Sponge Cloth

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WHAT IS IT

The Sponge Cloth is an amazing tool- its much more than a face towel! Made from alcohol molecules (yes, alcohol fabric!) this tool will aid your removal of any dermalogica product without giving bacteria a place to grow. Because it is not made from any natural fibers, bacteria can not find a place to hide or grow- keeping your skin care routine free from contamination by bacteria riddled face towels.

WHO SHOULD USE IT

The Sponge Cloth is for all skin types! Its gentle enough to use on acne and sensitive skin and strong enough to grab onto any product for a thorough removal!

HOW TO USE IT

Fresh out of the packaging this hot little number will need to be rinsed thoroughly. You’ll notice its amazingly soft texture right away! Once you’re done using it for the day I suggest to rinse it with some anti-bacterial soap or one of the foaming cleansers if you use one- skin clearing wash works best.
Make sure to designate a special place to hang this where it won’t be disturbed until you need it again. When the Sponge Cloth dries it also hardens (which also helps fight off bacteria). This great tool can also go through your washing machine! Just be sure not to add it to a load with fabric softener or bleach!
This cloth is also biodegradable, so it will need to be replaced from time to time. Dermalogica is all about making things earth friendly so this will begin to tear and degrade after prolonged use. Its suggested to get a new one every 6 months but I’ve had mine for 5 months now and its showing no signs of wear!

WHERE DO I GET IT?!

Visit Dermalogica.com to order or find a skin therapist near you!

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There are a lot of differing opinions about seeking professional help for hair and beauty services vs doing them at home for cheaper. I hope to present an as unbiased as possible review of several services to help best guide you towards investing smartly in your appearance.

COLORING HAIR

This all really depends on what the final look will be like compared to the look your hair currently has. If it’s a simple all over color with only a small hue difference from your current color- go for it. Just buy smartly. Box color might turn out fine every once and a while but I HIGHLY recommend visiting a beauty supply and buying color and developer on your own. Some beauty supply stores will have licensed cosmetologists on staff who can help you find what you need but don’t assume they know what products will work for what you want to accomplish if they are not licensed. If you are going to take the time to dye your own hair do a little research and educate your self about the basics of hair dye.

If you have plans to lighten your hair with bleach or if you have ever dyed your hair before it is very important for you to visit a professional. Color cannot lift color and bleach is a very volatile product which can permanently damage your scalp or hair if you do not understand the basics of bleaching.

If you are trying to cut costs I suggest doing a mix of salon and at home. Go to your stylist for the bleaching and finish the color at home, just realize that you are risking spending more if you need to return to the salon to have the color fixed. You also might have difficulty getting your color formula from your colorist, many colorists will keep these secret to avoid loosing business or to prevent you from taking it to another stylist. This is a bit of a standoff in the industry- some colorists feel their service is about more than the formula its about the connection and luxury while others feel like constructing formulas is what separates colorists from box dye. If your colorist has a problem giving you the color formula don’t take it personally, instead maybe consider a color that will grow out in a more flattering manner so that you can skip a visit with out your roots looking like a nightmare when you return.

SKIN CARE

At home facials are easy enough, but have you objectively examined your skin type and correctly chosen products for it? This is one service that I think you need to only do a few times in your life. As long as you’re paying attention and asking all the right questions you will be able to fend for yourself for longer than you’d think.

There are 3 stages of life that most affect the skin that I think are important to be aware of – teenager, adult, and post-menopause. Teenage years are of coarse everyone’s favorite, your body is full of hormones as your body goes through its changes from girl to woman and your face looks like a war zone. Adulthood for skin is reached mid to late 20’s which can be just as difficult as teenage years, or at least I feel so. Nothing is worse as a beauty professional than giving clients advice about skin care when your own is clearly not behaving. Finally the last stage is post-menopause, I think this is when skin type can change the most. The majority of my older clients have experienced very dry and thinning skin at this point which can be a nice break for those who were previously of an oily skin type but left unaware of how to care for their new skin type.

If you are in between one of these points of your life and your current routine is working well for you then stick to what you’re doing. What works for you works- so don’t let any one or thing change your mind.

EYEBROWS

I am currently working as an eyebrow threader so this will be a little less unbiased. I believe in having a shape that is specifically crafted for your facial features. As a threading artist I use your bone structure and natural growth pattern to determine the best shape of eyebrow for you. If you have a well balanced shape from your own tweezing then there is no real need for you to get them professionally done.  If you have any doubts or questions about your eyebrow shape then I highly recommend you find an eyebrow expert near you.

If you’re going to take the time and money to see a ‘professional’ do your homework on them too! Far too many ‘professionals’ in the cosmetology industry do not take eyebrow shaping seriously and all too often that includes rules and regulations about sanitation. Go somewhere that is know for doing eyebrows- just about every hair salon will offer it but not all of them will be skilled in it. It might cost you a little more for these places but it will be worth it.

Of coarse I truly believe threading is the best kind of experience you could have for eyebrow maintenance but to each their own. Check reviews of their work no matter what you choose- not all threaders are created equal! Eyebrows have the ability to change your face dramatically so only trust it to someone who will make you look amazing.

CHEMICAL STRAIGHTENING

This can be another tricky service that’s best to start off in a salon. There are 2 main types of straightening products: thio and sodium hydroxide. It is imperative to know which one is right for you. The wrong kind can either have little effect on your hair or leave you completely bald for life- literally.

