Writer, reader, and Animal Crossing enthusiast based in Los Angeles / she/her/hers
How to (Temporarily) Shrink Your Pores in 1 Hour
What you might think are stubborn blackheads that you can’t remove, no matter how religiously you use salicylic acid, are actually sebaceous filaments, which are basically a combination of sebum (your skin’s natural oils), bacteria, dead skin cells, and even the single hair in your hair follicle that have all come together to create that annoying clogged pore. Unfortunately, the size of your pores is determined by your genetics, and they can’t be truly “shrunk,” no matter what a product claims. Although you can only temporarily reduce the appearance of your pores, it’s a pretty simple and extremely satisfying process known as “gritting.” I first learned about this process from Fifty Shades of Snail, whose process is well known in the online skincare community. The process uses three products — a BHA chemical exfoliant, like salicylic acid; a clay mask; and a cleansing oil — and takes about 1 hour max. It’s recommended that you do this in the morning, about once every few days, so this is a great way to indulge in some skincare self-care on the weekends! Below are my favorite products to use for gritting: COSRX - BHA Blackhead Power Liquid This is one of my favorite chemical exfoliants: it’s affordable, effective, and applies beautifully! I use this for gritting and for chemically exfoliating twice a week. AZTEC SECRET - Indian Healing Clay I only use this mask for gritting. I personally don’t find it helpful to regularly use clay masks, as I’ve found them to be a little too harsh for me, even with my oily/combination skin. I use raw apple cider vinegar to make my mask, which helps to lower the higher pH of the bentonite in the clay to a more skin-friendly level, which should be around 4-5. Simple Skincare Science has a great post about whether you should use water or raw apple cider vinegar to mix with your clay mask. There are other types of clay masks that might be more suitable for your skin type, like kaolin clay for dry or sensitive skin or French green clay that has more healing properties. This specific clay mask is just the most affordable and easily accessible option! Orgain - Organic Mct Oil Unflavored / 32oz Bottle Okay, this is where things might get a little weird, but I use MCT oil as my cleansing oil. MCT oil is most commonly used in keto/low-carb diets as a source of energy. I use MCT oil on my skin because it’s extracted from caprylic acid, which does not cause problems for malassezia, or fungal acne. I have a huge bottle of C8 MCT oil from the brand Kiss My Keto that I decanted into a smaller vessel with a pump. The only downside is that because this oil wasn’t made with the intention of being used as a cleansing oil, it doesn’t emulsify when you clean it off your face. I get around that by using a lukewarm, damp towel to gently remove it. If you end up trying the “gritting” process, let me know what you think in the comments!
COSRX-BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
A Lash Slick dupe that deserves some love
I was inspired by@francinevegato try this Glossier dupe and I am so happy I did (thank you Francine)! Glossier. - Lash Slick Mascara As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Lash Slick is my almost perfect everyday mascara. It gives my fluttery, long lashes but also keeps them separated and natural looking. My main issue is that it just doesn’t keep them very curled. wet n wild - Mega Length Mascara 6ml Enter Mega Length Mascara... it’s totally worth a try. Especially for under $5!! I got this one from Walmart and I was immediately struck by how similar the packaging and wand are to Lash Slick’s. I’ve been using for a couple weeks now and I am really loving it. The good: + It definitely lengthens you’re lashes. It gives me that kind of “natural eye lash extension” look and I definitely see a difference in how lifted / curled my eyelashes look. + My lashes stay curled all day! + I find it easier to take off than the Lash Slick mascara (maybe this means it’s not as water resistant.. but I don’t mind). + I haven’t dealt with any transfer to my eyelids or under my eyes. + The price and accessibility of the product (aka you can pick it up at several drugstores or department stores). The not so good: - I might be crazy but I swear the brush isn’t as ... comfortable for applying mascara.. it feels like a little less gentle when applying it to your lashes. - I do feel like this formula clumps a little more than Lash Slick’s and my lashes will sometimes stick together in a couple places. But then I’ll just work with the brush to separate the lashes again. The clumps are very minimal, I’m just picky. 🙃 I might be a sucker... but I really respect the Glossier brand and I love their packaging, so I still think I will repurchase the Lash Slick again! However, if I am ever between shipments or if I want to start saving up for something, I will probably reach for this instead. 💕
Glossier.-Lash Slick Mascara
Affordable lightweight peptide moisturizer
