lotion duo that I bought recently, simply because they were the first that I saw when I went to the drugstore.

Johnson’s Body Care Melt Away Stress Lavender and Chamomile Relaxing Body Wash and Lotion both come  in a pleasant light purple bottle and are lightly perfumed with a  lavender scent. The body wash is creamy and moisturizing and the lotion absorbs quickly and leaves skin silky. Every night I rub some on my feet right before bed, and maybe it’s all in my head, but I really do feel the stress melt away.

Thank goodness for simple pleasures.