Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Facial Serum Acids

 The other day, I took time to read all the bottles of serums I have for my face and noted that many have a variety of “acids” I’m unfamiliar with, so I’m  sharing the information  so when you see it, you’ll know what it is.  

Let’s start with glycolic acid.  Glycolic acid is actually a water soluble form of AHA or alpha hydroxy acid which is made from sugar cane.  Due to it’s super tiny size, it penetrates a person’s skin quite well and it’s size also allows it to exfoliate the skin better. In addition, glycolic exfoliates a person’s skin while reducing fine line, helps with dark spots and hyperpigmentation and improves an uneven skin tone.  It works on all skin types.  

It also helps increase cell turnover by dissolving the bonds that hold cells together so cells can fall off.  Furthermore, it encourages collagen production which makes your skin look plumper, and firmer.  One great thing is that Glycolic acid helps fight sun damage which many of us experience during the summer. It is often found in acne treatments because it helps keep pores cleaner.

Next is salicylic acid which is a beta hydroxy acid derived from the willow tree.  It is great because it exfoliates the skin while helping to clear pores, and treating breakouts.  Salicylic acid is good for combination, oily skins or someone with acne.  It works well to clear mild acne and help prevent blackheads.  It works by penetrating the skin to dissolve any dead cells that clog your pores.  

You’ll find Hyaluronic acid in so many preparations.  Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by your body as a clear gooey substance known as hyaluronan.  About half of the naturally produced hyaluronan is found in your skin where it helps to bind water thus retaining moisture.  Hyaluronic acid is another substance that our bodies produce less of as we grow older.  It is recommended for all types of skin but is best for dry or acne-prone skin requiring an oil-free option.

L-Ascorbic acid also known as vitamin C. It is a water soluble ingredient found in some fruits and vegetables but when used in facial serums, it can stimulate the production of collagen, prevent UV damage, brighten your skin tone and enhance your skin.  When you apply Vitamin C directly to your skin, you receive the most benefits but don’t just squeeze the juice out of an orange and apply it.

Vitamin C needs to be properly processed so it has been chemically altered so it is absorbed better by your skin. It is best to use a vitamin C serum in the morning and at night after the toner but before the moisturiser and sunscreen.  Furthermore vitamin C is great at protecting our skins from car exhaust, cigarette smoke, alcohol, over processed foods and certain chemicals.  

Then there is ferulic acid which is a plant based antioxidant found in anti aging products.    It is good at fighting free radicals which helps slow down the aging process. It is often used with other ingredients such as vitamin C to help stabilize it while boosting its ability to protect skin. It also enhances retinols, helps prevent sun damage while protecting collagen, and promotes healthy skin and is good for all types of skin.

Finally there is citric acid which is a type of AHA that speeds up cell renewal while balancing the pH of your skin.  It has been found to exfoliate the upper level of dead skin cells and helps clean pores.  It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and helps skin tone.

Monday, April 12, 2021


 I indulged in something called microneedling because I read that it is a very easy way to tighten your face while making it smoother and better. It is also known as Collagen induction therapy. Microneedling is actually a small roller with lots of needles that you roll across the skin and it pricks the skin and it is referred to as a derma-roller..  The purpose behind microneedling is to cause new skin to develop while producing more collagen for a smoother, younger look.  Microneedling is quite safe because it is not very invasive and requires little recovery.  

In general, a derma-roller  is often round with lots of small needled wheels that roll across your skin.  It reminds me of those rolling machines people use to aerate their lawn.  The application of microneedles can be done either professionally or at home but there are some definite differences.

The home version of a microneedle has needles only .1 mm long while the professional version has needles ranging between .1 and .3 mm.  The home version has the shorter needles because the longer ones can be dangerous if used by someone without the proper training. It is this training that makes the use of a microneedle more effective.

Microneedling is usually less a better alternative to chemical peels or laser resurfacing in certain areas such as around the eyes or mouth. One advantage is that microneedling can be individualized so only the areas that need attention are needled.  In addition, it is well tolerated by most people and requires little recovery time.  When certain topical serums or creams are used, the microneedling improves the skin's ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients.  

