GlamGlow GravityMud

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The only true way to use a face mask is to integrate it into your skincare routine. None of this ‘oh I use this one day, this one another day, I use them for fun’ nonsense. A face mask should be a treatment, a necessary component to your regular routine that gives your skin a boost. Does that mean you have to use the same masks all year round, no, but it does mean you should pare down your collection and stick to one for a long while to avoid throwing your skin out of balance.

Inherent in this is the assumption that the mask that you choose does something to your face. Maybe it removes impurities (NIOD FM, anyone?), hydrates (all eyes on this NeoStrata Hydrating and Plumping Sheet Mask), or topically exfoliates (Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask is a gem); it should do something. Now, there is an exception to this rule, and that is GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment which does little for my skin but I love it nonetheless.

Purpose

To firm, lift, and tighten skin while softening fine lines.

What’s so special about it?

A load of trademarked terms for common ingredients. Vizitight (firming matrix?, marine algae plasma, biodefine polymers?), Teaoxi Complex (licorice and marshmallow leaf), Lunarlift (soy isoflavone liposome red algae extract), and Cosmiplexion (Icelandic kelp, hyaluronic acid, glacial clay).

How does it work?

From the ingredient list I assume the ‘tightening’ effect comes from alcohol, witch hazel, clay, and polymers. Essentially this is tightening the skin by removing topical oils but compensating for that by infusing the skin with hyaluronic acid and drawing water to the skin with glycerin.

How often would I use it?

They recommend using it twice a week to maintain the results, and I would tend to agree.

Results and thoughts

Honestly the only reason I use this is because nothing bad happens when I wear it and I look damn good while doing so. I find my skin appears to be more even in texture and tone after wearing this, and yes I do feel a tad bit more lifted, but I would not say the results are dramatic enough to warrant the price. Realistically this is a mask I grab when I am feeling less-than-hot because I think the metallic silver is sexy to wear.

Find GlamGlow GravityMud Firming Treatment at Sephora.

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this post was given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.

NIOD Cleanse

niod-cleanse-skincare-2017In the spirit of a new year—though I never have much thought for the turning-over of a number—I took today to begin the rebuild of my skin from the last few weeks of gift buying, long days at work, travelling, and preparing for the winter semester. I have already brought back NIOD CAIS into my routine, after spending a great deal of time reading academic papers on inflammation; trust me, copper is a good thing. After reading the January edition of the Victoria Health newsletter I was inspired to share my adapted NIOD cleanse routine, something I hope to incorporate weekly as the results are truly remarkable.

As for my goals this year, I am working very hard to not set any; I always find myself far more willing to excel if I am left limitless. On the whole though, you can expect more intelligent writings here on the blog, and a refined selection of product reviews. Personally I am cleaning out most of the no-good products in my drawers and trying to limit my intake of gluten, sugar, and dairy in an effort to become Gwyneth Paltrow (and better my skin and body). Now, onto the cleanse.

The Weekly NIOD Cleanse Routine

Components: NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning EsterNIOD Sanskrit SaponinsNIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide MistNIOD Flavanone Mud, NIOD Myrrh ClayNIOD Mastic MustNIOD Hydration Vaccine, NIOD Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex.
Indication:
 Congestion, dullness, enlarged pores, unbalanced sebum production, irritation, redness, areas of dryness, puffiness.
Frequency: Weekly, either morning or evening.
Aftercare: Makeup application is discouraged.
Substitutions: Replace Hydration Vaccine with Voicemail Masque for the further benefit of improved cellular communication. If you are particularly congested I would use NIOD MMHC instead so as to not promote further congestion with a silicone-laden occlusive layer.

