Skinterview #1: LizAlaskaBeauty

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The first of hopefully many Skinterviews! Liz (@LizAlaskaBeauty on Instagram) and I go quite a ways back – I am absolutely thrilled that she agreed to be a part of this. We hope you enjoy it!

Skintrovert:

*beep beep* Paging Liz Alaska. are you there? Give me a sign!

Liz:

I’m here – in for the evening! Let’s beauty chat!

Skintrovert:

Yes! So exciting! Okay, so I guess I should probably start with the usual suspects: who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

Liz:

Hi, readers! I’m Liz, also known as @LizAlaskaBeauty on Instagram. I live in Anchorage, Alaska, and my real life work actually has nothing to do with beauty or skincare. I started logging my skincare routines on Instagram as sort of a diary – mostly for myself, but also to connect with others interested in skincare. I have no formal training. I’m a consumer.

Skintrovert:

I just wanted to clarify something for the people reading this: Liz and I started posting about skincare at around the same time a little over a year ago. At the time we were following the same number of people and had roughly the same number of followers. When Liz started posting her daily routines regularly, her following became immense. I couldn’t be happier for her. It feels really incredible to know that I’ve been there since day one and have seen this evolution happen in real-time. What has been your defining moment on Instagram thus far, or a moment that really sticks out to you as being special?

Liz:

Well, actually, YOU have been monumental in my Instagram life. You were the first person I felt a real connection with way back when you were still using the @fizzylemonade username. I was thinking about this the other day when we first discussed the dream you had about doing these interviews. You were my first “insta-friend” (someone I know only through Instagram). I remember we were chatting in the comments section on one of my posts when you “thoughtfully criticized” Caroline Hirons, and it exploded into her doing a blog post to address your concerns, AND she followed both of us! That blew my mind! This happened just after New Year’s 2015, and Caroline became my 296th follower. It was so monumental that I made a post about it to mark the day. Now here we are a year later, with over 5,000 followers, doing an interview for your blog. It’s surreal.

Skintrovert:

That is so sweet of you. Seriously. I can’t thank you enough for helping me with this. Your kindness and graciousness are absolutely boundless, and have been since the first day we spoke. I started streamlining my Instagram into skincare posts BECAUSE of the awesome conversations you and I had, so it only made sense that the first person I wanted to have this discussion with would be you. It’s really funny how these things always come full-circle. Now that you mention Caroline, I have to explain what happened for the people who weren’t present on that day: Caroline posted a not-so-glowing review of the cream cleanser from Grown Alchemist on her Instagram page and on her blog. Something in this product broke her skin out into an angry rash. She called out eucalyptus and/or balsam as the culprit, and that she didn’t understand why brands would even use these particular essential oils. I linked Liz to the post and questioned why she would slate the use of eucalyptus in this particular product but post a glowing review about the White Rabbit Cleansing Balm that contains this ingredient just weeks before. My concern was genuine—I was more confused than anything else. Someone in the comments section of Liz’s post tagged Caroline and demanded that she come in and defend herself against my supposedly wicked allegation. This led to me apologizing profusely for the misunderstanding, and that I was not trying to be vicious. For those of you who don’t know, I am a devout worshipper at the altar of Hirons. These proceedings led to a lovely conversation between Caroline and myself over private message, clearing up some other confusing bits, and saying that we would one day meet each other and have an interesting and educated discussion about skincare over tea. And I promised not to waste her time asking her ridiculous things like “why do you need to cleanse your face?”. You can read Caroline’s post here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/2015/01/2015-clarification-post.html – do you see the spot where she waves to Canada? Yup. Canada is me. Woohoo! But anyway, back to you, Liz! Why do you think your posts are so popular? You are the only person I can think of, truly, who posts daily routines without fail. How has journaling your routines helped you since you started?

