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Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser Review - The Acne Experiment

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser Review - The Acne Experiment :: Crappy Candle
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

Dermalogica and I go way back. I started using their Special Cleansing Gel when I was about 21, enamored by it-must-be-good $50 price tag the fact that it was only available in exclusive stores. This was pre-internet shopping and pre-Ulta. The extent of my high-end beauty knowledge stopped at department store makeup counters and Beverly Hills spas that I've never actually been in. (You get into those places by pressing your oily face to the glass storefront and sliding to the right. That way they know you've chosen them and that you need help.)

Despite my skepticism of Dermalogica these days, I have a soft spot in my heart for the brand. It was my first luxury skincare product, after all. I wanted to give another non-foaming cleanser a shot, and because my skin is proving to be more sensitive with each passing day, their Ultracalming Cleanser seemed like the perfect choice.


How to Buy and Care for a Classic Coach Purse

I haven't written about anything non-acne related in well over 6 months. So today, I'm digging into one of my favorites – classic "vintage" Coach purses:  How to buy a genuine bag, and how to clean and care for 'em.

Coach was known for decades for their super soft, buttery leather bags in classic shapes, simple colors, and trademark brass turn-key hardware. The problem is, about 20 years ago, the Signature "C" and other trendy styles came into vogue, slowly pushing a lot of the original styles out of production.

So where do you get these sweet classic Coach bags if they aren't making the style anymore? Ebay! (for a fraction of what you'd pay for a new Coach!) I wrote about my experience purchasing my first Ebay Coach purse a few years ago, and I like to think I've matured in the time it took me to buy my second Ebay coach purse. This time, I opted for a dowel bag – the Willis:

Black Willis Coach Purse | How to Buy & Care for a Classic Coach Purse
1997 Made in Italy Black Coach Willis


Marcelle Micellar Water Review - The Acne Experiment

Marcelle Micellar Water Review - The Acne Experiment
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

Today I will whisk you away to a far-away land, as I imagine it – and I must because I've never been there. A place where the streets are lined with pastries, and the women so much better than me, and they aren't even trying. Like how doesn't that work exactly? How can you try and not try at the same time?

Yes... Paris. The mecca of couture, and birthplace of such trends as lady tuxedos, too-small plates of food, and ridiculously simple beauty products. Pull up a chair, grab an espresso, and light up une clope* the same way you might light a candle -Let's talk micellar water.

*My clope is actually a q-tip I have set on fire because I don't smoke, and q-tips can't go in your ear anymore, apparently. What the hell else am I gonna do with this thing.


Andalou Naturals Toner Review - The Acne Experiment

Andalou Naturals Toner Review - The Acne Experiment
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment
Sorry for the hiatus y'all. I've been working overtime at my big girl job, and like many Americans, I've had a rough couple of months. If you are American and having a rough time, I want you to know I'm here for you. I'm not able to respond to every comment or note I receive, but I read every single one, and some multiple times. I appreciate you guys. Thank you for enjoying this pus-filled pocket of the Internet with me.


6 Month Retin-A Review - The Acne Experiment

6 Month Retin-A Review - The Acne Experiment
All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment
I scraped all my notes together and compiled a gigantic 6 month review of Retin-A (aka tretinoin, 0.05%, cream). Retin-A is not a natural cure, and I did get a prescription. I apologize to anyone that was hoping I'd stick to holistic products, or those that thought I'd only test OTC topicals. Please, good sirs, let me explain.


How to Use Retin-A & Survive the Purge :: The Acne Experiment

How to Use Retin-A & Survive the Purge :: The Acne Experiment

Hey y'all! This is the final installment of my retinoid series, which means my 6 month Retin-A trial review will be coming up next (see it here). In this guide, I'm going to share with you what I've learned about Retin-A purging through tireless research or, more accurately, based on my own two tretinoin purge experiences.


10 Things to Know Before Using Retin-A :: The Acne Experiment

10 Things to Know Before Using Retin-A (Retinoids) :: The Acne Experiment

This is Part 2 of my 3 part Retinoid Series, which will culminate in a big bad Retin-A review very soon (woo see it here). If you want to learn a bit more about retinoids, and the 7 (!) kinds available for skin care use, read Part 1 of this series first. You can pop back over here if I haven't lulled you to sleep at that point.

