In my forays into beauty, I’ve always kept my distance from skincare products. In general I think that they’re mostly the cosmetic equivalent of snake oil. In fact, The Beauty Myth, which I’ve discussed elsewhere on this blog has an entire chapter on how dangerous and insidious the anti-aging industry is with their product’s unsubstantiated claims and sometimes downright dangerous ingredients. As an aside, The Beauty Myth was recently selected to be part of the widely popular feminist book club Our Shared Shelf. It’s worth a read.
In general my skincare routine looks something like this: when my skin is dry, I slap whatever lotion happens to be around on it. When I go to bed I put Vaseline on my lips. That’s about it. Now, having said that, there have been three skincare products that have made their way into my life that I think are worth mentioning.
First up: Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil by bareMinerals. For the longest time, I used Neutrogena’s wipes to remove my makeup. This process bothered me in two ways. First, I always had to rub my mascara and eyeliner off with a ferocity that left the skin around my eyes feeling somewhat abused. Second, using a product that required me to throw away a towelette every time I used it felt wrong to me. I wouldn’t call myself an eco-evangalist, but still, this felt overly wasteful. With these two gripes floating around my head, I happened to see another fashion blogger I like mention on Instagram that she had switched to using facial oil to remove her makeup because its much healthier for her skin. So when my last pack of makeup remover wipes ran out I poked around Ulta and landed on bareMinerals’ facial oil. I’m sure there are many that would work wonderfully, but I went with this because I’m already a fan of bareMinerals’ other makeup products and because it has a really nice lavender scent.
I have to say that I’m quite pleased with this product so far. It smells amazing–so good that I find myself using it sometimes even when I don’t have makeup to remove. It leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated, which is a nice change from the scrubbed and sore way the makeup removing wipes left me feeling.
Second: concealer. As stated above, I’m a big fan of bareMinerals makeup. I used to use their Stroke of Light as my under-eye concealer at the recommendation of another blogger. Recently I decided I might need a bit more coverage, so I upgraded to their Complete Coverage Serum Concealer in Light and it does a great job of covering up the dark circles under my eyes when I’m in the mood to wear makeup.
Which I’m doing in the photo above, though I doubt the concealer is what you’re looking at.
That’s right–I changed my hair color. I decided to go back to my natural color. I was tired of spending 3+ hours and hundreds of dollars in the salon every 6-8 weeks to maintain my blond highlights. Truthfully, I spent a good deal of time thinking about my hair color and at the end of the day, though I know my blond highlights looked nice, I decided I wanted to do something different. I felt tired of looking like every other natural light brunette with blond highlights. I missed my old hair color–I missed feeling a bit more authentically like myself. So I decided to go back.
Admittedly, my stylist got me a bit darker than my natural, but she did say it would fade after about 4 weeks, so hopefully it will fade to something close to my natural color. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, back to skincare. Let’s talk lotion. As stated above, I generally just use whatever generic lotion is around when my skin is dry, which is basically all the time when it’s not summer in Chicago. I’ve been wondering if maybe it isn’t time for me to upgrade, as I have a niggling concern that whatever products are in your average lotion are likely incredibly processed, toxic, and unnatural. Maybe that’s buying into naturalist hype, but if there are options out there with ingredients I can actually pronounce, there’s really nothing to lose in switching to them.
In this spirit of this, I caught wind that AHF Body Chemistry, an all-natural, organic skincare company, was interested in working with Chicago bloggers to generate some buzz around their products. I got in touch with them, and they sent me a free sample of their Body Butter Soufflé. It comes in a nice tin and smells fantastic–I got the lemon and lavender scent. The soufflé is a quite thick kind of lotion that has almost a vaseline type feel to it, which means it does a great job of moisturizing but does require quite a bit of rubbing in. The ingredients are all recognizable–various butters and oils that seem relatively innocuous. I’m sold on them, and luckily you can find them in Whole Foods if you’d like to give them a shot too.