I’ve been using THE inkey LIST - Peptide Moisturizer for about a month now so I’m ready to share my thoughts on it. This is a nourishing daily moisturizer that contains a peptide duo that helps support natural collagen by decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as hydrate the skin. The two peptides in this are acetyl hexapeptide-37, which helps with surface level hydration, and pentapeptide-48 that helps with skin rejuvenation. Other notable ingredients in this formulation are glycerin, shea butter, betaine, and vitamin e. I was worried that this would be to heavy for my skin due to the shea butter but this was surprisingly lightweight. It has a medium weight cream texture that sinks into the skin fairly quick. It leaves a natural skin finish that doesn’t feel greasy or heavy on the skin. It just feels like moisturized skin after it dries down completely. I quite liked this cream a lot since it provided enough hydration and nourishment to my skin throughout the day and night. The results I got from this were pretty expected. My skin just felt supple and moisturized. As far as anti-aging benefits from the peptides, I’d have to use it for a much longer period to see those results if there are any. I’m aware people are thinking this would be a dupe for Drunk Elephant’s protini but I don’t think that’s the case since they both have varying ingredients as well as textures. DE’s felt more like a gel cream that has a lot more ingredients and peptides in their formulation but that’s not to say this isn’t a great moisturizer all on it’s own. This is a wonderful moisturizer for any skin type that’s also affordable and comes in a great packaging that dispenses the perfect amount each time. This didn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts as well so that’s always a plus for me. Overall, I was very impressed by this moisturizer. It kept my skin hydrated, nourished, and moisturized all at a great price and I just love the pump jar packaging. I would definitely repurchase this again in the future. Have you guys tried this yet? If so, any thoughts? Rating: 4/5 🌟 #CherieCreator #TheInkeyList
THE inkey LIST-Peptide Moisturizer
Is it really a dupe?? Drunk Elephant vs. Inkey🍀
In this round of dupe products, I tested Drunk Elephant’s Protini against The Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer. I have used Protini in the past and just got the newly released Inkey List moisturizer a few months ago. I was excited to see how they would perform up against each other. Let’s dive in! DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer $68/ 50ml: contains a combination of signal peptides, growth factors, and amino acids. It comes in an airtight jar and a pump to prevent exposure and oxidation. The cream is in an intensely thick formula but surprisingly doesn’t feel too heavy when applied on my oily skin (although I feel oilier later in the day). The formulation has A LOT of peptides. Nine in total. I’m still skeptical when it comes to peptides since there haven’t been enough controlled studies to support the claims. However, I do know it has amazing moisturizing properties therefore, it may really help reduce fine lines and improve the overall health of the skin. THE inkey LIST - Peptide Moisturizer $14.99/ 50ml: this is a mainly a shea butter moisturizer. The peptides are last in the ingredients list. It contains a two-percent royal epigen P5 that claims to nurture skin and help decrease the appearance of fine lines and one-percent hydrating peptide solution to support the moisture barrier. It has fewer ingredients compared to Protini so it has less potential to cause irritations for sensitive or acne-prone skin. Texture and Consistency: I find that the Inkey moisturizer is more lightweight and sinks in quicker than the Protini. However, the Protini has that special luxurious silky feel to it. It feels really soft and cream slides easily onto skin. They are both sufficiently moisturizing for my oily skin. Both make me oilier at the end of the day but I really have no problem when used in the nighttime. I think they’re both great products. Both are fragrance-free and have occlusive properties. They seal in the moisture to keep your skin looking healthy and they’re perfect for use to repair the moisture barrier and replenish your skin with hydration overnight. So which one should you get? depends on your needs and skin type: I would say, go for the PROTINI if: You have dry skin You have wrinkles and fine lines You prefer a really intensive hydration You’re not sensitive to plant extracts Go for the PEPTIDE MOISTURIZER if: You have oily skin You are acne-prone You prefer a lightweight moisturizer You’re sensitive to plant extracts *cons: it has a strong chemical smell I personally have been enjoying the Inkey List moisturizer better than the Protini. Although I have always loved the Protini, I find that the Inkey moisturizer works better with my skin type. Thank you for reading! xoxo
THE inkey LIST-Peptide Moisturizer
Good≠Expensive!💥You Can Get A Perfect Skin With Products Under $40!
