.:ARS AROMATICA:.
"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

Announcements
If you're new to this blog, then read our guides to the basics: Skin (Part I), Skin (Part II), The Supernatural, Color Theory I, Color Theory II, Eyes, and Brushes.

Also, check out the blogsale.


Contents
· Beauty Notes: Raw Materials

Favored
Art Tattler
the glamourai
The Non-Blonde
Perfume Shrine
Lisa Eldridge
Garance Doré
Smitten Kitchen
Into The Gloss
Grain de Musc
Lacquerized
Res Pulchrae
Drivel About Frivol
The Selfish Seamstress
Killer Colours
Bois de Jasmin
Glossed In Translation
Jak and Jil
Toto Kaelo
Worship at the House of Blues
I Smell Therefore I Am
Food Wishes
The Natural Haven
Messy Wands
1000 Fragrances
Moving Image Source
Wondegondigo
The Emperor's Old Clothes
M. Guerlain
Colin's Beauty Pages
Barney's jewelry department
Parfümrien
loodie loodie loodie
The Straight Dope
Sea of Shoes
London Makeup Girl
Sakecat's Scent Project
Asian Models
Ratzilla Cosme
Smart Skincare
Illustrated Obscurity
A.V. Club
Tom & Lorenzo: Mad Style
Eiderdown Press
Beauty and the Bullshit
La Garçonne
Flame Warriors
Everyday Beauty
Fashion Gone Rogue
Now Smell This
Dempeaux
Fashionista
The Cut
A Fevered Dictation
Nathan Branch
101 Cookbooks

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Beauty Notes: Raw Materials
by Dain

I'm not much of a DIYer, but I keep these ingredients around for various contingencies. They are useful for tweaking textures. Since I have sensitive skin, for me there is often a binary of irritants versus safe ingredients, but I generally don't have to worry about occlusivity. Figuring out ingredients is a wholly individual process, and those of you with more resilient skin should be able to branch out into more options than I've shown here.


my emergency cabinet: Phoenix Botanicals Sweet Birch Butter, Lansinoh, Hadalabo, coconut oil, jojoba oil.

Now, Hadalabo is a complete product unto itself. It makes an excellent softener, featuring both hyaluronic acid and glycerin, two humectants that draw moisture into the skin. I've used it for years. It's not the least bit exciting, a bland, minimalist formulation that eschews all unnecessary additives, which makes it an ideal match for sensitive skin, but also functions well as a mixer. A drop or two in any aqueous solution, from hydrosol to serum to moisturizer, boosts its powers of hydration, while emulsions absorb better into the skin.

Emollients are extremely handy if you've got dry skin; they soften, condition, and seal moisture into the skin. There's humble mineral oil, one of the most effective barrier formers and totally inert on intolerant skin. Unfortunately for me, it contributes to milia. Silicones rival mineral oil in ubiquity, and offer a range of textures from the heavy silk of dimethicone to cyclopentasiloxane, a volatile silicone that dries down to a lightweight, slightly rubbery feel. Sensitivity defeats me again: most silicones make me itch, others ball up in a most unattractive way. As a consequence, I have a strong preference for plant oils and butters. I find that they absorb more readily into my thin, sebum-starved skin, and anti-inflammatory EFAs (essential fatty acids) soothe the usual irritations that simmer beneath the surface.

The drawbacks to natural oils are generally threefold:
  1. Expense. Be wary of buying repackaged and overpriced argan oil, for example. Others, like seabuckthorn berry or jasmine, which you'd never use neat, are so costly it will raise the price of a blend significantly.
  2. Shelf life on plant oils is generally short, especially if they're packed with antioxidants. Store them in a cool dark place away from heat, air, and light. CO2 extractions are generally more stable than cold-pressed, if you can get them.
  3. If you've got skin that tends towards congestion, you might balk at using oils on your skin. A study has suggested, however, that those high in linoleic acid (omega 6), such as safflower and grapeseed, can actually diminish clogged pores. Fatty-acid compositions might serve as a rough guide, but ultimately it comes down to trial and error.
After dithering around with many fancy and exotic oils, from Decleor to Rodin Olio Lusso, I've decided that plain jojoba oil, the first of them to enjoy a 'craze' nearly ten years ago, is my favorite to use neat. If I'm very dry, I still rely on Kahina Serum, an enriched argan blend so rich it's almost a gel in texture, perfect for adding body to a lighter cream, but it is very expensive. Jojoba is cheaper and more stable than argan, with a faint nutty odor inoffensive to my nose. I also like apricot kernel, emu, rosehip, evening primrose, macadamia, and squalane, but the texture of jojoba, the oil closest to human sebum, seems most neutral: it sinks in seconds after application.

If my skin is really sore and chapped, shea butter is all my skin can tolerate. It's more protective than an oil, as it takes much longer to absorb. Since raw shea isn't so pliable, I prefer it leavened slightly with some oils, like this Phoenix Botanicals Sweet Birch Butter.

My lips are chapped at all times of the year, so I go through a tube of Lansinoh faster than you'd believe. Of all emollients, I find lanolin penetrates and softens roughened, flaky skin most effectively, then a little beeswax seals and protects. Pure lanolin is not quite as nice as the balm I like best (Dr. Hauschka), but it's a good deal cheaper, and sized generously enough to last. I sometimes melt down an overly waxy lip balm with a dollop of lanolin, about half and half.

The day I discovered Leonor Greyl's Huile de Palme marks a seismic shift in the way I condition my hair. It used to be there wasn't a deep conditioner formulated "deep" enough; turns out, all I needed was an oil soaking into my hair, pre-shampoo. You don't need a fancy blend, either. Simple coconut oil will do the trick. Coconut has the distinction of being one of the few oils that can penetrate the hair shaft and nourish from within. For cosmetic use, many formulations already use the refined, deodorized version, capric/caprylic triglycerides. It is a heavier oil, with a characteristic buttery-rich texture that liquefies at body temperature, and it has a nutty warm coconut aroma, like macaroons baking. If you're having trouble rinsing it off, use less. The right amount should readily absorb into your hair, but that depends on length, porosity, and dryness. If your hair needs also protein, add a few egg yolks and honey, to a tablespoon of coconut oil; it makes a great fortifying hair mask.

Honorable mentions go tea tree oil and Evanhealy Green Tea Clay (not shown). It's not often I break out, but the antiseptic properties of tea tree and clay's sebum-absorption takes care of most acne-related contingencies. As a spot treatment, this simple mix of montmorillite clay and matcha shrinks down a burgeoning, pus-filled pimple, and, applied all over, temporarily refines the grain of my pores to nigh unto invisibility, though it does little to actual blackheads. It also stimulates circulation, so that irritation heals faster.

Labels:

11/15/2012 [8]




Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]. Or
follow on bloglovin'. If
you'd like to contact Dain,
feel free to email me.
I'm also on Pinterest.

Features
The Mnemonic Sense
Most Wanted
The Beauty Primer
Lookbook
Bestsellers
Consumer Diaries
Closet Confidential
On The Label
Beauty Notebook
The Hit List
Color Me In
The Makeup Artist
Wedding Bells
Globe Trotter
Desert Island

perfume notes
beauty notes
fashion notes
culture notes
minimalism

chypre arc
floral arc
fresh arc
masculines arc
gourmands
   & orientals arc


Archives
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
June 2013
July 2013

Images
Photobucket