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?

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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!

Carts: FESTIVAL EDITION (Don’t worry, still for old people.)

This blog is not a blog that says WE ARE NOT TOO OLD FOR ANYTHING EVER. We are not trying to BE 20 year olds, or look like 20 years olds; we are simply embracing being 30 plus year olds. So, when we ARE too old, we say it.


Be it on H&M, Asos, or Barney’s, I’m not doing it. (OK, fine. We’d probably wear the Isabel Marant and Valentino from the Barney’s Festival page.) But hard pass to the bulk of it. To be honest though, I don’t really get why. We LIKE sequins. We sometimes like fringe. We like flares and neon, cut offs and vintage. WHY when it comes to festivals does it look like sometime took all those things, added crochet and western wear and a strong dose of cultural appropriation (Teen Vogue at it again with the real talk HERE), threw it in a blender, and when it came out a terrible stringy mess thought “I’ll just add platforms and tinted sunglasses!”

Actually, again, I like platforms and tinted sunglasses? WHAT HAPPENS? It truly is a mystery to me. Something about loving the parts, hating the sum of the parts. Maybe it’s just basic math and I’m missing it. Love THIS. Hate THIS. So there we are.

Wholly on the plus side, however: the rise of festival culture, is it a culture?, has also given rise to some just plain FUN body accouterments.* How far do you want to go, fellow too old for festival tab person?

Let’s dip our toe in first, shall we? Hello Mr. Kate!

Images via Mr. Kate.  Images via Mr. Kate.

AWWWWW. How sweet are these little cutie metallic freckle?! “The cutest.” is the answer. The actual cutest.  Mr. Kate makes all kinds of jewelry and bags and what not, but is really SHINING with the Beauty Marks collection. Glittery flecks to scatter around your cheeks, or the Confetti, a more multi purpose glitter accent.

Application: Temporary tattoos.

Result: Cheek pinch inducing cuteness of a Disney doe.

Collaboration: None (yet).

Ready for a little more is more? Hey there, Body Bauble!

Images via Body Bauble.  Images via Body Bauble.

Body Bauble has more of a stick on application reminicist of high school dances and the first wave of “body jewelry” in the 90’s. (Don’t you just always miss the 90’s?) You’d dive into a pile a body glitter, roll around a bit, then decide that your shoulder just needed a bit, more? Crystal star made of rhinestones from Claires? Exactly the thing. And we’ve walked ourselves right back there with a slightly chicer (but also then slightly more boring, yeah?) metallic and pearl stick ons. Plenty of the cheek/eye gems as well, but something about this just misses the upbeat, FUN! part of this. You think?

Application: Peel and Stick.

Result: A more grown up version of your junior year Turnabout. TOO grown up?

Collaboration: Chain Smokers. :

AND JUST GO FOR IT!!! WhoaMG, Gypsy Shrine!

Images via Gypsy Shrine.  Images via Gypsy Shrine.

Do not hold back. Do not hold back and THEN ADD MORE. Seems to be the motto at Gypsy Shrine, and I for one am NOT mad about it. There is something so unrestrained and so utterly insane, and so FUN!, that nothing else seems to matter. Look like you are trying to hard? Hell yeah you do, and you don’t give A. F. Showing a lot, shining a lot, being so extra you probably find glitter in your bed, bathroom, shoes, closet, kitchen for the foreseeable future? Into it! Caveat: I am too old for the Boob Jewels. 100% too old. It’s OK, not everything is for me. Let the barely legals LIVE. Maybe I’m more into the idea of it then I actually want to try myself. Either way, YES GYPSY SHRINE.

Application: Peel and stick.

Result: Add their glitters to your hair and body and you’ve got a straight up Burning Man aspirational teen mermaid riding a unicorn up a rainbow. With some sea punk thrown in.

Collaboration: Sophie Hannah Richardson. Duh.

Some of these, if placed carefully, would be excellent Botox Alternatives, though they were not made with my wrinkles in mind. Really living for this moment in time when it is acceptable to shine bright by ACTUALLY shining. Festival or not, this summer, we will be out there glittering.

*Have to be extra clear: Tribal in any way, bindis, headdresses, and pretending you are a cartoon Pochantas EDM princess = PUKE.

SHOP HOITO: Glitter Smudge Kit Available Now!

Pull back your wrinkles, we’ve got some major news!!

Are you tired of staring at that depressing ditch running down between your brows? Did you try one of these super daring trends for 20-year-olds and now your old NKOTB t-shirt is totally lost, probably after being sucked up into the cavernous folds of your middle forehead? Have you been thinking about attempting Molly’s glitter smudge, but you’re worried about proper mixing and application with your shaky hands?

Well, after months of intense scientific research and testing, we are thrilled to announce that we’ve finally perfected a method to make your pesky furrow completely disappear under a dusting of sparkle and magic.

Introducing … the Glitter Smudge kit!

We’ve carefully designed a couture mix of glitters, formulated specifically for those old lady indicator lines, and paired it with an all-natural smudge stick and super precise template. Packaged together in a party envelope, this kit looks great on you AND your friends.


Quantities are V limited! SHOP NOW!