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2.11.2019

BBG 2: Why I quit towards the end


I jumped right into BBG 2 after finishing up 4 months of BBG 1. I was nearly back to my fit weight/body from a few years ago. This program that different exercises. Some were more challenging than others. Things were great for about 1.5 months until insomnia hit. My morning routine disappeared and I ended up sleeping in to feel better. There were excuses: I could do it after work or the day after. Eventually, I barely got TWO workouts done in a week. Sometimes I just didn't have the energy if I had to work that day. (Seasonal depression in denial)

My strength and endurance dropped halfway into the 2nd month. I was too weak and tired to continue using my 15lb weights. There was so much guilt since I didn't feel like I was moving forward. In my head: any progress is good. Apparently, this didn't apply to me.

I took too many days off due to getting sick a few times. I felt so behind that I tried cramming in 4 workouts and 2 LISS sessions in the same week. Motivation only lasted another week. I had a minor head injury last month and took 2.5 weeks off to be safe.  I thought I would've completed this program by now. I was really stubborn in continuing something that wasn't making me happy.


No one wants to fail or quit when they are so close to finishing. When I think about this now, I probably should have taken a break in between BBG 1 and BBG 2. HIIT is a super draining exercise. I've decided to put a stop to this because dragging something out that isn't working is a waste of time. My interest has shifted to lifting so that's what I'll be doing! If you are dreading your routine then you need to make changes.

So what were my results?

I documented my measurements and weight every other month.  I've managed to maintain pretty well. I had only gained 0.5-1" inch and possibly up to 3lbs due to the lack of consistency.

This progress image was taken during the 2nd month of BBG 2. I really don't look any different from this right now. My stomach was starting to have more definition, not so much my arms or glutes. My endurance did go back to normal but that's it.




9/23/2018:

Waist: 27”
Hips: 34”
Butt: 37”
Stomach: 31”
Left thigh: 19.5”
Right thigh: 19.5”
Bust: 34”
Underbust: 28.5”
Forearm: 9
Arm: 10”

Weight: 118-119lbs


12/15/2018:

Waist: 28”
Hips: 34”
Butt: 36.5”
Stomach: 32”
Left thigh: 20”
Right thigh: 20”
Bust: 35”
Underbust: 29”
Forearm: 9
Arm: 9”

Weight: 120lbs


2/4/2019

Waist: 28"
Hips: 34"
Butt: 36.5"
Stomach: 32"
Left thigh: 20”
Right thigh: 20”
Bust: 34"
Underbust: 29.5"
Forearm: 9"
Arm: 9.5"

Weight: 120-122lbs



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.

Hado 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.

1.11.2019

Fungal Acne Skin (Part 1)

For 2 years, I had struggled with acne and nothing worked. I cut out possible triggers: certain ingredients, products, and food. It didn't feel like regular acne since I've always had the same type and this looked different. I had cystic acne as a teenager and mostly clear skin by my early 20's without any assistance. Not even a facial cleanser. I was lazy but I only had to deal with some hormonal bumps or whiteheads that would disappear the next day. I rarely ever broke out on my forehead. Those bumps would remain there for up to a week.

I believe the cause was due to switching to a different birth control pill. I immediately got bumps/whiteheads all over my forehead. I assumed it was a side effect and waited out 3 months with no improvement. I switched back to my regular pill and thought it would turn my skin back to normal. Nope! This was so itchy that I had to take Benadryl often.

My theories were adult acne, niacinamide allergy, dairy sensitivity or some other unknown allergies. I stopped the skincare routine I was doing (Cerave products, Retinol, BHA, sunscreens, serums) and only used super gentle products (Neutrogena, Hado Labo, and Vanicream). The bumps never went away but it was becoming less intense towards the last year. I kept using products that I had no issues with prior to the breakouts so nothing ever clicked.



I've been following r/skincareaddiction for years. It's where I found all the best product recommendations and routines. One day I stumbled upon a post about fungal acne but I never once thought it applied to me. It's not something you can easily search for pictures of and most websites said it was *only* closed comedones on the forehead. (I would get clusters of whiteheads on my forehead, temples, cheeks, jawline, and neck.) Eventually, it was my last resort because I had tried everything with no sustainable improvement.

