Beauty Haul and Reviews – Sephora, Target, Daiso, and Marshall’s

Hello, interwebs! Let me begin this post by saying that I do not have a lot of money and did not get all of these things at the same time. This is stuff that I got over the course of about two months from various stores. Also, I got all of this stuff before I went to Daiso the last time, but the pics were originally lost. With my sensitive skin, there is a lot of trial and error, mostly error, so I thought this post would still be beneficial to anyone wondering where to find skincare products for sensitive skin, how much they cost, and if they work.

This Caudalie set was actually my free birthday gift from Sephora last year, but I never used it. I still haven’t tried it, but will soon because it fits into the Korean skincare routine. I only add one new product to my skin regime at a time, so I may try these in a few weeks.

Christina gave me this gift set of Soap & Glory Heel Genius and Hand Food. The foot cream has urea, so the smell bugs me. I slather it on my feet before bed and put on socks, though, so I don’t really smell it. I really like the hand cream, even if the grape seed oil bothers my nose. It doesn’t help the eczema on my thumb and forefinger, but it doesn’t make the eczema worse either. As far as softening your skin, both products do a pretty good job. These do contain parabens and sulfates in addition to the urea, so I won’t be buying them when I finish these. I am grateful for the quick relief on my sore skin, though. They are available at Sephora, Ulta, Target, and Amazon for under $10.

After deciding to try the Korean Skincare Routine, I figured that I should stop at Daiso. Why start with the expensive stuff if the cheap products will work? I got a beauty blender because I wanted to try it when I start working with liquid makeup. I thought it might only take a few weeks to heal my skin and then I’d move on to finding the right makeup for my skin, but I was wrong. The first thing I tried was the coconut mask and it was amazing! It soothed my skin, healed some sores, and moisturized. It didn’t remove the giant pimples even though it brought them closer to the surface, making them easier to treat with other products. I use the charcoal wipes when I get home from work or any other time that my skin is itching and hurting. I start picking at my skin if I can’t soothe it, and the wipes have been good for calming my skin between washes. The concealer stick was okay. It’s the exact same color as my skin and blends easily. It doesn’t make blemishes or the circles under my eyes disappear, but it doesn’t settle in wrinkles, lines, or pores either. Most importantly, it does not break out my skin. I’ll keep using it for now, but will need to find something better later. I haven’t tried the vitamin E mask or charcoal blotting papers yet , but I’m sure they will be fine. Overall, I was surprised with how well these Daiso products worked, considering none of them was more than $3.

On a shopping trip at Target, I picked up some Biore Charcoal Pore Strips on sale ( box of 6 for $5.99) and Shea Moisture Smooth and Tame Treatment Masques on clearance. I’ve used Biore pore strips before, but not the charcoal strips. I think the charcoal pore strips I got at Daiso worked better than these. The other kinds of Biore strips worked better for me than these too. The box I got came with a single packet of Biore Charcoal Self-Heating One Minute Mask. I had tried the non-charcoal mask before and liked it, but I’m not sure if the heat was good for my eczema. My face always feels clean, but soft after those masks, though. Using the masks before the strips actually works better. I think the heat opens your pores, making it easier for the strips to grab gunk from them. I haven’t tried the Shea Moisture hair treatments yet because I prefer to use them after dyeing my hair. These were on clearance for $.64 and I couldn’t pass up such a deal! The Shea Moisture packs have no sulfates, parabens, pthalates, don’t test on animals, etc. This is more like the type of beauty products I try to buy when I’m not desperate for solutions to my skin problems.

When Sephora had their VIB sale in April, I went with Christina to check out the deals. I found a Sephora Pink Clay mask that was $8 for 4 treatments. I thought the pink clay might help soothe my skin. Christina ended up buying it for me, along with “the best beauty blender on the market” and a mo fo Glam Glo Glittermask!!! I argued with her about buying all this stuff, but she said that she wanted to treat me. I have only used the pink clay mask so far, but it does a decent job of calming my skin.

For all of the birthdays and holidays in May, I stopped by Marshalls to try to find some nice gifts at low prices. While there, I picked up a few things for myself. I bought the Jeunesse Anti-Aging Treatment ($5.99) and the Mon Amie Rose & Collagen Face Serum ($5.99) as items to try for moisturizing steps in my new skincare routine. Collagen is known for helping your skin retain its elasticity and rose oil is a mild moisturizer. I haven’t tried the Jeunesse moisturizer yet, but the rose & collagen serum works well and doesn’t seem to clog my pores. It also seems to calm my skin well. As much as I have loved that oil, the Earth Therapeutics Bamboo Natural Bristle Paddle Brush ($4.99) was a huge disappointment. That brush is trash! The bristles fell out on the first use and were not able to reach my scalp. I will admit that the brush did not make my hair frizzy, but I only brush my hair before I wash it (2-3 times a week). #CurlyHairGirlRules If it can’t even reach all my hair, who cares about pre-bathing frizz? I’m going to use this one on the cats.

