On… end of summer pick-me-ups

What’s up, pussycats?

It’s the end of summer. THANK FUCK FOR THAT. I’m not a summer person. (We’ve covered this in previous sessions.) At this point in the year, I feel an intense back-to-school I-hope-it-rains-soon lets-start-fresh ooh-mustn’t-forget-to-get-new-little-ankle-boot-socklets excitement. So I’ve been trying out new beauty shit (NBS, if you will). Pull up a chair and let me tell you ALL ABOUT IT.

Side note: for those of you who only read me for the beauty stuff – and I know you are there, you have been since this ol’ thang on my bestie JoGo’s site – know that some things never change. I still use Lancome Bifacils to take off mascara and Cetaphil cleanser, I still use SK-II every night and a little moisturizing mix of Yu-Be with Korres and and/or my other fave, Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream. When you find things that work, you stick with them.

But I have some fun OTHER stuff that I’ve been flirting with in addition to my regular all-stars because, you know me, I’m just that kind of cougar.

For a start, Vitamin C. I started using Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Acid about two years ago, and I wish to hell I hadn’t, because holy shit you guys, it is expensive. But two or three drops of it under my SPF every day gives an outstanding overall glow AND protects your face from [can't remember, don't care enough]. I was so impressed with it that I thought ‘hey, if a little Vitamin C is good, a LOT must be GREAT’  - this is the ol’ Burgess ‘if it feels good, do it, if it still feels good, do it MORE!’ motto.

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I tried La Roche Posay Redermic C. Mostly because I really trust LRP. I thought it was great for brightening, but I detested the crinkly toothpaste packaging. The creases swiftly became cuts, and the stuff started oozing out and changed color, and I understand Vitamin C needs to not be exposed to air or it loses its pound puppy power, or whatever. (Actually, doing research just now, it appears that they’ve improved the packaging in the last six months – so give it a bash, if you fancy.)

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Then I did some reading – okay, I did a LOT of reading. And discovered Soko Glam’s COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid. This is the ne plus ultra of Vitamin C products. It also sells out regularly, but put your name down for the next release and you won’t have to wait long; they make it in small, regular batches to keep it fresh and as powerful as possible. As advised on the box, I’m keeping it in the fridge, and I pat on a couple of drops at night, after SK-II and before moisturizer. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I think it’s adding a certain je-ne-sais-quoi brightness and radiance.

BUT. It is kind of drying. So I’ve been trying to figure out ways to add extra moisture to the ol’ noggin. (Dry skin is, to me, the most aging thing in the world. Some of my girlfriends hate moisturizing, it gives them PTSD to oily teen skin or something. When they tell me that I take them by the shoulders and give them a light slap and say: “Think of your epidermis as a dried apricot. If you drop a dried apricot in water for an hour, you will see how plump and lovely and youthful it becomes as it rehydrates. WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT TO BE A PLUMP APRICOT? WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE DRIED FRUIT?”)

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HADALABO Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist. This is one of those things that pops up constantly if you subscribe to Korean and Japanese skincare blogs, which of course I do. I delayed trying it, because the watery nature of it didn’t really appeal, plus I already do the SK-II and then the Triple C Lightning serum watery things and can I really be any more high-maintenance than I already am? The answer, as it turns out, is YES I CAN. You just shake a little of the liquid into your hands and pat it into your face and neck. It works. I do it after the CE Ferulic, before SPF, in the morning, to counter-act the dryness of the Vitamin C the night before. Will I repurchase? Yes. Yes I damn well shall.

Next: snail mucin. Urgh. Snails. Everyone’s been talking about snail mucin for years. You know that already. And there’s a particular fad for the slimy snail sheet masks. I wear them for fun now and again. (Though if you really want to try a sheet mask, this one is my favorite, it’s nice to wear on weekend mornings while you read the newspaper.)

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And then there’s this: COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. The consistency is… how can I put this delicately? It’s a little cum-my. It just… yeah, it just is. (Stares into space, thinking about it.) But it does make your skin feel lovely. Will I buy another after I finish this one? Eh, maybe. I’ve been using it erratically, because of the aforementioned consistency. I also read something about how they ‘milk’ the mucin secretion from the snails and threw up a little in my mouth. I think life might be too short to be grossed out by skincare.

