I’m usually very scant on which products I normally use (known in the makeup world as “HG” or “Holy Grail” products) which is, for me, very “high and mighty” for me to do if I don’t even tell you guys my experiences on things I use on a daily basis or things I don’t even review (because it might just help you out).
Here we go! (from left to right, top to bottom)
1. Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser — $8
Remember when Biore was still that silvery green bottle on the shelves? Well, they did a makeover and took a spin off from the Asian Biore (Biore actually is an Asian line!) and projected that onto the American Biore packaging. In any such case: Why I prefer to use this compared to anything else for a cleanser is that it’s gentle on my skin. And, I have a huge history of getting milia or pimples from drying formulas or too-rich formulas—and for one thing (the most IMPORTANT thing!!!) it actually keeps acne from forming. Unless I’m closing in on my period…because hormonal acne HAPPENS. When I like to use it: during my night-time shower after I condition my hair.
2. Eskinol Lemon Cleanser — $3
Don’t let the name fool you—it’s a toner, and a brilliant one at that. I stumbled upon this some few years ago at one of the Vietnamese markets I frequent (one of many, I live in Houston!), and it’s worked better for me than the old Clean & Clearer astrigent toner back from middle school. It has a nice, clean, lemon scent (not “in-your-face” lemon) and it’s refreshingly cool after a shower or in the morning to perk up your senses. When I like to use it: Right when I step out of the shower if I’m not doing a mask, and in the morning after I splash my face (I don’t use cleanser in the morning).
3. Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Binding Serum Creme — $16 (regularly)
Amazingness in a pump-bottle, I tell you. In the last two semesters alone I’ve bleached my hair about 4 times and as any of you golden-haired pixies know, your hair takes on the texture of itchy, scratchy, straw. That was my problem, until I found this on sale at my local Walgreens for $4 at 75% off (it’s normally $16). How I like to use it: After a shower and after my hair is DRY but slightly moist (not even damp?) I’ll pump one or two squirts of this godsend into my hands, rub my palms together, and then pat/squeeze/ruffle into my hair’s midshaft and ends. If you use it while your hair is wet, your hair will turn crunchy (like dried product crunchy) for precaution.
4. Pond’s Evening Soothe Wet Cleansing Towelettes — $5
The first time I used this was during Spring Break and I went to Stewart Beach on Galveston Island, so whenever I pop this open and smell the wafting chamomile scent, I’m taken back. At the time I was looking for good wipes—the dollar pack I usually got from HEB just wasn’t cutting it (it had a gross, sticky residue). High and low, I found this on Allure’s best picks list thingie and I just went out and got it. There are a total of 30 wipes, but I don’t wear makeup every day so that’s not bad for me at all. The wipes themselves are big, and could get your entire face off even if you wore simple beach makeup or even all-out banquet makeup. The texture of them also helps (they’re diamond mesh) get rid of the layer of film on your face without being too abrasive. When I like to use them: After a day of sporting a full made-up face, and especially when I get home too late at night to take a shower for a quick fix (I usually also use EVOO to take off heavier, water-proof products).
5. Garnier Moisture Rescue Lotion (SPF 15) — (discontinued :C)
I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Guess what the fruity, pleasant scent of this bad boy reminds me of? (It’s San Francisco, where I first picked it up.) Winters are harsh on my skin, so finding a good day AND night cream for the biting, cold chill is difficult enough. I found this, and another amazing heavy cream for my dry-skin ailments for half it’s price. I got this for about… $4.50? Garnier has been the only brand to date where the moisturizers haven’t given my skin a nasty reaction, so I’m sticking to it. It’s even got SPF 15! When/how I like to use it: In the mornings, after my toner (especially if I’m planning to go somewhere for the day).
6. Lancome Tonique Confort — $25
I saved the best for last and the last is… expensive. Relatively expensive. ($25 for a Lancome product will get you an eyeliner, too) On my roadtrip to California/San Jose/Tulare/San Francisco, my family stopped by the Westfield mall. My aunty, who’s an aesthetician and owns her own beauty parlor/nail salon, uses this. Don’t blame me—as a girl with no sisters, I confess, I LOVE to dig through other girls’ makeup bags or vanity cases and things like that. I’m a curious little bugger. My stay at her house taught me a lot about my own skintype as well (I’m a dry/normal) and techniques on how not to be too abrasive to your skin if it’s thin like mine. How I like to use it: Since this is pricey and I can’t afford to buy another when it runs out, I only use it after the most stripping of routines. If that day, I use an exfoliant (and do I mean exfoliant) which leaves my skin entirely naked of oils and protection, I will follow up with this. Of course, there’s a slight burn from raw skin-product contact, but it’s nothing unbearable and not even an annoyance. This is a moisturizing toner, so my skin feels baby-fresh and supply after patting it on. And, then there’s the iconic Lancome Rose scent that’s not too “aged” or grandma smelling. It’s just very chic.
So that’s it, folks! My top 6 HG products. :)