You know how there are some frustrations (a.k.a. girl problems) that you just never seem to be able to resolve? For me it's various sunscreens that irritate my skin, random breakouts that always seems to happen when I'm in LA for an extended period of time, and my NARS Mykonos cream eyeshadow creasing on me almost instantly when applied. Guess what, I got lucky recently and think I might just have solved all 3 of these mysteries!
For the longest time, sunscreen has merely been trial and error for me. I know almost 9 out of 10 times products will either be too greasy or clog my pores, despite claiming to be "oil-free" and "non-comodegenic." By the end of last month I've concluded these words mean nothing to me. Until a helpful Kiehl's sales girl suggested I start noting down the active ingredients of the products my skin reacted to (I was returning the Kiehl's BB Cream that I previously mentioned). And so I did, and the answer to my problem surfaced pretty quickly. How have I never thought of doing this before? The common active ingredient in the recent few products (such as this one, which after a while also started irritating my skin) I've tried was Octocrylene - a chemical sunscreen ingredient known to be irritating to some. With that in mind I decided to hunt for purely physical sunscreens with high SPF to validate my hypothesis (sounding all scientific here) - enter the Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA+++ Sunscreen. Yes it does give a white cast, but no it's not overly visible once blended out (still, I definitely wouldn't suggest using this on days you're getting pictures taken). I've been really enjoying it so far - no chemical sunscreen ingredients, high SPF, and "water light," as it's name suggests. Most importantly? It does not irritate my skin. Success!
The past month or two have been like a college dejavu - I started breaking out like never before back in my Sophomore year of college and I had absolutely no idea why. This happened yet again recently and after changing up a good couple things, I soon realized that the culprit was simply dust. I've been having a busy past month with work and school and had not been as diligently vacuuming and dusting my apartment as I should have (*embarrassed face*). And when I finally gave my apartment a good clean, to my surprise, the breakouts stopped. Just like that. Turns out this dust-induced breaking out happens repeated whenever I'm in LA because the apartments here have carpet - while Hong Kong ones rarely do, hence collecting less dust. Lesson learned - I'm never being lazy about vacuuming again!
Finally, my love-hate relationship with NARS Mykonos - the beautiful rose gold cream shadow that I can't pass up despite it creasing on me like no other product I've ever owned before. I apply this in the morning and by lunch it's all gathered in my crease. That is, unless I set it with a powder product. I recently discovered that MAC's Wedge eyeshadow is the perfect product to set Mykonos. Color-wise they match perfectly. Wedge is matte and shares the same reddish undertone as Mykonos, and therefore perfectly sets the cream without compromising or altering the color. A light swipe of Wedge keeps the creasing at bay. Sure some days I'll still see a little bit creasing, but it happens way later in the day and is much less severe. None of that embarrassing "uh miss there's a brown line across your eye lid" problem.
It's kind of silly that reading through these "discoveries" now in hindsight I want to just go "duhhhhh you didn't think of that!?" But sometimes we just overlook the obvious, don't we? If you have been struggling with any of these beauty frustrations too, I hope these simple (and a bit obvious) discoveries helped steer you in the right direction too!