Liz:

I could go back into a gush-fest again, but for the sake of your readers I will stay focused. So, why do I think my posts are so popular? Well, firstly, they are consistent. You could literally set your watch to time them. I’m also very active on Instagram – I enjoy the interaction more than anything else. I think there is an authenticity that comes across that I am not a professional, and that I am not trying to sell anything. I’m just your friend who loves skincare. I try to make my posts informative, without telling people what to do. It’s more about sharing what I do, what works, and what doesn’t work, through trial-and-error. Journaling my routines has been indispensable. I even did a post about it. I had woken up to a bunch of breakouts and was able to go back and find several culprits over the previous days’ posts. Without my journal on Instagram, I would have never been able to recall the suspects. It’s also fun to see how my products and the way I approach skincare have evolved. I mean, I used to have one cleanser, period! I remember you gushing about cleansers back then, and I didn’t get it. Now I can’t even count how many cleansers I have off the top of my head. And a shoutout to my sidekick, #KittySheldon. We adopted him after I started my Instagram and he’s grown up on my account.

Skintrovert:

Being someone who loves consistency, it’s very reassuring to know that I can always scroll back through your page to see your posts if I missed them on my main timeline. Your product reviews are also very thorough and well-written. And I agree with you when it comes to instruction vs. prescription—there is a big difference. At the end of the day, I guess you could call us skincare enthusiasts. If it works for you, crack on. If it’s not broken, don’t try fixing it. As a skincare enthusiast, though, how does it make you feel when people ask for product recommendations? Do you feel comfortable giving them? Because in that instance they’re considering you an expert, when all you can really do is speak from experience.

Liz:

Thank you! That’s so nice of you to say about the reviews. I want to do more, but I find them difficult AND time-consuming, because I want to make sure I “get it right”. Enthusiast is the perfect word—it’s exactly what I am. It’s written in my Instagram bio. As an enthusiast, I always make sure my reviews are based on how something has worked for ME and MY skin. How I liked/disliked it, and why. I try to make that very clear when people ask for recommendations.

Skintrovert:

Same here. Even still, if someone asks me for a recommendation and they take my word for it and end up hating what I recommend, it really makes me feel terrible!

Liz:

It’s the worst. But I still want to know when someone doesn’t like a product or if they have a negative reaction, because it’s the truth, it’s information, and that can never be a bad thing.

Skintrovert:

But I also never want to be seen as a “Me, too! I have a product to sell you!” kind of person. Does it bother you when it’s so blatant that a post has been influenced by money (that is, someone is making a recommendation based on receiving some kind of compensation, not because they truly believe in what they are recommending)?

Liz:

I try to not be bothered by what other people are doing. But I’m learning that it comes with territory. I remember watching Sali Hughes’ In The Bathroom series on YouTube – in the one she did with Caroline Hirons, they were talking about this exact question. Sali said something to the effect of “Once you accept money to say something you truly don’t mean, it’s all over for you. Your readers/followers/whatever are going to smell it a mile away.” That stuck with me. Anyone can take money in exchange for splashing up a pretty picture on a blog. Good for them! But I’m doing this because I enjoy skincare—I enjoy using it, shopping it, learning about it, discussing it… everything. And I love that everything about skincare is changing constantly. Not just in the market, but for me personally. I’m getting older, and my skin is changing, the weather is changing – you get the idea. It’s also a great escape from the daily stresses of life. The ritual of skincare is an amazing way to treat myself.

Skintrovert:

You mentioned how I may have facilitated your newfound cleanser addiction. Cleansers are my jam. I love a clean face, and I love how many different ways there are to achieve a clean face. (I just realized how strange that’s going to sound to someone who doesn’t like/understand skincare.) Since you’re using different kinds of cleansers now, do you have a preference? Are you using them in any particular way?

Liz:

This winter I’ve been really into balms, oils, and now cream cleansers. I changed my tune about cream cleansers after trying the Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser (a Skintrovert recommendation, no less).

Skintrovert:

Oooh, I love that one! Such an underrated product! It’s really gentle and great for those with sensitive skin.

Liz:

I can’t believe I actually threw out the REN Hot Cloth Cleanser about a year ago. I’m so sad I did that. I love the hot cloth method whenever I can do it. I don’t have quite the handle on it that you do, but it is lovely. I have two large baskets full of perfectly folded washcloths. I use a fresh one for each routine. At first, using a washcloth seemed ridiculous, but after I tried it I never turned back. Angels on Bare Skin from Lush has also been a go-to cleanser for me, so I feel like I need to give it a proper shout-out. After experiencing a bout of dryness, I found it particularly kind to my then dry and sensitized skin. There’s nothing like it.

