A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

April, May and June 2016 Favorites

Hello everyone!

I’m not sure how this happened, but I haven’t written a favorites post since March! As I mentioned in my recent empties post, the end of May and beginning of June were a bit of a wash due to my husband’s surgery… but I have no idea how I missed April. Oops.

I can say without a doubt my April and May favorite was the KOI Vitality Turmeric Supernatual Beauty Bar. During the peak of the dermatitis treatment, my friend Heather reached out and asked if I wanted to try some of her soaps. I was still looking for any and all relief and she gave me 3 bars to try out – Purple Corn, Turmeric and Wheat Grass. The Turmeric was immediately added to my morning routine and helped reduce the lessening inflammation. I still use this every single morning and love how it makes my skin feel and it looks balanced, clean and bright. These bars are a very generous size and will last forever – I actually cut my bar down and use it in smaller chunks and store in an airtight container. This limits exposure from light and the air since the product is all natural. From the website:

KOI Beauty Bars are hand crafted in small batches using only natural and organic ingredients. For us – less is everything. We’ve believe that if we stick with only vital ingredients, there is no need to put a bunch of “stuff” into our products. Using fewer ingredients means more potent skincare, and also the likelihood KOI Beauty Bars are safe even for the most sensitive skin.”

I love the messaging behind KOI’s products and the quality of the bars. Available for $20 each on the website: http://www.koivitality.com

On the complete opposite end of natural skincare is the return of Bath and Body Works throwback favorites and my beloved Freesia. You. Guys. I am so incredibly happy about this. It smells exactly the same as I remember! I stockpiled it years ago when I found out it was being discontinued, found some more on eBay and then nursed along the last bottle for probably close to two years. I have no idea when I actually ran out, but am not ashamed to admit that there might have been tears. Within minutes of getting this home, I cleared out a spot in the shower for immediate use! Before the sale ended, I may have even gone back for more. If I ever run out, I will be devastated all over again.

A few months back, I bought a tube of Benefit They’re Real in Blue. I’m not sure why, but I was so drawn to the vibrant cobalt shade and just had to have it. Well… then it sat unopened until mid-June. I wear a lot of navy and neutrals in summer and decided it was time to break this out and fit it into my summer look. It is the They’re Real formula that I love with a twist. The blue isn’t really noticeable unless you are really up close and personal, so I guess this is the one way I can still be a bit edgy and have fun during the workday. This comes in brown also, but my Ulta still has green and purple in stock!

With the arrival of May and subsequently an official summer, the Midwestern humidity is out of control. Using powder makeup is a challenge as it just melts away the second I step outside. I’ve definitely given up on powder shadows and have been using mostly cream shadows and pigmented shadow sticks. Some of my favorites (which include a couple repeats) include the Guerlain Terracotta Summer Collection Summer Shadow in White Sand from 2015 (originally discussed here), MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Colour Stick in Tea Leaves and Lilacked, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sugar Frost and the Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define in Gunmetal Grey (pictured in order left to right).

Contrary to many reviews, I find the MAC Colour Sticks to have the longest wear – the color fades a bit throughout the day, but after 12 hours there is zero creasing. The Boots and Laura Mercier sticks have the most depth and versatility. They all just so easy to wear and hold up well with the humidity and last all day without moving all over my eyelid and never end up somewhere they shouldn’t!

So there you have it… playing a whole lot of catch up! Whew!

What are some of your favorites from the last few weeks/months?

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Use It: May and June 2016 Empties

Happy Summer, everyone!

Sorry to be a bit MIA for a bit… My husband got very sick and ended up having emergency surgery the end of May/beginning of June, so life got a little crazy. He is finally on the mend, but still has quite a bit of recovery to get back to normal. Obviously blogging took a backseat for a few weeks.

So in an effort to play catch up both my empties and favorites posts will cover both May and June. With a long weekend I’m also able to get caught up on a backlog of reading and writing – so bear with me!

As always, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle. Sample reviews are posted frequently to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.

SKINCARE

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Cleansing Foam – what a fantastic face wash – I used this primarily at night after an oil-based cleanser. It would remove any traces of eye makeup and leave my skin feeling soft, hydrated and refreshed. I would definitely purchase this – I love everything in this skincare line! Even though this is a 1oz tube, it was a GWP from Saks. The full-size is 4.2oz and runs about $105 (YIKES!).

