Monday, November 24, 2008

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap—Oily Skin Formula

Why would Spend or Save review a facial cleanser that costs $14.50? It’s that good. I am all for scrimping and saving on superfluous items but skincare items that make a difference merit the extra expense. If your skin is normal and not prone to acne, you are lucky in that you needn’t be as selective in your skincare regime; a good sunscreen, a cleanser that actually removes makeup and an anti-aging product (if you need it) are the bare necessities.

Those of us with oily or acne-prone skin need to be cautious of the ingredients in our cleansers. Did you know that there’s glycerin in the Cetaphil face wash designed for oily skin? That’s right, glycerin--the sticky, gooey, oily stuff you use to create Mixing Medium. For many years, I wondered why Cetaphil was leaving my skin feeling oilier than before I washed it despite the fact that everyone else was raving about how wonderful a cleanser it is. Different people react differently to different ingredients so what may work for me may not work for you and vice versa.

The best part about the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap is the fact that the “Oily Skin Formula” does not leave my skin feeling tight or stripped the way some cleansers can.

Did I mention that a tiny blob of product goes a long way and makes tons of foam? The only thing that makes this product fall short of Holy Grail status is the fact that it does not seem to remove my eye makeup even though it does a great job with the rest of the makeup on my face. I do tend to use a separate makeup remover on my eyes and it’s probably best to avoid using anything created especially for oily skin on one’s eyes since it may be too harsh or drying. The gelatinous texture also makes it a perfect match with Aspirin.

Image Credit:

Friday, November 21, 2008

What a Difference Scrub Can Make!

We’ve all heard of Aspirin’s role in preventing heart attacks and even the less than stellar side effects it can have on one’s stomach lining. For better or worse, this post will not delve into the relative utility of Aspirin in the medicinal world, opting to discuss Aspirin’s potential contribution to our beauty arsenals instead.

I’m sure many of you have heard of an “Aspirin mask” or “Aspirin scrub” before, so for the sake of sparing you a boring read, I urge you to move on. If you have not, prepare for a potentially skin altering experience!

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I am prone to a bit of snobbery when it comes to purchasing skincare items; I presume that better quality ingredients are pricier. I have had negative experiences with drugstore scrubs such as St. Ives and while my experience with Dermologica’s Microfoliant was marginally better, I never saw a dramatic difference in my skin until now.

I can honestly say that dissolving five or so uncoated Aspirin pills in a bowl moistened with water has created the best scrub I have ever tried. My skin has become a lot less blotchy and has developed a bit of a glow. Even a bit of the fine lines on my forehead have diminished.

I originally learned about the beauty benefits of Aspirin through Makeup Alley but was quickly turned off when my first experience with it proved negative. Let’s just say that it’s a very, very bad idea to mix Tea Tree Oil, a known skin irritant, with salicylic acid.

Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, breaks down to create salicylic acid in the body. This is likely the reason some experience stomach irritation upon consumption. Salicylic acid also happens to be the primary ingredient in many skin care items designed to slough off skin or fit acne.

If you’d like to try an Aspirin scrub, purchase the cheapest uncoated Aspirin you can find—this will dissolve better. You can mix honey, face wash or any other liquid with your Aspirin provided that you use caution when combining potentially irritating active ingredients. I suggest you experiment with using Aspirin as a scrub prior to leaving it on your face for a significant amount of time as would be involved in a mask. It is best to stagger the frequency of use since the scrub is very potent; you don’t want to slough off your epidermis in its entirety, do you?

Is Aspirin your favorite skin care product? Tell me all about it!

Image Credit:

Monday, November 3, 2008


I woke up this morning with a terrible cause of the oilies despite having washed my hair last night. Apparently I am guilty of the same error as most women: not washing the conditioner out of my hair well enough. Ladies, please take the extra time to rinse and rinse well if you want to avoid washing your hair two days in a row.

This review isn’t about a problem as much as the solution: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder. Yes, this is yet another solution to bad hair days and an oily scalp, I’m sure you’re beginning to see a pattern. I promise I am not a disgusting, smelly pig (most days); I just happen to enjoy how much texture I get from dry shampoos and powdery products on my scalp and find them to be more gentle solutions to hair spray and gel.

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder has been an H.G. (Holy Grail) product of mine for multiple reasons, the first of which is the fact that unlike most face powders, it contains absolutely no talc. If your skin has ever felt itchy or raw after using a face powder, I’d be willing to bet you’re allergic to talc. Even though I have no such allergy, at least that I’m aware of, I find that powder products that do not contain talc glide on more smoothly, have better color pay off and do not emphasize fine lines and wrinkles the way other powdery products can. And since kaolin clay is often used in acne-fighting face masks and oil zapping products, this ingredient makes Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder even more effective.

Now that I’ve already interrupted the linear sequence of my little anecdote, I will hurry up and get to the point: my love of Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder stems from the fact that I’ve been able to find many uses for the product. It zaps the oil on my scalp, makes my hair look lighter, works well as a highlighter or under one’s eyes to catch eye shadow fallout, cooks, cleans and does the dishes!

How To Use:

  1. Hair

Dust the powder on your hairline or just shake it into the parts of your scalp that are oiliest. If your hair is a level 6 (light brown) or lighter, Baby Bee you need not concern yourself with brushing the powder out very well and can even expect a subtly lighter appearance to your color.

Platinum blondes that need a root touch-up can expect some (temporary) assistance from this product until you’re ready to hit the bottle (or salon chair) yet again. Using a fluffy face brush, apply the products to the visible portion of your roots.

For hair that is level 5 (medium brown) or darker, be sure to brush the product out really well; the powder combs out very easily so you will not look like Marie Antoinette unless you want to.

  1. Face

Pale lovelies can use a light dusting of Baby Bee as a finishing powder; most skin tones can use this to highlight cheeks, the bridge of the nose and just about any area of the face where the light would naturally hit. Baby Bee is absolutey matte so the highlight will look very natural rather than shimmery—just as if that part of your face is slightly lighter than the rest.

Baby Bee is also effective as an under-eye powder for use while applying eye shadow. Not only does it dust away dark shadow particles easily but it does not irritate the delicate under eye skin nor does it settle into those little lines most of us have in the area. I find that the brightening effect of the powder (under my eyes) often makes concealer unnecessary. I warn you against using eye creams prior to application: the powder will stick to the cream.

Ingredients: Corn Starch, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Kaolin (French white clay), Bentonite (Natural clay), Rosebuds (Powdered), Myrrh (Powdered), Slippery Elm Bark (Powdered), Fragrance

Scent: Baby powder without the cloying, sickeningly sweet aspect.

Price: $6-$9 for a 7.5 oz container but worth every penny. Aside for the multitude of possible uses, the product goes a long way.

Availability: Anywhere!

Image Credit: