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.

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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?

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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: 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.

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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: 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.

 

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Press and press and press. AND THEN WEAR.

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AND WEAR.

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AND WEAR.

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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.

PAPER DOLLS: Cavalli 2012 (And pin straight blonde hair.)

I miss being a blonde. hoito- molly- veronica-Naomi-Campbell-Karen-Elson-Kristen-McMenamy-Daphne-Groeneveld-by-Steven-Meisel-for-Robert-Cavalli-Spring-2012My shade of brown takes about 7 hours to get to white blonde (the only blonde worth having), and I have exactly two years before I have to get a pixie cut. Veronica fares much better as a redhead. And we both look great in Cavalli. molly veronica hoito cavalli still love it2012, the heyday of Cavalli, yes? And also, those stick straight blow outs. I think I knew how to do it then, we all did. Did we collectively lose that technology or it just me how can’t learn it again?

V. Also a vision in that baby blonde.

veronica cavalli hoiro in the lab howoldistooold
All images via Vogue. 

Carts: Glitter Makeup? Yeah, let’s do it again!

We were in high school in the late 90’s. So we DID glitter makeup. A lot of sheens, remember sheens? Frosted lips, frosted eyes. Shimmery glosses.

Somewhere along the line though, ’96? ’97? For sure by 1998, things had gotten way out of hand. I went to dances arms absolutely crusted with body glitter. First generation body glitters, the ones that were gel based/smelled terribly of rubbing alcohol/made your skin super tight as soon as it dried. We layered them carefully for size and color. AND THEN. Glitter eyeliner over the frosty eye shadow, glitter mascara, frosty lips. As if the frosty elements were a subtle counterpart to the more ostentatious glitter layers. I mean.

It was bound to happen. Somewhere in the early 2000 on the way out the door I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and for the next decade and a half it was all flat matte everything. Even the 2005 debut of Calvin Kleins makeup line was totally out – those dewy faces were toeing the line of shine and I was just too gun shy. Now, we all know that I’ve gotten over that in some real ways. I’ve fallen re-in-love with a glitter accent – hello Glitter Smudge! Something about that feels so far past a frosted shadow that it works. So it took a while to face facts. I’m into it. It’s been 15 years. I’m 35. And I want to wear body glitter.

Milk Makeup can get adults into just about anything. The Glitter Stick feels like just enough. I hate myself but yes, I’m going to wear this on my clavicle. Just like high school. But no rubbing alcohol smell and no, I won’t layer it with six other body glitters.

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Images via Milk. 

Glossier has a barely there shimmer lip gloss. See photo below. BARELY THERE. Perfect. Birthday Balm Dotcom.

birthday balm dotcom hoito howoldistooold glitter lips for adults
Images via Glossier. 

Not so into the colored glitters, at all. BUT. Make Makeup’s Glitter Eyeshadow in Quartz and the Urban Decay Shadow in Moondust are perfect see through-y, clear-ish, fairy dust-ish non colors that are hard to get on so a little dusting falls on the top of your cheeks.

glitter hoito adult glitters start with eyeshadows howoldistooold urban decay make makeup
Images via Make Makeup and Urban Decay.

So, here we go again! If I end up with crunchy curls from glitter hair gel, someone stop me. (Or don’t? Could be good again?)

CARTS: Slides for you and not for me.

Yes, sure, the heart wants what the heart wants. But I’ve always found that what the heart really wants is what it can’t have. Ever, at all. Concealed beneath the skin and tissues of this 35 year old lies the bones of grandma; I can’t wear shoes without backs. Ever, at all. Like a grandma, I can tell when it’s going to rain by my arthritic knees and sensible shoes are my friend. I can endure it by strapping myself into sky high platforms and well fitting heels, but slides/mules/flip flops/anything with zero back? NOPE.

llthebestyesstylepointymulesinoneplacerighthere hoito

Is there anything chicer then a pointy, flat slide? Embellished to all get out OR plain, modern, simple? I like them all! I WANT them all! I want to wear suede slides with a ball gown. Furry slides with denim. Dress up work clothes with something a little weird and cool and be easy on weekends with a nothing little mule. But my knees would HURT. Ache and ache and then I’d worry that I’d be damaging what little cartilage is next and if I do that and then can’t wear heels, what do I even have to live for anymore?! flatslideschicsimpleeasyflatshoito

That Pure Navy one is a GREAT deal on Gilt and I always feel closer to my ideal woman when I look at anything Eileen Fisher. But it can’t be! For me, anyway. For you, little loves, run free in your backless slides!

And never forget, THE ONE – Brother Vellies Fur Slide. I die. Every time. Good luck to you in your Ebay/LGS/TheRealReal hunt!!c2a9brother-vellies-instagram-jardin-babouche

STRONG LOOK: Canadian Tuxedo (but not in denim.)

What is the all leather version of a Canadian Tuxedo?  Parisian Pajamas? City Sweatsuit?

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A few things:

  1. I can’t lie to you. This is NOT an all leather outfit. Yes, the jacket is leather. But, the pants are 100% Vegan Leather. So it’s more leather on fake leather. They are cropped and pleated with a drawstring, tho. So. I’m wearing them.
  2. My sister asked if these were my wedding shoes. NO, ANNIE. THESE KORKEASE WORK SHOES ARE NOT MY WEDDING MIU MIUS.
  3. I recently did acquire 100% real leather pants. I haven’t worn them yet because I haven’t found someone I trust to hem them. And, though I was told NOT to hem them so they could scrunch a little at the ankle, that advice came from women are in the 5’9″ range. I am 5’2. I MUST have a slice of ankle or else I look really short. I am V excited to start working on bringing down the cost per wear.
  4. While googling iconic denim ads, I came across this Guess Ad. I remember pulling it out of a magazine in college. That babe on the left was the first time I felt like having glasses might not be the very worst thing in the whole world. She really sells it.

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You: Do you have a great tailor in Chicago? Do you also love this ad? Do you also love Guess ads, just in a general way?