Friday, January 29, 2010

My Finances Are Reflected in My Face

I love skincare/beauty product posts.  Don't you? My turn!

While perusing bridal magazines long before I had met Kevin (embarrassing but true--whatever you did it too!!), I remember reading about prepping your face for the wedding by getting monthly facials for at least 6 months ahead of time (or something like that).

Now, back when I used to work at a corporate law firm in midtown making a fat-ass salary, I would have totally been all over that.  I even got excited, thinking of having a valid excuse for getting so many facials! Wheeee!!!

By the time I got engaged, however, I had left the firm and started working for the government. Which let me tell you pays significantly less (that's an understatement).

What does this have to do with skincare? My rambling almost makes me forget.  Anyway, you could see the marked difference in my skincare regimen as my checking account balance dwindled.

When I Was a Rich Lawyer

This was my skincare regimen before:

Cleanser, toner and day moisturizer: Pola Vitax line, $139
Pola is a Japanese brand, and the Vitax is a mild line of products good for those in their 20's and 30's.  Overall I felt that they kept my skin in good shape, but nothing earth-shattering.

Serum: Obagi, $88

The Obagi-C RX serum is a splurge.  This product contains hydroquinone, which is usually available by prescription.  It's supposed to work wonders on any discoloration, like sun spots or acne scars, but it takes a few months to see the results. You can't use this when you're pregnant.  There's a night cream that goes along with it but it smells oh so lightly of urine.

Nighttime cream: L'Occitane, $60

This is actually the cream mask, but a saleswoman told me that I could use it as a night cream, which makes it much cheaper than the cream that's packaged as night cream.  It smells totally yummy and a little goes a long way.  However, if you have sensitive skin it might be an issue because it irritated my mom and sister's skin.

Facials: Jurlique, $125 (or something like that)

Actually, I only got facials about twice a year from Jurlique (they were gifts), but boy did I love them, and I wanted them everyday.  Even if my face fell off, I wanted those facials everyday.

Now That I'm an Underpaid Toiling Bureaucrat Lawyer

Cleanser: Cetaphil, $7.99
The Cetaphil is gentle and effective, with a pleasant scent.  I've heard that it's recommended by many dermatologists.  Apparently the non-lathering quality doesn't strip your skin of essential moisture and oils (you need some, or your face overproduces oil).

Serum: L'Oreal Skin Genesis, $22.99

To be honest, I'm not totally sold on the L'Oreal Skin Genesis Serum.  It's a little too light for me and I think there's some alcohol in it.  If anyone has some fav drugstore serum recommendations, let me know!

Day Moisturizer: Complex 15, $9.79
Source ($9.79 at

Right before and during college, I used Complex 15 on my face and hands.  Someone once touched my hands and exclaimed how soft they were.  Why I ever strayed (probably because of the clinical, boring packaging), I don't know. This stuff is the bomb.  It feels a little thin, but it absorbs so quickly--not just dries quickly, but really absorbs.  After a few seconds you feel like your skin has just drunk a gallon of water.  It feels amazing. 

Sunscreen: Aveeno Positively Ageless, $9.99

While SPF 70 is an unnecessarily high number, there wasn't a choice.  I like this product because it smells nice (only a slight sunscreen smell), although it doesn't absorb terribly well.  It kinda makes me "glow", as I see it (some may call it sweaty. tomAYtoes, tomAHtoes, people).

Night Cream: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, $13.49
I use this on my body, and during the winter have also used it as a night cream for my face.  It is affordable (that's a big tub) and uber moisturizing without feeling too greasy.  

"Facial": Oil of Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion kit, $24.29

About once a week, I use the Oil of Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion.  While not the cheapest drugstore product, it is definitely cheaper than getting a dermatologist do it for you (although yes, less effective).  This stuff smells uber yummy. 

My face is still here and alive, so I think I'm okay with the drugstore products.  I do miss those Jurlique facials, though!

Whether drugstore or indulgence, which are your favorite skincare products?

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