At-Home Chemical Peel Results

I’m basically healed from my laser skin resurfacing and will post a 2 week update tomorrow.

In the meantime, I had to share Chelsea’s before and 1 week after chemical peel results.

I started Chelsea’s series of 6 peels with a light 30% glycolic peel for 2 minutes, after which she did not peel.

For the 2nd chemical peel, I used a glycolic acid/salicylic combo, which evened out her skin tone, eliminated breakouts and reduced dark spots and scarring. Her chemical peel results are AMAZING! I can’t wait to get my hands on her face again.
ASDM Beverly Hills chemical peel results

To prep, I cleansed Chelsea’s face with Cetaphil, then wiped her face with 70% alcohol.

Then I used 50% ASDM Beverly Hills Glycolic Acid, which I left on for exactly 3 minutes.

I neutralized the acid, rewashed her face and applied 20% ASDM Beverly Hills Salicylic Acid for 2 minutes.

I finished the peel by washing her face once more and applying Cetaphil moisturizer.

Immediately after the chemical peel, Chelsea looked very red and strange bumps (that looked like hives) appeared. The bumps subsided within an hour, but she still looked like a crazy, peeling, red-faced monster for a few days; her total downtime from crazy to totally healed was 1 week.  She could have expedited the healing process with proper post-peel care; however, she never purchased Cetaphil or Aquaphor.

When healing from a laser or chemical peel, use Aquaphor Healing Ointment.  It will significantly expedite the healing process.

Note the marked improvement after only 2 treatments.

Chelsea is extremely happy with her results thus far and will undergo a 3rd chemical peel this weekend.

Click here to visit ASDM Beverly Hills and purchase the products I used on Chelsea.


Flawless Skin with At-Home Chemical Peels

Beneath the Make Up: Flawless Skin with At-Home Chemical Peels 

Chasing youth is a messy, expensive – and sometimes painful – business.

Fortunately, achieving flawless skin has been exponentially less painful – at least to my budget -since I traded Obagi and in-office chemical peels for ASDM Beverly Hills.

Click here to visit ASDM Beverly Hills

Chemical Peel

ASDM Beverly Hills products in my OTC skincare arsenal: Glycolic acid (30% and 50%), salicylic acid (20%), eye cream, melasma serum, Tepez Cream and Skin Fading Lightening Lotion (not pictured).

I could wax poetic about ASDM’s entire product line (except its eye cream – although more expensive, I prefer and HIGHLY recommend -even to prescription retinol- StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Eye Treatment for combating under eye fine lines), but instead will concentrate on its affordable, complete line of professional, low pH, skin chemical peels.

ASDM Beverly Hills offers a complete line of professional, in-office medical grade chemical peels.

I will never again spend $500 on an in-office chemical peel package!

Quick Guide to Chemical Peels
For acne-prone, oily skin. Helps to control sebum production, kill acne causing bacteria and deeply cleanse pores. Produces pseudo-frost and is self-neutralizing.

Glycolic acid is a naturally occurring fruit acid known as AHA (Alpha Hydroxyl Acids). Glycolic peels help to rejuvenate skin by loosening the bond that holds dead skin cells on the epidermis. This stimulates new growth of skin and removal of old, dead, dull skin. Requires neutralization; I mixed equal parts baking soda and water.

Gentle, moisturizing peel. Increases collagen production, resurfaces skin, improves skin texture. Reduces the appearance of uneven skin. Varies in its requirement for neutralization.

Typically used for more advanced photoaging changes, including wrinkles. Causes visible whitening of the skin, referred to as frosting. Self-neutralizing.
*ASDM does not sell TCA peels; however, I use TCA 15% Gel Peel with Salicylic Acid 5%  and love it! It’s an extremely light peel; however, you can apply several layers to get a deeper peel.  Also, do research further into TCA peels if you decide to go that route; there’s evidence of carcinogenicity in animals.  Glycolic, lactic and salicylic are definitely safer!

My Experience
I initially ordered 50% glycolic acid.  ASDM Beverly Hills accidentally sent me 30%, but corrected the mistake 2 hours after I notified them via email by shipping me a bottle of 50%, and allowing me to keep both.  A+++++ customer service.

I started with the 30% glycolic acid.  I followed the instructions in A Practical Guide to Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion & Topical Products, then applied ASDM’s Tepez Cream.  A Practical Guide makes the entire process simple and stress free.  READ IT! I’ll even share it with you for FREE! :)


I did not peel the first time, but noticed a marked improvement in my skin.  My skin appeared more even, red marks reduced and my pores were hardly noticeable. You can apply the peel with either a chemical peel fan brush or cotton face pads; I’ve used both.

I peeled slightly after performing a 2nd 30% peel, and peeled heavily after performing the 50% glycolic acid peel.

Although you shouldn’t do more than 1 peel every other week, I’ve been doing 1 a week… I don’t recommend it, unless you don’t mind looking like a crazy red faced snake.

