New year, new items: What’s in my beauty bag

Happy new year to all the ReadHead readers!  I can’t believe it’s been almost a year to the day that I’ve written my first post.  A big thank you to all who have supported my passion project.  If you’ve learned something new or tried something you liked, I’d love to hear it through the comments!

As a skincare fanatic, I try a lot of different items.  My goal is to give it to you straight, and to show you that more money doesn’t always mean better – but sometimes it does.

I took a look at the things that continue to be my staples over time, whether it be my other items didn’t continue to work for me anymore, or I found something to replace it.

If the new year means new you, here my go-to items to give you some inspo for your own makeup and skincare routine.  Happy reading!

Skincare items I can’t live without (everyday routine):

Cerave SA Renewing Face Wash – has ceramides, niacinamide and hydrators, plus removes all my makeup and has a kick of BHA to keep my pores clean and has a friendly drugstore price.

L’Oreal Hydrafresh Toner – while there may be options with better ingredients (i.e. sans denatured alcohol) this one boasts 99% alcohol free, is hydrating and you can’t beat the drugstore price & availability. It helps to remove any traces of dirt and makeup, is refreshing and has added BHA to help with clog-prone skin.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum – is perfect for someone with skin like me – clog and milia prone (ultra rich eye creams are a no-go), anti-aging and reducing puffiness.  Luckily dark circles aren’t a problem for me (yet) but the ferulic acid will help.  This is a gel serum so it won’t be ultra hydrating if that is important to you. Pro tip: If puffiness is something you struggle with, put this in the fridge to get some extra benefit!

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Treatment – much like the above, it has fantastic ingredients that help to brighten, protect and refine skin, and is gentle yet effective.  I have other retinol products that pack a bigger punch (Peter Thomas Roth 3% for example), but I can use this consistently and layer with other acids with no irritation, and notice brighter, clearer skin.

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum – I did a ReadHead 2 Head on this vs. Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma (which continues to be my most reviewed post on ReadHead).  I recommend reading it if you’re new to vitamin C.  The vitamin C and additional layer of ferulic acid helps to give an extra layer of sun protection (key for someone with fair skin and correcting sun damage) while destroying free radicals and helping the skin function at its healthiest.

SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum – this is my ultra splurge item which utilizes growth hormones and antioxidants to trick older skin into think it’s a younger version of itself. This helps to regenerate new, healthy and less wrinkled skin.  It’s not surgery (nor should you expect the same result), but it’s one of the best topical cosmeceuticals on the market with clinical trials to boot.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Serum – a nice AHA acid that I alternate at night with my retinoids to keep my dead skin and clogged pores at bay. If I start getting little pimples, this removes the top layer of skin and away they go.

Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment – this is my ride or die BHA serum that I use when I’m needing an extra dose of pore cleaning and Neutrogena discontinued it.  I have absolutely no earthly idea why as this has a cult following that may have some feeling one would need to pry whatever’s left on the market from their cold, dead hands.  I think it’s because it worked so well people didn’t need their products anymore! Anytime I can find this, I snatch it up and use it like it’s as precious as 24 carat gold.

Belif’s the True Cream Moisturizing Bomb – this has become my HG moisturizer.  Calming, hydrating, basic and effective.  It leaves my skin feeling awesomely dewey and minus the clogged pores of overly heavy/silicone feeling.

Dr. Jart Premium BB 45++ – the last step in my skincare routine, this is similar to foundation but has amazing ingredients, helps to cover redness and has an awesome amount of SPF in  it.  Talk about a multi-tasker!

Obagi Professional-C Sunscreen – I use sometimes under my Dr. Jart, or on days when I’m going makeup free.  It has vitamin E and the most stable form of vitamin C, l-ascorbic acid.  I like this formulation, but I received it for free from a promotion.  I like that it leaves me matte, but I wouldn’t say it’s an HG.  Great ingredients, and a good finish for oily-skinned folks who don’t want to layer makeup on as I find that it does pill up.

Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator – great lash conditioner which helps lashes grow by keeping them healthy.  I put this on at night (and not under mascara like it says you can do). It won’t compare to a Latisse or other lash growth items on the market, but it will help keep hairs conditioned and strong – plus you can’t beat the drugstore price!

