Giant Giveaway Time with Naruko US!

Wow guys, you MUST check out this giveaway! Even though I should keep this secret to myself~! ūüôā

Fifty Shades of Snail

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these because I don’t particularly want to run giveaways of just random stuff that I can’t vouch for, but some things are worth the wait. Today I have a ginormous Naruko giveaway for you guys to enter, with over $1400 worth of tested-and-loved Naruko goodies as prizes!

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Do whatever you want with your face. I don‚Äôt know you. Part 2: Korean sheet masks and the hygiene ‘scandal’

I have been mentally writing this blog post for about 24 hours now. So while I wait for Dr. Wu’s Mandelic acid to do it’s thing on my face, I thought I should get some thoughts out.

I am very much feeling my previous post on this, what appears to be a series called;

Do whatever you want with your face. I don’t know you.

(link to previous installemet ^ )

In the first part,  I discussed how little I give a shit whether or not you use sunscreen. The information is out there (albeit, at times conflicting and confusing) and you can decide for yourself if and when you wear it or not.

That posting was inspired by¬†an online conversation that took place on Reddit where, a few people felt so strongly about my thoughts on the matter that they began harassing me in the thread and in private messages . (Shout out to Reddit for their ‘block user’ feature) This post is inspired by some similar disappointment that, so far has not led to any harassment.

To get you up to speed, about a week or so ago, a wonderful person who is living in South Korea posted to the Asian Beauty subreddit. She was informing the users that there have been some sheet mask processing issues she felt were being swept under the rug in Korea. She hoped that by sharing the information with the community, we could collectively be proactive and put some type of pressure out there to brands engaging in unsanitary practices. Namely, home folding of sheet masks for major brands while being paid extremely low wages.

From there, Beauty blogger FANSERVICED-B¬†(that’s a link to one of my most favorite posts of her’s) wrote an article for Racked that dove a bit deeper into the subject. You can read that here.¬†

I sheet mask A LOT. Like, twice-a-day a lot with no less than 100 sheet masks in my stash most all the time. (honestly, I have never been one for counting them, mostly because I don’t want to know. WEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!) So it occurred to me to just start emailing companies. I shared what I was doing with The Snailcast*¬†and some of them said they could help with the contacts they had. From there we decided to keep track and god bless the always lovely AB blogger with the laugh that gives me life, Snow White and the Asian Pear who created the form and template for us to track what we found.

*Here,I am going to interject some side bar. I am not “affiliated” with any members of the Snailcast. In that, I get no perks or whatever shillery people like to throw my way. I met all of these wonderful people due to our love of skin care and AB. Fiddy Snails¬†and I got acquainted first. I¬†think¬†we got turned on to K/AB beauty around the same time. We had some interaction, some chats, found I lived in an area she had as a child and just became internet friends/acquaintances. Snow was a mod and after her modding was over, I got to know her. Holy Snails¬†and I became acquainted on Twitter and through her first co-op group and I think FANSERVICED-B just kind of fell into my acquaintance due to a mutual interest in a previous AB ‘scandal’.¬†¬†The only thing I “get” from these women is camaraderie, beauty tips, awesome products Holy Snails makes (THAT I GLADLY PAY FOR) and more dick references than you can shake a stick at.

I’ll save you what that process led to by linking an article, also posted on Racked that I had a small contribution to and I am grateful for the opportunity. They could have very easily left me out of it and they didn’t. Here is the article that came out this morning. I even got like 5 page views today which is my second highest views, second to Brazillian waxing and, why my wrist is killing me.

Inside the Project to Find Out How Your Sheet Masks Are Made

So, as is mentioned in the article, we opted to share the information we had gathered so far with the AB community via Reddit. I honestly thought it would be appreciated. I mean, we are enthusiasts after all and a good majority sheet mask frequently. I honestly don’t even want to get into the issues of sanitation and sterilisation here or, the fact that the workers who do it are grossly underpaid. I’ve stated my position and feelings on the matter.

I honestly and, very naively thought this compilation of information would be well received. That people may get some relief from what we found. That providing a ‘safelist’ of brands who do not engage in these practices would be welcomed. And to a fraction of users, it was.

But the most vocal (and, most upvoted) replies were not. They we split into two camps-one was those who don’t care for reasons like “everything is gross” “the masks are sterilised later” ( I assume it is using a “flash” sterilisation process because any other method would require them removing the folded sheet from the envelopes. This process does not address debris) And the other camp. Well. Apparently this is about racism and othering, which personally never crossed my mind for a second. If I were inclined to that type of thinking I would guess I wouldn’t use any Asian skin care or cosmetics.

What I do know about racism and appropriation is, I am not supposed to speak on things that don’t effect me as a white woman. I intellectually understand this concept even if at times, I have questions. Somehow, questioning hygienic practices and wanting to spend my money on safe products is actually a sly code for “dirty Asians’. Which again, isn’t even within my scope of emotions way before this. So I feel sad and confused and conflicted.

Am I racist for liking Asian beauty products and favoring them? Is that me appropriating a culture for my whitness? I don’t feel like I am. I feel like I am just a person who has been in the skin care field as well as being an enthusiast all my life who happened to find an amazing niche’ that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Both in the accumulation of knowledge and the wonderful skin benefits I have gotten from them. And the community those things have brought me.

I don’t fan-girl over KPOP or KDramas (NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT). I have taken a much more keen interest in learning more about different Asian cultures and I discovered Bibimbap and if that is wrong, I don’t want to be right. AB beauty has definitely expanded my horizons and I cannot view that as a negative at all.

To bring this back to the title of this post; at the end of the day, it’s your face. We were trying to be helpful but that appears to have backfired.

 

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None of us have all the answers. Literally no one. Dermatologist recommend crazy things to people like, using Tretinoin and not using cleansers or sunscreen with them. Chemists  and formulators focus on ingredients and formulations but not always the actual effectiveness of their use. Estheticians can be ill informed or self taught and some have great education and some do not.  Brands can mislead you for their bottom line. So can shops. Shit, even beauty bloggers sometimes have ill intentions.

Very few if any at all have a well versed and rounded set of information that is always accurate. And even if that were even possible, YMMV and things that are widely accepted as great to use or, confirmed effective can back fire on you as an individual. So we were not trying to “claim” anything other than sharing what we found. It doesn’t mean we are the sheet mask manufacturing authority.

I am not even planning to cease my sheet masking because of all this. I may side-eye some brands and keep an eye on my sheet masks a little better before I use them but, it was never the intent to take down any particular brands or an entire culture. I found out something shady so I wanted to know more. If I were using western skin care brands and heard this type of rumor, I would absolutely feel the same way and would try the same methods of trying to get more information.

I had to get this off my chest so I could stop clenching my jaw. I think it helped. Or it could be the xanax and glass of wine, who is to say.

We never thought or, rather, I never thought that anyone would be anything other than glad to hear what we had found. But you know about that bullshit road paved with good intentions and what not.

In closing, keep an eye on your sheet masks for the time being. Or don’t. I don’t actually care what you do with your face.

You can rub dicks all over it for all I care.But I hope they are clean.

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</rant>

This ridiculous Sea Kelp sheet mask

I apologise in advance for the potato quality of the photos contained within this post. I ¬†am a low effort “blogger” so hopefully this is the type of quality you have come to expect. But I couldn’t wait for things like proper editing to share this with people.

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I don’t even remember where I got this mask. (in searching for an ingredient list, I determined I got this from KoreaDepart. Go ahead and have a look because OBVIOUSLY the photos included at the bottom of this listing are full of lies) ¬†But, I do remember that it was at a discount with other purchases I was making wherever I got it. Who doesn’t love some seaweed? So I think I got 4 of them.

