6 Months of Skincare: Fails and Holy Grails

When you first start to delve into the world of makeup, it always comes as a bit of a shock when you discover you also need to dish out money on skin care. I know I was a little more than angry with the fact that my wallet was going to have to make commitments to all kinds of pricey cleansers, toners, and serums. But I powered on. Over the pass few months I have tried just about everything under the sun to keep my large pours, dry skin, and extreme redness at bay. Which means obviously I am the most qualified person when it comes to skincare... obviously.* So read on, skincare ninjas, and learn the secrets that shall now be passed from me, to you.

*No, but seriously... You should really listen to your doctor. I'm not giving out medical advice.

In the past 6 months I have tried a total of five different face masks. The above are the three that I still have, while 2 of them are not pictured.

Glamglow Supermud Mask (Not Pictured):

Seriously I love this crazy expensive stuff. I still haven't actually bought it since my post all those months ago about why the heck I adore it, but at $69 dollars a jar I seriously can't justify that.

Fail or Holy Grail?
If I owned it I'd consider it a holy grail but I'd feel like a massive liar if I said that it was when I don't even have the stuff.

Lush Oatifix Fresh Face Mask (Not Pictured):

I also think I did a post that involved this, and while I do still love it, I'm not sure I'd buy it again. The Lush face masks all retail for $5.95 for a mask that needs to be refrigerated and needs to be used up within two weeks of purchase. Oatifix also contains fragrance which I am trying to keep far away from my face, as I don't think it helps with my redness problem. So, breaking it down, I got halfway through the pot in 4 uses, and then it went bad. Meaning I spent over a dollar per use for a face mask that I had to throw out because it went bad.

Fail or Holy Grail?
Face masks are such a luxury. Like seriously, just put on your favorite show, plop on a face mask, and spend a Friday night relaxing. This is what I do to make myself feel better for being 17 with nowhere to go on a Friday night. I'd probably buy this again but it definitely isn't something that I'd make sure I had around ALL THE TIME. You, my dear Lush product, are neither fail nor holy grail.

Perfectly Posh The Stripper:

My mom gave this to me after my Glamglow post. Her exact words were "better your face than mine".


A blogger's work is never done. So I tried it out and let me tell you something, all of those internetters out there trying to claim this is a Glamglow dupe are DIRTY LIARS. This nonsense goes on grey, dries to a pinkish color, and there are some "dots" of sucked out impurities kind of like the Glamglow. I washed it off and my face REMAINED RED. And it stayed that color for days after. Whatever, fine, maybe I'm an idiot and can't use a product correctly. I've used it three different times since then, applying layers of different thickness, letting it sit for less time or more, and ever freaking time it sucked.

Fail or Holy Grail?
Just no. Don't even.


I swear to goodness I'm not crazy. Which if I was crazy I'd say anyways. So my sanity is questionable. But I honestly was seeing results with this. I saw a couple posts saying that this was reccommended by dermatologists for people with very dry skin.

So using the idea that Vaseline created a seal similar to your skin's natural moisture barrier, I would slather this stuff on my face before a hot shower, wash it off right before I got out, and bam I got to have my "terrible for your skin but oh so lovely" hot shower and keep my face from becoming a texture similar to what I imagine sandpaper made out of Pringles would feel like (dry, scaly, yet also somehow grossly greasy). However, when my dad learned about this practice, he was definitely not happy and I stopped it.

Fail or Holy Grail?
I dunno I'd keep this stuff around anyways because seriously it is great if your lips need some help or your perfectly applied eyeliner just won't. Come. Off.

Glamglow Thirstymud:

Can I just say... eh? It doesn't really feel like a mask, I don't feel like it really did anything to hydrate my face (and I slept in this sucker), so honest I was a bit let down. It does smell like coconut so... yum?

Fail or Holy Grail?
Straight up fail. A regular sized jar retails for the same as the Supermud but is seriously lacking in results.

When it comes to cleansers, I have been much less adventurous. I'm honestly not the best about washing my face when I'm not wearing makeup, because I didn't have a great moisturizer and I felt like it all just dried me out. But that phase is over and here I am a better wiser version of me.

GBubbles Tea Tree Glycerin Soap:

This is what I used religiously for about two years. I stumbled upon Greta's booth while working the Gunshows because she had soaps with the Masonic logo (woohoo!) and told her all about my skin troubles. I was dry, breaking out, and angry red. Turns out that Dial soap was NOT doing me any favors. I bought my first bar and haven't looked back sense. This is honestly what keeps my shoulders and back clear, as well as my face when I'm starting to break out (screw you, hormonal acne). If my skin is looking downright awful this stuff seriously improves the way it looks in one wash.

Fail or Holy Grail?
Heck yeah it's a holy grail! The price on this stuff is amazing for how long it lasts. Glycerin is awesome for your skin, as is the Vitamin E that she adds and the tea tree oil.