Overall, I spent less than $40 on all of the products above even though they are worth more than that. It helped that Christina bought the most important things, but she also gets to enjoy all the bonus points! Have you bought any new beauty products lately? Do you try multiple new skin products at the same time or do you tend to ease into new items? Let me know in the comments section!

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Review – L’oreal True Match Naturale Mineral Foundation Powder & L’oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

Hello, interwebz!  First of all, I’m very disappointed as I type this because I lost a boat load of photos for the blog and had 20 minutes of video for my first vlog post.  I did manage to rescue some of the photos, but all of the videos are gone, including one of my son’s spring band concert.  The last two photos on this post were taken last minute on my iPad in crappy lighting because my other photos were lost.  I’m trying to focus on the bright side of things and decided to work with what I have so that I could still put up a post I’ve been working on for awhile.  So, slap on a smile and here we go!

The Short of It:

L’oreal True Match Natural Mineral Foundation Powder worked great with my eczema even while in the humid Texas heat.  L’oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream tore my skin apart.

The Long of It:

***None of the pics of my face have been touched up in anyway so that you can see the true dorkiness and skin conditions.***

I decided to try some new beauty and skincare products one at a time so that if anything bothered my skin, I would have an easy time figuring out who was the culprit.  So far, Kopari face oil worked well on cleaning my face without breaking me out or bothering my eczema.  I was ready to move on to a foundation since that is what goes under all other makeup.  I had heard good things about L’oreal True Match Naturale Mineral Foundation Powder and was eager to try it.  I tried color Nude Beige (W3) since I have yellow undertones and the color matched pretty well.  The kabuki brush that comes with the powder worked well for a couple of weeks, but hairs started falling out of the brush after that.  I tried a few brushes that my friend, Christina, gave to me and finally found a good one in the Real Techniques brush.  I cannot believe that this brush is so cheap and readily available at Target!

After using the face powder for a couple of weeks with no issues, I was pretty happy.  In fact, just as I had heard and read in many reviews, it actually improved my complexion, helping blemishes and eczema sores heal faster!  What are you oh magical power of mine?!  At this point, I’m feeling pretty good about L’oreal face products and decided to try the BB cream.  (Here’s a good YouTube video about the purpose of  BB and CC creams.)  I went with L’oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream in Light 812.  I applied the BB cream the way I’d seen so many people do  in video tutorials and was okay with the results.  I mean, I still had blemishes and eczema, but they were blurred out a bit.  It also seemed to even out my skin tone and soften my skin texture.  So far, so good.

After two weeks of using BB cream in the Texas heat, I came to understand that this stuff wasn’t going to be my makeup BFF the way my mineral powder was.  I broke out like crazy.  I saw some new blemishes here and there, but though they were just a result of my oil cleansing pulling things to the surface.  One day, I wore BB cream and spent alot of time outside instead of in the office like usual.  You could see a line of deep and red blemishes every place where my fingers applied the BB cream – my forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, and neck.  From the initial touch zones, the blemishes spread out.  It was a literal map of how I applied the BB cream to my face and neck.

I spent the next two nights washing my face with coconut soap, treating with tea tree oil, and calming with thick layers of aloe gel.  The coconut soap is my body wash (Alaffia Everyday Coconut and Coffee Berry Body Wash) and is pretty gentle on skin, but maybe not on my face.  I was just desperate and wasn’t thinking.  I used Aura Cacia tea tree oil from Target (on sale!)  Normally, this stuff is too rough on my face, but these were giant cysts and were painful.  I wanted them gone.  The tea tree oil worked, but dried all the skin around the blemishes.  After a night or two of that, I switched to cleansing with Kopari and doing a Sephora clay mask.  After washing the clay mask off,  I finished each night with a layer of aloe gel to kill the bacteria, calm my skin, and moisturize my skin.  It worked well.

After a few days of that, I switched to washing my face with pure coconut oil.  Coconut oil is the same PH as skin, fights bacteria, and moisturizes.  I always have a jar of Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin coconut oil.  You need something that has barely been processed so that all of the good stuff is still on the oil to help your skin.  First, I scooped out some oil into my hands.  It was solid, but melted as I rubbed it on my skin.  I rubbed it in circles all over my skin and neck, concentrating on the most problematic areas of blemishes and eczema.  Normally, I would place a warm rag on my face and lay down for 10 – 15 minutes, but this time, I didn’t want to lay in the bed with the wet rag on my face.  I repeated this as I made my way around my face and concentrated on the parts with the worst blemishes and eczema.  The goal of this was not to get all of the coconut oil off, but to take some of it off, while easing things out of my pores.  I think you may want to do something to close your pores afterwards, but this time, I wanted my pores open so the coconut oil would soak into my skin overnight.  I went to bed and woke up with a much calmer face.  You could still see plenty of blemishes and eczema, but the redness everywhere else was gone.  I rinsed my face with water and put a thick layer of aloe gel over, adding a bit extra to the problem areas.

