Archive for category Skincare
Anyone who has gone a long while without internet (who wasn’t jumping out of planes, getting tattoos, and throwing themselves off bridges) knows how much its ridiculously missed, and how sad it is to see how attached they are to instant gratification. My new roommate moved in Sunday and as such, we upgraded from basic internet only to the full meal deal – that means FiberOp, Cable, AND a landline (whoa, dudes). However, the geniuses at BellAliant jumped the gun and fooled up my internet early, and I have been web-free since Friday :S Thankfully, after getting everything installed today it seems I am rejoining the electronically-informed populace…AMEN TO THAT.
Along with my inter-connection woes, I’ve also been SUUUUUPER busy with events and prep for my friend’s wedding in a couple weeks. The bachelorette party was last Saturday (at which I got far too boozy…oops) and coordinating that plus the new roomie was quite the feat. I haven’t even had time to buy new makeup, ya’ll! Which is probably a good thing, because I went WAY overboard in April as it is.
As tends to happen this time of year, several of my purchases had a recurring focus: the smells of summer. Though I’ve mostly turned my back on scented products due to my eczema, once the sun comes out and the heat goes up, all (well, MANY) bets are off, as all I wanna sniff and smell like is summertime. My general go-to is usually coconut – as a gourmand scent lover, it totally captures my foodie-loving heart, and reminds me of the way Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen *used* to smell (anyone else noticed it’s changed over the years? Not a fan). Every year I stock up on beachy-themed products; namely, conditioner, perfume, candles, and sometimes even hand cream if I’m feeling daring. This year has been no exception.
First I picked up a few candles from B&BW, and the one I’ve got stuck in my bathroom is Coconut Leaves. This is an awesome rendition as it’s not too cloying as coconut -scented products can be, and I love that this mini candle still has great throw without even being lit. Perfect for smaller spaces like the bathroom.
When I stocked up on my Aether Pumpkin Butter’s from Haus of Gloi, I also picked up a few of their seasonal scents – the Komodo Pumpkin Butter (mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragon’s blood resin, faded tropical blooms), Lassi Sugar Exfoliant (fresh mango cream, orange blossom water, black ginger, green tea, lime juice), and Selkie Soft Bubbling Scrub (evocatively described as ‘the break of waves, gurgling sea foam, kelp, rain-tinged air, sand smoothed driftwood, and wild sage). Sadly, Komodo is not at all what I hoped, the the tropical blooms being far too floral and sort of ‘old lady’* for my taste. However, Lassi is all sorts of lime-y deliciousness and smells just like sweet tarts, and Selkie makes me feel like I’m at a spa in the Caribbean. If I could have bought large sizes of these (they were out of stock) I would have – SO. YUMMY.
*A thought – as sweet, fruity fragrances are the trend now, are they going to be considered old lady scents when we are in fact, old ladies?? Hmmm…
Next, I nabbed an Organix body wash in Coconut Milk Hibiscus which smells a lot like the B&BW candle – it’s pseudo-coconut to be sure, but again it’s so too sweet and smells really delicious in the shower. Definitely envokes Calgon-take-me-away type feeling for sure. Additionally, it’s not too drying and fragrance is far down the list of ingredients – so far, so good.
Finally, last week while at Sephora I started sniffing a few scents, as it’s been SO long since I’ve bought one (and after *finally* finishing ‘The Perfume Lover,’ I’m kind of obsessed with fragrance now!!), and I stumbled upong BCBG’s Max Azria eau de parfum (released in 2011). It’s a tasty mix of wild strawberry, black cherry, and ‘French Kir Royale cocktail’ (black currant liqueur & white wine), which develops into jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, and violet, and is grounded by iris root, musk, and sandalwood. No coconut here, but it still totally pulled me in and made me think of berry picking and the easy times of summer. Unfortunately, I find the longevity of the fragrance weak, not more than an hour or so – though this might not be a bad thing once the temperatures start to rise. The sillage is is also soft, which again probably isn’t a bad thing in this case. So, while I love the scent, I am disappointed to some degree. At least I only purchased a rollerball (which could be the issue, too), so it’s entirely likely I’ll be finished the scent by the end of summer – just the way I like it
Though we’ve had some sunny days, and even a few warm ones, its still feeling like early spring for the most part here on the East Coast, so getting that little extra sunshine boost from these products goes a long way to nudging summer to my doorstep!
What’s your fave summer scent? And also – I MISSED YOU GUYS!!
Even as a total beauty addict who spends a major investment of both time and money into looking and feeling good, there are some beauty no-no’s I’m totally guilty of. I haven’t gotten my hair professionally cut in about three years. I don’t always floss (gasp! I know). I sometimes bite my cuticles (don’t judge!). But probably one of my most cringe-worthy bad habits is that I rarely shave – even in the summer. I’m a total lost cause, huh?
I think the issue started with shave gels that with all their scents and chemicals, would make my eczema freak out on my legs, which progressed to me skipping the process it altogether. In the winter, I probably shave my legs once a month (haha…I’m baring my soul here now lol); summer, probably once every two weeks. Thankfully, my hair is so fine and due to my darker coloring, it’s generally not noticeable unless you’re looking for it. But we all know that nothing beats a nice smooth leg!!
If you recall, I questioned the necessity of shaving products way back when, and since then I haven’t purchased nary a one. However, having been kindly sent a shave cream by eos (Evolution Of Smooth) skincare, I decided to give them another go.
