How to Dermaplane/ Don’t Try This at Home

Dermaplaning. How I love thee.

For those unfamiliar it’s an exfoliating skin treatment performed by facialists that removes tons of dead surface skin (and peach fuzz) using a razor blade. Basically, it’s a hard core face-shave best described by Cheryl over at The Cut who goes into detail of her experience getting the treatment- worth a read if you haven’t had it done. I love it because my face is hairy (I’m Italian what can I say?) and it fully removes that peach fuzz and top layer of skin so well that I obsessively touch my face for about a week after because it’s so soft. It gives a youthful and radiant glow plus your skincare will penetrate and work better not having the dry skin and hair barrier blocking its way. It’s a technique that’s been used for years and it’s so simple and non-invasive. You can usually add it onto any facial for $20 or so, but since I haven’t been to my facialist since forever, I decided to bravely DIY this treatment that’s admittedly best left to the pros.

Now let’s be clear, I really don’t recommend you do this yourself. We’re talking about taking a sharp, medical grade scalpel to your skin that could cut and permanently scar your face. But for me, I felt like after a few quick YouTube vids I could dermaplane with the best of em. (Side note: ever since I learned to roll sushi via YouTube I feel like I’m just a four minute tutorial away from learning anything. I somehow felt like I could repair our broken dryer after watching this video today but eventually called someone who actually knows what they’re doing.)

Anyway.

I was a little nervous getting started but I followed the tips on how to hold the blade at an angle and how lightly to press to a T. I was so gentle that I had to do a few passes to get results but that’s better than going nuts and hacking a chunk of skin off my cheek. Afterward I applied my Vivant Mandelic Acid serum which did sting a little on my sensitized skin (typical) but it was back to normal the following day.

I didn’t take a before and after because I didn’t think to, but the pic below demonstrates pretty typical results immediately after a treatment.

If you’re looking to try dermaplaning at home.. don’t. You really shouldn’t. But if you’re stubborn, stupid, pressed for time, and cheap like me, here’s what I used.

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These blades I bought from Amazon that received glowing recommendations. How could 39 people be wrong?

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It’s a lightweight curved blade with a plastic handle. The ones used by pros have a metal handle where you pop in disposable straight blades after each use. It goes without saying that they are extremely sharp. People in the reviews say they also use them in the kitchen as ultra sharp pairing knives. Let’s hope it wasn’t after they used them to shave the skin and hair off their faces because yuk if so.

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Photo credit: dermistique.com

If you do try it be sure to let me know how it goes but be careful and do your homework. Sharp objects and ignorance do not mix.

Prevent Sun Damage All Year Round

Remember this big story from last spring about the truck driver with extreme sun damage on the left side of his face where the sun would hit while he drove?

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After that I was especially diligent about daily sunscreen on my face and body. Even in the dead of winter I use an SPF body hydrator on my arms and chest to make sure that even the slightest daily sun doesn’t accumulate and create damage on me. Coola is what I use daily – half hydrator, half unscented SPF 30 using a safe mineral formulation free of the nasty chemicals some sunscreens use. It’s one of the best sunscreen lines around for organic suncare that doesn’t leave your skin zinc white and feels just like a great moisturizer.

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Just replacing your body moisturizer with one that has SPF is the easiest way to keep sun damage (and skin cancer..) away.

My Foundation and Skin Spray Dream Team

When clients ask what brands I use in my kit I always answer the same way, “the best of the best.” It makes sense, I get to try out so many amazing things from companies big and small so I promote the best stuff to kit status where they’ll make my job as a Makeup Artist much easier. The mistake I often make is leaving them there and not using them for myself.

I usually take a few winter months off from my wedding makeup biz which is typically when we vacation for a few months by the beach. This year we stayed in Colorado to focus on our baby girl and (finally) finding a house after a two year search. (I think we’re there!) So because my kit has been parked in the closet and I just ran out, I got my fave foundation (along with my miracle setting spray) out of my kit and into my bathroom.

I can’t say enough about Koh Gen Do and their moisture foundation, not that I really have to since so many makeup artists and celebs use it. Its perfect ratio of powder, emollients, and water give it a better-than-skin look that’s never heavy or drying. It’s the perfect photography makeup but it’s so light that I overlooked the fact that it’s a great everyday makeup too. My melasma is slowly fading out but I still need some coverage so when I have time I quickly blend it in with my fingers before setting it with my favorite spray.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir is another kit staple for many MUA’s because it somehow makes the skin look better. If ever I’m having problems getting foundation to blend into a client’s dry skin, a few sprays pressed into the skin using a Beauty Blender does the trick. I top my foundation with a few sprays and skip the powder. The result using the two together is healthy, even looking skin.

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Just a quick snap I took today in the drive through at Starbucks. I say ‘snap’ only because I’m too old for selfies. See? Even skin. (Side note: I wasn’t mad and I’m not cross-eyed. At least I don’t think I am but it might be because my wonky eye can’t see that it’s wonky.)

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Products for Your Baby That You Should Be Using Too

One of the perks of being a Johnson’s Baby ambassador is getting to try all sorts of products. And because babies are small and bottles are big I’ve found myself borrowing from the girl’s supply. Here are a few things that are made for babies but make my life easier too.

