Bargain Beauty, Blemish Control, Cetaphil, Cleansers, Face, Maintenance, Skincare

The World’s Easiest Resolution

I’m not a resolutions person. Obviously. I mean, here I am, knocking the dust off this blog well into the second (technically third) week of January. A resolutions person would have been here that first Monday. To me, New Year’s resolutions are amateur hour. I’m making and breaking promises to myself 365, BAYBAY!!

My problem is, I always go too big. Lose weight, save money, find my life’s purpose, blah blah. That stuff is a lot of work! You know what’s probably way better for our mental well-being? Starting small. Make your bed every day! Kick your panties into the hamper instead of leaving them sunny-side up in the bathroom! Mop!
No. Don’t mop. I’m sorry I said that. FUCK mopping.

How about, instead, you could resolve to have cleaner skin? You don’t even have to buy a new face wash, or an expensive cleansing brush. Are you all ready for my ONE WEIRD TRICK?

Here it is:

Wash your face longer. For 60 whole seconds. That’s it.

Real talk, you guys; I know what you’re doing. I see how quickly you wash your face. I SEE YOU. But, it’s ok! I used to do the same thing! In fact, I considered myself a pretty accomplished face washer. I washed my face every night and most mornings, I used my Clarisonic. I would even wash my face when I was three sheets to an ill wind! Some of the mascara might be left behind, but, I’d AT LEAST use a cleansing wipe. So, pretty good, right? Pretty good, but could be better. Like, maybe better if I didn’t rush through it in just a few seconds. You know, like how washing a fork with soap real fast is good, but making sure you get all the crud off is preferable?

Still not convinced? (Pretend you’re not convinced.) Will a little bit of Beauty School Confidential help? Consider this; a big reason for the effectiveness of a spa facial is the extensive time spent on cleansing. Most estheticians will cleanse your skin twice during a facial. When all is said and done, you’re going to get, probably, a combined five minutes of solid cleanser on skin action. It’s not an accident that your skin is so bright after that! I mean, the default time on my Clarisonic is 60 seconds, and that thing is using sonic vibrations, or whatever, AND bristles. If the Clarisonic needs 60 seconds to get your face clean with all that technology behind it, your sweet lil fingers need at least that long. It’s so easy though! A big part of this cleaner face resolution is the simplicity, because hopefully, you’re already washing your face. So, you don’t have to do a whole new thing, you just have to a regular thing differently.

“But, Sarah,” you might be thinking, “60 seconds is a long time to count! What if I get bored or lose my place? What if I count too fast or too slow? How am I supposed to keep track of the time when I’m in the shower in all my nudely glory?!” It’s easy! Zones, guys. It’s all about zones. Your forehead? ZONE. Nose down to your chin? ZONE. Those precious cheeks? ZONE(S). Three zones, 20 seconds each. That’s all you need to do to get cleaner skin. It’s free, it’s easy, it works!

Since I’ve been making an effort to wash my face more thoroughly, I’ve seen a visible improvement in my skin. I have a lot less tiny white heads around my eye/cheek area, and, I haven’t been getting random, underground, throbbing, volcanic breakouts on my jaw and chin. I even managed to avoid the inevitable eruptions I deal with whenever I get sick, and those are usually really gross, and really hard to kill.

clean skin


HASHTAG NO FOUNDATION, too. That’s right. No foundation. I have on a little concealer around my nose to cover some tissue related redness, and, I have on a little under eye brightener. But, that’s it. No foundation, no powder. No filter! Just my clean, moisturized skin. For comparison, here’s an unedited photo from the end of last summer.

clean face comparison

I think you can tell a difference. In the first picture my skin looks brighter, clearer, and smoother. I’m wearing a full face in this photo, and my skin still doesn’t look as good. See what I’m saying? I’m not making it up!

