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5.27.2020

Retinol for Fungal Acne

I had "fungal acne" for 2 years before knowing what it was and how to treat it.  Last year, I shared my experiences in 2 parts: Fungal Acne Skin and Fungal Acne Products. It's been over a year since and I still use some of the products! I decided to look into retinol because I'm in my late 20's now. I wanted to see if that would help with FA too.

I no longer get bad breakouts especially on my neck, back, or chest. I can't completely avoid that because it thrives off the humidity and sweat.




Differin

I used it every 3 days for the first month. I wet my skin, applied Hada Labo premium lotion and Cerave Healing ointment to the thin areas (corner of eyes, sides of nostrils, and corners of lips). I applied Differin immediately on top. I would apply moisturizer either the same lotion or Hada Labo Gel cream plus a light layer of Cerave healing ointment over it before bed.

I was shocked at how well behaved my skin became. There was a small purge for me but it was nothing terrible. My skin was tolerating it fine. No dry patches or peeling. I eventually stopped applying the extra moisturizers afterward. I still use a buffer before applying it.


Differin Purging


I noticed a difference with texture as soon as 2 weeks. Very soft, smooth, and glowing. Scars were fading faster than usual. I never kept up a skincare routine before. It made me realize how dull and dry my skin was.


Differin results at 2 weeks

Like I mentioned earlier, my skin was tolerating this very well and I started using it every 2 days. I've heard many stories on Reddit about the dryness and peeling.  I eventually stumbled upon Tretinoin. I was interested in trying something for anti-aging purposes. So... I'm actually using both right now.


Tretinon at 0.025%

This is really strong so the routine is different. I wet my skin, use my Hada Labo Premium Lotion and Cerve Healing Ointment on the thin areas. I let this dry completely in about 30 minutes. I apply a very small amount of Tret then wait 30 minutes up to an hour before applying my layers of moisturizers. It really depends if I'm going to bed soon. You can't skip the moisturizers at the end. I've accidentally used a little more than a pea-size amount and became a peeling lizard for 1-2 days.

Clear skin who dis

I've been using retinol for almost 4 months now. 5-6 weeks were just Differin then the rest have been Differin and Tret. I split it up across the week. At least one day in between each application. I do Differin, Tret then back to Differin.

It's obviously not a cure but my skin has become a lot more manageable. I'm careful with the products I use on my skin now. I have more clear skin days than anything else. I still get breakouts occasionally because of the humidity/sweat issue but one application of retinol takes care of it.


Before & After

3.04.2019

Alter Ego Temptress Palette Review


Alter Ego just released their first palette. Temptress was inspired by the ABH Sultry palette. I'm always excited to try out a dupe because we all can't justify spending high-end prices. This palette has a variety of matte and metallic shades.  Most are warm but there are a few cool/neutral shades: Whisper, Stiletto and After Hours. It's only $16. Right now is the best time to order since there's free shipping and they are including a free 2 piece brush set!

Click here to use my code tinymoon for 15% off.

*Alter Ego sent me this product in exchange for an honest review


Packaging: The palette was in a bubble wrap sleeve and wrapped in black tissue paper. The box was put in a gold bubble wrap mailer.




Swatches:

These were shot outdoors in overcast lighting. My method for swatching will always be a swipe and a soft blend to mimic the way we apply to our eyes.

Whisper, Lust, Blush, and Uptown needed 2-3 finger swipes to show off the pigmentation. Metallic shades were good with one swipe. Stiletto looked really dark in the pan. I did several swatches to show off the buildability. 

My eyes are small so I've never used black eyeshadow other than for eyeliner. I was really interested in trying this shade out because super pigmented blacks are crazy intimidating. My first impression was that this particular shade was really patchy until I used a brush to blend.

Lace disappeared on my arm so I had to swipe a thousand times for it to show. I'm NC20 by the way.
After Hours also has two swatches to show off the buildability.


The brush set includes a shadow and blender brush. Since my eyes are too small, I was only able to use the large brush to apply a base color down. The smaller brush I used for creating a higher crease for my slightly hooded eyes. Both were surprisingly soft! Now to comparing... The smaller brush has a shape similar to my Hakuhodo eye brushes but is twice the size. The larger one is similar in size to ELF's Flawless Concealer brush but it's flatter. It's just too big for me to use to put down any crease colors.

The eyeshadows applied more pigmented with a brush. I used my finger for some of the metallic shades but Fix+ really made it pop. I used both of the brushes for all my looks including smaller eye brushes.


Base color: Lace
Crease: Whisper
Middle + Inner Corner: Sterling
Outer-V: Stilleto



I did a test of what I hate doing on myself. I can never pull off the blending for those silver dark looks. It always looks messy. These shadows made it easy for me to control. No annoying patchiness. I was really shocked since I always go overboard with the outer v portion but it built up nicely. I didn't want the black to be super pigmented so this is a super wearable look for me.

