BEAUtiful: Purity by Philosophy

I don’t often post beauty tips because, well, I don’t consider myself an expert. Or an intermediate. But this product has really helped me, and so I found it important to share!Let me preface this product review with a fact: I have horrible skin. I started getting acne when I was 13 and despite trying every product besides Accutane (including a few other prescription meds and ointments), it hasn’t ever stopped. Then, around age 20 I started getting these subcutaneous cysts that are extremely painful (and look like a giant zit, though since they are subcutaneous, they can’t be popped to relieve the pressure – not that popping is ever a good thing, but if your face is literally throbbing, you think about it). The worst part of these cysts is that whether I touch them or not, they leave a pretty decent sized scar afterwards.

I don’t have oily skin at all; it’s super dry, no matter what type of moisturizer I use, which means that some products actually make my skin clog because of the oil they introduce. I’ve even tried no products at all!

Slowly over the last 9 months, I’ve found a combination that at least keeps my breakouts to a minimum and seems to help with some of the scarring from the cysts, and the foundation is Purity cleanser by Philosophy. It’s simple, doesn’t have a strong fragrance (which can irritate my sensitive skin), and decently priced. I bought the 8 ounce $20 size from Sephora and I still have half a bottle left after using it daily and generously for two months. Combined with their non-drying On a Clear Day acne treatment, and for the first time in 12 years, I almost have blemish-free skin. What blemishes and scars I have are easily covered with Bare Minerals, but that’s a post for another day 🙂

BEAUtiful – Hair Helpers

When it comes to hair, I’m not exactly the expert. It’s not that I can’t do my hair well – I’m just lazy in the mornings and the extra sleep is worth not looking my best for a bunch of high school students. But as a person with frizzy hair, I do have a few go-to products to make my hair sleek and pretty, and two of them were featured on the 33 Best Hair Products on MSN.

Tresemme Thermal Heat Tamer Protective Spray – Not only is this heat spray super cheap at any drug store, but it’s the only one I’ve found (out of dozens!) that doesn’t leave my hair greasy or oily. I use it either before blow drying or after blow drying and before straightening (although usually the latter) and it helps keep my strands sealed so that my hair isn’t as damage by the heat, while helping to hold my style.

Chi Straightening Iron – A few years ago, after going through several moderately-expensive irons, one of my friends begged me to try Chi and I’ve never looked back. I found a brand-new, in box straightener on eBay from a salon for much less than the $100-200 sticker price and my poor, abused iron has lasted 4 years, including countless cord twistings and drops, even on concrete. It’s the only iron that gets my hair straight (remember that frizzy hair? It’s also very wavy). The other thing I love about this iron is that I don’t have to get out a curling iron to round out my ends if I want to – I just twist it in the direction I want my hair to go and voila! I plan on upgrading my old, abused iron for a newer model in the next year, but I think my old one will probably hang on for a few years even if I don’t.

Generic Brand Ultimate Smooth Styling Creme – This last one didn’t make the list, but it’s a product that everyone should know about. First of all, if you didn’t know that Sally Beauty has a generic brand that is chemically identical to big salon brands, you need to check out their website or store. I’ve purchased several of these products in the salon and then at Sally’s and have noticed no difference in quality. This particular product is the same as Matrix Sleek Look Extreme Styling Creme. It’s literally 1/4 of the price. It’s one of the only products I’ve found that actually helps tame the frizz even in rainy weather. You know all those flyaways near your part? Smooth a tiny bit of this on it and they’ll blend right in. The key here is to use just a little bit of product – only a pea-sized amount rubbed onto your palms before smoothing the hair where you want. You can always add more, but a little bit goes a very long way. It takes me months to go through this whole tube. It also works well for smoothing curls.

What are your go-to hair products? Do you covet a certain shampoo or spray? Is there a weekly conditioner that makes your hair silky smooth? Do tell.