Archive | Vitiligo RSS feed for this section

LORAC FACE selfTANtalizer

30 Jun

This is a perfect example of why I love samples.

As you are all well aware by now, I have vitiligo, which makes my face a blotchy mess. On top of that, for some reason, although my face and body seem to tan at the same rate, the tan fades twice as fast from my face, so I end up with a golden body and a white face. This looks not so good, especially in photographs, where I endlessly look like either I have white mime makeup on OR like my head has been photoshopped on. Excellent.

The two best solutions I have found for this so far have been Caudalie’s tinted moisturizer (which kicks ass) and Too Faced’s bronzing powder (which also kicks ass). However, with me being me and all, I continue to look for the ever more effective everything, and when I got a sample packet of LORAC’s FACE selfTANtalizer (no kidding, that’s really what this stuff is called), I thought, why not?

Okay I’ll tell you why not! When I saw on the packet that it says, “FACE BRONZING GRADUAL SELF-TANNER,” I thought, “Parfait!” I tore it open, squeezed some out, smoothed it on, and immediately looked like – you know, I literally just gazed into space for several seconds trying to think of something to compare myself to that wasn’t offensive to EVERYONE and I could not. It is brown. Not light brown. Medium, chocolate-brown. And not just that – it’s pearlescent. I think maybe if I took some shimmery dark brown eye shadow and smeared it all over my face, it would achieve the same result, and I am in no way exaggerating. If I went out that way I would surely get stares and maybe even accused of insensitively mocking another race. It was that huge of a difference. There was nothing “gradual” about it and I can’t imagine any scenario in which I could pull off a shiny, shimmery brown face. I love the fact that the back instructs you to “APPLY DAILY UNTIL DESIRED LEVEL OF TANNING IS ACHIEVED.” Aaaahahahahahahaha!!!! Frankly I can’t imagine ANYONE using this and looking sane, regardless of skin color, because of the very high shimmer content. I am not a mirage! I am a human being!

FAIL, LORAC. FAIL.

Caudalie Mineral Tinted Moisturizer

22 Jun

I realize I owe you a blog post on all things Caudalie, but for now, let me focus on my new favorite product: Caudalie Teint Divin Mineral Tinted Moisturizer.

I have been using Caudalie for a few months now and am absolutely in love with them. They claim to be “natural” (and very well may be, although we have since learned that can often be a lie), they’re gentle to my skin, they smell good, and my skin has never looked better (with the glaring exception of the recent outbreaks of pregnancy acne). I was using another of their moisturizers, which I will cover in a different blog, but before leaving for my recent trip abroad found their tinted moisturizer. I have never used a tinted moisturizer, and only just recently began experimenting with foundation. It all comes back to my stupid, stupid vitiligo, however – when I get tan, as I knew I was bound to do on the sunny Italian coast, my vitiligo looks especially horrid. I can handle the spots on my hands, my armpits, the one on my belly – but my face also suffers and it is honestly hard for me to look in the mirror and see all those spots staring back at me. No matter how I do my hair, what pretty dress I have on, or what sensational cosmetics I might be using, when my skin is GLARINGLY blotchy, it makes me feel really ugly. I get white patches by my mouth, around my eyes, and on my chin, and it just looks dreadful. The two things that make this worse are 1) I LOVE the sun, and 2) I tan really easily and well, and look good tan. This leaves me with three options: avoid the sun, load on sunblock and resign myself to never being tan again, or look awful. What a delightful array of choices.

I brought the tinted moisturizer along without really getting my hopes up about its abilities, and I am pleased to say I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Of course it cannot completely erase my vitiligo, but smoothing it on daily does greatly reduce the noticeability of the pigment-depleted areas, as well as give my face an overall “glow” that it sometimes lacks (for some reason, even before the vitiligo, my face never got as dark as my body – I probably sunblock it slightly more diligently or something). Coupled with my favorite bronzer dusted on my chin and around my eyes, I literally could not believe the difference! (Again, if you’re suffering from vitiligo, this does NOT treat it or even eliminate its appearance, but it did, in my case, make a huge difference.) My only complaint is I wish it was offered in a formulation that contained a light sunblock of SPF 15 0r 20 – if it did, I’d certainly use it twice a day, both before going to the beach and after showering.

It does have a slightly perfumey scent I’m not crazy about, but it disappears pretty much immediately after application. I have to give this tinted moisturizer a 10 out of 10, and if they make one with SPF, then it will be the only moisturizer I ever use – and coming from me, that’s really saying something.

Battle of the Liquid Foundations – Laneige vs Clarins

13 Apr

Battle of the Liquid Foundations – Laneige vs Clarins.

Very helpful blog regarding foundation – I am on the lookout for a good one that will help to even out my complexion, which is blotchy thanks to my stupid vitiligo. Will have to check this one out!

