Quest For Perfect Skin, part 1 (+ Clarisonic Mia review)

I’m on a mission to find the skincare regimen that will allow me to achieve perfect skin. I know this is a common mission shared by many people, both males and females. However, this mission complicated by the fact that everyone’s skins react differently to products and also that there are just SO many products available.

You can read a brief summary about my skin in my intro. I’ll explain more in detail in this post so that you can see if you are able to relate to my situation.

History Growing up, I’ve always had small bumps that were concentrated mostly on my forehead. Big pimples appeared sporadically so it wasn’t too much of a concern. The small bumps were what really annoyed me. During my 3rd year of college, my forehead  and temples uncharacteristically broke out in big ugly pimples. I am convinced that this occurred because of the stress from my engineering classes. I spent thousands of dollars on different products and facials. It took several months but I credit the improvement of my skin to Rhonda Allison green tea face wash (I don’t remember the exact name). Since then, I’ve had minor scarring on my temples, small bumps on my forehead and the occasional period-related pimple.

Back in early 2009, my beautiful friend Leyla gave me a face wash that she said would help the pimples that I had at that time.

It was Aubrey Organics Seaware with Rosa Mosqueta Facial Cleansing Cream ($15.98 on the Aubrey Organics website or you can find it at your local health/organic food store) My boyfriend and I both have used this twice a day since then until I switched face washes (more on that soon). I can’t say that this has really improved my skin condition but it definitely has not made it worse and I’m so desperate that the stability of my skin condition is acceptable to me. This face wash is marketed for dry skin and makeup removal. I wouldn’t agree that it removes my makeup but it is a very creamy wash that doesn’t feel harsh on your skin after you wash it off. I definitely recommend this face wash (and this product only. I tried a bunch of their other products to “be green” but I didn’t like anything else).

Current Skincare Regimen as of two weeks ago

  1. A.M. – Wash my face with Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple
  2. A.M. – Apply Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich under my eyes
  3. A.M. – Apply Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel all over face
  4. A.M. – Apply Clarin’s UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40
  5. A.M. – Makeup
  6. P.M. – If I wore powder and/or foundation, I use Neutrogena’s Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes
  7. P.M. – Neutrogena’s extra gentle eye makeup remover pads (plus Make Up For Ever’s Sens’Eyes if I wore a lot of eye makeup that day)
  8. P.M. – Use my Clarisonic Mia to clean my face with Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple
  9. P.M. – Apply Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich under my eyes
  10. P.M. – Apply Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel on my cheeks only
  11. All day every day – my beloved Aquaphor for my lips!! I will die without Aquaphor

I absolutely love all of the products that I have mentioned above and have used all the products for a good length of time, except Philosophy and Clarisonic. Here’s a very brief review on each product:

  1. Philosophy Purity Made Simple ($20 for 8 oz bottle at Sephora): I’ve been using this face wash for about two weeks now and I LOVE it. My face feels really, really clean after I wash it and my skin has not reacted badly to this face wash. I will definitely buy this over and over again until I find something better (if it exists).
  2. Clinique All About Eyes Rich ($28.50 for .5 oz at Sephora): I can’t rave about this product because I don’t think that it does anything for undereye circles, puffiness or wrinkles. However, I have not used this consistently for a long enough time to notice results, if any. I will update in the future. I do like this for moisturizing under my eyes prior to applying my Bobbi Brown Corrector and Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer.
  3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($35 at Sephora): I love this moisturizer. I have an oily t-zone but lately my cheeks have been dry so this “gel” is great for providing some moisturizer without making my skin oily. It’s very light and goes on nicely. I only recommend this if you have oily or combination skin.
  4. Clarin’s UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 ($42 at Sephora): Rain or shine, I religiously apply sunscreen on my face every single day. Remember, UV rays are present even if the clouds are covering the sun. I love the way it makes my skin feel after applying it, very soft and almost powdery. It doesn’t smell weird and it goes on very thin. Highly highly recommend this.
  5. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (cheap at any drugstore): I like these towelettes because I feel like it really removes my powder and foundation. Also, I trust Neutrogena brand on my skin (kinda..a little..this product anyway). My skin has not broken out from these towelettes.
  6. Neutrogena extra gentle eye make up remover pads (cheap at any drugstore or I buy 3-packs from Amazon): I love this and prefer it to any other eye makeup remover pads/towelettes, even over MAC. The pads are really soft and it does a good job of removing my eye makeup. I cut them in half and only use half if I don’t have mascara on. A little oily (not sure if that’s the right description) so you definitely have to wash after using it.
  7. Make Up For Ever Sens’Eyes ($23 at Sephora): This is a new product I’m using and it’s meehh. I use it in conjunction with the Neutrogena pads if I wore a lot of eye makeup that day. It’s marketed for sensitive eyes but it made my eyes sting, probably because I used it wrong. I find it a bit cumbersome because I have to use it with cotton pads.

Lastly, my initial review on the Clarisonic Mia
I’ve been using the Clarisonic Mia for about a week and a half. So far I am really loving it and here’s my breakdown:


About: The Clarisonic Mia is one of several products by Clarisonic. Clarisonic was created by Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, the same company that created the Sonicare toothbrush. Please visit their website for more technical information about the Mia and their other products. I am only talking about the Mia in this post. Out of the box you get the Mia, a charger, a trial size Gentle Hydro Cleanser (I have no intentions of using this) and directions. I bought the limited edition one because Clarisonic is supposed to donate $15 to the “Look Good…Feel Better” campaign. To get the picture of how the brush works, think of the Sonicare toothbrush.

Price: It is usually $149, available for purchase at Sephora, Ulta, Clarisonic website, http://www.skinstore.com and possibly other online retailers. I purchased my Mia from http://www.skinstore.com using a 20% coupon. Sometimes the Clarisonic website offers free gifts with purchase so it may end up being a better value. The brush heads have to be replaced every 3 months and can be purchased for $25 for 1 or $40 for 2 (sensitive or regular).

Ease of use: The Mia is very easy to use. Once I received it in the mail, I had to charge it for 12 hours before the first use. Directions were included in the box and basically you make circular motions on your forehead, each cheek, nose and chin. The timer runs for 1 minute and then it will shut off.

Effectiveness: Remember those small bumps on my forehead I was telling you about? I swear the texture in my forehead is getting a little smoother. I haven’t been using this long enough to confidently say that the Clarisonic has helped my skin but so far so good!! Also, my cheeks have been flaky lately because of the winter air and after I started using the Clarisonic, the flakiness of my cheeks has disappeared. FYI- I am using the sensitive brush head and that already feels rough enough. I can’t imagine using the regular brush head.

Conclusion: I need another 3 weeks of using this to make up my mind completely, but my initial review of the Clarisonic is very favorable. I would not buy this at full price because there are sales and coupons that are available for our use. I am going to continue using the Clarisonic and I do recommend it, but only if it is something you are willing to spend $100+ on.

♥ Tinna

About ninatinnablog

in love with beauty, fashion, art and life.
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