I don’t even use an expensive cleanser.

cetaphil cleanser

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $7.49, Walgreens

Bet you didn’t think it was going to be THAT cheap. A cheap cleanser and your free fingers. That’s all you need. It’s really so easy! Easier than losing weight, easier than kicking your underwear into the hamper, easier than pretty much most things, and you get nicer skin. Happy freaking New Year! So fresh and so clean in 2015!

Beauty Tools, Cleansers, Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, Face, Mascara, theBalm

the Balm Balms Away Eye Makeup Breakup Remover Review

balms away

Amazon, $12.99

So, we’ve established that I love to wear a lot of eye makeup and too much mascara. We know this. So, I guess if we really think about it, we also know that I might probably go to bed a lot of nights with raccoon eyes. It’s not for lack of trying on my part. I really do try to get it off! Every eye makeup remover I’ve tried stings my eyes and/or turns my vision cloudy even until the next morning, so I resort to all kinds of other possibilities. I’ve used assorted and varied oils, I’ve tried all kinds of cleansers, I’ve rubbed and rubbed. It’s all hit or miss.

This is a problem because leftover eye makeup can cause those tiny, hard, underground bumps around my eyes. They’re not pimples because they’re not caused by bacteria. They’re called Milia, and they’re actually little cysts comprised of dead skin cells, oil and dirt. Dirt includes leftover eye makeup. I get these little bumps, and then, even though you’re not supposed to, I scratch at them. I can see them under my makeup, and they really rile up my picking tendencies. Your girl wants to party all the time, and a party for me is a really sharp pair of tweezers, an extracting loop, and a clogged pore. BUT THAT’S BAD. I know better. I went to eight months of beauty school, so, yeah, I know what I’m talking about. Call me Pimple Popper, M.D..

I don’t even really try with real eye makeup remover anymore. I tried this one kind of because it looked moisturizing, but mostly because it was half price on HauteLook and I had a credit.

I am so, so happy I took a chance! I love this stuff so much!

balms away detail

As you can see, I’ve been sticking my fingers all in this. It looks gross, but I think it’s good because it gives you a better idea of the product texture. It has a consistency that can best be described as “Crisco-like.” You glob some onto your closed eye, work it in a circular motion for 30 seconds (take some time to focus on your lashes), then, you wipe it off with toilet paper. If you have a bidet, use a kleenex. I was using a cotton round, but for whatever reason, the TP works better. All the makeup should wipe right off, even the mascara and liner under your eyes, and your eyelids will be moisturized! I always do this before I wash my face with my cleanser, so I wash off any excess oiliness then. It’s a dream come true!

I’m removing pigments, I’m removing mascara that doesn’t play, I’m removing black gel liner that promises 24 hour wear. I’M UNSTOPPABLE. This stuff makes me so happy because a lot of times I’ll skip a serious eye look just because I don’t want to deal with a difficult removal process that doesn’t even clean everything off. Now the only thing standing in my way is my own laziness. As usual! That’s ok, I can deal with that.

Buy theBalm’s Balms Away Eye Makeup Breakup Remover HERE.

Beauty Tools, Clarisonic, Cleansers, Friday I'm in Love, Maintenance, Skincare

Worth it! Clarisonic Brush


That’s my Clarisonic up thurr. It’s a beloved member of our household.

I’ve been putting off doing a post about these because they’re pretty expensive, but today is the day! This is why…

Last night, for funsies/research, I sat down and did a full face of makeup. I’m talking FACE BEAT. Foundation, contouring powder, concealer, blush, two different kinds of highlighter, three shadows, my waterproof liquid liner, several coats of mascara, lip liner, lipstick, and a finishing powder. I don’t need to tell you it was fucking beautiful. But, I will. It was fucking beautiful. Later, in the shower, I used a cleanser whose specific job is makeup removal. That’s its whole schtick. After I rinsed my face, I was suspicious of the results, my face just didn’t feel clean, so I took another pass at my skin with my Clarisonic. Would you like to guess what I found?

Tons of makeup on my brush!!! The bristles were tan!