Pixi Glow Tonic – I don’t get the hype. There. I said it. I am probably one of the few people who feel this way and I’m okay with that. I really disliked the scent and it didn’t do anything noticeable for my skin. Would not purchase. Available at Target for $15 for 3.4oz.

Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate – I can’t say much about this. While this little tube lasted for about 2 months, I can’t say that I noticed a difference. It was a very nice, lightweight serum but that’s about it. Thanks to Allure for sending this for testing! Available at Macy’s for $65 for 0.5oz.

Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes – very rarely am I impressed by makeup wipes. They all seem to serve the same purpose, right? This is the first time that I used a wipe that can remove all traces of a dark lipstick or a lip stain. I would definitely repurchase these! I think these were part of an Allure box a while back, but can be purchased for $5-$6 on Amazon.

MAKEUP

Benefit Roller Lash – this is not the first time I’ve used this… I do find that I like it more every time I try it. There is a bit of a trick to getting the lashes to hook just right into the wand. I would probably not purchase, but only because I like They’re Real and Bad Gal more.:) Available at all Benefit counters for $24.

e.l.f Shine Eraser – I mentioned these in a previous post – I stockpiled them on clearance at Target for $0.85. Not bad for 50 sheets! Unfortunately I have not been able to find them again, so my guess is that they have officially been discontinued. Bummer.

Le Métier de Beauté Precision Liquid Liner in Noir – a heavily pigmented liquid black liner with a felt tip. I’ve been using this way longer than one should use a liquid product.. oops. I loved this so much. It was perfect for tightlining and deepening darker pencil shades. I would purchase this again in a heartbeat if it wasn’t $42.

NYX Green Tea Blotting Paper – oh hey.. more blotting paper! I think I have tried every version of the NYX blotting papers, and these might possibly be my favorite. They are very absorbent and the larger sheet covers more areas of my face. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Ulta for $5.99 for 100 sheets.

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara – I don’t know what it is about this, but I really dislike this formula. After a couple swipes, it feels like you have one giant, clumpy eyelash. I had to find a second wand to declump it after use. I love big lashes, but this didn’t get anywhere near a good result for me. I did like that it was a very deep black pigmented mascara, but it also felt like it never dried down. Definitely would not purchase. Available at Ulta and Sephora for $23.

BODY

Bath and Body Works Peach and Honey Almond Body Scrub – I love, love, love this scent and am so bummed that this was a one-time seasonal scent. Fortunately I still have a body wash and lotion that I have been using sparingly! I also really appreciate that this scrub was made from walnut shells and not micro-beads. If this ever comes back, I am going to stockpile! Similar scrubs available at Bath and Body Works for $12-$13 for 6oz.

LUSH Charity Pot – I love the messaging behind the annual release of the LUSH Charity Pot. I selected the pot that featured the Women’s Empowerment International Foundation. The scent is not my favorite – heavy ylang-ylang and gardenia are really opposite of my preferred scent range… but that isn’t why I bought it. I will probably pick up another on my next trip to LUSH. Available every year for a limited run (and supports a variety of charities) for $6.95 for 1.7oz.

LIFESTYLE

Bath and Body Works Candle in Fresh Sparkling Snow – this was such a happy scent! It was clean and fresh and wasn’t too overwhelming for warmer months. The one complaint I have again and again with their candles is that there is always a ton of wax left in the bottom. It is so frustrating. I would purchase again this winter! The 3-wick candles are $22.50 but don’t ever pay the full price… they are always on sale!

 

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 8

Body: 11

Hair: 5

Makeup/face: 16

other: 4

Nails: 4

Samples: 20

Sheet masks: 7

All samples and sheet masks have mini reviews on Instagram!

There you have it! Another round of empties! What did you use up recently and love/hate?

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Finale: No More Perioral Dermatitis

Hello again everyone!

I guess you could say that for now, this is the final installment of the dermatitis updates. It has been a while since my initial post and then the follow up, but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging! There haven’t been any major revelations over the last couple months, just lots of healing! As I’m wrapping up the last few days of the 3-month cycle of doxycycline, I decided to jot down a few thoughts for you all:

1 – Eliminate stress. Easier said than done, but it takes such a toll on your body.

2 – Treat problems early. As I mentioned in my initial post, I tried to treat this incorrectly for about a month before even calling the dermatologist. By the time I could get into the doctor I was miserable and much of the pain could have been prevented with an accurate diagnosis.

