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BPAL Madness!

Archaic Smile

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About Archaic Smile

  • Rank
    evil enabler

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Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female

BPAL

  • Favorite Scents
    BPAL: Roux-Ga-Roux Brom Bones The Witching Time of Night Crow Moon Ghastly Garden Arcana: Vampire's Garden Sleepy Hollow Burlesque Devilish Notes: Moss Nepalese Amber Cardamom White Musk Cinnamon Rich earth, leafy green, aquatics, and deep forest florals are what I enjoy the most. I'm not a big fan of foody scents, however, I have a bit of a weakness for smokey vanillas, cinnamon, cardamom, and chocolate.

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    United States

Astrology

  • Chinese Zodiac Sign
    Snake
  • Western Zodiac Sign
    Leo
  1. Archaic Smile

    It's December Already?

    It's been 4 months and 23 days since I first started OCM. I'm still at it and...well...there's still nothing really to report. No breakouts or blocked pores, no unusual changes or problems, and despite the dry weather my oil mixture and routine has stayed the same. The only thing that has changed is the moisturizer I use in the evening after cleansing. During the warmer months I used Alba Botanica Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free moisturizer, which I still use in the morning, but now I use Alba's Jasmine & Vitamin E Moisture Cream as well. It's rich enough to keep the dryness at bay during the cold season, but light enough that it absorbs quickly and doesn't leave an icky residue on my face. I love the stuff, but it's a little expensive at $16.95 for a 3 oz. jar. It lasts a long time, though, and considering the oils for my OCM mixture are petty inexpensive I guess I shouldn't feel so bad paying a little more for a good night-time winter moisturizer. Speaking of the cost of OCM: Considering what I spent initially on all the oils and the dropper bottles for storage, the per month cost for OCM over a four month period is roughly around $8.25. Even my green tea and witch hazel toner blend is just a little over a dollar per month. I'd almost like to work out how much I spent over the years on other skin care products that didn't work out so well or failed miserably, but I'm pretty sure I'd be sick for days just thinking about it.
  2. Archaic Smile

    Aunt Caroline's Joy Mojo

    Like others here have already said, it is indeed sweet, but it's a nice kind of sweet thats very subtle and light-hearted. I like it!
  3. Archaic Smile

    Brom Bones

    This is without a doubt moving to my BPAL favorites list. The leather can be a little strong at the initial application, but once it dries it settles into a warm, well worn leather with an under-current of sweet spice. I tend to favor scents that are earthy/feminine, but "The butchest, manliest of musks covered in well-worn leather," is freaking fabulous on my skin.
  4. Archaic Smile

    No News Is Good News

    Nothing much to report, which is pretty dang fabulous considering my lousy track record with skin care products. It's been three months since starting OCM and I continue to be very happy with the results. I've had no breakouts since my last post except for one hormonal zit that was there one day then gone the next, and my skin's oil production stayed balanced through an incredibly humid couple of months. It'll be interesting to see how OCM will work in the dry winter weather. I'm a just little concerned that the castor oil may dry my skin out, but if that happens I'll just have to tweak my oil mixture again. Otherwise....
  5. Archaic Smile

