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Monday, December 8th, 2008

Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment ($6.99) is a product designed to treat acne problem areas. You have that raging zit that just won’t quit? That’s what a spot treatment is for. Spot treatments are generally known for also speeding up the zit-be-gone process. For those who missed it, I broke out something awful when I used a silicone-based primer, and to clear everything up is a challenge. I finally caved and went to the drugstore to get a spot treatment product (for some reason, there are no drugstores that close by–I’m so used to not having to drive more than a few minutes, not 10 or more–so spoiled).

While I was browsing the shelves laden with acne “miracle” products, I landed on Clean & Clear’s. I’ve used one of theirs in the past, and it seemed to work OK. I don’t really expect any spot treatment to be miraculous and reduce a monster zit to nothing in an hour or even overnight for the most part. I had already used 10% benzoyl-peroxide to no avail, and I think I must draw the conclusion that my acne always responds better to salicylic acid over benzoyl-peroxide. Most acne products contain either of these ingredients. 2% salicylic acid products are about as high as you can get over the counter, I believe, and this one is that.

The rest of the ingredients are harder to pronounce, and judging from the list, I’d say it’s probably not a great combination of ingredients. But my skin is made of tough stuff other than that terrible reaction to silicone (totally new experience for me–the worst kind, of course), so I got it anyway. The key with this product is to apply it in a thin area, and the product does say apply it one to three times a day. I opted for two, since it made the most sense; once before bed, and then once after I showered and put on makeup.

Beyond pimple reduction, this product also helps to reduce redness, which for me was a major concern. The last thing I want to do is put foundation on my face when it’s trying to clear itself up and heal, but at the same time, I don’t relish walking outside without it! So I usually end up with a light layer of foundation on. This helped make it easier to go out and not worry about how red those zits were. This product also did not dry out my skin at all, which is a huge plus. Many acne spot treatments will dry your skin out, but it is still important to use a good moisturizer along with the spot treatment to ensure you don’t dry out.

Sometimes the product seemed to work, sometimes it didn’t do anything. This product does seem to speed up the process, though. I would say that most pimples were reduced over two or three days, depending on their original size. Larger, angrier pimples may make it easier to see efficacy with this product, but I only had one or two of those. For the price, I’d recommend having one of these on-hand just to combat those pimples that just crop up. I don’t recommend spot treatments as a general rule for those who suffer constant breakouts, because at that point, it is more important to find a skincare routine that can really clear up your face. This is a temporary solution; a way to salve your self-esteem when a product has made your skin angry.

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Temptalia Asks You


What beauty product have you had the most fun with? Spray-on hair color? Chunky glitter? Neon green eyeshadow?

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Frederic Fekkai Spray On Hair Crystals ($18.50) is sophisticated glitter for your hair. Launched at a perfect time when holiday parties abound, this product is a fun and flirty foray into hair glitter. If you’re wary of glitter in the hair, the particles are very fine and lightweight–not like craftstore glitter in the least. I don’t find that this product gunks up my hair or acts like a hair spray (doesn’t give me any hold really…), which is a plus, in my book. I’d hate it if it made my hair hard and crunchy!

It took some experimentation to really get the product to work for me. You can’t just do short spritzes, you have to press and hold and let it mist all over your hair, then release. When I did short spritzes, you could hardly see any glitter. It made a huge difference to hold it down and apply in a single hold. I really liked the result — it was this soft mist of fine crystals all over my hair. Very festive! If it was fashionable (and you know, super inexpensive) to go around with hair glitter everyday, I would so be there.

Each bottle contains 45+ uses according to the bottle packaging, which is good, I suppose. I really don’t know what to expect in terms of usage, and I’m sure it’ll vary from person to person depending on how much you use in each setting. It comes in three shades (champagne, copper, and bronze) — and you’re probably best off going with the one opposite your natural hair color. I have both copper and bronze, and I do like them–I think I prefer copper just a tad more. For me, it really works because of the soft brown-red tones in my hair. I gotta return one of them (I think it’s bronze), because the spray nozzle stopped functioning after about four or five usages :( But I’ll be exchanging it for a new one, rather than returning it altogether.

My biggest beef with this product is the scent.  IT STINKS!  It only stinks when you’re spraying it–which is this scent of chemicals up the wazoo–so the scent doesn’t linger in your hair or anything.  I think I might not be used to hair products, because maybe if I was, I wouldn’t be so adverse to this.  Like I said, though, the scent is only when you’re initially spraying it on your hair and then it is gone.

Anyone else try this? What’d you think?

P.S. — No photos, because this doesn’t photograph well.  I tried on about four different occasions to no avail! Sorry! :(

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Survey Says

Fill in the survey below with your answers, and then share your answers with us in the comments section! :-)

Instructions: Fill in the survey below with your answers, and then share it with us in the comments section! :)

Are you going anywhere for the holiday season: [answer]
Your top travel tip for beauty: [answer]
Best beauty gift you’ve given: [answer]

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Snowcake Soap ($6.95 for 3.5 oz.) is one of Lush’s cult-favorite products that only comes around once a year (the holiday season or winter season, whichever you prefer!). Funny enough, Lush really does know how popular this product is–in their product description, they write, “If we didn’t bring out a fresh batch of Snowcake every Christmas we’d probably be chased down the street by irate LUSH customers.” I wouldn’t be surprised at the truth of that statement! I know the lovely Muse over at Musings of a Muse stocks up on this every year, buying it by the bucket load!

I hope my Lush fans don’t put me on a spit and roast me up, but Snowcake isn’t part of my must-have, very favorite, to-die-for Lush products. But let me explain myself first! I am simply not into soaps. I never liked them growing up as a kid (discovering shower gel/body wash was a dream come true) because there’s this slight “squeaky clean” feeling at the end. It’s difficult to describe, but I just can’t jive with that feeling, which pretty much leaves most soap bars out. This is the only reason why I’m not all over Snowcake like melting snow (oh, that was terrible)–otherwise it is a great product.

So, for the soap lovers out there, Snowcake is a deliciously scented milky white soap bar that smells like marzipan and amaretto with a little almond in it. In the shower, it melts against the body into a creamy lather. The scent fades after an hour or two post-shower, but it’s enjoyable for that hour. I don’t find the majority of soaps, shower gels, body washes, etc. to have prolonged scents after you step out of the shower. For me, it’s not a big deal–if I want to be scented everywhere, I opt for a good body lotion layered over a coordinating (or very lightly scented) shower gel/wash or a spritz of perfume.

Fear not, for those who aren’t so head-over-feet in love with bar soap, the good folks at Lush have bottled up the scent and excellence of Snowcake Soap into Smitten hand cream! (Review is forthcoming, but I’ll tell you I do recommend it!)

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Temptalia Asks You


Does the winter change your skin at all? What changes? How do you cope?