According to the FDA, there are two types of microneedling.  The first is medical which is when microneedles with needles longer than 0.3mm and must be done in a doctor’s office or the office of a properly trained professional. A medical microneedling can run between $250 and $1000 for each visit.

The other type of microneedling is the cosmetic needling in which needles are only between 0.1 and 0.3 mm. These are the ones you find sold by Amazon and other places. These can be every day but one should not apply anything after their use unless it is rated for use with the microneedles.

Unfortunately, these small needles can open the skin to possible irritation and infection.  In addition, not all derma-rollers have been approved by the FDA so it is important to buy one that has been OK’d by them.  Costs for one to use at home can range from $20 to $120.  It is strongly recommended that if you buy a derma-roller to use at home, get some training from a professional so you do it correctly.  

Make sure your face is clean when you use a derma-roller and clean it properly after use.  If any of the needles are bent or out of alignment, get a new one because you do not want to damage your face.  Yes, I use one at home but not every day, only a couple times a week.  I’ve noticed my face absorbs the serums I use on my face.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear.

Saturday, April 10, 2021



It is so cold, this is what happens to soap bubbles! 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Eyebrow or Eyeliner Stencils

One of my students has some of the most beautiful eyebrows. She uses an eyebrow stencil to get that look.  My eyebrows went up on that one because I didn’t know anyone who used them regularly.  Eyebrow stencils are defined as small stencils you place over your brow before you color them in so you “stay inside” the lines when using the pencil, powder, or gel. 

Eyebrow stencils come in a variety of sizes and shapes depending on what you want.  Do you want thick and full or thin and narrow?  Once you’ve chosen the perfect brow, you place it over your brow, hold it in place with your thumb and index finger, and color.  Then repeat on the other side.

If you get stencils made out of plastic, you can clean them and then reuse them multiple times.  Some eyebrow stencil sets have handles so you don’t have to use your fingers to hold them in place while others have a gentle adhesive to hold them in place.  When you are done, you just peel the stencil off and clean them for reuse. In addition, pick up an eyebrow contour kit so you have everything you need to use the stencils properly.  

If you don’t have the money for a kit, there are instructions on how to make your own or print out free templates on the internet but when you consider it is possible to get a kit for around $4.00, I think I’d get the kit.

Now for those of us who struggle to put on eyeliner properly, there are eyeliner stencils available for our use.  I have so much trouble getting my eyeliner to look good.  Usually it looks like a 2nd grader drew it. In addition, there are eyeliner stamps one can use to apply a nice liner.

Eyeliner stamps come in a couple of versions. The first version is dual tipped with a stamp on one end and a felt tip on the other and both are self-inking.  One uses the stamp end first to put down the basic line and then fills it in with the felt tip. The stamp is used to start the line and the felt tip finishes the line. 

The other type of eyeliner stamp has two ends which are dipped in a pot of liquid.  One end is for the left eye while the other end is for the right side.  There is also a liner that has a wheel attached to it.  The liquid liner is rolled across the eyelid to produce a nice line. Then we have eyeliner stencils which stick to the eye and give you a line to follow. These tend to be really sticky so you don’t accidentally go under the edge thus they can take off eye makeup so it’s best to apply before the eye shadow and other eye makeup.

I like the idea of stencils but nothing that could make it harder to put on my regular makeup.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Lipstick, Gloss, or Stain


There are days when a person wants a little dab of color.  Other days, a person prefers having a deep wine red to make them feel sexy and other days no color at all.  I’ve gone shopping and often wondered how lipstick, lip gloss, and lip stain vary. I can tell you right now that my mother is a lipstick person who would never do gloss or stain while my sister preferred a hit of color.

Lipstick is the most common product people use to color their lips.  It contains  waxes, oils, pigments, and emollients  to keep the lips soft.  It is usually found as a solid that can be applied directly to the lips or via a brush.  Lipsticks tend to be highly pigmented, easily reapplied, will stain anything your lips or the lipstick touches, wide variety of finishes, can be easily cleaned off, and it’s easy to change the color.

