THE LAB: The Ordinary, A Review.

Follow me into the lab my gorgeous grandmas… let’s take a look at The Ordinary.

I was first turned on when a friend brought a ziploc full of science-y bottles on a ladies weekend. She looked great. The ziploc was full of obvious science. I spend the flight home making a cart and pulled the trigger later that week. Scientific method? DUH.

QUESTION: Does The Ordinary work?

BACKGROUND RESEARCH: I asked some friends and looked at the website. The website is EXTREMELY confusing. These products may only be made for actual dermatologists. There is a chart that helps a bit. But there is an overwhelming amount of products that are not broken up in any way that makes sense. Really lean on the chart.

HYPOTHESIS: It may work. It may not?

EXPERIMENT: I ordered 6 items about 6 weeks ago.

“Buffet” – This is billed as a multi tasking serum. They do note that “Buffet” is a distasteful word. You can use AM and PM. I used AM and PM. Like most of the products, it comes in a glass bottle and dispenses from a glass eye dropper. I love that so much. It feels a bit sticky but it’s a first layer (I know because they tell you that in the chart.) I like. I will buy again.

hoito buffet the ordinary serum howoldistooold antiaging review

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – Not sure why I bought. It was on one of the charts under the antiaging catagory and cost about $7 bucks so I got it. More watery then the “Buffet” but still sticky. It attracts 1000 x it’s weight in water so I was hoping it would make my face less parched. Success. I will buy again.

ha acids 2 percent the ordinary hoito review

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA – This is the only one that resembles something I know about – lotion. I NEED surface hydration. No matter how hydrated serums are making my face or there is a behind the scenes water attraction happening, I just need the top of my skin to feel moisturized. 8 bucks, works well. Will buy again.

the ordinary review lotion ha 2 percent hoito the lab

Advanced Retinoid 2% – Being old I’ve always wanted to try a retinol or retinoid but I’ve been way too scared. I was convinced my super sensitive skin would flip. But this is a perfect baby step. I use around my eyes and then all over. Instant difference. $10 bucks, will buy again.

hoito the lab retonoid review the lab the ordinary

100% Cold Pressed Rose Oil – All the most glowy ladies I know say things like “I only use olive oil to cleanse and moisturizer, just like my grandma.” Or “Coconut Oil is perfect for hair and skin and I’d never touch anything non organic.” So, here I was, covering my face in Rose Oil. AND I HATED IT. I hated it from the very first night. I did it anyway for over a month. I did it until I broke out, took a break, tried again, broke out again. When I say break out, I am talking high school style zits. White heads. Giant, greasy zits. It disgusted me to even write that sentence. My face does NOT do oils. I don’t like the feel, and I hate the zits. So. No. I will NOT be buying again.

hoito the lab the ordinary review rose oil

Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester – This is from a sister company of The Ordinary, NIOD. A little more expensive, but just as esoteric. And, I hate it. Same reasons as the above oil. Hate putting oil on my face but if I’m going to, I want it to at least work. It does NOT remove all traces of makeup. And it leaves your face all oily. Remember the breakouts?

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

ANALYZE: Of my initial order, I like most of it. The Ordinary is crazy cheap – the basic idea is these are all common and familiar technologies and ingredients, they are concentrated and not full of extras and tons of water. Pricing integrity they call it. I’m into it. You can try stuff and move on without feeling like you are in too deep financially. I have the oils in a give away pile and the rest on re-order. The downside of the low low prices is it’s too easy to GO BIG. Better to start with one and add them in one by one. Then you could really see what’s working and what’s not. Another on the pro list – the small science bottles and eye droppers make you feel fancy and like you are really doing something for your skin.

REPORT: So, overall. My skin looks better! It really does. I’ve noticed an actual difference around my eyes. And I think the portion of the 6 weeks that was highlighted by greasy breakouts really gave me that teen acne look. It’s hard to recreate those high school pimples. I wonder how many people thought I was IN high school with that face?  And when I dropped the oils, the breakout cleared up in a couple weeks and my face stayed hydrated and puffy. I plan on adding another moisturizer for night to replace the Rose Oil. Something in a cream or lotion form. Just cause I like that and even if it’s not the best thing based on science, I like what I like. The Ordinary – order now! And tell us what works for you so I don’t have to work through all 50 items!

Good luck, you little baby faces!

THE LAB: Batiste, You Beast

File this one under “Old Dog, Old Tricks,” friends, because obviously everyone on Earth knows and uses Batiste, except me, until now. WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL POTION???

I’m not new to dry shampoo or anything – I wash my hair once or twice a week, and I know all too well the greasy dirt bomb that is the morning of Day 4 – but I’ve never found a product that could truly do all the things. And so I’ve been sprinkling baby powder on my roots (and all over my black clothes and sink and bath mat) for YEARS, not knowing that someone basically solved all of life’s mysteries, put it in an aerosol can, drew adorable cherries on the label, and then went and sold it for eight dollars.

It does all the things I could possibly dream of it doing, but somehow manages to be even better. Guys, LOOK AT MY HAIR:

Batiste dry shampoo review - How Old is Too Old

Stop washing your hair and just use Batiste instead - says this old person

Batiste saved my life tonight sugar bear

It’s Monday, and I haven’t washed my hair – or even gotten it wet – since … Thursday? I can’t even remember, it’s been that long!

I wasn’t even going to write about this, but I used it this morning and the record of my life metaphorically scratched, and I had to say something.

Never washing my hair again, obvs.

Batiste dry shampoo review
solar eclipse viewing.

 

 

THE LAB: Shopping at YESSTYLE.COM

I am ALWAYS telling people to shop  at Yesstyle.com.  And shortly after I suggest it, I have to explain what it is. And THEN, I try to cram in as many of the rules of shopping at Yesstyle as I can before their eyes glaze over looking at cat socks and couples co-ords.

My best aging pals deserve better! A handy guide below.

  1. You should shop at Yesstyle!
  2. What IS Yesstyle? Well, I’m glad you asked! It’s an online shopping emporium dedicated to Asian fashion, accessories, and beauty! Think ASOS (all the UK brands you know and love and a million smaller ones to find) for Asia.
  3. Anything you should know before losing the next four hours building your cart? YES.

DON’T GET OVERWHELMED BY THE VAST EXPANSE.

Yesstyle is home to millions of items. MILLIONS. Do not try to look at all the “dresses.” (55k+ items). Or “black sandals.” (6k+ items). You are gonna want to get specific. Look for “white distressed jeans cropped.” 19, ok. 19. I can work with that. Then scroll through about 30 photos of each item – all leaning on desks, holding coffees, crossing streets; not a ton of your basic catalog modeling happening. Gives you a much better glimpse into how clothes move and fit. Add your favorites to your cart and there you go. white distressed jeans cropped hoito yesstyle

Frontline Ripped Cropped Jeans, $22.21.

Renera Distressed Jeans, $20.27.

(All items shown are actually in my cart. My cart is currently at 28 items. About average for me.)

COUNTERPOINT: EXPLORE.

Some of my favorite items have been found poking around. WITH DIRECTION. I like to go to the Women’s New Arrival tab and start scrolling. Just scroll and scroll through all the filler until something catches your eye. Then click into that Brand, like Miss Yoyo. I clicked on the jumpsuit and found the jammies. Both landed in the cart. miss yoyo yesstyle yeeees jumpsuits and jammies hoito

Miss Yoyo Plain Jumpsuit, $23.18.

Miss Yoyo Matching Pajama Set, $29.97.

Under the printed jammies was a “Similar Items” scroll. Cool! I DO want to see more! So click on through… And then again… Just wandering around Yesstyle collecting must haves…yesstyle hopping hoito dresses

Moon City Stripe Dress, $19.30. 

Miss Yes Double Breasted Shirt Dress, $19.30. 

GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF DELIVERY TIME.

Say you are super stoked to get your new Clover Dream dresses. You have a thing, you want to wear one to a thing and then the other one to another cool thing. Ask yourself, when is this event? Is it this week? This month? Within the next 6 weeks? WON’T HAPPEN. Absolutely spring for the express shipping. But do so with the knowledge that this will get you closer to the 4-6 range and not the usual 3 month range. Once you know this, it becomes a fun surprise! OH! These cool Clover Dreams dresses?! I totally forgot about them!! Your items are not in stock, they are not going to be ANYWHERE, certainly not your closet, in 7 days. So, you just order, and you wait. And then your Clover Dream dresses arrive and you are THRILLED. clover yesstyle dresses really good hoito

Clover Dream Printed Short Sleeve Dress, $27.20.

Clover Dream Printed 3/4 Sleeve Dress, $25.12.

SHOES. SIZE UP. Except if you think they might JUST SIZE UP.

Your feet are one size larger in this market. They just are. Order a size up. Always. If you’re going to try your regular size, maybe do a sandal or something. Don’t you dare order a flat in anything other than one size up. What size will I order these sandals in?! JK, I’ll order them a size up. yesstyle shoes hoito best sandals ever antiaging footwear.jpg

Wello Velcro Platforms in White, $29.00.

Vivier Rhinestone Sandal, $81.38.

Southback Sandals, $23.18.

Goroke Tassel Sandals,$69.74.

STYLING INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE.

