Skinterview #3: TophCam

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Episode 3 of Skinterviews features another Instagram gem I go way back with. We did this interview over a 5-day period, and the result is approximately 11,500 words of unadulterated raillery. You may need a drink or two.

 

Skintrovert:

Pond. Christopher Pond.

Christopher:

Howdy. I can say that, because I’m a Texan, as much as I often don’t want to admit it.

Skintrovert:

Serene, placid pond.

Christopher:

Funny story: my dad’s name is James.

Skintrovert:

Ha! That’s my middle name!

Christopher:

The world is tiny!

Skintrovert:

The world is full of boring white-people names. We need more Apples and North Wests.

Christopher:

Isn’t Apple Paltrow white, though?

Skintrovert:

THAT’S A TECHNICALITY!

Christopher:

If my name was Sunday Riley, I’d certainly use that for my brand name. I mean, can we say “badass”?

Skintrovert:

The interview hasn’t even started yet, so you can stop mugging for the camera!

Christopher:

I’m always mugging; let’s be fair. May Lindstrom is a great name, too. If you have a great name, use it.

Skintrovert:

And if you don’t have a great name, change it.

Christopher:

Working on it!

Skintrovert:

The people want this to be sassy. So let’s deliver on the sass, please.

Christopher:

Who are “the people”? Anyone I know?

Skintrovert:

The people. My people. The important people.

Christopher:

LizAlaskaBeauty, I hope. We love her.

Skintrovert:

Love Liz.

Christopher:

But yes! Let’s give them sassy.

Skintrovert:

Just FYI, this interview is cutting into my viewing of Caroline’s LA loot video, so I must really like you, or something.

Christopher:

I’ll take it. Putting me in front of a Caroline video. *insert blushing emoji here*

Skintrovert:

Well, to be fair, I’ll still be watching the video. I may tend to this conversation if I happen to hear it beep. Teehee. Ain’t I a stinker?

Christopher:

It’s okay—I’m casually painting my nails while we’re doing this, so if I type a few keys at once, it’s because I ain’t trying to end up with no smudged manicure.

Skintrovert:

Well, I’m going to make a concerted effort to go to bed at exactly 9:00 P.M., so something tells me this might be a two-part deal… or three… or four! Set a #Skinterview record! Before we start, I’d love it if you could look up Alabama Hot Pocket on Urban Dictionary.

Christopher:

I don’t know that I necessarily wanted to be aware something like that existed. But thanks. I’m listening to “Stars Are Blind” by Paris Hilton, which I feel is the benchmark for what pop music should be, even to this day.

Skintrovert:

I agree. That, and Ashlee Simpson’s Autobiography album.

Christopher:

Autobiography is sooooo good! I’m going to listen to that for the remainder of the interview.

Skintrovert:

My old roommate and I used to be obsessed with Stars Are Blind. We would sing it to each other. One day, I messed up the lyrics and sang, “Even though the stars are crazy, even though the guys are blind!” It was lols. I swear I wasn’t turnt.

Christopher:

Heeeeey, so what’s my damage today?

Skintrovert:

Ah! NOTHING NEW! Love that one. Better Off was my ultimate bopper, though. If I can find it on YouTube I will link it in here.

Christopher:

I loved Better Off. A lot. I’ll bet you ghostwrote that song for her. About me.

Skintrovert:

That whole album is pop music bliss. Every song is increds. You can play the whole album from start-to-finish without getting bored or skipping tracks. And me? Never. Although I am offended that you’ve not only robbed Clarins Multi-Active Night from me, but now Guerlain Mitsouko as well? Have you no decorum?

Christopher:

You’re right! It’s hard for artists to do that. Very few albums have reached that stratosphere. And so what if I wanna glow and smell like a 90-year-old woman in church?

Skintrovert:

Because that gig belongs to me. Haters back off. Okay, I have to pause for a second. Phenol is not pronounced like “fennel”. As a biology grad, having taking chemistry classes to the point of sickness, that’s something that makes me twitch. You know how pronunciation-related things annoy me, though.

Christopher:

I love Miranda Sings! And it wasn’t me! Thank goodness!

Skintrovert:

Let’s not even get into Miranda Sings. And no, it wasn’t you, but you know I’d have no issue telling you if it was… *side eye*

Christopher:

I LOVE her so much it’s not even funny. And oh, I know. And you have. Many a time.

Skintrovert:

I’m so annoying. *smiles sweetly*

Christopher:

And that’s why we love you.

Skintrovert:

And hate me. But it’s all good.

Christopher:

Can’t please everyone.

Skintrovert:

But I can annoy everyone. And I will. #goals

Christopher:

Gotta be known for something!

Skintrovert:

Well, apparently, I’m somewhat of a complainer!

Christopher:

According to your Kypris post’s comments, huh?

Skintrovert:

Bloody twats. If if I found out you ever treated your customers like that I’d burn your house down.

Christopher:

Oh, I don’t intend to! I think as men who are interested in skincare—and myself, being into makeup—we spent most of our lives being looked down upon by the sales staff of beauty retailers. I don’t want to go into that territory.

Skintrovert:

Well, I want you to go into that territory. Because it bothers me. So let’s talk about it.

Christopher:

It’s two different kinds of customer service.

Skintrovert:

I don’t want to turn this into some kind of privilege issue, and certainly not a meninist (gag) one, but as a male, you will never NOT be given funny looks if you’re walking around in full makeup, or if you purchase makeup, skincare, or “women’s” fragrances. There’s an apprehension to make such purchases, because nobody wants to be judged.

Christopher:

Absolutely. Even if you have all the confidence in the world, if you walk into the fragrance department to get some Miss Dior Cherie, the first strange glance is going to flatten you down instantly.

Skintrovert:

Yup. Been there. And it sucks.

Christopher:

We get it. A lot of our friends get it. Many people behind the scenes in the industry get it. But I feel that the average sales associate in cosmetics isn’t always supportive of a person’s decision to buy a lipstick if that person is not “typically” female-looking. I hope it’s something that we’ll overcome, but not all of us live in New York or L.A. where that sort of thing is common.

Skintrovert:

If you are a male with acne or skin issues that can be resolved at a cosmetic level, and wearing makeup (whatever that makeup might be — it could be as simple as a blotting powder if you have an oily T-zone) makes you feel better about yourself, you should absolutely wear it. But you know and I know that these men aren’t going into the drugstore or beauty counters at department stores asking to be colour-matched for foundations. It just doesn’t happen.

Christopher:

And on the rare occasion it does, they will come to someone like me. Out of all the women on the floor, they will seek out another male, because they know I’d be less quick to judge. I won’t judge you for wanting to wear liquid foundation, but I will judge you for your over-plucked and shaped eyebrows. Sorry, but cartoon eyebrows don’t belong on anyone.

Skintrovert:

I can’t be too critical about eyebrows. I’m extremely fortunate that mine have a nice shape and plucking stray hairs from the bottom is all it takes to maintain them.

Christopher:

You know the brows I’m talking about!

Skintrovert:

Even if you manage to find another male working on counter, though, there is still apprehension. When you’re dealing with something that’s already making you insecure, the last thing you want is for someone to judge you for a decision you’re making regarding that insecurity. It’s definitely a confidence thing, but it takes more than just guts to overcome, I think. I can totally see a male buying 4 different shades of whatever-it-is until they get the right one, because they’re too embarrassed to go and test the offerings at a counter. Wasting their time and money is easier than having their masculinity challenged.

Christopher:

That’s why I feel like we need to credit Tom Ford a bit… he created his men’s line to include concealer and bronzing gel, which I think should be a staple in anyone’s stash, regardless of gender.

