Helluva Heel

I have always had a soft spot for super high heels. Unfortunately, bad feet and terrible balance make wearing heels a bad idea but that doesn’t stop me from wearing unsensible shoes most weekends. In order to survive a big night out, I have developed a routine (shocking I know) to prepare both my shoes and my feet!

Prepare your shoes

 I have been cursed with a wide foot, which makes most heels feel incredibly tight and uncomfortable. When I know I am going to have a long night on my feet ahead of me I prep my shoes by stretching them out a bit. To do so, I put on some thick socks and wear the shoes for about thirty minutes. Typically I do this before I’m really getting ready because I like to see if there are any red spots on my feet so I can prep my feet for the tightest spots. You can walk around in your socks and heels or just kick back and watch a show (which is what I like to do do)!

IMG_3973

Prepare your feet

 About a year ago I was reading somewhere that applying liquid bandage to your feet will prevent blisters when you wear new shoes. I kind of laughed it off but decided to try it out, and it really does work. 30 minutes before I leave, I spread the concoction on the back bone of my foot, the bones along the front sides of each foot, across the back of my toes and then at the knuckle of my toes. If I notice a red spot after stretching my shoes, I apply an extra coat to that spot. I apply a final coat right before I put my shoes on for the night.

liquid bandage

These simple tricks have helped me go one year blister free!  Follow my Instagram @Jessicasgoneviral for additional tips and tricks!

Try It Out Tuesday: Rodan + Fields AMP Roller

Some people might say that I am more than slightly obsessed with skincare.  I have spent countless hours reading about various moisturizers, face washes, exfoliants, serums, oils and devices.  During one of these skin care research binges I came across a micro needling roller.  It had fantastic reviews but I couldn’t tell what you did with it.  I quickly went to YouTube (the answer to most of my questions) and found numerous videos of women rolling needles over their faces.  I was quickly scared away and blocked these images from my mind.

As weeks went by, micro needling kept coming up in my reading.  Reviewers swore that their skin had never looked better.  Wrinkles were diminishing.  Their skin was soft.  Pores were disappearing.  I decided to put my fears aside and try one out!

Around this time a friend of mine posted on her Facebook page  about the effects she saw after using the Rodan+Fields* AMP Micro-Exfoliating Roller. It instantly caught my attention so I asked her about it.  Of course I asked the usual “How long have you used it? What effects have you seen?  What does it feel like to rub needles on your face?”  She quickly answered all of my questions, brought it for me to explore in person and assured me that it doesn’t hurt that badly.  Then the sticker shock came, $180!As a preschool teacher, I am on a fairly limited income and don’t typically have that kind of money laying around so I wasn’t jumping at the chance to spend $180 to injure myself.  Of course, it came with a night serum, cleaning tablets, and the assurance that it is dishwasher safe.  Ultimately, I chose to purchase from her for one reason: it is FDA approved.  I decided that if I was going to roll needles all over my face, I wanted to make sure they were the safest needles out there. 

The Product

Rodan+Fields is a skin care line developed by the makers of Proactive.  They have multiple regimens that focus on different skin needs.  You can adopt entire regimens or pick and choose products that fit what you are looking for (this is what I did).  This is the extent of what I know about R+F.  I am not a consultant of theirs but will include the website of the friend I purchased from at the bottom if you have more specific questions.

Rather than buying a complete regiment, I purchased the AMP MD System – 60 day supply.  This system is part of their REDEFINE line which focuses on diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, pores and the loss of firmness.  The AMP system comes with the AMP Micro-Exfoliating Roller, Redefine Night Renewing Serum, and purification tablets (used for cleaning the roller).  They recommend dividing your face into four sections (forehead, right side, left side and chin/neck) and rolling each section 3-10 times, varying directions.

60 Day supply

AMP Roller

Common Reactions

Oh my goodness, that thing looks likes a medieval torture device!

I can’t disagree, it totally does.  The idea alone of rolling needles all over your face seems like something that should be outlawed by the government. 

That’s got to hurt.

I’m not going to lie, the first time you roll it is shocking.  Not so much because it hurts, but because you don’t know what to expect.  When applying moderate pressure it actually doesn’t hurt too badly.  It stings, especially in sensitive areas, but I would never say it hurt. 

Doesn’t it make your face bleed?

I never had this reaction.  I have read that minimal bleeding can occur when you first begin but this (thankfully) was not the case. The only “adverse” reaction was redness and minor itching at first. I turn red if I sneeze, so I certainly expected redness after rolling.

