Elfity’s Beauty-O-Rama: Skin Edition!

For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup or spend a lot of time performing skincare magic, I am a deceptively adamant beauty junkie. I love makeup, I love skincare products, I FREAKING ADORE nail polish. I blame a beauty-obsessed mother who instilled in me at quite a young age the value of Chanel lip gloss and the importance of eyebrow maintenance. I remember her lovingly chasing me about the house with a pair of tweezers, chirping, “Baby, come here! Let Mama do your eyebrows!” Tweezers are scary shit. Anyway, I’ve become somewhat of an encyclopedia of beauty tips, collected over the years from friends, family, and the bevy of magazines I collected for years until the aforementioned tweezer-wielding mother made me toss them all out. This week, I’m taking on skincare. Here’s what I live by:

Skincare Products

Often I am asked what I do to my skin to make it so gorgeous. Honestly, it’s mostly genetics, and I feel like an ass when I tell people that clear skin and small pores come from a long line of smooth-skinned ladies. But don’t hate me yet! I have a few products that I swear by.

LUSH The Godmother Soap– It’s one of the bestsellers in the LUSH line, according to numerous sales associates, and I can see why. It smells pretty, and it is the only thing I will wash my face with. I have your typical combination skin – I get a little dry around my mouth and cheeks, but I have an oily forehead and nose – and I find that this soap gives a great balance.

And it smells like candy!

LUSH Dream Cream– I love this stuff. Slather it on before bed (you really only need a little, though) and you shall be transformed into a soft-skinned goddess by morning! It’s a little pricey, but a jar will last you for months.

Just looking at this picture makes me remember how good this stuff smells, if you like lavender, that is.

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream– One, this smells awesome. Two, it will do wonders for dry cuticles. I get super-dry cuticles in the winter, which ruins the look of my carefully manicured nails. I keep this stuff in my purse and rub it in whenever I have a few moments where I know I won’t be doing anything with my hands. The only downside to this product is that it leaves your fingers all oily for a few minutes, making it impossible to type or use a touchscreen. I typically use this during boring lectures.

cuticle crea,
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Aveeno Unscented Daily Moisturizing Lotion– If you have sensitive skin, go get this. It’s perfect for rubbing into your gams after shaving. Not only does it keep them soft, I also find that it soothes shaving-sensitive skin. The downside is that for the first few minutes you have it on, it smells really…unpleasant. Fortunately, the smell goes away soon. Unscented? Ha! I like to use it during the day so it doesn’t compete with my perfume. I really like that this product and the last one can be found at most grocery stores, Target, etc.

It also comes in a little bottle.

Skincare Tips

-Never underestimate the power of an abrasive sponge. Seriously. I know, it sounds ouchy, but I find that it feels quite pleasant. Scrub with your normal soap or use exfoliating wash for extra effect to remove dead skin cells and leave your body feeling all silky-like. When your sponge gets old, relegate it to household cleaning activities!

-Pluck your eyebrows (or anything else) fresh out of the shower, when everything is steamy. The steam lets your pores open up, so it’s easier and less painful to pluck. This is also a good time to moisturize because everything can sink down into your pores.

-Keep a small bottle of lotion with you in your bag or at your desk. It’s easy to get into the habit of spontaneously moisturizing that way. Trust me, your skin will thank you in its own way. Like, don’t expect a thank you card or anything.

-I know it’s been said a zillion times, but drink all the water! Not only will you feel better, your skin will look brighter and more radiant. I hear these days that the recommended water intake is half of one’s body weight (lbs.) in ounces. Therefore, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should aim for around 75 ounces of liquid per day, with most of it being water. Supposedly green tea is also good for your skin, but I’ve never gotten into the habit of drinking it regularly.

-Use a humidifier during dry or cold months! Heating not only makes my sinuses hurt, it also make my skin dry. Combat this by putting a humidifier in your bedroom and turning it on while you sleep. Bonus: The sound is very relaxing.

All right, P-ladies, it’s your turn! Give me all you’ve got on skincare tips and products! It’s not just that I need a beauty fix, it’s that I want y’all to share the love. On a personal note, can anyone recommend a good, light, non-greasy sunscreen to wear underneath my makeup? I know I need daily sun protection, but I can’t find anything I like that isn’t prohibitively expensive.

Disclaimer: I have not received any of these products for free. They have all been purchased with my own money and all reviews are completely voluntary and unsolicited. 

By Elfity

Elfity, so named for her tendency to be a bit uppity and her elf-like appearance, is a graduate student and professional Scary Feminist of Rage. She has a propensity for social justice, cheese, and Doctor Who. Favorite activities include making strange noises, napping with puppies and/or kitties, and engaging in political and philosophical debates.

21 replies on “Elfity’s Beauty-O-Rama: Skin Edition!”

The one thing my mom instilled in me was SPF 15 every day no matter what.  I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture.  Aveeno products aren’t good for acne-prone skin, by the way.  Even though the bottles say their moisturizers are “light,” they’re actually really heavy and can clog pores.  Great for skin that needs serious moisture, but look elsewhere if your skin just needs a light layer of something fresh.

I get winter eczema and have pretty dry skin in general, and the thing that works best? Baby oil. Cheap, wonderfully scented- I rub it on right after I shower (while still standing wet in the shower itself) and it’s amazing. I rubbed it on dry before I went to bed last night to treat lingering winter-skin and it’s ahmaaahhzing.

For years, my go to beauty secret was a product called Hoof Quencher for healthy nails. It was made to help prevent cracks in horses’ hooves, but as hooves are just big fingernails it worked great on people too. Sadly Hoof Quencher seems to be no more. Healthy Hoof looks like a likely alternative, but I haven’t tried it yet.

But to step into a Lush store is such an attack on your nostrils ..that’s why I prefer The Body Shop. Also because boyfriend freckle really doesn’t like Lush and I don’t want it to be a point between us.

ANYWAY as long as I don’t attack my blackheads, my skin is pretty flawless, but dry. I use the plainest, heavy and fattest stuff (how the hell do I translate udder cream without it sounding bizarre?) . I put Vaseline on underneath my eyes and between my fingers when I go to bed and as you say, I have lip balm/lotion on almost every bag I own. Your skin gets used to it so fast that I feel like I’m shrinking away when I don’t have something with me.

I’ve actually never been into one of their proper stores, but I imagine it could be really overpowering. Here they all just have little corners of department stores, so the smell isn’t enclosed.

I adore the Body Shop. It smells so wonderful in there!

The problem with my local LUSH store is that every time I go in there, I am mobbed by male employees (I specify “male” because I have never seen a female working there) who want to give me makeovers or have me try some product, and I’m not really a makeover kind of gal. I go in to browse briefly and then leave. Instead, every 60 seconds, I’m having to decline politely sundry offers.

I mean, one or two employees would be fine, but seemingly every employee in the store? Makes me socially awkward.

Sooooooo I buy online. :)

Abrasive things! I use loofah-pad-things (on my face) and a sisal-mitten-thing (everywhere else), and I think they are quite brilliant. The only skincare products that I really use though are Bio-Oil (on my face) and Lush’s Tramp (everywhere else – sparingly). My skin has never really been better since I’ve used Bio-Oil; in the shower, rub a little Bio-Oil over my face and then go over my face with the aforementioned loofah-pad-thing. And that’s, uh, it. Oh, apart from Simple’s awesome moisturisers which I use from time to time on my hands.

Oh! Love your post, Elfity!!

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