Look at that cutie pedicure poking out of those black buckled sandals above. LOVE IT. Tried this hair last weekend and looked like Bjork, BUT ready to try again with some auxiliary hairpieces and some things to stick on/in the hair (sidenote, the ELF SACK brand is worth scrolling though to the end. All this model. All amazing. So much is not enough). The shirt, sure. The hair, YES. If you look at the details, the layering, the styling, you will find some excellent ideas.hoito yesstyle hair inspo bork hair but not the lab youthful hair

All Elf Sack. ❤

GENERAL SIZING:

These guys go HARD in the details section. Jeans have 6+ measurements, dresses too. Every line is measured. Many have charts. But the most AMAZING part is the unit of measurement converter so you can flip all the sizes from centimeters to inches. SO thoughtful, Yesstyle!

hoito yesstyle sizing amazing

ONE SIZE.

A fair amount of the items, especially jumpsuits and dresses are One Size. Annoying, But works for me? I like giant things and these would be giant on just about anyone. I say try it. one size jumpsuit hoito.jpg

JENNA LYONS DOES NOT KNOW THE BEST SOCKS. THE BEST SOCKS ARE FROM YESSTYLE.

I was wrong. Forgive me.

best socks ever hoito socks to make you feel you again.jpg

Lazy Corner No Show, $4.75. WORTH IT BUY EVERY COLOR.

Sock Kingdom Heart Socks, $4.75. Also good. BUT BUY THE LAZY CORNERS.

A couple last notes:

Maternity clothes are rarely, if ever, modeled on pregnant woman.

Jeans often come with the button hole sewn shut.

Sheet masks?! HAVE AT EM. K-Beauty?! THERE IS NO BETTER SOURCE. You want collagen?! GET AT IT.

Are you too old for Yesstyle? No, I think not. Enjoy my babies.

THE LAB: DIY Fresh Flower Embellishment

What’s this? Two LABS in a row?? Lollapalooza just wrapped (hello drunk babies!), and because I’m on summer mode and very behind schedule in everything, here’s a perfectly-timed tutorial to help you look super relevant at all of your future outdoor music events. I think there’s only one big festival left this year in Chicago, but this look also works well for parties and art shows, and any other time it’s acceptable to admit that you need lots of attention, so be sure to save to your Pinterest board (we need the traffic!) and pull this one out when you need a real ‘WOW’ moment.

DIY Fresh Flower Embellishment - sew fresh flowers to your jacket - by How Old is Too Old

People will LOSE THEIR MINDS.

I know, because I did this last-minute for Pitchfork, and somewhere, at this very moment, I’m in the deleted files of a NY Times Style section photographer. Life goal halfsies!

This project requires a needle and thread, but don’t worry about keeping it neat – you’ll be ripping it all out with your dehydrated, arthritic hands the next day anyway. Be sure to stick to sturdy fabrics, like denim, that can support the weight of the flowers, and opt for buds that can withstand being punctured. I highly recommend weaving a few leaves into the design as well, to give it more oomph and also really drive home the fact that THESE ARE FRESH FLOWERS, PEOPLE, I’M A VERY IMPORTANT AND FRIVOLOUS ARTIST, ALBEIT A VERY OLD ONE.

DIY Tutorial: Fresh Flower Embellishment

DIY Tutorial - Sewn Fresh Flower Embellishment - howoldistooold.com

 

 

Materials:

  • Garment (denim jacket, perhaps?)
  • Flowers w/ leaves
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pins

Instructions:

I didn’t really plan out a design for this project, but if you’re a bit more responsible – like, maybe the kind of person who just does their taxes instead of letting the worry and annoyance eat away at you like a parasite to the point where you can’t write a blog post, because you don’t even want to touch your computer … – feel free to use a piece of chalk or something to draw out your design in advance. 

Begin by snipping a few buds at their bases, removing the stems entirely. Using your needle, secure a length of thread to your garment, then puncture the base of your first flower, pulling the thread out the other side and back into the garment a couple of times. Repeat for each flower [basically just sew them on by hand – you know how this works, right?]. It can be a total mess on the inside, just make sure you’re not pulling the thread so taut that the fabric puckers. Use pins, as needed, to lay out a few flowers at a time (best not to do this all at once in the beginning, because you’ll need to get your hands in there as you go). When you’re happy with your design, sew in a few leaves here and there to really bring it to life.

Notes:

If you choose a hearty flower, and you’re not in excessive heat, this should last you all evening without spritzing or anything. And if you go with a color that doesn’t quickly turn brown (like red over pale pink, for instance), even a little wilting looks fine.

The Lab: Raffia Pom Pom Sandals DIY

Back from summer vacation and straight INTO THE LAB.

I brought these shoes into that super sterile environment full of science tools. And immediately discovered that these sandals are BORING. Dumb and boring. Hmmmm. RAFFIA POMS? Yes.

If you’ve ever made yarn pom poms, it’s the same basic idea.