Does it work?

Review

As with many other items I try out, I took pictures before, during and after my trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the product.  These pictures demonstrate the progress made over a 6 week trial using the AMP roller and night serum 4 nights per week.  It’s of note that my skin tends to break out during my cycle, which is evidenced during Week 4.

This was my face on my first day of rolling.
This was my face on my first day of rolling.

Following one week of usage (rolling 4 times), I already noticed a change.  My skin was already starting to even out. The large inset wrinkle on the left side of my forehead (the whole cause of my rolling) was already slowly subsiding.

Wk1 - Face

Wk1-L Wk1- R

Week 4 found me with some stress and hormone related acne.  Although I was experiencing a flare up, the overall texture of my skin has continued  transforming.  This week I began using the entire serum caplet, rather than half. My skin has never felt this soft on a daily basis.

Wk4 - Face

Wk4 - R Wk 4 - L

By Week 6 my acne had mostly cleared up and I was able to see the effectiveness more clearly.  It is no longer looking as dull as it did a few weeks ago.  The soft, smooth texture of my face has become a permanent fixture. 

WK 6 - F

Wk6 - L

wk6- R

Final Thoughts

Overall I love this product.  Possibly even more than the roller itself, I love the serum that it came with.  I wasn’t planning on maintaining my subscription but I can’t imagine finding another serum I love more (sorry Philosophy). Although I don’t have many wrinkles, I will definitely continue using this product.  The exercise of injuring your face with the needles promotes new collagen growth, preventing the formation of wrinkles.  Who doesn’t want that?

 Unfortunately what is not evident in pictures is the feel of my skin.  It has really softened my face.  Additionally, a lot of the below the surface bumps that have plagued me since my teens are starting to vanish.

Through this process I began noticing sun spots on the sides of my face.  A childhood spent in the California sun has definitely taken a toll on my skin.  Because of this,I have decided to try another R+F product, the Dual Active Brightening Complex from the REVERSE line.  Results to be continued…

*I am not now, ever been, or plan to be affiliated with Rodan + Fields.  I tried their product, and am sharing the results, out of my own personal interest and love of talking about my experiences.

**If you have any questions about any of the other R+F products, I am not the person to talk to; instead, talk to Clea: https://cmattingly.myrandf.com/Shop

A Sunday Night in the Life of…

I would consider myself a systematic person in most parts of my life.  I work full time, I am a full time doctoral student and I babysit for multiple families consistently; additionally, my friends and family enjoy the pleasure of my company occasionally. If I didn’t follow routines my life would be chaos and I would never get anything done.  They are what help me make it through the day feeling slightly less overwhelmed about everything I have going on.  It shouldn’t be surprising that these routines have followed me into my new found beautysphere. 

My night time routines are somewhat epic.  My friends like to tease me about these rituals and saying I only have time for them because I don’t have children.  I don’t think this is true.  I have always set aside enormous amounts of time for things that I enjoy, and I genuinely enjoy my skincare and makeup regimens.  What I don’t specifically enjoy is the weekly maintenance. 

Each Sunday I set aside time to take care of things that I have avoided all week.  Below is a “Sunday Night in the life…”.  I have detailed more or less everything I do to keep up the various beauty regimens (and their devices) I have in place. I have included links for where to purchase items from the products website, Ulta or Amazon!

I have been blessed (and at times cursed) with extremely thick, coarse hair.  Thank goodness my hair came from my mom’s side of the family or else this would be an entirely different blog!  One of the benefits of having hair as thick as mine is that it can hold a style for days.  I easily get away with washing my hair once a week and you would never know (of course, I take steps throughout the week to extend the life of my blow out, but I’ll save that for another time).  A major downfall of my hair is that it takes what feels like years to dry.  Every Sunday I take the time to wash and blow dry my hair.

Once my hair is washed and I’m out of the shower, I put on a trashy reality show that I have DVR’d during the week.  I choose shows like this because if I miss something I don’t particularly care.  Also, I can typically keep up just listening to the drama without ever watching it.  This week I “watched” the Teen Mom OG Reunion Special.

