Tuesday, May 5, 2015

THIS is the BEST C Serum!

I have had the chance to review several different vitamin c serums over the past few months. I have never used a serum or even a vitamin c skin care product until this time, so each brand was thoroughly tested and each had its merits. Here I give you the gold standard of vitamin c serums: Even Glow Serum.

 This is pure magic in a bottle, the Beyonce' in a sea of average vitamin c serums. The scent is rich and soft, like orange green tea, not cloying but very soothing. The texture is velvety with a more opaque look due to the added rosehip, sea buckthorn and green tea extract. Absolutely wonderful lubricating absorbtion, no residue, softened my laughlines and chin crinkles with daily application under my foundation. 
 If you are experiencing dry flaking skin or irritation from an acne cleanser or retinoid product, this is the serum that will save your skin. I use Retin A every evening and soothe the peeling skin the next morning with several drops of Even Glow after cleansing with my vitamin c cleanser and my Clarisonic. I have noticed fading of my sun damage spots high on my forehead as well. If you are in your 20s, protect your skin with Even Glow. In your 30s, soften those lines before they become crinkles with Even Glow. I'm in my mid-40s and feel my lines have really softened and I will continue to purchase Even Glow, as I was given a bottle in return for my experienced, unbiased opinion and -boy- are you getting just that. The bottle will last at least two months, depending on how thirsty your skin is. 
Absolute gold.

Monday, May 4, 2015


 If you are lucky enough not to have mosquitoes where you are, let me describe them: Invisible, everywhere, super itchy bites, able to get up under your skirt or under the blankets and draw a pint of blood before you've noticed them. We have them almost year round here in Houston and I always get bitten the most in my family. My first bite came last week, on the inner thigh.... HOW?!

There it is, lower left, swelling to magnificent angry fiery proportions! Luckily, I had received two samples of SKLEER Skin Conditioning Gel in return for my honest review and I couldn't be more satisfied with this product. Within seconds of application, the intense burn was gone and the swelling was over in minutes. Absolutely faster than Benadryl without the sleepy side effects, which is my usual go-to for bites. I have since used this on various skin itches with excellent results. I find the herbal tea tree scent mild and it fades. I had a terrible breakout with huge red whiteheads after trying a new retinol based skin product. SKLEER dabbed generously on the whiteheads at least twice really dried them up by the next day. 
 This natural formula contains tea tree oil, eucalyptus, caraway oil, cardamom and cinnamon oils but it is clear and not overpowering and great for carrying in your purse or luggage. I will definitely repurchase this soothing gel as mosquito season never ends here!

Win SKLEER for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pup Life

 A major move found my family without our dogs after a decade of always having a dog, either as a foster or our own pet. It was heartbreaking and we decided to look for a puppy to fit our new, more complex lifestyle. Meet Solaire, our Boston Terrier puppy.

Solaire is only seven weeks old now and spends more time sleeping than he's awake. His waking time is packed with so much activity and learning, though. I have taken time off the salon so I can get him housebroken and on a schedule instead of just putting him in a crate for hours daily. Part of meeting his puppy needs is finding appropriate chewing items. Best For My Pets kindly offered a pack of Tripe Stick Chews for Solaire to sample in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Solaire's verdict? He LOVES these tripe chews! I give him both 2" cut ones and different thickness original large 5" pieces 
and he like to carry, toss and chew them. They have a slight odor, nothing overwhelming and I keep a few by our bed to give him when he needs help calming down to sleep. 

 He likes these as much as his bully stick and they do not get sticky or messy bits, just a satisfying chew that is digestible, high in protein, grain free, low fat, made in the USA from Brazilian cattle and economical. This 6 ounce bag holds enough various width treats to last a small dog a long time. There were at least 16 chews here and keep in mind that you can cut them for tiny dogs like mine. Great for senior dogs, too!

 Solaire loves these, and you get a satisfaction guarantee from Best For My Pets as well. Give tripe a try!
Enter to win a bag of Tripe Chews for your dog! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pin Head

 I am a dermatologist's dream: acne scars, huge pores, fine lines, not so fine lines, discoloration, dog bite scar, home TCA scarring, rosacea, occasional cystic acne... I am sure I have a few more but let's focus on the DIY what can I do at home without melting my entire epidermis off aspect (losing a top layer is not such a bad deal).
 If you keep up with skin care fads, you'll have heard of the dermaroller, meant to traumatize skin into regrowing itself and fill in lines, wrinkles, healed acne scarring and generally encourage collagen regrowth. Your dermatologist can perform the needle puncturing with a needle stamp, a needle roller or a single needle in their office OR you can be brave (and budget minded) and attempt deep skin trauma in the less surgical surroundings of your own home.