    Must Be the Mica

    September 26, 2008 I found a foundation! Two weeks ago I started using Alima foundation and so far no bumps or breakouts. It has less mica than the foundation I had been using so I'm assuming that that may have been the problem - or at least part of the problem. Either way I'm happy that it doesn't bother my skin and it looks great. As for my OCM routine, I adjusted the oils a bit last week for the cooler and drier weather and it's working out really well. My mixture is now: 2 Tbsp. castor oil 2 Tbsp. jojoba oil 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (for more moisture and exfoliation) 2 drops tea tree oil (antiseptic and anti-bacterial) 2 drops rosehip oil (for Hyper-pigmentation and sun exposure) I am seeing more improvements in my skin's texture and appearance. No bumps, no breakouts, and even the small scar above my lip is faded. Other products I use: Alba Botanica Coconut Milk Facial Wash (In the morning and sometimes when I get home from work) Alba Botanica Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer Villainess Mud masks: Scintillating or Pearl Diver (A light application 2 to 3 times a week) My own toner blend of 1/2 green tea and 1/2 witch hazel If anyone actually reads this, and may even be considering starting OCM, I would again strongly caution you to think about it, ask around, and do some research. The reason I'm saying this is that lately I’ve come across a number of people on different health and beauty forums that tried OCM and had terrible reactions that either exacerbated an existing problem, like acne or rosacia, or created new problems like acne, skin sensitivity, and/or blackheads and whiteheads. Some helpful advice: Be very careful when trying something new on your skin - pay attention to ingredients and how you might react to them. Don't replace everything in your regimen all at once. Make changes in stages over a period of a few weeks. This way if you have a bad reaction or see no improvement it's easier to determine the source of the problem. Give your skin time to adjust, but if you have a bad reaction, stop immediately and go back to your old product & routine for a while until your skin settles down. Don't be sucked in by someone else's excitement over a product, routine, or treatment without asking three important questions: How long have you been using it? What was your skin type and condition before you started? What other products or treatments do you use?
  6. Archaic Smile

    Buh Bye Mineral Makeup?

    September 12, 2008 Over the past couple of weeks I've had some additional breakouts and several small bumps on my forehead and jawline. The odd thing was most of them wouldn't appear until the end of the day. I'd do my OCM routine at night before I went to bed, my skin would look a lot better the next morning, then by the end of the day it would be a mess again. My first thought was to blame the OCM, but then I remembered that I had changed my brand of mineral make up a few weeks ago. So I stopped wearing foundation for three days and the skin problems immediately went away. I'm happy it wasn't the OCM causing the bumps and breakouts, but I'm frustrated as hell that I probably won't find a mineral foundation that will work for me. At least the eyeshadows appear to be OK, however, I'm not willing to take a chance on the finishing powders or concealers. The ingredients are too similar to the foundations.
  7. Archaic Smile

    A Quick Update

    August 29, 2008 I got such good results when I did my OCM routine right after sweating through a day's worth of yardwork in the hot weather last week. More plugs than usual came to the surface and my skin looked much better. I'm beginning to wonder if steaming my face a minute or two every night before I massage with the oil mixture might be a good idea. I am still getting a few little bumps, which sucks, but my pores continue to look good and I'm not at all oily like I used to be.
  8. Archaic Smile

    Still Getting Results

    August 15, 2008 I increased the castor oil and increased my massage time to eight minutes. The pores on my nose are a lot better and I've had more plugs come loose, but a few small bumps came up on my jaw line. Those were gone in a day or so, though. I’m assuming the bumps may have appeared due to some OCM "purging period" I've heard about. Whatever the reason I hope the bumps are only a temporary side-effect and not a precursor to something worse.
  9. Archaic Smile

    Gotta Love Those Hormones

    August 8, 2008 On Monday I developed a couple of premenstrual zits that were gone by Wednesday. I’m reluctant to attribute it to OCM, but it is unusual for me to get rid of hormonal breakouts so quickly - especially big and painful ones. My only other issue this week may be a small stubborn area of blocked pores on my nose. Tonight I’m planning on adding a teaspoon of castor oil to my OCM mix to see if that might help the problem. Hopefully it will be a small enough amount not to dry my skin out, but big enough to have an effect on the blocked pores. Otherwise... The oil is still in check and my pores still look smaller than they did before I started OCM.
  10. Archaic Smile