  1. If makeup is present, dispense NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester into the centre of one palm. Spread the liquid across both palms, then massage into the skin using upward, slow, firm motions. Continue until makeup is removed. Gently rinse with tepid water. Pat skin with a clean towel until dry.
  2. Squeeze a large dollop of NIOD Sanskrit Saponins in the palm of one hand. Wet the other hand. Massage both hands together to form a creamy paste. Starting on the cheeks and shifting outwards toward the ears, press the paste into dry skin using firm, slow motions. Take the time to breath between presses. Now press paste onto the temples, along the forehead, down the nose, and onto the chin. Let activate for five minutes. Gently rinse with tepid water. Pat skin dry.
  3. Mist face with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, four or more spritzes should do.
  4. Take a dollop of NIOD Flavanone Mud on the tip of a finger and draw a line along each cheek, then across the forehead, and then down the centre of the face. Smooth the lines outward, avoiding the eye area, until a thin layer coats the entire face. Relax for twenty minutes. Generously wet your hands with water and, with force, hold your cheeks for a count of five. Do the same with your forehead. Take more water and massage the face, loosening the mud from the skin. Continue until face is clear of residue. Pat skin dry.
  5. Mist face with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist.
  6. In the same manner as the NIOD Flavanone Mud, apply NIOD Myrrh Clay. Pay special attention to taking Myrrh Clay down along the neck and across the chest to promote a tauter appearance. Remove Myrrh Clay in the same manner as NIOD Flavanone Mud. Pat skin dry.
  7. Squeeze a generous dollop of NIOD Mastic Must in the palm of both hands. Apply to the face in upward, slow, sweeping motions beginning along the jawline and moving upward to the top of the forehead. Relax for ten minutes. Remove in the same manner as NIOD Flavanone Mud. Pat skin dry. On a low-heat setting, use a blowdryer to further activate the blurring properties of Mastic Must. Close your eyes and slowly move the airflow across the face. Spend no longer than fifteen seconds.
  8. Mist face with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist.
  9. For those not prone to congestion, take a small bit of NIOD Hydration Vaccine in the palm of one hand. Smooth Hydration Vaccine across the other hand, then apply to the face in upward, slow, sweeping motions beginning along the neck and moving upward to the top of the forehead. For those prone to congestion, take a full dropper of NIOD Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Complex and smooth from the neck upward to the top of the forehead.

Recent Acquisitions – Winter

Photograph of Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel, Dr. Jart Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Green, and IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel for hair.

To celebrate the winter season—and mourn the loss of autumn—here are my latest skincare and haircare acquisitions worthy of note. A video version of this post up now, and you can watch it here.

On the hunt for a gentle yet effective cleanser these last few months, I was rather unhappy with the options available domestically; hence my purchase of UK-favourite Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Yes, it has been mentioned by almost every other blogger; yes, it is worthy of acclaim. After cleansing with NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester, I apply this to dry skin, wait a few minutes, massage with my Foreo, and then rinse off with a hot cloth. My skin feels incredibly smooth, redness is reduced, and my skin feels comfortable. This is my all-time favourite cleanser.

After I cleanse I liberally spritz with NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, which supplements the human body’s natural superoxide dismutase to reduce oxidization—and thus inflammation—whilst marine exopolysaccharides aid in moisture retention. I will report back after using this one for a bit longer to determine its relative efficacy.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is responsible for the numerous compliments I have received on my skin these past few weeks. A treatment for both acne and rosacea, azelaic acid reduces inflammation and bacteria. I have ordered many backups of this.

NIOD Hydration Vaccine has been my saviour this brisk winter. Formulated with fungi composite organisms, a silicone mesh, a blue algae molecular film, and more technologies to retain moisture, this goes far beyond a ‘moisturizer’ to enable the skin to better retain its own hydration rather than simply creating the illusion of such. On days I go out only for groceries or for a run I mix this with NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 12% to add a cinematic look to my skin through a reduction in redness and the appearance of texture; together they make a far more effective—and natural-looking—alternative to cosmetics.

