Sunday, April 3, 2016

Late 20’s Skin Care: Budget Dr. Lancer + Korean Skin Care Methods - Week 1 Update

Anyone wondering how I'm doing with the skin care thing, combining budget Dr. Lancer method and Korean skin care methods? (If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my blog post here.)

For the astute reader, you may note that it's been over one week since I posted that. Yes - because I was still waiting for all of the products I ordered to come in. They all arrived last weekend and I began following the whole routine. I have not skipped a step or a day, and wow - there is a big difference!!

My blackheads are fading and my pores are actually appearing to close; the few bouts of acne I was experiencing are also fading, though I've had a few breakouts recently thanks to my monthly hormones, but NOTHING like what I usually have. My skin is tightening up around my jawline, as well - I can see everything becoming more firm and it is blowing my mind.

I have not yet noticed a huge difference in the fine lines I have, but I will say this - the dark and age spots on my cheeks are fading. I never thought they would actually do so, but my skin - particularly the left side (the worst side) - is looking SO much better. And SO soft!

Here's how I know for sure that my skin is improving: my boyfriend, who is one of those men who eschew skin care as being emasculating (though it's NOT), noticed how great my skin was (and men NEVER typically notice stuff like that on their own) and asked me to start doing his skin. And I've been doing an abbreviated version for him, and HIS fine lines are going away!

A few pictures below - not as many as my first post, but you can see a clear difference. The acne on my forehead is almost completely gone, my nose is looking way better, and the age spots on my cheeks are much improved. Forgive the towel turban; I wanted to take the most raw pictures of my skin that I could, so I took them fresh out of the shower and without any products on yet.

So far, hugely impressed and huge success. I'm also enjoying the ritual of taking care of my skin; I had thought maybe I would get annoyed with how long the process is compared to how little time I used to spend on my skin, but I've really been enjoying it. I get to massage my face, at night it really helps wind me down and put me in a sleeping mindset, my skin is (so far) improving immensely, and I now get to help my boyfriend with his skin. Huzzah!

Front view

Right side of face

Left side

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chubby Bunny Foundation Brush - Affordable, Awesome, Under $3!

Hey guys! I give a quick review and demo of one of my favorite new budget makeup brushes today. I call it the Chubby Bunny brush because it's a little, thick, marshmallow-reminiscent foundation brush for only $2.48!!

Find it here:

Foundation: CoverGirl AquaSmooth Foundation - Classic Ivory

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Late 20’s Skin Care: Budget Dr. Lancer + Korean Skin Care Methods

If you know me, or have watched any of my recent videos, you might know that I recently had eye surgery. It is amazing that I can see with my own eyes again, for the first time since I was three years old. It is absolutely incredible to me.

The downside to that? I can see my skin as it truly is for the first time. Sure, I could see with glasses before I had the surgery, but the thing they don’t tell you about eye surgery (and that I certainly didn’t think about) is that you cannot wear makeup for two weeks after it is done, and you can’t wear powder makeup for at least two months. As a huge makeup person, I was like, “Wait….WHAT?” Cue panic.

I’ve never seriously taken care of my skin until relatively recently. When I lived out on Guam, I had no idea that sun could even cause skin damage and premature aging until after it had already happened, and as a result I’ve had wrinkles and sun spots since the age of 19.  If you watch my videos, you’ve probably noticed that I am also very red of face; I’ve always been accused of wearing too much blush, but it is just my skin. I don’t have rosacea, but the capillaries in my face run very close to the surface, so I have a perpetually reddened face.

I’ve always dealt with these issues by slapping makeup on top of it all. I use a green corrector, heavy powder or full coverage foundation, and hide it. People are shocked to hear that I have skin issues because I have become very good at disguising the issues my skin has. But with eye surgery and the makeup ban I was under, I couldn’t do that, and I was forced to confront my skin problems.

Looking at myself in the mirror, I realized that I am on the dark side of 25 and that my skin is not getting any better. Anyone older than 30 at this point is going to laugh uproariously at me and say, “You’re still a baby! PLEASE!” No, you please. People, don’t judge someone else when you don’t walk in their skin and don’t know their problems or history. I can see the lines on my neck, around my eyes, and my forehead. I can see the redness flaming underneath my cheeks. I can see the sun spots continuing to darken and grow. The people that laugh don’t see any of that when I constantly hide under makeup and scarves; they don’t know that these are real issues for me, regardless of how young they say I am.

So I decided to do some research. It was high time for me to start taking my skin in hand and take care of myself, not to mention I have been mortified by having to present my actual skin to my coworkers, boyfriend, friends, and family during this time period. That begged the question: What method should I use? I have always been impressed, but daunted, by the Korean 10-step skin care regimen. I had tried a few Korean beauty products and loved them, but realistically – budget wise and time wise – I didn’t think I could commit to that. I had also heard some buzz about Dr. Lancer’s skin care method (Polish, Cleanse, Repair), which was touted by Oprah and Kim Kardashian, and was interested in that, but ran into the problem, again, of having budget issues. (Dr. Lancer’s skin care method costs upwards of $200 per month, and that is just NOT feasible for me.)

Then, bingo – I found The Go-To Gay Guy’s guide to a budget version of Dr. Lancer’s skin care (find it here: ). And I thought, why don’t I combine the best facets of Korean skin care with Dr. Lancer’s recommended method? I made the commitment and purchased the budget versions of Dr. Lancer’s skin care and some choice Korean products. A few I already owned thanks to the PopSugar Must Have box and a Meme Box I had tried, and some I had coupons for from CVS, but I will put links to all items on Amazon and other pages just for ease of locating below. Here are a few photos of my skin today as a "before" - sans makeup. Brace yourselves - it ain't pretty.

Left side of face

Front view
Forehead / Nose Close-Up

Left side close-up (worst side)
Right side of face
I’ll update once a week once everything comes in and let you all know how my Western and Eastern combo skin overhaul is working. In the meantime, here is what I will be using for the curious:



            →1-2 times per week, exfoliate with a gentle exfoliator. I chose St. Ives Green Tea Exfoliator:

            →Dr. Lancer recommends exfoliating daily, and Korean skin care recommends once per week. I decided to only do this once or twice per week, especially because I don’t want to over-exfoliate my skin (which I have done in the past).


            →Missha Super Aqua Refreshing Cleansing Foam (Korean):

                        >I’ve used this cleanser for a while and it lasts FOREVER. You don’t even need a full pea-size amount to thoroughly clean your face.

                        >Dr. Lancer does recommend using a cleanser with AHA in it, but since I am still (relatively) young, I don’t think this step is needed quite yet. Not to mention that I’m getting a lot of AHA from the serum, moisturizing, and retinol applications.


            →Simple Micellar Water:

            →OR Etude House 10-in-1 Wonder Pore Refresher (Korean):

                        >I previously used Etude House toner exclusively before giving Simple Micellar Water a try. I was convinced that micellar water was a scam, but after using it, my pores have shrunk, my skin is producing less oil, the micellar water picks up more leftover dirt/makeup, and I have had fewer monthly breakouts. I am now a believer. If you want a traditional toner, Etude House Wonder Pore is fine, but I have to honestly say that I am going to stick with the micellar water. I was very impressed with it, and using it as a toner only means that it lasts a lot longer than for people who use it exclusively for cleaning their faces.


            →Face: Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle:

                        >While technically not a serum per-se, it is recommended to use as a serum (under moisturizer and sunscreen.)
            →Eyes: Royal Apothic Tea Balm Firming Eye Treatment:

                        >This is supposed to minimize dark circles and treat puffy eyes/bags; with that being said, I received this in one of my PopSugar Must Have boxes and I'm not sure they make it anymore, so I have no link to provide for this one.



            →Alpha Hydrox Sheer Silk Moisturizer with SPF 15:


            →Korean Jelly Sunscreen with SPF 50:

                        >This promises to be very interesting; it is a clear, gel-like texture that also minimizes pores and doubles as an anti-aging primer. I look forward to trying this out.


Oil Cleanse

            →Beautycounter Cleansing Balm:

                        >Note: This is expensive cleansing oil. It came in my PopSugar Must Have box in February, which is the only reason I am lucky enough to have it to use. It is a great cleansing oil and has a wonderful scent – the pot is rather small, but you only need a small amount to cover your entire face; when you are finished rubbing in the oil, you then gently wipe off with a hot, wet washcloth (you don’t steam it off, like you would with the pure oil cleanse method). Budget alternates below.

            →OR Clean It Zero Cleansing Sherbet:

                        >I received this in a Memebox I tried; it smells delicious and works, though it was not my favorite cleansing oil. You have to be sure you really remove all residue from this one, since I did not exercise my due diligence and kept having allergic reactions to it. I eventually gave up on this product, to be totally honest, and threw it out. If you don’t have a lot of allergies like I do, this is a great option.

            > I haven’t tried this myself, but have heard great things about it. I ordered this to use after finishing my Beautycounter Cleansing Balm. It has real rose petals floating in it - how bomb is that?


            →Missha Super Aqua Refreshing Cleansing Foam (Korean)


            →Simple Micellar Water

Repair / Treat

            →Face - Alpha Hydrox Retinol Night ResQ:

                        >To intensely repair damage overnight. If you are new to skin care, I just want to add here that you should NEVER EVER EVER use Retinol during the day.
            →Eyes - 40 Carrots Retinol-Rich Eye Gel:

                        >I usually find this for around $5 at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, and it was great, though I think when I run out I need to try something a little higher strength. Any retinol rich eye gel/cream would work.

So there we have it – not 10 steps per the traditional Korean method, and not 3 steps like Dr. Lancer recommends, but right in the middle at 5 in the morning (6 on exfoliating days) and 4 at night. Time for a skin overhaul!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

WonderSlim Unboxing, Surgery, + Voting

Hey everyone! I've been out for a while thanks to surgery, but I'm back!
If you're interested in an unboxing of the WonderSlim Easy Start 3 Day
Weight Loss Kit and, at the end, my thoughts on the American election so
far - please vote in your primaries! (Go Bernie!!) - stick around!

Don't know when your state's primary is?

remember - if you're a Democrat and supporting Bernie, don't be
discouraged; the superdelegates have NOT weighed in yet even though
every media outlet makes it look like they have. They want us to give
up. Don't let them discourage you. Vote and show your support. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Best Benefit Porefessional Dupe

Love Benefit products but can't afford them? Best Benefit Porefessional Dupe I've tried - totals about $17 (versus $31 for a tube of Porefessional) for almost three times the product (2.17 oz vs. 0.75 oz!)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Focus T25: End of Week 7 (Week 2 Again)

I should have weighed and measured myself yesterday morning. I took a look at myself yesterday and was like, "Wow! Lookin' svelte!" * 

Today I woke up, looked in the mirror, and thought, "Who's the blob?" It's incredible the difference a single day can make. Sadly, I did not weigh myself yesterday. So I have to give you all today's measurements. UGH!

I did weights yesterday instead of the double T-25 workout I was supposed to do. I've mentioned before that I don't think there is enough ab or upper body work in this program so far, so I decided to do the two mega-workouts that work over my entire body (the Crunch workouts I mentioned forever ago in my "Reboot Your Body" post) as a "double", which ends up being about two hours, instead of the T25 double (lower and ab intervals), which ends up being about one hour. This way I'll work on building my muscle, which will burn more calories.

I feel it all over today. My legs are burning, I can't touch the floor, and it hurts my whole torso to stretch my core muscles. My back and arms are sore, as well, from my upper body workout. Not to mention I am cramping hard. I am an unfortunate person that has 10 days of PMS, followed by a full 7-8 days of the actual blood moon, and my blood moon started this past week, so can you guess that I had a good week again? I didn't! You are right! I forced myself through every day and fought the urge to just skip a week. I barely made it every day. But you know what? I did it. And that's what counts.

I apologize if it seems like I mention the monthly thing a lot - especially if there are any men that actually read this - but I feel like this is a factor of female fitness that is often overlooked when it comes to our progress. You can eat the right amount of calories, exercise your arse off every day, and get 8 hours of sleep every night, but once a month your hormones will come along and screw you up. This is somehow a fact that every workout program or magazine I have ever seen overlooks. I just want to emphasize that it is okay for our weight loss to take longer because these are factors beyond our control, and you shouldn't beat yourself up if you aren't losing as fast as you think you should be.

Anyhoo, Week 2 (Again) is over. Moving forwards.

*For me, you understand. As svelte as my Easter egg body can look.

Starting Month 2, T25 Week 6 (1A), 4/27/15:
Weight: 178.8 lbs
BFP: 39%
Arm: 11"
Thigh: 21"
Waist: 33"

T25 Week 7 (2A), 5/3/15:
Weight: 178.2 lbs
BFP: 38.3%
Arm: 12"
Thigh: 20"
Waist: 32"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Focus T25: End of Week 6 (Or Week 1 Again)

Well, guys, I sucked this week, I really did. I had like no energy, was craving sugar, was extremely tired, and bloated up. Women may guess what my problem was based on those symptoms. If you guessed "PMS", congratulations! You are correct! I figured it out today after a week of wondering why the heck I was craving chocolate, pizza, and burritos so badly. I am one of those unfortunate people who start early (lasts 10 days), and so I somehow manage to be taken by surprise every month when either my boyfriend or myself looks at a calendar and puts two-and-two together.

At any rate, I sucked this week because of that. I started Day 1 of Beta and gaped at how fast everyone on the video - even the modifier - was moving. I floundered my way through the video and went into Day 2 with some trepidation. As the video started playing, I stood there in silent shock. It looked like everyone in the video was on fast-forward. They were all moving so quickly that for a few moments I was absolutely convinced that I had accidentally sped-up the DVD. Nope. Nope. It was just them, being fit as shit.

So I stopped and thought. I finished Month 1, Alpha, with only a few "Nailed It!" boxes under my belt. Was I really doing the smart thing by jumping straight into Beta, which was obviously an entirely different tier of fitness, when I still hadn't mastered Alpha? Would I discourage myself by my inability to follow along and potentially injure my already messed-up tendons?

I came to a natural conclusion and decided to re-do Alpha before moving into Beta. Consequently, I have decided to push myself even harder on this go-round. While it was difficult this past week, due to hormonal changes, I worked so hard that on the last, double day I was not even able to do the second workout. I had so exhausted myself that I lay spread-eagle on the ground after finishing the first video. I was on the floor for such a long time that my boyfriend came out looking for me, concerned for my well-being.

Even so, one or two good days does not make up for four bad ones, so I was not surprised to see that my weight had gone up slightly this week. Still a bummer, though!

End of Month 1, T25 Week 5, 04/18/15:
Weight: 177.6 lbs
BFP: 38.7%
Arm: 11.5"
Thigh: 21" 
Waist: 32"

Starting Month 2, T25 Week 1A, 4/27/15:
Weight: 178.8 lbs
BFP: 39%
Arm: 11"
Thigh: 21" 
Waist: 33"