How About An Oil Change?

Neutrogena Body Oil Light Sesame Formula. If you were a teen in the 90s, you know what it is. If not, all you need to know is that this stuff is the OG of body oils. But for a long time, oil–especially when it came to face products–was in the Untouchables caste of the beauty world. Oil-free moisturizers, oil-free foundations and oil-free cleansers reigned supreme. The popular belief was that all products containing oil caused breakouts and were therefore to be avoided. You might have read magazine articles about Italian women using olive oil as a moisturizer, but the average American woman thought “Oh no, that wouldn’t work on my skin. But I am thinking about chicken parm for dinner now.”

But times have changed. Oil products are the new It Girl of the beauty world. From oil cleansers to face oils to hair oils, a lot of people–including most dermatologists–are pro-oil. But I realize some people are still skirred. They think any oils used on their face will cause breakouts and hair oil will make their locks look greasy. Some oils do cause breakouts, but that’s not the case for all oils and all skin types*.  I  have combination skin and have struggled with breakouts before. I wouldn’t say I am acne-prone, but I do break out from waxing and every time (on the extremely rare occasion) that I fall asleep with makeup on. If the oil products I love were to cause breakouts, it would have happened to me–which it hasn’t. And hair oil, if used correctly, won’t make your hair look greasy. You can have an oily scalp and dry ends so those ends are crying out for hair oil.

This is my take on oils from my own experience and the experience of estheticians, clients and hair stylists I know. You may find contradictory information from other makeup artists, estheticians, dermatologists and hair stylists. And again, some oils do cause breakouts. It has to do with the size of the oil molecules and the other ingredients in the product, so do your research and choose wisely. Or use my cheat sheet below.

Oils I Have Known and Loved

  1. Neutrogena Body Oil Light Sesame Formula. This oil gives you silky smooth skin. Most body lotions sting my legs if I put them on right after shaving, but that has never happened to me with this oil. It absorbs quickly, the scent is not overpowering and it makes my skin so soft. And at under $10 for 8.5 fl oz, it won’t break the bank.
  2. NUDE Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil. I have tried many oil cleansers and this is the one I always go back to. It removes even heavy makeup without feeling like it’s stripping the skin and it doesn’t leave a film–two of the common problems I’ve had with other oil cleansers. You only need a small amount so one bottle lasts forever. Just try not to get it in your eyes, because as with any cleanser I’ve ever used, that shit stings. Eyeballs don’t need to be cleansed, okay?
  3. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil. This face oil was one of the first well known ones. I use it before bed and at least 20 minutes before I apply my makeup in the morning (you can also mix it into your moisturizer to save time). I had some peeling on my chin this winter–partly from retinol and partly from the cold–and when I started using this face oil, my peeling disappeared in two days. That’s fast and you know it.
  4. Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil. I mentioned this product in one of my recent blog posts. I started using it twice a day about two months ago and my hair has never looked better. I apply it to my hair from mid-shaft to ends–never at the roots–and let it work its magic. It takes about 20 seconds to apply so you anti-high maintenance ladies have no excuse.

So, what do you think? Want to make your skin and hair look and feel healthier? I’d say you are ready for a change.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

*If you have true acneic skin, I would avoid oil face products until your acne is gone. It’s hard to tell which products–oil based or not–will cause more breakouts on acneic skin, so I would recommend cleanser and moisturizer for sensitive skin along with an acne treatment instead. Also, massaging anything into your skin–which you want to do with face oil–stimulates the oil glands which can aggravate acneic skin.


The Lash Trifecta

My father has Trilogitis. It is the compulsion to say the same thing three ways so that “people understand you.” (I have argued that saying something once clearly does the job, but he disagrees.) You won’t find Trilogitis in the DSM-5 because I made it up.

Here’s my go-to example of this disorder which affects dozens of people–who congregate in groups of three–worldwide. This conversation happened after I told my father how much I weigh.

Dad: “I’m twice your size!”

Allison: “Yup.”

Dad: “I mean, two of you would be one of me!”

Allison: “Yeah…”

Dad: “If there were two Allisons sitting in this truck right now, that would equal one Ray!”


My father says things are better in threes, everything should be a trilogy and three ways is ideal. In some cases, I have to agree. Destiny’s Child; Pop, lock and drop it; Tito’s, club soda, splash of cran. They go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. I myself have a beauty trio–a lash trifecta, if you will–and that’s what I’m here to talk about.

After a separation from Dior Diorshow Mascara, my one true love, we are back together. But like any couple giving it another go, we decided to try different things. So we brought Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum into the mix.  I top it all off with L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara and the “Are those your real eyelashes?” questions are back.

With any beauty product, timing and technique are just as important as the product itself. So here’s what you need to know, in a step-by-step format to please my fellow Type A-ers.

  1. Apply a thin layer of  lash serum to the top lashes on one eye. (I like to start with my left eye, in tribute to TLC.) The serum is white and on the thicker side so you will need to comb it through. Do this with a metal lash comb, not a pair of tiny scissors like I use on my own lashes.
  2. Immediately after, apply mascara and comb through. You need to work fast here–no stopping to text your sister or Facebook wish someone you’ve never met a happy birthday. Once the serum dries, you’re dealing with hardened lashes that don’t play well with others. I keep my serum and mascara open during the process so there is no time wasted. It’s serum, comb, mascara, comb. Don’t get it twisted.
  3. Repeat on your other set of top lashes.
  4. Next up is the final coat for top lashes (which I don’t do right away–I’ll post about my makeup steps another day). Take out the L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, hold the wand up to your lashes and lightly blink into it. This mascara adds length and inky blackness to your lashes.
  5. Apply Telescopic to your bottom lashes. You don’t need to dip back into the tube for this. The amount left on the wand after applying to your top lashes is plenty. The goal of bottom lash mascara is to add volume–not length–to the lash roots, which gives definition to the eyes. If you focus on adding length, you head into spidery territory.
  6. Sit back and let the compliments roll in.

This trifecta has made me very happy. It seems like a lot of steps but you know what? Some things take effort. You’re probably not going to get the best overall makeup results in 3 minutes with all drugstore products. That doesn’t mean you need 45 minutes each morning and an insurance policy for your makeup bag, but I would be doing you a major disservice if I told you everything was quick and wallet-friendly. I suggest that you decide what is most important to you for your everyday look–maybe it’s lashes, even skintone or concealing undereye circles–and put the most time and effort into that area. This post is for the Lash Girls out there, in hopes that this trifecta will improve their beauty lives too.

Have a beautiful day 🙂