A newer release, Dr. Jart Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel* meshes well with my philosophy on acids; if you use them, be gentle. Hydrogen water—a key ingredient to the Dermaclear line—removes impurities, lactic acid topically exfoliates, salicylic acid reduces pore-level congestion, coconut milk calms irritation, while a trio of panthenol, squalene, and allantoin hydrate. While I am not thrilled by the inclusion of bergamot oil—a photosensitizing essential oil—I have enjoyed using this weekly to even out my skin’s texture. I have also tried Dr. Jart Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Refreshing Green*, a mask which—when applied for a few minutes and rinses with water—turns to a deep cleanser. It too contains several fragrant oils, which I would prefer were not included, but it makes for a fine deep cleanse treatment.

Bosica Sake Brightening Hydrogel Eye Masks* are something I use on clients often, but for some reason have yet to try on myself. My favourite aspect of these is the use of hydrogel rather than cotton; these stick to the face and stay put. Sake hydrates and brightens, marine collagen reduces moisture loss, willowherb reduces inflammation, and jojoba leaf defends against free radical damage. These make for a refreshing treat for a weekend facial—or as a prep-step before an event—through reducing puffiness, soothing the sensitive under-eye area, and plumping dehydration lines.

For the hair, IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel* comes from a trio of America’s top-requested stylists. Formulated with coconut oil to hydrate and comfrey extract to soften, Rich Kid is a great styling product to achieve a natural look, especially for those with shoulder-length hair. I appreciate the lightweight texture, and even the smell is luxe.

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterisk (*) were given to me free of charge. I receive countless products each month, and say nothing about the majority of them; I will only review a product if I think it is worthy of words, either negative or positive. Links are to the easiest and most common retailer. All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the companies mentioned, nor my employer.

Recent Acquisitions – Autumn

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Everyone does an ‘autumn favourites’ video, and though it may have become common I cannot hesitate to do one myself. Autumn is my season; the scent of the leaves as you walk—very briskly—along the sidewalk, the warm ceramic of a latte mug, and the feeling of nothing to do as you hide beneath the wool blanket on the sofa. Autumn is best.

Products mentioned, in order as they appear in the video. Continue reading “Recent Acquisitions – Autumn”

The Deciem Skincare Routine

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Working in the beauty industry means I receive bags of new products to try. I never love everything, but after trying something I can usually come up with an ideal client for it. Now, while these bags of goodies are one of my favourite parts of the job, my skin is far from perfect and it needs consistency and serious treatment products. This means that sometimes I have to push the newness away for a bit and pick products for me rather than everyone else. When I do that, the answer is always Deciem.

Morning

While I tried to do a gentle oil cleanser in the morning, my skin became rather congested and I had to scale it up a notch. I use NIOD Sanskrit Saponins on wet skin after the shower, let it sit for a minute, then massage and rinse. Next I mask with NIOD Mastic Must every other day. This is a brilliant product and one that leaves your skin—I exaggerate not even the slightest—clear of any visible pores. Think of it as a primer that lasts two days. Next is hydration with Hylamide SubQ Face, banishing dark circles and dehydration lines with SubQ Eyes, blemish calming with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, and a healthy dose of colour from Hylamide Glow.

Evening

To remove any complexion makeup and pollution from the city I use NIOD Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester, followed by NIOD Sanskrit Saponins. With NIOD SS still on my face I go in with my Clarisonic Mia Fit, which has done nothing but surprise me. I feel so clean and smooth from it, and despite the qualms of it removing one’s natural acid mantle I am rather enjoying it every night. After rinsing I follow with Hylamide SubQ Face and SubQ Eyes, then The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%. This vitamin A emulsion has been the first product that has noticeably eliminated my cystic acne, nearing the point where I only have the occasional spot with only a month of use. If you have persistent acne that has not responded to other treatment, get yourself to vitamin A (and stay properly hydrated!).

I have been vigilant with this routine for about a month now and have seen a massive improvement in my skin; never before has it been this clear of blemishes. More than that, it feels comfortable and I feel more confident. All in all, Deciem you are one of my favourites.