    My First Entry

    The Basics… The Oil Cleansing Method is a skin care system for cleansing the face using a natural “carrier” oil, such as extra virgin olive oil or jojoba oil, and castor oil; castor oil being the most important in OCM because of its cleansing properties. Beginners often start out with a mixture of half extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and half castor oil. However, because castor oil can be very drying it’s often suggested that a ratio of 3 parts carrier oil to 1 part castor oil be used in the beginning. Once some experience is gained with the cleansing method, the oil mixture can be tweaked based on skin type and personal preference. Examples of other carrier oils that can be used with the castor oil are: almond, sunflower seed, and avocado. The “Cleansing Method” itself is typically done once a day in the evening: • Pour a small puddle of oil mixture (the size of a quarter; more if preferred) into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together to warm the oil then smooth over your face. • Massage the oil into your face using slow, firm circular motions across your skin. This removes makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so it’s not necessary to wash your face beforehand or use a make-up remover. Do this for 4 to 5 minutes focusing on areas prone to excess oil, blackheads, acne, etc. • Once you’ve completed massaging the oil into your skin, take a warm steamy washcloth and hold it to your face; leave it there until it cools. Wipe your face gently, rinse the washcloth, and repeat this step until the oil residue is removed. • You can then use a toner (if preferred) and moisturize with your favorite moisturizer. For those who want a complete explanation of the Oil Cleansing Method please check out this website. A little bit about my skin… I’ve been frustrated for years with excessive oil and large pores across the bridge of my nose and forehead. To combat the slick I tried just about every over the counter oil reducing, pore minimizing and refining, skin stripping acid in a bottle treatment I could get my hands on. All of which would work for a short and often uncomfortable period then it was back to blotting oil and repairing the damage that the commercial treatments left behind. After so many trials with disappointing results I eventually gave up altogether and stayed with a routine of gentle cleansing, moisturizing with a good noncomedogenic moisturizer, and keeping the make-up as light as possible with just a little liquid foundation and talc free powder. This worked OK, but not as well as I would have liked. There had to be something better, and if possible, something more natural and less stressful for my skin. Discovering OCM… The 1st of July I was online searching for natural moisturizers when I came across the Oil Cleansing Method website. I googled OCM and found an amazing amount of blogs, message board threads, videos on YouTube, and health articles all dedicated to this “natural and simple cleansing method.” The idea that OCM could actually be beneficial to my skin’s overall health and reduce the amount of oil it produces sounded promising, and after taking some time and reading everything I could on the method, I decided to give it a try. The beginning of my nightly ritual… Thursday July 10, 2008 The oil mixture I began with was 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to 1 part castor oil (The castor oil I found in a local health food store). I followed all the steps I listed above massaging my face 5 minutes, then steaming it with a washcloth 4 to 5 times, and following that with a toner I blended of half witch hazel half green tea. When I started I was skeptical of the claims that I read about “plugs” becoming dislodged from the pores during the massage step, but that’s exactly what happened. As I worked on my nose and cheeks I felt these tiny hard particles slowly appear under my fingers. After steaming and toning my skin looked and felt smooth and soft. I had fewer blackheads and my pores, though still big, looked a lot better. It was a surprisingly good result for a first try, but the big test was seeing what would happen after doing OCM consistently for an entire week. Thursday July 17, 2008 I expected the usual irritation and/or breakouts after I try something new for a while, but my face still looked and felt smooth and healthy. The pores were a lot less noticeable, especially on my nose, but the best result was my skin seemed to be producing less oil. Usually by the afternoon my make-up would be gone and I’d look like a glazed donut, but this time all I had was a little shine across my nose and forehead everyday by late afternoon. So far so good, but one part of my OCM routine had to change - the olive oil. It was a little too thick for my liking and because I’d heard so many people with oily skin praising the benefits of using jojoba in OCM I thought it was a good time to switch. The benefits of jojoba: It has antimicrobial properties, which means it discourages the growth of some bacterial and fungal microbes that attack the skin. The chemical composition of jojoba closely resembles that of the skin’s natural sebum, so it is easily absorbed and rarely causes allergic reactions, even in the most sensitive individuals. Because the structure of jojoba oil so closely resembles natural sebum jojoba oil can prevent the skin from becoming too oily. My OCM mixture went from a heavy blend of olive oil to something a little more light and workable. I also reduced the amount I made since the shelf life for jojoba (3 to 4 months stored in a cool dark place) is shorter than olive oil and a little more expensive. I now blend 4 Tbsp of jojoba and 2 Tbsp of castor oil in an amber apothecary bottle with a dropper top. The dropper works great for controlling the amount I dispense each time so nothing goes to waste. The difference the change in oils has made on my face is not significant, but it is a lot easier to remove the jojoba during the steam process. And even though olive oil worked just as well, I don’t get that weird feeling that I’m rubbing salad dressing on my face anymore. Why blog about it? Tuesday July 29, 2008 Almost two weeks later and I’ve decided to write my weekly experiences down to keep track of my progress and setbacks (if any *fingers crossed*) with OCM. This is the first time I’ve used a skin care regime that might actually have better than expected long term results. That said… This is by no means an endorsement of OCM or a conclusive How To. OCM might not fit the needs of everyone because clearly every one of us has different skin types and health requirements, different lifestyles, and different demands on our time. I’m no authority on the subject and would caution anyone to look into OCM more carefully before they try it themselves.
  11. Archaic Smile

