Topic: Skin Care

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream: A Multitude of Uses for This Multifaceted Potion

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Skin Care

egyptian magic, skin cream, acne treatment, spot treatment

Positively magical…

Typically, I do everything I can to remove grease and oil from my face. At 25, with adult acne and a slew of medications to combat it, I never thought I’d actually slather my face with anything oil based. I’ve tried coconut oil, as well as oil-based cleansers, and they never seemed to perform any magic.

Egyptian Magic, on the other hand, might have a few tricks up its sleeve. Containing only six ingredients, the cult beauty favorite has been around since the early ’90s, and it’s easy to see why it’s become such a must-have item.

My first impressions upon investigation were that it did seem very similar in the style of packaging to Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (with the prayers and simple fonts). The red font, coupled with the blue and white background, screams drugstore product, but EM seems to fall somewhere in the middle. Price/size wise, I would have to call it “lower to middle high end,” with a 2-oz. jar ringing in at $26 and a 4-oz. jar coming in just under $40 (though you can also purchase it at drugstores).

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream

Touted as an “all-purpose skin cream,” Egyptian Magic contains six ingredients that are said to be identical to a formula found in ancient tombs. While I’m not sure of that, I am sure that this formulation is somewhat of a miracle worker when it comes to difficult skin.

Here are just a few of the different ways I’ve used it over the past two weeks:

As an eyebrow tamer and conditioner

Seriously, I don’t know what possessed me to put this on my eyebrows, but something told me, “Marcy, put it on your damn brows. It’ll do them good.” And it did. I found that just dabbing my finger in the cream and applying before bed left my brows silky and soft (all the better for filling, my dear).

Note: it looks slightly wet if applied too heavily.

As a cuticle cream

This was sort of a “duh” moment for me. Applying EM to my cuticles daily and letting it sink in (5-10 minutes) is like heaven for my constant hangnails. I typically do so before bed, but if you have to during the day, it won’t make too much of a mess.

A moisturizer

A few times during testing I found myself without my regular moisturizer, or that I had forgotten my moisturizer. I was also moving at this time, and at one point, all of my products, except this one, which was in my purse, were packed away. Enter Egyptian Magic. Slathered on my face and properly rubbed in, I could go about my day without looking greasy. I didn’t exactly look matte, but I didn’t look overly oily, you get me?

A spot treatment

Also packed away were my acne treatments. Dabbing this on any problem areas has kept the few spots that have reared their ugly heads (literally) away for the last few days. Stress zits are real, ya’ll, especially when you stay up until 5 a.m. on the day your lease ends moving the last of your possessions (and your terrified cats).

To relieve hives/allergic reactions

I have a severe mold allergy, and due to some wayward mushrooms I found myself with a tiny patch of hives. This product did the trick better than the prescription cream an allergist (that I spent potentially hundreds on) prescribed me. Additionally, my boyfriend had a strange allergic reaction at this time, resulting in red welts on his arms, and rubbing a little bit of EM on his arms daily helped the itching.

As a lip balm

The first thing I thought of to apply this as was a lip balm. NYC winters and the winds that come with them can be extra harsh, and up until a few days ago, it was mighty cold around here. When I applied the cream to my lips, it was slightly exfoliating at first (TMI, that might have just been because of all the dead skin on my lips), and then came the pillowy softness and the realization, IS THIS WHAT SOFT LIPS FEEL LIKE? Applying this before bed and after a lip scrub will have you ready for any lipstick.

(Here’s a more comprehensive list of the product’s possible uses.)

All in all, I thoroughly enjoy this product. The only thing I own that is similar that I have enjoyed is Lush’s Ultrabalm. For $14.95 for 1.4 oz., it’s just slightly more expensive per ounce than the 4-oz. jar of Egyptian Magic. While Ultrabalm is vegan, I feel it doesn’t have as many uses as its contender. EM is a thoroughly universal product that anyone can find a practical use for.

Marcella Yakalis

Marcella Yakalis is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, New York, with two cats, one snake, and one very patient boyfriend. She writes about family, relationships, and oppressive retail culture. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.

Must-Have Moisturizing Products

Published in: Guest Post, Kiehl's, Murad, Skin Care

must have moisturizing products

I have combination skin, and I LOVE pampering it with all kinds of moisturizing serums, potions and masks. I’ve found that keeping my skin moisturized is the best way to keep it happy and avoid minor irritations and redness (my skin is also pretty sensitive, lucky me!).

Even though we don’t really experience severe winter weather in the Bay Area, thanks to indoor heating and cooler temperatures, I still load up on moisturizers, and these are my current favorites for keeping my skin moisturized and soft:

moisturizing products

My nighttime skincare routine is sort of long, but I love it. I turn it into a mini pampering session, and I’ll double-cleanse, tone, add a serum, then a moisturizer, then a facial oil…and this is on my “low key” nights!

Lately, I’ve been using Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture at night (you can check out my nighttime skincare routine here). It’s packed with avocado, sunflower and olive oils, and even though it also has shea butter, it somehow manages to feel light. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks, but my skin feels really soft and plump in the morning after I use it. I’ve noticed no irritation, either, so this is a definite winner. It’s available now at Sephora for $72.

murad hydro dynamic cream
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Get Clearer Skin in 5 Steps With Pixi

Published in: Elizabeth Arden, Guest Post, Pixi, Product Reviews, Skin Care


I chase clear skin like I chase the donut food truck. Having the best skin possible is super important to me, as I’m sure it is for you too!

