Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gel nails

I LOVE gel nails!

I am someone who washes their hands a lot. Therefore I need my nails to be able to last. I got sick of having to redo my manicure every couple days. No matter if I used a base coat or Seche Vite (the best) topcoat. They would chip so bad! I can't stand chipped nails. They make me mad lol 

So about two years ago I got shellac and never looked back. I don't always have my nails done;sometimes I just buff my nails and apply a nail strengthener and cuticle oil every few days. When a more important expense comes up I go without my beloved gel nails. That's what being an adult is about *sigh*

Anyway, I used to get acrylic nails put on then a gel overlay on top but I got tired of having to nurse my natural nails back to health between each application. The acrylic nails really make my nails thin and brittle. Now I only get the gel on my natural nails.

With acrylic nails

The bronze color with shimmer reminds me of fall. It will go good with my Thanksgiving outfit hehe

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Affordable skin care products for blemished skin

I suffered from acne and the scars that that came with it for over 10 years. My skin wreaked havoc on my self esteem and I spent a lot of money trying out products. Essentially, my blemishes were caused by hormones, bad diet and genetics. What helped was time (getting through puberty), eliminating cows milk and red meat from my diet and drinking water. I also take supplements to help my skin but that's another post :)

Here are the products that I tried and stuck with for years. None of them ever failed me. They are also pretty affordable, all can be found online or at your local drugstore (except for the toner, which is sold at Sally's Beauty). I hope this can help someone who wants to save some $$$.

Favorite Affordable Skin Care Products
1. Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap ($4-$5): I know they say bar soaps are bad for your face but this work great for acne, especially if you have sensitive skin!  This is a non-irritating bar soap that has peppermint, which gives a nice, refreshing tingle. It's also good for the environment as it doesn't produce waste ;) It is gentle enough to use twice a day.

2. St. Ives Green Tea Scrub ($5): This is a face scrub with granules that are smaller and less harsh than the apricot scrub from the same brand. The scent isn't very strong either.  The active ingredient is salicylic acid, which helps with breakouts. I used this about twice a week and enjoyed the smoothness of my skin afterward.

3. Neutrogena Make-up Remover Wipes ($6-$8, cheaper online): These are the best makeup wipes I have ever used! They are thick and saturated enough to remove all face makeup with one towelette. They are pretty pricey for the size so I tend to stock up when it's on sale. The scent is almost non-existent.

4. Beyond Belief Witch Hazel ($5 from Sally Beauty): I use this witch hazel as a toner after I cleanse/exfoliate my skin. Unlike most witch hazels from the drugstore, it smells nice and doesn't sting. I use large cotton pads to apply.

5. Clean & Clear Persa Gel-10 ($5-$7): This is basically the benzoyl peroxide that the dermatologists usually prescribe for acne. Benzoyl peroxide is banned in other countries because with prolonged use, it can bleach the skin and thin it out. Horrible! I applied this to blemishes instead of my whole face and it was usually gone in two days. I do not suggest applying this to your whole face, just the pimple itself.

6. Aveeno Daily Moisturizer with SPF ($14-$19): This is on the expensive side, compared to the other products but it is quite affordable since it lasts a long time. It has added sun protection, which is essential for everyone regardless of skin tone! I used this everyday and found that it helped with scars. I had a hard time finding a moisturizer with sunscreen that didn't leave a cast and didn't make my face an oil slick. Give it a try!

7. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque ($3-$5): I'm sure everyone has tried or at least heard of this. For me, it lived up to the hype. The clay and salicylic acid in it is what helps. Clay is very good with acne prone and oily skin. I used this about twice a week.