Philosophy Purity Cleanser:

You know how in movies the girls always wash their face in like two seconds and all of their makeup comes off perfectly and their skin doesn't look like a desert? That same phenomenon seems to happen in YouTube videos and TV Commercials. Well this stuff takes that whole fantasy and turns it into a reality. This stuff feels like a very thin/watery lotion, and doesn't really lather up all that well, but don't let that fact fool you. I have started using this every night since I bought it, and it takes off ALL of my makeup in probably about two minutes if I'm wearing a lot of makeup. It doesn't dry me out, it leaves my skin looking "bright" (not red but BRIGHT).

Also, it acts as a toner (which I was skeptical about when the lady told me that in Sephora), meaning it does all kinds of good pH balancing type things for your skin and requires you to buy one less product for your arsenal.

Fail or Holy Grail?
As much as I basically hate myself for using a cleanser that is $24 for an 8 oz. bottle, it is absolutely a requirement for me now. I managed to get two 2 oz. bottles in a skincare sampler a few days before my birthday, and I'm not even halfway through one bottle. Even if I outgrow my makeup obsession, I know I'll still dish out the money on this because my skin has never looked better.

Toner is another thing that I don't really mess around with much. Either your toner works or it doesn't. I've tried two since I even thought that toner might be important for me.

Up&Up Toner (Not pictured):

I also can't find the link to this one but seriously it was the bomb dot com. The bottle cost me something like $4-5. This did everything that you want in a toner, it didn't contain a fragrance, and no joke once I started using toner my skin's texture completely changed.

Fail or Holy Grail?
Holy Grail! I seriously loved this stuff.

Lush Eau Roma Water:

Another eh product. I feel like the Target brand product did more to my face than the more expensive Lush stuff. It didn't do anything for my redness, nor did it really do anything to "balance" my skin.

Fail or Holy Grail?

OILS! As someone with perpetually dry skin, this was something I had been dying to try for sometime, however I did not have the oppurtunity to until my birthday. I bought and have been switching off between two.

Tarte Maracuja Oil:

Maracuja oil (aka Passionfruit Seed oil) seems to be a dryer oil to me. It didn't do much for me when it came to applying it to my face. What I tried initially was 5-6 drops on my finger tips, stippling it into my skin. However, after that turned out to be a complete and epic fail (meaning it takes a million years to get more than a drop with the Tarte dropper), I decided just to take a drop or two and add it into my favorite moisturizer. For $15 you get 0.5 of an ounce (about how much nail polish is in a bottle), but since it's a a high end brand you're obviously going to pay more.

Fail or Holy Grail?
Honestly, this is a bit of a fail for me. It isn't a completely useless product. I've heard you can use it in your hair, and I like to apply some to my cuticles to keep them looking spiffy (especially with my acrylics).

Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil:

People don't really know this but argan oil does not have a distinctive smell. I didn't know this either because I have always been obsessed with argan oil. It doesn't make you particularly oily or greasy when used in the hair, and the moisture lasts for foreverrrrrrr. And then I got this stuff and honestly this "pure" argan oil works, but I'm not totally sure that it's worth the high end bill.

Fail or Holy Grail?
Not a fail, but not a holy grail. I think that this does do what it is advertised for, but you can probably find cheaper alternatives.

Surprisingly enough I didn't try as many lotions and moisturizers out as you would think considering my dry skin. But eh, life happens and sometimes we get to be a little lazy.

Aveeno Creamy Moisurizing Oil:

So first off I love this stuff. I mean it smells like almond. I think technically it is a body lotion but the great thing about Aveeno is that it can be used safely all over your body without causing a reaction. I was really sketpical at first because long ago I had used a lotion that was supposed to calm redness and all this good stuff but it really only left my skin feeling dry halfway through the day. This stuff is the perfect thickness for my dry skin. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin so so soft. I would say DO NOT BUY THIS STUFF AT A DRUGSTORE OR ULTA. I don't know why I never learn but I was at Walmart the other day and saw it for almost two whole dollars cheaper.

Fail or Holy Grail?
This has definitely reached Holy Grail status for me. Unlike my feelings toward a lot of moisturizers this had not stopped being effective for me.

OGX Argan Oil of Morroco Lotion:

When I bought this I knew it was a body lotion and I still totally intended to use it on my face. As someone who loves makeup and beauty products I've become very good at reading the back of the bottle and understanding what an ingredient is added for. There isn't any kind of oil or ingredient that will clog pores or create acne, so I was all good. However after a couple weeks of using this I really wasn't satisfied. For something with argan oil in it, I felt that I had to reapply it far too often, and for something that is the same price as the Aveeno lotion that I love, it really just wasn't worth it.

Fail or Holy Grail?
Fail. I wouldn't purchase this again because while I love the OGX brand hair care, I have far too many body lotions to keep buying them (seriously, I won't be able to use all the lotion from this last Christmas before I get more next Christmas).

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