I have used this once before with similar hilarious results but this time, decided to document it. It feels like a sea kelp-y kind of day.

This mask actually feels good on. It also feels good when I take it off. It’s everything in between that is a disaster.

The mask is called Kelp Real Sea Kelp Mask 100% Real Kelp Sheet. It is manufactured by Udin , the brand is Chung WOO. It has a really nice ingredient list, too:

Water, Aloe Barbadenis Leak Juice, Glycerin, Honey, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Camellia Extract, Paeonia, Suffruticosa Root Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavendar) Flower/Leaf/Steam Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Algae Extract, Ecklonia Cava Extract, Undaria Pinnatfida Extract, Rhus Semialata Gall Extract, Terminalia Chebula Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabria (Licorice) Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasilioxane, Xantham Gum, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Algin, Sea Water, Adenosine, Fragrence, Phenoxyethanol.

(couldn’t find this on the net so I copied it from the back of the package, you’re welcome internet)

I can only assume this mask making method is similar to what you would make yourself using a DIY  mask maker. AKA a hot fucking mess. Granted, this video by beauty and health Eexpert Julie Wu produces a much thicker mask so maybe not as fragile. But I am suspicious as she clearly has to hold her head back to put it on and I assume, keep it from sliding off her face and falling apart.

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Here is what it looks like upon opening. It’s worth noting that by this time, I knew I had to be delicate and careful with removing it from the pouch and it still ripped. I believe it was ripped before I opened it just from being handled.

Let’s get to the point of this post, shall we?

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As you can see, I tried to “patch” where the piece ripped off and that didn’t go so well. In my defence, a mirror was not used for this application. I was sitting at my desk in my home office. It’s already sliding down and I have no idea what you are supposed to do with/about that nose flap.

 

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Just touching it to readjust it breaks apart one of the nose/cheek attachments. The other, dangerously hanging on.

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This photo is after about 13 minutes, I had enough. Hilariously, the directions recommend leaving it on 45 minutes. As if.

 

In closing, if you attempt to try out this sheet mask, be prepared to lie down for all of it’s use, and even then, good luck covering your whole face or not accidently suffocating on that nose flap. I would recommend using this while supervised.¬†Because, so many lulz.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer 2016 and the products I love

Summer, amirite?

 


It seems as if this is the time of year for struggle. Sunscreens need to be used all.the.time. Sweating can encourage breakouts/purging behavior. Layers can feel like overkill. If you follow 
*K-beauty style routine, the balance can get a little weird.

(*K-beauty is a catch-all phrase that can mean products that are mostly “Asian” but even more so, include a philosophy of hydrating layers to nurture the skin)

Every single sunscreen breaks me out. That is the take away for me in the last two years. I’ve tried so many. I give up. Besides the previously mentioned in my other posts “indoor sunscreens”, its a wash for me. Too much sun makes me break out. Too much sweating, too. I just wasn’t meant to be outdoors, and I accept the consequences of the things i have to do to stay protected in spite of it all.

Back in June I had to travel for work. And by travel I mean, driving 10 hours to said destination. The weather called for sunny skies. Wanting to be cool and comfortable, I opted to wear a long flowy maxi dress and big sunglasses. Of course that meant I needed extra sun protection. So I planned it out, picked two sunscreens (one for face, one for bod) and decided that for these purposes, physical sunscreens were my best bet. I slathered good, ya’ll.¬†

I kept track of time and was sure to reapply every 2 hours. I will admit, most of those applications took place¬†while¬†driving.¬†Whatever, it’s not like I was trying to catch a¬†Magnemite¬†while driving.

By the time I arrived at my destination, thanks to some traffic accidents, it was evening and the last couple of hours of the drive I was overwhelmed with obsessive thoughts of getting a shower to get these layers of chalk off my skin. 

The next morning when I got into my practically-brand-new car with ALL BLACK interior it looked like a luminol scene from CSI only, instead of blood spatter and fingerprints, it was sunscreen everywhere. On my steering wheel, on the door panel where my arm would rest, on the armrest, on my radio touch screen. It was a mess and I feared that my coworkers might want to have lunch out and I would end up the driver and thus, have to explain what kind of crazy person I was. 

On the way home, I just wore more clothes, opted for Biore everywhere that would be exposed and yolo’d it. And alas, my left arm was darker than my right when I got home. You win some and you lose some. The sunscreen struggle is so real.¬†

Now, onto some new discoveries I have made this summer thus far.

Starting with my favorite, *Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Ultimate Hydra Whitening Moisturizer**. This is not a new product but, new to me. I love Dr. Jart’s stuff so I just did a trust fall and bought it.

(*this is one of many names for this product. Mine Just says Water Drop but various listings describe it differently) (**this link is to Sephora which carries this but at an inflated cost as always. I could not find an official Dr. Jart+ site to link to?)

As someone with dry (not dehydrated) skin that cannot tolerate oils (sob) I am constantly trying out new ways to get moisture and hydration into my skin in an effective way. ¬†I honestly only expected this to be a light moisturizer before I received it. But that isn’t what it is. It is like a drink of water for my thirsty skin that creates involuntary moaning when applied to my skin.¬†

It dispenses like a light cream but, turns watery as soon as you spread it on your skin. I have no idea what kind of chemical magic takes paces to create this medium but I am all for it. I have been using it after sheet masking and before an emulsion/light moisturizer step. I also have been adding my LJH Propolis Ampoule to it before applying. I really am looking forward to using this in the winter as well. But for the summer, it’s a perfect boost before a light/medium moisturizer and sleeping jelly. (I favor sleeping packs in gel form this time of year). Anyway, I cannot rave about this enough. Cosdna link here.*

¬†(*You can find it on eBay for roughly $25 as well as KoreaDepart and others. But don’t even bother with Amazon or, anywhere that sells it for more than that. Amazon currently has it listed for $69. LOLNO)

Another new thing I have been using that started as a “just for shits and giggles” purchase that turned out to be really nice is the Hanaka Knee and Elbow Brightener Whitening Cream.¬†I don’t really have much elbow trouble thanks to always rubbing extra skin care from my hands on them but, because I work at a computer all day, it can be an issue with elbows always resting on something. I have also been using it on my ankles (because lord knows, these knees have not seen proper usage in ages, innuendo intended) because I have a bad habit of sitting with a foot under me when computing and it makes these super attractive dark spots/callouses. So far, it’s work fabulously for both. It’s a very mousse like texture and I find a little goes a long way. I also purchased this on eBay. Cosdna link here.¬†

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(DISCLAIMER: This product and the rest I will be talking about are not “Asian”. Take some deep breathes, we will get it through it together)

A couple blog posts back (or 5, I don’t know) I talked about how I gave up tretinoin or, at least using it daily. I was getting orange peel texture which is apparently a lesser known side effect and I was also just getting really sick of the peeling and other bullshit. I was getting sick of having like 3 good skin days a week because the other 4 were in various stages of adjustment. So, I took it back to what I had done for years, just using it once a week as a treatment more or less. And that helped.

I started running low on my tube and went to call in a refill. Only it had been a year since I saw my derm and they wanted an office visit first. My insurance is a pile of shit, the office is not close to me and my co-pay is $80 for specialists. I reluctantly made an appointment for a month out which in US derm standards, is a goddamn miracle that it was only a month. 

While thinking about how absurd this whole process is (I have ranted before about there being really no good reasons for retinoids to be OTC but, I digress) I started looking again at OTC retinol. I picked up some RoC Deep Wrinkle Repair after a bit of googling on various available strengths OTC*.

(*and, having a realistic price-point in mind. There are of course others but, I draw the line at $25 for a 1 oz tube.)

