Review: Mary Kay’s Clear Proof Acne System

The Product:  Mary Kay’s Clear Proof Acne System

Product Claim: “With the Clear Proof® Acne System, you get an effective regimen clinically shown to provide clearer skin in just 7 days.”

What It Is: The Clear Proof Acne System is a four part facial cleansing regimen that includes a Clarifying Cleansing Gel, Blemish Control Toner, Acne Treatment Gel, Oil-Free Moisturizer.FullSizeRender copy

This next part I’ll cover both what I like and dislike about the individual products in the system.

Clarifying Cleansing Gel
What I like
:
– It has a clean, fresh scent that isn’t overpowering.
– Lathers very well.

What I dislike:
– It lathers…I know I said I liked that too. The fact that it lathers like it does I feel is “showmanship”. The general consumer equates cleanliness with how foamy a surfactant can get.
– The consistency of the cleansing gel. At first I though “Oh! This is nice because it’s smooth with no scrubby things. It’ll be less irritating!” I found that it didn’t leave me feeling clean at all. It also feels weird to the touch. Kind of like half-set jello.
-Unable to remove my makeup. Lately I’ve been wearing fairly light make up; using a tinted moisturizer, under eye concealer, and setting powder along with blush, eyeshadow and mascara. I found that I had to take either a baby wipe or wet washcloth to my face prior to using this cleansing gel, or else the toner was doing all the work.

Blemish Control Toner
What I like:
– Very fresh scent; like mouthwash, but not sticky
– Left my skin feeling refreshed and a little tingly

What I dislike:
N/A

Acne Treatment Gel (This is a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment)
What I like
– It worked as I expected any Benzoyl Peroxide treatment to work. Dried up my big yucky spot on my nose in three days. Marked improvement after two applications in a day. 

What I dislike
-The same thing I NEVER like about Benzoyl Peroxide treatments…It bleaches everything. I knew this going in, so I used an old pillow case cover and a dedicated towel to dry my face and hands with after use so as to not ruin my nice stuff.  Otherwise, it did it’s job to a T. 


Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin
What I like
-It absorbed quickly without any greasy or leftover residue.
-Hardly any scent
-Nice, balanced consistency. Not too thick, not too runny.
– Didn’t mess with my makeup application

What I dislike
-Not long lasting effects.I never felt moisturized much past 10-15 minutes post application. I felt like I needed something more substantial to counteract the drying effects of the rest of the treatment system.

IMG_8566

The above are my results. Before  and After. I apologize for the difference in the lighting, but you can see that on my cheek and chin in the after i’ve got more issues than what I started with.

Overall Performance Rating: Out of 5 stars, I’ll give it 2.5. I feel like it didn’t deliver on it’s claim to provide clearer skin. My beginning acne condition was a few deep pimples on my right jaw line, one gnarly zit on my nose, mild black heads on my nose and chin, but essentially clear everywhere else. I was, for all intents, in maintenance mode. After a weeks worth of use, my face was itchy and I had developed small pimples all over my forehead and apples of my cheeks. I concluded this was the “gets worse before it gets better” phase. It did get a little better, with my cheeks clearing up some, however I got and kept hard, itchy, painful places on my chin and lower jaw. The spot gel is probably the only product that I’ll continue to use until it’s gone.

Would I Recommend:  I would not recommend this product.

If you are interested in purchasing this system you can find it here.

**I received the Clear Proof Acne System free of charge, courtesy of Mary Kay Cosmetics and Influenster for testing a reviewing purposes.

I’m an Influenster & I Love Trying New Things

I mean, for the most part, who doesn’t? A new makeup product, a hidden gem  restaurant, salon services…And even more than just trying these things, I like to tell people all about them. I’ve had several websites over the past five years, some that I made solely for the purpose of sharing my thoughts on products or services. I decided to streamline and will start sharing all that information here under the review category so they’ll be easy to find.

For two years now I’ve been a member of Influenster. A cool, rapidly growing review site that pairs me with, usually, the right type of merchants and products to test so I can give them feedback.  I’ve lately been picking up steam with the company and have had more opportunity to test and review for you! Influenster  is a trove of information from other bloggers and reviewers. If you’re torn between two mascaras? You can scan an item in store from their app, or search from your desktop to look up a composite  score, see reviews, even view ingredients on most items.

So, how does it work? Well once you sign up, you’re asked several questions so they can see what you’re into. Every so often, you’re sent a link to a questionnaire about a specific product or package that Influenster has matched you up with to see if you are the right fit from all the candidates. If you are a match, your sent a box of goodies at no cost to use and review. During the review period you can earn additional points, earn badges and get perks all for completing review tasks. It really is a fun way to try out new things. Influenster is open via invite and if you are interested in joining, just click here to sign up! I’ll be sharing information on the latest items I’ve received soon, so check back!

XOXO
-LailaAnn

IMG_2221

A Guide: Date Naming Your Items

A little note from me to you.

