Best Exfoliator for Dull Winter Skin

The cold weather dulls my complexion and enhances fine lines. Which exfoliator do you recommend?

As far as exfoliation goes, trash your facial scrub and start using a product with Glycolic Acid.  I recently discovered and LOVE Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads.

 

20% Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads
10% Glycolix Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads

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Claims
Glycolic Acid facial pads gently exfoliate the skin, revealing fresher, clearer, younger-looking skin.

Reduces the appearance of fine lines and lightens freckles and sun spots by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Vanessa’s Review
Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads do what they claim: they gently exfoliate, moisturize and assist in the removal of oils and residue on the skin.

Having used Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads, which didn’t exactly unwrinkle any thing and cost $45, I’m a huge fan of Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. They are easy-to-use, convenient, the price is right, and the concentration of Glycolic Acid is high enough that I immediately noticed a difference in my skin.

Upon initial application, my face slightly tingled.  I wasn’t sure if I should immediately apply my other products or wash my face first, so I waited around 10 minutes, washed my face with my Clarisonic, then applied my other products.  Interestingly, I felt like my other products penetrated deeper and were therefore more effective. My face immediately felt smoother, my complexion looked more radiant, and my fine lines were less apparent.

Having experimented with them a bit, I now use Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads daily in place of Obagi Toner; I wash, tone with these pads, then apply my other products.

Also, for those of you who are pregnant and struggling to find a safe skincare regimen, glyolic acid, one of the safest Alpha Hydroxy Acids (a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane), is safe to use during pregnancy!

Remember:  use SPF!  Your skin may be more sensitive to sunlight after the use of Glycolic Acid.

Strengths
Inexpensive ($20-$30, depending on strength), effective, easy-to-use and convenient.

The glycolic acid exfoliates really well, Witch Hazel delivers toning and astringent benefits, and liposomal vitamins A, C, E, Co-Q10 and Green Tea Extract work to protect, sooth and brighten skin.

Weaknesses

20% pads may irritate sensitive skin.

Since my skin is no stranger to in-office chemical peels and prescription strength retinoids, I use the 20% Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. If you have sensitive skin or are a Glycolic Acid virgin, start with 10% Glycolix Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads. Use weekly or bi-weekly use, working up to daily use.

How To Use
Remove a saturated pad from the jar and wipe the textured pad over your face, before or in lieu of cleansing with face wash and water.

There is no wrong way to use these! Glycolix Elite Treatment Pads peel, tone, prime and clean!

In fact, on Scrubby Sundays, I don’t properly cleanse; I forgo water and face wash for one of these pads and call it a day!

How To Take The Perfect (Hands-Free) Selfie

Tips, Tricks & Apps that Help You Take Better Selfies

How to take the perfect selfie
1. Natural light is the most flattering. Always keep your light source in front of you.  The selfie above has no filter… just great lighting.

2. Find your best angle. Almost no one has a perfectly symmetrical face… so choose a side. Shoot angling down to slenderize and up if you need to eat a steak.

3. Get some distance between you and the camera to eliminate distortions.  The worst is the “bell pepper nose” that happens when you take a photo too close to your face.

OR…

  • Hide your Narcissistic Personality Disorder and sick selfie obsession by forgoing devices altogether! Download CamMe in iTunes for free to shoot your selfies HANDS (and contraption) FREE!  The resulting photos don’t even look like selfies! See my video for a demonstration.

Shop The Look

How to Wear The Giant Zara Blanket Scarf

A blanket….

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Scarf….

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Dog hoodie… (Meet my dog, Mr. Butters)

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…Shawl, cardigan, cape, a turtleneck… So versatile and Butters approved! Cozy and utterly inexpensive, the previously sold-out Zara Blanket Scarf – now available on Amazonfor under $30- makes an affordable, on-trend no-fuss transitional piece. Much like its budget-breaking Burberry counterpart, it can be worn a ton of different ways, which I TRY to show in my very first video. Scoop it up now; it was going for over $150 on ebay last year!


Zara Blanket Scarf – BUY IT HERE.

zara blanket scarf

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SHOP THE (WAY MORE EXPENSIVE) LOOK

Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimizer

Algenist
Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimizer

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Claims
A concentrated gel that primes the skin, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Upon application, alguronic acid filling spheres swell on contact with the skin, instantly concealing the appearance of lines and imperfections using this exclusive technology. The skin is primed for improved makeup application and a longer lasting, perfected finish. The regenerative power of alguronic acid combines with soy protein, echinacea, and an active peptide complex to minimize the look of deep wrinkles and even skin texture, creating a more youthful appearance and healthful glow.

Alguronic acid is a unique and powerful regenerative compound from microalgae. This rare ingredient was discovered unexpectedly by a biotechnology laboratory in San Francisco, CA, focused on researching renewable energy solutions. Algenist is the only line of skincare products to contain the antiaging power of alguronic acid.

Vanessa’s Review
Since the area around our eyes ages 36% faster than the rest of our face, I noticed my makeup settling into the fine lines under my eyes and immediately took action. I booked an appointment with my cosmetic surgeon, then sprinted to Sephora for a quick fix to bridge me to my appointment.

Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler works not because the algae expolysaccharides work magically vaporize wrinkles; rather, the formula contains silicone that works like a spackle to fill in fine lines.

Defined by Algenist as a “gel primer,” I thought I discovered the fountain of youth in a tube and eagerly applied it to my entire face like I usually apply foundation primer. It appeared to result in a smooth, primed surface. However, applying liquid foundation ruined the intended effect; rather than appear poreless and wrinkle-free, the liquid foundation refused to adhere to the primer, and resulted in flakey under-eye skin and a rough overall texture.

Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler is not a foundation primer and shouldn’t be used as one; however, it is an effective and wrinkle filler and if applied correctly, provides a completely smooth, flaweless finish.

For my second attempt, I smoothed a pea-size amount under each eye (and Smashbox primer on the rest of my face), concentrating on the fine lines I wanted to mask. My skin appeared completely smooth and wrinkle-free after the product dried (in 5 minutes). I successfully applied mineral makeup and powder to set.

Personally, I think Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler looks best with minimal makeup. It is perfect if you’re low maintenance, wear little to no makeup and want to take 5 years off your face in 5 minutes. It’s an instant lower eyelift or temporary filler for forehead fine lines. If applied heavily to a targeted area, this product completely temporarily fills in wrinkles.

Strengths
If applied correctly, results in airbrushed, poreless, wrinkle-free skin. Couldn’t ask more from a wrinkle filler.

Weaknesses
The effect is temporary. Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Filler is definitely not the DeLorean of skincare products. No traveling back to when you fearlessly fake baked, slapped on baby oil and hit the beach then slept in your makeup with zero fear of fine lines. Also, it’s too thick to be used as a liquid foundation primer.

How To Use
Generously smooth on (do not massage in) targeted areas, allow it to completely dry, then apply mineral foundation. If you aren’t getting the results for which you had hoped, try using more product.

* My surgeon ended up using the CO2 laser under my eyes, which vaporized any fine lines and provided a long-term solution. Read that review here.