2. TeenMom

Next, I get my hair ready to be blow dried.  First, I spray It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Conditioner throughout my hair and then comb through it with a wide toothed comb.  Next, I spray my hair with Kenra Blow Dry Spray.  Not only does this product smell amazing, it speeds up the drying time and leaves my hair feeling super soft!  Because I know I will curl my hair at some point during the week, I sprayed it with Tresemme Curl Activator (this used to be fairly hard to find, but I can consistently pick it up, on sale, at Ulta).  Before blowdrying I pin back about half of my hair.  If I skip this step, the middle sections of my hair never dry!  Using my T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i hairdryer and Olivia Garden Fingerbrush, I blow dry the bottom sections of my hair.  I don’t do this neatly, I just need to get it dry.  Once 75% dry, I take down the top sections of hair and messily dry them.  I prefer styling my hair after one sleep, so I don’t worry about giving myself the perfect blow out.  I put my hair back and continue with the next task.

1.Blow Dry Hair

I am trying out new products and devices all the time. Because of this I take weekly pictures of treatment areas.  I like doing this as part of my Sunday routine so that the lighting and my rest levels are about the same.  Pictures are taken in the same area each week, right after I have showered and blow dried my hair. This helps ensure that I am adequately measuring the performance of whatever I happen to be trying.

Face

I love exfoliating my lips and look forward to doing it each week.  I have a number of different lip exfoliators but received the Pure Vanilla smoothing lip scrub as a gift and LOVE it!  Using the LUXE Satin Precision Brush Head for my Clarisonic, I rub the lip scrub over my lips, brush over it with my Clarisonic and then remove any excess product with a damp cotton ball.  Lip scrubs often remain on the brush head, leaving it grimy, so make sure you clean it right afterwards!  The final step is applying a moisturizing lip product.  I have recently been loving the Yes To Coconut Cooling Lip Oil!

3.Exfoliate Lips

After exfoliating my lips I apply the Aztec Indian Clay Healing Mask.  This is my absolute favorite mask!  Just mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and the mask powder, slap it on your face and feel the pulsating begin.  Although I love this mask it takes a tad more work than the others I apply throughout the week, so I save this bad boy for Sunday’s when I know I have the time!

4.5. Mask 4.Azec Mask

With Teen Mom playing and my mask tightening I begin my most dreaded chore: cleaning my brushes.  Words can not describe how much I hate cleaning my brushes.  Even though I am always excited to use my fresh brushes the next morning, I despise cleaning them.  To clean my brushes I use two items: a homemade solid brush soap and a Petmate glove (I would really love the Sigma Spa Glove, but can’t justify the purchase price.  I will happily pay $10 for this glove instead; it works great).  I wet my dirty brush, rub it into the soap and then swirl the brush around on the ridges of the glove.  The glove ensures that the soap is being applied evenly to all parts of the brush and provides a deeper clean.  Once clean, with the extra water is squeezed out, the brushes are inserted upside down into my brush tree to dry over night. I follow the same process with my various Clarisonic brush heads, aside from putting them in the Magik Drying Pro Brush Drying Tree.

I finish up by cleaning my Rodan and Fields** AMP (microneedling roller).  I simply add warm water and a purification tablet to the tumbler, submerge the roller and wait for the water to transform from blue to clear (approximately 15 minutes).

5.Wash Brushes 6.5 Rodan and Fields

After removing my mask and completing my skin care routine, I get out a power strip and charge my Clarisonic Plus, Clarisonic Opal and Philips Philips Sonicare Toothbrush.  Some of the devices can go longer between charges, but I wouldn’t be able to keep up with that, so I charge them all on Sundays.  Note, this is not the place where I normally charge them, but I could not get a decent picture from their “normal spot.”

6.Charge Devices

The final step of my routine is hand care.  A few years ago I was obsessed with nail polish.  I acquired it quickly and would spend hours looking up nail art.  Because of my love of all things nail related a friend of mine bought me the True Blue Spa 60 Second Manicure Hand Sugar Scrub for my birthday.  It is amazing and will completely transform the texture of your hands.  I follow this up with Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Julep’s Age Defying Hand Brightener (no longer manufactured).  As I have previously mentioned, I am not that into lotions, but I received this in a Julep Maven Box around the time I discovered the 60-second manicure and they seemed to work well together so I kept buying it.

7.Hands

That completes a Sunday night in the life of Jessica’s Gone Viral!  All in all I typically complete this process in the time it takes to watch one episode of trashy television!

*Whenever possible I provided links directly from a brand’s website

** I am in no way affiliated with Rodan& Fields, I just decided to purchase one of their products.