I’m happy to announce that my skin is 100% back to normal. I was rotating the GoW rosacea, neosporin, FOTE, and hydrocortisone cream on my upper lip as well as applying my usual oil and water serums mix (GoW babassu oil, honey hyaluronic acid, liposod serum, and oat beta glucans) with a spritz of distilled water daily. My skin was flaking off and feeling less irritated daily. Yay!

I’ve stopped using the GoW fruity exfo cleanser because of my experience, however. I really do think my skin had an adverse reaction to the combo of the cleanser with benzoyl peroxide. I reserve the cleanser for cleaning my makeup brushes now.

Onto makeup… I’ve been using everyday minerals makeup for over a year now and I do like it. I still have samples from Alima, Meow Cosmetics, and Lumiere to try out, but I used EDM is my skin is acting up. I’ve been using Alima for the past few days and while I like how finely milled it is, it doesn’t really work to control my oil. I’ll have nice coverage but an EXTREMELY oil face by midday or earlier!! I recently ordered more EDM samples to try out and was excited to receive oil blotting papers and a mini size of a pretty plum eyeshadow as my free gifts! I do love how fast they ship out. My only complaint is that they seemingly discontinued the tinted silk powder that I used to set my mmu and control oil. They have finishing dust and some start to finish rice powders which I’ve ordered samples of in hopes of finding a replacement.

However, much as I like EDM, the PJ in me will not cease and so I’m still looking at other MMU lines. I’ve got my eye on monave, lauress, fyrinnae and a couple of others to try.

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I recently finished GoW’s skin-friendly cleanser so I grabbed the lemony-mint creamy cleanser sample to try. It was a pretty warm day in Rancho and I just got back from a workout so the cooling tingle from the peppermint was welcome. In terms of consistency, it’s not really thick; it’s more like a runny lotion.  Scent-wise it combines my two favorite cleaning scents: lemon and peppermint (duh!).  I looked up the properties of lemon and peppermint essential oil to discover the benefits of each and found the following promising information:

Lemon: This clean smelling citrus essential oil is not only good for helping you make decisions and to improve your concentration, but cuts down on acidity in the body – thereby assisting the digestion, as well as with rheumatism, arthritis and gout, while also sorting out cellulite, abscesses, boils, carbuncles and acne. The therapeutic properties of lemon oil are anti-anemic, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, anti-sclerotic, antiseptic, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrisant, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, haemostatic, hypotensive, insecticidal, rubefacient, tonic and vermifuge. It is also used for clearing acne, cleaning greasy skin and hair, as well as removing dead skin cells, easing painful cold sores, mouth ulcers, herpes and insect bites.

Peppermint: This cooling and refreshing essential oil is used in aromatherapy to stimulate the mind, increase mental agility and to increase focus, while cooling the skin, reducing redness and calming irritation and itchiness. It furthermore helps to ease spastic colon, migraine, headaches, sinus and chest congestion and boosts the digestive system. The therapeutic properties of peppermint oil are analgesic, anesthetic, antiseptic, antigalactagogue, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, decongestant, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor and vermifuge. On the skin, peppermint oil is used to relieve skin irritation and itchiness and also helps to reduce skin redness, where inflammation is present. It is used for dermatitis, acne, ringworm, scabies and pruritus and also relieves itching, sunburn and inflammation of the skin, while at the same time having a cooling action.

I’ll be using this sample until it runs out, but I already have a feeling that once again, Markey’s created another winner in my book!

Updates on products I’ve been trying:

GoW skin friendly cleanser – I’m telling you, if this line wasn’t as close to all natural as possible, I’d be buying everything under the sun and stocking up. I LOVE Garden of Wisdom! My skin has changed dramatically ever since I started using Markey’s products! What I’m really liking about this cleanser is that

  1. it doesn’t sting my eyes
  2. it removes all traces of makeup
  3. it doesn’t make my face an oil slick by midday – rather, its a healthy glow
  4. it seems to be clearing my pores pretty darn well!

I’m currently using it in conjunction with GoW’s Vitamin C serum, veggie base cream as an all over moisturizer and eye cream, 5% salicylic acid at pH 1.9, marityme antioxidant serum, autumn berry hyaluronic serum, and rice bran oil. I also rotate between their AHA tonic and mandelic acid as a nighttime exfoliant and apply rosacea serum when there is the random spot. My skin is brighter, glowing, and has a nice, even tone and texture. I couldn’t be more thrilled about this skincare line!

