October Favorites

So what it’s a week into November already…I’m doing my October favorites and you’re gonna LIKE IT. :) As usual I don’t know what to use as a picture for my ‘favorites’ post so in keeping with tradition, here’s a random fun picture. This time it’s Barack Obama holding a book. :D My favorites for October are pretty simple, because I was SICK during October. That means my favorites all kind of go along with that…read on to find out more!

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Skin Care I’ve Been Loving Lately

It’s been a little while since I’ve really talked skin care and that’s because since around March (honestly, right before The Makeup Show LA – great timing right?!) I’ve been struggling! I don’t really know why, but my skin that had been pretty much low maintenance and breakout-free decided to start breaking out. Super! However my skin wasn’t any more oily…it was still dry, just now with breakouts.

Awesome. So I kind of started at ground zero and redid my skin care routine. Here are the products I’ve been using that are really helping. [Read more…]

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisturizers

When Groupon had a recent offer for The Body Shop, I jumped at the chance to try some skin care I’d been eying. As I’ve mentioned, my skin has been uncommonly dry (for me) lately. I attribute it to the warmer weather, and some dry winds we had here in CA. That change presented some new challenges. My moisturizers for combo-to-oily skin just were not cutting it, so I set out to grab some new moisturizers. I ended up picking 3 instead of a day and a night cream because they were having a buy 3 get 2 free promo, and I had 4 items, so I grabbed a third moisturizer. Here’s what I got, and how it’s working out so far…

Vitamin E Moisture Cream ($16)
I was looking for a new day cream that would absorb and moisturize my skin well but still wear nicely under makeup. I also hate how some thicker creams take forever to absorb before you can put your makeup on. This cream definitely satisfies my requirements! It has a light, pleasantly fresh scent, absorbs quickly, and provides essential moisture to my parched skin. This is available in a formula with SPF 15, but I usually prefer to opt for a moisturizer sans SPF to allow me more flexibility to use a different sunscreen. So far, very pleased.

Ingredients: Water, Isopropyl Palmitate, Sorbitol, Lanolin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Esters, Steareth-2, PEG 100 Stearate, Ceresin, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Steareth-20, Carbomer, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Red 4

Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream ($18)
At night when you’re sleeping, your skin is in a state of repair. This cream promises to replenish antioxidant levels and give you soft, smooth skin in the morning. Many night creams are too heavy and I just wake up feeling greasy, but not so with this one. When I first started using it, my skin was so irritated that moisturizers actually stung a little (all of them!), but that has gone away and so far this cream is magic.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Dimethicone, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Cyclomethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Octanoate, Myristyl Myristate, Panthenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Fragrance,Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Talc, Manganese Violet, Iron Oxides.

This was my last minute, impulse grab when the sales associate told me I could grab one more for their sale. And I am so glad I did. I’ve been using this together with the night cream. I first apply the night cream all over, and use the intense cream where I need it the most, which right now is my nose and around the nasal-labial folds of my face, which is a fancier word for “muzzle”, heehee. It’s really helping how dry my poor little nose is, so for now I’m happy.

Ingredients for this product were not listed on The Body Shop’s website.

None of these moisturizers have caused me to break out, and dare I say, my acne scars are improving? Vitamin E is great for scars, which is part of the reason why I wanted to try the Vitamin E line in the first place. I’ll post an update soon with another “naked face” picture and we can compare. There is also an eye cream in this line that I’m keeping on my radar for when I’m out of my Vasanti eye cream. It’s only $17 compared to the $40 on a new jar of Vasanti Eye Wonder. I have not noticed any problems with clogged pores, either. However I do exfoliate very regularly also. I’ve been using Philosophy‘s Microdelivery Wash.

The Body Shop Almond Oil Hand Care

This has pretty much nothing to do with this post, but since when does that ever stop me from posting a cute cat picture? 
Over the past year or so my fascination with nail polish bloggers has resulted in two things: lots of nail polish, and a realization that my cuticles completely suck. I am extremely prone to hangnails, and the skin around my nails is always dry. I have a tendency to kind of absent-mindedly pick at my cuticles too, apparently. Becoming more aware of this has made me of course want to solve the problem, and since The Body Shop recently had a Groupon, I decided to give their hand care a try.
I picked up two things – the Almond Oil Daily Hand & Nail Cream, and their Almond Oil Nail & Cuticle Treatment
The hand cream was the first hand care item that caught my eye, and mostly because I love the smell of anything almond. I then read all about the benefits (it’s chock full of ingredients like almond oil, soy oil, shea butter, and lanolin) and really became intrigued. This hand cream also contains panthenol to help keep nails from splitting. Nice. I tried it in the store, to see if it would feel greasy. So many hand creams claim to be super duper moisturizing, and usually they are, but at the expense of me feeling like I have greasy hands all day. Fine if you want to wear spa gloves and lounge around, but who has time for that? Not me! I was very pleasantly surprised by this hand cream absorbing quickly and not leaving any greasy feeling. Sold! It has a soft, sweet almond smell that I just love. The smell does linger, too. Yummy. The packaging is good for on the go, being just a convenient squeeze tube I can toss in a purse.
However, my cuticles are in need of special help, so I also picked up the cuticle oil treatment. It’s in a nifty click pen with a lid that doubles as a cuticle pusher. I love it! The oil treatment is more of a gel-like consistency so it doesn’t run all over the place. It has the same sweet smell as the hand cream. It claims to also help whiten nails, and I don’t know if it does that but it has definitely helped fade some of the stains on my nails left by matte polish (I skipped base coat). 
Show those cuticles who’s boss.
Since my “problem” area is the cuticles and the skin just around my nails, I opted for the hand cream + cuticle treatment approach. However, if you have seriously dry skin on your hands, they also offer a more intense version of their hand cream
The hand cream runs $16 for a 3.4 oz tube, while the cuticle treatment is $12 for .06 oz. I have been using the cream twice a day and the cuticle oil once a day just since yesterday and I can already tell quite a difference. They feel magnificent, my hands are looking nicer, and feeling less dry. 
I got mine from The Body Shop’s freestanding store, but you can also get these from their website. This line is not offered on Sephora, though other Body Shop products are.