8/06/2013

Accutane/ Roaccutane/ Claravis: Month 1-2


First, I would like to apologise for not having written a blog for a solid four months and counting! I have been swamped with postgrad uni, work experience and my part time job. 

Unfortunately for me, AzClear stopped working around May so I did go to see my dermatologist who inevitably prescribed me Roaccutane, or Accutane as it’s known in the US. 

I am now around 2 months into treatment and my skin is certainly much better than when I started and went through the initial breakout! I have been making notes along the way, documenting my progress. So here is my update for month 2.

At this stage I don’t feel comfortable posting up photos but I do have some on file for the final reveal at the end of my treatment.

Month 1-2

The only time I feel down or frustrated has to do with my acne flare-ups. So no real mood changes to report!

Patch of eczema has developed between my ring and pinky fingers of my right hand. It flares up some days. I have never had eczema in my life! I am currently using a corticoid cream - this is helping a little.

Horrible back acne occurred within the first week or so of taking the medication. It has finally gone after 2 months!! I do have some marks left on my shoulder blades that I know will fade with time. 

My face is probably at its worst ever. To say the least I have had 3 or 4 cystic breakouts now whereas prior to medication I was getting consistent whiteheads and some pustules. On the upside I no longer seem to be getting any whiteheads. On the downside, where there aren’t cysts my cheeks are now covered in red marks. I have also been using AzClear (Azelaic Acid Cream) on my cheeks to help speed up the clearing process over the past couple of days. It hasn’t irritated my skin at all but improvement is minimal. 

At month 1.5, lips are significantly drier. I certainly need to apply lip ointment most of the time. 

My scalp is amazing! I hardly need to wash my hair, although I have been doing so every 3 or 4 days. I am also conditioning from the root to the tip so hopingly as to prevent hair loss via over-dryness, which is another side effect of the medication. 

After the end of two months, I have no active spots on my back and only two recent spots on my left cheek. My dosage was upped a couple of days ago and will probably be increased again at the beginning of September.

4/13/2013

The Holy Grail of Acne Topical Treatments – AzClear Medicated Lotion



A few months ago I posted about the ban of the contraceptive pill Diane 35ed, due to a fourfold increased risk of blood clotting than other birth control pills on the market. Whilst this claim was not based on new evidence, but a review of past deaths of patients (at least to my knowledge) my doctor encouraged my decision to come off it.

So it has been almost 3 months now since I’ve been off this form of birth control and around about the 1.5 month, my skin was starting to get crazy. No surprise there, as I originally started on Diane to treat my acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid and tea tree oil treatments failed to prevent new breakouts, benzoyl peroxide only made my face red, dry and itchy without much difference in my acne and KORA organic products made my face explode with more spots than you could count on a leopard.  Note to self: when dermatologists tell you not to put oils on your face (as good as these oils are) they’re basing their advice on scientific evidence not rave reviews that are so temptingly persuasive one wants to believe such a miracle product exists!

Anyways, at my wits end I was talking to a chemist, who absolutely raved about a line called AzClear by Ego. The lotion in the line contains 20% Azelaic Acid, an ingredient I had never heard of before in the treatment of acne. So I did my research and apparently it’s a prescription only topical in the US, but in Australia it can be purchased over the counter for only $10 without a prescription (they do not keep the product stocked on the shelves though). 

Similar to benzoyl peroxide, this stuff is antibacterial but because it’s mild on the skin (particularly in lotion form) it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including those who suffer from rosacea. Yep, that’s right! There’s no drying or incessant skin peeling with this product!! The second way in which it works is by slowing down the shedding process of the skin. Normal skin sheds about one cell layer a day. Acne-prone skin sheds up to five cell layers a day. Naturally, the build-up of skin cells plays a large role in the clogging of pores. 

To sum up just how amazing this stuff is, if it continues to work in the way that it currently does I will be cancelling my dermatologist appointment and discarding my prescription for Roaccutane/ Accutane. Get your hands on this if you can! It’s popularity is on the rise and consequently I envisage it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a prescription only option in Australia and the price of it quadruples.

Advantages
Disadvantages
Inhibits melanin production; can help fade old acne marks, freckles etc.
Can’t be worn under liquid foundations or moisturisers as it “rolls” off (I use it at night only and have seen incredible results)
Does not increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun
Some sources say it should not be used for longer than 6 month periods (though my doctor doesn’t think there will be a problem – Always check with yours!)
For most, it is non-irritating/ non-drying
Takes around 4 weeks to start seeing results
The skin cannot become immune to the product’s ability to slow down the skin shedding cycle
 Only comes in a small tube

4/01/2013

Yes to Carrots C Me Blush Lip Tint


Beauty and the Bank Rating
 4/5

Price
AU$4.49

Packaging



 2.6g
The product comes in a small and easily portable wind-up tube.

Product features
-        Paraben free
-        No animal testing

Product claims

“Carmine free”
              “100% naturally derived”
              “95% organic”

Scent

This lip tint smells gloriously of peppermint candy canes.

Consistency

The product is a lightly tinted balm that leaves lips feeling smooth and supple. The buttery consistency and feel is similar to beeswax, which is one of the core ingredients.

Eco-responsibility

This product is certified by the Natural Products Association, and is not tested on animals.

Where to buy

Coles and select chemists. Specifically, Terry White Chemists and Priceline stock this product.
Buy online by visiting http://www.yestocarrots.com/

Results



Say yes to Yes to Carrots! I’ve often thought I was born in the wrong era. Lately, I’ve been obsessing over the 60s pale pink lip and smoky eye look (like 60s style icon Edie Sedgewick often wore).  So I really like this shimmery pink lip tint!
 
The peppermint smell and flavor is an instant pick-me-up. The lip tint also looks good layered over a stronger coloured lipstick for a bolder look.  

I just wish it stayed on a bit longer! Also, the tingly peppermint feeling and scent fades quite quickly.

The peppermint tingle isn’t as intense as Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, which is a similar product. However, Yes to Carrots is cheaper. This lip tint also contains carrot extract, which is a unique ingredient in the market place.

 I’m keen to try out some more colours that are available in the Yes to Carrots Lip Tint range. I think the ‘Ready Red’ tint will be perfect to inject some more colour into the cooler months ahead. 

2/19/2013

The All Natural Face – Eyes


Black Vegan Lengthening Mascara

 theallnaturalface.com
$11.50

Website:
“Long and Thick lashes naturally! Gives a nice natural look that you can build on. One coat gives you a little length and volume, but keep going with a couple of coats and let it dry between coats, and you get thicker longer fuller lashes. When you apply mascara wiggle your brush up from the base of your lashes to the tips when applying. Let dry between coats.”

My Review:
The first couple of times that I used this mascara I was actually disappointed. I was so used to having really voluminous, thick lashes after mascara application (almost spidery…yikes!) that the “natural” look of my lashes made my eyes seem bald

Then I got serious about using more natural products around my eyes, after seeing the wonders of swapping out much of my base make-up (concealers and foundations etc.) to The All Natural Face products for about two weeks (full review in the left-hand bar). So I started applying this as my every day/ night mascara. Now, I am absolutely loving this product!! My lashes are naturally in better shape; less brittle, longer and more shapely than before. I love how healthy my lashes look with a couple of coatings of this black, inky formula. Also, this is the perfect product to use on your bottom lashes as it doesn’t clump.

…So, not for those that love the false-lash effect!

Vegan Gel Eyeliner Tube in That Black

$5.75

Website:
“My gel eyeliner has the same vivid highly pigmented colors that all my stuffies do It is a smudgeproof formula that will stay on until you wash it off This is not waterproof. Shellac is the main ingredient in commercial cosmetics that are waterproof. You will not find any of that in my cosmetics!”

My Review:
I love this eyeliner!! The applicator is so precise that the finest line can be drawn on the upper lash line or filled in for a more vintage winged look. The colour is a true, inky-black as with the mascara. Plus, this stuff lasts all day without flaking off, smudging or fading. Hands-down, this is the best liquid eyeliner (though I know it’s technically titled as a ‘gel’) I have ever used.
Additionally, they have numerous shades available for those that like to mix-up their look. I am particularly interested to try the shades Nymph (shimmery forest green) and Plum. Anyone tried these yet?

Vegan Eye Shadow in Shimmer
theallnaturalface.com
$3.50 for 5g (other sizes available)

My Review:
Shimmer is a cool-toned (ice-blue/ silver) highlight colour, perfect for the inner-corners of the eye or to sweep all over the lid. This product relies on primer to have a super-pigmented effect colour-wise. Without a primer it leaves the eye-lids shimmery, though the colour pigment remains quite sheer. Hence, I have patted this product over the top of other cool-toned matte shadows to achieve a shimmery look.  

As with all mineral eye shadows, beware of fallout during application. 

Cost tip: You can stick post-it notes underneath the outer-edge of your bottom lash-line to catch fallout and shape the bottom edge of the outer-corner of the eye. Then simply remove the post-it note and blend. 

Vegan Eye Shadow in Midnight Purple
theallnaturalface.com
$3.50 for 5g (other sizes available)

My Review:
Something about this colour reminds me of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and no it’s not just the shade name! Midnight purple is a gorgeous deep, matte shade – a true dark violet. This is an excellent crease, lash-line or all over smoky eye shade, especially for those of you blessed with green eyes. I would be more inclined to say this colour is suited for night-time wear. A primer is also required to achieve a pigmented look! 

Overall, I definitely prefer pressed eye shadow powders for their ease of application, minimal fall-out and buildable colour. All in all, I will probably not re-purchase/ purchase any more loose mineral eye shadows from The All Natural Face or any other company for that matter...just my personal preference :)

2/11/2013

Hairstyle idea for Valentine’s Day #2


Hi everyone!

Here is the link for our second hairstyle tutorial.


Hope you enjoy!

For this romantic updo we used a combo of fresh flowers (Gardenias), and fake flowers to further enhance the fairytale/romance theme. 

Not too mention flowers are usually a hit on Valentine’s Day…as demonstrated by the chipmunks below…


2/09/2013

For all you love birds out there…


In honour of Valentine’s Day and the recent release of Les Misérables, we’ve come up with some hairstyle ideas to help you feel festive this Thursday.

This is the link to the tutorial on Beauty and the Bank’s Youtube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8FNVRKeywo&feature=youtu.be


The first hairdo is inspired by Cosette (played by Amanda Seyfried) in Les Mis. 

Stay tuned –

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
We’ve created another hair tutorial too!

We’ll be posting it shortly!