Skintrovert:

God, I love a washcloth. It is the best way to cleanse. It’s the CORRECT way to cleanse! Although I have been having a bit of a love affair with the Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser and… wait for it… a MUSLIN CLOTH! Didn’t see that one coming, huh? I purchased quite a few of the limited edition Cleanse & Polishes from Liz Earle recently and they all came with two muslin cloths, so I thought I’d give them another whirl. I’ve always found them to be a bit scratchy, but I’ve been craving that kind of exfoliation lately. And they work so well with the Purifying Cleanser. Most of the people we follow are Tata-holics, but you aren’t, are you? If I’m not mistaken I think I’ve only ever seen you use her Regenerating Cleanser, which I have openly expressed my distaste for in the past. And hold up… you THREW AWAY the REN cleanser!? It’s one of my favourites!

Liz:

I know, I know… I feel like I need to repurchase it now! No, I can’t say that I’m a die-hard for Tata Harper. The discouragement that came with the Regenerating Cleanser probably has something to do with it. It wasn’t a bad product, by any means. I just didn’t use it. I like a cleanser I can take all over the eyes, and the Regenerating Cleanser is scrub—scrubs and eyes don’t mix!

Skintrovert:

You need to get the Purifying Cleanser. Trust me. You will like it. And instead of the hot cloth cleanser from REN, get their cleansing milk from the Evercalm line. I think you’d like that one more as it’s very similar to the Alpha-H one.

Liz:

Someone told me the Purifying Cleanser stings the eyes, which turned me off of it. Is that true for you? I have bad allergies and I always feel like my eyes need a good going-over to get the gunk off and get the fluids moving. I’ll put the REN one on my list.

Skintrovert:

Really? I’ve never gotten it directly in my eyes, so I couldn’t say. When I’m doing my knuckling massage, I do take it underneath the eyes. The only product I’ve accidentally gotten in my eyes before has been Origins Modern Friction, and that stuff stings like hell. But it’s so good that the fear of it stinging my eyes wouldn’t stop me from using it. Maybe I’m just a careful person! A flannel or muslin will go right over the eyes and the heat should be enough to at least make the area feel cleaner. Getting back to Purifying; the first time I used it I legitimately thought to myself “Liz would love this.” So I think you should take my word for it! You’d love the scent, too. It’s like lemon drop candies and ginger tea. Different opinions are never a bad thing, though. In fact, Instagram isn’t a one-way interaction thing for you, as I’m sure it’s not for a lot of people doing the same stuff we are—at the end of the day, we are all one another’s enablers. But looking at pictures of pretty products is one thing, and learning is another. What have you learned through following different skincare enthusiasts on Instagram or elsewhere? Feel free to name names!

Liz:

So for that reason alone I have to try it at the very least. Your recommendations have always been so solid for me. Well, let’s start with you: I remember reading one of your thoughtful, well-explained “rants” after I had purchased Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold. You talked about the icky feeling it left on the skin and how you were uncomfortable making it the last step of your routine, as the directions suggested. I had a lightbulb moment—I realized that products didn’t have to be used in such a strict manner. I think it was Alpha-H themselves who suggested in my Instagram comments that I should mix it with their Gentle Daily Exfoliant. I mixed the two into a mask, and then I rinsed it off. No icky residue. It was great! @HiddenHarmonyWorld on Instagram did a post about pH test strips and a book called A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. I went on Amazon and bought them immediately. She taught me about pH levels, and how exfoliating acids need to fall within a particular pH range in order to work. I had no idea! She really stimulates the investigative side of skincare for me, especially when it comes to ingredients. Then there is the sounding board effect on Instagram. For example, I was trying to decide how to spend my birthday money—it was a toss-up between the Caroline Hirons Holiday Cult Beauty Box or ordering The Blue Cocoon (an item included in the box) directly from May Lindstrom herself. When the Cult Beauty Box announcement video launched I was dizzily excited. I got pulled in fast and hard. Instagram was a-buzz! But after sleeping on it, I decided to order from May instead. I have @KarmaKarlie18 from Instagram to thank for that. Chatting with Karlie about May Lindstrom had the opposite effect from the bargain madness of the Cult Beauty Box. It felt like the gift I was seeking for myself. A skincare experience I wanted to be a part of. That may sound strange to people who aren’t skincare enthusiasts, but I hope you understand what I mean.