AM Skin Care: The Estée Lauder Edition

24 Feb

I change my skin care up ALL THE TIME, so this is only the first installment in what will be ongoing skin care reviews.

Right now, I am on an Estée Lauder kick. In the shower, I use Estée Lauder Soft Clean Moisture Rich Foaming Cleanser.

I like it for a number of reasons. One, no sulfates! Two, it’s thick, but still foams. Three, it cleans my skin but doesn’t dry it out. And finally, it’s hydrating without being oily or greasy – I cannot STAND washing my face with something that feels like it’s left a film on my skin. Only complaint is that it’s a little strong on the smell for my taste. (Note – I use a Clarisonic in the shower, as well as an exfoliator 2 – 3 times a week, but those aren’t Estée Lauder, so I’ll cover them in a different post.)

When I get out of the shower, I pat my skin dry, then start with Estée Lauder ‘Idealist’ Even Skintone Illuminator.

I used Idealist in the AM and PM for a few weeks and found a very noticeable, positive change in my skin tone. With my vitiligo, I am prone to blotchiness and uneven skin tone, and Idealist really seemed to make a difference in that. I now just use it in the mornings before moisturizing, and am still a huge fan.

Next it’s time for eye cream. I used to spurn eye cream as pointless, but I was perpetually plagued by milia, and an esthetician finally told me one day when I was getting a facial that they can be caused by using face cream around your eyes! Apparently (according to her), face cream is too thick for the delicate skin around your eyes, and can clog up the pores and cause milium. I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve had ONE since I started using an eye-specific cream, so she may very well have been right. I’m currently using Estée Lauder Time Zone Anti-Line/Wrinkle Eye Cream.

I like it. I can’t say I have noticed a huge wrinkle difference, but as I mentioned, the milia have not reappeared, so it’s a-okay.

My final step in the morning is moisturizing. I have been using Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 and REALLY like it.

Smooth and velvety, it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized, but not heavy or weighed down. I look dewy and healthy but not too shiny. Finally, it has a nice, light, cucumber smell that I find really pleasant and spa-like. Totally endorse this 100%.

I can’t say if it’s these products, the products I use during my nighttime routine, the Clarisonic, or some combination thereof, but my skin has looked pretty fabulous lately. Even complexion, rosy cheeks, dewy, elastic skin tone – a definite plus at almost 34 years old.

I’ll post the evening routine later!

A Reason, But Not An Excuse

24 Feb

I’ll tell you a little interesting factoid about me: I have vitiligo.

Not leprosy! Vitiligo!

That’s it in the red circles. That green box is my sophisticated editing. At first I was going to post a photo from the web showing what vitiligo looks like, but then I thought I should just show you mine, warts and all. Sorry for the lousy photo, but you get the idea. Also, it’s actually a bit liberating to post this because I really hate my vitiligo and it makes me super self-conscious, so this is like… like my vitiligo debut.

What IS vitiligo? Well, you can click the link I helpfully posted above, or I can give you a very brief summary: it’s a non-contagious auto-immune disease in which your body inexplicably (seriously, no one knows why) decides that its own melanin is bad and kills it. Melanin (skin pigment) is what causes your skin to be any color other than sheet white. Obviously, people of different heritages produce different amounts of melanin. Given that, without a tan, I am practically sheet white anyhow, my vitiligo is not as noticeable as it was on, say, Michael Jackson. When I am tan, however, I find it EXTREMELY noticeable.

I first noticed it at my hairline about four years ago. Since then, it has migrated to my eyebrows (I actually have a few white eyebrow hairs because of the pigment loss), around my mouth, my hands, and as you can see above, my armpits and one large spot on my belly. There’s no cure for vitiligo. There are treatments, but they are largely ineffective, or effective on only certain areas, or effective only for a short time. There’s also no indication of what spurs the immune system to do this. Genetics are thought to play a role, but no one else in my family has this or any other auto-immune disease. My brother was allergic to his own histamines as a child, and my sister has had thyroid problems on and off, and those two things COULD have similar roots. Otherwise, it’s a total mystery.

Anyhow, I bring this up because it has made me even more obsessive about skin care, products, what I use on my skin, and what I put onto and into my body. I was never exactly “normal” when it came to my product obsession, but this has really stirred an entirely new fascination in me. I am hyper aware of how things affect my skin and skin tone, how my skin feels and looks, and what ingredients could be toxic or potentially dangerous.

The thing I hate most about my vitiligo is not how it looks, or even how it makes me feel about myself. It’s the fact that it stole my freckles. In the summer, my face used to be covered with freckles – I used to joke that I even had a freckle moustache. No more. My freckles have been wiped out by this stupid, barely understood skin condition.

So there you have it. My next post is going to be on skin care, and I thought this was an important preface to that.