I know I did a lot of skincare this week, but I didn't get the chance to write it down.
Everything is so weird. I'm trying to make plans to keep my business running in the midst of life shutting down but I have no idea what to plan for so it feels like I'm just spinning in place. I know what my goal is for tomorrow - to fulfill as many orders and restock as many products as I can - but after that? No clue!
While I was at work restocking and packing what I could today I was also trying to plan out what I would do in the event of a lockdown-type situation and imagining what it would look like to run my business out of my home. Obviously I can't make things in my home kitchen (my cat is all over everything,) but I could still ship what I already had in stock. Or would anyone know or try to stop me or even care if I went to my office by myself and worked? I live within walking distance so like... don't mind me, just out for a stroll, you know?! But would I be able to receive shipments of materials? I mean.. the mail won't stop running, right???
See? Spinning out. That's where we're at now. Because I can't predict the future and I can't bear the thought of stopping. So I think and think and think about every possible alternative. This is what I do! It's how I got my business to this point, actually... anxiety propelled me to greatness. LOL.
If I could slow down for a bit I could probably make some room for a big idea to come through, but I can't slow down yet because there's so much work to do.
And I'm sorry for rambling, but I'm afraid. I don't even care about losing money at this point. My work is everything to me. I don't know what my life would look like or who I would be without it. I love it so much. I love making these products. I love using them. When I finally stop scrolling and compulsively checking news updates and trying to plan for something no one can possibly plan for, going into my bathroom and opening up my medicine cabinet and seeing it all waiting for me is the definition of comfort. It feels like those bottles represent the best of me, and I want to keep sharing them because they are good and people will need them, especially if everything is falling apart.
Am I too emotional about my facial oil? Probably. But maybe that's why it's good.
I started testing the new one I made for acne prone skin this week. Total 180 from the facial oil for sensitive skin and I'm still adjusting. My skin is clear (yay) and not the least bit oily, (nailed it!) but I was really loving the extreme-juicy-dew-effect of that sensitive formula... I'll stick with it though and report back soon.
It was difficult to keep up with keeping track of my skincare because I've been so busy a) working, and b) obsessing over current events and trying to be prepared and also trying to trust my hygiene practices and also trying to stay positive and not freak out,
but anyway, let's focus on skincare for a bit:
If you're following along, last week's breakouts were definitely hormonal, (thanks again, PMS!) but great news, after last Saturday's charcoal mask I was able to use my comedone extractor to great effect and it cleared up in a couple of days.
This week, I mixed up a new facemask that'll be available exclusively in the April beauty box, with pink clay, exfoliating rosehip seeds, aloe vera, and coconut milk - which is one of my favorite mask add-ins because it's rich in vitamins, nourishing fatty acids, and just generally makes your skin feel like a baby's butt. I got the idea for this one, again, when I was down with the flu, because I was feeling gross and in the mood for a good, (gentle,) scrub that would just, ya know, completely revitalize my skin and leave it glowing and ready for spring. That's all... lol
I've made enough face masks to know that I don't need to test this extensively before putting it out there - it works exactly how I wanted it to, and you should get the box if you want to try! (And no, I won't be releasing it separately... it's a one time thing, just for fun!)
OH, and update on the sensitive skin serum I've been testing - I still love it! I've decided to call it "facial oil for sensitive skin" because calling it a "serum" makes people assume that it's going to be some kind of water based thing with hyaluronic acid, which I don't do because, well, I like to keep my hydration more simple and free of harsh preservatives. This new facial oil for sensitive skin (also in the April box, btw!) while lightweight, is especially emollient and feels a bit more "oily" than my other oils and "serums" so I don't want to confuse anyone. (Although I'm sure I just did confuse a whole bunch of people by writing that sentence, sorry - just try a sample when it's available and you'll see what I mean!)
I've also been getting back into the habit of nightly steams over the past few days because I'm coming to terms with the fact that my sinuses still haven't fully recovered from the flu, and I'm SO tired of being stuffy when I go to bed at night. It's been A MONTH. (Spring allergens and up and down temperatures and paranoia over new viruses don't help either, I guess...)
So, stay healthy out there! Stay home! Don't be a jerk who hoards hand sanitizer because I'm now out until my alcohol shipment arrives next week!
(FYI: if you didn't place your order before I ran out you can use your twinkle spray perfume as a sanitizer because it's over 90% alcohol... and I happen to have plenty of perfume in stock, wink wink!)
For real though, if I were going to hoard anything from Twinkle Apothecary I think it would be cleansing oil and toning mist, because that's what I go through the most - how about you?
Pinch and zoom if you're on mobile or expand your browser screen if you're on a computer to read all of the details:
Week 10 of 2020 and it's feeling like spring out there!
Skincare highlights from the week - I didn't plan well and got a tiny bit too much sun at the park on Sunday - nothing a little beauty butter can't fix though! Time to get back into my daily sunscreen routine...
