Saturday, August 15, 2015

Skin Update: La Roche Posay Effaclar Review

A couple months back I started getting cystic acne around my jaw. I thought it was due to hormones but it kept getting progressively worse. I figured I'd let it do its thing and wait for it to go away naturally while i spot concealed them. It didn't get better. In fact, it was pretty painful and my face got really rough and dull looking. I had bumps and lumps everywhere. After washing my face, they would become inflamed and red, I had to conceal them pretty desperately during work and even that made me self conscious. At the end of a day, a lot of the cysts looked bigger and white heads were sporadically popping up everywhere. I also had some scarring on my jaw area from popping the zits. Within the span of 2 months, I went from a clear face to that. I thought it might be my hormones (and it could well be) but it wasn't getting better even after the time of the month. 
Eventually, about a week or so back, i purchased the 3 step acne kit from La Roche Posay's Effaclar line after reading much positive reviews.

To start, I've never had sensitive skin so I wasn't too concerned with what treatments to use. 

Here was my face before:

This was taken in the morning, when the redness wasn't so bad.

Unfortunately the Effaclar kit did not work for me. In just one night, my face got progressively worse. The products caused my skin to peel and my face was literally swollen. I woke up in the morning feeling very hot and itchy. It wasn't until i looked in the mirror that i saw it swelled up pretty badly and looked terrible. Not only was it uneven (and I don't expect overnight miracles), it was dry, rough and burnt. I felt like a flame was set to my face overnight. 

You can't really see the extremity of it in these photos but it was really dry (scaly), and red. 

The worst bit wasn't that it was painful but literally because it was so rough and scaly. It didn't absorb any of the water I put on it. I also made the mistake of slathering on a vitamin E oil - it burned and itched like crazy. I had to wash it off and put on a hydrocortisone cream for relief. 

I think I may have had a reaction to the acids in the toning solution and the Effaclar duo treatment cream. The cleanser has a 2% salicylic acid and ,05% of LHA. The duo treatment actually contains Benzoyl Peroxide which I think may have caused reaction. I actually used the treatment as a spot treatment but my whole face swelled so it might actually be the toning solution as well. At this point, i'm still unsure if it was the combination of the acids that caused me to react or if it was a standalone product. Nevertheless, it wasn't a good feeling. I didn't think my skin would react so badly to an OTC product. In the past, I have used salicylic acids and benzoyl peroxide for whiteheads but never had a reaction even close to this. Even my lips were dry and rough.

I went to see my dermatologist the same day after using this kit. She said it was definitely a reaction to the products and it could be that my skin has suddenly become more sensitive or my skin doesn't work well with the combination of the two acids - salicylic and LHA. She also said it might be a development of adult acne as well, which is extremely common.

She prescribed me a Retin-A cream and Clindamycin phosphate gel with benzoyl peroxide. 
I'm excited to start the Retin-A because it's a retinoid and basically the fountain of youth in a tube. 

My skin today is getting better but is still a little itchy. My own solution to the reaction was to use products that did not have a fragrance or irritating ingredients in it. My current routine is relatively simple and the focus is to HEAL.

Cleansing: Shiseido Cleansing Oil (not pictured) - I started using that because it's much more gentle than a commercial cleanser. Cleansing creams work as well. I'm also using the Face Shop cleansing lotion in conjunction to the Shiseido cleansing oil.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment - I am using this on my lips at the moment to keep them hydrated and not chapped. During the day I use my Burt's Bees Pomegrante Oil lip balm.

Hadalabo Gokukyn Acid Lotion - After cleansing I use this to lock the moisture in my skin. This is the lotion version which I really like. It does make a difference and my skin likes this stuff.

Cetaphil Cream - I know this is a body cream but it works wonders as a night cream. I think this has actually done the most work in healing my skin. When I first looked at the ingredients, I was super skeptical because it is petroleum based and had a lot of weird ingredients for a cream that looked so innocent.
I chanced it and started using it. It's been a few days now and my skin texture has improved significantly. I think it's the combination of emollients that is helping to heal. My skin was severely dry and patchy. 