Intense Moisture Cream is an end table mainstay now that Everly is born. When I’m pregnant (is this everyone or just me?) I never use lotion or lip balm or much of anything in terms of moisturizers because my skin is mysteriously smooth at all times. This lasts up until basically the second the baby is born, then my skin is beyond parched – like it’s making up for lost time.

Typically I’d use a little coconut oil but my hands are so dry that the oil doesn’t absorb. So now I’ve been using this cream throughout the day which absorbs quick and softens without a greasy feel. I’ve even put some in a small plastic jar that I keep in the diaper bag (ahem- travel size please?!) so I’m never without it.

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When our family was staying with us over the holidays, my sister in law ran out of her facial cleansing wipes she uses at night so I gave her some of these washcloths to use. They’re bigger and thicker than a traditional face cloth and they foam up with tear-free suds that clean the face gently without stripping the skin. I use them to clean off Everly when blowouts strike- they’re the next best thing to an actual bath- but I found they’re the perfect makeup remover and face wash on those nights where I can barely peel myself off the couch to stumble into bed.

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I’ve been removing my eye makeup with baby shampoo for about 15 years now. Its gentle formula doesn’t burn your eyes and the cleanser removes even waterproof makeup. A small dot on a damp cotton pad is all you need so one bottle can last years. I also use it to clean makeup brushes after I first noticed that harsher soaps broke down the bristles leaving me to replace expensive brushes too quickly.

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I don’t use baby powder on my girls but had some looking right at me when I ran out of my Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo a few weeks ago. A quick check to the label showed fewer (and cleaner) ingredients in the Johnson’s powder which uses corn starch instead of Blandi’s rice starch to absorb moisture (aka greasy hair) which also happens to bulk up roots and give some serious volume. My hair is still falling out in clumps because of my crazy thyroid so I’ve been sprinkling some baby powder on my roots to give some much needed lift. I have to say that I love the baby powder and think it works better than the hair powder. It is pure white of course so if your hair is dark don’t sprinkle it directly on top of your head, hide it underneath the top layers of hair and get it close to the roots to keep it undetectable.

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Post sponsored by Johnson’s Baby. All content and opinions are my own.

Quick Makeup Essentials for Moms

We’re a month into having our second daughter and I think we’re in a pretty good groove. My goal to shower every day (so sad, but moms you get it right?) and look somewhat presentable has been accomplished, which means my 5 minute makeup routine is pretty streamlined at this point. I used to write about quick makeup tips for moms but looking back I didn’t have a clue. I know now that using basics to look rested is what’s key. Here’s what I’ve been grabbing to look less like a zombie and more like my old self.

I always start off using my Matte Moisture Tint from Jouer. It covers my melasma and blends just using my fingers so I can slap it on quickly and have undetectable makeup that wears all day. Next time I’ll get the luminizing instead of the matte version but I’ll definitely grab another Jouer – their tinted moisturizers rival Laura Mercier’s and they use minerals so they’re better for your skin.

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NYX has a jar of lavender concealer for just $5 that gives my fair skin the same highlight and glow that a yellow concealer does on medium or deeper skin tones. I put it under my eyes down to the tops of my cheekbones. My eyes and face look brighter and more awake which is exactly what I need. I use it over concealer once my dark circles are neutralized otherwise it would exaggerate them by adding purple on top of skin that already looks blue.

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Tarte’s Cheek Stains basically apply themselves with an applicator about the same size as your cheeks. I just smudge a little on the apples of my cheeks and blend. Adding color to the face is essential to looking fresh and rested.

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Neutrogena’s Healthy Lengths Mascara is one of the few I’ve tried where one coat will do the trick. The formula clings to lashes and fattens them up just shy of looking clumpy so one quick coat is all I need.

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Fragrance. Always.

Smelling great is such a big part of feeling put together. Modern Muse, Estée Lauder’s latest fragrance is both a familiar scent and something the feels totally new at the same time. It’s a warm floral, young and sexy but not sweet or heavy. I like to spritz it on my hair where it lingers all day so I don’t have to use it on my skin- something I avoid during the months when I’m nursing.

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So I’m evening out my skin with the foundation, using the concealer to add brightness, giving color to my cheeks, defining my eyes with mascara, and making sure I smell good.
It’s easy and takes about 5 minutes- a reasonable amount of time we can all find in our day.

The Skincare Line I’ve Used For 15 Years

One of the most miraculous sights in my bathroom is that of an empty jar. I often get bored or jump from one thing to another when what I’m using isn’t working. But, off and on (more on than off especially with their toner) for 15 years I’ve bought Aqua Glycolic. It was even confirmed by my derm to be one of the best lines on the market- high praise for a simple line priced around $12.

Aqua Glycolic is a hidden gem among drugstore skincare. Best prices I’ve found are at Costco which typically has it all in stock behind the counter in their pharmacy (you don’t need a PX it’s just where it’s kept) but every pharmacy either carries it or will order it for you free of charge. A few tips: I don’t like their creamy cleanser because it feels thin and doesn’t remove makeup. Use the body lotion in place of the cream on your face if you want a higher concentration of glycolic (it’s the same formula), and dilute the toner half and half (or more if you’re sensitive) with witch hazel so you get the benefits of the toner without any drying or irritation.

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