Long story short, I have cancelled my derm appt. For me, the RoC is like getting all the benefits of tret without the bullshit of tret. My skin looks more refined, smooth and moist and with nary a flake. ¬†I also (WHY) then bought a little package they are selling that is called¬†RoC ¬†Retinol Correxion Wrinkle Resurfacing Max System. I don’t know why though because I probably shouldn’t be using both? IDK. I’ll let you know if my face melts off.¬†

Ok, now onto my favorite new find…¬†

I stumbled onto this brand, Niod via one of the beauty subreddits on Reddit. If you are the type of person as I am who gets super excited about science-y products yet, does not have the capacity to understand it all the time*-you will love this stuff. So far I have only made one purchase but it is very interesting if nothing else. It seems this company is based in Canada. Or the UK. I can’t tell but I think it’s CAN. And while the rest of their line of skincare products is very chemistry-knowledge based, the one they have that is not, I purchased.¬†

(*I don’t consider myself dumb but, I lack the ability to retain chemical information and function on a detailed level. However, I apparently have the ability to retain other random, useless information. I am a good trivia partner!)

Sanskrit Saponins is the name of this product which, tells you exactly nothing about what the product even is. That means, I was on board right away. 

It is a throw-back to Ayurveda that is so incredibly unique that I believe this will be something I always keep in my stash. It is a cleanser (although, directions say to remove make-up first) that can also be used as a mask. It smells faintly of yeast (without containing any that I can tell) but does include some plant/extracts of some lesser known Asian plant/trees that are used as cleansing agents that contain no sulfates. 

Just to give you an idea of how mind bending some of the product descriptions are, here is the blurb about this cleanser:

yeŇ°ti¬†¬†¬†Ahead is not further than behind.

True learning is a form of love ‚ÄĒ it is humble. It respects that to look forward, it must look backward. The few observers of NIOD’s childhood know that NIOD isn’t a brand. It is a force and it has a soul. While NIOD’s genetics are committed to science, its soul is ultimately rooted in learning. Perhaps the only flaw of modern science is that it grows proud and loses respect for our deserving past ‚ÄĒ but learning stays humble and looks back.

NIOD’s journey will offer respect to our past with a series of formulations informally called yeŇ°ti. NIOD’s caretakers live with exhausting standards in science. The journey of NIOD’s yeŇ°ti formulations is not one of a lower standard ‚ÄĒ it is instead one that allows our collective past an overdue chance to speak.

Um, ya-sure, whatever you say guys. 

Anyway, my skin feels good after using it and so that’s what I am going on. I look forward to trying more of their products and have seen lots of rave reviews that had been totally off my radar. Cosdna link here.

In falling down Niod‘s rabbit hole, I found that the parent company is one called Deciem. This appears to be an umbrella of which under it has LOTS of cool looking products. So I also purchased a product from the ¬†Hand Chemistry ¬†line called Multi-Vitamin ¬†1% Retinol Oil¬†.¬†Obviously this is the type of product that will take a bit to determine what the effects are. Here is what they have to say about it:

HAND CHEMISTRY’s Retinoid Complex brings a next-generation innovation in Vitamin A technology to the world of beauty. Introducing your most effective retinoid compound without a need for prescription, Hand Chemistry’s Retin-Oil Complex is a multi-vitamin dry body oil, which targets scars, stretch marks, aging dehydrated skin, surface irregularities and discolouration, to show a difference to the skin’s surface in just two weeks. Our super dry oil formula helps skin look smoother, and visibly reduces pore size and wrinkles without causing irritation. This innovative complex also includes Vitamin C to help improve collagen production and sun-induced ageing. A unique blend of skin-enhancing Amazonian oils leave a dry and happy protective barrier on the skin’s surface. An oil-derived Deep Sea Algae Complex targets stretch marks. Over time, there is a general improvement in skin’s visible condition and texture.

Sounds good, eh? I am testing it on my boobs and basically,like, everywhere. Because #old.

For the final product I tried from Deciem, I bought and have been using the Grow Gorgeous¬† leave-in treatment called Overnight to Gorgeous Hair Masque. I mean, I am not sure how you pass up a product with a name like that but if you do, you have more restraint than I. Basically you soak your hair with it (on dry hair) then sleep in it. It doesn’t mention you should wrap up your hair. It just says “put a towel on your pillow”. But I’m not tryin’ to have that smear all over my face at night from my pillow so I would advise wrapping it up. So far, I have actually just used it in the daytime. I work from home mostly so, load it up in the morning, leave it in all work day, rinse. It’s really lovely and leaves my hair feeling very silky and moisturized.¬†

While we are talking hair for a moment, I’d like to give a shout-out to a product I have used for a little over a year now that I have not mentioned before.

I found this product on Etsy after taking a vacation a couple years ago and attending a craft fair that included various women selling their DIY inspired hair and body products. It was a marshmallow root hair detangler/leave in product. And let’s be real-I have kinky curly caucasian hair and finding products that suit me is a serious struggle. Like you would not have time for a blog I wrote that centered around my hair-care and product tries. You would die of boredom and I would never stop writing.¬†

As with most curly hair types, we are dry, dry, dry. And that dryness also leads to hair being even more tangle prone than you terribly unlucky* folks with straight hair. 

(*we hate you)

Anyway, I loved the spray but could not find a way to get it other than in person which was a bummer and off I went to the interwebs to find a replacement. That’s when I found Asha+Miel‘s store on Etsy. At first glance, this IS a shop that focuses on hair and body care products for women of color. And due to my hair type, I have to always assume any product I use intended for POC may or may not work for me. Just like how hair products not marketed towards POC but who have curly hair, do/do not.

(sidenote: hair care companies-why is this so hard??)

That is how I found Jamaican Black Castor Oil + Marshmallow Root 4-In-One Ultra Conditioner Styling Cream, Detangler for Curls (HA TAKE THAT ASIAN BEAUTY COMPANIES WHO SPECIALIZE IN LONG ASS NAMES) which is absolutely HG for me and I never want to be without it. I pump a few pumps into my wet hair, squish it through, then comb through and it is like a DREAM. Once my curls are arranged, I will sometimes use a couple extra pumps as a styler as well. Second best part? Yea. It totally smells like marshmallows but, can be customized with other scents they offer.

Another bonus I have found for use of this amazing stuff is pre-pool/beach. You have no idea how awful it is to have curly hair at a beach. The saltwater and wind will literally turn your hair into a giant dreadlock before your day is over.  So with wet hair, I apply it generously, comb thru and put it up. By the time you are home, just rinse and enjoy soft and tangle free hair. 

Welp, that about wraps this blog post up. JFC, this post almost didn’t happen. On my final look before publishing I discovered that somehow my first few paragraphs fucking vanished. There were many clicks of the “undo” button involved. And of brow furrowing. And fantasies of table flipping. This is all to say, I am aware this is a bit of a formatting nightmare. I just cannot work on this any longer and if I don’t hit “publish” now, I never will. #sorrynotsorry.

Do you have summer favorites to share? Something you think I might like? Something new and unique? HMU!

And lastly, my final thought;unrelated yet always a Stan….

snek

 

 

 

 

 

Do whatever you want with your face. I don’t know you.

Oh hey. Oh, right-I have a “blog” that I should try to write on now and then. Life has been insanely hectic. ¬†It’s so much that if someone were to ask “What have you been up to?” I wouldn’t even know where to start. And that will likely continue for a few more months.

¬†I’ve had some idea of things I’d like to blog about, then the moment passes and I decide that if I have the free time, it’s best used to see a friend or two, have a massage and make sure Netflix is still ok.