Skintrovert:

We definitely have a recurring theme happening here. I don’t like being told what to do, frankly (shocker). Liquid Gold is such a great product. But the notion that you change its pH or negate its efficacy through layering is absolute bollocks. Do you know how hard it is to change the pH of something? Especially when you’re layering with anhydrous oils, which don’t even have a pH because they don’t contain water. I just wish they weren’t so prescriptive about how to use it. If it wasn’t already a cult product with blogger support, I truly think people would overlook it, because nobody wants to give up their sprays, night creams, oils, etc., in lieu of using a single swipe-on liquid. If they maintained the idea of it being a treatment product, but marketed it as an addendum to your routine, rather than an all-or-nothing step, I think it would make the product seem less daunting. That’s probably just my crazy mind, though. May Lindstrom is something I’m looking into for the future. She’s been on my “to-buy” list for a long time, but I always purchase other things instead. You and I have already expressed our concern about the expiration date of The Blue Cocoon, which is a huge size compared to other healing balms (the Darphin Purifying Balm and the Decléor Aroma Night Balms, for example, are reasonably priced and only 15 mL). Hers is also prohibitively expensive. Nobody wants to throw down such a huge outlay of cash for something that expires in a matter of just a few months and is really not meant to be used every day. I think she should also do a 15 mL size and charge accordingly—it would sell like hotcakes. Her products are treats, though. Since I’m already gung-ho about the ritual aspect of skincare, I’m all for amping up the experience. At the present, though, her products just aren’t for me. One day. Since we’re wanging on about product now, this seems like a good segue: how would you describe your skin type and skin concerns? And by extension, what is your overarching philosophy on skincare, or, what do you think is/are the most important principle(s)? When I say skincare philosophy and important principles, I’m thinking those that are very personal to you. For example, I would describe my skincare philosophy as focusing on extremely thorough cleansing and treating your skin as kindly as possible. Cleansing the skin correctly is absolutely paramount to it looking its best. A brilliant cleanser is more effective than some high-tech treatment products, in my opinion… not to mention it being great for the mind by clearing your headspace. You and everyone else who’s followed me for a while will know that I’m a huge proponent of Clarins’ application techniques and using their draining pressure points method regularly. These things really help you get the most out of your products and allow you to connect your mind to the tactile experience of the routine.

Liz:

I’d describe my skin as being combination-oily, easily congested, and over 40. I experienced my first ever dry spell a few months ago, so I’ve had to flip around my products to accommodate this new condition. I’m really just working to keep it balanced through hydration, nourishment, and protection, while at the same time not overwhelming my skin and causing congestion. Keeping congestion at bay without over-drying seems like a common problem. Using exfoliating acids on the skin is extremely important, in my opinion. This has been a skin-changing, life-changing discovery. Everyone can benefit from using an acid in their routine – all ages, all skin types, all skin conditions.

Skintrovert:

I totally agree with you on using acids to exfoliate the skin. I do love a scrub every now and then for the immediate result, but it’s nothing compared to the benefits you see from using acids in the long-term. Exfoliation makes everyone’s skin look better. I remember you saying how your skin was going through a rough patch! I’ve seen different balms and oils cropping up in your routines now more than ever before. When we first got to talking there wasn’t an oil in sight! In fact, I remember a lot of oil-free products from your old routines! Was there apprehension about introducing them? What has been the benefit now that they seem to be a permanent fixture?

