Favorite Things 2012: Shahada’s Little Helpers

I thought I’d start the ‘Favorite Things’ series with some of the things that I truly feel have helped this temperamental skin of mine. Through detoxing and messing around with this face for no freakin’ reason… several things have come to my rescue.

The EVE LOM Rescue Mask is amazing.  My sister actually introduced me to it when my skin was really at its worst with the detox. The camphor in it (it smells like medicine) really went to work on my skin, and it looked better every time I used it. I went through my first jar pretty quickly (I probably  used too much), and immediately went out and bought another jar. This is excellent stuff. I love it.
Coral Actives makes a spot treatment with 6% dose of Benzoyl Peroxide. Since my detox meant an inhuman amount of cystic pimples, this stuff quickly became my best friend. It’s powerful stuff, so I had to use it very sparingly. I’d put it on before bed, and wake up to find my pimple sizes reduced  by half. Now I use it whenever I get a minor flareup, and it takes care of the problem right away. This stuff made a believer out of me. Love it.
I’ve been using the REN Bio Retinoid Anti Ageing Concentrate for a while. I use it at night as the final installment in my skin care routine, and it has consistently delivered. I always wake up looking refresed, brighter and a with a more even skin tone.

This stuff is GOLD. I mix Sunday Riley Good Genes with everything: cleansers, masks, moisturizers. I even ‘layer’ it under a drawing mask to really push the serum into my skin. This is the ultimate booster. Ever since I discovered it, I’ve been a true believer. Good Genes is Good Stuff.

Sisleya Eye & Lip Contour became a staple when I started taking hydration seriously, especially around my eyes. Since I have oily skin, I never really paid attention to ‘extra’ hydration. This is a pricey formula, but I find it highly effective. Plus, a little goes a really long way. My little jar has lasted me a year. Seriously.

That’s it! Those are my favorite ‘helpers’ for 2012.  Ciao for now!

Trippin’ on Sunday at Barneys

It all began with the quest for the perfect yoga mat. I was trying to get my hands on the Ultimate Yoga Mat from Nike (which is actually a Pilates mat, but whatever)… and no one seems to carry it but the store in Beverly Hills, and the store in Santa Monica.

 Beverly Hills is closer, so I went there. In and out in 15 minutes… easy peasy.

BUT… Barneys is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to Niketown… and really, how can I NOT pay Barneys a visit?

Besides, I wanted to see the Claudio Riaz brushes up close, and determine if they were really worth the asking price.

They’re NOT, by the way. Not even close. I’d honestly say that the best thing about the brushes is the case that they come in. The ferrules of several tester brushes were loose. NOT a good look. The ferrule should NEVER be loose, especially not on a tester brush! I think that tells you everything that you need to know. Plus, I’m not a fan of the chrome ferrule/wooden brush handle combination. For that much money, I need them to look a lot more sleek. They could take a page from the books of Hakuhodo and Tom Ford. Just saying.

Okay… but I’m burying the lead. The minute I walk through the door, I spot THIS ONE:

Love Edwin! He’s at Barneys in official capacity so I can’t steal him away like I normally do. He does take a little time for me though, to show me the brand Sunday Riley

Here’s the thing, Edwin has never really steered me wrong. He knows that I make my own skin care, so it’s REALLY hard to impress me with other brands. I don’t care about things that perform as they should. I care about things that EXCEED ALL EXPECTATIONS.

So he pops this combination on the back of my hand:

 And he leaves it there, and starts talking to me about something else. And I’m kind of like “Hello… you know you just put soap and serum on the back of my hand right? Now what?” And he shushes me and keeps going with a little more of the Good Genes on the side of my arm, and this…

… on another part of my arm. And now 5 minutes have passed and this friggin’ cleanser is still on my hand. WTH? EDWIN!

And he shushes me again… then talks to me about the eye cream. I’m not listening. Why is there still soap on the back of my hand?

He finally gets sick of me fussing, wets a cloth with warm water… and wipes the soap off.


My hand is not just smooth, it’s FLAWLESS. It’s really bright (in a good ‘luminous’ way), the pores are NON-EXISTENT. He’s looking at me like:

Sheesh. Stuff’s excellent. Turns out, you can use that combination like a mask (which is what he did)… and it works like a CHARM.

Now, here’s what I found. The secret is in the ‘Good Genes’ product. Mix that with anything, and magic happens. I’ve experimented with it, with several other cleansers, and got the same result. So, Good Genes came home with me… because I love a good serum. LOVE. This one is noteworthy. Seriously.

I also got Juno. Now… I’m on the fence because this oil smells like… well, it smells like gas. NOT the kind the comes out of the ground. The kind that comes from a lactose intolerant person having six glasses of milk and sharing the love on a crowded bus. Sheesh. And the smell does NOT fade. I used it overnight, and my face still smelled faintly of farts in the morning. All I’m saying is, it better be a miracle worker because that smell is not cute… AT ALL. And it’s oily as hell. It’s being marketed as a dry oil… it’s NOT. Not even close. And really oily oil on an oily skinned girl is soooo not cute… so the jury is still out.

I’m falling all over myself about the serum. The Juno is in the testing phase… along with another oil that we’re running through from a local company that is REALLY impressive (more on that later), and a lot cheaper.

So… no to Claudio Riaz… and YES to Miss Sunday Riley… at least with the Good Genes. She did good on that one.

In other news, I missed last night’s yoga class because of Barneys and Edwin and the President (no, really. He was in town and they closed off half of friggin’ Los Angeles to move the motorcade around)… so I still haven’t tried my new mat. Oh, and my credit card has decided NOT to file for divorce at this time, since I passed on Claudio Riaz. But it is still seriously considering a legal separation.