Also I had... gasp, a few pimples pop up out of nowhere on Friday! One small flesh colored bump between my left earlobe and jaw that no one can see but I know it's there, and two small whiteheads on my chin. I wanted to blame my sunscreen but it's never broken me out before and I still have a few months to go before it reaches its expiration date. Most likely it's hormonal, diet related, or simply because I freaking couldn't stop touching it once I realized it was there. See, I felt this tiny little bump just under my left earlobe on Thursday night and I could not help myself. I kept checking to see if it was still there, if it was getting bigger, (it was, because of the touching,) if it was going to turn into anything I could take care of with my comedone extractor... when what I should have done is applied some acne spot treatment and walked away.
Now, on Saturday night, the two whiteheads on my chin are long gone (thanks to the comedone extractor) but that little bump on my neck is still there. My plan of action is to not do anything because what can you do? I did a charcoal mask tonight which should help (results from that typically appear the next morning) and I'm going to apply acne spot treatment every time I'm tempted to touch it - which is exactly what I recommend anyone else do with a pimple. Don't panic. Keep calm and acne spot on.
Sadly, it's not time to test my new acne serum, but I am still loving the sensitive skin serum I'm testing! It feels so nourishing and overall, my skin is still looking great. I don't think I'll change a thing and it should be ready soon.
I hope this breakdown of my routine for the week is helpful - pinch and zoom if you're on your phone or enlarge your browser if you're on a desktop to get all of the details.
Written By Stefanie Grant-Cassel - February 29 2020
It was business (glorious, beautiful, wonderful) business as usual this week, only better, because it's starting to feel like S P R I N G ! ! ! outside and I am so ready!
While I had the flu last week, I dreamed up a couple of new facial oils that I was able to whip up once I got back to work and am now testing. Well, I test things one at a time, so I'm testing just one of them now, which is my new sensitive skin serum, made without essential oils.
The superstar ingredient in this serum is blueberry seed oil, which I knew I had to use in something the minute a sample landed on my desk a few months ago because, well, it smells like smooshing up fresh blueberries and rubbing them all over your face. Never mind that it's crazy expensive... you can literally smell the antioxidants, people!
Because I test things for (at least) a solid two weeks before I make a decision, this means I'll be forgoing my usual facial oil in the morning/winter serum at night routine and just use the new sensitive skin serum morning and night. It's so difficult to give up my favorites, (seriously don't know how people shop for new skincare all the time... I'm happily committed to my products, thank you!) but great news, I am absolutely LOVING this new serum so far. It's only been a couple of days but my skin is so, so happy.
Honestly, with the exception of a couple of accidents (facewhip!) most of my product development happens inside my head with the thinking and the planning and the research, so by the time I've made something new to test that I'm serious about, the testing part is usually just a formality. It's kind of hard to mess up a facial oil with this level of fantastic ingredients, you know? But, I want to have a good idea of how it compares to my other oils and serums so I'll keep using it and report back.
Written By Stefanie Grant-Cassel - February 23 2020
I lost an entire week of my life (and several thousands of dollars in revenue from having to close my shop) to the flu. It was, and still is, awful. Here's what I did to my face.
Why so many steams? Because it soothed my throat and because I am incredibly protective of my nose. It's hard to make perfume when you can't breathe or smell. Did you know it's possible to permanently lose your sense of smell from having the flu? Fun fact, right? Just one of the many reasons why sick people are no longer allowed in my shop. (Not joking. GTFO.) 🙅🏻♀️
My sense of smell is back but I'm currently overwhelmed with nausea so who knows what the April perfume junkie club scent is gonna look like 😂 wish me luck?!
I must say, it's nice to have a good, simple, reliable everyday routine to fall back on when you feel your worst. When I didn't feel like doing anything, I didn't, but when I did, it was very soothing. Even though I feel like I'm falling apart, you'd never know it from my face. I hope you have a routine that makes you feel just as good, and if you don't... you should maybe give this stuff a try!
Written By Stefanie Grant-Cassel - February 16 2020
The weeks are flying by but winter is still in full effect.
One question I've been getting a lot in the shop this week is "how will I know when it's time to switch to spring serum?" and um, no idea. I personally don't have a plan. I just know that I'm still really loving my winter serum right now.
You can use winter serum all year long if you like... you can use any of the seasonal serums at any time of the year. Winter serum is something I designed with dry, flaky, irritated skin in mind, while the spring serum has more of a brightening, glow-enhancing effect. But they're both solid lightweight moisturizers that will work for any skin type at any time of the year.
I have noticed an upswing in spring serum sales over the past week though, so it seems like you guys are ready to get your glow on!
I've still got quite a bit of winter serum left in my bottle so I'll probably use it up before I bring home something new, but no promises. Stay tuned to see when/why I change it up next!
