September 2017 Skincare Chit Chat

Hello friends! Here is the obligatory acknowledgement that I’ve been gone for a helluva long time. I’ll add a life update at the very end of the post for anyone who is interested, that way you don’t have to wade through extra rambling to get to the point of this post.

I’m very blessed to have relatively decent skin. It’s dry/combination and I only suffer through occasional breakouts. My main skin concerns are dullness and the ever more present fine lines (hello 30’s!). That being said, over the last several months my skin has been looking better than it ever has before. It’s fresh and dewy all the time, I’ve had no breakouts, and my skin has just been looking well hydrated and feeling great. I’ve also been sticking to the same routine for the last few months. In light of that I thought I’d share with you the products I’ve been using recently. Plus it’s fun to talk skin care and I seldom do it on the blog.

AM Routine

Morning face wash: Lush Aqua Marina Face and Body Wash


Earlier this year I had to temporarily relocate to a city much larger than my wee little hamlet and said city actually had a Lush store! I’d never been to Lush store (I do however have a disturbingly expensive habit of drunk ordering bath bombs from their website) so I was mentally and emotionally unprepared for the whole experience of a super trendy girl hitting me with the hard sales pitches and product demos. This was totally a panic purchase made to make her stop offering to wash my hands for me. Surprisingly I LOVE this face wash. It has calamine and seaweed (amongst other things) and it is a very mild non-sudsing face wash that leaves my skin feeling fresh and very moisturized. I’ve noticed since I started using this my skin hasn’t felt dry one single time. It won’t remove makeup, but it does something insanely good for my skin.

I’ve been using this for 3 months.

Toner: Hadalabo Japan Skin Institute Gokujun Premium Hyaluronic Solution


I’ve mentioned the Rhoto Hadalabo Gokujun Hyalauronic Lotion Moist and the Hadalabo Shirojyun Albutin Milk in previous empties posts and while I liked both of those products (they both functioned equally for me), I LOVE this version. It adds a bit more hydration and I can often use this with no other moisturizers and feel alright for most of the day. Not bad considering it’s not an actual lotion.

I’ve been using this for about 7 months.

Serum: Andalou Naturals Turmeric and Vitamin C Enlighten Serum


I have actually mentioned this in a previous empties post as well. I went through a testing phase of trying to find the perfect Vitamin C serum (my skin just responds really well to vitamin C so I knew I wanted to keep it in my skin care routine in some capacity) and this is the winner for me. It smells nice, it’s affordable, it works the best out of the three serums that I tried and honestly it doesn’t have a downside. I tried the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day serum and I used the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum off and on for years. Neither of the other two options are bad but they don’t give the same effect as the Andalou and they are significantly more expensive:

  • Ole Henriksen is $38-$48 per ounce depending on what size you buy. It works fine but I found that a bottle didn’t last very long. Maybe a month? It does smell insanely good. But it doesn’t do as much brightening as the Andalou serum.
  • Drunk Elephant is $80 per ounce. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I paid that honestly. Not that I’m judging you if you use this but for me, that’s not a sustainable product price point. Honestly this didn’t do much for my skin. And it smells like hotdog water.
  • Andalou Naturals is $24.95 for 1.1 ounces.

I’m not exactly certain when I started using this particular bottle but it’s been at least a few months and I have used it a few times in the past as well.

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel


This was partially an accidental purchase as I had intended to buy the moisturizing lotion not the gel. I was really afraid that the gel wouldn’t provide enough moisture for me but it’s been great. I may feel differently in the winter but I’ve been using this all summer and I have no complaints. It’s a no frills, basic moisturizer and I love it. I had been preaching the ways of the CeraVe serum lotion and while that was a great lotion it’s actually more expensive per ounce than the Clinique (Clinique is about $7 per ounce and CeraVe is &16-$17 per ounce depending on where you purchase it) and I felt that I was constantly repurchasing it. This bottle may just last me forever at this point and I’m ok with that!

I’ve been using this lotion for 9 months.

PM Routine

Makeup remover: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm


You knew this was coming right? I love this stuff. If you have ever read any of my empties posts you know how much I love this stuff. It completely removes ALL MAKEUP, it doesn’t make my eyes blurry, it’s less messy than a cleansing oil, a jar lasts for ages, it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean and hydrated. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this stuff yet, you really should. It’s wonderful. According to a quick search I’ve included this product in five empties posts and two year-end favorites posts. Me and Take the Day Off go way back. We’re in a committed relationship over here.

Apparently I’ve been using this for two and half years.

Honestly for the last several months I haven’t been moisturizing at night. I take my makeup off, dry my face and that’s it. I’ll occasionally throw on some of the Hadalabo or an antioxidant serum and if I’m having a very dry day I might use some of the Clinique Moisture Surge mask but those things are used so seldom that I’m not including them. I’ll do those additional things maybe once a month?

Intermittent Routine

I will use an exfoliating scrub two or three times a week and I’ve been really loving the Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 second in-shower facial.


This has a very fine physical exfoliant. The website is very vague about what is actually in this product and I’ve misplaced my bottle since taking the photo so I can’t look up the ingredients. I want to say that the back of the bottle claimed to have a mild AHA exfoliant but I honestly can’t remember for sure and now I’m a little confused about why I can’t find an ingredients list online. At any rate, I enjoy this and fell like my skin is clearer with fewer clogged pores after I use it.

I’ve been using this product for around 3 months.

I’ll very occasionally use a face mask but it’s sporadic at best and more for relaxation reasons and I don’t think that has much to do with my skins overall condition. I may do a separate post on face masks some day.