When I performed the 30% peel on my mom and brother’s girlfriend, neither peeled after the 1st round. My brother’s girlfriend peeled after the second.  Both noted extremely smooth skin and smaller pores after the first treatment. You will probably NOT actually peel after 1 treatment. It may take 2-3. However, you’ll notice results immediately.  Remember, results are progressive, so commit to doing a series of 6 peels.

As for the salicylic acid, I don’t have oily skin, so I use the 20% salicylic acid as THE most effective spot treatment whenever I feel a blemish on the horizon!  I’m a picker and use it BEFORE I pick.  It brings all of the gunk to the service, at which time I extract it all with a professional blackhead & blemish remover kit.

One of my favorite Internet Facebook friends (we met through a creeptastic Internet TROLL back in the day and bonded over a mutual love for all things makeup and skincare related), Brandi from Chicago, used the lactic acid peel and said:

“I did the lactic last week I’m doing the glycolic sun. It was pretty gentle. Only slight peeling on my chin not bad at all. Cleared my pores out like crazy! I passed it onto my mom bc I want something a bit more harsh…”

After trying the glycolic, she said:

“So I left it on for 2 mins for my first glycolic and am going to up it every week now. I haven’t peeled and my skin literally looks flawless. I was only red that night and haven’t peeled at all which I’m sure I will the longer I leave it on. I think I’m going to order a higher strength because I only got 30% to start so in going to increase my time for my next 2 and then move to a higher strength. My makeup even looks smoother. It’s insane. I’m loading on moisturizer at night before and after to prevent super dry skin but my skin is looking more even now which is great. You have me obsessed!”

Photo Evidence
I broke out HORRIBLY while vacationing in Costa Rica (I had to wear a hat every single day!) and had little marks ALL over my face. I looked like I was recovering from the chicken pox! After almost 2 months and at least 6 peels, I can finally leave the house without makeup!  WHOO HOO!

chemical peel before and after

Please note: the last photo looks unnaturally flawless because I took it in my bathroom, with amazingly flattering INDOOR light.  The first 2 photos are in unflattering OUTDOOR light.  I have no foundation on in any of the photos, and did not use a filter or enhance any of the images in anyway.  Although, I did have chapstick on in the last photo!  You can definitely see my progress. My skin looks pretty great in the middle photo, during afternoon outdoor daylight.

Overall, I feel like I definitely achieved in-office results at-home with ASDM Beverly Hills’ chemical peel line.

PLEASE write me and share your experience with ASDM’s products if you decide to give them a try! Also, do a better job of documenting your progress, because they will give you a free product if you take before/after photos and share them.

Lastly, be sure to use the promo code DISCOUNT15 for 15% off. If you have any trouble getting the discount, send them a simple email and they will correct your bill before they ship your order.


Cyber Monday Deals & Promo Codes

Cyber Monday Deals & Promo Codes For My Favorite Clothing & Beauty Sites

cyber monday deals

Cyber Monday Deals & Promo Codes For Clothing, Accessories & Home

20% off with promo code 6PMCYBMON113020142053

NORDSTROM - Shop Cyber Monday Beauty Exclusives

Kohl’s lost my love after their rent-a-cop took a very unflattering photograph of me, hung it on the wall of his office and banned me from shopping any Kohl’s stores for 2 years… I’ve served my time and suppose I can let bygones be bygones….

Up to 25% off with code GOBIG14

20% off with code CYBERMONDAY20

Save Up to $30 during the ROMWE Cyber Monday Blowout

Additional 20% off your first order. A lot of luxury dupes.


Cyber Monday Deals & Promo Codes For Beauty, Hair and Skincare

Free bag of 12 samples with code PARTYPACK
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Free bag of 8 samples and makeup bag with code SEASONSET
Special $10 stocking stuffer deals

Get Free Shipping on orders of $50 or more at
30% off site wide with promo code HURRY30

An additional $5 off your first time order

30% off with code 555122


How To Turn a Clutch into a Designer Fanny Pack

Rather than attempting to the traverse mountain ranges, volcanoes and pothole-scarred roads of Costa Rica during our upcoming trip, we chartered a domestic flight that challenged me to keep my baggage under 30 lbs. Consequently, I’ve been VERY creative when it comes to packing versatile items that can take me from hiking the jungle to repelling down a waterfall.

Lululemon and Da-Nang cargo pants. Pieces by Free People that can be worn as a shirt, dress or swimsuit coverup. Water shoes with tread for hiking. Dry-fit gym clothes galore. Well, under 30 lbs. “galore.” Actually, I really need to weigh what I have packed so far…

Anyway, I felt pretty good about my packing list, until our travel agency sent over its own list of essentials, which included:

A strap-on money holder/pouch for traveling/touring. Handbags with straps are not recommended.

So… a…  fanny pack? I haven’t had one of those since 3rd grade. You’re probably envisioning what immediately came to my mind…




Luckily, thanks music festival attendees’ progressive street style –  think Coachella and Burning Man – modern fanny packs are actually cool and available by almost every high-end designer.