Nature’s Bounty Hair Skin & Nails + Alive Whole Food Energizer  + Vital Proteins Collagen Peptide Powder – these supplements/powders help to give me the added amino acids, proteins, and goodies I need like B vitamins, biotin, collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin to boost my beauty routine from the inside and give me a little pep in my step.  The combination of these help my hair grow strong and my nails like a weed.

Just for fun (rev up that routine!):

There’s the steps that I take as an avid skincare connoisseur with skin that changes like the weather.  If you notice there’s a lot of de-clogging, brightening and exfoliating happening here.

If you’re new to the game don’t get overwhelmed – any steps beyond what you’re doing will bring improvements and take these slow.  You don’t need top of the line either, you just need to know helpful ingredients.  But, if you’re in the prime anti-aging years, it may be worth it to give your beauty counter a boost. And, if dry-like-the-Sahara skin is your concern (different than dehydrated) you may need to incorporate some extra moisture here.

I hope you got excited to try something new!  Have a favorite routine? Drop us a line in a comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

Full disclosure, I have only used this a few times, so I will come back and update it once I’ve used the whole tube. But, I’ve used a lot of masks in my day and do think that the initial use is worth the review.

I bought this mask because of all the skin care steps, a mask is the one I probably lack on using enough and the ingredients were impressive. I am prone to clogged pores and milia (those little white bumps you get) due to my large pores yet dehydrated skin that produces and traps oil or heavy products, so I’m always on the hunt for something that is either a miracle worker or fits well into my current routine. Enter Dermalogica’s Charcoal Rescue Masque.

Texture – This goes on as a smooth, yet grainy mask due to the physical exfoliating properties in it. Unlike a mud mask, or other clay masks, I did not get an immediate cooling sensation with this one. It spread easily, and came out of the tube in the appropriate amounts. It went on as a sort of wet(ish) grainy mask that is a mud green color.

Ingredients – wow, wow, wow my acne-prone skin did one of those double takes when you see someone too hot to be real.  Lots of clays to pull out the gunk (kaolin and bentonite), lactic and mandelic acid and physical exfoliators to tackle that glow, acne fighters like witch hazel, charcoal, volcanic ash, sulfur and tea tree oil…I mean…drool.

Full list of ingredients here:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Kaolin, Bentonite, Maris Limus (Sea Silt) Extract, Sulfur, Lactic Acid, Niacinamide, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, Mandelic Acid, Calcium Sulfate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Charcoal Powder, Volcanic Ash, Peumus Boldus Leaf Extract, Phytic Acid, Naringenin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Panthenyl Triacetate, Glycerin, Galactoarabinan, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

Application – was easy. I used about a quarter size to cover my face. My skin is feeling winter dry, so I only applied it to my T zone area. I made sure to be gentle when putting it on due to the exfoliators in there. It covered adequately, not too thin and not goopy.

Experience – it took about 10 min for it to really start to dry down. It dried to a light, sandy green and once it started drying felt really tight. Although I have sensitive skin, I am well acclimated in physical and chemical exfoliators, so I did not get a tingle that was of any intensity and my face did not turn red, but I would caution anyone with very sensitive or dry skin against using this, at least for any extended period of time.

Washing it off – unlike some of the other masks that I’ve used, this was fairly easy to get off. I appreciated the physical exfoliators and liked that this product included a lot of things I needed in one. My face looked smooth and evened out. Blackheads were less but not completed decreased.

To Sum It Up: This is not a mask that you’ll feel pampered using. It’s a POWER WORKER to get all dirt and grime out of your face.  It certainly doesn’t feel luxurious, but hey, if you’re blasting through my acne problems, who cares. The ingredients are known to be effective, and smell. The sulfur smell (think rotten eggs) wasn’t intense to me when I put it on, but it did linger all night. You might not want to use this one before a romantic night! I used a rather heavy duty moisturizer last night, but my t-zone area feels dry/tight today, a little roughed up albeit squeaky clean. Those with oily skin may want to use this a few times a week, but for me, this is no more than 1 x per week or after a heavy makeup day.

I’m very impressed with the heavy-duty ingredients in this one mask and would highly recommend it.

Overall Rating – 4/5

Price$$$$$

Packaging – 4/5