I’ve been doing this routine for a few days now and my skin looks much better.  Where all of the blemishes and eczema were are now just spots that are healing.  Your skin heals from the outside in, so it takes time.  Aloe gel and coconut oil also helps brighten skin so that the sore spots fade quicker.

While going through all of this, some other health problems came up and my skin hurt all over my body.  After doing the treatments with coconut oil and the wash rag, my face felt better, even if the rest of my skin and body hurt.  That reminded me why I spent so much time taking care of myself in years past.  I have looked into the Korean skincare routines and decided to give it a whirl.  So, stay tuned for my reviews on that!  Also, I haven’t given up on BB Creams yet.  I may try another kind in another month

Random Saturdays – Depression Era Mentality

Do you remember going to your grandparents’ house and seeing stacks of food everywhere?  My grandparents would have 12-packs of soda stashed under the counter in the kitchen.  There would be boxes of dried goods packed in the pantries.  The freezer was always filled with a combination of vegetables, fruits, TV dinners, and ice cream.  Their fridge always had fresh milk and eggs, along with things like bologna and American cheese-filled hot dogs that I never got to eat at home. (As a kid, I felt deprived, but as an adult, I’m thankful.  There were always stacks of paper towel and toilet paper rolls tucked away somewhere.  My grandparents never ran out of anything.  Ever.  It amazed me that my grandparents’ house was always so well stocked since it was just the two of them in that house and they didn’t seem to consume much of anything that they had.

At one point during my teenage years, someone told me that the type of “hoarding” that people of my grandparents’ generation did was “Depression Era Mentality”.  Since then, the word “hoarding” has taken on an entirely new meaning, but Depression Era Mentality remains the same.  Even though I was born decades after The Great Depression, I inherited Depression Era Mentality from my grandparents, primarily because we ran out of everything all of the time when I was growing up, so I don’t enjoy dealing with that.  I am also a nice combination of poor, cheap, and Asian.  So, when things are on sale that I use, I stock up like it’s going out of style.  To add insult to injury, the stuff I need almost always goes on sale and has double coupons right after I ran out and had to buy more.

For example, I like Method hand soap.  I have eczema, so I’m really only supposed to use Cetaphil.  I used to keep Cetaphil in my bathroom and Method in the guest bathroom.  When I moved in with Ben, he had three kids and three bathrooms.  Putting Cetaphil in all of the bathrooms in case I had to wash my hands in any of them is too expensive.  Method hand soap doesn’t seem to bother my skin as much as cheaper hand soaps (i.e. Softsoap) or more expensive hand soaps (i.e. Bath and Body Works).  Plus, the scents of Method hand soaps don’t bother my allergies/headaches as much as the other kinds of soap.  So, we went to Target and stocked up (3 for $8).  The perfect amount of soaps for a reasonable price.  Months later, we start running out of soap in two of the bathrooms.  I didn’t think about how much faster five people would go through soap than one person, so we ran out of Method hand soap.  We bought some other soap to tide us over, but then it started running out in the bathroom downstairs.  I finally gave in and stopped at Target to buy some Method hand soap at full price on the way home from work on a Friday.  The next day, Method hand soap went on sale 3 for $8.

What’s a gal in my dire state supposed to do?  I revenge buy the soaps on sale to teach someone (not sure who) a lesson about being prepared.  While at Target, we also partook in the four 12-packs of soda for $10 deal.  I normally go through a six-pack of soda in two or three months because I mostly drink water.  After some stomach bug I had recently, water irritates my stomach, especially if I drink it within two hours of going to bed.  So, I have upped my consumption of coffee, tea, and soda.  Even though we had just bought a 12-pack of Canada Dry ginger ale at Kroger three days earlier for around $4, I had to revenge by the four packs of soda at Target so that it’d be a good month before we had to spend $4 on soda at Kroger again.

I slept very well after our trip to Target because I knew that if WWIII breaks out in the Ukraine, I could comfort myself with pleasant soaps and delicious carbonated beverages for at least a month.  I’m just hoping that the war doesn’t break out before I can get the Costco membership that I have requested for my birthday.  I mean, we’re making due on buying eight rolls of paper towels or 12 rolls of toilet paper at a time, but what if we need a gallon of ketchup or 80 packages of fruit snacks?  Whether it’s a war or the Zombie Apocalypse, I don’t want to be the idiot that shames my grandparents’ ghosts by not staying true to Depression Era Mentality.