Highly effective skincare products can be affordable! So I discovered this routine. Everything in my routine is under $40. I hope this is helpful.🌲🌲 1️⃣ CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser $14.99 Y'all should know CeraVe. One of the best drugstore skincare brands. It is alcohol free, not irritating at all. Very friendly to acne-prone skin and sensitive skin. As a moisturizer, it contains glycerol, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. It can improve the skin's restoration capacity, making your skin healthier in the long-run. 2️⃣LANEIGE - Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer$33 The ingredient list is super simple, which is quite rare among all the skincare products. The texture is creamy white liquid, heavier than water. If you have dry skin, then use it as a toner. And use a moisturizer afterward. If you have oily skin, this product is enough for moisturization. 3️⃣The Ordinary - Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%$10.60 This is so hyped these days. Everyone is talking about it and praising it. It claims that it is good for very oily skin. It can reduce acne, maintaining the oil-water balance within the skin. I heard that it is also a good whitening product, but I can't see any effects. 4️⃣timeless SKIN CARE - 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum 1 oz$18.44 It includes 20% Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Ferulic acid. Some people said that this is a dupe for SkinCeuticals. My skin looks brighter and healthier after using it for a while. I will repurchase it! 5️⃣ OLAY - Total Effects Daily Moisturizer $15.99 Olay is an old skincare brand, but this day cream is awesome! It includes several different kinds of Vitamins. The ingredient list is very clean. Make sure you use the fragrance-free one. It is also SPF 15. Even though it is only 15, it's still better than nothing. 6️⃣Mecca Cosmetica SPF30 Facial Sunscreen $38 This is not oily at all, and it does not smell bad as many other sunscreens. It includes great ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and pomegranate extract. All those ingredients can moisturize the skin. This is a magical sunscreen that can keep your skin hydrated. 7️⃣Glossier balm dotcom $12 The No.1 multi-function product from Glossier. This one doesn't have any color. It has a slight strawberry smell. It includes some simple but proven moisturizing ingredient, such as vaseline and castor oil.
timeless SKIN CARE-20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum 1 oz
Full(ish) face of ILIA
ILIA has become one of my favorite beauty brands over the past year due to their gorgeous products, clean beauty stance, and amazing formulations. I’m wearing nearly a full face from them minus the brows (benefit gimme brow) and bronzer (milk baked, but they just came out with their own). - Super Serum Skin Tint: 8/10 This skin tint contains spf 40, niacinimide, squalane, and hyaluronic acid so its a three in one product perfect for busy mornings. I find it to be long wearing about 8 or 9 hours of wear, which is pretty high for a skin tint. This gives the skin such a glowy, hydrated look. - Color Haze Pigment in Stutter: 9/10 Used here as a blush these also look gorgeous on the lips. Stutter is my favorite of all the pigment shades, it is a deep burnt orange that is very rare to find. The pigment itself is probably the thickest cream blush I’ve ever used but that just means you need the smallest amount, a little goes a long way. - Liquid Light Serum Highlighter: 6/10 This product can be a kind of hit or miss with me, sometimes it looks so gorgeous and natural and other times it accentuates the texture of my skin so badly. My favorite ways to use this is either mixed in with a base or under the super serum skin tint. These methods of application allow the highlighter to appear more skin like and dewy. - Limitless Lash Mascara: 10/10 My favorite mascara ever! This gives amazing length, doesn’t get clumpy, adds volume, and last for hours. This is truly the best mascara I’ve tried by far. ILIA - NOVA Liquid LightILIA - Pure EyelinerILIA - Color Block High Impact LipstickILIA - Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation
ILIA-Color Block High Impact Lipstick
“Clean by Sephora” Brands Can Still Be Damaging
Just because it’s organic, “natural”, or pretty, doesn’t make it good for you. Today I’m going to focus on two brands that consistently overprice their products that claim to be gentle but are, at base, sensitizing water that smells nice. I’d avoid them entirely, though there are honestly very few brands at Sephora that are worth the money. • Fresh: I jumped on this Insta-hyped brand a couple years ago. Most of their products are essentially just perfume with some skincare ingredients thrown in for INCI flavor. I’m normally not so harsh, but I get headaches from how fragrant their fresh - Vitamin C Glow Face Mask is. Same for the fresh - Rose Deep Hydration Toner , which dried out my skin terribly when my skin barrier started rioting against the volatile rose oil. Even if your skin doesn’t visibly react, fragrance and volatile plant oils oxidize, breaking down collagen beneath the surface, making this a brand (amongst many) that I’ll continue to avoid and recommend against when it comes to facial products. • Summer Fridays: Their scrub masks are, full stop, bad for skin. The scrub particles are abrasive and not uniform in size, increasing the likelihood to end up with irritated skin rather than a smooth glow. As well, they’re highly fragranced (see my above beef with fragrance), to the point that I use my leftover SUMMER FRIDAYS - R + R Mask as a foot scrub whenever I want to feel bougie. Damage on the surface AND collagen? Not worth $50. SUMMER FRIDAYS - Jet Lag Mask uses orange peel oil, another volatile essential oil, but has the added flaw of featuring peppermint oil, which contains sensitizing, skin-irritating menthol. There are other brands (some of their products included in this “Things That Didn’t Work For Me” photo) that utilize collagen-damaging fragrance and essential oils, but I find these two so often praised on Instagram that I can’t help but wonder if people look at the ingredient lists. I know some love these brands and that’s fine- but there are so many better, more affordable brands with clinically-researched ingredients and no unnecessary irritants.
HERBIVORE-Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask