Try It Out Tuesday : Clarisonic Opal

My eyes are what forced me to reevaluate (or rather, create) my skin care routine.  One day while looking in the mirror, I became hyper focused on my eyes.  Years of poor sleeping and lack of skin care maintenance had caught up with me.  I had dark circles that were so puffy they looked like cushions.  Near the corners of my eyes were deep crows feet.  I knew I was way too young for that and I became obsessed with finding ways to fix the problem. I tried various solutions, some of which helped with the darkness but nothing I did would rid me of the puffiness!

My expensive taste has always exceeded my teacher/grad student salary, making me a staunch supporter of the Ulta Rewards Program. I religiously keep up with their bonus offers, so I can earn extra points when purchasing all of the items I can’t live without.  Over time I realized that if you save your points and redeem them in increments of 2000 you earn a bonus $25.  Who doesn’t want extra money? 

Recently I decided to redeem 2000 points ($125) on a Clarisonic Opal.  The reviews were great and Ulta.com had a special promotion package: the device, a full size eye serum, 4 replacement heads, a brush head for their face brushes and 3 trial sized products for their new Radiant Skin line for $150 (normally the device and serum alone has a $185 price tag).  

Progress Report

I knew I would never notice a difference on my own so I decided to document my progress using the Clarisonic Opal.  Throughout this trial I periodically took pictures of my eyes to help me determine if the device was working.  I used the Opal and the serum that came with it every night.  Each picture was taken at approximately the same time of night and in the same location. 

Clarisonic Opal Week 1 - eyes

Week 3 showed the greatest change.  Not only are my under eyes brighter but the puffiness has mostly subsided.

Clarisonic Opal Trial - week 3

During Week 4 I began suffering from seasonal allergies but was incredibly pleased that my eyes didn’t revert to their previously puffy state!

Clarisonic Opal Week 4 - eyes

Week 7 was the final week of my trial.  I had numerous work and school commitments during the week resulting in minimal sleep.  Previously this would have caused dark purple pillows to pop up, but they stayed away!

Clarisonic Opal Week 7 -eyes

Final Thoughts

I am obsessed with this device.  When people ask me about skin care, I have a ton of advice but the first thing I suggest is hopping on ulta.com and buying a Clarisonic Opal.  My eyes have never looked better.  It is difficult for me to say for sure whether the Opal or the serum is making the difference (it is probably a combination of the two) but I definitely notice when I stop using it consistently.

During this trial I did not try out any other new products around my eyes because I didn’t want them to interfere with my results.  You are able to use other eye serums with this device, but I have not tried that yet!

*I did this review out of morbid curiosity only. Nobody asked me or paid me to.

It All Started With a Lipstick

I have always been a fairly high maintenance girl which made the sparseness of my bathroom shocking to those nearest and dearest.  Since I was young I have always befriended gorgeous, fashion forward, girly girls who looked as though they were stepping out of a magazine.  I was never that girl.  This is not to say I didn’t look fabulous.  I have always been very capable of dressing my body type, but I never felt the need to cake on makeup.  On big nights out my makeup routine took five minutes, consisting of mascara (always Maybelline) and a pinky neutral lipgloss (always Tarte), and was typically applied in the car of whoever was driving.  My skincare routine was even simpler: it didn’t exist.  I never removed makeup and I never washed my face. 

Last year, everything changed. I began loving the bold lipped looks all of my friends were wearing and frantically “pinned” favorite looks of mine on Pinterest.  I would send friends screenshots of my favorite looks saying “I could never pull this off, but this would look great on you.” By the time the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks premiered I was obsessed and ventured into my local Ulta to purchase my first lipstick, Melted Ruby.  Once I got home I realized I didn’t even know how to apply it.  Thick, colorful liquid oozing out of a squeeze tube was intimidating, but I went ahead and applied it. I looked in the mirror and as much as I wanted to love it I didn’t.  I couldn’t understand how something that looked so beautiful in every picture I had seen could look this terrible on me.  That’s when I began taking a closer look in the mirror.

When I actually looked in the mirror, my years of ignored skin care was evident.  My skin was red with dry patches.  I had multiple blemishes (although I haven’t suffered from acne since high school, I do have occasional flare ups).  The most disturbing discoveries were near my eyes.  Fine lines were starting to creep up and my circles were not only dark but puffy.  I was only 31 and wanted to curb the aging process as much as possible!  I quickly turned on my computer and began researching skin care essentials for a woman in her thirties.  Immediately I went back to Ulta and came out with my first skin care regimen (Aveeno foaming cleanser, Olay Regenerist sculpting cream, night recovery cream and eye cream).  As time has gone on all of these items have been removed from my routine and replaced with items that work better for my skin, but they were an excellent starting point and I still think they were perfect for what I needed at that time.

Today my bathroom is filled with various electronic devices, moisturizers, serums and masks;  all helping me achieve the clear, glowing skin I have today.  With my skin in better condition I have learned what makeup looks best on me (including Melted Ruby!) and the best ways to apply it.  In addition to the long term benefits of having healthy skin, I have also noted an increased confidence (something I never thought I was lacking).  As people began asking me more and more about my skin care routines and makeup essentials I began toying with the idea of writing a blog.  A  blog is certainly the last thing I have time for.  I am a full time Ph.D student, I have a full time job and babysit the coolest 4 year old on the planet 3 days a week.  I have always been a tad impulsive and a quintessential procrastinator so I have decided that this blog might be the perfect diversion for when I should be getting all of my real work done!

December 2013
December 2013
March 2015
March 2015