Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On Being Counter-Intuitive About Oily Skin

On Being Counter-intuitive

 I will turn 44 in a few days and am feeling the self esteem pain of being stuck with both fine lines and acne. Consistent peels done at the skin spa are the only thing that works for me but the cost is way too much to keep up with the consistency, thus my skin lapses into congested pores, rough patches and fine crinkly lines along with some awesome lumpy white heads. I work in the beauty business and am expected to be the branding of my products and knowledge, so the skin issue worsens when I attempt to cover the acne and fill in the lines with primer and concealer and foundation and powder and.... well, now you see how I was at the point to try a trending product that I wasn't sure was *right* for my acne wrinkle combo. What if I broke out? What was the worst that could happen?

As if it were meant to be, Amara Organics provided me with a very generous size of their Vitamin C Serum in exchange for my honest review. I have never used a serum outside of recovering from a peel and wasn't sure what to expect as far as possible breakouts from putting a hydrating serum on my acne-prone skin. My first application was a drop to my fine line at the edges of my eyes, in the upper cheek area, as well as a drop to the creasing "laugh lines" that have suddenly popped up at the lower edges of my mouth. 
 My skin was so incredibly thirsty for this wonderful, slippery serum! 

The product is clear and has such a velvety feel, not slimy or gummy or oily. After the first day's application without any ill effects, I applied a drop or two to area between my nose and my cheeks, where I have not only acne scarring and large pores but am blessed with my cheeks sort of deflating and giving me a bulldog look in certain lighting and poses. Sisters, believe me when I tell you that within four days of generous application, starting in my smaller, drier lined spots and then spread all over my face, over my jawline and into my neck and cleavage:
This Amara Organic Vitamin C Serum softened my lines and pores.
My outer eye crinkles are lessened.
My nasal-labial fold pores and roughness have blurred and softened.
The laugh lines at the base of my mouth are less noticable.
My decollete looks smoother.
I am hooked on this product.
I am excited to recommend it.

 This isn't the greatest photo but does allow you to see the eye crinkle just above the beauty mark that is now hydrated and lessened and I couldn't be more pleased. I wash my face with a gentle cleanser each night, using my Clarisonic face brush. I pat dry, then apply a drop or two to each area I'm concentrating on, spread the serum to all parts of my facial area. I then continue down my neck and onto my chest. I usually only need one dropperful of this serum per day, so this is an item that is well worth the money as you will get quite a few uses from it. You *may* feel a slight sting as is the nature of acids, I didn't have an issue with it. Store in a cool, dark cabinet as the Vitamin C serums do tend to break down when exposed to light.
 I am ordering bottles of Amara Organic Vitamin C Serum for both my teen daughters and for my mom as I want to share this effective, reasonably priced product and the chance at improved skin with my family. Amara Organics is a family owned company with excellent customer service, please give this serum a try. I thought it was counter-intuitive to put a hydrating product over my acne and -boy howdy- am  glad I was proven wrong.

 *This is a sponsored post, powered by Brand Backer*

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Braids, Braids, BRAIDS

Claire's Braids

 Can I take a moment of your time to brag about how awesome my daughter Claire is doing in cosmetology school? Since she won't make her own blog/portfolio, someone has to show the world her style.

 Her braided pompadour was done by her classmate Glammed by Yasmika. The creativity found in cosmetology schools is endless, you should support your local school with a visit to their salon.

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Emo Phase

It's Not a Phase, Mom! It's Who I Really Am!

The 43 year old me version of the meme. I say it to my mom every time she questions my style but she isn't into memes so...

 The really best part is how many teenagers liked/followed my instagram when I put this up. My running joke is how if I bothered to white out and overexpose my pics, that no one would guess I'm an old fossil with teen girl hair. I'm their mom's age. *gasp*

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Live and Let Dye!

Used A New Color Product

  Part of the edgy hair color experience is being pleasantly surprised when my color doesn't come out exactly as I had hoped. What is totally unprofessional to do for a client is pretty freakin' fun to do on yourself as far as experimenting with dyes and a "plop it on and see" attitude.
 My roots are at least an inch plus and very dark against the silver grey blue tones of my current color, which breaks up the layers great in some points but looks kinda yuck as a face frame. I didn't want to bleach out my roots yet so my plan was to tone the brass between my old bleach (silver blue grey) and my roots (just yuck) with Wella T18. Armstrong & McCall closes so early that I find myself at Sally with the Wella T18 and a tube of Ion Color Brilliance Lavender and I pick up the new-to-me Ion Ash Intensifier, which you add to the color process to drab that brassy red brown ick that makes blues and purples go all green. This product is VERY POTENT, please use the minimum amount unless you're cool with surprises like I am.

 Here's how the drabbing went down.

Back of the hair is getting more brass than ash, making green tones.

I liked the dark roots in the crown and bangs but -ugh- not against my face.

What a difference sunlight makes! Same day, hair looks platinum silver grey outside.

To blend in my dark roots more, I decided to add a whole tube of Ion Ash Intensifier because it was suggested in the instruction pamphlet to use up to .5 ounce (size of the tube) to make a dramatic difference. Oh, I would say DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE was had here.

Always do a test strand! Or not, because I'm cool with this blue hue too.

Valentine Treats for My Dogs

"Best Day Ever" Voted By My Dogs.

 I was recently the lucky winner of a great dog blog giveaway and received three huge boxes of dog treats from Paws Barkery! My five dogs were so stunned by the generous gift that they forgot to even bark at the delivery guy.

 Stellar inspects the box, which is as tall as she is and half her weight in delicious dog cookies. 

 Three delicious flavors of Paws Barkery Cookie's Kisses were included: Carob & Vanilla, NutterBites and Snickerdoodles. 

Girl George came running for a Cookie's Kiss. 

Larkle was the only one who bothered with a *sit* for this Vanilla & Carob treat.

 This was a really special delivery for myself and my dogs as I don't buy them treats regularly and these are PREMIUM "good enough for people" dog treats. I even tried one and thought it reminded me of Maltomeal or some comfort food. The ingredients are wheat flour, canola oil, honey, egg, carob, baking soda and vanilla, just like a "people cookie". I can't wait to try   My dogs can't wait to try the other two flavors. 
THANK YOU to Paws Barkery and My Dog Likes for this chance!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


T.G.I.S. (Thank Gawd It's Saturday)

My work/school week is Tues-Sat, with open salon on Th-Sat, so we get one weekend day and one weekday to relax before getting back to relaxers. And roll sets. And color.

Photo ops at Target with the cute Bull Terrier. I look like Lumpy Space Princess, I'm aware of that. My color is achieved with twice weekly Joico Color Endure Shampoo to cut the brass in my level 9 Wella T18 toned hair. I apply to grungy dry hair, leaving the shampoo in for about an hour and keeping it OFF the scalp, then a warm rinse followed by a few minutes of conditioner.

 My daughter Claire is a NATURAL with cut and color. She went into her freshman year at a major university, living in the dorms, and just felt the time wasn't right for academics so she's now in cosmetology class and already has clients asking for her. Her color is Ion Color Brilliance in Lavender and Magenta. Her thick but fine hair is naturally spiral.

 After looking through the picked over clothing selection at Target, we had some ice cream at Marble Slab. She had vanilla bean with cookie dough mixed in put into a white sprinkle cone. I had a brownie sundae with caramel sauce and the cookie dough flavor, which lacks chocolate chips and tasted like buttered pecan. WHICH MEANS DELICIOUS. I'm a bit lactose intolerant so I don't eat ice cream often and always get the percolating gut afterward, so it has to be worth it.