It’s with great pleasure that today I bring you an interview with one of my favourite bloggers, Michelle of Lab Muffin. In her blog, Michelle sets the record straight on many beauty myths, and explains the science behind beauty and how products work in a simple and straight-to-the-point way. She’s also obsessed with nail polish and nail art, at which she’s very talented.
Want to know more about Michelle? Read on:
1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
My name is Michelle and I am a beauty nerd! I have a PhD in organic chemistry and would love to work in formulating beauty products someday – in the meantime I’m just learning all I can about beauty and skincare. I also love pole dancing (I’ve been taking lessons for about 5 years now) and I also love food!
2. When and why did you decide to start your blog?
I started Lab Muffin in 2010 after being frustrated with the many beauty myths I came across on the internet – mineral oil being dangerous, natural being better than “chemicals”, skin and nails needing to breathe, the list goes on!
3. Have you found your HG products yet? If so, what are they?
I have a few HGs, but I love trying new products so I stray a lot.
Polish remover – DIY glycerin/acetone remover
Base coat – Orly Bonder or PVA base for glitter
Top coat – Seche Vite if I’m about to sleep, Peita’s Polish if I prefer the polish to last longer (it’s pretty quick anyway)
Daytime moisturiser – Uriage AquaPrecis
Foundation – Skin79 Pink Label BB
Concealer – Collection 2000
Face treatments – Glycolic acid, retinol, vitamin C, rose hip oil
I’m still trying to find the perfect shampoo and curling iron.
4. What is your favourite nail varnish of all time?
That’s a hard one! There are lots of really nice glitters around but I don’t think I could live with just that on my nails forever – it’s not very businesslike! So I’ll probably have to say OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay – deep blue that works for any occasion.
5. What are your top 3 manicure tips?
Clean-up with a brush and pure acetone. You can fix up serious messes with them!
Get a quick-dry top coat. Gets rid of the worse part of nail painting in my opinion, the bit where you wave your wet nails around sadly and try not to touch anything. I recommend Seche Vite.
Practice, practice, practice!
6. What is your favourite nail trend?
Nail art in general! It’s really exploded in the last few years.
7. Let’s talk about skin care; tell us about your skin care regime?
My regimen is a bit weird – I don’t stick to a regular schedule, I mix it up depending on what my skin needs.
1. Splash face with water, pat dry with towel.
2. Put on makeup (I mix in sunscreen with my BB, and sometimes put moisturiser on first if my skin feels dehydrated)
1. Cleanse: I remove eye makeup with oil or two-phase eye makeup remover. Then I wash my face in the shower, usually twice to make sure all the makeup is off. I start with a harsher foaming cleanser (I’m liking the ones that come with a foaming pump at the moment), then follow with a milder hydrating cleanser or an Asian peeling gel (twice a week). Once every week or two I’ll break out the cleansing brush.
2. Treatment: This step varies a lot depending on how my face looks.
– Clogged pores and dark grey sebaceous filaments – salicylic acid (I like Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid) them benzoyl peroxide on the spots
– Dull uneven skin – strong glycolic acid treatment (15%) or retinol or vitamin C (whichever one I haven’t used for the longest)
– Pretty damn nice skin – mild glycolic acid (8%) or retinol or rosehip oil or vitamin C
3. Moisturise – Again, depending on how my skin feels and what the weather is like, I’ll use different moisturisers. I try to use glycerin-containing moisturisers as my main issue is dehydration. Sometimes just rosehip oil is enough.
That ended up longer than I thought…
8. What ingredients do you look for, and which ones do you avoid, when shopping for yourself?
I love glycerin-containing moisturisers! I also love scientifically proven treatments like AHAs, salicylic acid, retinol and vitamin C. I try to avoid products with mineral oil except in the dead of winter (it’s too intense for my oily skin), things with microbeads (scrubs with polyethylene in the ingredients list) and those with too many essential oils. I also avoid anything that has too many buzzwords in the advertising – if it says “chemical-free”, I’m not buying it!
9. What beauty myth would you most like to dispel?
I have two – that expensive products are better, and that natural products are safer! (And that “chemical-free” is actually a real thing!)
10. And finally, do you have any beauty secrets you can share?
Physical and mental health are really important. Being well-rested and happy is the best beauty boost that money can’t buy!
Thank you for the interview Michelle!