I get asked often, both online and by those around me things like “What’s the difference between retro and vintage?” and “Is this really an antique?” The vernacular in my world can be really confusing to outsiders (I say that lovingly). Especially when you are bombarded at the mall with signs in stores and online that advertise MOD, vintage, retro clothes with only a narrow few followed by the word style. In order to clarify some of that for you I’m going to give you a quick and dirty guide to the terminology.

We’ll start with the basics.

Antique: Generally used to describe an item of 80-100 years or older. Associated with a certain quality standard.

Vintage: To be used for items 20 years old or older.

Retro: Any item assuming distinct characteristics of a true vintage item.

A little more complex. These are the two I see most commonly misused.

Midcentury/ Midcentury Modern: Exactly as it sounds. Items, typically not in reference to clothing, from the mid 20th century. With a certain group of characteristics that span from 1950 to the mid 60s.  At this time, all items that are Midcentury are vintage.

Mod: This is a style. Typically associated with bold, geometric shapes and/or colour-blocking.  Most recognizable as 1960s pop culture fashion, but an acceptable term for currently produced items with these characteristics.

Finally, where people seem to get so very confused is modern manufactured clothing and items.  This is where -style and -like come into play most often. 

Vintage-style/Antique-style: If an item is new, but resembles, with or without intent of mimicking, an item from a previous era. This could be used as well with specific eras, fashion eras, or influential groups. For example “1940s style” , “Edwardian-style”, or “Flapper-style”.

An item can be both Retro AND Vintage at the same time: In the 1970s, there was a resurgence in 1940s style clothing. The 1980s was host to 1950s inspired fashions. (See what goes around does come around!) Today items like these are both retro; because it took inspiration from a previous era, and vintage; because they are greater than 20 years old.

Modern Vintage: This is a newer term that many vintage loving ladies (and I’m sure some gents) may be familiar with. For those of us that are handy with a needle and thread and put it to use on a vintage pattern with authentic fabric for the period  in question, these new creations are vintage with the exception of the time of their assembly. It goes the same for jewelry and other accessories. You have a stash of bakelite from the 30s-50s, they’re all blanks, and you create a brooch using only vintage findings. This is vintage bakelite, but a new creation. This term is arguably the most controversial of those listed, and understandably.

Do you have a term you would like explained or defined?
Did this clear up any confusion for you? Create a new question?

As always, I’d love your comments and feedback!

 

 

 

It’s been a while. Again.

I’ve kinda been blogging on the fly…and not doing a very good job of it. My life has been probably the most chaotic it has ever been over the past year, and although I’m exhausted, I’ve never been happier over all.
I’m super excited for all the blessing that have been rolling my way recently. I know there’s so many more wonderful things coming and the Universe is taking care of it all as I order it.
Thomas and I are soon to celebrate 6 wonderful months of marriage. We have a wonderful home and amazing neighbors. I have a dedicated office now for The Atomic Squirrel, albeit packed to the brim in vintage with no room for my desk yet. I’m looking forward to my new schedule that will allow me more time with my aforementioned amazing husband and to work on the Squirrel shop and website. Plus, so many new prospects in the upcoming year with my new home and life here. We’ve been working in the yard and I’m planning some landscaping….I’ll be getting my hands dirty in a good way.
So for this summer I look forward to vintage recipes, gym days, painting and creating, bonfires, grill outs, karaoke on the deck,  mint juleps and time with friends.
What are you getting into?

Obligatory 2014 Resolution Post

I’m sure you’re all just dying to know what I’ve got in the works for myself this year.

Honestly, me neither.

But really, as always there’s the standard “This year I’ll [insert thing I’ve been meaning/attempted to do for the past three years here]”.

So without further ado, to keep myself accountable, yada yada….

  • Make self-care a priority and be a little selfish.
    I have this habit of neglecting myself. Over the last 6 months of 2013 I was drowning in pre-wedding stress, keeping my then fiancé from panicking, and deciding what and how to pack for “the big move”. In the process I stopped caring about me. I threw myself into a seemingly never ending whirlwind of stressors with the intent of keeping everything else afloat besides me. I packed on weight; I neglected things I enjoy like art, reading, learning, and blogging; The Atomic Squirrel shop; even primping. I felt so unlike myself. I realize now that taking care of myself must be a priority.
  • Learn Something New
    I want to learn to knit or crochet. I know, a vintage enthusiast who can’t! I’m a rare bird, or so the internet would have you believe. I’m not sure what I want to make yet, but I’m going to practice for a bit, before I make a decision. So for all of you who already know how, point towards the learning tools you think are best please. I just signed up on Ravelry.com, so that’s exciting.

Really, that’s it. I don’t make a whole lot of resolutions because if I really want to do something, I just do it. No reason to get mad at myself 8 months from now when I’ve not accomplished some arbitrary goal that I had no real intention of seeing through anyway.

Don’t be fooled though, there’s a lot planned for this year. I’ve got a whole house to remodel and yard to landscape, classes, books to read, adventures to take and things to learn. I’m excited for all that 2014 has in store for me and my husband. I hope the New Year is good to you.

XOXO

Wedding Wednesday: It’s Almost Here!

I’m excited to share that we are under the 50 day mark in the countdown to me becoming a Mrs. and Thomas getting a really awesome wife! So many things left to do, but so many things have once again fallen in as they should have thanks to the Universe aligning just right.

My dress arrived. No pictures will go up yet, as that’s one of the few traditions I’m seriously sticking to; let’s just say it’s really pretty. I decided on cottage roses and calla lilies as my flowers. A friend of a friend is making our cakes and she does killer work. RSVPs are starting to come in. Lastly we won a huge wedding photo package from Southern Belles Photography that includes all of our engagement, bridal and wedding festivity photos with two photographers. Considering that we’re doing most stuff handmade and super budget friendly, that was a real blessing to receive. Now we’ve just got to get a date set soon for our engagement photos!!1!

We registered, which in and of itself was an Adventure! After attempting to complete this in person, and experiencing technical difficulties… we did it online. We opted for Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond for sensible, honestly usable items. However, we are an eccentric couple and personal, creative, vintage or tactical gifts are most definitely acceptable! (Thomas says bullets and firearms are a win with him!)

Many of our guests are coming from out of town. So I’m composing a post on places to stay and things to do in the area coming up a little later.

Many thanks to all of you for your support, love and advice as we make a place for ourselves and embark upon our BIGGEST Adventure yet!

XOXO
LailaAnn

IMG_9630

Retro Recipe: Grape Salad Basics

Because there is always room for dessert. Plus I had this great “new” dish and it was begging to be used for something!

IMG_9633

Grape salad is a retro potluck staple and you can find recipes all over the internet, your community or church cookbook, or from ANY grandmother. Everyone is going to have their favorite variation. Here’s the basics and you can add whatever pizzaz to yours that you’d like!

Salad
2 medium sized apples – I used Crisp Pink
2 Cups mixed grapes, halved
Optional – poppy seeds, pecans and/or almonds

Dressing
1/2 block of soft cream cheese
4oz of sour cream
1 Cup white granulated sugar

Combine all dressing ingredients with a hand mixer until fully incorporated. Stir in salad components. Garnish with additional options like nuts. Serve chilled.

This is best if you make and refrigerate it the evening before you intend on eating it.

IMG_9631 IMG_9630 IMG_9632

And I know some of you are thinking SOUR CREAM?? Yes! I promise it’s smoother and works better with the fruit than the cool whip versions that I’ve had.

I hope you enjoy!

XOXO,
LailaAnn

IMG_8272

Around Town: Vintage Strings at Carter Vintage Guitars

I got to take a sneak peak at a music shop that specializes in vintage stringed instruments in Nashville, Tn down by the ever expanding Gulch area. So many lovely things that dazzle.  If you are in the Nashville area I highly recommend that you go take a look at their beautiful vintage instruments.

IMG_8270 IMG_8271 IMG_8272 IMG_8274 IMG_8275 IMG_8276 IMG_8277 IMG_8279 IMG_8280

Carter Vintage Guitars is owned by Christie and Walter Carter. They are having a Grande Opening Celebration on October 5th. You can visit them in person at 625 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville Tn 37205 or online at CarterVintage.com.

XOXO,
LailaAnn

images-1

Hair

Doesn’t that title say it all?

I’ve been collecting pictures for the past 3 months of hair inspiration. (Who am I kidding, I’m always collecting pictures of potential hairstyles.) I just cannot seem to find THE one. Most recently I had my hair cut into a true middy cut. To which, after showing her the original step by step instructions, my stylist voiced her concern that the finished product might look like a mullet. I assure you it didn’t. Here is what it looked like styled. A little shorter than what I have in mind for now, but no doubt I’ll be going back to it eventually. As I type this, I’m wearing my hair in a chignon at the crown. Really the only styled way I can wear it that isn’t a pony tail. It’s so heavy and outside has been so humid, it won’t hold a curl set and my natural waves are just frizz.IMG_8351Then about 2 months worth of growth, styled.

IMG_8353So inspiration has led me to these picks with similar characteristics on some of my favorite movie icons of the 40s and 50s.

images-5

Elizabeth Taylor — I’ve gone with a longer version of this cut many a time.

Marilyn Monroe

images-2

Yvette Vickers – Not the most flattering picture, but this one shows her hair the best.

Heddy Lamarr

IMG_8494

Lucille Ball

IMG_6811

Jennifer Jones — In a rooster dress!

IMG_8498

Jayne Mansfield

IMG_6806

Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette

Maybe you’ll find inspiration in these styles as well! In the meantime, I’ll keep wearing my hair like this: IMG_8567

As an aside, I love Jayne as a brunette!

IMG_8499

Anyone’s hair inspiring you this summer? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to know what you think!