So I thought I’d sit down for a few and talk about sunscreen and how little I care if you use it or what kind you use. And my personal sunscreen journey.

I grew up with a pretty vain father which is unusual, it turned out. He loves to tell stories about how he only got his first job because his mother set a limit on what they were allowed to spend on clothes.Beyond that, she made their clothes herself. He was interested in stylish clothes as a young person; he was concerned about his appearance.

By the time I was old enough to remember, I remember a handful of things about my dad: He was mostly never home during the week. On the weekends in the summer it was-get up <mow the lawn < wash the cars < layout to get a tan. I bet your heterosexual father did not “lay out”! ¬†Using the old Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning oil (SPF 5!! still love the smell of that stuff) he would lay and sweat and bake and get his tan on so he looked ‘rich’ for his work week.

I was a daddy’s girl like a lot of girls only, more in the way I wanted to be like him,¬†more so than¬†¬†wanted his affection/attention. So I would oil up and try to stick it out next to him. Which I could never do. I would just “go inside to get a drink” and return, lay down for five minutes, repeat (I never did like being hot) but I did like the sun and tanning. He was stoic and would just pour with sweat for an hour or two then be done.

Of my siblings, I tanned most easily and rarely ever burned. I am still very olive complected. My maternal grandfather was naturally very dark complected for a caucasian man. Over the last few years, some of my family and I have suspected he was Melungeon and that would explain a lot including some of my naturally olive coloring. In spite of being more than half German in heritage. (Results for google image search)

When I was 16 (late 80’s) tanning salons were beginning to be a thing and one just happened to open in my town. It also happened to be half way between where I walked to and from school. And with one note one time¬†(A note! On paper! That my mom, whom the tanning salon didn’t know, accepted as permission for me to tan-forever!) that my mom gave me as permission to tan for like a week before Homecoming, I was allowed from then on to tan at that salon. And I did. Several days a week.

When I got into the skin care biz (1991) it was still considered healthy to tan. Which is so cringy now, I know. The first all skincare-only Spa I got a job at had a tanning bed for clients and of course, I used it as often as possible. Up until age 34, I off and on tanned pretty regularly. Not like, crazy dark tan but a maintenance plan of once a week on a decent base..

I remember a client back then trying to warn me, that all that tanning wasn’t going to end up being good for my skin. But like, I was 20 and super hot, man.¬†She was obviously just jealous of my youth.¬†Same as the lady who told me around the same time that I would live to see the day when I could not work on my feet all day long in high heels. Pshh. Jealous.

(I have not had a heel on since 2007)

Back to the tanning. By this time, my father was around the age I am now (early 40’s) and he still looked GREAT. Like, no age spots, not leathery, ¬†nothing other than what anyone would consider normal signs of aging so I was just like “fuck it, I look fine, he looks fine-proceed”

The summer I turned 34, I had a pool pass in my neighborhood for the summer. The woman I was dating had younger children than mine so we were basically at the pool everyday if even for a couple of hours to wear them out and get a little laying around time. I’d used retin-a off and on for years but by 34 was starting to get a liiittttle nervous about my aging and picked it up again. That’s right-I decided to start using retin-a in the summer, when I was at the pool daily. YOLO.

At this same age/stage I was noticing the fine white vellus hairs all the sudden appearing en masse on the sides of my face. Like an old person. Being that I am a waxer, that was a no brainer.

I. Waxed. My. Face. While. Using. Tret. And. Regularly. Visiting. The. Pool. In the summer.

Because those parts of my face are tougher, I had no waxing mishap. Initially. No skin lifting, no redness/inflammation, etc. So the next day (probably having applied tret the night before) I went to the pool.

And that day was a loong day. High sun, all day (reapplying sunscreen generously, as if it even mattered at that point). I got “great color” that day. I mean, I can tan. For real. I tan with generously and regularly applied sunscreen. I don’t know what to say.

The next day I was looking at my face and noticed that the areas I waxed were¬†brown. And not in a “man, I got so tan my whole body is brown” way, in a “man, my whole body color is amaze and……WHAT THE FUCK IS ON MY FACE?” way.

I spent that summer trying to get rid of/lighten it. WHILE STILL GOING TO THE POOL MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK AND HURR DURR WHY ISN’T THIS GETTING BETTER.

Don’t forget, the shoemaker’s children never have any shoes.

By the end of that summer I realized I made a terrible mistake and that was the end of my sun bathing, tanning-all of it. I have worked on those patches off and on for years. I have only more recently felt like at least it’s not noticeable to anyone but me but it is still fucking there.¬†

Before I go on (and I will) I want to point out in all those years, I was firmly convinced I was aging well and was not seeing (much) skin damage. Yea, maybe I had some freckles here and there that seemed darker on various body parts but overall I was fine, guys.

Except, as time went on and my “natural” skin coloring slowly began to appear (it took a long time. I am ¬†just never ever going to be porcelain. Not that I want to be. But as a marker, it’s not a color my skin is capable of being and I am obviously fine with that) I realized¬† A) prior to being in your/my mid 30’s you actually don’t yet see your full scope of damage. That shit doesn’t start marching all over you until about 38-40. (This has been corroborated by many other ‘olds’. It then promptly propels forward, forever. ) and B) I had just been willfully ignorant of the fact that the tanning was covering up what the fuck I had done to my skin.

I had ten million freckles on my arms and legs. Last I had seen them, there were like 3 per appendage. I’d pulled the wool over my eyes in such a big way. Ug. And then I noticed the faintest of sun spots. On my face.

Now my father does not have them but oh god, my mother does. She is pale and light haired and light eyed, the opposite of me. And she stayed out of the sun her whole life and has “maturity spots” fucking everywhere.

I have many friends of all ages and I have noticed , of my older friends-the real ugly¬†(I know I should use a better word but, it is what it is) sun spots really wake up and SHINE in your 50’s. JFC. Stop this train, I want OFF.

Needless to say, my routine the last few years has been hyper focused on brightening. I would say that just about every step of my skincare routine has ingredients intended for brightening/lightening spots. And that will never, ever end for me. It won’t be a place to “achieve” in my skin care goals. It will be a fucking battle I will never stop fighting because I DO NOT WANT those big brown spots on my face. Omg. I get anxiety thinking it could happen.

Japanese sunscreens really made a big impact on me. Prior to discovering them, I would always wear sunscreen when I was going out for decent periods of time in full sun. But I would have never imagined I could wear any of them and say, wear makeup too. It was an either or situation because sunscreen is fucking awful. I always used various Neutrogena sunscreens for my face in particular. Paying ridiculously high prices for them. They did their job fine but, would always cause me breakouts a couple days later. (cystic)

So Japanese sunscreens really got me into even trying to find ‘cosmetically elegant’ daily sunscreens. And I still have a rotation (which includes Japanese and Korean for face and 10/10 stick with western physical sunscreens for body cuz nobody gots $$ or time for asian sunscreens on the body) ¬†depending on the day or what I am doing. I still mostly only use Biore Watery Essence if I need to like, be an adult and wear makeup in the daytime or the UV Rich Biore under makeup in winter. But with the rest of the sunscreens I rotate, I just throw in the towel and chose sunscreen over makeup and go on with my life.

This summer I have added 3 more to the rotation. 50 Megumi Morning UV Protection Cream SPF 50+ Pa++++ (chemical/physical combo), Innisfree Eco Safety Perfect Waterproof SPF 50+ Pa+++ (which I think is being replaced/discontinued which is “neat” because it’s done well in hot/sweaty conditions. Physical) and Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sunblock SPF35 (physical) because, why not. ¬†Ninja edit : Holy fuck, I had admittedly not tried this yet (I have all the others, swear) assuming it would be similar to the other Innisfree one I had. NO. ABORT. ABORT. Unless you enjoy the chalkiest of white casts.

