Giveaway: Rodial and a whole bunch of Samples!

Hey Guys,

Now is as good a time as any for another giveaway. I wanted to give away the Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum (it actually works), and thought that I’d toss in a bunch of samples for good measure.

In addition the full sized serum, there are a bunch of Armani goodies, a little Eve Lom, Ren, Hourglass Primer (excellent stuff), Caudalie and Zelens!

Now, I’m gonna take all of that stuff, and pop it into this bag…
Sound good?
Now, you guys know the drill. You have to be a public subscriber to qualify. If I can’t see you, then I can’t enter you. You can amp your chances by following me @shahadakarim and @habibibody on Twitter. You can also gain additional entries by liking the Adventures In Makeup page on Facebook, and the Habibi Bath & Body page. 
Every follow counts as an additional entry. It helps tremendously if you leave your email address in the comments box, so that I don’t have a hard time tracking down the winner. 

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!

Beauty By Night (PM Skin Care Routine)

I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about my skin, and specifically… my skin care routine. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have acne prone and oily skin (and some of you have seen the photographic evidence), and that keeping it under control is a daily exercise.

Day or night, I never make a move without my Clarisonic. I know that a lot of people use this device to help remove their makeup. I would never. I just think it cuts down the effectiveness of the ‘deep clean.’ I always remove my makeup first, with a remover oil or cleansing water. THEN I pump a little face cleanser on the Clarisonic, and deep clean  my skin.

I took this picture of my bare skin after removing makep and using the Clarisonic. I purposely took the picture at night, before beginning the moisturizing routine.                                                                           
My daytime routine has almost never changed… Habibi Oatmeal & Peppermint Wash and Moisturizer, and sunscreen. I did change my sunscreen for a stronger version at the beginning of summer. I now use Sunday Riley Cashmere SPF 30. 

But at night, I tend to layer. And every few months, I alter those layers a bit because my skin adapts… and just like a workout plateau, I have to shake things up to continue progress.

So I start with Habibi Oatmeal & Peppermint Face Wash and Moisturizer, then I follow with Ren Bio Retinoid Anti Ageing Concentrate.
This is the strangest little miracle product for me. I press half a dropperful into my skin and give it about 5 minutes or so to sink in. It has a slick feeling, but absorbs very nicely. Normally, I’ll brush my teeth and floss while I’m letting it absorb.

 Then I seal it with this little concoction:

I use half a fingerful of Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants balm, and one pump of M Steves Rose Hip Seed Oil Boost. If it’s really hot and my skin is in the mood to reject anything too oily, then I just use the M Steves. But if it’s feeling particularly dry and I know that I need a nice dose of moisture to work through the night, then I’ll mix the two.

I constantly pay attention to my skin. I know that its needs change with weather, hormonal changes, mood, circumstance (lack of sleep, stress, ect). So although my basics always stay the same, I’ll switch up by adding or subtracting ‘boosts’ or helpers along the way.

I’ve kept this routine pretty much through the summer. Although it’s hot as all get out, I still moisturize my skin at night. Even oily skin needs moisture. And as I get older, I’ve found that I need more moisture at night. Hopefully, this helps answer questions about  my skin care routine. Ciao for now!

Treatment Oils: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Some time ago I started adding ‘treatment oils’ to my nighttime regimen. I’m much too oily to wear them during the day (my makeup would just slide off), but add them as my ‘final step’ in nighttime moisturizing. Here are the oils that made the most difference (good and bad) for me:

Ren Rose Moisture Defense Serum
Price: $80

This oil is geared toward dry skin types, but I tried it anyway. It smells DIVINE. A little bit goes a very long way. It’s much more of a hydrating oil, than a corrective one. I found no real improvement in any skin complaints (cystic acne, discoloration), but my skin was plumper and very ‘fresh’ looking the next day. The smell puts you right to sleep. It’s true aromatherapy.

Grade: B

Fresh Elixir Ancien
Price: $250

This is by far one of the most expensive treatment oils that I’ve ever used. It blew me away when I first used it, and it destroyed a massive cystic pimple that had taken up residence on my temple. It has no scent, and absorbs very well. I have mixed with all manner of serums and moisturizers and found that it boosted performance of everything. The down side is, my skin became used to it after about a month. It totally stopped working for me. So I took a break from it (for about 2 weeks). When I went back to it, the oil began to perform as it first had. It also lasts a REALLY long time. A 1.7 ounce bottle lasted me a year.

Grade: A-

Decleor Neroli Essential Serum
Price: $60

I bought this one on a whim: I love the smell of neroli (orange blossom derivative), and thought it would be wonderful as an aromatherapy addition to my nighttime ritual. Boy, was I wrong! The morning after the first night I used it, I had a spray of angry red bumps across my forehead. I thought it might be a fluke, so I continued use. I just got more angry red bumps. After a week, I returned it. It smells wonderful, but the combination of carrier and essential oils was a no go for me. It broke me completely out. I had to purge my skin with tea tree and aloe, and go back to the Elixir Ancien to set me right again.

Grade: F

M. Steves RHSO Boost
Price: $48

This oil is proof that more expensive is not always better. From the first time I used it, it blew me away. It is fragrance free, and more of a dry oil. It absorbs quickly and plays well with other serums and creams. Forget all the boosting of hydration and what not, this stuff fights acne like nobody’s business. Cleared my skin up in 48 HOURS. Not kidding. So far, it’s the best treatment oil I’ve ever used. I’m still waiting to be convinced otherwise.

Grade: A+

Sunday Riley JUNO Lipid Serum
Price: $125

I’m having a  bit of a love/hate affair at the moment. I find this oil funky and REALLY oily. Overnight, it seems to make my skin produce so much oil that I can FEEL it when I wake up. That’s not good. And that lovely smell (farts) does not fade. I’m not sure I want my husband kissing me goodnight with that smell on my face. Just saying. So far, I’ve not seen any major improvement in my skin. In fact, a couple of cystic pimples have shown up in the 72 hours that I’ve been using it. I’m not fully convinced that it’s JUNO’s fault, so I’m going to give it a little more time. The ingredient list is beyond impressive, and I’m hoping that there’s a little detox action going on, and that’s why my skin is cutting up at the moment. The jury is still out, but if I had to grade it right now…

Grade: B

Those are the treatment oils that made the biggest impressions (good and bad) on me. Ciao for now!

Winter Skin Care Routine

The weather has been all over the place here in Southern California, with the exception of one thing… the nights have been COLD. Like.. cold and really drying for my skin. To compensate, I’ve switched up my nighttime skin care routine, and added a few new moisturizers to the lineup.

I still use my Habibi cleanser (Vitamin C)– with the Clarisonic of course, and Moisturizer (Vitamin C)… but I’m now boosting the combo with the following.

Before putting on my moisturizer, I use the REN AHA Resurfacing Serum:

That’s been helping a LOT. I wake up the next morning, and the double dose of vitamin C has REALLY brightened up my skin. And my acne prone skin just drinks up all of those fruit acids. The combo has been really good to me.

When my skin is really dry, I pat some of the REN Rose Moisture Defense Serum over the dryest areas:

The smell of this stuff is just DIVINE… puts me right to sleep. I’ve been topping that off with Shiseido’s Benefiace Eye Cream (which behaves like eye creams that go for HUNDREDS of dollars)…

I keep trying other eye creams (including REALLY expensive versions that go for up to $300 dollars), and I still like this one the best. It’s very hydrating, and a little goes a long way. A single jar lasts me about six months.

That’s it! I try to keep my routines fairly straightforward, because too many products will cause my skin to go wonky and totally break out. This has been working very well for me so far.