Skintrovert:

Yeah, but I also don’t think you should have to pay $70 for a concealer. Not to discredit Tom Ford or anything, because I love him.

Christopher:

Oh, absolutely not. Especially because it restricts the average guy (maybe one who gets a blemish every now and then and just needs something to toss in his gym bag) from accessing it. We love Tom Ford anyway, though.

Skintrovert:

In the same vein, I really really don’t like the idea of gendered products. It doesn’t sit right with me. It makes me uncomfortable.

Christopher:

Neither do I!

Skintrovert:

I understand what they’re attempting, but it’s actually the opposite of what they should be doing.

Christopher:

Good brands will come out and avoid gender and race altogether, and I love that.

Skintrovert:

The Tom Ford stick concealer for men and YSL Touche Éclat “for men” are good examples. These products are exactly the same as the ones from the “women’s” line, but they are repackaged to be appealing to men. In my opinion, the approach should be look, these products are here to make ANYONE of ANY gender/sex feel beautiful, rather than “here’s the women’s version and here’s the men’s version”. This dynamic in polarity does not belong in 2016. MAC are the only ones doing it right, it seems.

Christopher:

I agree. Counter-productive.

Skintrovert:

I won’t even get into the male/female gender dichotomy when it comes to branding products, because I could go on and on… and get angrier. Because it’s pigeonholing, and is actually not being inclusive of those who don’t assign the “male” or “female” sex to themselves. If a brand wouldn’t do a “trans” concealer, why would they bother repackaging an existing product and change the label to say “for men”? Clearly I’ve put way too much thought into this. It may stem from my abhorrence of most “men’s” fragrances. Like, no thank you, I will wear whatever goddamn fragrance I like. Pour Homme means nothing to me, and it should mean nothing to a woman who is head-over-heels for the fragrance and wants to wear it! I don’t even smoke, but I feel like I need a cigarette after all that. Whew. Okay, I’m good now, I promise.

Christopher:

Fragile masculinity and overt female sensuality. It all gets to be too much. Also, don’t smoke. Ever.

Skintrovert:

I’m just a huge proponent of the idea IF IT FEELS GOOD, DO IT. And don’t worry, the only thing I smoke is hams.

Christopher:

I’m wearing Prada Infusion d’Iris today BECAUSE I WANT TO.

Skintrovert:

I wore Chanel Coco Mademoiselle today. I wear that most of the time. Am I a mademoiselle? Probably not. But I’ll rock the hell out of that fragrance. And graciously accept every single compliment I get from wearing it.

Christopher:

And you should!

Skintrovert:

It’s always fun when people ask you what you’re wearing and you respond with a “female” fragrance. And Coco Mademoiselle… I mean, it doesn’t get more blatant than that.

— PART 2 —

Christopher:

Hello. It’s me.

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Skintrovert:

Who? *sips tea*

Christopher:

*sips seltzer water*

Skintrovert:

*tilts head down and looks at you from above glasses* Okay, let’s resume the sassiness. So. Your routine posts. Even the Koreans are looking at them and raising an eyebrow. So. Many. Products.

Christopher:

I know, right? I can’t help it. If you look back at my older posts, there were definitely fewer products. Once I discovered the world of layering, it changed my skin. But it’s often water-light liquids and thin serums, not ten layers of moisturizer.

Skintrovert:

True. But is twenty products on an evening too many?

Christopher:

Sometimes I wonder that, too. But because my skin is so dry and dehydrated it rarely gets to be too much. My evening ritual is my “me time”, anyway, so I like the process of it all.

Skintrovert:

I always imagine the skin cells getting bloated and feeling sick, much like we would if we went on a crazy binge-eating spree.

Christopher:

That’s an interesting way too look at it. I would imagine that once they’re plumped to capacity nothing else happens. The skin is great at keeping things out, anyway, so I would imagine that only a fraction of what I apply actually gets absorbed the way I’d like it to. Who knows!

Skintrovert:

But then do you ever feel like it becomes a waste of product, and by extension, a waste of money?

Christopher:

To some people it could seem frivolous. I don’t drench my face in product, and I give it all time to absorb. I leave my sheet masks on for waaaaay longer than they advise, I don’t rinse off leave-on exfoliants, and I don’t use products on top of one another that I know have zero chance of absorbing. That’s the great thing with trying out different products — I know how long something will take to absorb with different trials and such… or if it absorbs at all!

Skintrovert:

With twenty layers, how long are you allowing for absorption? Your evening routine must take hours…

Christopher:

Well, see, here’s the thing: double cleansing takes up two steps. Afterward, I’ll either tone or use an exfoliant, and that’s usually liquid that absorbs on contact. If I use an acid, I’ll spray on a mist, which again, absorbs quickly. First essences, eye serums, ampoules, boosters, essences, and serums all tend to sink in quickly on their own because I press them into the skin. A good routine will take me about ten minutes… longer if I’m purposely dragging it out (read: a delicious massage with May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon. I’ve also been known to do a facial massage/cleanse while I’m watching television). Not only that, I do my routine an hour before I go to bed so it can all sink in.

Skintrovert:

I’ve seen routine posts that have even more products than yours and I just don’t understand the point of twenty steps. I’m asking these questions specifically because I know people are curious. How do you know that a particular product is doing what it’s supposed to be doing if you’re experiencing ingredient redundancy with the other eighteen products you’re applying over it? I’m not one to judge, though. As you know, I’m all for people doing what makes them happy. I will change up my products depending on my skin, but a hard rule I have is that every single product I use must be purposeful. I don’t understand where people find the time to assign a role to twenty different products.

Christopher:

Twenty products might be exaggerating! To be totally fair, I’m still very new at doing the typical Korean skincare routine (layering-wise). I used to cleanse, tone, exfoliate, mist, serum, eye cream, and moisturize. That’s still a fantastic routine in my eyes because, you’re right, each element has a purpose. My rule is to generally only introduce one new product into my routine at a time. If I wake up with a giant rash on my face the next morning, I’ll know the new product caused it. A lot of what I use is preventative, as well. I’m still young, and I feel like my skin is in a good place. Upon closer inspection of my routines, you’ll see lots of products designed for hydration, resurfacing, and antioxidant-protection. With hydrating serums, you know immediately. With vitamin C, it’s the signs of damage that you don’t see that give me clues as to the efficacy of a product. I believe in only using purposeful products as well, but to me, a moisturizer is a moisturizer is a moisturizer.

Skintrovert:

See, I disagree. You can make an oil-in-water emulsion that has literally nothing but basic ingredients and call it a moisturizer. Or, you can take it a step further and add fantastic skin-beneficial ingredients to that formula. If you’re not into mucking around with serums, what’s wrong with getting the ingredients your skin needs through a moisturizer that makes use of an incredible delivery system?

Christopher:

Which is totally true. I mean, I don’t let my moisturizer slide and throw some basic shit on just because. However, I think people spend far too much time worrying about the moisturizer. That’s the question I’ve heard the most in my career in skincare: “What’s the best moisturizer that you have?” Nowadays I usually tell them Kate Somerville Nourish, because it’s amazing. But most people seem to be oblivious to the power of serums. Beyond that, I just don’t think moisturizers are as effective at treating skin concerns than serums. And if I’m taking the time to apply something to my skin, I don’t want to waste my time with something that I know can’t work as quickly. “Moisturizer” is designed to moisturize. It’s in the name.

Skintrovert:

Yeah, although Nourish is not that great. *wink* But moving on… I don’t understand why “What’s the best moisturizer” is a dirty question. And I don’t understand why people have MADE it a dirty question, especially in recent times. Some people just don’t like serums and don’t want to use them. I happen to be one of those people. The only serums I really care for are Bi-Phase HydraQuench and Double Serum, both by Clarins, naturally. I like these serums because I know they work (for me). I’ve yet to experience anything groundbreakingly positive with other serums; I have better results with creams and oils. You and I both know that most things in the beauty industry are misnomers, anyway. Yes, the word moisturizer has moist in it, but moisture is a hydration issue. Hydrating the skin from the bottom-up is totally different than treating surface dryness from the top-down, which is arguably the purpose of “moisturizer”. Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion is not the same as CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which is not the same as Paula’s Choice Redness Relief Moisturizer. These are all moisturizers, but capable of different things. Oils are technically “moisturizing”, but they’re not labeled as such. The terminology is confusing.

Christopher:

And you’re right—it’s definitely not a dirty question. If you’re happy with what you’re doing, then I’m happy, too. My gripe is when people are seeking fast results in something that simply can’t deliver based on formula. In most moisturizers, the first five ingredients are water and thickeners, which provide the density to protect the outer part of the skin. In serums, the first five ingredients are often penetration enhancers. Theoretically, serums should work faster. If a good moisturizer gives you the results you want, that’s what I want. I just don’t like when people are so stuck on the moisturizer and forget what goes on before that. Sort of like a healthy lifestyle. If you stress the diet and forget the exercise, your results are limited. You make a good point – not all moisturizers are the same, either. I think it was Caroline Hirons that said, “Serums treat the skin concern, moisturizers address the skin type”. I agree with that most of the time, even if it can be confusing.

Skintrovert:

My gripe is that not everyone needs to be using all of these products. Which is why I disagree with statements like “serums treat this, moisturizers treat that”.

Christopher:

You’re totally right. It’s just when people let things bleed into one another without recognizing the reality of it all.

Skintrovert:

It doesn’t make sense to me. If you have a toner that’s overflowing with antioxidants, why would you use an “antioxidant serum” in lieu of the toner? You never hear anyone say “toners treat the skin concern”, but they totally can. All products are capable of doing magical things, in my opinion, and it’s different for each person. It’s all about the types of products you prefer using. That’s precisely why billions of dollars are thrown into R&D! Companies wouldn’t put all the great ingredients in a serum only if there wasn’t also some kind of benefit to having them in a moisturizer, too. Some things defy explanation. If serums do bugger-all for your skin but creams do amazing things, how can that be explained by the typical ingredients found in these products?

Christopher:

I say that all the time! And I love toner—you know that! It’s still an industry norm that toners are boring and can’t do anything. We know that’s not the case. That also brings me to the point of: it’s about the routine as a whole, not just one product.

Skintrovert:

What do you think of multitasking products? You always hear that if X ingredient is great, but so is Y ingredient, why not use them in the same formulation?

Christopher:

I think if one product did everything the industry would collapse. A good product doesn’t have just one or two ingredients, but a blend. The more the merrier! Unless of course the formula wouldn’t be stable with the inclusion of other ingredients. That’s where things get into formulary tactics and all that fun jazz.

Skintrovert:

If Crème de la Mer’s original moisturizer, in all its holy glory, was designed to be the be-all and end-all moisturizer, why do they make five other ones? Why doesn’t Estée Lauder, who owns La Mer, use the “miracle broth” in their other product lines if it’s so incredible? Why do companies make a serum for redness, a serum for an antioxidant boost, and a serum for hydration, separately? Why not combine them in an efficacious way into a single slam-dunk product? If it was the case that you could get every single active jam packed into one product, would you still do your twenty-step skincare routine, or would you just use that one product?

Christopher:

Interestingly, companies like Lancôme do that. You can find their “LR2412” in Lancôme, Vichy, and L’Oréal. Lauder is a whole different beast, though, and I love them. I think they’re very smart. They’re much more focused on distributing brands in their portfolio than dictating what they should and shouldn’t do. With that said, a lot of products pre-Lauder takeover were different. For example, La Mer used to be a totally different formula. But you’re right—if something is so great, why doesn’t everyone do it? I think a lot of companies sell experiences, not products. You buy Lauder creams because they make you feel a certain way. Lots of brands are like that, it seems. Also, having all those different serums means they increase sales and build clientele for each franchise. They know that if you like the hydrating serum, you’l buy the hydrating face cream and eye treatment to go with it. Oh, and by the way, we’re releasing a hydrating face mask — we’ll put you on the waiting list. If there was one product that did it all, and to be fair, I think there are certain formulas I find to be “complete” in that they do a ton of different things at once, I would still do a larger routine. I would still love to layer and take time for the ritual.

Skintrovert:

So really, you just like layering. I see you, Christopher.

— Part 3 —

Christopher:

It would take the fun out of having my evening ritual. Besides that, I love the idea of textures. I love the tactile experience of skincare. Same with makeup. Fingers, fingers, fingers.

Skintrovert:

Oh, I’m sure you’d find other things to luxuriate in if your evening routine took you all of 30 seconds.

Christopher:

Surely, but nothing else that I would want to pursue career-wise for the rest of my life! It’s all-encompassing.

Skintrovert:

I’m sure you have nothing to worry about. Because we both know the industry would crumble if that were the case.

Christopher:

It would literally self-implode. Just like if there was one completely-balanced food that gave you everything you needed. No one would eat anything else!

Skintrovert:

The minimalists reading this are probably creaming themselves at the thought.

Christopher:

Listen, I love a clean, neutral-colour, low-contrast colour scheme as much as the rest of them.

Skintrovert:

I’m really into black-and-white décor right now.

Christopher:

So am I! But I digress…

Skintrovert:

Oh, and crown moulding. I’m obsessed by crown moulding.

Christopher:

You’d do really well on the Upper West Side, then.

Skintrovert:

What differentiates the Upper West Side from the Upper East Side in terms of décor? Because I watched Gossip Girl, and I’m all over that UES life.

Christopher:

Upper West Side is luxurious ladies in pink lipstick and mink coats, and Upper East Side is cooler and sleeker. At least from what I’ve observed. I’m still very new to New York and learning about each neighbourhood’s idiosyncrasies.

Skintrovert:

I don’t know anything about New York, so this is all good information.

Christopher:

Guess you’ll just have to come visit and stay in my broom closet of an apartment.

Skintrovert:

If it isn’t black and white décor, I’m full-blown Charlotte York (Sex and the City).

Christopher:

Go to Meatpacking and you’ll be happy.

Skintrovert:

MEATPACKING?! This is a PG-13 chat, so watch your mouth.

Christopher:

*eyes emoji*

Skintrovert:

Christopher. What’s with this Smile Brilliant video!?

Christopher:

So they e-mailed me and asked if I’d be interested in trying stuff. Quite a few companies e-mail me, but most of them aren’t usually products that I have much interest in. To be totally fair, I was apprehensive about accepting the teeth whitening kit. I told them that I’d try it but if I hated it, I wouldn’t do a video. Once I started doing it, it worked. From there, one of my stipulations for the video was that I required a coupon code and a giveaway for my followers. I actually used the system this morning.

Skintrovert:

Well, if there’s one thing I love, it’s new and exciting content. *sips tea* That would be ALL tea, ALL shade.

Christopher:

It seems that a Smile Brilliant video is quite controversial. To be completely fair, most people wouldn’t expect me to make a video about whitening your teeth. But I guess most people don’t expect me to talk about Marilyn Manson, deodorant, or platform shoes… yet I do!

Skintrovert:

I think it’s controversial because regular viewers of beauty-inclined YouTubers have seen Smile Brilliant featured in videos for the past, hmmm, 4 years? I think they’re just over it. Viewers don’t want to watch commercials anymore.

Christopher:

I remember seeing one from xSparkage back in, like, 2013. I’m always apprehensive about those YouTube-related sponsored videos. I usually think they’re a gimmick. But the nice thing about Smile Brilliant is that I actually ended up liking the product. There have actually been companies that have sent me stuff before that I didn’t really like and didn’t want to talk about. Teeth whitening isn’t on-par with my channel or whatever, but it worked, so I talked about it!

Skintrovert:

I like seeing people with brown teeth make videos about teeth whitening products. So let me grill you for a minute: since you’re acknowledging that the YouTube landscape is saturated with these videos, what made you want to throw another one into the mix? I mean, apart from saying “yes, the product worked for me”, there’s not much else to offer that hasn’t already been discussed ad-nauseam by other YouTubers, right?

Christopher:

Totally true. Hopefully my teeth aren’t brown, though. For me, it came down to the giveaway. I told them I’d do a video — which I’m sure all companies that provide product would appreciate — but only under the circumstance that they did a discount code and a giveaway. To me, it was a way to give back to the subscribers that have been supportive and thoughtful with everything they say and all the feedback they provide. I don’t mind doing the work, but just make sure the subscribers get something back. I suppose it would be no different than a skincare company providing someone with product, the blogger loving the product, then that company hosting a giveaway through that blogger’s preferred media channel.

Skintrovert:

Fair enough. The readers will appreciate your honesty on that, which is why I asked. You know I’m one to grill anyway, though.

Christopher:

Honesty is really important to me. I have an opinion on everything, and sometimes it’s not always a popular one. I think you and I are the same in that manner. Which is why I’m glad that you grill me and dig for the truth. I like that. Check me if I ever slip.

Skintrovert:

Trust me, I’ll be the first to tell you. And I would only ever do it to the people I care about, because I’d expect and hope they’d do the same to me.

Christopher:

I appreciate that. I feel the same!

Skintrovert:

I just… grrr. I don’t like sketchbags. And speaking of sketchbags, you better announce the winner publicly on this giveaway of yours.

Christopher:

It’ll be mentioned in a new video or the description box of the original video!

Skintrovert:

Good! So, moving swiftly along… what do you think is the most exciting ingredient skincare brands are using right now?

Christopher:

Hmmm. I’m really into trace elements: copper, zinc, magnesium, etc. I like that brands are finding ways to ferment them so that they’re absorbed properly. I think that’s really interesting and clever. HOWEVER! I’m loving that brands are using different forms of hyaluronic acid: salts, polymers, extracted forms, etc. A hyaluronic acid crosspolymer basically makes a mesh over the skin and acts like a water magnet, but all the little bits are connected, so you get more deeply hydrating results. I’m still waiting on the USA to pass the sunscreen ingredients that Asian and European sunscreens have been using for years. But for now, I’m totally fine with having to buy them from Chinatown.

Skintrovert:

Are fermented elements a new thing, though? I’ve seen them on INCI lists for as long as I can remember. Mostly copper and magnesium.

Christopher:

They’re not new per se – I think Japan and Korea have been using them for a long time. It’s the fermenting of the minerals that I find interesting. I think it was Omorovicza who explained that these minerals/elements are essentially repelled by the skin because they have no way of penetrating. When you ferment them, they become “bonded” and can be absorbed by the skin. Don’t quote me on that, but the science was really cool. I know my skin adores copper, so finding ways to get the most benefit from it is always nice!

Skintrovert:

I think the process of fermenting them is actually quite simple… just yeast extract (that would be Saccharomyces cerevisiae for all the Biology grads still downing in debt with no job *sobs into pillow*) fermented with the element present during the process. I don’t think yeast has ever been shown to have that much of an effect on skin, though, has it? It’s probably difficult to be certain how much of the element itself is maintained during this process. The various mineral elements also aren’t really shown to be that effective either, if I’m remembering correctly. The only one I know that has a proven track record for having antioxidant properties is selenium (which always makes me think of Selena – RIP!). I do think that Omorovicza will say whatever they need to in order to make the ingredients sound more interesting than they are! I do like copper, though!

— DAY 4 —

Skintrovert:

Day 4?

Christopher:

…out of 21.

Skintrovert:

Basically. This is like the Twelve Days of Skinterviews, or something.

Christopher:

It’s like Hanukkah! Isn’t Hanukkah twelve days or something? I don’t want to be insensitive.

Skintrovert:

I’m pretty sure it’s eight!

Christopher:

Sorry to all my Jewish friends! Shows you how well-versed I am…

Skintrovert:

It’s okay, Christopher… I’ll have some jam on Matzo later, as an apology for your ignorance.

Christopher:

Make some extra for me.

Skintrovert:

Girl, please. I don’t share. Especially food.

Christopher:

Then I’ll just take it.

Skintrovert:

Try it and you’ll get your hand slapped.

Christopher:

*plays Hands To Myself by Selena Gomez*

Skintrovert:

Filth. Okay, so, what were some positive highlights from your day?

Christopher:

I had some kombucha and got an order from Glossier in the mail. How New York does that sound?

Skintrovert:

I literally don’t even know.

Christopher:

I’m making fun of myself. That’s all that matters.

Skintrovert:

I can get behind that. I’m pretty chuffed that I got my 80 bucks back from returning that godawful Nars Yachiyo brush.

Christopher:

Thank goodness!

Skintrovert:

I’m so happy. Now I can waste the money I got back on Tom Ford and Oribe. And as a PSA to those reading: the Nars Yachiyo brush is a huge waste of money. Unless you like makeup brushes that feel like they’re made of barnyard hay. Now I need to find an alternative.

Christopher:

It’s better for artistry work, because those scratchy-ass bristles blend heavy pigment easier. But it’s not the soft and delicate brush it appears to be. It’s definitely scratchy.

Skintrovert:

I wouldn’t use it to dust furniture with. Because I’d feel sorry for the furniture. I was just watching a YouTube video and I misread the text that flashed by. I could’ve sworn it said “Comment, rate, and suicide!” Pretty accurate to how most YouTube videos make me feel these days.

Christopher:

HAHA!

Skintrovert:

Remember how we were talking about gendered fragrances before? BuzzFeed just put up a video titled “GUYS REVIEW WOMEN’S PERFUMES”. Aren’t they supposed to be the most liberal, gender-neutral, accepting, everybody say love, place to work? This is a bit hypocritical of them. But it looks like they’re going to make the guys test Tom Ford Black Orchid, so this oughta be good.

Christopher:

Black Orchid is my signature, so let’s not even go there.

Skintrovert:

It’s MY signature! See! Stop stealing my look, Christopher! #BitchStoleMyLook

Christopher:

Excuse me, you wear Mademoiselle!

Skintrovert:

NOT MY SIGNATURE!

Christopher:

Today I’m wearing Coco, though.

Skintrovert:

Love Coco. Love an old-lady perfume. I was walking past the beauty counters yesterday morning and doused myself in Clinique Aromatics Elixir. Actually orgasmed.

Christopher:

Nice. That’s a good one.

Skintrovert:

One of the guys said Marc Jacobs Daisy smelled like it would make a good air freshener for after you “take a shadoobs” (his words). I couldn’t agree more.

Christopher:

Oh, my.

Skintrovert:

This guy just pronounced the “est” in La Vie est Belle as “ess-t”. And people wonder why I’m lost faith in humanity.