One thing I have learned is, every single sunscreen breaks me out eventually. Not in the cystic way most western ones do. ¬†But, small pimples that appear a couple days later that go away quickly so, like-what am I going to do? I am just not willing to keep chucking money at sunscreens forever. There are a dozen others I have tried that I haven’t listed and, someone has to stop this insanity.

I also have had surprisingly good results with Biore Watery Essence outside and¬†sweating.¬† I have no answer as to A) why “indoor” sunscreen exists (something-something, your computer monitor. Like. I literally cannot) and B) why this sunscreen works for me in spite of the fact it is apparently for nighttime. ( /s)

I believe it is my skin/skin tone that is partially the reason. I don’t really burn ever so I would not get that visual/sensation and am not getting darker. I am not scaling¬†Eyjafjallaj√∂kull (ya, say that three times fast) , I don’t live anywhere near the beach and my sun “activities” are limited to: walking to and from a car, shopping at an outdoor mall, shopping at an outdoor mall on vacation, and an occasional festival/outdoor concert. So, it works fine for me. I also apply Vit C serum before my sunscreen, as my C step is in the A.M. If I feel I actually got some sun/there was a sun effect I read a study that said applying C every 8 hours¬†after¬†exposure¬†significantly¬†reduced age damage. (except they used more sciency words).

This is all to say, I don’t care even a little bit what you do. Wear sunscreen, don’t wear sunscreen-I don’t know your life. My message today is; youth is wasted on the young. So why the fuck would you listen to me anyway even if I told you it was a really good idea?

 

 

 

I love Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye

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Oh ye on the Kanye hate train. How you frustrate and confuse me. It’s time for us to have a little chat.

The Life Of Pablo

¬†It was announced yesterday the The Life Of Pablo will be available for streaming this coming Friday, April 1st. And while I am skeptical due to it being April Fool’s, I just don’t think Kanye gets down like that/even considered that, to be perfectly honest. But I am excited that it will be more accessible.

Up until then it has only been available via Tidal¬†which is an online streaming music service much like many others. “TIDAL is an artist-owned coalition. The founding TIDAL artists are Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire (Win Butler and Regine Chassagne), Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Shawn ‚ÄúJAY Z‚ÄĚ Carter and Usher.”¬†The concept is great, I guess. Artist owned but, as a Stan-it has been just a tad annoying to not be able to shuffle TLOP in with the rest of my Kanye collection.

However, the best thing about the Tidal release was the changes. In the over a month (released 2/14/2016) ¬†it’s been out, there have been lots of changes. Each change, uploaded in real time. So about once a week new, cleaner (as in production, etc) versions would load up. It was super interesting/exciting as just a normal person. Like “Oh yea, I have heard this song 50 times now but this time, it’s different-right….there” ¬†There were songs I liked that became songs I love¬†due to little subtle changes in bass or into/outro.

Wolves is absolutely amazing and has changed at least 3 times since he performed it on SNL with Sia and Vic Mensa. I was good with the original then when TLOP was released, it was missing something. He took out ¬†Sia’s verse and changed around Vic’s verse. I still liked it but not as much. Then, one day….

 

 

And now, it’s a masterpiece. Unnnngggggg. I love it so hard. And Friday, you too will get to love it with me.

Then there is Famous which re-stirred the stupid as hell Taylor Swift controversy again. I am not TS fan and a huge Kanye fan so, fuck Taylor, for real. And also fuck her wanna-be goon squad. Like seriously? Stop, mini Gwenyth. No one wants or needs a V-steam. But I digress.

FML, Fade, Freestyle 4, Real Friends, Frank’s Track (Frank Ocean)-unnng, I love them all. It’s easier to mention the tracks I don’t like. Like I am not a fan of Low Lights and could do without Siiiiiiiiilver Surffffeeeeer Intermission.

 

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The date of that post was Feb 12th. Kanye’s “Meltdown” backstage at SNL on the 14th (let’s get real, everything he does gets over-hyped to the negative. If that is a meltdown, I need to be in a psychiatric ward because I have bigger rants than that after hanging up with frustrating customers at work) Taylor’s shade was thrown at the Grammy’s on the 15th. She knows what she is doing. Plus, wth is with that outfit? Ung. Anyway. The point is, if you are still hanging onto your Kanye hate because a poor little white girl was interrupted on stage one time by a guy who has apologized a million times and admits he drank an entire bottle of Hennessy before that, who has real passion for his music and fellow artists, you need to re-evaluate your hate and ask yourself, why do you really hate him? Because that’s an old and tired reason. Real old. Real tired.

KonTaylorNorth

Ok so, let’s assume that isn’t why you hate Kanye. You are on the other Kanye hate team of which there are two; The Poor-little-Taylor or He-is-so-arrogant.

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I find that a lame excuse also. I have yet to see many entertainers who are not unrightfully (I think I may have just made that word up) arrogant. My god, the industry is overflowing with “artists”. Hell , the world is overflowing with them. On the other hand, we all suffer from low-self esteem at times and self doubts. Is your <insert your favorite actor/actress/musician/band,etc> ¬†arrogant, self righteous at times, confident. WHEN DID CONFIDENCE BECOME A BAD THING?? AM I IN BIZZARO WORLD RN?

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Obviously, I love Kanye. I love his music first and foremost. He changed the game. He paved the way for people like Drake and Kendrick to do what they are doing right now. He switched it up, made it fresha. I actually love his clothing and shoe lines, if only I could afford them ūüė¶

I also identify with him so hard. He knows what he wants and he knows what he knows. And he desperately wants to tell you and everyone about it. Trouble is, he is not great at explaining himself or saying what he means in a way that is always easily understandable. I have that problem a lot. I have seen things I have said in type. In my brain they make perfect sense. When I go to explain them? Not so much. But it’s in there. I know wtf I am trying to say! I also get easily frustrated when I am not understood and that could possibly lead to me coming off as hostile. But the hostility is really at myself for not being able to make myself understood.

“YOU AIN’T GOT THE ANSWERS SWAY!”

Yes, that Sway interview was…..special. But, poor Kanye. He is trying so hard and goes up against so much hate that he can be overly defensive. And I get that.¬†

We also happen to share a birthday and initials so maybe my connection is also related to the stars, who knows.

Finally, I will leave you with the infamous Kanye copypasta and the as-of-last-night released stream ¬†of his 9th track from TLOP “I Love Kanye”.

Thanks for reading! Do you love him or hate him? If you hate him, here’s what you do-you keep that shit to yourself. If you love him, let me know in the comments!

 

loveyoukanye

 

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New things and Empty things

Heyo-sorry for my hiatus. Life, man.

I got crazy sick then had a week of travel for work and I just could not get it together to make a new post. But, I am back, feeling more like a person and wanted to get a post out. This could be one of a few not posted on a Sunday because I finally feel like my head is back together.

*Disclaimer #1-I did not mean for this to be so long so, please feel free to skim, I do it all the time with lengthy blogs.

I am going to always go with the assumption with this blog that you are educated already and have found another/other much better AB bloggers to follow who gives the type of in-depth information that can be essential to learning the ways of AB ( gong.gif). Please know, my blog is not for the beginner. There are so many greats out there for this and I do not have any intent to be one of them because, reasons. Also of note-there are not affiliate links here because, I don’t even really know what those are. And I purchased everything myself because people just don’t send me things, heh. So, ya this is just stuff I buy and put on my face.

 

That said, I thought I would just go through some empties from the past month, my impressions and some new things I have been trying out/swapping into my routine.

