A Mask A Day...

My favorite part of my skincare routine is masking. It's fun, gives instant results, and makes a very forgiving selfie. When I heard L'Oreal was making 3 new clay based masks, I said oh hell yeah, sign me up! I mean, at $13 each, buying all 3 is still cheaper than any of my other masks. I tested them all out for you and have been pleasantly surprised.

As soon as I saw they were out, I checked out the ingredients online and was so happy to see they didn't have titanium dioxide. TD is the most widely used mineral sunscreen, and is also used to make skincare products have a white colour. When used in masks it doesn't do a damn thing except act as a cheap filler. As much as I love my inexpensive Korean brands, so many of them use it, probably why I haven't found a Korean clay mask I love.

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Purify & Mattify Treatment Mask - Designed to unclog pores and keep this shine free, this green mask contain 3 clays to draw out impurities and eucalyptus to soothe skin.  Out of the 3 masks this was my least favorite.  Did I notice a big different? No. Will I try it again? Definitely, but it will have to go back to the end of my mask queue.

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Detox & Brightening Mask - After reading the ingredients on all the masks, this mask contains the highest concentrate of the 3 clays.  Charcoal gives this mask it's jet black colour and pulls out dirt and impurities leaving skin super smooth.  This is my favorite of the 3 masks, my face looked super bright and felt hella fresh, my pores were noticeably clearer.  I think I only left it on for 10min, next time I'll leave it on for 15-20.  Great to use before a night out or to recover from a long night out.

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Exfoliate & Refining Treatment Mask - Again we have the 3 clays, Kaolin, Moroccan Lava Clay, and Montmorillonite plus Red Algae to refine.  This mask has more of a grit to it than the other masks, provided by Apricot Seed Powder.  After its dried on the skin 10-15min, splash the face with water and massage to get extra exfoliation.  A great alternative to traditional scrubs, who doesn't love a multi-tasker??

For drugstore masks, even compared to high end masks, these are definitely great products, a total win for L'Oreal.  I'm hoping that they do well and L'Oreal continues to grow their masking category, I'll be the first in line to grab the next ones.  Which is your favorite?

8 Bad Skin Habits

In my 15 years in the Cosmetics industry I've seen it all, the bad habits people have that don't know any better and the bad habits that they keep on doing even though they know they're bad.  Most the bad habits are ones I've personally had and over the years and regretted, but seen results from quitting.  Here are a few things that you should and shouldn't be doing

1.     I Don’t Wash My Face At Night
Oh you thought sleeping with a full face of makeup on was good for your skin?  So did Paris Hilton in her book Confessions of an Heiress, but I highly doubt she still is 11 years later.  I can't tell you how many girls sit in my chair, I'm removing their 17 layers of built up mascara and lash glue and all their lashes are falling out.  "Why do my lashes keep falling out"...  Um...  Well princess, the tar from your waterproof mascara and the lash glue you keep re-applying are clogging the hair follicles, making the hairs weak, and they're falling out.  Remove it every night.  Oh and those layers of foundation and colour you're wearing all day?  Pollution from the environment sits on top of their and when you sleep with it on, it all absorbs into your skin, leaving the skin red, blemish prone, and blotchy looking.  Even if you're not wearing makeup, remember that everywhere you've been during the day, a little bit of that is left on your face.  For those oh so lazy, buy some wipes (Ole Henrikson Makeup Removing Wipes are great and remove waterproof makeup) leave them by your bed and wipe away your sins before bed.

2.     I Don’t Use Eye Cream

So you wear eye makeup, tug and pull at the eyes applying and removing it eh?  Well that’s aging your eyes.  The skin around the eyes is super thin, which means it will age faster than the rest of your skin with no fat or collagen under it to make it look plump. I started using eye cream at 15, because I’m pretty neurotic about these things, but I recommend anyone over the age of 18 use an eye cream for preventative measures, day and night to help keep the skin hydrated and soft.   Try Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream is a good starter

3.     I Go Tanning

 Oh how I took advantage of my unlimited tanning membership at 23

Oh how I took advantage of my unlimited tanning membership at 23

We all know better than to go to tanning beds, but I know, they feel like happiness and dreams, I had a tanning membership off and on from ages 16-26 and I’m fully paying for it now.  In our younger years we don’t think about the consequences, but so maybe of out parents can attest to the fact that sun damage doesn’t rear its ugly face until much further down the road.  You may love that deep brown skin now, but the deep brown sunspots will be an evil reminder in 20 years.  Now I love the beach, and will not stop going out in the sun all summer, there are “safe” ways to tan, use sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours.  The quicker you burn without sunscreen, the high the sunscreen you should be wearing.  I have medium olive skin, and don’t really burn, so I start my summer off with SPF30 on my face and SPF15 on my body, as the summer goes on I move to SPF15 Face and SPF6 body (Lancaster Sun Tan Deepener SPF6 is my JAM).  Am I still getting some sun damage?  Of course, but Istvan likes his colour and will burn off the sun damage with lasers and retinoids all winter.