That's it in a nutshell. I haven't started my retin-A and clindamycin yet. Once my skin properly heals, I will start that and let you guys know how it is! 

I also started hearing about micellar water and decided to give it a go as well. I purchased the Bioderma one and am waiting for it to ship. I also got another drugstore brand one from Simple. I'm looking forward to trying them both and doing a comparison. Micellar water is a product that uses micelles which are oil molecules suspended in water. This technique was developed in France and many French women swear by it. They like to keep their skincare simple and effective. 

What makes this different is that you can use micellar water to remove makeup because micelles actually draw dirt and grime from your skin. I plan on still using a cleanser to wash my face and then immediately using micellar water to remove anything else my cleanser didn't pick up. A good thing is that they say you can forego a moisturizer! We will see. Thoughts coming soon.

What are your thoughts on treatment of cystic acne? Have you tried Micellar Water or retinoids? 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Afternoon Lipstick Project

Hello again, lovelies!

How are you all doing? :)

I have yet another cool find from Daiso that I want to share with you all. Remember how obsessed I was with making lip pots and depotting lipsticks? (Here) 
That has not changed at all! =) I went to Daiso to walk around after a heavy lunch and I stumbled upon this pill container that has 8 small compartments and a larger top compartment. My idea was... OMG, I could put lipsticks in here! and put a lip brush or lip liner on top! For USD1.50 it totally beats out more pricey Japonesque ones (as lovely as they are). I say this because the Japonesque ones also seem to be made of plastic-y material just as this Daiso box is.

It looks like a typical box. There are a variety of colors but I chose the yellow one.

 The top compartment looks like this. Perfect size to fit a lip brush, a few mini lip liners or a mini lipgloss :)

The 8 little compartments. Each square snaps shut.

My current work in progress. I used only my WnW and NYX lipsticks because they are inexpensive and something I wouldn't mind depotting ;) Some of the squares, I fit two lipsticks in there of similar color so I can blend the colors and create different shades. 

The compartment at the top! I have a retractable mini lipbrush, a couple of lipglosses, and a neutral lip liner.

How it looks like when the compartments are closed. Really easy to take it to-go or traveling. I feel as if it's neat and organized, and you can customize your lipsticks by creating different palettes suited for whatever your mood or season or anything you can think of. 

The size - about 4"x2". Very compact.
Any solid type makeup can be used in this box, including concealers, foundations, creme blushers, lip balms, solid hand/nail creams, etc. 

I really like it. I find it to be a good and practical box to have around. It's really lightweight and secure. The lids and top compartment snaps shut and the overall container has a snap thingy that closes it completely. A cute little palette that's easy to customize, and use - I am def going to get more. :)

What do you guys think? :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Happy July!

We're in the midst of summer and there's nothing better than watermelons and mangos and sunshine and endless adventures.

I recently acquired a bag that I'm absolutely in love with. It's the Sak Miranda cross body. So light and versatile, it holds a lot of things and has a unique box shape that I rarely see in bags. 

Not only is it lightweight and buttery soft, it also has the cutest details and the most gorgeous color. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

May and June in Photos

Hi lovelies! I hope you've all been well. I apologize for my lack of blogging as of late. I've been so caught up with the daily workings of life and career that I barely find time to do anything. Makeup is still a big love for me but unfortunately not a super high priority. I don't do as much hauls anymore bc I've realized that I've got everything I want ;) I'm using my Lorac palettes over and over and started becoming obsessed with brow powder. Maybe it's the summer heat but I'm getting into highlighters again. Will share a bunch soon! In the meantime, photos :)

Time away and relaxation is important when life and responsibility get caught up and tangled together. This was a rather gorgeous themed room in the middle of highway 1, situated by the pacific coast and secluded in a way where it's lovely and tireless. The beach was right outside the windows and merely a half mile walk to sand and shore, quiet as ever.