3 – Use targeted skincare. If you are a regular reader, you know that good skincare is a priority for me. It becomes even more of a priority when you have to address a specific issue. Finding some (of the right) treatments for the problem in addition to the antibiotics really helped reduce the pain and inflammation quickly.

 

Thanks for sticking with me through this – I hope you have found this series to be informational and interesting. It has been a long 3 months and I’m really looking forward to moving on and hopefully keeping this at bay!
Have a great weekend!

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Rant and Rave – Kat von D

Hello everyone!

I wrote this draft a few months ago and honestly kind of forgot about it. In addition, I have a bunch of handwritten notes and a backlog of photos with the intention of being converted somehow to content, but it just never happened. I have really wanted to get back to some individual product reviews and share swatches but have gotten a bit lazy… I want to be able to share some positive and negative feedback outside of a little blurb on Instagram.

One topic I wanted to discuss was some Kat Von D. I love Kat – I enjoyed her show, follow her on social media, bought her books and have visited her tattoo shop. It would only make sense that I would love her makeup also, right? I’ve read so many great reviews on the foundation, lip colors, eye pallets, etc. so purchased some of the lip products a while ago and realized I’ve never really discussed the brand on the blog.

I was so excited to receive a small version of the Lolita matte liquid lipstick in a Sephora Give Me Lip set a few months ago. The shade was everything I hoped it would be – a whole lot of brown with a touch of pink. It takes me back to the 90’s and it makes me so happy. The texture however, is a bit too drying. I get that it is a matte, but it really dries out my lips regardless of how much I exfoliate and prep. My trick to wearing this is to apply a light balm, then 2 coats of the color and top it off with a little bit of clear gloss. This keeps my lips from feeling really uncomfortable.

While I think the dryness factor is just my preference, I can’t say enough about the lasting power of this formula. This lasted easily 4-5 hours and throughout dinner and drinks. I was about to reapply after dinner and realized I still had quite a bit of color. It also wore evenly and didn’t come off in patches or flake.

The second product is the Studded Kiss Lipstick in shade Gothica, an interesting red/brown color with a copper glittery finish. This shade had some mixed reviews, but a decent rating overall and the swatches online were really beautiful.

When I finally received this I was seriously shocked by the amount of glitter.  After applying it, I was really disappointed in the overall look and feel. The color did. not go on evenly and ended up very patchy and my lips were covered in glitter. Listen, I love glitter but this was a bit ridiculous. I wore this out to get some drinks (THE TRUE TEST FOR ANY COLOR) and checked it throughout the night. In a span of a couple hours, it went from patchy to nonexistent except for… you guessed it… the glitter. It was all over my face.

  

I have tried to wear Gothica a couple more times and the glitter has been a bit more manageable, but only because of some gloss holding it in place. This was a major disappointment because this shade is gorgeous.

Overall, both the liquid lipstick and the Studded Kiss are a fail. I have figured out how to make them work for me, but that isn’t how it should be! I like products that are easy to use, enhance a feature or are fun and neither of these products fit that description. Its highly unlikely that I will repurchase any of the lip products. I did purchase the Shade and Light eye quad in plum that is (so far) very nice.

So tell me, am I the only one who feels this way? Has anyone else been really disappointed with the lip products? Share below!

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Use It: March and April 2016 Empties

Hello again!

Welcome to another round of empties! This is one of my favorite type of posts to write and read. It makes me really take a good look at my purchases and consider if they were worth it. It also puts in perspective how many other things I have to use up!

As always, everything is broken down into one of the following categories: skincare, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle.

SKINCARE

Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover – I don’t get the hype. This is a fine eye makeup remover, but it isn’t great. More often than not, I would wake up with leftover mascara and eyeliner caked under my eyes (gross). I expect a lot more for this price point and definitely would not repurchase. Available at any Lancome counter or online for $30 for 4.2oz. Nordstrom does price matching and you can purchase there for $27.

MAKEUP

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium – what a great, easy to use brow tint and filler. Benefit calls this a “volumizing fiber gel.” Just a few swipes fill in sparse areas and the formula holds unruly hairs in place. This little tube lasted 6 months, but I would say its worth it and consider repurchasing. Available at Ulta and all Benefit counters for $24 for 0.1oz.

Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Currant – this is a fabulous neutral shade gloss. Bite makes wonderful lightweight glosses that aren’t sticky or clumpy. All of their products are made with natural oils and are scented like fruit. I would definitely repurchase. Available at Sephora for $22.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rose – I’ve gone through so many of these – granted, I have a stockpile of the minis… This balm is lightweight, non-greasy and provides a lovely, sheer wash of color. I will purchase a full size if I ever run out.:) Available at Sephora for $24 for 0.15oz.

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara – I received this through Influenster a few months agoand used it religiously up until a few weeks ago. I read see feedback from another blogger that she knew its time was up when it started flaking throughout the day. and flake it did. This was fantastic until then – this wand separated each lash and the formula coated evenly every time. This lasted easily 10 hours every day. But yes, at the end of its 3-month life cycle, it definitely flaked. Maybe more companies should create a built in reminder when you should toss? Overall I really liked this and would purchase again. Available at Sephora for $26.

Neutrogena Glow Sheer in Ivory to Fair – my friend Laura gave me this forever ago when she was decluttering and I didn’t love or hate it.. perhaps that’s why she passed it along also? The definition of sheer is spot on – it provided little coverage and left a nice dewy finish. It made a great weekend errand-running foundation. Sadly, this has turned and now separates upon application. I have plenty of foundation, I don’t see myself ever repurchasing. Available at Ulta, CVS and many other locations for $12.99 for 1.1 oz.

Stila Smudge Stick Eye Liner in Oscar Fish – I love the Smudge Stick formula so I’m very sad to see this go! This was a great chocolaty brown that I featured in a quick makeup recommendation post last year.  Will not repurchase right now, as I have a few similar shades that I want to finish. Available at Sephora for $22 for 0.01oz.

BODY

The Body Shop Body Butter in Cranberry Joy – I’ve reviewed this product, as well as many other things in this scent. I love cranberry! The body butters from TBS are so great – very hydrating and the scents last all day. I will repurchase this again and again – and I probably don’t need to… I think I have backups. This seasonal scent is available starting in September for $21 for 6.7oz.

 

Saint Augustine & Suds Scrub Down – this is a great coffee scrub from my favorite local gal. They just reformulated this and want to test it out! Its hydrating and exfoliating at the same time. Visit the website to check out when the new scrub is up as well as see her gorgeous soaps!

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter – this was my first Soap & Glory product and I thought it was so great – definitely makes me want to try more from this brand. This little tub sat on my desk for quite a while – a little bit went a really long way. It was very moisturizing, but not greasy and really helped my hands survive winter! Available at Ulta for $4 for the 1.69 mini or $15 for 10.1 oz.

HAIR

Biologe Color Care Shampoo – this is my favorite shampoo. I might change from time to time, but I always come back! It gets my hair incredibly clean without harming my color. I will always repurchase. Available at most salons for $13-24 (this older 16.9oz is no longer sold).

Biolage Pro-Keratin Renewal Spray – this is part of a shampoo and conditioner set that I finished a while ago (these sets never finish together..), so I used this in combination with my regular Biologe color treated shampoo. A few sprays left my hair smooth and shiny when used with high heat. I would consider repurchasing after I downsize some of my current products. Available wherever you can buy salon products for $23 for 6.8 oz.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – I think this would be better for fine hair – it does an okay job of absorbing oil.. it is fine for about 4 hours before my hair starts to feel greasy. Will not purchase again. Available on Birchbox.com for $20 for 3.2oz.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – this was.. fine. It was a perfectly fine dry shampoo. It did fairly decent job of absorbing oil for 5-6 hour, but after that just completely disappeared. I also felt that this was good for like 1-day, but given that I usually only wash my hair twice a week, it did nothing to extend my style or time between regular shampoo. And for such a “clean” line of products, this smelled like chemicals. Would not repurchase. Available at Sephora for $12 for 1.8oz.

LIFESTYLE

Bath and Body Works PocketBac in Vampire Blood and EEK! – yes. These are from Halloween and I love the cheesy names! I have a bunch of different scents hoarded away and will not be repurchasing any for a while. Available at Bath and Body Works for $1.75 for 1oz.

Julep Nail Color in Shari, Claudette and Margot – yes, I finished 3 nail polishes in the last couple months… Julep has so many great shades, however they are very dupable. I love the message behind the brand and like supporting an all-female business, but the Julep formulas frustrate me as a whole. I can get 2-3 days before they chip even with a durable topcoat. They also get really gloopy towards the end, the exception being Margot (gold) and I was able to use every available drop. These colors were beautiful but I will not be repurchasing any of them – especially at $14 each.

