Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Oil Cleansing Method

Ever wanted to have that clear, clean and dewy skin? Have you heard of the Oil Cleansing Method or the OCM? Well, to explain it simply, it'a method of deep-cleansing your face with the use of different mixes of oil that best suits your type of skin.  The basic idea is that this method is a way to get rid of those stubborn blackheads, pimples, and other unsightly things on one's face, making it into a clean, clear and dewy complexion.  For oily skin, it also eliminates oil on the face. It's a deep cleansing method that uses natural oils, instead of the usual commercial cleansers that we find in the market.

I have combination skin with the t-zone being oily. Although I'm not acne-prone, I still get those occasional pimples when my period is coming up.  But I also had my bad year, when I turned 27, when I got really big pimples, complete with pus. Gross, I know!  I got pimples in areas where I don't usually have them during my teens. I read about it and found ways to improve my skin.  It turns out that these are hormonal changes that my body has been going through and it shows on my skin.  Most of my friends also experienced this, so I was glad to know that it's quite a normal thing while aging. I hate to admit it, but as we all age and grow older, our body changes, including our skin. So that's how I experienced it.  But as I researched about improving my skin, I stumbled upon this OCM.

HEADS UP (some things you need to know):  Putting oil on an already oily skin might be gross and scary for some.  But the basic chemistry rule applies here: that "oil dissolves oil", or that like chemicals dissolve each other.  The OCM has been recommended for oily acne-prone skin as it helps remove the bad toxins and other build-ups on the face.  However, it can also work for other skin types, depending on the ratio of oils used and the kinds that are mixed.  

Let me say too, that this method may not be for everyone.  We all have different skin types that we all react differently to different things.  This may work wonders on me, but it might not work as well for you. So my advice is to do your research first, before trying out this method.  Websites like: http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/http://www.highonhealth.org/why-you-need-to-start-using-the-oil-cleansing-method-ocm/ and http://www.acne.org/messageboard/OIL-CLEANSING-METHOD-Hi-t141871.html.  will help enlighten those who are doubtful about this natural way of cleaning your face.

HOW IT WORKS:  The mixture of natural oils that you put in your face works deep down into those pores to unclog them of already built-up oils.  It removes the blackheads and whiteheads that are not often removed through traditional scrubbing and exfoliating, which leaves one's skin more irritated in return.  It doesn't strip your face of the natural oils that it produces, which may in turn be harmful because it could lead to dry skin, so the oil glands will work more to produce more oil.  Instead, the oil that is massaged into the face works together with our own natural oil to regulate their production.  After the cleansing, the skin feels supple, soft and smooth to the touch, leaving just the right amount of oil to make it moisturized.

WHAT YOU NEED:


1. A personalized mixture of oils that best suits your face.  The basic oils used are Castor Oil (which you get in drug stores - I get mine in Mercury) and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (this one may regularly be found in groceries or in your kitchen, perhaps).  I use the ratio of: 70% castor oil to 30% olive oil.  The oilier the skin is, the more castor oil you need; and vice versa, the drier the skin, the more olive oil needed.  Castor oil is the oil that has anti-inflammatory qualities which both heals and cleanses the skin and removes those unwanted dirt and grime, while the olive oil works to moisturize the skin while it is being cleansed.  Other oils like Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, or Tea Tree Oil are also used in the mixture.  Do your research about the many benefits of other specific oils to know more about how they work and then make your own mixture.

2. A soft and clean washcloth

3. Warm water and steam

i put my mixture in an old, small & sanitized jar and place it in room temperature
I boil a half-cup of water in a pot, to get both my steam and warm water.
MY METHOD:

before my OCM - with all my makeup and dirt for the day

1.  I start by preparing all the things I need and keeping all my hair in place.  There's no need also to remove my makeup, including my mascara; or wash my face, because the OCM removes ALL those stuff. 

2.  I massage the oil into my face, making sure I go through every part of it.   While I do this, I close my eyes and meditate, thinking of the beach and all other peaceful things.  (Yep, it's also a way to release stress, or so I think.) I do this for about 3-5 minutes.



do you see the oil on my face?


my forehead has dots of oil on it

Cover the entire face:  Under my eyes, over my eyes, under my chin, over my whole nose area, my forehead and my cheeks.


3.  While the pot is boiling with water, it gives off steam.  I use the steam to open the pores of my skin to let the oil penetrate deep into the pores. And then, massage the skin some more, until I feel that the oil has been fully absored.  

steaming my face

As I massage my face while steaming, I can feel the blackheads being soft.  I can literally feel small blackheads and other little beady things being removed by my fingers while massaging.  It gives me satisfaction to see how much of those gunk are removed from my face.