I have had hella empties this month. Granted, I AM trying to use up some product because,over buying but also, trying to cull my stash which has to be done if I want to buy all the things, right?

Empties

The lovely Beauty of Joseon Cream or Dynasty Cream depending on the retailer (all further links will be to blog posts telling you more about them) is finally empty. This is my second (3rd?) jar with one on the way. I was so incredibly iffy on this cream when I first purchased it. I felt like the scent was way too strong for me. But like a good AB’er, I pressed on and now, for some reason, I do not feel it is overly scented at all. Very clean and feels great on my skin. This is just a must have, there are no two ways about it!

My next empty this month was the LJH (Lee Jiham Dr.’s Care Vita Propolis Ampoule) Ampoule. Which I actually mix a few (ok, maybe 5) drops per application of my Beauty of Joseon Cream. I feel like it adds something extra that really makes things sparkle! My replacement should be here any day now.

OST Vitamin C ¬†Sleep 9 to 5 ¬†Whitening Creama. Which the name has never made any sense to me. What are you? A sleep cream or a 9 to 5? You make no sense, face cream. At any rate, I have used it for about 6 months as a day cream. For two reasons; one, it works best with your Vit C serum application for the day, and I do mine in my A.M. routine and also because it’s a great texture for daytime. But of course, do as you wish. Its in the queue for my next order/haul.

Snowbang Essence.¬†¬†At first I was unsure about this product as my experience previously with ceramide essence where those that were creamy. But I grew to love it. Ideally I think it is best suited for combo/oily/acne prone skin for that reason. As time went on I realized it will be perfect for the summer when I don’t need such heavy moisturizing layers. I currently have another Ceramide essences I am trying to use up but once I do, I will be repurchasing Snowbang fo’ sho’.

Shark Sauce. Yay! I finally got through my second bottle and second formulation. I got to open my third bottle and third formula this week and I love it even more than the previous version. You can find rave reviews all over the place, specifically the Holy Snail Facebook group page where Holy Snails regularly updates everyone on formula changes, gives and gets feedback and is generally a crowd-information-sourcing-badass, as she should be.

Neogen Dual Layer Ceramide Oil. I actually really liked this product. I will preface the rest by saying, I have yet to find a Ceramide essence quite like the ElsaGusa Ceramide Essence.¬†(that is a link to a place to purchase it, Google translate add-on is your friend here.) Oddly (or, not) I could not find a review for this anywhere other than on the AsianBeauty subreddit (probably of which both are mine) probably because it’s so hard to get and hella $$$ ($50 USD for 50 ML) which is why after 2 bottles I had to give it up. Anyway, comparatively, I liked the Neogen Dual Layer just fine and may repurchase in the future but I have to add, the packaging is absolute shite. Maybe it was just my bottle but the dropper was terrible and would barely suck up any product into the dropper. So that’s something I will have to consider if I repurchase in the fall.

Ok, onto the new things I have purchased and have begun using…..

*Disclaimer-it should go without saying, I am always, constantly buying and trying new sheet masks. At the end of this I may list a few new ones I have tried and like recently but know that sheet masks are an ongoing, revolving door of newness in my life so I may not blog much about them.

Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Toner. (that’s a link to a site to purchase/where I purchased mine. But in all honestly, I do not like that retailer so, search around, I am sure someone else is carrying it by now) ¬†Ahhhh. I love you. I am so glad you exist in my collection now. It’s well documented on the AB subreddit my love for the Honey Cream and Oil Essence so I did not hesitate to buy this as soon as it was available. While the most functional, IMO of the 3 is the Essence Oil (I use it to pat on before and/or after my cushion for the dewy look that does not clog up my pores), the Toner is a lovely addition to my routine. Can I throw/giveaway my Moistful Booskin By Enprani now? I hate it ūüė¶ ¬†But, my obsession will live to see some new additions since becoming aware that they now have a¬†hand cream and Heating Mask ¬†for this line.

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Next up-the House Dr. Igloo Ampoule Bright Arbutin.¬†(link to a place to purchase because apparently no reviews¬†exist- YOLO. This is also a German product). It’s a 21 day “program” that you use one ampoule a day. So far so good, I have been using on in my PM routine a night for 7 nights now and I actually see a difference. I am not sure I would buy it again right away (because I do use other products in my routine containing Arbutin) but I thought this was a cool experiment. Maybe a few times a year type deal. I have been applying it after actives if I am using them, if not, I have been putting this on before all other steps to get that goodness right up against my face. My only complaint is the glass ampules they come in. I have used products like these in the past where you have to crack them open and they break clean. These are a toss up if they break clean or not. Last night, I picked a lot more glass shards off my hand before applying than I was happy about.

*Another disclaimer: I use a Brightening/”whitening” heavy routine for two reasons; one to combat the years and years and years of sun worship/tanning and two because ¬†my mother has a fair complexion and stayed out of the sun, she is prone to “maturity” spots anyway. I just dread the idea that will happen to me. It already is/has on areas of my body so I am trying to do what I can to limit that on my face,neck and decollete’.

(guys, I have so much new stuff, I am so sorry)

I have two newish facial oils to talk about. The Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Oil¬†and the Marmonde Age Control Camellia Oil. (p.s. I am sorry a lot of these blog links are to Fifty Shades of Snails blog. She happens to be a “skin twin” as well as a friend so it happens often her reviews trigger me prompt my purchases!) The Sonia Kashuk was a surprise but, not really in some ways. I have been a fan of her and her make up from waaaaay back in the day when she started out as the head makeup artist at Aveda who developed one of the best make up lines they ever had. Once she went onto her own line (sold exclusively at Target too, yay!) I was already a big fan. So when I heard about this facial oil, I had to try it. It is lightweight and AMAZE. You can see the ingredients in the above link. I must admit more than anything, I absolutely am in love with the scent. What is ironic is, the scent was very familiar to me right away. One of my all time fave perfume oil is/was Love Oil by Aveda.¬†It is suspiciously similar in scent. The Marmonde I have not used as long but, I am already hooked. With any/all my facial oils, I tend to add them after my sheet mask/before moisturizing serums, moisturizer and sleeping packs. In that order. But also when going for a dewy look in the daytime.

Koelf Royal Jelly Hydro Gel Eye Patches. What is there to say really? They are eye patches. They are nice. They stick to my face well. I am skeptical of all eye patches so, they are in my life but, I am not amazed.

La’Bonic Organic Turn Back The Clock Serum¬†This is also non-AB and made in New Zealand (but IS currently in stock at KoreaDepart). If your face is old, dry and you love anything/everything rose scented-this is for you. I actually feel like it’s a great hydrator. I Use it after or in place of a facial oil and before a moisturizer. It has a milky texture and sinks in great.

Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Mask  (seriously, click that link to check out that stellar ingredient list) This is also non AB and a Hungarian brand I have been in love with for about a decade. Fair warning; shits expensive yo. But I was able to find it for a decent price on eBay. Since I have dry skin, not prone to breakouts, I justified the splurge because I feel you need a couple things in your arsenal not always for your skin type because sometimes your skin type goes haywire. Their products are concentrated and meant to be watered down when you use them so, go light when scooping it out then, add drops of water to your hand and mix before applying. This stuff is so delicious and cooling/refreshing. I have a feeling it will get much more use as the weather warms.