Lipstick can also be found in a liquid form that is painted onto the lips.  The liquid form provides intense smudge free coverage lasting for a long time.  It can be found in matte, velvety, semi-matte and shiny versions. Liquid lipstick can remain on your lips through dinner, drinks, and dessert without fading. Unfortunately, liquid lipstick can feel heavier than regular lipstick, could dry your lips out more, and quality does matter.  The higher quality liquid lipsticks last longer and do not fade like the lower quality ones. 

Lip glosses are sticky gel-like substances that provide a bit of color.  Lip gloss comes in a squeezable tube or a bottle with an applicator.  Gloss is also the easiest way to apply. Unfortunately, it does not last long so it has to be frequently reapplied.  Lip gloss also provides the lips with a natural shiny look. It is also the most inexpensive choice of the three and doesn’t stain things.

There is also a lip paint which is a hybrid of lip gloss and liquid lipstick. Lip paint is lighter than lip gloss or liquid lipstick but still has the color and won’t dry your lips out nor will it be sticky like gloss.  This should leave your lips nice and dewy so be careful because some liquid lipsticks are being marketed as smudge proof lip paints.

Finally lip stain is a type of dye designed to stain the lips (provide color) for a long period of time. Although it is a predominantly water based product, it comes in a variety of colors of types from gel to marker to liquid but the color is not as bold or dense as lipstick or lip paint. It will not overwhelm the rest of your makeup.  Unfortunately,  It is possible for lip stains to contain alcohol which could dry your lips.

Some lip stains can stay on your lips for up to 24 hours, does not smudge, can give a matte look, defines lips well, is fast drying so the stain needs to be applied carefully and precisely, and requires makeup remover to be removed properly. Unfortunately, the color choices are limited to the more natural colors but the lip stains can be applied in layers to increase the intensity of the color.

Lip paint is something I’ve never heard of before and hope to check it out. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.

Monday, April 5, 2021


I’ve come across a way of cleaning hair I’m unfamiliar with.  The idea is to completely eliminate shampoo from your regime and use only conditioner.  The technique is referred to as “Co-Washing” or “Co-Cleansing” and one “washes” hair only with the conditioner.  Since shampoo can strip the hair of oil, it is thought that using conditioner only is better.

Instead of washing your hair every day or two, one should use only a conditioner once or twice between the full washing with shampoo and conditioner or when you don’t have time to do a full wash.  Using only conditioner is said to eliminate dried ends while making hair look both silky and shiny. Some people do recommend totally eliminating shampoo and only ever using conditioner.

This technique is especially good for those who have curly hair because it keeps the hair more moisturized and helps strands undergo less breakage but it can be used for any hair type.  According to those who have made the switch, your hair may suddenly feel greasy for a day or two but it will go back to normal.  

In fact, people have reported they really like the results of using only a conditioner because it always leaves their  hair feeling wonderful and manageable. If you are worried, the conditioner is quite capable of cleansing hair while working natural oils into the scalp.  Furthermore, one can rely on the more inexpensive conditioners to do the job. 

If you want to incorporate more co-washes into your routine, choose a conditioner that is meant for your hair type and has ingredients that help hydrate your hair. When you buy your conditioner, make sure it is sulphate free so it doesn’t dry out your hair.  One important thing to do before co-washing your hair is to make sure it is detangled prior to washing your hair with conditioner.  

There are a couple ways to co-wash your hair.  One method is to apply the condition  at the scalp and work it out to the ends unless you have extremely long hair in which case you might have to add more at the roots.  The other method is to section your hair into between 4 and 8 sections.  Apply the conditioner to each section both inside and outside before placing it in a bun.  Once all the conditioned sections are in the bun, undo it and rinse the conditioner out.  

Then reapply the conditioner to all the hair, massage the scalp, and comb through the hair using a wide toothed comb before rinsing.  Although the conditioner does cleanse the hair, it is recommended one use a clarifying shampoo once in a while or you can spritz diluted apple cider vinegar into your scalp before co-washing.  

I usually end up with twice the number of conditioner bottles as shampoo because I use quite a lot on my hair to keep it hydrated.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear.  Have a great day.