Christopher:

Haha! Bless them.

Skintrovert:

They all hated Black Orchid. Surprise level: zero. Bunch of basic-ass useless men.

Christopher:

Maybe some D&G Light Blue would be more up their alley.

Skintrovert:

Yeah. Toilet cleaner. Now, before we stray too far, I wanted to agree with you regarding Omorovicza from before.

Christopher:

Score! I feel like if they’re going to charge a ton of money, which is totally their right as a luxury brand, at least make the product good. And they usually are. I always have at least one of their products on my “to try” list.

Skintrovert:

I have a couple on my own list right now. I just finished the Queen Of Hungary Mist… the one in the limited edition bottle with the flowers. It’s gorgeous, but it’s just not worth the money. Sorry, Omorovicza! If it was $20 cheaper than it is, I’d totally buy it again.

Christopher:

I feel that. It’s totally luxurious, though.

Skintrovert:

It smells nice and feels nice. Not sure it does much beyond that. That’s why I feel like the price is a bit insane… if it was slightly cheaper and you were looking for a luxe face mist, it would totally fit the bill.

Christopher:

That’s understandable. And a good way to look at it.

Skintrovert:

The La Mer mist has better ingredients and is cheaper! That’s going to be my next foray into luxury mists. Watch this space.

Christopher:

That one is on my list, too!

Skintrovert:

Oh, Jesus, it’ll be a race to see who gets it first. I’m feeling frisky, though, after my recent refund. Might take the plunge sooner.

Christopher:

Estée Lauder will get your money somehow!

Skintrovert:

They normally do. My VIB Rouge is probably going to lapse at the end of this year now that Holt Renfrew (luxury retailer in Canada) has their online store up and running. Better selection of brands. It’s more my scene. Sorry, Sephora.

Christopher:

Woohoo!

Skintrovert:

I’ve yet to benefit from being a Rouge member, anyway. And it’s been years. Every time they have special bonuses (a huge pack of deluxe samples, for example) available to Rouge members only, while supplies last, I always miss them. Because they send the e-mail notification late-morning, and when I actually get to check my e-mail in the late-afternoon, it’s too late. You punch in the code and see that horrid red text that says nope, sorry, out of stock.

Christopher:

Awwww!

Skintrovert:

Something tells me the benefits are better if you live in the U.S. That’s typically the way things go.

Christopher:

It’s hard to say. I enjoy the 2-day shipping the most. I ordered something yesterday and it arrived today, which is amazing.

Skintrovert:

Yeah, that doesn’t happen in Canada. When you’re Rouge you just get free shipping. But it’s still standard turnaround, which can take up to 6 business days. I think it’s kind of useless. To “unlock” free shipping if you AREN’T Rouge, all you have to do is spend 50 bucks… which… how can you NOT spend 50 bucks when you go to Sephora? So I think having the ability to buy a $20 body wash and have it shipped for free is silly. Nobody’s going to go to Sephora just to buy a single body wash.

Christopher:

I do that sometimes! I’ll buy a lip balm so I can use a coupon code and then get the free shipping. I’m cray.

Skintrovert:

You are. I can’t help myself, so I just spend wildly. But speaking of body wash, I’m almost out of the two I have on-the-go right now… what’s in your sower?

Christopher:

I love the Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash. It’s a shower oil, but rinses totally clean. I also have an affinity for the shower gels from The Body Shop as well. I’m lusting after the Philip B Chocolate Milk one. Right now I’m using The Body Shop’s Honeymania one.

Skintrovert:

Oh yeah! You told me about the Eucerin one before… I just can’t do fragrance-free body wash. I like Eucerin body lotions, though. The Honeymania one is good! I’ve used that one before and really like it. I might buy that again. Chocolate milk body wash? Ew…

Christopher:

I just want to have a super luxurious shower gel I can use when I’m feeling glam.

Skintrovert:

I don’t really care if it’s cheap or expensive as long as it smells nice and doesn’t make me itchy!

Christopher:

For real. I don’t want anything drying.

Skintrovert:

The Clarins RELAX Bath & Shower Concentrate is my go-to luxurious body wash. It’s really good if you shower before bed. Which is not necessarily the time you want to feel luxurious, but…

Christopher:

But didn’t they get rid of it?

Skintrovert:

Only in the U.S. Poor you! *cackles* I sent Dana (@bijousmere on IG) one when we did our swap.

Christopher:

Shucks…

Skintrovert:

Shucks is right. It’s increds. I’m out of it, so I’ll repurchase it and The Body Shop one next. It isn’t an everyday thing, though… I need a good everyday one! I normally just buy the Nivea cream body washes, but I’m in the mood for a change, I think.

Christopher:

Swap with me!

Skintrovert:

But I’m poor!

Christopher:

See, we don’t have those Nivea ones here.

Skintrovert:

They’re good. They smell amazing. They feel amazing. AND THEY’RE CHEAP! Anyway, I was going to ask you a question that has proven to be a popular one in past Skinterviews, and I’m thinking you’re going to have a different take on it: what are your biggest pet hates/annoyances with the beauty industry? That is, working in the industry, brands, products… anything you can think of, really.

Christopher:

I’m going to answer in multiple parts, so hopefully that’s okay.

Skintrovert:

Do it.

Christopher:

There’s little I hate more than luxury brands filling their products with cheap ingredients. Don’t charge me $150 for a serum that has more alcohol, fragrance, and silicone than good ingredients. I think it’s greedy, dishonest, and a slap in the face to the customer. If you’re going to charge a ton of money, which again, I think brands have the right to do, make the product worth the money. Make it luxurious. Make sure it has the ability to improve the skin concerns it claims to. I’m also super tired of gendered products. Just like we said, brands will take identical products, change the packaging, and resell it as “men’s”. To be fair, there is a need for shaving cream, shaving brushes, razors, and aftershave in the market that would be better targeted to men, but when we get into moisturizer, concealer, and fragrance, it’s just unnecessary.

Skintrovert:

Only two things? I was expecting some insider tea about the seedy underbelly of the beauty world!

Christopher:

Oh no, I’m just getting started. Am I the first Skinterviewee to work in the industry?

Skintrovert:

So far it’s only been enthusiasts. Which is why I’m taking a different approach here than I did with the others. But please, go on…

Christopher:

From an industry perspective, the skincare world is very intense. It’s not all about moisturizers and mists. Most people know that, but not everyone knows what goes on behind the curtains. There’s certain words I never use when I’m talking to people about products: “Lift”, “Tighten”, and “Firm”.

Skintrovert:

Three of my most hated words. Those, and “mattifying”.

Christopher:

I also hate the term “anti-aging” or “anti-wrinkle”. My verbiage is always “improve the skin’s health”, or “teach the skin to act younger”. I can understand mattifying, but my word is always balancing.

Skintrovert:

My issue with mattifying and the other three is that there’s always film-formers involved to create these effects, and my biggest pet hate in skincare is products that peel off.

Christopher:

I don’t like hearing those words when people talk about products. You’re promising something that a product can’t deliver, and you’re telling someone that aging isn’t okay. It’s degrading.

Skintrovert:

I’m so over the hatred for the term “anti-aging”, though. That’s been a crowded bandwagon for years. The only other words you could use as a substitute would be preventative or age prevention, and those words just don’t look good on a label. I’ve come to accept that anti-aging is a term that’s always going to exist; and, at the most basic level, if products contain ingredients that actually make your skin do better for itself, I’d say it’s pretty accurate. Everyone is aging, but not everyone is anti-aging.