I was properly horrified. I even shook my head in disgust.


It was at that moment that I decided it was time to do my civic duty, and write my post. So, today, Friday I’m in Love with my Clarisonic!

Like most people probably do, I initially balked at the price. They’re costly, there’s no way around that. But, last night’s experiment was all the validation I needed that mine was worth the money.

I bought my brush after The Great Kiehl’s Disaster of 2010. My skin had been destroyed by a beauty experiment gone awry, and I was desperate for answers. I was breaking out a lot, and my face was dull and rough. My cheeks, specifically, were a mess. They felt thick, like scars, and I was afraid I’d done long term damage. I’d gone back to my old skincare routine, and I was exploring more drastic options, treatments, masks, etc. I did some research on the Clarisonic, convinced Jason it was practically a medical necessity, and bought one.

After my first use, there was a difference; my skin was softer and brighter even using my usual cleanser. A week after I got it, my skin showed a lot of improvement. My makeup went on smoother, my moisturizer absorbed better, and my breakouts stopped. It was the first sign of hope that there could be a turnaround on my skin. I can’t even begin to describe my relief. I was thisclose to adopting a veil over my face when I left the house like I was Blanket Jackson.

Since then, I’ve taken on a routine with my Clarisonic. They say it’s gentle enough to use twice a day, I think that’s overkill. I think using it every day is overkill. I suppose this varies by face, but all my education and real world experience has taught me that it’s very rare for anybody to really need to exfoliate every single day. If you decide to get one, you can easily figure out what’s too much; just pay attention to your skin. Be careful of any redness or soreness, and adjust accordingly. Someone who wears makeup every day should probably use it more often than someone who doesn’t. I don’t wear makeup every day, and I know my face doesn’t like to be exfoliated every night, so I use my Clarisonic 2-3 times a week. Unless I’m reviewing a product for the site, I always use it before I do masks or treatments. It gets your skin very, very clean, and I always include it when I’m wearing A LOT of makeup.

I don’t know how you can justify the price to yourself. If you never get the chance to indulge in spa facials, maybe indulge in a Clarisonic. If you struggle with chronic or frequent skin problems, maybe tell yourself you’re upping the game! To be fair, you for sure would be, so it wouldn’t be a lie. Or, how about maybe you just want one, you are a GROWN WOMAN, and you deserve it! TREAT YO SELF.

treat yo self gif

HEY! It’s time for people to give you presents, riiiiiiiight? Put it on your list! If you write it there, under “pony,” it looks totally reasonable!

Buy your Clarisonic from Sephora HERE.

Or, buy it directly from Clarisonic HERE.

Be wary about buying it from anywhere else, there are a lot of fakes out there. Don’t want to spend all that money on a knock off!

Beauty Tools, Cleansers, Education, Maintenance, Skincare

Cleaning Your Brushes: Bacteria and YOU!

When was the last time you washed your makeup brushes? A month ago? Last year? Never?



I just…

I mean…

I can’t even…

That’s not ok.

It’s not like I’ve never been guilty of letting my brushes get dirty. For a long time, it didn’t even occur to me to wash them. I think I thought since I was the only one using them, it wasn’t necessary.


Oils, dust, dirt, makeup, bacteria…these are the things that live on your dirty brushes. So then you use them, and you smear all that gross stuff around your skin. Doesn’t that sound awful? Keeping your brushes clean is good for the life of your tools, and it’s good for the life of your skin. Plus, it’s really easy and super satisfying.


These are my dirty brushes. It’s been way too long since the last time I washed them. I’m really trying to get my skin in tip top shape, and I figured getting my brushes clean was a good idea. I’m not really acne prone, but I get those little white bumps. You can’t really see them unless you’re really looking, but I know they’re there, and I know what they are. Tiny little underground bacteria rocks. Gross. Have you ever tried to squeeze one of those out? That’s how I end up with a big hole in my face.