Ulta Strengthening Nail Polish Remover – I’ve written about this several times. I’m not super picky about polish remover. This works fine and is cheap. I have backups.:) Available at Ulta for $2.99 for 6 oz.

TOSS

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Black – when makeup artist extraordinaire Lisa Eldridge (bow down!) recommends a product, I take that pretty seriously. Unfortunately this was an absolute fail for me. This constantly smudged onto my brow bone and under my eyes with and without primer. After a week of trying to make this work, I GIVE UP! Ugh!

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 4

Body: 9

Hair: 5

Makeup/face: 12

other: 3

Nails: 4

Samples: 13

Sheet masks: 4

All of my sample and sheet mask reviews are posted regularly on my Instagram (@lvp8779) as well as random other beauty things.. stop by and say hi!

I hope you have a wonderful May!

 

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Update: Progress with Perioral Dermatitis

Hello everyone!

My photos and links on my Instagram (@lvp8779) sparked some great conversation about dealing with and treatment of perioral dermatitis. It is reassuring to find others who have dealt with this, as well as be able to offer my own experience and treatment recommendations.

In my last post, I shared the backstory to discovering the problem and my over the counter attempts to treat it. There were a couple First Aid Beauty products that really helped reduce inflammation and reduce the pain.

When I last posted, I was  day 7 of doxycycline, week 3 of the FAB products, and using the Sensodyne toothpaste. The photo below is day 14 of antibiotics week 4 of the FAB products:

This is bare skin, just serum and moisturizer. A few days prior, I added in the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum which, like all of their products, contains colloidal oatmeal. This is a gentle anti-inflammatory that eliminated the residual dry skin.

I have been careful not to use any harsh peeling treatments, scrubs or masks the last several weeks. One of the best changes has been that I no longer need 3 concealers to cover up the redness. As you can see, the inflammation is minimal – hallelujah!

So here is a photo from a few days ago:

 

 

This was day 21 of doxy and week 5 of the FAB products. My skin is no longer inflamed and painful… it is always a bit red, so this is nothing unusual. I am only using the Maybelline Master Conceal as needed and have put the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and the green MUFE primer back on the shelf.

So I’m finally starting to feel normal again. Thank goodness. I even left the house without concealer or foundation the other day. I just wore the IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+ in Fair and felt really comfortable and not a bit self-conscious for the first time in months.

I’m so glad to be able to see this improvement and hope it has been helpful to any of you with PD. Please feel free to share any of your own experience or tips for dealing with PD. Stay tuned for more updates!

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March 2016 Favorites

Hello again!

Welcome to the March edition of favorites! Another month has flown by – I know, I know… doesn’t everyone say that? We started off spring so well – 60-70 degrees, lots of sun and flowers blooming everywhere. In the last couple days, however, we have regressed to winter. It has been snowing, windy and downright frigid for the last few days. Wtf? I didn’t sign up for this

If you read my last post about addressing and dealing with my perioral dermatitis, you already know about how much credit I give First Aid Beauty for helping calm the pain and redness. I’ve been using the Face Cleanser following a gentle cleansing balm at night and Ultra Repair Cream morning and night. I was worried about the cream clogging my pores, but it hasn’t caused any negative reaction whatsoever. What a life saver!

The nice folks over at Influenster sent me 3 of the new Amuse Bouche lipsticks to test and review. I received Pepper, Gazpacho and Beetroot which are all lovely! The formula is great – solid pigmentation and my lips stay hydrated for hours without needing to reapply. I liked these so much that I purchased a 4th shade in Nori. There has been a ton of press on this launch, so I won’t get too wordy… but the Amuse Bouche formula really reinforces my love for this brand. I love all of their products and believe in what they do. Now if only they would bring back my BB for lips…

 

So there you have it – short and sweet! What were some of your favorites for March?

Have a wonderful month!

 

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A Recent Discovery and a Skincare Challenge

This story is maybe not what you think, however I thought this story would be appropriate to share on the blog, as it does relate to beauty but in a slightly different way. If you read my blog regularly, you know that I’ve mentioned been battling something that I thought was eczema for the last couple months. It has made me incredibly self-conscious and has led me to being overly critical every time I look in the mirror. My already sensitive skin has become even more sensitive, even painful at times. It has been beyond frustrating.