J.One Hana Cream¬†(warning*Naver Blog-just scroll down and hope Google Translate is useful) I am about done with this jar and have already repurchased. It is quite interesting but, I have enjoyed it. I feel it’s great for daytime because it has a slight powdery finish (but, not matte) and coincidently has a faint baby powder scent.¬†¬†I have also liked the J.One Jelly pack but don’t think I will repurchase. It’s claim is a “daytime sleeping pack” and I am not entirely sure I need that. Although it does seem firming.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Energizing Eye Cream¬†I’ll be honest here-I don’t even “believe in” eye creams. I mean, I know they exist but like, I find them kind of bullshit overall. But I saw this was newly added and had *Pure Privilege points to use (because as stated earlier, I love their scents/perfumes. Oh and their Tea is delicious) and some Refinery29 or the like blog got to me and I bought it. Plus, licorice guys. Anyway, even Queen Paula (I say with sarcasm of course) gave it a glowing review. ¬†But in general, here is my take on eye creams. Nuff said.

(I am so sorry, I am almost done, promise)

W Lab Mild BHA Peeling Cream Smart All-In-One Sleeping Cream¬†(link to KoreaDepart-sorry, can’t find a review-see product description for ingredient info) All I can tell you so far is, it is really occlusive and turned my face BRIGHT RED LIKE TOMATO on the first two nights I used it. But I think it’s doing something? Mostly because my skin feels super smooth and I woke up with a white head this morning in a typical breakout area. I will revisit this once I have used it for a week, I will update it here.

L’Herbaflore Applephenol Anti-Oxidant Mask¬†(Beautibi link because it is fairly new and I am not finding reviews.) I actually am really digging this one. As you probably know, sleeping packs come in an infinite amount of consistencies. This one is like a yogurt consistency and super light once it sinks in. I have woken with smooth and great looking skin every morning. Because I work from home most days, I have also been using it sometimes during the day. I think this will be perfect for a summer sleeping pack.

And finally, Nakeup Face 15% Glycolic Acid AHA Scaling Cream (eBay link because also, no reviews yet) which is on deck once I have finished the W Lab Peeling experiment. So I have exactly zero feedback about it but thought I would dump it here for future updating.

YOU DID IT!!! You made it through this long ass post!! Thank you, you must either be very bored or are a friend, either way-I am grateful. 

 

If you have any questions about where I bought anything or need help, please feel free to reach out in comments. 

If for some reason this is your first visit to my blog, this is not entirely a skin care blog in case you have not figured that out yet. Pretty sure my next post will be about The Life Of Pablo which has been on non-stop repeat since I got it day one. ūüôā Praise Ye’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light Sunday ramblings

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I don’t have much in the way of profound things to talk about this week. This week was a little all over the place, much like this post will be. Here are some highlights.

 

  • I am eating a delicious McDonalds breakfast sandwich. I also can’t believe it took McDonalds so long to get on the all-day breakfast train.
  • I am in the beginning stages of planning a bathroom remodel and it’s very overwhelming for me. This is a time in life where a partner would be nice. Someone to say “I like that sink” and for me to be like “Great, let’s get that one!” Alas, it is just me and my doubts of my choices for something that in the scope of the world, is very much a first-world problem.
  • I decided this week to quit using Tretinoin. For years I had used it once or twice a week with good results. 6 months ago my derm told me there was “no point” in my using it at all if I wasn’t working up to using it daily. That I would not get the anti-aging, skin smoothing benefits I wanted if not. So I very slowly worked my way to daily use and after about 3 months of daily use, my skin is worse than it has ever been. I have developed Orange peel texture, a very bizarre looking enlargement of pores and the overall texture is shit. After doing some internet digging I found all 3 of these things are not uncommon side effects that, according to users can take anywhere from 5 months to never to return back to normal. So that is just fucking super.
  • A lot of my family is having issues and going through hard things. I am hoping things turn around for them and also hoping my biggest concerns remain my skin and picking out a bathtub.
  • My bestie’s daughter turned 7 this week and I went to a small cake and ice cream gathering at her house. A couple days later, bestie said her daughter had a stomach virus a couple days later and now bestie and bestie’s bf, another kid who was at the party and their mom had it too. While at work, I had to urgently excuse myself to the “library” and was afraid I had the bug too. Turns out, I just ate a shit load of watermelon the day before and forgot about it.
  • During a recent checkup the vet found my dog to have elevated liver enzymes. Not too elevated he said but enough that we need to re-test in a few months. I fear my dog has a secret drinking problem I am unaware of.
  • My shoulder and wrist finally stopped hurting on Wednesday morning. And then promptly went back to shit Wednesday evening when back at the salon so, that’s a thing now I guess.
  • The irony of me finally starting this blog and naming it what I have is not lost on me this week, when I have kind of had enough of the beauty sub I belonged to that prompted me to consider blogging again. Between literally no moderation, me being semi doxxed with no action nor, reply from the mods until 8 days later. Coupled with people using my ideas a or taking credit for them elsewhere and I am reminded why I loathe to be part of any “group”. It always sounds good at the beginning but in the end, I always find myself fringe-ing my way out of them. It happens. It will probably happen again. Although, I am at fault in most ways for having my ideas used by others by not properly using them myself (in the form of a blog or social media post, claiming them) and I am at peace with that. I still don’t have in me to do the type of beauty reporting that is widely used. It’s all good at the end of the day.
  • It got up to 72 degrees here yesterday. Not too shabby for February. I had so many plans today based on a continuation of that weather for today. But no, woke up to chilly rain so. It remains to be seen if I will even leave this chair let alone the house.
  • I am absolutely obsessed with The Life Of Pablo, Kanye West’s latest album. If you are a Kanye hater, keep that shit to yourself. Stan for life, here.
  • Ultralight Beam is on constant loop this week. For an atheist, I sure love the sound of gospel music.

That’s about it. I hope to have something better for you soon. Just thought I would check in because I am sure you were at the edge of your seat, waiting to hear from me ūüôā

 

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/kanye-west-ultralight-beam/2985373

 

 

 

Brazilian waxing and,why my wrist is killing me.

I so slept in on Sunday. Typically I am blogging on Sundays but after a brutal two weeks at work, making sure everyone in my city was prepped for Valentine’s Day, I just did not have it in me. Plus, I woke with the worst wrist and shoulder pain, convinced I slept wrong. It only occurred to me this morning when I still had it that it is probably work related.

I am a brazilian bikini waxer and I have injured myself, terribly. I did it for you. I do it for all of you.

But aside from that I feel like I need to take this opportunity to share and educate some people about what doing this for a living can be like. It’s all fun and games for those having it done (I kid, I kid) but you need to know some things about what’s in your pants, ladies. And while all my memories are fresh, I am going to run down some stories and bullets points because, yall need to spread this info around for me. ¬†I was also unable to drink them away in one day. I could write a book but, more often than not-I try to erase memories quickly or I would never get out of bed to face another sea of vaginas for money.

I am going to run down a couple scenarios first to preface my bullet points. All 4 of these happened this past week. This is a mere snapshot. I could give more but I think these four encompass my message for today.

I will tell the two mildest then, the two worst because the latter happened in the same 20 minute time span. Also, worth noting that I am skilled and fast and my clients appreciate that. If you have ever had a 45-60 minute brazilian you will understand why skill and speed are most important. And on that note, if you currently get this done and it takes 30 minutes or more, you need to find a better waxer. So that is why my wrist is dead. I book a client every 15 minutes because my service takes 10. That’s 5 minutes for undressing, wiping and dressing left for you. Times that by 4 in an 8 hour day and, dead wrist and shoulder.

The first lady is a regular. I should also take this time to mention that I work two evenings per week. When you work the evenings, you get clients who have been at work all day and perhaps have forgotten the adventures the things in their pants have been through throughout the day. I provide baby wipes in my room, with a sign instructing to use them. In spite of this, many still don’t for some reason and it is baffling to me. Or maybe they use them but not everywhere I will be.