Christopher:

I think that women and men should be honoured for their age, how their skin is, and how they look. If you want to look different, I’ll teach you how to improve your skin with skincare. If you have wrinkles that you don’t like, I’ll show you something that will fix them. If you don’t like your pores, I’ll show you something to make them look less obvious. But I will never tell you that you can shrink your pores or lift your sagging jawline. Here’s the thing: labels and salespeople are different. You can say “lift, firm, tighten” in person, but you can’t say it on the box. I’m talking about the verbal element of a product purchase.

Skintrovert:

Oh, I’ve seen it on boxes!

Christopher:

You can say “provides a lifting effect”, but you can’t say “lifting”. At least not in the U.S. Otherwise, lawsuits galore. It’s always “women reported a lifting effect…”

Skintrovert:

I would do a fact check on that, because I can think of dozens of products that not only say LIFT in the description, but have LIFT/LIFTING in the name of the product.

Christopher:

Again, it all gets to be very clouded.

Skintrovert:

Well, you can’t say those words are banned when there are products that are using them. If it is in fact illegal, they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

Christopher:

This is of course my opinion.

Skintrovert:

But you said you can’t use those words on products in the United States. I’m saying that I can link you to products that do just that. And they couldn’t be more blatant about doing it. Legally, I don’t know if there is some kind of loophole with cosmetic products.

Christopher:

There is. The FDA doesn’t regulate it, but brands tend to avoid using those words because you can’t prove it.

Skintrovert:

You can look up SKiNN’s Chin-Up Pro: Firming & Lifting Neck Serum (double-whammy there), their Under-Eye Decrinkler & Lid Lift, and their trademarked ingredient blend called BotaniLift. Hell, even Chanel Le Lift. I don’t think companies shy away from using these words. They do it purposely because they know the unassuming customer will believe them.

Christopher:

It seems major companies avoid using those words then. But anyway, I also dislike products with too much fragrance in them.

Skintrovert:

The only thing that’s going to lift the skin is surgery, a crane, or if gravity decided to work in reverse. It’s important that people know that so their expectations of what a product can achieve aren’t blurred.

Christopher:

I agree. Which is why I don’t like to use those words in my sales pitches.

Skintrovert:

I will say that my beloved Clarins does a mask called Shaping Facial Lift Wrap, and it really does change the way your face looks. I don’t know how it does, but it does. It’s like you lose 5 pounds in your face immediately, but everything stays tight. The effect wears off after around 8 hours, but if you need your face to look snatched for the Gods, you need that product in your life.

Christopher:

Witchcraft?

Skintrovert:

It is witchcraft. I’ve turned my friend Dylan (@dylanstillmantoomey on IG) onto it. It’s one of those see-it-to-believe-it products.

— DAY 5 —

Skintrovert:

Hello on day 5?!

Christopher:

Here we are!

Skintrovert:

Here we are! Send some positivity my way, please.

Christopher:

*sends good vibes*

Skintrovert:

Try harder, I can’t feel them.

Christopher:

Hmmm. Well, I just put a bit of Clarins Tonic Body Oil on!

Skintrovert:

I could drink that stuff.

Christopher:

It’s really nice!

Skintrovert:

*takes a swig* Yup, delicious.

Christopher:

Clarins would argue their stuff is natural enough to do that.

Skintrovert:

Watch it. I’d rather die drinking Clarins’ products than get diarrhoea drinking Tata Harper’s. I think that says a lot about me.

Christopher:

Or, don’t do either!

Skintrovert:

Some days are better than others! I’ll leave it there. So! I have a two-part question for you: part one: what is the cheapest (or, most inexpensive, if we’re being polite/proper) product that you’ve had amazing success using? The next part of this question should be pretty obvious, but…

Christopher:

Hylamide’s Low-Molecular HA blew me away. For $20, you’re getting one of the best hydrating serums on the market. They use so many forms of hyaluronic acid and hyaluronic acid-like ingredients that it kind of makes you wonder why some other hydrating serums are so expensive. I have more expensive ones that I don’t think perform as well. In Canada, I think it’s quite readily available, and in the U.S., it’s in CVS.

Skintrovert:

But, is it INSTANTLY hydrating… you know, in the way I appreciate?

Christopher:

Yes. I think it’s because it sinks in so quickly. I think it’s more instantly hydrating than Hydraluron, for example. When I’m feeling super-dry-spongey, I reach for it. And it works.

Skintrovert:

Hmm. I’ll look into it. I’m not hugely into DECIEM products because I think they’re impenetrable nonsense on the whole. But this is good information for people looking for such a product, and at a fair price. If you haven’t already guessed, part two of the question is what is the most expensive product you’ve had great success using, thereby making it warrant its high price tag?

Christopher:

How recently are we talking?

Skintrovert:

Of all time.

Christopher:

Oh, shucks… that’s a hard one. I think I’d have to say The Blue Cocoon by May Lindstrom. It’s such a beautiful product. It’s calming, soothing, and comforting. I love that the ingredients are responsibly sourced, that May herself makes the products, and that it’s a truly luxurious treatment. Not only that, I think it’s the most expensive product I own.

Skintrovert:

May is going to LOVE that she’s turning up in yet another Skinterview. It speaks volumes for the products she’s worked so hard to create.

Christopher:

And done so in an honest way, I might add… it was the first product I used that physically changed my mood when I used it.

Skintrovert:

Can you physically change a mood?

Christopher:

I think so. I mean the stress in my shoulders was instantly relieved. My body was physically calmer and more relaxed, not just my mind.

Skintrovert:

So The Blue Cocoon is a sedative, is what you’re saying. Don’t Blue Cocoon and Drive.

Christopher:

Essentially!

Skintrovert:

They’ll need to invent a breathalyzer-type gadget to test for it.

Christopher:

I would fail!

Skintrovert:

This is clearly a product I need to try. It always worries me when people like something THIS much, though, because it makes my expectations of the product astronomical. And when I do get around to trying it, if those expectations are not met, the disappointment really stings.

Christopher:

To be totally fair, I was assuming it was all hype as well. But I think what makes it worthwhile is the fact that it’s so unique. It’s one of those products that I’m going to constantly want on-hand!

Skintrovert:

I’m going to do a post on those kinds of products soon. I have a funny name for the concept. Sticking with the theme of exorbitant products, which one has DISAPPOINTED you the most? Like, it was an absolute fail, nobody should spend their money on it, total letdown.

Christopher:

Oooh, do I have to pick just ONE?

Skintrovert:

No! Please, go nuts!

Christopher:

I don’t think the Chanel serums I’ve tried have done all that much, save for the Resynchronizing and Hydra Beauty ones. I felt like they were way too fragranced and loaded with alcohol and didn’t do much to improve the health or look of the skin. Beautiful textures, though. The DiorSnow Makeup Remover didn’t do all that much either. I feel like it was too thin and runny to remove makeup properly. I didn’t love the Nars Yachiyo for my personal use.

Skintrovert:

And by Chanel Resynchronizing, you mean Le Jour, La Nuit, and Le Weekend. I feel like people will be more familiar with those names. What other serums does Chanel do besides those ones and the Hydra Beauty ones? The whitening one and the one in the gold packaging that costs eleventy-billion dollars?

Christopher:

They had the Ultra Correction Lift and Ultra Correction Line Repair. Both of those I thought were silly. Same with the newer Le Lift. It’s hard. There are very few that have made me angry. I think because I spend so much time researching my products before I buy them that I rarely end up with something that I hate.