A secluded eatery with the sights and sounds of a small island. Surf and turf at its best :)

When I hike, I like it to be a pretty journey. I really like beautiful walks surrounded by nature and its untouched beauty. There's a bunch of these sites in the Bay Area and I'm so grateful that many of these places are right in my backyard. A trip here, a trip there... Going outdoors is a beautiful thing!

An old post office turned antique store from my little getaway. So cute. Love small towns!

The gorgeous secluded coast on hwy 1.

I've started jogging after work because the sun is out until nearly 8. Also, on weekends I run to coffee shops to defeat the purpose of running. I can't say no to a nice cuppa on weekends, whether it's be tea or coffee.

Some of my wonderful friends had birthdays these past few months and it was so nice to celebrate with them, whether they were bbqs, eating out out or parties.

More birthdays!
I got a new pair of spectacles. Classic and timeless! Hoping to keep these for a loooooong time.

 I went rock climbing for the first time! It was incredibly fun and exhilarating. I was sore all over the next few days but so worth it. Worked out muscles I didn't know I even had!!!

Wine and painting... Nothing more to say except that it was so much fun!

Getting reaquainted with my childhood bestie was one of the best memories of this summer. We continued on right am where we left off, like family.

In May, cherry picking has a small window of a few weeks. Took advantage of that and got nearly $65 worth of cherries that were fresh and sweet as hell!

While visiting my parents on Memorial Day, we had Boiling Point - a Taiwanese style hot pot place that's all over SoCal. It was SoooOoOooooooo good. My absolute fave!

And some rest! The past couple of months have been so much fun with outings, staycations, and food!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review: Diorskin Nude Air Serum

hellllloooooo beautifuls. 
I know I blogged in close to 2 months! RL got in the way and i've been busier than ever at work but I feel this emptiness if I don't blog because I am continuously trying new products and not getting to properly talk about them. 

One of those "new" things I tried is actually something that came out a long while ago. As in, not new. I got obsessed with serum foundations after testing it out at Sephora one day. Since my obsession a few months back, I have acquired the Dior Serum foundation and the Georgio Armani. GA review to come later.

The Dior Nude Air foundation is extremely weightless, very watery and dries to a powder texture. When I first tried it, I really love the coverage. Dior claims that it is sheer coverage but I thought it was more closer to a medium coverage because it's extremely pigmented for a lightweight foundation. The powder finish gave my skin a non-greasy set. 
 Longevity-wise, it lasts a good 6 hours or so. My skin started looking greasier at the end of the day but it wasn't overly terrible. 

See the powdery finish? Sometimes when my skin is feeling dry, the powder finish isn't actually ideal because it'll expose all the dry bits and bobs but it doesn't bother me much. It also sets really quickly so once you have the foundation layered on, you must work quickly otherwise the foundation will be harder to budge. 

Here are some before/after photos: 

Bare skin. I haven't been having good skin lately. Been dealing with cystic acne as of late -_- 

Dabbed to get to work before it sets!

First layer on

2nd layer on.

Some lipstick - I'm using NYX's soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam.

Changed and on with the day! I just lined my upper eyelids with my Dollywink eyeliner ;) 
No mascara, and no concealer needed. The Dior foundation actually covers really well after the 2nd layer.

The applicator is in a dropper bottle (which I LOVE) and I find it to be so cute. I feel as if it's less waste to the pump but I think it's made in a dropper because the foundation has serum in it and will be more runny than your traditional base makeup. 

I have not edited or retouched any of the photos you see here. I actually got a new laptop and haven't had a chance to install the photo editors yet. I apologize if these photos are crap...they're all taken from my phone.

I really like the Dior Nude Air Serum. I would recommend this foundation to anyone who has oiler skin because it dries to a matte powder finish. It also has a strong perfumed scent so it may bother folks who have a sensitivity to it. But if you are familiar with Dior, it's just like all their foundation products. 

Disqus for Rainy Days & Lattes