If you start at a salon with a thio then doing your regrowth is less of a hazard but there is still a risk. Be extremely mindful about time and I highly recommend having a friend assist you with it. Your regrowth will take less time to treat than your initial visit did and it can be difficult to coordinate areas on the back of your head.

However if you are using a sodium hydroxide I do not believe that is something that should ever be done outside of a salon. Thios are much gentler and easier to manage but sodium hydroxide can have immediate scarring effects on your scalp. Sodium hydroxide is one of the main ingredients in Drain-o, it is safe to use in the right hands but if you wouldn’t imagine doing your own heart surgery I definitely advise against doing your own SH relaxer! There have been cases of scalps melting even in salon settings so this is not something to take lightly.

If you’re unsure of what kind of straightening system you had done, ask your stylist.

CONCLUSION

*Another cost saving option is to visit a cosmetology school, their prices might not be rock bottom but you will be giving a student a real client to work on and even if they don’t have much experience their instructors do and will watch over them closely. Personally I feel that community colleges are the best option, private cosmo schools are great but some will hire newly licensed cosmetologists as instructors or have students mentor other students instead of employing more instructors with more experience. Private schools have their benefits over community colleges but the instructor program for colleges is much more rigorous and often the instructors there will have quite a few more years of in-salon experience and teacher training.

So there are my as unbiased as possible tips about when to see a professional for beauty treatments! As always do your research before doing any service at home and don’t be afraid to talk to your stylist/colorist/esthetician about how do successfully do it. They will give you the best advice for what will work best for you, although slightly more biased, and can help guide you to safe savings.

Cheap and Easy Skin Care

This is an over view of my current skin care routine. The exact products I use many not work for everyone so I suggest seeking the opinion of a dermatologist or an anesthetic specialist. They might offer you fancy and pricey products but they can at least make sure you have an unbiased evaluation of your skin to lead you in the right direction.

First let me show you what I use:

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ROUTINE

I use each of these a minimum of once a day. The hugest part of any skin care routine is to have a routine! Without staying consistent even products that are custom made for you will not give you the skin you are looking for. Try any product every day for at least 3 weeks before you make any judgements about it- nothing that gives you over night results will also maintain long term results!

COSTS

Noxzema cleansing cream (also called cold cream) can be found at any drug store, supermarket, ect for less than $4, the Clean and Clear will run a little more, I bought it for $7.50 at Ulta.

WHY THESE PRODUCTS

I fell in love with cold cream many years ago during my theater/show choir experiences in high school. By far this is the cheapest and best product any girl could own. It cleanses and moisturizes the skin and can cut through even the heaviest stage makeup. In fact its pretty much the only thing that can get through Ben Nye- the most popular brand of stage make up which also well known for being the oiliest stuff around. I imagine it would also work really well for anyone who wears MAC on a regular basis. Cold cream will clean your pores without over doing it or striping your skin.

Moisturizers are just as important as cleansers! Even if you’re using a more abrasive cleanser a moisturizer is essential to balancing your skin. Most women seem to think that any oil on their skin is bad when the opposite is actually true! Oil is naturally produced by our skin to clean out pores and maintain elasticity. Blemished are the result of pores being clogged by dirt and/or too much oil. If you strip the skin of all its oil with out replacing some of it with a moisturizer your skin will go into over drive to replace it which could leading to more breakouts. If this bad skin care process is repeated enough it can lead to the ‘permanent’ over production of oil by your skin. Your skin should be left feeling dewy, soft and slightly moist to the touch but without residue left on your fingers. I personally use the acne control moisturizer because my nose produces more oil then the rest of my face and I’ve found this product to be a huge help in balancing that with my dry cheeks.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Seasonal weather changes can have a big effect on your skin. Some products that work great in the spring and summer might not be enough in the winter. For example I recently moved across country with my husband from Southern California to Southern Maine in early fall, before the move I could get away with just using the cold cream most of the year but with the bitterly cold New England winters my skin has gone from just slightly dry to wind whipped of all its moisture.

HOW TO USE THEM

I begin by scooping out a heafty amount of cold cream with freshly washed hands- about a ping pong ball amount and applying it to my face in a circular motion. The first few times using cold cream you will feel a tingling sensation it might feel a little weird and uncomfortable at first but give it a few days and it should subside. If however the ‘tingling’ turns into more of a ‘burning’ on more than the first few times and/or your skin remains red and irritated after you finish then the formulation of the cold cream is too harsh for you and I suggest trying another brand and/or switching to a sensitive skin version. While I am massaging the cold cream into my pores I usually have the water running to get it warm enough for removing the cold cream. Water should be warm but not hot- hot water will strip the skin of all oils and invalidate the entire point of using cold cream. Using a damp washcloth, gently rub off all of the cold cream. I suggest changing out the wash cloth as often as possible. I thoroughly rinse mine out after every use and change them out each week.

Finally I finish with 2 pumps of my moisturizer, applying it evenly all over. I feel it is important to make moisturizing the last step prior to applying make up, if  I brush my teeth right after this then the abrasives in the tooth paste will remove the moisturizer from my skin similar to how blow drying my hair can cause the skin to become over dried.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for checking out my skin care routine! I hope you have learned a thing or two and that it helps you bring out the most beautiful you! Don’t forget that these exact products might not give you the same results but by no means should you shy away from them either!

I literally think there is a cold cream out there for everyone so please don’t dismiss it if the first one isn’t right for you! And if you use nothing else I believe cold cream alone can be the most gratifying product for 99% of people in the world!

If you have any questions or review requests  please feel free to leave them in comments!