I’ve always worn La Roche Posay Anthelios – I have flirted with Elta and others in the past, but I always come back to Anthelios. But then this summer I began obsessing out that it wasn’t enough coverage. “I need a stronger zinc oxide barrier SPF that won’t make me look like a kabuki performer,” I remarked sadly to myself, because I work from home on my own all day so all my fascinating banter goes completely to waste. “I need something that will cover my chin because that thing is getting freckles and they may not be freckles they may be age spots and what the sweet motherfuck am I supposed to do about them?”

For a couple of days, I tried the Cerave SPF50 zinc oxide stick that I scribble on my son’s faces every morning. (If you think I’m obsessive about my own SPF, you should see what a batshit insane banshee I am about protecting the translucent, milk-white skin of my tiny redheaded sons. “WE HAVE SKIN CANCER IN THE FAMILY,” I yell to anyone who listens, which is no one. “RED-HEADED BLUE-EYED PEOPLE ARE WAY, WAY, WAY MORE LIKELY TO GET SKIN CANCER THAN ANY OTHER SKIN TYPE. MY HUSBAND GOT SEVERE SUNBURN ONCE IN HIS CHILDHOOD ON A BEACH IN FUCKING IRELAND OF ALL PLACES AND COULDN’T GET OUT OF BED FOR TWO DAYS AND I BET THAT’S WHAT EVENTUALLY KILLS HIM.”) But make-up doesn’t go on over the top easily, and when I just used it on my jaw and chin, to cover the parts that sometimes stick out from my hat, Fox complained that I looked like I was trying to make a statement about Abe Lincoln being part-mime, or something.

So I tried a bunch of other “invisible” zinc oxide SPFs, and I don’t want to name and shame, but were they invisible? Were they fuck.

Then I saw this SuperGoop 100% Mineral Smooth & Poreless Matte Screen SPF40 product in Sephora, bought it because it has 17% zinc oxide and YOU GUYS. It’s wonderful! To quote the Dread Pirate Roberts aka Wesley in Princess Bride, I have never seen its equal!

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It’s very gently tinted, matte, sort of mousse-like in consistency, it blends imthefuckmaculately with other make-up – but you don’t really need to wear any, as it doubles as concealer/foundation, the little clever clogs. I wear it over my normal SPF, Anthelios (which is mostly chemical SPF with a bit of titanium dioxide, I don’t think any of us need a long lecture from me about chemical vs physical sunscreen, if you want to read more go here). It’s not going to be in my make-up routine as soon as nice normal weather resumes, but while the sun is still in its evil phase, I’m wearing this little baby every damn day.

HOWEVER. And this is where an extra step begets an extra step, like with extra vitamin C requiring extra moisturizer. I’m now wearing such a heavy SPF, I had to add an extra cleansing step to my routine. Because taking off THAT much SPF requires some heavy lifting. It requires, in fact, the dreaded Korean double-cleanse. YES. I KNOW. I HAVE MADE FUN OF TEN-STEP ROUTINES FOR YEARS AND HERE WE ARE AT WHAT, SIX OR SEVEN?

Trilogy Cream Cleanser. Smells divine, made with organic rosehip oil, doesn’t dry out, and perfect for removing heavy SPF. Lather up with a splurge of this and some water, then remove it all one of these little white face cloths. Throw the face cloth straight into your laundry basket and cackle at the sheer indulgence of it all. Then use Cetaphil to cleanse again, just for fun, because something about it really does work wonders.

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Lastly: this ridiculously cheap Real Techniques 1413 Setting Brush.

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The lovely Katie Jane Hughes uses it to blend in concealer and foundation, so for $3, I couldn’t think of a good reason not to try it. YUP. She’s right. It’s fucking excellent. I don’t use it for the Supergoop stuff, but for going out at night / when normal daytime service resumes, it’s incredible for blending your concealer, foundation, and highlighter. It gives you delightfully airbrushed skin look, but not in a crazed-faked-baked way. Just… perfect.

Okay. Back to the real job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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