First, you’re going to need a cleanser. You can use a mild shampoo, like a baby shampoo, but I prefer to use a cleanser specifically for brushes. Those usually have the added benefit of being antibacterial.

sephora brush shampoo

Sephora, 2 oz., $7

I use this brush shampoo from Sephora. It does a great job of pulling even the most pigmented colors out of my brushes, and a little bit goes a long way.

After you’ve decided on a shampoo, and you’ve washed all the dirty dishes in your sink, you’re ready to get started!

First, thoroughly saturate your brush with lukewarm water.

photo 2

DO NOT drop it down the garage disposal. This was a dangerous game I was playing here. If any of those suckers had slipped down into that disgusting pit, that brush would have been dead to me. Like, might as well flip the switch and chop it into a million pieces because I never want to see it again. So, yeah, get your bristles good and wet, being careful not to lose it forever.

Next, squirt a small amount of brush shampoo into the palm of your hand.

photo 3

Don’t skimp, but don’t go crazy either. You want enough to break everything up, but not so much that you can never rinse it out, or you waste a bunch.

Then, swirl that brush around in the palm of your hand. You can go crazy here.

clean brush gif

Really scrub it good! You’ll start to see all the makeup coming out of the bristles, it’s pretty gnarly. Add more shampoo if you feel like it’s running short. Sometimes, I do this part twice. Especially on my foundation brush. That’s the one in all the pictures, as you can see, it was really dirty.

After you’re satisfied the shampoo has lifted out all the makeup and debris, give it a good, thorough rinse in the lukewarm water.

photo-2 copy

I see that this photo is sort of redundant. But, I’m trying to be as detailed as possible! Rinse, rinse, rinse the brush. Rinse it so good. Rinse it until the water is clear, and the bristles feel clean. You DO NOT want any extra shampoo or makeup left behind. That would make this whole thing totally pointless.

After your brush has been fully rinsed, gently squeeze out any excess water, and then reshape your bristles and lay your brush flat, to dry.

photo-2 copy 2

I like to put mine on a towel so they don’t go anywhere, and water doesn’t collect underneath the handles. I also like to let the bristles hang over the edge. That way, they dry evenly and you don’t have to come in and flip them. I wash my brushes when I know they’ll have plenty of time to dry, preferably overnight.

When everything is dry, just get the bristles fluffed back the way they need to be, and you’re all set! No more gross tools of cross contamination!

How often you clean your brushes is up to you. If you use your brushes on anyone else, you have to wash them after every time you use them. If yours is the only face they touch, then once is a week is the gold standard. If you never ever clean your brushes, try to get into the habit at least once a month, and work up from there. It’s a good thing to do for your tools and your complexion. My brushes are an investment, and they’ve been pretty carefully curated. I’d like them to last as long as possible.

Keeping your brushes clean is the kind of thing that seems obvious, but I have a feeling that it’s the territory of people who are really serious about makeup. I know I sleep on cleaning my brushes more often than I should, and I’m a state licensed beauty professional. I should really know better! Let’s make it our Thanksgiving resolution to keep our brushes cleaner. Together, we can make the world a less bacteria laden place.

P.S. I cleaned my BeautyBlender with Ivory soap. It took forever to rinse it clean, and I haven’t used it since then, so I don’t know if it was a complete success. It LOOKS like it’s clean, but the jury is still out. I’ll let you guys know.

Cleansers, Face

African Black Soap

My dream skin would be described as, “velvety.” People would compare my cheeks to rose petals, and dairy products (cream, etc.). Now, I’m not gonna front, I have nice skin. But, that only makes it more obvious when things go wrong.

I’d been pretty happy with my Fresh Soy Cleanser, but then it got to be 108 degrees. After that, things went downhill pretty fast. Between my Cymbalta and the heat, I’ve been a pretty disgusting pile of sweat. Like, I saw Craig Robinson on tv talking about how he always keeps a towel on him because he sweats so much, and I actually thought to myself that it didn’t sound like a bad idea.