There are several qualities of eos’ Shave Cream that are quite appealing to me. First off, it smells lovely (though…I can’t seem to see fragrance on the ingredient list…strange) – the scent I received was Pomegranate Raspberry, and YUM! So nice, but not sickening or too floral, which isn’t my taste. Second, it’s a cream, which in my experience is always far more hydrating and usually leads to less nicks and cuts as it’s texture allows the blade to glide so smoothly over the skin. Third, it’s got these freakin’ sweet grooves in the sides to allow you to grip the product oh-so-easily in the shower, and the bottle is recyclable plastic – bonus! I love that little added extra
The formula itself is also lovely and boasts vitamins E & C, natural aloe and oat extract, and shea butter; is paraben-free; and claims to moisturize your skin for 24hours after a shave (even after rinsing). I found while using it in the shower (yes, I DID actually shave my legs!), a couple of pumps allowed me to coat my leg perfectly, and due to the more dense texture (vs a slippery gel) it stayed put and I was able to get my whole leg done quickly and easily, which is a must not only because I’m clearly shaving-lazy, but also because the less time a product sits on my skin, the less chance I have for potential irritation. When I was finished, my legs felt soft, smooth, and not dry in the least. All around I was quite impressed, and amazingly I’m actually looking forward to shaving my legs again – like, within the same week! O_o
Next, I got to check out the CUTEST hand lotion ever, by the brand. The scent is ‘Berry Blossom’ which I find quite similar to the shave cream, and I’m totally OK with that as I like it Fragrance IS noted in the ingredient list here, but it’s quite low down on the list and I don’t feel as uncomfortable using the product as I am sometimes when fragrance is listed in the first ingredients. I won’t use this frequently, but as a purse or work hand moisturizer I’m good to go.
The texture of the lotion is fairly dense but just shy of being a full-blown cream. It absorbs quickly but not so fast that I’m left feeling like I need more, you know? I have dry hands from my eczema and I hate when I put on a lotion only to find that I feel like reapplying several minutes later. I don’t want to feel greasy but I want to feel like I’m actually using an effective product.
Overall, I’m really happy with both of these products – I feel like a reasonable member of the clean-shaven society now, and I’m always happy to have a perfectly size hand hydrator to stash away in my purse or leave at my desk. The Shave Cream comes in another fragrance – Vanilla Bliss – or in a Sensitive version that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, an option which makes me HAPPY to see available. It retails for $3.99CAD and is available at quite a few spots – Rexall, Loblaw’s/Superstore, and I believe Walmart as well.
Please make me feel less weird – do you shave infrequently? Do you bother using a shave product, or not?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
I’m feeling very overwhelmed tonight at the sheer amount of fun things I want to post about, and the very little time I have lately to do it. Some of these things aren’t truly pressing (well, to be honest – nothing is life or death in the beauty world, is it?), so I’m trying to figure out how to prioritize which to present first. For the moment, let’s have a gander at what you can look forward to, eh?
eos Hand Lotion and Shave Cream* for smooth legs and hands – I haven’t owned a shaving product in years but I gotta say, this cream makes me want to change my ways!
Just received my third Haus of Gloi order today and I’m so stoked – along with two Aether Pumpkin Butters, I ordered one in the Komodo scent (mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragons blood resin and faded tropical blooms) as well as a small size of a Bubbling Scrub in Selkie (smells like the sea!) and a Sugar Exfoliant in Lassi (reminds me of sour candies ). They all smell SO GOOOOOD.
I got my semi-annual gratis today from Clinique*, along with a couple other items, I selected the Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask as I needed a new purifying mask; a Lash Power mascara, which is sort of old news now but still a great product; an Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector, which I haven’t yet had a chance to try but lord knows these poor old eyes need it; and the brand new Even Better Compact Makeup which we played with in school but I forgot my shade, so I ordered by guessing – I think this will be OK once I get a bit tanned, it looks a touch dark for me right now.
When I received a copy of The Perfume Lover and a sample* of the resulting fragrance Denyse Beaulieu created with L’Artisan Parfumeur, I wasn’t convinced I’d be into it all. Consider me converted – not only am I LOVING the book (I’m about 2/3′s of the way through and totally want to buy ALL OF THE FRAGRANCE now) but I actually kind of dig the scent as well. It’s not in my comfort zone, not being a huge fan of orange blossom (one of the top notes), but something about it pulls me in. Expect to read my review on both for SURE.
So….aside from the multitude of lippies I still have to show you, now I have all this to add to the pile. Oh yea. I’ll get right on it. *eeks!* Maybe you can help me out and let me know which product(s) you’d like to see first?!?!
*Items noted were provided by the PR company/brand.
Despite what my post from last week may indicate, I am trying to shift my focus in cosmetics away from accumulating MORE makeup, and instead opt to purchase better tools and invest in good skincare in 2013. Aside from a few gaps which I’ve identified here, here and here, I’m aiming to cull back my makeup collection and indulge in my consumerism in a way that feels more justifiable. As such, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the best routine to adapt to keep my skin looking youthful and as flawless as possible. As I’ve mentioned before, I really want to incorporate retinol into my regimen, as ensure that I’m using antioxidant-full products to minimize the effects of aging sun damage. I found a great one-page article in the most recent InStyle magazine (March edition) that explains what to use and when for your best skin. Here are the main four points, and my suggestions for products to try (after much research!) *Keep in mind I’m merely making suggestions – I’m no doctor and everyone’s skin is different!:
I. Vitamin-A Derivatives (aka Retinoids) – keeps collagen stimulated; use every second night.
1) Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream with 0.5% Pure Retinol $54US (not sure about CAD prices)
2) Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Serum $78CAD
3) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Original Formula $25CAD
4) Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM $75CAD
II. Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHA’s – glycolic or lactic acid) or Beta-hydroxy Acids (BHA’s – salicylic acid) – prevents wrinkles, combats dulls skin and uneven skin texture through exfoliation; use on opposite nights to retinol. Interesting note: AHA’s are better for normal to dry skin, while BHA’s are better for oilier or acne-prone skin types, as it can penetrate through oily skin better to exfoliate the pore. Salicylic acid is also anti-inflammatory and has mild antibacterial properties.
1) philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment & Moisturizer (BHA’s) $39CAD
2) Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer (AHA’s) $52CAD
3) Neostrata Oil-Free Smoothing Lotion Level 3 (AHA’s) $39CAD
III. Antioxidants (particularly Vitamins C & E) – protect skin from free radicals that cause lines and dullness; use every morning before applying sunscreen (which is also a must!).
1) Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C x 30™ Vitamin C Brightening Serum $105CAD
2) Clinique City Block Sheer Oil Free Daily Face Protector SPF25 $25CAD
3) MD Formulations Moisture Defense Hydrating Gel $46CAD
4) Kate Somerville Protect SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen $45CAD
5) MAC Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum $48CAD
IV. Anti-inflammatory Night Moisturizer – soothes skin from any potential irritation via the retinol or AHA/BHA’s; use at night between uses of treatment products.
1) Jurlique Calendula Cream $45CAD
2) Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer$55CAD
3) Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil $55CAD
Phew! This was a lot of work and research you guys!! I haven’t tried all these (though there are a few I recommend – Kate Somerville’s Quench, Clinique’s City Block, and Tarte’s Maracuja Oil), but I cross-referenced between Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, Makeup Alley reviews, and Sephora reviews so I hope that’s at least somewhat reassuring that these are decent picks! *But of course…please don’t come back angry if you try one and it’s crap!
I hope you guys find this post and the recommendations helpful! Personally I’m thinking of picking up the Neutrogena Healthy Skin lotion, Philosophy Clear Days Ahead moisturizer, and the MAC Prep + Prime serum
Do you have any skincare goals this year?
I’m just going to start by letting out a huge ~GROAN~ before beginning this post. OMG dudes. I’ve been putting this off for AGES and it’s going to get crazy. I suggest getting comfortable with multiple snacks and a beverage of your choice. Let’s get ‘er done.
Part of the reason I’ve taken so long to post this is because I have had so many products thisclose to being finished, and just when its used up, another takes it’s place. I’ve got a handful sitting on my counter that are probably going to be done in a week or so, but I can’t wait any longer – and honestly, I’m in the business of entertaining you, not wasting all of your time and punishing your eyes and scrolling fingers. So here we are!
I’ve said this far too many times and not held my word, but seriously – I’m going to keep the wordiness to a minimum. Let’s start with makeup this time, since that’s always what I find most difficult to finish:
OK. The good: I finished 4 eyeliners! UD’s 24/7 in Crash (shimmering eggplant), Lise Watier’s Gold Eyeshine (which is so old that it kept smushing down into the pencil so I’m turfing it), and two black shades (Tarte Starry Night and MUFE 0L, both which were fine, but smudged more than I’d like). I’ve since bought Chanel’s Noir Intense waterproof liner to replace the two blacks, and so far so good. Also good is Clinique’s Bottom Lash mascara, which seems SO gimmicky but which is actually awesome. The Chanel bi-phase remover is a sample and was good but nothing crazy.
The bad (or just OK): MUFE’s Star Collection gloss in S4 – smooth and not too sticky, but it has this weird cast to it that could make me look dead if worn to heavily. The Revlon lip butter in Peach Parfait still has enough that I could eke out a few more uses, but I won’t. HATED the gritty shimmer in this! The white tube is a primer by Jay Manuel’s line (which I have no idea if it exists anymore or not), that I never used at all. Toss! Lastly, the MAC Haute & Naughty mascara I bought while en route to NZ. For the first month, this was great, albeit a little clumpy due to so much product on the brush. I found as time passed, it got worse, and ended up that the brush looked like this:
Anyway, not bad as far as things go, eh? Next, let’s look at facial skincare:
I’ve reviewed the 100% Pure eye cream, Pangea Organics masque, and Shiseido toner previously and my thoughts still stand on those (which is to say, overall good impressions), but I won’t repurchase. The Clarins Sun SPF30 eye cream is my 2nd or 3rd tube, and as always I think it’s great. I don’t know if I’ll repurchase, just because I might just start using sunscreen around my eye area (I use only physical sunscreens, like the ones in the Clarins, which cause less irritation I find), but you never know! Speaking of physical sunscreens, this is also my 2nd or 3rd tube of the Clinique City Block Sheer SPF25, and I’ll continue to use it unless I can find something similar that doesn’t make oily in summer – I find this still *slightly* heavy. The Clinique Super Rescue cream for combo-to-dry skin is a nice moisturizer, but I find it only gives hydration (and antioxidants – can’t beat that!), and I like something that will aid in smoothing my skin as well, as I tend to have slight roughness from my eczema. I have another tube but probably won’t open that till next winter. The Boscia Make Up Break Up remover is nice enough and effective, but I probably wouldn’t get a full size, as I still use a cleanser afterward because I find it can irritate my skin a little otherwise. The Clinique Even Better Lotion SPF20 is actually a lot nicer than I gave it credit for before I tried it. It’s hydrating but not oily and it made my skin look really good while I was using it. My skin is still doing well but I don’t think it’s AS nice as it was since using this up. I might order this on my next gratis.
I bought a handful of these MaskerAide masques before Christmas and used one per week. I really liked them – they were easy to use and gave great hydration without breaking me out or being too heavy. I’d definitely buy them again. The Elizabeth Grant Eye Power Pads were one of those random beauty items I get from my aunt, and I’ve had them for ages. One day I decided to use them, and it was nice! I didn’t notice a big difference in anything, as I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles yet, but it was a treat and they were hydrating. The Kniepp muscle gel was great for tired legs after working a shift at Clinique or a hard run, and if I was feeling spendy one day I’d probably buy it to have on hand.
Almost done, are you still with me!? Let’s move on to body products:
This is my most triumphant success in terms of empties. The Hawaiian Tropic Aftersun and the B&BW Vanilla Bean Noel lotions I’ve had for SO EFFING LONG – the B&BW lotion was my very first swap EVER (back in 2008). Because they’re so scented, I didn’t wear them often, or in very specific, less sensitive areas like my feet and chest (which isn’t sensitive somehow!). I finally finished them both last month and I’m so stoked – I now have NO scented lotions kicking around, and I don’t plan to ever again! I’ll just go the much safer route and just wear perfume. Sweet
The iconic Kiehl’s Creme de Corps lotion is always a nice luxury to have, and it was effective as ever, though FAR too pricey for my needy body. I would repurchase is my budget allowed it though! Although in saying that, I’ve found my holy grail body moisturizer in Haus of Gloi’s pumpkin butter in Aether – honestly, I can’t see myself buying anything else. It smells good for being non-scented, and it works like a dream on my finicky skin. I love it with all my heart. Aveeno’s Moisturizing Lotion used to be my go-to, but I’m SO over it now. It just doesn’t work as well! The Clinique Deep Comfort hand cream is quite nice and if you’re looking for a great moisturizer to tote around, this is a great option – hydrating, absorbs well after a few minutes, and lasts. And it’s unscented
The last time I ordered a few Aether pumpkin butters, I also picked up a couple 2oz jars of Haus of Gloi’s Bubbling Scrubs. This one in Satyr was lovely! Its a sweet, warm, edible scent which some may not like but is right up my alley. And it gives a nice light exfoliation on my sensitive skin, which I usually avoid, but which I can indulge in with these scrubs. Yay! The Hugo Naturals body wash smelled lovely (natural scents) but something about it I didn’t like, so I wouldn’t repurchase. The star here is the Organix Macadamia Oil conditioner, which is absolutely PERFECT for my crazy-curly, mega-dry hair. I hate that it comes in a smaller container, as I went through it pretty quickly, but I would repurchase even though it’s $8 and lasts only a month or so for me. I usually buy jumbo sizes of conditioner because I need so much, but this is worth the cost, as it really hydrates, and is a bit heavy (so, those with fine hair steer clear) which is just what my hair needs. LOVE.
Ok. Wrapping things up, I have a couple fragrance samples!
I got Angel as a sample when I got my mom’s bottle refilled for her birthday last year. I know it’s a hate it or love it scent for most, but for me I actually am in the middle. I don’t think it’s ‘my’ scent, but I do like it – I think because of the associations with my mother. It really works on her and when I smell it I feel cozy The Lancome fragrance however, La Vie Est Belle, IS ‘my’ fragrance – it’s got the same tones with vanilla being predominant (I’m definitely a Gourmand fragrance wearer), and smells FANTASTIC on me. Initially I wasn’t sure if I liked it enough to buy a bottle, but over the past couple weeks I had three men tell me I smelled good (in an almost surprized way, like “You smell really good” and looking sort of shocked like, ‘oh wow, yum’) so I’m taking that as a sign. Its the first fragrance I’ve found in a while that really does it for me. FYI the notes are: black currant & pear (top); iris, jasmine, & orange blossom (middle); tonka bean, vanilla, praline, and patchouli (base). I think the reason I was initially unsure is that I’m not a huge fan of orange blossom in fragrance, but the inclusion of vanilla and iris (iris being in 3 of my favorite scents, interestingly) end up making it a winner. I’m just finishing up my second sample of this and will buy a bottle as soon as I’m able.
So there you have it! In the past three months, those are the products I managed to finish. Not too shabby, huh? My skincare for face and body particularly has been seriously streamlined, and I don’t have anything ‘extra’ in either. Makeup of course is an ongoing battle to use up products I’m not madly in love with, but I’m getting there! It’s an ongoing process, and you are all probably familiar with. Moving forward I hope to post these monthly to keep on top of things!
Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts? Any skincare products you’ve found to be absolute winners?
So I mentioned in my previous skincare post that my skin has been kicking some serious ass lately. I think aside from finally figuring out the tricks to dealing with eczema (also mentioned in that post), the two star products in the line-up are my facial cleanser, Consonant’s Organic Foaming Face Wash, and my nighttime facial oil, Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil.
I was gifted the face wash by my aunt, who often buys big blockbuster skincare and makeup bags with a bunch of various products by various brands, via The Shopping Channel Sometimes there are standout items, and sometimes…not so much. I didn’t end up using the Consonant wash until about 6 months after receiving it, when I ran out of my previous face wash. Initially, I didn’t think too much of it. Its a foaming…soap…for the face. But there is no denying the fact that somehow this product both gently cleanses while absolutely NOT stripping the skin of moisture (due to nourishing botanicals like grapeseed oil), and leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, and blemish-free (it also contains teatree oil!).