Liz:

About oils, yes, SERIOUS apprehension! I did buy a Suki oil at a time when I had no idea what I was doing… I did it all wrong. I used way too much, did not apply it correctly, hated the way it felt, and swore off of them. But of course the evolution of watching other people and reading things here and there, I thought maybe I should give this another go… and then the dry spell hit. @HiddenHarmonyWorld on Instagram talked me through it. I bought The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Oil-in-Serum based on her recommendation and everything fell into place. I used just a few drops at a time, rubbed it between my hands to warm it up, and pressed it into the skin gently. The benefit is the immediate relief – you can almost watch your skin drink it in and whisper “thank you”! The first weekend I had the bottle I cleansed and layered the oil throughout the day. My skin was transformed. I felt like me again! I was hooked. That’s when I figured May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon would be next. And then, surprisingly, I got turned onto the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum through the Beauty Heroes subscription service for a fraction of the retail price. I love all three of these products.

Skintrovert:

It’s strange, isn’t it? I truly think that every skin type, even the oiliest, can benefit from the comfort that both oil blends and rich oily creams provide. Though I am known to be partial to a grease. They are truly the height of luxury. If you’re applying them at night, what difference does it make if you look shiny!? People have to get over it and move past that way of thinking! So, from the positive to the negative: is there a skincare phenomenon that you simply can’t wrap your head around or get on board with?

Liz:

Yes! Those peel-off masks, or the ones that you rub and they roll off. They supposedly remove all the dead skin and “toxins”. It just sounds gimmicky, not to mention painful… like they would pull all the baby hairs off of my face. Sometimes I think the industry is trying to cater to a younger audience. Maybe I’m missing something. But when I see them I just think “EW!” (in Jimmy Fallon’s voice) I’m also not the biggest fan of sheet masks. I feel claustrophobic or trapped. When I use them I have to lie down and do nothing. Plus they look creepy! People swear by them, though. I may give the SK-II one a try. If I can’t get on with it, then I think sheet masks and me might just be over.

Skintrovert:

Those rolling and peeling masks are a total gimmick. It’s not dead skin coming off, it’s the mask itself! They add certain ingredients to the mask to cause the peeling/balling up effect when agitated. If you look at the ingredients list on one of them you’ll most likely see acrylate crosspolymer or carbomer. These same types of ingredients are added to moisturizers as thickeners, but you only get the peeling effect when they are in a much higher ratio to the other ingredients. And when you add these peeling products on top of oil, it makes them peel faster (so if you were to apply them to uncleansed oily skin you’d get the peeling almost immediately). That’s why I absolutely can’t stand putting oil on BEFORE moisturizers, because you’re only going to make the moisturizer peel off! The other other type of mask that dries in a sheet that you can peel off in one fell swoop uses polyvinyl alcohol, which is awful for the skin and is very drying. It basically turns the mask into a thin, pliable piece of plastic! No thank you to both. Sheet masks, on the other hand, I love, especially the brightening and lightening ones from Korean brands!

Liz:

And speaking of peel-off things, I used to use those Bioré pore strips back in the day. Until this one time where I actually pulled off skin trying to remove the thing! It was awful. The tip of my nose was chapped and even scabbed up a little bit. Never again.

Skintrovert:

Oh, my God! I used to use the pore strips, too. I think everyone did! But they are SO expensive for what they are… a six-pack for fifteen bucks? PASS! I just didn’t find them to be effective, either. I think a good heat softening, an oil cleanse, and then a BHA product are the dream team for blackheads. Ditch the strips.

Liz:

I couldn’t agree more.

Skintrovert:

Are there any other products you’ve used that are so terrible you wouldn’t recommend them to your worst enemy?

Liz:

Oh, my GAWD! That question cracks me up! Not because I’ve done anything like that, but just thinking about doing it… it’s very Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz – I’ll get you, my pretty! LOL. I do remember using that St. Ives Apricot Scrub back in my early-20s. I got sucked in by the commercial, promising it was the answer to all my skincare needs. But my face was telling a different story—the scrub made it dry, tight, and break out even more. It was painful. Still, I would think “but the bottle says this and that, or the commercial says X, Y, and Z. I must keep using it!” This has been one of the biggest skincare revelations for me: LISTEN to your skin, and go with your gut. Finally a friend asked me “um, what’s going on with your skin!?” That’s what made me stop. So that’s a product I wouldn’t recommend to my worst enemy. That and those high-alcohol toners from way back… what were they called? Sea Breeze? Awful. Harsh.