A sweat towel.

Seemed like a good idea.

That’s gross.

I started breaking out from the sweat and the heat, and then, to make matters worse, I started ignoring my #1 skincare rule: DON’T PICK AT IT. I would be sitting on the couch in the evenings, poking my zits with my bacteria tipped nails and trying to squeeze them without even looking in a mirror. Obviously, they got worse. I had one zit that was so stubborn and angry, I had begun to take steps towards accepting that I might have this zit for the rest of my life. Only in death would I be free….

I’d seen African black soap mentioned here and there, and I’d been curious if the praises about it were true. So, when I ran across Nubian Heritage’s bar of black soap at the health food store, it seemed serendipitous.

blacksoap, $3.59!!!

“Nubian Heritage’s authentic African Black Soap combines shea butter’s healing and hydrating properties with the ancient medicinal properties of palm ash, plantain peel, tar and tamarind to balance and resolve problem skin. Our deep cleansing formula aids exfoliation and promotes new cell growth to reveal radiant, fresh, even and healthy skin.”

This stuff is the real deal, you guys. It lathers up thick and luxurious, and it feels soothing and moisturizing on your skin. I’m not even talking about after you rinse it off, I’m talking about while you’re washing your face. It feels good, and it smells wonderful. The box is sitting here on the table next to me, and I keep picking it up to sniff it. After you rinse it off, your skin will be cleeeeeean. At first, I was worried, because my skin felt “squeaky” clean, which is bad; cleansers that leave your face feeling like that are most likely stripping oil out of your skin. But, after I dried off, and felt my skin again, it was SO SOFT. So soft, and so fresh and so clean.

After the first use, my everlasting pimple aka conjoined forehead twin, was nearly gone, and the other little ones I’d been picking at, just flaked off and disappeared. I have this bright red blemish in the soft, tender area right below one of my eyes, it’s been there forever. I didn’t even think it was a zit, I just thought it was a red mole or something. After a week of using this soap, it has shrunk a lot and it isn’t near as red. My dry patches don’t exist at all, my pores on my nose are clean, and my zits have been kept at bay, even as the heat has gotten worse.

I wanted to get the most accurate read on this soap that I could, so I’ve been using it for a week without any other products. No other cleansers, no other moisturizers, I didn’t even use any of my exfoliating tools. It even removed a full face of makeup, mascara included, without leaving behind any trace of color at all. Now, I feel idiotic because this soap is so cheap, it works amazingly well, and I’ve been chasing after expensive products all these years. I’m into it though! It’s so much chicer to be able to be able to nonchalantly say your skincare products are under the radar and/or cheap. Right? Like, “Oh, my beautiful skin? It’s just this really cool black bar of soap that’s made from ancient ingredients. Cleopatra probably used something like it. It costs $3.”

I am extremely confident that this soap will lead me to the heights of high priestess of the velvet-cheeked promised land. I hope the rest of you join me! I can tell you right now I won’t be gracious about my new station in life.

I’ll probably start alternating my new soap with my Fresh cleanser, but I like this soap way better. It’s like the saying, goes, “Once you go black, you’ll never go back!”

Bargain Beauty, Cleansers, Lips, Masks

Pretty Cheap, Vol. 1

The drugstore is the first place we all started experimenting with crazy beauty, right? If you were like me, you were young, you only had birthday money, and you were obsessed with Long’s Drugstore. They had all the best shit! Tons of face glitter and lots of cheap nail polish to shoplift.

Nail polish and toe rings….

Now that I’m too old to get busted for shoplifting without it being totally humiliating, and I have a debit card, I still like to peruse the drugstore for cheap beauty products. Scoring a good deal on a quality product is fucking intoxicating. I like to buy a bunch of stuff, show it all to Jason, and then gloat about how, “If you think about it, I’m really making us money by buying all this cheap product!” He says that’s not how it works, I say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

So, today I’m introducing you guys to some of my very favorite discount beauty buys. These are all products that I’ve extensively tested and re-bought. They’re all good, they’re all cheap, and they’re all super easy to find at Target, Ulta, the grocery store, and online.