It feels really silky once you rub it into your skin, and dissolves within seconds, which initially made me think it wasn’t cleaning properly. However, 1-2 pumps of product really does remove all the dirt, oil, and makeup I
abuse it with wear daily. If your makeup is particularly tenacious, it may require a separate makeup remover (I used Clinique’s Take The Day Off Balm), but in a pinch this will wash away almost everything without the added step. It’s even designed to help eliminate uneven skin tone, which is a problem I suffer with, and it’s pH balanced (so no need for toner). I’m not one to usually stick with one type of product after it’s used up, but I actually will repurchase this – it works and it’s relatively inexpensive at $18CAD.
Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Calophyllum Tacamahaca, Melaleuca Alternifolia, Allantoin, Algae, Camellia Sinensis, Salix Alba, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera, Comfrey, Chamomilla Recutita, Symphytum Officinale, Cucumis Sativa, Vaccinium Myrtillus, Saccharum Officinarum, Acer Saccharum, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis, Citrus Medica Limonum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.
Does not contain: Phthalates, Petroleum Ingredients, Sulphates, Silicone, Synthetic Colour, Synthetic Fragrance or Paraben Preservatives.
The other superstar in my skincare routine has GOT to be, Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil ($55CAD). This was one of the rare impulse buys I make every few months. I was in Sephora, and as the staff know me there, I asked what was one of the standout must-have products I should try. No less than THREE SA’s turned me toward the Maracuja Oil (between the ages of 20-50), insisting it had totally changed their skin. I wasn’t in the market for a moisture product, but what the heck! I had a $20 coupon to burn in which I needed to spend $50 or more. DONE.
I usually steer clear of skincare via brands that are more known for makeup, and especially gimmicky-type products in general. But honestly, I have been shocked at how much this has improved my skin! It’s smoother, more even-toned, less oily, more hydrated, and I swear it’s made my pores less noticeable and all but eliminated the small fine lines around my eyes. Apparently, maracuja oil is chockful of Vitamin C – which aids in brightening and radiance – and essential fatty acids, which are necessary for healthy skin to rebuild and repair itself It’s also anti-inflammatory, which is ideal for someone like myself with eczema (or if you have sun damage!). How I use it, is right after washing my face, a put a dropperful in my hand, rub them together to disperse, and then press it into my skin all over my face and neck (this product replaces my nighttime moisturizer). I don’t know where I got the ‘pressing’ part but I think I heard somewhere that it helps oils penetrate the skin better (and probably a lot more gentle than vigorous rubbing!). It absorbs a bit slowly, about half an hour to fully penetrate, at which time my skin just feels plump and hydrated and not at all greasy, filmy or sticky (which was a big reason why I did not like argan oil – too heavy!). Some people have noted a slight smell to the product, but I detect next to none – at least nothing discernible, even if I stick my nose right up to the bottle opening.
The only ingredient in this product is maracuja oil, which contains none of the baddies like parabens or fragrance.
And now for a very revealing photo (after cleansing and applying the oil, sans makeup, with plenty of freckles/moles for your viewing pleasure):
If you’re in the market for either (or both) a cleanser or hydrator, I highly recommend both of these products, for essentially all skin types except serious problem skin. Both products are gentle and effective, truly have made such a huge improvement in my skin that I didn’t even realize I was lacking.
What is your absolute must-have skincare product?
We’re back with the Winter Edition of the Beauty Envy Bag! We’ve handpicked several of our beauty
favorites that will help you make it through this winter season with some new goodies. The bag consists
of all full-sized products to help meet your beauty needs. For those of you who may be new to our blogs,
here’s a quick introduction.
Lakeisha is a nail polish blogger from Florida. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.
Latoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she’s also a closet gamer and is a die-hard Walking Dead fan. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.
Leticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.
Lola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.
The Winter Edition of the Beauty Envy Bag contains:
- L’Occitane Hand Indulgence Hand Cream Set (Reviewed by Lola)
- Benefit’s High Flyin’ Glosses Collection (Reviewed by Latoya)
- Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette (Reviewed by Leticia)
- Butter LONDON Two Fingered Salute & Scallywag (Reviewed by Lakeisha)
Please feel free to click the links above to learn more about each product. Accompanying all of the items
is a purple metallic beauty bag from Sephora and additional samples will be included as well.
Here is what you need to know to enter in the Rafflecopter widget below:
- Must leave a blog comment (just one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know your
favorite winter beauty product.
- Additional entries for following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter,
- Open internationally
- Must be 18+
- Giveaway closes on Monday, January 28, 2012 at 11:59 EST
Good luck dolls!!!