Skintrovert:

Ugh! Those Sea Breeze toners! Sea Breeze. SOME name for a skincare line. Failing to see what the sea and the breeze have to do with skin. They also had alcohol, camphor, mint, eucalyptus… just horrifyingly primitive ingredients lists. And I’m glad you brought those two particular products up, because this kind of harkens back to my own philosophy on skincare, which is to treat your skin kindly, above all else. I think the second someone sees something has gone wrong with their skin (be it a dry patch, a spot, or whatever), their first instinct is to go balls-to-the-wall and be as harsh as possible when trying to eliminate the problem quickly. Spot comes up – pick it, poke it, squeeze it, use rubbing alcohol on it. Dry patches – scrub them right off your face. I really hate that!

Liz:

The skin needs balance and harmony! Swinging from one extreme to another is chaos. Growing up with breakouts, I did all the wrong things!

Skintrovert:

I mean, I’ve definitely turned to using some not-so-great methods in the past, and if I knew then what I know now I would go back to stop myself. You’re just erasing one problem to create another, like you said. Even when I watch people’s skincare routine videos on YouTube, I actually get upset at them! That spin for perfect skin spinning brush thing that’s making its rounds right now – have you seen it? Literally a circular brush head on a wand that spins very fast. The first time I saw someone use it in a video I was like “NOOOO! What are you DOING?! It’s tearing the face right off of you!” If you want to totally deplete your skin’s barrier, though, then I guess it’s good for that! And since I’m angry now, is there anything about skincare that angers you — products, companies, ethics, advertising, etc.?

Liz:

No, I haven’t seen the brush! I had to Google it. All of those electric brushes and konjac sponges are a huge turn-off for me. I got sucked into the Clarisonic about 10 years ago. I was really into Philosophy skincare (too much QVC!), and Purity Made Simple was my favourite cleanser. I used my Clarisonic every morning in the shower with it. But I noticed it made my skin feel hard, for lack of a better word. Parched and hard! Again, instead of listening to my gut, I kept it up. I finally gave it up one day and never went back. It was several years later, while reading Caroline’s post about electronic brushes, that I felt vindicated. Someone was putting into words what I had felt. Even to this day, when I see people use the Clarisonic; which, to be clear, vibrates, it doesn’t spin like the brush you’re talking about, I have a tug of war going on in my head—maybe if I tried it now with better products, or used the super soft cashmere brush head, I might like it better. But really, no. It’s not for me.

Skintrovert:

I love the smell of that Purity cleanser, but I used it for a short period of time back in the day and found that it didn’t rinse clean, so I never repurchased it. The Clarisonic paired with that particular cleanser is like a cult classic combination, but it’s just not for me either. I’m against the Clarisonic because of the brush heads. You know how a lot of people say that their skin is “purging” when they start using it, apparently because their pores are getting so deep cleaned that the breakouts they’re getting is just all the junk surfacing? I actually think people are allergic to the filaments of the brush heads. I think what they’re getting is a horrible inflammatory response that’s not acne-related at all. That’s why some people never STOP getting the “purging”, but they will still crack on using the device, because it was a lot of money and blah, blah, blah. I am a big fan of the Foreo Luna, though. It’s the same principle as the Clarisonic, but instead of brush heads that get bacteria-ridden and disgusting and need to be replaced, the tip of the device has antibacterial/antimicrobial medical-grade silicone nubs. It feels very gentle on the face, and the whirring of the sonic pulses is super relaxing. It also has an anti-aging side that is supposed to use a different kind of frequency to push actives into your skin. I don’t know if I buy that part of it, but I love using it on days I shave my face. I find it really lifts the hair away from the skin. But moving on to something more positive now: what products do you have your eye on buying next? Or which ones are you dying to try?

Liz:

Ooh, fun stuff. Okay, I will share my wishlist. The DECIEM NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1%. The Bravura London acid peels – all of them, really. I think I’ll get the glycolic, salicylic, and lactic trio. And Serozinc, now that it is sold in the U.S. on the La Roche-Posay website!

