Back to Basics -- Product Review: Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, Plus Bonus CD talk!
Hello internet. My name is the Glitterati, and I... I'm a cheater. I had remained faithful for months, and things were going really well -- better than ever, actually. But then summer came. Summer, with its promises of adventure, travel, and novelty. Sunny destinations called my name; beckoned me to fling and frolic and leave my old ways behind. And... well, I caved. I cheated. And now, I am full of remorse.
I am, of course, talking about my facial cleanser. That's right: cleanser. Dermalogica's Special Cleansing Gel, to be precise.
I started using the Special Cleansing Gel back in May, after being introduced to it during a facial*. This stuff kicks butt -- a tiny amount lathers up into a nice foam, and it removes all traces of makeup -- even my LashExact mascara -- easily. (For waterproof eyemakeup, you may want to follow up with an eyemakeup remover.)
It's gentle enough that I can use it around my eyes without irritation, and it has never made my skin feel too tight or dry or stingy. The mild herbal (lavendar and something else) scent is soothing, and although I've never really been one to buy into the skincare-as-aromatherapy concept, I must admit that it is very pleasant. This cleanser washes off easily, but if I want an extra-deep cleaning, I lather, rinse, and repeat, and end up with lovely fresh feeling skin.
Formulated for normal-to-oily skin, the best part about this cleanser is that it somehow got rid of my breakouts! Not that I was very prone to them before, but if I fell asleep with makeup on, blemishes would often pop up in the T-zone or the cheek are. While I was using the Special Cleansing Gel, I'd have to seriously abuse my skin before I'd see any flare-ups.
While I was on vacation though, I didn't want to carry this liquid cleanser around with me, and so I reverted back to my Oil of Olay Daily Facial cleansing cloths. Maybe it was the switch, or maybe it was the Floridian heat and mugginess combined with all the vacation-food and *cough*partying*cough* that I indulged in, but my skin kind of freaked out. Once I got back home, I ran for the Dermalogica bottle and vowed that I would never stray from it again. My skin is calming back down now, but it's still not quite as good as it was pre-vacation. That's ok. I understand that these things take time. We need to rebuild our relationship, after all, and regain all the good that I so foolishly squandered.
The only bad thing about this cleanser is the price. I managed to snag my 500mL bottle off eBay for about $40 CAD, but the going rate is probably like $50-$60 in spas. (They also offer a smaller 250mL tube -- better for travel, but it won't have the handy pump) Fortunately, a little does go a long way -- I only need a bit less than a dime-sized squirt to cleanse my whole face. I started using this mid-May, and I'm only about a third of my way through the bottle, which means that the 500mL should last me over 9 months. For all that it does, I'd say that it's a worthy purchase.
Oooh, also, Product Girl recently had nice things to say about the Murad line, which is owned by the same parent company as Dermalogica. So that's some kind of independent corroboration for ya!
Bonus Review! Because I know you care! :D
So, as some (okay, like 2) of you may know, I am a fan not only of Benji Schwimmer, but also of Christina Aguilera. I know... I know, she has made some questionable choices in the past, but I don't care about any of that: girl can SING. And she's pretty much a straight-shooter, which I can admire.
Pic courtesy of Amazon.com.
Back to Basics is Christina's first album in 4 years. I loved her last album (Stripped) to bits and pieces, despite others accusing it of being heavy on the vocal gymnastics. This accusation was not without merit, but I was so often in awe of that voice that I didn't mind.
On the new album, it seems that Christina's toned it down a bit. The pipes are still there in all their glory, but I sense a bit more restraint and refinement. The tracks all have an old-school jazz/cabaret feel to it, which I of course enjoy immensely. There is brass action, people! BRASS ACTION!! And I swear I even heard a French Horn on one track. Yipiee! I've seen it described as being an "ambitious" album, and I totally agree -- you wouldn't find many of her contemporaries straying from the standard pop-formula for even one song, never mind an entire 2-disc album.
Christina was the executive producer on this album, and penned many of the tracks herself. This high-level of involvement results in an album that feels very intimate... you're seeing a slice of the songstress' life through the music. A lot of the tunes seem to be aimed at her new husband, so... all together now: awwwwww...!
So yes, I lurrrrve Back to Basics. Don't be stupid like me though, and not realize that there is actual MUSIC on the 2nd disc, and not just filler DVD stuff as I'd assumed. I was sorely disappointed in my purchase until I realized there was a whole 2nd disc to discover and love. (The 2nd disc, IMHO, is the far superior one, the first single "Ain't No Other Man" notwithstanding.)
Oh, and of course she looks totally gorge there on the cover. Rah-rah, Xtina! The Glitterati <3 you!!
And now, back to cleaning my room like a madwoman. Hope your week has been off to a good start!
*Oh, I'm not that fancy... it was my first -- and so far, only -- facial ever, and it was performed by an esthetics student, so it was cheap. Bonus!