Weirdly enough, I’ve had way more skin issues in my 20s than I did in my high school years. Maybe that’s a blessing, because now I have the patience to experiment with different concoctions to find the best products and routines for my skin, and as of this moment, I think I’ve found it.

I’ve been using this routine now for several weeks and have been so happy with how my skin has been acting. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I use mostly Pixi, along with a lovely little Elizabeth Arden serum.

Let me take you through my skin care routine, which I follow morning and night…

Step 1: Cleanse

Keeping your skin clean is so important. Removing your makeup and the nastiness of the day from your pores will help keep the breakouts away.

First, splash your skin with warm water to open up those pores, and then work Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser into your skin. It’s a delicious recipe for clear skin packed with yummy ingredients like glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera.


Step 2: Mud mask

This step, you only want to do two or three times a week. Shmear the Pixi Glow Mud Mask all over you face, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The rich mask is loaded with minerals to draw out excess oil and impurities from your skin. You can see all of the crud it pulled out of my pores!

So satisfying…



Step 3: Toner

Toner is a step that a lot of people feel is unnecessary, but I don’t think so at all. You need a toner, and let me tell you why. Toner helps to balance the PH level of your skin, meaning that, depending on your skin type, it’ll prompt your skin to produce either more or less oil on its own, whatever it needs.

Pixi Glow Tonic is the best toner I have EV-AR used. I don’t know how it does what it does, but it has reduced redness and breakouts in my skin more than any other product ever has. You have to try this one.


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Beauty Affordability: Learning to Handle the Guilt of the Price Tag

Published in: Guest Post, Just For Fun, Skin Care

$325 well spent.

Last year I wrote a brief essay on what it feels like when “budget beauty” starts to actually hurt your bank account. In short, I explored why I thought it was no longer fruitful for me to have seven of the same lipsticks in varying shades of red that were all dupes for a higher priced lipstick when for the total of all seven, I probably could have bought the higher priced thing by now.

A lot of my opinions in that essay still ring true. I do believe that investing in yourself is worth the time and waiting if you can’t afford it at this very moment, but as a person who grew up in the far reaches of the Adirondacks with little money, I can’t say that I will ever necessarily feel good about spending money on anything, especially myself, or my beauty products.

When I look at my makeup collection, the highest priced item on it at the moment is my Clinique Even Better Makeup. I purchased it on the recommendation of a Sephora employee, and I do love it as far as liquid makeup goes. I was looking for something that wouldn’t clog my pores, and that would cover up my acne and redness. At $27, it’s not that expensive compared to some items I’ve seen, but it’s more than I had been used to spending.

When my skin began revolting due to adult acne, I started rethinking my skincare routine. I knew that I would have to spend more money on creams, ointments, and moisturizers because my skin demanded quality and care. But this was the only area on which I relented. I still tried to find the best deals, the cheapest brands for the best quality (which, don’t we all, at times?)

Currently, my skincare prices look something like this:

  • Aczone Gel Prescription: Around $45
  • Tretinoin Prescription: Around $5
  • Retin-A Prescription: Around $10
  • Moisturizer: $9
  • Cleanser $7

Total: $76 (Give or take a few dollars.)

Not bad, considering my prescriptions last me almost 6 months, and the giant bottle of Neutrogena Cleanser I bought a few months ago is still going strong. These are prices I can deal with, because I feel that investing in my skincare is almost a part of my health. I’m very cautious when it comes to sun care and putting on SPF. As a super pale girl, I slather on as much as I can, even when it’s cloudy out.

What gets me, however, are the items that I don’t have to spend money on, and the pressures that I’m bombarded with daily when I even think about buying any kind of beauty item. That’s why I was sucked into the dupes for so long. Why buy the quality when you can find a cheaper version? (And that’s not to say some drugstore brands aren’t becoming better quality.) But as someone who grew up with a strict budget and started buying most things for herself very early, learning how to budget for things I needed versus things I wanted was one of the lousiest lessons to learn, because it makes you feel awful.
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Sea Results With H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment and Oil Infused Renewing Serum

Published in: Guest Post, Skin Care

H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment Oil-Infused Renewing Serum

Feeling hydrated already…

Want to hear a joke about seaweed? (Shore you do)

“What does seaweed say when it’s stuck on the bottom of the ocean…?”


I love a good seaweed pun. I also love a good moisturizer/serum combo.

Enter the H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment and their Sea Results Oil Infused Renewing Serum. The H2O+ line is full of influences from the ocean, from their Black Sea Body Line to the Sea Lavender Skin Smoother. Each product boasts different blends of sea elements such as wakame, a seaweed that has been proven to reduce inflammation, to sea lettuce, which “supports skin firming collagen and elastin,” to fennel, which helps with anti-aging.

That’s a lot to absorb, all puns intended.

H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment ($36 for a 1.7-oz. jar) and Sea Results Oil Infused Renewing Serum ($58 for a 1.0-oz. bottle)

Starting with a clean face just out of the shower, I dove into the Renewing Serum. The smell wasn’t irritating or overpowering, but there was an unidentifiable scent, which I chalked up to the fennel and sea lettuce.

You’ll either love it or hate it, but I was all over it. As it dried, it left a slightly cooling sensation. While this is the pricier of the two, I only required two short pumps for my entire face.

I’ve always been afraid of putting anything with oil in it anywhere near my body (I was a greasy kid), but this serum was light and delicate, absorbing into my combination skin in just a few seconds. It dried completely matte, leaving me ready for the next step in undersea skincare. 

H2O Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment Oil-Infused Renewing Serum

Feel the marine essence…

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