Skintrovert:

Ahhh, I’m not the biggest fan of NIOD. I don’t like that the brand claims to be “skincare for the hyper-educated”. What does that even mean? That if you buy into their ridiculous products then you must be hyper-educated because you’re obviously a smart consumer, or that you have to BE hyper-educated to understand what the hell their products actually are? It’s pigeonholing, and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I hate how the names of their products are impenetrable gobbledygook – “Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network” and “Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester”, for example. Absolutely silly and nonsensical. And I generally love DECIEM, so good luck to them. Now, moving along. Imagine you are Liz Alaska: Facialist Extraordinaire. You have appointments booked solid for months. But because you love me so much you’re going to squeeze in a quickie. The ULTIMATE Liz Routine. Your top shelf, ride-or-die products. What are the steps of the facial and what products do you use?

Liz:

WOW! This is where it gets real. The pressure is on. EEK! But to be clear, I’m not a professional, so this is something I would do to my skin. I really do enjoy the triple mask when I have time. Exfoliation, detox, and hydration. Being winter, I would start by cleansing with the Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser. It has a cushiony lushness. But I would first use a hot cloth compress to steam and soften the skin. Admittedly, I don’t do this often, but when I take the time to, it feels nice and it is just so worth it. I would massage in the cleanser, following pressure points around the cheekbones, chin, and jawline, out towards the ears and down the sides of the neck, and then remove. The first mask is the exfoliating one—my favourite thing to do at the moment is leave on the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive for around 10-15 minutes, maybe a bit more if the skin needs it. This product has lactic acid in it, which is my favourite acid. My skin just loves it. Between each mask I like to spritz something simple and soothing like the Lush Eau Roma Water. The next mask is the clay one, and I’d use the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask for that. This is the first grown-up clay mask I ever tried, and it’s my go-to for this step. It tingles when it’s first applied, but then it feels quite calming and doesn’t suck the moisture out of my skin. I’d leave this on for 30-45 minutes. It doesn’t dry hard like the typical teenager clay masks do. The third mask is the soothing and hydrating one. This would be a good time to apply a sheet mask, but since I’m not totally sold on them, I have the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, which I adore. If the skin is particularly dry, I would use the GlamGlow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment. I leave the hydrating mask on the longest – up to an hour if I can. Once removed, I would follow with the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, which became a fast favourite. For serums, I’d apply the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum around the eye area, and then May Lindstrom’s The Youth Dew all over the face and neck. I love doing a dancing finger patting motion on the cheeks when using The Youth Dew. I only have a sample of it right now, but I love it – it’s not too heavy for me. I would layer on Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair over the face and neck, and seal it all in with Kate Somerville Age Arrest Cream, or the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, which is an oil. If there was any sensitivity, I’d go in with May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon to soothe it. This feels like my ultimate routine. I might do it right now, actually! (*Update: She did.)

Skintrovert:

Wow, the Liz Alaska Facial definitely sounds like something I’d pay for! The triple threat mask* is really something else, isn’t it? Perfect for when your skin is crying out to be pampered. ExfoliKate as an exfoliating mask is also a stroke of genius, because you get the AHA and enzymatic action from leaving it on the skin, but also the tonic action of scrubbing it off. I like the sounds of the Vintner’s Daughter product. Way too expensive for me to consider now, given the Boxing Day deals I fell victim to. But I’ll put it on my list for the future! You mentioned the weather a while back. Alaska is known for extreme weather at the best of times. Does it wreak havoc on the skin on your body? What’s in your bath/shower right now? Do you have to take extra care to protect your body from the cold weather now that we’ve moved into winter proper?

{*If you’re unfamiliar with my triple threat mask, please see the explanation post HERE and my original Instagram post HERE!}

Liz:

Alaska weather is rough on the skin, for sure. The low temperatures zap moisture out of the air and skin. We also have hard water here, so I need to keep showers to a minimum if I can. I run humidifiers in my home and at work, which makes a huge difference, and I drink a lot of water. The products I use on the body stay pretty consistent year-round.  In the shower I use the Almond Shower Oil by L’Occitane. I use it for shaving as well, and have been through several bottles! If you save the bottles you can just buy a refillable bag to get more bang for your buck. I also like Origins Modern Friction for the body, specifically on my back. I like to give my back extra attention, as it’s a neglected area. After the shower it’s all about Sunday Riley’s Disrobe body lotion. It’s the only moisturizer that I’ve found that soothes my itchy legs. Using it makes my skin so soft – softer than anything else I’ve ever used. I have to be sparing with it, though, because it’s been discontinued. I’m glad I have a backup of it! It also mixes great with other moisturizers – today, for example, I mixed it with a gradual tan lotion from Jergens. My back gets itchy as well, but instead of Disrobe, I like using From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, which is a massage bar from Lush – it’s actually a favourite in my house. I’ve been through three bars of it. Hand cream and lip balm are an absolute must here. I love the NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm and the Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream. They both follow me around the house and are in constant use.

Skintrovert:

The Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream! Another Skintrovert recommendation! *wink wink* Have you ever used Neutrogena or Eucerin body lotions from the drugstore? I get insane dry outbreaks if I don’t baste myself in body lotion when I get out of the shower. When it comes to lotions, I’m totally devoted to Neutrogena and Eucerin. I also really like the Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion, and the one from their Tonic line. If you’re feeling spendy, you should pick up the Clarins Moisture-Rich. It’s amazing! You only need a small marble-sized blob for each limb. A little really goes a long way. I also like to layer it with their body oil.

Liz:

Thank you for the body lotion recommendations – I may need them when I run out of Disrobe. So sad it’s discontinued. I just thought of another body product – the Lavanila deodorants are great. I wear them most days. Alaska isn’t a sweaty/hot place, and I find they’re nicer to my skin. If I go on a beach vacation or someplace hot and need something more substantial, it’s gotta be Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan. Both are repeat purchases.

Skintrovert:

I bought the Lavanila deodorant on a whim and absolutely hated it! The Clarins roll-on deodorant is my all-time favourite, but it’s kind of insane trying to justify spending $20+ on a deodorant. The smell is great, though, and if you find you get darkness under your arms from shaving, this stuff just gets rid of it. I don’t know how, but it does. And you must be psychic mentioning Cashmere Mist, because my last question was going to be what is your all-time favourite perfume?

Liz:

See, it’s funny, I’m not a huge fan of the Cashmere Mist perfume, but I love the deodorant. I’m actually fairly new to the fragrance scene. Two years ago fall, a nice sales rep at Nordstrom gave me generous samples of Jo Malone Wood Sage + Sea Salt and Nectarine + Honey Blossom. I loved them so much I got them for Valentine’s Day, and I’m almost done with the bottles. That’s never happened before with any other scent!

Skintrovert:

Dana (@bijousmere on Instagram) sent me a small bottle of Wood Sage + Sea Salt when we did our swap. It smells awesome! English Pear + Freesia by Jo Malone also smells really nice. If you or anyone else is familiar with the original Ezra Fitch perfume, the scent is identical. I loved that stuff, but it was discontinued years ago. I do find the Jo Malone colognes to be fleeting, though. Colognes in general tend to wear off fast. I prefer proper strong perfumes and perfumed oils. That covers everything on my list now!

Liz:

Really? Thank you so much for thinking of me to begin your blog series. I’m truly honoured – it’s such a great idea! I’m so excited for you.

Skintrovert:

This has been an absolute treat. What could be better than chatting about beauty with a friend? I can’t thank you enough for being my first guest. What do you think of “SKINTERVIEWS” for the title of the series?

Liz:

Oh, my God, it’s perfect.

Skintrovert:

Yes! The Liz seal of approval!

Liz:

This is my seal of approval face!

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8 thoughts on “Skinterview #1: LizAlaskaBeauty

  1. Loved reading this! It was so fun and I just added a few more items to my ongoing to-buy list. Hehe. Liz was one of the first skincare accounts that I followed and I completely agree that she is the most consistent. I also love her routines and reading her reviews. Anyway, great job, both of you! Excited for more of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome post, Bobby! It’s difficult to find fellow skincare enthusiasts in real life so I really enjoyed reading this while imagining the two of you chatting 😀

    And I have to say, I thoroughly enjoy posts from skincare enthusiast consumers such as Liz and you, not bloggers who post beautiful pictures of products on IG just for the sake of posting beautiful pictures, you know what I mean? 😀
    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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