Pick up your Cipro and some lip gloss all at once! Let’s do it!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masquemint masque

Ulta, $3.99

Don’t let the dated packaging and low price fool you, this mask is the real deal. Like, old school, thick and bright green. It’s straight up Mrs. Doubtfire status.



Haha! I love it! Mrs. Doubtfire, you are SO CRAZY!

Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque has a clay like consistency, which is why it hardens as it dries. This part can hurt a little. I don’t know, maybe it’s pulling on the hypothetical peach fuzz I definitely do not have on my chin. After 15 games of Bejeweled, rinse it off, and rewash your face with your cleanser. You should see brighter and clearer looking skin. It definitely helps with blackheads and drying up zits. The site claims it “shrinks enlarged pores,” but that’s bullshit because that’s impossible.

In fact, let’s clear this up right now:


All beauty products can do is decrease the appearance of your pores by cleaning them out. I’m sorry. I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is. But, hey, if you’re in the market for a mask that will decrease the appearance of your pores, this one will do it. The mint can sting a little, so if you have extremely sensitive skin, tread carefully. I’ve been using this mask for years, and I buy it over more expensive masks all the time.

ETA: A friend left a comment about her experience with the mask, “When I was younger than 20, it was fine. Now that my skin is aging, it is asking for trouble. It dries me out way too much, it burns like hell, and leaves me with a thin, frail, red mess.”

So, fair warning for all you tender faced readers! You could maybe still use it in spots; if my cheeks are feeling really dry, I’ll only put it on my nose and forehead. But, if you have qualms, spot test first.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

lip butter, $5.99

I’m a sucker for products that have the word “butter” in the name. I’m drawn right to it! I don’t know what that says about me other than the obvious; I’m hungry and susceptible.

Revlon’s Lip Butters go on so smoothly. Even the colors with shimmer in them don’t really drag or get caught up if your lips aren’t in great condition. Which is good for me because, as I’ve stated earlier, I gnaw on my poor mouth. The color payoff is good, with finishes ranging from sheer to dark. They have a balm like consistency, but they don’t seem particularly moisturizing. If that’s a concern for you, you can apply them over whatever lip moisturizer you use. They’re great for summer because they’re light, they aren’t sticky, and they don’t travel all over your face.

“Peach Parfait” is my oh-shit-I-don’t-have-lipstick-on emergency kit. It’s a fantastic nude that’s always in my purse, and it looks great with almost any eye makeup I might be wearing. I loved that first color so much, I bought two more, “Cupcake” and “Tutti Frutti.”

I was just embarrassed for myself typing out, “Tutti Frutti.” That sounds like a grandma lipstick.

These Lip Butters are such a great deal. The quality is great and the price is awesome. You can even find them on sale all the time! BONUS!

Yes to Blueberries Facial Towelettes


Amazon, 30 ct., $5.99

Look. I hate washing my face as much as everybody else. I especially hate it when it’s after 2:00 AM, and I’m, um, three sheets to an ill wind.

So many vodka tonics


washing my makeup off over the sink



Followed by all the things on the bathroom counter being knocked over. I’m great at holding it together at the bars, but the second I get into the car with Jason, I go crazy! I’m like Roger Rabbit when you give him liquor; all broken windows and steam coming out of my ears.

OK, I’ve never broken any windows. But, I did once flood my mom’s front room because I passed out in the shower with my leg over the drain.

If I’d had these facial towelettes then, I never would have gotten into the shower that fateful morning! I would have just wiped my face, and gone to bed. Then, the whole 80s movie montage that went down when I woke up and had to frantically clean up all the water because MY PARENTS WERE COMING HOME EARLY never would have happened.

