Saturday, June 30, 2012

China Glaze: Smoke and Ashes + butter LONDON: Tart with a Heart

I am currently obsessed with my new manicure even though it's not very summery at all.

Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel: Pore Perfecting Toner

With the summer making inconsistent appearances here in San Francisco, I thought I should finally get around to talking about one of my skin care facets that is quite important to me.

Witch hazel has lately become one of the vital elements to caring for my skin. Before witch hazel, I was using Proactiv's Revitalizing Toner and was quite satisfied with the results, however, once I ran out the price was a bit of a sticking point for me. So off to my local drugstore I went and perused the aisles for a more affordable option. With a little bit of research and a glance at the ingredients, I settled for Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel.

Apparently, the Dickinson's brand produces two versions of Witch Hazel, a yellow label dedicated to skin care and a blue label under T.N. Dickinson's meant for first aid. Although, if you take a look at the ingredients, both basically just have witch hazel and alcohol as a preservative. The yellow label says it uses natural grain alcohol while the blue label doesn't specify, but if you take a visit to their website's FAQ, it says that natural alcohol is used. The ingredients for both are so similar that I can't say there's much of a difference between them besides how they are marketed. Personally, I find the yellow bottle more pleasing to look at and it's also shelved near the other skin care products so that's convenient.

The astringent qualities of witch hazel are great for tightening the pores and removing impurities I may have missed when I cleansed my face. I use it twice a day, in the morning and evening, and I feel that it really does keep my skin reasonably balanced. For days I stay at home all day and leave my skin bare, I tend to use it in the middle of the day too, just to give my skin a boost.  I also found that I could really reduce the chances for ingrown hairs if I consistently apply it to prone areas, such as the bikini zone. Not to mention, application there helps keep me comfortable when regrowth starts. Believe me, when I get lazy in applying witch hazel to my bikini zone, I can tell and then I wished I had been more diligent about it. Plus,with the arrival of warmer temperatures, I also tend to suffer from heat rashes and witch hazel is fantastic for relieving the irritation and soothing the area.

I have been told that witch hazel can also help prevent canker sores from further developing if applied as soon as you can feel it coming but this bit of information was discovered too late so I don't have any personal experience to share on that front. However, witch hazel has been said to help with bruises also and I have tried this before. I really do feel like my ugly purple bruise was fading more quickly than usual, but I've been lucky enough not to suffer such a severe bruise again so I haven't tested witch hazel on bruises since.

For 16 fl. oz at $6.99, I think Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel is such a wonderful multipurpose product at a price that is really affordable. I'm currently on bottle number three and I have every intention of repurchasing once I run out. If you have combination or oily skin, I highly recommend giving witch hazel a try.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Clio Professional Art Blusher: #1 Peach

I have been pining after the Clio blushes for a while now. However, I've been holding out for what looks like to be the newer white compact version and it has been a rather futile wait. The only one I was able to find that came in the newer version was #5 Orange Peach at a store near Japan Town but it swatched more like a highlighter than a blush to me and at a $38 price tag, I wasn't about to buy a blusher I couldn't use, just for the packaging. So I ended up picking up #1 Peach in the original compact design instead of the sleeker white one.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wet n Wild Chrome Nail Polish: Hog-Quartz School

Continuing on with my foil fixation, I decided to try Hog-Quartz School next. This time, armed with better experience on how to work with these polishes, the time it took to do my nails shortened considerably.

The light definitely likes to play with this one since this shade is sometimes more of a lilac purple and it turns deeper more towards violet at other times. I believe the silvery shine plays its part in creating that effect. In photos it certainly leans more towards its darker facade. Also, if you look it at very closely, you'll get just a hint of copper bits peeking through all the purple. I love that since it's like a hidden surprise if you care to really examine the composition of this polish.

Again, easy formula and quick drying time, but the brush is still subpar. It suffers the same symptoms as the one in Stay Outta My Bismuth so I suggest the same method here. To avoid having the brush create rake marks, be sure to have extra polish on the brush taking into account which nail you are working on and don't press down too hard. This way, you can have even and opaque application in two coats. Admittedly, my thumbs were still an issue because I had a harder time estimating how much extra polish I needed on my brush for them. However, now that I more or less have the method down, using these Chrome polishes are more of a joy.

I bought these for $3.99 each, which I had to cringe a bit at because this bottle only contains 0.29 fl. oz. Most of my other regular sized bottles are at least 0.4 fl. oz. or more. Considering the prices I pay for some of my nail polishes, I wouldn't find this much of a problem except that this collection is limited edition so I would have liked to the a normal amount of product sold to me.