Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When bad skin happens to good people (A very long review - Part I)

You know how girls are, "I just LOVE your mascara - what is it? Do you like it?" Or, "I need a new moisturizer, what do you use?".  We love to know what everyone uses and we always like to try on new products.  It's in our DNA.

Not that I have a ton of people asking me what my beauty secrets are, but I thought I would share some of my favorite products and give you my honest opinion about them.  Since my beauty regiment is quite lengthy ( who would have thought), I have decided to break the post into parts - not sure how many yet as I tend to go on and on and on and on...


First things first: prepping the skin.

Face wash: I have been using this face wash for as long as I remember.  I usually buy the largest bottle (8oz) and it lasts well - for a very long time (up to 1 year).  A small squirt goes a loooong way - pea-sized and it lathers beautifully.  I have tried so many other cleansers, and this one without fail is consistently good to my skin. It doesn't dry, doesn't clog, doesn't cause any residue, doesn't irritate, and most importantly - it doesn't annoy me.  You know what I mean - those cleansers that feel sticky after, or like they left a layer on your skin.  Another important factor is that it's non-detergent - which means it doesn't contain soap.  A good dermatologist once told me (years ago) when I proudly answered I use a barsoap for my face, "Soap is for the hand not the face".  And since then it's been this cleanser.  This cleanser sets you back around $30 online.

Toner: After many experiments, the toner I found to be the perfect match for my skin is by local brand Greenbar. This is the brainchild of a Bahraini and not only do I love supporting local businesses, but this is actually a world-class product.  The Moroccan rose plant water smells like roses and feels smooth and refreshing.  It doesn't tighten the skin too much so you won't feel like your skin will crack when you smile. It removes any residue and preps your skin for the next step of moisturizing.

You can order Greenbar's products online and they deliver it to your house within a day or so (if in Bahrain but they do provide international shipping and paypal payments).

Moisturizer - Day'n'Night: For my day cream, I have tried every possible brand on earth.  Eventually, they turn sour on me (not literally) and the effect they have on my skin is lost.  I know they say you are meant to change brands but it is so hard to find the right one let alone keep changing it!  So, after many dinars and dollars spent, I found the perfect one. It can be found in, well, any local supermarket.  Yes ladies, Oil of Olay.  All the ads they pay for in every magazine possible must mean they sell real well right? So on that notion I figured it must be good.  And let me tell you it is! It's airy, applies easily and evenly, feels great on the skins, smells amazing and it really works.  I have been using it for about 8 months now and I can feel my skin supple and refreshed.  This sets you back around BD7.

For my night cream I opted for a heavier potion.  One that I slather on my face and leave it to get deliciously absorbed as I sleep.  I found the a face elixir by Greenbar that smells of a Thai spa and takes me back to one of the best massages I had a few years ago in Samui.  The face elixir feels amazing and does amazing work to your face.  After using it for a few months my skin is visibly moisturized.  I have very oily skin but funnily enough had a few dry patches.  This elixir evened it out beautifully.  The elixir costs BD12.

Last but not least - Under-eye Cream:  When beauty specialists recommend you something at a department store, they tend to always recommend their own brand to make that extra buck.  I 'almost' never listen to them because of that.  However, when I was away a few summers ago, the lady at the store whispered in my ear, "I could get fired for this but I will recommend you an eyecream that you will love."  She worked at Trish McEvoy but recommended the Kiehl'a Avocado Eye Treatment.  She then winked at a colleague by the Kiehl's stand and gently nudged me to go to her and get the 'hookup'.  If I could see that saleslady today I would give her a hug.  This was 3 summers ago and I still use it.  It's quite thick and even when applying it is dense.  But honestly, the intense moisture it provides is profound.  To prevent wrinkles you need to moisturize and this does exactly that. This sets you back approximately $30.

And that ladies is my two cents on skin prepping.  Stay tuned for part 2 where I will do an exposé (crowd ooohs) on my favorite makeup products.

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