But let’s be real. Anyone who spends $800+ on a FANNY PACK is a moron. Actually, anyone who buys a fanny pack is a moron.

Especially when you can make one for FREE!

Get ready to have your mind BLOWN; creating this perfect travel or music festival accessory is insanely simple!
photo 12

Grab your favorite fold-over clutch and a belt.

photo 13

Place your personal items in the clutch and then the belt inside the fold.

photo 15


Louis Vuitton Fanny Pack

I used a Louis Vuitton Monogram Denim Amelia Clutch I purchased from and a white belt.  My clutch has a zippered pocket in the back to allow quick access to my ID and cash.

If you want to get a little more crafty, you can thread your belt through cuts in an old wallet.



What appeared to be a fashion obstacle, inspired a creative way to reuse an old clutch. I’m thrilled with the look of my DIY fanny pack and excited I’ll be able to walk around without worrying about my purse getting caught on tree branches, or swiped by petty thieves. In fact, I think I’ll rock this through the airport for quick access to my phone, passport, cash and ID. And Josh is ecstatic I’m finally using this overpriced piece of denim.







Unbeweavable Sale On My Donna Bella Hair Extensions

Fuller Hair Without TumbleWeaves, On-going Maintenance or the Dreaded Medusa Do

The only thing I loath more than under eye wrinkles, is paper-thin hair. Either cut that shit, or stock up on Donna Bella hair extensions during the Black Friday 4 Day Sales Event!

I ONLY rock Donna Bella kera-link hair extensions. And I’ve tried them all.

Great Lengths Hair Extensions, So.Cap, Vision, Lord and Cliff, Vision, West Coast Hair, His and Hers Hair, Celebrity Extensions, D’Vine Lengths, Hairdreams, Cinderella Hair, Micro-Cylinder, Basic Links, Klix, Clip-Ins… you name it, I’ve tried it!

Donna Bella never leaves me with tumbleweaves, slippage (if installed correctly), broken down bonds, shedding or matted glue and/or hair. I buy 8-11 packs of Donna Bella’s kera-link hair strand-by-strand fusion extensions in either the 22″ or 18″.

Donna Bella Black Friday Sales Event Details

Check out Donna Bella’s site for more information.  Donna Bella is offering a ton of perks, which vary day-to-day.

Friday, November 28th, all professional hair extensions will be 15% off. Clip-ins will be 50% off.  In addition, you receive money back in the form of a gift card.

Donna Bella Black Friday Sales Event

Cyber Monday offers a spin at the wheel for an additional percentage off.

Vanessa’s Hair Extension Guide

Hair extensions before/afterThe Rundown
Finding the right extension method will depend on budget, preference, and hair type. While fusion and tape-in extensions can be used on just about any hair texture, weaves are best suited for curly, kinky hair. I think links are best suited for coarse hair as well; I had to run around with a pair of tightening pliers in my handbag when I tried links.

Fusion extensions tend to be the most expensive ($500 to $4,000) and have the most time-consuming application process (up to three hours); they also last the longest (three to four months). By purchasing directly from Donna Bella, I end up spending $600-$700 every 17 weeks.

The tape-in application process is much faster (about an hour) and more affordable, but requires more frequent maintenance (every six to eight weeks).

Laura Kemezis and Joanna Calhoun-Shaver at Complete Beauty in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan install all different types for unbeatable prices.

Human Versus Synthetic Hair
When it comes to purchasing hair, you get what you pay for. Price will vary greatly based on quality of the hair, as well as the desired quantity (for thickness) and length. Synthetic hair is much cheaper ($50 to $100) but won’t blend or style the way human hair does. I only buy human. I dye and heat style my extensions.

How to Cut and Style
Good extensions should be entirely undetectable—blending your natural hair with the extension is critical. The best way to do this? A great cut. After the extensions are in, your hair should be cut DRY, with layers that blend the two hair types. You can color extensions darker (no bleaching!), but it’s best to choose a shade close to your natural color to avoid over processing. Or you can mix and match various shades for a more natural-looking blend. Julie Miklush at Bashar Salon in Somerset Collection in Troy gives THE BEST cut.  THE BEST.  

Removal is more difficult than extensions with easily broken down bonds. I can remove a head of Lord and Cliff fusion extensions in 30 minutes. It takes me hours to remove a full head of Donna Bella.

When it’s time to remove my Donna Bella fusion extensions, to ensure the least amount of damage possible, I do it myself at home. No one is going to be as gentle with your hair as you will be. I use the highest percentage of rubbing alcohol I can get my hands on, squirt the alcohol directly onto the bond and crack the bond with needle nose pliers. Then I simply pull the extension out.

Repeat 80-110 times.

The Damage
Putting additional stress on your hair will result in some damage, regardless of the type of extension you choose. Placement is also essential. Extensions should be placed where hair is strongest. Try to avoid areas along the hairline, where hair is the most fragile. Also, do removal yourself, at-home, when you have plenty of time.