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Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Zeno ($149.00 to $200.00)

As a bit of a gadget geek, high-tech beauty products are always on my radar, including Zeno, a handheld device designed to treat acne. Zeno works using ClearPoint Technology that uses heat to treat P. acnes (read more about this type of acne at Wikipedia), which accounts for nearly 90% of blemishes according to Zeno.

The device takes thirty seconds to heat up after turning it on, and then it is applied to each pimple for two minutes, treated by a heated tip at 118.5 degrees F. Zeno beeps every thirty seconds, and then it does a little video game-like sound to signal that it’s been two minutes. You wait thirty seconds in between treatments before you can treat another pimple, and you can only treat three per session. After three, Zeno automatically has a safety mechanism that kicks in and forces you to wait another two minutes before treating additional pimples.

First and foremost, yes, I saw results, and yes, they were amazing. Zeno manages to “dry out” pimples within 24 hours, which means they’re healed within two or three days. When you have just one or two pimples that aren’t noticeable, it’s not a big deal, but when you’re plagued with more or ones that you can see easily, it is a godsend. The heat is also not at all painful — it’s quite like holding a warm washcloth against your face, soothing and pleasant.

So I must rave about the results, because who doesn’t want a way to treat unsightly acne? I’ve yet to find a cream/gel that actually produces such impressive results in the same time frame. Zeno does work better on newly developing pimples than ones that have already fully surfaced, though I personally found that it still worked well on that type, too.

The bad news about Zeno is that is cost-prohibitive. The device itself has a hefty pricetag, ranging from $149 to $200 (it is available in three versions — Zeno with 60-uses-tip, Zeno Pro with 90-uses-tip, and Zeno MD with 150-uses-tip). I wouldn’t mind spending that on a device that would last me quite awhile, but each tip will only work for a certain amount of uses — 60, 90, or 150, depending on your version. Tip replacements are $25, 35, and 55, and if you think 60 is plenty of uses, think again!

Say you need to treat five pimples, and you’ll need to do it 4 days out of the week. For effective treatment, it is good to treat each pimple two to three times a day. Just treating each pimple twice for four days (5 pimples x 2 treatments/day x 4 days) is 40 uses. Stay with me — think about your yearly usage, is 100 days out of the question? If we were going at 4 days per week for the year, we would end up with over 200 days. In 100 days, you will need 1000 uses (5 pimples x 2 treatments/day x 100 days)! If you opt for the 90-uses-tip ($35), you’ll need 11 of them, bringing you to a yearly total of $385.

While the results were amazing, I think my money could be better spent on prescription acne treatments, and at the very least, the long-term thinking and cost pattern of Zeno makes me more inclined to think about what’s causing my acne instead. I think the Zeno would be worth it for those who are not acne-plagued; for those who only need to treat one or two pimples a week or less. It is even great for treating that solitary pimple that shows up right before a big date or fancy occasion. Simply put, if you don’t need to use your Zeno that often, you won’t need to replace the tip as often, which means it comes to you at a much lower cost.

(By the way, I am aware that several users try to “cheat” the system that Zeno uses — as once your uses are up, it stops working — by simply using the heat that emanates from it as it heats up, but 1) it is not as effective as a full treatment cycle; 2) I’ll probably forget to do this half the time.)

Conclusion? Pick up Zeno if you only have a few dastardly pimples in a month, but look for other treatments and alternatives if you have persistent, regular acne.

Have you tried Zeno? Love it, hate it, worked for you? Is it worth it?

P.S. — Next week, I will bring you a review on ThermaClear, a product that is often compared to Zeno, so watch for that!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Emollients
Emollients are an external ingredient that helps to soften skin that is often found in moisturizing products. Occlusives emollients create an oil layer on the skin’s surface to reduce water prevention and increase moisturization. You will often find that most lotions, creams, and ointments are occlusive moisturizers.

Source

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Veronica wanted to share a very subtle, neutral look with everyone!

She used:

  • MAC Prep + Prime
  • Prestige Sugar Dassy (as a base)
  • MAC Nylon eyeshadow on brow
  • Estee Lauder 02 Brunette
  • MAC Black Eyeliner
  • MAC Prolonglash Mascara
Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Looking for product recommendations? Expect several reviews of self-tanning options from sprays to creams to gradual to intense over the coming weeks!

Applying Your Tan | After you’ve properly prepared you body to take on a self-tan, you’re eager to get to the tanning part, right? I want to preface this piece with the fact that I am new to self-tanning, I spent the past two weeks learning about self-tanners, application, etc., and for the most part, it’s really not as daunting as it may seem.

  • Wash hands frequently and vigorously with soap. You don’t want dark orange palms, so you can avoid this by washing your hands multiple times during the application to minimize any orange palm effect.
  • Make a mistake? Try toner, acetone, or hydrogen peroxide to help minimize or erase it.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. It is much better to give yourself time to apply the self-tanner and let it dry appropriately rather than hope it will all come together in fifteen minutes.
  • Dry land only for at least eight to twelve hours if you’re able to. Your self-tan should develop within three hours, but it may continue to darken for as long as twelve hours. Avoid sweating, exercising, bathing, etc., as all of these can lead to undesirable effects (streaking, fading, etc.).