I came across this post: Pityrosporum (Malassezia) Folliculitis Treatment: Kick Fungal Acne’s Ass (How to). There are many things that are considered triggers: fatty acids, oils, polysorbates, esters, yeast ferments, squalene,  amino acids + lipids together, and benzoyl peroxide. Possible triggers were ceramides, glycerin, and your own sweat!

*Some people reported that their diet was also a trigger. So it is possible that dairy was one for me.


This was extremely problematic because the majority of my skincare products contained those ingredients. Cerave moisturizers have fatty acids, ceramides, and esters while their cleanser had polysorbates. My gentle Neutrogena cleanser that I bought twice had esters/polysorbate. I started looking up the ingredients in everything else: sunscreens, body soap, shampoo, conditioner, and makeup.

Why was my acne improving during certain times?

Apparently, I already owned some fungal acne safe products. It's difficult to find products that are 100% safe to use. So it's a YMMV situation. I made a document to track all of my products. My favorite moisturizers, cleansers, and sunscreens had to go. Baby wipes that I sometimes used to remove my makeup were bad. This finally made sense why my skin would improve then later get worse.





How do you get it?

It's not acne since it's actually Pitoyrosporum Follculitis (Malassezia). It's caused by a yeast infection. It's also possible to get other skin conditions like dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, etc.

Prolonged use of antibiotics, steroid use, birth control pills 🙄, stress, fatigue, high humidity, hot weather, sweat, excessive occlusion and more.


If you have fungal acne, you can use Head & Shoulders shampoo as a facial cleanser. I decided to try out Nizoral Anti-Dandruff shampoo with Ketoconazole 1% since people had great results. There was an improvement by the next day so I kept it up. After digging around, I have noticed some people ruined their skin by using this product.

I made the mistake of using this too much. It irritated my skin so badly that it got dehydrated. Guess what? Damaging the skin barrier can induce growth for fungal acne.

The top photo shows a typical breakout on my face and neck. The second photo is a few days of doing treatments including Nizoral. THEN I dehydrated my skin so both sides of my face were badly inflamed, dry and covered more in bumps. This whole process took nearly 2 weeks. I tried some new products which ended up saving my skin within 3 days!


My skin has been itch free since January 3rd. Part 2 will be coming soon! I'm going to share what products I used to get those after results.

1.04.2019

My Lolita Dress haul


Last year, I wanted to try out a simple dress specifically for a future convention. I can't imagine wearing it in my daily life though. It makes me feel too much like a doll. I decided to go with My Lolita Dress.


I had a huge interest in Japanese street fashion when I was a teenager. Back when Livejournal was a thing, I would browse images on there from the magazine Fruits. I liked Decora's neon colors and a thousand accessories. All the various Kei styles always layered items together well. My top favorite style was Gothic Lolita since the darker colors could make the outfit simple, cute or elegant. I always wanted to try it out but I never had enough money or the right resources to find more affordable options.

DETAILS

Dress: Sweet Organza Tailored Lolita Short Sleeves OP Dress $57.99
I ordered this in size L.  My bust is 91cm and waist is 71cm. Nothing is tight and it's easy to get on over my head. I don't need to unzip it. The chiffon fabric

Petticoat: Diamond Honey A-line Shaped Super Puffy Lolita Petticoat $23.99
My first petticoat and this is a beast. It's for dresses that hit above the knee. It only comes in "average" sizing which goes up to 75cm.

Bag: Angelic Pretty Horror Bat Lolita Bag (Replica) $33.99
I remember when this bag came out and I wanted it but my wallet did not. I don't mind getting the replica at all!

💀 Shipping to the US was $48 💀 

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Other Outfit Details:
The wig is from Ebay  (Lolita Women Gradient Curly Daily Cute Japan Party Cosplay Wig Heat Resistant).
Stockings are Killstar's Neoma
Boots are Hot Topic
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