Skintrovert:

The Nars Yachiyo brush is stupid. I’m so glad I was able to get a refund for it. If they declined the refund, I would have videotaped myself gleefully pulling out every single one of its stupid bristles one-by-one (not that it wasn’t shedding enough to begin with) like a psycho and then snapping it in half like a twig over my knee. And then send the video to Nars. Ah, there’s that word LIFT again!

Christopher:

Exactly. I can think of more products that I’ve loved than hated, which is good.

Skintrovert:

I’ve found hidden gems in products I’ve purchased on whims. Even though I’m satisfied with a lot of the stuff I researched before buying, if I end up hating the product, I tend to be more disappointed, because I’ve made an effort to get all the facts, read all the reviews, and watch all the videos. And that’s time-consuming!

Christopher:

Absolutely. That’s why it hits you harder! My least favourite product of all time doesn’t fit into any of those categories because it was neither inexpensive nor super pricey. It’s the Brazilian Peel – remember those? It gave me first-degree burn. Or something similar.

Skintrovert:

I’ve never heard of that… and I’m scared to look it up, because it honestly sounds like a decorative way to remove pubic hair, not a skincare product!

Christopher:

I guess that was the idea – the Brazilian wax trend. If I find a picture, I’ll send it to you for the blog.

Skintrovert:

Ick. It’ll have to be a free-to-use picture if you do.

Christopher:

Oh, no, I meant a picture of my face after I used it!

Skintrovert:

Oh! If you have that, that would be AMAZING! Not that your face having a chemical burn is amazing or anything.

Christopher:

I guess it would have been a chemical burn!

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 20.49.08

Skintrovert:

But seriously, that was going to be one of my next questions… a skincare disaster. Something that didn’t agree with your skin and made it totally freak out. Do you have another one of those experiences to share apart from this Brazilian Peel thingy?

Christopher:

Besides the painful swollen cystic acne that sparked my interest in skincare to begin with?

Skintrovert:

Was it product-related?

Christopher:

I don’t know. I think it was a combination of genetics and bad skincare practices. I used to use the Clinique Acne Solutions line. Beyond that, I can’t think of a horrible reaction I’ve had to anything in the past few years.

Skintrovert:

I have the spot treatment from that line! It’s not bad on the odd spot or razor bump… nothing really freaks my skin out either, thank God. Touch wood.

Christopher:

That’s the one thing that’s not horribly drying, I think. *knocks on my head*

Skintrovert:

You’ll be pleased to know that I only have two more things to touch on before we get into the pièce de résistance!

Christopher:

Oh, gosh. I love all the questions!

Skintrovert:

There was only going to be one, but you mentioned the names of those discontinued Chanel serums, so now it’s two! And they’re tough ones!

Christopher:

Hit me!

Skintrovert:

I’ll start with the one spurred by the Chanel serums. Does it annoy you when you get read by people for using products with names like “Ultra Correction Lift” and “Ultra Correction Line Repair”? Because you’re barely 20, nothing on your face “needs” to be lifted, and you don’t have any lines to repair/correct! *wags finger angrily* This is not me reading you, by the way, this is just something that I’ve personally been told before.

Christopher:

You’re right, I hear that all the time and it annoys me. The skin doesn’t “unlearn” how to do something. So if I use something that’s designed to encourage collagen product, my skin won’t not do it when I’m older. My approach has always been prevention. I may not have lines to correct now, but I don’t want lines to correct in the future. My skin can always be healthier. Healthy skin is firmer and more even in tone. Besides that, I work in the industry and I’m a blogger. That entails trying tons of new products all the time. Not to sound snobby or anything…

Skintrovert:

Companies can call something a “wrinkle cream” even if the ingredients in the cream do bugger-all for wrinkles. So what annoys me is people who see the name of the product, have a preconceived notion about the age of the person who should be using it, based on keywords, and slate you, ignorantly, if you don’t match their expectation.

Christopher:

Not only that, retinol can be used to treat wrinkles and acne.

Skintrovert:

I was just going to say, I’ve heard HUNDREDS of people say not to use retinol unless you’re 40 (or some other random decade that isn’t teens or 20s), because your skin doesn’t “need” it. And that’s… just absolute nonsense.

Christopher:

Skin always needs replenishing!

Skintrovert:

It’s infuriating nonsense, actually. If you put a 24-year-old with visibly sun-damaged skin next to a 37-year-old with no signs of sun damage and good skin on the whole, it is absolutely preposterous to say that the 37-year-old is the one who should be using retinol, and NOT the 24-year-old, because they are older, and thus their skin needs it more. And what really gets on my tits here is it’s the same people who say “age is not a skin type or skin condition” that would make that exact judgment call.

Christopher:

It can be very polarizing. With that said, if you’re 16 and have perfectly normal skin, I wouldn’t say retinol is necessary either.

Skintrovert:

But a 16-year-old using a retinol product is not the worst thing in the world. It’s not going to do any harm.

Christopher:

Oh, totally. I just wouldn’t give them a potent dedicated retinol product. Maybe something with wild carrot seed oil, or something like that.

Skintrovert:

And to opine on this further, no skincare product is “necessary” if you don’t give a damn about your skin. Some people will go through their whole life having only ever splashed water on their face as a “skincare regimen”. Assigning products to people based on age of all things, or saying X, Y, and Z, is necessary, frustrates me.

Christopher:

I understand totally.

Skintrovert:

Going back to the 16-year-old, even if you were to give them a dedicated retinol product that was “potent”, again, it’s not going to kill them. And it’s not bad for their skin if they have no contraindication to retinol.

Christopher:

Oh, I agree.

Skintrovert:

Just something that makes me grind my teeth. And speaking of sun damage and retinol, this is probably the best segue ever to my last major point of discussion, which is: how come more cases of skin cancer are reported now than ever before, despite the fact that people are more fastidious about using sun protection now than ever before?

Christopher:

I think people are much more aware of being checked now. People are actually getting it treated. Not only that, the ozone layer is much thinner than it was even twenty years ago, so our sun exposure is greater. Either that or damage from a few years ago is catching up with people who are just now becoming aware of sunscreen. Thirty years ago, sunscreen almost didn’t exist. It wasn’t really the advanced technology it is today. I think it’s great that there’s SPF in foundation now. But I wish people weren’t relying on their foundation for sun protection.

Skintrovert:

Hmm, interesting. Are you surprised that I kind of disagree with all of that?

Christopher:

Nope. Not at all.

Skintrovert:

It wouldn’t be ME if I didn’t DISAGREE. See? Poetic. I think people are lazy and turn a blind eye to it. Unless they have some shapeshifting discolouration mark or mole or something, I don’t think they’re getting screened for it regularly. Admittedly, I’m one of those people. It’s another thing to get checked. No time, no patience, and no healthcare to cover such screenings? I don’t know how this works in countries that aren’t Canada.

Christopher:

And I think Americans tend to love tanning more than anyone else in the world. Tanning intentionally, that is.

Skintrovert:

Oh, God. I just pictured Tan Mom in my head. I’ve read too many conflicting reports on the different types of skin cancer in specialized studies. And these are recent studies. A few say that people who use sunscreen actually have a higher risk of developing melanoma!

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Christopher:

It’s so confusing for the average person. I think even skincare experts get confused at times.

Skintrovert:

Totally. But wearing sunscreen is the one thing that gets drilled into our heads constantly. And I agree with wearing sunscreen, because the sun is what ages our skin the most. That’s something everyone can agree on. But these little tidbits you gather from proper scientific studies make you scratch your head. And I think scratching your head is important.

