So I've been using the Paula's Choice products for over a month now and I gotta say, things have definitely improved! In fact, I've even gotten compliments on my complexion!! So, suffice it to say, I am a convert and I wholeheartedly endorse the Paula's Chocie line of products!!
I have adult acne. It's not extreme or anything, but it's annoying enough to tamper with my self esteem.
Problem area? The Chin.
I don't know if it's stress or hormones or if it's because sometimes I don't shave and the oil from the facial hair gets all blocked up or if it's because I shave too much and it aggravates the skin.... whatever the case, I can't remember the last time when I had a clear complexion.
For years I had used the Neostrata product line. My friend Michael worked at a cosmetics counter had told me to use it, as he praised its wonders and prowess.
It worked, for the most part. Recently though, it's been losing its efficacy. And this is many years of me using this product.
I went traveling last month and I brought along with me this little sample face wash that I had mopped from a hotel somewhere. It was the Fabulous Foaming Face Wash from BLISS. I used it during my weekend away and noticed that it was doing wonders for my skin. So I went out and bought a bottle of this stuff.
However, it wasn't working fast enough and I was losing my patience and really wanted my chin acne to just GO AWAY ALREADY.
I FaceTimed with Michael, who is now living in Toronto, and is training to be an aesthetician. So he tells me to drop the NeoStrata and to get on board with this new product he's learned about called Dermalogica. It can only be purchased online or in spas, and he said he would send me a list of products that I would need and once used, my skin would be like MAGIC.
Hefty promises, I know. I went online and found these products and was aghast when the total amount came up to over $360. WHOA. Let's just think about this for a minute. I decided to do a bit more research on this product before I drop all that money on it.
So I found myself on the Cosmetics Cop website, Paula, who writes those books "Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me." I had heard about her before, and she basically reviews every product that's out there and tells you what is good and what is bad.
Dermalogica? BAD. She points out that this product is OWNED by an Aesthetician School ! Ah-ha! So my friend was basically getting brainwashed by his school to help sell their product. She says it doesn't do anything for your skin and really only exists to make rich people feel like they are purchasing high-end products when they go to the spa.
I cancelled my order immediately.
I then read to see what she had to say about NeoStrata. BAD!! It turns out, they use all sorts of fun chemicals that probably do more damage to your skin than good. Yikes! To think that all these years I've been using that junk on my face. GREAT.
Then I looked up BLISS, and for this product, she actually gives it a GOOD review, saying it's affordable and is good on the skin.
Still, I needed help with my cystic acne. Paula now has her own line of stuff that she sells, under the name Paula's Choice. So I ordered a bunch of stuff, and the total came up to about $60. That is manageable.
(I know these are all very first world problems, but it's not like these are the only things I care about or talk about in day to day life.)
Anyhow, I'm going to see how this Paula's Choice line of products works and will keep you posted on my progress!! Acne and zits, be gone!!
I watched this documentary, How To Survive a Plague, last week and was so moved by it. I used to do HIV/AIDS work, so it was awesome to see all this footage from the 80s by the first AIDS advocacy group, ACT-UP in New York. This film documents its humble beginnings all the way to the momentous changes it had a hand in creating. The passion and rage is inspiring to see, I mean these people were literally fighting for their lives.
Nominated for Best Documentary at this weekend's Academy Awards, I hope this film wins an Oscar, it certainly deserves to, if only so that more people out there could see it. If you want to go see it, it is available on PPV on some cable systems, on Netflix Instant, iTunes, Amazon Instant, YouTube, Google Play, and Playstation, with the DVD coming out February 26!
Here's what's been on repeat on my iPod as of late:
Sky Ferreira - Everything is Embarassing
I love the 80s beat it's got going on here as well as the somewhat melancholy lyrics/vocals. Her EP has a few songs on it, and each one sounds drastically different from the other. One is indie, the other pop, the next one like a song Garbage might do. This one is my favourite though:
Goldroom featuring Say Lou Lou - Sweetness Alive
If there's a song that's ready to bid goodbye to winter and head into some sunshine, then this is it! Dancey, light, and optimistic. Perfect for the year ahead!!
Tegan and Sara - I Was a Fool
Okay, I can't be happy ALL the time, right? This is what I turn to in my moments of doubt and feeling sorry for myself! It makes me think of The Guy, and although I'm over it these days, it still smarts every so often. Tegan and Sara's lyrics couldn't have said it any better: "I stood still, it's what I did... love like ours just never fits, I stuck around... I saved you every time."
Goldroom - Angeles
Catchy, but not annoyingly so. More Goldroom here to help set the mood for when I want to do a bit o' writing or times when I want to shake my booty and feel all sexytime!