    Saint-Germain

    Saint-Germain is exactly why I never get rid of imps that I initially don't like. I set it aside several months ago because the lavender was way too strong, but when I tried it again last night I found that I have a real fondness for it. With a little age the lavender has calmed down while the amber & mosses have become more pronounced. It still has some of the the sharpness of a floral colonge, but it's fresh, not cloying, and is simple enough to layer well with other scents. As for throw and longevity on me it hangs around only two or three hours before I lose the scent of it completely, but most perfumes with floral top notes don't last very long on my skin anyway. Dispite that I think I may end up getting a bottle.
  12. Archaic Smile

    October

    This scent makes me think of the Tim Burton film, Sleepy Hollow. More specifically the burial tree of the Headless Horseman. It's very much like how I would imagine the smell of a foreboding ancient oak forest covered with sweet, damp, loamy earth, ghostly mists, and decaying leaves - something straight out of a fireside tale. I also get the slight impression of cologne, but to me it seems pretty gender neutral. Then again I don't really mind wearing BPAL scents that are somewhat masculine. I just apply less or layer them with something a little lighter in tone. Oh! This might go really well with one of the Pumkin scents! I'm totally in the mood for wool sweaters, scarves, hot soup, and cozy blankets now.
  13. Archaic Smile

    The Ghastly Garden

    Overgrown oleander, marshy water hemlock, the sugared nectar of carnivorous blooms, putrefying wet greenery, oozing sap, crushed rosary peas, withered climbing roses, and nightshade berries. I searched, but couldn't find a review so...*gulp*...here goes. At first sniff from the bottle I definitely got white floral (Oleander?) with wet greenery. It's very pleasant and immediately made me think of what a tropical greenhouse smells like in the fall. On my skin and on the dry down the floral softens a bit and the greenery gets a little stronger. Not strong as in mossy - it's almost like fresh cut stems directly from the garden. Altogether it's very pretty and feminine, but not girly, the throw is very good and it seems to have better than average longevity. I'm so glad I took a chance and bought a big bottle!
  14. Archaic Smile

    Limited editions equivalents in the general catalog?

    Robin Goodfellow smells very similar to Roux-Ga-Roux on my skin with maybe a touch less floral. Hopefully the aging process doesn't change Robin too much, because I'd love to have a GC backup for when my beloved Roux-Ga-Roux runs out.
  15. Archaic Smile

    lovin' the moss!

    I definately recommend Roux-Ga-Roux (LE) for swampy mossy goodness: Spanish moss, swamp jessamine, bog water, cypress, hickory wood, lobelia, sweet flag, wisteria, and marsh milkweed. A lot of people were put off by bog water, cypress, and hickory wood in the description so it might be a little difficult to track down a decant or bottle, but it's worth it. Roux-Ga-Roux really is a wonderful mossy aquatic with light floral notes dancing in the background. Plus it has a nice throw and good longevity. I'm big into moss, too. I have Bayou on order plus I'm going to give Robin Goodfellow a try. It's a bit of a wild card, but the dark musk, moss-covered wood, ragwort, heather, and sage sounded too lovely to pass up.
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