Sunday, December 28, 2008

A few of my favorite things Part 1 (Skin Care)

I really don’t like "Best Of" [insert current year here] lists for makeup & skincare. They are usually full of crap items that got gimmick buzz more than anything else. And I for one never find Bare Essentuals the best of anything….except for the best of making my bathroom look like it’s covered in a beige dust storm. Bleh
So I thought I would share my favorites for any year. (mainly because I never remember what year I bought anything). So As I share my list, please feel free to share yours in the comments section. No need to say one is better over the next. We are all so different what works for me, may not work for you. It’s simple a “Favorite” list.

Skin Care


Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil (the classic) It removes every last trace of my makeup, even water proof mascara! A little water emulsifies the oil and it rinses clean. I love this!

CeraVe cleanser. This non foaming cream cleanser is basic as basic can be. It rinses clean without stripping natural oils from my face and works perfectly with my Clarisonic brush and plain old baking soda as a sort of micro exfoliant for days when I’m too lazy to spend 2 minutes cleaning my face with the Clarisonic brush. lol

For the morning I want something to wash all the moisturizer, acne treatments, eye cream and sleep off of my face the best thing I have found is Purity Made Simple Foaming cleanser by Philosophy. I am not a fan of most Philosophy products, but this one has won me over. It would probably be perfect for the end of the day too, that is if I didn’t wear a ton of makeup that needed to be removed by a sand blaster each night.

Last but not least, my Clarisonic. The brush is my skin savior. 3 days without use and I’m a broken out mess. Each day of use my skin looks more & more radiant….now if I could cut out sugar and dairy and I would truly have clear skin.

I’m not a fan of toners. I find them to be an unnecessary step in skin care but ever so often I want that extra clean sweep. For that I have found a toner that has no alcohol. Even with my oily skin, I hate to put more alcohol on it if I don’t have to. Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner has no alcohol and just leaves a nice clean feeling to my icky skin. Not much to say about this. It’s nice, it works for me, but It’s not really a must have.


I’m not really a fan of face scrubs. I feel like they tear up my skin and make it worse than before. But I thought I would put this category in here just in case one of you readers has a favorite. For the sake of consistency, I do like plain old baking soda (as mentioned above) mixed with CeraVe cleanser. My face feels baby soft after use. OK. Some of my more regular readers may wonder why I have not put MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator in this category. Yes it’s my favorite, but you can’t get it anywhere…unless you are willing to pay a silly amount of money for it. I adore my VAE so much that I wrote Haikus about it, but I’d rather have a list of things you all may be able to purchase if you are in need of a good item or two,


This is one of my least expensive skin care items. I found after 37 years that I don’t have to spend a fortune on skin cream to get what I need. For the day I use Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer for Combination Skin. This light moisturizer actually feels like it tightens my face leaving a nice matte base for my makeup application. It cost me a total of $9.99 at the grocery store and I believe it’s 4 oz. What a bargain. It has not broken my face out one bit. No lumps, bumps, nuthin. Perfect. And since a little goes a long way. It’s perfect for my oily combo skin.

For the evening I like to use Topix Solvere Fortified Moisturizer. I got it for $9.48 at and It’s a great very emollient moisturizer that has vitamins A, C, E, green tea extract and Co-Q10. Those are antioxidants. The Solvere also contains glycerin and squalane which softens and soothes my red skin. The only thing I don’t like is that it comes in a tub rather than a hygienic squeeze tube or pump. But since I use it after I have washed my face I assume my hands are fairly clean. (if you know otherwise and clean hands from recent face washing is a myth, don’t tell me. I like to live in denial). This 2 oz of moisturizer lasts a long time, since a little goes a long way.


I have acne, red marks, large pores and blackhead on my nose. Hence the lack of full face pictures. But a few products have been helping reverse some of that.
DDF Glycolic 10% Exfoliating Oil Control Gel costs $46 for 1.7 oz. It’s expensive and I keep thinking that I’ll find something better. I stop using it after I run out, try a new product and find that my skin looked better when I was using it instead of the AHA/BHA du jour that I’m using at the moment. I wouldn’t say that it controls oil. I never had that result, but it does keep flakies at bay, keeps my acne under moderate control and has managed to get the congested pores in my forehead to go away. So I guess I can’t complain, but I sure would love to find a better product. It’s not my favorite I guess, but it works sort of. :-(

Murad Acne Spot Treatment for $17. It has a nice good concentration of Sulfur which I have found to be the best at controlling my acne.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. It’s a combination of Calamine, Salicylic Acid and Colloidal Sulfur that really knocks out pimples overnight. I love this stuff, and I love ordering from the Mario Badescu website because they always send a ton-o-samples with each order. Plus the customer service on the phone is super helpful too. That’s always a plus.

Eye Creams:

I have yet to find one that does what it says it does for fine lines. I don’t think one exists…but I have decided to put this category here in the hopes that one of you readers has a great product to recommend. The only one I really like is the Sisley - Botanical Eye & Lip Contour Balm which plumps up my eyelids, but the darn product is so expensive I just can’t afford it at the moment. ::sigh::

OK. I’m sure I forgot something, like facial masks, makeup primers, sunscreen etc. but I’m tired and you have already seen my gushing about the following so why repeat myself? So just click here to see my favorite
Facial Mask
Makeup Primer

OK. So I’ll be back with my favorite makeup products soon. But in the meantime, please leave your comments for your favorites in any of the above categories!


  1. i also don't believe in expensive skin care products. i think if i cn use natural & (organic) products, I'd use them rather tahn brand name. i like the idea of using baking soda mixed with facial cleanser a lot as i also don't like scrubbing my face. (i don't have any scrub!)

    thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. this post is inspired! I was thinking of doing something similar assist me in appreciating what I already have rather than letting myself buy even more. I will use anything so long as it works and isnt mean to me!!

    My skincare queen suggested using salt as a scrub. I should try that soon.

  3. Great post! I need to try baking soda, and why have I not tried Mario Badescu before? I've listened to people rave about it for years, I need to just try it!

  4. OOOOH damn you Elvira, you made me wanna shop for skincare =/


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