I’ve got an issue, guys. I really feel like doing a review/showing swatches of a product, but I don’t want to actually have to do the work. That’s kind of a problem, right? And it’s not entirely true…I want to write about the product, but I don’t want to have to take any photos. If I do a skincare product, I have to take boring shots of the bottle (you bloggers know what I’m taking about – product photos in containers are SO dull to snap :S). If I feature a makeup product, I like to show face swatches too. I’m not avoiding showing my face, because my face is looking pretty darn good these days. Seems I’ve found ‘THE‘ regimen for my skin, at long last – even for my body! …Oh, ok, you want to hear about it? Hmm… maybe if I do a few collective shots of what I’m using, it won’t be such a snore for me… …OK! Right-o! We’re on ‘er now
Let’s work from the bottom up (not literally!). Every year, I get a mysterious rash-type thing, that is NOT eczema but some sort of dermatitis that no one can explain. I went for a biopsy last year to get it checked and it came back negative for all of the possible things it could be. My derm is an idiot who can barely open his eyes (for some reason, he squints constantly – so annoying!), and didn’t offer any other solutions to figuring out the problem, so I have been essentially left to deal with it on my own. This summer, I got another mystery rash on my arms, big-time (which made swatching impossible), and it was unlike anything I’ve had before. Of course. Anyway, when I went to NZ I hoped the fresh, clean air would heal me up, but this was not the case. However, while there I bought this crazy Eumovate cream and it cleared it up in about two days. To perfect smoothness. Heck YES I was excited! But then I read the fine print that said ‘Do not use for more than 7 consecutive days’ and I knew it was some heavy shit, so I stopped and of course the rash came back – not to the full strength, but nonetheless it still plagued me.
Speaking of plagued. I wrote a poem once about my skin issues (seriously guys…it freakin’ drives me NUTS), and titled it ‘Plague’. Check out
the height of my lameness my mad skillz:
What lasting plague upon my house,
My body, mind & soul;
What constancy lives in my heart
That soon shall take it’s toll.
What ravages this skin, yet leaves
No evidence, no trace,
Of how to rid oneself of it,
Will it never erase?
A mystery, the cause of such
Destruction, that has made
A mockery of such a thing
That God so proudly laid.
Too long this body’s suffered so,
Too long without a cure;
Too soon it’s life comes to an end
Of this we can be sure.
Dudes. I was way serious back in the day. I wrote poetry all the time, because obviously sad poetry is WAY easier to write than happy stuff. I did write a few cheerily optimistic poems the last time I was in the groove (about 4 years ago)…maybe sometime I’ll share (or not…this is a beauty blog, after all! ).
Anyway, when I got home my GP told me that it was good to stop using the hardcore stuff I got in NZ, as it was pretty intense. He hooked me up with a regular corticosteroid, which I do generally try to avoid but figured I had to do something, and BAM! Problem fixed. See, with eczema you have to treat that shit first…I kept trying all these plain creams to make it heal on it’s own, but that’s just silly. I used the prescription for about five days and haven’t had to use it since. Once I got my skin back to normal, THEN I could manage it with preventative measures. Which are:
- Shower at night: This way you rinse away all the bad crap that comes in contact with your skin throughout the day, and your moisturizer has a better chance of absorbing and keeping your skin hydrated.
- Wash with a soap-free, fragrance-free cleanser: Anything that lathers is generally NOT a friend of those with eczema. I’ve been using a body wash by Hugo Naturals that has vegetable glycerin and a natural surfactant derived from coconut and it’s been lovely and gentle on my skin. You do NOT want to strip any of your precious natural oils! You need those!
- Go for the heaviest creams you can tolerate: Right now I’m using Haus of Gloi’s Pumpkin Butter ($9US for 6oz) in Aether (non-scent), and I am in fucking love. Sorry for the potty mouth but seriously that is how good this stuff is! It has a natural odor that I’m not quite sure I would call ‘pumpkin’y', but its nice and for someone who has renounced almost all use of anything fragranced*, this is very exciting. It also contains shea butter as the second ingredient, which is pretty much the holy grail of hydrators for dry skin. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Another good option (though pricey) is Kiehl’s Creme de Corps ($37.50CAD for 250mL).
*Steering clear of fragrance is also very important. Even take note of your shampoo/conditioner/hair styling products. I’m using a fragrance-free shampoo and low-fragrance conditioner (it’s the last ingredient on the list), and a non-fragranced hair oil – the end. I swear it helps!
- Reapply often: This is why I go through SO many creams and lotions, but it’s worth it if my skin stays hydrated – it keeps your moisture barrier intact and therefore less irritating things from the outside world can penetrate the skin and cause flare-ups and problems. I keep a moisturizer by the bed, at work, in my purses…its a constant job. But totally worth it!
And that’s essentially it, for body! I do nothing else and I don’t need to. Scrubs are abrasive and therefore can exacerbate the problem (though I did just order a Bubbling Scrub sample size from Haus of Gloi…because I just can’t help myself), so I wash, pat dry, hydrate, the end. And my body is loving me right now PRAISE THE SKIN GODS!!
As for the face – which has also been darn near glorious over the past month – here’s what I’ve been using/the routine I’ve been following:
1. Splash face with water, pat dry then swipe Shiseido’s Pureness Balancing Softener all over skin
2. Apply Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer to dry areas of face (for me, its around the mouth)
3. Apply Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Eye Treatment around orbital area
4. Apply Clinique Even Better Lotion SPF20 all over face & neck
When I wear foundation, which I almost don’t have to right now, I wear the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder, which actually doesn’t dry my skin out, even in this cold weather, and almost allows me to skip powder altogether on my slightly oily skin (as it’s mattifying and oil-free). It doesn’t contain fragrance or any other funny business I usual avoid.
I will note that I’m careful with any blushes/bronzers I use – the Chanel, Benefit, and Burberry blush I have all have fragrance, so I try to use them sparingly. NARS powder blush contain lanolin, which I’m allergic to and which is very unfortunate as I have 5 shades. So, they get used semi-infrequently as well. But, I find as long as I’m not wearing them every day, things are alright.