It sounds like I was 17 when this happened, but I was 23. Oops!

Well, I didn’t quite learn my lesson, I still drunkenly climb into bathtubs and showers. But, it happens a lot less often. For real, the ability to be able to just wipe off my makeup at the end of the night is such a relief.

These towelettes are perfect for taking off face makeup, and eye shadows, but they’re not great for effectively removing all of your eye liner and mascara. It can be done, it just takes a little more work. I don’t really care about that for this product because I’m not using it as my primary cleanser. Besides, who doesn’t like a little sexy, smudged party eye?

I like to wipe my face with them, then rinse out the cloth and give my skin one more pass. That way, I can pick up any extra cleanser or makeup that’s left behind. They clean your skin, and they moisturize too. So, if you’re drunk or just lazy you’re all set!


Put these products on your Target lists. Don’t shoplift them!

Shoplifting is for 13 year olds with attitude problems. And Winona Ryder.

Are you a 13 year old or Winona Ryder?

No. You’re not.

Shoplifting and teenage suicide, DON’T DO IT.

Cleansers, Fresh, Maintenance

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

fresh soy cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, $15-$38

As I’ve previously bragged, I’ve never really had a lot of skin problems. When I was a kid, I had the usual smattering of hormone induced pimples and overall oiliness; the perfect compliment to my bushy eyebrows and “tree trunk thighs” (thanks, super clever kids on the bus). But, as an adult, I only ever had the occasional random zit (eyebrows are now so fly, tree trunk thighs are still in full effect).

I was so used to basking in my beautiful, problem free skin, that when it went haywire in The Great Kiehl’s Disaster of 2010, I was totally fucked. I frantically cycled through cleanser after cleanser, desperately trying to bring some order back to my skin. I mean, when you got dem tree trunk thighs, you gotta keep that face, right? I tried all my usual esthetician tricks; I was oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling, but nothing worked.

This is a battle I’ve been fighting, with various degrees of success, up until two weeks ago.

After yet another less than satisfying run with a piece of strange cleanser, I finally got around to giving Fresh Soy Face Cleanser a shot.

From Sephora’s site:

“Rich in amino acids, soy proteins promote moisture retention, elasticity, and firmness. Rosewater balances and tones the skin. Fragrance-free and soap-free, calming cucumber extract and nourishing borage seed oil enriches its formula.”

This is a gel cleanser, and a little bit goes a very long way, which is great if the price tag is scaring you away. I’ve been using this cleanser, along with my Clarisonic brush and Pore Cleansing Pad (not at the same time, or in the same day. NEVER in the same day), and my skin was better, literally, overnight. Seriously. After the first time I used it, I was impressed, but skeptical. I’ve been through the old “first time using a new cleanser” song and dance a lot over the past few years, and nothing has held up past the the first few uses. Well, that was two weeks ago, and every time I wash my face, I’m still impressed. Even though it is a very gentle cleanser that is appropriate for all skin types, it effectively removes my full face of makeup, mascara and all, while clearing out my pores, without drying or irritating my very tender, usually dry cheeks. I’m not crazy about the cucumber/soy scent, but it’s a small hurdle to overcome.

I could have had my nice skin back a long time ago. But no, I refused to buy into the hype of one of SEPHORA’S TOP RATED, BEST SELLING CLEANSERS (I’m so dumb), choosing instead to trek through the skincare wilderness all alone. See, kids? This is why peer pressure is a good thing. If you give into peer pressure, you’ll be smoking, and blow j’ing, and your skin will look great, and everyone will love you! You’ll be the coolest!

Look at me! Since I started using this cleanser, my skin has become smoother, clearer, more hydrated, AND I got invited to all the best graduation pool parties. NO PARENTS, YOU GUYS.

That last part was a lie. I’ve never in my life been invited to a cool, unchaperoned graduation party.

The first part though? That part about how much better my skin is now that I’ve been using this cleanser? That part is the truth.