Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Favorite Things -- Presents to myself!

I have to admit I bought myself two early birthday presents: a Clarisonic Pro and a set of cobalt Le Creuset bakers...

This is sort of a frugal move because I actually saved $65 off total price of both combined. I bought the Clarisonic on eBay (my first time!) and bought the cooking dishes by email  not only on sale but with the inclusion of a "bonus" dish. In each case I am also replacing multiple items which are in my newest Goodwill bag (first of the year!). So pretty/useful things in, clutter out, money saved: win-win!



In terms of the Clarisonic Pro: I had already been thinking about buying one, admittedly a Mia, when I read the review on In My Professional Opinion, and was swayed. Then I read more customer reviews on drugstore.com and sephora.com. I decided to buy this version because it also targets the body, and I've been using it on my neck, decollete, shoulders, and arms. In less than two weeks, I am seeing great results: smoother skin on my forearms, which has the most sun-damage, thanks to driving in a 24/7 sunny geography; less bumps on upper arms and elbows, and generally better color and texture everywhere else. I am also using the sensitive head on my face, and while the results are less spectacular, I am very pleased. I am using my own gel cleanser, using it 1-2xs daily, and no peeling, dryness, or irritation (thanks, I think, to the sensitive brush). But I did get the normal facial brush as well, and may incorporate that later. In about 3 minutes every morning in the shower I am seeing a difference in my skin and appearance. That  may also be due to the better absorption of facial moisturizers, serums, and body lotions applied after.

I also have 2/5 of the usual price by bidding on eBay, which is good because it is pricey. I had already tried the Neutrogena facial system (now in Goodwill!) and looked at the new system Olay has in stores. Neither has the craftsmanship or value of the Clarisonic, in my opinion. But if you do want a system and don't want to spend what I did, they will work. I simply like the brushed better than the pads (Neutrogena) and like the softer, more dense facial brush (rather than Olay).

I will let you know how things move along.

My other birthday purchase (early, by the way!) was the pair of Le Creuset bakers I wrote about before Christmas. No one took the hint, so I decided to do it myself. You might remember that last year I gave myself a Le Creuset round casserole, so I kept the same color: cobalt.
The bakers are small: the larger is slightly smaller than a sheet of paper, and the small one is about 1/2 that. Perfect for a single cooker/eater who occasionally has a friend over. The big one can hold a casserole for four reasonable eaters or two huge chicken breasts (like this weekend), while the small one can comfortably bake a good piece of salmon, a pot pie, or a 2 or 3-day supply of lasagna (want to try the Winter Green Lasagna from Chow!). In other words, I have downsized portions without dramatic struggle, while upgrading the chic of my kitchen! Yay, me.

Two new things to brighten the long days of winter... even here in the Big D!

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