In the evening, here’s how I roll:
1. Remove makeup with Boscia’s Make Up Break Up Cleansing Oil (which I *just* finished tonight and will be replacing with Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm)
2. Wash face with Consonant’s Organic Foaming Face Wash
3. Apply Derma-E’s Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel all over face & neck
4. Apply 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream around orbital area
5. Wait 5 minutes, then pat Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil into face and neck (review forthcoming, because this stuff is GOLD!)
The end. That’s it! It’s not a long process, and the results have been really good. I think the biggest thing is keeping my skin MORE hydrated as opposed to trying to always control the oiliness. Not washing my face in the morning, combined with using two hydrators (spot treating in the AM and all over at night), has actually not made me more oily but has lessened how shiny I get throughout the day, and my eczema is nearly non-existent – all that’s left is slight pigmentation scarring from when it wasn’t under control. I also think that for once, following a regimen and using the same products every day has had a huge hand in keeping my skin happy. Changing it up all the time leaves it in a constant upheaval; I was doing it for the ‘right reasons’ – trying to use up products – but it was causing me grief overall. So YAY to getting my shit together!
There are still a few tweaks I want to make here and there, especially with respect to anti-aging – I still want to try a retinol product (I want to use up the Derma-E Vitamin A gel first before I purchase one), and I plan on replacing the almost-finished Shiseido Softener with one of Bioderma’s miscellar waters – but otherwise I think I’m good! When the time comes to buy replacement products, I’ll be sure to do my homework.
I know that this process will not be helpful for some of you – not everyone has my tempermental skin – but I find that when I’m looking online for solutions to my eczema problems, there’s not much around except the usual treatments. And since it’s wintertime for many of us, some of the same logic applies in terms of keeping the skin hydrated, so hopefully not all is lost! Stay tuned for my post on the Tarte oil though, truly – it’s absolutely wonderful and I think everyone can use it!
How involved in your skincare routine? Do you have finnicky skin? What is the difference maker for you?
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me go on about wanting to incorporate a retinol product into my skincare regime by now…but I just have so many other serums and treatments kicking around I haven’t felt justified in spending the big bucks to pick one up just yet! However, I did swipe a wallet-friendly *lite* version back in July – Derma-E’s Vitamin A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel. Vitamin A is the basis of retinol, however, this isn’t ‘true’ retinol but sort of the entry-level version (more on that in a minute). I thought with the nature of my finicky skin it would be wise to start small and work up to the hard stuff, and for $14CAD (for 220mL) at Shoppers this seemed like a good bet! But does it work??
First of all, the product claims to be a “refreshing formula that helps diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles” and through the vitamin A it will “enhance skin’s youthful appearance.” On top of that, its supposed to be a “fast-absorbing water-based gel great for oily or blemish-prone skin, and leaves skin feeling soft, supple and smooth.” ALSO, you’ll be pleased to know it’s cruelty-free, paraben-free, and eco-friendly, and is oil-free, which is majorly appealing in the crazy humid weather we had this summer. Sounds all sorts of awesome, eh?
I used this product at night for about a month and it did leave my oilier skin hydrated without feeling greasy at all – though it didn’t seem to do much else. While vitamin A is the second ingredient after water, in this form (retinyl palmitate), it’s not actually retinol – which means that it doesn’t stimulate cell turnover or exfoliate the skin. Because it’s much less aggressive than retinol, however, it can be a great option for those with sensitive skin (me) as in high concentrations like this, it still can plump the skin and increase collagen production. As I only used it for a shorter period of time (as my skin has been freaky everywhere pretty much all of August for no reason, which means – back to super-basics), I may not have given it a fair chance to ‘wow’ me.
All in all, once my skin chills out, I’m definitely give this another shot – if nothing else its a nice moisturizer for sensitive, oily skin and absorbs quickly so you can use it under makeup, too. And the bottle is HUGE for the price, so this will last ages! The only actual concern I have is that the last ingredients note ‘natural and fragrant oils,’ of which I’m wary – but I seemed to have no problems while using it so until I do I will just be aware.
Have you tried any retinol or vitamin A products that you can suggest? What is your ultimate ‘good skin’ potion?
WAAAAAA! I wrote and posted this on Saturday, but I just saw now that it never posted!?! WTF?! Anyway…without further ado…………
Well, I survived yet another trip, and for the first time ever I’m looking forward to NOT traveling for a little while (until the BIG trip next month, anyway! ). I am thoroughly on a break from airports, having been to and from and to and back again six times in the past week – my flight was delayed six hours going to Ottawa, and if I hadn’t had my laptop I would have been one sad, sick gal! From all the travel and stress going on, I got the flu just as I was leaving for Ottawa, but happily I seem to be on the mend now and should be good as gold when I head back to work this week. It made for a rough couple of days in workshops, but nevertheless I enjoyed my trip; I got a boost in work morale and ambition, I got to meet a fabulous long-time reader for a delicious lunch (thanks Sarah!), and had a couple of days to spend with one of my favorite people – a good friend of mine who’s now living in the city. All in all, its been a whirlwind of a summer – not without it’s highs and lows – and with the weather cooling a bit, I’m really looking forward to fall and all it has to bring!