Base: Lace
Lid: Blush
Crease: Uptown
Middle + Inner Corner: Champagne and Seduction
Outer-V: After Hours

I used Blush for a soft pink look with a pop of Champagne in the center.  I had some minor issues with blending After Hours in the outer v. A little patchy but I went over with Uptown to help blend!


Wear Test:

I applied my makeup at 10am and wanted to see how long it would last at work. I was running around in a warm building for 5+ hours. Sometimes my makeup melts off. My eye makeup didn't budge or smudge for my whole night. It was still pigmented at 11pm.


Base: Lace
Lid: Uptown
Crease: Sterling
Middle + Inner Corner: Ritz (Fix+) and Seduction
Outer-V: Stilleto





If you need some reference to compare quality for dupe palettes. I prefer this Alter Ego palette over my Bad Habit ones. I don't want to have to fight to get shades to blend especially the matte ones. This palette will work for a beginner or someone who lacks techniques (like me!)

I really hope in the future, they will come up with their own color schemes and more brushes (smaller please!!!)


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Temptress is cruelty-free and paraben free. Retails for $16. Right now is the best time to order since there's free shipping and they are including a free 2 piece brush set for now.

Click here to use my code tinymoon for 15% off. 

*Alter Ego sent me this product in exchange for an honest review

2.16.2019

Style: Plaid Dress



I started to collect some dresses from Hot Topic about 2 years ago. I had decluttered my wardrobe around that time and I was left with just basic dresses. It felt boring to me. There was one dress that I thought was cute on the website but it wasn't available in my size and soon went out of stock. I never saw a restock on there.

I used to love to go thrifting and now I do it online! I browsed Mercari one night and saw the exact dress show up in my size. It was a sign! I bought it immediately because I had a $5 coupon on my account which made the total only $15! Hot Topic was selling it for $35.

Mercari is my go-to app for thrifting since the prices and shipping are usually cheaper. Poshmark has more name brand options. I've used it a couple of times!



I got a new camera more than a year ago. I no longer use Canon and made the switch over to mirrorless Sony! I'm not used to the settings yet since I had a busy schedule. I did figure out that I could use my phone as a camera remote which is interesting. I'm going to try to get back into photography as a hobby.

2.04.2019

Review: Missha M Perfect Cover and Etude House Precious Mineral Matte BB Creams


I wanted to try out a BB cream that felt light but still had coverage. I have some redness on my cheeks and a Rudolph nose that I'll like to cover. I saw good reviews about Missha and Etude House. I placed an order on BeautyNetKorea. I researched around to get the best price on these products and shipping costs.

Etude House Precious Mineral Matte- Sand $7.66
Missha M Perfect Cover- #21 Light Beige and #23 Natural Beige $7.52/ea
Shipping $6.75 USD

For shade references: I'm in between the shades MAC NC20-25. My best foundation match is The Ordinary in 2.0 YG or 2.0 N.





Missha M Perfect Cover has decent coverage for a BB cream. Spot concealing before would be better for acne and scars. It looked like it mostly covered my redness. I have combination/oily skin and this makes me look too dewy like it will slide off my skin. It looks much better with setting powder but the product was settling into pores in certain spots. I probably haven't found the right products to work together.

Bare

Shade #21 was too light in comparison to my neck. My face and neck are different shades but this was too drastic. It definitely pulls grey!



Missha #23 is still a tad light and pulls grey. I've been mixing it with my other yellow foundations to get a better shade match. I need to do several wear tests with other powders first. I used Rimmel's powder and it just sits on top of my skin in patches. Since this is too grey on me I could probably use a banana powder if I wanted to wear this BB cream by itself.


Etude House's BB Cream is matte. I got it in the only available shade at the time: Sand! This shade matches me better than Missha. The swatch looked really orange so I was worried. I did notice it seemed to cover my acne slightly better. It didn't look good on my dry nose. I still haven't mastered fixing that problem. Sometimes any product will just settle weird there because my nose hates me.


I actually like both of these products. I probably wouldn't be able to wear Missha during the summer without it melting off.  Etude House's shade in Sand matches me better. I wish there were more shade options since these are just terrible and limiting. These look really natural on me if my skin cooperates and doesn't look too oily/patchy. I've worn both of these BB Creams mixed in other foundation. I like using Missha's because of the grey to tone down my "too dark/orange" foundations!

I would recommend these BB Creams if you are NC20 and below. These will be too light otherwise.