Like chemical exfoliants, there are some things that are good to know before giving Retin-A a go. Obviously a doctor will offer up specifics to your situation, but it's always good to be proactive. This post focuses on tretinoin, but can be applied sparingly* to any topical retinoid:


A Beginner's Guide to Retinoids :: The Acne Experiment

Retinoids - A Beginner's Guide :: The Acne Experiment

I've been on a Retin-A trial for over half a year (!), but before I do a proper Acne Experiment review, I wanted to write a bit about retinoids. There is a lot of confusion surrounding this powerful skincare ingredient and – this is so embarrassing guys – I actually learned I was wrong about certain things. Don't worry, I atoned for my sins by watching 50 Shades of Grey exactly once.*

Because I simply love Q&A style formats, I'm going to do that for this article. Here we go!


31 Days of Lipstick >> Mega Swatches + Favorites

31 Days of Lipstick >> Mega Swatches + Favorites | Crappy Candle

I did my month of lipstick back in May, and as promised, I put together a mega post here to show the products I tried, and share my top 10 favorites. So, here's my lady arm with all 31 products swatched on it:

31 Days of Lipstick MEGA SWATCH | Crappy Candle


31 Days of Lipstick PART 3 >> 21-31

Hey guys. This is post 3 of 3 for 31 Days of Lipstick. During these last days, I tried out some fun new products, rediscovered old favorites, and lived my best life. I'm much better at taking a selfie without giving myself a double chin, I can slightly over-line my lips without looking like a clown, and I've confirmed that my dog and my Greg do not want to take lipstick selfies with me. So cheers to you, 3 new Instagram followers. Here's the final 11:
  1. Mac – Chili (Matte)

    Mood:  I visited SF (my former home of 4 years) and it made me cry a little.
    A photo posted by @_shay_shay_ on

    What's Up:  Chili has been on my wish list ever since I got up enough nerve to start wearing red lipstick a few years back. I finally bought it for this project. Chili is matte, has a orange/brick thing going on, and is fantastic as a low-key daytime red. (Sidenote: Because the color is muted, and not too dark, Chili is a great "starter red." NYX's Alabama, while darker, is also good for this purpose.)
    Mac Chili Swatch // Crappy Candle  Mac Chili Swatch // Crappy Candle
    Chili looks very different under certain lighting conditions, varying from coral (1st swatch) to medium brick red (2nd swatch).


31 Days of Lipstick PART 2 >> 11-20

I'm smack in the middle of 31 Days of Lipstick which means we're either in the too-sweet white paste of the oreo, or we have become the neglected middle child in a family of over achievers and shit heads. A couple of wins, a couple of flops, and some tried and true favorites:
  1. NYX – Bloody Mary (Matte Lipstick)

    Mood:  Gonna kill a man
    A photo posted by Shay Lorseyedi (@_shay_shay_) on

    What's Up:  I'm a fan of the NYX Matte Lipsticks because: a) they're cheap  b) they have decent staying power without being too drying -and- c) they come in all the coolest colors. Bloody Mary was no exception. It is a bright pink that isn't gonna punch you in the face even if I might. (Sidenote: You know how everyone is telling you that you have to throw out lipstick after a year or so? Well they're right, but you can probably stretch it a little longer as long as it doesn't have a weird scent or funk layer. I've had this tube for about 2 years, and I've noticed the pigment is starting to separate, but it isn't terribly noticeable.)
    NYX Bloody Mary Swatch // Crappy Candle  NYX Bloody Mary Wear Swatch // Crappy Candle
    1st pic: Bloody Mary Swatch // 2nd pic: Bloody Mary Swatch after I punch all y'all in the face.


31 Days of Lipstick PART 1 >> 1-10

I'm 32% done with 31 Days of Lipstick! I haven't passed out from the sheer exhaustion of it all! I only had one existential crisis! Here's what happened during the first 10 days!
  1. Nars – Red Square (velvet matte lip pencil)

    Mood:  ill, and by that I mean actually ill.
    A photo posted by Shay Lorseyedi (@_shay_shay_) on

    What's Up:  Red square has awesome staying power, but is a touch on the dry side. It is very bright lipstick, and very easy to apply. (Sidenote: This shade meshes well with balm: I dab balm on top for brighter color. I apply balm first, then the pencil, for a more muted color.)
    Nars – Red Square Swatch || Crappy Candle  Nars – Red Square + Balm || Crappy Candle
    1st pic: Red Square Swatch  ||  2nd pic: Applying balm first then Red Square over the balm.