Oh, and because I said I'd report back - I added lavender flowers to my facial steam this week (not something I do every week btw - it's really more to support my sinuses/prevent them from becoming inflamed than for my face) and I'm not sure if the effects were any different, but it did smell AMAZING and prompted me to make a lavender soak for the March box, which you could also use for a facial steam. So yeah, get excited about that... it's heavenly! Sadly, I don't have a bathtub in my apartment, but I've taken to soaking my feet at night, which is nice and warming/relaxing too.
Also, ICYMI, here are some skincare video tutorials:
Written By Stefanie Grant-Cassel - February 10 2020
My nighttime skincare routine is truly one of the highlights of my day, but it is best done in silence.
I'm sorry... it's just that after a long day of answering the same questions over and over in my shop, and also via email, the last thing I want to do is hear myself say the same thing to myself. Because as I'm saying it, I'm observing myself saying it for the millionth time, and I just get so sick of hearing myself saying it all over again. Again. I just want to shut myself off from the world and enjoy my lovely products, not think about why they work. They just do. Because I said so.
But nevertheless, I persisted and stumbled through this horribly awkward video that is hopefully helpful to those of you who need visuals and don't like to read.
I'm sorry I can't get that excited to chat about skincare at 8pm on a Monday night. I'm not fake, ok?
But, this is my fave routine, and I love it. Double cleansing may seem like too much for many of you, but it keeps my skin clear and balanced so why would I change something that works so well for me?
That being said, and because I get a lot of questions about ways to simplify, there are a lot of ways to customize it, and as promised, here are a few different options:
2. You could just oil cleanse, skipping the powder cleanser step. (I do this sometimes when I'm super tired at night.)
3. You could oil cleanse and massage it in with the konjac sponge for a little exfoliation, without having to break out a powder cleanser/facemask.
4. You could mix the cleansing oil into the powder cleanser and get the benefits of both at the same time. (Just don't rub the powder cleanser into your eyes - you'll have to remove eye makeup a different way!)
5. If you're not wearing makeup, you can just use the powder cleanser. (Or even if you are wearing makeup - again, just don't rub it into your eyes!)
6. If you have dry skin and aren't prone to breakouts, you could skip the toning mist and go straight to the hydrosol step.
7. If you have oily skin, never ever skip the toner, but you could skip the hydrosol, and the beauty butter at the end. Don't skip moisturizing completely though. Adding oil to your face will actually help it find its natural balance. (Rose hydrosol is balancing too, just fyi.)
And of course, you could sub out any of my facial oils or serums for both the oil cleansing and moisturizing steps (or use the same one for both steps even!) You can also sub out any of my powder cleansers or facemasks for the cleansing grains step.
(use the sandalwood + aloe facemask for the most exfoliation.)
Just don't wash your face with soap/foaming cleansers. Unless you like stripping away everything that's good and beneficial on your face and making your skin over-produce oil that is...
Have I lost you yet, non-readers of the world?
If you want to learn more and don't hate looking at icky words on your screen, 😜 I highly suggest checking out my weekly skincare schedule posts, where I write down every single thing I do to my face morning and night. There, you'll be able to see where I mix it up, pare it down, skip steps, add steps, switch out products, etc., etc. (Don't worry, I add some kinda-cute graphics?!?)
Written By Stefanie Grant-Cassel - February 09 2020
Super lazy double snow day this week, but not super lazy in regards to skincare. I usually try to keep it simple during the week, but how can you resist doing a little bit extra when you magically receive a weekend built into the middle of your week? (Also, thanks me/boss for the time off - also just kidding I was doing my taxes.)
For reference: the facial/sinus steam I did on Wednesday is super simple, and I highly recommend giving it a try. I boil a small pot of water on my stove and add a generous amount of pink himalayan salt and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. And breathe it in for about 5-8 minutes. I did this because my son had a bit of a cold and I thought I was starting to feel a bit stuffy too. Great news - I didn't feel stuffy anymore or get sick after the steam - and I love that it feels like it's drawing all of the gunk out of my pores.
You can get fancy with a steam and add dried herbs and flowers, but I'm usually too lazy. I'll try it next time and report back. OH - and I also love to oil cleanse first, leaving the oil on my face as I steam, then wipe if off and do a mask afterwards. I don't know why I didn't do it that way this time. Eh... either way works!
Oh and I tried to film my nighttime skincare routine for you this week but I was too tired at the end of the days where it would have been an appropriate time to film! I promise I will get it done this week. If you haven't already, please check out my morning skincare routine video here.
Written By Stefanie Grant-Cassel - February 02 2020
Another week, more great skin.
Don't let the amount of words on this calendar fool you... as you can see in this video, it's actually so simple.
This job is weird. I get so many compliments on my skin, and I'm just like, thank you... it's because of all of these things here on my shelf, which you can also buy, and I'll tell you exactly how to use them too.
Really, so simple. 🙂
But will you do it?
I hope so.
Because everyone deserves to feel this good in their skin!