4.  Fill the pot of water to the brim, to make some warm enough water.  I say WARM, not hot - there's no need to burn myself here.  Then I take my soft washcloth and soak it in the warm water. After wringing it out, I use this to pat my face and wipe all the oil from my face.  Instantly, I'll see the cloth with all my dirt and grit in it.  I do this at least 4 times or more, until I feel that all the oil  and dirt are gone.
remove all those dirt!
Other ways to do Steps 3 and 4:  Some people soak the wash cloth in hot or warm water, and use this instead to steam their faces.   They place the warm wash cloth over their faces, until it cools off.  And then use the same wash cloth to wipe the face afterwards, repeating the whole steaming and wiping for about 3-4 times, or until all the oil is wiped off.

I'm not sure if you can see, but all my makeup is right in there!

4.  Splash my face with cold water afterwards, so close all my pores.


RESULTS:

no more eyeshadows, mascara, blush on and foundation. my eyebrow powder is also gone!

After all those steps, I can see my clear, glowing and deeply cleansed skin.  It feels so soft and smooth.  I don't use toners or moisturizers anymore after the OCM, as my face is already nice as it gets.  If my skin feels tight a bit, I take a small amount of the oil and use it as moisturizer.  

I only do this routine at least 3x a week before going to bed.  I alternate my OCM with my mild facial cleanser, toner and moisturizer.  It could be time-consuming for a working girl like me to do this every morning and night (some people do!). It's like my DIY facial and I always look forward to doing this.  In the morning after my OCM, I just wash my face with cold water and then, move on to applying my makeup.  It's already dewy and clear enough to make for a good makeup base.  

CAVEAT:  Again, this OCM may not be for everybody.  So it's always best to do some research about the kinds of oil you can use to suit your skin.  As for me, I can say that it really does work wonders on my skin!  I have combination skin and my t-zone can be really oily at times.  This helped me with my oil control problem.  My face may appear shiny, but when you touch it, it's not really oily.  It's just really glowing and dewy.  And those stubborn blackheads that I always get in my nose, they're gone now and I always like touching my nose because I like how it's so soft and smooth since I tried the OCM.  

Also, the first time I tried this method, I wasn't happy and was quite reluctant about it.  The first night I used OCM, I woke up in the middle of the night to pee and then looked at my face in the mirror.  I was disappointed to see that my face was still oily as ever, and when I touched my cheeks, it was so sticky! I was ready to dismiss OCM all together, but when I woke up, my face was glowing! And what else?  It's not oily at all!  So I tried it a few more times, and after about two weeks, the improvements came to show themselves.  And I'm now happy I tried this.

my clear, thoroughly-cleansed and glowing face, thanks to OCM!

MY VERDICT: Achieving good-looking skin, especially if you're not born with it, does not really happen overnight. It takes some time to make the skin adapt to the stuff that we put on our faces, until the results show.  With this OCM, I think there's no harm in trying.  Heck, it's also the cheapest way to clean your face, so you're not really investing much in just trying it out.  Since my skin is now glowing and improving since I used OCM, I've now incorporated it into my regular cleansing routine.  I definitely hope that it would work just as well on other people too.



Friday, July 22, 2011

My Lazy Makeup Look



find the two shades of brown: one is matte, the other one shimmery
During random workdays, I always wake up rushing things in the morning, including putting some color on my pale face.  I am definitely not a morning person, such that when I still feel really sleepy in the morning, I just forego some of my makeup must-haves. What I do is to simply choose to apply them once I'm in my office, so I just pile what I need in my purse.

But on days when I have enough time, but just feel too lazy to be creative, I just make sure I have my eyebrows thoroughly lined, my face applied with sunblock and powder, plus two shades of eyeshadows for my eyelids.  No mascara, no eyeliners, no blush. That's it.

For this particular day, I chose two brown shades from my NYX Versus palette.


On my lids and creases: Applied the matte shade first, and then followed by the shimmery brown on top.
On my brows: E.L.F. eyebrow gel in brown
On my face: Faceshop's Aqua Tint BB Cream and Loose Powder

hair still wet, but I gotta go!

I took a picture when I arrived in my office.  The shadows are still there, whew!
Such a lazy day, I just let my hair dry in the car. But it looks nice, though.
I just remembered to apply lipcolor when I got to the office, so I just used whatever's in my makeup bag, which was Revlon's Color Stay lipstick in a reddish brown shade (forgot the name!).

That's it for this week.  It's TGIF tomorrow, time to party! Yey!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: Etude House's 55 Kissful Tint Chou

OK, this would be my first ever review here in my beauty blog.  Oh, I just have a thing for my "firsts" and my "lasts" things in life, so pardon me if I'll keep mentioning stuff like that.  I just think it adds some spice to life experiences in general. (Wow, deep. haha!)