 Guess which one I chose?
I was given this 1.0mm DermaRoller in exchange for my honest review and here's my ever unbiased opinion:

 Keep in mind that I'm a cosmetologist, not an esthetician and perhaps I wanted to try out the very hyped DermaRoller on my chin crinkles and angry 11s frownie lines. My timid approach will most likely not mirror the experienced hand of the clinician though I suggest one go into this kitchen surgery of sorts with both pro and con research and be prepared to properly and safely cleanse your face and your derma roller prior to and post rolling treatment. You are opening your skin to potential infection if not properly sterilized. I used an alcohol prep pad after gently washing my face with Cetaphil. I thoroughly washed my hands and under my nails as well. Some suggest using a numbing cream, I'm a big girl so I can do without.

 I ran the roller over my frowny lines 3-5 times in several directions. It felt exactly like having a thousand prickly needles roll over your skin. I flinched a bit but it was oddly pleasant and triggered my salivary glands --- what's that about? The small needle sizes are suggested for frowny lines and deep acne scars. This 1.0 is a larger size meant for larger general areas and a decent choice to figure out if you can handle the pricking sensation. 

 You can see some redness under the roller though you'll also notice that I'm red all over, due to my fabulous cranky skin. It's also allergy season and my eyes are swelling a bit. After I did my frownies, my eye crinkles and the chin crinkles at the corner of my mouth from sleeping face smashed into my pillows, I placed my derma roller in a glass of alcohol for an hour to disinfect, then back onto its stand to dry and store until its next use in two weeks. I misted my face with my miracle Puracyn wound cleanser, as it never stings and is an effective medical cleanser for any scrape or puncture. My skin had some moderate itching for a few hours. DO NOT TOUCH and no makeup for the day.

 It takes several months of twice monthly treatments to see dramatic differences. I will keep you updated. If you have a dermatologist, ask if they offer derma rolling or derma needle punch, as I've seen some incredible results with time. If you can commit to cleanliness and safe usage, give this DermaRoller a try. 

 No blood, nothing gory in this video, just me rolling a gazillion pins over my face and the roller squeaking.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2 Meals Out of a $5 Chicken

Apologies to my veg readers but I have to share what I cook every week.

 For $5 or so, I pick up the freshest broiler chicken, wash thoroughly, pat DRY including under wings and inside the cavity (check for gizzard/organs which dogs love raw). Sprinkle with sea salt generously, I prefer smoked Himalayan pink salt for extra flavor. Put in 400 degree oven in roasting pan, 20 minutes per pound, then add about 20 minutes or check with a poultry thermometer. Do NOT open oven until you're ready to take bird out, as it can cause spattering. Once  done, you will have the crispiest skin EVER. Let cool a few minutes, serve and shred those leftovers for soup or in a sauce over rice the next night.
Here's a Thai green curry using the dark meat I shredded off the chicken carcass. Way too spicy, I need a better recipe!
Had to throw in this adorable rainbow storage bowl set from Walmart. Only $5!
 Do you have any twice cooked meals to share?

Digital Paper Dolls!

  I'm normally not into fashion apps unless I'm procrastinating. 
 Here's a mother lode of fashion-ating fun for those who like to mix and match wardrobes and potentially buy the look they love. The app is Trendage and it offers upscale clothing that is on trend along with accessories, shoes and handbags. Trendy items are reasonably priced and the range covers work, after hours and casual meaning you can plan a full week's wardrobe in a matter of minutes and potentially purchase on the spot as well. I obviously know nothing about work wear as I thought this would be SMASHING at the salon:

 I enjoyed all the mix and match though I'd like to see more layering options such as jackets/blazers/cardigans/wraps and leggings/tights under skirts. Accessories were all necklaces, though many were quite lovely and styles I'd probably never look at on their own but really popped out over the tops. I'd like to see bracelets, belts/cinchers and headbands as well.

 I had a lot of imaginary fun dressing up my boyfriend in this high end rockstar hot outfit. *eyebrow wiggle* He'd sooner be caught dead than admit to liking this beyond the boots. That's fine, he's already prettier than I am anyway. Men's selections were curated fairly well. I'd like to see bowties or ascots or something on all those oxfords.
 I would definitely enjoy being able to customize the models with selfies, as neither the woman or man look anything like myself or my boyfriend (don't I wish I had her hair and figure though). 
 Give TRENDAGE.COM or its app a try and link your looks here as I want to see what you like!
....especially if you have housework to do....

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Doll Face Brushes!

Just received my set of beautiful Doll Face cosmetic brushes to review! I'm still in the middle of my huge move from house to apartment, so make up looks will be coming soon. I already love the soft brush texture and how the brush holder turns into a stand.
 Claire insists on coloring her brows crazy shades. Is anyone else doing this for a daily look? 

 My hair is in serious need of a deep conditioning.