Christopher:

I absolutely agree. Sunscreen and sun protection goes beyond vanity, which I feel like is the core ideal that most bloggers center themselves around. Sure, I love talking about skin health, but I mainly love how some products make my skin look plump and glowy. It’s great that big sunglasses are so beneficial to wear as well, because I love me some oversized frames.

Skintrovert:

Going back to what I was saying about laziness, I think some people say they wear sunscreen, as a way to save face, and preach about using sunscreen, but don’t actually do it.

Christopher:

Admittedly, I don’t wear the amount of sunscreen I should. I’ll do a few layers of SPF 20, but nothing intense. 30 in my primer, 15 in my foundation.

Skintrovert:

And then there’s the point you made about foundations containing SPF. People slap on foundation thinking they’re getting proper sun coverage, but they’re not. Some coverage is better than none, but still.

Christopher:

I also spend next to zero time in the sun. I love keeping my blinds closed. And you’re right – SPF 15 applied sheer all over the skin isn’t going to do much.

Skintrovert:

The amount of sunscreen you have to apply to get the stated coverage is jarring to most people. And then there’s the issue of UV-absorbing and UV-reflecting ingredients sensitizing or clogging the skin. People don’t want to wear something that’s going to break them out. They’d rather get skin cancer than acne.

Christopher:

A teaspoon at least! And totally… but that’s a whole other conversation.

Skintrovert:

A couple more interesting counterpoints from some studies I read were that people who work outside in the sun all day tend to have lower rates of melanoma than those who work inside. And that could be because more sun exposure equals more vitamin D equals higher innate protection from melanoma development. And now there’s this whole idea that regular, prolonged sun exposure is actually a lot better for you than infrequent, high-intensity sunlight. So, consequently, you see less skin cancer in people who live in frequently sunny areas than you do in those who live in areas with less intense UV year-round.

Christopher:

What should we believe, you know?

Skintrovert:

It’s all very confusing. At the end of the day, I think tanning on purpose is bad (be it naturally or in a tanning bed). I think getting sunburnt is bad (probably the worst, actually). I think depending on slap-and-dash products like foundation or pressed powder for sun protection is bad. AND I don’t think sunscreens are as sophisticated as they should be, and they’re certainly not as sophisticated as people think they are, sorry to say. Apparently retinyl palmitate used in sunscreens has been linked to higher incidences of skin cancer! So, kids, the moral of the story is stay inside and get rickets due to vitamin D deficiency, or risk going outside and getting skin cancer.

Christopher:

Or move to Mars!

Skintrovert:

Or under the sea with Ariel!

Christopher:

But doesn’t water magnify sunlight!?

Skintrovert:

Not in the bathypelagic zone! Clearly I’ve thought this through.

Christopher:

No judgment then!

Skintrovert:

Are you ready for the rapid-fire questions before the big one?

Christopher:

Bring it on!

Skintrovert:

1. Best spot treatment?

Christopher:

Paula’s Choice BHA 9.

Skintrovert:

2. One skincare product you’re dying to try?

Christopher:

Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm.

Skintrovert:

3. The most important step of a skincare routine is ____.

Christopher:

Cleansing. [*I could kiss him for this.]

Skintrovert:

4. Favourite shampoo?

Christopher:

Living Proof PhD. I will use nothing else.

Skintrovert:

5. Do eye creams work? Answer – NO! Okay, next question! 6. A skincare brand you’re totally uninterested in?

[*He did answer #5 professionally, but I’m choosing instead to be rancid and hateful!]

Christopher:

Kypris. [*LMAO – that’s deserving of another kiss.]

Skintrovert:

7. What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever applied to your face, and for what reason?

Christopher:

Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow, instead of moisturizer. But I was only half-awake when I did that! Other than that, I guess it was bizarre that I used to think the tight, dry itchiness from using Origins Checks and Balances was normal.

Skintrovert:

8. Favourite food?

Christopher:

Italian.

Skintrovert:

9. A cosmetic dermatological procedure you’d have done if you had the money?

Christopher:

I’d get DermaPen again.

Skintrovert:

10. Your starbucks order?

Christopher:

Green tea frappuccino with a pump of peppermint syrup.

Skintrovert:

11. A scent you can’t get on-board with?

Christopher:

Cilantro.

Skintrovert:

12. What’s love got to do with it?

Christopher:

Got to do, got to do with it?

Skintrovert:

Good enough! And now, for the moment everyone has been waiting for… the @TOPHCAM FACIAL! The steps of your perfect facial, using only your ride-or-die products! That’s right, all thirty steps. I’m preparing myself mentally for this. *cackles*

Christopher:

I’d start with a really effective and thorough cleanse with an oil or balm. I think Eve Lom Cleanser is probably my favourite for facial massage because it never absorbs, it stays really slick on the skin, so it’s easy to massage with. I’d take about ten minutes to massage it in and get the blood flowing. I’d follow that with a deep skin cleanser. Probably the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser or the Omorovicza Cleansing Foam if I was in the mood for something aromatic and immediately softening. After that, I’d use a mask. The mask would depend on my skin at the time. I’d keep the mask on for about half-an-hour, misting over it to keep it active. Then I’d use Chanel Lotion Confort for my toner, simply for the scent. Essence would be next, pressed into the skin. I’d follow that with an eye serum, and then a booster, like Kate Somerville’s DermalQuench Liquid Lift. Then I might use Jordan Samuel’s Hydrate Serum, or a different hydrating serum. Chanel’s Le Lift Eye Cream is great for massaging around the eye area. Oil would be after that, and I’m currently loving Sunday Riley’s Flora for its texture, scent, and ingredients. I’d let that all sit for about an hour before throwing on some MAC Strobe Cream to get a bit of a moonlight glow. Oh, and lip balm – my favourite to this day is Jack Black’s Intense Therapy.

Skintrovert:

MAC Strobe Cream… I really expected nothing less.

Christopher:

Will always be in my collection, no matter what.

Skintrovert:

Well, I must say, this has been an absolute pleasure. FINALLY! I can’t thank you enough for helping me with this. A lot of people have been waiting, so they’ll be thrilled!

Christopher:

I’m very thankful you extended an offer to pick my brain. I enjoyed it! I also truly appreciate the support that everyone else has given as well. The fact that people care what I say is still surreal to me. Thank you, Bobs! And to everyone else!

Skintrovert:

They do, trust me. Something tells me this will be the record holder for the longest Skinterview ever. Do you have any closing remarks or positive thoughts to share?

Christopher:

I think the thing I want everyone to take away is that this is all just skincare, makeup, and fragrance. It’s meant to be fun and experimental. Your pores aren’t as big as you think they are, parabens won’t kill you, and don’t give your money to a brand that doesn’t make a shade of foundation that caters to your skin tone or ethnicity. You work hard for your money, your time is valuable, and you desert to feel great. And don’t forget to flip your hair back every now and then. Even if you don’t have hair to flip. Thanks to everyone who read the entire interview! You deserve some tiramisu for your patience!

Skintrovert:

BRILLIANT!

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2 thoughts on “Skinterview #3: TophCam

  1. This was great! Thanks! 🙂

    Also, I think I read somewhere that one of the main differences between Upper East Side and Upper West Side is the source of money. While Upper East Side is primarily associated with ”new” money, Upper West Side has more old money families high up in the social hierarchy. Think the difference between stock brokers (UES) and politicians/socialite families (UWS). I read somewhere that some billionaires have been turned down from buying apartments in prominent buildings on Upper West Side because the board found them to be filthy rich people in the ”new money” meaning of the term. Not sure if this is true or even correct, but thought I’d pitch in! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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