Kiss My Face upper management gel – I think there’s still a bit of a learning curve with this one. On Tuesday, I had fabulouswaves and thought it could be duplicated on Wednesday. Much to my chagrin, this was not the case. I really believe that the ingredients are playing a major role in how my hair behaves with is. Because it contains hyaluronic acid, which helps retain water, it acts as much like glycerin by drawing moisture out of the air. However, I found that it didn’t suck the moisture out of my hair when the air was dry. Wednesday’s frizzy hair was due in part to the misty morning, drizzle in the afternoon, and high humidity. It wasn’t as godforsaken awful as Monday’s disaster but it definitely was not like Tuesday’s hair.

I do like that it rinses VERY well and doesn’t seem to be building up in my hair. It’s light (for being surprisingly thick and sticky out of the bottle) so it gives me good volume and doesn’t weigh down my hair. I want to keep working with this gel but the fact that it’s so temperamental may not warrant a repurchase. We shall see. I’d like to find a gel that works in both humid and dry conditions, but then again, I also want a million dollars. Yeah, not gonna happen.

Suave Professionals Extra Hold styling gel (a Sebastian Wet dupe) – This is an alright gel. It’s thick like the KMF, but not as sticky. Also, it distributes well and was absorbed by my hair much like angell. Ingreds: Water, proplyene glycol, VP/VA copolymer, VP/dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate copolymer, peg-12 dimethocone, isoceteth-20, carbomer, triethanolamine, polyquaternium-4, fragrance, diazolidinyl urea, tetrasodium EDTA, methylparabe, propylparaben, panthenol, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed wheat starch. The bolded gives me the jeebie heebies. I found out my hair DOES NOT like too much protein after my disastrous encounter with Rusk Sensories Calm Guarana & Ginger Nourishing Shampoo and the matching conditioner. Looking at the ingreds, the shampoo probably wasn’t so bad but in conjunction with the protein-laden, moisture lacking conditioner, that did not make for good hair days. Incidentally, it was my experience with the combo that led me to find NC.com. My hair was looking and feeling like a haystack and after bemoaning the loss of my waves (although they weren’t really there to being with since I shampooed with SLS), I stumbled across NC.com after googling “how to care for wavy hair.”

Back to the Suave. So far, my hair doesn’t look too bad. It was a little stringy when I took it out of the plop this morning, but it doesn’t seem to be weighing my hair down, and it doesn’t have an overpowering scent. There are couple of crispy bits but I did use about 4 quarter blobs of the gel. Also, I used my sisatas place sample of Long Lovely Locks’ Coco Light as a leave-in rather than KY, zerran, or shea m.

I wasn’t too impressed with the coco light. It’s pretty runny and didn’t seem to add much in the way of moisture. The ingredients sound like something I could make if I wanted to (virgin coconut oil, purified water, glycerin, aloe vera, proprietary essential oil blend that contains lavender, fragrance) and for less than 1/2 the price, I’m sure. I don’t have much frizz, so that’s where it may have come into today’s hair equation, but I’m not sure I’d want to spring $20 plus shipping on something when target brand KY jelly works just as well for controlling frizz. Plus it has more than one use!

Is nice! My castor/castile cleanser sample ran out so I took at look at my cleanser sample stash and picked this one up. There really isn’t a scent to it: just soap. It takes off my MMU well and leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped. I’m going to see how it fares with the summer heat and my oily skin before I make a determination. (My skin likes the castile cleansers in the day for controlling the oilies).

I love this! I’ve only been using it for two days but I can already tell this is repurchase status. It’s creamy white with no fragrance at all. It removes makeup well, helps control oilies, and it doesn’t sting my eyes like the GoW orange castile cleanser. I was using my majik azulene cleanser sample in the pm and the PSF gentle cleansing castile in the am to deal with the oilies better. Since using the PSF cleanser, my pores seemed a bit more clogged. There is a spot on my chin that is a good indicator of residue on my skin. After just two days of the GoW white castile, that spot has disappeared.

I’m thinking of selling the remainder of the PSF cleanser online. I was impressed with it at first and that’s why I have an 8 oz. bottle sitting in a cabinet, but the GoW cleansers blow it out of the water both performance wise and price wise.

In one word: like. It removes my makeup just as well as the other GoW cleansers I’ve tried – orange castile and Jen’s green tea/shea, doesn’t irritate my eyes like the PSF and Diana Yvonne castile cleansers, and it makes my skin feel super soft. The only negative about it (if it’s even possible to say something negative about GoW products) is that it doesn’t control the oil I get during the day as well as the castile cleanser did. I hardly got any mid-morning or mid-day shine with the oj castile cleanser but with the azulene and Jen’s cleanser, I had to pull out my Clean and Clear wipes by the time I got to work. The shine I get isn’t unbearable, but it’s noticeable (probably only to me, though). I’m thinking that I may just use the azulene and Jen’s cleanser for my end of the day washes since they remove makeup so well and make my skin feel like a baby’s bottom.