1. Get everything you need together. Self-tanning will probably take you at least twenty minutes to apply from head to toe, plus additional drying time. I recommend the following products/items to gather: self-tanner of choice for body, self-tanner of choice for face, moisturizer (lightweight), hair tie, soap, back sponge, fingernail scrub brush, sink, dark towel/dark robe.

2. Extra dry skin? It is probably best for you to moisturize either as you go (diluting your self-tanner in the process) or applying a light amount to extra dry areas like ankles, toes, knees, elbows, etc. I would only recommend this for those who have really, really dry skin. It is better to dilute self-tanner with a moisturizer than applying moisturizer before the self-tanner.

3. Apply from bottom to top. You want to start applying your self-tanner to your feet and legs, being sure to apply sparingly on any dry parts (e.g. ankles) if you have them. If you’re using a lotion, be sure to squeeze it onto your fingers/palms, and then work it into your skin in circular motions. If you merely squeeze it onto your skin, you may end up with visible streaks from where it was squeezed! If you’re using a spray or aerosol tanner, make sure that you follow directions (usually says how far to hold it and not to exceed a certain distance).

4. Dry spots, joints, etc. may require diluted tanner. Judge your skin – if you have dry knees and luscious elbows or you’re like a sahara on both, know about it! You do a half-and-half combo with moisturizer with self-tanner or go a little heavier on the self-tanner, just depends on how dry you’re skin is. Nevertheless, go sparingly over these areas, because they tend to darken more heavily than other parts of the skin.

5. If you’re doing your entire body, some people want tan lines. If this is the case, make sure you’re wearing something that you can put the tanner right up against (e.g. a black bathing suit), as the tanner will stain light clothing. I personally hate tan lines, so self-tanning is totally up my alley and I just stand in the bathroom naked while applying. Back issues? If you can’t reach your back, try investing in a handled sponge to help you get those hard-to-reach areas.

6. Work your way up to your upper chest. Apply your self-tanner for body all over your body (arms, legs, etc.), but you may want to switch to a gradual tanner or your self-tanner for face. The neck tends to tan better and darker than the rest of your body (like the face). Otherwise, dilute your self-tanner with moisturizer when applying to the neck.
7. Switch to a self-tanner for face. I always recommend using a product targeted for the face to avoid getting an ultra dark or orange face. You can, of course, dilute your body self-tanner with moisturizer if you feel confident doing so. Make sure you apply your self-tanner up to your hair line and behind your ears (often missed spots).

8. Let it all hang out! Optimally, you’ve given yourself three hours of time before you need to get dressed. Realistically, you may only have an hour or two–don’t worry, you can probably get away with it. After you’ve done applying the self-tanner, let it dry for at least 15 minutes. If you’re able, walking around the house naked for awhile is a good move. Otherwise, slip on your dark robe or loosely tie a dark towel around your body and busy yourself for the next 45 minutes to an hour.

9. Your tan develops in 3 hours usually. This does mean that waiting three hours before putting on clothes is the best course of action, but waiting simply a half hour or so is usually enough. I like to put on some ratty, loose-fitting clothes after about 30-45 minutes. Even when I put regular clothes on, I opt for dark colors and nothing too tight.

10. Enjoy your new tan! You’ll want to check out part three of this guide, though, which will offer you some tips on making your sunless tan last longer and how to let it fade without looking like a molting bird.

Feel free to share your tips, horror stories, and advice for self-tanning!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Temptalia Asks You

Do you have a distinctive beauty style? What would you classify it as? (e.g. colorful, classic, minimal, wild, vintage, etc.)

I would like to have a distinctive beauty style that makes me “polished,” but someone who is willing to have fun with color, too.

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Hazel ($9.95)

Enhance your natural eye color with three blendable trios that color, contour and line your eyes for illuminating, high impact. Available in 4 shades. Hypoallergenic. Dermatologist Approved. Fragrance Free. Safe for Sensitive Etes and Contact Lense Wearers. Shade: Brown Eyes Blue Eyes Green Eyes Hazel Eyes *

What I liked: I found the eyeshadow strips to have pretty good pay off, with the browns giving the best intensity out of the bunch. The whites are quite shimmery for the most part, making them not the best highlighters (an overly white highlight with intense frost finish can look off on some).  I think the lighter pink may work better as a more natural highlighter than the whites.  I do like the variation in shades, and I do feel like you could get a few looks out of this – and definitely lighter/darker versions of the looks you do come up with.

What I didn’t like: Having them directly next to each other can make it easy to blend them together–which may or may not be something you like–but I hate having different color dust accumulate on my other shadows.  It drives me bonkers!  I also feel like there is a frost overload in this palette; I know they’re called Shimmer Strips, so that’s a definite tip-off, but it could have been a lower level shimmer. For instance, the browns have a pleasant shimmer finish, without being frosty, and I think this kind of finish would complement the skin of most people, especially in the lighter shades of pink/white.