4.     I Don’t Wear Sunscreen

Did you know you get more sun damage in your daily activities than laying out by the pool all day?  When you’re in the sun for an extended period of time your skin puts up its natural defenses giving you some natural protection (especially if you have a good amount of Omegas in your diet), but intermittent sun exposure causes the skin to only take in the bad.  I recommend wearing an SPF30 daily.  Now I am definitely a culprit of this bad habit, at 12 years old I would wash, tone, and moisturize w/ SPF15 every day, as an adult I NEVER wore sunscreen.  Only until about 2 years ago did I start using a sunscreen regularly, and its made the biggest difference in my skin.  I hate the texture of most suncreens, they either burn or make my skin itch like fire ants are crawling all over.  Experiment, see which works better for you skin either mineral or chemical or a combo of both.  Mineral sunscreens reflect light (Titanium and Zinc) and last longer, but sometimes the small particles can irritate the skin.  Chemical sunscreens (Those crazy names you can’t pronounce) absorb light so it doesn’t hit your skin, and lose potency after 2 hours.  My skin reacts best with a combo heavy on the chemical side, I love the Tony Moly My Sunny Watery Sun Gel SPF30, it feels like water that goes on and disappears.

5.     I Don’t Moisturize

I can’t tell you how many people I have told me “Oh I have oily skin, I don’t need to moisturize” um yeah you do.  Remember me talking about all the pollutants in the air?  They all sit on your skin throughout the day causing free radical damage, aging, acne, redness, and irritation, basically jacking up your skin.  If you balance out your oily skin by adding a little water based moisture (Dr Jart+ Water-Sure Gel is great) it won’t produce so much oil and your skin will feel balanced.  I’ve also heard a lot of people saying nothing has worked for them and they’re using coconut oil as their moisturizer, all the people who have said this to me have the worst black heads I’ve ever seen, like black black black blackheads, its gross.  If you’re going to use coconut oil, don’t skimp; buy that $30 bottle from Whole Foods.

6.     I Eat Like Crap

When I was 19 I moved out on my own, and like every child on their own I ate exactly how I wanted, McDonalds, Pizza Rolls w/ Ranch, and Haagen-Dazs.  Now I did know to get a bottled water with my McDonalds order, I quit soda at 15 and the small amount of acne I had immediately went away.  The saying “You are what you eat” does have a lot of merit.  A diet rich in Omegas (salmon), Good Fats (olive oil, avocado), lots of water, and Anti-Oxidants (think of eating an entire rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables) helps keep your body happy and your skin glowing from within.  I completely understand that this isn’t so easy to do every day, especially if you travel a lot and have a busy schedule.  I make sure to get all my missed nutrients in pill form, having a mother who’s a Naturopathic Doctor has definitely helped with this!  I take vitamins, omegas, an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity aka anti-oxidants), minerals, herbal supplements, and probiotics every day to keep my health up and my skin refreshed.  If you’re interested in a supplement regime I’m more than happy to help you out, shoot me an email at ihrichak1@gmail.com or visit my Natures Sunshine page to scout out the supplement brand I’ve been taking for almost 20 years.

7.     I Don’t Exfoliate

You can have the most expensive face cream in the world, but if you have a bunch of dead skin piling up, the moisturizer won’t make it past the first layer of your skin.  It’s important to sloth off those dead layer 2-3 times a week, this stimulates the skin and reveals a brighter more radiant complexion, and also allows for your products to work so much better!  I’m personally a fan of enzymatic and chemical exfoliates vs. a physical/granular exfoliatant.  The Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel is my favorite exfoliator, the $60 bottle will last at least a year, I had a bottle for 2 years once, I swear it replenishes itself.

8.     I Don’t Get Facial

Sometimes all the steps you’re doing at home just don’t cut it and you need to boost up your routine.  A visit to the estheticians office can help you get your skincare routine back on track!  I love to go get a facial massage, chemical peel, and micro current facials.  These are great supplements to your routine, if you can afford them, go once a month, if its something you can’t do all the time, save up and go twice a year, your skin will thank you. 

If you’re in SoCal go visit my girlfriend Jessica at Definitions Salon and Spa 951-371-3410 she’s taught me so much about skincare and tools I can’t even begin to explain

If you’re in the DC Area, my girlfriend Laura at Green Revolution Skin Studio 301-656-2000 will hook your skin up with the best natural and organic products out there

9.     I Overdraw My Lip Liner

So this doesn’t have to do with skincare, it’s just a faux pas that annoys the shit out of me.  When you overdraw your lip liner the only person you’re fooling is yourself, save some time (and embarrassment) and go get some filler.

 

Lip Service

Ever since I can remember, I've had an obsession with lip balms.  As a kid I always had the newest chap stick I could find at the drug store, I just needed a cure for dry lips.  I believe I have found some of the most life changing lip products, and I'm always trying new ones.  Here's a mix of my staples and new finds.

 

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Moving to the dry West Coast with Hourglass Cosmetics, from humid East Coast, cracked and deflated my Restylane plumped lips and I was not thrilled.  After being trained on the brand, I had to try the No 28 Lip Treatment Oil.  The applicator is plated in 24k Gold, I needed it based on that alone!  It's base is made up of 14 Essential Oils, 10 Lipid Rich Plant Oils, and 4 Vitamins + 3 additional anti aging actives.  The Lip Oil boast redefining the lip line, plumping out fine lines, and 1 ingredient (Saliporine-8) even claims to boost hydration levels in the lips up to 6000% when used twice a day for 28 days.  I will testify that yes, it does all of this.  I use this every night before bed and every morning as the last step in my skincare routine, because it works, and my lips always look great and feel hydrated.  It has a very thick and glossy texture, so it stay put, great as a clear gloss throughout the day as well.  I always said I would buy this even if I didn't work for the company, well now I'm going to have to, ugh... Hourglass No28 Lip Treatment Oil 5/5 Stars $42

Skinn is a top selling TV exclusive brand which focuses on creating effective products by using all their resources on formulations, not packaging.  Their Lip Lip 6x Balm is no exception.  I got my hands on this balm a few months ago and I'm so hooked!  It's packed with a bunch of plant butters and oils as well as anti aging actives to help hydrate and plump fine lines.  I love the texture, it's this unique wax like balm that isn't terribly glossy, so it's great for men or anyone who wants a really natural looking lip treatment.  This has been one of my go to out and about lip balms as I love a lip treatment in a compact (vs a twist up), it slips right in my pocket and I can apply as much or as little as I want.  It definitely helps with the long term appearance of the lips.  Skinn Lip 6x Balm5/5 Stars $24.95

When I was headed to Paris I looked up all the must buy products and the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm was on a lot of them.  Honey is one of my favorite ingredients, be it as a sweetener or in my cosmetic products, it's such an effective multi-taskers, I'd put it all over my body, and probably kick it off.  This balm comes in a little glass jar, which I love, except when I want to run out the door with it, it's not really pocket friendly.  But I definitely don't lose this one as easily as my others!  The balm has a very lightweight hydrating texture, stays on well, but it does have a slight gritty texture, which is usually from the Shea Butter.  I've been using this one before I run out the door to go on errands cause it stays on and I don't have to worry about reapplying.  Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm 4/5 Stars $19

As I'm in Whole Foods like 3 times a week, I usually find myself browsing the cosmetics section for for products I don't need.  I happened upon the Weleda EVERON Lip Balm on one trip when I was going out for the night and couldn't find my other lip balm.  One of the best purchases I've made at Whole Foods!  It has all your basics, Shea butter, jojoba oil, beeswax, but my favorite is the Rose wax and oil it has.  This lip balm smells like happiness and dreams!!  It stays on great, is affordable, and is a favorite of my friends (they always use mine) and I. Weleda EVERON lip Balm 5/5 Stars $4.69

 

Lip scrubs are honestly all pretty much the same.  Sugar, flavor, oils, it's not too complicated, here are a few I like.

The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ $24 - Comes in a bunch of really fun flavours, she always has seasonal and limited ones (I loved the Red Velvet Cake!) larger sugar granules in this one,  probably not the best for sensitive lips, but I like it and use it twice a week.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish $24 - Probably the most popular and well known scrub out there.  Smaller sugar granules, gets the job done, not recommended for sensitive lips.

Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub $18 - A lip scrub you can eat off, I'm sold.  Hydrating wax beads are gentle enough for the most sensitive lips, the brands signature Resveratrol for anti-aging, and a bunch of oils for hydration.  A definitely must have!

 

Do you have any favorites I should try?