It’s odd because I’ve normally used a much much more involved routine than this. Serums, ampules, retinol, AHA, BHA the works. And as much as I actually enjoy having a multi step skin care routine, I think a more minimal approach is doing my skin some good. I’d be interested to know if you think my routine is actually minimal or not. It’s totally one of those things that is relative! This is minimal for me but probably middle of the road in the grand scheme of things.

So I’d love to know some of your long term holy grail ride or die skin care products are, let’s chat about it in the comments!


  • I am so insanely glad that it’s a long weekend. The last couple of weeks have been really tiring at work and I’m looking forward to three more days of staying in my pajamas watching Netflix.
  • Have you seen Ozark on Netflix? It is so good! If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend it.
  • I’m trying to read a compilation of stories by Samual Beckett. I’m on page thirty of Dante and the Lobster. I’m not sure I’m going to get through the whole book since it’s approximately 2 million pages long but it’s a nice change of pace from the much lighter books I’ve been reading lately.
  • I’ve just recently started playing Skyrim and I am so stuck. I can’t get past this damn frost troll. It’s pissing me off!

If you just came for the skincare, thank you so much for stopping by! Please say “hi” in the comments, I’d love to catch up!



If you’re interested in where I’ve been lately I’ll start the rambling here.



I’m not exactly sure how to start this so I’m just going to jump awkwardly in. This is a pretty abbreviated summary of this year for me and it’s actually a sad story. I recommend getting a nice cold drink. I’m drinking super cheap boxed wine (Botabox is awesome for the record).

Back in January The Boy was diagnosed with an end stage lung disease called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis or IPF. He literally went from doing CrossFit every day to not being able to walk 100 feet without getting winded in less than two months. IPF is irreversible and the doctors told us that without a lung transplant he only had about 3 months to live. So we went through the whole insane ordeal of getting on the lung transplant list. Completely miraculously a match was found within a week of us getting put on the list. The Boy went through the whole procedure and was going through recovery but there was a freak complication one month after the transplant. The complication caused him to go into cardiac arrest and that was then followed by a coma. After all the possible tests had been run and every option had been explored I elected to discontinue life support per his wishes.

There’s no way to describe how completely awful it was and is. As one of my friends said recently “it’s the suckiest suck that ever sucked”.

So it’s been almost three months since The Boy died. I’m coping alright. Some days are hell and some days I’m filled with an acute awareness of the precious and delicate nature of life. I’m so beyond grateful to have had the time with him that I did. It wasn’t even close to enough but it’s so much more than I could have ever hoped for.

At some point I will likely do a much more detailed post because a) I’d like to talk about it and b) I know there are other people out there that are going through similar things and looking for people to relate to. I know I’m a bit in that position these days.

I’m completely open to talking about it but I promise I won’t talk about it in every makeup post. I will say that this blog will probably change a bit in the future. For a while I know that my posts will continue to be sporadic but I’d like to expand the scope of what I write about. Makeup will always be my passion and likely the primary focus of this blog but I would like to post a bit about other hobbies and interests. We’ll just see where it goes from here.

If you read this bit of this particular blog post I would like to say thank you for taking an interest in me and my life. I love that this blog has opened me up to so many new friendships and I’d like you to know how much I value that.

Since I awkwardly began this conversation I’m just going to awkwardly end it too. That’s just how I roll yo.

Thanks for stopping by!



9 thoughts on “September 2017 Skincare Chit Chat

  1. Oh my! I skipped the whole post and jumped to the end since I wanted to know what was going on with YOU. I haven’t read anything about your skincare routine. I’ll come back to it.
    BUT I’m so so sorry about the death of your SO. Dammit. Life isn’t fair! I understand you wanting to expand your blog interests, it only makes sense. Again, I’m so sorry and if you need anything, please let me know.

  2. I’m back, finally read the skincare bits! 😉 I love talking skincare and I’m glad you found the magical combination of products that’s leaving your skin looking hydrated and feeling pampered!
    I can’t believe you’d never been in a Lush store before! It’s quite something, isn’t it? I always get suckered because the staff are so nice and attentive 😆
    Oooh I did not know there’s a premium version of the Hadalabo lotion. I’m going to need me some of that!
    I’m about finish my current Vitamin C serum and I’m not sure if I should repurchase it (I do like it a lot, it’s called Timeless Skincare) or try something else. I’m being heavily influenced by social media so I’m thinking of trying one of The Ordinary ones.
    My love for the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion might surprise some people but just like you, I find it to perform well and cost effective. I like that it’s no frills because I like doing my own serums and treatments, and sunscreen separate from my face cream.
    Yessss Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm is the bomb! ❤
    I'm in a transitional phase with my skincare right now – changing from summer stuff to fall / winter stuff. I made the mistake of using facial oils as my moisturizer too many nights in a row (typically I try to do one day on, one day off) and it clogged my skin pretty badly especially along my jaw. Lesson learned: take it slow!
    Question: do you use sunscreen?

    1. I really was super impressed with how nice the Lush girls were. I actually went into two separate stores and had really positive experiences both times (although my wallet would likely disagree with that sentiment haha!)
      I really want you to try The Ordinary serum because the social media influence for that brand is overwhelming. I just want everything they make and I know nothing about the actual products. Take one for the team Stashy! Test it out! 😀
      I have a similar relationship with facial oils! I tend to only use them in the winter but even then I can’t use them every day. Of course my winter and your winter are two totally different things so maybe that wouldn’t be true if I didn’t live in a swamp.
      I do normally use sunscreen but I’ve been awful the last couple of months and haven’t been using it. I forgot it one day, then the next week I forgot it twice and so on and so forth. I need actually put it out somewhere where I’ll remember to apply it! I hate sunscreen though. I know I need it, and I have one that I like but I still hate wearing it. Also I’m sorry for all the typos in this response. That glass of wine is telling me that proof reading is for sissies 😀

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