By adventures I mean sweating, discharging and pooping (fair warning, from here on out, things are going to be gross. This is my life). They work out at lunch time and maybe forget that happened? They pooped after lunch and forgot that happened? They are a heavy discharger and forget that’s a thing they do? I don’t know. I don’t know why you would have your entire vulva and butthole exposed to a person and not run down a time table in your mind of what you did with those areas prior to seeing me but, some people don’t.

 

Back to the regular lady. She is a heavy discharger. Hey, it happens. Vaginas are self cleaning machines (PLEASE NOTE: VAGINAS ARE-VULVAS ARE NOT. PLEASE LEARN THE DIFFERENCE) And for some of us that discharge just ends up in your panties, NBD. But for others, it begins to accumulate in the folds of your inner labia. Ya. It does. So please, wipe thoroughly before your wax if you cannot bathe. When bathing, USE SOAP ON YOUR VULVA with your hand to make sure you are getting the folds. Because this lady had such a build up it is hard to imagine that was from just one day. I feel like it was two days of not showering but, I digress.

So, I will spare some of the details but, let’s just say that there was so much that when I did a pull of a strip from her outer labia there was enough smegma build up that CHUNKS OF IT FLEW OFF FROM THE VIBRATION OF THE WAX PULL. That fucking happened to me this week. Do you really want to make that happen to another person you are putting in charge of caring for your grooming? Please no.

Before I continue because this applies to most of the stories I have:

I read women on the internet saying (and, sometimes in person) “My doctor said not to use soap on your vagina”. This is true! You should never put soap in your vagina. Your vagina does not need cleaning. No douching either if we don’t all know this by now. BUT YOUR VULVA NEEDS SOAP. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL. RINSING WITH WATER IS NOT ENOUGH. DO YOU UNDERSTAND???? Your vulva is NOT your vagina. Soap. Please.

Now for a milder story but, whatever-it’s a public service announcement from waxers all over the world:

It hurts. We know. It also hurts more if you are not having it done monthly or shave between visits. I don’t feel like explaining why because I do it 4000000 a day. Just trust us. It gets better. But if you are someone like this next lady who insists on only doing it once or twice a year-please know, the shit is going to hurt and wear your big girl panties because I am not here to spend an hour with you while you get your shit together. This is not cause for screaming. You knew why you were coming. You called ME. I did not force this on you. Act like an adult. “Ouching”-totally fine. Acting like I am stabbing you? Not fine.

So here I am with miss-once-a-year and she cannot control her limbs because she is so dead-set on exaggerating her feelings that I have already been kicked twice before I get to her ass-crack. At which point I then get KNEED IN THE FACE. So, the message of this story is, buck up or GTFO. This is no different than getting a tattoo and then yelling about the pain. It is inherently at least mildly painful, its 2016-you have the internet, you know this. Also, if you kick your waxer twice and knee her in the face once, tip more than 10%, that’s just good karma in practice.

Ok, so-this is where it’s going to get bad so ABORT if you can’t handle reading about the sights and smells that I actually have to see and smell because this one is rough.

It’s mid week last week, evening. About 5:30 pm. ¬†The area my partner and I wax in is a room sectioned off into three rooms, each room having a 3/4 wall partition. So it’s essentially one big room but with visual privacy. I have just gotten in for the evening and my partner says hello, that she just took a client into her room and I go to prep my room for my client that is waiting.

As soon as I step in, I am almost overcome by the smell of rotting–death pussy smell.

Before I go on I should say: Vaginas are all different. All have a variety of scent and pungence. A strong smell is not always indicative of infection. Some people just have a stronger natural odor. This was not that. This was not even what I would consider an infection level odor. This was musky and old and permeating the entire space. ¬†I have done this for almost a quarter century. If I couldn’t handle the sights and smells that go with this job, I wouldn’t have made it this far. This was something else entirely.

I honestly hesitated bringing my client back it was so bad. Plus, my client is a long standing regular who can be quite outspoken and I was slightly concerned she might even say something. She didn’t though.

So I am working on my client and the stench is just getting worse. I can tell from the conversation my partner is having with her client that this is her first wax. Dear jesus, maybe it will be her last. I mean, it’s so bad I am having a hard time focusing on my client. But suddenly, my focus got as sharp as a laser when it was time to do the backside of my own client.

My client had two anal fissures. You can google that if you are unfamiliar. They are basically a smallish open ….wound? And the only remedy/repair is a dr. and some stitches. I honestly don’t even know what causes them.I just know what they look like, just like every other vulvar/anal anomaly or disease/disorder. Because I have to know ūüė¶ I have to know what is weird but normal or weird but abnormal.

This client has been coming to me for at least 5 years. If she knew it was there, I believe she would have said “Oh by the way”. But she didn’t. So I just went widely around them. I have things like this come up often and I am always at a loss about how to bring it up in a way that is not embarrassing for them. So, I have been struggling with that since it happened because I didn’t say anything and, I should have. SO I have decided if it’s not showing signs of being stitched up next time, I am going to say something.

So, I finish her up and head out and my partner is still with the other person who stinks. Because it is her first time, she is taking it slower than normal. Bless her, really. I would be trying to get it done so fast but, she is doing it properly.

I spray the rooms with an air freshener after the lady is gone and the smell still lingers for awhile. This was by far, the worst odor issue ever for either of us. In the decades we have done this so, that is saying a lot. By then my partner is done for the day so she leaves before we have a chance to commiserate about her client and mine.

The next day we both arrived at work early so we can get set up and also, use this time for bitching about work things. Which includes stinky-puss. The story gets worse, if that is at all possible.

I should preface this by saying this is only the quote of one person who is ill informed and in no way am I implying or agreeing with anything this woman said.

We have a spiel we give all first time clients. We give them an at-home care kit and talk about Do’s and Don’ts and follow up, etc. Part of that talk is “You can shower or bathe at any time, but if you take baths you may want to use cooler water in the first 24 hours as you will be sensitive to temperature. But you can wash the area normally” At which point, stinky puss stops my partner by putting a hand on her knee and says “Not to interrupt you but, you know us black ladies don’t wash down there.”

 

 

 

First of all, let’s NOT speak for an entire race of people, shall we lady? I am going to venture to guess that your follow ladies of color would beg to differ and be outraged by your statement. I mean, I know there are cultural taboos that exist everywhere but-in modern times these should be mostly debunked by now. ¬†So that little mystery is solved. My partner was so stunned that she only was able to pause then continue with her speech, being totally caught off-guard and unable to process fast enough. Do you tell someone they are wrong about their hygiene practices/beliefs? I don’t know.

 

So, in closing:

  • Wash your vulva. WITH SOAP. It NEEDS soap and water regularly. Your Vulva is NOT your Vagina, which does not need cleansing.
  • Wash your butthole. You pooped today. Toilet paper is not enough if you are planning for anyone to be near your butthole. And since we are talking, this includes sex. Wipe your butthole with a wipe in addition to your vulva if you are not bathing pre-sexy times. Trust me on this.
  • Think of visiting your waxer as your would your gynecologist. Would you seriously not bathe or take other measures to be clean before that? Why wouldn’t you extend the same courtesy to me? The person not making 6 figures to look at your butthole.
  • Get in the habit of some monthly “me” time by investing in a good hand mirror next to good lighting. You need to be aware of what is going on down there to even know if something is wrong or unusual.
  • It isn’t always a skin tag. Sometimes it’s warts. See your gyno regularly, ladies. If you see something-say something. To your doctor.

 

Please, read and share and spread the word to your friends so me and my colleagues can keep getting up each day to make your lady parts pretty as a picture.

You’re welcome.

 

 

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