So anyway, I'm reviewing this product because right now, it's what I'm loving among all the products I bought at Etude House. Oh, can I just say that I really like, no LOVE, Korean-made makeup cosmetics.  Not only are they suitable for my Asian skin and skin tone, but also because of the cute and quirky packaging.  I've tried most brands that reached our shores - Elianto, Faceshop, Beauty Credit, and now Etude House.  I like each brand for some specific products that they have.  In the case of Etude House, they have the nicest sets of lip and cheek stains. I already bought some other kinds, but this 55 Kissful Tint Chou is beginning to be my fave.

really long name for a lip stain

the price is quite reasonable enough


I wonder what the No. 55 stands for, I've yet to research on that.  Anyhow, I chose the cherry red shade, because I like my stains to be really red.  Let me tell you that my makeup obsession began with collecting and trying out different brands of lip and cheek stains, from high end to locally-made ones.  I like them on my cheeks, but I also like how they color my lips naturally.    However, some aren't really long-lasting, or to put it bluntly, do not really stain. After a few sips of water, my lips are pale again. But for this one, (let's call it No.55, because the name is really quite long) it can really stay put on my lips almost all day.  Plus, it isn't drying at all.  I compared this one to another famous lip tint from EH, which is the Fresh Cherry Tint and asked the SA about the difference.  She said that No.55 is oil-based, while the Fresh Cherry Tint is water-based.  That could explain why the No.55 is also very shiny and sticky upon application as it has the effect of a lip gloss, compared to the Cherry Tint. Some bloggers don't like this because it's sticky, but I don't really mind, as regular lipsticks can be sticky too.

a cool cherry pink shade
turns dark pink upon flash

It has a gel-like consistency, and is very buildable.  One coat will give you sheer color, while 2-3 coats will really deepen the color.  Usually for work, I apply my lipcolor in the morning, and then after lunch.  I really like how it stays put even after lunchtime.  By the time I leave the office, although the color has already faded a bit, there is indeed a stain that is left on my lips.  I have the just-bitten look on my lips, and I have to say, it also flatters my skin tone really well.  Not having found my Holy Grail when it comes to lip stains yet, I think that for now, this will be a regular in my purse.

My only complaints would be: (1) the smell, it gives off that chemical-ridden smell after a while; and (2) the packaging, it would be more hygienic if there was an applicator instead of using my finger, or putting the tube directly on the lips (eew!).

Here's a shot of me, wearing it after an hour:



Hope my thoughts were helpful. Till the next!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Natural Hair Care

When environment-friendly and "natural" or "organic" products hit the market, it first felt that it was just a fad, with almost all brands venturing into the organics or natural way.  But the truth is that it was an attempt to make people realize the importance of preserving our Mother Earth.   It was also a way to initiate awareness on the good chemicals that Mother Nature has to offer, compared to those products made in the laboratories.  I've tried a few natural and organic products myself, but not all of them work as well as those that can be easily bought in the supermarkets.  Most natural or organic products that don't work for me are those made for the face.  Since I'm oily and get small pimples occasionally, I think I need more powerful chemicals to cleanse my face and natural products just don't work that well.  But lately, though, I've been using shampoos made out of natural ingredients.  I've discovered that although, natural or organic products don't work well on my face, they do work miraculously very well on my fine and limp hair.

The first I tried was one of Lush's solid shampoo bars called the "Ultimate Shine":
photo courtesy of Lush

At first use, it felt like it's literally stripping my hair of all the dirt and grime. Talk about being squeaky clean, literally! But after rinsing, it remains squeaky and somewhat hard to untangle.  So I use a good conditioner afterwards to make my strands soft again.   After my hair dries though, that's where the magic begins.  My hair instantly had more volume, although not a lot of shine, despite the name of the bar. I began using this everyday, and then up to twice a week, switching it with my other "natural" shampoos.  I get quite giddy when it's time to use it, because it lathers up really quickly and rinses off quickly as well. It works like a clear shampoo, that doesn't leave the hair oily.  Plus, it's economical because it's a bar - it could last for two months.  I still have mine in tact.  Maybe I'll try other variants soon.

Next, I also began using a locally-made brand called Human Nature.  What I used was their Strengthening Shampoos which double as body washes too. I can say that they also work really well on my  hair.
photo courtesy of Human Nature

The conditioner is best, so that's what I use now, instead of the usual Pantene. It also smells great too, although not the lingering smell that commercial conditioners have. Since their products are only available online and thru some resellers, I'm thinking of being a reseller myself. Oh by the way, I saw some variants of the shampoos already being sold in Shopwise though.  But not all their products are available there.  They also have mineral makeup, which are now being sold in Beauty Bar stores.  

I've yet to try other brands and variants of products made organically and naturally.  I'm also starting to like mineral foundations lately, but that's meant for another entry. Teehee.

That's be all for now!