Materials:

Instructions:

  • Raffia is easier in the beginning because it’s already folded over. I went with three folds, because I wanted them to be big. REALLY BIG.
  • Cut off your three folds and tie the center with string as tight as you can.
  • Cut a small felt square, this will help it adhere to the shoes. Raffia is hard to glue to shoes. Slice a small hole into the hole and thread the string though.
  • Cut any raffia that is connected or looped and start to spread the raffia. Now is when Raffia is harder then yarn. It’s not as fluffy as yard, so not as easy to spread. I had to scrunch it to make it fill out.
  • Once your pom is puffed, glue to shoe. Score the top of the sandal with your scissors, again to help adhere the pom. I scored the middle of the bottom strap near the top.
  • Add a LOT of glue to the felt square AND the shoe. Press pom to shoes where you scored.

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Press and press and press. AND THEN WEAR.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

AND WEAR.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

AND WEAR.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

DIY Raffia Pom Pom Sandals. Perfect for summer and making a hushed russling sound as you walk. If you like ASMR videos, you will LOVE these sandals.

THE LAB: DIY MIU MIU GLITTER SUNGLASSES

A couple years ago I went to the wedding of my dearest Italian cousin. She got married in a cathedral close to the beach in her little Italian resort town. My main man and I tacked a few days on the front end of the trip and went to Capri. (Those are my favorite sentences I have ever written.) We did all the stuff – walked the gardens, drank cappuccinos in cobblestones squares, swam in the Blue Grotto, and OF COURSE shopped and shopped. I must have tried on and NOT bought 50 pairs of round glitter Miu Miu Sunglasses.So when we hit up Target to get Veronica some Fendi lookalikes and I saw these hideous sunglasses, I knew just what to do.

Materials:

  • Target Round Sunglasses
  • Glitters in many sizes
  • Mod Podge, Original
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Small detail paint brush
  • Washi Tape (Or just be really careful)

As always, the hardest part for me was deciding on the Glitter Mix. The Miu Mius I saw came in all kinds – straight black glitter; chunky, big white glitters; opaques and clear pastels; ombres… Paralyzed with indecision, I made two Mixes. One black base, lots of silver glitter (comparison above, I used the left. The middle has rainbow reflections and the right was too white.) Then added lots of chunky flake silver. (Was this a bad idea? The larger flakes were tough to work around.) The second was a black base as well, this time with white glitter and small white sequins. Add the Mod Podge in tiny drops until you get a very thick glitter paste.

Black, Silver add ins.  Black, Silver add ins. Black, white add ins.  Black, white add ins.

STILL unable to decide, I tested them. With a leap of faith, I went with the original plan – Black with ALL the silvers.

I also taped off the sunglasses so as not to have a repeat of the DIY Rodarte Nails Disaster of 2017. I am a messy maker.

The glitter mix should be THICK. Always start with the glitter and add the paint/gel/Mod Podge in small doses. Otherwise, you generally end up with a thinner glitter ratio. Becuase it’s so thick, you will have to use a stippling technique – dab on the glitter mix building some volume and very slowly make your way around. Do not use paint strokes and try to coat moving side to side. Some of the flakes in the mix I went were too big, so I just worked around them.

Continue around until covered. I waited 20 minutes for it to set (this is the magic when all the grey of the Mod Podge dries and you are left with your glitter crystalized hardened texture.) I did a second coat to even out the volume. Let dry. DONE!

Peel your tape off and put on face.

(It is VERY hard to take a photo of mirrored sunglasses.)

I am very happy with the results. I think I will buy a second pair of those terrible sunglasses and make a pink version. I should, right?

THE LAB: DIY Fendi Crystal 52mm Tipped Cat Eye Sunglasses

Veronica in THE FENDI CAT EYES. (HEART EYES EMOJI). Veronica in THE FENDI CAT EYES. (HEART EYES EMOJI).

Veronica fell hard for a pair of Fendi Crystal Tipped Cat Eyes but WHOA MY GOD, the DOLLARS. They could not be hers, and that broke my heart into just a million pieces. So I did what any friend would do – I took her to Target, picked up supplies, procured the best cocktail money could buy, and we got to it. Today! We take The Lab to Lost Lake!  

Materials:

You are thinking, HOW? How can I possibly make those?! But, trust me, YOU CAN!

First, get a Bunny’s Banana Daiquiri. It’s widely regarded as the best daiquiri in the world and comes with a delightful banana dolphin! Organize your supplies:

Glue crystals to sunglasses using Super Glue.

Super Glue takes about two minutes to set. Carefully hold in place. It’s kind of a long time. Take a sip of that daq.

Repeat on other side. And you are done!

Then you just do what you do in Lost Lake (read: take photos under the neon sign!)

Now that V has her Fendi’s, I’ve got my sights set on some Glitter Miu Mius. Coming Soon.