I arrived back from Ottawa feeling in desperate need of some R&R and major pampering. My hair and skin lately have been showing my fatigue – the ends of my hair are painfully dry and tangled, and my skin has been itchy, irritated and flaking in patches. I haven’t yet been home, staying with my mom overnight and enjoying her company and nurturing, so since I didn’t have my ‘usual’ treatments on hand I got creative, concocting a few home spa recipes! I’m normally not entirely on-board with this kind of thing (though not against it by any means – just lazy I think), but it was a perfect way to spend a day, whipping up some treats to soothe the body and soul. I must say, I am exceptionally impressed with the results, and think I might incorporate these treatments into my regular routine from now on! Let me show you what I got up to
Brown Sugar and Olive Oil Scrub
I got the ball rolling with a smooth start. This ‘recipe’ only conains two ingredients and is super-easy and requires only items I’m sure you already have in your cupboards: brown sugar and olive oil. Mix a small palmful of the sugar (just the regular kind, not the raw sugar) with a few drops of the oil, creating a paste. Rub on face (or body!) in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells and wake up the skin. Rinse thoroughly and gently pat face dry.
Ta da! That’s it! You’ll find as your rinsing that it feels like the olive oil is leaving a residue on your skin. I was worried that it would leave my oily skin oilier, but surprizingly after I patted my face dry, my face felt neither greasy nor like there was any film on my skin at all! I actually would have needed to apply a moisturizer to some of the drier parts of my face afterward if I wasn’t going to follow with a masque – so I would say this is a great scrub for all types of skin. It wasn’t too abrasive but definitely gave my skin a good buffing…I think I’m hooked!
Cucumber Soothing Masque
Next, I wanted a masque to soothe my skin from contact with all the random allergens of other people’s (typically fragranced) laundry detergents that I had come in contact with over the past few weeks, which has really taken a toll on my skin (I actually usually bring my own pillowcase to places away from home but due to the busy-ness of the month I forgot for the most part). This cucumber masque was noted for being great for sensitive skins (hello!) and it didn’t seem to contain any funny stuff, so I tried it out. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
1 tbsp active yeast
1 tbsp finely ground oatmeal
1 whole cucumber, peeled
2 tbsps plain yogurt or sour cream* (what I used)
1 tsp honey
I made several mistakes/changes to this face masque – first, I used only a half a cucumber, and forgot to peel it (LOL!); I also combined everything together in a blender at once, though they recommend mixing the oatmeal and yeast together and setting aside, and blending the cucumber separately first – then adding other ingredients, blending, then finally the oatmeal/yeast into the rest of the mixture. However, my version still seemed effective so I wouldn’t worry about it too much (though I would peel the cucumber as I had bits of it stuck to my face haha). They suggest to apply it chilled so I had it in the fridge for a while before using. Once I applied it to a clean face and neck, I left it on for a good 30 minutes, until it fully dried, then gently splashed warm water on my face, loosening the bits until it fully washed off. I didn’t experience any irritation or uncomfortable sensations while wearing it nor after it had been washed off – what I DID feel was smooth, soft skin that wasn’t itchy or inflammed at all, and an awesome by-product – smaller pores! I don’t know why exactly but I’m not questioning it! I will definitely be using this masque in the future without a doubt.
Avocado, Banada and Honey Hair Masque
Just before applying the cucumber masque, I whipped up this hydrating masque for dry hair (which would also work for the face – just exclude the olive oil). I’ve always wanted to make my own hair masque with avocado (probably due to my addiction to the yummy green stuff), so I was stoked to check this out. I actually combined a few recipes I read online to make this masque, as I really wanted to include banana and honey as well. So I used the following and it turned out pretty great!:
1/2 of a ripe avocado
1/2 of a ripe banana
1 tbsp of honey
1 tsp of olive oil
I combined all the ingredients in a blender and applied to dry, brushed out hair (now…my hair had been in a braid before I did the masque so I was able to ‘brush it out’…but normally I would have applied this to damp, just washed/rinsed hair because otherwise it would just *not* be happenin’ on this curly head!). I left it on for a few hours while I sat outside in the sunshine – optimal situation I think – but you can probably just leave it in for 30 minutes under a shower cap and retain similar benefits! As the masque dried my hair got hard as a rock, like I had put gel in it, which was kind of interesting.
I have to tell you gals, this masque was awesome! When I rinsed out my hair, it felt really good. Really, really healthy and strong, and to my surprize – thick! I have a lot of hair but it’s quite fine, and when I straighten it you see how not-thick it really is (which is probably good because if it were super-thick along with being super-curly, we’d have some major problems). After this treatment, my actual strands felt thicker and more resilient – I’d love to try this just before straightening my hair to see the effect! Also, it reduced the frizziness of my hair big time. And shine? Yea, ok, you get the picture, right? The only caution I have is that if you do have fine, limp hair, I would either use this at night when you’re just staying home, OR omit the olive oil, as it may weigh hair down a bit (which for me is a plus). Again, definitely a concoction I will be using again and again, I absolutely LOVE it!
So that was my homemade spa day! It was an excellent way to unwind from it all, pampering myself while sitting outside in the sunshine with a glass of wine. I feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to ‘er – and it only cost about $5. Note that both masques made WAY more than was necessary – the hair masque will easily make 2-4 treatments depending on your hair (more like 2 for me), and the face masque made enough to last me a whole month (though it probably won’t last that long physically – I’m going to try and use it every second day until it goes bad). Probably best case scenario is to do these with a friend and share the fabulous – maybe watch a little Sex and the City?…which is my plan for tonight This weekend has been all sorts of awesome – and we still have another day off tomorrow!! Which of course helped make today just that much better
Have you tried any home recipes for spa treatments? What are some of your favorite home remedies? What is your favorite way to unwind?