Janet Jackson - Dream Street
Yep, we're gonna go WAY back here. I just like the funky 80s vibe it has and it hasn't been overplayed yet, so there's that. This is Janet's first video ever, even before Control. Most people don't even realize she had two full albums before Control!
Ke$ha - C'mon
Finally, the entire KE$HA album, Warrior, has been making my 2013 thus far!! It's a total party album and gets me into that carpe diem, YOLO, let's go crazy kind of mood!! Thank you Ke$ha for ushering in the new year with kick-ass songs to dance and feel empowered to!
I did not know a thing about Patti Smith prior to reading this book. A friend of mine had been raving and raving about it and was wanting me to read it so badly that he finally bought it for me for my birthday, and boy am I glad he did. I knew Patti was a singer from the 60s or 70s, and that was pretty much it. I didn't know she was considered to be the godmother of punk.
Nor did I know of her relationship with famed photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. I loved reading about them and their friendship/relationship and their early lives living in New York City and their adventures at the Chelsea Hotel.
If you're a fan of any of those things, then this is a fantastic read! Patti is also a wonderful writer, having started out in writing before she became a singer. So with that said, the book has a beauty to it that only a writer who appreciates words could have done. Their story may have taken place in a world that's decades away, but one can see that she really wanted to take her time telling this tale and wanting to do it justice and honour everything about that time and that relationship.
I found out about her through This American Life, which featured the story of a guy who found a box of negatives at an auction, bought them, and then developed them only to find some of the most beautiful images and photos from the 1950s and 60s around! They were taken by Vivian Maier, a reclusive woman who was a nanny but on her days off, she would roam the streets armed with her camera and snap photographs, without having any photography training whatsoever. And her shots are so awesome!!! The guy who found these is so lucky! What an amazing find! This is what I dream of when I go to my thrift stores and estate sales.
Check out some of her images:
That's just the tip of the iceberg, as there are literally hundreds of photos!
So I haven't blogged much, I know. But that doesn't mean I haven't been up to much. For instance, on Saturday night, I went to a Tapas themed party. It was at this guy's place, whom I had a slight crush on. The two of us did go on a "non-date" a while back. It was a "non-date" because when he asked me to go do something, he also asked our mutual friend L to come along. L couldn't make it, so by default, it was just me and him.
So we went to watch a play together and it was okay. We didn't hump each other in the first few minutes. In fact, we didn't and haven't humped at all. Maybe this is what dating should be like? No Humping right away? Maybe I'm just such a giant slut that I automatically think guys want to hump immediately? Let's face it, they do. Anyhow, NOT that we're dating, because that was a NON DATE.
So the Non Date invites me to this party he's having and I'm to bring a tapas dish. I'm no cook. Not by any stretch of the imagination. So I figure I'll go get some samosas at the Indian shop down the street. When I tell him of my plan, I can sense he's not too keen. Especially when he tells me to google tapas recipes for ideas. Honey, I KNOW samosas are not technically tapas, but can we have a bit of leeway here? I mean, one of the guests brought a chocolate cake so how is THAT a tapa??
ANYWAY, fine, I end up going to some fancy grocery store and getting a few cheese-stuffed jalepenos and a bunch of dolmades.
And thank GOD that our mutual friend L was gonna be there, because I knew NOBODY on the guest list and the whole tapas thing was already stressing me out, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone a bit and meet new people so I did. Although, L was trapped on a bridge in crazy traffic all day and we showed up an hour late and I was worried he was gonna cancel altogether and force me to go on my own. And I didn't want to be THAT GUY who's all, "Hey do you mind if I bring a friend with me because I can't bear to be at parties by myself?"
Okay, so we get to the party and everyone is friendly and we mingle and we talk and we eat but I do not drink, as I am driving. Okay fine, I had one glass of sangria and a glass of wine. But that was IT, I swear. So as the night rolls on, I'm supposed to go meet up with some other friends. However, we never get to that point because as I soon discover, two of the guests who had left early and were completely blitzed, had walked off with my coat by accident! In my coat were my car/house keys and my wallet. Um.....
Everyone was like, "This is just like that Sex and the City episode when Carrie loses her shoes!" It's true, it kinda is. Although, her shoes didn't have her keys and wallet in them. And another guest kept asking, "Oh my God, has this ever happened to you before?" I'm not sure how answering that would have helped the situation. We tried to contact the guests who had left, but they were so far drunk that they were passed out at home at this point.
I ended up having to crash on L's couch that evening, and it was stressing me out so much that I didn't get any sleep. Thank you L for letting me stay over and paying for the cab ride and for driving me around the next day to fetch my stuff! Morning could not come quick enough. In the end, the guest who took my coat was mortified and completely embarrassed and so obviously I've added him on Facebook.