The symptoms started in January as a red, flaky patch in my right nasal fold. Then I developed what looked like acne on the same side on my chin, but near the corner of my mouth. I assumed it was some sort of reaction to the products I was testing out at the time along with allergies. I stopped using this and went back to my previous day and night routine, thinking that I was too sensitive for a high content hyaluronic acid product (my apologies, L’Oreal).

To treat the dry spot, I started applying argan oil twice a day and put some on the weird acne spot just for good measure. After a couple weeks, there was no relief. To complicate things, I now had a matching red patch on the left side, mirroring the right.

I asked a couple friends with eczema what type of home treatment they were using and they all suggested hydrocortisone cream. That seemed like a very logical next move, so began applying to the spots in question twice a day. This reduced some of the pain and inflammation but only temporarily. I didn’t notice any reduction in the size of the rash and in fact, it advanced further to the left nasal fold. A week later I had 4 painful, bright red spots. I finally made the decision to schedule an appointment with the dermatologist, but it was 3 weeks away.

My first instinct every morning was to hydrate and then conceal, conceal, conceal. The first concealer was color correcting the red with the green tinted Make Up For Ever Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer, followed by the Maybelline Master Conceal in 10 Fair, then foundation and the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2 (yellow) topped off with setting powder. After a few hours, the red would start to shine through and the pain would return.

 

A couple weeks ago, my friend Noreen and I went to visit our local Sephora for new moisturizer (for her, I promise) and we started discussing eczema treatments. My skincare gal, Jess recommended the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, which I already had along with the face wash. I went home and immediately washed my face and applied the lotion. Within minutes, I noticed that the inflammation subsided a bit. Hallelujah. Again, I didn’t know the diagnosis yet, so was open to ANYTHING to relieve the symptoms.

While filling the time over the last couple weeks waiting to get into the dermatologist, I used the FAB cream twice a day religiously. And I have noticed a significant difference in the overall inflammation and the spot on the lower right is nearly gone! This is not to say that there was 100% relief, but I was feeling so much better. I was really hoping that if I got the diagnosis of eczema that I could get a steroid shot and go on my merry way.

On the day of my dermatologist appointment, I packed up all of my skincare because I figured they would want to see what I was using on a daily basis, but also included some makeup wipes and makeup figuring I would need to reapply… I removed my layers of concealer and foundation and the nurse practitioner took one look and said without hesitation Perioral Dermatitis. Wait, what? What is this?

 

Perioral Dermatitis affects mainly women ages 25-40, could be caused by fluoride or whitening products or topical steroid creams, but there is no real known cause… but most likely a result of stress. I laughed at my dermatologist. Out loud. Then apologized. She then informed me that the only way to really get rid of this is a 3-month treatment of antibiotics. I did not laugh at that…  She said it could come back in 5 years or never. If it does, we do another round of antibiotics.

I went home and searched Perioral Dermatitis and found a million suggestions of how to treat it. None of which seemed to be a magic cure. I read about violet extract, aloe, cutting back sugar and eliminating sodium lauryl sulfate. All of the commenters on the stories had some sort of “cure” but never really eliminated the symptoms, except for the individuals who sucked it up and took the antibiotics. I appreciate a good, natural cure, but sometimes, you just need antibiotics.

Many of the commenters in the articles, including those in this interesting piece in xovain, mentioned using gentle products from Avene (which I already do) and toothpaste without whitening agents. My dentist had recently recommended switching to Sensodyne so I went ahead and made that switch as well.

So here I am, day 7 of doxycycline, week 3 of the FAB products, and using new toothpaste. I already feel better. After the first day of antibiotics I noticed decreased inflammation and less pain.

I hope to use the blog as a platform for discussing my perioral dermatitis and the progress over the next few months as I recover. This is significantly more personal than I typically get… so if you are used to reading a lighthearted review, welcome to a bit of a different side of me!

Have you experienced perioral dermatitis? How did you find relief from the pain?

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Use It – February 2016

Hello and Happy March!

Welcome back to another installment of talking about my trash or reviewing a bunch of products – you choose how to look at it.😉 I love reading these posts on many other blogs because you are getting so much more than a first impression.

Obviously February was a short month and I feel like this post kind of reflects that – especially since I’ve already started collecting some March empties!

Here we go:

e.l.f Shine Eraser – these are very basic blotting papers that I think have been discontinued. There is nothing special about these sheets – they absorb oil. I snagged a bunch of these at Target for $0.85 (you read that correctly) for 50 sheets. If I find them again, I will repurchase.

