to pamper / {deal alert} somme institute transport two pads

I hoard certain things and these Somme Institute Transport pads (review) is one of them. These are the gentlest glycolic acid product I’ve used. If you feel like you have gunk trapped under your skin, you need these. I don’t use these every night, but rather when I feel like I need them for a few days in a row. I ended up not getting anything from the Nordstrom sale and these sold out anyways. They were also pulled from Somme’s own site which leads me to believe the Transport Two product is a limited edition item. What makes the Two so good? You’re getting 100 pads for the price of 50. If you procrastinated, I have a better deal for you.

Skinstore has the Somme Institute Transport Two pads still in stock for $58 and a storewide 20% off with code SAVE20. If you buy through eBates (referral linked) you can get another 14% off. That’s about $40/container. I store my hoard in the fridge.

Happy shopping!

to shop / 2013 nordstrom anniversary sale picks

Nordstrom‘s annual anniversary sale is now open to the public! I get much more excited by the skincare and beauty deals than clothes. Here are my faves (clockwise, l to r). Don’t forget about Nordstrom‘s amazing return policy and customer service.

to pamper / my skincare routine

My skin is finally back to a point where I’m fairly satisfied with it! For a while, it felt inflamed and had pesky bumps. The 30s brings more skin trouble than my teens.

These products are currently in my rotation. I am a product junkie who loves the low-end as much as the high-end. Some of these have been blogged before… In addition to these products, I attribute the state of my skin to (1) sleep (2) humidifier and (3) less stress. I love to layer on a bunch of items before I go to bed because that’s when your skin is regenerating! If you’re applying serum, you need a heavier moisturizer on top to seal everything in.

Top row:

  • Somme Institute Transport Pads ($58) – Night – This is my favorite glycolic acid product, hands down for drawing impurities to the surface. There are promotions at least once an year for 100 pads for the price of 50. These last me a while. I keep surplus in the fridge. I also make a point to not use glycolic acid every day – it’s more like a few days in a row every 1-2 weeks. Your skin has to recover. Note that glycolic acid is an exfoliant, so don’t overdo it by using manually exfoliating or using the Clarisonic and using a glycolic acid product. I also avoid using it during the day since it reacts to sunlight.
  • Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment ($39.50) – Night – Pricey, yes, but super effective at getting rid of cystic bumps on the chin. I mention a few RR products here. I hate paying for shipping so I tend to order a few items every time I place an order. They also have a F&F event over the summer for 15% off.
  • Renee Rouleau Vitamin C&E Treatment ($62.50) – Day – Antioxidants protect your skin and help maximize your sunscreen. I layer this on after my toner and before my moisturizer with sunscreen every morning. It is pricey, but it has lasted me a while and I like the packaging (to keep stabilized ingredients fresh). I may explore over antioxidant options after I’m done with this.
  • Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser ($11.99) – All Day – This is my favorite gentle cleanser and the most effective cleanser I’ve ever used. It lasts forever and is a great drugstore buy! It doesn’t fully remove my waterproof mascara from Asia… that’s the only downside.
  • Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel with Organic Aloe Vera Formula Toner, Rose Petal ($7.99) – Morning – After I shower in the morning, I take a RR toning cloth, squirt some of this on there and run it over my face and decolletage. It smells divine and provides an additional layer of moisture.
  • Renee Rouleau Toning Cloths ($12.50) – Morning – I like the size of the lint-free cloths. I use them on most days (especially in the winter when I need to seal in more moisture to counteract the office air), but a box has lasted a while.

Bottom row:

  • Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè ($16-28) – Morning – I got this in Paris where it’s way cheaper. It is a lightweight cream that has a cult following for its use as a makeup primer. I have combination skin and only apply this on my cheeks after I put this on after my sunscreen. I do the rest of my makeup while it settles. My blush has great staying power.
  • Homeoplasmine ($21) – All Day – I also got this in Paris where it is way cheaper. I had one cold this season and to prevent my nose from becoming chapped from the tissues, I smeared this all over it as well as on my lips. What a lifesaver! If you have a local chemist with imported goods, see if they sell it for a better price than Amazon.
  • Squalane Oil ($16) – Night – I read about squalane on a blog somewhere. Occasionally, I go to bed with this as the final layer on my face. It does not break me out. It’s not the cheapest but a little lasts a long time. I wake up looking dewy. There are other brands out there. I’m not particularly loyal to this one.
  • BHA Clarifying Serum ($44.50) – Night – Lactic, Glycolic and Salicylic Acid. I use this occasionally when I’m not using the Somme pads.
  • Johnson & Johnson Clear & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer ($6.59) – Night – I only wear this at night because it doesn’t have SPF. I love the lightweight texture of this moisturizer. I used to use it very often and it always reminds me of my 2006 trip to China (another happy skin memory and pre-TSA liquid screening days).
  • Fresh Crème Ancienne Eye Cream ($95) – Night – Everyone needs a good eye cream… remember, apply with your pinky using a light touch, outside in.

I will confess that sometimes I fall asleep at night without washing my face – at least a few nights of the week. I tried two Korean products the other night that were SUPER fun for blackheads. I will post a review after a few uses. I’ve also been reading up on collagen.

What are you using?

to pamper / summer skin

Stress and bangs have wreaked havoc on my skin this summer. I’ve never broken out so much in my life. I rotate a bunch of products through my skincare routine, but here are some mainstay products that have helped me stay afloat, from left to right:

  • Somme Institute Transport Pads.  This is my favorite glycolic acid product, hands down. I use it on my face and neck area. It gently exfoliates, brings up impurities, and hydrates with nutrients. 50 pads usually cost $58. Nordstrom currently has a value size (left over from the anniversary sale) that gives you 100 pads for $58. On top of that, Beauty.com recently gave these away with a purchase of $40 through targeted email marketing. Lesson: Not all emails are bad.
  • FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil. Mascara and certain sunscreen ingredients can be impossible to remove. The last thing I want to do is to tug at the delicate eye area with massive amounts of oil-based makeup remover. This oil can be a little messy, but it gets it all out gently. Sometimes I supplement with another cleanser, but oftentimes this is enough. This oil doesn’t break you out and gives you some well needed moisture during the summer months. Downside: it expires and is hard to access outside of Asia.

to shop / nordstrom anniversary sale


Photo credit: Nordstrom.com

Every July, Nordstrom has an anniversary sale where they mark tons of upcoming items for the Fall (by 33%) and release exclusive items (also of good value). While there are many good “staples” on sale, 33% to me isn’t enticing enough for apparel. They also have Tory Burch flats and other somewhat coveted items, but their quality for exclusive items is arguable at times. In the past, I’ve picked up sunglasses. The cosmetics/skincare deals, on the other hand, are worth checking out. They have a nice La Mer set (which I read Evelyn Lauder uses every other week). You can pre-order this week if you are a cardholder (and get access to the full sale catalog!). Otherwise, prices go live on Friday. I took a browse and like the following items:

  • Somme Institute Transport Pads. 100 pads for the price of 50! They are chock full of glycolic acid and great for bringing gunk to the surface. It took a while to finish up on my last batch and I wish I’d stocked up more. There is enough liquid in each pad to swipe your decolletage too. Another cheaper, high end drugstore brand I tried just didn’t compare. $58.

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