1.25.2019

Style: Dear Darkness Doll Dress

This was my first purchase from Dolls Kill. I've been aware of the website over the past few years but it was out of my price range. I decided to reward myself after hitting my fitness goals. I didn't want to pick something simple like a plain black skater dress. Don't need an overpriced one of those! I couldn't find anything I really liked within a "budget" I set but then I went onto the next pages and found this. It's the Dear Darkness Doll Dress by Killstar. I bought it from Dolls Kill since they had a 20% off sale.



Killstar's size chart is here. I've heard mixed reviews about their sizing. My measurements fall under a size small but I decided to go with a medium instead. I would recommend sizing up to be on the safe side! It's a perfect size and I'm able to put it on over my head since I'm a lazy.

I was drawn to the lace, keyhole chest and ribbon tie. I haven't owned a satin dress before so this is very different to wear casually.   I randomly wore it one day and my boyfriend told me I looked like a witch.
Isn't that the best compliment???



 Dress- Dolls Kill / Tights- Dolls Kill / Boots - Unknown

1.14.2019

Fungal Acne Products (Part 2)

De La Cruz 10% Sulfur Ointment

Sulfur is an effective treatment against conditions like dandruff, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, etc. People have shared successful results with it so I decided to try it out. I applied it and left it on for 10-20 minutes. Obviously, this stuff smells but I don't particularly notice it.

Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream

I've bought this about 2 years ago and loved it. This gel-cream contains urea and squalane. Urea is known to treat skin conditions, it's very hydrating and inhibits fungal growth. If you remember my earlier post, I mentioned that squalene is a trigger. Squalane is actually the safe one! Most Urea creams contain esters so Hado Labo is a good option.

If you like Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Gel Cream then switch over to this.

Noble Formula 2% Phyrithione Zinc Bar Soap

I've used this in the past out of Curology's recommendation. Just don't choose the acne triggering one: Cocoa Butter. This soap has helped my neck/back. Noble's soap contains oils which could trigger fungal growth so YMMV!

Some people have used this to apply to their face but it's very drying. You will feel squeaky clean. I wouldn't recommend this as a daily treatment.


Stridex Pads Maximum Strength

I apply and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. I used it every other day to treat. This drastically changed the way my skin looked after one day. Salicylic acid is recommended to use since it's not as drying as Benzoyl Peroxide. It doesn't increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun either.

First-time users: Use it once a week then eventually move up to 2 times a week. I've used this product enough to know my skin. I did have sensitivity and dryness when I first started. Now I could use this several times a week with no tightness.

Hada Labo Hyaluronic Lotion

I've used this for over a year. It's a hydrating toner that most people use after cleansing or chemical exfoliants. I liked to put on my regular moisturizer first and then pat this lotion on top of it. It's super moisturizing. This version's consistency is a thin, liquid that you only need to use a small amount of. I don't find it sticky but some people do. There are 4 ingredients in it that are humectant moisturizers.


Hada Labo Premium Hyaluronic Lotion

The reason why I got the premium version is that it has 5 ingredients types of hyaluronic acid and urea. Since it's not easy to find safe products that contain urea, I'll take whatever I can! The consistency is thicker and you only need 2-3 drops. This lotion is also known to be a bit sticky for some people.

Nature Nate's 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey

I was inspired to try out raw honey due to this post: [B&A] I cured facial sebhorreic dermatitis using a raw honey mask!

I was desperate because my skin was extremely dehydrated, red and swollen. I left the honey straight on my face for about 3 hours. I was really shocked at how much my skin improved. I used this the next 2 days for about 2-3 hours. Redness was gone and bumps were disappearing.


Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

This is my favorite cleanser. It reminds me of Cerave's Hydrating Cleanser. It has a gel-like consistency. It's really gentle and lathers up better than Cerave! It removes any remaining makeup and leaves my skin feeling soft.


Monistat 7

I had found out through research that some people were using this product to clear their skin. My fungal acne was spreading rapidly to my neck and one of my earlobes. The bottom lobe was red, covered in tiny bumps and swelled up. It was also spreading behind my ear. I used Monistat 7 on my neck, ear and all over the face. My skin wasn't as inflamed and it helped it stop from spreading further. Only used this a few times and recommend it for those that have tried everything. I wonder if any anti-fungal cream could do?

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It's crazy how different my skin is after making all of these changes. I never once thought I even had fungal acne since it looked hormonal. The huge difference is the lack of itchiness I have on my face and neck. I had these breakouts going on for nearly 2 weeks straight then cleared up immediately within 2-3 days.

The products that helped me the most:

Moisturizers: Hado Labo Gel Cream and Premium Lotion (both contain Urea)
BHA: Stridex
Treatments: Raw Honey and Sulfur Ointment
Neck/body: Zinc soap


I noticed a drastic improvement by using Stridex and Raw Honey within 2-3 days. I alternate between those two and the sulfur to prevent breakouts. I love Hado Labo products so I'm not even mad about giving up my other moisturizers.
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