Kiehl’s Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish – this smells AMAZING! It is full of Shea butter, jojoba butter an almond oil, creating a clean, soft scent with a serious exfoliant that leaves skin super soft. BUT the exfoliant is micro-beads, which is really disappointing coming from Kiehl’s. If they adhere to the new regulations on micro-beads I would repurchase in a heartbeat. Available at any Kiehl’s counter or online for $11 (2.5oz).

Henri Bendel EDT in Wild Fig – many moons ago, Henri Bendel carried an exquisite line of body products that mirrored some of their most popular candle scents. I have been nursing this little bottle along for years in hopes that they would return with this product. I’ve begged and pleaded with HB, but no luck. I decided to purchase the similar Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis. It isn’t exact, but it will do. I think the Diptyque Figuier is actually a bit closer but I am going to work with the Jo Malone for now. Given my love for fig, I might cave on the Diptyque when fall comes around.

NYX Blemish Control Blotting Papers – these claim to have salicylic acid, but I’m not sure. I also don’t have major acne problems so… there was nothing exceptional about these – I would rather pay $0.85 for the e.l.f. Shine Eraser. These are $5.99 for 100 sheets.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar for Body – what an unimpressive lotion. I used this on my hands at night and I did not find it to be over moisturizing and can’t imagine how dry the rest of my body would have felt. Thumbs down. This doesn’t seem to be available any longer – shocker.

R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo – I liked this dry shampoo, however I think it would be better for thinner hair. It doesn’t level a white mess and has a decent scent. This would keep the oil at bay for a few hours, but would lose it’s effectiveness mid-day. The Birchbox crew seems to love this and constantly raves about it, but I disagree and will not repurchase. Available at Birchbox.com for $29 (6.3oz).

Saint Augustine and Suds Himalayan Salt Scrub – this was a lovely orange and (I think) bergamot salt scrub. It was infused with lots of nourishing oils that left my skin incredibly soft and hydrated. The owner of Saint Augustine and Suds is my favorite local artisan – she makes beautiful soaps and designs her packaging for each product. This isn’t currently on the website but I would definitely repurchase. Check out her fantastic website – saintaugstineandsuds.com and Instagram (@saintaugustineandsuds).

If you want to know what I think of sample size products or sheet masks, check out my Instagram account (@lvp8779).

Total products used 2016 year to date:

Skincare: 3

Body: 6

Hair: 1

Makeup/face: 5

other: 1

Samples: 8

Sheet masks: 2

Have a great March!

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February 2016 Favorites

Hello everyone!

The down side to a short month is that when you don’t finish your previous month’s favorites until mid-month, the end of the month comes up real quick! So while I’m still regularly using (and loving) everything from January, there are a few new things that have made the rotation.

I’m just going to say that everything in my Current Winter Rotation post is still part of my daily routine. My favorite of the rotation is definitely the Julep Hydrating Body Cleanser – it is a really hydrating body wash and even though it is an oil, doesn’t leave me feeling oily.

It has been really dry in my house and office, but super humid with fluctuating temperatures outside. The side affect is dry and static fueled hair, dry skin and even a bit of eczema. How is it possible that my face is oily and dry at the same time?  I’m not amused. These things are helping though!

Once again, I have to bring up another limited edition item. I’m sorry! If you were lucky enough to snag some things from the MAC Ellie Goulding collection, congratulations. You can still find a few of the products on the MAC website. I managed to snag the last Halcyon Days quad from my MAC store and started out using it very sparingly. After a couple weeks, I caved and started using regularly. This quad has 4 cream color bases and a blotting powder. These beautiful cream shades can be used under a powder shadow or layered for a multi-hued eye look and the coral can also be used as a cheek color. It is so versatile and very long wearing.

My final favorite is a cult classic. Once again, I am super late to the party on something. This time it is the Seche Vite Top Coat. My friend Laura talked about it for a long time and I went to look for it at Ulta a couple times and it was sold out. I finally found it and have been using nonstop. It dries incredibly fast and prevents smudging if I do my nails before bed. The down side is this stuff is toxic as hell – kept away from open flame, pets and your face. Hey, I’ll take some fumes if it means my nails look good. Yes, I AM that superficial.:)

So there you have it – another month in the books. What were some of your February favorites?

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