New York Weekend

Friday October 16, 2015 comments   

A couple of weekends ago it was my wedding anniversary and I was surprised with a roadtrip to New York! I never got a chance to post photos (the few I have) but I wanted to do that now. It was probably one of the best trips to NYC I’ve had over the years. Maybe because I didn’t have to plan it? Maybe because it was a total surprise? Maybe because my phone was dead 80% of the time so I wasn’t always shoving a lens in my face? Probably a bit of everything.

The first place we stopped was Catbird in Brooklyn because I had a gift certificate. I picked up quite a few things with my main purchase being one of their Mermaid’s Treasure rings. The other planned stop was the Empire State Building at Midnight. He had pre-purchased tickets online so there was no waiting in line. Of all the times I’ve been in town I never visited the building. It was wonderful. Touristy but wonderful. The view was breathtaking. It was a bit chilly, dark, mood lighting, and they had a jazz player in the main hall. It wasn’t too crowded and we could just stand around until we were ready to leave on our own.

Stationary from the Ace Hotel in NYC
New York skyline and caffe bene
Ace Hotel in New York
One of the MUJI storefronts in New York City
View from the Empire State Building
View from the Empire State Building






Notes on My First Extraction Facial

Thursday October 15, 2015 comments   

tools and products for beauty facials

I said I would update about this so here I am! I had my first extraction + facial ever yesterday. Now I gotta say that this is just my experience. I know there are a 100 different ways this could have gone down. I also know some medical aestheticians are fully against extractions while others do them 100% of the time.

I had mine done at the same dermatology office that I received prescription retinol cream from 2 weeks ago. This office is a cosmetic and dermatology clinic so they go beyond just skincare there and into botox, etc. I thought the procedure would be more cold and clinical but rather it was much like that of a spa massage. Celtic music in the background, lavender scented mists, and shoulder/neck massage included.

The extraction itself hurt. It doesn’t help that the pain is on your face so it feels more intense. I would say that it hurt more than getting my tattoo or piercings due to duration. Coupled with how problematic my skin has been it took a while. Afterwards I had a chemical peel done. That was fine. Normal stinging, disinfecting feeling. Hot towels, creams, and a cooling coconut scented mask and I left feeling supple and renewed.

Later that night the red scars began to show out of the pinkish plump skin. My skin was sore; almost bruised feeling. Today it’s about the same. Sore with a few new zits that have risen to the surface. I was told I could wear makeup right away but I decided to skip it when I went out last night. Judging side-eyes be damned I really did not care. Though I will likely wear makeup to the office tomorrow and definitely when I go out this weekend. I’m sure I’ll have the red spots for a few more days.


Would I get a professional extraction again? No.
It was too harsh and the damage is too overwhelming to tempt me into trying it again, even elsewhere. I can do extractions I need at home if I’m so inclined. While I don’t think the aesthetician did a terrible job, I just don’t see paying a bunch of money to have someone else to blame for creating new zits is worth it. I also think she over-extracted. At the time I had 1 zit and a handful of blackheads on my forehead. I saw she tackled some spots that were really just larger pours. And I’m a bit worried she might have caused pox scars which I rarely ever get (we’ll see.) The swelling in my forehead and nose are still bad the next day as you can see. Yeah… there’s hardly a part that isn’t red and super swollen.

Would I get a chemical peel/facial again? Yes.
I wouldn’t do it often but maybe once a year I could see a benefit in it. I like the low-grade peels you can buy on the market and the medical grade stuff does seem worth the extra time and costs.

Regret? Not really.
I don’t regret the appointment entirely. I learned a lot of valuable information from discussing my routine and products with the aesthetician. She offered a more detailed understanding about how and why I had this acne flare up while my doctor just threw a prescription at me and told me to come back in 2 months.

The aesthetician told me the blackhead flare up looks related to the skin being stripped of too much oils. She mentioned having oily skin herself (which true or not made me trust her) and when I mentioned all my lotions and cleansers were oil-free she felt more sure that my issue was thirsty skin. Which makes sense given that the sunburn is what triggered this mess in the first place.

And oh the sunburn. She pointed out that I had been using a nightly chemical exfoliator weeks before getting out in unusually intense sun. AH! I didn’t even think about that! Of course! I should have chosen a higher SPF than my usual stuff because now my skin was more photosensitive! This really helped put things in perspective.

It’s not easy to find a way to get extra moisture when you have sensitive, acne-prone skin. But over the years of all the things I tried, Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Oil has given me the most moisture and least amount of zits I’ve ever seen. So I bit the bullet and purchased a full-sized bottle. Hopefully this will be the extra balance my skin so desperately needs.